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Films you Originally Dismissed but Now Like


JefCostello
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I was thinking of movies that I dismissed or hated upon first viewing, and now have the complete opposite opinion. I find that I often have visceral reactions to a movie, and then upon multiple viewings, my opinions will change. Sometimes, the change is drastic, and that's what this list is about. I was wondering if you folks have your own films that you had a complete turnaround on over time? Anyway, here's the list:

 

 

Blow Up

Dr Strangelove

My Fair Lady

The Trial

Death in Venice

The Lady From Shanghai

L'Argent

Network

Diary of a Country Priest

 

 

If you want, you can even list films you dislike now but used to like. Personally, I can't think of any I'd put into that category myself. Sure, there are some films I like less than I used to, but none that I completely despise now but used to like.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the thread. Recently I had the opposite experience: a film I saw as a kid which I loved, watched again and was very disappointed. I rented "Beat the Devil" a few weeks back after reading a John Huston bio; the film did not hold up to the memory I had of it as a youngster. Bogart is tired, Peter Lorre is wasted ( in more ways than one!) and the script though witty at times never realy gels. Jennifer Jones is very good but when the best thing in a film has going is Jennifer Jones you know your'e in trouble.

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Jeff, what an interesting group of films in your thread. I can understand your Bresson choices --- his films are enhanced by further viewings, I think. Of your other films, I'm not a fan of My Fair Lady -- I think that if I had to pick two worst travesties in Oscar history, one of them would be for Rex Harrison's Oscar that year -- over four more deserving gentlemen. Lady from Shanghai and Blow Up are two great films that also, I think, improve as one sees them again and again; just as David Hemmings sees more and more as he looks closer at the photo he's taken.

 

For me, I'll take your invitation to address the opposite. On first viewing, long ago, I liked NBNW. I liked it because, as a worshipper of Hitchcock, I related to and appreciated the careful cinematic language of Hitchcock, which is present in all his movies. But upon closer examination, over further viewings, I realize that the film is hollow -- it used Hitchcock's language and imagery, but it's fake. It doesn't deserve to stand beside other Hitchcock films of that era -- Rear Window, or Psycho, or The Birds, or The Man Who Knew Too Much, as a representative film made by one of the top masters of the movies. NBNW is Hitchock's joke film.

 

But back to you, Jeff. What do you think of Au Hasard Balthazar ?

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Movies that improved a lot on second sitting:

 

Children of Pardise

Stolen Kisses

The Maltese Falcon

The Big Sleep

Dr. Strangelove

 

 

The second time broke the spell:

 

A Thousand Clowns

Cabaret

Bonnie and Clyde

East of Eden

The Wild One

The St. Valentine Day's Massacre

My Brilliant Career

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"Hello Dolly" I thought it was something else like a burlesque type of movie but got a surprise when I watched it for the first time this past December. Really enjoyed the music (thank you WALL E)

 

Silent movies - blame the ignorance of youth. Glad I woke up.

 

"The Outlaw Josey Wales", it never connected with me but decided to watch it last month. Noticed its another one of those movies where you get off with about 20 shots with a revolver (target practice scene).

LOL that poor dog!

 

You look like this if you get spit upon - constantly!

vlcsnap-00136.jpg

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A film that quite a few people dislike or are ambivalent about upon first viewing is Sergio Leone's *Once Upon A Time In the West*, its slower pace sets it apart from his three previous Westerns and upon subsequent viewings it all clicks and they now consider it a masterpiece. Its been said it's an opera and each major character has a leitmotif where the arias are starred not sung.

 

There are probably a few others that I'll post when they pop into mind.

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I liked Balthazar the first time I saw it. Bresson's movies do seem cold and distant the first time you watch some of them. Other films of his I should have included are A Gentle Woman and Pickpocket.

 

Nazarin by Bunuel is another movie I originally dismissed as not being one of his better ones, but I now think differently. Same with Ashes and Diamonds, by Wajda.

 

I guess non-Hollywood movies are a little harder to go for at first, because they go against an American viewer's expectation of plot and pace. That's why so many movies I originally listed are either from other countries, or were directed by Orson Welles, who was essentially a non-Hollywood style director.

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SINCE YOU WENT AWAY is one I loved when I first saw it. I bought a DVD copy and would play it occasionally. Then, about a year passed, and when I watched it on TCM, I really found some of the scenes to be unintentionally funny. And I thought the dialogue sounded ultra corny, as if it had been lifted out of a melodramatic radio play of the 40s.

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*Saturday Night Fever* . I HATE disco! HATE HATE HATE it! And I at first saw it as a showcase for Travolta, the music and the promotion of disco dancing. But subsequent viewings revealed the story behind of an otherwise shallow, self centered young man( "Watch the HAIR!") learning the difference between comeraderie and true friendship, and growing apart from the friends he had and the life he's led as he learns there's more important things in life besides himself.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I was flying from N.Y. back to L.A. in 1969 and the in flight movie was "A Lion in Winter". I was a big fan of O'Toole and liked Hepburn well enough and paid the money to watch it. Well, after about 10 or 15 minutes I removed the earphones, I just couldn't get into the film. I thought it was a big bore. A few months later my girl friend wanted to see it, so I gave in and we went to a theater in Hollywood. I was blown away by what I saw. I sat there for the two hours plus and was engulfed in this wonderful film. The acting, dialogue, everything about it was outstanding. To this day I don't know how many times I've watched it. I owned the VHS and the DVD.. I was really POed when O'Toole lost the Oscar to Cliff Robertson. So thats when I figured, don't always rely on your first impression of a film, you might be surprised......

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*Vertigo*. Maybe I was expecting too much when it was re-released in the 80s, and all of the press coverage identified it as Hitch's masterpiece. I liked it, but I definitely thought *Rear Window*, which I also saw on the big screen during the 80s re-release, was a far superior film. Even the other re-releases that I wouldn't have called better movies -- *Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Trouble With Harry* -- were more entertaining than *Vertigo*, in my opinion. And there was no question that I thought many of Hitchcock's other movies were superior to, or more entertaining than, *Vertigo* -- e.g., *The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound, Notorious, Strangers on a Train, To Catch a Thief, North By Northwest*.

 

 

But then I saw *Vertigo* again on TV, just by chance, and was really absorbed by it, more than during that first viewing. Each time I've seen it again, I've enjoyed it more, and I'd definitely rank it among Hitchock's masterpieces now. Maybe the obsession theme was just too subtle for me during that first viewing compared to the more forceful themes in some of Hitch's other films (or the humor in others, which seems largely absent from most of *Vertigo*). Maybe it was *Vertigo's* ambiguous ending that didn't grab me the first time, which I now see as profoundly sad. Anyway, I now love the movie wholeheartedly.

 

(I went through something of the same transition with *The 39 Steps* -- very lukewarm at first, but now I love it.)

 

 

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Hoo boy, ain't that the truth. I never realized Hitch was such a perv, and in Vertigo he's at his pervy best. Novak should have thrown Stewart down the stairs.

 

On Big Sleep, Andy, did you see it today? It is soooooooo confusing that each viewing is like the first viewing. I still don't know what it was about, and I just finished seeing it. But Bogey's bookworm impersonation is priceless, as is the last shot of the two lovebirds. Man, they burned up the screen.

 

Oh and hey, how risque was that 'closed for the afternoon' sequence at the ACME book store? That musta got past the censors. The afternoon! Clooney has nothing on Bogey! :)

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Andrei Rublev was not an easy film to watch the first time, which I believe was a half hour shorter than the Criterion DVD. Solaris and The Mirror also improved remarkably on second viewings. Dr. Strangelove was a bit disappointing the first time I saw it, since I had gotten a book as a child on Kubrick's films which explained every joke and plot development in excruciating detail.

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John Ford's Tobacco Road...no, I am not kidding.

 

Perhaps it had a lot to do with seeing The World Moves On - one of the few films I genuinely despise - but my second viewing of Tobacco Road was very pleasant. Charley Grapewin, tasty Gene Tierney, Ward Bond punching out the jerk son and flipping a car over with his back - good stuff. It's not Judge Priest or How Green Was My Valley (what is?) but it's definitely not the travesty it's usually painted as.

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On Big Sleep, Andy, did you see it today? It is soooooooo confusing that each viewing is like the first viewing. I still don't know what it was about, and I just finished seeing it. But Bogey's bookworm impersonation is priceless, as is the last shot of the two lovebirds. Man, they burned up the screen.

 

Didn't see it today, but I've liked it better every time around, and for the same reason: 24 hours after I've finished watching it, I can never remember what it was all about, so it's almost like a new movie the next time. Of course it helps if you've got a great cast and atmosphere, and The Big Sleep has that in spades---or maybe I should say it has it in Marlowes.

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Giving a slightly different answer to your question, at one time I had little interest and patience in watching silent films. I wanted to hear the dialogue, plus I didn't like those silents that had a bad picture quality. Now I appreciate them so much more, because the actors had to do a lot more to get their point across and affect the viewer. The directors also had a tough job in "setting the tone" of their films. In the very early films I also like looking at the sets from a historical point of view, seeing what rooms and props looked like more than 80 years ago.

 

I still need to be in a "certain mood" to sit down and watch a silent, but it's definitely more of an enjoyable experience for me now.

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> {quote:title=NormaShearerGirl wrote:}{quote}In all honesty, I never saw a old film that I didn't like. :)

 

Then I'm guessin' ANY movie with Will Rogers in it is ESPECIALLY high on your list, eh Norma??? ;)

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