Poll

What's your favorite film by Stanley Kramer?

haven't seen any
6 (27.3%)
don't like any
0 (0%)
Not as a Stranger
0 (0%)
The Pride and the Passion
0 (0%)
The Defiant Ones
3 (13.6%)
On the Beach
0 (0%)
Inherit the Wind
5 (22.7%)
Judgment at Nuremberg
4 (18.2%)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
2 (9.1%)
Ship of Fools
0 (0%)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
2 (9.1%)
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
0 (0%)
R.P.M.
0 (0%)
Bless the Beasts & Children
0 (0%)
Oklahoma Crude
0 (0%)
The Domino Principle
0 (0%)
The Runner Stumbles
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Author Topic: Kramer, Stanley  (Read 2558 times)

Antares

  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 5011
Re: Kramer, Stanley - Director's Best
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 06:54:08 AM »
I'm not a fan of directors trying to recapture the magic of silent slapstick. I've only seen it work in What's Up Doc? The results usually just look like a giant waste of talent and money.

Well, we agree on this one. This has been my complaint with this film for years. What Kramer never understood is that slapstick, even if it is only marginally funny, is best in short segments. The only exception is Buster Keaton (Who Kramer should have asked for advice, seeing as how he appears in the film), and to a lesser extent, Harold Lloyd.


Quote
though the worst appearance in the film is eye-candy/dancer Barrie Chase, whose presence here is as welcome as a stripper at a family reunion.

Actually, she was the only part of the film I really enjoyed. I'll take eye candy over bad comedy any day, especially when you're going to make me sit through over three hours of it.
Masterpiece (100-91) | Classic (90-80) | Entertaining (79-69) | Mediocre (68-58) | Cinemuck (57-21) | Crap (20-0)

1SO

  • Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 36101
  • Marathon Man
Re: Kramer, Stanley - Director's Best
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2015, 08:58:33 PM »
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
* * * - Okay
A much desired rewatch that fit perfectly into my month of really long films. My first viewing over 10 years ago quickly lapsed into boredom, but today I have a much greater appreciation for the cast which allowed me to stick through all of Stanley Kramer's preaching about how the Nazi's did bad things. The scenes of Spencer Tracy walking through sites of former Nazi glory (places used in Triumph of the Will) have a strong emotional relevance. This happened, and it was not so long ago.

What an unusual performance by Montgomery Clift, further proof that the final years of his life were about to be some of his most interesting. All of the cast do an excellent job, except for perhaps Marlene Dietrich, whose character is even less necessary than it might have been if the writing were more clear about what she is representing, the hope of Germany's more humble and upbeat future. There are a number of scenes which are handled more like a school course than a drama and Kramer's formal circling camerawork is distracting the more it repeats itself. This isn't as bad as I remembered, though stripping out 30-45 minutes might've improved it with an injection of urgency.

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 34236
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Kramer, Stanley - Director's Best
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 09:35:47 PM »
I feel like his whole filmography would be in a dull gray for me.

pixote
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 19037
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Kramer, Stanley - Director's Best
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 01:14:37 AM »
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 3.5/5
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World 2/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 10453
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: Kramer, Stanley
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 02:21:39 AM »
Judgment at Nuremberg
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

1SO

  • Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 36101
  • Marathon Man
Re: Kramer, Stanley
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2022, 12:39:10 AM »
Updated Ranking

The Pride and the Passion (1957)
★ ★
Frank Sinatra as a dark-skinned, accented Spaniard is a non-starter this film never gets past. Cary Grant plays a French officer in full Napoleon garb, but at least he acts and sounds like Cary Grant. There’s a good adventure here, where various groups try to possess a large, ornate cannon for personal, practical, or symbolic reasons, but epic scale works against such poor casting.

Ship of Fools (1965)
★ ★ ˝
The delicate balance of the world in the 1930s as represented by the microcosm of passengers on a luxury cruise. Such a bold, theatrical idea is perfectly suited to Kramer, and the film was nominated for 8 Oscars, winning two. It has all the emotion of a political debate, occasionally heated but not enough passion. All-star cast includes Lee Marvin, George Segal, Jose Ferrer and Vivian Leigh, who gets the big Oscar moment, but wasn’t nominated.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)
★ ★ ˝
Like Mad World this is long, overblown, with many thinly-written characters and situations that approach funny without achieving funny. Unlike Mad World, this focuses on Anthony Quinn, who can knock any pitch out of the park. His innocent/hustler/fool combines some of his greatest performance traits, the work of a great showman and a great artist. As joyful as it is soulful.

Oklahoma Crude (1973)
★ ★
A strong performance by Faye Dunaway as the owner of a lone oil derrick, played as genderless as the 70s would allow. The tone is poorly managed, a rowdy comedy that breaks for gunplay action and moments of heavy drama quickly discarded for more smiling fun.

The Runner Stumbles (1979)
★ ˝
What a relief when TV Movies came along and a director winding down can be blamed on the budget and content restrictions of the format. This theatrical feature about a Catholic priest and a nun who fall in love avoids shocking imagery or edgy drama, told mostly in static blocks of dialogue. Dick Van Dyke displays no feel for the dramatic weight, coming off as the caliber of actor you would get for a TV Movie on this subject.

pixote

  • Administrator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 34236
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Kramer, Stanley
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2022, 02:23:00 PM »
I feel like there was a time when Ship of Fools was considered like the last, all-star, Classic Hollywood masterpiece. I've never quite understood that.

I'm impressed you kept your momentum through these films. I feel like I would've gotten really bogged down trying to marathon them. Kramer as a director is like your friend's awkward dad who never quite gets it but still is so gosh darn earnest in his attempt.

pixote
Great  |  Near Great  |  Very Good  |  Good  |  Fair  |  Mixed  |  Middling  |  Bad

1SO

  • Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 36101
  • Marathon Man
Re: Kramer, Stanley
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2022, 03:22:53 PM »
I feel like there was a time when Ship of Fools was considered like the last, all-star, Classic Hollywood masterpiece. I've never quite understood that.
Was there ever a big gap between this type of film? Grand Prix was the following year and disaster movies were just around the corner. It seems every generation has its Avengers: Endgame.


I'm impressed you kept your momentum through these films. I feel like I would've gotten really bogged down trying to marathon them.
When the Forum went quiet, I kept seeing my review of Five Branded Women, which was the outlier among the director's films. It lodged in my head the question of what am I missing by restricting myself to the popular and acclaimed choices? Widening my search has got me excited about discovering movies again. Already, the highlight of this bunch is watching Anthony Quinn in Santa Vittoria, another film I hadn't even heard of until this marathon.


Kramer as a director is like your friend's awkward dad who never quite gets it but still is so gosh darn earnest in his attempt.
He's a split personality, half believing he's making an important film and half believing he's making something entertaining, and these two halves struggle to find common ground.