These are some of my favourite movies. First, Midnight in Paris which is one of Woody Allen’s more recent productions. I tend to think of myself as a logical rather than an emotional person but this movie brings out my emotions to the full. I have seen the movie at least eight times and look forward to seeing it at least another eight times. Perhaps I have a real fantasy streak which I was not previously aware of. There is plenty of fantasy, fun, laughter and love in the movie. It’s not to be missed.
Perhaps rather more obviously there is the classic, Some Like It Hot, featuring Marilyn, Tony and Jack. No one can forget the last line when Jack Lemmon reveals to Joe E. Brown that he is a man to which the response is ‘Nobody’s perfect’. This is another movie that I have watched again and again.
Going to the opposite extreme there is Mississippi Burning. A brilliant performance by Gene Hackman tackling the intense racism practised for so long in some of the most aggressive states in the southern USA. It is a miserable indictment of those narrow minded individuals who were frequently members of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s a good reminder of just how recently America accepted civil rights. The key bill was cast by President Kennedy but enacted when Lyndon Johnson was President. That was not an easy task and needed all his skills.
Moving away from the extreme violence of Mississippi Burning to a violent comedy, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, I don’t think I would regard myself as a fundamental fan of Guy Ritchie but I believe this movie to be quite typical of his genre. It’s probably not for the squeamish and the humour is in no way similar to that of Some Like It Hot although you could say that the scene in which Spats Colombo and his merry men ‘rub out’ Toothpick Charlie might well fit in with Guy Ritchie’s style. Anyway the movie is fast paced and good for anyone who has reasonable familiarity with the East End of London.
Back to comedy. I couldn’t decide which Mel Brooks movie to include so thought to present him as a package deal. My three favourites are Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety and To Be Or Not To Be. There are too many scenes in each of those films which I find memorable so let me just recommend them all to you and possibly some of his others.
How about Ruthless People which stars Danny de Vito and Bette Midler? Not that this scene is core to the movie but think of the escapee from the mad house who confronts Bette Midler with the words ‘You look just like my mother’ at which point she smiles and he carries on to say ‘I hate my mother’ and threatens her with his knife. But the most memorable part is the reunion of Danny and Bette on the wharf at San Francisco when the police detective comments that he hopes his marriage will be as strong as theirs just before she kicks him into the water.
I think I should mention another classic, Don’t Look Now. This is a kind of psychological thriller. Perhaps when you see it for the first time you find the denouement surprising as well as painful but when you watch it again and you know what is going to happen, it is a struggle to sit through it. It’s a brilliant movie.
Finally, a movie which you probably don’t know called The Concert. I notice from the immediate review when I Google the movie that it does not get very good ratings. I regard that as nonsense. It’s a strange concoction of Moscow and Paris. Anyway, I love it. Apart from Mississippi Burning which really one cannot frequently watch, the others are movies which I am happy to sit through again and again.