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Filtering by Category: Capturing a Golden Moment

Capturing a Golden Moment #21: The Swimmer

 

The Swimmer (1968)

 

Director: Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack (uncredited)

 

Scene: "Empty Pool"

 

I've chosen the following scene for several reasons. This film, although a cult favourite, still remains unknown to many and celebrates its 50 year theatrical release anniversary this month. The central character effectively communicates a sincere paternal concern for the young boy whose pool he wishes to swim on his journey home. These moments also perfectly summarise how Ned Merrill, played with deep conviction by Burt Lancaster, typically deals with adverse situations by reimagining them differently. I've recently written about The Swimmer here.   

 

 

 

The Swimmer is available on Blu-ray and DVD here:

The Swimmer (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Starring Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers

Capturing a Golden Moment #20: The Big Sleep

 

The Big Sleep (1946)

 

Director: Howard Hawks

 

Scene: "Acme Book Shop"

 

In honour of the late Dorothy Malone (January 30, 1925 - January 19, 2018), here is her brief but sizzling scene as the Acme book store proprietress in The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart as private detective Philip Marlowe. Malone's on screen moments may be few, nevertheless, she matches Bogart's tenacity line for line, while managing to make quite a stylishly lasting impression of her own. 

 

 

 

The Big Sleep is available on Blu-ray here:

The Big Sleep [Blu-ray]
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Dorothy Malone

 

It is also available on DVD here:

The Big Sleep (1946)
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Dorothy Malone

Capturing a Golden Moment #19: The Drowning Pool

 

The Drowning Pool (1975)

 

Director: Stuart Rosenberg

 

Scene: "The Drowning Pool"

 

This is an investigative sequel of sorts, to 1966's Harper, with Paul Newman reprising his role as Lew Harper, private detective. The original is the one to see, with its more intriguing premise, creatively delivered storyline and colourful characters to hold our attention. The Drowning Pool does, however, have the title scene's showstopper: distinctive, suspenseful and wonderfully created by everyone involved behind and in front of the camera. If only the rest of the film delivered half the inspiration found here. *Warning: Some may find this scene's brutal, intense nature disturbing. 

 

 

 

The Drowning Pool is available on this DVD-R here:

Drowning Pool, The
$12.99
Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tony Franciosa, Murray Hamilton, Gail Strickland

 

It is also available for U.S. download here:

The Drowning Pool
$2.99
Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tony Franciosa, Murray Hamilton, Gail Strickland

 

And in this box set of 7 Paul Newman films here:

 

A.G.

Capturing a Golden Moment #15: Guys and Dolls

In this series, I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

Guys and Dolls (1955)

 

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

 

Scene: "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat"

 

Stubby Kaye as Nicely-Nicely Johnson sings this showstopping song fabulously, perhaps as a result of perfecting the role and number on Broadway during the show's 1200 performances. Guys and Dolls won the 1951 Tony Award for the Best Musical. With such lively and exuberant characters and songs like the one seen here, it's easy to see why.   

 

 

Guys and Dolls  is available on Blu-ray here:

Guys and Dolls [Blu-ray]
$18.49
Starring Various

 

It is also available for U.S. download here:

A.G.

Capturing a Golden Moment #14: Ikiru

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

Ikiru (1952)

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Scene: "The Finale"

 

*Note: My approach to describing the following scene will be different than the preceding entries in this series. The dramatic effect of Ikiru's final moments is not as self contained as its predecessors and is cumulative in nature, relying on the narrative strength of what has come beforehand. I would therefore request that these moments be respectfully observed by those who have seen the entire film. Otherwise it would be like reading only the last pages of a literary masterpiece. Please pardon my reverential attitude here, but I consider this film to be cinema's finest, most spiritually profound work of art.  

This final scene concerns one of the office workers. After expressing silent outrage at his bureaucratic colleagues returning to their former ineffectiveness, he's stared down by his superior and reluctantly retreats behind a mountain of paperwork. At the end of the day he looks down from an overpass at some children joyfully using the playground his deceased former colleague Watanabe, with great effort and perseverance, created. (Previously celebrating his glorious accomplishment, Watanabe sat on the playground's swing in the night's freezing cold, singing a most poignant song). Two children abandon the swing, the seats of which are empty; the shot is held there as they gently sway back and forth. The song's tune is heard on the soundtrack. Is this meant as a symbolic invitation for us to fill the empty spaces and become "creators" ourselves? The figure stares down at the park before finally walking off. As he walks across the bridge from above, notice how the filmmakers ingeniously capture him if only for a few seconds, in a pyramid shape of the swing structure, the chains of which can still be seen swaying. And as he walks out of this framing device and then leaves the scene completely, is he representative of time that passes regardless of how we choose to live our lives, suggesting the fleeting nature of man’s opportunity to give unto others? Watanabe is gone but his creation, his spiritual inspiration, endures. Its meaning however, and perhaps more importantly what will be done about it, is left up to us.

 

 

 

Ikiru is available on Blu-ray (North America Region A locked) here:

Ikiru (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
$27.13
Starring Takashi Shimura

It is also available for U.S. download here:

Ikiru
$2.99
Starring Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Kyoko Seki, Makoto Kobori, Kumeko Urabe

Capturing a Golden Moment #13: Jaws

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

Jaws (1975)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Scene: "The Indianapolis"

This scene with no action per se, is perhaps the film's most terrifying. The immensely talented Robert Shaw plays Quint, who recounts his experience aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis with the actor's customarily unique and intense delivery. The harrowing ordeal Quint describes is enhanced by one's awareness of the real-life incident itself and Shaw's reported authorship of his vivid account. Shaw, an accomplished playwright, submitted his own re-write of the scene after an uncredited John Milius' first draft sparked a disagreement between credited writers Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb. The added realism is in part due to the clever way the moment is foreshadowed by suggesting Quint's subtle reluctance to remind himself of the horrific event. Director Spielberg deserves credit for securing such natural performances from all 3 actors (including Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss).    

 

 

Jaws is available on Blu-ray here:

Jaws [Blu-ray]
$11.99
Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton

It is also available on DVD here:

Jaws
$3.74
Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton

Capturing a Golden Moment #12: Monkey Business (1931)

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

Monkey Business (1931)

Director: Norman Z. McLeod

Scene: "Punch and Judy Show"

Harpo is one of the Marx Brothers, all of whom are cruise ship stowaways running from the authorities. His exuberant infiltration of a puppet show fits right in with its slapstick nature, and increases the children's enjoyment, judging by their rambunctious response. Notice their adorable "waves goodbye" as Harpo makes his exit.

 

 

Monkey Business is available on DVD along with four other Marx Brothers' movies here:

Capturing a Golden Moment #10: A Night at the Opera

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Director: Sam Wood

Scene: "The Stateroom"

Many writers contributed to this epic farce, including its two principals: George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. Even an uncredited Buster Keaton worked on developing this famous scene. It was nearly scrapped, however, because it wasn't getting any laughs. Once the Marx Brothers ignored the script and started ad libbing the whole thing, it transformed into one of the all-time comedy classics.

 

 

A Night at the Opera is available on DVD here:

A Night at the Opera
$9.95
Starring Chico Marx, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Margaret Dumont

It is also available in a box set along with 6 other Marx Brothers comedies here:

Capturing a Golden Moment #8: North by Northwest

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

North by Northwest (1959)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Scene: "The Auction"

Cary Grant cleverly gets himself out a jam in one of the master's best exercises in suspense courtesy of Ernest Lehman's ingenious, original screenplay and the cast's perfect performances.

 

 

North by Northwest is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon below:

North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition in Blu-ray Book Packaging)
$25.18
Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau
North By Northwest
$5.97
Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll

The original recording of Bernard Herrmann's fabulous score can currently be ordered by clicking on the image below. (Intrada ships worldwide).

Capturing a Golden Moment #7: Sometimes a Great Notion

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

 

Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

Director: Paul Newman

Scene: "Logging Accident"

Harrowing but poignant, Newman's directorial debut reveals the unique identities of his characters and their deeply commited relationships with one another in this stunningly tragic scene.

 

 

Sometimes a Great Notion is available on Blu-ray here:

Sometimes A Great Notion [Blu-ray]
$13.30
Starring Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick

It is also available on DVD here:

 

Sometimes a Great Notion
$17.98
Starring Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Richard Jaeckel, Linda Lawson

Capturing a Golden Moment #6: Monkey Business (1931)

 

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

 

Monkey Business (1931)

Director: Norman Z. McLeod

Scene: "Passport Departure"

I wonder what Maurice Chevalier would have made of this.

 

 

Monkey Business is available on DVD along with four other Marx Brothers movies here:

 

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)
$30.49
Starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont



Capturing a Golden Moment #5: White Heat

 

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

White Heat (1949)

Director: Raoul Walsh

Scene: "Prison Breakdown"

This little display of emotion demonstrates why James Cagney was such a great actor and commanding star. Creatively written by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Superbly delivered by director Walsh.  

 

 

White Heat is available on Blu-ray here:

White Heat [Blu-ray]
$13.76
Starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'brien, Margaret Wycherly

It is also available on DVD here:

White Heat
$9.50
Starring Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'brien, Margaret Wycherly

Capturing a Golden Moment #4: The Fastest Gun Alive

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) 

Director: Russell Rouse

Scene: "The Dance"

Another amazing showcase from the unstoppable Russ Tamblyn: From the young Bart Tare in Gun Crazy (1950) to Riff in West Side Story (1961) to Son of a Gunfighter in Django Unchained (2012) he's still going strong.

 

 

 

The Fastest Gun Alive is available On Demand from The Warner Archive Collection here:

Fastest Gun Alive
$19.98
Starring Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Russ Tamblyn, Allyn Joslyn

Capturing a Golden Moment #3: Double Indemnity

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

Double Indemnity (1944) 

Director: Billy Wilder

Scene: "Office Meeting"

What a set up for Edward G. Robinson. How would you like to have a moment like this with your boss?

 

 

 

Double Indemnity is available on a Region Free Blu-ray from Universal and is available here:

Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
$20.86
Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather

It is also available on Blu-ray from Masters of Cinema (Region B locked ) and can be ordered here:

Double Indemnity [Region B]
$39.71
Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather

Capturing a Golden Moment #2: It's a Gift

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

It's a Gift (1934) 

Director: Norman Z. McLeod

Scene: "The Picnic"

Ahh... the blissful life of domesticity.

 

 

 

It's a Gift is available on DVD from Universal Studios and can be ordered here: