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Choose the Worst Movie: No Conclusion, Just Opinions!

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Choose the Worst Movie: No Conclusion, Just Opinions!

Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 9:48 am

While I may not like polls or lists much, I do like bad movies. Here's your chance to vent your spleen and winnow out movies that might be redeemed by something outstanding. Let's put our thinking caps on and try to figure out what might constitute the worst movie of all time. To qualify, let's narrow it down to a few particulars:

1.) No deliberately bad movies that aren't really bad at all, just broad parodies, (i.e. Airplane!, etc.).
2.) It must be a film from a major studio, (though they could often be the source of very innovative and creative movies, far too many Monogram and PRC movies might qualify, otherwise).
3.) It must be a film made before 1970. (The '70s on have had many good films, and many more awful ones).
4.) It must be made by people who really seemed to take their jobs seriously. That's a toughie, but worth the effort of imagining what went through the minds of the filmmakers.
5.) It must be a film you've seen.

Ready? Let's roll this poll 'til Monday, July 7, 2008 at 11PM EDT. You're welcome to enter more than one movie, and then we can set up a run-off.
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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 10:10 am

How about because "all things must end someday." Would a longer time span be preferable? Would it to be better to go on indefinitely?
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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 10:27 am

I chose 1970 as a cutoff date simply because the production code and the dichotomies between real life and the movies' depiction of it in films of the studio era made for more interesting bad movies prior to 1970, imho. We are a website that largely deals with films of that period, so I hoped that it might be fun to play around with the concept of bad movies focusing on that time period.

If everyone else wants to include all movies, okay by me. This was just meant in fun.
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Postby egolden » July 1st, 2008, 11:37 am

Enjoyable "good bad," like Valley of the Dolls or The Oscar, or unwatchable "bad bad," like Spitfire or When Ladies Meet?

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Postby ChiO » July 1st, 2008, 11:49 am

Oooh, you're asking for trouble (or, if not, I'll probably cause it).

(1) I do not enjoy "bad" movies. If I enjoy a movie, then I do not consider it "bad". The same reasoning applies to "guilty pleasure" movies; if a movie gives me pleasure, then I refuse to feel guilty about it.

(2) It's one thing to have a difference of opinion over "best" or "favorite" movie; however, when one expresses an opinion on the "worst" or "most overrated" movie, then someone who likes it is going to be insulted.

With those qualifications and apologies (and acceptance of the potential for retaliatory strikes on my taste or lack thereof) in advance:

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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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Postby charliechaplinfan » July 1st, 2008, 12:03 pm

Here's my two pennyworth for what it's worth

I think they're both pre 1970

2001 A SPACE ODDESSY - I couldn't get through this at all. I'll be the first one to hold my hand up and say that it's not my favorite genre.

LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD - I did finish this movie because I kept thinking it would end up making sense, it didn't. It looked good, that all I could say about it.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 1:20 pm

Oooh, that can of worms is open now.

Eve, I didn't really mean movies that each of us finds, for some reason to be bad, as in hateful and unwatchable. More, movies that are hypnotic and fascinating fun, even when the aesthetic alarm is ringing "baaaaad" in our head as we enjoy it!

For me, our recent "appreciation" thread devoted to The Oscar got me thinking in this vein. A movie such as My Son John, which people have actually told me they found to be quite good :shock: is prominent among those I cherish. Maybe it's the wooly-headed misguided approach of Leo McCarey behind the camera or the presence of actors normally associated with classy stuff, Helen Hayes, Dean Jagger, and poor, benighted Robert Walker (or his stand-in in several scenes) or the paranoia--it's sort of a hoot. These movies are meant to be oh, so serious, but I always get the giggles about five minutes into them.

Nice choices so far, gang, btw. I hope that clarifies things enough for everyone.
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Postby Mr. O'Brady » July 1st, 2008, 1:49 pm

Well, my two worst choices have been eliminated by the studio and date rules. "Miss V from Moscow" (1942) is a PRC film, and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" was released in January 1970. I'll have to think about it some more.

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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 2:04 pm

That's okay, Mr. O'Brady. I've seen far more than I've ever care to acknowledge of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, but what is a Miss V from Moscow (1942), please? I'd really like to know. Thanks!
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Postby srowley75 » July 1st, 2008, 2:17 pm

I hope I understand this OK, Moira. If not, you can publicly take me to task. Here are several of my favorite bad films:


*Valley of the Dolls (1967) - Kinda goes without saying. The colors, oh God, the colors. The costumes, the meltdowns, the incomprehensible songs, the wacko montages...I'd be surprised if this picture wasn't popular with the LSD crowd.

*Female on the Beach (1955) - Presumably Eve Arden wasn't available, so Joan Crawford joined Jeff Chandler in this suspense flick about a middle aged woman who falls in love with a studly sort (who needs a new fuel pump for his boat, nudge nudge) and later suspects that he's a killer. Along with Torch Song, it's one of Crawford's 1950s camp classics.

*Queen of Outer Space (1958) - Winner of the prestigious Golden Globe Award for Most Glamorous Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor stars in this introspective tale of spacemen who land on Venus and help a beautiful intellectual (who else but Gabor) overthrow an ugly queen. Feminists will love this film. (Yes, that's sarcasm.)

*Cleopatra (1963) - Recommended if you're type for which no amount of pageantry is ever enough. Others will probably yawn at one point or another during this 4-hour butt-numb-er, but I think you'll also be entertained seeing Liz, Dick, and Rex Harrison bicker and make love as though they're starring in B. C. Dynasty.

*The Shanghai Gesture (1941) - Strange film, strange cast and strange backstory (look it up online). Joins films such as Rancho Notorious and Johnny Guitar in the "somewhere between cult classic and trash" critical consensus. See it and decide.

* The Gang's All Here (1943) - Busby Berkeley throws subtlety out the window and stages some choreography that'll blow your mind. Sigmund Freud would've had a field day. And if the choreography isn't wild enough for you, there's Carmen Miranda!
Last edited by srowley75 on July 1st, 2008, 2:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Mr. O'Brady » July 1st, 2008, 2:23 pm

"Miss V" is a gripping WWII spy story starring the unfortunate Lola Lane. My reaction to the movie is beyond words, so here's the synopsis:
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=83619
My mom had just had knee surgery and I watched it in the rehab hospital in 2005 on some obscure cable network (American Family, or something of that order). Five minutes into the movie, I was thinking "This is the worst movie ever made," yet I watched it til the end, just to be able to say I'd seen the worst movie ever made. Wow, it's available on DVD! My Margaret O'Brien movies, nope, but by gum you can buy a copy of "Miss V from Moscow". :?

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Postby moira finnie » July 1st, 2008, 3:51 pm

I hope I understand this OK, Moira. If not, you can publicly take me to task. ~Srowley


Ouch, Steve!
Sorry if it looked as though I was being a tough guy at any time. Thanks to my denseness, Bryce and I were just misunderstanding each other a little this morning. I ran out of Wheaties today, so my synapses aren't firing quite as sharply as I'd like. If you or anyone else would like to suggest a different way to set this up, I'd be happy to have us consider a modification. It is all in fun. :wink:

Your choices sound great. I haven't seen Female on the Beach in ages, but do remember that it was pretty freakin' bad, even if it gave me an opportunity to see the beautiful if acting challenged Jeff Chandler in a movie.
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