Catching up on some classics

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Thanks to Netflix discs and Turner Classic Movies (both of which I highly recommend), I’ve been catching up on some classics that I’m ashamed to admit I had never seen: Here Comes Mr. Jordan, (1941, 4 ¼ stars on my 0-5 scale); Rachel, Rachel (1968, 3 ¾ stars); Paris Blues (1961, 3 ¾ stars); and The Nightcomers (1972; 3 ¼ stars).

Here Comes Mr. Jordan is the original cinematic version of the Harry Segal play Heaven Can Wait, which received an even better movie adaptation by Warren Beatty in 1978. The original, starring Robert Montgomery and Claude Rains, is so good that I felt compelled to bump Beatty’s version down slightly on my top 200 list, as it borrows so heavily from the earlier film.

Rachel, Rachel is Paul Newman’s directorial debut, and it stars Joanne Woodward in an Oscar-nominated performance, while Paris Blues is another Newman-Woodward collaboration, helmed by Martin Ritt and co-starring Sidney Poitier and Louis Armstrong. If you’re a fan of either Paris or jazz, see this film. If you’re a fan of both, see it NOW. Both films challenge the sexual and social boundaries of 1960s cinema.

Lastly, The Nightcomers is the prequel to Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw (and its film adaptation, The Innocents). It wasn’t particularly well received back in 1972, but it’s quite good, and disturbingly erotic. Sexy co-star Stephanie Beacham holds her own (and then some) with Brando, who is doing a thick Irish dialect.

For all my film ratings, go to my Movie Lists page.

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