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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

What I've Been Watching (July 21-28, 2020)

Rio Bravo (1959) (Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast) - HBO Max

- Listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, and RadioPublic

How Green was My Valley (1941) - TCM (Best Picture Winner 1941)

- This is most notably the film that beat out Citizen Kane, and I can see why. While Orson Welles eventually got the glory for his masterpiece that I personally think is grossly overrated, How Green was My Valley is a much overlooked story of a Welsh mining village and lost innocence and culture through the eyes of a growing boy. I usually describe films in terms of the feelings that they leave me with, and this one had me chewing on it for a few days. I challenge anyone from a smaller or rural community built on manufacturing not to be haunted by the last few moments and the hanging narration.

The Maltese Falcon (1941) - HBO Max (AFI 100 - 2007)

The Maltese Falcon (1941) - HBO Max (AFI 100 - 2007)I not have even been my tenth. This is probably my most watched Bogart film only rivaled by Casablanca in views, and I learn something new every time. While John Huston won his Oscar for the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I

- This was definitely not my first viewing nor was it even my tenth. This is likely my most watched Bogart movie with only Casablanca to compete in total viewings. While John Huston won his Oscar a few years later for the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I believe this, his directorial debut, to be his best. Featuring several of the most classic lines in cinema history, this is a need-to-watch-before-I-die movie IMO.

Giant (1956) - HBO Max (AFI 100 - 1998)

- One of two George Stevens movies this week, I believe he is an underrated storyteller after seeing these two. A western that isn't exactly a Western, Giant explores the lives of the Benedict family over two generations like another James Dean classic, East of Eden. In this one, the Benedicts come to grips with the changing landscape of Texas encountering new oil money, generational value differences, as well as their own demons on racism. A film well ahead of its time that holds up, this is a great movie to expand your Western bonafides.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? (1966) - TCM (AFI 100 - 2007)

- No other film this week stuck with me as long as this one did. Based on the play of the same name, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton deliver two dueling bombshell performances of one of the worst social events ever depicted. It's hard to give you a full sense of the movies in a few words, but buckle up if you're going to see this. It's a very nuanced and allegorical film as well that I would not recommend to the faint of heart. However, if you like abstract think pieces and great biting dialogue, this is your kind of movie. If you need me to explain it to you afterward, get in touch with me.

The General (1926) - Prime (AFI 100 - 2007)

- Buster Keeton's most famous and possibly most charming movie. The General follows the path of Southerner, Johnnie Gray, after his train, the General, and his fiance are captured by Union forces. Featuring some great physical humor and outstanding set pieces especially for the time, this is an endearing film that was a joy to watch.

A Place in the Sun (1951) - Prime (AFI 100 - 1998)

- The other of the two George Stevens movies this week; A Place in the Sun is based off of the Novel "An American Tragedy" and ends just how you would think for that title. This was also the week of Elizabeth Taylor after she was in three of my selections, but she still has an infectious star quality particularly in both Giant and this film. A stunning beauty with a melting smile, she has more charisma in every scene than any of her counterparts. Montgomery Clift also gives a hell of a performance, and achieves, at least for me, the desired feeling from the audience: sympathy. This is not a feel good movie, but it is a wonderful work of art that probably should have won Best Picture over An American in Paris.

My Weekly Shows:

Perry Mason (Ep. 1.6) - HBO Max

- The first episode of the trial, and we got quite a bit of action this week. However, it still seems like the show is holding back which alters my viewing of it because I just want to know everything now. As you can see, it has sucked me in, but HBO should consider dropping whole seasons online to get everyone running to their streaming platforms while continuing the old piecemeal on traditional cable/satellite. I just don't want to miss any more of this.

Holey Moley! Season 2 - The Sequel - ABC/Hulu

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - HBO Max

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