What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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boblipton
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by boblipton » Sun May 28, 2017 12:54 pm

Today's movie in the theater starred Richard Gere as Norman (2016), an elderly New York hustler. who strikes the jackpot when he buys discouraged Israeli soon-to-be-ex-politician Lior Ashkenazi a pair of shoes. Three years later, Ashkenazi is Prime Minister and suddenly Gere is seen as a man with connections..... until a political crisis ensues in Israel. It's an excellent script, but Gere is miscast.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Mon May 29, 2017 7:03 am

Everyone is about to graduate, so his fellow collegians invade Manning Whiley's rooms, destroy his posession and go off to get even more drunk. Whiley decides to stick ringleader Michael Drake in a trunk and sink him in the pits and dykes around his country cottage. Unfortunately for his plans, it seems the world decides to come visit him in Design for Murder (aka Trunk Murder; 1939).

Roy Boulting reportedly shot this quota quickie in twelve days, and the audience can see it's his work. The nasty sense of humor he and his twin brother John exhibited in their farces of the late 1950s is evident, particularly in the character of Hay Petrie as a garrulous old gaffer who keeps showing up to offer provisions for Whiley's breakfast. The macabre glee with which the movie proceeds slides uneasily into a melodramatic exposition of madness late in the show, spoiling the effect a bit, but the first three-quarters of the movie are excellent and the ending doesn't get anywhere near wrecking the movie.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Tue May 30, 2017 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
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earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon May 29, 2017 11:17 am

THUNDER BELOW (1932) has oil worker Charles Bickford going blind, while wife Tallulah Bankhead is having a steamy affair with best friend Paul Lukas. As if this wasn't enough, Lukas has a brief fling with a local lady of ill repute and Bankhead falls back on newcomer Ralph Forbes. Unfortunately they still love one another, but Lukas hates the idea of betraying his friend. Eugene Pallette is on hand as is, astonishingly, James Finlayson, sans moustache. Watchable, if rather turgid, and with one striking shot of the two lovers riding at night.

An oddity was the Irish DEVIL'S ROCK (1938), with Richard Hayward as a shepherd-cum-poacher with a lovely voice who has the wheeze of organising a concert in order to bankroll a tea-shop for a friend. A rather shaky plot, with some technical and dramatic deficiencies, which adds music, crime and a touch of romance as well as a youngster in danger for the title's climax. Despite the faults, the film is still rather enjoyable, and even has a Maurice Tourneur - John Ford style shot while Heyward is singing 'The Rose of Tralee' to surprise one.

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

Unread post by drednm » Mon May 29, 2017 11:40 am

I watched the ultra-bizarre Glory Alley (1952) directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Ralph Meeker as a professional boxer who suddenly gives up the "sport" but refuses to tell anyone why. His girlfriend (Leslie Caron) dances in a New Orleans dive bar but lies to her blind father (Kurt Kasznar) who thinks she's a nursing student. Gilbert Roland plays the manager/pal, John McIntire a blowhard reporter, Dan Seymour plays a gangster named The Pig, and Louis Armstrong plays Kasznar's service guide and sings a few songs. After he quits the ring, Meeker goes off to war and becomes a hero and local celebrity, but after a month, his newfound fame evaporates so he sends his Medal of Honor back to the president and brings in a physician from Milwaukee to cure the old man's blindness so he can marry Caron. Eventually he breaks down and tells Caron the reason why he quit the ring ... but by then we don't care at all. Bizarre MGM film defies all logic but is certainly a mesmerizing wreck. Caron's act includes a pole dance en pointe. Others include Jack Teagarden as himself, Pat Goldin as comic relief, Larry Gates as the doctor, Joi Lansing as a chorus girl, and King Donovan as the phone man. MGM blew $1M and lost a bundle on this one. No surprise.

Oh yes, and Glory Alley is, as McIntire tells us, a seedy section of New Orleans with its stories of mugs and pugs and lugs.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon May 29, 2017 2:51 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote: An oddity was the Irish DEVIL'S ROCK (1938), with Richard Hayward as a shepherd-cum-poacher with a lovely voice who has the wheeze of organising a concert in order to bankroll a tea-shop for a friend.
"I know! Let's put on a show!!!"

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

Unread post by 2 Reel » Mon May 29, 2017 4:48 pm

The Devil-Doll (1936) directed by Tod Browning (uncredited) and starring wild-eyed Henry B. Walthall, wild-eyed Rafaela Ottiano, Lionel Barrymore imitating Lon Chaney as the old woman in The Unholy Three, Maureen O'Sullivan two years after Tarzan and His Mate, and Frank Lawton. Imaginatively entertaining and oddly creepy! I had trouble sleeping afterward. In an impulsive moment of panic, I searched our house for the two dolls my granddaughter had left under a bed. The thought of them lurking around my jewelry box while I slept was too unnerving. I locked them in a file cabinet.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Mon May 29, 2017 6:50 pm

The first thing that I thought of when watching "The Love Parade" (1929) (again after an absence of a decade or so) was why has this not been given a stage treatment? So many films have found themselves given a stage makeover - such as "Sunset Boulevard" and "The Phantom of the Opera" to name but two - why not this one? It would lend itself easily as it is full of bright and breezy numbers, complete idiocy and wonderful fun.

Maurice Chevalier had the ability to charm an audience the moment he poked his head around the edge of the screen and he does this straight off in "The Love Parade" by addressing the audience straight to camera before he carries on with the rest of the picture. He knows that what he is doing in this film is absolutely silly and ridiculous, but he is having a lot of fun doing it and if the audience are having to put up with it all - why can't they have fun with it too?

Jeanette MacDonald makes her screen debut in this picture and was teamed up with Chevalier four times before the powers that be decided that a baritone would be a more suitable partner to her soprano than a crooner. Like Chevalier she also proved that she could get her personality across on screen and that fact that she could sing well was an added bonus.

Ernst Lubitsch, marooned in a republic, was obviously pining for "zer goot alt dayz" of monarchical splendour and thus re-created this for the screen, so sumptuous settings abound in the picture, teamed with uniforms and gowns that would have got the nod from von Stroheim. He also had a bit of naughtiness in him, so the film is definitely pre-code in that it is mildly racy and tends to show off females wearing negligents and all that sort of thing.

As I have said, it is basically nonsense, which is why I am not bothering to discuss the plot. It's all fluff and diddums, but who cares? It enables the mainstays of the cast to come on, do their stuff and entertain us greatly. As well as aforesaid Chevalier and MacDonald, we are entreated to Lupino Lane who is given ample opportunity to display his athleticism and his abilty to put across a number along with the best of them. He is assisted in his endeavours by Lillian Roth. Edgar Norton, all prim and proper does well as an esteemed major-domo and Eugene Pallette is featured in the days when he was only a small dirigible before he became the "Hindenburg".

The musical numbers by Victor Schertzinger and Clifford Grey are all a delight and are well-known (to me anyway) - such as "Dream Lover", "My Love Parade", and "The March of the Grenadiers" to name but a few.

Made in 1929 and still very much enjoyable 88 years later!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by boblipton » Mon May 29, 2017 7:03 pm

Lubitsch was always very aware of the camera and the audience behind it. Not only does he begin Die Puppe (1919) by addressing the audience with a model for the set, but "the Lubitsch touch" depends on that intimate relationship with the audience and his frequent framing devices, indicating that this is a work of fiction, make free note of this. Chevalier peeking around the corner is just another cheeky example of this.

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

Unread post by drednm » Mon May 29, 2017 7:51 pm

Slightly Scarlet (1930) is a talkie early talkie that pits two jewel thieves against each other in a villa on the Riviera. Elegant Evelyn Brent is forced into one more heist by crime boss Paul Lukas (we never know what power he has over her) as she pretends to be a Countess and befriends some nouveau riche Americans (Eugene Pallette, Helen Ware) to snag a fabulous pearl and ruby necklace. But dapper Clive Brook has his eye on the ruby as well. Can't hold a candle to the later Trouble in Paradise, but not really a bad film. Virginia Bruce plays the daughter, and Henry Wadsworth the boyfriend from Youngstown. Two directors are credited.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by boblipton » Tue May 30, 2017 6:44 am

They Came By Night (1940): Will Fyffe is a jeweler with a pretty niece, played by Phyllis Calvert. When a precious ruby is stolen, his brother commits suicide.Mr. Fyffe becomes mixed up with the thieves and drawn into their schemes.

It's a very good programmer for Fox's British studio. Mr. Fyffe is excellent in the role, but director Harry Lachman directs it for speed. Nonetheless, Mr. Fyffe gets to show canny good humor in the role. Miss Calvert was still in the beginning of her career, playing the pleasant ingenue -- although her first screen role had been a dozen years earlier, it would not be until the following year's The Remarkable Mr. Kipps that she would have her breakout role. Mr. Lachman returned to the U.S., where he would work for a couple of years in Fox' B division, then retire Mr. Fyffe would return to smaller roles until his death in 1947.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue May 30, 2017 12:40 pm

boblipton wrote:Everyone is about to graduate, so his fellow collegians invade Manning Whiley's rooms, destroy his posession and go off to get even more drunk. Whiley decides to stick ringleader Michael Drake in a trunk and sink him in the pits and dykes around his country cottage. Unfortunately for his plans, it seems the world decides to come visit him in Design for Murder (aka Trunk Murder; 1939).

Roy Boulting reportedly shot this quota quickie in twelve days, and the audience can see it's his work. The nasty sense of humor and and his twin brother John exhibited in their farces of the late 1950s is evident, particularly in the character of Hay Petrie as a garrulous old gaffer who keeps showing up to offer provisions for Whiley's breakfast. The macabre glee with which the movie proceeds slides uneasily into a melodramatic exposition of madness late in the show, spoiling the effect a bit, but the first three-quarters of the movie are excellent and the ending doesn't get anywhere near wrecking the movie.

Bob
I, too spotted TRUNK CRIME before I read this review and watched it last night. A lively yarn, with a particularly brutal 'shipping' of the study, the film does seem to falter slightly after a while, with the would-be murderer acting very suspiciously. Interesting to see a young Thorley Walters, and Petrie seems to be entering a Wilfrid Lawson imitation competition. An interesting and worthwhile rarity.

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

Unread post by Daveismyhero » Tue May 30, 2017 1:04 pm

My wife was away on a cruise with her mother, so I was able to watch a handful of films over the last weekend:
Cat People (1942) - This was too much of a slow-burn for me, unfortunately. I almost fell asleep during this one, despite being a big Val Lewton fan. Maybe I'll give it another go some day.
Alien (1979) - This is always a favorite, and I enjoyed watching it with my son for the first time. Looking forward to watching Aliens next weekend (hopefully).
His Girl Friday (1940) - I watched the Criterion Collection version of this, and it looked great to my eyes. I especially enjoyed the dialogue and Cary Grant was great as always.
The Front Page (1931) - I didn't enjoy this film very much when I watched it a couple of years ago, but a lot of that had to do with the terrible audio and overly-dark picture. The new Criterion version is such a dramatic improvement and I enjoyed the film much more this time around. Adolphe Menjou is a favorite, so that helps, too.
36 Hours (1964) - I'll bet I have recorded and deleted this one on my DVR 5 times over the years, and I'm glad I finally watched it as part of TCM's Memorial Day programming. James Garner and Rod Taylor really played well of each other and the premise was very compelling. This was the earliest film of James Garner that I have seen, and I'll have to check out some of his other early (to me) films.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Tue May 30, 2017 3:40 pm

In What the Butler Saw (1950), Edward Rigby has just returned from the Coconut Isles, where he has been ... head of the British mission for ten years. His butler, Henry Mollinson, returns with him to a houseful of stuffy relatives. Meanwhile, Mercy Haystead, the princess of the Islands, has stowed away in the crates of animals Rigby has shot. Hilarity ensues.

Or at least it would, if there were any life in this lifeless relic. The movie is called a rarity, but it still turned up and I watched it regardless. The film makers were going for some sort of P.G. Wodehouse effect, but lack much in the way of comic pacing. New points, like love potions, keep popping up in order to stretch the effort out to second feature length, but despite the hard work of the actors, there's nothing to be done with the script.

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue May 30, 2017 7:49 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
boblipton wrote:Everyone is about to graduate, so his fellow collegians invade Manning Whiley's rooms, destroy his posession and go off to get even more drunk. Whiley decides to stick ringleader Michael Drake in a trunk and sink him in the pits and dykes around his country cottage. Unfortunately for his plans, it seems the world decides to come visit him in Design for Murder (aka Trunk Murder; 1939).

Roy Boulting reportedly shot this quota quickie in twelve days, and the audience can see it's his work. The nasty sense of humor and and his twin brother John exhibited in their farces of the late 1950s is evident, particularly in the character of Hay Petrie as a garrulous old gaffer who keeps showing up to offer provisions for Whiley's breakfast. The macabre glee with which the movie proceeds slides uneasily into a melodramatic exposition of madness late in the show, spoiling the effect a bit, but the first three-quarters of the movie are excellent and the ending doesn't get anywhere near wrecking the movie.

Bob
I, too spotted TRUNK CRIME before I read this review and watched it last night. A lively yarn, with a particularly brutal 'shipping' of the study, the film does seem to falter slightly after a while, with the would-be murderer acting very suspiciously. Interesting to see a young Thorley Walters, and Petrie seems to be entering a Wilfrid Lawson imitation competition. An interesting and worthwhile rarity.
Very odd film. I was squarely on the side of the murderer.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Changsham » Wed May 31, 2017 1:08 am

Been watching some episodes of the Warner's Bluray complete 120 episode BATMAN TV series 66-68 set I just acquired. This is truly an amazing Bluray set. The set was released in 2014 and is the only offical home media release in any format. The quality is stunning and far better than the Dynamic Duo and villains ever appeared on any TV broadcast period. All episodes restored from the 35mm negatives to almost fresh out of the camera pristine. Magnificent colours, clarity and details abound. Just finished watching the episode where The Riddler was making silent films and trying to steal rare silents from a wealthy collector played by Francis X Bushman. One of his henchmen was called Erik Von Blowheim. Great fun and endless repeat value.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Wed May 31, 2017 1:11 pm

I don't go looking at PRC movies expecting much in the way of excellence, even if they are directed by the underrated Christy Cabanne. So when I decided to take a look at The Man Who Walked Alone (1945), I didn't expect much. Imagine my surprise when I found it a spiffy comedy in the vein of Preston Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero.

When we first meet Dave O'Brien -- better remembered for his roles in countless Pete Smith shorts and low-grade B westerns -- he is trying to hitch a ride into his home town. All we know about him is that he is a war vet who grew up in an orphanage; his (new) home town was bequeathed to him by his fox hole buddy who hasn't made it back. He annoys Kay Aldredge, a local heiress engaged to a local politician whom she doesn't love, and gets a ride from her. They are promptly thrown into jail. Twice.

I said this movie is in the vein of Preston Sturges' great comedy, but it is far more cynical. The auctorial voice in the other movie is cynical, even as the characters are stoic and steadfast; even the politicians in Hail are well-meaning, if terribly confused. In this movie, every character is cynical: not just the kid sister and the worldly-wise aunt, but even the dithery mother. They all know they are putting on a false front, and are more concerned with appearances than the realities.

Bob

In many ways, the script of this movie offers a film noir world view hiding under the mask of a standard romantic comedy. It's filled with fine comedy veterans who underplay their roles. In the end, it offers the message that there is hope, so long as people are honest; also a few laughs along the way.
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed May 31, 2017 1:42 pm

At last I caught up with John Baxter's DOSS HOUSE (1933), a short feature set in one of the numerous lodging houses in London catering to the poor and destitute. An escapee from Dartmoor is suspected to be heading to one of them, and a young reporter is sent to accompany the detective, more to find out what life is like in one of those places.

Although it is difficult for a film from this period to give an idea of the dirt, discomfort and smell of a typical doss-house (George Orwell is good in this respect), Baxter paints a sympathetic picture of the (male) residents, mainly small stallholders (bookseller, cat's meat man) and others who have had bad breaks in their lives, such as a former concert pianist and a man who claims he has killed another. Although other film / tv writers and directors have followed Baxter's lead, it was one of the first films where the working man or down and out was not a subsidiary character or a comic 'type', and indeed Baxter would return to such folk and themes throughout his interesting career.

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed May 31, 2017 9:48 pm

A delightful film, happily to say in tip top, pristine condition is 1936's "Radio Lover" made by City Film Corporation during their two year existence.

This film pokes gentle fun at the Beeb who, in the early days, was broadcasting such riveting programming as "One Hour of Gregorian Chants" interspersed with "Professor Hogwash's discourse on African Beetles", and late night gems such as "Music to Commit Suicide By". In this instance "Broadcasting House" has become "Radio House", where the dire state of what's going over the air causes the powers that be to engage a crooner to become the mysterious "Radio Lover" singing songs the public wishes to hear and thus regain listeners.

Of course, the actual singer - in the person of Wylie Watson (the man who disclosed where the "39 Steps" were, and who was taken off by Peter Sellers in the 1960's film "I'm Alright Jack") was not deemed to have the required looks and a rouse is undertaken at the suggestion of his manager (Jack Melford) that he be the face and Wylie be the voice. All works out for a time, but naturally it comes undone at the end - as one would expect it might, and in quite an amusing situation.

The associated players are all ideal for their parts and include Max Faber as a supercilious programming manager, Gerald Berry as the Head of Broadcasting, Ann Penn as a lady with pince-nez who is generally against everything, Betty-Ann Davies as a love interest, Cynthia Stock as a beautifully spoken secretary and Eric Pavitt as a very officious uniformed young boy in charge of a front door.

The film lasts just four minutes over an hour and the time goes very quickly due to a nice pace and a good script. The music is pleasing - it's all that lush 1930's type stuff and I believe the actual singer was Pat O'Malley.

In February 1936 a big fire broke out at the studios in Elstree causing over £500,000 of damage. All the sets and dresses of "Radio Lover" were destroyed. The film later recommenced being photographed at the British International Studios.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed May 31, 2017 10:01 pm

"Me and Marlborough" (1935) put out by Gainsborough stars Dame Cicely Courtnedge, the comedienne and Tom Walls, the farcier. With these two one would be forgiven for thinking that the resultant offering would be a comedy - maybe that is what the producers intended? But, for this viewer it seemed more like a historical drama with some bits of funny business awkwardly thrown in.

Dame Cicely plays innkeeper Kit Ross who marries an oaf - Dick Welch, but he gets gazumped into taking the Queen's shilling. Then Dame Cicely, in order to find her hubby, poses as a young lad who also takes the Queen's shilling. Whilst in the Army she/he gets mixed up with the Duke of Marlborough who is poncing about in Flanders due to the Spanish War of Succession. Dame Cicely gets involved in intrigue and eventually comes close to His Grace and thus does a bit of business finally becoming a hero/heroine. It's all rather silly, and I think that at times not only did I lose sight of the plot - but the writers did as well.

Cecil Parker has a brief role in it - but he plays it all rather seriously. Too bad everybody else was so serious as well.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed May 31, 2017 10:10 pm

Having just sat through his wife in something completely unfunny, I did the same with her real life hubby - Jack Hulbert who flounced his way through "The Camels are Coming" from 1934.

In this he is an airman who is seconded to the fledgling Egyptian Air Force - I think Egypt was a protectorate of the Empire at one time? Anyway, moving along, Hulbert is hapless, but well meaning and proper in the English meaning of the word, which could also be interpreted as a twit. He is supposed to be trying to find drug smugglers amongst some Arabian gentlemen who are swanning around on camels. It's all quite ludicrous - especially when it gets to a big fight scene at a deserted fort in the middle of the desert.

It's such a pity this film relied so much on Hulbert trying to be funny and gave him so little time to doing song and dance numbers - at which he was quite good.

I'd put this film in the 'tripe' department.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed May 31, 2017 10:15 pm

"Life" (2017). A space ship has docked with a space station after returning from Mars with a one cell life form. This life form grows bigger and starts to kill everybody.

I think this has all been done before - countless times. I found this version bordering on boredom.
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"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:..."

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed May 31, 2017 10:29 pm

"Crackerjack" (2002) is a picture I remember seeing at the cinema and being mildly amused by when it first came out. Looking at it lately on a video release I did not seem to have as much mirth conveyed to me as from the original viewing - nevertheless it was a more enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes than watching paint dry.

Mick Molloy, who stars in it as well as having written the script and part produced it, is someone who apparently broadcasts on the wireless and is interested in football. In his spare time he dabbles in comedy and what he has come up with here makes use of the laconic Australian sense of humour setting it in a Lawn Bowls Club inhabited with oldies and about to fold up. He saves it - in a roundabout fashion.

There are some good gags thrown in here and there and it is nice to see some familiar faces such as John Clarke, Bill Hunter, Louis Ramsey, Bob Hornery, Frank Wilson and Peter Aanensen - all sadly, no longer with us. Of those still with us, Judith Lucy and Samuel Johnson feature with the fine assembly of supporting players.
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"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:..."

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:44 am

Donald Binks wrote:"Crackerjack" (2002) is a picture I remember seeing at the cinema and being mildly amused by when it first came out. Looking at it lately on a video release I did not seem to have as much mirth conveyed to me as from the original viewing - nevertheless it was a more enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes than watching paint dry.
Living with an Aussie, and having lawn-bowling parents, this film was a big hit when it arrived at our house, on a double-feature DVD with another Mick Molloy/Judith Lucy comedy, the cop picture Bad Eggs. Molloy has an amiable, shambling presence onscreen, too bad he hasn't done much lately. (His boy band satire BoyTown had a few funny moments, and some recognizable faces from Aus TV).

There's a slew of these gentle Australian character driven comedies, and we tend to enjoy them more often than not. Dirty Deeds with Bryan Brown, John Goodman, Toni Collette and Sam Neill is another favourite in this vein.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Unread post by maliejandra » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:49 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:At last I caught up with John Baxter's DOSS HOUSE (1933), a short feature set in one of the numerous lodging houses in London catering to the poor and destitute. An escapee from Dartmoor is suspected to be heading to one of them, and a young reporter is sent to accompany the detective, more to find out what life is like in one of those places.
Have you been watching PBS's Victorian Slum House series? It is appalling what the poor had to go through in Victorian times. The doss house was a horrible place to live, providing little more then a roof. It might have been healthier to sleep outside most days.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:13 pm

maliejandra wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:At last I caught up with John Baxter's DOSS HOUSE (1933), a short feature set in one of the numerous lodging houses in London catering to the poor and destitute. An escapee from Dartmoor is suspected to be heading to one of them, and a young reporter is sent to accompany the detective, more to find out what life is like in one of those places.
Have you been watching PBS's Victorian Slum House series? It is appalling what the poor had to go through in Victorian times. The doss house was a horrible place to live, providing little more then a roof. It might have been healthier to sleep outside most days.
I'm based in England, and don't use a TV license in any case, maliejandra. My viewing is done via the 'Net (on a TV set) or DVDs. The programme certainly sounds interesting, and I shall do some delving. And yes, by all accounts they were awful places to stay (although one might not expect much for 8d to 1s a night - I suppose roughly the equivalent of £1.30 to £2.00 in modern money) but varied in 'quality' from place to place.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:26 pm

UNASHAMED (1932) is an MGM outing I had never heard of, but proved worth seeing if a little heavy in dialogue. Helen Twelvetrees is due to come into $3M, which makes her a target for slimy Monroe Owsley [whose career was cut short by his death at 36]. Her family (father Robert Warwick, brother Robert Young) are against the match, so the horrid fellow arranges for them to spend the night together so Dad will have to allow the marriage. Things don't go to plan, and Young (who seems to care more for her than for his fiancee) kills him.

Despite facing the electric chair, Young doesn't want his sister's name besmirched, making things tricky for defence lawyer Lewis Stone... In addition, Twelvetrees refuses to help her brother, despite her father's pleadings. Despite being a trifle convoluted at times, UNASHAMED is an entertaining movie, from the very first shot of a party where one initially thinks Young and Twelvetrees are the lovers. A good cast (Louise Beavers, John Miljan [the prosecuting attorney] and Jean Hersholt [Owsley's father, of whom he is ashamed]) keeps the interest going, even though one has no doubt of the outcome. A bit of a change of Pace for director Harry Beaumont, who (together with cinematographer Norbert Brodine) seems to have fun with the first scene-setting shot.

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:00 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:"Crackerjack" (2002) is a picture I remember seeing at the cinema and being mildly amused by when it first came out. Looking at it lately on a video release I did not seem to have as much mirth conveyed to me as from the original viewing - nevertheless it was a more enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes than watching paint dry.
Living with an Aussie, and having lawn-bowling parents, this film was a big hit when it arrived at our house, on a double-feature DVD with another Mick Molloy/Judith Lucy comedy, the cop picture Bad Eggs. Molloy has an amiable, shambling presence onscreen, too bad he hasn't done much lately. (His boy band satire BoyTown had a few funny moments, and some recognizable faces from Aus TV).

There's a slew of these gentle Australian character driven comedies, and we tend to enjoy them more often than not. Dirty Deeds with Bryan Brown, John Goodman, Toni Collette and Sam Neill is another favourite in this vein.
It's good to see that Aussie films are well received in Canada. By the same token I enjoy some Canadian films - even the ones done in French! :D

You are right too that there were a string of good Aussie comedies made in the 80's and 90's. They reminded me in some way of the Ealing comedies due to their good ensemble casting. Trouble is, a lot of them are hard to see nowadays. One of my favourite character actors from this period was the late Paul Chubb who sadly left us at far too early an age.
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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? (2017)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:58 pm

J. Pierpont Ginsburg (Nat Carr), a Hollywood mogul obviously based on Sam Goldwyn observes that "talking pictures are in their infantry!" and then proceeds to malaprop himself through the rest of "The Talk of Hollywood" (1929) - a picture made by an obscure studio that sends up the new-fangled talkie sensation and was obviously the inspiration behind "Singing in the Rain".

There's a lot about this picture that would ordinarily have one mouthing the word "Yuck!", but despite the rather amateurish aspects, it has some quite delightful moments and above all, it is dealing with a very interesting subject - that of the introduction of sound to pictures.

There is a title announcing the great sensation to grace the screen in this picture - Fay Marbe - as if to say she will become a great star. This was to be her only talking appearance. "Never count your chickens before they are hacheted" as Mr. Ginsburg would utter.

Natt Carr, the star, went on to appear in shorts and as "uncredited" in a number of later pictures and the leading man Sherling Oliver, went on to make only one more picture after this. The director, Mark Sandrich, finally learned how to make pictures after this and went on to direct "Top Hat" and "The Gay Divorcee".

Al Goodman's Orchestra makes an appearance, so all is not that bad.
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"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:..."

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:13 pm

I think that I would probably go and see any picture that had Jim Broadbent in it as I consider him an actor that I enjoy seeing on the screen. He has a face that can light up any role and is at home with drama as well as comedy. In "The Sense of an Ending" (2017) he has his drama hat on as a quite mature man, now happily divorced, with an ex-wife (Harriet Walter) who is still his friend. He does though become obsessed with a past love in his life through a legacy he is left in a will and starts a re-evaluation of his life.

Normally I would find such a story-line rather dull and not my cup of tea due to all the luvvy-duvvy stuff that might crop up here and there. Not so with this as I actually found it all quite interesting and the performances by everyone in it were superb.

Apart from the two aforementioned cast members, Charlotte Rampling gives a cold edge to the former love interest. Billy Howle and Freya Mavor portray Jim and Charlotte in flashbacks to when they were both young. These flashbacks are not intrusive nor do they confuse one (as some flashbacks tend to do). For the observant, Michelle Dockery from "Downton Abbey" makes an appearance.

Very capably directed by Ritesh Batra from a screen adaption by Nick Payne from the novel by Julian Barnes.
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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:..."

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:23 pm

Another British picture "The Carer" (2016) seems to bear some resemblance to some other pictures I have seen, but I can't quite put my finger on which ones.

It is a Hungarian-U.K. co-production and is about a cantankerous old actor who is battling Parkinson's disease and a young Hungarian gal who comes into his employ as a carer. Will she soften him up and allow him to personally accept a lifetime achievement award?

It's basically all predictable stuff, but enjoyably done. Brian Cox gives bite to the aged actor and is obviously relishing every moment. Newcomer Coco König is the carer. The old actor's household consists of a chauffeur/gardener (Karl Johnson), who has been retained for over forty years and Anna Chancellor as the housekeeper who was once the object of an affair. There is also an absolute b**ch of a daughter played by Emilia Fox, and just for good measure, Sir Roger Moore pops in at one stage to play himself.

Familiar territory but enjoyable nonetheless.
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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:..."

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