Guy Cry Cinema
Best Movies Made in Spite of Their Ridiculous Directors

Firefilm | 27 Aug 2015 15:00
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4. Spartacus

This movie might be old enough that many of the viewers of this site haven't seen it. I'm not saying they haven't heard of it, but it might just be vaguely known as a good movie to them. Even with that ancillary knowledge, everyone knows the "I Am Spartacus" scene, where all of Sparky's friends and comrades pretend to be him so that the baddies don't know who to kill. The look in his eyes as he witnesses the bravery of his fellow men is contagious. The film as a whole is very well done, as is most work by the crazy-as-balls Stanley Kubrick.

During the shooting of The Shining, Kubrick supposedly made Shelley Duvall redo a single shot 127 times and elderly cast member Scatman Crothers redo a scene 148 times, which is a world record. The stress was so great for Duvall during shooting that her hair began to fall out. Mic drop on the crazy director stage; Kubric is known for being the most obsessive-compulsive perfectionists in the industry.

5. The Grapes of Wrath

If you read the book in high school you already know how bleak the movie is. A story of poor Americans suffering in the 1930s Great Depression, trying to get to California for the promise of a better life. Spoiler alert - they don't find it. Between Grandpa dying on the way, preachers losing their faith, and "accidental" murders, this is a bleak movie but also a classic for a reason. And director John Ford is pudding-brain nutso.
Like many early Hollywood directors John Ford was known as a stern and at times overbearing man to work with, but Ford's personality went farther than that. He was just a mean old cuss. The best way to summarize Ford's personality is that he is said to be the only person who ever made John Wayne cry. Let me repeat that, he made John Wayne cry. He was infamous for how hard he would treat and work his actors. He would often mock and bully them. Boo on you, Ford.

The general public has a very simplified view of how a movie is made. We know about producers, actors, and directors, but the exact lines where those jobs begin and end are somewhat blurred. If a film is great, who do you congratulate? If the film is terrible, who do you blame? In reality there are hundreds of jobs at every point from pre-production through post-production, and a film really takes a life of its own with that many cooks in the kitchen. Like "Twitch plays X", everyone pulls each decision in a million different directions. But there must always be a captain, and that captain is the Director. Can a movie be terrible despite a great director? Sometimes yes, but can a movie be great despite the director being bat-shit insane? As a matter of fact, here's a list of five times that has occurred!

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