Movie Links #X – The Catch Up

January 10, 2012

A lot has happened since my last blog post in September 2010. Not long after my moan about extortionate bank charges I managed to get myself a job. Ok, so maybe not a lot happened at all, but at the time it seemed enough to stop me from blogging.

Anyone who has stumbled across my blog more than once might recall my film watching mission. I set myself the task of watching films linked by cast or crew and then recording my views here for any unlucky person who might happen to be googling “valeria galino” at the time. Her name is still the number one traffic source to my blog.

To get you all up to speed, the first film I watched was Tropic Thunder, which featured a very entertaining performance from Tom Cruise. I tend to like him most in films where he’s not playing himself – well, how he perceives himself at least.

I picked Tom Cruise as the link to my next film which was Rain Man. It featured a solid performance from a young Tom Cruise as Dustin Hoffman’s brother. I won’t go into too much detail (as always!) but I was very pleasantly surprised by Cruise’s performance – especially when he is so overshadowed by Hoffman’s autistic Raymond.

After pondering for quite some time whether I should pick a film featuring the delightful Valeria Golino I opted against it and picked to see one starring Dustin Hoffman instead. The next film was The Graduate, which I haven’t blogged about.

The Graduate was excellent. While it’s themes may seem quite out of date these days – university graduate gets seduced by older woman – the film doesn’t feel dated to me at all. My favourite part of the film is the soundtrack. Simon and Garfunkel did a wonderful job here and the soundtrack ends up far more memorable to me than the film itself.

For my next film, I chose to see something featuring Katharine Ross, who played Dustin Hoffman’s girlfriend who I will forever remember as Mrs Bouvier. According to Wikipedia, Katharine Ross is best known for this role, and secondly for her role as Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

I must confess, I don’t particularly like westerns. I’m not sure what it is about them. I love Sergio Leone’s westerns – the dollars trilogy and Once Upon a Time in the West. I had been “reliably” informed that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid isn’t really that much of a western, that it’s far more about the characters than the settings. That may be, but I really didn’t take to it. Newman and Redford were excellent. The film is definitely worth seeing for those two chaps. That’s pretty much all I can say, because I will probably alienate my two readers otherwise.

To my shame, before watching Butch Cassidy, I had never seen Paul Newman in any film. So it became quite apparent to me that I should see what I’ve been missing from this great actor. Next up then, Cool Hand Luke.

Cool Hand Luke. Now that’s more like it! Paul Newman is so good in this, as are the rest of the cast. It’s incredibly hard to describe this film – or Newman himself – without using the word cool. He oozes cool from every pore. Equally excellent in this film is George Kennedy as Dragline the top dog in the prison camp. He plays such a powerful and obsessive character, I find it hard to see him as the guy from the Naked Gun films. He is the actor that I picked to lead me into my next film – Charade.

Charade is a rather old fashioned farce/thriller starring Carey Grant opposite the lovely Audrey Hepburn. This film does a wonderful job of not taking itself too seriously and is a lot of fun. It is quite dated but I’d say that’s half of the charm. George Kennedy isn’t really in it very much, but the scenes he is in are quite well stolen. Carey Grant is one of my favourite actors, thanks mainly to North By Northwest. He’s as charming as ever in this film, as is Hepburn. I had never seen Hepburn before, despite her being such a well loved film star. For that reason I picked the “iconic” Breakfast at Tiffany’s as my next film.

I think I greatly missed the point with Breakfast at Tiffany’s because I really didn’t like it. Yes, Audrey Hepburn is incredibly charming as Holly Golightly but the film just didn’t work for me. It seems very dated, especially so when you consider Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi. Maybe this film suffers from the “Seinfeld is unfunny” trope, I just didn’t get it.

So… if you’ve made it this far, you’ll be desperate to know what the next film is. Well, frankly I don’t know. I’m thinking of going with something from George Peppard because he was the highlight for me in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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