Time passage in the story is synced with realty, making the clock a constant motif and reminder — time is running out.
American Film Institutes Ranking: #33/100 Awards: Nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning four (Actor for Gary Cooper and then some editing and musical stuff). My Rating:
This movie has a handful of things going for it, but I’m not sure where they stand against the test of time.
The backdrop of the movie was McCarthyism, and the film is supposed to be a representation of someone willing to stand up against evil when all others wilt. The film runs in real time, with every shot including a clock corresponding with the correct amount of time that has passed in real life. It flips the Western on its head, having an ending that is somewhat counter to what would be considered traditional.
Putting it all together, enough happens where it produces an average film, enjoyable albeit hard to recommend to others.
American Film Institute Ranking: #97/100
Academy Awards: None
Director: Howard Hawks
What is comedy?
It’s a tricky question to answer and is the crux of my problem with this movie. What makes someone laugh: do you prefer witty, ridiculous, crass, situational, ironic, play-on-words, role reversals, self-depreciating, or some combination of the above? This movie has universal appeal with a resounding unison of positive reviews. This is quite different from how it was described at the time of its release, with phrases such as “box-office poison” and such a bomb that it threatened Hepburn’s film career with critics.
Somehow through syndication, this movie gained a steamroller of momentum and now is regarded as the quintessential screwball, romantic comedy that created an entire genre. I can’t help but agree with the original opinion. While the movie appealed to my love of wacky and imaginative, the delivery made this one of the most frustrating films I’ve ever watched.