Friday, October 2, 2015

Films I Saw in September

All That Heaven Allows

The Best:

1. All That Heaven Allows - A+
2. Kiss Me Deadly - A+
3. The Ladykillers (1955) - A
4. The Tender Trap - A
5. Christmas in July - A
6. Humoresque - A
7. The Thin Blue Line - A
8. Dodge City - A
9. Everest - A
10. The Big Combo - A

The Rest:

At the Circus - B
Bachelor Mother - B+
Black Mass - B
Digging for Fire - B+
Divorce American Style - A-
Gemma Bovery - B-
Grandma - B-
Il Bidone - B+
Jesse James - B
Lola Montes - A-
Love & Mercy - A-
Mistress America - A
No Time for Comedy - B
The Old Maid - B
Queen of Earth - C
Rififi - A-
Second Fiddle - C+
Ten Thousand Saints - B-
Treasure Island (1934) - C+
The Virgin Queen - B
A Walk in the Woods - C+
We’re No Angels (1955) - B+
Went the Day Well? - B
What We Do in the Shadows - C
Young Mr. Lincoln - B+


The Birds - A+
Mad Max: Fury Road - A+

37 Films Watched - 35 New, 2 Rewatched


  1. YAAASSSSSS that number one!!!

  2. I haven't seen any of your Top 10, except for 'Everest'. Glad you liked that one too, seems like most weren't raving about it.

    1. Oh, Everest was so intense and very emotional. It's perhaps a little too conventional, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

  3. Hello Josh! I didn't watch a lot this past month, but OCT will be a productive one :D

    I really need to see All That Heaven Allows. Glad to see you like The Thin Red Line, but no love for What We Do in the Shadows? That's one of my faves from this year & perhaps even one of my fave comedies of all time. But humor is so personal, the Flight of the Concords' brand of humor definitely clicked w/ me.

    1. Hi Ruth! Hope you see some great movies! :)

      All That Heaven Allows is probably the best melodrama I've ever seen. I watched The Thin Blue Line - the Errol Morris doc, but I LOVE The Thin Red Line! ;) What We Do in the Shadows felt like a sketch that was stretched way too thin after the first twenty minutes. I did find it funny in parts, though I don't think the concept was enough for an entire film.

  4. Gotta see Everest, at the very last for the cast - this is an insane ensemble. Love the grade for Fury Road!

    1. I loved Everest. Hope you get to see it soon. Fury Road is AMAZING! :)

  5. All That Heaven Allows... what a film.

    1. Indeed. I haven't seen many Sirk films, but I doubt he topped it.

  6. Some great titles this month.

    All That Heaven Allows is such a striking piece of filmmaking, it’s great the way Sirk comments on social mores with such visual dexterity. I don’t care for the first Sirk/Hudson/Wyman effort Magnificent Obsession, it’s a ponderous, if beautiful looking, bore but if it weren’t for the success of that they would never have been reunited for this far superior film.

    I wanted to like Tender Trap more than I did and I didn’t for an unexpected reason. Usually I love Debbie Reynolds in everything but I really hated her character in this, finding her beyond grating and obnoxious. She’s played those sort of characters before and since, usually her natural charm glosses over those traits but I detested the woman she played, couldn’t wait for it to end. David Wayne and Celeste Holm came off much better.

    Speaking of Debbie I thought she was the MVP in Divorce, American Style. Van Dyke was fine but the three other lead players, Robards, Jean Simmons (loved her bruised dignity here) and especially Debbie left him in the dust performance wise.

    I didn’t care that much for Lola Montes but what a visual treat! As was Humoresque, the way the camera caressed Crawford’s cheekbones was amazing. I think this might be her best performance-so stylized yet deeply felt. The film just offers so much in addition to Joan’s performance, the music, Garfield’s work, the cinematography, the editing, Oscar Levant and on and on.

    I think I mentioned before how much I love Dodge City. The story is certainly nothing unique but through the proper elements of cast, director and visuals coming together they managed to create a special film.

    The Old Maid is melodrama for sure and I agree with your grade but the sparks that Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins throw off due to their behind the scenes conflicts makes it a fun view. Have you seen their reluctant reteaming in Old Acquaintance?

    There are a couple I would rate slightly higher than you did. No Time for Comedy has its issues, it cavalier treatment of the lead’s alcoholism for one, but Jimmy Stewart and Rosalind Russell play so well off of each it’s a shame this is their only pairing. Also I love Louise Beavers, well I always enjoy her but especially here. While I wouldn’t say Clementine is a complex character, and almost unsurprisingly a part-time maid between plays, she, Roz and Jimmy’s character have a more equal relationship than was usual at the time. I rate it A-.

    The other is that offbeat Christmas tale We’re No Angels which I’d give an A+. Bogie is terrific in all his grizzled wryness but both Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov are his equals and the quirkiness of it has always appealed to me.

    As far as your re-watches go you can’t beat The Birds for classic dread. I’ve known people who complain about the ending being too opened ended but I think that was Hitchcock’s intent, to leave the audience wondering not wrapping everything up with a ribbon.

    1. I like Magnificent Obsession, but ATHA is, undoubtedly, on another level.

      The Tender Trap was so enjoyable. I didn't expect to rate it so highly. Celeste Holm might actually crack my Supporting Actress lineup that year. (Working on an images update for my 1955 ballot, but I still have several films to see before posting.)

      Debbie was great in Divorce American Style. Probably best in show for me as well.

      Humoresque was another pleasant surprise, and Lola Montes has was a visual delight. I had the former film in TCM's Joan Crawford DVD set, so I'm glad Drew's 1946 Fisti Awards post made me watch it.

      Dodge City is very underrated. It's a shame it got lost in a great year.

      After seeing Davis and Hopkins in The Old Maid, I definitely need to check out Old Acquaintance.

      I'd been anticipating No Time for Comedy ever since I saw the bloopers from it. I liked it, but it loses its footing in the second half.

      I loved We're No Angels, though not enough to give it an A or higher. Actually, I'd give it an A- now. It's easily one I'll rewatch in the future. Loved Bogie, Ray and Ustinov together.

      Oh, the ending of The Birds is genius. I saw the film in theaters (a TCM revival, I think), and it really increased my love for it. The ending is chilling. Easily one of my favorite Hitch films.

  7. Hitchcock films always seem to benefit from seeing them in a theatre. I saw both Rear Window and the Doris Day version of The Man Who Knew Too Much when they were remastered and re-released and while I'd been a fan of them before seeing them on the big screen increased my appreciation of both.

    I would imagine that would hold true for most of his work, I'd LOVE to see Lifeboat in a theatre, however I don't think anything would or could make Topaz better.

    1. I missed Rear Window recently, but I saw Vertigo on the big screen and it was amazing. Lifeboat would be an interesting one to see in a theater, as would The Man Who Knew Too Much. Ha, I agree on Topaz, which is near the bottom of Hitch's filmography.

  8. All That Heaven Allows is a very autumn-esque film, good time of year to see it! And there's substance to the story as well.

    1. Yeah, it was the PERFECT time to watch it. Loved it so much! :)