What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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

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

PostSat Nov 18, 2017 1:18 pm

Seemingly forgotten in Peter O’Toole’s long, distinguished career is his gutsy turn as Joseph Conrad’s anti-hero, Lord Jim (1965). This is another of Richard Brooks’ oh-so-serious run of overlong, overly-grim, “intelligent” dramas from literary works of high regard.

Conrad has been a life-long favourite author of mine – I even wanted to name my second son “Conrad” in his honour (ironically, he ended up being named “Peter” instead). But the two books other than Heart of Darkness for which he is most famous – Nostromo and Lord Jim – are the two novels I found a real slog to read, and in fact I had erased the entire story of Lord Jim from my mind, so little did I enjoy it. So unfortunately I can’t do a comparison of the film to the book.

O’Toole’s character abandons his supposedly sinking ship in a moment of cowardice that drives him deep into the typical Conradian metaphorical jungle in search of a chance to redeem himself. He finds it in aiding one faction of islanders against another faction, and then in protecting them from the depredations of a marvelously made-up James Mason who wants to loot them.

At 2:35 hours, this movie is far too long for its fairly mild storyline. A metaphysical debate between O’Toole and his elderly advisor feels force-fed to us to make us acknowledge the High Seriousness of Brooks’ vision; it doesn’t tell us anything about Lord Jim’s motivations that hasn’t already been beaten over our heads in the preceding two hours. In fact, I’d have to say the entire episode with Mason should have been eliminated. The battle between the two factions of islanders should have ended with O’Toole’s native friend being killed and O’Toole accordingly sacrificing himself as per his pledge; instead, the friend isn’t even wounded, and we have to spend another hour watching a second “war” before getting to that climax.

It’s a fairly good film, but if you’re not in the mood to put up with nearly three hours of Serious Art as only 1960s Hollywood studios could make it, you should probably give it a pass.

Jim (not a Lord)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 18, 2017 2:50 pm

Made at Warner Brothers' British studio at Teddington, with two directors, DON'T GET ME WRONG (1936) features Max Miller as fast-talking fairground performer 'Napoleon Lincoln' with a hankering for the ladies, a trait which does not endear him to his lady friend. An encounter with a barmy-looking and sounding fellow (Wallace Evennett) who claims he has a formula for cheap fuel is given apparent credence when the stuff causes their caravan to be demolished and the formula to disappear. What Max and his friends (SPOILER) have forgotten to do is to find out if the stuff actually works as fuel rather than as an explosive. Enter a shifty financier and his secretary who plan to use the idea to make a fortune on the stock exchange.

After a promising start, I must admit to finding DON'T GET ME WRONG rather tiresome, perhaps because a little of Max on screen gores rather a long way. Of the few I've seen, the best (THE GOOD COMPANIONS and FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH) featured him in supporting roles and were directed by Victor Saville. There are scattered amusing moments, although one thread (Max's concern for his small investors) seems to vanish at the end. And yes, of course the the 'professor' has bats in the belfry as well as being nutty as a fruit-cake...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 18, 2017 3:05 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:... the dear old Queen at the end of her life. It documents her relationship late in her life with a servant from the Raj. The title of this epic was "Victoria and Abdul".... (2017).
I presume that your friend's comments would go under the heading of "women's talk"? :D (Forgive me for generalising). It doesn't make sense - all films become old, some of course older than others. If she means that the film was relatively straight forward to follow and didn't try and tax the audience by being indecipherable - as seems to be a modern trend, then yes I would agree. The only problem(s) I had with the film was that it seemed to take a rather glib approach - perhaps the relative facts were considered too boring and a little elaboration was required? There were also some anachronisms in the dialogue, but, if the actual English eloquence of Victorian times was utilised, few might understand it?


My three companions were all of the fair sex, as you rightly guessed. Oddly enough a couple of them were praising Sidney Poitier's 'Virgil Tibbs' films the other day, the first of which had to undergo colour restoration a few years ago and is now a half-century old! Of course some are amazed that I can find pleasure in something made years before I was born, but they don't have to watch 'em... And some are more interested in the subject matter than who made the films. My friend was praising CHARLOTTE GRAY the other day and I didn't have the heart to tell her that I only lasted ten or twenty minutes of that one!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 18, 2017 3:47 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Jim (not a Lord)


I am currently petitioning Her Most Gracious Majesty in order to have this most serious oversight corrected!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Night Train to Munich (1940), the second installment in the Expanded Charters & Caldicott Universe, following The Lady Vanishes, and followed by Crook's Tour and Millions Like Us (never seen the latter). Cracking good adventure story set on the eve of the Second World War, with Rex Harrison as a proto-James Bond, posing as a German officer just prior to the invasion of Poland, to spirit a Czech scientist back to England, out of the hands of Gestapo officer Paul "von" Henreid. There's also some sparkling love/hate banter between sexy Rexy and the scientist's daughter, played by Margaret Lockwood, who you'd think cricket enthusiasts Charters & Caldicott would have recognized from The Lady Vanishes, only she's playing a different character here, and even spends some time in a concentration camp at the start of the film after to the German invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Eventually we get to some intrigue on the train and a slam bang action finale on some alpine cable cars. Fun adventure all around, in a lovely presentation by the Criterion Collection (with a 20th Century Fox logo off the top). Also, Harrison sings here, perhaps moreso than his speak-singing in My Fair Lady, due to his cover as a sheet music salesman in a Brighton-esque resort town, which provides some additional amusement.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 2:56 pm

Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017), demonstrates that the people in charge of the DC Universe have been learning the lessons of what they have been doing wrong and what Marvel has been doing right, in a mechanical fashion, if nothing else. The right things include hiring Joss Whedon to work over matters, because not everyone spends every second of every day being a miserable, pissed-off bastard, and that different things motivate different people. Some of the things they have learned that are wrong include 1: a dorky, brilliant teenager makes a great character, so let's make the Flash Spiderman; 2: the relationship between Paranoid Batman and everyone else doesn't work, so let's just.... gloss that over awkwardly, by having him behave awkwardly over it.

That's fine, because these are all people who do not Play Well with Others. On the plus side, one thing DC figured out was how to deal with the Rock-em-Sock-em Robots battle, by putting in grades of robots, and noticing that there are actually civilians on the battlefield, and assigning some people to actually getting them out of the way of the FREAKING HOLOCAUST THAT'S APPEARING RIGHT AROUND THEM! On the other hand, the second third of the movie turns into Waiting for Superman, since once the Man of Steel shows up, neither G*d nor wombat can stand against his might.

Mind you, I stopped reading comic books in 1969, and hadn't bothered with DC for half a decade before then. Still, it was more amusing and a better story than Batman vs. Superman. They're still pinning their hopes on Gal Gadot, though.

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

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm

boblipton wrote:Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017), demonstrates that the people in charge of the DC Universe have been learning the lessons of what they have been doing wrong and what Marvel has been doing right, in a mechanical fashion, if nothing else. The right things include hiring Joss Whedon to work over matters, because not everyone spends every second of every day being a miserable, pissed-off bastard, and that different things motivate different people. Some of the things they have learned that are wrong include 1: a dorky, brilliant teenager makes a great character, so let's make the Flash Spiderman; 2: the relationship between Paranoid Batman and everyone else doesn't work, so let's just.... gloss that over awkwardly, by having him behave awkwardly over it.

That's fine, because these are all people who do not Play Well with Others. On the plus side, one thing DC figured out was how to deal with the Rock-em-Sock-em Robots battle, by putting in grades of robots, and noticing that there are actually civilians on the battlefield, and assigning some people to actually getting them out of the way of the FREAKING HOLOCAUST THAT'S APPEARING RIGHT AROUND THEM! On the other hand, the second third of the movie turns into Waiting for Superman, since once the Man of Steel shows up, neither G*d nor wombat can stand against his might.

Mind you, I stopped reading comic books in 1969, and hadn't bothered with DC for half a decade before then. Still, it was more amusing and a better story than Batman vs. Superman. They're still pinning their hopes on Gal Gadot, though.

Bob

Could you translate this into close-to-70-and-over, please. (Yesterday, while in England, I saw a review on television. which tore this into a trillion pieces of tripe. Not sure if you're agreeing or not...)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 3:33 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:
boblipton wrote:Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017), demonstrates that the people in charge of the DC Universe have been learning the lessons of what they have been doing wrong and what Marvel has been doing right, in a mechanical fashion, if nothing else. The right things include hiring Joss Whedon to work over matters, because not everyone spends every second of every day being a miserable, pissed-off bastard, and that different things motivate different people. Some of the things they have learned that are wrong include 1: a dorky, brilliant teenager makes a great character, so let's make the Flash Spiderman; 2: the relationship between Paranoid Batman and everyone else doesn't work, so let's just.... gloss that over awkwardly, by having him behave awkwardly over it.

That's fine, because these are all people who do not Play Well with Others. On the plus side, one thing DC figured out was how to deal with the Rock-em-Sock-em Robots battle, by putting in grades of robots, and noticing that there are actually civilians on the battlefield, and assigning some people to actually getting them out of the way of the FREAKING HOLOCAUST THAT'S APPEARING RIGHT AROUND THEM! On the other hand, the second third of the movie turns into Waiting for Superman, since once the Man of Steel shows up, neither G*d nor wombat can stand against his might.

Mind you, I stopped reading comic books in 1969, and hadn't bothered with DC for half a decade before then. Still, it was more amusing and a better story than Batman vs. Superman. They're still pinning their hopes on Gal Gadot, though.

Bob

Could you translate this into close-to-70-and-over, please. (Yesterday, while in England, I saw a review on television. which tore this into a trillion pieces of tripe. Not sure if you're agreeing or not...)



Middling good. It does a decent job of combining the Wonder Woman movie and the Dark Batman movie. I'm not a fan of Zach Snyder's Dark Complex Superman. To me, he's always been the guy in the white hat who wins because he's so much better that the bad guys can't really stand up to him, and Zach Snyder's dour dorkishness holds no allure for me; he's what we can and should be.

If you like Superhero movies, you should have a good time. If you think it's for the sort of people who get caught up in minutiae of kiddie stuff, like people who complain of the The Lord of the Rings that elves' ears aren't that pointy, or or Star Trek that Vulcans do have a sense of humor (both sets of complaints I have heard; the latter I responded by organizing a choir singing "Vulcans have a sense of humor" to "Ode to Joy"), you'll be annoyed. If, like me, you look upon them as modern myths, like the Matter of Britain or Ulysses' travels back to Ithaca, you can have a fine old time.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 5:48 pm

boblipton wrote:Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017)...
Bob


Must be good going through one's second childhood, and actually enjoying this sort of picture? :D
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Nov 19, 2017 5:53 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017)...
Bob


Must be good going through one's second childhood, and actually enjoying this sort of picture? :D


Some of us are in our extended first childhood, nevvy.

I think that if I can discuss how someone falls on his bum, I can discuss this sort of thing.

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

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 6:18 am

For Men Only (1952) is also know as The Tall Lie. Produced and directed by Paul Henreid, he also stars as a college professor who gets involved in a college hazing stunt after it goes awry. He then faces a backlash from the college president, board of regents, and alumni who all dislike the negative publicity he brings to the school when he decides to fight the system. It seems money is more important than justice (who knew?). Ernest and well done film centers on a steady performance by Henreid amid the campus hysteria as everyone takes sides, especially after he is accused of sexually assaulting a student. Notable for a good performance as the vicious frat boy by Russell Johnson and for an early major role for Vera Miles. Also Kathleen Hughes as the sexpot, Margaret Field (mother of Sally) as the wife, Robert Sherman as the pledge, Douglas Kennedy as the smarmy president, James Dobson as Beanie, and O.Z. Whitehead as a creepy teacher.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Most of the gang from Jud Suss reappears in the rather astonishing Kolberg. Released in 1945 it is obvious propaganda designed to inspire the citizenry to fight to the last, but it does track a very fine line between inspiration and desperation. It's absolutely stunning to see a film in color with production values that would easily be considered 'epic.' That it was filmed in the waning days of the war when victory was pretty clearly a diminishing likelihood is jaw-dropping.

Telling the tale of the city of Kolberg's noble resistance to Napoleon's forces - a lone German holdout in a sea of French armies - lovely Kristina Soderbaum, director Veit Harlan's wife, sacrifices her entire family for loyalty to her country. A definite highlight is Der Golem's Paul Wegener as the feckless general initially defending the town. Apparently Goebbels had to make some cuts, and there are obvious spots where they likely happened, but still, the final leveling of the city must have been somewhat controversial among the political apparatchiks who had to have feared appearing too negative of the 'situation.' That this was made at all is rather unbelievable, and, I suppose, is a testament to the commitment of the regime to filmmaking.

So there's that.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 8:49 pm

The bad news about Pixar's latest, Coco (2017) is that it is the last original animated feature from Disney or Pixar at least through the end of 2019. Between The Incredibles 2, Ralph Wrecks the Internet, Toy Story 4, no one need have an original idea for a couple of years Given that DIsney is also busy turning its older animated films into live action films and filling in the details of Han Solo's early life -- after all, we already know about Wookie home life from the Star Wars Christmas Special, it should be decades before anyone at the House of Mouse need have an original thought again.

Of course, at times like this, my messy pig sty of a memory tosses up unattributed quotes like "You can't top pigs with pigs." I wonder who said that. Well, no matter.

The good news about Coco, which I saw in preview tonight, extending my first childhood well into its seventh decade, was that it was excellent. Miguel is the child of a family of shoemakers; several generations ago, his great-great-grandfather left to become a musician, and g'g'g'ma started the family on the tradition of making shoes and hating music. Miguel, though, wants to be a musician. When his family discovers his cache of records and tapes of the great musician/movie star Ernesto de la Cruz just as he is ready to participate in the Day of the Dead musical competition in the town square, he needs to find a new guitar, and realizes that de la Cruz was his great-great-grandfather. He steals the guitar from the local church, where it is a relic,.... and is transported to the Land of the Dead, whence he must make his way back to our world before sunrise.

When I first heard about this movie, I thought it might be similar to The Book of Life, but I had similar worries about plot theft with Inside Out. Let it stand that I found this a fine movie, in the upper tier of Pixar's works, with several nice plot twists that I did not see coming, but were obvious once they had, some beautiful background design and Pixar's usual attention to doing things that made me weep. I expect you'll find it as wonderful as I did.

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

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 9:07 pm

Hard to find, but Orders to Kill (1958) is excellent and thought provoking. A war film without battles and other war scenes, story involves an American military man (Paul Massie) who has flown 50 bombing raids. He's recruited to go undercover in France during WW II and pose as a Frenchman in order to kill a suspected traitor in the resistance movement. Film starts slowly as the story is set up and we see some training he goes through. He's well suited to the assignment because of his war record and because he speaks fluent French. Everything goes well until he meets his target, a mild-mannered process server in Paris. Issues of guilt vs innocence, wartime killings, duty, loyalty etc arise as Massie plans his assassination. Irene Worth is excellent as his French contact who works as a seamstress. Eddie Albert plays the recruiter, Lillian Gish the Boston matron, James Robertson Justice the trainer, Leslie French as the target, John Crawford as the ambitious officer, and Lionel Jeffries, Nicholas Phipps, etc. Massie and Worth are outstanding.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 6:19 am

I don't like Joseph Losey's films. His is a world in which people scurry around like ants in a fire. In The Big Night (1951), a gangster comes in and beats Preston Foster, and his son, John Drew Barrymore, goes in search of reasons. There are no reasons, any more than Barrymore trying to hold a conversation with a newspaperman while the presses roar. Just excuses.

Beautiful noir photography by Hal Mohr.

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

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 6:21 am

Mike Gebert wrote:For a break from that, i found a DVD of a Hong Kong crime thriller from 2004 called Breaking News. I've liked what I've seen of Johnnie To's crime films with a sociological bent; I can't remember if it's Election or Triad Election I've seen, or maybe both, as well as Drug War, but Hong Kong directors tend to make the same movie 3 times in a row till they get it right, and it was a sharp drama about succession in a mafia clan.


Drug War is separate from the Election movies; To is planning a third in the Election series.

Defending Broadcast News a bit, it was a troubled production that ran out of money and time. (E.g., there was supposed to be a matching ten-minute take to end the film.) To's depiction of the media was a bit rushed and simplistic, but the film was fast and full of nasty bits that I liked.

I think in the last five years or so To's view of the world has caught up with his filmmaking skills. Drug War was tremendously brutal; Office (on one set and in 3D) was a much better musical than La La Land; he made several romantic comedies that had excellent performances and real bite; and Three was a dazzling thriller set in a hospital ward for head injuries.

There are always things in his movies I wish To hadn't done, bad music choices or overwrought lectures or stereotyped characters, but in terms of technique I think he's one of the best filmmakers in the industry.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 8:24 am

To's depiction of the media was a bit rushed and simplistic, but the film was fast and full of nasty bits that I liked.


Actually that's a pretty good description of Hong Kong filmmaking in general, and why I like it for the same reasons I like a 68-minute programmer from Warner Bros. in 1933.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 6:03 pm

I think the film makers thought they had an interesting way to frame a story in There's No Escape (1937; aka The Dark Road): set it as a a tale told in a news room by a reporter, pitching a feature to his editor, with frequent voice-overs, discussing the motivations of the lead character, a minor crook who rises from car theft to jewel thief, with frequent spells in prison, punctuated by escape. Unfortunately, it winds up telling the audience, rather than showing them what is going on, and that rather telegraphically.

Director Alf Goulding -- given his full first name of Alfred to celebrate his rise from slapstick comedy, no doubt -- offers a couple of comedy bits to eke out the film's meager length, but between the obvious cheapness of the sets and themediocre talent of the actors, there isn't much worthwhile. It's possible that the camerawork was better than I could judge, but the print I saw was too dark to reveal much detail.

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

PostWed Nov 22, 2017 6:54 am

Florida Special (1936) is another of those "Grand Hotel" type films, this one with a disparate group of people on a train to Miami. There's a gonzo reporter (Jack Oakie) and his drunken friend (Kent Taylor) who get involved with a train hostess (Sally Eilers) and the disappearance of a cranky millionaire (Claude Gillingwater) and his hidden jewels. There's also a smarmy jewel thief (Sidney Blackmer) who blackmails poor Sally into helping him. Lots of smart lines keep the film afloat but it's all pretty predictable. Others onboard include actor Sam Hearn who gets billed as "Schlepperman." There's also Dwight Frye as the mousey assistant, Frances Drake as the sneaky niece, Matthew Betz as a gang leader, Esther Howard as a ditzy woman, J. Farrell MacDonald as a traveling police chief, Harry Bradley as a conductor, and Dewey Robinson as a thug. There's an interesting plot point the pre-dates one used in The Lady Vanishes but was it likely used before this film.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Nov 22, 2017 8:07 am

Was in the mood for British last night, so I watched "Tread Softly Stranger" (1958) with Diana Dors, George Baker, Terence Morgan, Patrick Allen, Jane Griffiths, and others. Very good little crime drama that has a really fine ending, too. Though certainly not in the league with noirs like "The Third Man" or its famous Brit equivalents, nevertheless this small film has a lot of good things going for it. The plot's just okay. The writing, frankly, is very real, not too film jargony, and sometimes that spells simplistic, but it plays fine here. The direction is straightforward. The acting is excellent, with Dors showing she could definitely play good drama extremely well. Here, she's a slutty bad gal with few scruples and only some compunction, though that could disappear if her needs squeezed her some. She also makes Monroe and Mansfield look like child's play in the bod department. I'm sure that sounds like a non-PC sexist remark to the extreme, but it's simply a very casual observation that couldn't even be missed by a dandelion growing out of a sidewalk.

What stands out most in this film, though, is the cinematography. The Brits call this kind of film from the late 50's, early 60's, "kitchen sink" stuff, noir shot in locations that smell like tough areas from which they originate. This was mostly shot in Rotherham, and the smoke and belching factory gushes that constantly are in camera focus give us a grit that sticks to our eyes and seemingly our skin throughout. It also sets the scene for all the action really well. Dors gets to give one long speech that may sound a tad too planned and overwritten to modern tastes - as opposed, let's say, to the off-hand ad-libbed kind of acting of a Robert DeNiro - but she does it with marvelous aplomb and realism nevertheless that shows a genuine talent for "rising from the gutter to the pavement", as she puts it.

Really enjoyed this, much more than I anticipated. Recommend highly! From Renown Pictures. On PAL DVD.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Nov 22, 2017 8:57 am

Outstanding is the word for Any Number Can Play (1949) starring Clark Gable as the owner of a small-town (legal) gambling house. He's developed heart trouble and only then realizes his wife (Alexis Smith) has retreated (literally) into a "memory room" while his son (Darryl Hickman) is ashamed of how he makes his living. While the basic plot is predictable, the screenplay by Richard Brooks and casting of MGM stalwarts is exceptional. Each major supporting character gets a moment to shine. Chief among them are Frank Morgan as the gambler who might break the bank, and Lewis Stone as the washed up gambler who may have played his last hand. Then there's snarky Wendell Corey and wife Audrey Totter (Smith's sister) who live with Gable in his mansion. Corey is also a sneak thief. Barry Sullivan and Edgar Buchanan play loyal employees. Marjorie Rambeau and Mary Astor play women important in Gable's life. Leon Ames plays the doctor, Richard Rober and William Conrad play thugs, Dorothy Comingore plays the dejected loser, and Caleb Peterson plays another employee who gets the best line in the film. The film was a big hit at the box office.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Nov 23, 2017 9:25 am

In A Pair of Briefs (1962), Michael Craig is miffed because he has to give up his desk for a new junior barrister, who turns out to be the niece of the senior barrister -- Mary Peach. While he's toiling at his customary briefs concerning bad drains (3 guineas for his appearance), her godfather gives her one paying 25 as her first case, so he wheedles the opposing side out of the solicitor.

It's a peculiar one. She's appearing for Brenda de Banzies. She's suing Ron Moody (in his first movie) for restoration of marital rights. Her story is they were married during the war, he took the marriage certificate, and both she and the hall were hit in the Blitz. The records were destroyed and she was evacuated and her memory wiped out for 17 years.

It's a sparkling comedy that reminds me very much of director Ralph Thomas' earlier Doctor in the House, particularly when James Robertson Justice shows up as the judge before whom the case is tried. Although it took a few minutes to find its legs, it turned out to be a fine comedy.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Nov 23, 2017 10:24 am

HARVEY (1950) I have remembered this as one of my favorite films of its day. My first job in distribution was with Universal a couple of years later, and it was nice to work for a company that made such an entertaining movie.
It still holds up pretty well, if you consider other comedies of that period. James Stewart's performance was ideal for the character. He was 42 years old, and there was a comment in the film that Elwood P. Dowd was the same age. I always felt that he was older, but the reality was that he was a grown up when I wasn't quite, yet. Josephine Hull as his sister, who comes to believe in Harvey as much as Elwood, was perfection. Of course, she originated the role on state, so had lots of rehearsal.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Nov 23, 2017 11:13 am

Ranking among the worst, no doubt, movies about movies in this segment from Moviola (1980) entitled "The Silent Lovers." Barry Bostwick (who is 6-4) plays a shrieking, near-hysterical John Gilbert to Kristina Wayborn's conniving Greta Garbo as they carry on a torrid affair while at MGM, under the wrathful and watching eyes of Mayer and Thalberg (Harold Gould and John Rubinstein). Bits and pieces of fact are thrown into a telescoped (time-wise) and fictionalized story that includes terrible ... and I mean terrible ... depictions of Lillian Gish and Norma Shearer as well as the fateful un-wedding at the home of Marion Davies. There are also the "Swede" directors, Mauritz Stiller (born in Finland) and Victor Seastrom (Brian Keith and James Olson) lurking in the background. Among the worst bits are the premiere of The Jazz Singer in 1927, followed immediately by the talkie debuts (in 1930) of Garbo and Gilbert, as though this happened the following week. They also have Gilbert running from the sneak preview of His Glorious Night after Mayer (smirking evilly) has had Gilbert's voice recorded to sound like Alvin the Chipmunk's. The film ends with Garbo receiving the news of Gilbert's death as she's about to film a scene from Camille. She doesn't bat an eye.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 11:13 am

Mudbound (2017) lives up to its name and is thereby a likely Oscar winner in the upcoming awards. Dreary and overly long by 30 minutes, this one details the story two WW II vets (one white, one black) who return to their mud farms in Mississippi only to find that while they fought for democracy nothing in the "ol' south" has changed at all. Racism and poverty and ignorance are still the hallmarks of the region and the vets cannot adapt. This one seems to be on the awards short list in several categories. After Moonlight won big last year anything is possible. The actors are all ok but are nothing special. Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Mary Blige, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 2:13 pm

Took the chance to watch A PAIR OF BRIEFS (1962) before it got whisked off. A light legal comedy, it has struggling barrister Michael Craig taking opposing sides to fellow newcomer to Chambers Mary Peach (who reminded me a little of June Thorburn) when he finds that she has wangled a juicy brief by possible nepotism.

Peach is representing a rather frumpy lady (Brenda de Banzie) who is claiming that she married and is still married to shifty Ron Moody. What neither know is that the lady had recently been decanted into a swank hotel from a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, but we still don't quite know what is going on.

As Donald Binks has commented, films of this type are often rendered entertaining through 'cameos' by well-known players or the odd new face in a small part. In this case we have Amanda Barrie, Joan Sims, Barbara Ferris, Graham Stark and Terry Scott, to name a few. Miss Peach's godfather is played by Nicholas Phipps (who also wrote the screenplay), her uncle (Head of Chambers), Roland Culver, and James Robertson justice plays a testy judge given to very arcane humour (his repeated comment "How say you?" being the title of the original play) in contrast to Moody's array of frightful puns.

A PAIR OF BRIEFS is amusing in parts, but not as funny as one would like it to be, perhaps coming over better as a play. Liz Frazer plays Moody's giggling, tipsy 'housekeeper', who mishears the word 'restitution' for another word in the pub scene, and John Standing is Craig's solicitor friend and flatmate. Pleasant and undemanding, this is another rarely seen film from 'eh44returns'.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 2:55 pm

drednm wrote:Mudbound (2017) lives up to its name and is thereby a likely Oscar winner in the upcoming awards. Dreary and overly long by 30 minutes, this one details the story two WW II vets (one white, one black) who return to their mud farms in Mississippi only to find that while they fought for democracy nothing in the "ol' south" has changed at all. Racism and poverty and ignorance are still the hallmarks of the region and the vets cannot adapt. This one seems to be on the awards short list in several categories. After Moonlight won big last year anything is possible. The actors are all ok but are nothing special. Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Mary Blige, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell.


Apparently any movie with a one-word, two-syllable title beginning with the letter "M" is a legitimate Oscar contender these days.

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

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 3:03 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
drednm wrote:Mudbound (2017) lives up to its name and is thereby a likely Oscar winner in the upcoming awards. Dreary and overly long by 30 minutes, this one details the story two WW II vets (one white, one black) who return to their mud farms in Mississippi only to find that while they fought for democracy nothing in the "ol' south" has changed at all. Racism and poverty and ignorance are still the hallmarks of the region and the vets cannot adapt. This one seems to be on the awards short list in several categories. After Moonlight won big last year anything is possible. The actors are all ok but are nothing special. Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Mary Blige, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell.


Apparently any movie with a one-word, two-syllable title beginning with the letter "M" is a legitimate Oscar contender these days.

Jim


LOL..... Say it isn't so!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 3:28 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:Today's movie with my cousin, Justice League (2017)...
Bob


Must be good going through one's second childhood, and actually enjoying this sort of picture? :D


Heroic Fantasy Adventure is not necessarily childish:

King Arthur - Lord of the Rings - Star Wars - etc.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 3:33 pm

It's not a movie that particularly needs to be seen on a big movie screen, but Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) has a fine, mannered performance by Denzell Washington as a back-room activist lawyer. He has spent more than three decades writing briefs for his courthouse partner. When that partner has a stroke, he finds himself pitched out into the assembly-line world of the law as administered in the courts and stumbles around a bit, round-shouldered and discovering that speaking truth to power just gets you into a lot of trouble. Colin Farrell recognizes him as a bit of a savant and tries to use him; Carmen Ejogo recognizes his authenticity and tries to succor him and help her maintain her own moral center, but in the end, his own human fallibility overwhelms him.

It's a nice role for Washington, who seems to be retreating from the cookie-cutter action roles and into more interesting performances recently. It won't set any houses on fire, but it will please the patient viewer.

Bob
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