Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Final Five Tracks of the Original Ashes of Time Soundtrack

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it. Mainly in the United States I guess. I hope many of you filled up on turkey and pecan pie as I did today. Most Thanksgiving's fly by and I never really reflect on what I have to be thankful for, but these past few months have been very difficult ones. But things are looking up and so for that I am very thankful. Amen.

Here are the final five tracks from the original Ashes of Time.

POST EDITED ON 01/10/2010 - deleting these five since I already have them on another earlier post.

I have been watching a lot of old movies on Turner Classics lately and so read with interest this fellow's choice for the top 40 films from the 1930's - clearly with films in English being a criteria. Out of the 40 films I have actually seen 37 of them which is kind of scary on one hand but then I have probably lived longer than most of you and was actually around when New York City and Washington DC had repertory movie theaters that showed old movies and when there were tv channels other TCM that showed lots of old films in the afternoon. Here is the link to the article.

I can't really disagree with most of these with special high fives going out to My Man Godfrey, Swing Time, Ninotchka, The Lady Vanishes, Stage Coach, Captain Blood, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Duck Soup, The Thin Man and Modern Times. The three I have never seen are Blue Angel (started it but could not finish it), Dodsworth and I am a Fugative from a Chain Gang.

Here are a few others I'd put on that list if it were bigger. Instead of You Can't Take it with You which is cute but too eccentric I'd rather add another Capra film, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The fellow has The Four Feathers on his list but for stiff upper lip British imperialistic heroism I prefer Gunga Din ("You are a Better Man than I Gunga Din") or Beau Geste (though Gary Cooper wasn't exactly British). 42nd Street is the first great Busby Berkeley choreographed film but Footlight Parade, Dames and Gold Diggers of 1933 are better. Public Enemy is his gangster flick pick but the 30's had a ton of great ones and he easily could have substituted it with Little Caesar or Scarface or The Roaring Twenties. Instead of George Cukor's Little Women I'd chose his Dinner at Eight or The Women which was pretty damn revolutionary for its time. Duck Soup by the Marx Brothers is of course one of the greatest cerebral films of all time but A Night at the Opera isn't far behind. The stateroom scene alone should put it in the top 40. Take out Of Mice and Men or Stage Door (and maybe even All Quiet on the Western Front which I realize is a great anti-war film but kind of dull).

I may have missed them but there are a few actors I didn't see represented so for me if you are talking the 30's you need something from Ronald Coleman - either A Tale of Two Cities or The Prisoner of Zenda or Lost Horizons - all great. And no Bette Davis? How about either Dark Victory or Jezabel. And Robert Donat - he didn't make a lot of films but still I'd squeeze in either The 39 Steps or Goodbye Mr. Chips or The Count of Monte Cristo to the list. Three other films I really like are the adventure fantasy film She, Lubitch's Trouble in Paradise and Henry Fonda as Young Mr. Lincoln. And Bob Hope really got started with The Cat and the Canary in 1939. Finally, these are not great films I guess but they represent for me two of my favorite film series - Tarzan and his Mate and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I am sure there are tons of other films from the 1930's that I should include but can't think of. I hope this fellow follows this up with the top 40 films of the 1940's - for me the best decade of movie making in Hollywood.


ewaffle said...

I would add or substitute three 1930s movies.

The first is another Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers vehicle. The Gay Divorcee features Edward Everett Horton and with a dance turn by a young Betty Grable.

I would also drop "Public Enemy" for a diffent gangster movie. While "Litlle Caesar" is a favorite of mine, I would go with Angels with Dirty Faces with Cagney, Pat O'Brien and Humphrey Bogart. A superior crime melodrama with something for almost everyone. Directed by Michael Curtiz.

While Barbara Stanwyk was more a star of the 1940s, Stella Dallas directed by King Vidor is one of the all time great weepers.

You are so right concerning Bette Davis--if forced to chose I would go with "Dark Victory" although there is a real embarrassment of riches to select from.

Brian said...

Yup, I could have gone with either The Gay Divorcee which has the divinely romantic Night and Day number or Top Hat which also has EEH and has three great song numbers - Isn't This a Lovely Day, Cheek to Cheek and Top Hat, White Tie and Tails. Both films also have another one of my favorite supporting actors, Eric Blore. Both EEH and EB show up in Shall We Dance as well which had some darn good songs too - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, They Can't Take That Away from Me and Shall We Dance. Hard to beat the Gershwins.

Angels is another great choice for a gangster film. Have never seen Stella Dallas - Stanwyk has not been an actress I seek out - the only films I think I have seen her in are Lady Eve (good film), Meet John Doe (not Capra's best but still good - a little heavyhanded), Ball of Fire (ok comedy) and the great Double Indemnity. She is always a little too hard edged for me.

Glenn, kenixfan said...

I missed this earlier. How can there be no Jean Harlow film on that list?

And The Thin Man is quite good but I'd take the 2nd or 3rd film in the series over the first.

You lived in D.C.? Did you ever go to the Biograph in Georgetown? My biological father would take me there when I was a kid, usually to see something that I had already seen but couldn't wait to see again in those pre-VCR days.

Brian said...

I like all of the Thin Man films - in fact I like pretty much anything that either William Powell or Myrna Loy were in.

I think it was the Biograph I used to go to but my mind is a bit blank - this would have been a couple decades ago so am not completely sure but they used to show double features and if I recall I saw a bunch of Lina Wertmuller films there among others. NYC used to be great when I first moved up here - maybe 4 theaters that showed old movies - again double features but now only Film Forum is around.

Glenn, kenixfan said...

Yes, I saw double features of Things to Come/King Kong, American in Paris/Singin' in the Rain when I was under 10.

And I saw Yojimbo and Sanjuro when I was 15 -- my first Kurosawas. I recall vividly the crowd cheering during the trailer for Yojimbo vs. Zatoichi.

The side hall had a wall of movie posters in a sort of collage that fascinated me as a kid.

And the lobby had a nickelodeon machine that you could crank.

My memories of that place are vivid to say the least.

Brian said...

Yup - thats the theater! The picture brought back a few memories. Thanks.

Michael Wells said...

Holy crap! Thanks for putting up these Ashes clips! I love the original score and its replacement was one of the things I felt kind of "meh" about in the Redux (which I still bought as soon as it came out on DVD, of course). Is there a way to save these on my drive?

TCM is the one thing I genuinely miss about having cable. Still have piles of VHS taped off there that I haven't watched!

"...when New York City and Washington DC had repertory movie theaters that showed old movies"

Hey, Film Forum is still going strong and shows tons of Hollywood classics. Museum of Modern Art is pretty good for that, too, and sometimes Lincoln Center Film Society (which is expanding over the near future and gaining another couple screens, if I recall correctly.) If you keep your eye on the rep/arthouse section of Time Out NY, there's lots out there.

Glad to hear you have stuff to be thankful for this holiday, Brian.

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