Tagged: Orson Welles Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , classic films, friendship, , , , , Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, , race hate, the good old days, the human spirit,   

    WELL(ES) SAID 

    “My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four….unless there are three other people.” –Orson Welles (in his obese later years)

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    Today being the birthday (5/6/1915) of the great director/actor Orson Welles, I’m going to risk repeating myself by repeating myself….with a few selections (including the following clip) from a past post acclaiming Welles and his role in the classic film THE THIRD MAN:

    To those who think the likes of this 1949 film has appeal only for seniors (like me), I’d say such films are called classic because they’re ageless, not made to capitalize on what’s ‘in’ at the moment. To demonstrate, here is a non-senior citizen explaining why she loves it:

    Of Welles, the man grown from “boy genius,” much has been written, but I won’t go into the details of his life/legend here — they can be readily culled by clicking this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles (or less readily culled from recommended books like ORSON WELLES, a 562 page biography by Barbara Leaming). Instead, I will call on some of the wisdom he left behind….and I quote:

    Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, a confirmation of the human spirit.

    Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.

    I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.

    Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

    Don’t give them what they think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

    We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

    When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.

    Well(es) said, I’d say.

     

     

     

     
    • Red Metal 12:09 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was one talented filmmaker, that’s for sure, and I really do like his pearls of wisdom. It’s a shame more directors don’t use that ethos in their work. Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, and The Lady from Shanghai are all personal favorites of mine, and even if they had messages, they were still ultimately stories first, which is a large reason they’re able to stand the test of time. I also have a copy of The Magnificent Ambersons and F for Fake lying around; I want to give them a spin at some point.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:02 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        To “stand the test of time” is indeed the measure of a classic film (or any creative work, for that matter), and it goes almost without saying that a film doesn’t have to be ‘serious’ to be classic (think Charlie Chaplin, for example).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Red Metal 1:35 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink

          Yeah, the problem with a lot of modern filmmakers is that they’re more interested in being timely than timeless. The other problem is that they make films in a way that you’re only ever allowed to enjoy them on their terms, depriving them of any kind of applicability. Welles was always a storyteller first – even when he was tackling heavy subjects such as racism as he did in Touch of Evil. I make it a point that I always favor the storyteller over the preacher.

          Also, the fact that a film doesn’t need to be serious to be good is something more critics need to understand. As it stands, what they consider to be good is quite limited.

          Liked by 3 people

        • mistermuse 4:04 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink

          I couldn’t agree more, R M. Thanks for commenting again.

          Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 3:36 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      ‘I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.’ Awesome, Orson. And thanks etc. I like and enjoy wordplay so I’m following along.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 9:09 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That’s one of my favorite quotes as well. As an evolved deist, I stopped boring God years ago — at least, when it comes to praying.

        Like

    • mlrover 8:01 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      “When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.” MLKing said something similar that I also like about injustice. Haven’t had morning coffee or I would look it up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:14 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        When I came upon that quote, the rise and reign of Donald Trump immediately came to mind. Something is indeed happening to the whole society, and the longer his reign continues, the more normal it becomes.

        Liked by 1 person

    • rivergirl1211 8:03 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A visionary film maker to be sure. I’ve seen many, but am always pleased to discover a new ( to me ) one.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:24 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        “A visionary film maker” indeed (and a towering presence as an actor, as well). What a pity that so many of his films were taken out of this hands and/or re-edited out of his vision.

        Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:47 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always admired Orson Welles, so enjoyed your post very much 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:48 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I too have long admired Welles, despite admitting that his work isn’t for all tastes….though the same could be said of how the “masses” have viewed many a ‘misunderstood genius’ and innovator.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:12 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The War of the Worlds panic was related to me by both my parents, although both denied being personally panicked. I’ve forced myself to sit through Citizen Kane twice, without it improving me measurably. Kind of wish the man had chosen to bore God instead of me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:36 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t count CITIZEN KANE among my favorite Orson Welles films, although it did make quite an impression on me when I first saw it. When I watched it again years later, I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t bear repeated viewings for those who aren’t “auteurs” (unlike, say, films such as CASABLANCA or THE THIRD MAN) and I haven’t watched it again again.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 2:42 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      MisterMuse, you’ve convinced me that I need to see The Third Man 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 8:16 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I saw The Third Man a few months ago after seeing it recommended on another blog. I loved it and could certainly watch it again.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:56 pm on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for The Third Man, Elizabeth. I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times over the years, though I do allow a few years to pass between viewings because of the old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt” (though I doubt that would be the case with this film or several others I’ve watched many times).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza 1:29 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love those quotes! Especially the I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore god, and friendship creates an illusion.
      Love, light and glitter…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:20 pm on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I love those two quotes too, Eliza, as well as the last one because it’s so relevant to the reign of Trump and his cronies today and the resulting “new normal” surrounding him.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Eliza 12:41 pm on May 8, 2019 Permalink

          ha ha. What’s the ‘new normal’ with him as president?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:09 pm on May 8, 2019 Permalink

          Perhaps I should have said “the new abnormal,” Eliza. The very fact that you asked the question shows that abnormal has become so normal with Trump that it seems normal. But you’re right in implying that, after two-plus years as “acting” President, it’s no longer new.

          Liked by 1 person

    • blindzanygirl 3:11 am on May 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I just love those quotes. And I also love the film. Many thanks to you

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chris Karas 6:42 pm on May 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes. I chuckled at the lap of luxury bit. Definitely a timeless individual.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:38 pm on May 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      In his obese later years, Welles probably didn’t have much lap left — either physically, or of luxury. So he no doubt knew whereof he spoke.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 4:57 pm on May 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love listening to Peter Bogdanovich talk about film, especially Orson Welles films. Thanks for sharing this clip. I hadn’t seen it before. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Ostertag 7:53 pm on June 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Since I first saw THE THIRD MAN I had it in my top 5 favorite movies. As I grew older I realized it is my number one favorite. I watch it about every 6 months. So much fine acting, direction, script, cinematography, music. And once you are over-thralled by just how fine it is, the last scene comes on and compounds the feeling that it is truly a work of art.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:07 am on June 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I absolutely agree. Everything comes together so perfectly in this film that I don’t think it could improved on. How many movies can you say that about?

        Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry 1:21 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve just ordered a copy of The Third Man. Not sure whether I’ve ever seen it before — I suspect that I probably have, but if so it’ll have been so long ago I’ll have forgotten the plot 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:16 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply

        You’re quite welcome. If you’ve seen it before, this trailer should refresh your memory. If you haven’t seen it, this trailer may whet your appetite (though it can’t begin to do it justice):

        Liked by 1 person

        • pendantry 4:22 pm on March 27, 2021 Permalink

          None of that rings any bells with me. Maybe I actually have never seen it before. I’m looking forward to watching it! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Gilbert and Sullivan, , , , Joseph Cotton, , , Orson Welles, , , , ,   

    HIGH FIVE FOR FIVE STARS 

    Each of the five days since my last post was the birthday of at least one iconic figure in music or film who left lasting memories for those who appreciate legacies in artistry. I could easily go overboard writing in depth about any of these mid-May arrivals, but maybe it’s best to lessen my losses by not overly testing readers’ patience (O me of little faith!):

    May 11 — IRVING BERLIN (1888-1989). Perhaps the most prolific composer in American history, with an estimated 1,500 songs to his credit, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films (three of which were Astaire-Rogers musicals). Writing both words and music (relatively rare for his era), his hits include seasonal evergreens White Christmas and Easter Parade, as well as the red, white and blue God Bless America. His lyrics may lack the wit and sophistication of Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart, but there’s no denying the emotional appeal of such songs as….

    May 12 — KATHERINE HEPBURN (1907-2003). In the Golden Era of Hollywood, was there ever a more successful, fiercely independent woman than Katherine Hepburn?  Successful? It’s hard to argue against receiving a record four Academy Awards for Best Actress, and being named the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema by the American Film Institute. Independent? Her own words say it all:

    “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” (Hard as it may be to imagine the Bryn Mawr-educated Hepburn uttering “ain’t,” I ain’t about to correct her quote.)

    “We are taught you must …. never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change.”

    “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”

    “Life gets harder the smarter you get, the more you know.”

    “Politicians remain professional because the voters remain amateur.”

    NOTE: For my ode to another May 12 bundle of joy, see my post of May 12, 2015.

    May 13 — ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900). Can’t place the name? How about Arthur Sullivan of GILBERT AND SULLIVAN fame? Who doesn’t enjoy their great comic operas such as THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, THE MIKADO and H.M.S. PINAFORE — the latter of which I have loved since When I was a Lad:

    May 14 — SIDNEY BECHET (1897-1959). This is a name you almost certainly can’t place unless you’re a classic jazz fan….but if you are such a fan, you know him as a major figure in jazz annals since his recording debut in 1923. New Orleans born, he spent the last decade of his life in France, where he died on the same day — May 14 — that he was born. Here he is on soprano sax in a 1950s recording from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s magical MIDNIGHT IN PARIS:

    May 15 — JOSEPH COTTON (1905-1994). I have previously mentioned Joseph Cotton in regard to his co-starring role (with Orson Welles and Alida Valli) in one of my favorite films, THE THIRD MAN. He first met Welles in 1934, beginning a life-long friendship and on-and-off association with Welles in numerous plays, radio dramas and films, as well as co-starring with Katherine Hepburn in the 1939 Broadway play THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. But it is in his role as Holly Martens in THE THIRD MAN that he stands alone (literally so, in the end), and I can think of no more fitting way to end this post than with that indelible closing scene from the film (to the tune of Anton Karas’ Third Man Theme):

     
    • calmkate 3:49 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to know I share my birthday with someone better known lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:10 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Being better known isn’t necessarily something admirable — in evidence, I offer that supreme IT’S-ALL-ABOUT-ME showman, Donald Trump. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 3:55 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink

          well you know how to burst a girls balloon .. what a truly terrible comparison … now I want to stay anonymous forever!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Jay 12:17 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t it nice to imagine a big party where they’re all celebrating?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 12:41 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Irving Berlin was born Israel Isidore Baline in what is now Belarus. I always think of that when I think of such songs as Easter Parade and White Christmas since he was a good Jewish boy.

      One of my relative’s relative was his Accountant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:23 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Berlin once wrote a song titled I PAID MY INCOME TAX TODAY. It figures that he might have gotten the idea from your relative (the accountant).

      Like

    • Ricardo 6:02 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      True dat about the voters, Sr. Muse

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Babe Ruth, , , , , , magic, , Mexico, , Orson Welles, , , Touch Of Evil   

    A “TOUCH OF EVIL” GENIUS 

    The word “genius” was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewing in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn’t until middle age. –Orson Welles

    “Come on, read my future for me.”
    “You haven’t got any.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Your future is all used up.”
    –Orson Welles (drunken sheriff) & Marlene Dietrich (fortune teller), in TOUCH OF EVIL

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    Tomorrow marks the birthday of Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 — the same day Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run). Welles, as you may well know, was “the ultimate auteur” director, co-writer, and star (at age 25) of CITIZEN KANE, considered by many film critics to be one of the greatest movies ever made — and it isn’t even my favorite Welles’ picture (but I will tell of two that are favorites).

    The life story of such a complex, larger-than-life legend is beyond the scope of this post, and could itself make as great a movie (CITIZEN WELLES?) as it made a great biography, aptly titled simply ORSON WELLES (another of my library book sale bargain buys) by Barbara Leaming….which leads me to this Welles quote from her book:

    “I see The Third Man every two or three years — it’s the only movie of mine I ever watch on television because I like it so much.”

    Great minds must indeed think alike, because he and I are of one mind regarding THE THIRD MAN — it is the one Welles’ movie I have watched many times over the years.

    Turning from that “non-auteur” film in which Welles acted but didn’t direct, to films Welles both directed and starred in, my favorite is TOUCH OF EVIL (1958). During the 1940s, the mercurial Welles increasingly didn’t see eye-to-eye with movie moguls and had become persona non grata in Hollywood. Leaving for Europe, he starred in the 1948 Italian film BLACK MAGIC (he, by the way, was a wizard of an amateur magician and member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians), followed by THE THIRD MAN (1949) and several other British and Italian films and radio series into the 1950s. TOUCH OF EVIL was his third film following his return to Hollywood in 1956.

    More Welles quotes:

    Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, an affirmation of the human spirit.

    Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

    I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.

    I started at the top and worked down.

    Again great minds think alike — I started this post at the top and worked down….and now nothing remains but to go into my disappearing act.

     

     

     
    • Don Frankel 7:56 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “Rosebud.”
      I always wondered if all the genius talk had to do with that first film because it had to do with a larger than life subject Randolph Hearst. Then again maybe it had to do with the fact that he wrote and directed and starred in it. But then Jerry Lewis used to do that too and play a half a dozen parts as well. Oh wait Jerry Lewis is a genius too. At least in France or so they say.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:58 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Irrespective of his artistic genius, Welles would have been well served to be a financial genius, as he was constantly short of cash to finance his dreams. In the biography ORSON WELLES, he is quoted as follows re taking the part of Harry Lime in THE THIRD MAN: “I was given a choice between $100,000 or 20% of the picture, and I took the $100,000. Picture grossed something unbelievable. In America it was only a success, but in the rest of the world it was an absolute bombshell. There wasn’t such a hit in 25 years as there was in Europe. I could’ve retired on that!”

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:20 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve tormented myself by watching “Citizen Kane” maybe twice, and was never led by that experience into any desire to view anything else the Wells made. I’m sure I’m missing something, but I am an insensitive bastard, at least according to the majority of my exes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 2:06 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        You might want to give THE THIRD MAN a shot, Ricardo. If you don’t like it, I guarantee you wouldn’t like anything else Wells made (especially since Welles didn’t make that one — he was just one of the stars).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 5:11 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      More great quotes from that library mind of yours! I loved the clips, and am inspired to rejoin HULU only if I can watch these films again (no TV for decades now, so computer viewing on my oversized monitor is my only choice).

      My love of black and white films might eclipse even Wells – what a dramatic format (and, also like Wells, even the IDEA of colorizing these masterpieces of cinematography makes me physically ill!)

      Except for the war – lol – I think the 40’s would have been my era (tho’ the 30s appeal as well). You can have the 50s – and NOW, however – especially the politics and politicians. Interesting how cinema flounders when leadership is callow – middle-aged men without wisdom or humanity. (Public education goes belly up as well – duh!).

      But Wells said it best, “Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, an affirmation of the human spirit.” Here’s to spirit – and thanks for another great post!
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:04 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I too love the clips — especially the one in which Bogdanovich talks about The Third Man and Orson Welles. He articulates what makes black and white filmmaking (in the hands of a great director) so compelling: “It’s the lack of distraction” compared with Technicolor films, the focus on the dramatic as opposed to the color of things (though I disagree that there have been no great Technicolor movies).

        “Here’s to spirit” indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 6:15 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink

          Color is one more element to manage, and in a very different fashion, lighting-wise – but few color films can match the power and sheer cinematic drama of black and white, to my mind. I’m with you on disagreeing that there are no good color films, however.

          Bogdanovich understands good directing, so I found the clip interesting as well – like attending a great lecture back in my college days (which I always adored *almost* as much as participating in the following discussion – lol).
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 3:40 am on May 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m no movie buff and not really familiar with his work but those are great quotes. Sorry I missed his birthday 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:13 am on May 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s another quote you may like from Welles, who became very obese in the 1950s:
      “My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four….unless there are three other people.”

      Like

    • wildsoundreview 1:32 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

    • mistermuse 11:40 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Many thanks. I checked out your blog and liked the first post I read. I’ll have to go back for more later.

      Like

    • Christie 5:42 pm on May 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A couple of weeks ago I was in need of inspiration, and I was thinking who else to ask, other than Mr Muse 🙂 If it’s not too much to ask – and maybe an idea of a new post – could you put a list together with your most favourite movies? I will let you add the numbers, and don’t be shy with recommendations 🙂 Thank you in advance!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:36 am on May 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Christie, I’m not sure what you mean by “add the numbers,” and it would take too much time to elaborate on why I recommend each movie I list, but I’ll be happy to make a list. It will be in alphabetical order rather than in order of preference (I’d only consider doing preference by genres, and even then, it wouldn’t be easy). Finally, the list will consist almost entirely of 20th century films, as I have seen very few new movies since the 1990s.

      Airplane! 1980
      The Apartment 1960
      Atlantic City 1981
      Babes in Toyland 1934
      Bad Day at Black Rock 1955
      The Band Wagon 1953
      Being There 1979
      Bells Are Ringing 1960
      The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
      Blazing Saddles 1974
      Body Heat 1981
      The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957
      Brief Encounter 1946
      Broadway Danny Rose 1984
      Cabaret 1972
      Casablanca 1942
      City Lights 1931
      Dodsworth 1936
      Double Indemnity 1944
      Duck Soup 1933
      The General 1927
      The Graduate 1967
      The Grapes of Wrath 1940
      Great Expectations 1947
      I Know Where I’m Going 1947
      It’s a Gift 1935
      Judgment at Nuremberg 1961
      The Lady Eve 1941
      Lawrence of Arabia 1962
      Lion 2016
      A Little Romance 1979
      Local Hero 1983
      Love Me Tonight 1932
      Lust for Life 1956
      Major Barbara 1941
      Make Way for Tomorrow 1937
      The Maltese Falcon 1941
      Manhattan 1979
      Meet Me in St. Louis 1944
      Midnight in Paris 2011
      Modern Times 1936
      My Dinner with André 1981
      My Fair Lady 1964
      North by Northwest 1959
      North to Alaska 1960
      Notorious 1946
      Oklahoma! 1955
      Oliver! 1968
      One Hour With You 1932
      Paint Your Wagon 1969
      The Producers 1968
      The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985
      Ride the High Country 1962
      Roman Holiday 1953
      Ruggles of Red Gap 1935
      Schindler’s List 1993
      Shane 1953
      The Shop Around the Corner 1940
      Singin’ in the Rain 1952
      Sleeper 1973
      Some Like It Hot 1959
      State Fair 1945
      The Stranger’s Return 1933
      Sullivan’s Travels 1942
      Summertime 1955
      Sunset Boulevard 1950
      Swing Time 1936
      The Thief of Bagdad 1940
      The Third Man 1950
      The Thirty-Nine Steps 1935
      Top Hat 1935
      Touch of Evil 1958
      Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948
      Vertigo 1958
      The Wizard of Oz 1939
      Young Frankenstein 1974

      I’m sure there’s a few more I’ve seen but can’t remember off the top of my head, as well as some I haven’t seen (such as the first two Godfather movies) that would probably be on the list if I saw them.

      Like

      • Christie 10:21 am on May 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!!! You made my day🙂 I have enough “numbers” now to keep me busy for the next year or so. You didn’t miss anything not watching new movies. I get upset, sometimes (or most of the time), for wasting my time when try to see a new one.
        Rubbing my hands now, I’m getting busy🙂 By for now, have a wonderful day!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 2:18 pm on May 30, 2018 Permalink

          My pleasure. I just remembered one of those movies (“Bells Are Ringing” 1960) I couldn’t remember, and have added it to the list. Happy “busy getting”! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Christie 3:47 pm on May 30, 2018 Permalink

          Awesome, thanks again!

          Like

  • mistermuse 11:15 am on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , film classics, , Orson Welles, , War of the Worlds   

    FROM THE RIDICULOUS TO THE SUBLIME 

    My last post was about those high-priests of lowbrow comedy, The Three Stooges. This post turns to “the ultimate auteur,” Orson Welles, who would have turned 100 years old today, if he had lived to be….100.

    Lowbrow or highbrow, ridiculous or sublime — where appreciation of talent is concerned, call me strictly unbiased….not unlike Rick (Humphrey Bogart) telling Captain Renault (Claude Rains) on a slightly different subject, “When it comes to women, you’re a true democrat.”

    Artistically, Orson Welles was the ultimate wunderkind of his day, writing, acting, directing and producing innovative work in three fields while still in his early to mid twenties, including: in theater, CAESAR (1937) on Broadway; in radio, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1938), one of the most famous broadcasts in history; in film, CITIZEN KANE (1941), widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest films.

    Like many creative geniuses (and who is to say he wasn’t one), Welles often ran afoul of “the powers that be.” It’s the eternal story of artistic vision vs commercial interests and creative control vs studio mindset; it is the fortunate artist indeed who wins those battles. Thus, Welles directed only 13 full-length films in his career, most of which were heavily edited after being taken out of his hands. In 2002, 17 years after his death, he was voted the greatest film director of all time by directors and critics in two British Film Institute polls.

    Despite the acclaim attending CITIZEN KANE, a film I like even more (and among my all-time favorites) is one in which he co-starred, but did not direct: THE THIRD MAN (1949). To quote from the back cover of Charles Dravin’s 1999/2000 book IN SEARCH OF THE THIRD MAN:

    Half a century after its opening, The Third Man remains an unquestioned masterpiece of film artistry and, for many, the greatest British movie ever made. Whether it is Harry Lime’s [Orson Welles] magical first appearance or [his] celebrated cuckoo clock speech or the climactic chase through the sewers beneath Vienna or the haunting theme music of Anton Karas, the film contains some of the most memorable moments in screen history.

    I highly recommend both the film and the book, which tells the engrossing (if you’re a classic movie buff) story behind the story of the making of the film.

    I close with The Third Man Theme:

     
    • scifihammy 1:28 pm on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ah Thank you for this wonderful post 🙂 I love Orson Welles’s movies and agree with all you say. Who can forget the Harry Lime movie! 🙂 I also like his Rochester in the 1941 Jane Eyre; a movie I saw at the cinema with my Dad when I was a kid 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 4:23 pm on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I have to admit that CK bored me senseless when I was young and watched it in an effort to become more cultured, so much so that I haven’t been tempted to watch it since.

      Like

      • mistermuse 4:37 pm on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t remember at what age I first saw CK, but I liked it. I’ve probably seen it once more since then, but it’s not a movie I’d care to see over and over again. It’s definitely not a film for all tastes.

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    • mistermuse 4:23 pm on May 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Scifihammy. THE THIRD MAN is a truly unforgettable movie. I’ve seen it multiple times and will probably watch it again the next time it’s on TCM. BTW, did you know that Orson was Welles’ middle name – his first name was “George,” by George!

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    • Don Frankel 9:41 am on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like when she walks away at the end. Some Mommy issues here maybe? Great post.

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      • mistermuse 1:43 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, that ending (which I love because it so artistically RIGHT) is just one example of the clash between creative and commercial views. Although THE THIRD MAN was a British film, Hollywood producer David O. Selznick (according to the book I recommended in my post) “felt very strongly that [Holly Martins] and the girl Anna should finish together.” Even Graham Greene, who wrote the novel on which the film was based, felt that way. It was the director, Carol Reed, who suggested the ending we see, and thankfully, he prevailed.

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    • Michaeline Montezinos 12:37 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with Richard. I thought Citizen Kane was one of the most boring movies I ever saw.

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    • mistermuse 1:55 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Micaheline, with a comment like that, you’re jeopardizing your credentials as an intellectual, no self-respecting one of which would say such a thing. 🙂

      As for me, I like C.K. (as I said before), but I don’t think it bears repeated viewing – not because it’s not a very good movie, but because it doesn’t engage and draw in the viewer the way films like THE THIRD MAN and CASABLANCA do….at least, that’s my opinion.

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    • Joseph Nebus 4:59 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure of the date but there is a Fred Allen Show in which Orson Welles describes his wunderkind biography to the radio host. Welles points out that he had a perfectly ordinary upbringing, even if he found it easier to graduate Northwestern at age six thanks to the benefit of his second head. It’s a great sketch of humblebraggadocio.

      The Third Man was also turned into a radio series, a lighthearted caper-drama series about Harry Lime, with Welles providing the voice. (It was a prequel series.) It’s remarkably charming when you consider that (a) all Harry Lime’s schemes have to fail lest the show seem to endorse lawbreaking and (b) Harry Lime is a terrible, terrible person who deserves to be shot dead in the Vienna sewers.

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    • mistermuse 5:46 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the info – I was unaware of the THE THIRD MAN radio series, but I was a big Fred Allen fan and am old enough to have been an avid listener to his show in the late 1940s.

      Welles certainly didn’t lack for self-importance and, as an actor in THE THIRD MAN, could be prima donna-difficult. according to Charles Dravin’s book (which also cites several examples of his “humblebraggadocio”). Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Harry Lime.

      P.S. You might say anyone else in the role of Harry Lime would be “sub-Lime” (just like that pun).

      Like

  • mistermuse 1:28 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agnostics, , Arianna Huffington, , , cynics, , , , Orson Welles, , , skeptics, , ,   

    SCOFFER, BUT WISER 

    I tend to be drawn more to the wisdom of those who question everything than to “accepted” wisdom, since no one knows everything — no one I know and trust, that is. But what of God, who (I was taught) does know everything. As an American, how could I not trust God? The proclamation IN GOD WE TRUST is all-inclusively bannered on our country’s legal tender –which, if you stop to think, seems an odd bearer for it, given the admonishment that money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

    Be that as it may, the thing about God is like the thing about truth — exactly whose God, whose truth are we talking about? To paraphrase the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, you’re entitled to your own God, your own truth — but not your own facts. If you take the discrepant God of divergent religions for a fact, how can a fact divided against itself stand?  Aren’t we left with the logic that no deity conceived by humans has a basis in fact? But you knew that …. right?

    I don’t believe in any religion’s God (which isn’t the same as not believing in a Creator), but if I did, why would I want to take the life of, or coerce, a man of a different faith — both of our faiths are, after all, only fallible beliefs. Better to take the measure of human folly, as observed and recorded by those who have questioned everything:

    The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is happier than a sober one.  –George Bernard Shaw

    If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?  –George Deacon

    I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.  –Orson Welles

    When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.  —Emo Phillips

    Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.  –Ambrose Bierce (THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY)

    Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so. It is not so. It is so. It is not so.  –Ben Franklin 

    Well, you could become a Southern Baptist. I mean, instead of having to obey the Pope, you could just obey your husband.  –Arianna Huffington

    The only thing that stops God from sending a second flood is that the first one was useless.  –Nicolas Chamfort

    When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?”  –Quentin Crisp

    I too much respect the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world.  –Georges Duhamel

    Amen.

     

     
    • arekhill1 2:48 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think that it is obvious that if there is a God, He eats over the sink.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:54 pm on March 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Or maybe over the john. Either way, it all ends up down the drain.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 3:38 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of the time my cousin went to Ireland. She was in a Pub when she was asked if she was a Protestant or a Catholic. She said. “I’m Jewish.” To which she was asked was she a Jewish Protestant or a Jewish Catholic.

      “World without end. Amen.”.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:27 am on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love your “cousin” story, Don. It’s the perfect example of a one-track mind.

      Like

    • carmen 5:22 am on December 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think it makes more sense to believe that man made god(s) rather than the other way ’round.

      Liked by 1 person

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