What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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

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

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 5:50 pm

A rather obscure Radio Picture from 1937 is "Quick Money". I say obscure because there are "no names" associated with it unless you count Jack Carson in a minor role before promotion.

It's actually quite a good little comedy and plays quite well. It's set in a town basically in Hicksville. A former old boy of the town returns triumphantly and gives rise to the idea that he would like to create a hotel resort. Naturally the townsfolk think this is the best thing since sliced bread and are eager to invest. The Mayor though, thinks something stinks. Is the old boy really what everyone thinks he is, or is it all just a con?

Berton Churchill has the weight and presence to play the high and mighty old boy, Fred Stone is the wily and rural Mayor, Dorothy Moore is the Mayor's wife - with her own opinions, Paul Guilfoyle is the old boy's secretary - or is he really the brains of the outfit?, Harlan Briggs is a slimy bank manager, Sherwood Bailey is the Mayor's son and is experimenting with a chemistry set, Jack Carson has a bit part as a football coach and Hattie McDaniel is hilarious as the Mayor's maid.

In essence the once wholesome values of common sense in small town America.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 6:37 pm

Project M-7 (aka The Net; 1953) came out a year after David Lean's Breaking the Sound Barrier and can probably best be described as Antony Asquith's take on the matter. James Donald -- whom I best recall as the wan Senior British Officer in The Great Escape -- is the boffin-pilot of the M-7, a plane that can go three sounds the sound barrier. Top-billed Phyllis Calvert is underused as his loyal wife who is tempted by continental Herbert Lom; and there is a spy somewhere at the testing facility, which has everyone on edge.

Asquith seems happiest with the soap opera aspect of the movie, which is the least interesting part to me; the "Flying Wing" design of the plane, with its "atomic motors" looks good, but I kept expecting someone to begin singing "Supercar!"

For a soap opera with scientific bafflegab, it's a well-constructed bit of fluff. Cinematographer Desmond Dickinson does his usual interesting work, shooting the majority of the scenes in a dark, foreboding fashion that suggests the murky loyalties and emotions; only the control room and the scenes of the plane in flight are brightly lit: that's where reality and certainty lie.

Still, it's an uneasy melding of the two genres. I'd stick with the Lean movie, even if the plane only goes a third as fast.

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

PostFri Jun 02, 2017 5:49 am

Bedazzled (1967) from an old AMC airing turned out to be a delight. I'd forgotten how funny Dudley Moore and Peter Cook could be. Clever on all levels and a great use of the English language (a joy to listen to them) keep the film from being the expected "gross out" comedy. Cook plays the devil, who's now using the name George Spiggott and Moore is the hapless Stanley Moon who signs his soul away for 7 wishes. He's hopelessly in love with Margaret (Eleanor Bron), but of course the devil is a tricky one and perverts all of Stanley's wishes. Stanley's "out" is to blow a raspberry when he wants out of the wish he has wished for. The final wish has Stanley tricked into being a nun in a "house of silence" trying desperately to blow his raspberry.

Great story about the use of "Stanley Moon" as the character's name. John Gielgud had seen Moore perform in the stage show "Beyond the Fringe" and wrote an enthusiastic letter of introduction (those were the days) going on and on about Stanley Moon. Moore thought this was hilarious and used the name in his act for years. When they finally worked together in Arthur, Gielgud always referred to Moore as Stanley Moon.

Anyway, Bedazzled sort of became famous for Raquel Welch's playing Lust, but she has only about 4 minutes of screen time. Well worth looking for a copy to see Moore, Cook, and Bron.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jun 02, 2017 1:51 pm

Donald Binks wrote:J. Pierpont Ginsburg (Nat Carr), a Hollywood mogul obviously based on Sam Goldwyn observes that "talking pictures are in their infantry!" and then proceeds to malaprop himself through the rest of "The Talk of Hollywood" (1929) - a picture made by an obscure studio that sends up the new-fangled talkie sensation and was obviously the inspiration behind "Singing in the Rain".

There's a lot about this picture that would ordinarily have one mouthing the word "Yuck!", but despite the rather amateurish aspects, it has some quite delightful moments and above all, it is dealing with a very interesting subject - that of the introduction of sound to pictures.

There is a title announcing the great sensation to grace the screen in this picture - Fay Marbe - as if to say she will become a great star. This was to be her only talking appearance. "Never count your chickens before they are hacheted" as Mr. Ginsburg would utter.

Natt Carr, the star, went on to appear in shorts and as "uncredited" in a number of later pictures and the leading man Sherling Oliver, went on to make only one more picture after this. The director, Mark Sandrich, finally learned how to make pictures after this and went on to direct "Top Hat" and "The Gay Divorcee".

Al Goodman's Orchestra makes an appearance, so all is not that bad.


Nice to see a (sort of) thumbs up for this picture. I watched it about a year back and found it both interesting and amusing, despite some obvious deficiencies. And for connoisseurs of non-PC humour the film is a goldmine of sorts.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Jun 03, 2017 2:00 pm

From Gaston Leroux's stories of 'Cheri-Bibi', comes THE PHANTOM OF PARIS (1931), a highly enjoyable John Gilbert outing. Here he plays a music-hall escape artist, who is one step away from the police, in the form of Lewis Stone. He is in love with Leila Hyams, daughter of wheelchair-bound C Aubrey Smith. Hyams is engaged to swinish aristocrat Ian Keith, who is really in love with Natalie Moorhead. Sir Aubrey (as he became in 1944) is foolish enough to announce his intention of changing his will, so no surprises as to what happens next. Cheri-Bibi / Gilbert is No 1 suspect, but manages to escape and is in hiding for four years until he hears the real culprit is dying, which he duly does when together. What to do?...

THE PHANTOM OF PARIS opens up splendidly with Gilbert's escape act and hardly lets up after that, although it does get a bit convoluted in spots. Handsomely designed and shot (Oliver T Marsh), and with a first rate cast (Jean Hersholt is on hand, too) it makes one want to see even more of Gilbert's talkies. The only distraction was a domestic one when my moggy seemed to have found yet another mouse, but all went well after she gave it up as a bad job.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Jun 03, 2017 3:04 pm

This morning I watched the 1960 version of Pollyanna. why wasn't Karl Malden nominated for something for his role as the local clergyman?

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

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 6:21 am

Working thru a 4-disk set of Vitaphone Varieties and disk 3 yielded Billie "Swede" Hall in "Hilda." The trades consistently refer to him as Billy (as does the DVD packaging), so my guess is the female version of the name was meant to trick the unwary? In any case, Billy Hall dons female drag as a big hag and does some schtick with wife Jennie Colborn. In a way, he reminded me a lot of Harvey Fierstein (the voice, mainly), but I wonder if the act was based on Wallace Beery's "Sweedie" series of silents?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 6:33 am

drednm wrote:Working thru a 4-disk set of Vitaphone Varieties and disk 3 yielded Billie "Swede" Hall in "Hilda." The trades consistently refer to him as Billy (as does the DVD packaging), so my guess is the female version of the name was meant to trick the unwary? In any case, Billy Hall dons female drag as a big hag and does some schtick with wife Jennie Colborn. In a way, he reminded me a lot of Harvey Fierstein (the voice, mainly), but I wonder if the act was based on Wallace Beery's "Sweedie" series of silents?


Most probably a common source. In the 1900-1920 era there were several popular drag acts, most of which emphasized the femininity of the "in drag" character, while the"straight" character was very masculine. The sort of burlesque you describe is an obvious one.

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

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 7:32 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:Working thru a 4-disk set of Vitaphone Varieties and disk 3 yielded Billie "Swede" Hall in "Hilda." The trades consistently refer to him as Billy (as does the DVD packaging), so my guess is the female version of the name was meant to trick the unwary? In any case, Billy Hall dons female drag as a big hag and does some schtick with wife Jennie Colborn. In a way, he reminded me a lot of Harvey Fierstein (the voice, mainly), but I wonder if the act was based on Wallace Beery's "Sweedie" series of silents?


Most probably a common source. In the 1900-1920 era there were several popular drag acts, most of which emphasized the femininity of the "in drag" character, while the"straight" character was very masculine. The sort of burlesque you describe is an obvious one.

Bob


Have you seen this short, Bob? There's no feminine. A dress, a wig. It seems very close to the few Beery films.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 12:12 pm

When the opening gag situation consisted of Jack Lemmon and some unidentified shlub exchanging clothes in an airplane washroom, and every single possible laugh was totally missed, I had the sinking feeling we were in for a very dismal alleged "comedy" indeed. And it didn't get any better in the first 40 or so minutes, because Lemmon's character was one of those so totally unlikable that not even that fine comic actor could make the viewer want to keep watching any longer.

Around that time, Lemmon and the sublime Clive Reville paid a visit to a very large and truculent family of inbred vintners, and that's when Avanti! (1972) finally started to turn into something good. It got better and better as it went along, until it ended as a satisfying if not hilarious comic drama.

Besides those poor opening 40 minutes, the film's main handicap is that it is thoroughly predictable: you know from the very first "meet cute" that Lemmon and Juliet Mills are going to find themselves copying his father and her mother in staging their own version of Same Time, Next Year (1978). Not coincidentally, they reach that point at the same 40-minute milage post at which the film begins to take flight: you no longer have to wait impatiently as they work their way up to where everybody knows this is going, and instead you can start to enjoy how they come to terms with their fates.

Also not coincidentally ... I find almost everything the brilliant Billy Wilder made to be 40 minutes too long. Even Some Like It Hot, the greatest of talkie comedy films, is 40 minutes too long. Only Sunset Blvd. doesn't fall prey to this syndrome: that's because it's just about the shortest feature he made. Always, the too-long 40 minutes comes at the back half of the film -- he adds an entire short film at the point where he should have wrapped it up instead. He does the same thing in Avanti!; fortunately, it doesn't combine with the wretched opening 40 minutes to make the film seem 80 minutes too long.

Mindboggling moment: Lemmon's character goes all John Wayne / Bob Hope / Frank Capra on us and unleashes a brief rant in praise of Nixon, Agnew, and Kissinger ... this in response to an Italian "American patriot" fuming against "hippies burning the flag on July 4th". Wow. Those were the days, eh?

BTW, is Wilder have a sly dig at Capra in casting the latter's exact lookalike as a pasta-devouring security cop emotionally saluting the memory of Mussolini? And in having the murdering maid be an ugly Sicilian with a Freddie Prinze moustache?

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

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 1:00 pm

Do the spammers know something I don't? I spent this morning getting rid of emails that suggested I "Prepare my family for my final hours" and invest in funeral insurance. Odd. Anyway, it was off to see Wonder Woman (2017) with my cousin.

It's a pretty good movie, as you probably have already heard if you follow the reviews. I was a bit worried. DC has shown a.... shall we call it tendency? -- to darken every comic book character, to the point where Suicide Squad had everyone with a sad backstory. It made me miss the cheery disposition of Caesar Romero's Joker. Yes, I get it that you're a sociopath. Can't you enjoy it?

Wonder Woman avoids that. In the midst of the horrors of the Great War, there are real jokes, and moments of kindness and great deeds inspired by naive morality.

Visually, the movie combines the splash panels and covers of the Dark Horse era of DC, with some canny casting choices among the secondary characters. Lucy Davis looks like Etta Candy from the late WWII comics era; Ewen Bremner looks like Charlie from the same era; both push the comic book look to the edge, without falling over.

Miss Gadot turns out to be a very capable screen performer, with dark, expressive eyes. Chris Pine restrains himself as her leading man. If the screenplay sometimes falls into the current hackneyed tropes, it plays nimbly with others, like Chekhov's Gun. If the final battle is another round of Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robots, the earlier battle scene, fought in righteous anger, made me think about the Angel of Mons.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 2:10 pm

A MAN'S AFFAIR (1949) had me slightly confused, being about the adventures of a couple of young coal miners with two (female) holidaymakers in Ramsgate, Kent. The proliferation of Welsh accents made me wonder how they got there from home every evening. A check online confirms that there were indeed coal mines in Kent, something which I had no idea about.

That sorted, the film is a little bit of fluff with the usual tiffs and misunderstandings, a sister (Joan Dowling) who has a crush on one of the lads, a vinegary landlady* and a Flash Harry boyfriend played by Wallas Eaton, whose schemes always come unstuck.

David Quinlan's book on British Sound Films 1928-59, is rather harsh on this innocent film, awarding it one mark out of a possible six. Admittedly it isn't particularly good, but it does have a good deal of worthwhile location work, particularly of the funfair, which makes it worth watching to a degree. And I don't know if it was intentional, but a small black-and-white cat** does a bit of scene-stealing in, I think, two successive shots.

*Pat Nye, who plays 'Mrs Mustard' (no Mr Mustard in sight!) was apparently awarded an O.B.E. for her work in the WRENS during the War.

**In contrast to my black-and-white cat who has shown a talent for stealing prawns, chicken legs, and on one memorable occasion, a sausage!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 5:48 pm

Movie viewing this afternoon consisted of two movies from TCM's monthly night of Disney: two horse pictures by Larry Lansburgh, the Oscar-Winning documentary feature, The Horse With the Flying Tail (1960) and The Tattooed Police Horse (1964).

The Horse With the Flying Tail is about Nautical, a palomino cow horse that turned into a world-class jumping horse, winning European competitions, where they still take such things seriously. There are lots of pictures of the horses in competition, and it's a well-edited piece of work. I was not tremendously interested. The movie would have its audience believe that this horse was a sensation in Europe, not just for its color -- which must have been that of the knackered nag that D'Artagnan rode from Rousillion -- but for its habit of lifting its tail whenever it made a jump.

The Tattooed Police Horse tries to tell a story, written by director Lansburgh's wife, Janet. It concerns Jolly Rogers, a horse bred and trained for trotting competition. Jolly, however, has a habit of breaking into a gallop in moments by stess. Things go from bad to worse, in a story like that of Black Beauty, until the animal winds up on the Boston Police Force, patrolling Scolley Square.

The movie is certainly competent in the behind-the-screen departments, but what goes on the screen is not terribly interesting to me. Trotting races are such an artificially constrained activity that I can't work up any enthusiasm for them. Although the sport is in decline, however, there are many people who enjoy it, so maybe the visuals will please them.

What I cannot abide, however, is vast majority of the actors. They seem unprofessional and few of them speak their lines in any convincing fashion. Although this brief second feature has a competent narrator in Ken Andes, the overall effect is not among Disney's best animal pictures.

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

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 7:26 pm

Nova Pilbeam gives a fine first screen performance in Berthold Viertel's Little Friend (1934). She is the witness to the breakup of her parents, Matheson Lang and and Lydia Sherwood. Lang is a loving father, distracted by business, and Miss Sherwood has been engaging in an affair with actor Arthur Margetson. Everyone tries to pretend that nothing is happening, but children are always attentive to what people around them do. Unable to cope, she turns peculiar.

The script by Christopher Isherwood -- it's his first screenplay -- treads a careful path between the reality of the situation and what the censors would permit. Certainly, it is more honest than anything Hollywood might have tried to produce under the newly enforced Production Code, If, in the face of more open and honest films like Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), it comes off as coy and with a mildly disturbing ending, well, a lot changed in terms of what was acceptable in movies in the forty-five years that separate the two films. For 1934, it is a fine film, even if its luster has dimmed.

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

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 12:39 am

Bob,
Where did you see this? I've been looking for this for years! It has a superlative reputation.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 4:51 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:Bob,
Where did you see this? I've been looking for this for years! It has a superlative reputation.

It's uploaded at YT
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 5:37 am

Watched the often maligned Cavalcade (1933), a film I like a lot. Covering about 40 years in the lives of an upper-class London family, their story is told against a backdrop of wars and tragedies as we see the social changes in British society, sort of a pre-Downton Abbey compressed into 110 minutes. Some impressive montage sequences and the "passing parade" of humanity that runs through the film were probably stunning on the big screen. The mostly British cast is quite good, with several performers coming from Noel Coward's stage play. Diana Wynyard takes top honors (and won an Oscar nomination) as the stoic upper-class woman who sees her husband and son go off to war (Boer and WW I). She has a great scene during the celebration for the end of WW I. Also excellent is Una O'Connor as the house maid who epitomizes the changing society, moving out of "service" along with her husband to open a pub. Her daughter becomes a stage star (Ursula Jeans) who sings the terrific Coward song "20th Century Blues." Very moving film. Cast includes Clive Brook, Irene Browne, Margaret Lindsay, Frank Lawton, Herbert Mundin, Bonita Granville, Tempe Pigott, Merle Tottenham, Beryl Mercer, and supposedly Betty Grable as a girl sitting on a couch. Won Oscars as best film, director Frank Lloyd, and set decoration.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 10:18 am

THE SILENT PLAYGROUND (1963) is a low budget British drama shot entirely on location with no well-known actors in the cast. It has an absorbing documentary feel to it and is both suspenseful and poignant.
While waiting in line for a kiddie matinee, a group of children are given "candy" by a passing stranger. After the show most of the kids scatter but, to the horror of the cleaning crew, six of the children are comatose. The authorities are called in and the film turns into a police procedural as detectives desperately try to find the perpetrator as well as the other children who were at the theater and might still have the sweets (which turn out to be barbiturates).
The man with the goodies turns out to be not a fiend but a mentally challenged young man who is fond of children and often gives them candy. He had just come from the hospital to get his medication, a task usually done by his overbearing, unpleasant mother, and has been innocently passing out the pills all through the neighborhood.
The second half of the film focuses on trying to find the three siblings we have met at the beginning of the story and who have some of the pills; we know it is only a matter of time before they play their game, tea party. Equal footage is given to the pursuit of the handicapped man who is taken into custody and then escapes after an angry mother scratches his face. We are made to care about his fate-and he's basically just an overgrown child himself- just as much as the outcome for the three little ones. There's a romantic subplot about the romance between the children's widowed mother and her boyfriend but it's minor and fits in smoothly enough.
According to the "Variety" review the film was shot in 24 days and cost $75,000.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 12:58 pm

A 1959 film YESTERDAY'S ENEMY with a few of my fave British actors like Gordon Jackson and Leo McKern, not sounding like he did in his later work. A fine ensemble cast led by Stanley Baker. One curious thing this b/w film was seemingly shot on the same set as the same year's TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE or 1960's TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT. Even the tracking camera is reminiscent of those two Tarzan classics both shot in colour.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 2:48 pm

Henry Nicolella wrote:THE SILENT PLAYGROUND (1963) is a low budget British drama shot entirely on location with no well-known actors in the cast. It has an absorbing documentary feel to it and is both suspenseful and poignant.
While waiting in line for a kiddie matinee, a group of children are given "candy" by a passing stranger. After the show most of the kids scatter but, to the horror of the cleaning crew, six of the children are comatose. The authorities are called in and the film turns into a police procedural as detectives desperately try to find the perpetrator as well as the other children who were at the theater and might still have the sweets (which turn out to be barbiturates).
The man with the goodies turns out to be not a fiend but a mentally challenged young man who is fond of children and often gives them candy. He had just come from the hospital to get his medication, a task usually done by his overbearing, unpleasant mother, and has been innocently passing out the pills all through the neighborhood.
The second half of the film focuses on trying to find the three siblings we have met at the beginning of the story and who have some of the pills; we know it is only a matter of time before they play their game, tea party. Equal footage is given to the pursuit of the handicapped man who is taken into custody and then escapes after an angry mother scratches his face. We are made to care about his fate-and he's basically just an overgrown child himself- just as much as the outcome for the three little ones. There's a romantic subplot about the romance between the children's widowed mother and her boyfriend but it's minor and fits in smoothly enough.
According to the "Variety" review the film was shot in 24 days and cost $75,000.


Sounds very interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I presume you saw it on the Tube of You?

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

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 5:35 pm

Milquetoast Edward Everett Horton is The Private Secretary (1935), in London for some reason, calling upon wastrel Barry McKay, who is being pursued by creditors. McKay comes up with the idea of having Horton take his place -- without telling him, of course -- and assuming Horton's, until McKay's enormously wealthy uncle arrives from India. Complications ensue, including McKay falling in love with his quondam employer's daughter, and the dotty old lady who loved Horton's uncle until he died a quarter of a century earlier, and for whom Horton is named; Alistair Sim is the medium who promises to open communications with her lost love.

It's played extremely broadly. If there are a few scenes intended to open it up from the original stage play by Charles Hawtrey, they are obvious interruptions to the play. Oscar Ashe is amusing as McKay's uncle, who is appalled by Horton, and who thinks there's nothing better than a red-blooded nephew who owes large sums. There are a few funny lines scattered through the dialogue, but the coy score doesn't help much.

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

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 7:13 pm

I have watched another picture all about broadcasting! This time it was "Radio Parade of 1935" made in 1934. It follows much the same pattern as the other one I recently watched in that it pokes fun at the B.B.C., and their choice of programming.

Interestingly, Will Hay plays a virtually straight role in it as the Director-General of the Company known as the National Broadcasting Group or N.B.G., (which initials at the time also stood for "No Bloody Good!") - a bit of a dig at Lord Reith who was in a similar role at the Beeb. Hay without his usual make-up, comes across as a man who is far from bald and is much, much younger than his characters.

As is usual for this type of picture, the plot is merely somewhere to hang the hat as we get to the compendium of variety acts which form the basis. Here we are well served as some of the best acts of the day are featured. One I particularly liked was that of Clapham and Dwyer a comedy duo who featured in the 1920's and 1930's. Charles Clapham sounded to me like an earlier incantation of Stanley Unwin. He is uproariously funny as the dim-witted upper class twit who has great difficulty in getting his words out.

Other entertainers appearing include Billy Bennett as a Commissionaire - although he is not given all that much to do; Lily Morris and Nellie Wallace as a couple of charladies who engage in patter and sing; Eve Becke, chanteuse; The Buddy Bradley Rhythm Girls; Claude Dampier, comedian, Yvette Darnac, Anglo-French chanteuse; Gerry Fitzgerald, light tenor; Ronald Frankau, comedy recitationalist; Alberta Hunter, blues singer; Ted Ray, violinist and comedian; Stanelli (Edward Stanley de Groot), car horn recitalist; Arthur Young, jazz pianist and Teddy Joyce and his orchestra.

The plot is the usual silly romance with Clifford Mollison being a bit of a comedian in the role of leading man. He is charged with instigating a light programme after being moved from the Complaints Department. He falls in love with his secretary (Helen Chandler) who also happens to be the Director-General's daughter - although he of course doesn't know that at the beginning.

The film is all a bit of a romp and throws in a bit of Busby Berkley in a couple of sequences with an abundance of choruses filling up the screen with clockwork movement. Most of the settings are Art Deco and everything looks quite grand. Staffing seems no problem as there appear to be thousands of employees. I had a giggle at the telephoniste girls (yes there were girls to answer 'phones one time before machines!) who were all superbly dressed and coiffed.

Television, which was at the time being experimentally broadcast is featured towards the end of the film - and in colour to boot, by way of a scene in Dufay colour, which unfortunately is showing the signs of age, wear and tear - but nevertheless we are lucky to have what we have.

*********

Having now studied a number of British films of the 1930's I have now found out how I would have lived:

1. I would wear a morning suit during the day and change into full evening dress after six.
2. I would travel in the back of motor cars ensuring they were high enough for me to get in wearing a top hat.
3. When having nothing much to do, I would take out my silver cigarette case and light up a fag.
4. I would call everyone "old bean" or "old girl" and come out with "What-ho!" a lot.
5. I would still be friends with people I knew at school and still call them names such as "Fatty", "Corky", "Mumbo" etc.,
6. I don't go to work, instead I attend parties every night and spend the day recovering.
7. On the weekends, I either get invited to someone's country house or invite people to mine.
8. I frequent Night Clubs a lot.
9. I have at least a butler, a cook and a maid in my employ.
10. "My people" are well to do and I live on an allowance.
11. Politics and finance are a complete mystery to me.
12. I enjoy the company of young ladies and go so far as a goodnight kiss.
13. I have a lot of aunts.
14. My father hates me and thinks I am a complete shower.
15. I did two years in the Guards.
16. My mother adores me and is high up in society - she has danced with the Prince of Wales.
17. I belong to a number of gentleman's clubs.
18. I went to a Public School.
19. I either go sailing or play Polo.
20. I don't understand foreigners unless they are the young ladies of Paris.
21. I don't pay my tailor's bills.
22. I rack up extraordinary bar bills and try and get pater to pay them.
23. I send baskets of flowers to chorus girls.
24. I tend to order champagne a lot when out and know the names and years of good wines.
25. I know that when I am much older I will be sent off to be Governor of Upper Mundaridgee.
26. I wear a monocle and carry a cane when walking.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Henry Nicolella

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

PostMon Jun 05, 2017 9:05 pm

Henry Nicolella wrote:
THE SILENT PLAYGROUND (1963) is a low budget British drama shot entirely on location with no well-known actors in the cast. It has an absorbing documentary feel to it and is both suspenseful and poignant.
While waiting in line for a kiddie matinee, a group of children are given "candy" by a passing stranger. After the show most of the kids scatter but, to the horror of the cleaning crew, six of the children are comatose. The authorities are called in and the film turns into a police procedural as detectives desperately try to find the perpetrator as well as the other children who were at the theater and might still have the sweets (which turn out to be barbiturates).
The man with the goodies turns out to be not a fiend but a mentally challenged young man who is fond of children and often gives them candy. He had just come from the hospital to get his medication, a task usually done by his overbearing, unpleasant mother, and has been innocently passing out the pills all through the neighborhood.
The second half of the film focuses on trying to find the three siblings we have met at the beginning of the story and who have some of the pills; we know it is only a matter of time before they play their game, tea party. Equal footage is given to the pursuit of the handicapped man who is taken into custody and then escapes after an angry mother scratches his face. We are made to care about his fate-and he's basically just an overgrown child himself- just as much as the outcome for the three little ones. There's a romantic subplot about the romance between the children's widowed mother and her boyfriend but it's minor and fits in smoothly enough.
According to the "Variety" review the film was shot in 24 days and cost $75,000.

Sounds very interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I presume you saw it on the Tube of You?

Jim


No, it wasn't on the Tube of Plenty. A friend sent me a copy. I believe he downloaded from the BFI site.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2793
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 2:18 am

Henry Nicolella wrote:Henry Nicolella wrote:
THE SILENT PLAYGROUND (1963) is a low budget British drama shot entirely on location with no well-known actors in the cast. It has an absorbing documentary feel to it and is both suspenseful and poignant.
While waiting in line for a kiddie matinee, a group of children are given "candy" by a passing stranger. After the show most of the kids scatter but, to the horror of the cleaning crew, six of the children are comatose. The authorities are called in and the film turns into a police procedural as detectives desperately try to find the perpetrator as well as the other children who were at the theater and might still have the sweets (which turn out to be barbiturates).
The man with the goodies turns out to be not a fiend but a mentally challenged young man who is fond of children and often gives them candy. He had just come from the hospital to get his medication, a task usually done by his overbearing, unpleasant mother, and has been innocently passing out the pills all through the neighborhood.
The second half of the film focuses on trying to find the three siblings we have met at the beginning of the story and who have some of the pills; we know it is only a matter of time before they play their game, tea party. Equal footage is given to the pursuit of the handicapped man who is taken into custody and then escapes after an angry mother scratches his face. We are made to care about his fate-and he's basically just an overgrown child himself- just as much as the outcome for the three little ones. There's a romantic subplot about the romance between the children's widowed mother and her boyfriend but it's minor and fits in smoothly enough.
According to the "Variety" review the film was shot in 24 days and cost $75,000.

Sounds very interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I presume you saw it on the Tube of You?

Jim


No, it wasn't on the Tube of Plenty. A friend sent me a copy. I believe he downloaded from the BFI site.


It is on BFI Player, to watch for £2.50. By the way, is the matinee film or theatre?
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Jim Roots

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  • Location: Ottawa, ON

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

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 5:54 am

Donald Binks wrote:
Having now studied a number of British films of the 1930's I have now found out how I would have lived:

1. I would wear a morning suit during the day and change into full evening dress after six.
2. I would travel in the back of motor cars ensuring they were high enough for me to get in wearing a top hat.
3. When having nothing much to do, I would take out my silver cigarette case and light up a fag.
4. I would call everyone "old bean" or "old girl" and come out with "What-ho!" a lot.
5. I would still be friends with people I knew at school and still call them names such as "Fatty", "Corky", "Mumbo" etc.,
6. I don't go to work, instead I attend parties every night and spend the day recovering.
7. On the weekends, I either get invited to someone's country house or invite people to mine.
8. I frequent Night Clubs a lot.
9. I have at least a butler, a cook and a maid in my employ.
10. "My people" are well to do and I live on an allowance.
11. Politics and finance are a complete mystery to me.
12. I enjoy the company of young ladies and go so far as a goodnight kiss.
13. I have a lot of aunts.
14. My father hates me and thinks I am a complete shower.
15. I did two years in the Guards.
16. My mother adores me and is high up in society - she has danced with the Prince of Wales.
17. I belong to a number of gentleman's clubs.
18. I went to a Public School.
19. I either go sailing or play Polo.
20. I don't understand foreigners unless they are the young ladies of Paris.
21. I don't pay my tailor's bills.
22. I rack up extraordinary bar bills and try and get pater to pay them.
23. I send baskets of flowers to chorus girls.
24. I tend to order champagne a lot when out and know the names and years of good wines.
25. I know that when I am much older I will be sent off to be Governor of Upper Mundaridgee.
26. I wear a monocle and carry a cane when walking.


You've been spying on Bob Lipton, haven't you?

Jim
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boblipton

  • Posts: 5245
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  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 6:17 am

Jim Roots wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:
Having now studied a number of British films of the 1930's I have now found out how I would have lived:

1. I would wear a morning suit during the day and change into full evening dress after six.
2. I would travel in the back of motor cars ensuring they were high enough for me to get in wearing a top hat.
3. When having nothing much to do, I would take out my silver cigarette case and light up a fag.
4. I would call everyone "old bean" or "old girl" and come out with "What-ho!" a lot.
5. I would still be friends with people I knew at school and still call them names such as "Fatty", "Corky", "Mumbo" etc.,
6. I don't go to work, instead I attend parties every night and spend the day recovering.
7. On the weekends, I either get invited to someone's country house or invite people to mine.
8. I frequent Night Clubs a lot.
9. I have at least a butler, a cook and a maid in my employ.
10. "My people" are well to do and I live on an allowance.
11. Politics and finance are a complete mystery to me.
12. I enjoy the company of young ladies and go so far as a goodnight kiss.
13. I have a lot of aunts.
14. My father hates me and thinks I am a complete shower.
15. I did two years in the Guards.
16. My mother adores me and is high up in society - she has danced with the Prince of Wales.
17. I belong to a number of gentleman's clubs.
18. I went to a Public School.
19. I either go sailing or play Polo.
20. I don't understand foreigners unless they are the young ladies of Paris.
21. I don't pay my tailor's bills.
22. I rack up extraordinary bar bills and try and get pater to pay them.
23. I send baskets of flowers to chorus girls.
24. I tend to order champagne a lot when out and know the names and years of good wines.
25. I know that when I am much older I will be sent off to be Governor of Upper Mundaridgee.
26. I wear a monocle and carry a cane when walking.


You've been spying on Bob Lipton, haven't you?

Jim


No, I use a lorgnette.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
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Henry Nicolella

  • Posts: 224
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 7:37 am

Re THE SILENT PLAYGROUND
"It is on BFI Player, to watch for £2.50. By the way, is the matinee film or theatre?"

It's a movie, a western, and the kids really whoop it up.
Speaking of BFI player has anyone watched the 1934 TELL-TALE HEART (AKA A BUCKET OF BLOOD)?
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earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2793
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 12:13 pm

Reading 'The Testament of [C.E.M.] Joad' the other week made me wonder if there was any film of the man. THE BBC BRAINS TRUST ANSWERING 'ANY QUESTIONS' (1945) answered that one. Made to encourage the setting-up of local 'Brains Trust' groups, this film was apparently shot in one go, with the panel answering a batch of mystery questions. Also including Jennie Lee and Julian Huxley, Professor Joad does tend to play up to the camera, especially when he is not the centre of attention. Although there is not enough time given between answers for the viewer to give them some thought, this film is still quite enjoyable, if technically plain. There is one question on the secret of marriage and a couple on film, demonstrating that at least two people saw CITIZEN KANE when it was shown over here... And unless I slipped, Professor Joad does not use his 'It all depends what you mean...' catchphrase.

A lightweight film aimed at a young audience, THE DEVIL'S PASS (1957) has John Slater as a handyman at a sailor's orphanage who is driving his girl (Joan Newell) round the bend with his casual, dreamy ways and his hopes of buying the ship his Grandad built when Victoria was on the throne. The boat is owned by a group of fishermen who are concerned it won't be fit when the insurance is due in ten days. One of the orphans, (Christopher Warbey), a bit of a shy lad, helps things to a successful conclusion. Shot in Brixham, Devon, this is a very slight yarn, with dollops of villainy and humour, with a pretty kitchen maid (Joy Rodgers) thrown in for good measure. The sort of film for a Saturday morning show - genial enough. Directed by Darcy Conyers.
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Dean Thompson

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

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 1:47 pm

boblipton wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:
Having now studied a number of British films of the 1930's I have now found out how I would have lived:


26. I wear a monocle and carry a cane when walking.


You've been spying on Bob Lipton, haven't you?

Jim


No, I use a lorgnette.

Bob



:lol:
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boblipton

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  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 2:27 pm

Dean Thompson wrote:
boblipton wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:
Having now studied a number of British films of the 1930's I have now found out how I would have lived:


26. I wear a monocle and carry a cane when walking.

You've been spying on Bob Lipton, haven't you?

Jim


No, I use a lorgnette.

Bob



:lol:



Well, dash it all, some one had to speak up in Donald's defense. I was talking about it at the club with old Eustace Tilley. "What rot!" he said. "Binky is a good old egg. I won't say he wouldn't read another gentleman's letters, but just for the pure pleasure of it, old boy, not for the filthy shekels. If I meet with this Root blighter -- sounds like some agricultural disease, eh what -- I shall cut him, strike me if I don't."

I admitted I couldn't phrase it better myself and we had a couple of Pimm's Cups #2 on it.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
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