PattonPatton is a film that I somehow avoided for many years despite seeing its iconic opening scene spoofed in numerous ways over the years. I had always heard that despite being a great film, the length of the film less than desirable. While I admit the film does feel even longer than it 170 minute running time, I was glad that I finally got around to seeing it. I loved the way George C. Scott portrays General Patton as both a brilliant strategist and as a man who may be slightly mad. Beside Scott’s performance, I thought Karl Malden was equally strong in his understated supporting role as General Omar Bradley. The rivalry between Patton and the British General Montgomery was interesting to watch unfold. However, the aspect of Patton’s life I found the most fascinating was the latter years when his outspoken ways cause the loss of his command. It must also be noted that the battle scenes in this film were quiet exceptional. Living in a time when it seems scenes of war have been documented on the big screen in every way possible, it is nice when a film, an older one at that, can still manage to grab your attention. Though Patton could have been trimmed down a tad, overall I was pleased.
Patton is part of our "The Must See List" series. The film was recommended by JBT’s husband Andrew
The Red ShoesOver the course of one day I went from knowing nothing about the directing duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger to being completely enamoured with their films. After screening a double bill of Black Narcissus (which I will talk more about in my Blind Spot post for January) and The Red Shoes, I immediately added ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ to my Netflix queue to watch at a later date. The centerpiece performance of the ballet The Red Shoes is quiet magical. I would recommend the film for this sequence alone. Even people who are not usually fond of the ballet, or do not like dance related films in general, cannot help but get swept away by the majesty of it all. Featuring lush sets and outstanding choreography, the directors skilfully use the ballet to foreshadow what Victoria Page will have to endure. Moira Shearer in particular was perfectly cast for the role of Victoria Page. Shearer really sells the conflict Page endures while trying to choose between her love for composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring) and her desire to dance for Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook). Unfortunately despite the strong performances, the cast cannot hide the predictability of the plot. This is especially noticeable in regards to the way love triangle is unfolds. Although The Red Shoes is a great film, it is not quite on the level of Black Narcissus. Granted, this is like saying a Ferrari FF is not as good as a Ferrari Spider...at the end of the day you are still driving a Ferrari when others are in a Buick. Those who enjoyed Black Swan should find The Red Shoes equally, if not more, rewarding.