Wednesday, March 01, 2006

100 Films -- Days 48 through 56

Another Wednesday night, and another Frankenheimer political thriller, Seven Days in May with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. I enjoyed this more than The Manchurian Candidate (if you can call something so disturbing "enjoyable"). Lancaster is suitably scary, and Kirk Douglas' chin is all over the place. Seeing the way this and Candidate were shot, I think Frankenheimer was really ahead of his time.

Thursday night I watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This is a film I've seen before, but it was a long time ago. Compare this movie to Seven Days in May. Being made right before WWII, Capra uses patriotic music and scenes to build up the emotion, and I believe it still works. You want to believe that an ordinary person like Jefferson Smith can still get into the political process and do something for the public good against the political and press machines of the world.

No movies on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Speaking of machines, on Monday I saw Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. Good movie; Chaplin's critique of Depression-era America and a last hurrah for the silent cinema that made him famous.

Tuesday night's movie was A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers. The only Marx Brothers movie I've ever seen was The Big Store and that was when it aired on WGN one Sunday afternoon when I was 9 or 10 years old. Besides that, I've seen some clips on TV, so I knew what to expect. Night started out a little slow but it eventually picked up and had some really good moments. The scenes of Harpo and Chico playing music show just how talented they really were. Groucho's one-liners got some out-loud laughs from me, especially during the "stuffing 15 people into the tiny stateroom" bit.

Tonight I'm watching Leave Her to Heaven.

Update: Leave Her to Heaven is a creepy movie, and an oddity in that it's a Technicolor noir. Pretty depressing, too.

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