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  1. #1

    Default Friday - Old Movie Night

    Next:
    6 June: Easy Rider

    Coming Soon:
    His Girl Friday (1940)
    The Letter
    On the Waterfront

    Previously Featured:
    12 March: A Night to Remember (1958)
    26 March: 12 Angry Men (1957)


    the MacTalk Friday Old Movie Night

    with cosmic


    Eons ago some old geezer on the ABC used to host old movie night every Friday, introducing the viewer to the movie in question, providing some background and things to look out for... followed I think by a little coda, probably of him saying "See, wasn't that just great".

    My concept here is, every Friday night (that I/we think of it), we all watch a chosen movie, and then come back here and review/talk about it.

    Tonight, to start things off, I present to you:



    A Night to Remember, 1958, b&w, 123 minutes.

    Based on the book compiled by Walter Lord:


    Now, I haven't seen this before (I think), which is odd, as I'm a bit of a Titanic buff... but I shall offer a review tomorrow...

    This film is still declared the best film on the subject, bar none... The novel was researched by direct interviews with the survivors of the wreck, though I am not sure how variant the film is from those stories.

    Anyone else who can lay their hands instantly on a copy, feel free to "watch with me".
    Last edited by cosmichobo; 30th May 2010 at 08:14 PM.
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  2. #2

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    What was that old codger's name.

    I remember they literally wheeled him in for each review. Seemed like a lovely old bloke.
    .
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  3. #3

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    I remember him too! Clive something?

  4. #4

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    Your comment about being a Titanic buff reminded me of a picture I have...



    The building that is stripy in this picture on the very far right was the head quarters of White Star lines, the owners of the Titanic. This was the skyline of Liverpool just before I left to come here. The buildings on the left are (tallest) Liver Building - if you are a LFC fan you know this!, then the Port of Liverpool building and finally the domed building is the Cunard building (collectively known as the 3 Graces.)
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  5. #5

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    The film critic was John Hinde ...... passed away in 2006

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    That's him! He was brilliant...

  7. #7

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    I miss the Saturday Cult movie on SBS with the dry witted guy who would introduce each film - most of which were obscure Japanese films in which he would describe the ludicrous plots with such a deadpan expression. Loved it.

  8. #8

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    *ahem* Oh boy - did I really just set myself up to be compared to -

    Yes, the wonderful John Hinde!



    I do recollect now the news of his passing... and as such, I shall tribute this thread to him. To John!

    (Proving he had a great sense of humour...)



    ---

    A Night to Remember (1958)

    The Titanic buff in me is going to attempt to hijack this review, but in this instance, it very much is about the events that took place on that cold night in 1912, and also more recent events since 1985, that shape the modern viewing of this film.

    "A Night to Remember" is, I have recently read, as close to the actual events that took place as you will ever get. James Cameron's "Titanic" may have looked more realistic, but A Night to Remember was, as mentioned, based on actual recollections, and, let's face it, was a hell of a lot closer in time to the event.

    (Though yes, there have been developments since "A Night..." was made that lead to a few inconsistencies, such as the fact the ship broke up during the sinking, and the exact numbers lost.)

    That said, I will take a moment to point out some of the factual errors, such as I know them, made by the film. The opening scene shows a royal figure breaking champagne across the ship's bow at its launch. This did not happen. Had they wanted to be flamboyant about the launch, they should have added a few minutes to show how the launch saw Titanic hit another vessel! The front funnel was "just for appearances" - it did not release steam/smoke. (It actually also served as a ventilator.) Later on... the lifeboats did not actually bear the name "Titanic" (as seen on at least one of the lifeboats as they rowed away from the sinking ship). And, the film gives the total number of survivors as 705. This is a commonly quoted figure, however the most accurate figures as known today are 712 survivors, with 1496 lost (2208 onboard; correctly noted).

    Any movie worth its salt about Titanic needs to address at least some of the major mysteries... the "missing binoculars" (from the crow's nest), the unidentified (to this day) ship on the horizon, the attitude of the captain towards an icefield... as well as showing minor things, such as the logic behind the bulkhead doors, which helped lead to the myth of the ship's unsinkability. "A Night..." covers most of these issues fairly well, without treating the viewer like an idiot; quite refreshing considering in the same era we had Hitchcock flashing clues at his audience with dramatic zoom effects as if they were imbeciles.

    As a contemporary viewer of this film - and even for the original audience to a degree - the view of the class-system is an intriguing one. The first dialogue of the movie results in a query as to whether the speaker was either a foreigner or commoner, due to the lack in national pride being shown by the speaker. The British stiff upper lip is an astounding thing. At first glance, it's hard to imagine today's world existing in such a manner, but upon second thoughts - would we call "steerage" class bogans...

    It is infuriating to see the crew of the nearby vessel literally standing idly by, with their wireless operator asleep, ignoring distress flares (that were in fact the wrong colour; one mystery not covered by the film, perhaps due to the b&w medium) and totally disregarding the observation that the ship appeared to be going down at the bow. This is just one example of how this film hammers home the desperation, and uselessness that those aboard must have felt, knowing that in a very short space of time they would be without their ship in the middle of the Atlantic - they would be dead.

    Here is an admission. "Titanic" makes my eyes well up with tears. There's no sobbing, there's no need even for a tissue. But yes, by the end of the film, the storytelling brings on the need for a quick wipe of the face with the back of my hand.

    "A Night..." made me cry. Perhaps it's because I am a father now, but, what I think it was moreso is the fact that this film is not trying to draw you into a fictional story about two people who never existed - it draws you into the story of real people who boarded the ship, and never made it to New York. The oddest part, is that the scenes borrowed by Cameron for his film, almost line for line in some instances, had less impact on me than they do here, in a black and white film from over 50 years ago.

    Whilst it is true that if two people had access to the same source material, and both people set out to make a film about those details, their stories would share a number of similarities... it is hard not to notice the scenes in "A Night..." that appear to have been remade frame for frame in "Titanic". I'm not accusing Mr Cameron of anything... (though I'm wondering now if anyone DID accuse him back in 1996) but it was ultimately a struggle for me to come to any clear conclusion ultimately on whether or not I had seen this film before, or if my "memories" of it were in fact of "Titanic"... (or purely based on my various readings of Titanic tomes)

    To touch on the film's production values, seems this did set out to be a film review - aside from the occasional wobbly set (worthy of Doctor Who when it came to some of the "metal" staircases) - the sets, and even the models, felt quite fitting. There was no particularly bad acting, though equally none particularly shone, except perhaps the man who played Capt Rostron, the only real hero of the Titanic story, who evidently took the role to heart!

    People regularly poo-poo black and white cinema. Indeed, yesterday when I mentioned this film to some GenYers, they said - Why would you even bother watching something in b&w? This film is one example of why we should. And I hope to bring you more such samples over the coming Friday's...


    ---

    Next week...

    Suggestions welcome...
    Last edited by cosmichobo; 13th March 2010 at 01:27 PM.
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  9. #9

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    John Hinde was brilliant - even when introducing the lamest B grade schlock, he would always find something good to say about it.

    I'm sure I've got a VHS recording of 'Orgazmo' (feat. Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame) with his intro at the beginning
    Live life with Blue Sun

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dward_Shaddow View Post
    I miss the Saturday Cult movie on SBS with the dry witted guy who would introduce each film - most of which were obscure Japanese films in which he would describe the ludicrous plots with such a deadpan expression. Loved it.
    Des Mangan?

  11. #11

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    Oohhh - John Hinde was excellent.

    How about Bette Davis in 'The Letter' for next week?


    Last edited by macrob69; 13th March 2010 at 04:03 PM.
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  12. #12

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    Well while we're visiting B+W films, and educating the Gen Y'ers how about...

    "His Girl Friday"

    Howard Hawks's 1940 comic masterpiece with the fastest on-screen delivery of dialogue you'll ever see.(hear ?).

    or

    "12 Angry Men"

    Sidney Lumet's tense thriller from the inside of a deliberating jury in a murder trial where a guilty finding means the death penalty for the accused.

    Both films are on IMDB's top 250 films of all time list.

    jb
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  13. #13

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    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I am hoping to do movies I haven't seen before, which I freely admit, means a lot. (Peh, some film student I was; only saw Casablanca at Uni at the age of 29!)
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmichobo View Post


    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I am hoping to do movies I haven't seen before, which I freely admit, means a lot. (Peh, some film student I was; only saw Casablanca at Uni at the age of 29!)
    Ahh, OK.

    I also only saw Casablanca recently.....shhh.

    Are any of the suggestions ones you've seen ? Do you have themes or genre's you want to particularly explore ?

    jb
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlster View Post

    "12 Angry Men"

    Sidney Lumet's tense thriller from the inside of a deliberating jury in a murder trial where a guilty finding means the death penalty for the accused.

    jb
    I might watch this one tonight if cosmichobo has already seen...?
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  16. #16

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    There are no particular genres/themes I'm wanting to stick to. That if anything has been my downfall - seen PLENTY of scifi, but not a lot else. I'd love to broaden my horizons, much as I did whilst at Uni.

    In the interests of keeping the thread from becoming too messy, and sticking to the concept of it being a once weekly thing (even tho of course we can offer our diatribes at any time during the week), I'd like to keep to 1 film per week.

    So, seems there's interest in 12 Angry Men - let's make that the film for 19 March! (No, I am pretty sure I haven't seen it, though it sounds intriguing!)

    macrob - feel free to watch it now, and write your review, then post it here on Friday.
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmichobo View Post
    k.

    So, seems there's interest in 12 Angry Men - let's make that the film for 19 March! (No, I am pretty sure I haven't seen it, though it sounds intriguing!)

    macrob - feel free to watch it now, and write your review, then post it here on Friday.
    Excellent idea. I might give it a rewatch. Turns it into a sort of movie club !!!

    jb
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  18. #18

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    Friday night is going to become HTML coding with the footy in the background for me or just the footy, Saturday is movie night for me normally and usually I watch a crime/thriller or Action. It's not old but have you seen Eric Banna's Love The Beast, it's a great movie

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    Quote Originally Posted by half goon half god View Post
    Des Mangan?
    Goon, I could kiss you! Do you know how long I have waited for someone to actually know who I was talking about (I've always described him as 'the guy who's mouth looks like it's caught on a fish hook!').

    Man, those were the days; great films, SBS hosts introducing said films...ah, bliss! Bring Des back SBS!

    VIDEO NO WORKY

    Actually turns out other people have the same idea! Bring back cult movies and Des Mangan | Facebook

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dward_Shaddow View Post
    Goon, I could kiss you! Do you know how long I have waited for someone to actually know who I was talking about (I've always described him as 'the guy who's mouth looks like it's caught on a fish hook!').

    Man, those were the days; great films, SBS hosts introducing said films...ah, bliss! Bring Des back SBS!

    VIDEO NO WORKY

    Actually turns out other people have the same idea! Bring back cult movies and Des Mangan | Facebook
    I totally agree being that I am a film buff of the old Sci/Fi classics that I have been collecting on my HDD's.

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