Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 2013

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 30 Apr 2014, 22:41

Yeah, I would say underrated too. Don't think i've ever seen it on top lists for WWII movies. I actually only stumbled upon it cuz I was looking for Bataan on dvd, but couldn't remember the name, so just going by plot synopsis I thought Objective Burma! was it, and I bought it.

I would like to read that Flynn bio as well. Whenever I see him in a movie, I always think of the scene in Taxi Driver where Harry Northup tries to lay off a piece of Flynn's old bathtub on DeNiro. And talks about the watermarks, suggesting there were often two or even three people in the tub at once. It's such a random exchange, but I always think about it when watching a Flynn flick. Im sure he got more than his share of starlet ass back in those days.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 30 Apr 2014, 22:50

RetroRobot wrote:Yeah, I would say underrated too. Don't think i've ever seen it on lists for WWII movies. I actually only stumbled upon it cuz I was looking for Bataan on dvd, but couldn't remember the name, so just going by plot synopsis I thought Objective Burma! was it, and I bought it.

I would like to read that Flynn bio as well. Whenever I see him in a movie, I always think of the scene in Taxi Driver where Harry Northup tries to lay off a piece of Flynn's old bathtub on DeNiro. And talks about the watermarks, suggesting there were often two or even three people in the tub at once. It's such a random exchange, but I always think about it when watching a Flynn flick. Im sure he got ore than his share of starlet ass back in those days.


Well the interesting thing is that contrary to rumors, Flynn wanted to get into WWII. Along with John Wayne he took flack for it, however, he did try to get enlisted but was refused because of a long list of ailments which included (I believe) enlarged heart, previous case of malaria, possible a couple of STDs and who knows what else. The studio (and possibly him) did not want the public to know about his health (this part I know is true) and hid it for quite a while (they weighed in the damage of unhealthy versus military dodger I believe.)

The saying "In Like Flynn" came from his ability with women. It is a bit sad how the studio laid him off (though the sadder part is him losing his money on producing movies that lost him money; there are countless incidents of this in Hollywood though), though he was difficult and his drinking was always an issue.

I want to see a few more Flynn films before I tackle the book (I do own it.) I think I've seen most of his major films though. I wonder what the next film of yours on your list that I have not seen that I will watch next?

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 30 Apr 2014, 23:07

I think some of these stories are mentioned on the Adventures of Robin Hood commentary. I love these stories from the golden age. Sadly, relatively few older Hollywood films has commentaries, let alone from someone who has done their research. I think the whole Fox Noir series of dvds has commentaries, and really good ones too. I would like to see more of that. I guess when physical media becomes obsolete, the art of the audio commentary goes the way of the dodo..... im dreading the day.

DUDE, WATCH FIRST BLOOD AND POLTERGEIST! Im sorry, I didn't mean to yell. But those are gaping holes in your movie upbringing :D

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 01 May 2014, 02:23

I remember being told about this:

"The movie was pulled from release in the UK after just one week. It was banned there after heated protest from British veterans groups and the military establishment. As the Burma campaign was a predominantly British and Australian operation, the picture was taken as a national insult due to the movie's Americanization of the Burma operation. The resentment that many felt was seen as yet another example of Americans believing they had won the war singlehandedly. It was not shown in Britain again until 1952/1953 and then with an apology disclaimer. Incidentally, writer Lester Cole, who co-wrote the somewhat overly patriotic flag-waving script, would be branded an "Un-American" Communist, becoming one of the Hollywood Ten just a few years later."

-- From the IMDB.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Shingster » 01 May 2014, 05:06

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I want to see a few more Flynn films before I tackle the book (I do own it.) I think I've seen most of his major films though. I wonder what the next film of yours on your list that I have not seen that I will watch next?
Have you seen Gentleman Jim? Obviously Flynn was more a boxer than a fencer in real life so in some ways it's a subject closer to his heart than most of his swashbuckling classics and Ward Bond is an absolute joy to watch as John Sullivan.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 01 May 2014, 16:40

Shingster wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I want to see a few more Flynn films before I tackle the book (I do own it.) I think I've seen most of his major films though. I wonder what the next film of yours on your list that I have not seen that I will watch next?
Have you seen Gentleman Jim? Obviously Flynn was more a boxer than a fencer in real life so in some ways it's a subject closer to his heart than most of his swashbuckling classics and Ward Bond is an absolute joy to watch as John Sullivan.


No, but I do want to see it (I believe I have a copy, I will have to check.) I will check out the parts in his book on that film.

"Incidentally, writer Lester Cole, who co-wrote the somewhat overly patriotic flag-waving script, would be branded an "Un-American" Communist, becoming one of the Hollywood Ten just a few years later."

In 1944 and 45 the Communist (or influenced) writers in Hollywood were anti-Germany and Japan so this was not surprising. Just a few years earlier before Germany invaded Russia they were pro-Germany (only during the Nazi-Soviet Pact). But, of course, when the war was sides were going to change very quickly.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 01 May 2014, 17:07

RetroRobot wrote:...
DUDE, WATCH FIRST BLOOD AND POLTERGEIST! Im sorry, I didn't mean to yell. But those are gaping holes in your movie upbringing :D


I know, I know but I had to take care of one of Mark's first :D. I saw Midnight Run last night as it was a film I have wanted to watch for years. I found a copy for two dollars a couple of days ago (in perfect condition) and well I felt it was a gaping hole in film watching. Good film overall. I'm a fan of De Niro so that helps as well. Sports writer from Grantland and ESPN Bill Simmons always spouts quotes from it. I feel like a stone has been lifted off of me, wait what is this chain that says First Blood?

RetroRobot wrote:... I would like to see more of that. I guess when physical media becomes obsolete, the art of the audio commentary goes the way of the dodo..... im dreading the day...


I think there is decent amount of commentaries out there for Golden Age Hollywood (at least I have quite a bunch). I agree with you though I too dread the day when physical media becomes obsolete and commentaries dissapear and the only extras you can see are on YouTube.

One of my favorites commentaries is James Stewart (yes him) on Winchester '73. It does not advertise it as such, but it actually is on there.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 01 May 2014, 17:45

I have not come across that many, and I always go for the version that has a commentary. But it is usually only the most well known titles that get the royal treatment when it comes to older Hollywood films on dvd. Although, asI mentioned, the whole Fox Noir series has comms by knowledgable people, which is great.

Im not big on Charles Grodin, but I find him least objectionable in Midnight Run, and it is a very good film overall. Yes, First Blood must be next in line.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 02 May 2014, 01:35

First Blood will be a disappointment if you've already seen Rambo.

Poltergeist is almost a very good movie.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 02 May 2014, 16:35

Markgway wrote:First Blood will be a disappointment if you've already seen Rambo.

Poltergeist is almost a very good movie.


I was a fan of Rambo and that is partially why over the years that I never went back and saw the first one. I will get to it though, otherwise I feel that there will be retributation from Retro and we do not want that. I bought the box set of Rambos because of Retro (which also includes III so that will scratch off a few lists as well.)

Retro what are your favorite Hollywood movie commentaries (besides the film noir ones)? I tend to listen to the silent movie commentaries when I can.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 02 May 2014, 19:14

That's a tough one... there are so many. But def the ones with John Carpenter... Assault, Halloween, Fog, Thing, Escape, Big Trouble. Friedkin's for French Connection and Cruising, and Frankenheimer's for French Connection 2 and Ronin. The ones for the three first Alien flicks. Francis Ford Coppolla's for the three Godfather films. The ones with Emmerich and Devlin for Universal Soldier, Stargate and Independence Day. McTiernan's for Predator, Die Hard, Hunt For Red October. Renny Harlin's for Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger. The ones for Wargames, Sneakers, License to Drive, Blade Runner, The Last Starfighter. Schumacher's for St. Elmo's Fire and Lost Boys. Fred Dekker's for Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad. The ones for the Friday the 13th flicks. The ones for Guns of the Navarone is really good, the one with the film historian. Haven't heard the director's one yet. And many, many more. This just off the top of my head.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 02 May 2014, 19:20

Oh and Max Julien's for The Mack, that's a really great one.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 02 May 2014, 22:30

Markgway wrote:First Blood will be a disappointment if you've already seen Rambo.

Poltergeist is almost a very good movie.


WHAT?! First Blood is by far the best in the series. If you're only judging by action, then no, but come on. None of the others has the heart and performances that FB has. And Poltergeist is a GREAT movie.... don't listen to Grouchy McScotsman.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 02 May 2014, 23:04

'First Blood' is a different type of movie to the sequels, and therefore should be judged accordingly.
It's a low budget drama as much as an action movie, and Stallone is very good in it.
But, key scenes are mishandled, the injection of humour is a grave mistake, and Richard Crenna is particularly wooden when placed opposite an excellent Brian Dennehy.
'Parts II' and 'III' are dumb, explosion-filled blockbusters and not to be take too seriously ('Part II' does make some pertinent points about the US government's betrayal of its soldiers). If you accept them as largely mindless entertainment, they're passable enough.
For me, the last sequel, 'Rambo', is the one where it all fit together, the politics, the morality, the psychology, and the violence. I'm not fan of CGI bloodshed, but that aside, 'Rambo' is Stallone's best film outside 'Rocky III'.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 03 May 2014, 00:04

Rambo did nothing for me. I felt zero and stopped caring about any of the characters after about ten minutes.... especially those christian missionaries. They annoyed me, and I was kinda hoping they would just be killed so I wouldn't have to listen to them cry and whine. The action was well done, but the CGI killed it for me. CGI outside of sci-fi/superhero or elobarate period pieces just feels pointless to me. At least if you're gonna put it in there, do it so I don't notice and point it out on the screen. I didn't like Sly here either... and that's rare for me. Well, I haven't liked much of his output since Driven, so maybe im just over the guy, who knows.

Regarding First Blood, I really have no problems with the few moments of levity in there. And I think Crenna's wooden approach is perfect for an uptight military officer. And his stern demenaor does break in the final scene. It's not perfect, but what scenes do you think are mishandled?

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 03 May 2014, 02:12

I think the problem for Sly is that the days of him making great movies are sadly behind him.

Sure, I enjoyed The Expendables 2 and Bullet to the Head, but neither are good movies; and Rambo - his best film since Copland - doesn't require Sly to exploit his natural charm.

Agree about the CGI blood, though; my only real complaint.

Mishandled scenes in First Blood? Well, I guess I'm referring to the comedy militia, which really bothered me. Even Stallone points it out in his audio commentary. Also, some of the dramatic scenes miss the target, partly the fault of Crenna. Stallone is superb in the final scene, which probably should have ended with Rambo's suicide
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 03 May 2014, 10:32

Those national guard goofs are in like one or two scenes, and yes, they are not the highlight of the film, but I don't mind them at all. I actually think they serve well as a light midpoint breather, as the film is pretty heavy going throughout.

I think the sad part is that Sly refuses to acknowledge his age. You can still play a tough guy (Bronson, Eastwood, Marvin etc. did it for years) but please play an age appropriate one. I thought he looked ridiculous with the long hair in Rambo. Didn't like Rocky Balboa either. And the Expendable movies are pure shit in my book. The veins on his arms look like sausage links, and he just made another boxing movie with DeNiro... really? Aren't they close to their 70's by now? By all means, play a tough guy, but do it through you'r acting. I don't need to see your sinewy muscles anymore, Dude.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 03 May 2014, 18:29

I agree with some of your sentiments, but old people can have long hair, surely? :D
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 03 May 2014, 18:42

Willie Nelson can... no one else.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Ivan Drago » 03 May 2014, 20:33

My fave commentaries for old movies are those by David Kalat, Kim Newman, Scott McQueen and Sir Christopher Frayling.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 03 May 2014, 21:02

I find Frayling a bit dry, but he can be pretty interesting and informative. Like him on the Leone western comms.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Markgway » 04 May 2014, 00:12

I heard one com with Drew Casper - think it was White Heat - pretty dull, IIRC.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Ivan Drago » 04 May 2014, 03:03

I think that's the general view of him.
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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 06 May 2014, 18:45

OK, I better eventually post here (while I'm trying to finish up a Captain America: The Winter Solider review). Over the weekend I took care of one monkey (or chain) off my neck that is First Blood. It is has more drama than I was expecting (since I've only the seen the more visceral sequel to this), sometimes effective and sometimes not.

It's funny I did not think of Crenna so much as wooden (like in 1950s style of acting) as sometimes just delivering strange reactions. Sometimes he was effective, sometimes he was a little off in his lines. Though, of course, his character is more of an expositional one to learn more about Rambo as well as correctly acting almost like a cheerleader for "his boy." Sometimes I get the feeling form his character that he could (and is thinking about it) take out the police chief (Brian Dennehy) anytime he wanted.

Nice little foreshadow to Cliffhanger. Hey that's a young David Caruso.

Interestingly enough Roger Ebert gave this a thumbs up in his review. Says this about the ending speech: "this is all old, familiar material from a dozen other films clichés recycled as formula. Bruce Dern did it in “Coming Home” and William Devane in “Rolling Thunder”. " Though I think it works a little better today for the reason that time has given distance to this impassioned Vietnam speech. Plus Stallone comes off as ranting and raving which actually is more realistic than a Richard III speech with bombastic clarity.

I'm glad I watched it though. The direction could have been better and more inspired. The National Guard seemed like they were from Police Academy. But here is a movie that inspired a knife design which many of my adolescent friends purchased at that time :).

On a different note: I am a fan of Expendables II.

Ah now I see the Poltergeist chain, luckily it is floating so it is not too heavy.

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Re: Master's Top 10 Hollywood/English Films from 1930 to 201

Unread postby RetroRobot » 06 May 2014, 19:00

Finally :)

And I always thought the exact same thing about Crenna. I always get the sense that he has a plan B, C and D in his head, but he is just laying back and seeing how this thing plays out.

I can understand how the film would be less effective when watching it for the first time today, as opposed to growing up on it like I did.


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