Honestly, Marlon Brando screaming “Stellllaaaaaaa!” in A Streetcar Named Desire was basically the highlight of my life. I vaguely knew it was coming, but it was still awesome. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” on the other hand? Wow! Kind of a super crazy dark moment! Was not entirely expecting that. Anyway. Here are the movies I watched this month for my AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies project this month.
Apocalypse Now (1979). I mean…can I just say, this was kind of a bummer? It was all so dark and long, which I guess is appropriate since it’s about the Vietnam War, but ugh. Basically Martin Sheen is some U.S. army guy who has to go find this other army guy who went insane and has created his own army in the jungle or something. I don’t know, I kind of completely lost interest and did I mention this was really long? So much war, war takes a long time, the Vietnam War was extra crappy and stupid, the end.
Raging Bull (1980). I was pleasantly surprised that this was not totally about boxing. I mean, it was about boxing, I just thought there would be MORE boxing. I hate war and sports, how female of me. Anyway. Robert De Niro is basically this rageaholic boxer and his brother/manager is Joe Pesci, and you’d better not ever talk to Robert De Niro’s wife, because he will probably murder you and also his wife. He’s this aggressive boxer who’s completely held back by his own jealousy and insecurity. It’s violent and depressing and makes for a great and powerful movie.
It Happened One Night (1934). OK, time for something a bit more positive. It turns out in ’30s you could kidnap your daughter and trap her on a boat if you don’t like her new husband! That happens to a socialite played by Claudette Colbert, but then she escapes from her super rich father and meets up with journalist Clark Gable, who agrees to take her across the country to her husband in exchange for a story. OBVIOUSLY they fall in love and get into some shenanigans. It was all very fun and cute, although I didn’t super love how Clark kept calling her a brat before he even knew her? Rude!
Vertigo (1958). WOW! It’s so ridiculous that I had not seen this before, Vertigo is the best! Jimmy Stewart plays a retired detective who had to leave his job after his vertigo prevents him from saving the life of another officer. He’s hired by Kim Novak’s husband to tail her…she’s been acting strangely and her husband is convinced she’s possessed. What follows is for sure the best psychological thriller I’ve ever seen. It was so weird and good and awesome, you should probably just watch it if you are a dummy like me and have not seen it yet. Man, Hitchcock was so excellent at what he did, good for him!
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Ehh. I thought this was pretty overrated. I mean, it was FINE, but I didn’t think it was super awesome or interesting or anything. Basically Indiana Jones takes on a bunch of Nazis in a race to uncover this biblical artifact that they believe is buried in Egypt. I don’t know, I didn’t love it. There was this one part where everyone’s faces melt, that was fun. Also, Indy’s main weapon is a whip, so that seems practical!
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). This was another really great, captivating movie that I very much enjoyed. Man, Marlon Brando was sooooo attractive! He plays a total asshole monster person named Stanley, who’s married to Stella (Kim Hunter). Stella’s sister, fading Southern belle Blanche (Vivien Leigh) comes to stay with them. She’s pretty desperate, and terrified about aging; she depends on male attention and needs someone to take care of her. She and Stan DO NOT GET ALONG SO WELL and it does not turn out very well, but still, great movie. Remember? STELLLLLAAAAAA!