Sunday 22 October 2023
95/2261. Teen Witch (1989)
This is a coming-of-age fantasy power movie in the vein of Zapped! but for girls... and much tamer... and made by incompetents. Its misguided confidence is surprisingly charming. Watch for the teen lust hunk unironically shaking up the Coke before he gives it to our heroine!
96/2262. The Murder Man (1935)
Holy cow, Spencer Tracy is always good, even when he's playing a detective reporter who is also.... Aw, but that'd be giving it away!
98/2264. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
John Ford's take on racism in the American West... and in America in general, I guess. Frankly, the third act feels a bit like a cop out, but I have to accept that Ford was working in an era that demanded happy endings for Hollywood tales about the limits of American exceptionalism. I should probably be satisfied that such a movie (with a such dark subtext) even exists in the period.
99/2265. Blondie (1938)
The first in a series of movies that adapted the long comic strip into a live action situation comedy. This was apparently very popular in its day, but Dagwood is too incompetent to be sympathetic — or coupled with a hottie like Blondie!
100/2266. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
John Ford directs Henry Fonda struggling with frontier life during American Revolution. What it lacks in realism (which is a great deal), it makes up for in cliches! Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Cliches get repeated for a reason.
101/2267. Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Another John Ford picture that tries, in its way, to correct the public record on the tragedies of Manifest Destiny in the American West. (Ford was no innocent bystander in this. He sure presented the French-allied Indians in Drums Along the Mohawk to be particularly bloodthirsty rapists and murderers worthy of exterminating.) Sadly, the worst part of this isn't all the unnecessarily dead Cheyenne but the extended "comedy" sequence with Jimmy Stewart playing Wyatt Earp just before intermission. While this may be another of Ford's concessions to contemporary audiences, it's so tonally incongruent with what comes before and after that it robs the rest of the movie of any dignity, making the whole experience feel more exploitative than sympathetic. Yuck.
More to come.