Tag Archives: Frances Fisher

The Set of 400: #13 – My Favorite Duck of Death

Today! Because we all got it comin’, kid –

Unforgiven (1992)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Clint Eastwood (x2), Morgan Freeman (x4), Gene Hackman (x6), Richard Harris (x2), Jaimz Woolvett, Saul Rubinek (x2), Frances Fisher (x2), Anna Levine, Anthony James (x2), Rob Campbell, David Mucci, Beverley Elliott, Cherrilene Cardinal

Featuring one of the great, unsung musical scores of all time, Clint Eastwood’s last western was revered and honored in its day for virtually everything else connected to the film. I’ve never been a huge Eastwood guy – sure, some of his later movies, basically from this point forward, I enjoyed – #335 In the Line of Fire being the only other list film for him, but A Perfect World, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, American Sniper – all solid. I could never really get into his spaghetti westerns, as acclaimed as they are, and opted more for his wacky Dirty Harry films or more aged cowboy flicks like Pale Rider or The Outlaw Josey Wales. So I guess all of this led me to Unforgiven – not just my favorite western, but squarely in the conversation for my choice as the best western ever made.

The 18th and final film from one of my most formative years of movie watching, Unforgiven‘s place as that year’s Best Picture almost certainly helped it hang in my memory all these years. I had that year’s Oscars on tape, and watched it a weird amount – Billy Crystal hosted and did some typically great bits, including songs dedicated to all the top nominees, including Unforgiven to the tune of “Unforgettable,” which I still remember all the words to:

“Unforgiven – that’s what you are/
You killed everyone,’cause you’re the star/
You directed and produced with ease/
Long way from singing “I Talk to the Trees”/
Let me not be the last to say/
Tonight may make your day”

The king!

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The Set of 400: #296 – My Favorite Heart of the Ocean

Today! Because I’d rather be his whore than your wife –

Titanic (1997)

Directed by James Cameron

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (x2), Kate Winslet, Billy Zane (x3), Bill Paxton (x2), Kathy Bates (x2), Frances Fisher, David Warner, Bernard Hill, Victor Garber (x2), Gloria Stuart, Suzy Amis, Danny Nucci, Ioan Gruffudd, Jonny Phillips, Ewan Stewart, Bernard Fox, Jason Barry

First off, let me begin by saying SHUT UP. I am fully aware of the awesome shortcomings of this film. The dialogue is often atrocious, some of the poor actors forced to play ethic stereotypes get completely mangled in the gears of this film (we forever honor you, Fabrizio!), and the plot – the driving romantic engine of the film – is the most hackneyed, retread, unimaginative piffle they could’ve lit upon. I get all of that. It’s way too long – like, a good forty to fifty minutes too long – and in retrospect can be viewed as pretentiously so, given everything connected to this film that was to follow – Oscar speeches, no follow-up Cameron film for a dozen years, etc.

Ugh, this guy

All that being said, people who regularly slam this movie – then and now – are you seriously telling me you don’t think the second half of Titanic is an amazing movie? I know, it’s half a movie, and you’ve had to slog through nearly two hours of set dressing and nonsense to get there, but once they hit that iceberg straight until that old lady is tossing her baubles overboard, it is as impressive a piece of moviemaking as exists. Continue reading

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