Stanley Kramer

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Gigi M.
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Stanley Kramer

#1 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:47 pm

Release date October 9:

- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 40th Anniversary
- The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
- Wild One
- The Member of the Wedding
- Ship of Fools

No specs yet, but hopefully Ship of Fools will in its original AR this time.

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malcolm1980
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#2 Post by malcolm1980 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:50 pm

Though the cast is good, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? aged horribly.

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justeleblanc
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#3 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:47 pm

They didn't release A CHILD IS WAITING. Funny. \:D/

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dx23
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#4 Post by dx23 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:53 am

From Home Media Retailing:

[quote]This year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most controversial, socially conscious films about racism, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

To celebrate this anniversary and the work of Stanley Kramer, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release a 40th anniversary edition DVD of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ($24.95) Feb. 12 (prebook Jan. 10).

Also streeting that day is The Stanley Kramer Film Collection ($59.95), which includes Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Ship of Fools, The Wild One, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T and The Member of the Wedding. Extensive bonus materials include featurettes and introductions by Steven Spielberg, Tom Brokaw, Quincy Jones and Stanley Kramer's widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer.

The collection was chosen to show the diversity of Stanley's work, Sharpe Kramer said. And the stories surely do — running the gamut from racism, to Nazism, to rabble-rousing biker gangs, to the woes of adolescence, with a little Dr. Seuss musical thrown in for good measure.

Although Stanley Kramer's work is diverse, his legacy is a repeating theme that Sharpe Kramer said can best be described by quoting one of his own films, Judgment at Nuremburg: “[Stanley stood] for justice, truth ... and the value of a single human being.â€

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My Man Godfrey
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#5 Post by My Man Godfrey » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:27 pm

malcolm1980 wrote:Though the cast is good, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? aged horribly.
Oh, boy, is that ever true. Like A Patch of Blue, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? is hard to sit through. A well-intentioned movie with many cringe-worthy, patronizing ideas about race; in order to make the interracial love affair acceptable to squeamish audiences, the filmmakers basically turned Poitier's character into the next incarnation of Christ.

Raisin in the Sun, meanwhile, has aged pretty well.

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domino harvey
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#6 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:36 pm

Couldn't have aged worse than Gentlemen's Agreement

Stefan Andersson
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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Kramer, 1963)

#7 Post by Stefan Andersson » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:09 am

Over at HTF, the It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World thread (15 pages) has now gone into the idea of Criterion licensing the film from MGM/UA and restoring it.

Kramer´s film is most often described as a nostalgic retread of silent movie slapstick. My take on it is that it is a satire on greed and stupidity that makes use of slapstick to make its moral point clear and entertaining. Which makes it a true Kramer picture, but with (for him) a surprising competence in farce and comedy.

Can anybody describe for me the scene where Dick Shawn steals a car from Barrie Chase´s husband (Phil Arnold)? It was supposedly cut after the premiere and is now probably lost. Though the newsletter for the mid-Nineties Save MAD WORLD campaign did mention a showing of a Phil Arnold sequence.

Ín Bruce Lawton´s Buster Keaton book there´s a mention of a Keaton sequence involving a donkey (cut before the premiere).

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Belmondo
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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

#8 Post by Belmondo » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:04 am

I saw this in its original release on the big Cinerama screen in Boston and I have a vague recollection of the Dick Shawn car stealing scene, but memory fails as to specifics.
If this movie needs restoration or is in any danger of being lost, then I strongly support any effort to restore it.

I say this even though I thought the movie was truly terrible. My experience has been that comedies work better when they're funny.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrongheaded (as usual), but the issue now becomes one of cultural importance. Anyone who was ever funny is in this movie and I want to see those wonderful faces in all their widescreen glory one more time.

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Magic Hate Ball
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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

#9 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:15 am

I love this movie. It's a perfect example of absolute madcap hysteria, the kind you see in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?", only now it applies to two dozen people. The situations are repeatedly dangerous, the people are repeatedly insane. I'd give anything to see this on a Cinerama.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#10 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:36 pm

Had some time to think this over while slogging through the reference-quality terrible the Pride and the Passion this afternoon and wanted to throw it out there: Is Stanley Kramer the worst high-profile studio filmmaker of the 50s? I just can not come up with a better candidate.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#11 Post by starmanof51 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:25 pm

domino harvey wrote:Had some time to think this over while slogging through the reference-quality terrible the Pride and the Passion this afternoon and wanted to throw it out there: Is Stanley Kramer the worst high-profile studio filmmaker of the 50s? I just can not come up with a better candidate.
Strictly the 50s? I guess by "filmmaker", and since it's Kramer we're talking about, you're thinking both directing and producing efforts?

I'm going to nominate DeMille. He didn't do much in the 50s, but what there was were abominations. Maybe Joshua Logan? He had a lot of high profile gigs and I wouldn't mind scratching his eyes out.

I can't wholly hate Kramer. Defiant Ones is saved by the insistent nonsense of Poitier's song. My wife and I occasionally fall into it as a call/answer routine: "Bowling Green?" "Sewing Machine!"

When I was about 20 I worked a summer in airport security (I know, right?). One night some baggage had to be removed from a plane and placed in an unusual location in full view of deplaning passengers. They had to walk right by their baggage but not take for reasons I couldn't possibly remember. Stanley Kramer was on the plane and totally steamed that I wouldn't just let him take his damn bag. Sorry dude. I'm 20 and them's the rules. And too bad about The Runner Stumbles.

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domino harvey
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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#12 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:47 pm

"50s" was just a sort of lazy catchall, but in that late 50s-early 60s mash, Kramer still rises to the top of the bottom for me. His films are shot and edited like MOTW TV pics and are so obnoxious that they make me embarrassed to be a liberal. Christ, who wouldn't side with Hollywood conservatives, on the whole they made better films! As far as Logan goes, at least he knew how to fill a 'Scope screen-- what was with Kramer's 1.66 fetish?

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#13 Post by HypnoHelioStaticStasis » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:24 pm

Ship of Fools and Judgment at Nuremberg made me feel embarrassed to be Jewish, the former in particular. Kramer is an agitprop filmmaker who loses whatever well-meaning message he has in soapy histrionics. On the Beach is pretty dull as well, although The Defiant Ones has some effective (re: risible) moments.

I'm with you all the way, Domino. Worst mega-director of his era. At least DeMille's films are entertaining.

EDIT: lysdexic moment...
Last edited by HypnoHelioStaticStasis on Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#14 Post by tojoed » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:47 am

I agree entirely. There's an excellent article by Pauline Kael called "The Intentions of Stanley Kramer", which is great fun to read if you are a Kramer hater.
You have to remember though that he was encouraged by some bonehead critics in his estimation of himself. I remember "On the Beach" being hailed as the movie that saved the world. You have to laugh.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#15 Post by scotty2 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:46 am

Ship of Fools is a mess. What a waste of Oskar Werner's talents, along with those of about two dozen other talented folk. It is exactly the kind of film that made Bonnie and Clyde necessary. I do still get a laff out of Mad, Mad World, though.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#16 Post by HarryLong » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Even the best of Kramer's films (I do rather like INHERIT THE WIND) has the kind of heavy-handed approach the suggests Kramer thinks his audience is too dim to get the point unless he bangs them over the head with it. I second Domino's observation about making me embarassed to be a liberal. Curiously his films do offer some wonderful performances. Within the mess that is SHIP OF FOOLS there are stunning turns by Vivien Leigh, Lee Marvin and Michael Dunn, among others.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#17 Post by atcolomb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:50 pm

Speaking of Kramer i hope they will re-release It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World on dvd or blu-ray. The first dvd release was not the best with a poor picture quality and alot of the extras left out from the special edition laserdisc set. It's not the funniest picture around but it is nice to see all the actors run around looking for that big W.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#18 Post by MoonlitKnight » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:30 am

I'm still waiting on "Bless the Beasts and the Children." :lol:

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knives
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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#19 Post by knives » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:31 pm

Watching The Pride and the Passion exclusively because it came in this cheap as all hell in this swanky Sinatra set and please tell me that there's more fun to be had than his terrible accent. Seriously even Sophia Loren's sexy dance is boring.

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#20 Post by ando » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:06 pm

Wow, why the hate for Ship of Fools (on the whole site, in general, it seems)? Watching it for the first time tonight and was looking for a primer. Is this based on the Katherine Ann Porter novel? Well, I won't expect much..

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#21 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:36 pm

It is without a doubt one of the very worst films I have ever seen. As to why, please consult my exhaustive teardown in the Alt Oscars thread

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knives
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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#22 Post by knives » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:24 am

And this starts up just in time for it to come to hit the top of my library queue. I only wish for a short and painful viewing.

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sir_luke
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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#23 Post by sir_luke » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:52 am

knives wrote:I only wish for a short and painful viewing.
One half of your wish will definitely come true!

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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#24 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:56 am

You never know--he could get lucky and die of a heart attack five minutes in.

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knives
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Re: Stanley Kramer on DVD

#25 Post by knives » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:03 am

Doh!

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