|Gunga Din (1939) SOURCE|
For someone who counts GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) as their all-time favourite movie, it's a little hard to believe that there are some movies I just can't make it through. GONE WITH THE WIND is the ultimate big screen epic - long-winded and a little bloated in parts, I'll admit - so how the heck is it possible that I can't sit through a single viewing of films half its length?!
- Gunga Din (1939) // I love Cary Grant as much as the next person does - okay, a little more - and I love men in hot climes but I just can't seem to make it through a single viewing of this RKO film gem. And it's certainly not for lack of trying either! I've borrowed the DVD from the library, I've DVR'd it on TCM multiple times and I've tuned in for live viewings - sometimes even in the middle of the night - but no luck. Zilch! I always begin losing interest somewhere around the 15-minute mark (after the roughhousing introduction) and then I inevitably start tuning out and either drifting off to sleep (drooling out of the side of my mouth and everything) or I ditch the TV and finally pick up that book I was meaning to finish. Cary Grant is the December Star Of the Month on TCM and there's a good chance that GUNGA DIN will air again, so let's hope that this time I can make it through all the way to the film's end!
- Citizen Kane (1941) // Good Lord, this one's a doozy! Who the hell hasn't found it difficult to sit through what the American Film Institute (AFI) has dubbed the greatest film ever made? That's what I want to know! I'm not going to sit here and tell you that CITIZEN KANE is a bad picture because it isn't; it's just full of itself and, for me, that's hard to stomach. I don't put up with that from people so why should I treat a film any differently? If I try really hard and think back on how many times I've attempted to sit through CITIZEN KANE, I can come up with at least four or five occasions. I've even purchased the special edition DVD copy but that shit just didn't take (I ended up trashing it earlier in the year when I cleaned out my movie collection). Maybe it's not the movie -- maybe it's Orson Welles because, come to think of it, there is not one Welles film that I like.
- Doctor Zhivago (1965) // I'm actually a little ashamed to include this on my list of 'unfinished business' movies because I've heard so many wonderful things about not only the film, but the story, the cast, and the cinematography. I definitely feel like I've been missing out on something stupendous here and it's time to remedy that. Like, really remedy. As far as I'm concerned, this is the next movie on my To-Watch list. Hopefully this time I'll be able to make it through the whole thing without any interruptions and/or impromptu naps-on-the-sofa. The thing with DOCTOR ZHIVAGO is that I've seen bits and pieces of it but never the whole thing all together, the way a movie should be seen.
...and the one that I finally managed to conquer in 2014:
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962) // I'm embarrassed to admit that it took the passing of star Peter O'Toole late last year to make me want to sit down (for four hours) and finally see this movie. Every time it's aired on TCM in the past, I would catch my Pops watching it - he was ten years old when the film was originally released and he said it's always been one of his favourites. To be perfectly honest, I both loved and hated the film. I loved the story, I loved the cast, I loved the excitement, and I especially loved the cinematography. I hated the way it dragged in spots and I hated the endless waiting for the movie to reach its climax (wink wink nudge nudge). Overall though, I really enjoyed the experience of watching LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. It's one of the greatest epics I've seen and the fact it's based on actual events always pleases me immensely as I'm a huge lover of historical films and historical fiction.
I'd love to know which films make up your 'unfinished business' movie list! Tell me about them in the comments section down below!