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BAD FILMS BY GREAT DIRECTORS

 
 
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:17 pm
I was going through the used movies at the local video store and stumbled across a Robert Altman film I've never heard of called O.C. And STIGGS [1987]. Thinking I'd found a hidden gem I raced home to watch it, boy was I disappointed. It was Altman's attempt at an 80's teen comedy. It was based on a story from National Lampoon, it starred Martin Mull, Dennis Hopper, and Jane Curtin. It had a couple of moments but just didn't work. It got me thinking that even Hitchcock had to have a bad one. Any other examples out there??
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,528 • Replies: 23
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msolga
 
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Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:21 pm
Good topic, thiefoflight! I'll be interested to see who gets "named"! Very Happy
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:38 pm
The director has to be real good, ok?

Stealing Beauty, by Bernardo Bertolucci
I Girasoli, by Vittorio De Sica
The 39 Steps, by Alfred Hitchcock (perhaps somebody is going to kill me for this heresy)
Le Marge, by Valerian Borowzcyk
The Chapman Report, By George Cukor
What?, by Roman Polanski
The Conversation, by Francis Ford Coppola (I'll receive another death threat, I fear)
Blowup, by Michelangelo Antonioni
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:42 pm
Oh yes, Robert Altman.
He is often very good, indeed, but he directed
HealtH, Popeye and California Split. That's at least one bad film too many.
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msolga
 
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Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 08:51 pm
I couldn't agree more about Stealing Beauty, by Bernardo Bertolucci, fbaezer. I just loved his films, particularly The Conformist & The Spider's Strategy. Then THIS! Shocked It was so very, very silly. Midlife crisis? What do you reckon was the reason for it?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 10:13 pm
Obviously you haven't seen Altman's "Quintet," perhaps the sci-fi films for those who like Twinkies. This hodgepodge of character interaction steals the show for being befuddled, bemoaned and bewildered. Somewhere in the mix he managed to give us "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and "M*A*S*H." I'd say it qualifies him as a very uneven director.

If we're talking really bad films, it has to be considered whether it's this directors's bad film based on his track record or bad in comparison to other films of its genre. Kurosawa's "Red Beard" is overlong, loses focus and not one of his best but it really isn't a bad film.

I wouldn't list "The 39 Steps" but "Family Plot" as Hitchcock's worst film. However, "Family Plot" is a hell of a lot more watchable than other films of this kind.

Lest we forget Bertolucci's perchance to get lost in travel postcards inspired by "Lawrence of Arabia," he also directed "The Sheltering Sky," a very poor adaptation of the book.

Many have characterized "Eyes Wide Shut" as being Kubrick's lapse into misguided artyness -- I don't find it that bad a film.

Discussed elsewhere, "Casanova" has to be Fellini's burnt offering but "Juliet of the Spirits" is also a bit of inconsequential fluff.

Cukor bombed on "The Blue Bird" which showed up as possibly Elizabeth Taylor's most irritatingly boring performance.
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larry richette
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 10:16 am
Most of Hitchcock's post-1960 films are troublesome...I despise MARNIE, THE BIRDS, TOPAZ and FAMILY PLOT. Partial exceptions: PSYCHO and FRENZY. As to Altman, he may be an uneven director but IMHO he's the best American
director alive. His high points are just so much higher than anybody else's.
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Equus
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 11:14 am
Michael Cimino, who directed the oscar-winning "The Deer Hunter" and wrote "Magnum Force" and "A Silent Running", was the writer and director of the turkey "Heaven's Gate".

This isn't movies, its Broadway: Rogers and Hammerstein, who co-wrote "Oklahoma", "South Pacific", "The King and I", "The Sound of Music", "Flower Drum Song" and "Carousel", bombed with a musical called "Pipe Dream", that has been mercifully forgotten. It was based on a novel by John Steinbeck.
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 11:30 am
Perhaps I was young and eager to know the secrets of life, but "Red Beard" drove me to tears. I loved it.

Worst Fellini? I have not seen "Casanova", but I present "Prova d'orchestra" as his worst (not a very bad film, really).
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nimh
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 11:40 am
Stealing Beauty, yes. And Beyond the Clouds / Par-delĂ  les nuages, a collaboration of Wim Wenders and Antonioni. Also mid-life crisis material. And perhaps Wenders never got out of his, since after that he made the weak End of Violence and then mostly music/concert movies.
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nimh
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 11:46 am
Spike Lee has a pretty uneven oeuvre as well. I thought Do The Right Thing was a great, powerful movie, and thought She's Gotta Have It and Girl 6 were fresh, clever/entertaining. I personally thought the (I think much-criticized) Get on the Bus was conceptually interesting still, but Jungle Fever was weak - and Clockers just inane, unengaging, unimaginitive, cliched. The past seven or eight years his movies haven't reached the Dutch cinemas anymore, so I dunno what happened since ...
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 11:56 am
Cimino could be proud of coining the "-gate" terminology for political debacles among other references. Actually the full length "Heaven's Gate" which was shown in its entirely on the old LA Z Channel years ago is much better than the edited version but is more than four hours long. It is a great deal more coherant and aspires to the epic proportions of good historical drama even though it still falls short. The edited version is a botched slashing.
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wandeljw
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 09:50 am
Speaking of full length versions, I saw the long version of Bertolucci's "1900" and was greatly disappointed by its uneveness. I understand the version originally shown in U.S. theaters was a shortened version. Was the short version any better?
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 09:59 am
I don't know if she qualifies as a "great" director, but what about Elaine May's turkey, Ishtar? Considering that Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman were in it, it should have been at the least, "OK". But it wasn't!
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larry richette
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 10:15 am
I have to disagree with my friend Lightwizard on several counts. First, Cimino can't take credit for "gate" being attached to political scandals since Watergate broke in 1973 and HEAVEN'S GATE came out seven long years later. Second, I happen to be one of the very, very few people who saw that movie in the theater at the original length. It was no better, a miserable mess, although there were a few half-decent scenes scatttered through it. More generally on Cimino, I don't see him qualifying as a great director to begin with. He had a good script on THE DEER HUNTER, but everything he's done since has been pretty terrible.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 10:27 am
You are right -- a failing of memory and not enough coffee and/or ginko biloba yesterday. Coincidences sometimes meld in the mind when typing so fast! :wink: Very Happy

Also agree that Cimino never did nor can any director be considered a great director based on one movie.

Better to consider the Copolla has made at least two turkeys or King Vidor if one is considering movies of the Golden Age.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 10:28 am
I did appreciate seeing the long version of "Heaven's Gate" and did find it more coherant but it's still not anything more than a mediocre epic that only proved Cimino was a one-trick-pony.
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larry richette
 
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Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 10:14 pm
I disagree again. There are some directors who can be called great on the basis of a single movie. Dreyer, Antonioni, Ozu, Cocteau. All these men did one masterpiece which stgands head and shoulders above their other work.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 09:13 am
That doesn't sort out. All those directors did not make other films of the poor quality Cimino has made. Cocteau has made more than one masterpiece, for instance. Debatable, of course, but the fact remains that if "The Deer Hunter" was a "masterpiece" based on anything other than the script, Cimino doesn't belong in your list.
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wandeljw
 
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Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 09:58 am
My list for this topic:
Bertolucci's "1900"
Spielberg's "1941"
Friedkin's "Jade"
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