"Seven Days in May" About an attempted Military Coup in the US
Great Book, Great Movie...
Of course Showtime made a terrible remake with Jason Robard and Forrest Whittaker, where the entire cabinet, supreme court and congress use their constitutional powers to try and get the President removed. Quite different than the Military Overthrow in Seven Days.
And Burt Lancaster facing off with Kirk Douglas in an argument about Honor, WOW!!!
What's interesting is that this movie would have lost something if it were in color. The way it was shot (use of shadows and overall shot composition) this movie would be ruined if it were ever colorized.
The movie is a little dated now....When I briefly had a movie web site I had a page devoted to this movie. In it I mentioned that trying to take the General leading the clandestine coup attempt by exposing an extra-marrital affair in an era when the President of the US has falatio performed by an intern in the Oval Office, has several felonies pinned on him or where he is an accessory and half the American people say "so what?" doesn't play well. You have to mentally teleport yourself to the political and social settings of the mid sixties. The height of the cold war and the beginnings of serious oposition to the government made this movie much "scarier" when it was released.
Another thing that some people don't like about the movie is that there is no action. The action is in the tension fantastic dialog and situations! But unless there is an explosion every 30 seconds or a chase scene that knocks over a fruit stand some people just aren't interested.
Not a Frankenheimer movie, but I love "The Shoes of the Fisherman" with Anthony Quinn. I have a friend who is a devout Catholic, figuring that this movie is about a Russian Priest (who until recently held in the Soviet Gulag) who finds himself Pope when China and USSR are about to goto war and only he can prevent it would be a compelling story (as it was a best selling book in the 60s). Just like you said about "Seven Days in May", there is no real "Action", it is all in the acting, etc. My friend started making "Yawning Noises" 10 minutes in to imply the movie was boring.
What is funny is my friend and his wife just got a DVD player and now he wants my list of great movies. I refuse to give it to him, told him "Missed the Opportunity"
For those who are interested in another non-Frankenheimer but similar quality movie; Try "MotherNight" staring Nick Nolte (with Sheryl Lee, Alan Arkin). it is based on a Kurt Vonnegut book of the same name. It starts out in the early 60s where Nolte plays a Nazi War Criminal captured by the Israelis and he has to write his memoirs for his trial. You find out he is born American... Very Interesting story, if you watch it with people there is usually alot of conversation involved. Is he guilty or is he innocent, is he a Hero or is he a villian. The truth is often shades of grey, not black or white.
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