What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Apr 02, 2018 6:09 am

The Black Bird (1975) is a fitfully funny spoof of The Maltese Falcon with George Segal playing Sam Spade Jr. He's a detective in San Francisco who gets involved in a renewed search for the dingus when a femme fatale (Stephane Audran) enters his life. Sam still has Effie (Lee Patrick in a funny performance) as the office secretary, and poor old Wilmer (Elisha Cook) also makes a brief appearance. Cast includes Lionel Stander, Felix Silla, Signe Hasso as a cryptologist, John Abbott, and a bunch of Hawaiian thugs. Badly directed but Segal is breezy and funny and we learn that Effie may or may not be his mother. Lee Patrick's final film.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Apr 02, 2018 8:24 am

I remember The Black Bird being fairly successful at the time but boy, talk about a movie that dropped off the face of the earth. Never seen it turn up on TV.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Apr 02, 2018 8:44 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I remember The Black Bird being fairly successful at the time but boy, talk about a movie that dropped off the face of the earth. Never seen it turn up on TV.


The film was released on VHS in a version 20 minutes shorter than the original theatrical release. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, especially if you're familiar -- and who isn't -- with the original story. My guess is it fell into the shadows because of the racist humor, which was totally unnecessary.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 2:34 am

Having read some uncomplimentary stuff about BEHIND THAT CURTAIN (1929), it was nice to see some positive comments on IMDb after being pleasantly surprised by this attractively shot early talkie.

Although by no means fault-free, I found BEHIND THAT CURTAIN an entertaining and nice-looking yarn which shifts location from London to India then Persia and finally San Francisco, where the mentioned-in-passing Charlie Chan makes his belated appearance. The plot concerns two rivals for the hand of heiress Lois Moran, one a heel (Philip Strange) and one a decent fellow and an explorer (Warner Baxter). Alas for Strange, Moran's father has hired a private investigator (Edgar Norton) to look into his background. To add to the plot, Norton has some rather unpleasant stuff on Baxter which the latter in anxious to obtain.

Before you can say 'By Jove,' poor old Norton is dead as mutton, with the culprit planting a rather heavy-handed red-herring to fool Scotland Yard. The night watchman, a shifty, scruffy fellow who looks the sort P G Wodehouse described as a 'frightful bounder who drops his aitches and has cocoa and bloaters for supper' has told the Yard a pack of lies and is applying a touch of blackmail...

In the meantime we find that Moran and Strange are married already and headed for India, where Baxter is bound on a rather vague expedition. Of course Strange proves to be a rotter, neglecting his lovely wife, drinking, and having improper relations with the natives, causing Moran to leave him and join Baxter on his travels...

This may sound like utter piffle, and indeed some of the dialogue is delivered rather slowly, especially by Gilbert Emory (the Scotland Yard man) and Claude King (Moran's father), but that has to be taken with a pinch of salt as it was early days for this kind of thing, and the film as a whole was far from dull. To add to the interest, one has Boris Karloff as a faithful Indian servant and Peter Gawthorne as a policeman, before he became more well-known as a comedy foil in the 1930s. Worth seeing, and not as one fellow on IMDb said, just for Chan afficionados.
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 7:39 am

drednm wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
boblipton wrote:Bikini Baby (1951) (aka Lady Godiva Rides Again: There are plenty of interesting players, from Dennis Price and Miss Dors, to surprising unbilled cameos like Alastair Sim and Googie Withers; the beauty contestants are starlets who would become prominent over the next couple of decades, like Kay Kendall and Joan Collins. It's the dourest of comedies that could manage a general release, while never releasing its hold on the audience's attention.


A sad, but interesting footnote to the film is that it marked the only film appearance of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged under English law. Diana Dors played a character based on her in YIELD TO THE NIGHT.


And Miranda Richardson played Ellis in the excellent Dance with a Stranger (1985).

Was looking forward to finally seeing this after rewatching Dance With a Stranger a short while ago, but due to the assorted problems with rights to British pictures on TCM airing in Canada, it was replaced by something else (the George Gobel/Diana Dors pic I Married a Woman, I believe). They also showed The Unholy Wife with Dors and Rod Steiger instead of the aforementioned Yield to the Night. Doubly cursed! The same thing happens any time they show a Carry On comedy. At least they found two other Dors films, the replacement films aren't always thematically consistent.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 8:05 am

I'm 4/5 of the way through the OSS 117 blu-ray set from Kino-Lorber, and thoroughly enjoying these breezy attempts to match James Bond at the French (and international) box office. I guess there was an earlier OSS 117 film, due to the popularity of the extensive series of novels by Jean Bruce (88 in total, with his widow writing 147 more as "J. Bruce"). Far from being an imitator, the first OSS 117 book came out four years before Ian Fleming's Casino Royale appeared, and the first film was released in 1957 (not included here).

The titular spy is an American of Lousiana heritage named Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath(!) although I don't think his ancestry comes up in the films. He's played by an American, Kerwin Matthews (from 7th Voyage of Sinbad) in the first two films, and Czech actor Frederick Stafford (Topaz) in the second two. The 5th, which I haven't seen yet, has the recently departed John Gavin (Psycho) in the role. Oddly, watching Stafford, I was reminded of when the stiffer George Lazenby took over from Sean Connery as 007, and later discovered that Stafford moved to Australia (Lazenby's home) in advance of the Russian takeover.

The series benefits from generous location shooting (Corsica, Thailand, Brazil, Japan) and brisk action sequences that definitely borrow their style from the 007 pictures, right down to the clipped editing of the fight scenes. Oddly, OSS 117's trip to Tokyo predates You Only Live Twice by a year, and the Bond film shares many similarities (it was also co-penned by Terence Young, who quit the Bond series after Thunderball). Like Bond, Hubert hits on every woman he sees, even a Corsican car rental agent in an airport parking lot. It's the aspect of the series that dates it the most, although it also provides fodder for the recent spoofy reboot of OSS 117 starring The Artist's Jean Dujardin in two films to date. I'm curious to see if this aspect of his character carries over to John Gavin's portrayal, we shall soon see...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 2:43 pm

If you get a chance to catch Bombshell, do eet. It's the story of Hedy Lamarr and to say it's fascinating is a vast understatement. Some great biographical information on Hedy but the majority of it focuses on her invention (with avant garde composer George Antheil) of frequency hopping technology that's the basis of pretty much everything we do communications-wise today. It's a real eye-opener and well past overdue.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 3:57 pm

I lived on 73rd Street, just west of the Ansonia Hotel about eight years after The Panic in Needle Park (1971) was released, but the neighborhood hadn't changed that much. You could still find discarded needles in the tired dirt of Sherman Square and the triangle at the south end of the IRT station, and the Ansonia was still a Single-Room-Occupancy hotel in which old men in cheap hats sat on tired furniture in the water-wrecked lobby. The remnants of the Silver Fox District held out on Riverside Drive and the Schwab House, and my landlord was trying to rehab the building piecemeal, but it would be another decade before the G.D. Yuppies recolonized the area.

Nowadays you wouldn't recognize the place, but when I was there, it looked just like it does in the movie. I didn't pay much attention. The entire City was bottoming. Now, almost 50 years later, the movie looks almost quaint in its depiction of two junkies destroying themselves. The screenplay by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne and a first starring role (his second screen appearance) by Al Pacino, along with approval by Cannes, made it seem hip and cool, like Trainspotting did a quarter of a century later. To me, it feels more like Reefer Madness.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Apr 03, 2018 6:56 pm

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Have no idea why I thought this was black and white when it's in Technicolor. Despite the western sounding title it's more a drama/period story with a good dose of comedy. Directed by John Ford, it stars Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, with John Carradine, Edna Mae Oliver, and Roger Imhof. An uncredited Tom Tyler appears in it in two scene, once in the middle, once near the end. His "Where's Calwell" (Carradine) line reminds me of his most frequent line in "Adventures of Captain Marvel": "Where's Miss Wallace?!" As Morgan in this movie however he looked like he was getting ready to kill someone with his bare hands. :O Love that frontiersman outfit he wore though, hat with raccoon tail.

It's still a nice addition to my DVD collection and am actually happy I waited before adding it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Apr 04, 2018 1:13 pm

MaryGH wrote:Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Have no idea why I thought this was black and white when it's in Technicolor. Despite the western sounding title it's more a drama/period story with a good dose of comedy. Directed by John Ford, it stars Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, with John Carradine, Edna Mae Oliver, and Roger Imhof. An uncredited Tom Tyler appears in it in two scene, once in the middle, once near the end. His "Where's Calwell" (Carradine) line reminds me of his most frequent line in "Adventures of Captain Marvel": "Where's Miss Wallace?!" As Morgan in this movie however he looked like he was getting ready to kill someone with his bare hands. :O Love that frontiersman outfit he wore though, hat with raccoon tail.

It's still a nice addition to my DVD collection and am actually happy I waited before adding it.


Can't recall where I read it, but I have a feeling that DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK was reissued in b/w for economy reasons. And like me, you may have first seen the film on a b/w set in the early 1970s. Unfortunately the first time I saw it in colour, it was a washed-out copy at London's NFT, with only the night-time scenes and Fonda's dash for help looking anything like they should.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Apr 04, 2018 2:04 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
MaryGH wrote:Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Have no idea why I thought this was black and white when it's in Technicolor. Despite the western sounding title it's more a drama/period story with a good dose of comedy. Directed by John Ford, it stars Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, with John Carradine, Edna Mae Oliver, and Roger Imhof. An uncredited Tom Tyler appears in it in two scene, once in the middle, once near the end. His "Where's Calwell" (Carradine) line reminds me of his most frequent line in "Adventures of Captain Marvel": "Where's Miss Wallace?!" As Morgan in this movie however he looked like he was getting ready to kill someone with his bare hands. :O Love that frontiersman outfit he wore though, hat with raccoon tail.

It's still a nice addition to my DVD collection and am actually happy I waited before adding it.


Can't recall where I read it, but I have a feeling that DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK was reissued in b/w for economy reasons. And like me, you may have first seen the film on a b/w set in the early 1970s. Unfortunately the first time I saw it in colour, it was a washed-out copy at London's NFT, with only the night-time scenes and Fonda's dash for help looking anything like they should.

I have this in the Ford at Fox collection, which apparently is a different transfer than a previous 20th Century Fox DVD, which seems to have boosted colour, but a shade less detail. I have been pondering getting the Twilight Time blu-ray release, which according to this DVD Beaver comparison, looks like its worth double-dipping for.

EDIT: Or maybe not, since the TT version is out of print and commanding prices higher than what you can get the entire Ford at Fox behemoth box set for.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Apr 04, 2018 4:46 pm

When Ann Bell arrives at her hotel room in Sicily to meet up with her married lover, she finds that her friend, who was supposed to check in for her, has checked in as her and been shot dead. It soon occurs to the protagonist that she was the target of the killer.

Stopover Forever (1964) is supposed to be a mystery in which understandably distraught Miss Bell wanders about and eventually solves her mystery, combined with an investigation into the psychology of panic. Cursed, as it is, with her offering her character's hysterical ramblings and nonsensical plans, I found it thoroughly annoying, despite cinematographer William Jordan's fine camerawork of Sicily and Miss Bell's occasional disrobings into bikini underwear. I kept wondering why she would hide herself in her room, imagine the killer lurking there, and never think of going to the police for help. Yes, I'm aware that people in the movies never ask the police for help, but the thought never even occurs to her, even to be instantly dismissed.

At 56 minutes, I found it dull and the characters annoying, despite the interesting set-up.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Apr 04, 2018 7:21 pm

I'm so used to thinking of J. Lee Thompson as the director of big International productions like The Guns of Navaronne and Taras Bulba that it was a shock to see Blonde Sinner (1956), a solemn study of a woman condemned to be hanged for murder, starring sex symbol Diana Dors. Although publicity linked this film to Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Great Britain, it's based on a book by Joan Henry, Thompson's wife, published before Ellis' case became prominent.

It's a series of dry performances, enhanced by a fish-eyed lens, Dutch angles and an occasional voice-over by Dors which actually helps.

Given that I had looked at Mitchell & Webb's "Evil Vicar" sketch earlier in the evening -- one of my favorite -- listening to the Priest and the elderly lady telling Miss Dors what she is feeling, made me empathize more with her -- which was the intention of the film makers, of course. A fine piece of didactic film making.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Apr 05, 2018 12:16 pm

boblipton wrote:I'm so used to thinking of J. Lee Thompson as the director of big International productions like The Guns of Navaronne and Taras Bulba that it was a shock to see Blonde Sinner (1956), a solemn study of a woman condemned to be hanged for murder, starring sex symbol Diana Dors. Although publicity linked this film to Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Great Britain, it's based on a book by Joan Henry, Thompson's wife, published before Ellis' case became prominent.

It's a series of dry performances, enhanced by a fish-eyed lens, Dutch angles and an occasional voice-over by Dors which actually helps.

Given that I had looked at Mitchell & Webb's "Evil Vicar" sketch earlier in the evening -- one of my favorite -- listening to the Priest and the elderly lady telling Miss Dors what she is feeling, made me empathize more with her -- which was the intention of the film makers, of course. A fine piece of didactic film making.

Bob


...and much better, for my money, than the very disappointing DANCE WITH A STRANGER...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Apr 05, 2018 12:27 pm

A film which delivered far less than it seemed to promise, HAVANA WIDOWS (1933) has the irresistible attraction of Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell as a couple of burlesque artistes down on their luck, who are inspired by a newly wealthy friend to hunt for chumps in Cuba.

For this they need $1,500, which they persuade pal Allen Jenkins to obtain in the most convoluted way imaginable. Once in Havana, they light upon wealthy Guy Kibbee and his drunken pal Frank McHugh and the fun (one hoped) starts in earnest. Unfortunately, after the films bright start at the theatre and their lodgings, HAVANA WIDOWS turns into a very patchy film indeed, delivering occasional laughs, but becoming very studio-bound and mechanical. Frank McHugh is encouraged here to overdo his drunken buffoon bit to the most tedious lengths, making one appreciate entredeuxguerre's frequent execrations on the fellow.

The film reminded me a little of the Thelma Todd - ZaSu Pitts - Patsy Kelly shorts of the same period, and perhaps that's what was intended. The two blondes are fine, and Kibbee and Jenkins both have their moments, but despite running just over an hour, one feels that a couple of reels would have served this story better.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Apr 05, 2018 3:56 pm

Turn the Key Softly (1953) Yvonne Mitchell, Joan Collins and Kahleen Harrison are released from prison into the hustle and bustle of London on the same day, with varying degrees of resolution to go straight. They agree to meet for dinner at a posh restaurant -- Miss Mitchell's treat. The movie covers the day and their varying success.

It's well performed by three actresses: Miss Harrison plays her scrublady from Scrooge, transported a century and a quarter into the future. jugged on fifteen counts of shoplifting; Miss Mitchell is an well-to-do young woman who loved unwisely but too well and took the fall for her burglar boyfriend; and Joan Collins.... well, she looks like a cheap piece of goods, but she's scheduled to marry a bus driver.

It's based on a novel and the screenplay is, I fear, somewhat muddled, with the random nature of events leading to random outcomes. The actresses give excellent performances, and director Jack Lee, in cooperation with cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth,, sets up the final fifteen minutes in a striking manner. He clearly had a fine eye for the streets of the city, having worked for the GPO as assistant director to London Can Take It! His abilities helming a fiction movie were shakier, but given the performances and visuals, this one is worth a look.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 5:15 am

How does one turn a key "softly"?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 6:06 am

Jim Roots wrote:How does one turn a key "softly"?

I think it has to be a minor key.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 6:21 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:How does one turn a key "softly"?

I think it has to be a minor key.


Or a glass key?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 8:41 am

Jim Roots wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:How does one turn a key "softly"?

I think it has to be a minor key.

Or a glass key?

Perhaps one of these tasty sour keys.

Just don't look up the Urban Dictionary slang meaning for "sour key".
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 8:44 am

A paranoiac's delight, The Domino Principle stars Gene Hackman as a prisoner released into some sort of secret government agency that coerces him into assassinating the president. Maybe. The basis of the plot is that nothing is named. The powers that be simply be. We never know who the good guys and bad guys are or if there ARE any good guys and bad guys. Hackman's wife (Candice Bergen) may or may not be in on the plot. The men Hackman works for (Richard Widmark, Eli Wallach, Edward Albert) might work for a secret government or maybe not. Even Hackman's prison cellmate (Mickey Rooney) is not what he seems to be. As the film goes along, it just gets more complex and confusing. The story does not really unfold. Rather, it enfolds. In any case, Hackman, Rooney, and Widmark are all quite good.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 12:12 pm

drednm wrote:A paranoiac's delight, The Domino Principle stars Gene Hackman as a prisoner released into some sort of secret government agency that coerces him into assassinating the president. Maybe. The basis of the plot is that nothing is named. The powers that be simply be. We never know who the good guys and bad guys are or if there ARE any good guys and bad guys. Hackman's wife (Candice Bergen) may or may not be in on the plot. The men Hackman works for (Richard Widmark, Eli Wallach, Edward Albert) might work for a secret government or maybe not. Even Hackman's prison cellmate (Mickey Rooney) is not what he seems to be. As the film goes along, it just gets more complex and confusing. The story does not really unfold. Rather, it enfolds. In any case, Hackman, Rooney, and Widmark are all quite good.


SPOILER: And in the end, they all get together and gleefully yell at Hackman: "APRIL FOOL'S!!!"

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Apr 06, 2018 5:50 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
Can't recall where I read it, but I have a feeling that DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK was reissued in b/w for economy reasons. And like me, you may have first seen the film on a b/w set in the early 1970s. Unfortunately the first time I saw it in colour, it was a washed-out copy at London's NFT, with only the night-time scenes and Fonda's dash for help looking anything like they should.


I have this in the Ford at Fox collection, which apparently is a different transfer than a previous 20th Century Fox DVD, which seems to have boosted colour, but a shade less detail. I have been pondering getting the Twilight Time blu-ray release, which according to this DVD Beaver comparison, looks like its worth double-dipping for.

EDIT: Or maybe not, since the TT version is out of print and commanding prices higher than what you can get the entire Ford at Fox behemoth box set for.


Yeah, it didn't help that the trailer at IMDB for this movie was in black and white, either.

I bought the Ford at Fox DVD version too, John Ford quickly became a favorite for me, I have all the movies he directed that include Tom Tyler, so this is definitely a worthwhile addition to my collection.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 4:58 am

Saw a clip of Arabesque (1966) on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and had no memory of the film. What a romp! Gregory Peck plays an American professor at Oxford who gets called in to translate/decode a message on a bit of paper that seems to be written in some form of Hittite. An Arabian premiere wants it, but so does another wealthy Arab who's connected to the glam Yasmin (Sophia Loren). Peck is coerced into staying at their London house until he can translate "the cipher." After he hides the paper, no one knows where it is and everyone is after it. Standard espionage tale is elevated to an eye-popping chase with Peck and Loren (breathtakingly beautiful) in top form. Directed by Stanley Donen with terrific cinematography by Christopher Challis (he won a BAFTA), you forget how thin the plot is. Snappy dialog keeps it light. Alan Badel and Kieron Moore are unlikely choices to play Arabs, but it doesn't really matter. Loren wears Christian Dior, although he does not get screen credit. Great stars. Great fun. Or as Larry David would say, "Pretty, pretty good."
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 6:27 am

I saw Arabesque when first released. As a ten year old I thought it was the most sophisticated movie imagineable, starting with the cool opening title graphics.

:)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 8:44 am

drednm wrote:Saw a clip of Arabesque (1966) on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and had no memory of the film. What a romp! Gregory Peck plays an American professor at Oxford who gets called in to translate/decode a message on a bit of paper that seems to be written in some form of Hittite. An Arabian premiere wants it, but so does another wealthy Arab who's connected to the glam Yasmin (Sophia Loren). Peck is coerced into staying at their London house until he can translate "the cipher." After he hides the paper, no one knows where it is and everyone is after it. Standard espionage tale is elevated to an eye-popping chase with Peck and Loren (breathtakingly beautiful) in top form. Directed by Stanley Donen with terrific cinematography by Christopher Challis (he won a BAFTA), you forget how thin the plot is. Snappy dialog keeps it light. Alan Badel and Kieron Moore are unlikely choices to play Arabs, but it doesn't really matter. Loren wears Christian Dior, although he does not get screen credit. Great stars. Great fun. Or as Larry David would say, "Pretty, pretty good."


I watched that same episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm two weeks ago and had the same thought: "That's a movie I'd like to see!" Really sounds like something Criterion would tackle.

Jim
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 8:55 am

Jim Roots wrote:
drednm wrote:Saw a clip of Arabesque (1966) on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and had no memory of the film. What a romp! Gregory Peck plays an American professor at Oxford who gets called in to translate/decode a message on a bit of paper that seems to be written in some form of Hittite. An Arabian premiere wants it, but so does another wealthy Arab who's connected to the glam Yasmin (Sophia Loren). Peck is coerced into staying at their London house until he can translate "the cipher." After he hides the paper, no one knows where it is and everyone is after it. Standard espionage tale is elevated to an eye-popping chase with Peck and Loren (breathtakingly beautiful) in top form. Directed by Stanley Donen with terrific cinematography by Christopher Challis (he won a BAFTA), you forget how thin the plot is. Snappy dialog keeps it light. Alan Badel and Kieron Moore are unlikely choices to play Arabs, but it doesn't really matter. Loren wears Christian Dior, although he does not get screen credit. Great stars. Great fun. Or as Larry David would say, "Pretty, pretty good."


I watched that same episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm two weeks ago and had the same thought: "That's a movie I'd like to see!" Really sounds like something Criterion would tackle.

Jim


It's on DVD in a couple of collections and a Universal release at Amazon. Fluff, but gorgeous fluff.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 4:50 pm

Sagebrush Law (1943) is one of the half dozen B westerns that Tim Holt quickly shot for RKO before he enlisted for the duration of the Second World War. As a result, it's a bit rushed, with comic singing sidekick Cliff Edwards and him investigating why Tim's banker father seems to have shot himself after sending for Holt to help.

It's not a deep mystery, but it's well directed by Sam Nelson, who spent most of his career as an assistant director for increasingly prestigious movies, like A Member of the Wedding and Spartacus. Edwards sings a couple of songs and fans of RKO's slick series of westerns should have nothing to complain about with this placeholder entry.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 5:36 pm

In the same street as the down to earth, suburban, domestic bliss portrayed on the screen from the writings of Sir Noel Coward, is J.B. Priestley's "Laburnum Grove" (1936). This was a very successful play on both sides of the Atlantic with the lead taken by Edmund Gwenn from 1933 who, luckily, was also cast in the film.

We firstly spend some time with scenes which introduce us to all the characters of the house in sedate Laburnum Grove in London's northern suburbs. There are the husband and wife of the house - the aforesaid Edmund Gwenn and his wife, Katie Johnson whom Nitratevillains will remember with affection from "The Ladykillers". Then there is Edmund's sister - Ethel Coleridge, who plays the usual sour puss. Her husband is Sir Cedric Hardwicke in an early role out of kilter somewhat with his later characterisations as he plays for comedy as an itinerant layabout. Victoria Hopper is Edmund's daughter and she is engaged to Francis James who gets cold feet later on. It is an excellent assembly.

After we ascertain whom we like and dislike, we come to the plot and it is one based on the foibles often found in human nature. It would seem that Edmund is being put upon by family members. He is seen as the font of all money - so he decides to play a trick on his conniving relatives by alluding to the fact that he may not be all that they seem to think he is. Far from being a respectable, quiet suburban gent - he may be just the opposite.

This is a gentle comedy marvelously and cleverly written and performed par excellence particularly by Edmund Gwenn whose cherubic features and easy grin belie what may really be going on in his mind. Sir Cedric also gives value for money and Ethel Coleridge lends a sufficient amount of dourness without going over the top.

Whilst the activity is mainly housebound, we occasionally get to some outdoor scenes and one of them may be of particular note in that it portrays "Stoll's Picture House" - both inside and out.

The direction is by Carol Reed in his early days.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Apr 07, 2018 5:50 pm

Donald Binks wrote:In the same street as the down to earth, suburban, domestic bliss portrayed on the screen from the writings of Sir Noel Coward, is J.B. Priestley's "Laburnum Grove" (1936). This was a very successful play on both sides of the Atlantic with the lead taken by Edmund Gwenn from 1933 who, luckily, was also cast in the film.

We firstly spend some time with scenes which introduce us to all the characters of the house in sedate Laburnum Grove in London's northern suburbs. There are the husband and wife of the house - the aforesaid Edmund Gwenn and his wife, Katie Johnson whom Nitratevillains will remember with affection from "The Ladykillers". Then there is Edmund's sister - Ethel Coleridge, who plays the usual sour puss. Her husband is Sir Cedric Hardwicke in an early role out of kilter somewhat with his later characterisations as he plays for comedy as an itinerant layabout. Victoria Hopper is Edmund's daughter and she is engaged to Francis James who gets cold feet later on. It is an excellent assembly.

After we ascertain whom we like and dislike, we come to the plot and it is one based on the foibles often found in human nature. It would seem that Edmund is being put upon by family members. He is seen as the font of all money - so he decides to play a trick on his conniving relatives by alluding to the fact that he may not be all that they seem to think he is. Far from being a respectable, quiet suburban gent - he may be just the opposite.

This is a gentle comedy marvelously and cleverly written and performed par excellence particularly by Edmund Gwenn whose cherubic features and easy grin belie what may really be going on in his mind. Sir Cedric also gives value for money and Ethel Coleridge lends a sufficient amount of dourness without going over the top.

Whilst the activity is mainly housebound, we occasionally get to some outdoor scenes and one of them may be of particular note in that it portrays "Stoll's Picture House" - both inside and out.

The direction is by Carol Reed in his early days.


Since I first saw Last Holiday, I''ve been anxious to see anything by Priestley, and Reed's direction makes it even more tempting. I'm ever so envious.

Good to have you back.

Bob
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