What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Dec 31, 2016 11:33 pm

This is a continuation of the thread devoted to films watched in 2016. Starting January 1, please post new entries here. The older thread will be locked in a few days.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 6:53 am

HEART OF NEW YORK (1932) is another of those films shunned by British tv, presumably on account of ethnic stereotyping and 'racism'. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, it tells of a well-meaning family head (George Sidney - not the director) who is up to his neck in bills and has his head in the clouds. A familiar situation from later films, he is also an inventor, whose latest wheeze is a dishwasher. His family is also plagued by two part-time matchmakers, amusingly played by veterans Smith and Dale, both of whom seem set to mess things up completely.

After various setbacks, things seem on the up (although there is a clue to the nature of the investor in that he fired one of his staff when he found the dishwasher a viable proposition). Sidney then declares his intention not to move, one which horrifies the now rather snobbish family. Of course what he wants to do is to buy up the building and improve it to everyone's benefit. More complications arrive (rather hard to follow) until the wrap-up.

Based on a play, HEART OF NEW YORK is very theatrical at times, with sudden entrances and new characters appearing out of nowhere, as well as being very dependent on talk, some of it very fast indeed. Once one gets into the swing of it, the film is amusing and well-paced. The most familiar face is perhaps Aline MacMahon, who gives a very good performance as the likeable janitor / neighbour, who becomes Sidney's secretary. An interesting device is the use of a sort of curtain to give vertical wipes at different stages of the drama. Excellent print, too.

Followed by the Rascals in BOXING GLOVES (1929) which has the Gang hoping for success in their boxing promotion by booking Joe Cobb and Chubby, on account of their intense rivalry for local blonde Jean Darling. For some reason some of the shots of the audience jeering and cheering is silent, as are some of the fight scenes, whereas the rest is sound. The copy I watched was the Blackhawk one, as the other one available had a squeezed image. Certainly amusing in parts, but very sad to read of Norman 'Chubby' Chaney's early death just a few years later.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 8:19 am

Syncopation (1929) started life as "Stepping High" but was retitled just before release. Creaky but watchable backstager has Barbara Bennett and Bobby Watson as a dance team (!) who cause a sensation and get a big break at a night club owned by a wolf (Ian Hunter) who's after Bennett. Pals Lew and Peggy (Morton Downey and Dorothy Lee) pop up to sing some songs and there's Fred Waring and his orchestra churning out tunes. Although the film was a big hit, neither Bennett nor Watson would make much of a dent in early talkies. Bennett married Downer. Lee was launched and would gain stardom in films with Wheeler and Woolsey. Others in the cast include Verree Teasdale as a designer, Mackenzie Ward as her gay companion, and Osgood Perkins as a manager.

During the night club scenes, the camera is stationary and shoots from a distance so it's hard to tell if Watson and Bennett are actually doing the dance. It's so elementary, perhaps they are. Both Downey and Waring had radio shows at the time and plugged the film incessantly though none of the songs became "standards."

Bennett noticeably blows her line twice, but they keep right on shooting.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 2:53 pm

Two years ago, end-of-the-year Oscar bait had the theme of Hollywood Comes Out Boldly In Favor of Women's and Black Rights Because White Men are Pigs; last year, the theme was Based On a True Story Because We Can't Make Up One On Our Own. Having seen three of them since Friday, I am now prepared to announce that next month, the Oscar Bait Theme for 2016 will be declared officially as Compassionate Character Study of an Unhappy Failure In Which Nothing Is Resolved, including such critically praised crapola as Manchester By the Sea and the really good Fences.

I saw the third in the series this morning with my cousin. 20th Century Woman, which stars Annette Benning as the miserable failure of a mother and combines this popular theme with favorite of a decade or so ago, the It Sucks To Go Through Puberty in a Well-To-Do family in the 1970s theme. Miss Benning (who is wonderful in the role; I've been an admirer since The Grifters) is a Strong Woman raising her son on her own, but doesn't know what to do with a teen-age son, because she's a woman, so she enlists two other women, of course: Elle Fanning, who's friends with her son (who is in love with her) and sleeps with other boys; then she comes over to the house so she can TALK with the boy and sleep IN the same bed, but they're friends, really, so she can snuggle up to him, but he can't touch her. Also Greta Gerwig, who makes him read radical feminist tracts.

Also Billy Crudup. I expect Oscar noms all around. I'm sick of the lot of them. Florence Foster Jenkins for best picture!

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 3:53 pm

boblipton wrote:...

Also Billy Crudup. I expect Oscar noms all around. I'm sick of the lot of them. Florence Foster Jenkins for best picture!

Bob


Can the Oscar award for best picture be given to a picture that is not made in the United States? I ask this because IMHO the French version of "Florence Foster Jenkins" - "Marguerite" (2015) was much better.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 5:42 am

drednm wrote:Syncopation (1929) started life as "Stepping High" but was retitled just before release. Creaky but watchable backstager has Barbara Bennett and Bobby Watson as a dance team (!) who cause a sensation and get a big break at a night club owned by a wolf (Ian Hunter) who's after Bennett. Pals Lew and Peggy (Morton Downey and Dorothy Lee) pop up to sing some songs and there's Fred Waring and his orchestra churning out tunes. Although the film was a big hit, neither Bennett nor Watson would make much of a dent in early talkies. Bennett married Downer. Lee was launched and would gain stardom in films with Wheeler and Woolsey. Others in the cast include Verree Teasdale as a designer, Mackenzie Ward as her gay companion, and Osgood Perkins as a manager.

During the night club scenes, the camera is stationary and shoots from a distance so it's hard to tell if Watson and Bennett are actually doing the dance. It's so elementary, perhaps they are. Both Downey and Waring had radio shows at the time and plugged the film incessantly though none of the songs became "standards."

Bennett noticeably blows her line twice, but they keep right on shooting.


Where did you see this one? I've seen about 20m of the film and had been given to understand it was mainly lost.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 5:44 am

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:...

Also Billy Crudup. I expect Oscar noms all around. I'm sick of the lot of them. Florence Foster Jenkins for best picture!

Bob


Can the Oscar award for best picture be given to a picture that is not made in the United States? I ask this because IMHO the French version of "Florence Foster Jenkins" - "Marguerite" (2015) was much better.


Yes, there was HAMLET (1948), TOM JONES (1963), A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS* (1966), OLIVER! (1968), CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981), GANDHI (1982) and THE KING'S SPEECH (2010), for starters.

And occasional non-English-language films, such as LA GRANDE ILLUSION have been nominated, though not sure if they were dubbed in the US as so many were.

*not sure if counts as 'British', despite its cast and being shot over here.
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 6:00 am

Another from Tiffany, EXTRAVAGANCE (1930) has June Collyer chafing at husband Lloyd Hughes's grumbles at her easy way with money. Her friend (the vivacious Dorothy Christie) introduces (after a fashion) her to smooth-talking Jameson Thomas who is also her lover, despite her being married to Hughes's best pal, played by Owen Moore. Thomas is attracted to Collyer and helps her make money on Wall Street. Needless to say this causes a good deal of trouble and tragedy.

The copy of EXTRAVAGANCE I watched was somewhat uneven in quality but reasonably watchable. Some nice pre-Code moments scattered through the film help considerably and Christie gives a very lively performance indeed. The plot / themes may seem a bit old-fashioned to some contemporary viewers, and the hankering after sable coats does seem rather greedy, but the film is a diverting hour's worth from the prolific Phil Rosen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Possible bloomer / SPOILER. Jameson Thomas is waiting for the boat to take him and Collyer away when he reads of the murder / suicide of Moore / Christie, which is either ludicrous or an example of the efficiency of the American Press...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 7:15 am

I watched a DVD of SULLY (2016). As noted by someone else, a movie directed by an 86 year old and starring a 60 year old. I'm the perfect demographic! :D As hoped, a solid look at the Hudson River landing (I'm resisting calling it Splash 2) of a passenger jet a few years ago.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 7:36 am

westegg wrote:I watched a DVD of SULLY (2016). As noted by someone else, a movie directed by an 86 year old and starring a 60 year old. I'm the perfect demographic! :D As hoped, a solid look at the Hudson River landing (I'm resisting calling it Splash 2) of a passenger jet a few years ago.


After the "birdstrike," it was all down hill. I thought it was all wet. Seems like Eastwood was really winging it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 7:37 pm

Rowan Atkinson who has been clowning around for most of his life, especially as Mr. Bean; has now ventured forth into of all things - high drama, and he's surprisingly good at it. His re-incarnation is in the form of Chief Inspector Maigret the famous detective conjured up by Georges Simonen who solves baffling mysteries in 1950's Paris.

Hitherto I have seen Rupert Davies and Michael Gambon interpret the role and one naturally draws from their portrayals to judge Mr. Atkinson's performance. This is now his second outing in what promises to be a whole series of feature length films made for television. Whilst he was feeling his way in the first of the films released early last year, he now seems to have his feet firmly planted on the ground in this the second -"Maigret's Dead Man" (2016).

This is a whodunnit for the more intelligent viewer who likes an air of sophistication to his murders. It is a lavishly presented spectacle with the era faithfully represented. It is also very clever as Paris is mostly presented by photographing in locales situated in Budapest.

The story concerns a number of horrific murders which have occurred in Picardy. Maigret is supposed to assist the local Picardian inspector who has removed himself to Paris for the purpose of continuing his enquiries - but Maigret has found a dead man in Paris and much to his boss' chagrin, is intent more on solving this mystery than doing anything regarding the Picardy case. There are a lot of characters and nasty types pervading the scenario and it is all rather gripping.

I like the way Mr. Atkinson plays Maigret as a rather laid back, deep thinking and inwardly brilliant detective. He doesn't overdo anything, more he underplays and is quietly effective. He is assisted in his endeavours by an equally good supporting cast which brings the whole thing off superbly well.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 7:43 pm

It always surprises people when a skilled clown turns out to be an equally skilled dramatic actor. What we forget is that a comic performance is a performance just as much as a dramatic one, and, indeed, frequently a more demanding one.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 7:46 pm

boblipton wrote:It also surprises people when a skilled clown turns out to be an equally skilled dramatic actor. What we forget is that a comic performance is a performance just as much as a dramatic one, and, indeed, frequently a more demanding one.

Bob


I think the surprise element comes by way of one's expectations based on what he formerly did rather than what he is doing now. I agree, if someone is very good as a performer, then it matters not whether it be comedy or tragedy - it is the skill inherent that counts.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 02, 2017 9:30 pm

Vigil in the Night (1940) is one of those mid-Atlantic curiosities of the early wartime period. You'd swear it was a low-budget British film, and yet it was a million dollar RKO production, designed to give Carole Lombard her best chance at an Academy Award. Like so many pieces of 'Oscar bait' before and since, the obviousness of the efforts in this direction end up being more interesting than the product itself.

Carole plays a virtuous British nurse who takes the rap for her feckless younger sister (Anne Shirley), also a nurse, whose negligence leads to the death of a child under her care. Carole is forced to move to an overcrowded city hospital kept perpetually impoverished by a miserly chairman (Julien Mitchell). She falls in love with a doctor (Brian Aherne), and they set aside their various personal tragedies to rid the clinic of corruption and improve outcomes for its patients. There's much self-sacrifice and noble proclamations about maintaining a stiff upper lip in the face of insurmountable challenges, but I can't honestly say that it adds up to great entertainment.

Lombard is sympathetic in the main role, but never as enjoyable as the screwball Carole of yore (audiences of the time agreed; she returned to comedy not long afterwards). Anne Shirley, one of those performers who never really does much for me, is OK as the younger sister. As always, Robert Coote is both very good and criminally under-used as an outspoken young doctor. Also as always, Brian Aherne gets you thinking less about his performance and more about who he reminds you of most - Errol Flynn, George Brent or William Powell. You'll also spot a young Peter Cushing in one of his earliest roles.

It's worth watching for the sheer curiosity value, but it's hard to believe that George Stevens came off something as rip-roaring as Gunga Din (1939) to something as static as this.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 8:07 am

"Sleeping Car to Trieste" (1948) is one of those films that is a jolly good ripper of a yarn. It's all about spies and other nefarious characters mixed in with a whole lot of other interesting people with all the action taking place on-board a train - a corridor choof choof to boot. (Why is it that pictures set on trains seem to be so frightfully exciting?)

The villain in the piece is Albert Lieven who escaped from the Nazis and settled in the U.K. prior to the last war. As luck would have it, his career was then made by portraying those who were his former oppressors. He mastered well the ability to combine continental charm and grace with a high degree of menace. He is assisted in villainy in this picture by Alan Wheatley who has double-crossed him. There is also a female villainess - Jean Kent, just to round things off in the rotters department.

The film starts off well away from the railways and is virtually silent for the first five or six minutes. A robbery is taking place at an Embassy and important documents are stolen. This sets up the story when we finally board the train and find the documents are being carried off to be sold to a foreign power. The usual cloak and dagger stuff. That is the main story, but it is how it is counter-balanced which makes the film so delectable because we have David Tomlinson turning up - not quite settled as a comedic actor - but nevertheless playing a silly ass of a fellow. Finlay Currie is in it as well, as a rather egocentric author who bosses around his secretary (Hugh Burdon) mercilessly. It just so happens that a famous Parisian detective is travelling on the train (Paul Dupuis) and he gets to solve a murder.

There are some wonderful scenes to encounter - such as the near-perfect accuracy in the depiction of French train conductors and attendants. Very comical. Then there is the English fellow who is on the train to learn the secrets of French cuisine from the train's chef - but instead imparts his knowledge on how to do a Lancashire Hotpot and other English "delicacies". The author's secretary momentarily gets to turn the tables on his uncaring master for a brief moment and we can revel in that.

In another compartment we find Michael Ward who acted in a similar style to Edward Everett Horton and Franklin Pangborn, if you catch my drift. He is rabbiting on to an American about ornithology and being received with avid disinterest.

But let it not be said that these little bon-mots I have just gone on about besmirch the main drama. If anything they draw it out more.

John Paddy Carstairs has directed the film in a way that makes you feel as though you are actually on it. He seems to be able to combine the somewhat claustrophobic nature of being on a train with a great deal of fluidity and movement. Quite a masterstroke when you think about it. (You might make a brief note that the scenery floating by is back projection, but it is not so bad as to be overly noticeable.)

Something peculiar too I picked up knowledge on was that apparently after the war there was a hefty customs duty on ladies millinery. A fact I am grateful to have learned and retained.

This is another "Two Cities" picture which is beautifully crafted and presented. A rollicking good yarn and very enjoyable...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 9:29 am

EAST OF EDEN on TCM yesterday. The movie just can't come up to the book, as there is just too much for a normal length film. Even so, it's much better than the TV mini series that came along later.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 10:09 am

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:It also surprises people when a skilled clown turns out to be an equally skilled dramatic actor. What we forget is that a comic performance is a performance just as much as a dramatic one, and, indeed, frequently a more demanding one.

Bob


I think the surprise element comes by way of one's expectations based on what he formerly did rather than what he is doing now. I agree, if someone is very good as a performer, then it matters not whether it be comedy or tragedy - it is the skill inherent that counts.


To be honest, I'd love to see Atkinson play Maigret as a comedy. Not necessarily in his Mr. Bean character, but just as comedy.

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

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 1:21 pm

From the Paramount vaults, MY SIN (1931) with Fredric March, Tallulah Bankhead and Harry Davenport. March plays a washed-up, drunken ex-lawyer who takes on the case when Bankhead is accused of murdering a no-good skunk who has been taking advantage of her. This part of the film takes place in Panama, but Bankhead takes $1,000 which March feels he owes her and heads off to New York to turn her life around. Meanwhile, March has accepted businessman Davenport's offer of a job in Mexico, but he can't get her out of her mind.

In the meantime, she is being wooed by a wealthy local man, and though she doesn't seem to love him, wants the respectability she has never had. Unfortunately she tries to hide her chequered past, but when it seems to surface, she sees how this family is hypocritical as well as unsuitable.

Although MY SIN sags a little in the middle, and the plot turns are somewhat predictable, the cast holds the attention very well. A pity that the trial scene at the start is so brief, too. The surprise here is seeing Davenport in a more substantial role than usual, and a lot different to his kindly grandfather-type roles one is used to. The early scenes are nicely atmospheric (who WAS the girl we only see the back of, who turns more than a few heads?), and I think there was a brief bit from Eric Blore if I'm not mistaken*...

*I wasn't - he is credited in IMDb as 'Barfly'!!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 1:53 pm

I wallowed in Mr. Skeffington (1944) which offers half a great performance by Bette Davis as the incredibly vain and self-absorbed Fannie Trellis, a woman who strings any number of men along as she floats thru life until she contracts diphtheria and survives in a mummified form that presages Baby Jane nearly 20 years later. While the makeup may be overdone to drive home the fact of her disfigurement, Davis oversteps with her new, gratingly brittle voice that emerges from her newly mummified form. It's a shame because her performance up to that point is brilliant. She's matched by Claude Rains as Skeffington. He underplays to the broad strokes of Fannie's emotional swoops. The audience sympathy is with Rains, as it needs to be. Walter Abel is also excellent as the harried cousin. Marjorie Riordan is fine as the mousey daughter. Others include Jerome Cowan, John Alexander, Dorothy Peterson, Johnny Mitchell, Halliwell Hobbes, Peter Whitney, and George Colouris as the acerbic doctor. The ironic ending is one of the great soap opera endings as Fannie and Skeffington final meet on equal ground, each one beaten down by life's endless indignities.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 4:39 pm

Fallen Angel (1945), a film noir with Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Charles Bickford, Bruce Cabot, Anne Revere, and a now-you-see-her, now-you-don't Alice Faye. Eric Stanton (Andrews) is a drifter--but a drifter in a suit--who turns up in Walton, California and is entranced by Stella (Linda Darnell), a waitress in Pop's (Percy Kilbride's) Eats. Darnell is good in the same kind of part she plays later in A Letter to Three Wives, as a world-weary young woman from the wrong side of the tracks who's seen it all and is holding out for money and a ring, not in that order. In Letter, however, she has a soft interior; here, not so much. She has the down-market version of the insolence that Lauren Bacall was embodying for Howard Hawks.

At first it looks as though the plot will echo The Mind Reader, since Stanton makes a little money by helping a traveling charlatan named Professor Madley. But to make a thousand dollars and marry Stella, Stanton decides to romance the quiet younger sister, June Mills (Faye), of an embittered woman (Revere).

The plot takes a lot of unexpected turns from there, so I won't spoil the ending, but it's a good movie. Faye is top-billed but absent for large stretches; IMDB says that her scenes were cut to build up the part of Linda Darnell, which, given the lingering close attention given to Darnell, makes a lot of sense.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 7:19 pm

In a small Norwegian mining town where all the signs are in English, the Nazis invade, under the command of Cedric Hardwicke. Gradually, their cruel policies lead to the rising of the townsmen in The Moon is Down, based on a novel by John Steinbeck.

Director Irving Pichel -- he has a small part as an innkeeper -- works from a low-key script by Nunnally Johnson, and the entire film is played in an engagingly low-key fashion by Hardwicke, the inimitable Henry Travers as the town's mayor, and Lee J. Cobb as the mayor's friend. It's an effective propaganda film from 20th Century-Fox right in the middle of the U.S.'s war.

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

PostTue Jan 03, 2017 10:38 pm

Just saw La La Land, which i found delightful. But what i found really interesting was that the Emma Stone character had a Norma Talmadge poster! There were lots of nods to old Hollywood but i found that one the most surprising.

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

PostWed Jan 04, 2017 7:32 am

greta de groat wrote:Just saw La La Land, which i found delightful. But what i found really interesting was that the Emma Stone character had a Norma Talmadge poster! There were lots of nods to old Hollywood but i found that one the most surprising.

greta

Saw that one on Christmas day. Thought the first fifteen minutes overwrought and gratuitous. Found the editing rather slack... Outside of that enjoyed the rest quite a bit. I also loved the nods to old Hollywood, including the way Emma Stone (I think twice!) even dressed as Audrey Hepburn had looked in the 1954 "Sabrina" when she was walking in her black pumps and tight pants down the street. Looked as if there might have been some inside jokes present. What I ended up with was, "It isn't Fred and Ginger." Still, it was good entertainment. Found Ryan Gosling very charismatic - BUT - he just never smiles - something Fred did even in adversity. Is angst the reason for all existence?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Jan 04, 2017 9:38 am

Going back to the comments above on MR. SKEFFINGTON: I worked on the restoration of the long version of this film while at Turner Entertainment (from a fine grain master held by UCLA Archives). It was one of director Vincent Sherman's favorites. He was still living, at about 100 yrs old at the time.
My point of this posting is to compare one of Bette Davis' dresses (designed by Orry-Kelly) with a similar dress on Jack Lemmon in SOME LIKE IT HOT (also Orry-Kelly). The similarity in look between the two is amazing.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 6:05 am

Last night I revisited The Big House for the first time in... oh, at least a decade. Although there are technical flaws with this movie from 1930, including a transfer that looks like it was made from a 16mm. print,, the three leads, (Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery and Chester Morris) are terrific.

I don't know if the Oscar for Production Design was in existence at that time, but if it was, then Cedric Gibbons was done out of an AA for his oppressive, cyclopean prison!

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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drednm

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

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 6:12 am

boblipton wrote:Last night I revisited The Big House for the first time in... oh, at least a decade. Although there are technical flaws with this movie from 1930, including a transfer that looks like it was made from a 16mm. print,, the three leads, (Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery and Chester Morriss) are terrific.

I don't know if the Oscar for Production Design was in existenc at that time, but if it was, then edric Gibbons was done out of an AA for his oppressive, cyclopean prison!

Bob


It won Oscars for writing (Frances Marion) and sound and a nomination for Wallace Beery. Nothing else.
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R Michael Pyle

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

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 6:49 am

I re-visited "Old English" (1930) with George Arliss, Doris Lloyd, [of course] Ivan F. Simpson, and many others. My copy is the one in the set of three Arliss pictures released by Warner Archive Collection a few years ago. Sound leaves very much to be desired. I needed to put it at max to hear it half-way well. The show, though, is simply superlative. Mr. Arliss could steal a scene from Garrick, Barrymore, or Olivier. There's just never been one like him, and he's a fabulous actor - so much fun to watch! He's an old reprobate here with several layers of family, friends, and business associates, from children and illegitimate son's offspring to creditors of all sorts, etc., and he shines like the sun. Film plays much like a well-produced play on stage, and the late 20's/early 30's transition period is evident, but Alfred E. Green's direction nevertheless is better than just pedestrian and serves the film well. Always highly recommended. Anything that Arliss is in is worth watching.
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Richard P. May

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

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 10:42 am

Yesterday saw OF MICE AND MEN, shown on TCM as part of a group of movies based on John Steinbeck books.
I had seen this film several times, going way back, but was more impressed this time than ever before.
The quality of the image was superb. It looked like a new transfer from original elements, down to the end credits with a title card celebrating "United Artists' 20th Anniversary - 1919-1939"
Each major character had his (or in the case of Betty Field, her) major scene, and each,down to the least of the ranch hands brought it off very well. Roman Bohnen, who played Candy, was especially impressive in one of the largest roles I've ever seen him perform. A few years later, he was the Dana Andrews character's father in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.
The addition of the musical score by Aaron Copland was a notable help to the mood. Direction was by Lewis Milestone.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 1:19 pm

boblipton wrote:Last night I revisited The Big House for the first time in... oh, at least a decade. Although there are technical flaws with this movie from 1930, including a transfer that looks like it was made from a 16mm. print,, the three leads, (Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery and Chester Morriss) are terrific.

I don't know if the Oscar for Production Design was in existenc at that time, but if it was, then Cedric Gibbons was done out of an AA for his oppressive, cyclopean prison!

Bob


Closest to that is Art Direction, won by Herman Rosse for KING OF JAZZ.
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Donald Binks

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

PostThu Jan 05, 2017 1:28 pm

"The Girl on the Train" (2016)
Meaningless.
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