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About CarlDenham

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  1. I first saw this film when I was ten years old, having learned of it through being an avid fan of Godzilla movies. Go figure, right? And as such an avid fan of Toho's classic fantasy genre, I had no trouble at such an early age, watching subtitled movies. Anyway, I was blown away, and have never looked back. To this day, along with Hitchcock's Rear Window, Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai is my favorite film ever.
  2. When it comes to great directors like Ford, Hitchcock, Kubrick, etc. their best work often seems to be divided into two categories; example being, Alfred Hitchcock's BEST film is, say, Rear Window, but the best HITCHCOCK film is Vertigo, if that makes any sense. As far as John Ford is concerned, I'd say his best films are Stagecoach, The Quiet Man, Fort Apache, The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath and They Were Expendable. However, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance exist apart from the rest as personal artistic achievements. They are the purest expression of Ford's beliefs as a filmmaker, storyteller and human being. Edited by: CarlDenham on Dec 29, 2012 10:00 PM
  3. I am pretty fond of saying "In life, you can either be a Marlon Brando, or a James Dean; the genuine article, or a really good poser". It's a philosophy that I believe in very much, and considering the fact that there is not one person in my life who understands or shares my passion for films in general, I can pretty much get away with it anytime I want. As far as the actors themselves are concerned, it says something significant about both. Either the talent to be a great actor is something you were born with, like Brando, or it's something that you aspire to, and spend you're career trying to perfect, like James Dean. Even Kazan said he didn't think much of Dean's talents, and much of the legend that arose in his wake is based on the idealized version of himself that he stubbornly devoted himself to on-screen and off. Marlon Brando, on the other hand, had the gift that every aspiring actor hopes they have, and rarely do. It's like the difference between...I don't know, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. One can actually sing, while the other has to rely on how her feeble vocal rhythms are biologically constructed. I know, a pathetic analogy, but no less comparative.
  4. Let's see, I may not be as well-researched in westerns as I am with suspense, and drama, however, I've ALWAYS been a western fan. Ever since my old man called me into the living room to watch True Grit, when I was about eight years old. So, with that in mind, these are a few of my personal favorites... The Searchers Rio Bravo Stagecoach Unforgiven The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance High Noon The Sons of Katie Elder El Dorado Tombstone Red River Fort Apache ...uhh, lol! I've seen alot more westerns than this, but these are the ones that spring to mind at the moment. Yeah, John Ford and Howard Hawks pretty-much dominate the top spots, with a few others sprinkled about.
  5. Revision, 19 of February, 2012 ('cuz, well you know, these change all the time, right lol!): 1. The Seven Samurai (1954) Dir. Akira Kurosawa (AND Rashomon (1951) Dir. Akira Kurosawa) 2. The Third Man (1949) Dir. Carol Reed 3. Metropolis (1927) Dir. Fritz Lang 4. Vertigo (1958) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock 5. Citizen Kane (1941) Dir. Orson Welles 6. Sunset Boulevard (1950) Dir. Billy Wilder 7. Casablanca (1942) Dir. Michael Curtiz 8. The Searchers (1957) Dir. John Ford 9. The Godfather (1972) Dir. Francis Ford Coppola 10. Rear Window (1954) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock I came to the conclusion, over the weekend, that atleast to my own, personal preference, Hitchcock may be the greatest director of all, however, it was Akira Kurosawa who made TWO of the most remarkable films that I have ever seen. That is why The Seven Samurai and Rashomon share the top spot.
  6. Okay, I'm brave enough tonight lol! These are ten film that I really admire best, and that I would make the strongest case for... 1. The Seven Samurai 2. The Third Man 3. Metropolis 4. Vertigo 5. Citizen Kane 6. Sunset Boulevard 7. Casablanca 8. The Searchers 9. The Godfather 10. Rear Window That is probably the best "top ten" list that I can think of, as far as it pertains to "all-time greatest" films that I've seen. The Godfather, being the most recent film on my list, is still an undeniable front-runner for me. And Hitchcock has always been my "all-time greatest" director champion, so Rear Window and Vertigo represent some of the finest filmmaking that I have personally experienced. If you're wondering what films are just outside the top ten, they are... Gone With the Wind, Twelve Angry Men, 8 1/2, Raging Bull, On the Waterfront, It's A Wonderful Life, King Kong, Schindler's List, Rashomon, The Big Sleep, Singin' In The Rain, Dr. Strangelove...
  7. Yeah, Bela's accent was as much an invaluble asset to his acting arsenal, as it limted the kinds of roles he could play. It was necessary to dub him for his dual-role in Dark Eyes of London. Hey, atleast they gave him the chance to play both roles himself. They could have just created two different characters all-together, but instead they thought enough of Bela to present him with the kind of acting challenge that he VERY rarely ever got in his career. The British seem to treat Lugosi very well when he "hopped across the pond" in the thirties. They respected him. The Phantom Ship aka The Mystery of the Mary Celeste is by no means, a classic, but it's still a well-furnished, "respectable" British production, that was actually quite a hit in England at the time. Bela is a true revelation in this film. Dark Eyes of London is also pretty well-regarded among fans of thirties horror films, atleast in relation to the Poverty Row stuff it is often mistaken for.
  8. Murders in the Rue Morgue has always existed on a very slippery slope among horror movie buffs. While I do feel that it has always been unjustly underrated, I understand the arugments against it. Robert Florey deliberately paces his film, so that we get a really good look at all the bizarre settings and brilliant Karl Fruend fogs. The love interests are merely tolerable, and while Sydney Fox is pretty damn-sexy, her performance certainly doesn't do much to validate her auspicious, top-billing over Bela Lugosi, who is clearly the whole show here! Who knows, right? Bela would become, tragically well-accustomed to this kind of treatment through-out his career. This was one of the few, "quality-productions", atleast from a prestige stand-point that Lugosi ever made, and he received virtually no backing from the studio he had helped save, one year-prior, with his success in Dracula. Karloff had the whole studio promoting his genius, and Murders in the Rue Morgue became sort of a footnote in annals of Universal horror.
  9. Lugosi just moves me to tears in The Black Cat! This really is the best film he ever did. And the great thing is, the film is as much of a showcase for Karloff as it was for Lugosi's raw intensity, under Edgar Ulmer's visonary influence. Ulmer may or may not have thought much of Lugosi's uniquely theatrical style. Who knows, right? There aren't any quotes that I've read, other than the ones where he refers to "cutting away, to cut him down". In any event, he knew how to film and direct Lugosi in a way that eccentuated his best qualities. In a movie where Karloff represents the ultimate Lucifer, Bela is the moral force we identify with, and sympathize for. He truly appears heroic at the end, even after sadistically skinning Karloff alive! Very few directors ever even tried to "direct" Lugosi, which is, I think, one of the many, varied reasons Bela's career was, essentially doomed from the start. Nobody in the nineteen-thirties really knew what to make of this weird, exotic foreigner, who was so intense in real-life, it always seemed as if he was playing "Dracula" over and over again. Atleast in films like The Black Cat, The Body Snatcher, Island of Lost Souls and especially Son of Frankenstein, we got to see that Bela Lugosi was not only a star, and a horror icon, but certainly alot more talented than he ever got credit for being in his lifetime.
  10. As I sit here at my computer, I am simultaneously watching Bela Lugosi's opening monologue in Murders in the Rue Morgue. I remember when I was little, I would try to mimic that great scene! Bela really knocks that scene out of the park.
  11. LUGOSI!!! Bela, The Great!!! One of my all-time favorite actors, and simply one of the most entertaining to watch. He had such technique and charisma; such presence and extremely charming, even when he was being evil. And for once, we get a line-up of Lugosi films that rank as some of his finest work. I'm a huge fan of Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat and Island of Lost Souls, both as movies and as showcases for the unique talents of one, unjustly underrated (in his time) Bela Lugosi. There are many actors of both past and present that I admire greatly, but the great horror icons of early Hollywood are the ones I always seem to adamently make a case for, and Lugosi is the one whose talents of an actor always seem to come under question, especially when compared to his on-screen rival, KARLOFF, THE UNCANNY. To my taste, they were both really great actors, and when they got together (as in The Black Cat), it was pure movie magic. And Lon Chaney (Sr.)...well, he's simply the greatest actor who ever lived... I'm so happy that TCM is giving Bela the prime spot in their line-up tonight!
  12. Everything about this movie surprised me by how authentic it seemed! Even though the Bastogne forest is a set, Wellman did an excellent job of obscuring that fact, as did the performers. This film must have been such a feather in MGM's proverbial cap. To my knowledge, Louie B. Mayer and company weren't necessarily in the habit of making war films such as this. But yes, I agree, this film looked and sounded very realisitc.
  13. So...what do y'all say? This has to be one of my very favorite war movies. Wellman does an excellent job of isolating those characters in an eerie, snow-covered fog of uncertainty. Behind every corner could be a potential enemy movement. It's expertly well-written as well. Very few war films of the time have Battleground's brand of gritty realism. Steven Spielberg must have watched this film a few times while preparing for Saving Private Ryan. The "Band of Brothers" quality of his film is very similar to the chemistry shared by Van Johnson, James Whitmore, John Hodiak and company, and obviously, the concept of being surrounded and digging in to defend themselves must have appealed to him immensely, as must have the actual historical event. Another thing that is extremely effective is the lack of a proper musical score. It really serves to drive home the fact that these men are completely isolated. Anyway, what is the general consensus among classic movie fans about William Wellman's Battleground?
  14. My favorites...not a serious list, mind you. Not setting anything in stone here, but these are the ones I like alot. Lon Chaney Humphrey Bogart Marlon Brando James Stewart Claude Rains Charlie Chaplin Cary Grant Bela Lugosi John Wayne Orson Welles
  15. Top 10 FAVORITES for me, as I'm not brave enough to pick ten films and say they are the greatest ever made...come to think of it, my list of FAVORITES is long and varied. However, as I sit here, these ten (eleven...twelve lol!) are tops for me... The Seven Samurai Rear Window Sunset Boulevard Dracula Casablanca The Roaring Twenties The Unknown King Kong The Third Man Twelve Angry Men Vertigo Rashomon Stagecoach Run Silent, Run Deep The Black Cat Yeah, I cheated...sue me lol! And I know there aren't many major revelations here. But these are just some of the films that I really like. Edited by: CarlDenham on Jan 8, 2012 9:38 PM
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