Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whoop, my bad. And some details.

There were a few more comedies in the top 100 movies. Now that I've actually watched the whole show (instead of scrolling through the list on a frozen computer, swearing and craving caffeine), I've got a much better grip on the situation. So here are the others that are listed as comedies. Many of them I don't consider comedies but dramas with funny bits, but decide for yourself:

11. City Lights, 1931. Charlie Chaplin. There are quite a few Charlie Chaplin movies in the list, three I think (we'll see as I work through it) because I'm not much of a Chaplin fan and - horrors - didn't recognize the titles. Have me flogged. Or at least make me drink caffeine before I'm allowed to post on my blog.

18. The General, 1927. This is a Buster Keaton movie. Whenever I see the oldies, I can never forget that THE DIDN'T HAVE STUNT MEN back in the day (I remember a friend doing a research paper on this back in middle school, and making us watch film clips of Keaton and Chaplin, and being boggled). All that insanity was done by the actor, and often with no trick photography, either.

44. The Philadelphia Story, 1940. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and George Cukor directing. (He was good at character stuff, if you are into the director thing.) This is probably THE classic romantic comedy on the list (with Bringing Up Baby, further down, which I also missed - dunno where my brain was for these two). I've always considered Bull Durham the best-written love triangle in movies, but this one may beat it. I need to watch them both, right together, and make up my mind.

46. It Happened One Night, 1934. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. (Did I ever mention I had a poster of Clark Gable on my wall in College Part One?) It's listed as a comedy, though I consider it a drama with funny bits. Either way, it's a good movie, and approachable, unlike some of this other stuff.

58. The Gold Rush, 1925. More Chaplin. Truly a classic, one of those movies you watch and realize that half the modern movies you've watched, ripped off ideas from here. Fantastic stuff. But I still don't think it's a comedy.

78. Modern Times, 1936. Another Chaplin. More social commentary disguised as a funny movie. Still, it's got more of that classic, almost iconic humor ripped off for decades of newer movies.

80. The Apartment, 1960. Romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Never seen it, can't say. But the bits I saw looked pretty good. Generally anything with Jack Lemmon is hilarious. (Anyone out there seen "How to Murder Your Wife"?)

88. Bringing Up Baby, 1938. More Hepburn and Grant. They were such a good team they deserved to have two movies on the list. This is one of the few truly silly movies on the list. It's a good choice.

So there were more comedies than I realized in my sleep-deprived state this morning, though I still say the bulk of them are either social commentaries, dramas, or Historic Bits with funny stuff in them, and not true comedies. But at least they seem to realize that yeah, a comedy is a good thing that takes skill to produce. Speaking (complaining) of who got left out, where are the Three Stooges? Not my cup of tea, but even I will admit they took physical comedy to the level of art better than anyone else. Here's a bit of heresy: Dump one of these Chaplin movies and throw in some Stooges and maybe Abbot and Costello. Better yet, dump one of the dismal dramas and add them.

With the comments from this morning in mind, I kept an eye out for sci-fi and horror while watching the show, and there wasn't a lot of either.

The three sci-fi movies were Star Wars at 13, 2001 at 15, and E.T. at 24. Though with those three, I'm not sure we need any others. It's a pretty good sampling, a space western, a philosophical metaphor, and a kid's movie.

For horror, the only one I could find, kind of, was Clockwork Orange at 70. I'm not sure the horror designation is anywhere but in my own mind on that one. There were a bunch of suspense movies, most very well done (including a lot of Hitchcock), but nothing I'd really classify as horror.

There were two cartoons. Toy Story (99) and Snow White (34). The irony, of course, is that neither one was really a cartoon. Toy Story was done entirely on computers, and Snow White was rotoscoped to infinity and beyond.


Did someone mention splicing? I'll try to take decent photos and do some kind of tutorial for you guys, since there's a lot of interest. But please be aware I'm using the term splice in the sense of 'joining in ends without it showing', not 'legitimate seamless continuation of a string or rope'. The idea for this is invisibility, not true seamlessness. Though I am looking at the husbeast's Navy stuff about splicing rope, among other refrences.

And thanks to those who suggested the Russian Join. It's an excellent trick that I intend to use regularly in the future, but it won't work on this yarn - the twist isn't set nearly enough for it to hold together. But what I've got in mind is probably a lot like a Russian Join without the needle, skill, and quick execution.


debsnm said...

Everyone always called Psycho a horror movie - I'm not sure if it's because of all the *gasp* moments, or what - but Hitchcock could always scare the crap out of me. Did the Stooges ever do movies? I thought they only did shorts and TV - the shorts thing could be why Laurel & Hardy didn't make an appearance, although I seem to remember some funky Toy Land-type thing they were in in the 60's. You'd think The Exorcist would make the list, if for no other reason than the uproar when it came out. things that make you go hmmmmmmm.

Amy Lane said...

Okay... I'm sort of in awe that the two movies I freaked out about not being on the list...uhm...were... damn, I'm good...

EW put out a list of the top sci-fi movies and tv from thepast 25 years...I was on board w/90% of their choices, so I feel represented...

Bells said...

I'll be keen to see some info on the splicing/joining. I do the Russian join thing, as I understand it, a lot, separating the strands and rubbing it together with spit. I love it!

janet said...

The General is astounding, and The Apartment is an all-time favorite, although really pretty dark for a comedy (a love story whose impetus is the heroine's attempted suicide?). I watch it every Christmas.

Brewgal said...

I was happy to see Blade Runner up there, but disappointed that only two movies from the 1920's (Intolerance, Sunrise) made it in. Louise Brooks, anyone?

Roxie said...

Oh, Philadelphia Story - yes! "What a swell party this is!" Ooops - wrong cast. That was True Love. Well, I enjoyed 'em both.