Posts filed under ‘Classic’

The Misfits

MOVIE:  The Misfits

NUTSHELL:  John Huston translating Arthur Miller’s contempt for the nature of modern macho men.

GOOD THINGS:  Thelma Ritter

BAD THINGS:  Marilyn Monroe

FEATURES:  Dueling acting methods and anti-methods throughout.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Clark Gable, horse scenes

NOTABLE:  Montgomery Clift

BEST PART:  Eli Wallach


CROWNS:  3 out of 5


January 14, 2010 at 12:07 am Leave a comment


MOVIE:  Picnic

NUTSHELL:  A handsome drifter arrives in Kansas in time for the Labor Day Picnic and the girls all go hysterical.

GOOD THINGS:  William Holden burning trash topless, William Holden dancing topless, William Holden doing some other things topless, older neighbor lady continually telling William Holden to take his shirt off (Aren’t you hot? / Let me wash that shirt. / Is that jacket too tight for you?)

BAD THINGS:  Hysterical schoolteachers, William Holden hopping a freight and leaving

FEATURES:  Kim Novak, Cliff Robertson, Beauty Queen, a lot of Grain Elevators

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Montage of various picnic competitions (girl carrying contest?)

NOTABLE:  Melodramatic score will make you almost go hysterical too

BEST PART:  Please see “Good Things.”

BEST LINE:  There’s nothing like being loose!

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

January 14, 2010 at 12:06 am Leave a comment


MOVIE:  Speedy

NUTSHELL:  A ne’er do well  tries to save his girlfriend’s father’s horse cart business from ruin when the railroad comes calling.

GOOD THINGS:  The whole darn thing is great.

BAD THINGS:  Um…. nope.

FEATURES:  Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff, Brooks Benedict, Babe Ruth acting and looking quite svelte, great views of New York circa 1927

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Some of the stunts, I mean, GEEZ.

NOTABLE:  Was Harold Lloyd’s final silent film.

BEST PART:  The trip to Coney Island and the audience’s reaction to dangerous stunts that were really… well, dangerous stunts!

BEST LINE:  It’s men like you who make women afraid to wear underwear!

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

January 14, 2010 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Ten Cents a Dance

MOVIE:  Ten Cents a Dance

NUTSHELL:  A plucky taxi dancer keeps bailing out her pasty-faced husband despite brighter things on the horizon.

GOOD THINGS:  Barbara Stanwyck hubba hubba, sassy gals and manly men (except for the pasty guy)

BAD THINGS:  Pasty-faced guy you want to strangle by the end of the movie – AAGGHH!

FEATURES:  Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley, boarding houses, millionaire bachelors, Sally Blane, Martha Sleeper, Abe Lyman and His Band

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Barbara Stanwyck saying, “Gee that’s a snappy looking box!”

NOTABLE:  Directed by Lionel Barrymore in 1931 but restored like new and sassier than the latest Meg Ryan thinger.

BEST PART:  Millionaire bachelors are still millionaire bachelors, even mid-Depression.

BEST LINE:  Of course he hasn’t been around long and traffic signals puzzle him…

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

January 14, 2010 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

Way Down East

MOVIE:  Way Down East

NUTSHELL:  D.W. Griffith directing Lillian Gish as a Poor Country Girl duped by a Rich Cad into a fake wedding (and some coughcough other stuff) resulting in a baby which sadly dies. PCG takes a job as a maid at the farm across from RC’s (just don’t ask) and he threatens to out her as… well… a great big tramp! but the Squire finds out from the town yakker anyway and throws PCG out in a snowstorm where Squire’s son goes after her and hops from ice floe (flow?) to ice flow (floe?) so he can save her and we can see that shot in all our History of Cinema courses.

GOOD THINGS:  There’s some pretty modern acting in here and the Gish babe is very ooh la la. Plus it has Griffith doing his “let’s create a new art form” thing without his “I have a serious problem with people of color” thing. There’s also a gnarly fight with men in fur coats mauling each other. Woo hoo!

BAD THINGS:  I’m sorry but I don’t get the irising in and out and right and left. Someone explain this. It just makes me go, “Huh?”

FEATURES:  Pelts-a-palooza, boarding houses, mean cousins, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman, Burr McIntosh (Hey, McIntosh, you cold? hahahahaahaha!), Kate Bruce, Mary Hay (Mary, Hey! What? Oh nothing just saying your name.), Creighton Hale, Emily Fitzroy, characters named “Hi Holler”, “Barn Dancer” and “The Eccentric Aunt”, (did I already mention there’s an entire barn dance sequence?), an actress credited as Mrs. David Landau (isn’t that just presh?) and last but not least – and definitely not the least teased in school: Athole Shearer

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Well the villain is pretty oily and there’s that thing where you feel like if the protagonist just took 3 minutes to explain herself she wouldn’t have to skulk around the countryside anymore. And the ice flow (floe?) thing. I mean… Jesus!

NOTABLE:  Some of the crew died while filming this because they waited and then filmed it in an actual blizzard. (Fucking dogme freaks.)

BEST PART:  The Gish Babe giving that asshole H-E-double hockey sticks right in front of everyone.

BEST LINE:  This top! But Auntie, where’s the rest of it?

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

January 14, 2010 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

White Christmas

MOVIE:  White Christmas

NUTSHELL:  Post-post-war tale of Army buddies uber alles wherein two successful song and dance men bail out their beloved former General when his Vermont ski lodge is about to go under due to lack of snow.

GOOD THINGS:  Funny stuff and some nice dancing, Danny Kaye, George Clooney’s aunt, Vera Ellen, crowns, gowns, ballerinas

BAD THINGS:  Grown men crying, some unbelievably gay moments (“Wow,” you will say to your companion, “That’s freaking GAY!”, more eyeliner than the Geneva Convention should allow

FEATURES:  Vera Ellen’s hypnotizing thin yet muscular thighs, men in need of bras (I’m looking at you, Earboy), beatnik jokes, nosy housekeepers, George Maharis flouncing around like a nut, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes, train travel, a whole lot of feathers

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I know he was a child-beating psycho and all but wow his eyes are so blue.

NOTABLE:  Warning: contains enormous skirts – I mean skirts that cover entire couches – skirts that made me fear for my life!

BEST PART:  Say what you will, men acting fey is still funny.

BEST LINE:  A guy that ugly’s got a lot of nerve having sisters.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Last Laugh

MOVIE:  Last Laugh

NUTSHELL:  A doorman gets demoted to washroom attendant and goes all bananas in pajamas.

GOOD THINGS:  Visually stunning with amazing mise en scene and better acting than you’d expect. Murnau’s storytelling is told only via visuals. (Movie contains only one title card.) One of the movies they blather on about in film school but you should still see.

BAD THINGS:  Perhaps if the one title card was in English rather than German, I would have enjoyed the film more.

FEATURES:  Heart-rending “eating soup” scene, strangers with candy, bellboys, a wedding, lost buttons.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Emil Jannings egomaniacal preening and grooming of his beard

NOTABLE:  Revolving door motif

BEST PART:  Woman with lunchpail going totally berserk

BEST LINE:  No lines in this one. Hmph.

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

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