Off Topic Messages

Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:54 am

Silent movies are tough..but some greats are Nosferatu, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phatom of the Opera, The Gold Rush, The General, Metropolis, THE LOST WORLD(hello!)

Though the title cards are more then annoying...these are still too good to be passed up.

I hate how father time has not treated these well.

As for war I just watched All Quiet on the Western Front. to just rag on you Jeff, but it was quite moving. Considering all the debates of late, it did strike me funny. One of the best anti-war movies ever..though not silent. :D

It was those wars I think were the most pointless, because back then the rest of the world was never in danger. No I could actually identify with the rationale of just getting the leaders into a big ring!

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:01 am

Geno -

You wrote:
As for war I just watched All Quiet on the Western Front.

I hope that was the b & w original and not that colour re-make with John-boy Walton !

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:10 am

I am speaking of the original. From what I have read the remake wasn't done very well.

Still someday I may watch it out of curiosity.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:14 am

Geno -

Don't bother !

That original is sure a classic, though.

Must be one of the earliest 'talkies' musn't it ?

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:20 am

It needs a massive restoration effort. The sound is pretty good, but the scratches on the film print are pitiful!

You gotta figure a good computer could eliminate much of the problems. It would sure be worthwhile..though I suspect it would never be a massive seller, which is a damn shame!

As far as earlies is, but I like to think of the Cocoanuts as an even earlier one. Love that movie from the Marx Brothers..but it is so sad how bad the print is. The quality makes me wanna cry!

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:28 am

After a little research it is one of the earliest sound films every made! Lets face it The Marx Brothers were the first to really utilize sound as a tool rather then a way to communicate.

Leanard Maltin once said that Harpo works only in a world where we can hear everyone else. Though Harpo has done a silent movie..I gotta agree with that. His reactionary comedy is what works..not the actual silence alone.

Of course a fact like this is lost on someone like Doc who prizes the slapstick limited humor of the Stooges. They have their place....but much farther down the list when it comes to all time top comedians.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 2:33 am

genesim wrote:

As for mainstream..The English Patient. What a piece of drawn out sh*t!

Amen to that!

For once, we completely agree! :wink: :lol:


Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:18 am

Some of my favorites:

The Shawshank Redemption
The Green Mile

I saw Passion of the Christ once and will not need to see it again.

My all time favorite would have to be Peter Rabbit Goes To Town.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:35 am

The Blair Witch Trials does jump out at me and The Third Man. I fell asleep in the middle of The Longest Day, but I did like Private Ryan. Guess I generally like Tom Hanks. I also like Morgan Freeman. I also liked the old musicals, like South Pacific and 7 Brides. Good grief, these are all OLD movies!!!

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:06 am

Carolyn -

Despite her beauty, Elizabeth Taylor wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

A friend of hers caught her hiring a cab just to run her needlessly around the block a few times.

When he asked why she was doing this, she replied that her current film contract included a generous daily travel allowance.

Poor Liz thought she was duty bound to spend it each day !

Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:32 am

Taylor is a decent enough actress if she has a good director pushing her in the right direction. I thought she was wonderful in "Suddenly Last Summer."

I don't have a problem with silents but you have to make an adjustment from most films. I think more than any other style you have to appreciate their visual beauty.

I think silents created the Achilles' Heel of early talkies. A lot of the actors and actresses really didn't know how to act in the sound medium and they continued to overreact on the screen visually and underract vocally. It created many amateurish. Most of which fortunately were stuck in the secondary leads. The actors who came from the stage like Cagney, Muni, Karloff and Edward G. Robinson (aside from a little theatricality that soon vanished) adopted easily to the new medium. Robinson is distinctly modern and able in his early film roles like "Little Caesar" and "Five Star Final". Look at "Five Star Final" for the discrepancy between the two acting styles. By 1940, the silent film stars and amateurish newcomers were mostly gone. There was still some over/underacting as there is always is but the amateur hour stuff had mostly vanished.

I guess you could say the same thing about directors though as well. Many directors like Tod Browning and Chaplin were far more comfortable within the confines of the silent era even in their sound work the best moments are pantomine.

The "Cocoanuts" which I just watched last week was one of the first talkies made in 1929 the year before "All Quiet". The print is awful in parts. Marx Brothers were geniuses. I agree about the power that sound gave their act not only Harpo but also Groucho's wisecracks and Chico's accent. Even their little scam routines that they play on one another and the world at large wouldn't work as well having panels interspersed to explain their banter. In many ways, they are the ultimate sound movie comedians as their work demands to be both seen and heard.

I watched the John Boy "All Quiet" as a kid in school and it was pretty good.

Tom- I agree about the cinematography in the long drawn out boring epics but is it worth going through 4 plus hours of "Cleopatra" for a few stunning visuals (even though I supremely respect the work that went into obtaining those visuals.)

Fri Sep 23, 2005 5:17 pm

Even their little scam routines that they play on one another and the world at large wouldn't work as well having panels interspersed to explain their banter. In many ways, they are the ultimate sound movie comedians as their work demands to be both seen and heard.

You said it brother! I was watching the movie Foul Play with Chevy Chase and Goldie...very bad, but I enjoy it so much..guilty pleasure. The final stage scene reminds me so much of a A Night At the Opera Harpo run around. There is a lot of that, like the other scene where the stuff the cabin full of people. I think of the ending of Mr. Mom being the same damn gag!

Not only do I think of Penn and Teller when it comes to Harpo..but think how Angus Young acts in AC/DC. The facial expression..the "crazy" guy.

Groucho=Bugs Bunny and so many other hundreds that came after him. Most commedians today are trying some aspect of his style.

For Chico...take a look at Pacino in Scarface. The likeness is uncanny. The walk..the talk..the style. I could go on and on. Like most greats, the more you see them, the more you realize how truly innovative they were.

Even the music is very reminiscent. I think of Lydia The Tattood Lady in At the Circus and then take a look at the style used for Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds. The tone that Groucho sings is very similar. Especially the "you can leeaaarrrnnn alot from Lydia" as opposed to John singin "kalleeeeiiidiscope eyes". I remember reading somewhere that The Beatles were Marx Brother's fans and their style in A Hard Days Night reflects that. There was another specific song "Alone" in A Night at The Opera which was also Beatle Like. It was pissing me off cause I couldn't remember the Paul McCartney/Beatle tune. Something like Paul singing "with love". Oh well, it is obvious, but I just can't place the damn song title!

Harpo plays a little of "Alone" mixed in this clip..but the part where he whistles is the part that maybe someone could discern. ... ra1935.wmv