Watched Films: 1/1/11

Happy New Year! With every new year brings some new things…so without further ado, I’d like to introduce a new thing I’d like to keep going here: Watched Films. During this winter break, I have made it a duty to watch at least one film a day. Since December 16th, I’ve watched at the very least one film and I’d say a good 90% of those I had never seen before.

Watched Films will be a quick and dirty way for me to keep track of the films I’m watching as well as jotting down quick notes. I will also let everyone know how I got access to the film, whether it was on TV or if I actually bought a physical copy. So, here are the films I watched today:

Horse Feathers – 1932, Norman Z. McLeod – broadcast on TCM – This is a great romp from the Marx Brothers in which Groucho becomes the president of a university. It’s a neat, briskly paced film (it’s a scant 67 minutes long), but the scenes with Zeppo are pretty unremarkable at times. I can only feel bad for Zeppo (I mean, how degrading must it be to play your brother’s son?), but you have to give him props for sticking around – even without anything to do. 6/10

Swing Time – 1936, George Stevens – TCM – My first experience with Astaire/Rodgers and it was really astounding. I don’t think there’s anything I can add to here, but if you’ve never seen those two dance, you have never, ever seen anyone dance. 10/10

The Grapes of Wrath – 1940, John Ford – 20th Century Fox DVD – Sometimes my parents want to know why I like to watch such old films. ‘What are you gonna do with all this knowledge of old movies?’ says my dad. Sometimes I wonder that myself because, as I noted on this blog, I have no desire to go into the business. However, when I get really enveloped in a film and I find myself in awe I say to myself Now that’s why I watch movies. There are so many scenes in this film that make me just say that. Muley’s story and Tom Joad’s speech at the end of the film are just two examples of that. Just a perfect film. 10/10

Also, I will probably be doing a lot of writing on John Ford…I have a full marathon of his films set up after getting the John Wayne/John Ford Film Collection from Amazon dirt cheap.

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