Day 344 & Day 345 & Day 346 – The Stepford Wives (1975) & M & The Sting

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Movie Title: The Stepford Wives

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Stepford Wives is based on the fantastic novel of the same name by Ira Levin who was also the mastermind behind Rosemary’s Baby one of the greatest horror stories of all time. Joanna and Walter Eberhart have just moved to the town of Stepford, Connecticut from New York City. They have two young children and they are looking forward to a quieter life in the countryside. Joanna works in the house, but has a developing photography career. Walter works in a vaguely defined business related to electronics.

After living in the town for a short period of time, Walter joins the local men’s association. He begins spending a lot of time outside of the house and Joanna resents it. Joanna starts to talk with the women around time and she begins to realize that they are bizarre. They are obsessed with housework and domestic tasks. They have no personal lives. Slowly the truth comes out about the men’s association and what they are doing with the women in town. Will Joanna be able to escape the fate of the other women in town? The ending is horrifying.

Verdict:

The Stepford Wives is a great movie about the objectification of women. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: M (1931)

 

Movie Title: M

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

M is a masterwork by Fritz Lang who is also well known for his silent science fiction epic Metropolis. I have never been a big fan of Metropolis and I went into M with a bit of trepidation. M is a genre defining movie that set the tone for an entire genre.

There is a murderer out and about in a German town killing children. The opening scene depicting the first murder is chilling and iconic. The police are under tremendous pressure to catch the murderer, but they have had absolutely no success. In order to correct the situation they are collecting criminals at random all over town hoping to catch the killer. This is putting a serious damper on crime around town. The top echelon of the criminal underworld get together and decide that they are going to catch the murderer on their own in order to restore their criminal enterprises.

The plot turns into a race between the cops and the crooks to see who can find the murderer first. The movie features Peter Lorre in a particularly disturbing role early in his career. He does a great job portraying a serial killer. The twists and turns involved in catching him are great and required excellent staging. The mix between sound and silence is also perfect. All these elements may make M one of the earliest psychological thrillers. The ending is great.

Verdict:

M is a great, genre defining work. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Sting (1973)

 

Movie Title: The Sting

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 9 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Sting is a classic heist movie that reunited Paul Newman and Robert Redford after their success in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) is a small time grifter that gets into it with a big time mob figure from New York by accident. His close friend and associate Luther Coleman is killed by his goons for revenge. Hooker is on the hit list as well, but he is ducking his assassins.

Hooker then hooks up (symbol crash) with Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) who is a master grifter intent on taking Hooker’s game to the next level. They develop a complex con designed to get revenge against Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) who is the man that burned Hooker’s associates. The story is told in sequences broken up by beautiful title cards. The plot is somewhat predictable, but it is more about the journey than the destination. Newman and Redford had great on screen chemistry. Shaw does a fantastic job portraying anger issues and Charles Durning has a nice turn as a crooked cop. Watching the con play out is a lot of fun. The movie doesn’t have a lot of depth, but it has superb style.

Verdict:

The Sting is a great con movie that significantly influenced the genre. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Incredibles 2 (2018)

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