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Thread: Classic/Non-Recent Movie Thread

  1. #1
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    Classic/Non-Recent Movie Thread

    This thread will cover all movies except recent films which are covered in the recent film thread.

    In the past 2 weeks I watched 4 classics, 2 of which I was watching for the 1st time, Grand Prix (1966) and On The Waterfront (1954). I also saw Midnight Cowboy (1969) and The Graduate (1967) which I had seen multiple times previously.

    I will start with the movie that surprised me the most, which was Grand Prix (1966), a look at a fictional F1 season that follows 4 different drivers competing for the F1 Championship- James Garner (American driver), Yves Montand (French driver), Brian Bedford (British driver) and Antonio Sabato (Italian driver). This movie was fascinating on many levels. I do not consider myself knowledgeable about F1 racing, but the way the movie is filmed, it puts you right in the driver's seat of an F1 car. You have a sense of exactly what the drivers are feeling and seeing. You get to see the Grand Prix racetracks and the dangers they pose up close. The movie gets into some of the technical difficulties of F1 racing including the difficulties of passing a non-cooperative leading vehicle, the numerous gear shifts that occur during a race, the difficulties of racing on banked tracks, etc.

    But the movie does not focus on just the technical aspects of racing. It also looks at the personal lives of the drivers off the track: the pressures they face, their interactions with each other, and the corporate teams that sponsor them. The most fascinating character in the movie is the French driver Jean Paul Sartri, who is brilliantly played by Yves Montand. Sartri is a widely respected multiple world F1 champion coming to the end of his career, and he begins to question whether his career has been worthwhile. These feelings conflict with his competitive spirit and love of racing, but his questions about the worthwhileness of his endeavors intensify when he meets, falls madly in love with, and then starts an affair with an American journalist, well played by Eva Marie Saint. There is terrific chemistry between the Montand and Saint characters, and their scenes together are very well done.

    The movie shows the drivers to be competitors but gentlemanly towards each other off the track, and they even attend parties and celebrate with each other after their races.

    In the end, the movie is a fascinating study about the myriad dangers of F1 racing, how the drivers deal with the grind of racing, and what motivates the drivers to do what they do, and lastly the triumph and tragedy of the climactic final race, which determines which of the 4 drivers, who are neck to neck in points, will win the F1 championship. Made in 1966, when F1 racing was undoubtedly much more dangerous, Grand Prix relied on technical advice from Italian F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini, who recommended where on the Monaco track crash scenes should be filmed. Tragically, Bandini, who is seen starting a car as an extra at the very beginning of the film, was killed a year later in a horrific 1967 crash - in the very location of the Monaco Grand Prix course where he had recommended John Frankenheimer shoot the crash scenes shown at the beginning of the film.

    The movie is excellent, and I highly recommend it even to very casual car racing fans.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 02-09-2014 at 09:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    Midnight Cowboy (1969)

    This is one of the greatest American films of all time, featuring phenomenal acting performances and one of the best scores ever in motion picture history. It is the only X rated film to win the Academy Award for best picture (said rating mostly being due to some uncomfortable scenes with homosexual content), and the only time two actors were nominated for best actor in a lead role (Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight). The movie focuses on two characters who are down on their luck, a naive cowboy (Jon Voight)who travels from Texas to New York City, where he hopes to get rich prostituting himself to rich, horny old women, and the crippled, sickly New York City scammer he meets and befriends (Dustin Hoffman). The two characters' unfortunate circumstances bring them together as roommates who strike up a very unlikely friendship. I have seen this movie 5 times and I understand it more and appreciate it more every time I see it. A complete masterpiece, and easily the best performance of Jon Voight's long and distinguished career, one for which either he or Hoffman could have been given an Oscar (John Wayne controversially won it that year for "True Grit").

    The two classic songs that comprise the soundtrack:

    Everyone's Talkin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz6GzKWiIAs
    Midnight Cowboy Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGORPUzLxtU

    I recommend this movie, but it is probably not for all tastes and it is definitely not a very uplifting film.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 02-09-2014 at 04:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Casablanca (1942)

    Directed by Michael Curtiz, it stars the great Humphrey Bogard in the role of Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner in the city of Casablanca, Morocco. Co-starring are Ingrid Bergman in the role of Ilsa Lund, the wife of a resistance leader played by Paul Henreid. Claude Rains portrays Captain Louis Renault, the local police captain and friend of Rick's. The movie also includes appearances by Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson, who plays the song "As Time Goes By" in the movie.

    Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, "love and virtue". He must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

    At the Academy Awards the year after its release, it won for Best Picture, Best Director & Best Screenplay. Bogart and Rains had also been nominated, but lost out.

    This movie is one of the all-time greatest movies, and i've seen it several times. I still haven't gone tired of watching it. Very highly recommended!

  4. #4
    I have seen all the movies mentioned above all great movies to Eagerbeaver their are some cameos in grand prix of other race drivers of that generation,one of the best movies on racing,also on the same level is Rush based on the 1976 championship which is extremely well done...if this movie was about nascar it would have been nominated for some oscars.

  5. #5
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    Casablanca 1942,

    The cast of actors in the movie is wonderful with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and does anyone recognize Medeleine LeBeau as the French beauty in love with Rick.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/film/casablanca/context.html

    The film was considered a rushed cheaply made patchwork of scenes where some key actors didn't like each other or the director and some only signed on to make Casablanca because there wasn't something better at the time. "In short, the film was just another Hollywood studio production, a chaotic collaboration whose various parts might or might not come together successfully." But despite it's simple themes of patriotism and noble self-sacrifice it's a magnificent piece of work that seems to flow seamlessly with touching emotion throughout. I first saw it in high school and dozens of times since, and it;s still just as enjoyable. My favorite scenes are rick helping the young couple get around Capt. Renault, the multiple Rick and Ilsa reunion shots, the national anthem singing battle, and it goes without saying the legendary departure at the airport where the characters make courageous choices in what was a truly uncertain future at the time.

    Of course as I watch the movie I'm always very aware of the background reality, the epic fall of France, the collaborationist Vichy government, the Nazis at the pinnacle of their power, the imminent total occupation of all France and it's territories, the fear the U.S. would never enter the war then the disaster at Pearl Harbor, the near hopeless outlook of the world situation in early 1942.

    It must have been fate that brought together so many elements that seemed at odds with each other and any chance to make a memorable film to end up creating what I still consider one of the Five Best Movies of All Time.

    Interestingly:

    ...a few happy accidents are also responsible for the film's tremendous popularity and classic status. For example, composer Max Steiner created an original song to replace "As Time Goes By," a song he hated, but the scenes were not re-filmed because Bergman had already had her hair cut for her role in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Likewise, the screenplay for Casablanca evolved out of a play entitled Everybody Comes to Rick's, which was written in 1941, before the United States entered World War II. The play has a clear anti-Nazi slant, just as Casablanca does, but prior to Pearl Harbor, a movie studio in the neutral United States would probably not have made such a political movie. In this respect, the timing was perfect. Casablanca is an unusual World War II movie in that it isn't overly propagandistic—in other words, it doesn't go overboard in preaching about the justness of the cause and the certainty of victory. In 1942, the U.S. was suffering in the Pacific, and Allied victory seemed far from certain. Casablanca captures this unique moment in America's part in the conflict, when the nation was fully at war but not yet fully indoctrinated in a war ideology. Throughout the film, the war's outcome is uncertain, and Casablanca is a place of anxiety and uncertainty. This uncertainty lends the movie a genuine tension and renders the political activities of Laszlo and Rick all the more heroic.



    Merlot

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver View Post
    Tragically, Bandini, who is seen starting a car as an extra at the very beginning of the film, was killed a year later in a horrific 1967 crash - in the very location of the Monaco Grand Prix course where he had recommended John Frankenheimer shoot the crash scenes shown at the beginning of the film
    The week after Ayrton Senna was killed at Monza , Sauber driver Karl Wendlinger was almost killed when he went straight after coming out of the tunnel. and hit the wall

    This movie used many real F1 drivers in it, and I remember that Jackie Stewart said in an interview that James Garner had so much natural talent, that all the other real F1 drivers felt very comfortable making the film with him

    Best Regards

    Smuler
    Savoir Faire Is Everywhere !!!

    Trying one day to be " In the Know "

  7. #7
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    The Graduate (1967)

    It all started for the then unknown Dustin Hoffman in this movie which was released in 1967 and became a gigantic box office hit. After his performances in this movie and 1969's Midnight Cowboy, his next film, Hoffman had 2 Academy Award nominated performances under his belt and he was well on his way to stardom in the acting world.

    I saw this movie once again about 10 days ago at the same time Halloween Mike was creating his "life is meaningless thread". It occurred to me that Halloween Mike could identify with Hoffman's character. Although Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock character is a rich California kid driving around in this 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider

    http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_1804-Al...0503-1966.html,

    he is having many of the same stressed out "life is meaningless" thoughts as HM, despite having just graduated from college. He ends up having an affair with the older wife of his father's law firm partner, and once that is over, promptly falls in love with her daughter when she returns from college. We never learn if his character finds meaning in life through these romantic affairs.

    The movie is well done, and there is a great soundtrack of songs from Simon and Garfunkel. Unlike Midnight Cowboy, however, it does not get better or more interesting upon repeat viewings. The movie is held together by the performances of Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, who were both nominated for an Academy Awards for their performances.

    I would recommend it for Halloween Mike, and other people in their 20s who might identify with the disillusionment of the Benjamin Braddock character in this film.

  8. #8
    Movies are a small hobby of mine that I enjoy very much

    I have always loved good cinema..especially the classics

    Out of curiosity..what made you start watching these classics lately Beaver ?

    Best Regards

    Smuler

    PS- that's a beautiful pre- Miata classic you posted a picture of
    Savoir Faire Is Everywhere !!!

    Trying one day to be " In the Know "

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smuler View Post
    Out of curiosity..what made you start watching these classics lately Beaver ?
    Actually it is not something that started lately. In the past years I have watched numerous classics, I just started writing about it lately. I had seen Midnight Cowboy and The Graduate many times before the recent viewings.

    Regarding Grand Prix, I saw it for the 1st time recently because it was highly recommended to me by a work colleague in his 60s who grew up working as a teenager in the automotive repair business in the 1960s. He said Grand Prix was better than Rush, but suggested I see both movies and draw my own conclusions. I have not yet seen Rush.

    On The Waterfront was a movie that slipped through the cracks, one of the classics I had not seen.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 02-09-2014 at 06:20 PM.

  10. #10
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    On The Waterfront (1954)

    This movie won a total of 8 Academy Award, including best film, best actor for Marlon Brando and best actress for Eva Marie Saint. It's about the longshoremen's union and its corrupted leadership. Marlon Brando plays an ex-pro boxer and current working stiff who at first goes along with assorted union shenanigans, until he falls in love with the sister of a murdered co-worker who is seeking justice (Eva Marie Saint). She appeals to his conscience to testify against the union hoodlums; a priest played by Karl Malden (who also won an Academy Award) also prods Brando to do the right thing. Making the decision difficult is that Brando's older brother is a union lawyer (Rod Steiger) who is up to his eyeballs in the criminal shenanigans.

    This movie is well done and well acted, but did not have the same impact on me as Midnight Cowboy or Grand Prix. It ranks in the top 10 all time American films according to the American Film Institute, but if I were doing the list I would rank Midnight Cowboy higher.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 02-09-2014 at 06:23 PM.

  11. #11
    One of my favourite movie of all time is The good , The bad and The ugly directed by Sergio Leone. It was the final movie of the triologie that start with A fistfull of dollars and For a few dollars more.
    Evertime i catch this movie on television , i watch it till the end. Starring a young Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef but also Eli Wallach in the best role of his carreer.
    He's totally unbelievable as the mean motherfucker Tuco.

  12. #12
    One of my 70's favorites has the misfortune of having OJ Simpson in it, which is why it likely will never be aired again. But if you can get past that, it was a great story. (and OJ gets killed in it anyways)

    Capricorn One

  13. #13
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    The Deerhunter - 1978

    starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, and George Dzundza (who starred with Michael Douglas as the two cops who were investigating Sharon Stone in the thriller Basic Instinct)

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    The 2 best movies of the 70s are definitely the Monty Python's Holy Grail and Life of Brian.

    I also like old japanese movies:
    Seven Samurais (1954) A small group of samurais defend a village from bandits. Later remade into the Magnificent Sevens.
    Ran (1985). An aging warlord divides his lands between his sons, leading to feud and war between the brothers. Like in any family.
    “Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkman View Post
    The Deerhunter - 1978

    starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, and George Dzundza (who starred with Michael Douglas as the two cops who were investigating Sharon Stone in the thriller Basic Instinct)
    On another note for those of you who are into movies that deal with the financial markets:

    Trading Places (Eddie Murphy, Dan Akroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis)
    Wall Street (Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Darryl Hannah)
    Margin Call (Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany)

    Michael Douglas was brilliant in his role in Wall Street, no surprise everybody knows this by now as he won the best actor award for his role as Gordon Gecko.
    However, the unsung hero in my view is Kevin Spacey I think pulled off the role of his life in a very complex role he was given to play for Margin Call...It is unreal why he did not win the award for best actor in a movie. He pulled off an impossible role to play for one who his not in that business.

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