Directors MORE DIRECTORS CHECKLIST SERIES - Volume #242 - THE FILMS OF JOHN CASSAVETES

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brook K, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Rank 'em, Rate 'em, Review 'em, whatever

    Volume #242 - John Cassavetes

    Big Trouble (1986)
    Love Streams (1984)
    Gloria (1980)
    Opening Night (1977)
    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
    Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
    Husbands (1970)
    Faces (1968)
    "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" (1963) TV Series (episode "In Pursuit of Excellence")
    ... aka Universal Star Time (syndication title)
    A Child Is Waiting (1963)
    "The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1962) TV Series
    My Daddy Can Lick Your Daddy (1962)
    A Pair of Boots (1962)
    Too Late Blues (1961)
    Shadows (1959)
    "Johnny Staccato" (1959) TV Series (episode "Evil") (episode "Night of Jeopardy") (episode "A Piece of Paradise") (episode "Solomon")
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    One of America's finest artists and filmmakers, and a true independant, John Cassavetes made his films with family and friends, often spent his own money on them, edited in his home, and above all, poured himself into every frame of film. He developed his scripts based on improvisational rehearsals with the actors and filmed in a cinema verite style often compared to the French New Wave, but which was truly his own.

    To quote Peter Falk, "Every Cassavetes film is always about the same thing. Somebody said 'Man is God in ruins,' and John saw the ruins with a clarity that you and I could not tolerate."

    1. A Woman Under The Influence - A (all-time top 20, one of the most emotionally absorbing, moving, and draining films I've ever seen. Gena Rowlands turns in one of the all-time great filmic performances.)
    2. Minnie & Moskowitz - A (a goofy, hilarious, and warm-hearted love story that captures the fear and uncertainty behind human behavior.)
    3. Opening Night - A
    4. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie - A- (A powerful performance by Ben Gazzara and spare camerawork highlight this film about a nightclub owner falling into the criminal underworld. I haven't watched my Criterion DVD so I can't evaluate the alternate cut)
    5. Gloria - A- (Gena Rowlands is once again superb as a mob mole who gets saddled with caring for a child who's father was an FBI informant, making them both targets.)
    6. Faces - B- (A film I had a number of problems with but am anxious to revisit, since this was the first of his films I saw.)
    7. Shadows - C+ (Clearly a first film and still experimenting with his style, I found this overly self-conscious. Also suffers because his actors are a major step down from Rowlands, Gazzara, Falk, and Seymour Cassel. Does have some interesting photography of NYC locations and excellent jazz scoring by Charles Mingus)

    Own: 6 (I own the Criterion box but haven't opened it. I watched the films on the old, terrible Pioneer DVD's.)

    Would love to be able to see Love Streams and Husbands.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Although I don't like any John Cassavetes films (I do like some he's acted in), I have great admiration for him. His films are always exceedingly well acted and well done, they just tell stories I have no interest in.

    Seen: 4
    Like: 0
    Own: 0

    Rank order:

    A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
    Gloria (1980)
    Faces (1968)
    Opening Night (1977)
     
  4. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Ratings out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    JOHN CASSAVETES (1929 - 1989)


    Big Trouble (1986) [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Love Streams (1984) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Gloria (1980) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Opening Night (1977)
    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Husbands (1970) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Faces (1968) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A Child Is Waiting (1963) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Too Late Blues (1961) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Shadows (1959) [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Another weakness on my part, having only seen Love Streams. :b
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I've never seen Big Trouble, but The In-Laws is a hilarious slap-stick comedy, and it's hard to see how you could mix that up with a John Cassavetes film. [​IMG]
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    From what I've read Big Trouble was meant to be a sequel to the In-Laws, it just didn't quite turn out that way. It was scripted by Andrew Bergman who also wrote The In-Laws and had the same stars. There are also differing stories as to whether Cassavetes really directed it and how much he directed of it. It seems there was another director who was fired off the movie and then Cassavetes assumed it but I've seen several different accounts of how far along the movie was. In any event it was a problem-filled shoot and by this time Cassavetes was seriously ill. He died from Cirrhosis of the liver a year or two later.
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Wow. I didn't know that. I would have loved to have seen a well-made Cassavetes sequel to the In-Laws, but I guess Big Trouble isn't it. [​IMG]
     
  9. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    Rated from [​IMG] to [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Titles in RED
    are theatrical screenings

    John Cassavetes
    Dec 9, 1929 - Feb 3, 1989
    Big Trouble (1986) [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Love Streams (1984) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    Gloria (1980) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    Opening Night (1977) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own both DVDs)
    Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    Husbands (1970) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    Faces (1968) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    A Child Is Waiting (1963) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    My Daddy Can Lick Your Daddy (1962)
    A Pair of Boots (1962)
    Too Late Blues (1961) [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Shadows (1959) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (Own the DVD)


    Seen 12
    Own 9
     
  10. Mario Gauci

    Mario Gauci Cinematographer

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    In order of merit:


    1.The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) ***
    2.Faces (1968) ***
    3.Shadows (1959) ***
    4.A Child Is Waiting (1963) ***
    5.A Woman Under the Influence (1974) **1/2
    6.Gloria (1980) **1/2


    These ratings are pretty shaky: not only have I watched all of these once so far, but it's been some time ago, too[​IMG]! I know, however, that I was impressed by BOOKIE and SHADOWS (at the very least) and let down by WOMAN and GLORIA.

    I will eventually revisit them on DVD...if only I can make up my mind which of the 2 stacked-to-the-gills-with-extras DVD Box Sets I should go for...[​IMG]!!
     
  11. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    Absolutely agree with this.

    Love Streams (1984) - 9/10
    Gloria (1980) - 6/10
    Opening Night (1977) - 4/10
    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) - 7/10
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974) - 10/10
    Husbands (1970) - 8/10
    Faces (1968) - 9/10
    Shadows (1959) - 6/10


    I saw half of Minnie & Moskowitz, but I couldn't get into it. I suppose I'll give it another shot some day.
     
  12. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    Seen: 6
    Own: 5

    Gloria (1980) 2/4
    Opening Night (1977) 4/4
    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) 4/4
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974) 4/4
    Faces (1968) 3.5/4
    Shadows (1959) 3/4


    My favorite is Opening Night, but they are all such amazing films! The Criterion boxed set is the most money I've ever thrown down for DVDs in one place, and I don't regret a cent of the $70+. These are just head-and-shoulders above all the other independent films made in America. Just stunning, moving, wonderful stuff.
     
  13. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    Gloria (1980)

    Seen only one movie by this director. Can't rate it because I hardly remember it but I do remember enjoying this movie.
     
  14. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    added Husbands (1970) - 8/10
     
  15. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    added Love Streams (1984) - 9/10
     
  16. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Update:

    A Child Is Waiting (1963)
     
  17. Guest

     
  18. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

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    It's "kevyip", and not many people outside of criterionforum.org know what it means.
     
  19. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Update:


    Husbands (1970)
     

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