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The apartment in this film is the bachelor pad of C (for Calvin). C (for Clifford). Baxter. It is located in Manhatten, in the West Sixties, just half a block from Central Park.  But he has a problem: ‘The only problem is – I can’t always get in when I want to’. Well Mr. Baxter is a schmuck, who isn’t overtly ambitious but who thinks he could be upwardly mobile. He is employed in a large impersonal Manhattan insurance firm. He is Bud to most people in the office and with some three years into the company he discovers a surefire formula of succeeding in the corporate world. It has in other ages and all sorts of climes and all over the world worked well, since corporate world began pooling their resources including their morals. Bud is on to a sure thing. He lets out his bachelor pad to four philandering middle-level superiors and it has its problem as I quoted at the beginning.
Tucked between the riproaring farce of Some Like It Hot and the more brittle One, Two, Three, this tragic-comic 1960 classic was Billy Wilder’s last great film. Wilder is as merciless in deflating the greed and amorality of American corporate world as his innate romantic intuition works with two misfits to give the film its bittersweet moments. Reportedly, Wilder was inspired for the film by watching David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1946) with a short scene about a man who vacates his apartment for a couple’s secret tryst (Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson).
The Apartment won five major Academy Awards out of ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (co-written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond), Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration, and Best Film Editing.
Plot:
C.C Baxter (Jack Lemmon)  works on the 19th floor of a Manhatten building and he loans his bachelor pads to senior colleagues in the hope of a promotion. He takes fancy for the elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) but he dares not make a move.

As he had hoped for, those who had made use of the pad  write glowing reports about him that alerts Personnel director Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) and he suspects something hanky-panky going on behind his back; he lets Baxter’s promotion go unchallenged on condition that Baxter’s apartment accept a fifth regular customer. Still delighted about the promotion, Baxter asks Miss Kubelik to a Broadway show. She agrees, then stands him up. On Christmas Eve, Baxter is astounded to come home and find her in his bed, fully clothed, and overdosed on sleeping pills. Mr. Sheldrake had borrowed the apartment for the evening.

Baxter and his neighbor the doctor keep her alive and safe without notifying the authorities. She explains the background: she had earlier an affair with Mr. Sheldrake but it ended abruptly when his wife returned from vacation. She had under pressure and promises again took up the relationship. But when Sheldrake offered her money instead of a Christmas present she realized she was let down badly that led to the present situation. Baxter tries to comfort her.
Kubelik recuperates in Baxter’s apartment for two days, long enough for her taxi driver brother-in-law to assume the worst of Baxter and come to blows. Sheldrake’s secretary,- and one of his former mistresses, tells Mrs. Sheldrake of her philandering husband. Faced with divorce, Sheldrake moves out but continues to take Kubelik to the apartment. Baxter finally takes a stand when Sheldrake demands the apartment for New Year’s Eve, which results in Baxter quitting the firm. Kubelik realizes that Baxter is the man who truly loves her and tells off Sheldrake on New Year’s Eve. She spends that evening  with Baxter in the apartment. Both are out of job and they are onto a session of gin rummy to pass New Year’s eve. Baxter declares his love for Kubelik, her reply is one of the famous last lines in any movie: “Shut up and deal”.
Wilder’s film is about two mismatched characters who breaks out of their loneliness during the festive season of Christmas: The Gift of Magi told in cinematic terms where love is stronger than their circumstances.

Memorable Quotes:
Dr. Dreyfuss: Be a mensch!

C.C. Baxter: Sorry, Mr. Sheldrake.
J.D. Sheldrake: What do you mean, sorry?
C.C. Baxter: You’re not going to bring anybody to my apartment.
J.D. Sheldrake: I’m not just bringing anybody; I’m bringing Miss Kubelik.
C.C. Baxter: Especially not Miss Kubelik.
J.D. Sheldrake: How’s that again?
C.C. Baxter: [firmly] No key.
J.D. Sheldrake: Baxter, I picked you for my team because I thought you were a very bright young man. Do you realize what you’re doing? Not to me, but to yourself? Normally, it takes years to work your way up to the twenty-seventh floor. But it only takes thirty seconds to be out on the street again. You dig?
C.C. Baxter: I dig.
J.D. Sheldrake: So what’s it going to be?
[Baxter slowly reaches into his pocket for a key and drops it on Sheldrake's desk]
J.D. Sheldrake: Now you’re being bright.
C.C. Baxter: Thank you, sir.
[Baxter goes back into his office, looks around, then reaches into his closet for his coat and hat. Sheldrake comes in moments later]
J.D. Sheldrake: Say, Baxter, you gave me the wrong key.
C.C. Baxter: No, I didn’t.
J.D. Sheldrake: But this is the key to the executive washroom.
C.C. Baxter: That’s right, Mr. Sheldrake. I won’t be needing it because I’m all washed up around here.
J.D. Sheldrake: What’s gotten into you, Baxter?
C.C. Baxter: Just following doctor’s orders. I’ve decided to become a “mensch”. You know what that means? A human being.
J.D. Sheldrake: Now, hold on, Baxter -
C.C. Baxter: Save it. The old payola won’t work anymore. Goodbye, Mr. Sheldrake.
—-
Fran Kubelik: Shall I light the candles?
C.C. Baxter: It’s a must! Gracious living-wise.
—-
C.C. Baxter: The mirror… it’s broken.
Fran Kubelik: Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.
—-

J.D. Sheldrake: Ya know, you see a girl a couple of times a week, just for laughs, and right away they think you’re gonna divorce your wife. Now I ask you, is that fair?
C.C. Baxter: No, sir, it’s very unfair… Especially to your wife.
—-
Fran Kubelik: When you’re in love with a married man, you shouldn’t wear mascara.
—-
C.C. Baxter: That’s the way it crumbles… cookie-wise.
—-
Fran Kubelik: I never catch colds.
C.C. Baxter: Really? I was reading some figures from the Sickness and Accident Claims Division. You know that the average New Yorker between the ages of twenty and fifty has two and a half colds a year?
Fran Kubelik: That makes me feel just terrible.
C.C. Baxter: Why?
Fran Kubelik: Well, to make the figures come out even, if I have no colds a year, some poor slob must have five colds a year.
C.C. Baxter: [sheepishly] Yeah… it’s me.
—-
[last lines]
C.C. Baxter: You hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.
Fran Kubelik: Shut up and deal.
[first lines]
C.C. Baxter: [narrating] On November 1st, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company – Consolidated Life of New York. We’re one of the top five companies in the country. Our home office has 31,259 employees, which is more than the entire population of uhh… Natchez, Mississippi. I work on the 19th floor. Ordinary Policy Department, Premium Accounting Division, Section W, desk number 861.
—-
C.C. Baxter: Miss Kubelik, one doesn’t get to be a second administrative assistant around here unless he’s a pretty good judge of character, and as far as I’m concerned you’re tops. I mean, decency-wise and otherwise-wise.
—-
C.C. Baxter: Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.
—-
C.C. Baxter: [in a bar on Christmas Eve, trying to pick Bud up] Night like this, it sorta spooks you, walking into an empty apartment.
—-
C.C. Baxter: I said I had no family; I didn’t say I had an empty apartment.
Fran Kubelik: Just because I wear a uniform doesn’t make me a girl scout.
—-Kirkeby: Say, why don’t we have ourselves a party, the four of us?
C.C. Baxter: No.
[Kirkeby suddenly sees Fran sleeping in the bedroom]
Kirkeby: [laughs] Well, I don’t blame ya. So you hit the jackpot, eh kid? I mean Kubelik-wise.
[Baxter pushes Kirkeby out the door]
Kirkeby: Now don’t worry, I won’t say a word to anybody.
[with the door almost shut, Kirkeby pushes in one last time]
Kirkeby: Stay with it, buddy boy.
—-
Kirkeby: Premium-wise and billing-wise, we are eighteen percent ahead of last year, October-wise.
—-
Fran Kubelik: What’s a tennis racket doing in the kitchen?
C.C. Baxter: Tennis racket? Oh, I remember, I was cooking myself an Italian dinner.
[Fran looks confused]
C.C. Baxter: I use it to strain the spaghetti.
—-
Fran Kubelik: He’s a taker.
C.C. Baxter: A what?
Fran Kubelik: Some people take, some people get took. And they know they’re getting took and there’s nothing they can do about it.
—-
Margie MacDougall: ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… nothin’… no action… dullsville!
—-
Fran Kubelik: Would you mind opening the window?
C.C. Baxter: Now don’t go getting any ideas, Miss Kubelik.
Fran Kubelik: I just want some fresh air.
C.C. Baxter: It’s only one story down. The best you can do is break a leg.
Fran Kubelik: So they’ll shoot me – like a horse.
C.C. Baxter: Please, Miss Kubelik, you got to promise me you won’t do anything foolish.
Fran Kubelik: Who’d care?
C.C. Baxter: I would.
Fran Kubelik: Why can’t I ever fall in love with someone nice like you?
—-
Sylvia: You mean you bring other girls up here?
Kirkeby: Certainly not! I’m a happily married man.
—-
Fran Kubelik: I was jinxed from the word go. The first time I was ever kissed was in a cemetery.
Fran Kubelik: Why do people have to love people anyway?
—-
Dr. Dreyfuss: [entering his apartment, he suddenly hears loud music starting from next door] Mildred! He’s at it again.
—-
Fran Kubelik: I’d like to spell it out for you… only I can’t spell!
—-
Fran Kubelik: You fool. You damn fool.
—-
C.C. Baxter: I know how you feel, Miss Kubelik. You think it’s the end of the world — but it’s not, really. I went through exactly the same thing myself.
Fran Kubelik: You did?
C.C. Baxter: Well, maybe not exactly — I tried to do it with a gun.
Fran Kubelik: Over a girl?
C.C. Baxter: Worse than that — she was the wife of my best friend — and I was mad for her. But I knew it was hopeless — so I decided to end it all. I went to a pawnshop and bought a forty-five automatic and drove up to Eden Park — do you know Cincinnati?
Fran Kubelik: No, I don’t.
C.C. Baxter: Anyway, I parked the car and loaded the gun — well, you read in the papers all the time that people shoot themselves, but believe me, it’s not that easy — I mean, how do you do it? — here, or here, or here –
[with cocked finger, he points to his temple, mouth and chest]
C.C. Baxter: — you know where I finally shot myself?
Fran Kubelik: Where?
C.C. Baxter: [indicating kneecap] Here.
Fran Kubelik: In the knee?
C.C. Baxter: Uh-huh. While I was sitting there, trying to make my mind up, a cop stuck his head in the car, because I was illegally parked — so I started to hide the gun under the seat and it went off — pow!
Fran Kubelik: [laughing] That’s terrible.
C.C. Baxter: Yeah. Took me a year before I could bend my knee — but I got over the girl in three weeks. She still lives in Cincinnati, has four kids, gained twenty pounds — she sends me a fruit cake every Christmas.

Directed by     Billy Wilder
Produced by     Billy Wilder
Written by     Billy Wilder
I.A.L. Diamond
Running time     125 min.
Country     U.S.A.
Language     English
Budget     $3,000,000 (est.)
Cast

* Jack Lemmon as C.C. ‘Bud’ Baxter
* Shirley MacLaine as Fran Kubelik
* Fred MacMurray as Jeff D. Sheldrake
* Ray Walston as Joe Dobisch
* Jack Kruschen as Dr. Dreyfuss
* David Lewis as Al Kirkeby
* Hope Holiday as Mrs. Margie MacDougall
* Joan Shawlee as Sylvia
* Naomi Stevens as Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss
* Johnny Seven as Karl Matuschka
* Joyce Jameson as The blonde
* Willard Waterman as Mr. Vanderhoff
* David White as Mr. Eichelberger
* Edie Adams as Miss Olsen
Similar Movies
How to Murder Your Wife  (1965, Richard Quine)
Made for Each Other  (1939, John Cromwell)
Avanti!  (1972, Billy Wilder)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s  (1961, Blake Edwards)
The Fortune Cookie  (1966, Billy Wilder)
Irma La Douce  (1963, Billy Wilder)
Sabrina  (1954, Billy Wilder)
Office Space  (1999, Mike Judge)
The Graduate  (1967, Mike Nichols)
Singles  (1992, Cameron Crowe)
Movies with the Same Personnel
Some Like It Hot  (1959, Billy Wilder)
The Seven Year Itch  (1955, Billy Wilder)
Love in the Afternoon  (1957, Billy Wilder)
Kiss Me, Stupid!  (1964, Billy Wilder)
One, Two, Three  (1961, Billy Wilder)
Irma La Douce  (1963, Billy Wilder)
Avanti!  (1972, Billy Wilder)
Sette Volte Donna  (1967, Vittorio De Sica)
Other Related Movies
is related to:      Love in the Afternoon  (1957, Billy Wilder)
Buddy Buddy  (1981, Billy Wilder)
Some Like It Hot  (1959, Billy Wilder)

Trivia:
*  Wilder directed Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959). He grew to despise her demands for star treatment and her poor work ethic, and thus included the party-girl Monroe-esque character in this film.

* Billy Wilder also used the character name Sheldrake in Sunset Blvd. (1950), Ace in the Hole (1951), and Kiss Me, Stupid (1964).

* Shirley MacLaine was only given forty pages of the script and Wilder added as the film progressed. The gin rummy game was added because at the time she was learning how to play the game from her friends in the Rat Pack. Likewise, when she started philosophizing about love during a lunch break one day, this was also added to the script.

* Paul Douglas was cast as Sheldrake but died before filming began.

* Playwright ‘Neil Simon’ adapted the screenplay as the book for his musical “Promises, Promises”

* Although Adolph Deutsch received sole screen credit for the music score, the very popular “Theme from The Apartment” was actually a pre-existing piece of music (originally “Jealous Lover”, 1949) by British composer Charles Williams, who was known for his scores for British films and BBC radio dramas.

* Shirley MacLaine filmed her famous cameo in Ocean’s Eleven (1960) during a break in filming this movie.

* The name on the door next to Baxter’s office is T.W.Plews. Tom Plews was the prop master.

* The office Christmas party scene was actually filmed on December 23, 1959, so as to catch everybody in the proper holiday mood. Billy Wilder filmed almost all of it on the first take, stating to an observer, “I wish it were always this easy. Today, I can just shout ‘action’ and stand back.”

* This is the first Best Picture Oscar winner to specifically refer to a previous winner, in this case Grand Hotel (1932), which Baxter attempts to watch on television but is too long delayed because of commercials. Bud’s boss also refers to Bud and Fran having “a lost weekend” together in Bud’s apartment, a reference to Billy Wilder’s earlier Oscar winner, The Lost Weekend (1945).

* This was the last B&W movie to win Best Picture at The Academy Awards until Schindler’s List (1993).

* Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” in 2006.

* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #80 Greatest Movie of All Time.

* The wool coat Fran wears in various scenes actually belonged to Audrey Young, the wife of Billy Wilder).

* It was said that while filming the scene where C.C. Baxter sleeps in Central Park in the rain, Billy Wilder had to spray Jack Lemmon with anti-freeze to keep him from freezing.

* To get Fran (Shirley MacLaine) to look genuinely startled when her brother-in-law punches Calvin (Jack Lemmon), director Billy Wilder smacked together two pieces of 2×4 during the shoot.
* To create the impression of a very large bureau in the scenes where Baxter is behind his desk, director Billy Wilder used dwarf actors and specially designed furniture.

* The nasal spray used by Jack Lemmon was actually milk. Real nasal spray would not have shown up on camera.

* Billy Wilder claimed that he and I.A.L. Diamond already had Jack Lemmon in mind to play Baxter when they wrote the screenplay. In an interview years later, Lemmon confirmed this.

* The studio wanted Groucho Marx for the role of Dr. Dreyfuss, but Billy Wilder said no, stating that he wanted an actor with more dramatic weight for the part.

•    Promises, Promises, the musical version of The Apartment, opened at the Shubert Theater on December 1, 1968 and ran for 1281 performances.(imdb)

( ack: imdb,all movie, filmsite, wikipedia)

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compiler:benny

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Here is a quote from a movie released in 1940:
Boy in bank: Mommy, doesn’t that man have a funny nose?
Mother in bank: You mustn’t make fun of the gentleman, Clifford. You’d like to have a nose like that full of nickels, wouldn’t you?

Whom the boy is referring to? (Hint: He isn’t JP Morgan.)
Anyone who has ever seen a comedy film by WC Fields would have no difficulty in answering the question.
The inimitable comedian, W.C. Fields plays Egbert Sousé, a lush who lives in a make-believe world, In the opening scene we see him falsely brag, “In the old Sennett days, I used to direct Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the rest of ‘em.” (This movie’s director ‘Eddie Cline’ did co-direct several of Buster Keaton’s early short subjects.)
He is indigent and henpecked to boot.
Egbert at home:
Elsie Mae Adele Brunch Sousé: Shall I bounce a rock off his head?
Agatha Sousé: Respect your father, darling. What kind of a rock?

He supports his family whenever he can by winning radio contests. When a fleeing bank robber is knocked cold upon tripping over the park bench where Egbert sits, Sousé is hailed as a hero and offered the job of bank guard. The next day, he is approached by one J. Frothingham Waterbury (Russell Hicks), : I want to show you I’m honest in the worst way! He offers to sell Egbert shares in the Beefsteak Mines. Sousé raises the necessary money by convincing bank clerk Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton), the fiance of Egbert’s daughter Myrtle (Una Merkel), to “borrow” some funds from the bank. Of course Oggilby cannot resist the logic of a local hero however odd it may sound at first.

Egbert Sousé: My uncle, a balloon ascensionist, Effingham Hoofnagle, took a chance. He was three miles and a half up in the air. He jumped out of the basket of the balloon and took a chance of alighting on a load of hay.
Og Oggilby: Golly! Did he make it?
Egbert Sousé: Uh… no. He didn’t. Had he been a younger man, he probably would have made it. That’s the point. Don’t wait too long in life.

Sousé is all for seizing the day. He assures Og it isn’t really embezzling. He knows the mine is bound to pay off.
Besides In Egbert’s moral dictionary the word Embezzlent carries only six words and not a sentence.
Myrtle Sousé: [doing a crossword puzzle] What’s a six-letter word meaning “embezzlement”?
Mrs. Hermisillo Brunch: Prison.

Aggravations of all sorts Egbert has to face at home. In the Bank also matters do not help.
Egbert Sousé: Is that gun loaded?
Mother in bank: Certainly not! But I think you are!

With Fields playing the lead role we have inspired silliness, buffoonery and his special brand of delivery,- gags that cannot even have a leg to stand on in any other, which when taken together is still an absurd comedy but of the highest order. In The Back Dick he is at his best. It is his first solo starring role in a Universal Pictures film. Fields wrote the original screenplay, but credits himself with the nom de plume of Mahatma Kane Jeeves.  He has no props as Mae West or Charlie McCarthy but it is no matter. In a little over one hour his comic genius presides over the town of Lompoc, Calif., He makes fun of everything sacred,-family, duty, hard work. Charity itself is suspect when WC Field lends a hand in fixing a stalled car. The film climaxes with one of the greatest slapstick, getaway car chase sequences in film history (a throw-back to Mack Sennett days – director Cline had been an actor in Sennett’s Keystone Kops). “The resale value of this car,” says Bill from the corner of his mouth, “is going to be practically nil when we get through with this trip.”The car chase has been imitated in numerous films, including Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc (1972).
‘The humor is both physical and intellectual. Fields was among the innovators of early sound films in using contemporary cultural references; yet the movie is not so tied to its era that its references have become obscure. As Fields’ style of quick-witted humor grew, the popularity of such low-brow comedians as El Brendel fell. There’s a nice supporting performance from Shemp Howard, but the film belongs to Fields’.(review- quoted from Richard Gilliam, All Movie Guide)
THE BANK DICK; original screen play by Mahatma Kane Jeeves; directed by Edward Cline for Universal Pictures.
Egbert Sousé . . . . . W. C. Fields
Agatha Sousé . . . . . Cora Witherspoon
Myrtle Sousé . . . . . Una Merkel
Elsie May Adele Brunch Sousé . . . . . Evelyn Del Rio
Mrs. Hermisillo Brunch . . . . . Jessie Ralph
J. Pinkerton Snoopington . . . . . Franklin Pangborn
Og Oggilby . . . . . Grady Sutton
Joe Guelpe . . . . . Shemp Howard
Mackley Q. Greene . . . . . Richard Purcell
J. Frothingham Waterbury . . . . . Russell Hicks
Mr. Skinner . . . . . Pierre Watkin
Filthy McNasty . . . . . Al Hill
Cozy Kochran . . . . . George Moran
A. Pismo Clam . . . . . Jack Norton
Francois . . . . . Reed Hadley
Miss Plupp . . . . . Heather Wilde
Doctor Stall . . . . . Harlan Briggs
Mr. Cheek . . . . . Bill Alston
trivia:
*  “Mahatma Kane Jeeves” is a play on words from old stage plays. “My hat, my cane, Jeeves!”

* The newspaper being read by Egbert Sousé is the Lompoc Picayune Intelligencer.

* At the end of the movie Egbert Sousé is whistling “Listen to the Mockingbird” just as Joe the Bartender comes onto the screen. Joe is played by Shemp Howard of Three Stooges fame and “Listen to the Mockingbird” was the Three Stooges Theme music.

* Universal’s censors initially objected to W.C. Fields’ script and demanded many changes. Director ‘Eddie Cline’ suggested that Fields should go ahead and film it their way, and that the front office wouldn’t notice the difference. They didn’t.

* Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time” in 2006.

Compiler:benny

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Directed by Erich von Stroheim and starring Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller, Tempe Pigott, Sylvia Ashton, Chester Conklin, Joan Standing and Jack Curtis, ‘Greed’ is one of the greatest films ever made. It is a silent film and a morality play: it holds a mirror to our own psyche and though we may never play the part the shapes come to play therein, we may as well accept the truth it reveals.Truth of this film is greed and it is exclusively a human peculiarity that must make even man avowing highest ideals cringe. ‘Out, out with this damn spot,’ we may as well say and yet we shall pursue it with more resolve under some guise or other. Those who want to bring democracy into Iraq shall know that the underbelly of such risky venture only carries the ilks of Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR and what not and yet supposedly the idea ( of democracy)seems more a license than a right to fool the world.

At the opening of the film the title card reads a quote from the author of the book McTeague on which it is based: ‘I never truckled; I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn’t like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth; I knew it for the truth then, and I know it for the truth now.
. FRANK NORRIS.
Frank Norris’ powerful novel McTeague first came out in 1902 and was first filmed in 1915. It is the 1924 version is that we are presently concerned with. From early on Erich von Stroheim was attracted to the book and after scoring an enormous financial hit with Foolish Wives, in 1923, he began work on what he hoped would his masterpiece.

Plot

Stripped to its bare essentials, McTeague tells the story of a brute but basically good-natured miner named McTeague (played by Gibson Gowland), his wife Trina (ZaSu Pitts) and Marcus(Jean Hersholt), his best friend who later turns out to be his nemesis.
The eponymous character finds his true calling in life by taking over the practice of a traveling dentist. Setting up shop in San Francisco, McTeague falls in love with the daughter of German immigrants. It happens that Trina is the girlfriend of  Marcus who is mildly resentful, but ultimately forgiving, when McTeague and Trina are married. Always seeking out an opportunity to better herself, Trina buys a lottery ticket. When the ticket pays off and she wins a fortune, the previously even-tempered Trina undergoes a complete personality change, metamorphosing into a grasping, greedy, miserly shrew, hoarding huge sums of money while her husband must get by on his meager earnings as a dentist. Trina’s sudden windfall sparks a change in both McTeague and Marcus, as well; driven to distraction by his wife’s avarice, McTeague turns into a violent beast, while Marcus boils with jealousy over losing the now-prosperous Trina to McTeague. Pushed too far, McTeague ultimately murders Trina and escapes to the desert with her money. Appointed a sheriff’s deputy, the envious Marcus heads out to bring McTeague in, and the two men catch up with one another in the middle of Death Valley. Their water supply gone, their packhorse dead, McTeague and Marcus begin a fight to the death. McTeague manages to shoot and kill Marcus — only to discover that Marcus has manacled himself to McTeague. Utterly defeated, he sits benumbed on the scorching rocks, awaiting madness and a horrible death.
Marcus: There’s no water… within a hundred miles o’ here!
[the two men hopelessly stand by the dead mule in the middle of the desert]
Marcus: We… are… dead… men!

Filming at actual locations (the murder scene was shot at a locale where a real murder had occurred, while the sweltering Death Valley sequence was, likewise, made there), Von Stroheim remained doggedly faithful to the Norris original, shooting every page word for word. The end result ran 40 reels, or roughly 10 hours of screen time. Production head Irving Thalberg argued logically that no audience would sit still for ten hours of unrelenting realism. Von Stroheim reluctantly responded by paring his film down to 20 reels, but it was still far too long and depressing for MGM’s taste. It was edited even more – the current release version of the film is now shown at approximately two and a quarter hours (about 10 reels), one quarter of its original length. The severe editing was completed by Joe Farnham and June Mathis, Goldwyn’s story editor, who hadn’t read either the book or the screenplay. Reportedly, the 32 reels of edited negatives were melted down by MGM to extract the valuable silver nitrate from the film stock.
Cast

* Gibson Gowland as John McTeague
* Zasu Pitts as Trina
* Jean Hersholt as Marcus
* Dale Fuller as Maria
* Tempe Pigott as McTeague’s mother
* Jack Curtis as McTeague’s father (uncredited)
* Silvia Ashton as ‘Mommer’ Sieppe
* Chester Conklin as ‘Popper’ Sieppe
* Joan Standing as Selina

Directed by     Erich von Stroheim
Produced by     Irving Thalberg
Louis B. Mayer
Written by     June Mathis
Erich von Stroheim
Frank Norris (novel)
Distributed by     Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)     December 4, 1924
Running time     140 min.
239 min. (restored)
Memorable Quote:
Trina: Let’s go sit on the sewer.
—-
Trivia:

* MGM’s first feature-length movie.

* The original 42 reel version is one of the top ten “lost films” of the American Film Institute

* Jean Hersholt was hospitalized after he lost 27 pounds during the filming of the movie’s climax in Death Valley.

* Concerning the editor hired to cut “Greed” down to 2 hours, Erich von Stroheim supposedly commented: “The only thing he had on his mind was his hat!”

* Director Cameo: [Erich von Stroheim] as a balloon vendor (although only in a deleted sequence). McTeague and Trina buy balloons from the vendor on the street.

* The filming of the climax was actually the subject of an early silent newsreel. The facts reported by the newsreel concerning the Death Valley portion of the shooting: it took a day just to reach the location from the town of Keeler, California, they rode in a combination of cars and horses (one of the cars had the word “Greed” stenciled on it), water had to be rationed and they shot in August when temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

•    The only screening of the original complete director’s cut was for a small group of reporters. One wrote a glowing review of it, using words like “wonderful” and “brilliant” to describe it, but lamented the fact that nobody else would ever see it.
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The Barbary Coast  (1935, Howard Hawks)
Citizen Kane  (1941, Orson Welles)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  (1948, John Huston)
Wall Street  (1987, Oliver Stone)
L’Argent  (1929, Marcel L’Herbier)
The Trail of ’98  (1928, Clarence Brown)
Intolerance  (1916, D.W. Griffith)
Sátántangó  (1994, Béla Tarr)
Waking Ned Devine  (1998, Kirk Jones)
Movies with the Same Personnel
The Wedding March  (1928, Erich Von Stroheim)
Blind Husbands  (1919, Erich Von Stroheim)
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Foolish Wives  (1922, Erich Von Stroheim)
The Devil’s Passkey  (1920, Erich Von Stroheim)
The Merry Widow  (1925, Erich Von Stroheim)
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(Ack:filmsite.com,imdb,allmovie,wikipedia)

compiler:benny

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According to the film critic Roger Ebert ‘The movie’s simplistic approach to mental illness is not really a fault of the movie, because it has no interest in being about insanity. It is about a free spirit in a closed system’. But when Forman-Saentz team who gave us Amadeus have had dealt with Ken Kesey’s book of the same title(1962) the film became a top hit. The movie was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, Screenplay) since It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991, by The Silence of the Lambs.
The movie was filmed at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which was the setting of the novel.

Plot

Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a recidivist criminal serving a short prison term on a work farm for statutory rape, is transferred to a mental institution little does he know what is in store for him there. He had manipulated the system for such a transfer where he’ll now be able to serve out the rest of his sentence in relative comfort and ease.

His ward in the mental institution is run by Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), a nasty villain whom you love to hate.( Nurse Ratched is currently rated #7 on the Internet Movie Database list of 50 Greatest Villains).
She doesn’t lashout or whip whom she wishes to bring to heel. Mostly her patients are “voluntary” patients anyway,- who are there by choice. While McMurphy initially has little respect for his fellow patients, his antiauthoritarian nature is aroused. What began as a little fun, to bring down her a peg or two,- strictly for laughs is gradually ratcheted into a fullblown fight on his part for the hearts and minds of the patients. She could take him on calmly since she represents authority: when he finds out only later that Ratched has the power to keep him there indefinitely we begin to see beyond his criminal record and learn to sympathizea little with him. He represents like you and me an individual and not a depersonalized number bristling at the unfair way she has stacked all the chips in her favour. Rather than have him transferred, Ratched sees his behavior as a personal affront and becomes obsessed with winning this contest.

McMurphy gradually forms deep friendships in the ward with a group of men which includes Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif), a suicidal, stuttering and helpless young man whom Ratched has humiliated and dominated, and “Chief” Bromden (Will Sampson), a 6’ 5” muscular Native American. Believed by the patients to be deaf and unable to speak, Chief is mostly ignored and he becomes his only real confidant, as they both see their struggles against authority in similar terms.

McMurphy at first uses the chief as an advantage (for example, in playing basketball). Later, they and patient Charlie Cheswick (Sydney Lassick) are detained for being involved in a fight with the ward attendants. Cheswick undergoes electroshock therapy, while McMurphy and Chief wait their turn on a bench. While they wait, McMurphy offers Chief a piece of Juicy Fruit gum, and Bromden verbally thanks him. A surprised McMurphy discovers that Chief uses his’debility’ as a weapon against the authority. He rebels as McMurphy but in a different way. McMurphy hatches a plan that will allow himself and Bromden to escape. Following his “therapy,” McMurphy jokingly feigns catatonia before assuring his cohorts and Nurse Ratched that the attempt to subdue him didn’t work.

One night McMurphy sneaks into the nurse’s station and calls his girlfriend, Candy, and tells her to bring booze. He also takes Billy along. Another woman tags along and both enter the ward after McMurphy bribes the night watchman, Mr. Turkle (Scatman Crothers). They are found out probably because of the extant neuroleptic drugs (Thorazine, etc.) in their systems.

When Nurse Ratched arrives the next morning she commands the attendants to clean up the patients and conduct a head count. Billy is found in a room sleeping with Candy. When he announces that he is not ashamed with what he done, Nurse Ratched then threatens that she will tell his mother about it. Billy breaks down, and after being carried into the doctor’s office, kills himself by slitting his throat. McMurphy, furious tries to strangle her. McMurphy is subdued and taken away again.

A few days later, the patients are seen playing cards as usual. Nurse Ratched, her vocal cords damaged by McMurphy’s previous attack, is forced to speak through a microphone for the patients to hear her, and finds that she is now no longer able to intimidate them. Later that night, Chief Bromden sees McMurphy being returned to his bed. When the Chief approaches him, he finds to his horror that he has been given a lobotomy. Unwilling to leave McMurphy behind, the Chief suffocates his neurologically disabled friend with a pillow. He follows Randle’s plan for escape by heroically hoisting a very heavy hydrotherapy control panel (which McMurphy had tried to lift earlier) and hurling it through a barred window. He is last seen fleeing the institution.

Casting

Kirk Douglas originated the role of McMurphy in a stage production, and then bought the film rights, hoping to play McMurphy on the screen. He passed the production rights to his son, Michael Douglas, who decided his father was too old for the role. Kirk was reportedly angry at his son for a time afterwards because of this. Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman were considered to play the lead.

The role of domineering Nurse Ratched was turned down by six actresses, Anne Bancroft, Colleen Dewhurst, Geraldine Page, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Angela Lansbury, until Louise Fletcher accepted casting only a week before filming began.
Actor     Role
Jack Nicholson     Randle Patrick McMurphy
Louise Fletcher     Nurse Mildred “Big Nurse” Ratched
William Redfield     Dale Harding
Dean R. Brooks     Dr. John Spivey
Scatman Crothers     Orderly Turkle
Danny DeVito     Martini
William Duell     Jim Sefelt
Brad Dourif     Billy Bibbit
Christopher Lloyd     Jim Taber
Will Sampson     Chief Bromden
Vincent Schiavelli     Frederickson
Nathan George     Attendant Washington
Sydney Lassick     Charlie Cheswick
Louisa Moritz     Rose

The film marked the film debuts of Sampson, Dourif and Lloyd. It was one of the first films for DeVito. (DeVito and Lloyd co-starred several years later on the television series Taxi.)
Directed by     Miloš Forman
Produced by     Michael Douglas
Saul Zaentz
Written by     screenplay by Lawrence Hauben
Bo Goldman
based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Music by     Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography     Haskell Wexler
Editing by     Sheldon Kahn
Lynzee Klingman
Running time     133 min.
Country     United States
Language     English
Budget     $4,400,000
Gross revenue     $112,000,000

Title interpretation

The title is derived from an American children’s folk rhyme.

Wire, briar, limber-lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew east, one flew west
And one flew over the cuckoo’s nest
.

It loses a bit of the significance it has in the novel, where it is part of a rhyme Chief Bromden remembers from his childhood. This detail was not included in the film.
Memorable Quotes:
McMurphy: Which one of you nuts has got any guts?
—-
McMurphy: That’s right, Mr. Martini. There is an Easter Bunny.
—-
Chief Bromden: My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That’s why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind and diseased from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don’t suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn’t know him.
McMurphy: Killed him, huh?
Chief Bromden: I’m not saying they killed him. They just worked on him. The way they’re working on you.
—-
McMurphy: I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.
—-
McMurphy: I’m a goddamn marvel of modern science.
—-
Taber: Jack Dumpey’s full of shit!
—-
[McMurphy is pretending to watch the World Series on TV]
McMurphy: Someone get me a fucking wiener before I die.
—-
Nurse Ratched: Aren’t you ashamed?
Billy: No, I’m not.
[Applause from friends]
Nurse Ratched: You know Billy, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this.
Billy: Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don’t have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: I don’t have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.
Billy: P-p-p-please d-d-don’t tell my m-m-m-mother.
—-
McMurphy: A little dab’ll do ya.
—-
McMurphy: What are you doin’ here? You oughta be out in a convertible bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver.
—-
McMurphy: Is that crazy enough for ya’? Want me to take a shit on the floor?
—-
McMurphy: [about shock treatments] They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot! The next woman takes me on’s gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!
—-
McMurphy: She was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and she told me she was eighteen, she was very willing, I practically had to take to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don’t think it’s crazy at all and I don’t think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that’s why I got into jail to begin with. And now they’re telling me I’m crazy over here because I don’t sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don’t make a bit of sense to me. If that’s what being crazy is, then I’m senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that’s it.
—-
Candy: [innocently] You all crazy?
—-
McMurphy: In one week, I can put a bug so far up her ass, she don’t know whether to shit or wind her wristwatch.
—-
McMurphy: I’m here to cooperate with you a hundred percent. A hundred percent. I’ll be just right down the line with ya’. You watch.
—-
[the inmates are playing cards and betting with cigarettes]
Martini: [rips a cigarette in half] I bet a nickel.
McMurphy: Dime’s the limit, Martini.
Martini: I bet a dime.
[Puts the two halves onto the table]
McMurphy: This is not a dime, Martini. This is a dime.
[shows a whole cigarette]
McMurphy: If you break it in half, you don’t get two nickels, you get shit. Try and smoke it. You understand?
Martini: Yes.
McMurphy: You don’t understand.
—-
McMurphy: What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets and that’s it.
—-
McMurphy: Why don’t ya shut your goddamn mouth and play some music.
—-
[McMurphy, getting Chief into the basketball game]
McMurphy: Hit me, Chief, I got the moves!
—-
Nurse Ratched: If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.
[McMurphy turns around to see Harding smiling at him]
McMurphy: Heh, YOU’D like it, wouldn’t you?
[to Harding, regarding the pills]
McMurphy: Here, give it to me
—-.
Cheswick: Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES!
—-
Chief Bromden: Mmmmmm, Juicy Fruit.
[about Nurse Ratched]
McMurphy: Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothin’, but she’s somethin’ of a cunt, ain’t she Doc?
—-
Dr. Spivey: Well, the real reason that you’ve been sent over here is because they wanted you to be evaluated… to determine whether or not you are mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?
McMurphy: Well, as near as I can figure out, it’s ’cause I, uh, fight and fuck too much.
—-
McMurphy: Get out of my way son, you’re usin’ my oxygen.
—-
McMurphy: Nurse Ratched, Nurse Ratched! The Chief voted! Now will you please turn on the television set?
Nurse Ratched: [she opens the glass window] Mr. McMurphy, the meeting was adjourned and the vote was closed.
McMurphy: But the vote was 10 to 8. The Chief, he’s got his hand up! Look!
Nurse Ratched: No, Mr. McMurphy. When the meeting was adjourned, the vote was 9 to 9.
McMurphy: [exasperated] Aw come on, you’re not gonna say that now! You’re not gonna say that now! You’re gonna pull that hen house shit? Now when the vote… the Chief just voted – it was 10 to 9. Now I want that television set turned on *right now*!
[Nurse Ratched closes the glass window]
—-
McMurphy: You’re not an idiot. Huh! You’re not a goddamn looney now, boy. You’re a fisherman!
—-
Nurse Pilbow: Don’t get upset, Mr. McMurphy.
McMurphy: I’m not getting upset, Nurse Pilbow. I just don’t want anyone to slip me salt peter!
—-
[telling McMurphy about Chief]
Billy: He-he-he can’t hear you. He’s a d-d-deaf and d-d-dumb Indian.
—-
McMurphy: [pointing to naked woman on playing card] Where do you suppose she lives?
—-
McMurphy: We’re just having a little party.
Orderly Turkle: Party my ass, this ain’t no nightclub!
—-
Night Nurse: Mr. Turkle?
McMurphy: Where the fuck is he, why doesn’t he answer her?
Taber: He’s jerkin’ off somewhere.
Orderly Turkle: Ain’t no one jerkin’ off nowhere muthafucker!
McMurphy: Turkle what the fuck are you doing in here? Go out and talk to her.
Orderly Turkle: I’m doin’ the same fuckin’ thing your doin’- hidin’!
—-
[last lines]
Chief Bromden: Mac… they said you escaped. I knew you wouldn’t leave without me. I was waiting for you. Now we can make it, Mac; I feel big as a damn mountain.
[he suddenly sees the lobotomy scars]
Chief Bromden: Oh, no…
Chief Bromden: [embracing McMurphy] I’m not goin’ without you, Mac. I wouldn’t leave you this way… You’re coming with me.
Chief Bromden: [laying him down] Let’s go.
—-
McMurphy: But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that.
—-
McMurphy: Who’s the head bull-goose loony around here?
—-
Orderly Turkle: Oh shit, the supervisor!
—-
Nurse Ratched: Your hand is staining my window.
—-
McMurphy: Jesus Christ! D’you nuts wanna play cards or do ya wanna fuckin’ jerk off?
—-
McMurphy: Koufax looks down! He’s looking at the great Mickey Mantle now! Here comes the pitch! Mantle swings! It’s a fucking home run!
[loud cheering from the patients]
—-
Young Psychiatrist: Have you ever heard of the old saying “a rolling stone gathers no moss?”
McMurphy: Yeah.
Young Psychiatrist: Does that mean something to you?
McMurphy: Uh… tt’s the same as “don’t wash your dirty underwear in public.”
Young Psychiatrist: I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
McMurphy: [smiling] I’m smarter than him, ain’t I?
[laughs]
McMurphy: Well, that sort of has always meant, is, uh, it’s hard for something to grow on something that’s moving.
—-
Psychiatrist: Dr. Sanji?
Dr. Sanji: I don’t think he’s overly psychotic, but, I still think he’s quite sick.
Psychiatrist: You think he’s dangerous?
Dr. Sanji: Absolutely so.
—-
McMurphy: [pretending to watch the World Series on TV] Koufax… Koufax kicks. He delivers. It’s up the middle! It’s a base hit! Richardson is rounding first. He’s going for second. The ball’s into deep right center. Davis cuts the ball off! Here comes the throw. He throws it to second! He slides! He’s in there! He’s safe! It’s a double.! Richardson’s on second base!
[McMurphy gets up as the other patients come to see what he's doing]
McMurphy: Koufax is in big fucking trouble! Big trouble, baby! All right. Tresh is the next batter. Tresh looks in. Koufax… Koufax gets a sign from Roseboro. He kicks once. He pumps. He fires. It’s a strike! Koufax’s curve ball is snapping off like a fucking firecracker! All right, here he comes with the next pitch. Tresh swings. It’s a long fly ball to deep left center!
[patients cheer]
McMurphy: It’s going! It’s gone! Let’s hear it! One way!
—-
Harding: I’m not just talking about my wife, I’m talking about my LIFE, I can’t seem to get that through to you. I’m not just talking about one person, I’m talking about everybody. I’m talking about form. I’m talking about content. I’m talking about interrelationships. I’m talking about God, the devil, Hell, Heaven. Do you understand… FINALLY?
—-
McMurphy: What are we doing in here, Chief? Huh? What’s us two guys doing in this fucking place? Let’s get out of here. Out.
Chief Bromden: Canada?
McMurphy: Canada. We’ll be there before these sonofabitches know what hit ‘em. Listen to Randall on this one.
—-
McMurphy: When we get to Canada…
—-
McMurphy: I can’t take it no more. I gotta get outta here.
Chief Bromden: I can’t. I just can’t.
McMurphy: It’s easier than you think, Chief.
Chief Bromden: For you, maybe. You’re a lot bigger than me.
—-
Taber: [Taber is picking on Harding as he plays Monopoly with Martini]
[pushing his back]
Taber: Come on, Harding. Play the game. Play it!
Harding: I am playing the game! Stop bothering me! I can’t concentrate!
Taber: [pushing him again] Play the game, Harding. Come on!
Harding: [shouting] You keep your hands off me, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
—-
[first lines]
Attendant Warren: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Mr. Washington.
Miller: Morning.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Nurse Pilbow: Good morning, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: Good morning.
Attendant Washington: Morning, Bancini.
Bancini: Morning.
Attendant Washington: How do you feel?
Bancini: Rested.
Nurse Pilbow: Medication time. Medication time.

Trivia:
*  The role of McMurphy (played by Jack Nicholson) among others was offered to James Caan.

* Many extras were authentic mental patients.

* Louise Fletcher was signed a week before filming began, after auditioning repeatedly over six months; director Milos Forman had told her each time that she just wasn’t approaching the part correctly, but kept calling her back.

* Danny DeVito reprised his performance from a 1971 off-Broadway revival.

* The cast and crew had to become accustomed to working with extras and supporting crew members who were inmates at the Oregon State Mental Hospital; each member of the professional cast and crew inevitably worked closely with at least two or three mental patients.

* Most of Jack Nicholson’s scene with Dean R. Brooks upon arriving at the hospital was improvised – including his slamming a stapler, asking about a fishing photo, and discussing his rape conviction; Brooks’s reactions were authentic.

* Before shooting began, director Milos Forman screened the film Titicut Follies (1967) for the cast to help them get a feel for life in a mental institution.

* Mel Lambert, who played the harbor master, was a local businessman rather than an actor; he had a strong relationship with Native Americans throughout the area, and it was he who suggested Will Sampson for the role of Chief Bromden.

* With the exception of the fishing segment (which was filmed last), the film was shot in sequence.

* Director Milos Forman relied heavily on reaction shots to pull more characters into scenes. In some group therapy scenes, there were ten minutes of Jack Nicholson’s reactions filmed even if he had very little dialogue. The shot of Louise Fletcher looking icily at Nicholson after he returns from shock therapy was actually her irritated reaction to a piece of direction from Forman.

* The script called for McMurphy to leap on a guard and kiss him when first arriving at the hospital. During filming, director Milos Forman decided that the guard’s reaction wasn’t strong enough and told Nicholson to jump on the other guard instead. This surprised the actor playing the second guard greatly, and in some versions he can be seen punching Nicholson.

* Ken Kesey, who wrote the original novel, said he would never watch the movie version and even sued the movie’s producers because it wasn’t shown from Chief Bromden’s perspective (as the novel is).

* Cameo: [Saul Zaentz] [- the film's producer appears as a man at the inmates' bus outing.]

* Cameo: [Anjelica Huston] Jack Nicholson’s one-time girlfriend appears as one of the crowd on the pier as the fishing excursion returns.

* Louise Fletcher only realized that the part of Nurse Ratched was a hotly contested role among all the leading actresses of the day when a reporter visiting the set happened to casually mention it.

* This story was based on author Ken Kesey’s experiences while working at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

* The fishing trip sequence was filmed at Depoe Bay, Oregon – the smallest harbor in the world.

* In order to produce the film, Michael Douglas quit the show “The Streets of San Francisco” (1972).

* Though veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler is credited here as DP, he was actually replaced by Bill Butler early in the shoot due to various creative differences with producer Michael Douglas.

* During most of the film’s shooting, William Redfield was ill. He died several months after the film was completed.

* According to Michael Douglas, director Milos Forman had his heart set on Burt Reynolds to play the part of McMurphy.

* The musical theme by Jack Nitzsche played during the opening and closing was based on the chord structure of the song “Please Release Me”.

* Lily Tomlin wanted to play Nurse Ratched, but was committed at the time to Nashville (1975).

* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #33 Greatest Movie of All Time.

* During filming, a crew member running cables left a second story window open at the Oregon State Mental Hospital and an actual patient climbed through the bars and fell to the ground, injuring himself. The next day The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon reported the incident with the headline on the front page “One flew OUT of the cuckoo’s nest”.

* During production, Nicholson and Forman spoke to each other through the cinematographer, but faked a friendly relationship when the media and studio personnel would show up to the set.

* Milos Forman had considered Shelley Duvall for the role of Candy. While screening Thieves Like Us (1974) to see if she was right for the role, he became interested in Louise Fletcher, who had a supporting role, and decided to cast her as Nurse Ratched.

* Louise Fletcher was so upset with the fact that the other actors could laugh and be happy while she had to be so cold and heartless that near the end of production she removed her dress and stood in only her panties to prove to the actors she was not “a cold-hearted monster”.

* Will Sampson, who plays Chief Bromden, was a park ranger in Oregon in a park near where the movie was filmed. He was selected for the part because he was the only Native American the Casting Department could find who matched the character’s incredible size.

* Kirk Douglas starred in the 1963 Broadway production after buying the film rights prior to publication. Kirk had met Milos Forman in Prague while on a State Department tour and promised to send him the book after deciding he would be a good director for the film; the book never arrived, probably confiscated by censors of the Czech government, which was Communist at the time. Ken Kesey wrote a screenplay for the production, but Forman rejected it because Kesey insisted on keeping Chief Bromden’s first-person narration.

* During the ECT scene, McMurphy says “A little dab will do ya” as the nurse is putting conductor gel on the side of his head. This phrase, not in the original script, is a reference to the advertising jingle of Brylcreem hair cream, which was a popular hair care product for men in the 1960s and 1970s.

Reception
The film went on to win a total of five Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Jack Nicholson (who played McMurphy), Best Actress for Louise Fletcher (who played Nurse Ratched), Best Direction for Miloš Forman, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman.

Today, the film is considered to be one of the greatest American films and is ranked at number 33 on the American Film Institute’s list of AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies.
( Ack:imdb,filmsite,wikipedia)

check out Loves of a blonde, another Forman film cinebuff.wordpress.com
Compiler:benny

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Five Easy Pieces” refers to a book of piano lessons for beginners. But the five classical piano pieces featured in this film are not necessarily “easy”. Since the film is about the central character who is alienated and a misfit I think the five easy pieces could easily be applied to our misguided notion of putting labels to people  according to their  race, color, beliefs, status or politics. What we end up with? If not misfits we are breeding hypocrites. Man is beyond any easy labeling since he as an individual owes no allegiance to anyone but to himself. Alas he has to reckon with society whose impact often makes him either fall in or turn back on it as the central character does.
Five Easy Pieces is a moody, thoughtful character study of an alienated, misfit. He is a drifter and drop-out. It is an unpalatable  story of a rough-neck California oil rigger Robert Dupea (Nicholson) who has turned his back on his well-to-do upbringing. Why does he do it? As he confesses towards the end.  ‘I mean, I move around a lot because things tend to get bad when I stay. And I’m looking…for auspicious beginnings,..’ A tangible proof of his past is his musical talent and it shall haunt him wherever he looks for auspicious beginnings.
He lives with an ignorant, dim-witted but kind-hearted waitress girlfriend Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black) – an aspiring (and awful) country music singer. She constantly chatters and when he is annoyed she has this to say, “If you wouldn’t open your mouth, everything would be just fine.” She pathetically clings to him and smothers him with love although he is unfaithful and not committed to her:

I’ll go out with you, or I’ll stay in with you, or I’ll do anything that you like for me to do, if you tell me that you love me.

He doesn’t feel settled in the common lifestyle of a hot-tempered, Southern California blue-collar, redneck oil rigger, who drinks beer, bowls, listens to country music, and chases easy women. He might reject the cultured affluent atmosphere of his home but its mark on him is indeliable. During traffic gridlock on a California highway, when the oil-rigger leaves his vehicle, on an impulse he jumps up on a truck stalled ahead, and plays Chopin’s Fantasy in F Minor Op.49 on an upright piano found there. He shall carry home wherever he may go and it shall only make him feel alienated all the more.
Give the modern parable of Cain a period of self-imposed exile of twenty years, does he settle down as the original Cain did? While visiting his sister Partita (Lois Smith) in a Los Angeles recording studio, he learns that his father is seriously ill and dying following two strokes. He plans to return to his home in the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound area, for a final reconciling visit before he is gone. In a memorable scene in his car, he struggles with himself about whether his girlfriend (now pregnant) should join him or not, fearing being embarrassed by her lack of class or refinement. In the end he decides to take her along. During the car trip north, he gives a lift to an aggressive, complaining lesbian couple, aggressive Palm Apodaca (Helena Kallianiotes) and passive partner Terry Grouse (Toni Basil). The countercultural pair are on their way to Alaska to escape society and because it’s “cleaner.”

The film is most famous for the classic scene of Nicholson’s outburst while ordering a chicken salad sandwich in a diner – symbolic of the 60s generation’s rebellion and alienation during the Vietnam War Era. In this scene in a roadside diner on his way home a live-by-the-rules waitress (Lorna Thayer) stubbornly refuses to serve him a plain omelette (with tomatoes instead of potatoes), a cup of coffee and a side order of wheat toast, because she dryly explains: “No substitutions”:

Dupea: I’d like a plain omelette, no potatoes, tomatoes instead, a cup of coffee, and wheat toast.
Waitress: (She points to the menu) No substitutions.
Dupea: What do you mean? You don’t have any tomatoes?
Waitress: Only what’s on the menu. You can have a number two – a plain omelette. It comes with cottage fries and rolls.
Dupea: Yeah, I know what it comes with. But it’s not what I want.
Waitress: Well, I’ll come back when you make up your mind.
Dupea: Wait a minute. I have made up my mind. I’d like a plain omelette, no potatoes on the plate, a cup of coffee, and a side order of wheat toast.
Waitress: I’m sorry, we don’t have any side orders of toast…an English muffin or a coffee roll.
Dupea: What do you mean you don’t make side orders of toast? You make sandwiches, don’t you?
Waitress: Would you like to talk to the manager?
Dupea: …You’ve got bread and a toaster of some kind?
Waitress: I don’t make the rules.
Dupea: OK, I’ll make it as easy for you as I can. I’d like an omelette, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A number two, chicken sal san, hold the butter, the lettuce and the mayonnaise. And a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Dupea: Yeah. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.
Waitress (spitefully): You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Dupea: I want you to hold it between your knees.
Waitress (turning and telling him to look at the sign that says, “No Substitutions”) Do you see that sign, sir? Yes, you’ll all have to leave. I’m not taking any more of your smartness and sarcasm.
Dupea: You see this sign? (He sweeps all the water glasses and menus off the table.)
His brief stay at home leads him to a fling with the sophisticated, musical wife of his brother (Anspach) but any love between them is impossible as she tells him, ‘You’re a strange person, Robert…A person who has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something – how can he ask for love in return?’
His stay in his father’s house proves a fiasco. As he returns home with Rayette, he ignores her observation:

There isn’t anybody gonna look after you AND love you, as good as I do.

In the bleak final sequence, he abandons her in a Gulf gas station without explanation, leaving her with his wallet and car, while he catches a lift from a northbound lumber truck toward Canada and freedom. The driver promises they will travel to an even colder climate and he could borrow a jacket: “Where we’re goin’, it’s gonna get colder than hell.” He responds: “Nah, it’s okay. I’m fine. Fine. I’m fine.”
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Karen Black), Best Picture and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced.

In 2000, Five Easy Pieces was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Also the notable filmmakers Lars Von Trier, Joel and Ethan Coen, Ingmar Bergman, and the award-winning novelists Cormac McCarthy and William Gaddis have expressed deep admiration for the movie.
The movie’s most famous scene takes place as mentioned earlier in a roadside restaurant where despite appeals to logic and common sense, the waitress adamantly sticks to the rules of the restaurant, so Bobby comes up with a plan of his own as Rayette and their two hitchhikers (played by Toni Basil and Helena Kallianiotes) look on:
Back in the car:

Palm Apodaca: Fantastic that you could figure that all out and lie that down on her so you could come up with a way to get your toast. Fantastic.

Bobby: Yea, well I didn’t get it, did I?

Palm Apodaca: No, but it was very clever. I would’ve just punched her out.


Trivia

The roadside diner scene is iconic as a metaphor for the rebellious, free spirit of the youth of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Thirty years later Nicholson would perform a scene in the movie About Schmidt which directly drew from this scene.

Directed by     Bob Rafelson
Produced by     Robert Daley
Written by     Carole Eastman
Bob Rafelson
Starring     Jack Nicholson
Karen Black
Cinematography     László Kovács
Distributed by     Columbia Pictures
Running time     96 min.
Language     English
Memorable Quotes:
Palm Apodaca: Hey, follow that truck. They know the best places to stop.
Rayette: That’s an old maid’s tale.
Palm Apodaca: Bullshit! Truck drivers are the only ones that know the best places to stop on the road.
Rayette: Salesmen and cops are the ones. If you’d ever waitressed, honey, you’d know that.
Palm Apodaca: Don’t call me honey, mac.
Rayette: Don’t call me mac, honey.
—-
Palm Apodaca: You know, I read where they, uh, invented this car that runs on, ummm… that runs on, ummm… when you boil water?
Terry: Steam.
Palm Apodaca: Right, steam. A car that you could ride around in and not cause a stink. But do you know they will not even let us have it? Can you believe it? Why? Man! He likes to create a stink! I mean, I’ve seen filth that you wouldn’t believe. Ugh! What a stink! I don’t even want to talk about it.
—-
Palm Apodaca: People. Animals are not like that. They’re always cleaning themselves. Did you ever see, umm… pigeons? Well, he’s always picking on himself and his friends. They’re always picking bugs out of their hair all the time. Monkeys too. Except they do something out in the open that I don’t go for.
—-
Rayette: I’m not.
Bobby: You’re just gonna sit here?
Rayette: Yes.
Bobby: Okay. I hope no one hits on you.
Rayette: I hope they do.
—-
Bobby: That’s dangerous, you know.
Catherine: Riding?
Bobby: Mm-hmm. You play the piano all day and then jump on a horse, you could get cramps.
—-
Bobby: What are you doing screwing around with all this crap?
Catherine: I do not find your language very charming.
Bobby: It isn’t. It’s direct.
Catherine: I’d like you to leave so that I can take a bath. Is that direct?
—-
Bobby: What else do you do?
Catherine: Well, there’s fishing, boating, and concerts on the mainland.
[Laughs]
Catherine: I feel funny telling you this. This is really your home. You probably know better than I what there is to do.
Bobby: Nothing.
Catherine: Nothing?
Bobby: Nothing.
Catherine: Well, it must be very boring for you here.
Bobby: That’s right.
Catherine: I find that very hard to comprehend. I don’t think I’ve ever been bored. Excuse me.
—-
Catherine: You’re a strange person, Robert. I mean, what will you come to? If a person has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something – how can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?
Betty: That’s a wig you wear, isn’t it?
Bobby: Me?
Betty: Yeah, I told her it was you but that you were wearin’ a wig because on the TV you’re mostly all, uh -
[pats him on the head]
Betty: bald up there!
[laughs]
Bobby: [laughs] Your, your little friend’s real, real sharp. Uh, I don’t, uh, I don’t wear the wig on TV because if you’re gonna be out there in front of two and a half million people, you’ve got to be sincere. I mean, I like to wear it when I’m in bowling alleys and slipping around, stuff like that. I think it gives me a little class. What do you think?
—-
Betty: When I was four, just four years old, I went to my mother and I said, “What’s this hole in my chin?” – I saw this dimple in my chin in the mirror, and didn’t know what it was. And my mother said – get what my mother says – she says, “When you’re born, you go on a assembly line past God, and if He likes you, He says,
[grabs her cheeks with both her hands]
Betty: “You cute little thing!” and you get dimples there. And if He doesn’t like you, He goes,
[presses one finger on her chin]
Betty: “Go away.” So about six months later, my mother found me saying my prayers, and I was going,
[holds one hand over her chin]
Betty: “Now I lay me down to sleep…” My mother says, “What are you covering up your chin for?” And I said, “Because if I cover up the hole, maybe He’ll listen to me.”
—-
Rayette: That was real good, wasn’t it? I finally did it!
Bobby: Great. You throw the big Z’s for 19 frames, and then you throw a strike on the last ball of a losing game. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
[Turns around to bowlers at next lane]
Bobby: Isn’t that wonderful, ladies?
Twinky: Are you talking to us?
Bobby: Wonderful.
—-
Rayette: You love me, Bobby?
Bobby: What do you think?
[they kiss]
—-
Bobby: [out of his car during a traffic jam, yelling at other motorists] Ants! Why don’t we all line up like a goddamned bunch of ants! Its the most beautiful part of the day!
—-
Bobby: You keep on talking about the good life, Elton, ’cause it makes me puke.
—-
Rayette: I’m gonna play it again.
Bobby: You play that thing one more time, I’m gonna melt it down into hairspray.
Rayette: Let me play the other side then.
Bobby: No, Rayette, it’s not a question of sides. It’s a question of musical integrity.
—-
Samia Glavia: …It was just what I was trying to point out…
Bobby: [interrupting] Don’t sit there pointing at her.
Samia Glavia: I beg your pardon.
Bobby: I said don’t point at her, you creep.
Samia Glavia: But I was just telling about…
Bobby: Where do you get the ass to tell anybody anything about class, or who the hell’s got it, or what she typifies? You shouldn’t even be in the same room with her, you pompous celibate… You’re totally full of shit! You’re all full of shit.
—-
Catherine: It’s useless.
Bobby: Look, give me a chance.
Catherine: I’m trying to be delicate with you, but you just won’t understand. I couldn’t go with you. Not just because of Carl and my music, but because of you.
Catherine: You’re a strange person, Robert. I mean, what would it come to? If a person has no love for himself, no respect for himself, no love of his friends, family, work, something… How can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?
Bobby: Living here in this rest home/asylum – that’s what you want?
Catherine: Yes.
Bobby: That will make you happy?
Catherine: I hope it will. Yes.
Catherine: I’m sorry.


List of Five Easy Pieces:

* Chopin – Fantasy in F Minor Op.49, played by Dupea on the back of a moving truck.
* Bach – Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, played by Dupea’s sister, Partita, in a recording studio.
* Mozart – E-flat Maj. Concerto K.271, played by Dupea’s brother, Carl, and Catherine upon Bobby’s arrival to the island.
* Chopin – Prelude Opus 28 in E Minor no. 4, played by Dupea for Catherine.
* Mozart – Fantasy in D Minor K.397
This was director Bob Rafelson’s second film (and his best work) after he had directed the television pop band the Monkees in the mind-blowing Head (1968), a surrealistic and psychedelic film that was co-written with unemployed actor Jack Nicholson, the major star in this film, and emulated the European New Wave pictures of the era.

This was Jack Nicholson’s first major acting role. His particular delivery of lines is evident here. His acting reminds one of Brando in his younger days. For example his monologue to his dying, paralyzed father in a wheelchair in the cold outdoors, in the film’s most powerful scene. He apologizes for his abandonment of his family and talent, for giving up on his responsibilities, and for not living up to his father’s high ideals, breaking down in tears mid-speech:

I don’t know if you’d be particularly interested in hearing anything about me. My life, I mean… Most of it doesn’t add up to much… that I could relate as a way of life that you’d approve of…I’d like to be able to tell you why, but I don’t really…I mean, I move around a lot because things tend to get bad when I stay. And I’m looking…for auspicious beginnings, I guess…I’m trying to, you know, imagine your half of this conversation…My feeling is, that if you could talk, we probably wouldn’t be talking. That’s pretty much how it got to be before… I left…Are you all right? I don’t know what to say…Tita suggested that we try to…I don’t know. I think that she…seems to feel we’ve got…some understanding to reach…She totally denies the fact that we were never that comfortable with each other to begin with…The best that I can do, is apologize. We both know that I was never really that good at it, anyway…

He finally bows his head, sighs, and admits with sorrow, “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”

The soundtrack employed five songs by Tammy Wynette, including “Stand By Your Man.”

Similar Movies
Alice’s Restaurant  (1969, Arthur Penn)
Fingers  (1978, James Toback)
Kings of the Road  (1975, Wim Wenders)
You Can Count On Me  (2000, Kenneth Lonergan)
The Last Detail  (1973, Hal Ashby)
Stay Hungry  (1976, Bob Rafelson)
The Drifter  (1966, Alex Matter)
World Traveler  (2001, Bart Freundlich)
The Brown Bunny  (2003, Vincent Gallo)
Adam at 6 a.m.  (1970, Robert Scheerer)
Movies with the Same Personnel
Easy Rider  (1969, Dennis Hopper)
Stay Hungry  (1976, Bob Rafelson)
The King of Marvin Gardens  (1972, Bob Rafelson)
The Postman Always Rings Twice  (1981, Bob Rafelson)
Head  (1968, Bob Rafelson)
On the Nickel  (1980, Ralph Waite, Robert Waite)
The Secret Life of John Chapman  (1976, David Lowell Rich)
Drive, He Said  (1971, Jack Nicholson)
Other Related Movies
is related to:      The King of Marvin Gardens  (1972, Bob Rafelson)
Man Trouble  (1992, Bob Rafelson)

(ack:wikipedia,allmovie, Filmsite.tim dirks)

compiler:benny

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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) is a film about three servicemen trying to readjust their lives after coming home from World War II. This is a companion piece to Mrs Miniver(1942) also by the same director. For a third world audience these films may not seem as much relevant as for the American or British audiences. Nonetheless for a discerning viewer from any culture or milieu it is one of the best 100 films. War kills and maims and those soldiers discharged from their service to the nation return to pick up the thread of their past. Would they ever find a perfect fit of the present or their future?
Samuel Goldwyn was motivated to produce the film after his wife Frances read an 7 August 1944 article in Time magazine about the difficulties experienced by war veterans returning to civilian life. Goldwyn hired former war correspondent MacKinlay Kantor to write the story, which was first published as a book, Glory for Me Robert Sherwood (The Petrified forest) then wrote the screenplay. It was directed by William Wyler, with cinematography by Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane, The Grapes Of Wrath). The film won seven Academy Awards among others, Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary William Wyler, Best Actor for March, and Best Supporting Actor for Harold Russell, a real-life double amputee whose hands had been blown off in a training accident.
Plot

After World War II, demobilized servicemen Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), and Al Stephenson (Frederic March) meet while hitching a ride home in a bomber to Boone City, a fictional Midwestern city, patterned after Cincinnati, Ohio.[3] Fred was an Army Air Forces captain and bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in Europe, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during a mission. Homer had been in the Navy, losing both of his hands from burns suffered when his aircraft carrier was sunk. Al served as an infantry sergeant in the 25th Infantry Division, fighting in the Pacific.
Al had, prior to the war worked as a loan officer for the Corn Belt Savings and Loan bank in Boone City. Though a mature man with a loving family, his patient wife Milly (Myrna Loy), adult daughter Peggy (Teresa Wright) and son Rob, he has trouble readjusting to civilian life, as do his two chance acquaintances.

The bank, anticipating an increase in loans to returning war veterans, promotes Al to Vice President in charge of the small loan department because of his war experience. However, he has his problems with his boss Mr. Milton (Ray Collins) since his willingness to help veterans is tempered by his experience while his boss wants him not to give them loans without collateral. Before the war, Fred had been an unskilled drugstore soda jerk, having been raised in a poor neighborhood. He had met Marie (Virginia Mayo) while in training and married her shortly afterward. She is ambitious and they have now conflicts since she does not relish being married to a soda jerk instead of an officer He does not want to return to his old job, but has no choice, given the stiff competition from other returning veterans and his lack of skills. Their marriage is made impossible after he meets Peggy and falls in love with her. Al tries to dissuade his daughter from her breaking up their marriage without success. To protect Peggy, Al pressures Fred to break off all contact with his daughter. Fred does so, but the friendship between the two men ends.

Homer was a football quarterback before the war. Before leaving to fight, he had become engaged to Wilma (Cathy O’Donnell). When he returns, he finds his handicap as an obstacle. He pushes her away, although she is the one person who has adjusted best to the situation. His uncle Butch (Hoagy Carmichael) owns a bar where he frequents.
Fred loses his job for getting into an altercation with an abusive customer over Homer. Then he discovers his wife with another man and she demands a divorce. Fred decides to leave town. While waiting for a plane, Fred walks around the airport to kill time and wanders into a vast aircraft “boneyard”. Climbing into the nose of a B-17 Flying Fortress, he begins to relive intense memories of combat. He is brought out of his reverie by the boss of a work crew salvaging the aluminum from the airplanes to build pre-fabricated housing. That chance meeting gives him a job.

Wilma tells Homer that her family wants her to go away, since it seems that he won’t marry her. He bluntly demonstrates how hard life with him would be, but she is unfazed. When she makes it clear that she loves him regardless, he gives in.

A now-divorced Fred meets Peggy at Homer and Wilma’s wedding. After the ceremony, Fred approaches Peggy and holds her, matter-of-factly telling her that their life together will be a hard struggle. She looks at him with love; they kiss.
The title Best Years of Our Lives does not mean the soldiers had it too easy or spent part of their lives ever to be treasured as best that happened to them. The title refers to the ordeal by fire and needless risks often taken when they ought to have spent their most fruitful and vibrant years into more rewarding careers and home building.
“Profoundly relevant in 1946, the film still offers a surprisingly intricate and ambivalent exploration of American daily life.” Hal Erckson-allmovie. Dave Kehr makes the case for why the film is important today. He wrote, “The film is very proud of itself, exuding a stifling piety at times, but it works as well as this sort of thing can, thanks to accomplished performances by Fredric March, Myrna Loy, and Dana Andrews, who keep the human element afloat. Gregg Toland’s deep-focus photography, though, remains the primary source of interest for today’s audiences.”David Thomson: “I would concede that Best Years is decent and humane… acutely observed, despite being so meticulous a package. It would have taken uncommon genius and daring at that time to sneak a view of an untidy or unresolved America past Goldwyn or the public.”

Also known as: Glory for Me (USA) (working title)
Home Again (USA) (working title)
Cast:
Myrna Loy     …     Milly Stephenson

Fredric March    …     Al Stephenson

Dana Andrews    …     Fred Derry

Teresa Wright    …     Peggy Stephenson

Virginia Mayo    …     Marie Derry
Cathy O’Donnell    …     Wilma Cameron
Hoagy Carmichael    …     Butch Engle
Harold Russell    …     Homer Parrish
Gladys George    …     Hortense Derry
Roman Bohnen    …     Pat Derry
Ray Collins    …     Mr. Milton
Minna Gombell    …     Mrs. Parrish
Walter Baldwin    …     Mr. Parrish
Steve Cochran    …     Cliff Scully
Dorothy Adams    …     Mrs. Cameron
Casting brought together established stars as well as character actors and relative unknowns. Famed drummer Gene Krupa is seen in archival footage, while Tennessee Ernie Ford, later a famous television star, appears as an uncredited “hillbilly singer” (in the first of his only three film appearances). Notable film producer and director Blake Edwards appears fleetingly as an uncredited “Corporal”. Actress Judy Wyler was also cast in her first role in her father’s production.
Directed by     William Wyler
Produced by     Samuel Goldwyn
Written by     Screenplay:
Robert E. Sherwood
Story:
MacKinlay Kantor

Music by     Hugo Friedhofer
Cinematography     Gregg Toland
Editing by     Daniel Mandell
Distributed by     RKO Radio Pictures
Running time     172 minutes
Language     English
Budget     $2,100,000 US

(ack:wikipedia)

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How Green Was My Valley is a novel of 1939, by the author Richard Llewellyn. Its success spawned sequels.  Darryl F. Zanuck paid $300,000 for the rights to the novel. The successful 1941 film was based on the book and was directed by John Ford.

The author’s claims to have based it on his own knowledge of the Gilfach Goch area were proven false, as Llewellyn was English-born and spent little time in Wales. The title of the novel is taken from its last sentence: How green was my valley then, and the valley of them that have gone.
The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning five and beating out such classics as The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane for Best Picture. The cast included Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee, Roddy McDowall (as Huw), and Barry Fitzgerald. None of the leading players were however Welsh.( * The songs sung by the male voices are all authentic Welsh. The song sung at the opening is “Men of Harlech”.)
In 1990 this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Plot Summary
The story is told through the eyes of Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall), now a middle-aged man leaving the mining town of Cwm Rhondda, after the death of his father in a mining accident. The film is largely then told in a flashback of certain events of his youth.
The social changes of the Victorian England in the grip of Industrial Age make inroads into their town; “In those days, the black slag, the waste of the coal pits, had only begun to cover the sides of our hill. Not yet enough to mar the countryside, nor blacken the beauty of our village,..”, and its harshness takes toll in human terms: his brother, Ivor (Patric Knowles) dies in a mining accident and Huw moves in with his sister-in-law, Bronwen, on whom he had crush from the time she came into the family. Later, towards the end his own father is also killed in the mine. Juxtaposed to these is the romantic interlude between Angharad (Maureen O’Hara), one of Huw’s three sisters and Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), the local minister.
Huw is still too young to work in the local coal mine like his father, Gwilym (Donald Crisp), and his five older brothers, he senses the seriousness of an imminent strike by the rift it creates between his father and the other boys when three of them move out of the family abode.

During the tensions of the strike, Huw saves his mother (Sara Allgood) from drowning and in so doing temporarily loses the use of his legs. Gruffydd aids in Huw’s recovery and instills in him a positive attitude. Huw observes the tender romance between the preacher and his sister, who enters into a loveless marriage with the local wealthy coal owner. After everyone Huw has known either dies or moves away, he decides to leave as well, and tells us the story of his life just before he does.

Director John Ford wanted to shoot the movie in Wales, but events in Europe during World War II made this impossible. an 80-acre set was built in the Santa Monica Mountains at Brent’s Crags, near Malibu. The design of the village was based on the real Cerrig Ceinnen and nearby Clyddach-cum Tawe in Wales
Directed by     John Ford
Produced by     Darryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay:
Philip Dunne
Starring     Walter Pidgeon
Maureen O’Hara
Anna Lee
Donald Crisp
Roddy McDowall
Music by     Alfred Newman
Cinematography     Arthur C. Miller
Editing by     James B. Clark
Distributed by     Twentieth Century Fox
Running time     118 minutes
Country     United States
Language     English
How Green Was My Valley won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Crisp), Best Art Director, Best Cinematography, and the book was later adapted into a 1975 BBC miniseries.
Similar Movies
The Corn Is Green  (1945, Irving Rapper)
The Good Earth  (1937, Victor Fleming, Sidney Franklin)
The Grapes of Wrath  (1940, John Ford)
I Remember Mama  (1948, George Stevens)
Life With Father  (1947, Michael Curtiz)
The Quiet Man  (1952, John Ford)
The Stars Look Down  (1939, Carol Reed)
The Corn Is Green  (1978, George Cukor)
The Citadel  (1938, King Vidor)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  (1945, Elia Kazan)
Movies with the Same Personnel
The Quiet Man  (1952, John Ford)
Fort Apache  (1948, John Ford)
Drums Along the Mohawk  (1939, John Ford)
The Long Voyage Home  (1940, John Ford)
Forever and a Day  (1943, René Clair, Edmund Goulding, Cedric Hardwicke, Victor Saville, Kent Smith, Robert Stevenson, Herbert Wilcox, Frank Lloyd)
They Were Expendable  (1945, John Ford)
Challenge to Lassie  (1949, Richard Thorpe)
Gentleman Jim  (1942, Raoul Walsh)
Other Related Movies
None But the Lonely Heart  (1944, Clifford Odets)
Trivia:
.

* The film was shot in black and white because the color of flowers in Southern California did not match those found in Wales.

* Darryl F. Zanuck originally intended the film to be a four-hour epic to rival Gone with the Wind (1939).

* William Wyler was all set to direct on location in Wales, and Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn and ‘Tyrone Power were all being courted for parts in the film. William Wyler went off to make The Little Foxes (1941) instead.

* It only took two months to make the film.

* Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood were always first choice to play the father and mother.

* Alexander Knox was Fox’s first choice for the part of Dr Gruffyd, later played by Walter Pidgeon.

* John Ford referred to Philip Dunne’s script as “nearly perfect a script as could be possible”.

* For the scene where the miners greet their women by putting their earnings in baskets, actress ‘Maureen OHara stopped the scene’s filming once she noticed that her basket was a modern Kraft basket and not a basket of the movie’s period. Director John Ford was so upset by being corrected in front of the cast and crew.

* Cyfartha’s final line, “‘Tis a coward I am, but I will hold your coat,” was added by Ford himself over the objections of screenwriter Philip Dunne.

Memorable Quotes:
Huw Morgan: [Narrating] Memory… Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago; of men and women long since dead.
—-
Huw Morgan: There is no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my valley as it is today, and it is gone, and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the Earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful. Everything I ever learned as a small boy came from my father and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday. In those days, the black slag, the waste of the coal pits, had only begun to cover the sides of our hill. Not yet enough to mar the countryside, nor blacken the beauty of our village, for the colliery had only begun to poke its skinny black fingers through the green.
—-
Huw Morgan: [Narrating] It is with me now, so many years later. And it makes me think of so much that is good, that is gone.
Huw Morgan: [Narrating] I think I fell in love with Bronwen then. Perhaps it is foolish to think a child could fall in love. But I am the child that was, and nobody knows how I felt, except only me.
Huw Morgan: [narrating] Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still, real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green was my valley then.
Beth Morgan: I have come up here to tell you what I think of you all, because you are talking against my husband. You are a lot of cowards to go against him. He has done nothing against you and he never has and you know it well. How some of you, you smug-faced hypocrites, can sit in the same chapel with him I cannot tell. To say he is with the owners is not only nonsense but downright wickedness. There’s one thing more I’ve got to say and it is this. If harm comes to my Gwilym, I will find out the men and I will kill them with my two hands. And this I will swear by God Almighty.
—-
Mr. Gruffydd: But remember, with strength goes responsibility – to others and to yourselves. For you cannot conquer injustice with more injustice – only with justice and the help of God.
—-
Angharad: Look now, you are king in the chapel. But I will be queen in my own kitchen.
Mr. Gruffydd: You will be queen wherever you walk.
Angharad: What does that mean?
Mr. Gruffydd: …I should not have said it.
Angharad: Why?
Mr. Gruffydd: I have no right to speak to you so.
[he leaves]
Angharad: [stopping him] Mr. Gruffydd, if the right is mine to give, you have it.
—-
Mr. Gruffydd: You’ve been lucky, Huw. Lucky to suffer and lucky to spend these weary months in bed. For so God has given you a chance to make the spirit within yourself. And as your father cleans his lamp to have good light, so keep clean your spirit… By prayer, Huw. And by prayer, I don’t mean shouting, mumbling, and wallowing like a hog in religious sentiment. Prayer is only another name for good, clean, direct thinking. When you pray, think. Think well what you’re saying. Make your thoughts into things that are solid. In that way, your prayer will have strength, and that strength will become a part of you, body, mind, and spirit.
—-
Dai Bando: How would you go about taking the measurement of a stick?
Mr. Jonas: Why, by its length.
Dai Bando: And how would you measure a man who would use a stick on a boy one-third his size? Now, you are good in the use of a stick, but boxing is my subject, according to the rules laid down by the good Marquess of Queensberry… And happy I am to pass on my knowledge to you.
—-
Beth Morgan: Nothing is enough for people who have minds like cesspools. Oh Huw, my little one, I hope when you’re grown their tongues will be slower to hurt.
—-
Mr. Gruffydd: Huw, I thought when I was a young man that I would conquer the world with truth. I thought I would lead an army greater than Alexander ever dreamed of, not to conquer nations, but to liberate mankind. With truth. With the golden sound of the Word. But only a few of them heard. Only a few of you understood.
—-
Mr. Gruffydd: I know why you have come – I have seen it in your faces Sunday after Sunday as I’ve stood here before you. Fear has brought you here. Horrible, superstitious fear. Fear of divine retribution a bolt of fire from the skies. The vengeance of the Lord and the justice of God. But you have forgotten the love of Jesus. You disregard His sacrifice. Death, fear, flames, horror and black clothes. Hold your meeting then, but know if you do this in the name of God and in the house of God, you blaspheme against Him and His Word.
—-
Mr. Gruffydd: Who is for Gwilym Morgan and the others?
Dai Bando: I, for one. He is the blood of my heart. Come, Cyfartha.
Cyfartha: …’Tis a coward I am. But I will hold your coat.
—-
Huw Morgan: [Narrating] Everything I ever learnt as a small boy came from my father, and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday.

Ianto Morgan: We are not questioning your authority, sir, but if manners prevent our speaking the truth, we will be without manners.
—-
Dai Bando: A man is never too old to learn, is it, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: [uncertainly] No.
Dai Bando: I was in school myself once, but no great one for knowledge.
Mr. Jonas: [angrily, shaking his cane] Look here, what do you want?
Dai Bando: Knowledge.
[taking Mr. Jonas' cane]
Dai Bando: How would you go about taking the measurement of a stick, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: By its’ length, of course.
Dai Bando: And how would you measure a man who would use a stick on a boy one-third his size?
[throws Mr. Jonas' cane aside]
Cyfartha: Tell us!
Dai Bando: Now, you are good in the use of a stick, but boxing is my subject… according to the rules laid down by the good Marquis of Queensbury.
Cyfartha: [saluting] God rest his soul!
Dai Bando: And happy I am to pass on my knowledge to you!
[backhands Mr. Jonas, sending him reeling]
—-
Dai Bando: [Cyfartha is holding Mr. Jonas in boxing position] Now look, to make a good boxer, you must have a good… *right hand*, you see?
[strikes Mr. Jonas with a right jab, the force of which knocks Mr. Jonas into the wall]
Dai Bando: Now, you see, that is how you will punish your man – with a right and a left, and put your shoulder into it!
[Mr. Jonas is slumped against the wall, dazed]
Cyfartha: The gentleman is talking to you!
—-
Dai Bando: Position again.
[Dai Bando and Cyfartha drag Mr. Jonas to his feet]
Dai Bando: Could I have your attention, boys and girls? I am not accustomed to speaking in public…
Cyfartha: Only public houses.
Dai Bando: But this -
[backhands Mr. Jonas in the nose, sending him sprawling]
Dai Bando: never use. It’s against the rules. Break a man’s nose. Now then -
[turns to find Mr. Jonas collapsed against the wall, unconscious]
Dai Bando: I’m afraid he will never make a boxer.
Cyfartha: No aptitude for knowledge.

(ack: imdb,wikipedia,allmovie)
compiler:benny

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