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But don't you think in the case of All About Eve and Sunset Blvd. the 'mannered' performances of the ladies fit the characters they were portraying and were therefore entirely appropriate?

Actually not. I think a young, innocent woman, unjustly jailed and with a lot of problems and a baby she has to give up, has a lot more reason to be OTT than a couple of hammy actresses!

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Actually not. I think a young, innocent woman, unjustly jailed and with a lot of problems and a baby she has to give up, has a lot more reason to be OTT than a couple of hammy actresses!

Yes, but they are Theatre people, darling.  One might say the same thing about Finney in The Dresser.  I thought he was damned good too doing his larger than life, Donald Wolfit.

I'm sure you've met plenty of OTT people in real life.   I love to see actors go for it when they get roles like these.  Like George C. Scott did in Patton.  

As for Davis and Swanson, yes they had their extreme moments but the characters also had a bit of 'down' time in those films too and IMHO it was all rather well balanced highs and lows.

And we were forewarned to fasten our seat belts.

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Yes, but they are Theatre people, darling.  One might say the same thing about Finney in The Dresser.  I thought he was damned good too doing his larger than life, Donald Wolfit.

I'm sure you've met plenty of OTT people in real life.   I love to see actors go for it when they get roles like these.  Like George C. Scott did in Patton.  

As for Davis and Swanson, yes they had their extreme moments but the characters also had a bit of 'down' time in those films too and IMHO it was all rather well balanced highs and lows.

Actually, I think those performances by Swanson and Davis are not their best -- way overdone and overrated, despite the characters.

 

Talking of Over the Top, I just saw Patti LuPone in an enjoyable new play called Shows for Days. It suits her character to be OTT as did her foray into the audience the other evening to grab a cell phone from a texting audience member:

 

http://nypost.com/2015/07/10/three-cheers-for-patti-lupones-strike-at-cell-phones/

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Actually, I think those performances by Swanson and Davis are not their best -- way overdone and overrated, despite the characters.

 

Talking of Over the Top, I just saw Patti LuPone in an enjoyable new play called Shows for Days. It suits her character to be OTT as did her foray into the audience the other evening to grab a cell phone from a texting audience member:

 

http://nypost.com/2015/07/10/three-cheers-for-patti-lupones-strike-at-cell-phones/

Your LuPone story reminds me of reading an interview with a well-known Canadian film director (there aren't many of those!) who told the reporter that what he hated most about going to the movies was sitting beside someone who was eating popcorn.

After reading the story in the Toronto Star I emailed the reporter to say that not once, but twice I had been seated behind that same director in a public film screening when his phone went off!

 

**I might as well tell you, the film director was Atom Egoyan.  And on both occasions he was seated smack-dab in the middle of the theatre, and got up and walked out taking the call.

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I'd rather watch a William Fruet movie than a Molecule Egoyan movie. 

 

      ►Testing my poxed brain I'll try and think of a few other Canadian directors/producers . . . (please correct me if I'm wrong about any of them):

 

      Bob Clark directed a number of Canadian-made/Canadian-financed movies, but I don't believe he was Canadian by birth.

 

     Harvey Hart

     George Mihalka

     Donald Shebib

     Alvin Rakoff

     Les Rose ("Hog Wild" and "Gas")

     David Cronenberg (King of Venereal Horror)

     Paul Lynch (teddy bear and all)

     Jean Beaudin

     Jean-Claude Lord

     Denis Heroux

     Timothy Bond

     Don Carmody

     Anthony Kramreither

     James Orr (I think he started out his career in Canada before beating up on Farrah Fawcett in America)

     George Mendeluk?

 

     One Canadian 'Director of Photography' whose name I'm familiar with:  Renè Verzier

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I'd rather watch a William Fruet movie than a Molecule Egoyan movie. 

 

      ►Testing my poxed brain I'll try and think of a few other Canadian directors/producers . . . (please correct me if I'm wrong about any of them):

 

      Bob Clark directed a number of Canadian-made/Canadian-financed movies, but I don't believe he was Canadian by birth.

 

Yes, Mr. G you were right the first time.  I decided after my initial post not to be coy about who this person was and just come out and say it was Egoyan.  He wasn't with Ms. Carcinogen though.

 

Bob Clark was from Florida but he did indeed make quite a few 'Canadian' films.  The imdb lists his birthplace as NO.

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I've seen four WILLIAM FRUET-directed movies; I figure he's got to be past 80 by now.  

 

    FUNERAL HOME (1980) (aka:  "Cries in the Night")  I saw "Funeral Home" way back when I was 9 in 1982 on SHOWTIME.  I never forgot it and when I was in my early 20s (circa 1995) I bought a used Paragon tape of it from my local Blockbuster. 

 

     DEATH WEEKEND (1976) (aka:  "House By The Lake")

 

     SPASMS (1983) 

 

     KILLER PARTY (1986)  

 

    

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Talking of Over the Top, I just saw Patti LuPone in an enjoyable new play called Shows for Days. It suits her character to be OTT as did her foray into the audience the other evening to grab a cell phone from a texting audience member:

 

http://nypost.com/2015/07/10/three-cheers-for-patti-lupones-strike-at-cell-phones/

 

I would have loved to have been in the audience during the performance of PATTI LUPONE GYPSY where Patti LuPone stopped "Rose's Turn" to yell at the person taking pictures, who was eventually removed from the theater.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WruzPfJ9Rys    

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I have to say that I thought that Bette Davis was perfection as Margo in All About Eve. So she's dramatic, so she's theatrical, so she's a drama queen. But she also has those wonderful introspective, contemplative moments, too, in her characterization. Davis at her most flamboyant in a part that called for it. Davis had a grand time in one of the great roles of her career and, as a viewer who admires the actress (at her best) but would never call himself a fan, I thought it may be the performance of that career. (My other favourite Davis performance being a completely contrasting one, that in The Letter).

 

 

 

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"The Return of Doctor X"--(1939)--If Bogart made a worse picture than this, I Don't want to see it.  He goes around in a daze (he must have just read the script) , & whispers his lines like that will keep them from being heard--Wayne Morris is terrible--Rosemary Lane screams on cue & demands hamburgers(?) through the film.  Bogarts' nadir--painfully bad. :(

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"The Return of Doctor X"--(1939)--If Bogart made a worse picture than this, I Don't want to see it.  He goes around in a daze (he must have just read the script) , & whispers his lines like that will keep them from being heard--Wayne Morris is terrible--Rosemary Lane screams on cue & demands hamburgers(?) through the film.  Bogarts' nadir--painfully bad. :(

 

Sounds like Doctor X should have just stayed put.

 

==

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Speedy, last night I watched Escape Me Never with your boy Errol.  Directed by Peter Godfrey, who also did Errol's previous film the year before, Cry Wolf.

 

Unfortunately, I can't say much about it, since my DVD from Classicflix was unplayable after a certain point...  It didn't look that great, actually.  Ida Lupino was annoying in this film (the beginning part, anyway - she seemed to be 'trying too hard' with her acting).  Gig Young is a so-so actor.  Errol was the most personable (naturally), but I didn't get far in the storyline.  If you've seen it, please fill us in, lol...

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Speedy, last night I watched Escape Me Never with your boy Errol. Directed by Peter Godfrey, who also did Errol's previous film the year before, Cry Wolf.

 

Unfortunately, I can't say much about it, since my DVD from Classicflix was unplayable after a certain point... It didn't look that great, actually. Ida Lupino was annoying in this film (the beginning part, anyway - she seemed to be 'trying too hard' with her acting). Gig Young is a so-so actor. Errol was the most personable (naturally), but I didn't get far in the storyline. If you've seen it, please fill us in, lol...

Lol. I have seen it. I wanted to see it and since TCM didn't seem to be willing to play it anytime soon, I got it during a sale on the Warner Archives site. It was pleasant enough to make it worth buying it, but I'll watch pretty much anything with Errol in it! If even his pretty face can't save it, then you know it's a stinker (Another Dawn, I'm talking to you).

 

I'll agree that it's not among Errol Flynn's, Ida Lupino's and Eleanor Parker's best efforts. They would never be known for this film, but I don't think it should be considered a blight on their filmographies by any means. I agree Gig Young is whatever. He's so boring.

 

Lupino's character was a little annoying at first, especially when she acts jealous when Flynn becomes attracted to Parker's character. Lupino and Flynn are not romantically involved at first, he simply felt sorry for recent widow Lupino and her baby and provided them with food, shelter and water. Lupino starts developing a crush on Flynn (who wouldn't?!). Gig Young plays Flynn's brother and he's so bland, I was hoping that Flynn and Lupino would ditch him after he hurt his foot hiking with them in the mountains, but no such luck. I thought Parker looked gorgeous in this film and was hoping that Flynn would end up with her. I loved them as a couple in Never Say Goodbye--they make a great looking couple, too bad this never came to fruition in real life.

 

The story basically is this:

 

Picture it, 1900s Venice.

 

Gig Young is a composer with the surname of "Dubrok" who is engaged to wealthy English heiress, Eleanor Parker. Young and Parker become engaged. Also in town, Ida Lupino portrays a young widow with an infant son who is taken in by composer Errol Flynn, who is also Young's older brother. Parker's parents meet Lupino who ends up mentioning that she lives with a composer by the last name of "Dubrok." Parker's parents mistakenly assume that Lupino lives with daughter Parker's fiance. They convince Parker to call off the engagement and the family then takes off to their home in the mountains.

 

Flynn, feeling bad for brother Young, decides to help him get Parker back. Widow Lupino, also a singer, agrees to follow the two brothers on a journey through the mountains to find Parker. To fund their journey, the trio perform on streets and in small clubs for money. Errol plays the accordion! He also wears lederhosen (which probably isn't historically accurate, but it's Errol Flynn in lederhosen!) Anyway... while enroute to the mountain town where they believe that Parker is staying, Young hurts his foot (leave him behind Errol & Ida! He's not worth it). While out performing as a duo to earn money, Flynn and Lupino encounter the beautiful Parker, who Flynn obviously falls for. Neither Flynn nor Lupino are aware that the beautiful woman is in fact, Young's fiancee. Flynn continues courting Parker, while Lupino stays with Young until he's able to get back on his foot.

 

While Young is laid up and while he's courting Parker, Flynn writes a piece of music he plans to use in a ballet. He tells Parker that her beauty inspired him while he composed this piece of music. Soon after, Lupino discovers Parker's identity and to avoid embarrassment and further misunderstandings, she and Flynn marry and move to London. Flynn continues to work on his ballet. A while later, Parker and her family return to their home in London. Young follows and finds employment. Their engagement is back on. Parker arranges for Flynn's now finished ballet to be staged and performed in a London theater. There are some scenes with Flynn expressing frustration with the prima ballerina for not performing the ballet the way he intended. She also makes some snotty remarks about Flynn's ballet that he does not appreciate. Eventually, Flynn and the ballerina work out their differences and the ballet debuts to great success.

 

Flynn is so wrapped up and involved with his successful ballet, that he neglects to take his wife and young step-son to the hospital when the young boy falls ill. In probably one of the most cad moments in his onscreen film life, Flynn and Parker pick up their relationship where they left off. They go to Parker's country estate for the weekend and fall deeper in love. While they're rendezvousing in the country, Lupino's baby dies. Devastated, Lupino disappears. When Flynn returns, he sees that Lupino has disappeared. Feeling intensely guilty, Flynn realizes that he really has feelings for Lupino after all.

 

Newly inspired by his love for Lupino, Flynn reworks his successful ballet. After it is completed, Lupino returns to the theater to view the new ballet and is reunited with Flynn.

 

...and they lived happily ever after...

 

I wrote that from memory, although I admit that I looked up a couple things in Wikipedia to make sure I was remembering correctly.

 

I agree that the movie was a little over the top at times--especially Lupino in the beginning of the movie. She kind of tones it down as the movie progresses. What saves the film are the strength of the three leads: Flynn, Lupino and Parker and the beautiful Erich Wolfgang Korngold score. What I also really liked about the film was the relationship between Flynn and Lupino. They were really good friends in real life and I think it shows in this film.

 

The critics at the time (and recently, Leonard Maltin) were very unkind to this film. Like is true with many Maltin reviews, this film is better than he says it is. He only gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars. I'd probably give it 2.5-3 out of 4 stars.

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The story basically is this:

 

Picture it, 1900s Venice. (a young, Sicilian peasant girl, just off the boat with only a basket, a dream and a zabelloni recipe...Sorry, GOLDEN GIRLS moment.)

 

Gig Young is a composer with the surname of "Dubrok" who is engaged to wealthy English heiress, Eleanor Parker (who is still royally peeved at losing Christopher Plummer to that effin nun with that effin guitar.) Young and Parker become engaged. Also in town, Ida Lupino portrays a young widow with an infant son who is taken in by composer Errol Flynn ( he had a spot on the mantle just for her), who is also Young's older brother. Parker's parents meet Lupino who ends up mentioning that she lives with a composer by the last name of "Dubrok." Parker's parents mistakenly assume that Lupino lives with daughter Parker's fiance. They convince Parker to call off the engagement and the family then takes off to their ( offscreen, we gotta save something in the budget) home in the mountains.

 

Flynn, feeling bad for brother Young, decides to help him get Parker back. Widow Lupino (Ida's eeeeville younger sister), also a (dubbed) singer, agrees to follow the two brothers (uh-huh) on a journey through the mountains to find Parker. To fund their journey, the trio perform on streets and in small clubs for money. Errol plays the accordion! (Dear God.) He also wears lederhosen (which probably isn't historically accurate, but it's Errol Flynn in lederhosen!) (I can't add anything to this.) Anyway... while enroute to the mountain town where they believe that Parker is staying, Young hurts his foot (leave him behind Errol & Ida! He's not worth it) (and at this point, probably holding up shooting by showing up plastered every day, so it's cool). While out performing as a duo to earn money, Flynn and Lupino encounter the beautiful Parker, who Flynn obviously falls for ( natch. ). Neither Flynn nor Lupino are aware that the beautiful woman is in fact, Young's fiancee. Flynn continues courting Parker, while Lupino stays with Young until he's able to get back on his foot (can we add a scene where he has to get better in order to win a climactic a**-kicking contest to save an orphanage or something?)

 

While Young is laid up and while he's courting Parker, Flynn writes a piece of music he plans to use in a ballet ( seriously?). He tells Parker that her beauty inspired him while he composed this piece of music ( it's a little something I wrote called "Superfreak." ). Soon after, Lupino discovers Parker's identity and to avoid embarrassment and further misunderstandings ( why start now?) , she and Flynn marry and move to London. Flynn continues to work on his ballet (again, seriously?) . A while later, Parker and her family return to their home in London. Young follows and finds employment (as a professional a**-kicker, having won the tournament and saved the orphanage) . Their engagement is back on. Parker arranges for Flynn's now finished ballet to be staged and performed in a London theater ( off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway ). There are some scenes with Flynn expressing frustration with the prima ballerina for not performing the ballet the way he intended ( "No, no, NO! I said Flap your arms and walk like a chicken!" ). She also makes some snotty remarks about Flynn's ballet that he does not appreciate ( but to be fair, a ballet performed entirely by accordians is a pretty bad idea ). Eventually, Flynn and the ballerina work out their differences ( uh huh) and the ballet debuts to great success (third time I know: but seriously? ).

 

Flynn is so wrapped up and involved with his successful ballet, that he neglects to take his wife and young step-son to the hospital when the young boy falls ill ( with trench foot). In probably one of the most cad moments in his onscreen film life (don't sell him short there, Speedy), Flynn and Parker pick up their relationship where they left off. They go to Parker's country estate for the weekend and fall deeper in love (oh right). While they're rendezvousing ( uh huh ) in the country, Lupino's baby dies. Devastated, Lupino disappears. When Flynn returns, he sees that Lupino has disappeared. Feeling intensely guilty ( really, wonder why? ), Flynn realizes that he really has feelings for Lupino after all ( because he is , apparently a complete and thorough hole of a human being...who also plays the accordian.)

 

Newly inspired by his love for Lupino, Flynn reworks his successful ballet ( even MORE accordians!) . After it is completed, Lupino returns to the theater to view the new ballet and is reunited with Flynn.

 

...and they lived happily ever after...

and she knees him in the groin on stage in front of everyone in the audience to a standing ovation.

 

the end.

 

I wrote that from memory, ( I'm impressed ) although I admit that I looked up a couple things in ( the infallible always accurate wealth of  solid information that is ) Wikipedia to make sure I was remembering correctly.

 

I agree that the movie was a little over the top at times ( yes, Dead Babies and Ballet and Ida Lupino does sound "a little" over the top )--especially Lupino in the beginning of the movie. She kind of tones it down as the movie progresses ( she was on the wagon first coupla' days of shooting, boy did she pick the wrong movie set to try drying out on! ). What saves the film are the strength of the three leads: Flynn, Lupino and Parker and the beautiful Erich Wolfgang Korngold score. What I also really liked about the film was the relationship between Flynn and Lupino. They were really good friends in real life and I think it shows in this film ( "Errol, it's Ida. Look, I don't care where you are or who you're with: you owe me big: remembuh? Good. Now, bring a coupla' shovels and some quicklime to m'place on Coldwatuh Canyon." )

 

The critics at the time (and recently, ( to a far less legitimate or noteworthy extent ) Leonard Maltin ( who gave three and a half stars to Corman's Little Shop of Horrors ) were very unkind to this film. Like is true with many Maltin reviews, this film is better than he says it is. (natch.) He only gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars ( or in accurate terms of Maltin readings: "don't miss".) I'd probably give it 2.5-3 out of 4 stars.

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"I agree Gig Young is whatever. He's so boring."

 

But you do know about him in real life, yes?

To me, that is something that is always there when you watch him.

 

I was reading Speedracer's post and her agreement with me about Gig, and yes, that's what ran through my mind, too - he may be a so-so actor, but he was certainly complex in real life!

 

The first time I saw Gig Young on screen was in the Twilight Episode episode "Walking Distance", arguably the best in the series.  He did fantastically in that.  Then when I saw him in film ("That Touch of Mink", "The Gay Sisters", "Desk Set"), I changed my mind.

 

The actor Albert Salmi, also a TZ alum, also shot his wife, am I correct?  Not that I want to derail the thread to TZ - back to Gig Young (or whatever).

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I was reading Speedracer's post and her agreement with me about Gig, and yes, that's what ran through my mind, too - he may be a so-so actor, but he was certainly complex in real life!

 

The first time I saw Gig Young on screen was in the Twilight Episode episode "Walking Distance", arguably the best in the series.  He did fantastically in that.  Then when I saw him in film ("That Touch of Mink", "The Gay Sisters", "Desk Set"), I changed my mind.

 

The actor Albert Salmi, also a TZ alum, also shot his wife, am I correct?  Not that I want to derail the thread to TZ - back to Gig Young (or whatever).

 

Not sure.

 

I know Gig Young mainly for being set dressing in OLD ACQUAINTANCE and TORCH SONG- that latter part is such a nothing role. He was pretty handsome though.

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"I agree Gig Young is whatever. He's so boring."

 

But you do know about him in real life, yes?

To me, that is something that is always there when you watch him.

 

 

Did you know Elizabeth Montgomery was once married to Gig Young?

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I'm surprised y'all haven't heard of the Gig Young/Albert Salmi volleyball movie; it's called 'CIDE OUT.

 

     The producers brought out all their big guns for this 1977 summer production.  Co-stars the ball that featured with Tom Hanks in "Cast Away", I might add. 

 

     The 1978 sequel:  TAKING CIDES.  Producers blew a whole lotta money on this bloody mess of a sequel.  Stick with Anthony Harvey's 1979 tennis movie 'PLAYERS' instead! 

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Last night I re-watched Sullivan's Travels, with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.  You can't ignore that it's a Preston Sturges film - the sense of humor, the crazy pratfalls, the machine-gun delivery of every line....  It's said that Sturges modeled Sullivan's character to some degree after himself (Sullivan being a director).  Lake and McCrea make a great "Mutt and Jeff" team, at least physically, as they travel in search of "trouble", to find people down-and-out to help McCrea relate, and thus give authenticity to the movie he wants to make, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"  (Probably the Coen Brothers film of the 1990s referenced this movie, but I'm not sure). 

 

On a shallow note, Veronica goes without makeup in a lot of this movie (when she and McCrea are wandering through an area full of bums), and it was interesting to me to see how different she looked.  I think it's great when actresses go without makeup for the sake of art, to make it "real".

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On the Friday Night Noir Fest just shown (what a great line up it was too) I got my first viewing of 99 RIVER STREET. What a down and dirty little gem of a noir film that was.   Tight story, fast paced, well filmed. John Payne's performance  certainly gives a powerful  two fisted  punch to the storyline (just like he did in KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTAL).  The cast may be mostly unknown/obscure character types but all played their parts very well.  I liked that Eddie Muller gave a little acknowledgement to  actress Peggie Castle , who played Payne's two timing wife . Unfortunately she suffered an undeserved fate in the story, she had a little payback coming, but not to get brutalized and bumped off.  But without that we wouldn't have had much of a story with  Payne needing to get out of a frame up for murder.  I enjoyed this film as much as the more celebrated ones shown that night (TOO LATE FOR TEARS and THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS).

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...... the movie he wants to make, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"  (Probably the Coen Brothers film of the 1990s referenced this movie, but I'm not sure). 

 

 

Eugenia, the Coen brothers most definitely named their highly enjoyable 2000 movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? after the Preston Sturges film - well, the film that Joel McCrea's character wants to make.  The Coens are very film history literate ( is there a better phrase than that? well, you know what I mean...) and many of their movies make allusions to classic films in various ways.

 

I was very surprised when the film came out that no critics reviewing it seemed to recognize the title's reference to Sullivan's Travels. There must have been a few reviewers who did, but if so, I missed those reviews. I remember thinking at the time, "How can this person call themselves a film critic and not know about Sullivan's Travels?"

 

The two would make a fun double bill.Of course one reason the Coens gave their movie that name was because it, too, is set during the Depression, and its characters go on a picaresque journey. One difference though, is that they've left prison - a break out - while Sullivan ends up in prison  (for a while.)

 

I love both these movies. I honestly think the "message" in Sullivan's Travels is a wise  one, and Sturges could put a message across, or at least give us something to think about, without his films seeming like a "message movie". (Whatever that is, but it's usually something I don't like.)

As for Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, it's a lot of fun. And it's got great music. In fact, I went out and bought the soundtrack CD.

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Eugenia, the Coen brothers most definitely named their highly enjoyable 2000 movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? after the Preston Sturges film - well, the film that Joel McCrea's character wants to make.  The Coens are very film history literate ( is there a better phrase than that? well, you know what I mean...) and many of their movies make allusions to classic films in various ways.

 

I was very surprised when the film came out that no critics reviewing it seemed to recognize the title's reference to Sullivan's Travels. There must have been a few reviewers who did, but if so, I missed those reviews. I remember thinking at the time, "How can this person call themselves a film critic and not know about Sullivan's Travels?"

 

The two would make a fun double bill.Of course one reason the Coens gave their movie that name was because it, too, is set during the Depression, and its characters go on a picaresque journey. One difference though, is that they've left prison - a break out - while Sullivan ends up in prison  (for a while.)

 

I love both these movies. I honest think the "message" in Sullivan's Travels is a wise  one, and Sturges could put a message across, or at least give us something to think about, without his films seeming like a "message movie". (Whatever that is, but it's usually something I don't like.)

As for Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, it's a lot of fun. And it's got great music. In fact, I went out and bought the soundtrack CD.

 

I haven't seen the Coens' "Oh Brother" since its original release (unfortunately) so my memory is hazy on it.  I remember the jailbreak and the lynching...  and yes, I have the soundtrack, too!  Great throwback songs... :)

 

I picked up the Criterion DVD of Sullivan's Travels, that I watched last night, and it's said that the point of the movie that Sturges was trying to make is not that, the poor should have better, but that people should "know their place".  Not in a condescending way, but that "this is the way it is".  Do people agree with this?  Interesting point of view.

 

SPOILER:  When the bum goes after McCrea for his money, attacks him, then is himself was hit by the train, I found it pretty brutal!  The filming of the train about to hit him made me nervous!

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