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So you didn't even think much of Dana's performance in Lang's Beyond a Reasonable

Doubt?

 

You know, it's been a while since I've watched it. My first impression of the film was

very bad. It's my least favorite Lang film. I really do need to give it another viewing,

most especially for Dana.

 

I will be interested to see where The Best Years of Our Lives lands on your lists

after you've seen it.

 

bestyearsofourlives1.jpg

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

> So you didn't even think much of Dana's performance in Lang's Beyond a Reasonable

> Doubt?

>

> You know, it's been a while since I've watched it. My first impression of the film was

> very bad. It's my least favorite Lang film. I really do need to give it another viewing,

> most especially for Dana.

>

 

I was mostly put off by Joan Fontain's character, or rather her performance. She

can be either very good or very annoying and here I found her annoying. I even

could have done without it or wish they'd done something more interesting

with her.

 

It's been a while since I saw it, too. I thought it was good not great. :P

 

 

> I will be interested to see where The Best Years of Our Lives lands on your lists

> after you've seen it.

>

> bestyearsofourlives1.jpg

 

You bought it! Yay! I really think you'll like this one. Maybe, I'm guessing, much more than

any other William Wyler movie you've seen.

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I was mostly put off by Joan Fontain's character, or rather her performance. She

can be either very good or very annoying and here I found her annoying. I even

could have done without it or wish they'd done something more interesting

with her.

 

Joan didn't bother me, although I didn't think it was "her." I just thought the film to be boring

as heck. You know how much I don't like Lang's courtroom scenes.

 

It's been a while since I saw it, too. I thought it was good not great.

 

You like it more than me, then.

 

You bought it! Yay! I really think you'll like this one. Maybe, I'm guessing, much

more than any other William Wyler movie you've seen.

 

Wow! That's quite a statement.

 

I've only seen three Wyler films and I thought they were good films but not entirely my speed.

 

1. The Big Country

2. The Letter

3. The Little Foxes

 

Looking over Wyler's list, these are the films I'm guessing I will like the most:

 

1. Detective Story

2. Dodsworth

3. The Collector

4. The Heiress

5. Dead End

6. The Desperate Hours

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>

> Joan didn't bother me, although I didn't think it was "her." I just thought the film to be boring

> as heck. You know how much I don't like Lang's courtroom scenes.

>

 

I don't even remember the courtroom scenes much.

 

>

> Wow! That's quite a statement.

>

> I've only seen three Wyler films and I thought they were good films but not entirely my speed.

>

> 1. The Big Country

> 2. The Letter

> 3. The Little Foxes

>

> Looking over Wyler's list, these are the films I'm guessing I will like the most:

>

> 1. Detective Story

> 2. Dodsworth

> 3. The Collector

> 4. The Heiress

> 5. Dead End

> 6. The Desperate Hours

 

I predict you will like TBYOOL better than all those. Detective Story you

will also like alot.

 

It figures The Collector would land on your list. Gross!

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I don't even remember the courtroom scenes much.

 

I'll have to watch it again.

 

I predict you will like TBYOOL better than all those. Detective Story you

will also like alot.

 

Wow! You expect me to like it the most. I'm thinking Detective Story. Hmmmm...

I do adore Teresa Wright, though.

 

It figures The Collector would land on your list. Gross!

 

It sounds fascinating.

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I'm predicting you will like TBYOOL quite a lot too. Very human, nothing black and white....it's an awesome awesome movie. And Dana is fantastic.

 

Yes, Detective Story. Lee Grant .....

 

Yes, Dead End (I think it will move up on your list.)

 

I think you might also like The Heiress..... or you'll hate it. :) It's one of my favorites. Very dark emotionally.

 

And of course, the ones that you will will instantly love - The Westerner and Mrs. Miniver.

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I thought the same about Finch at first, and then I watched it again about a year

ago with a friend and she and I both came to be more sympathetic toward him. He

weakly allowed that ambience, the customs and most of all the dreaded influence

of his father's legacy to overshadow who he was as a man---someone very different,

as we saw in Paris. When the real tragedy struck, he---not Dana---was the man

who stayed to help the poor people who worked for him and he did so even when

it put him in danger. Dana wanted to get the heck out and go to Paris and shop

and dine with Elizabeth (who can blame him??) and that kind of made him seem

a little selfish.

 

I love looking at the long shots that were filmed in Ceylon with Vivien Leigh. You can

tell it's her! At least I think so.

 

I didn't know it was supposed to be Leigh.... interesting.

 

Though I have never understood why people thought Elizabeth Taylor was so gorgeous (Lee J. Cobb inflection), I think in Elephant Walk she is at her most beautiful - maybe tied with A Place in the Sun. One of the few other things I remember from EW is the dress she wears - I think it has lilac flowers on it? stunning.

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell

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I'm predicting you will like TBYOOL quite a lot too.

 

When two Ford Floozies agree, I become very worried.

 

Very human, nothing black and white....it's an awesome awesome movie. And

Dana is fantastic.

 

My fear is that it's too emotionally serious for me.

 

Yes, Detective Story. Lee Grant .....

 

I'm intrigued by some of the story angles.

 

I think you might also like The Heiress..... or you'll hate it. It's one of my favorites. Very

dark emotionally.

 

Very dark, emotionally? Wow! You just piqued my interest all the more! It's the love story

that attracts me most.

 

And of course, the ones that you will will instantly love - The Westerner and Mrs. Miniver.

 

Greer and Gary?! BLECH! Dreadful! Thank goodness for Walter Brennan.

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Very dark, emotionally? Wow! You just piqued my interest all the more! It's the love story

that attracts me most.

 

Yes, it's a beautiful love story....just like Vance and Rip's.... if you like T.C., you'll just love Papa Sloper......

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The reason I think you may like TBYOOL, as best I can explain it, is the story

has a lot of the kind of things you say you like in other films. without giving away

the ending, I'll just say you needn't worry it's going to depress you. The Grapes

of Wrath may depress you, but not TBYOOL. Several of your favorite films noir

are much heavier, in my opinion.

 

TBYOOL is first about three men, so it's a masculine story about returning vets.

Post war attitudes, finding themselves out of place in "civilian" roles once again.

You know, the familiar terra of film noir. If someone got murdered in it, I

guess it would be a film noir.

 

For me, it's a movie I seldom can resist watching when it comes on, though

I've seen it countless times by now. It's great human drama. And there are

light moments, too.

 

It's remarkable how grippingly Wyler spins these three separate stories and

weaves them together and does so without sacrificing depth in any of the

three lives that are examined---and he manages to perfectly depict the impact

these men have on the women they return to with equal depth. The female

roles are well developed and in a story with so many characters, it

astonishes me how none are given short shrift. You never feel the story has

spread itself too thin over too much territory.

 

Jackie - You made me laugh with "Papa Sloper"! :D

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Wow, Goddess! That was a great encapsulated description of TBYOOL! Very concise, and not giving too much away. There ARE a lot of noir elements in the story... I NEVER thought of that... especially in Fred's (Dana's) section of the story......oh my gosh, you opened my eyes here. Fred is kind of on a quest..... and it takes him through his past, which is kind of a sham, kind of scary and bleak. And there is even a noir dame.... Which person will Fred choose to be? Or will he fold up altogether? Wow. Just when you think you've got everything figured out....

 

Thanks. You made me want to watch this movie with new eyes.

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The reason I think you may like TBYOOL, as best I can explain it, is the story

has a lot of the kind of things you say you like in other films. without giving away

the ending, I'll just say you needn't worry it's going to depress you. The Grapes

of Wrath may depress you, but not TBYOOL. Several of your favorite films noir

are much heavier, in my opinion.

 

I really struggle with the effects of war; this is at the root of my fears. I just don't like war.

 

TBYOOL is first about three men, so it's a masculine story about returning vets.

Post war attitudes, finding themselves out of place in "civilian" roles once again.

You know, the familiar terra of film noir. If someone got murdered in it, I

guess it would be a film noir.

 

You are right, film noir is steeped in post-war, so I'm sure I will feel that in

The Best Years of Our Lives. Films noir like Act of Violence and Crossfire

are post-war-oriented, to a degree. I love The Manchurian Candidate.

 

It's remarkable how grippingly Wyler spins these three separate stories and

weaves them together and does so without sacrificing depth in any of the

three lives that are examined---and he manages to perfectly depict the impact

these men have on the women they return to with equal depth. The female

roles are well developed and in a story with so many characters, it

astonishes me how none are given short shrift. You never feel the story has

spread itself too thin over too much territory.

 

That was very nice.

 

Interestingly, two of my favorite "sweet" actresses are in the film: Cathy O'Donnell and

Teresa Wright.

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>

> I really struggle with the effects of war; this is at the root of my fears. I just don't like war.

>

>

> You are right, film noir is steeped in post-war, so I'm sure I will feel that in

> The Best Years of Our Lives. Films noir like Act of Violence and Crossfire

> are post-war-oriented, to a degree. I love The Manchurian Candidate.

>

 

There is no more "war" in TBYOOL than in Cross Fire. And I think Cross Fire is

more depressing and in fact, they always remain in uniform in CF while it's back to

civvies in TBYOOL.

 

It's _all_ about home life, fitting into the domestic and community

fabric, not about war.

 

No one likes war movies less than me, and I really like this film.

 

>

> Interestingly, two of my favorite "sweet" actresses are in the film: Cathy O'Donnell and

> Teresa Wright.

 

I think you'll love your side of Mayo.

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>

> Thanks. You made me want to watch this movie with new eyes.

 

Thank you, Miss Favell---I really said very little; the movie's so rich

it's hard to talk about it in snippets---it begs for a really involved "ramble".

One day....

 

I like that you get a slice of so many different levels of society in

the movie---the comfortable, upper middle class with Myrna and Freddie

March, the suburban types in Harold Russell's family, and the working

class in Dana's. And all of them cross paths, somewhat uncomfortably

at least at first. The close camaraderie of the war years is shaken. Suddenly,

it's as if "family" and "home" which once represented security and reality,

now represent the threat to happiness and make the men insecure.

 

I find there's a vibe of nervousness and anxiety in all three of the men

that is in contrast to the confidence they must have projected when

they knew their day's military ritual and expectations.

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There is no more "war" in TBYOOL than in Cross Fire. And I think Cross Fire is

more depressing and in fact, they always remain in uniform in CF while it's back to

civvies in TBYOOL.

 

I think it's because one of the men doesn't have a hand. That's going to be tough for

me. That depresses me.

 

Crossfire doesn't depress me. I love Ryan's portrayal of hate. He's awesome. And

then there's Gloria. She's a honey.

 

It's all about home life, fitting into the domestic and community fabric, not about war.

 

Yes, I do know this. It's the effect of war.

 

No one likes war movies less than me, and I really like this film.

 

Now this is very true. Good point.

 

I think you'll love your side of Mayo.

 

Oh, yeah? More than darling Teresa and Cathy?

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>

> I think it's because one of the men doesn't have a hand. That's going to be tough for

> me. That depresses me.

>

 

Then it'll be twice as tough because he doesn't have two hands.

 

That part is very dramatic--but it's handled really well and you always say you want your movies to reach you emotionally. Was that just talk? Man up! :P

 

>

> Oh, yeah? More than darling Teresa and Cathy?

 

Maybe not, but you don't seem to have any aversion to blonde floozies (i refer to Gloria-Honey)

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It is in my estimation, one of the greatest stories ever put on film.

 

TBYOOL is by far the greatest film Wyler EVER directed. Period.

 

The homecoming scene with March and Loy is one of the most enduring scenes ever filmed.

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Russell didn't even lose his hands in action.

 

While an in the Army as an instructor, with the U.S. 13th Airborne Division stateside in 1944, a defective fuse detonated an explosive he was handling while making a training film.

 

In the aftermath, he lost both hands and was given two hooks to serve as hands. After his recovery, he attended Boston University as a full-time student, he became involved with an Army film called Diary of a Sergeant about rehabilitating war veterans. Wyler saw the film on Russell, and was so impressed by Russel he cast him in his film The Best Years of Our Lives.

 

So basically he was not a real actor at all. He just happened to be making a training film about handling explosives when he lost his hands, then later was in another Army film.

 

In many ways he found stardom lacking and based on what Wyler told him, there were not many films (at the time) needing a vet without two hands, so Wyler advised him to go back to school. Which he did and graduated from Boston Univ. with a Business degree.

 

Russell would only appear in three more films (80's - 90's) and he appeared in several TV series episodes. One I remember fondly is a special two part episode of China Beach.

 

He even sold his Oscar statue when his wife got sick and they could not afford the hospital bills.

 

He died in 2002 of a heart attack.

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I had a nightmare last night and saw you in the trees.

 

I love Dana as Fred Derry in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. When he wakes up from his hangover and sits down in the kitchen for some breakfast with Theresa Wright and Myrna Loy, I enjoy seeing him in the warm embrance of that family. There is a spectacular setpiece involving Fred and his new job. Watch for the symbolism of the toy airplane.

 

I see two other great American films by Wyler on your list -- DODSWORTH and THE HEIRESS. DODSWORTH has excellent performances from Walter Huston as the Sinclair Lewis businessman, Ruth Chatterton as his superficial wife, and Mary Astor as a warm, sympathetic ex-pat living in Italy. As for THE HEIRESS, Olivia de Havilland, Monty Clift,

Ralph Richardson, and Miriam Hopkins are just the perfect cast under Wyler's sensitive yet trenchant direction. It's an adaption of Henry James's novel "Washington Square". Another James (but no relation), M. R. James, wrote "Casting The Runes", which was the basis for CURSE OF THE DEMON, which of course stars Dana.

 

So we're back to the trees again.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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