I was just listening to the sound track of ‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ and got transported back to the movie. One of my all time favourite classics. A spaghetti western to defy all other spaghetti westerns. Entertaining throughout and full of back stabbing , gun slinging action. The almost completely evil and spawned of the devil himself villain, the rough and rowdy ‘wanted’ man who is almost always after a good booze and then Clint Eastwood as mysterious blonde cowboy who is pretty lethal with the gun. Actually all three of them are supposed to be pretty lethal with the gun. The final scene of the movie is absolutely epic when all 3 face off each other in a good old western three-way show down in a desert graveyard. The sheer magnitude and intensity of that scene is awesome.
That is just one of the many classics from yesteryears which were so well made without any of the modern stunt possibilities or CGI or graphic enhancement techniques for the movies of today. Don’t get me wrong, I think there have been many great movies in the modern day cinema as well. The Departed, The Dark Knight Rises, Lord of The Rings trilogy and the Terminator movies to name a few. All of them are great movies but one really has to appreciate the all time classics. ‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ was one. The Godfather 1 & 2 has always been and will always remain the best movies ever made. And I am not just talking from any single genre point of view here. Across Genres also The Godfather is to put it simply, Awesome.
Micheal Corleone, Dirty Harry, Inspector Closuae (Pink Panther) are all characters that had been performed and brought to life perfectly by their respective actors. The same actually holds true for Bollywood as well. Don, Sholay, Masoom were all great movies with characters that were played to perfection. Like a natural fit for the actors playing them. Case in point: Shahrukh’s performance in Don doesn’t hold a candle to the great Bachan and the original Don.
One of the reasons there are so many good classics is probably because the focus was more on getting the basic ingredients of the movies right. You want a villain who you physically hate. You want a hero you want see as the golden boy of his time. You want comedy you don’t have to think too much about. And you want a serious movie which doesn’t involve a lot of complications in terms of theories. And most of all… I think for classics the movies that came out were stories that hadn’t been repeated too many times as yet in various different ways with different tools. Since the Godfather there have been numerous inspirations in Hollywood and Bollywood both.
Another reason is that there wasn’t an overflow of movies being made. There was focus on making really good movies. Hollywood still isn’t overflowing. The really good actors focus on their projects. Bollywood is a different story: there are so many movies coming out through so many different production houses. Somewhere along the line you do of course lose the quality of the work being done. The focus gets divided.
The classics , the really good ones , have made it to movie buffs personal hall of fames. I mean a really honest and strong movie buff will probably end telling you classics as more than half his all time top 20 list or something. They are hard to push out of the list. Some of my all time favourite classics are:
1. The Godfather 1 & 2
2. Star Wars
3. Indiana Jones : Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
5. To Sir With Love
6. Gone With The Wind 1 & 2
8. The Great Race
10. Lawrence of Arabia
And some of the really good bollywood classics for me were:
2. Amar, Akbar, Anthony
3. Burning Train
5. Namak Halal
All in all, classics will always be classics and you wouldn’t ever hesitate just grabbing a bowl of popcorn or bag of chips (or whatever your movie time snack fix is), put it on for the umpteenth time and spend the next 2 hours wonderfully entertained.
I know for most of you this was a useless blog but please understand that it was written during a time of absolute uselessness.