'Reel Geezers' DVD Faves: Blood, Sweat And Tears

Nasatir's Must-See Picks

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Talk of the Town

Hail the Conquering Hero

The Third Man

Some Like It Hot

Heat of the Night

Semple's Must-See Picks

Gattopardo, Il (The Leopard)

Sweet Smell of Success

The Harder They Come

The Third Man

Once

Dr. Strangelove

A Clockwork Orange

A poster for Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film 'A Clockwork Orange.' i i

Lorenzo says Stanley Kubrick's now-cult classic A Clockwork Orange was not a success when it was released because moviegoers were appalled by the violence. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Hulton Archive/Getty Images
A poster for Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film 'A Clockwork Orange.'

Lorenzo says Stanley Kubrick's now-cult classic A Clockwork Orange was not a success when it was released because moviegoers were appalled by the violence.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marcia Nasatir and Lorenzo Semple Jr. are 80-something film critics who prove that YouTube isn't just for teenagers; they post their movie reviews on the site and call themselves "The Reel Geezers."

Long before they opined on movies, the Reel Geezers helped make them: Nasatir was a longtime Hollywood agent and also produced movies like The Big Chill. Semple has written many scripts, including the TV show Batman and Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor.

Following are some of their favorite movies:

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Michael Curtiz, director: Nasatir calls the musical comedy starring James Cagney "very patriotic." Released shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it tells the rags-to-riches story of vaudeville entertainer George M. Cohan. Nasatir says the film lasts as a World War II movie "because it makes you cry at the end."

"Lorenzo hates for me to say this, but I think movies tell you how to behave, tell you what to do and can change people's ways of being," she says.

A Clockwork Orange (1971), Stanley Kubrick, director: "It's a movie about a very violent English gang in a dystopian world of the near future, which could be about now because it was written almost 40 years ago," Semple says. He compares The Joker in the current Batman movie, The Dark Knight, with the main character in A Clockwork Orange: "He just wants to create chaos for its own sake. In A Clockwork Orange, Alex and his friends want to hurt people for its own sake."

Semple notes that the movie was originally rated X, which meant no one under 21 could see it in the theater; Kubrick cut out about a minute to bump it to an R.

"But still," Semple says, "it was not a success because it appalled people at that time."

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), Preston Sturges, director: A story about a young man who joins the Marines to be a hero like his father, who was killed in World War I. But the man never sees action because he has asthma. He dreads returning home until he meets up with a group of Marines who encourage him to pretend he was with them.

"It is a movie that I also cry at because one of the Marines doesn't want him to tell the truth," Nasatir says.

Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Alexander Mackendrick, director: Burt Lancaster plays a "really dreadful gossip columnist" in this film, which Semple says is based on the life of newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell.

"It was a great thing about the glamour of New York life in a very tough way," he says.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.