I've already watched 16 movies this month, and it seems likely I'll watch a few more before I'm through. So I'll start listing them today and finish up in a few weeks.

26. (563.) The Defiant Ones (1958)
I may have mentioned that I never cared for Tony Curtis, and that doesn't change here. However, I think Sidney Poitier is fantastic everywhere, and this is still no exception. It would have been better with a less artificial female-bigot character driving the climax, but what are you going to do? You couldn't even make a movie about race in 1958 without injecting some sex into it.

27. (564.) Shampoo (1975)
Speaking of injecting sex: this movie bored me to tears for the first hour, but I really enjoyed its climax and resolution. It almost tricks you into thinking that it is an indictment of conservative personal/political philosophies when it flips the script and shows you the freewheeling liberals are just as foolish. Clever.

28. (565.) Compulsion (1959)
I found this thinly fictionalized version of the Leopold and Loeb murder trial of the early 20th century far more entertaining than the police procedurals that fill my television dial, and I'm not sure why. My guess is credit should go to Dean Stockwell.

29. (566.) The Love Guru (2008)
Ugh. This is why we don't let Mike Myers make movies anymore. Could no one on the set tell that the jokes weren't working? Please, someone take Ben Kingsley's Oscar away.

30. (567.) Pennies from Heaven (1981)
Why hadn't I heard of this before? Steve Martin does to the songs of the 30s what Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid did to movies of the 40s. I really liked it.

31. (568.) A Thousand Clowns (1966)
I watched this because Mark Evanier by way of his blog at newsfromme.com advised everyone should. Evanier is a big, big, big, big fan of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which I can't stand, but I took him at his word on this one anyway. It was a worthwhile experience as a time capsule, although I don't think the central plot dilemma has stood up well over time.

32. (569.) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
This very serious spy thriller spends too much of its running time trying to mislead the audience. A little editing could have gone a long way, but it would have been better still if there was a subplot or two to fill the space.

33. (570.) Scarface (1983)
I recently looked at a list of the most popular films of the 80s, and the only one I'd not seen in the top 30 or so was this one. It's visually slick and clearly influenced the style of Micheal Mann's Miami Vice, but, gee whiz, is Al Pachino's Scarface unlikable. It seemed to take forever for that guy to get what was obviously coming to him.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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