What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:27 pm

Yikes. Phantom Thread has terrific performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville. I didn't like Vicky Krieps or the character she played. Hated the ending. That is all.....
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:23 pm

Street of Chance(1942) hits all the buttons for Film Noir, and I'm willing to call it so. there are lots of earlier movies with elements that fused together to make Film Noir, and many movies that almost hit it around this time (like The Maltese Falcon), but Noir was a movement, and it's not leaders that make movements, it's followers, like Jack Hively, the B director of this one.

Burgess Meredith is walking down the street when he is knocked down by some rubble from a demolition job. When he gets up, he finds a cigarette case and hat with the wrong initials, and when he goes home, wife Louise Platt tells him he has been missing for more than a year. He goes to the office to get his job back, only to find Sheldon Leonard in hot pursuit. When he goes back to the part of town where he regained his memory, there Claire Trevor is, telling him to get off the street. He's her man and he's wanted for murder.

It's based on one of Cornell Woolrich's overwrought crime novels and, as usual, Burgess Meredith plays a nice, amiable fellow, rather wasted. Claire Trevor has all the good lines, and Sheldon Leonard is fine in a straight role. Despite that voice, meant for Runyonesque hoods, he was a good actor.

If the answer to the mystery is milked a bit to make the movie last a few minutes longer, the answer still came as a surprise to me. I expect you'll enjoy it, not only for its early, pure Noir, but for a fairly played, if mildly hysterical, mystery.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:24 pm

drednm wrote:Yikes. Phantom Thread has terrific performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville. I didn't like Vicky Krieps or the character she played. Hated the ending. That is all.....
Every movie with Daniel Day-Lewis has a terrific performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. It's almost boring to say so.

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

Unread post by drednm » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:51 pm

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:Yikes. Phantom Thread has terrific performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville. I didn't like Vicky Krieps or the character she played. Hated the ending. That is all.....
Every movie with Daniel Day-Lewis has a terrific performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. It's almost boring to say so.

Bob
Yes but I say so as a counterpoint to the hated ending.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by greta de groat » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:15 pm

drednm wrote:
boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:Yikes. Phantom Thread has terrific performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville. I didn't like Vicky Krieps or the character she played. Hated the ending. That is all.....
Every movie with Daniel Day-Lewis has a terrific performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. It's almost boring to say so.

Bob
Yes but I say so as a counterpoint to the hated ending.
This certainly must be a compelling film if so many of us have wanted to say something about it, pro or con. I even had an opinion and i only saw the trailer.

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:14 pm

The problem with Phantom Thread's ending is that it isn't a resolution-- it's just a punchline. It's like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ending with "Nobody's perfect!"

But enough about that, again. One time when William K. Everson came to Chicago to show mostly Paramount B's, he showed Street of Chance and another version of the same Woolrich book, Fear in the Night, with none other than 27-year-old DeForest Kelley in Meredith's role. It's cheaper, but overall I found it more satisfying—because by 1947 noir had been fully invented and so this version seemed more at home in all the standard tropes of the genre.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:27 am

Mike Gebert wrote:The problem with Phantom Thread's ending is that it isn't a resolution-- it's just a punchline. It's like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ending with "Nobody's perfect!"

But enough about that, again. One time when William K. Everson came to Chicago to show mostly Paramount B's, he showed Street of Chance and another version of the same Woolrich book, Fear in the Night, with none other than 27-year-old DeForest Kelley in Meredith's role. It's cheaper, but overall I found it more satisfying—because by 1947 noir had been fully invented and so this version seemed more at home in all the standard tropes of the genre.
That makes me feel good. I picked up Fear In the Night a couple of weeks ago even though I had never heard of it: DeForest Kelley, film noir, sleazy cover art, Cornell Woolrich story, discounted price, captioning -- I'm all over it. Haven't watched it yet, but now I'm really looking forward to it.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:46 am

Mike Gebert wrote:The problem with Phantom Thread's ending is that it isn't a resolution-- it's just a punchline. It's like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ending with "Nobody's perfect!"

But enough about that, again. One time when William K. Everson came to Chicago to show mostly Paramount B's, he showed Street of Chance and another version of the same Woolrich book, Fear in the Night, with none other than 27-year-old DeForest Kelley in Meredith's role. It's cheaper, but overall I found it more satisfying—because by 1947 noir had been fully invented and so this version seemed more at home in all the standard tropes of the genre.
Yar, I'll freely admit that the film version of Cornell Woolrich stuff averages way over the top for me. It's like those moments in Joseph H. Lewis movies when people begin ripping up feather pillows so we know they're rEaLLy MaD! There are some nice bits in Street of Chance, like the crowded slum street, but it's like eating a good pecan pie, and occasionally you chomp down on a bit of shell that reminds you why Hively never got out of the Bs.

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

Unread post by wich2 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:48 am

Another bit of pre-TREK De Kelley, in another Noir-ish piece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDp6aBzOUgA

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

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:57 am

Mike Gebert wrote:The problem with Phantom Thread's ending is that it isn't a resolution-- it's just a punchline. It's like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ending with "Nobody's perfect!"

But enough about that, again. One time when William K. Everson came to Chicago to show mostly Paramount B's, he showed Street of Chance and another version of the same Woolrich book, Fear in the Night, with none other than 27-year-old DeForest Kelley in Meredith's role. It's cheaper, but overall I found it more satisfying—because by 1947 noir had been fully invented and so this version seemed more at home in all the standard tropes of the genre.

I've been thinking about this some more, and isn't the ending of There Will Be Blood a punchline? "I drink your milkshake!" Should have Bela Lugosi in the role.

You gotta admit, Daniel Day-Lewis' left foot gives a great performance in My Left Foot!

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:04 am

To me Hively has an interesting place in film history because he directed 1939's Panama Lady. Which is unmistakable noir a year before even The Stranger on the Third Floor—Lucille Ball clearly a doomed protagonist, flashback structure... there's even a Big Clock hanging over her at the beginning. (It's a remake of 1932's Panama Flo, which has none of those visual or structural things.)

I once assumed Hively saw Marcel Carne's Le Jour se Leve, which seems the film where French poetic realism first really gets most of the major noir tropes together in one package. Except... Panama Lady, released May 12, 1939. Le Jour se Leve, released in France June 9, 1939, US release in July 1940. Did Hively just stumble on all the pieces that were floating out there before anyone else? If he did, he didn't really know what he had— though neither did The Stranger on the Third Floor's Boris Ingster.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:31 am

Speaking of Lucy...

For the first time in nearly twenty years, maybe twenty-five, we watched "The Affairs of Annabel" (1938) and "Annabel Takes a Tour" (1938) over a couple of days. When we saw this years ago they seemed forced and not necessarily too funny. That's about all we remembered about them. Well, with this new release from Warner Archive Collection of both in the series, I decided to give these another chance. Besides, I got them on sale. Well, the leads, Lucille Ball (Annabel) and Jack Oakie; the secondary characters, Ruth Donnelly and Bradley Page; and the other character actors, including Ralph Forbes, Fritz Feld, Thurston Hall, Elisabeth Risdon, Donald MacBride - all give strong performances - but the writing, the stories themselves, are self-defeating. The plots are, in the end, just plain over-the-top ridiculous and utterly impossible occurrences. Great comedy can indeed be screwball, but the plots have to be something that could possibly happen in a million in a one chance. These shows could NOT occur. Yes, there are funny parts. The acting is well done. But in the end: so what!? Won't be watching again. If you're a Lucy fan, you may wish to see what she was doing in 1938. If you don't care what she was doing in 1938, stay away. At least she'd been in "Stage Door" (1937) the year before, and the movie was literally great. At least she made "Five Came Back" (1939) the year after, a film which plays fairly well even today. And, of course, she got into TV with Desi and made a series beginning in 1951 that, more than sixty-five years later, still plays the syndication market on television and defines classic TV comedy! Unfortunately, the Annabel series defines the old pejorative line, "anything for a laugh". Sometimes in stand-up it's okay; in film with a lateral plot, forget it.

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:50 am

Second-tier, late 30s screwball is almost always painful. If it's a wacky comedy starring, say, Joan Bennett and Brian Aherne, do not expect My Man Godfrey.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:13 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Second-tier, late 30s screwball is almost always painful. If it's a wacky comedy starring, say, Joan Bennett and Brian Aherne, do not expect My Man Godfrey.
The key there is the term "second-tier". Ball also made a Joe Penner film in '38 which is, indeed, painful to watch. But the first tier continued on into the early 40's. I look at films like "Theodora Goes Wild" (1936), "The Awful Truth" (1937), "Easy Living" (1937), "Nothing Sacred" (1937), "Bringing Up Baby" (1938), "The Mad Miss Manton" (1938), "His Girl Friday" (1940), "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), "My Favorite Wife" (1940), "The Devil and Miss Jones" (1941), and "Arsenic and Old Lace" (made in 1941, released in 1944) as first tier defining examples of the genre; but, yes, things like "Danger - Love at Work" (1937), "Hotel Haywire" (1937), "Lucky Night" (1939), even "It's A Wonderful World" (1939) as examples of the genre beginning to be "anything for a laugh". I even have problems with "You Can't Take it with You" (1938) which won best picture award, a film which is of its era, though beautifully acted.

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

Unread post by Peg of the PreCodes » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:17 am

Lacking a boyfriend with whom to spend Valentine's Day, I settled for watching Liliom (Borzage, 1930, and many thanks to whoever here noted that Daedalus Books was remaindering the Murnau, Borzage and Fox box set for $50). Oh. Dear. I'm normally not as down on Charles Farrell's voice as some people, but in this film....Moreover, for all of his size, Farrell never convinced me as remotely plausible as a dangerous brawler and/or seducer. Rose Hobart as Julie is supposed to be stoic and long-suffering for love, but she struck me more as overstarched and rather posh of voice for a servant. Lee Tracy is excellent, but of course he's on all too briefly. I do give points for the Act 3 depiction of the afterlife as a set of trains (what TV Tropes would call the Afterlife Express (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... ifeExpress)).

It sure didn't help that the 1934 Fritz Lang version was fresh in my memory, courtesy of TCM. While I was watching that I kept thinking "What a pity Jean Gabin didn't play Liliom," but compared to Farrell Charles Boyer owns the part. And in the 1934 version I liked the depiction of the afterlife as a celestial police station.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:40 am

Mike Gebert wrote:To me Hively has an interesting place in film history because he directed 1939's Panama Lady. Which is unmistakable noir a year before even The Stranger on the Third Floor—Lucille Ball clearly a doomed protagonist, flashback structure... there's even a Big Clock hanging over her at the beginning. (It's a remake of 1932's Panama Flo, which has none of those visual or structural things.)

I once assumed Hively saw Marcel Carne's Le Jour se Leve, which seems the film where French poetic realism first really gets most of the major noir tropes together in one package. Except... Panama Lady, released May 12, 1939. Le Jour se Leve, released in France June 9, 1939, US release in July 1940. Did Hively just stumble on all the pieces that were floating out there before anyone else? If he did, he didn't really know what he had— though neither did The Stranger on the Third Floor's Boris Ingster.
You’d expect people in the profession not to have to wait on the formal releases, but it’s still an interesting thesis, because this looked like a French Film Noir, mostly because of the femme fatale. Maybe the connection is Woolrich, with whom I am not familiar enough to say. Any mavens here?

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:48 am

Yes, the Boyer-Lang is far better. The train part is cool, though.

Now that you have the set, I posted about the most obscure films in the set, the three relatively early talkies he made at Fox during its down years (before Darryl Zanuck gobbled it up), during Watch That Movie Night a couple of years ago. No masterpieces, but I liked two out of three well enough and you will look far and wide for much of anything else written about any of them since they came out, so...
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:51 am

You’d expect people in the profession not to have to wait on the formal releases
Yeah, you can imagine a scenario in which Hively could have seen Le Jour se Leve to go gaga for it, but who knows? Maybe he got it from Port of Shadows or something (which doesn't have the flashback structure, though, I don't think). Pepe le Moko kind of anticipates parts of noir but it's much more romantic, it led to Casablanca, not Double Indemnity. Any other titles from that era that might have influenced noir in America?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:15 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
You’d expect people in the profession not to have to wait on the formal releases
Yeah, you can imagine a scenario in which Hively could have seen Le Jour se Leve to go gaga for it, but who knows? Maybe he got it from Port of Shadows or something (which doesn't have the flashback structure, though, I don't think). Pepe le Moko kind of anticipates parts of noir but it's much more romantic, it led to Casablanca, not Double Indemnity. Any other titles from that era that might have influenced noir in America?
Over lunch I examined the credit list for Hively's earlier movie and thought about it on the walk home -- while also thinking about the work involved in color-correcting prints of Wings.

I state with some confidence that if Panama Lady is the earliest true Film Noir, that, even given the high level of professional competence of all the personnel (I think very highly of DP J. Roy Hunt myself), that this is clearly a strong piece of evidence against the Auteur theory and in favor of film being a highly collaborative medium.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:34 pm

Aside from a short, HOW TO UNDRESS IN FRONT OF YOUR HUSBAND (1937) I had never seen any of the notorious Dwain Esper's output, so had a go at MANIAC (1934), finding it a most peculiar experience. Looking the film up in 'Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!', I find I was not alone.

A brief 50 minutes, give or take, MANIAC is a mixture of a mad scientist horror film (shades of MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM) with a dollop of Poe's 'The Black Cat', some female nudity and a horrid neighbour who breeds cats for their fur.
The plotting is very wobbly to say the least, resulting in spots of confusion here and there. A mad scientist, obsessed with restoring life, pays a visit to the local morgue (which looks just like the neighbouring undertaker's parlour) in order to revive a recent suicide (much pawing as well) by blackmailing his assistant to disguise himself as the coroner. I won't add any more, since this film, is is actually worth seeing for its very frightfulness.

Interspersed with the plot elements (the assistant's wife turns up when she reads he is the heir to a fortune) are explanatory titles detailing various forms of mental disease, which after a while brings out the hypochondriac in this viewer. Attempted (?) rape (by a chap who thinks he is the orang-utan in RUE MORGUE and has been given a wrong injection), the laboratory cat scoffing a beating heart, some scantily clad ladies and a two woman fight in a filthy cellar add to the outrageous elements in this rather overripe outing which deserves to be seen at least once.

Note: the Phyllis Diller in the cast is a different one...

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:54 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Note: the Phyllis Diller in the cast is a different one...
...Or was she? [Cue: Mysterioso music]

Maniac must truly be seen to be believed and seen on psychedelics to be truly understood. For my money it's the gold standard that all schlock films must be compared against. Even Plan 9 from Outer Space comes off as Dostoevskyian compared to Maniac. What's astonishing is that there was apparently an actual script written for it.

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:36 pm

I like a good science fiction film, especially ones about time travel, which I find a fascinating subject. "The Gateway" (2018) is about a similarly fascinating topic - that of parallel universes.

The picture has been produced with a very small budget, but it has not let that get in the way of providing the viewer with a satisfactory story worked out well despite the limitations curtailing a more lavish treatment.

Jacqueline McKenzie is a scientist who is engaged in trying to do something akin to "Beam me up Scottie" from "Startrek", though instead of moving an object from A to B, she moves it into a parallel world. In her private life she has just undergone a tragedy for she has lost her husband (Myles Pollard) in a motor accident. This probably influences her rather reckless decision to propel herself into another world, a world in which her husband is still alive. She brings him back to her world, but he is not the same man.

As there are apparently teeming billions of parallel worlds out there, you can see how the scriptwriters have had great fun with this by sometimes sending people to worlds they didn't think they were going to.

A likable picture for me in that I liked the story and how it has a number of twists in it. This more than made up for the performances, which never go past average.

Had this picture been given a more sizable budget it could have become a blockbuster.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:58 pm

"Palace of Fun" (2016) is one of those films that takes a while to get to the point, however once it gets there, it hits home with a bit of a punch.

I don't know why it is that directors these days never seem to want to do much with the first reel in a film? It used to be used to establish characters and sketch out the basics of the plot. Now, we see a whole lot of basically useless material and dialogue of the banal kind we are forced to listen to whilst travelling on a tram.

Andrew Mullan is a bit of a drifter. He has started up a relationship with a girl (Holly Shuttleworth) from a rich family in Brighton, U.K. She has a brother, who is a real piece of work (George Stocks).

It is all about deception, jealousies and rivalry.

As I said above, if you are prepared to wait awhile, it gets interesting as you get into it and sustains ones interest as the action and pace starts to pick up.
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Street 0f Chance

Unread post by JFK » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:03 pm

boblipton wrote:Street of Chance(1942) hits all the buttons for Film Noir, and I'm willing to call it so.
S.L.'s early scenes are great - one recalls a bit from The Wizard of Oz! To see a film with the same name - click:Image
Last edited by JFK on Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:29 pm

After Cagney's contract with Warner Brothers expired -- according to some version of events -- he went to Grand National, where they promised him greater autonomy. The musical he wanted to make, Something to Sing About, is supposed to have sunk the ambitious Poverty Row studio. Before that they had released Great Guy (1937).

Jimmy is a hard-nosed deputy in New York's crusading Bureau of Weights and Measures, out to make sure that unscrupulous merchants don't cheat consumers. His boss, Wallis Clark, has been put in the hospital, leaving Jimmy to run the bureau. Crooked lawyers and Tammany Hall fixers try to deal with him, and his efforts put him on the outs with fiancee Mae Clarke, but is there any doubt that eventually Jimmy's incorruptible Irish spirit and fists will set everything aright?

It's decently directed by old hand John Blystone, but the print I saw (at 66 minutes) looks like it was cut down severely from a a rough cut that was at least 90 minutes long. Far too many subplots arise and are cut short to make sure that Jimmy has time to slug someone. Fortunately, it's always fun to watch him do that.

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

Unread post by FrankFay » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:46 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Aside from a short, HOW TO UNDRESS IN FRONT OF YOUR HUSBAND (1937) I had never seen any of the notorious Dwain Esper's output, so had a go at MANIAC (1934), finding it a most peculiar experience. Looking the film up in 'Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!', I find I was not alone.
Try a look at NARCOTIC. A more conventional film (certainly compared to MANIAC) it is quite entertaining- and loosely based on real life: Esper's wife had an uncle who was in the patent medicine trade & developed a drug habit. Harry Cording gives quite a good performance in the lead, and the production values are a notch above average.
Eric Stott

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:48 am

Watched "Murder, He Says" (1945) with Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather, Porter Hall, Peter Whitney, Mabel Paige, and Barbara Pepper. By the title, you'd never know that this is madcap screwball comedy. Oh, yes, there's murder, but you might think of something like "Arsenic and Old Lace" before you'd think of "Double Indemnity"; but, yes, the murder is serious, and done by a family of - well, I'll leave the details out. Head of the family: ostensibly Mabel Paige, a dying grandmother. In reality, it's Marjorie Main, pre Ma Kettle, but Ma Kettle with a devious, mean, wretched, sour, ugly streak that still is hilarious to watch. She and her twin sons would kill anything and anybody if necessary, especially to find the $30,000 that seems to be hidden somewhere. They're trying to find it. Only it's really $70,000. But that's getting ahead, and I'm not going to tell any more. Starts a tad slowly, but takes off and then never lets up. The word 'screwball' isn't even close to what this is. It's insane. And it's very funny. Doesn't seem to be as well known as it should be. Definitely recommended. Besides, I'd watch anything with Barbara Pepper in it. Oh, by the way, the scene stealer every time is Peter Whitney who plays both twins. He's just so bad he's good. But you better watch out...

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:55 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:Watched "Murder, He Says" (1945) with Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather, Porter Hall, Peter Whitney, Mabel Paige, and Barbara Pepper. By the title, you'd never know that this is madcap screwball comedy. Oh, yes, there's murder, but you might think of something like "Arsenic and Old Lace" before you'd think of "Double Indemnity"; but, yes, the murder is serious, and done by a family of - well, I'll leave the details out. Head of the family: ostensibly Mabel Paige, a dying grandmother. In reality, it's Marjorie Main, pre Ma Kettle, but Ma Kettle with a devious, mean, wretched, sour, ugly streak that still is hilarious to watch. She and her twin sons would kill anything and anybody if necessary, especially to find the $30,000 that seems to be hidden somewhere. They're trying to find it. Only it's really $70,000. But that's getting ahead, and I'm not going to tell any more. Starts a tad slowly, but takes off and then never lets up. The word 'screwball' isn't even close to what this is. It's insane. And it's very funny. Doesn't seem to be as well known as it should be. Definitely recommended. Besides, I'd watch anything with Barbara Pepper in it. Oh, by the way, the scene stealer every time is Peter Whitney who plays both twins. He's just so bad he's good. But you better watch out...
Has the incomparable Helen Walker. The title plays off the song of the same title.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClGNm89GZBE" target="_blank" target="_blank

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

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:08 am

boblipton wrote:
R Michael Pyle wrote:Watched "Murder, He Says" (1945) with Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather, Porter Hall, Peter Whitney, Mabel Paige, and Barbara Pepper. By the title, you'd never know that this is madcap screwball comedy. Oh, yes, there's murder, but you might think of something like "Arsenic and Old Lace" before you'd think of "Double Indemnity"; but, yes, the murder is serious, and done by a family of - well, I'll leave the details out. Head of the family: ostensibly Mabel Paige, a dying grandmother. In reality, it's Marjorie Main, pre Ma Kettle, but Ma Kettle with a devious, mean, wretched, sour, ugly streak that still is hilarious to watch. She and her twin sons would kill anything and anybody if necessary, especially to find the $30,000 that seems to be hidden somewhere. They're trying to find it. Only it's really $70,000. But that's getting ahead, and I'm not going to tell any more. Starts a tad slowly, but takes off and then never lets up. The word 'screwball' isn't even close to what this is. It's insane. And it's very funny. Doesn't seem to be as well known as it should be. Definitely recommended. Besides, I'd watch anything with Barbara Pepper in it. Oh, by the way, the scene stealer every time is Peter Whitney who plays both twins. He's just so bad he's good. But you better watch out...
Has the incomparable Helen Walker. The title plays off the song of the same title.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClGNm89GZBE" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Bob
Didn't know the song. Thanks! Speaking of incomparable, how about Betty Hutton?!

I've always thought a lot of Helen Walker myself. Liked her a lot in "Lucky Jordan", her first film. "Call Northside 777" is one of my favorite films. Her life, though, reads like a Greek tragedy, minus the hubrus. Too bad.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:47 pm

FrankFay wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Aside from a short, HOW TO UNDRESS IN FRONT OF YOUR HUSBAND (1937) I had never seen any of the notorious Dwain Esper's output, so had a go at MANIAC (1934), finding it a most peculiar experience. Looking the film up in 'Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!', I find I was not alone.
Try a look at NARCOTIC. A more conventional film (certainly compared to MANIAC) it is quite entertaining- and loosely based on real life: Esper's wife had an uncle who was in the patent medicine trade & developed a drug habit. Harry Cording gives quite a good performance in the lead, and the production values are a notch above average.
Will do when I've recovered from MANIAC...

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