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Tuckerscreator from Traveling through the Multiverse Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Nov 18th 2015 at 12:08:20 PM

Same here. She's one of my favorite old actresses.

Pre '67s films I like? Ummm... dang it, Yellow Submarine is only a year off. Well, watching Shadow of a Doubt was pretty suspenseful. Teresa Wright and Joe Cotton were great in it too. No wonder Hitchcock liked it the most.

“If your good mood was ruined because you got into an accident with a car...”
Nov 18th 2015 at 1:20:28 PM

[up]I recently rewatched Yellow Submarine and a lot of other animated movies from the 1960s for the article series I will post this winter. I am basically searching for the best animated movie of the 20th century. But man, the 1960s were a horrible time for animated movies. Just horrible. We have no idea how blessed we are nowadays.

TompaDompa from Sweden
Nov 18th 2015 at 1:42:45 PM

Speaking of Alfred Hitchcock, there are a few movies of his that definitely Need More Love. In chronological order:

  • Rope (1948). Nowadays mostly known for the gimmick, but it's also a suspenseful thriller and interesting character study.
  • I Confess (1953). A priest who comes under suspicion for murder cannot clear his name without breaking the seal of the confessional.
  • Dial M for Murder (1954). A very well-made example of (admittedly small-scale) Xanatos Speed Chess. The less said beyond that, the better.
  • Frenzy (1972)note . This is simply Hitchcock doing what he does best: suspense (and there's quite a bit of Dramatic Irony too, which is nice).

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Nov 18th 2015 at 3:40:09 PM

If one is really curious about film history one could watch the kind of movies we have on the Early Films page.

YMMV on stuff like this but all of those films are bite-sized, 10-15 minutes apiece, as they date from before the feature film era. And Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd also made short films before going into features; those can be found on the Early Films page (for Chaplin) and Films of the 1920s (for Keaton and Lloyd).

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 18th 2015 at 3:40:12 PM

[up][up] I second Rope. You wouldn't think a film filmed in one setting could get suspenseful, but it works so well in that limited space.

edited 18th Nov '15 3:40:56 PM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 18th 2015 at 10:14:10 PM

Anyone else ever seen The Lodger? A really early work by him.

TompaDompa from Sweden
Nov 18th 2015 at 10:44:04 PM

I have. I don't think it's one of his better works.

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Nov 19th 2015 at 12:11:00 AM

[up]It's wonky, but it has a lot going for it. Especially the ending.

Nov 19th 2015 at 2:15:32 PM

I enjoyed "The Lodger." A lot of what made Hitchcock Hitchcock is already there. Including the Creator Cameo, which supposedly happened because one of the extras didn't show up.

Nov 23rd 2015 at 11:23:01 AM

The Castro Theatre in San Francisco plays a lot of old movies, if anyone reading this thread lives in the Bay Area. They're running The Black Pirate on Dec. 4.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 23rd 2015 at 12:20:59 PM

[up]Sounds like a cool silent. Wish I lived in the Bay Area.

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 23rd 2015 at 1:44:46 PM

We talked about Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland above...I remember reading a piece once that talked about how in many ways the studio system was better for women. If you had an actress like Bette Davis under contract you had to find parts for her, which is why someone like her would headline movie after movie, Dark Victory, Now, Voyager, Jezebel, etc etc etc. The other side of the coin was that you couldn't pick your roles, which is what pissed De Havilland off.

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 24th 2015 at 4:08:03 AM

[up]The Studio System could be so great at times for women, and then so awful in other areas. As you mentioned, there were films handpicked for women and were also targeted to women: "women pictures" like Now, Voyager. One could argue that the studios cared for their women audiences, because they knew they went to the moviesand tailored movies that would appeal to them (which may come off a little sexist, but personally, as a woman, I don't find it that way. Some others might though.)

Contrast that to today where executives question whether or not a women-driven film is going to make money (which it has).

And then I hear stories of studios forcing abortions on starlets or screwing them over with contracts or covering up a rape as the doc Girl 27 showed. There's a lot to love and a lot to hate.

edited 24th Nov '15 4:11:49 AM by LongTallShorty64

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Nov 27th 2015 at 9:58:46 AM

5,584 posts in the thread about the Batman movie that isn't even out yet and this thread dedicated to all films made before 1967 has 63 posts.


Anyway, does specialty shows in movie theaters to get people to buy tickets to movie theaters instead of pirate stuff and stream stuff. Most of their events are ballet performances and live theatre performances and such, but they have nationwide screamings of Roman Holiday on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 and Miracle on 34th Street on Dec. 20 and 23. The Natalie Wood version, not the sucky remake.

edited 27th Nov '15 9:59:17 AM by jamespolk

Tuckerscreator from Traveling through the Multiverse Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Nov 27th 2015 at 10:54:02 AM

It's easier to speculate about a film that isn't out yet. Plus, most of us weren't born before '67. Today's Thanksgiving. Be thankful for what you've got instead of eyeing the other threads.

edited 27th Nov '15 10:54:12 AM by Tuckerscreator

“If your good mood was ruined because you got into an accident with a car...”
Nov 27th 2015 at 11:07:32 AM

I rather read one page with in-deep discussion about brilliant movies than ten pages about the newest picture and why Man of Steel doesn't work....

What do you think is the best classic caper? (I would usually say "The Sting" but since it was made past the cut-off date, it might be nice to collect some older ones).

Nov 27th 2015 at 11:29:10 AM

Offhand I don't know of a lot of American "caper" movies made in the studio era, probably because The Hays Code dictated that crimes had to be punished by the end, and really, when you watch a caper movie you want the person pulling the caper to get away with it.

But in England Ealing Studios specialized in this kind of thing. There was The Lavender Hill Mob with Alec Guinness, about an elaborate plot to hijack an armored car carrying gold bullion, and then smuggle the bullion out of the country as disguised Eiffel Tower souvenirs. The Ladykillers, also featuring Alec Guinness and remade 60 years later as the most mediocre movie directed by The Coen Brothers, is an elaborate heist plot about a bunch of thieves disguised as musicians who move into an old lady's boarding house in order to rob the bank next door—but have unexpected difficulties with the old lady.

In America, there is The Asphalt Jungle from 1950, which is about a diamond heist. I haven't seen it but this wiki lists it as the Trope Maker for The Caper—so like I said there aren't a lot of caper movies during the studio era.

Then there's The Killing, from 1956, which is an intricately-plotted movie about a racetrack robbery. It the first big movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, and it is awesome. Typically great Stanley Kubrick cinematography, leans heavily on Anachronic Order, naturally has a Kubrick Stare or two.

edited 27th Nov '15 12:51:28 PM by jamespolk

TompaDompa from Sweden
Nov 27th 2015 at 1:12:54 PM

The best classic caper, in my opinion, is Rififi (see post 34).

I have seen The Asphalt Jungle, and I thought it was okay. I'm not sure if I agree that it's the Trope Maker; White Heat predates it.

Speaking of White Heat: that's another good one, if it counts (it's more of a Police Procedural than a caper, but I consider it an example of both genres).

I agree that The Killing is good, but then, that's what you expect when Stanley Kubrick is the director.

Ceterum censeo Morbillivirum esse eradicandum.
Nov 27th 2015 at 1:18:56 PM

I'm not sure if I would call White Heat an example of The Caper as it does not not center around a single robbery. Cody Jarrett and his gang are robbing a bank at the beginning, then Cody goes to jail, then a cop goes undercover as The Infiltration and befriends him, then Cody escapes, then there's the big robbery that goes bad at the end.

Compare to, say, The Killing, which is centered around a single racetrack robbery. White Heat is absolutely fabulous—James Cagney was never better, and that's one hell of a "TOP OF THE WORLD!" ending, but it isn't The Caper.

My knowledge of French film is pretty darn limited but Rififi sounds very interesting.

EDIT—ooh, Rififi made the Roger Ebert: Great Movies List. Even more interesting.

edited 27th Nov '15 1:21:30 PM by jamespolk

Nov 27th 2015 at 2:29:38 PM

I guess I have to put Riffi on my Christmas watch-list. Sounds great.

I might have mentioned before, but Topkapi is great. The cast alone is divine, but the story is great too...though, if you have never read the book, it is worth to read it first, because it is written from a limited perspective which the movie reveals what is going on more or less from the beginning. It's an interesting contrast, but makes the book a little bit boring if you already know the movie. The movie is more fun, though.

edited 27th Nov '15 2:32:13 PM by Swanpride

LongTallShorty64 Frumpy and grumpy Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
Frumpy and grumpy
Nov 27th 2015 at 3:58:27 PM

Fanthom events was mentioned above which seems really awesome, but alas, it doesn't play in The Great White North. They showed Rear Window which made me jealous; surprisingly, months later I was able to see a free screening of the same film.

I've been wanting to see The Killing. It has Sterling Hayden, right? For that reason alone, I'd watch it. Caper films are awesome. Does anyone know how they became popular and their historical significance? Perhaps they're sort of an off-shot from Film Noir:gritty, realistic, high stakes and emotions.

"It's true that we had a gentleman's agreement, but unfortunately, I am no gentleman."
Hodor2 Squid Pro Quo
Squid Pro Quo
Nov 27th 2015 at 4:06:44 PM

Cool thread. Always liked classic movies a lot myself.

I'd second Rififi. I'd also recommend The League of Gentlemen (not to be confused with the tv series). I think it's one of the first movies so it's a bit of an Unbuilt Trope as far as height movies go. One caution. It has a twist that relies on what I think is a Forgotten Trope.

Another rec- Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player. Good noir with unexpected comedic moments. Probably has the very first Seinfeldian Conversation between Those Two Bad Guys.

edited 27th Nov '15 4:06:54 PM by Hodor2

Nov 27th 2015 at 4:46:14 PM

[up][up]I really don't know beans about The Caper in film history—how it evolved, that is—but I wouldn't be shocked if you were right about it evolving from Film Noir and film noir's focus on villainy and villain protagonists.

And yes, The Killing stars Sterling Hayden. Quite the career that guy had. Both The Killing and The Asphalt Jungle as noted above, and he's General Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, and later in his career he got to be in some great movies that miss our cut-off—he's the cop that Al Pacino kills in The Godfather and he's in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye.

But he's also in the legendarily dumb Zero Hour!, that of course inspired Airplane.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Nov 27th 2015 at 5:52:39 PM

I think I already mentioned the Marx Brothers, but it must be said you ought to watch Duck Soup.

Also Sons Of The Desert, with Laurel And Hardy.

I have a copy of The Blue Angel that I have yet to watch. Anyone know if it's worth it?

edited 27th Nov '15 5:53:21 PM by Aldo930

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Nov 27th 2015 at 6:04:41 PM

[up]I watched The Blue Angel many many years ago. From what I recall, it is a very powerful and moving film, and amazingly bleak for a film made in 1930. So hell yes, it is worth it. By all means, watch and then report back here what you think.

Emil Jannings had a pretty interesting life. He obviously initially became very famous in Germany, making films like The Last Laugh, which is just amazing—a feature length silent movie with no title cards. He came to Hollywood in the late 1920s and made a half-dozen films, only one of which survives, The Last Command. He won the very first Academy Award for Best Actor. Apparently he didn't think his English was good enough to make it in America when the talkies came in, so he went back home, made The Blue Angel and other movies, and then had no problems whatsoever with the Nazis when they came to power. Spent years working for Joseph Goebbels in the Nazi film industry. Compare him to, say, Marlene Dietrich, who hated the Nazis and entertained American troops for the USO.

On another note, the question was asked far upthread, what do we think was overrated from the classic film era. I answered Audrey Hepburn. I have another answer that just came to me to day, namely, the Oscar winner for Best Picture of 1958, Gigi. There's the really creepy opening with Maurice Chevalier singing "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" while leering at a small child, there's the whole business about Gigi's aunt training her to be a prostitute, and there's the male lead who is so damn rich that he has a whole song dedicated to how it's really boring to be super, super rich.

Hated hated hated that movie. My choice for second-worst Best Picture winner, behind the horrible Cimarron.

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