Friday, September 2, 2011

August Movies

My films for August were North by Northwest (which was going to be my black and white film, but was apparently shot in color according to the credits and IMDb. Who knew?) and The Murder Man.

I was pretty excited for North by Northwest, it's one of those films that you can't quite remember if you've seen it or not because you've seen so many clips and parodies and homages that you might as well have seen it! I'm a huge Cary Grant fan, I think he did an excellent job as the lead even if it was pretty much standard Cary Grant fare. This was the second film I've seen Eva Marie Saint in (the first being On the Waterfront) and she did well. Despite the fact that he was in danger, I was actually smiling through the majority of the crop-dusting-airplane-attempting-to-run-over-Grant scene. I mean, it was so iconic, how could I not be happy to finally be seeing it in it's entirety?
My favorite shot was a scene where Grant and Saint's characters were having a discussion in a forest. The tall pines are limbless columns that stand between the characters as Grant is on the far left and Saint is on the far right. They stay that way for several minutes, conversing from afar with a forest in their way. It's a lovely shot, beautifully framed and composed. I would totally have a picture of that on the wall of our man cave/studio (y'know, in our dream house).

Since North by Northwest was in color, I had to find a different film for my black and white, and one of the ones I had DVRd was a Spencer Tracy flick called The Murder Man. It was an enjoyable film, nothing spectacular and an ending you could see coming a mile away, but it was well done and as cheerful as a murder mystery could be. Tracy is a newspaper reporter that earns the nickname "Murder Man" because he somehow manages to scoop all the other reporters on recent murders and is able to churn out well-written articles before the other reporters can phone in their news. Virginia Bruce is his friend-who-wants-to-be-more, I loved how they did her role. Her character was clearly smitten with Tracy's but she wasn't annoying or clingy and was a true friend to him when he needed one. Don't miss a very young Jimmy Stewart in his first film role! (technically second, I suppose, although the first was uncredited and a short, according to our friend IMDb)

I'm seriously considering starting to view what we'll call "Bonus" films, since I'm running out of year 2011 and still have so many to watch that I haven't seen yet. Maybe I'll bump it up to 2 color and 2 B&W, who knows.
Anyone want to come have an old-school film marathon with me?

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