What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 8:25 pm

Wow, Five Star Final (1931) is a great film by Mervyn LeRoy! A little stagy (it was based on a play), but a great expose on tabloid journalism. It was just missing the scene of someone yelling to stop the presses! Great performances by Edward G. Robinson and H.B. Warner. Marion Marsh seems to just be the ingenue, but she has a great scene at the end. No music at all except for the music from the radio given as a wedding gift. Aline MacMahon's first film.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 5:30 am

Noel Coward may have sung of the self-possession of an Englishman in New York, but Robert Armstrong is an American in London in Blind Adventure (1933). Lost in a Pea-Souper, he wanders into a home to ask directions back to his hotel only to discover a corpse resting in an armchair.

This movie is more interesting for its details than its overall effect. The fun of seeing Roland Young playing a soft-hearted Cockney burglar is offset a bit by Helen Mack's unsteady posh accent; the nice plot conceit of starting the movie out by having the whole thing appear to be a P.G. Wodehouse London populated by idiotic young Drones, only to finally reveal the John-Buchan machinations beneath is lessened by the limited number of jokes (mostly a fascination with English Trifles) and the inexplicable inability of desperate criminals to overcome a copper armed with a whistle.

Still, what there is, is good, is mostly well performed and moves at a good clip. If the bits don't hang together perfectly, many of the bits are a lot of fun.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 7:40 am

I found it interesting that the new Blade Runner had a disappointing box office opening, and that the analysis is that only the middle-aged men who adored the first version bothered to show up for this version. In other words, all the sci-fi trappings and visual action were no lure for the younger audience, contrary to expectations.

I'm one of the seemingly minority of middle-aged men who remain baffled by the success of and reverence towards the original. I've seen it three times, trying to grasp why it should be considered such a great movie, and the secret still eludes me. Some great visuals, yes, but other than those, there is nothing of interest in it -- not the characters, not the script, and certainly not the "philosophy". But that's just me, apparently.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 7:54 am

I'm definitely an upper-middle aged fanboy of the original Blade Runner, but every trailer I've seen for the new version simply look terrible and I'm perfectly content to wait it out. Maybe the kids got it right this time.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 8:57 am

Jim Roots wrote:I found it interesting that the new Blade Runner had a disappointing box office opening, and that the analysis is that only the middle-aged men who adored the first version bothered to show up for this version. In other words, all the sci-fi trappings and visual action were no lure for the younger audience, contrary to expectations.

I'm one of the seemingly minority of middle-aged men who remain baffled by the success of and reverence towards the original. I've seen it three times, trying to grasp why it should be considered such a great movie, and the secret still eludes me. Some great visuals, yes, but other than those, there is nothing of interest in it -- not the characters, not the script, and certainly not the "philosophy". But that's just me, apparently.

Jim



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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 9:13 am

Lust for Life (1956) was restored at some point, and the current print leaps off the screen in a riot of color in this biopic of Vincent Van Gogh that displays many of the artist's paintings thanks to a rafter of museums and collectors (including Edward G. Robinson). I'm surprised to see that the film was a huge flop in 1956, losing millions. It won a second Oscar for Anthony Quinn (who is excellent as Gauguin) and earned nomination for Kirk Douglas, the writers, and set designers. The film is lush and intense as Van Gogh suffers from seizures and depression. He finally commits suicide at age 37, having produced literally thousands of pieces of art. Douglas is in just about every foot of film, but Quinn blows in like the mistral that so plagued Van Gogh and nearly steals the entire film. Co-stars include James Donald as Theo, Everett Sloane, Pamela Brown, Jill Bennett, Henry Daniell, Lionel Jeffries, and silent star Madge Kennedy. There's a famous error that Vincente Minnelli oddly let stay in the final print, where Douglas mistakenly calls Quinn Theo, saying "but Theo, err Paul ..." and on the scene goes.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 9:15 am

Last night TCM played "The Big Sleep" (1946) again, and me, a sucker for the film, watched it for the umpteenth time. After all these years, I've finally got all the plot elements worked out - who did what to whom, for what reason(s) - and it struck me - again - how great a film this really is! Even those who worked on the film's writing (parts done separately one from another) couldn't figure it all out when they first saw the completed film!! Direction, perfection - Howard Hawks. Writing, absolutely amazing - William Faulkner(!), Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman, and based on a short story by Raymond Chandler. Acting - well, what do you expect? Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Malone, Bob Steele (in probably his best acting part ever!), Elisha Cook, Jr., Martha Vickers, John Ridgely, Louis Jean Heydt, etc., etc.... It's worth watching each and every time it comes on!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 10:59 am

Mike Gebert wrote:In the end it's maybe too simple and direct, a chase movie in a very straight line, not dreamlike and allusive (and elusive) like the original


I liked the women more than Ryan, although I found the Real Live Porn aspect icky.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 11:18 am

Yeah, the woman in the bubble (Carla Juri) was terrific and that was the one part that maybe met my expectations for some of the poignancy seen in the original.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 12:42 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:Last night TCM played "The Big Sleep" (1946) again, and me, a sucker for the film, watched it for the umpteenth time. After all these years, I've finally got all the plot elements worked out - who did what to whom, for what reason(s) - and it struck me - again - how great a film this really is! Even those who worked on the film's writing (parts done separately one from another) couldn't figure it all out when they first saw the completed film!! Direction, perfection - Howard Hawks. Writing, absolutely amazing - William Faulkner(!), Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman, and based on a short story by Raymond Chandler. Acting - well, what do you expect? Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Malone, Bob Steele (in probably his best acting part ever!), Elisha Cook, Jr., Martha Vickers, John Ridgely, Louis Jean Heydt, etc., etc.... It's worth watching each and every time it comes on!


Which cut was this? I recall that TNT showed a longer version of THE BIG SLEEP about twenty years ago, which I watched with a pal. Not seen it around since then...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 12:59 pm

Finally got to see George Arliss in DISRAELI (1929), a film with a very mixed reputation and one which seems to play around with historical fact a little. The film centres around Dizzy's attempts to purchase the Suez Canal for strategic purposes, and the opposition he meets, whether in the shape of a female spy (Doris Lloyd) or the Governor of the Bank of England (David Torrence). Occasionally a little confusing (not so much the plot, rather Dizzy's reasons for letting Lloyd and her associate carry on spying) at first, this is certainly interesting on several counts, with Arliss playing Cupid to stuffy Anthony Bushell and the lovely Joan Bennett, as well as showing his cunning and resilience to the anti-Semitism he faces throughout the film.

Arliss's performance is certainly flamboyant, as one would expect, having made the part his own on stage and in the 1921 film. DISRAELI is also rather heavily-laden with dialogue, which does get a bit dense at times. Incidentally, there were a few seconds missing from the copy I watched, which did not affect the story-telling, and this is of course the 1934 re-issue print, which was shorn of a few minutes and suffered trimming on the left-hand side to accommodate the new soundtrack. Perhaps not an ideal history lesson, but worth seeing at long last.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 4:16 pm

All right, Mike, you can stop banging on my tea kettle.... SPOILERS

One of the things that made Blade Runner (1982) so interesting to me was it was an era when tv and movie sf seemed to be devouring all the genres, and this looked to be a fine melding of sf with film noir's sour, dour paranoia. There were other reasons to love it. If you were one of the fifty thousand people in the world who knew who Philip K. Dick actually was, then you probably knew he was as crazy as -- well, take whatever your saying for as crazy as you can get and double it. We knew he was poor and could use the money. We didn't know he was dying after decades of living in poverty, to top off the irony.

Anyway, here we are, thirty-five years later and sf, like Flash Gordon, has conquered the universe, Ridley Scott has re-edited and re-issued the movie several thousand times, none of which I have ever bothered to look at. I did look at Blade Runner 2049 this afternoon and pronounce it visually stunning, and so what?

If I want to stun myself visually, I can stare into a 300-watt bulb set to strobe. You want to stun me visually with a movie in a good way, show me some new stuff in a way that tells a story in a novel manner. That's a little tougher here, what with decades of Mad Max and Red Dwarf. There is one sequence that blew me away, the Dickensian sequence set around San Diego, with dust heaps out of Bleak House and tormented orphans hard at work and such. After that, it was musing on the fact that even Tinkerbelle wants Pinocchio to be a real boy and can something be done about Jared Leto? Will some one give him a chocolate chip cookie at least?

In the end, Bladerunner 2049 is a good movie not because it tells exactly same story with newer and more obnoxious special effects, but because it tells another story that arises out of the first, and not just one in which the good guys win because the good guy leaks marginally less blood and lives, while the bad guy dies, thus proving that..... good guys have better clotting? Yay for the good guys! No, Ryan Gosling actually learns a moral lesson and does a good deed as a result, for no benefit. Because in the end, if we want to be human, we must behave as humans.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 6:01 pm

Woman in the Dark (1934). Bradley (Ralph Bellamy) has just served 3 years for manslaughter, and understandably does not want to violate the terms of his parole. So at some point after settling down in his father's cabin, intending to live a quiet life, the sheriff's teenybopper daughter (the cause of the fight that originally sent Bradley to jail) shows up on his doorstep. Then Louise, the woman of the title (Fay Wray), running away from her rich and influential "protector" Tony, comes knocking. She is soon followed by Tony, accompanied by a sympathetic but morally weak minion. Argument ensues, capped when Bradley slugs the minion, who knocks his head on the fireplace. Bradley knows that the sheriff wouldn't hesitate to send him up on a murder charge, so he and Louise flee to his old cellmate Logan (Roscoe Ates, saving the stutter for a gag at the fadeout), for help.

This is a Poverty Row production (Select Pictures), probably made for less than the cost of one of Norma Shearer's ensembles. Not by a long shot did film noir invent little chamber dramas that depend on dim lighting to not show up cheaply made sets and costumes.

I do not think this is a great movie. But it aligns so well with what I like about this period and genre and the performers that I'm not quite sure that my subconscious didn't create it out of my web searches and wishful thinking. This weekend I picked up the Dashiell Hammett novella on which it is based and have started reading it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 2:27 am

Hitchs Downhill with a very unconvincing Ivor Novello supposed to be a teenager.His inheritance pc £30000 would be worth 6 million nos.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 6:07 am

I had a few hours to myself so I took the opportunity to watch a foreign film. Belle de Jour seemed to be remarkably ahead of its time (although I'm no expert in French films). I liked how ambiguous the dreams vs reality scenes were because it left a lot to interpretation. The film certainly indulged in its basic subject to a degree, but it maintained a level of artistry that saved it from being just a movie about sex. I also found Pierre Clementi to be an interesting actor, sort of an Alain Delon type, and I will probably try to find more of his films in the future. I've seen Catherine Deneuve in other films and I think she is very talented. I read a bit about the film on IMDB and it seems she might have been dissatisfied while making this movie, which is a bummer because she's great in it. If she hadn't been the right mix of engaging while being somewhat distant, I don't think it would have worked.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 6:53 am

Went to the movies and saw "Victoria and Abdul" (2017) with Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith, Eddie Izzard, Michael Gambon, Paul Higgins, and many others. I think if Queen Victoria would come back and watch the film, she'd say that Dench was her to perfection. She's really amazingly wonderful. She's also wonderful to watch. Dench draws you in like a magnet!

It's curious to read the review of the film by Peter Travers in Rolling Stone, which review says that the film is "slim pickings" and "shallow", although he, too, raves about Dench. I hate to admit - of course on the morning after, after I've had a few hours to contemplate - that Travers has at least a half-point in his favor. But he's not all correct. The photography is just simply stunning. Just watching the scenes on the Scottish hillside where a group of the characters dine in a chill just before it rains is glorious. Director Stephen Frears has a habit of being able to film great movement-around in films, too. This is nearly my tenth Frears film I've seen, and I'm never disappointed in the final product, even when it's less than it could or even should be. I, like Travers, was ever so slightly put off and not amused when at the beginning of the film a little message popped up that read, "Based on real events - mostly..." The 'mostly' was indeed in italics, and it was clearly meant to be studied. The character of Abdul is written with as much a comedic purpose as a serious one. To me, that was the fault, if there was one. His Indian 'brown man' character is so ridiculed by all around him in this film that the comedic parts are more like the softening of some films during the middle or early '30's, but they do make us smile while we're watching at the moment, but possibly not in morning-after reflection.

I'm not going to tear the film apart because I must admit I really enjoyed watching it. It certainly has its faults, but it's good movie-making anyway. There is a tribute to Tim Pigott-Smith at the end. He died before the release of the film. I still recommend the film. Have a nice time watching a beautifully aesthetic piece of art. After all, perfection from Judi Dench is worth far more than just a masterpiece of noise and murder and even perfect plot. It's character, and, frankly, I'd rather watch good character in a plot that's only fair than perfect plot and acting that's second rate because the characters were shallow.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 7:29 am

Midnight Lace (1960) is a thriller very similar to Gaslight and offers Doris Day as a rich American newly married to a British businessman (Rex Harrison). One day in a fog, she hears a mysterious clown voice threatening to kill her. She then starts receiving phone calls. Is it real or is she imagining it? After a few calls she bursts into hysterics as soon as the phone rings. Poor thing! Snazzy Aunt Bea (Myrna Loy, looking fabulous) arrives as a shoulder to lean on, but Doris is surrounded by creepy men, including Roddy McDowall as the son of her maid and John Gavin as a construction worker with a strange accent. There's also a strange and disfigured man (Anthony Dawson) lurking about the neighborhood. The police are stymied.

The plot unfortunately follows that of Gaslight so closely that any savvy film buff knows what's up right off. Even more unfortunately, Day offers a terrible performance as she's reduced to the shrieking weepies at the drop of a hat. Along for the ride are Herbert Marshall, Natasha Parry, Hermione Baddeley, Elspeth March, Richard Ney, Rhys Williams, Hayden Rorke, and John Williams, who seems to be playing the same policeman he payed in Dial M for Murder.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 8:17 am

Belle de Jour seemed to be remarkably ahead of its time (although I'm no expert in French films). I liked how ambiguous the dreams vs reality scenes were because it left a lot to interpretation.


One of Harvey Weinstein's smaller crimes was that when he reissued Belle de Jour in the 90s, he had the subtitles for the dream parts put in italics, to make Buñuel's teasing ambiguity obvious. Except... it's my belief that one scene* he said was a dream is actually "reality"-- but weird enough that it is illustrating how the line blurs for her (or us). Hopefully more recent versions have eliminated this desecration— or at least that you were unaffected by it because you didn't know about it!

* It's the sequence that starts with a horse and carriage picking her up.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 8:42 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Belle de Jour seemed to be remarkably ahead of its time (although I'm no expert in French films). I liked how ambiguous the dreams vs reality scenes were because it left a lot to interpretation.


One of Harvey Weinstein's smaller crimes was that when he reissued Belle de Jour in the 90s, he had the subtitles for the dream parts put in italics, to make Buñuel's teasing ambiguity obvious. Except... it's my belief that one scene* he said was a dream is actually "reality"-- but weird enough that it is illustrating how the line blurs for her (or us). Hopefully more recent versions have eliminated this desecration— or at least that you were unaffected by it because you didn't know about it!

* It's the sequence that starts with a horse and carriage picking her up.


Like you -- and most hereabouts -- I'm a great believer in allowing the creators' original intentions to apply, which is why I don't like others going back and mucking with a movie -- even if it's the original creator. Chaplin in 1942 was not the same man as Chaplin in 1925 and Harvey Weinstein was never Luis Bunuel.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 5:56 pm

Took a slight detour on my visit to Axis film land with a screening of Forces occultes, from 1943. Made in Vichy France it tells the tale of how the Freemasons pushed poor France into attacking the Germans and starting the war. Who knew? This one definitely has Goebbels' fingerprints on it as all they do is talk, talk, talk. An inordinate amount of time is spent revealing the secret initiation rites and procedures of a Masonic Lodge, which is apparently supposed to be of profound interest and outrage but makes staggeringly dull cinema.

Director Jean Mamy was put in front of a firing squad after the war ended for his collaboration with the Nazis, which is probably the mother of all bad reviews.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 6:22 pm

Harvey Weinstein was never Luis Bunuel.


A character out of, maybe.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 7:38 pm

Did you hear the one about the four Jewish intellectuals who go to a funeral in a red Volkswagen?

No, it's not the opening line to a bad joke. It's regarding Sidney Lumet's offbeat 1968 film, Bye Bye Braverman. It's as is four characters are in search of a plot ... as well as the funeral ... as they drive around Brooklyn in search of Leslie Braverman's funeral. They argue. They joke. They philosophize. They eat. They argue some more. Once you catch the rhythm of the film it becomes a mesmerizing experience and the city seems a labyrinth of streets that go nowhere. George Segal seems to be the leader. Joseph Wiseman, Jack Warden, and Sorrell Booke are the others. They bicker and banter about movies and comic strips and literature and religion until they finally find the funeral. Alan King plays a rabbi who gives forth like Mussolini from the balcony. That it turns out to be the wrong funeral doesn't phase the guys much. On they go until they find the right one. Godfrey Cambridge (remember him?) plays a cab driver who has converted to Judaism. Jessica Walter is the ungrieving widow. Phyllis Newman, Zohra Lampert, Anthony Holland, and Graham Jarvis also appear.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 10:24 pm

maliejandra wrote: it seems she might have been dissatisfied while making this movie,


She has nothing but good things to say about it today. She liked Bunuel enough to make Tristana with him.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 5:47 am

drednm wrote:Midnight Lace (1960) is a thriller very similar to Gaslight and offers Doris Day as a rich American newly married to a British businessman (Rex Harrison)... Even more unfortunately, Day offers a terrible performance as she's reduced to the shrieking weepies at the drop of a hat.


I think I liked the movie a bit more than you did, although it was somewhat predictable. I saw it after reading about Day's difficulty shooting it in her autobiography. She said filming the scenes reminded her of her mentally abusive relationship with her first husband and often she would genuinely end up hysterical while shooting because she was having flashbacks. Maybe it was an over-the-top performance, but it came from a genuine place.

Mike, are you talking about the scene in Belle de Jour with the rich man grieving over his dead daughter? (I don't intend to check out the remake.-- haha)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 7:56 am

drednm wrote:Did you hear the one about the four Jewish intellectuals who go to a funeral in a red Volkswagen?

No, it's not the opening line to a bad joke. It's regarding Sidney Lumet's offbeat 1968 film, Bye Bye Braverman. It's as is four characters are in search of a plot ... as well as the funeral ... as they drive around Brooklyn in search of Leslie Braverman's funeral. They argue. They joke. They philosophize. They eat. They argue some more. Once you catch the rhythm of the film it becomes a mesmerizing experience and the city seems a labyrinth of streets that go nowhere. George Segal seems to be the leader. Joseph Wiseman, Jack Warden, and Sorrell Booke are the others. They bicker and banter about movies and comic strips and literature and religion until they finally find the funeral. Alan King plays a rabbi who gives forth like Mussolini from the balcony. That it turns out to be the wrong funeral doesn't phase the guys much. On they go until they find the right one. Godfrey Cambridge (remember him?) plays a cab driver who has converted to Judaism. Jessica Walter is the ungrieving widow. Phyllis Newman, Zohra Lampert, Anthony Holland, and Graham Jarvis also appear.


Perhaps I didn't see this as a story with a rhythm because it seemed more,a slice of life to me. You saw a story in there, nu?

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 1:38 pm

Escape Perilous is an understandably obscure British film from 1947. It seems to be a one-shot production from its company, and its producer/director has no other credits on the Internet Movie Database. Its biggest player is yeoman character actress Marianne Stone as the flinching heroine; few of her other roles were given the dignity of a first and last name and most were bit parts.

As a movie, it's an interesting evolutionary step from the lurid costume dramas of the pre-War and War eras like Tower of London and The Man in Grey to the Victorian-Era Horror movies that Hammer specialized in the 1950s and 1960s, Indeed, some of the behind-the-camera staff would wind up at Hammer within a couple of years.

Miss Stone and her father, Humberstone Wright, are a couple of French aristocrats seeking to escape the Terror of the French Revolution. While their passage to England is being arranged, they seek safety in a paying house, where their money is seemingly drained from them, and Beresford Egan, a scientist who keeps maundering on about science, pays a lot of creepy attention to Miss Stone. There are dark secrets that are revealed, of course, and things keeping getting more and more foreboding, until the end.

Unhappily, Mr. Egan is not a very engaging villain, and most of the players offer their performances in a very stagy manner. Between the obvious cheapness of the production and lack of anything to distinguish this picture, other than sheer creepiness, i an era when American horror movie monsters were busy meeting Abbott & Costello, this must not have pleased the post-war audience, looking for either some light relief or a sense of contemporary problems they could deal with. It sank with only the slightest of traces.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 4:25 pm

If one mentions the name George Arliss today, one is inclined to receive a blank stare. Such a pity, for his name needs to still linger. He was just as distinguished an actor as those whose names are still talked about - if not more so. He had commenced acting in the late 19th century and by the time he came to talkies he had had over 43 years of acting experience, and it shows.

I first heard of the name back in about 1968 when I was in my pre-salad days. I wanted to see Mr. Arliss in "Disraeli", but it was to be another 40 years before I had the opportunity. Now I am grabbing each Arliss film I can with eagerness. The latest I had the pleasure in viewing was "The Guv'nor" ("Mister Hobo") (1935).

Mr. Arliss has decided to forego his usual sartorial elegance and play a tramp - although he does manage in a couple of scenes to don a top hat and morning dress. He is "The Guv'nor", a Parisian tramp all the others look up to. He and his sidekick - Gene Gerrard - are off to the south of France for the summer. Along the way they seek some odd jobs in return for a plate of grub at a nice country pile. The estate is owned by a mother and daughter and Mr. Arliss learns that they are to be put out by their bank. Well, Mr. Arliss is a lovable and kind old thing and decides to help the girl, on the quiet mind you. I shan't fill you in on all the details, but somehow or other Mr. Arliss manages to become a director of the bank concerned and fixes everything up. Maybe it's to do with his surname happening to be "Rothschild"?

This is a good tale and Mr. Arliss just floats through it seemingly effortlessly. He is well supported by Gene Gerrard as his sidekick - his character having had experience in the world of the businessman before circumstances evolved making him a tramp. The girl he helps is played by Viola Keats and her mother is Henrietta Watson. The evil bank director is villainously portrayed by Frank Cellier at his best. (His son Peter also found the smell of the greasepaint irresistible and is a familiar face in British films and TV). If one watches closely one is able to discern Cecil Parker in a bit role before he went on to bigger things.

There is a bit lent from "City Lights" and the idea of the name "Rothschild" opening doors seems to be based on the same premise Mark Twain explored in "The Million Pound Banknote". The story whilst wandering way into the realms of fantasy, is played so well by everyone involved that one doesn't notice this in the viewing and thus we tend to go along with all of it.

I found this a very enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes.
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Donald Binks

"I was in love with a beautiful blonde one time. She led me to drink. It's the only thing I'm thankful to her for."
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 5:23 pm

Why if there were so many Jewish men in Hollywood making pictures, why would I not be thinking already that there should be a totally Jewish picture they are making? Well, what you got is "The Heart of New York" (1932). You take it or leave it, maybe personally I liked it. Why shouldn't I?

This is quite a funny picture, if you like and appreciate Jewish humour. Maybe it does go in for stereotypes, but that has never mattered when humour is concerned and hopefully no offence was meant or is to be taken.

George Sidney is Mendel Marantz who is living in a tenement on New York's Lower East Side with his wife Zelda (Anna Appel), daughters Lillian (Ruth Hall) and Mimi (Marion Byron) and son Jakie (Harold Waldridge). Mendel, who is a plumber by trade, takes a non-serious attitude to work and prefers to tinker with inventions thinking that one day he will make a fortune from one of them. Two business partners, without a brain between them - Shtrudel and Schnaps (Joe Smith and Charles Dale) go into business with Mendel when he invents a dishwashing machine. Will Mr. Gassenheim (Oscar Apfel) - the man with the money back the scheme? Will Mendel become rich? Will the family be happy?

The film is built around Smith and Dale who were old vaudevillians who did a dialect, fractured English act with quick-fired repartee. What they do in this film still plays today and I found them hilarious forcing out quite a few guffaws. Anna Appel plays the stereotypical put upon Jewish Momma who throws her arms up at any opportunity as her eyes look skyward. She plays it to full comic effect.

I saw it for nothing. What's not to like?
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"I was in love with a beautiful blonde one time. She led me to drink. It's the only thing I'm thankful to her for."
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 6:34 pm

Recently I watched a picture made just last year featuring Shirley MacLaine still going strong despite being 83. Now Dame Joan Collins and Pauline Collins have got into the act, they being 84 and 77 respectively. Who was the clown who said old people should be thrown on to the scrap heap as they are basically useless articles?

Dame Joan and Ms. Collins have graced the screen in a nice little bit of fluff called "The Time of Their Lives" (2017). Dame Joan is a washed up and faded cinema siren locked up in a home for the bewildered, but she escapes with the intention of attending the funeral in France of one her former directors. By so doing she thinks she will do a bit of networking and so be back at work in pictures again. Ms. Collins is a housewife living with a grumpy old fart of a husband (Ronald Pickup) who has never forgiven her for their son drowning years back. Through a bit of misadventure the two come together in a rather hilarious fashion and we are off with them as they make their way through France. Along that way, Franco Nero is thrown at them. Dame Joan naturally thinks he is after her, but it is Ms. Collins who is the twinkle in his eye. Apart from all the comedy, there is a bit of high drama put in for good measure and it is not altogether out of place.

A road picture? Maybe. Similar to the Shirley MacLaine picture she was recently in? Maybe? Whatever, this is a nice little entertainer that plods along nicely with perhaps a few moments that drag a little in comparison to the rest. There are some really funny moments and I suppose moments too where one has to pause and reflect. Overall it should act as some encouragement to older folks - that they should get out there and enjoy life, but perhaps not to the extent Dame Joan envisages.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 6:54 pm

I had not seen "Strike Me Pink" (1936) for so many years that watching it yesterday it was almost like a first outing for me. I remembered little bits here and there but not so much as to detract from a general enjoyment. I have to say though, that my enjoyment was tempered by wondering what sort of audience this film was originally directed towards? At times, the antics going on upon the screen seemed very childish and as such would only appeal to youngsters, not the sophisticated stuff we adults are likely to be more in tune with.

In it, Eddie Cantor is again playing Eddie Cantor. He is very good at doing this and gets to sing a couple of songs, none of which are very memorable. He is partnered up with Parkyakarkus (Harry Parke) in his first screen outing (a character I believe emanated from Al Jolson's CBS show, "The Lifebuoy Program" on the wireless). The lovelight in Mr. Cantor's eyes is Ethel Merman and she gets to belt out a couple of numbers too. The main theme of the picture is Mr. Cantor's installation as manager of a theme park where he tries to thwart a gang of crooks from installing poker machines. Amongst these ne'er do wells are the usual - William Frawley, Jack La Rue, Edward Brophy and Brian Donlevy. Some scenery is provided in the form of Sally Eilers and The Goldwyn Girls.

This is a very broad comedy, which is pretty much the same in a lot of ways to most of Mr. Cantor's pictures of the 1930's. Some of it I enjoyed, I suppose Parkyakarkus' mangling of English brought forth a few titters, but a lot of the time I though it was all a little bit too silly.
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Donald Binks

"I was in love with a beautiful blonde one time. She led me to drink. It's the only thing I'm thankful to her for."
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