Weekend Viewing Roundup & the Gregory Peck Marathon Update

Hello folks, hope your weekend’s been great now that Monday is just around the corner. I’ve been enjoying a pretty relaxing three-day weekend and watched quite a bit of movies. The first snowfall finally arrived so I pretty much spent all day indoors yesterday and pretty much continued my Gregory Peck marathon, ehm.

So far I’ve seen four five more of his films after Spellbound & Duel in the Sun:

  • David & Bathsheba, which chronicles the most famous Biblical adulterous affair. Peck perfectly portrays the charismatic leader and passionate lover, and the more desolate scenes of David pleading for God’s mercy is one of my favorite scenes.
  • Gentleman’s Agreement, a moral drama about antisemitism
  • The Great Sinner, about a novelist who gets caught in a gambling addiction as he’s doing a research on it
  • Keys to the Kingdom, Peck’s 2nd film where he nabbed his first Oscar nomination. He played a young priest sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese.
  • Another classic Western The Big Country starring another favorite classic actor, Charlton Heston
Clockwise from top left: David & Bathsheba, Gentleman’s Agreement, The Keys to the Kingdom, The Great Sinner, The Big Country

I’ve also started watching Designing Woman, a rom-com w/ Lauren Bacall. It’s cute to see Peck in a comedy and so far it’s quite enjoyable. I can’t help thinking though that his role seems to be tailor-made for Cary Grant.

The Big Country is directed by Roman Holiday and Ben-Hur director William Wyler, which has now become Wyler’s third favorite feature of mine. Peck played a New Englander who arrives in the Old West to marry his fiancée and becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land. I never thought I’d be enjoying Westerns so much, but I guess with the right cast anything is possible 🙂 Peck is good as always as the quiet hero, and it’s fun to see Charlton Heston being a rogue and lusty cowboy after his major role as Moses in The Ten Commandments. It’s only a year later that he worked with Wyler again in the epic Ben-Hur.

My admiration for Mr. Peck continues to grow with each film I watch. I’m not going gush about him all over again, as I’m afraid this one post won’t be able to contain it, ahah. I just want to share with you this awesome find I discovered over the weekend. It’s sort of a mini-documentary of sort, here’s the full description:

One of Hollywood’s most enduring and popular stars draws on his memories to tell the amusing and touching story of how it was when the studios ruled supreme, and a shy and inarticulate boy from a broken family could rise to superstardom to become one of the most handsome, attractive and respected of movie leading men.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Well, I managed to squeeze in Tree of Life in between my GP marathon 🙂 I have mixed feelings about it, more on that tomorrow.

So what did you see this weekend? And if you want to indulge yours truly here, what’s your favorite Gregory Peck movie that you’ve seen?

54 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup & the Gregory Peck Marathon Update

  1. Yeah, isn’t William Wyler’s ‘The Big Country’ great? It has the reputation as the thinking man’s western. Such a fantastic cast and story in that motion picture, whether it’s an oater or not. I wrote the film up late last year on my old blog, in case you’re interested: http://bit.ly/fkotx7

    Didn’t get out to a theater this weekend (was avoiding the ‘Breaking Dawn’ crowds), but did enjoy screening once again the darkly splendid ‘In Bruge’ by Martin McDonagh on Blu-ray Disc.

    Fave Gregory Peck film? ‘Old Gringo’… I’m kidding. ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is my answer.

    Thanks, Ruth.

    1. It’s awesome, Michael, I never thought I’d like a Western this much but the story really grabs me. I’ll be over and check out your review shortly. Yes you could say that it’s a thinking man’s Western. Well Peck to me is like a thinking woman’s sex symbol, ahah. He’s hardly ever shirtless in his movies but even with his clothes on he’s sexy 😉

      Yeah, the Mall of America was having a Twilight marathon so I avoid that place like a plague.

      Ha..ha.. Old Gringo!! I don’t know if I’ll see that one, can’t even get through The Boys from Brazil, he’s unrecognizable in that one. ‘Mockingbird’ is coming next week as part of the box set, yay!

  2. No theater going this weekend but I went on a on location movie tour in Brooklyn NYC (more about that on the blog this week).

    As for my favorite Peck films definitely To Kill a Mockingbird. But I will also throw in Roman Holiday for good measure.

    1. Hi Iba, I look forward to your location movie tour post, sounds like fun!

      It’d be impossible for me to pick just one fave GP movie, I’ll do a top 10 or top 5 once I’m done with a dozen of them 🙂

  3. Ted S.

    Yeah since it snowed Saturday, I didn’t do much over the weekend either. I bought Thor and The Crow on BD, they’re on sale at Best Buy. Watched both of them on Friday and Saturday night. Still enjoy Thor quite a bit, probably more so than when I saw it in theater since the picture is much clearer on my screen than at the theater where I saw it, those damn 3D lens! I haven’t seen The Crow in years and I still have mix feelings about it. I think the movie have the cult status is because of Brandon Lee’s death.

    I only saw two of Peck’s film so can’t really say I have a favorite film of his.

    1. Oh shoot, I wish I had gone to BB, we really want to get the THOR Blu-ray but it’s still too expensive. How much was it Ted? I’ve seen it twice already and the second time around I really like Loki. I’d love to borrow The Crow from you one of these days, such a shame about Brandon Lee 😦

      Which two Peck films did you see again? I’ll lend you some if you’re interested. He’s got so many good ones. I might get Guns of Navarrone in BD.

      1. Ted S.

        I bought Thor for $15, keep an eye out for more low prices this week on Amazon. I just bought X-Men: First Class for $9.99 and Lord of the Rings for $49.99 there, I think right now Thor is $19.99 on Amazon. The $15 sale at BB was only for 2 days. I love pre-black Friday prices. Come over and I’ll lend you The Crow, a decent film but I thought it was kind of a mess at times.

        I saw The Omen and To Kill A Mockingbird. I want to see Guns of Navarrone, I’ll prob give it a rent some day.

        1. Ah… ‘The Guns of Navarone’. One of the great Alistair MacLean adventures adapted well to the movies, and with a loaded, talented cast, to boot. Be sure not to miss that one, Ted. Better yet, do the Blu-ray.

          1. I think since Ted mentioned about the BB pre-sale, I’ve placed the order of Guns of Navarone. It’s only $14.99 which is pretty cheap for a Blu-ray. Can’t wait to see it!! 😀

  4. Hi Ruth, had a very relaxing weekend, really didn’t do much all weekend and stayed home most of it and enjoyed some reading, some gaming and also watched The Help, which I thought was excellent.

    Nice to see that you are expanding on your Peck watching. I’ve seen him in quite a few movies and think he’s an excellent actor.

    You already have snow? It’s been misty over here all weekend, but it’s still too warm for any snow to fall (maybe december, although you never know over here)

    1. That’s a sweet weekend to have isn’t it Nostra. I’ve been so busy the last few weekends so it’s nice to have time to watch tons of movies. Man I really want to see The Help, I’ll be renting it as soon as it’s available.

      Well, the GP marathon continues… he’s got like 50 movies in his entire career so I have lots of catching up to do!

      Yep, we’ve got snow already 😦 But I heard that we may get up to 50 degrees F this Friday so it’ll melt by then.

  5. NIce weekend my friend. Seems like it was a lot more relaxing than mine.

    I look forward to your thoughts on Tree of Life. I thought it was the least accessible film I had seen until this weekend…. LOL I will tell more laterz.


    1. Yeah you’re busy w/ Cine-City aren’t you? Well it’s fun to be a part of a film fest like that, but I do treasure these mellow weekends.

      I’ll have my Tree of Life musings up by tonight.

    1. Ha..ha.. in the heat, that just sounds so um, inappropriate. But I guess you could say that. He looks fab in black and white, Nov, I mean with those features, color is optional, ahah. Plus his movies are all really good.

      Is Buranku a horror movie? I feel like I’ve heard that title before.

      1. I have to force myself to watch black and white one of these days.

        No Buranku is action movie, a bit weird. It stars Josh Harnett and Gakct (a Japanese singer)

        1. Ha..ha.. well if you must, do watch Spellbound since you like mystery films. Gregory is simply sublime in it, gorgeous beyond words too 🙂

          Oy, I’m not a fan of Josh Harnett at all even though he’s from Minnesota. In fact, one of my college friends went to the same high school as he did. I just don’t think he’s a good actor.

  6. I’ve only seen ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Roman Holiday’ out of Gregory Peck’s filmography. After watching a lot of them could you tell me which one I should look into next? Thanks, Ruth.

    1. Hi Max, oh my there are so many I’d recommend. What type of films are you into? If you like Westerns, then Duel in the Sun & The Big Country are a must-see, if you like suspense then Spellbound is fantastic. For a good moral drama like ‘Mockingbird’ I suggest Gentleman’s Agreement, it really shows GP’s strength as a quiet hero who fights without violence. Shall I go on? 😀

  7. A terrific actor. I think it is the To Kill A Mockingbird DVD that has a great documentary following him around various theatres where he was doing Q and As. A very touching little featurette.

    He also delivers a fine performance in The Omen – a horror film of real quality. You should check that one out Ruth – there isn’t too much gore – only one of the most violent and shocking cinematic deaths ever put on film! 😉

    1. Terrific is the word, Dan. Oooh, I’ll definitely devour all the special features of ‘Mockingbird’ as soon as I have the dvd.

      I think I did see The Omen years ago, before I knew it was Peck who played the dad. It’s too scary for me but maybe if I can muster up the courage I’ll check it out again.

  8. I’m ashamed to say that the only film I watched this weekend was “Your Highness” (not recommend) My favorite Peck film of all time has to be “To Kill A Mockingbird” also one of my favorite books. Hope you get to that one soon if you haven’t already! It’s got a pretty cool surprise cameo for film buffs!

    1. Oy, I definitely will be skipping that. It doesn’t appeal to me at all from all front. I feel like everyone has seen ‘Mockingbird’ but me!! Ok, that’ll change next week 🙂 Oooh, who’s the surprise cameo? I’m curious now, thanks Markus!

    1. I really hit the jackpot w/ ‘discovering’ Gregory. Soooo many great films that he’s done I’m still trying to catch up on.

      I should have my review of sort of TOL up tonight, stay tuned 🙂

  9. PrairieGirl

    Love the mini-biography video of Peck you found, and with him narrating it too! Of course, you know I saw Spellbound and Gentlemen’s Agreement, both are excellent films. Can’t believe I’m having to catch up to YOU with the classics! Also saw Washington Square (1997), a period film set in New York with Albert Finney and someone I’ve never seen before, a Brit named Ben Chaplin. Along with him and Peck, I had one swoon of a viewing weekend ;-D

    1. Ha..ha.. well I have even more GP stuff for you to watch 🙂 I think by year’s end I’ll be a Gregory Peck expert, I could probably write his memoir, ha..ha..

      Oooh I know Ben Chaplin, he was in The Truth About Cats and Dogs. I have the dvd if you want to borrow.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Oh, for sure, would love to have you bring in TTACD. I checked him out very briefly on IMDb and that seems to be one of his top films. Thanks!

  10. Ugh. I feel so awful. I haven’t seen much Gregory Peck at all. I think TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’s the only one. I really need to shape up and watch some more.

    1. Hey, there is always time to catch up, man. I think you’d enjoy Spellbound, the Dali surreal dream sequence alone is worth a watch… and of course Peck and Bergman’s performances are flawless.

  11. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about The Tree of Life Ruth 😉 This weekend I saw The Mist which I thought was quite good (loved the ending) despite a few too many moments that don’t really advance the story much. I also caught Big on Fox Movie Channel, forgot how great of a flick it was.

    1. Well I’m still mulling it over, TOL I mean. So it’s not exactly a review, just more of my reaction about it.

      That’s good that you saw a few good movies, Cas. Wow, I haven’t seen BIG in ages, but yeah, it’s definitely an iconic performance from Hanks. Armadillo sounds intriguing… I’m gonna have to check that out.

  12. Wow, nice work on the Peck marathon! You are making some great progress.

    Over the weekend, we tried to see The Descendants, but it was sold out when we arrived at the theater. Major bummer, but we hit up Redbox on the way home and rented Attack the Block, a nice alternate. That movie is a blast, and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead-style comedies.

    I am especially looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend. Every year my girlfriend and I do massive movie marathons. Can’t wait!

    1. Ahah well thanks, it’s real easy as I can’t get enough of them (GP movies).

      I might check out The Descendants on the big screen if time allows, the trailer looks interesting. I saw Attack the Block panel at Comic-con and it sounds like it’s well-done, but it’s way more violent than Shaun right? At least that’s what I’ve been hearing.

      Oooh, what kind of movies will you be watching on Thanksgiving? I’ll be out of town to Seattle so we might not be watching any at all for at least 5 days.

      1. Yeah, Attack the Block has some gory moments, but I didn’t think it was too bad. But then again, I am way too desensitized to everything, so your mileage may vary.

        Not sure what we will be watching yet on Thanksgiving. I am trying to get her to do the Godfather trilogy with me, but I’m not sure if I can pull that off. 😉 We are planning a day at the cinema, though, where we will be seeing The Descendants and Melancholia back to back.

        Hope you have a great time in Seattle! I would imagine it’s a little warmer over there, which should be nice.

        1. Thanks for the info, my friend. My tolerance for gory stuff is far lower than most people, I just can’t stomach those as much I did. I don’t think I’d be able to see Silence of the Lambs in the cinema like I did before.

          Oooh The Godfather on Thanksgiving, definitely will make you thankful you’re not dealing with an Italian mafia in real life 🙂

          Yeah I’m looking forward to our trip. I’ve only been to Seattle once before, LOVE it even with rain every day 🙂

  13. FUNK

    Hi Ruth, and great stuff on Peck.
    I’ve probably seen a good majority of his movies, and my favorite one is “On the Beach”, followed by the “The Chairman”. On the Beach for some odd reason always leaves me a little misty eyed.

    1. Thanks Funk. Someone here at work suggested On The Beach also. I’ll consider buying that though I’ve got quite a few already so I’m gonna have to wait on that one. What’s The Chairman about? I think I’ve glossed over that one somehow.

      1. FUNK

        The Chairman is a political espionage type thriller that takes place in China. Peck a scientist is sent to China to get a new agricultural enzyme the Chinese have developed.

        1. I went and searched for the trailer last night. Looks intriguing, I might give it a rent. I’ve been on a binge buying a lot of Peck’s movies but I have to be selective as he’s starred in over 50 films!

          1. FUNK

            Nothing wrong with that at all, I get pretty selective at times myself, then after I watch the rental I decide “that’s a keeper” so I’ll go out and buy it. But Peck sure was a great one, just a joy to watch.
            I’m getting ready to read your you take on Tree of Life, I just picked that up yesterday, and will watch that sometime over the long holiday I have coming up.

            1. Well I said selective but I’m already tempted to buy yet ANOTHER one (I’ve owned about six and there are a half dozen on order!!). Have you seen The Purple Plain? That one looks good, too!

              I try not to say too much in my ‘review’ of TOL. I look forward to your thoughts once you get around to seeing that.

  14. FUNK

    The Purple Plain has eluded me all these years, still haven’t seen it and it does look good, filmed in Sri Lanka to boot, plus Itunes does not carry it as well as The Big Country. Hopefully one day I can get those two, you did get me all fired up, so I have ordered another one Peck’s other westerns “Bravados”.

    1. Well after reading some reviews of Purple Plain, I might as well buy the dvd. I think it was filmed in Burma?? In any case, they even cast a Burmese woman which was unheard of in the 50s! The Big Country is worth hunting down for, Dave, it’s really good! I have to check out Bravados also though I’ve been watching a lot of Peck’s Westerns lately, just finished watching Yellow Sky just now.

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