Day 323 & Day 324 & Day 325 – Singin’ in the Rain & The Treasure of the Sierra Madre & All About Eve / Pop Chart Lab Scratch #16

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Movie Title: Singin’ in the Rain

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.

Rated: G

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Singin’ in the Rain stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds as a silent film star and an up and coming starlet in the new age of Hollywood. Singin’ in the Rain is set in the late 1920s in the wake of the release of The Jazz Singer. The Jazz Singer was one of the first talking pictures and one of the first theatrical musicals.

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are a silent film tandem that have had phenomenal success. Despite Lockwood and Lamont appearing to be romantically linked the truth is far from it. They are both rather conceited and Lockwood can scarcely tolerate his shrill moving picture companion. Lockwood runs into Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) while trying to escape from his adoring fans. He jumps into her car and she mistakes him for a thief. Lockwood runs into Selden again at a film premiere celebration where she is serving as the entertainment. Lockwood falls for her immediately though she tries to steer well clear of him after an incident with Lamont.

SingLockwood and Lamont begin shooting their first talking picture and it is a disaster. But, Lockwood comes up with a way to salvage the picture that will give Selden a chance to launch her career. The movie is genuinely funny and has nice bit roles from Donald O’Connor and Millard Mitchell. The story is sweet and well shot, but the musical numbers are the spirit of the movie. Several of the numbers were original, but several others were lifted from the 1920s film Broadway Melody which gives the movie more 1920s spirit.

Verdict:

Singin’ in the Rain is clearly the greatest musical Hollywood has ever produced. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

 

Movie Title: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 6 min.

Rated: Passed

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is carried by its trio of stars to make it one of the greatest westerns ever made. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt) are two down on their luck Americans living in Mexico. Both are swindled out of their money by an unscrupulous contractor after working the same job. Dobbs and Curtin have the last laugh when they run into the contractor in a bar and beat him bloody. They take what is owed to them, but now they need to get out of the city.

They remember the words of an old man they ran into staying in a cheap hotel about gold prospecting and set out to find him. Howard (Walter Huston) is an expert gold prospector and show the two the ropes. They head into the Sierra Madre mountains where they find a rich vein of gold, but things quickly spiral. Dobbs is neurotic that his partners are going to kill him and take his share. This tension builds as Howard and Curtin grow increasingly more careful around the near psychopathic Dobbs.

Bogart’s performance as Dobbs is fantastic. He physically and mentally transforms on screen into the character until it consumes him. Holt serves nicely in his role and doesn’t much up the works. Holt was always a western genre player and knew how to play the role. Director John Huston shot a beautiful movie, but his father Walter Huston steals the show as the grizzled gold prospector with a unique spirit.

Verdict:

It has a Shakespearean feel to it and a beautiful ending. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: All About Eve (1950)

 

Movie Title: All About Eve

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 18 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

As the title suggests, All About Eve is the story of an up and coming actress named Eve and how she made it big on Broadway. Eve (Anne Baxter) is introduced to her favorite stage actress by Karen (Celeste Holm) the wife of a famous writer. Margo (Bette Davis) is her favorite actress and she is obsessed with her. She has attended every performance for her most recent play and has a heart breaking story to go with her to boot. Eve is taken into Margo’s household entourage, but she soon oversteps her boundaries and Eve wants nothing more than to be rid of her.

Margo reaches out to her contacts in the theater community to try and find her a job and pushes her into the arena of Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) a theater commentator. This soon spirals as Eve begins social and professional climbing through the ranks while Margo feels alienated by age and her newfound associations. Some old relationships turn toxic as she becomes even more of a diva than she was before.

All About Eve is really all about Hollywood and how bones are made on the way to stardom. It is a fascinating commentary with some devilish performances and unique twists. It also features a young Marilyn Monroe in a small role a few years before she would blow up with Some Like It Hot. The choice of Monroe and some of the other actresses in the story also make the movie feel very meta in retrospect.

Verdict:

It is a great and twisted story that also rings very true. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Double Indemnity (1944)

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