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What is your recipe for making a good movie?


LuckyDan
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In trying to answer this question for myself it occurs to me that I value the things that are NOT there, things that prevent me from having an enjoyable movie experience. Things like poor photography, annoying music, awkward or unimaginative dialogue, actors who are very obviously acting.

 

But when the music is musical (if there is music) and the sets are believable and the actors are talented and the dialogue witty, or at least natural, (or simply literate) I'll probably watch if the story, or characters, (or leading lady) interest me.

 

Old movies come with a history, either of the actors or director, or the time period, that add another dimension that contemporary films cannot - which is probably the biggest reason I prefer the oldies.

 

The question: What are the elements of a good movie?

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Make me care about the characters.

 

Doesn't matter to me if the film was a product of the Golden Age of Hollywood or the films of today, if you make me truly care about the characters of the film(s), I'll watch. If you stay true to what the story and the characters and the arc they go through, I'll recommend the film and it will stay with me.

 

Screw it up and I'll always remember the moment the film went from being memorable to being mediocre.

 

It begins and ends with the script. A good director can do wonders with a good script. A good director can do wonders, sometimes, with a mediocre script.

 

But without fully drawn characters in the script for the actors to sink their teeth into, well, that's the difference between a mediocre steak and prime rib to me.

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  • 2 months later...

Nobody's posting right now, so I perused back in General discussions and found this gem. I wonder why it didn't have more responses. I think it's a great idea for a thread.

 

Lzcutter:

 

Characters are definitely vital, but acting, or non-acting grabs me. In the Katherine Hepburn tribute, Anthony Hopkins recalls when Kate called him aside and told him not to act, just say the lines and it would fall in place. No wonder she was so great because that's got to be the secret. Think about Greg Peck in 'Mockingbird', he says the lines like he's just talking on the corner to a friend, slight hand motion, head turning, etc, but nothing obvious. Robert Mitchum said, " I just do what they tell me." Yet, other actors remark that when he walked on the set, he brought such a presence, it was like 'everything is o.k. Bob's here now'. John Wayne, Cary Grant, Clark, all of them had that certain something that just seemed to demand attention, without being 'The Star'.

 

Anne

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A very good question!

Music no matter if it's musical or not!

Costumes it has to fit the picture and the time

Director is very important

Actors and actresses make a huge difference Not always box office hitter is the answer! You take a look at some of the small feature actors who a very good and sometimes more believable than the leads!

A movie that make you feel like in it not just watching it!

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just give me a couple of actors i like, playing characters that i really like, then give them some interesting dialogue, and i won't want the movie to end. plot doesn't matter much to me. mainstream movie plots and story arcs tend to be too forced and too predictable, and are rarely as interesting to me as the characters stuck in them.

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I'm 100% with lzcutter on this. It's memorable characters that make it -- with that, I'll watch and without it, I'll lose interest. The characters are a combination of script and acting.

 

I actually notice this most in animation. My girlfreind and I were talking about why The Simpsons is more rewatchable than say, Family Guy. Family Guy has funny jokes, and I always laugh when I watch it, but I've seen most of the Simpsons episodes four or five times. They may be animated, but they're real characters with real personalities.

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> Allure, Glamour, Intrigue, Story-Telling,

> Imagination, Sex Appeal, Sense of Humor, Drama, and

> Music to soothe and spark - that's a good recipe for

> a good movie.

 

I'm agry with you. I want to add one more thing: the actor's feelings. Depends on how they perform the character.

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Casting, above all, is essential.

 

While I have nothing against Shirley Temple, imagine how "The Wizard of Oz" would have changed (unquestionably not for the better) if she had been cast as Dorothy Gale.

 

I also agree with the previous statements about compelling main characters. A screenwriting guru once said that the best (and usually classic) films typically contain one indispensable ingredient:

 

One watchable character who really, really wants one thing more than anything else: Scarlett wants Ashley (and Tara); Mildred wants Veda (and cash); Esther wants Norman Maine (and stardom), Norma Desmond wants fame (and William Holden -- and who wouldn't?) and on and on...It's always been a vital formula for cinematic success.

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> Casting, above all, is essential.

>

> While I have nothing against Shirley Temple, imagine

> how "The Wizard of Oz" would have changed

> (unquestionably not for the better) if she had been

> cast as Dorothy Gale.

>

> I also agree with the previous statements about

> compelling main characters. A screenwriting guru

> once said that the best (and usually classic) films

> typically contain one indispensable ingredient:

>

> One watchable character who really, really wants one

> thing more than anything else: Scarlett wants Ashley

> (and Tara); Mildred wants Veda (and cash); Esther

> wants Norman Maine (and stardom), Norma Desmond wants

> fame (and William Holden -- and who wouldn't?) and on

> and on...It's always been a vital formula for

> cinematic success.

 

I have to say that the ultimate staar has to and musst alwaays be THE STORY! And then embroaded, laced with watchable talents.

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Just a quick side car. I think Over the Rainbow, except for the song, would have been ptretty good with Shirley, she would have had that childish enthusiasm that Judy was too old to display. Shirley would have been more wide eyed, and exited at the prospect of meeting the three characters, because two of them were inaminate objects, and the lion would have scared her more. Judy met them with a more 'mature' view (if you can conceive of meeting a walking, talking tin man, and scare crow). Like I said, not necessarily better, just a little more wondrous.

 

Anne

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