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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » June 15th, 2014, 7:58 pm

Let us not forget:

Woody Allen
David Lynch
David Cronenberg
Tim Burton
Wes Anderson
Coen Brothers
Quentin Tarantino
Martin Scorsese
Werner Herzog
Michael Haneke
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

kingrat
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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » June 16th, 2014, 11:36 am

Red, I think you've put your finger on something important: the slug-like pacing of many films from the 70s on. Directorial ego demands the 150-minute film as the standard.

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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » June 16th, 2014, 12:26 pm

Perhaps, however....

With the demise of the studio system, the double feature - the lifeblood of the independent producers, Poverty Row studios, and B-units of the major studios - also bit the dust. How to fill that time? Longer features. Directorial ego? Which director was egoless? To the extent directorial ego is involved, producers and theater owners were and are the aiders and abettors.

Then there's DeMille, Stroheim and Griffith. And they didn't even have longwinded speeches as an excuse.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » June 16th, 2014, 2:51 pm

I'm sure there were any number of reasons for the changes in style and content. No studio system, director control, etc. My point is simply that the changes occurred, and in my opinion, the results have suffered.

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Re: LISTS

Postby fxreyman » June 16th, 2014, 3:17 pm

Unfortunately we can never go back. But for some of us we can sit in the past all we want and just rewatch old features over and over again. This is called living in the past. And there is nothing wrong with that. Eventually however, one needs to possibly grow. To deny the fact that there are many features that have been made over the years since the demise of the Studio System and the old Hollywood bosses simply ignores one fact. And that is the movie business continues to grow.

Now this may not be the direction some of you want the system to go, but innovations have always occurred and will continue to do so. This is not to say that every film released after 1960 has become a long-winded exercise in slow pacing. There are many examples of movies made under the 120 minute time frame that can and should be considered excellent examples of story, acting, and producing. Many of the recent (last twenty years or so) Academy Award winning films have NOT been the long-winded, slug-like pacing as espoused by KingRat.

Have there been marked changes in the way films are made? Yes. Many for the better. Personally I do not care for many of the current special effects laden films coming out of Hollywood. There are some movie franchises that have been wonderfully produced over the years and I hope that continues. But for every special effects generated film being released, there are quite a few that evoke images and messages that could have easily been produced in yesteryear. And many of today's films pack so much more emotional impact than meany films from the pre-1960 era. You may disagree with this but it is a fact.

I know over on the TCM Message Boards, FredCDobbs is always lamenting the failure of the current Hollywood for not providing us with good movies. I think he too may have held his head under the ground for far too long. Not willing to come up and look around to see many films of today actually as good if not better than many of yesteryear's more mediocre films.

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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » June 16th, 2014, 4:12 pm

1962: the last great year of the Hollywood studio era. ChiO once pointed me to a site where a critic listed his 62 favorite films of ’62. That seems excessive, yet several directors made career-best films. The honorable mention list would look like a top ten list for 1961 or 1963. Foreign directors did well, too—JULES AND JIM, L’ECLISSE, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, MAFIOSO, for instance—yet the two best films, according to me, are LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. LAWRENCE pushes the epic to the nth degree, and directors have known just what to do with this film: they imitate it.

The director of the year, however, has to be John Frankenheimer, with ALL FALL DOWN and the much-delayed BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ, which he took over from Charles Crichton, also coming out in 1962. BIRDMAN got the Oscar nominations, but THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, with Frankenheimer’s dazzling direction, is the one which looks sensational today.

Most of the films on the top ten list are so well known that there’s not much to say about them.

Top 10 for 1962:

1. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
2. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
3. DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES – My theory is that a Blake Edwards counterpart from another timeline changed places to direct DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES and EXPERIMENT IN TERROR. Those two films sure don’t look like the work of the so-so comic director of the same name. Or maybe Lee Remick was his true muse.
4. THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE – I love Scott Eyman’s remark about the depth of the story making up for the absence of location shooting.
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
6. LOLITA – Granted, I’m not crazy about Peter Sellers the way Kubrick is and would fast-forward through some of his scenes. James Mason, however, is a different story, and Kubrick did figure out how to turn Nabokov’s novel into a movie. In 1962.
7. LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT – One of the best filmed plays.
8. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
9. CAPE FEAR
10. LISA – This little-known film bumped DAVID AND LISA to the second ten. Once again (cf. THE KEY), the novelist Jan de Hartog provides a strong story about a damaged man who falls in love with an even more damaged woman. Dolores Hart and Stephen Boyd are outstanding, as are numerous British character actors. Philip Dunne’s direction is unobtrusively right.

Honorable mention: DAVID AND LISA, ALL FALL DOWN, EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, THE WAR LOVER, LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, EVA, THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, THE MUSIC MAN, THE MIRACLE WORKER

Best Actor: Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia. This is a fantastic year for male stars, with Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate), Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird), Jack Lemmon (Days of Wine and Roses), James Mason (Lolita), Ralph Richardson (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Stanley Baker (Eva), Keir Dullea (David and Lisa), and Robert Preston (The Music Man).
Best Actress: Lee Remick (Days of Wine and Roses), Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker), or Katharine Hepburn (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
Best Supporting Actor: Robert Mitchum, Cape Fear
Best Supporting Actress: Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate

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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » June 16th, 2014, 9:35 pm

Yes, 1962 was a great year for movies. Most of the great ones, however, were non-English language. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (Luis Bunuel), all by itself, elevates the year. Add THE TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC (Robert Bresson) and several others, and it is spectacular. But, for the English language movies, my Top Ten are:

1962

1. THE TRIAL (Orson Welles) - Kafka + Welles = Heaven (or, in this case, Hell).
2. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (John Frankenheimer) - The most evil woman in film history controls this movie.
3. THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER (Timothy Carey) - One of the most prescient movies ever made. One of the most in-your-face movies ever made. The first screen credit for the cinematographer, Ray Dennis Steckler, who is assisted by Ole Sehested (aka Edgar G. Ulmer). Music by a verrrrryyyy young Frank Zappa. Produced, written and directed by (oh, and starring)....
4. EXPERIMENT IN TERROR (Blake Edwards) - This is what I like to believe is the real Blake Edwards. Better Lee Remick than Julie Andrews.
5. CAPE FEAR (Lee Thompson) - I continue to root for Mitchum. But that other guy continued to purport to act in movies. So it goes.
6. ALL NIGHT LONG (Basil Dearden) - Jazz Othello. I probably have this too low in the Top Ten. In case you didn't know, Patrick McGoohan is sleaze.
7. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (Sam Peckinpah) - Peckinpah begins here. Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott end here. And that, after all, is the point.
8. LOLITA (Stanley Kubrick) - Lolita. Light of my life.... Sellers is the weak link. Mason is marvelous. But the key to it all is Shelley, Bird thou never wert....
9. CARNIVAL OF SOULS (HERK HARVEY) - When scary isn't really scary, but is really scary.
10. CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER (Albert Zugsmith) The producer of WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956), THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957), THE TARNISHED ANGELS (1958, TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) and SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE (1960) directs his masterpiece. A B-movie of the most psychotronic sort with oriental exoticism, exploitation, and end-of-the-era drive-in movie whatever-it-is starring Vincent Price. No, they don't make'em like they used to.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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CineMaven
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Re: LISTS

Postby CineMaven » June 18th, 2014, 6:16 am

1961

The studio era IS ending. The pickin's are gettin' slim. I've seen thirty-seven movies this year. Some have been the Important movies ( "The Hustler" "Judgment in Nuremburg" "Raisin in the Sun" "West Side Story" "The Misfits." ) But Favorites is a different matter altogether. Subjective. Emotional. Not necessarily popular. Not necessarily prestigious. These are films I can watch over and over again, with ease, comfort and never tire. That's how the 60's will be for me. That's how all of these decades have been for me.

BACK STREET” - ( David Miller )

Image
John Gavin - Susan Hayward

Your age-old story. Does it ever work out being a back street mistress? ( Don’t ask; don’t tell. ) It does look kind of romantic as it’s falling apart. Susan Hayward takes a back seat to no one, but she plays it nice here; she's a woman in love. John Gavin is the one who's not so nice. **** or get off the pot, Johnny boy. But he has his cake and eats it too. Hayward as Mistress may not have the name and position a “Mrs.” would afford her, but she’s got her own home and her own design business; this is not just ‘compensation’ ( at least she has beautiful clothes - no ) but she's got these things and should live a glossily, splashily fulfilling life. But what's a woman without love? Susan Hayward can see the handsome John Gavin in between dramatic soap opera piano chords.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

BY LOVE POSSESSED” - ( John Sturgess )

Image
Lana Turner - Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

Lana. I’m telling you, that’s all you need. Lana + Schmaltzy Emotions = Sucker ( Me. :roll: )

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE CHILDREN’S HOUR” - ( William Wyler )

Image
Shirley MacLaine - Audrey Hepburn

A lie with an ounce of truth wreaks havoc for two private school teachers in this updated version of “These Three” - both films directed by Wyler. Shirley MacLaine’s anguished performance is heartbreaking for me. Miriam Hopkins is a bit of a hoot. And Fay Bainter at 68, shows she’s still got it in this, her last movie. I liked MacLaine's performance; hiding in plain sight. Living a lie, but the truth does not set her free.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE LAST SUNSET” - ( Robert Aldrich )

Image
Kirk Douglas - Rock Hudson

Notsomuch cowboys and Indians. A different type of western. Kind of quiet-like. Dorothy Malone ( Yay Dot! :) ) has her choice of two suitors - one from her past (( Kirk Douglas )) and one for her future (( Rock Hudson. )) But as she puts her past behind her, Douglas cannot. He becomes attracted to her daughter. Uh-oh.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LOVER COME BACK” - ( Delbert Mann )

Image
Doris Day - Rock Hudson

So this time Doris and Rock work for competing ad agencies and...

Yeah yeah, you’ve got Fred & Ginger, Greer & Walter, Kate & Spencer, Bill & Myrna. But I think the pairing of Doris Day and Rock Hudson is genius. They look good together, their timing is impeccable and their liking each other is palpable. Their stories, smartly and sparkly written, take on ‘the battle of the sexes’ trope. What better way to explore the difference between the sexes than to highlight their work ethic in a 60’s comedy. But it has to star Doris Day and Rock Hudson. ( See....that IS the key. )

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS” - ( Elia Kazan )

Image
Warren Beatty - Natalie Wood

What happens when Society says you have to say “No”? It’s different for a girl than a boy in the 1920’s ( and 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 21st century. ) A boy has other outlets like sports or a girl who says yes. But what outlet does a “nice girl” have? The looney bin, of course. We have misguided parents - Audrey Christie & Pat Hingle. And Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood are good as the frustrated pair of lovers. That they [i]do look a little older than high school age is a moot point. Wood has the lionshare of the trauma of her psyche. Her nervous breakdown in the bathtub is wrenching.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SUSAN SLADE” - ( Delmer Daves )

Image
Connie Stevens - Dorothy McGuire

* Boy Meets Girl.
* Boy Gets Girl Pregnant.
* Girl’s Mom Raises Grandson As Her Own Child...

What the what?! How a young girl handles getting ‘in trouble’; with this solution, tensions raise between mother and daughter. Alliteratively speaking, I love sudsy sixties’ soaps. Nice cinematography, pretty people, a house to die for and heightened emotions. I do still find it a compelling story and I’m sure girls back then did too.
TRIVIA: Nice seeing Dorothy McGuire and Lloyd Nolan together again since “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

TOWN WITHOUT PITY” - ( Gottfried Reinhardt )

Image
Kirk Douglas - Christine Kauffman

I like courtroom dramas and saw this several times over a period of a week during the Million Dollar Movies days of NYC-tv. It was a pretty racy film for me then; pretty disturbing today. On a military base in Germany, four U.S. soldiers are on trial for the rape of a young woman. But she and her virtue comes to trial as well. I like the bleakness of this film, and its documentary-like nature. Gene Pitney’s unique voice sings the title song.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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RedRiver
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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » June 18th, 2014, 10:53 am

I'm amazed by the number of movies I haven't seen; have barely even heard of. I don't remember THE LAST SUNSET. It sounds good. BACKSTREET? Susan Hayward as a sexy older woman? I never thought I'd envy John Gavin! Doris and Rock work for competing ad agencies A far cry from MAD MEN! I like THE CHILDREN'S HOUR. It's Lillian Hellman's best play. A sad story of lives destroyed by prejudice. Good thing that couldn't happen now!

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » June 18th, 2014, 10:56 am

“TOWN WITHOUT PITY”

Don't tell me the Gene Pitney song is from this movie!

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Re: LISTS

Postby movieman1957 » June 18th, 2014, 11:04 am

I didn't care at all for "The Last Sunset." It became a little too creepy and I didn't care for the ending. (A rarity for a western.) "Back Street" is my mother's favorite. I always loved the cars.

Someone else mentioned "Experiment in Terror." It was a film I never knew but it was a great find.

There are some great films here but Red, like you, there are times I know I have seen films but can't remember a thing about them until I see them again. That worries me.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » June 18th, 2014, 12:11 pm

EXPERIMENT IN TERROR is tight and exciting. Another side of Blake Edwards. But then, there were many sides to Blake Edwards!

kingrat
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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » June 27th, 2014, 1:25 pm

Maven, are you going to post your 1962 picks? I'll wait before plunging into 1963. 1966 will be the last year for me. It certainly has been fun to work on these year-by-year lists.

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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » June 30th, 2014, 4:47 pm

In his Alternate Oscars, Danny Peary decided that 1963 was such a weak year there would be no award for best film. I don’t want to go that far, but this is not one of Hollywood’s best years, with some agreeable movies but not many outstanding ones. Things are better abroad. Mario Monicelli’s THE ORGANIZER, a most enjoyable film for anyone willing to read subtitles, and Louis Malle’s melancholy masterpiece THE FIRE WITHIN (LE FEU FOLLET), not to be watched if you’re feeling depressed, would be the top two worldwide. 8 ½ has some stunning scenes (but, alas, a boring protagonist); THE SILENCE is the cinematic equivalent of a symbolist poem; the first third of CONTEMPT is brilliant, and I don’t usually find Godard sympathetic; and HIGH AND LOW finds the Japanese equivalents for the American thriller. I must also get around to seeing I FIDANZATI, AN ACTOR’S REVENGE, and MAHANAGAR.

Top 10 for 1963:

1. AMERICA AMERICA – Although Kazan and his cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, had many disagreements, I like the results. The Anatolian landscape looks strange and unfamiliar. In 1963 few people cared about the story of a Greek immigrant from Turkey, but this has much more resonance today with the wave of immigration in the last 20-30 years. Gregory Rozakis breaks my heart as the kindly young Armenian who makes the ultimate sacrifice for his tougher friend (Stathis Giallelis, who didn’t become a star, but is perfectly acceptable as the hero).
2. THE BIRDS – A s-l-o-w beginning with a beginning actress, but the special effects are remarkable. Hitchcock’s work as a great director comes to an end with this film, just as Kazan’s does with AMERICA AMERICA.
3. THE SERVANT – Dirk Bogarde is the servant who destroys his master, James Fox. Both are first-rate. Joseph Losey goes for baroque on the style, and it mostly works. I don’t think this film has anything profound to say about the English class system, but it sustains a slow pace effectively, ratcheting up the tension.
4. THE L-SHAPED ROOM – Bryan Forbes elicits a strong performance from Leslie Caron as an unmarried woman who waits out her pregnancy in a seedy English boardinghouse. What she learns is simply knowledge of the people who live there, and that is enough. Avis Bunnage and Cicely Courtneidge make strong impressions in small parts; Brock Peters plays one of the first black gay characters on film; and Tom Bell does well as the young man who has a chance to love a woman who’s too good for him but messes up his opportunity.
5. THE HAUNTING – This is as much of a horror film as I can almost stand. Strong characterization and strong performances by Julie Harris and Claire Bloom are big pluses.
6. BILLY LIAR – Julie Christie shows up on film, and she’s magic! Tom Courtenay is the dreaming lad who doesn’t handle real life very well.
7. CHARADE – Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in a charming thriller. That works for me.
8. TOM JONES – What this film doesn’t seem, and what it absolutely seemed in 1963, is new and fresh. The zippity zoom camerawork has been done and done again. Still, this is in many ways a faithful re-telling of Fielding’s novel, with a very good cast and some funny moments.
9. HUD – So maybe Paul Newman’s cool isn’t always a good thing? The movie plays on his image quite successfully, and Patricia Neal is excellent in support as the woman he doesn’t really love.
10. IN THE FRENCH STYLE – Two Irwin Shaw stories, both set in Paris, are put together, connected by Jean Seberg. The first, about a good-looking young man courting Seberg, leads to an ironic conclusion. In the second, Seberg argues with her married lover (Stanley Baker). It’s Paris. It’s Jean Seberg.

Honorable mention: It’s been a long time since I’ve seen ALL THE WAY HOME and LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER, and THE GREAT ESCAPE is a good action movie with some strongly drawn characters.

Best Actor: Tom Courtenay, Billy Liar
Best Actress: Leslie Caron (The L-Shaped Room), Julie Harris (The Haunting), or Jean Simmons (All the Way Home)
Best Supporting Actor: James Fox, The Servant. If this is a leading role, Donald Pleasence (The Great Escape).
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Neal (Hud) or Rachel Roberts (This Sporting Life). Yes, Oscar nominated them for Best Actress, but are these really leading roles?

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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » July 1st, 2014, 8:56 pm

I approached 1963 with some trepidation. Lots of great non-English language films, my favorite being THE HOUSE IS BLACK (Forugh Farrokhzad), but with Visconti, Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Resnais, Ray and others - good grief, Godard had three movies - there are plenty from which to choose. Herschell Gordon Lewis provided the movie that's generally considered the first Gore film, BLOOD FEAST. On TV, courtesy of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, we get "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (Richard Donner). And lots more of the either you love'em or you hate'em...

1963

1. SHOCK CORRIDOR (Samuel Fuller) - As the Belgian poster above my desk proclaims: Le triomphe du cinema barbare. Yes, indeed.

2. THE SADIST (James Landis) - My favorite lovers-on-the-run movie after GUN CRAZY. Who said Arch Hall, Jr. can't act? Brilliant! But the cinematography is the draw. It was Vilmos Zsigmond's first feature. Brilliant (squared)!

3. X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (Roger Corman) - Derivative of so many sources - the Fall, Frankenstein, Superman, just to name a few. But Corman makes it something very special, a provocative low-budget Horror Noir that is among his finest.

4. HEAVENS ABOVE! (John Boulting) - I imagine that those who have some distance from organized religion find this quite funny and supportive of the decision to be distanced. For those of us who are not distanced and have taken leadership roles in the church of our choice, it is absolutely hilarious. Truth lived is always funnier than fiction imagined.

5. THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (Jerry Lewis) - Comedy should make one uncomfortable. Mission accomplished.

6. THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES (Ray Dennis Steckler) - The world's my college. My favorite Horror Musical Noir.

7. 55 DAYS AT PEKING (Nicholas Ray) - I’m not a big fan of Charlton Heston or Ava Gardner, but Heston does a fine job here (Gardner doesn’t for me). I’m still a fan of the movie, probably a bit out of proportion, but having one of my favorite directors and John Ireland doesn’t hurt.

8. JOHNNY COOL (William Asher) - There are so many reasons not to like this movie. I don't buy any of them.

9. THE DAMNED (Joseph Losey) - Humanity is no longer.

10. AMERICA, AMERICA (Elia Kazan) - Kazan shows the idealism and the tough reality of being an outsider who wants to be a part of a new community. Semi-autobiographical...in more than one way.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles


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