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The Cowboys (1972)
Best of the OLD MAN
This is probably the best of the movies Wayne made before his death.The John Wayne philosophy is more than evident here;drink,atheist,pride,loyalty to his race but human enough to accept others,hard living and brave.His own man. The story is gullible but entertaining with a very good script and fine acting by all the actors especially the boys.Bruce Dern is chilling as the villain.The outdoor shooting is superb and the music lends to it.I have seen many of Wayne's movies and though his political leanings are evident there is something about his presence that appeals to common sense and being a MAN.
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
This is the last of the trilogy and the weakest!Pacino is superb as he was a from the start but two character casting ,that of Vincent and Mary,hold back the film.Garcia is clearly apeing De Niro in his body language but his talking with eyes sinks him.Coppola's daughter is all innocence but a matured actress was required here.The plot is nothing new and flashbacks to the other films reveal a lack of originality.Besides Pacino,Eli Wallach is very good as well as the others from movie no.2 but the urgency,the violent romance of it all is completely missing.The best film is the always the original,sequels just cash on its success.Godfather1 was as we call it the 'real thing' the others were copies.
A Tarana to remember
Movies from a particular era have a re-curring theme which is presented with a switch of either environments or time.This film is no exception.What really makes it watchable is the chemistry between Dilip and Madhubala though a modern movie fan will be hard pressed to go through the tedious routine of song after song.The script as in most movies by Dilip is very good,the direction capable and the music extremely likable and full of romance.Dilip and Madhubala are fantastic as the lovers whilst Kuumar is brilliant as Madhu's father.The rest of the cast is solid.Watch out for a standout by Shyama.The heart of the film lies i the haunting songs of Talat Mahmood.A neglected film not readily available on DVD but a great advertisement for the legends that were Dilip and Madhubala.
When we have assimilated the rave views let's look at the glaring goofs in the film!It starts with a flashback of a mother's memories but in the flashback are intimate details and very private matters about her sons which she never saw!Okay let's forget about that!the director must have gotten confused! Now take Vijay's slim, slender body and his first fight with the dockyard gangsters behind locked doors!He is beaten with a spade,not a plastic one, yet whereas a normal man would surely be out for several hours from such blows Vijay seems to gain strength from this beating!The acting is superb of course as well as the script but the ideas are taken from Hollywood as usual.The slickness of the movie hood-winked the plausible public but it would have been a better movie had there been more realism like the true facts about Haji Mastaan!He was not simply a smuggler but a champion of the weak and helpless of Bombay and especially the Muslims!Somewhere in his youth he was humilated,beaten and disgraced by the Hindus and took to crime to settle that account and give the Muslims of Bombay protection.
Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966)
Dil Diya Dard Liya
Clearly a Bollywood adoption of the Gothic novel 'Wuthering Heights' but clearly too late in Kumar's career!It would have been better had he made this film at the start of his career when his youthful looks were the rage.Ms.Waheeda looks too mature too!The story-line is good as well as the script but it all comes down to realizing the characters.Younger actors would have done better not that Kumar is bad.His acting is good but frankly after Gunga Jumna the passion that was Dilip Kumar was gone.His old allies Naushad and Shakeel do their best but it is Kumar who himself lets a splendid story down.Only for die-hard Kumar fans.Wish he had made this film with Kamini Khaushal!
Wuthering Heights (1939)
I first saw this film back in 1965 when i was still not in my teens and it was already a famous classic.Recently i saw it again and am amazed at the passionate acting of Olivier and Merle Oberon who bring the essence of the novel in their characters.Visually it is very beautiful though having seen the actual Yorkshire Moors i believe it would having been fantastic had the film been shot there.The music is superb and the rest of the cast simply splendid.There have been many up-shoots of this story but this film is a rare example of when everything concerned with a film clicks.The are several goofs of course but the black and white photography and the haunting music put one off these.Nothing reflects the whole novel in perspective then the famous lines Olivier says when the heroine is dead.Romance never had it so good!
Nighthawks is one of the best of Stallone's films because it is more realistic than his later Rambo style movies.All the main actors did well but Rutger Hauer steals the honours.The cool calm and collected menace here was awesomely manifest in 'The Hitcher' later. The story line is splendid though there are several goofs in between.It is unlike the Stallone character to shout at the villain when he first spots him at a disco.He could easily have crept in onto him and taken him along.The other unbelievable goof is that when Wulfgur and the bus drops into the sea the police don't try to trace his body although he has brought the town' to its knees' !!! Such irresponsibility has no place at the highest level of security. The script is splendid and the action is well conceived.It is a pity Stallone didn't made more movies like this until later in life.He could have more than matched the best in acting.
One of my all-time favorite films for the past 40 years.An exposure of the apartheid still prevailing in modern USA.I just loved Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson.Brilliant piece of casting this.James Dean is at his best as the young Jett but ageing him put him at a handicap and here lies the film's most notable failing.The rest of the casting is a dream even the kids in the film are superb.Mr.Stevens is famous for his exactness of detail and this film is a monument to his unique talent.Like in his other masterpiece 'Shane' the dialog and the outdoor shooting lends power to the story telling, moods of human nature and it failings.We could conclude that even after 53 years the truth about Texas and the wealthy Texans still hold and perhaps Texas has learned something from this Great film.I never cease to wonder every time i see it.Just wonderful!
Donovan's Reef (1963)
Wonderful fun this movie but the miscasting is incredible!Wayne looks more like a grand-dad than an uncle to the kids.Lee Marvin steals the film with his superb cameo.Miss Allen is awfully mismatched with Wayne.In fact even Warden who played her father was many years Wayne's junior.Had he made this film 10 years earlier it might have been more plausible with the usual Maureen O'Hara.The story line is apt as well as the script.As usual Mr.Ford uses nature to good effect.A good roll-licking film for the die-hard Ford fans but no more than an escapist farewell to once an heroic star.John Ford probably was not aware of the tremendous changes there were going on.A younger,fresher actor to pair with Marvin would have done more justice.But in his lifetime there was only one man this director had in mind.John Wayne!
I first saw this movie in 1970 and have to this day never forgotten the haunting and beautifully tuned climax.Many years later the recent Shah Rukh blockbuster came to view which to my mind defamed the essence and spirit of the tale.Bimal Roy's dignified classic took one to the root of the matter.It is hard to imagine a film with so much realism.I have never seen an actor so deeply immersed in the character he's playing like Dilip Kumar and to bring that piece of fiction to life.Suchitra Sen embodies her role beautifully but Vyjantimala is simply superb.The other parts are skillfully played; an attribute to sound casting.The photography and music like in all Bimal Roy films are an accolade to nature.Forget about the lavish Khan extravaganza and see Devdas as it really should be : a man who gives up all even his life for his bitterment but still evokes admiration from the world.I had seen the Bengali Uttam Kumar in some films and it is my regret he never played this role but Dilip Kumar will never be bettered.I felt he was totally lost in the character!!!