What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:37 am

Mike Gebert wrote:According to Alan K. Rode's book on Michael Curtiz, Jimmy the Gent (1934) was an important film in Curtiz's rise at Warner Brothers. Whatever they saw inside the studio in terms of how Curtiz handled the assignment, it's hard to see it from the outside watching it today, it's a pretty poor piece that validates the line that Warner Bros. movies can have comedic moments but the studio couldn't really do comedy.

James Cagney runs a practice finding lost heirs to fortunes, and occasionally manufacturing them as well—which is to say, he's a criminal and fraudster, something the film seems to find no objection to. Bette Davis left him and went to work for Allan Dinehart (who's truly terrible as a way-too-precious lawyer with fancier manners and supposed refinement) because she couldn't stand... his manners more than his criminality, it appears. There could have been decent comedy in teaching Cagney upscale manners, Pygmalion-style, but that's glossed over, at least as far as I got... my son came home from work at that point and I haven't had the urge to finish it and settle the question of whether Cagney and Davis, who have next to no chemistry together, were ultimately reconciled. It's rare to see a true misfire from Warner Bros. in this period but this is one, clunkily written by Bertram Millhauser who would find his appropriate specialty writing Sherlock Holmes movies a few years later.

The most notable thing about the film is that its name became the nickname of the real-life Lufthansa Heist gangster James Burke, played by Robert DeNiro (as "Jimmy Conway") in Goodfellas.
Actually, I think the most notable thing about this film is the fact that Cagney was so angry over the awful script that he cut/shaved his hair on the sides of his head nearly to the bone as a form of protest. It didn't make Curtiz very happy. It was considered idiotic looking in 1934. You're not the only one who didn't like the film. It's this kind of film that Bette Davis complained of when she finally went on strike a year later!

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

Unread post by brendangcarroll » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:53 am

Watched the delightfully naughty SEARCH FOR BEAUTY (1934) last night.

Ida Lupino is delectable in it. Young Buster Crabbe shows he was FAR more than FLASH GORDON; why he never made it to being a great leading man is beyond me. He certainly had the looks and the charm.

This film must have just got under the wire before the Code took effect.

A little gem!
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:14 pm

Well, I guess what they admired about Curtiz is that he managed to get this mess done in reasonable order at all.

I looked at the book again briefly and I think I was giving it a little of the credit for another comic-flavored piece, Kid Galahad, but apparently Hal Wallis pestered Curtiz to tone down the comedy in favor of Cagney playing Public Enemy again, and Curtiz ignored him, and the movie made money, so it may have helped his career that he managed to wrangle two unhappy stars and a pestering producer and turn out something that made the studio some cash. Put all that together and you have the perfect Warner Bros. director, as he would soon prove to be.

But you don't need to see Jimmy the Gent to know it, and yes, it's a good example of how Davis was being wasted in Loretta Young parts.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Salty Dog » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:07 pm

Well, it takes all kinds I guess. I think Jimmy the Gent is hilarious and Cagney gives a very funny performance which plays as an exaggeration of his usual urban tough guy, with a more gutteral delivery than usual, aided by his Sluggo (from the
Nancy comic strip) haircut. I do admit I can see why Bette Davis wasn't thrilled with her part, though, she definitely was wasted.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Rick Lanham » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:58 pm

I watched Le deuxième souffle (Second Wind) (1966) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.

An aging criminal breaks out of prison and is wanted by the police. He wanted to hide out in another country, but has no funds of his own. He signs on to one last caper so he can retire. But he has scores to settle and there is this one smart cop chasing him…

I found it hard to keep the characters straight at first, but then a few leave the scene, so to speak, and things are simplified. Some nice tricks that keep your attention.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:59 am

Rick Lanham wrote:I watched Le deuxième souffle (Second Wind) (1966) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.

An aging criminal breaks out of prison and is wanted by the police. He wanted to hide out in another country, but has no funds of his own. He signs on to one last caper so he can retire. But he has scores to settle and there is this one smart cop chasing him…

I found it hard to keep the characters straight at first, but then a few leave the scene, so to speak, and things are simplified. Some nice tricks that keep your attention.

Rick

It's my favorite Melville flick. Many of the others seem too artificial, too coy. Because of squeamishness and the tradition of the Good Bad Man, there's a tendency to glamorize the brutal and make them admirable. This one works, including why everyone on the crook wants to help Ventura.... well, except the real animals.

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

Unread post by Rick Lanham » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:09 am

boblipton wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:I watched Le deuxième souffle (Second Wind) (1966) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.

An aging criminal breaks out of prison and is wanted by the police. He wanted to hide out in another country, but has no funds of his own. He signs on to one last caper so he can retire. But he has scores to settle and there is this one smart cop chasing him…

I found it hard to keep the characters straight at first, but then a few leave the scene, so to speak, and things are simplified. Some nice tricks that keep your attention.

Rick

It's my favorite Melville flick. Many of the others seem too artificial, too coy. Because of squeamishness and the tradition of the Good Bad Man, ther's a tendency to glamorize the brutal and make them admirable. This one works, including why everyone on the crook wants to help Ventura.... well, except the real animals.

Bob
It's worth watching again, that is for sure.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:30 pm

A couple of years ago I wrote that I had trouble with Martin Scorsese's Silence, a visually beautiful movie about Jesuits in 17th-Century Japan because it was a movie about faith, a subject completely alien to me. I had exactly the opposite problem with the movie I saw with my cousin today, Paul Schrader's First Reformed (2017).

Ethan Hawke is the pastor of a tiny Dutch Reformed church in upstate New York. He has about seven communicants. The only reason his church exists at all is that it is an historically important church, about to celebrate its 250th anniversary, with a major ceremony. Mr. Hawke has major emotional issues. His son was killed Iraq, following a long family tradition of national service. His wife, played by Victoria Hill, divorced him. In the meantime, one of his congregation, pregnant Amanda Seyfritz, asks him to counsel her husband, who wants her to get an abortion. He is convinced that global warming is about to end the world and it would be wrong to bring a child into this world.

I wrote of Silence that I have no personal understanding of faith. Neither, apparently, does Schrader, who wrote as well as directed this movie. His take on the subject is that anything that he does not understand is b**ls**t, and that the motives of people are always base and evil. By the end of the movie I was deeply offended. When my cousin asked me what I thought, I replied: "Well, Mr. Schrader, f**k you too."

It is not simply the absence of anyone to admire in the movie. That is a tiresome feature of far too many modern movies that I note as a major flaw to my enjoyment. It is a major philosophic flaw of many people who, confronted with someone with opinions different from theirs, assume the basest of motivations; Mr. Schrader makes that assumption and makes it the central message of his movie. People are garbage, regardless of what they tell you. It is an argument grown distressingly common in the highest of modern political discourse and I reject it absolutely, and this movie with it.

I asked my cousin what he thought of this movie. He said "Well, a movie should show you something you haven't seen before." I agreed it had, but told him that the next time he wanted to see a movie by Mr. Schrader, he could see it without me.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:42 pm

After swimming through the sewers of Paul Schrader's mind, it's a pleasure to enjoy the simplicities of a B Western. Cyclone Fury (1951) is a late Durango Kid B Western. Mark Roberts has gotten a government lease and a contract to supply 300 wild horses to the Army every month, and is shot dead by Clayton Moore and his henchmen. His contract is inherited by little Louis Lettieri, and it's up to Charles Starrett to make sure that matters turn out well. Smiley Bunette is along for comic relief and if you look closely, you can spot Merle Travis in one of his four movie appearances as a backup musician before he made a name for himself.

The shrinking market for B westerns had forced some major economies on the series and Columbia had responded by using stock footage and cutting in major sequences from earlier Durango Kid movies. The editing is very good, but if you look closely, you can see that the film stock doesn't mtch perfectly. Still, it's an amusing entry in the series.

It was also the last movie that Clayton Moore released before he hit it big on the small screen. This came out on mid-August of 1951. The following month, The Lone Ranger made the switch from radio to television after fourteen years of movies, Moore was finally a star.

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:10 pm

drednm wrote:The Desert Song (1953) was Warners' third and last production of this operetta. Apparently it was a hit but suffers from far too many rear projection shots and badly lit Technicolor night scenes that make Kathryn Grayson look downright swarthy. .....
As somebody who has the music from "The Desert Song" high on a pedestal, I find that this particular version tries to make the operetta into some type of action-packed adventure picture and it therefore loses it's appeal. Probably the 1929 version is the only one that manages to capture the full essence of what it is all supposed to be about?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:18 am

Donald Binks wrote:
drednm wrote:The Desert Song (1953) was Warners' third and last production of this operetta. Apparently it was a hit but suffers from far too many rear projection shots and badly lit Technicolor night scenes that make Kathryn Grayson look downright swarthy. .....
As somebody who has the music from "The Desert Song" high on a pedestal, I find that this particular version tries to make the operetta into some type of action-packed adventure picture and it therefore loses it's appeal. Probably the 1929 version is the only one that manages to capture the full essence of what it is all supposed to be about?
I agree, Donald. The 1943 version was turned in a war propaganda film, but there's something lacking in the 1953 version that goes beyond Grayson and MacRae. Just enough changes in the characters so that there no difference between MacRae's El Khobar and Paul Bonnard (especially as opposed to John Boles' characters). The plot seems long on the "political" stuff (to me), which I don't remember from the 1929 version. Maybe it just lacked that "MGM touch" even though it was always a Warners film?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:31 am

Rick Lanham wrote:
boblipton wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote:I watched Le deuxième souffle (Second Wind) (1966) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.

An aging criminal breaks out of prison and is wanted by the police. He wanted to hide out in another country, but has no funds of his own. He signs on to one last caper so he can retire. But he has scores to settle and there is this one smart cop chasing him…

I found it hard to keep the characters straight at first, but then a few leave the scene, so to speak, and things are simplified. Some nice tricks that keep your attention.

Rick

It's my favorite Melville flick. Many of the others seem too artificial, too coy. Because of squeamishness and the tradition of the Good Bad Man, ther's a tendency to glamorize the brutal and make them admirable. This one works, including why everyone on the crook wants to help Ventura.... well, except the real animals.

Bob
It's worth watching again, that is for sure.

Rick
Melville's stuff is always fascinating. I only discovered him a year or two ago, and I've been lapping up everything of his that Criterion put out (darn it, that Army of Shadows is OOP!) Just ordered Les Enfants Terribles in the Barnes and Noble Criterion sale last week.

Jim

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:19 pm

Two 'Poverty Row' westerns:

IN OLD CHEYENNE (1931) has Rex Lease coming to the rescue of an old pal whose ranch has been turned into a sort of holiday hotel. The old-timer, who is crippled at the start of the film is fooled into thinking Rex has messed things up when his coffee is doped, but all comes well in the end. Routine and unexciting, with the odd entertaining moment.

'NEATH THE RAINBOW SKIES (1930) stars Bob Steele coming between his girl and his boss (a nice, though weak fellow) when the boss's partner plugs the old fellow, and planting the blame on Bob. The usual foolishness, with his girl believing the worst of Bob, despite her Dad's partner being a rattlesnake of the first water. The rest of the plot involves sheep grazing rights and horse thieving. A bit better than the above entry, and benefiting from an entertaining scrap and some pleasing compositions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Another group visit, this time to the restored YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968), which I had only seen oddments of before. Watching this most enjoyable film on a big screen shows it to greater benefit, and one can take pleasure in the often striking and beguiling visuals, accompanied by a generous helping of The Beatles' later numbers, such as 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'When I'm Sixty-Four'. It comes over as a sort of illustrated album which obviates any need for ingesting hallucinogenic substances.

Alternately amusing and stylish, often both, George Dunning's film concerns the Fab Four's recruitment by Old Fred (an ancient sailor) to save the citizens of Pepperland from the dreaded Blue Meanies, aided by a mysterious creature called Jeremy Hillary Boob (voiced by Dick Emery) [cue 'Nowhere Man']. Oddly enough, the lads were all dubbed for their acting roles, and that part of the film is sometimes a little bland. Otherwise,the film is astonishing and full of surprises. Yes, it is absurd, and a touch Monty Pythonish (pre-Python), but comes over as an inventive, surrealist entertainment, which provided a good deal of chuckles and pleased most of us Old Farts...

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:47 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Another group visit, this time to the restored YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968) .... Oddly enough, the lads were all dubbed for their acting roles, and that part of the film is sometimes a little bland.
They couldn't even be bothered to get different actors to do the George and Ringo voices, both were done by British character actor Paul Angelis (Z Cars), who also voiced the Chief Blue Meanie.

Still that's one more voice than the Saturday morning The Beatles cartoon, where Paul Frees and Lance Percival split the Fab Four between themselves. Weirdly, Percival voices Old Fred in Yellow Submarine. One Percival title I'd like to find is Postman's Knock, one of the few films to feature the Goons' Spike Milligan in a starring role.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by FrankFay » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:03 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:[ One Percival title I'd like to find is Postman's Knock, one of the few films to feature the Goons' Spike Milligan in a starring role.
I've seen it- an industrial satire made at the level of a kiddie film. Do not expend undue energy or funds to see it.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:59 pm

FrankFay wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:One Percival title I'd like to find is Postman's Knock, one of the few films to feature the Goons' Spike Milligan in a starring role.
I've seen it- an industrial satire made at the level of a kiddie film. Do not expend undue energy or funds to see it.
Oh well, at least it has a fun theme song.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by FrankFay » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:10 am

It is mildly funny - which is OK, except that "Mild" should never be in the same ROOM with Spike Milligan.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:10 am

Three Men on a Horse (1936) is a mostly funny comedy based on a play by George Abbott and John Cecil Holm that feels like it was written by Kaufman and Hart. The film gives Frank McHugh a starring role as a mousey verse writer for a greeting card company who "plays" the horses on paper while riding the bus. It seems he never loses. After a fight with his wife and domineering brother-in-law, he goes bar crawling and wanders into a dive where a trio of professional gamblers (Sam Levene, Teddy Hart, Allen Jenkins) are gather up loose change for their next bet. After McHugh babbles about the day's winning horses, the trio basically kidnap McHugh when they realize he was correct. From there, they get involved in his marriage, his job, and his life in general ... until the worm turns. Manic comedy style depends on fast banter and split-second timing. The cast mostly achieves its goal. Joan Blondell has the female lead (and does a dance) with Guy Kibbee, Carol Hughes, Edgar Kennedy, and Paul Harvey taking the other major roles. There's also Eddie Anderson, Harry Davenport, Virginia Sale, Eily Malyon, Ottola Nesmith, Mickey Daniels, and Charles Lane. Hart and Levene recreate their Broadway roles, and Blondell plays the role originated by Shirley Booth.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:00 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Another group visit, this time to the restored YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968) .... Oddly enough, the lads were all dubbed for their acting roles, and that part of the film is sometimes a little bland.
They couldn't even be bothered to get different actors to do the George and Ringo voices, both were done by British character actor Paul Angelis (Z Cars), who also voiced the Chief Blue Meanie.

Still that's one more voice than the Saturday morning The Beatles cartoon, where Paul Frees and Lance Percival split the Fab Four between themselves. Weirdly, Percival voices Old Fred in Yellow Submarine. One Percival title I'd like to find is Postman's Knock, one of the few films to feature the Goons' Spike Milligan in a starring role.
One of the voice-credits was Geoffrey Hughes, who became a familiar face on TV as Stan and Hilda Ogden's lodger in 'Coronation Street' as well as in the long-running Yorkshire-set series 'Heartbeat'.

I recall seeing POSTMAN'S KNOCK on TNT (as it was) back in the '90s. Presumably it was one of those British features distributed by MGM, like the Margaret Rutherford 'Miss Marple' films. One could perhaps see it as a British JOUR DE FETE, bolstered by the usual cast of cameo players.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:04 pm

Forgot to mention an oddity from 1930, THE AMERICANS COME. This is a brief movie with a Great War setting focusing on French soldiers. I would guess that a lot of the film is recycled footage until we meet again one of the men, who has been blinded and invalided out. His depression is listed when he hears a song and martial music meaning that America has entered the War. Crude, perhaps, but effective and moving, with good use of the footage...

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

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:53 pm

drednm wrote:A very funny Brit film, Kill or Cure (1962) on YT has Terry-Thomas as a bungling private detective who gets called to a health farm to investigate a death. But the deaths keep happening. He teams up with a staff member (Eric Sykes) to find out who the killer is. Co-stars include Dennis Price as the doctor, Lionel Jeffries as the inspector, Moira Redmond as the secretary, Katya Douglas as a nurse, and Ronnie Barker, Patricia Hayes, Hazel Terry, Peter Butterworth, Derren Nesbitt, and the wonderful Anna Russell in her only feature film appearance. Russell made a concert and recording career out of spoofing Wagner's 20-hour Ring Cycle in 30 minutes. I remember these recordings fondly.
I found it a bit more frantic than funny, but it certainly had its moments.... although I expected the prima donna of the Ellis Island Opera Company to be more.... what's the word.... robust.

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:06 pm

silentfilm wrote:I'm not a horror-film kind of guy, but I love suspense films. A Quiet Place (2018) is one heart-pounding, nail-biting, jumping-out-of-your-seat film! Aliens have invaded, and of course they have strong body armor. They are blind, but use ultra-sensitive hearing to maneuver around and hunt prey, like people. One family lives the best life they can in this hellish world.

Except for two very brief conversations, this is a non-talking film. The characters communicate by sign-language (and subtitles). The sound of a human voice could attract the aliens, and a loud noise really gets their attention. Emily Blunt plays a strong mother who has to protect her kids (and give birth while being stalked by an alien!). Millicent Simmonds is a deaf actor who plays their hearing-impaired daughter in the film, and she is excellent also. The film is quite creative with the use of sound, and we experience Millicent's world when her hearing aid is not working. Unlike most horror films, you care about all of the characters. And although Michael Bay was one of the producers, this film has the most anti-Michael Bay ending that will have you clapping.
Saw this tonight and liked it ... much to my surprise. Well done, good performances.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Zool » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:12 am

Daniel Eagan wrote:I got to interview Morgan Neville about his documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? and he said the biggest problem he faced was having too much material. Everyone he spoke to wanted to contribute, so he saw his job as limiting the doc as much as possible to Rogers himself. That's why some people are seen only briefly, if at all.

I was too old to watch the show when it originally aired, so I went into the film with only the preconceptions formed by comedians and critics who over the years portrayed Rogers as square, a bit simple, and sort of preachy. What I liked about the doc was how it explained and illuminated his background, showed how talented he was, and gave just enough examples of the show to indicate how it evolved and how brilliant it was. There are two scenes in it which left me in tears, tears and utmost respect for someone who tried to do good instead of amass a fortune.
I watched the show when I was a kid. Even then, as young as I was, I thought his show was for babies. "Baby stuff" I used to say. I watched anyway 'cause it was better than going to school. Now, decades later, I saw the documentary and got insight into what Fred was really like. And he was exactly like he was on his show. He really was THAT good and kind. And a visionary in every sense of the word.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:34 am

The Goldwyn Follies (1938) is a stunning Technicolor musical that was a major disappointment. Most sources say it lost a lot of money. It also failed to make Sam Goldwyn's discovery, Vera Zorina, a star. Loose plot has Adolphe Menjou as a film producer whose pictures don't "ring true," so he hires a girl (Andrea Leeds) to be "Miss Humanity" to give advice and keep his pictures from being phony. Zorina plays a temperamental film star, and the Ritz Brothers play their usual goons, here stalking and haranguing Menjou at every turn. While Zorina's dance numbers are fine, her character is off-putting (and it probably sank her film career from the get-go). The Leeds character meets a singing hash house cook (Kenny Baker) who sings while he flips burgers. Leeds is supposed to eschew movie folk to stay "pure" but she connives to have Menjou hear Baker sing and cast him in the Zorina film. Others who pop up include Edgar Bergen (I can never NOT watch his lips move), Helen Jepson in a sequence from "La Traviata." Phil Baker as an accordionist trying to break into movies, Bobby Clark and Ella Logan as comic relief types, and a tall-looking Alan Ladd as an auditioner. The plot is silly, the Ritzes annoying, and the film is very long. Yet is has a few good moments and it's lovely to look at. Music by George Gershwin just before his death, though he likely did not write the Ritz's "Here Pussy, Pussy, Pussy" song.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:43 am

drednm wrote:The Goldwyn Follies (1938) is a stunning Technicolor musical that was a major disappointment. Most sources say it lost a lot of money. It also failed to make Sam Goldwyn's discovery, Vera Zorina, a star. Loose plot has Adolphe Menjou as a film producer whose pictures don't "ring true," so he hires a girl (Andrea Leeds) to be "Miss Humanity" to give advice and keep his pictures from being phony. Zorina plays a temperamental film star, and the Ritz Brothers play their usual goons, here stalking and haranguing Menjou at every turn. While Zorina's dance numbers are fine, her character is off-putting (and it probably sank her film career from the get-go). The Leeds character meets a singing hash house cook (Kenny Baker) who sings while he flips burgers. Leeds is supposed to eschew movie folk to stay "pure" but she connives to have Menjou hear Baker sing and cast him in the Zorina film. Others who pop up include Edgar Bergen (I can never NOT watch his lips move), Helen Jepson in a sequence from "La Traviata." Phil Baker as an accordionist trying to break into movies, Bobby Clark and Ella Logan as comic relief types, and a tall-looking Alan Ladd as an auditioner. The plot is silly, the Ritzes annoying, and the film is very long. Yet is has a few good moments and it's lovely to look at. Music by George Gershwin just before his death, though he likely did not write the Ritz's "Here Pussy, Pussy, Pussy" song.
You think maybe it was uncredited work by Cole Porter?

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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

Unread post by drednm » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:55 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:The Goldwyn Follies (1938) is a stunning Technicolor musical that was a major disappointment. Most sources say it lost a lot of money. It also failed to make Sam Goldwyn's discovery, Vera Zorina, a star. Loose plot has Adolphe Menjou as a film producer whose pictures don't "ring true," so he hires a girl (Andrea Leeds) to be "Miss Humanity" to give advice and keep his pictures from being phony. Zorina plays a temperamental film star, and the Ritz Brothers play their usual goons, here stalking and haranguing Menjou at every turn. While Zorina's dance numbers are fine, her character is off-putting (and it probably sank her film career from the get-go). The Leeds character meets a singing hash house cook (Kenny Baker) who sings while he flips burgers. Leeds is supposed to eschew movie folk to stay "pure" but she connives to have Menjou hear Baker sing and cast him in the Zorina film. Others who pop up include Edgar Bergen (I can never NOT watch his lips move), Helen Jepson in a sequence from "La Traviata." Phil Baker as an accordionist trying to break into movies, Bobby Clark and Ella Logan as comic relief types, and a tall-looking Alan Ladd as an auditioner. The plot is silly, the Ritzes annoying, and the film is very long. Yet is has a few good moments and it's lovely to look at. Music by George Gershwin just before his death, though he likely did not write the Ritz's "Here Pussy, Pussy, Pussy" song.
You think maybe it was uncredited work by Cole Porter?

Bob
That's the general consensus....
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:47 pm

Not to be confused with the 1929 film of the same title, THRU DIFFERENT EYES (1942) was an odd mixture of comedy and crime which worked well for me, although it got rather confusing in places.

Frank Craven, a D.A., is lecturing a group of student lawyers on circumstantial evidence, citing the case of a fellow who seemed certainly guilty. However, his wife (June Walker) thinks otherwise, and goes to extreme measures to prove the fellow's innocence. Walker's suspicion come to the boil when the murder victim's (Jerome Cowan) widow is about to marry the fellow she loved in the first place.

The film is told in a series of flashbacks, with a generous helping of crammers, some of which seem designed to cancel one another out, although at odd points it was easy to get a little lost. What help this film is a decent pace, and a good feel for comedy, with Walker's tart though loving wife behaving more outrageously as it progresses towards its rather lunatic, madcap finale. A nice little discovery, and worth an hour of anyone's time in my view.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In one scene, Walker shoots a revolver into a book (for ballistics purposes!), which turns out to be 'I Wake Up Screaming', filmed by Fox the year before...

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:16 pm

Since I'll be driving through it next week it was finally time to knock Portland Expose off the list. A late noir film (1957) by el cheapo outfit Allied Artists I wasn't expecting much but it turned out to be fairly entertaining. Racketeers muscle into town and put the moves on local tavern keeper, Edward Binns, but Binns fights back with the help of the honest union locals.

The whole union vs. the mob thing was a real twist and one that I don't recall ever seeing before, which helped keep my interest. The performances are good, particularly Frank Gorshin as a hoodlum with a taste for underage girls, and even Joe Flynn has a small part. Carolyn Craig was unknown to me but she made a real impression as the underage girl. Her real life 'ending' was tragic and a real loss. The location photography was a hoot and some of the places are still around so, if my car breaks down, I'll have something to do.

Worth 72 minutes of my life.

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:28 pm

drednm wrote:... include Edgar Bergen (I can never NOT watch his lips move)...
That's probably why he did more work on the wireless than he did in films?
Regards from
Donald Binks

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

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

Unread post by drednm » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:25 am

I Wake Up Screaming (1941) is based on a novel of the same name by Steve Fisher. It boasts a rare non-musical role for Betty Grable and it's a decent little noir film. Seems Betty's sister (Carole Landis) has been plucked from hash-house obscurity by a "promoter" (Victor Mature) in a Pygmalion moment. He, and two friends, dress her up and take her to swanky hot spots (alternate title is HOT SPOT) where she becomes a minor celebrity and even gets a screen test. But she gets knocked ff on the night before her departure to Hollywood. The cops think Mature and his pals (Allyn Joslyn, Alan Mowbray) are likely suspects since Landis was running out on them. But one spooky cop (the excellent Laird Cregar) is determined to pin it on Mature. Grable is attracted to Mature and conflicted since he might have killed Sis. Everyone one is good.

My favorite line is from Mowbray as the three guys are sitting at a bar and taking credit for Landis' success. He spits at Joslyn (who plays a gossip columnist), "Why you ink stinking word slinger!"
Ed Lorusso
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