Overrated Movies

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FleischerFan
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Postby FleischerFan » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:49 am

zavkram wrote:I thought "Some Like It Hot" was OK, but just OK... I agree with Thad the the film is a bit too long.

This is probably the only Billy Wilder film, out of the ones that I've seen, that I can tolerate.
Just curious, zav, but what other Wilder films have you tried?

Besides Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Seven Year Itch, One-Two-Three, and The Apartment are among my very favorite films.
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Postby looneytooney » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:00 pm

I saw Some Like it Hot for the first time in the best way possible: in a screening room at my film school. I thought it was one of the best comedies I've ever seen. Everyone laughed the most uproariously when the 'private berth party' scene happened. I did find the movie a little long, but I could still tolerate it.

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Joe H
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Postby Joe H » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:39 pm

Yes, Some Like it Hot is overrated and is also one of my favorite movies.

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Thad
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Postby Thad » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:30 pm

Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, One, Two Three, and even Some Like It Hot are all among the greatest movies ever made. The Major and the Minor and Ace in the Hole are extremely underrated. I like The Seven Year Itch and Love in the Afternoon quite a bit, and in spite of its length, Avanti is a gem.

The guy is not overrated.

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Postby looneytooney » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:42 pm

I saw Double Indemnity in the same class I mentioned earlier. I really liked that movie, too. I kept saying to myself, "This is the actor who originally made Flubber."

I haven't seen The Aparment or Sunset Blvd. (Trust me, I really want to.)

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Postby FleischerFan » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:11 pm

looneytooney wrote:I saw Double Indemnity in the same class I mentioned earlier. I really liked that movie, too. I kept saying to myself, "This is the actor who originally made Flubber."
Fred MacMurray may be an underrated actor.

If you liked him in Double Indemnity, you should also like him in The Apartment and a non-Wilder film, The Caine Mutiny.
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HeadIntoSound
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Postby HeadIntoSound » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:34 pm

I don't think there's an argument for a better screenwriter existing than Wilder. Just about every film of his mentioned here is quite good, a lot are masterpieces. I've yet to find a more emotionally fulfilling film than The Apartment, myself.

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Thad
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Postby Thad » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:49 pm

FleischerFan wrote:Fred MacMurray may be an underrated actor.

If you liked him in Double Indemnity, you should also like him in The Apartment and a non-Wilder film, The Caine Mutiny.


MacMurray played a better asshole than a father.

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Postby zavkram » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:15 am

FleischerFan wrote:Just curious, zav, but what other Wilder films have you tried?

Besides Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Seven Year Itch, One-Two-Three, and The Apartment are among my very favorite films.


Sorry, FleischerFan... I had completely forgotten about "Stalag 17"... I remember now that was one Wilder film that I really did like.

When I was thinking about Wilder films I had seen; the ones that came foremost to my mind were "Double Indemnity" and the aforementioned "The Fortune Cookie". Matthau and Lemmon starred together in one of Wilder's last films in the 1980's, "Buddy Buddy"; which I recall thinking was a disaster. I think it's the films in which Wilder had collaborated with screenwriter I.L.A. Diamond that I dislike the most.

Thad had brought up a good point about the cinematography in SLIH; a lot of it looks kind of flat. I also agree with the opinion that the film should have been made in color.

I saw "One, Two, Three" about 20 years ago in a film analysis class I took in college. I only remember now that I didn't care much for it.

My big problem with "Double Indemnity" is the casting of Fred MacMurray as a murderer. I just found his whole portrayal to be comical... maybe because I had seen him on TV all those years on "My Three Sons", my expectations were a bit biased. I also remember that, when I saw the film in a retro theater a few years ago, I could hear people in the audience snickering whenever Edward G. Robinson would start talking about "the little man" inside of him (the one that said something wasn't quite right about the insurance claim.)

As for "Sunset Boulevard", I enjoyed it the first time I saw it; but I don't think I could watch it again anytime soon because of Gloria Swanson's over-the-top acting. Also, that final image of her standing at the top of the staircase in that garish make-up actually used to give me nightmares!
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Postby FleischerFan » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:08 am

zavkram wrote:I think it's the films in which Wilder had collaborated with screenwriter I.L.A. Diamond that I dislike the most.
Can't say I agree with you there.

Diamond collaborated on both SLIH and The Apartment - those are two of my 3 favorite Wilder films (the third being Sunset Boulevard).


zavkram wrote:I saw "One, Two, Three" about 20 years ago in a film analysis class I took in college. I only remember now that I didn't care much for it.
I am a huge Jimmy Cagney fan. I think he had a real flair for comedy. I find the manic pacing of that movie as well as its rampant cynicism to be very enjoyable. It's a nice historical piece as well - perfectly capturing the tensions of the Cold War that were so prevalent when it was made.



zavkram wrote:My big problem with "Double Indemnity" is the casting of Fred MacMurray as a murderer. I just found his whole portrayal to be comical... maybe because I had seen him on TV all those years on "My Three Sons", my expectations were a bit biased.
For me, MacMurray is not simply a murderer - he's a chump, a guy who thinks he's smart and finds out how dumb he's really been.

If you've ever see the Richard Crenna remake, I think you'll appreciate just how good MacMurray was in that role.


zavkram wrote:As for "Sunset Boulevard", I enjoyed it the first time I saw it; but I don't think I could watch it again anytime soon because of Gloria Swanson's over-the-top acting. Also, that final image of her standing at the top of the staircase in that garish make-up actually used to give me nightmares!
Actually, I have always felt that Swanson's over-acting was a deliberate character note. Her character was from another era in Hollywood and had totally bought into her public persona. As her mind had deteriorated over the years, she felt the need to "play the part" of Norma Desmond.

I actually think that it was a brilliant acting choice and a fearless one for an actress of Swanson's stature to make.

Also, love the fact that Wilder used real personages from the silent era for Desmond's circle of friends. And that her butler, the man who was once her director, was played by Erich Von Stroheim, a man who was once Gloria Swanson's director.

The opening scene of the dead body floating in the swimming pool perfectly sets the creepy tone for the movie.

The final scene is, to me, one of the greatest scenes in Hollywood history and like SOLIH, Wilder delivers another absolutely priceless closing line.
"To speak without thinking like shooting without aiming." - The Hon. Charles Chan, American Law Enforcement Figure & Philosopher


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