Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Week of Movie Watching

Two Rode Together – The titular two are James Stewart and Richard Widmark, and their job is to bring white children captured by Comanches back to their former lives. There is some good stuff here, but there’s a lot of needless jabbering between the two leads, and it gets in the way. Thus, this is one of John Ford’s more disappointing efforts – With the talent involved and the subject matter you might have expected something more substantial. Ford tackled the subject of white treatment of Natives in The Searchers, and Cheyenne Autumn from 1964 was his definitive work on the subject. Two Rode Together can be looked at as his dry run for CA.

Brokeback Mountain – Finally got around to this one, and enjoyed it immensely. I was happy that the film didn’t throw preachy “billboard” statements at me, rather just got inside these two men who were unfortunate enough to be born in a time and place that didn’t allow them to be truly happy. Putting Heath Ledger’s performance here next to his one in The Dark Knight illustrates just how good this guy was.

Rosemary’s Baby – I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen this until now. A very fine movie and an unnerving viewing experience, as the story methodically goes right where we fear it will. There are some spots that stretch the limits of credulity, but for a film like this, that’s not a valid objection. I have to endorse it because of how it succeeds in creating a sickly, distorted reality. Recommended.

Witness to Murder – With Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who sees her neighbor commit a murder, but can’t get anyone to believe her. If you threw Rear Window and Gaslight into a blender, you’d get this movie. It’s not a great watch, but it’s OK. Stanwyck is pretty good, and George Sanders as the killer is menacing in his own smooooooth way.

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