100 Movies Update 3

Despite the craziness of the holidays and my home life recently (see blog post Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!), I have another update on my movie challenge for my dear readers! (See blog posts 100 Movies for my 30th Year! 100 Movies: Update and 100 Movies Update 2) Over the past few weeks I was able to watch and review Schindler’s List, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and From Here to Eternity.

Check out my thoughts…

 

Schindler’s List

schindlers-list15

This incredible film is well worthy of being named one of the best American films ever made for several reasons: 1, the style of filming, 2, the actors involved and 3, the way the characters (based on real events) are so personalized. The way this film starts in color, fades to black and white, then employs the use of color again later in the film is nothing short of genius. Just through filming, the audience is fully aware of the emotions behind the script. The way the camera stays so close to the actors faces puzzled me at first, until I realized it was being shot in a documentary style (even though this is most assuredly a big budget film). A risky move, but one that pays off thanks to the acting genius of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. Not only does the script dive into uncomfortable history, it portrays how human souls change because of the horrors they see, both for the good and the bad.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Ralph Fiennes put on several pounds to play the role of Amon Goethe by drinking beer

  • Steven Spielburg had to the option to cast a well-known actor (including Harrison Ford) in the main role of Oskar Schindler, but chose Liam Neeson (a then little-known actor) so the film would not be overshadowed by star power

  • This is the most expensive black and white film made, to date

  • A large percentage of the film was shot using a hand held camera

  • The film won 7 Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Score

  • Based on the book, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally

  • The girl in the red coat was based on a real girl, Roma Ligocka, a survivor of the Krakow ghetto, who was known for wearing a red winter coat. She later wrote a book called The Girl in the Red Coat

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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I went into this film expecting certain things, thinking it was a typical Hollywood Western. Not true. This movie shines above others because of the truly incredible, and I do mean incredible, script. Every single line was chosen with care. Words are not minced and if you, as the audience, miss a line, you miss a great deal. Seldom do you see such superb writing, or such chemistry between two male actors  (Robert Redford and Paul Newman). The character of Butch (Newman) is played with looseness and affability, while the Kid (Redford) is more serious and stoic. The cinematography adapts a less-is-more attitude and interrupts the minimalist style with scenes consisting only of yellowed photographs, while giving several scenes more character simply because the audience does not expect the excess (for example, the scene of the bicycle crashing to the ground on its own). All in all, this movie is a must-see.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Screenwriter William Goldman (who won an Academy Award for this film) also wrote the well-known novel, The Princess Bride

  • Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were considered for the role of the Kid, but Robert Redford eventually won the role

  • The President of 20th Century Fox, Richard Zanuck, paid $400,000.00 for the screenplay – more than anyone had ever paid for a screenplay before

  • Paul Newman did his own bicycle stunts

 

From Here to Eternity

from-here-to-eternity-film

Although I had never watch the full version of this film before, I had seen the classic scene with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster on the beach many times. At times the filming and acting came across as choppy to me, perhaps because Montgomery Clift (who played Robert E. Lee Prewitt) was pioneering a new type of acting (method) and therefore, his style seemed almost out of place (although exceptionally more natural). The lone but hard working soldier, the unhappy girl, and the hard-nosed officers lent inspiration to future films such as An Officer and A Gentleman, The Guardian, and Annapolis.. The casting of Donna Reed as a well, let’s face it, hooker, was a genius move, considering she had been typecast as the “girl next door” in previous roles. The role of Maggio was played by Frank Sinatra, an interesting choice but one that brought comic relief to an otherwise dramatic film.  This film was certainly an interesting fictional take on the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the people whose lives were changed by that event.

Notice these tidbits…

  • Montgomery Clift, in true method acting style, learned to play the bugle for his role (even though he knew he would dubbed) and studied boxing (although he was dubbed by a real boxer in key scenes)

  • The kiss between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach was deamed “too erotic” by the MPAA

  • Aloha shirts became much more popular after this film was released

  • Based on the book From Here to Eternity, by James Jones

 

 

See my other movie reviews in the following blog posts:

100 Movies: Update

100 Movies Update 2

Check out other blog posts of mine as well, and be sure to sign up for new post alerts through email!

Happy New Year (and belated Merry Christmas)!

Life Updates!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Ah, My Life

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One thought on “100 Movies Update 3

  1. Pingback: 100 Movies: Update 4 | shelby's LIFE WITH LYME

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