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ecarle (6512)


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From the Summer of Jaws --- The Other One to See "Psycho" Named Second Best Movie of All Time...What's the First? "Psycho", "The Apartment" and "The Facts of Life"(1960) Should This Movie Be Shown in Prison to Tex Watson and Other Surviving Manson Killers? OT: Three Candidates for "My Personal Favorite Movie of 2019" What Do Norman Bates and Rick Dalton Have in Common? The "Sequential Nuances" of the Anthony Perkins Performance in Psycho The Bruce Lee scene compared to the real Bruce Lee in "Marlowe"(1969) Three QT Bounty Hunter Movies in a Row -- Sequels? Janet at the Wheel View all posts >


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My favorites of each year: 1970: MASH 1971: Dirty Harry 1972: The Godfather 1973: American Graffiti 1974: Chinatown 1975: Jaws 1976: The Shootist 1977: Black Sunday 1978: National Lampoon's Animal House 1979: North Dallas Forty Honorable mentions each year: 1970: The Kremlin Letter, Patton, Airport 1971: Big Jake, Get Carter, Willy Wonka, Harold and Maude 1972: Frenzy, Junior Bonner, The Poseidon Adventure, The Getaway, The Hot Rock, The Cowboys, Deliverance 1973: Charley Varrick, The Way We Were, The Paper Chase, The Sting, Westworld; Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid 1974: The Towering Inferno, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Freebie and the Bean, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Godfather II, The Conversation, Murder on the Orient Express 1975: Breakout, Cuckoo's Nest, Love and Death, The Man Who Would Be King 1976: Family Plot, Network, Taxi Driver, The Big Bus, Rocky 1977: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Annie Hall, The Deep 1978: Capricorn One, The Fury; Who'll Stop the Rain 1979: Alien, All That Jazz; 1941, Time After Time 1. Jackie Brown 2. Pulp Fiction 3. Reservoir Dogs 4. The Hateful Eight 5. Once Upon a Time..In Hollywood 6. Django Unchained 7. Inglorious Basterds 8. Kill Bill 9. Death Proof A little more on Mike Nichols: I DID check his imdb list and he DID take a break from movies from The Fortune(1975) to Silkwood(1983)...with the exception that he directed the filmed Broadway show Gilda Live in between. Not really a movie. From Silkwood on, Nichols survived and sustained as a "class act" director of stars, working multiple times with Streep, Nicholson, and Ford. His HBO films may have been events, but his theatrical movies seemed "glossy but lacking," and very dependent on the material(if I love Charlie Wilson's War, its likely more for the script than the direction.) I'll reiterate that I think Mike Nichols was a "victim" (along with several other directors) of getting his biggest acheivements right up front(Virginia Woolf and The Graduate) and never really living up to their promise...with Carnal Knowledge allowed in for its landmark status even if it didn't quite hit like those other two. The Graduate was the Big Movie of 1967 along with Bonnie and Clyde, and THAT film's director felt the same kind of pressure. Arthur Penn went on to direct the quirky "Alice's Restaurant" and then HIS "Catch 22" -- "Little Big Man." Both films were prestige epics released in 1970(and both had...Martin Balsam!) But both "under-performed" in certain ways, to certain expectations. Thinking out loud, I lose track of Penn after Night Moves(very good)...I think he ended up working on the Law and Order TV show. When I checked, Closer (2004) was the surprise money-maker - cost $27 mill, grossed $120 mill. --- Well, it had Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman(as a stripper!) Clive Owen(when he was hot, both ways)...etc. --- Surprise money-loser: the rather good (great ending) Primary Colors, cost $65 mill, grossed only $52 mill worldwide. --- Political movies sometimes do well(All the President's Men) but movies about politicians ...don't. Plus maybe Bill and Hillary's fans were offended. --- Surprising just-about-broke-evens: Postcards from the Edge & Regarding Henry -- The former reminds me that from 1983 on, Nichols worked several times with Meryl Streep== Prestige Protection. The latter reminds me that Nichols made some movies with big stars that just seemed to miss the mark. Wolf with Nicholson was another one. The premises were compelling, but the stories didn't "click." And Regarding Henry had a tough sad story to tell: if you married a man because he was a brilliant lawyer who was rich from it, and he was shot in the head, and became child-like and unable to earn...would you stay? The movie had its answer. The LA Times published a tough article about a real life lawyer that happened to: no, the wife left The shot lawyer ended up in assisted living. Nasty note in passing: When Chinatown opened in the summer of 1974(THAT was a summer movie back then), Paramount put a two-page ad in the LA Times with all the rave reviews piled up over the two pages. But the biggest headline from a review went right across the top of both pages: "FORGET HITCHCOCK - WE'VE GOT POLANSKI!" i always thought that was mean -- Hitchcock was alive, living in LA and probably read the LA times. And he'd given Paramount some of its biggest hits and classics. I was a Hitchcock fan, and I was bugged by that ad. Oh, well, forget it, Jake...its Hollywood. A new contender has emerged at TorontoIFF: Rian Johnson's Knives Out, a star-studded Christie-style whodunnit that's wowed everyone. Here's the Ebert-site review (which is typical): --- I've seen the trailer for this twice, both times I saw the new QT. I'm intrigued and amused. I'll go. Its clearly in the "whodunit" tradition, but out to bend the rules, I would suppose. (Note in passing: anybody ever see the 1985 movie of Clue, with three different endings attached, three different killers revealed, depending on which theater you saw it at? Great cast, funny enough movie. And it rebutted Hitchcock's line about Psycho: "Please don't reveal the ending -- its the only one we have.") Its got an "all star cast," without quite being all star. (Captain America sure looks weird out of costume.) Indeed, we got Captain America AND James Bond in this, as Daniel Craig continues his largely fruitless quest to anchor movies alone like Sean Connery did, but instead ends up like Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton in theirs. Though Pierce Brosnan DID manage to get a separate career going. Ah, but Craig did a hilarious Southern-fired short role in that uh, "Logan Lucky" movie. And here's the Psycho connection for all those OT-phobes out there: Marion Crane's daughter is unafraid of age.... You mean with such topics as: Opinions on Bebop & Rocksteady of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Why do girls say they want a nice guy? Are smart girls hot? Footnotes: ."Charlie Wilson's War." Every scene with Phillip Seymour Hoffman makes me laugh hard. A lot of that is Aaron Sorkin's screenplay, a lot is PSH's performance(so deadpan and low-voiced), but I'm sure Nichols' directorial timing chops made the difference too. And this: one thing I read in former Paramount Chief Robert Evans autobio("The Kid Stays in the Picture") that intrigued me is how he "called in a favor" and asked Mike Nichols to direct Evans -- on a set for a TV show called "The Young Lawyers" , sitting at a desk and introducing a bunch of upcoming Paramount projects like Love Story and The Godfather(before any footage was shot.) The five minute film was meant for an audience of "New York" Paramount execs -- to save Evans' job. It did(so did those movies.) And yet: what did Mike Nichols direct for Paramount in the 70s? Catch 22, that's what. 'Scurrying back to the stage' --- Oh, I think I was thinking of right after "The Fortune." I didn't go to IMDb but isn't his next movie 8 years later with "Silkwood?" I'm guessing again, I may be wrong. From then on, I'd have to check the list. Did he do "Heartburn" and/ or "Working Girl?" If so, big stars, rather predictable movies -- though I did like Harrison Ford taking supporting duty to Melanie Griffith(but still top billing.) It was a charming gesture, I felt. --- and making great TV out of it with Wit (2001) & Angels In America (2003). Emma Thompson in both & Streep & Pacino in the latter. These were real landmarks each of which would have won top Oscars if they hadn't been on HBO. --- These were powerful, landmark events and I know that Nichols continued on as a great of sorts. But he didn't really stoke that the auteur movie maker career that his first two movies(and Carnal Knowledge) portended. Hey, it was hard for Arthur Penn, too. And William Freidkin. And certainly Peter Bogdanovich. I also seem to remember Nichols doing "The Birdcage" a perfectly acceptable comedy hit with a certain sitcom edge. Big hit though. Nichols abided. --- I know that Sopranos was the 'big one' for announcing an HBO-led new golden age of TV, but Nichols' home runs were a big part of that new era's arrival too. --- Agreed. Wit reduced me to big tears and I'm loving Big Al and Streep and the rest in "America." Hey, I'm not against Mike Nichols. I just think he came along maybe at an odd time, when "grand auteurs" were announced, celebrated and then tossed aside, at least for awhile. I recall, for instance, The Day of the Dolphin getting crushed in the 1973 Xmas that had The Exorcist and The Sting(and Magnum Force)...nobody went. I watched it on cable, and ...other than the explosive ending, I remember nothing. But certainly Nichols worked his way back and finished a respected artist who made money. Anyway, OK: Virginia Woolf(landmark classic) The Graduate(landmark classic and blockbuster) Catch-22(interesting wobbler -- an OK movie of a classic "unfilmable" book) Carnal Knowledge(landmark classic) and then... Day of the Dophin The Fortune(which really is worth discussing sometime -- its so SLIGHT. BTW Nicholson scores big comedy points in a weird perm and stache; Beatty is , well, Beatty. View all replies >