Reading the 20th Century discussion

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Cinema and television > Historical films about the 20th century

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4267 comments Mod
Wondering what films anyone would recommend which are set during earlier periods of the 20th century, but were made more recently?

There are still quite a few films being made which are set during WW2 - I have just watched one, Allied starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, but, although the actors were excellent, I ended up being disappointed by the increasingly far-fetched plot. It starts off as a sort of homage to Casablance and looks beautiful, but for me it just didn't live up to the classics that it referenced.


message 2: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1025 comments Several films (I think) about the American expats lurking about Paris - The Moderns which I watched the other night and, of course, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. I still like the Bill Murray version of The Razor's Edge.

These aren't new movies but just a couple that I thought of off the top of my head.


message 3: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) There's a recent adaptation of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth...from 2014, I think.


message 4: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4267 comments Mod
Storyheart, I quite liked the film of Testament of Youth, but I think inevitably it left an awful lot out compared to the earlier BBC series, which I had watched not so long before seeing it.


message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4267 comments Mod
I liked Midnight in Paris a lot, Jan, but haven't seen The Moderns or The Razor's Edge - maybe I'll make The Razor's Edge my next Maugham and watch the film afterwards.


message 6: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 215 comments Also on the World War I theme, I found Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory quite impressive. From IMDB "The futility and irony of the war in the trenches in WWI is shown as a unit commander in the French army must deal with the mutiny of his men and a glory-seeking general after part of his force falls back under fire in an impossible attack."


message 7: by Lynaia (new)

Lynaia | 468 comments Jan C wrote: "Several films (I think) about the American expats lurking about Paris - The Moderns which I watched the other night and, of course, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. I still like the Bill Murray ver..."

I considered watching The Moderns a while back but never did. Is it good? I love Midnight in Paris. It definitely was an homage to the beauty of the city. I hope to go back there some day as well as back to London. Actually I would love to be able to afford to do a Grand Tour of most of Europe.


message 8: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1025 comments Lynaia wrote: "Jan C wrote: "Several films (I think) about the American expats lurking about Paris - The Moderns which I watched the other night and, of course, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. I still like the B..."

It's OK. It is a good cast. I'm not really that much of a fan of Midnight in Paris. Were they able to film that one in Paris? They had to film The Moderns in Montreal, although it filled in well for Paris.


message 9: by Lynaia (new)

Lynaia | 468 comments Definitely shot in Paris. I recognized a few places. I think that may be a big part of why I love the movie. Brings back fond memories of a beautiful city.


message 10: by Lynaia (new)

Lynaia | 468 comments Not too recent a movie but I enjoy 84 Charing Cross Road. London, books and WWII. Love it!


Elizabeth (Alaska) I am not much of a movie watcher, preferring to read instead. Still, I have watched the occasional movie, nearly all older ones.

Tora! Tora! Tora! subtitled

Sophie's Choice I have seen only bits of this in scattered flicking through the channels, but it's Meryl Streep; I have the book on Kindle, historical fiction, not history fictionalized

Bonnie and Clyde American gangsters of the 1930s, but real people, not just caricatures - Faye Dunaway was excellent


message 12: by Story (last edited Aug 08, 2018 06:16PM) (new)

Story (storyheart) I really enjoyed As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0277327/...

Also Lore, adapted from a short story by Rachel Seiffert was good:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1996310/


message 13: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4267 comments Mod
Some great suggestions here, thanks. I love both books and films, and also enjoy comparing films with the books that inspired them! It’s been many years since I read and saw Sophie’s Choice, but they certainly made a strong impression - I think I have read one or two others by Styron, but forget the titles.


message 14: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1025 comments Given the anniversary this week (of Nixon resigning) there is All the President's Men (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/...) which I hope to watch again this weekend.


message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8543 comments Mod
Jan C wrote: "Given the anniversary this week (of Nixon resigning) there is All the President's Men ....."

A superb film Jan - I loved it. And a wonderful book too, though I've not read it since it was originally first published


message 16: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1025 comments I read it years ago, although I think I did delay reading it. I think when it came out I was on overload on Watergate books. Plus, having lived through it and watched all those hearings on TV (broadcast on PBS in those days - long before CSPAN or even cable, come to that). And last year I received the blu-ray for Christmas.


message 17: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 221 comments Jan C wrote: "Given the anniversary this week (of Nixon resigning) there is All the President's Men (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074119/...) which I hope to watch again this weekend."

I watched this a few days ago Jan, with my daughter whose tastes tend towards the Marvel Universe. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it seems as relevant today as it was then. I asked my daughter whether she was finding it interminably boring. All those shots of people typing or walking across a news room. Not a single explosion or flying superhero to be seen!

I'm relieved to say she thought it was very slow but in an interesting way. There may be hope for the next generation after all... ;-)

Straight after this film we watched Frost/Nixon, which I'd never seen, but the two films went well together as a double bill. My daughter vaguely remembered David Frost as the host of Through the Keyhole and couldn't really reconcile that personality with this enormously significant interview. That was an issue at the time too of course and I think the film did a great job of illustrating how odd that imbalance was.

I read this morning that Carl Bernstein is about to publish his 19th book Fear: Trump in the White House. Has anyone read any of his others? I'm interested in his perspective on the current US political situation. Any recommendations?


message 18: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8543 comments Mod
I really enjoyed Frost/Nixon


Great news that your daughter stayed engaged with ATPM Sue


message 19: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4267 comments Mod
The Post was very good too, I thought.


message 20: by Greg (new)

Greg | 131 comments Nigeyb, I looked up WAKE IN FRIGHT in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, (titled OUTBACK in the USA), which says: "Intriguing film about sensitive schoolteacher whose personality disintegrates after interaction with rough, primitive men in Australian outback. Toned down for TV from original 114m. version; still unlikely to be endorsed by Australian tourist commission."
HAA HAAA!
I then looked up A Clockwork Orange, which says: "A scathing satire on a society in the not so distant future, with excellent performance by Malcolm McDowell as prime misfit. Kubrick's vivid adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel was too strong for some to stomach in 1971, and remains potent today."
Nothing is said about the film being unlikely to be endorsed by the British tourist commission. Ha ha.
Both films were released in 1971.
A good year that one.


message 21: by W (new)

W Dunkirk is one,which was made more recently.It is a very good one.


message 22: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Red Joan with Judi Dench is excellent!!


message 23: by Alwynne (last edited Jan 03, 2021 11:15AM) (new)

Alwynne | 990 comments I enjoyed 'Red Joan' and I agree Judy the BBC adaptation of 'Testament of Youth's' a bit creaky but I watched it recently and thought it was really great. And I second Story's recommendation of 'Lore' which was excellent. I'd recommend 'Waltz with Bashir', 'Hotel Rwanda', 'Camp Thiaroye', and documentaries 'The Act of Killing' and 'The Missing Picture'. And Deepa Mehta's 'Earth' about partition.


message 24: by Alwynne (new)

Alwynne | 990 comments Also reminded by Nigey's thread on the Spanish Civil War, not that recent but 'The Spirit of the Beehive', and 'Pan's Labyrinth' as well as 'The Devil's Backbone'.


message 25: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8543 comments Mod
I agree about those Spanish Civil War films Adina. All splendid


message 26: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 8543 comments Mod
Sorry Alwynne. On phone so can’t edit


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