Tag Archives: MGM

Thanks for the Memories…

Craig DB5

It was recently announced that Daniel Craig had turned down an offer of upwards of $100 million to play the role of Fleming’s Agent 007 for two more films.  Having been in the role for 4 films spanning a decade, Craig was simply done.

The speculation, dream casting and multiple reports of whose in talks with producers has begun in earnest, but no matter who takes up the mantle, Craig’s legacy as James Bond is assured.

Bond. James Bond… North by Northwest (1959)

North by NorthwestCary Grant, who had turned down an early opportunity to play Ian Flemming’s suave super spy did in fact play a version of the character here. Cool, calculating and turning back the superior villains at every turn, Roger Thornhill made for a great anti-hero. So well-played in the trademark gray suit, Connery may have almost been playing off this role.

Though shunning the 007 role due to the prospect of having to do sequels, Grant helped to generate the run of Bonds to come without really even trying.

Grant as the Spy

A Hitchcock triumph (MGM rejected his original title.. ‘The Man in Lincoln’s Nose’), bring the popcorn and no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

The second half of ‘Pearl Harbor’… Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Thirty Seconds Over TokyoIf you watched Michael Bay’s romantic threesome flick ‘Pearl Harbor’, than you’ve already got the premise of the film. Now, you just need to watch the better version of it.

‘Thirty Seconds’ is easily one of the best WWII films of the 40’s, released just prior to the surrender of the Japanese Empire. It remains true to the original story, based upon the memoirs of the man who flew the mission. In ‘Pearl Harbor’, we see Alec Baldwin, here we upgrade slightly to Spencer Tracy. Both play the Colonel Doolittle role well, but Tracy is the original and the best. Though the pacing isn’t brisk, the film is worth it and can qualify as WWII epic.
Doolittle's RaidersBring popcorn and no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

And Oscar makes two… Boys Town (1938)

Boys TownSpencer Tracy won his second consecutive Academy Award for this turn as Father Flanagan, the architect and operator of Boys Town. Following up ‘Captains Courageous’, Tracy cemented himself as an actor’s actor.

Surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast, and pitching a great script, this film makes the ‘Best’ list and with little question. Well paced and with excellent delivery, ‘Boys Town’ is definitely one to watch if you really consider yourself a film buff.

Save PeeWeeBring popcorn.

5 Stars

Just a great film… Test Pilot (1938)

Test PilotI list this under my ‘Best’ category for the simple fact that it’s one of the best ‘Buddy’ pics of all time. Tracy and Gable had already been on-screen together, and both had already been award winners, but this one was just fun. The story allows them to play off themselves with great range, and adding Myrna Loy only helps.

Paced fairly well, with just a dash of drama, the film hits on all cylinders and is definitely a popcorn movie.
Test Pilot Promotional StillIf you like this one, don’t miss ‘Boomtown’ either.

5 Stars

We all know what it is… Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Mutiny On The BountyIt’s classic. A classic novel made into a classic film with great classic actors. What more do you want? A ‘big budget’ film for it’s time, this one helped solidify Clark Gable as the ‘King of Hollywood’ (even though he did not want to star in it) and as a long range actor, not just some gangster or quick-witted romantic lead.
Mutiny
The film, like the book, isn’t paced the quickest, but it’s true to the original work. If you can look beyond the clock, you’ll follow along just fine and be entertained in the process. With an excellent and talented cast of top tier and supporting actors, this film definately is worthy of the viewing.

5 Stars

One two punch… Octopussy (1983)

OctopussyNot since the initial release of ‘Dr. No’ and ‘From Russia..’ had two Bond films been back to back epic, never mind 007 epic. But following Roger Moore’s best Bond vehicle in ‘Eyes Only’ came a near perfect follow-up on ‘Octopussy’.

Released to trail Sean Connery’s ‘Never Say Never Again’ unofficial Bond film for Warners, the two went head to head for bragging rights. As many figured Connery would win, Moore’s film held its own… and though many will always have a differing opinion, the two films raced neck and neck to a photo finish… Moore, though, won the title by playing a better storyline, even if Connery played a better Bond.

With a better supporting cast than one had seen in a while, on the coattails of ‘Eyes Only’, ‘Octopussy’ sported a mature and more memorable Maude Adams, Louis Jordan in a villanous turn, and a Q who easily branched out even further… with a title alone that begged interest. Moore’s second best vehicle, he reaches Bond Epic for the second straight time.

Octopussy girlsIf only he had kept this his farewell Bond performance.

5 Stars