I am juggling the A to Z challenge, which is fun by the way and Wandering Through The Shelves about the weekly movie theme which is movies about movies. There are actually so many to choose from that I went with a classic and 2 from the 1970's. I hope you can check out what the other film people have chosen. If you want to ever do the A to Z Challenge, check it out and maybe, you can aim for next year:) Here are my 3 picks...
1. SUNSET BOULEVARD-1950
This is the film about movies and everyone should see this film at least once. If you know film history you can relate to this film even better but don't let that stop you from seeing the great Gloria Swanson give it her all as the faded, former great silent film star, Norma Desmond. I know I chose this film before but I love it so...so there:) Joe Gillis, an arrogant, penniless scriptwriter is being chased, literally, by the repo men who want to take his car. Joe ducks into a hidden driveway into a dilapidated garage and walks into a nightmare that his weak soul doesn't want to leave. He meets Norma Desmond who still lives in this old mansion and when she finds out he is a writer, she gives him a script about Salome where she will play the lead. He thinks he is using her but who is using who? There are so many great moments from the dead chimp that was her pet(hey, one famous silent star would walk down the main drag with a cheetah on a leash) to the waxworks (poor Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nielsen and H.B. Warner who were huge stars in their day). The music, especially at the end, takes your breath away...at least it does mine. Cecil B. DeMille has a guest shot in this film and he directed Swanson many times and did actually call her Little fella. I love Mae Murray's quote after seeing this film, "None of us floozies was ever that nuts."
2. THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER-1975
There were quite a few films about movies done in the 70's and this is an above average film based on the stunt pilots that flooded the film sets after the Great War. Robert Redford plays Waldo who is itching to get back to flying since the First World War ended. He teams up with an old friend of his, played by Bo Svenson and, together, they create a show for the townsfolk all around the midwest. They become Barnstormers (because these actual nuts would fly through barns) and sell tickets to see their feats of flying. Soon they pick up a gal, Susan Sarandon, to look pretty while standing out on the wing of the plane. Hollywood beckons and Redford makes a B-line for this land of plenty. This is a fun film with tragedy placed in, all done with a nostalgic air. They even create a scene with a former German pilot who now works for a film studio..which happened. Redford and Svenson did their own stunts on the planes without the benefit of any wires etc...-they were nuts!
This tanked at the box office and I don't know why because I found it thoroughly entertaining. Peter Bogdonavich used many old anecdotes from 2 silent film directors who were around when the motion picture business began-Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh. I love how funny it is but kept true to what really happened in those early days when Edison had his patent and didn't want anyone else to make films. The outright arson, beatings, threats etc.. that were made against other film companies, was one of the main reasons the companies went out west. When they landed in sunny California, the old film people knew they made it because they had sun, beach, mountains, snow, desert- all close. Ryan O'Neal plays one such director who takes off to California to make movies and get away from the patent men. He brings his leading man (Burt Reynolds) with him along with a smart ass kid (Tatum O-Neal) and they set up shop. Brian Keith and John Ritter also star in this little gem.
What films would you choose?