Business Movie Reviews
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Only bad note... is the annoying music in the background.
Thank You Tony,
When Turkish Delight (1973) opens on a brutal attack and then a succession of one-night stands, it seems that bohemian artist Eric Vonk (Rutger Hauer, collaborating for the first time with Verhoeven) is a complete jerk. Then a sudden flashback reveals the motivations for both his dreams and behavior, as well as the subject of the photos he spends his time pining for. He meets Olga (a fantastic Monique van de Ven), but their tempestuous relationship is shaken by many peculiar events: a surreal wedding ceremony, unveiling a statue to the Queen, and the death of Olga's father. The real problem is Olga herself, however, which leads to a shock ending many have compared to Love Story. Somewhat dated now, Turkish Delight is nonetheless unmistakably a product of the now-familiar Verhoeven style.
Katie Tippel (1975) is a handsome period drama set in 19th-century Holland, based on a true story. The second eldest daughter in a poor family, Katie (Monique van de Ven) must find whatever work is going to make ends meet. As she enters a succession of jobs in which she experiences both exploitation and sexual harassment, she learns that men want her for only one thing and so she enters prostitution. However, she is finally able to escape the poverty trap and ascend the social ladder, particularly when banker Hugo (Rutger Hauer) takes her as his lover. All this is set against a backdrop of social foment as the workers' impatience at poor social conditions increases.
Based on real events, Soldier of Orange (1977) tells the story of Dutchman Erik Lanshof (a star-making performance by Rutger Hauer) and a small group of students as they struggle to survive the Nazi occupation to the end of the Second World War. Across a canvas lasting almost three hours, Verhoeven unfolds a saga of friendship, espionage, and romance with almost documentary realism, crafting a deeply affecting film widely regarded as the greatest ever made in Holland.
Only two years separate The Fourth Man (1983), Verhoeven's final Dutch language movie, and the explosive commencement of his Hollywood career. This savage comedy shocker could well be seen as a trial run for Basic Instinct, since it features an ice-cold seductress (Renée Soutendijk) with mysterious motivations and sexual preferences. The hallucinatory tale follows a novelist (Jeroen Krabbé) first falling for her, and then feverishly investigating whether she's a serial husband killer. The film is full of what would soon be recognized as Verhoeven trademarks: a little blasphemy, a lot of nudity, dispassionate characters, and hidden agendas.
In The Final Days, producer-director Patty Ivins chronicles Monroe's final, aborted feature film, Something's Got to Give, which was ultimately shut down after the star was dismissed from the production. Beyond Monroe's fragile emotional and physical health, this well-crafted profile examines the financial crisis facing her studio as well as the mounting frustration of meticulous director George Cukor and his cast, including costar Dean Martin, as Monroe's absences drove the shoot over budget. The documentary concludes with a 40-minute reconstruction of footage completed for the feature, which would subsequently be reshot as a vehicle for Doris Day and James Garner, Move Over, Darling.
"The Seven Year Itch", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "How to Marry a Millionare", and "Bus Stop"(yippee!! finally back and looking fantastic on dvd) are all great movies of Marilyn's and throwing that monstrosity I mention above in was in bad taste.
I still think it's worth buying. I got it as a gift. It is a perfect gift for the Marilyn lovers like myself.
Okay you've been warned. If you watch these films back to back your mouth muscles will tire from smiling so much! They are, like Marilyn herself, simply irresistable. They are also jammed packed with lots of other wonderful stars, fabulous music, snappy dialouge, and they are restored beautifully in the original widescreen and glorious technicolor.The set includes five fun films from the 50's, a captivating documentary, and an edited, reconstructed version of her final but unfinished project.
You'll find Marilyn and pals Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable foraging for rich husbands in "How To Marry A Millionaire"(1953). The men they set their caps for include David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell and even William Powell.
Marilyn and Jane Russell sail for France and declare "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend" in the delightful romp "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"(1953). This one co-stars the wonderful Charles Coburn.
Next up from 1954 Marilyn shares the spolight in "There's No Business Like Show Business" with Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor. This one will delight musical lovers with it's lavish song and dance numbers, and wait till you see some of Marilyn's outfits!
Even happily married Tom Ewell is not safe from Marilyn's charms in "The Seven Year Itch". The wife's away for the summer and poor Tom must find a way to cool off poor Marilyn from the hot weather! Hmmm....Delightful....and of course, this one has the famous skirt scene.
Can a girl with a past and a naive rancher find love? It's a pleasure finding out in this poignant tale of "Bus Stop"(1956). it also stars Don Murray, Arthur O'connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart and a very young Hope Lange. Marilyn shows us her tremendous dramtic skills in this one.
And then there's the very touching "Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days". Narrated by James Cobourn, it's an open and honest look at what took place in the last few months of Marilyn's life, and the problems she was having while filming her final film. Immeditaley following the documentary there is an edited, reconstruction of the scenes shot for the film. This film, also starring Dean Martin, "Something's Got To Give", which was to be a remake of the Grant/Dunne film "My Favorite Wife", finally saw an audience as "Move Over Darling" with James Garner and Doris Day.
If you are a Big Fan of MM or are considering this as a gift for some who is, this set is definatly the way to go. If you are like me, you know that eventually you will put out the money for all of them anyway!. Also I did not see "The Final Days" for sale separatly. This boxed set is an absolute bargain!. All the films look fabulous. All wonderfully restored. Each Disc has it's own bonus features, including comparisons of the restoration, and some theatrical trailers. There is a "Movietone Newsreel" relating to the cinemascope process on the documentary disc. The technical info here says that these discs are in 5.1, and although the sound on all the discs is excellent, they are not 5.1. Bus Stop, Millionaire and Show Business are all in 4.0, Seven Yr Itch is in 3.0, and Gentlemen in Stereo and full frame.That is what they say on the box and that is exactly how my DVD player decoded them. As I said they sound wonderful, but I thought I would mention that for those that it may make a difference to.
20th Century has put together a wonderful must have package, that you'll enjoy time and time again....enjoy ...Laurie
This is a great story about TWO sets of twins that are born in this rinky dink hospital in Jupiter Hollow, only to have one twin from each set mixed with the other. It's a hilarious romp and definitely a feel good movie. I think far too many critics these days miss that point. If a movie makes you feel good and makes you want to watch it over and over again, that's a 5 star movie.
Big Business will keep you coming back for a great does of monkey business!! Viva Tomlin and Midler!!
P. S. Was Robert Q. Lewis really as smarmy as I remember him?
The engaging, original music in the film, which was written by Frank Loesser, includes the songs:
* "How To" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "The Company Way" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "A Secretary Is Not A Toy" (sung by company employees).
* "Been A Long Day" (sung by company employees).
* "Rosemary" (sung by Robert Morse).
* "Grand Old Ivy" (sung by Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee).
* "I Believe In You" (sung by Michelle Lee).
* "Brotherhood Of Man" (sung by company employees).
Though some of the activities shown in "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" are dated and chauvinistic by today's business standards (and discouraged by the Labor Department and the EEOC), the basic message of the story regarding nepotism, brownnosing, favoritism, scapegoating, affairs between employees, people hired for their appearance, backstabbing and mismanagement within corporations is just as relevant today as it was over 40 years ago. Creative employees are summarily fired for their ideas, others with more corporate clout get those same ideas approved by management. People who went to the right schools or joined the right clubs move up quickly, as well as people who easily agree with superiors and/or dress as well as possible. It's not what you know, but who you know, how well you brownnose, how good of an appearance you make and how well you avoid trouble that makes one successful in the corporate world.
Robert Morse is hilarious in the film, as are Rudy Vallee, Maureen Arthur and Michelle Lee. The film was well scripted and the sets are appropriate for a late 1960's office building. It is likely that the film inspired Michael J. Fox's 1987 film, "The Secret of My Succe$s". Overall, I rate the film with 5 out of 5 stars. So sit back, get a bowl of popcorn and see whether you want to do things the company way.
Although the business world has changed quite a bit since 1967, SUCCEED is so dead-on with its attack that even modern corporate leaders will be bloodied from the fray. The company is just large enough so that no one knows what is actually going on, leadership cries out for creative solutions then promptly fires any one who shows a talent for it, and promotion doesn't hinge so much upon ability as it does upon [kissing] up, backstabbing, and looking like you know what you're doing. There are jabs at dressing for success, the idea that employees don't engage in sexual hankypanky, hidden nepotism, and the importance of belonging to the "right" clubs. And along the way our hero meets the classic business crowd: the company man, the bombshell secretary, the boss' nephew, and a host of largely incompetent yes-men VPs.
The film is very stylized, making no pretense at naturalism per se, and the cast follows suit, playing in a way that blends beautifully with the self-boosting and jingoistic tone that pervades the piece. Robert Morse gives a truly brilliant performance in the lead--and one wonders why Hollywood so seldom used him in later years; Michele Lee, as the secretary who befriends him, is equally fine, and the supporting cast is wonderful all the way around. The musical numbers (which includes such numbers as "The Company Way," "A Secretary Is Not A Toy," "It's Been A Long Day," and "Brotherhood of Man") are remarkably sly and memorably performed. All in all, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is sure to appeal to any one who has had the misfortune to graple with the idiocies of corporate America--and it will almost certainly outrage every "company man" on your city block. Strongly recommended, but make sure you get the widescreen version; pan-and-scan doesn't cut it on this one!
The best part of this movie has to be the childlike antics of Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers as they carry on for some time like a couple of eight-year-olds. Marilyn Monroe is stunning and her character never fails to produce laughs. Lois, who has begun coming to work early each morning because her boss isn't satisfied with her punctuation, was not hired for her secretarial skills, but, as Mr. Oxley says, anyone can type. Marilyn gets a fair share of screen time in this early film of hers, but there can be no question that Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers thoroughly steal the show with their comedic antics. In the end, Monkey Business shows that youth is a state of mind, best expressed by Barnaby's line, "You're old only when you forget you're young."
This is Cary Grant's second and last movie with Ginger Rogers, the first being ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON in 1942. This is CG's 58th movie and his fifth movie being directed by Howard Hawks. Their relationship had started in 1938, with the production of BRINGING UP BABY. This movie has very true shades as BUB. Cary is the greatest of farceurs, lighting up the screen with hilarity and fun.
Cary plays Dr. Barnaby Fulton who has been working on a youth-restoring formula for several years. He has not had much success until one day a chimpanzee gets loose in the lab and accidentally concocts the exact formula Barnaby had been searching for.
No one knows that the chimp has put the formula in the water cooler (except the water tastes bitter), and everyone who drinks the water gets younger and younger. The chemical reaction is fun and explosive.
Finally, Barnaby decides that the formula has to go and tells his wife, Edwina (Ginger Rogers) of his new formula, "You're only old when you forget you're young," which obviously is the best philosophy for anyone to follow.
Cary makes acting look so easy; I envy him for that. When this film came out it was not a commercial success, but today it is known as a true classic. Just goes to show what time can do to put a new slant on things.