February 15, 2011

Cine-Smackdown: #41-#50

Am I really 60 movies into this? Only 40 movies away from the end? This goal is taking longer than I expected and I suppose I shouldn't be amazed that I'm still invested in this, but I am a little. Not every movie amazes me, but there's enough promise each time to get re-excited. Onto the smackdown!

41. King Kong
42. Bonnie and Clyde
Midnight Cowboy
44. The Philadelphia Story

46. It Happened One Night

A Streetcar Named Desire
Rear Window
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I had not seen King Kong, Midnight Cowboy, Shane, It Happened One Night or Intolerance previous to the blog. Halfsies.

Of these ten, which would I move further up the list?
If saying A Streetcar Named Desire tops these ten means I have a soft spot for actors, then so be it. But truly, that movie is a quartet for the ages, and has there ever been an ensemble of more emotional grandeur and transcendence than Brando, Leigh, Hunter and Malden? There's a couple of films that tie for second, but today I'd say Streetcar edges them all.

Of these ten, which would I get rid of?
Hands down: Shane. There are enough other westerns on this list to recommend, even if I didn't love them, and Shane just doesn't stand out for me in any way, shape or form.

Who in these movies do I want as my best friend?
This is a no-brainer: Samwise Gamgee (LOTR). Drop everything and accompany me on a months-long journey across Middle Earth? Save me countless times from ringwraiths, Gollum and my own trenchant for ring-power? Forgive me for being a huge douche? Literally carry me the last couple of steps? Checkity check check. I want to name my son Samwise.

Who in these movies do I want to have my back in a bar fight?
Aragorn (LOTR), Stanley Kowalski (Streetcar) and the titular gorilla (Kong) would form an unstoppable triumverate, wouldn't they? It probably also wouldn't hurt to have Stella (Rear Window) around in a pinch.

Who in these movies is your worst frienemy?
This group of ten is lousy with them! Where to start? Gollum (LOTR) would trade my hide for a lump of mythic metal. That girl who sends the Dear One's husband to his death in Intolerance would do the same to me if I let her get too close, and same with the guy who tries to bribe Peter Warne on the bus in It Happened One Night. Ratso (Midnight Cowboy), both Bonnie and Clyde, and Carl Denham (Kong) are all of such one-track minds that they'd probably get me involved in their nefarious doings (hustling, ineptly robbing banks, and filming blockbusters at the expense of stars' well-being, respectively) only to drop me but quick.

Who do I take home to Mom?
Samwise! That Rosie girl can move to the back. Mike Connor (The Philadelphia Story) would also probably charm her Mom Jeans off.

You're going on a date with these movies. Who do you agree to meet for coffee but never call again?
Midnight Cowboy. You just wanted my money! ... although what I really mean is metaphorically, what movie do I like but not enough to watch again...? That's probably Intolerance. So. long.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then say you'll call but never do?
The Philadelphia Story. You're sweet but I'm just not that interested. I know others like you that are far more fun.

Who do you agree to meet for coffee, and then not show up?
Shane. Although I'm not convinced I would even agree to meet for coffee. I haven't disliked a film on this list so much since The Wild Bunch.

Who do you meet for a first date, ends up staying the night and makes you breakfast in the morning?
Mitch (Streetcar) would, although he might feel like he needs to be extra sweet and hurry things along so we can get married. But all the same, the omelette tastes good.

Who do you meet for a first date, ends up staying the night and then leaves in the morning without saying goodbye ... and steals your favorite sweater?
Who on this list doesn't? Certainly the whole Barrow Gang (Bonnie and Clyde) and Blanche DuBois (Streetcar) would take anything that wasn't nailed down. Harsh.

What other questions would you have asked about these movies? I'd love more ideas! Leave your thoughts, reactions, passionate defenses and harsh critiques in the comments!

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