Monday, 1 November 2010

A few thoughts on a couple of films

Over the last few weeks, I've managed to watch my first three Noir films: 'Sunset Boulevard', 'The Third Man,' and, last night, 'M'.

This isn't a review of each film, as such, just a few thoughts on their relative merits.

'Sunset Boulevard' - Absolutely stunning, from beginning to end.  From Billy Wilder's script and direction to the incredible performance from Gloria Swanson, I could watch this film a hundred times and never get tired of it.  10/10

'The Third Man' - Disappointed, to be honest.  Had all the ingredients for a fantastic film but the twist in the plot was far too telegraphed.  Orson Welles was great, but you don't want him to be in only half the film.  The scene in the tunnels, mind, was brilliant.  7/10

'M' - Blimey.  A film from 1931 with German subtitles, I thought, how can this be any good.  Any good?  It was absolutely incredible.  The tension from the opening scene where the children are playing to the final scene with the three staring mothers never lets up.  Rarely have I found a film so disturbing, so engrossing, and so bloody terrifying in equal measure.  I think I had me eyes as wide open as they could get through the entire film.  And that shouty German dialogue, blimey, that upped the tension meter a few notches.  Quite simply, probably the best film I have ever seen.  So far . . .  10 just isn't enough.


  1. Wow -- praise indeed for M, Mr Ayris. I'll need to ch-ch-check it out.

  2. Think you'll love it, Gav. Being a bit of an officianado, and that, I'd be really interested to see what you make of it. It's a Fritz Lang film, his first talkie, so I'm sure I'm in pretty firm ground saying it's a work of genius :)

  3. M also brought Peter Lorre to the States for the first time. As for Third Man, Orson's got to take the blame for the script since he rewrote every page daily. But if he hadn't then we would never have had the immortal lines about the Swiss and CooCoo Clocks.

  4. Human desire & The Big Heat. Lang in America. Two faves of mine.

    Billy Wilder was a strong formative influence on me, especially The Apartment & Double Indemnity. And Ace In The Hole was one of my dad's fave films. But he was a cynical old buger!