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What are your "Stop and Drop" movies?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Worf, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 Practically Family

    Most of the "New Wave" French movies from the late 1950s and 1960s.

    The black and white,the pace, the nostalgia, the scenery, the music(often Miles Davis).... the imaginary mist in the air (to my eyes at least ...) I am compelled to stay and watch.

    like this one, fav from 1964 . "Bande a Parte" ("Band of Outsiders" by Jean-Luc Godard
    triple-d likes this.
  2. These are really good lists! Mine would have to be:

    ANY Marx Brothers
    Fred Astaire: Top Hat, Swing Time, and A Royal Wedding
    Cary Grant: To Catch a Thief, The Bishop's Wife, His Girl Friday
    Alfred Hitchcock: Dial M for Murder, Rear Window,
    William Powell: all of the Philo Vance movies, My Man Godfrey
    John Wayne: The Searchers (any Ford/Wayne combo really), Rio Bravo, North to Alaska
    James Stewart: The Far Country, Night Passage, Philadelphia Story, Seventh Heaven, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Gone With the Wind
    The Wizard of Oz
    Kelly's Heroes
    Pale Rider
    Cool Hand Luke
    Christmas Vacation

    I suppose that's a pretty good start anyway.
  3. Any time I hear Eugene Pallette or Ned Sparks croaking out of the screen, I immediately give full attention. A movie can be judged by the character actors it keeps.
    vitanola likes this.
  4. Agreed (Pallette is one of my favorite GE actors) and I'd add James Gleason to the list as he shows up in a lot of very good movies and always adds value to them.
    vitanola and LizzieMaine like this.
  5. Pallette was one of those remarkable performers who never misfired on screen despite being pretty much certifiable offscreen. He disappeared from Hollywood after some kind of paranoid breakdown in 1946 and retreated to an armed, fortified compound he'd built in the mountains of Oregon, from where he expected to fight off an imminent Soviet invasion. Preston Sturges himself couldn't have written a more surreal script, and Pallette is exactly the guy he would have cast to play the part, maybe with Jimmy Conlin as his hapless sidekick.

    If there's one performer for whom talkies were invented, it was Jimmy Gleason. He *was* that "iz zat so?" New York hustling wiseguy in real life, and he was the absolute epitome of that character on screen. I always smile whenever he shows up.
    vitanola and triple-d like this.
  6. Walter Brennan is another one (gave a very impressive and nuanced performance in Garfield's "Nobody Lives Forever").

    Lizzie, marginally related, but I'll ask you since you know, well, everything - how many movies (number / percentage) from, say, the '30s - '60s aren't in some sort of rotation on TCM, Movies!, etc (the stations that play these types of movies)?

    Periodically, as I'm reading about the period, I'll stumble across a movie that I've not only not scene, but never heard of and I'll add it to a list to look for, but some never seems to be shown anywhere. Are there a lot of movies "in hiding," not in rotation for some reason or another?
    scottyrocks likes this.
  7. That's hard to say in terms of numbers, but in terms of studio output, there is very little in current circulation of the 1930s Paramount or Universal product, both of which are owned by NBC Universal. Pretty much the only pictures from this package that show up anywhere are the Paramount Marx Brothers, Maurice Chevalier, and Bing Crosby pictures, and the Universal horror films. That leaves a *lot* of good stuff that hasn't really been shown much since the end of syndicated local-TV movie packages in the 1980s. I saw a lot of thirties Paramount stuff on "The Movie Loft" on channel 38 out of Boston in the 70s and 80s and they were making the most sophisticated musicals and comedies of the period, and it's a shame this stuff isn't more well known. The Universal output of the thirties was a mixed bag -- there was a lot of low-budget melodramas and formula comedies coming out of the studio, but occasionally there was a gem. But pretty much the only non-horror 1930s Universal pictures that seem to show up anywhere are "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Show Boat," "My Man Godfrey," and the W. C. Fields pictures. Everything else has been out of circulation at least since the 60s, if it ever circulated much at all.

    There are also very few pre-1937 Fox pictures around. Part of this is due to the fact that much of that output was wiped out in a vault fire in 1937, but even those features that have survived have seen very very little distribution in recent decades. For that matter, 20th Century Fox films other than the Shirley Temple pictures, the Tyrone Power action films, and the Alice Faye musicals don't seem to show up much anywhere, even on the "Fox Movie Channel." The rights to the Fox package were owned for a long time by National Telefilm Associates, which distributed the films to local TV, but that operation was swallowed up in a series of mergers from the 70s forward, and I've got no idea who owns the TV rights to these films now, whether Fox itself or somebody else. Fox films of the late thirties had a very bright, snappy quality similar to that of Warner Bros, due perhaps to the presence of Mr. Zanuck, and it's a shame they're no longer widely shown.

    Every once in a while TCM licenses Paramount, Universal, or Fox films for special screenings, but you don't see them as much as you did a few years ago due to, I guess, their shift toward more modern product.

    Aside from major studio product, there's tons of Poverty Row/independent/states rights films from the Era that never show up anywhere anymore -- these were once a mainstay of low-budget local TV and down-market cable channels, but they usually got dumped as soon as something classier became available. Lots of these kinds of films were cheap westerns, melodramas, and mysteries, but occasionally you'd find something ambitious featuring somebody you recognized, working out of their element for whatever reason. I've always wanted to host a low-budget local-cable show featuring these types of pictures, but whenever I propose it people look at me funny.
    vitanola likes this.
  8. Thank you - as always, you kindly share an incredible wealth of information.

    Like our discussion of the parking lot next to Ebbets Field, I'm always amazed when economic value sits on the shelf unrealized.

    TCM, I'm guessing, has tried hard to get those movies as they always seem excited to promote either "a premiere" or "something we rarely get a chance to show here." I love TCM and there are plenty of their movies I haven't seen, but they must feel some pressure to get "new" material.

    And, as implied, the owners of these movies make no money just sitting on them.

    Shame about the Fox vault fire - any assumed / recognized classics lost in that?
    vitanola likes this.
  9. That vault fire -- at Little Ferry, New Jersey -- was a real catastrophe. It wiped out at a stroke almost the entire Fox silent output back to the founding of the company, and the negatives and fine-grain prints of most Fox talkies before 1932. It also destroyed the pre-1937 negatives of the Educational Pictures shorts distributed by Fox, including almost all the silent Educational comedies, along with various other shorts, both silent and sound, made by Fox itself.

    Among the losses were almost the entire career output of Theda Bara, one of the biggest stars of the 1910s, and nearly all of Tom Mix's silent Fox westerns, along with the vast output of Educational comedies, which were among the most popular shorts of the 1920s. The cause of the fire was most likely poor ventilation of the vaults coupled with an unusually potent heat wave that caused spontaneous combustion of the films. It remains the worst nitrate film fire in US history.

    I think the problem with classic film distribution is mostly the result of these giant corporations not really understanding what they own. The early Paramount and Universal libraries were basically throw-ins when NBC Universal was formed, and nobody in the corporate structure has much interest in eighty-year-old black-and-white features featuring a lot of dead people.
    vitanola and Edward like this.
  10. It's funny, most of us think of Corporate America as a ruthlessly efficient profit-seeking machine - and it can be, for example, I've seen a team of efficiency experts break a task down to every single component and, then, savagely eliminate and restructure the process including saving two keystrokes for data entry, it's frighteningly efficient - but it will also leave bundles of money on the table owing to blind spots like not realizing the value of a B&W film library. Corporate America - made up of people - is like everything else, it has its strengths and weaknesses.
    vitanola likes this.
  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Interesting. I can't think of any films that make me stop and drop. But there are a lot that make me go and walk on...
    Worf likes this.
  12. any classic war movie, Ive always liked old war movies since childhood

    movies like Objective Burma, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, PORK CHOP HILL

    triple-d likes this.
  13. As a sub-category, how 'bout "Stop and Drop" scenes?

    I just flipped on the TV and scrolling through channels saw Kevin Costner pulling a 1920's baby carriage up the stairs of the Chicago train station - yes, my timing was that freakin' good.

    A fantastic stop-and-drop scened. What followed is two absolutely fantastic and completely contrived minutes of a classic gun battle - complete with an all but impossible toss and catch of a gun and culminating in a sniper-like takeout of the bad guy holding a gun to the potential victim's neck.

    A mixed bag of a movie, but a stop-and-drop scene from '87's "The Untouchables."
    triple-d likes this.
  14. HanauMan

    HanauMan A-List Customer

    There is only one film really that I would 'stop and drop' and that is Winchester '73 (1950).

    I just love the various little intertwined stories and that dramatic shootout at the end. Plus, of course, Shelley Winters, James Stewart and Dan Duryea, and all the other great actors. A gem amongst vintage Westerns in my humble opinion (Stagecoach being my number two favorite Western).

    triple-d likes this.
  15. HanauMan

    HanauMan A-List Customer

    My 'stop and drop' scene would be the hotel shootout in The Getaway (1972) between Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw and the bad guys.
    triple-d likes this.
  16. triple-d

    triple-d A-List Customer

    ....Summer of "42....
    ....Any 007 .....
    .....Any Gangster....Mobsters, Untouchables, The Godfather......
    ....My Cousin Vinny..... I do laugh out loud everytime I watch it...lol
    ....Kelly's Heroes .....
  17. As for stop-n-drop scenes, I nominate --

    The porch scene in "It's A Gift."

    The "Lullaby of Broadway" number in "Gold Diggers of 1935."

    Harpo interfering with the puppet show in "Monkey Business."

    Any of the Mills Brothers numbers in "Twenty Million Sweethearts."

    Harry Langdon carrying Gertrude Astor upstairs in "The Strong Man"

    Stymie showing how to make ham and eggs talk in "Dogs Is Dogs."

    Buster Keaton disrupts the police parade in "Cops."

    The "Promenade Around the Boulevard" number in "Diplomaniacs."

    The "Let That Be a Lesson To You" number in "Hollywood Hotel."

    Harold Lloyd climbs a tree in "The Kid Brother."

    The Hynkel-Napolini "mine's bigger than yours" routine with the chairs in "The Great Dictator."

    The "Turn On The Heat" number in "Sunny Side Up."
    Worf and triple-d like this.
  18. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Waterloo Bridge
    The Sand Pebbles
    The Red Violin
    Ryan's Daughter
    Good-bye Mr Chips
    Worf likes this.
  19. One of my stop-n-drops beginning right now on TCM - It Happened One Night (1934).
    triple-d likes this.
  20. triple-d

    triple-d A-List Customer

    I have that on also...lol
    HadleyH1 and scottyrocks like this.

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