Poll

Your Favorite Robert Wise Film is...

Mademoiselle Fifi
0 (0%)
The Curse of the Cat People
1 (1.2%)
The Body Snatcher
1 (1.2%)
A Game of Death
0 (0%)
Criminal Court
0 (0%)
Born to Kill
3 (3.7%)
Mystery in Mexico
1 (1.2%)
Blood on the Moon
1 (1.2%)
The Set-Up
7 (8.6%)
Two Flags West
0 (0%)
Three Secrets
0 (0%)
The House on Telegraph Hill
0 (0%)
The Day the Earth Stood Still
11 (13.6%)
The Captive City
0 (0%)
Something for the Birds
0 (0%)
The Desert Rats
0 (0%)
Destination Gobi
0 (0%)
So Big
0 (0%)
Executive Suite
3 (3.7%)
Helen of Troy
0 (0%)
Tribute to a Bad Man
1 (1.2%)
Somebody Up There Likes Me
2 (2.5%)
This Could Be the Night
0 (0%)
Until They Sail
0 (0%)
Run Silent Run Deep
0 (0%)
I Want to Live!
0 (0%)
Odds Against Tomorrow
4 (4.9%)
West Side Story
18 (22.2%)
Two for the Seesaw
0 (0%)
The Haunting (1963)
10 (12.3%)
The Sound of Music
8 (9.9%)
The Sand Pebbles
2 (2.5%)
Star!
0 (0%)
The Andromeda Strain
5 (6.2%)
Two People
0 (0%)
The Hindenburg
0 (0%)
Audrey Rose
0 (0%)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
1 (1.2%)
Rooftops
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
1 (1.2%)
don't like any
1 (1.2%)

Total Members Voted: 36

Author Topic: Wise, Robert  (Read 6146 times)

1SO

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Wise, Robert
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2013, 12:48:50 AM »
1. Odds Against Tomorrow
2. West Side Story
3. The Sound of Music
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still
5. The Set-Up

6. The Andromeda Strain
7. Run Silent, Run Deep
8. This Could Be the Night
9. Born to Kill
10. I Want to Live!
11. The Haunting
12. Criminal Court

13. Executive Suite
14. The Body Snatcher
15. Two For the Seesaw
16. Somebody Up There Likes Me
17. The House on Telegraph Hill
18. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
19. The Captive City
20. Audrey Rose
21. Tribute to a Bad Man
22. Blood on the Moon
23. The Curse of the Cat People

24. Star
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 07:02:01 PM by 1SO »

pixote

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Robert Wise
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2014, 11:02:44 PM »
I thought I remembered someone here posting a review of Audrey Rose that made me want to see it, but I can't remember who. Anyway, it just got added to instant Netflix.

edit: Ah, I remember now.

pixote
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 11:06:43 PM by pixote »
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Corndog

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2016, 12:11:00 PM »
1. The Sound of Music (4)
2. Odds Against Tomorrow (3.5)
3. West Side Story (3.5) [with Jerome Robbins]
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

1SO

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2016, 12:22:19 AM »
Odds Against Tomorrow
* * * 1/2


I have a theory:
More people have seen The Set-Up than Odds Against Tomorrow. The Set-Up is more well known and more popular.
Most of those who have seen both prefer Odds Against Tomorrow.


Odds Against Tomorrow is great Noir that also provides a few wrinkles to the genre. The fatalism isn't immediate, but something developed over the time spent with the characters. At first you actually expect them to pull off the bank robbery they're planning. Then the cracks start to appear until by the end it's like waiting for an appointment with doom. This is a slow burn, but the last ten minutes wouldn't have worked if the rest of the film hadn't been so deep into the characters. Likability? Unlikability? Such easy labels go out the window. Here's a film where I couldn't decide if I wanted them to succeed or not. I somehow wanted both, and that's good storytelling.

Matched with that is the cinematography. It looks very noir and contrasty, but there's also a lot of gloss to the project. The streets look kind of grey actually. There are a heck of a lot of great shots, especially inside that jazz club, with the stage lights and the office that doubles as a stock room.

A lot of the film rests on the two lead performances. Robert Ryan and Harry Belafonte meet that challenge beautifully. This is kind of expected from Ryan by now who I've never seen give a bad performance. Belafonte has the cool of Sidney Poitier, but there's a darkness to him that Poitier usually doesn't let in. Here it infests the character, even when he's trying to be polite to everyone. (The two characters contrasting entrances to Ed Begley's apartment is just the first of many delights.) Shelly Winters doesn't do anything new, and I don't quite get what Gloria Grahame was doing here. (I usually enjoy anything Grahame does, but this is a non-character and she gives a matching performance.)

This remains Essential, though I still don't understand what Grahame is doing. Odds was one of the final films in the Film Noir era, but it nails the basic elements so well you can use it as a defining example of the genre. The dialogue, cast, lighting, score, social commentary, suspense and fatalism are all bullseyes.


Great I am glad you liked it so much. The picture of you, me and MT joining hands in agreement of a film gives me a warm glow. Ryan is the master of disaster, a diseased creature. Of course being a heist you have to expect that ending but what an original way for things to disintegrate. When they turn on each other as hate boils over despite the cops being right there, is awesome.

Speaking of Ryan, it is unusual for him to get a movie to himself, which is why The Set-Up is a little gem.

1SO

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2017, 11:09:51 PM »
Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
* * * - Good
There's a familiar pattern to submarine films, and I say that even though there are 3 on my List of Essentials. (Crimson Tide, Hunt For Red October, Operation Petticoat). The battle of wills here between Captain (Clark Gable) and his Executive Officer (Burt Lancaster) very much feels copied for Crimson Tide, but both films stand on their own because the two leads are commanding presences, butting against each other like a couple of rams. The plot manages a couple of surprises, and Wise's thoughtful direction - where each character is allowed to express doubt in their actions - makes it one of the best submarine films. If not for the usual scenes of depth charges, sudden dives and plotting torpedoes like a game of Battleship I would rate this higher.

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2017, 03:10:32 PM »
West Side Story, 50į
The Sound of Music, 40į
Extraordinary (81-100˚) | Very good (61-80˚) | Good (41-60˚) | Fair (21-40˚) | Poor (0-20˚)

1SO

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2018, 10:31:00 PM »
Updated Rankings

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
★ ★ Ĺ
Never tell me the odds, pix. It could be my general disinterest in Paul Newman, but this is all a slightly lesser version of better films. For Newman, itís Cool Hand Luke without the cool. For Wise, it takes the street grit of his Noirs, and washes everything clean for biopic uplift. As a boxing movie, thereís nothing here that isnít done better in The Set-Up. Theyíre very different films, but any point of comparison puts this one short. As a story, itís closer to Body and Soul, but itís not fair to compare a boxing film to Body and Soul. Nothing bad, thereís just better out there.


This Could Be the Night (1957)
★ ★ ★ - Good
I wish Jean Simmons made more comedies because sheís incredibly charming in them. Wiseís slice of nightclub life walks a tricky tone, a comedy without laugh lines and a drama that doesnít get too dramatic. It also qualifies as a musical thanks to sizzling vocal performances by cabaret star Julie Wilson and Fosse style dancing by Neile Adams (who was married to Steve McQueen). Anthony Franciosa is too unlikable as the manager of the nightclub, but the rest of the cast make up for it aplenty, including Paul Douglas as the club owner and Joan Blondell as a former star turned stage mother.


I Want to Live! (1958)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Susan Hayward is one of my favorite actors because she always elevates the material, so of course she wins the Academy Award for her hammiest work. Itís something that only happens occasionally, but those brief moments gum up the greatness of the majority of the film. Wise isnít being subtle here anyway, and itís a risk that pays off at the end when the story becomes a docudrama fascinated by every step in the process. After so much emotional noise, the finale is exceptionally subtle.


Two for the Seesaw (1962)
★ ★ Ĺ
Written as an edgy, unfiltered look at the rocky navigations of two people starting a relationship (originally a play with little attempt to expand out) this comes very close to the complexity itís aiming for, but misses by as good as a mile. Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine are supposed to be ordinary people (pun intended) but I donít believe their characters would put up with each otherís baggage. Thatís papered over by their movie star attractiveness, the very thing these characters act like theyíve never had to lean on. The acting is fine, but this needed actors who could naturally display lonely desperation.


Star! (1968)
★ Ĺ
Biopic of Gertrude Lawrence Ė I have no idea who she was, nor do I really care Ė is way too long and the musical numbers are lousy. I blame Wise and star Julie Andrews only for agreeing to make this movie. The story is Dead On Arrival.
 

Audrey Rose (1977)
★ ★
A couple of masterful shots and stars Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason, but this horror film about reincarnation makes all the boring choices. It leans towards Exorcist waters, but chooses instead to ease way up on the supernatural touches, opting for a trial, a stock footage lecture on Hindu beliefs and a drawn-out hypnotism sequence.

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2020, 08:20:45 PM »
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) 75/100 - After finishing the film and submitting my rating on Criticker, I noticed that I've seen a lot of films by Robert Wise. He made films in almost every genre and was pretty successful in most of them. This is another finely crafted drama that looks and sounds great, but, at times, it seems as if there's just a tad too much on the plate. You've got the post-war angst alongside racial tension, with a huge helping of noir as the main course. But for a 96 minute film, it kind of dragged at times, and had a character whom I could not understand why she was there, Gloria Grahame. She sleepwalks though her short role and it appeared to me, was there just to pad out the film length. Robert Ryan, as always, is great and I was very impressed with Harry Belafonte's performance, who could have rivaled Sidney Poitier, if he did choose to do so. In essence, this film should have worked for me, but it only held me for brief moments, then it would just meander along. I doubt I'd re-visit it in the future.
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Eric/E.T.

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Re: Directors Best Poll - Robert Wise
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2020, 02:32:37 AM »
Countdown until someone posts about how wrong my opinions are... 4... 3... 2...

STOP THE CLOCK!!!

9. The Sound of Music

I think Christopher Plummer would agree, unless he had a change of heart? He was cold enough to body shame the little girl playing Gretl!

Would be interesting to hear Martin's rationale, but it doesn't really surprise me when people don't like The Sound of Music. It's very sentimental, and the ending is fairly ridiculous. A lot of it is pretty ridiculous, but it brings me great joy.
A witty saying proves nothing. - Voltaire

MartinTeller

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Re: Wise, Robert
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2020, 08:51:22 AM »
My review from 2007 is unfortunately pretty brief, but I think it will do:

Quote
Iím not inherently against wholesome family films. Granted, itís not my favorite kind of movie, but if itís entertaining enough (The Wizard of Oz), Iím all for it. But this is just too much.  This precocious brood of rosy-cheeked little moppets is too sugar-sweet for my tastes. I donít even like the songs that much, which is unfortunate because just about all of them are sung twice. The scenery and color is lovely, though, and at least itís not too dull for a 3-hour picture. Rating: 5/10

5/10 is on the high end of my "red" scale. I may feel differently about it now, as a content family man rather than someone stuck in a bitter marriage.