As part of my American cultural recovery project, I am making sense of classic movies as well as rock & roll. My reading is sorta temporarily on hold due to an attack of technology paranoia.
In my Netflix queue I am finally getting rid of some movies. The latest two were real disappointments that in the end I found to be unwatchable. The first of these was Brief Encounter.
Now I can imagine that during those days the star power of Richard Burton and Sophia Loren must have been something, but this British romance has all the horsepower of a Reliant Robin. After about 40 minutes of tedium I just turned the damned thing off. Aside from the idea that either of those two, given who they were, could play coy, I now see what the essential problem is. This film was a remake of one made in 1945. A post-war thing made a lot more sense. Anyway. Boring.
The second was unwatchable because the acting of Richard Burton was so incongruous. This was Look Back in Anger. Here you have Burton as the life of the party, sorta jazz musician, who comes home to a rat trap and... well it was rather bizarre. The sort of madness inside the character just made no sense, Burton's fury was so unhinged and so instant and his remorse so thin that you wonder what it was that kept him from hacking people to bits. I may be speculating, but here's my theory. This was supposed to be a movie about a black jazz musician whose uncontrollable rage fueled self-destruction but they couldn't get Poitier to do it - and so it ended up being the Bird Parker story recast in British colors - the movie that couldn't be made before there was a Forrest Whitaker. Anyway. Burton was way too scary and I had zero sympathy for anybody in the whole slimepit. I turned it off.
So Burton is 0 for 2 at playing schmoes in my book.