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Million Dollar Baby (2004)
See 1939's "Of Mice & Men" instead
Once you've seen it, you've got it. I think this one is going to diminish in memory as time goes on. "Titanic", anyone? Still, I could forgive a lot of it if only Clint had been at least questioned by the police. Even people who die of natural causes have to be "pronounced" by the Medical Examiner. Here, Clint leaves Hilary's with her breathing tube removed from her trachea, which would make her death "suspicious", which means there would be some sort of coroner's inquest and autopsy which would show the high count of adrenaline in her system, thereby ruling her death as a "probable homicide". After the nurses and night staff were questioned, it wouldn't be long until they were onto Clint; most likely uncovering means, motive and opportunity (Morgan Freeman would be a poor alibi indeed). Hence, the movie cannot end with him sitting peacefully in a diner somewhere until he is thoroughly grilled and most likely arrested by the LAPD.
The French Connection (1971)
32 years and still relevant
I first saw The French Connection in the summer of '72 (after it won the Oscar), so it's reputation was fairly well sealed by then. I had seen fair number of 1971 films, including The Hospital, Nicholas and Alexandria, A Clockwork Orange, Shaft, Le Boucher, Dirty Harry. The French Connection was something different though. It seemed to leap off the screen. It gave me a feeling I no longer have when I leave a movie, which is when I stepped out into the street I felt I was still in the movie. Of course, the chase was spectacular, but what I most remember and still enjoy about the movie is the energy. Gene Hackman acted Popeye with his entire body: running, stamping his feet, fighting, pointing, running some more: the porkpie hat was not a meaningless appendage; it was part of him, whether he employed it for drug recovery or slamming it into the concrete. It's a cinematic performance that ranks with Chaplin and Keaton. Then there's the intoxicating mood of grey, dreary winter in New York 1970-71 that puts you into the show. And the editing. Note the cool shot of Doyle spinning out of the phone booth on Broome St. cutting right into the drone of the Brooklyn Bridge at daybreak; or the shots jammed together as Doyle yells at Pierre Nicoli on the departing train, cut to: the motorman's hand cut to: to the suspicious transit cop, cut to: to the closing train doors, etc. And no music to smooth it over! Whenever I see this film it looks like it's still happening.