Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here I am trying to catch up on the 2007 movie releases and I slip in a few oldies. One I remember watching as a kid, one I vaguely remembered, and two I hadn't seen or didn't remember seeing at all.
Beau Geste with Gary Cooper. The oldest of the lot and the best. This is a last stand movie about the Foreign Legion filled with familiar character actors of the day. The acting is at times corny and/or wooden but, only in old Hollywood would they build an action-adventure film around a "gallant gesture." I liked it.

The Long Gray Line with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara. Directed by John Ford with the usual Fordisms and cast of Ford regulars. I don't know why this is not mentioned with several other Ford treasures. This is a Hollywood version of a true story. It is about the life of Marty Maher who spent 50 years working at West Point. Not all of it works but there are several "lump-in-the-throat" moments. And Power and O'Hara have a solid chemistry together.

The Black Swan with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara again. This is a pirate movie. Very cool at times and very, very creaky at others. Still, overall, not bad for a sixty year old film. Okay, not great either. I wanted to like it better than I did.

They Died with Their Boots On with Errol Flynn and Olvia deHavilland. This is the story of George Armstrong Custer. But not really. If anything in this movie is historically accurate it happened by accident. I love Flynn and deHavilland ... their Robin Hood is one of my favorite movies. Westerns are my favorite genre. This doesn't work. Only Flynn and deHavilland's scenes together are worthwhile. And, who would have guessed, based on his role as Crazy Horse in this movie, how talented an actor Anthony Quinn was. He kept his talent well-hidden in this part.

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