ClassicViewer

LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

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Well, in THE WOMEN, I was talking about the absence of men, which is corrected in the remake.

 

As for SIERRA MADRE, there don't have to be women during the actual outdoor scenes...but the story does begin in a town, I think...and surely, we could have seen an extended cameo role by a popular leading actress, who comments on the men going off to look for gold.

 

I am not trying to take the notion of political correctness to the extreme...but rather I am looking at the marketability of a film. When a guy takes his girl to a chick flick, he does want to see some male characters so he can identify with something on the screen...and when a girl goes to see a war film or an action film with her man, she wants to see some chick up on the screen representing her point of view, even if it's in a minor role. This applies to kids films...there has to be some parent or adult figure at least in the background of the plot.

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Wow, great point! Since today we buy a ticket for a single show (when did that become the norm??), I didn't think about how the pairing of movies and the entire concept of 'A' and 'B' pictures, had such an impact to the movie experience, but of course it did.

 

Do you know who decided the movie pairings? Was it the theaters or did the studios have a hand in it? e.g. would a theater show 2 movies from different studios (of course after the law that prevented studios from owning theaters)? Man, now you got me thinking about something I never considered before.

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James,

I have to sort of disagree about how the inclusion of male characters would take the focus off THE WOMEN. I am assuming you have not seen the remake, THE OPPOSITE SEX, which blends the men into the story very well without disrupting the bonding of the female characters. That proves it can be done.

 

But also, to use your point, I recently watched the 94 version of LITTLE WOMEN (starring Susan Sarandon and Wynona Ryder). In this film which is clearly a feminist reworking of Alcott's classic, the girls' father actually gets more screen time than in the previous versions of 33 & 49. There is one extended scene after he comes back from the war where he just stands next to Sarandon's Marmee...he has no dialogue and I don't even think he gets a close-up...but he's definitely in the shot and definitely part of the scene and the March girls' activities. It's just the focus is not on him, it's on the girls. This proves that a smart director does not have to cut out an entire gender in order to make a film more 'pure' and that including the opposite sex is not necessarily going to dilute the focus on the same-sex relationships in the picture.

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In the ?30s, ?40s, and early ?50s, nearly all films were double features. There were only a few special exceptions, such as the long epics like ?Gone With the Wind? and ?Quo Vadis?.

 

Some of the longer special epics also charged a little more for the theater tickets, with the excuse being ?this big epic movie cost a lot more to make?.

 

Originally, the big theater chains were the main ?business? part of the film industry, with the big ?money men? being ?back East?. They financed the films. The studios only made them. The theater chain owners called a lot of shots, based on how many tickets they sold.

 

A studio head was put in place to run the studios specifically to give the ?money men? back East the films that drew in the biggest audiences.

 

Double features were the rule until well into the 1950s, and that is why movies were shorter in the ?30s and ?40s, since everyone expected a double feature.

 

Both the big theater chain owners and the small independent theater owners all wanted double features that would bring in the biggest audiences, so usually a gangster picture or a cowboy movie was balanced with a love story, to get in the men and the women, and often some ?action? stuff was added for the little boys, and some sweet love stuff for the little girls, so the entire family would go to the movies.

 

The independent theaters would show main movies, but usually some weeks or months after they had shown in major chain theaters. Or, they would show new B and C movies while the local big chain theaters were showing top new A and B movies.

 

I lived in both big and small towns as a kid, and when I was in a small town I would hear something about a major new big movie, and my father would often say, ?It won?t come here for six more months.? Sometimes we would drive 50 to 100 miles to a big city just to see a big new first-run movie.

 

So I?m reasonably sure that Sierra Madre ran with a second feature that would have been of interest to the ladies.

 

Ladies would endure ?all men? movies, since they liked looking at and listening to men, and men would endure ?all women? movies (such as the all-nurse WW II movies) because we also enjoyed watching and listening to women. I?ve always loved all those old all-nurse movies, as well as all-men war movies and cowboy movies.

 

Seems that I recall, toward the end of the ?50s, more new movies were single-film showings of films that lasted about 2 hours. If they were shorter the theaters would throw in a cartoon and a newsreel. If they were longer there might not be a cartoon or newsreel.

 

In the old days, a night at the movies lasted as long as 3 hours, with 2 short features, a cartoon and a short, and sometimes a newsreel too.

 

If you look at the film ?Three on a Match?, you will see a very interesting and action packed short movie. Only 63 minutes long, but a very good film with a lot of man/woman stuff in it, and some gangsters and a little kid and some teenagers. This was a movie for the whole family.

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Dobbs says to Ilsa:

 

?Well, Ilsa, it?s a long story... After I left Casablanca with Captain Renault, we were pursued

by Nazi agents all around North Africa and Arabia. I got arrested by the French and they put

me on Devil?s Island for a while. I escaped and I moved to San Francisco where I became a

private detective. But someone killed my wife and I was sent to San Quentin for it. I escaped

again and I fled to Peru.

 

I kept changing my name everywhere I went. Then I wound up down and out in Tampico. Some

old coot talked me into trying to mine for gold, and that?s how I wound up here.

 

How is Victor doing??

 

2r27odd.jpg

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Man you are a hoot! Love how you placed Paulette Goddard (right?), in with Bogie and Holt.

 

Thanks for the info. Of course I have seen 3 on a Match since Bette and Bogie are some of my favorite. Very good short movie and Ann Dvorak (underrated) and Joan Blondell also shine.

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I'm not saying that a good screen writer or director cannot successfully include the other gender in a plot that centers around one gender, but that often this gender mixing is forced on those artists by studio heads not in the interest of making a better picture but only to ensure a better box office. Most of the time this cheapens the work.

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Part of the problem is that Huston has become such a demigod in film circles that people are afraid to openly criticize his directing.

 

I know that others are filtering a discussion about SIERRA MADRE and Huston thru their own perspective, but I am just going to come right out and say it:

 

I feel that Huston is a sexist director and I have very little respect for his philosophies...I can admire his technical skill, but that's it.

 

MOBY DICK has sixteen, count them sixteen, male leads and not one female. It is too convenient for this director to choose projects that only focus on male bonding.

 

At least John Ford was not afraid to look at the other side of the coin, as was the case with SEVEN WOMEN.

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*Actually, it's Ingrid Bergman.*

 

Actually, there is a picture of Dobbsy with Paulette and one with Ingrid.

 

FredC,

 

I loved the 'talk" between Dobbsy and Ilsa!

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

> Oops! I figured it out last minute. I was going to delete my post. As you can tell, I'm new here. Sorry.

 

No problem. We all try to have fun here, and we were all new here once. :)

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

> FredC,

>

> I loved the 'talk" between Dobbsy and Ilsa!

 

 

Thanks. That worked out pretty good, huh. I looked up the sequence of his films and I tried to make up sentences that sounded like him talking.

 

His voice was so great to listen to, no matter what he said.

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I'm not going to critize Huston for his focus on male bonding and 'manly' issues in many of his movies, anymore than I would Cukor for his focus on women issues in his movies. As we all know Cukor was great with actresses (e.g. He directed many of the women only scenes in Gone With The Wind).

 

What do you find sexist about a movie like The African Queen? Both leads where 'backwards' when it comes to love and the Kate character was indeed a strong women and when Bogie wanted to fight the germans alone, Kate insisted she come along. That doesn't sound sexist to me.

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I think Kate works with Huston because she's a tomboy at heart, but Huston's forte is not working with starlets...in BEAT THE DEVIL, again the focus is more on the men and the women (Gina L & Jennifer J) are merely decorative or hindrances to the main plot.

 

I think it is definitely sexist when a director is unwilling or unable to tell a story from the point of view of the other sex. I find Cukor's work to be very slanted in this regard, too.

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