What's new

AFI’s Top 100 Films List Forum Challenge (Part 3) (1 Viewer)

Bob_L

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 19, 2001
Messages
895
Real Name
Bob Lindstrom
Re: Wuthering Heights.
This is the one movie on the AFI list that I haven't seen yet. But I at least know that I enjoy the Alfred Newman music, so I should find SOMETHING worthwhile. Plus, I confess I'm kind of a sucker for classic Hollywood romantic gush.
Here's a piece of musical trivia. Did anyone here know that Bernard Herrmann, the famed composer of many Hitchcock & Harryhausen film scores (along with Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and The Devil and Daniel Webster) wrote a full-length opera based on Wuthering Heights? It's quite a wonderful composition.
Bob L.
 

george kaplan

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2001
Messages
13,063
Unfortunately, I think the ballet scene (the most boring part of An American in Paris IMH0) is at the end of the movie.
------------------
"That audience - 12 to 19 year old pimply faced, mean spirited males - came, watched and went on to whatever god-awful other pursuits" USA Network CEO describing professional wrestling fans
 

Edwin Pereyra

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1998
Messages
3,500
I would have to side also with those who liked Wuthering Heights. Initially, I was not bowled over by it but after more reflection it is a fairly good character study. Another good performance by Olivier.
~Edwin
 

Jason L.

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 12, 1999
Messages
483
Random Thoughts:
Jeez Edwin, are you [and some of the other "AFI apologists"] ever going to give anything other than a great review for all of these films? The 3rd Man doesn't count.
Both An American In Paris and Wuthering Heights should have restraining orders placed against them - requiring them to stay at least 1000 feet away from any Top Movie Lists.
IMHO, there is nothing ground breaking about these films, and they are boring as hell.
SITR is a great movie because the dance scenes are built into and around the plot. AAIP is the opposite, where the plot is basically filler between the dance scenes.
Wuthering Heights is basically the same tired, rehashed, old story as Jane Eyre and Great Expectations: Ghosts, people finding wealth out of thin air, storms, mysterious strangers, a love that takes 20 years to ever develop, long lost relatives, secret rooms, a character always dies during child birth/or gets thrown off of a horse, etc.
I love how Heathcliff leaves and comes back a gazillionaire without any explaination as to how he made his fortune. Whatever.
I can't believe Heathcliff's wife was also Rodney Dangerfield's Mother-in-Law in Easy Money.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,717
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Dan,
So I take it, you didn't care for either "An American in Paris" nor "Wuthering Heights"?
wink.gif

quote: Jeez Edwin, are you [and some of the other "AFI apologists"] ever going to give anything other than a great review for all of these films? The 3rd Man doesn't count.[/quote]
Jeez Dan, I guess you didn't read Edwin's reviews of "The Searchers", "From Here to Eternity", "The Graduate", "The African Queen" and a few others.
wink.gif
Also, a list is just a list, even if it's AFI's which means the appeal of the listed films might not dawn on everybody. By the way, I happen to like rehashed old stories, like "Jane Eyre" and "Great Expectations" it sure beats many of the rehashed forumla films were exposed to from today's films. :)
Crawdaddy
 

Sarah S

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
333
Creeping slowly up the list I go... :)
I just finished Guess Who's Comming to Dinner, a pretty godd film. In a way, I wanted to watch Birth of a Nation before this, to put this film in some kind of perspective, but Netflix still has it on long wait, so I thought I'd just watch it and get it over with.
The performances by all the cast were stunning, particulary Spencer Tracy's and Sidney Poitiers. It was amazing how well Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn could convey of the tension that was going on in their minds as they tried to cope with the sudden shock, not only of thier daughter getting married, but also of the realization that they would have to live up to thier ideals on racism. I was kind of shocked by Tillie's bitterness to the two, but then seeing her daughter leave with the delivery boy made me wonder if jealousy might have had something to do with it. I sort of found Sidney Poitier's list of accomlishments to be a little bit alarming, but then I thought that it was used to illustrate that if he had been white, Joanna's parents would have been overjoyed to have him as a son-in-law, so that just drove home the point that the only reason Spencer Tracy was balking at the idea was because Sidney Poitier was black.
I did appreciate the message of the movie, but I have to admit that in a way I hope that this sort of movie along with BoaN fades quietly into the woodwork; of intrest only to historians because the rest of us would have put this sort of nonsense behind us. :)
 

Bob_L

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 19, 2001
Messages
895
Real Name
Bob Lindstrom
Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Since GWCTD has been in heavy rotation on the satellite these days, I rewatched it just a couple of weeks ago. As wonderful as it was to see Hepburn and Tracy together -- and as cute as the fairly talentless Katherine Houghton was (did she ever make any other movies?) -- it struck me more than ever how much a part of its time this film is.
Today, it seems pretty ham-handed, even for the leaden Stanley Kramer, who would never suggest a point when he could pound it into the ground with a sledgehammer. Poitier is Superman with skin pigmentation. Couldn't he have just been a decent, intelligent black guy? Nope. Kramer had to make him God's favorite, just to make sure we all got the racist "meaning" of the film. And for those who still missed it, there is Tracy's pontificating speech to end the film (along with the resentment of Poitier's parents. Whooo boy, BIG twist there, huh? How daring...!!)
On first release, self-conscious liberals could see this film and go away feeling cleansed and superior. Folks who had already gotten over the racial baggage just went away wondering why one of America's most problematic social issues had to be turned into a Fractured Fairy Tale in order to be understood by the American public.
Today, I think it's more than a little embarrassing and emblematic of many of the odd, dated choices in AFI's list. This one wouldn't even make my list of the 100,000 greatest films ever made.
 

Deepak Shenoy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 3, 1998
Messages
642
This is a really interesting thread. While I don't quite agree with all the titles chosen by AFI to be in their Top 100, I would say that it is a good starting point for those who want to catch up on some "essential" viewing.
Here's my list. All the titles in bold are the ones I have seen completely in their OAR (most of them on DVD). I will be updating my post as I go along watching more movies from the list. There are some like 'From Here To Eternity' and 'On the Waterfront' that I badly want to watch, but I would rather wait for the DVDs which should be coming out soon. And then there are others which as someone else put it, I would rather not "subject myself to".
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. Casablanca (1943)
3. The Godfather (1972)
4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
7. The Graduate (1967)
8. On the Waterfront (1954)
9. Schindler's List (1993)
10. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
11. It's a Wonderful Life (1947)
12. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
13. Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
14. Some Like It Hot (1959)
15. Star Wars (1977)
16. All About Eve (1950)
17. The African Queen (1951)
18. Psycho (1960)
19. Chinatown (1974)
20. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
21. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
22. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
23. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
24. Raging Bull (1980)
25. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
26. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
27. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
28. Apocalypse Now (1979)
29. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
30. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
31. Annie Hall (1977)
32. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
33. High Noon (1952)
34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
35. It Happened One Night (1934)
36. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. Double Indemnity (1944)
39. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
40. North by Northwest (1959)
41. West Side Story (1961)
42. Rear Window (1954)
43. King Kong (1933)
44. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
46. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
47. Taxi Driver (1976)
48. Jaws (1975)
49. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
50. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
51. The Philadelphia Story (1950)
52. From Here to Eternity (1953)
53. Amadeus (1984)
54. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
55. The Sound of Music (1965)
56. M*A*S*H (1970)
57. The Third Man (1949)
58. Fantasia (1940)
59. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
61. Vertigo (1958)
62. Tootsie (1982)
63. Stagecoach (1939)
64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
65. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
66. Network (1976)
67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
68. An American in Paris (1951)
69. Shane (1953)
70. The French Connection (1971)
71. Forrest Gump (1994)
72. Ben-Hur (1959)
73. Wuthering Heights (1939)
74. The Gold Rush (1925)
75. Dances with Wolves (1990)
76. City Lights (1931)
77. American Graffiti (1973)
78. Rocky (1976)
79. The Deer Hunter (1978)
80. The Wild Bunch (1969)
81. Modern Times (1936)
82. Giant (1956)
83. Platoon (1986)
84. Fargo (1996)
85. Duck Soup (1933)
86. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
87. Frankenstein (1931)
88. Easy Rider (1969)
89. Patton (1970)
90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
91. My Fair Lady (1964)
92. A Place in the Sun (1951)
93. The Apartment (1960)
94. GoodFellas (1990)
95. Pulp Fiction (1994)
96. The Searchers (1956)
97. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
98. Unforgiven (1992)
99. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
100. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
So, that's 56 more to go !
Next Ones to Watch :
Midnight Cowboy
The Apartment
Unforgiven
Annie Hall
 

Hugh Jackes

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 13, 2000
Messages
757
Location
Anaheim. CA
Real Name
Hugh Jackes
Because so many others of you had been discussing it (unkindly, I might add)--
Wuthering Heights
After reading others commentary on this movie, I went into it with a sense of dread. I was expecting pure soap opera, frothy and mindless. What I got was more dramatic and interesting. The first half was predictable, sudsy, and slow, but the second half took a turn that I really enjoyed.
Lawrence Olivier was Heathcliff, an orphaned outsider who was raised by a wealthy-but-fading aristocratic family. The kindly patriarch treated him respectfully and with affection. Cathy (Merle Oberon), the patriarch's daughter was his constant companion on the moors. Hindley, the ne'er-do-well son, resents Heathcliff. When the patriarch died, Hindley, the new lord of the manor turns Heathcliff out, allowing him only to live in the stable and serve as the stable boy.
Cathy and Heathcliff continue to be inseparable, despite her growing awareness of and anxiety about the class differences between them. Her snobbery weighs heavy on her until Edgar (David Niven), another wealthy aristocrat, moves in nearby, at which point the shallowness behind her snobbery causes her start turing on Heathcliff. She insists that he cannot have her until he goes and makes something of herself. Hesems content to work in the stable, so she dumps Heathcliff and set her sights on Edgar. Heathcliff overhears her say some really hateful and hurtful things about him to a housekeeper and disappears into the storm. Cathy realizes her feelings and pursues him out onto the moors and collapses from exposure at "their spot".
This is where the story turns more interesting. In a less-well-written story (and my wife and I paused the movie at this point and predicted), Cathy would have died, either out on the moor or in the throws of a long lingering illness. Heathcliff would have shown up just as she expired and they would have been martyrs to the story.
Cathy recovers, and again in her shallowness, forgets Heathcliff and submits to Edgar. They marry, are reasonably happy, and years go by. Heathcliff returns from America, wealthy, successful, and polished. He is no longer an innocent victim of Cathy's snobbery and greed. He is now an equal, with a touch of malice and a gift for manipulation.
Until now, I had only seen Olivier as an old man. His smoldering passion in this movie was riveting. He looked like a cross between Timothy Dalton (who played Heathcliff in a later remake), Christopher Reeve, and (don't laugh now) a young and virile Ernest Borgnine. Phenomenal. Merle Oberon was marvelous as Cathy. Her characterization reminded me a bit too much of Scarlett O'Hara, though, in Gone With the Wind (which came out the same year). (Coincidentally, Olivier was married to Vivien Leigh when both films were made.) It was very unusual to see David Niven play a less than charismatic leading role. Niven is alway so polished and suave, Edgar was polishedm but rather weak, tentative, and bland.
Favorite line, Heathcliff to Isabella, Edgar's sister, full of pain, "Why doesn't your hair smell like heather?" (as Cathy's does). His delivery of the line shows every bit of his pain.
Seen82
Not seen:18
Should see again:15
 

Seth Paxton

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 5, 1998
Messages
7,585
Re: Wuthering Heights and the miracle fortune.
He makes his fortune like most people who become rich from nothing do, on sheer undending determination and obsession. Where most people would veer off the path to live happy lives, we can imagine that he would make every sacrifice possible to become that rich man, simply to return and "win".
That is the character study, Heathcliff's obsession. Very, very much like Charles Kane, IMHO. And acted just as well.
Merle is just properly fickle. To put it into reality, I once had a g/f who was Indian. I fully believe she loved me, but she also desperately wanted that Indian lifestyle that she couldn't have with me since she would be outcast if they knew about me. She was torn between the romantic side of that lifestyle she had grown up with, dreaming of her Indian wedding, the dances, the social structure, and her love for me.
In the end, I lost. So I can fully sympathise with both Olivier and Merle in Wuthering Heights. Very real characters whose own psychological problems cannot be saved by standard movie happy endings of most romances.
Not unlike Requiem for a Dream where the characters all ruin their lives with their obsessions/addictions.
 

Chris Lock

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 1, 1999
Messages
258
It Happened One Night *** out of **** (Where did the nice stars go?)
Bridge on the River Kwai ***1/2
The Wild Bunch **
22 left
 

Patrick McCart

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
8,256
Location
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Patrick McCart
1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) tape
3. GODFATHER, THE (1972) TV
4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) tape
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) DVD
6. WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939) tape
13. BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957) DVD
15. STAR WARS (1977) tape
18. PSYCHO (1960) tape
21. GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940) TV
22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) DVD
25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) tape
26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) tape
27. BONNIE & CLYDE (1967) TV
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) tape
40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) DVD
41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961) tape
42. REAR WINDOW (1954) TV
43. KING KONG (1933) TV
48. JAWS (1975) TV
53. AMADEUS (1984) DVD
54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) DVD
55. SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965) Tape
58. FANTASIA (1940) DVD
59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) tape
60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) TV
61. VERTIGO (1958) TV
62. TOOTSIE (1982) TV
63. STAGECOACH (1939) TV
64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) TV
71. FORREST GUMP (1994) tape
72. BEN-HUR (1959) DVD
78. ROCKY (1976) tv
81. MODERN TIMES (1936) Tv
82. GIANT (1956) tv
87. FRANKENSTEIN (1931) tape
90. JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927) tv
91. MY FAIR LADY (1964) tape
37 so far...
------------------
-P.J. McCart
uhf.gif

http://cztoondb.tripod.com
 

Mariano

Agent
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Messages
42
Hey, i haven't been back for a while.
I've been watching lots of movies from that list lately and now i just have 39 to go, so i'm up one category !!
Next up for tonight is Some like it hot :)
I'm really enjoying this.
 

Sarah S

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
333
Hey al...thought I would let you know I saw Mr Smith Goes To Washington recently. Oddly, the theme of this movie reminds me of a Simpsons episode. :)
Anyway, 4 out of 4, & I liked Claude Rains perfomance more than Jimmy Stewarts. Mr Rains turned in a more subtle performance, I felt, far better than Mr Stewarts more predictable one.
 

Bob_L

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 19, 2001
Messages
895
Real Name
Bob Lindstrom
In praise of Claude Rains:
Apropos the comment that Rains' performance in Mr. Smith was superior to Stewart's, I want to add that Rains was one of the most impressive and consistently great actors of the '30s-'40s whose career continued right into the '60s. I understand that he was an SOB to work with but his insight, his style and his memorable performances are what live on in his films. A brilliant and still underrated actor.
 

Rob Willey

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 10, 2000
Messages
1,345
Real Name
Rob
Since my last post, I've revisited a few that I was a little foggy on. To Kill a Mockingbird, Giant and From Here To Eternity.
TKaM was perhaps better than I remembered. I'd forgotten it included Robert Duval. 7.5/10.0.
Giant was just as plodding and soap-opera'ish as I recalled. 5.5/10.0.
It struck me that FHTE has about the same percentage of time devoted to the actual attack on Pearl Harbor as the famous (infamous?) recent release. This film contains my vote for most unintentionally comedic moment of the entire AFI 100. Frank Sinatra to Montgomery Clift:
quote: Girls! You got any prejudice against girls?[/quote]
biggrin.gif

And Donna Reed as a hooker! 6.0/10.0.
Still at one to go....
Rob
 

Sarah S

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
333
I finished watching The Wild Bunch, which brings me to 45 to go. :)
Wild Bunch was OK; nothing really special in my book. For the same theme, Unforgiven was better, IMHO. I didn't get that it was extremely violent, but then I remember watching Pulp Fiction in the theater and going "Cool!". I have to say, for some odd reason the opening credits with the little kids playing w/the scorpians at the anthill was slightly disturbing to me. The opening credits were also highly annoying. the movie was starting, they weree riding around, then all of a sudden, everything pauses, then goes to a different camera angle. And this went on seemingly forever. 3 out of 4 for me.
 

george kaplan

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2001
Messages
13,063
Just saw The Deer Hunter. While a good movie, with solid performances, I found the story line jumpy and the character development lacking. But maybe it's just me. For example, early on Meryl Streep's character is beaten up by someone, I'm not even sure who (her brother?). But as far as I can tell, except for her hiding her face from DeNiro, this is never brought up again, nor explained. If I'm missing something please explain it to me.
Again, not a bad film, but not one I'd buy since I have no interest in seeing it again.
------------------
"That audience - 12 to 19 year old pimply faced, mean spirited males - came, watched and went on to whatever god-awful other pursuits" USA Network CEO describing professional wrestling fans
 

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
9,894
Sarah - Unforgiven may be better, although I consider that debatable; but it had the advantage of coming 23 years after The Wild Bunch. One of the primary factors for these films being on the list is their influence on filmmaking. Certainly The Wild Bunch qualifies in this reqard. This film, along with Bonnie and Clyde, helped introduce a different, highly stylized, and certainly more graphic type of violence to American cinema. While The Wild Bunch's level and type of violence is fairly unremarkable by today's standards, it was considered ground-breaking in 1969. Sorry for the lecture :) , but I believe that so many times folks forget to consider these films within the context of when they were made, vs. judging them by today's standards.
George - I believe that it was Streep's father who had beaten her. It's been awhile since I've seen this and I agree that this aspect of the story seems underdeveloped. Perhaps there were some establishing scenes that were cut to reduce the film's runtime? For me, this film's strength has always been the performances of its fine cast. Not sure I agree with you about the lack of character development. I thought that the main trio were handled fairly well, although this may have more to do with the performances vs. the script? Like I said, its been awhile.
- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,717
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Sarah - Unforgiven may be better, although I consider that debatable; but it had the advantage of coming 23 years after The Wild Bunch. One of the primary factors for these films being on the list is their influence on filmmaking. Certainly The Wild Bunch qualifies in this reqard. This film, along with Bonnie and Clyde, helped introduce a different, highly stylized, and certainly more graphic type of violence to American cinema. While The Wild Bunch's level and type of violence is fairly unremarkable by today's standards, it was considered ground-breaking in 1969. Sorry for the lecture, but I believe that so many times folks forget to consider these films within the context of when they were made, vs. judging them by today's standards.
Walter,
I couldn't have said it better! Unfortunately, whenever there is a list as such, we have a tendency to review and compare a film made in yesteryear against films that are currently being made today. This without a doubt shortchanges the vintage film as far as it's influence in the art of filmmaking.
Crawdaddy
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Forum statistics

Threads
357,788
Messages
5,143,215
Members
144,484
Latest member
Jreich
Recent bookmarks
0
Top