“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#26, #25)…

Posted on July 28, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`This is getting really good! International espionage is at the heart of our next couple of entries. What is obvious… I absolutely love political thrillers on celluloid. Previous examples include:  The Ides of March, Cold War, Charlie Wilson’s WarDarkest HourDark Water,  The Post,   and Truth.

“`Let us continue the countdown of my favorite cinema of the last two decades!


~ #26 – ARGO (2012)

“`The fourth of six Best Pictures to make my list, Argo remains a likeable, crowd-pleasing film and perfectly shepherded by the movie-making talents of Ben Affleck. The top supporting cast includes Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin.  Best Pictures previously mentioned: The King’s Speech, Chicago, and The Green Book.

“`Nominated for seven Oscars, it won three; the other two, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.  Many of my choices have a knack for receiving accolades for writing. Chris Terrio adapted it from the 1999 book by the Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez. As a historical piece, the production made use of archival news footage from ABC, CBS, and NBC.

“`The narrative deals with the Canadian Caper, in which Mendez led a rescue of six American diplomats from Tehran, under the guise of filming a science fiction flick called Argo during the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis. Studio Six (a phony Hollywood production office at the core of the CIA plan)  proved so convincing that even months after the rescue was complete and the office had folded, twenty-six scripts were delivered to its address,  including one from Steven Spielberg.

“`Interpretations of the film’s popularity in Iran have varied, ranging from the fact that the movie portrays the excesses of the revolution and the hostage crisis,  which had been long glorified in Iran, to Iranians viewing it as a reminder of what caused the poor relations with America and the ensuing cost to Iran, decades after the embassy takeover. Either way, it is one of those rare films that educates as it entertains.


~ #25 – THIRTEEN DAYS (2000)

“`We have officially reached the halfway point of my countdown! Thirteen Days is the oldest selection on the list (Release date… December 2000). This dramatizes the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, presented from the perspective of the President John F. Kennedy administration. The second docudrama made about the crisis, the first was 1974’s The Missiles of October (the better production of the two in my humble estimation). The latter movie contains some newly declassified information not available to the earlier production

“`Kevin Costner headlines as Kenneth O’Donnell, who was a special assistant to the president. Dozens of familiar faces offer support as members of Washington politicos from the era. Bruce Greenwood shines as Kennedy. Unfortunately, the film was largely ignored by the public and it was a no-show during awards season.

“`Former JFK administration officials and contemporary historians, such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Special Counsel Ted Sorensen, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, have criticized the narrative for the depiction of O’Donnell as a main motivator of Kennedy and others during the crisis. According to McNamara, the duties performed by O’Donnell in the piece were closer to the role Sorensen played during the actual crisis. Incidentally, McNamara was also featured in another production on my countdown, The Post.

“`Costner traveled to Cuba in 2001 to screen the film for Fidel Castro. For the record, El Jefe enjoyed the screening.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 at 8:38 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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