Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-The Renaissance films from the 1400's to 1700's


I kept thinking of films I have seen and many I have already talked about so I believe I found 3 that fit the bill and I have not already discussed. Check out Wandering Through The Stars to see what others have chosen. Here are my 3....

1. THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY- 1965


So we have 2 big ego stars, Carlton Heston and Rex Harrison playing 2 big ego historical figures, Michelangelo and Pope Julius II. The Pope, being a pious man( enter laugh track here) wanted a small chapel come to life with paintings depicted from the bible that would be on the ceiling and possibly the walls. Michelangelo was chosen and so the fight began. The Pope wanted things to move along quicker than Michelangelo was painting. Arguments, stand-offs, huffs and puffs followed for the years spent while Michelangelo painted his masterpiece...the Sistine Chapel. The Pope was busy with other matters....like siring kids and participating in battles. It is excellently acted and fun to watch the 2 banter back and forth. It helps that the 2 stars did not care for each other at all. It does seem to accurately portray what did happen way back when this masterpiece was being painted and one I will see one day.

2. THE THREE MUSKETEERS-1973


To me this is the best rendition of this adventure which has been filmed many times over the years. Michael York plays D'Artagnon who decides, after his father is killed in front of him, to become a Musketeer to seek revenge. He meets the 3 Musketeers, played wonderfully by Richard Chamberlain, Oliver Reed and Frank Finlay who take him under their wing and teach him their trade. During their adventure they must deal with intrigues by Cardinal Richelieu( Charlie Heston again) and Faye Dunaway as Madame De Winter. York also meets his Landlord's clumsy wife played by Raquel Welch. Great sword fights, action, heaving bosoms, and comedy makes this film a must see. Love the sequel also which is just as good as this original film.

3. EVER AFTER-1998


I love this movie because it is a great take on the Cinderella  theme. Drew Barrymore plays a young girl who loves her father. Her dumb ass dad met and fell in love with a viper, wickedly played  by Angelica Huston, who has 2 daughters, one nasty and one sweet. When Drew's dad dies, his wife becomes the head of the household and immediately puts Drew to work as a common slave along with the other help for this household. Drew is not the simple demure lass but has her own mind and is quite intelligent and often takes off into the forest. There she meets the Prince whom she does not realize at first is the Prince of the land. She also meets Leonardo Da Vinci and Gypsys and becomes friends with Da Vinci and the Gypsies. Soon enough she realizes he is the prince but he has no clue who she is and tries, in vain, to court her. Of course, there is a huge ball and the nasty step sister wants to be the new bride to the prince. More intrigue, deceptions and romance ensues before the pair are united in love. It's not only the typical romance but one feels the romance of the era due to the costumes, writing and cinematography. A lovely, well-written and acted film.

Which films would you choose??

57 comments:

  1. Hi, Birgit!

    These films are right up my alley because I grew up during The Renaissance. :)

    Do you know what first grabbed me in the trailer for movie #1 - The Agony and the Ecstasy? It was the rich voice of the narrator. I'm almost certain it was the late, great announcer Dick Tufeld who was the voice of the Robot on Lost in Space as well as the series narrator. Tufeld, who died five years ago, was also the narrator on the TV series Zorro and other Disney productions and a familiar voice on TV commercials. As announcers go, they don't make 'em like that anymore. Mrs. Shady and I are both art lovers and have seen The Agony and the Ecstasy. It's interesting how the on screen tension was enhanced by the fact that Heston and Harrison didn't like each other. I wonder what would have happened if Zsa Zsa Gabor had been thrown into the mix. :) I haven't seen The Three Musketeers or Ever After: A Cinderella Story, but they both look great, and I do appreciate a good period piece if it is historically accurate and free of anachronistic errors (like young Moses playing video games).

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

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    1. I had to look that man up and found out he did the voice over for Lost in Space. I could really see you enjoying the 3 Musketeers and the sequel, the 4 Musketeers. I hope you get to see it

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  2. Three Musketeers certainly comes to mind. Ever After was a sweet film.
    I'll go with something really different - I believe Much Ado About Nothing was set during Renaissance times. The version directed by Branagh is the one I'm thinking of.

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    1. There are so many big names in that film and I have never seen it but would love to...excellent pick!

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    1. It is a sweet but good film isn't it.

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  4. Love your choices!! Agony & Ecstasy is a bit overlong but for the most part is a fascinating story of a power struggle. Funny how sometimes backstage conflict can have such a positive effect on what's on screen. Either adding an underlying waspishness to scenes as it does here or sparking an unexpected chemistry as it did in I Married a Witch where Veronica Lake & Fredric March loathed each other but somehow it created a strange alchemy that led to a great screen pairing.

    This is one of the best versions of Musketeers with everyone in the cast obviously having fun with their characters. Both Raquel (I think this might be her best performance) and Faye spoke extensively about the filming in their bios, both with positive memories except for the shady business the producers tried to pull where they created the sequel from existing footage of the first which led to many a lawsuit and new laws about compensation. The film does manage to capture some feeling of the times it was set.

    Ever After was such an unexpected charmer. When I sat down to watch I was leery thinking it was going to be a throwaway but was pleasantly surprised. Drew is full of moxie, Anjelica Huston expertly rotten and Judy Parfitt and Timothy West a hoot as the King and Queen. A lovely, gentle film.

    This took some figuring since a couple of films I thought of initially fell out of the period set by the theme but I managed to come up with these three.

    The Advocate aka The Hour of the Pig (1993)-Richard Courtois (Colin Firth) a lawyer in 15th century France tired of the chicanery and lawlessness of Paris moves to the small rural town Abbeville along with his clerk Mathieu (Jim Carter) when he’s offered a job as a public defender. This being a period when animals were held accountable for crimes with the same punishments handed out to humans he soon finds himself defending a pig accused of murdering a Jewish boy. Pitted against a determined prosecutor (Donald Pleasance) and Catholic priest (Ian Holm), Richard defends the animal and becomes enamored of its owner, beautiful gypsy Samira (Amina Annabi). Along the way he finds out about the strange goings on behind the doors of the seemingly tame townspeople. The medieval justice system and local superstitions mingle as the case plays out. A strange and quirky film this is based on the journal of an actual barrister of the period.

    Queen Margot (1994)-Dark and dire tale of the 16th century religious battle between the Catholics and the Huguenots for control of France. King Charles IX and his mother the dower queen Catherine de ’Medici (a simply sensational and scary Virna Lisi as a merciless woman whose soul has turned to dust) offer the Princess Margot (Isabelle Adjani-brilliant) to the Protestant King of Navarre in marriage as a political pawn. Trapped and unhappy Margot soon starts an affair with a soldier (Vincent Perez) as her mother orchestrates the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of thousands of Huguenots as well as murderous intrigues to place her other son on the Navarre throne. Blood splattered revenges and double crosses follow.

    Quentin Durward (1955)-Plush version of Sir Walter Scott’s tale of a Scottish knight, the Quentin of the title (Robert Taylor) sent to France by his cash strapped uncle to propose to a wealthy and titled lady, the fair Isabelle (Kay Kendall) who is at the moment at the castle of King Louis XI (the amusing Robert Morley-owner of the stupidest looking crown in any movie ever). Once arrived there is intrigue aplenty with attacks and sword fights including one where the protagonists dangle from bell tower ropes inside a burning church. Entertaining derring-do was one of the few leads that the luminous Kay Kendall had before leukemia claimed her at 33.

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    1. I would love to see that film with Colin Firth. It reminds me of high school when my teacher gave me a poor mark because he said I was lying and made up the history that animals were persecuted as witches too. He was a horrible teacher. Queen Margot is another I want to see and would love to see the last pick of yours....I always felt somewhat sad for Kay Kendall.

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  5. Ever After was a fine one indeed. Three Musketeers sure fits the bill, even if it's been done 50 times lol

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    1. You are right about it being done often but this is still the best in my book

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  6. This was a really tough week for me, so obviously I haven't seen any of your picks.

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    1. I had to think of films I chose before so as not to duplicate.

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  7. Although I haven't seen 'The Agony and The Ecstasy', we toured the Sistine Chapel in 1990. You will love it, Birgit!
    You're so right about that version of 'The Three Musketeers' being the best one! Loved Michael York, especially. Drew Barrymore was perfect for the role of Cinderella in 'Ever After'. Two out three; not bad! ☺ Wishing you a Happy Victoria Day weekend.

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    1. Wishing you the same! The movies are great and I will see that chapel one day

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  8. I haven't seen any of yours.

    The Three Musketeers (Rebecca De Mornay version) :)

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  9. I saw "Ever After" when it first came out on videotape, but don't remember a single thing about it! It obviously didn't make any impression on me. I did enjoy the 1973 version of "The Three Musketeers," though. I own it and its sequel.

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  10. I've only seen Ever After. I don't know what films I'd pick.

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    1. Ever AFTER IS SO GOOD. oops sorry about the caps. I saw someone pick the animated Beauty and the Beast.

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  11. The first one, I saw when it came out and haven't seen it since. The other two, I'll have to check out, especially the Cinderella one. That and Beauty and the Beast were always my favorites when I was a little girl - way before the movies.

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    1. I love Grimm Fairy Tales and have read them many times

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  12. Loved the 3 Musketeers. It was well done. Good entertainment.
    YOU have a great day.

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    1. It is such a fun film. You have. A great weekend!

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  13. I've seen that version of The Three Musketeers - after Cabaret I had a thing for Michael York. I've seen the film mentioned above about the pig too - for similar reasons. Colin Forth, need I say more? It was just after Darcymania hit the land.

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    1. Michael York was a hot commodity back then but now most know him from the Austin Powers films. I agree about Colin Firth

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  14. It's been years since I've seen Ever After. Though in the beauty department Barrymore is an ugly duckling in comparison to Lily James

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    1. Drew was enchanting and does look more ...um.....intelligent than Lily but Lily, i bet, is one smart cookie

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  15. Interesting thoughts and views. Thanks for sharing. I'm putting on my list to watch again.

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    1. Thanks..hope you get to see a couple

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  16. Didn't see two of your three picks but loved The Three Musketeers.

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  17. I've never seen The Agony and The Ecstasy. I made it through the book and that was good enough for me.

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    1. I have not read the book....don't plan to either:)

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  18. I saw The Three Musketeers way back when I was a kid. Don't remember much now. Might be time for a rewatch.

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    1. Oh gosh...yes, it's time...me too:)

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  19. I remember being in awe of Ever After. A Cinderella who likes to fight back. :)
    Great movies. I'm yet to watch the first one though.

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    1. I really loved Ever After and found it well written and acted

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  20. The only one of these that I've seen is The 3 Musketeers, but it was an older version with Gene Kelly.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I've seen that one too...with Lana Turner I think...fun movie but the 73 version is better

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  21. I definitely enjoyed Ever After as I think it's a great take on Cinderella. I still get a kick out of that wedding ceremony scene where the bride is hysterically crying.

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    1. Yes....that was very funny. I love the ending scene too

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  22. Hi Birgit - I'd like to see the Agony and the Ecstasy, as too Ever After ... I've the book for the Agony and the Ecstasy ... better read it. All three are classics in their way ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I hope you do get to read these and see them!

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  23. I picked the Agony and the Ecstasy for a previous week, great film. Like you said the performances are magnificent. It's amazing how Michelangelo's work is still celebrated alomost half a century later.

    Wilst the Chapel art is a masterpeice it ain't what its cracked up to me...there's too many people. Florence is beautiful though

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    1. I think you might have meant centuries:) oh...I know it is insane with crowds which is a shame in some ways considering the sweat, flash bulbs and breathing...what that must do to the painting. I still want to see it and be in Florence!

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  24. Birgit,

    All excellent sounding movies and I wouldn't mind seeing them all but I have to admit I'm sucker for Prince and Princess type movies. So, I'd definitely want to see Ever After! Thanks for sharing. Now, I need to see if I can find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime! :)

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  25. I've never been a Heston fan, but I think I might find The Agony and the Ecstasy to see what that film has to offer.

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  26. Gosh, I'm really late visiting. Since I've never seen any of these films, I really appreciated the synopses. They actually made me feel like I had seen them. This would have been a tough subject/genre for me. You are SO well versed.

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  27. Ever After was a classic wasn't it? I liked that it didn't go over the top. It had romance, comedy, and drama, and balanced them nicely.

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  28. I consider myself a movie buff and I haven't seen any of these flicks. Heaving bosoms got me intrigued. That is always good in a plot.

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  29. D'Artagnon signing up with the three Musketeers almost makes the title redundant but what a team they were, all for one, one for all. Its great watching adventures like this with the clashing of swords and rescuing of damsels in distress. Then theres nothing quite like seeing a women all wrapped up in those eye catching satin costumes ... I know this is just film and it must have been fun for Faye Dunaway flouncing around in all her silk and satin.... makes me wonder...I'll have to get the full movie version now - so I can slowly unwrap her like an icecream bar...Theey just don't make movies like this anymore.

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  30. Oh, I LOVE Ever After! It's been so long since I've watched it. For some reason, it holds a lot of appeal for me when I'm single, but not so much when I'm in a relationship.

    Great picks, Birgit!

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  31. Man...Ever After. One of those movies I have adored for all time and, yet, never seem to watch it enough. It was one of those many I was raised on and I don't doubt for a minute it influenced my writing habits.

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  32. I've seen so many versions of The Three Musketeers. My favorite is the one with Charlie Sheen.

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  33. The Agony and Ecstasy sounds worth a watch.

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  34. I've heard a lot of good praise for Ever After, and I'd like to see it. Interesting picks as always, Birgit.

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