What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6459
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 5:26 am

What possessed me? I actually sat through the nearly 2-hour Artists and Models (1955), a mish-mash musical comedy starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Shirley MacLaine. Title aside, this has nothing to do with the 1937 films that starred Jack Benny and Ida Lupino. This one has Martin as a struggling artist who lives with pal Lewis who has ranting cartoon dreams during which he blathers a lot of nonsense. MacLaine plays a model who poses as a bat lady for Dorothy Malone who illustrates comic books. They all live in the same dump in Greenwich Village. In between a few songs, the plot drones on with Martin chasing Malone and Lewis sort of chasing MacLaine until it veers off into an incredibly unfunny spy story with Lewis' blatherings echoing a "secret formula" the US military is using in its rocket program. Enter Eva Gabor as a glamorous spy who lures Lewis to an old mansion where she and her cohorts plan to get the formula from Lewis. The slapstick that follows leads to a big musical finale at the artists' ball.

Lewis supposedly "discovered MacLaine while she was filling in for injured Carol Haney in Broadway's 'Pajama Game," but her first film was Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry. Malone was a last-minute substitution for Lizabeth Scott who had previously starred with Martin and Lewis in Scared Stiff and wisely avoided this film. Others in the cast include Kathleen Freeman, Eddie Mayehoff (another mugging horror), Anita Ekberg, Jack Elam, Herbert Rudley, and kiddie George Winslow. This one was directed by the leering Frank Tashlin, so the film is filled with all kinds of double entendres and plenty of girls wearing the rocket bras of the era. There's also an obsession with blondes with huge black eyebrows. I just can't imagine 1950s kiddies sitting through this in a theater but the film was a big hit. Leggy MacLaine comes off best.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Online
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 4522
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Here. No, over here. Yes, that's me

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 7:17 am

Cyril Fletcher, in this period, held a minor celebrity for the nonsense poems he wrote and recited on the BBC. In A Piece of Cake, he pretty much plays himself. It's his birthday and he composes a poem about a Merlin Mound, who appears at Fletcher's birthday party in the person of Laurence Naismith, and provides a lavish spread and clothes for the female guests to model.

Unfortunately, rationing is still in force, so the next morning, John Pertwee -- in his first credited screen appearance -- shows up demanding records of Fletcher and his wife (played by Fletcher's actual wife, Betty Astell. Things get even worse when some spivs show up to demand the return of their goods, ration cards and cash, while Fletcher's attempts to fix the problem by composing more nonsense rhymes go awry.

This short (44 minutes) feature has not aged particularly well. Fletcher aside (who late in his career played Lewis Carroll), no one seems to have much of a sense for the logic of nonsense, replacing silliness with frenzy. Even so, it has its moments.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

-- Werner Herzog
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1135
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 12:12 pm

>Lizabeth Scott ... wisely avoided this film.<

Or, the film avoided her. Wasn't this around the time of the CONFIDENTIAL expose?
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 3:07 pm

A remake of a 1928 title, THE ROAD TO RUIN (1934) is another low-budget outing co-directed by Mrs Wallace Reid. It tells of an innocent high school girl lured into smoking, drinking and sex, then getting entangled with a slimebag who wants another notch on his bedpost. A wild party with strip dice and skinny-dipping is interrupted by the law and the two girls realise what trouble they are in, especially when the one-time innocent is nagged into an abortion. As seems to be the case in a lot of these films, the parents come in for blame, with one having a philandering father and the other a mother trying for a divorce and determined to live it up as much as possible. Certainly a curio, with a few salacious moments.

TROUBLE IN THE AIR (1948) is an early cinema outing for Jimmy Edwards. In this one he plays a broadcaster sent to produce a programme on the bell-ringers of a small village. He then encounters a Lord of the Manor who is in danger of being swindled as well as the crooks themselves, who include Sam Costa and Bill Owen. Freddie Frinton plays the doddery butler, and there is a brief bit by Jon Pertwee near the end. The humour here is rather scattershot, as is the rickety plot, but there is a dinner scene which provides some hilarious and risque moments, with Jim getting accused of being a 'dirty old man'! And of course the radio show becomes a total shambles. A very nice clear print of a radio-inspired obscurity. As with quite a few of these recent uploads, this film is commendably brief, clocking in at well under fifty minutes.
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2411
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 4:29 pm

It seems that Warren Williams was pre-destined to join the "Boo-Hiss Brigade" as soon as he entered the world of motion pictures, for he was a close second to Basil Rathbone as far as villainy was concerned. In First-National and Vitaphone's "The Mind Reader" (1933) he is a snake oil salesman, a carnival side-show charlatan and an absolute bounder of the first water. (If the film had been made today he would have been a banker, a C.E.O. or a prominent politician). Aided by his assistant - why none other than the Artful Dodger himself - Allen Jenkins, they think nothing of fleecing their clientele of the hard-earned by way of chicanery in the form of a mind-reading act.

Along the way, love rears its head in the form of Constance Cummings, who at first thinks that Warren is genuine - but she learns out the truth the hard way by marrying the rotter. We, the audience, also learn that there are awful consequences in following the advices of a bogus fortune teller.

With tragedy manifesting itself, wifie persuades the arch con-man to walk the straight and narrow and he resorts to door-to-door brush selling - at which he is absolute wash-out. Then, on a chance reunion with his former assistant, who is now a chauffeur to the rich and famous and party to useful information, it is not too long before he is back in the old business of mind-reading, getting nice fat bank-rolls from rich society women, providing them with information about their husband's adulterous liaisons.

One thing leads to another and one of the husbands gets shot. Wifie finds herself in the frame, whilst Warren absconds and takes to the bottle. Will he do the right thing in the end?

An absorbing and entertaining pre-coder directed by Roy del Ruth.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"I tawt I taw a Pooty Tat. I did! I did taw a Pooty Tat!
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 12:27 pm

Donald Binks wrote:In "Broken Lullaby" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch has achieved the virtually impossible; for he has crafted a talking picture that carries with it all the mastery of craft that was evidenced in the classic silent pictures, including the strong loading of emotive power. This picture has everything about it that cries out "excellence" and it is still relevant to our times. It is a great anti-war picture and as such it is a pity that sewers such as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin obviously didn't see it.

Phillip Holmes, who is almost forgotten today has probably given the greatest performance of his career in this picture. He plays a French soldier who has killed a German soldier in the Great War.

We move to 1919, a year after the Armistice and he is still stricken by guilt and remorse, determined to ask forgiveness of the dead German soldier's family. He is a touching, wreck of a man and this is evidenced in his gait, his eyes and even in the slightest of movements he makes.

He comes across the village where the German soldier's family lives and lays flowers on his grave there, espied by the sister. He then meets the father and mother but he cannot bring himself to tell them of the true reason of his visit for the parents make themselves believe that he was a friend of their son and as such can bring his presence to life again through their discovery of that friendship.

Lionel Barrymore is the German father, a caring village doctor but hateful of all Frenchmen. He blames the entire nation for the death of his son. He is not alone in the village in his grief for as it turns out, there were quite a few bereavements and the Frenchman in their midst is not exactly a welcomed presence.

Louise Carter is the German mother and her performance is muted - but this is not to say that is not a strength - for she allows a contrast to be made between herself and the power of Lionel Barrymore's bravura performance.

Nancy Carroll is the German sister who falls in love with this forlorn Frenchman - and eventually finds out his secret.

This film is very moving and will tug at your heart strings at every corner. It's message is told simply and may not be to everyone's taste today because of that. There are those who would feel this simplicity to be unsophisticated. Sometimes though it is the simple that is the strongest.

One is "involved" in this film from near to the outset and drawn in further as it briskly moves along. I cannot understand why it is not seen more widely than it is?

Other players include Lucien Butterfield, Zasu Pitts - devoid of any unnecessary mannerisms, playing it straight, Frank Sheridan as a priest who for once does not have the answers, George Bickel, Emma Dunn and Reinhold Pasch.

I doubt whether I shall forget this film.

(As a Postscript, it is perhaps ironic in a way that Phillip Holmes was killed in the Second World War as part of our gallant Imperial Forces)


I, too, was deeply affected by BROKEN LULLABY / THE MAN I KILLED when I saw it some thirty years ago. I think I first heard of it by reading Ivan Butler's book on war movies, and it didn't disappoint, being unbearably moving at times. Two friends I showed the film to were heavily scornful of the film, although I think the younger one was perhaps influenced by the elder. Certainly a film which deserves to be put alongside J'ACCUSE (1938), ALL QUIET and WESTFRONT 1918.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 12:35 pm

An odd mix of comedy, romance and crime, FIND THE LADY (1956) has Beverley Brooks going to the country to visit her godmother only to find her absent, and supposedly in a nursing home after suffering heart trouble. Suspicious, she enlists the help of doctor's locum Donald Houston (whom she has caused to get soaked to the skin earlier) to solve the mystery. The fellow in charge, played by Mervyn Johns, is clearly telling whoppers, and as the maid has been sacked and replaced by a sexy blonde (Kay Callard*), something fishy is definitely up. Despite its briefness, FIND THE LADY runs out of steam well before the end, and some of the heavy comedy does not fit well with the violence which comes later. Watch for Anne Heywood as the flirty receptionist at the local hotel.

IMDb lists Callard's birth year as 1933, Wiki as 1923. Which is right? I'd plump for 1933.
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2191
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 12:37 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote: there is a dinner scene which provides some hilarious and risque moments, with Jim getting accused of being a 'dirty old man'!


Okay, who do I sue for putting my life story up on-screen without my permission?

Dirty Old Jim
Online
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 4522
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Here. No, over here. Yes, that's me

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 1:51 pm

I showed up at the theater after the trailers had begun, rushed in to the usual seat. Didn't see my cousin. Got up, checked the men's room. No sign. Had he gone to a different auditorium? Trailers ended and he rushed in. "Thought it started at a quarter of," he said. The movie started. Lighting for a French thriller, and the titles came up: Personal Shopper. All of which was odd, because we were there to see Wilson, a low-budget movie based on an award-winning comic book, in which Woody Harrelson plays a jerk.

The screen went dark and a few moments later, the movie we had come to see started up. Wilson is a story about how Woody Harrelson is a jerk, but everyone else is, and they punch him. This is supposed to elicit sympathy from the audience. When his father dies, he reaches out to ex-wife Laura Dern, because hey, you know, sympathy sex. He discovers that when she had left him, had an abortion and gone into a drug-fueled spiral, she hadn't had an abortion, but had given out the kid for adoption. They track her down, stalk her a bit in a non-threatening manner, and deal with people being jerks and punching Woody Harrelson. Eventually, Dern moves to Australia, Harrelson shacks up with a young, beautiful woman and things turn out well for him, despite the fact that he is still a jerk -- he just doesn't punch anyone. By the standards of this particular Cinematic Universe, this makes him a Good Person who Deserves All Good Things and gets them.

In short, this is a bad movie with good performances. There are quirky individuals and snide commentary about how people are jerks, but nothing changes, and you are left with numerous questions about what is going on. How does Wilson live? Why can he take off to go stalk various relatives without worrying about money? Aren't there any adults anywhere? If it weren't for Harrelson's straightforward, oblivious idiocy, this would be unwatchable.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

-- Werner Herzog
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6459
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 2:49 pm

In the recent trove of British films on YT is a 1948 cheapo called The Ghost of Rashmon Hall. At 52 minutes, this one whizzes by. A group of people are sitting in a house, sharing ghost stories, when they welcome a guest (Valentine Dyall) who's there to confirm that the very house they are in ... the very house ... is haunted. The host then turns the storytelling over to Dyall who tells the story of the young couple (Alec Faversham, Anne Howard) buy a spooky old house because of the post-war housing shortage. They are immediately beset by ghosties, slamming doors, winds, dripping faucets, and howling sounds coming from the cellar. Pretty standard story with cheesy effects but the ending is a genuine surprise. Certainly worth a look.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Online
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 4522
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Here. No, over here. Yes, that's me

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 3:32 pm

1780: Two gentlemen gamble in a house on Hyde Park Corner (1935). One cheats the other, is discovered and they duel in front of two witnesses; one dies, pronouncing a curse on the house, as the other is led away. 1935: The same actors, same names, but distant descendants of the characters come together in a series of murders.

Based on a popular West End play of the previous season (Harker had starred in his dual role in it), this stars Gordon Harker as a constable and Binnie Hale as a woman he arrests for shoplifting, as they wrangle and wind up solving the first murder and the new one. It's easy to see why this had been a success, with its combination of Harker's clowning, Hale's singing and dancing and liberal doses of mysticism and whodunnits. Producer/Director Sinclair Hill wanted to produce good movies, and he would eventually get a knighthood for his efforts; this one clearly has a good budget for the era, but it's all carried on the shoulders of the leads ... who have the strength to carry the movie

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

-- Werner Herzog
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2411
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostSun Mar 26, 2017 3:34 pm

I watched "Passengers" (2016) because I am a sucker for good science-fiction pictures. I wouldn't therefore necessarily say this was a good one, but it was, nevertheless, sufficiently entertaining to sustain my interest - if only to see a whole lot of whizzbang technology. (Pity I will be dead by the time any of it actually happens). Of course there had to be some sort of luvvy-duvvy business going on which I found an annoying distraction.

One of the things though that I cannot understand is; why does Hollywood never learn? Every nincompoop, including me, knows that In outer space it is a vacuum and therefore sounds do not carry. Everything is dead quiet. Why then, oh why, pray, do we continually hear explosions and the like? It puzzles me.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"I tawt I taw a Pooty Tat. I did! I did taw a Pooty Tat!
Offline

Daniel Eagan

  • Posts: 659
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 7:49 am

Donald Binks wrote:In "Broken Lullaby" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch has achieved the virtually impossible; for he has crafted a talking picture that carries with it all the mastery of craft that was evidenced in the classic silent pictures, including the strong loading of emotive power.


Loosely remade by François Ozun as Frantz, currently in release in the US: http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/fr ... 201851541/.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Caught up with THE NIGHT OF THE PARTY (1935) which I attempted to record when shown about 25 years ago, making a proper pig's ear of things. Despite its status as a 'Quota Quickie', the film boasts a good array of familiar players, including Leslie Banks, Ernest Thesiger, Malcolm Keen, Ian Hunter and Muriel Aked. Keen (father of Geoffrey) plays a press baron, who invites a number of people to a dinner in honour of a foreign royal, played by Muriel Aked. After dinner, Aked suggests a game of 'murder', and guess what happens.

As usual, everybody, or nearly everybody has an excellent reason to kill the victim, who is (no spoiler) a thoroughly beastly fellow in every department. As directed by Michael Powell, THE NIGHT OF THE PARTY is a thoroughly enjoyable whodunnit, decently played and moving at a very good pace, although the ending is a bit shaky. Very nice copy, too.

British viewers of a certain age will remember the BBC programme 'That's Life', which usually featured an 'odd ode' from regular Cyril Fletcher. At the time, I hadn't realised how long a career he had in this fashion, particularly as I seldom found them amusing. He turns up in A PIECE OF CAKE (1948), playing himself in all but name. In this featurette, he is having trouble composing his ode, owing to various interruptions and the problems of providing dinner and drinks for their evening guests. He then falls asleep...

Needless to say, his dreams are fairly peculiar, giving him and his wife (played by his real-life wife, and co-writer, Betty Astell) all sorts of headaches. As with TROUBLE IN THE AIR, this one is radio inspired, and features Jon Pertwee as a food inspector who sounds like Richard Haydn, as well as Laurence Naismith, Harry Fowler and Sam Costa yet again. Its briefness is a virtue here, but the film is more of interest than actually very entertaining. Again, a very good copy.
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Offline

wingate

  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 1:59 pm

Rubber Racketeering with Ricardo Cortez.Good even in this abysmal King Brothers production.Right to get out of his films when he did,even if it was at the bottom.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 2:07 pm

drednm wrote:In the recent trove of British films on YT is a 1948 cheapo called The Ghost of Rashmon Hall. At 52 minutes, this one whizzes by. A group of people are sitting in a house, sharing ghost stories, when they welcome a guest (Valentine Dyall) who's there to confirm that the very house they are in ... the very house ... is haunted. The host then turns the storytelling over to Dyall who tells the story of the young couple (Alec Faversham, Anne Howard) buy a spooky old house because of the post-war housing shortage. They are immediately beset by ghosties, slamming doors, winds, dripping faucets, and howling sounds coming from the cellar. Pretty standard story with cheesy effects but the ending is a genuine surprise. Certainly worth a look.


First saw this a few years back as THE NIGHT COMES TOO SOON.
Online
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 4522
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Here. No, over here. Yes, that's me

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 3:36 pm

The Claydon Treasure Mystery looks like it was made by cobbling together all those Classic British Mystery elements, as engineer and amateur sleuth John Stuart heads over to a Country Home populated with some good actors -- Evelyn Ankers, Annie Esme, Finlay Curie and, further down the cast list, Ian Fleming, Wilfred Hyde-White and John Laurie. It's got a cast who are willing to tell Stuart the important clue, but first they need a good night's sleep, decide to tell him whodunnit just before they are shot, the Suspicious Suspect and the legend of a treasure to drag like a red herring across the path to the solution. After they drag off the guilty guy, some one explains most of what happened and leaves before he finishes. The performances are fine, as you would expect with a cast like that, but you get to see why people considered Agatha Christie a good writer for decades.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

-- Werner Herzog
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2411
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostMon Mar 27, 2017 6:02 pm

The "Christopher Strong" in the (1933) RKO Radio picture refers to Sir Christopher Strong (Colin Clive) who is very happily married to his wife (Bille Burke). He has a daughter who is a bit flighty (Helen Chandler) and she is "seeing" a married man (Ralph Forbes).

This seemingly blissful set of arrangements forms the basis of a not untypical drawing room romance type of nonsense which normally I find as interesting as watching paint dry, however, because everybody is so well-dressed and speaking so beautifully, I decided to stay with it.

Not unnaturally, the happy state of things has to suddenly fall apart to give the picture some degree of substance. This is achieved by Sir Christopher falling in love with an aviatrix in the form of Katherine Hepburn - who in those days was a bit of a looker (not that she didn't age well).

Billie Burke who had grown up in England does not find it hard to fall into Received Speech and neither does it seem hard for Katherine Hepburn who finds herself as "Lady Cynthia". I liked seeing Ms. Burke in a dramatic role away from her later regular scatter-brained characters and she gives full weight to it. Ms. Hepburn plays more of a role that would normally go to a Jean Harlow or someone else of that ilk and she carries it off just fine. In fact everyone in the film is quite good and it is always a pleasure to hear good speaking voices such as that of Colin Clive.

As a pre-coder, it touches mainly on adultery and the scandal of marrying a person who has been divorced. Young people might find some of "the correct things to do" a little strange in today's world where everything goes.

This is an elegant film about elegant people presented elegantly. Those people in 1933 who were jobless, walking the streets and wondering where the next meal was coming from may have found it a bit much - if they could have afforded the price of a cinema ticket.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"I tawt I taw a Pooty Tat. I did! I did taw a Pooty Tat!
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 1:38 pm

TOMORROW'S CHILDREN (1934), despite being short of a few minutes of running time, is a pretty interesting film on the subjects of eugenics and compulsory sterilisation. Diane Sinclair plays the breadwinning daughter of an alcoholic, shiftless couple who have brought several other children into the world, all with some kind of deficiency. After the middle-aged mother has given birth yet again (the baby died), their doctor tries to help them, but only making things worse, in a way.

The social workers come on the scene, telling the parents that the whole family must be sterilised, otherwise they will forfeit their welfare payments. The mother sees this as sensible in view of the strain on her body and the fact that they can't afford to bring up children without help. However, the daughter is condemned to the same fate, despite being perfectly normal and healthy, as well as being hard-working and actually productive.

The rest of TOMORROW'S CHILDREN, (after a court case where the son of a local bigwig is spared the op) is taken up with the details of the sterilisation process and the race to save the girl from this fate, as she is planning marriage and children. Plainly, but decently made, this is an worthwhile 'problem' picture with the odd lurid moment as well as some frank dialogue to warrant its status as exploitation. Directed by Crane Wilbur, who also plays the local priest.
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1135
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 2:18 pm

>does not find it hard to fall into Received Speech and neither does it seem hard for Katherine Hepburn<

Because she was, as my late acting teacher Stella Adler (from the Lower East Side) once told a bystander who'd been listening to her speak, and had asked her if she was British,

"No, darling - just affected!"
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2411
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 7:30 pm

One of the first things that attracted my attention on watching "Waltz Time" (1945) was seeing the film starred Carol Raye. Was this the same Carol Raye I remember from the Australian satirical television revue "The Mavis Bramston Show" back in the 1960's? Well, as soon as I saw her face upon the screen, I knew it was. What a surprise. (I'm happy to say that Ms. Raye is still with us at the wonderful age of 94).

"Waltz Time" is English cinema's second attempt at much the same operetta (based loosely on "Die Fledermaus"). The first was in 1933 with Evelyn Laye taking the lead. This, 1945 version is stacked with talent who do their very best to make something out of what is basically a load of froth and bubble. Still, when we go to the pictures we seem to know beforehand that we are being asked to suspend disbelief and just enjoy ourselves with some light entertainment. One is not disappointed with this film because it is charmingly entertaining and has sufficient within it, due to its little twists and turns, to make us guess at what may be coming next.

Peter Graves, who eventually became the 8th Baron Graves in 1963 had made a name for himself in musicals, mainly on the stage (and a few films) during the war years and so seeing him turning up in this production was no surprise. Here he plays the male lead rather dashingly.

The film involves Carolyn Raye waking up one morning to find that she is Empress of Austria and therefore having to contend with a whole lot of old fuddy-duddies who form her Council of State. They think ill of anything that could be considered fun and wish to ban the waltz. They also wish to see their Empress married - but not to Peter Graves for he has a reputation as a philanderer. At the same time, a friend of the Empress - Patricia Medina is also secretly courting a young officer - Thorley Waters. So, there is a whole lot of luvvy-duvvy nonsense a man has to put up with, (Yawn), zzzzzzz.....

....sorry, where was I? Oh yes, well there is a lot of funny business going on but we know that eventually each couple will marry whom they want, but along the way we are given the opportunity to see a number of acts which at times appear quite incongruous, but why not? They are all quite enjoyable.

I have a number of Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler records and so was quite familiar with the pair of warblers - and what a thrill it was to actually see them on the screen performing together rather than just having the aural experience. For some reason they show up as gypsies doing an act in a heuriger. The fellow conducting the orchestra in it is none other than Albert Sandler - (the violinist and leader of the Albert Sandler trio). In a far more incongruous segment is the great tenor, Richard Tauber who wakes up in a barn one morning to sing "Break of Day" - a recording of his of which I am particularly fond. He reprises this number in a church scene shortly later in the picture where he is seen amongst the choir boys.

There's a lot of singing and dancing - especially of the waltz - and I'm happy to say that all the old fuddy-duddies get their comeuppance and the waltz is not banned.

This is one of those pictures where you can instantly tell that everyone is having a lot of fun making it and that has carried over the footlights and imbued the audience with a degree of radiance making them all feel very happy. The film was a great box office success in its day and I can see why.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"I tawt I taw a Pooty Tat. I did! I did taw a Pooty Tat!
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2411
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 7:52 pm

Sometimes one is drawn to looking at a picture by glancing at the cast list and thinking, "Well, this should be alright if so and so is in it". This is how I came to suffer "Assassin's Creed" (2016). The "names" were Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and even Miss Fisher herself - Essa Davis.

What a load of old cobblers! I found myself trying to decipher something that was basically incomprehensible - where most lines were spoken in that guttural whisper that is so fashionable nowadays in trailers.

It seemed to involve some bloke who is receiving a lethal injection who is then whisked away to some laboratory and then regressed to 1492 in order to tell the modern day Knights Templar where the apple Eve gave Adam is.

I've got news for 'em. Apples end up in the same state as this picture if you don't eat 'em in a few days - rotten!

I can only think that the "names" were on the brink of destitution and contemplating a round of busking when some good fairy came along and offered them all a big cheque.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"I tawt I taw a Pooty Tat. I did! I did taw a Pooty Tat!
Online
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6459
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 8:19 pm

Came across the astonishingly good Outcast of the Islands (1951) a dark tale based on a Joseph Conrad work that cast Trevor Howard as a truly rotten guy in colonial Singapore who gets fired for embezzling so he fakes a suicide attempt and gets taken out of the city (before getting arrested) to a sea captain's secret trading place "up the river." Of course as soon as he gets there, he poisons the well and causes all sorts of grief. Howard is matched by Robert Morley as the captain's son-in-law who has a cushy job running the native compound. Wendy Hiller is his mousy wife, Ralph Richardson is the sea captain, George Coulouris is a devious native. Colorful story (in B&W) with several memorable scenes. You'll never look at a hammock in quite the same way again.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline
User avatar

telical

  • Posts: 893
  • Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:46 pm

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

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 11:11 pm

Marry Me (1949) about four couples who are introduced at a matchmaking service. Has some decent laughs and interesting twists. A UK film with good acting and production values, it eventually kind of drags on a little for me, but will eventually get through it all.
Offline
User avatar

Changsham

  • Posts: 774
  • Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:34 pm

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 1:28 am

Donald Binks wrote:Sometimes one is drawn to looking at a picture by glancing at the cast list and thinking, "Well, this should be alright if so and so is in it". This is how I came to suffer "Assassin's Creed" (2016). The "names" were Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and even Miss Fisher herself - Essa Davis.

What a load of old cobblers! I found myself trying to decipher something that was basically incomprehensible - where most lines were spoken in that guttural whisper that is so fashionable nowadays in trailers.

It seemed to involve some bloke who is receiving a lethal injection who is then whisked away to some laboratory and then regressed to 1492 in order to tell the modern day Knights Templar where the apple Eve gave Adam is.

I've got news for 'em. Apples end up in the same state as this picture if you don't eat 'em in a few days - rotten!

I can only think that the "names" were on the brink of destitution and contemplating a round of busking when some good fairy came along and offered them all a big cheque.

This film was made to cash in on the video game franchise of the same name. Could only be appreciated by teenage computer gamers who like to kill things on their TV.
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5321
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 7:49 am

In the words of Michael Caine after one of his terrible film roles in the 70s or 80s, "I've never seen it, but I see the house it bought every day."
“One of the wonders of the internet is that it's a totally open forum. The world's greatest expert—or greatest idiot—is free to post.” —David Shepard, quoted by Richard Bann
Offline

Richard P. May

  • Posts: 515
  • Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 8:35 am

WILSON (1944) Amazingly, I had never seen this film. I had heard the story where Darryl Zanuck was mightily insulted that it didn't get the Best Picture Academy Award, losing to GOING MY WAY. Actually, any of the other nominees were more entertaining. After sitting thru its 2 1/2 hours on TCM, I now need to look up some comtemporary reviews to see what audiences of the time thought of it. It comes off as a history lesson with a script taken from "the speeches of Woodrow Wilson".
Also, regrettably, it is a victim of Fox's destruction of their nitrate negatives, resulting in quite a loss in picture quality of the Technicolor image. It won for Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, sound, writing and editing.
Dick May
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1135
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 9:43 am

Granted, I like Wilson (with a few caveats...)

But considering the era of its making, I've always found WILSON to be like Taylor's CLEOPATRA -

- not nearly as bad as its reputation.

-Craig
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5321
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 9:49 am

a script taken from "the speeches of Woodrow Wilson".


Yup.

Wilson is adequate in itself, but when you compare it to zippy, cynical Citizen Kane covering roughly the same period in American history, it just seems like it was made 100 years earlier. And though Alexander Knox would be a valuable supporting player over the years, all the way up to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he's definitely not a leading man.

In my book on movie awards, I said, though, that Wilson proves that the Oscars were basically honest by 1943—because if it was possible to fix them by that point, Zanuck absolutely would have.
“One of the wonders of the internet is that it's a totally open forum. The world's greatest expert—or greatest idiot—is free to post.” —David Shepard, quoted by Richard Bann
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2349
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 1:20 pm

wich2 wrote:Granted, I like Wilson (with a few caveats...)

But considering the era of its making, I've always found WILSON to be like Taylor's CLEOPATRA -

- not nearly as bad as its reputation.

-Craig


I find WILSON is a film which grows on me. Having said that, the first time I watched it was on a b/w set, which was really a waste of time. Not having seen it for thirty years plus, and the only copy I have doing grave injustice to the colour, it will be interesting to see the film again. Certainly my last viewing (when the BBC had director's series) found the colour work superlative. Whether it's possibly to find decent copies to bring the film back to its proper look, we will have to see. I certainly recall washed out prints of Twentieth Century Fox movies at the NFT [DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, STATE FAIR] thirty to forty years back, although they may have been on 16mm, so this can indeed be a problem, as with the instability of the nitrate material.

Henry King is a talent I have grown to like more over the years, having previously found some of his work a little solid and long-winded. For a real revelation, watch HELL HARBOR (1930) which is unlike anything of his I've seen! That film, however was produced by Inspiration Pictures and not by (Twentieth Century) Fox...
PreviousNext

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: drednm and 7 guests