Posted on 4/12/11 07:32 PM
it's easy to see why this was such a success upon release, but 50 years later, most of its weight is gone. it's still somewhat affecting, but a 2.5 hour film with over an hour of crying is a bit over the top. the audience's ability to relate to the "action" is key for this film and it simply doesn't operate in the same way for those of us viewing it in historical context.
that said, it's a well-made film from the cinematography and production standpoints - if not the writing and editing - and it's far superior to similarly revered films like Human Condition I... overall, I'm giving it a positive rating, but I'd hardly say it's required viewing.