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What causes you to delay watching a classic film that everyone else has seen?


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8 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I wonder if I have complete and utter disinterest in CASABLANCA. It makes me seem abnormal. LOL

Maybe in this case so many people have over-extolled the film's virtues that it has alienated me from rewatching it.

I think that's exactly what it is.  That's how I feel about certain movies.  I probably watch all or part of CASABLANCA every time it's on.

Same with nearly every Hitchcock film with the exception of VERTIGO. I watched it once recently because I felt I HAD TO having seen every other Hitchcock film. Once was enough. Up until then I had no interest I expect for the reason you described.

Having finally seen it, it escapes me how it has become so venerated.

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3 minutes ago, yanceycravat said:

I think that's exactly what it is.  That's how I feel about certain movies.  I probably watch all or part of CASABLANCA every time it's on.

Same with nearly every Hitchcock film with the exception of VERTIGO. I watched it once recently because I felt I HAD TO having seen every other Hitchcock film. Once was enough. Up until then I had no interest I expect for the reason you described.

Having finally seen it, it escapes me how it has become so venerated.

Yeah, I'm not too keen on VERTIGO either. I find it rather slow and belabored. I think Hitchcock made better films.

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Vertigo is my favorite Hitchcock film. It is admittedly leisurely in its first half, but in my opinion, it rewards your patience with some batsh*t crazy revelations and plot twists. The emotional wallop of what happens to Jimmy Stewart's character is heartbreaking. I said earlier today in another thread it wouldn't be the first Hitchock film I'd introduce to a newbie. You need to work up to it.

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My biggest reason for missing a "classic" movie is that it stars either Joan Crawford or Bette Davis (or both). I'm not saying I've never seen one of their movies - I've just seen enough to know I don't want to see anymore. So off-putting,

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43 minutes ago, uncle charlie said:

My biggest reason for missing a "classic" movie is that it stars either Joan Crawford or Bette Davis (or both). I'm not saying I've never seen one of their movies - I've just seen enough to know I don't want to see anymore. So off-putting,

I get ya when it comes to Joan. 

But Bette was too phenomenally gifted to ignore, I think.

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If there's a well-regarded movie I've not seen it's usually because the subject matter doesn't interest me very much.  Or not at all.  Plus, I'm less inclined to watch really long movies with only a few exceptions.  (When I refer to 'really long movies' I mean films that run 150 minutes and longer -- that's my personal definition of a really long movie:  2½ hours and more). 

I'm amenable to watching THE BIG COUNTRY in its entirety.  I caught some of it the other day when TCM was celebrating Gregory Peck and it looked all right -- but I hadn't seen it from the beginning so I decided to stop watching any more until I could see it from the beginning.  I may just buy the movie.  I'm sure I can snag it for a low price.  It's not rare. 

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I like Vertigo and it was pretty well known that Hitchcock wasn't happy with nuns.  I think it is one of Stewart's best roles and he worked well with Kim Novak in Bell, Book and Candle (but Jack Lemmon steals the movie - also, someone who hardly anyone is familiar with today (also his wife, Edie Adams - Cigars, Cigarettes, ...), Ernie Kovacs.

Some classic movies just bore me (e.g., Fort Apache, others, like Dr. Strangelove, are too disturbing).

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22 hours ago, TopBilled said:

 

Something like THE BIG COUNTRY is probably too long and would have to wait until I have a free Sunday afternoon to devote to it. But of course I have to be psychologically ready, which means I will need time to read reviews of the film before I sit down to watch it. I cannot just go into a film screening blindly. I have to be fully aware and know what to look for.

:rolleyes:

"Psychologically ready"?  Oy!   We're talking a  late '50's Western "epic" here( I just about call any movie almost three hours long an "epic").  NOT some dark, soul wrenching human introspection by Fellini or Bergman.  So the time element can be your only sensible sounding excuse.  And why the need to read reviews about it?  WHOSE reviews, and why not just watch the damned movie and make up your OWN MIND about if you think it's good or bad?  Nobody else can really tell anyone else what to look for in any movie.  People are (hopefully) mostly individuals with individual tastes and reactions.  OK, let's just say you've seen this movie.  But it wouldn't surprise anyone(who thinks) that what YOU might like best about it(hypothetically assuming you do like it) is far different from what I like best about it.   Or too, what makes ME like it so much could be what might make YOU hate it!   Oh, and.....

I've never(and likely never will) considered my watching a movie as being a "screening".   :rolleyes:  Neither at home OR at a theater.  Seems a bit pretentious to me.    My advice?

Just watch the damn movie.  Sit there with a snack, a drink and an open mind.   If you like and enjoyed the principals in this movie in other films they made chances are good for your liking this movie too.  Just expect nothing more than hopefully to be entertained by it and look for no deep message,  allegory  or modern day interpretation through an early American tale and it just may wind up being one of your favorites too.   Lets PLEASE not be like those blowhards on CNN's "History Of The Sitcom" who"see" shows like THE MUNSTERS, ADDAMS FAMILY, and BEWITCHED as representative of the "African-American in white society"  sort of thing, or I DREAM OF JEANNIE as promoting misogyny.  Really, nobody took them(nor intended them) to be more than "fish out of water" type of stories and comedies. 

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

:rolleyes:

"Psychologically ready"?  Oy!   We're talking a  late '50's Western "epic" here( I just about call any movie almost three hours long an "epic").  NOT some dark, soul wrenching human introspection by Fellini or Bergman.  So the time element can be your only sensible sounding excuse.  And why the need to read reviews about it?  WHOSE reviews, and why not just watch the damned movie and make up your OWN MIND about if you think it's good or bad?  Nobody else can really tell anyone else what to look for in any movie.  People are (hopefully) mostly individuals with individual tastes and reactions.  OK, let's just say you've seen this movie.  But it wouldn't surprise anyone(who thinks) that what YOU might like best about it(hypothetically assuming you do like it) is far different from what I like best about it.   Or too, what makes ME like it so much could be what might make YOU hate it!   Oh, and.....

I've never(and likely never will) considered my watching a movie as being a "screening".   :rolleyes:  Neither at home OR at a theater.  Seems a bit pretentious to me.    My advice?

Just watch the damn movie.  Sit there with a snack, a drink and an open mind.   If you like and enjoyed the principals in this movie in other films they made chances are good for your liking this movie too.  Just expect nothing more than hopefully to be entertained by it and look for no deep message,  allegory  or modern day interpretation through an early American tale and it just may wind up being one of your favorites too.   Lets PLEASE not be like those blowhards on CNN's "History Of The Sitcom" who"see" shows like THE MUNSTERS, ADDAMS FAMILY, and BEWITCHED as representative of the "African-American in white society"  sort of thing, or I DREAM OF JEANNIE as promoting misogyny.  Really, nobody took them(nor intended them) to be more than "fish out of water" type of stories and comedies. 

Sepiatone

Sorry but I find the tone of your reply to be unnecessarily negative. I think we are all adults around here and can tolerate someone approaching film viewing different than we might. 

And for the record I was not asking for your advice. :) 

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

:rolleyes:

"Psychologically ready"?  Oy!   We're talking a  late '50's Western "epic" here( I just about call any movie almost three hours long an "epic").  NOT some dark, soul wrenching human introspection by Fellini or Bergman. 

I, er, believe he  meant "Psychologically ready to sit down and watch a serious three-hour movie-", which, admittedly, is something I'm not in the mood to do on Saturday night either, but might want to on Sunday afternoon.

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

I, er, believe he  meant "Psychologically ready to sit down and watch a serious three-hour movie-", which, admittedly, is something I'm not in the mood to do on Saturday night either, but might want to on Sunday afternoon.

Thanks. That's exactly what I meant.

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:rolleyes:  So, why not just SAY, "I have to try to find the time to spare"  or some other BS instead of making it appear that watching THE BIG SKY is somehow so emotionally draining that trying to watch it before he's "ready" might throw him into some kind of psychosis.   :blink:   Besides, that movie really isn't THAT "serious" that watching it might cause a person to delve into some hopeless despondency.  :rolleyes:  Plus, if Top has it copied, or owns a copy of it there's no reason he couldn't watch it at his leisure without fearing for psychological damage.  Or he could just say he's not that interested in seeing it as the summary of it made it seem he might not really like it all that much.

22 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Sorry but I find the tone of your reply to be unnecessarily negative. I think we are all adults around here and can tolerate someone approaching film viewing different than we might. 

And for the record I was not asking for your advice. :) 

We see(and often hear) what we want to.  I wasn't intending to be negative and don't believe I was as much as I was being reactionary.  

But I will apologize regardless.  and also give kudos to you for not using ridiculous 21st century social media "dweebspeak" like "passive/Aggressive".   :rolleyes:  As for the movie....

The fistfight between Heston and Peck is alone worth the wait.  ;)  Predictable, sure.  But still......

Sepiatone

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On 8/15/2021 at 1:19 PM, 37kitties said:

eeing well-worn clips of it.

Such as Casablanca - every time I see a clip of Bogie saying that peculiar speechifying dialogue or Ingrid expressing such woeful romantic torment, it has the opposite effect of stimulating an interest to watch it - it tends to stimulate me to laugh at the silliness of these.

I'm not saying that the movie is this - I'm saying that the clips I've seen repeatedly have inspired in me a notion for ridicule rather than interest.

 

On 8/15/2021 at 1:26 PM, TopBilled said:

Interesting comment. Are you saying that the clips start to become some sort of unintended parody?

 

On 8/15/2021 at 1:29 PM, 37kitties said:

For a cold-hearted brute like me, probably so.

Interesting exchange.. "Untended parody" is a form of camp, isn't it? I'm not an expert on camp but it seems to me that camp might be the goal from the get-go, but much of it is evolved through age and what seemed  "normal" at the time might morph into a something to snicker at either because of exaggeration or perhaps simply from being old and worn-out. It could certainly undermine any desire to rematch a film though it might be a classic like Casablanca. I don't believe that C is normally seen as camp, at least not so terribly obviously so, but from a personal point of view it could very legitimately seen that way.

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On 8/15/2021 at 11:36 AM, TopBilled said:

But of course I have to be psychologically ready, which means I will need time to read reviews of the film before I sit down to watch it. I cannot just go into a film screening blindly. I have to be fully aware and know what to look for. And I do not rely on TCM's hosts to do that for me.

I'm just the opposite. I like the cold turkey approach. I still remember back when (don't ask) you knew practically nothing about a film and you took your seat in the theater, the lights went out, and a story unfolded right in front of you. This is what for me is enjoying a film. You're approach seems more in the critical bent, professional critics that wrote for newspapers (back in the days when that was all we had) were given materials about the film, a full synopsis, e.g.. This is perfectly legitimate of course. You are much more the student of film that I am and I'm not surprised that you approach it that way.  I would probably benefit by doing it your way, sometimes at least. I am not so ingeniously perspicacious that I can understand everything and perhaps that undermines my enjoyment. If I am in trouble with a film I might feel the need for a reality check and  go for help. I still won't consult reviews at this point but perhaps the Wicki page for the movie and then proceed carefully looking for enlightenment needed at the time but not reed the whole thing.  The element of surprise is too important for me.

 

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6 minutes ago, laffite said:

I'm just the opposite. I like the cold turkey approach. I still remember back when (don't ask) you knew practically nothing about a film and you took your seat in the theater, the lights went out, and a story unfolded right in front of you. This is what for me is enjoying a film. You're approach seems more in the critical bent, professional critics that wrote for newspapers (back in the days when that was all we had) were given materials about the film, a full synopsis, e.g.. This is perfectly legitimate of course. You are much more the student of film that I am and I'm not surprised that you approach it that way.  I would probably benefit by doing it your way, sometimes at least. I am not so ingeniously perspicacious that I can understand everything and perhaps that undermines my enjoyment. If I am in trouble with a film I might feel the need for a reality check and  go for help. I still won't consult reviews at this point but perhaps the Wicki page for the movie and then proceed carefully looking for enlightenment needed at the time but not reed the whole thing.  The element of surprise is too important for me.

I don't think there is much to be surprised about, if you know most of the tropes in a given genre. Very seldom do I find a movie with an unexpected development or twist ending.

Also if you know a film features a certain actor like Cary Grant, you know he will never be the villain and he will always get the girl. If it's a John Wayne movie, you know he will not be a villain either.

As I said I like to read other users' reviews beforehand so that I know what to look for during a screening and whether or not I share those views/opinions.

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

don't think there is much to be surprised about

Forgive me, I don't mean to be contentious, but how can it be anything but surprising to want to know so much about a film before watching it. But to each his own, as always. Though surprised, I respect your approach. Maybe I should try it sometime. Enfin, que sais'je?

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

Forgive me, I don't mean to be contentious, but how can it be anything but surprising to want to know so much about a film before watching it. But to each his own, as always. Though surprised, I respect your approach. Maybe I should try it sometime. Enfin, que sais'je?

I think what I was saying is that even if I did not read any reviews beforehand, I would still not be surprised by anything that plays out on screen.

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On 8/15/2021 at 1:36 PM, TopBilled said:
Quote

I think your comment above is interesting and suggests accessibility. Some films are not accessible to audiences, except during rare occasions (especially if they have never been released on home video).

The examples I gave in my original post are films that are widely available for commercial audiences, but still I do not get around to watching them.

I think part of the "problem" is that I watch three British soaps. Emmerdale and Coronation Street both turn out six episodes per week and EastEnders turns out four episodes a week. That is 16 new episodes a week.

Plus I am usually checking out a lot of interviews on YouTube that feature soap stars on both sides of the pond, so I can keep up with the genre as a whole. Soaps require a heavy time commitment.

Just my two cents…

Based on your above comments, I think what the problem that you are having (if there is a problem) is a matter of time allocated. You have decided that it is far more important to you at this juncture of your life to devote a considerable amount of time watching three British soap operas and You Tube videos. THIS IS YOUR CHOICE.

And there is nothing wrong with this.

However, based on pretty much a lot of what you have written on the message boards over the years, one could assume you ARE a student of film history and some kind of film scholar.

Having said this, I find it increasingly difficult to understand why you have chosen NOT to watch certain older Hollywood standards that many others have chosen to watch, not because of what critics have written, but based purely on their high entertainment value. I would argue that most people on the message boards watch older films simply because they provide the viewing as a simple pleasure in and of itself. We are talking about a bygone era of filmmaking.

Quote

When I do get a chance to focus on classic film, I have decide how that time will be allocated. So I am a bit more choosey in terms of what I see.

Something like THE BIG COUNTRY is probably too long and would have to wait until I have a free Sunday afternoon to devote to it. But of course I have to be psychologically ready, which means I will need time to read reviews of the film before I sit down to watch it. I cannot just go into a film screening blindly. I have to be fully aware and know what to look for. And I do not rely on TCM's hosts to do that for me.

Sounds like a lot of drama I know! But this is how I approach television and film. I try to be as purposeful and thorough as I can.

Going back to CASABLANCA and the idea of accessibility, that film will still be around a hundred years from now, so I feel there is all the time in the world to get back to it. And if I don't get back to it, then I've enjoyed so many other things in the meanwhile!

Another two cents…
As I wrote before, it is a matter of time allocated. The Big Country is a good film. Not great but it does have wonderful characterizations and a good story. Beautifully photographed and a great music score. I think it would be a good use of your time. Yes, it is a rather long film at 2 hours and 46 minutes. However I think taking some time to view the film might be worth it. But only you can decide what is worth your time.

But being “psychologically ready” seems to be a stretch for me to understand. I could understand being “psychologically ready” would pertain to watching a CSPAN Senate Committee meeting or some other rather pretentious affair on CSPAN or other cable news show.

We are talking about movie watching here. Reviews? I really do not think reading about what other people think about a film is either very important or even helpful before I watch a film. I would rather sit and watch something before I read any reviews. As far as I am concerned, reviews are something to be read after the fact not before. I am not going to be convinced to watch a film or not simply based on what some person has written about a film.
But this is your way and we have to respect that.

Here’s a thought…

An experiment. Once you have decided to devote some time and sit down and watch Casablanca or The Big Country, watch the film first. Then read all you can about the film. Try and be as innocent as you can before watching the film. In other words, no preconceptions going in.
If you do read reviews of the film then you are not going to be surprised, nor will you be willing to expect or see what the reviews said about the film. You might be surprised. Then afterwards, read all you can about the film so you can compare what you thought of the film to what others have written about it.

You will then “own” the movie experience.

 

 

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16 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I think what I was saying is that even if I did not read any reviews beforehand, I would still not be surprised by anything that plays out on screen.

Ha!   

But we'll never know that for sure as long as there are movies that for one reason or another you just never seem to get around to seeing, right?  ;) 

As for reviews, I've never relied on them to determine ahead of time whether or not i might like or not like any movie.  When a new movie would come out I'd read newspaper critic's reviews mostly to get an idea of what the movie was about.  I've seen many movies that critics dumped on and vehemently hated that I wound up fully enjoying.  And vice-versa.  Which is also why I don't fully subscribe to any political ideology("liberal", "conservative" and that nonsense)  as the people I know that do usually robot-like repeat the same opinions and state the same ideals like some collection of "pod people".  I prefer to do my own thinking thank you.   I know this appears to be digressing....

But I've also noticed that similar behavior from people who go by everything some movie or music critics say. 

I know you're smarter than that Top.  And surely you can find more reliable and objective sources of movie info than reviews. 

Sepiatone

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For me, it's usually the length of film which will delay my willingness to watch it. I get distracted easily! 😄

 

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On 8/17/2021 at 5:42 PM, laffite said:

Forgive me, I don't mean to be contentious, but how can it be anything but surprising to want to know so much about a film before watching it. But to each his own, as always. Though surprised, I respect your approach. Maybe I should try it sometime. Enfin, que sais'je?

For my scheduling purposes, the one or two sentence plot description and genre are good for me.  I sometimes look at the listing in IMDB if it looks interesting or no actors mentioned.  When I watch it, it may or may not fit into other peoples expectations, so I forego that step.  In certain cases I have been following certain IMDB posters for years, have found them to be reliable, and do the OPPOSITE of what they recommend.

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Sometimes I over-hype a movie in my mind and for fear of being disappointed, put off viewing it for weeks... until I finally crack like a walnut and sit down to watch it. One of the most recent examples was with Citizen Kane... and I decidedly did not have a good time. So I guess sometimes my phobia is rational. 

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