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)

PostSun Aug 06, 2017 3:42 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Question for all the NitrateVillains who mentioned some months ago that they had served on juries. During the trial for murder, one juror stands up and starts lobbing questions at the witness, with the permission of both lawyers and the judge. I have never seen this happen in any American movie before, nor have I read of it happening in any books. It was my understanding a juror could not ask questions in open court; while the jury is recessed, it could collectively request clarification of evidence already presented in court, but again could not question any witnesses. The only exception would be in a grand jury proceeding, and even then it would be highly unusual. Is this correct?

Jim


You're in Canada Jimmy me lad, so I presume you still maintain the Westminster system as we do here in Oz? Unless, your politicians are trying to mess around with it as our politicians try to from time to time. Under that system all questions the jury may have are channeled through the judge.
Last edited by Donald Binks on Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Aug 06, 2017 7:26 pm

The Dark Tower (2017) turned out to be a hodge-podge of modern fantasy tropes, put together in an illogical manner. It's carried solely on the star power of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, but every time neither is not in the frame, it becomes awful. People are complaining that movie attendance is down this summer, as if the paucity of good movies has nothing to do with it.


The Gay Buckaroo (1932) isn't William Haines. Hoot Gibson is a hard-working rancher head over heels in love with Merna Kennedy. However, gambler Roy D'Arcy is a thorough bad 'un, who threatens Hoot, cheats at cards, steals horses and ultimately shoots easy-going Charles King in the back and frames Hoot for it.

This B western starts out very well, with Gibson being awed by Miss Kennedy, . However, the movie takes a turn and he shows up dressed like someone out of a Wild West Show, beats D'Arcy's crooked game and puts Miss Kennedy and her father, Lafe McKee unwillingly to work, like a western Admirable Crichton. Through it all, Hoot plays the easy-going cowpoke who's smarter than he looks, and there are some very nice stunt sequences.

Edward Pell Sr. plays Hoot's oriental house man, spouting oriental aphorisms and out-cheating King at cards. This will undoubtedly make modern viewers uncomfortable. In addition, the ending is very rushed to bring the movie in under 70 minutes. Until then, however, it is a fine sound B for Hoot Gibson fans.

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

PostSun Aug 06, 2017 8:47 pm

boblipton wrote:The Dark Tower (2017) It's carried solely on the star power of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey,

Bob


Stars? !! Never heard of either of 'em.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Aug 06, 2017 8:49 pm

Donald Binks wrote:"Wakefield" (2016) is about a husband (Bryan Cranston) who starts to go to work one day but finds himself in the garage attic where he decides to stay for months on end watching the goings on in his household. Nothing much to go on here and that is evidenced in what comes out in the film. In a way it is somewhat reminiscent of "Rear Window" in essence but doesn't go even halfway towards meeting that picture's overall effect. This picture becomes boring and rather tedious after a while and we give up caring what happens.


Read the Hawthorne short story instead.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Aug 06, 2017 9:43 pm

Rick Lanham wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:Question for all the NitrateVillains who mentioned some months ago that they had served on juries. During the trial for murder, one juror stands up and starts lobbing questions at the witness, with the permission of both lawyers and the judge. I have never seen this happen in any American movie before, nor have I read of it happening in any books. It was my understanding a juror could not ask questions in open court; while the jury is recessed, it could collectively request clarification of evidence already presented in court, but again could not question any witnesses. The only exception would be in a grand jury proceeding, and even then it would be highly unusual. Is this correct?

Jim


I was one of those who mentioned the trials on which they served. We were never allowed to directly question anyone. We did ask for a review of testimony on a couple of trials. I remember one time even this was not granted and no explanation was given. Sometimes we had evidence in front of us (the black tar heroin all sealed in plastic in one case). Our requests were submitted from the jury room, not in open court.

Rick


Ditto here. We could not question the witnesses or say anything in court. If we wanted to hear testimony again, the foreman had to write to the judge and we had to assemble in court to have the clerk read the testimony again--and everyone had to be assembled, all the lawyers and the defendents had to be there before the clerk could start. We had no way of conveying any questions we had that the lawyers didn't ask (and we had plenty). We did have access to police body cam footage, though it was edited before we got it. Oddly, after the mistrial was declared, we were invited to debrief both lawyers, tell them what we thought they could have done better or what points we had questions about or witnesses that we thought hurt more than helped either side. That was quite a surprise to me that that was allowed. We were told that they were going to assemble a new jury within a week, but i never found out if that ever happened or whether the defendents were ultimately found innocent or guilty or if they just gave up and let them go.

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

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 2:15 am

We had a little chance to talk with the attorneys afterwards as well; mainly we learned what we already suspected, which was that the hospital had settled some money on the patient (it was a medical malpractice case) already. This seemed about right; although the patient had mainly simply had bad luck after surgery, the hospital's record keeping was so poor that they couldn't even be sure they'd given all the meds to him they were supposed to. Our defendant, his primary care physician, had done everything she was supposed to do— mainly calling in the epidemiology team when she suspected trouble— and so we found for her.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 6:23 am

THE FOUNDER (2016) with Michael Keaton is a rare film I find no problem with other than the extremely pointless hyperkinetic editing. It's like switching from three or four monitors (closeup/long shot/sideways) every three seconds for no discernable purpose, and no narrative value. It's like a movie with a nervous tic and unnecessary for this kind of story. Anyone else get taken out of a movie with misguided editing?

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

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 7:41 am

Thanks to everybody who responded to my question about juries.

I am just so shocked that Hollywood took some liberties with the judicial process! :roll:

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

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 8:12 am

Jim Roots wrote:I am just so shocked that Hollywood took some liberties]...Jim

I'm shocked that you're shocked about these words you use! :lol:
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 9:20 am

greta de groat wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:Question for all the NitrateVillains who mentioned some months ago that they had served on juries. During the trial for murder, one juror stands up and starts lobbing questions at the witness, with the permission of both lawyers and the judge. I have never seen this happen in any American movie before, nor have I read of it happening in any books. It was my understanding a juror could not ask questions in open court; while the jury is recessed, it could collectively request clarification of evidence already presented in court, but again could not question any witnesses. The only exception would be in a grand jury proceeding, and even then it would be highly unusual. Is this correct?

Jim


Ditto here. We could not question the witnesses or say anything in court. If we wanted to hear testimony again, the foreman had to write to the judge and we had to assemble in court to have the clerk read the testimony again--and everyone had to be assembled, all the lawyers and the defendents had to be there before the clerk could start. We had no way of conveying any questions we had that the lawyers didn't ask (and we had plenty). We did have access to police body cam footage, though it was edited before we got it. Oddly, after the mistrial was declared, we were invited to debrief both lawyers, tell them what we thought they could have done better or what points we had questions about or witnesses that we thought hurt more than helped either side. That was quite a surprise to me that that was allowed. We were told that they were going to assemble a new jury within a week, but i never found out if that ever happened or whether the defendents were ultimately found innocent or guilty or if they just gave up and let them go.

greta


Double dog ditto. I've served on five juries, none of them allowed any questions by jurors at all. Pretty sure it's illegal. We were allowed to review testimony when we were deliberating, but we couldn't ask for any clarification on anything...or we could, they just wouldn't answer. Sometimes they wouldn't even allow us to review the testimony. We were given copies of exhibits to review in the jury room. We could take notes during the trial but were not allowed to take them home or keep them after the trial. We were allowed to question attorneys after the trial. Although I know the verdict in all the cases I have no idea what the sentencing was, which is the way it's supposed to work.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 11:57 am

Saw Sherlock Holmes 1922 on Saturday.Too many intermingled and not one of John Barrymores best performances.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 12:34 pm

wingate wrote:Saw Sherlock Holmes 1922 on Saturday.Too many intermingled and not one of John Barrymores best performances.


What do you mean by "too many intermingled"?

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

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 1:10 pm

westegg wrote:THE FOUNDER (2016) with Michael Keaton is a rare film I find no problem with other than the extremely pointless hyperkinetic editing. It's like switching from three or four monitors (closeup/long shot/sideways) every three seconds for no discernable purpose, and no narrative value. It's like a movie with a nervous tic and unnecessary for this kind of story. Anyone else get taken out of a movie with misguided editing?

:(

I saw this and I agree. The editing was strange and distracting. The film did show what a low life Ray Kroc was to everyone around him, though.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 2:51 pm

wingate wrote:Saw Sherlock Holmes 1922 on Saturday.Too many intermingled and not one of John Barrymore's best performances.


It was certainly a great improvement on a copy from the Eastman House which I saw back in 1974. It seems it had been rather hastily assembled, which explained my total bafflement during the film...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 3:06 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Thanks to everybody who responded to my question about juries.

I am just so shocked that Hollywood took some liberties with the judicial process! :roll:

Jim


Oh, I know! Hollywood is usually so accurate in its depiction of everything we see on the screen - particularly biographies - so I can quite understand how you feel.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Myrna Loy and Cary Grant appear in a rather ordinary romantic type picture - "Wings in the Dark" put out by Paramount in 1935. He is an aviator but gets blinded when trying to light the stove - this spurs him on to invent what we now call "instrument landing" - only he homes in on someone talking on the wireless at the aerodrome. She is a barnstorming aviatrix who comes to his aid and falls in love with him. There is not all that much excitement in this picture which is a cut above watching paint dry.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 3:49 pm

"Long ago, tomorrow" (1971) is a film starring Malcolm McDowell, who, like Hywell Bennett who died this week, was a 1960's actor who achieved prominence in the late 1960's and early 1970's and then faded away somewhat. His most important films from that period were "A Clockwork Orange" and the Lindsay Anderson "If" trilogy. In this picture he plays a young man who is suddenly beset by paralysis in his legs and has to be carted off to a "home for cripples". He is not a very agreeable young man and we have to deal with his cantankerous attitudes. Whilst in the home, he falls in love with a girl who has polio. It is a doomed romance.

One could say that this is a the usual run of the mill romance type story with a sad ending - only it has the novel twist of involving disabled people. The supporting players lend a lot towards its enjoyment. Margery Mason plays the typical Matron who would see something positive in an announcement that the world was about to end; Bernard Lee plays against his usual characters and it is a hoot to see him in a role like this; Gerald Sim is playing yet another man of the cloth and there are also some other familiar faces.

Not a world-beater of a film, but it held my attention.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Aug 07, 2017 4:03 pm

"Max e Helene" (2015) bears similarity to a lot of pictures I have seen. He is a Jew and she a Gentile. They fall in love in 1942 but it is wartime and they are in a country occupied by the Nazis. They marry in a cattle truck on the way to a concentration camp - but manage to escape. She unfortunately gets re-captured but is able to prove she is not Jewish - but becomes the plaything to an evil and sadistic SS sewer.

We jump in time 15 years and he is now searching for the SS man he mistakenly thinks has killed his wife. He takes on a new identity and clues himself up on information which will enable him to infiltrate a group of former SS men who were close to his quarry. Along the way he meets up with Simon Wiesanthal who wants to put the man on trial whilst our hero just wants to dispatch him.

There is a lot in this picture that seems contrived and so this tends to spoil it all, however it is trying to get across a message which basically asks whether we should do harm to someone who deserves it even though doing that harm would cause a lot of others who are innocent, to also be harmed?

Alessandro Averone is Max and Carolina Crescentini is Helene - both give effective performances. Ken Duken is the evil SS sewer, Hanno Koffler is the former SS man Max "befriends" and Ennio Fantastichini is Simon Wiesenthal.

Pictures on subjects such as these are somewhat uncomfortable to watch - but then again audiences should be reminded of awful things that have happened even if it is a forlorn hope that such things will not happen again.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Aug 08, 2017 8:37 am

The Seven Year Itch (1955) is a delightful summer confection (though we've had no real summer here in Maine ... it's 55 degrees right now) that stars Marilyn Monroe as "the girl" who sub-lets an apartment during a sweltering New York York summer and becomes the downstairs summer bachelor's fantasy. Monroe is perfect as the rather naive sex bomb who titillates Tom Ewell. Of course there's also that famous scene where Monroe stands over the subway grating. Supporting cast includes Evelyn Keyes, Donald MacBride, Sonny Tufts, Victor Moore, Doro Merande, Marguerite Chapman, Oscar Homolka, Carolyn Jones. and Robert Strauss as the leering janitor. I always wonder why the actress in the beach fantasy scene sounds like Barbara Stanwyck, and why they have Keyes summering at a lake in Ogunquit, Maine when there are no lakes in Ogunquit. And Ewell mispronounces it twice as O-gawn-quit.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Aug 08, 2017 3:44 pm

Hoot Gibson isn't The Hard Hombre, even though everyone thinks he is. He's William Penn "Peaceful" Patton, a mama's boy, who goes to work for widow Lina Basquette and trades on the bad man's reputation, until his impersonation is discovered.

This early B Western by Otto Brower has a few bright moments and some nice riding and stunts, but it's definitely a weaker effort, despite Gibson's usual, relaxed moments. Miss Basquette, driven into the B ranks by the death of her first husband, Sam Warner, and the persecution of her in-laws, offers a decent Mexican accent and a few sultry moments, but not much else. It's definitely a lesser movie for Hoot Gibson, but one that his fans will want to see.

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

PostTue Aug 08, 2017 6:35 pm

The well-to-do are fascinated by themselves. That, of course, is true of whatever individual or group you may choose to consider. Given that the well-to-do have traditionally have had the money and leisure to study literature and art, therefore, it is hardly surprising that a disproportionate share of drama concerns itself with them. However, given the greater resources in time and money they have, it always seems odd to me that the great works of art concern themselves with their unhappiness. Leisure, boredom and dissatisfaction with the world are not curses, but opportunities, so it seems to me Uncle Vanya (1957) have an element of disapproving satire in its consideration of unhappy, well-off gentry.

Because of the great esteem that Chekhov's works are held in, it's hardly surprising that Franchot Tone produced, co-directed and starred in this version of the play. It's superbly acted, if unsurprisingly stagy. It's very accessible in its techniques, even though it seems more like a play staged for television broadcast than movie theaters. The camerawork uses long takes, with camera movement to preserve composition. The most beautiful shots are the medium close-ups, the portrait shots. Stark Young's adaptation Chekhov's Russian language is fine. It's simply that, beyond the undoubted excellence of the work on its own terms, watching people being miserable for a hundred minutes with no let-up is not my idea of a good time.

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

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 5:43 am

(quote) I saw this and I agree. The editing was strange and distracting. The film did show what a low life Ray Kroc was to everyone around him, though.[/quote]

Glad you agree! I have nothing against quirky editing if it serves a creative purpose, but this movie had no reason to keep scratching itself like a bad itch. I do a lot of editing myself and I kept thinking "why this? why that? just let the scene play out". Otherwise, underneath the jumble is an interesting movie. Unusual when a movie has a style that works against it.

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

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 8:19 am

Watched "Jigsaw" (1949) with Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace, Myron McCormick, Marc Lawrence, and others. Like its name, this one is a puzzle getting through all the twists, although I suspected the guilty party early on just because... Nevertheless, skip all the plot hullabaloo - this one is fun for suddenly seeing Burgess Meredith in a five second cameo as a bartender! Then all of a sudden, at Manhattan, New York's Lost Angel night club - the actual on-location site and not a set - one of the patrons walking out is none other than Marlene Dietrich! Remember, "Lost Angel" (1929)?! And who's a waiter at the club? Henry Fonda! And who's loafing with a newspaper outside of the club? John Garfield! And who, etc.... The plot's weak. It's about an extremist group who are like the mob. They kill. Could have been much better, but the cameos of famous actors and actresses made me keep on keeping on. It was a fun 72 minutes. Franchot Tone spends much of the movie drinking, drinking, drinking. It was possibly more real than I'd like to think. He was not only a notorious alcoholic in real life, he was a vicious one...

Also watched "The Lady Confesses" (1945) with Mary Beth Hughes, Hugh Beaumont, Edmund MacDonald, Claudia Drake, and several other "B" actors and actresses. This was independently made and directed by PRC guy Sam Newfield, so I was expecting very mediocre stuff. Instead, this turned out to be really well done, and it genuinely held my interest throughout. There's a twist's twist at the end!! I'll say no more except that this one is really worth seeking out. Has to be one of PRC's best films. Mary Beth Hughes was more than a competent actress. She was superb in all she did, so she's worth watching anyway. Hugh Beaumont - well, to me he'll always be Beaver's dad. Just too bad that the title has to be so ridiculously old-fashioned. Sounds more like a film made by Edison in 1911.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 2:19 pm

Franchot Tone plays an RAF flyer pretending to be a Dutch man in occupied Holland by speaking in his normal voice in The Wife Takes a Flyer (1942). Co-star Joan Bennett also speaks normally. That's because they're the co-stars in this war/spy comedy during the Second World War. Allyn Joslyn puts on a heavy German accent and speak with a growl over his normal tenor, but he's a Nazi.

Tone has been parachuted in for his mission. He is sheltered by Bennett's family, and is masquerading as her husband, whose divorce from Bennett takes place during the course of the movie; everyone in Holland, you see, hates the German occupation and helps him. Joslyn has a yen for Bennett -- quite natural -- and bullies her in what is supposed to be a funny/stupid manner.

It's the funny/stupid that makes me think this a poor comedy. The humor is the sort of humor one applies to the butt of a joke one hates. It's appropriate for a propaganda comedy during war time, but it doesn't outlast the situation.

There are some good performances in here, particularly by Cecil Cunningham as the calm aristocrat in charge of an old ladies' home. Her performance is made better by the hysteria that infuses the rest of the picture, but it's too little and too late.

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

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 7:01 pm

When the Boultings first wanted to make Pastor Hall (1940), the British censors turned them down. A movie about the evils of the Nazi regime, they thought in 1938, would be international dynamite: mustn't annoy the German government. After war was declared the following year, however, suddenly it was a good idea. A superb cast was assembled and it was released in May of 1940.

Wilfred Lawson is Pastor Hall, a village parson. When the Storm Troopers show up to get the village moving according to the new dictates, he tries to maintain his gentle form of Christianity. Eventually, however, he comes to realize they are evil and is arrested and thrown into a concentration camp, subject to unspeakable -- barely filmable --bestiality.

Because this is a work of fiction, albeit based on reality, the portrait offered is not that of Niemoller. Niemoller was a fairly typical, conservative churchman, who first opposed the Nazi regime over the political issue of Church independence. His understanding, like Hall's, of the evils, came upon him gradually, and he was arrested in 1938, and spent the entire War in Belsen. After the War, seen as a martyr, he espoused various good causes, and worked to keep the memory of what had happened alive. He died in 1984 at the age of 92.

Used, as I am, to seeing Lawson in eccentric, often comic roles, it is a shock to see him here, speaking in his stage accents. His is not the only fine performance. Seymour Hicks, best remembered for playing Scrooge on stage and in two movies, is superb as a retired general, a friend of the family. Nova Pilbeam is wonderful as Lawson's daughter. Bernard Miles is excellent as a village man who becomes a Storm Trooper because he can use the job, and suffers a crisis when he recognizes Lawson in the concentration camp.

Most shocking of all is that everyone plays their roles as Germans.... as English men and women, with accents appropriate to a small English village. You could argue this was simply a matter of staging. To me it is shocking. Almost eighty years later it seems to say that this could happen in Britain.... or America. I am almost convinced that the Boultings did this deliberately, to serve as a warning. As Kevin Brownlow noted a quarter of a century later, it can happen here.

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

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 8:13 pm

The Brothers (1947) is on YT. This is a stunning B&W film shot on location on the Isle of Skye (for the most part), a weird story of sibling rivalry, lust, honor, and age-old traditions. In 1900, an orphaned "girl" arrives on the island to be the drudge of a dour family (a father and two sons). She is lusted after by one brother, but she loves the other. Eventually she's blamed for everything that befalls the family. Basic story is set against the rugged sea coast and a series of "stories" that are mirrored by their modern-day life. Patricia Roc is the girl. Finlay Currie is the old father. Maxwell Reed and Duncan Macrae are the brothers. Will Fyffe gets good billing for a small role as the captain. Andrew Crawford plays Willie, and Megs Jenkins is Angustina. Certainly some stunning scenery. The film seems somewhat lacking in narrative, but you'll never forget the story of the little silver fish.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 7:19 am

I watched "The Brothers" five years ago and reviewed it here. I think your assessment is too slight. I still abide by what I wrote here five years ago:

"I watched an Academy Award film that never even had a chance to compete for an Academy Award - probably has been forgotten by nearly everybody, but certainly stands up to the very best of the Powell/Pressburger films. This film needs to be given a new kick-start and be seen by many more people. I haven't ever been so impressed by a film that I've never seen that has almost no critical history written about it!

The film is called "The Brothers" (1947), and it stars Will Fyffe, Patricia Roc, Maxwell Reed, Finlay Currie, John Laurie, Andrew Crawford, and John Macrae, with minor parts starring James Woodburn, Morland Graham, Megs Jenkins, David McAlister, and Patrick Boxill. The genuine star, however, may actually be the scenery, for this was filmed entirely on The Isle of Skye, Scotland, and the cinematography by Stephen Dade captures the essence of the remoteness and eerie mistiness of the place to perfection. I must admit my prejudice, as my remote ancestors are from this isle, and I've visited it many times with great attachment.

This is not a film for the person who doesn't like a Greek tragedy. It IS a Greek tragedy, only in the "modern" dress of 1900 Isle of Skye, Scotland, where it is set, and where the culture captured is encapsulated as if we are there watching. We are the chorus with our own emotions; the actors are the reaches of good and evil in all of us; the play simply the parts God has given them.

The story opens with a man of the faith picking up a girl from a ferry coming from the mainland, an orphan girl who has been raised in a convent, now coming to work for a living. She is going to be working for the Macraes, a widower father with two sons, a family who has a running feud with the clan McFarish. Just the setting alone of all this - in a crofters house with a small wall bed for the girl (played by Patricia Roc) - is a setup for inherent possible trouble. When she's eventually captivated by the son of the McFarish family, that's trouble enough; but when the Macrae father (played to uttermost perfection by Finlay Currie) is about to die, he notes to the oldest son that the younger son is smitten by the girl and should marry her. Then the father dies. But the older son, also smitten, says that the father mentioned that HE, the older son, should marry her. Then he sets up a conflict which leads ultimately to the denoument of Greek tragedy where all die.

I should note, too, that the Macrae clan makes their living ostensibly by crofting, but actually by bootleg whiskey made at illegal stills. This part of the story is only told in a cursory manner. It is part and parcel of the story, but not necessarily related as much to the story as to the environment of the story itself.

One absolutely fascinating (in a very morbid sense!) facet of the film is how an execution is carried out by these islanders. A large fish is tied to the head of a person who is put in a small boat, with the person bound at the feet and hands, and set adrift. The large gulls will attack the fish and literally eat the person's head!! It's gruesome beyond belief, but we don't actually see the person being killed. Maybe that's why the thought of people watching such a spectacle, and we, as spectators of those watching - only - but not seeing the spectacle itself - is so intensely gruesome!

I think this is one of the finest films - of its sort - ever made. It's almost totally unknown, although I discovered its existence by reading a book called Scotland in Film by Forsythe Hardy, published in 1990. His opening remarks about the film are these: "Uncomprimising is the keyword for "The Brothers". This was no prettified tale set against a picturesque Highland background, but a powerful story of love and hate among the crofters and fishermen of the West Coast."
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drednm

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

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 8:22 am

I liked The Brothers quite a bit. I think the narrative was a little choppy but what I saw may have been a TV print with the commercials cut out. Again, all I saw was the print on YT. My post was brief but not meant to dismiss this film, which I've been thinking about all morning. While there are no major "names," the cast is quite good with Duncan Macrae making a terrific film debut.

Several things struck me in this story (besides the stunning photography). Although in one scene they are mending nets, there's virtually no mention of fishing as a livelihood. No one seems to bat an eye at the obvious bootlegging activities of the Macrae clan. There's a meddlesome priest and a mention that the girl (Patricia Roc) comes from the "Irish sisters" in Glasgow. I never think as the Scots as a Catholic people. Probably the best thing I've seen Roc and Maxwell Reed do.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004PG9G96/ ... 2R4E2DS39&" target="_blank
Last edited by drednm on Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 11:47 am

I watched "The Eleventh Commandment" (1933) with Marian Marsh, Theodore von Eltz, Alan Hale, Arthur Hoyt, Marie Prevost, William V. Mong, Ethel Wales, Gloria Shea, and others. The commandment, for clarity's sake (to begin with) is: Thou Shalt Not Get Caught! This is a film about deceit, deception, and ultimately defeat and victory. "Of what?", you ask, and not so incredulously. I'd ask, too. Well, a lady has died, and she's left behind $50,000,000! Realize, this is the height of the Great Depression, 1933. William V. Mong and Theodore von Eltz are partners in a law firm, and, if no one can be found to inherit the money, the money will go to - Mong... How can von Eltz get in on all of this? Well, Mong's daughter is Marian Marsh, and she's in love with - yep, you guessed it, von Eltz. But what about Alan Hale across the sea? What's he got to do with all this? Well, watch and find out. But - you'd better be really wide awake to keep all of the people and their relationship to the goings-on straight! And I don't mean 'maybe'. By the end, I may have actually been slightly lost in the proceedings. It all seemed to end the way post Pre-Code stuff should, but I lost the relationship of one of the characters. Still, it was a fairly good mystery/drama. The director and the editor (George Melford and Mildred Johnston respectively) should have turned over the reins long before they finished. Oh, that's right...this was made and produced by M. H. Hoffman Incorporated and distributed in the States Rights network. I forgot they couldn't hire DeMille. He was busy.

I also watched "The Man from Hell's Edges" (1932) with Bob Steele, Nancy Drexel, Julian Rivero, Robert Homans, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Gilbert Holmes, Earl Dwire, and others. This was a superb "B" western, with a half-way decent plot that wasn't totally clichéd; had marvelous horsemanship throughout (including one stunt that may have been done by Yakima Canutt!); and good stunt work in general. Steele breaks out of jail at the beginning and takes off for a town where he ends up being a deputy sheriff. He falls for the sheriff's daughter (Drexel) and she for him. Near the end and a lot of intermittent plot Drexel opens a letter to her father containing a Wanted poster for Steele. The wrap-up is quite good and superbly directed and edited. What I haven't mentioned yet is Gabby Hayes and Gilbert Holmes - evident partners with Steele. Hayes not only plays an Irishman named Shamrock, he speaks with a perfectly good Irish accent! Not quite what I was expecting. In one scene, though, he and Holmes do a prissy prance skip across a street, arm in arm. Watching is another man with batting eyebrows towards them. The scene is utterly Pre-Code for that day, would never have been allowed two years later. Lots of little added tweaks like that made this "B" very different from most of the banal "B" westerns that clichéd the market in those days. Steele's horsemanship shined in many instances here. Drexel made a fine love foil for Steele, and this was her fifth (and last) collaboration with Steele. She married Thomas Ince, Jr. in 1932 and retired to be a housewife. She and Ince remained married till he died in 1970.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 1:52 pm

He Knew Women 1930.Stage bound frame with Lowell Sherman in a very fetching dressing gown and a great art deco set.
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