Tag: karl malden

MOVIE REVIEW | Patton (1970)

Patton 1
“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

Before he was regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time, Francis Ford Coppola was already an Oscar winner. And the fact that he wrote a screenplay for Patton, won an Oscar for it, and that is well down the list of reasons people remember this movie, is a testament to just how may reasons there are to watch Patton.

It‘s 1943 and the Americans have officially entered the Second World War. After their first salvo into the fray is a massive defeat in Africa, General George S Patton (George C Scott) is given command and tasked with whipping them into shape. He does this through a strict regime of zero tolerance when it comes to soldiers acting like soldiers, and soon the American have their first major victory over the Germans. With old friend and fellow General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden) by his side, Patton leads his units through Africa and is a major force behind an important win in Sicily. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #19. On the Waterfront (1954)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“Hey, you wanna hear my philosophy of life? Do it to him before he does it to you.”

Within his first half dozen theatrically released movies, Marlon Brando turned in four performances that have all gone down in Hollywood history as nothing short of legendary.   A Streetcar Named Desire is melodrama at its best.  Julius Caesar was his chance to show that the whole mumbling method actor thing didn’t get in the way of performing Shakespeare.  And The Wild One was master class in how to do attitude and cool, before anyone knew that attitude and cool would be a major part of movies for the rest of time.  But I think the absolute best early Brando performance is the smallest, the most real, the least showy.  The best early Brando performance, and possibly the best ever, is On the Water Front.

In Hoboken New Jersey, there are only two jobs, working for the unions on the docks, or working for the mob who control the docks and unions.  Former boxer, current mob errand boy, Terry Malloy (Brando) calls Joey Doyle to meet him on a tenement roof.  When Joey falls to his death a few minutes later, it’s just accepted by the neighbourhood that the mob took Joey out and there’s no use in retaliating.  Only two people don’t get the message, Joey’s sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint) and local Irish priest, Farther Barry (Karl Malden). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Cincinnati Kid (1965)


The young, cocky up and comer, going for one big win against the old guard is almost its own genre. Paul Newman did it in 1967 as a pool hall grifter in The Hustler as Fast Eddie Felson. Then backed up again 25 years later, reprising the Felson role for The Color of Money. Matt Damon did it at the poker table with Rounders in 1998. And I’m sure there are dozens I haven’t seen, or just forgotten. It’s a tried and true plot formula that lets you put the charisma filled star of the day in the lead role, then let the seedy, yet enviable cool of the not-quite legit world deliver a seedy, yet enviably cool story. Two years before Newman tore up the felt against Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, Steve McQueen did it poker style, in The Cincinnati Kid.

The titular Kid, McQueen is on a winning streak and can’t be beaten. Whether it’s high stakes cards with the city’s most ruthless gamblers, or a simple coin flip with a young boy in the street, the Cincinnati Kid can’t lose. Which means it’s time for him to go for the big one, local poker king, Edward G Robinson as Lancey Howard. (more…)