Monday, 18 February 2013

Guilty Pleasures - 20th Century Fox Films

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1959  Journey to the Centre of the Earth (I saw it when I was four in 1960, giant lizards freaked me out)
1960  The Lost World (crap adaptation, but Claude Rains is fun)
1961  The Innocents (creepy kids and Deborah Kerr, chilling and dripping with atmosphere - must read the Henry James story.
1962  The Longest Day gargantuan cast, a who's who of 60's stars. Beach landing scenes are truly spectacular (without CGI)
1963  Move Over, Darling (Doris Day in the role planned for Marilyn Monroe) Avoided Cleopatra

1964  What A Way To Go (overblown but check out the cast of leading men for Shirley MacLaine (Dick Van Dyke, Dean Martin, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Gene Kelly - last two have the best segments - "A Lush Budgett Production" and 30's musicals send-up. Looks gorgeous, Edith Head went berserk)

1965  Flight of the Phoenix (compelling, have plenty of water on hand while watching this one)
Von Ryan's Express (Sinatra with a machine gun, Trevor Howard bristling) Omitted The Sound of Music (though I do like the concert scene finale)

1966  Fantastic Voyage inspired and imaginative, it bowled me over
Modesty Blaise utterly naff spy/ pop art mess, Dirk Bogarde is so camp, he makes Kenneth Williams look like the Duke - definitely a curiosity piece. Great music.
1966  How to Steal a Million stylish caper movie good chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.
1966 was the zenith of spy movies, ever studio wanted to get on the Bond bandwagon. United Artists had Bond and Harry Palmer. Columbia had Matt Helm. MGM had The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  The Italian studios did some crap rip offs. Fox had Our Man Flint. James Coburn was cool, loved Lee J. Cobb's phone ring tone).
1967  Caprice (more spylarks). Doris Day trying to look mod, Richard Harris looking embarrassed, Ray Walston a cross dressing villain. I thought this was cool, but I was 11.)
1967  In Like Flint was a terrible Derek Flint sequel, but I liked the Caribbean locale and the Jerry Goldsmith score.
1968  The Boston Strangler  Everybody wanted to used split screens in movies by the late 60's. They work well. Tony Curtis is really good.
1969  Hello Dolly (Bye, bye budget), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (first movie I saw without my parents)
1970  M*A*S*H (I never tire of this film, hilarious as well as searing, perfect movie, perfect cast)
Patton (1970 was certain a good year for Fox - let's forget Myra Breckinridge)
1971  The French Connection (best NYC chase sequence EVER)
1972  The Other (little Gothic gem, from the director of To Kill A Mockingbird)
Sleuth ....Class with a Capital C....avoid remake a decade later, awful.
1973  The Legend of Hell House (The Haunting, 1963, is a better version though)
1974  The Three Musketeers stellar cast, Richard Lester nails it. No wonder there were sequels.
Young Frankenstein (so many catch-phrases, so much to like, done with affection to the Universal 30's movies)
1975  Race with the Devil (compelling fluff, great car stunts)
1976  Silver Streak I love train movies, plus there's Gene Wilder and Patrick McGoohan (Richard Pryor was an acquired taste)
1977  High Anxiety (watch it just for Mel Brooks's lounge singer act...."Oooo... -xiety....remember, be good to your parents...")
1978  The Fury (Brian De Palma, great finale), The Boys from Brazil (an evil Gregory Peck!)
1979  the wise and sweet natured, Breaking Away; the ground breaking Alien (plus Sigourney Weaver in little knickers)
1980  All That Jazz (a bit of a wank, but the Broadway musical scenes are good, predating Smash).
1981  Southern Comfort (think Deliverance, Walter Hill is a good director, clever title), Eyewitness (same team as Breaking Away)
1982  The Verdict (flawless Sidney Lumet film, I really miss James Mason.)
1983  To Be or Not To Be (haven't seen the Jack Benny original yet, on my to-do list)
1984  The Flamingo Kid cute Matt Dillon movie with the ever-reliable Hector Elizondo

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