Archive for July, 2010

I watched From Here To Eternity Today. In fact I remember watching this film many years ago when I had just become a teenager.

The film had a huge impact on me at that time. But this around, inspite of the 8 academy award nominations and a delicious cast (that includes Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatara and Burt Lancaster), the film was a huge disappointment.

Of course, even while saying this, I know that I could be being a little harsh on the film. Yet I think the film is light both on the treatment of love and the forming and leaving of an extramarital liaison. Deep love that goes against convention does not just happen, it develops… And so it is called “falling into love”. Yet this film gives it a Bollywood style interpretation, and not those deeper overtones of eternal love so famously depicted in Hollywood classics like Doctor Zhivago. So we have a very flippant (one night stand stylish) treatment of a subject to which the audience is expected to feel veneration.

This remains my primary crib with this film that I would give a rating of 3 out of 5. For me, it did not live up to the hype of being a famous Hollywood classic.


The Caine Mutiny

Posted: July 5, 2010 in Cinema
Tags: ,

This film that created a sensation in 1954 was based on the 1951 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Stanley Earl Kramer. Among the other outstanding films that Kramer would go on to produce/direct was Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Like the novel that it was based on, The Caine Mutiny is the story of a mutiny aboard the World War II U.S. Navy destroyer minesweeper, the Caine, and the resulting court martial of two officers. Riveting trial room sequences are integral to the film’s plot as it hurtles to an unpredictable climax.

The first thing that stands out about the film is that it is so well made that it could have been a 21st century production. Yet at the same time it has depth of substance that is sadly lacking in many modern Hollywood productions.

The most unique aspect of the plot is a story that exists at different levels, and this has not been tampered with in the filmmaking. So The Caine Mutiny is a wartime film that celebrates the best traditions of the US navy. It is also a study in management, contrasting different leadership styles. But above all else, it stands out for me as a journey into the dark places of the human mind.

The movie is helped along by an incredible performance by Humphrey Bogart (as Lieutenant Commander Philip Francis Queeg). He gives his character the complexity of the man veering off the precipice as he stands balanced between sanity and insanity. In doing this, he brings a special quality to a film that could have otherwise become a straightforward adaption of a great novel.

The Caine Mutiny is often regarded as the last of Bogart’s great performances. During the shooting of this film, he was already suffering from the throat cancer that would later claim his life.

Not surprisingly, Bogart’s portrayal of Queeg won him an Oscar nomination. But here he lost out to another mighty performance – Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. The film also won 6 other Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording, Best Film Editing, and Best Dramatic Score.

I’d give The Caine Mutiny a rating of 4 on 5. If you haven’t seen this film yet, it’s a “must see” great classic from Hollywood.

Click here to watch Humphrey Bogart take you through an entire range of emotions in the trial room sequence in The Caine Mutiny.

Along with my book list, I’ve also made a movies list of the films that I’d like to see before I reach the end of my break from the corporate world. The focus is on Hollywood and world cinema.

Here’s my list…

1.Nosferatu (1922)
2.M (1931)
3.Duck Soup (1933)
4.It Happened One Night (1934)
5.Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
6.Modern Times (1936)
7.The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
8.The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
9.Grand Illusion (1938)
10.Bringing Up Baby (1938)
11.You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
12.All Quiet on the Western Front (1939)
13.Rebecca (1940)
14.Citizen Kane (1941)
15.The Lady Eve (1941)
16.The Maltese Falcon (1941)
17.Double Indemnity (1944)
18.Going My Way (1944)
19.The Lost Weekend (1945)
20.It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
21.The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
22.Hamlet (1948)
23.All the King’s Men (1949)
24.The Third Man (1949)
25.All About Eve (1950)
26.Sunset Blvd. (1950)
27.An American in Paris (1951)
28.The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
29.The African Queen (1952)
30.Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
31.From Here to Eternity (1953)
32.Roman Holiday (1953)
33.On the Waterfront (1954)
34.The Caine Mutiny (1954)
35.Rear Window (1954)
36.Marty (1955)
37.Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
38.The Searchers (1956)
39.Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
40.Wild Strawberries (1957)
41.12 Angry Men (1957)
42.The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
43.Gigi (1958)
44.Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
45.Paths of Glory (1958)
46.The 400 Blows (1959)
47.Some Like It Hot (1959)
48.Breathless (1960)
49.Psycho (1960)
50.The Apartment (1960)
51.Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
52.8 ½ (1963)
53.Tom Jones (1963)
54.Goldfinger (1964)
55.A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
56.Blow Up (1966)
57.A Man for all seasons (1966)
58.In the Heat of the Night (1967)
59.Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
60.The Battle of Algiers (1967)
61.To Sir With Love (1967)
62.Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967)
63.Oliver! (1968)
64.2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
65.Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
66.Midnight Cowboy (1969)
67.M*A*S*H (1970)
68.Patton (1970)
69.The French Connection (1971)
70.The Godfather (1972)
71.The Sting (1973)
72.Blazing Saddles (1974)
73.Chinatown (1974)
74.The Godfather, Part II (1974)
75.Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
76.Jaws (1975)
77.One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
78.Network (1976)
79.Annie Hall (1977)
80.Star Wars (1977)
81.National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
82.Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
83.Alien (1979)
84.Apocalypse Now (1979)
85.Raging Bull (1980)
86.Ordinary People (1980)
87.Blade Runner (1982)
88.Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
89.Terms of Endearment (1983)
90.This is Spinal Tap (1984)
91.Amadeus (1984)
92.Out of Africa (1985)
93.Blue Velvet (1986)
94.Platoon (1986)
95.Die Hard (1988)
96.Wings of Desire (1988)
97.Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
98.Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
99.Do the Right Thing (1989)
100.Goodfellas (1990)
101.Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
102.Unforgiven (1992)
103.Groundhog Day (1993)
104.The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
105.Toy Story (1995)
106.The Usual Suspects (1995)
107.Princess Mononoke (1999)
108.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
109.In the Mood For Love (2001)
110.Chicago (2002)
111.Finding Nemo (2003)
112.Happy Feet (2006)
113.Ratatouille (2007)
114.No Country for Old Men (2007)
115.Wall – E (2008)
116.The Hurt Locker (2009)

Directors I’d like to be familiar with…
1. Akira Kurosawa (Ran, Madodayo, The Quiet Duel, High & Low, Drunken Angel, Yojimbo, Red Beard)
2. Wong Kar Wai (Chunking Express, Fallen Angels)
3. Ingmar Bergman (Wild Strawberries, Fanny and Alexander )
4. Federico Fellini (81/2, I Vitelloni, La Dolce Vita)
5. Pedro Almodóvar (All About My Mother, Talk to Her)
6. Woody Allen
7. Satyajit Ray
8. Shyam Benegal
9. Aparna Sen
10. Merchant Ivory