Friday, October 9, 2009

Classic Cinema Survey

I hope Kate Gabrielle of Silents and Talkies forgives me for snagging another idea for a post from her, but this classic cinema survey was too good to pass up! It was originated by Amanda of Noodle in a Haystack in in honour of her 50th post. If you decide to take the survey as well, please let Amanda know at her original post! 

1. What is your all-time favourite Clark Gable movie? Gone With the Wind. It was there that Clark Gable played the part that he was born to play, Rhett Butler!

2. Do you like Joan Crawford best as a comedienne or a drama-queen? I think she was much more effective as a drama queen, although given how scary she could be, I think she was most effective in her later horror movies!

3. In your opinion, should Ginger Rogers have made more musicals post-Fred Astaire? Ginger was a great dancer, but ultimately I think she really needed a dance partner to shine in musicals, and the only one who would do was Fred. In other words, no.

4. I promise not to cause you bodily (or any other serious) harm if you don't agree with me on this one. So please be honest: do you like Elizabeth Taylor? I really can't say I like or dislike Elizabeth Taylor. To me she was just always sort of there.

5. Who is your favourite offscreen Hollywood couple? Okay, they were never married, but their affair seems to be the stuff of legends! Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

6. How about onscreen Hollywood couple? Definitely, Doris Day and Rock Hudson. They had amazing chemistry together. I don't think Pillow Talk would have worked with any other actors!

7. Favourite Jean Arthur movie? Shane. Admittedly, Jean didn't have a lot to do, but it is the second greatest Western of all time.

8. What was the first Gregory Peck movie you saw? To Kill a Mockingbird. In the theatre, no less! No, I'm not that old. When I was in third grade our class got a free trip to the cinema and that was the movie they showed. I have no idea who at the 4th Street Cinema thought the movie was fitting for third graders....

9. What film made you fall in love with Alfred Hitchcock? (And for those of you that say, "I don't like Hitchcock" -- what is wrong with you?!) Rear Window. It was the first Hitchcock movie I ever saw.

10. What is your favourite book-to-movie adaptation? A Clockwork Orange. It does differ a bit from the book, but I think Stanley Kubrick did an amazing job of bringing Anthony Burgess' novel to life.

11. Do you prefer Shirley Temple as a little girl or as a teenager? Okay, I'll probably get lynched for this, but I honestly preferred her as a teenager. In too many films she made as a child I found her, well, annoying....

12. Favourite Character Actor? Just one?! Okay, I'll pick an actor and an actress--Charles Coburn and Thelma Ritter. No, Thomas Mitchell and ZaSu Pitts. No...I just can't make up my mind! There are too many good character actors!

13. Favourite Barbara Stanwyck role? Phyllis in Double Indemnity. To me she played the ultimate film noir femme fatale in that movie.

14. Who is your favourite of Cary Grant's leading ladies? Wow. That is difficult to say. I'd have to go with a four way tie. He had great chemistry with Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby. And while they didn't associate much on or off the set, I think he had good chemistry with Doris Day in A Touch of Mink as well. Of course, I  have to include Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief and Carole Lombard in In Name Only because, well, they are Grace Kelly and Carole Lombard....

15. Bette Davis or Joan Crawford? No doubt about it, it'd be Bette Davis.

16. What actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated? John Wayne for one. It is a myth he only played "John Wayne." There was actually a good deal of variety to his roles. Rooster Cogburn is nothing like Ethan Edwards, yet Wayne played them both. As far as actresses, Pamela Tiffin.  She did a great job as Scarlett in One, Two, Three! Sadly, I think the fact that she was spectacularly beautiful led her to be typecast in roles not worthy of her talent.

 17. What actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated? I might receive flack for this,  but I think Spencer Tracy is a bit overrated. It seems to me that in a lot of his roles,  he pretty much played, well, Spencer Tracy.

18. Do you watch movies made pre-1980 exclusively, or do you spice up your viewing-fare with newer films? I actually watch quite a few newer films and even have my favourite modern directors (David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, and so on).  Here I must point that a lot of the post-1980 films I like are not exactly commercial and those that could be considered commercial tend to be either science fiction, fantasy, spy thrillers, or horror movies. I will say this--I hate modern comedies!

19. Is there an actor/actress who you have seen in a film and immediately loved? If so, who? I can think of at least five --Louise Brooks, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Carole Lombard, and Thelma Todd. I don't think any red blooded, American, heterosexual male could help bit fall for those five....

20. Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire? Gene Kelly, although I like Fred too!

21. Favourite Ginger Rogers drama? Kitty Foyle. I thought she gave her best performance in that movie.

22. If you wrote a screenplay, who would be in your dream cast and what roles would they play? (Mixing actors and actresses from different generations is allowed: any person from any point in their career.) Terence Stamp (the hero, a superspy), Diana Rigg (his love interest and partner, also a spy); Christopher Lee (the macabre sidekick); David Niven (the head of the spy agency); and Laurence Harvey (the really evil bad guy). No idea who would direct, but it would definitely be a Bondian spy thriller, with some horror and  some Swinging London thrown in for good measure (actually, that's the dream cast for my novel...)!

23. Favourite Actress? A tie between Carole Lombard, Grace Kelly, Doris Day. and Louise Brooks.

24. Favourite Actor? A tie between Steve McQueen, Humphrey Bogart, Boris Karloff, and Christopher Lee.

25. And now, the last question. What is your favourite movie from each of these genres:

     Drama:  Seven Samurai. I know a lot of people see it as an action
      movie, but it is actually more about the characters than it is anything else!

     Romance: Casablanca. Is there any other greater romance movie?

     Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

     Comedy: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the

     Western: High Noon

      Hitchcock (he has a genre all to himself): North by Northwest.


Kate Gabrielle said...

You didn't steal it from me! It was Amanda's survey :)

I love that Laurence Harvey is playing the bad guy in your fantasty film-- personally I think he was perfectly suited for playing villainous roles and I have trouble believing him as anything else!

Agreed on Spencer Tracy (Even in Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, the role people often point to to show his acting talent, I think he's still playing Spencer Tracy!)

But.... Gene Kelly??

Amanda Cooper said...

I think you're the only person who has chosen Kelly over Astaire thus far! I don't agree with you (although I love Kelly dearly), but I do admire your bravery. So if that's the way you feel about it, stick to your guns!

Holte Ender said...

1. Gone With the Wind
2. Drama Queen
3. Ginger and Fred forever
4. She always played herself
5. No opinion
6. No opinion
7. Shane, my favorite western
8. I can't remember
9. The 39 Steps
10. Clockwork Orange, good choice
11. Not a Shirley Temple fan
12. Agree, too many good ones
13. Double Indemnity
14. Hepburn
15. Bette Davis
16. Character actors are underrated, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum
17. John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor
18. A good movie is a good movie, whether made this year or 60 years ago, I love them all
19. Sean Connery, W.C. Fields, Marlon Brando, Robert Carlyle, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellars, Kirk Douglas, Vivien Leigh, Norman Wisdom, Mae West, Timothy Spall, Lauren Bacall, Bogie, Kathy Bates, Laurence Harvey, Fernandel, Marilyn Monroe many more
20. Fred, he floated, Gene was great but more muscular
21. No opinion
22. Older Sean Connery as the wise old man, young Sean Connery as the hero, Alec Guinness as the baddie, Marilyn Monroe as Sean's love interest and Kirk Douglas in there somewhere and young James Caan as a heavy.
23. Vivien Leigh, on the strength of one movie
24. Marlon Brando
25. Best Drama - Grapes of Wrath
Best Romance - Brief Encounter
Best Musical - Oklahoma
Best Western - Shane
Best Hitch. - The 39 Steps
No wait I've changed my mind!

That was fun, I'm sorry I didn't answer them, some things I have no opinion on.

Mercurie said...

Kate, I do like Laurence Harvey in a few good guy roles, but I have to agree he had a particular gift for playing bad guys! Amanda and Kate, for me it is hard to decide between Gene and Fred, but ultimately it came down to whose movies I love more. Since Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, Brigadoon, On the Town, and Cover Girl all number among my all time favourite films, Gene won!

Holte, I have to say, you have great tastes in films! 39 Steps is one of my favourite Hitchcock films as well.

Holte Ender said...

I forgot to mention Johnny Depp, I love his work, and I think he makes fantastic choices when deciding on what movies he will appear in. He loves the written word and has great vision.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Thelma Ritter was the first character actor that came to me.

Aaron said...

1. It Happened One Night
2. Drama Queen
3. Fred & Ginger Cheek to Cheek
4. Enjoy Liz in National Velvet and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof...otherwise agree with Merc and Holte.
5. Absolutely agree with Hepburn & Tracy. Pat & Mike< and Woman of The Year are super.
6. Hmmm...Powell/Loy, Hepburn/Tracy, Laurel/Hardy. Too tough to call...yes I am wishy washy.
7. Only Angels Have Wings or You Can't It With You. You Can't Take It With You. Fun and Great film. BTW - Shane great too.
8. I can't recall, but I think it was The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit. BTW TCM recently showed The Million Pound Note...what a joy.
9. Sabotage - When the trolly is rolling with the kid and the dog...brilliant (saw this on tv)
10. Not sure how the book is, but Dodsworth is a GREAT film and one of my favorites.
11. child. I like The Little Princess
12. Louis Calhern
13. Going with Ball of Fire here. Funny film. Stanwyck, Cooper & the boys click.
14. Agree with Merc & want to add Rosalind Russell and Irene Dunne. Just saw In Name Only on TCM
15. The Yankee - Bette Davis
16. Sorry not sure who is underrated.
17. No comment.
18. As I am over 40 I started watching movies post pre 1980 and came into TCM genre within the last 10 years. Now I mostly watch pre that TCM genre and venture to the cinema now and then.
19. Grace Kelly in Rear Window ,
Julie London in Man of The West ,
Carole Lombard (that combo of beauty and comedy gets me) and Audrey Hepburn.
20. Fred ,but I like Gene too..especially in Always Fair Weather on the roller skates and in The Three Musketeers
21. Sorry have only seen her in Stage Door with Hepburn.
22. Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard,
Louis Calhern, Eric Blore and Katherine Hepburn in a comedy..maybe a romantic one Perhaps directed by Billy Wilder.
23. Tie between Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis, Irene Dunne and Barbara Stanwick, etc.
24. Tie between Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Walter Huston, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Cary Grant and Barry Fitzgerald, etc.
Drama: The Best Years of Our Lives
Romance: Casablanca
Musical: The Music Man
Comedy: Dr. Strangelove
Western: Stagecoach
Hitchcock: 1A Notorious 1B North By Northwest

Aaron said... could I forget Rita Hayworth in Gilda and Cover Girl in number 19.