What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1965: A Personal Sampling


Top Ten coming tomorrow! And as a prelude, I’ll be doing my ‘Personal Sampling’ posts for years in film that I cover. It helps make film viewing specific to me and my takeaways as well as touching on all the individual merits that I would otherwise be unable to pay tribute to.

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The widescreen winters of (and Pre-) Revolutionary Russia Doctor Zhivago courtesy of Freddie Young.

The bitter cynicism and guarded cageyness of Rod Steiger (in his best performance for my money) in the ceaselessly depressing The Pawnbroker

Two Evelyn Piper adaptations (The Nanny, Bunny Lake is Missing)

The distorted Betty Boop-da-da-doop-de-da-doop music and Ursula Andress’ machine-gun boobs in The 10th Victim

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Peter O’Toole’s sweaty flouncy striptease dance to “My Little Red Book” in What’s New Pussycat? 

Speaking of stripteases, making a striptease out of the removal of a shoe in Yoyo

Rotting rabbits, grabby hands and floating knife-wielding Deneuve with her transparent nightgown in Repulsion

The pressure cooker last act of The Shop on Main Street and a final scene that proves to me that an afterlife ending, whether as false uplift or tragic underlining, can actually work

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Tura Satana as Varla with her one-of-a-kind presence, a no-nonsense badass whose wrath I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!)

Clint Eastwood swaggers in with a timepiece to save Lee Van Cleef’s keister in For A Few Dollars More

Dick measuring becomes hat shooting in For A Few Dollars More

In which speed walking is represented exactly how I’d want it to be, all crotches, butts, waddling and jaunty wah-wah music. (Tokyo Olympiad)

Keir Dullea

Keir Dullea giving me nightmares as he lights a doll on fire (Bunny Lake is Missing)

Abebe Bikilia and the leader to straggler to leader depiction of the marathon in the climax of Tokyo Olympiad

Radioactive Flash! (Simon of the Desert)

Feisty Sarah Miles criminally partnered with a dull cowboy romantic lead in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

Pleasures of the Flesh

Nagisa Oshima’s use of Cinemascope, dissolves, and sound in Pleasures of the Flesh

Burt Lancaster is his own stunt man in The Train

WHY WOULD YOU EVER STRIKE A MATCH OFF KLAUS KINSKI’S BACK OH MY GOD YOU’RE A DEAD MAN LOOK AT HIM NOW HE’S TWITCHING (For a Few Dollars More)

Physical spasms used for communicating in Fists in the Pocket

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The use of pastels in Le Bonheur

Happily ever after played out and back again in Rapture

That indelible musical theme played on a loop throughout Yoyo

Noel Coward with his whips and slimy propositions in Bunny Lake is Missing

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The soul-crushing moment in which Falstaff is shunned in Chimes at Midnight

Paul Williams as a kid genius in The Loved One

The greatest gym montage ever and the greatest dance scene; both from the same film! (Who Killed Teddy Bear)

Black backdrop car rides with mobile kaleidoscopic lights and Jean-Paul Belmondo’s Michel Simon impression in Pierrot le Fou

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The Party’s Over reminding me that Oliver Reed is the most magnetic actor who ever lived

Speaking of kaleidoscopic, those Help! end credits

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