Pollack. Not a style-plus director but the filmography is just too good to ignore at this point on the list. He is one of the few directors remaining with two films that land in the top 100 of their respective decade. And it’s more than just the films at the top- Absence of Malice is a very fine film and I have it as his sixth best- so there is strong depth here, too. Pollack started as an actor. Of course, he continued to act and is in (and is good in) films like Woody’s Husbands and Wives, Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and Michael Clayton. That may be Pollack’s greatest trait as a director- working with actors. He worked with some powerhouse movie stars and actors. Clearly they respected him and he elicited some great performances.
Best film: Out of Africa. Some will object to the Merchant/Ivory-ness or novelistic nature of this film, but it is, undeniably, gorgeous to look at. The airplane aerial shots are stunning, strong exterior photography, costume work. Streep is sublime—but so is John Barry’s score musical score (if you think you’ve heard it before, he did it again in another best picture winner Dances With Wolves five years later in 1990) and David Watkin’s cinematography.
total archiveable films: 7
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 0
top 100 films of the decade: 2 (Three Days of the Condor, Out of Africa)
most overrated: Tootsie. It is at #484 on the TSPDT list. I don’t understand this one being there at all.
most underrated : Not much here- I’d have to go Out of Africa here as well. It is one of those best picture winners that is now underrated because for decades now everyone says it didn’t deserve to win best picture and it isn’t the best film of 1985 (and it isn’t- that is Brazil). But still, it is a damn fine film—very far from being the worst best picture winner. Jeremiah Johnson, Three Days of the Condor and Out of Africa all land between 1001 and 2000 on the TSPDT consensus list.
gem I want to spotlight : Three Days of the Condor. Even those that love the New Hollywood 1970’s cinema, Redford, Dunaway, and Max von Sydow individually– seem to never talk about this one. Maybe because it is nobody’s best film? It is a nice add to the resume for all of the above though. It is an excellent thriller—just a hint behind the work of Pakula in the paranoia trilogy.
- Often featuring the plight of renegade individualists (mavericks or loners) lost in society’s changes or a corruption
- A great use of the telephoto lens in Tootsie as Hoffman walks down New York just like Voight did in Midnight Cowboy in the sea of people or how Hoffman himself ran in place in The Graduate
- Redford is a partner here of course- he’s in four of the seven films in the archives below
- Out of Africa
- Three Days of the Condor
- They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
- Jeremiah Johnson
- Absence of Malice
- The Way We Were
By year and grades
|1969- They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?||R|
|1972- Jeremiah Johnson||R|
|1973- The Way We Were||R|
|1975- Three Days of the Condor||HR|
|1981- Absence of Malice||R|
|1985- Out of Africa||MS|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives
Is They Shoot Pictures Dont they named after They Shoot Horses Dont They?
@Azman- haha it is indeed. Very good movie.
I hadn’t heard about this one before. Its not even on the top 2000 despite TSPDT being named after it. Do you know what the reason might be?
Anyways, since you’ve recommended it, I’ll add it to my watch list.
Where would you rank The Firm?
@Adam- I’d rank it just after The Way We Were. I’ve seen it- didn’t archive it. I think it is on netflix now- might be worth another look.
Drake where would you rank tootsie. Many including myself love the film. Dustin hoffman is great in it but I do think it has good imagery and formal direction. Cm”You’re a tomato” is a scene I’d show any acting class I’m sure. Do you think it’s one of hoffmans best roles. I might get in trouble but I certainly prefer this to his rain man character.
@D.WGriffith– Thanks for the comment. Yeah I have a rank for Tootsie here– I think it is overrated by the consensus for sure. I have my Hoffman’s rankings here- http://thecinemaarchives.com/2018/07/03/the-17th-best-actor-of-all-time-dustin-hoffman/ as you can see I’d get quite a few before his work here
drake thank you i actually think his cowboy performance is not as good as people say. i think john voight is much better in the movie. i think hoffman is fine in the movie, but not his second best role. i’d agree though that the graduate is his best performance.