Don’t You Just Hate It When…

jcpetDon’t you just hate it when an artist’s work is judged by the personal life of the artist? Doesn’t it just irk you if someone declares their dislike based upon an artist’s love life, family life or political affiliation? Well, it really bugs me, and here are three of my pet peeves:

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford was a great star. These are not just words. From a career that started in 1925 and ended in 1970, this woman was the very definition of a Hollywood star and was loved by millions. True, her latter years were a bit hard to bear, but who doesn’t struggle with aging? Joan Crawford carried on the tradition of the glamorous, goddess-like star of the silent era, never giving in to the “just like us” image that started in the 1930s.

While Joan did look a bit scary in her later years (it was the eyebrows and the lip-liner), “Mommie Dearest” destroyed her reputation. And now you just know that you can’t discuss Joan Crawford and her 45-year career without someone mentioning wire hangers and stating that they will never watch her movies because she allegedly abused her children. Don’t fret, Joan, I am always on Team Crawford. I confess I read the sensational book when it was first published and I feel sorry for all of the tortured souls involved, but whether it is true or not, I will not be denied the great star power of Joan at the height of her powers. Her personal life does not diminish her art.

Charlie Chaplin

I am going to get all emotional here, because I practically worship this man as an artist. His accomplishments are legendary and his story larger than life. While his left-leaning political inclinations seem to have been forgiven and rarely held against him nowadays, there is always someone out there brought up the rumor that he was an alleged pedophile. Ack! He did like young girls and it caused him a world of trouble, but this is the man who gave us 12 perfect Mutual short films, plus The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights,  Modern Times and the very courageous The Great Dictator. Chaplin breaks and warms my heart at the same time and as long as he wasn’t eating babies for breakfast, I really don’t care what he was doing off of the screen.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen is a comedy god to me. While he may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no denying that there is a funny, brilliant mind at work. His stand-up routines of old still bowl me over, and his films rank among my favorites. Woody, like Chaplin, had lady trouble, frequently using his leading lady off-screen as his on-screen muse (chiefly Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow). And it was with Mia that all of the trouble began. Once the Woody-Soon Yi story broke, Woody was poison.

Now, admittedly, I might not want to have Woody for a son-in-law and the story is distasteful, but who cares? I love Woody for Take the Money and Run, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Midnight in Paris, and so many more. Cries of incest (Soon-Yi was not his daughter) and pedophile fall on my deaf ears. I am so glad he has hung in there and still continues to make interesting films.

I don’t or didn’t know any of these artists personally. Maybe if I did, I would feel more qualified to judge them, but I feel only qualified to judge their works. And for me, Joan, Charlie & Woody rock.

Marsha Collock has been an avid fan – not scholar – of classic films since she saw the first flicker of black and white on the TV screen. Her muse is Norma Desmond, to whom she has dedicated her blog, A Person in the Dark, a site designed for all of the wonderful people out there in the dark who have an unabashed passion for silents, early talkies, all stars and all films. Visit her Facebook page.

  • Gord Jackson

    I draw the line at people who use their celebrity status to put down Jews, gays, aboriginals, Muslims or people of colour. Life for any of the preceeding can be tough enough without celebrities making a bad situation even worse.

    • John Marsh

      I’m not sure what people think is a “Pet Peeve” as it relates to movies, but to me it is more of a technical or style issue in which the Director feels the need to use hand held cameras that are constantly moving as if the cinamatographer is suffering from spastic malady. Sure, at times, it can evoke a close emotional moment or reflect tense action, but sadly it is way over used especialy in lazy directors and especially on TV. I find myself actually getting dizzy at times and must abort what migh have been a good film turned into a bad case of sea sickness!

      • Patricia Holt

        Totally agree re hand held cameras…

      • Antone

        Amen!! Then on top of motion sickness you get a splitting headache and hearing loss from the 1 or 2 fiery explosions per minute, which invariably cause burning cars to cartwheel down the road like deranged high school cheerleaders on uppers. Fortunately they always take a big hop over the hero.

      • Gord Jackson

        And a fine example of the ‘whirlybird’ approach was on television the other night. I rarely watch commercial tv as the as I find the loud, incessently insulting commercials a total turnoff. However I did want to see what NBC had done with the IRONSIDE reboot given that the original Raymond Burr show is a personal favourite. I didn’t expect a lot and I wasn’t disappointed. I stayed with it for about 5/7 nauseating, non-stop camera-swirling minutes and then just had to bail. I certainly didn’t expect a repeat of the original style but my goodness this thing didn’t slow down for a second, to the point that I didn’t care who had done what to whom or why. Add to that the motor-mouth approach the cast was directed to deliver and you had a mess that no one could wipe up.

        • Bruce Reber

          The TV series remakes have the same thing going on as the movie remakes – no one with the least semblance of creativity or originality taking something that was perfect the first time around and turning it into garbage.

    • Antone

      True of anyone who uses celebrity, position, or wealth to support hate & intolerance—not just movie people.

      • Gord Jackson


  • frankiedc

    I hate the fact that Joan Crawford has been belittled so frequently, even by real movie buffs. Although some of her later film choices were not good ones, her work in Mildred Pierce, The Women, A Woman’s Face, Humoresque and many other movies was outstanding. I have read several biographies of her and discovered she was a kind, gracious and generous woman, who extended great charity to needy crew members and older friends who had fallen on bad times. She was famous for her loyalty to her fans and she worked hard to maintain the image of a star.

    Unfortunately, those bad movies at the end of her career, the publication of Mommie Dearest by her spiteful daughter and the nastiness of Bette Davis’ attitude towards Crawford all merged to create a backlash against her. A number of movie buffs claim that while Davis was a great film actress, Crawford was happy to be a glamorous movie star. Nobody, however, can dispute that she was a real movie legend.

    • Bruce Reber

      I agree – JC was a true Hollywood legend, but I think she hung on just a little too long. IMO the mediocre and really bad movies (she had her share of these at the start of her career, when she was at MGM), starting in the mid 50′s and continuing into the late 60′s, along with the stories about the abuse of her children helped send her career into decline. The only really good movie she made during this period was “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane” (1962), with her long-time nemesis Bette Davis. IMO, she should have called it quits after that.

    • Thomas W. Wilson

      I also agree about Crawford. I never thought much about her until I acquired a couple sets of her films. I was a kid when many of the films were first released so I didn’t get as much out of the ones I saw then. But after watching them on DVD I have come to realize what a truly great actress she was in her best years. She made some really excellent films. And I have read about her loyalty to her fans and that she personally answered her fan mail which must have been very time consuming, to say the least. As for “Mommy Dearest”, I don’t have much respect for children who write such things about their parents, most probably as a money making proposition. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors and there are two sides to every situation. A person who sets out to try to destroy another is certainly not going to be objective which leaves one to decide how much of it to believe.
      As for pet peeves, I agree with some presented here, especially the use of foul language ( some films seem to be merely an exercise in it) and those infernal sparking bullet impacts! Who dreamed that one up?

    • Bruce Reber

      I’m sure if there were reality/confrontational talk shows when Christina Crawford wrote “Mommie Dearest” that she would have made the rounds of them all, trashing her mom to the ends of the Earth. Whether or not the things CC wrote about are true, it was a family matter and it should never have been made public. IMO CC set the stage for today’s tell all/no secrets held back/shock literary/TV talk show culture. Even Bette Davis’s daughter did the same thing to her mom.

  • Trystan

    Joan developed an obsession with being/maintaining the life of a movie star. Served her well for first half of her career and plagued her for the last half. Bette Davis had an affair with Franchot tone while he was married to Joan. That threatened her incredibly.No one stayed married to Joan. So sad.

  • budgienation

    My movie ‘pet peeve’ is the idiots in theaters who don’t turn off their cell phones, bring noisy kids, or talk during the flick. In a way, I might blame the rise of ‘home videos’ for this. Think of it: You watch a movie at home, no one cares what you do. You can talk, answer the phone, scratch yourself, belch and fart to your heart’s content and no one cares because you’re at home. You get so used to this that you bring your ‘living room manners’ out in public. And, to top it off, they’re insulted when you ‘shuush’, them. Sheesh!

    • Lisanne

      What is even more disappointing is that it happens in live theatre, as well.

  • katny

    The opening paragraph made me willing to listen to the argument, but the examples are poorly argued. Who cares about pedophilia? But if he was eating babies for breakfast you draw the line? If there is a line, eating babies, then the line for 99% of us is pedophilia, rape and incest.
    Sorry, but I just can’t past the dismissive tone of the author.
    It’s possible to make an argument that the work can stand separately than the person but this author didn’t do that, instead trying to dismiss the sins of the person.

    And by the way, “and it was with Mia that the trouble began” is blaming the victim. When Soon Yi was 8 she was eating out of garbage cans in Korea..Allen met Soon-Yi when she was 10 years old and was in the role of Mom’s long term boyfriend. When she was 19 he was 56. There’s no way that was not violating the boundaries most of us consider sacrosanct.

  • Daisy

    Three pet peeves? Mine? Well, for starts I despise Woody Allen. He’s made some good movies, but most of them are spoiled by his own sick philosophies, so the less I see of him the better – although I confess I really did like “Midnight in Paris”.

    My second pet peeve is westerns. I really hate westerns. I can honestly count on both hands the westerns I actually liked over the years. Call it over exposure as a kid in the 50s to every western that ever came along. The worst of them all are the “spagetti” westerns, which in my opinion aren’t westerns at all, but Italian opera minus music, in exotic settings.

    My last pet peeve? Obnoxious coming-of-age comedies about over-sexed, under-brained teenage boys who engage in the stupidest, more irresponsible activities, as if there weren’t enough idiots in Real Life like this. It just ain’t phunny!

    Aside from that, I really don’t care that much about the private lives of actors. The less you know about them, the better off you usually are; and its all about make-believe anyway. Why does lurid reality have to intervene on a good story with good characters?

    • Geneva P.

      Well said, Daisy!

  • tiffany

    Marsha, I agree, and feel the same way about Roman Polanski! There! I have said it!

  • canada movie guy

    My pet peeve? The obscene language which started showing up in movies in the 1970′s and has only become worse over the years. If you talk this way yourself, it’s obviously no problem but those of us who can offer an opinion without using the f-word are disgusted by modern-day movie dialogue. Can you honestly say that any movie of today is enhanced by its filthy language?

    • Juaninamillion

      Can I add that sex scenes are almost always unnecessary and distract from the story? Audiences aren’t stupid; they know what is going on without having to see it. It might titillate some people in the audience (the rest will be bored or embarrassed) to see two characters making the naked pretzel, but it doesn’t convince anyone that they’re deeply in love. The plot stops while they get their freak on, and has to start up all over again when they get done. And which is actually sexier & more engaging: The scene in North by Northwest where Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint make out on the train OR … I can’t even remember an explicit sex scene to cite as an example.

      But to answer your question, ‘The Commitments’ is the only example that I can think of off the top of my head. The language didn’t add anything, but cleaning it up would have made the story less authentic.

    • Bruce Reber

      IMO no present day movie can be enhanced by ANY kind of language, filthy or otherwise!

  • MikeyParks

    My pet peeve is when modern pop culture references, e.g., language, modern mores, etc., turn up in period pieces in an effort to get a cheap chuckle out of the audience. Be true to the times whatever they are!

  • Joan Young

    Getting off of “flaws” in movie people’s characters, I would like to address some of the “flaws” in the movies themselves. How’s about when the driver of the vehicle is carrying on a lengthy conversation with the passenger and his eyes are not on the road for a long time … or when a period piece has a character voicing a modern day expression. I once watched a Helen of Troy movie and Helen had a vaccination scar on her arm

    • Tom K.

      @ Joan Young: There is nothing more RUDE than the driver taking their eyes off of the road to make eye contact with a front seat passanger that is only INCHES Away – in the movies and especially in Real Life. ” We were having a wonderful conversation and making great eye contact until I ran into the retaining wall and Killed Everyone In The CAR ! “

    • Bruce Reber

      Case in point – the scene near the end of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946) when John Garfield and Lana Turner are staring lovingly at each other and he crashes the car and kills her (he does however turn his eyes back to the road a split second before).

  • Johnny Sherman

    I know I’ll take flack for this one, but………I don’t understand the worship of Katherine Hepburn. Every film, from The Philadelphia Story to True Grit to The African Queen, to me she is Hepburn Playing Hepburn. She plays herself very well, but I just don’t see her mastering a particular character.

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      Johnny Sherman — I agree with you 100%. When she won the Academy Award for “The Lion In Winter,” I wanted to put my fist through the TV screen. There was another actress — can’t recall her name right now — who starred in her first movie — can’t remember the name right now…but her performance was perfect, outstanding. If she had correctly won the Oscar, her entire career would have soared; except, she became a TV movie star. (I think the name of the film was “A Woman In Love.”)

      • Johnny Sherman

        I’m not sure which film and actress you mean, but I am curious to know. Hepburn Playing Hepburn won in 1982, beating Susan Sarandon, Marsha Mason, Diane Keaton, AND Meryl Streep. 1934, 1968, and 1969 were also wins for Hepburn Playing Hepburn.

        • Carolyn Ferrante

          Johnny Sherman — Well, I was wrong about the movie, too. Do you remember the film in which a very attractive woman meets her husband for lunch in New York City…and he drops the bomb that he’s having an affair and wants a divorce? I think the film came out in the 1970s. There was a scene in which the woman is with a female psychiatrist and, in my opinion, delivered one of the best crying acting performances ever on screen. Why I can’t remember this actress’s name amazes even myself!

          • Johnny Sherman

            Possibly “An Unmarried Woman” with Jill Clayburgh?

          • Carolyn Ferrante

            You got it, Johnny Sherman!

      • Bruce Reber

        The 1968 Best Actress Oscar win was a tie between Hepburn for TLIW and Barbra Streisand for her terrific performance as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”. I always thought Streisand should have won outright. Hepburn won the year before for “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” (no tie then). She must have had some friends in AMPAS for the ’68 vote.

  • Tomisa Starr

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this pet peeve yet, but I hate it when one character dies in a movie and another character yells, “Noooooo!”

  • Richy

    My pet peeve, as a kid (and probably a little nutty), was the clacking of lips and tongues that came off the screen in super-sized sound
    Super-sized explosions and endless series of quick cuts give me a headache as an adult
    Someone one said that the three lies that most movies are based on are: the good guys always win; things always happen for a reason; and attractive people are always interesting. Movies have to be taken with a grain of salt. People who don’t get that are my major pet peeve

  • C.J. Gelfand

    In the 1940s, Ingrid Bergman was raked over the coals when she left her then husband, Dr. Peter Lindstrom for director Roberto Rosselini, and was pregnant with daughter Isabella. Americans wouldn’t go to any of her movies and denounced her as a whore. What a Puritanical country we live in!.

    • bookmark

      Just to set the record straight. Bergman was pregnant with a son, Robertino, when she left her husband. A few years later, also with Rossellni, she had twins, Isabella and Isotta.

      Talk about Puritanical … she was denounced in Congress by some fool of a senator (we had them then, too, it seems). She looked so angelic and played a nun and Joan of Arc so beautifully that America forgot there was a real woman underneath

  • Catheadbanger

    I hate movies that show a car driving in the rain, and the drops on the side windows are dripping straight down, or not even moving! Come on! Make it real! (You can use a fan. Is it that hard?)

  • billyboy53

    My pet peeve about the movies is that some of the very greatest performances never received Oscars, some not even nominations. Examples: Andy Griffith as the evil troubador in “A Face in the Crowd”; Burl Ives as Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”; Gloria Swanson as the faded movie star in “Sunset Boulevard”; Rosalind Russell as the frustrated school-marm in “Picnic”. And of course, worst omission of all, Judy Garland’s performance in “A Star is Born”. All travesties.

  • Sam

    I agree with Daisy about the coming-of age comedies, but to them I would add just about all of the relatively new comedies coming out of Hollywood. I am so sick of the heroes in these things also being so infatuated with drugs.
    I also have two technical pet peeves; one is obvious and one is not.
    The obvious one is when someone is asked if someone else is dead or dying… the actor just shakes his head from side to side. My god, it’s in nearly every film.
    The subtle one is how drivers often get out or into automobiles through the passenger side. Is it just an economical move… not having to move a camera or waste film on the time it takes to walk around a car? I mean no one ever does this in real life.

    • Tom K.

      @ Sam: Drivers entering their car from the passanger side could save the driver from getting run over or losing a car door on the street side of their car. Make sure you have a full bench front seat and no console !

  • IreneGP

    My pet peeve is movie adaptations of books and plays that are warped by changing the ending to a happy one. Examples: The Bad Seed, Our Town, Alice Adams. Mainly an issue for the thirties through fifties.

    • Antone

      I agree. Suspicion and Arsenic and Old Lace are the two about which I am most peeved.

      • kp22kc

        Antone, just a question. How was the ending of Arsenic and Old Lace changed? I can think of the line “I’m the son of a sea cook” instead of “I’m a bastard” but what else happened differently?

        • Antone

          The aunts poisoned the asylum superintendent at the end of the play.

          • kp22kc

            You’re right, I guess I haven’t watched the movie in a long time and forgot since I have seen and read the play since I have watched the movie. I wonder why they changed that since the Aunts are getting away with killing all the other men. I can see the “bastard” line for the times, but that really doesn’t make much sense. Although they were going to the loony bin. Maybe they’ll bring the Elderberry wine to Happydale and get him there.

          • Antone

            I think Capra was ill-suited for dark comedy. The only ending that makes any sense is the old girls bumping off the super once they learn he is a lonely old man. Their favorite “charity” was putting such men out of their misery. Capra insisted on tacking on one of his characteristic fairy-tale happy endings, though it was completely out-of-synch with the rest of the film.

          • Antone

            kp22kc: Just thought I’d add a bit of trivia. Boris Karloff played the psycho brother “who looked like Boris Karloff” on Broadway. They hoped to land him for the movie, but he was booked solid doing horror flicks. Possibly the one the sisters complained of seeing with the neighbor boy.

          • kp22kc

            I thought I read that he was still obligated to do the Broadway production, but I could be wrong. Karloff did play Johnny Brewster in a couple of TV versions of the show. One with Tony Randall as Mortimer, but Karloff had some age to him by that time. Then Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) played Johnny in the TV version with Bob Crane as Mortimer.

          • Antone

            You’re probably right. I knew he was stopped by some prior commitment.

    • T L Miller

      Book junkie that I am, I’m ALWAYS wary of screen adaptations — they miss the mark most of the time. Going all the way back to “Beau Geste,” the movie was nowhere near as good as the book. And Robert Ludlum novels brought to the screen, just never do it for me. There is so much going on in the book that doesn’t make it to film, which really messes it up. Pack all the stars, explosions and naked chicks you want in the film, without the story, FUHGEDDABOUDDIT!

    • Bruce Reber

      The reason for the so-called “happy endings” was the dreaded Production Code Administration, which controlled what could/couldn’t be said/done on screen (especially in regard to profanity, sex and violence) from 1934 to 1966.

      • IreneGP

        Yes, that’s so. And “morality” concerns came to be maybe even more pervasive than profanity, sex and violence. For example, the morality issue also warped the film version of Tea and Sympathy, which was on TV today. But sometimes I think they just wanted a happy, or happier, ending than the original. For instance, in The Little Princess, there already was a happy ending in the book, in which the Indian gentleman took the orphan in, but the Shirley Temple version had to go one better and resurrect the father too, Complete with assistance from Queen Victoria.

  • Alfie

    1. Movies without plots and those where the soundtrack drown out the dialogue, a sure sign of bad writing.
    2. Hand-held cameras, jerking and swinging around, making one dizzy or nauseated.
    3. Movies in yellow-tinted technicolor (couldn’t they afford better?)
    Also: Sequels of so-so movies; bad casting; actors who can’t act – which brings to mind Woody Allen, the most whiney, irritating example of a screen character who ever inserted himself into his own movies as an actor – even placing himself into the lead roles. I’ll pass, every time.

    • T L Miller

      Yay! I thought I was alone!! Woody-Allen: WHY? I’m so not impressed. How did he get to be such a big deal? Of his films I’ve actually seen, some were just okay, others, Meh! Most of them should have ended 7-8 scenes before they finally did. I don’t get all that ‘comic genius’ hype, but, each to his/her own tastes.

  • MichaelTJ

    My pet peeve is those made for TV films. Why do they have to play music throughout often drowning out dialogue? Granted the dialogue is of poor quality but it would be nice to follow the plot.

    • California Sunshine Girl

      Thank you MichaelTJ:: music is appropriate IF it enhances the story line, but NOT

      when it drowns it out!!!

  • Antone

    I am not affected by an artist’s personal flaws. Chaplin is #1 in comedy for me. I don’t like Crawford or Allen, but it’s because I dislike melodramas and making neuroses fun.

    Fatty Arbuckle is the star whose career was destroyed by a probably unfounded rape charge [of which he was acquitted] followed by an incessant smear campaign by Hearst. Liz Taylor battled through being the other woman between Eddie and Debbie. Polanski suffered only a tiny blip in his career from his rumored pedophilia. I enjoy the work of all three.

    • Jay

      Rumoured paedophilia?
      He drugged and raped a child.
      No rumour about it. Criminal. Paedophile. Rapist.

      • Antone

        Child rape and/or murder are absolutely the most heinous of crimes. There is no punishment too severe for them.

        I am not an avid follower of high-profile crimes. I didn’t know anything about the Polanski case except that he refused to return to stand trial and was found guilty of something in absentia. When I have insufficient information to reach an informed opinion, I use adjectives like rumored or alleged.

        • Juaninamillion

          Not to defend the guy or excuse what he did, but there is more to the story. Polanski pleaded guilty and served his time in prison. He cooperated fully and did everything that was asked of him, and he received positive reports from prison officials and psychiatrists. However, the judge in the case refused to accept the reports of the prison system’s own experts and ordered a new trial. Witnesses have stated that the judge discussed the case outside of court with just about anyone who would listen; the case had made him quite a celebrity in his social circle. Even the prosecutors expressed their concern about the judge’s behavior. Rather than face indefinite and capricious prosecution, Polanski fled to Europe.

          Also, before you condemn Polanski, you might consider what he went through during WWII. His mother was killed in a death camp. At age 7 or 8, Roman was sent to hide in the countryside with a very poor Polish family, who would have been executed for concealing him if they been discovered. Can you imagine living with that kind of fear and guilt on a daily basis as an adult, let alone as a child?

          Things didn’t get much better in Poland after WWII: everyone lived in constant fear of being denounced to the communists. Polanski got out only because he held dual Polish & French citizenship.

          You might also recall that his wife, actress Sharon Tate, was killed by the Manson family while she was 8 1/2 months pregnant with his son, and the media circus around that trial dragged on for months.

          So, it is fairly understandable if Polanski had a screw or two loose when he met Samantha Geimer. Even she has said that she wants the whole thing dropped. I say we respect her wishes.

          • Antone

            Thanks for the info. I knew about the personal tragedies in Polanski’s past, but had only a vague memory of sketchy information about the incident in question, which came from unreliable media sources.

            I was surprised that an adjective [rumored] drew such anger. It only meant “I don’t know what happened”. Anyway, I have no intention of throwing out my copies of Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby because they are great movies.

  • California Sunshine Girl

    My pet pet peeve? Why does Hollywood (genre) think they have to make SEQUELS? Is it
    a generation thing? When someone has produced an iconic story, filmed it, won awards and
    become an icon, why bring new actors in to mess up a good memory of the original work? I’m
    SO GLAD that NO ONE has attempted this foolishness with GONE WITH THE WIND…….but
    why did they redo so many Zorro=s, or recently The Lone Ranger, for example? Nothing is
    ever as good as the ORIGINAL!! There’s nothing wrong with rereading a good book……..or
    watching an original great film AGAIN!!

    • Huge movie fan

      They did do gone with the wind, sort of. I watched it when i was ten. It’s a made for tv movie called scarllett starring timothy dalton as rhett butler and i can’t remember who played scarllett. Fyi

      • yosh12896

        I saw that too, wish I could un-see it. It was actually supposed to be a sequel, based on a book called ‘Scarlett’. Joanne Whalley Kilmer (?) Played Scarlett and Timothy Dalton played Rhett. It was horrendous. So was the casting. The book though wasn’t that bad.

    • T L Miller

      I second, third and fourth that!!! Remakes are equally annoying! “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was the first and last remake I need to see to make my point that if the original was good, there’s no reason to attempt to better it — especially when the remake is crummy! Let some things just BE.

    • Bruce Reber

      IMO it’s an ego thing – directors feel they can remake a classic movie that was absolutely perfect the first time and then put their own personal spin on it, turning it into an awful mess. As for sequels, 99% of the time they’re just a diminished version of the original.

  • Paige

    My pet peeve is historical movies as told in the 60′s and 70′s. Mainly through hair, makeup and costume. Take The Way We Were. Great movie and the costumes start out great. But by the time the story reached the late 40′s to 50′s the actors were just wearing the clothes the came to the set in. Westerns in the 60′s on t v were just as bad. The womans hair and makeup was so modern that I can’t watch. Anyone who goes to the movies with me knows if the history isn’t just right, they are going to hear about it. (Not during the movie though, i’m not the one you’re shushing) Oh and The Notebook. I didn’t like that movie but that’s beside the point. At one time the daughter is in the car with her mom and the mother has a modern french manicure. Here in America in the 40′s we didn’t do french, square maicures with fake nails. In the 30′s they did cresent manicures (reverse french). The nails were one color and pointed. As for Woody, well his private life is his and he will have to one day answer for it. As for his movies not my cup of tea. The humor, settings, dialouge just not funny. Joan well great actress all around but she was caught up in the hype like a lot of actors. To act and play different people is to hide yourself away.
    Many actors don’t know how to live in the real world because they work in a fantasy world for a living. Surrounded by yes people, and the lies of their own minds. As for not liking movies with certain actors because of their private lives, well who doesn’t have a skeleton or two in the closet, under the bed, in the pantry?

    • T L Miller

      I remember trippin’ on both “The Glenn Miller Story” and “The Benny Goodman Story” — 1954 and 1956 — and the costumes for the female leads. Now, if Cpt Miller’s plane went down in 1944, and all the action in the movie takes place before that, then June Allyson shouldn’t have been prancing around in poodle skirts, which came out in the ’50s! Same with Donna Reed. It’s nice for the costumers to showcase their fashion sense, but please! And, while it was so ‘thoughtful’ to include it, in the parade scene, where the soldiers are swing-steppin’ to “St Louis Blues March,” uhhh… Truman didn’t desegregate the Armed Forces until 1948! Ooops! I love both of those movies, yet, those are some things that bug me about that kind of film. If you miss some realllllly noticeable things about a particular era, then don’t call it a bio, or even historical. At least try to aim for authenticity by doing a little research.

  • Gary Clure

    WWII German soldiers with British accents.

    • Bruce Reber

      I can cite one epic WW2 movie – “The Longest Day” (1962), in which American actors play Americans, British actors play British, French actors play French and German actors play Germans – with everyone speaking their own language. It also gives TLD an air of authenticity other war movies don’t have.

      • Gary Clure

        You’re right. That movie did do it right. I’d rather have an actor speak german and have them lay down some subtitles.

      • T L Miller

        Totally made it authentic! The appeal was international. Sometimes you wonder, did anybody ever notice that WWII was fought on different CONTINENTS, with different people speaking different languages, so why wouldn’t a film depicting that actually depict that? What a concept!

      • Antone

        I liked the way Kramer handled it in Judgment at Nuremberg. He started the trial with Germans speaking German with subtitles. This gave us the flavor of how the proceedings went. Then he had the camera slowly move forward until it cleared a glass partition. From then on the German characters spoke English, saving us from turning a 3-hour movie into a 5-hour movie.

        • Bruce Reber

          I’ve seen JAN both on TCM and DVD – when the judges are being arraigned by the tribunal and they respond to the charges in German – also when Maximillian Schell begins his opening statement in German – there are no subtitles.

          • Antone

            True, but he went one step better. He had an actor sitting by the witness stand playing a German to English interpreter for the tribunal. Thus we knew what the Germans were saying without having to look away from the face to read subtitles. This was exactly how an English-only spectator would have experienced it.

          • Bruce Reber

            Your point is well made.

    • artemis

      You noticed that too? I laugh every time I hear a German soldier speaking with a British accent – can’t the British actors put on a German accent? Guess not, because most WW11 movies have British actors portraying German soldiers. I suppose there weren’t enough German actors to fill the spots…. Even worse is when an American actor tries to put on a British accent – gives me the heebie jeebies. And why do British actors put on American accents in television shows such as “House” and Owen on Grey’s Anatomy (he’s actually Irish) and several others that slip my mind at the moment. Can’t they just be British people working and living in the United States? I don’t get that……

      • Bruce Reber

        Peter Sellers had to be THE best (if not ONLY) British actor at doing an American accent – check out “Lolita” and “Dr. Strangelove” – you’ll see what I mean!

        • artemis

          Once again Bruce, I agree with you. British can put on American accents, but it really doesn’t work with Americans putting on British accents. I’m Canadian and was raised in a house with English & Scottish accents, so have a good ear for those accents. Some Canadians can put on a good English, Irish or Scottish accent, but only if they heard it growing up as I did, otherwise they suck at it too!
          And Peter Sellers was the master of accents, American and others – he was brilliant in everything he did in my humble opinion.

          • Juaninamillion

            Incidentally, in real life Peter Sellers didn’t speak a word of French!

      • Bruce Reber

        Also, Elizabeth Taylor gradually lost most of her British accent during the course of her career, particuarly when she played the role of an American.

  • Jackie

    my pet peeve is the price of a movie ticket…the sterility of movie theaters and the herding of patrons in and out like cattle….i miss the days of the movie theaters with comfy velvet seats, two movies, a cartoon and the movietone news..and you could stay and see the movie more than once if you were so inclined and if you were very lucky, the stars of the movie made a guest appearance at the venue..and last but not least, it really annoys me that there are more “special” effects than story line in the movies today…it really is true when they say “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to”….and that’s a crying shame

    • Lisa

      Can’t agree with you more on the “more special effects than story line”. I’m sick and tired of all the special effects.

  • Regular guy in flannel shirt

    Two things.

    First, I agree with the hand held camera issue (filmed in “jiggly-cam” format!). It’s a shlock film school technique.

    Second, and I can’t believe no one’s mentioned this yet… 555 phone numbers! Does anything take you out of a story more abruptly?

    • Tom K.

      @ Regular Guy & Juaninamillion : If movies used real phone numbers, knuckleheads would call those numbers, probably from their seat in the theater – while they talked loudly -or- failed to quiet their crying baby -or- while loudly chomping on their popcorn. What if the movie accidentally used YOUR phone number and you got thousands of goofy calls ?

      • Bruce Reber

        You got that right! I have enough trouble with telemarketers, phone solicitng and wrong numbers (especially when they don’t even have the courtesy to say “Sorry, wrong number” and just hang up.) Fortunately, I have a message system so I can screen my calls.

    • Bruce Reber

      Some movies actually did use non 555 numbers – i.e. “Duel” (1971), when Dennis Weaver mentions two phone numbers (calling his wife at the gas station/laundromat and the Police in the phone booth at the Snakearama) that aren’t 555.

    • Juaninamillion

      Amen on the “jiggly-cam” issue. If you haven’t seen ‘Cloverfield’, DON’T!!! It’s nothing but shaky video– everything is shown through a palmcorder. It is quite possibly the worst movie ever to see wide release. ALL of he “characters” were grating twenty-something hipsters who were so annoying that they richly deserved to die. One reviewer on Netflix put it brilliantly: “How long before you started cheering for the monsters?”

  • K. Soze

    One of my pet peeves currently is the plot device of the villain, (often a serial killer) who has plotted things out 20 moves ahead, it seems. The hero just happens to do everything the way the villain thinks he will. It just seems to be used more and more frequently. I enjoy a smart, nuanced villain, just don’t make him omniscient!

    • Bruce Reber

      IMO that’s true of the “Halloween” (Michael Myers), “Friday The 13th” (Jason) and “Nightmare On Elm Street” (Freddie Kruger) movies.

  • Juaninamillion

    My pet peeve? Almost the entire indie film scene. Independent films can be absolutely brilliant and stunningly innovative, and they can take you places that no mainstream, studio production would dare go. But there’s also a huge amount of bilge water being pumped out by film makers who are too self-absorbed and stubborn to learn effective storytelling techniques. They can get images and sound onto the screen, but they can’t tell relevant, coherent, meaningful stories. Often they argue that they do the best that they can within limited budgets, but this simply is not true– money finds talent. Lesser indie film festivals are clogged with the junk that these people put out, but pretentious hipsters still flock to them, more to rub elbows with other pretentious hipsters than to see films that are actually better.

  • Juaninamillion

    My other pet peeves:

    a.) Talkers in the audience

    b.) People in the audience who don’t turn off their cell phones

    c.) People who bring crying babies into the theater

    d.) People who make noise when they eat popcorn. Yuk! Seriously, why should I have to hear that when I’m sitting five rows away? CLOSE YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU CHEW!

    • Bruce Reber

      It seems like a., c. and d. have been movie peeves since time immemorial. b. has become a peeve only in the last 15 years or so.

  • Debbie

    The movie starts and 15 minutes later you start seeing the credits. What a rude interruption.

    • Bruce Reber

      Some of the classic movies didn’t show the credits until the very end – i.e. “Citizen Kane”, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and a few others. I like it better that way.

      • richiev333

        Star Wars

  • Tantalus

    My pet peeve is when the hero plays no role in the outcome of the story. The two examples that come to mind are Raiders of the Lost Ark and Inglourious Basterds. And did anyone read Inferno by Dan Brown? Let’s hope Hollywood passes on that gem, unless you enjoy (SPOILER ALERT) watching your hero overcome conflict after conflict only to discover that he was never in any real danger at all and the thing he was trying to prevent has already happened!

  • Tom K.

    Pedophiles must be prosecuted and removed from society, whether they are actors or directors or ” the King of Pop ” or the average man on the street.

  • Jazz Min

    My pet peeves are swearing, littering, cigarette smoking.

  • T L Miller

    CLICHES! Which was the first film to have the explosion in the background while the character is walking away in slow-motion? It’s a good bet that whoever thought that up is making a FORTUNE, because every-freakin’-where you look, there’s a scene like that — male, female, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, cats, dogs, commercials — GIVE IT A REST! Practically every movie is trying to look like every other movie — imitation/flattery and all that, notwithstanding — with all these alleged ‘brilliant’ writers, they can’t come up with something original? Of course, we know, there is no new thing under the sun, what’s up with attempting to NOT do the same thing over and over and over?

    • Bruce Reber

      In Hitchock’s “North By Northwest” – the scene where the plane that’s been strafing Cary Grant crashes into the gasoline truck and explodes, it looks to me like he’s running away from it in slo-mo.

  • John

    My pet peeve in the movies made during the present era is the excessively fast editing that disconnects so many scenes throughout the entire film.

  • Bruce Reber

    One of my pet peeves (be it in movies, TV or real life) is the constant use of “like” and “you know” every fifth word it seems, especially by teens and youg adults (and sometimes middle age and older). It gets damn annoying! Another sign of the decay of the English language! Is anyone else with me on this?

    • Randy

      Bruce – you nailed it !! I listen to a lot of talk radio because I drive for a living. Many times it gets to the point that I have to turn the dial. The “like” and “ya know” are out-of-control and it makes me wonder if these people are even able to have a real conversation without this annoying crutch. Also, the constant greeting of “How are you?” I don’t think they really care – just get on with the question or comment.

    • Antone


      About 10 years ago we found that the verb forms of “say” had become those of “go”. He said became he went, or worse he goes [which also messes with the tense]. This may have been the last straw that drove me into crusty curmudgeonhood [sic].

  • evrrdy1

    My biggest pet peeve is any movie that has a singer/song narration as in Last of the Dogmen and The Legend of the Lone Ranger. Good film makers respect the intelligence of their audience and simply tell the story.

  • scribe_well

    1, Movies where the best friend/trusted confidant/lover turns out to be the bad guy.
    2. Cars that explode with very little provocation.
    3. Heroes who duck flying vehicles as they spin toward the camera,
    4. R-rated horror films that aim for PG-13 ratings.
    5, Convenient parking spaces on busy city streets.
    6. Abuse of exposition.

  • Bruce Reber

    This is about TV and not movies – my TV pet peeve is the use of a “laughtrack” or “canned laughter” on sitcoms, especially the ones from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. On the series “M*A*S*H” (which I thought of more as a dramadey than sitcom) , I found the use of a laughtrack very ridiculous – they were in the middle of nowhere in a tent performing surgery! Although M*A*S*H did have one episode without canned laughter. In the 70′s, more sitcoms were being filmed in front of live audiences, which was way better because the reactions were realistic, including other things beside laughter. I’ll cite one movie re: “canned laughter” – “A Face In The Crowd”, with the Lonesome Rhodes audience reaction machine producing laughter, giggles, hmmms and ohhhs.

    • kp22kc

      On some of the DVDs for M*A*S*H, you can take off the canned laughter and it is much better. I don’t know if that option is available on all the seasons, but I know the first few are like that. The worst one of the canned laughter is when the lady says “Uh Oh” I remember they used that on Just Shoot Me one episode and got a lot of flack for it. The original “Uh Oh” was from I Love Lucy so they have been using it since the 50′s

  • artemis

    My biggest pet peeve is the blatant use of advertising in movies. I don’t want to see the Coca Cola logo or the Samsung logo in the middle of a movie. We see that stuff shoved in our faces all day, don’t want to see it in a movie too.
    Television is doing it too on “reality” shows – last night’s episode of the Amazing Race had the contestants use a Ford pick up truck to move a large rock to reveal a clue. Every contestant got out of the truck and made a verbal “commercial” about how great the truck is – PLEASE spare us from this.
    Also hate the use of profanity as a second language. Can people not speak without the “F” word in every sentence? The old classic movies had no bad language other than damn or hell and they got their point across. Do the movies really need so much profanity?

    • Bruce Reber

      I own a Ford pickup, and it’s a nice truck, but I don’t feel compelled to do a public testimonial about it. Now if they’re willing to pay me some bucks, well that’s another story.

      • artemis

        Hello Bruce, I also drive a Ford vehicle (2010 Focus) and love it, but as you say I would not make a public speech about it unless Ford paid me to do so. The camera people on the Amazing Race kept zooming in on the Ford logo on the backs of the trucks. We see that too much in movies too – logos everywhere. I’m sure they are paying a large sum of money to have their logos in the movies, but it still bugs me. Thanks for letting me vent….

        • dirkwrestler

          Wasn’t it the JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS movie that took logo placement to a whole new level?? Logos are everywhere, in every scene. It was fun to play “spot the logo”! I didn’t really get the tongue in cheek thing until the repeated logo all though the Carpet pattern, over & over! Fun, as long as you are IN on it!!

          • artemis

            I didn’t see Josie & The Pussycats (not my cup of tea), but if I had, I’m sure all the logos would have driven me screaming from the theatre!
            I guess I’m all “logod out” because I see logos every day at work in our graphics shop where we produce signs, etc. for trade shows. I really shouldn’t complain about logos because they help to pay my wages, but enough is enough and I really can’t stand seeing them in movies. They have a place at trade & consumer shows, packaging, retail stores, billboards, tv commercials, etc. – but please keep them out of the movies!!!

  • Jim

    This is an old stumbling block for followers of all the arts. Artists are not angels. Neither are they role models, or paragons of virtue, or even, often, nice guys. That’s just the way it is. If you don’t learn at an early age to separate the art from the human being, with all the foibles attached, you are going to have a very small personal pantheon of books, movies, and music. My advice to all who are troubled by the behavior, lifestyles, and/or politics of artists is get over it already.

    • artemis

      I agree with you Jim that people need to get over the fact that artists are not perfect. No one is perfect. My Mum won’t watch Woody Allen movies because she thinks he’s a jerk. But I love his movies because jerk or not, he is a great film maker. I pee my pants laughing every time I watch Sleeper. Someone once asked me what famous person I would like to have lunch with and my answer was Woody Allen. I think speaking with him would be amazing. But to each his own – that’s just my 2 cents worth.

  • T L Miller

    … because writers and filmmakers have run out of ideas, they raid the Sunday newspaper, Saturday morning cartoons, kid’s picture books and comics! I mean, really, ‘The Flintstones’ in live action? Nobody did animation better than Chuck Jones, so why bother a classic like the ‘Grinch?’ I let a friend talk me into seeing “Where the Wild Things Are” and I hope Maurice Sendak’s family sues! A useless exercise and complete waste of time and celluloid! Some things are better left alone, lest they ruin a kid’s love for reading!

  • laustcawz

    Chaplin was impressive, but Buster Keaton was the true legend (at least in terms of his film work, stunts, deadpan comedy). Haven’t been all that familiar with Crawford’s work, but love Woody (though I’d consider “Manhattan” & “Hannah…” low points, while “Take The Money…” & “Annie Hall” are terrific, as are “Sleeper:”, “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex”, “Zelig”, “Purple Rose Of Cairo”, “Everyone Says I Love You”, etc.).

    My greatest movie pet peeve is the tacked-on happy ending that comes out of nowhere & contradicts any kind of sense that the story might’ve otherwise made. I don’t mind a somewhat happy or resolved ending if there’s a logical explanation behind it (especially if there were elaborate set-ups for it–that’s always impressive), but I hate when it’s just arbitrary–LAME (“E.T.”, I’m looking at you!!).

  • Rex Bobinette

    Boy that isn’t my peeve … I have a whole list of “A” holes like Penn and Clooney and Stone that I will not give a penny more to supporting because of their off screen antics … peeve I have is director/screenwriter saying “F” you to me with dour ending like Open Water … invested two hours in characters just so HA-HA on me could take place that they die and credits roll … horse pucky on those types!!!!!!

  • RUaFriend

    Sad to say that I came here with the intent to participate in an interesting topic…pet peeves…and discovered instead an article telling me I should support the careers of actors who are child abusers and pedophiles. As a survivor of a similar childhood (without the fame & money) to Christina Crawford, I stopped being a Joan Crawford fan the minute I read the book. I was also a huge Woody Allen fan before his disgusting behavior came to light.

    I will never give my money over to support people who abuse and/or exploit children.
    There is no excuse for this article.

    Just one final note to the person that said it was a family matter (Crawfords) and should not have been made public…That was the kind of thinking that made it so easy for child abusers to do what they did and not be held accountable. The saddest thing is that it still goes on, and that “it’s private” attitude still exists in the 21st century.

  • badleg60

    My pet peeve is people with pet peeves. They are sooooo anal retentive and extremely irritating.

    • Wayne P.

      My pet peeve, or at least one of them now, is with redundant people…who have to make the same point twice and, not only that, they wind up repeating themselves, which is basically saying the same thing more than once…see below! ;)

  • Mike G

    After reading the article and the first 100 or so comments, I’m divided. I fall into the category of the author’s peeve in that i won’t watch a Crawford film for the reason she stated, but I own and watch (often) all the Chaplin movies I own, and I own nearly all of them. Keaton was a genius, too, but I’d rather watch Charlie. I can take or leave Allen. Having said all this, Hanoi Jane deserves all the slime that gets hurled upon her and her reputation, and NONE of the fame.

  • Wild Bill

    It is interesting that the author chose these three artists to write about in that they are polarizing subjects to everyone, not just movie fans. Was that the intent? Anyone can separate the artist from the private person in assessing the talents. Most will agree that their personalities were flawed, that movie icons might not be the best characters in their homes. As for their talents, I have long found Ms. Crawford objectionable as an actor, long before the book. She was rough and crude, lacking elegance or real beauty. To this day I will not watch a Crawford movie, but not because of the book. Chaplin and Allen are both hit and miss as artists. They have had their great moments, but also their flops. I consider both geniuses, but fallible.

  • Cara

    Recently, I made the mistake of giving into a temptation for salacious material and bought an ebook that purported to be a kind of autobiography of a panderer to the stars. I realized soon into the book that the author was telling me things I had no right to know. Whether true or not, his stories were about people’s personal sex lives, and we the public don’t really have the need or right to peek into another person’s bedroom, rather that person is famous or not. Artists, I believe, should be judged on the art they produce, not on their personal blunders, unless those blunders result in bad art. And I’ll let the law deal with criminal behavior.

    I have to say that I don’t care for Woody Allen as an artist. His neuroses overcome his genius in too many of his films. ( I know, I’m a heretic for stating that I consider Woody Allen less than great.) I also find Joan Crawford’s screen persona very off-putting in most of her roles from 1940 on, and that includes Mildred Pierce. Charlie Chaplin I consider to be a great artist, personal piccadillos not withstanding. And I have sworn off books that traffic in salacious gossip. I resent the author I mentioned getting a dime of royalties from my pocketbook.