The greatest movie ever made

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:49 pm

boblipton wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:I think the difference, Bob, is that they don't use texts from NitrateVille in film courses.
True enough, and a clear mistake. There has been some excellent writing on films here, some meaningful examination of, for example, German films during the 1920s and 1930s, some reappraisals by our members who have looked at the movies rather than simply accepting the statements printed in books. I also recall one early British talkie that was slagged in a survey, which several Nitratevillains looked at and all agreed was quite watchable. I believe it is Frederica who has made herself a bit of an authority on Nigerian Bongo movies by looking at a bunch of them. Other Nitratevillains have done exhaustive (and doubtless exhausting) viewings of all the surviving movies of Pathe Lehrman or the events of the Arbuckle scandal, and have dug into archives and libraries for primary material.... you know, what used to be called scholarly research. Money and status are not ignoble goals, but it’s easy to see how fear of loss of a paycheck or a seat at a table can blight intellectual honesty. I don’t see that here. I like my neighbors, even when I disagree with them and make a joke at their expense.

Because none of them are afraid of losing royalties on textbook sales because of what is written here.

Dave, any chance of seeing that sledgehammer movie?

Bob
Was going to say 'More's the pity', but you beat me to it. Perhaps McFarland would be interested in publishing an anthology...

And what was the early British talkie?

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boblipton
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:11 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
boblipton wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:I think the difference, Bob, is that they don't use texts from NitrateVille in film courses.
True enough, and a clear mistake. There has been some excellent writing on films here, some meaningful examination of, for example, German films during the 1920s and 1930s, some reappraisals by our members who have looked at the movies rather than simply accepting the statements printed in books. I also recall one early British talkie that was slagged in a survey, which several Nitratevillains looked at and all agreed was quite watchable. I believe it is Frederica who has made herself a bit of an authority on Nigerian Bongo movies by looking at a bunch of them. Other Nitratevillains have done exhaustive (and doubtless exhausting) viewings of all the surviving movies of Pathe Lehrman or the events of the Arbuckle scandal, and have dug into archives and libraries for primary material.... you know, what used to be called scholarly research. Money and status are not ignoble goals, but it’s easy to see how fear of loss of a paycheck or a seat at a table can blight intellectual honesty. I don’t see that here. I like my neighbors, even when I disagree with them and make a joke at their expense.

Because none of them are afraid of losing royalties on textbook sales because of what is written here.

Dave, any chance of seeing that sledgehammer movie?

Bob
Was going to say 'More's the pity', but you beat me to it. Perhaps McFarland would be interested in publishing an anthology...

And what was the early British talkie?
Night in Montmartre

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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Donald Binks
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:14 pm

Has anyone considered the possibility that "the greatest picture ever made", might not have been made as yet?
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Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."

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Jim Roots
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:29 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:A long time ago I recall seeing a 1929 British short called ODD NUMBERS, which features a gentleman plating the piano with his nose. Surely a contender...
I disagree. I found it a very drippy movie.

Jim

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silentfilm
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:35 am

So what is the criteria for the Greatest Film Ever Made? A film that shows the audience a "universal truth"? A film that makes you laugh (or cry) every time you see it? A film that has knock-out star-powered actors and oozes incredible production and costume design?

Personally, I think that films as different as Sunrise, Big Business, Singing in the Rain, Schindler's List, Psycho, Corny Concerto, and Bridge on the River Kwai are all trying to do and say different things. They should be judged according to that, and not some artificial greatness.

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s.w.a.c.
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:08 pm

silentfilm wrote:Corny Concerto
Now we're talking!

Although I lean more heavily towards Book Revue ("With the balalaikas sitting on their samovars....").
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:16 pm

Yes, I was another who found NIGHT IN MONTMARTRE an amusing piece of fluff, despite David Quinlan's dismissal. Had he seen it?

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:19 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
silentfilm wrote:Corny Concerto
Now we're talking!

Although I lean more heavily towards Book Revue ("With the balalaikas sitting on their samovars....").
Will have to find a window or two to watch these...

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:27 pm

...the other problem is when one sees a film which has a great reputation blazed before it, such as KANE and GRAPES OF WRATH, as opposed to one which creeps up unannounced such as YOUNG MR LINCOLN*, or is just plain obscure - the German BROTHERS (1929), THE SECRET OF THE CONVENT (1934) being a couple of good instances....

*I realise LINCOLN is now regarded as a classic, but this wasn't quite so much the case forty-five years ago when it lay in the shadow of STAGECOACH and THE INFORMER...

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:41 pm

And not forgetting THE LIMEJUICE MYSTERY: OR WHO SPAT IN GRANDFATHER'S PORRIDGE? (1930), scandalously beaten by ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT...

Last edited by silentfilm on Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedded YouTube link

Dave Pitts
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 am

I can see how Kane tops a lot of lists -- it is undeniably great in so many areas -- story, dialogue, sets, editing, nuanced acting, and obviously, advancement of the art form with the prolific energy in the camera. And don't forget the mixture of cynical humor and the carefully achieved pathos (mainly for the character of Susan.) So if one insists on naming the greatest film, Kane is a sensible choice.
Instead of "greatest" film, I more often think of perfect films -- films which embody the basic art form and tell a story worth telling. It's a Gift...Metropolis...Asphalt Jungle...Love Me Tonight...Rear Window...Witness for the Prosecution...Treasure of the Sierra Madre...It Happened One Night...Sons of the Desert... Films that you can watch again and again, for as long as you live, and not tire of. Films with sequences you can replay effortlessly in the imagination.

Robert Moulton
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by Robert Moulton » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:27 am

Jim Roots wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:A long time ago I recall seeing a 1929 British short called ODD NUMBERS, which features a gentleman plating the piano with his nose. Surely a contender...
I disagree. I found it a very drippy movie.

Jim
Maybe Pete Barbutti stole that act, but I think he likely came up with it on his own. Now if I can only find the video of him on the Tonight Show playing a broom (by whacking it over a mike):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtzuSEBqbg0" target="_blank" target="_blank


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s.w.a.c.
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:45 am

Robert Moulton wrote:Maybe Pete Barbutti stole that act, but I think he likely came up with it on his own. Now if I can only find the video of him on the Tonight Show playing a broom (by whacking it over a mike)
Barbutti used to come up to Canada a lot, and was a frequent guest on talk shows and game shows up this way (usually one out of Vancouver). I first saw him do his broom bit on the Alan Hamel Show (Hamel's claim to fame was being married to Suzanne Somers), which later became the Alan Thicke Show, but also on other programs.
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Mike Gebert
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Re: The greatest movie ever made

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:58 am

Well, and realize you get different answers the way you ask the question.

If you ask people to name the one perfect movie, they might not name Kane or Vertigo. The winner might be something else.

What the S&S poll does is ask you to name ten movies, and Kane was one of the ten on the most lists. (I'm not sure offhand if they weight them, so that your #1 counts for more than your #10. Probably do.) So the winner is not so much "the best movie" as "the movie most often named as one of the best movies."
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