1,001 Movies – Week 49

“Diplomaniacs” to “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze”

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Diplomaniacs (1933) – Yes, it’s brimming with un-PC humor and it’s full of surprisingly dirty jokes (it’s pre-code, after all) and after 70-odd years it’s still hilarious. Where else could you find Edgar Kennedy as the head of a peace conference? It’s sort of described as the Wheeler & Woolsey equivalent to the Marx’s Duck Soup – and with its surreal anti-war theme, shared writer in Joseph Mankiewicz, and co-stars Kennedy and Louis Calhern it’s an easy comparison to make. This is a cult film and duo just waiting to be rediscovered by the masses. (GS)

Dirty Dancing (1987) – A coming of age film starring Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman and Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle. The final dance scene with Grey, Swayze and the kids is unforgettable. (SF)

Dirty Harry (1971) – The biggest franchise since the Universal Monster classics and the Bowery Boys, and it all started here. The similarities to the then fairly recent Zodiac murders are chilling, and Andrew Robinson couldn’t have been better cast. Whatever you think of the eventual parade it became, the original is a landmark. (KCL)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) – Luis Buñuel’s complex, virtually plotless web of dreams within dreams, centered around a group of six middle class people and their frequently thwarted attempts to have a good meal. A pointed allegory of Western Capitalism, wonderfully cast (Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran) and bitingly funny – if majorly weird in parts. (KT)

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975) – This gets a lot of criticism for playing the pulp hero as camp. Trouble with that is, it doesn’t play it as camp – Doc Savage was really like this! George Pal deserved better, later in his career, and this proves it. Hollywood just didn’t get it. (Quell your surprise…) If the hero pulps are/were your bag, you might fall in love with this. (KCL)




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

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