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Favorite films directed by Brian De Palma


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Tomorrow, 7/5/21, TCM is airing movies directed by Brian De Palma.  Some of his films I know and others I don't.  I'd love to know your favorite Brian De Palma films.  My favorites are:

The Untouchables (1987)

I love this story about how the FBI finally captured Al Capone and the accountant is a hero.  Robert De Niro plays a chilling Capone (one of the best and darkest roles he has played) and I love Sean Connery's portrayal of an Irish Chicago Policeman.  Whenever I walk through Union Train Station in Chicago I think of that incredible scene from The Untouchables when the baby carriage goes down the steps in slow motion.

This is Hollywood's Best Use of Slow Motion - Videomaker

Blow Out (1981)

A great neo-noir suspense thriller about a sound recordist that discovers a murder.

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The scene with De Niro and the baseball bat is a great scene.  I do think The Untouchables (the movie not the Robert Stack series) tampered with the facts (something about Nitti).  Would have been great if Josephine and Daphne, along with Sugar and Joe E. Brown were in the film (somebody should do a splice).

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3 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

I do think The Untouchables (the movie not the Robert Stack series) tampered with the facts (something about Nitti). 

The real Frank Nitti took over the Chicago Outfit after Capone and later committed suicide to avoid prison. He was going to be indicted for an extortion scheme targeting Paramount, MGM, RKO, 20th Century Fox and others.

I always thought it a nice touch that Paramount got some measure of fictional revenge in the end. 😂

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On 7/4/2021 at 1:17 PM, Toto said:

Blow Out (1981)

A great neo-noir suspense thriller about a sound recordist that discovers a murder.

My favorite DePalma film that LOOKS like a DePalma film.  (Ie., during his Hitchcock-cribbing phase, and before his mainstream Mission: Impossible/Untouchables phase)  A pre-Pulp Fiction John Travolta, fresh off of his 70's stardom, makes a perfect uninterested-hero drawn into the mystery.

I'd also mention Carrie (1976), not so much for the teen-girl plot, so much as the fact that everyone in the 70's wanted to capture DePalma's "split-screen suspense" gimmick.  Other producers tried making an entire movie out of it in 1973's "Wicked, Wicked", but just never quite got the hang of it.

 

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Dressed to Kill is his masterpiece, imho.  It’s batsh*t crazy, but gorgeously filmed, and one of the few Hitchcock homages that manages to honor and mimic but also to transform in strange new directions.  And Angie Dickinson!  Runner up status to Obsession, though.  Terribly underrated. Finally, Body Double. If the powers that be had allowed him to hire Traci Lords, we might not have ever had Melanie Griffith as we know her today.  

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Casualties of War (which has been run recently on other networks) brings the atrocities committed during the Viet Nam war to light.  Outstanding performance by Michael J. Fox in a serious role.  Body Double is an homage to Rear Window.  Is Obsession the movie with Cliff Robertson and Genvieve Bujold (sp?)?  Great movie which I would like to see again.

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5 hours ago, alleybj said:

Dressed to Kill is his masterpiece, imho.  It’s batsh*t crazy, but gorgeously filmed, and one of the few Hitchcock homages that manages to honor and mimic but also to transform in strange new directions.  And Angie Dickinson!  Runner up status to Obsession, though.  Terribly underrated. Finally, Body Double. If the powers that be had allowed him to hire Traci Lords, we might not have ever had Melanie Griffith as we know her today.  

Even re-cribbing every single thing 1980 audiences remembered about Psycho doesn't make Dressed to Kill a "Hitchcock homage"--

Analysts today refer to it as "DePalma's salute to Italian giallo" (or maybe I'm thinking of John Carpenter and "Eyes of Laura Mars"?), while I would put its batsh*t quality more as a future influence on Joe Eszterhas.  You know if Joe could have written that ending scene where Nancy Allen & Keith Gordon discuss sex-change surgery, and nearby little old ladies gasp, he would have.

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4 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Casualties of War (which has been run recently on other networks) brings the atrocities committed during the Viet Nam war to light.  Outstanding performance by Michael J. Fox in a serious role.  Body Double is an homage to Rear Window.  Is Obsession the movie with Cliff Robertson and Genvieve Bujold (sp?)?  Great movie which I would like to see again.

Obsession is the homage to Vertigo with Robertson, Bujold, and John Lithgow, plus that sunning Bernard Herrmann score. I feel it was De Palma's best, so its niceto see it on the schedule. 

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Prefer the original Scarface with Paul Muni.

What happens at the end of Obsession (didn't watch it).

The original Carrie helped boost Sissy Spacek's career (she's also in Badlands with Martin Sheen that was based on Charles Starkweather - directed by Terrance Mallick).  I think I first saw her in a TV movie with Henry Winkler (Katherine the Radical).  I think it was also based on a true story (about a girl carrying a bomb in San Francisco).

As for Carrie, Piper Laurie is frightening as is the hand coming out in the end.

I did watch the horror movie Bonfire of the Vanities.  No chemistry between Hanks and Griffith and Hanks and Kim C.  Also, Hanks' character is a **** (in more ways than one).  I will have to put this in the romances that didn't work thread.  Bruce Willis was supposed to be Tom Wolfe (preferred his The Right Stuff and shouldn't be confused with Thomas Wolfe (sp?) - both died too young).  You could tell by the white suit.  I don't know much about Wolfe (whether he was a nasty drunk; also, how he felt about the movie).    The best part of the story has to do with the accident and its aftermath because, while heavy handed (in my opinion), it deals with racial/ethnic issues.  

Excuse typos.

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On 7/4/2021 at 10:17 AM, Toto said:

Tomorrow, 7/5/21, TCM is airing movies directed by Brian De Palma.  Some of his films I know and others I don't.  I'd love to know your favorite Brian De Palma films.  My favorites are:

The Untouchables (1987)

I love this story about how the FBI finally captured Al Capone and the accountant is a hero.  Robert De Niro plays a chilling Capone (one of the best and darkest roles he has played) and I love Sean Connery's portrayal of an Irish Chicago Policeman.  Whenever I walk through Union Train Station in Chicago I think of that incredible scene from The Untouchables when the baby carriage goes down the steps in slow motion.

This is Hollywood's Best Use of Slow Motion - Videomaker

Blow Out (1981)

A great neo-noir suspense thriller about a sound recordist that discovers a murder.

The baby carriage going down the steps took me out of the film because I was only thinking of Battleship Potemkin- same as the shot at the end of Goodfellas where Scorsese copies the famous shot from The Great Train Robbery with Joe Pesci shooting directly at the camera.

I'm probably in the minority here, but don't really have a favorite film by DePalma or really enjoy any of them- but obviously i see his talent as a director.  I do want to watch Blow Out though- have never seen it.

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9 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

I do want to watch Blow Out though- have never seen it.

It's a slightly dumbed down version of Blow Up using sound rather than photography to crack the case. 

After watching Obsession, Sisters and Body Double I get the impression De Palma is really, really, obsessed with Hitchcock. 

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On 7/5/2021 at 2:41 PM, CinemaInternational said:

Obsession is the homage to Vertigo with Robertson, Bujold, and John Lithgow, plus that sunning Bernard Herrmann score. I feel it was De Palma's best, so its niceto see it on the schedule. 

I am so annoyed. I assumed that OBSESSION- Which I have never seen- would be “on demand.“

the OBSESSION that is available on demand Is a 1949 British film.

Not sure if this is some kind of weird mistake or if they showed the other version of OBSESSION as well in the past week. 
 

Of all the De Palma films that TCM showed, only BLOW UP and SISTERS are on ON DEMAND. 

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i had really wanted to see OBSESSION for GENEVIEVE BUJOLD, who I have only seen in a couple of things, but who is a fascinating actress. Like an earthier, less delicate ISABELLE ADJANI.

EDIT: DANG! I didn't know this picture was SO LARGE.

See the source image

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I am so annoyed. I assumed that OBSESSION- Which I have never seen- would be “on demand.“

the OBSESSION that is available on demand Is a 1949 British film.

Not sure if this is some kind of weird mistake or if they showed the other version of OBSESSION as well in the past week. 
 

Of all the De Palma films that TCM showed, only BLOW UP and SISTERS are on ON DEMAND. 

Must be your cable provider. They’re all streaming on Watch TCM for me except Bonfire, which is on HBOMax. 

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1 minute ago, alleybj said:

Must be your cable provider. They’re all streaming on Watch TCM for me except Bonfire, which is on HBOMax. 

Yeah, I have Hulu. They feature about 70% of the weeks TCM programming on their on-demand section, but about 30% fall through the cracks. 

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48 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Yeah, I have Hulu. They feature about 70% of the weeks TCM programming on their on-demand section, but about 30% fall through the cracks. 

Have you tried to login to watch TCM with your Hulu credentials?  They’re listed as a provider. 

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11 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

They did.

Thank you!

fyi:
the 1949 British thriller OBSESSION is, while I think unrelated to the 1976 film, a really good movie, so it’s still worth checking out

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