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The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS

 
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The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 7:54:14 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
The first in a series of spin-off lists from the 'Official Top 100 Movies'. This thread will list the 50 highest rated Drama's from that thread. If you haven't voted for these movies in that thread then feel free to rate each film out of 10 as I list them (you can do so even if you have if you like). I've taken the liberty to use various comments from various posters on each film.
Post #: 1
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 7:56:20 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
DRAMA

Drama is the most broad of cinema's genres and includes under its umbrella such subgenres as romantic drama, period drama, courtroom drama, and adventure drama among others. At the center of a drama is usually a character or characters who are in conflict at a crucial moment in their lives. Often revolving around families, movies like Ordinary People dig under the skin of everyday life to ask big questions and touch on the deepest emotions of normal people. Dramas often, but not always, have tragic or at least painful resolutions and concern the survival of some tragic crisis, like the death of a family member (Terms of Endearment), or a divorce (Kramer vs. Kramer). Some of our greatest screen performances come from dramas, as there is ample opportunity for actors to stretch into a role that most other genres don't afford. In the early years of cinema, melodrama held sway, as the transition from silent cinema's pantomime left film with a more presentational manner. In the '50s, however, the arrival of stage actors like Marlon Brando, trained in more naturalistic techniques, slowly changed drama to a more realistic tenor. A Streetcar Named Desire is considered a pivotal film in this development. By the late '70s, melodrama was nearly finished as an overt genre, as the hunger for realism dominated film in groundbreaking movies like Marin Scorsese's Mean Streets.

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Post #: 2
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:00:12 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54605
Joined: 1/10/2005
Given the broad brush definition for drama generally, I don't envy you trying to pin it down!

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 3
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:01:29 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
50. Mississippi Burning (1988)



Hard-hitting - if somewhat simplistic - tale of hideous racism in America's Deep South. Stars Gene Hackman and Willem Defoe as FBI investigators.

It's unusual for a police drama to have a romantic subplot that works well, but when you have actors of such high quality as Gene Hackman and McDormand and a sensitive subject matter bubbling underneath, their scenes together provide a sweet alternative to the sweaty dangerous atmosphere of Parker's film. - Beetlejuice!

Excellent drama set in the late sixties. After 3 civil rights workers go missing, Gene Hackman and Willem DeFoe are sent to investigate, which angers the locals and leads to violence against the black folk of the town. Very smart drama with brilliant performances throughout the whole cast. Superb. - juanvasquez

As much as I love Hackman I hate Mississippi Burning - rawlinson


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Post #: 4
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:16:22 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
49. The Deer Hunter (1978)



Opening with a wedding and ending with a funeral, Michael Cimino's Vietnam odyssey takes three Pennsylvania steelworkers to hell and back. Starring Robert De Niro, the film introduced cinemagoers to Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep.

A little bit of a chore to watch, but I still liked it. - UncleJun

It's excellence is right there on the screen, but it never engages me. I'm ashamed to say that the only time it did was in the bowling scene. - Dantes Inferno

Epic in length and a complete classic of its kind. Benefits from some remarkable performances from the likes of De Niro, Streep and Walken. Though its maybe not a film that will have many repeat viewings. - Beetlejuice!

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Post #: 5
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:28:25 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
48. The Sea Inside (2004)



The true story of a Spanish quadriplegic campaigning to get the law changed so that he may choose to end his life without recrimination for those who help him. Javier Bardem stars in this dramatisation from Alejandro AmenŠbar, director of The Others.

A really interesting look into the life of Ramon Sampedro, with the only real problem being that its running time is way too long. - TRM

An extraordinary performance from Javier Bardem is at the center of this emotional tale. - Beetlejuice!

Excellent performances from all, but Bardem especially. If he deserved an Oscar for any film, it was this. - Gimli The Dwarf

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Post #: 6
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:42:09 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
47. Hotel Rwanda (2004)



A hotel manager struggles to save 1,200 refugees during the Rwandan genocide in this drama starring Don Cheadle.

As well acted (in general) and effective as this was, annoyingly the main thing im going to remember about this film is just how much Cheadle's eyebrows were moving the whole time. - TRM

Tremendous performance by Don Cheadle in this heartbreaking tale. - Beetlejuice!

Sure Schindler's List is a better film. But as a very moving experience it works.  It would also have been easy to make this film preachy (though probably would not have been well received by the target audience).  It doesn't but I can't help but feel somewhat complicit at the fates of these peoples, as what did I do to help? - Professor Moriarty


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Post #: 7
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 8:49:55 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
46. Magnolia (1999)



Tom Cruise actually gives a credible (and wonderfully deranged) performance in this assured third feature from Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson. Also starring a fabulous ensemble that includes Julianne Moore and John C Reilly.

I haven't watched this in a few years, but the ending really annoyed me. - TRM

I really liked it, it has some really memorable moments that I'm not sure to forget and explores some nice territories. - Fernetcontonica

I don't like this much as I used too. Some stupid and annoying dialogue + weird performances. I like certain parts (the opening palette, the game-show and that ending), but otherwise it is lost potential. - Dantes Inferno

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Post #: 8
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 9:12:33 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway
Include a positive remark next time, okay? I rated Magnolia 7.5, funny you should forget that.

On another note, I think this will be interesting to read and I will be paying attention to the thread.

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Post #: 9
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 9:18:28 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dantes Inferno

Include a positive remark next time, okay? I rated Magnolia 7.5, funny you should forget that.



Your words not mine

edit: sorry doesn't make sense, I thought you were talking about your own comment - Unfortunately it's not easy finding the positive comments that people have left for the films - your an awful negative bunch you lot!

edit again!: you were talking about your own comment. ha! sorry I'm tired. Therefore my orginal comment still stands - your words not mine!


< Message edited by Beetlejuice! -- 4/2/2009 9:32:15 PM >

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Post #: 10
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 9:34:35 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
45. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)



A newly divorced man battles his ex-wife for custody of their only son.

Some excellent performances in this, sad tale of separation. - Beetlejuice!

Dustin Hoffman is on autopilot in the dreary Kramer vs. Kramer - elab49

It is a soap drama, but itís by no means an average one. In fact, itís one of the best ever made - Piles


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Post #: 11
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 9:51:57 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
44. Mean Streets (1973)



The breakthrough movie for De Niro, Keitel and Scorsese, a classic tale of small time hoods, family, violence and the shadow of religion in New York's Little Italy.

I thought De Niro was great in this, but one of the real problems was that the rest of the cast was pretty average. - TRM

Keitel and De Niro excel in this energetic crime tale. Scorsese finding his feet and hitting the ground running. - Beetlejuice!

It's been a long time since I've seen it, but recall feeling it was like Taxi Driver's poorer cousin. - Gram123

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Post #: 12
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 9:54:54 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway

quote:

ORIGINAL: Beetlejuice!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dantes Inferno

Include a positive remark next time, okay? I rated Magnolia 7.5, funny you should forget that.



Your words not mine

edit: sorry doesn't make sense, I thought you were talking about your own comment - Unfortunately it's not easy finding the positive comments that people have left for the films - your an awful negative bunch you lot!

edit again!: you were talking about your own comment. ha! sorry I'm tired. Therefore my orginal comment still stands - your words not mine!



Yes, I was talking about my own comments. I can see where the confusion began.

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Post #: 13
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 10:03:22 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
43. The Pianist (2002)



Roman Polanski returns to form with this true story-based account of Wladyslaw Szpilman, "the greatest pianist in Poland - maybe even the whole world", as he aims to evade capture by the Nazis in war-torn Warsaw.

One of the best films of this decade, the Pianist is beautiful. It may simplify Nazism (except for Thomas Kretschmann, who rescues that aspect of the film towards the end), and it may be slow at times, but itís a wonderfully mellifluous human drama with a fantastic central performance from Adrien Brody. - Piles

I prefer Schindler's List, but The Pianist does point out something unique: many of the surviving Jews did not have a savior to rescue them, but did so by pure luck. Pointing out that final nazi character was a good idea, it was a daring move on Polanski's side to put such a humanized face on what it generally considered to be pure evil. - Dantes Inferno

The Pianist is brilliant. I cried so much when I saw it. Adrien Brody was perfect. - scarface666brooksy!!

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Post #: 14
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 10:12:58 PM   
doncopey1


Posts: 4999
Joined: 29/11/2005
From: Liverpool: Age 25
Those comments referring to Mean Streets are utter gross... change it to

'This is a master filmmaker at his most fresh, invigorating and authentic'.


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Post #: 15
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 4/2/2009 10:19:24 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
42. American History X (1998)



Hard-hitting drama starring Edward Norton as a reformed neo-Nazi who returns from prison and tries to prevent younger brother Edward Furlong from making the same mistakes he did.

Almost Perfect. - scarface666brooksy!!

Probably the best example of a 'flawed masterpiece' you will find. Edwart Norton gives a stunningly convincing performance, and it is to his honor that this movie is as good as it is. Still, there are some pretty good scenes in this film. Now, if only there hadn't been so much slow motion. I know some people have a problem with this film, but I was definitely surprised how good it was. - Dantes Inferno

A melodramatic film that works best when it's being what it should be; drama. However, when it tries to punch hard and affect deeply, it comes up very short. Good use of black and white, though, but the slow-mo that Kaye uses really gets on my nerves. - Piles

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Post #: 16
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 5/2/2009 8:27:37 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
41. Jules and Jim (1962)



Landmark film from French New Wave player FranÁois Truffaut about the evolving relationship between two friends and the woman they both love.

I can't abide the female character (she doesn't change over time, she needs a good slap from day 1), the 'chase me' rubbish, that a lake can't just be a lake but latherings of what my English teacher criticised as immature purple prose has to be shoehorned in, the bit about thoughts at the train station was the same, the ill-thought out ending or the types of character that must immediately away to look at a too terribly terribly sublime broken statue (at least Wodehouse had the sense to parody it). - elab49

A well directed film of its time. - Beetlejuice!

Without Moreau's mesmerizing performance this film wouldn't be held in quite so high regard as it is today I don't think.To be honest if it wasn't for her I don't think I could have sat through the whole thing.Also one of the most beautiful women ever to grace our screens. - hozay


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Post #: 17
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 11:54:52 AM   
barkers101


Posts: 2507
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quote:

ORIGINAL: doncopey1

Those comments referring to Mean Streets are utter gross... change it to

'This is a master filmmaker at his most fresh, invigorating and authentic'.



Tell me about it... Taxi Driver's poorer cousin? its not even similar.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TRM

I will join as long as we can spell Mozoguchi's name right


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Post #: 18
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 12:14:06 PM   
Rinc


Posts: 12838
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From: A park bench, with a newspaper quilt

quote:

ORIGINAL: barkers101

quote:

ORIGINAL: doncopey1

Those comments referring to Mean Streets are utter gross... change it to

'This is a master filmmaker at his most fresh, invigorating and authentic'.



Tell me about it... Taxi Driver's poorer cousin? its not even similar.


And it's better!

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Post #: 19
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 2:41:45 PM   
Gram123

 

Posts: 5537
Joined: 19/1/2006
From: Reino Unido
What I meant by that was they were both films from the same director, both from the early-mid 70s and both starred De Niro. Consequently, they had a similar 'feel' for me,  particularly as I was about 17 when I first saw them and hadn't really seen many other gritty 70s films. Most likely the only other De Niro film I'd have seen at that point will have been Goodfellas.

Plus I think I saw the two films back to back, so for me the two have always been 'cousins', Mean Streets being marginally the lesser.
I certainly never meant they were similar in plot (I guess I'd have called them 'brothers' if I meant that!).

That said, I dare say I've only seen Mean Streets once more since then, and Taxi Driver only a couple of times, so watching them now as an auld gadge, I might feel differently...

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Post #: 20
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 8:54:18 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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Joined: 24/11/2005
40. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)



Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall star in this Oscar-winning adaptation of Harper Lee's novel. In America's Deep South a lawyer defends a black man charged with raping a white woman, to the disgust of the other townsfolk.

Great adaptation of an already great novel. Top notch performance by Gregory Peck, and the kids are great too! - Piles

Was disapointed with this.  Good but I didn't really see why it's so popular. - Dicklauranrtisdead

An amazing lead role from Gregory Peck, child actors who don't irritate, that tremendous courtroom scene and a tense, but well directed ending. I'll admit to a manly tear welling up while watching this. - DCMaximo

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Post #: 21
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 9:05:59 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
39. Requiem for a Dream (2000)



Powerful New York story of addiction and self-destruction from the cult writer of 'Last Exit To Brooklyn' and the director of Pi.

Unless you get off on the weirdest of subject matters, can you really like Requiem for a Dream? Is it not a film you respect more than like? Itís a grim and unsettling film and it is certainly not for younger viewers. No, I didnít particularly feel good when watching this film, but then again, I donít think I was supposed to. No, correct that, as I feel pretty fuckiní certain I wasnít supposed to feel good, and with that in mind, I come to the conclusion that Darren Aronofsky has completed the task he set out to do, and I congratulate him for that. But what if he had set out to make a crap film, would I congratulate him then? - Dantes Inferno

Despite being devastatingly depressing, this was a very good film with some excellent performances, especially from Ellen Burstyn. - Noodlemace1

I like it, not top 20 like it, but i do like it. - Rhubarb



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Post #: 22
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 9:17:30 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
38. Cinema Paradiso (1989)



Richly sentimental, and brimming with a contagious love of movies, this Academy Award winner is heartwarming, escapist and inspiring to armchair filmmakers everywhere.

This is one great film that truly captures how magic cinema can be. It is funny, heart-warming, sad, and just as magical as the films portrayed in the cinema of the title. Keep in mind that there are two versions of this film, a 120-minute version and a 170-minute version. I've only seen the long version, and I wasn't surprised to hear that most people prefer the short version, as I felt it dragged a bit unecessarily towards the end. - Dantes Inferno

I like Cinema Paradiso a lot. I think it puts a lot of people off because for the longest time it seemed to be the foreign language film that it was ok to like. By that I mean it was pushed towards a lot of people who generally wouldn't watch world cinema and as such I think it got a bit of a reputation as being overrated. But I always thought it was a sweet film, sentimental but not too overwhelming. - Rawlinson

By taking cinema as the central theme we can, as film-lovers, all identify with this particular obsession. And, despite its location-bound setting, the theme is sufficiently universal to demonstrate parallels in our own lives, our own pasts, our own regrets. It is a film that, far from sentimental, is at times bittersweet. - homersimpson_esq

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Post #: 23
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 10:03:04 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
37. The Seventh Seal (1957)



The great Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal features one of cinema's greatest images - a knight taking on Death in a game of chess.

I love it. The way it deals with death, death as god, the apocalyptic scenario, I love it. There are some directors whose films I love but have to force myself to see (like Kurosawa, for some reason, and another Mizoguchi), but Bergman isn't one of them. - Deviation

I can understand the parodies of The Seventh Seal, Bergman created a film about death, suffering and God. It's the thing satires are created for, and there's nothing wrong with someone pricking the bubble of the film a little.  I just dislike when people dismiss this film, and Bergman in general. The Seventh Seal tackles mankind's fear of death, of a spiritual void, of the destruction of humanity. It even works as an allegory for fears about the effects of modern warfare. Despite its seeming ubiquity and it's standing as Bergman's most famous work,  I think The Seventh Seal is underrated, most people know of it, but most don't seem to appreciate it. I just wish more would watch it with an open mind. - Rawlinson

I realise this is classic cinema, but it just wasn't as enjoyable a watch, I disliked certain aspects, and it's something I probably wouldn't re-watch in a hurry. - Gram123

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Post #: 24
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 6/2/2009 10:14:18 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
36. This is England (2006)



Twelve-year-old Shaun hooks up with a bunch of fun-loving skinheads during the long hot summer of 1983, until the spectre of racism drives the group apart. Shane Meadows' most personal film to date.

Easily Shane Meadows' best film to date (I wasn't overly impressed with Dead Man's Shoes). Everything about this seems to flow together more naturally, and it has some tremendous performances, especially from Stephen Graham, who is horribly convincing as racist thug Combo. Strangely, despite almost every review offering glowing praise, I thought Thomas Turgoose was merely good. At times he excels, other times he just looks like someone trying tot hard to act. The tension in the film is palpable and event though you can tell where the story is going, the conclusion is still powerful and saddening. - Gimli the Dwarf

Decent film about a bunch of skinheads, based in part on Meadows youth. Felt much like a made for TV film, albeit a good one. Aside from some slightly prosaic dialogue in the speeches bits, it was well scripted with some good performances. - Gram123

Good but, as with all Meadows' films, feels to be lacking something in the last twenty minutes in terms of story. I understand that this is to keep sense of realism but it always disappoints me with his films. - shawshank prisoner

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Post #: 25
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 7/2/2009 6:47:24 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
35. United 93 (2006)



The shock and awe of the 9/11 attacks are revisited in this painstaking recreation of the last flight of one of the doomed aircraft. Writer-director Paul Greengrass works with a cast of unknowns to relive an intense and disturbing moment in history.

I dont think i would class this as a favourite film, but its depition of what likely happened is really good. - TRM

Haunting, but lots of it went way over my head. Which is what it's supposed to do, I presume. Good acting though, and a brilliant last few seconds. - Epiphany Demon

One of the most intense and involving films I've ever seen. When the passengers begin to fight back I was shouting at the screen, and I haven't done that with any other film before or since. - Piles


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Post #: 26
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 7/2/2009 6:55:04 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54605
Joined: 1/10/2005
Given how I scored it - and I don't think I was the only one - I'm really surprised to see Seventh Seal and United 93 so high.

And rather glad my comments aren't added to those, too

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 27
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 8/2/2009 2:28:40 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6797
Joined: 24/11/2005
34. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)



The true story of the superhuman efforts of Allied POWs, who amid inhuman conditions must build a bridge to aid the Japanese war effort - but what comes first, the bridge or Allied interests?

One of Lean's more interesting, yet also strangely unfulfilling films. The characters are all remarkably planned out (with the possible exception of Mr. 'this is what i think of your Geneva convention' but I found that it really dragged (a complaint I find with most of Lean's work) - dedalus1988

I've loved it for as long as I can remember, one of the finest WWII films, my favourite David Lean film and Alec Guinness give one of his many remarkable performances. - Gimli The Dwarf

Alec Guinness' excellent work drives this very macho tale of POWs keeping their honour. The ending is a doozy. - Beetlejuice!


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Post #: 28
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 8/2/2009 2:40:27 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Just spotted this, great idea Beetlejuice! I like the odea of using quotes from the thread. My only one so far is very succinct

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



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Post #: 29
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest DRAMAS - 8/2/2009 2:46:18 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a fantastic film.

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