Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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not a very good story, nor any good performances by.. anyone!
Thought this film was simply HORRIBLE. Apart from featuring Rome as eye-candy it was almost unbearable in its stupidity, predictability, and unbelievable (and often non-sensical) plot line. Will NEVER watch it again!
Pretty forgettable, but decent if a little strange movie.
Both intimate and outsized, it's a strange product of the era, a Hollywood white elephant of a movie straddling self-awareness and self-parody ...
Art vs. commerce, work life vs. personal life: this film immediately identifies these contradictions, and then just as quickly loses interest in them, instead regressing into a double Oedipal drama. It's melodrama, but not the good kind, as from Sirk (or Ray). And not nearly as good as La Dolce Vita, or Sunset Boulevard, or even Contempt.
I'm a fan of Technicolor melodramas of the 1960s, especially ones about the movie business, but this adaptation of the Irwin Shaw novel has a tendency to go small when it should go big. You get the feeling that Minnelli was concerned about remaining tasteful, which is exactly the wrong impulse for this kind of material. One of the issues might be a pair of key casting mistakes. While Kirk Douglas and Edward G. Robinson are perfect for their parts, Cyd Charisse is almost entirely wrong as the really really bad girl that Douglas is obsessed with and George Hamilton is maybe just a bit too well cast as the callow young actor ... he's callow and uninteresting. The film seems like a failure until you reach the absolutely insane and wonderful climax that almost shatters the fourth wall it's surreal excess. It's entirely worth sitting through the previous hour to behold it.
This may not be the best movie about the film business but it's probably my favorite. The links to Minnelli's earlier and more critically lauded "The Bad And The Beautiful" are strangely incestuous. It's not a direct sequel, here Douglas plays an actor, not the wildly driven producer of the earlier film. In fact Douglas' character here is actually supposed to be the actor who played his character in "TBATB". (Confused? Best not to think about it too much and go with the flow.) This is revealed when Robinson, who we are told directed "TBATB", screens a print of the film as an example of great work. If Minnelli lacked anything it certainly wasn't ego, not many would have the balls to make a movie about how great the one you made ten years ago was.
Few would agree but I feel this superior to the 1952 film. There's something beautifully melancholic about this movie. In 1962 Hollywood was undergoing a radical change, competition was coming from TV, Rock & Roll, and from Europe where movies could be made for a relative pittance. A whole new breed of performers were changing the craft of acting. Realism was becoming key, audiences wanted to see movies shot in a glamorous location rather than a warehouse in Los Angeles. If any movie can serve as a farewell to old Hollywood it's this one. Douglas, Robinson and Charisse all play characters who know the game is up, all three on the verge of becoming dinosaurs. Douglas is the only one who faces up to it with dignity. He ends a brief May to December fling with the stunning Daliah Lavi, pushing her back to the handsome but troublesome young actor Hamilton who she claims was her first love. In doing this Douglas is speaking for Minnelli's generation, passing the reigns onto the new young Hollywood which would emerge over the following decade.
Relapsing into alcoholism after a wild night with Charisse, Douglas speeds off in his Maserati with her in tow, threatening to kill both of them by driving wildly. Minnelli filmed this on stage in front of a rather obvious projection screen which gives the scene another level. Douglas at this point doesn't want to face reality so subconsciously is trying to escape into the movie world, the only place he ever felt safe. It recalls a similar scene from "TBATB" where Lana Turner sped off after being rebuked by Douglas.
This is probably the last great role for Robinson before he was swept away in a sea of TV bit parts and he's on fire here as the bitter director who can't accept his time is up. Douglas is great as always and really generates sympathy as he attempts to keep his dignity while all around him lose theirs.
It makes sense that this was a commercial failure as it legitimizes the movie's theme. What I can't understand is the overwhelming critical bashing it took. Perhaps it was Minnelli's undeserved stigma as a director of musicals. I can't help think if this had been made by Wilder or Sirk it would have far greater standing. Don't believe the anti-hype, this is one of the best movies of the sixties and a must see for fans of old school melodramas.
A compelling, enlightening, and (most of all) entertaining look at the Hollywood system and it's powerful grip on both directors and actors. Two Weeks in Another Town reeks of 60s anachronisms, but at times that makes it feel like it the Hollywood-Story version of La Dolce Vita (with a happy ending). The style here is tremendous, though it never overshadows Kirk Douglas' performance. Douglas is fantastic here, playing a semi-forgotten Hollywood star, discovering his hidden talent for directing. The scenes with him directing the film begun by Ed Robinson's tyrannical director Kruger are exhilarating.
While the film ends on a happy note, it isn't without it's dark spots, and even it's ending doesn't tie everything up in a bright bow. This is a fantastic film on Hollywood at an awkward time in its life, transitioning from grand spectacles showcasing gorgeous actors to creating more "realistic" and "relatable" characters and stories. It's old Hollywood cinema telling a newer, more conflicted story. At times it's breathtaking, but mostly, it's entertaining.
la dolce vita trash one year after don't like some of the cuts as minnelli but really good it'could be the second part of "les ensorceles " from minnelli
"A woman that beautiful is the reason why i'm staying"
Another one of Vincente Minnelli's films that stayed under the radar. I have'nt watched too many of Kirk Douglas films, but i will say that he has a strong presence on screen. And given the period (1962) when this film was made, he gives a surprisingly subtle performance compared to the more melodramatic by most actors of that time. Though watching this film now, the overplayed score used throughout might seem unusual to many, and be a put off. But we must respect that it was the style of movie making of that era and accept it for what it is. It does come across at times like a bit of a soapie in certain scenes, but more importantly its a well written film that keeps one interested in the narrative. Rome is as always the perfect setting, and Daliah Levi must have been one of the most beautiful woman in the world at that time, and makes this film even more the reason to watch it.