Reviews written by registered user
|97 reviews in total|
Madeleine Stowe gets a rare opportunity to carry a film and she makes the most of it. She is crisp, intelligent, vulnerable, and thoroughly believable. And sparks fly between her and Aidan Quinn who is excellent in an offbeat role. This is a tight little thriller with its share of red herrings and twists.
Sally Field is totally wasted in this by-the-numbers comedy. Williams has fun in drag, but he thinks out loud, painstakingly, and much slower that the audience. Everybody in the movie is immature, and everyone but the children are stereotypes. Pierce Brosnan is perfectly at home, and perfect in this environment. Harvey Fierstein has a nice supporting bit, but overall, I was disappointed in this one.
George Maharis and a Spanish-Italian cast don't inspire confidence, but for a low-budget international effort, this is actually poignant and insightful in spots. The dubbing is inconsistent and annoying however, so any one who has the option of watching and understanding the Spanish-language version should do so.
Rene Clair weaves the quintessential spider web with brilliant camera work including unusual but effective angles, snappy dialogue, and magnificent performances by ten impeccably cast artists. The viewer is drawn into the anxiety, claustrophobia, terror, and resignation felt one-by-one by each of the twelve weekend "guests" of Mr. Owen. Any mystery, suspense or thriller fan will be incomplete without seeing this work of absolute genius. My score: 10+/10.
Beautiful and poetic movie blends great score, direction and acting into a
symphonic ode to small-town life in turn-of-the-century
This movie is purely about the poetry behind human trials and tribulations.
It is also a marvelous time capsule that should be shown to any literature
class transmitting perfectly the soul of pre-war America. I recommend it as
a family movie to all.
The rest of this review deals with the other reviewers since it has been made clear by what I have read that the IMDB "no spoilers" rule strangely does not apply to Our Town. True, the movie was no more Thornton Wilder's play than Yentl was Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story or Educating Rita was Willy Russell's play or Christine was Steven King's book to name just three which were radically changed to accommodate the director's vision of what a movie based on these materials should say to the moviegoing audience. King has said words to the effect that, "(paraphrasing...) My book is my book. When I sell my rights to the movie-makers to use my book as a platform for a film, it is precisely that which I do. The movie is not my book any more than How The West Was Won is history. It is merely the participating artists' vision of the source material." The late James Michener has voiced similar opinions.
Admittedly, others like Gore Vidal have felt damaged when three lines were omitted. They view their text as sacrosanct. My suggestion to them is to emulate J. D. Salinger. If you don't want your work changed, do not sell the rights; a movie is not a book or a play; it is a movie.
For what it is worth, I had read the play first, was depressed by it, and was personally surprised, delighted, and enraptured by the lyrical ending which, to me, remained more true to the entire spirit of the movie (a la Sam Wood's Goodbye Mr. Chips -- still one of my all-time favorites, also not 100% true to James Hilton's book)than the original bummer ending would have, since the tone had been lightened and lyricized throughout. But, this is what artistic expression and interpretation is all about. Different eyes, minds, and hearts see and interpret the same things differently. Sam Wood, like Thornton Wilder, was an artist, not a mechanic, as were the other artists involved in the movie. What lives is their interpretation of the source material to make a movie that is an ode to small-town American life rather than Wilder's essay on the unbearable lightness of being, as it were.
Alistair Sim is brilliant in the title role. This is a filmed stage play, but in absolutely the best possible connotations of the phrase; it gives the viewer the sense of intimacy and participation one gets from watching live theater. The tale itself basically combines a bit of "Tales From The Unexplained" with Noel Coward and Aesop's Fables with a dash of Hitchcock for good measure. More than that I shall not say except all four of the family members' supporting performances are excellent. When this inspector calls, he is not soon forgotten.
This is one of those forced early-'50's sex comedies without the sex. Lundigan is contrived and insipid, and Marilyn Monroe is totally miscast as his old Army buddy, Bobby Stephens. Henry Kulky provides the movie's only truly interesting character. When he is on-screen, he is making a different-and-better movie than the rest of the players.
This is one of the most stupidly acted and presented movies of the 1940's. It also is very reflective of America's aggressive ignorance toward South Pacific cultures of the time. Frank Morgan is amusing enough in a brief role, but unfortunately, has far too little to do. Walter Pidgeon, normally a solid performer, is absolutely brutally feckless here. Avoid
As do the other commenters, I love Barbara Stanwyck. Unlike them, I wouldn't sit through this mess again on a bet. First, Brent's character is feckless and distant and has no chemistry with Stanwyck. Thus, the sacrificial stupidity and emotional hand-wringing that follows rings phony and irritating. Eve Arden saves this from a "1" with some timely comic relief, so I give it a 2/10 instead. Watch and re-watch just about all of Stanwyck's pre-1950 performances before wasting your time on this mess.
Brando is perfect as the inscrutable macho motorcycle gangleader who hasn't
a clue what he's really about. But, little-known Mary Murphy delivers the
film's knockout performance as the restless small-town girl who feels
everything through a strange numbness. Vicious members of Brando's cycle
gang include hard-nosed Jerry Paris (later Rob Petrie's neighbor, Jerry) and
Alvy Moore (later Mr. Kimble on Green Acres). The one disappointing
performance to me is Lee Marvin chewing up the screen as the perpetually
drunken Chino. Worth watching.
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