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Video Trailer Collection

Picks from movies shown on TVOntario's Saturday Night at the Movies

The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

“The Lady from Shanghai” (1947) stars Rita Hayworth as Elsa Bannister and Orson Welles as Micahel O’Hara. Welles does it all as principle actor, writer and director of the movie. It is an interesting film from more than one angle (à la crazy fun house mirrors of the climax scene). Hayworth and Welles were in the final phases of their off-screen relationship at the time of filming, Welles reported that he did the film simply as a way of  financing other projects in jeopardy, and the complicated plot of the original Sherwood King novel is just, well, hard to follow. But then, Michael O’Hara’s Irish brogue is rather hard to follow and even harder to swallow at times.

Rita Hayworth’s character is the rather too obvious femme fatale who spices up the exotic scenery and even indulges us with a musical number and a spectacular cliff diving scene for the benefit of box office sales. It’s film noir with more than the usual twist at the end with a visually discombobulating fun house scene that is all “Orson”. It can be fun, if you just relax and get into the genre and the period of Hollywood film making.

>>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

>>Real Life Story: Katie and Nathan realized that they were driving each other into someone else’s arms. See the real life turnaround in their marriage. 

Orson Welles as Michael O’Hara gives us his rendition of the poetic Irish soul in this famous “shark scene on video clip. See below a re-cut, remixed video trailer for “The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

Apollo 13 (1995)

“Apollo 13” (1995), directed by Ron Howard, provides a wonderfully realistic dramatization of the historic aborted moon voyage of 1970. There was a PG rating on the film for language and emotional intensity. I appreciated the warning as the parent of a 10 year old who remains fascinated by gadgets, gizmos and galaxies but who gets slightly stressed out by the super suspenseful inner states of being that sell movies. You really do want to make sure that you go to the bathroom before you start out on this two hour “disasterful” cinematic voyage to the moon and back. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon (playing astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert) form a triumvirate for outer space. Ed Harris provides ground support as Flight Director Gene Kranz. Well, there was that other guy, Gary Sinise. He plays astronaut Ken Mattingly. That’s the fellow who gets knocked off of the roster at the last minute by German measles - but no one ever mentions him. They did manage, in the name of historical accuracy, to mention the fact that the unfortunate Pilot Haise, played by Bill Paxton, got a major urinary tract infection due to not drinking enough water during the mission. Too much information.

Methinks there was a bit too much testosterone floating around the stratosphere in this film. In the end, everyone keeps their head and all get back to earth safely. I really wasn’t sure there for a few minutes – and that was after seeing the film previously and living through the historical event. When they are done right, movies can be an engrossing form of storytelling. This one was done right.

 >>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

>>Real Life Story: Darrell Waltrip was a great success as a NASCAR driver until a near fatal accident changed his direction in life.

View the video trailer for "Apollo 13" (1995)


Monsoon Wedding (2001)

“Monsoon Wedding (2001) gives a glimpse of  a wedding day in modern-day India that has lots to say about the institution of marriage, families and India as it is today. Director Mira Nair lovingly constructs a multi-layered picture of an extended middle class family as it goes through the Hindu ritual. The gathering of the clan and the awkward introduction of two strangers who are soon to be husband and wife present the perfect opportunity for both flamboyant display and clandestine concealment. moviescreenshots.blogspot.comMultiple revelations take place during the course of the film. Some are funny and fun and some stumble upon the great tragedies and imperfections of life as it really is. Nair’s film is enjoyable because it captures “the way things really are” today in a specific state in India. The movie reaches beyond the frivolous and the cliché because it simultaneously reveals “the way things have always been” on a universal level. Who’s to say that the torrential downpour of a monsoon would not be the perfect ending of a grand celebration of a very imperfect life? It’s a different way of looking at things. It might just be a very lucky thing.

Be sure that you don’t miss the SNAM Interview dedicated to examining the intricacies of “Monsoon Wedding”.

Also shown on Saturday Night at the Movies was Father of the Bride” (1950) , another movie along the wedding theme previously reviewed on Midnight Oil.

 >>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

>>Real Life Story: Shawna went from the fairytale wedding to disappointment in her marriage to real happiness.

 See the official trailer for “Monsoon Wedding” (2001). I decided some words of explanation (in English) were necessary to tell the story even though this video clip does an great job of capturing the visual story of the film through colour, texture, song and dance.


The Bicycle Thief (1948)

The Bicycle Thief” (1948), is a small masterpiece on celluloid that captures the human drama of a family man struggling to maintain his livelihood and his dignity by recovering a stolen bicycle in post-war Rome. This Italian language film by Vittorio de Sica maintained my interest even with the English subtitles. Taking in a film through translation may be akin to listening to a symphony orchestra through a tin can telephone. One is sure to miss something in the translation. However, the acting on the part of the father and son duo (played by Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiolo respectively) is so convincing both through dialogue and the non-verbal, that one can forgive the ongoing necessity of the subtitles. Following the everyman character about the streets of Rome in his desperate search for his bicycle gives us the full range of an emotional workout and a depth of sociological analysis that the “official bus tour” of the famous Eternal City would never afford.

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See a trailer for "The Bicycle Thief" (1948)

Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 03:14PM by Registered CommenterCatherine Savard | CommentsPost a Comment

Panic in the Streets (1950)

“Panic in the Streets” (1950) starring Richard Widmark and Jack Palance as directed by Elia Kazan, makes for a scary combination. I’m not sure which one you should take your chances on; the menace of the totally deadly pneumonic plague (a form of the Black Plague) or the totally creepy Jack Palance as the villain. The hero, Richard Widmark, as Lieutenant Commander Clint Reed, runs around New Orleans with his syringe, prepared to do battle with either culprit. (Apparently, it is true that the totally deadly effects of pneumonic plague can be forestalled with a dose of antibiotics within 24 hours.) This highly potent concoction of gangsters, bioterrorism, post-war anxieties with a bit of romance thrown in, thanks to Barbara Bel Geddes as the good doctor’s wife, makes it a highly watchable film more than 50 years later. It may not be Elia Kazan’s best film ever, but it’s worth a look. And it’s so comforting in this crazy post-SARS world of ours to think that there is some nice, upstanding medical man out there who has everything under control with his syringe, if he could just get all those nasty miscreants rounded up.

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Are you ready to "roll up your sleeve"? See the video excerpt from "Panic in the Streets" (1950)