Finally Watching [Old Movies]

Ive found in time the search on this forum was shit but if you google whatever keywords with the word hipinion, you get what you're looking for most of the time. I mean even when they keywords aren't exact.

Postby Merciel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:22 pm

Okay okay let's have a new thread about it.

THE RULES:

-- "Old movies" are, for purposes of this thread, defined as pre-1965, but for most of this thread we're going to be focusing on 1930s through about 1955. That last decade is just there as a buffer zone for borderline cases.
-- SVC is picking all the movies this time, I'm not going to maintain a list of upcoming films. I will update movies we've watched in this first post here.
-- We will accept recommendations.
-- In general I tend to prefer genre movies (screwball, noir, etc.). If the movie is Artsy I'm going to hate it.
-- All ratings reflect my personal and completely arbitrary opinions. You are free to disagree but I probably won't give a shit.

1. My Man Godfrey (1936): an exploration of what it means to be a bum, as epitomized by a guy who went to Harvard, lol. 9/10
2. His Girl Friday (1940): there ain't much to say about this one except "you should watch it," so we'll just say that. 10/10
Last edited by Merciel on Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Fullscreen » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:27 pm

i assume SVC has a billy wilder lineup on lock, but Ace in the Hole and The Apartment are musts.
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Postby No Good Advice » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:29 pm

I'll just repeat my recommendation of BABY FACE (1933)
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Postby someguy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:00 pm

Genre/comedy recc: To Be or Not to Be

Other recc: Make Way for Tomorrow
apologies
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Postby jewels » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:04 pm

Fullscreen wrote:i assume SVC has a billy wilder lineup on lock, but Ace in the Hole and The Apartment are musts.


I really need to see Ace in the Hole, but The Apartment is one of my all time favorites and I second the recommendation.
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Postby Cone » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:10 pm

The Big Sleep is a good noir staple
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Postby Merciel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:20 pm

My Man Godfrey (1936)

Haha, look at the Harvard guy living in a garbage dump.

So one of the things I love about old movies is how much more formally people used to dress back in the day. You never see morning dress or white tie with tails in the U.S. anymore, but it's all over these old movies. Default mode for rich people is black tie, and even the down-and-out private eyes wear suits (with an eye toward actually having their fits and styles reflect something about the characters, fancy that!).

On that front, this was an A+ movie. Really love the costuming here. Cornelia's black dress was my favorite:

Image

although that shot doesn't really show the architectural beauty of it. You really need to see the whole ensemble in silhouette to get the effect. Anyway, it's awesome.

As to the rest, it was pretty pretty good. Fun dialogue, fun performances. The plot is absurd and so is most of the characterization, but that's a given with this genre. Up until the very end I really thought the movie was going to pull a switch and Godfrey would end up with Cornelia (why wouldn't you pick Cornelia? She's clearly the only intelligent person in this entire nitwit family. Miles upon miles better than the rest. Probably one of my favorite Old Movie characters ever). Living with Irene just seems like a straight shot to the suicidebooth within six weeks.

"Forgotten man" is such a neat phrase. No wonder that one never hit the euphemism treadmill. It's hard to use a term as a pejorative when it implicitly blames you for the fault.

9/10
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Postby boonie » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:26 pm

You should definitely check out The Night of the Hunter
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Postby vivian darko » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Rec The Gold Rush for comedy
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Postby vivian darko » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:16 pm

Also Touch of Evil is a little artsy but less so than other Welles/if you liked The Maltese Falcon you'll like it I think

Edit: Realized while typing this that SVC knows more about this than me
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:51 pm

I don't remember Touch of Evil that well but I think it's probably fine. Apparently she bailed on Citizen Kane when I tried to show it to her but that would've been like 13 years ago.

I also loved Cornelia. Every movie should have Cornelia laughing in the background.
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Postby Merciel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:02 pm

Here are some other things I loved about My Man Godfrey:

(1) Bullock's bitching that he pays a 60% income tax rate. Hey, remember when we actually taxed the superrich worth a damn? Alas, that too seems to have gone the way of white tie with tails, but one can hope for a revival.

(2) The archetype of the random European "houseguest" (Carlo in this one, Toto in The Palm Beach Story, immortalized by the throwaway line "let's put Toto in the Army!" which had both me and SVC laughing for like five minutes straight) who apparently just hangs around with rich ladies? It's not even entirely clear to me whether this is supposed to be a gigolo type, because they're so completely unbangable. I think they're just supposed to be human houseplants. What a strange universe that must have been.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:19 am

I think the joke with Carlo is partly about him being a gigolo and partly about upper-class American anxiety over "being cultured"; the product of their tastelessness and their pretensions is that they are funding the artistic ambitions of a muppet.

But I think the main joke is how he's a guy who does nothing but eat someone else's food in a movie that asks, "What is a bum, really?"

Toto strikes me less as a gigolo and more as a caricature of the kind of guy a nouveau-riche American ends up with: a weird snob from some rarefied place, effeminate, ill-mannered, destitute ("a refugee, from his creditors I think") but with upper-class tastes (polo, tennis, etc.), presumably trading a title for money.
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Postby new blood, old hat » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:25 am

hope you watch his girl friday
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Postby Merciel » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:35 am

new blood, old hat wrote:hope you watch his girl friday


I've seen it but I'm up for a rewatch. SVC has not seen it.
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Postby mcphee » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:07 am

Excited for this thread.
THIS IS TOTALLY UNEXCEPTABLE.
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Postby No Good Advice » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:14 am

Yeah I might watch My Man Godfrey this weekend
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:36 am

Basically Golden Age.

We were doing New Hollywood over Christmas (Taxi Driver, French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, Badlands) and then she decided to do this instead.
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Postby sunrise » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:25 am

you guys should watch Cluny Brown
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Postby futurist » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:34 am

reccs:

The Intruder
The Hustler
Eyes Without A Face
La corruzione
The Wrong Man
Nightmare Alley
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Postby spix et chicho » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:46 am

are you guys gonna watch any of the colour epics
CIARA IS DEFIANTLY A MAN AND ITS DISGUSTING MY CUZIN WAS THROWING UP FOR 2 WEEKSM YUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK PLEASE SIGN THIS B/C THATS JSUT HERENDOUZ
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Postby number none » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:32 am

Glad you liked MMG. Some more screwball recs

It Happened One Night (bit of an obvious one but it's where it all started)
Twentieth Century (John Barrymore in this is one of my favourite comedic performances ever)
Midnight (directed by Mitchell Leisen, who was despised by by Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder for what he did to their scripts. I think he's underrated. This one's a Brackett/Wilder script)
To Be or Not to Be (undoubtedly the funniest film about the Nazi occupation of Poland)
Ball of Fire (also a Brackett/Wilder script. It's kind of a not as good version of The Lady Eve, but fun all the same)
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Postby No Good Advice » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:58 am

Obviously A Letter for Three Wives, The Awful Truth and All About Eve

No Good Advice wrote:Yeah I might watch My Man Godfrey this weekend


I watched My Man Godfrey today. For the most part I thought Cornelia behaved in a sensible way.

William Powell is a charming man.

It's funny how some things make you think of other things.

- Yes, very peculiar.


number none wrote:
Midnight (directed by Mitchell Leisen, who was despised by by Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder for what he did to their scripts. I think he's underrated. This one's a Brackett/Wilder script)


Leisen was a treasure.
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Postby number none » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:10 am

He was definitely judged harshly by the auteurist crowd. Obviously Sturges is the far greater talent but I can't imagine his version of Remember the Night being anywhere near as good.

given her comments on MMG, Merciel might appreciate his flair for design too

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Postby Prof. Horatio Hufnagel » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:53 am

recs

Dead of Night (really dope British horror anthology from the 40's, probably the only film i watched as a kid that actually scared me apart from Return to Oz)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (if ya want to go down the Ealing Studios route)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (or somebody just tell me, is it as good as the end of Homer the Vigilante?)
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Postby Julius Sumner Miller » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:32 am

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter is a must.

Just watched Neptune's Daughter -- an Esther Williams semi-musical -- which was pretty silly, but it was in Technicolor and had awesome clothes, and Red Skelton was funny.

Easy Living, The Palm Beach Story, Unfaithfully Yours and The Lady Eve are all obvious but worthy Sturges recs.

Edit: I am not really into noir so much, but The Killing and Force of Evil (not to be confused with Touch of Evil, which is great too) are good.

Bigger Than Life was a crazy movie about early psychiatry. It looks really dated now, but that's part of the beauty.
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Postby baleen » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:41 am

Merciel wrote:
new blood, old hat wrote:hope you watch his girl friday


I've seen it but I'm up for a rewatch. SVC has not seen it.


yeah this is essential and totally rewatchable. lotta cary grant up in this thread please
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Postby Julius Sumner Miller » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:45 am

Here's Jonathan Rosenbaum's top 100 American films. It was a response to the AFI's list and doesn't include a any of their picks, but he's a big fan of mid-century genre movies:

http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/Lis ... iros.shtml
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Postby bluemachine » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:46 am

The Thin Man series (William Powell and Myrna Loy in screwball detective movies) , and of course The Lady Eve.
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Postby number none » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:48 am

they mentioned a few things they've already watched in the Action movie thread, The Lady Eve among them
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