Poll

What's your favorite film by King Vidor?

Wild Oranges
0 (0%)
The Big Parade
2 (9.5%)
La Boheme
0 (0%)
Bardelys the Magnificent
0 (0%)
The Crowd
5 (23.8%)
The Patsy
0 (0%)
Show People
1 (4.8%)
Hallelujah!
1 (4.8%)
Not So Dumb
0 (0%)
Street Scene
1 (4.8%)
The Champ
0 (0%)
Our Daily Bread
0 (0%)
Stella Dallas
2 (9.5%)
The Citadel
0 (0%)
Northwest Passage
0 (0%)
Comrade X
0 (0%)
H.M. Pulham, Esq.
0 (0%)
Duel in the Sun
1 (4.8%)
The Fountainhead
0 (0%)
Beyond the Forest
1 (4.8%)
Ruby Gentry
1 (4.8%)
Man Without a Star
0 (0%)
War and Peace
0 (0%)
Solomon and Sheba
0 (0%)
other (please specify)
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
6 (28.6%)
don't like any
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Author Topic: Vidor, King  (Read 1562 times)

1SO

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Vidor, King
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 12:03:50 AM »
1. The Crowd
2. Beyond the Forest
3. Stella Dallas
4. H.M. Pulham, Esq.
5. The Champ
6. The Stranger's Return
7. Comrade X
8. Street Scene
9. The Patsy
10. Northwest Passage

11. Lightning Strikes Twice
12. War and Peace
13. The Citadel
14. Show People
15. The Big Parade
16. Ruby Gentry
17. The Wedding Night
18. Man Without a Star
19. Hallelujah

20. Duel in the Sun
21. Our Daily Bread
22. The Fountainhead
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:54:03 AM by 1SO »
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Junior

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 10:08:19 AM »
Think I've only seen Show People.
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don s.

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 03:25:45 AM »
I really haven't seen enough of these to vote, but I have to put in a good word for the lunacy that is The Fountainhead, featuring a screenplay from one of history's greatest wackos, Ayn Rand. No really, I found it endlessly entertaining. Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper. Seriously. Also, the Max Steiner score is terrific.
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jascook

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 11:41:09 PM »
The Crowd: 9/10
Show People: 8/10
Hallelujah!: 7/10
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 11:55:21 PM by jascook »
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roujin

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2014, 11:39:37 AM »
Think I've only seen three. Street Scene (truly great), The Wedding Night (quite moving) and Comrade X (lots of fun).

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 03:25:48 AM »
Ruby Gentry (1952) 40°
The Fountainhead (1949) 35°
Stella Dallas (1937) 35°
Duel In The Sun (1946) 30°

I never meant to, but it so have happend that I've seen four films directed by King Vidor this winter and thus I've ereased a blindspot for the first time. I can't say any of these films have aged perfectly, but all of them feature strong individuals or characters who in different ways gets grinded down by society or it's conventions. Some gets chewed up, some are spat out. I think this common theme is fascinating and most likely I'll continue with a further couple of Vidor's films. Maybe The Crowd, as it is in pixote's Top 100 Club collection....
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MartinTeller

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Re: Directors Best Poll - King Vidor
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 02:32:47 PM »

Stella Dallas - Stella (Barbara Stanwyck) wants nothing more than to transcend her lower-class, small-town roots.  She sets her sights on Stephen Dallas, a wealthy, urbane executive at the local mill.  She wins him over and tries to fit in with high society.  But when their daughter Laurel is born, her efforts focus instead on providing the finest for her little girl.  Stephen has separated and taken up a position in New York, putting him in contact with his old flame, the widowed Helen (Barbara O'Neil).  As a teenage Laurel (Anne Shirley) is drawn to the sophistication of Stephen and Helen's world, Stella tries desperately to measure up as a mother.

A comparison I would make is imagine King Vidor's later masterpiece Beyond the Forest with Stanwyck as a much more sympathetic version of the Bette Davis character... combined with Mildred Pierce with Shirley as a much more sympathetic version of the Ann Blyth character.  In other words, it's about a social climbing woman and the daughter she tries to provide for, but without any of the cynical nastiness (except in the way the stuffy upper crust perceives Stella).  It's interesting to note how often "social climbing women" appear in Vidor's films... they're also at the center of Ruby Gentry and, in a way, Duel in the Sun.

In some cases, these women are villainous.  Not necessarily because of their ambitions, but because of the way they go about achieving them.  Stella is no villain... by the end, she's practically given sainthood.  The movie is almost ludicrously melodramatic, but that does make the tearjerker moments -- which come fast and furious in the final half hour -- more effective.  You just want to love and root for this character, despite her mistakes.  Of course, so much of this is due to Stanwyck's performance.  Everyone in it is fine (even Alan Hale, doing a whole lot of drunk acting) but Babs is very much the shining star here.  She does a lot with a tricky character, and at times does great work with just her eyes.

Kind of cheap and manipulative (and there are a couple of sloppy edits), but in a truly enjoyable way.  Rating: Very Good (81)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 06:55:20 PM by MartinTeller »
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1SO

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Re: Vidor, King
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 09:15:48 PM »
Progress Report

Updated Rankings

The Patsy (1928)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Unexpectedly breezy comedy from Vidor. I kept waiting for him to make a dramatic turn, where troublemaker younger sister (Marion Davies) takes things too far with her selfishness. The character’s coming-of-age instability manifests in destructive ways, yet Davies is so charming and the film seems to root for her so you have to step back to notice she’s the villain. Vidor doesn’t even give her character a moment of reflection, where she or anyone tries to rationalize her behavior.


Street Scene (1931)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
I was initially worried about the staginess, with the camera so fixed in one direction they might as well have just filmed the play it’s based on. It grew on me, much the same was as Fences and Do the Right Thing, and the climactic moment is handled with minimal dialogue and great editing, so… Cinema!


The Champ (1931)
★ ★ ★ - Good
It’s so rare for me to find an old movie that carries with it the weight of a Classic. “So, this is The Champ.” I held off because when I was a kid my mom took me to the 1979 remake with Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder and the ending scarred me for life. The weight of that hung over this film, and made me admire even more the sensitive direction. Vidor pulls some obvious melodramatic punches only to surprise you with unexpected moments of darkness. It’s an unorthodox approach that makes the film stand out as more than a classic Hollywood tearjerker. The plot may creak, but the film itself is really well made. As for the ending, I was having flashbacks. Devastating because the cast and crew earn that finale.


The Stranger’s Return (1933)
★ ★ ★ - Good
I wasn’t sure there was much I could say about this one. Despite the drama, it’s a very pleasant time spent in the company of actors I enjoy watching. Lionel Barrymore is the lead, playing a Walter Brennan type of grumpy old man in a much different way. He’s just the best every moment he’s on screen, but the cast includes Miriam Hopkins, Franchot Tone, Beulah Bondi and Grant Mitchell. All people I enjoy watching and only Bondi is underused.

Then afterwards, I read this is the favorite film of Yasujiro Ozu, and that’s all I can think about now. There is a lot of Ozu to the story, the way events are light on the surface, but the undertow is pulling everyone into peril. Events move like a handful of short stories that come together in the end to create a lasting impact.


Comrade X (1940)
★ ★ ★ - Good
Inverted Ninotchka, with Clark Gable as a brash American reporter looking to smuggle proof of an attempted coup out of Russia. (The assassination attempt is like something out of Death of Stalin.) His best hope is to play spy with Hedy Lamarr, who loves her country to the core. Plot makes a lot of nonsensical choices, but the dialogue is clever, the cast is charming and there’s a wonderfully silly chase involving a few dozen tanks. Few political satires have as brilliant an idea as the one here where the main revolutionary is offered a high cabinet position in exchange for executing all of his followers to show loyalty to the country.


H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)
★ ★ ★ - Good
This has become one of the most successful Director explorations of the entire Marathon. The story sounds like something told many times before and since. Rich kid (Robert Young) has his traditional values challenged by a progressive woman (Hedy Lamarr), but has trouble standing up to his friends (including Van Heflin) and father (Charles Coburn, for the first time trying to keep the kids apart.) The film is fresh because the script begins at the end so tragedy is sown into every scene and Vidor gets the emotions to pour out of the screen. That’s especially amazing because Young is usually such a passive leading man and Lamarr has never been trusted to do so much beyond looking pretty. Her finest performance by miles.
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1SO

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Re: Vidor, King
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2019, 12:55:36 AM »
Updated Rankings


Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
★ ★ ½
While I love murder mysteries, this one doesn’t quite gel because the characters aren’t given the room to escape Noir types. The actors are only allowed to serve whatever level of suspicion they’re meant to function as, so there’s a lot of odd behavior, like innocent people looking guilty or suspicious and sleazy men leering like unapologetic sex criminals.


Ruby Gentry (1952)
★ ★
The kind of overripe direction that sunk Duel in the Sun, where everyone is all hot and bothered and nobody can focus on anything but their lust.


War and Peace (1956)
★ ★ ½
The tagline says “you’ll wise there were more” and I agree because even at 3.5 hours there seems to be a lot missing. (Looking forward to the 7-hour Russian version now.) I applaud the effort made by Vidor to film something that was meant to be a mini-series and the script doesn’t appear to be missing any of the important story beats, but the characters are so busy rushing through the epic they rarely get to live and breathe in the moment.
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BlueVoid

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Re: Vidor, King
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2019, 09:54:39 AM »
The Crowd
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Show People

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