So chrimbo eve 2014 and a discussion over a pint (or four) with a few mates and we wandered across the topic of films. Much to their shock they discovered I had not watched many that weren’t part of a series E.G Star Wars, Lethal Weapon, Police Squad, Jaws and of course Swedish amateur lesbians volume 1 to 5 and 6 (The best of) On further discussion they found out I had watched a few classics such as One flew over the cuckoo’s nest and Shawshank Redemption. It was agreed that a 10 films you must watch list would be created. Fast forward to chrimbo eve 2015 and with the same set of lads the shortlist was hurriedly scribbled onto the back of a Merseyrail receipt and the 10 had been selected. So below in only the order I decided to watch them I now become Barry Norman or should that be Mark Kermode ? So sit back, grab some popcorn, dim the lights and if your watching Swedish amateur lesbians put on your false arm !! Here are films 1 to 5.
The Good, the bad and the ugly (1966)
So on a Saturday afternoon after a 12 mile jog I settled down on my bed to watch the first of these to “epic” films. First thing I have to do is to check how long the film is. Just under 3 hours. Ouch, not sure if my attention span will last that long oh and the fact I might well doze off after my run but I will give it a go. I don’t ever recall watching a western, though I seem to remember them being on the TV on a Sunday afternoon as my dad watched them after Weekend World which I recall had an amazing theme tune ? Anyway I digress. Not too keen on the idea of watching a western. Don’t get me wrong I liked to play cowboys and indians when I was younger but 3 hours of it ? So first up I find out the good, the bad and the ugly are in fact three cowboys and its a tale of their shenanigans that ends up looking for hidden treasure. Strikingly its the music that grabs you here with it’s recognisable theme tune running throughout the film and one I am still humming a day after. Also very striking is the way people dive when shot dead and indeed Ashley Young could well be a stunt double in this film. I always try and predict what goes on in a film and was thinking here that at the end the good, the bad and the ugly would shoot each other at the same time and nobody gets the treasure. It didn’t quite work out like that but somebody did bite the dust. So I did stay awake for the whole thing and I will be honest it did have me hooked after about half an hour and I was keen to find out what happened. There was no need for the film to be stretched out over nearly 3 hours. The story could have easily been told a bit quicker. But I did enjoy it and I do think I might have watched the extended version by mistake. So on the newly formed hot dog scale this film gets 7 hotdogs out of a possible 10 and I get the satisfaction that my old man would have been proud I have watched this film.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
So a black and white film. The last black and white film I watched was on Beta Max when the version of Swedish Amateur Lesbians Volume 1 that had been passed to me had a certain bit played so much the tape was now black and white (No more Swedish Amateur Lesbian gags I promise) It was the first film I had watched of the goddess that was Marilyn Monroe. This had been sold to me as a comedy. Hmmmmm it was like a very light version of a “Carry on” film and the corner of my mouth might have raised once during the film. I suppose it was cutting edge back in the day with its cross dressing characters but the film did nothing for me and gets a lowly 3 hotdogs out of 10.
Another first I think as I dot ever recall watching a Hitchcock film though obviously I know about that scene and have seen a glimpse of it and of course the music. I was expecting good things of this film due to its iconic status and was judging it on the style of the day compared to modern day when there would be a lot more gratuitous violence and also a lot of nudity. As it was there was no nudity and the violence was subtle. It did have a ring of an episode of Scooby Doo for me and the ending just cemented that feeling for me even more. The film didn’t really get going for me and it was some what of a let down as I was expecting some edge of the seat tension that failed to materialise and so for that only gets 4 hotdogs out of 10.
On The Waterfront (1954)
Early Brando and only the second time I have seen Brando apart from Superman 1. First celebrity spot (If you can call it that) and a young Herman Munster is in the film. Now I admit I watched this film in three bits as I had fallen asleep twice watching it in bed. Not a cause of the film just all this bloody marathon training I am doing. The film is a sort of Dockworkers versus the mob and it lets you know when there is a “Moment” as musically it delivers a blast of brass stings somewhat reminding me of TV Batman from the 1960’s. With a story line with a hint of a political/Socialist context is is the power of the people that wins over in the end and that alone can’t be a bad thing. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and it gets 6 hotdogs out of ten.
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
This was actually bought on DVD for me by one of the lads on chrimbo eve whilst he was doing his chrimbo shopping. It was nearly left in the back of a cab but for my inbuilt check to see that my beloved iPhone hasn’t fallen out I spotted the DVD on the back seat of the cab. That must be an omen. Again I think it’s my first Spencer Tracey film having only previously known him for being in the Deacon Blue song “He looks like Spencer Tracey Now” Not long after the start and the initial plot is set this film just turns into a version of Wacky Races but with no added bonus of Muttley. Again it has a hint of a “Carry On” film about it but without any smut. I thought my copy of the film had broke as the screen went blank but it was an interval. Something I had never seen before in a film whilst watching on TV. Sadly no old lady selling ice creams came past my bed as I watched the black space of the interval. The interval was unfortunately only a few minutes long and the film came back on. Celebrity spot number two was a young Colombo in the film. This was the film that never ended running at around 200 mins. Talk about stretching it out and all for one of the most bizarre and unfunny ends I have ever seen to a film involving a ladder and most of the cast falling of the ladder and landing safely in a number of ways that were meant to be funny but I just sat there thinking is this really happening. This was truly a sad, sad, sad, sad film and gets just 2 hotdogs out of 10.
So five down and five to go. Two decent films, one middle and two shite so far and my expectations aren’t too high now for the last five films based on the first five. So expect part two of 10 films I was told to watch in about two weeks.
Fay x x x x x x x