What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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earlytalkiebuffRob

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

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 12:01 pm

The presence of Marjorie 'Babe' Kane was reason enough to watch BORDER ROMANCE (1929), which is either a musical western or a tune-filled one, despite being set Down South.

A troop of singing Mexican lawmen (!) come across hapless Slim (Victor Potel), who is on the run from his rather formidable looking wife (at least I thought it was his wife). He then falls in with Bob and his younger brother (Don Terry and Wesley Barry), and romance enters the situation when they hit a small town and Miss Kane turns up as a ditzy singer who is also keen on slim. During the dancing there is an argument about a girl, and Terry shoots the fellow when he pulls a gun on his brother. On the run, they hit another town where Terry meets and (understandably) falls for the delectable Conchita, played by Armida...

BORDER ROMANCE is a pretty ramshackle affair, spoiled by a variable print quality as well as some poor sound. The film is also a bit confusing in spots. Kane's presence is a definite plus as is Armida's, and there is an amusing scene where Slim decides to go bathing, not realising that it is 'ladies only' that day... While not exactly a good film, there are much worse ways of spending an hour.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 5:50 pm

Sissi the Young Empress (1956) continues the tall tale begun in Sissi as the adorable Imperial lovebirds move into the Schonbrunn Palace and all is hunky-dory for a year. When their daughter is born, however, up pops the Evil Mother-in-Law Trope, as Archduchess Vilma Degischer moves the baby to her wing of the palace. Maternal love cannot bear this, so Sissy flees back to Bavaria. Will the Emperor follow? Will the Archduchess admit she's made a mistake? Will the Hungarians walk out on the Spanish Reception when they think they've been snubbed, threatening the Dual Monarchy?

Given the rough relationship of actual history to this spun-sugar confectionery, the best one can hope for is an exercise for old people tired of two devastated by two World Wars talking about how it was better back in the Good Old Days, and that's what one gets here in spades, with beautiful actors in beautiful clothes in beautiful settings, gemutlichkeit family relationships and beer and ham hocks at formal dinners, because under it all, that's what people really like. As a follow-up to the earlier movie, it's fine, but breaks little fresh ground on its own.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 6:49 pm

Half wild-life documentary, half ethnographic survey, I could swear I've seen shots from Savage Splendor (1949) before, in promotional trailers for King Solomon's Mines and reproduced in Hatari. Given that co-director Armand Denis was a long-time, far-traveling documentary-maker, that's not terribly surprising.

The print I looked at this evening on TCM was in surprisingly poor shape; its color values had not survived well, and some of the shots were taken with a a telephoto lens that could not reveal detail; given the danger of the wild African animals that the movie concerned itself with, from the Ituri Rain Forest of the Congo to the veldts of Tanganika, that's not too surprising either!

This was quite obviously a passion project for the film-makers and the approach their subjects with a great deal of respect; given the hunger of the American public for the world outside of hot and cold-war politics, it did very well for RKO in 1949, grossing more than John Ford's now-classic She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

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

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 6:13 am

Taking a look at Joan Lowell, Adventure Girl (1934) "from the book of the same name", with narration by JOAN LOWELL herself and and an extensive foreword that noted that "A year ago, Joan Lowell returned from a trip to the vastnesses of Central America, with a tale of well-nigh incredible adventures." How had I not heard of JOAN LOWELL herself before, I wondered, when even her boat has her name on it and I expect the dog has it tattooed on its belly?

In the end, I decided, it was because it was a load of amateurish hooey, with a silly script about searching for some emeralds in a lost city. The production was shot wild, supervised by Herbert Raynmaker, an actual professional who hadn't worked much recently, so that part is ok. JOAN LOWELL herself had appeared in several movies ten years earlier, so she moves ok, but she narrates the movie like she has never heard the words before and is trying to get through them as swiftly as possible.

The movie was given a cheap polish by Amadee Van Beuren's team and released by RKO -- apparently there were hopes that the "reenacted adventures", which included being saved from a cobra by a mongoose tying it literally in knots would yield Frank-Buck-like profits. Given that JOAN LOWELL herself gave up the movies and went into newspaper work -- where, I hope, her stories were more credible -- they probably weren't.

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

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 11:06 am

In between saving the Austro-Hungarian Empire for her screen husband as Sissi, Romy Schneider took the time out to rule Great Britain in her own right in Mädchenjahre Einer Königin (1954; aka The Story of Vickie), in which she humbly but effortlessly wins the hearts of all (except for her controlling mother, of course) with her fearless determination to read newspapers and do the right thing.

In order to put her off from interfering too much with their running things, her ministers decide to marry her off to Prince Albert, whom she has never met; she objects, as does Albert. Fortunately, G*d watches over fools and constitutional monarchs, and they are both hiding out in the slums of Windsor, where rough seafaring men play Stephen Foster tunes, where they can meet cute and fall in love without interfering with the fiction that this was anything but a love-match in any version of reality.

It's another of the cream-puff costume dramas that Ernst Marischka wrote and directed Miss Schneider in . Here, various high-class locations around Vienna stand in for various high-class locations around Britain. The Austrian audiences must have lapped up the luxury after the devastation of two world wars over forty years.

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

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 am

If you want to see a really bad film, catch up with Brian DePalma's The Fury (1978) in which Kirk Douglas battles a secret government agency in an attempt to rescue his son (Andrew Stevens) who has been swiped by the Feds because of his psychic powers. Douglas sweet talks a woman (Carrie Snodgress) into helping him enlist a girl with powers (Amy Irving) find his son and to save her from the same federal clutches. While the basic story is OK, the film is just plain badly made and way too long. The acting is also very bad. DePalma packs every street scene with seemingly hundreds of people walking, walking, walking. In fact, if you pay attention, you see the same people walking behind and around the stars, slowing down to ensure they are in camera range, and walking like zombies. The film is full of gaffes, continuity problems, and bizarre camera work. This is a real puzzler from a usually good director.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 1:46 pm

I think SMALL TALK (1929) was The Little Rascals' first talkie, and it it rather hesitant in places. In this one (one has to not worry about continuity between films) the scamps are resident at Mrs Brown's orphanage where both Mary Ann and Wheezer are distressed regarding Wheezer's adoption by a nice and well-off lady.

Surrounded by nice toys but no other children, Wheezer is not too happy until the rest of the Gang turn up, with the resultant chaos turning into a mass adoption, although Farina ends up with the cook, who gives the impression of being more loving than the other upper / middle class ladies. Rather more sentimental than some of the others, with plenty of weeping and wailing.

BIG EARS (1931) has nothing to do with Noddy. In this one, Wheezer is caught between a mother and father perpetually at war with one another. With divorce in the air, some sort of drastic action is necessary, beginning with the consumption of (ugh!) a tin of 'leaf' lard as well as being offered various unlikely things from the medicine cabinet...

note: in this one, Stymie's mother is played by ... ...his mother.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 5:25 pm

Lee Tracy and Don Castle are trapped, dying in a crashed car at the beach. Flashback. Castle has just been hired as a PI by Tracy, playing a newspaper editor, to figure out who's been threatening him. Trouble is, Tracy's boss doesn't like Castle, because Castle and Julie Bishop, the boss' wife, had been a hot item, and she still wants him. So when the boss is shot and Tracy is wounded, things get even more confused....

The trouble with High Tide (1947) is this: there's a good story in there, and all the actors are good and make their lines sound real. The problem is those lines are trite. It looks as if some one saw one of the defining 'tec film noirs, like Murder My Sweet and said "Write in a scene where he gets worked over, and then shows up at the girl's house and cracks wise," so the writer does, and "Make the older woman jealous of the younger one." Unfortunately, by the time all these scenes had been written in, there was no way to write in the bits to connect them and make sense of them and keep things moving along at a tight 72 minutes. The result is a very watchable flick, with great moments, that doesn't, alas, bear much thought

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Oct 21, 2017 6:00 am

The Edge of the World (1937) is as good as I remembered. Simple story told against the stunning backdrops an island in the St. Kilda archipelago of the Scottish Hebrides. Story is about Hirta but was filmed on Foula. Director Michael Powell had read of the story of Hirta islanders having to relocate to the mainland as their way of life died out. That's the basic plot here, with the islanders having to face facts that they'e used up the island's peat (their source for fire/heat) and that the big, new trawlers have depleted their close-by fishing grounds. Powell adds a personal story of two young men (Eric Berry and Niall MacGinnis) who push against the local traditions and a stubborn father (John Laurie). There's also a woman (Belle Chrystall). Cast also includes Finlay Currie and Michael Powell, who plays a yachtsman in the framing sequence.

In real life, the island was finally abandoned in 1930. The remaining villagers finally had to pack it in. Most of the young people had already gone. This film sure calls out to my DNA. I did one of those tests. Results showed 90% English/Scottish and Scandinavian.

The National Board of Review named this film to its Top Ten list in 1938. A restored version of the film runs 74 minutes.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Oct 21, 2017 6:08 am

We'll agree that any "top ten" list is ridiculous, and any appraisal done so close in time to skewed by the biases of the moment, but this one has stood eighty years' weathering!

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

PostSat Oct 21, 2017 7:35 am

I was pleasantly surprised by Manhunt in the Jungle (1958), which looked to be a potboiler about an expedition to find out what had happened to Percy Fawcett's expedition to the upper Amazon; it starred obscure actors, and the behind-the-screen talent had few credits. I found a lot of good location shooting in color, True, the first quarter hours showed a lot of wear and fading, but after that it settled down into some excellent visuals. If the story overwhelmed its cinematic qualities towards the end, it still turned out to be a rewarding 80 minutes.

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

PostSat Oct 21, 2017 10:50 am

Took a few dvds out of the public library. Watched MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW for the first time and was quite taken with it. I liked this so much I immediately ordered a copy to keep. Also watched THE GOOD EARTH which I saw on tv many years ago. Luise Rainer certainly was deserving of her Oscar. Tonight we will watch THEM for a change of pace. Another one I saw on tv years ago, but have not seen in many years.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Oct 21, 2017 5:54 pm

Scott Eckhardt wrote:Watched MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW for the first time and was quite taken with it.


Beulah Bondi is very hard to beat - and she'd be at it for nearly another 40 years!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 6:05 am

Ron O'Neal isn't merely fly; he isn't even simply Super Fly. He's nothing less than Super Fly TNT (1973), tooling around Rome in an expensive-looking car, dressing like a runway model and being asked by Roscoe Lee Brown (who's sporting a French accent) to come to Africa to save them from Whitey. O'Neal, however, has to spend the first hour or so of the movie looking fabulous for going horse riding , before he grows bored in eight seconds at a poker game, flies down to Africa, is immediately stripped and whipped by some very white guys, imrpisoned, escapes, and saves the world.

Alex Haley got paid for helping write this.

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

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 8:04 am

boblipton wrote:Ron O'Neal isn't merely fly; he isn't even simply Super Fly. He's nothing less than Super Fly TNT (1973), tooling around Rome in an expensive-looking car, dressing like a runway model and being asked by Roscoe Lee Brown (who's sporting a French accent) to come to Africa to save them from Whitey. O'Neal, however, has to spend the first hour or so of the movie looking fabulous for going horse riding , before he grows bored in eight seconds at a poker game, flies down to Africa, is immediately stripped and whipped by some very white guys, imrpisoned, escapes, and saves the world.

Alex Haley got paid for helping write this.

Bob


Paid, or bribed?

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

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 1:02 pm

I was expecting some boiled spinach, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out that Marshall (2017) was a well-told tale about.... insurance lawyer Josh Gad being rooked into being a beard for Marshall, while all of WASP Connecticut is firing their hired help lest their women-folk be raped. Boseman Chadwick is pretty darned good too, as the driven and frequently annoying Thurgood Marshall.

It's also pretty good as court room dramas go. It makes it clear why "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard in felony.

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

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 4:51 pm

I just caught the documentary Toshiro Mifune The Last Samurai. This from 2015-2016 was a brief lok at Mifune's career, primarily his samurai films and collaborations with Kurosawa. There were not too many insights into Mifune as a person, he seemed a very private man. I enjoyed the film a great deal, but, did I learn much of anything? I do not think so. Nevertheless, always a treat to see any of the clips shown in the film, the few interviews with colleagues and co-stars were interesting. I understand Keneau Reeves is a fan, but, I found his spare narration a little flat. But, there was not too much of that. It did make me want to break out all their films and rewatch them. Not a bad thing!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 7:11 pm

In Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin (1957: aka Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress), Pigeons spell out the Empress' nickname. 19-year-old Romy Schneider polishes off the last of the Hungarian resistance to her rule, and heads back to Vienna. However Dread Movie Disease strikes and it is only when she overhears her husband the Emperor saying he cares for nothing but her that she gains the will to go to Madeira (Campania) for her health, but to no avail; it is only when her mother shows up and makes her climb mountains and go to Corfu that she recovers. It's back to Vienna, where it's back to the diplomatic grind.

(In reality, the Empress Elisabeth was a health nut who had gyms installed everywhere, and may have been bulimic. However, can't let that interfere with such beautiful nonsense.)

Anyway, it's off to northern Italy, where they turn every snub to triumph in glorious Technicolor.

My reviews of this and the two earlier movies in this trilogy have been cynical, but that has been impelled by the utterly simple-minded fairy-tale nature of the movies. To look at a serious drama that considers real problems in some fashion commands my respect; to look at a comedy that mocks its subjects, even as it offers us reasons to love them, gives my ironic eye no crevice to slip a knife in. To look at these movies, which attempt to dazzle us with bright colors and easily proven lies, no matter how much I may wish for simple, nostalgic answers, offends my sensibilities, and always has. A sword's stroke may cut a Gordian knot, but it destroys the rope, which is something I understood even as a child. As much as we may wish it, there are no simple answers to complex questions, and the illusion that there was a bright, shining Golden Age exists only in the minds of those who did not have to struggle with the problems of those ages.

Certainly Romy Schneider felt this, or something like this. Director Ernst Marischka wanted to make a fourth Sissi movie, but despite being offered a huge salary, Miss Schneider turned him down. She was anxious to get on to other, more interesting work.

This movie, like the previous two, is a lovely bit of fluff, full of bright colors, beautiful people in beautiful clothes in beautiful settings, doing things that must have had the folks in Vienna, out for a bit of strudel with some schlag after the show, sighing for the good old days. Nowadays, of course, we sigh for that era.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 8:14 pm

rudyfan wrote:I just caught the documentary Toshiro Mifune The Last Samurai. This from 2015-2016 was a brief lok at Mifune's career, primarily his samurai films and collaborations with Kurosawa. There were not too many insights into Mifune as a person, he seemed a very private man. I enjoyed the film a great deal, but, did I learn much of anything? I do not think so. Nevertheless, always a treat to see any of the clips shown in the film, the few interviews with colleagues and co-stars were interesting. I understand Keneau Reeves is a fan, but, I found his spare narration a little flat. But, there was not too much of that. It did make me want to break out all their films and rewatch them. Not a bad thing!


Saw this at the Wexner Center last year. Typically you are given a handout that contains either an essay or review of the movie you are about to see. Well, for this movie, it was a very negative review. And unfortunately spot on. Was that the only piece of writing on the film they could find? Some days the Wexner has me scratching my head.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 8:32 pm

boblipton wrote:In Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin (1957: aka Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress), Pigeons spell out the Empress' nickname. 19-year-old Romy Schneider polishes off the last of the Hungarian resistance to her rule, and heads back to Vienna.....
Bob


Talking of such things as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, I have often wondered why nobody has bothered to make a film about their late Imperial & Royal Majesties, Karl and Zita, the last Hapsburgs to sit upon the dual thrones before they retired from them. I would say that there would be as much intrigue, excitement, romance and whatnot in a film such as this as there was in the film "Nicholas and Alexandria". Why, there is the romance of the two of them finding each other culminating in their marriage in 1913, the onset of the Great War in 1914, the death of the old Emperor Franz Josef II in 1916, their coronation as King and Queen in Hungary, the attempts by Emperor Karl to end the war, the futuristic ideas he had - such as the formation of a Danubian Federation (the E.E.C. is its successor), the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the first exile, the two attempts in 1921 to regain his rightful Crown in Hungary, the rise of the self-proclaimed Regent- Admiral Horthy, the second exile to Madeira, the impoverishment and Karl's early death in 1922. It's all there. Maybe I should write a screenplay myself and look for a sensible producer? :D
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 3:23 am

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:In Sissi - Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin (1957: aka Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress), Pigeons spell out the Empress' nickname. 19-year-old Romy Schneider polishes off the last of the Hungarian resistance to her rule, and heads back to Vienna.....
Bob


Talking of such things as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, I have often wondered why nobody has bothered to make a film about their late Imperial & Royal Majesties, Karl and Zita, the last Hapsburgs to sit upon the dual thrones before they retired from them. I would say that there would be as much intrigue, excitement, romance and whatnot in a film such as this as there was in the film "Nicholas and Alexandria". Why, there is the romance of the two of them finding each other culminating in their marriage in 1913, the onset of the Great War in 1914, the death of the old Emperor Franz Josef II in 1916, their coronation as King and Queen in Hungary, the attempts by Emperor Karl to end the war, the futuristic ideas he had - such as the formation of a Danubian Federation (the E.E.C. is its successor), the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the first exile, the two attempts in 1921 to regain his rightful Crown in Hungary, the rise of the self-proclaimed Regent- Admiral Horthy, the second exile to Madeira, the impoverishment and Karl's early death in 1922. It's all there. Maybe I should write a screenplay myself and look for a sensible producer? :D



I expect that the Empress' survival until 1989, as well as Crown Prince Otto living and doing pretty well for himself under the circumstances until 2011 tended to complicate legal rights and issues.

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

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 4:55 am

Another Time, Another Place (1983) is a remarkable film. It depicts a rural Scottish countryside in the mid-1940s where a group of Italian prisoners of war have been sent to labor in the fields alongside the local women and the few men spared by the war effort. While most of the locals keep their distance from the foreigners (who can't speak English), one young woman (Phyllis Logan) is keenly curious about these dark men who sing baleful songs and prop up odd religious icons in their bunk areas. It's almost hard now to realize how isolated and insular we used to be, but this film beautifully evokes that "other time" quality of the cold and dank Scottish landscape. Logan is drawn to one Italian (Giovanni Mauriello) for his dark good looks and for his utter despair and loneliness. She senses a kindred spirit. She's unhappily married to an older, dour farmer. That they become lovers is no surprise, but the ironic twist of fate at the film's ending is.

There's an especially wonderful scene where the Italians perform a traditional dance. As the Scottish woman watches, drawn in by the strange music and dance moves, she becomes one of the dancers. They never touch, but there is a sexual intensity to the movements. In another scene Mauriello gives forth with a full-throated song (I did not recognize it) that seems to scream of his desolation. Logan and Mauriello are amazing. She is best known for playing Mrs. Hughes on "Downton Abbey" 30 years after this film.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Yet another outing from the Danzigers, FEET OF CLAY (1960), was, despite a not too clever copy, quite an interesting drama. It starts with the killing of a probation officer, who is seen as nothing less than an angel in human form. The fellow accused of the killing refuses to defend himself, so fledgling lawyer Vincent Ball determines to do his best for the fellow. Starting his enquiries at a small hotel partially staffed by a couple of young ladies still on probation, Ball and his fiancee start to uncover a few pretty nasty secrets and truth. Aside from the murder, the 'Angel' is never seen, and the set-up begins to look decidedly fishy, particularly when one sees the brutal-looking porter, who is acting extremely suspiciously. Despite a small budget, this is pretty entertaining, with Ball quite effective as a lawyer who is very handy with his fists. Watch for a very young Angela Douglas as one of the girls being exploited and in peril.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 2:33 pm

Didn't anyone in the movies notice how marginally sane Laurence Harvey was in many of his roles? He certainly is in A Killer Walks (1952) a short feature (52 minutes) in which he and his screen brother, Trader Faulkner, are little more than hired hands on the farm of their grandmother, Ethel Edwards, who never seems to realize what a tyrant she is. Faulkner is happy enough, but he is, to put it kindly, not too bright, but Harvey wants so much more, especially mercenary town girl Susan Shaw, so he decides that if he kills Granny with a knife and frames Faulkner, he'll be happy.

One-time screenwriter and director Ronald Drake seems to have the visuals well covered by his more experienced collaborators, but the actors don't seem up to snuff. I guess Drake knew he had to tone down the histrionics in the translation from stage to screen and muted them too far.

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

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 5:03 am

Richard Widmark in a comedy? Yes, I can see it very easily. That brittle, angry sort of character he played throughout much of his career was made for a kick in the pants and a trip on a banana peel. but he doesn't in My Pal Gus (1952), he just dopes out his son, budding pyromaniac (annoying) George WInslow and is making good progress in a by-the-numbers 1950s romcom with nursery school teacher Joanne Dru, when ex-wife Audrey Trotter reappears to put the squeeze on him, and it's back to drama land for Mr. Widmark.

Even Kirk Douglas tried a couple of comedies in the 1950s. All right, they weren't funny, but he tried.

Bob
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s.w.a.c.

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

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 8:13 am

Saw the new English-language, shot-in-Norway thriller The Snowman. And yes, it is exactly as bad as you've heard it is.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 10:37 am

Mad City (1997) is a long and sour look at how the media manipulates the news. Plot as a disgruntled museum guard (John Travolta) trying to be heard after he is fired during a downsizing. He attempts to get the museum director's attention by showing up with a gun and a bag of dynamite. It just happens that an aggressive TV reporter (Dustin Hoffman) is in the building, a punishment for pissing off the local TV news director. While Hoffman whines at the museum director (Blythe Danner) his gun accidentally fires, wounding a museum guard who happens to be Black. As Travolta locks down the museum (full of kids on tour), the media circus begins. Hoffman realizes his golden chance at hitting the big time, aka network news. Hoffman befriends the doltish Travolta and manipulates him in order to get himself lots of air time as the "mediator" between the cops and the hostage taker. Of course it all goes very wrong. Major problem with the film is that there's no one to root for. They're all creeps and dopes. Alan Alda plays the network superstar new anchor. A few other familiar faces. This one was a major bomb and it's easy to see why.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 6:18 pm

I;ve been jealous for some time of Binky's having seen Crook's Tour (1940), but I've laid that green-eyed monster to rest. Charters and Caldecott are in Baghdad, where they wander into a night club. There, they are mistaken for German spies and given a mysterious artifact. Pursued by real German spies, they are off to meet Chater's sister/Caldecott's fiancee, only to have her break off the engagement when she discovers Greta Gynt, one of the spies, snooping about Caldecott's room looking for the whatsit. As the two examples of British manhood slowly become aware of what is going on -- about ten minutes after they are told every detail -- they manage to toddle their way out of danger and back to England. Tragedy results, however, since they have missed the Test Match.

It's a movie version of a BBC show written by Gilliat & Launder, and was made into a cheap movie by British National. It's a peculiar world the two fellow live in, totally insulated from reality, full of spies, but with no sign of war anyplace except in the newspaper headlines. It has aged disgracefully and has almost no value, except for the musical interludes of Miss Gynt singing and dancing, frequently to owls, but I enjoyed all of it.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 7:43 pm

boblipton wrote:I;ve been jealous for some time of Binky's having seen Crook's Tour (1940), but I've laid that green-eyed monster to rest. ......... It has aged disgracefully and has almost no value, except for the musical interludes of Miss Gynt singing and dancing, frequently to owls, but I enjoyed all of it.
Bob


I am so glad you enjoyed it. The whole charm of these Charters and Caldicott vehicles is the way the pair just nonchalantly sail through whatever foreign part they happen to be in, albeit in a state of confusion.

As someone who has travelled hither and thither, I can really relate to their travails - as I have found the whole business totally confusing. The only way to deal with it is to act like a male equivalent of Dame Margaret Rutherford, hoping someone will come to the aid of the totally bewildered. Thankfully I am not all that enamoured of cricket, so I have not had occasion to constantly enquire as to latest Test Match scores, so I suppose I have one small consolation.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Oct 25, 2017 6:04 am

I'd always avoided The Red Pony (1949) because I had a vague memory of reading it in school, but since John Steinbeck wrote the screenplay based on his own book and because Olive Films issued a very nice print, I gave it a shot. Not a children's story even though the main character is a young boy, the story is a coming of age tale about a boy who learns about the grim realities of life on a ranch in the Salinas Valley of Callfornia in the early 1900s. Peter Miles plays the boy who is given a beautiful red pony. He is obsessed with the pony to the point of ignoring his chores and his schooling. His parents are a matter-of-fact mother (Myrna Loy) and a rather vague father (Shepperd Strudwick) who seem to have an uneasy marriage. Also in the house is a babbling grandfather (Louis Calhern) who decades before had led a wagon train West. The hired hand (Robert Mitchum) acts as a surrogate father and teaches the boy some hard lessons about life on a ranch and life in general. Directed by veteran Lewis Milestone in color. Among the school kids are are Beau Bridges and future pop star Nino Tempo. Margaret Hamilton runs the school. Definitely worth a look.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
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http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
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