Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MCW Favorite movie from the 1950's

Hello and welcome to the however many edition of Movie Clip Wednesday this is.  This week's theme is favorite movie from the 1950's.  MCW founder and regular participant Boxer came up with this week's theme.  Here was the reaction from the throngs of bloggers.


I didn't know how many movies from the Fifties I had seen but turns out there have been more than a couple.  High Noon was one. On the Waterfront, Shane, and Rio Bravo were some others.  All great movies. All way at the top of my favorites list but when I found the movie in this week's clip I knew it was a done deal. The Bridge on the River Kwai isn't so much a war movie as it is a study in the contrast of cultures.  The difference in not just how to lead men, but in what the cultures choose to be valuble.  William Holden is the big star in this along with Alec Guinness, who won the Oscar for Best Actor but to me the man who has always been the star of this movie, gave it the strength to be one of the best ever and had the most complex character as far as dealing with the cultural issues is Colonel Saito playe by the great Japanese born actor Sessue Hayakawa.

Hayakawa came to Hollywood in the 1910's and was one of the top paid actors of the decade, pulling in $200,000.00 in 1919.  That's twice what Will Ferrell should ever be paid.  To me, Saito was dominating in every scene, and when he was in any scene with Guinness it was pure cinema gold. 

I've picked two clips. If you only have time for one, then pick one.  The first clip shows the aforementioned contrast while the second is just Hayakawa showing the dominance of Saito. Enjoy and happy MCW.



8 comments:

Roses said...

Morning!

I'm up with the Day the Earth Stood Still.

Happy MCW!

Buzz Kill said...

This is a great movie and I was always facimnated by the fine line Alec Guinness' character walked between helping his men and their morale and aiding the enemy. And then the bridge becomes all-consuming and almost god-like in their lives. The final scene of the movie is the best.

I'm up at the Buzzkill with a movie of biblical proprtions.

I'll be around tonight to visit everyone.

Happy MCW!

Joanna Cake said...

Watching The Bridge was the first time that I really became aware of man's inhumanity to other men at times of war. The PoWs at Colditz and the other German camps seemed to have it so much easier, in celluloid terms anyway.

It's one of those films that you don't really 'enjoy' but you just have to watch to the end.

Troll said...

Excellent choice. I'm UP with a clip and a re-enactment.

Karl said...

Good morning MRM,

You picked a find one. It was a very good movie.

This theme could keep you going for a while of course you should've started with the 20s.

I'm up with a little toe tapping.

moi said...

That's twice what Will Ferrell should ever be paid. . . Heh. True, that :o)

Great movie, great choice. Great opportunity to contemplate the nuances of Japanese culture, which can be so lovely and yet so fascist.

I'm up with something Hitchcockian.

Pam said...

Holy moly, you don't know how close I was to picking this one. It is another movie we quote all the time at our house, for the obvious reasons. We whistle the song, too. Obe-Wan Kenobe as the British officer who gets so involved in his assignment that he takes such pride ... love that! And William Holden ... we quote back to Stalag 13 with him. "Maybe he just wanted to steal the wirecutters." Wonderful movie. Wonderful. It has everything a movie could want.

fishy said...

Excellent choice.

PS) loved the snow mobile photo in the previous post. You all look like big kids having a grand time playing in the snow. So smart, being grown is soooo over rated!