It’s a tense enough night in Havana for Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), who’s aware that Castro’s rebels will soon be taking over Cuba. Add to that the pressure of finding out his brother Fredo (John Cazale) is a traitor and then letting him know he knows. The scene may break your heart just as Fredo has broken Michael’s.
Ringing In 1899: The Gold Rush
Starting out as a sad fantasy sequence with Chaplin’s Tramp imagining how fun his New Year’s Eve dinner would be if the ladies he invited actually showed up, this scene gives us one of the most famous of all the silent comedy star’s routines: the dance of the rolls. Eventually he wakes up and is still alone, but can we really feel bad for someone who has such wonderfully inventive dreams?
Ringing In 1942: The Holiday Inn
Aren’t we all great dancers when we’re drunk? No, we’re all just more likely to dance when we’re drunk, confidently believing ourselves to be regular Fred Astaires. But the real Astaire is the only one who can dance like this while intoxicated — or pretending to be intoxicated, as it turns out.
Regarding that year, I’ve never really understood why the Coens set this movie — still one of my favorites — in the late 1950s instead of the 1930s of Capra and Sturges. I guess I’ll just let it be explained by the phrase “the future is now.” In any event, this magical moment is possibly the best scene involving a clock tower after Safety Last!, Back the Future and The Stranger.
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