Sunday, January 28, 2007

Old movies i watched on the telly

This last week I've been watching a bunch of older movies, it probably started with Bridge at Remagen a film i had never heard of until i saw it at the video store. I've been playing Call of Duty on the Wii and for some reason going through a WW2 movie hankerin'. Well Bridge at Remagen is a great film, surprisingly quiet negative - filmed when Vietnam was turning bad for the US, allowing many film makers to actually say 'war is bad', instead of the jingoistic rah-rah that the 'win' of WW2 perpetuated. The best thing is Robert Vaughn's portrayal of a proud member of a military family who happens to be fighting for homeland, instead of Nazism. To me Vaughn was always the hammy actor in Magnificent 7, who would reprise the role in anything from Battle beyond the Stars to Kung Fu: The next generation (or whatever it was called). But in B.A.R. he actually acts portraying a range of emotions, with great dignity its a treat to watch. Kind of like Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field (why does channel 7 always show great movies on public holidays when i'm always off doing stuff); sure great narrative comes from conflict but sometimes the quieter stories are so much more compelling. Me and Emma have been watching Northern Exposure and after much discussion and pondering we discovered we liked it because there are no villain characters, no great or even petty conflicts - stories unravel or melt as the case may be. But yes, we were 2 hour late for the Australian day BBQ because i wanted to watch Lilies of the Field and it was worth it - stories of redemption and hope always get me.
It was even great watching Shalako, with a Sean Connery fresh off his 3rd Bond movie playing a cowboy. Problem is that i couldn't understand a word anyone said, Bridgette Bardot, the dude that plays the Baron, Connery, all sounded garbled to my dyslexic ears but it was fun to watch all the same. And finaly Marty, a film i'd never seen was such a simple story; old dude (at 34!) meets an ugly girl (well see had 2 pimples on her chin) and they fall for each other but told with such warmth and humanity. Borgnine laments that there are no good movies, i think the problem is there is no more quiet movies.

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