Definitely the greatest film ever made. It’s got a pounding soundtrack, hippies who appear to live wild in New York City, life death, babies and LSD trips mixed up with the Hare Krishna tribe.
I think I watched this once a month during 1994 which is when my group of friends discovered this movie that by then was already a relic.
I was too young to be a 1970s hippy but I’d been vaguely fascinated with this subculture before. My favourite character out of ‘The Young Ones’ was Neil and what teenager doesn’t want to be Danny out of ‘Withnail And I’?
But this American film gave a new spin to my understanding of 70s hippies: they could also be cool, blag their way into high-society parties and execute some pretty nifty pre-rehearsed song-and-dance routines.
The film evolved from an earlier stage musical. Apparently the musical’s writers thought the film wasted the original story and was a poor adaptation but I’ve seen a stage production and it was tedious compared to this grand entertainment.
Watch it but don’t ask for it to make much sense at all until it gets near the end and suddenly there is a real and possibly fatal human drama on top of all the sexy foolery of the last hour.
If the movie didn’t thump you with big emotions at the end it would probably be worth a single watch. But the heartbreak keeps me coming back, as do the songs and the mad set pieces.
The horse ride in the park for the song ‘Sodomy’
The bit where Woof won’t have his hair cut for a short spell in jail and is subsequently interrogated to find out if he is gay. He sings his way out of trouble, of course:
There’s load more but you have to watch the film. It’s the greatest film ever made and I fear that I have left no room to improve for my top 3. I’m gonna have to think hard to come up with something for next week.
I know I said that last week’s film was the greatest film ever made but this chart hasn’t been written in advance, I’m just thinking of the best film I can every week for 10 weeks so by the time we hit number 1 it should be totally banging.
Anyway- I re-watched The Good The Bad And The Ugly a couple of months ago just to check it is still brilliant and I was not let down.
Maybe you know the title but don’t know the film. Basically a story of bounty hunters, outlaws, civil war and treasure and it’s set in the American old west but filmed in Europe and made by the Italian director Sergio Leone.
There were several films of this ilk in the 60s which were made by Italian directors so they got the (slightly derogatory) name ‘Spaghetti Westerns’.
Unlike most American-made westerns, then men in the films were not clean-cut heroes. They were all dirty bastards, even the “goodies”. It was a refreshing change.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly is the last and the most famous of a trilogy by Leone and it’s just terrific.
There’s dirt in spades, sudden death at every corner and situations that just look like the end of the line, scenes of real desperation.
The film carries a constant sense of murder, menace and cheap life. All the way through you’re thinking “Ah couldnae cope with this”.
At the same time it manages to be funny, but without being a stupid clown.
Anand it has some of the greatest film music ever recorded. The music was composed by Ennio Morricone and stands the test of time. It’s a byword for “epic”
The main theme is a cracker, and very famous – but one of the best bits of tune is here: ‘The Ecstacy of Gold‘, when they finally find the cemetery they’ve been looking for, the cemetery with all the buried gold. The loot is in one of those graves.,the one marked ‘Arch Stanton’… all you have to do is find it…
Actually, Tuco finds the grave pretty quickly which is fortunate cos the music’s great and everything but it would be rubbish if this scene was two hours long which seems a more realistic prospect.
That’s why films are great though, isn’t it. They just tell you the story. None o’ the shite!
Watch this film – it is more satisfying than most. In fact, as I said above, it’s the greatest film ever made.
You want another recommendation? I happen to know this is James the Baker’s favourite film.
How is this film only number eight on my list?
Well, I have one week to think of something better.
I know I said that last week but JCS is absolutely banging. It’s the story of the last week of the life of Jesus, but largely from Judas’s point of view and with loads of strong rock music.
And a couple of nice ones too, just to smooth the butter.
This film includes the bit where Judas has to run away from tanks:
The bit where Jesus gets 39 lashes of the whip, to the pounding rhythm of raw rock:
It has the best religious hats of any film from the 1970s:
And it’s got the bit where Simon Zealotes goes absolutely mental and redefines dance itself:
The first ever production of JCS was the original album in 1970. On that cut, the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillan out of Deep Purple – the quality was high.
And, because it was all songs, the Broadway theatrical production which followed was deemed a “rock opera”.
Debate continues over what the term “rock opera” means and whether it has a meaning at all. Is it just a musical with an electric guitar?
Then, a few years later the film was made by Norman Jewison, a director whose other credits include ‘Rollerball’, ‘Moonstruck’ and ‘The Cincinnati Kid’.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (who wrote the music) apparently hated the film but he must be a lunatic.
So is it a rock opera? Does Webber approve? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is the acting is spot on, the scenery is amazing, the songs are unforgettable, the story is tight and emotional and it’s just fucking brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it because you “don’t like musicals”, you need to drop that toxic masculinity shit and get on board.
How is this film only number nine on my list?
Well, I have one week to think of something better.
How’s ya diddlin? Quizzes tonight with the lion’s share being ready for jackpot snack attack in the back of Marchmont, the real deal, the ARGYLE.
Meanwhile here’s the cheat clip for tonight’s music round at the Argyle:
Holy hell. What a belter. This is soft rock from the past but, somehow, the future.
I cannae be bothered talking about politics any more. Thursday is now MOVIE Thursday where I use this blog to detail my ten favourite films of all time.
10. Flash Gordon (1980)
Literally the greatest film ever made.
So why have I put it at number ten? Cos it’s the first film I thought of and despite being the greatest film ever made I’m sure to think of something better next week, so I’ll stick it in at number ten and hope for the best.
There’s no point in choosing a film that I genuinely think isn’t the greatest film in the world. Every film on the list has to be that.
Anyway: Flash Gordon has got Vultan and his Hawk Men, Ming The Merciless, Dr Zarkov, Klytus, Prince Barin and a soundtrack by Queen.
It’s got the bit where Flash Gordon defeats the intergalactic imperial guard by the power of American Football
It’s got Peter Duncan out of Blue Peter being defeated by the wood beast and begging to be killed quickly.
It’s got the bit where Flash wrestles with Prince Barin on the spiky, tilty platform thing for which Brian Blessed has the remote control and they could fall off into space at any moment.
It’s got the bit where the Hawk Men recklessly attack war rocket Ajax to the heavy rock music sound of Brian May.
It’s got the bit where Flash crashes through the lightning field to destroy Ming’s wedding and finishes off the evil ruler of the Galaxy by impaling him right on the end of his rocket.
I love the free answer tune in the Newsroom music round tonight. The band is called Liverpool Express and it just sounds so damn Seventies smooth that they could be from California rather than Merseyside.
Apparently, Liverpool Express were big in Brazil and played to crowds of 250k people down there. Who knew?
Anyway, great tune:
By the way- Thursday is now the day when I express my opinion on the crazy world of politics
This week’s point: TOURIST TAX.
Estimated Revenue: £11 million Per Year
This is what they say a tourist tax of £2 per room per night would bring to Edinburgh. It doesn’t sound like a lot but I guess it all helps.
People talk about a possible tourist tax being used for street cleaning. I’d like to see it spent in our underfunded primary schools.
Hotels claim the tax would lead to reduction in visitors and an overall loss to the city but I can’t see that couple of quid making a difference to anyone’s choice to visit Edinburgh.
The cheat music for tonight is for the Argyle. This is early 80s Stranglers – a a spooky number from the start of their ‘Men In Black’ concept album which is about space travellers, many years before Will Smith was even cool.
The video is a fan-made interpretation. Kinda Halloweeny.
Anyway – I’ll see you at the quiz. I’ll be the one with the great hair.
Incidentally – Thursday is now the day when I express my political opinion on this blog.
This week’s point: Never trust any politician who spreads his hands forwards and to the sides when s/he is talking, like a clumsy Jesus. That shit is all training and it kicks in when they’re not being 100% truthful.
One in a saucy Marchmont basement full of middle-class slum-glamour and Danish postgrads,
The other is an uptown Ikea Wonderland with a bronzed mix of professions and attitudes.
The cheat music for tonight is for the Argyle. This was a hit in 2005. The video features the director’s idea of a viral marketing campaign and the hollowness echoes around the finished piece like an stone age blowhorn from one million years BC.
It’s not just me is it? Like Bon Jovi are shite, eh? (Apart from ‘Livin On A Prayer’ – obvs)
This song, however, is a pure brooner.
Chef’s recommendation: don’t listen to it.
Meanwhile: I don’t back HS2 and I just want to make that clear now so that, in years to come, everyone will link back to this blogpost and say – Hey…. the Doc knew.
It’s a waste of money and by the time it’s built it will all be hyperloops and maglevs. Total nonsense likes.
Thursday just keeps coming. It’s like a dragon on a moped. Unstoppable.
The return to downstairs at the Argyle last week was matched with a good turnout and the big jackpot tonight will probably mean it’ll be busy again. If you can get in before half six, you’ll more than likely get your choice of seating.
The cheat music for tonight is for the Argyle and it’s John Lennon with this:
Great song – it was his first one after the Beatles and set some kind of record in that it was written, recorded and released all in the space of ten days.
Yeah. Also, remember to stop me and buy a packet of Cunto Cards if you’re looking for that special gift for the foul-mouthed fiend in your life.