Reviews

20 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
A movie well worth watching.
21 May 2003
John Ford, John Wayne, and Monument Valley. I am sure that for many millions of people, that says all they need to know. Scenery and cinematography are superb. A good story is very well directed by Ford. The supporting cast members give good performances. And there is something extra special and touching about John Wayne's performance; especially in the farewell scene - that turns out to be premature. I recall reading somewhere that this was John Wayne's favorite John Wayne movie. Every time I watch it I feel that I better understand why. And I find myself liking it a little bit more each time I watch it.
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An excellent all around movie
4 May 2003
This movie shows that a western does not have to be filmed in color and does not have to have grand vistas in order to be outstanding. As with any other type of film, all it takes is excellent performances, excellent direction, and an excellent screenplay. This movie has all three. It is an outstanding reminder of the dangers of mob mentality and vigilante justice.
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Porky's (1981)
Absolutely hilarious
29 April 2003
I looked at the first two pages (here on the IMDB website) of other comments and am not at all surprised to find comments ranging from very good to very bad; this is that kind of movie.

If you haven't seen it, here's my take on it. People who are stuffy, proper, sophisticated, and politically correct in a social sense are not going to care for this movie. On the other hand, if you are laid back, easy going, don't have to have an uplifting and moral story line, and appreciate comedy (often sexy and somewhat raw), you are going to love this movie. The producer and director very obviously made this movie for the simple purpose of providing the audience with a lot of very funny comedy. And they succeeded immensely (if you are laid back, easy going, etc.) The scenes range from funny to hilarious.

Buy or rent the video. I've seen this on network TV and it is very "sanitized".
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The Hurricane (1937)
A movie well worth watching.
26 April 2003
The story line of this movie gets a bit fanciful at times, but it doesn't get out of hand and the movie does not pretend to be anything it isn't, so I think most people well enjoy it.

There are several fine performances. My favorite is that of Raymond Massey as he is very convincing in the thankless role of a cold-hearted governer who towards the end shows a sadistic side and then, at the very end of the movie, shows that there is good in everybody.

Then there is the hurricane itself. Naturally I have not seen every movie ever made, but seeing how this movie predates the computer age the hurricane is surely the greatest special effects in movie history.
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I have mixed feelings about this film.
19 April 2003
First let me talk about what I consider to be the strengths of this movie. John Barry's score is excellent and well deserves the oscar it won. Dean Semler's cinematography is magnificent and, to me, the highlight of the movie. For many years I considered the cinematography of "Lawrence of Arabia" to be the best I had ever seen. Now I'm not so sure. To me, the filming of the buffalo hunt/chase is one of the great achievements in movie history. And the filming of the vistas and the land under different lighting conditions is outstanding.

I did not see the performances of any of Mary McDonnell's competitors, but was very disappointed that she did not win for Best Supporting Actress. And the nominations for Art - Set Decoration and Costume Design were very well deserved.

Another top achievement was getting to know the Indians very intimately and coming to realize that individually, the Indians of the 1860s are very much like white people today. And it showed, to an extent, how Indian culture of the 1860s differed so vastly from white culture of the same time. It would have been a good idea, I think, to have developed this aspect some more.

That is one of the weaknesses, in my opinion, of this movie. Another is the tendency to portray the Sioux as 100% good and the whites and the Pawnee as close to 100% bad. I have a handful of reputable books that all point out that there were a significant number of whites who were sympathetic to the Indians during this time. Unfortunately for the Indians, there weren't enough of them and most were back east.

Regarding the Pawnee, it is true that they were enemies of the Sioux. But so were the Crow, Shoshone, and some lesser tribes. From what I have read in my books, the various tribes of the Great Plains competed against each other for enough land to support them. They needed water, grass for their horse herds, wild game for food, and buffalo for just about everything. They warred against each other. But that doesn't make one tribe "good" and another tribe "bad".

Finally, there is too much of Kevin Costner in this movie. I don't know if he realizes or agrees, but it seems that he was trying to make himself, not the people of the Sioux village, the centerpiece of the movie. If someone else had done the narration, that would have been a big help. Or if someone else had played the part of Lt. Dunbar, that also would have been a good idea.
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9/10
A movie unlike any other.
3 June 2002
I first watched this movie in a theater (I have since purchased the video). The depiction of the landing on Omaha Beach was easily the most intense movie experience I have ever had. The battle in the town near the end of the movie is probably the second most intense.

When the movie ended, there was total and complete silence in the theater. It lasted for maybe a minute. Then I could make out the sounds of patrons gently getting up out of their seats. Next I could hear the soft footsteps as the people began to slowly walk out of the theater. And I could barely discern people near me talking in low and seemingly reverent tones. It was like everyone in the theater felt that they were in the presence of an awesome power that demanded, and deserved, the utmost respect. Never have I come close to an experience like that. It was as impressive as the movie itself.

Steven Spielberg is a true genius.
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Riders of the Purple Sage (1996 TV Movie)
If you liked the movie and haven't read the book, read it.
23 November 2001
I watched this movie out of curiosity because I have the book and have read it; five times. My book is 4" x 7" and is 311 pages long. That seemed like a lot for a two hour (I believe it was two hours) movie. I wanted to see how good the movie was and what parts of the book the movie omitted. I liked the movie despite the fact that it very understandably omitted a lot from the book. I read through the other user comments quickly and found two that said they like the movie better than the book. I would like to encourage those of you who have seen the movie but not read the book to get the book and read it. Parts of the book tend to be grandiose, which might be why the two users said they liked the movie better. To me, the book tells a great story with meaty characters that you get to know and care very much about. Central is Jane Withersteen who is being intimidated by the top Mormon men of her community. When she finally finds out how this intimidation campaign got started and, especially, who started it, she is rather shocked.
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A very fine all-around movie
24 September 2001
I missed out on this true story when it actually occurred, but I feel fairly confident in saying that the producer, writer, and director added very little, if any, "fictional fluff". The movie starts off by showing us the setting and most of the main characters. Everyone and everything looks real and believable; almost always a good indication that the viewer is in for an entertaining movie. And that is certainly the case here. Once the abduction occurs, the director skillfully keeps the interest nonstop and makes us very reluctant to get up and go to the fridge or anywhere else. There are solid performances by the supporting cast; the usual flawless performance we have come to expect from Megan Follows; and a superb performance by David Morse.
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Excellent movie
19 December 2000
For starters, this picture was thankfully filmed in black and white. This is only appropriate for gray colored ships shooting it out in the North Atlantic. The performers were, for the most part, convincing. The movie got a little risky by using a fictional character (played by Kenneth More) for the lead role, and delving a bit into his personal life. But it didn't get out of hand. The movie takes just the right amount of time in developing and depicting the important events in the eight day life of the Bismarck. I got the feeling that I was actually there and watching these events take place. The movie is essentially accurate, based on accounts I have read in books; including one by the highest ranking German survivor. The depiction of the destruction of the British battle cruiser Hood was not exactly accurate, but I would rank that a minor point. Getting the ship used in the movie to blow up the same way the Hood would probably have been more trouble than it was worth. The bottom line is the ship was destroyed and only three crew members survived.

This movie is an excellent, no-nonsense portrayal of the short and dramatic life of the legendary German battleship Bismarck.
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10/10
A very fine all-around movie
2 December 2000
A lot of talented people got together to produce this movie. Story, screenplay, performances, scenery, and cinematography are all first rate.

If you are watching this movie the first time and have not heard how it ends, you will find yourself all caught up in it and wondering if, and how, these men are going to get out of the predicament they're in. And if you have seen it before, it's worth watching just to see the performances of James Stewart and Hardy Kruger in particular, as their stubborn egos repeatedly clash. Other cast members give very solid performances.
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Great Performances: Cats (1998)
Season 27, Episode 3
10/10
Now I know why this musical played for so many years.
22 November 2000
I bought this video approx. two weeks ago and have watched it everyday since. Among stage show videos, I thought that Lord of the Dance could ever be topped. Well, I am reminded to "never say never".

The scenery and lighting are very professional. The choreography is very good. The dancers show outstanding athletic ability. The most obvious is flexibility. And they no doubt have excellent muscle tone and aerobic capacity.

The music is what sets this show apart. The songs range from very good to incredibly beautiful; instrumentally and vocally both. When the whole cast cuts loose with an energetic number it is so thrilling to hear.

When mentioning individual singing, let me refer to the final scene. Elaine Paige starts off with a magnificent performance of "Memory". Then follows a beautiful group performance. You wouldn't think it could get any better, but Ken Page delivers an incomparable performance, of several minutes, with a voice that is both beautiful and powerful.
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Another Kevin Sullivan masterpiece
21 November 2000
I acknowledge the user comments that complain of all that this movie left our of Lucy Montgomery's books 2-4. But I was fortunate to see the movie before I read any of the books. As with the comments I made re: Anne of Green Gables, again it is a matter of story, performances, scenery, and cinematography. The story line here is a person (Anne) developing grandiose ideas of the perfect husband and perfect career; traveling as far as Boston to find them; and finally realizing that both (Gilbert and writing) have been in her own back yard all the time. Megan and Colleen again are superb. This sequel has the added firepower of Wendy Hiller, Rosemary Dunsmore, and Frank Converse. Wendy Hiller makes her great performance look so effortless. And Rosemary Dunsmore pulls off the feat of changing from someone you love to hate to someone you have sympathy for. And several other supporting performers make the very best of an outstanding screemplay.

IMDB, you should allow a 5,000 word limit for comments on movies like this one. performers make the very best of an outstanding screenplay.
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10/10
A truly magnificent production
21 November 2000
I consider this and Anne of Avonlea to be, for all practical purposes, a single movie. And it is easily my #1 movie that was not released in theaters. I always tell people it is because of the story, performances, scenery, and cinematography. The story line is simple; a feisty, fearless, and intelligent orphan comes to live in a slow-paced and easy-going village and lightens it up in a way the residents probably never thought possible. I appreciate Colleen Dewhurst's great performance more each time I watch it (I have the video). And Megan Follows gives what only be called a perfect performance; remember, she was a teenager at the time. The scenery and cinematography, granted, will not remind anyone of "Lawrence of Arabia"; but if you take the time to notice, soft and subtle with no mountains or deserts can be as pleasing as anything you have ever looked at. I visited Prince Edward Island in 1998 and fell in love with the place.

In closing, my huge thanks to producer/director/writer Kevin Sullivan.
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Fury (1955–1960)
My very first favorite TV show; please bring it back
27 October 2000
This was my favorite television show back during the time that it was on. I was approaching my teens and its western location and various adventures appealed to my own sense of and desire for adventure.

Alas, I have not seen it since it went off the air. In other words I have never seen any reruns; I don't know for sure if there ever have been any reruns. I fear that the reels of film may have been lost. But if they are still available, and if a person with the capability to put this show back on the air as reruns happens to read this, please do so. Thank you.
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Old Yeller (1957)
Perhaps Disney's best animal-oriented movie
15 September 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I get the feeling that many people consider this movie "old fashioned". That's unfortunate. The story of people appreciating a dog's love and loyalty should always be considered first rate material. And in this case it was done by the master himself; Walt Disney. Who could not be captivated by Old Yeller's lovable face and smile. The well done story line took him from scoundrel to protector and companion. Granted, the scenes showing Old Yeller fighting off the animal "villains" had a somewhat unnatural look about them; but getting a herd of wild pigs, for example, to do what you want, can't be too easy. And Tommy Kirk really nailed it (the feeling of grief) in the scene where he put Old Yeller out of his misery.
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My favorite of many outstanding episodes
13 September 2000
I enjoy this series (I faithfully watch the reruns) for the same reasons millions of others do; the story lines that provide valuable lessons in life and the outstanding performances by regulars and guests. I would like to let readers know my all time favorite episode. It's the one titled "The Man Inside". This is the one about the fat man who decides to "leave" so his daughter will no longer have to be embarrassedd by him. Later, the children in the blind school open her eyes and help her realize what a great father he is.
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Another Disney masterpiece about animal/human interactions.
8 September 2000
This is Disney at its best. Filmed on location amidst beautiful scenery. An intelligent and common sense screenplay. Human actors that are down to earth and believable. A truly outstanding narrator. An endearing story line that isn't really that far-fetched; pets, especially dogs, have been known to travel great distances to get back home.

I want to emphasize the narration. This movie is just one example of Disney's ability to find highly skilled narrators for movies/documentaries in which humans play a minor part; and sometimes no part at all.
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One of Walt Disney's great masterpieces
8 September 2000
This classic shows the Disney skill at giving human attributes to animals and not seeming the least bit ridiculous. The result is that the audience cares very much about the animal stars. That is especially so in this movie because of the timeless and beautifully done story line. The movie is enhanced by beautiful scenery and beautiful music. I have had the video for years and consider it one of my treasures.
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The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
12/60 Christmas episode; great performance by Will Wright
5 September 2000
My favorite Andy Griffith show episode is the Christmas show when mean old Ben Weaver tries to get himself arrested. (Enter "Will Wright" in the database search box and note #6 under Notable TV guest appearances) On Christmas Eve, Ben Weaver (a legitimate liquor dealer) insists that Andy arrest a farmer for making some illegal moonshine to celebrate Christmas with. Andy brings the farmer's wife and two kids to the jail and, with Barnie, Opie, Aunt Bea, and Ellie, the whole lot of them celebrate Christmas right there in the jail. Ben becomes aware of this; feels left out; and tries to get himself arrested so he can join in the festivities. Thanks to some brilliant acting by Will Wright you start off intensely disliking Ben Weaver and end up feeling genuinely sorry for him.
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Midway (1976)
A decent movie that could have been a very good movie
4 September 2000
I have done a fair amount of reading on the battle of Midway. Military historians rate it very critical to the war in the Pacific; the death of a large number of skilled, experienced Japanese pilots on 6/4/42 probably shortened the war. The battle was very involved; approximately 50 ships (7 were aircraft carriers) and 600 planes were involved. One would think that this would be enough to make an entertaining and educational movie. But the producer had to clutter it with the relationships between four fictional characters; Charlton Heston's character, his ladyfriend, his son, and his son's girlfriend. The time involved could better be used in presenting more of the many details of the battle. A very good source was available: "Midway; the Battle that Doomed Japan" by Mitsuo Fuchida. He was there; when the bombs were falling.
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