Today: Action/Western, Musicals, Comedy
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: Eastwood in his famous Western role. Famous directorial stylizing by Sergio Leone. Reasons to watch: The music, the look, the famous three-way tension and climax all make this a great film. A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE were similar and also good, but this is the one everyone remembers.
HIGH NOON: Gary Cooper, an aging lawman who has just taken a wife, has to face four criminals arriving on the noon train. No one in town will help him. The clock relentlessly takes us toward the climax. Edited in something approximating real-time.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC: You've probably seen this one. But if you haven't, you really must. Moving tale of an Austrian family as their country falls under the sway of Nazism. Great music, strong acting, even from the kids.
MY FAIR LADY: Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, who is taken in by a professor of speech on the bet that he can make a lady out of the gutter-accented flower girl simply by improving her way of speaking. Fun music, great acting, funny--and Hepburn is never better. ROMAN HOLIDAY and CHARADE are my two other favorite Hepburn movies.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN: Great writing, directing, and acting make this spoof of the classic monster story fun throughout. Some would argue and say that Mel Brooks's other early film BLAZING SADDLES is better. If you like both, check out THE PRODUCERS.
MONTY PYTHON'S THE LIFE OF BRIAN: All three of the main Monty Python movies are funny (M.P. AND THE HOLY GRAIL and M.P.'S THE MEANING OF LIFE being the ones not based on the TV show), but this one manages to be funny throughout and also to say something about blindly following authority.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Not so much a ha-ha comedy as a good-ending comedy, it's Jimmy Stewart in the movie that shows how much any one person can affect the people around him for the better, without him even knowing. This movie and everything in it have become part of our culture because the movie has been shown every Christmas season since the copyright was accidentally allowed to expire decades ago. The best movie to ever fall into public ownership.
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