Author Topic: The Movies From Within My Lifetime  (Read 10653 times)

Najemikon

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 11:55:25 AM »
Good Morning / I Was Born, But... (which I read recently was the silent movie that revolutionised Japanese cinema).
Late Spring
Early Summer
Tokyo Story
 :training: ;D

Najemikon

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 04:48:14 PM »
Thanks, Jon.  I enjoyed reading that!
I enjoyed it too.  :)

As promised, this is the article Barry Norman has written for the current issue of Radio Times, relating an encounter with Elizabeth Taylor...

Barry Norman Radio Times article

Offline Antares

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Re: Tokyo Story
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 06:04:49 PM »
I found this film to be very slow getting started, but eventually I became more engaged as it went along.  One of the things that bugged me was the physical quality of the film.  I expected Criteria would have done a lot more "cleaning up" and I found the quality of the lighting, especially for the indoor scenes to be extremely annoying because of its inconsistency, displaying light "blooms" and then darkness in waves and reminding me of silent films from the '20s, rather than a movie made in 1953.

Unfortunately Hal, Japanese film studios were not known for taking care of their master prints. And Ozu's fame outside of Japan really didn't take place until the mid-60's, about five years after his death.

All that aside, the story was compelling, as we see the parents shuffled from the child to child and then to a daughter-in-law and ultimately to a hotel/spa because the children were "too busy".  It is a story that has become all too familiar in this country, but it was unexpected because of the culture and time frame in which it is told.  Not being all that familiar with Japanese culture, I was nonetheless very surprised at the absence of emotion.  Although the children demonstrated great respect for the parents, there was little warmth or caring, except surprisingly from the daughter-in-law, whose husband (the actual child of the parents) had died 8 years earlier in the war.  It would seem that their lives were being governed more by duty than anything else.

The scene of the one son (who was closest) arriving too late, hit a little too close to home as the same thing happened to me, but for a different reason.  It brought back some very strong emotions.

The moral of the story is an old one, but it is one that we continue to ignore everyday as we get wrapped up in our own "busy lives" and forget the things that are truly important in this life.  Very sad!

You should check out Leo McCarey's 1937 film Make Way for Tomorrow, which deals with the same storyline, it's considered McCarey's best film.

There are some beautiful scenes and, for me, Setsuka Hara (Norika)  provided the best performance of the lot.  This is a great film that everybody should see.

Then I would definitely recommend my favorite Ozu film, Banshun (Late Spring) (1949), she just radiates in that film and the story is a little more accessible than Tokyo Story.

hal9g

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Re: Tokyo Story
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 06:49:14 PM »
You should check out Leo McCarey's 1937 film Make Way for Tomorrow, which deals with the same storyline, it's considered McCarey's best film.

Then I would definitely recommend my favorite Ozu film, Banshun (Late Spring) (1949), she just radiates in that film and the story is a little more accessible than Tokyo Story.

Thanks.  I've added both to my wishlist!

Offline Antares

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Re: Tokyo Story
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2011, 06:55:18 PM »
You should check out Leo McCarey's 1937 film Make Way for Tomorrow, which deals with the same storyline, it's considered McCarey's best film.

Then I would definitely recommend my favorite Ozu film, Banshun (Late Spring) (1949), she just radiates in that film and the story is a little more accessible than Tokyo Story.

Thanks.  I've added both to my wishlist!

You're welcome

hal9g

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 01:42:44 AM »
As promised, this is the article Barry Norman has written for the current issue of Radio Times, relating an encounter with Elizabeth Taylor...

Barry Norman Radio Times article

The last sentence sums it up.  She was one of a kind!

Najemikon

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2011, 08:58:16 PM »
Good Morning / I Was Born, But... (which I read recently was the silent movie that revolutionised Japanese cinema).
Late Spring
Early Summer
Tokyo Story
 :training: ;D


Well, that's a nice surprise! My Ozu films arrived today and while I know BFI releases are usually fantastic, I thought the double set of Good Morning / I Was Born, But... was a one off because it's the only one with such a title. But actually, they all include a second film. I thought I was buying four discs with five films, but actually I have eight!  :dance:

Each release is dual format, with the main film on Blu and DVD, plus the extra film on the DVD too. Good thick booklets with each as well. These are like Criterion releases! :thumbup:

Good Morning (1959)/ I Was Born, But... (1932)
Late Spring (1949) / The Only Son (1936) (both in Blu)
Early Summer (1951) / What Did The Lady Forget? (1937)
Tokyo Story (1953) / Brothers and Sisters of The Toda Family (1941)

Offline Antares

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2011, 09:46:05 PM »
Start with Late Spring, it's the best of the bunch.

hal9g

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Mr. Roberts
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2011, 01:12:42 AM »
    Mister Roberts: Premiere Collection (1955/United States)

Warner Home Video (United States)
Director:John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy
Writing:Frank Nugent (Screenwriter), Joshua Logan (Screenwriter), Thomas Heggen (Original Material By), Joshua Logan (Original Material By), Thomas Heggen (Original Material By)
Length:121 min.
Video:Anamorphic Widescreen 2.55:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Mono
Subtitles:English, French

Stars:
Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts
James Cagney as The Captain
William Powell as Doc
Jack Lemmon as Ensign Pulver
Betsy Palmer as Lieutenant Girard

Plot:
The USS Reluctant carries cargo along World War II's forgotten Pacific seaways. Beyond the horizon, the real war passes its stir-crazy crew by. Mister Roberts, directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, is the classic story of men fighting to survive not war's dangers but its indignities.

Henry Fonda's reprise of his Tony-winning Broadway role returned him to movies after seven years away. Jack Lemmon won his first Academy Award™* as hapless, lecherous Ensign Pulver. James Cagney's petty, scrappy Captain makes a fierce adversary. In his final film, William Powell makes world-weary Doc a sage for the ages. Mister Roberts has moments of unforgettable humor. But sadness tempers the comedy. No shot is fired. No blood is spilled. Yet Mister Roberts endures as one of our most truthful war sagas.

*1955: Best Supporting Actor.

Extras:
  • Scene Access
  • Audio Commentary
  • Feature Trailers
  • Bonus Trailers
  • Featurettes
  • Production Notes
  • Closed Captioned


My Thoughts:
This is one of my favorite movies from this era with an outstanding cast which blends some aging stars (Powell and Cagney) with an up-and-coming Jack Lemmon (he looks much younger than his actual 30 years here) and an always solid Henry Fonda.  Nominated for Best Picture, this film blends some great comedic moments with some touching drama taking you from outbursts of laughter to the edge of tears.  What more can you ask of great movie?  Not to mention the clear and present moral....the grass is not always greener.

One of the greats!

Rating: 5
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 01:16:13 AM by Hal »

m.cellophane

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Re: The Movies From Within My Lifetime
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2011, 05:37:56 AM »
Although he would live another 30 years, this is William Powell's final film.

Thanks for the review, Hal.

hal9g

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Giant
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2011, 06:32:17 AM »
     Giant: Special Edition (1956/United States)

Warner Home Video (United States)
Director:George Stevens
Writing:Edna Ferber (Original Material By), Fred Guiol (Original Material By), Ivan Moffat (Original Material By)
Length:201 min.
Video:Anamorphic Widescreen 1.66:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, French: Dolby Digital: Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles:English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Elizabeth Taylor as Leslie Lynnton Benedict
Rock Hudson as Jordan 'Bick' Benedict
James Dean as Jett Rink
Carroll Baker as Luz Benedict
Jane Withers as Vashti Snythe

Plot:
Giant is a movie of huge scale and grandeur in which three generations of land-rich Texans love, swagger, connive and clash in a saga of family strife, racial bigotry and conflict between cattle barons and newly rich oil tycoons. It's also one of the most beloved works of director George Stevens, who won an Academy Award® for this film, one of the 10 Oscar® nominations the film earned.

Extras:
  • Scene Access
  • Audio Commentary
  • Feature Trailers
  • Featurettes
  • Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • Closed Captioned
  • NY Premiere, Newsreels, Stills, Interviews


My Thoughts:
I had actually never seen this movie before, mainly because I had picked up the impression somewhere along the way that it was a long, single episode soap opera.  It turns out, that's exactly what it is.  I have a feeling that this film benefits from the "James Dean" effect, as it is the last film he starred in before his tragic death in a car accident in 1955.  Somehow, Hollywood actors who die young seem to acquire a certain mystical aura which seems to work retroactively, and perhaps sometimes affording a film a greater stature than it would have otherwise enjoyed had the tragedy not occurred.

Hudson, Taylor and Dean were excellent in their roles, but I have to believe that Texans of the day were not overjoyed with this movie as it is not a very flattering portrayal of its residents, showing them as steeped in tradition and clearly full of prejudice not just of Mexicans, but of women as well.  The stark contrast between rich and poor and educated and ignorant was strikingly painted.  Given that this was released in 1956, some of these themes were pretty daring, even if they seem tame today.  Rock Hudson's reversal in the end did not strike me as particularly realistic, since in my experience, people who harbor these type of prejudices rarely change.

If I have any complaint it is that it was too long with several scenes that could easily have been shortened or eliminated without losing anything from the story.  Secondly, even as an American, and one who has lived in the South for 35 years, I had a hard time with the dialog at several points, especially Mercedes McCambridge and James Dean.  Once again, Hollywood was trying a little too hard for that "authentic" Texas drawl, I guess!

Although nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it only took home the Oscar for George Stevens as Director; well deserved in my opinion.

Rating: 3.5

m.cellophane

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Re: Giant
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2011, 11:00:25 PM »
I had actually never seen this movie before, mainly because I had picked up the impression somewhere along the way that it was a long, single episode soap opera.  It turns out, that's exactly what it is.  I have a feeling that this film benefits from the "James Dean" effect, as it is the last film he starred in before his tragic death in a car accident in 1955.  Somehow, Hollywood actors who die young seem to acquire a certain mystical aura which seems to work retroactively, and perhaps sometimes affording a film a greater stature than it would have otherwise enjoyed had the tragedy not occurred.
I think that's very true with Giant. It boasted big stars: Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor (nearly 2 years since her last film), and the late James Dean, over a year since his death! I think that added a lot of hype for the film as people wanted to see him one more time. George Stevens was fresh off his Oscar win for Shane.

I love a slow sprawling epic, so I've always enjoyed Giant, but I understand that it could have been much less "epic" and still told its story.  :laugh: :tv:

hal9g

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Sweet Smell of Success
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2011, 01:25:29 AM »
     Sweet Smell of Success: MGM Vintage Classics (1957/United States)

(United States)
Director:Alexander Mackendrick
Writing:Clifford Odets (Screenwriter), Ernest Lehman (Screenwriter), Ernest Lehman (Original Material By)
Length:96 min.
Video:Widescreen 1.66:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital: Mono, French: Dolby Digital: Mono
Subtitles:French, Spanish

Stars:
Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker
Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco
Susan Harrison as Susan Hunsecker
Martin Milner as Steve Dallas (as Marty Milner)
Sam Levene as Frank D' Angelo

Plot:
A powerful film about a ruthless journalist and an unscrupulous press agent who'll do anything to achieve success, this "fascinating, compelling story" (The Hollywood Reporter) crackles with "taut direction and whiplash dialogue" (Time Magazine). Bristling with "vivid performances" by Curtis and Lancaster, this gutsy exposé of big-city corruption is a timeless classic that cuts deep and sends a chilling message.

It's late at night in the steamy, neon-lit streets of New York's Times Square, and everything's buzzing with nervous energy. But press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) is oblivious to the whirlwind of street vendors, call girls and con men bustling around him as he nervously waits for the early edition of The Globe. Whose career did gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) launch today...and whose did he destroy?

Extras:
  • Scene Access
  • Feature Trailers
  • Closed Captioned


My Thoughts:
I felt like I needed to take a shower after watching this film.  The only likable character in the whole movie is Steve Dallas (Milner), the jazz player. J.J. Hunsecker (Lancaster) is a gossip columnist who uses his profession as a weapon to build his own power base while destroying some lives and promoting others.  Sidney Falco (Curtis) is a press agent aspiring to be the next J.J. and stooping to any level if it advances that goal, including being lapdog to J.J.  The cops are dirty, other columnists will print lies for a night with a prostitute. Susan Hunsecker is a whimpering baby living with and off her older brother.  There is clearly an abnormal relationship between the two of them, at least as far as J.J. goes.

Done in the classic film noir tradition, this movie is among the best in that genre.  The cinematography reflects the darkness of the theme of the film, while the jazz music provides a great contrast.  The cast did a superb job, with a really well written and believable script.  Susan Harrison was the only weak link, which probably explains why she has only been in one other film, that I know of.

If you want to see the seamy side of the newspaper columnist business, this is a must see.

Rating: 4.5