I posed this question on Twitter and almost everyone responded with either a pretty recent film or a film from a living director. A lot of people said Eyes Wide Shut (nope — masterpiece) or A.I. (ditto). Some said Spielberg’s 1941, which I don’t think is all that bad, and someone recalled that Exodus: Gods and Kings exists, which I had forgotten. Remember that film? Outlandishly terrible. Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Moses and Ramesses. But I don’t think Ridley Scott is a great director. (Alien and Blade Runner are fine. I don’t particularly rate Gladiator.) A few people mentioned Billy Wilder’s last film, the Jack Lemmon–Walter Matthau comedy Buddy Buddy, which I’ve never seen and never seems to be on TV anymore. Jack Fowler suggested Mission to Moscow, the famous pro-Soviet propaganda piece that Warner Brothers made in 1943 at the request of Franklin Roosevelt and which was helmed by Warner’s ablest director Michael Curtiz. People who said The Irishman have not, I assume, seen very many movies. And I kind of like Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York. (Kundun and Silence were terrible, though).
Anyway, I came across a film the other day from quite a few years back that has a great director, a great writer, a great star, a great supporting actor and even a great composer (a couple of these people are still alive) and yet is legendarily unwatchable dreck. Not just a bad movie but garbage. No one mentioned it, so I’ll write about it another day. If I can steel myself to actually stick with it all the way through.
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