July! July! Silents, Westerns and the end of the Red Vic

July was filled with lots of classics seen on the big screen, lots of silent films – including the glorious four days that was the San Francisco Silent Film Festival – and a handful of westerns. I saw nine films at the Castro Theatre (not counting the 35 features and shorts I saw during the SFSFF) – two of which I had never seen before. Before you freak out at the costs – most of those were double features (so two for $10). At the Red Vic I saw five films – again, two of which I had never seen before. Sadly on July 25th the Red Vic closed its doors for good. Lastly I saw The Red Shoes at the Balboa (a theatre I can’t wait to get to know better). I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, but there is just nothing like seeing a film – whether it is classic or modern, new-to-you or an old favorite – on the big screen. It is just magical. Also in July I found myself falling in love with classic westerns. I grew up watching Clint Eastwood westerns as a child, but I never thought I would find myself so drawn to these other classics, most of which starred either John Wayne or Henry Fonda (in one case, both!). I’m so glad I gave them a chance, because most of the ones I’ve seen have been fantastic. But enough intro, the full list is after the cut.

  1. The Marrying Kind
  2. Her Cardboard Lover (1942)
  3. Cops (1922)
  4. Convict 13
  5. The Scarecrow
  6. The Goat
  7. The Haunted House
  8. Hard Luck
  9. The ‘High Sign’
  10. The Tin Star
  11. Broadway Melody of 1938
  12. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
  13. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
  14. The Docks of New York
  15. The Racket (1928)
  16. Camille (1936)
  17. Red River
  18. Something Wild (1986)
  19. Queen Kelly
  20. The Pope of Greenwich Village
  21. Streets of Fire
  22. Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (The Hidden Fortress)
  23. Phffft!
  24. Gold Diggers of 1933
  25. Taxi!
  26. The Strawberry Blonde
  27. The Hearts of Age
  28. What’s Up, Doc?
  29. Love Story
  30. Why Husbands Flirt
  31. Upstream (1927)
  32. I Was Born, But… 
  33. The Great White Silence 
  34. The Origin of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 
  35. Il Fuoco
  36. Disney’s Newman Laugh-O-Gram reel
  37. The Four Musicians of Bremen
  38. Puss In Boots (1922)
  39. Cinderella (1922)
  40. Goldilocks and the Three Bears (1922)
  41. Jack The Giant Killer (1922)
  42. Alice’s Wonderland
  43. Scoring Silent Newsreels
  44. The Blizzard
  45. The Goose Woman
  46. Chumming With Chipmunks
  47. Mr. Fix-It
  48. Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt (The Woman Men Yearn For)
  49. Tribune-American Dream Picture
  50. Shoes (1916)
  51. Dream of a Rarebit Fiend
  52. Le Spectre Rouge
  53. The Acrobatic Fly
  54. The Thieving Hand
  55. Princess Nicotine, Or The Smoke Fairy
  56. Arthème Swallows His Clarinet
  57. The Cameraman’s Revenge
  58. Dream of a Rarebit Fiend: The Pet
  59. Filmstudie
  60. Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra
  61. Chess Fever
  62. The Nail In The Boot
  63. He Who Gets Slapped
  64. Pather Panchali
  65. The Last Waltz
  66. Under Capricorn
  67. Masculin féminin
  68. Rio Grande
  69. The Quiet Man
  70. Fort Apache
  71. A Delicate Balance
  72. Top Hat
  73. Frozen Alive
  74. Dementia 13
  75. The King of Comedy
  76. 30 Minutes of Less
  77. Captain America: The First Avenger
  78. Things Change
  79. A Thousand Clowns
  80. Letty Lynton
  81. The China Syndrome
  82. Daughters of the Dust
  83. The Front Page
  84. The Spanish Prisoner
  85. We’re Not Dressing

1900s: 6
1910s: 6
1920s: 29
1930s: 12
1940s: 6
1950s: 8
1960s: 4
1970s: 5
1980s: 5
1990s: 2
2000s: 0
2010s: 2

Like I said, I fell in love with classic westerns and this month two of them made it onto my favorites. Actually, I think I’d rather call this section “featured” because picking just five “favorites” each month keeps getting harder and harder. Also, two of the films I’m featuring I saw for the first time on the big screen (neither of which are 2011 releases).

The Tin Star, 1957 (dir. Anthony Mann)

This film contains some of the best black and white cinematography I’ve ever seen. It’s just so crisp and beautiful. Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins are so great, both when they share the screen and when they are apart. True to Anthony Mann’s spirit, the film deals with themes way beyond your average western.

The Pope of Greenwich Village, 1984 (dir. Stuart Rosenberg)

I saw this at the Castro Theatre as part of Midnite for Maniacs’ tribute to the summer of 1984 (I only saw this film and Streets of Fire – which is also great – but the mini-festival featured eight films over two days). The film stars Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts in two of their best and most complex roles. It also features an Academy Award-nominated performance from Geraldine Page – who is only on-screen for two scenes. This is truly an actor’s showcase type film.

What’s Up, Doc?, 1972 (dir. Peter Bogdanovich)

This is Bogdanovich’s tribute to classic screwball comedies with a touch of slapstick. I saw this at the Red Vic and I laughed non-stop through the whole film. Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal are absolutely fantastic together and the film contains an uproariously madcap chase through the streets of San Francisco. If this film doesn’t make you laugh as well, you probably don’t have a soul.

Rio Grande, 1950 (dir. John Ford)

My favorite of the several Ford/Wayne collaborations that I watched this month. It also features a spitfire Maureen O’Hara. Wayne and O’Hara made several films together and their chemistry is off the charts. I must say I have never found myself attracted to John Wayne before, but boy was I in this. It must have been his mustache.

The China Syndrome, 1979 (dir. James Bridges)

Starring Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Jack Lemmon, the film is about an accident at a nuclear power plant that is narrowly avoided. However, a larger problem with plant is revealed. The film’s three leads are on fire and the tension of the film never lets up for a moment. This is definitely one of the most thrilling films I’ve ever seen.

About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in 2011 in Films and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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