The rules of the game (La règle du jeu)

rules-of-the-game-posterFrench black and white comedy from 1939.
Starring: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Director: Jean Renoir
Writers: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Reactions

Contemplations

Judgement

Epilogue

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The rules of the game” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

67 movies down. 298 to go.

If you want to get “Rules of the game” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Grave of the fireflies” (“Hotaru no haka”). Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

Stagecoach

stagecoach-posterAmerican black and white western from 1939.
Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
Director: John Ford
Writers: Dudley Nichols, Ernest Haycox
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

A stagecoach filled with a variety of characters from the old west must make a drive through Apache threatened country. Along the way the passengers and driver all get to know one another and the people at various way stations.

Reactions

This is a proper old western with every element that brings to mind;  old vengeance,  damsels in distress, six shooters, hookers, Winchesters, Indians on the war path, lots of horses, and so much more.

“Stagecoach” has a some similarities with a play; the characters are thrown together, must relate to one another and that provokes developments for at least some of them.  On the other hand, there is a lot of action in the movie that would have been difficult on a stage; the constantly moving coach and, not to give anything away, all those guns might get some use. The combo of the two types of movements is a rather nice juxtaposition. I would have expected the silent or stoic men of the old west to have less development and the women to have more passive roles and maybe any changes would be more dependent on men.  Fortunately there is more to this movie.

The characters are made to be contrasting and represent several rungs in society. There is a banker that goes on about how “What’s good for the banks is good for the country”, a lawman looking for an escaped prisoner, a prisoner looking for revenge, a drunken old doctor, a gambling old officer, a whiskey salesman, a prostitute, a fancy officer’s wife and the coach driver. Together these provide both humor and some nice drama.

The first part of the movie sees everyone get on the coach, but after that it is all about the journey. The coach and the story moves along at quite the pace, and both the coach and the emotional developments get a little overloaded.

Contemplations

The acting is of amazing quality and all the nine main characters were portrayed well. It is rare to see an ensemble cast of such a high caliber. (Pardon the pun.)

The footage and direction was also nice and served the story well. The audio was slightly less suitable though. The music was overly dramatic, during almost any scene, regardless of content or mood. The Spanish song they hear at one of the way stations was really nice though.

The story has some good qualities and some bad. As mentioned, the story is surprisingly  meaningful with well developed characters. However, it is somewhat naive and without too many twists.  Regardless, it is a well made western with the legendary John Wayne and a whole slew of other great actors.

Judgement

I liked “Stagecoach” and was pleasantly surprised by the  western genre. It might not have the depth I usually look for in a movie, but much more than expected.

Epilogue

I would recommend “Stagecoach” to all adults. It is well worth seeing a good old western with John Wayne at least once in a lifetime.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Stagecoach” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

53 movies down. 312 to go.

If you want to get “Stagecoach” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Snatch”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

The Wizard of Oz

wizard-of-oz-posterAmerican fantasy adventure from 1939 in both black and white and technicolor.
Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
Director: Victor Fleming
Writers: L. Frank Baum, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Dorothy tries to run away from home, but is caught up in a tornado and passes out. She awakes in the land of the munchkins, somewhere over the rainbow, and must try to find her way home, and avoid the wicked witch on her way.

Reactions

This is a joyous movie that engages the viewers heart, courage and brains. I have seen “The wizard of Oz” many times before, and it was important to me as a young child. That might color my reaction to today’s viewing (if you, dear readers, will pardon the pun), but there isn’t very much I can do about that. I will try to stay objective.

Each time I watch the movie I seem to have forgotten just how many munchkins there are, and how many citizens of Emerald city and how many troops the wicked witch has. It is a populous movie, and it does seem to make the lands over the rainbow fun and enjoyable, all be it a little scary, to visit.

Contemplations

I love the story in this movie. It is a fairy tale in many ways, and it is well presented. The childlike problems and worries of Dorothy and how she superimposes the people in her life on the adventures with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, is perfectly filmed.

The music is unforgettable and several songs are in the public consciousness even now, 78 years later. Below you can get a reminder of one musical number from “The wizard of Oz”: “Somewhere over the rainbow”.

The most striking feature of the movie is the contrast between black and white and color. How it is the fantasy over the rainbow that is colored is in some ways puzzling, and yet perfect.

The set in the lands over the rainbow seem artificial and is clearly not filmed outdoors. I wonder if that is a consequence of filming in color or a choice of look for these lands.

Judgement

A simply wonderful movie that I have enjoyed every time I see it. Well made in every respect.

Epilogue

I recommend this movie to anyone, of all ages. It is well worth watching for it’s adventure, but also for the imagery that is simple enough for children to understand as well. It might be worth mentioning to a child about to watch the movie for the first time that the viewers in 1939 might not have seen movies in color before, or at least not many. They might get an understanding of just how much of an impression that would have made.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The wizard of Oz” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

27 movies down. 338 to go.

If you want to get “The wizard of Oz” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The red shoes“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.