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Thread: Classic Films

  1. #51
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    Great thread, just discovered it. I too am a TCM fan, it's the only reason I have a cable package.

    Watched Blast of Silence last night and loved every second of it. I'm a sucker for narrated noirs.

    Check the opening scene, totally sets the mood, so dark right up to and including the ending.


  2. #52
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    La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast) - Jean Cocteau (1946)

    streaming on Kanopy, HBOMax, Criterion Channel

    The OG, first cinematic version of the classic fairy tale is a cool and surreal take on the material, which is best known for its Disneyized versions.
    Cocteau’s vision is teeming with strange imagery that wavers between the realms of dreams and nightmares; no songs, just lots of great use of light and shadow and trippy visual elements.

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  3. #53
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    CAIRO STATION - Youssef Chahine (1958)
    streaming on NF

    This movie popped up in my recommendation section on NF months ago and I added it to my queue because the synopsis sounded cool.
    Unbeknownst to me, it’s an important film, not only within the history of the Egyptian film industry, but also in the context of world cinema.
    Shot it a style that’s part neo-documentary and part heightened melodrama, it follows the exploits of a loose bottle girl (women who illegally sold soda pop to train passengers) and the crippled newspaper seller who has an unhealthy infatuation with her. It also touches upon the social strata of labor and the divide between rich, the middle-class, and the poor.
    The director also employs extreme close-ups that pre-date Sergio Leone by at least a decade.
    Shortly after this film was released the Egyptian film industry was nationalized and stricter guidelines were put in place to limit the type of content that could be shown in movies; this film caused controversy at the time of release in regards to its depiction of sexual desire and the labor politics.

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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    16 posts and no one has mentioned On the Waterfront?
    ON THE WATERFRONT
    Streaming on HBOMax

    Finally got around to watching this last night.
    I found that some parts didn’t hold up that well: the thug-with-a-conscience trope has been played out since this film first debuted, so it felt a little tired. I felt that the chemistry between Brando and Eva Saint Marie was hot-and-cold; sometimes they clicked and other times she came off stiff and like she was doing a dry line reading. And the music was often overbearing, blaring over the dialogue when quiet would have created a much better sense of intensity.
    Additionally, the allusion to Brando’s character being Christ-like is a bit heavy handed, especially at the end.
    But these are just quibbles.
    The film comes out the gate with a deep sense of grit and intensity. At the core of this is Brando, who is an acting beast. He owns this film seven ways to Sunday and then some. I grew up on overweight, over-the-hill era Brando, so to see him at his prime, I finally understand all the hype.
    But Brando ain’t the only one bringing the chops: Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, James Westerfield, and Pat Henning, plus bit parts from Martin Balsam and even Herman Munster, who has just enough lines to keep his SAG card current.
    And the dialogue? Snappy and sharp with lots of great lines, most of ‘em spoken by Brando.

    Interestingly enough, it was the second film I’ve seen in two days that focused on blue collar workers and labor disputes, the other being Cairo Station.

    At any rate, highly recommended for Brando crushing the screen at arguably the height of his thespian powers.
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  5. #55
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    ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)
    Streaming on Kanopy and Paramount+

    I am by no means an expert on the romantic comedy and its history within cinema, but I’mma go out on a limb and boldly state that this film is the blueprint for the modern romcom. You can see it’s DNA percolating through such films as Pretty Woman and Garden State, amongst others.
    Filmed entirely in Rome, the film follows the familiar trope of the spoiled and isolated rich girl who yearns to escape her entitled “prison” and frolic amongst the common folk. And while this plot is pretty cliche, here it is delivered with panache and aplomb.
    The chemistry between the staid and straight man Gregory Peck and the aloof and childish Audrey Hepburn is fantastic. Eddie “Green Acres” Albert has a great supporting role, too.
    The film eschews the rapid fire dialogue that was so popular in ‘30s and ‘40s romantic comedies, but is no less sharp and witty.
    Additionally, the slapstick is kept in check and the physical comedy is subdued and clever without ever resorting to over-the-top gags.
    And the ending? Wow.
    Highly recommended.

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  6. #56
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    Wow; two weeks ago something triggered me to ask my wife about Roman Holiday, as I'd never ween it, and her response was to give me the side-eye while saying, "Duuuuuuuuude". We watched it that night and I agree 100% with Dooks - classic rom-com progenitor!

  7. #57
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    MODERN TIMES
    - streaming on Kanopy and HBOMax

    Finally watched this Charlie Chaplin classic.
    It’s filled with some great physical comedy and innovative gags, but also has a sad and poignant underlying thematic about the trials and tribulations of The Great Depression. It’s both joyous and melancholy, with a wonderfully bittersweet ending.

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  8. #58
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    TCM has started its annual “Thirty one days of Oscars”. Lots of good classic movies in its lineup right now. Just watched “African Queen”, “Casablanca”, and “Grapes of Wrath”.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    We all have our own frames of reference.
    Agreed. I put the 1975 ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ on my ‘classic favorites’ list. It seems to fit with older films.


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  10. #60
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    THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS - Orson Welles (1942)

    Welles brings his signature visual flair to this familial melodrama that has dark undertones and examines privilege, embracing life-changing technology, and unrequited love.

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  11. #61
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    FATHER GOOSE -1964
    streaming on KANOPY

    Carey Grant’s penultimate film is a lighthearted situational comedy that plays out like a vintage Disney drama, albeit with lottsa drinking and sexual innuendo.
    It’s a simple and familiar story about two opposites attracted to each other, but it has nice pacing and Grant’s charm is infectious. It took me awhile to realize that his co-star, Leslie Caron, was the same actress from An American In Paris.

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  12. #62
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    ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
    This may be mildly sacrilegious, but I liked the new 2022 version of this film better than the original (incidentally, both won Academy Awards).
    The original has its moments, mostly in terms of some cool shots—great use of light and shadow, as well as reflections, plus a really cool sequence involving boots shot from the viewpoint of marching feet—but I got a little tired of the choppy flow: pretty much every scene fades to black and then the next scene pops in, which makes for a bit of a disconnected vibe.
    The acting is solid, though and there’s more moments showing the public’s blind patriotic pride and overall obliviousness with what’s really happening on the front, which hit hard. And the ending is pretty solid.
    Granted, the new version is much more amped up in regards to the actual war footage thanks to modem FX, but the scope of the original is pretty impressive for 1930.
    Really dug Louis Wolheim, who plays the gruff “Kat.” He had great presence. The rest of the cast is decent enough, but he really stood out.

    Picked up a copy of the novel last week and looking forward to reading it soon…
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  13. #63
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    DEAD END - 1937
    Streaming on Kanopy

    Watched this inner city, crime tinged melodrama last night.
    Based on a stage play, it’s filmed on a set, so has that cool, artificial, semi-surreal look to it that a lot of the early staged films had.
    Notable as an early vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and the first film appearance of the youthful troop of hooligans who would eventually morph into The Bowery Boys.
    It’s an interesting commentary on social stratification and a sobering reminder that things really haven’t changed that much in regards to distribution of wealth and social status.

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  14. #64
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    Loved the Bowery Boys when I was a kid. Golden Age of afternoon TV movie shows

  15. #65
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    SUSPICION - 1941
    This Hitchcockian psychological thriller is fantastic all the way up to the ending, which sadly is kind of a treacly cop-out (I watched the film on DVD and the bonus featurette implied that Hitch was forced to change the more ominous and diabolical ending of the source novel for a more upbeat, happier, “Hollywood” ending).
    Weak ending aside, everything leading up to the deflated climax is brilliant. The tension created wherein we can’t get a handle on whether Cary Grant’s character is merely a rakish rogue or a calculating murderer is fantastic. And then, of course, there are all of Hitchcock’s brilliant visual nuances, from ingenious use of light and shadow, reflections, and close-ups, with a sequence involving a glass of milk being the stand-out.
    Grant is seminal in a role that uses his innate charm to disarm the viewer and Joan Fontaine manages to bring a spiraling sense of paranoia and controlled hysteria. Plus there is Nigel Bruce with the sly comedic relief.
    All of the supporting cast help to create a nice balance between the glowing outer appearances that people present and the darker, sinister thoughts that lurk underneath the surface.

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  16. #66
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    The Breaking Point

    Watched this the other night on TCM. Was thinking it looked very familiar, an awful lot like “To Have and Have Not”. Well, turns out that’s because it was another interpretation of Hemingway’s book. And apparently, it follows the book a lot closer than the Bogart/Bacall film did.

    Good movie. Maybe as good as the other one.

  17. #67
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    LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945)
    This film is a trip in that it’s a completely enthralling multi-genre mash-up.
    I call it a “psychorillernoirodrama.”

    At its core the story is a tawdry melodrama, but the female lead is a quietly psychotic femme fatale. And while it’s filmed in color, thus kind of negating its noirness, the director and DP still do a lot of cool stuff with lights and shadows.
    The ending, which is a murder trial, is a bit hokey and over-the-top and feels more like a vintage episode of Jerry Springer than an actual trial, but it’s the only weak spot in an otherwise stellar film.

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  18. #68
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    THAT TOUCH OF MINK (1962)
    Admittedly, I haven’t seen many of Doris Day’s films, but I am well aware of the wholesome Midwest girl persona Hollywood crafted around her and that aura is in full effect in this breezy romcom.
    The story unfolds like the blueprint for Pretty Woman: “ruthless” businessman meets charming girl not in his social circle, she helps him become more humane, they fall in love amidst hijinx galore.
    The film pretty much coasts along on both Day and Cary Grant’s charisma, as well as some super sharp dialogue.
    The whole affair feels like a vintage Disney flick for adults.

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  19. #69
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    RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947)
    Director/star Robert Montgomery’s second stab at noir, while not as cutting edge experimental as The Lady in the Lake, is a hard-boiled classic. The dialogue is rough-n-tough, the characters border on caricature, and the sets are cool. The story is a fairly simple one of revenge and blackmail, but it’s delivered with economical panache.
    The supporting cast is fantastic, although there are a few casting gaff due to that particular period of filmmaking, such as having a white actress play a Mexican waif, but overall it’s a well-crafted potboiler.



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  20. #70
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    GUNGA DIN
    This is a strange film and not one I would laud as being as classic as its reputation would lead one to believe.
    For one it puts forth a strange mixture of pro-colonialism, bravura action, and slapstick comedy; non of which ever really gels. In regards to the latter, it often times feels like an Abbott and Costello film.
    And I won’t even talk about the Jewish actor in brown face portraying the title role, which is cringe worthy beyond reproach.
    That said, the influence on both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is glaringly apparent.
    Yet despite all of this, the trio of top-billed actors—Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Carey Grant, and Victor McLaglen—are really the only reason to watch this film; they have pretty great chemistry together. Plus it’s kind of cool to see Grant kicking ass in ribald fight sequences given that I am more familiar with him in romcoms.

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  21. #71
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    Agree; I watched this before ever seeing Sam Jaffe as his real self, and was horrified. I still enjoy it, though, as kind of a window into the tone-deafness of the times. Oh, and anything with Thugees in it is a winner ...... KALI Baby!

  22. #72
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    THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS - (1946)
    [streaming on both Prime and Kanopy]

    As with the aforementioned Leave Her to Heaven, this potboiler is a mash-up of noir and turgid melodrama. Anchored by some fabulous acting turns from Van Heflin, Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas (exuding creepy schmarm), and Lizbeth Scott (my new Golden Era of Hollywood crush), the film revels in a sordid story about misguided affection, greed, and morality.



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  23. #73
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    Barbie is teeming with classic film inspirations and references…

    Last edited by dookeyXXX; 07-29-2023 at 10:41 AM.
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  24. #74
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    THE LINEUP (1958)
    This early Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, amongst others) joint is a mash-up of noir and police procedural that starts out pretty rudimentary, but really gathers steam when Eli Wallach and Robert Keith pop up as Dancer and Julian, a psychotic hitman duo; they steal the picture and elevate it above standard fare. Siegal’s direction is solid and gritty, lending the proceedings a certain amount of gritty verite.
    But it’s really Wallach’s maniacal glee and Keith’s macabre effemininity that create a captivating montage

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  25. #75
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    5 AGAINST THE HOUSE (1955)
    This film is a strange mix of college bro comedy, noir, heist, and social commentary featuring an interesting cast. Brian Keith as the heavy (I grew up with him in the light-hearted Family Affair), Kim Novak in an early role as a pseudo femme fatale, Kerwin Matthews (best know for portraying Sinbad and Gulliver), and Alvy Moore (the bumbling grocer in Green Acres).
    Directed by Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential, Walking Tall), its pacing is quick and the dialogue is snappy, but the real star is Old School Reno, providing a glimpse into the golden era of The Biggest Little City.

    Rumor has it that Scorsese cited this film as an inspiration on Casino and it also supposedly influenced the original Rat Pack Oceans 11.

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