02 March 2008

A magical journey into the movies

My wife and I have a list of movies. It is filled with films that we really want to see. Since we typically rent, or purchase, one movie every weekend, this list is always in flux. It includes classics, Academy Award nominees and winners, and a bunch of what I have dubbed Saturday afternoon B-movies, the type of movies that require no thinking and are mindlessly violent, funny, futuristic, or a combination of these variables. Recently though, I have added a second list to our Box Office Bookshelf, a list filled with movies that are visited in the Great Movie Ride. I have currently put on hold the idea of including the movies viewed during the finale, which seems more like a lifetime pursuit.

For those of you, like myself, who cannot remember every scene off of the top of your head, or those of you who want to start your own Great Movie Ride collection, here is the rundown:

Footlight Parade
Singin' in the Rain
Mary Poppins
The Public Enemy
The Searchers
Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
1930s and 1940s horror films
Tarzan the Ape Man
The Wizard of Oz

To give you some perspective on how the various studios are represented throughout the attraction, both MGM and Warner Brothers are both represented in four scenes, Disney has two scenes, and Paramount and Fox round out the roster with one scene each. Not surprisingly, Universal is represented exactly zero times. Presumably this is because they have their own film park down the street. The one scene I have yet to assign a film/studio to yet is the horror films. If anyone can pinpoint the precise movie, or movies, that are represented in the ride, please drop me a line so that I can feel my list is complete. Even if you don’t know which move this is, feel free to let me know what 1930s or 1940s horror flick you think we should check out. Just make sure it would fit in the great movie ride, in other words, the classic monsters of Universal have to stay undead.

Meanwhile back at my secret plan, mwah ha ha ha ha ha! That’s right the plan is secret! I have been adding a film here and there from my list to the main list we take with us when looking for a weekend movie, but not mentioning to my wife why I felt we absolutely needed to see them. This plan worked well for Casablanca, but she has been hesitant of films like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Public Enemy. My hope is to complete the list before the end of the year, reveal my brilliantly evil scheme to the heroine of my life’s picture, and then have a marathon weekend where we watch all thirteen classics in a row.

Checking in on my progress, I only have five movies left to pick up:

Footlight Parade
Singin' in the Rain
The Searchers
1930s and 1940s horror films (taking requests)
Tarzan the Ape Man

I will keep you updated as to my progress, and hopefully we won’t get hijacked by Mugsy along the way!


FoxxFur said...

"Horror Movies of the 1930's and 1940's?" What is this? Are we thinking of the same ride?

Ryan P. Wilson said...

The horror films of the 30s and 40s are depicted by the skeletons and mummies between the scene where the gangster/bank robber meets their untimely end and the scene with Tarzan. The Tour Guide's dialogue usually includes "Oooh, I see dead people. The horror movie is my all-time favorite genre. Some of the best horror films were produced during the 1930s and '40s, but monsters, mutants, and maniacs are still audience favorites and continue to scare us today. Hey! Look everyone, mummies! The original "wrap" stars!," and/or "This ancient pharaoh's tomb sets the stage for one of Hollywood's most unusual genres, the horror movie. During the 1930's and 40's, some of the best horror films in the history of motion pictures were produced. Sometimes the action took place in a mummy's sacred burial chamber. Here, unsuspecting explorers like us would often meet their doom."

FoxxFur said...

Oh, ok.. yeah, that scene confused me when I was a kid. I wasn't allowed to watch Temple of Doom for a few years so I just assumed that that stuff was from there. Imagine my surprise when I figured out that the scene wasn't from anything. =) Yes, much like how the gangsters scene and the Westerns scene just kind of become generic scenes representing the genre, they just kind of pull mummies out of their hats there in that scene. Really it's more related to the "screaming mummies" scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I've watched a lot of genre films from that era and I've never seen a horror film that takes place in an Egyptian tomb quite like that. The nearest thing may be Universal's The Mummy, which is 9/10ths a pretty tedious potboiler, with an amazing first scene which may have been what WDI was channeling. Please don't punish yourself with The Mummy. If you need to watch some 30's horror to fulfill the criteria, here's the 3 best films of the period I've seen:

Bride of Frankenstein - 1936, James Whale - Universal
Doctor X - 1932, Michael Curtiz - Warner Bros
Mad Love - 1936, Karl Fruend - MGM

Ryan P. Wilson said...

It very much fits with Marion and the mummies in Raiders, which is what I thought as a child too. The whole tomb area feels so familiar, but I too haven't been able to pinpoint what film(s) they were specifically drawing from. If I find out I'll let you know! As for my horror film selection, we have a lot of the classic Universal monster flicks, but in keeping with the no Universal theme of the attraction I will definitely check out Mad Love and Doctor X, thanks!

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