Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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A vastly underrated movie with magnificent performances by Boyer, Ford, and Henreid. Powerful love story combined with Nazi villainy and family discord. To be seen over and over.
Overlong, confused remake. The real handicap is the ridiculous casting of Glenn Ford as the Argentinian lead that Rudolph Valentino played in the original. Thulin's dialogue was dubbed by Angela Lansbury in its entirety leading to even more of a disconnect.
Inferior to the silent Valentino version, Minnelli's epic is stale and verbose, failing to ground its protgaonists and their opposing views in any recognizable or engaging political context.
Ford doesn't pass as an argentine with German family living in Paris during WWII. He wasn't enough to keep me away though. Despite this, it is still a beautiful movie with great sets, photography and beautiful people. The allusions to the four horsemen was also distracting to the plot and seemed rather forced. Henriech was great in his being cheated on and was perfect to lead the resistance. Lukas was good as a German, but it also seemed contrived to have him realize that family is more important than sacrificing them for your country. These forced themes undermined the movie.
Minnelli's only entry in the war movie genre gets off to a cracking start. A heavily made up Cobb, the head of a rich Franco-German expat family in Argentina, suffers a fatal stroke upon learning his Grandson Boehm has joined the Nazis. A raging storm hits and the ghostly figures of the mythical title quartet appear in the heavens above. After this opening, of a melodramatic nature even Oliver Stone would consider over the top, the movie slows down and develops into a second rate war drama.
The forty-six year old all American Ford is terribly miscast as a young Argentine spin on the Bel Ami archetype. I've never seen the appeal of Ford, to me he suffers from a serious lack of charisma. I just can't buy him as the charming lover type. Minnelli wanted Alain Delon for the role but unfortunately had Ford forced upon him by the studio. Coupled with an equally bland actress, Thulin (who was dubbed by Angela Lansbury due to her impenetrable Swedish accent), it's difficult to engage in their plight. Neither are particularly likable, basically just a pair of rich brats, whereas Thulin's husband, Henreid is portrayed as the noble soldier. If your leading characters are engaging in morally dubious activities you really need to cast charismatic performers to get the audience on their side.
Visually it's splendid, great widescreen compositions and the usual Minnelli flair for colour. This is a remake of a Rudolph Valentino starring silent film and Minnelli borrows some techniques that were long out of favor by 1962. The surreal imagery of the horsemen was all too common in the silent era but is unusually striking in a sixties Hollywood movie.
A major flop for MGM, this would be the last time Minnelli was given such a broad canvas. It's said his confidence was shattered by the experience and so he disappeared from the limelight immediately after, working only sporadically and with little acclaim.
Le titre est trompeur, la surprise n'en est que meilleure. Un bon mÃ©lodrame.
Extraordinary movie that seems to be totally forgotten. Probably because it may tend to be a little bit old-fashioned today. But what an epic. Maybe I found it so magnificent because we know, in Lebanon, what it means when two brothers fight each other for political reasons. It echoes what Marco says at the end of Kusturica's "Underground": A war is not really a war unless a brother kills his brother. And Glenn Ford is great in the role of a man torn between being neutral and joining the French resistance...
Well made and well acted. I wasn't crazy about the story.
good stuff but different for Minnelli