ClassicViewer

LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

999 posts in this topic

Interesting, LoveFilmNoir, what you said about Walter Huston being even better in this role than Walter Brennan would have been. Because I always get those two mixed up, and not because they're both named "Walter". They're both crusty crabby smart amusing old men. But yeah, I take W. Huston a little more seriously than I do W. Brennan.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}
> I really like to think that Tim Holt settles down with Bruce Bennet's widow in that fruit orchard. Poor old Cody, were they really going to kill him?

Well, that?s part of a hypothetical fiction plot, that didn?t happen, because something else came up. I?d like to think that if the bandits had not shown up, they would have backed down at the last minute and not killed Cody.

I liked the way that Howard said, ?Come on down, friend,? to Cody, after Cody had spotted the outlaws, and after Howard and the others had planned to kill him. Howard seemed pleased that they didn?t have to kill him and that he finally served some useful purpose to the original three men.

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If someone other than John Huston had directed the film, Brennan probably would have been the first one considered to play "Howard". Walter Huston's roles were typically MUCH different from the "Howard" role.

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The Narrow Margin is the best of what was shown yesterday. 71 minutes of fast action and noir grit.

I like The Strip because the story revolves around jazz music but they could of cut some of the 'fluff' scenes (Demarest character is named Fluff) and added more grit and tention to it. Of well this is what one gets from an MGM noir.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}
> If someone other than John Huston had directed the film, Brennan probably would have been the first one considered to play "Howard". Walter Huston's roles were typically MUCH different from the "Howard" role.


I think one reason Walter Huston is so good in the film is because he plays a unique character. Someone who doesn?t turn up in any other film. He never looked that way before, and he never looked that way again.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}
> > {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}
> > If someone other than John Huston had directed the film, Brennan probably would have been the first one considered to play "Howard". Walter Huston's roles were typically MUCH different from the "Howard" role.
>
>
> I think one reason Walter Huston is so good in the film is because he plays a unique character. Someone who doesn't turn up in any other film. He never looked that way before, and he never looked that way again.

And THIS is why I like him in this role. No typecasting here. W. Huston is not every director's first idea for the "drunk old man" or the "funny old man" or the "crusty old man"....that is why I thought he was so great in this film. I loved his character in *And Then There Were None* - he's so sketchy and that character trait is what adds to the suspense in the plot.

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> The Narrow Margin is the best of what was shown yesterday. 71 minutes of fast action and noir grit.

Nobody likes a fat man except his grocer and his tailor.

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> {quote:title=LoveFilmNoir wrote:}{quote}
> And THIS is why I like him in this role. No typecasting here.

His rapid-fire dialogue at the Oso Negro is some of the best acting I?ve ever seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boUD5eG9Bf4

And his ?Nuts? speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w4B7QxL_n4&feature=related

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Funny you mention the fat man because I did notice that line and I don't remember noticing it before and I had seen the movie a few times. Windsor with those big eyes and dressed in black was something.

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One of the issues I have with MADRE (ironically, a feminine title) is that I think it gets a lot of attention precisely because it neglects to tell the female point of view in the story. If it were about a group of women looking for gold, it would probably not be deemed a classic, or else if it was a classic, it would be read by film theorists as being subversive with lesbian subtext...but really, the female version of this is the frilly gold digger musical. LOL

Also, I think that if CAPE FEAR were about a woman attorney hunted by a female killer, again it would be seen as pseudo-lesbian and it would not be given as much attention as a male-male thriller gets in our double-standard society.

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I got into the film of "Treasure of The Sierra Madre" after reading the book. There was a major revival of B. Traven's work in the 1970's, including the six volumes of "Jungle stories" about the conditions leading to the Mexican Revolution. Very spare and powerful writing, which I think was adapted well for the movie in terms of screenwriting, directing and acting. Having just seen so much Kurosawa this past spring on TCM, I'm wondering now if he wasn't perhaps influenced by this film. I understand your frustration, CV, but sometimes I think men give up their secrets more fully if left to themselves, if you know what I'm saying.

Edited by: DougieB on Jul 9, 2010 7:14 PM

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> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}
> If it were about a group of women looking for gold, it would probably not be deemed a classic,

Where on earth are we going to see a group of women digging for gold, other than at a nightclub?

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It has never once occurred to me that *The Treasure of the Sierra Madre* is somehow lacking because there is no feminine viewpoint in it. This reminds me of what I used to think sometimes in one of my film classes ("Film Criticism and Semiology" or some such title). Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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Ahh, I can see it now:

*?Treasure of the Sierra Madr? Club?*

Joan Crawford, as Frederica C. Dobbs

Marjorie Main, as Hortense

Janet Leigh, as Curtrina

Joan Bennett, as Codina

Katy Jurado, as La Bandita

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I'm not going to try to speak for Miswonderly (she does great on her own!), but the point about a female is how it might of enhanced the box office appeal to more people. Often a studio will add a sexy female to a movie even when the source material doesn't call for one.

So say there was a sexy women that was Bogie's gal went along with the 3 and it caused even more tension between Bogie and Holt because she flirts with Holt. i.e. his friend isn't just trying to steal all his gold but his women as well!!!

Don't get me wrong; I'm NOT saying this would of improved the movie but it might of improved the box office take. Remember the movie was a major disapointment at the box office and since it was shot on location it wasn't that cheap to make.

As I said before Huston had to fight Jack Warner hard to ensure Bogie died at the end. So my guess is that Jack wanted a women in the picture as well as a way to attract a larger fan base..

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I think you're probably right about old Jack Warner. In many ways, Huston sabotaged the commercial value of his projects because he had his own notions about artistic merit. And he held on to those beliefs all the way up to THE DEAD.

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I had more thoughts about this...with regards to the absent female role in SIERRA MADRE:

This is a form of gender exclusivity in movies. It is also present in Cukor's THE WOMEN. That's why I prefer the remake with June Allyson and Joan Collins, titled THE OPPOSITE SEX (appropriate title in more ways than one), because we get to see the husbands and the male point of view as well as that of the women. It's a much more balanced, fairer exploration of the theme (in that case, the end of a marriage). Just seeing it from one angle limits a film and also limits its potential audience.

Now, if it were a suspense thriller/noir where we are supposed to be in the dark (literally) and we are supposed to be denied certain points of view to increase the tension and drama, that's one thing...but for a scriptwriter to deliberately omit an entire gender in the telling of a story seems incomplete and irresponsible.

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I agree, ClassicViewer, what on earth [i]does[/i] the word "semiology" mean, which is why I put it the way I did, I quote myself: "Film Criticism and Semiology" [i]or some such title"[/i] I honestly can't remember exactly what the course was called. From what I recall , "semiology" or "semiotics" , meaning, more or less, "signs", is just a more pretentious word for symbolism. I did not want to appear pretentious (something I'm happy to say is almost completely lacking in these forums), which is why, after I mentioned the name of the film course, I added, "or some such title".


As for the lack of female representation in *The Treasure of the Sierra Madre*, I would even hesitate to use the word "representation", because there is no reason for females to be represented in it. It's an adventure movie (albeit a very philosophical one) about three men who decide to go mining for gold, They are in the wilderness. Why would there be any women around, especially back then, when it would have been a very unusual thing for a woman to join them in their expedition? It would have felt forced, added on . I can imagine a filmmaker doing that [i]now[/i], if only for political correctness.
You state: "It's a much more balanced, fairer exploration of the theme ". Now to be fair to you, you were speaking of *The Women* and its remake, so your points concerning the presence or absence of women in those films is absolutely relevant. But to extend this idea of "fairness" in representing both gendres in every movie seems to me overly politically correct and unrealistic. To reiterate: There's just no reason to have a female character in *Treasure of the Sierra Madre* . This coming from a female who is often bored with movies with no female characters.

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 10, 2010 12:44 PM

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Note that part of the plot of the The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was that it was very hard for the two younger guys to make it on the trip and the 'old man' was a lot stronger than them at the start (e.g. when going up the mountain). In a later scene the old man comments that the young guys are now strong (from all the hard work) and he wouldn't even attempt to mess with them now.

Now I'm NOT saying a women couldn't be strong, but as you noted it would of looked very forced for a women (and of couse she would be a thin, good looking gal, this being Hollywood of the 40s), to 'tag along' on that type of trip.

Now with The Women, there were a lot of logical parts men could of played (duh), but to me men would of messed with the entire theme of the movie; How women react to EACH OTHER, with regards to men and especially men that play around. All men would of done is taken from this focus on 'EACH OTHER' and to me that is what makes this movie work.

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

> Just seeing it from one angle limits a film and also limits its potential audience.

There aren?t any women along on the gold-mining trip in the original book.

The theaters probably showed a woman?s movie as a second feature, to balance everything out. That was common in movies in those days.

There were plenty of war movies with no women, back in the ?40s and ?50s, and they were paired with love-story movies as double-features, to get everyone into the theaters.

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