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rick_7 -> My Favourite 100 Movies - #1 now up (8/10/2009 4:09:53 PM)

Hello there, I'm Rick - short on brains and curly of hair. I compiled a Top 100 for the Top 1000 poll, so I thought I'd write it up a bit and stick it in here. Here we go...
 
[image]http://www.minnpost.com/client_files/alternate_images/2717/mp_main_wide_HisGirlFriday.jpg[/image]
 
100. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940) is among the greatest comedies to emerge from classic Hollywood. Cary Grant was the most gifted light comedian on the planet throughout the late '30s and early '40s. Here he resembles a whirlwind, playing Walter Burns, an unscrupulous newspaper editor scheming to keep ex-wife - and star reporter - Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) from walking out on him and the paper. Meanwhile, corrupt local lawmakers plot to put to death an insane convict (John Qualen). This is a smart variation on the classic Hecht-MacArthur play 'The Front Page', with furiously fast banter that's the stuff of legend, and a perfect ensemble. Grant and Russell are superb, Ralph Bellamy simply wonderful reprising his Awful Truth routine (as a hapless hayseed), and the supporting cast is stuffed with great character actors, B-movie regulars and cult favourites. There's the great mouse-like John Ford stock player John Qualen, bug-eyed coward Porter Hall - who lent his villainous presence to films as diverse as The General Died at Dawn and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, Helen Mack (Lee Tracy's leading lady in You Belong to Me), multi-purpose ethnic hood and future director Abner Biberman, the voice of Jiminy Cricket - Ukulele Ike, and laconic comic Roscoe Karns, as well as Alma Kruger and Gene Lockhart. It's warm and funny, but also devilishly satirical, with plenty to say about the role of press and police and the dehumanisation of adulthood. Moving along at the cracking pace associated with directed Howard Hawks, it's one of the most enjoyable films you'll ever see - and gets better with each viewing.
 
Favourite bit: Grant hides convict John Qualen in a wooden desk and tells him to keep covered unless he hears three taps. A gaggle of reporters and lawmen burst in and Grant starts grandstanding. In a fit of pique he thumps the desk three times...
 
See also: For more screwball Grant goodness, try The Awful Truth, My Favourite Wife and Bringing Up Baby - the latter teamed him with Hawks for the first time. Like newsroom movies? Bogart plays a crusading editor in the cynical, marvellous Deadline - U.S.A.




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 4:11:45 PM)

[image]http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/images/large/know-going-2_cmyk.jpg[/image]
 
99. I Know Where I'm Going! (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945) is a Hebridean romance with the greatest stock plot going: a girl seeks security in the form of a wealthy husband, then falls in love with a pauper. Here the girl is Wendy Hiller and the man is Roger Livesey, playing the exquisitely-named Torquil MacNeil. Heading for the Isle of Kiloran - where's she's all set to wed a middle-aged industrialist - the pair are stranded together on Mull, and the heady atmosphere begins to cast its spell. It's wonderfully scripted and directed, with a mesmerising evocation of island life, and delightful chemistry between the leads. It's also somewhat reminiscent of Powell's first great film - The Edge of the World.

Favourite bit: Torquil attempts to shake off a centuries-old curse by entering Moy Castle.
 
See also: Local Hero, in which a Scottish village works its magic on an American interloper.




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 4:13:01 PM)

[image]http://lunar-circuitry.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/pickup1.jpg[/image]
 
98. Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller, 1953) is my favourite Sam Fuller film. A former tabloid reporter, he always used grabby intros, and Pickup starts with a classic: a worldless subway sequence that sets up our story. Cocky pickpocket Richard Widmark lifts a purse from unwitting commies' mule Candy (Jean Peters), unaware he's nabbed a strip of microfiche containing state secrets. The commies want him. The feds want him. And him? Well, he wants 25 grand. Widmark is great, but it's Thelma Ritter who walks off with the film, delivering an unforgettable characterisation as a police informer whose sole ambition is to avoid a pauper's burial. This masterpiece mixes human drama with Cold War thriller and provides a vivid evocation of New York City, depicted here as a festering hellhole. It also teaches you how to read microfilm, which I've found very useful when looking at old newspapers.

Favourite bit: Ritter's heartbreaking monologue, as good a piece of screen acting as you'll ever see. "I have to go on making a living so I can die…"

See also: Forty Guns, a vivid, thematically and stylistically outrageous Western, and Fuller's second greatest work.




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 4:39:15 PM)

[image]http://billsmovieemporium.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/stand-by-me.jpg[/image]
 
97. Stand by Me (Rob Reiner, 1986) is one hell of a tearjerker, a slice of pure Americana that joins four 12-year-olds on a weekend trip to find a dead body. It's a heightened piece of nostalgia, ruminating on the nature of friendship, that's aided by lovely scoring, superb performances by the kids and a script that manages to be both clichéd and utterly profound. Superficially defined by a single characteristic: brainy, eccentric, fat and bad, the youngsters' characters gradually unfold across the 90 minutes, as they contend with leeches, hoodlums and unexpected trains en route to the corpse. The phenomenally gifted River Phoenix is the standout, playing the "bad" kid, who breaks down in tears in the woods as he recalls being accused of stealing. Reiner's movie is endlessly enjoyable, packed with memorable set-pieces and one-liners and possessing a rare and fuzzily pleasurable humanism.
 
Favourite bit: I'm a sucker for a monologue (see #96) - how about Phoenix's tear-stained tale of woe?
 
See also: Phoenix followed this with a slew of mesmerising performances, in films as varied and fine as The Mosquito Coast and Running on Empty.




MOTH -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - we're up to #98 so far (8/10/2009 5:01:20 PM)

His Girl Friday is terrific- fast, funny and much smarter than the average bear...er...movie.
But each time I've seen it, a nagging doubt cuts in on the enjoyment : Hildy and Walter aren't very nice people at all - poor jilted Bruce and the suicidal Molly get treated rather meanly in the name of laughs and romance, i felt.




elab49 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:03:26 PM)

Love the 'see also' bit. Given 2 of them are in my 100, and one just fell out to the next 50 down absolutely nothing to disagree with so far. The 4th - Stand by Me - is still arguably about the best adaptation of King's work.

Classic newsroom - I like While the City Sleeps. And Day the Earth Caught Fire, of course. Nothing else equates to the breathless pace of the apex of screwball comedy that is His Girl Friday though.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - we're up to #98 so far (8/10/2009 5:07:10 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: MOTH

His Girl Friday is terrific- fast, funny and much smarter than the average bear...er...movie.
But each time I've seen it, a nagging doubt cuts in on the enjoyment : Hildy and Walter aren't very nice people at all - poor jilted Bruce and the suicidal Molly get treated rather meanly in the name of laughs and romance, i felt.

I think the film acknowledges that - particularly in Mack's bitter speech about how the reporters are just lowlifes. It still has an undercurrent of genuine warmth (after all, Walter and Hildy do love each other a great deal), even if their jobs have somewhat eroded their general empathy. I felt sorrier for Mack and Qualen than for Bellamy, because he's just a big cartoon.




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:09:18 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Love the 'see also' bit.

Thanks.
 
quote:

Given 2 of them are in my 100, and one just fell out to the next 50 down absolutely nothing to disagree with so far. The 4th - Stand by Me - is still arguably about the best adaptation of King's work.

Yes, I think it certainly is, of the ones I've seen.

quote:

Classic newsroom - I like While the City Sleeps. And Day the Earth Caught Fire, of course. Nothing else equates to the breathless pace of the apex of screwball comedy that is His Girl Friday though.

I'm still yet to see The Day the Earth Caught Fire, but it's on the "to see" list. I couldn't think of that many newsroom comedies off the top of my head when I was writing it... but I should have just brought up Lee Tracy's filmography! Still, I imagine one Tracy vehicle is likely to crop up later, so I can plug those films then...




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:10:54 PM)

[image]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2008/07/04/Ikiru_460.jpg[/image]
 
96. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952) is one of the director's more modest efforts in terms of its logistics (no 1,000-extra battles here), but astoundingly ambitious in its theme, which roughly translates as: 'What is the purpose of life?' Frequent Kurosawa star Takashi Shimura is a civil servant who finds out he is dying. At first stumbling into debauchery, he then slips into self-pity, before discovering what he really wants to do, devoting his final days to creating a children's playground. Built around Shimura's towering, restrained performance, the film is doggedly unsentimental and straightforward, with a particularly satisfying denouement.

Favourite bit: It is snowing. An old man sits on a swing, gently rocking back and forth.

See also: Kurosawa's epic "Eastern", Seven Samurai, dizzying 'nature of memory' drama Rashomon and the sweltering crime procedural Stray Dog.




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:15:57 PM)

[image]http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/images/large/5650_1-letter-from-an-unknown-woma.JPG[/image]
 
95. Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948) – Ophuls made a stack of lush romantic dramas lit by spellbinding camera work and tragic heroines. Letter, his second American film, is the pick of the bunch. Joan Fontaine plays a lovelorn Viennese girl who falls in love with a womanising pianist (Louis Jourdan). Though he's barely aware of her existence, her love endures. This is masterfully directed, wringing every drop of emotion from a literate script. The leads are simply wonderful.

Favourite bit: That climax, though the Fontaine-Jourdan date sequence is also utterly wonderful, particularly the "world tour".

See also: Ophuls' Madame de..., Le plaisir and La ronde, which tread similar ground (but generally with more laughs). Douglas Sirk's melodramas touched on the same themes, with All That Heaven Allows the pick of the bunch.




Deviation -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:20:01 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7



See also: Kurosawa's epic "Eastern", Seven Samurai, dizzying 'nature of memory' drama Rashomon and the sweltering crime procedural Stray Dog.



By Rashomon you mean Throne of Blood and by Seven Samuria you mean Ran right?[:)]




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:23:47 PM)

Right.
 
Wrong.
 
Though both are similarly great. I'm not that keen on other Kurosawa "classics" - namely The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo.




Deviation -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:29:36 PM)

Still haven't seen The Hidden Fortress but I'm with you on Yojimbo.

Btw, did you like The Big Red One? It's the only thing by Fuller I've seen and I thought it was really good. And Pierrot le Fou.[:D]




rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:34:07 PM)

Yes, I like The Big Red One a lot, especially the reconstructed version, or whatever it's called. And Pierrot - Mrs_7 got that for me for our anniversary. Was the title from Classe tous risques? They name-checked a gangster called Pierrot Le Fou in that...




elab49 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:40:19 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Right.
 
Wrong.
 
Though both are similarly great. I'm not that keen on other Kurosawa "classics" - namely The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo.


You know I hate to highlight editorial glitches, Rick, but I've worked out the problem. You've turned your list upside down. So - Ikiru is 5? A little low, admittedly, but good to see it in the top 10. [8|]




Deviation -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 5:40:21 PM)

Don't ask me, I don't know. The only crime film pre-New Wave I've seen from France till now is the awesome, truly awesome Rififi.




TRM -> RE: Top 100 Movies (8/10/2009 6:06:49 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Right.
 
Wrong.
 
Though both are similarly great. I'm not that keen on other Kurosawa "classics" - namely The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo.


You know I hate to highlight editorial glitches, Rick, but I've worked out the problem. You've turned your list upside down. So - Ikiru is 5? A little low, admittedly, but good to see it in the top 10. [8|]


Yeah it is really disappointing [>:]

Good list so far though Rick. I really rate Stand by me (has been in my top 100 for years now) and its always nice to see His girl friday turn up on these lists (even though I would put both Bringing up baby and My favourite wife ahead of it).

I take it we can expect quite a few Michael Powell films then?




_Eraserhead_ -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #95 - Letter From an Unknown Woman (8/10/2009 6:58:12 PM)


I'm glad you included His Girl Friday in your list, it was one of the last films to drop out of my top 100 so I'm glad it gets the support it deserves







rick_7 -> RE: Top 100 Movies (9/10/2009 9:36:50 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: TRM

I take it we can expect quite a few Michael Powell films then?


Yeah, quite a few, though not as many as I expected to include. I should watch less movies. Actually, that's a terrible idea.
 
Thanks for the comments.
 
I've had to do without Bringing Up Baby and My Favourite Wife. The first is frequently hysterical, but (by the standards of the other comedies on the list) falls down a little in the second half. My Favourite Wife has some of Grant's greatest comic work, but it's not as engaging as some of his other vehicles, and Gail Patrick's too one-note as the bride.




rick_7 -> rick_7's Top 100 Movies - #s 94 and 93 (9/10/2009 9:44:14 AM)

[image]http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/images/reviews/153/1208932410_1.jpg[/image]
 
94. The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse, 1956) is a magical short film about a Parisian boy who is befriended by a mischievous balloon. He takes it home, walks it to school and even sees it fall in love, but a gang of jealous bullies are envious of the prize and, armed with slingshots, try to destroy it. The balloon is a thing of wonder - playful, funny, extraordinarily human - with everything else falling perfectly into place, from the boy's unaffected performance to the glorious colour photography.

Favourite bit: That bittersweet final scene.

See also: Lamorisse's White Mane, in which a boy seeks to tame a wild stallion. It's similarly gutting - and uplifting.

 
 
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93. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 1949) - being the first of really rather a lot of John Ford films in the list. It's required viewing for those who insist John Wayne "couldn't act". He's simply superb as Capt Nathan Brittles, a cavalry officer facing as uncertain future as he edges towards retirement. Having lost his wife, he is now surrendering his place in a rapidly-changing world. As he strikes off the days, a pair of green recruits squabble over an officer's daughter, and a scout mission finds evidence of an impending Indian attack. Winton C. Hoch's unforgettable cinematography augments the reflective central storyline, while the boozin', brawlin' and bawlin' prevalent in the director's work keeps goings-on elsewhere pretty boisterous.

Favourite bit: Countless Ford films have their heroes talking to departed loved ones (Judge PriestMy Darling Clementine - though apparently someone else shot the scene and Young Mr. Lincoln). Yellow Ribbon features one of the most moving, as Wayne confides his fears at the grave of his wife.

See also: The other two instalments of the director's Cavalry Trilogy, which sandwich this one: Fort Apache and Rio Grande. The first is a bit cumbersome and messy, the latter is short on story, but they're both fantastic.




DCMaximo -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 9:56:16 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Hello there, I'm Rick - short on brains and curly of hair. I compiled a Top 100 for the Top 1000 poll, so I thought I'd write it up a bit and stick it in here (and in the weekly film thing).


Doing nothing to convince me that you don't actually look like your Shirley Temple av [:D]

Enjoying the list so far, especially His Girl Friday. To go back to a point made earlier, I think it works that Hildy and Walter are slightly unlikable, as it helps the audience believe that Hildy should be with Walter, rather than Ralph Bellamy. I do feel a bit like I've cheated, having seen the future entries on your weekly column, but there is one entry on there I also have a lot of love for.

EDIT: it's up quicker than I could type [:)]. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon is my favourite of the Cavalry trilogy and more proof than John Wayne was a decent actor.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 10:00:34 AM)

I do look a bit like Shirley Temple. Slightly taller, though.
 
It's a good point you make on His Girl Friday.
 
I've got a couple more reviews in the bank from the next 10, so I might get slightly ahead on here, then catch up on the guide.. not really sure how to do it. You should've pretended you hadn't read the weekly thing and started pre-empting all the choices by saying "I hope Stand by Me's not in this list, it's nearly as bad as Ikiru."




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 11:54:41 AM)

[image]http://www.nytrash.com/deadman/dead6.jpg[/image]
 
92. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) - Johnny Depp has given many great performances, particularly as Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. This is my favourite, though, where he plays the reincarnated spirit of poet William Blake (possibly), who goes from meek bank clerk to steady-handed outlaw after a simple misunderstanding. It's a hysterical, marvellously-scripted post-modern Western from indie legend Jim Jarmusch, mixing absurdist comedy and existential fable. Dead Man makes me laugh a lot, think a little, and has what must be one of the greatest casts ever assembled: Robert Mitchum, John Hurt, Crispin Glover, Gabriel Byrne, Iggy Pop, Lance Henriksen and Billy Bob Thornton. The cinematography and music (by Neil Young) are absolutely one-of-a-kind, while the script is littered with wonderful ideas and memorable dialogue.

Favourite bit: How the Nobody Got His Name. Depp's Indian sidekick (Gary Farmer) recounts his story.

See also: Jarmusch's 1986 movie Down by Law about three prison escapees, starring Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 3:07:28 PM)

[image]http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/went-the-day-3.bmp[/image]
 
91. Went the Day Well? (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942) - If this is not how rural England was, then it's how it should have been. Went the Day Well? is a thriller that doubles as the most heightened portrait of national identity on film. The story sees a small English village overrun with Nazis, posing as English soldiers. It's a prelude to an invasion, which can only be thwarted by a ramshackle collection of housewives, children and Home Guard members. This WWII propaganda film delivers tension, stoicism and some of the most moving sequences in British cinema.

Favourite bit: The short-sighted snob whose actions have almost derailed the resistance sees a bomb heading for a roomful of children and does the only thing she can thing of. I'm welling up just thinking about it.

See also: Millions Like Us, the other great Home Front drama, which features those enduring national treasures, cricket enthusiasts Charters and Caldicott.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies (9/10/2009 3:10:18 PM)

[image]http://www.premiere.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/list/the-100-greatest-movie-lines/98.-you-want-me-to-hold-the-chicken-huh-i-want-you-to-hold-it-between-your-knees./532769-2-eng-US/98.-You-want-me-to-hold-the-chicken-huh-I-want-you-to-hold-it-between-your-knees._imagelarge.jpg[/image]
 
90. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

Remember when Jack Nicholson was good? I don't, I'm only 25. But from '68 to '74 he was pure dynamite. Five Easy Pieces contains his greatest characterisation: Robert Eroica Dupea. He's an amoral, rootless, combustible, anti-establishment anti-hero, who's jacked in a career as a classical pianist to work on a construction site. He patronises waitress girlfriend Karen Black most of the time, eulogises her the rest. And travelling home to visit his ailing father, he rips his family apart once more, chasing after his brother's sensitive fiancee, Susan Anspach. The movie is simple, explosive, close to perfect (and still only #90 - stay with us), with superb dialogue, an excellent supporting cast and intelligent use of music providing a fitting background for Nicholson's pyrotechnics. A masterpiece, simply. Incidentally, the celebrated diner scene written by director Bob Rafelson was apparently inspired by his contention that he should be able to order whatever he wanted at a restaurant. Which makes him sound like a bit of an idiot.


Favourite bit: Nicholson entrances Anspach with some Chopin, then makes her feel like an idiot. "I faked a little Chopin, you faked a little response," he says. Anspach misplaces her rag.
 
See also: Nicholson's purple patch had begun with his film-stealing turn in Easy Rider (a valuable time capsule, if not a good movie) and continued with The Last Detail, Hal Ashby's excoriating anti-establishment road movie.




rawlinson -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #89 Confessions of Boston Blackie (9/10/2009 3:14:55 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7
Remember when Jack Nicholson was good? I don't, I'm only 25.


[sm=happy07.gif]

I'm going to pull out The Pledge though.

Loving the list so far. With the speed of the updates you're making some of us who take years to get their list finished look bad. [:)]




elab49 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 3:16:21 PM)

Went the Day Well - topped my 1942 list. See also - surely Eagle Has Landed [:D]

Brilliant stuff on Boston Blackie - I'd probably agree with you on the best Falcon, although it has been a while since I've seen them.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 3:21:54 PM)

[image]http://bostonblackie.com/movies/images/confessbb2.jpg[/image]

89. Confessions of Boston Blackie (Edward Dmytryk, 1941)
 
Before TV, studios made a mint with their "series" films, producing two, three, sometimes four films a year featuring the same popular characters. MGM led the way with its Andy Hardy and Dr. Kildare movies, while its Thin Man movies - released less frequently - offered something of a template for the lesser studios to follow. RKO and Columbia's efforts tended to focus on some dapper gent or reformed hood, and mixed comedy and mystery with variable results. Fox had Charlie Chan, Mr Moto and Michael Shayne, RKO The Saint and The Falcon, and Columbia The Lone Wolf and Boston Blackie.
 
The Blackie movies were riotously enjoyable. Kicking off in 1941 with Meet Boston Blackie, the series starred former A-lead Chester Morris, previously associated with arty director Roland West. With a profile completely unlike any you've ever seen - strong brow, hawkish nose, outrageously square chin - he had also inspired the creation of Batman (who he somewhat resembled, sans any mask) with his role in West's The Bat Whispers. And he'd had a key role in THE classic prison film The Big House. To paraphrase a contemporary review of George Sanders' role in All About Eve, he fitted the role of Blackie "as snugly as a banana fits its skin".
 
Playing the reformed safecracker and jewel thief, he was the epitome of good humour, firing wisecracks even as his pursuers closed in. Those pursuers were usually led by Richard Lane, playing Inspector Farraday, who was invariably convinced Blackie was up to no good ("I never thought you'd stretch to murder, Blackie..."). Incredibly, despite the rehashed formula, almost all of the entries are great fun, with only the last - Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture feeling really tired. The first are the best, though, as you might expect.
 
George E. Stone had been tied up with other commitments when the opening film was made, but took over the role of Runt, Blackie's titular, naive, doggedly faithful sidekick, for the second entry - Confessions of Boston Blackie. Also along for the ride was soon-to-be regular Lloyd Corrigan, playing Blackie's millionaire mate Arthur Manleader. The plot has Harriet Hilliard playing Diane Parrish, who's trying to fund an operation for her brother by selling a family heirloom. Crooks muscle in on the auction and when someone is gunned down, it's onlooker Blackie who's suspected of the murder. He tries to prove his innocence to both Hilliard and the police, whilst dodging the real crooks. B-movie regular Joan Woodbury is good in a villainous role, with Billy Benedict (you'll know the face - he's in virtually every movie ever made) as the ice-cream salesman unwittingly victimised by our heroes.
 
The film is fast-paced, stuffed with B-movie thrills and big laughs, and powered by assured, engaging performances. It also benefits from the sure hand of Dmytryk. His reputation as a man has been sullied by his decision to eventually inform on his pals to the HUAC (he was the only member of the Hollywood Ten to do so), but there's no questioning his skill as a director. Prior to helming such noir classics as Murder, My Sweet, Crossfire and The Sniper, he directed many of the best series films of the '40s - including the pick of the Falcons (Strikes Back) and two of the best Lone Wolfs (Wolves?). His direction is snappy and stylish, dragging the viewer into the story, immersing them in Blackie's plight and then taking them on a breathless journey through the (slightly sanitised) underworld. This entry is also notable for having a great double-ending, with our heroes solving the mystery, then trapped in a cellar that's filling with poison gas. It's phenomenally entertaining, and a must for mystery-comedy fans.
 
Favourite bit: Fugitive Blackie, dressed as a doctor, has to do some quick thinking when the cops turn up. What's good for a burned hand? Mustard...
 
See also: The third entry, Alias Boston Blackie, is just a notch below Confessions and has Larry Parks in a memorable supporting part, playing a convict. The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt is a masterpiece of its type - sadly I couldn't find space for it on the list. It's an absolutely exceptional mix of spy yarn and screwball comedy and easily the best of the series. Warren William is Michael Lanyard, a former thief framed for murder (of course) by mysterious enemy agent Ralph Morgan. Ida Lupino is wonderful as Lanyard's girlfriend, while the supporting cast includes a young Rita Hayworth as a fatale-ish femme, Virginia Weidler as Lanyard's pulp fiction-obsessed daughter and Tom Dugan and Don Beddoe as cops. Of Columbia's Whistler films (which were darker than other series films and had no ongoing characters), private eye yarn Mysterious Intruder has some unfortunate plot holes (apparently these weren't in the original source material) but is nonetheless excellent, as are the first two entries: The Whistler and The Mark of the Whistler. The Kildares went downhill, but The Secret of Dr. Kildare is a must - and requires no prior knowledge of the characters - while The Saint in New York set that series off with a bang. Louis Hayward is perfect as Simon Templar, drafted in by desperate citizens to bump off New York's six toughest criminals. And Paul Guilfoyle. Hayward brings a sly, aloof vitality to the character, his light, delicate delivery and fresh face clashing superbly with his sideline in clinical vigilantism. As a bruised, arrogant, moral question-mark of a man, Hayward is an early version of those world-beaten noir protagonists who duffed up the screen so memorably in the '40's. The film taps into the mythology surrounding the character, presenting him as a one-man revolutionary army with a Wildean wit. But his flaws are hung out to dry in a sharp climax. Sig Ruman, Jack Carson and Jonathan Hale are strong in support, and Guilfoyle plays a likeable, awestruck none-too-bright gunman to a tee. Kay Sutton takes the female lead. It's imaginative, fast-moving, violent fun. Hayward was shoved aside for George Sanders, then Hugh Sinclair and didn't reprise the role until the last in the series, 1953's The Saint's Return.




rick_7 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 3:23:15 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Went the Day Well - topped my 1942 list. See also - surely Eagle Has Landed [:D]

Brilliant stuff on Boston Blackie - I'd probably agree with you on the best Falcon, although it has been a while since I've seen them.

Thanks. [:)] Apologies for the disappearance of Blackie, the website went funny so I had to repost.




elab49 -> RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #93 - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (9/10/2009 3:26:45 PM)

Ooo - Rawlinson's right. YOu forgot your Pledge codicil for once![:D]




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