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The French Connection and Citizen Kane DVDs


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#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Tom Ryan

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Posted September 15 2001 - 02:41 PM

Ok folks, help me out. I'm really feeling the "buy-before-you-see" urge. I haven't seen either one of these, and they are supposedly classics. I almost never buy a film without seeing it (I think I've done that with Close Encounters and This Is Spinal Tap, and The Wall). As I progress as a film enthusiast, I start to feel more and more of a hunger to see classic films just because they set standards before most of the films I grew up with. However, that doesn't mean I'll like every classic film. Take a look at my collection and tell me if you think I'd like these films:
http://www.dvdprofil....p?alias=JeTmAn

Anyways, I just figured I'd ask you folks since I'm not real high on cash at the moment, but the fact that these are both highly revered films and excellent two-disc sets makes me wonder if I ought to get them.

-Tom

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[Edited last by Tom Ryan on September 15, 2001 at 09:43 PM]

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   James D

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Posted September 15 2001 - 03:48 PM

I own just about every movie on your list. These are both truly great movies and I have them on preorder. I personally prefer 'Kane' to the 'French Connection' and if I was strapped for cash I would go with 'Kane'. However, 'Citizen Kane' is available at Columbia House and will probably be available as an enrollment selection in a couple of months. The 'French Connection' is a Fox title and will not be available at Columbia House, so you might want to get the 'French Connection' first. I think that you will enjoy both titles whichever way you go. One of the great things about DVD is discovering the true classics of cinema for the first time.

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Tom Ryan

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Posted September 15 2001 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the advice, James. I don't use Columbia House, so I can disregard that part of it. Just out of curiosity, is there any nudity in The French Connection? I've been reading it's pretty hardcore, and as I find most film nudity (e.g. Schindler's List's overly graphic and rather out-of-place sex scenes) to be quite pointless, so that would be off-putting to me.

-Tom

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#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Mr. Brian

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Posted September 15 2001 - 04:31 PM

I think you should really buy Citizen Kane. You have some good movies in your collection, but they are mostly of the last 10 to 20 years. Nobody can be a serious film collector, or viewer, for that matter, and not have seen Kane. This will really add depth to your collection, and will hopefully point you toward a greater appreciation of the classics.

Brian

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#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Mitty

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Posted September 15 2001 - 04:38 PM

Quote:
...is there any nudity in The French Connection? I've been reading it's pretty hardcore...

I think you must be confusing it with Last Tango in Paris. If there is ANY nudity in it, I can't recall it. There is certainly nothing hardcore about it; it's a police thriller.

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Dave Barth

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Posted September 15 2001 - 06:07 PM

Acquire Kane. A great film.

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#7 of 37 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 15 2001 - 06:24 PM

The French Connection is a good film. Citizen Kane is a timeless work of art.

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Tom Ryan

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Posted September 15 2001 - 07:53 PM

Quote:
I think you must be confusing it with Last Tango in Paris. If there is ANY nudity in it, I can't recall it. There is certainly nothing hardcore about it; it's a police thriller.

I didn't mean like hardcore pornography or anything. I just read that it was very gritty and realistic for its time.

-Tom

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There is nothing wrong with any of the surrounds on your Forrest Gump DVD! It's ok!!!

#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted September 16 2001 - 12:31 AM

Be a good citizen and grab Kane. The French Connection, my opinion, is dated and overrated.

Jon

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#10 of 37 OFFLINE   Joe_Mur

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Posted September 16 2001 - 03:46 AM

Pick up The French Connection. Don't buy into all of this Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time. I watched it in film class and think it is one of the most boring films of I have ever seen.

The best film of all time is The Godfather.

Just because critics tell you something is incredible doesn't make it true.

Rent both films first before buying. Do not listen to my opinion of the films or the opinions of anyone else. Make up your own mind.

That is my advice.
Joe

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Sandra

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Posted September 16 2001 - 04:08 AM

I've seen both fairly recently (like you I had a lack of classic in my portfolio).
Citizen Kane is visually and stylistically still very modern and innovative..but the story isn't that interesting (despite this, I'm getting the DVD, if only for the War of the Worlds feature)
I was dissapointed by French Connection. At the opposite of Citizen Kane, it's very dated in style and pace. Would be trimmed by half an hour if shot now. and stay way clear of French Connection 2, that's awful.

#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Skoobooz

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Posted September 16 2001 - 04:34 AM

I don't know, I'm still hung up on this complaint about Schindler's List. The nudity in Schindler's List is not unnecessary, nor is it "pornographic." There are no "hardcore" sex scenes in the movie. In fact, there are no actual sex scenes in the movie. In one scene, Ralph Fiennes has a naked woman in his bed, whom we presume he had sex with. I believe Oskar Schindler also had a naked woman in bed at some point. There were no scenes of actual sex in Schindler's List. As for the nudity of the concentration camp inmates, how dare you state that it is unnecessary. Although the scenes could be cut from the film, and not damage the narrative (obviously), they are still poignant and daring scenes that emphasize the horror of the concentration camps, and the removal of privacy from these people's lives. Now, if you are simply complaining that it is too "gritty and realistic," then you are sheltered and unwilling to accept the fact that life is "gritty and realistic." Not every movie can be, or should be, Jaws (ie: escapist fiction). I live in New York, and I have seen how "gritty and realistic" life can be. It's not a pretty world, and some movies are going to show that in a realistic light, like Schindler's List or The French Connection. So it would be irresponsible of you, as an alleged lover of films, to simply disregard a movie for its gritty content, or because there is nudity. I'm sorry for this rant, but it touched a nerve. Feel free to delete this, if necessary.

Oh, and Citizen Kane is the better film.

#13 of 37 OFFLINE   Jon Robertson

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Posted September 16 2001 - 04:42 AM

Sandra - I think The War of the Worlds is only touched briefly in The Battle of Citizen Kane. That's the impression the DVDFile.com review gives.

I'm slightly disappointed the whole thing along with production notes/newspaper clippings, etc, isn't included, but the rest of the set is so fantastic, I don't think anyone's got the right to complain!

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted September 16 2001 - 05:20 AM

Quote:
I just read that it was very gritty and realistic for its time.

Why would you assume this means nudity? This movie is about drug trafficing, not the pornography industry. So I assume the above statement would be about the depiction of drug dealing.

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#15 of 37 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 16 2001 - 05:40 AM

With the greatest of respect, Joe, the liking for Citizen Kane isn't a case of 'the critics say so and we all follow like sheep'. First, CK has been in the critics' 'top ten' lists for the past 50 years; most other movies have come and gone. So if liking it is a passing phase, it's a very long one. And not just US critics, but also European critics rate it in the same way. At the very least you should have learnt in your film class that the movie is a landmark in cinematographic technique and is worthy of respect even if you don't like the story. Most people don't agree that the story is 'boring' either. Even if you know nothing about Randolph Hearst (upon whose life the story is transparently based) it is still a gripping study and indictment of the soulless world of a man who gains everything and learns nothing. I recall seeing the movie for the first time when I was about 15 or 16. I'd started to peel an orange at the beginning of the movie. By the end, the orange was still in my hand, untouched - it was *that* absorbing a movie.

Okay, not everyone is going to like it as much (there still has to be an audience for Stallone and Willis type movies, after all). However, it is still required viewing for anyone with a claim to like movies.

This doesn't stop The French Connection being a good movie as well. I personally think it has dated, but it is still far from bad, and certainly well worth seeing.

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   Deepak Shenoy

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Posted September 16 2001 - 05:41 AM

Tom,
Based on your DVD collection, I would say rent both movies first before buying them. You may not enjoy Citizen Kane if you are not into old classic films of the 40's and 50's. While the cinematic and narrative techniques used in Citizen Kane were ground-breaking for its time, they may not seem so innovative 60 years later. The backstory explored in the accompanying documentary is very interesting, but may not hold up to repeat viewings.

French Connection definitely seems overrated and dated now, after we have seen numerous movies and TV shows that borrowed from its raw, gritty, documentary-style approach to cop dramas. But it was fresh and original in its time and fully deserved the accolades it received (although it did not date well like some of the other classics from the 70's such as Godfather, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, etc).

I will be buying both (any AFI Top 100 film released as a 2-disc special edition is a must-buy for me).

#17 of 37 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted September 16 2001 - 05:41 AM

Joe, how old are you? If you are thirty or younger I can perfectly understand why you might find CITIZEN KANE boring. It is to the great detriment of the last two generations that filmmaking has become an exercise in fast pacing, quick cutting, and special effects. Character-driven films are almost exclusively the province of foreign-language and independent films now. I truly feel bad for those who are unable to digest and appreciate a classic such as KANE, where the dialog is so rich, the technique so extraordinary and the characters so detailed, because they have been weaned on empty tv crapola and Michael Bay movies.
Thank God those of us who remember when movies actually meant something and produced an emotional response can still find our favorites on video.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Tom Ryan

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Posted September 16 2001 - 05:49 AM

quote:

I don't know, I'm still hung up on this complaint about Schindler's List. The nudity in Schindler's List is not unnecessary, nor is it "pornographic." There are no "hardcore" sex scenes in the movie. In fact, there are no actual sex scenes in the movie. In one scene, Ralph Fiennes has a naked woman in his bed, whom we presume he had sex with. I believe Oskar Schindler also had a naked woman in bed at some point. There were no scenes of actual sex in Schindler's List. As for the nudity of the concentration camp inmates, how dare you state that it is unnecessary. Although the scenes could be cut from the film, and not damage the narrative (obviously), they are still poignant and daring scenes that emphasize the horror of the concentration camps, and the removal of privacy from these people's lives. Now, if you are simply complaining that it is too "gritty and realistic," then you are sheltered and unwilling to accept the fact that life is "gritty and realistic." Not every movie can be, or should be, Jaws (ie: escapist fiction). I live in New York, and I have seen how "gritty and realistic" life can be. It's not a pretty world, and some movies are going to show that in a realistic light, like Schindler's List or The French Connection. So it would be irresponsible of you, as an alleged lover of films, to simply disregard a movie for its gritty content, or because there is nudity. I'm sorry for this rant, but it touched a nerve. Feel free to delete this, if necessary.
[/quote]

Please don't read into what I posted, I never said ALL nudity was pointless in Schindler's List. The two scenes of gratuitous nudity in the film are indeed the scenes with Goeth and his lady friend (not sexual, but just jumped out at me as odd that she wore only underwear....why not go the whole hog, Steven Posted Image?) and Schindler and his. The Schindler scene is indeed a sex scene, where he and is girlfriend are in the midst of copulating and are interrupted. Both of these scenes fairly jumped out from the movie as seeming out-of-place, whilst the scenes of nudity with the Jews in the gas chambers did not.

Spielberg generally uses taste when portraying nudity, if at all (the scene in Amistad where the naked slaves are pushed overboard, the prisoner nudity in Schindler's List), but these particular examples have always nagged at me as seeming unnecessary.

-Tom

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There is nothing wrong with any of the surrounds on your Forrest Gump DVD! It's ok!!!

[Edited last by Tom Ryan on September 16, 2001 at 12:50 PM]

#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 16 2001 - 06:01 AM

Put me down as one who finds Kane to be the better film, and French as being a bit dated, though good.

Neither are guarantees though because either could seem dated to some people and have been called such.

Since Kane is basically Hearst's story it is interesting in that regard, although when I first saw it I didn't realize how "real" it was. I was amazed by Kane's amazing/bizarre life and thought the story was creative. Then I found out it wasn't really that different than Hearst's life (especially toward the end) and I was less impressed by the creative story, but more amazed that a person could really have lived like that.


French Connection is good, but I find Marathon Man to be the better story. Both have similar feels to them. It is a gritty (their world is more like NYC than a H'wood version normally is) film, but you have seen it's style/story ripped off a million times since then.

I will be picking up both DVDs as automatic buys.

#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted September 16 2001 - 01:22 PM

Citizen Kane is one of the, if not the, greatest film of all time. The French Connection is merely an overrated action movie. Much like the talentless Friedkin's The Exorcist, I've always wondered what all the praise was about. Of course one man's trash is another man's treasure.

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