Rafael is the best salesman in the biggest department store of Madrid. He is a fascinating man; all his colleagues fell in love with him. He tries to live a high-standard life. He is ... See full summary »
A remake of the 1955 comedy, the story revolves around a Southern professor who puts together a group of thieves to rob a casino. They rent a room in an old woman's house, but soon she discovers the plot and they must kill her, a task that is more difficult than it seems. Written by
This is the first Coen brothers film where Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are both given directing and producing credits. They have shared these duties on all of their films, but Joel has always been listed as the director, and Ethan as producer. See more »
Shadow of boom mic on the door as Dorr leads Munson into the kitchen after the poetry recital. See more »
Don't Compare it with the Ealing original - Most won't even have heard of it!,
Whilst I can see why and that it's automatic for originals to be compared with remakes, it's probably only us not so old/oldies that would even have heard of, let alone seen the 1955 original. A half- century gap and it's not as if one can nip into Blockbuster and get an old black & white Ealing comedy out.
No, it's not as good as the Alexander Mackendrick directed movie but that's partly because Joel & Ethan Coen haven't copied it, or even re- made it. On many fronts, it's a different film entirely. They obviously loved the original premise and have indelibly stamped their own black comedy and directorial flourishes onto it, plus some great twists at the end.
Because, unlike the Ealing, it's set for comedy, it can only be so good, given the limitations. Comments about the robust, Southern black woman that the gang infiltrate, who is far too much of a tour de force for the film to work, are missing the point. SHE is the comedy, whilst the supporting cast add - or possibly detract from - the whole set-up. Moving it all from the East End to (I guess) the Mississippi makes it as American as it can be - can you envisage a timid, naive black woman playing that role? Similarly, our very English stereotype is that quaint old dear, who inadvertently becomes a hero.
Anyways, the comedy for us Brits is hit and miss and too broad for many, which when mixed with the perceived messing with our National Treasure, make it sit even more awkwardly. I'm certainly not pro American but the Coen bros have made some very fine films - and while this certainly isn't one of those, it does deserve more credit than is often given.
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