Least and Most Favorite Movie of the week

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Re: Least and Most Favorite Movie of the week

Post by CinemaInternational »

skimpole wrote: July 30th, 2023, 2:35 am Last week I saw five movies. The Thief Who Came to Dinner was probably the least of this, chosen by TCM as part of its seventies actor tribute where it is Warren Oates as the insurance investigator who is the focus of the spotlight, as opposed to Ryan O'Neal playing the title character. One could think of better Warren Oates movies from the seventies to showcase his talents. And the movie itself suffers from the fact that O'Neal is too smug and smarmy a character, and is also not that bright. (You would think someone who knows his next site is under video surveillance would choose a better disguise than just being a priest). It's interesting to compare the movie to the other heist movie of the seventies $ (Dollars) which puts some effort into showing Warren Beatty's skills, and where Goldie Hawn is a more charismatic accomplice than Jacqueline Bisset in Thief.

The other movies are more interesting. Don't Worry Darling, with its Stepford Wives vibe doesn't have the most original plot. And the last third feels like something we have seen before. And yet Florence Pugh does have more energy in the strange early sixties California desert company town than one might expect, and there's certainly more sexual energy from her and Harry Styles than one ordinarily sees in Stepford Manor, and Olivia Wilde does have a certain directorial style. Shockproof combines a Sam Fuller script with early Douglas Sirk direction in the story about a parole officer who falls in love with one of his charges, who in turn can't quite quit the louse who has been using her for his own nefarious ends. Having an actual husband and wife play the leads helps the movie along and adds to the interest. But then the movie starts to turn into They Live By Night, and before it can end like Gun Crazy there's a studio imposed happy ending.

Last Summer is also worth watching. Barbara Hershey does show considerable promise as the attraction of the two male leads as they play on the beach one summer. As it happens, she would have to wait until the eighties to get major movie roles. Certainly this movie about slowly developing sexual tension among the trio, along with another girl they meet, works better than Summer of '42 and the eventual conclusion is both effective and counters the pornographic hopes many viewers may have expected. (Though a crucial early scene, which reveals much of Hershey's character involving her treatment of a seagull, is not quite adequately pulled off). Young and Innocent suffers in comparison to The Thirty-Nine Steps but this story of a good Samaritan finding a body, only to be falsely accused of the crime, doesn't work badly and is worth a rewatch, particularly in a suspenseful scene involving a children's party, and the conclusion involving blackface.
I recall seeing The Thief Who Came to Dinner about a dozen years ago when I had a mad teenage crush on Jacqueline Bisset. It was labeled as a crime comedy that hearkened back to the 30s, but it wasn't very comic, it wasn't 30s style, and it had a pretty nasty edge to some of the latter scenes. The only sparks came from the supporting turns of Jill Clayburgh and Austin Pendleton.
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Re: Least and Most Favorite Movie of the week

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