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I Am A Swede

The Classic Film Thread

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Watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane tonight on TCM. One of my all time favorites. So chilling.

I might throw in Wait Until Dark next. Another one of my favorites.

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Flesh and the Devil (1927) - Starring the infamous pairing of John Gilbert and Greta Garbo! It was really good, even if Garbo's character was infuriating, but also very gay and by gay I mean homosexual. The ending was amazing with the two best friends forgiving each other in very "intimate" scenes, all the while Garbo has drowned to the knowledge of no one. She got what she deserved!

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With the recent death of Joan Fontaine I would highly recommend "Rebecca", in my opinion Alfred Hitchcock's best movie. Starring the aforementioned Ms Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, George Sanders, and Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers, among others.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again......"

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Joan was also excellent in 'Suspicion' with Cary Grant. The book on which it is based is well worth reading also.

Eleanor Parker also passed recently.Her performance in 'Caged' and the movie itself are well worth watching.

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A little question. What is your definition of a classic movie? Are all movies made/released before a certain year to be considered classics, or are there any more criteria they have to meet.

And what about more recent movies? When can they be considered classics? I know Disney often labels their theatrical releases as classics almost instantly, or at least they used to. But how old should a movie be, or does age have nothing to do with it? I'm sure most people would now consider movies like "Star Wars", "Jaws" and "E.T" as classics, even though they were released comparatively recent.

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I don't think there is a set in stone definition of a classic. Usually though they come from I would say before 1960 when there was still the studio system in Hollywood. Even then not all movies qualify: "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi is classic Hollywood, but "Son Of Dracula" with Lon Chaney Jr not so much. Then from more modern movies I think quality and if it is well remembered becomes a priority. "The Godfather" is a classic, but "The Godfather III" is not. If "Braveheart" is not considered a classic it eventually will be, but I don't think "Gladiator" will. "Goldfinger" is a classic, but almost no other Bond film is.

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A little question. What is your definition of a classic movie? Are all movies made/released before a certain year to be considered classics, or are there any more criteria they have to meet.

And what about more recent movies? When can they be considered classics? I know Disney often labels their theatrical releases as classics almost instantly, or at least they used to. But how old should a movie be, or does age have nothing to do with it? I'm sure most people would now consider movies like "Star Wars", "Jaws" and "E.T" as classics, even though they were released comparatively recent.

IMHO, a "classic" is a work of art that will stand the test of time. For that to happen, there would have to be some level of quality to it. It also stands up to repeated viewings; something someone wants to see or hear time and time again. It is also a work that is highly influential and/or epitomizes a genre or style.

In this instance, Star Wars, Jaws and ET are classics, in that many people enjoy watching them repeatedly, their narratives have stood the test of time, and each of them are representative of ideas that would be referred to as a touchstone. Star Wars for science fiction genre, Jaws for the summer blockbuster and even suspense/horror, and ET for family films and all three as blockbuster movies.

Some movies can be labeled instant classics, because they are of such high quality and/or so beloved, they would fit the label. I'm thinking of when Schindler's List first came out. Many Christmas movies, despite the quality, fall under the "beloved" aspect. Christmas Vacation, starring Chevy Chase, comes to my mind as a "Christmas classic." It is also my opinion, however, the phrase "instant classic" is overused.

There is also a distinction between "classic" and "cult classic." For instance, Mommie Dearest is a "cult classic." Many of these movies are "so bad they're good" or beloved despite the quality (Pink Flamingos) or that they involve a certain actor (Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns) or genre (Blade Runner, Friday the Thirteenth).

When thinking of "classic films" for this thread, however, I believe the originator was thinking of movies that may have been prior to 1980. Possibly even just B&W movies. Most contributors have kept the thread in those areas.

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I just watched Trader Horn, one of those films I've wanted to see for years because it was nominated for Best Picture at the 4th Academy Awards. The plot is exceedingly thin, ridiculous and really should only be watched by film enthusiasts. The only captivating parts, other than the truly horrible acting and the "HEY!, that's C. AUBREY SMITH" scene, are watching the wildlife. It is during these points where you see two Natives killed during filming. It's continuously sickening that you could almost instantly tell that they starved the lions to do their bidding because their ribs are in full view. The film being two hours was not kind.

Edited by Bright Eyes

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The Devil Is a Woman (1935) - Queen Marlene Dietrich seemed to have so much fun in this one. A much lighter fare then I'm used to seeing her in, but she still excelled as always. One line completely cracked me up, "I came to see if you were dead. If you loved me enough, you would've killed yourself." And though it was a small role, Edward Everett Horton is always a treat.

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75 years ago today "Gone With the Wind" had its premiere in Atlanta, Georgia, and went on to be the biggest box-office hit the world has seen. Some of its content may be questionable today, but it is still a magnificent movie....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcuRaAi5MF0

and of course it has one of cinema's most famous lines (or maybe two..... tongue.png )

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It's a great, great movie. Classic Hollywood's greatest achievement and better than most movies before or since. GWTW gets knocked but it has story that just doesn't let up for a moment. Of the cast Olivia de Havilland is still alive, but she must be closing in on 100 by now. She is truly the last of old Hollywood.

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A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - This was a damn good film. Ronald Colman gives one of his best performances, Donald Woods was a total babe, and in the best scene of the film, the great character actress Edna May Oliver, gets into a catfight with the villain of the piece. I never thought I'd get to see her like that, but it made my night. And Donald Woods, someone I either haven't seen or never took notice of before, struck me as someone that I easily could have pictured in the modern world, which can sometimes be hard to do with people in their "do's" from the past.

This also must be one of the first narrative films to use narration. I was almost caught of guard when Colman's calming voice talked and the end.

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