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Old 04-16-2018, 12:46 PM
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Movies that are actually two movies in one

The death of R. Lee Ermey got me to thinking about how "Full Metal Jacket" is really two movies in one. The first is a basic training movie, the second is a Vietnam war movie. Neither half really seems to have much to do with the other.

Oddly enough, the other example that popped into my head was "Stripes", which was also a basic training movie combined with a post-basic-training plot that seemed like another movie entirely.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:49 PM
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From Dusk Till Dawn: Hard-boiled crime drama for the first half, psychedelic monster party for the second.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:50 PM
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"Life is Beautiful" is the first one that pops into my head. The first half is about a guy setting up his life (pursuing his bride to be) in a new village. The second half is about their family's experience in a Holocaust camp.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:53 PM
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Oh, what about Psycho? Would that count, what with the decoy protagonist?
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:07 PM
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Here's an oldie, though you might catch it on TCM now and again. The 1940 film They Drive by Night is ostensibly about long haul truck drivers.

The first half of the film is about two brothers (George Raft and Humphrey Bogart) starting their own independent trucking business, and the various challenges involved in running a business like that.

The second half suddenly transforms into a noirish crime drama, as the wife of a rival trucking business owner murders her husband and tries to seduce the George Raft character, then frames him for the murder after he rejects her. Most of the stuff about trucking goes out the window while Raft tries desperately to prove his innocence.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:20 PM
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Movie Movie, of course. A boxing film and a musical.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:20 PM
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Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986): Starts as a wacky romantic comedy about straight-laced yuppie Jeff Daniels getting his boring life turned upside down by Melanie Griffith. It turns into a completely different, very tense movie when psycho ex-husband Ray Liotta shows up.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:39 PM
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How about The World's End?

Starts off as a movie about a bunch of high school friends getting together to catch up and quickly changes theme at the mid point. I had no idea about the twist in the plot before seeing it in the theatre. My wife went WTF? and didn't enjoy the rest of the film.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:57 PM
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LooKing for Richard alternates between a documentary about making a film of Shakespeare's Richard III, and and actual performance of Richard III. In my opinion, one of Al Pacino's more interesting films.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:06 PM
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Oh, what about Psycho? Would that count, what with the decoy protagonist?
Or Barton Fink, which starts out as a kind of satire of Hollywood and scriptwriting, but turns into .. something else..
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:14 PM
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Society almost feels like this.

First hour is a below average forgettable creepy mystery. The last half-hour is one of the most horrifying sequence you'll find out there. Full-blown vomit inducing.

Screaming Mad George is one weird dude. He did the effects.

Check it out.


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Oh, what about Psycho? Would that count, what with the decoy protagonist?
Definitely. I still think it's the best example of pulling the rug out from under us. I was lucky enough to see it in my teens not knowing the secret(I know!). It blew me away.

When the chair is turned around and is a skeleton at the end, I gasped.

I can not imagine the audiences in 1959.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:19 PM
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Stranger Than Fiction is the love story of a baker and an IRS agent and also the IRS agent realizing his life is being narrated by Emma Thompson for her book.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:32 PM
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Julie and Julia goes back and forth between an autobiographical portrait of Julia Childs, which was brilliant, and a modern-day depiction of a young woman's attempt to cook everything from Julia's original cookbook. This second movie was pretty ho-hum compared to the first one.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:41 PM
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Grindhouse was so much two movies that they sold the DVDs of "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" separately.

The 1984 comedy Best Defense was in effect two movies. The poster even sort of looked like two movies -- a Dudley Moore film and an Eddie Murphy film

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_Defense
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:59 PM
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid kinda fits the bill. The first half is their robberies and chase in the American west, the second half is their increasingly desperate time in Bolivia. Like Full Metal Jacket, the first half is better.

The Caine Mutiny starts as shipboard military film and becomes a courtroom drama.

And I'd almost include The Princess Bride. The beginning where Vizzini and crew kidnap Buttercup and Westley chases after them is distinct from the intrigue and machinations that come later.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:00 PM
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The Caine Mutiny is the first one that came to my mind. 90 minutes of naval war film, then 30 minutes of courtroom and legal drama. One of my favorites.

2001 of course. The first time I saw it I thought I had rented the wrong movie. I was expecting science fiction, but for the first 20 minutes it's a nature documentary.




Edit: Damn - scooped on the Caine Mutiny while I was typing!

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 04-16-2018 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:14 PM
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I suppose Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers is cheating?
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Grindhouse was so much two movies that they sold the DVDs of "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" separately......
If "anthology" films count, then you could also include Trilogy of Terror from 1975 and the various Twilight Zone movies.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:33 PM
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Not quite the clean break of some of the movies above, but The Happening is two decent ideas for movies crammed into one terrible movie. One is a horror movie above a disease that causes people to kill themselves. The other is an apocalyptic movie about a plague where the only way to survive is to split into increasingly smaller groups until you are completely alone.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:39 PM
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Jaws is a "Friday the 13th" film with an invisible killer fish, followed by a three-man "Moby Dick" pastiche.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:41 PM
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Cleopatra is a movie about Caesar and Cleopatra followed by a movie about Marc Antony and Cleopatra; it was originally going to be two movies, but it got edited into a single film to capitalize on Liz-and-Dick mania.

The Lobster is kind of two movies as well: one about a dystopian society, and one about rebels living in a somewhat different dystopian society.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:14 PM
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Just a reminder here to be mindful of spoilers. I'm not familiar enough with most of the movies mentioned to know if any of the specific examples cited thus far count as spoilers; if any do, let me know and I'll edit in spoiler tags.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:30 PM
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Oddly enough, the other example that popped into my head was "Stripes", which was also a basic training movie combined with a post-basic-training plot that seemed like another movie entirely.
This is the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title. I've always maintained that "Stripes" ended with the graduation scene, and was immediately followed by the inferior "Stripes II: Stripes Goes To Czechoslovakia."
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:31 PM
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Witness (no spoiler needed, surely) is a lovely cultural portrait interspersed with a police crime action drama.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 04-16-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:32 PM
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Sliding Doors?
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:37 PM
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Here's an oldie, though you might catch it on TCM now and again. The 1940 film They Drive by Night is ostensibly about long haul truck drivers.
From the same period is Daredevil Drivers. Starts out following one driver and his mechanic around a racing circuit then switches gears to the ins & outs of independent bus companies competing for business. One much more ruthlessly than the other.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 04-16-2018 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:03 PM
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The first of the recent Hulk movies (whichever one that was) felt like two movies. The first was Hulk vs. himself (and incidentally the US Army), and ended with the scene with the love interest in the rain. But then they decided that they needed a supervillain, and tacked on the part about his crazy dad turning himself into an elemental monster.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:09 PM
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The classic example is Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The first three acts are Othello-level drama; the last two are light comedy with a happy ending.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:15 PM
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"Breaking Away" has some great scenes, but it's obviously two incompatible screen plays clumsily spliced together.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:56 PM
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In the same vein as Full Metal Jacket is Heartbreak Ridge (1986). One part training, the other part inadvertent combat in Grenada.

Saratoga Trunk (1945) is a now-forgotten non-classic in which Ingrid Bergman scams her late father's relatives into paying her to leave New Orleans. The story then switches to Saratoga Springs where she goes to ensnare a rich husband. It's like two films in one!

On Dangerous Ground (1951) opens as gritty urban film noir prefiguring Dirty Harry, but about halfway through, psycho cop Robert Ryan is sent to the snowy countryside to deal with blind Ida Lupino and her dumbass brother. Half a great film results.

Lifeforce (1985) is maybe three movies in one: outer space adventure, vampirism on the loose, apocalyptic horror.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:10 PM
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TV movie, if that counts, from 2000 “Longitude” goes back and forth from John Harrison inventing the marine chronometer to find longitude at sea and Rupert Holmes in the 20th century restoring Harrison’s clocks.

D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” has four separate stories through the ages (fall of Babylon to Persia in 539BC, crucifixion on Jesus circa 7AD, St Bartholomew massacre in France in 1572 AD) and a modern story of crime). All with connecting images of Lillian Gish rocking a cradle.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:26 PM
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LooKing for Richard alternates between a documentary about making a film of Shakespeare's Richard III, and and actual performance of Richard III. In my opinion, one of Al Pacino's more interesting films.
Good movie, that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
The death of R. Lee Ermey got me to thinking about how "Full Metal Jacket" is really two movies in one. The first is a basic training movie, the second is a Vietnam war movie. Neither half really seems to have much to do with the other.

Oddly enough, the other example that popped into my head was "Stripes", which was also a basic training movie combined with a post-basic-training plot that seemed like another movie entirely.
I dunno, a lot of war movies involve a similar duality of boys in boot camp followed by men in combat, Heartbreak Ridge, Galipoli, All Quiet on the Western Front.



How about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead?
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:38 PM
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Does Mulholland Dr. count? The movie has two stories, but only one of them is real...
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:56 PM
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Prizzi's Honor is a fun, wacky, mafia-themed almost-comedy romp for the first half.

Then, there is a shocking mood change (one single split-second incident) and it becomes a standard, dark, gritty mafia-themed drama.

Last edited by Wallaby; 04-16-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:07 PM
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Hancock is an uneven blending of two movies. Once Will Smith regains his memory of his past life, it's an entirely different film.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:15 PM
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How about The World's End?

Starts off as a movie about a bunch of high school friends getting together to catch up and quickly changes theme at the mid point. I had no idea about the twist in the plot before seeing it in the theatre. My wife went WTF? and didn't enjoy the rest of the film.
I think your wife might be broken. The first half is pointless without the second half and Gary King is my spirit animal.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:25 PM
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Hancock is an uneven blending of two movies. Once Will Smith regains his memory of his past life, it's an entirely different film.
Wiki says Hancock was in development hell for over a decade and Will Smith had a pay or play so at one point they said, "Do you have words on paper? Yes? Film it."
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:49 PM
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The Green Berets. The first half is about defending a US/ARVN fire base against the North Vietnamese. The second half is a covert mission to kidnap an NVA general. I expected the movie to end after John Wayne called in the air strike, but it just kept going on and on.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:08 AM
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The rescuing of Han from Jabba in The Return of the Jedi is a complete story separate from the main plot to destroy the second death star.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:55 AM
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The Green Berets. The first half is about defending a US/ARVN fire base against the North Vietnamese. The second half is a covert mission to kidnap an NVA general. I expected the movie to end after John Wayne called in the air strike, but it just kept going on and on.
I definitely agree. The first half is the strongest and most interesting part of the film. Then the film goes on for another 50 minutes for no real reason except for maybe they thought nobody would take a 90 minute film seriously.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:12 AM
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Hard to believe that no one's mentioned Godfather II yet.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:35 AM
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Deerhunter could qualify. Small town Pennsylvania life followed by Vietnam horrors. It's been a while since I've seen it though, I may be forgetting some things.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:06 AM
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Cemetery Man (Dellamorte, Dellamore) has got to be in this list, though it is most apparent when watching the original version and not the chopped up versions that played in the US. The first 2/3 of the movie is a pretty straightforward zombies-arise-from-the-cemetery movie. After that point, it becomes sort of a surrealistic morality play. The ending is wonderful and mystifying (to some) way to end a fairy tale.

(Other posters are welcome to comment on the DD background of the movie, but it's not relevant to the two-movies-in-one aspects, IMHO.)

Last edited by ZonexandScout; 04-17-2018 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:32 AM
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Event Horizon and Sunshine were both engaging, semi-intelligent sciency fiction movies that became terrible horror movies.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:01 PM
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Jaws is a "Friday the 13th" film with an invisible killer fish, followed by a three-man "Moby Dick" pastiche.
The inside of your head must be a interesting and terrifying place.

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Deerhunter could qualify. Small town Pennsylvania life followed by Vietnam horrors. It's been a while since I've seen it though, I may be forgetting some things.
Three movies if you count the wedding.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:10 PM
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The inside of your head must be a interesting and terrifying place.



Three movies if you count the wedding.
Four Weddings And A Funeral - five movies!
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:20 PM
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Four Weddings And A Funeral - five movies!
I thought 500 Days of Summer would never end.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:14 PM
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Cloud Atlas—six in one!

Prospero's Books was two different movies running simultaneously. One was Shakespeare's The Tempest, the other was a lot of naked people all over the place alternating with some extremely cool book art.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:37 PM
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I thought 500 Days of Summer would never end.
And yet, The Neverending Story did.

Last edited by Gatopescado; 04-17-2018 at 02:38 PM. Reason: We were lied to!
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:55 PM
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And yet, The Neverending Story did.
Not only that, it had a sequel. How can a Never-Ending Story have a sequel? Isn't that like "To Infinity ... and Beyond!" ?
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