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Thread: Classic Films

  1. #1
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    Classic Films

    Couldn't find an existing thread on the topic, but after watching a couple good classics last week thought we could use one. Will kick this off with two Humphrey Bogart films I FINALLY got around to seeing. The Maltese Falcon from 1941 and the Treasure of the Sierra Madre from 1948. Both directed by John Huston.

    In the Maltese Falcon, Bogart's great but I thought that Peter Lorre (as Joel Cairo) and Sydney Greenstreet (as Kasper Gutman) stole the show. The way Bogart's character, Sam Spade handled
    Brigid O'Shaughnessy (played by Mary Astor) was classic. Really a fun whodunit film that while pretty predictable from the get-go tossed in a few enjoyable twists. I really liked how they concluded the film leaving the audience with JUST the right amount of wondering.

    John Huston must've really gotten his groove by the time he filmed Treasure of the Sierra Madre because the cinematography, score, and everything about it is just so well done. Some of the lines in there were instantly recognizable ("Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!") While Bogart's role, Fred Dobbs, isn't exactly the nicest guy at the beginning, watching his character's transformation throughout the movie was wild and undergirds the overarching theme to the story. This one didn't win 3 Oscars for nothing! I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it already. Got Treasure on Blu-Ray that's been beautifully remastered so that's the version I'd recommend

    I'm about 80 years late to the party on these, but better late than never. I bought the discs since they were dirt cheap at my local used-movie emporium, but I have plenty more I need to get around to re-visiting and plenty more to buy I'm sure. I'm sure Dookey has a list a mile long of great recommendations!




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    My mom was an usher at a movie theater as a kid, she loved movies, so I was introduced to these as a kid. When mini plug was young we watched Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals pretty often instead of the usual cartoons. I mean I still watch Citizen Kane and notice new stuff all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    My mom was an usher at a movie theater as a kid, she loved movies, so I was introduced to these as a kid. When mini plug was young we watched Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals pretty often instead of the usual cartoons. I mean I still watch Citizen Kane and notice new stuff all the time.
    That's awesome. I've also tried educating my children about older media as well, minimizing their intake of most of the newer stuff. Not to be too "old man yelling at clouds" or anything, but just the dialogue alone in older film and books has vocabulary that is MUCH more complex and well crafted than the more simplistic speech we see today (as a generalization). Even CHILDREN'S books from 100+ years ago are far superior when it comes to that. Now they're 5 and 7 years old and I'm constantly amazed at the language they choose to express themselves. I can't help but think it has something to do with the old literature and film, but we also have never dumbed down our own speech for them either. Anyway, not to derail my own thread or anything, but I just appreciated your post.

    I guess since we're talking classic film and kids, we should include animated classics as well! Few weeks back, kids and I watched the OG Wind in the Willows & Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1949's "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad." I didn't realize that Washington Irving wrote Sleepy Hollow so long ago! Published in 1819. Kids loved them both. Especially as they read Wind in the Willows at school so they really got a kick out of it.

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    If you like those two OP, try High Sierra, Key Largo and To Have and Have Not all with Bogart and of course Casablanca.

    Another noir gem that I like is Double Indemnity with Fred Mcmurray and Barbara Stanwick.

    The Killers with Burt Lancaster is a must for noir fans too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    If you like those two OP, try High Sierra, Key Largo and To Have and Have Not all with Bogart and of course Casablanca.

    Another noir gem that I like is Double Indemnity with Fred Mcmurray and Barbara Stanwick.
    I've seen High Sierra (liked that one), but haven't seen your other suggestions. Will need to check out Key Largo next. Looks good.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    The Killers with Burt Lancaster is a must for noir fans too.
    An Ernest Hemingway tale! Need to check that one out for sure.

    John Huston was a busy boy back then! SO many hits under his belt. He sure did work a lot with Bogart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    When mini plug was young we watched Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals pretty often instead of the usual cartoons.
    I stumbled upon this gem several years ago when it was playing late night on TCM.
    Revisited it again last year and it is easily one of my favorite films now.

    THE BAND WAGON
    Fantastic early 1950's musical starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, plus a stellar supporting cast consisting of the bubbly Nanette Fabray, the schlubby Oscar Levant, and the regal Jack Buchanan.
    Catchy songs, wonderful choreography (Michael Jackson bit a lot of it for a number of his videos), and just an overall enjoyable experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    If you like those two OP, try High Sierra, Key Largo and To Have and Have Not all with Bogart and of course Casablanca.
    All good choices. I'd also add The Big Sleep as a must see!

    When I was a kid, my dad took me and my brother to see Errol Flynn movies, Robin Hood, Captain Blood & The Sea Hawk.
    He liked the swashbuckler flicks, another one I remember is The Crimson Pirate with Burt Lancaster.
    These are all great choices for kids IMO.
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    I have seen all of the Bogart films mentioned thus far.
    Some I enjoyed, others not so much.
    But for me, two of his best films, which I believe tend to get overlooked and overshadowed by his other more well-known works, are:

    IN A LONELY PLACE



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    My default channel is TCM.

    Any movie with a Barrymore in it is worth watching. That goes for Lionel, John, Ethel, and even Drew. Same goes for Huston and Orson Wells.

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    Touch of Evil with Wells, Heston and Janet Lee


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    Quote Originally Posted by billyk View Post
    My default channel is TCM.

    Yep
    Their film noir series is awesome.

    I used to go through their guide for weeks into the future and set recordings.
    Then you have classic cinema anytime you want.
    Sometimes their live movie choices suck.

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    Some great suggestions! This thread's off to a great start. I knew this crowd might know their way around the classics.

    What classic monster flicks should I watch with the kids? Thought I'd start with kind of picking my way through the traditional Universal library, but surely some stand out above the rest, right? It's been ages since I've watched them, so I honestly don't remember what I liked most. Also thought it'd be fun to re-watch the OG Godzilla series and maybe The Fly from 1958. Loved those as a kid.

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    Most Bogart films are worth the watching. Early Max brothers films are also enjoyable although most of the copies are kind of butchered by now. The On the Road series with Crosby/Hope/Lamour are also a cool era.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

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    More noir: Don't sleep on Bogey in The Big Sleep, Kirk Douglas in Detective Story and Ace in the Hole, or Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontuckyFried View Post
    I'm about 80 years late to the party on these, but better late than never. I bought the discs since they were dirt cheap at my local used-movie emporium, but I have plenty more I need to get around to re-visiting and plenty more to buy I'm sure. I'm sure Dookey has a list a mile long of great recommendations!
    It’s never too late, man!

    And you give me too much credit.

    I didn’t see Citizen Kane until about 2009. I refused to watch it on a small screen given all its accolades. Finally saw it at the Kabuki Theater in SF as part of one of those programmed classics packages. My initial reaction was “man, this movie is lame. I mean I’ve seen all these camera techniques and plot devices before. Welles is just aping all of my favorite directors…”
    It wasn’t until I was walking home after the film that my brain caught up to the fact that all of my favorite directors and films were heavily influenced by Welles!


    I didn’t see Casablanca until a few years ago after I moved to the mountains. Again, I always refused to watch it on the small screen. It was playing in Reno as part of the TCM Presents package that pops up at Cinemark Theaters (it was much more robust several years ago than it is today, sadly).

    I only just saw Singin’ In The Rain for the first time last year! Rented that one on NF DVD and then a month later saw it on the big screen for its 70th Anniversary. It has become one of my favorite films and it’s influence on action films, specifically the 1980s output of Jackie Chan, is nuts.

    Perhaps my biggest regret these days is that during my 13 year tenure living in San Francisco I didn’t go to The Castro Theater every week. It was a glorious arthouse repertory movie theater that showed different classic double-features every night, many of them restored film prints on either 35 or 70mm. The theater got sold during the outset of the Covid pandemic and their programming has drastically changed. I missed out on lottsa classics not patronizing that theater (and I lived walking distance from it, too!).

    So, anyway, I am also catching up on a lot of the classics, as well, given that I am generally more of a genre junkie who favors horror and noir and action (I spent close to 2 years in the mid-90s seeing nothing but HK action films at the UC Theatre in Berkeley!).

    But I’ll chime in here and there with some recs of stuff I’ve recently seen or remember from my childhood…

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    Also, what are your parameters for classic films?
    Are we only talking about stuff from the Silent Era through the 1950s?

    Or is it pretty much anything considered classic and can include films from the 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s?

    Are you focused more on Hollywood films or are you open to world cinema, as well?
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    16 posts and no one has mentioned On the Waterfront?

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    Classic film=B&W.

    And fuck colorization.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dookeyXXX View Post
    Also, what are your parameters for classic films?
    Are we only talking about stuff from the Silent Era through the 1950s?

    Or is it pretty much anything considered classic and can include films from the 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s?

    Are you focused more on Hollywood films or are you open to world cinema, as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Classic film=B&W.

    And fuck colorization.
    Fuck colorization

    But some classic films are color.

    Robin Hood
    One of the first technicolor films. Late 1930

    I would say 1960 is the cutoff.

  21. #21
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    According to Wikipedia “classic films” denotes the period between 1910 and the 1960s, ending in 1969.
    There is a crazy list of the essential films from that period in the entry:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classi...llywood_cinema

    Lottsa classic color films came out in the 1930s (Wizard of Oz, for example) with the advent of Technicolor.

    Essentially classic films can be black & white and/or in color as well as being silent or having sound.

    Here is a cool history of the use of color in cinema (it dates back to 1903!!!)
    https://www.nfi.edu/first-color-movie/
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    We all have our own frames of reference.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dookeyXXX View Post
    Also, what are your parameters for classic films?
    Are we only talking about stuff from the Silent Era through the 1950s?

    Or is it pretty much anything considered classic and can include films from the 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s?

    Are you focused more on Hollywood films or are you open to world cinema, as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by dookeyXXX View Post
    According to Wikipedia “classic films” denotes the period between 1910 and the 1960s, ending in 1969.
    Ha. You beat me to it! That's EXACTLY what I was going to say. While Bunion's right that we all have our own frames of reference, I think of "classic films" as ending around the late 60s. The 70s was quite a distinctive evolution in cinema, for better or worse. So, yeah. For the sake of this thread, let's cap it at 1969. Earliest movie I actually enjoy here and there is Georges Méliès' "A Trip to the Moon" (Le Voyage dans la Lune) from 1902. ESPECIALLY the more recent release that Air did the soundtrack for. WHAT a trip!!!

    So, maybe we'll call it 1902 to 1969? Haha. Quite a span there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    Classic film=B&W.

    And fuck colorization.
    What about technicolor marvels like 1939's Wizard of Oz? Classic Merrie Melodies, Looney Tunes, and the Disney animated classics?

    Speaking of animated classics and B&W, my kids LOVE 1928's Steamboat Willie. It's always fun revisiting that. It's no wonder it was such a smash hit. It's still pretty hilarious. The animation's such a crack up, still to this day. It's no wonder it put Walt Disney on the map.

    Whether we're talking animation or live action, though. The RAPID advancement of film from the 20s through the 40s is absolutely wild. Kind of coincides with a similarly wild evolution of aviation at exactly the same time period. That must've really been something to witness back then. I remember my grandma, who grew up in the Great Depression, telling me how big of a deal the cinema was back then. They'd use it as a way to escape the Texas heat and go enjoy some air conditioning (the only place in town with A/C). Now she was a young adult when Gone with the Wind came out in 1939, and she told me that it was THE event of the century. Just absolutely blown away with the spectacle of it all. And Wizard of Oz in the same year? Holy balls! Hollywood was on fire back then.

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    Other than TCM and The Criterion Channel (there was a thread for it, but I think it got deleted?), another great streaming service for classic films is KANOPY, if your local library supports it.

    https://www.kanopy.com/en
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