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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Bushman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,077
Location
Joliet
A Man Called Otto. My mother read the book, and effectively dragged me to the theater to see this one. Hanks plays Otto as if I've known him my whole life. Otto might as well be my own father.
 
Messages
11,069
Location
Germany
A Man Called Otto. My mother read the book, and effectively dragged me to the theater to see this one. Hanks plays Otto as if I've known him my whole life. Otto might as well be my own father.

Never saw the swedish film from 2015.
But the script could be simply: "Just play the old German." Why they don't remake All in the family with Tom Hanks?
 
Messages
16,045
Location
New York City
maxresdefault.jpg

The Dam Busters from 1955 with Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd


The Dam Busters is a heck of a good WWII tale well suited for the post-war British movie industry, which excelled in straightforward storytelling in crisp black and white cinematography with modest special effects.

The idea to use a "bouncing bomb" to "skip" over the water and blow up a dam was conceived in the mind of the English scientist Barnes Wallis, portrayed here by Michael Redgrave.

He believes this bomb could be used to destroy several dams in Germany's industrial region, with the ensuing flooding meaningfully reducing German war output. The only problem is he hasn't yet invented the bomb, tested it or convinced the British military to back it.

The Dam Busters starts with Wallis experimenting with marbles skipping across the top of a small water tank and, then, takes you through the scientific developments necessary to make and deliver the bomb. Along the way, we see Wallis conduct a personal campaign to bring the military brass onboard.

It has all the elements of an outstanding war-time story: a socially awkward genius scientist, a potentially devastating new weapon, high-level military decision making, the ups and downs of any weapon development, the heroic (that's the right word) squadron of young men who train to deliver the new weapon and the nail-biting mission that attempts to deploy it.

Director Michael Anderson, like many English directors of that era, didn't weigh his story down with subplots about girlfriends or a navigator avenging his father's death at the hands of the Kaiser's troops in WWI and he didn't use flashback sequences or other artistic techniques for dramatic effect, he just started with the bomb being conceived and ended with its attempted use.

Along the way, you come to love Redgrave's portrayal of Barnes Wallis as you appreciate Wallis' brilliance, but also his drive to help the war effort and the bomber crews, despite his quirky social skills. You'll be moved by the deep concern Redgrave’s Wallis displays at knowing how many human lives have been put at risk because of his idea.

You also come to respect the bomber crews headed by Richard Todd portraying real life British war hero, wing commander Guy Gibson. He and his crew were genuine examples of "the few" from Churchill's famous quote: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Thankfully, director Anderson had the confidence to build his story thoughtfully and not just flit from scene to scene like today where the director is afraid if every second of screen time isn't filled with action or scintillating dialogue (or naked bodies), he'll lose his audience.

By building its story, the movie "earns" its climatic attack-on-the-dams scene as the audience appreciates the science, intelligence, determination, training, sacrifice and courage that led up to that moment. You hardly notice the modest special effects at that point because you're that vested in the men and their mission.

Had The Dam Busters been made in Hollywood, it most likely would have been a darn good movie, too, but it would have had a pretty young love interest worried her handsome pilot fiance wouldn't make it back, several subplots that "smartly" tied into the main narrative and impressive special effects.

Kudos to British cinema for knowing a good story is often told best when told simply. The Dam Busters benefited from its limited budget, confident filmmaker and talented actors as even today, nearly seven-decades later, it's still a heck of an entertaining movie.

_82801574_iwm.jpg
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
View attachment 483618
The Dam Busters from 1955 with Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd


The Dam Busters is a heck of a good WWII tale well suited for the post-war British movie industry, which excelled in straightforward storytelling in crisp black and white cinematography with modest special effects.

The idea to use a "bouncing bomb" to "skip" over the water and blow up a dam was conceived in the mind of the English scientist Barnes Wallis, portrayed here by Michael Redgrave.

He believes this bomb could be used to destroy several dams in Germany's industrial region, with the ensuing flooding meaningfully reducing German war output. The only problem is he hasn't yet invented the bomb, tested it or convinced the British military to back it.

The Dam Busters starts with Wallis experimenting with marbles skipping across the top of a small water tank and, then, takes you through the scientific developments necessary to make and deliver the bomb. Along the way, we see Wallis conduct a personal campaign to bring the military brass onboard.

It has all the elements of an outstanding war-time story: a socially awkward genius scientist, a potentially devastating new weapon, high-level military decision making, the ups and downs of any weapon development, the heroic (that's the right word) squadron of young men who train to deliver the new weapon and the nail-biting mission that attempts to deploy it.

Director Michael Anderson, like many English directors of that era, didn't weigh his story down with subplots about girlfriends or a navigator avenging his father's death at the hands of the Kaiser's troops in WWI and he didn't use flashback sequences or other artistic techniques for dramatic effect, he just started with the bomb being conceived and ended with its attempted use.

Along the way, you come to love Redgrave's portrayal of Barnes Wallis as you appreciate Wallis' brilliance, but also his drive to help the war effort and the bomber crews, despite his quirky social skills. You'll be moved by the deep concern Redgrave’s Wallis displays at knowing how many human lives have been put at risk because of his idea.

You also come to respect the bomber crews headed by Richard Todd portraying real life British war hero, wing commander Guy Gibson. He and his crew were genuine examples of "the few" from Churchill's famous quote: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Thankfully, director Anderson had the confidence to build his story thoughtfully and not just flit from scene to scene like today where the director is afraid if every second of screen time isn't filled with action or scintillating dialogue (or naked bodies), he'll lose his audience.

By building its story, the movie "earns" its climatic attack-on-the-dams scene as the audience appreciates the science, intelligence, determination, training, sacrifice and courage that led up to that moment. You hardly notice the modest special effects at that point because you're that vested in the men and their mission.

Had The Dam Busters been made in Hollywood, it most likely would have been a darn good movie, too, but it would have had a pretty young love interest worried her handsome pilot fiance wouldn't make it back, several subplots that "smartly" tied into the main narrative and impressive special effects.

Kudos to British cinema for knowing a good story is often told best when told simply. The Dam Busters benefited from its limited budget, confident filmmaker and talented actors as even today, nearly seven-decades later, it's still a heck of an entertaining movie.

View attachment 483619

It's a good one. It's the sort of pacing, too, that I don't think we're likely to see in mainstream cinema these days. I suspect a film on this now would need to be all action, at least most of the time, probably telling the story in flashback mid-raid. (Though flashback through a crew flying out to do that mission, with the same closer could be an interesting narrative device - I'm thinking of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner here.)

Peter Jackson was, about fifteen years ago, widely touted as going to do a version of Dam Busters, but clearly that never happened. A lot of those British war film from that first twenty odd years after WW2 would be very, very differently put together now. Some for the better in terms of historical accuracy, of course, if not always as satisfyingly mythical in pure entertainment terms.

Watched Eat Locals https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4401006/ the other night. Basically a stakeout / siege piece, but with vampires. A lot of fun. Very 'British', and with a great cast who would be very recognisable to an audience familiar with UK comedy, and the Doctor Who franchise. Nice balance between the narrative, character, dramatic tension and action.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
The Krays: Code of Silence - on Prime. I've always found the Krays interesting - as much for the way their mythology has been built as anything, and how they are viewed as folk heroes and folk demons all at once, depending on whom you ask. I've watched most of the films and find it interesting how the filmmakers play up to these different images. This is the most recent such picture, but what makes it really interesting is that it's not directly about the Krays themselves. They do appear - as bit parts (and probably, of all the versions, these feel the closest to the real thing, both in looks and the way they behave in context). The real core of this story, however, is Nipper Reed and his operation that brought them down. Really interesting to see it from this angle, a refreshing change. Good film, worth watching if you are interested in this sort of thing. Superb representations of London in the period too. A compelling, police procedural rather than the usual 'gangster action flick'.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
Messages
281
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
The Krays: Code of Silence - on Prime. I've always found the Krays interesting - as much for the way their mythology has been built as anything, and how they are viewed as folk heroes and folk demons all at once, depending on whom you ask. I've watched most of the films and find it interesting how the filmmakers play up to these different images. This is the most recent such picture, but what makes it really interesting is that it's not directly about the Krays themselves. They do appear - as bit parts (and probably, of all the versions, these feel the closest to the real thing, both in looks and the way they behave in context). The real core of this story, however, is Nipper Reed and his operation that brought them down. Really interesting to see it from this angle, a refreshing change. Good film, worth watching if you are interested in this sort of thing. Superb representations of London in the period too. A compelling, police procedural rather than the usual 'gangster action flick'.

Sort of a Morse meets Krays? 'Omerta' Anglo-Saxonized with the sleuth period scene looks interesting.
 
Messages
16,045
Location
New York City
E_Jnqn5XsAUzZOl.jpg

The Winslow Boy from 1948 with Robert Donat, Margaret Leighton, Cedric Hardwicke, Neil North and Jack Watling


"Let right be done."


The Winslow Boy, based on a true story, is an outstanding movie. It beautifully weaves together a narrative of a fight for justice and individual rights with an equally compelling tale of how that fight buffeted the personal and professional lives of several members of one family.

The fourteen-year-old young son, played by Neil North, of a middle-class English family is expelled from the British Naval Academy for allegedly stealing a small sum. His father, played by Cedric Hardwicke, accepts the boy's assertion of his innocence and begins a fight, which will turn into a two-year crusade, to prove the boy's innocence.

At a high level, the father argues the boy didn't have a chance to fairly represent himself at the Academy's hearing. Under English law, going back to Magna Carta, the father has to bring a "petition of right" guided by the principle of "let right be done" to parliament to force a new and full trial over the event. (My apologies to English Law for that bastardization.)

That requires the massive expense of hiring a top barrister, played by Robert Donat, and having the mental and physical strength to endure the hardship of, effectively, taking on the might of the Crown in an uphill battle all the way.

Based on a Terence Rattigan play - you almost can't go wrong using a work of Rattigan's to make a movie - director Anthony Asquith smartly keeps the story personal as, otherwise, his movie would have turned into an arcane legal battle better suited for a documentary.

Hardwicke's middle class family is forced to make many sacrifices for its legal fight as, for financial reasons, we see the older son must quit Oxford and get a job, which actor Jack Watling, playing the flighty son, handles with wonderful English aplomb.

The marrying-age daughter, played by Margaret Leighton, watches her engagement slowly come apart as her prospective father-in-law won't abide the trial's notoriety. Meanwhile, the family's mother, a woman not built for much suffering, must endure a reduced financial and social position for the family.

It is Leighton, though, a self described non-radical suffragette, along with Hardwicke who press the fight: he to prove the boy's innocence and she, and she wonderfully admits this, not for her brother, but for her belief in the legal right at the core of the fight.

Along the way, we see a cold Donat and Leighton lock horns - he's no suffragette - the father's health deteriorate greatly and the family tear a bit at the seams.

We also see, though, English justice bend but not break as some in the government take up the boy's case in a fight that seems to be handled fairly as the powers that be know they have to let it be fair to maintain the support of the public.

While the law in The Winslow Boy, especially for an American, gets a bit murky at times in the details, you still get it: an individual, one "unimportant" young boy, is demanding that the powerful state, "the Crown," honor his right to a fair trial against that same state, that same "Crown."

It's a nice reminder to us Americans that our Founding Fathers didn't invent individual rights de novo.

It's also a lesson for us today where some want certain offenses, offenses which they find particularly unacceptable, to be adjudicated outside of the norms of American justice with defendants having their rights - the right to face their accusers, the right to counsel, the right to prepare a defense, the right to the presumption of innocence and the right of full transparency - attenuated.

History always judges adherence to principle as trumping a period's expediencies of will and dictates of passion.

The acting in The Winslow Boy is universally good, but it is Hardwicke, Donat and, most impressively, Leighton who keep all this talk of rights, petition and Magna Carta from becoming tedious.

Leighton creates a character we should all aspire to be on our best days: A person of principle, but not obdurate radicalism; a person willing to fight for her beliefs, but with a respect for the hurt that can do to others in her life and a person willing to change her mind when presented with compelling counter arguments.

The Winslow Boy is the type of movie we are referring to when we say they don't make movies like that any more. It has no violence, no special effects and no gratuitous sex; instead, it simply tells a gripping story about a basic human right, wrapped inside a compelling family drama involving good, but flawed people. Movies don't get much better than that.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,043
Location
Troy, New York, USA
A look at Craig's Glass Onion trailer. A bit too soon off Bond for the cockney sleuth with a Bondish scenario. Pass.
Any takers ? Please give shout.
I found it enjoyable. Plenty of twists and villains to loathe. Craig's "Southern" accent sounds more like "Foghorn Leghorn" than any white southerner I've ever met... Still in all I found it a fun watch. You could pay more and do worse.

Worf
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
Messages
281
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
I found it enjoyable. Plenty of twists and villains to loathe. Craig's "Southern" accent sounds more like "Foghorn Leghorn" than any white southerner I've ever met... Still in all I found it a fun watch. You could pay more and do worse.

Worf

Thanks Worf. I'll do some looking around Netflix and save Onion for now. The Pale Blue Eye is a good romp and whetted appetite for more sleuthing since I sleepily missed it all. Damn good mystery.
 

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