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filmlover

Which 3-5 films would you pick to highlight a career or a genre?

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A friend at work, a newbie to the classics, asked me to pick 3 films that I would consider the three essential classics I would recommend she watch. Since that is too daunting a task, only three films out of all that have been made, I've been supplying her with different comedies (first: The Lady Eve, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Born Yesterday), and have some westerns, and star turns, three at a time...all of them classics.

 

However, the other day, I was trying to think of three Bogart films that would highlight/summarize his lengthy career. It was too hard, so I ended up with five:

 

The Maltese Falcon

Casablanca

To Have and Have Not

The Treasure of Sierra Madre

The African Queen

 

It was difficult leaving Petrified Forest off the list, since it was an early gangster film, parts he was known for, and just as hard to leave Big Sleep (but I had Maltese Falcon on there as a representative of him as a private eye) and The Caine Mutiny (but if you are going to show eccentricity, you have to go with AQ).

 

And it has got me wondering...though I already have my own picks lined up for her in more areas...what three to five films would you pick to show the classic aspects of a star or director's career, or a particular genre if you had a newbie who wanted help?

 

So, for example, for Hitchcock, I will probably pick for her The 39 Steps, Shadow of a Doubt, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North by Northwest, Psycho...five films that show the breadth of his career and are essential classics.

 

So as an exercise of fun, you pick the star (director, composer, etc.) or genre (or studio, whatever) you would choose to introduce a newbie with what you consider the highlights of a career but also show a good expanse of it. _Please limit one star or one genre per post._ You can always come back and add a new post for a different star, genre, etc. since there are so very many different.

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I've become a huge fan of William Wyler's films and of those he directed, I'd pick Dodsworth, The Little Foxes & The Best Years of Our Lives. He seemed to be able to coax great performances out of actors, or at least cast great actors for compelling stories.

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The Star: *Gary Cooper*

 

The Films:

 

Meet John Doe

High Noon

Ball of Fire

 

While they may not be my top three favorites, I find

that these films are definitely among Coop's most

accessible and they highlight his dramatic and comedic

abilities, as well as (with High Noon) demonstrate why

some consider him the definitive screen westerner.

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Yeah, I would. I prefer the silent version of Ben-Hur and never cared too much for Wuthering Heights. But it's okay with me if you want to tell your friend to watch them. They're both important films. He made many more films I like but those are my 3 favorites.

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Excellent choices, MissG. Probably the three I might go for, and all favorites of mine. Meet John Doe would save picking Mr. Deeds. I might substitute Sgt. York for Ball of Fire (though I absolutely love that film!).

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The Star: *Ava Gardner*

 

The Films:

 

Mogambo

One Touch of Venus

The Killers

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Night of the Iguana

 

I think these five films by Ava

encompass her beauty, seductive

powers as a "star" in the most

classic Hollywood sense, as well

as her underlying talent as an actress.

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Director: Frank Capra

 

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Meet John Doe

It's A Wonderful Life

 

Being the best of "Capra-corn"

 

Message was edited by: filmlover

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Clark Gable:

 

It Happened One Night

Gone with the Wind

 

I didn't think of it before but with Gable, do you really need any but these two films for showing the very best of the King?

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Well since somebody already picked Gary ;), I?ll go with my other main fave.

 

*Clara Bow*

 

*Call Her Savage* (1932) ? She really got to show off her dramatic chops with this one and while the supporting actors often leave a lot to be desired, Clara truly shines as the star she was.

 

*It* (1927) ? Can?t leave this one off the list as it was her biggest hit and one of my overall fave films. A cute romantic comedy about a regular girl who falls for her boss at the department store and ultimately wins him. A great Cinderalla story with a modern (well, modern for the 20s) twist. Also Gary has a cameo as a reporter :x.

 

*Hula* (1927) ? This is one of my faves of hers and it?s a cute story about a girl named Hula (Clara) who lives in Hawaii and falls for Anthony (Clive Brook), the man contracted to irrigate her family?s land. Anthony plays a very straight laced Brit who falls, against his will, for Hula who is carefree and fun loving. There is some drama when Anthony?s estranged wife (who I swear looks like a man in drag) comes to Hawaii and wants him back now that he has gotten a big payday for this job. Hula?s not about to let a little thing like a wife stand in the way though when she sees something she wants and she and Anthony end up together. There is a very cute scene where Hula takes off on her horse so that Anthony will chase her. She falls off and he runs to her to make sure she?s alright. She tells him it hurts her hand and he kisses it so she then points to her eyes and her lips and he kisses them all. It?s pure Clara how she sweetly seduces him and the audience to fall under her spell.

 

In all these films, as in most of her work, she was the embodiement of youth and vitality as well as a representation of the average American girl of the (then) modern era.

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> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> Clark Gable:

>

> It Happened One Night

> Gone with the Wind

>

> I didn't think of it before but with Gable, do you really need any but these two films for showing the very best of the King?

 

 

I think a very strong case for including *The Misfits* could be made. In my

opinion, it showed the depth of his talent in maturity and is a performance

that takes many people by surprise.

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Hugo Friedhofer, composer:

 

The Best Years of Our Lives : My candidate for the greatest film score (to date, anyway). Haunting (the plane graveyard), pastoral (Homer's homecoming), and just plain moving (Fred's father reads about his son's citation: listen to those french horns opening the scene). Darn, the music makes my eyes tear up.

 

Hondo : How often do you hear a waltz-like theme to begin a western? Beautifully played on the trumpet and strings.

 

Above and Beyond : A powerful opening theme, uplifting, with a hint of the despair to come (played much later when Tibbetts sees the destruction from the bomb).

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Duke Westerns: this was really hard...and I could probably end up making another list tomorrow w/ several other choices (But I'd likely still keep 1 and 2 and just make 3 more choices to go along w/them) Did I mention this was hard?

 

The Searchers

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

True Grit

Hondo

 

Aw..man....I picked a star and a genre...despite your instructions.....AHH..did I mention this was REALLY hard?

 

Message was edited by: rohanaka

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Filmlover, that is an excellent, excellent question! I'll share my highlights and look forward to reading others':

 

INGRID BERGMAN:

 

* "CASABLANCA" with Bogart

* "GASLIGHT" with Boyer

* "NOTORIOUS" with Grant

* "FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS" with Coop

 

Ingrid Bergman affects my heart; she breaks it...makes it race and I'm a slave to her performances. With each one of these men, she affects them down to their DNA. For that matter, mine too.

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The Director: *John Ford*

 

The films:

 

3 Bad Men

They Were Expendable

How Green Was My Valley

My Darling Clementine

The Searchers

 

I think someone unfamiliar with his

work might find some personal response

to at least one of these films which, while

all threaded through with the same themes

are unlike in subject matter. They also show

how he took prevailing styles in filmaking and

used them in his own unique way.

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MissG, you are correct about The Misfits, and it is something I thought about after signing off to come to work. It is a performance rich with personaility and a maturity seldom seen on the screen. It is also a film that I might include for Marilyn as a culmination of her career.

 

Message was edited by: filmlover

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_John Ford:_

 

*Young Mr. Lincoln*

*The Grapes of Wrath*

*The Fugitive*

*The Quiet Man*

*The Searchers*

 

And of course, as a small bonus, the documentary *Directed by John Ford* B-)

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Joan Crawford (hard to limit here, too)

 

Silent: Our Dancing Daughters

'30s: Sadie McKee

'40s: Mildred Pierce, Humoresque

'50s: Sudden Fear

 

And you gotta find room for Bogie's In a Lonely Place somewhere

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Guess we ought to let Frank Grimes and Molo do this. These are two true-blue Double G men. They could probably get in "In A Lonely Place" via the lovely, defiant Gloria Grahame.

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Oh I think they're both very gentlemanly and wouldn't mind letting a girl do this:

 

_Gloria Grahame_

 

*It's a Wonderful Life*

*In a Lonely Place*

*The Big Heat*

*Human Desire*

*Oklahoma!*

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But of course. And I realized I might be stepping on CK's toes by doing a Joan list, but I couldn't resist. Besides, he can easily make a second one from the multitude of films remaining. :-)

 

Here's a list that I'm sure no one would make because in the past it's been so easy to malign her:

 

Vera Ralston

 

Jubilee Trail (which is on the TCM schedule for March)

Surrender

Hoodlum Empire

Timberjack

Belle Le Grand

 

Sure, she was not one of the "greats". but I've seen a lot worse.

 

Message was edited by: BelleLeGrand1

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