Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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This is a "minor" Hitchcock movie because it has some serious flaws. The story is preposterous; Jane Wyman's love for two men is not developed in either case, it is merely stated and we are supposed to believe it based on what follows; the first half of the film is very slow and even a bit clumsy. Yet it also has some clever Hitchcockian manipulation of us, his audience; a magnificent Marlene Dietrich; Jane Wyman's ability to play an overwhelmingly earnest character; great set-up shots; great close-ups; great lighting. I was a bit annoyed and sceptical for the first half of the film, then I began to enjoy it more, and finally after it finished I thought "Hitchcock, you've done it again!". His ability to play on our emotions, fears, prejudices and desires is outstanding.
Wow! I could not pass up the chance to see Kubrick's first film, done on a shoestring budget, and later disavowed. And it was worth the watch ! It has lots of flaws, mostly around the excessive wordiness of some scenes and voiceovers. But it also has lots to recommend it, especially the set-ups and the close-ups. It is a very distinctive film, made with style and intensity by a confident and talented young man.
An odd movie, mixing thoughtful scenes and dialogue with conventional ones, with martial music intruding constantly. I'm glad I watched it, and there are some good performances, notably Denholm Elliott and MIchael Caine - Cliff Robertson is also very good, but the script calls for such a taciturn person that he does not shine through. This might be best recommended to a film school class as a movie to be dissected for how the sum of the parts can be much greater, unfortunately, than the whole, and for how this film could have been so much better
This is now my 4th viewing of this film over a lifetime, and it holds its own as ever. I hope that contemporary audiences can overcome the natural discomfort that we have with the style of acting and poor sound from the movies of that period. It is still one if the greatest anti-war films and still a complex, humane and moving portrayal of soldiers and society.
A great movie about a larger-than-life talent and person. The humanity, energy, strengths and weaknesses of the great voice come alive clearly in this excellent and riveting documentary. What a pleasure for the eyes, ears and heart!