Epic Film Quest: The Great Ziegfeld, Cavalcade and The Bridge On the River Kwai

Here are some truths:
-I have 5 Best Pictures left until I can say I’ve seen them all.
-I’m tired. So very tired.
-I shouldn’t have saved all of these 3+ hour movies for last.
-I am a stupid dummy.

Here are the last 3 I knocked out. I’m pleased to say the results were positive.

Great ZiegfeldThe Great Ziegfeld (1936) 
is one of those movies where you’re like, “Holy SHIT, I can’t believe this was made in the 30’s!” The production, the costumes, the set designs. Word holla, Robert Z. Leonard. I don’t know what else was nominated that year (OK FINE, among them was A Tale of Two Cities and Romeo & Juliet. Stop making me look things up!), but I can assure you they didn’t pull off what Ziegfeld did. The movie is a fictionalized tribute to Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. and a cinematic adaption of Broadway’s Ziegfeld Follies, with highly monumental, of-epic-proportion-style stage productions. Many of the performers of the theatrical Ziegfeld Follies were cast in the film as themselves, including Fanny Brice and Harriet Hoctor. This is a LONG one kids, but it’s a great slice of behind-the-scenes Broadway mixed with a super retro decade that’s classic AF. There’s tons of eye candy and a story you can latch on to. Grade: B

Related: Check out the other Best Picture winners I’ve watched (so you don’t have to!).

cavalcadeCavalcade (1933)
Based on a play of the same name, Cavalcade follows one English family from 1899 through 1933 as they endure through multiple wars, the death of Queen Elizabeth, and other personal and national tragedies and happenstances. After Wings was reissued on DVD, Cavalcade became the only Best Picture winner not available on standard DVD…with the exception of the three-volume “Twentieth Century Fox 75th Anniversary Collection” and later the “80th Anniversary” Blu-ray collection. Luckily for me, it’s 2016 and we have the iTunes store. Seriously, how did people function before Amazon and iTunes? The millennial in me ponders. This movie could’ve had a little more characterization, a quicker pace and a shorter run time. But for its year, it’s a good period piece and familial drama. I ain’t mad at it. Grade: C+

bridgeThe Bridge On the River Kwai (1957)
I love 50’s cinema. I’m glad I didn’t have to actually deal with the 50’s–its repression, racism, misogyny, and all…oh, wait, so I guess it wasn’t too different from today–but I love the style of this decade and how passionate all the performances are. A British-American war film about the first World War, The Bridge On the River Kwai starred William Holden as an American POW in a Japanese prison camp. This movie was a war movie. Did I say that already? People tried to escape and died and then guns were shot and prisoners worked on a bridge. Holden’s performance was quite charming, but if there’s anything I’m sick of as a result of this marathon, it’s WAR MOVIES.. Grade: B-

 

The 5 remaining moviefilms are: Wings, Patton, A Man for All Seasons, Hamlet, Lawrence of Arabia. Close, yet farrrrrrr.

Wish me luck or maybe stop by my house, tie me up, tape my eyelids open, and force me to finish this fucking thing, Clockwork Orange style. I might be angry at the time, but I’ll thank you later, maybe.

 

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