…and those wonderful people out there in the dark

I am in the middle of writing another film paper and this time it has to be about one of the movies we’ve watched in class. I think I spent more time trying to choose a film than I’ve actually spent writing, there are just soooo many good ones. This entry is going to be a tribute to some of my favorites, with the help of my good buddy YouTube.

Trouble In Paradise – This is a great time capsule of the 1930s…I love the elaborate art deco sets and glamorous styles. It also has some very witty dialogue. Yay for pre-code films!

Citizen Kane – Obviously earned the spot as #1 movie of all time on AFI’s list. There is just so much going on, and the cinematography/filming techniques are ingenious. It’s so artistic and powerful.

The Best Years of Our Lives – This one is about three men returning from WWII and basically starting life anew at home. It’s got some great funny moments and also some incredibly sweet and touching moments.

The Searchers – I’ve never really been one for Westerns, but I quite enjoyed this film. I’ll admit, if not for the amazing landscapes and setting (and we watched it on Blu-Ray!), I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, haha. Oh and I read somewhere that the shirts the Monkees wore in the first season were inspired by John Wayne’s style as seen in this movie. Sweet.

Honorary Mentions: Way Down East (a silent film from 1920; Lillian Gish is wonderful and some of the title cards are so poetic), Sullivan’s Travels (a 1941 screwball comedy and source of inspiration for O Brother, Where Art Thou?),and Casablanca (I guess I’m a typical female viewer…I was more interested in the romantic storyline than anything else going on in the movie).

But the film I chose to write about and my absolute favorite so far, is Sunset Boulevard. It’s the ultimate Hollywood movie, complete with all sorts of glamour and drama. Gloria Swanson is amazingly entrancing and creepy at the same time. She plays a former silent film actress (which she really was) who can’t accept the fact that she is no longer the greatest star in Hollywood. By the end of the film she has gone completely delusional, and the only way the police can get her out of her house to be arrested is to make her believe she is shooting a scene. It’s sooooo good. Some of the greatest names in Hollywood, from the 20s up to 50s, appear in this movie…Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille, Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper…it’s epic. A classic scene:

Ahhh I love this class so much; I’m going to be so sad when it’s over.

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