0002. 10 (or more) Over-Rated Films

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  • Titanic - This film only began to work when the characters stopped uttering Cameron's godawful dialogue toward the end. Unfortunately, that didn't leave too much time.
  • Shakespeare in Love - Name-dropping humor for those who payed attention during high school. Peel away the "Oh, I recognize that name" factor, and the film is incredibly thin and corny.
  • Vertigo - Yeah, everybody believes I am a moron for this one, but the film only works if you can suspend your logic long enough for the "atmosphere" to take hold. Unfortunately, the atmosphere ain't nothing compared to a Hal Hartley film or Once Upon a Time in the West, and the plot falls apart after an hour; stick to North by Northwest.
  • Grease - Don't get me started; the film is actually worse than the soundtrack.
  • Adam's Rib - I haven't seen this in a while, but despite the infamy of Hepburn-Tracy, the sad truth is that Hepburn-Grant made a much better on-screen couple. Check out Bringing Up Baby instead.
  • Young Frankenstein - Watch Brooks' earlier The Producers; if you like this better, we'll talk then.
  • Schindler's List - I like this film quite a bit; it is simply not the best of the 90s or Spielberg's best. Flawed by the very sentimentality everyone cheered Spielberg for 'avoiding,' this film is not above criticism, despite its subject matter and its valiant attempt at greatness.
  • Annie Hall - Again, not bad, but Allen has done much, much better than this episodic early work. It retains its reputation because it made money and won the Oscar. See Manhattan or Hannah and Her Sisters.
  • The Searchers - Good Western, not the best Western. Instead, watch The Wild Bunch or Once Upon a Time in the West
  • West Side Story - Fantastic dance and songs almost cover up an awful script; Cabaret reigns as the greatest musical film, with Sunday in the Park with George the greatest video-taped Broadway performance.
  • M*A*S*H - Very influential, but also very dependent on junior-high humor and lame jokes to generate any chuckles. Some of the scenes are very, very weak. I suggest Nashville or Short Cuts instead, despite his innovative use of multi-plane dialogue.
  • Chicago - If you took a print of Cabaret, transferred it to video, ran off a dub, dubbed that dub, then filmed that version as it played on an shabby television set, digitized it, and then tweaked up the color, brightness, treble, and bass levels, you would have a very shiny version of Fosse's masterpiece. The colors would glisten, the sound would boom crisply, and audiences everywhere would gush orgastically over it. There is a problem, however. Fosse's cinematography is a delicate, detailed, textured beast, and even if all those levels mentioned above were humming at eleven, you still would have a shell sucked of a soul. I cannot think of a better or more apt metaphor for Chicago. This film is awful. Awful. Yes, it is probably going to win the Best Picture Oscar, which puts it in the recent company of Gladiator (an even worse movie than this) and A Beautiful Mind (which, while no great shakes, actually does look like a masterpiece held up to this film). In fact, it fits perfectly into the saddest decade for Best Pictures yet seen. You see, for starters, Rob Marshall brought nothing to the direction of this film that he didn't cop from Bob Fosse. Well, that's not entirely true. Everything has been dumbed down, so I suppose the low level of intelligence is unique to ol' Robbie. True, Fosse did the choreography and direction for the original stage version, but for God's sake, Rob, you didn't have steal the freakin' camera shots and edits, did you? I mean, Fosse's Chicago wasn't a film, so that was hardly inherent to the musical. You don't even seem to understand the emotional effects of his tricks; you simply see the flash, hear the snap, and put a dime into the Xerox machine. You're not fooling anybody. You are the Paul Thomas Anderson of modern musicals. It is not entirely your fault, of course. You are a victim of the cynical lawyers posing as artists we call producers. I can see the smoky room stinking of sweat, as very important film people lean back in plush chairs and rewatch a screener of Moulin Rouge. So great, and yet, it didn't win the Oscar. Well, you know, every one blamed the older members of the Academy. It was too wild, too contemporary, and too radical, and the older set just blanked out after the first ten minutes. Wait! We can tame the beast, defang it and dull it down so that all Academy members have a chance to love it. Hmmm, what was the last live action musical to hit Oscar gold? Cabaret. Ah. Let's steal the style of Cabaret, but leave beyond any shred of that sticky substance dealing with complex characters or dramatic situations. And sorry, Bebe Neuwirth. We know you want the role of Velma, that you OWN the role of Thelma, but damn it, we need names and hot sexy things here. Hey, isn't Catherine Zeta-Jones free? She was nominated for Traffic. Sure, she looks like crap in the short hair wig, and sure, her acting, singing, and dancing chops won't carry the day, but she'll help drag the male population in, and we can always edit around the tricky steps any way, and if she glares with a sideswipe of the head around twenty times during the court scene, we'll make her work. Maybe this scene never took place, but I'd lay down money something damn close to it did. Add the fact that Queen Latifah only really clicks when she's singing and the sad truth that Chicago has never had the best or most memorable of scores, and this film never even had a chance artistically, but every chance in the world at Oscar, and thus real monetary, awards. The good vibes on Listology had my hopes up a bit, but truthfully, this movie is worse than I feared. The dedication at the end or the credits to Fosse is both appropriate for a film that dimly copied his style and his style only, and an insult for a movie so shallow that its interest in Fosse's genius stopped there. Chicago won Best Picture gold, but it is one plastic loser.
Author Comments: 

I may think of others later, but this should tick enough people off to begin with. Remember, over-rated does not necessarily mean 'bad.' It just means the film is not quite as good as its reputation might lead you to believe. With the exception of Grease, which I loath, I have tried to leave out films loved by audiences but (rightly) hated by critics (ie, Independence Day, Highlander, etc.).

Shalom, y'all!

I totally agree with your assessment of "Shakespeare in Love" and have my own Gwyneth-related reasons for disliking it as well.
I also agree that there are flaws in "Schindler's List" as I rewatched it about 12 times in order to write a paper on it for a class called Visual Culture and the Holocaust. Of course, when you set out to make a definitive educational film on the Holocaust, flaws are hard to avoid.
I also agree w. Vertigo and I also saw "Spellbound" lately (WHAT COMPLETE DRECK!)
But I disagree on "Grease". I am an admitted huge fan of Olivia Newton-John and her singing. I also really dig John Travolta's 70's roles. And Stockard Channing is great.

One of my favorite movies! Under seige! The horror! :-)

lbangs, if you haven't read it already, jenhowel and I have already politely butted horns over Shakespeare in Love.

Oops. That was supposed to go to the first comment. Ah well...

I must admit that I love Shakespeare and that I find Tom Stoppard to be a vastly over-rated writer who coasts on literary in-jokes. I never find his work as interesting as it is clever.

But then hey, if my list didn't get somebody's goat, the films would hardly be over-rated, eh?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Speaking of Tom Stoppard,how do you feel about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the play or the movie. I have only read the play, which I loathed. However it was given to me by someone who's taste I trust, so am I missing something.

PS I like Grease!, though. The stage play is better than the movie, but it is all just silly fun-- no real depth. I think if maybe you take it on that level, its an OK movie. Also Stockard Channing gave a great performance.

The play is better than the film, but neither really interested me much. Again, lots of Shakespeare in-jokes, which largely accounts for its high esteem with educated people. They enjoy encountering material they have studied in a novel setting. Too bad Stoppard has not a whit of the Bard's talent.

As for Grease, I agree that Channing gave a great performance. It is the only bright spot in a very dim film. I enjoy many silly films; this just wasn't one of them.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The play is better than the film, but neither really interested me much. Again, lots of Shakespeare in-jokes, which largely accounts for its high esteem with educated people. They enjoy encountering material they have studied in a novel setting. Too bad Stoppard has not a whit of the Bard's talent.

Um. Perhaps you should read it again? Let's just say that for now, you are about as wrong as I have ever seen an otherwise inteligent person be.

Stoppard doesn't have Shakespeare's lyrical beauty, no one does. However, he does pack a punch, with clever, insightful, and witty dialogue. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is easily one of the best plays written this century.

So there's a couple clever plays on Shakespeare, that's not what people love about this play. The play isn't really about Hamlet at all. It's about life, and death, and everything that's done to you in between. On one hand, it's a philosophically despairing work that asks the questions "Why are we here?", "What is death?", and "What will become of us?" On the other hand, it's a comic work that plays off a classic to answer those questions with: you're a bit part in a grand drama whose fate is to obediently trot back and forth on the stage until you are finally sent off to your deaths.

Perhaps I will read it again, but I somewhat doubt I will enjoy it more. Perhaps you have mistaken assumptions concerning my intelligence? ;)

R&GAD is interesting but, ultimately, in my opinion, borrows too much to strike me quite the way it does other readers / viewers. It is hardly the first work to tackle the questions you mentioned above, and I simply don't find the humor or insights very novel or effective. If I were to like a play by Stoppard, it would probably be Travesties. I started reading it once, and although I haven't finished it yet, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it. I found his tweakings of history and literature much more amusing and insightful in this work.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

As for Travolta's 70s work, I was rather shocked to discover that I like Saturday Night Fever.

Does that help at all?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Oh yes, that helps a lot. You do know that it was Gene Siskel's favorite film and he bought the white suit at auction?

No, I did not know that.

Next question: was he ever photographed wearing that suit?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I hole heartedly agree about Vertigo. I have a top 10 Hitchcock list and Vertigo is nowhere. Once Upon a Time in the West is definitely better than Searchers, which I agree is very good. Lastly, I agree with you on Schindler. I remember people stating that it was the best movie of all time. It isn't in my top 3 Spielberg, although it is one of my top 10 90's. I was shocked when it ended up in the AFI Top 10.

bufdet

And I am shocked to find someone with taste who agrees with so much of my sacred cow butchering (OK, trimming). Refreshing.

I agree that Schindler, while a fine film, is simply not one of Spielberg's best. Close Encounters particularly springs to mind.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

"Shakespeare in Love" is great for insomia - it put me right to sleep!

C'mon lbangs. You are slamming the sacred cow for teenage girls of the 70's. It was cheezy & predictable, but that's not always a bad thing...lots of us (girls in particular) really enjoyed this!

Well, if lots of people didn't dig it, it would hardly be over-rated, eh?

Thanks for the great comments.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Hey, wait a minute, don't I know you...
;)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I had to check out this list after you alluded to it on one of mine. Even though we have had some limited debate about films and whatnot, we seem to agree generally about what a good film is and is not. I really like this list, especially including the explanations afterward, that I am going to steal your idea (ironic, for that is what I detest the most about the state of film and music and art - not being original) and do my own "Most Overrated films," to be created later. I look forward to seeing what your comments may be when it is completed.

Thanks for the compliments. I love our discussions; we may not always agree, but it is very refreshing to discuss art with someone who seems to be seeking the same qualities (and quality) as one's self. I await your over-rated list!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I would like to see a list of really FUNNY movies.
Is anyone familiar with the old (70's) movie, "Best Friends". This is a Goldie Hawn/Burt Reynolds flick. It is a bit dated now, but I think it really has some good laughs. It is a good rental. Someone let me know what you think...

I haven't made it around to Best Friends yet. From your suggestion, I guess I should!

I'll see if I can work up a Funny Films list before too long. I always have trouble remembering many of my favorite funny films; I guess most of them just don't stick in my brain as much as other types of movies do. I'll work on this. It should be fun remembering them!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

C'mon, Chagal, when are you going to post a list for us to see? Perhaps a favorite Beatles' song list?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

My favorite part of "Titanic" was sitting there listening to this truly horrid dialogue just knowing they would be struggling for their lives in a matter of hours. It made it worth sitting through the flick. :)

Sadly enough, it was only when everyone was drowning (I hope that's not a spoiler to anybody) that the film truly became somewhat enjoyable!

Please O please, Mr. Cameron, get somebody to help with your scripts from now on. You're a great director, but only a fair to poor screenwriter.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I really loathed Camerons direction of titanic it was badly thoght out and also didnt conform with anybodys views of early 20th centuary values the producers should have used james ivory to do everything up to the sinking of the tub then let cameron deal with all the rest. For such a big budget movie the social details should have been second nature rather than the ludicrous storyline it had, which i didn't believe!! If anyone has seen stills of the sets taken with different lighting they would be amazed as i was as to what dire lighting the whole film,had totally bland and lacking in any interest (people in the film industry voted this the best film of the year!!) p.s. watch the husbands wig do a jig backwards and forwards while he shouts at kate winslett. well it kept me amused!

I agree with you on Titanic, Searchers, Schindler's List and West Side Story. But, I have to say that MASH is one of my favorite comedies as is Annie Hall.

Wrong and Wrong when it comes to Vertigo and especially the Searchers. I always figured Vertigo was the closest Hitchcock came to revealing his true peculiarities and Peccadilloes. Sexual tension is abundant and Stewart was great.

The Searchers I think sometimes is handicapped because it is a western. This movie is so much more about Paranoia and Obsessions that one man can not control. The pinnacle of John Wayne as an Actor.

Also Singing in the Rain is a better musical than Cabaret but West Side Story is overrated. So is Annie Hall and Titanic is a abysmal mess.

Vertigo - Sigh. Yes, it is the closest Hitchcock came to revealing his eccentricities. Good for him. If this alone could make a film a masterpiece, Vertigo would certainly qualify. Back to the real world now. The film's still weak, never quite taking you along with Stewart's slip of sanity nor bothering to stich both halves of the film into a coherent whole. Withou taking us along or providing a plausible explanation (either would have done), Stewart's walk on the mentally wild side simply seems silly. Hitchcock bothced this one, botched it real bad.

The Searchers is very, very good, but it is still over-rated.

SInging in the Rain is also very good, but lacks the depth or daring experimentation of Cabaret. Bob Fosse is THE most under-rated director of the 70s (Lenny and All That Jazz are also excellent). Man, if only he had directed Vertigo...

Thanks for playing.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

See now this is what I think should happen more often in this site ( A mild criticism as I find the site wonderful)-debate. Even if one side is pig-headed and thinks Cabaret is a better musical than Singing in the Rain. Cabaret is ok and I love All that jazz and Hoffman was great in Lenny, but Singing has Gene Kelly at the top of his game and the very underrated Donald Oconnor.

And The searchers is not over-rated, not the best Western but still top 5...maybe that will be my next list.

Now as to Vertigo did you take nap somewhere in this movie and miss something? I followed Stewart along perfectly well. Not as good as Rear Window but still a great movie.

First, the easy one:
"And The searchers is not over-rated, not the best Western but still top 5...maybe that will be my next list. "

You admit that it is not the best Western. However, nearly every critical list places it as the best Western. Is this not the definition of over-rated?

"Now as to Vertigo did you take nap somewhere in this movie and miss something? I followed Stewart along perfectly well. Not as good as Rear Window but still a great movie. "

I've watched Vertigo at least six times now, and despite my desire, I have yet to nap during the film.

"Even if one side is pig-headed and thinks Cabaret is a better musical than Singing in the Rain. Cabaret is ok and I love All that jazz and Hoffman was great in Lenny, but Singing has Gene Kelly at the top of his game and the very underrated Donald Oconnor. "

Singing in the Rain is, again, very, very good. I still have a line from the film unguessed over at my film line list (hint, hint). It is a very good showcase of singing and dancing blessed with a much better script that most musical at the time had. However, Cabaret has that great script, those great songs, and great dance number. It also has a sterling direction, a story that is a bit more than just entertainment, and brilliant acting in demanding roles. If it is lacking a scene quite as brilliant as the "dream ballet," I do believe it is more consistently the better film. Heck, you could even prune the musical numbers from Cabaret and still be left with a great film! Other than that, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this on.

Although it is a shame that Cabaret couldn't have worked Cyd Charisse in... ;)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

My thoughts on Vertigo (a review I once wrote)...

Some films are able to twist time to their advantage. Few contemporary critics cared for Vertigo when it debuted (though some will lie otherwise). Today, critics have enshrined it as Hitchcock's finest. A shame.

Vertigo's first hour is hypnotic. Jimmy Stewart, a retired cop who suffers from the title ailment, is persuaded by a friend to follow his wife, suicidal Kim Novak, for her own protection. One especially excellent scene involves Stewart examining Novak as she walks through a garden and studies a picture. The mystery seeps through the film's atmosphere, and the scene is quietly beautiful in a way Hitchcock seldom is.

Eventually, Novak does kill herself, and so does the film. Stewart soon meets a woman closely resembling Novak and grows obsessed with her. There is a plot twist, but it is so terribly transparent I doubt anyone is surprised. Unfortunately, what little suspense lurks in the second half hinges on this twist, negating Hitchcock's supreme talent. Characters begin acting with little or no believable motivation, and Stewart descends into frenzied rants and raves that are pretty funny to watch. The surprise ending is foolishly revealed before the ending, and when the final scene finally arrives, the melodrama is hilarious. The film nosedives after a promising start and wrecks itself.

Critics praise the second half of the film as self-revelation on the part of Hitchcock. Maybe, but most people do not watch films because they care about the director. They watch films because they like films, and Hitchcock's films are more interesting than Hitchcock himself. Naturally, Hitchcock scholars are interested in Hitchcock, and this interest accounts for Vertigo's inflated reputation. The sad truth is Vertigo is a flawed failure.

I'm wagering time will straighten itself out. In twenty years, true Hitchcock classics such as North by Northwest will replace Vertigo at the top of critics' list When it does, I'll be the one collecting bets and wearing an obnoxiously smug grin.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I might care to take you up on the wager offer on Vertigo I think time will only enrich that movie. I disagree about we dont care about Directors statement. As the "Author" of a movie how can you not care about the Director. And when Hitchock reveals some of his peculiarities more openly in Vertigo I think it helps in understanding some of his other work. I think that is the one we will have to agree to disagree.

I am taking a wild guess that there has been more than 5000 Westerns made and to say one of them is in the top 5 I feel automatically eliminates the ability of that movie to be overrated. As many lists that i have seen that call The Searchers the best western I could find as many that would name another Film, Red River, Unforgiven, Wild Bunch etc...

I will grant you I have not seen Cabaret in 15 years so I may have to revisit it again. I really dont like Liza Minelli so that could be the problem. But you are right to say it Doesnt have Cyd Charisse and those oh so lovely legs..

Now, I agree that "Vertigo" is not Hitchcock's best work, but this review really slams the film more that it should be criticized. You said that the last hour is lame, but the last hour IS the movie. Yes, Hitchcock reveals his true self in the last hour, but here's the real point:

First of all, Jimmy Stewart's motivation for acting so insanely is that he is madly in love with the Kim Novak he knew, but he realizes he cannot have her, as she is dead. He is not a well man. He's had a history of mental problems. Therefore, when he can't have the Kim Novak he knew, he is so obsessed with his image of Kim Novak that he finds a girl who resembles her and tries to make her into the girl he was in love with. I agree with jgandcag, I followed Jimmy Stewart's descent into insanity very well.

But the real point of the film comes when Jimmy Stewart is yelling at Kim Novak in the end, furious that what's-his-face molded her into his wife. However, we know that this is hypocritical, because Jimmy Stewart did the same thing; both men tried to make Kim Novak into what's-his-name's wife.

I think Hitchcock would know that most people would recognize Kim Novak as both what's-his-name's wife and as the second girl; therefore, I don't think that revelation is supposed to be a plot twist.

And sure, this is self-revelation on the part of Hitchcock, but you don't need to realize that to get the point of the film.

P.S. When you referenced the "surprise ending", did you mean when Jimmy Stewart is on his tirade against Kim Novak, or when Kim Novak falls / jumps (???) off the high tower? If you're talking about the latter, yeah, I thought that was kinda forced.

Yes, I meant the element of the ending you and I both agree is forced.

As for Jimmy, well, I suppose I should have stressed the word 'believable' in the phrase 'believable motivation'. I've certainly read enough about the film to confirm the fact that I did 'get' it on a logical plane. Most, however, would still argue that I don't get it on an artistic plane, and there would be the crux of the debate!

Obviously, THE most controversial pick for the list, but I'll stand by it. The longer it stays, the more I discover I am not alone, and that itself is worth it!

Thanks!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

If you think that Jimmy's motivation is not believable, maybe you have trouble identifying with a mentally ill character. For me, that's what made "Vertigo" inferior to "North by Northwest": in the latter, the action of the plot is happening to a perfectly average guy, whereas in "Vertigo", we must accept the decisions of a main character who isn't playing with a full deck.

If you'll read my other post on this list, I wanted to know why you didn't like "Young Frankenstein" that much. Whether or not it's funnier than "The Producers" is a tough question, and in the end, it's all subjective. So do you just believe that "Young Frankenstein" is not Brooks's best work, as many claim it to be, or do you have more reasons for disliking "Young Frankenstein"?

Well, you know, you might be right about Vertigo. I doubt it, but you might be. If I didn't enjoy a number of films involved with characters suffering from mental disabilities, I would be more inclined to agree with you. If I also didn't believe that Hitch doesn't mean Jimmy to be mentally disabled, but mentally unbalanced by extreme obsession, I'd also be more willing to agree with you. Ah, well. You win some...

As for Young Frankenstein, I actually like the film, but in the last ten years, and especially before the Broadway hit revived interest in The Producers (the hit came after this list), critical and popular opinion had pretty much centered on Young Frankenstein being Mel's masterwork, with Blazing Saddles being the only real competition. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find very many people who had even seen the Producers! The increased attention from that Broadway play has helped the situation somewhat.

I do like Young Frankenstein, but not NEARLY as much as the Producers. While it impresses with its careful recreation of Universal's monster movies feel (and sets), it also seems a bit more restrained or stilted. It is not as wonderfully unhinged as The Producers, and frankly, I think Mel is best unhinged.

I think. I'll think some more, and maybe I can be more specific soon.

But no, it isn't an awful film. It is actually a rather funny one. But, in my book, it is no real rival for the terrific The Producers.

Although your comment has made me question somewhat its place here. Perhaps I need to type more on it in the actual list to clarify my position. As you have picked up on, these *mostly* are not horrible films, simply over-rated ones.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

About "Vertigo":

Maybe "disabled" wasn't the right work. I like your phrase better: "mentally unbalanced by extreme obsession." And just because you've liked other movies about mentally disabled / unbalanced people, maybe that just didn't work in "Vertigo" for you. I can think of plenty of movies about mentally unbalanced people, but fewer where the person is the main character, fewer where the mentally unbalanced character is faced with so many difficult decisions and problems, and even fewer where the enjoyment of the movie relies so heavily on our acceptance of the character's actions.

Eh, I might be wrong, but I'm thinking that's why I didn't like "Vertigo" as much as I could have.

Well, I certainly can't speak for you. As to myself, well, I'll just end there. This reminds me a bit of discussions sparked by a few 80s romantic comedies / dramas my mother loved. As a child, I hated them. Then, my mother nicely explained that it was probably because I was too young to understand an adult film fully. Cool, I thought.

I'm nearing 30 now, and I still hate the same films.

So, maybe I just can't accept the character's actions, or maybe I find the way they are portrayed still over-heated and unrealistic in a film that doesn't support scenery chewing so well. Maybe when I'm 60, I'll understand.

:)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

PS - Don't know why, but I believe an extremely high percentage of those 80s films starred Burt Reynolds...

I try to make the case for liking/loving/admiring Vertigo here.

The Searchers is very good, but it is also over rated. It is also not one of the 5 best westerns.

The 5 best westerns are The Wild Bunch, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Dead Man, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Stagecoach.

Actually, after a little more thought, I've changed my list slightly. I have created a list of my 15 favorite westerns here at Listology (one of my first lists!). The Searchers came in at 15.

Shakespeare In Love and West Side Story both had no business winning best picture. Neither did Titanic for that matter. The rest of these I could put up a pretty good argument for. I would but none of those films are named One Flew Over The Cuckko's Nest, Dr. Strangelove, Last Tango In Paris, The Godfather's part I and II, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, or The Man Who Fell To Earth. So, I'm not gonna debate this. Maybe some of these movies recieved too much praise and exposure, however I dont think that should retract from their strong points. I didn't see you say you hated any of these films Les, so I don't know why I'm rambling on and on and on and on......

Much love,
Jeff

Vertigo. The atmosphere aint nothing compared to a Hal Hartley film. You said something like that, right bangsodrummerboy? Well, you're right. The atmosphere to Vertigo is nothing at all compared to a Hal Hartley film. You are absolutely right.

At least we agree on that much, you Hartley hater you!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Bold, honey, very bold. I can't agree with too many here, but the gusto is valliant.

I love Vertigo, Shakespeare in Love, Young Frankenstein, Schindler's List, Annie Hall, The Searchers, and MASH, and I at least like most of the other films here.

Still, your comments do point out some interesting flaws in some of the movies, and you sure are not shy about your opinions.

Now go watch Vertigo again!

Zeep! Zeep! Zeep!

Well, it is easy to be bold online, isn't it?

Thanks for the compliments.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Well, I figured since I commented on your overrated artists list earlier tonight, I might as well comment on this one too.

Titanic, Grease, Schindler's List - Haven't seen.

Shakespeare in Love - I've read a few Shakespeare plays, but by no means do I consider myself a Shakespeare scholar, and I probably recognized very little if any of the references to Shakespeare in this movie. That said, I did enjoy it; I thought it was a fun, romantic movie, so I peeled away the name-dropping humor and I still liked it. I like the idea of taking a famous historical figure and doing a fictionalized account of his inspiration. Someday, I'm going to write a movie called "Edison in Love", and show how Thomas Edison's girlfriend inspired him to invent the lightbulb. Anyway. Now I'm going to go back and contradict myself. It is overrated in that it shouldn't have won Best Picture. "Life Is Beautiful" is a much better movie, and, while I haven't yet seen "Saving Private Ryan", I have heard very good things about it.

Vertigo - I think I liked it a lot more than you did, but I agree that "Vertigo" is overrated. It's not Hitchcock's best film (that would be "North by Northwest"), and it's not one of the top 10 movies of all time, as the Sight & Sound poll often finds it to be.

Adam's Rib - Sure, Grant and Hepburn were a better couple, but Tracy and Hepburn were great too. This is a great movie, not the least bit overrated. Now, if you wanted to call "Woman of the Year" or "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" overrated, I wouldn't have any problem with that.

Young Frankenstein - I think I like this about equally to Brooks's "Producers." Why didn't you like "Young Frankenstein"? I think that's the one film you've never commented on in this list's discussion.

Annie Hall - This great movie is so much better than "Manhattan."

The Searchers - I agree with you. This is a good movie but not the greatest Western.

West Side Story - Eh, the script isn't THAT bad, but it is mediocre. And I agree with jgandcag, "Singin' in the Rain" is the greatest musical ever.

M*A*S*H - I couldn't agree more. There were some good scenes here, but some were very lame.

So, of the 8 films I've seen here, I guess I agree with you on about half.

Still, even if I loved "Annie Hall", "Young Frankenstein", etc., I'm very impressed by this list. This takes balls.

Thanks. I've answered many of your comments above, but I will add, sadly, that I really do think West Side Story's script is pretty awful. The music and dance, however, is amazing.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Outside of the really bad ones of recent years, Draculala: Dead and Loving It, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs (1987), I would say that The Producers is my least favorite Mel Brooks-directed film so far, well behind Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles.

Ah, well. Sorry.

Hardly the first in a series of, um, Signs that we don't always agree on movies, eh? :)

Still, I always read your updates (yep, I caught that Producer rating a while back) avidly, and love it when you add to your thoughts on the films you watch. Great stuff.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Wow, such a flurry of activity on this list! I just have to chime in. On a purely Laugh-O-Meter scale, I rank Brooks' big three: [1] Blazing Saddles, [2] Young Frankenstein, [3] The Producers. I liked them all, but I saw The Producers last after hearing a bit of hype (and recitations of the famous bits), so that might have hurt it a bit. Blazing Saddles lost a length for the weak ending, but still beats out Young Frankenstein by a nose in my book.

Anyway, those're my picks and they've carved in soft wet clay. I haven't seen any of them in at least eight, maybe ten years, so it's possible there'd be some shuffling if I rewatched 'em.

The nice thing is that nearly all of us agree on Brook's big three - The Producers, Young Frankenstein, and Blazing Saddles. Man, with a run like that, what happened?

High Anxiety and Spaceballs had moments, but both bored WAY before their running times ran out. The man has melted, but boy, he blazed!

Sniff!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

It's startling to think of how terrible Brooks's later work has been, but then you see how awesome his Broadway musical is...

Maybe he should've made "Dracula: Dead and Loving It - The Musical!" What do you think?

:)

I don't know... Us Okies don't exactly get to see very many Broadway plays. I know The Producers has received rave reviews, but as with all matters, I'll have to see it before praising it, and certainly before green-lighting the Dracula musical!

Intriguing idea, however... Hmmm..

;)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I was actually lucky enough to see it with Lane and Broderick. It was awesome. Quite different from the movie, actually, but if you liked the unhinged nature of the movie, you'd probably like the play as well. The only disappointment was that they took out the Dick Shawn character.

Now you're just trying to make me jealous...

Surely they videotaped a performance and will release it to DVD some day...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Dracula: Dead And Loving It The Musical is a fantastic idea! I actually am considering writing a script to it myself, however I'm stuck for songs, all I know is that when Drac and Mina dance together before Van Helsing and Jonathan reveal the mirror, they will dance (and Drac will sing) to Tom Lehrer's: The Masochism Tango, how much more appropriate can you get?

Mel Brooks big three, or Gene Wilder's big three? I just had to mention it.

Sorry, that was supposed to be attached to your 2:14 post.

2:41 gasp!!! It's been a long day.

VERY good point. Hmmmmmm...

I confess I only had a middling opinion of Mr. Wilder until I saw those three films.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

My favorite Wilder performances are The Producers and Willy Wonka, he's actually quite a funny guy. No Peter Sellers, but one of the best comic actors of the past century.

Well I have never seen a more beautiful write up than what you have done here for (or against) Chicago. While I didn't like the movie, I didn't despise it like you, but I can definitely feel your review. Fantastic!

After watching that film, I was a man possessed.

Thanks!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I thought you'd appreciate this.

I do not think that Vertigo is overrated. I do think that it is misunderstood and therefore judged to be an inferior film.

Bear with me, I'm going to make comparisons between Hitchcock and The Ahnuld. Few people expect much plot from a The Ahnuld movie. Especially from his classic period, all that you want is the flimsiest of narratives upon which to hang half a dozen action pieces. Predator is a simple excuse to see The Ahnuld slather himself with mud and go mano-a-predator with a guy in an eight foot rubber suit. It's all about the action scenes and don't sweat the details.

Hitchcock is exactly the same. His plots are the McGuffin designed to keep people occupied while Hitchcock deals with the issues that the film is really about. The Birds is not about sparrows, gulls and chickadees. They are just the hook that allows Hitchcock to explore his subject. I feel that people may not want to dwell on or criticize the deficiencies in Hitchcock's plots. They are not what his films are about. The Ahnuld has his action scenes, The Alfred has his exploration of character. So in that vein....

Vertigo - A Summary, An Analysis, A Defense
Vertigo is a psychological analysis of the protagonist John “Scottie” Ferguson as well as a travelogue of the San Francisco area. (Scottie Ferguson=S.F.) As Jimmy Stewart’s Scottie follows Kim Novak’s Judy/Madeline the mental state of the characters and the physical location, both sets and location shots, take precedence over the narrative. Hitchcock treats plot in a cavalier and unconventional way, at least when compared to other directors. This indicates that the film is concerned with the subjective and not objective condition of Scottie Ferguson.

Hitchcock uses colours to represent the people and emotional conditions arrayed about Scottie in the film. Midge, old college friend and former fiancée, is the first to be introduced and is associated with the cautionary colour of yellow. The walls of her apartment are a pale yellow and are covered with illustrations of lingerie models. Midge worries about what Scottie will do now that his vertigo is making him leave the Police Department. He accuses her of trying to mother him. When enquiring about a bra Midge tells him he should know about such things, “You’re a big boy now, Johnny.” She addresses Scottie with the diminutive of his proper name. When he mounts a bright yellow step stool a concerned Midge is standing by to catch him as he falls. She holds him close as the scene fades out on their pieta.

Gavin Elster, another friend from college days, is introduced in his office, which is furnished completely in the color associated with him throughout the film. The rich red walls are also covered with pictures but, unlike the curling pages of lingerie models, they are contained within rectangular frames. As Scottie is summarizing his position in life he looks across the frame and down upon Elster. It is when they trade places that Scottie is ensnared in the plot concerning Elster’s wife, Madeline.

Elster arranges for Scottie to see the Madeline impersonator at Ernie’s Restaurant (847 Montgomery Street.) Ernie’s was one of Hitchcock’s favorite haunts and the first of many to appear in the film. San Francisco locations have, to this point, included Midge’s apartment located on Russian Hill (near Vallejo & Jones), Elster’s office on the Embarcadero (Mission & Spear Streets) and the unseen Portals of the Past (JFK drive, near 19th Avenue) where Madeline supposedly stares at the pillars, which stand across Lloyd Lake.

Scottie first sees Judy/Madeline across a crowded Ernie’s clad in her favorite color, a brilliant green dress. She sits opposite Elster, framed by the rich red patterned wallpaper as well as Elster’s machinations. As Judy/Madeline moves out of the dining room her beautiful, well-lit profile is displayed to Scottie, facing towards the right. She is viewed in a mirror as she exits the restaurant.

Scottie starts to tail Judy/Madeline in her emerald green car as it departs The Brocklebank, an elegant building across from the Fairmont Hotel where Hitchcock usually stayed in San Francisco. A cautionary yellow cab interposes herself between Scottie and Judy/Madeline’s car before they spiral downwards through the streets of San Francisco. Judy/Madeline stops at the Podesta Boldocchi Flower Shop (224 Grant Street.) She stands, dressed in a ghostly grey ensemble, amid a riot of colourful flowers. We see Scottie spying upon her from behind a mirrored door, giving us a voyeuristic eye and another reflected image of Judy/Madeline.

As Scottie is drawn into fearing for Judy/Madeline’s mental state he follows her to The Mission Dolores (324 Dolores Street at 16th Street), the oldest existing building in San Francisco. It is there that Judy/Madeline stands over the grave of Carlotta Valdes, a San Franciscan woman dead for over a century. Scottie’s concern and fascination deepen as Judy/Madeline sits before Carlotta Valdes’ portrait at The Palace of the Legion of Honor (Lincoln Park at 34th Avenue.) Judy/Madeline has imitated the portrait with her bouquet of flowers and the spiral curl of her hair.

Scottie’s final act of voyeurism in the day’s pursuit was viewing Judy/Madeline through a second story window of the McKittrick Hotel (1000 Eddy Street.) He enters Elster’s trap even as he enters the hotel. The spiral form of the chandelier on the ceiling disconcerts Scottie before he ascends the stairs, surrounded on all sides by red patterned wallpaper and rug, as he tries to catch Judy/Madeline. Upon arriving at her room Scottie finds that Judy/Madeline and her car have disappeared, leaving Scottie with the feeling that he is chasing a ghost. Hitchcock’s lack of concern about explaining Judy/Madeline’s undetected entrance and exit of the hotel is a telling indication as to the importance of Scottie’s internal state over whatever holes might arise in the plot.

To get some answers about Carlotta Valdes, Midge takes Scottie to see the owner of The Argossy Bookshop (Powell Street.) The bookshop provides another interior scene with cluttered walls, this time by books. The character of the owner was based upon the original owner of The Argonaut Bookshop, Robert Haines, Sr. He tells both of them of a woman banished over a century ago to the house that is now the McKittrick Hotel. Her child, born out of wedlock, was taken from her and she slowly went mad. She wandered the streets of San Francisco until she eventually killed herself. Midge responds to this with empathy and, when she finds out that Judy/Madeline is pretty, she decides to see the portrait of Carlotta Valdes.

Scottie reports on Judy/Madeline’s activities to Elster in the Pacific Union Club (Nob Hill, across Mason Street from the Brocklebank and directly opposite the Fairmont Hotel.) The two men sit in red chairs as Scottie is drawn further into Elster’s designs. Next, Scottie tails Judy/Madeline to Fort Point (Long Drive and Marine Avenue, neighboring the Presidio) where the Golden Gate Bridge serves as a backdrop. Judy/Madeline jumps into the bay and Scottie dives in to fish her limp body out of the water and takes her back to his place. Scottie’s apartment (900 Lombard Street at Jones) is “located just below the crookedest[sic] block of Lombard Street.” [">1] Through the window one can see the Coit Tower at the summit of Telegraph Hill. Coit Tower is a monument to firemen in the shape of a fire hose nozzle that was built with funds bequeathed by Lillie Hitchcock Coit in the early 1900s.

Scottie is wearing a green sweater when Judy/Madeline wakes up naked in his bed. She is given a red patterned robe, again returning to Elster’s plot. When she comes to kneel by the fire Scottie takes the red pillows off of the couch and throws them on the floor for her to sit upon. When they hit the floor their colour has changed to yellow. Midge and caution are now overcome. In fleeing Scottie’s apartment Judy/Madeline is espied by Midge who says to herself, “Well now, Johnny-O. Was it a ghost? Was it fun?” Midge drives away when Scottie looks out his front door…, which is red.

The next morning Judy/Madeline returns dressed in ghostly white and black. She and Scottie decide to wander together and they end up at the Muir Woods National Monument (off Highway 1, Marin County.) Amid the “evergreen” trees the two of them discuss madness before Judy/Madeline flees only to be caught by Scottie who tells her, “I’ve got you!” Totally ensnared in Elster’s plans they kiss as waves crash upon the beach behind them.

Hoping to find the key to unlock Madeline’s madness Scottie takes Judy/Madeline to the Mission San Juan Bautista (off Highway 101 on Route 156, South of Gilroy.) It is here that she tells him that he must let her go and believe that their love is truly real. Judy/Madeline flees up the stairs of the mission to the bell tower, leaving a vertigo-stricken Scottie behind. He hears a scream and sees Madeline’s body plummet to the roof of the mission. Horrified, Scottie sees nuns approaching up the path and we assume that he flees but, as in the first scene of the movie, we never actually see how the scene is resolved.

Scottie and Elster are put on trial and both are acquitted even as Scottie is labeled as culpable in the death of Madeline, a woman who he has never actually met. Elster pulls Scottie aside to tell him that he is wrapping up his wife’s affairs and leaving the country. A ghostly, ethereal image of Judy/Madeline appears between the two men as they talk. Scottie is then treated for acute melancholia at the Park Hill Sanitarium (351 Buena Vista Avenue East) where we see him in bed with a yellow blanket. Not surprisingly, Midge is there and dressed in nurse-like white, playing Mozart and telling him, “Mother’s here.” Red roses are on the bureau, possibly a last communication from Elster.

Upon being released Scottie wanders the streets of San Francisco, revisiting old haunts of Judy/Madeline that she had visited while pretending to be Carlotta Valdes. Following the direction of a one-way sign, indicating his obsessive preoccupation, he accosts the new owner of Judy/Madeline’s car. Eventually he sees a brunette dressed in green; her hair is pulled back and she looks identical to Judy/Madeline. He follows her to the Empire Hotel (940 Sutter Street, near Hyde) where, in a replay of his voyeurism at the McKittrick Hotel, he spies on her through a window that is bathed in green neon light. Scottie, ignoring a fire escape sign in the background, goes to her room. In spite of Judy/Madeline proving that she is Judy and not Madeline Scottie asks for a date. Judy consents as he sees her in profile, a mirror reversal of Judy/Madeline's first appearance at Ernie’s.

When Scottie leaves Judy/Madeline decides to write a letter revealing her role in Elster’s plot, the details of which we hear in a voice over. Hitchcock’s decision to reveal the twist at the end of the movie prematurely eliminates any urgency that remains to the plot. The dramatic tension is now supplied entirely by Scottie’s psychological state. As Scottie and Judy/Madeline spend time together they visit a flower stand outside Gump’s (250 Post Street) that remains there to this day.

In an attempt to remake Judy in Judy/Madeline’s image Scottie brings her to Ransohoffs (259 Post Street), a clothing store, to get the right clothes. An increasingly agitated Scottie tells Judy that the makeover can’t matter to her. Judy objects, “No! I don’t want to be dressed like someone dead! It’s a horrible idea! Is that what I’m here for? To make you feel that you’re with someone who is dead?” It isn’t said whether Judy is referring to Madeline or Judy/Madeline in this exchange that is seen reflected in a large wall mirror.

Judy’s transformation (back) into Judy/Madeline is completed when Scottie forces the newly blonde Judy to put her hair up in a swirl. Judy emerges from a green bathroom door as a gauzy apparition of Judy/Madeline. She has Scottie help her to put on a red pendant that she once wore as Judy/Madeline. This last trace of Elster causes Scottie to have a revelation and he sees through Elster’s plot. In an attempt to find the key to his own madness Scottie drives Judy down to the mission and re-enacts Madeline’s murder by driving Judy before him up the stairs to the top of the bell tower.

In an emotional avalanche Judy confesses that she fell for Scottie while she was Judy/Madeline. Scottie accuses her of being Elster’s mistress (that is: she fell for Elster) and Judy tacitly agrees. She throws herself into Scottie’s arms begging, “You love me now! Love me! Keep me safe!” They kiss passionately and, as Judy continues to plead, Scottie whispers, “Too late. Too late. There’s no bringing her back.” A nun emerges from the shadows and Scottie turns away from Judy, only to turn back at the sound of her scream. Scottie moves to the edge to look down upon a dead, fallen Judy/Madeline as the nun begins to toll the bell. Hitchcock likewise leaves the audience hanging after this actual plot twist. All that is left is to determine Scottie’s psychological reaction to this death replayed. Is his vertigo gone? Does he go or is he insane? Will the depression return? What does this all mean for Scottie? Hitchcock refuses to give an answer.

Vertigo may be a metaphor for a couple’s courtship and marriage, an essay on commitment or freedom, a reflection of madness or any of a number of different character studies. By any of these interpretations it is a brilliantly designed and executed film. Colours, mirror imagery, identity, voyeurism and a sense of being unbalanced are themes throughout the movie. Mirrors and colors are especially predominant as mirrors not only reflect images back to us but they also refract light, breaking it into three primary colours: red, yellow and green. The unanswered questions at the film’s conclusion allow all of these different possibilities and their resolutions to remain alive in the minds of the audience. It also insures that Vertigo remains alive to this day.

That is a terrific analysis of the film, and you handle the color motifs excellently! I am impressed!

I am well aware of Hitchcock's McGuffins. A McGuffin is a dramatic device, and as a result, a director or screenwriter can use a McGuffin either well or poorly. I suspect we disagree as to how successfully Hitchcock uses it in Vertigo.

Between you and me (and the Listology world), I think Hitchcock was a fair armchair psychologist. He excelled in anticipating how viewers respond to visual stimuli, but his grasp of motivations was a bit simplistic at best. As a result, (IMHO, natch) he could often use psychological insight as a terrific subtext to his films (especially in, say, Strangers on a Train or, more boldly, Notorious). He could use expressionistic splashes of color and kinetic cuts to great effect. In my opinion, however, his attempts to bring these psychological elements from a background to his plots into a substitute for the plot itself often simply reveal a man whose insight into the mind is a bit lacking.

This is simply a critical call. I am confident that I *understand* Vertigo. The basic issue is simply whether the film works for me or not. To me (always a holistic critic in a culture that loves fractioned schools), every critical approach is really only as important as it sheds light on that basic test.

A good test here is simple, admittedly perhaps a bit too so. Does the Saul Bass sequence in the film strike you as profoundly moving or very silly? I confess that to these eyes it plays as a parody of a scene-change in the Batman television series; it makes me laugh. Perhaps I am immature. Perhaps the imagery has dated poorly.

See, we can talk about what Hitchcock/Bass meant that sequence to accomplish, but the final question is simple. Did it work? Did the reality realize the intention? That is where the subjective side enters in, and that is where I find Vertigo lacking.

To be fair, however, I admit that I am in that odd position I frankly rarely find myself in - I agree with the masses and disagree with the critical majority on this one. Perhaps this is a hint that I truly am a lowbrow Okie. That certainly is a possibility.

I hope that all made sense. I am feeling rather blah today, but I thought your excellent post deserved a response sooner rather than later. Forgive any obscurity on my part; it was not intentional.

I am curious to know what you think of Marnie, the other Hitchcock film where I find myself on the side of the average viewer rather than the critic (I do not like it much).

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

"Check out Bringing Out Baby instead."

That's my favourite comedy movie of all time but it should actually be Bringing Up Baby.

"Did you ever see the one about the gay leopard?"

Yep, you're right. Thanks for the catch!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

No problem.

If I had read some of your lists before you posting responses to any of mine,
I would've been horribly intimidated! Man!

This is a FANTASTIC list. So good.
I totally agree, though I like many of them...
I fully understand what 'overrated' implies.

The Chicago comments in particular REALLY drove home for me.
I loved Cabaret from pretty young. But really,
everyone seems to fall over themselves about Chicago as
if Cabaret never happened. "So original" right?

Take care, reading on through your library of posts. Cheers.

Can blushing travel through cyberspace?

Thank you. I assure you, nobody on this earth should ever be intimidated by me. Ever...

My grumblings about Chicago usually find deaf ears, so I am very happy to find an ally.

And you can never love The Producers too much.

"Didn't I meet you on a summer cruise?"

"I've never been on a cruise."

"Quel dommage."

Ah...

I look forward to your library growing!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Doh, forgot to mention, HOORAY for mentioning "The Producers", which I feel is
BY FAR Brooks best work.

I agree with Vertigo, Titanic, West Side Story, and Grease. Everybody in High School loved Grease the movie, it was an average musical fare at best. Titanic: would have loved to see more about the other hundreds of people's lives on the ship then just focus on two star-crossed lovers in the backseat of a car. West Side Story: not an a total musical fan, funny trying to see the tap-ballet dancers trying to act like tough slum kids from the wrong side of the tracks. Vertigo: besides the trick with the heights and illusion, was a bit too convaluted. Schindler's List is not flawlessn and I don't think now that it is the best Holocaust movie. THe Pianist might be better, but I think Schindler's List is one of the Best of the 1990s. It outranks Braveheart by about a mile.

Your comment concerning West Side Story's 'toughs' made me chuckle.

I am not sure the story's focus in Titanic bothered me half as much as the dialogue. Cameron should always get help writing lines, no matter how great of a director or story writer he is.

I agree that Vertigo has some terrific, justly-famous shots.

Yeah, I still don't think Schindler's List is the greatest film of the 90s, even if I do like the movie. Of course, I have to confess that I never went gaga over Braveheart the way so many did...

Thanks for the comments!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Weird, I really thought I had already made a post here. Well, then I do it now.

I agree on:
Titanic: Technically brilliant, but too sentimental. The acting is surely not outstanding (except Kathy Bates maybe), and the dialogues (as you already said) godawful...
M*A*S*H: Rarely I was so disappointed after a classic film. I mean, I expected an intelligent satire on war, while the film is boring, repetitive and stupid.
Chicago: 6 Oscars? Better than The Two Towers? My arse!!!
The Searchers: A very good western, but far from being Ford's best. Frankly I prefer Stagecoach.

Those I disagree about:
Shakespeare in Love: I enjoyed this film, as it was a very positive surprise to me. Intelligent dialogues, excellent actors and all in all a great mixture of comedy and drama
Vertigo: Ok, this is NOT Hitchcock's best, 'just' his second-best, after Rear Window. Really I cannot see your point.
Schindler's List: Well, probably I'll rewatch this one, but I remember that I liked it quite a lot.
West Side Story: Honestly I am not a big fan of musicals. Therefore I don't like most of them, except Singin' in the Rain and this one. I cannot remember a film with better dance sequences, and the screenplay is IMO (for a musical) quite good.

OK, now I have bored you enough. Sorry, if it didn't interest you, but I think this had to be said. And frankly, disagreements are cordially invited here, eh...? :-)

The good news is that West Side Story is supposed to open on a big screen here this weekend, so I should get another chance to evaluate the film, and this time in an ideal setting.

I think most of our disagreements are more a matter of degree than of complete disagreement. The exception is probably Vertigo.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The only one i feel is a little harsh would be Grease.

Interesting. I probably should watch it again, but I don't know if I can convince myself to do so. My childhood was spent in the shadow of that film's wild popularity, and I quickly grew past dislike to disdain.

I actually find the soundtrack much better than the movie, and I don't even like that that much...

Are you a fan? If so, feel free to ignore me (or correct me! ;) )

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

lol sorry i forgot about this post, i wasn't ignoring you :-)

I don't mind Grease. its super cheezy and OTT but its a laugh, and can we fault it for that?

PS: i love the animated intro

Well, then, perhaps I will have to force myself to view it again!

(when I am feeling brave...)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

You stick to your guns, L. Bangs. I never got what the big deal was about Vertigo either, and I've watched it several times trying to figure it out. I think the movie only works if you buy into the second act, and I never have. I have the same problem with The Lady Eve, in fact, for the very same reason.

I disagree with a couple here, but then my list would contain The Third Man and The Maltese Falcon, so who am I to judge?

Thanks! I always stick to my guns; nobody else will let me borrow theirs.

I would gasp at the two films you listed, but then reading the list above, I am no one to be gasping. Besides, as you said, who am I?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Whoa, you really went to town on your dislike of Chicago! Personally, I liked that one, but I agree with several on your list, #1 being Titanic ;)

Ah, the Chicago saga. I recently rewatched the film and liked it a bit more (three out of four stars, I reckon, though still pretty over-rated). However, I loved my rant above so much I couldn't stand to delete it!

So the words stay, even if my opinion doesn't!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I agree with Titanic, West Side Story, Grease, and Vertigo.

Titanic was impressive to say the least, but most of it was the hype surrounding it that made it seem to glisten. I was disappointed. i like romance stories, but all that time spent on the love affair of two young people being chased around by a callous steel magnet and his British henchman? I hate to be clichic, but the lives of three even four people on a ship full of 1,200 people that are doomed to sink in iceberg-infested waters don't amount to a hill of beans. I mean, yeah show us the love story, i like romance, and Kate Winslet almost naked on a couch is fine by me. But don't make it the entire movie. Titanic took too many Oscars that year, just like the English Patient did a year before.

And West Side Story beating-out a brilliant and compelling courtroom drama with exceptional acting and direction such as Judgement at Nuremberg for Best Picture and Director is a mystery. I like some musicals too, but let's get a grip on it.

Vertigo is a nice ballsy pick. I don't agree with it, but I can see what you are saying anyway.

I personally don't respect anyone who has highly rated Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, or Chicago. They are all for the most part Oscar films that were either OK or bad, so I'm not sure whether or not again I could call them overrated.

I agree with Annie Hall and The Searchers though.

my personal top ten most overrated list

As a Shakespeare in Love fan (not to mention Crash, which I imagine can find a home on this list), I guess I'll have to get used to disrespect. Alas. :-)

If it helps, I won't go nearly so far as to call Throne of Blood bad, but I can comfortably say it's the Kurosawa movie I like the least.

Which Crash?
I'm looking forward to seeing Cronenberg's when I get around to it...

The one almost everybody here hates. :-)

(the 2005 one)

The list of films I love that people hate is quite lengthy. I guess that's just life. I won't mention that I think Josie and the Pussycats is one of the best films I've ever seen.

Ah crap.

how about forrest gump? somehow that won a number of oscars.

I don't think too many people over-rate this one any longer, though; do you?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs