List o’ the Week: Movies I’ve Tried and Failed to Watch
My first “List o’ the Week” for 2013 is a short list, but a list, nonetheless. It’s similar in concept to my initial outing, which identified well-known movies that I’ve never seen. This week, I list three films that have been highly recommended, and that I have tried – more than once – to watch, but have not yet been able to make it through. At the risk of being cinematically sacrilegious, here goes:
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
I know, I know – it has a stellar cast featuring Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, and Erich von Stroheim. It was directed by the great Billy Wilder, and written by Wilder and his longtime partner Charles Brackett. It received three Oscar nominations – for editing, black and white interior design, and black and white cinematography. It’s the veritable bomb-diggity! But I just can’t get into it. Maybe it’s the wartime/spy theme, maybe the foreign setting (y’all know I’m partial to urban locales) – I don’t know. But I’ve tried three times and haven’t made it to the end yet. Uncle!
Black Narcissus (1947)
It seems as though every time I hear someone praise this film, they talk about the way it looks. Never the story or the performances. Not the music, not the writing. But the visual ecstasy that it offers. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. It’s exquisite. It’s BORING.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
I am ducking as I write this. I know that lots of people love this film and find themselves on the floor, convulsing with mirth every time they look at it. Alas, I fail to see the humor. It could very well be that the topic – dotty old ladies killing people and burying them in the cellar – is just too grim to be darkly amusing to me. However, of the three films on this week’s list, this is the one I feel most determined to see through to the end, and the one I most regret being unable – SO FAR – to appreciate. So don’t give up on me yet.
Are there any films that you’ve tried, without success, to watch? Or am I out here on this limb all by my lonesome? What say you?