I'm pretty sure at some point a few decades back I saw this severely truncated film documentary version (narrated by Richard Basehart) of William Shirer's monumental 1600+ page book. The only reason I am making note of this right now is because I'm deep into reading Shirer's incredible tome of epic reportage and will be spending the next several weeks on it instead of watching any films. When and if I finish it will surpass War and Peace as the…
This is the first review of this film on Letterboxd.
"If I wanted to simplify the investigation I could arrest you, OK?"
"The thing is that people hide different fevers."
In a room as quiet as a tomb, a grandfather clock seems to have stopped. It's the middle of the night, and a disheveled man still wearing his day clothes is lying down for a sleep that won't happen, and he knows it. He picks up a magazine, becomes bored…
Until cinephile culture began to seep into the mainstream three decades ago this was pretty much considered the greatest movie ever made if you'd have asked any random person.
Inarguably, I think, it's the most effective screen adaptation of middle-brow literature. Self-important, with mighty musical cues that don't let you forget it. An event movie, like The Birth of a Nation, and similarly still unapologetic about romanticizing the Confederacy. It's a lot of fun, and Vivien Leigh is titanic, no doubt, but there are at least two or three dozen other movies from the feted Hollywood year of 1939 that I would rather watch.
(Reviewed as part of a "joke challenge" with Letterboxd user, Trolleyfreak; prompted by discussion of the works of Michael Winner...)
It's debatable as to when Old Hollywood decisively died, but the infamous 1970 MGM auction -- when the company decided to concentrate on Las Vegas gambling -- took a lot of the soul as well as the wind out of Tinseltown's sails. When Dorothy's ruby slippers went on the block, it was like Hollywood selling off its magic.