ClassicViewer

LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

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

> 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.

 

You mean you want a bunch of women on the Pequod? Even though women never went whale hunting?

 

You want a bunch of women in the film so they can make comments about the interaction between the men? That doesn?t make any sense.

 

That sounds like a quota film. Let?s put some Africans on board the Pequod, and some Asians, a couple of cripple people, two or three gays, some Jews too. We?ll remake ?Moby Dick? as a ?People?s Republic of Hollywood? film. Oh, and, uhh, I think maybe we?ll need to change the whale?s name too. :)

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I am saying that Huston could've left MOBY DICK to a female director who might've brought a different dimension to it, and he could've gone off and had a change of pace with the remake of THE WOMEN. So that when he does do a more ensemble picture like BEAT THE DEVIL, he has learned to tell it from both vantage points.

 

My favorite Huston film in terms of diversity is THE MISFITS...we have two women who really hold their own with the men (Monroe and Ritter) and we also have a gay actor (Monty Clift) playing a vulnerable, more method-esque cowboy...in this film, Huston is not able to make another stereotypical male buddy flick.

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

> I am saying that Huston could've left MOBY DICK to a female director who might've brought a different dimension to it,

 

The main ?dimension? in this film ? and in the original story ? is the one person?s obsessiveness. He went mad brooding over a danged fish that got away. Let that be a warning to all of us about excessive obsessiveness.

 

There were plenty of women?s ?obsession? movies, and mixed men & women ?obsession? movies, such as ?Ossessione? (1943). There are plenty of movies available, and plenty of obsession movies. Go to the ones you like and don?t go to the ones you don?t like, but don?t try to put women on whaling ships.

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

>

> My favorite Huston film in terms of diversity is THE MISFITS...

 

I never watch movies because of ?diversity?. I hate that word.

 

If I want to see a movie about classical Japanese times, I watch a Kurosawa movie about samurai times. I don?t want any ?diversity? in it, and I don't want any white guys in it. I want only Japanese in it.

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I really think the reason ANNIE doesn't connect with its audience like it should is because Huston is unable to effectively tell a story with a female as the central character. That is one film that Cukor should've directed instead of Huston.

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*?The Male Bonding of the Sierra Madre?*

 

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?I know where we can go where there aren?t any women at all within fifty miles of the place. No Molly Haskells and no Haskell Mollys. There aren?t any women there because it?s hot and dusty, and there?s not a beauty parlor within a hundred miles. There aren?t any stores to shop in, and no one there takes any credit cards.

 

Now that?s a place where a few guys can get together and do some real male bonding. And while we?re there, we can scratch a little gold out of the ground and come back better off than before we went there.

 

All these dames around Tampico want money, and we don?t have any money. No sir. I say let?s leave Tampico right now and go out into the wilderness and do some male bonding, pick up a little gold, and then when we come back to Tampico, we?ll have some money to spend on these Mexican se?oritas.?

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

> I really think the reason ANNIE doesn't connect with its audience like it should is because Huston is unable to effectively tell a story with a female as the central character.

 

?Annie? was just an awful boring movie. Like ?Oliver?.

 

I prefer the old ?40s versions of those kinds of films.

 

You know what you need to be? You?re like me, you need to be a Studio Head calling the shots, so you can run your studio the way you see fit. :)

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There was diversity among whaling crews, both in fact and in the novel. I don't

know if this was carried over into the movie, but, in general, Hollywood is the

last place to get historical accuracy. As for "cripples", well that one was already

taken care of.

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In Beat The Devil the focus of the movie is more around the actions of Jennifer Jones than anyone else. She is key to most of the plot lines (e.g. her lies are what get her husband and Bogie in hot water).

 

I still don't agree at all with your POV with regards to what would make a director sexist. I'm not saying Huston wasn't (I assume like most men of the era he was sexist if judged by today's standards), but the example of Beat the Devil isn't a good one and either is the point about having to make every movie that shows the POV of the other sex, even when it would be forced and illogical.

 

PS: Everyone's work is slanted. They are human beings.

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I don't think it has to forcefully show the POV of the other sex, but it does need to consider it and evidence of that needs to be in the film. The example of LITTLE WOMEN (1994) that I gave yesterday really illustrates this...the director is a woman, and she's definitely a feminist, but she does not delete out the father...she does not tell the film from his point of view, but she does show him as a contributing factor in the lives of the girls. I don't think Huston ever took the women's contributions into account when he was making those buddy action flicks and capers. He could easily have shown flashbacks of them recounting scenes with the women in their lives, while they were out in the desert hunting for gold...one of the men could easily have suffered from delirium and seen the mirage of a woman...Huston could've added that, even if it was not present in the book...but clearly, he's not interested in representing that...he wants to show these men isolated from the rest of civilization and women folk. He should've made prison dramas or stories of homosexuals where logically we would not find many women.

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ClassicViewer, it seems to me that you're arguing for a conscious effort on the part of filmmakers to include both genders' points-of-view in their work. They "could have" had a flashback scene with a former girlfriend etc. But, with respect, I don't think art works that way, not even commercial art like movie-making. When someone's writing, whether it's a book or a screenplay, if they're "inspired" or at least following some kind of muse, they don't stop and think, "Wait a minute...I don't have enough female (or male) characters in this to represent their perspective. Hmm, no problem, I'll throw in a scene with the lead's fiance, and give her a speech offering the women's perspective on war (gold mining, hunting...)"

That would be artificial, strained and self-conscious. I think if a writer or filmmaker has ever done that, it must have resulted in a very mediocre book or film.

One can't be consciously throwing "everyone's" take on things into the mix like that - it just doesn't "work". (In my humble opinion, as everyone around here always says.)

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You bring up a valid point about writers and their muses. But I do think that when a writer is going through the editing stage, the writer considers how many subgroups are being represented...because competing groups will bring more natural conflicts into the story. If the writer does not do that, then it's left to the publisher, or the Hollywood producer. The goal is to ensure artistic quality and also increase a property's commercial appeal, even in a niche market.

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WAIT UNTIL DARK...Have you seen this movie? I am sure the Audrey Hepburn completists have, but it's not one of her more well-known. I have to admit I was blown away by some of the scenes. First, tis rather strange to see Audrey doing a horror-suspense thriller..and it's even more shocking to see her play a blind woman. But the character is not an invalid and Audrey really channels a lot of strength and courage into the performance. She was Oscar nominated for this spine-tingler, and it was well-deserved. She is supported by some fabulous actors, like Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

 

BEND OF THE RIVER. I thought this was going to be a routine oater and boy was I wrong! I should've known since it was helmed by Anthony Mann. I don't find it as dark as some of Mann's other films, but there are some somber themes in this story. James Stewart tends to over-act in parts, but he is well-balanced by the natural, effortless acting of Julie Adams and Arthur Kennedy. The scenery is gorgeous in this Technicolor western, and so is a young Rock Hudson at the beginning of his career. Henry 'Harry' Morgan is also on hand in a rather good character role for him, and there's even Frances Bavier, in her days before playing Aunt Bee on Andy Griffith's sitcom.

 

THAT DARN CAT...I admit, I just really love that darn movie. The archetypes are well drawn in this comedy caper and it has such an appealing array of lead and character actors (from Dean Jones & Hayley Mills to Elsa Lanchester, William Demarest & Ed Wynn). Some of the scenes drag on a bit, and it's never made clear why the crooks took a hostage. But most of the bits are clever, the cat is precious, and the cast seems to be having a great time. Sure, it's dated and you can easily tell it was made in the mid-60s, but that sort of adds to its charm.

 

THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR...I didn't know Lana Turner and Richard Burton ever made a film together. Now I know. Obviously, their acting styles are very different, but it works. This is a lush Fox melodrama, and there are some great special effects during the sequence depicting the deluge. I like how the weather scenes were not drowned out by dramatic music...instead, we hear the water and the extras gasping and running for cover, which adds to the emotional intensity. Fred MacMurray and Joan Caulfield are on hand to offer nice support.

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Ok, I think I found a dame that could have been in ?Treasure of the Sierra Madre?:

 

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Somewhat surprisingly, I liked all three TCM movies I saw last week: Gentleman Jim, A Tale of Two Cities (1935 version) and the Reinhardt/Dieterle A Midsummer's Night Dream. But the movie I liked most last week was "Werckmeister Harmonies." The movie I liked least was "Dogville."

 

As for this week I don't know whether I will dislike more "Election" (which I saw last yesterday) and "The Barbarian Invasions" (which I hope to see Saturday.)

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Just curious... you said:

"As for this week I don't know whether I will dislike more "Election" (which I saw last yesterday) and "The Barbarian Invasions"

Does that mean you have not yet seen *The Barbarian Invasions* but assume you will dislike it? Or, you've seen it, but a while ago, so you're giving it another chance?

 

Actually, I like both those films. I thought *Election* was very funny, and *The Barbarian Invasions* insightful and moving.

...can't say I blame you for disliking *Dogville*, though. You'd have to pay me to watch it again.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 19, 2010 10:33 PM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 19, 2010 10:34 PM

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It's been a little while since I last commented on this thread. Among the ones I viewed recently:

 

THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. Though I must say that Ethel's over-the-top acting style does get to be a bit too much at times, I think she's a fabulous singer. She's one of the best vocalists on film, ever. One tiny problem I had with the film is that I felt there was a bias in favor of Marilyn, Fox's reigning queen. Scenes with Monroe give a generous amount of close-ups of her. But scenes with the other characters when she is absent from the action are devoid of close-ups. I think we should have an intimate relationship with all the characters in the story, not just Marilyn's.

 

OVERLAND PACIFIC. I'm a fan of B-westerns. This film was very interesting. It documents the struggle to build a railroad and how the whites are just as brutal as the natives. It seemed liked an early stab at political correctness in 50s cinema. I also like Jock Mahoney (he's credited as Jack Mahoney this time). And another thing I really liked is that when there was a brawl on the street and they brushed up against a building or a railing, we could see dust fly. A lot of westerns are too clean; but the reality is that these old west towns are dirty and dusty.

 

PIN UP GIRL. It receives only two stars on my cable guide. And I have to agree. It was satisfying and highly entertaining in parts but it was not as great as I expected. Grable is charming as always. But the actor to watch in this one was Eugene Pallette. The veteran character actor just knows how to spin a line. He can take a lackluster piece of dialogue and make it fun and interesting. Another thing I noticed while watching this movie is how run-of-the-mill some songs seemed. Not every tune from the big band era was a smash hit (unless you were the Andrews Sisters). It's like now when we listen to the latest pop songs...not every track will be enjoyable to the ear of someone seventy years from now. This was probably my *least favorite* movie this week, because I was expecting more.

 

My *most favorite* selection was DECOY. It's issued on a disc with Sterling Hayden's CRIME WAVE (from Warners). However, since the film was originally produced by Pathe/Monogram, I thought the production values might be cheap or the print not in pristine condition. I could not have been more wrong. The print has been beautifully restored, and while it was definitely shot on a limited budget, it doesn't look any cheaper than most film noir from that period. Jean Gillie, the British actress who makes her American film debut in this picture, is sensational. She gives a great performance as the ultimate femme fatale. Sheldon Leonard is on hand as one of the good guys this time, and as she spills her story to him, we really do get drawn into the action. There were so many little memorable scenes and images in this film. And as Dick Cavett says in a featurette interview, the story is about how the dead get the last laugh. And it's also about the extreme lengths to which a greedy person will go. I don't think there's ever been another film quite like it. And even if you're not a die-hard fan of film noir, Jean Gillie is gorgeous to look at...what a shame her life was tragically cut short three years later...she would've been amazing in other roles and other kinds of pictures, like musicals and screwball comedies.

 

I had to force myself to sit down and watch CLAUDINE. The picture, starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones in 1974, has been airing frequently on Fox Movie Channel. Carroll was nominated for an Oscar, and she's excellent. She plays a welfare mother in a role that is a far cry from her ultra-chic, insanely rich character on the 80s soap DYNASTY. She seems to have had a sporadic film career and it's a shame because I'm sure she would've been good at so many roles. Jones is good in his pre-Darth Vadar days. But the film sort of annoyed me. I felt like they were trying too hard to show how responsible black people can be. They confronted nearly every racial stereotype and the dialogue often used derogatory words spoken about blacks by blacks. Were they trying to earn points with white audiences? I didn't get the goal of this story. I would much rather have seen them celebrating their culture and overcoming the financial hardships that occur with any demographic. I guess this film was made during the era of TV's GOOD TIMES. But I did not exactly have a good time watching it.

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

>

>

> My *most favorite* selection was DECOY. It's issued on a disc with Sterling Hayden's CRIME WAVE (from Warners). However, since the film was originally produced by Pathe/Monogram, I thought the production values might be cheap or the print not in pristine condition. I could not have been more wrong. The print has been beautifully restored, and while it was definitely shot on a limited budget, it doesn't look any cheaper than most film noir from that period. Jean Gillie, the British actress who makes her American film debut in this picture, is sensational. She gives a great performance as the ultimate femme fatale. Sheldon Leonard is on hand as one of the good guys this time, and as she spills her story to him, we really do get drawn into the action. There were so many little memorable scenes and images in this film. And as Dick Cavett says in a featurette interview, the story is about how the dead get the last laugh. And it's also about the extreme lengths to which a greedy person will go. I don't think there's ever been another film quite like it. And even if you're not a die-hard fan of film noir, Jean Gillie is gorgeous to look at...what a shame her life was tragically cut short three years later...she would've been amazing in other roles and other kinds of pictures, like musicals and screwball comedies.

 

 

You may remember I mentioned this film on another thread. SPOILER ALERT

 

What did you think of that bizarre idea, of bringing the man who'd been executed, gassed to death, back to life? I found the scene in which the (reluctant) doctor uses his medical arts -wasn't there an antidote involved, or something? - to not just revive, more like resurrect, this former gang leader eerie adnd disturbing. It's such a strange scene, reminiscent of *Frankenstein* or some other mad scientist film in which the doctor/scientist is playing God. And those witnessing this are not in the least awed, nor are they curious about what , if anything, it was like to be "dead" for a few hours. They have no questions about that for the person brought back to life, the only question they have is "where are the goods?"

 

It's a very unusual movie.

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I couldn't remember which thread we had previously discussed DECOY. Yes, that scene was a trip. So was the scene in which she runs the guy over with the car. And the other scene where she shoots the man out in the forest then laughs about it.

 

The characters did not have a conscience and could not be bothered to philosophize about life or death. I thought it was ironic that the man they resurrected from the gas chamber doesn't live much longer anyway.

 

It was still a great flick and the imagery was very powerful. It starts off with a bang (literally) when the locked box is blown open as the credits get underway.

 

It's definitely a cult classic. And I think it blurs the line between film noir and horror in a most interesting way.

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Yes, it's a very weird movie indeed. But I, too, like it. When you said "it was still a great flick.." I'm not sure what you meant, because I think it's "a great flick" partly because of all those strange scenes, not in spite of them.

 

You're right, the irony of killing the very man they'd gone to so much trouble to bring back to life just a few minutes after he'd been revived is lost on the greedy woman and her co-horts. As you said, not even the doctor can be bothered to philosophize . He's too besotted with Jean Gillie to worry too much about ethics (although he's the only one who pays lip service to morality.)

 

The Jean Gillie character is downright evil, even more fatale than "Cathy" in *Out of the Past*. She's beyond a femme fatale, actually, she's almost psychotic. Good performance from this actress.

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Yes, I thought Jean Gillie's performance was right on the money. She could've really chewed the scenery with it and gone overboard, but she didn't. A lesser actress would've ruined it.

 

She only made one more film after this in the U.S., something with Gregory Peck called THE MACOMBER AFFAIR. Joan Bennett was billed over her, however.

 

Since she came out of the gate playing such a hard-edged character in her first Hollywood picture, it may've been difficult to cast her. I don't think audiences would have found anything warm or sympathetic about her screen persona. And I don't see her as a studio contractee doing typical programmers. Yet it's interesting to speculate how her career may've turned out with roles in the 50s and 60s.

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I like the show that was on TCM yesterday afternoon about Myrna Loy. Kathleen Turner was talking about her and her movies. Can not remember what it was called but it was cool because there are some silent films that I have not seen with Myrna Loy and I didnt know that she was John Dillinger's favorite actress. That is my fav of the week in case anyone was wondering.

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