Marty (1955)

Marty Movie Review

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Marty Movie Review

Marty is a 1955 romance film directed by Delbert Mann and starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair. It is one of the best films of all time.

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You don’t like her. My mother don’t like her. She’s a dog.

And I’m a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night.

I’m gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together,

I’m gonna get down on my knees. I’m gonna beg that girl to marry me.

If we make a party on New Year’s, I got a date for that party.

You don’t like her? That’s too bad!

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Marty Movie Review

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The film is about a bachelor butcher who gets pressured to get married by his friends and family as he is 34. One day, he meets a girl with similar problems and the two establish a romantic connection. Now where do I even begin with the praise for one of my favorite movies ever? First of all, this is one of the truly rare Hollywood films that deals with “ugly” people and regular folks with regular professions and problems and that makes it truly special. It is even more special for its time as back then these kinds of “small” films just did not exist.

Secondly, the film is just so damn realistic as it perfectly showcases the constant annoying behavior from parents and family when it comes to getting married. America got past this, but most parts of the world still have this problem so the film remains hugely relatable. The third great thing about it in terms of storytelling is its subplot which is beautiful. Usually movies that have these smaller stories suffer, but this one only got richer and deeper as it showcased in such a sweet, tragic way how getting old is terrible for a single/widowed mother.

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Marty Movie Review

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Marty is one of the best protagonists ever in a film. Yes, he is that great. Relatable and realistic, sweet and caring, but not too great a person, he seemed like a real person to me and is the heart and soul of the entire film. Clara is simply a wonderful person and I just loved her awkward, shy personality and her heart was always in the right place.

These two make one of the best romantic pairs ever in a film leading to possibly the best movie romance of all time. Watching them together is a priceless experience. How they met was very much like the movies and their entire date is so romantic and beautiful that it definitely is very cinematic. However, it is also realistic as it showcased in such a sweet manner the beauty of falling in love while also showing the darker side to it in the reactions of family and friends. Him talking constantly and then eventually her starting to talk, him awkwardly paying compliments and her being awkward when it comes to kissing… all of it was beautiful to me. It brought a smile to my face and I was even on the verge of happy tears as that’s how gorgeous this film is.

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Marty Movie Review

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Mary’s mother is such a great character too. Again grounded in reality and quite funny at times. Angie is very annoying, but again a realistic character and I loved how Marty eventually came to realize that his friends were holding him back. A great arc. Catherine is so funny and she made me laugh quite a bit and the scenes between the two old women were very heartwarming.

The acting is fabulous here. Ernest Borgnine gave his career best performance for sure and he absolutely excelled in a role that was seemingly not suited for him. His performance is subtle and the reason why Marty seemed like a real person lies in his incredible performance. Truly one of the greats in movie history. Betsy Blair is also excellent in a very charming role and I just loved her smile. She was so wonderful here. The fact that they cast people that look like their roles instead of the usual great looking actors pretending to play ugly people is admirable. And all of the others did a great job, but these two were the film’s soul.

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Marty Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the humor. Marty is a romance above all and certainly not a romantic comedy as it is too serious in tone for that classification. However, the film is still incredibly funny. Whenever they asked him when he was going to get married, those moments were both funny and frustratingly relatable. I loved the two old women and both were quite humorous and they made me laugh the most. And of course that line about marrying a girl that is half your age cracked me up as it was such a hilarious, stupid line of dialogue and the funniest and most memorable quote here.

So Marty has it all. The film is so well directed by Delbert Mann and even though some find it to be TV quality when it comes to cinematography, I thought it looked fine and some scenes were quite cinematic and it felt like a movie to me. It is a great example of an indie film as it surely was for its time and that is what makes it more realistic, applicable and ultimately better than most 50s films. The pacing is excellent and the film flies by how fun it is. It is incredibly emotional and sometimes I wanted to cry honestly. Its dialogue is top-notch and the character development is, as I said, stupendous.

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Marty Movie Review

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Marty was nominated for eight Oscars and it won four. Betsy Blair should have won for Supporting Actress, but I am so glad that the film won in four major categories. Director and screenplay are much deserved and Ernest Borgnine was thankfully rewarded for one of the best male performances ever. It won Best Picture as the shortest and sweetest film to ever win that award and one of the best. It is one of my top twenty favorite films of all time and a film that I am going to watch for decades to come.

With very relatable and important issues explored, such a great humor with many hilarious lines and one of the best romantic pairs ever in a film, Marty is truly the best romance film of all time. Ernest Borgnine gave one of the best male performances ever and Betsy Blair is also great. They are wonderful together and the film is so sweet, so indescribably beautiful that it almost moved me to tears. The dialogue is top-notch, the characterization is very strong and the film is very realistic and heartwarming leading to one of the best films of all time and one of my personal favorites. A classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review……………………………………………………

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 western film directed by John Sturges and starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. It is a solid western flick.

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All gunfighters are lonely.

They live in fear.

They die without a dime, a woman or a friend

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The film follows a famous shootout in history which lasted only for 30 seconds but here it lasted for five minutes which was definitely needed. And of course the film features big build-up and it follows both of its protagonists and their stories leading up to the shootout. The action itself is very well executed, exciting and memorable. The entire third act and especially the ending are worth this long build-up and they certainly delivered.

However, this is an obvious example of an overlong execution of a pretty short premise. I realize that they definitely needed to exaggerate a bit, but they certainly did not need to have a running time of full two hears as an hour and a half would have sufficed. But this way, the entire first act was pretty slow, uninvolving and thoroughly uneventful.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about its characters. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are very interesting and memorable as these famous historical figures and they are brought to life really well here thanks to two stellar performances from Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. They not only delivered strong performances but the casting of them was top-notch too as they fit their characters like a glove.

The others are less memorable, but Laura is pretty good as is Kate Fisher. They surprisingly got a lot to do for female characters in a western film which was refreshing. Ringo should have been more memorable, but Billy Clanton is very well utilized and I liked all of his scenes.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is technically superb. Not only does it feature solid direction from John Sturges per usual, but it is visually dazzling owing to excellent Technicolor and some great, memorable imagery here and there. To me the highlights were the scenes outdoors and I wished there were more of those though the interiors were pretty detailed and realistic as well.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The action is solid and the score is particularly strong except for the overly playful score in the last battle. The titular theme repeated throughout is wonderful and the heart and soul of the movie thanks to excellent, fitting lyrics and a memorable tone. This is a pretty solid western film, but the one that is only very competently made and never rising above that level. It needed more emotion in it and the character development is solid, but not the greatest. I also found its dialogue and subplots lacking and the film seemed too much like a book with too many unnecessary details and plot developments in my opinion. But it is still a solid introductory lesson to this famous historical event.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is overly extended and rarely truly great with too many details and a weaker first act, but it is still a pretty solid, competently made western flick featuring very good performances from both Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, a memorable final scene, good visuals and truly excellent score.

My Rating – 3.5

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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain Movie Review

Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film directed by and starring Gene Kelly along with Debbie Reynolds. It is one of the best musical as well as comedy films ever made.

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“What’s wrong with the way I talk?

What’s the big idea?

Am I dumb or something?”

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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It offers a satire on the late 1920s film industry and how the arrival of sound changed the Hollywood landscape. I love this story. It was such an important transitional period for the film industry and here it was showcased beautifully. I loved its various homages to the classic musicals of the late 1920s and 1930s and the whole film serves wonderfully as a film history lesson, but done in a comedic manner which was great and such an approach fits this material so well.

The characters are so likable. Both Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden are heartwarming and sympathetic and I loved their romance. Cosmo was to me the only a bit annoying character here, but even he got some fun and charming moments. But of course Lina Lamont takes the cake for being the most memorable character and the overall finest aspect of the film. Jean Hagen is over-the-top and theatrical, but that fits this role like a glove and she turned out to be incredibly funny. Debbie Reynolds is very charming and of course Gene Kelly is great not only in his dancing and singing, but in his performance as well as he is so inherently likable and charismatic. And the fact that he directed the film as well just goes to show how much talent he possessed.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain is a glorious musical filled with unforgettable technical aspects from the costumes which are actually some of the best ever put on film to the imagery which is highly memorable and sometimes even unforgettable. That titular sequence is one for the ages, original and charming. But the entire musical piece near the end when they filmed the film is so well done and actually sometimes incredibly authentic and beautiful. The colors are vivid and the musical sequences are perfectly constructed with of course very professional dancing in it.

Let’s talk about the songs. All I Do Is Dream of You is sweetly romantic and Make ’em Laugh isn’t the best scene, but it serves its purpose and the song itself is quite catchy. Should I? and Beautiful Girl are solid, but Moses Supposes was a bit too goofy and childish in my opinion. Good Morning is so inherently catchy with infectious energy in it and the entire scene is so charming.  Would You is also quite sweet and a great scene. But of course Singin’ in the Rain is a classic song. The entire sequence is beautiful and authentic, featuring probably the best and most romantic use of rain ever, but the lyrics are sweet, Gene Kelly is absolutely superb here and the song is both beautiful and romantic.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Obviously Singin’ in the Rain is a great musical. However, I do think that the film should be remembered and cherished more for its laughs than the songs. Do not get me wrong, it surely is one of the best musicals ever made, but it is to me just as much one of the best comedies of all time as the film is just so funny throughout its whole running time.

Lina is hilarious and the highlight is the microphone sequence. Perfectly constructed, this scene is consistently entertaining and hysterical from beginning to end. Really, this is comedy gold and a great proof of how some comedies from this period are funny to this day. It is one of the funniest films I’ve seen recently for sure. Another classic was the theater scene when they played their finished product for the test audience and to me it was a perfect parody of the poor sound quality of early sound films, so truthful.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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The film is great because it doesn’t sacrifice one for the other as it succeeds both in the musical and in the humor department. The tone is consistent and the transitions are swift and professional. The movie is also deftly edited and never prolonged or rushed. It lasts for just the right amount of running time and is always riveting to watch. Such a classic.

Funny and romantic, grand and smart, Singin’ in the Rain has it all and it is not only one of the best musicals ever made with many classic and unforgettable songs accompanied by great imagery and all around superb scenes, but it’s also one of the best comedies as it is consistently funny with a couple of scenes that are comedy gold, so perfectly constructed and absolutely hilarious. It is such a great satire on early sound films and it serves as a great and funny film history lesson. The film is also a visual marvel to behold leading to an undisputed classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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Funny Face (1957)

Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Funny Face Movie Review

Funny Face is a 1957 musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanely Donen and starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. It is not the greatest movie.

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Let’s give ’em the old pizazz!

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The plot is so predictable and familiar. Astaire’s character provides a modeling career for Audrey’ character who is a highly intellectual bookworm. She turns into a star and the two end up together. Standard stuff. But what is even more frustrating is the 30-year age gap between these two stars and that was quite uncomfortable to watch.

They both gave good performances. Fred Astaire is solid in the role, but to me Audrey Hepburn totally trumped him here and actually gave one of her career best performances. And it is a shame that the movie cannot match her talent whatsoever. The other characters are rare, but somewhat memorable. Maggie is really funny.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So Funny Face fails as a romantic comedy because these two do not have good chemistry and their age gap is creepy. I never bought them as a couple and I actually hated them as a couple. And that is never a good sign. I guess it has some romantic scenes and some funny scenes, but they are not enough to compensate for the overall lack of bigger laughs and more genuine, better written romance.
Funny Face is also a musical and it fails in that department as well. Think Pink! is a lot of fun, Bonjour Paris! is so typical, but it looks great and Funny Face is solid. All of the other songs are either forgettable, typical or bland. But the biggest problem here is that the songs just do not have anything to do with the plot itself. Some do, but most act as unfortunate, overlong and even boring detours and they needlessly occupy a very high amoung of screen time.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So I do not hate this movie as it has its genuinely good scenes, but most of it is so predictable and typical that it wasn’t a very entertaining experience. The dancing is great, the choreography is excellent and the film is well made, but that just wasn’t enough to overcome such dull plot and characters. The Technicolor here is absolutely gorgeous and one of the finest that I have ever seen. The costumes are amazing, the use of color is brilliant and the film looks so spectacular that it’s a shame that the material is so weak.
It is a total shame that such gorgeous Technicolor, costumes and great effort went to the production of Funny Face, a movie that is so dull and weak in characters and plot. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful and so good in the lead role, but the age gap between her and Fred Astaire is too enormous and frankly uncomfortable and I never bought their romance. The movie fails as a romantic comedy because it is so clichéd and rarely truly romantic and funny plus it also fails as a musical for the songs for the most part do not have anything to do with the plot and are basically detours and filler material.

My Rating – 3

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The War of the Worlds (1953)

The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………

The War of the Worlds Movie Review

The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film that is one of the most popular genre films of the fifties.
It is of course based on the eponymous novel written by H. G. Wells and even though I respect the author, a lot of the things have changed since 1898 so of course this material is going to be dated by today’s SF standards. And that is why they chose to adapt it differently and add that Cold War/atomic bomb aspect to it, but I am afraid that they again made it the product of its time.

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“We know now we can’t beat their machines.

We’ve got to beat them”

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
The aliens attacking Earth for resourses is a conventional, archetypal sci-fi premise, but here it is executed in the best way possible so I didn’t mind it as much. And even though the religious overtones in the ending are overly aggressive and came out of nowhere, I still liked that twist ending and it was the best and most interesting way to finish the movie.
The War of the Worlds is a blockbuster, I don’t care what anyone else says, blockbusters existed way before 1975. Here you have a lot of action, but also some necessary humor as well as the epic tone to it along with some post-apocalyptic sequences. And I liked that about it. Watching a 1950s blockbuster was an interesting experience and a lot of fun. No matter what you think of it, you cannot deny its huge entertainment factor.
What the movie gets wrong is the characters. The character development is truly mediocre and this is one of those movies where you don’t care for the human characters and you just wanna follow those aliens. I guess Dr. Forrester is fine as the lead, though highly clichéd, but Sylvia is just awful. Oh my god, did I hate her character! She is basically a screaming, annoying bitch and one of the 50s weakest, most frustrating female characters for sure. The acting is also not the greatest and sometimes it is quite poor.

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
But the film has some good characters that appear in very small roles such as those rednecks who get killed by the Martians first. They were so funny and they made me laugh honestly. The scene in the beginning where a man looks at his friends’ cards while he’s on the phone is also very funny and that goofy humor was present quite a bit in the film and I liked it a lot.
On a purely scientific level, the film is ridiculous. The Martians are the aliens which is beyond stupid and why would they destroy even the buildings is beyond me. But this is one of those fun sci-fi movies, blockbusters that are meant to be entertaining and watching it as such, it succeeds in spades.

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
The War of the Worlds is a technical marvel for its time. Truly the special effects are groundbreaking. I liked the aliens’ design a lot and they were portrayed convincingly. And I admired the choice to have them shown in just two scenes and only once fully. Certainly some scenes are too campy, but for its time the movie is actually pretty advanced and you can see how expensive it must have been. The ships look fine and those cameras and electric eye also movie convincingly. The score is also very good and the sound effects are particularly terrific and memorable. The film is also very well edited and consistently engaging throughout its whole, quite short running time.
The War of the Worlds is certainly dated in its archetypal concept plus the human characters and acting are quite poor, but the film is a lot of fun and it succeeds in spades as an entertaining 50s blockbuster with some pretty good humor too. The special effects are outstanding for its time, the sound is great and the movie is fun enough that you can forgive it for its many flaws.

My Rating – 4

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The Big Heat (1953)

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The Big Heat Movie Review

The Big Heat is a 1953 noir film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford and Lee Marvin. It is a predictable, yet memorably dark movie.

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The main thing is to have the money.

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor.

Believe me – rich is better.

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Obviously the big problem here is the script which is overly familiar and I’ve seen some of the scenes here multiple times before and after. The pot itself is fine, though definitely standard, but it is executed well and professionally written. However, the problem is the overall predictable nature to the movie. It is so predictable that almost its every plot point is expected. I saw the ending, I knew who was going to die and who is bad and the best example of this predictability lies in the scene where the protagonist’s wife dies. Yes, it is done and filmed well, but everybody would realize what is going to happen in barely a minute there.

I liked its characters. The Big Heat is famous for turning the femme fatale aspect on its head by making the man be fatal for all the women who meet him. That was definitely original and great. I really liked Bannion as he is a complex, memorable noir protagonist and him coping with his wife’s death was really well done. Debby is terrific and she stole the show here as the most interesting and even fascinating character. As for the villains, they are fine and dangerous, but I thought that the decision to reveal them so early was done for better and for worse.

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This isn’t an A-list cast of actors, but they still did such a good job. Gloria Grahame is very good, Lee Marvin is memorably villainous and Glenn Ford was mostly really good and competent in a somewhat difficult role. Of course Fritz Lang’s direction is terrific and it is so great seeing that the director of ‘Metropolis’ could tackle noir along with science fiction. He truly was a great director.

The Big Heat is fascinating for its mature tone and that is its greatest and most authentic accomplishment. It is certainly the most memorable aspect of the entire film. The scene where Vince tortures Debby and throws hot coffee on her face, thus permanently ruining the entire side of her face is certainly the most violent scene that I have ever witnessed in an older film. It is definitely the most memorable part of the film and although too violent, I actually liked it as it raised the stakes for sure.

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But having her get her revenge and doing the same to him later on was a great choice and a further proof of how strong and feminist the women in classic Hollywood movies were. These were great female characters who were strong and capable, but in a realistic manner. I loved Debby. But I also liked that it was an emotional film, subtly emotional in its protagonist’s problems. The ending is so sweet and I adored that speech about his wife that he gave to Debby, so beautiful. The film is also superbly edited as it is deft and doesn’t waste any scene, but also doesn’t rush the story. I just wished that it wasn’t that predictable as it would have been superb, but it is still very good this way and a proof of how talented Lang really was.

What hurt The Big Heat in the long run is the entire predictability of its plot with almost every plot point being expected, but this noir is still so well made, so well directed by Fritz Lang and so well acted that they managed to lift the material to much greater heights. I loved its emotional approach with a couple of beautiful and moving scenes, but the highlight are its memorable characters and most especially its incredibly dark approach with a couple of unforgettable brutal scenes that are not excessive, but help raise the stakes significantly.

My Rating – 4

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An American in Paris (1951)

An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

An American in Paris Movie Review

An American in Paris is a 1951 musical film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. It is one of my favorite musicals.

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I’m a concert pianist.

That’s a pretentious way of saying I’m… unemployed at the moment

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

I really love this movie, but even I have to admit that its plot is lacking. Let me elaborate. I usually really dislike love triangles in a film and find them stupid and dull, but here it was surprisingly handled really well and I mean in a comedic and light manner. That was great. But what wasn’t so great is how the film just ended, in an instant. It was abrupt, sort of unrealistic and just disappointing overall.

The first half is all great and I had no complaints there from the storytelling department. But the second half features another very problematic development and that is Jerry going after Milo after breaking up with Lise. That made him unlikable and of course Milo eventually got screwed over. Yes, she approached him aggressively, but he gave her false hope and that made his otherwise very sympathetic character somewhat unlikable. The film was definitely unfair in its treatment of Milo.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

But even though the plot is so troublesome in a couple of scenes, that is basically the only problem I have with this film as otherwise I find it to be fantastic. Jerry Mulligan is mostly very likable and such a charming man. Lise is quite endearing and the relationship between the two is great and they are lovable together. Adam has his comedic moments and even Henri can be funny at times. And I liked Milo quite a bit and found her to be a very progressive female character for her time.

I found the acting to be pretty good. Oscar Levant is quite good and humorous at times and Nina Foch is very good with Georges Guetary being the weak link here. Leslie Caron is very likable and I honestly think that Gene Kelly should have been nominated for his performance here which is very strong and charismatic. His dancing is out of this world, but he is also very likable and very professional in his acting as well.

An American in Paris features some of the best dance sequences to ever come from Hollywood. Truly sometimes the film reached not only greatness, but pure artistic achievement. It felt like watching musical art in its highest form. Gene Kelly is such a great dancer and some of his movements here were just incredible to behold. But the choreography of these scenes as a whole is gorgeous and the film is just breathtaking technically.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

As for the songs, they are solid. Some are great, others are forgettable. Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra totally felt like a detour as a song and overall scene, ‘S Wonderful is light and serves its purpose, but the lyrics are mediocre and all of the other songs are mostly forgettable. Not bad, but not great either.

But Embraceable You is pretty solid and Love Is Here to Stay is such a pleasing, fitting song for the most romantic sequence in the film. But of course my favorite is I Got Rhythm. I just love this song. It has fun lyrics, it is immensely catchy and enjoyable plus it is accompanied by the most childlike and effervescent scene in the movie.

An American in Paris naturally looks gorgeous. The entire last segment featuring the titular number was just breathtaking to behold. It was long, but never boring as those dances and choreography are the most memorable thing from the entire film. And I liked that it was a dream sequence, very fitting to it in style.

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An American in Paris Movie Review………………………………………………………

The film is solidly edited and really well directed by Vincente Minnelli, but the highlights are the cinematography and the costumes. The film’s camera angles and shots are perfect and so inspired and rarely has Hollywood seen better costume design than in this movie. Wow, beautiful to watch. It is one of the rare movies that benefit from being in color and truly the Technicolor here is gorgeous. I loved its artistic side not only in music, but in paintings as well. It is a very sensual and great looking film. It is a proof how strong visually can a film be and that essentially it is a visual medium. The production design is just amazing and some of the scenery here was both exceedingly wonderful and highly memorable. And its humor is just fabulous and it frequently made me laugh out loud. It deserved all of its technical awards and I think I am in the minority here, but I honestly think that it deserved to win Best Picture in a very strong year. It is definitely one of my personal favorites from this genre.

Some plot points certainly felt troublesome and the ending is abrupt, but other than that, An American in Paris is a fantastic film. Gene Kelly is so charismatic and likable in his role and Leslie Caron is quite endearing. The film is very romantic and exceedingly charming in almost every scene with a nice dose of excellent humor, but the highlights are its technical aspects – the costumes are some of the best ever put on film, the choreography is amazing, the dancing is phenomenal to behold, some songs are very catchy and the film is beautifully shot and such a great feast for the eyes. Visually dazzling and even artistic, it is definitely one of my favorite musicals.

My Rating – 4.5

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Ordet (1955)

Ordet Movie Review………………………………………………………………

Ordet Movie Review

Ordet is a 1955 Danish drama film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It is a disappointing film from a usually great director.

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I believe a lot of little miracles happen secretly.

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Ordet Movie Review………………………………………………………………

I really liked the plot in Ordet. It is a fascinating examination of religion and the power of spiritual belief. The ending, although definitely out there, was intriguing and ultimately quite powerful. Some of the other scenes such as the famous poster sequence in the fields were also memorable in imagery and quite fascinating.

But it is ultimately just solid and never great mainly because of the pacing. The film is dreadfully slow which troubled me and thus I was rarely engaged in the storyline thoroughly. It takes its time to get there owing to a slow start and the final third, no matter how powerful, still came too late in the game.

The acting is great, but the character development should have been better. They are solidly developed, but not great which they should have been as this is obviously a chamber piece which needs the characters more than anything else.

Although I really disliked its sometimes overly static approach with too much dialogue and not powerful but somewhat not essential and lacking dialogue, I liked a couple of quotes and lines nonetheless and I really liked the visuals here. Whenever the film went out of the house, it was great to watch and quite fascinating. It of course benefits from an interesting take in terms of the cinematography.

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Ordet Movie Review………………………………………………………………

Ordet definitely looked interesting and was superbly shot. It was also really well directed and it was all around great in terms of the technical aspects. However, the script, though definitely sophisticated, was never as well utilized in the execution which felt disappointing and led to a film being more of a visual and interesting than a truly thought-provoking and spiritual experience. That all led to Ordet being a solid, but in the end very disappointing and dull movie. Carl Theodor Dreyer disappointed me here and ‘The Passion of Joan Arc’ and ‘Day of Wrath’ were infinitely better.

Ordet is a solid, but disappointing film. The direction from Carl Theodor Dreyer is expectedly strong, the cinematography is inspired with some of the shots being quite intriguing and the film is clever and very interesting, but because it was so slow paced and lacked focus, it never utilized its premise particularly well and ended up being more of an intriguing than a truly spiritual experience.

My Rating – 3.5

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 musical comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. It is such a fun, crazy movie.

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Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty?

You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty,

but my goodness, doesn’t it help?

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Yes, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of those classic movies that feel way too modern for its age and surely, owing to its infectious energy, weird humor and strong sexuality, it can be enjoyed immensely by today’s audiences. I admired its energy and the film was entertaining from beginning to end. Its oddball nature was perfect and the sexual aspects were so funny and delightfully cheesy.

Marilyn Monroe here proves that she was actually a very good actress. She gives such a great performance, full of charisma, vigor and charm. She was very good and of course beautiful. But to me Jane Russell was the real star here. Don’t get me wrong, both women are great, but she is more memorable and quite underrated here. She stole the show and her more down-to-earth, but still funny character was terrific. The two are so great together. The men are all fine, but these two women are the real stars.

What I found really interesting about Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is that vibrant, over-the-top sexuality. Rarely do we see women lust over men in such an evident and strong manner and this is the fifties we’re talking about. So crazy and weird. Watching Jane Russell in particular was such a delight as her obsession with handsome men perfectly clashed against Monroe’s obsession with rich, older guys.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The film to me is very good, but never great as it somewhat loses its steam in the second half resulting in the film that is much funnier and much better in the first half. And that whole shenanigans with the jewelry could have been better executed. The movie was also way too superficial at times and way too entertaining. I wish that it featured some sophisticated moments along with the fun ones and we never really get to see some sort of a commentary here which is a real shame.

But it does succeed as a comedy because it can be quite funny at times and even hilarious. It also succeeds as a musical because, let’s be honest, these songs are so good and so catchy that everyone can enjoy them. Anyone Here for Love? isn’t that memorable as a musical number, but with that infectious energy and a great turn from Russell, it becomes unforgettable. The imagery there is also truly one of a kind as we watch her being so happy surrounded by those handsome sportsmen. Bye Bye Baby is a great number as it is so catchy and just a lot of fun. But of course the real highlight has to be Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend which is not only catchy and entertaining, but also technically brilliant and filled with awesome costumes and a superb set.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

It is weird that the film was directed by Howard Hawks as this is most certainly far from his usual style, but he proved how great he was when he made it so good anyway. The editing is mostly great, the film is consistently engaging, the acting is so good and the film is so well made with some gorgeous Technicolor at display. Overall, it isn’t great, but as these kinds of comedies go, it is pretty special in its own right.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes isn’t particularly sophisticated, but it is such a fun and funny film that feels so modern owing to its awesome mix of strong sexuality, weird and over-the-top humor and an infectious energy. Marilyn Monroe is so good here, but Jane Russell is even better and the two are such a great duo. The film is such a good comedy, but also a great musical as it is filled with many catchy songs and so well choreographed musical numbers. It’s unabashedly light and fluffy, but fun and charming nonetheless.

My Rating – 4

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The Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The Seven Year Itch Movie Review

The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. It is one of the director’s weakest works.

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When it gets hot like this, you know what I do?

I keep my undies in the icebox!

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It follows a man who is away from his wife and is experiencing the titular psychological term. He meets a beautiful woman and the two hang out and talk for days. The director himself stated that this was “a nothing film” because he couldn’t film it as he should have those days – with a lot of sex and infidelity. But as I usually dislike those, I found this approach satisfying and I really liked that he didn’t cheat on his wife and how the girl actually told him some wise words near the end. I liked that he realized what a fool he was and hurried back to his wife, I liked that their relationship was mostly a fun friendship.

What I didn’t like here is the film’s approach in terms of storytelling. This is one of those movies that is lost potential, it gets half of the scenes right and half very wrong. I was frustrated watching its obvious bad choices unfold in front of my eyes. I am of course talking about the film’s structure and humor.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The film uses way too many imagination scenes and although they are quite funny and amusing at first, they become annoying as the movie progresses. The same can be said about the protagonist. Richard Sherman is the kind of character that is at first sympathetic and even likable, but he is best used in small doses and here he is at the center of the entire movie and that was just too much and he very quickly got on my nerves. I wished for more Monroe as she was much more sympathetic and memorable.

The other problem, again concerning the structure, is the film’s unwillingness to go into theatrical territory. It should have focused entirely on these two characters and it should have revolved around one room. It is that kind of story and that talkative and narrow approach would have worked wonders here. But unfortunately they put in many other supporting characters and all of them are forgettable and they hurt the movie a lot.

Tom Ewell gives a good performance, but is annoying as a comedian. Marilyn Monroe is as childish and foolish as ever, but it was fascinating watching her give a couple of really smart lines too and she was as amusing and as pretty as ever.

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The Seven Year Itch Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The comedy in The Seven Year Itch is troublesome. Some of the moments and lines made me laugh and the sexual humor is very funny, but the film is more often than not annoying instead of funny with an excessive use of the protagonist and his dated humor. In fact, the entire film is very dated when you think about it and its age can be seen from the get-go. The pacing is problematic, but the film looks good and the Cinemascope suits it really well and suits its star wonderfully. I liked this film and it was solid, but it was more disappointing than satisfying unfortunately.

The Seven Year Itch is one of those movies that were very contemporary for its time, but are now obviously immensely dated. The film features good performances, a solid relationship between the two stars and is quite funny and charming at times, but it is more annoying than funny with a protagonist that becomes more and more annoying as the film progresses. The movie also should have focused entirely on the two, it should have had a theatrical approach in its production with less characters and the imagination sequences were overly abundant. It is in the end solid and amusing, but a giant mess nonetheless.

My Rating – 3.5

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