Re: 1940s List Discussion and Suggestions
Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:12 pm
Thanks, I didn't know they had that option.
I've made an exception for this in the first post, so it is now eligible for the 1940s list.serdar002 wrote:Staryy naezdnik (The Old Jockey - Старыи наездник) Boris Barnet 1940 (IMDB wrongly says 1959) nice atmospheric film set on a race track
Oh, I don't doubt that at all, but I'll nevertheless have a look at them in the next months. As social and labor history are among my major fields of interest, it won't be a waste of my time. Thank you very much for your recommendations, serdar. Same goes to Swo17 for making an exception in case of Barnet's Old Jockey.serdar002 wrote:Re: Soviet films of the 40s
As Lubitsch said, not very rewarding, but if you feel like watching them, here are some historical films or bio-pics which can be enjoyed even without subs (though they won't make my list)
I'm not sure what you mean by Hawks's usual "conservative" bonafides here. Pinning a contentious (and in my view consistently vague and misused) political term on a director--especially one of another era who virtually never discussed his personal politics--calls for some definition or at least fleshing out.domino harvey wrote:I am worried about Sgt. York (1941)'s chances, especially since it wears Hawks' conservative bonafides even more on his sleeve than usual. But it's a near-perfect example of the biopic and the wartime adventure, coupled with great performances and a compelling underlying narrative. Embrace it, ya buncha liberals!
By "have always ranked," are you speaking personally? Critics generally consider these among Hawks best films. Both rank within the top third of the TSPDT top 1000, with critics only significantly preferring four other Hawks films (Rio Bravo, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and Red River). Should be irrelevant anyway, I guess.I know the pair of Bogart/Bacall pics, To Have and Have Not (1944) and the Big Sleep (1946), have their staunch defenders, but both have always ranked as two of the slightest Hawks films, especially when sandwiched between so many masterpieces in either direction.
I've always thought Joan Fontaine's performances, particularly in the 40s, were almost indistinguishable- she's brilliantly cast in Rebecca, but I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between what she does there and what she does in, say, Jane Eyre, where it's wildly inappropriate. I suppose it's unfair to hold it against Rebecca that she recycled what she did there over and over, and generally with less success, but it's difficult not to.domino harvey wrote: ALFRED HITCHCOCK There's no getting around it. Once Hitchcock came to Hollywood, he overpowered the competition to the point that it's easy to take for granted how good his films were and remain. Things certainly start out right for Hitchcock with Rebecca (1940), which features the single greatest performance in all of cinema, that of Joan Fontaine, whose childlike naiveté filters everything through the eyes of a girl's first step into a new and foreign world. Though she was robbed of the Oscar (by Ginger Rogers, whose Kitty Foyle is not a bad film or performance, but c'monnnn), the film earned the highest honor.
I can't agree that Woman in the Window is superior to Scarlet Street- I feel as though the latter is more daring, and more willing to embrace how much of the things-going-wrong noir plot comes from within Robinson's character- but absolutely Woman in the Window is a tragically underrated movie, and if Scarlet Street's on my top ten Woman will almost certainly be in my top 20. I certainly agree that dismissing the ending as a craven backing-down from closing on note the arc of the plot seemed to imply is missing the point, in this case.FRITZ LANG The Woman in the Window (1944) and Scarlet Street (1945) are sister films, sharing much of the same cast and telling variations on the same story. I can hardly blame anyone for voting for Scarlet Street, as it is a dark (even for noir) film worth praising, but I've always held the Woman in the Window in higher esteem, as I think it is hinting at larger and more complicated issues. It also successfully pulls off a kind of ending that no work of art before or since has managed, which is reason enough to heap praise-- my favorite Lang from the decade.
The Big Sleep is one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen, particularly for the dry, wry sense of humor that Altman picked up on for The Long Goodbye- it's hands down my favorite amongst the Hawks I've seen. To Have and Have Not is good, but felt somewhat less inspired to me, sticking out from Hawks formula it almost settles into largely due to Bacall's angular presence, which never quite resolves into an easily-defined type. I enjoyed Hawks' shamelessness in giving it the mega-happy ending, though.Gregory wrote:I personally find The Big Sleep and especially To Have and Have Not much better than Red River and His Girl Friday, both of which are tripped up by their endings.
Ah, apologies on the first point. Perhaps my statement re: the conservatism should be a little clearer-- while Hawks' films are almost always narratively conservative, they are rarely as unguarded in their political conservatism as here.Gregory wrote:Domino, my questions weren't meant to be a "nagging finger," just asking for a little clarity on that point, which I think was needed. I hope my tone didn't imply otherwise.
On "conservative," I wasn't addressing Sergeant York but rather your observation about Hawks's usual qualities. But regarding Sergeant York, I find it hard to appreciate in a post-World War II context, and its more problematic moments seem like one of many ill-considered examples of wartime propaganda we'll be encountering this round. Perhaps even worse, I don't find nearly enough else in the film to redeem it. I just don't see as much of the subtlety and complexity that's found in his best work. Anyway, I bought the damned DVD anyway in a good sale on the Warner set and will be revisiting it one more time sometime soon.
Yume's R2 disc is still available (albeit as The Silent Duel).Michael Kerpan wrote:Post-war Kurosawa is now mostly available -- though (perhaps) my personal favorite, The Quiet Duel, seems to have disappeared from circulation.