Showing posts with label TMC Big Screen Classics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TMC Big Screen Classics. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some Like It Hot

Sunday afternoon I got to see Some Like It Hot for the first time on the big screen and it was an absolute hoot!  This makes two Marilyn Monroe comedies this month!  Two musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), go on the run after witnessing a mob hit in Chicago.  They disguise themselves as women, Josephine and Daphne, to join and all-female band engaged for six weeks at a hotel in Miami.  Once they get there, they face a new set of problems:  Joe falls for the vocalist in the band, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), and Jerry becomes the object of affection of millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown).  Chaos ensues, especially when the mobsters they are running from show up in Miami for a convention.  This is a typical Billy Wilder farce with lots of physical comedy and sharp and witty dialogue.  All three lead actors give fabulous performances and I was especially impressed, once again, with Marilyn Monroe.  I laughed out loud so many times and my favorite scenes were when Jerry as Daphne wonders why men like her because she isn't pretty, when Joe impersonates Cary Grant the heir to Shell Oil in order to woo Sugar, when Sugar sings "I Want to Be Loved by You," when Jerry as Daphne tells Joe that she is engaged, and when Jerry as Daphne does the tango with Osgood.  It is just so funny watching Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon try to act like women!  Now I know why it is considered to be one of the best comedies of all time!  You have another chance to see this on the big screen June 14.  Go here for details.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Godfather

I have a confession.  Before last Sunday I had never seen The Godfather!  I know!  When I mentioned this to my movie buddies there was a stunned silence as if they couldn't believe it!  It is widely considered to be the greatest film in American cinema so when I found out that it was going to be screened as part of TCM's Big Screen Classics, I knew I had to get a ticket if for no other reason than to be able to say that I had finally seen it.  Now I know what I have been missing.  It is a masterpiece!  The plot centers on the Corleone family, particularly the relationship between Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), the head of the family, and his youngest son Michael (Al Pacino).  Initially, Michael is a disinterested outsider but is drawn in after Vito is gunned down by a rival and eventually becomes the ruthless leader of the family.  I found the story to be utterly compelling and my attention never wavered during its three hour run time.  I was very impressed by the performances of Marlon Brando (who won the Oscar for the role), James Caan as the oldest son Santini, Robert Duvall as the consigliere to the Corleone family, and Diane Keaton as Michael's girlfriend and, later, wife.  However, it was a young (and extremely handsome) Al Pacino who absolutely captivated me by his intense portrayal of a man who becomes more and more hardened by events.  The scene in the restaurant, with a close-up shot on Michael's face as he decides to kill two of the family's rivals, is brilliant.  You can literally see the exact moment when Michael makes the decision.  I also found the christening scene to be fascinating with another close-up on Michael's face as he recites vows in a church while his associates assassinate the leaders of all of the rival crime families.  The juxtaposition is so jarring but effective!  I think what I appreciated most about this film is that, even though it is about organized crime and there are scenes of violence (there is that famous scene with a horse's head), it is not excessively gory and there is very little profanity.  I loved the use of light and shadow to convey a mood and the score is also incredibly atmospheric.  At the end of the film everyone in the packed theater applauaded enthusiastically because it is a masterpiece!  I am so glad that I got to see it on the big screen.

Note:  I found it amusing that Sofia Coppola played the baby being christened!  I am so looking forward to her film The Beguiled.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Smokey and the Bandit

Sunday afternoon I went to see the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit on the big screen thanks to the free tickets I won from Classic Movie Hub.  I actually remember watching it on the big screen when I was a kid, fueling an obsession with my Dad's CB radio (his handle was Grapevine) and warning fellow motorists about the smokeys on the highway.  It was so much fun to see it again!  The premise of this movie is that a wealthy Texas businessman (Pat McCormick) and his son (Paul Williams) want to serve Coors beer at one of their events in Georgia but it is illegal to sell it east of the Mississippi River.  They offer trucker Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) $80,000 to haul 400 cases of Coors from Texas back to Georgia in 28 hours.  He accepts the challenge and recruits his partner Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reid) to drive the truck while he drives the "blocker" (a sweet black Trans Am) to divert attention away from the truck.  On the way back to Georgia, Bandit stops to pick up a runaway bride (Sally Field) and, in doing so, he attracts the attention of Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), a sheriff in Texas and the father of the groom, who pursues him all the way to Georgia.  There are epic car chases and crashes as Justice's police cruiser gets more and more banged up.  This movie is incredibly dated (with hilarious costumes and hairstyles from the 1970s) and the acting is a bit over-the-top, but I thought it was an absolute hoot and I enjoyed hearing all of the CB jargon from my youth.  I laughed out loud so many times (at just about everything Jackie Gleason said) as did everyone in the theater.  It is being screened for its 40th Anniversary in select theaters as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series and I recommend it to anyone who remembers it fondly.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Graduate

I was quite young and very inexperienced, to say the least, when I began my teaching career.  One of my colleagues in the English department basically took me under her wing and not only became a much-needed mentor but also became a good friend.  Often, on the weekends, she would invite me to her house for dinner and a movie.  She loved movies, especially classic movies, and she had an extensive collection.  Most of the time she would let me pick and one night I selected The Graduate because I hadn't seen it before.  I remember my 21-year-old self being completely blown away by this movie!  Aren't all 21-year-olds particularly susceptible to themes of alienation?  I loved this movie so much my friend let me borrow it and I think I kept it much longer than is considered polite.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen for the first time and I have to say that I was just as blown away by this screening as I was the first time I saw it if not more so.  It is amazing to see these classic films on the big screen as the were meant to be seen!  An angst-ridden young man (Dustin Hoffman) has recently graduated from college and is at loose ends when he begins an affair with a lonely and disillusioned older woman (Anne Bancroft) and then realizes that he really loves her daughter (Katharine Ross).  Hoffman, Bancroft, and Ross give amazing performances (all three were nominated for Academy Awards) which definitely stand the test of time.  Mike Nichols is a genius (he won an Academy Award) and so many of his choices still seem brilliant to me such as Benjamin's nervous tics and whimpers in his initial interactions with Mrs. Robinson.  I love the music by Simon and Garfunkel.  In fact, to this day I cannot use a moving sidewalk in an airport without hearing "The Sound of Silence" in my head.  I highly recommend this brilliant film which is being screened in select theaters for its 50th Anniversary as part of the TMC's Big Screen Classics series.

Monday, April 3, 2017

North by Northwest

Yesterday I had the chance to see North By Northwest on the big screen again!  It is one of my very favorite movies so I couldn't pass up the chance to see it as it was meant to be seen one more time.  It is the first Alfred Hitchcock movie I remember watching (on PBS late at night when I was in high school) and I think it is a great introduction to Hitchcock because it is a stylish and suspenseful action thriller with Cold War intrigue that is highly entertaining.  Cary Grant is Roger Thornhill, a Madison Avenue ad executive, who is inadvertently mistaken for George Kaplan, a nonexistent CIA agent created to protect a real agent in pursuit of a spy seeking to smuggle microfilm out of the country.  Eva Marie Saint is Eve Kendall, the requisite icy blonde who helps Thornhill elude the police.  In my opinion, almost every scene in this movie is absolutely iconic, including the kinetic typography in the opening credits, the drunken car chase along a winding coastal highway, the crop duster attack on a lonely prairie highway, and the final confrontation on top of Mount Rushmore.  I look forward to each of these scenes with anticipation.  I love all of the locations in this film:  the Plaza Hotel, the mansion in Glen Cove, the U.N. General Assembly Building, Grand Central Station, the cafeteria at Mount Rushmore, and the house inspired by architect Frank Loyd Wright.  The costumes are fabulous, especially the grey suit worn by Cary Grant through most of the movie, and those worm by Eva Marie Saint, which, apparently, she selected at Bergdorf Goodman.  I love the characters and I find Roger Thornhill to be the very definition of suave and sophisticated (all men should try to be more like Cary Grant).  The witty banter between Roger and Eve is so much fun.  Finally, the score by Bernard Herrmann, who scored many of Hitchcock's movies, is quite stirring and adds much to the suspense.  I love this movie so much!

Note:  It was screened as part of TMC's Big Screen Classics series.  Go here for more information about the upcoming movies in the series.  I am really looking forward to quite a few of them!
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