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Friday, November 28, 2014

THE PINK PANTHER (1963)

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From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Nov 28, 2014 4:20 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,564. The Pink Panther (1963)

Posted: 27 Nov 2014 10:45 PM PST


Directed By: Blake Edwards

Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner



Tag line: "You only live once... so see The Pink Panther twice!!!"

Trivia: Yves Saint Laurent created the gowns for Capucine and Claudia Cardinale. This was the designer's first Hollywood film project







The majority of the Pink Panther sequels, from 1964's A Shot in the Dark all the way up to 1978's The Revenge of the Pink Panther, put the focus squarely on Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling French detective played by Peter Sellers. This is what makes The Pink Panther, the 1963 original, such an interesting motion picture; unlike the other entries in the series, Clouseau is merely a supporting character in this film. In fact, you might even say he's the villain of the piece.

Despite his worldly demeanor, British playboy Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) is, in reality, The Phantom, a notorious thief whose specialty is fine jewelry. In an interesting twist, Sir Charles' accomplice and lover, the beautiful Simone (Capucine), is actually the wife of Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Sellers), the very man who has sworn to bring The Phantom to justice! All three converge on a ski resort in the small Italian town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, where Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), owner of the fabled Pink Panther diamond, is vacationing. In an effort to steal the Pink Panther, Sir Charles cozies up to the Princess, only to discover he actually has feelings for her. This, combined with the sudden and unexpected arrival of Sir Charles' American nephew George (Robert Wagner), puts the entire plan in jeopardy. What's more, Clouseau, who has no idea his wife is deceiving him, believes he's closing in on the Phantom, and, in an attempt to capture him, doubles the guard around the Pink Panther. Unbeknownst to all, someone else is also after the diamond, resulting in a weekend none of them will soon forget.

Directed by Blake Edwards, The Pink Panther is a sophisticated caper comedy, with David Niven at his dashing best as the worldly Sir Charles. The scenes in which he's trying to woo the Princess have an almost regal feel to them, and his ability to remain calm in any situation is the mark of a true gentleman. Yet as debonair as Niven is in the role of Sir Charles, The Pink Panther belongs to a bumbling idiot, namely Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Despite playing what was essentially a supporting character, Peter Sellers was given ample opportunity throughout The Pink Panther to show the world how gifted a comedian he was; at one point, Clouseau burns his fingers on a fireplace, then tries to cool them in a beer stein that his associate Tucker (Colin Gordon) is drinking from (naturally, his hand gets stuck in it). Yet as funny as the slapstick and pratfalls are, Clouseau's best scenes take place in the hotel room he shares with his wife (one in particular, where Simone is trying to conceal the fact that both Sir Charles and George are hiding in the room, is absolutely hilarious).

Though initially intended as a vehicle for Niven, The Pink Panther will instead be remembered as the film that introduced Jacques Clouseau to the movie-going public, thus earning it a sacred place in the Pantheon of comedy history.







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Monday, November 24, 2014

Fwd: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge




Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,560. The Fortune Cookie (1966)

Posted: 24 Nov 2014 11:51 AM PST


Directed By: Billy Wilder

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich



Tag line: "Some people will do anything for $249,000.92"

Trivia: Several scenes were filmed at the Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns game, held at Cleveland Municipal Stadium on the afternoon of Halloween 1965







Director Billy Wilder, who was responsible for some of the best motion pictures ever made, worked in a number of different genres throughout his career. After practically inventing film-noir with Double Indemnity, Wilder would go on to direct hard-hitting dramas (The Lost Weekend), lighthearted romances (Sabrina), a brilliant courtroom thriller (Witness for the Prosecution), a biopic (The Spirit of St. Louis), and a funny wartime flick that was also an intriguing mystery (Stalag 17). In addition, he helmed a number of great comedies, including The Seven-Year Itch, Some Like it Hot, and One Two Three. Of them all, though, the funniest is 1966's The Fortune Cookie, a movie that features the first onscreen pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, who, after this film, would appear together nine more times (The Odd Couple being my personal favorite).

Harry Hinkle (Lemmon), an on-field cameraman for CBS Sports, ends up in the hospital when star football player Luther 'Boom Boom' Jackson (Ron Rich) accidentally bowls him over during a game. This near-calamity sparks the imagination of Harry's brother-in-law, Willie Gingrich (Matthau), a lawyer who specializes in frivolous lawsuits. Sensing a huge cash settlement, Willie tries to convince Harry (who's not really hurt) to fake a lower back injury. At first reluctant to go along with this scheme, Harry changes his tune when Willie convinces him that a huge payday might help him win back his ex-wife Sandy (Judi West), who Harry never stopped loving. But to pull this scam off, the two are going to have to outwit Purkey (Cliff Osmond), an investigator with the insurance company who's convinced Harry is faking his injuries.

Along with its clever script (co-written by Wilder and I.A.L Diamond), The Fortune Cookie owes its success to the fine performances of its two stars. Lemmon's Harry is something of a sad sack (a lonely guy who longs to reunite with his conniving ex), yet he's also basically a good guy, and has second thoughts about faking his injury when he sees how guilty Boom Boom Jackson feels for having caused him so much pain. Lemmon has his share of funny moments (the scene where the insurance company is subjecting him to a round of tests is particularly funny), but its Matthau's fast-talking Willie who steals the show. The first time we meet him, Willie is in his office talking with Mr. Cimoli (Howard McNear), a prospective client. It seems poor Mr. Cimoli was injured when he slipped on a banana peel while walking out of a small neighborhood delicatessen. "Too bad it didn't happen further down the street in front of the May Company. From them you can collect", Willie tells a surprised Mr. Cimoli, adding "Couldn't you have dragged yourself another twenty feet?" Willie is a cad throughout the entirety of The Fortune Cookie, and Matthau's performance is so good that it won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

While his career after The Fortune Cookie was hit-and-miss (1974's The Front Page and 1981's Buddy Buddy, both of which also featured Matthau and Lemmon, were absolute duds), Wilder's overall body of work is damned impressive, and its movies like The Fortune Cookie that have cemented his place in Hollywood history.







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Friday, November 21, 2014

RogerEbert.com for the week of November 21, 2014

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Date: Nov 21, 2014 11:14 AM
Subject: New Reviews at RogerEbert.com for the week of November 21, 2014
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

This is your weekly update of new reviews on RogerEbert.com, the world's preeminent destination for movie criticism, commentary and community.

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New Reviews at RogerEbert.com for the week of November 21, 2014

Here are reviews of this week's newest movies from RogerEbert.com. For these and more, including blog posts on everything from sci-fi and low-brow comedy to forgotten masterpieces of cinema, please visit our site and join the conversation.

Three Chicago Docs Vie for Oscar

Find out more at http://rogerebert.com.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Poster

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Review by Sheila O'Malley

Some of the images sit there unmoving for too long, but that very same stasis also helps create and enforce the underlying tension, the tormented space between people even when they are standing very close together. The film feels extremely…

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Happy Valley Poster

Happy Valley

Review by Matt Zoller Seitz

Director Amir Bar-Lev doesn't push the irony. He doesn't push anything, really. He just recounts the whole sordid story of the Penn State football scandal again, then draws, or tries to draw, some lessons from it.

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Bad Hair Poster

Bad Hair

Review by Sheila O'Malley

Mariana Rondón's Bad Hair is a stark and often brutal look at one boy's pre-sexual awakening of identity and how that impacts his life. What is it like to know who you are before you understand what that will mean?

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The King and the Mockingbird Poster

The King and the Mockingbird

Review by Christy Lemire

What a tortured path The King and the Mockingbird has taken to reach theaters in the United States, and what a treat it is for us to be able to experience it now.

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Extraterrestrial Poster

Extraterrestrial

Review by Simon Abrams

It's frustrating to watch a horror movie as promising as Extraterrestrial, a new slasher film about alien abduction, fail to hit its marks.

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V/H/S: Viral Poster

V/H/S: Viral

Review by Brian Tallerico

V/H/S: Viral, the third film after Sundance hits V/H/S and V/H/S/2, better represent the bottom of the barrel for this franchise because I don't think I can take much more.

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Reach Me Poster

Reach Me

Review by Glenn Kenny

Once you've sunk into the entirely warped groove of Reach Me you're almost eager to experience the next offense against aesthetics and/or common sense it is poised to commit. And make no mistake: this is a movie that keeps on…

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The Circle Poster

The Circle

Review by Glenn Kenny

Haupt's film moves along agreeably enough for a while, and the intercutting between the film's real-life subjects, now at an advanced age, and their dramatized adventures almost 60 years ago, convincingly creates a rooting interest.

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Late Phases Poster

Late Phases

Review by Brian Tallerico

Bogliano can't quite manage the tones of the film, resulting in a frustrating piece of work overall, but Damici gives his memorable protagonist enough life to hold it together more often that it would have otherwise. He's great here. The…

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Monk With a Camera Poster

Monk With a Camera

Review by Godfrey Cheshire

While the film doesn't delve into the doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism, it does provide a sense of its outward life in the images of the people and rituals of the monastery to which Nicky Vreeland has devoted so much love…

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Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets Poster

Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets

Review by Simon Abrams

Habicht's film never goes beyond idol worship since his film only succeeds at reproducing Cocker's myopic vision of his band.

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