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Author Topic: Older movies that caught you by surprise  (Read 6634 times)
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Ironrod
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2009, 04:32:41 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub 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.

Quote from: Jaddison on June 13, 2009, 10:44:42 AM

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

Neither of those made a play for critical acceptance or tried to be more than genre entertainments. I just saw Forbidden Planet recently, btw, and it aged much better than I expected.

Recently saw a 1946 movie called The Best Years of Our Lives, about American soldiers returning to civilian life. It was an interesting look at a brief moment in American history, but its slow pace and three-hour running time require more patience than today's viewer typically gives a movie. One of the stars -- a sailor who lost both hands in the war -- won multiple Oscars. He was only a passable actor, but you should see him use those hooks!
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« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2009, 09:49:26 PM »

Oh man, I got a ton of these.

The Manchurian Candidate was far more tense than I ever expected.  It was brilliant.  Angela Lansbury was amazing.

I saw Casablanca years ago when I was a kid and I hated it.  Too slow.  Years later I watched it just to give it another try and it's now one of my favorite movies.
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« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2009, 02:00:27 AM »

Tonight The Maltese Falcon reminded me why I don't watch detective movies/mysteries. I can never keep track of who's double- and triple-crossing whom or who killed whom and why. I'm sure it must be an excellent movie -- watching Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre together is a pleasure -- but I was lost halfway through. My own failing, I know, not any fault of the movie.
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« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2009, 02:50:13 AM »

7 Days in May...the original
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« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2009, 03:12:09 AM »

Looking for Mr. Goodbar had me and the Wife speechless at the end. It was a total shock.  eek
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« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2009, 08:22:06 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on June 13, 2009, 04:32:41 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub 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.

Quote from: Jaddison on June 13, 2009, 10:44:42 AM

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

Neither of those made a play for critical acceptance or tried to be more than genre entertainments. I just saw Forbidden Planet recently, btw, and it aged much better than I expected.


Picking nits, but you said "big budget, mainstream" not critical acceptance.  And with Forbidden Planet based on the Tempest, it had a bit more going for it than just genre entertainments.  And, at least according to the Turner Classic Movies guy, it was the first SF movie released by one of the major studios (Buena Vista), with a decent cast and budget - and it came out over a decade earlier... just picking nits tho, 'cuz I like Forbidden Planet better... "Monsters from the id!"   I think it inspired a creature in the orginal D&D Monster Manual as well...
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« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2009, 05:54:56 PM »

In Cold Blood (1967)

Wow.

At first I thought the stuck-in-the-60s soundtrack and camera conventions were going to tip this movie into cheesy. But after the first 10-15 minutes my expectations adjusted, and I came to really admire the camera work, the pacing, the writing, and the editing (especially the cuts between scenes). The suspense builds steadily despite knowing the story, and the ending left me in shock for several minutes. Although not without some flaws, this movie is a masterpiece.
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« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2009, 06:08:14 PM »

Since the thread has risen from the grave, let me suggest some classic silent films, especially Lon Chaney.  You've probably seen Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback, but try Tell it to the Marines, The Unknown, or West of Zanzabar
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« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2009, 06:14:51 PM »

Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein, great movie especially this time of year.  Runner up is Young Frankenstein.
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« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2009, 06:45:29 PM »

I remember the first time I saw The Thin Man, being pleasantly shocked at how hip and hilarious it was.

Really, if you've never seen the movie, go out of your way to see it.
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« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2009, 06:57:51 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on October 03, 2009, 05:54:56 PM

In Cold Blood (1967)

Wow.

At first I thought the stuck-in-the-60s soundtrack and camera conventions were going to tip this movie into cheesy. But after the first 10-15 minutes my expectations adjusted, and I came to really admire the camera work, the pacing, the writing, and the editing (especially the cuts between scenes). The suspense builds steadily despite knowing the story, and the ending left me in shock for several minutes. Although not without some flaws, this movie is a masterpiece.

that is a great movie...incredible story and style.  have you ever read the book?  Capote really outdid himself when he wrote this true story...great bit of storytelling.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2009, 07:42:05 PM »

Quote from: disarm on October 03, 2009, 06:57:51 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on October 03, 2009, 05:54:56 PM

In Cold Blood (1967)

Wow.

At first I thought the stuck-in-the-60s soundtrack and camera conventions were going to tip this movie into cheesy. But after the first 10-15 minutes my expectations adjusted, and I came to really admire the camera work, the pacing, the writing, and the editing (especially the cuts between scenes). The suspense builds steadily despite knowing the story, and the ending left me in shock for several minutes. Although not without some flaws, this movie is a masterpiece.

that is a great movie...incredible story and style.  have you ever read the book?  Capote really outdid himself when he wrote this true story...great bit of storytelling.

No, I gave up books quite a few years ago when my eyes got too rheumy for them. I can't handle anything longer than a magazine article anymore. Movies have replaced books in my life. Seeing "Capote" (also a very good movie but too recent for this thread) motivated me to rent In Cold Blood.

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 03, 2009, 06:45:29 PM

I remember the first time I saw The Thin Man, being pleasantly shocked at how hip and hilarious it was.

Really, if you've never seen the movie, go out of your way to see it.

Added to the queue. I like Myrna Loy.

Quote from: MrZubbleWump on October 03, 2009, 06:14:51 PM

Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein, great movie especially this time of year.  Runner up is Young Frankenstein.

OK, I'm not much of a Bud & Lou fan, but with Lon Cheney AND Bela Lugosi how can this miss? Added.
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« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2009, 06:33:47 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 03, 2009, 06:45:29 PM

I remember the first time I saw The Thin Man, being pleasantly shocked at how hip and hilarious it was.

Really, if you've never seen the movie, go out of your way to see it.

The Thin Man was one of the best of a great period of movie-making.  Try anything with William Powel, Myrna Loy, Cary Grant, the wonderfully-creepy Peter Lorre, or Basil Rathbone, and you can't go wrong, imo.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Cary Grant) is a B & W must-see, as is Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes portrayals, and even Peter Lorre's Mr. Moto if you can endure the stereotyping of the time (like with the non-Asian actors who portrayed Charlie Chan - another excellent series of movies, but disturbing to many due to the stereotyping - and the fact that the most successful of those films did not cast an Asian in the main role.)

OH, and yeah - Lon Chaney - an amazing actor who could transform himself into nearly every possible role, the "Man of a Thousand Faces," though I'm not sure he ever made a "talkie" movie, which is one reason why his face was so important!

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« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2009, 01:58:04 PM »

Quote from: mytocles on October 04, 2009, 06:33:47 AM


OH, and yeah - Lon Chaney - an amazing actor who could transform himself into nearly every possible role, the "Man of a Thousand Faces," though I'm not sure he ever made a "talkie" movie, which is one reason why his face was so important!

 icon_razz

Bejesus, but I'm old...   mad

I believe he made it through the remake of "The Unholy Three"
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« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2009, 08:50:58 PM »

Once Upon a Time in the West has Henry Fonda playing a creepy bad guy. Also Charles Bronson, Jason Robards with a gorgeous Claudia Cardinale perfecting the art of showing cleavage. One of the best westerns.
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« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2009, 08:55:20 PM »

For me an old movie is like a vintage car; it has to be at 25 years old before it qualifies as collector status or old. So anything more recent than 1984 doesn't seem old to me. Of course that's probably because I was already an adult in 84. slywink

Anyhoo... I love a lot of the favorites so far; especially the Bogart, Peck, Newman and Nicholson movies. Two less known films that really surprised me are The Last Wave and Murder by Decree - both barely make my old definition as they're late 70's movies.

The Last Wave (1977) is probably Peter Weir's least known movie and IMO it really stands up today and it's as good or better than many of his more known. It has the strong element of omnipresent nature that's often found in his films, but in this one its a bit more front and center stage and linked with Aborigine legend, mysticism and shamanism. It starred Richard Chamberlain who's fabulous in it and also of note is the performance by David Gulpilil who was an Aborigine actor that gave a number of good performance in Australian films in the 70's and 80's - Walkabout being the most famous. I remember seeing about 2/3rds of it on late night TV in the early 80's, but I finally rented it again a few years ago I was surprised at just how good it was.

Murder by Decree (1979) is IMO one of the, if not the, best Sherlock Homes movie ever made. It featured Christopher Plumber as Holmes and James Mason as Watson, and both give award worthy performances - amazing neither was nominated for an Oscar. Donald Sutherland is also good as a troubled psychic from the upper class. Of note were the cinematography and sets which really help the film hold up to today's standards. The story involved Jack the Ripper in a plot that is very clever and suspenseful. I just rented it a few weeks ago and wonder how I managed to have missed it all these years.
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« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2009, 04:15:38 AM »

Quote from: mori on October 04, 2009, 08:50:58 PM

Once Upon a Time in the West

 dude

Quote from: kronovan on October 04, 2009, 08:55:20 PM

Anyhoo... I love a lot of the favorites so far; especially the Bogart, Peck, Newman and Nicholson movies. Two less known films that really surprised me are The Last Wave and Murder by Decree - both barely make my old definition as they're late 70's movies.

Added and added.
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« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2009, 04:42:01 PM »

The original "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

When I lived in Green Bay I had a friend that introduced me to some older movies, but I was just impressed with how good that movie was.  He also said that he liked the original "Haunting" much more than the remake, but I never got to see that.  Another movie he showed us was Forbidden Planet (with Leslie Nielsen in a more serious role).  That was a bit jarring seeing him being so straight, but enjoyable.
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« Reply #58 on: October 05, 2009, 04:49:42 PM »

Here are the ones I remember and liked the most.

The Mechanic (1972) Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Jill Ireland
Der Blue Max (1966) George Peppard, James Mason, Ursula Andress
To Hell and Back (1955) Audie Murphy
Bless the Beasts & Children (1971) Bill Mumy
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« Reply #59 on: October 05, 2009, 07:24:00 PM »

Quote from: sgoldj on October 04, 2009, 01:58:04 PM

Quote from: mytocles on October 04, 2009, 06:33:47 AM


OH, and yeah - Lon Chaney - an amazing actor who could transform himself into nearly every possible role, the "Man of a Thousand Faces," though I'm not sure he ever made a "talkie" movie, which is one reason why his face was so important!

 icon_razz

Bejesus, but I'm old...   mad

I believe he made it through the remake of "The Unholy Three"

Thanks for that link.  They noted that "The Unholy Three" was a "Talkie" remake of a silent film.  Funny, I never thought about the fact that there must have been a fairly lengthy transition period in films then.  Interesting.

Quote from: Graham on October 05, 2009, 04:42:01 PM

The original "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

And that reminds me of the original "Time Machine" - at least I think it was the original - 1960 with Rod Taylor... 
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« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2009, 08:09:09 PM »

Quote from: mytocles on October 05, 2009, 07:24:00 PM

And that reminds me of the original "Time Machine" - at least I think it was the original - 1960 with Rod Taylor...

Yes indeed, 1960 it was. A great suggestion and a movie that stands up well IMO, mostly because of the Victorian setting and the strong moral message that Wells wrote into it. I personally much prefer the original to the 2002 remake.
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« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2009, 12:41:25 AM »

This talk of The Time Machine and Sherlock Holmes brings me back to Time After Time (though Holmes isn't really in it, per se)

Jack the Ripper vs HG Wells...how can you go wrong?  Especially when that translates to David Warner vs Malcolm McDowell!  Plus written and directed by the guy who wrote and directed Wrath of Kahn (and who wrote the novel for the other great 70s Holmes film- The Seven Percent Solution).

Easily one of my favorite movies as a kid.  My love of time travel and the mystery of the Ripper almost certainly stems directly from this film. 

Of course, my other main favorite movie as a kid was Bugsy Malone (which I just got on Blu Ray!!!), so what does that say about me?
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« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2009, 03:59:08 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 06, 2009, 12:41:25 AM

This talk of The Time Machine and Sherlock Holmes brings me back to Time After Time (though Holmes isn't really in it, per se)

Yeah that was a great movie and 1 of the real sleeper hits of the 70's. McDowall and Warner were both very good in it.
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« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2009, 12:36:47 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 06, 2009, 12:41:25 AM

Of course, my other main favorite movie as a kid was Bugsy Malone (which I just got on Blu Ray!!!), so what does that say about me?

Bugsy Malone was hilarious with the marshmallow fights.
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« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2009, 03:50:58 AM »

I caught A Touch of Evil last night, and quite enjoyed it (particularly Orsen Wells).
I also picked up The Thin Man from the library, and might watch it tonight.
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« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2009, 12:09:53 PM »

Quote from: RuperT on October 14, 2009, 03:50:58 AM

I caught A Touch of Evil last night, and quite enjoyed it (particularly Orsen Wells).
I also picked up The Thin Man from the library, and might watch it tonight.

Enjoy The Thin Man.  Make sure you have a smart cocktail handy.
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« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2009, 02:55:28 PM »

After Touch of Evil go out and get The Third Man.  Welles is mesmerizing.
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« Reply #67 on: October 14, 2009, 03:33:50 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on October 14, 2009, 02:55:28 PM

After Touch of Evil go out and get The Third Man.  Welles is mesmerizing.

+1.  Much better film than Touch of Evil, too (and ToE ain't bad).
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« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2009, 09:59:50 PM »

Some time ago (before my local cable company took Turner Classic Movies away from basic cable), I caught this very strangely touching old 1945 Robert Young film, "The Enchanted Cottage."

The imdb entry has as concise a summary as I've seen:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037671/

Quote
A homely maid and a scarred ex-GI meet at the cottage where she works and where he was to spend his honeymoon prior to his accident. The two develop a bond and agree to marry, more out of loneliness than love. The romantic spirit of the cottage, however, overtakes them. They soon begin to look beautiful to each other, but no one else.
This 2006 blog item had a good post about it:
http://theeveningclass.blogspot.com/2006/12/enchanted-cottage-1945.html

I don't think it has gotten a DVD release (I only see it offered on VHS). I could easily see it getting re-made today, perhaps with a scarred Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran (rather than a WWII or WWI veteran character). Hell, if I was still fiddling with Lionhead's The Movies, I'd re-make it myself.

I wish Hollywood would stop remaking stuff from the 1980s (The Stepfather? Really?) and look a little further back for inspiration. Of course my nightmare is Michael Bay would remake it, cast the Hollywood Starlet Vamp of the Week as the nurse, and have digital effects wound goo spouting from the war vet.  Roll Eyes Along with guns, grenades and boobs. "The Enchanted Cottage! You CHECK IN but you NEVER CHECK OUT!!!!"
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« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2009, 10:22:29 PM »

I'll add some goodies:

Klute http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067309/

The Tenant (some can't stand the dub in parts and I understand why..) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074811/

The Parallax view http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071970/

The conversation http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/

All conspiratorial psychological thrillers now that I look at it.....hmmmmm...what does this say about me?  saywhat
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« Reply #70 on: October 15, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »

Re: Klute...

I happen to love Donald Sutherland - ever since the first 5 or 10 viewings of M*A*S*H* - so I'm there with ya, Konki!

As far as what your choices say about you, I promise to keep that knowledge secret, because, you know I know...  ninja
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« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2009, 09:07:14 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 14, 2009, 12:09:53 PM

Quote from: RuperT on October 14, 2009, 03:50:58 AM

I caught A Touch of Evil last night, and quite enjoyed it (particularly Orsen Wells).
I also picked up The Thin Man from the library, and might watch it tonight.

Enjoy The Thin Man.  Make sure you have a smart cocktail handy.

Yup, William Powell looking for his next cocktail in a Thin Man movie is as guaranteed as death and taxes. smile I believe the Thin Man series might just be the most consistent quality-wise of all time; hard to quantify though. Still 6 films, 4 of them critically acclaimed and the other 2 more than decent at that. I can't recall any other series with a hitting record like that.
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« Reply #72 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:26 PM »

Recommended: A Big Hand for the Little Lady

A 1966 Western comedy starring Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards, Burgess Meredith. A great cast having fun with a good script, even if it never does shake that indefinable "60s movie" feel. The humor is low-key, nothing broad or vulgar here, but I LOL'd a couple of times. A very enjoyable 90 minutes with some favorite old actors.

The premise: Henry Fonda, a reformed gambler, arrives in Laredo with his family during an annual high-stakes poker tournament between the richest men in the county. Against the wishes of his wife and son, he gets into the game and bets the farm...then collapses at the table. Can his wife finish the hand? I'm not going to tell you more than that, because the less you know about this one going in, the more you'll enjoy it.


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« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2010, 08:35:33 PM »

I watched this old humorous horror flick type thing called Dogma with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as fallen angels trying to get back to heaven. Had cameos by a dozen other celebrities.
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« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2010, 08:39:09 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 14, 2009, 03:33:50 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on October 14, 2009, 02:55:28 PM

After Touch of Evil go out and get The Third Man.  Welles is mesmerizing.

+1.  Much better film than Touch of Evil, too (and ToE ain't bad).

+1000

I'm a self-admitted Welles nut.  The man was a genius (a troubled, egotistical one, but a genius all the same).  He usually ended up rewriting all his dialogue and, in a lot of cases, just taking over directing whenever he was involved in a movie. At the time it would often infuriate the studio, but in all honesty it's the only thing that saved many of these films...Touch of Evil, for example. 

By the way, one of the greatest speeches in film comes from Harry Lime (Welles' character in Third Man):

Quote
Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
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« Reply #75 on: January 07, 2010, 08:42:40 PM »

Caught the Outlaw Josey Wales the other night on television.  It's been years since I'd seen it.     Easily one of Eastwood's best movies.
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« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2010, 08:59:12 PM »

Im going to hit the way back machine and mention a few old flicks that are awesome and definately worth watching. 

Arsenic and Old Lace     hilarious flick that everyone should see

Dr Strangelove ( or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb )  One of the best movies ever and shows the absolute genius of Peter Sellers which leads me to:

A Shot in the Dark    one of the Pink Panther movies and just plain awesome!

and to jump genres for a second:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly   it doesnt get any better than this flick!

and since I cant leave without tossing out a Hitchcock flick or two  check out North by Northwest and Frenzy

While the technology today is incredible, they just dont write movies like they used to.
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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2010, 08:59:48 PM »

"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) was on TCM a couple months ago. I'd never heard of it. And yeah, it took me completely by surprise. I'm still considering whether to rank it as the best film I've ever seen. Seriously. It was that good. I immediately bought the DVD and also a book about it, "Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter", which was 400 pages of excellent reading. I simply can't say enough about how much I loved this film.
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hepcat
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« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2010, 09:03:25 PM »

Quote from: Giles Habibula on January 07, 2010, 08:59:48 PM

"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) was on TCM a couple months ago. I'd never heard of it. And yeah, it took me completely by surprise. I'm still considering whether to rank it as the best film I've ever seen. Seriously. It was that good. I immediately bought the DVD and also a book about it, "Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter", which was 400 pages of excellent reading. I simply can't say enough about how much I loved this film.

another one that's great!  mitchum is freakin' amazing in that film.
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deadzone
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« Reply #79 on: January 07, 2010, 09:07:19 PM »

Dead and Buried (released in 1981) completely blew me away.  This movie was creepy as hell!  It's a must see for anyone that enjoys scary movies IMHO.  

I have to plug this one even though it was released in 1999!  Anyone that has deprived themselves of the pleasure of watching "The Boondock Saints" needs to watch this movie immediately.  It's that awesome AND available on Watch It Now through Netflix!  smile  The 1st time I saw it (last year I am so ashamed...) I immediately watched it again.  smile

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