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RIP - J. Lee Thompson


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#1 of 13 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted September 03 2002 - 02:53 PM

J. Lee Thompson, the prolific British director who found major success in America behind the camera of such classics as The Guns of Navarone (1961) and the original Cape Fear (1962), died Friday of congestive heart failure. He was 88.

http://story.news.ya....s_eo/10474&e=3

Can't say that I have seen any of his movies except The Guns of Navarone and Cape Fear, but the original Cape Fear is one of my all-time favorite movies.

#2 of 13 Scott Weinberg

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Posted September 03 2002 - 05:43 PM

Murder Without Crime
The Yellow Balloon
The Weak and the Wicked
For Better, for Worse
As Long as They're Happy
An Alligator Named Daisy
Yield to the Night
The Good Companions
Woman in a Dressing Gown
No Trees in the Street
Ice-Cold in Alex
Wernher von Braun
Tiger Bay
North West Frontier
The Guns of Navarone
Cape Fear
Taras Bulba
Kings of the Sun
What a Way to Go!
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home
Return from the Ashes
Eye of the Devil
Mackenna's Gold
The Chairman
Before Winter Comes
Country Dance
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
A Great American Tragedy
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Huckleberry Finn
The Blue Knight
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
Widow
St. Ives
The White Buffalo
The Greek Tycoon
The Passage
Caboblanco
Happy Birthday to Me
Code Red
10 to Midnight
The Evil that Men Do
The Ambassador
King Solomon's Mines
Murphy's Law
Firewalker
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown
Messenger of Death
Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects


Rather an eclectic career. I could have done without the myriad Charles Bronson turkeys, and the retarded double feature of Firewalker and King Solomon's Mines, but there's no denying that Thompson was a helluva director when he was on his game.

Sad news; my heart goes out to his friends and family.

#3 of 13 Vickie_M

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Posted September 03 2002 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the list Scott. I haven't seen most of his films, but Cape Fear was one of my favorite films when I was a kid (yeah, I was warped). I've never seen the remake, and never really had the desire to see it because I loved the original so much. I also have a soft spot for Mackenna's Gold that involves a boring party, an upstairs room with a weirded-out color TV (reds and oranges bordering on cartoonish, the picture squeezed down to a faux widescreen) playing the movie, and certain psychedelic drugs. I get a flashback buzz every time I watch the movie.

He lived a good long life, was a working director, made a couple/few classics (which is more than most directors can say), was married to the same woman for 40 years, and died at home (with the awe-inspiring scenery of British Columbia) with his family by his side. How cool is that?

Good for you, Mr. Thompson!
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#4 of 13 oscar_merkx

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Posted September 03 2002 - 11:08 PM

RIP

I saw Mackenna's Gold on sunday and thought it was okay.

Guns of Navarone is still one of my old time favorite movies, never got around to buy this on DVD, so now is as good a time as any


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#5 of 13 Steve Christou

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Posted September 04 2002 - 12:41 AM

Sad news. Looking at Scotts post above shows what a diverse bunch of films J.Lee directed over the years, anything from Ice Cold in Alex to Death Wish 4, he even made two of the Apes movies.

The Guns of Navarone remains his greatest film IMO, hugely successful back in its day, still enjoyable today.

Cape Fear is a cult classic, although I prefer Scorsese's overblown remake.

I too have a soft spot for the mad as a hatter 'Mackennas Gold' a western epic which throws everything but the kitchen sink into the mix, sounds great in stereo too.Posted Image

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#6 of 13 Jodee

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Posted September 04 2002 - 06:52 AM

This is sad. One of my all-time favorite movies is What a Way to Go!

This is a great black comedy with a star-studded cast (Shirley Maclaine, Paul Newman, Gene Kelly, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, etc.) and has sadly never even been released on VHS. I really wish that Fox would put this on DVD.

During segment about J. Lee Thompson in the Planet of the Apes documentary ("Behind the Plabet of the Apes"), they show a film clip of What a Way to Go! which is widescreen and looks fantastic.

This film needs to be available. It is shown on TV often (but rarely never in OAR) and I bet there's lots of people like me who have discovered it this way.

#7 of 13 Robert Crawford

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Posted September 04 2002 - 07:04 AM

Rather an eclectic career. I could have done without the myriad Charles Bronson turkeys
Now, hold on there Scott! Some of those Bronson films that you considered turkeys are some of my guilty pleasures. I like both, The White Buffalo and St. Ives.Posted Image I bet you some of your guilty pleasures can be classified as turkeys too by other people, namely me.Posted Image Also, Taras Bulba with Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis is another favorite.





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#8 of 13 Thi Them

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Posted September 04 2002 - 07:58 AM

Sadly, the only movie I've seen is King Solomon's Mines. I've been meaning to see Cape Fear and Guns of Navarone for quite some time though.

~T

#9 of 13 Scott Weinberg

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Posted September 04 2002 - 08:49 AM

Crawfish,

I haven't seen the two you speak of, though I'm quite curious about The White Buffalo.

I was referring to all those 'later' collaborations between Thompson and Bronson:

10 to Midnight
The Evil that Men Do
Murphy's Law
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown
Messenger of Death
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#10 of 13 Robert Crawford

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Posted September 04 2002 - 10:12 AM

Scott,
In regard to 10 to Midnight, though, it is a late night filler on cable for those without a social life, it still had it's moments. By the way, you still haven't named any of your guilty pleasures.Posted Image



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#11 of 13 michael deakin

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Posted September 04 2002 - 11:00 AM

Sad news.
Besides the "guns of navarone". One of my all-time
favs must be "Ice cold in Alex". A real classic.
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#12 of 13 Vickie_M

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Posted September 04 2002 - 11:36 AM

I feel so guilty, if you'd asked me a week ago who directed Cape Fear or Mackenna's Gold, or "what movies did the director J. Lee Thompson direct?" I wouldn't have had a clue. Not a glimmer of one. And I even consider myself a director fan, though most of my favorites are younger guys. Still, considering that I've seen Cape Fear at least 30 times (I watched it EVERY time it was on TV while growing up), you'd think I'd be a little bit more aware...sigh.



Quote:
Besides the "guns of navarone". One of my all-time
favs must be "Ice cold in Alex". A real classic.


I think I'll Tivo his name and catch up on some of these.
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#13 of 13 Vickie_M

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Posted September 04 2002 - 11:49 AM

Quote:
This is sad. One of my all-time favorite movies is What a Way to Go!

This is a great black comedy with a star-studded cast (Shirley Maclaine, Paul Newman, Gene Kelly, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, etc.) and has sadly never even been released on VHS. I really wish that Fox would put this on DVD.


This sounds really good! Thanks to everyone for their faves. I'll keep an eye out for them. Maybe TCM will dig some of these up.

[off topic]
I know all about favorites that haven't even been released on VHS, let alone LD or DVD. I'm passionately in love with the film War Hunt, and it's been oh so woefully neglected. I don't know why either, it's not only a decent, quiet, haunting, psychological war film, it marked the film debuts of Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack, *and* Tom Skerritt! Yeah, I do feel your pain.
[/off topic]
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