RAI EDIT: The guy who owns right to the Hollywood pic asked us to take it down. Sorry dude!
The Place For All Things About Classic Films and Hollwood on TAN!
Have a favorite movie? Wanna share a story about your favorite director or actor from classic films? Do you have strong opinions on the Hay’s Production Code? The, this is the place for you!
There are some rules for this thread, so please read before posting: [spoiler]
I am limiting this thread to movies from 1989 and earlier. No films from the 90’s, 2000’s, or 2010’s. Yes, there were some “classic” or “memorable” movies in the 90’s, but I can’t consider films that are only 20 years old to be true classics, at least not yet.
Be respectful of other’s opinions. Don’t attack or name call because someone disagrees with your opinion of a film,actor, or event.
This thread is open to all genres of film, whether it be drama, action/adventure, action, adventure, sci-fi etc. All movies are welcome here.
When posting about a movie, please try to include a picture of the film poster and, if possible, a trailer. (YouTube has a huge selection of classic movie trailers FYI.)
** I WILL NOT TOLERATE SPAMMING IN THIS THREAD!** We all know there are some people here who just post pics and clips to up their post count. This thread is not the place for that. When you post about something, be thoughtful and thorough in your posts. Please no pics with one liners, or “This looks interesting.” There are tons of other threads on this website to up your count, so please use them.
Have fun. Contribute. Tell us what you think. :)[/spoiler]
I’ll start off by posting about one of my all time favorite black and white films.
[size=5]All About Eve[/size]
Ranked by AFI as the 16th best American film of all time, All About Eve stars Bette Davis as the successful, but aging actress Margot Channing. One day Margot meets the beautiful and young Eve Harrington, outside one of her Broadway performances. Eve claims to be a huge fan of Margot, who quickly takes her under her wing. Eventually, Eve moves in and becomes her personal assistant. Little does Margot suspect that Eve is actually working to undermine her and steal her spotlight.
All About Eve set a record for number of Oscar nominations, receiving 14 total. It was a record that was expected to never be broken, as in 1950, there were separate categories for color and black and white films. Ultimately, Titanic would break the record in 1997.
All About Eve won a total of 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1950. It would loose all the major acting categories that year however. Only George Sanders would win for his portrayal of Addison Dewitt.
Despite the movie being considered by many to be Bette Davis’ trademark performance, she was not originally cast for the lead. Claudette Colbert was originally planned to play Margot, but a severe back injury prior to filming forced her to step down.
“Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” - Margot Channing
It’s hard to talk about All About Eve, without mentioning it’s cross town rival that year.
Ranked by AFi as the 12th Best Movie of the 20th Century, Sunset Boulevard tells the story of struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis. After failing to sell a script to Paramount Pictures, Gillis finds himself breaking down in front of an old Hollywood mansion. When he enters the house to use the phone, he meets aging, silent film actress Norma Desmond. This small turn of events would have permanent and lasting effects on his life, as he is pulled into Norma’s world.
The lead role of Norma Desmond was played by Gloria Swanson, who was actually retired at the time. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett were able to convince her to come out of retirement for one last role at the studio where she became a star, Paramount.
The character of Norma Desmond is said to be have inspired by silent movie queen Norma Talmadge, who was wildly popular and wealthy during the 1920’s. Norma is perhaps best remembered for starting the tradition of leaving imprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, when she accidentally stepped in wet cement outside the theater.
Gloria Swanson was chagrined at the notion of submitting to a screen test, saying she had “made twenty films for Paramount. Why do they want me to audition?” Her reaction was later echoed in the screenplay when Norma Desmond declares, “without me there wouldn’t be any Paramount.”
In an effort to keep the full details of the story from Paramount Pictures and avoid the restrictive censorship of the Breen Code, they submitted the script a few pages at a time. The Breen Office insisted certain lines be rewritten, such as Gillis’s “I’m up that creek and I need a job,” which became “I’m over a barrel. I need a job.” Paramount executives thought Wilder was adapting a story called A Can of Beans (which did not exist) and allowed him relative freedom to proceed as he saw fit. Only the first third of the script was written when filming began in early May 1949, and Wilder was unsure how the film would end. This would be a practice that Wilder would use in later films for Paramount, such as Sabrina.
“All right Mr. Demille. I’m ready for my closeup.” - Norma Desmond (This is one of the most misquote film lines of all time.)
“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” - Norma Desmond
[quote]Charade is a 1963 American film directed by Stanley Donen, written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The movie also features Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Ned Glass, and Jacques Marin. It spans four genres: suspense thriller, romance, chick flick and comedy. Because Universal Pictures published the movie with an invalid copyright notice, the film entered the public domain in the United States immediately upon its release.
The film is notable for its screenplay, especially the repartee between Grant and Hepburn, for having been filmed on location in Paris, for Henry Mancini’s score and theme song, and for the animated titles by Maurice Binder. Charade has received generally positive reviews from critics, and was additionally noted to contain influences of genres such as whodunit, screwball and spy thriller; it has also been referred to as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made.”[/quote]
This has always been one of my favorite films. The interplay between the older Cary Grant character and the younger Audrey Hepburn character is a delight. The dialog is sparkling. The plot twists are breathtaking. I think it is a virtually perfect movie.
I can’t remember the first time I saw it, but i know it had to be on television as I was only 10 when it came out, so it would not be a movie I would have seen in its first run. Charade is what I call a “sticky” movie. I can be looking for another program on another channel but if I come across Charade, I have to stop and watch it to the end. It also has one of the funniest last lines I have ever heard. Watch it here:
Richard Burton as King Henry VIII Geneviève Bujold as Anne Boleyn
Based on the Broadway play by Maxwell Anderson, “Anne of the Thousand Days” is a sympathetic account of the rise and fall of the beautiful and ambitious Anne Boleyn (Genevieve Bujold) who becomes the second wife of the tyrannical King Henry VIII (Richard Burton). Engaged to another man, Anne attempts to avoid the king’s attention and refuses to become his mistress, but her betrothal is broken-off by Henry’s corrupt but brilliant chief minister (Anthony Quayle). Vowing vengeance, Anne returns to the court, where Henry eventually proposes marriage and promises to divorce his aging Spanish wife (Irene Papas). Anne accepts and soon becomes the most powerful and wealthiest woman in the country, rewarding her allies and punishing her enemies. After some years, she and Henry finally marry, but her world slowly begins to collapse when she fails to give birth to the son her husband so desperately wants and he openly flaunts his mistresses in her face. Anne’s enemies move against her, concocting a sensational set of lies to destroy her and they triumph in a brutally unfair show-trial which ends Anne’s thousand-day reign as queen of England.[/quote]
Now this is a thread I can get in to! Great idea Cody!
All of the above are among my favorites and I will enjoy sharing! It’s hard to have a top list when it comes to these movies, but this is one of my all time favorites -
[size=5]The Red Shoes (1948)[/size]
*The Red Shoes (1948) is a British feature film about a ballet dancer, written, directed and produced by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, known collectively as The Archers. The movie employs the story within a story device, being about a young ballerina who joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes, itself based on the fairy tale “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen. The film stars Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook and Marius Goring and features Robert Helpmann, Léonide Massine and Ludmilla Tchérina, renowned dancers from the ballet world, as well as Esmond Knight and Albert Basserman. It has original music by Brian Easdale and cinematography by Jack Cardiff, and is well regarded for its creative use of Technicolor. Filmmakers such as Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese have named it one of their all time favorite films.
Although loosely based on the Andersen story, it was also said to have been inspired by the real-life meeting of Sergei Diaghilev with the British ballerina Diana Gould. Diaghilev asked her to join his company, but he died before she could do so. Diana Gould later became the second wife of Yehudi Menuhin.
This 1961 film, released by United Artists, was based upon a play written by Lillian Hellman, which in turn was based upon the true story of two Scottish school teachers. When a young girl is upset about her punishment at school, she starts a malicious rumor about the two female teachers (played by Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine). The rumor spreads quickly and destroys the women’s lives, resulting in the ultimate tragedy. It’s an excellent tale of how destructive lies can be.
The film was initially made in 1936 as These Three, but due to the Haye’s Production Code in effect at the time, the plot line involving the lesbian rumor was removed. It was instead replaced with one involving a rumor of a love affair and triangle between three teachers.
The film was released in the UK as The Loudest Whisper.
When the play initially opened in New York, mentioning homosexuality on stage was illegal. However, police and officials overlooked it and allowed the play to continue after it received praise from critics.
The story and play were inspired by the true story of two Scottish female teachers who similarly found their lives destroyed when a student started a rumor of the two being in a lesbian relationship.
Ah… I saw the Children’s Hour. There was a time when I went on an Audrey Hepburn kick. I saw The Children’s Hour, My Fair Lady, How to Steal a Million, Sabrina, War and Peace, Charade, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Wait Until Dark and Two for the Road. I think that’s it.
I haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s yet, but I did see Sabrina at a local theater a few weeks back. They do a thing called “Cinebrunch” where you get to watch a classic film and they provide breakfast goods. It’s an old one screen theater, but it’s very nice.
I’ve also seen Wait Until Dark, which was very good as well. iTunes is an excellent place to rent older films.
The Children’s Hour is another excellent movie! I too am a great fan of Audrey Hepburn. Have either of you seen Funny Face? Another good one!
Here is one of my favorite musicals. Of course there have been many versions of this story.
[size=5]The King and I (1956)[/size]
The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the story written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens’ story was autobiographical, although a recent biographer has uncovered substantial inaccuracies and fabrications. (from Wiki)
I also love the Siamese version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in this movie and the statement it made about slavery in Siam. The ballet was beautiful and the message was to the point.
There was also a 1946 dramatic version that I enjoyed.
[size=5]Anna and the King of Siam (1946)[/size]
*Anna and the King of Siam is a 1946 drama film directed by John Cromwell. An adaptation of the 1944 book by Margaret Landon, it was based on the diaries of Anna Leonowens, a British governess in the Royal Court of Siam (now modern Thailand) during the 1860s. Darryl F. Zanuck read Landon’s book in galleys and immediately bought the film rights. The story mainly concerns the culture clash of the Imperialist Victorian values of the British Empire with the autocratic rule of Siam’s King Mongkut. The successful film starred Rex Harrison as the king and Irene Dunne as Anna. At the 19th Academy Awards ceremony, the film received two Oscars; for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction (Lyle R. Wheeler, William S. Darling, Thomas Little, Frank E. Hughes).
The story was later adapted by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for a 1951 stage musical and subsequent 1956 film. American film director Andy Tennant remade the film in 1999 as Anna and the King with Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-fat.
The portrayal of Tuptim in Anna and the King of Siam is considerably less sympathetic than in the musical version The King and I and the 1999 Anna and the King. There is a definite animosity between Tuptim and Anna in the 1946 film. (from Wiki)*
In the 1920’s, a series of scandals rocked Hollywood and led to 37 states introducing their own legislature censoring films. Wanting to improve their image, several studio heads approached Presbyterian elder Will H. Hays about setting up a code of standards to which all films will comply. He was paid what was then considered a “lavish” sum of $100,000 a year to do so. The thinking was that it would be easier to the studios to follow one standard set of rules, then to have to edit every film for each individual state.
Freedom of speech issue you may think, however, in 1915 the Supreme Court ruled that “Freedom Of Speech” did not extend to motion pictures. That ruling would stand until 1952, nearly 40 years, before the Supreme Court would revisit and overrule it.
A sample of the production code:
Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
The illegal traffic in drugs;
Any inference of sex perversion;
Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
Children’s sex organs;
Ridicule of the clergy;
Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;
Initially, the Production Code was fairly vague and the people overseeing lacked both the authority and manpower to enforce it. One man would review cuts of films, while another was responsible for reviewing scripts. Two people were hardly enough to keep up with demand, when you had six Hollywood studios each producing 50-60 films a year, and dozens of independents also making movies. Not to mention, the language of the code was vague and up to personal interpretation.
However, in 1934, an amendment was made to the code establishing the Production Code Authority. The Authority would have two offices, one in LA, and the other in New York (where many films were produced and most Hollywood studios had their corporate offices.) With added manpower and money, the Authority expanded the Production Code and began enforcing it strongly. Ridiculous rules were added, such as the rule that any character that commits a murder must later be killed in the film. For an example of this, see the 1956 film The Bad Seed.
The Production Code would stay in full force, until the early 1950’s. Surprisingly it was television that would help deliver to a death blow to the Code. TV delivered entertainment to the homes of millions of Americans and was slowly stealing away the audiences for feature films. Faced with new competition, the studios began delivering more explicit content that TV could not show, as it operated under an even more strict form of censorship. The Motion Picture Association of American was also granted the ability to override PCA rulings and allowed films to be released against objections.
As the 1950’s closed, more and more foreign films were being brought to the US, which were not subject to the PCA rules. The end of the 50’s also saw the end of the classic Hollywood studio system, when all films studios were forced to sell off their theater chains, following the anti-trust lawsuit of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Paramount_Pictures,_Inc. With less revenue, and even more competition for screens, studios fought back more against the Production Code.
By the 1960’s, the PCA had little ability to enforce it’s rules and much of the production code was outdated. With people less likely to boycott explicit films, and even with boycotted films unlikely to suffer much damage, the PCA was disbanded. The MPAA would then establish a ratings system for all motion pictures released in the US.
Two of the Hollywood studios turn 100 this year. I will be making some posts with info on their histories, but until then, here are their anniversary logos.
What’s interesting, is that while Paramount and Universal were both founded in 1912, Universal didn’t release their first film until 1915. That’s why Universal originally celebrated their 75th anniversary in 1990. Also of note, Universal was originally not considered one of the major studios. It wasn’t until the Feds stripped the studios of their theater chains that Universal was finally able to compete with Paramount, Warner, and MGM.
I can’t believe that they are 100!! That is a pretty interesting fact about Universal too. I never knew that, but I do know they have the best classic horror films such as Dracula and Frankenstein, among others.
Continuing on with my theme of “sticky” movies-ones that, even though I am looking for something else, I *must *stop and watch-the nest one on my list is one of the finest movies to come out of the Sherwood Forest:
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Raines-it doesn’t get better than this, folks! The project began in 1935, with Jimmy Cagney as Robin Hood-but he walked off the set and put production on hold for three years. Hal B. Wallace, the producer, brought Errol Flynn in as Robin, a move that Warner Bros. was against. The director was changed after the dailies coming in from on location were lacking in vigor and excitement. The composer for the film initially refused to do the score and only accepted because the Nazis had invaded his native Austria and he needed work. The film went over budget, ballooning from $1.6 million to over $2.0 million-the most expensive Warner Bros. film of its time.
However, preview audiences loved the film so much the studio did not change anything for its release and the movie went on the become Warner Bros. most successful film of 1939. The score won an Oscar for composer Eric Korngold. Errol Flynn became the indelible face of Robin Hood, usurping Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Finally, Maid Marion's horse, Golden Cloud, caught the eye of an up and coming singing cowboy, who bought the horse and changed his name to Trigger at the suggestion of his then-sidekick Smiley Burnette sine he was "quick on the trigger. Roy Rogers and Trigger went on to be one of the most famous duos in the history of the Western film.
If you're looking for a historically accurate story, don't bother-there are even historical inaccuracies in the title sequence! If you're looking for 102 minutes of fun, fantasy and adventure, you can't do better than this one.
The Black Cat (1941)
70 min - Comedy | Horror | Mystery - 2 May 1941 (USA)
Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.
Director: Albert S. Rogell
Writers: Edgar Allan Poe (story), Robert Lees, and 3 more credits »
Stars:Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert and Broderick Crawford
I cannot recommend this movie enough. As a matter of fact I have recommended it to anyone here on TAN who has ever gotten into a conversation about old movies with me. Not only is it a great mystery based on an Edgar Allen Poe story but the comedy is completely perfect without detracting from the darker aspects of the movie. Basil Rathbone was always my favorite Sherlock and he is an excellent villian. Plus if you love cats, you gotta love a movie plot were the cat gets all the money, helps solve the mystery, and saves the heroine(Well sorta. I would explain but that would give away too much).
[quote=“The Coffee God”]
I’ll jump in, since I’ve been thinking about these a lot lately.
I’ll start off with my all-time favorite movie series and the only way I will ever see Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson until the day I die.[/quote]
Basil Rathbone’s films have their charm, but having read the books they’ll never do for me. I can’t say that I understand your imposed restriction on Holmes, seeing as Basil’s Holmes was portrayed in varying time periods across the movies, even being used to fight the Nazis in at least one WW2 propaganda film. On a slight tangent, the name of the pending (“zomg wtf” awful) American reimagining of Sherlock Holmes, CBS’ Elementary, is potentially ironic. (Ironic potential as that “Elementary, my dear Watson” phrase was made up for the Rathbone films).
In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Basil Rathbone looks disturbingly like Data (Brent Spiner) from Star Trek, or vice versa since it makes more sense that way
BTW, I take it you’ve not seen The Big Bang Theory or House? B)
Say, where are the classic action movies in this thread? I see comedies and “artsy” films aplenty, but where’s the pulse-pounding, Y-chromosome-approved stuff?
Where are the cheesy action films like Death Race 2000? Where are the deeper, more shocking action series like The Mechanic and A Boy and his Dog? Where are the war classics like Patton? Shoot, there are enough Hollywood WW2 films to show that John Wayne single-handedly beat back the Japanese in the Pacific Campaign lol. Which reminds me, where’s True Grit, the movie that was worlds above the abominable 2010 remake? :cheer: