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pktrekgirl

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Posts posted by pktrekgirl

  1. Movies I have a really difficult time watching are films about the Holocaust. The horror of the death camps is, frankly, too difficult to contemplate at times, because the behavior of not only Hitler but of the SS, the Gestapo...the prison camp guards, etc absolutely defies even the most loose definition of the word 'humanity'. And I cannot fathom in my mind how these individuals rationalized their actions at the time.

     

    I simply cannot emotionally accept the utter scope of the thing. I mean, it's bad enough when one man goes crazy and slaughters people for no reason. But when you have a whole COUNTRY full of people who are willing to participate in the systematic rounding up and cruel and dehumanizing extermination of millions of innocent people, it is just too much for my mind to take in. I mean, they didn't just kill them. They humiliated them first. In the most inhuman ways possible. Making them strip naked and marching them into gas chambers...what kind of human being can rationally participate in such an action and call themselves a member of the human race?

     

    And because of this, the most difficult movie scenes for me to watch are in films like Schindler's List, for example - the ones involving Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth. Egads, what a dreadful individual!

     

    When I watch such scenes, my mind just rebels - it just won't handle the implications of what such behavior means in terms of defining what human beings are capable of.

     

    Other scenes which evoke similar responses are the scenes of betrayal in war. Though not nearly on the scale that Holocaust films effect me, films which involve utter betrayal on the part of someone who is supposedly your comrade in arms are difficult to watch. For example, In *Platoon*, when Tom Berenger's character leaves Willem daFoe's character to die on the battlefield in Vietnam - INTENTIONALLY having the helicopter leave him to die at the hands of the advancing enemy because he didn't like him...that just blows my mind. That scene is one of the most beautifully shot scenes in modern cinema...but it is SOOOO hard to watch. Because such behavior on the part of a comrade in arms is just too horrible to think about. And dying in such a way...your last thoughts being those of shock that someone would do that to you....

     

    ....wow.

  2. Well, I don't have the script, so I can't quote individual lines...but nothing beats *The Bridges of Madison County* for sheer volume of tear-jerkeresque lines.

     

    There are about 4 or 5 scenes in that movie which are so utterly romantic that I defy anyone to match them. Shoot, Clint Eastwood's character is even romantic after he's DEAD in that movie! When Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) gets Robert Kincaid's (Clint Eastwood) effects in the mail and reads the letter he left, I start crying there and cry right through to the end of this movie, which is still about 10 minutes away at that point.

     

    And speaking of Meryl Streep, *Out of Africa* is also an extremely romantic film in parts. Although the most romantic moment is not a moment of words, but of action. Nothing beats when Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) takes Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) up in that plane and they are flying over the lake and she puts her hand back to take his. Like she is saying "This is the most beautiful moment of my entire life...and you gave it to me."

     

    Can't beat that with a stick!

  3. Hi MissG -

     

    Yes. I completely agree with you about timeless appeal. To me, what makes a movie important is if it continues to draw people in - year after year, decade after decade because it is still relevant and meaningful to people.

     

    Certainly the technical developments which took place within the cinema are important to cinema buffs like us. But no one is going to care about a movie in 100 years that showed an advance in technology if that same film is otherwise irrelevant or uninteresting to people.

     

    A film can't really be 'important' IMO, if no one cares to watch it much anymore. It certainly has importance to the film fan...but when we are talking about the 5 most important films of all time, timeless relevance and appeal is essential.

     

    It's tough, though, picking the top 5, because there are so many really excellent films to pick from. I mean, how do you narrow it down to just 5? I wasn't able to do it, so I then looked at the 5 picks sort of as a whole...asking myself the next questions: how do these complement each other on the list? Are they redundant of each other, or do they, as a group, illustrate as much as possible the vast scope of the history of cinema?

     

    Because actors and directors are also important to me, I thought also about the actors I consider to be the most important. This was difficult to do because there are so many good ones. But it's hard to get away from the fact that, as much as I'd have liked to have included 5 Gary Cooper films (hehe!), Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and John Wayne are the faces that 'the man on the street' recognizes pretty much without fail, even if they know ZERO about classic film. And it's hard to argue that Hitchcock and John Ford need to be on any list of top 5 directors, regardless of personal preferences for genres, etc.

     

    I think my weakest link in the list was perhaps *Ben Hur* as William Wyler is not as 'famous' as deMille, who did *The Ten Commandments*, for example. And Charlton Heston is not nearly as popular as the other 4 stars listed above. And I already had an 'epic' on the list with *GWTW*. I don't know....maybe I should have selected a drama with Bette Davis (*Now, Voyager* comes to mind...but Paul Henreid would then be in the list twice!) or a comedy of some kind...although that might well lead me to another Cary Grant pick and I didn't want that redundancy there either. I thought also about replacing *Ben Hur* with *Singin' in the Rain*...another film with timeless appeal and the best example of a big budget musical. And you can't argue that that film has all manner of timeless appeal! But then I thought about trends...and what trends were spawned and/or continued through these 5 vehicles. And I can't really say that musicals have survived very well as a genre. I mean, maybe Fred and Gene and perhaps Barbara Streisand set the bar so HIGH for musicals that we could never get a batch of new ones which could seriously compete. Who could compete with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly? The closest we've come in modern times, I think, might be Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines in *White Nights*...but that is really not a musical as much as a legitimate drama done by two actors who also happen to have been incredible dancers.

     

    So in the end I went with a big Bible epic...because the epics of the 50's really kind of led into the epics of the 60's - the David Lean pictures, for example. In 1939, *Gone With the Wind* was very much the exception rather than the rule...and so I don't really feel like it spawned that whole trend of giant epic pictures. Nor did all of those way long Griffith silents. Yeah...they are all way long epics...but the TREND toward epics really didn't get going full steam until the big Bible epics, I don't think - of which Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments are probably the most enduring. And those big Bible epics lead more directly to the David Lean sort of pictures...which eventually lead to the kind of epics which tend to win Oscars even today - *Gandhi*, for example...or *Out of Africa*...or *Schindler's List*...or *Dances With Wolves*...or *The English Patient*...all of them Best Picture Winners.

     

    I don't know...*Singin' in the Rain* might be a good replacement for *Ben Hur* - I could easily agonize over it forever! Might give more balance to my list. But anyway...those were my reasons at the time!

  4. I watched this one too, and really liked it. It was a fun little romp, I thought, which was perfect because that was exactly what I was in the mood for on Sunday night.

     

    Of course, that maid was dumb as a box of rocks, not realizing all of that hubbub in the hotel was her fault until after the old guy got back.

     

    But that's just a small nit.

     

    Overall, a fun little film. And I love Gregory Peck...so it was a bonus!

  5. I love this movie and find it extremely interesting.

     

    Hitchcock really taps into that fundamental curiosity that human beings have and exploits it perfectly here. You look through the camera lens with James Stewart and it's like YOU are the one witnessing this possible crime. You wonder if you've seen enough to make a big deal or not...you wonder if you aren't just being silly and should mind your own business, etc.

     

    You go through all the emotions of someone who is in that position of seeing something from a distance and interpreting it: was it a crime? Not a crime?

     

    I though Hitchcock was really onto something there - taping into the snoop in all of us and making it work for the story.

  6. As usual, I'm way late to this party. Sadly, just don't have much time lately to post on boards - been way too busy at work.

     

    My votes for 'most important films of all time':

     

    1. *Casablanca* - probably the single most well known classic film, and certainly the most quoted. A perfect cast, a perfectly written script (incredible in itself, given the circumstances under which this film was written), and a perfect story...plus tons of great one-liners. If Humphrey Bogart is the most popular actor of all time (and lots of polls say he is), then this film was a key element in making him so.

     

    2. *Gone With the Wind* - a sweeping epic that is brilliantly cast, written, and photographed. Not as quotable as Casablanca, perhaps...but Clark Gable's last (and most famous) line is so much a part of popular culture that certainly, along with Rick Blaine, Rhett Butler is perhaps THE face of classic film to the general public. Robert Donat may have taken home the Oscar...but Clark Gable ended up with something even more valuable - immortality.

     

    3. *The Searchers* - if you had to pick one film to represent the entire westerns genre, this would likely be it. John Wayne, John Ford, breathtakingly shot in color in "Ford Country", with a brilliant storyline that is much more than a shoot-em-up western story.

     

    4. *Ben Hur* - probably the best of the king sized, pull-out-all the stops, sweeping bible epics. I suppose The Ten Commandments gives it a run for it's money, but the chariot race gives this one the edge, IMO. Say what you will about Charlton Heston...the man could command a screen.

     

    5. *North By Northwest* - Hitchcock and Cary Grant at their mutual best. This is the poster child film of the suspense genre - a great Hitchcock story, great cinematography, and of course, the most elegant and likable star who ever lived. I mean, is it even POSSIBLE to dislike Cary Grant?

     

    I think that together, these 5 films make up a mini-library of films that represent the wide scope of film-making at it's best. To me, the legacy of film-making is much more important than technical innovation turning points. So no...I don't think The Jazz Singer is one of the most important films ever. When I think 'important', I think of films that will keep bringing in the fans, generation after generation - films that will continue to prove the relevance of film-making's past.

     

    As for the film I've watched most often, it would be a toss-up, at this point, between Casablanca and Doctor Zhivago. These were the films that got me into classic film to begin with...and I've seen them both at least 30 times - probably more, although I don't keep count.

     

    I think my third most-watched film ever is probably Out of Africa....IMO one of the best acted and best photographed films ever made. Add in a great score, and I find this one impossible to turn off.

  7. Well, I don't think Gene Tierney is capable of anything less than exquisite beauty. IMO, she's sorta in a different league when it comes to beauty. I mean, there are beautiful woman and then there are BEAUTIFUL women. And Gene falls in that second cagetory, IMO - a category that is populated by people like Grace Kelly, Hedy Lamarr, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, etc.

     

    Babs is my favorite actress and I too think she is beautiful. But in more the 'girl next door' sort of way than in the 'catch your breath' kind of way.

     

    If that makes any sense.

  8. I think that overall, TCM does a very good job. And at the end of the day, you can't please all the people all the time.

     

    However, I would vote for:

     

    1. Discontinuance of The 31 Days of Oscar. This is by far the absolute worst month on the schedule - I rarely tune in during this month because I've seen everything being shown about a billion times. If you want to do something to commemorate the Oscars, do one day of them on the actual date of the Oscars ceremony each year. Why should a little statue get more attention than anything else on the ENTIRE schedule? Certainly no star - not even SOTMs - get 31 solid days a year devoted to them, 24/7/365. Why give that much to a statuette?

     

    2. Stop playing films made after 1979. Films made after that date are available from a variety of sources - numerous other channels, DVD purchase, Netflix, brick & mortar rental outlets, etc. If I want to watch a 'modern' film, I'm sorry, but TCM is not the first place I go and look.

     

    3. Play more pre-codes and films from the late 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's. This is the 'core' repertoire that should make up most of the schedule (say, 80% of the schedule), with silents and films from the 1960's making up the balance (20%). Throw in an occasional film from the 1970's for fun, and you're golden.

     

    4. Expand the silents library. Currently there are too many repeats.

  9. I'm not the biggest westerns fan around, but I always seem to enjoy the westerns made by Gary Cooper (of course), John Wayne (although not so much the early B's - I much prefer the big John Ford productions) and Joel McCrea. I also quite enjoyed Burt Lancaster in westerns.

  10. _Top Five:_

    Gary Cooper

    Barbara Stanwyck

    Clark Gable

    William Powell

    Cary Grant

     

    _Honorable Mentions:_ Myrna Loy, Kay Francis, Rudolph Valentino, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Ronald Colman, Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Omar Sharif, Montgomery Clift, Michael Caine, Tyrone Power, Burt Lancaster, Franchot Tone, Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Charles Boyer, James Garner, Sean Connery.

     

    I'll watch any film with the above actors in it. And with a couple of them, I've watched just about all of their available films already!

     

     

    _Bottom Five:_

    Jerry Lewis

    Red Skelton

    Bing Crosby

    Roy Rogers

    Joe E. Brown

     

    _Others:_ Henry Fonda, Susan Hayward, Katharine Hepburn, Wallace Beery, Bruce Cabot, Van Johnson, June Allyson, Lee Marvin, Peter Fonda.

     

    These actors either grate on my nerves or put me to sleep and so I tend to avoid films with the above stars in them unless I want to watch it so much for either the plot or another actor that I suck it up and watch anyway.

  11. I think she was beautiful when she wanted to be. But I think she was much more concerned with the requirements of the role she was playing in any given film than in looking beautiful and glamorous.

     

    After all, she did play some pretty despicable characters...and when you are dealing with characters such as Martha Ivers, for example, you don't really think of her as beautiful because the character is so ugly in the inside.

  12. I love this movie and don't really mind that it's been on alot lately.

     

    Also on the plus side, they haven't played The Maltese Falcon in about 5 or 6 months!

     

    I think they just go through phases with certain films, and can't get enough for a while...then they get another few favorites and play them alot.

     

    Some Like it Hot is actually one of the better phases, IMO, because it's a hilarious movie.

  13. Some other ideas, which touch on a variety of subjects, from the fighting itself to the homefront to spying to journalism:

     

    49th Parallel (1941)

    Dive Bomber (1941)

    Flying Tigers (1942)

    Wake Island (1942)

    Winning Your Wings (1942) - short w/James Stewart

    Berlin Correspondent (1942)

    For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

    Pilot #5 (1943)

    Watch on the Rhine (1943)

    Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

    Destination Tokyo (1943)

    Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

    Immortal Sergeant (1943)

    The Fighting Seabees (1944)

    To Have and Have Not (1944)

    Days of Glory (1944)

    Passage to Marsailles (1944)

    Four Jills in a Jeep (1944)

    The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)

    The Purple Heart (1944)

    Objective Burma! (1945)

    They Were Expendable (1945)

    Back to Bataan (1945)

    Confidential Agent (1945)

    The Clock (1945)

    A Walk in the Sun (1945)

    First Yank in Tokyo (1945)

    Tomorrow is Forever (1946)

     

    Good luck! :)

  14. *Men:*

    Franchot Tone

    Tyrone Power (they'd have to make a deal with FOX though)

    Dana Andrews (also would need a deal with FOX)

    Joel McCrea

    Laurence Olivier

    Walter Pidgeon

    George Brent

    Melvyn Douglas

    Fred MacMurray

    Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    Van Heflin

    Charles Boyer

    William Powell - I know he's been SOTM at least once, but I REALLY want him

     

     

    *Women:*

    Ann Harding

    Ann Sheridan

    Betty Grable (also a deal with FOX)

    Joan Blondell

    Carole Lombard

    Claire Trevor

    Angela Lansbury

    Jane Wyman

  15. Wow! Even more great photos posted in this thread! I really need to sit down and go through it - tons of good stuff for me to use, and I'm not even taking advantage of it.

     

    Lovely photos ladies! I salute your ability to constantly come up with new ones!

  16. Yep, I know how you feel. I live in Atlanta and even here we have only one choice if we want to get FMC - satellite. Comcast Cable (which I had for years) does not offer it at all, despite the fact that FMC listings were always listed in their program guides each month.

     

    I moved last year and changed to satellite so that I could get both TCM and FMC. It's been nice getting to see all of those films with Tyrone Power, Dana Andrews, Betty Grable and Alice Faye in them!

     

    But it did NOT come cheap.

  17. I watched this film for the first time the other night when it aired, and I really loved it. Robert Taylor was great, and so were all the women, I thought.

     

    I also thought it was interesting - Robert Osbourne said that they had a week or so of 'classes' for those women so that they all learned how to shoot and change a wagon wheel, etc. They really learned how do do all that stuff, apparently, for the film! Certainly made it more authentic!

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