What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Donald Binks

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

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 2:12 pm

Guy Kibbee was one of those film character actors who just sat around until he was told by the studio what film he was next appearing in. He could handle anything that came his way. Occasionally he was given lead roles and he just plodded along - extremely well. His forte was playing plain, no-nonsense men harassed by their wives. In "Going Highbrow" (1935) he is just an ordinary guy from Kansas who just so happens to have made a fortune, through no fault of his own, who is married to Zasu Pitts. She has decided to utilise the money to further their social status whilst they are in New York having just returned from Europe.

Early on we are introduced to the satorially elegant Edward Everett Horton who is someone always eager to be on the make. He offers to introduce Mr. Kibbee and Ms Pitts to society - for a fee. Wouldn't you know? He is close friends with Ross Alexander who is the son of a society matron (Nella Walker). They are a bit short on the readies. Meanwhile Guy, in search of the plain and simple has befriended a waitress (June Martel) at a diner he is frequenting for breakfast. A scheme is then hatched whereby this girl will be passed off as his daughter at a 'coming out' party to which all the nobs will be invited. Meanwhile Ross stumbles upon the girl in the street. He doesn't know who she is, but falls in love with her instantly. Trouble is, she is already married.

If all this sounds complicated, it is. Now we know why Edward Everett Horton has such a nervous and hackneyed manner - he is the one charged with working everything out!

Naturally this is the type of plot that is good for a comedy film because everyone can stumble over it. Guy Kibbee just plods along basically feeding everyone. Zasu Pitts gives a slight variation from her usual character and puts the icing on the cake where it is needed. Ross Alexander shows that he had a certain amount of pizzazz and his tragic suicide was a dreadful loss; but it is Edward Everett Horton who shines. He is in his element here and is given extra material to work with - such as the patter songs he shares with Mr. Alexander. He is excellent, never missing a beat. June Martel is adequate for what was required of her and had a career that really never went anywhere. Arthur Treacher was still in the lower ranks - he's only a waiter in a brief scene while the whole thing was ably directed by Robert Florey.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 2:37 pm

Even back in 1936, more mature people were thought of as old fogeys, and Guy Kibbee (again) finds himself ousted as President of a firm he created in "The Big Noise". His wife (Virginia Brissac) suggests he go retire in California but he gets bored sipping orange juice under the shade of a palm tree, so without anyone's knowledge he invests as half-partner under an assumed name, in a dry-cleaning business with Dick Foran. Dick meets Guy's daughter (Alma Lloyd) accidentally and falls in love with her - but he doesn't know she is his daughter. Meanwhile, racketeers are muscling in on the business demanding a contribution to their benevolent fund.

This is a good, fast-moving supporting picture which fills up just under an hour quite nicely. Guy Kibbee virtually carries it off single-handedly and is a treat to watch.

Of interest to those who relish the obscure is that it features Australian born actor George Beranger, who had made a good career in silent pictures from 1912, but got less and less out of talkies as time went on.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 2:45 pm

Donald Binks wrote:Even back in 1936, more mature people were thought of as old fogeys, and Guy Kibbee (again) finds himself ousted as President of a firm he created in "The Big Noise". His wife (Virginia Brissac) suggests he go retire in California but he gets bored sipping orange juice under the shade of a palm tree, so without anyone's knowledge he invests as half-partner under an assumed name, in a dry-cleaning business with Dick Foran. Dick meets Guy's daughter (Alma Lloyd) accidentally and falls in love with her - but he doesn't know she is his daughter. Meanwhile, racketeers are muscling in on the business demanding a contribution to their benevolent fund.

This is a good, fast-moving supporting picture which fills up just under an hour quite nicely. Guy Kibbee virtually carries it off single-handedly and is a treat to watch.

Of interest to those who relish the obscure is that it features Australian born actor George Beranger, who had made a good career in silent pictures from 1912, but got less and less out of talkies as time went on.


Sounds like a reworking of 1933’s The Working Man, starring George Arlie’s.

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

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 2:52 pm

boblipton wrote:Sounds like a reworking of 1933’s The Working Man, starring George Arliss.
Bob


Similar, but different. No doubt the Warner Bros., squeezing a script that worked in order to get every last drop out of it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 4:13 pm

It's somewhat refreshing to find a picture where Lee Tracy is not a newspaper reporter. Such is the first point in "Crashing Hollywood's" (1938) favour. That apart from utilising Hollywood and the pictures as a backdrop makes it a fair to middling comedy.

Paul Guilfoyle has just been let out of prison. He travels with his wife (Lee Patrick) in a train that is also carrying writer Lee Tracy on his way to Hollywood and hopefully a screen-writing career. Tracy meets Joan Woodbury rather awkwardly and falls for her. Anyway, one thing leads to another and the three end up in Hollywood with the ex-crim lending a "professional" eye to Tracy's scripts as he has been hired by Hollywood bigshot Richard Lane. Trouble is, the scripts are too close to real crime and this draws the attention of a big crook (Bradley Page) and the police.

It's amazing how many comedies rely on mistaken identities and things that get misconstrued. In real life this tends to cause aggravation and frustration, but on the screen it provides laughs. If only that situation could be reversed methinks?

This is a so-so R.K.O. film based on a failed play from 1922. It is though relieved from complete tedium and utter nonsense by having a few good scenes in it. Among them are those featuring Richard Lane as the very model of a studio head as we would imagine one to be. He hit my funny-bone.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Feb 02, 2018 8:41 pm

A sensational film is The Boys (1962), a British courtroom drama with a Rashomon twist. It seems that four "Teddy Boys" (a term that did not cross the Atlantic) are on trial for the brutal murder of a night guard in a garage where the punks thought 100 pounds were stashed. Film starts with a parade of witnesses giving their accounts (shown in flashbacks) of the rowdies on a spree in London. It looks bad. But when the defense has the rowdies tell THEIR side of the story, we are shown how their actions were misunderstood, taken out of context, etc. It's also apparent that the witnesses mostly had a dislike for Teddy Boys in general. It all ends in a clever and surprising way. Richard Todd and Robert Morley are the legal counsels, Felix Aylmer the judge. The boys are little known actors like Dudley Sutton, Jess Conrad (a pop star of the time), Ronald Lacey (possibly the best scene stealer of the bunch), and Tony Garnett. Among the witnesses and parents are some familiar faces like Hilda Fenemore, Rita Webb, Wilfrid Branbell, Carol White, Allan Cuthbertson, Roy Kinnear, Mavis Villiers, Betty Marsden etc. Chalk up another terrific performance by Robert Morley.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Feb 03, 2018 3:12 pm

Last night I spent ten years waiting desperately for "Roman J. Israel, Esq." (2017) to come to an end. What we had here was an interesting character caught up in a rather opaque story. No doubt, if one was a member of the legal fraternity or au fait with life in Los Angeles, one might have been able to make something out of it all, but to an outsider, like me, a lot of it just went over my head.

From what I could gather, Denzel Washington as the main man, is a do-gooder type lawyer. A rare breed. He is a bit of an oddball, somewhat savant and with a bad choice of tailor. He has been working for donkey's years as the back-room boy in a two-handed firm, but the head dies so he tries to get a job with a legal-aid outfit because he wants to radicalise the legal profession, but they ain't got no money to pay him so he ends up being taken on by a "smart-boy" lawyer who has absorbed his old firm. He has to try and fit in and gradually he does, but it he does so by doing a devious deed which stays on his conscience.

Possibly all of this could have been a good story, if only it could have moved at a brisker pace, become more interesting and ended before I grew a full beard!
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Feb 03, 2018 4:01 pm

boblipton wrote:I sometimes wonder if sidelighting from the left is supposed to indicate something different from sidelighting from the right in the movies. The bookends of My Death is a Mockery (1952) are shot as condemned prisoner Donald Houston spends his last few hours with priest Liam Gaffney, with the sidelighting shifted from prologue to epilogue.

The story is about how Houston and wife Kathleen Byron are about to lose their trawler, but Bill Kerr suggests a spot of smuggling. After Miss Byron talks the unwilling Houston into it -- and has last minute second thought -- things go wrong.

It's an exercise in watching the two male characters under pressure, seeing which one of them will crack, and neither of them is, frankly, very admirable. It's one of those second features where there doesn't seem to be anyone to root for, except possibly the parrot onboard. Still, at 65 minutes, all the technical details are handled well, the performances are good, and it passes the time quickly.

Bob


Watched this one the other night, but thought wasn't helped by the rather ropey print quality. Must admit to finding it a bit on the turgid side, but if a better copy turned up it may well come over better. Admittedly felt rather more sympathetic to Houston as he was more of a fool than an out-and-out bad 'un...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Feb 04, 2018 6:55 am

Another of the Lutheran 'This is the Life' TV shows, THE MISSING INGREDIENT (1961) has Jack Nicholson's bride-to-be worried about her parents' marriage which appears to be on the rocks. Nicholson is more concerned with making their marriage work and is not keen on a postponement. Turns out he's stopped going to church, having had enough of it already, but in this segment, according to their pastor, that is the 'missing ingredient' for a successful marriage. Features Veda Ann Borg as Nicholson's future mother-in-law...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Feb 04, 2018 1:01 pm

I noted to my cousin we're still in the thin season for movies. He recommended one that's Oscar-nominated and has a good Rotten Tomatoes score. Una Mujer Fantástica aka A Fantastic Woman (2017) has Daniela Vega and her much older lover celebrating her birthday. However, later that night, he wakes her up, feeling very odd. As she tries to get him down the stairs, he falls, and when he finally gets into the emergency room, he dies. It's then that the complications begin, because her lover had an angry ex-wife and grown-up sons, and Daniela is a transsexual and no one cares for the situation.

It's a slow but interestingly ornamented story. My cousin noted, after we left the theater and were eating lunch, that transsexuals are the flavor of the month, and that the message of the film seems to be that if you don't want to annoy people, don't steal their dogs. I noted that it was produced by the same people as last year's Best Foreign Language nominee, Tony Erdmann, and in this one, at least, they didn't kill any dogs, nor abuse any petit fours. And it's only a hundred minutes.

I suppose that's a recommendation.

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

PostSun Feb 04, 2018 4:50 pm

Love may mean never having to say you're sorry, but death means not having to be in the sequel to Love Story. In Oliver's Story (1978), Ryan O'Neal has to struggle with being a rich, idealistic attorney in an affair with fabously wealthy Candace Bergen who treats him to a trip to Hong Kong. Life is not what it should be, however, since rich father Ray Milland wants him to take over the family business and Candace Bergen actually thinks that her job running Bonwit Teller is more important than paying constant attention to O'Neal.

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

PostSun Feb 04, 2018 5:41 pm

boblipton wrote: Candice Bergen actually thinks that her job running Bonwit Teller is more important than paying constant attention to O'Neal.
Bob


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

PostMon Feb 05, 2018 11:23 am

Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991) based on E.M. Forster's first novel (1905) always strikes me as a rather sour story of cold English superiority in the face of warm Italian passion. The films lacks the lushness of A Room with a View though there are some minor similarities. Anyway, a disliked and widowed sister-in-law (Helen Mirren) is packed off to Italy with a chaperone so that the "family" can mold the dreadful little Irma into a proper young lady. But once Mirren is free of the scolds, she quickly succumbs to the charms of Italy and a certain young man. After she dies the family is goaded into action when the do-gooder chaperon (Helena Bonham Carter) takes it upon herself to "rescue" the baby and bring it back to Salston. The matriarch (Barbara Jefford) dispatches the susceptible son (Rupert Graves) and the dour daughter (Judy Davis) to get the baby before the do-gooder does. Nothing goes right. The Italian settings are fine and the acting is good. It just seems to lack that Merchant/Ivory/Jhabvala magic.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Feb 05, 2018 3:52 pm

Thrusting enthusiasm out at every opportunity, until one nearly requests the bucket to be passed, is Ross Alexander in another Warner Bros. fast paced mover -"Here Comes Carter" (1936). He is a gossip columnist on the air, giving the dirt on wicked gangsters and naughty movie-stars. It's all cut and thrust with snappy dialogue to match. Mr. Alexander has the choice of Glenda Farrell and/or Anne Nagel in the glamour stakes department and he is assisted in this dramatic comedy with the likes of John Sheehan as a rather soft-hearted gangster bordering on stupid, Craig Reynolds as the main naughty movie star and Hobart Cavanaugh as an inebriated announcer.

This first half of the programme picture is not one of Mr. Alexander's best as he plays the part of a person who is not very likeable. Unfortunately it was his second last picture before he shot himself.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Feb 05, 2018 5:54 pm

boblipton wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Even back in 1936, more mature people were thought of as old fogeys, and Guy Kibbee (again) finds himself ousted as President of a firm he created in "The Big Noise". His wife (Virginia Brissac) suggests he go retire in California but he gets bored sipping orange juice under the shade of a palm tree, so without anyone's knowledge he invests as half-partner under an assumed name, in a dry-cleaning business with Dick Foran. Dick meets Guy's daughter (Alma Lloyd) accidentally and falls in love with her - but he doesn't know she is his daughter. Meanwhile, racketeers are muscling in on the business demanding a contribution to their benevolent fund.

This is a good, fast-moving supporting picture which fills up just under an hour quite nicely. Guy Kibbee virtually carries it off single-handedly and is a treat to watch.

Of interest to those who relish the obscure is that it features Australian born actor George Beranger, who had made a good career in silent pictures from 1912, but got less and less out of talkies as time went on.


Sounds like a reworking of 1933’s The Working Man, starring George Arlie’s.

Bob


Sounds more like a reworking of an earlier George Arliss picture, THE MILLIONAIRE, from 1931. They didn't waste any time reshooting a good script back in the dear dead days, did they?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Feb 05, 2018 6:12 pm

Over to the Museum of Modern Art for the Republic Picture festival to See Accused of Murder. Vera Hruba Ralston is a nightclub singer who has just had her opening night. Sidney Blackmer, a lawyer who's been stealing from the mob, asks her to marry him, but she doesn't love him. Mob boss Richard Karlan tells Warren Stevens to kill him, and he does so... with dance hall hostess Virginia Grey spotting him on the street just after the shot is fired. When homicide detectives David Brian and Lee van Cleef start investigating, the trail leads them immediately to Miss Ralston. Their problem is that the story she tells is not the story shown on the screen, nor does it match up their background checks.... and Miss Grey's attempts to blackmail a killer are not as smart as she would imagine....

It's wide screen and color and from a story by W.R. Burnett and shows promise, but director Joseph Kane doesn't know how to direct the scenes for the sexual heat that Burnett's story demands, so the abrupt changes are a bit cringeworthy. Still, there's a good scene with Elisha Cook Jr. as a sweaty alky and Frank Puglia is rather sweet as a sympathetic night club owner. There's not a spot of chemistry between the leads, however, and the result is a sub-par time waster.

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

PostTue Feb 06, 2018 12:31 pm

In GAMBLING WITH SOULS (1936) Martha Chapin plays the beautiful wife of a doctor who is tricked by a 'friend' into gambling, getting heavily into debt and having to pay off he IOUs in the Only Way She Can. At the start she is accused of murdering club owner Wheeler Oakman, and we follow her whole sorry story which climaxes (SPOILER) with the death of her sister from a botched abortion.

Hard to evaluate this one as the continuity and storytelling is somewhat choppy, but whether due to sloppy workmanship, censor cuts or the ravages of wear and tear impossible to tell. A few scenes of young ladies in their scanties and a strip scene liven things up somewhat and there are a few dance routines to pad the thing out. Some of these may well have been lifted from other films, as is the opening of police cars and motorcycles speeding to make a raid. Production quality pretty much what one might expect, but the film doesn't try the patience overmuch.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Feb 06, 2018 3:40 pm

I don't suppose all that much had changed from the days of "The Front Page" (1931) and 1971 when the 2017 film "The Post" was set as far as the world of newspapers is concerned. Reporters worked on their stories using typewriters and the newsprint itself was still being set in Linotype. If we jump to today's world, all this is now in the past. Computers do everything and people are gaining their news by means other than newspapers. "The Post" therefore is a nice little reminder of how things used to be.

It's a based on fact story with made up dialogue. I don't think that people talked altogether with eloquence and a sense of dramatic purpose in real life, so, thankfully, all the "ums", "ahs" and "you knows" have been cut out. We probably also see time-lines altered for dramatic effect. So what ensues is an account of how newspapers first started publishing contentious reports which were disturbing for governments. It was ground-breaking stuff and exposed politicians for what they basically are - liars and cheats. (There are a few exceptions, but not many).

Meryl Streep who has been a woman of authority in a number of films now, has, in this, become the owner of a newspaper - "The Washington Post". The paper has been in the doldrums a bit and she is floating shares in it on the stock market with a hope of gaining needed capital. Suddenly she is faced with a momentious decision - which is whether she will publish the "Pentagon Papers" and risk losing everything as well as the prospect of going to prison.

Tom Hanks plays her editor. It is a role in which he buries himself and takes on the character of a completely different person. It is away from the norm for him and he is quite effective.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, he has mananaged to bring some excitement to what could have been a rather droll and matter of fact story.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 11:19 am

Eight Men Out (1988) is an absorbing drama by John Sayles about the 1919 baseball scandal that rocked Chicago and the country. Underpaid players (those were the days!), greedy owners, racketeers, illegal betting, extortion, death threats, a narcissistic commissioner, and peer pressure all come into play. Eight of the team's nine major players were ... and still are ... banned from baseball, halls of fame etc. One player, Bucky Weaver, was basically innocent but was denied a separate trial, Another one, Shoeless Joe Jackson, was illiterate and had to sign paperwork with an X. Film has the players, with the exception of one, Chick Gandil, as naive dupes who got suckered by a gambling syndicate. Guess we'll never know. In any case, it's a terrific film with John Cusack, David Strathairn, John Mahoney, John Anderson, Kevin Tighe, Clifton James, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Lerner, Michael Rooker, Studs Terkel, and Sayles all very good. The era is nicely captured.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 1:09 pm

drednm wrote:Eight Men Out (1988) is an absorbing drama by John Sayles about the 1919 baseball scandal that rocked Chicago and the country. Underpaid players (those were the days!), greedy owners, racketeers, illegal betting, extortion, death threats, a narcissistic commissioner, and peer pressure all come into play. Eight of the team's nine major players were ... and still are ... banned from baseball, halls of fame etc. One player, Bucky Weaver, was basically innocent but was denied a separate trial, Another one, Shoeless Joe Jackson, was illiterate and had to sign paperwork with an X. Film has the players, with the exception of one, Chick Gandil, as naive dupes who got suckered by a gambling syndicate. Guess we'll never know. In any case, it's a terrific film with John Cusack, David Strathairn, John Mahoney, John Anderson, Kevin Tighe, Clifton James, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Lerner, Michael Rooker, Studs Terkel, and Sayles al very good. The era is nicely captured.


A favourite film of mine. I watch it every five years or so.

Sayles himself plays Ring Lardner (Sr.) and is a stunningly perfect lookalike.

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

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 1:41 pm

drednm wrote:Eight Men Out (1988) is an absorbing drama by John Sayles about the 1919 baseball scandal that rocked Chicago and the country. Underpaid players (those were the days!), greedy owners, racketeers, illegal betting, extortion, death threats, a narcissistic commissioner, and peer pressure all come into play. Eight of the team's nine major players were ... and still are ... banned from baseball, halls of fame etc. One player, Bucky Weaver, was basically innocent but was denied a separate trial, Another one, Shoeless Joe Jackson, was illiterate and had to sign paperwork with an X. Film has the players, with the exception of one, Chick Gandil, as naive dupes who got suckered by a gambling syndicate. Guess we'll never know. In any case, it's a terrific film with John Cusack, David Strathairn, John Mahoney, John Anderson, Kevin Tighe, Clifton James, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Lerner, Michael Rooker, Studs Terkel, and Sayles all very good. The era is nicely captured.

Did you see me in the outfield bleachers? No? That's right, you've never seen me; you wouldn't know. I was an extra. That was filmed - much of it - at the old Victory Field (also called Bush Stadium) in Indianapolis just as the new field was being built. The new field wasn't finished until 1996. The film was being made in 1987 for release in 1988. Charlie Sheen showed up a couple of times at a certain restaurant where I was dining because I was writing their wine list at the time. Won't comment farther. Movie's good. As you said, era's captured well.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 2:17 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:
drednm wrote:Eight Men Out (1988) is an absorbing drama by John Sayles about the 1919 baseball scandal that rocked Chicago and the country. Underpaid players (those were the days!), greedy owners, racketeers, illegal betting, extortion, death threats, a narcissistic commissioner, and peer pressure all come into play. Eight of the team's nine major players were ... and still are ... banned from baseball, halls of fame etc. One player, Bucky Weaver, was basically innocent but was denied a separate trial, Another one, Shoeless Joe Jackson, was illiterate and had to sign paperwork with an X. Film has the players, with the exception of one, Chick Gandil, as naive dupes who got suckered by a gambling syndicate. Guess we'll never know. In any case, it's a terrific film with John Cusack, David Strathairn, John Mahoney, John Anderson, Kevin Tighe, Clifton James, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Lerner, Michael Rooker, Studs Terkel, and Sayles all very good. The era is nicely captured.

Did you see me in the outfield bleachers? No? That's right, you've never seen me; you wouldn't know. I was an extra. That was filmed - much of it - at the old Victory Field (also called Bush Stadium) in Indianapolis just as the new field was being built. The new field wasn't finished until 1996. The film was being made in 1987 for release in 1988. Charlie Sheen showed up a couple of times at a certain restaurant where I was dining because I was writing their wine list at the time. Won't comment farther. Movie's good. As you said, era's captured well.



Next time I'm looking at this, wave to me.

Bob
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That we do. And that we are.
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drednm

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

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 2:29 pm

Trivia says Sayles filled in the audience with cardboard cutouts to save money. So were you really there, or was it just a facsimile?
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R Michael Pyle

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

PostWed Feb 07, 2018 3:44 pm

drednm wrote:Trivia says Sayles filled in the audience with cardboard cutouts to save money. So were you really there, or was it just a facsimile?

There were about 200 of us there. But, you're right, there were other "things", too. The weather was lousy, besides. Didn't matter to me. Something to while away a couple of hours. Loads of pay, too. I socked it away and am now a trillionaire. Uh-huh. Not sure actually if I made it out of the stadium with a dime.

To be honest, I barely remember doing any of it. Used to do this kind of thing when I could. Even made a film or two. All of which, by the way, rival Plan 9 for kitschness. Is that a word? Seems like ancient history, all of it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 6:17 am

The Onion Field (1979) is a true cop story by Joseph Wambaugh with a twist of Charles Dickens. First half of the story details the murder on a cop outside Bakersfield; the second half shows how the killers use the broken legal system to their benefit after they've been condemned to die for the killing. The film features a chilling performance by James Woods as the "brains" of a ragtag bunch of petty thieves who get in over their heads. Franklyn Seales is also outstanding as the confederate. Quirky John Savage plays the cop whose life is destroyed by surviving the the killing, and Ted Danson plays the doomed cop. Others include Ronnie Cox, David Huffman, Pat Corley, Priscilla Pointer, Lillian Randolph, Lee Weaver, Chstopher Lloyd, etc. Gritty and complex story would have made a great miniseries.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 10:10 am

Haven't seen The Onion Field in years, but thanks for the reminder. Woods has become something of an unhireable crank lately, it's good to be reminded of what an effective actor he once was. At least Ted Danson has been on a roll on TV lately (Bored to Death, The Good Place). I see there's a recent blu-ray of this, maybe from Kino-Lorber? Need to grab one of those.

I've been on a bit of a Daniel Day-Lewis bender after being captivated by Phantom Thread. Revisited In the Name of the Father, where he's paired with the great Pete Postlethwaite as a father and son imprisoned for a '70s IRA bombing that neither had anything to do with. Really captures the flavour of the times, and both are outstanding. Postlethwaite is much missed, had the pleasure of having a beer with him when he had some downtime at a local film festival, where he was promoting the Newfoundland family drama The Divine Ryans. Such a charming gentleman, one of my favourite celebrity encounters.

Followed it up with The Boxer, reteaming DDL with ItNotF director Jim Sheridan, and the film is more low-key than its predecessor, despite the fight scenes and constant threat of violence against DDL's title character, a former Belfast prizefighter and ex-con who reconnects with a former flame (Emily Watson) whose husband is behind bars, which apparently was a big no-no with the IRA. They seem to constantly be on the lookout for wives of their imprisoned members to make sure they're not up to any hanky panky, which apparently is more important than dodging the Ulster Constabulary. Didn't care for it as much as ItNotF, although DDL gives a nicely downplayed performance and his scenes with Watson have a real tenderness to them.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 12:02 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:Haven't seen The Onion Field in years, but thanks for the reminder. Woods has become something of an unhireable crank lately, it's good to be reminded of what an effective actor he once was. At least Ted Danson has been on a roll on TV lately (Bored to Death, The Good Place). I see there's a recent blu-ray of this, maybe from Kino-Lorber? Need to grab one of those.

I've been on a bit of a Daniel Day-Lewis bender after being captivated by Phantom Thread. Revisited In the Name of the Father, where he's paired with the great Pete Postlethwaite as a father and son imprisoned for a '70s IRA bombing that neither had anything to do with. Really captures the flavour of the times, and both are outstanding. Postlethwaite is much missed, had the pleasure of having a beer with him when he had some downtime at a local film festival, where he was promoting the Newfoundland family drama The Divine Ryans. Such a charming gentleman, one of my favourite celebrity encounters.

Followed it up with The Boxer, reteaming DDL with ItNotF director Jim Sheridan, and the film is more low-key than its predecessor, despite the fight scenes and constant threat of violence against DDL's title character, a former Belfast prizefighter and ex-con who reconnects with a former flame (Emily Watson) whose husband is behind bars, which apparently was a big no-no with the IRA. They seem to constantly be on the lookout for wives of their imprisoned members to make sure they're not up to any hanky panky, which apparently is more important than dodging the Ulster Constabulary. Didn't care for it as much as ItNotF, although DDL gives a nicely downplayed performance and his scenes with Watson have a real tenderness to them.


I hope to see The Phantom Thread soon.....
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 12:58 pm

Watched a double-bill starting with HIGH GREEN WALL (1954), a TV adaptation of an Evelyn Waugh story directed by Nicholas Ray and featuring Joseph Cotten and Thomas Gomez. Despite a not-too-good copy, this story about a fellow obsessed with Dickens and the poor fellow condemned to read his Collected Works is quite enjoyable, with Cotten in good form. Although there are other characters, it's virtually a two-hander.

The second one was a shortened version of ELYSIA (1934), an early nudist movie. With an aura of the 'educational' and scientific about it, the film is more of an excuse to expose the female form. A bit monotonous in spots, but overall quite amusing in its own way and one of the pioneers of its type...
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 7:05 pm

I bought the Torchy Blane series from WB a few weeks ago and just finished watching the set last night. In all but two (and I skipped those) Torchy is played by Glenda Farrell and her police fiancee is Barton MacLane. I had a lot of fun watching each of the seven movies. They are typical WB's B fares of the late 1930's, but when I say that I mean that as a compliment. They are relatively short, fast paced, well directed and just meant to be fun...which they were. Recommended.

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

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 8:30 pm

It was over to the Museum of Modern Art for the Republic Pictures festival this afternoon. today's bill was one I was looking forward to: it was an Allan Dwan double bill and I was not disappointed.

First up was Driftwood (1947). When preacher H.B. Warner drops dead during a sermon, reducing the town's population to his great-grand-daughter Natalie Wood, she follows his instructions and heads out to Sodom and Gomorrah, almost getting hit by a crashing plane, being eaten by a wildcat, and rescuing a collie. They are rescued by Dean Jagger, a country doctor, who's living with his foster father, druggist Walter Brennan a small but corrupt town run by Jerome Cowan. The story roams hither and yonder, involving Rocky Mountain fever, rotten kids, and a story line with plenty of laughs that eventually veers into a serious plot, a lecture on the necessity of getting your children vaccinated, and an over-the-top coincidence that saves the day at the end. It's carried by Dwan's impeccable direction, John Alton's flawless camerawork, and a cast of professionals that includes Ruth Warrick, Charlotte Greenwood, Margaret Hamilton, Hobart Cavanaugh, Alan Napier, Francis Ford.... well, Dwan had worked with everyone and could get them to come in. Lots of fun, and the dog was cute too.

The Inside Story (1948) also was a bit of a message film, as Dwan's independent post-war work would become increasingly in the 1950s. It struck me as an economic lesson on the velocity of money which I have heard as a one-minute burlesque joke, stretched out to a ninety-minute radio script and then given flawless movie visuals by Allan Dwan and his team. The youngsters play their roles seriously, except for Marsha Hunt, who shows a flair for comedy. I did enjoy the constant abuse of William Lundigan, the most wooden of would-be stars of the 1940s.

The old pros include Charles Winninger, who plays the Cornball Coot; Gene Lockhart, who plays his apoplectic octuple take; Alan Jenkins in full Damon Runyon mode; Roscoe Karns, who reruns his character from It Happened One Night; and FLorence Bates, who must have ruined many a take bursting out laughing. I know how she felt. I kept giggling, as did the rest of the audience.

Bob
“Oh, yeah, I’ve been there. Pretty cool place. The people who live there? They love it. They’re nuts.”

That we do. And that we are.
-- James Lilek
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