The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
So you picked it for me, cool. I had thought it was probably Cricket.

So now I have four films that could be tied for 1st place
in alphabetical order:
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974))
Black Orpheus (1959)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Midnight Cowboy (1969

And...I have one more film left a film noir by one of the great directors Nicolas Ray, On Dangerous Ground (1951). I have real high hopes for this one, which could work against, we'll see.
__________________
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
I hated Do the Right Thing, but the more I think about it, the more I think you are right, Ed, that it is deliberately designed to make the audience as angry as the characters. Which is clever, in its way, but still not the sort of thing I enjoy in a movie!

I hated it, too.




The Killers
Big Jim Colfax: If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame.

Someone killed the Swede (Burt Lancaster) and if it wasn't the blonde in the pic who was it? And why?

I'm not gonna say much about the plot because the fun of The Killers is watching how it all unfolds, but if you like noir this should be on your watchlist. It's very similar to Citizen Kane in how the story is told. An insurance agent is investigating the death of the Swede and interviews several of his former friends, associates, cellmates etc. and the story unfolds piece by piece through flashbacks. Every flashback gives a little more info on who the Swede was and what happened while also opening a whole new can of worms. It's all really well done and kept me guessing until the end.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love the way gangsters talk in these older movies - "You're making a sucker play Dum-Dum, she took a powder and ran off with the dough so I put the pinch on 'em - a copper's a copper, Bright Boy." This is one of the older movies that shows it's age at times and in some movies I find that off putting and sometimes I think it's charming. I guess it depends on how I'm feeling about the movie and here I found it charming.

Lancaster is good as the Swede. He seems like a likeable fellow, Lancaster that is, but sometimes his acting puts me off. Other times he really shines. He's in the middle here but he doesn't have to carry the movie as this is definitely a plot driven film. Everybody is good but there isn't a wow performance and it doesn't need one. This is gonna be something I watch again and again. If this was the first film I watched like I had planned, it may have hung on to the no.1 spot throughout the HoF just as Pandora's Box did last time. Highly recommend.



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Arsenic and Old Lace


There was a lot to like about this but I didnít completely love it, which disappointed me a bit as I had high hopes - maybe too high!

First off, it reminded me quite a lot of You Canít Take It With You with the whole eccentric family angle.

The poisoning old ladies are great, as is Cary Grantís initial reaction to discovering their crimes (he has some great facial expressions), and later on the brother discovering the same. Also the bit where heís talking about how stupid people are in plays waiting around to be murderedÖalthough I wonder why they didnít change Ďplaysí to Ďmoviesí. The whole climax was pretty great, actually.

On the downside, it gets a bit frenetic and farcical, and there was a bit too much shouting and people pushing and pulling each other about. There was also a lot of onstage-offstage which probably would have worked better on the stage than on the screen. I didnít find the way Mortimer treated his wife very funny either, the film would have worked almost as well without that sub-plot, although I suppose it was necessary for
WARNING: "Arsenic and Old Lace" spoilers below
the revelation that he isnít actually related to all these crazy people
to work. They could have given her more to do than shriek and get shoved out of doors, though.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I liked Arsenic and Old Lace more when I saw it 20 years ago than I did when I watched it for it's decade countdown. Good movie though.

The Killers is pretty awesome obviously



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

The Killers
Big Jim Colfax: If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame.

Someone killed the Swede (Burt Lancaster) and if it wasn't the blonde in the pic who was it? And why?

I'm not gonna say much about the plot because the fun of The Killers is watching how it all unfolds, but if you like noir this should be on your watchlist. It's very similar to Citizen Kane in how the story is told. An insurance agent is investigating the death of the Swede and interviews several of his former friends, associates, cellmates etc. and the story unfolds piece by piece through flashbacks. Every flashback gives a little more info on who the Swede was and what happened while also opening a whole new can of worms. It's all really well done and kept me guessing until the end.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love the way gangsters talk in these older movies - "You're making a sucker play Dum-Dum, she took a powder and ran off with the dough so I put the pinch on 'em - a copper's a copper, Bright Boy." This is one of the older movies that shows it's age at times and in some movies I find that off putting and sometimes I think it's charming. I guess it depends on how I'm feeling about the movie and here I found it charming.

Lancaster is good as the Swede. He seems like a likeable fellow, Lancaster that is, but sometimes his acting puts me off. Other times he really shines. He's in the middle here but he doesn't have to carry the movie as this is definitely a plot driven film. Everybody is good but there isn't a wow performance and it doesn't need one. This is gonna be something I watch again and again. If this was the first film I watched like I had planned, it may have hung on to the no.1 spot throughout the HoF just as Pandora's Box did last time. Highly recommend.
Ava's pleased to hear you enjoyed it


I had a feeling this would be up your alley when I nominated it for ya. This has been an all-time noir favorite of mine for quite some time.
__________________
- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Arsenic and Old Lace


There was a lot to like about this but I didnít completely love it, which disappointed me a bit as I had high hopes - maybe too high!

First off, it reminded me quite a lot of You Canít Take It With You with the whole eccentric family angle.

The poisoning old ladies are great, as is Cary Grantís initial reaction to discovering their crimes (he has some great facial expressions), and later on the brother discovering the same. Also the bit where heís talking about how stupid people are in plays waiting around to be murderedÖalthough I wonder why they didnít change Ďplaysí to Ďmoviesí. The whole climax was pretty great, actually.

On the downside, it gets a bit frenetic and farcical, and there was a bit too much shouting and people pushing and pulling each other about. There was also a lot of onstage-offstage which probably would have worked better on the stage than on the screen. I didnít find the way Mortimer treated his wife very funny either, the film would have worked almost as well without that sub-plot, although I suppose it was necessary for
WARNING: "Arsenic and Old Lace" spoilers below
the revelation that he isnít actually related to all these crazy people
to work. They could have given her more to do than shriek and get shoved out of doors, though.
Very fun movie and the old ladies are my absolute favorites in this film. If I remember right they were both in the original play that this movie is made from.



The Killers

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love the way gangsters talk in these older movies - "You're making a sucker play Dum-Dum, she took a powder and ran off with the dough so I put the pinch on 'em - a copper's a copper, Bright Boy."

This is gonna be something I watch again and again... Highly recommend.
It's a good one alright! Glad to see you take a shining to it. I also love that old gangster/noir talk. Cosmic Runaway nominated Murder, My Sweet (1944) for the Noir III HoF. Fun movie with oodles of hip noir talk, you might like it.

Ava's pleased to hear you enjoyed it
Great gif! I just seen Ava on What's My Line and I swear she moved just like that...and she was sitting down too! But still doing the shimmy.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
It's a good one alright! Glad to see you take a shining to it. I also love that old gangster/noir talk. Cosmic Runaway nominated Murder, My Sweet (1944) for the Noir III HoF. Fun movie with oodles of hip noir talk, you might like it.

Great gif! I just seen Ava on What's My Line and I swear she moved just like that...and she was sitting down too! But still doing the shimmy.
I second Murder My Sweet regarding some really great noir talk:
"She was a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud. I gave her a drink. She was a gal who'd take a drink - if she had to knock you down to get the bottle."

Love the shimmy but, oh those smoldering eyes



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
Downfall



This was the movie I most wanted picked for me, and two members tried. I'm glad it was because it was incredible. It's got all of the production of a major Hollywood film, but of course it's German. I think Schindler's List is a masterpiece but I don't consider it to be a personal favorite. Downfall will be. I think it's a pretty accurate true story told from a completely different perspective. I don't feel like going on about it so just watch it if you haven't seen it. I'm looking forward to Suspect's review. This has been the best HoF for me by far and I still have some left.




I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Downfall was one I considered nominating for you. It's a very good film. I wanted to watch it again to consider it for my all time list but ran out of time.



I reviewed Downfall and gave it a 4.5/5. I've seen it twice and it's a powerful look at a moment in history. I wrote this in my review:

This German made film accurately portrays Hitler's last days on Earth. Unlike Hollywood movies that show the Nazi leaders as two dimensional monsters, Downfall shows them as real people who have done monstrous acts. That's an important distinction, as humans are capable of the most vile acts.




On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray 1951)

I don't know. That's apt for this last review entry in this second Personal Recommendation. I've immensely enjoyed this endeavor of ours. But with this last write-up, of the last film that was chose for me, I find myself unsure of how to evaluate it?

Do I compare it to the other noirs I've seen? I've seen a lot! Or do I compare it to the other Nicholas Ray films I've seen? Some of those are power houses. And how in the hell do I compare it to the other interesting choices that were selected for me?

Basically I don't know! Well, I gotta write somethin' right? So here it goes...I enjoyed this noir, as I enjoy noirs. Ida Lupino is a plus and Robert Ryan is a good noir type too. But I don't feel this is one of Ray's best works and its story intent never really comes into focus. Some of that might be on Ray himself and how he directed this. Some of it might lay on the shoulders of Robert Ryan who's asked to show a tender side that he just wasn't able to show. But mostly I think the blame lays with financier Howard Hughes who owned RKO studio and had a hand in editing the film.

The film has a split personality to it. The first half is a matter-of-fact police procedural, docu-drama. The second part takes an abrupt turn as our police detective (Robert Ryan) leaves the city and heads to upstate New York to solve a local murder. In the country side he encounters a blind woman (Ida Lupino) and falls for her. His encounter with the blind beauty changes his previous brutal bad-cop ways. Abrupt is the key word here as Ryan's character changes gears at a drop of a fedora.

So the dilemma is: I enjoyed this because it is noir and I love noir. But it was IMO flawed in it's narrative construction. So how do I rank it? Decisions, decisions!
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
The last film always does have that effect, does it not?
You want to watch a film as is. But then you find yourself gauging it against the others you've watched and its placement amongst them.
Been guilty of it myself. Time and again.
Which is probably why I go with something that may be a power hitter. That way placement sort of falls to the side and I can get back to focusing on the film itself.

Doesn't necessarily always works. But, sometimes, it works just fine.

Have not seen On Dangerous Ground. Have seen a couple of Ray's films and I do very much appreciate and enjoy Robert Ryan. Even more so as I begin to work through his films and I've noticed this isn't the only one the two have them worked on together so my interest is piqued regarding it. Add to the fact that I've only caught Miss Lupino enough to want to see more.
And since I do enjoy conversing Noir with you, sir, I do find myself considering this film to expand on what you've hinted at.



The last film always does have that effect, does it not?
You want to watch a film as is. But then you find yourself gauging it against the others you've watched and its placement amongst them.
So true. Right now I'm thinking about ranking my voting list and there are five films that could be my #1 choice. The weird thing is each of those 5 films have a completely different reason for vying for the number 1 spot. Last time around I based my list on pure enjoyment, but this time around I feel like I should use more objective criteria. Oh! Making a list is so tough



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
I reviewed Downfall and gave it a 4.5/5. I've seen it twice and it's a powerful look at a moment in history. I wrote this in my review:
Can't seem to quote your quote, but that was exactly one of the things I liked about it too.



This German made film accurately portrays Hitler's last days on Earth. Unlike Hollywood movies that show the Nazi leaders as two dimensional monsters, Downfall shows them as real people who have done monstrous acts. That's an important distinction, as humans are capable of the most vile acts.
Can't seem to quote your quote, but that was exactly one of the things I liked about it too.
For me, the realization that humans are capable of monstrous acts...and others are easily persuaded to go along with those acts...is a frighting reality. It starts with one megalomania leader and a number of blind followers motivated by propaganda, who are willing to subvert democracy in a blink of an eye.