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Nov 13th 2015 at 2:57:29 PM

It really bugs me that James Stewart is listed on this wiki as Jimmy Stewart. Because he was never billed that way.

There was a question upthread about what's overrated. My answer: Audrey Hepburn. Not sexy—you have to weigh more than 75 pounds to be sexy—and a limited range as an actress. Heck of a clotheshorse, though.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Nov 13th 2015 at 3:17:59 PM

Apparently before Elizabeth Taylor was cast as Cleopatra (in, you guessed it, that turkey of all turkeys Cleopatra) they wanted Audrey Hepburn to play her.

What a stunning example of miscasting that would have been.

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Nov 13th 2015 at 3:35:09 PM

[up][up]While I agree she was/is kinda overrated, I disagree on the sexiness part. And she was gorgeous.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 13th 2015 at 6:16:10 PM

I do agree that her acting isn't the most naturalistic, but she had a certain charm that kind of makes me overlook it. Charm goes a long way, especially in film.

I've also watched Breathless and have to say I like it very much. It has raw energy to it, and although the cuts can be a little too much at times, I like what it adds to the film. I like how the characters are fleshed out; we spend time with them, get to know them and the masks that they wear. Definitely see how this film was extremely influential.

edited 13th Nov '15 6:16:30 PM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 16th 2015 at 9:23:48 AM

Since it's Noirvember, I wanted to ask you guys if you've seen any noir films lately. Good or bad, talk about them.

Recently, I saw The Asphalt Jungle which was really good, and if my memory serves me, one of the first heist films (which also includes the French film, Rififi).

Stray Observations:

  • Opening shots were just beautiful.
  • Sterling Hayden is awesome.
  • Jean Hagen is playing the romantic interest, sort of. If you don't know who this is, check out a little movie called Singin' in the Rain.
  • An early appearance of Marilyn Monroe. She's in the movie for only a few minutes, but almost all the posters I've seen have her on it as if she plays a major role.
  • Directed by John Huston. 'Nuff said.
  • I also love heist films where everything goes wrong which is basically every heist film, isn't it?

edited 16th Nov '15 9:25:45 AM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Nov 16th 2015 at 9:44:58 AM

One really good noir film I'd highly recommend is Scarlet Street. Fritz Lang was the director, so that's one point in its favor.

Edward G. Robinson's in it, and he's damn good playing against type; in this one he's a regular guy who likes to paint. I don't want to reveal the plot too much, but it's one film you ought to see.

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 16th 2015 at 9:47:02 AM

Isn't it in public domain? I'll definitely check it out.

edited 16th Nov '15 9:52:42 AM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 16th 2015 at 4:16:27 PM

I think the only heist film I've ever watched where nothing went wrong and the protagonists got away with the heist was Ocean's Eleven, and of course that was subverted in the sequel.

Scarlet Street is one of Fritz Lang's best American films. It makes an interesting contrast with Lang's film The Woman in the Window, which was made the year before, had the same cast, and a somewhat similar story, but a very different (and controversial) ending.

And as far as Audrey Hepburn is concerned—I've never seen Cleopatra, and I understand it was a disaster, but my goodness, casting Audrey Hepburn in that part would have been just the worst idea ever.

edited 16th Nov '15 4:18:43 PM by jamespolk

TompaDompa from Sweden
Nov 17th 2015 at 11:03:08 AM

I'll try to keep this brief, but if you're interested in more recommendations I'll be happy to oblige; I've watched a few hundred movies from this time period, many of which are quite good.

First off, I feel like I have to recommend what I consider to be the best movie of all time: 12 Angry Men. It's fairly well-known among film buffs, but not nearly known enough among casual movie fans. Based on my personal experience, it seems to have very broad appeal; everyone who's watched it on my recommendation has liked it.

Since Film Noir and heist movies were mentioned, here are my three favourite crime dramas of all time (but yes, all three do happen to fall within the correct time period):

  • Fritz Lang's M, about a series of child murders and society's†Ė†including ordinary citizens, the police, and the criminal underworld Ė reaction to them. Also a very interesting character study with regards to the child murderer himself. Yes, really.
  • Rififi, a serious contender for the best heist movie of all time. If nothing else, it's worth watching for a very longnote  heist scene without any dialogue or music.
  • Akira Kurosawa's High&Low. I think it's the best police procedural ever made, and Kurosawa's best film. It gets bonus points for having social commentary that's become more relevant over timenote .

As a bonus, I'll throw in The Battle of Algiers for its relevancy to current events. Also, the soundtrack is amazing.

I just realised that of these five movies, only one is in English. I swear that wasn't intentional, but I guess maybe that's just as well if you're looking to broaden your horizons.

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Nov 17th 2015 at 12:08:46 PM

I second "M". It's a great movie. And it has easily the most disturbing killing scene I know - without showing anything of the actual murder!

I guess I will just list a couple of movies which were made before I was even born.

The Great Escape: Easily one of my favourite movies. Always fun to watch even though the depiction of Germany is not particularly realistic.

The Court Jester: Comedy gold! There are few comedies which make me laugh at all, but this one does it at more or less every turn. Especially Knighting Ceremony.

Arsenic and old Lace: This never fails to make me laugh either.

The Sting: Easily my favourite Heist movie - and one of the few which is still watchable after you know how the heist works. The characters are so compelling and so well acted - I might go so far to call it Robert Redford's best movie.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Nov 17th 2015 at 12:35:18 PM

[up][up] Oh, God, yes. M is great. In fact, anything with Peter Lorre in it is automatically great.

[up] Technically The Sting was made in the 70s... but who cares, really?

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Nov 17th 2015 at 12:53:48 PM

[up]How old do you think I am? Like I said, I just picked movies made before I was born....

Speaking of Peter Lorre: 20,000 leagues under the Sea. Easily the smartest movie Disney's live action Division ever made.

Speaking of Disney, there is naturally a long list of great animated movies which are old enough to consider classics. One not made by Disney is "The Adventures of Prince Achmed"...the oldest surviving animated movie, and let me tell you, it is so worth the watch.

edited 17th Nov '15 12:58:53 PM by Swanpride

Nov 17th 2015 at 1:04:54 PM

[up]Swanpride: Nothing wrong with the choice of The Sting (it's a classic, sure - give me Robert Redford on any day), but me and the OP agreed on a cutoff date: 1967.

edited 17th Nov '15 1:05:34 PM by Quag15

Nov 17th 2015 at 1:24:45 PM

[up]ah...okay...that was not in the initial post, though, so I went for "before I was born" meaning that I never saw the movies in question in theatres unless it was some sort of rerelease.

Nov 17th 2015 at 1:28:14 PM

[up]No problem. Good choices, btw.[tup]

@OP: If you're there, can you include the cutoff date in the OP?

edited 17th Nov '15 1:28:25 PM by Quag15

Nov 17th 2015 at 2:04:45 PM

12 Angry Men is shockingly popular, given its age. Currently fifth at the IMDB top 250.

http://www.imdb.com/chart/top

The next oldest film on that list is The Godfather which came out 15 years later. You have to go down to #20 and The Seven Samurai to find an older flick.

I really enjoyed 12 Angry Men but my enjoyment of it was undercut just a bit by the feeling that the kid was guilty as hell and Henry Fonda was bullshitting the other jurors.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 17th 2015 at 2:34:33 PM

Happy to find this thread growing!

I added the cut-off in the OP so everyone knows.

I've watched M, and absolutely agree that it is masterful. The scene with the balloon and the girl and then it hits the telephone wires just leaves me more scared than if Lang actually showed the scene. Also, the children chanting in the beginning is really haunting, and sets the mood for the film perfectly.

The general consensus seems to be that Peter Lorre is awesome and I heartily agree.

I feel pretty embarrassed being a classic film fan (specifically Golden Age of Hollywood) and I haven't scene 12 Angry Men yet. Will rectify that soon.

The Kurosawa film that was mentioned has definitely piqued my interest.

I've wanted to watch Rififi for forever, but I haven't been able to find any sources to watch it on. I'm not the sort of person who goes out on a limb and buys a movie without seeing it first.

edited 17th Nov '15 2:47:22 PM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 17th 2015 at 3:26:49 PM

[up]I think what gets me the most are the scenes with the mother, just following her daily routine, and actually saying to the other woman "let them sing, if you hear them sing, you at least know that they are still there" - while her daughter meets the killer. And then the empty place at the table and her clothes hanging to dry in the attic.

C0mraid from Here and there
Nov 17th 2015 at 7:22:57 PM

Iíve seen a lot of films this year, probably more than I ever have in a year, but about a month ago I realised that far too few of them predate New Hollywood. So Iíve been trying to rectify that.

On the other hand I have started to compensate for my former reluctance to watch subtitled films; of course Kurosawa was one of the first directors I checked out. Iím still a bit hesitant about silent films though; I am planning on seeing the first Dr Mabuse and re-watching Metropolis. Any other recommendations appreciated.

M happens to be one of my very favourite films. The natures of two different forms of evil are contrasted against each other so well. Lang manages to capture the mood of early 1930s Germany brilliantly.

Tonight I watched Detective Story and liked it a lot; even more than the fairly high critical consensus. I was surprised to see itís labelled as a film noir; considering the subject matter itís as far from noir as I can picture a film made in 1951 America being.

Am I a good man or a bad man?
LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 17th 2015 at 8:05:22 PM

[up]Personally, it took me like three tries to actually watch Metropolis, because of a) length b) I wasn't accustomed to silents yet.

Silents are best when they have the correct/good music. The bonus to them is that some are in the public domain, so you can watch them for free. Although I haven't seen many dramas in silent, maybe comedies is a good way to start off. I recommend Girl Shy with Harold Lloyd; it's funny and sweet and you see the earliest of Romantic Comedy tropes. Another one that I saw recently and was awesome was Why Be Good with Colleen Moore. I'm not too familiar with Buster Keaton or Chaplin, so hopefully the other tropers can help.

Now for classic Hollywood, I can help as I've seen quite a few, like you, in the past year or so.

Here's a list of great films from some random genres I have chosen (fellow tropers, feel free to add)

Great melodramas:

  • Now, Voyager stars Bette Davis, and it's about a woman's stuggle with confidence and a domineering mother. Also, Claude Rains.

  • Strawberry Blonde this movie follows the hardships of James Cagney's character, stars Olivia de Havilland, and Rita Hayworth. A definite must see.

  • Rebecca: Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine, and Laurence Olivier, and the haunts of the First Mrs. De Winters.

Great Screwball Comedies:

  • It Happened One Night: Delight in this early Frank Capra where there isn't much populism, just a plain old great movie. Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, and Walter Connelly doing their finest.

  • Design for Living: Basically, it's hard to love two men at the same time...especially when they are Gary Cooper and Fredric March.

  • Trouble in Paradise: Probably the most sophisticated people you will ever see on screen.

  • Bringing Up Baby: Not my favourite film, but lots of people like it. Maybe you will too!

  • The Palm Beach Story: Crazy from start to finish. With the lovely Claudette Colbert and the dashing Joel Mc Crea, and a wonderful performance by Mary Astor.

  • My Man Godfrey: A hilariously crazy family meet a homeless man-turned-butler. Hilarity ensues.

  • Okay one more I swear, I will move one...The Awful Truth: Cary Grant and Irene Dunne divorce and some shenanigans ensue. Highly recommended.

  • His Girl Friday: The wittiest, funniest, quickest film ever! Try and find a movie that beats this one in terms of dialogue speed.

  • Great Film Noir:

    • Gun Crazy: The predecessor to Bonnie and Clyde. Really good B movie. One of the best.

    • Double Indemnity: If you want to talk about a movie with all the elements of noir, this is the quintessential film. Also, Barbara Stanwyck!

    • The Window: sort of a boy cry wolf story, but it's really well done.

  • Great War films:

    • All Quiet on the Western Front: Probably the best anti-war movie ever made. So significantly relevant then and now.

    • Stalag17: William Holden in one of his best roles; a story about POWS with a mole in their camp.

    • Not really a war film, but watch the old SNAFU videos; they're on You Tube and basically they were training films for men in WWII and they were directed by Chuck Jones, written by Dr. Seuss, and an interesting look at how America trained their soldiers about malaria, talking too much, rumours, etc.

    • The Best Years of Our Lives is about men after war and how they try to reassemble their lives.

  • Great Romantic Comedies:

    • The Shop Around the Corner is fantastic. One of the best movies about retail.

    • Holiday: Cary Grant is in love with a girl he met on holiday, and it turns out she's maybe not the right one for him.

    • Sullivan's Travels is a film about many things, and maybe being a romantic comedy isn't a huge part of it, but I'll still put it here. Great film.

  • Gangster Films:

    • Scarface. The 1932 version, of course. It's pre-code, so in the opening scenes, you know you've been formally intruduced into this world of gangs and gang wars.

Whoa. I posted a lot. Apologies. I hope this helped! And the other tropers certainly will help.

edited 18th Nov '15 9:55:29 AM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 18th 2015 at 10:47:38 AM

We have a TV Tropes page for The Strawberry Blonde. You forgot the "the".

Silent films. Well of course silent films have a history of 35 years or so and feature-length silent films have a history of, oh, 18 years or so. So that's a pretty broad topic.

Someone curious about the format should probably start with comedy, and there are three silent comedians that everybody should know.

Chaplin was The Tramp of course, and he was famous enough that most people still know him if they haven't seen his movies. Keaton's movies were more cynical and snarky, especially about love and marriage. Harold Lloyd was the all-American boy who always got the girl; his movies were known for elaborate stunt sequences.

Nov 18th 2015 at 10:54:41 AM

I mentioned Turner Classic Movies upthread—that Douglas Fairbanks marathon is running tonight. Certainly a different entry point than comedy, but his action films are fun too.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 18th 2015 at 11:27:29 AM

[up][up] I knew that movie was too good not to be on TV tropes. My mistake.

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 18th 2015 at 11:30:07 AM

Well it wasn't there until I put it there less than two months ago. Love me some Olivia de Havilland.

Which reminds me, if anyone likes Olivia de Havilland, or likes Bette Davis, or likes cheesy over-the-top thrillers, or likes Playing Against Type roles, and wants to watch a movie that just barely makes our 1967 cutoff date—that person should watch Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 18th 2015 at 11:53:43 AM

[up] I'm definitely adding that film to my watch list.

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."

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