Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '65 - Joe Gibson ""

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Underrated '65 - Joe Gibson

Joe Gibson is an extremely serious Cinephile living in Austin, Texas. He can be found on twitter @Karatloz and on Letterboxd (a highly recommended follow) here:
Joe watches a lot of movies and has excellent taste.

Check him out on this episode of the My Favorite Movie Podcast (very cool show):

Here's his Underrated '85 list:
And his Underrated '75 list as well:
1965 - 50 years ago, and it feels like yesterday! There's a good lineup of solid, underrated stuff that came out that year, and some of them I even saw recently enough to write about cogently (we'll see about that)!

I SAW WHAT YOU DID (1965; William Castle)
This is a William Castle chiller with one of the very, very best thriller premises of all time: A teen girl kills a lonely Saturday by calling up random people and saying "I saw what you did, and I know who you are." Unfortunately for her, she calls a guy who happens to have just murdered his wife (in the shower, naturally). How the two manage to cross paths after that requires some good old-fashioned suspension of disbelief, but if you can't handle that what use are you anyway?

UP TO HIS EARS (1965; Philippe de Broca)
BELMONDO! One of my favorite discoveries of the last year or two has been Jean-Paul Belmondo's double life as an incredibly ambitious action star in addition to his French New Wave duties. This is one of those, a cartoon romp with stunt work so insane you'll see Belmondo in a new light forever hence.

VINYL (1965; Andy Warhol)
I wouldn't have thought of this as underrated were it not for a couple recent conversations during which I discovered that there are people who like movies who don't know this exists. Vinyl is Andy Warhol's screen version of A Clockwork Orange, years before Kubrick's much more famous cinephile catnip came out. I went in wanting to like it more than Kubrick's version just for the sake of contrarianism, but even though I couldn't quite make it there this is still a fascinating piece of work, with Warhol drawing parallels between the story's Ludovico technique and S&M sex that, uh, aren't in Kubrick's version. Great soundtrack, too.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (1965; Francesco Rosi)
This is a bullfighting drama starring Miguel Mateo, a real bullfighter, with some actual bullfighting footage mixed in with the slightly stilted quasi-neo-realist drama. I saw this years ago but it sticks in my mind mostly since like a lot of my fellow ignoramuses I had no idea how brutal bullfighting actually was, having only seen sanitized versions through various channels. Here you can see all the blood and danger that are really associated with the sport. Kind of messed up, if you think about it.

THE CINCINATTI KID (1965; Norman Jewison)
This is Steve McQueen's card playing movie, originally supposed to be a Sam Peckinpah joint but he got fired for trying to attach blood squibs to playing cards. Slick 60s cool, but I admit that I only saw this once years ago and the main thing I remember is Ray Charles' theme song, which still gets stuck in my head from time to time. Edward G. Robinson!

THE COLLECTOR (1965; William Wyler)
This is a kind of respectable Psycho knock-off directed by William Wyler of all people. It features Terrence Stamp as the obligatory lonely young guy who upgrades from collecting butterflies to collecting ... human beings. I love this kind of small-scale thriller that unfortunately doesn't seem to get made much anymore.

I don't know if this is underrated in a general sense, but within the filmography of Mario Bava it definitely fits the bill. Stylish in terms of cinematography, yeah, but also in terms of those completely bitching leather jumpsuits that the crew wears, black leather and collars up to their ears - equally entertaining in shimmering HD or a battered 16mm print. Some great homemade special effects too, my oft-cited favorite is the plastic window acting as a "viewscreen" between two spaceships.

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