What "Grandpa Movie" did you just watch?


Cued up this afternoon:

Viva Zapata! made me realize I had never seen this one (and Quinn’s second Oscar-winning performance). As well, speaking of David Lean films , cinematography by Freddie Young! I think I am in for a treat…


Man … the feels on that movie. Story time. Many years ago during the height of the VHS craze, our family gifted my mother’s parents a VHS unit. My father patiently stepped my Papa through how to play tapes, rewind them, record things etc. This was on Christmas, and afterwards my father spent extra time driving them both home and setting the unit up for them and all that was involved in that.

Flash back even further than that, and as a very young kid, I bonded with my Papa, quite a bit. He was a very loving and generous man, a WWII vet, a watchmaker/jeweler, an avid collector of old technical antiques, and an alcoholic. I didn’t even understand what that meant back then. I loved him even more because I would hear negative remarks about my Papa and didn’t know what the hell they were referring to. But the time he and I spent together, I cherish. He instilled in me a love for westerns, old war movies, classic black and white stars, and old music. I watched so much with him.

So as time went by, the VHS gift was around my sophomore year of high school. I was well aware of all things about my grandfather, but still loved the man. And not a month after Christmas, we started getting VHS tapes in the mail. These were those classic westerns, war movies and oldies that my grandpa watched, only he blatantly recorded them off the broadcasts and would label them and send them to me. “For Kelly. I know he’ll love it!” Eventually neither I nor my family could keep up with how many he was sending and I think at some point my mom had to break the news to him, “we’re good, thank you.”

Papa passed a few years back. I think of him a lot, still. And my mother passed early this year as well. As part of the family going through what was left in the house I cleaned out my old room there. In the closet was a box, filled to the rim with old VHS tapes, nearly all from Papa. And the one on top? Bridge On the River Kwai, marked, “Kelly, please watch this, it’s my favorite!”

That movie will always, always be dear to me, not just for the great performances.

The "War Films" Thread

Lovely story, thanks for sharing.

I caught The Testament of Dr. Mabuse on tv recently and my girlfriend absolutely loved it. She now wants me to procure all the Fritz Lang films I can find. M and Metropolis are in my library, but i’ll see if i can get a good box set with some of his American works as well.


To add to the thread, my GF and I watched Sitting Bull a few weeks back when it was on a local broadcast, I believe. As I do some work up in North Dakota freqently, I was struck by the story. I perhaps had heard of and known of the battle of Little Bighorn, but the refresh on the story itself was interesting to watch.


Woah. Ocean’s 11 is a remake/reboot? No wonder it’s fairly mediocre. (Except Julia Roberts’ bit in the 2nd movie).


Grandpa Movie = non-horror/exploitation flick made pre-2000 that Tom wants to troll about at a given moment. YMMV on that definition on a day to day basis.

You need to see the original. Probably the single definitive celluloid encapsulation of the Rat Pack. The remakes pale in comparison. Kind of a Breakfast Club for the Greatest Generation at middle age. Your not being made aware of this film previously is another disservice done to a younger generation of Film enthusiasts by the like of “Hey, what’s new! That’s Obsolete! Grandpa Movie!” Master Troller @tomchick. I know @Soren_Hoglund will concur.

Oh, and Angie Dickinson. Rrow! (@Kelly_Wand growl).


I’ll probably get squashed by the actual film buffs here - but I think Lean was mostly making a faithful adaptation of a book, Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï by Pierre Boulle. On a BBC Timewatch programme, a former prisoner at the camp states that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel; and if he had, he would have been “quietly eliminated” by the other prisoners.


You’re spot on, Ron. Boulle’s novel makes the same points Lean’s Film did. It’s a statement about Honor, War, and Duty in a modern world… A bit of it is the meditation on the fact that the same respective codes that develop the two cultures’ concept of Honor (Chivalry and Bushido) are also at odds with one another , and helped drive the rush to war.

A far more nuanced and similar meditation of this theme is the fantastic Grandpa film, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. I used to watch them both (when in the mood to see one) as Double Features.

Fun Fact, Boulle also wrote the novel the Planet of the Apes.


Last one I watched was a while ago. Rope.


I was going to start a thread about this a while back but didn’t (but I should have, because why isn’t there a thread about this movie).

I bought the 3D Wizard of Oz Blu-ray on eBay a few weeks back. Yes, apparently it received a 3D conversion for its 75th anniversary; the oldest film to receive such a treatment (by more than half a century, in fact). I was impressed by the Jurassic Park conversion, so I figured I’d give it a go for $8 including shipping. I’m glad I did, because it is fantastically well done. I believe the conversion itself took something like 16 months, and that’s on top of the beautiful film restoration they did for HD. I’ve seen this movie quite a few times, and it really breathed new life into it for me.

If you’re a fan of the film and the tech, I definitely recommend trying it out.


So Lust for Life was…good. The strength was really the performances, and an amazing cast. Minnelli did a masterful job editing and the color was luscious but at times it seemed a bit…soundstage-y. The decent to madness was more matter of fact, and underplayed, more than anything else. I’m glad I sa it but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Next on my Grandpa list, I am going to re-watch The Thin Man, thanks for the inspiration, @Soren_Hoglund. If I am inspired by it I may do a sequel or two.

EDIT: I watched The Thin Man. It was fun; a really breezy pre-code romp. Powell and Loy’s chemistry really carried the whole thing. LOTs of booze. Plum casting moment: Young Cesar Romero as “Chris”. He was hilarious.


Most recent was “The 39 Steps.” Such great fun. Though I feel like the entire movie is rushed.

As for the Thin Man movies, I think they are all great fun. The mysteries are of course nonsense, and don’t really occupy much of the show time, but its the banter and the interactions that make them anyway. I highly recommend.


I think the official definition is: any movie where cg isn’t cg:ing cg:ly. Or starring Taylor Kitsch.

After The Thin Man, I am all aboard the Myrna Loy train.

Sounds like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House should be my next priority?

A’ight, my priorities just shifted.


It was pretty good and surprisingly funny, given the terrible Catskills-style humor. Though some of the later screaming matches between Matthau and Burns got a little much, but it was made up for by the really moving moment with Benjamin and Matthau.

I went ahead and watched Charley Varrick after. I’ve seen it before, but it’s been awhile. It absolutely holds up as a gritty 70s crime film, Joe Don Baker notwithstanding.


You…you just watch yo’ mouf’ about Joe Don!

Charlie Varrick is gorgeous. That would have been up on 20:20 right now if it hadn’t been done already.


Yes! She’s so funny and adorable. I know she’s been dead for like 25 years, but I’m carrying a torch anyway.

I dunno about that, but it’s very good. I’d add Love Crazy, The Libelled Lady, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Test Pilot and really, all the Thin Man movies as well (no, the sequels are not as good as the original, but they’re still pretty good). If you’re up for a little melodrama, see The Best Years of our Lives.


Have you seen Bringing Up Baby, @Soren_Hoglund ? I’d reccommend that as well.

EDIT: The LOY train…ah. Blandings is fantastic, though. Melvyn Douglas is the driest, wittiest, SOB on the block in that one. Grant is Job.

EDIT 2: Tonight’s film is:

It’s been years…


The Godfather, again. The thing about either Godfather I or II is that, if I stumble upon them while channel surfing or whatever, they’re so compelling that I can just watch them through from the that point to the end. Doesn’t have to be from the beginning.


I feel mostly the same about Goodfellas. Except it has to be before the paranoid, guns in a paper bag, helicopter scenes.


I’m sorry, but Joe Don is just the worst!

Someone must’ve told him early on that the way you convey “menace” is by being peevish and whiny, because that seems to be his go-to move. He’s definitely on the “least-scary heavy” in film history list.