Sunday, January 22, 2012

JOHN CHUCKMAN: A LIST OF MEMORABLE FILMS

Updated: September, 2016

Here is a list of films I made recently for a younger friend unfamiliar with many classics. I will add to it from time to time.

THESE ARE ALL INTERESTING OR FUN FILMS. MANY ARE GREAT AND MANY ARE CLASSICS. NO EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO BE COMPREHENSIVE.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940)
LIFEBOAT (1944)
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
PSCHO (1960)
REAR WINDOW (1954)
SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943)
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951)
SUSPICION (1941)

YASUJIRO OZU

FLOATING WEEDS (JAPAN – 1959)
THE ONLY SON (JAPAN – 1936)
TOKYO STORY (JAPAN – 1953)
TOKYO TWILGHT (JAPAN – 1957)
EARLY SPRING (JAPAN – 1956)

HENRY-GEORGES CLOUZOT

DIABOLIQUE (FRENCH – 1955)
WAGES OF FEAR (FRENCH – 1953)
THE RAVEN (FRENCH 1943)

MIKHAIL KALATOZOV

LETTER NEVER SENT (RUSSIAN – 1959)
THE CRANES ARE FLYING (RUSSIAN – 1957)

STANLEY KUBRICK

2001 SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
DOCTOR STRANGELOVE (1964)
PATHS OF GLORY (1957)
BARRY LYNDON (1975)

CLAIRE DENIS

THE INTRUDER (FRENCH – 2004)
WHITE MATERIAL (FRENCH – 2009)

CLAUDE BERRI

JEAN DE FLORETTE (FRENCH – 1986)
MANON OF THE SPRING (FRENCH – 1986)
THE TWO OF US (FRENCH – 1967)

HOWARD HAWKS

MONKEY BUSINESS (1952)
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951)

FRANK CAPRA

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)

JOHN HUSTON

AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
MALTESE FALCON (1941)
TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE (1948)
THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)

ELIA KAZAN

EAST OF EDEN (1955)
FACE IN THE CROWD (1957)
ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)

ALAIN RESNAIS

HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR (FRENCH – 1959)
LA GUERRE EST FINIE (FRENCH – 1966)
PROVIDENCE (BRITISH-FRENCH – 1976)

CAROL REED

ODD MAN OUT (BRITISH – 1947)
THE FALLEN IDOL (BRITISH – 1948)
THE THIRD MAN (BRITISH - 1949)

DAVID LEAN

BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (BRITISH – 1957)
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (BRITISH – 1962)

KON ICHIKAWA

FIRES ON THE PLAIN (JAPAN – 1959)
THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (JAPAN - 1983)

MICHAEL HANEKE

AMOUR (FRENCH – 2012)
CACHÉ (FRENCH – 2005)


INTERESTING ODDITIES

A MAN ESCAPED (FRENCH – 1956)
ADVISE AND CONSENT (1962)
AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (GERMAN – 1972)
ALPHAVILLE (FRENCH – 1965)
AMADEUS (1984)
AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
ANNA KARENINA (BRITISH – 2012)
ATLANTIC CITY FRENCH 1980)
BABETTE'S FEAST (DANISH 1987)
BARBARA (GERMAN 2012)
BLOWUP (BRITISH – 1966)
BURNT BY THE SUN (RUSSIAN - 1994)
CAMILLE CLAUDEL 1915 (FRENCH – 2013)
CINEMA PARADISO (ITALIAN - 1988)
CRACKS (BRITISH – 2009)
CYRANO DE BERGERAC (FRENCH - 1990)
DAY FOR NIGHT (FRENCH - 1974)
DECEPTION (1946)
DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST (FRENCH – 1951)
DIVA (FRENCH – 1981)
DOCTOR MABUSE (GERMAN – 1922)
DOCTOR STRANGELOVE (1964)
FACE IN THE CROWD (1957)
FACES (1968)
FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967)
FISTS IN THE POCKET (ITALIAN – 1965)
FLOATING WEEDS ( JAPAN – 1959)
HATFUL OF RAIN (1957)
HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE (1964)
IN THIS OUR LIFE (1942)
INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION (ITALIAN – 1970)
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (FRENCH – 2008)
JUNK MAIL (NORWEIGAN - 1997)
KOYAANISQUATSI (1982)
LADIES IN LAVENDER (BRITISH – 2004)
LES BONNES FEMMES (FRENCH 1960)
LETTER NEVER SENT (RUSSIAN – 1959)
LOCAL HERO (BRITISH - 1983)
MAGIC (1978)
MARRIAGE OF EVA BRAUN (GERMAN – 1979)
MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR (1988)
MONKEY BUSINESS (1952)
MOTHER KUSTERS GOES TO HEAVEN (GERMAN – 1976)
O LUCKY MAN! (BRITISH – 1973)
OF MICE AND MEN (1939)
PARIS (FRENCH 2008)
PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (GERMAN – 1930)
REPULSION (BRITISH-FRENCH – 1965)
ROOM AT THE TOP (BRITISH - 1958)
RUN LOLA RUN (GERMAN – 1998)
SECRET SUNSHINE (KOREAN – 2007)
SEDUCTION OF MIMI (ITALIAN – 1972)
SEVEN BEAUTIES (ITALIAN – 1976)
SISTERS OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS (GERMAN – 1979)
SUMMER HOURS (FRENCH – 2008)
SUNDAYS AND CYBELE (FRENCH - 1962)
TATIE DANIELLE (FRENCH -1991)
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
THE CELEBRATION (DANISH – 1998)
THE CONFORMIST (FRENCH - 1970)
THE DARLING (BRITISH – 1965)
THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (JAPAN- 1983)
THE ONLY SON (JAPAN – 1936)
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987)
THE RAVEN (FRENCH 1943)
THE RED SHOES (BRITISH – 1948)
THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (BRITISH - 1993)
THE RETURN (RUSSIA – 2003)
THE SERVANT (BRITISH – 1963)
THE SET-UP (1949)
THE TENANT (FRENCH - 1976)
THE TWO OF US (FRENCH – 1967)
THE WRESTLER (2008)
TIME AFTER TIME (1979)
TIME BANDITS (1981)
TOKYO STORY (JAPANESE – 1953)
TOKYO TWILGHT (JAPAN – 1957)
TWENTY-FOUR EYES (JAPAN – 1954)
UGETSU (JAPANESE – 1953)
WAGES OF FEAR (FRENCH – 1954)
WATER (INDIA – 2005)
WOMAN IN THE DUNE (JAPANESE – 1964)

SHAKESPEARE ADAPTATIONS

CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965)
HENRY V (BRITISH – 1944)
KING LEAR (BRITISH – 1983 – MADE FOR TELEVISION)
MACBETH (BRITISH – 1978 – MADE FOR TELEVISION)
RICHARD III (BRITISH – 1955)
ROMEO AND JULIET (ITALIAN-BRITISH – 1968)

JUST FUN FILMS

A HARD DAYS NIGHT (BRITISH 1964 - THE BEATLES)
ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)
BREAKING AWAY (1979)
BYE BYE BIRDIE (1963)
CHAMPAGNE FOR CAESAR (1950)
FRIENDLY PERSAUSION (1956)
GOOD BYE LENIN (GERMAN – 2003)
HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (BRITISH - 1939)
IT STARTED WITH EVE (1941)
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
JOHNNY STECCHINO (ITALIAN – 1992)
LADY ON A TRAIN (1945)
LAUREL AND HARDY - THE SHORTS MADE IN 1920S (SILENTS) AND 1930S
(SOUND) CONTAIN MANY HILARIOUS SCENES – EXAMPLES: THE CHIMP,
THE MUSIC BOX. THE SOMEWHAT LONGER 60-MINUTE FILMS, LIKE SONS
OF THE DESERT AND SWISS MISS, INCLUDE SOME GREAT SCENES.THEIR
FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS WERE THIN.
MA VIE EN ROSE (FRENCH - 1997)
MISTER DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936)
MORGAN! (BRITISH – 1966)
MURDER, MY SWEET (1945)
MY LIFE AS A DOG (SWEDISH – 1985)
NO TIME FOR SARGEANTS (1958)
PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987)
RED BALLOON (FRENCH 1956 - SHORT)
SINGING IN THE RAIN (1952)
STOLEN KISSES (FRENCH – 1968)
THE COMMITMENTS (BRITISH - 1991)
THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN (FRENCH – 1977)
THE SLINGSHOT (DANISH - 1993)
TRAFIC (FRENCH - 1971)

CRIME, SUSPENSE, COPS & GANGSTERS

BLOW-UP (BRITISH/ITALIAN – 1966)
BREATHLESS (FRENCH – 1959)
CACHÉ (FRENCH – 2005)
CAPE FEAR (1961)
CRIME D’AMOUR (FRENCH – 2009)
DARK PASSAGE (1947)
DAY OF THE JACKEL (BRITISH – 1973)
DEAD RECKONING (1947)
DIABOLIQUE (FRENCH - 1955)
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
DRAGON TATOO TRILOGY (SWEDISH – 2009)
DRESSED TO KILL (1980)
FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
ILLEGAL (1955)
INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION (ITALIAN – 1970)
LEJOUR SE LEVE (FRENCH – 1939)
M (GERMAN – 1931)
MADIGAN (1968)
MARATHON MAN (1976)
MONSIEUR HIRE (FRENCH – 1989)
OUT OF THE PAST (1947)
PIERROT LE FOU (FRENCH – 1965)
POLICE (FRENCH – 1985)
RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985)
SIDE STREET (1950)
THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)
THE INTRUDER (FRENCH – 2004)
THE NARROW MARGIN (1952)
THE RED HOUSE (1947)
THE SCAR (1948)
THE SET-UP (1949)
THE SNORKEL (BRITISH – 1958)
THE THIRD MAN (BRITISH -1949)
THE VANISHING (NETHERLANDS – 1988)
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956)
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957)

SPY FILMS

DAY OF THE JACKAL (1973)
IPCRESS FILE (1965)
SMILEY’S PEOPLE (BRITISH - 1982 - MADE FOR TELEVISION)
SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965)
THE INTRUDER (FRENCH – 2004)
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (BRITISH - 1979 - MADE FOR TELEVISION)

WESTERNS

HIGH NOON (1952)
ONE-EYED JACKS (1961)
SHANE (1953)

WAR FILMS

ATTACK! (1956)
BALLAD OF A SOLDIER (RUSSIAN – 1959)
BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (BRITISH - 1957)
DAS BOOT (GERMAN – 1982)
FIRES ON THE PLAIN (JAPAN – 1959)
GRAND ILLUSION (FRENCH -1937)
KING AND COUNTRY (BRITISH – 1964)
MY BOY JACK (BRITISH BBC – 2008)
PATHS OF GLORY (1957)
PLATOON (1986)
THE STEEL HELMIT (1951)
THE CRANES ARE FLYING (RUSSIAN – 1957)
WAR AND PEACE (RUSSIAN 1968)
ZULU (BRITISH 1964)

INTERESTING SCIENCE FICTION/ MILD HORROR

2001 SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
ALIEN (1979 – NONE OF THE AWFUL SEQUELS)
AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
BLADE RUNNER (1982)
COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT (1970)
FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967)
FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)
IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1957)
KING KONG (1933)
KURONEKO (JAPAN – 1968)
MOON (BRITISH – 2009)
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
NOSFERATU (GERMAN – 1922)
PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (ITALIAN – 1965)
QUEEN OF BLOOD (ITALIAN - 1966)
ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968)
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
THE LAST DAYS ON MARS (2013)
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957)
THE THING (NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN – 2011)
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951)
TIME LAPSE (2014)

ROMANCE FILMS

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
BATCHELOR MOTHER (1939)
BROKEN BLOSSOMS (SILENT – 1919)
NOW, VOYAGER (1942)
ROMEO AND JULIET (ITALIAN-BRITISH – 1968)
SABRINA (1954)
SHUN LI AND THE POET (ITALIAN – 2011)
TENDER MERCIES (1983)
THE QUIET MAN (1952)
UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (FRENCH – 1964)

HISTORICAL DRAMAS AND ADAPTATIONS

ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS (BRITISH – 1969)
BARRY LYNDON (1975)
BUDDENBROOKS (GERMAN – 1979 – MINI-SERIES)
MARIE ANTOINETTE (2006)
MOLIERE (FRANCE – 2007)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (BRITISH – 1995 – MINI-SERIES)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (BRITISH – 1980 – MINI-SERIES)
THE WAY WE LIVE NOW (BRITISH - 2001 – MINI-SERIES)
UNEXPLAINED LAUGHTER (BRITISH – 1989 – MADE FOR TELEVISION)
WIVES AND DAUGHTERS (BRITISH – 1999 – MINI-SERIES)

OTHERS, UNCLASSIFIED

AMADEUS (1984)
CRACKS (BRITISH – 2009)
EVERLASTING MOMENTS (SWEDEN – 2008)
FLORIDE (FRENCH – 2015)
HOOP DREAMS (DOCUMENTARY – 1964)
ILO ILO (SINGAPORE – 2013)
INNER CIRCLE (RUSSIA - 1991)
JEAN DE FLORETTE/ MANON DES SOURCES (FRENCH 1986 – TWO FILMS)
LA FAMILLE BELIER (FRENCH – 2014)
LADY IN THE VAN (BRITISH – 2015)
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
LEVIATHON (RUSSIAN – 2014)
PELLE THE CONQUORER (DANISH - 1988)
PRECIOUS (2010)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS (GERMAN – 2007)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (1985)
TUNES OF GLORY (BRITISH - 1960)
TWELVE ANGRY MEN (1957)
UMBERTO D (ITALIAN – 1952)
VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (1961)
WHITE MATERIAL (FRENCH – 2009)

JOHN CHUCKMAN REVIEW OF JOAN MELLEN'S FAREWELL TO JUSTICE

The blurb inside this book tells us that Joan Mellen is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University, and sadly that fact confirms my darkest fears about American education, because Ms. Mellen, as amply demonstrated by significant portions of this book, often cannot write a literate paragraph. It is appalling how many badly written pages are in this volume.

Why did I continue to read it? I am a great admirer of the late Jim Garrison, who incidentally was a pretty fine writer, and being aware of the hatchet-job books done on his efforts in the Kennedy assassination, I wanted to read something of a defense. Ms. Mellen's book is one of the few, so I persevered through her muddy paragraphs in hopes of reaching a bit of clear water and learning something.

Well, it does get somewhat better through the middle of the book, and there are some interesting points and details raised here.

I very much believe that Jim Garrison stumbled upon something big in New Orleans, something very big, part of the conspiracy to kill John Kennedy, a conspiracy carefully ignored by the Warren Commission and later by The House Select Committee.

Garrison was a very intelligent and able man, but no individual, no matter how bright and brave and dedicated, could have completely withstood the assaults of a Washington establishment determined to smear and mislead and destroy him. The imbalance of forces was terrifying, and the efforts likely shortened Garrison's life. This book does document some of that in its better-written portions.

I never shared Garrison's belief that the CIA as an organization killed Kennedy, although it just could not be clearer to people who've read enough on the subject that the CIA always worked to manipulate and distort evidence in this matter. Indeed, it continues to do so to this day.

For Jim Garrison, fighting all the dirt and abuse, it would naturally seem that they were covering their own responsibility. I believe rather that they have been covering what would have been explosive information in the 1960s: that their private army of Cuban terrorists killed the President, aided more than likely by the direct or indirect help of the CIA handlers responsible for arming, training, and paying that gang of cutthroats in their long efforts at mayhem and murder in Cuba and in Florida.

People today almost cannot imagine the fetid political atmosphere in the United States of the 1950s and 1960s. It was poisonous, so much so that in many other places people were deeply concerned that the United States would do some terrible things. That view was part of what informed spies the Britain's Cambridge Circle. The United States in that era seriously considered a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union and later on China and it thought nothing of invading a country like Cuba or of overthrowing even democratically-elected governments like those in Guatemala and Iran.

Discrediting the CIA in any way at that time, much as it was deserved, was regarded almost as treason, and that was why the CIA lied and cheated its way through every effort at genuine investigation. The CIA was up to its armpits in collusion with mobsters and thugs of every description to achieve the overthrow of Castro, and when its secret army of Cuban fanatics killed the President, with or without the assistance of their professional CIA handlers, it simply could not be revealed. Truth be known, I feel confident many of the CIA's career men were glad when he died, believing he did not possess the blind faith they embraced.

The FBI too was glad. Hoover hated the Kennedys beyond describing. And with CIA backing and other political backing, it felt safe to cover and even destroy evidence in its almost laughable race to find poor Oswald guilty, and it was very convenient to portray Oswald as a "Commie nut" since the lifelong passion of Hoover was to lynch as many Communists as he could, even while he was friends with American gangsters.

For some while after the assassination, the CIA tried - through articles and books by its assets in American publishing - to blame Castro for the assassination, but that pathetic story pretty much withered away, Castro being far too clever to have hired someone like Oswald or to have given America's establishment the excuse it wanted to cover an invasion.

It is well known in intelligence operations that you not only prepare a primary fall-back story - the Castro story - but a secondary one should that fail to gain traction, and that second one is blaming the mafia. The inept Robert Blakey, largely responsible for the feeble efforts of the House Select Committee investigation, put that idea forward. So too did others in a series of contrived books.

It is still around today, with new proponents surfacing periodically. What the story ignores is the virtual impossibility of getting the various mafia clans - the mafia not being a single organization but a group of loosely cooperating families - to agree on so extreme an act, putting all their billions in assets at risk and giving law enforcement the perfect excuse to shut them down completely.

Again, in Bertrand Russell's profound question, "If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the issue of national security?" So we pretty much know ipso facto that Oswald cannot have been the lone killer, and that's apart from his lack of motive and talent and an almost complete lack of sound evidence.

So what is the CIA hiding? Its own embarrassment and incompetence and criminal behavior with terrorist groups like the Cuban refugees, as well as the extreme danger to a free society of having such a well-financed organization with almost no responsibility to anyone.