Category Archives: LBoM: Movie Overviews

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

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Little Bit of History: The third film in the “Dollars Trilogy”, originally released 1966 and directed by Sergio Leone. Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles. The film was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: During the American Civil War, three men set off to find $200,000 in buried gold coins. Blondie (The Good), Angel Eyes (The Bad) and Tuco (The Ugly). The Good & The Ugly team up in an attempt to find the gold, but neither man trusts each other. While The Bad uses more nefarious means to find the gold.

Little Bit of Character: The stars of the show really are the main three; Blondie (The Good) who is a fairly quiet but deadly gunslinger with a strong sense of honour, played by Clint Eastwood. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a cruel cold-blooded murderer played by Lee Van Cleef with Tuco (The Ugly) is a greedy and fast-tempered man played by Eli Wallach.

Little Bit of Influence: One of the films that shaped and changed the American western forever. This film would also go on to influence film directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who calls this film “the best film ever made.”. Even the film’s star Clint Eastwood would be influenced by this film when he made Unforgiven and even dedicated that film to Sergio Leone. The film also influenced video games such as Red Dead Redemption.

Little Bit of Memories: I’ll always remember my older brother introducing me to this film when I was younger. Also how this film made me such a fan of Clint Eastwood and even Sergio Leone. That Ennio Morricone’s musical score is iconic and instantly recognisable, especially the main theme.

Little Bit of Watchability: Very much still watchable…in fact I have this film on as I’m writing this overview. One of the best and defining films of it’s genre and one can see how impactful and influential it was even to this day.

Tuco

Tuco:When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.

This is just one part of my 85th Birthday celebration of Clint Eastwood. Please also read my overview of Unforgiven and my Happy Birthday Clint editorial.

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Die Hard

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Little Bit of History: Directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis launching his movie career and cementing him as a genuine Hollywood star. Distributed by 20th Century Fox and originally released on July 15 (my birthday), 1988. Die Hard was an action/thriller like no other before it and changed Hollywood action cinema forever. Based on the novel: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which itself was a sequel to his: The Detective novel that was also turned into a film starring Frank Sinatra in 1968.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Bruce Willis plays everyday New York cop, John McClane. On a visit to Los Angeles to see his estranged wife, Holly and their children. John McClane goes to meet his wife at her work in the Nakatomi Plaza building during a Christmas party. The party is prematurely cut short by the arrival of Hans Gruber and his heavily armed group of henchmen, where they seize the building and secure all inside as hostages, except for John McClane who manages to slip away undetected and fights back to free the hostages and take down Hans and his men.

Little Bit of Character: With Bruce Willis playing the now iconic action hero, John Mcclane. There was the brilliantly charismatic bad guy, Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman. Holly McClane the no nonsense estranged wife played by Bonnie Bedelia. Hans henchmen such as Karl, Franco, Tony, Theo, Alexander, Marco, Kristoff, Eddie, Uli, Heinrich, Fritz, and James.

Little Bit of Influence: For years after the release of Die Hard, most action movies were labeled as “Die Hard on/in a…” with films such as Speed (Die Hard on a bus), Under Siege (Die Hard on a ship), Passenger 57 (Die Hard on a plane) and even the cringeworthy, Anna Nicole Smith starring Skyscraper (Die Hard in a…well building). Die Hard influenced action cinema for decades with many production companies churning out similar films with similar plots and themes. But Die Hard went on to be a very successful franchise in itself spawning four cinematic sequels (with another one rumored), various video games and even a comic book series called Die Hard: Year One which served as a prequel to the original movie.

Little Bit of Memories: I remember my older brother coming home with a copy of this film when I was younger and we sat down to watch it, which was the first time I ever saw this film. I also recall the amazing, twisting plot where nothing was what it seems. Even to the point where the writing makes you think the hero could die.

Little Bit of Watchability: Still one of the very best films made in any genre and while it shows some ageing and is very 80’s in many respects. It also manages to avoid many of the action cliches of the time and brings something refreshing to the table. I most definitely recommend this to anyone that wants a good slice of action/thriller cinema which does pretty much everything perfectly. The film has become one of my alternative Christmas classics and gets watched every Christmas without fail.

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John McClane: Was always kinda partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really like those sequined shirts.

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Harvey

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Little Bit of History: Based on the play of the same name by Mary Chase. Released in 1950 by Universal International, directed by Henry Koster and starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow and Charles Drake. James Stewart’s performance earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination while Josephine Hull’s performance won her an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, a simple man with simple pleasures who just so happens to have a best friend…that is a six-foot three and a half inch tall invisible rabbit, the titular Harvey. Harvey is a pooka, a mischievous creature from Celtic mythology. Elwood has driven his sister and niece to worry about him due to his obsession over his invisible friend, Harvey. His family seems to be unsure whether Elwood’s obsession with Harvey is a product of his over enjoyment of drink or perhaps even a genuine mental illness. So is Harvey real or is Elwood mentally ill?

Little Bit of Character: Along with James Stewart’s Elwood P. Dowd are Josephine Hull as Veta Louise Simmons, Peggy Dow playing Miss Kelly the Nurse with Charles Drake as Dr. Lyman Sanderson. Oh and a six-foot three and a half inch tall invisible rabbit.

Little Bit of Influence: The film was based on the play by Mary Chase that is still performed on stage to this day. The play has also been turned into a TV play several times from 1958 – 1996.
Several attempts have been made to remake the film including by Universal Pictures in the late 90’s with Jim Carrey starring. Even Steven Spielberg was interested in having a go at remaking the film with Tom Hanks in the Elwood P. Dowd role.
The first episode of 1975 TV series The Invisible Man featured a scene with an invisible rabbit named “Harvey” in a cage in a laboratory.
A scene in the film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit has a barfly confessing, “I seen the rabbit”. He then puts his arm around an invisible presence and says, “Say hello…Harvey”

Little Bit of Memories: The first time I recall seeing this film was when staying with my Nan and Grandad as it was shown on TV. One of my all time favourite films ever, it’s just such an endearing story and James Stewart give a stunning and believable performance as the carefree Elwood. This film has become one of my yearly watches.

Little Bit of Watchability: Very much still watchable today and a great way to cheer yourself up. James Stewart is masterful in his role as Elwood P. Dowd (probably my favourite role of his) and really comes off as a caring, yet slightly confused man, along with an amazing supporting cast. The film is just so “magical” with the right amount of fantasy added to quite a serious story about a man with drinking problems and possible mental illness. Everyone should watch this uplifting film.

Harvey

Elwood P. Dowd: I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I’m with.

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