Saturday, 31 January 2009
Saw nothing theatrically last year. Last film on DVD : William Wellman's THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY. No Blue-ray.
2) Holiday movies— Do you like them naughty or nice?
Sore point in my life so I'll have to say Naughty or at least cynical.
3) Ida Lupino or Mercedes McCambridge ?
No contest - Ida, sweet as apple cider.
4) Favorite actor/character from TWIN PEAKS
Never watched the series but it would have been Hank Worden if I had.
5) It’s been said that, rather than remaking beloved, respected films, Hollywood should concentrate more on righting the wrongs of the past and tinker more with films that didn’t work so well the first time. Pretending for a moment that movies are made in an economic vacuum, name a good candidate for a remake based on this criterion.
John Irvin's GHOST STORY
6) Favorite Spike Lee joint.
Never seen one.
7) Lawrence Tierney or Scott Brady?
Oh, come on! Lawrence Tierney was the business.
8) Are most movies too long?
Not if they are worthy of their running time.
9) Favorite performance by an actor portraying a real-life politician.
Albert Finney as Winston Churchill in THE GATHERING STORM
10) Create the main event card for the ultimate giant movie monster smackdown.
11) Sheree North
12) Why would you ever want or need to see a movie more than once?
Because a/I enjoy repeating pleasurable experience b/Sometimes I fall asleep and c/I sometimes like to re-evaluate.....a bit like sex, really.
13) Favorite road movie.
Terry nailed it - BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA.
14) Favorite Budd Boetticher picture.
THE TALL T
15) Who is the one person, living or dead, famous or unknown, who most informed or encouraged your appreciation of movies?
Jim Kitses, Tom Milne, Martin Scorsese.
16) Favorite opening credit sequence. (Please include YouTube link if possible.)
17) Kenneth Tobey or John Agar?
18) Jean-Luc Godard once suggested that the more popular the movie, the less likely it was that it was a good movie. Is he right or just cranky? Cite the best evidence one way or the other.
He was right. THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.
20) Tatum O’Neal or Linda Blair?
Linda Blair. Tatum could't spider walk or do that thing with her head.
21) Favorite use of irony in a movie. (This could be an idea, moment, scene, or an entire film.)
(22) Favorite Claude Chabrol film.
23) The best movie of the year to which very little attention seems to have been paid.
24) Dennis Christopher or Robby Benson?
25) Favorite movie about journalism.
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
26) What’s the DVD commentary you’d most like to hear? Who would be on the audio track?
BRINGING UP BABY. Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn.
27) Favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
OUTLAW JOSEY WALES
28) Paul Dooley or Kurtwood Smith?
29) Your clairvoyant moment: Make a prediction about the Oscar season.
30) Your hope for the movies in 2009.
Westerns become popular again.
31) What’s your top 10 of 2008 ?
FORBIDDEN is another disappointment. Thought to have been a "lost film" for many years the films has, for me at least, several points of interest. Firstly it was filmed on location in Blackpool, the town where I was concieved (a purely personal interest, it must be admitted) although, unfortunately, very little is made of the opportunity to exploit the seedy seaside fairground atmosphere. Secindly the films features an early performance by the ever excellent Kenneth Griffith as a low-life spiv. Griffith was a fine actor who in later years became a superior and passionate maker of historical documentaries. Through my work I got to meet Griffith several times at his home in Islington, London and found him a fascinating person. I recommend his autobiography to all readers of this blog. The film's other plus is an early performance by the beautiful Hazel Court. The film itself is a sub-Hitchcock "wrong man" plot and director George King (more famous for his work with Tod Slaughter) makes little of the material despite a nice final twist which has the villain (Griffith) saving the life of the hero as they fight on Blackpool's famous tower. Rating **
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Until its recent DVD release, William Wellman's 1954 THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY was one of the films most sought by Wayne enthusiasts. The Wayne heirs at Batjac continually blocked its release (along with ISLAND IN THE SKY) for reasons best known to them. But here it is in all its 1950's Hollywood star-studded glory. Is it the lost masterpiece ? Well, no. Is it a great film even ? Well, no. But is is, arguably, the precursor of such distaster movies as the AIRPORT fanchise and countless films since. To be honest, I didn't find the film particularly suspenseful and it lacks a sense of urgency, but, on the other hand I found it wonderfully entertaining in a comforting Hollywood embrassing way. I watched it late at night, alone except for my dog streched out before the fire and a cup of hot chocolate. Like all the imitators that came after it, this film about a DC-4 en route to San Francisco from Hawaii that suffers techical problems and looks like it might have to ditch in the ocean, is populated by such luminaries as Robert Newton, Claire Trevor, Jan Sterling, Paul Kelly, Phil Harris, Laraine Day, John Howard, Paul Fix and John Qualen. The crew is headed by Robert Stack (an actor who only has to go near a plane in any film for disaster to loom) and co-pilot John Wayne (giving a fine understated performance). The one problem for me (the lack of urgency may worry modern viewers but didn't spoil my enjoyment) was that the back stories of the chacters (seen in flashback) just weren't dramatic or interesting - they were all much more interesting on the plane. Very much a film of its time, if THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY catches you in the right mood and you can accept it on its own terms, it has a lot to offer. Rating ***