Movie reviews written for movies released theatrically in 1967.
1. The Graduate, directed by Mike Nicholls (10/10)
Perhaps my favourite movie of the decade. And, along with Bonnie and Clyde, the beginning of the American Renaissance.
1. Marat / Sade, directed by Peter Brook (10/10)
I think this has to be considered one of the great works of art of the past century. It might be the best 20th century play I’ve seen.
Though some (including myself) sometimes nitpick about filmed plays being to stagey, in this case it is important that this play be on film, because more people will see it. In any case, they do make use of close-ups and alternate angles that aren’t available in the theatre.
It’s funny, it’s clever, and it’s dead-on in its assessment of revolutions.
3. Weekend, directed by Jean Luc Godard (10/10)
Probably my favourite Godard. I don’t think I was able to think about movies the same way after this.
4. Bonnie and Clyde, directed by Arthur Penn (10/10)
Though it has dated somewhat, this is one of the most important American movies ever. This is the film where the French New Wave arrived in America. Really, where is the American Renaissance without this movie?
5. Don’t Look Back, directed by D.A. Pennebaker (10/10)
Even if Dylan weren’t so interesting a figure, this would still be a landmark film. This movie is the music tour film. Virtually every tour film cliche is here in some way or other. Adding Dylan to the bargain only makes it better. The warts and all approach would have been refreshing at the time, and it’s always better than idol-worship. A true landmark.
6. Point Blank, directed by John Boorman (10*/10)
As a teenager, my mind was blown. I haven’t seen it since though.
7. Samurai Rebellion, directed by Masaki Kobayashi (9/10)
A classic samurai film. One of the best. Read the review of Samurai Rebellion.
8. In Cold Blood, directed by Richard Brooks (8/10)
I have lost my review for this. But it’s pretty close to textbook true crime.
9. Cool Hand Luke, directed by Stuart Rossenberg (8/10)
Iconic. I re-watched it a while ago because my friend loved it. It was better than I remembered. I have of course lost the review.
10. Drifting Upstream, directed by Michel Brault (8/10)
Not Brault’s best film, but certainly a significant Canadian documentary.
11. Le samourai, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (8/10)
The longer this film ran, the more I liked it. It is very deliberate (but not too deliberate) and well-shot. The pace for the first part of the film makes the chase scenes that much tenser.
My only real quibble is that because of the lead and because of his general lack of emotion and dialogue, it is somewhat difficult to interpret the ending. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just feel like this one is slightly too far on the too-obscure side of the ambiguous ending. I get that he has a code and that he must satisfy it, I just don’t really get how his ultimate actions satisfy that code.
12. Branded to Kill, directed by Seijun Suzuki (8/10)
I was led to believe that this was sort of a Japanese Godard film without the politics, and that certainly feels appropriate after watching it.
I would have absolutely eaten this up in my early 20s when I was super into anarchic filmmaking:
- there isn’t much of a plot – or, rather, the plot is inconsequential
- there’s a lot of stuff done for shock value
- there’s a wry sense of humour that is little too dependent upon poking fun at the establishment.
Now that I am older, I have a little less tolerance for this. And not being up on ’60s Yakuza films, I am probably missing some of the jokes.
That being said, I must admire when the rulebook is thrown out the window, as it is here. And, though I don’t know enough about ’60s Japanese cinema outside of Kurosawa, I can imagine that this violated more than a few rules and bothered more than a few people, and that’s something I can appreciate.
Also, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments for sure.
Oh yeah, and it feels like maybe it kind of inspired The Prisoner. I’m sure it didn’t, but one can dream.
13. In the Heat of the Night, directed by Norman Jewison (7*/10)
I need to re-watch this.
14. The Dirty Dozen, directed by Robert Aldrich (7*/10)
Seen multiple times as a teen.
15. The Fearless Vampire Killers and Dance of the Vampires, directed by Roman Polanski (7/10)
I don’t think I wrote down what I thought at the time, but this is enjoyable and a landmark as one of the earlier horror comedies.
16. Mouchette, directed by Robert Bresson (7/10)
This is a downer. It’s kind of relentless which is both admirable and annoying. I don’t really go in for this kind of stuff, but I recognize that Bresson certainly knows what he’s doing. And this certainly was a rather more unique take on things at the time than it might appear to our eyes. But even though it’s only 80 minutes, you kind of feel like saying “I get it, her life’s miserable! Enough.”
17. The President’s Analyst, directed by Theodore J. Flicker (7/10)
This starts off slowly with a number of obvious jokes that don’t work very well. But it picks up steam as soon as people try to get a hold of the Doctor. Many of the jokes don’t work very well but then a line will come along that’s a real zinger. It’s pretty uneven and it has dated a lot (especially the effects) but it’s reasonably enjoyable and the identity of the true bad guy is a classic.
18. The Jungle Book, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman (7*/10)
Seen multiple times as a child.
19. Wait Until Dark, directed by Terrence Young (7/10)
Wait Until Dark is good for its time, though it could have been way better (I think I’d like to change the endings of most older movies…). They could have made that ending awesome. In any case, it’s a cool concept. Hepburn acts blind most (not all!) of the time. Sometimes she seems a little too capable though…Worthwhile watching, especially since Richard “the greatest actor of all time” Crenna’s in it. I kid, I kid.
20. Playtime, directed by Jacques Tati (6/10)
Technology is so confusing nowadays, yuk, yuk, yuk. Buildings these days are so big it takes forever to get anywhere, yuk, yuk, yuk. Aren’t Americans so ignorant? Yuk, yuk, yuk. (And what about those British!?!) Why with all the technology, modern architecture, and American tourists, a man just can’t live in this world like he used to. It’s a good thing life is so moderately amusing otherwise maybe I’d have to kill myself or retire or something.
That’s generally what I think of this film when I don’t get my emotions out of the way. That being said, this is probably Tati’s most elaborately constructed film – as another review said, it’s its own little world. And I have to admire that even if I do find Tati insufferable and horribly overrated. (As far as I’m concerned Tatit is just Chaplin or Keaton with a bigger budget, significantly better sound and camera equipment, and less directorial sense… decades later. That’s not a compliment.)
I admire the balls he had to wait so long to unleash the chaos – I feel like Mon Oncle was the same way but I don’t really remember – but frankly the rest of it just isn’t entertaining enough. If I wasn’t desperately trying to give Tati chance after chance because of his rep, I would have just turned it off 30 minutes in.
21. In Like Flint, directed by Gordon Douglas (6/10)
Not as good as the first movie.
22. You Only Live Twice, directed by Lewis Gilbert (6/10)
This one is alright.
23. Billion Dollar Brain, directed by Ken Russell (6/10)
This is a strange one. I have only seen one other Harry Palmer movie and it definitely didn’t prepare me for this, though I guess the title should have.
The film – and, presumably, the novel – suffers from the kind of nonsense ’60s spy tech-nonsense that dates so many James Bond movies. Harry Palmer is usually the anti-Bond, but here his plot is caught up in super computers and a bizarre climactic set-piece that has to be seen to be believed.
This is my first Ken Russell, and I would be tempted to trace the oddness of this film to his idiosyncrasies, but the plot sort of necessitates a lot of the weirdness.
Suffice it to say, this has not dated well.
24. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, directed by Stanley Kramer (6*/10)
A black guy, that’s who. Saw it as a teen.
25. To Sir, with Love, directed by James Clavell (6/10)
I feel like I wrote a hilarious review of this somewhere but alas I cannot find it.
26. Beach Red, directed by Cornel Wilde (5/10)
Kind of psychedelic.
27. The War Wagon, directed by Burt Kennedy (5*/10)
A movie made around a prop. Seen in my John Wayne phase.
28. Kaijuto no kessen: Gojira no musoko aka Son of Godzilla, directed by Jun Fukuda (2/10)
The first of numerous unnecessary sequels.
29. Taekoesu-Yonggary aka Yongary Monster from the Deep, directed by Ki-duk Kim (2/10)
A terrible Gojira rip-off. Read the review of Taekoesu-Yongarry [Yongary].