Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Good movie: Boy gets Girl. Great movie: Boy loses Girl.


slaytonf
 Share

Recommended Posts

Whispering Smith:  Good movie.

 

Shane:  Great movie.

 

Do most great movies have the traditional Hollywood Happy Ending?  Some do, like The Best Years of Our Lives.  But I think most don't.

 

Girl cheats on boy, boy finds out - gets the perfect revenge at wedding. "The Art of Travel" (2008) Excellent movie - oh how sweet it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whispering Smith:  Good movie.

 

Shane:  Great movie.

 

Do most great movies have the traditional Hollywood Happy Ending?  Some do, like The Best Years of Our Lives.  But I think most don't.

The good ones don't. And the good ones are usually indie or foreign.

 

The sappy ones were made in the 1940s and were forced by the Hays morons to have the man force the stupid woman to give up her career to marry him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, we caught the second half of WHISPERING SMITH last night and were amazed at how little Alan Ladd's face moved when he talked. Don't know if he was trying to "act" as if he was holding back all emotions, but he just came across as wooden. Even his voice sounded like he was reading lines.

Not a good idea to put him across from Robert Preston-a POWERHOUSE of an actor that just made the contrast even greater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just looked at my list of my favorite Hollywood movies from the 30's through the 50's. Here's how I'd describe the endings:

 

1930 - 1939

1. Bombshell - Contrived happy
2. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang - Unhappy
3. So Big - Hopeful happy
4. Stella Dallas - Mixed message

5. Red-Headed Woman - The happiest ending ever
6. Libeled Lady - Total screwball confusion
7. Heroes For Sale - Contrived happy but definite mixed message
8. Baby Face - Contrived happy
9. Rain - Philosophical
10. A Man to Remember - Happy
11. 42nd Street / Footlight Parade - Happy, but fadeaway scene in 42nd Street is poignant
12. Bringing Up Baby - Happy if you're not a dinosaur

 

1940 - 1949

1. The Search - Happy
2. The Killers - Happy but mainly whimsical
3. Out of the Past
- Unhappy to anyone but Joe Breen
4. The Best Years Of Our Lives  - Happy
5. Nightmare Alley - Pure noir horrific

6. Gilda - Happy
7. It's A Wonderful Life - Happy
8. The Hard Way - Horrific
9. Roughly Speaking - Happy
10. Mildred Pierce - Miserable for all concerned
11. Laura - Happy
12. The Letter - Bloody
13. Thieves’ Highway - Happy

 

1950 - 1959

1. All About Eve - Philosophical
2. Vertigo - Unhappy
3. Carrie
- Nighmarish

4. A Star Is Born - Unhappy, but with a stirring sendoff
5. Time Limit - Unsettling
6. On The Waterfront - Happy, sort of
7. The Bad and the Beautiful - Poetic justice
8. House of Bamboo - Sort of happy
9. The Asphalt Jungle - Poignantly unhappy
10. Witness For The Prosecution - Poetic justice
11. Kiss Me Deadly - Insane
12. Sudden Fear - Happy relief

 

By contrast, nearly all of the formula Hollywood movies from the studio era wind up with a promise of a preacher.  Just look at yesterday's William Beaudine tribute for a whole slew of examples of that.



 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just looked at my list of my favorite Hollywood movies from the 30's through the 50's. Here's how I'd describe the endings:

 

1930 - 1939

1. Bombshell - Contrived happy

2. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang - Unhappy

3. So Big - Hopeful happy

4. Stella Dallas - Mixed message

5. Red-Headed Woman - The happiest ending ever

6. Libeled Lady - Total screwball confusion

7. Heroes For Sale - Contrived happy but definite mixed message

8. Baby Face - Contrived happy

9. Rain - Philosophical

10. A Man to Remember - Happy

11. 42nd Street / Footlight Parade - Happy, but fadeaway scene is poignant

12. Bringing Up Baby - Happy if you're not a dinosaur

 

1940 - 1949

1. The Search - Happy

2. The Killers - Happy but mainly whimsical

3. Out of the Past - Unhappy to anyone but Joe Breen

4. The Best Years Of Our Lives  - Happy

5. Nightmare Alley - Pure noir horrific

6. Gilda - Happy

7. It's A Wonderful Life - Happy

8. The Hard Way - Horrific

9. Roughly Speaking - Happy

10. Mildred Pierce - Miserable for all concerned

11. Laura - Happy

12. The Letter - Bloody

13. Thieves’ Highway - Happy

 

1950 - 1959

1. All About Eve - Philosophical

2. Vertigo - Unhappy

3. Carrie - Nighmarish

4. A Star Is Born - Unhappy, but with a stirring sendoff

5. Time Limit - Unsettling

6. On The Waterfront - Happy, sort of

7. The Bad and the Beautiful - Poetic justice

8. House of Bamboo - Sort of happy

9. The Asphalt Jungle - Poignantly unhappy

10. Witness For The Prosecution - Poetic justice

11. Kiss Me Deadly - Insane

12. Sudden Fear - Happy relief

 

By contrast, nearly all of the formula Hollywood movies from the studio era wind up with a promise of a preacher.  Just look at yesterday's William Beaudine tribute for a whole slew of examples of that.

 

 

 

 

Wow! Did you remember all those endings? Kudos, Andy.

 

the promise of a preacher - I like that. One of my favorite movies to hate has one of the endings I love to hate - I Married A Doctor, where Josephine Hutchinson gives up her soul to stay married to the narcissistic Pat O'Brien.

 

Impact had a good ending, although it was hell to get there.

 

What was the ending of the Red Headed Woman? Did she stand up for herself and succeed without a man? Nah, I'm sure she didn't.

 

I won't ask about Nightmare Alley since I haven't seen it and hopefully some day TCM will show it (again?).

 

I'm really impressed with your list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Did you remember all those endings? Kudos, Andy.

 

the promise of a preacher - I like that. One of my favorite movies to hate has one of the endings I love to hate - I Married A Doctor, where Josephine Hutchinson gives up her soul to stay married to the narcissistic Pat O'Brien.

 

Impact had a good ending, although it was hell to get there.

 

What was the ending of the Red Headed Woman? Did she stand up for herself and succeed without a man? Nah, I'm sure she didn't.

 

I won't ask about Nightmare Alley since I haven't seen it and hopefully some day TCM will show it (again?).

 

I'm really impressed with your list.

 

Thanks, primosprimos.  There were some threads a while back where we were discussing our favorite movies from each decade, and I decided to copy and save all my choices in a Word document for future reference.  You can see that my taste in Hollywood movies leans pretty strongly in a particular direction.

 

Red-Headed Woman ended with serial kept woman / marriage destroyer Harlow being hounded out of the country, only to wind up being the kept woman of some French sugar daddy who takes her to the racetrack and keeps her living in grand style.  But the real kicker is that this guy's (and Harlow's) chauffeur is the same lover (Charles Boyer) that Harlow had had back in America!  It's hard not to imagine that this was one of the movies that sent Joe Breen flying over the edge.  How many taboos can one 75 minute movie break? :P

 

And if some futuristic robot could ever review all the Hollywood dramas and romantic comedies up through about 1955, I'd be willing to bet that it would discover that the great majority of them ended either with a marriage proposal or a marriage reconciliation.  There'd be a partial exception for the gangster and noir genres, where the ending would almost always find the good guy winning and the bad guy either frying or being gunned down.  And if the good guy used to be a bad guy, he'll usually die happily in the arms of some girl with a heart of gold, with the implicit promise of a fair trial in the court of Judge St. Peter.

 

Best example of the hokiest and phoniest ending ever to an otherwise fairly good noirish film:  The Postman Always Rings Twice, where "Pretty Boy Frank" Chambers smiles in raptured acceptance of being ironically electrocuted for a murder he didn't commit, after getting off for one that he did. I wonder how much of a signing bonus they had to give poor John Garfield to agree to that one!  That howler made "Rocky Dies Yellow" seem like a snarling pledge of murderous revenge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, primosprimos.  There were some threads a while back where we were discussing our favorite movies from each decade, and I decided to copy and save all my choices in a Word document for future reference.  You can see that my taste in Hollywood movies leans pretty strongly in a particular direction.

 

Red-Headed Woman ended with serial kept woman / marriage destroyer Harlow being hounded out of the country, only to wind up being the kept woman of some French sugar daddy who takes her to the racetrack and keeps her living in grand style.  But the real kicker is that this guy's (and Harlow's) chauffeur is the same lover (Charles Boyer) that Harlow had had back in America!  It's hard not to imagine that this was one of the movies that sent Joe Breen flying over the edge.  How many taboos can one 75 minute movie break? :P

 

And if some futuristic robot could ever review all the Hollywood dramas and romantic comedies up through about 1955, I'd be willing to bet that it would discover that the great majority of them ended either with a marriage proposal or a marriage reconciliation.  There'd be a partial exception for the gangster and noir genres, where the ending would almost always find the good guy winning and the bad guy either frying or being gunned down.  And if the good guy used to be a bad guy, he'll usually die happily in the arms of some girl with a heart of gold, with the implicit promise of a fair trial in the court of Judge St. Peter.

 

Best example of the hokiest and phoniest ending ever to an otherwise fairly good noirish film:  The Postman Always Rings Twice, where "Pretty Boy Frank" Chambers smiles in raptured acceptance of being ironically electrocuted for a murder he didn't commit, after getting off for one that he did. I wonder how much of a signing bonus they had to give poor John Garfield to agree to that one!  That howler made "Rocky Dies Yellow" seem like a snarling pledge of murderous revenge.

 

I question if the ending of Red Headed Women is a happy one for the Harlow character (it is for her ex-husband since he is rid of her). 

 

The Harlow character has to sleep with ugly old men in order to keep up her lifestyle.   The Boyer character is her pimp.   I call that a sad ending for her.

 

Now IF she was able to be free sexually on her own terms THAT would be a happy ending from my POV,  but not the one we see in the movie.     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Write this down, I'll give you some ground rules.
Plenty of conflict but nice guys don't break the law.
Girl meets boy, she gives herself completely
And though she loves him

She keep one foot on the floor.

No one dies except the best friend.
No one ever mentions communists.
No one takes a black friend to a restaurant.



 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, we caught the second half of WHISPERING SMITH last night and were amazed at how little Alan Ladd's face moved when he talked. Don't know if he was trying to "act" as if he was holding back all emotions, but he just came across as wooden. Even his voice sounded like he was reading lines.

Not a good idea to put him across from Robert Preston-a POWERHOUSE of an actor that just made the contrast even greater.

 

i think that is why they titled the movie "WHISPERING" Smith.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, primosprimos.  There were some threads a while back where we were discussing our favorite movies from each decade, and I decided to copy and save all my choices in a Word document for future reference.  You can see that my taste in Hollywood movies leans pretty strongly in a particular direction.

 

Red-Headed Woman ended with serial kept woman / marriage destroyer Harlow being hounded out of the country, only to wind up being the kept woman of some French sugar daddy who takes her to the racetrack and keeps her living in grand style.  But the real kicker is that this guy's (and Harlow's) chauffeur is the same lover (Charles Boyer) that Harlow had had back in America!  It's hard not to imagine that this was one of the movies that sent Joe Breen flying over the edge.  How many taboos can one 75 minute movie break? :P

 

And if some futuristic robot could ever review all the Hollywood dramas and romantic comedies up through about 1955, I'd be willing to bet that it would discover that the great majority of them ended either with a marriage proposal or a marriage reconciliation.  There'd be a partial exception for the gangster and noir genres, where the ending would almost always find the good guy winning and the bad guy either frying or being gunned down.  And if the good guy used to be a bad guy, he'll usually die happily in the arms of some girl with a heart of gold, with the implicit promise of a fair trial in the court of Judge St. Peter.

 

Best example of the hokiest and phoniest ending ever to an otherwise fairly good noirish film:  The Postman Always Rings Twice, where "Pretty Boy Frank" Chambers smiles in raptured acceptance of being ironically electrocuted for a murder he didn't commit, after getting off for one that he did. I wonder how much of a signing bonus they had to give poor John Garfield to agree to that one!  That howler made "Rocky Dies Yellow" seem like a snarling pledge of murderous revenge.

Red-Headed Woman ended with serial kept woman / marriage destroyer Harlow being hounded out of the country, only to wind up being the kept woman of some French sugar daddy who takes her to the racetrack and keeps her living in grand style.  But the real kicker is that this guy's (and Harlow's) chauffeur is the same lover (Charles Boyer) that Harlow had had back in America!  It's hard not to imagine that this was one of the movies that sent Joe Breen flying over the edge.  How many taboos can one 75 minute movie break?

 

Hah - I love it. At the end, did Boyer look into the camera and do that conspiratorial thing with the eyebrows? :D 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Red-Headed Woman ended with serial kept woman / marriage destroyer Harlow being hounded out of the country, only to wind up being the kept woman of some French sugar daddy who takes her to the racetrack and keeps her living in grand style.  But the real kicker is that this guy's (and Harlow's) chauffeur is the same lover (Charles Boyer) that Harlow had had back in America!  It's hard not to imagine that this was one of the movies that sent Joe Breen flying over the edge.  How many taboos can one 75 minute movie break?

 

Hah - I love it. At the end, did Boyer look into the camera and do that conspiratorial thing with the eyebrows? :D 

 

Actually I think the movie played it deadpan, with Boyer's face not visible to the camera until he turns around to reveal himself once Harlow gets into the car.  I can't even remember whether her husband is with her at this point, but it doesn't really matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's interesting that the movies of the Reagan era had happy endings for the most part. Maybe that reflected his image of making the American people feel better about themselves. There were exceptions, of course -- "Body Heat," "Silkwood" and "Out of Africa" immediately come to mind.

 

The movies of the 1970s were darker, that's for sure. Maybe that was a reflection of the Nixon years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

What if both are machines?  :wub:

 

 

Now ham! Are you matchmaking robots again??? 

 

(...sure got a thing for settin' up these silicon-based life forms doncha, ol' buddy...perhaps we should concentrate on carbon-based units for a while here first, eh?!) ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now ham! Are you matchmaking robots again??? 

 

(...sure got a thing for settin' up these silicon-based life forms doncha, ol' buddy...perhaps we should concentrate on carbon-based units for a while here first, eh?!) ;)

 

At least I'm not trying to pair someone up with a tractor. ;)

 

(didn't work out for Eddie Albert)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At least I'm not trying to pair someone up with a tractor. ;)

 

(didn't work out for Eddie Albert)

 

Well, coincidentally ham, I know a guy who's strong like bull AND smart like tractor!

 

Ya gotta match for HIM maybe???

 

(...he says as long as she's good at milkin' cows, it doesn't matter that much what she looks like!) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually I think the movie played it deadpan, with Boyer's face not visible to the camera until he turns around to reveal himself once Harlow gets into the car.  I can't even remember whether her husband is with her at this point, but it doesn't really matter.

Sounds swell. I hope TCM reruns it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...