MANHATTAN (NEW YORK)
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (WASHINGTON D.C.)
THE BIG EASY (NEW ORLEANS)
WHAT'S UP, DOC? (SAN FRANCISCO)
THE THIRD MAN (VIENNA) - ROMAN HOLIDAY (ROME)
WINGS OF DESIRE (BERLIN) - DEATH IN VENICE (VENICE)
THE FUGITIVE (CHICAGO) - AMSTERDAMNED (AMSTERDAM)
Hi, I'm Robin Clifford and I'd like to invite you to join us as Reeling takes you on a tour of some of our favorite cites and the movies we feel show them off.
And I'm Laura Clifford. We'd also like to remind you that all of these movies are available to rent or but from this site from reel.com by clicking on the movies title on our Video page.
Laura was the driving force in realizing this special edition of Reeling. When she first suggested the idea, I thought it was crazy - there couldnt be enough films to carry an entire show. But, as she put a list of films together, I saw just what the lady meant.
That's why I'm glad shes letting me lead off the show with the quintessential example of just what she's talking about, and it happens to be one of my very favorite films.
Its Woody Allen's best film, the New York neurotic masterpiece "Manhattan," which combines Allen's beautifully vivid vision of life in his favorite city, with the music of Manhattans favorite composer, George Gershwin, and the brilliant photography by longtime Woody Allen cinematographer, Gordon Willis.
If you want to see THE best work by one of America's great film directors, do yourself a favor and rent "Manhattan" - like many of the films we'll talk about tonight, this one's available at Avenue Video and it's letterboxed.
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN
"All the President's Men" is a 1976 film directed by Alan Pakula and starring Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein and Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, the two Washington Post reporters who, with the aid of Deep Throat, uncovered the Watergate Scandal. This is mostly an interior shot (reference to video clip shown), but it's a gorgeous aerial zoom out in Washington D.C.'s Library of Congress.
THE BIG EASY
If you think you might like a film with the sultriness and urbanity of New Orleans, mixed with a crime thriller about police corruption and murder, then "The Big Easy" may just be your cup of gumbo.
Dennis Quaid stars as Detective Remy McSwain, a mildly corrupt young cop investigating the murder of a local mob member. His corruption, and that of others on the force and within his own family (also cops), stirs up a CID investigation being led by vivacious Assistant DA, northern attourney Anne Osborne, played by Ellen Barkin.
While both investigations are the focus of the story, ample time is spent acquainting the viewer with the lifestyle and temperment that is unigue to the wonderful city of New Orleans, and with the budding romance between Remy and Anne.
WHAT'S UP, DOC?
"What's Up, Doc?" was directed by Peter Bogdonavitch back in his heydey - 1972. It's a true throwback to the screwball romantic comedies of the '30s, and stars Ryan O'Neal as a nerdy guy who's come to San Francisco to accept a $20,000 musicology grant and Barbara Streisand as the woman who totally both messes up and fixes his life. This is also notable as Madeleine Kahn's screen debut as Eunice, O'Neal's fiance. "What's Up, Doc?" features the requisite mixup of suitcases and lots of fun on the streets of San Francisco.
THE THIRD MAN
Our next film made the concept of film noir an acceptable and accessible alternative for American audiences back in 1950, and it created a year-long interest across the US for zither music.
"The Third Man" by English director Carol Reed uses post World War II Vienna as the backdrop for a tale of black marketeering and and drug tampering, resulting in the deaths of innocent children.
Joseph Cotten stars as Holly Martin's, a pulp western fiction writer down on his luck. Hes in Vienna on the invitation of war-time buddy, Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles. Unfortunately, Holly arrives to the news that his friend was killed the day before in a tragic car accident.
A British military intelligence investigator, played by Trevor Howard, suspects that Harry is, in fact, alive and tries to use Martins to bring the criminal out into the open.
Holly has his own ideas and goes about looking for his friend on his own.
"Roman Holiday" is a perfect romantic comedy shot in Rome in 1953 and directed by the great William Wyler, and ironically, was Audry Hepburn's American film debut. She's a teenage princess from a small country who only knows the ways of the court, but rebels on a trip to Rome and manages to sneak away on her own. She's found by an American reporter played by Gregory Peck, who is there to chronicle her trip, but he plays dumb to get the opportunity of a lifetime taking her on a 24 hour sightseeing trip of Rome. This scene was borrowed for the recent Marisa Tomei/Robert Downey Jr. comedy, 'Only You', but played much better in the original.
"Roman Holiday" was nominated for 10 Oscar nominations and won 3, including Best Actress for Audry Hepburn.
WINGS OF DESIRE
The next film on our list takes us on a sometimes surrealistic tour of West Berlin.
Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire" stars Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander as a pair of angels sent to wander the streets of Berlin, gently helping those who need a heavenly push to gather the inner strength to face their lifes trials and tribulations.
As the two heavenly visitors observe the symphony of life going on around them, they ponder what it would be like to be human and to actually experience the richness of living.
All in all, its thoroughly fascinating meditation of life told in a visually lyrical manner. I'ts a must see for the film buff and is an excellent Wenders film.
It even includes, in a supporting, but pivotal, role, Peter Falk playing himself as an actor going to Berlin to work on location in a film.
DEATH IN VENICE
"Death in Venice" is a French/Italian coproduction directed in 1971 by Luchino Visconti and adapted from the Thomas Mann novella. English actor Dirk Bogarde stars as the German composer approaching a physical and mental breakdown who goes to holiday in Venice. He's avoided emotion for so long that he believes he has nothing to live for until he becomes obsessed by a beautiful blond boy travelling with his mother and sisters. While he never actually approaches the boy, beauty is restored to his world and he refuses to leave Venice, even as it's gripped by a cholera epidemic. This film is frequently silent for long stretches of time except for the use of Mahler's Third and Fifth symphonies.
This is a masterpiece of world class filmmaking and my favorite of the 10 recommendations - it's so beautiful, it makes me weep.
For my last film, I picked the Academy Award nominee and winner for Best Supporting Actor, "The Fugitive," for its use of the city of Chicago as the backdrop for this 1994 thriller.
This remake of the long-running 60s TV series with David Jansen, stars Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, a respected vascular surgeon falsely accused of the brutal murder of his wealthy wife who was actually murdered by a mysterious one-armed man.
Kimble escapes captivity in a brilliantly executed train crash scene.
The film's sole Academy Award winner, Tommy Lee Jones, plays Deputy US Marshall Sam Gerard, assigned to hunt down the escaped Kimble.
The bulk of the film is a cat and mouse game with Gerard pursuing Kimble through the Chicago, as the doctor attempts to find the killer and clear his name.
One of the sequences in "The Fugitive" involves Kimble making his escape from Gerard during Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Amsterdamned is a 1988 Dutch film, which is essentially a cheezy serial killer/cop film - my guilty pleasure of the bunch. This works ONLY because of the unusual backdrop of Amsterdam to the incredible stunts being played in the foreground. A serial killer is attacking at random from the canals and one determined cop is on his trail.
Next ShowPrevious Show
Home | Reviews | Ratings | Top 10 | Video | Crew | Article | Links