1,001 Movies – Week 7

“Amadeus” to “An American in Paris”



Amadeus (1984) – Handsome, lavish and lyrical biopic about the life of Mozart by Milos Forman. F Murray Abraham won the Oscar but Tom Hulce steals the show. Deeply moving, though occasionally a bit schmaltzy. (KT)


Amazing Grace (2006) – Films like this are hardly ever made anymore, much less successful. It requires patience, perseverance, and respect, but it will reward you with its grace. Consider the film a gift and pray it inspires other true-stories. The disgusting trade industry was a commercial industry, whose economy nations could not afford to lose in the 17th Century. This pretty, historically accurate costume drama is a little hard to follow, but only at first. Be patient. It is quite British and takes place over almost thirty years. That is how long it took William Wilburforce to carry through his undaunted, overwhelming pledge to abolish slavery. The politics, hypocrisy, horror, and beauty are moving. It’s a big screen film with big ideals that enthrall the viewer. And the irrepressible Albert Finney is mesmerizing! (KWR)


American Graffiti (1973) – “Where were you in ’62?” Me, I was dirtying a lot of cloth…but this was set in that year, just another night in a small town. Incredible star-making performances from the young the cast (and a cameo by Wolfman Jack!), with an incredible eye for period detail that extended beyond the awesome cars. The wonderful in-joke of having a THX-138 license plate that was the correct color (the California black plates you still see today weren’t issued until 1963) to represent George Lucas’ earlier film THX-1138 was a personal fave. A recent rewatching of this film only reinforced to me what many of today’s films lack – a script and depth of character. Even the shallow ones. (SB)


American History X (1998) – An astonishing study of the stupidity of racism, gang violence, and all like that. Amazing performances from all, but Edward Norton is especially good. Pity the director had such a cow about it – I’d really like to know what his intention was with this film, because Norton made it powerful. (KCL)


An American in Paris (1951) – Visually stunning musical and winner of seven Oscars, with timeless Gershwin tunes, Gene Kelly in top form, the film debut of Leslie Caron, and charming co-star Oscar Levant. (GS)


Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

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