My Favorite Arthur Penn Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Night Moves (1975)
(no relation to the 2013 film)

2.   Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

3.   The Missouri Breaks (1976)

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Arthur Penn Films

  1. He made some classic films indeed. I am not hugely fond of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, as I feel that is something of an American experience. However, ‘The Chase’, ‘Night Moves’, and ‘Little Big Man’ are all unforgettable, and ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ is so good, I went to see it twice in the same week, when it was released in the UK.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Bonnie and Clyde is a genuine classic! I always thought The Left Handed Gun was an interesting failure. Penn tried to do something different, but I don’t think he succeeded. The Miracle Worker is a more straight forward drama with two powerhouse performances. Mickey One, I remember having a hard time sitting through. Alice’s Restaurant remains an interesting curiosity. Night Moves remains a decent and interesting film.
    As an aside, I was out photographing one day in NYC and came across the filming of Four Friends. I took a few shots of Arthur Penn and the actors before I was told to leave by someone on the set. They said I was not authorized to photograph. I got my shots and left, but I was not in their way and was among other onlookers. I must have looked too professional 🙂

  3. Night Moves is one of the great Neo noir’s of that era and yeah, Bonnie and Clyde is still a classic 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  4. Interesting thoughts 🙂 I love your story about your experiences photographing behind the scenes of Four Friends. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Ahhh…Yes! One of my favorite directors. Bonnie and Clyde! Then Night Moves…Brilliant! The ending. What was the guy saying? The whole movie is superb–except for the graphic sex scenes but it was the 70s (kind of like music in the 80s, every single song had to have a guitar solo). Missouri Breaks. Little Big Man. The Miracle Worker. (Profound performances.) Alice’s Restaurant. That would be my ranking. And then I’m going to throw another one out there, just because I have an affinity for thrillers (duh). Dead of Winter. I know it was critically panned but I enjoyed it. I thought Penn hit the thriller bases solidly. I want to write about Bonnie and Clyde and Night Moves. Great rankings John.

  6. I too wonder what that guy was saying as well In Night Moves. I love that whole film as well. Missouri Breaks and Little Big Man are fantastic revisionist westerns and Alice’s Restaurant is wonderful. The Miracle Worker works thanks to the performances in my opinion. Dead of Winter is not a bad film. Please do write about Bonnie and Clyde and Night Moves soon because I would really love to hear your thoughts 🙂

    Sorry, I did not respond right away to your reply. I worked yesterday and afterwards, I went to the Music Box in Chicago to see a 1993 thriller called Judgment Night. It was pretty fun and the director Stephen Hopkins did a Q&A afterwards. Does Tennessee have revival movie houses similar to the Music Box in Chicago? Anyway, thanks for dropping by and keep those comments coming 🙂

  7. Hey John, That sounds cool, Yes Nashville has a theater like that. It’s called the Bellcourt. It’s the staple of the Nashville Independent film festival which grows by leaps and bounds every year. I’ve seen a few films there–nothing retro. I saw Lonestar there back in the day. It was one of the theaters that it premiered in. Great film.
    I think the guy in the helicopter was saying, “I’m sorry. It got away from me and it went further than I intended.” Something like that.
    I’m going to watch Shutter Island tonight. I’ll let you know what I think. I’ve been avoiding it somewhat, to me it has a Don’t Look Now, Wicker Man (the original) The Shinning kind of vibe. While all of the above are good movies–those type of psychological thriller with occult overtones don’t appeal to me. But there are exceptions to that rule. I like The Shinning a lot.

  8. The Bellcourt sounds neat 🙂 So you saw John Sayles 1996 character drama Lone Star there? That is interesting 🙂 I remember Kris Kristofferson was in that as well. As for that line in Night Movies, that could have been it. I love Don’t Look Now, The Wicker Man and The Shining 🙂 I can understand though If that kind of stuff is not your cup of tea and the main reason I recommended Shutter Island to you is because I know you are a huge fan of thrillers. To be perfectly honest with you though, Shutter Island is the kind of film one needs to watch again and again in order to fully appreciate it. When I first saw it in the theater in 2010, I knew I loved it, but I did not know If I would have placed it in the top 5. As I kept watching it once every year, I started to see more and more of its virtues and I now view it as my fourth favorite Martin Scorsese film of all-time. Anyway, keep those comments coming 🙂

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