We were very sorry to hear of the passing at 83 of Peter Graves this morning, best known to older generations as the ultra-stoic Mr. Phelps of the “Mission: Impossible” TV series. He didn’t do that many movies, but the passing of Peter Graves is still notable for the movie world because of his appearances in two great films. Yes, of course, his perfect turn in “Airplane” but also “Stalag 17.” (And why does every article except the brief one I linked to contain a fairly major spoiler for the film about Graves’ character?)
Unfortunately, I can’t find any good clips from “Stalag” and, well, there’s one thing most of you want to see at a time like this. So, with apologies to the late Mr. Graves, who initially found these scenes in poor taste for some reason, we have the moments I know you want to see. I hope he appreciated how brilliantly he sold these jokes. It was worth the stretch.
Quentin Tarantino has eaten my day! And there’s no guarantee it won’t also be Tarantino Wednesday-Sunday!
Nothing to do but share a few links you may have missed and I’ve failed to include here prior.
I tend to fight the temptation vigorously, but we film geeks love our lists, and Tarantino has participated in two this week. The first is his twenty favorite films that have come out since he began directing in 1992. It’s been on every blog on town, so I don’t see why we should be any different. (H/t Anne Thompson and every other blog in town.)
Do I agree with his choices? Nah, not very many. Some are downright baffling, including his favorite, “Battle Royale.” It’s an entertaining/disturbing little movie but, though it was a huge film for many, it wouldn’t come close for me to something like, say, the vastly less well known “A Dirty Carnival” — it might make my top twenty for the year it came out. On the other hand, agreeing is never the point of this film criticism game; that’s a mistake too many make. Also, my list covering the same period would have at least two, maybe three, but no more than four, Tarantino movies, so there’s that.
And that other list. In this case, Tarantino collaborated with the critics of England’s Time Out on a catalogue of what they see as the “The 50 Greatest World War II Movies.” It’s a genuinely interesting group of movies, and there isn’t a single film that I don’t think should be seen on it (including a few I need to get caught up on myself). Actually, there is one exception. I was essentially praying for death through of all “The Thin Red Line,” so bored was I with the intense beauty of Terence Malick’s imagery, so I can’t really recommend that one. Some people think it’s great. Also, thanks to my WWII movie-loving buddy, Randy Reynaldo, for sending me the link. And we both agree: Where’s “Stalag 17” Where???
The invaluable David Hudson has tons more, some of which may still end up here, too. More to come, for sure, in any case.