Friday, November 3, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #173: A Stranger

Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


This week's Thursday Movie Picks is A Stranger


This is I think one of those more unique sort of theme unlike say remakes or vampire I'm curious as to what movies end up on everyone's list today. Anyway here's mine, the bottom two picks are the ones that I like.

Sommersby (1993)
I've seen this at least twice, but this is one of those movies where I retain very little of what happens other than the basic plot and a bit of the ending. A man returns home after the American Civil War, but his wife suspects he is an imposter.

Stoker (2013)
After India's father dies, an uncle she never knew existed comes to live with her and her mother. I've picked this movie so many times before but here it is again because it fits so well and also a favourite of mine. A beautifully shot psychological thriller.

The Guest (2014)
A man visits the family of a fallen soldier and claims to have served with him. He's so nice and charming that the family lets him stay with them. The only roles I had seen Dan Stevens play prior to seeing this were all middle/upper class British guys and this was such a departure; he got really physically fit and plays an American with a southern accent. Also you'd never think the guy who was cousin Matthew could do sinister, but yeah Dan Stevens was so so good in this. Of course this year there was Legion, where he got to play crazy as well...which were the best bits of the very inconsistent TV Show.


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  1. Stoker! I love that movie so much. I still need to see The Guest.

  2. I'm so happy to see Stoker. I love that movie!

  3. Sommersby was okay but not nearly as good as its inspiration the French The Return of Martin Guerre. It was lovely to look at but there was a lack of connection between Jodie Foster and Richard Gere which is vital for the whole film to work.

    I'm going to have to go against the crowd here because I really hated Stoker. I thought Dan Stevens was good in The Guest but the film overall didn't do much for me.

    This week was much easier to find picks for since I'm really not much for horror. There are many good films about strangers though.

    The Night Digger (The Road Builder) (1971)-Maura Prince is a lonely woman with some physical disabilities (Patricia Neal-returning to work after suffering a series of strokes which had caused great paralysis which she was still struggling to overcome) lives as a virtual servant to her feeble but domineering mother (Pamela Brown) taking care of her and their large home in the English countryside. Into their lives and strained relationship rolls moody, handsome mysterious biker Billy Jarvis (Nicholas Clay) to cast their lives into upheaval. Maura is at first guarded against Billy’s off kilter charm and her mother contemptuous but as time moves along Maura beings to soften and find herself attracted to him. There’s just one problem Billy’s in the habit of wandering away and disappearing at night which seems to correlate to a series of murders in the surrounding area.

    Knife in the Water (1962)-A wealthy couple are headed to go sailing for a few days when they encounter a hitchhiker along the way. Despite some antagonism between the two men the couple invite the young man to accompany them on their trip. There the tension escalates as an attraction builds between the hitcher and the wife as well as resentment between the two men. When an altercation leads to a mystery things take a dark turn. Roman Polanski’s breakthrough picture, nominated for Best Foreign Film, is a tense three person drama.

    The Stranger (1946)-Professor Charles Rankin (Orson Welles) has a dark secret, he is in actuality escaped war criminal Franz Kindler one of Hitler’s architects of the final solution. One day his former assistant Meinike appears in town and beseeches him to confess his sins, fearing exposure Rankin kills him and buries him in the woods on the edge of town. Shortly afterwards a stranger arrives, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) an agent for the War Crimes Commission who had been tracking Meinike in hopes he would lead him to Kindler. Suspecting Rankin almost immediately because he shares Kindler’s fascination with clocks Wilson tries to enlist and warn Rankin’s wife Mary (Loretta Young) to the truth. Initially doubtful she grow wary when Wilson mentions Meinike since she knows he had visited her husband. Under increasing pressure Rankin decides to eliminate all obstacles to his freedom leading to a taut showdown. Welles directed as well as stars in this noir set in small town America.


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