RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (Full Version)

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josh_bonito -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (12/2/2010 9:11:01 AM)

Zero de conduite (1933) - Jean Vigo's weird, sometimes wonderful short is a worthy predecessor to just about every 'rebellious youth' movie made since, most notably If... and The 400 Blows, in which Truffaut recreated virtually shot-for-shot one of the most memorable scenes in Vigo's film - 8/10




siegfried -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (14/2/2010 10:38:09 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGodfather

An American In Paris
Vincente Minelli`s other musical that`s set in Paris, Gigi, I had already seen last year and I really liked it. I wrote back then that I was curious to see Minelli`s other musicals. Today it was time for one of his most famous: An American In Paris.
Once again, I really enjoyed it. Gene Kelly is great as ever, Leslie Caron (who also plays the lead part in Gigi) is really cute as Kelly`s love interest and the supporting parts are filled with humour.
The sets, the colourfull costumes, the music: everything fits great together. All of that comes to a great explosion in the 18-minute long ballet sequence at the end of the film,completely goreographed by Gene Kelly self. A brilliant combination of music, dance and the sets (brought to life beautifully) that covers the complete last part of the film without being spoken a word in it. The last scene where there is being spoken in, can be seen (with some imagination) as a prequel of sorts to Casablanca.
A true joy to watch.

8,8/10

Although there is much to admire in An American In Paris, I've never considered it to be Minnelli's greatest achievement. For me its best moments come earlier in the film: Kelly and Leslie Caron dancing on the river bank; the joyous I Got Rhythm, with the children; By Strauss, with Kelly and Georges Guetary.
My personal favourites among Minnelli's films are the brilliantly witty and stylish The Band Wagon; Meet Me In St Louis, Judy Garland's finest; and the sublime Gigi.
I hope you get around to watching The Band Wagon and Meet Me In St Louis, and I'll be very interested to hear what you think of them.




Nicola1001 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (24/2/2010 5:58:46 PM)

Foreign Correspondent (1940) 6/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (8/3/2010 7:28:46 PM)

Little Women (1949) 10/10




TheDudeAbides -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (9/3/2010 2:26:34 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nicola1001

Little Women (1949) 10/10


Sigh, I was once also taken in by this elegant chocolate box masquerading as a film.... [;)]. Thank God for Rossano Brazzi and a very spirited C. Aubrey Smith to liven up proceedings.

Anyhow, the last classic I watched was I Was Born, But... acquired from the uni library after having wanted to see it for a long-ass time. My first Ozu film and certainly now not my last, it is a simple yet entrancing slice of life concerning two young brothers trying to adapt to a new neighbourhood after their office clerk father is transferred to a Tokyo suburb. Bullied by the local boys and struggling to comprehend their family's insignificant status in society, the pair traverse a series of tulmultous emotions through the course of the film, feelings conveyed beautifully by the fantastically natural performances from the infant ensemble. A fascinating glimpse of a unique time and place, capturing a Japan divided between Western influence and Eastern rituals, this is a moving and funny film which ought not to be missed. If I weren't so tired, I could write about it all night..

9.5/10






rick_7 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (9/3/2010 10:31:06 AM)

*SPOILERS AHOY*
No! I really, really like that film. It's categorically not the best version of Little Women - the '33 one is tops, and the '94 isn't too shabby either - but as bright, escapist, sparkling, cloying, unfaithful, manipulative paraphrases of quality novels go, it's one of my very favourites. C Aubrey Smith as a crusty gramps? Check. Enthusiastic reteaming of most of the prominent cast members from Meet Me in St Louis? Check. Re-ordering of the ages of the characters so Margaret O'Brien gets to weep and die? Yeah. Me weeping (though not dying) at least three times every time I watch the shiny, emotionally bullying thing? Naturally.
 
I've been exhausting the same battered VHS copy for about about a decade (it was out of print for years) - is it on DVD now? I'll go and check.
 
Happy belated birthday, by the way, Dudette.
 
[image]http://biggovernment.com/files/2009/12/Cagney-Dawn.jpg[/image]
"We didn't do you a thread. We are sorry."




Nicola1001 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (11/3/2010 7:35:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheDudeAbides

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nicola1001

Little Women (1949) 10/10


Sigh, I was once also taken in by this elegant chocolate box masquerading as a film.... [;)]. Thank God for Rossano Brazzi and a very spirited C. Aubrey Smith to liven up proceedings.



Oi! thats been one of my favourite films since I was a child [:D]

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1955) 6/10

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947) 4/10

From Here To Eternity (1953) 6/10

Sabotage (1936) 7/10




TheGodfather -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (12/3/2010 11:06:21 PM)

Watched some short films yesterday:

Alice in Wonderland
Of course not the Burton version but the first film version ever, from 1903, of the Lewis Caroll story. It`s only 10 minutes long and it is quite amusing. The effects are, considering that it`s well over 100 years old, quite good.Other than that, it`s nothing too exciting but fun to have seen it.
6,0/10

And the first from MoC`s Buster Keaton box, also the first films ever that I have seen from him:
The Butcher Boy
As I`ve never seen any of the work of Keaton before I didn`t quite know what to expect. The result wasn`t bad at all, I really enjoyed it .
Sometimes a bit lame but because of the short running time of just under 30 minutes it keeps its power and stays funny.
Good short!

7,0/10

The Rough House
This isn`t as long the above mentioned film, but it does feel like it`s longer. Drags on quite a bit, eventhough it`s not even 19 minutes long, and it`s only funny at a few moments.
Not as good as The Butcher Boy.
6,5/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (16/3/2010 7:02:20 PM)

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) 8/10




TheDudeAbides -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 11:51:19 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

*SPOILERS AHOY*
No! I really, really like that film. It's categorically not the best version of Little Women - the '33 one is tops, and the '94 isn't too shabby either - but as bright, escapist, sparkling, cloying, unfaithful, manipulative paraphrases of quality novels go, it's one of my very favourites. C Aubrey Smith as a crusty gramps? Check. Enthusiastic reteaming of most of the prominent cast members from Meet Me in St Louis? Check. Re-ordering of the ages of the characters so Margaret O'Brien gets to weep and die? Yeah. Me weeping (though not dying) at least three times every time I watch the shiny, emotionally bullying thing? Naturally.
 
I've been exhausting the same battered VHS copy for about about a decade (it was out of print for years) - is it on DVD now? I'll go and check.
 
Happy belated birthday, by the way, Dudette.
 
[image]http://biggovernment.com/files/2009/12/Cagney-Dawn.jpg[/image]
"We didn't do you a thread. We are sorry."


A belated Happy Birthday and a belated thanks... what a pair [8|]. I had a lovely day; and more importantly, my friends got me a 15 Amazon voucher, thus enabling me to purchase Young Mister Lincoln, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Glengarry Glen Ross (the influence of your Top 100 clearly evident [:)]).

Of them, I've now watched Young Mister Lincoln, which was really quite good. Fonda somehow found some charisma (possibly lent by James Stewart at a reasonable rate? Must investigate.) and made the character his own rather than timidily creep around in his shadow. The support were all typically Ford-fabulous - no-one can fill a mob with uglier mugs - and the storyline was effortlessly gripping. The use of music was perfect, and that final shot... boy, what a killer! Overall, an impressive 8/10.

On a Little Women-ier note, I caught the fabled 1978 miniseries on some shitty Sky channel yesterday. The production values were looooow (a lot of the sets looked very bare indeed, and a lot of costumes seemed to be cut from the same bolt of cloth), and the acting was a tad uneven, but that is surely to be expected from such a large cast. It was more than made up for a) by the chance to see the story fully realised over a nice long running time (and dashed faithfully too, I might add), and b) the gems of a cast. The elders of the story are played by the knockout trio of Robert Young, Dorothy McGuire and Greer Garson and they are as sparky as you would expect.

There's also possibly the most unexpected bonus in the history of time. Two words. William. Shatner. I'll give you a minute to take that in... Okay, so I was warily sensitive about his presence, given that he plays one of my favourite characters, but it really has to be seen to be believed. It may be a casting choice which is, in the words of Frasier Crane, from the friggin' moon, but in a bizarre way it works. Mainly because the production sticks closely to the text, which has endearingly weird where Gabriel Byrne substituted downright sexy, and Shatner taps into this with unexpected acuteness. His accent is pretty solid, too, although he does seem to be labouring under the delusion that Germans pronounce 'th' as 't', giving him a slightly Jamaican-Irish ring at times. In the end, both Shatner and the production in general were a surprising treat which deserves more recognition.




rick_7 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 3:11:58 PM)

Cagney in his best pyjamas, and you're still not happy? [:D]
 
Interesting stuff on Little Women. I'm pretty sure that is how Germans talk. For you, Fritz, the Malibu is over. If you want to see Shatner as a charismatic white supremacist, might I point you in the direction of Roger Corman's The Intruder, which is really rather good.
 
Is an 8/10 film a good use of a third of your birthday money? I offer reimbursements if my DVD advice results in disappointment (2p for the combined first 100 hours of the movie, then 50 for every subsequent minute). It sounds like you enjoyed it, though - that's good.
 
I'm sure you'll like Purple Rose - who couldn't? And Lemmon was taking a break from being a bit shit in Glengarry - what a revelation that part is.




TheDudeAbides -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 3:31:34 PM)

I know I'm going to love Purple Rose, and my heart is so full of soft-spots for the majority of the cast of Glengarry Glen Ross that I just hope watching it won't spark a coronary malfunction.

As for the Shatner... I'm not ashamed to say I found the whole thing on YouTube this morning and rewatched it, often guiltily skipping to the bits he was in. My personal mantra is 'Accurate phonology be damned! If you say 'ting', you're going to sound Jamaican. Fact.'. But it was one of those things where you feel your cynical mask of irony melting like the Wicked Witch and the whole ridiculous, kitschy enterprise starts becoming heartwarming. Extra bonus points for working in some of my favourite scenes from the book not included in any of the films, too. If Laurie wasn't so damn old, the cast would have been pretty perfect.

EDIT: Although, that said - no shitting way was Shatner 47 when it was made! He looks about ten years less than that. Bloody hell, he aged well, didn't he? To an extent, at least [:D]. Was just indulging in some The Intruder-related stalking on IMDb and the give his DOB as 1931. Hell fire, as my mother would say.




rick_7 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 3:58:55 PM)

No pooing way is Gabriel Byrne 59 years old, either. He has started to resemble a newt in the last couple of years, but a 55-year-old newt at worst. Da whole ting is kerazee, wuh-monn. Beer can. I did a thread on The Intruder the other year. It did really well, as you can see from the wealth of replies: http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=244341&mpage=1&key=&NID=0#244341
 
Please don't have a heart attack until you've finished that 10 Greatest Cagney Performances thread. What wins?




TheDudeAbides -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 4:12:25 PM)

Don't get me started. I have an equally weird friend with whom I have debated the Byrne question long and hard. Our final decision is: we may continue to lust after him up until, but not including, his 60th birthday, which I believes takes us up til May. After which time, we can only lust over him in work accomplished prior to that date. You know, just to make sure it isn't weird, of course....hmmm. The words 'stable door', 'horse' and 'bolted' spring to mind.

Good news is that now I'm on my ridiculously-early Easter holidays, I can actually finish that Cagney list. I cannot divulge the thrilling climax but you can probably guess using a simple algorithm taking into account what's already been. If not, all the better.




rick_7 -> RE: The Last Classic I Watched... (17/3/2010 4:25:28 PM)

Tribute to a Bad Man and Those Wilder Years. It's got to be, hasn't it? If it is, I'm going to be very underwhelmed. Mrs_7 is raiding the uni library as we speak, in anticipation of her hols. Woo, and indeed, hoo. We're trying to rent (largely BFI) DVDs with the same combined retail as her tuition fees. Doing very well so far: the extraordinary Our Friends in the North is 145 on Amazon marketplace. [:D]
 
Despite going to an all-boys secondary school that turned seven out of every six pupils gay, I don't really get the Gabriel Byrne thing, younger-than-60 or otherwise. But as long as you're happy... [:D]




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (17/3/2010 9:53:35 PM)

Bigger Than Life
Nicholas Ray`s film about a teacher who suffers from psychoses because of the medicine cortisone.
At some points an obvious product of its time but still so actual at the same time (54 years after its release), the film doesn`t feel dated one single second.
James Mason gives one of his best performances (especially the monologue during the open house day at his school is brilliant) and the compositions are beautifull with Ray making smart use of the architecture of the house that Mason`s character lives in.
The picture quality on the Criterion blu-ray is of demo quality, the transfer is gorgeous and gives (with a nice small grain in the image) the film a true filmic feel.
One of Ray`s best films in a release that should be cherised.

9,5/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (19/3/2010 7:10:21 PM)

Action In The North Atlantic (1943) 7/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (24/3/2010 7:20:31 PM)

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971) 8/10

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) 7/10




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (28/3/2010 9:50:49 PM)

Mr. Arkadin - The Comprehensive Version
The last version from the Criterion box from this Orson Welles thriller is the longest of the three. It`s put together by using notes from and interviews with Welles, being supervised by Welles scholars and with different prints provided by film archives from around Europe.
The result is the best of the three now existing versions (all three of wich are featured in the box). There is quite some footage added to it and in the editing process of it all it was mixed back and forth. This makes the rithm better, it makes it flow more.
This version makes more use of the flashback structure as well, as originally intended by Welles. The beginning and the ending are much different as well. The film is, for as far as that`s possible, much more a whole.
We`ll probably never get to see the complete version as Welles meant to make it, but this excellent Comprehensive Version is as close to that as we`ll ever get.

8,3/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (29/3/2010 8:01:16 PM)

Topaz (1969) 5/10




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (29/3/2010 11:15:05 PM)

My Darling Clementine
In John Ford`s version, one of the many released over the years, about the legend Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK Corral Earp is portrayed as a hero, an essentially good man and especially as someone to who people look up to. He`s not your typical Wild West sherrif (because he doesn`t really wanna do anything bad, he just wants to find the murderers of his younger brother) as this whole film is not your typical Western. You could call it a romantic drama that is set in the Wild West and has Western elements to it.
Fonda is great in the lead role and turns Earp into a real person, someone who has the best in mind for everyone without causing too much problems doing so.
Again a really good movie from Ford who, by once again (as with almost all his westerns) shooting the film in the beautiful Monument Valley, gave the western its typical look.
8,5/10




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (1/4/2010 8:39:15 AM)

Rio Grande
Beautiful western drama by John Ford with an excellent John Wayne in the leading role.

7,5/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (13/4/2010 6:41:35 PM)

Knock On Any Door (1949) 8/10




xmagic_dustx -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (24/4/2010 1:55:19 AM)

Whirlpool (1949) - 8/10




TheDudeAbides -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (1/5/2010 8:15:26 AM)

Home of the Brave (1949)

One of the lovely things about liking classic cinema is that sometimes you stumble on a significant actor, an actress or even a whole genre you never even knew existed. How many of us, if it weren't for references in Barton Fink and the remake of The Champ, would even be aware of the 'wrestling picture' phenomenon that doubtless made heaps more money than half the artistic dramas we associate with that era? This was one of those moments for me.

I knew that the late Forties saw a clash of two films exposing anti-Semitism (the good but rather overrated Crossfire and the appallingly underrated Gentlemen's Agreement), but I never knew that these years, in particular 1949, were notable for a sudden rush of 'tolerance movies' and 'Negro problem pictures'. Coming after Truman's 1948 integration of the armed forces, suddenly Black issues were all the rage. Movies like 'Pinky' and 'Lost Boudaries' (both 1949) dealt with the anguish of blacks 'passing', sometimes their whole adult lives, for white. Films began to realise that black people existed as people rather than as porters or maids, and began at last to go some way to answer Myrna Loy's challenge "How about a black person walking up the steps of a court house carrying a briefcase?".

The hero of this particular story is not a lawyer or a doctor (we would have to wait another year to see Sidney Poitier as a determined black intern in No Way Out), but an educated professional nonetheless: Peter Moss, an Army surveyor in the Pacific theatre. Having volunteered for a dangerous island mission, he is delighted to be reunited with his white schoolmate Finch (a winning Lloyd Bridges). However, the three other members of the mission are not so delighted to be working alongside a 'coloured' soldier, particularly misguided bigot T.J. Trapped together in effectively sweaty jungle warfare, the men do not predictably learn to get along and realise that race is just blah blah blah... In actual fact, the events of the mission cause the black soldier severe psychological trauma and land him in a military mental ward, which is where the story begins, with the war sequences played out in flashback.

James Edwards is stunning in the lead, handling the 'believability with occasional flashes of melodrama' this kind of movie thrives on. He is essentially playing three roles: Moss as a gifted but already worldly-wise student, as a determined soldier slowly cracking up and as a full-blown trauma victim. Less flashy and more human than many of the roles that Poitier would play a few years after, Edwards is a wonderful actor and deserved to enjoy Poitier's level of success - rumour has it that a tryst with a well-known white actress killed his career. Lloyd Bridges is also a delight as Moss' white schoolfriend, whose love for Moss shows itself as a deliberate naiviety that he is unwilling to relinquish. The other members filling out the cast are for the most part decent, too - Steve Brodie perfectly captures T.J's petty unpleasantness and insensitivity rather than going for a broad redneck portrayal and Frank Lovejoy does his best as the remaining member of the squad, whose characterisation is left pretty blank by the script. Jeff Corey is truly appalling as the doctor treating Moss, though, and the fact that he apparently taught acting only makes it more so. It is of course possible that he was not on his A-game here, delivering every line like the narrator of an old-timey public safety documentary.

That aside, the performances and a script which is ahead of its time for nuanced treatment of prejudice make this a great early 'Negro problem' picture. The first post-Production Code usage of the word 'nigger' is jolting and powerful indeed, doubly shocking coming from the mouths of Classic-era actors. The deep characterisation of Moss and his emotional trauma is probably the most complete and human depiction of a black person we would see until the Sixties, making the obvious but until then unrecognised point that 'Negroes' suffered psychological anguish as well as whites, that they felt as deeply as them. For this reason, the movie has aged well and will reward anyone that takes the time to search it out with a tense, sweaty war-race melange in the best dramatic tradition.

8.5/10




Nicola1001 -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (1/5/2010 3:41:27 PM)

Passport To Pimlico (1949) 6/10




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (9/5/2010 4:23:38 PM)

All I Desire
A moving and gripping ode by Douglas Sirk to nostalgia, to hoping for a better life and to love.
Barbara Stanwyck is superb in the leading role of an actrice who abandons her family looking for a career as a succesfull actress. She returns home when she receives a letter from one of her daughters asking to attend her school play. The daughter is the only one who (together with an old lover) who is happy that she`s back home.
A beautiful story in wich the gorgeous camera work and great compositions almost become an extra character.
A strong film, one of Sirk`s best films.

8,0/10




TheGodfather -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (10/5/2010 10:47:13 PM)

The Innocents
A super intense ghost story about a woman (Deborah Kerr) who takes the on the job of watching after two small kids, a brother and sister. But right from the start she feels that something isn`t right. She thinks the kids are possessed by ghosts...
What follows is one of the most intense films that I`ve seen in a long time. It leans quite heavily on the power of suggestion, wich works excellent. Kerr is great in the role of the "nanny" but all the credit here should go to the little kids. What a bunch of freaky characters they portray. Brilliant.
Highly recommended!

9,0/10




xmagic_dustx -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (11/5/2010 12:35:16 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGodfather

The Innocents
A super intense ghost story about a woman (Deborah Kerr) who takes the on the job of watching after two small kids, a brother and sister. But right from the start she feels that something isn`t right. She thinks the kids are possessed by ghosts...
What follows is one of the most intense films that I`ve seen in a long time. It leans quite heavily on the power of suggestion, wich works excellent. Kerr is great in the role of the "nanny" but all the credit here should go to the little kids. What a bunch of freaky characters they portray. Brilliant.
Highly recommended!

9,0/10


I love The Innocents! Completely agree with your review - it's fantastic and so creepy!




xmagic_dustx -> RE: Recent Classics and The Great Musical Debate spinoff (11/5/2010 3:49:08 PM)

[image]http://videodromeradio.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/heaven-can-wait.jpg[/image]

Loved it - 5/5!




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