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


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I realized this morning that I have never seen MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944).

I think it's because the images seem too saccharine to me, and I am afraid it will be a bit cloying in spots.

I know people really love this film, but it's one I've been avoiding and have delayed watching.

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I can tell you, TB, that for years I didn't watch MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.  But then I did.  And I watched it again.   And again.  It really grew on me in a +positive+ way.  → Maybe you'll have to watch it more than once?  Or maybe one viewing would be all you'd need to decide if you liked it or not?  CLANG CLANG CLANG WENT THE TROLLEY!  😁 

As a different kind of example I watched Scarlet Street twice and was very displeased with the ending scenes.  I gave it another chance after my first viewing but never again. 

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4 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I can tell you, TB, that for years I didn't watch MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.  But then I did.  And I watched it again.   And again.  It really grew on me in a +positive+ way.  → Maybe you'll have to watch it more than once?  Or maybe one viewing would be all you'd need to decide if you liked it or not?  CLANG CLANG CLANG WENT THE TROLLEY!  😁 

As a different kind of example I watched Scarlet Street twice and was very displeased with the ending scenes.  I gave it another chance after my first viewing but never again. 

Interesting. See now, I love SCARLET STREET (1945). It was presented in one of my college film courses, which was my first exposure to Fritz Lang. I've watched it maybe a dozen times and always enjoyed it.

What bothered you about the final scenes?

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20 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I realized this morning that I have never seen MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944).

I think it's because the images seem too saccharine to me, and I am afraid it will be a bit cloying in spots.

I know people really love this film, but it's one I've been avoiding and have delayed watching.

It's a film you would expect from MGM, but an entertaining and well paced one. It never gets boring, has timely songs, beautiful cinematography and costumes, and a great cast. I do wish, however, that Lucille Bremer (who plays Judy Garland's older sister, Rose) would have had a dance number somewhere in the film. If you've only seen the musical numbers, it really doesn't tell the whole story.

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26 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

It's a film you would expect from MGM, but an entertaining and well paced one. It never gets boring, has timely songs, beautiful cinematography and costumes, and a great cast. I do wish, however, that Lucille Bremer (who plays Judy Garland's older sister, Rose) would have had a dance number somewhere in the film. If you've only seen the musical numbers, it really doesn't tell the whole story.

I think my problem with it, given the images I've seen, is that it's overly cheerful. I prefer darker stories/material.

I am not disputing the fact that the cast is skilled and the musical numbers are probably well done (I've never seen any clips of the musical numbers, just images online).

I do enjoy some musical biopics where there's realism. Like THE INTERRUPTED MELODY (1955) where a real-life opera singer contracts polio. Or THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1954) because there's a sense of doom that hangs over him and his wife. And despite the 'happy' ending, we know the wife and the nation have lost a special man with a special talent.

I want to feel something that comes from a genuine human experience in a musical. Most of the MGM fluff and some of the musicals turned out by 20th Century Fox are too contrived, too 'made in a factory to elicit sentimentality' for me to enjoy.

I suspect that MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is going to feel extremely artificial so I have been staying away from it.

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@TopBilled:  I watched Scarlet Street twice and the first viewing left me cold about the ending.  But I thought to give it another go; maybe my initial impression of being dissatisfied with the ending was wrong.  But I was still displeased.  Eddie G. gets rid of his harridan wife when her beloved-but-crooked first husband re-appears but then he finds out he's been played as a sucker by Joan and Dan.  So he kills Joan in a fit of rage and Dan gets blamed and sent to The Chair.  Shortly after we see a cheerful Eddie on a train in an obvious guilt "set-up" scene . . . when this scene is over all of a sudden he goes downhill so rapidly he decides to try and hang himself after hearing Joan's voice from The Great Hereafter.  What?!  I can understand Eddie G.'s character feeling some guilt -- most of us are still human enough to have some feelings of guilt when we do things we shouldn't, except Joan and Dan were so rotten to him that I was greatly annoyed when Eddie's character continues to be such a weakling and tries suicide.  He should have toughened up by now!  Plus, the good news is that he's still rid of his shrewish wife and has an opportunity to start over and make something new of himself.   But, no, he tries to hang himself.  He survives, however, but instead of doing something simple -- let's say just getting a job in a grocery store and getting a small apartment or 'vacancy' -- he decides becoming a shiftless bum is the right way to go because, hey, Joan's voice still rings in his head after all this time and he's too weak to make up his mind to stop it and remind himself that, yes, she didn't love him for a minute.  To her, he was nothing but a useful human 'tool'; a means to an end of making money for herself and her scumbag boyfriend.     

I dunno, maybe the Production Code demanded that Eddie's character pay and pay and pay for getting with murder even though the person wrongly blamed was a woman-slapping criminal rotter.  I wanted to slap some sense into Eddie G. and say "Look, you've got a chance to start over and do something useful -and- make up your mind that you're not going to let these voices from Joan bother you anymore cos she hated you!".       

That's the best explanation I can offer, TB, in regards to Scarlet Street and why I've no interest in watching it again. 

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8 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

@TopBilled:  I watched Scarlet Street twice and the first viewing left me cold about the ending.  But I thought to give it another go; maybe my initial impression of being dissatisfied with the ending was wrong.  But I was still displeased.  Eddie G. gets rid of his harridan wife when her beloved-but-crooked first husband re-appears but then he finds out he's been played as a sucker by Joan and Dan.  So he kills Joan in a fit of rage and Dan gets blamed and sent to The Chair.  Shortly after we see a cheerful Eddie on a train in an obvious guilt "set-up" scene . . . when this scene is over all of a sudden he goes downhill so rapidly he decides to try and hang himself after hearing Joan's voice from The Great Hereafter.  What?!  I can understand Eddie G.'s character feeling some guilt -- most of us are still human enough to have some feelings of guilt when we do things we shouldn't, except Joan and Dan were so rotten to him that I was greatly annoyed when Eddie's character continues to be such a weakling and tries suicide.  He should have toughened up by now!  Plus, the good news is that he's still rid of his shrewish wife and has an opportunity to start over and make something new of himself.   But, no, he tries to hang himself.  He survives, however, but instead of doing something simple -- let's say just getting a job in a grocery store and getting a small apartment or 'vacancy' -- he decides becoming a shiftless bum is the right way to go because, hey, Joan's voice still rings in his head after all this time and he's too weak to make up his mind to stop it and remind himself that, yes, she didn't love him for a minute.  To her, he was nothing but a useful human 'tool'; a means to an end of making money for herself and her scumbag boyfriend.     

I dunno, maybe the Production Code demanded that Eddie's character pay and pay and pay for getting with murder even though the person wrongly blamed was a woman-slapping criminal rotter.  I wanted to slap some sense into Eddie G. and say "Look, you've got a chance to start over and do something useful -and- make up your mind that you're not going to let these voices from Joan bother you anymore cos she hated you!".       

That's the best explanation I can offer, TB, in regards to Scarlet Street and why I've no interest in watching it again. 

Great post. Yes, I think it jived with the production code, that Eddie's character remained in agony at the end. However, it's a remake of a French film called LA CHIENNE (1931) and in the original version, he also becomes a vagrant. The female character is a prostitute in LA CHIENNE but that was obviously watered down in SCARLET STREET because of the code. 

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I share TopBilled's love for SCARLET STREET. But I can understand Mr. Gorman's frustration with Chris (Robinson's character)

(SPOILERS in case).

Chris is kind of a pushover with a shrew of a wife and is constantly manipulated by Kitty (Joan Bennett's character). But that was the kind of guy he was.....takes a lot of abuse but doesn't have the nerve to fight back. Then and now though, there are folks like that.

Chris feels betrayed when he realized he's been had and murders her in a heat of passion....had he thought about it a bit more, he probably wouldn't have brought himself to do it. But finding out he was used by the one person he thought believed in him was too much for him.

Now why he doesn't say anything when Johnny Prince is convicted and executed, I do think Chris was conflicted. He probably did want to confess, but not brave enough to risk going to the chair himself or spending the rest of his life in jail.

So Prince is executed, and Chris has to live with the guilt that he said NOTHING and let an innocent man, albeit a slimy one at that, be executed for his crime. Maybe he felt that he didn't deserve to try and start over and condemns himself to a life of poverty and vagrancy.

Just my take on it though. 

I'm starting to get a an itch to watch this again (I have the DVD now).

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25 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I share TopBilled's love for SCARLET STREET. But I can understand Mr. Gorman's frustration with Chris (Robinson's character)

(SPOILERS in case).

Chris is kind of a pushover with a shrew of a wife and is constantly manipulated by Kitty (Joan Bennett's character). But that was the kind of guy he was.....takes a lot of abuse but doesn't have the nerve to fight back. Then and now though, there are folks like that.

Chris feels betrayed when he realized he's been had and murders her in a heat of passion....had he thought about it a bit more, he probably wouldn't have brought himself to do it. But finding out he was used by the one person he thought believed in him was too much for him.

Now why he doesn't say anything when Johnny Prince is convicted and executed, I do think Chris was conflicted. He probably did want to confess, but not brave enough to risk going to the chair himself or spending the rest of his life in jail.

So Prince is executed, and Chris has to live with the guilt that he said NOTHING and let an innocent man, albeit a slimy one at that, be executed for his crime. Maybe he felt that he didn't deserve to try and start over and condemns himself to a life of poverty and vagrancy.

Just my take on it though. 

I'm starting to get a an itch to watch this again (I have the DVD now).

Excellent commentary. So he's punishing himself, because he perverted the course of justice. That's how I see it.

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