At this rate, I should be done around 20041 . Godfather 2. Pacing was never better. The First Godfather is a great story. Godfather 2 Is a great film. By bookbinding the first Godfather, we get 2 great actors, Pacing and Tender, telling the story of America In the 20th century. Young,ruthless and honorable, Volt Cicerone Is every immigrant who has had to fight in the land of opportunity. Older, ruthless, Jaded and contemplative, Michael Cicerone is every son. Greater opportunities, greater challenges and tougher choices.
The scene with Freed is the greatest scene ever put on film. It still haunts me to this day. 2. Sibilance You should pick up the DVD on this one. Nice print and some real extra goodies that explain what a wonderful accident this classic film is. Certainly the people who made this film had no idea they were making a classic. It was Just another studio release that needed to be put together quickly. Bogart was not Bogey yet. Bergman was a slight risk. The wonderful supporting cast were Just studio regulars and hanger-ones. “As Time Goes By” was a minor hit. But put them all together and movie history Is born.
There is not a bad moment In this film, there Is not a bad performance. Honor, sacrifice, love and the balance of power In the whole world are Just some of the themes that run throughout this movie. So many scenes from this movie resonate In my memory. Rick on the train track, Sam and Rick in the bar late at night, Victor Laszlo leading the singing that drowns out the Germans and of course the classic ending with Bogey, Bergman and Rains. Simply a wonderful film. 3. Citizen Kane I have been in the video business for the past eleven years, so I appreciate all the camera techniques that came from this vie.
And yes it did change many things about how movies are made. (On a side note you should check out some of the Camera work Greg Tolland used on John Ford’s Long Voyage Home from the year before he worked with Wells on Kane. )But the camera work isn’t what makes this a great movie, that comes from the script. “You know, Mr… Bernstein, If I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man” Is my favorite quote from any film. It Just sums up Charles Foster Kane. This Is a counter argument to my theory on Sibilance, that classics can not be planned.
Wells planned, knew and schemed to make this the classic it is now recognized to be. It is that unbelievable bombast and grandeur that makes this film a classic. 4. Pulp Fiction The pure audacity of this movie still amazes me. Only a true Movie fan could make a movie this outrageous. From the Juggled narrative to the great soundtrack, Titration breaks a lot of the movie tenets while still paying homage to film noir and about 20 other film types. In recent times, I have heard many who say Reservoir Dogs is his best film. I love Dogs but all I can say is watch Pulp Fiction again.
This is a master filmmaker at the pinnacle of his talent. It Is not a surprise to me that Question has not come close to matching this work. It also does not surprise me that we have not heard anything from him In awhile. It Is hard to settle for good work once you have tasted greatness. Easily the best film of the Nineties and I wonder when I will be so surprised and happy watching a movie again for the first time. 5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance I have always been a sucker for a Western and much with so little. I recently read a biography of John Ford and it certainly helps explain so much of this classic.
Ford was a fascinating man, so complex, so compelling. As Ford was nearing the end of his film career and growing more bitter this movie intended to sum up all the great westerns that he and others made in the preceding 25 years. “This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” Annoyer great quote that tells so much about this movie and Just about every other movie ever made. 6. The Third Man As I review this list as well as plan the rest of the 80 films to get to my top 100, I am struck how much scenes from these classic movies stay with me.
I can close my eyes and see snippets of these movies that are permanently embedded in my mind. The Third man has a few of these scenes. Most Notably, The scene where Wells character Harry Lime is introduced and we see the classic Arson Wells smile. It is movies like this one that let you never forget this is a visual medium, so much can be told and so much can be left unsaid. 7. Lawrence Of Arabia One of the most memorable first starring roles in Movie history. Tooled is ministering with Just the right touch of fanaticism, fatalism and frenzy to make Lawrence stay in our thoughts long after the movie is over.
Of course this is a stunning visual masterpiece, ( I highly recommend at least renting the DVD 2 disc set that came out a few months ago. A really wonderful remembering and lots of special goodies)but the story on this one makes it rise to the top of the epics list. Many people have criticized the script because it never clarifies Lawrence motivations. Was he heroic, was he a shameless self promote? You the viewer are left to decide. In my opinion of course he was both. Heroism is often muddled by motivations. 8. Mr… Smith Goes to Washington.
This is Copra’s Masterpiece, not Its a Wonderful Life (a retreat movie that will probably find itself near the bottom of this list somewhere). Somewhat a radical movie for its time, politicians are corrupt-a notion that is totally accepted today. Stewart is wonderful as the away-shucks Boy Scout Leader Jefferson Smith. Jean Arthur is heavenly as the tough as nails assistant who hearts gets melted by Smith. Claude Rains, making his 3rd appearance in my top eight films, is his usual stellar self as the disillusioned Senator. Its also a great movie to explain the term filibustering. 9.
Singing in the Rain In a bad mood? May I suggest the perfect cure; a Ewing of this wonderful film. There is a Joy and innocence to this movie that always make me smile. Gene Kelly was a great athlete. His physical style of dancing works so well in this modern fable. Donald O’Connor always makes me laugh and Cody Charities has inhabited my fantasies ever since I saw her in this movie. 10. The Magnificent Embargoes. This should have been Wells greatest movie. But it isn’t because there is a long story about editing, Wells ego, his clashes with studios and lost film that is a very good story in its own self.
But what we now have is still a wonderful movie. Joseph Cotton, cinema’s least respected great actor shines in the wonderful role of Eugene Morgan. It is a simple story of lost love, class distinctions, and many more elements that make up the most complex of story ideas; human beings. 1 1 . Millers Crossing- I don’t find many people who consider this near the top of the Cone Brother’s best movies nevermore near the best of all-time, but to me it is definitely their masterpiece. Its the one where the cheap humor is replaced by a stunning visual style and punctuated by a stellar noir story.
Gabriel perfect in this dream world of grey people. The scene with Torture in the woods is so heartbreaking, so difficult to watch and even more difficult to turn away. Sometimes I think the Conn’s should watch this movie a few times before they make another movie Just to keep their excesses in check. 12. Bringing Up Baby This is the greatest screwball comedy of them all. Supposedly this is based on the true life romance of Katherine Hepburn and Director John Ford. Could be some truth to this as it was written by long time Ford writer Dudley Nichols.
The pipe and glasses Grant favors also are a bit of a clue as they are long time Ford trademarks. No matter the inspiration, if you want to laugh, rent this movie. Cary Grant is superb as the befuddled scientist and Hepburn plays against type as the bumbling socialite. And Baby what a baby is in store for you. 13. To Kill a Mockingbird I have always loved this movie. I think it was one of the first movies I ever remember seeing and I try to watch it every couple of years. Through my many hatchings, different questions and messages have become paramount for me. Who didn’t want Gregory Peck to be your father?
Is there really a better role model for being an adult male than Attic’s Finch? Is that really Robert Devalue playing Boo Raddled? Why did Harper Lee only write one book? Mockingbird is still one of the best adoptions of a beloved novel. Along with Scout, Dill and Jam, we get to remember the wonderment, fear and adulation of childhood. I am glad that this will always be available to me. 14. Raging Bull They really should make more black and white movies. This classic would look awful in color. I always thought black and white was a misnomer, they should call it shades of gray.
It is that grayness, that lends so wonderfully to stories of murkiness, deceit and the baseness of human nature. Coerces is the best filmmaker of the past 30 years and this is his ultimate masterpiece. A flawlessly filmed movie, a stunning script and superb acting makes the story of Jake Almost so compelling. Like all great artists Coerces finds invaluable truth in the fringes of society. I know some people who wont watch this movie because it is about boxing. All I can say, this movie is about boxing like Citizen Kane is about publishing 1 5. Dry.
Strangulate Cubic was ultimately the most cold and detached of the so-called great filmmakers. His masterpieces are calculating examinations of various human emotions and events. But then you have Strangulate, a comedy with a lot of fire in it. Strangulate is Kickback’s best in my opinion. A perfect movie for the perfect time. The Cold War was in full form and that paranoia and fear was perfect for the satire and biting comedy of this gem. I still laugh at the image of Slim Pickers on that bomb and the wonderment of Peter Sellers and his various roles.
But the most amazing thing is the that cold tactician Stanley Cubic made this movie. Truly Amazing. 16. Red River Of the movies in my top 20, this is the one with the biggest flaw. To apt it bluntly the ending of this movie sucks. The first 90% of this movie is the best western ever filmed. I will not divulge the ending because some people may have not seen this classic yet, but if Howard Hawks had only been more faithful to Borden Chaise’s serialized story it would definitely have been the best western ever made and it might be considered for the top movie of all time.
Oh well, what we have is John Wayne at or near the top of his acting career. We have Montgomery Cliff at the beginning of his stellar career and we have a great story of man against man against “Who knew the SOB (Wayne)could act” Act he could and his Tom Dutton rivals his Ethan Edwards character from The Searchers and in many ways is the better performance. 17. Treasure of The Sierra Madder An existential meditation on the power of greed to corrupt in a populist film, k that may be overstating the message and method of this film.
But in our endless pursuit of material goods and wealth, we find our self very much identifying with the growing madness that is Fred C. Dobbs. As played superbly by Humphrey Bogart, Dobbs transition from heroic to insane is certainly allegorical enough to the madness that overtakes almost all of us as we age ND find ourselves on the proverbial treadmill of attaining material needs and yet never truly finding what we are seeking. The source material is a great book with its own little mystery. Who really was B. Travel.
John Huston did one of the best adaptations to film in movie history and his father Walter’s performance of Howard, the aged weary moral center of the story, is rightly considered one of the best performances ever put on film. I may have overstated in the first line by calling this existential but it most certainly is meditation. A wonderful meditation that makes you look at your own voracity and needs. 18. Bridge on the River Kiwi David Lean is known for making great epics and lord knows he did them very well, but to me Lean is the master of one of my favorite subjects; fanaticism.
Whether the obsession is love like in Doctor Sheaving, self-promotion in Lawrence of Arabia or honor in Bridge on The River Kiwi, Élan’s main characters are unforgettable for their single-mindedness. The Aleck Guinness character Colonel Nicholson is his best. A military man from a young age, honor cannot allow him to do a bad Job. Everything and everyone around him tells him not to make a great bridge but if you have to do a Job, do it well. It is his internal battle (wonderfully played out by his moral opposite in the William Holder character) that is the meat of this movie and also why the ending is so haunting and compelling 19.
Rear Window For me, Rear Window was the first interactive movie. The Mastery of this movie is to tap into the natural voyeuristic inclinations of all movie lovers. In the middle of a hot steamy New York summer, amidst a clammy suffocating apartment, Hitchcock delivers his coldest most calculating and cerebral masterpiece. Hitchcock uses the camera like a scientist uses a telescope to study, prod and ultimately dissect the Stewart and Kelly characters, the tufting oppressive neighborhood, and eventually the viewers of this classic. It is that self-examination that lies in the excellence of this film.
Much like the Stewart character, you know it is wrong to spy but you Just can’t help yourself. 20. Diner According to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclites “the only constant is change”. According to me, rapidly approaching ancient American reprobate “the key to life is in the transitions” Diner though not often considered one of the greatest of films is all about those transitions. Diner is the one movie I think I could have (no matter how owlish that sounds) and most certainly wished I had written. Elevation is like the anti- Cubic. His best movies are his personal ones.
I have read interviews where he states there is a little bit of himself in all the main characters. And what wonderful characters they are, a group of friends are in their mid twenties and almost all are looking at the key transition that can be found at that time of life. Some are looking at marriage some are looking at careers and most are fighting like hell to stay young their lives. And we the viewers get pulled and get to laugh right along with them. To the amazement of many of my friends, I didn’t make my wife pass a test on the Boston Red Sox before I agreed to marry her.
But I did give it some thought. I was Just too chicken and I knew I was lucky when she agreed to marry me. 21 . Godfather The amazing thing about this movie is how little screen time Maroon Brandon has as the Godfather. He still resonates in everyone’s conscience because of that stunning opening scene at Sconce’s wedding. This movie is an amazing accomplishment considering the money men wanted to fire both Copula and Pacing many times during the making of the movie. Denier originally tried out for the role of Sonny. They tested James Can for the role of Michael.
No one wanted Brandon because of his unreliability. Despite all the hardship and toils this is a stunning story about a man and his three sons (Connie does not count she is simply a plot device). You know another amazing thing about this movie; you come away from it thinking the mafia isn’t really a bad thing. No innocents get hurt, honor, trust and family are paramount and you really get to eat very well. Of course if you come away thinking of a career in crime, may I suggest a viewing of my number 44 film, Godlessly. That should help sway any inclinations. 22.
Bull Durham Bull Durham is much like Diner for me. Movies not usually found on best of all time lists. I guess these are selections form my favorite side. Also like Diner, Bull Durham is another funny look at life’s transitions. In this one Kevin Cotter’s Crash Davis is looking at the end of his baseball playing career, Susan Sarandon Annie is looking at the end of her career as team groupie/ hen mother. You see the ending coming like a hanging curve. But what a wonderful arc to that cerebral. Costner is very convincing as a ballplayer but Tim Robbins to be heritable really sucked as a ballplayer.
My favorite scene from this movie is the one when Robert Wahl, one of the tam’s coaches, comes out to the mound to talk with the Robbins, Costner and a lot of the other teammates. I always wanted to know what they talked about at the mound. 23. Wild Bunch The magic of this movie is how wonderfully it straddles the classic and modern worlds of filmmaker. It is populated by numerous stellar actors from the Classic era, William Holder, Robert Ryan, Ernest Aborigine, yet has the modern feel of stunning violence and ambiguous motivations and conclusions. And it is a Western to boot. Course it is the Western that pretty much precipitated the end of the genre-unforgiving and Silverman are wonderful exceptions. Along with Bonnie and Clyde, this maybe the most influential movie of the past 40 years. On screen violence would never be the same. There is a weariness to the characters and story that so wonderfully foreshadows the ambivalence of filmmaker in the sass’s and beyond 24. Hustler I love Paul Newman; he always has been one of my favorite actors. And he is wonderful in the flashy role of Fast Eddie Felon, but the real Joy of this movie is in the supporting players.
George C. Scott as Bert Gordon is cunning and calculating but with Just the right touch of transparency. Piper Laurie in her best role as Sarah Packard is haunted, hurt, heroic but ultimately tragic. The real star though is Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, the dapper fat man, who Eddie almost breaks. Gleason who is better known for his variety show and The Honeymooners was never better. He has Just the right touch of panache, cool and self-awareness. Despite The Color of Money being a good movie, it Just did not seem movie set in a pool hall should be shot in black and white. 5. Last Picture Show It was inevitable that “polite” civilization would overtake the west. The Wild Bunch and a few lesser movies document this very well. The Last Picture Show is a more lyrical contemplative look at the last vestiges of this encroachment. In this small backwater Texas town, the uneasiness of youth is in direct contrast with a town that is struggling to maintain its past. The movie is very well cast with Jeff Bridges, in one of his first roles, as Duane the center of the struggle. Sybil Sheppard is superb in the role of lacy, the epitome of a modern teenager.
The best casting though was Ben Johnson, best known for his roles in classic westerns, as Sam the Lion. Peter Vagabonding, a former film critic, was a huge fan of John Ford and his classic westerns. This film serves as an homage and obituary for these westerns and the ideals they portrayed. Vagabonding was never to make a movie close to this again. 26. Oarswoman One of the great truths that human beings need to come to grips with at sometime in their life is that there really are no absolute truths. There are simply perceptions of the truth depending on many extenuating causes.
Once this becomes apparent, they should watch Oarswoman. Sarasota is my favorite foreign film director and this is my favorite of his movies. With Seven Samurai, which you will find later in this list, Sarasota developed the iconoclastic maverick label he is now known for but Oarswoman was the first bold step for the great filmmaker. The tight yet intricate plot, the magnificent performances and ultimately the message of this movie (or is a total lack of message the message? ) that still has this film resonating with me 20 years after seeing this film for the first time.
This was my first bold step into Foreign Films and I still question what took me so long. 27. The Night of The Hunter The thing about Charles Laughlin’s Night of the Hunter is people sometimes try to take it very literally. These people are either confused of want to know “What is the big deal? ” The movie is a modern fable with wonderful performances and some of the most stunning visuals ever put on film, but it Just does not fit in any standard movie category. This of course is its strength but leaves many viewers unmoved. Mitch was never better with Just the right touch of malice and humor.
I recently reattached this movie and came away thinking it was a mixture of Huckleberry Finn, To kill a Mockingbird, a b-rated thrasher movie and Just enough acid to make it work. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. 28. Do the Right Thing I was going to use this write up to point out the depths that Spike Lee’s career has fallen Oust look at Summer of Sam), but it really is not fair to Spike and more importantly it would not be fair to the wonderment of Do the Right Thing. A lot of Directors only have one great movie in them. In my opinion it is better to have one great one than to have many adequate films.
Great movies usually take us to places we don’t know or take us inside places we know but avoid for one reason or another. It the latter world, we get to see in this landmark film. The big city neighborhood with its mixture of ethnicities and cultures are brought to boil on this summer day and we the viewers are so much the better for it. Great performances, a superb script and as always with a Lee film tremendous use of music. 29. Exorcist-The Exorcist is different than most of the previous entries in my list. Its greatness is derived in the first time movie going experience.
It does not hold up as well as many of the other listings to repeated viewings but its impact after of my all time great film happenings. Basically it scared the bejewels out of me and I loved every moment of it. I really think Linda Blair deserved an Oscar for her performance. I do not want to short change the artistry of the film by suggesting you should not view the movie a second or third time, but like your first time at many things the first viewing of horror and suspense of this movie is hard to beat. 30. Stagecoaches Westerns are a personal favorite of mine and they can be found throughout this list.
This is the one that started them all. John Ford’s real name was John Fenny. He grew up in Portland Maine. His parents came over from Ireland with he mass exodus of the potato famine. How does this background give us the author of the blueprint of the most popular film genre for 30 years? It is a lot easier than you think. A great western like Stagecoach has Just the right mixture of romanticism, fatalism, religion, humor and adventure. These are same themes that can be found in most of the great Irish literature. Stagecoach is the granddaddy of all Westerns as art.
With Stagecoach, Ford developed the melting pot of themes and visuals that led him to his many outstanding achievements 31 . Lady Eve-The Lady Eve is my favorite Preston Gestures movie and I love most of his work. In this age of tabloids and tell all books, it is difficult sometimes to remember Henry Found as any thing besides Jane and Pewter’s Father and all the gossip that has surrounded his name. But no matter his personal life he was one of the greatest of all American actors and his role of the shy, bemused and at times angry Charlie Pike might be his best.
Barbara Stagnancy another under appreciated actor of the golden era is Just right in the tough con artist role. Of all the movies up to this point in my list, Lady Eve is the one that probably has been viewed the least by mass audiences. If nothing else is accomplished with his list, I hope it influences enough people to give some of these older classics a viewing. 32. Raiders of The Lost Ark- This is Spielberg best. And it is not even close, but I am not a fan of Close Encounters. I remember watching this movie in the theatre and feeling exhausted once it was done.
That level of anticipation, involvement and execution is a very difficult in this voyeuristic endeavor we all love. Passive embanking this anti. Harrison Ford was the perfect choice on the heels of his role of Han Solo. Ford brought the right touch of weariness and doggedness to the role of reluctant hero Indiana Jones. Nazi’s, religion, romance and that giant boulder make this the ultimate Saturday afternoon movie going experience. 33. Animal House-The famous saying goes mouth is wasted on the young”, all I can say is wasted indeed.
A friend recently told me his only regret in life was the fact he had a steady girlfriend during his college years. If you have seen Animal House, I do not need to explain the correlation between the preceding two statements and the merits of this flick. If you have not seen this movie, well then our opinion of college experience might be different I would like to tell you this movie has some deep assuages on the need to fight authority or the need for brotherhood and sticking together but I was too busy laughing my butt off to catch any of these messages.
So if you need a laugh, then pop a keg, get a group of buddies together and spend some time with the misadventures of Otter, Blunt, Dean Wormer and the rest of the denizens of Faber College. You will not be disappointed. 34. All About Eve- Bette Davis in a sympathetic role? Margo Chancing might be a pitch but at least you know what theme has been used in countless movies before and after Eve but boy has it never been done better. It is witty and vicious but it tells so much about ambition and the ruthless things it can cause.
Was Eve Harrington the first true example of passive aggressive behavior or was she simply aggression concealed in pretty packaging? I guess it really doesn’t matter because ultimately she was the best celebrity stalker ever put on film. 35. Chinatown- It always has intrigued me that Chinatown was made by Pulaski after Sharon Taste’s murder and before he fled the country to avoid prosecution for statutory rape. Like all great noirs, Chinatown has the weariness and cynicism that only comes from knowing tragedy intimately.
It is a remarkable piece of filmmaker considering it was made on the downward spiral of a descent into scandal and ridicule. Of course, Pulaski had a great deal of assistance in making this one. The script is almost letter perfect. Robert Town was never better. Nicholson, Duennas and John Huston were perfectly cast and they executed wonderfully. Only Los Angels, a city of sunny platitudes and a murky underbelly, could be created on such deception and greed. Even if it is only fiction, the real story is probably Just as much a quagmire of lies and duplicity. 6. The Wizard of Oz-The Wizard of Oz is taken or granted as an institution and it is unjustly characterized as only a family viewing tradition. If this movie were made today it would still be a technical wonder but consider this was made in 1939. Of course they would not try to make a movie of this scale today because the cost would be so prohibitive or everything would be done on a computer and it would lack the grandness and wonder of its current original version. The most amazing quality of this movie is neither the technical nor the acting.
It is simply the concept and the creation of such a uniquely different world. Frank Bam often gets forgotten in the making of this masterpiece. Oz is a remarkable place. 37. My Man Godlier-First and foremost Godlier is a very funny movie. When you can start with that basis and then add in understated social commentary, you now have the makings of a true classic. Powell and Lombard made this movie after they were divorced. Just think of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidnap getting together and making a romantic comedy.
I don’t think so. Powell was truly underrated, along with his Nick Charles of Thin Man movies; he was the epitome of being the smartest person in any scene but never flaunting it. This movie also has one of the great underrated character actors, Eugene Palette. He plays Lombardi father in Godlier and he is truly hilarious. You can also find his unique voice and presence in such classics as The Lady Eve, Mr… Smith Goes to Washington, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Heaven Can Wait and Topper.
That is some of the greatest movies ever made and this fat man with the gravelly voice makes all of them better. 38. A Hard Days Night-A Hard Days Night is the least respected most influential movie ever. It also is a great deal of fun and the soundtrack anti bad either. To many young viewers the premise and delivery of the movie is old hat, but back in 1964 the look was so new, so fresh and Just cheeky enough of a tweak to establishment to let people know the doldrums of Rock and Roll and Movies of the early Sixties were over.
Often it is regarded as the point America stopped grieving for the Kennedy assassination, but this is only really important to people old enough to Justify this thesis. And I am sure that was not the Beetles intention. Do we have an MET without (unlike the 24 hour commercially crass excuse they now air). There is always room in his world for irreverence and the Beetles showed us all why it can be so much fun. 39. Star Wars-I was 16 years old in 1977, so I never owned a Star Wars lunch box but I sure did love the movie that year. This is the only movie I have seen more than once in a theatre.
I saw it three times that year. I have watched it occasionally since but the greatest impact was viewing it in that dark theatre with friends and getting totally lost in another world, another time and another adventure. This alone makes it a great movie. What takes it to legendary status is the script, the acting, the special effect, the directing, the music… You get my point. Empire Strikes back might be a better film, but Star Wars is the better movie and whether your age is 16, 6 or 60. Sometimes you Just want a great movie. 40.
Cool Hand Luke-Unlike the Hustler, where Newman is Just one of many great actors, Cool Hand Luke is all about Paul Newman. He is in Just about every scene and like every one in the movie from the guards to his fellow inmates you cannot take your eyes off him. This is the most serious but still cool movie I have ever seen. It is basically the story of Jesus Christ and Judas (the George Kennedy role) updated to a southern prison. Newman is Christ if he was a rebel screw up and Kennedy is Judas with some serious issues of desire (notice how many times he calls Newman his baby).
The 2 most interesting characters besides Newman and Kennedy are the small but pivotal roles for women. Joe van Fleet as Lake’s mother is stunning in the denial of Luke scene and Joy Harmon as the girl who washes the car is something special in a whole different manner. 41 . Blade Runner- This movie is the first one on this list to rate this high because of its visual and atmospheric excellence more than it’s story. Basically it looks and feels wonderful; underbelly bleak that is. The Story is pretty basic; man chases Bots, Bots chase man. Man falls in Love with Boot.
I know many people who love this movie for the story and the social, cultural and philosophical agenda is supposedly portrays but to me it is still all about the bleakness. Future Noir never really took off as a movie genre (Dark City being a wonderful exception) and I think that is because it was done so well here why even try. I used to be very excited when Riddle Scott was going to release a new movie, but with the disappointment of both Gladiator and Hannibal, I find myself ore and more going back to this movie and Alien for my Scott fix 42.
Bonnie and Clyde There is such a sense of innocence to Bonnie and Clyde that gets forgotten because of the furor of the ultra-realistic violence. The characters, a couple of amoral young adults bored with their pedestrian life and fueled by the sexual energy between them go on a bank robbing killing spree. The screen violence was revolutionary for its time but it seems tame compared to stuff they show on TV these days. So what we are left with is a movie made by young actors starting out on their careers and an unproven TV director. The fact that is has been the blueprint for so many movies does not deter from the uniqueness of this movie.
Warren Beauty was never better and it is a toss up between Bonnie and Clyde and Chinatown for the best Duennas performance. Add in a couple of unproven Genes; Hickman and Wilder, mix in some great character actors like Dub Taylor, Denver Pyle and Michael Pollard and you got revolutionary embanking without even trying. 43. Pooch Psycho was such a huge change for Alfred Hitchcock and Embanking as an art form that not but in the end really matters little. The genie was out of the bottle. What was so revolutionary? Well let us count the ways…
Norman Bates was one of the first psychotic antiheroes ever put on screen. He was definitely the hero of this movie and don’t delude yourself in to thinking anything else. The fact that he was a homicidal lunatic with serious Mommy issues is somewhat irrelevant. Only Hitchcock with his own perversions and issues could have put such a sympathetic spin on it. What ultimately makes this one of the true turning points in film history is the shower scene. Violence before Psycho was almost always implied. Very rarely did you ever see blood, and terror was best left for the viewers to conjure themselves.
You needed little imagination to understand the violence portrayed in that scene though. There is much to be said about man, woman and the interaction between the sexes from that scene. She was nude (and desirable) and vulnerable. Bates is dressed up as his mother but the constant thrusting of the knife was such a sexual act that in no way could a woman be the attacker. I am not sure exactly why Hitchcock was able to make the movie his career had been only hinting at before then, but I do know it was no surprise he never came as close to this genius after Psycho 44.
Godlessly-There is such to love about Godlessly. It is the quickest long movie that I can think of, that is you are amazed when it finishes so quickly and then you realize it is a 146 minutes and every minute was needed to tell this great story. The acting is top notch and made Joe Pepsi a star. Scorcher’s directing is brilliant but I want to write about Scorcher’s use of music in this one. Soundtracks that use popular hits that everyone know are far too commonplace, but often they seem tacked on to many movies Just to help sell the soundtrack but never in a Coerces movie do you get that feeling.
His use of popular music from Tony Bennett, The Rolling Stones, Retreat Franklin, Derek and The Dominoes, Bobby Daring, The Sex Pistols and many other classic rock and oldies staples is breathtaking. Each song has a purpose and does so much in building the atmosphere and feel of this wonderful movie. It might be the best soundtrack I can think of and when you compare it to some Derek, say like Forrest Gum, you can appreciate the true mastery of this movie 45. A Touch of Evil- The third Arson Wells movie in my top 50 and many times I consider it my favorite of his holy trinity.
This movie is so good that even Carlton Weston, one of the worst actors to become a big star, looks great as a Mexican. Many consider this the end of the classic Film Noir genre of post World War II Hollywood, and if that is true its good to see it go out so spectacularly. Wells as the bloated and corrupt Captain Quintal is a classic Noir bad guy character and Janet Leigh is wonderful as the murky female lead character but the true star of this one is the cinematography. It is one of the best- shot movies with Wells reinventing a lot of the techniques he pioneered with Kane. 46.
The Right Stuff-Phillip Kaufman is the least heralded great director. He certainly is not prolific having directed 11 movies in a 35 year directing career but the majority of those 11 movies are at least pretty good movies and in the case of some like The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Invasion of The Body Snatchers remake and most definitely The Right Stuff they are classics and musts for any true movie lover. Some very good actors did their best acting in this one. Deed Harris, Dennis Quad and Scott Glenn immediately Jump to mind but everyone was wonderful in this one.