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What makes a classic movie, classic? Part 2

The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon

Part 2 of what makes a classic movie classic?

Now if ever anybody brings up a movie, a proper question to ask is what year that movie came out. A timing of a movie is a key ingredient to the success of course it’s not everything, a movie needs a lot more to endure time and stay immortal as a great movie.
John Huston’s directorial debut comes to mind. “The Maltese Falcon” is considered by many to be the very first Film-Noir. For an America that was coming out of the great depression and into a world war, film noir was just perfect timing. It was the birth of the hard hitting detective. Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade was the first unsentimental protagonist. Never did the world see such a cold man, with ice through his veins. He talked tough and was cold and hard like his name. This set the stage for Bogart throughout the decade and forever changed cinema. He was a character that kept his distance and was comfortable in doing so.

What about Billy Wilder’s ' Some Like it hot" The timing of this movie is everything, if you get a younger audience to go and watch this, they will just say it’s a simple Romantic Comedy. But they would be horribly mistaken; this is the original romantic comedy. This movie spawned decades of the genre, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Themes, what is the movie essentially about? Every movie has a theme, usually the stronger the better. Most movies have way more than one theme they explore. So the question is how do themes make the movie better? They let the movie breath on many different layers, most really good moves have layers of themes going on in the story, and a more recent movie that acts like this is Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River.” But the true classic of a movie with many, many themes is “Blade Runner

Blade Runner was discussed before but now we shall discuss the many themes in the movie. The most important theme is the question of humanity, what’s it mean to be human? This theme is played out in both central characters. Deckard is assigned to hunt down Replicants and kill them. On the surface this is pretty simple, but the question of whether Deckard is human or himself a replicant confuses the question so much more. If Deckard his human than his love for the Replicant Rachael blurs the line between human and replicant, if Deckard is a replicant then the irony is greater. This discussion will always remain ambiguous as to which he is, put the insert of his Unicorn dream and the unicorn origami left at his apartment point to the latter of the two.

Batty the lead replicant also has the question of humanity, but his quest is different. With only a four year life span, his time is running out and he seeks out Tyrell to get more life. Alas Tyrell cannot give him more life. After he kills Tyrell he meets Deckard, in the climax of the film Batty saves Deckard’s life, so that he can live on in his memories. Here is a link to all of Blade Runner’s themes, enjoy.


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