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gromit
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:23 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Watched a trio of classic comedies form my youth.
Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and A Fish Called Wanda.

The 2 Mel Brooks films have a more measured pace then you'd expect. I guess that means they aren't as quickly edited as everything tends to be post-MTV.
Gene Wilder gets to ham it up as Dr. Frahnkensteen. Marty Feldman too in smaller bites. But I thought Peter Boyle as the Monster really holds things together somehow with his grunts and mannerisms. Also the sound design is very effective. Good sets too help sell things and allow for the silliness.

Blazing Saddles is really Cleavon Little's film. The silliness threatens to get out of hand, but they wait til the end for that. This might be one the earliest uses on film of a sweet old lady cursing and acting unsweet-old-ladylike.

Maybe for both films the steady unrushed pace helps ground the genre as almost genuine, and allow the silly moments not to occur without destroying the artifice.

A Fish Called Wanda: Kevin Kline really gets to shine here. His character is such a great ball of bravado and stupidity. He's kind of a philosopher-idiot. I like how he keeps stealthily turning up where he shouldn't, but then is too prickly and self-important to actually stay hidden.
He needs to announce himself and control events and make a mess out fo things. Jamie Lee Curtis gets to do a lot and play different roles. Oddly the 2 Pythons, Cleese and Palin are primarily straight men.

Not so easy to evaluate films that you grew up with. I'd probably have the same issue with mnay Abbott & Costello films, but the dvd's sadly never turned up. Used to love watching those Sunday mornings before the football games. So long ago, I forget if it was Channel 9 or 11 in NYC. WOR or WPIX, I'm guessing CH 9 OWR as I have fonder memories of them. Or maybe that's just because I was a MEts fan, not a yankees guy.

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bartist
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:29 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6456
AFCW is one of the spouse and my favorites. I still get a laugh from her when I pick up one of her boots and breathe into it, Otto-style.

Quote:
You English! You think you're so superior, don't you? Well you're the filth of the planet! A bunch of pompous, badly dressed, poverty stricken, sexually repressed football hooligans!
45 must be a student of Otto invective.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Watched What's Up Doc? which was pretty terrible.
Making me the first person in the 21st C to watch 3 Madeline Kahn films in one week.

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Syd
Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:28 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12543 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
gromit wrote:
Watched What's Up Doc? which was pretty terrible.
Making me the first person in the 21st C to watch 3 Madeline Kahn films in one week.


Really? I thought it was very funny. When I first saw it, I woke my girlfriend up and took her to the second showing. She was pleased.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:13 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Well, I find Streisand annoying, especially when she's trying to be cutesy, which is much of this film. She's best in the film when singing.
Otherwise almost all the gags in the film were pretty old and stale by 1970.
I think it's trying to be an homage to old films, but just seemed real tiresome to me. Gad, when they repeat the whole film to the judge endlessly it became an endurance test for me.

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carrobin
Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7691 Location: NYC
A couple of months ago, TCM showed "The Bed Sitting Room"--in the middle of the night--and I'm still thinking about it, as the post-apocalyptic premise seems even more likely now than it was 50 years ago. It's a weird and unsatisfactory film but fascinating and irresistible because of its cast--particularly Ralph Richardson as the title character, an aristocrat slowly morphing into architecture after radiation-heavy bombings have devastated Britain. When the adorable Mona Washbourne, morphing into a "wardrobe" (she keeps her hanky in a drawer she pulls out of her body), says "Oh well, mustn't grumble," it seems to be the theme of the film, as normal and abnormal creatures wander the wasteland. Spike Milligan and Rita Tushingham are among the humans, but my favorite is Dudley Moore--who, with Peter Cook, is a policeman in a sky-sailing balloon shouting instructions and corrections to anyone they catch up with. He's turning into a spaniel, and I want to adopt him. The final shot is classic, saluting the nearest living royal relative.

It should be viewed on a double feature with "The Road Warrior," I think.
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knox
Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1194 Location: St. Louis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rzhevsky_Versus_Napoleon

Stars the current president of Ukraine. As M Bonaparte.
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gromit
Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:31 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Re-watched The Best Years of Our Lives.

Some favorite scenes:

Mild Spoilers, perhaps

Fred confronting another man in his home.
Theresa Wright deciding she's gonna be a homewrecker.
The fascist sympathizer.
Homer coming home
The airplane graveyard.

I like how the women all have fairly strong personalities and roles.
Loy and Mayo stand out. Then there's Theresa Wright ...
The whole cast is terrific.
Pretty great film.
Hope everyone has seen it.


Last edited by gromit on Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:44 am; edited 2 times in total

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carrobin
Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7691 Location: NYC
Harold Russell, the first-time actor without hands who won the Oscar for his role in "The Best Years of Our Lives," was a guest at our film class. What a great guy. He had good memories of making the movie, but had gone on to become a businessman--there weren't many roles suitable for someone with hooks for hands. Everyone was impressed by his practicality and humor. He died a few years ago, as I recall.
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billyweeds
Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20426 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
Re-watched The Best Years of Our Lives.

Some favorite scenes:

Mild Spoilers, perhaps

Fred confronting another man in his home.
Theresa Wright deciding she's gonna be a homewrecker.
The fascist sympathizer.
Homer coming home
The airplane graveyard.

I like how the women all have fairly strong personalities and roles.
Loy and Mayo stand out. Then there's Theresa Wright ...
The whole cast is terrific.
Pretty great film.
Hope everyone has seen it.


On my top-ten list of all time.
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bartist
Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6456
Sometimes a comic horror film can be a little TOO deadpan? That's my feeling after seeing Jim Jarmusch's 2019 film, in which he dabbles in various horror tropes, "The Dead Don't Die." The ensemble cast is formidable, but I never got the feeling that the film really committed to any one theme or tone, and just aimed at being silly and letting Bill Murray amuse us with his deadpan delivery. Several times he and a couple other characters stand side by side and trade lines in a way that reminded me of the alleyway openings of "King of the Hill" episodes. Yup, yup, yup, burp. I'm also not sure why Murray's police officer character is named Cliff Robertson (unless it's a nod to the original Mr. Robertson's starring roles in several "Outer Limits" episodes...) Multiple 4th-wall-breaking scenes between Adam Driver and Murray are tossed in, meta-jokes about "is that in the script" or "are you improvising now?" in a careless way that was marginally amusing and seemed to serve little purpose.

Kind of disappointing, given the cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Danny Glover, Steve Buscemi, and Tom Waits.

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Syd
Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12543 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Harold Russell got two Oscars for the same performance. He got a special Oscar presumably because people thought he wouldn't win the competitive one, then he won the competitive one.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
I meant to put down a bunch of Harold Russell trivia:

- only person to get two Oscars for one acting role.

- only one of two non-professionals to win a competitive Oscar acting award.

- the only person to sell off their Oscar statue.

In response, in 1950 the Academy added a condition that they have the right of first refusal to buy an Oscar for sale at the price of $1.
(I'm not exactly sure how this is enforced. Does an actor have to sign a form to receive an Oscar? Which is tricky, since it is handed to them on stage once the winner is revealed.)

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Syd
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:35 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12543 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Well, he had a spare...

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:02 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20426 Location: New York City
[quote="gromit"]

- only one of two non-professionals to win a competitive Oscar acting award.

/quote]

Who was the other one?
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