Two quick Shane-related comments.
In Billy Crystal's one-man show, he describes how in his childhood he was always surrounded by jazz musicians because his father and uncle ran a jazz record label. He tells of being taken to see Shane when he was a little kid... by Billie Holiday! When Shane rides off at the end and the kid's yelling "Come back, Shane!", Billie leaned over to little Billy and - with her vast experience of men - declared decisively, "He ain't never comin' back!"
Shane's director, the great George Stevens, is an interesting study. Before the war, he was a master of comedies and musicals (Swing Time, anyone?); after the war, he only made dead-serious films. The difference was that his war service included filming the liberation of concentration camps, and he went through serious depression after returning, not making another film until A Place in the Sun in 1951. (For more detail, see the outstanding Netflix documentary miniseries Five Came Back, about the war service and before/after of Stevens... and Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Ford, and John Huston.)
And don't forget Let There Be Light, Huston's postwar documentary about PTSD that was so disturbing the US gov wouldn't let it be shown until the 1980s.
It's interesting, because so many of Huston's best-known fiction films have an air of enjoyment and fun that's far removed from the seriousness of his war docs.
You raise an extremely interesting point about Huston-I suspect he endured an epiphany during the war
which indelibly marked the man and bequeathed an archival legacy seldom equaled.
The restriction placed on Light was unfortunate; all the more so because the issue was out there in the public
domain and PTSD was a fact.
But what if you could use the Beardsley illustrations for the lobby posters?
For me, the problem is that I've seen too many of these movies too many times, and they have all become repetitive--the same scenes and story lines over and over again, and no one seems to have any new ideas. I have the same problem with the Marvel "superhero" movies; once the "action" starts I know it's going to be at least an hour of CG beings trashing a big city somewhere, and I'm immediately ready to go out and have a sandwich because I've seen it before.I'd be interested to hear what you disliked about it. It felt very much like a modern Showa Era Goji movie to me.
Mwa ha ha... He said "backside". Sorry sometimes my inner snot nosed, 6 year old comes out.Please remind me to do that in a couple of weeks. My laptop is currently in the shop for repairs and trying to "type" all of this on my cellphone is a huge pain in the backside.
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Rear Window from 1954 with James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr
The joy in watching a classic like Hitchcock's Rear Window for the fifth or sixth time in over a few decades - away from it just being a darn good movie - is focusing on things other than the main plot. This time, for me, it was Grace Kelly, someone eminently easy to focus on.
Surprisingly not stuck in my memory from prior viewings is that Kelly is pursuing a proposal from James Stewart, real hard, and he's resisting, real hard. He's on the far side of middle aged and she's Grace freakin' Kelly in her ethereal prime. Plus he's a just-getting-by photojournalist and she's a model and Park Avenue regular.
Yet, these two acting pros have you believing that she's willing to humble herself time and again before him and he genuinely doesn't want to get married to her, despite, shall I say it again, she's Grace freakin' Kelly. He doesn't believe she could adjust to his hardscrabble, adventure-driven lifestyle.
As difficult as it is to imagine ever feeling bad for Grace Kelly (or Tom Brady), you do feel bad for this prepossessingly gorgeous, but still rejected woman who tries everything including even bringing, unannounced, an overnight bag to win Stewart over.
To be clear, that's Grace Kelly saying she's here to have sex with you. Yet, while the rest of the male population would spontaneously combust at this point, he just sees her as a pretty thing that won't fit into his peripatetic and dangerous photojournalist life. It's not lighthearted, as you can feel her hurt.
Most of this happens before the main story really gets going. So, while you initially feel bad for Kelly, by the time you're considering that Stewart's neighbor may have killed his wife and might now be cutting up her body in the bathtub so that he can carry it out in several trips in a suitcase, Kelly's woes seem less important.
However, none of the Kelly-Stewart relationship stuff even stayed with me from the prior times that I've seen this one, as the main story is that gripping: Stewart, recovering from a broken leg, innocently watching his neighbors out the window, starts to suspect something is very wrong.
The voyeurism by proxy is delicious and when we, like Stewart, begin to distrust the neighbor, your mind is completely occupied sifting through clues everywhere. Even Kelly, unconvinced of Stewart's suspicions at first, has a wonderfully acted epiphany moment where you see her facial expression go from dismissal to dread in an instant.
Aided by his nurse and super-talented actress Thelma Ritter, Stewart and Kelly are in full amateur-detective mode, especially when Stewart's police inspector friend, Wendell Corey, all but ignores Stewart's importuning him to investigate. Neatly tying the two plot threads together, the climactic scene has immobile Stewart watching his presumed-precious girlfriend scale fire escapes and heroically confront a murderer to prevent his attempted getaway.
It is a heck of an effort even for Hitchcock as it all takes place on one set - a busy multi-apartment-building courtyard during a hot summer where everyone's shades are up, windows are open and lives are on display. Ranking Hitchcock films is hard, but Rear Window, with Grace Kelly believably suffering unrequited love and a man in a wheelchair solving a murder mystery from his living room window, is pretty impressive stuff even for the master director.
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Slightly Dangerous from 1943 with Lana Turner
Sometimes movies are less silly on screen than they sound...not this one. You've probably figured it out already, but the plot is nothing more than a reason to give Lana Turner, rocking her famous "sweater girl" figure, a vehicle to advance her career. To that end, it was probably successful as it is mildly entertaining because of its deep pool of MGM acting talent and Turner's look-at-me body. If nothing else, Slightly Dangerous justified MGM's belief in its star system.