During the last ten years or so, movie producers have been ravaging Laurel and Hardy features and shorts for scenes that they have then compiled into anthology features, some more lovingly and intelligently put together (Robert Youngson’s The Golden Age of Comedy and The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy) than others, especially Jay Ward’s The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy.
Robert Mulligan’s Summer of ’42 is a memory movie, written, directed and acted with such uncommon good humor that I don’t think you’ll be put off by its sweet soft-focus, at least until you start analyzing it afterwards.
Barry Lyndon is a leisurely, serious, witty, inordinately beautiful, premium-length screen adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s first novel, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq., published in 1844 and set in the second half of the 18th century.
Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick’s handsome, assured screen adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s first novel, is so long and leisurely, so panoramic in its narrative scope, that it’s as much an environment as it is a conventional film. Its austerity of purpose defines it as a costume movie unlike any other you’ve seen.
Luis Buñuel’s brilliant new comedy, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie), is so free in form and yet so lucid and wise that it could give the Surrealists a whole new lease on life.
It may be about time for movies to realize that they aren’t realistic. They are, for all the reality of their locales and of their actors and of their circumstances, only representations of reality and nothing more.
Taking a best-selling novel of more drive than genius (Mario Puzo’s The Godfather), about a subject of something less than common experience (the Mafia), involving an isolated portion of one very particular ethnic group (first-generation and second-generation Italian-Americans), Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment.
Vincent Canby reviews Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter” for The New York Times, December 15, 1978
Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now lives up to its grand title, disclosing not only the various faces of war but also the contradictions between excitement and boredom, terror and pity, brutality and beauty.