The other thing raised by the original post was a request that we think about our favourite movies and why, were they life changing, thought provoking or just plain entertaining, and to either give them to Julia or as I have chosen to do, write my own blog, so, to the original young lady who posed the question and Julia for the inspiration here is my list and the reasons behind them...
1. The Way we Were with Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand.
This was obviously not the first movie that I remember seeing as, by the time it came out, I was already in my late teens, left home and was serving in the British Army in Berlin.
No, the reason it is number one on my list is because it is the first movie that I took my then (short term girlfriend, Hah) to see, and it was in the American cinema in the American sector of Berlin! I was around 18 and Ishbel was 16, we got married two years later! I still remember and can sing the title song today!
2. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid again with Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
I saw this movie after sneaking into the cinema to see it but I can't quite remember if it was the Odeon next to The Brew ( or, to give it its proper name - The Unemployment Office, where you signed on when you didn't have a job) or the Regal down by The Fountain.
I had been reading western books by JT Edson and of course the Lone Ranger at Saturday morning cinema and Alias Smith and Jones on the Telly, but this was different and the chemistry between these two guys and the humour was unforgettable. Scenes that you always remember, "I can't swim" before they leap of the cliff into the river, The song Raindrops Keep Falling on my head and the bicycle scene with Katharine Ross. The conversation with the George Furth as Woodcock, before they blow him up on the train and so many more...
3. The Ghost and Mrs Muir Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.
A widow, Lucy Muir, and her daughter move into a cliff top cottage only to discover that it is still inhabited by the ghost of its former owner a brusque dead sea captain who falls in love with Mrs Muir and who in turn falls in love with him.
Soft I know, but I just love watching this movie even although it was made 9 years before I was even born. It was a somewhat dark and gloomy film but the concept of a ghost appealed to me then when I first saw this movie. Rex Harrison's wonderful baritone voice and the the beauty of Gene Tierney all helped to draw you in and the closing scenes, well, tissue time again, that's all I'm saying...
4. Goodbye Mr Chips Robert Donat and Greer Garson.
Another movie made long before I was even born and again one of my all time favourites. Unbelievably sad about a lonely and strict disciplinarian school teacher who goes off on yet another solo holiday , but finds and falls in love. Bringing the new Mrs Chips back to the school with him he becomes less strict and more loved by his pupils, thanks to the influence of his wife.
His wife announces that she is pregnant, but both she and the child die during childbirth. If you haven't seen this and track it down, buy a box of tissues with the DVD, you will need them.
5. We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe and Sam Elliot
A bit more up to date with this one, set in the Vietnam war. While the battle scenes are realistic and well filmed, it has to be one of those 'war' movies that falls into the category of 'anti-war', making you think is it all worth it. But then as human beings it is probably one of the things that we are best suited to doing, unfortunately.
If you haven't seen this movie can I suggest man or woman, have a box of tissues to hand as the men go off to fight the women are left at home and when the telegrams start arriving informing the wives that their husbands are dead, WOW. Based on real events and the first real battle that the Americans fought in this conflict, it truly is a riveting film.
6. Barefoot in The Park Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and Mildred Nantwick
Another Robert Redford I'm afraid. This is one of the most deliciously funny movies of all time with the scatter brained Jane Fonda marrying the up and coming lawyer and him leaving it to her to find their new apartment. The difference in expectations from them both to the found apartment is just so funny and then mother played by Mildred Natwick after climbing the 5 or was it 7 flights of stairs to the apartment (no lift/elevator) has to be one of the single most funniest moments in film history. If any youngsters reading this need to watch a film that will make them laugh out loud, this is it.
Supporting the three above are an excellent ensemble cast from the telephone installer, to the delivery man and of course the inimitable Charles Boyer as the European enigma who lives on the roof of the apartment, hilarious, as stuffy Mr Redford is finally cracked.
7. The Sand Pebbles Steve McQueen, Candice Bergen
What can I say about this movie. Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen. Bergen has to have been one of the most beautiful women on the planet (and still is for a woman of senior years) and she could act. She was not the main focus of this one, that was more McQueen doing what he always did, play the lone rebellious part in a group under pressure, but played it to perfection and as usual (not giving it away here if you haven't seen it, but think Great Escape ending)
8. Soldier Blue Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss.
I think this was the first truly Violent western I had ever seen and it was probably most notable for those graphic scenes against the Indians by the soldiers including the breast cutting one, truly horrific. This film was also notable for the title song by Buffy Sainte-Marie
9. Casablanca Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Raines
I said for No's and 7 and 8 that Bergen was one of the most beautiful women on the planet but even she was surpassed by Ingrid Bergman's Ilse Lunde next to Bogart's Rick Blaine an atmospheric war time thriller with a love triangle between Rick, Ilse and Victor.
While this was a great movie, it was however the scene stealing Claude Raines as Captain Renault who was my favourite character.
10. Cockles and Mussels or in the original French, Crustacés & Coquillages. Gilbert Melki, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Sabrina Seyvecou.
This is a great littler French film that I discovered on the BBC late one night and I absolutely loved it. Light hearted and funny and I have watched it about 4 or 5 times,
The plot is that of a family; husband, wife, teenage daughter and son, returning to the fathers family home each year for the summer holiday but it turns out that the wife is having an affair and is followed by her lover and she keeps sneaking away to see him. The daughter is off on the back of her boyfriends motorbike touring leaving the son to cope with his neurotic parents, but his gay friend turns up and the parents think that he may be gay. It turns out also that prior to leaving the village the father was also gay and had an affair with the local plumber who encounters the family son's friend whilst 'dogging'!
The whole thing is a farce and as such hilarious, if you can get your hands on it, well worth the effort, and all is revealed at the end and all live happily together, Oh and it ends with a little song and dance for the closing credits, so a bonus
11. Wasabi Jean Reno
Wasabi, as the name of the Japanese condiment much like our own mustard and is a bit of an acquired taste probably much like the film, but I do have a penchant for foreign movies, French ones in particular and I also happen to like Jean Reno very much.
Reno plays a hard boiled French cop who always gets results, no matter the cost and after another bout of mayhem is ordered on leave. As he takes this forced holiday he receives word that the love of his life, in a former life, while in Japan has died, and he has been appointed executor of her will. In arriving in Japan he finds that he has a daughter although she does not know he is the father, thinking that she was the product of a rape. It's two days before her birthday and the Yakuza want her dead to recover money that her mother stole from them. Mayhem ensues and a few laughs particularly over Renos penchant for Wasabi but unlike normal people he does not just take a pinch he guzzles it and others trying to emulate this make for some serious laughs.
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