Friday, November 1, 2013

October Movie Status – And Can You Help Me Locate Some Films?


I saw 85 new movies in the month of October, plus re-watches of 5 TV show seasons.  After completing the original 1,001 Movies list last summer I mentioned I might work on some “low hanging fruit” – lists where I had only a few entries to go to complete them.  After a couple months of hardly watching any movies, the month of September got me re-energized with watching all the new additions to the 1,001 Movies list.  In October I took aim at the Time Magazine All-Time Top 100 Films, as well as the Sight & Sound Directors (SSD) Top 100 Films.  I completed both of them. 

In the course of doing this I found a good source for a number of the foreign films I had not yet seen.  This carried over to the Sight & Sound Critics (SSC) Top 250 Films list, every one of which is also in the They Shoot Pictures Don’t They (TSPDT) list, so even though I had more than 300 left to go on that one, things snowballed from there.  Since some of these also crossed over with the 101 Genre films lists put out by the same folks who do the 1,001 Movies list, I also knocked off some of those.

Readers of prior monthly statuses may be wondering about my ongoing quest to see all of the Oscar Best Picture nominees.  While I only saw a couple in October, I did check off Trader Horn (1931), which was the last one for which I had not been able to track down a source.  It aired on TCM during the month.  While there is still one film presumed to be lost, and one or two others that only exist as single copies in the UCLA film vaults, I should be able to watch all of the others I have remaining.

All of these different lists can be seen by clicking on the names of them.  They link to my Lists from Chip posts on them.


Now, I mentioned in the post title that you may be able to help me.  Just like the 1,001 Movies list, critics like to name films that are difficult, if not impossible, to find.  It’s especially difficult to find the TV miniseries that they can’t seem to help placing on top MOVIES lists.  The apparent rule of thumb is that if it is long, then critics put it on the list, whether it is a 9 hour Chinese documentary on industry or a 1979 Portuguese six hour TV remake of Romeo and Juliet. 

Here are the films that I simply cannot track down, but need to in order to complete these various lists.  Note – the only pay service I have looked at so far is Netflix since I am already a member.  I suppose if enough show up on another pay service it might be worthwhile to join to see them.  I’m hoping to keep costs as low as possible, though.  If you have a good source for them, but do not want to tell the world by leaving a comment here, then please email me at with your suggestions.

101 Genre Films:

City Streets (1931) – a gangster film with Gary Cooper, directed by Rouben Mamoulian
The Red Badge of Courage (1951) – a war film directed by John Huston
The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) – a gangster film directed by Fritz Lang

Sight & Sound Critics Top 250: (I only have 7 films left, but 4 of them are trouble.)

Out 1, noli me tangere (1971) – a 12 hour “film” on the 1968 uprisings in Europe from director Jacques Rivette.  (See also the TSPDT list for another Rivette film).  I’ve actually found a downloadable version, but it is 30 freaking gigabytes.  I just want to see it, not burn DVDs of it.  I’m hoping someone might know of a reasonably sized version.
Kings of the Road aka Im Lauf der Zeit (1976) – an early Wim Wenders film.  (See also the TSPDT list for another Wenders film.)
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2003) – a nine hour documentary on the falling industry in a region of China from director Bing Wang.
Flowers of Shanghai aka Hai shang hua (1998) – a period film from director Hsiao-hsien Hou.  (See also the TSPDT list below for another film from him.)

They Shoot Pictures Don’t They:

Alice in the Cities aka Alice in den Stadten (1974) – an early Wim Wenders film.  (See also the SSC list above for another film from him.)
Empire (1964) – Andy Warhol’s experiment to see if he could do anything and still get film critics to fawn over him.  It worked.  This is an 8 hour shot of the Empire State Building from dusk to 3:00 AM.
Anatahan aka Ana-ta-han (1953) – a Japanese film from Josef von Sternberg
Minamata aka Minamata: The Victims and Their World aka Minamata: Kanja-san to sono sekai (1971) – a Japanese documentary on industrial chemical poisoning.  I swear that this exists only on the TSPDT list and on IMDB and nowhere else on the internet.  Even IMDB has little information on it.
Liebelei (1933) – an early Max Ophuls film
Carnival in Flanders aka La kermesse heroique (1935) – a film from director Jacques Feyder
Doomed Love aka Ill-Fated Love aka Amor de perdicao (1979) – a six episode Portuguese TV mini-series from Manoel de Oliveira retelling Romeo and Juliet.  Believe it or not, I tracked down the video.  Unfortunately it has Portuguese audio and hardcoded Italian subtitles only.  I’ve searched and English subtitles do not exist, but I found one comment that said that someone had done a rough translation of the Italian ones embedded in the video and had posted them at  Unfortunately, that site appears to require that you be invited by someone else to even view the forums.  I don’t need an invite, but if you have access to it, could you please save the English subtitles to someplace where they are available?  Or you could email them to me since the files should be small.
Dust in the Wind aka Lian lian feng chen (1987) – another period film from director Hsiao-hsien Hou.  (See also the SSC list above for another film from him.)
Out 1: Spectre (1974) – Jacques Rivette’s shorter companion to Out 1: noli me tangere (1971) (see the SSC list above for the other.)  This follow-up is “only” 4 hours long.  Unlike the other one, I have not found any source for this.
Under the Bridges aka Unter den Brucken (1946) – a film from Helmut Kautner
Variety aka Variete aka Jealousy (1925) – a film from E.A. Dupont
The Italian Straw Hat aka The Horse Ate the Hat aka Un chapeau de paille d’Italie (1928) – a film from Rene Clair

Any help you can provide in tracking these down will be most appreciated.


Here are the 85 new movies and TV show seasons I saw in October.  Highlighted movies are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five.  I will single out the four and five star films, as well as the worst films, in the paragraphs below the lists.

Oscar Nominees (2): San Francisco (1936), Trader Horn (1931),

101 Genre (4): Army of Shadows (1969), Chelsea Girls (1966), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Time (12): Band of Outsiders (1964), Nayakan (1987), Ulysses’ Gaze (1995), Mon oncle d’Amerique (1980), Leolo (1992), The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936), Mouchette (1967), Pyaasa (1957), The Last Command (1928), TV – Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), Baby Face (1933), TV – The Singing Detective (1986)

SSD (3): Opening Night (1977), Husbands (1970), I Am Cuba (1964)

SSC (23): Tropical Malady (2004), Death in Venice (1971), The Turin Horse (2011), The Devil, Probably (1977), Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), A Moment of Innocence (1996), Day of Wrath (1943), I Was Born, But… (1932), Blissfully Yours (2002), Touki Bouki (1973), The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005), By the Bluest of Seas (1936), Histoire(s) du Cinema (1998), Sicily! (1999), Floating Clouds (1955), Stromboli (1950), The River (1951), The Life of Oharu (1952), Love Streams (1984), Where is the Friend’s Home? (1987), Imitation of Life (1959), The Passenger (1975), Germany Year Zero (1948)

TSPDT (33): Tale of Tales (1979) (short), Rose Hobart (1936) (short), Le sang des betes (1949) (short), Un chant d’amour (1950) (short), The Seasons (1975) (short), Not Reconciled (1965), Numero Deux (1975), The Green Ray (1986), El (1953), India: Matri Bhumi (1959), Charulata (1964), The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), Man of Aran (1934), French Cancan (1954), The Wind (1928), Teorema (1968), My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1986), Passion (1982), Accattone (1961), El Sur (1983), Que Viva Mexico (1979), Late Autumn (1960), Placido (1961), Vive L’Amour (1994), The 47 Ronin (1941), Wild River (1960), Antonio das Mortes (1969), Chikamatsu Monogatari (1954), Days and Nights in the Forest (1970), The Executioner (1963), From the Clouds to the Resistance (1979), La Region Centrale (1971), The Tiger of Eschnapur (1959)

Other Movies (8): The Revisionaries (2012), Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 (2012), The Whale (2011), Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996), This is the End (2013), Your Sister’s Sister (2011), Jack Reacher (2012), Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Re-watches (0):

TV Series (5):  All re-watches: The Big Bang Theory Seasons 2-6

I had no five star movies in October.  Here are the four star films I saw:

The Last Command (1928) is a very clever “meta” film from more than 80 years ago.  It is loosely based on the true story of a Russian general who after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution ended up in Hollywood as a film extra.  This movie stars Emil Jannings and he justifiably won the first Best Actor Oscar ever handed out.  I was expecting nothing and got a very moving film.

Placido (1961) is my best surprise so far from the TSPDT list.  It’s a screwball comedy from Spain.  It may have the fastest dialogue I have ever encountered in a foreign film.  I had never heard of director Luis Garcia Berlanga, but he also did another dark comedy in the list that I liked – The Executioner (1963).

Your Sister’s Sister (2011) is a far better than average comedy/drama about complicated relationships and it works despite the somewhat out there concept.  Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed) scores again, and this film also features the best performance I’ve seen from Emily Blunt.

Jack Reacher (2012) features one of my favorite characters that Tom Cruise has ever played.  I don’t know if there will ever be another movie, but it’s made me interested to check out the book series that the character comes from.

I just reviewed Much Ado About Nothing (2013).  You can read it here.

I had several one star films in October, but I will only mention one of them.  La Region Centrale (1971) is from Michael Snow – the man who brought us Wavelength, a 45 minute zoom at a wall, which is the 206th best movie ever made according to a critics' consensus.  Now comes this film.  Forget about a puny 45 minutes of wasting our time. This features THREE HOURS of nothing but a camera rotating in place and sometimes spinning. And it's the 425th best movie ever made, according to a critics' consensus. And they wonder why people think they are out of touch.


  1. Another busy month :)

    Disagree about Your Sister’s Sister (2011). Know the feeling when all the reviewers praise a movie, and you don't get what's so great about it? This is what happened. The stand-out scene for me is when the two were drinking late at night and getting drunk.

    I love Imitation of Life (1959) and Day of Wrath (1943). More people should see those.

    1. I also liked that scene. Not every film will work for everyone. I've got plenty of films that have been praised to high heaven where my reaction was "that's it?"

  2. Alice in the Cities is coming on TCM on Monday at 12:15 AM EST. I already got my DVR set to record that as it's part of the Story of Film documentary series.

    1. I checked TCM for the English language films, but I didn't for the foreign films. It never occurred to me. While I know TCM has shown a foreign film now and then I almost never encounter them while stopping on that channel to see what is playing. And when I do find one it's always one that's well known to me.

      Thanks for the heads up! I wonder if they'll show Wenders' other film Kings of the Road, too. I'll have to read through TCM's online schedule.

    2. Follow-up - I discovered that the TCM site has a bug in it. I've always searched "Site" to get the schedule for a movie. If no schedule entry is shown I've assumed that meant it wasn't coming in the next three months. Based on the info you gave me I knew Alice in the Cities was going to be on, yet it did not show in the Schedule results of the Site search. It was only once I searched "TCMDb", then clicked on the film, and only then did it show that this movie was coming Monday.

      It makes me wonder how many other films I've missed because of this bug.

      Anyway, I re-checked all of the films that I listed here and that is the only one that shows up in TCM's current schedule via this TCMDb search method.

  3. Carnival in Flanders is available on free Hulu:

    1. When I tried that link I got a message that it was only available on Hulu Plus, but that I could sign up for a free trial, so I'll be looking into that when I get a chance. This morning is entirely devoted to watching the Boston Red Sox Rolling Rally to celebrate their World Series Championship. :-)

      Big thanks for pointing out to me that Hulu could be watched for free for a period of time. I didn't know that.

  4. I found Out 1 on Youtube ages ago but I don't think the account that had it is still there. I have downloaded it, though. It's not stellar quality—came from a late 80s Italian TV broadcast so it has Italian subs on screen, plus there are English subtitle files to go with it as well. But it's a rather more convenient 2Gb in size. If you want to hit me up at with a postal address, I'll be happy to stick the files I've got on a data DVD, plus I can throw in the Mabuse film and my own DVD rip of Italian Straw Hat.

  5. @james1511 - Wow, that is fantastic! I've sent you an email with some particulars.

  6. Amor de Perdição from Manoel de Oliveira from 1979 is a movie (color) and it was also edited diferently for television in 1978? (black and white emission at the time). I just can't find it anywhere.
    I found in youtube the 1943 movie adaptation of that story of Camilo Castelo Branco book Amor de Perdição (1862) but that's not the same. That's gonna be a very hard movie to get, good luck. Zé

    1. Thanks for checking. After a lot of searching I actually did find the six episodes of the TV miniseries, but I do not have English subtitles for them. I found a note that someone had posted some on, but I cannot access that site and cannot even sign up for it. I'm hoping someone who does have access to that site can retrieve the English subtitles so I can use them with the videos I found. The subtitles that are with the videos are Italian, but they are embedded in the video so I do not even have a separate file where I could translate them line by line and paste the Engish into the file to use when playing the videos. Short of teaching myself either Portuguese or Italian, I'm out of luck at the moment.

      Thanks again for checking.

    2. The movie and the series are different cuts of the films.
      The TV series cut wasn't very well received at the time, only the movie cut a year later had very good acceptance outside the country and eventually in the country.
      That is if you believe news papers. :)

    3. Thanks for the clarification. IMDB does not have separate entries for them, but I do see that they note that the TV miniseries, which they list as six 45 minute episodes (total of 270 minutes) also had a theatrical version in Portugal that was 260 minutes long. I checked the videos I have and their running time totals to 294 minutes, so perhaps IMDB's time is a little off, or the videos I have, which I have not watched yet because I do not have English subtitles, have some ads in them.

      The TSPDT list has the running time as 260 minutes, but the year of release as 1978. Wikipedia says the TV miniseries version came out first in 1978 then the theatrical version in 1979. Wikipedia does not list running times.

      In either case, it doesn't appear as if Manoel de Oliveira cut much out of the TV miniseries version in order to release it theatrically.

      I never even ran across an internet version of this film that was a single movie, so like you noted in your first comment, it may be impossible to track down. At this point I'd settle for watching the TV miniseries. I have to think that the different receptions were due more to who was responding - TV audiences vs. film critics - than to any major differences 10-30 fewer minutes made in the presentation of a four and a half hour film.

      Once again, thanks for your help. I've learned a lot more about this than I knew beforehand.