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The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
The best 'Hollywood' (via Italy) ever did for Shakespear. Burton and Taylor were married at the time and played off exceptionally well together. Finally, Elizabeth Taylor in her final speach once again established herself as an actress over being a just celebrity.
Another anthropological glimpse of our times.
This is one of Woody Allen's strong and quite films that, like most, is multi-layered. On the surface layer it presents an inside look at a dysfunctional family that is coming to terms with themselves, the divorce of their parents, and finally the death of their mother. Under this quite, but strikingly sorrowful first layer is a second layer of insight of considerably more importance. The underlayer is about the interaction of the principal characters and how they attempt to manipulate each other in generally destructive patterns that are even now becoming more and more prevalent in our socioeconomic culture. Not surprisingly, after a second or third look, this film should be included as part of the curriculum for medical residents working towards the specialty of Psychiatry. It is definitely a film about the destructive and continuing decaying family structure with which we are becoming more and more aware. It is not a film about morality, so important an issue in the 1990's, but about the simple misunderstanding of parenting in families that leave so many in our society emotionally crippled. The result is seen in the three daughters, representing the generations of bored and depressed young and middle aged, middle class people that spend great amounts of time and money trying to prove to themselves that they are happy and cope with the idea of real happiness that has eluded them. Of the films that will survive as anthropological glimpses of the 20th and possibly 21st Centuries in the United States, this film will be on the short list.
The Hospital (1971)
For those unfamiliar with Paddy Chayefsky....
For those unfamiliar with Paddy Chayefsky, this is a very good introduction. While Chayefsky deals with the reality behind the myths of many things including medicine, this work is surprisingly prophetic of the way medicine is going today, two decades after the movie was made and over a decade after his death. Beyond that, some insights into Chayefsky's view of life in general are 'slipped into' the movie as well. The 20th Century may well turn out to be the first and last century of the United States in the History of the World. If it turns out that the contribution to the arts by the United States was in the dimension of the 'movie,' this is a prime example of that art.