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"The Searchers" (1956)

John Ford was surely one of the greatest directors of all time. When asked whose work he admired, Orson Welles said, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford."

"The Searchers" is proof enough of the absolute directorial genius of Mr. Ford. He communicates more in one scene than most directors do in a career.

And John Wayne could act, in case you might have heard differently.

This story is simple, but has great emotional impact. Every element of filmmaking comes together perfectly to create one of the greatest films ever in "The Searchers."

If you have never seen this movie, set aside a couple of hours to bask in its overwhelming greatness. You will be in awe.
 

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^I thought this thread was about......?



EVERY Irwin Allen disaster movie ever done.

Without them we wouldn't have the moronic movies of Emmerich, etc.

And nothing to complain about too.
 

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One Upon a Time In The West (1968)


This the best western ever made IMO be it a "spaghetti or hamburger".

It deals with subjects that are common in the genre, but it was portrayed with such substance and style that I've yet to see matched on screen even by Leone.

Some of the most memorable scenes afforded by Leone's style of photography that could create nail binding tension without the use of dialog or music score. Talking about the later, it is one of the most recognizable of all of Morricone's works and Edda Del Oro's haunting vocals will send chills down on your spine, but for a good reason.

Some heavy talents from the Italian cinema were involved on the story, like Dario Argento, and Bernardo Bertolucci. This is also the first time to my knowledge that Henry Fonda took on a part that was a villain, and what a villain he made here.

Both Jason Robards[ Cheyenne] and Charles Bronson[Harmonica] are stands out as well. This is a timeless classic.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun /forum/post/17632198

One Upon a Time In The West (1968)


This the best western ever made IMO be it a "spaghetti or hamburger".

It deals with subjects that are common in the genre, but it was portrayed with such substance and style that I've yet to see matched on screen even by Leone.

Some of the most memorable scenes afforded by Leone's style of photography that could create nail binding tension without the use of dialog or music score. Talking about the later, it is one of the most recognizable of all of Morricone's works and Edda Del Oro's haunting vocals will send chills down on your spine, but for a good reason.

Some heavy talents from the Italian cinema were involved on the story, like Dario Argento, and Bernardo Bertolucci. This is also the first time to my knowledge that Henry Fonda took on a part that was a villain, and what a villain he made here.

Both Jason Robards[ Cheyenne] and Charles Bronson[Harmonica] are stands out as well. This is a timeless classic.

Saw it recently in HD and completely blew my mind....what a fantastic movie this is!
 

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Originally Posted by oink /forum/post/17632300


Saw it recently in HD and completely blew my mind....what a fantastic movie this is!

Whenever someone says The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is Leone's best film (and it IS a great film), you can pretty much guarantee that they haven't seen Once Upon a Time in the West. Easily the greatest western ever made.


Fantastic cinematography. Charles Bronson's finest hour (with thhe possible exception of The Great Escape). Claudia Cardinale, one of the most beautiful women in the history of cinema. Great performance by Jason Robards. Henry Fonda as you've never seen before (playing a heartless, cruel villain like nobody's business). Another magnificent Ennio Morricone score.


This film also opens with the greatest performance by a fly in the history of the movies in a fabulous scene with the great Jack Elam.


I mean....what's not to like? Few films are as operatic as this one. The day this film is released on Blu-ray can't come soon enough.
 

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I agree that "Once Upon a Time in the West" is superb, but as "The Searchers" is also a Western, "Once..." cannot be the greatest Western ever.

But I love some of the dialog in "Once...", such as Bronson's description of the train station incident: "At the station were three dusters. In the dusters were three men. In the men were three bullets." Or something like that...
 

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Originally Posted by Kilgore /forum/post/17632337


Whenever someone says The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is Leone's best film (and it IS a great film), you can pretty much guarantee that they haven't seen Once Upon a Time in the West. Easily the greatest western ever made.

It's hard for me to argue with your opinion here.

The film DAZZLES the senses....the beautiful shots of the West, the sounds of spurs, boards creaking, etc., the overwhelming menace of Fonda, etc.


This may be my favorite old western, while The Unforgiven is my fav modern one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink /forum/post/17632300


Saw it recently in HD and completely blew my mind....what a fantastic movie this is!

Wow was that your first time? I was lucky enough to see this first on the "silver screen" when I was a kid. Those "Leone close ups" were breathtaking.

BTW while this was an Italian production, it was shot mostly in Death Valley CA. Oh and no cheesy matte paintings like many of the Hollywood ones used.
 

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Originally Posted by thehun /forum/post/17639628


Wow was that your first time? I was lucky enough to see this first on the "silver screen" when I was a kid. Those "Leone close ups" were breathtaking.

BTW while this was an Italian production, it was shot mostly in Death Valley CA. Oh and no cheesy matte paintings like many of the Hollywood ones used.

It wasn't my first viewing, but it has been so long I can't remember exactly when I saw it initially (as a kid for certain).


This film is so beautifully photographed, it should be required viewing in Film Schools (probably is).
 

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Originally Posted by IAM4UK /forum/post/17632871


I agree that "Once Upon a Time in the West" is superb, but as "The Searchers" is also a Western, "Once..." cannot be the greatest Western ever.

I'm going to have to agree with you there. The Searchers is the greatest western on so many levels.


The enjoyment of "Once...", "The Good, The Bad..." and the other Leone westerns is predicated on our being in tune with a certain comical quirkiness of his directorial style. Which is not to say they aren't entertaining. I like them quite a bit. But they tend to work more as goofs or riffs on what we had grown to expect from a western than as great westerns in their own right. And when the time comes that we are no longer amused by the directorial quirkiness, there isn't much else there.


My vote for a great western of another kind and a pre-1979 movie worth revisiting or seeing for the first time is Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo (1959).
 

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Not a thing wrong with the already mentioned outstanding westerns, but…


I saw William Wyler’s The Big Country when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and for some reason it seared into my brain, which is why it’s my favorite western, ever. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance gives it a push, but not enough of a push. Jerome Moross supplied one of the best musical scores for a western, ever. The only score that I can immediately think of that gives it a run for its money would be The Magnificent Seven. If you’re a fan of westerns and haven’t watched TBC, you are really missing a great one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Ride the High Country (1962), directed by Sam Peckinpah.

Fine early Peckinpah western, with Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott as geezer tough guys. When the west is ending the hard men have to go with it, also a theme in John Ford's westerns. Old actors and westerns sort of passed away together.

Nothing like the level of violence of his later pictures. Beautiful California mountain landscapes, although the foliage on the DVD is not very saturated. Could we get a new transfer?

The plot structure is unusual, with the normal western action segments coming well into the second half. The first part has a lot of comedy, although Mariette Hartley's prospects on her wedding night are uncomfortable to watch. This is her first film; she was 22.

Many familiar faces. LQ Jones, Warren Oates and RG Armstrong appear in other Peckinpah films.



-Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore /forum/post/17632337


Whenever someone says The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is Leone's best film (and it IS a great film), you can pretty much guarantee that they haven't seen Once Upon a Time in the West. Easily the greatest western ever made.


Fantastic cinematography. Charles Bronson's finest hour (with thhe possible exception of The Great Escape). Claudia Cardinale, one of the most beautiful women in the history of cinema. Great performance by Jason Robards. Henry Fonda as you've never seen before (playing a heartless, cruel villain like nobody's business). Another magnificent Ennio Morricone score.


This film also opens with the greatest performance by a fly in the history of the movies in a fabulous scene with the great Jack Elam.


I mean....what's not to like? Few films are as operatic as this one. The day this film is released on Blu-ray can't come soon enough.

Sorry, Eastwood destroys Bronson. Not to mention Eli Wallach, Upon upon a Time..... is too artsy.
 

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Originally Posted by wmcclain /forum/post/17597947

The Wild Bunch (1969) , directed by Sam Peckinpah.


A sad brutal epic, it could not be improved.


You seldom see such a concentration of acting talent. Many fine performances. In particular, I will see anything with Robert Ryan , one of the great film noir actors.


When I first saw this, famous for its new level of violence, I thought of it as an anti-western, or as someone put it, the gravestone of westerns. Now I see the old mythic power is still there: honor among thieves (although it is a bit of a struggle). Separating the Men from the "gutter trash". Mexico as a land of suffering and savagery, always waiting for its deliverer. The great heroic gesture, ending in death.


On Blu-ray.


-Bill

This movie really kicks ass!!
 

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Originally Posted by hitchfan /forum/post/17642528


I'm going to have to agree with you there. The Searchers is the greatest western on so many levels.


My vote for a great western of another kind and a pre-1979 movie worth revisiting or seeing for the first time is Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo (1959).

Don't forget "Red River" from 1949, another Howard Hawks Western.
 

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"Gilda" (1946)


Rita Hayworth in a memorable role as a very naughty (maybe?) gal who hates her ex "so much I'd destroy myself just to bring you down." This classic noir tale has intrigue, tension, and great innuendo-filled banter. Among the latter is one of the all-time greatest lines in movie history, as Gilda is tempting a would-be suitor: "Haven't you heard about me? If I had been a ranch, they'd have named me the 'Bar Nothing.'"


If you've seen "The Shawshank Redemption" (from King's "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"), then you've seen Rita's introduction in this movie. The inmates are watching this one as Andy asks Red for a specialty item: "I want you to get me ... her."
 

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A Robert Wise directed war movie set in North Africa. Australian battalion must hold Tobruk against the advance of Rommel. Richard Burton plays British commander in charge of Aussie troops. James Mason plays Rommel. Good "old fashion" WWII movie. Available with Netflix watch instantly (or DVD).


larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
 Silent Running (1972)


I'm not sure anyone who did not see this when it first appeared can appreciate it's mythical power. We'd had a good ten years of the space program, back when the TV networks covered all of the launches, all day long. And I watched them.


Then the first Earth Day and the intense concern for nature, anger at people for spoiling it and fear that it might all be lost. (And nuclear bombs; we thought a lot about those).


There was a moment when these came together; nature in space. Does anyone remember The Whole Earth Catalog with it's strange combination of space colonies, geodesic domes and dirt soup? (Recipe: lots of lentils and cumin).


And this moment had a beautiful, heartfelt movie, so strange and poignant.


After ten years of playing psycho killers and degenerates (no one did it better), Bruce Dern gives a tremendous performance as the semi-crazed space-ecologist trying to save one last fragment of nature from the fire. He has so many good scenes: watching the Earth with his telescope (an original Celestron C8 orange tube), reading the Conservation Pledge in his bunk, and the oddly moving sequence when the drones operate on his leg.


He thinks that his mission, his forest and his robots are enough, that he doesn't need anything from other people. But he is wrong, and the growing loneliness and guilt overcome him and he has to make an End of it. Giving the forest one last chance, a bit less each time, the message in the bottle...


Seeing it again reminds me how exciting early programming and robotics was, how ambitious were all our projects.


The Ring Passage sequence is very exciting, echoed later in the air-braking scene in "2010". My one regret about the finale to the recent Battlestar Galactica is that they did not do something similar when they sent the fleet into the Sun. I wanted to see the Galactica's interior as it approaches its end, with a final pan of the Picture Wall. Would that have been too cliche?


Joan Baez sings two lovely songs composed by Peter Shickele. They'll be in my head for days now.


The thumbnails are from a region B Blu-ray.




-Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
The World of Suzie Wong (1960)

William Holden's adventures with a Chinese prostitute, played by the lovely Nancy Kwan.

The first half is fairly light. Holden is a perfect gentleman withstanding great temptation; in fact he seems to be made of asbestos. The second half turns romantic and weepy, with a dramatic mudslide disaster in the city hills at the end.

Pretty girl and impressive Hong Kong locations, but that's about it. Two hours is a bit long for this.

Kudos for letting Asian actors play Asian roles; it took a while to happen. By contrast look at LORD JIM made five years later, where they still can't quite bring themselves to allow it.



-Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)

When I was young my favorite parts were the flying monkeys and haunted wood and witch's castle. That's still the case. The scary bits. The fortress and goblin soldiers now have a sort of Tolkien aspect, a mini-Mordor.

You can keep the Munchkins.

This time I noticed Judy Garland breaking character and starting to smile when she first meets the Lion and he is crying and wiping his eyes. Also how often the ruby slippers reflect off of the polished floors.

When Dorothy is locked in the castle and sees Auntie Em in the crystal ball I had the strangest sensation of having drifted into a David Lynch film. Like "Mulholland Dr", where the dreamer is under such stress that she must break out of the dream and awake into the outer reality.

Toto holds it all together. It takes a lot of skill to keep wagging that tail and keep up with the dancers without being trampled. He's really very good, without seeming like a show dog.

On Blu-ray.



-Bill
 
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