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Groucho’s Movie Challenge: Week 1

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Groucho’s Movie Challenge: Week 1

Old 03-09-04, 12:08 PM
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I saw Female Trouble for the first time last night. AWESOME!

Next on my list is one that I've never gotten around to, Royal T-Baums.
Old 03-09-04, 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by wmansir


I would like to get it in poster form. I found several similar Raquel Welch posters, but they don't have the title and actor billing. Without that I can't us the "movie fan" excuse and will feel like a perve hanging it.
Just say that it is an homage to The Shawshank Redemption . . .

"By 1966...right about the time Tommy was getting ready to take his exams...it was lovely Raquel."



Great idea, Groucho (or should I call you "Uncle Miltie"? When did that happen? You go away from he forum for a few days and Groucho's got a new name . . . ).

Of course, even being born in 1973, I'm embarrassed at the number of oldie, blind buys that I have, that I still have never seen:
Grand Illusion
Casablanca
The Rules of the Game
Singin' In The Rain
The Magnificent Seven
Lolita
The Music Man
Dr. Strangelove
My Fair Lady

I almost feel like I need to watch 2 or 3 this week as penance . . .
Old 03-09-04, 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by Mondo Kane
I saw Female Trouble for the first time last night. AWESOME!


In my opinion, Female Trouble is one of the all time great American comedies.
Old 03-09-04, 05:29 PM
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Neat thread. I was born in 1974 and have plenty of unwatched pre-1974 movies on my shelf. My wife and I were talking about Whatever Happened to Baby Jane last night (we were watching the Simpsons episode from a few weeks ago with the Baby Jane paordy), so I'll probably pop that in the DVD Player later this week.
Old 03-09-04, 11:18 PM
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It seems that I don't own too many movies that were made before I was born (1972). I thought perhaps Godfather, but there may be a "Watch a movie from your birth year" type challenge...so that'll be saved for that. I own but have seen Fantasia....and then even my older Jackie Chan flicks are mid-70's....

Therefore, I'm going with one of the Kurosawa flicks I have: Yojimbo (1961, I believe)...I've a few others of his that I've not seen yet, so they'll be back ups for possible later categories, no doubt a "Watch a Kurosawa flick" will come into play.

So it's off to watch Yojimbo I go...I'll do my report tomorrow.

Cool thread...I don't know if it should be a sticky, just because I'm assuming that we don't want it to turn into a thread with like 25 pages to it...so it'll probably be a thread per game/challenge.
Old 03-09-04, 11:27 PM
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Good thread

I was born in 1983 and I think that every movie in my collection that is unwatched was made before that year. I don't know how it ended up that way, but this thread made me realize it. I think I will check out Fiddler on the Roof (1971) this week so I can knock a movie off my unwatched list and take the challenge at the same time.
Old 03-10-04, 08:55 AM
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76er, watch "Women In Love" a Ken Russell film from the late 60s with Oliver Reed and Alan Bates.

a sex romance, drama/comedy with interesting characters but i didn't care much after the halfway point.

based on the DH Lawrence novel, maybe i should have read that instead.
Old 03-10-04, 03:04 PM
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Herbie Goes Bananas came out in 1980!
Old 03-10-04, 03:44 PM
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just finished once upon a time in the west. excellent movie, everybody who loves westerns should see this. It is never a "slow" movie. Leone always how to have tension in the air when nothing was happenining on screen. oh and how is this PG13 when Good Bad and the Ugly is rated R?
Old 03-10-04, 04:21 PM
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I was born in 1973. I was going to cheat and ask if Annie Hall would count since I just rented it after reading the Star Wars vs. Annie Hall thread. So I'll be watching that one for sure.

But I won't cheat so... Anyway, I guess this will be my impetus for grabbing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly off of my shelf. Been looking for a reason to watch it. Just don't know if I can squeeze it in this week. I'll give it a shot.
Old 03-10-04, 07:51 PM
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Watched Notorious the other day. Great film. I love Ingrid Bergman. She plays a very different character than in Casablanca which kind of threw me off a bit. Cary Grant is the man. Overall great romance and suspence from the master...Alfred Hitchcock.

One thing I noticed is that Mission Impossible 2 stole a good chunk of this movie (and this movie has probably stolen from others, but this is a good movie). Some scenes had me doing a double take wating for lines like "she has all the training she needs...she's a woman." So sad.
Old 03-10-04, 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by karnblack
Watched Notorious the other day. Great film. I love Ingrid Bergman. She plays a very different character than in Casablanca which kind of threw me off a bit. Cary Grant is the man. Overall great romance and suspence from the master...Alfred Hitchcock.

One thing I noticed is that Mission Impossible 2 stole a good chunk of this movie (and this movie has probably stolen from others, but this is a good movie). Some scenes had me doing a double take wating for lines like "she has all the training she needs...she's a woman." So sad.
from imdb, regarding mi2
The script bears several similarities to that of Hitchcock's Notorious, in which a man is assigned by the government to attract a woman for the purpose of sending her back to an old love who is a spy. Both films also have a clandestine meeting at a race track.
Old 03-10-04, 08:37 PM
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Sullivan's Travels 1942, written and directed by Preston Sturges.

A top movie director decides to live a couple weeks as a poor man in order to improve his realism. He meets a beautiful woman and they exchange clever comic dialogue as they fall in love. At this point I was expecting another screwball comedy like My Man Godfrey. Then Sturges surprised me by showing real poverty and real misery. The director goes home in a hurry, but gets sucked back in.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. Joel McCray played a romantic nitwit with great sympathy, and Veroinca Lake was sexy and funny. It also counts in category that I avoid: romance movies.
Old 03-10-04, 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Nick Danger
Sullivan's Travels 1942, written and directed by Preston Sturges.

A top movie director decides to live a couple weeks as a poor man in order to improve his realism. He meets a beautiful woman and they exchange clever comic dialogue as they fall in love. At this point I was expecting another screwball comedy like My Man Godfrey. Then Sturges surprised me by showing real poverty and real misery. The director goes home in a hurry, but gets sucked back in.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. Joel McCray played a romantic nitwit with great sympathy, and Veroinca Lake was sexy and funny. It also counts in category that I avoid: romance movies.
I love love love this movie. Man, now I want to go watch it again.
Old 03-11-04, 02:21 AM
  #65  
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Originally posted by Giles
oh Groucho, that's not a challenge (notably MrN, Sundog, Wendersfan, and myself) you should challenge some of us by giving us a specific film and/or genre that we rarely watch

Thanks Giles - its always interesting to hear what my 'street-cred' is around here.

I like Groucho's idea as is - its too hard to have individual challenges. Who knows, maybe he'll pick an 80's T&A comedy one of these weeks. I can only wish.

Anyway, yesterday I watched Shane, the classic western directed by George Stevens, staring Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Helfin et al. for the first time. I'm not a big western fan, and my curiosity was piqued after that recent TCM festival entitled 'Every good western ever made except Shane.'

And, I was pretty impressed. First thing I should mention is the cinematography - I don't think I've seen mountains that shade of blue before. That and the sky were pretty distracting at times, but they fit in perfectly when the funeral scene came around. The plot of homesteaders vs. ranchers with a stranger in town to join the right side is an old one, but some of the other elements make this film a must-see. I still can't believe this is a western that seems to be for gun control for instance. The streets are dirty and the shootouts are short. The motivation of the stranger is left unsaid (I think its Jean Arthur) and like in The Searchers he knows he is a dying breed.

In conclusion, this definitely makes my top-10 western list.

Looking forward to week 2...
Old 03-11-04, 08:47 AM
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Well, my film was The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). I grabbed this movie last week to TiVo off TCM because of the title, which seemed vaguely familiar. Besides, I’m a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, so I figured it would be enjoyable.

When the opening credits came on, I realized why the title sounded familiar: the film was directed by the great Billy Wilder! A pleasant surprise to be sure, as I’m a fan of his work.

The movie was good, if a bit uneven. The feel is very episodic, and the plot changes gears several times, with a lot of sub-plots that seem to come out of nowhere. However, these weaknesses are made up by the sharp dialogue and the production values are high. The performances are spot-on as well, particularly Robert Stephens as Sherlock Holmes, Colin Blakely as Watson, and Christopher Lee.

I won’t go into the plot, as this one is better enjoyed going in blind. Overall, I would recommend it to fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories and to Billy Wilder fans alike. Prior knowledge of the characters is helpful to get the “in-jokes,” but not completely necessary.
Old 03-11-04, 10:29 PM
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1974 here...

I bought Straw Dogs 2 weeks ago as a blind buy, so I decided that this is a great time to watch it. Thought it was a pretty intense film and was very pleased that I picked this up, especially considering the year which it was made. I also felt it was an interesting role for Dustin Hoffman. One thing that I was thinking while watching it was that I was surprised that Hollywood hasnt tried to remake this film. Its subject matter and intensity fit so well in today's era and also the fact that it doesnt seem as well known as other movies that I was surprised that someone hasnt jumped at the chance. Anyways, I think this is a great thread, and cannot wait to see what the next "task" is.
Old 03-11-04, 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by FantasticVSDoom
One thing that I was thinking while watching it was that I was surprised that Hollywood hasnt tried to remake this film.
Fear Itself starring Ed Norton.

http://imdb.com/title/tt0331488/
Old 03-11-04, 11:29 PM
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Gimme Shelter: The film was okay. I've already seen Grey Gardens in one of my film classes the other week, and this was only slightly better. The only thing really shocking, which I already knew about, was the stabbing CAUGHT ON FILM by the brothers. To be honest, I was actually more impressed by Criterion's film restoration demo.

I also saw The Last Picture Show. I thought this was just trying to be shocking and provoking with its crude language and forthcoming sexuality. Is it based on any book? Anyway, the monologues from the Sam the Lion and the waitress caught my eye for the way they are done. The camera slowly tracks close to them, or curves in front of them. This reminded me of the way Gus Van Sant chose to film Robin Williams' "Oscar" speech about not knowing what it smells like in the Sistheen Chapel.

Anyway, I have Diabloque and Wages of Fear next.
Old 03-11-04, 11:49 PM
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Just watched The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964). Very poetic, interesting choices for music. I didn't expect to hear African & blues along with Bach. I was born in 1967.
Old 03-12-04, 12:03 AM
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Great idea, Groucho.

I'm just picking up all of the Fox Studio Classics - there are SO MANY classic films I haven't seen that I'm a bit embarrassed. But I'm trying to catch up.

For this I'll start with Spine #1: All About Eve.
Old 03-12-04, 12:20 AM
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Well, it looks like I confused Marathon Man with The Third Man, and Marathon Man was actually released 5 months after my birth, so it's out. Instead I watched Metropolis.

It was a good movie. I was entertained, though more on a historical/technical level than by the story itself. The use of miniatures, matte painting, and actual set pieces was amazing for it's time. I was very impressed by the production values for a film of this era. This was only the second full length silent movie I have seen, the other being a Charlie Chaplin film I caught on AMC a few weeks ago, which is an entirely different type of film obviously. So I enjoyed it on that level also.

However, if you are not interested in the film from a historical context, the I would skip it. The pacing is long and slow by today's standards. The story meanders, is heavy handed and very transparent, but that was the style of the time. As was the over the top acting. This was at it's peak with the "evil Maria" character, her performance had me laugh out loud.
Old 03-13-04, 02:13 AM
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I watched Fiddler on the Roof tonight and enjoyed it very much. I saw this performed on stage a few years back so I wasn't completely new to the story. I was surprised to see John WIlliams name pop up in the opening credits. He did an excellent job adapting the music for the film from the stage musical. I think this is the first movie i've watched that John Williams has had a part of pre 1977.
Old 03-13-04, 10:23 AM
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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1947)

Starring
  • Rex Harrison
  • Gene Tierney
  • George Sanders
<hr>The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a slightly unusual movie, as it's genre could best be described as "romantic horror". The main problem with this is that, at least for this viewer, the horror element was merely a put-on. At no time did I feel that any "genuine" horror was coming. So, basically this film is a slightly odd romance, where the protagonists are a recently widowed woman (Tierney), and the ghost of a former sea captain (Harrison), into whose house Tierrney's character moves.

Most of the plot is a contrivance to get these two characters into some wonderful scenes. Essentially, in order to afford living in the house, Mrs. Muir ghostwrites (heh heh) the life story of the caption, as he dictates it to her. The book is a success, and in the course of events, Mrs. Muir meets and becomes involved with another writer, played with gleeful caddishness by George Sanders, who is fast becoming one of my favorite actors. Thankfully, the good widow eventually sees through his duplicity (he's married with children, you know), and retreats back into the solitude of her seashore home. The ending is somewhat predictable, but honestly, no other ending would probably have worked. All in all, quite an enjoyable film. I though the script was a bit weak, and the accents the actors employed (some were English, some, like Tierney, from the USA) ranged from silly to bizarre.

My man problem with the film is that, good as it was, it simply could not withstand the fact that two things overshadow everything else about it. The first is, well, Gene Tierney is a total babe. Maybe I've got a thing for overbites, but I think she has to be one of the half-dozen hottest actresses of all time. Even in the costumes of turn-of the-(last)century England, you could tell, as her captain put it, she has a "fine figure". The other thing that overshadows the film is Bernard Herrmann's score. This is one of his finest, ranking up there with the scores he did for Hitchcock's films like Vertigo and Psycho. Herrmann's menacing score, along with some very expressionistic lighting and camerawork, give the film, especially in the first half hour or so, a feeling of dread that is nicely juxtaposed by the burgeoning romance between the two leads.

I heartily recommend The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which is available in an excellent release as part of the Fox Studio Classics series.

Last edited by wendersfan; 03-13-04 at 10:44 AM.
Old 03-13-04, 08:41 PM
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Well I finally got around to watch The Maltese Falcon and I while I didn't love it I still enjoyed it. Bogart did do a superb job as Spade and the scene with everyone together toward the end was by far my favorite segment in the movie. I shall probably watch this once more to see if I missed anything.

Bring on the next challenge subject

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