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Catching up on the classics

Original post made by Danny on Apr 5, 2007

As a (relatively) young man (just past my 20s), I've decided to start catching up on some of the great classic movies that preceded me. Last night I watched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" with Jack Nicholson and was completely astounded. What an amazing (and heartbreaking) film this is. Am I alone in thinking a lot of the Hollywood blockbusters they churn out these days for the sake of profit simply don't have the same oomph and integrity that films like "Cuckoo's Nest" had. I'm starting to think the truly great films may have come and gone...

Comments (14)

Posted by keseyfan, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Have you read the book? It's even better.

Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Bits and pieces. I know Ken Kessey was a phenomenal writer though, and I will push my way through the book (which isn't very long, if I remember correctly) now though.

Posted by Classic Film Lover, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 5, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Several years before LaserDiscs and DVDs were widely available, I attended a well-known graduate film school. I was surprised how many of my classmates--determined to become the next generation of Hollywood directors, screenwriters and editors--had seen only a handful of classic American films. Many times I heard these classmates leaving film history classes abuzz over a classic American film they had just discovered. (A few of my classmates, though, were the "I'm too busy learning to make movies to have time to watch movies" type of student, but unlike other film school classmates I've never seen their names in the opening credits on a big movie screen.)

If you watch enough old movies on television, you'll realize that most movies of every generation are at best mediocre, yet every generation produces a few gems. If you are interested in "discovering" some of these classic gems (many of which I bet you have never heard of), I suggest checking out the "greatest films" lists at Many of these classic American films can be found on DVD at the Palo Alto library. If you are lucky, a few may be playing at the Stanford Theatre. For a different flavor, also check out some of the "greatest" foreign films.

Posted by Tim, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Check out the classic- Of Mice and Men. I believe it was made in the 50's or 60's.

Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2007 at 9:32 am

"Of Mice and Men" is one of my all-time favorite books, and I've only ever seen the more recent film (starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise). I'll watch the earleir film, which I'm sure is terrific. And Classic Film Lover: Thanks for pointing me to the film website, a good resource.

Posted by Chloe in the Afternoon, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 6, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Here are some resources:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Posted by Chloe in the Afternoon, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

an excellent alternative list
Web Link

independent films Web Link

Web Link

American folklore
Web Link

Posted by Chloe in the Afternoon, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

foreign films

Web Link

Web Link

Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Thanks Chloe.

Posted by Carol Allen, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Gary Sinise is the perfect actor & person. I've meet him a few times. He reminds me of what my daddy would have been if he didn't die at such an early age. Every man should take a lesson from him. he's not afraid of his manhood & shows it to the world. he's not afraid to give you a hug and mean it either. I also love him in CSI:NY and my personal favorite is fallen angel on the hall mark channel. and everyone should look at his marriage too. Mrs Sinise holds down the fort and gives her husband her loving support. you never see anything written about her tho. Mrs. Sinise, i wish my mom was as loving and caring as you are as well. sometimes i feel like I've missed out on alot.

Posted by Danny, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 8, 2007 at 8:57 pm

I have a great deal of respect for Gary Sinise as an actor and as a human being. His performances in "Forrest Gump" and "Of Mice and Men" were inspired, and he seems to lead his personal life with a similar respect. Thanks for entertaining and encouraging us Gary!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2007 at 9:27 am

Kipling, Rand and Heinkein, plus the King James version of the Bible. If King James is too much, Start with Old Man Adam and his children.

Posted by film person, a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2007 at 8:36 am

Danny--go see
the Lives of Other People at the Guild. In the big black theater you become more than the "audience." You learn what it means to be audience-- which we all are-- in other people's lives

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 26, 2007 at 12:09 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Danny, more great films from the 1970s: "Chinatown," "Don't Look Now," "Picnic at Hanging Rock," "Annie Hall," "Coming Home," "Apocolypse Now," "Shampoo," "The Day of the Loqust," "The Godfather" series, "Nashville," "Last Tango in Paris," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "The Man Who Fell to Earth," and so many more that slip my mind!

I also recommend all Fellini and Jacques Tati films.

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