Walter Wanger

Walter Wanger

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Queen Christina Review


Good
Widely (and strangely) considered one of Garbo's best films, Queen Christina is a loosely historical romance about a Scandinavian woman who becomes queen at age five. As an adult (as Garbo), Christina becomes jaded with ruling the country and escapes to the countryside in the guise of a man (which Garbo achieves by wearing a hat and lowering her voice). The funniest moment comes when a disguised Garbo is given a coin... with her face on it. Ha! Unfortunately, once the film turns into a romance, the movie degenerates into a snoozy Catholic vs. Protestant melodrama as Christina is wooed by a Spanish noble.

Cleopatra (1963) Review


OK
It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and that's because they are truly and rarely intertwined.

A legend of Hollywood, the 1963 production of Cleopatra has so much curiosity surrounding it I hardly know where to start. It was budgeted at $2 million and eventually cost (up to) $44 million to produce -- close to $300 million in today's dollars. Liz Taylor almost died during the filming and was given a tracheotomy to keep her alive. The production was forced to move from Rome to London and back to Rome again. Two of its stars fell in love (Taylor and Burton) on the set, ruining both of their marriages. 20th Century Fox essentially went bankrupt, leading to the ousting of its chief. The first director was fired after burning $7 million with nothing to show for it. The second director (Mankiewicz) was fired during editing, only to be rehired when no one else could finish the picture. Taylor threw up the first time she saw the finished product. Producer Walter Wanger never worked in Hollywood again. And the original six-hour epic was cut to a little over three.

Continue reading: Cleopatra (1963) Review

I Want To Live! Review


Good
You know the end of The Player? When Julia Roberts sits in the gas chamber and Bruce Willis rushes in to save her? Altman is making fun of I Want to Live!, in part at least, a film in which Susan Hayward overacts so superbly en route to execution that they couldn't help but give her an Oscar. Hayward is, in reality, nothing short of a ridiculous ham in this movie, which makes it perfect for anyone who wants their TV to shrilly scream at them for two hours. Based on the grim true story of Barbara Graham, executed at San Quentin in 1953.

Foreign Correspondent Review


Very Good
In its day, Foreign Correspondent was more than just a good movie (it earned six Oscar nominations), it was also the beginning of Hitchcock's propaganda films, as he (along with many European filmmakers) made movies to compel the U.S. to enter WWII.

Correspondent has intrigue, adventure, charisma, and romance, but it sadly never makes it to classic status. The story is globetrotting tale of an American reporter (Joel McCrea) who heads to London to expose a spy ring. En route he falls in love and is drawn into a major drama with international ramifications.

Continue reading: Foreign Correspondent Review

Walter Wanger

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Walter Wanger Movies

Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and...

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