Review: One Week

Here’s a more in-depth review of One Week, which airs to tomorrow night at 8 PM EST on TCM.

 

Of all of Keaton’s shorts, this one is perhaps the most astounding to watch. Much like some of his later features like Sherlock Jr., One Week is a technical marvel. Buster’s plaything in this particular is a poorly constructed self-made house. The construction itself presents many amazing moments, including a smaller scale version of the falling façade of the house in Steamboat Bill Jr. Given that it’s Keaton, it’s no surprise that everything goes wrong in the construction of the house.

 

But the faulty construction isn’t even the end of it. Part of what makes it so brilliant is that once this utterly ridiculous house is built, Keaton explores it even further with some ingenious, and of course, technically amazing, stunts.

As with so many of his films, Keaton is able to create something that is not only hilarious but also demonstrates his brilliance as a director. The ending in particular definitely takes you off guard on first viewing, and provides a rather interesting deception.

 

Sybil Seely, who also appears in a few other of Keaton’s shorts, does a great job as his wife here. Much to the surprise of modern day viewers, she actually is involved in a rather revealing scene, so to speak, in a bathtub (which has a particularly bizarre conclusion to it).

What to watch on TCM this week

If you’re a big Alfred Hitchcock fan like I am, the entire month of September is great on TCM, as every Sunday it’s all Hitchcock all day. Amongst the highlights this week are some Hitchcock films.

    Sunday


8:00pm Foreign Correspondent
1940 was a pretty good for Hitchcock. It’s not often that a director has two of his films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but that’s what happened to Hitch. Alongside Rebecca, this film also received the nomination that year. This tale of foreign intrigue at the onset of World War 2 is deserving of this honor. As usual, there’s tons of suspense packed into this film, along with a solid cast featuring such people as the ever-excellent George Sanders.

Check out the trailer for Foreign Correspondent here.

10:15pm North by Northwest
From the crop dusting plane scene, to the battle on Mount Rushmore, this film features some of the most memorable visuals in movie history. But beyond those famous shots, the overall package is one of Hitchcock’s best films. As with many other Hitch films, at the center is an innocent man (Cary Grant) who finds himself in a dangerous situation. Grant shines here, not only in the moments of drama, but also in providing comedy at some points as well.

    Monday


8:00pm One Week
This short (only around twenty minutes long) is some of Buster Keaton’s funniest work. It revolves around Keaton and his wife attempting to construct a house. What follows is a flurry of amazing physical stunts and visuals that are unbelievable. The house becomes a plaything for Keaton, the centerpiece for great gag after gag. This is about as good as comedies get.

    Tuesday

4:15am Safety Last!
This would probably be a good one to DVR given how late it’s on. Safety Last, Lloyd’s most well-known film, is also a good introduction to what his comedies are like. Lloyd plays his typical go-getter character here, trying to win over the affection of a lady. It all culminates in the famous clock tower sequence, that not only provides comedy but a little bit of tension as well.

    Thursday

12:15am The Bicycle Thief
This Italian film has always received lots of critical acclaim, and deservedly so. There is perhaps no better or stark portrayal of the life of poverty than this film. The struggle of a man to get his bike back that he needs for a job becomes increasingly desperate and engrossing at the same time. It’s realistic and at times heart-breaking, making this a film that must be experienced.

Welcome to Classic Film Haven!

Hello there, and welcome to Classic Film Haven!

This was a blog that once existed a couple years back when hosted by Posterous. Posterous has since gone belly-up, one of many sites bought out by an even larger site. So after a brief hiatus, the blog is back now.

What can you expect? Well, it’s all going to be about classic films, of course. There will be plenty of reviews posted here, as well as all classic film news. In addition, this blog will also serve as a good resource for classic films on TV–namely TCM. Once a week, we’ll feature the must-see highlights on that wonderful channel.

For twitter ramblings, check out @sbliss89, where I often take part in TCM discussions with #tcmparty.

Thanks for visiting!