YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Trevor
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Trevor » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:05 pm

Burton's Apes has no imagination and it leaves me cold and unaffected.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:01 pm

Trevor wrote:Burton's Apes has no imagination and it leaves me cold and unaffected.
What do you think: to whom should we credit this failure to imagine?
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:34 pm

I should really watch Planet of the Apes (original). My girlfriend supports this and reminds me every time she can that I must watch it.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:22 pm

kiddo in space wrote:I should really watch Planet of the Apes (original). My girlfriend supports this and reminds me every time she can that I must watch it.
You should do this soon, before I post the review of it, so that when I post it you can read it.
There's this planet, and intelligent apes live on it. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:57 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: What do you think: to whom should we credit this failure to imagine?
I think ultimately it boils down to Burton... although, I don't know much about the conditions under which he was working. How much the studio pushed for convention and all that...

But, in a script that calls for apes to dominate a vast world in combination with a director like Burton, I would just think that they would be fairly open to Burton's ideas.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:36 am

Hank wrote: I think ultimately it boils down to Burton... although, I don't know much about the conditions under which he was working. How much the studio pushed for convention and all that...

But, in a script that calls for apes to dominate a vast world in combination with a director like Burton, I would just think that they would be fairly open to Burton's ideas.
I should probably listen to his commentary track.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:16 am

Upon looking up Burton's writing credits... I see that he has only written four films. Vincent, Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands, and Nightmare Before Christmas... and he didn't direct that last one. I had suspected that to be a possible reason for the seeming gap in "Burtonisms", but it seems that can't be a reason. Hm.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:15 am

Hank wrote:Upon looking up Burton's writing credits... I see that he has only written four films. Vincent, Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands, and Nightmare Before Christmas... and he didn't direct that last one. I had suspected that to be a possible reason for the seeming gap in "Burtonisms", but it seems that can't be a reason. Hm.
As I wrote in my review, there are ample Burtonisms, they simply aren't as much fun as most of the things attributable to "A Tim Burton Film."

His lack of a writing credit doesn't explain it to your satisfaction...nor to mine. So, perhaps the relative Burton-lessness of this film comes from the fact that it is a remake. Something pre-existed, by which this film was going to be judged. The spin of "re-imagining" didn't fool anyone. It didn't deflect comparisons at all.

As I recall, the audience was laughing quite a bit in the original Apes film the first time I saw it. Second time was at a drive-in, I think, or that might have been the Escape sequel...anyway, the first film which seems a bit more playful than Burton's remake. And this strikes me as an odd observation, since the character Limbo is clearly intended to be comic relief.

I keep falling back to the position that the first film was small scale, a few characters interacted, and the plot rather straight-forwardly derived from their interactions. The Burton film was made from a script that was too complex, too fractured, and tried to do too much. Also, this is one of these modern films that has more than one ending. Three, in fact. Various plot threads are drawn to a close, but some are left open. Did they think this would get a sequel?

Trevor obviously got nothing from Burton's film. dreiser and I find it not to be awful, but we aren't singing great praise of the movie. You didn't really say what your opinion of it is, Hank.

Perhaps it's fair of me to say that it isn't a terrible movie, although far from a great one; and to me it's a disappointing Planet of the Apes...if that makes any sense.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:22 am

I'm fairly certain that they did think it was going to spawn sequels.

And as far as my overall thoughts of the Burton remake... I'd say that my opinion shares many things with yours. It's been awhile since I saw it but I remember thinking, "Uh. Why?" throughout. Perhaps I'll muster up more in the way of articulating these thoughts... but I'm tired right now, and heading off to bed.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:56 am

Satan Met a Lady (1936) dir. William Dieterle

IMDb link RT-link
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Year: 1936 Director: William Dieterle Cast: Bette Davis, Warren William, Alison Skipworth, Marie Wilson Length: 74 min. B&W/Mono

Following the success of the 1934 comedic treatment of Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man for the screen, someone at Warner Brothers decided that The Maltese Falcon could also work as a screwball comedy. Satan Met a Lady borrows strongly from the 1931 dramatic adaptation, but in order to allow for comedy, the names of the characters are changed, and even the MacGuffin is altered from the famous avian statue to a ram's horn filled with jewels.

One source on the internet suggests that the reason the film was made as a comedy was not for the purpose of capitalizing on the success of The Thin Man, but because the 1931 film was considered too risqué under the new Hayes Office rules, and it could not be re-released. If that is true, then the comic aspect might still have grown from the success of the whimsical The Thin Man. One of the writers is the same for both scripts. Brown Holmes was the writer of the 1931 adaptation, and he was a co-writer on this version. But why change all the character names? I kept asking myself that the first time I saw the film in 2007. A second (third, fourth, fifth and sixth) viewing removed the skepticism that I felt because of that change when I saw it the first time, and I realized that it isn't a show-stopper. You see, on that first excursion into the Dieterle world of Satan Met a Lady immediately after seeing the 1931 title-keeping film for the first time, I was annoyed with the comedy, the swapping of McGuffins and the apparently random alterations to characters. You might have the same knee-jerk response.

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Still, if you can keep your brain from forming the rather incorrect emotional phrase, "Damn, this isn't The Maltese Falcon!" every few minutes, the story is rather enjoyable as a comedy. You will learn that this film follows the plot of the novel rather closely, although with the changes Dieterle made, that is not as readily apparent as it is with the films that kept the title of the book. The characters are somewhat true to the source characters. Cairo, the Greek who becomes Travers, the Englishman, are both comic characters. Travers moreso because his vehicle is a comedy on purpose. Madame Barabbas is as conniving and slimy as Casper Gutman or Kasper Gutman. Perhaps to 1936 audiences she seemed even worse, because she was a little old lady who snuffs people without batting an eye. Frankly, Bette Davis embodies Valerie Purvis as more ruthless than Ruth Wonderly in the '31 version, and is far more dangerous than Mary Astor's Brigid O'Shaunessy in the '41 film.

The film has much pitched against it from the start. If you can look past your prejudices, you might find an enjoyable film. It would certainly be worth a single viewing by anyone who considers herself or himself to be a film scholar. And if you like to know about obscure films, well here's one! You might not have known it existed before you read this thread. If you are a fan of dark comedies, well, here's one!

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Furthermore, I cannot substantiate my suspicion that we have in this movie the first ditzy blond who is dumb like a fox, a predecessor to Judy Holliday's Bille Dawn in Born Yesterday. If you see the 1936 remake of The Maltese Falcon and you don't see strong ancestral strands of Billie Dawn in Miss Murgatroyd, just clean your glasses and watch again. Plus, Marie Wilson is so lovable and appealing in the role, it's almost worth seeing the movie just to watch her act.

Arthur Treacher's role as Travers is another reason to enjoy at least one viewing of this film. The scene where he rifles Shane's apartment and comes back to apologize turns into a tour de farce that will have you smiling. If not laughing aloud.

The film is far from flawless. Many points miss the mark widely. But for me the film seems to hit the mark a bit more often than it misses, and for that reason I like it more than I hate it. I was prejudiced against it, I admit. I expected to hate it, and yet on the first viewing I was unable to hate it exactly, I simply didn't see that it was an okay adaptation of the famous novel. Also, it came out mid-Great Depression, when people wanted diversion rather than to be challenged at the movies. Perhaps that was one of the charms of The Thin Man. Satan Met a Lady was not a big box-office success. In fact, perhaps most of the critics who saw Huston's version of the story five years later had never even heard of this film; they knew only of the Del Ruth original movie and compared it (favorably, of course) with that version.

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Here are some points I like and some points I don't like about the 1936 film:

Like Ames is found murdered in a graveyard! Then, Farrow is murdered there, as well.

Like There are show girls, and they come between Shane and the police.

Like Arthur Treacher, as Travers, doesn't hold Shane at gunpoint in order to search his office. Instead, Shane walks in while he is mangling the detective's pad, and they have conversation and sherry together. This is the transformed Cairo character. There is a lot of good comic business in the scene. Plus, Travers remains an apologetic break-and-enter man throughout the story.

Like Bette Davis and her character Valerie Purvis. This woman won't let a man put anything over on her. Strong female characters weren't new to movies, and certainly not to comedies, but this character is a good example of a strong woman. In fact, she bests Shane at the end in a way that will surprise you.

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Like There are pop culture references in the film, so that shows that such things are not new in more modern comedies. But the only one I wrote down was a dual reference to King Kong. There are others. This observation makes it clear that I might have not got some of them, having not been around in 1936.

Like Madame Barabbas has most of Gutman's lines. Also, the Gutman gunsel from the novel (Wilmer Cook) is transformed into Kenneth, her young gunman, who calls her "Auntie." Although the role is so diminutive that Maynard Holmes doesn't even get a screen credit, he is at least seen tailing Shane before he takes Shane to Madame Barabbas. This tailing activity is turned into a running gag centered on the silly knit hat that the young man wears.

Like Of all the changes, the one that works best in the context of the film is the transportation of the penultimate scene from Spade's apartment to the local port, where the ship Fujiyama is set on fire (by Kenneth) to drive the captain ashore with the Horn of Roland. There is a shootout, of course. It was 1936. The Hayes Office rules prohibited the kind of sexual content that the '31 version so gleefully contained, but it permitted gunplay and violence.
Nearly all the bumbling evil characters are shot in the gun battle. When the horn is opened it contains only sand. Shane has tipped off the cops who arrest Madame Barabbas and all the others, except Purvis, who hides in Shane's car. Shane hides her there, as a matter of fact. Later, Purvis is turned over to the cops for Ames's murder. Not a loss for Shane, who has kept the $100,000 that Barabbas paid him for the worthless Horn of Roland, plus all the other collected sums of money that he picked up during the course of the story. And crazy-like-a-fox Miss Murgatroyd is right there to go off with Shane, perhaps into matrimony.
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Don't Like The jewel-encrusted Maltese Falcon becomes a jewel-stuffed ram's horn: the Horn of Roland. WTF? Why not a Roman satyr of gold, or something that's still a figurine instead of a ram's horn filled with gems?

Don't Like I'm still not crazy about the adaptation changing all the names of the characters. Spade becomes Ted Shane. Archer becomes Ames. Wonderly/O'Sahunnessey becomes Purvis. Purvis? Cairo becomes Travers. Mr Gutman becomes Madame Barabbas. But I guess since the genre changes from crime drama to screwball comedy, it's best all around that the names are changed.

Don't Like Shane's womanizing is still a major aspect of the character. Perhaps this is more fitted to a comedy than it is to a drama, though.

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Don't Like At the beginning of the third act is a title card which points out the history of the Horn of Roland, and ends on a shot of three of the film's characters asking who will die. What?

Don't Like A quartet called The City Fathers come to visit Shane at his office and lay down the 24-hour ultimatum leveled at Spade by the District Attorney in the novel and two of the films. Their voices and ensemble delivery of the request/ultimatum is funny enough, but it's kind of off the wall. They appear only in one scene.

Don't Like When we see the ship Fujiyama on fire in the distance in the port, it is all too obviously a cheap miniature. It isn't even overcranked. Shades of Toho Films! There isn't any such thing as a pre-spoof is there?

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:09 am

kiddo, have you watched the 1968 original of Planet of the Apes, yet? My typing fingers are itching to finish the review. There will be spoilers!
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:37 am

YouTookMyName wrote:kiddo, have you watched the 1968 original of Planet of the Apes, yet? My typing fingers are itching to finish the review. There will be spoilers!
No, but I'll watch it soon. Go ahead and make the review, I'll read it after I've seen the film.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Have not seen Satan Met a Lady...

I've actually only seen version of the film. I was fortunate to see it on the big screen though.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:23 pm

Hank wrote:Have not seen Satan Met a Lady...

I've actually only seen version of the film. I was fortunate to see it on the big screen though.
That's cool. The largest image of the '41 Maltese Falcon I've ever seen was on a standard 16mm projection screen in a college classroom. It was much larger than a TV screen (especially since the largest screens in 1970 were roughly 22" diagonally). But it was much smaller than a theater screen of the time.

I was surprised to learn that the 1931 version has been available on television as Dangerous Female. I am sure I never saw it under that title. The '36 edition has been available under its original title, but I never saw it on TV, either.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:47 pm

dreiser wrote:I'm looking forward to Planet of the Apes.
I remember when you wrote this. It was about a month ago.

I'll be able to pick up steam on this thread (like anyone is worried about that, ha ha!) in another week. My ESL tutoring will end on Friday the 22nd. The two students fly to Turkey on Monday the 25th.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:49 pm

Hank wrote:And as far as my overall thoughts of the Burton remake... I'd say that my opinion shares many things with yours. It's been awhile since I saw it but I remember thinking, "Uh. Why?" throughout. Perhaps I'll muster up more in the way of articulating these thoughts... but I'm tired right now, and heading off to bed.
I'm looking forward to having a bit of time to write the review of 1968, and to get started completing and posting the essays comparing the two versions.

I was hoping that you'd have posted some thoughts by now so that I could steal them. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:50 pm

I remember this thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:54 pm

kiddo in space wrote:I remember this thread.
I hope this is a good thing.

Oh, I remembered it, too! (That's what I should have typed, eh?)
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:12 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: I hope this is a good thing.

Oh, I remembered it, too! (That's what I should have typed, eh?)
It is a good thing. It reminded me that I should finally watch Planet of the Apes.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:14 pm

kiddo in space wrote:
It is a good thing. It reminded me that I should finally watch Planet of the Apes.
Go for it. Just let your girlfriend sit on your lap while you watch, and you can look around her head over her shoulders.

*that sounds racier than I intended it to.*
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:29 am

A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):
Image The Players of the two Films
The 1968 cast includes Leonard Whiting as Romeo; Olivia Hussey as Juliet; Full Cast and Crew
The actors for 1996 are Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo; Claire Danes as Juliet; Full Cast and Crew
Did you notice?: Leonard Whiting. Leonardo DiCaprio. Did you?

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:36 am

A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990)
Which One is Closest to the Book?

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Outwardly, the 1960 film is closer to the book since it stays with the reason for the plane crash and the identity of the Beast Thing. But the 1990 remake, unless it was made as a period film set in the 1960s, had to update the motivations and where the Beast Thing comes from, since there was not the same fear of nuclear war that prevailed in the 1960s. There would be little reason for the person who transforms into the Beast Thing to have arrived on the island at all. Unless it was someone searching for the lost plane, the arrival of the Beast would be as accidental as the arrival of the boys.

Thematically, both films follow the book closely, yet the 1990 version may stray into providing individual motivations for someone’s degradation into savagery. Golding clearly meant his tale to suggest that there is a kernel of the Beast in each of us, and only society keeps it in check. As for children, only the nurturance and guidance of adults keep boys from becoming hellions, according to Golding. The same applies, by inference, to the adults doing the guiding—it is the rules of society that keep us from behaving badly. By 1988 when shooting began on the 1990 film, these ideas had been modified. There was more talk of genetics (Nature) and upbringing (Nurture) than there was in 1955 when the book came out.

Notice that I said the films both follow the book thematically. The 1963 story removes and merges some characters (no boy with the red birthmark, for example) but it is not slavish to reproducing the book. Brook was aware that he was doing a film, something to be seen and heard, not read. Harry Hook was clearly aware that he was making a film for people alive 27 years after Brook’s version was released. Though he is criticized for the changes, it seems to me a good thing that a filmmaker would have a finger on the pulse of his audience. He and Schiff are able to make the same general points that Brook made, but to create a “slightly more plausible” story in the process. Call that a short-coming if you want to, but I see it as a plus.

One criticism I read about the 1990 remake is that it doesn’t even feature the Lord of the Flies (the boar’s head on a “stick sharpened at both ends). In truth, both movies substantially change the entire purpose of the scene where a catatonic Simon stares at the pig’s head, and hears it speaking to him about human depravity and the violent nature of humankind. Sure, Brook shows an extreme close-up of the pig’s gaping mouth, but it doesn’t speak. There is no narration. Unless you’ve read the book it’s merely a shot of a hog’s mouth; big deal! Both films show the fly-encrusted boar’s head, and Simon stumbling upon it, then sitting down to stare at it in a state of seizure. It was wise to leave off Golding’s moving words, but it would not have harmed either film to leave out the section with the boar’s head altogether. The entire idea of the porcine head as "the Lord of the Flies" is lost cinematically. It is a word-heavy philosophical idea—it will not translate to the screen without narration, and on the screen it would seem somewhat humorous if narration was used.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:41 am

A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990):

Image The Players of 1963

The 1963 cast includes James Aubrey as Ralph; Tom Chapin as Jack; Hugh Edwards as Piggy; Simon is played by Tom Gaman. Roger Elwin plays Roger. Full Cast and Crew

Image The 2002 Cast
The actors for 1990 are Balthazar Getty as Ralph; Chris Furrh as Jack Merridew; Danuel Pipoly as Piggy. James Badge Dale is Simon. Roger is played by Gary Rule. Full Cast and Crew
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Rdog » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:42 am

I just want to express my love for this thread.....POOOOSSSSTTTTT
Way cooler than Wil
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:45 am

1990 for the win! I really liked that film. I'm thinking about buying the novel and reading it again, a thing I've never done before (the re-reading of course, not the buying of a novel).
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:55 am

Rdog wrote:I just want to express my love for this thread.....POOOOSSSSTTTTT
Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.
el muchacho en espace wrote:1990 for the win! I really liked that film. I'm thinking about buying the novel and reading it again, a thing I've never done before (the re-reading of course, not the buying of a novel).
:D I hope my Spanish didn't fail me, there.

So, you have decided in favor of the more recent film. Whereas I took both films to be about equally good, but for different reasons. Did it occur to you while you pondered this what is outstanding about the 1990 version?
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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:04 am

YouTookMyName wrote:
:D I hope my Spanish didn't fail me, there.

So, you have decided in favor of the more recent film. Whereas I took both films to be about equally good, but for different reasons. Did it occur to you while you pondered this what is outstanding about the 1990 version?
Haha!

I didn't ponder about that, no. Maybe watcing them back to back would have made easier for me to compare both between them and to the source material. Not that I'm saying that the 60's one was bad, it had its own merits, but I admired the remake more.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:22 pm

Planet of the Apes (1968) dir. Franklin J. Schaffner
Image
IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1968 Director: Franklin J. Schaffner Cast: Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore Length: 112 min. Color/Stereo

Image
"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty ape!"

This film really impressed me in 1968. From Jerry Goldsmith's bizarre (for the time) score to the really radical (for the time) photography to the fast-paced (for the time) editing, I loved it all. Well, not quite all. I thought the ape makeup left a lot to be desired. It was my greatest disappointement in the film. But I thought that the acting made up for it...mostly. Sometimes it's hard to satisfy picky 16-year olds.

I like the film somewhat less now than I did in 1968. Mainly, it's because I like the ape makeup only about half as much as I did back then. Roddy McDowell either didn't understand how to make his ape muzzle work, or he got a rotter of a makeup job. Some of the other actors did a better job of appearing to speak than he did. But, in all fairness, in 1968 movies were made for first impressions. Very few people ever watched a film a second time, and three or more viewings were quite rare. Someone somewhere probably saw the film dozens of times. But I wasn't one of them. My second viewing would be on HBO in 1981. My third viewing would be in 2001 when I introduced my sons to it before we watched the 2001 version. My fourth fifth and sixth viewings were in 2011 while preparing for this Rematch.

But I have to say this about the film: After all those viewings the film has not become tedious. Although I wrote above that I like it less than I did in 1968, I don't dislike it at all. It still entertains me, despite its flaws. Of course, the shock I felt when I saw the ending for the first time can never be recaptured. But that first viewing left me believing I had just seen the greatest film ever made. (Yep. I was 16, you know.) And when I listened to the 60's-centric exchanges between Taylor and young chimp Lucious, in 1968 they didn't sound anything but trendy. Now they just sound dated. Thank goodness the clothes for the apes weren't designed with psychedelia in mind! I want to make clear, though, that almost everything that I thought was cool back then still holds up. Only a few things are a bit too over the top or too 1960's to pass muster in 2011.

Image
A few years ago I borrowed the novel from the library and read it. I might have watched the '68 film then, but the DVD was never in at the library. I don't recall all the plot points clearly, but I know the novel takes place on a different planet from earth. For most viewers the re-settling of the ape culture onto the good old home planet made the ending of the film more immediate. It meant that the first surprise ending of Boulle's novel had to be thrown out, though. And the second surprise ending of the novel is unfilmable because something is revealed that you would know immediately if you saw the couple who pick up a biographical manuscript floating through space.

For readers who cannot stand the '68 version but who love the 2001 remake, I don't know what to say. Try as I might, I still cannot see the Burton film as the artistic equal of this movie, or as a superior film to this one. But if you can, that's fine with me. Perhaps the passing of years has changed the human outlook to that extent. I simply cannot let go of my original responses to and feelings about this version of the story. For years, I thought that the Schaffner film would have been superior if the planet where Taylor crashed was not the earth. After I saw the 2001 remake, I had to recant that. The story is stronger from a human angle in the first movie. This version of the film doesn't spend as much time with wuxia-wannabe action, and the machinations of the military. Really, that's not what the story is about. The novel has a very simple, human-scale story. Burton took the human-scale story from Schaffner's film and filled it full of air in order to allow room for throngs of ape-warriors and hoardes of human refugees from the hills. I'd say Burton's film is more fun to look at than this one, but not that much more fun.

Both films require a character who is curious about, and benevolent toward human beings. This film makes use of a Scientist, as the novel does. A Scientist is by vocation a curious individual. Somehow, this seems a superior story device to using an animal activist as Burton's version does. But, perhaps by 2001 Scientists were in failing repute, and animal activists were on a rising arc.

Image
The flaws of this film could probably fit in the palm of one hand. I need a bowl to contain the flaws I perceive in the 2001 film. I don't hate either film, but the 1968 film doesn't disappoint me, while the 2001 film does. So, what are the flaws of this film? First let me point out a few of the many things I like about it:

LIKE The imaginative photography. It's not nearly so "different" today, as it was in those days. And to be truthful, it was a style of photography that was growing in popularity. Look at A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum from two years earlier, and you'll see similar work. If you watch closely, you'll also see a lot of hand-held camera on location (but not all hand-held), while the studio shots are done from stable tripod mounts. Also, in all fairness, the style had developed before on TV. It made my 16-year old eyes happy, though. Frankly, the style looks dated today, but I don't care.

LIKE The relationship that develops between Dr Zira and Astronaut Taylor. She has respect for him, but she never forgets that they are different species, and that humans literally stink. It astonished me then, and it astonishes me now to think that the apes never bathed their captive humans. Then again, I guess zookeepers don't bathe the captive chimps and gorillas in their care, either. Or do they?

LIKE The set design. The ape structures are fairly abstract and seem to grow from the ground. I thought it was interesting in 1968, and somehow probably thought of it as "realistic" for no apparent reason. Why the apes would build with adobe rather than trees, I have no idea, but I thought it looked cool, so I bought it. Apes living in log cabins would have made environmental sense, because they were dwelling in the forested area...but it sure would have looked odder and more incongruous than the adobe-looking buildings do. I think.

LIKE The story is kept simple. The plot is straightforward, and involves five main characters. The peripheral characters simply interact with the five main characters, and do not form subplots to detract from the main plot. In one film you don't need a lot of separate "story arcs." Remember, the film was made when people were expected to see a film one time. In those days it was thought to be a virtue to have a story that could be followed and absorbed and reacted to in one sitting. This all changed with the advent of videotape for the masses, and I understand that Tim Burton made his version with the expectation that people would watch it many times, and he attempted to put layers into his telling that could be peeled back one by one. Sometimes that works. In his film it doesn't work for me, so the structure of the 1968 film is superior in my estimation.

Image
LIKE The fact that humans cannot talk. Despite the fact that biologically and evolutionarily that is very unlikely, it's an interesting touch. That alone makes possible the best line that Taylor has in the entire story. But back to the point: it is not realistically portrayed at all. The humans in the story are totally mute. They make no sounds, don't vocalize, don't grunt when held by an ape, and don't even go "oooff" when apes knock them down. Maybe this should be in the section below, but overall I like the silent humans. I refer you back to the fact that this movie is set on a planet where apes can talk, reason, build huts, and conduct archaeology. Oh, and they make and shoot rifles. Unrealistically silent humans don't worry me in that context.

LIKE The mama doll. Yeah. That was one of the coolest things to me on first viewing. I thought, "Take that, Zaius, you pretentious old bastard!" I didn't even see the ending coming at that moment. Heh.

LIKE Taylor shows some curiosity about this upside down world he's been flung into. He ponders it. He doesn't think of escaping it, figuring that he is stuck here for the rest of his days. He wants to find his place in it, and make a life here on this world. He even has the hubris to quip that if the first humans they see "are the best they've got, we'll be running this planet in six months." He is surly and snarly until he cannot speak. Heston does a good job of portraying fear with his eyes, I think. When he isn't displaying strong emotion his acting is fairly good. Actually, when he isn't talking his acting is fairly good. All in all, though, he makes Taylor an interesting guy.

LIKE The major conflict in the film comes from Taylor retaining his prejudice about apes based on the ones from his time, and the fact that the apes have similar prejudices against humans in their own time!

And now to the things I don't like, and for that reason view as flaws. Mind you, these are the only 6 that I found:

Image
DON'T LIKE Some of you will rebel at the thought, but I don't care for Charlton Heston's acting "skills" and they don't really fit this film very well. At times, he is almost as ruinous to this film as Tim Roth's outre performance is to the 2001 version. Maybe you love Charlton's teeth-baring overwrought acting...but I have never cared for it. "A maaaaadhousuuuuusssse!" Perhaps it's just a silly line. In fact, to be honest, I almost decided not to see the film because he was the star; fact. I went ahead and saw it, and I was glad I did; fact.

DON'T LIKE The apes act like people in makeup. The original film could have done with a little bit of the Burtonism that gets overdone in the Burton version: having the apes act like apes. Not that Burton used this only occasionally, but I think you get the idea. 50% to 90% of that should have been left out of the 2001 film, and about 12%-25% of it should have been exported backward through time to appear in the first version! In defense of the absence of ape behavior in the 1968 film, the idea and the appearance of the apes together were strange and unsettling enough to get audiences going. Frankly, 16-year old YTMN never noticed that the apes weren't apeing it up.

DON'T LIKE Would Taylor ever actually have made it through astronaut training? He's too fracking cynical. My answer is, "no." He'd have been screened out during the first interview. People with that sour a mindset wouldn't be useful on long-term voyages like the one depicted in the film. Then again, if they were all sweetness and light and prepared to die, like Landon, they would have been boring characters. So I give the film a pass on the basis of it being a film. After all, I could criticize the film by writing "There are no known planets on which apes and humans have evolved in the way they are shown in this movie"...and you would rightly say that I had missed the whole point. But the incongruity annoyed me, even back in the day.

Image
DON'T LIKE The ending seems tacked on for pure entertainment value. Or it seems somehow out of place given the story. But, wow, did it give me chill bumps when I first saw it! Primo surprise ending. It was only later as I thought about it that I started to see it as a discontinuity. Once again, I have to forgive this because 1) it is a tremendous shocker the first time you see it (unless you know about it before you watch), and 2) it is just a movie, after all. Trouble is, there was an emotional impact in 1968, when nuclear destruction seemed much more likely than it does today, that can never be recovered for any viewer born since the USSR collapsed into a rusty heap. When Taylor was pounding his fists into the wet sand and cursing them and their grannies to Hell on that first viewing...yeah, I could see it happening big time. And it made me soil my trousers (figuratively, of course).

Nowadays, I realize that the emotional impact is meant for the audience...not for the character of Taylor. It is we viewers who are supposed to be distressed that a nuclear exchange between world superpowers has long ago wiped out the human civilization that gave birth to the bombs.

DON'T LIKE Jerry Goldsmith's at-the-time radical score. Yeah. Over the years it just got so dated that I don't like it any more. But I did in 1968. Especially the sheet-metal panel swish sound. Loved that! File it away with the score from the 1963 Lord of the Flies. Nice try. Doesn't hold up.

DON'T LIKE Two-thousand years and the Apes still speak English as we know it. Sure. Wait, I have to refer back to the fact that this movie is set on a planet where apes can talk, reason, build huts, and conduct archaeology. I did that once before, above. Okay, I still don't like that the apes are speaking 1968 English in November of 3978.

Image
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:22 pm

I would like to point out that Nova was quite hot.

/twocents
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:55 pm

kiddo in space wrote:I would like to point out that Nova was quite hot.

/twocents
:D

So, mi kiddo, who is hotter: Nova or Daena?
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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:56 pm

Nova.

/interjectedtwocents

...agreed about Heston, btw.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:12 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: :D

So, mi kiddo, who is hotter: Nova or Daena?
Daena?
Mod Hip wrote:Nova.

/interjectedtwocents

...agreed about Heston, btw.
Heston seemed was so angry during the whole film. I found him quite unlikeable as a character* and annoying at times. His macho attitude didn't help either.


*Note: I'm not that "every movie should have likeable characters etc" guy, just to clarify.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:59 pm

Two responses, Nova 1, Daena 1.

Need more votes.
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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:00 pm

No, no. I was asking who Daena was :D
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:07 pm

kiddo in space wrote:No, no. I was asking who Daena was :D
Ha ha! Sorry. I thought you had seen the 2001 version, but it never occurred to me that several of the characters are known by name only if you read IMDb's page about the film.

*clears throat*

Daena is the Nova counterpart in the 2001 movie, played by Estella Warren.

Nova was played by Linda Harrison.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:29 pm

I don't remember a thing about Burton's film. It's like I never watched it! I do remember Mary Mark and the ending which make no sense.

Nova vs Deana is quite a match...but I prefer the simplicity of Nova's attractiveness.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:40 pm

kiddo in space wrote:... but I prefer the simplicity of Nova's attractiveness.
Same.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:37 pm

I agree with you two. Brunettes usually do it for me, some blondes are attractive, but not because of their hair. *harumpf*

That's Nova 3 Daena 0
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:40 pm

THE Remakes Essay Remake (2011 version)
“They’re going to ruin it!”
“This will be a piece of crap!”
In 2008 I began my foray into Remake Rematches with an essay about remakes. For this thread, three years later, I decided to re-imagine that original post. To update it. To improve it with better CG.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Colonel Kurz » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:47 pm

Eventually you'll present a remake of this thread and compare the two, won't you?
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:51 pm

Colonel Kurz wrote:Eventually you'll present a remake of this thread and compare the two, won't you?
Ha ha! This thread is a remake! I'll leave it to you to make comparisons.

YTMN hosts a Remake Rematch: The Time Machine 1960 v. 2002 – beware Probable SPOILERS
YTMN's 2d Remake Rematch: Lord of the Flies 1963 v. 1990 – beware Possible SPOILERS
YTMN’s 3d Remake Rematch: Romeo & Juliet 1968 v. 1997 – Possible SPOILERS

That's why few corries are reading it. They already ignored it three years ago over ta th' RT forums. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:56 pm

We're reading!
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:03 am

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:We're reading!
I know. :fresh: :heart:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:09 am

YouTookMyName wrote:I agree with you two. Brunettes usually do it for me, some blondes are attractive, but not because of their hair. *harumpf*
Definitely. I have gone out with several blondes throughout the years --- was even married to one for a while --- but all things being equal, what you said.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

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New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 14, 2011 1:21 am

The Maltese Falcon (1931) dir. Roy Del Ruth
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IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1931 Director: Roy Del Ruth Cast: Ricardo Cortez, Bebe Daniels, Dudley Digges, Una Merkel, Robert Elliott Length: 80 min. B&W/Mono

The cinematic potential of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett is evident with even a cursory reading of the novel. Clearly, an exec at Warner Brothers Studios thought so, because according to one of my sources, the studio played a waiting game to snatch the rights to the book from Paramount (that studio could never get an acceptable script), and mounted a production in the same year that the book was published. The finished production was sent out into the world in 1931.

Those days were pre-Code days. The sexual innuendo that Hammet sprinkles throughout the novel could be translated to the screen. Of course, not much risqué is shown by the standards of post-1968 sensibilities. It still looks Puritanical to our eyes, but just imagine a world where you couldn't show a woman in a bathtub with soap bubbles covering most of her breasts, or where you couldn't insinuate that Sam Spade strip-searched a woman for a missing $1000 bill, and you have the world of Satan Met a Lady, the 1936 remake based on the same novel. In 1931 you could have scenes of Miss Wonderly in the tub. It is also crystal clear that she and Spade spent the night in the same bed (his bed).

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Never get the idea that this is a sub-standard film, or a bad adaptation of Hammett's famous novel. If it has been several years since you watched John Huston's excellent version, when you see this film it will hold its own quite nicely. Every major thread of the story is present, and the slight side trips made for purposes of streamlining the story are well-done. I know this because it had been 20 years since I saw the 1941 re-remake when I first learned of this film in 2007. I watched the three films in the order of their creation. This film seemed to be a most excellently done adaptation, faltering only in the realm of sound: the commercial craft of sound motion pictures was only five years old when the movie was created in 1931.

It is natural to compare this to Huston's film. It would be impossible not to do so if you've ever seen what I always thought of as the only version of The Maltese Falcon before I learned of this film and watched it. It is beyond the ability of 21st century human beings to watch Del Ruth's version as if no other version had been done. The film was not a financial failure in 1931 (meaning that it made back its budget, although it wasn't a smash hit). I am searching for information about its critical reception. I have found one source that intimates that critics of the 1941 film might have been aware only of the 1931 version when they saw Huston's movie. Of course, the book is about the 1941 movie, so it doesn't say much about what critics in 1931 thought of the earlier movie.

When compared to the more famous 1941 film (the very defining movie that the French critics after World War II used in order to set out a genre that they called films noirs) the Del Ruth version isn't as good. But it was made in a different time. It is every bit as faithful to the novel as Huston's version. In fact, I have no doubt that Huston watched this film several times while making his adaptation. You'll have to watch the movie in order to see what I mean by that, but if you watch you cannot escape the similarities.

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Here are some aspects of the Roy Del Ruth production that I like, and some that I don't care for:

Like The film has a moving camera. The director attempts to provide some dynamism with the frame of his image, shifting it across Spade's office in an uncharacteristic type of shot for the early talkies. I haven't read anything anywhere to support this suspicion, but I'll bet the camera and blimp used on this shoot was lighter weight than those introduced for sound films in the late 1920's, and the director was showing off his new toy!

Like Joel Cairo is played by a man who looks Greek. Otto Matieson is apparently German, as was Peter Lorre who would play the character ten years later. But this Dr. Joel Cairo looks like he could be the Levantine described in the book. A Levantine is someone from the Eastern Mediterranean in 1930's parlance. We apparently don't use the term anymore. I'd never read it or heard it and had to look it up. With Wilmer Cook almost absent, though, the relationship between Cairo and the young man is also absent.

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Like Many of the work-arounds for longer scenes in the novel are very well designed. One example is a scene with Cairo and Wonderly in Spade's apartment when the two cops show up unexpectedly, and a fight between the two Gutman agents breaks out.

Like The script is as faithful to Hammett's novel as Huston's later adapatation, but they are faithful to different aspects of the book.

Like Never does the pace sag. Many crime movies of the early 1930's move along at a leisurely pace. This film does not. Its pace is not breakneck, but if you watch it you will rarely say, "Come on, already, get to the next scene."

Like The Iva Archer sublot, important in the book, is kept to a larger extent in this adaptation. After all, it is part of the rakishness of Sam Spade that he's been sexing his business partner's wife. In fact, she has some night clothes permanently endrawered at Spade's apartment. And it is clear why Spade is being hounded by the police in this film, to a much greater extent than in the famous Huston version or the 1936 comedy remake.

Like The ending of this version of the film is much closer to the ending of the novel, although not quite so existentially bleak. Huston decided that the novel should end as O'Shaunessy and her fellow conspirators are led off, but Hammett had a different resolution to the tale. The Del Ruth film also takes a bit of a different ending from the novel, but it is consistent with the tone of the film up to that point.

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Like This thing that I like will be controversial, because it does not appear in the novel or in either of the other adaptations; so it's behind spoiler tags.
Early in the film Spade speaks in Chinese to a Chinese man standing outside a grocery store near where Archer is plugged. There are no subtitles, so we don't know what they say to one another. After Spade reveals that Miss Wonderly is the killer in that murder, a newspaper page reveals that the trump card at Wonderly's trial was the testimony by Lee Fu Gow that he saw Wonderly kill Archer. The reason I like this is that at the time the testimony of a Chinese person might still have been held as questionable by many whites, but the film makes a kind of mini-stride toward racial reconciliation by allowing the star witness to be Chinese.
This is something that I can notice due to my postition in time in the early 21st century, of course.

Like The ultimate scene of the film replaces the ultimate scene of the novel. It also does not appear in the novel:
Spade visits Ruth Wonderly in her prison cell. He reveals that he has come to thank her: he is now the San Francisco District Attorney's Office chief investigator, all thanks to her. As he leaves, he tells the matron to make sure that "the girl in ten" gets whatever she wants, and to bill it to the DA's office. He will approve the expenses. In the novel it is almost, but not quite certain that Spade is in love with Wonderly/O'Shaunessy. This final scene confirms that for the viewers of the original adaptation from novel to film.
Like The film is generally more stylish and more creatively photographed than its first remake. It is not as well-designed as its second remake, but Huston had this one to improve upon.

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Don't Like I love 1930's style music. It is the progenitor of swing, which by and large is among my favorite forms of popular music. But the 1930-style music doesn't seem to fit this film. It's a prejudice born of when I came into the world, I'm afraid. It probably made sense to those who first saw the film at the theater.

Don't Like The novel makes Spade a womanizer, of course, but is not so blatant about it. In a sense, that is background information about the detective. This film sets Spade up as a rake even before it gets down to the story in the novel. It's as if the whole purpose of making the film was to point out that Spade is making time with multiple women. The focus of the film drifts toward the risqué. This is not a prudish complaint on my part, mind you, it's just that the detective story is nearly an also-ran! This imbalance is possibly not as great as I'm making it out. In fact before I watched the 1941 version again, this version seemed to be very close to the novel, and the Spade character played by Cruz seemed pretty much like the guy in the written story. Perhaps Bogart's Spade dominates in my mind now that I've rewatched Huston's adaptation.

Don't Like Cruz plays Spade as a character who is more snide than the one in the book. Warren William's 1936 Ted Shane is actually closer to the level of cheekiness that Sam Spade evinces in the novel; of course, Bogart would become the iconic Spade figure ten years later. In the novel Spade's v-shaped grin is described more than once, and Cruz continually smiles in a way that is quite disingenuous. He does this on purpose, because his Spade is doing this on purpose. In one sense the performance is very good, yet in another sense the character Sam Spade in the novel cannot realistically be portrayed by an actor. To become flesh and blood the described behaviors have to be unexaggerated, or Spade risks becoming a cartoon. Cruz has enough skill to keep that from happening, but he comes too close to toonland once or twice.

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Don't Like The investigative firm of Spade and Archer seems a bit more successful than it is in the novel. It is supposed to be scraping along, and quite seedy...like in Huston's adaptation.

Don't Like Although Dudley Digges makes a fine showing as Caspar Gutman, his take on the character is diminished because I've seen Sydney Greenstreet in the roll, and he was so much physically fatter when he played the character ten years after this film was released. Also, the way parts were played in the early 1930's led Digges to make Gutman more transparently deceitful, and less charming than Greenstreet's take on the man. However, once again, when I watched the '31 film after reading the novel, and before re-watching the '41 version, Digges seemed to capture Gutman quite well. Remember that for 10 years his was the best take on the character.

Don't Like Wilmer Cook, a character rather prominent in the novel, makes only a pair of appearances in this film. He is introduced at Gutman's hotel suite, and later shows up at Spade's apartment for the final confrontation. In the book he becomes like Spade's light-weight shadow. He threatens Spade with gun violence. His role in the novel is much closer to the role he has in Huston's adaptation. Mind you, the 1931 adaptation does okay without Cook having a more pervasive presence, but he does become a character about whom it is easy to ask, "What's he doing there?"

Don't Like The character played by Bebe Daniels is Ruth Wonderly all throughout the film. Her duplicity at changing from her real name, Brigid O'Shaunessey, is left out and it alters her character to that extent. The lie she tells Spade and Archer to get them involved in the first place becomes a one-dimensional ruse, rather than a multi-layered scam. Something seems to me to go begging about this alteration.

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by JediMoonShyne » Sat May 14, 2011 6:30 am

Grabbing the Huston version off KG in HD at this moment. :up:

Should really watch the earlier one, too.
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 14, 2011 10:05 am

JediMoonShyne wrote:Grabbing the Huston version off KG in HD at this moment. :up:

Should really watch the earlier one, too.
As far as I know DVD resolution is the best available for the two movies prior to Huston's masterpiece. You'd know more than me about what's online, though!

I assume you've seen the '41 Falcon before now? If not, you're in for a treat.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by JediMoonShyne » Sat May 14, 2011 1:45 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: As far as I know DVD resolution is the best available for the two movies prior to Huston's masterpiece. You'd know more than me about what's online, though!

I assume you've seen the '41 Falcon before now? If not, you're in for a treat.
I have indeed, yes.

Though, the current free-leech over at KG is allowing me to grab a bunch of favourites on HD.

That... that wasn't supposed to rhyme.
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Sun May 15, 2011 12:45 am

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 15, 2011 2:06 am

Would you re-read Remake Rematch?
I'll read it if the time I catch.
I'll read it frontways then read back.
I'll read while playing hacky-sack.
I cannot read it all at once
Too many sentences confront my eyes when I these things behold.
I cannot read them when I'm cold.
I cannot read them when I'm sad.
YTMN thinks some films bad.
And I don't always quite agree; and sometimes his words pester me.

The graphics that he posts are fun (when I can figure what he's done).
He doesn't leave enough white space.
He hasn't learned that space is grace.
He piles in words and photographs; I think he writes and then he laughs to think of all the clever things he did not write. Perhaps he sings it to himself while wringing hands, as every essay just expands.
It seems he never cuts out words but links to everything he's heard about a film or read online.
I'm sure he thinks his essays fine, but I can tell with one peruse that nothing he writes here is news!

(Apologies to Dr Seuss.)
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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