It's all about twisty thrillers this week which are some of my favourites. I am staying away from Hitchcock, especially Psycho, which is a great pick but I think of him more towards suspense. I also stayed away from The 6th Sense which totally blew my mind away but I wanted to choose 3 other films. Let's see what the others have chosen so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what thrillers that blew their mind. Here are my 3...
1. THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE-1946
This is a film review so to see a slight bit go to 1:35 min and watch the small bit. I love this film and can watch it over and over again. A serial killer is on the loose and kills women who have an affliction of some sort. A beautiful but mute young woman is told to stay at her home, a beautiful but eerie manor which is home to a variety of people-the kindly professor who felt sorry for the girl and took her in years before. His no good brother who has the hots for the professor's secretary, The old woman who is an invalid driving the nurse and everyone else nuts and the cook who loves her drink. Of course there is a bad storm outside and the killer seems to have found his way inside. An excellent film with many dark eerie corners shot like a horror film but also a thriller. A little known gem worth seeing.
"My sister...(slap)...My Daughter...(slap)..." Oh what fun one has with good ole Faye Dunaway who plays the femme fatale in this stylish but gritty film Noir directed by Roman Polanski. The gumshoe is acted by Jack Nicholson who finds out early that not is all as it appears plus he better not have to blow his nose(see the movie). I found it a tough film to watch because it was hard for me to follow ...I guess I am a blonde. Anyhoo, you don't know whom to trust, believe or feel sorry for. The scene I allude to at the beginning floored me as well as the ending. It won many awards and I can see why even if it is a film i don't find fun to watch.
3. BLACK WIDOW-1987
Talk about a little known gem that i would love to own in a DVD. It stars Debra Winger, whom most people could not stand to work with, as a Federal Agent who finds a connection to a series of murders that brings her to a very, very naughty woman, played by Theresa Russell. Theresa is the black widow who changes her looks and personality to suit the next male numbnut she wants to marry and kill. This film has 2 very strong female roles who bring more to their characters than the norm and created a killer (sorry) film. Well worth the watch.
Which 3 would you choose?
Seen two out of 3 at your sea. Both very good ones indeed and the twist sure applies.ReplyDelete
Arlington Road comes to mind. A great twist ending there.
I've not seen Black Widow.ReplyDelete
The Usual Suspects is very twisty.
Can you imagine Holly (The Piano) Hunter playing the mute woman in The Spiral Staircase? How about Harpo Marx? :) The physical handicap angle also brings to mind Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman threatened by Alan Arkin and Dick Crenna in Wait Until Dark. The Spiral Staircase is yet another film that I studied in my cinema history course at college. The glorious black & white cinematography alone is worth the price of admission. The wonderful, soulful, spiritual Dorothy McGuire, so memorable a decade later as the mom (and Fess Parker's wife) in Old Yeller, died at the age of 85 two days after the 9-11 terror attacks.
Film Noir is one of my favorite genres. I love the smirking, swaggering Jack Nicholson in all of his film roles, and enjoyed Chinatown.
"Black Widow: she mates and she kills." I love it! I haven't seen this movie but now I'd like to because Debra Winger is another favorite of mine. I was surprised to read that she was dismissed by Richard Gere during the filming of An Officer and a Gentleman. (Seems he didn't act very gentlemanly toward her.) Why can't people stand to work with Debra? Does the list include John Travolta and Anthony Hopkins?
Thank you, dear friend BB!
I love Chinatown. One of my favorites. But my most favorite is Body Heat. That has one hell of an ending.ReplyDelete
And speaking of thrillers, Memento just popped into my head. That one is mind-boggling.Delete
I haven't seen any of these, though Chinatown has been on my list for ages.ReplyDelete
Love the first two and liked the third.ReplyDelete
Spiral Staircase is so loaded with atmosphere and those two great performances by Dorothy McGuire and Ethel Barrymore. Rhonda Fleming is so young and beautiful in it too.
Chinatown is just a masterwork of skill and storytelling with tremendous performances by all.
Black Widow has some pretty big plot holes but was still very entertaining thanks to the interplay between Winger and Russell.
I didn't go with Psycho but I did pick a Hitchcock (and like you a Polanski film)
North by Northwest (1959)-Poor Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is having a hell of a bad day. The mild mannered (but impeccably dressed) ad exec has been mistaken for a government agent and kidnapped by international spies from whom he manages to escape leading to a chase across the country amid many complications. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s best thrillers with turns and twists aplenty performed by a top flight cast including besides Grant-Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau.
The Tenant (1976)-Polish émigré (Roman Polanski who also directed) arrives in Paris and moves into an apartment in a rundown building whose previous resident attempted suicide by jumping out one of the windows. As his sanity begins to crack he is shunned by the other residents (including Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas and Shelley Winters) as he starts to assume personality traits of the previous tenant. Strange and unsettling.
Phone Booth (2002)-Cocky married publicist Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) has a girl, Pam (Katie Holmes) on the side. Not wanting his wife to discover his duplicity he calls Pam on one of the few remaining public telephones in New York City. Just as he completes his latest call the phone rings, Stu answers and The Caller tells him he has a gun pointed at him and if he attempts to leave or alert anyone he will be killed. As he tries to figure out an escape the situation twists and turns as it escalates in danger.
Oh, this is a terrific category and there are so many exceptional choices one could go with.
I'll mention three that immediately popped into my mind, but I know I'd quickly be overwhelmed if I paused even a few minutes to give it more thought.
The Orson Welles classic 'THE THIRD MAN'.
'THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING' -- I love, Love, LOVE that movie. It might more accurately be described as "a twisty adventure" than "a twisty thriller", but that's maybe splitting hairs a bit. I find it very thrilling, even if it doesn't include spies and undercover investigations.
And you listed the neo-Noir 'Chinatown'. I'll go with the half-animated version of 'Chinatown' -- 'WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT'. Change the subject from Los Angeles "water rights" to Los Angeles "transportation monopoly" and 'Chinatown' becomes 'Roger Rabbit'. It's always surprised me how many film fans have never realized that the two movies are essentially the same, give or take a rabbit and a cigarette or two. Ha!
STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'
I actually haven't seen ANY of your picks and I know I should really watch Chinatown but - I'm so compelled to see The Spiral Staircase now, sounds like something I'd absolutely love!ReplyDelete
I wonder why people didn't like working with Debra Winger. I haven't seen any of these (surprised?)ReplyDelete
Of your choices I've only seen Chinatown--great film. I know I've seen plenty that fit into this topic, but my mind is mostly blank at the moment. David Lynch gets pretty weird and twisty so maybe I would suggest Mulholland Drive or Lost Highway--I guess those could be designated "twisty thrillers". I'm sure I'll think of more later.ReplyDelete
Tossing It Out
Black Widow is a classic! The acting is amazing isn't it?ReplyDelete
I've heard of all three, but I haven't seen any of them. Which seems to be my usual comment. This topic brought to mind Memento. I'd have to think a while to come up with a favorite three, though.ReplyDelete
Saw Chinatown and liked it. Haven't seen the other two.ReplyDelete
Just reading your synopsis of the first movie gave me the chills. Shudder. I want to watch Chinatown again. I remember liking it and thinking the story fresh and original. I want to see Black Widow, too. I think I saw it on TV long time ago but I can't recall any of the story.ReplyDelete
Once again, I haven't seen a single one of the films you reviewed, nor can I think of any that might fit the category. You have such a vast knowledge of films and their genres. Happy almost Friday.ReplyDelete
I haven't seen any of these but I've seen some scenes from Chinatown.ReplyDelete
I have seen Chinatown- but the others are new to me. You made me curious about them though and I would love to check them out. :)ReplyDelete
Hi Bergit .. I haven't seen any of these - but I'd love to see Chinatown, on the other hand Black Widow seems good too - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Dressed To Kill. The ending was a bit of a twist though not with an exclamation point as the rest of the movie was at least as good.ReplyDelete
The Sting. "They stung the audience!"
The Exorcist. Last few seconds When Linda Blair looks like, "I may not be cured and rather enjoy it."
When Betsy and Arlene worshipped the president, then - twist - took. him. down.
Ha, these are such great choices, just thinking about them makes me sweat!ReplyDelete
These look like excellent choices, Birgit! The only one I've seen is Chinatown, which I loved. I'm a big fan of the thriller genre, but it has to be good—meaning no gore, no ex machina plot twists. I'm especially a fan of ghost stories done right, and just the other day I came across one on YouTube (yes, the whole film is uploaded there, not for profit, great quality) called Rorschach, and it Blew. My. Mind. Found-footage style, no budget to speak of, and honestly I was expecting to be disappointed. Boy, was I wrong. Creepy in all the right ways, zero gore, the plot line holds its own to the very end... Really impressive.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for following along on the blog tour! I've loved finding your name in the comments :)
Guilie @ Life In Dogs
"The Spiral Staircase" sounds familiar. I'm not sure if I actually watched it or have only seen bits of the film. You have my curiosity peeked with it and would love to see it now. "Chinatown" is another that falls in this category. I will have to check Netflix to see if these are available. "Black Window" is an excellent 80s movie. It's a fabulous suspenseful film. Twisty thrillers is a great prompt and my kind of genre to watch! Thanks for sharing your picks. :)
Jack Nicholson did an amazing job in the movie Chinatown, but I seriously disliked his character when he slapped her.ReplyDelete
I am just bad in responding lately and my apologies but I love the picks everyone chose. Memento is excellent and Joel, you always pick great films and I love North by Northwest. G Dog- I almost went with Dressed to Kill. Stephen...I love, love, love The Third Man and would have went with this but I talked about it before. I hope people see The Spiral Staircase which is a gem. Chinatown is a good film although not one of my favourites and I agree with you Sandra, I didn’t like it when he slapped FayeReplyDelete
Chinatown is the one I want to watch; it gets referenced quite a lot.ReplyDelete
These are my favorite kinds of movies. I don't know about Black Widow though! Will have to check it out.ReplyDelete
I really want to see the Spiral Staircase - even though I actually have a phobia of them. No joke.ReplyDelete
The Tenent sounds creepy as hell! It took me years to watch Chinatown but it is so great.