THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Sunday, June 9, 2013

“P” IS FOR “PRISON MOVIES” (Or, "P" IS FOR "PAPILLON")

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The Judge: “You know the charge!”
Papillon: “I’m innocent.”
The Judge: “Your real crime has nothing to do with a pimp’s death.”
Papillon: “Well, then, what is it?”
The Judge: “Yours is the most terrible crime a human being can commit. I accuse you of ‘A Wasted Life’. The penalty for that is death!”
Papillon: “Guilty... guilty... guilty...”
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On Thursday, April 18, 2013, during the ‘A TO Z BLOGFEST’, my friend and the creator of the Blogfest, Arlee Bird, posted ‘PRISON MOVIES (#ATOZCHALLENGE)’
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In that post, he wrote the following:

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- If you haven't seen The Green Mile I'm somewhat surprised, but if you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption I'll be amazed.   Everyone has seen this film and if you haven't then you must be the only one.  Probably the best prison movie ever made, this one makes it into many a film fan's top ten list period.  A must-see film! ...

 Am I right about The Shawshank Redemption?

I disagreed with my friend and posted the following comment:

Alright, BOIDMAN OF ALCATRAZ, here comes the McContrarian view:

I thought 'The Green Mile' was too contrived. Not a bad movie, but way overrated.

'The Shawshank Redemption' - WTH?!
I saw it once long, long ago and thought it was "OK". But for years afterwards people kept raving about it, which convinced me that I MUST HAVE missed the point somehow; maybe I was drunk at the first viewing and couldn't appreciate its greatness.

So, in fairness to the movie, I rented it a second time and watched it again. I came away with pretty much the same opinion. I probably liked it slightly better after the second viewing, but I still wouldn't grade it above "OK". I would love for someone - you or anyone else - to explain to me in detail WHY that movie is so great. Because, seriously, I do NOT get it.

So then what prison movies DO I like? Well, there are probably more, but the three that come immediately to mind are (the frequently aforementioned) 'COOL HAND LUKE' ["What we have here is a failure to communicate!"]; 'PAPILLON' [Wow! No one mentioned 'Papillon'? - That's a freakin' crime, man!]; and my Number One favorite prison film (as well as one of my Top Ten favorite sports films), the original version of 'THE LONGEST YARD' starring Burt Reynolds.

Come to think of it, 'STALAG 17', with William Holden, would certainly also make my list of all-time favorite prison movies.

I only scanned the comments above, but is it true that no person above mentioned 'Papillon', 'The Longest Yard', or 'Stalag 17'? If so,... whoah!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

My good buddy, LEE, responded with this:

StMc -- Maybe Shawshank was too optimistic for your tastes. The film is pretty universally rated high so you are in the minority on this one.

I wrote back:

>> . . . Maybe Shawshank was too optimistic for your tastes. The film is pretty universally rated high so you are in the minority on this one.

How unusual to find myself in "the minority" about something. (Still don't know what makes it so "great".)

'Papillon' - Steve McQueen and the always popular (and great) Dustin Hoffman. How could it have become so forgotten?!

'The Longest Yard' is absolutely hilarious!

'Stalag 17' was so good it became the inspiration for a long-running TV series - 'Hogan's Heroes'.

The entire modern American culture seems to have roots no deeper than about 1995. ...


~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

That was the end of our conversation.

But later I got to thinking about how long it had been since I’d seen the movie ‘PAPILLON’. I probably hadn’t seen it since about 1974 or ‘75 and, generally, I’m no fan of Steve McQueen. So, I began to wonder if perhaps ‘Papillon’ was better in my memory than it was on film.

To scratch that mental itch, a few weeks ago I rented ‘PAPILLON’ from NetFlix. It was even BETTER(!) than I’d remembered it, because in '74 or '75, a lot of it undoubtedly went over my head.

Here’s a very brief synopsis:

Henri "Papillon" Charierre is sentenced to life in prison and transported to the penal colony in French Guyana. Aboard ship on the voyage over, he meets Louis Degas, a forger. They form a bond that will last them a great many years.

Papillon Trailer
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There was only one weak segment in the movie ‘PAPILLON’. A good ways into the film, Papillon finds himself on an island paradise, surrounded by beautiful, dark-skinned, topless, native women.

I’m not going to lie and say that I (a normal, heterosexual male) did not like those scenes in that segment of the film. But from an objective and informed movie critic’s viewpoint, I must reluctantly admit that those scenes were problematic: HOW did Papillon wind up in that paradise? WHY did the natives suddenly abandon him there?

That segment did not make much sense, but the scenery was... A-list “GORGEOUS”:
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In one of its rare moments of sanity, Mick Martin & Marsha Porter’s ‘DVD & VIDEO GUIDE’ gets it right: 

‘THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION’ (1994)
4 Stars

‘PAPILLON’ (1973)
4.5 Stars

“Unfairly criticized, this is a truly exceptional film biography of the man who escaped from Devil’s Island. Steve McQueen gives an excellent performance, and Dustin Hoffman is once again a chameleon. Director Frank Schaffner invests the same gusto here that he did in ‘Patton’.”

That’s true. And the reason ‘Papillon’ is better than ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is because most writers in our “postmodern” era are not as intelligent and creative as their predecessors were. Today’s audiences think the most recent stuffs is great only because they haven’t seen and aren’t intelligent enough to comprehend the greatness of the old stuffs.

If you disagree, take it to... The Judge.

If you thought ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ was a great prison movie, you had BETTER see ‘PAPILLON’, and I’ll give you until the count of five to do so...

One...
Two...
Three...
Four...
Five...

...Six.

[You didn’t "get" that, did you? If not, you are charged with the crime of ‘Never Having Seen PAPILLON.]
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My 10+ hours spent in a Mexican jail in 1982 or ‘83 were worse than anything in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. And all of it is child’s play compared to ‘PAPILLON’.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

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38 comments:

  1. I'd chime in here (oh, wait, I am) but my knowledge of movies could be summed up in a pamphlet stuffed under your windshield washer.

    But, perhaps, Shawshank is one of those things you have to like to be "trendy", "cool", or PC.As for me and my house, cue up The Avengers again!

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  2. BROTHER MARTIN ~
    Honestly, I have no idea why 'SHAWSHANK' is so popular, but it IS! And I'm serious when I say I'd like someone to explain to me WHY they think that movie is so tremendous.

    By no means is it a bad movie, and I suppose it's worth watching... once. But I can't think of any ideas it conveys that aren't better conveyed in other prison movies. 'STALAG 17' is a classic. 'COOL HAND LUKE' is extremely entertaining. 'PAPILLON' is a dark epic.

    The only thing I can think of is that the people who rave about 'SHAWSHANK' haven't seen many other prison movies and thus have little to compare it to. But then again, I wouldn't think that to be the case with my friend Arlee Bird, and yet he called it perhaps the best prison movie ever.

    Seriously... I'm mystified. If someone wanted to explain 'SHAWSHANK'S' "greatness" to me, I'd be willing to listen.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  3. I would love for someone - you or anyone else - to explain to me in detail WHY that movie is so great. Because, seriously, I do NOT get it.

    As a writer, I think it has such rave reviews because it has that 'surprise feel-good ending' that a lot of people don't see coming. He's been secretly digging for 19 years while getting constantly crapped on by the system, and one day is just gone. He's free to spend his millions in peace with his best friend. The viewer feels amazed and relieved, and leaves the movie feeling like they just watched the greatest movie ever, even if the two and a half hours building up to it were just 'okay.'

    Did you know it was a Stephen King story? A short story, actually, not a novel. I still enjoyed reading it. And by enjoy, I mean that it was okay. Not my favorite, but not terrible, either.

    I'm sad to say I've never seen Papillon. Put that on my list of 'to-watch' movies. I'll check in and let you know when I've seen it and what I thought.

    My 10+ hours spent in a Mexican jail in 1982 or ‘83 were worse than anything in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.

    I don't suppose we have a backlog post of yours detailing this crazy adventure?

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    1. 4-B ~
      Thanks for the explanation regarding 'SHAWSHANK'. You're probably right. I sometimes wondered if the fact that a Black man and a White man became good buddies while in a prison had something to do with its appeal. In other words, "I love it, which shows how liberal-minded and non-racist I am."

      As I said, I think the movie is alright. It's certainly not bad, and if I were affixing a letter grade to it, I'd give it a "B", which stands for "Basically good". But people talk about it like... well, like it's the greatest prison movie ever made. I strongly disagree.

      There are other "feel-good" prison movies I like much better. It's been awhile since I've seen 'STALAG 17' and 'COOL HAND LUKE', but from what I recall, both would qualify under that label.

      'THE LONGEST YARD' and, yes, even 'PAPILLON' qualify as "feel-good" prison movies. And I think all four of them are much better than 'SHAWSHANK'.

      In fact, come to think of it (this only just now occurred to me), I believe perhaps the thing that has always held me back from embracing 'SHAWSHANK' is that I always felt I had ALREADY SEEN that movie before. Not in every little detail, of course, but the GENERAL THEME of it had already been done. So, to me, 'SHAWSHANK' probably left me with the thought: Been there, seen that.

      I'm not sure if I ever knew 'SHAWSHANK' was based on a Stephen King story. (When you get to be my age, you start forgetting what you once knew and can't even remember if you ever DID know it.) But I did know 'The Green Mile' derived from Stephen King. I've never read a single Stephen King book or story, but I've seen several of the movies based on his stuffs.

      The Mexican jail story... I know I've referred to it in a few blog bits, just in passing (like I did here), but I don't think I've ever told that story in detail on either of my blogs.

      The one place where I did elaborate on that "misadventure" was in my book manuscript, 'The League Of Soul Crusaders', which was intended solely as a Christmas gift for all of my "League" drinking buddies in 1984(?).

      Not really proud of that (it was MY fault) but I was young, drunk, and stupid. And it WAS a misadventure I'll never forget.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. You're probably right. I sometimes wondered if the fact that a Black man and a White man became good buddies while in a prison had something to do with its appeal.

      It's funny you say this. So actually, here's a fun fact about the Stephen King story. In it, Red is an Irish guy. And he's called Red because he has red hair. Well, probably to appeal more to audiences they made him a black man in the movie, and yet they keep the original line from the book, the part when Andy asks him, "So why do they call you Red?" and Red replies, "It's because I'm Irish." I'm not sure if you remember, but Morgan Freeman still says this line in the film (they cast him after the screenplay was written) and instead uses it as sort of a sarcastic joke.

      Delete
    3. Ha! No, I don't recall that line.
      It would have been totally nonsensical but funny in an insane way if Morgan Freeman answered, "It's because I have red hair."

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  4. I loved both "Stalag 17" and "Cool Hand Luke", but must admit, I've seen neither "Shawshank Redemption" nor "Green Mile." Loved the original "Longest Yard," but thought the remake fell way short. There's another flick I thought was super good, starring Robert Redford. Not positive about the title, but I think it was something like "The Castle". It's a little different from the other flicks, because it takes place in a military prison. Not exactly a story book happy ending, but definitely worth watching.

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    1. SUSAN ~
      Both 'Shawshank' and 'The Green Mile' are worthwhile, but I just think they're overrated.

      Never even heard of the Robert Redford movie.

      And I refused to see the remake of 'THE LONGEST YARD' out of protest. The same way I refused to see the remake of 'TRUE GRIT' and 'BORN YESTERDAY'. I'm strongly opposed to the remaking of classic movies.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  5. I think I've seen Papillon, but after watching the trailer I'm beginning to wonder. I guess I'll have to put it on my Nefflix list and watch it. It's probably been a very long time since I've seen it.

    I know I saw The Longest Yard at Lakemont Drive-In back in Tennessee not long after the movie came out. My friends and I went to see everything Burt Reynolds put out back then. I recall liking the movie okay, but it didn't make a huge impression.

    I'm pretty sure I saw Stalag 17 on TV, but I never did get into Hogan's Heroes so I don't guess I liked the movie version much better.

    Don't really remember Cool Hand Luke. That was a long time ago and though it's on TV often I've not been inspired to watch it again.

    I agree that The Green Mile was contrived, but as I recall I did enjoy it. I probably need to watch it again and since I think I own a copy I'm sure I will someday.

    I think Shawshank is the best prison film by my tastes and many agree and probably in the majority. It is a feelgood film and that's why I liked it so much I guess. Like Count of Monte Cristo it's a story of a beleaguered man getting comeuppance on those who tried to bring him down. It's a theme that I like. Trendy or whatever, I still think it's the best prison film by my standards. Of course that could change after the next prison film I see.

    Come to think of it I did forget to mention Dancer in the Dark which, since it's a musical, probably trumps all other prison movies in my thinking. Are there any other good prison musicals? I'm sure Dancer beats Papillon by a kilometer.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. BOIDMAN ~
      See 'PAPILLON' and then get back to me, please.

      A musical prison movie? Ha!-Ha! I'm sure I'd hate that as much as I hate 'WEST SIDE STORY'.

      You should definitely see 'COOL HAND LUKE', Bro. Highly entertaining.

      And as for 'STALAG 17' - it's a true classic, and you shouldn't let your feelings about 'Hogan's Heroes' dissuade you from seeing it, because I never really cared for 'Hogan's Heroes' either. While the premise is very similar, the movie is not a wacky comedy like the TV series it inspired. 'STALAG 17' - good; 'HOGAN'S HEROES' - eh, whatever.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. I'm not sure if reading the book prior to seeing the movie enhances or clouds the viewers judgment. I only saw 'Papillon' once a few years after it came out and I still remember many of the scenes, and I also remember that it had my full attention. 'Shawshank Redemption' came out 20 years later yet it didn't leave the impression that 'Papillon' did, and the only reason I probably remember SR so well is because I had read Stephen King's 'Different Seasons' in which 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' was one of four novellas.

    I remember 'Different Seasons' like I remember 'Papillon' (the movie); both are favorites. In fact three of the novellas were made into movies. 'Apt Pupil' and 'The Body' both made it to the big screen. 'The Body's' movie title was 'Stand By Me'. I can't really remember much about the last really short story. It probably tied the whole book together and went completely over my head. As far as I can remember, 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' was the only story of the four that had a happy ending.

    I thought the 'Green Mile' was also a decent movie. The book was released as six separate, short volumes each with their own title. For six straight months in 1996 a new volume would be released. I though it was a good marketing idea at the time.

    From your comments...>So, to me, 'SHAWSHANK' probably left me with the thought: Been there, seen that.

    Good point...maybe shades of 'Escape from Alcatraz' starring Clint Eastwood?

    There really is a lot of good prison break out movies including 'Shawshank Redemption' when I think about it.

    Well, since Netflix streaming doesn't have 'Papillon', I'll have to hunt it down at the local library and see if I think it should remain at the top of my prison movie list. Notice how I'm not as willing to whip out the library card to see 'Shawshank' a second time.

    SigTooTimer

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    1. TWO SIG NIGHT ~
      I think that only in very rare instances is a movie as good as or better than the book that inspired it. For example, although I never read 'PAPILLON', I'd bet a large chunk of money that the "topless women scene on Paradise Island", which was not adequately explained in the movie, makes total sense in the book.

      I thought 'STAND BY ME' was a pretty good movie but, again, I don't think I liked it to the same extent that so many other viewers did. I've never read anything by Stephen King, and I guess when it comes to the movies based on his writings, I rate them as OK to Good, but never Great, like so many other folks do. Same thing with 'THE SHINING' - there are certain scenes in that movie that I think are outstanding, but overall I feel the movie is just Fairly Good.

      >>... I thought the 'Green Mile' was also a decent movie.

      That's exactly how I'd rate it too: decent. A bit contrived but worth seeing once.

      >>... From your comments...> So, to me, 'SHAWSHANK' probably left me with the thought: Been there, seen that.

      >>... Good point...maybe shades of 'Escape from Alcatraz' starring Clint Eastwood?

      Oh, very good! Yes, probably so. I haven't seen that movie since it was playing in the theatres, but I did see it maybe three times back then. (Probably paid once and sneaked into the theatre the other two times.)

      >>... There really is a lot of good prison break out movies including 'Shawshank Redemption' when I think about it.

      Yeah, I know I've seen others as well, including 'THE GREAT ESCAPE'.

      Do you only pay for NetFlix streaming? You don't rent DVDs from them? Because I KNOW they have the DVD available, which is how I saw 'Papillon' again a few weeks back.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. >Do you only pay for NetFlix streaming? You don't rent DVDs from them?

      Yes. We switched from DVD to streaming a couple of years ago. Streaming is convenient but doesn't have an A-list movie selection like getting the DVD.

      S2

      Delete
  7. As a general rule, I loathe prison movies and avoid them; it is virtually a policy with me. As one who loves freedom, I am not fond of mentally dwelling in a world of confinement and cruelty, even for two hours. Because of this, I have not seen either The Shawshank Redemption OR The Green Mile.

    A quick web search reveals that the IMDB reviewers rank "Redemption" NUMBER ONE OF ALL MOVIES. Good grief, are you kidding? In spite of that, I have a choice of what I spend my time watching and I'm going to watch something else instead. I see enough cruelty and ignorance in the news to suffice.

    One of the most unpleasant movie-going experiences of my life was seeing "Midnight Express." I was still married to my first wife who was 8 months pregnant at the time, and it was so horrific that she had nightmares for a week. The little guy in the womb went crazy kicking and punching like Bruce Lee for a couple of days.

    Of the prison movies I HAVE seen, "Cool Hand Luke" (which you rightly praise) and "The Bridge on the River Kwai" are by far the best. They are GREAT movies.

    I trust you on this issue, in spite of the fact that you forgot to mention some other favorites, such as "Caged Heat" and "Nazi Love Camp 27."

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    1. SHEBOYGANBOY 6 ~
      I saw 'Midnight Express' in the theatre, but I can no longer remember anything at all about it, except that he got busted trying to transport drugs. Can't even recall now WHICH drug. Was it just marijuana?

      Haven't seen it for awhile, but I also enjoyed '...River Kwai' fairly well.

      Ordinarily, I am not the ideal viewer for prison movies. Prison movies are usually "Action" movies, and "Action" (along with "SciFi", "Horror", "Fantasy", "War", and "Musicals") is not a favored category. For the record, I separate the "Action" and "Western" genres.

      So, for me to really, really like a Prison movie at this point in my life, it has to be quite special. 'PAPILLON' is. In fact, it's really about the human desire for freedom. Papillon is wrongly imprisoned and he is determined to regain his freedom. For that reason alone, I think you'd like it much more than you believe you would. Sure, there's some horrific stuffs in the movie, but through it all, Papillon is DETERMINED to survive and escape.

      You and DiscConnected are both pulling my leg about 'Caged Heat', which I never saw. And 'Nazi Love Camp 27'... Ha! Is that a real movie?

      Are you saying that at IMDB 'Shawshank Redemption' is considered the best of all "PRISON" movies, or the best movie PERIOD, including all genres?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT:
      You didn't mention the original 'THE LONGEST YARD' with Burt Reynolds. It's a football movie, and it's extremely funny! You should DEFINITELY see that one, if you never have.

      Delete
  8. I never saw "Shawshank," saw all of yours (but many not in a LOONG time), agree that The Longest Yard is a classic (I think he broke his freakin' neck), and maintain that the best prison movie of all time is "Caged Heat."

    LC

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    1. >>... I think he broke his freakin' neck.

      Really cleaning up your language, ain't ya, DiscDude?

      "There goes one of the most beloved men this institution has ever known."

      So many great moments in 'The Longest Yard'...

      "Why do YOU think I shaved the points?"
      "For the money."

      What, D.D., no mention of 'Nazi Love Camp 27'?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. DO they actually drop the F bomb in that line in the film?

      I've seen it so many times on network television, that's how I hear the line.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, they drop it, and that's actually what makes it so funny and memorable.

      Right after the Mean Machine player on the field says, "I think I broke his fu#king neck", they cut to the announcer, speaking over the P.A. system throughout the entire stadium and on the radio broadcast, and he says, "I think he broke his fu#king neck!" (Too bad no one thought to install a 7-second delay on that broadcast, eh?)

      Classic, classic, classic movie! And Burt Reynolds was absolutely PERFECT for that part.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  9. I remember 'Papillion', even though I'm pretty sure I only saw it once in the theatre. I have seen 'Cool Hand Luke' numerous times. 'What we have here is 'failure to communicate', has often been repeated in my house. Ha! It seems I do remember two similar scenes in 'Papillion' and 'Luke'; correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they both escape and send back pictures with some flashy women. I have to admit that I don't remember the scene in 'Papillion' on the island paradise with the dark skinned women, but then that would have a whole different appeal to you than to me.

    As far as Shawshank goes, I think the general appeal is that he beats 'the man'. Everybody loves the guy who beats 'the man'.As far as the 'Green Mile', I was basically forced to see it, and went to bed half way through.

    Stalag 17 - classic. 'Bridge on the River Kwai'-double classic (of course, I'm in awe of anyone who can whistle, so maybe that was at least 30% of the appeal).

    My favorite prison movie is a real old one. "We're no Angels'. It might not actually qualify as a prison movie because it does not take place in prison but stars Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov as escaped convicts from Devil's Island, who get to the mainland at Christmas and go around setting everybody's lives in order. Five star classic and hilarious.

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  10. That stupid clicky thing...it gets me every time.

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    1. FAE ~
      No, the ending to 'PAPILLON' that you think you remember is not the movie's real denouement. (And I can't even recall how 'COOL HAND LUKE' ends. But I remember that classic line and the hard boiled egg-eating bet.)

      You can't whistle? Really? It's easy...
      Just put your lips together and blow.

      'WE'RE NO ANGELS' was remade not long ago, right? I knew I didn't see the remake, but I thought I'd seen the original. According to your description though, apparently not. It's going on my NetFlix list right now. Thanks for the recommendation.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Netflix finally caught up with me, so, I guess I'll have to add 'Papillon' onto the list and see what I forgot.

      Whistling is not as easy as it looks for some of us.

      I think you'll like 'We're No Angels'. I'm not aware of a remake, but then I generally refuse to see them also.

      Delete
    3. NetFlix doesn't have the original 'WE'RE NO ANGELS' on DVD. Only the remake with Robert De Niro and Sean Penn.

      What can we expect from a DVD source that doesn't even have 'The Shootist', eh?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    4. NetFlix is proving they don't fail to disappoint. I can't even think seriously about that great film being remade with DeNiro and (YUCK!) Penn. do you still have a means to watch VHS?

      Delete
    5. Well, sorta, kinda. I could unhook the DVD player and hook up the VHS player in its place, but it would be a hassle.

      I'll see if Nappy can get it on his Nook. If not, maybe someone has put it up at YouTube.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  11. Actually, I DID see Papillon in theaters at the time, and I remember liking it, though I was (as always) very bothered that he had been wrongly imprisoned. (Strangely, I am less bothered by innocents being killed in movies than imprisoned. Makes little sense, but there you have it.) With Papillon, it was so long ago that I just don't remember much about it, so I limit my commentary on that one.

    You are correct about The Longest Yard. I saw it and loved it. I didn't comment that you are right about that one, but you ARE.

    And yes: IMDB readers rank The Shawshank Redumption NUMERO UNO among ALL movies, ever.

    http://www.imdb.com/chart/top?tt0111161&ref_=tt_awd

    To me that is incredible. Hell, "Pulp Fiction" is number 4!!! With "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Citizen Kane" etc. coming in way behind, and "Shane" and "The Magnificent Seven" not even on the list of the top 250. Oh, well. No more incredible than who the morons of this country vote into public office.

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    1. SHEBOYGANBOY 6 ~
      That is a very weird list. It seems to be a clash between two distinctively different voting blocks: young and stupid; old and smarter.

      The Top Ten is mostly a disaster, but then the greatest example of Film Noir (my opinion), 'SUNSET BOULEVARD', comes in at a very respectable 32.

      Weird list. I didn't scroll all the way to the bottom so I don't know if 'THE WILD BUNCH' made the list at all, but 'THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY' in the Top Ten? That shouldn't even be Top Ten on a list of strictly "Westerns". And if 'The Wild Bunch' didn't make the list at all, all hope is lost.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT: I didn't notice the original 'ROCKY' anywhere near the top, but at least I didn't see Eastwood's terribly overrated Western 'THE UNFORGIVEN' either. I'll have to go back and pay more attention when I have more time.

      Delete
  12. I checked out that IMDB list- and this will give you how much of a "not-a-movie-person" I am. I have seen all or most of 29 of them- and my favorite on the list came in at 250!

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    1. CWM ~
      I've seen all or "enough" of 151 of them, including your favorite. 'The Wild Bunch' and the first 'Rocky' did make the list - good thing! Unfortunately, so did 'Unforgiven' and too many other overrated Clint Eastwood movies.

      I must admit, there were a lot of really good old movies on that list. A lot of newer crap too, though.

      I'm surprised 'CINEMA PARADISO' didn't make the list. Not that it deserved to, but it's a popular foreign film that allows a lot of viewers to believe they have sophisticated, cultured taste.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. Y'know, that list changed since I looked at it this morning! When I looked at it then, the movie I referenced - Arsenic And Old Lace- was at 250; but tonight, showing it to Laurie (who had seen 26 of 'em), it was at 249. As the great Johnny C would say, weird wild stuff.

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    3. Hmmm... It was 'BRINGING UP BABY' when I saw it (both Cary Grant movies). I guess Cary Grant is gaining in popularity as we speak - pretty good for a long dead guy.

      At 250 now is 'NOSFERATU' - a decent old Horror movie; an even better Rock song (by BOC, with a killer guitar solo by Buck Dharma).

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  13. I don't think I ever asked you. Did you like "Silverado"? I really liked it a lot, especially when I first saw it in theaters. Later viewing didn't hold up quite as well, but I do enjoy it.

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    1. I thought it was OK. Not bad but not great either. Interestingly though, it was pretty much 'SILVERADO' that got me started on that Western movie kick years ago.

      My then girlfriend wanted to see it - she was a huge fan of that one. So we saw that and I think 'THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN' and/or 'THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES'.

      That got the ball rolling and we wound up watching hundreds of Western movies in a row, and then self-published our little 'Western Movie Guide'. Good ol' days.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  14. I liked this post it was a nice trip down memory lane, which is better then a walk up the garden path which leads no bloody where.......

    Why oh why is there no mention of Mr Ferret Face.........lol

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    1. JO-ANNE ~
      Thanks. And it was better than leading you down the primrose path, right? And better than a trip "up one's nose with a rubber hose", right?

      My apologies for the missing F-face. (What was I thunking?) Here you go, a link to our namesake: “FERRET FACE”.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  15. I realize that this blog bit was about Papillon and not The Shawshank Redemption, however, I just watched TSR. IFC channel was showing it last night, and - since it was the topic of much commentary here - I decided to watch it.

    So now I can chime in on why I think people think it is great. It has been said by some of your other readers before, but I can say with certainty that it is absolutely because it shows someone beating "the man" and defeating his persecutors, with just a tiny bit of the people's great love for Morgan Freeman and "Tiny" Tim Robbins. Those were precisely the reasons I liked it. HOWEVER, I didn't think the movie was "great." It was good, but would not crack my own top 250. I think that people do not generally try to look at things objectively. If you asked me what I like vs. what I think is great, you'll get two dramatically different lists. With American Idol viewers, those lists are the same.

    But I really did like The Shawshank Redemption. It's like the "anti-Midnight Express."

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    1. Good analysis, SHEBOYGANBROTHER.

      All of that makes sense about beating "the man" or "the system". I'm not as big a fan of Morgan Freeman as so many other folks are, but he's OK. I just wish he and Clint would stop hiding in the closet and just come out and confess to America that they are homosexual lovers, that's all.

      Seriously, I did get SERIOUSLY sick of seeing those two together in everything; it was starting to make me wonder what was going on behind closed doors. And, of course, I don't like Eastwood to begin with, so that probably wrongly colored my view of Freeman a little too. ("Colored" was an unintentional pun, I assure you.)

      >>... I think that people do not generally try to look at things objectively. If you asked me what I like vs. what I think is great, you'll get two dramatically different lists.

      That's an excellent point and a good example of why I praise "My Magnificent Seven" so often. My small group of readers are really thinkers, and I dig that.

      My list of Like Vs. Great probably wouldn't be dramatically different, but they would differ somewhat. Below is a perfect example:

      My very favorite Western (for several reasons, a couple of them very personal) is the original 'MONTE WALSH' (1970) with Lee Marvin and Jeanne Moreau. But objectively speaking, I think Peckinpah's 'THE WILD BUNCH' is the greatest Western ever made.

      So although my personal favorite and "the greatest" are not the same thing, both movies, however, make my all-time Top Ten Favorite Movies list.

      Good comment, SBB-6.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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