What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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Daniel Eagan

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

PostSun Jun 11, 2017 5:31 pm

boblipton wrote:The movie my cousin and I saw this morning was My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz as Rachel... but not Rachel Weisz. Based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel, it concerns Sam Clafin, who was raised by his misogynistic cousin. The cousin falls ill and is shipped off to sunny Italy to recover. Imagine Sam's surprise when he writes about how he has fallen in love and married. Further letters take a darker, paranoid turn, and when he goes to Italy to investigate, his cousin is dead and his wife has disappeared. Sam returns to England to resume the life he has envisioned, when up pops Rachel Weisz, who quickly charms the dogs and then him. He gives her everything, then develops his own dark suspicions about the tisanes she gives him to drink.

It's a movie, my cousin and I agreed, after a while in the dark, that was admirable, if only it showed any sign of getting on with it. Set during the Regency, it offers beautiful clothes and country scenery, and a typically fine performance by Miss Weisz. After the first eight months of sitting in the theater, I commented on its slow, slow pace to my cousin. After a year or two it ended. Imagine my surprise when we got out and discovered that through some time-warp effect, it was only a couple of hours!

Bob


When my wife and I watched this, we turned to each other every five minutes with looks of bemusement and disbelief. Could any one character be such a blockhead? We kept hoping someone, preferably the pining neighbor, would slap Sam silly.

Afterwards we wondered how Hitchcock would have shot it, whether he would had let the climax occur offscreen, whether he wouldn't have played up the George Sanders role, whether he couldn't have injected any life into those inert, plot-heavy conversations and flashbacks. It was PBS, "cinema of quality" filmmaking, and as such will please fans of that kind of nonsense.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 11, 2017 5:48 pm

Daniel Eagan wrote:
boblipton wrote:The movie my cousin and I saw this morning was My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz as Rachel... but not Rachel Weisz. Based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel, it concerns Sam Clafin, who was raised by his misogynistic cousin. The cousin falls ill and is shipped off to sunny Italy to recover. Imagine Sam's surprise when he writes about how he has fallen in love and married. Further letters take a darker, paranoid turn, and when he goes to Italy to investigate, his cousin is dead and his wife has disappeared. Sam returns to England to resume the life he has envisioned, when up pops Rachel Weisz, who quickly charms the dogs and then him. He gives her everything, then develops his own dark suspicions about the tisanes she gives him to drink.

It's a movie, my cousin and I agreed, after a while in the dark, that was admirable, if only it showed any sign of getting on with it. Set during the Regency, it offers beautiful clothes and country scenery, and a typically fine performance by Miss Weisz. After the first eight months of sitting in the theater, I commented on its slow, slow pace to my cousin. After a year or two it ended. Imagine my surprise when we got out and discovered that through some time-warp effect, it was only a couple of hours!

Bob


When my wife and I watched this, we turned to each other every five minutes with looks of bemusement and disbelief. Could any one character be such a blockhead? We kept hoping someone, preferably the pining neighbor, would slap Sam silly.

Afterwards we wondered how Hitchcock would have shot it, whether he would had let the climax occur offscreen, whether he wouldn't have played up the George Sanders role, whether he couldn't have injected any life into those inert, plot-heavy conversations and flashbacks. It was PBS, "cinema of quality" filmmaking, and as such will please fans of that kind of nonsense.



Easy enough to imagine: take a look at Suspicion!

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

PostSun Jun 11, 2017 8:25 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
oldposterho wrote:Caught the George Lazenby documentary, Becoming Bond, and enjoyed it immensely. It's not much film-wise but it's a great story - that was a complete mystery to me - and is irresistible. Pretty much just George telling his tale with some fanciful recreations, but it kept my attention the entire time and filled in a chunk of movie history for me.

For some reason I've scrupulously avoided On Her Majesty's Secret Service up 'til now, that is going to change straight away.


Also just watched this doco recently and was quite absorbed by it. Often wondered why he only made the one Bond picture.
You should enjoy OHMSS as there are some delicious throw-away lines in it.

Another vote for OHMSS here, it's one of the best-made Bond films, and Lazenby is better than you'd expect, considering his overall lack of acting experience (he was a former male model). It's very well written, shot and edited, and has a great score to boot (one of the few Bond soundtrack LPs I own). And of course, it has Diana Rigg.

Obviously the main reason he only made one Bond picture is because Sean Connery agreed to do Diamonds Are Forever, although that film almost feels like it was written to match Lazenby's strengths more than Connery's. But there are stories about GL being headstrong and uncooperative with the Bond production team, although it's hard to say if they started spreading those stories to help get over the fact they were dumping their star after only one outing. Imagine if Lazenby had made it to Live and Let Die or The Man With the Golden Gun...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 11, 2017 10:24 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Thank you greta de groat, for pointing me in the direction of COSMIC VOYAGE (1935), a Russian silent aimed at children, but with a high entertainment value. The film starts off with two space workers (a pretty young girl and her boyfriend) being ordered to stop a famous inventor (a sort of cross between Father Christmas and Professor Challenger) from commandeering a moon rocket on account of the fact that he may be off his coconut. The boyfriend's young brother, despite being ordered to go to school, is on the professor's side, and the fun begins - very fast indeed.

Despite attempts to stop them, as well as the attempts by the professor's wife to fill his suitcase with unsuitable clothing, the voyage starts in earnest...

Admittedly the characters are drawn simply, but that is part of the appeal. The film is very well paced, with nimble camerawork and some very nice model work, as well as a selection of well-chosen music. There is, admittedly, a thin undercurrent of propaganda, but this does not spoil a lively yarn. Oh, and of course there is a cat in it, which makes a bow in the rousing finale.


Glad you enjoyed this weird and wonderful film!

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

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 4:52 am

Will anyone be offended if I say that Edward Platt was not as good an actor as Henry Fonda, nor John Ericson as interesting as John Wayne? I mention these startling opinions because the first half of Oregon Passage (1957) is a remake of Fort Apache (1948).

I'll go further with these radical insights and assert that Paul Landres was not as good a director as John Ford. While most of the actors are at least adequate, there are some wonky lines offered that didn't sound very convincing.

After the stolen beginning, this settles down into a standard B movie in which Ericson winds up fighting H.M. Wynant, the Indian Chief who leads his warriors into battle by standing on a rock and raising his arms. It's an attempt to save the B Western by some serious location shooting in Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, and the camerawork of Ellis Carter is up to the job; he chooses lighting that suggests the forests of the Hudson Valley School of painting, rather than the Frederick Remington lighting that Ford used for his color excursion to the Southwest. However, the rest of it is standard fare.

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

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 6:59 am

“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 7:36 am

(Friedman art - now, THERE'S some Classic material!)

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

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 8:28 am

boblipton wrote:Will anyone be offended if I say that Edward Platt was not as good an actor as Henry Fonda, nor John Ericson as interesting as John Wayne? I mention these startling opinions because the first half of Oregon Passage (1957) is a remake of Fort Apache (1948).

I'll go further with these radical insights and assert that Paul Landres was not as good a director as John Ford. While most of the actors are at least adequate, there are some wonky lines offered that didn't sound very convincing.

After the stolen beginning, this settles down into a standard B movie in which Ericson winds up fighting H.M. Wynant, the Indian Chief who leads his warriors into battle by standing on a rock and raising his arms. It's an attempt to save the B Western by some serious location shooting in Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, and the camerawork of Ellis Carter is up to the job; he chooses lighting that suggests the forests of the Hudson Valley School of painting, rather than the Frederick Remington lighting that Ford used for his color excursion to the Southwest. However, the rest of it is standard fare.

Bob


I will concede your points, but will argue vigourously that Don Adams was a superior performer to John Shepodd, whoever that was.

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

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 1:30 pm

Watching THE VIRTUOUS SIN (1930) the other evening was a bit of a mistake, not for the (WWI Russian-set) film, but due to the fact that I'd had a long, sociable day, with lots of walking, so when the film came on I was somewhat whiffled.

One of George Cukor's early outings (co-directed) it has the lovely Kay Francis undergoing a platonic marriage to a medical scientist. On the eve of a great discovery, War is declared and the unfortunate fellow is conscripted. Arguing that he is of more use as a scientist than a soldier he runs foul of general Walter Huston, ending up in very hot water indeed. Finally, under sentence of execution, Francis does the only thing sensible, and that is to sacrifice her body...

Regarded as a turkey in some quarters, THE VIRTUOUS SIN is indeed a bit potty in its plotting, not to say rather stilted in places. However, there is a fairly strong pre-Code content to it which keeps the interest afloat. My fault for watching when too fagged-out, not giving the film enough of a chance...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jun 13, 2017 5:38 pm

Rene Ray is Jennifer Hale (1937), a chorus girl who is wanted for questioning by the police in the murder of a theatrical producer. She flees to Manchester and under an assumed name, becomes a taxi dancer, where architect Ballard Berkley meets her and falls in love with her.

It's a murder mystery and about three quarters of it is taken up with Miss Ray's perfectly harmless actions in Manchester. Her flight and hiding is intended to make the movie-watcher suspect her; her ordinary demeanor makes it unlikely. John Longden as the suave Scotland Yard inspector show up on the screen occasionally to explain what has actually happened.

It's a bare-bones quota quickie, without much detail to make it more interesting. Miss Ray is pretty, Mr. Berkley is handsome and smitten, and the entire solution of the case takes only a few minutes.

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

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 6:43 am

Looking at TCM last night to see if there was anything that I might want to watch again, I discovered I hadn't seen Song of Songs (1933), with Ruben Mamoulian directing Marlene Dietrich. So I recorded it and watch it this morning.

Dietrich is a newly orphaned country girl who gets sent to her aunt, Alison Skipworth. Soon, Brian Aherne, the sculptor who lives across the street, decides she would be a good model for his work based on Solomon's Song of Songs and Beethoven's Pathetique. After about half an hour, they are a couple, running up and down the flowered mountains which Berlin seems to be liberally supplied with.

Enter Lionel Atwill, a military baron, who wears a forage cap with a skull on it and a furry panache that sticks straight up. He marries Marlene and takes her to his schloss, which is liberally decorated with phallic symbols and his mistress. Things turn out poorly, and Marlene becomes a good-time girl who sings cynical songs.

Isn't it always that way? While Mamoulian has a lavishly directed set, alas, he cannot raise a performance out of DIetrich to make us think she is a good girl in an early scene. She disrobes with the easy fluidity of someone who has spent a lot of time naked since she was twelve, and shows no shyness as she models naked for Aherne, after about ten seconds of his "It's art!" speech. Aherne is ok. Atwill is disgusting and disgusting and Skipworth is disgusting and funny.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 9:52 am

Bitter Harvest a film virtually unseen since its 1963 release.Starring the ill fated Janet Munro.Sadly she is no match for her contemporaries,Julie Christie and Rachel Roberts in the acting stakes.She is supposed to come from a Welsh village but sounds more Home Counties.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 10:55 am

boblipton wrote:Looking at TCM last night to see if there was anything that I might want to watch again, I discovered I hadn't seen Song of Songs (1933), with Ruben Mamoulian directing Marlene Dietrich. So I recorded it and watch it this morning.

Dietrich is a newly orphaned country girl who gets sent to her aunt, Alison Skipworth. Soon, Brian Aherne, the sculptor who lives across the street, decides she would be a good model for his work based on Solomon's Song of Songs and Beethoven's Pathetique. After about half an hour, they are a couple, running up and down the flowered mountains which Berlin seems to be liberally supplied with.

Enter Lionel Atwill, a military baron, who wears a forage cap with a skull on it and a furry panache that sticks straight up. He marries Marlene and takes her to his schloss, which is liberally decorated with phallic symbols and his mistress. Things turn out poorly, and Marlene becomes a good-time girl who sings cynical songs.

Isn't it always that way? While Mamoulian has a lavishly directed set, alas, he cannot raise a performance out of DIetrich to mak us think she is a good girl in an early scene. She disrobes with the easy fluidity of someone who has spent a lot of time naked since she was twelve, and shows no shyness as she models naked for Aherne, after about ten seconds of his "It's art!" speech. Aherne is ok. Atwill is disgusting and disgusting and Skipworth is disgusting and funny.

Bob


Miss Dietrich was a law unto herself. All she needed to do was to show up. Game on.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 1:56 pm

MAN ACCUSED (1959), from the Danziger brothers, and directed by Montgomery Tully, is a British second feature with Ronald Howard as an engineer engaged to heiress Carol Marsh. At the engagement party, Marsh is told that Howard is not only a jewel thief, but a suspected serial murderer. Things start to hot up when one of the men who offers to help is found murdered, £50,000 of jewels missing and Howard is nowhere to be found.

Rather rambling, tepid thriller, with a mild novelty of an acting part for Brian Nissen, who will be familiar to older English viewers as a TV announcer.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 5:31 pm

Jeannie (1941) is Barbara Mullen, a Scots girl whose dour father dies and leave her his fortune of 297 pounds. She decides she wants to enjoy life for once, before she settles down, so she books a trip to Vienna. Problems crop up on the trip, and it's always dapper Michael Redgrave, an inventor on his way to Vienna to see about financing, who helps her again and again. When they get to Vienna, however, they fall out; Kay Hammond is a dress model and a good-time girl who makes eyes at Redgrave, and Albert Lieven is a pfennig-less Graf who thinks that Jeannie's fortune is a real one.

It's a charming movie, between Miss Mullen's impressive accent -- she hailed from Boston Massachussetts -- and Redgrave's self-assured British gentleman. All of the performances are fine, particularly Wilfred Lawson as Miss Mullen's horror of a father -- I remember his Alfie Doolittle in Pascal's Pygmalion and Mr. Rudge in Expresso Bongo. Roland Pertwee and Anatole de Grunewald do a fine script from Aimee Stuart's stage play, and Harold French directs his actors well. It's filled with cameos of some of the fine actors he had worked with over the years.

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

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 6:05 pm

She should see The Secret Beyond the Door if she wants to know what meeting Michael Redgrave on vacation can lead to.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Jun 15, 2017 1:21 am

This what I am going to see next.A 35mm print of Seven Samuri,starting at 1030am and finishing at13.57pm.I wonder if I can make it through to the end.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Jun 15, 2017 7:29 pm

Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) is a terrific tale of the sea, whaling in the 19th century, and some forgotten virtues like honor, love, duty, and loyalty. Lionel Barrymore gives a magnificent starring performance as the aged New Bedford ship's captain who keeps his young grandson (Dean Stockwell) with him on his voyages, hoping to settle him in the seafaring life before he dies. The ship's owners and insurance company balk at his making another voyage, but he talks them in to one last trip. They bring in a young man (Richard Widmark) as First Mate as the condition for okaying the trip. The three push and pull at each other as they juggle the laws of the sea, their jobs, and relationships with each other, and the inevitability that visits this last voyage. The films centers more on these relationships than on whaling (a grim business indeed) though there is a harrowing sequence when the sailing ship gets caught up on an iceberg. Cecil Kellaway, Gene Lockhart, Harry Morgan, John McIntire, Dorothy Adams, Jay C. Flippen, Arthur Hohl, Paul Harvey, Harry Davenport co-star.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jun 16, 2017 6:06 am

boblipton wrote:Jeannie (1941) is Barbara Mullen, a Scots girl whose dour father dies and leave her his fortune of 297 pounds. She decides she wants to enjoy life for once, before she settles down, so she books a trip to Vienna. Problems crop up on the trip, and it's always dapper Michael Redgrave, an inventor on his way to Vienna to see about financing, who helps her again and again. When they get to Vienna, however, they fall out; Kay Hammond is a dress model and a good-time girl who makes eyes at Redgrave, and Albert Lieven is a pfennig-less Graf who thinks that Jeannie's fortune is a real fortune.

It's a charming movie, between Miss Mullen's impressive accent -- she hailed from Boston Massachussetts -- and Redgrave's self-assured British gentleman. All of the performances are fine, particularly Wilfred Lawson as Miss Mullen's horror of a father -- I remember his as Alfie Dolittle in Pascal's Pygmalion and Mr. Rudge in Expresso Bongo. Roland Pertwee and Anatole de Grunewald do a fine script for Aimee Stuart's stage play, and Harold French directs his actors well. It's filled with cameos of some of the fine actors he had worked with over the years.

Bob


Excellent film. Barbara Mullen is a total delight.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jun 16, 2017 8:42 am

drednm wrote:Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) is a terrific tale of the sea, whaling in the 19th century, and some forgotten virtues like honor, love, duty, and loyalty.


Couldn't agree more, Ed. This one, in my opinion is WAY underrated, and not even terribly well known.

It's a text book example of what Spielberg once said about the best of classic Hollywood films: they're a "full meal." This one is fascinating, frightening and touching, by turns; it's well-written, directed, and played.

What more can we ask for?

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

PostSat Jun 17, 2017 6:15 am

Alan Dwan's 406th movie as director was Enchanted Island (1958). It was also his next to last. It stars a sozzled Dana Andrews as a sailor who has jumped ship on a tropical Island and Jane Powell as the Polynesian princess he falls in love with. She is, of course, the member of a tribe of cannibals.

The script takes Herman Melville's turgid novel about religion masquerading as evil and vice versa, and converts it into a brightly-lit Technicolor adventure story. Like others of Dwan's movies of the period, it combines a lesson about duality -- I'm not sure what the lesson was, but it's clearly there. Blond, slight Don Dubbins offers that contrast.

Mostly it's interesting for the way cinematographer Jorge Stahl manages to light bright greens and blues in a sepia world.

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

PostSat Jun 17, 2017 8:12 am

Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947): The seventh lensed version of the Earl Der Biggers/George M. Cohan comedy-scarer is a very pleasant affair under the direction of Lew Landers. We're alerted to its comedy as soon as lead Phillip Terry shows up in glasses and wearing a bow tie, and the fine cast of supporting actors lets us know we're in for a good time.

Terry is a writer who has bet Jason Robards Sr. that he can write a novel in 24 hours at a closed hotel. Robards send his secretary, Jacqueline White, to gum up the works, but she and Terry are distracted by the assortment of thieves and madmen who come wandering through the doors.

The handling of the subject runs more clearly towards laughs than earlier versions, and it looks to me like the pacing and camera work by Jack MacKenzie was influenced by Frank Capra's version of Arsenic and Old Lace. If you get a chance to see the beautiful copy that Turner Classic Movies ran this morning, take it.

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

PostSat Jun 17, 2017 6:14 pm

Jack Buchanan and Jean Gilie have just gotten engaged. There are two problems: she's got a mother and he's already got a fiancee, the bossy and horsy Marjorie Brooks. Fortunately -- and This'll Make You Whistle (1936) -- he's got two practical-joking pals, one of whom is married to Jack's usual stage partner, Elsie Randolph. She's always available for cross-talk, dancing and solving the problem of who's forging the French bank notes which have the flics on Jack's trail.

It's all enjoyable nonsense, based on a Buchanan-Randolph stage show, co-written by Guy Bolton. The performances are great, and Miss Randolph has a dance number that clearly was a show-stopper on stage, the sexy "You've Got the Wrong Rhumba", danced in a tight bolero outfit. However, while director Herbert Wilcox had clearly seen what RKO had been doing with the Astaire-Rogers musicals, he hadn't completely gotten the idea of how to shoot dance numbers, tending to not keep dancing partners together on the screen and constricting the field of vision to focus on Miss Randolph for her solo.

It doesn't matter too much. If you enjoy singing, dancing and silliness, you'll like this.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 5:23 am

boblipton wrote:Jack Buchanan and Jean Gilie have just gotten engaged. There are two problems: she's got a mother and he's already got a fiancee, the bossy and horsy Marjorie Brooks. Fortunately -- and This'll Make You Whistle (1936) -- he's got two practical-joking pals, one of whom is married to Jack's usual stage partner, Elsie Randolph. She's always available for cross-talk, dancing and solving the problem of who's forging the French bank notes which have the flics on Jack's trail.

It's all enjoyable nonsense, based on a Buchanan-Janis stage show, co-written by Guy Bolton. The performances are great, and Miss Janis has a dance number that clearly was a show-stopper on stage, the sexy "You've Got the Wrong Rhumba", danced in a tight bolero outfit. However, while director Herbert Wilcox had clearly seen what RKO had been doing with the Astaire-Rogers musicals, he hadn't completely gotten the idea of how to shoot dance numbers, tending to not keep dancing partners together on the screen and constricting the field of vision to focus on Miss Janis for her solo.

It doesn't matter too much. If you enjoy singing, dancing and silliness, you'll like this.

Bob


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

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 5:23 am

Spunky Sally O'Neill stars in Girl of the Port (1930) (a.k.a. Firewalker), playing a tart Irish maid with a heart of gold who turns up in Fiji looking for work in bar run by half-caste white supremicist (!) McEwan (Mitchell Lewis) but finds love with a shell-shocked First World War veteran, Jim (Reginald Sharland), who supposedly just wanted to find a neglected corner of the world in which to drink himself to death.

Everything is played way over the top, which might explain why director Bert Glennon went back to being a cinematographer shortly afterward (doing stellar work for John Ford), but it gives the film some verve that keeps you glued through its stagey proceedings. Bayonne, NJ-born O'Neill doesn't sound particularly Irish, but she's brash (has anyone seen her in The Brat? Based on the title alone I can see her as the perfect fit for the role) and I got a kick out of how she kept calling Jim "Bozo". As the baddie, Lewis is a few steps shy of Simon Legree, but his repeated toasts to white supremacy and racial purity are a bit of a jolt. Sharland gets to ham it up every time he sees fire and crumples like a rag doll, thanks to an unfortunate encounter with a flamethrower in the war. Unsurprisingly, he'd be relegated to uncredited bit parts within a year.

So, not quite Golden Dawn bad, but if you're looking for something in the same vein...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 6:46 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:Spunky Sally O'Neill stars in Girl of the Port (1930) (a.k.a. Firewalker), playing a tart Irish maid with a heart of gold who turns up in Fiji looking for work in bar run by half-caste white supremicist (!) McEwan (Mitchell Lewis) but finds love with a shell-shocked First World War veteran, Jim (Reginald Sharland), who supposedly just wanted to find a neglected corner of the world in which to drink himself to death.

Everything is played way over the top, which might explain why director Bert Glennon went back to being a cinematographer shortly afterward (doing stellar work for John Ford), but it gives the film some verve that keeps you glued through its stagey proceedings. Bayonne, NJ-born O'Neill doesn't sound particularly Irish, but she's brash (has anyone seen her in The Brat? Based on the title alone I can see her as the perfect fit for the role) and I got a kick out of how she kept calling Jim "Bozo". As the baddie, Lewis is a few steps shy of Simon Legree, but his repeated toasts to white supremacy and racial purity are a bit of a jolt. Sharland gets to ham it up every time he sees fire and crumples like a rag doll, thanks to an unfortunate encounter with a flamethrower in the war. Unsurprisingly, he'd be relegated to uncredited bit parts within a year.

So, not quite Golden Dawn bad, but if you're looking for something in the same vein...



There was also something wonky about the sound quality in the print run by TCM last week.

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

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 7:44 am

I don't get TCM at home, so whenever I stay at a certain hotel in Toronto on business or pleasure, I immediately turn the dial (speaking metaphorically, of course) to channel 52 to see what's on. (Not all Toronto hotels carry TCM.)

Last week, regrettably, my overnight happened to be the same night TCM ran a "mediocre monster movies of the 1950s" marathon. Something with Bogart or a Bogart lookalike involving a ridiculous sea-monster ... ugh ... followed by The Devil Doll, in which Lionel Barrymore went around wearing Lon Chaney's old-lady outfit from The Unholy Three -- Lionel even imitated Chaney's hunched walk ... ugh ... then, worst of all, it was From Hell It Came featuring another ridiculous monster, this one a walking tree monster (not named "Groot") and some of the least attractive acting personnel since Mack Sennett productions of the 1920s, when they at least had the excuse of wearing giant fake moustaches. My TCM watching ended when they started off I Walked With A Zombie with a complete turn-off of a narrative voiceover that mocked the movie's title. I've heard it's actually a good film, and certainly the cast and crew have their track records, but that introductory monologue was an instant change-the-channel warning to me.

Back home, my wife and I watched Far From the Madding Crowd (1967) with Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp, and a wonderful Albert Finney. This filming of the Thomas Hardy classic was considered a bit of a failure in its day, both with critics and with audiences. It has aged well, though, at least for audiences of a certain age (I sure wouldn't try springing it on anyone under 40 years old). It moves at a consistent pace, with no lulls, and it has a tremendously authentic look to its settings and costumes. At 3 hours, it's very long, with an intermission placed rather oddly at the two-hour mark.

In the middle-late 1960s, Julie Christie made a point of starring in historical dramas -- this one, Doctor Zhivago, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, etc. -- because she didn't want to be seen as merely a pretty face. I was an adolescent at the time, so I can remember well that this strategy was successful: she was perceived as a highly skilled actress who just happened to be drop-dead beautiful. What's strange, though, is that hers is a beauty specific to the late 1960s. Her face looks out-of-its-time when she's put into a 19th-century setting, unlike, say, Maggie Smith or Glenn Close or even Margaret Dumont, all of whom have good looks that fit into the 19th century as easily as they do into the 21st century. (Yes, I consider Dumont good-looking!) I think the same situation exists for Drew Barrymore: she couldn't fit into any setting not specific to her own era.

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

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 9:16 am

boblipton wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:Spunky Sally O'Neill stars in Girl of the Port (1930) (a.k.a. Firewalker), playing a tart Irish maid with a heart of gold who turns up in Fiji looking for work in bar run by half-caste white supremicist (!) McEwan (Mitchell Lewis) but finds love with a shell-shocked First World War veteran, Jim (Reginald Sharland), who supposedly just wanted to find a neglected corner of the world in which to drink himself to death.

There was also something wonky about the sound quality in the print run by TCM last week.

I noticed that too. Very muffled at the start, but either I got used to the sound, or it improved after the first reel or so. But I agree, at first I really had to crank the sound to make out the dialogue. And then got a start when I switched to a CD and nearly blew out my eardrums.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 9:30 am

House by the River (1950) is a stunning B&W thriller with Louis Hayward a writer in Victorian England. He lives on an unnamed river that seems to be a tidal estuary. He lives with a wife (Jane Wyatt) and has a brother (Lee Bowman). Right off the bay we see that Hayward is a liar. Next we see him as a lecher when he hits on the housemaid fresh from her bath. This is a terrific sequence that sees him look up at the lit bathroom window, listening to the bath water drain through outside pipes, and deciding to make his move. But things go wrong ... very wrong. Innocent brother Bowman (he has a limp) shows up and gets sucked into Hayward's mad plan to cover his tracks. They are brothers, after all. Moody, well lit, tense film by Fritz Lang. Ann Shoemaker plays the feisty neighbor, Dorothy Patrick the housemaid, and Jody Gilbert a real scene stealer as Bowman's lovesick housekeeper.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 11:56 am

Jim Roots wrote:then, worst of all, it was From Hell It Came featuring another ridiculous monster, this one a walking tree monster (not named "Groot")

And as one notorious movie review of the time exclaimed, "And to hell it can go!"

Love Far From the Madding Crowd too, mostly for Ms. Christie and the sumptious visuals from cinematographer Nicolas Roeg. Not a perfect film, perhaps, but Terence Stamp does liven things up when he appears onscreen. Worth seeking out the Warner Archive blu-ray to see it at its best (on a home screen, anyway).
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