Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '65 - Millie De Chirico ""

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Underrated '65 - Millie De Chirico

Millie De Chirico is Manager of Programming at Turner Classic Movies and is responsible for programming TCM Underground, the network’s late night cult movie franchise. She’s on Twitter at@milliedechirico and updates the Underground Twitter account:@TCMUnderground.

Check out her Underrated '75 list here:

THE SANDPIPER (1965; Vincente Minnelli)
Like Brian mentioned in his inaugural post, my patience for 1960’s movies is also fairly limited due to the “Hollywood hippies” thing. Any time I see a countercultural person explaining things to a “square”, I’m usually running for the remote. Having said that, there are a few exceptions, including this one. Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor had many on-screen pairings in the 1960’s, and this feels like one of the more subdued ones. Liz plays a hippie artist/single mom who meets a married man/reverend (Burton), and the entire film is basically about his attempts to change her when she just wants to live her own, free-spirited life. Not only is the film visually beautiful thanks to its iconic locale (filmed on location in Big Sur, one of my favorite places on earth), I especially love Liz’s look in this movie. She’s sort of natural-looking and really tanned and wears lots of weird color combos (all purple, at one point); lots of “artist” looks where she’s always in pants. Also features young (and hunky) Charles Bronson as a fellow beatnik. 

BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (1965; Robert Mulligan)
As a fan of virtually all Southern gothic dramas on film, I find this story about a no-good rockabilly singer and his attempts to reform himself for the woman who loves him and the child they have together pretty irresistible. Steve McQueen and Lee Remick are both extra-attractive in this movie, and make a really smoldering couple. (As a side note, I know Lee Remick was technically born a Yankee, but can we officially make her an honorary Southern gal? She was always so good in these types of roles.) 

FISTS IN THE POCKET (1965; Marco Bellocchio)
One of the great unsung Italian films of all time, in my opinion. A daring story about the limits of the family bond mixed with the anarchy of youth. Tons of gallows humor and an amazing performance by the young Lou Castel (who I wasn’t aware of until seeing this film a few years ago).

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (1965; Otto Preminger)
A quirky psycho-thriller directed by Otto Preminger (one of my favorite directors), starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Keir Dullea (two of my favorite actors). Also features a nightclub performance by The Zombies (one of my favorite bands) and a title sequence by Saul Bass (one of my favorite title designers). Clearly I’m a fan! 

A THOUSAND CLOWNS (1965; Fred Coe)
This movie is one of a handful of films I saw in college that really made me want to move to New York City. For me this movie is all about young Barry Gordon, who is just the kind of precocious New York kid I love in movies. Jason Robards is also fantastic even though I figured out recently that his character is sort of like a male version of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, right down to the bicycle built for two and the manic ukulele playing. Despite this, there is a ton of heart in this movie and some really great shots of the city that make it hard not to fall in love.

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