What was there before Braveheart?

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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boblipton

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 10:03 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
boblipton wrote:And the newest King Arthur movie, in the theaters as we write, may kill it. Doubtless it will be blamed on the genre, or the lack of true stardom of whoever was paid megabucks to star in it, or something. It may, of course, simply be a poor movie, or a stupid effort by the producers, but I doubt it will affect their careers.

Ok. Got it, at least Mike's definition of what this thread is about.

Bob
Oh dear that looks very LOTR-rip off.

Speaking purely of antiquity, it looks like the new Ben-Hur has dealt the final blow and killed it.


Until it becomes popular again.

Bob
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JFK

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Previous Bravehearts?

PostSat May 20, 2017 10:39 am

...... the question struck me, what was there before Braveheart if you look for anything similar?

All equally blue, with the deaths in the earlier tellings attributed to sugar-induced diabetes and marshmallow-induced choking.
c.1958...............................1991...............................1995
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Last edited by JFK on Sat May 20, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 11:38 am

boblipton wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
boblipton wrote:And the newest King Arthur movie, in the theaters as we write, may kill it. Doubtless it will be blamed on the genre, or the lack of true stardom of whoever was paid megabucks to star in it, or something. It may, of course, simply be a poor movie, or a stupid effort by the producers, but I doubt it will affect their careers.

Ok. Got it, at least Mike's definition of what this thread is about.

Bob
Oh dear that looks very LOTR-rip off.

Speaking purely of antiquity, it looks like the new Ben-Hur has dealt the final blow and killed it.


Until it becomes popular again.

Bob
Last time that took 33 years for the big screen.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 1:47 pm

wich2 wrote:IA, Spiny is looking at a much more recent production period.

Mike, as I tried to show with some of my examples, some Big-Scale Period Films did still happen in the '70s/'80s. But they tended to -

- 1. Be Westerns.
-and/or-
- 2. Be Broadcast, rather than Theatrical. (By the way, add the American TV miniseries era here.)

Best,
-Craig
But even Westerns were past their prime by then, no?
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IA

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 2:27 pm

wich2 wrote:IA, Spiny is looking at a much more recent production period.


I know, but I was trying find something with that "one old fashioned hero rallying the people against the rotten system" vibe. What about Robin and Marian? It's from 1976, has the above-mentioned vibe, and though directed by Richard Lester it's a mostly serious film.
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IA

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 2:53 pm

boblipton wrote:Until it becomes popular again.


It's hard to see that happening. The original novel was popular with a far more religious general public, became even more popular thanks to the sort of spectacular stage production that is no longer mounted anymore (except for musicals) and which in turn ensured the popularity of the Novarro film. The Wyler/Heston remake took advantage of the public's memories of the Novarro film and of the vogue for lavish Roman-era epics (resulting from Hollywood competing against television).

The 2016 version was probably doomed from the start--a remake shouldn't wait until 57 years have passed since the last one, mass audiences can no longer be depended on to boost religious material to blockbuster status, and Hollywood has left period films aside for superhero or pseudo-medieval epics (the Roman ship passed 17 years ago with Gladiator). And whereas audiences for the earlier Ben-Hurs were drawn in by the promise of a great chariot race, you can't attract modern audiences by promising them just another CGI sequence (the chariot race exemplifies the sort of action that loses all interest without extensive stunt work). The failure of 2016 version means Hollywood has pretty much no incentive to touch this material again. It's hard to see the factors that made Ben-Hur an attractive property coming into play again.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 3:11 pm

IA wrote:
boblipton wrote:Until it becomes popular again.


It's hard to see that happening. The original novel was popular with a far more religious general public, became even more popular thanks to the sort of spectacular stage production that is no longer mounted anymore (except for musicals) and which in turn ensured the popularity of the Novarro film. The Wyler/Heston remake took advantage of the public's memories of the Novarro film and of the vogue for lavish Roman-era epics (resulting from Hollywood competing against television).

The 2016 version was probably doomed from the start--a remake shouldn't wait until 57 years have passed since the last one, mass audiences can no longer be depended on to boost religious material to blockbuster status, and Hollywood has left period films aside for superhero or pseudo-medieval epics (the Roman ship passed 17 years ago with Gladiator). And whereas audiences for the earlier Ben-Hurs were drawn in by the promise of a great chariot race, you can't attract modern audiences by promising them just another CGI sequence (the chariot race exemplifies the sort of action that loses all interest without extensive stunt work). The failure of 2016 version means Hollywood has pretty much no incentive to touch this material again. It's hard to see the factors that made Ben-Hur an attractive property coming into play again.
Not sure if he meant that specific story or the whole genre.
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boblipton

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 3:27 pm

I mean, Spiny, that eventually everything old is new again. I'm reading Bullfinch's Mythology at the moment. Still on the Greeks. Their stories will come again, even if it winds up being a sci-fi version of the Nabasis, with the army crying for something besides the sea. A good story remains a good story.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 3:33 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:But even Westerns were past their prime by then, no?


Well, yes - and no.

Westerns have been back "in" again for the last few decades - in a modest way.* But after all, you DID write, "there must have been some." (italics mine.)

-Craig

*And again, I mean both Theatrical and Broadcast.
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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSat May 20, 2017 3:35 pm

Let's not overlook Errol Flynn's last, overlooked film for Warners, THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (1953), made on loan out to WB's British studio and filmed in Technicolor. Further back, another ye olde Scottish romancer, ANNIE LAURIE (1927), with Lillian Gish.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostSun May 21, 2017 3:43 am

boblipton wrote:I mean, Spiny, that eventually everything old is new again. I'm reading Bullfinch's Mythology at the moment. Still on the Greeks. Their stories will come again, even if it winds up being a sci-fi version of the Nabasis, with the army crying for something besides the sea. A good story remains a good story.

Bob
wich2 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:But even Westerns were past their prime by then, no?


Well, yes - and no.

Westerns have been back "in" again for the last few decades - in a modest way.* But after all, you DID write, "there must have been some." (italics mine.)

-Craig

*And again, I mean both Theatrical and Broadcast.
To both posts: In general that is all true. In the decade following I, Claudius there were for example a lot of toga series on television and some of them were even good.

But the big budget, epic scale blockbuster à la DeMille, that didn't reappear until at least 10 years later. So I guess the credit for that goes more of less to Robin prince of thieves, Bravehear, and Gladiator, with some side influence from westerns (still didn't watch the 1992 Mohicans).
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Rick Lanham

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostTue May 23, 2017 12:46 pm

A recent review of Kino's Tristan + Isolde (Blu-ray) touchs on these issues.
It begins:
"Between the releases of Braveheart and Gladiator and roughly half a decade later, historical epics with sprawling cinematography and hefty personal drama enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, hearkening back to grand Hollywood productions of yesteryear."

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/72076/tristan-isolde/

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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Mitch Farish

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostTue May 23, 2017 6:03 pm

Has anybody mentioned Kenneth Branagh's HENRY V? Or does Shakespeare not count?
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Spiny Norman

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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostWed May 24, 2017 3:38 am

Mitch Farish wrote:Has anybody mentioned Kenneth Branagh's HENRY V? Or does Shakespeare not count?
Probably counts too, I don't make the rules. :)
Although I just don't know how much weight that carried (or carries) in Hollywood when it comes to epic scale stuff.
(I haven't actually seen that one, so I don't know how 'actiony' it is.)
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Re: What was there before Braveheart?

PostMon Jun 12, 2017 7:58 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I think Michael Mann's version of Last of the Mohicans kicked the revival of the genre off, but you could argue any number of things.
Having seen it, I think it's halfway there - if "there" means Braveheart. Ends on a sombre note, lead roles are down to earth guys, they get entangled against their will in a conflict, that is driven by artificial rulers, and a minor lead converts to good at the end. And there is a lot of nature/scenery, which ties in with the heroes' background (namely, rural and simple in an idealistic way).
Perhaps LotR is drawing closer on these films than I thought.
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