What is the last film you watched? (2015)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 09, 2015 1:23 pm

busby1959 wrote:...The parade of girls in costumes aboard the zeppelin are all lookers, although it is a shame the beautiful Julanne Johnston is relegated to a mere bit...


Hope Martha, the Fish Girl, didn't escape your notice!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 09, 2015 3:03 pm

Scott Eckhardt wrote:TOPPER was the very first film colorized, as I recall. The early colorizing was quite hideous, but the process has been improved over the decades to look much more natural. I always thought it would be useful to replicate the lost two-color schemes of certain films which exsist today in black-and-white.


I remember Jimmy Stewart in an interview about colorizing was vehemently against it. The colorizing of classic b/w films.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 09, 2015 3:13 pm

I saw a film I've seen many times over the years and had on VHS tape. 1976's "Aces High" , a nicely shot WW1 aviation picture along the lines of "Wings" and the two "The Dawn Patrol" movies. This film is based on R.C. Sheriff's "Journey's End" which is more set amongst foot soldiers rather than an aviation unit. My tape of "Aces High" came off of a local Fox affiliate and I thought I had seen the whole movie.

Well I watched the film on a website alluc.ee , and they played the film uncut. This was the first time I've ever seen this film in this version and clearly a a whole subplot was completely removed from the Fox affiliate showings in the 1980s: that of a sort of gay subplot involving Christopher Plummer's character who clearly though subliminally has the hots for the young pilot ? Firth who arrives at the squadron. The problem with alluc.ee is though they played the obvious uncut version, they brought the film to a halt at 72 minutes and start asking to join. WTF? :x This was the first time I ever ran into a streaming site that pulled this bull. The film is 104 minutes and alluc.ee takes you 2/3 of the way into the film before asking a payment(in pounds). However I'm grateful to them for showing the parts that were cut from tv showings.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 09, 2015 8:30 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
busby1959 wrote:...The parade of girls in costumes aboard the zeppelin are all lookers, although it is a shame the beautiful Julanne Johnston is relegated to a mere bit...


Hope Martha, the Fish Girl, didn't escape your notice!


No, she didn't!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 09, 2015 9:47 pm

I watched The Sea Hawk (1940) with Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale and Henry Daniell. I recently purchased the Errol Flynn Signature Collection Vol 1 (see the "Deals" thread) and this was the first one I wanted to see. The picture is BW and sepia.

The studio is reprising themes from their earlier films with Flynn and it is a success. The Korngold music and sets are the highlights along with Flynn and company. Flora Robson is Queen Elizabeth who is concerned with possible war with Spain. Flynn is harassing Spanish ships and is in love with Brenda Marshall's character.

The disc has a documentary about the film with explanations about how the film came about, some analysis of the score, the swordplay, the sets,, etc. All great stuff.

If better materials exist, I hope they can do a full restoration some time for blu-ray. This DVD does not improve on my memories of the laserdisc picture that I had back in the day. I still enjoyed it, although this DVD might have looked better on a smaller screen.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 9:18 am

Rick Lanham wrote:I watched The Sea Hawk (1940) with Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale and Henry Daniell...
Rick


I think everyone in this picture superb, but one--and she, unfortunately, plays a pivotal role in it. I mean, who else?, Brenda Marshall. It's impossible for me not to compare her mentally with Flynn's co-star in the greatest pirate picture ever made (Captain Blood, of course) and against that paragon of beauty & grace, Brenda does not compare well; nor, for that matter, would few other actresses.

On the other hand, I'm willing to concede that I'm missing something, if she wound up married to Wm. Holden, one of my very favorite actors.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 10:43 am

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:I watched The Sea Hawk (1940) with Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale and Henry Daniell...
Rick


I think everyone in this picture superb, but one--and she, unfortunately, plays a pivotal role in it. I mean, who else?, Brenda Marshall. It's impossible for me not to compare her mentally with Flynn's co-star in the greatest pirate picture ever made (Captain Blood, of course) and against that paragon of beauty & grace, Brenda does not compare well; nor, for that matter, would few other actresses.

On the other hand, I'm willing to concede that I'm missing something, if she wound up married to Wm. Holden, one of my very favorite actors.


Yes, Olivia is missed. The accompanying short documentary says that she was busy with other films,and that this role was too small for her at that time, being simply "the girl." That sounds reasonable, although I haven't checked what she was doing.

I've just been reading some other reviews of the DVD and others praise the video quality. My copy is not that good, frankly. For example Brenda suffers in some close-ups when they highlight her eyes. Unlike the usual effect, it just looks washed out. Maybe it's time to re-check the TV settings... But other scenes are too dark?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 12:10 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:I watched The Sea Hawk (1940) with Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale and Henry Daniell...
Rick


I think everyone in this picture superb, but one--and she, unfortunately, plays a pivotal role in it. I mean, who else?, Brenda Marshall. It's impossible for me not to compare her mentally with Flynn's co-star in the greatest pirate picture ever made (Captain Blood, of course) and against that paragon of beauty & grace, Brenda does not compare well; nor, for that matter, would few other actresses.

On the other hand, I'm willing to concede that I'm missing something, if she wound up married to Wm. Holden, one of my very favorite actors.[/quote

Interesting that you should have such strong feelings about Ardis Holden, AKA Brenda Marshall. I was close friends with her son West Holden and she was a thoroughly unpleasant woman,
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 12:45 pm

busby1959 wrote:Interesting that you should have such strong feelings about Ardis Holden, AKA Brenda Marshall. I was close friends with her son West Holden and she was a thoroughly unpleasant woman,


Didn't regard her on screen as unpleasant, merely insipid; not the lady to be matched with Flynn!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 1:33 pm

This morning I watched PAROLE GIRL, a 1933 Columbia gem starring Mae Clarke (whom I am rapidly falling in love with) , Ralph Bellamy and Marie Prevost. This is based on a play, WITHIN THE LAW, which has been filmed numerous times, but this is the only incarnation of it I've seen. The story has more twists and turns than a proving ground test track, but it's very engaging. This may be the best performance yet that I have seen by Miss Mae Clarke. It's really hard for me to fathom why this beautiful, capable actress never really clicked.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 4:05 pm

Scott Eckhardt wrote:This morning I watched PAROLE GIRL, a 1933 Columbia gem starring Mae Clarke (whom I am rapidly falling in love with)...


In that condition, I am long gone. Hard to recall the circumstances that led to it...probably the first time I watched Waterloo Bridge, which everyone recognizes as her best, though there are several others I like almost as well, even though her parts in them may be fairly small--Penthouse & Lady Killer are examples.

Why she "never really clicked" is VERY perplexing, as her performance in Waterloo Bridge was universally acclaimed. Reminds me of the sad case of James Murray, whose terrific performance in The Crowd earned rave reviews, but led only to despair and a plunge in the North River. Mae, on the other hand, despite increasing marginal parts, NEVER gave up, as her filmography testifies! Last part I saw her play was in King of the Rocket Men from 1949, and though she still looked bodaciously good, it was sad to see her reduced to serials; though worse was to come--TV!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 10, 2015 7:14 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Scott Eckhardt wrote:This morning I watched PAROLE GIRL, a 1933 Columbia gem starring Mae Clarke (whom I am rapidly falling in love with)...


In that condition, I am long gone. Hard to recall the circumstances that led to it...probably the first time I watched Waterloo Bridge, which everyone recognizes as her best, though there are several others I like almost as well, even though her parts in them may be fairly small--Penthouse & Lady Killer are examples.

Why she "never really clicked" is VERY perplexing, as her performance in Waterloo Bridge was universally acclaimed. Reminds me of the sad case of James Murray, whose terrific performance in The Crowd earned rave reviews, but led only to despair and a plunge in the North River. Mae, on the other hand, despite increasing marginal parts, NEVER gave up, as her filmography testifies! Last part I saw her play was in King of the Rocket Men from 1949, and though she still looked bodaciously good, it was sad to see her reduced to serials; though worse was to come--TV!


I could never fathom the inconsistency of her career either. To go from starring in WATERLOO BRIDGE to playing a minor role in THE PUBLIC ENEMY in the same year? I don't get it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostFri Dec 11, 2015 11:25 pm

Sometimes when I despair of seeing a modern day picture that will have the same effect on me as an old silent, I will come across one, just out of the blue as it were. Such as that happened today when I watched “La Teté en friche” (My afternoons with Margueritte) made in 2010 and starring Gérard Depardieu and Gisèle Casadesus. This is a warm, gentle picture and the story is simple and easy to follow much the same as all the older pictures were. It has charm that oozes from every pore and it also displays all its characters in a good light. On the surface they may seem the normal Gallic lot, all squabbling and argumentative, but underneath there is a lot of love and caring.

Depardieu is a middle-aged man, of not a great intellect who was brought up by an un-loving mother and ridiculed at school. He still suffers from the odd jibe at the local café where he meets with his group of friends. He leads a simple existence, odd-jobbing as a handyman and attending to his vegetable garden. He still lives with his mother – well she lives in the house and he lives on the grounds in a caravan. He has a girlfriend a few years his junior and despite the things he thinks he lacks, seems contented.

By chance he meets a little old lady (Gisèle Casadesus) in a park. They talk about the pigeons and finding that they have had an interesting conversation, arrange to meet every lunchtime. A friendship blossoms and the old lady reads aloud to him from classic stories. He is a good listener and remembers what is said and soon is increasing his knowledge and his vocabulary.

This is a story about how little things can have an effect. How intuitiveness can sometimes see the root of a problem and how basic caring and love can help those problems be overcome. The two main characters are opposites but they gel together because they respect each other and wish to help each other.

There are a number of smaller side stories within the main narrative but they do nothing to draw our attention away from the main focus. If anything they only serve to round out the whole and provide a further background that helps us understand more about the main characters. They serve only to reinforce and add to the charm.

Perhaps the ending drifts to the sentimental side, but I think, we, the audience, were living in hope that something good would happen in the end. In this the picture lives up to its expectations.

The performances are faultless throughout and Depardieu who is as far from a matinee idol as you can get, manages to be delicate and to ensure that we are with him all the way. Gisèle Casadesus proves that once people are of a certain age, they should be treasured rather than thrown on the scrap heap.

This is a film that made each of its ninety or so minutes glow and one that will be retained in the memory. It was directed by Jean Becker.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 12, 2015 10:40 am

busby1959 wrote:I could never fathom the inconsistency of her career either. To go from starring in WATERLOO BRIDGE to playing a minor role in THE PUBLIC ENEMY in the same year? I don't get it.


Worse still, that "minor role" is the main thing she's remembered for. I recall an anecdote about someone -- I forget who -- being taken on a guided tour through of the Motion Picture Home in the 1980s. The tour was conducted by the manager of the place. As they passed Mae Clarke, the guide said: "Oh, and there's Mae Clarke. Cagney hit her in the face with a grapefruit in Public Enemy!"

(sigh)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 12, 2015 12:08 pm

Well, it could be worse; she could have been Alec Guinness.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
busby1959 wrote:I could never fathom the inconsistency of her career either. To go from starring in WATERLOO BRIDGE to playing a minor role in THE PUBLIC ENEMY in the same year? I don't get it.


Worse still, that "minor role" is the main thing she's remembered for. I recall an anecdote about someone -- I forget who -- being taken on a guided tour through of the Motion Picture Home in the 1980s. The tour was conducted by the manager of the place. As they passed Mae Clarke, the guide said: "Oh, and there's Mae Clarke. Cagney hit her in the face with a grapefruit in Public Enemy!"

(sigh)


Tours through a rest home? Reminds me of Karloff in Bedlam.

Wonder what was said about one of the most beautiful & talented women ever to stand before a camera--Norma Shearer--who was also there up to '83.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 12, 2015 7:12 pm

I returned to The Sea Hawk (see above) to attempt to get a better image on the TV. I improved it slightly by lowering brightness, "picture", and sharpness. Only slightly though.

I then watched The Black Stallion (1979), the first half of which is one of my favorites. I've learned today that it is based on a 1941 childrens' book, and some say the movie follows the book closely. Magnificently photographed, it's a pleasure to watch. For me, the story goes down in interest when Alec and "The Black" are rescued, but that's just me, possibly.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostMon Dec 14, 2015 5:51 pm

I watched The Magician (1958), written and directed by Ignmar Bergman. The action takes place in the 1840s. A traveling medicine show comes under scrutiny by local officials when it arrives in a new town. The officials have heard of shenanigans and have some personal biases about such a show. They demand a private show to see what’s going on, and two of them place a bet on the outcome.

The travelers have some tricks up their sleeves, however.

This looked to be a dark, gloomy, depressing movie as it started, but it is not. By reputation (I’m not an expert) it’s one of Bergman’s more accessible films. The photography and direction are impecable. Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin star.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostTue Dec 15, 2015 10:55 am

I had quite the movie marathon over the long weekend: 28 Weeks Later (2007), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), It Happened Tomorrow (1944), and The Babadook (2014). The Babadook did the job well, and Horrible Bosses 2 fell pretty flat for me. I really loved Edge of Tomorrow, and that was the first time I had ever watched Christmas in Connecticut. Uncle Felix stole the show in that one!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostTue Dec 15, 2015 3:31 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
busby1959 wrote:Interesting that you should have such strong feelings about Ardis Holden, AKA Brenda Marshall. I was close friends with her son West Holden and she was a thoroughly unpleasant woman,


Didn't regard her on screen as unpleasant, merely insipid; not the lady to be matched with Flynn!


Think that describes her screen presence pretty well. Without resorting to IMDb I'd struggle to recall a film with her in, though doubtless I've seen a few. And depends also how much of a chance she had before giving up or being given up by the studios.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 16, 2015 1:05 pm

Though I'd seen it before, it's still rather startling that a picture with so unprepossessing a title as The Night of June 13 (1932) conceals so fascinating & intricate a plot, such well-written dialog, with the whole brought to life by as wonderful a cast of the best supporting players--won't try to name 'em all--as ever worked on the same picture. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive," should have been its epigraph, as the un-tangling of "innocent lies," uttered without deliberate malice, marks the unfolding of the climax. Only one "big" star, Clive Brook, whose part is almost second fiddle to all the other great performances, not least among them, the role played by English actress Adrianne Allen, who made the "creeping madness" afflicting her character wholly believable. She should have been second-billed, but for no good reason apparent to me, Francis Dee occupied that position; not that she, like everyone else in the cast, wasn't outstanding.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 16, 2015 1:50 pm

Having finished John Oller's excellent biography of Jean Arthur, I treated myself to a reviewing of The More the Merrier (1943) and totally enjoyed it. Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, and Joel McCrea are just about perfect in this topical comedy about the housing shortage in Washington during WWII and the two men who end up sharing Arthur's apartment.

Oller's book is really excellent, dealing with a difficult subject. Arthur was famous for decades for avoiding publicity and keeping her private life private. Fascinating look at a rather prickly and self-destructive star who was one of most charming film actresses of her time.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 16, 2015 2:32 pm

drednm wrote:Having finished John Oller's excellent biography of Jean Arthur, I treated myself to a reviewing of The More the Merrier (1943) and totally enjoyed it...


The picture in which you find out for sure--just in case it had previously escaped your notice--just what kind of righteously hot bod Jean was concealing under her charm.

However, my favorite remains The Saturday Night Kid (1929), in which she's not particularly hot (how could she be, contrasted with Clara?), but plays the most outrageous pest & conniver I think I've seen.

Only actress (or other person of note, I think) ever to first see the light of day in my immediate area, Plattsburgh, NY, once an important Army town situated near the border to fend off envious Canuks.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostWed Dec 16, 2015 3:47 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
drednm wrote:Having finished John Oller's excellent biography of Jean Arthur, I treated myself to a reviewing of The More the Merrier (1943) and totally enjoyed it...


The picture in which you find out for sure--just in case it had previously escaped your notice--just what kind of righteously hot bod Jean was concealing under her charm.

However, my favorite remains The Saturday Night Kid (1929), in which she's not particularly hot (how could she be, contrasted with Clara?), but plays the most outrageous pest & conniver I think I've seen.

Only actress (or other person of note, I think) ever to first see the light of day in my immediate area, Plattsburgh, NY, once an important Army town situated near the border to fend off envious Canuks.


Yup. She lived all over the place as a kid, including Portland, ME.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 17, 2015 11:48 am

I continued my (currently) fruitless quest to find a Norma Shearer talkie where her smug, mannered "acting" doesn't make me want to hurl things at the screen.

This morning, I relieved my DVR of STRANGERS MAY KISS. Norma loves globetrotting, hypocritical (and married) Neil Hamilton while drunk pal (asexual? gay? bland?) Robert Montgomery follows her like a puppy. And the moral of the story? Revenge tramping is a luxury a woman in love can't afford - or something to that effect.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 17, 2015 3:24 pm

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:I continued my (currently) fruitless quest to find a Norma Shearer talkie where her smug, mannered "acting" doesn't make me want to hurl things at the screen.


The things I want to hurl are passionate kisses. But I repress that impulse, knowing full well I am unworthy to do more than kneel in silent adoration.

This morning, I relieved my DVR of STRANGERS MAY KISS. Norma loves globetrotting, hypocritical (and married) Neil Hamilton while drunk pal (asexual? gay? bland?) Robert Montgomery follows her like a puppy. And the moral of the story? Revenge tramping is a luxury a woman in love can't afford - or something to that effect.


Wouldn't make sense for the tramping to have been done in revenge, as the cad who deserved it was (she thought) permanently out of her universe, had for her ceased to exist, but rather for the purpose of psychological oblivion; a common reaction to great emotional blows that any shrink can tell you all about. But the correct moral, or message, of the story repeated that of The Divorcee, A Free Soul, & Let Us Be Gay: that the double-standard is a cruel hypocrisy imposed on women by male-dominated society. Norma's tentative feminism might now seem inadequate, inured as we've become to the fanaticism of Steinem et al., but for its time and place was it not a respectable step in the right direction?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostThu Dec 17, 2015 4:06 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Harlett O'Dowd wrote:I continued my (currently) fruitless quest to find a Norma Shearer talkie where her smug, mannered "acting" doesn't make me want to hurl things at the screen.


The things I want to hurl are passionate kisses. But I repress that impulse, knowing full well I am unworthy to do more than kneel in silent adoration.


Different item. A different screen as the unwitting recipient.

But the hurling continues.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 19, 2015 4:45 pm

A strong roster of familiar faces and names grace the cast of BOYS IN BROWN (1949), set in a British borstal. Richard Attenborough has fallen in with the wrong crowd, having drivien the getaway car in a bungled jewel robbery. His fellow inmates include Dirk Bogarde, Alfie Bass, Michael Medwin, Andrew Crawford and Jimmy Hanley, and the stern, but genial Governor is played by Jack Warner with his usual authority. There is one subplot featuring Jimmy Hanley's efforts to go straight, and there is also an attempted escape which goes wrong when one of the masters* is badly hurt. The stage origins (written by Reginald Beckwith) of BOYS IN BROWN are rather obvious at times, although the film starts and finishes well. With Patrick Holt, Cyril Chamberlain, and Thora Hird as Attenborough's Mum. A nice copy of a previously hard-to-see film.

*the institution is run a little on the lines of the English Public School system, with masters, 'houses', etc...
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSat Dec 19, 2015 5:55 pm

It's amusing seeing them sporting the shorts, all the actors being much older than the boys they play. Attenborough was used to it by now, the previous year he had played a 14-year old in The Guinea Pig. Bogarde plays his character well too, a slimy little toad whom you woudn't trust an inch.

The Borstal system of youth correction was new and untried at the time of the film, the name Borstal coming from the location of the first one.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2015)

PostSun Dec 20, 2015 4:39 pm

aldiboronti wrote:It's amusing seeing them sporting the shorts, all the actors being much older than the boys they play. Attenborough was used to it by now, the previous year he had played a 14-year old in The Guinea Pig. Bogarde plays his character well too, a slimy little toad whom you woudn't trust an inch.

The Borstal system of youth correction was new and untried at the time of the film, the name Borstal coming from the location of the first one.


Hadn't realised Borstal was actually a new system then, probably because it was in place a few years before I made my appearance. And was immediately reminded of THE GUINEA PIG, even though it must be a few years since I've seen that film. Must admit it took a few minutes to realise the Barbara Murray character was Attenborough's girlfriend as thought she was his big sister to start with.
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