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Choose the Worst Movie: No Conclusion, Just Opinions!

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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » July 11th, 2008, 5:40 pm

The Sound of Music (1965)
The Conqueror (1956)
Cleopatra (1963)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
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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srowley75
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Postby srowley75 » July 11th, 2008, 5:58 pm

moirafinnie wrote:Why do you suppose so few of the bad movies we picked came from the 1930s?


I can name a bunch of bad films from the 1930s, but many of them won't be studio pictures, which was one qualifier if I remember correctly.

When I think of the "bad films" typical of the characteristics that you seemed to want, I think of films that are satiated with excessive gloss and melodramatic, self-conscious acting. For some reason, the 1950s-60s just seems like the golden age for that type of film - possibly because more films were being shot in rich, blazing, decadent technicolor with big, big budgets. Maybe regarding movies from the 1930s and the 1940s, we make allowances for the fact that film was still in its developmental stages. Just a guess...but one that I would name from the 1930s would be DeMille's mind blower Madam Satan (1930). Without knowing its reputation, I noticed that Lillian Roth was featured in the cast and I asked my sister to record it from TCM one afternoon, and brother - am I glad I did.

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Dewey1960
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Postby Dewey1960 » July 11th, 2008, 6:01 pm

1. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
2. DR. ZHIVAGO (1965)
3. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956)
4. FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)

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MichiganJ
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Postby MichiganJ » July 11th, 2008, 6:02 pm

Boy, who knew that The Sound of Music was so universal despised? I must admit that, while it’s by no means a favorite, I far prefer it to, say, Mary Poppins. Talk about saccharine, and even as a kid, Dick van Dyke’s “cockney” accent was insufferable (I loved it in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, however, go figure). :)
But back to The Sound of Music (please); is it really the worst movie, ever? (pre 1970) At the very least one must commend the cinematography. The helicopter shot of Julie Andrews singing on the Alps alone--an iconic shot in cinematic history--is worthy of the film not meriting WORST status. And, many of the songs are pretty good (if they would only get out of your head.) Surely, as a musical, Camelot is worse than The Sound of Music. Or what about the abysmal Doctor Doolittle? Why did Hollywood always insist on putting Rex Harrison in musicals? The guy doesn’t sing. He speaks. In many ways, he is the original rapper (because, let’s face it, rap isn’t singing, it’s speaking in rhythm, which is what Harrison does).

2001, one of the worst movies? As I “said” over in the Sci/fi thread, made in 1968, I think the computer HAL is becoming more and more of a reality. Kubrick’s use of classical music, in an era rife with rock ‘n roll, perfectly reflects the balletic mechanisms of the space crafts. The admittedly too-long ending, (when viewing on a home monitor), with a few beers (again, Goose Island’s IPA works great) some meaning may be found

Lawrence of Arabia? Phew. I guess it looses a lot on home video,but I saw this on an IMAX screen and it blew me away (you could literally crawl in the nostrils of the camels; if one were so inclined, of course). I have no defense for Lean’s Doctor Zhivago. Snoozville....

While I added my two-cents (worth much less, I know) and voted for Gone With the Wind, it was with my MISunderstanding of the original thread. I maintain that the film is one of the most highly rated, yet over-rated Hollywood films. It’s all hype. Selsnick was simply brilliant at it; particularly his “search for Scarlett” contest. We still buy into it. Was Vivian Leigh the best Scarlett? We don’t seem to ask, is Scarlett a worthwhile character to follow for 4 hours? And what exactly does she do? Other then look out for herself? Scarlet O’Hara is one of the most selfish characters in film, yet for some reason, people love her. But why? What characteristic in her, other then her beauty, does Rhett Butler see? And is that enough for him to want to put up with her? As good as an actress as Vivian Leigh was, I suspect she did Scarlet justice (I tried to read the book, but just couldn’t get through it.), but still don’t see why Scarlet O’Hara is the cat’s meow. But let’s say that she is. Is Ashley Wilkes? As portrayed by Leslie Howard? The movie Gone With the Wind is fatally flawed by that casting. It just is. C’mon ladies, pick your man, Clark Gable, or Leslie Howard? Is there even a contest? And if there’s not, what’s the movie about? A far more interesting film would have cast Gable as Ashley and Howard as Rhett Butler. At least all the hoha over Ashley Wilkes might have made sense. :D

Even the production values are lacking in the film. Aside from the much ballyhooed burning of Atlanta (which included the sets from King Kong, the rat bastards), what effects are there? The movie is about the Civil War, and there’s very little in the way to show that. Griffith did a far more remarkable job in Birth of a Nation, back in 1915! Victor Fleming, a man’s director, was a poor choice to helm this film. I suspect Cukor would have done better (but I still maintain the overall story is weak. Scarlet O’Hara as a character maintains her selfishness throughout, otherwise the “I don’t give a damn” line has no resonance.)

So, for a film with such high esteem, higher then 2001 and The Sound of Music, (and usually in the top 5 list of all-time greats) GWTW is fatally flawed in its casting of a major role, has relatively unremarkable production, and pedestrian direction, and thus rates as my vote for the “worst” “great” movie. (A far better film, by the way, is the documentary on the Making of the Gone With the Wind, the reason I bought the 4-disc DVD set.)

(For those who love the film, it might help to know that my mother took my twin brother and I on our seventh birth day to see Gone With the Wind. Two seven year old boys and Gone With the Wind.....what was she thinking?) :lol:
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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srowley75
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Postby srowley75 » July 11th, 2008, 6:04 pm

Well, here would be mine (again, given your definition):

Valley of the Dolls (1967)
The Conqueror (1956)
Queen of Outer Space (1958)
Samson and Delilah (1949)
Cleopatra (1963)

-Stephen

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srowley75
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Postby srowley75 » July 11th, 2008, 6:16 pm

MichiganJ wrote:Boy, who knew that The Sound of Music was so universal despised? I must admit that, while it’s by no means a favorite, I far prefer it to, say, Mary Poppins.


Don't mean to hijack, but...

I agree - and let me say from the outset that I was also never a big fan of either.

But I watched both again fairly recently, and although as a kid I liked Mary Poppins, I wasn't impressed with this viewing. Though Glynis Johns' character gave me a few laughs (I finally understood what she'd been singing all those years - "Sister Suffragette"), the rest of the movie is messy, Dick Van Dyke's accent is every bit as atrocious as its reputation suggests, and the production numbers that make up the last hour are every bit as god-awful as the ones in those disastrous, bombastic musical turkeys to come out of the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Sound of Music, on the other hand, has those catchy tunes that (damn it) compel you to hum along. And, as you pointed out, there is some good widescreen cinematography. You just have to be able to stomach the saccharine, which at times can be just as dreadful as subjecting yourself to a gorefest.

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Postby Mr. O'Brady » July 11th, 2008, 11:37 pm

Two seven year old boys and Gone With the Wind.....what was she thinking?

I can top that one! After a friend's birthday party, his mom piled six rowdy adolescent boys into a Pinto to see the original Charlotte's Web .

Regarding The Sound of Music, I still love it after all these years. But then again, I'm a sucker for treacly movies. Guess I'm in the minority around here, as usual.

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Postby charliechaplinfan » July 12th, 2008, 10:41 am

Michigan J, I love GWTW but agree completely about the fatal casting of Leslie Howard. I've managed to get through the book, Rhett was an older man but Ashley was young. Clark Gable was perfect as Rhett, what GWTW needed was a younger, handsomer man to play Ashley.

I've got to make dinner but I shall ponder who would have been more suitable :wink:

I'm tempted to say Errol Flynn, now that would have given Clark Gable's Rhett a run for his money.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Postby Birdy » July 12th, 2008, 10:41 am

I didn't get a chance to participate in the original discussion so hope you don't mind my voting now. That's quite a lovely list...can you imagine if that's all we ever had to choose from? My choices:

1. Gone with the Windy-headed-women
2. 2001: A Space-between-the-ears
3. Lawrence of A-real-good-time-to-take-a-nap
4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wake-me-up-when-it's-over
5. Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill-the-tv-power!

You notice none of those movices included Alice? Hmmm
Oh, well, one man's junk...it's not like my friends will hang with me during My Man Godfrey.
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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » July 12th, 2008, 10:55 am

Making dinner does provide me with some inspiration, I might not have dreamt up the perfect Ashleyfor GWTW but why didn't Selznick use Laurence Olivier as Ashley, he's closer to Ashley's age and Vivien was in love with him and they could have been together. Doesn't it make sense?

IMO Vivien is the perfect Scarlet and much as I like Paulette Goddard I just can't see her being as good.
Last edited by charliechaplinfan on July 13th, 2008, 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » July 12th, 2008, 12:20 pm

Dear Dewey,

I almost listed AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, but I gave bonus demerits to the two movies with "Greatest" in their titles.

DR. ZHIVAGO? I understand, I guess. I just have a warm spot in my heart and a soft spot in my head for that bloated movie. My only explanation comes down to four words: Rod, Steiger, Klaus, and Kinski. Good, bad, or indifferent, Steiger always grabs me (like ham caught in the throat?). And when I saw it upon release in a giant movie palace, I had to watch the credits to find out who it was on that train that transfixed me. If not for that, would I have leapt at Werner Herzog? Brilliant! Masterpiece! :roll:
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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Dewey1960
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Postby Dewey1960 » July 12th, 2008, 8:23 pm

Dear ChiO - Yeah, DR. ZHIVAGO. Nothing is quite so unbearable for me than an insufferably long and tedious movie with zero emotional impact. And that would be this one. I fully appreciate the fact that a great many people love this film, although I cannot fathom why. Maybe it's that drippy theme song. Or the fake snow. Or Julie Christie looking more like 1965 than 1917 (did they really have frosted lipstick in 1917?). Anyway, at 200 minutes, it's a shameless waste of time and film stock. Rod Steiger or no Rod Steiger.
If I absolutely have to sit through an interminably long David Lean movie, I'd much rather it be RYAN'S DAUGHTER.

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » July 13th, 2008, 5:57 am

For years I preferred Ryan's Daughter to Doctor Zhivago. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Dewey1960
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Postby Dewey1960 » July 13th, 2008, 6:32 am

CCF wrote: For years I preferred Ryan's Daughter to Doctor Zhivago. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.

I think there are more of us out here than you'd think!

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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » July 13th, 2008, 8:48 am

Dewey suggests:

Maybe it's that drippy theme song. -- No, no, a thousand times no!

Or the fake snow. -- Well...yeah. My favorite fake snow this side of FIXED BAYONETS!.

Or Julie Christie looking more like 1965 than 1917. -- You say that as if it were a bad thing.

Okay, you've beaten it out of me: I saw it on my 14th birthday...and then (and everytime since) when, at the close, Sir Alec says to Rita Tushingham (surpassed in stiffness only by Geraldine Chaplin), "It's a gift.", I turn into a blubbering blob. :oops: Rationality ain't my strong suit.

P.S. It's only 197 minutes, you heartless..... :wink:
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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