Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Favorite Films Before My Lifetime: 1965

Its weird, I go just one year earlier and its another batch of films I have plenty of comfort with and have to pick and choose which to include.  Odd how it works that way.  This year includes the only "real" movie I think grandparents ever owned (and that was on a 2 tape VHS set), The Sound Of Music.  The movie that for much of my lifetime, had a special Sunday every year that was dedicated to broadcasting it on NBC.  Much like The Ten Commandments, you always knew you could catch it on TV every year.

Doe a deer, a female deer, O an Oscar for golden pictures

WINNER - The Sound Of Music
Doctor Zhivago
A Thousand Clowns
Ship Of Fools

Me, a list I made myself

For A Few Dollars More

I don't peruse Man With No Name Trilogy fan forums or the like, so while I love these movies, I don't read up a lot on fan thoughts and such on them.  So I don't know the "correct" order with which to rank them.  But, I'm very high on this second movie and its either my favorite of the 3 or its just behind The Good The Bad And The Ugly breathing down its neck.  I like Lee Von Cleef and his character a lot in this movie, and maybe even more than the previous film.  Also, the score on this one is mesmerizing and gives this one a unique flavor and feel to set itself apart from the other two.  Its a very music box like sound, but its hypnotic and really does this movie many favors.  The showdown at the end of the film is also pretty great too.  All around this is one of the best Western films for me.  Are there any other of you out there who like this one as much as me?

The Pawnbroker

While this may seem tame or kinda "usual", please note that this was the first film of its kind.  The first film to focus on a Holocaust survivor struggling with resuming life after being in a concentration camp.  Rod Steiger is outstanding here (Better than In The Heat Of The Night) and Sidney Lumet's direction is innovative and inspirational for filmmakers to come.  What I like about this one is that this is the film about that old grumpy guy you may pay no attention to, but when you look at HIS story, there's so much there that you find there's so much more to him than you can possibly imagine.  I got to review the Blu-ray for this one last year, and I wrote much on my thought regarding the film which you can find by clicking HERE.


I guess this is a quiet horror masterpiece.  Roman Polanski fills the screen with a myriad of nightmares, insecurities and insanity.  Its a genius piece of trickery as you get to watch the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve go crazy and to the extreme.  One thing I love is how simple this film really is in terms of its production, but produces such big horrors.  Of all horror films in history, this is one of them that still works and I think is still massively effective today.  Go ahead and give this one a go by your lonesome in the middle of the night.  Somewhere in here I feel there is groundwork for Polanski's Rosemary's Baby that would come a  few years later.  Chinatown is my #1 Polanski film followed by Rosemary's Baby, but Repulsion nestles in confidently right after.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

The 60s was heavy on the spy movies, but a lot of them play super fantastical.  Much like we have super hero fantasy now, they had the Spy fantasy.  It was all over books, movies and television (Thank you 60s for Emma Peel!).  But, here's one that stands out.  This is the hard and "real" type spy film.  I guess you could say this may be the more Christopher Nolan take on the genre from the era.  It features an old spy being demoted and unknowingly prepped for an infiltration mission in East Germany.  There's some shooting and action, but much of this film's strength in thrills and suspense lie in conversation and interrogation.  Its a film that I think gets lost in the more glamorous and romantic films of the time, but is actually one of the very best.

Ten Little Indians

I'm a big big fan of Agatha Christie's most prized novel known as either And Then There Were None or Ten Little Indians.  While the book has inspired countless other novels and many films with its murder mystery structure, only four films have truly been based off of the book.  This is the second film, and it gets a bit more "Hollywood" than its predecessor.  It follows more closely the stage adaptation Christie wrote for the story than the novel (Which includes a more thrilling, happier ending).  In addition, the film gets a more modern (for its time) touch, and beefs up in the sexiness and action departments.  Hugh O'Brian was a big star when this movie came out and folks may probably be thinking "Hugh O'Who?" in our modern era.  But, the cast centerpiece that should stick out most is Shirley Eaton (not dipped in gold this time).  This is her followup to her the iconic role she never was able to shake in Goldfinger.


Bond also followed up Goldfinger that year with (adjusted for inflation) his biggest film of all time.  I'm one of those weirdos that actually really likes Thunderball a lot.  And yeah, the Tom Jones theme song too.  Its so ridiculous, I love it.  Some may find it a snoozer, but I'm fine with Terrence Young's pacing in his return.  Fiona Volpe is a badass and one of my all time favorite henchman in a bond film.  We also get an iconic (in looks at least) villain in Emilio Largo and a jaw-dropping beauty in Claudine Auger as Domino.  James Bond has cool gadgetry again, including a jet pack.  The show stopper though, is the incredibly impressive underwater battle sequence, that even if you for some reason don't enjoy it, should respect what an incredible feat that was to get put to film.  I dig Thunderball quite a bit, and last time I went through, I enjoyed it more than Goldfinger (Blasphemy, I know, but I'm not alone).  You want more on me liking Thunderball?  Then click right HERE.

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