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The Most "Beautiful" Movie ever made?

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I never thought of musicals when I started this thread but there are a few that can be thought of as beautifully presented (at least in my mind.) I'm thinking of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "West Side Story", "The Music Man" (my favorite musical") and the one that everyone seems to think of as the pinnacle of musicals, "The Sound of Music." All have more than just music and choreography going for them. Great story lines and some fine performances. Any comment?

 

Hollis

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My pick would have to be the opening of Cinema Paradiso. I could sit and watch that window with the undulating ocean and the blowing curtain for hours. I am an ocean lover, and that is really one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen in film.

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Peggy, Hi, it's Hollis. I was lucky enough to do two tours of duty on aircraft carriers in 69 and 70, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic, so I know what you mean about the ocean. I have yet to see "Cinema Paradiso" because I have difficulty with subtitles. But I'll take your word for it and try to watch the next time it airs. My favorite "ocean" movie has to be "Lifeboat" with Talulah Bankhead , William Bendix and John Hodiak amongst others. The ocean is the "antagonist" as it were along with the German u-boat captain and plays a major role in the film even though it takes a backseat to the actors as far as appearing on screen, An oldie but a goodie! Thanks for adding to the thread!

 

Hollis

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Peggy,

 

Speaking of ocean...yesterday, I watched five minutes of the TCM broadcast of "The Black Stallion". The five minutes featuring the kid getting on the horse, kid getting off the horse, kid getting back on the horse, kid riding on horse splashing in the surf, kid riding on horse galloping on the beach, etcetera...I watched the movie up to the "kid sitting around the campfire with the horse" scene. I've watched "The Black Stallion" all the way to the final credits two times. I've watched my highlighted scene about a million times. The montage of the kid, the horse, the beach, the ocean...accompanied by magnificent orchestral music...well, it is one of the most beautiful few minutes of any movie.

 

By the way, I know the original music for "The Black Stallion" was composed by Carmine Coppola, but I don't think Mr. Coppola composed the music for my kid-horse montage scene...did he?

 

Rusty

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Danny:

 

I appreciate your comment on the beauty of "Brigadoon" but what did you think of the story?

 

Just curious

Chris

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Here are my votes for most beautiful films:

 

The Scarlet Empress (the baroque sets and photography)

 

Duel in the Sun (those gorgeous closeups of Jennifer Jones in the desert!)

 

Gone with the Wind (the old south in color)

 

Johnny Guitar (beautiful scenery)

 

Queen Christina

 

Camille

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Hi Hollis:

 

Actually the movie itself is very good, especially if you're a movie buff. I don't like subtitles, either, but this was a really good film.

 

You must have just missed knowing my late husband, I bet. He was on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic about the same time you were. We lived at the Jersey Shore for many years, but then my parents got older and sicker and we moved back up to Central Jersey. I still live about 5 minutes from the water, although its the mouth of a bay. Some days, I can smell the ocean, though, and there is a beach right at the point where the bay ends and the ocean begins about 15 minutes from here. I spend as much leisure time (which comes to about 1/2 hour a day) there in the summer as I possibly can. Wish I never left the shore! I've only been in this house for 2 years, and the first spring day I opened the kitchen window and the ocean smell wafted through, I knew I was home!

 

By the way, I have Lifeboat on DVD. I know what you mean. I am also a Hitchcock freak (though not for "Psycho" or anything that bloody ~ I won't watch them alone and then be here at night by myself!! Too scary).

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Jarh:

 

I haven't seen that movie since my girls were little and it first aired on TV. I did like the scenes you mentioned, what my grizzled old head can remember of them. I'll have to watch it again when it's on. I don't remember the music, either ~ too long ago. I like all kinds of music and if its a classical piece or something, I might recognize it, but I will have to see it again, it's been too long since I saw it last.

 

Have you seen Cinema Paradiso? That opening scene is a real beauty.

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> Danny:

>

> I appreciate your comment on the beauty of

> "Brigadoon" but what did you think of the story?

>

> Just curious

> Chris

 

Most people I'm sure would categorize this movie as ridiculous... The thought of a disappearing town in the middle of no where that only comes back every hundred years for one day does sound ridiculous. I don't know... I could get into it, you know? It was just a flick I sat down and watched with a totally open mind. I thought it was ok the first time I saw it, but have had a deeper respect for it in viewings since.

 

I hated Lord of the Rings the first time I saw it, long before I found classics. When I went out and rented the LOTR to make fun of it at home, something just clicked... It opened my mind to fantasies, and this movie kind of reminds of LOTR in a small way. :) Just my thoughts... Thanks for asking.

 

Danny

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Hands down, Days Of Heaven -

http://www.tcmdb.com/title/title.jsp?stid=4511 -

and the reason I have a poster of the film. (One of only two film posters I own. Framed Insert Style)

 

Was I hallucinating? I swore I saw this film scheduled to be shown sometime during the beginning of this year. Maybe even during this year's "31 Days..." event. It isn't scheduled any longer. Anyone else remember seeing it scheduled?

 

And for a wonderful documentary on the beauty of cinematography, check out Visions Of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1993) -

http://www.tcmdb.com/title/title.jsp?stid=94872

 

Kyle In Hollywood

 

ps - I was mistaken but not hallucinating. The film Bound For Glory is what is upcoming on the schedule that I am looking forward to seeing. It also is a beautiful film... with an amazing scene of the arrival of a dust storm.

 

Message was edited by:

hlywdkjk

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Days of Heaven is a beautiful-looking movie, although for some reason the characters didn't seem nearly as memorable as the cinematography.... ;)

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"...for some reason the characters didn't seem nearly as memorable as the cinematography."

 

Really? You don't remember the young girl who narrates the film? I carry her voice in my head to this day.

 

I just re-watched the documentary I mentioned below and the Director of Photography for the film spoke of how the story was going to be told visually. Even the narration the young girl gives doesn't describe what you are seeing. It is complementary - or even a counterpoint - to what you see on the screen.

 

And I don't know which film has the better "locust scene" - Days Of Heaven or The Good Earth. Both are remarkable and very memorable.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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No I don't remember anything at all about the characters. It's been at least a decade since the last time I saw it, of course. But I was lucky enough to catch it when it played at a theater in the 90's, not sure if it was just a regular print or a 70mm print.

 

It looked gorgeous, but aside from that, I've forgotten nearly everything else in the movie.

 

I did enjoy Malick's The New World and awful lot, also, and with that movie I was able to remember the main characters.

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I took it to mean that "beautiful" meant visually beautiful...so

 

Black and White:

I Know Where I'm Going (1945): Powell and Pressburger at their most magical, with cinematographer Erwin Hillier providing real and imagined visions of Scotland. I could also have mentioned the team's earlier Edge of the World(1937) photographed by numerous crew members, including Monty Berman, Skeets Kelly and Ernest Palmer--a visual feast for these eyes, about a dying island off the British Isles.

 

On Dangerous Ground (1952): directed by Nicholas Ray, this features wonderful jerky camera work in the cityscapes and wintry landscapes that almost make the tip of my nose cold. Beautifully done by cinematography George Diskant.

 

Night of the Hunter (1955) : sublimely beautiful black and white compositions, elemental storytelling directed masterfully by Charles Laughton and beautiful cinematography by Stanley Cortez.

 

Color:

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943): already mentioned in this thread, but worth noting that the cinematographer was Ray Rennahan. A movie to lose oneself in, visually.

 

Senso (1952): Visconti's story of romantic sorrow and foolishness, brought beautifully to life by cinematographer Aldo Graziati.

 

Koyaanisqatsi (1982): not so much a movie as a meditation, this enthralling, and, exhausting film, since it requires so much concentration from the viewer, has a compellingly beautiful, somewhat disturbing way of seeing the world photographed from an off kilter perspective and enhanced by the haunting Phillip Glass score. These elements blend to make this quite beautiful to me. Cinematographer: Ron Fricke

 

Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998) moved me visually and emotionally through the depiction of the contrast between the lush beauty of the natural world and the war fought by the people within that environment. Cinematographer: John Toll.

 

As Kyle mentioned, Visions of Light is wonderful and is the finest documentary I've seen about cinematography. There is also a new doc interviewing 110 cinematographers called Cinematographer Style (2006). It is being shown at art theatres such as Coolidge Corner in the Boston area and in small festivals around the country. Hope it's available to more on dvd eventually. Apparently it features Gordon Willis confessing that he came up with the remarkable visual style of The Godfather movies 20 minutes before filming began. Guess maybe artristry happens when one is ready, lucky and through happenstance.

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I agree with your choice of Night of the Hunter.

 

Others that I'd pick would be Murnau's Faust (1926), Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (gorgeous N?stor Almendros cinematography), and all of the movies Josef von Sternberg did with Marlene Dietrich.

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> Well Scarlett, I know I'm in the minority - but I

> couldn't find anything to like about Casablanca and

> I've tried so many times to watch it. I lump it in

> the same category with Citizen Kane - a highly

> overated, boring movie. Just not my cup of tea.

>

> Maybe there are other folks who didn't like

> Casablanca either - you mean I'm the only one who

> couldn't stand this film???? LOL

 

i used to think the same thing of Citizen Kane, i absolutely couldn't stand it, and i'd only see parts of it.

 

one night i forced myself to watch it all the way thru and i finally started to get it. now i can't get enough. Rosebud!

 

Casablanca could be the same for you. it's not an action movie, it's all about the character interaction. pay attention to bogie and bergman in his office. watch the subtle changes in bergman's face as paul henreid leads the cafe croud in La Marseillaise. it's beautiful.

 

if you can then get through Citizen Kane and Casablanca, you get to move on to The Magnificent Ambersons...

 

:)

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i agree with Lawrence of Arabia as most "beautiful".

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moirafinnie6 wrote -

"I took it to mean that "beautiful" meant visually beautiful...so -

I Know Where I'm Going (1945)."

 

Just in case you weren't aware -

Thursday March 8

5:00pm I Know Where I'm Going (1945) C-92 mins,

 

http://www.tcmdb.com/title/title.jsp?stid=78812

 

It is the first film in an evening of "Bob's Picks".

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Kyle,

 

Quote:

"I Know Where I'm Going (1945).

Just in case you weren't aware -

Thursday March 8

5:00pm I Know Where I'm Going (1945) C-92 mins"

 

Are you kidding?! Netflix sent "I Know Where I'm Going" yesterday and the movie is arriving in my mailbox tomorrow. I received "Night of the Demon" from Netflix on Saturday, the day after TCM broadcast the movie. This coincidence thing is getting ridiculous. Before I rent from Netflix, I must remember to check TCM broadcast schedules.

 

Rusty

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Peggy,

 

Thank you for your reply. "Cinema Paradiso" exceeded my expectations. And, I expected a lot from the movie. I really like the package left to the main character by his mentor. The final few minutes of "Cinema Paradiso" ring true...makes me think it actually happened to Tornatore...or someone he knew.

 

By the way, I appreciate your acknowledgment of my posted question. If I post a question, I never expect an answer to the question. I rarely get an answer to one of my questions. So, I am never disappointed if one of my questions just dangles in cyberspace...waiting for an answer.

 

Rusty

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Rusty,

 

So glad you enjoyed "Cinema Paradiso". It may be the only instance that I am glad that TCM shows the shorter version.

 

The longer version goes into more depth about his romance with the young girl and adds almost an hour to the running time.

 

But the shorter version to me packs much more of an emotional wallop. The ending is both sad and rewarding. All those film clips. A treasure indeed.

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