Thursday Movie Pick #15: Rivalry

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Thursday Movie Picks by Wandering through the Shelves returns. According to the theme of the week, three to five movies are picked and shared with the reason. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here.
As for this week, our theme is Rivalry, which is kinda easy for me. I know dozens of movies about rivalry, but only given 3-5 movies at max to pick; therefore, I add an additional theme within theme to make it easier (or more challenging). And, the theme within the theme for this week is: Sibling Rivalry. Why? Because I recently watched Ryan Murphy’s latest show, FEUD: Bette and Joan, about rivalry between Oscar-winning actresses, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford; and, that rivalry escalated during the production of a film about sibling rivalry, which kinda adds up to the narrative. Simple, right? So, here’s my pick.
01. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

This list should begin with the film that starts it all. FEUD: Bette & Joan introduces me to this cancerous psycho-biddy about sibling madness, in which paraplegic Blanche (Joan Crawford) is held captive by her sister, Baby Jane (Bette Davis). It all started with a rivalry during the sisters’ earlier artistic career (and actually ends with it, too). Adorned with troublesome production and legendary feud between the stars, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? really emanates the rivalry atmosphere vividly at all levels. I watched it recently (thanks to Ryan Murphy) and I regretted for not watching it earlier.
02. Adaptation (2002)

In Spike Jonze’s metafilm, Adaptation, Nicolas Cage portrays fictional version of the film’s writer, Charlie Kaufman, and his fictional twin brother, Donald. Both are struggling writers—Charlie with his Being John Malkovich follow-up, an adaptation of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, and Donald with his debut. Real world and fiction almost blend in here; and Nicolas Cage superbly portrays the twins with their rivalry.
03. Warriors (2011)

Brothers, Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), become rival in MMA rings, after both get engaged in a tournament. The fight choreography is astonishing, but the drama really is the fuel for this dramatic sibling rivalry. This is instantly one of the most well-made movie in 2011.

14 responses

  1. Hey, we have one of the same picks (Baby Jane). I haven’t seen the others, but Warriors is one of my Sister’s favourite films. She said it’s good but I can’t swear to it. Great picks though!

    1. YAAAASH! Baby Jane came to me after Feud. Lol. I freakin’ love Warriors. You gotta give it a go, too!

      1. I haven’t seen Feud, is it worth watching? And I’ll give it a shot at some point!

        1. Yessss! It might be a little hard to watch but I’d recommend it through and through.

    2. I actually thought about using What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, but I already had a Davis movie in my lineup and so remembered I had been thinking about The Wrong Box and went with that.

      1. Well, actually it’s an exception since I was introduced to this by Feud in FX. Never thought it would be so good!

  2. Brittani Avatar

    Ahh why didn’t I think of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Damn that’s a great pick. lol

    1. I thought it was popular a few weeks ago, but it’s also relevant for this week, too!

  3. As always I love a theme within the theme and this is a great one. Baby Jane is a great catch, one sad twisted movie. I hate that it’s termed horror when it’s a wrenching psychological drama of severely damaged people. Bette is tremendous, she really digs deep into Jane’s fractured world view, but I think Crawford gets short shift. Without her subtle character work Bette’s tyrannies wouldn’t have nearly the impact that they do. I have been watching Feud and while I like it well enough I don’t love it, it takes too many liberties with the truth of those women’s lives. Judy Davis is killing it as Hedda Hopper though.
    I detested Adaptation thoroughly! I barely made it through to the end. The acting in Warriors was very good, bordering on great at times, but the overall movie didn’t thrill me. It was okay but I’ll never watch again.
    All weeks should be so simple, there was an incredibly wide field of choices that fit this time so coming up with a trio was a snap.
    The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)-Lavish version of the Dumas story of rivalry over a woman, one friend’s betrayal of another leading to an island imprisonment and the revenge extracted upon escape by the Count of Monte Cristo. Excitingly directed with beautiful production design and two robust lead performances by Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. A just starting out Henry Cavill has a prominent role in the latter half of the film.
    Happy Gilmore (1996)-Temperamental and frustrated hockey player Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) discovers he needs to find some way to save his grandmother’s house. As he’s mocking someone for liking golf he finds he has a powerful swing and on a lark enters the PGA tour where he quickly incurs the enmity of a star of the circuit, Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald). They become rivals for the prize with Shooter resorting to ever more drastic measures. Not a classic but from the period when Sandler was at least trying to make an effort to turn out entertaining films.
    The War of the Roses (1989)-Oliver and Barbara Rose (Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner) were once a happily married couple and through the years have acquired a couple of kids, a comfortable life and a beautiful home. But those days are over and while the two freely admit they want out of their commitment to each other what neither wants is out of their house. So begins a fierce combative rivalry for sole ownership with the lengths each will go to escalating to fearsome heights to emerge the victor as their divorce attorney D’Amato (Danny DeVito) takes it all in from the sidelines.

  4. I haven’t seen Adaptation although it has been on my list for a while now. I haven’t seen the boxing movie and usually I don’t like boxing films but I love Baby Jane. I first saw it, I think, in the early 80’s or maybe even earlier. I was surprised they were in a film since I had heard about their feud beforehand. Crawford was a real bitch and I would rather have know Davis over Crawford. What I like about Davis is she had no issues about making herself look ugly. The make up people didn’t want to make her character look so hideous so Davis did her own make up

  5. Love your theme within a theme. Adaptation is brilliant! Kaufman is such a genius!

  6. I definitely have to check out What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? some day.

  7. […] which I pick three films each week in accordance with the theme: Week 14: Cars/Racing | Week 15: Rivalry | Week 16: Disappearance | Week […]

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