Which ones would you recommend the most? I believe I’ve only seen his On the Waterfront (7/10) and A Streetcar Named Desire (6/10). I liked both, but not that I’m crazy about them. Kinda surprised with the low ratings I gave them.
Watched On the Waterfront again, after not seeing it for years … and I loved it more than ever.
Perhaps it gets bogged down in people’s estimates with the famous “I could of been a contender” speech … which is so legendary, as to almost be a cliché.
My thoughts on seeing it recently were, no ‘Waterfront’, No Martin Scorsese - It’s a really hard movie, especially for it’s time period. It just oozes violence and menace, without being (by today’s standards) particularly graphic … just really well made, by all concerned.
De Palma’s Scarface for me.
I see your 6/10 and raise you 9/10 for me.
And yes, that’s another one that I’m not all that crazy about. I rated it 5/10. Watched it once, I was like whatever. Obviously not forcing my opinion on anyone, just saying that the movie left me completely cold and indifferent. I wanted to like it, expected to like it, did not like it after all though.
De Palma’s Scarface is another one I don’t like. But at elast I don’t think anymore that it is a bad film. Pacino is absolutely terrible in it, like in most if not all of his recent films. And he once was so great …
Waterfront feels too much like filmed theatre, with leaden dialogues and much overacting. But Brando is good though.
His next films Baby Doll and A face in the Crowd are more fun too watch, also Panic in the Streets. His other famous films Streetcar and East of Eden are also more interesting than Waterfront.
Funnily he wrote in Kazan on Directing that he had to learn that dialogues are not important for films, that " a film script is more architecture than literature", that “pictures, shots, angles, images, cuts, poetic long shots are the director’s vocabulary. Not talk.” But his films often don’t look like he ever really learned that.
Well, he was quite important in his days …
Howard Hawks’ Scarface is one of my favourites, but De Palma’s is just inconceivably overrated.
Pacino’s Tony Montana performance belongs in the circus.
Yeah, it’s the case with a lot of classic movies of this sort, but now that you mention it I believe both of Kazan’s movies that I’ve seen suffered from this problem a lot more than others. I like when dialogues are used sparingly, even too frugally, if you know what I mean. A lot of newer movies do that, they rely on the visual aspect of the medium and its symbols instead of resorting to prosaic literalness of the script and trying to lay everything down for its audience. The Kazan’s works I’ve viewed so far don’t wow me in any way, shape or form probably by virtue of it. They’re too literal in the literary sense.
Thanks for the recommendations BTW.
Yeah, it’s surprisingly nasty for the time of its release. Really cool stuff. It’s aged pretty well too.
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. I believe Scarface was my first De Palma experience and upon watching it, I was reluctant to see anything else from him. Nevertheless, after some time I gave him another try and to my astonishment, he became one of my favorite directors. I really like a lot of his flicks - Blow Out, Carrie, Dressed to Kill, you name it. And here is the thing - they stylistically do have a lot in common with Scarface. They’re all kind of a little kitschy and a tad campy in their own ways. The issue with Scarface is precisely that it’s too campy, too kitschy and too grotesque for its own good. The moment Al Pacino is getting riddled with hundreds of bullets and keeps yelling ‘I’m still standing’ is the perfect illustration of what I dislike about this film. It’s not dramatic or poignant - it verges on being downright goofy too many times and doesn’t feel all that serious in my book.
I liked Scarface back in the day, funny enought it was a film that I didn’t watch for a very long period of time, but I have to agree, felt treally dated when I finally watch it again, I confess i had more fun rewatching Ghostbusters
I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s dated all that much. Obviously, I saw it quite a while ago, so I’d have to re-watch it to be more precise in my assessment. The thing is that Scarface simply lacks finesse, that’s the word I was looking for. I know I probably sound a little off my rocker (a gangster film of this sort lacking finesse, what the heck are you talking about Mickey?), but even movies like that need to show some restraint in my view, otherwise the behemothic vehemence they have devours these films from the inside out. In the end, nothing remains other than this cornucopia of kitsch and camp.
Regarding Scarface … perhaps the makers forgot the film’s one cardinal rule, “Don’t get high on your own supply” ? … I think it’s highly over rated, to say the least.
Probably my favourite De Palma film.
Paul Muni is amazing!
Scarface is a good movie, and you’re all a bunch of cockaroaches.
“Push it to the limit!”
I like De Palma, especially his thrillers like Sisters, Blow Out, Obsession, but hardly ever rewatch them. When rewatching one of his movies, I often noticed that the tension, the excitement you felt when watching them for the first time, was no longer there. That’s of course more often the case with thrillers, but the feeling is stronger in relation to De Palma’s movies. I think he’s too manipulative, trying too hard, and as a result his movies feel too show-off, too much style and not enough substance. But above mentioned movies are effective thrillers.
Scarface is not a special favorite. Saw it once, thought it was okay, but never went back to it. Same thing for Casualties of War, once was enough
- Molberg: Siunattu hulluus
- Winner: Death Wish
- Whale: Frankenstein
- Rollin: Requiem for a Vampire
- Hazanavicius: The Artist
- Kärkkäinen: Tokasikajuttu (D)
- Vidor: The Crowd
- Kassila: Kaasua, komisario Palmu
- Lynch: Mulholland Drive
- Grimaldi: In a Colt’s Shadow
Last ten days:
Foxy Brown (Hill, 1973)
Carry On Abroad (Thomas, 1972)
The Martian (Scott, 2015)
Mannaja (Martino, 1977)
Keoma (Castellari, 1976)
Detroit (Bigelow, 2017)
Deliverance (Boorman, 1972)
Duel (Spielberg, 1971)
Coffy (Hill, 1974)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Hooper, 1974)
Enter the Dragon (Clouse, 1973)
Dawn of the Dead (Romero, 1978)
Macbeth (Kurzel, 2015)
Roxanne, Roxanne (Larnell, 2018)
Sorcerer (Friedkin, 1977)
The Warriors (Hill, 1979)
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (Liu, 2018)
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Jones, 1979)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam/Jones, 1975)
Cure (Kurosawa, 1997)
The Enforcer (Fargo, 1976)
Star Wars (Lucas, 1977)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975)
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (Anderson, 2004)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (Strause/Strause, 2007)
The Duellists (Scott, 1977)
High Plains Drifter (Eastwood, 1973)
Dirty Harry (Siegel, 1971)
I recently rewatched both movies too, and I must say that I underrated Mannaja years ago. Very fine spagh with a cool lead actor.
Those scores are for the soundtracks alone of course.
I don’t mind a Carry On from time tot time, the movies are good stupid fun, but really, is this one that good?