What is the last film you watched? (2017)

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

Daveismyhero

  • Posts: 244
  • Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:27 pm
  • Location: Osceola, IN

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

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 12:18 pm

I recently watched the new blu of The Lost World (1925) and caught A Streetcar Named Desire from TCM via the ol' DVR.

I loved the Lost World, but the story of Streetcar failed to capture my attention. It was beautifully shot, and well acted (of course!), but nothing really happened that piqued my interest.

Now I need to figure out which AFI 100 film to watch next. In my current frame of mine, I need something a little zippy. :lol:
I am not a purist, I am a funist!
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6946
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 8:29 pm

Finally, a mint print of the camp classic Female on the Beach (1955) starring Joan Crawford in full makeup and jewels at her beach house, trying to ward off pushy Jeff Chandler with lines like, "You're about as friendly as a suction pump." Joanie moves in after the previous occupant, the ever-unlucky Judith Evelyn, takes a dive off the porch and hits hard sand. Someone may have left a chair in her path to trip over. Joanie is immediately descended on by Chandler, a dim realtor (Jan Sterling), a snoopy cop (Charles Drake), and the ugly Chinese decor. There's also Chandler's "aunt and uncle" next door (Natalie Schafer and Cecil Kellaway) who spy on her with binoculars and keep trying to crash the joint.

High point may be when Joanie utters the immortal line, "I wouldn't have you if you were hung with diamonds upside down!" when she's in a huff. And she huffs a lot in this one, swanning about in a series of hideous 50s get-ups as she strides about the beach house or walks the beach in high heels. She's mostly a fish out of water, but eventually has to take a plunge when she fears Chandler is trying to murder her. Fellow silent-film alumna Marjorie Bennett also shows up as the cleaning lady.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline

filmJan

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:09 pm
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA

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

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 12:58 pm

Watched Rio Rita (1929), starring Bebe Daniels and John Boles. I thought it was entertaining and especially liked the two-strip Technicolor finale including a really enjoyable song and dance number, "Sweetheart, We Need Each Other", performed by Bert Wheeler and Dorothy Lee. I even liked the comedy bits by Wheeler and Woolsey interspersed throughout the film.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 1:25 pm

Finally giving in to Mike G.'s .... well, not advice..... I saw mother! and I can see the sort of easy-to-analyze-for-a-film-school-paper attitude that makes it the sort of thing that critics would like. About twenty seconds in I caught the roots to Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" via Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature." Over the course of the film it became a self-indulgent artiistic polemic by writer/director Darren Aronofksy in which he decried the self-indulgent artist. It came alive, very briefly, in the interlude when everyone but Bardem and Lawrence has left and they have a spat.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2855
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 9:32 pm

Ooh, ooh, well, I went up sometime and saw her. That's Mae West, back in her favourite period - the 1890's in "Every Day's a Holiday" (1937). One doesn't have to bother much about the story with a Mae West picture as she is fairly unique - and besides she usually wrote most of her pictures herself and I suppose she had as much literary ability as any of the other hacks engaged in writing comedy screenplays.

As per usual, there are quite a few men in this picture vying for Miss West's attentions, and as such, she is enjoying herself immensely. On one level she is quite one dimensional - just the ooh, oohs, a bit of bump and grind and then a suitable wisecrack. Photographically, she scrubs up quite well, making sure she has make-up troweled on, eyelashes fluttering and a frock that accentuates her ample curves and décolletage. Her popularity comes more from what she suggests rather than what she actually says or does - the Code puts paid to her being too overt, but, her public knew exactly what she was on about and lapped it up in droves.

In this Miss West is a grifter to start off with having sold Herman Bing the Brooklyn Bridge for $200. Her next victim is Charles Butterworth who is slightly meatier in this outing - he extends an invitation but doesn't inform Miss West that he is only the butler at the house she turns up at. Doesn't matter - she gets to meet the rich Charles Winniger - who is quite hilarious. Meanwhile, she has a good cop - Edmond Lowe - looking out for her. There is also a bad cop - the police chief - Lloyd Nolan, who puts Tammany Hall in the shade and is running for Mayor. Somewhere along the way Miss West is going to star in a show as "Fifi" a French chanteuse. She is managed by Walter Catlett doing a deal to the dozen. If you get the impression there is a lot going on - you are not mistaken. Oh, and by the way - Louis Armstrong turns up as a dustman blowing a trumpet and singing "Jubilee". It's all quite mad and at the same time quite enjoyable for we know full well we are in the land of make believe.

One of the highlights is Miss West speaking French and putting over a number in one of the stage "spectaculars".

Paramount pulled out all the stops on this production and it shows. It's quite lavish and quite a good way to spend ninety minutes.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2855
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 9:57 pm

Nothing could be further from the last picture than some time spent with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in "Black Friday", a late outing for both of them in 1940. As far as Mr. Lugosi is concerned, it is really only his name that was used to sell the picture as his role is relatively minor. The main starring part in my opinion should have gone to Stanley Ridges as he very convincingly plays both a college professor and a heinous gangster - switching between the two throughout.

Boris Karloff is a doctor and has the college professor as a friend but when that friend is badly injured in a motor accident, he transplants the brain of a gangster to keep him alive. If you put two and two together you can guess what is to transpire. Anne Nagel plays the gangster's moll and Bela Lugosi is the head of a criminal gang. The screenplay is by Curt Siodmak and he manages to keep to the point without steering us off in unnecessary directions. The narrative is held together by quotes from Karloff's diary, a device which is used to connect the various scenes.

Whilst many would be disappointed with Lugosi's diminished appearance, this is more than made up for by Karloff exuding charm and sophistication as the doctor whilst at the same time allowing his performance to be edged with a high degree of menace. Stanley Ridges has made every effort to make his Jekyll/Hyde appearance show the striking difference between his two characters and he succeeds beyond measure.

The picture reeks with atmosphere and a lot of use is made in the photography of shadows.

Probably only a "B" picture - but definitely above average.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2855
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 11:29 pm

I was looking at "I Saw the Light" (2017) which is a bio about Hank Williams, the Country and Western singer who made it big time for a short period before his untimely death; and I couldn't help but think that I had seen the fellah playing Mr. Williams in something else fairly recently. Slowly it dawned on me. Wasn't he playing a sort of James Bond type role in an English mini-series not that far back? Surely it couldn't be the same person - for here was this fellah in front of me with a real Southern American accent - who could also sing.

Well, blow me down with a feather. It was the same fellah! - Tom Hiddleston! Now, I have got used to the acting business now being a huge melting pot where Brits play Americans and vice-versa and Aussies play just about everyone - but, this performance must go down as one of the best I have yet seen for not only does Mr. Hiddleston get the voice down pat - he also does all his own singing, mimicking the voice of Hank Williams. Now that is something.

Having waxed lyrical about the very talented Mr. Hiddleston, I wish I could do the same for the actual film. It is a really an opaque entity. The story draws a very thin line and the events are very poorly defined if any indication is actually given as to what is happening. I found it very hard to follow at times. One though does manage to add up a few sums and one gathers that Hank Williams was married to a woman called Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen) who possessed little talent - which he makes obvious and whom he later divorced. One also learns that Mr. Williams suffered from Spina Bifida Occulta and had trouble leaving the bottle alone. Other than that we sketchily trace his career from 1944 until such time as he made a big name for himself by appearing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and then his gradual decline until he was killed in a motor accident in 1953.

Although I am not all that keen on Country and Western music, I remember a time when it was more mainstream - perhaps back in the 1950's and early 1960's. Today in Oz it has retreated to something that is virtually only popular in rural areas. Hank Williams I had heard of, and I think I even have a few of his 78's. I certainly remembered "Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin', howzabout cookin' something up with me..." I've been going about the house all day singing it - damn those catchy tunes!
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6946
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 4:50 am

Dance with a Stranger (1985) has not lost its punch over the decades. The seamy story of Ruth Ellis and the two men who love her involves sexual obsession, booze, lies, and murder. Ellis was the last woman executed in England (in 1955) for shooting David Blakely and admitting to the killing. Because of her confession, vital evidence was withheld and she was hanged. The other man in the story, Desmond Cussen (the probable killer) emigrated to Australia (except he didn't).

Miranda Richardson gives a terrific performance as Ruth, a woman who loves the abusive Bradley yet basically lives with Cussen and allows him to foot the boarding school bills for her 10-year-old son. The two men have a history of violence between them as they fight for rights to Ruth. After she loses her job running an underground club/brothel, she becomes totally dependent on Cussen yet continues her abusive sexual affair with Blakely. Her descending spiral continues until she kills Bradley.

What was not decalred at the trial was that while Ellis did shoot Braldey, she did so after a bout of drinking with Cussen, who also drove her to where Bradley was and gave her the gun. That evidence would likely have saved her from the death penalty.

Rupert Everett and Ian Holm play Blakely and Cussen. The period detail (1954) is excellent.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline

Daniel Eagan

  • Posts: 720
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am

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

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 7:48 am

Donald Binks wrote:and then his gradual decline until he was killed in a motor accident in 1953.


For the record, Hank Williams died from the effects of champagne and chloral hydrate in the back seat of a limo taking him to a concert in Ohio. He was 29.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2791
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 1:49 pm

From RKO's first year of film-making, HALF MARRIAGE (1929) is rather over-laden with dialogue to the point of tediousness. Olive Borden plays a young lady who marries her architect boyfriend in secret and spends most of the film hiding this information from everybody else and evading awkward questions. Borden and Hedda Hopper (playing her mother) are among the best things in this early talkie which features Ken Murray (in his film debut) as a 'life-and-soul-of-the party' type whose behaviour is so obnoxious and bumptious one yearns for him to be slung out of the nearest window. Borden's husband comes over as just rather wet, and there is a sort-of-ex-boyfriend whose intentions are far from honourable. A few saucy moments and a surprise bit near the end liven things up in places, as well as a few of the other ladies in the cast, but this ain't no classic.

# noting a 'Sally Blane' in the cast, I was looking out for Loretta Young, mis-remembering that she was Youn's sister. Still didn't spot her...
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 1:55 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:From RKO's first year of film-making, HALF MARRIAGE (1929) is rather over-laden with dialogue to the point of tediousness. Olive Borden plays a young lady who marries her architect boyfriend in secret and spends most of the film hiding this information from everybody else and evading awkward questions. Borden and Hedda Hopper (playing her mother) are among the best things in this early talkie which features Ken Murray (in his film debut) as a 'life-and-soul-of-the party' type whose behaviour is so obnoxious and bumptious one yearns for him to be slung out of the nearest window. Borden's husband comes over as just rather wet, and there is a sort-of-ex-boyfriend whose intentions are far from honourable. A few saucy moments and a surprise bit near the end liven things up in places, as well as a few of the other ladies in the cast, but this ain't no classic.

# noting a 'Sally Blane' in the cast, I was looking out for Loretta Young, mis-remembering that she was Youn's sister. Still didn't spot her...


The Oscar Levant tunes are ok, but I have issues with Olive not telling the folks so she can sponge on them.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2855
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

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

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 2:41 pm

Daniel Eagan wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:and then his gradual decline until he was killed in a motor accident in 1953.


For the record, Hank Williams died from the effects of champagne and chloral hydrate in the back seat of a limo taking him to a concert in Ohio. He was 29.


Thanks for the correction. As I said, the film wasn't very clear on a lot of things and it came over that he just died as a result of a motor car accident.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 5:31 am

A dedicated doctor and hot nurses with perms that never wilt, imprisoned by a half-breed warlord in the jungle: that's worth at least a couple of hubbas. Unfortunately, by the time James Clavell wrote and directed it in 1959, Five Gates to Hell was an old-fashioned pot-boiler, worth a couple of points for being set in Viet Nam. Besides Clavell, the best-known name in the credits is probably Nancy Kulp as a French nurse.

And yes, Jim, Nancy Kulp as a hot French nurse. It's hot in the jungle, you know.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Online

wingate

  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am

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

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 7:57 am

Suspense 1930Its not a crime film,but a World War 1 film made in the UK.A group of soldiers come into a quieter trench for a rest.They hear a constant tapping and realise it is German miners under the trench.When the tapping stops the mine will be exploded.Featuring Hay Petrie in his first role.
I was fortunate to watch the BFIs viewing copy.Handling a 35mm print is great fun,albeit on a Steenbeck
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2507
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

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

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 9:48 am

boblipton wrote:A dedicated doctor and hot nurses with perms that never wilt, imprisoned by a half-breed warlord in the jungle: that's worth at least a couple of hubbas. Unfortunately, by the time James Clavell wrote and directed it in 1959, Five Gates to Hell was an old-fashioned pot-boiler, worth a couple of points for being set in Viet Nam. Besides Clavell, the best-known name in the credits is probably Nancy Kulp as a French nurse.

And yes, Jim, Nancy Kulp as a hot French nurse. It's hot in the jungle, you know.

Bob


I'm trying to picture "Miss Jane" doing a can-can while shouting "Ooooh-la-la!" but I keep seeing hyenas turn away muttering in disgust, "Nuttin' but bones!"

Jim
Offline
User avatar

oldposterho

  • Posts: 476
  • Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am

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

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 4:01 pm

Some recent posts got me going again on German War and Pre-War films so finally had a go at 1941's Stukas. While decidedly propaganda, it was more pro-troops and war effort than Nazi slush, which is barely hinted at. I think it compares directly with the US Flying Tigers as the brave Stuka pilots hammer the fleeing French, much like ol' John did to the Japanese in China. The boys eat baked chicken, have their own hospital rooms with personal nurses, and are only occasionally, and heroically, KIA. It's amazing what a bit of Wagner could do to charge up the warrior spirit. Ironically, it wraps up on their maiden flights over England, which had the movie gone on, would have seen them chewed to pieces and made obsolete practically in that single mission.

It's definitely strange watching a film where one should be rooting for the 'enemy' to kill ones allies. Takes a bit of a mind shift. Overall it's a perfectly entertaining old school war film that is best enjoyed without diving any deeper than one would at our own output from the time.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 6:54 pm

I've seen two or three movies about cross-breeding Hereford white-face cattle with Texas Long-horns to get a cow that can live in the high country; The High Country (1966), starring Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O'Hara sticks in my mind because of the leads. Canyon River (1956) is a more typical high-class B from Allied Artist, starring George Montgomery, who goes to buy the Herefords, his pal, Peter Graves, who rides along, ready to double-cross him for a stake in his own spread, and Marcia Henderson, who comes along on the cattle drive, because there has to be a love interest in this sort of movie.

It's a pretty good movie with some nice scenery thanks to cinematographer Ellsworth Fredericks and some good acting, particularly by Alan Hale, as leader of the disreputable cowhands whom Montgomery hires because no one else will. Montgomery, as always, is solid, one of those actors who never quite got out of the comfortable and profitable groove of B Western stardom before the genre went away. The result is a pleasant, if unmemorable example of the B western in its sunset phase.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2791
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 2:57 am

oldposterho wrote:Some recent posts got me going again on German War and Pre-War films so finally had a go at 1941's Stukas. While decidedly propaganda, it was more pro-troops and war effort than Nazi slush, which is barely hinted at. I think it compares directly with the US Flying Tigers as the brave Stuka pilots hammer the fleeing French, much like ol' John did to the Japanese in China. The boys eat baked chicken, have their own hospital rooms with personal nurses, and are only occasionally, and heroically, KIA. It's amazing what a bit of Wagner could do to charge up the warrior spirit. Ironically, it wraps up on their maiden flights over England, which had the movie gone on, would have seen them chewed to pieces and made obsolete practically in that single mission.

It's definitely strange watching a film where one should be rooting for the 'enemy' to kill ones allies. Takes a bit of a mind shift. Overall it's a perfectly entertaining old school war film that is best enjoyed without diving any deeper than one would at our own output from the time.


Where did you find this? And were there English subtitles? Think the only copy I've come across was either poor condition or lacking the translation...
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 5:12 am

Based on an idea by Academy-Award-winning Jonathan Demme, Black Mama, White Mama (1973) stars Pam Grier and Margaret Markov in a High Concept Movie: it's The Defiant Ones with girl-on-girl action. One's a revolutionary, the other is blonde, or maybe it's the other way around, as they escape to travel barefoot around a small Caribbean sugar island (actually the Phillipines) run by Chinese drug lords and Texas lawmen, pausing occasionally to giggle like they are on a panty raid, when they are not fending off dim-witted rapists.

Like all movies of this sort, I am most enthralled by the heroine's abilitiy to keep her long, straight, blond hair perfect as she runs through the jungle, eluding all pursuers, with nothing more than her wits and a bright yellow t-shirt.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6946
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 6:40 am

Bundle of Joy (1956) is something I've avoided for a long time until I realized it was a remake of Bachelor Mother (1939) which had starred Ginger Rogers and David Niven. The 50s version updates to a musical (songs not bad) and casts America's sweethearts Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (in his film debut). Basic story is of single woman who finds a baby on a doorstep and then can't convince anyone it's not hers. Tapping into the era's hysteria about virginity gives it a quaintness, but Reynolds and Fisher do well with the materials. Co-stars include Adolphe Menjou, Una Merkel, Bill Goodwin, Tommy Noonan, and the under-used Nita Talbot who towers over everyone else. It may be a bit of irony that Reynolds was pregnant during the filming of this RKO production.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 6:43 am

Frank Buck's Bring 'Em Back Alive (1932) is the visual diary of one of Buck's expeditions to the Malay jungle to collect wild animals for zoos and circuses. Shot wild (without sound) and then narrated by Buck in a studio and with a score added by Frank Rodemich, it will strike the modern viewer as a black-and-white precursor of a Disney Tru-Life-Adventure movie, with enough random fights between top predators to keep people who like that happy. Add in enough eighty-year-old assumptions in the narration to annoy the modern viewer ("His skin was black, but he was white inside"), and you wind up with something of interest mostly for people with an antiquarian taste in movies. In 1932, it was an exciting documentary and there were several sequels.

A lot of the shots are faked; the ones in which Buck's "boys" are carrying a black leopard in a wooden cage seem to lack the leopard. However, I understand that Disney's cameramen staged a lot of their animal antics.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline
User avatar

oldposterho

  • Posts: 476
  • Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 7:19 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Where did you find this? And were there English subtitles? Think the only copy I've come across was either poor condition or lacking the translation...


Rob, I was given this so I don't know the source but it is in very good condition with burned in English subtitles, which it needed as these happy fellows were rattling it off at a Howard Hawks rate of speed.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 3:01 pm

The usual suspects commit The Great Van Robbery (1959). A year later, some of the hundred-fifty-thousand pounds show up in Brazil and Scotland Yard sends its Interpol Man, Denis Shaw, to track down the baddies.

It's a cheap and efficiently run quickie from the Danziger Brothers, in which foreign locations are indicated by stock footage, signs on anonymous buildings and clips of music -- we know we're in Rome because the musical cue is "Santa Lucia" and in Paris because it's "Frere Jacques" -- and the locals waver between their stage accents and doing foreign ones. All the cops are efficient and it's not long before Shaw is back in London, closing in on the baddies, despite numerous wounds; the portly actor dispatches two thugs with guns with only a minor flesh wound and then heads out for the final confrontation, despite orders to take it easy for a couple of days. DP Nicholas Roeg gets only a couple of interesting shots, although the final shootout amid a cascade of coffee beans should have been interesting were the print I saw better than it was.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline
User avatar

oldposterho

  • Posts: 476
  • Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am

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

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 4:06 pm

Continuing with the German War years films, watched 1941's U-Boote Westwarts (U-Boats, Westward), which again was just as cookie cutter as any US navy film made during the war. Beyond a couple of heil You-know-whos and an appearance at the end by Admiral and future Chancellor Donitz it was nearly apolitical in the Nazi sense. It did offer a rationale for torpedoing neutral ships was a little unnerving though.

There was some interesting photography and clever transitions as the film was directed by Fritz Lang's old highly competent cinematographer, Gunther Rittau, as the frauleins caused problems for the men back ashore. Never checked the clock while viewing as it moved right along. Interestingly, this also takes place just before the heavily implied invasion of England. That didn't work out for 'em.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2791
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 12:27 pm

boblipton wrote:The usual suspects commit The Great Van Robbery (1959). A year later, some of the hundred-fifty-thousand pounds show up in Brazil and Scotland Yard sends its Interpol Man, Denis Shaw, to track down the baddies.

It's a cheap and efficiently run quickie from the Danziger Brothers, in which foreign locations are indicated by stock footage, signs on anonymous buildings and clips of music -- we know we're in Rome because the musical cue is "Santa Lucia" and in Paris because it's "Frere Jacques" -- and the locals waver between their stage accents and doing foreign ones. All the cops are efficient and it's not long before Shaw is back in London, closing in on the baddies, despite numerous wounds; the portly actor dispatches two thugs with guns with only a minor flesh wound and then heads out for the final confrontation, despite orders to take it easy for a couple of days. DP Nicholas Roeg gets only a couple of interesting shots, although the final shootout amid a cascade of coffee beans should have been interesting were the print I saw better than it was.

Bob


More or less sums it up aside from Shaw's / Caesar Smith's martial arts display. The credits 'Danziger Brothers' is usually a bit of a warning here, and the results are quite painless but unremarkable.
Offline
User avatar

Rick Lanham

  • Posts: 1855
  • Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:16 pm
  • Location: Gainesville, FL

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 1:48 pm

A young New England farmer is struggling to survive when an influence as old as mankind offers to help. The farmer accepts the help and starts to change, in The Devil and Daniel Webster. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this, it’s even better than I remembered. The movie is the Faust story, set in America, based on Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story.

The movie is perfectly cast with Walter Huston as the Devil (Mr. Scratch), Edward Arndold as Daniel Webster, James Craig as the farmer, Anne Shirley his wife, Simone Simon as the seductive Belle, etc.

Bernard Hermann’s music earned him a well-deserved Oscar.

I watched the Criterion DVD of some years ago. I, like some others, had to keep the remote control handy as the music seemed seemed several levels higher than the conversation. There’s also certainly room for improvement of the video, should they ever do a blu-ray edition.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
Offline
User avatar

rudyfan

  • Posts: 1797
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
  • Location: San Fwancisco

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 1:59 pm

Last night I finally caught up with Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words. I found the film footage fascinating as I neither remembered, if I even knew at all, Bergman was seldom without a camera or movie camera in her hands and that she kept substantial diaries. How did I not realize or remember this, her father was a photographer after all? Bergman was many things, as this film illustrates, a self-absorbed actor is not the most surprising thing. What did surprise me, as much wanderlust that she had, she saved everything, left an amazing archive of material. All this while moving around from Sweden, to the US, to Italy, Paris, London and everywhere else in between. The footage was interesting and all the unrest her children seemed to endure with her absences, most of their recollections are of joy. It was an interesting document, skipped over huge areas of her life and career. Nonetheless, a fitting tribute for her centenary in 2015 when this documentary was released.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5240
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Pete Murray and Noel Trevarthen are unsuccessful actors who become Escorts for Hire (1960). While Noel is waiting for one of his regulars to finish dressing, he discovers she has been murdered. Instead of calling the police, he wipes the room of his fingerprints and seeks the aid of Pete, and his employer, June Thorburn. When the police track down the agency in about eighteen seconds, they cover up for him and then, because he is such an obvious suspect, agree to lie to the police and help him investigate.

Once you accept this unlikely and unhelpful beginning, it turns into a decent enough B movie, barring the set design. Unlike most of the Danziger Brothers' productions, this is in Technicolor .... and the designer decided to take advantage of this fact by using bright colors of every sort and by giving Mr. Murray a bit of a hat fetish; although he is second billed (after Miss Thorburn), he is the goofy sidekick in the movie.

Like many of the Danziger Brother productions of the era, it's a decent enough time waster, and was clearly intended to fill out a full program of two features and selected short subjects as cheaply as possible.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2791
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 3:45 pm

boblipton wrote:Pete Murray and Noel Trevarthen are unsuccessful actors who become Escorts for Hire (1960). While Noel is waiting for one of his regulars to finish dressing, he discovers she has been murdered. Instead of calling the police, he wipes the room of his fingerprints and seeks the aid of Pete, and his employer, June Thorburn. When the police track down the agency in about eighteen seconds, they cover up for him and then, because he is such an obvious suspect, agree to lie to the police and help him investigate.

Once you accept this unlikely and unhelpful beginning, it turns into a decent enough B movie, barring the set design. Unlike most of the Danziger Brothers' productions, this is in Technicolor .... and the designer decided to take advantage of this fact by using bright colors of every sort and by giving Mr. Murray a bit of a hat fetish; although he is second billed (after Miss Thorburn, he is the goofy sidekick in the movie.

Like many of the Danziger Brother productions of the era, it's a decent enough time waster, and was clearly intended to fill out a full program of two features and selected short subjects as cheaply as possible.

Bob


This turned up on YT a few years back. At least they are (slightly) less likely as escorts than Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, who are mistakenly paid to 'take out' Nicholas (bloody) Parsons in 1987's MR JOLLY LIVES NEXT DOOR...
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5667
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

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

PostMon Oct 09, 2017 7:12 pm

Maybe I should start a thread called Mike's Should I Go To The Damn Movies or Not? or something like that. Hot on the heels of the visual feast-slash-headpounding that is mother! comes Blade Runner 2049.

On the plus side, there's an incredible look well worth soaking in on the big screen (Roger Deakins better finally get a cinematography Oscar), an aural landscape that is likewise worth the price of admission, and some smart SF stuff about life in a world full of virtual worlds (and we're almost there, surely). It's the kind of movie that makes you think we've really entered a new golden age of visual storytelling, as opposed to talking dramas, comparable to the silent era's imagery (one film I thought of while watching it, weirdly—L'Inhumaine).

On the minus side, it's weirdly depopulated— big buildings in which apparently all of two people work; did they run out of money for extras who weren't shaven-headed kids?— and too often what it's populated by is too obviously a reference to the past film— we get wooden animals instead of origami, we get a different test in place of the elegant emotional riddles of the Voigt-Kampff test, when a wrinkly Asian guy turns up you immediately think of James Hong saying "I only do eyes!" and so on. I think of Ridley Scott as more of a director of visuals than actors, but the quirky things that made Blade Runner rewatchable included many of the rather poignant performances; there's a gal who looks like Darryl Hannah's Pris, but no moment to compare with the tender way she insinuates herself into the life of J.F. Sebastian... or the doom he senses when he realizes that she was just hooking him for Roy Batty. Oh, and next to Joe Turkel's Dr. Terrell, Jared Leto comes off like a really pretentious sommelier in a two Michelin star restaurant. The final fight is as chaotically calamitous as the ending of mother!, anyway—amazing what they can do these days, whether they should is another matter....

In the end it's maybe too simple and direct, a chase movie in a very straight line, not dreamlike and allusive (and elusive) like the original, one that kind of bludgeons you into submission. I am glad I saw it on a big (Lie-Max) screen with ear piercing sound, that's a worthy experience— though the super-clear digital photography robs it of a little of Scott's fog-shrouded mystery, making sets look more like sets.

The thing I liked most about it: they found work for Barkhad Abdi.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
PreviousNext

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests