Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Movie Meme - Look Who's Talking


Today's topic for the Monday Movie Meme from the Bumbles is all about narrators. Now you all know I have a serious addiction to audio books. Narrators can literally make or break them - they can turn an average book into an experience, and can cause me to want to give up listening to a Pulitzer-winning novel (won't mention any names!). But what about movies? As the Bumbles point out, the ultimate narrator and go-to guy in Hollywood seems to be Morgan Freeman, and for good reason. His deep timbre is gentle and calming, and gives you the notion that all is right with the world. Here is Mr. Morgan, plus a few more that are memorable:

Shawshank Redemption (Morgan Freeman) - you wouldn't expect me to neglect one of my favorite movies of all time would you? I have always thought it fitting that Freeman, with his "all is right with the world" voice, would narrate and star in the ultimate story of hope and faith.

The Christmas Story (Jean Shepard) - I'm duplicating the Bumbles on this one, but I must. This relatively unknown radio and TV personality has perfect comedic timing. Without it, the movie would not be what it is today.

The World at War (Laurence Olivier) - when I asked my husband about narration, this one was the first one he thought of. The World at War is a 26-part documentary about WWII, and of course we own it and have watched it multiple times. Olivier's narration on this film garnered him nearly as much attention as his stage or film career.

Goodfellas (Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco) - probably one of the more violent mob films, I was always intrigued by the narration of "Henry Hill" and his wife. I mean, he seems so matter-of-fact, regardless of who is getting their head bashed in. When I was looking up this movie for the purpose of this post, I read where the f-word was said nearly 300 times, the ninth most in film. Then I wondered whether I should admit that I like this movie so much!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Matthew Broderick) - I'm not sure if this one counts, as the narration is sporadic. But I've always loved how Broderick speaks directly to the camera throughout the film. Makes you feel like you are in on the fun!


I'm sure I've missed a few. Got any favorites of your own?


16 comments:

Susan said...

Great choices, Sandy! I love Morgan Freeman narrating anything, even commercials. And as I said at Molly's place, Jean Shepherd gives 'A Christmas Story' authenticity. I'm surprised the f-word was only said 300+ times in Goodfellas! And the narration is the glue that holds 'Ferris Bueller' together...love it!

My pick is Robert Redford in 'A River Runs Through It'.

Beth F said...

Shawshank and Goodfellas are favorites of mine. Great picks.

Zibilee said...

Oh, yes, these are great picks! I agree with The Christmas Story, Goodfellas (which we just re-watched a few weeks ago) and Ferris Beuller's Day Off. The others I haven't seen as of yet. It's definitely true that sometimes the narrator makes the movie!

bermudaonion said...

The Christmas Story is a fantastic pick for this - I adore that movie!

Kathleen said...

Oh Morgan Freeman is SO GOOD as the narrator and one of the stars of Shawshank Redemption. Your post makes me wish I could play hooky from work today to go home and watch the movie!

Eugene B. Bergmann said...

Regarding A CHRISTMAS STORY, Jean Shepherd (note spelling) did a great job narrating it because on his nightly improvised radio program for decades, he told hundreds of stories, including those that were used to create this movie. He also co-wrote the movie script. Many hundreds of his improvised, 45-minute radio programs are available for little or no cost through the internet and other sources. and, gee whiz, much more about his creative career can be found in my book about his art. Excelsior!

Lenore said...

Shawshank for the win!

Suko said...

Love your blog header! The cat looks so blissful!

Your list is great. You are so right, narrators can make or break a story.

Jenners said...

Morgan Freeman is a primo narrator. He did great on "March of the Penguins" too.

And you know who isn't a great narrator? Oprah. She is narrating the TV series "Life" (a bit of a sequel to Plant Earth) and she is AWFUL. I wish they had brought back Siguourney Weaver.

The Bumbles said...

Haha - Jenners cracks me up.

I so wanted to include Goodfellas myself but didn't want to hog all the goodies.

Alyce said...

I agree that Morgan Freeman has a great voice. I'm also a fan of James Earl Jones' voice. :)

I haven't ever seen Goodfellas. Oh, and I love The Christmas Story.

heidenkind said...

Hmm, I don't think I've seen a lot of narrator movies. Does Sleeping Beauty count?

ds said...

Yes, Morgan Freeman is The Man. And Shawshank Redemption is The Movie (doesn't MF also "narrate" The Bucket List?)
And I love Ferris Bueller.
Great choices, Sandy!

Catherine Ensley said...

There's a quality to Morgan Freeman's personality that reminds me of the late Jimmy Stewart, who I also loved.

Shawshank is one of my all-time favorite movies as well. You have to give Stephen King all the credit for the sheer brilliance of the story. Wow.

C.B. James said...

Generally, you can put me down in the anti-voice-over narrator group. I say a well written movie should never need a narrator. Movies are visual. If they images don't say it, there's something wrong.

But I do enjoy Jean Sheperd's narration of A Christmas Story. ;-)

Alice Teh said...

Hi Sandy! I'm back for another week of blog visiting. LOL

Can you believe I haven't watched any of these?...