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Author Topic: Older movies that caught you by surprise  (Read 6325 times)
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Ironrod
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« on: June 09, 2009, 02:52:38 AM »

A couple of nights ago I wrapped up a Paul Newman streak with The Hudsucker Proxy, a 1994 Coen Brothers film whose existence had escaped my attention entirely. I can't remember the last movie that made me LOL so many times...it was a 5-star movie until the last 20 minutes fell apart. I gave it 4 stars despite the goofy ending. Maybe I was just in the right mood for it.

I didn't link the trailer because I didn't want to spoil the sense of surprise that I had, should you decide to watch it.

So what older movie -- say, pre-1995 -- unexpectedly delighted or disappointed you recently?
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 02:55:23 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 09, 2009, 02:52:38 AM

A couple of nights ago I wrapped up a Paul Newman streak with The Hudsucker Proxy, a 1994 Coen Brothers film whose existence had escaped my attention entirely. I can't remember the last movie that made me LOL so many times...it was a 5-star movie until the last 20 minutes fell apart. I gave it 4 stars despite the goofy ending. Maybe I was just in the right mood for it.

The Hudsucker Proxy is one of my top-five favorite movies. 

And not just because of my inexplicable crush on Jennifer Jason-Leigh.

I even like the ending.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2009, 04:03:13 AM »

When I watched Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I was expecting a good movie, not one of my favorites.

In came out in 2001, but The Devil's Backbone similarly blew me away.
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 04:07:03 AM »

Now I feel old.  The first movie that jumped to mind reading the title of the thread was The Maltese Falcon.  Then you go and say pre 1995.  Anyway, I was surprised by how tense and gripping Falcon was even after all these years.  And the characters, what was it Greenstreet and Lorre?  Great!

The next that came to mind was Hitchcock's Vertigo.  The first time I saw it, I bit on Hitchcock's misdirection, hook, line and sinker.  But, wow, that created a wonderful tension in the film.

Now I'll go back to my rocking chair. slywink
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 04:13:49 AM »

Huh, Hudsucker is on Netflix watch it now... firing it up as we speak!
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2009, 04:15:56 AM »

The original The Day the Earth Stood Still.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 04:45:19 AM »

Maybe because I'd heard it wasn't that great, and baseball movies usually aren't, but I really enjoyed Robert Redford in The Natural when I saw it. 

For an even older movie, Chinatown still holds up pretty well.
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2009, 04:55:21 AM »

Quote from: Graham on June 09, 2009, 04:15:56 AM

The original The Day the Earth Stood Still.

My dad is a huge fan of that movie, watched it with him like 2 years ago and I thought it was pretty enjoyable.
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2009, 05:55:37 AM »

A River Runs Through It. Totally not my type movie, or so I thought.
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2009, 06:48:49 AM »

The Princess Bride.
Mainly because I had never heard of the movie and then I saw someone mention it (here I think), and it sounded like something I would like, and sure thing it's now one of my favorite movies smile
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2009, 08:00:46 AM »

Quote from: Sarkus on June 09, 2009, 04:45:19 AM

Maybe because I'd heard it wasn't that great, and baseball movies usually aren't, but I really enjoyed Robert Redford in The Natural when I saw it.

Whoever told you that is a damned, dirty liar.
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2009, 10:07:15 AM »

in the late 80s,i was off sick from School,and while lying on the couch in the afternoon with my duvet and blankets i channel surfed and caught the opening credits of a movie,i had missed what the movie was called...being a big movie buff(or so i thought),i stayed on the channel...i could tell it was an older film as that kind of colour you can tell a mile off

i enjoyed the movie very much,it had everything,suspense,comedy..and i enjoyed the film so much that Jimmie Stewart became a favourite of mine....it wasn't until the movie was over that i looked in the paper to see the listings for the days TV and found out it was called Rear Window...even in the late 80s this film was still 30 or so years old

that film pretty much opened the way for me to start watching older films...i think Casablanca,Maltese Falcon and even other Hitchcock films would never of got seen by me had i not pulled a sickie from school that day and watched Rear Window

i also have to add that while in School in English we did a project on 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'...book,and then later film...whether or not my classmates were as interested in the film as i was i don't know(a class of 13 year old kids and a black and white movie set mostly in a court house never usually goes well)..but i loved it....i remember my Teacher when Boo Radley came on screen,telling me that the guy on screen was Robert Duvall in his first role(i think it was his first movie)...i had no idea who Robert Duvall was at the time...i think i still went 'ooohh' though
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2009, 12:11:21 PM »

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on June 09, 2009, 08:00:46 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on June 09, 2009, 04:45:19 AM

Maybe because I'd heard it wasn't that great, and baseball movies usually aren't, but I really enjoyed Robert Redford in The Natural when I saw it.

Whoever told you that is a damned, dirty liar.

Yeah, no kidding. The Natural is a freaking classic. Baseball as myth.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 12:11:58 PM »

Quote from: Exodor on June 09, 2009, 02:55:23 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on June 09, 2009, 02:52:38 AM

A couple of nights ago I wrapped up a Paul Newman streak with The Hudsucker Proxy, a 1994 Coen Brothers film whose existence had escaped my attention entirely. I can't remember the last movie that made me LOL so many times...it was a 5-star movie until the last 20 minutes fell apart. I gave it 4 stars despite the goofy ending. Maybe I was just in the right mood for it.

The Hudsucker Proxy is one of my top-five favorite movies. 

And not just because of my inexplicable crush on Jennifer Jason-Leigh.

I even like the ending.

One of my top-five too. You know, for kids!
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 01:02:55 PM »

The original Mutiny on the Bounty.  I wasn't expecting much when I saw it.

I'll also echo the vote for Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Great movie.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2009, 01:11:39 PM »

"The Days of Wine and Roses" The final scene says all their is to say about an alcoholic.

"Body Heat" Did anybody see that ending coming?
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2009, 01:37:41 PM »

Debbie Does Dallas was pretty fun!
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2009, 04:09:25 PM »

12 Angry Men

A Face in the Crowd (Andy Griffith in a non-feel good role)

12 O'Clock High

The Haunting (the original not th ecrap remake)

Friendly Persuasion (Gary Cooper does very well in the light comedy aspect ofthe movie)
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 04:10:32 PM »

Quote from: Hrothgar on June 09, 2009, 04:07:03 AM

Then you go and say pre 1995.  

Only because my example was from 1994.  icon_lol I enjoy a lot of movies from the 1940s and 50s. A couple of other titles I'd toss out are Stagecoach and High Noon, if anyone hasn't seen those. The 60s and 70s seem to be my favorite era, though.

Quote from: McNutt on June 09, 2009, 01:02:55 PM


I'll also echo the vote for Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Great movie.

And another vote here.
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 04:21:42 PM »

Old Yeller... I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but WTF? Why'd they have to kill the
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2009, 05:58:38 PM »

The Giant was a fantastic film, as was Cry-Baby and Cujo.
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« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2009, 01:15:40 PM »

Nosferatu is kickass good!! And, I think that qualifies as "Old" :-D
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« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2009, 01:32:06 PM »

I watched "The Tall T", a Western directed by Budd Boetticher recently and thought it was excellent.


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« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2009, 04:10:40 PM »

I'd have to say The Hustler with Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats.  Given my love of pool you would think I'd have seen the film, but I only watched it relatively recently (within the past 6 months) and I had no idea what to expect.

From the moment the film began I was mesmerized.  It begins with Eddie Felson and his partner Charlie Burns entering a small roadside bar to play a little pool.  There's no music, just the ambient sounds of the bar.  Felson looks to be drinking pretty heavily, but still manages to make a tough trick shot to win a match with his partner.  Charlie comments that Felson could never make that shot again in a million years and their exchange causes the bartender and drinkers in the bar to make a wager on that very statement.  Felson of course makes the shot and walks out with a fair bit of money in his pocket.

Eventually he finds his way to the famous hangout of Minnesota Fats himself, and Felson has aspirations of being the best, and in order to be the best he'll have to beat the best, who at the time was Fats as the top money-winning amateur player in the country.  Unlike the fast-paced 9-ball tournaments shown on ESPN2 or ESPN Classic, or the usual 8-ball most bar-goers play, Fats and Felson played straight pool.

As the big matchup takes place relatively early in the film I wondered what more there could be as the film obviously wouldn't be a 2-hour pool match.  What I quickly learned was that the film was less about pool itself and more a character study of the rise and fall of the arrogant, cocky Fast Eddie Felson and his obsession with the game of pool and defeating Minnesota Fats.  It was about poise, composure, honor, controlled confidence, revenge, vindication, love, loss, character, and facing adversity.

I was absolutely shocked at the film's quality and have watched it a number of times since that first viewing.  Classic American cinema at its best. 
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2009, 04:30:36 PM »

I've become a sentimental mush-head in my 40s. Turner Classics occasionally shows a rarely seen Robert Young movie 1945 called "The Enchanted College," which truly caught me by surprise.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037671/
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=2109
Quote
A scarred veteran and a homely woman are transformed by love.
That's sort of an oversimplified summary -- it could work as a good Twilight Zone episode too. Eventually they see each other as handsome and beautiful but everyone around them still seems them as disfigured and homely. It might even remind you of the ending of the classic Star Trek episode, "The Menagerie."

Given what a lot of our service men and women are going through when they come back from the wars today, in terms of re-adjusting or having to cope with disfiguring injuries and wounds, it felt like something that hits home as much today as it did in the last year of WWII. If you only know Robert Young from "Fathers Knows Best" and endless coffee commercials, he's much less a sentimental character for most of this.

It's a fairly slow movie though, I only recommend it for the patient. icon_smile Although it was released on VHS way back when, it's never officially been released to DVD. There's some faint hope Turner Classic Movies itself might work out a DVD deal at some point.
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2009, 04:40:23 PM »

Ditto on 12 O'Clock High, though I probably wasn't surprised much that it was great.  Same with "Captain Newman MD" also with Gregory Peck. And anything with Gary Cooper.  Oh, yeah, and Hitchcock of course!  nod

For something I thought I might not like (because until recently I didn't like Vanessa Redgrave) it would be "A Rumor of Angels."  I rarely watch movies more than once, but that is one of the repeatable ones.

Two films I thought were going to be great, but were utter disappointments:  "2001: A Space Odyssee" and "Reds" with Warren Beatty.

From Wiki:

Quote
Despite receiving mixed reviews upon release, 2001: A Space Odyssey is today recognized by many critics and audiences as one of the greatest films ever made; the 2002 Sight & Sound poll of critics ranked it among the top ten films of all time.[1] It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for visual effects. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.

I was a teen when I saw it, perhaps that explains it, but I thought it was dust-dry boring, and I never wanted to watch it again. I did come away with a new appreciation of Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, but that was also likely due to the teenage.

And "Reds" - much the same, but more of it - run time over 3 hours.  People were snoring, literally.

 icon_razz
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2009, 04:57:38 PM »

FWIW myto 2001 was lost on me as well....when i saw it,it just went right over my head....i love Kubrick but this one just didnt do it for me(although i loved the beginning scene with the monkeys)

EDIT:i actually liked 2010(the sequel) better with Roy Schneider and Helen Mirren...what i can remember of it anyway
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2009, 05:58:50 PM »

"The Hustler" was part of the Paul Newman movie binge that ultimately led me to "The Hudsucker Proxy". We must have watched a dozen Newman movies and there was not a stinker in the bunch. "Cool Hand Luke" was better than I remembered it being.

"2001" was important as the first big-budget, mainstream Hollywood sf movie. Science fiction was previously a B-movie genre for geeks and kids, undeserving of critical attention. 2001 showed that sf could be serious art, and that the general public would go see it. (Personally, I was awe-struck when I saw it during its original theatrical run...even if I didn't understand it -- I was only 11 years old -- I'd never seen anything like it before). Had 2001 not blazed that trail, it's questionable whether the next big-budget mainstream sf movie (a picture called Star Wars) could have been made.
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2009, 06:17:10 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 10, 2009, 05:58:50 PM

"The Hustler" was part of the Paul Newman movie binge that ultimately led me to "The Hudsucker Proxy". We must have watched a dozen Newman movies and there was not a stinker in the bunch.

When I was younger I had seen The Color of Money and thought that the film was about Vincent.  It wasn't until I finally saw The Hustler that I learned The Color of Money had little to do with Vincent and was actually a sequel to The Hustler and showed Fast Eddie Felson's return to the world of pool following all of the hardship and turmoil he faced back when we played Minnesota Fats.  While The Color of Money is far from being a cinematic masterpiece, I developed a much greater appreciation for it when I started to focus more on the progression of Fast Eddie Felson and saw Vincent as a minor plot device in Felson's return to glory.  Paul Newman's performances as Fast Eddie Felson demonstrate phenomenal acting chops.  And I just love his saga portrayed in both films.
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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2009, 06:50:21 PM »

Quote from: Malificent on June 09, 2009, 12:11:21 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on June 09, 2009, 08:00:46 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on June 09, 2009, 04:45:19 AM

Maybe because I'd heard it wasn't that great, and baseball movies usually aren't, but I really enjoyed Robert Redford in The Natural when I saw it.

Whoever told you that is a damned, dirty liar.

Yeah, no kidding. The Natural is a freaking classic. Baseball as myth.

What's funny is that the first time I saw it (on cable) I missed the first 30 minutes or so.  That's the part that tells you what the backstory is on Redford's character.  So for me the story started when Redford shows up to Knights for the first time. It actually made the rest of the film pretty interesting because as a viewer I was in the same boat as the other characters in wondering who this guy was and where he had come from.

Even now I'm not sure that the movie might not have been even better had they only revealed the character's past near the end of the film instead of opening with it.

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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2009, 07:40:45 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 10, 2009, 06:17:10 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on June 10, 2009, 05:58:50 PM

"The Hustler" was part of the Paul Newman movie binge that ultimately led me to "The Hudsucker Proxy". We must have watched a dozen Newman movies and there was not a stinker in the bunch.

When I was younger I had seen The Color of Money and thought that the film was about Vincent.  It wasn't until I finally saw The Hustler that I learned The Color of Money had little to do with Vincent and was actually a sequel to The Hustler and showed Fast Eddie Felson's return to the world of pool following all of the hardship and turmoil he faced back when we played Minnesota Fats.  While The Color of Money is far from being a cinematic masterpiece, I developed a much greater appreciation for it when I started to focus more on the progression of Fast Eddie Felson and saw Vincent as a minor plot device in Felson's return to glory.  Paul Newman's performances as Fast Eddie Felson demonstrate phenomenal acting chops.  And I just love his saga portrayed in both films.

All true. Yet the scene where Tom Cruise pwns the table to the tune of "Werewolves of London" was so great that I had to play it twice. OMG, I love the internet. (It loses something when taken out of context, but still good for a smile.)
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 08:39:31 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 10, 2009, 07:40:45 PM

All true. Yet the scene where Tom Cruise pwns the table to the tune of "Werewolves of London" was so great that I had to play it twice. OMG, I love the internet. (It loses something when taken out of context, but still good for a smile.)

One of my favorite scenes in the film.  However, there are two sticking points that will forever irk/haunt me.  One, when he shoots the 5 one-handed, prior to Eddie walking in you can see that he's got a pretty tough shot ahead of him, but then when they cut back to the table the 5 has magically been moved to a straight-on shot in the corner.  Two, when Vince rests his "Balabushka" (in quotes because the cue in the film was actually a Joss made to look like a Balabushka) across his shoulders with his arms wrapped over it.  Holy christ that makes me cringe every time I see it. 

Still, a classic scene.  Whenever that song comes on the jukebox at my favorite pool hall on very rare occasions (you're more likely to hear Johnny Cash or some kind of rap garbage with little in between, but I've heard Werewolves of London a couple of times) I find it impossible to keep from dancing and singing along ala Color of Money.  It'll forever get an "ah-wooooooooooooooooooo" out of me.   icon_cool  Only I play with a licensed Balabushka, not an impostor.   Fabulous 
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2009, 10:47:01 PM »

His hair was perfect.
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« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2009, 04:14:22 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 10, 2009, 10:47:01 PM

His hair was perfect.

With my recent layoff and the need to cut costs my hair is a bit longer than usual.  And it is very Vincent.   ninja

Just played a close friend tonight who plays a reasonable game of pool and beat him 20 games to 2.  If only Werewolves of London was playing.   icon_twisted
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« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2009, 05:02:15 AM »

Tonight we saw one more movie that I'd forgotten in the Paul Newman pedigree: Fat Man and Little Boy. It's the weakest performance I've seem from Paul Newman. He plays against type and comes off as a cartoon character -- which was fun in Hudsucker Proxy, but not so much when you're supposed to take him seriously. Interesting for the accurate a-bomb history, and the guy who played Oppenheimer is good, but pass if you aren't into the historical aspect. I'd have excised Laura Dern's character and subplot entirely.
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2009, 02:34:16 AM »

Big Hand for the Little Lady
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2009, 03:09:22 AM »

You want vintage Paul Newman try A View from the Terrace or Exodus.  Older classic Newman I loved was Nobody's Fool.  View from the Terrace is really good, comparable to The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit

For WWII I still am always caught by In Harm's Way and The Gallant Hours

Another movie that may surprise you is On the Beach, do a double bill of that and Fail Safe and you get a good idea of the mood of the 50s
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2009, 03:23:52 AM »

The Taking of Pelham 123.
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2009, 05:39:53 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 10, 2009, 05:58:50 PM

"2001" was important as the first big-budget, mainstream Hollywood sf movie.

Someone's forgotten about Forbidden Planet.
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2009, 10:44:42 AM »

Planet of the Apes was released the same year as 2001.
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