Vincente Minnelli

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Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#1 Post by Michael » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:10 pm

Vincente Minnelli (1903-1986)

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Filmography

Panama Hattie (1942, uncredited)

Cabin in the Sky (1943) - Warner

I Dood It (1943)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) - Warner

The Clock (1945) - Warner

Yolanda and the Thief (1945)

Ziefield Follies (1946, The Heart of Mine, Limehouse Blues, A Great Lady Has an Interview, The Babbitt and the Bromide and Beauty) - Warner (also included in the Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory Vol. 1)

Undercurrent (1946) - Warner (included in the Katherine Hepburn Collection)

Till the Clouds Roll By (1946, uncredited) - Warner (included in the Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory Vol. 1)

The Pirate (1948)- Warner (also included in the Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory Vol. 2)

Madame Bovary (1949) - Warner (also included in the Literary Classics Collection)

Father of the Bride (1950) - Turner

Father's Little Dividend (1951) - Platinum / Good Times

An American in Paris (1951) - Warner

Lovely to Look At (1952, uncredited)

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) - Turner

The Story of Three Loves (1953, "Mademoiselle" segment)

The Band Wagon (1953) - Warner

The Long, Long Trailer (1954) - Warner

Brigadoon (1954) - Warner

The Cobweb (1955)

Kismet (1955)

Lust for Life (1956) - Warner

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Designing Woman (1957) - Turner

The Seventh Sin (1957, uncredited)

Gigi (1958) - Warner

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

Some Came Running (1958)

Home from the Hill (1960) - Warner

Bells Are Ringing (1960) - Warner

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) - Castaway

Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)

The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) - Turner

Goodbye Charlie (1964)

The Sandpiper (1965) - Warner (included in the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Collection)

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) - Paramount

A Matter of Time (1976)


Forum Discussions

The Band Wagon

Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory Vol. 1 - Ziegield Follies and Till the Clouds Roll By

Classic Musicals From the Dream Factor Vol. 2 - The Pirate

The Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection - The Sandpiper

Katharine Hepburn Collection - Undercurrent

Lust for Life

Literary Classics Collection - Madame Bovary

Meet Me in St. Louis

Vincente Minnelli on DVD


Web Resources

Senses of Cinema

Wikipedia

Queer Modernism - The Cinematic Aesthetics of Vincente Minnelli

Depth Perception - article by Fred Camper

Henry Sheehan - 1977 interview

Mike Grost - analysis of a number of Minnelli films

The Judy Room - Meet Me in St. Louis galore

Guardian Unlimited - The Band Wagon

Medium-Shot Gestures - Some Came Running

Vincente Minnell's Gravesite


Books

The Films of Vincente Minnelli by James Naremore

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Highway 61
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:40 pm

Re: Vincente Minnelli

#2 Post by Highway 61 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:20 am

After watching Some Came Running for the first time tonight, I'm curious about the title. What does it mean? I remember reading an explanation on Bordwell's site, but it seems to have disappeared, and a search on the film and novel has given me all sorts of info on Cinemascope and James Jones's supposedly terrible prose, but nothing on the title. Anyone know?

As for the film itself, it's a standout for everyone involved, though I don't think it eclipses The Bandwagon as Minnelli's best work, as some claim. The ending struck me as too abrupt for the film to be a bona fide masterpiece. It's particularly disappointing because up till the last 15 minutes or so, the movie had been so expertly paced.

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swo17
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#3 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:52 am

Short answer: it's from the Bible. Long answer (from here):
From Don Sackrider, former JJLS President and friend of James Jones:

I don't have a copy of the book here on Whidbey island but the quote was originally one Lowney (Handy, Jones' mentor) gave to me shortly after I first met her and she told it as a story rather than an exact quote from the Bible but it went like this: one came running to Christ and asked what he must do that he would inherit the kingdom of heaven and Christ said to him: go thy way and sell whatever thou hast and come take up the cross and follow me. And the man went away sad for he had great possessions. So Jim turned to plural for the title and made some came running in place of one.

From Helen Hower, JJLS founder and friend of James Jones:

My copy of the book shows the quote from Mark, chapter 10 verses 17 through 22.
17 - And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?...

From Jerry Bayne, past JJLS President:

In an interview with Edward R. Murrow (See It Now) for TV in 1958, Jones answered this question. He said he used a Biblical reference of when people came running to ask Jesus how does one get into heaven.

Answer (Feb. 16, 2004)

From Tom Wood, JJLS Newsletter Editor and Archivist

Regarding Question 3: yes, this is the relevant Bible passage:

Mark 10
17: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

But the kicker -- and the significance of the quote for the theme of Jones's novel -- is what comes a bit later:

21: Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22: And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23: And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24: And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

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domino harvey
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#4 Post by domino harvey » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:02 pm

Here are the posts from this thread from the last week, rescued via Google Cache:
domino harvey wrote:I've acquired copies of all my remaining unseen Minnelli films and will be posting my thoughts on the filled-in gaps as I move toward completing Minnelli's oeuvre over the next few weeks.

First I'll begin with the end of his career. I had found the Sandpiper a sluggish misfire and hoped that it wasn't representative of the final stage of his career. Now, after sitting through the twin tortuous viewings of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and A Matter of Time, I can say the Sandpiper wasn't representative at all. That film was a Vaseline-smeared crock of quasi-romantic bull, but it was at least narratively coherent. These last two films are chopped and paced and constructed into formless messes with actions that have little bearing on scenes which precede and proceed them. From what I understand, Minnelli lost control of the eventual cut on both films, and some of their problems can probably be explained away from this. But it's hard to imagine a filmic concoction with these ingredients that could taste good with a little something extra. You can add all the additional fresh vegetables and meats to a stew you want, but if the main ingredient is dog shit, it ain't gonna help enough.

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever finds Minnelli in static stage-bound mode. This sometimes works for him-- the telephone set in Bells Are Ringing, for instance-- but unlike in that film, he rarely ventures beyond the fixed decor, here a drab doctor's office where visually flat 'Scope renderings of Barbara Streisand and Yves Montand's chemistry-free hypnosis sessions spark anything but romance for the viewer. The film comes off like a table read with wardrobe changes.

Worse yet and what a way to not go is A Matter of Time. The film opens with a warning that the film resembles a fairy tale. That's a pretty dubious claim, but if it does, I feel sorry for any little kid who is exposed to the source material. Minnelli's daughter, whose tendency to go "bigger" has been exploited with good humor on Arrested Development, is unreigned here as a poor maid taken under the wing by Ingrid Bergman's queening contessa. There's a scene halfway through this film that is as miscalculated and disgusting as any I can remember-- Liza Minnelli is cleaning the room of a Norman Mailer-type when the unannounced author physically assaults her and proceeds to simulate a rape, spouting scripted missives at her as he chokes and molests her, before finally stopping the rape after deciding that it still didn't feel natural and still needs a rewrite. The "joke" then comes from L. Minnelli proceeding to converse with him calmly as if the act didn't occur. How a director could film such a misguided scene with any actress, much less his daughter, is a mystery. The film ultimately expresses a trite "Be yourself" message, a message arrived upon only after Liza Minnelli is transformed into a redux of Bergman's contessa. I would be able to take a lot more perverse enjoyment out of the unintentional irony were it not for the depressing conviction with which this schmaltz is expressed.

Well, nowhere to go but up from here, right?
Svevan wrote:I love it when you watch all the bad flicks from an auteur, cause then I feel like I don't have to bother.
david hare wrote:Christ, what a load of shit.

do you have any idea what youre talking about?
domino harvey wrote:If you'd like to offer a defense for these films, I'd love to read it, but otherwise I'd rather not be glibly called out as someone who is full of shit and doesn't know anything when I've provided solid reasoning and examples to justify my negative reactions
domino harvey wrote:Well, this project seemed like it was going to be more fun before the above unpleasantness, but I'm still moving forward. Goodbye Charlie finds Minnelli in much better shape than any film he made after, and thankfully from the very first post-credits shot, the mise en scene is fully Minnelli's. The opening hand-held footage on the boat is an interesting choice, but it's those fluid long takes that make feel at home in a Minnelli film, and here he uses the 'Scope as he never will again. The film is a body-switching comedy, a sort of riff on Here Comes Mr Jordan without morals or life lessons. I haven't read his book, but I'm sure that the Minnelli biographer who is convinced the director's conflicted homosexuality informed all his pictures has a field day with this one, as Tony Curtis' sleazy best friend is murdered and comes back to life in the shape of Debbie Reynolds. She's the only misstep here, and while she does her best, she is utterly miscast in a role that calls for a sexpot, not a loud-talking girl scout. Walter Matthau has a bizarre accent that's as much Hungarian as Curtis' was Australian in Some Like It Hot, but the role calls for a degree of flamboyance and doesn't suffer from his choice. The film certainly invites homoerotic readings as Curtis struggles with falling for his best friend transplanted into a woman, and the pic wraps up the whole affair with a ludicrous ending that is less of a cop-out than it appears to be at first. George Axelrod's source play, unread by me, appears to be the biggest guiding hand here, but it's still nice to see Minnelli could churn out one last lowkey charmer like this near the end.
frances wrote: I like Vincente Minnelli's work, but i've only seen 14 of his movies. My favorites are The Clock and Some Came Running. And i find Meet me in St. Louis a sweet, sweet movie that i like to watch from time to time.

From the ones i haven't seen, not many appeal to me, to be honest. I've just been curious to watch The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but don't seem to find it. There's a spanish and also a french edition, but no english subs.

Please keep up with your reviews, maybe i'll find more Minnelli's movies to see ;)
sloper wrote:Most of those I've seen - Father of the Bride, American in Paris, Bad and the Beautiful, Lust for Life, Gigi, Two Weeks - I tend to like but in a rather tepid, detached sort of a way.

However, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Band Wagon are easily the two best musicals I've seen, and two of the most purely delightful films ever made, so I can understand the esteem in which Minnelli is held, and would love to see more of his films. And like Svevan, I do find it interesting to hear people's thoughts on the lesser works...
Michael wrote:I have seen almost every Minnelli film and most of them are pretty boring. The Band Wagon is his best film. Meet Me in St. Louis and The Clock tail right behind it.
Jonathan S wrote:I think for many of us the problem (and for others the pleasure) of Minnelli is that he was so wedded to the luxury and languor of the MGM house style in his prime. His black & white melodramas especially, such as Undercurrent and The Bad and the Beautiful, would surely have been tauter and more incisive at another studio. But even so it's remarkable how often he stepped outside MGM's limited comfort zone, not only in such memorably bitter scenes as the destruction of the snow family in Meet Me in St Louis but in his frequent gender playfulness and in his arguably ironic approach to the "dream factory", exposing it as just that. My non-musical favourites are now probably Some Came Running and Home from the Hill since I was able to re-visit them after 30 years in full CinemaScope (though the Warner DVD of the latter looks horizontally squashed to my eyes). I like Minnelli - but I think I'd have liked him even more at other studios in the 1940s and 50s.
domino harvey wrote:Vincente Minnelli has directed at least three masterpieces that stand with the best of cinema-- The Band Wagon, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Some Came Running-- and yet he's always ranked as a second-tier auteur for me, primarily because he's rarely able to transcend the material at hand. You look at a top-tier auteur like Preminger or Hawks and even their failures have so much value and worth because of the lemonade these directors attempt out of their respective lemons. But a bad Minnelli film, and there are almost as many as good, can't rise above. Obviously I have a great deal of affection and respect for the man, otherwise I wouldn't be so near to completing his output, but I keep my admiration in check and have to be honest that ultimately he misfired as often as he hit.

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domino harvey
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#5 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:20 pm

The Courtship of Eddie's Father is a peculiar film to be released in 1963, as it functions so much like television that it took little effort to make it so later in the decade. Now, Minnelli can sometimes work within domestic constraints (Father of the Bride, for instance), but he's hopelessly lost here. Glenn Ford, an actor of rare movement, is phoned in more than usual as the "lonely" single father widower, and the bevy of ladies he's surrounded with are all comatose. Even sure-fire money scenes, like Stella Stevens going Gene Krupa on the drums, fall flat from misdirection and weak performances. Shirley Jones' mating call consists of getting butt-hurt and storming out of Ford's apartment four or five times before he realizes she's already acting like his wife, so why not go for 'er. And then there are the dull subplots, like Ron Howard's camp crush or the housekeeper's language lessons, that take up copious screen time for little in return. A comedy without laughs, a romance without emotion, and a drama without dramatics.

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knives
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#6 Post by knives » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:02 am

domino harvey wrote: Worse yet and what a way to not go is A Matter of Time. The film opens with a warning that the film resembles a fairy tale. That's a pretty dubious claim, but if it does, I feel sorry for any little kid who is exposed to the source material. Minnelli's daughter, whose tendency to go "bigger" has been exploited with good humor on Arrested Development, is unreigned here as a poor maid taken under the wing by Ingrid Bergman's queening contessa. There's a scene halfway through this film that is as miscalculated and disgusting as any I can remember-- Liza Minnelli is cleaning the room of a Norman Mailer-type when the unannounced author physically assaults her and proceeds to simulate a rape, spouting scripted missives at her as he chokes and molests her, before finally stopping the rape after deciding that it still didn't feel natural and still needs a rewrite. The "joke" then comes from L. Minnelli proceeding to converse with him calmly as if the act didn't occur. How a director could film such a misguided scene with any actress, much less his daughter, is a mystery. The film ultimately expresses a trite "Be yourself" message, a message arrived upon only after Liza Minnelli is transformed into a redux of Bergman's contessa. I would be able to take a lot more perverse enjoyment out of the unintentional irony were it not for the depressing conviction with which this schmaltz is expressed.

Well, nowhere to go but up from here, right?
Maybe it's just the high of Cabaret speaking, but this isn't that bad. It is incoherent and schmaltzy, but... well I can't defend it I guess it just didn't bug me all that much. This probably speaks more to my tolerance than the movie's quality that my interest was held the whole time and even really digged the otherwise nonsensical singing bits (a few good laughs in Minnelli running). Don't get me wrong it's hypocritical, nonsensical, schmaltzy, and just terrible on every level. There's just something so entertaining in how it does everything wrong. It is so serious and genuine in it's attempt to be a fairy tale as 'reality' that it's failure becomes the ultimate schadenfreude. There's almost a sublimity in how it fails and I think I may love it for that.As this is my first Minnelli though I do hope this is actually the bottom of the barrel. The syncs on the audio is irritating as fuck though.

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knives
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#7 Post by knives » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Highway 61 wrote:After watching Some Came Running for the first time tonight, I'm curious about the title. What does it mean? I remember reading an explanation on Bordwell's site, but it seems to have disappeared, and a search on the film and novel has given me all sorts of info on Cinemascope and James Jones's supposedly terrible prose, but nothing on the title. Anyone know?
It's a religious reference. Matthew something.

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Felix
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#8 Post by Felix » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:26 am

knives wrote:It's a religious reference. Matthew something.
Mark 10 actually. This I know because I have the book, not because I know the Bible, text below. I don't agree with what critics say about the book, I thought it was wonderful, if something so depressing can ever be called wonderful and it is a very, very depressing book. Read it over 30 years ago and never got it out of my head, so I read it recently and it still hit me hard. I have the film because I rate Minnelli far higher than this thread does, but I have never watched it. I just cannot see Dino and Frank when I picture the characters. Nowhere near mean, nasty, dirty enough.

The other epigraph is from Don Quixote:

"At last he was free of the damnable book of romance" which fits well.

And two from Edna St Vincent Millay's Dirge Without Music (in the wrong order).

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

17. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

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manicsounds
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#9 Post by manicsounds » Wed May 01, 2013 9:20 pm

Was "Cabin In The Sky" released in some Warner boxset or was it a standalone release only?

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domino harvey
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#10 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 01, 2013 9:34 pm

Was never in a box but I believe it was released simultaneously with the Green Pastures and Hallelujah!

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#11 Post by shaky » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:58 pm

How do I begin to take on Minnelli's intimidating filmography? I've only seen THE CLOCK and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, and would appreciate any recommendations concerning what path to take next.

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swo17
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#12 Post by swo17 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:00 pm

The Band Wagon
Some Came Running


There are several other easy recommendations I could make, but these two are the elephants in the room.

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knives
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#13 Post by knives » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:16 pm

The Pirate's great though Kelly's character is slightly metatextual.

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domino harvey
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#14 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:14 pm

The last three mentioned would be my picks in the order mentioned, or maybe Bad and the Beautiful before the Pirate. The Reluctant Debutante would be my fifth pick to round out a full handful

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Gregory
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#15 Post by Gregory » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:10 pm

Musicals have been seen as his obvious forte, but as for the rest (aside from The Clock, which you've already seen) I'd put in a word for Madame Bovary as an outstanding adaptation. The ball sequence is rightly famous, but the film on the whole doesn't get its due.

A later Cinemascope one well worth seeing is The Courtship of Eddie's Father. It's a romantic comedy with a cute kid, so it can easily appear to be just fluff (especially because it was later the basis for a sitcom), but I'd defend it a work of surprising richness/depth considering its plot, with the Eddie character adding a lot to the emotional relationships in the film, and it's interesting all the way to the end.
Lust for Life is certainly worthwhile too, especially if you like Kirk Douglas.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#16 Post by Dansu Dansu Dansu » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:14 pm

For some reason I seem to be the only person here who greatly enjoys An American in Paris, so take this with a grain of salt, but...there's An American in Paris!

My top five ranking is extremely close to Domino's, except I would easily put The Bad and the Beautiful before The Pirate, and Two Weeks in Another Town would replace The Reluctant Debutante, which I haven't seen (yet). I agree with Gregory that Lust for Life is definitely worth watching. I think it's Douglas' personal favorite out of his performances.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#17 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:20 pm

Certainly I'd rather put in a good word for Kismet or Bells Are Ringing before the two Best Pic winners, but it's the better of the two at least!

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knives
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#18 Post by knives » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:03 pm

I actually prefer Gigi, but that may be because the French version on the disc makes Minnelli's film look so great by comparison.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#19 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:27 pm

My five favorites:
1. Meet Me In St. Louis
2. The Band Wagon
3. Some Came Running
4. The Pirate
5. The Bad and the Beautiful

Also a special mention for his contribution to The Story of Three Loves, with Farley Granger and a very young Ricky Nelson.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#20 Post by jguitar » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:11 pm

Don't forget Home From the Hill.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#21 Post by felipe » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:49 am

My favorites:

1. Meet Me in St. Louis
2. The Band Wagon
3. The Bad and the Beautiful
4. An American in Paris
5. Gigi

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#22 Post by oh yeah » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:39 am

I recently have gotten an interest in Minnelli after years of ignoring his output. Besides Meet Me in St. Louis, which I was too young to remember well, I've seen An American in Paris (a masterpiece), The Band Wagon (a very good film that lacks the cohesion and emotional punch of the former) and Some Came Running (the best of the three, one of the great American films). Very interested in re-visiting Meet Me in St. Louis, and checking out The Pirate, The Bad and the Beautiful and Home From the Hill, among others.

What I wanna talk about, though, is Some Came Running, which I've just watched for the second time in a week. It's a perfect example of a "hang-out movie," a character study where not much "happens" but it's still immensely enjoyable to spend a couple hours in that world. The performances are great across the board, and I think this is probably Sinatra's best acting. He exudes such a perfect world-weary charm and sadness, and just his facial expression at the end of the famed penultimate scene is devastating.

Aesthetically the film is a fucking knockout. What can I say? I'm not sure if it's as pervasive in his other films, but in this one Minnelli uses almost exclusively medium and wide shots. Like, I think there are about 5-10 close-ups in the entire film, tops, and even those leave in quite a bit of background detail. I know when working in 'Scope this kind of goes with the territory, but very rarely do you see character/human-centered Hollywood dramas where practically everything is filmed in these massive, overwhelmingly precise and detailed medium-wide shots. Minnelli's camera is also incredibly attuned to the geometry of space, and he tend to shoot scenes with the camera aligned to a wall (e.g. how Frank's house is shot), so we get this massive wide shot of the entire living room with all the characters in it. So much freedom to observe, so much occurring on the edges of the frame. It's one of the most thrilling movies I know just purely to look at, and that's not even mentioning the great emotional core of it.

The use of color is also extraordinary, with many great touches throughout like the magical lights-out in the cabin as Dave and Gwen finally kiss -- a gesture more than worthy of Sirk. In fact, this film really reminds me of nothing so much as a mixture of the raw domestic melodramas of Nick Ray and the syrupy, emotional social critiques of Sirk. Coming in at the end of the decade, it inadvertently acts as an excellent summation of all that is wondrous about 50s Hollywood. For me, it's certainly up there with Vertigo and Johnny Guitar as the pinnacle of that era in American film. I just wonder why such a great film is so overlooked and widely unknown these days, especially considering the names attached to it and its numerous Oscar nods back in the day.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#23 Post by felipe » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:45 am

I just watched Some Came Running last week and it truly is a masterpiece. Like you, I wondered why it's often overlooked, specially considering all the names involved.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#24 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:27 am

Absolutely. If you can ever catch a 35mm screening, do so - great Cinemascope drama that loses some power when squeezed on to a TV. You really need to see it unspooled across a big screen.

Also, it always amused me how it began a great lineage of movie hats, inspiring Godard's Contempt (the director wearing his hat in the tub) which then inspired the husband's hat in the final scene of Fassbinder's Maria Braun.

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Re: Vincente Minnelli

#25 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:14 pm

I finally saw Home from the Hill on Warner Archive's BD. Great transfer, the only obvious flaw came in the scene where Rafe talks with Theron and Libby during their little picnic. It only lasts about 5-10 seconds, but I'm guessing the original negative or IP was damaged because a few consecutive shots looked like they were sourced from dupes that were at least several generations away from the negative. Unfortunate but it was a passable job of filling a gap.

What a great film, certainly one of Minnelli's best melodramas, and again masterfully composed in CinemaScope. With him, the challenges of composing for that format feel non-existant.

Everyone seems to be at the top of their game as well. Mitchum and Eleanor Parker certainly, but Peppard and Hamilton give what are deservingly career-making performances. Minnelli said this was one of the few scripts that he left unchanged, and it may be Harriet Frank, Jr. and Irving Ravetch's best (or it may simply be the one that resulted in the best film). They've written many Southern films before, especially for Martin Ritt, but they always left me a little cold despite their merits. This is the first film they've scripted that really resonated for me.

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