12/15/2009

Re-Viewing

The Siren says tis the season for re-viewing, and she recaps her 20 favorite moments in film to review. So I started thinking about mine, and since I've been immersed in Glee and So You Think You Can Dance and even a wee little bit of The Sing-Off, they are largely musical in nature.

In no particular order:

1. My Sister Eileen - the dance battle between Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall


2. This of course made me think of the first time I saw Bob Fosse, which was probably when I was 7 or 8. It was his short little bit of choreography in the number "From This Moment On" from Kiss Me, Kate! I was electrified.


3.Then I couldn't help but think of movies that Bob Fosse directed, and I immediately went to Cabaret. Aside from the numerous musical numbers that knocked my socks off, the moment in that movie that got me the first time I saw it: Michael York and Liza Minelli talking about Maximilian. Michael York as Brian says "Screw Maximilian". Liza as Sally says: "I do." and then Brian says "So do I." That blew my mind when I was 11 or so, and was probably the first time I ever had an awareness of homosexuality.

4. Thinking of Bob Fosse made me think of All That Jazz, and I couldn't possibly pull just one moment from that movie, but then I thought of Roy Scheider in Jaws: "We're going to need a bigger boat." Totally a cliche now, but it wouldn't be if he hadn't delivered that line so perfectly.

5. I then started thinking about other movies that I can watch over and over again, and I went to Singing In The Rain. I have to agree with The Siren that every word Lina Lamont says is comedy gold.

6. As much as I love Singing In The Rain, I have a slight preference for On The Town. I love every number in this show, but I have a soft spot for You Can Count On Me.


7.Fred Astaire going drum crazy in Easter Parade


8. Marian the Librarian from The Music Man - Shirley Jones was so beautiful, and she was 5 months pregnant when they filmed this scene.


9. Madeleine Kahn, feeling a little sleepy:


10. What's Up Doc? The whole movie is wonderful, but my favorite scene is the courtroom scene.


11. Raising Arizona - it's hard for me to pick just one scene, but I guess I would lean towards all the scenes that involve Glenn and Dot visiting H.I. and Ed, closely followed by every scene with John Goodman as Gayle Snoates. But then there's the wonderful opening scene, where the counselor asks "What do you mean when you say "trapped" in a woman's body?" and the prisoner answers "Well, sometimes I get the menstrual cramps real hard."

12. My kids know I'm a huge sap and I cry at almost everything, but I have to admit that I enjoy crying at certain movies, and one of them is The Family Stone. The scene that always kills me is when Elizabeth Reaser is watching Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". The context is that she knows her mother is dying, and of course the song itself couldn't be more melancholy. My second favorite scene is when Luke Wilson is describing his dream to Sarah Jessica Parker. "You were just a little girl in a flannel night gown. And you were shovelling snow from the walk in front of our house. And I was the snow, I was the snow. And everywhere it landed and everywhere it covered. You scoop me up with a big red shovel. You scoop me up."

13. Prick Up Your Ears - wonderful film about the playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman), who was brutally murdered by his long-time lover Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina), who was a wee bit insane. There is much to love for me in this movie (I like watching men kiss other men), but one of my favorite scenes is when Halliwell tries to get something started with Orton, and Orton brushes his hand away and says "Have a wank." Halliwell replies: "Have a wank? Have a wank? I can't just have a wank. I need three days' notice to have a wank. You can just stand there and do it. Me, it's like organizing D-Day. Forces have to be assembled, magazines bought, the past dredged for some suitably unsavoury episode, the dog-eared thought of which can still produce a faint flicker of desire! Have a wank, it'd be easier to raise the Titanic."

14. Room With A View - aside from watching men kiss each other, I am also fond of movies with full frontal made nudity (aside from porn, which...ech, not for me). Room With A View has the most playful, innocent full frontal male nudity scene that's probably ever been filmed, when Reverend Beebe (Simon Callow), George Emerson (Julian Sands) and Freddy Honeychurch (Rupert Graves) decide to have a bathe.

15. The Right Stuff - my favorite scene, quoted in full:
Scott Carpenter: John's right! Now, whether we like it or not, we're public figures. Whether we deserve it or not, people are going to look up to us. We have got a tremendous responsibility here. Alan Shepard: You cannot tell a pilot what he's doing when he's not flying! [Argument continues]
Gus Grissom: Wait a minute, wait a minute!
[turns Glenn toward him]
Gus Grissom: You've got it all wrong, the issue here ain't pussy. The issue here is monkey. John Glenn: What?
Gus Grissom: Us. We are the monkey.
Deke Slayton: What Gus is saying is that we're missing the point. What Gus is saying is that we all heard the rumors that they want to send a monkey up first. Well, none of us wants to think that they're gonna send a monkey up to do a man's work. But what Gus is saying is that what they're trying to do to us is send a man up to do a monkey's work. Us, a bunch of college-trained chimpanzees!
Gus Grissom: Fuckin' A, bubba.
Deke Slayton: Alright, so what Gus is saying is that we've got to change things around here. He's saying that we are pilots. And we know more about what we need to fly this thing than anybody else. So what we have to do is to alter the experiment. And what that comes down to is who is gonna control this thing from here on out.
Gordon Cooper: What Gus is saying here is that we've got to stick together on this deal

16. Serenity - Okay, I can't pick a moment, I just love the hell out of this movie.

17. Miller's Crossing - Albert Finney listening to Danny Boy and then shooting the crap out of the mobsters who are out to get him.

18. Shallow Grave - the final scene - Ewan McGregor is nailed to the floor, but he's got a smile on his face, because he knows where the money is.

19. Rear Window - When Jimmy Stewart introduces his neighbors to Grace Kelly by the nicknames he's given them.

20. The Dead - that final scene, with the voiceover of the last few paragraphs of Joyce's story.
One by one, we're all becoming shades. Better to pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. How long you locked away in your heart the image of your lover's eyes when he told you that he did not wish to live. I've never felt that way myself towards any woman, but I know that such a feeling must be love. Think of all those who ever were, back to the start of time. And me, transient as they, flickering out as well into their grey world. Like everything around me, this solid world itself which they reared and lived in, is dwindling and dissolving. Snow is falling. Falling in that lonely churchyard where Michael Furey lies buried. Falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living, and the dead.

11 comments:

Toast said...

I love The Right Stuff.

maurinsky said...

It's one of my all-time favorite movies.

Hazel said...

Jean Hagen's reading of "People? I ain't people!" and "Well, I can't make love to a bush!" never fail to make me laugh.

One of my favourite bits from Cabaret is Sally's perfect pronunciation of Bumsen.

Hazel said...

And, my two favourite bits of Serenity both involve River being extremely violent.

maurinsky said...

I'm partial to Lina Lamont commenting on how she sounds "good 'n LOUD!"

Everytime I tried to pick my favorite scene, I just kept thinking of other ones I love just as much.

melville22000 said...

Everytime I tried to pick my favorite scene, I just kept thinking of other ones I love just as much

Me, too! I'm sure I could extend the list to 100 or more. A few off the top of my head:

Holiday - Katharine Hepburn comparing her profile with her stuffed giraffe: "Looks like me."

Twentieth Century - John Barrymore saying "you amoeba."

Ride The High Country - When Randolph Scott assures the dying Joel McRea "Don't worry about anything. I'll take care of it just like you would have," McRea answers, "Hell, I know that. I always did. You just forgot it for a while, that's all."

Seven Samurai - The samurai leader recruiting an old friend asks him if he wants to join a war for "no money and little glory"
"Sure."
"Maybe this time we die."
The friend says nothing. He just smiles.

Now Voyager - Bette Davis telling Paul Henreid "nobody ever called me darling before."

Marcello Mastroianni straightening the brim of his hat in the harem scene in 8 1/2

The boathouse scene at their mother's death between Al Pacino and Talia Shire in The Godfather 2

Robert Donat's political speech in The 39 Steps

The trace of a smile on Humphrey Bogart's face after Claude Rains says "Round up the usual suspects" at the climax of Casablanca.

Bert Lahr saying "Put em up! Put em up!" in The Wizard of Oz

The exchange of smiles between James Stewart and Harry Carey Sr at the climax of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Tony Curtis telling Burt Lancaster "The cat's in the bag, and the bag's in the river," in Sweet Smell of Success.

Dr. Strangelove - The President (Peter Sellers)'s Bob Newhart-like phone call to the Russian premier, especially when he says, "Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello? ... Of course I like to speak to you! Of course I like to say hello!"

Frances Dee's voice-over as she walks by the ocean and realizes she's in love with her employer Tom Conway in I Walked With A Zombie (a beautiful film. Ignore the ridiculous title.)

Peggy Ann Garner gets the flowers her father ordered for her in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.

Ethel Waters comforting Julie Harris in The Member of the Wedding.

Sean Connery's formal apology to Michael Caine, and Caine's glad, unconditional acceptance of it at the climax of The Man Who Would Be King.

Every line Richard Burton delivers in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

I could go on. And on....

maurinsky said...

I think I love every moment of Casablanca equally. I love how much humor is in that movie.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, this idea is necessary just by the way

SherbAliciouS said...

as a child, i remember hearing previews for some movie once. i have clearly remembered and carried around this quote from those previews: "How long you locked away in your heart the image of your lover's eyes when he told you that he did not wish to live." i don't know why, it just struck me as a beautifully tragic and sad comment, even as a child. i've recalled it without hesitation at various points in my life and have queried and wondered where it came from, ever since that first day. no one could tell me. i am now 37 and have to thank you and google for helping me finally find the movie this belongs to. thank you.

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