One, Two, Three (1961)
Directed by Billy Wilder, this movie is a sleeper hit. Taking place in West Berlin, Germany, James Cagney plays a Coca-Cola executive assigned to look after his boss's daughter Scarlett while her parents are vacationing in Europe. When Cagney's character finds out that the underaged Scarlett is engaged to be married, and under his watch, all hell breaks loose. And I mean Hell with a capital H!
I loved this movie. It's a laugh a minute, literally. Rapid-fire dialogue that will leave your head spinning! It should be on AFI's Top 100 Laughs. It wasn't even nominated. Cagney is amazing and non-stop hilarious. A truly remarkable actor, but then again we all should know that. Fans of Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday should check this out.
Directed by George Stevens, many people consider this movie one of the greatest westerns ever made. Alan Ladd plays Shane, a supposed retired gunslinger who wanders onto the Starrett ranch and befriends the family -- eventually working for them. Right off the bat the character of Shane is strange and mysterious, and not much information is given to the audience about his background and past affairs. He is a seemingly nice fellow and quick on the draw, but we don't find that out until the latter part of the movie. Van Heflin plays Joe Starrett; Jean Arthur, in what is to be her final film appearance, plays the wife Marian; and Brandon De Wilde as their little boy, Joey. The Starrett family and many others live in a small town with no established law. This means that trouble is always frequent and the peacemakers of the bunch find themselves and their property threatened by wild and reckless cowboys. A man named Ryker wants to buy the Starrett property, but Joe is adamant with his decision and refuses. Leaving him with no alternative Ryker sends for an infamous gunslinger named Wilson to "take care" of Starrett, but Shane intervenes and saves the town.
I doubt westerns get any better than this. It's a beautiful looking movie with wonderful cinematography, not to mention a story that really gets into your heart. Its classic ending really is what everyone says it is. The showdown between Shane and Wilson is short, quick, and without bullshit. I don't want to give it away, but that looked, felt, and was, a REAL showdown.
I'm beat, so I'll just be very, very brief with these that I watched over the past several weeks...
Town Without Pity (1961)
The story is odd, but I thought it was nicely done. Kirk Douglas is very good in this and Gene Pitney's title tune will have you humming for days.
Get Yourself a College Girl (1964)
Terrible. Just terrible. Nothing worth recommending, not even Nancy Sinatra, which I find very upsetting.
Die! Die! My Darling a.k.a. Fanatic (1965)
Tallulah Bankhead made this movie worth watching. She is supposed to be playing a bible preaching psycho and her characterization is nearly perfect.
Yolanda and The Thief (1945)
A Fred Astaire/Lucille Bremer drama/comedy/musical. But more of a comedy with a few dance numbers thrown in. Not very well known today and I can understand why. Nothing worth remembering here except a lengthy near 10-minute dance sequence, which I thought was pretty.
The Actress (1953)
Loved it. Good story directed by George Cukor and another great performance by Spencer Tracy.
The Garden of Allah (1936)
And Marlene Dietrich does another tedious film. It is actually her first film in color, and she, along with Charles Boyer, are so goddamn boring you want to choke yourself! I swear to God, if that woman didn't intrigue me as much as she does I would probably hate her guts! She looks gorgeous as ever, by the way.
Brief Encounter (1945)
Now this is filmmaking. A masterpiece directed by David Lean. I would like to say more, but what more can I say, I loved it. Hell, it was probably the romantic in me.
The Caretakers (1963)
Not very interesting to watch. At least I didn't think so. Crazy women in an asylum (beautiful or not) are a turn off. Robert Stack is kinda spooky, but then again we all should know that.
Topper Returns (1941)
Not meant to be taken seriously. Just a crazy, fun, silly time with Ronald Young while he sees dead people. I liked it as it was very amusing.
I thought it was great. Kinda soap opera-ish, like Peyton Place, but I still thought it was interesting. William Holden was good, but the real star I thought was Rosalind Russell. I enjoyed her dilemma the most.
"As a human being, I don't suppose I have any real individuality. I'm the people I've met; I'm a mixture of everything I've ever read or seen. I'm everyone I've ever loved."
My blog: All Things Classic