|Index||8 reviews in total|
Its shorts like these that make me proud to be a movie fan. This is a well
presented account of the first 100 years of American film, shown with small
clips. It pops up often on TCM.
I find it interesting that it sites certain movies with their title and date, to sort of show that they are landmarks. Some of their picks probably didn't deserve this citing, while others did. The Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Easy Rider, The Godfather, and Raging Bull were perfectly deserving of being highlighted as landmarks, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, and Schindler's List perhaps deserved citations, but The Jazz Singer, 42nd Street, San Fransisco, and Red River certainly didn't deserve it. I can't say anything about Greed, because I haven't seen it, though I'd like to. But films like The Gold Rush, King Kong, Citizen Kane, and The Third Man did deserve to be highlighted, as they all signaled an increase in cinematic merit.
The creators of the short made a great choice by repeatedly using Bernard Hermann's score from Citizen Kane through certain moments to create a dreamlike and heavenly nostalgia among the viewers.
It doesn't matter that several of the movies are chronologically out of place. They often seem to be separated into genres. One moment has classic gangster flicks like Little Caesar, The Public Enemy and Scarface, the next will have musicals, like Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, and the Gene Kelly vehicles.
It is remarkable how the short can bring out nearly every emotion from the film experienced viewers. We are reminded of thrilling moments, like the car chase in The French Connection, a battle scene from The Adventures of Robin Hood, and the crop duster from North By Northwest. We are reminded of the dramatic moments, like Brando's taxi speech in On the Waterfront, the conclusion of Casablanca, and the battle scenes from The Birth of a Nation. And we are shown clips from the comedic (the oceanliner sequence in A Night at the Opera), to the tense (Gary Cooper waiting for the outlaws in the abandoned town in High Noon), to the unsettling (the horrifying shot of possessed Regan's spinning head in The Exorcist). It all combines to create a dizzying sense of nostalgia and it serves as a reminder of how great it is to be a true movie addict. Of course it has obvious omissions, but they can be forgiven.
By the way, Some Like it Hot and Citizen Kane DO make appearances in this presentation. Just very small ones.
O O O O O O O O O O
No great theories to spin here, or trends to notice, or criticisms to unload. Quite simply, this is the most carefully chosen, best-edited, most entertaining montage/tribute to the cinema ever put together. Covering, as it says, the whole first century of the cinema, it consists entirely of clips from a cavalcade of box-office favorites and historically-significant films, edited in roughly chronological order, accompanied by equally-well chosen scores. Some excerpts are as short as two or three seconds, sometimes just a word or a gesture from a film, sometimes a famous line, sometimes a look on a beloved movie star's face, but always one of those indelible moments, those "pieces of time," as Jimmy Stewart called them, that are the shared heritage of everyone who loves movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first time I watched "100 Years at the Movies" was a few years ago when it was shown during the Academy Awards. It is fast paced using not only great film clips but famous lines and music. In a film such as this it is easy to say what one could have done differently; but try a make a list of what you would include and try and not forget somebody or something. Contrary to what someone commented before "Citizen Kane" and "Some Like It Hot" are both represented in this film. The only major omissions I noticed (and maybe I missed them) were "The African Queen" and "My Fair Lady" (although both Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn are shown in other films). I will agree some titles in their timeline are questionable ("San Francisco" and "Red River") these points do not and should not take away from the masterpiece this short film is. My only real complaints are the massive gap they started with (starting with "The Birth of a Nation") when if they used the real father of the movies Georges Melies films ("A Trip to the Moon") they could have easily filled the gap. "100 Years at the Movies" is a moving film that one could watch time and again and still love it. Thank you Chuck Workman for this awesome gift you have given every film lover.
CAREFULLY ASSEMBLED, AND without any visible signs of favouritism
toward any period or genre, this one reeler does its best in evoking
the steady evolution of the motion picture from humble beginnings in
peep show novelty, to the Nickelodeon days, the Silents, the Talkie
Era, the Great Depression, World War II and right up through the
post-studio system and the advent of the shopping center multiplex.
SANS ANY NARRATION, be it flowery and self-congratulatory or not, the 9 minutes of pure cinematic heaven flows by much like a beautiful dream. We aren't sure just how many micro-clips of archival scenes from how many other a film are included and quite frankly, we don't even care to guess.
SERVING AS SORT of an audio catalyst in melting all into a single, coherent screen montage, we have a section of the soundtrack of the score for CITIZEN KANE, by Bernard Hermann. The musical quotation used is from the scene where we see a very happy, young 9 year old enjoying his playing in the snow in Colorado. It is repeated several times and is well used in its function in blending it all together.
WE'VE LONG BELIEVED that Hollywood oft takes itself far too seriously and tends to exaggerate its own importance as an art form. This ever so brief 9 minutes of shear cinematic pleasure does more than all of the awards shows, red carpet events and gossip could ever hope to accomplish! AS FOR THE rating for this, both Schultz and I say maximum stars allowed!
One of my favourite short films of all time is 'Precious Images
(1986),' an unforgettable montage tribute to nearly a century of
American cinema. After winning an Oscar for his efforts, director Chuck
Workman updated the film to coincide with the centenary of American
cinema. Indeed, his supreme editing skills were in high demand during
the mid-1990s, when many film associations AMPAS, AFI, TCM were
celebrating one hundred years of movies. '100 Years at the Movies
(1994),' commissioned by Turner Classic Movies, is a
roughly-chronological nine-minute tribute to American movies. Whereas
'Precious Images' was an indiscriminate barrage of moments from any
era, though typically tied to a central theme or genre, here Workman's
chronology allows the viewer to appreciate the aesthetic and thematic
progression of the medium; for example, the abrupt transition from the
silent slapstick farce of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, to the
quick-witted screwball comedy of Mae West, Cary Grant and the Marx
Brothers. Most of all, however, it's about reliving all those wonderful
Each regular viewing of 'Precious Images' usually moves me to tears, such is the flood of emotions that accompanies each cinematic image. '100 Years at the Movies' doesn't cover as much ground as its predecessor, offering only a snapshot of the landmark pictures of the twentieth century, and perhaps unduly ascribing more screen-time to some movies over others. The various diverse film clips are generally integrated beautifully, especially a transition from Fred and Ginger in 'Swing Time (1936)' to Gene and Leslie in 'An American in Paris (1951).' Perhaps the only misstep in Workman's editing is his decision to synchronise a clip from 'Lawrence of Arabia (1962)' with Monty Norman's James Bond theme from 'Dr. No (1962)' same year, but different genre! Nevertheless, the film is a treasure of memories for anybody who calls themselves a film buff, resurrecting all those moments whose emotions you had almost forgotten. Additionally, the film served as inspiration for me to see those classics that I haven't gotten around to yet 'Greed (1923)' and 'The Crowd (1928),' for example.
This Turner Classic Movies production of a century of (mostly) American film (up to Schindler's List) is fast-paced. It begins in chronological order, but then skips during the middle, but returns to chronological order at the end. There are notable omissions (No Citizen Kane, the movie named by the American Film Institute as the Best Movie of the last 100 year; The African Queen, the only film with the Best Actor and Actress of the last century according to the AFI voters - Bogart and Hepburn; or Some Like It Hot, the AFI's pick for funniest movie.) Also no mention of live action or animated shorts (the only animation is of Jerry the mouse dancing with Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh; in fact, no Disney film is not even seen.) But it keeps you riveted to see what movie clip will be shown next and you can play along at home.
This film was made to commemorate the development of film in the United
States, thus you won't see any clips from foreign films in it - that
was not what it was intended to do, on the 100th anniversary of the
first film exhibition in the United States on April 14, 1894. That
100th anniversary is also the day that Turner Classic Movies began
broadcasting - April 14, 1994 - and I believe this short was one of the
first shorts broadcast on that channel. It consists entirely of very
short film clips in rough chronological order with musical
accompaniment that very much conveys the feeling of each era in film.
There is no narration other than the words of the actors and actresses
in the films in the short. Anything more would have ruined the magic
that is this short.
Produced by Turner Broadcasting Company, you'll see a heavy dose of the films that Ted Turner owned at the time - the RKO library, the pre-1986 MGM library, and the pre-1949 Warner Brothers library. Also, many silent films are and were in the public domain, so clips of very early films were possible. However, just about every significant film made up to 1994 is present, including films Turner did not own such as "It's A Wonderful Life", "Patton", "Star Wars", and "Schindler's List" at the very end, which actually won the Best Picture award for 1993.
In some ways I'd like this short to be updated to include the last twenty years of film, but then they would have to ruin that perfect ending with the films of 1993 being crosscut with the one hundred year old footage of the trolley cars. I highly recommend this short - if you love film it will give you goosebumps.
This was put together in 1994 to celebrate the first 100 years of the movies. It starts with the silents and moves all the way up to 1994 ending with "Schindler's List". For a movie fan like me it's pure magic and loads of fun figuring out which clips come from what movie (I'm proud to say I got 95% of them). They reference and show classic clips from just about every famous film in Hollywood. Some go by a little TOO fast but I can understand that. Also the clips of music from various movies is fantastic. My favorites are the title music from "Gone With the Wind" and "Rocky" and "We're in the Money" from one of the Gold Diggers films. My only complaints (and they're tiny ones)--some of the clips are WAY out of place. I caught "American in Paris" in the 1940s section! And where was "Gigi"? It was one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award as Best Picture. There were other omissions but these stood out. Still it's a great short. Anybody who has even a passing interest in movies will love this. A 10 all the way!
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|