Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#64)

#64: Network (AFI) vs. The Third Man (IMDb)

Oh what this film could've been...
The Third Man. It’s a 1949 noir some critics have called perfect. Terms like “dark, atmospheric, stylish” are usually right up my alley. But honestly, this movie just left me cold.  It got marginally better after the Orson Welles showed up two-thirds way through… but not much.

And the music in this movie – what an utter travesty that was.  Here’s a dark whodunit, based in post-war-torn Austria which lies hobbled, but instead of music befitting the dark, bleak images the music throughout the entire film is light-hearted, like some Italian is going to come out and start dancing a wedding jig at any moment.  Unbelievable. Utterly ruins  any ambiance the film builds.  Think of what Jaws would be with The Little Mermaid soundtrack rather than John Williams’ score.

Network is a biting satire. Made in 1976, it’s about a network broadcaster whose ratings are dropping and totally loses his mind while on air, causing a huge ratings boost.  If you have a vague memory (as I do) of people collectively leaning out windows and shouting “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”  well then, you remember this movie.

Network was probably a little out-there in 1976, but here in the age of Jerry Springer and Big Brother, it’s just another example of TV at its worst - as usual.  Regardless, it was morbidly entertaining. And had appropriate music.

So Network wins it over The Third Man.   Score: AFI – 21; IMDb - 17 

AFI’s Top 100
IMDB’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

Network (1976)
The Third Man (1949)
The African Queen (1951)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Chinatown (1974)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week: Cabaret vs. Das Boot.  Hmmm… Well, I guess they both have to do with Nazis…

1 comment:

  1. DAMMIT! I thought this week would be a big disagreement. But, alas... I'd still pick 3rd Man (I'm not a big Network fan) - but it all comes down to the score of 3rd Man.

    I 100% agree - it's awful. TOTALLY destroys the movie. Shockingly, however, I've read various reports of film people loving it. I first saw it a few years ago and started looking into it. There are few "holy crap that music is so bad it destroys the ambiance completely" critiques.

    I'd love to see that movie with the score of Maltese Falcon or something.