Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Best Picture Movie Post

All the King's Men, 1949: Based on the book by Robert Penn Warren, both inspired by the political career of Huey P. Long

I didn't know much about this before watching other than I used to confuse it with All the President's Men (hey, they're similar titles and they both deal with corruption in American politics) and that it was a best picture winner. I was very intrigued seeing Willie Stark at the start as a nice, humble guy who seems to want to make a difference but oddly enough the scenes of his corruption were less interesting to me. I am usually very interested in seeing the lows people can reach but I think I was distracted by the book I was reading (which was really good) and I was also tired.

The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946

I was a little afraid of this movie because it's nearly three hours long and I get antsy even during short films. But my fears were unfounded as this is a fantastic 172 minute film. I did get a bit antsy but that was only because I was reading a good book and I wanted to get back to it. The movie focuses on three veterans returned to their home town and trying to readjust. Frederic March plays a wealthy banker (and IMO alcoholic) who is married to Myrna Loy (lucky him). Dana Andrews plays a former Air Force officer who was originally my favorite but then sucked; in some ways it seemed like he was trying to be as charming as Cary Grant but he failed majorly (he had maybe 5% of Grant's charm, which is still sizable). And then there is Harold Russell, a real-life veteran who lost both of his hands and had hooks in their place. He returns home to a loving fiancee and family and they all have to adjust to his new life.

My favorite scene only peripherally involves those men as it features a guy who makes the bold argument that America should have fought on the side of Japan and Germany. He is obviously a total idiot but it makes me wonder if there were really people who thought that.

King's Men: 3/5 stars
Best Years: 4/5 stars

Has anybody seen either of these? What did you think? Do you recommend the book of All the King's Men or the novella Glory for Me?

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews! I haven't seen these two movies yer, although I have heard of them. I would like to see them, especially All the King's Men. Sadly, I haven't read the books either. It seems I'm clueless in this area.;) Thanks for sharing!


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