Roger's Notes About Older Films



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  • #16

    Pony Express
    (1952), Directed by Jerry Hopper; Screenplay by Charles Marquis Warren; Story by Frank Gruber; the writers waste no time setting up conflict in 3 storylines; a young Charlton Heston is a quintessential action hero and (apparently) performed many of his own stunts and fight scenes (except the most hazardous which involve a horse).

    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Directed by John Sturges; Screenplay by Leon Uris — yes, the book author; he also wrote the screenplays Topaz (1969) and The Angry Hills (1959).

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Directed by George Roy Hill — The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), The Sting (1973), The World According to Garp (1988); Screenplay by William Goldman (’nough said).

    * These cinema classics, IMO, are good for any screenwriters to watch for their story structure and execution. There are payoffs to every set up. And there is little to no technology to distract from the storytelling.

    For fun, in Pony Express, check out how *clean* the main characters’ clothing remains from scene to scene. Not even sweat stains! Only in the occasional dust-up brawl are there any smudges of dirt. Even then, they are artistically applied.

    Contrast the Pony Express (1952) costume show with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) costume realism.
    Last edited by Clint Hill; 06-24-2021, 11:26 AM.
    "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury


    • #17
      Originally posted by Clint Hill View Post

      Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Directed by George Roy Hill — The Great Waldo Pepper, The Sting (1973), The World According to Garp (1988); Screenplay by William Goldman (’nough said).


      William Goldman should be known to all aspiring writers. Two Oscars for writing.

      Some of his other works in addition to the fine pics listed above

      Stepford Wives
      Ghost and the Darkness
      All the President's Men
      The Hot Rock


      • #18
        Hitchcock weekend on TCM

        Paul Newman defects to East Germany in Torn Curtain
        Cary Grant plays me, Roger O.Thornhill in North by Northwest
        and many others like Saboteur, Vertigo, Rear Window, 39 Steps, The Birds, Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Rope, Psycho, etc.

        Family Plot was perhaps the last Hitch's OK, but not at the level we would expect. Bruce Dern & Karen Black.

        Dial M for Murder is a very good "confined" pic with Princess Grace Kelly and Ray Milland

        The Trouble with Harry (1955) is probably unknown to many of you. It is Hitchcock's attempt at a dark, dry comedy. It's amusing, but not laugh-out-loud material. Predecessor of Weekend at Bernies.


        • #19
          Great to-do list! Thanks. Unable to read your private message to me. Sorry. Tried to resolve this with the host a few weeks ago, but nothing was resolved. When I try to open a message, it “blinks” on-screen for a moment, then disappears. Can’t read messages from anyone. Sorry!
          "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury


          • #20
            Lots to choose from on Netflix, too, although they’re mostly the more modern classics: Netflix Classic Movies
            "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury


            • #21
              As always, lots of things coming up on TCM in the next 10 days.

              Monday, July 12

              For you horror writers, your genre dates way, way back and just after 'talkies' started coming to theaters was The Most Dangerous Game from 1932....
              "A big-game hunter stalks human prey."

              Tuesday Night July 13/14

              To Have and Have Not 1944 I have not seen this in a long time, but it is a Howard Hawks-Directed Bogart and Bacall film.
              During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

              Friday, July 16

              And from 1933 with Barbara Stanwyck we have Baby of the reasons the Hays Code was enacted in the mid-30s. If you don't know the Hays Code, look it up. Also contains a very young John Wayne who gets two lines of dialogue.

              "A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully seducing her way to the top."

              Last edited by RogerOThornhill; 07-11-2021, 05:37 PM.


              • #22

                Turner Classics

                Saturday, July 17

                The Last of Sheila 1973 Written by Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates of Psycho) & Stephen Sondheim.

                Starring James Coburn, the lovely and talented Dyan Cannon (Mrs. Cary Grant), the always entertaining James Mason, lovely Raquel Welch and Richard Benjamin (who was somewhat of a star at that time).

                This is a seldom-aired film that deals with scandal within Hollywood...but the things that were scandalous in 1973 are non-events in 2021. If you can put yourself back in time, it is an enjoyable escapade. Closing Music by Bette Midler.

                A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her wealthy husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly.



                • #23
                  Coming Up


                  Wednesday, July 21

                  Exodus 1960 Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint fight to create a new nation called Israel.

                  Sunday, July 25

                  Bonfire of the Vanities 1990 Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith, Bruce Willis. A.K.A. "How not to assemble a watchable film". Unlikable characters (caricatures) doing very predictable things. There's really not much to be amused by in this big budget mis-fire. Too heavy on theme, no character arc, not one character to root for, no twists. It's not as bad as Showgirls, but it is still unpleasant to watch in its entirety.

                  Monday, July 26

                  Streetcar Named Desire and Cool Hand Luke

                  Tuesday, July 27

                  Encore of BUtterfield 8 see earlier post in this thread. Writers should at least see the first five minutes. Seriously, the first few minutes show some impressive writing, acting and directing...without much dialogue or narration. "Show Me Don't Tell Me"

                  Night of Wed July 28 into Thur July 29

                  A 3 pak of acclaimed films that aren't quite so old...(but they might all be depressing)

                  The Last Picture Show 1971 Eight nominations and two Oscar wins. Groundbreaking at the time, but not so shocking now. There is a naked Randy Quaid and a naked Cybill Shepard. It's a bleak picture of a dying small town and its residents who have a bleak, hopeless future. I haven't seen it in awhile, but I'm not enthralled by this pic...If I want bleak and dismal in black and white, I can watch post-war European films.

                  Bonnie and Clyde. 1967 Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. This film is highly regarded by some people...I'm not one of those people.

                  Badlands 1973 I have not seen Badlands, I might record it to the DVR. "An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands." Written by Terrence Malik starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.
                  Last edited by RogerOThornhill; 07-18-2021, 06:02 PM.


                  • #24
                    Coming up on TCM:

                    Friday, Aug 13

                    China Syndrome (1979) Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda & Michael Douglas. A good flick if you haven't seen it. Problems arise at a California nuclear power plant. Nominated for four Oscars, including for writing.

                    Coincidentally came to theaters about the time of Three Mile Island incident.



                    • #25
                      Coming up on Turner Classics:

                      early hours of Monday, Aug 23

                      Abandon Ship ... also titled Seven Days from Now

                      A nicely assembled 'confined' drama. There has been occasional chatter about re-making this film. It's a little different than Hitchcock's Lifeboat, but you still have a diverse group of people facing tough decisions.

                      After their luxury liner is sunk, a group of over twenty survivors take refuge in a life boat made for only nine. Included in the group are an old opera singer, a nuclear physicist, his wife and child, a General, a playwright and his dog, a college professor, a gambler and his mistress, the ship's nurse, and several members of the crew, including the Captain and executive officer. Soon, the captain dies from his injuries. The executive officer must take charge, and as a hurricane approaches, and their food and water run out, he must decide who to put over the side, and who stays and gets a chance at survival.



                      • #26

                        Monday, Aug 30

                        White Heat

                        James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Ed O'Brien

                        One Oscar nomination for Best Writing.

                        Cagney gets to go nuts in an iconic role for him including a famous finale scene.

                        "A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist"



                        • #27
                          Turner Classics

                          Thursday, Sep 16

                          Thursday on TCM it's a Bogie and Bacall quadruple feature.

                          Key Largo (1948)
                          Dark Passage (1947)
                          The Big Sleep (1946)
                          To Have and Have Not (1944)

                          They're all pretty good. If you like motion pictures, you can't go wrong with any of them.