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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977

 
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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:47:17 AM   
elab49


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The director certainly has some weird ass dreams. A demon ran and hid in a tree?

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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 #: 391
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 2:55:33 PM   
great_badir


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From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
Rawlinson - just for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01l1WIC9mBo


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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 5:15:04 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

The director certainly has some weird ass dreams. A demon ran and hid in a tree?


Basically.

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

Rawlinson - just for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01l1WIC9mBo



Ah, Patton. I actually forgot about that bit.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 5:26:00 PM   
FritzlFan


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I should really get around to watching more of Leigh's earlier stuff. I've only really seen his bigger name films.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 5:35:40 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

I should really get around to watching more of Leigh's earlier stuff.


And Death Bed.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 5:48:23 PM   
FritzlFan


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Of course.

And Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 5:51:43 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Rime is on Youtube.

Almost finished my songs list, btw, should have it to you tonight/tomorrow. The odd list is taking me longest, I'm doing my longlist chronologically, I have over 400 and I've only reached 1972.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 6:20:29 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
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From: Bristol
The image quality looks pretty good as well. I like the poem (tho tbh I only know of it because of Good Morning, Captain ), so I'll check it out eventually.

Bloody hell. A lot of the 'weird' films I've seen aren't available on DVD (or are expensive), so I'm probably going to forget about half of the ones that should be there.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 7:58:34 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

Bloody hell. A lot of the 'weird' films I've seen aren't available on DVD (or are expensive), so I'm probably going to forget about half of the ones that should be there.


You're voting for Troll 2 though, right?

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Post #: 399
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:03:41 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54433
Joined: 1/10/2005




Sorcerer (Friedkin, 1977)

Another disaster movie, only this time it was its reception. In a rather inspired move, Friedkin transferred Clouzot's gripping thriller Wages of Fear from a parched town in an apparent desert area (although filmed in France) to the seedy wet heat of the jungles of the Dominican Republic.

In some ways the remake is fairly close to the original – it drops some character subplots entirely including the disturbingly submissive Linda and leaves to the side the swapping back and forth of alpha male status in the Mario/Jo relationship. Sorcerer also ratchets up both the abuse of the local workers by the oil company and the slight suggestion of rebels/terrorists in the original.

But the main narrative events still occur – they just 'feel' different. In particular, instead of the wooden platform to help a turn that provides one of the key moments of suspense we have get a raging river, a wooden bridge, trucks the men have fixed up a good chunk of themselves and a looooong scene that has you peering through your fingers up at the TV from the floor because you long since fell off the edge of the couch. I have no idea how Friedkin filmed the crossing of the second truck. The stuntmen were probably drifted in from the local asylum. But it is one of the single best suspense scenes on film and surprisingly easily surpasses the original. And we're convinced the risk is much greater generally – instead of canisters of liquid nitrogen happily packed into the back of a well-maintained truck these are cobbled together boneshakers with heaps of sand trying to hold crates of explosive, the sticks so degraded they're leaking and likely to go at the least bump. These trucks crawl along and make us feel every damn inch of it.  

We do get some back story for each of the soon to be drivers – but in nightmarish flashbacks or Scanlon's fevre dream, not nice expositional speeches. These men are in a hell mainly of their own making, barely existing on fake IDs and barters and there's a good chance they deserve it. Scheider with his lived in face feels perfect for the part – there's barely any chat in the film, but his need to get through this feels more acute than the others. We see the longing to get out as he looks into the plane cabin he unloads at the start, his reaction to the fallen tree and the final stages of his journey. Although the ending is different in Friedkin's version (Wages of Fear is all French poetic realism and we all know how that normally ends), it's not exactly happy because for the survivor there is no real escape.

Musicwise I think most electro-synth type soundtracks serve only to make 80s films seem very dated. Curiously though this soundtrack, by Tangerine Dream, is ahead of the curve and I think that's why it doesn't have the same impact (also it's not generic plinky plonk which probably helps). I'm not the Tangerine Dream obsessive that some of my classmates were at school, mind, but it is one of the few of its type that don't mess up a film for me, thankfully.


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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 #: 400
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:25:34 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Interesting choice. I think it's better than its reputation suggests, but not one that I even really considered for my list.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:26:44 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
15.
Slap Shot
(George Roy Hill)



Paul Newman is Reggie Dunlop, ageing player/coach of failing hockey team, The Charlestown Chiefs. The team has the talent to win, largely thanks to star player Ned Braden (Michael Ontkean) but can't seem to keep it together. When the small town that's home to the Chiefs loses its main source of employment, Dunlop realises that his team will probably fold soon after and determines to get the team not just on a winning streak, but on a controversial and talked about winning streak. Dunlop is a master manipulator and starts playing mind-games with the opposing teams, either by taunting them about their wife turning gay (You haven't lived until you've heard Newman screaming "Suzanne sucks pussy" at a rival goalie) or deliberately provoking them into attacking him. The controversy really starts when he lets the Hanson Brothers loose on the ice, three geek-ish, seemingly simple-minded newcomers to the sport. Off the ice they like nothing more than to play with their toy cars, on the ice they're violence incarnate, progressing from attacking rival players during the game to attacking players before the game to leaping into the crowd and starting a riot among the rival fans. The Chiefs hit a winning streak and the more they turn into merciless thugs the more the fans love it, but will their new found success be enough to save the team?

A savage attack on the way sports players are used up and discarded and also on the notion of inspirational sports films, for about five minutes in the film we're threatened with the possibility of an inspirational moment, but the script is so damn smart that it's quickly dismissed and we're thrown the most left-field alternative imaginable. The film isn't pc, there's sexist and homophobic lines, but they're true to the characters and the era, something backed up by the fact that the screenwriter Nancy Dowd based all of the characters on people her brother was playing pro hockey with at the time. Slap Shot is a hilariously funny film, with Newman giving one of his best performances (in a film he often claimed as his personal favourite) and great supporting work from Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, the Hanson Brothers, M. Emmet Walsh as a gullible journalist and a surprisingly sexy Melinda Dillon. 

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:27:40 PM   
elab49


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I like Scheider, which helps. Mind you, I caught some of All That Jazz this week and I think it might be the only film he ever made where he actually, properly, smiled

I watched Wages of Fear along with this, which was quite interesting. But that truck crossing is pretty amazing. Even if I've been less than complementary about it at times, that scene is quite stunning.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 20/4/2011 9:28:24 PM >


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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 #: 403
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:30:16 PM   
elab49


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I also think Slapshot is one of the best films made about the symbiotic relationship between small towns and their main sports team.

A phrase I may have used when writing something quite recently

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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 #: 404
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:32:19 PM   
elab49


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You know, I can't wait to see your top 10. I'd kind of thought that most of my top 5 would be in your list. But then you said you didn't have one of them down as 1977, and none of the others have turned up yet, so I'm beginning to worry about my initial prediction on matches

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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 #: 405
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:41:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
There's two in my list to come that I'm fairly certain will be high on yours. I'd be a bit shocked if most of the others were though.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 9:51:25 PM   
elab49


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And I've got two to come that have already appeared on your list.

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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 #: 407
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 10:12:02 PM   
great_badir


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elab - bless you.  Of course I'll say that Sorcerer is WAY too low

The rope bridge scene is even more impressive when you know how it was done - two steel cables, one on either side of the "floor" of the bridge.  And that's it.  The stuntmen?  What stuntmen?  Roy Scheider and Bruno Cremer really drove the trucks and really achieved those quite jaw-dropping angles (the trucks and the actors apparently went into the river several times - in reality the river was quite shallow and the actors were quite safely anchored into their seats), and Francisco Rabal and Amidou really scrambled along the bridge on all fours.  Another case of Friedkin having the ability to get his actors to do whatever the hell he wanted, personal safety be damned.

My favourite pieces of music in the film are the non-Tangerine Dream stuff - aside from TD (which does make up most of the score), Friedkin also used a couple of pieces from Keith Jarrett's enormous church organ improv, the nine movement Spheres (listen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_59YSuKKAiE - for the most famous bit used in the film).  Stirring stuff indeed.

And Rawlinson, bless you too - Slapshot was somewhere in my top 150/Fave Films thread (although I think it's been removed - I probably used a pic without permission from the source website).  As I said in my review at the time, there's something quite poetic about seeing Paul Newman in a brown leather suit telling a well to do lady that she's "fucked".  The Hanson Brothers ("I'M LISTENING TO THE FUCKING SONG!!!!") were lightning in a bottle.  My favourite character, though, is the permanently ill goalie Denis ("owns, OWNS").  Brilliant stuff.  Sadly, and unsurprisingly, the sequel is shit.

Carry on.


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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 10:13:26 PM   
FritzlFan


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From: Bristol
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

Bloody hell. A lot of the 'weird' films I've seen aren't available on DVD (or are expensive), so I'm probably going to forget about half of the ones that should be there.


You're voting for Troll 2 though, right?



I've actually never seen it all of the way through.

Forgive me.


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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 10:21:06 PM   
elab49


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quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir
The rope bridge scene is even more impressive when you know how it was done - two steel cables, one on either side of the "floor" of the bridge.  And that's it.  The stuntmen?  What stuntmen?  Roy Scheider and Bruno Cremer really drove the trucks and really achieved those quite jaw-dropping angles (the trucks and the actors apparently went into the river several times - in reality the river was quite shallow and the actors were quite safely anchored into their seats), and Francisco Rabal and Amidou really scrambled along the bridge on all fours.  Another case of Friedkin having the ability to get his actors to do whatever the hell he wanted, personal safety be damned.




Utterly utterly gobsmacked. Did they have any insurance cover?!

So, from the Slapshot love, I'm guessing there are quite of few of us who hear Hansen brothers and don't think of this lot



Although. Dye their hair dark


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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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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 10:31:12 PM   
great_badir


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The first time I heard talk of those Hanson brothers (in college), I thought of and mentioned Slap Shot.  Naturally everyone thought I was a weirdo.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 20/4/2011 10:43:55 PM   
elab49


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Yellow Handkerchief (Yamada, 1977)

"I'm coming home I've done my time. And I need to know what is and isn't mine…."

It didn't take me long to pick up the reference here to a song I've known every word of for decades. Based on a short story from an American called Pete Hamill (who apparently tried to sue the writers of Tie a Yellow Ribbon as his story pre-dated it, but elements of the tradition (and the songs) pre-dated him).

An odd young man – the type you'd cross several streets and half a county to avoid – heads off on a roadtrip after being dumped. After annoying a few women he alights on an almost equally odd young woman who has also recently been dumped. After looking round the small town they offer a lift to an older man whose destination is unclear, even to him.

Part comedy, mostly drama the film follows the groups trip further in-country as Yusaka remains uncertain as to whether or not to go 'home' – he's sent the telegram but having forced his wife into a divorce (and convinced himself of what a poor husband he was), he is expecting no real welcome if he gets there. The oddball threesome form a believable group and when the younger ones discover what Yusaka did you have no problem believing their intention to take him on.

The introspective Ken Takakura is the star of the show but Baisho and Takeda successfully overcome initially (very) annoying characters to ensure the audience is crossing their fingers for the ending as well.

In a career of long franchises, this is often referred to as the closest Yamada has come in quality to Twilight Samurai before that film and while not on that level it is an extremely good film which I like a great deal. The curious threesome, their trip and the memory of the world Yusaka had before he lost everything are brought together beautifully on screen.

This was poorly remade in America with William Hurt, Kristen Stewart and Eddie Redmayne. All the characters were changed just enough to lose sympathy and stop the film from working. One major example is they just didn't have the balls for Hurt to go to jail for a thoughtless, dumb, violent act but had to add an excuse. Not recommended.


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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 #: 412
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 27/4/2011 3:50:22 PM   
elab49


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The American Friend (Wenders, 1977)

There's always been some Wenders I really like and some that I wasn't so sure of/keen on. After rewatching Kings of the Road for the Hall of Fame and actually quite liking it (unnecessary public pooping aside), and combined with a sub-course I needed to do on German cinema (ugh – Fassbinder), I've revisited a lot of his films over the last couple of years including this one. And it's quite soared in my opinion.

I think Ripley is a difficult character to get right. Renι Clement's Plein Soleil is possibly the most successful attempt (although this now challenges that in terms of best film). Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley is like a less cannibalistic version of Hannibal Lector at times – amoral, a con artist, lover of beautiful things (often directly described as epicurian). He kills when he needs to, sometimes quite casually, and feels nothing when doing so. All of this I think makes his relationship with Jonathan Trevanny (here Zimmerman, played by Bruno Ganz), quite fascinating. Slighted by Zimmerman Ripley passes on his name to an acquaintance looking for a hit man and then manipulates his fears about his health to push him towards committing the deed as a form of punishment. But getting close to the man also sparks something of a relationship – gifts are exchanged and apologies made and when Minot tries to push Jonathan further Ripley becomes involved directly.

Highsmith reportedly initially disliked Hopper/Wender's take, more on Ripley than the novel they were adapting, Ripley's Game. I think she had some problems coming to grips with her suave psychopath swanning round in boilersuits and cowboy hats. But she, again reportedly!, changed her mind acknowledging that the spirit of the character was there, even if he didn't look the way she thought he should. I agree with her reversal – there is something very withdrawn about Hopper's Ripley, an observer in the world who seems to enjoy the game-playing and manipulating but is genuinely impressed with Zimmerman's craftmanship as a picture framer. And unlike in the later adaptation, Ripley's Game, here you actually believe in the change in the relationship between the two leads – it's subtle and seductive and when Hopper springs out of nowhere at a key moment, entirely credible. It helps that it's almost Ganz who is the lead here – Wenders spends a lot of time on his family relationships, his fears over his illness and some brilliant disorientating work during the first hit. When Zimmerman turns and grasps slightly hysterically at what he thinks is his short time remaining, it is quite beautifully done.

Wender's conjures up an edgy, slightly paranoid atmosphere combining long visual takes (moving round the high walled slightly shabby streets of Hamburg) and a slightly sinister soundtrack, with the main theme some kind of odd combination of guitar and, I think, harp, or the even more telling silence (including scaring the crap out of you after Ganz arrives home to a seemingly deserted house). Wenders uses long wordless sequences to build up tension with brilliant set-pieces on a nightmarish labyrinthine metro and on the train, Ganz amazing in both.

Trivia – the film includes cameos from directors Nicolas Ray and Samuel Fuller . Rarer for the former but Fuller seemed to do a few cameos for fans – at least one other for Wenders in Hammett, and for Kaurismaki in La Vie de Boheme.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 27/4/2011 7:21:48 PM >


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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 #: 413
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 27/4/2011 7:18:52 PM   
great_badir


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Brilliant - I love American Friend.  Definitely the best Ripley film, although I didn't think Ripley's Game was too bad, having fully expected to hate it when I first saw it.

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RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 27/4/2011 7:23:27 PM   
elab49


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This was partly delayed because I rewatched the films I mention in the blurb. I agree - Ripley's Game has a lot to recommend it and Malkovich is excellent in parts. I'm just not as convinced they join the dots right to make the story work.

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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 #: 415
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 1/5/2011 9:14:07 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54433
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Count Dracula (Saville, 1977)

There were two adaptations of the Stoker novel at the end of the 1970s. Badham's had an excellent Frank Langella (soon to be lampooned in the even better Love at First Bite by George Hamilton). It's a bit of an action fest at times and doesn't feel overly true to the book, but does feel more in keeping with the kind of Universal/Hammer take on the story and it is highly enjoyable.

The other was the far more considered and faithful British version from 1977 which succeeds in both treating Stoker's work as a respected piece of period literature and creating a thrilling and intelligent viewing experience. Although it doesn't have the verve of something like Witchfinder General it does at times have that edge of realism that Hammer often didn't, making the film more effective. Take Jonathan Harker's journey up to the Borgo Pass on the way to Dracula's castle – we normally get the overworked hysterical locals but the scenes here are far more low key with the locals presented as intelligent but nervous rather than overthetop superstitious clichιs. It feels grounded in a real countryside.

While it still tries to reduce the characters and make some of the relationships easier, it doesn't take the easy route to all out action and, in particular, it brings to the screen the best of the Renfields. Jack Shepherd isn't a cunning but mindless, drooling, bug eater. Here he's a desperate, intelligent and overly sensitive man, aware of his disturbance and rather than servile he is fixed on flouting the vampire.

Although it has the same problems most adaptations have with the 'brides', the acting generally is very good (although, I think, a slightly dodgy US accent in there), with Jourdan an excellent Count. Frank Finlay plays a very sensible Van Helsing (a few years before taking the same role in the Lifeforce update!) and Judi Bowker and Susan Penhaligon are reassuringly non-hysterical heroines.

Saville makes very good use of I'm guessing a lowish budget, with lots of atmospheric well-used mist. There are some lovely bits – I particularly like that at one point Dracula actually moves like a bat – crawling down an external wall with that bent jointed movement bats have was a clever touch and the  music is quite chilling – long piercing single notes, very effective. It remains one of my favourite vampire movies.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 3/5/2011 4:30:01 PM >


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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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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 416
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 1/5/2011 9:14:10 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54433
Joined: 1/10/2005
 


Galton and Simpson Playhouse – Cheers (Lawrence, 1977)

In 1977 Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, writers for Tony Hancock and creators of Steptoe and Son, wrote a series of short playlets. Although in some quarters these are referred to as pilots it is a complete misnomer as we understand it as all are contained single plays (perhaps it's more in the line of Rumpole first appearing in the Play for Today strand).

The casting of the shorts is pretty astonishing for its day demonstrating the respect both writers were held in – stars of other plays in the series include Arthur Lowe, Richard Briers, Warren Mitchell, Roy Kinnear and Leonard Rossiter. Indeed, Rossiter's turn as a man absolutely convinced he's just seen Burt Reynolds in an episode of McMillan and Wife is the standout performance of the series. But the one I think is the best and one which sadly gets referred to a little less is Cheers, starring Charles Gray and Freddie Jones and structured round multiple visits to the local club.

It's like Galton and Simpson have looked at the cosy domesticity set-up that appears in many scenes in the Morecambe and Wise show and thought it through that much further. Peter and Charles (scathingly referred to as Pinky and Perky) are confirmed bachelors who have shared a house pretty much since WWII, where they stood together on the beach at Dunkirk (watching a deranged officer running round in cami knickers chucking grenades at the Germans). A kind of modern Charters and Caldicott of sorts. But Peter drops the equivalent of an A-bomb into their relationship – he's moving out, he's getting married, and he's moving away.

Gray and Jones are magnificent – the beautiful interaction of two people who know each other pretty much as well as any other old married couple, the shorthand, the reactions, the shared history and opinions, washing each other's hair, all order, all correct. Almost a two-hander, there's a small role for a couple of others including the recently late Nicholas Courtney. A world where everything is routine – the same people in the bar every night, the same greetings the same jokes and an agreement that "that women will not enter our lives – except for our occasional weekends in Amsterdam". Just an utter, beautifully observed, joy.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 3/5/2011 4:30:23 PM >


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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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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 417
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 1/5/2011 9:14:13 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54433
Joined: 1/10/2005
 


Slapshot (Hill, 1977)

The local ice hockey team in a town suffering from economic depression seems to be going the way of the local mill until coach Reggie Dunlop hits on a winning strategy thanks to the arrival of three unusual brothers.

Slapshot succeeds on a lot of levels. Acting-wise it's one of Newman's most enjoyable performances. It's unusual in his then repertoire, I think, because Newman often plays intelligent men but Dunlop, while canny, isn't that. He's not an entirely pleasant one at times, either. Unable to let go of his separated wife and desperate to keep his team going, through a sale to a bunch of Florida based geriatrics, he abuses opponents, offers bounties on their heads and tries to use his star player's wife to push him into joining the shenanigans. It feels a lot like Newman's later character work with Richard Russo, a confident star owning the screen because he knows he's a bloody good actor too. His challenge for best performance is Strother Martin as the hard working general manager, arranging fashion shows, sales and doing anything to keep things going, with a few secrets in his closet that Reggie gets to use. They form the old guard, with scenes full of reminiscences of games and players gone by. Lindsay Crouse plays a drunken wife unhappy with her husband's choices and behaviour who barrels her van through the town like she's in the middle of a San Francisco car chase (and also owns an adorable St Bernard). Jeff & Steve Carlson and (really) David Hanson (although he was a replacement for the Carlson's 3rd brother who couldn't make the shoot) are wonderfully nutty as the excessively violent Hanson brothers.

I think where it becomes more than a brutally funny sports film (and it is that with some of my favourite scenes including, but not exclusively – the opening description of tactics by the generally oblivious French-Canadian goalkeeper and the bewigged commentator , the player's reaction to the fashion shoot, the referee's trying to hold back his anger with the Hanson's during the national anthem, the introduction of the final opponents and Dr Hook's outraged reaction to Braden's alternative view of what the audience is there to see) is in its presentation of the symbiotic connection between the town and its team. Like football today, they're all outsiders and distanced from the local concerns (there is an emphasis on Braden's US citizenship and the origin of the final players they come up against is distinctive), Dunlop not even aware of what's going on at the mill and not considering how that's going to affect them. The sheer cynicism of the meeting with the owner is breathtaking. And the audience's demand for violence, for mindless entertainment to take them out of their real lives, is as key to the change in tactic as the fact it's actually helping them win. In parades the team is saluted by the military, not vice versa. In a lot of ways it has the same opinion of its audience that you see in something like Ace in the Hole. Only funnier. George Roy Hill might have been a bit of a mad bastard but he made some bloody good films.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 3/5/2011 4:30:47 PM >


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

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

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 418
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 1/5/2011 9:32:43 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4653
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49
Count Dracula (Saville, 1977)



By far the best* of the "standard" Dracula adaptations - it certainly pisses all over Coppola's incomprehensibly well regarded mess, and pretty much every other version going (though both Murnau's and Herzog's Nosferatus are way way up there).  And, as you probably remember from a few pages back in my own thread, I have a lot of time for Badham's version, which is sadly let down by an awful Olivier.  Not sure I agree about Love at First Bite though - I've always thought George Hamilton was a good lad and game for most stuff, but Bite frequently falls flat for me.

*of course, I am forgetting the one with Dennis Waterman and also Captain Kronos.  Both of which are, obviously, the bestest.


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 419
RE: Rawlinson & Elab's top 50s of the year 1977 - 1/5/2011 9:37:08 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54433
Joined: 1/10/2005
I like Richard Benjamin

I do like the Badham but, like you, I'm not a fan of Olivier (in film generally, really, with a couple of very rare exceptions).

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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

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

(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 420
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