Mr. Breathmask

What Is The Last Film You Watched? (Older Films)

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I found Jesse James interesting and captivating in parts, but in large parts really boring.

I don't have a problem with films that are very low key or "abnormal" for the genre, but then the film shouldn't be so long.

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Back to the Future and Back to the Future Part II take place in California. By that logic, that makes them westerns.

so a film that takes place in the 1880's in Middle America (read Central United States) must be by definition a western. Okay I stand corrected.

is Bonnie and Clyde a western? I mean trade out the cars for horses, course Bonnie and Clyde is a superior film to this Jesse james picture in every way.

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I'm not sure the boundry is geographical, I'm afraid it may be more of a linear timeline. I have created nothing.

Is Gone with the Wind a western, there are horses and guns?

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I wrote a really nice long response but erased it because it hurts to type.

I'm sure it was good, you better than anyone writes good responses, you should turn on the handicapped feature in your computer that lets you talk and it types for you. shit I didn't say that, stop typing, how the hell do I turn this off, oh crap here comes the boss, turn off damn you

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Watched The Tree of Life again. Still great. Interesting how the film is even less about the plot than his previous ones. Actually, there is no plot as such at all. It feels more like Malick was trying to replicate how memory works. Single events, images, lines of dialogue. It is very successful in this way. So there is no narrative structure or logic like in a usual movie. Also, I don't get why so many people say the film is "preachy". Doesn't compute. To be preachy it should spell out things for us. Like in Thor, for example ("to be a true hero you need to be willing to give your life away to save others" etc).

Karol

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Except when discussing sharks. I'm sorry about that outburst.

If it's a linear timeline, then admit that in the late 18th century, the edge of the western frontier was the Appalachians. Only the brave went west of Pittsburgh around the time of American independence. That land was Indian territory, barbarians lived there. Gradually Lois and Clark pushed the frontier back and the Mississippi River became the edge of the frontier. Territory that would become Arkansas and Minnesota would have been in that land. Then the frontier was pushed all the way to the Pacific Ocean when people discovered gold, and the entire west began to be settled.

Sure, Hollywood glamorized the Old West as those states generally west of Texas in the time after the Civil War, but the movies did not adopt the region for geography's sake. They embraced key ideals: the lawlessness of the frontier with the wide open spaces, the hostile bandits and Indians and animals posing danger around every turn, vast distances between town, the reliance on the railroad and telegraph for transportation and communication across those distances, the resource wealth, and the sparsely populated towns starting to pop up all over. Those were foreign concepts back East, where civilization had been entrenched since the 1600s, and so the movies needed to find a time period in history to romanticize: the old West.

Is Gone with the Wind a western? I never saw it, but doesn't it just take place in Georgia and the battlefields of the Civil War? I wouldn't call it a western, but I'm not sure "Civil War" is unto itself a genre of film. "Gettysburg" certainly is not a western, but "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" has strong Civil War elements and is also considered a western (spaghetti subgenre). Would a movie about Vicksburg -- probably the most popularly remembered battle taking-place-more-west-than-east -- be a Civil War western? Probably not.

At the same time, I don't know if you would call A River Runs Through It -- Montana, early 1900s -- a western instead of a period drama, simply because it's set in the west.

Is No Country for Old Men a western? Not in the classic sense, because it's set in the modern era. It would be a modern western.

Bonnie and Clyde? Not sure. More than anything it's a period drama, a crime movie. It's not thought of as being a western, but I wouldn't exclude it just to be a reverse pigeon-hole.

The Assassination of Jesse James would still be a western because it focuses on the ideals that other westerns use, even if its territory isn't as "west" as you could get. They call these types of movies revisionist westerns. Along with Dances with Wolves, which was one of the first to show the Indians as an amicable people instead of the default savages of earlier films.

You could make a movie about a frontier town outside of Cleveland in the 1790s and get away with calling it a western, in addition to just a period piece, frontier movie, or other niche movie.

There are a lot of sub-genres to westerns, and many of them overlap. It's hard to find a movie belongs to just one genre, just as it is difficult to insist that a movie is not in another genre if it toes the line.

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Courtesy TCM, I watched The Children's Hour (1961) with Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner. William Wyler directs with music by Alex North. One of two Wyler movies on my DVR, though I've already seen How to Steal a Million. Couldn't resist grabbing that HD broadcast. Anyway, Children's Hour. Holy hell, it was quite good! Admittedly, I'm a sucker for anything with Hepburn. However, this thing was way beyond what I anticipated going in. Tour de force performances from everyone. Hepburn and MacLaine especially shined.

Storyline is two headmistresses at a school for girls are accused of being lesbians by a difficult student. There's the paranoia and bigotry that follows as the parents retrieve their children from the school and the intense drama of the trio as they try to figure out where to take their lives. Hearts are broken, confrontations occur and secrets are revealed. Juicy stuff. There's a particularly great scene late in the movie where Shirley MacLaine pours her heart out to Audrey. I was absolutely floored. You should see this.

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Except when discussing sharks. I'm sorry about that outburst.

If it's a linear timeline, then admit that in the late 18th century, the edge of the western frontier was the Appalachians. Only the brave went west of Pittsburgh around the time of American independence. That land was Indian territory, barbarians lived there. Gradually Lois and Clark pushed the frontier back and the Mississippi River became the edge of the frontier. Territory that would become Arkansas and Minnesota would have been in that land. Then the frontier was pushed all the way to the Pacific Ocean when people discovered gold, and the entire west began to be settled.

Sure, Hollywood glamorized the Old West as those states generally west of Texas in the time after the Civil War, but the movies did not adopt the region for geography's sake. They embraced key ideals: the lawlessness of the frontier with the wide open spaces, the hostile bandits and Indians and animals posing danger around every turn, vast distances between town, the reliance on the railroad and telegraph for transportation and communication across those distances, the resource wealth, and the sparsely populated towns starting to pop up all over. Those were foreign concepts back East, where civilization had been entrenched since the 1600s, and so the movies needed to find a time period in history to romanticize: the old West.

Is Gone with the Wind a western? I never saw it, but doesn't it just take place in Georgia and the battlefields of the Civil War? I wouldn't call it a western, but I'm not sure "Civil War" is unto itself a genre of film. "Gettysburg" certainly is not a western, but "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" has strong Civil War elements and is also considered a western (spaghetti subgenre). Would a movie about Vicksburg -- probably the most popularly remembered battle taking-place-more-west-than-east -- be a Civil War western? Probably not.

At the same time, I don't know if you would call A River Runs Through It -- Montana, early 1900s -- a western instead of a period drama, simply because it's set in the west.

Is No Country for Old Men a western? Not in the classic sense, because it's set in the modern era. It would be a modern western.

Bonnie and Clyde? Not sure. More than anything it's a period drama, a crime movie. It's not thought of as being a western, but I wouldn't exclude it just to be a reverse pigeon-hole.

The Assassination of Jesse James would still be a western because it focuses on the ideals that other westerns use, even if its territory isn't as "west" as you could get. They call these types of movies revisionist westerns. Along with Dances with Wolves, which was one of the first to show the Indians as an amicable people instead of the default savages of earlier films.

You could make a movie about a frontier town outside of Cleveland in the 1790s and get away with calling it a western, in addition to just a period piece, frontier movie, or other niche movie.

There are a lot of sub-genres to westerns, and many of them overlap. It's hard to find a movie belongs to just one genre, just as it is difficult to insist that a movie is not in another genre if it toes the line.

well said.

I read that Jonathan Demme is hoping to direct 11/22/63 the new Stephen King novel. I hope he does do it. Can't wait to get the novel itself. After King's last book he's definately back on his game.

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What's it about?

I wonder if it's one of those schlock films like In Search of Noah's Ark?

probably it's a low budget film by some director hoping to make his mark.

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It's about this guy who forgets to shave and loses his hat. It's okay though, he has another gray one.

It's from the guys who did Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Attack Of The Clones.

I wouldn't put much faith in it.

This is gold, though.

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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Comparing the theatrical and extended versions, the extended is just better all around. 95% of the additions should've been in the theatrical cut. Howard Shore's score is just sublime, and my personal favorite from the trilogy.

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The Theatrical edition of each film has some footage/dialogue not in the Extended btw.

Hum, nope. If I remember correctly, only ROTK theatrical version has footage/dialogue not in the Extended Edition (like some of Gandalf dialogue with Treebeard in Isengard).

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The Theatrical edition of each film has some footage/dialogue not in the Extended btw.

Hum, nope. If I remember correctly, only ROTK theatrical version has footage/dialogue not in the Extended Edition (like some of Gandalf dialogue with Treebeard in Isengard).

In FotR, the introduction to Hobbiton is heavily re-edited with some of Gandalf's lines removed. There's some alternate takes in Bree and the original entrance into Lothlórien is replaced by a new scene. There's also some alternate takes of Merry and Pippin witnessing Boromir's death at Amon Hen.

In TTT, other than the re-arrangement of some Treebeard scenes, I can't think of anything that has been excised from the theatrical cut. They did rearrange some matter paintings so we can now see Minas Tirith in two shots near Osgiliath.

In RotK, there's not much home other than an alternate take of Gandalf at the Black Gate. In the EE, he's clearly holding Frodo's mithril vest. In the TC he isn't, because they cut the Mouth of Sauron scene.

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The Theatrical edition of each film has some footage/dialogue not in the Extended btw.

Hum, nope. If I remember correctly, only ROTK theatrical version has footage/dialogue not in the Extended Edition (like some of Gandalf dialogue with Treebeard in Isengard).

In FotR, the introduction to Hobbiton is heavily re-edited with some of Gandalf's lines removed. There's some alternate takes in Bree and the original entrance into Lothlórien is replaced by a new scene. There's also some alternate takes of Merry and Pippin witnessing Boromir's death at Amon Hen.

In TTT, other than the re-arrangement of some Treebeard scenes, I can't think of anything that has been excised from the theatrical cut. They did rearrange some matter paintings so we can now see Minas Tirith in two shots near Osgiliath.

In RotK, there's not much home other than an alternate take of Gandalf at the Black Gate. In the EE, he's clearly holding Frodo's mithril vest. In the TC he isn't, because they cut the Mouth of Sauron scene.

Oh, yeah, forgot about those!:P

By the way, Gandalf showing the mithril vest to Aragorn before he charges felt a bit lame. You got McKellen's hand appearing in the frame in a way that doesn't feel natural at all. Nitpicking, nitpicking...

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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Comparing the theatrical and extended versions, the extended is just better all around. 95% of the additions should've been in the theatrical cut. Howard Shore's score is just sublime, and my personal favorite from the trilogy.

TTT needs the EE. Faramir's character is seriously butchered in the theatrical version.

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TTT needs the EE. Faramir's character is seriously butchered in the theatrical version.

I definitely agree. The additions in the FOTR and ROTK EEs weigh the movie down -- and while some scenes are welcome (like the Mouth of Sauron scene in ROTK and Galadriel granting the Fellowship their gifts in FOTR), a lot of them bog the movie down.

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TTT needs the EE. Faramir's character is seriously butchered in the theatrical version.

I definitely agree. The additions in the FOTR and ROTK EEs weigh the movie down -- and while some scenes are welcome (like the Mouth of Sauron scene in ROTK and Galadriel granting the Fellowship their gifts in FOTR), a lot of them bog the movie down.

FOTR and TTT Extended Editions are perfect. All of the new scenes were added for a good reason, and I wouldn't remove any of them. Concerning ROTK, I have said it before, and I'll say it again: the perfect version for that film would be a mix between the Theatrical version and the Extended Edition. Some added scenes are great, others are unnecessary, (or, as you put it, bog the movie down).

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FOTR and TTT Extended Editions are perfect. All of the new scenes were added for a good reason, and I wouldn't remove any of them. Concerning ROTK, I have said it before, and I'll say it again: the perfect version for that film would be a mix between the Theatrical version and the Extended Edition. Some added scenes are great, others are unnecessary, (or, as you put it, bog the movie down).

Agree on RotK. I haven't seen the other EEs though.

There's also some scenes already in the TC that I would cut down a bit, too. For example, I feel the beggining is too slow, and that the Arwen stuff is way inferior to what appears in the two previous films. And it's got too many endings.

Other stuff that ralentizes the film is embedded into the script and is more difficult to change, for example Denethor.

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And it's got too many endings.

What's with all those people complaining about the multiple endings? This is a 12-hour film. Would you like it to end in 5 minutes? OK, I'm gonna shock some people here, but I wish the ending was longer (with things like Gimli in the Glittering Caves, Legolas in Lothlorien, for example. When is this going to be released, by the way?). If you care about the characters, you want to know what happens to them after the war is over. Don't you ?

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And it's got too many endings.

What's with all those people complaining about the multiple endings? This is a 12-hour film. Would you like it to end in 5 minutes? OK, I'm gonna shock some people here, but I wish the ending was longer (with things like Gimli in the Glittering Caves, Legolas in Lothlorien, for example. When is this going to be released, by the way?). If you care about the characters, you want to know what happens to them after the war is over. Don't you ?

Nooo, that's not it. I like the length. I don't think I like how it's handled. I think it should be more fluid, not scene-after-scene like a book. More cinematic.

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Oh, I prefer all the EEs to the theatrical cuts. In the case of FOTR and TTT without reservations. ROTK is a mixed bag, some of the additions are unnecessary and stupid (skull avalanche), and some that are good to have are still somewhat messed up (Mouth of Sauron).

What's with all those people complaining about the multiple endings?

Never understood that either.

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And it's got too many endings.

What's with all those people complaining about the multiple endings? This is a 12-hour film. Would you like it to end in 5 minutes? OK, I'm gonna shock some people here, but I wish the ending was longer (with things like Gimli in the Glittering Caves, Legolas in Lothlorien, for example. When is this going to be released, by the way?). If you care about the characters, you want to know what happens to them after the war is over. Don't you ?

Nooo, that's not it. I like the length. I don't think I like how it's handled. I think it should be more fluid, not scene-after-scene like a book. More cinematic.

Oh, OK. My bad!

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Predators. It's not like I expected a great time, but this film is just plain boring. I expected something more from Rodriguez, even if in the gore departmant only. I can't remember feeling any tension at all, which means a death for a film like this Debney is doing what he can to make it a Predator film, but his efforts are basically drowned in the sound mix (no surprise there). It is basically a rehash of the first one.

Karol

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Yeah, but it is based on his treatment and he produced the thing in his Troublemaker studio. Had pretty much complete creative control over his thing. It's not a studio-controlled film. That's disappointing. On top of that, he hired a director who did the Hungarian Kontroll film that I like.

Karol

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I wouldn't say he had complete creative control. If I remember correctly, he passed it on to Antal (who by the way directed the shitty Vacany here in the States ;)) because he was focused on Machete. Laurence Fishburne is the only aspect of the film I liked. He played his part well.

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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

It's as good as Super 8, if not better. I believe someone reviewed the film before the board went down and said that it took its time to develop its characters. Very true, and what a difference it makes to the quality of a film. James Franco gives a somewhat bored and lazy performance, but everything revolving around Caesar and his character arc make for a breathtaking climax and resolution. Patrick Doyle's score is also my favorite of the Summer.

Contagion

Steven Soderberg delivers a gripping thriller with a remarkable cast. It bites off a little more than it can chew, resulting in a few loose ends, one which completely forgets about a character. Other than that, it's very enjoyable, and with a great score from Cliff Martinez.

Almost Famous

I finally got around to watching the director's cut, entitled Untitled. One of my favorite films of recent memory. Killer soundtrack too. I know Charlie despises this one though :lol:

The Third Man

I finally got around to watching the blu-ray release done by Criterion. The film is as thrilling as always, Anton Karas's eclectic score complimenting the outstanding cinematography. My favorite shot is when Orson Welle's character is revealed. Such a perfect combination of music and image. Criterion's release is outright stunning in its quality. While there are some light scratches throughout the running time, the picture is almost perfectly clean. Of course there's some considerable noise and grain, but the clarity is amazing.

The Big Lebowski

Not much to say about this one that hasn't been said before. The Coens' dialogue is the star, as usual. Superb film.

Raising Arizona

The first film I picked out of the recent Coen Brothers Collection box set. I haven't seen it since I bought the DVD several years ago. The picture quality is fantastic, and the upgrade to blu is worth every penny. As for the film itself, it's one of my favorites from the brothers. Nicolas Cage's best movie by far, and probably the most unique score ever composed for comedy. It's a true delight, and the opening sequence is awesome.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

R-U-N-N-O-F-T. 'Nuff said.

Burn After Reading

Not as good as their older comedies, but Brad Pitt and George Clooney steal the show. "You're in a league of fucking morons." Burwell's score is also great.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I expected a different kind of film, to be honest. It's not exactly a thriller in a genre tradition. Yes, there is a spy plot and all that, but it feels like something else entirely. Probably the most stylish film of this kind that I've seen in quite a while. Have to admit I didn't exactly follow the story as much, because I was mesmerized by the direction, cinematography, editing and sound design. There is something very strange about it, mostly because all of it is not something you'd expect from a Cold War spy setting. The way camera moves, the way he (the director) inserts background stuff into the shot and sound design, the way the film uses silence. Yes, there is a score (and quie a good one), but its used sensibly, where it needs to be.

It has a personality and I almost think the script is a secondary attraction. There's nothing wrong with it, of course. It won't even try to entertain you as most thrillers tend to do. And that's why I guess it might not appeal to people who want something like L.A. Confidential, a more traditional genre film (which is great, of course). Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a very artsy Europpean take on the story, which I find really interesting and refreshing. And very laid-back and leisurely-paced at that.

The performances are great all around. To my amazement, Mark Strong, who I think is rather pedestrian actor, gives a really good performance. They're all great - Hardy, Firth, Jones. Of course, Gary Oldman steals the show, of course. And he barely speaks anything in the first 30 minutes!

Heck, I'll probably go and see it again. In my books the very best 2011 has to offer (next to Malick's The Tree of Life). Classy.

Karol

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It's absolutely visually stunning thing to look at, Malick's film that is. I think many people find it pretentious because they say the film makes some kind of statement. Which it doesn't. It's just a visual celebration of life, nothing less. There's nothing to unravel or understand. Which is, I think, what bothers most people. For a cynical, more intellectually involved audience it might seem like an insult. But, I think, Terrence Malick's films are all about visuals and ambience. And in that he has no equal peers. Living, anyway.

I like how the film tries to visually reconstruct how human memory works - a snapshots of life, with very little cause and effect chain in between. Fantastic, purely visual cinema. Scripts and stories are not that important.

Not to mention fantastic, mostly, CGI-less special effects. Not something you see very often. Not in the past 30 years.

If you actually think about it, 2001 was received with the same kind of attitude at first. "The most expensive ammateurish film of all time", that's what the early reviews said. Kubrick's film was also very straightforward. Nothing to get, apart from the fact it is purely visual. But his clynical style sat better with the intellectual elite, I guess.

And I didn't compare this one to Tinker. They have nothing in common.

Oh and I also watched Closely Watched Trains last night. It's been a while since the last time. Gotta love Czech films. :)

Karol - who, after watching most of the summer stuff this year, is more and more bored with plots in films

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The Godfather.

The blu-ray looks good, a bit grainy though and at one moment 9the hospital scene) there appeared to be some damage.

Still a fantastic, timeless film.

The first time I saw it I was overwhelm by the awesomeness of Brando, but now it's just impossible to take my eyes of what Pacino is doing (this is the pre-Tony Montany Pacino, the one that did not scream so much).

It's pretty much perfect. I love the way we are slowly introduced to the characters and their culture though a wedding party. The pacing of the film is beautifully slow. At several points in the film we are treated with a minute or so of a car driving somewhere, a plane arriving etc... You don't see deliberate pacing like that so much anymore.

The direction feels confident, the production might have been fraught with confrontations between Copolla and the studio, but he definitely knows what he's doing. I can't imagine anyone else doing this film.

The violence, now tame by today's standards still holds an impact, especially the scene in the restaurant. Were Copolla and Puzo create brilliant tension by first telling us exactly what Michael needs to do, and then we see him not doing that.

The music is also perfect, it's rather unlike a Hollywood score. It's very sparse throughout the film, and some seem to think it's a bit simplistic, but Nino Rota's mix of melancholy and doom are as important to this film as the Jaws score was to that movie.

Simply one of the best films ever made.

**** out of ****

The Godfather Part II

Arguably an even more brilliant film then the first one.

This one follows both the rise of Don Vito Corleone and the downfall of his son Michael.

Copolla famously had a lot of trouble on the first film. Paramount tried to have him replaced several times, argumemnts with the prodfucers etc...etc...

For this one he had almost total control, and a bigger budget, and it shows. Particularly in the Vito scenes, in New York, lots of crowds, lots of beautifully composed shots (once again the camerawork is breathtaking).

The first film made Pacino a star, and a respected actor. This time he has to carry much of the film.

His acting is brilliant, because you can;t put your finger on why it's so brilliant. Michael lives with a pokerface, keeping his cards close to his vest, revealing little about his emotions or plans, yet somehow Pacino manages to very subtly convey a man who is losing his humanity. His brother Fredo (the magnificent John Cazale) betrays him, something he can not forgive. Eventually Michael does the most ungodly thing, and if left a shell of a man. But none of this is telegraphed to the audience, we dont get characters explaining their motivations, or how they feel, the viewer is sort of left to his own devices, and I like that.

This is a long film, longer then the first one. The pacing is possibly even more deliberate. There are a lot of scenes of characters just walking around, little dialogue, not a whole lot of close up camera work. This is not how movies are made any more.

The plot is rather complicated. You need to see the movie a few times to take it all in. But the plot isn't really the appeal of the film. It's the environment, the characters.

Robert Deniro playes the younger version of a role made famous by Marlon Brando. He wisely chooses to tone down Brando's famous mannerisms.

The similarities between Vito and Michael become more apparent in this film. But the father could live with himself, and retain some sort of moral compass while the son, at the end of the film could not.

The music by Nino Rota is once again magnificent. The new Immigrant theme has a dramatic pathos, and the music for the scene were Vito creeps over the rooftops is fantastic.

A brilliant, thoughtful, timeless piece of cinema.

The best film Roger Corman has ever had a cameo in...

**** out of ****

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