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Another recommending 12 Angry Men, raul.

As I have Seven Samurai on my 100, I'm very pleased to see you like it so much, MV.
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12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/01/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 50s List
Rewatch: No


Despite what I've heard about this film, I'd kind of been putting this off because the idea of watching a bunch of guys talking just wasn't that appealing. I've seen a handful of other Lumet films, so I knew it would at least be a thought provoking piece. However, I also knew there was a fair chance I'd respect it without really liking it.

That turned out not to be the case and I was treated to a compelling drama with interesting characters. Some of the scenes and arguments (particularly the old man's assertion that one of the witnesses may have been testifying in order to get attention) didn't quite work for me and I think the film's relative brevity worked in its favor to prevent boredom, but overall I enjoyed it quite a bit.




Pleased to see you enjoyed 12 Angry Men
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(particularly the old man's assertion that one of the witnesses may have been testifying in order to get attention)
It's speculation at the motive of why the witness would lie. It's not evidence in favor of lying, it's evidence in defense of the accusation that the witness has no reason to lie.
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It's speculation at the motive of why the witness would lie. It's not evidence in favor of lying, it's evidence in defense of the accusation that the witness has no reason to lie.
I understand the point he was making, my point was that what he said struck me as a little ridiculous.



...Some of the scenes and arguments (particularly the old man's assertion that one of the witnesses may have been testifying in order to get attention) didn't quite work for me...
I agree. I use to love 12 Angry Men until I watched it again for the 50s Hof Part 2 and seen how contrived some of the speculation by the jurors were...like the old man's testimony that doesn't count as they suppose he wanted attention and lied The lamest idea for innocents was that the woman neighbor had marks on her nose and there forth wore glasses but didn't have them on at the time of the murder so she couldn't have seen the murderer. Those marks could have been from sunglasses, or reading glasses. The film never tells us that it's confirmed she had a distant vision problem.



Plausibility, not probability.

The lamest idea for innocents was that the woman neighbor had marks on her nose and there forth wore glasses but didn't have them on at the time of the murder so she couldn't have seen the murderer. Those marks could have been from sunglasses, or reading glasses. The film never tells us that it's confirmed she had a distant vision problem.
It begs the question whether occasional use of sunglasses or reading glasses would leave such marks.

This is in addition to the distance, time of night, and visual acuity of a sleepy person looking through a passing vehicle.

The point is it's questionable evidence and putting someone to death over questionable evidence is questionable.





Rebel Without A Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/03/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 50s List
Rewatch: No


Potential Spoilers Ahead

I wanted to be sure to include this film in my 50s movie watching because of its iconic status in the gay community - daring to feature a gay character and male to male affection in a time when homosexuality was still a crime. And while I applaud Ray and the cast for that, the film is not without its problems.

Some of the portrayals just didn't work for me, particularly Jim's parents - the over-bearing bitch of a mother and the "whipped father." They felt more like caricatures than real people. The same holds true for "Buzz" and "The Kids." They were extremely one dimensional.

I also didn't particularly care for the way that Plato was presented. While homosexual teens are perhaps prone to psychological instability and depression - a tragic side-effect of repressed feelings and social rejection - it bothered me a bit that his character was written as having violent, psychopathic tendencies. From his very first scene in the film, I struggled to empathize or sympathize with his character because of the things he had done. Ultimately this struggle left me feeling only sadness for the few that cared about him, but not for Plato himself.

I also had mixed feelings about Jim. On the one hand, I appreciated his interactions with Plato and the acceptance and tenderness that he offered to the troubled younger teen. On the other hand, his contempt for his parents and his comments about what his father ought to do to his mother didn't exactly sit well with me.

But even with all those faults, I can say without doubt that it is unlike any other film I've seen from this era and I hope it secures a very respectable position on the countdown.

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Rebel WIthout A Cause was a bit of a disappointment for me. Not that i thought it was bad, i thought it was just ok when i was expecting to love it. Glad you liked it anyway. Is that you got enough for your list now?



Wasn't crazy about Rebel either, despite really liking Eden, which I thought was really good though I didn't love it. I hoped Rebel would be the one, but unfortunately I liked it less than Eden. Still haven't seen Giant.



Is that you got enough for your list now?
No. I have 24 films on my list at the moment, but 3-4 of them are not definite. I've still got a handful of movies that I want to cram in before the deadline.



Wasn't crazy about Rebel either, despite really liking Eden, which I thought was really good though I didn't love it. I hoped Rebel would be the one, but unfortunately I liked it less than Eden. Still haven't seen Giant.
I recommend giving "East of Eden" a watch, too. It's the best James Dean movie.





Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende) (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/04/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 50s List
Rewatch: No


I really didn't know what to expect from a Bergman comedy, but I was more than pleasantly surprised by this. It takes quite a bit to make me laugh and I certainly didn't expect to be actually laughing at a 50s comedy. At most a smirk or a soft chuckle. But no, it was genuinely funny. I was also a little shocked to find that I really liked the female roles, especially given the setting of the film. These were strong, sexual women who refused to be delicate little flowers. It was refreshing.

My only real complaint about the film is the soundtrack, which was in turns absent and blaring. I think it would've been more effective to eliminate it entirely. But it is a minor gripe and overall I really enjoyed this film.

+



Oldboy 2: Youngman
Haven't seen that one, definitely more curious now. I for one always loved how Bergman portrays women.





Brink of Life (Nära livet) (Ingmar Bergman, 1958)
Imdb

Date Watched: 08/04/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 50s List
Rewatch: No



I don't think I'd ever even heard of this film, but a documentary about Bergman came on immediately after Smiles of a Summer Night. I didn't watch the whole thing, but I did watch enough to see them speak briefly about Brink of Life.

The film stands in stark contrast to the lightness and humor of Smiles. Set in a maternity ward, Bergman presents us with three women in very different situations. One is recovering from a miscarriage, struggling to cope with the loss of the child and with the realization that hers is a marriage without real love. Another is a teen girl who tried and failed to induce an abortion, stuck with a pregnancy she didn't want, fathered by a man who doesn't love her and offers her no support, and faced with an uncertain future. The third is a woman blissfully happy in her marriage and anxiously awaiting the overdue arrival of her first child.

The three central performances, by Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Anderson, and Eva Dahlbeck, are compelling and heartbreaking. This is a heavy film, without flash and with little humor. It's a tough watch and a very sobering experience, but one I'm glad I undertook. I definitely recommend it.




Master of My Domain
You're on a roll MV, you now have way more knowledge of Bergman's filmography than I have.