What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm

My bridge partner is ill, so I hied me to the 42nd Street AMC theater to see a couple of Chinese comedies. The first was Tang ren jie tang an 2, Chinatown Detective 2 (2018), the imaginatively titled sequel to the 2015 movie. This time the loud, idiotic, blustering (distant) uncle and the stammering brilliant nephew are summoned to New York. There's been a murder, and "Uncle Seven" is offering a huge reward if any of a dozen private detectives can figure out who did it before the police do, and before he dies.

It's a comedy mystery set in New York City, and the mystery is a nicely tangled one that turns into a serial killing, with all the clues properly laid out in front of the movie audience in advance. I was less pleased with the other aspects of the movie -- the comedy bits varied over the shop, with a few gags that worked, but the interactions between the leads not very good; and the geography of New York City in this movie bears as little relationship to the New York I've lived in all my life as.... well, as a typical Hollywood movie set here, which is to say, almost none.

Still, there are enough recurring characters and set-ups that the film-makers clearly have yet another sequel in store. This one looks to be set in Tokyo.

Dung Duk Dut Gung (Agent Mr. Chan (2018): begins with a marriage, but it's not a tragedy, it's a burlesque. Lawrence Cheng is about to get married to Ada Choi, but it's all a ploy to steal her godfather's nuclear bomb. He's a spy you see, just like James Bond -- even the music cues are similar. When he wrecks the bomb before handing it over to his agency, in the interest of world peace, he is fired and loses all his gadgets and Aston-Martin. He becomes the lowest form of private eye and gigolo, while Miss Choi joins the police force and rises to become commissioner, while writing him thousands of jaywalking tickets. Then one day her uncle does something crazy and she can't investigate without looking like she's usng public resources for private interests, so she must call on Mr. Cheng.

The jokes in this one wobble a bit between making fun of the Bond franchise for its sexism, but there are occasional jabs at other aspects of pop culture that make some people users and others losers: Japanese girl bands that prey on socially awkward youngsters are just one of the scattergun targets. Eventually it comes together in a plot of sort, but it has too many targets to be really good. Even so, it keep me smiling throughout.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:20 am

A late entry in John Gilbert's filmography, DOWNSTAIRS (1932) was also based on a story / idea by Gilbert. Set in a country house (Germany / Austria / Bavaria - not sure which), Gilbert plays the new chauffeur, Karl. who turns out (SPOILER) to be a rotter of the first water. Initially having his eyes on head butler Paul Lukas's new bride (Virginia Bruce), he then moves to taking advantage of the middle-aged cook who has taken a shine to him as well as blackmailing the Countess, played by Olga Baclanova, who has a little secret.

DOWNSTAIRS comes over rather like a theatrical play, but is none the worse for that and is presented with the gloss one expects from MGM at the time. An enjoyable piece, which gathers in interest, especially when one finds out what a smooth-talking bounder Karl is. And even for a pre-code film, it is rather daring in what is told and what is suggested. Does Karl get his comeuppance? Watch it and see for yourself!

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:00 am

I watched an unusual film this morning. The Viking (1931) from the Canadian Archives. It's more a documentary than a dramatic story but of course, the film did need to have a story.
The sixty-five minute film begins with an introduction about the horrible accident that occurred when the cast and crew made an second voyage in the steamer S. S. Viking to do additional filming after completing the initial editing. The steam powered vessel exploded and sunk in the ice flows off St. Johns, Newfoundland.
From IMDB.
Director Varick Frissell, cinematographer Alexander G. Penrod, and almost all the film crew were killed on 15 March 1931, when the sealing ship S.S. Viking, from which they were shooting additional footage, exploded in ice off the Horse Islands on the northern Newfoundland coast. In all, 27 people lost their lives; this is the largest number of fatalities ever incurred in the production of a film.

The story concerns seal hunting and I first expected I'd see lots of men with clubs smashing the heads of these sea creatures. There's none of that in spite of a successful hunt, but the story clearly reveals the risks these men took to travel out onto the ice in pursuit of their prey.

The filmography (picture & sound) was simply amazing.

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

Unread post by BGM » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:07 am

I watched The Moon-Spinners a 1964 Disney feature starring Hayley Mills. I faintly remember watching this as a child in the 1970's on the Disney TV show The Wonderful World of Disney which aired in Sunday nights. It was shown on consecutive Sundays and all I remember is Miss Mills hanging from a windmill and a creepy old lady with a weird hairdo and a leopard. Well the creepy old lady turned out to be Pola Negri and she appears in the last 20 minutes of the film as a jeweled countess on her yacht-she has a leopard and a crazy weird hairdo!!!!!. By 1964 Mills was growing up and was not photographed well in some scenes-often very heavily made up and very unflattering angles. The story deals with jewel thieves and the setting is on the island of Crete.For a Disney film the plot is surprisingly serious with kidnapping,guns,gunshot wounds,thieves AND Hayley Mills getting drunk courtesy of Pola Negri. The production values are high and the film overall is entertaining. Hayley's aunt is played by Joan Greenwood,Eli Wallach plays the villain and Hayley's love interest is Peter McEnery. This was Pola's last film and she came out of retirement......it is interesting that Pola gets the last title card before the main credits that very clearly states: STARRING POLA NEGRI :D

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:56 pm

This morning I watched Women in Love (1969): D.H. Lawrence was the British Henry James of the arty set, with full frontal nudity for the men, and Ken Russell is the 1960s rebel running around screaming profanity, painting soup cans and calling it original art. I know others have higher opinions of both men. There may be an interesting movie to make about the Bloomsbury Group and how sexuality factored into their creativity. Unfortunately, Ken Russell is not the director to make that movie, since his idea of a musical biopic is "Liszt wrote great music and he liked to f**k." Here we don't get any great art created, although we do get to see Alan Bates in nude three-quarters profile as he wrestles Oliver Reed in similar garb. Plus Glenda Jackson's breasts.

After that it was off to the theater with my cousin. We both wanted to see Game Night (2018), ever since we saw the trailer in which a bad guy gets sucked into a jet engine. As I explained to a friend with whom I talk movies at the gym (she regretted seeing Mudbound), it's the next step up from Kevin Kline being run over with a steam roller in A Fish Called Wanda; she looked disgusted and said she had forgotten about that. Another woman who lacks the slapstick gene.

Anyway, Jason Bateman and Rachel Macadams are a married couple who are serious gamers. They get together with friends for regular game nights. When Kyle Chandler, Jason's successful brother shows up in town, he takes over game night, and announces that it's a role-playing game. Someone will be kidnapped, and whoever solves it first will get Kyle's Stingray. Only.... real kidnappers show up and grab Kyle.

It's from the same creative team that put together Horrible Bosses and it is .... ok, with some good bits. I had a good time, but thought it overplayed the low-key cluelessness of the characters.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sat May 05, 2018 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:52 pm

Patrick Holt robs a jewelry store. He is quickly caught and sentenced to prison. He escapes with his cellmate and they make their way to 13 East Street (1952), where they join Robert Ayre's gang. Henchman Michael Brennan suspects him, but Ayre's girlfriend, Sandra Dorne, decides she likes Holt. It turns out Brennan is right; Holt is an undercover copper, out to infiltrate and break up the gang.

It's a taut little second feature as Holt tries to do his job while Mack slowly finds grounds for his suspicions, with some nice interludes with Sonia Holm (Holt's real wife at the time) and Dora Bryan as a gossipy neighbor. It's got some beautiful photography, shot by producer-cinematographer Monty Berman. He and co=producer Robert Baker would later strike gold with the TV series THE SAINT.

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

Unread post by drednm » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:53 pm

I watched a terrific noir from 1947, I Walk Alone, which boasts an intense Burt Lancaster just out of prison after 14 years and visiting former partner in crime, an intense Kirk Douglas, who has become a wealthy owner of a swank night club. Well Burt took the wrap and did the time and expects his share. Fat chance! Kirk sics an intense Lizabeth Scott on him to get the lowdown so they can get rid of him. But being so intense, Lizabeth and Burt create some sparks. The very un-intense Wendell Corey has been keeping the books and knows a thing or two and dislikes how Kirk is treating Burt. It turns out badly for Wendell and for rich-bitch-but-trashy Kristine Miller who wants to marry Kirk. After they beat up Burt and dump in the trash and also frame him, there's only one way to go and that's up. And know they never sing or play the song. The star trio is terrific in this well done and gritty film.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by AlonzoChurch » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:54 pm

My overstuffed bookcases hold a large number of mysteries from an outfit called the Crime Club, so I was happy to watch one of the B Movies issued with their label. The Black Doll (1938) turned out to be a pretty good little whodunnit, though I had the killer guessed by reel three or so. Donald Woods does a nice job playing the amateur investigator who politely and good humoredly unravels all the crime going on in the house, and saves the lady in jeopardy. Since this is a 30s B, the cops must be buffoons, but at least the dumb cop is Edgar Kennedy, and he is better at playing the ignorant buffoon than most. The suspects and victims are all the usual assortment of character actors, and do a decent job with a good golden era mystery plot. The setting is the usual manor house, cut off from the world by the usual ferocious thunderstorm.

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:18 pm

Big Silent Fan wrote:I watched an unusual film this morning. The Viking (1931) from the Canadian Archives. It's more a documentary than a dramatic story but of course, the film did need to have a story.
An amazing film indeed, a friend of mine from Newfoundland told me his grandfather was one of the sealers bounding over the heaving ice floes, it's remarkable footage and it's no surprise that many men didn't make it back from the ice fields.

On my last trip to St. John's, Nfld., we spent some time in the small fishing village of Quidi Vidi, which is now part of the city. We walked past a row of buildings which looked strangely familiar, and sure enough, when I fired up my copy of The Viking when I got home, I realized that same village was the one used for the film, and hadn't changed much in 75 years.

Also recommended is the documentary about Varick Frissell and the Viking, titled White Thunder, you can get both films on a DVD from Milestone. (And it appears to be on sale at the moment.)
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:42 pm

boblipton wrote:This morning I watched Women in Love (1969). D,H, Lawrence was the British Henry James of the arty set, with full frontal nudity for the men, and Ken Russell is the 1960s rebel running around screaming profanity, painting soup cans and calling it original art. I know others have have higher opinions of both men. There may be an interesting movie to make about the Bloomsbury Group and how sexuality factored into their creativity. Unfortunately, Ken Russell is not the director to make that movie, since his idea of a musical biopic is "Liszt wrote great music and he liked to f**k." Here we don't great any great art created, although we do get to see Alan Bates in nude three-quarters profile as he wrestles Oliver Reed is similar garb. Plus Glenda Jackson's breasts.
Bob
Nice to see some flak for this overrated bore of a film. I didn't care for it in the cinema when I saw it c1974, and the last time round (my late partner asked to see it after Ken Russell died) it gave me the pip, despite Jackson and some rather good atmosphere and detail. Never again!

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:43 pm

drednm wrote:I watched a terrific noir from 1947, I Walk Alone, which boasts an intense Burt Lancaster just out of prison after 14 years and visiting former partner in crime, an intense Kirk Douglas, who has become a wealthy owner of a swank night club. Well Burt took the wrap and did the time and expects his share. Fat chance! Kirk sics an intense Lizabeth Scott on him to get the lowdown so they can get rid of him. But being so intense, Lizabeth and Burt create some sparks. The very un-intense Wendell Corey has been keeping the books and knows a thing or two and dislikes how Kirk is treating Burt. It turns out badly for Wendell and for rich-bitch-but-trashy Kristine Miller who wants to marry Kirk. After they beat up Burt and dump in the trash and also frame him, there's only one way to go and that's up. And know they never sing or play the song. The star trio is terrific in this well done and gritty film.
Good to see a thumbs-up for this one which I caught up with some twenty years ago. Think dear old James Agee was a trifle hard on it...

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:31 pm

Been on a bit of documentary kick lately trying to clear out the backlog but one that will definitely appeal to Nitratevillains is the German 100 Years of UFA. Unfortunately they gloss over most of the silent era but make up for it with their '30s and post-war deep dive. It's definitely given me some films to seek out, particularly from the DEFA era, notably Murderers Among Us, (1946), looks very intriguing. I also didn't realize the Murnau Foundation's links to the company.

My only quibble is with the Terry GIlliam-esque animation bumpers, several times they just really don't fit. I can see why they would be used though, got to keep the squares entertained. It's a quick 45 minutes and well worth watching.

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:38 pm

I re-watched the breezy Page Miss Glory which stars Marion Davies a hick from Red Hook, NY, who goes to New York and gets a job as a hotel maid. She runs into two con men (Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh) who dream up a composite photo of the fake Dawn Glory, comprising the best features of Greta Garbo, Kay Francis, Marlene Dietrich, and Jean Harlow) and win a radio beauty contest. Davies gets a make-over and becomes Dawn Glory, a instant celebrity hounded by the press. Along with the conmen and their associate (Mary Astor), she gets involved with a loony stunt pilot (Dick Powell), dueling yeast manufacturers, and some thugs. Big cast also includes Lyle Talbot, Patsy Kelly, Barton MacLane, Allen Jenkins, Berton Churchill, and Helen Lowell. Could have been more tightly edited. A character played by Lionel Stander is mentioned in the early parts of the film and suddenly appears in the finale as though his character has been in the story all along. He hasn't.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by AlonzoChurch » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:35 pm

Anything starring Helen Twelvetrees is going to feature a lot of suffering, and in the one I watched over the weekend, she has to deal with being Disgraced(1933). If there was a paint by number pre-code of the sinning and suffering female sort, this is it, as Helen has to deal with the usual rich cad of a boyfriend (well played by Bruce Cabot), the insufferable would-be boyfriend that poppa likes (not well played by Ken Murray), and the overbearing poppa, who just happens to be a cop (William Harrigan, who overplays the role, but makes that work for him). The one strength is the opening credits -- each actor gets to play a small vignette with his credit announcement, and each one of the vignettes advances the plot. It's all not bad, but pretty forgettable, and Twelvetrees really feels typecast here.

More interesting viewing was Herbert Marshall in Evenings for Sale (1932), a rather bitter "comedy" featuring Marshall as an impoverished Count forced to work for his ex-butler as a gigolo. This one takes some odd twists and turns, and features a more serious than usual turn by Mary Boland, who really shines here as a Fran Dodsworth type who finally gets wise to herself. Those who like Boland funny can enjoy her opening scene, which is a riot. Those looking for pre-Code goodness can enjoy beautiful flash in the pan Sari Maritza in her slip, in front of multiple mirrors.

Marshall is a bit stiff here -- as he often is -- but it works for the movie, as Marshall is depicting a character in the midst of his worst nightmare, and trying to find some way to carry on.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:09 pm

"High Pressure" (1932) is another in the long line of fast-talking, brash, loud, fast-paced, arrogant, witty and enjoyable photoplays that the Warner Bros. seemed to churn out once they got the hang of the Vitaphone.

William Powell is the "high pressure" of the title, for he is a promoter not given to under-exagerating the wonders of the product with which he is entrusted. This trust is in the hands of George Sidney, a nervous little man to whom an inventor has given the idea of making artificial rubber out of sewage. Now that's a sh**y idea if ever I heard one. Next thing you know, Powell has floated a company, rented the entire floor of a fifth avenue building for an office and employed thousands of salesmen. Guy Kibbee waltzes in briefly from the street in order to act out the role of the company's President.

With all the action going on you'd wonder Powell had time for any romantic interest, but it's there in the form of Evelyn Brent. Warners knew how to pack things in. He has a secretary who's kind on the eyes too - Evalyn Knapp.

We of course all wonder whether the thing is for real or is it a scam? It heads for the latter course, but there is a bit of a twist, naturally, in order for everything to work out well in the end.

There's a good supporting cast including Frank McHugh, Oscar Apfel and others - although one wonders why Allen Jenkins was not in it?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:05 am

A Man of Sentiment (1933): William Bakewell runs over Marian Marsh. It's hardly your standard "meet cute", but when he staggers into the hospital emergency room with her, ready to take all responsibility, and they fall in love, ready to get married. The trouble is that everyone is against it: his snobby rich family, her former lover (played by Owen Moore) who wants her back; everyone but emergency room clerk Christian Rub, playing Jimminy Cricket instead of Gepetto.

It's a cute idea and setting the "narrating" sections in the emergency room is an interesting concept and Rub is, as usual, a delight. On the downside, however, the parts are underwritten, and people do things in a flabbily motivated fashion. Owen Moore acts like a melodrama villain, showing Bakewell he has Marshal in a back room, convincing him he has her in his thrall, so Bakewell walks out in a huff. When Miss Marsh does likewise, Moore just shrugs his shoulders.

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

Unread post by drednm » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:01 am

Darkest Hour (2017) has already been discussed. Gary Oldman is quite splendid, although the story itself was told better in the 1984 miniseries Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years starring the incomparable Robert Hardy. Obviously the TV series had a lot more time to tell the story.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:15 pm

A mini-'Free Cinema' evening kicked off with Lindsay Anderson's O DREAMLAND (1953/56). Set in the Margate amusement arcade of the same name, this brief film is a bitter commentary on what Anderson sees as the passiveness of working-class Britain - dopey amusements, the monotony of bingo, the consumption of gallons of tea and tons of fried food and the enjoyment of bland music, although little attention is paid to more active amusements which we mainly see from a distance. One wonders how many, if any of the participants knew they were being filmed gaping at the 'chamber of horrors' and wolfing down sausages and tea. Powerfully made, but one comes away finding a slightly sour taste to the film.

Anderson's WAKEFIELD EXPRESS (1952/56) is a commissioned documentary to mark the 100th anniversary of the provincial weekly paper of the title. This film is much more affectionate, having a flavour of Humphrey Jennings's SPARE TIME (1938) about it in places. There is also a hint of John Ford about some of the shots of faces (a bugler at a memorial ceremony), although one might not think this is one didn't know that Anderson was a great admirer of the Old Man. One or two scenes (young girls singing adult songs of love and romance) remind one that this sort of thing now seen on TV is by no means new.

Rounded off (the fourth film I tried to watch stuck) with NICE TIME (1956) a vivid look (with shades of DREAMLAND) at Piccadilly nightlife. Made by Alain Tanner and Claude Goretta, there is a mixture of the affectionate and sad, but the film does give us a good idea of what people looked like and how they behaved as well as a view of the religious zealots and cinema-going of the time. With a lively accompaniment, which is in contrast to the use of 'I Believe' in O DREAMLAND.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:56 pm

The Crime Patrol (1936) is one of those cheap Poverty Row second features that holds some interest for fans of old movies mostly because of one or two supporting actors. Ray Walker is a cocky young fighter who has agreed to take a dive, but, being frustrated by the bell and his opponent needling him throughout the fight, knocks him out, earning the ire of the local hoods. When he gets clobbered by a cop in an exhibition fight, he decides that the sort of training he can get at the police gym will put the polish on his boxing and allow him to court pretty nurse, Geneva Mitchell. However, paired with amiable Russ Clark, he gradually becomes a decent cop, even if he's unwilling to shoot at old friends.

Walker's brash act is annoying and the story is bog standard, but there are a couple of actors worth looking at. One is silent comic Snub Pollard in a straight role as a low-level hood, almost unrecognizable without his trademark mustache. Virginia True Boardman plays Evans mother and perennial B western bad guy Hooper Atchley has a non-villainous role. None of these make this movie particularly worthwhile; director Eugene Cummings in his sole movie credit doesn't seem to have much talent as a dialogue director. It's just another of the several thousand cheap movies that played on the bottom of double or triple bills and then vanished.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:16 pm

'The office of Coroner is of great antiquity and no satisfactory account of its origin can be given.' Halsbury's "The Laws of England."

'It is even more difficult to give a satisfactory reason for its continuance.' 'English Justice.'
Those are the opening titles of Inquest (1939), a mystery largely set at such a court produced and directed by the Boulting Brothers. A formerly rich man has died, and village gossip won't let his corpse lie easy. When the gun of his widow, Elizabeth Allan, turns up with an empty chamber, the body is exhumed, and the missing slug is found at the base of the corpse's spine.... and evidence of poisoning.

It's a tour de force for the Boultings in their efforts to make you dislike everyone. Miss Allan does everything she can to make you think she is guilty of.... well, if not of murder, of something. Herbert Lomas, as the pompous, bullying and out-of-control coroner makes you hope that he trips over his own feet and fails to convict her, and it's only Hay Petrie, in an uncharacteristically urbane role as her defense attorney, who bullies everyone, including his unwilling client, to stand between her and the hangman's noose.

It's based on a stage play by Michael Barringer and has clearly be opened up only minimally from what could have been presented in two acts on one set and a bit of lighting. However, its powerful performances by Petrie and Lomas make it transcend its cheap production value.

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:57 am

boblipton wrote:
'The office of Coroner is of great antiquity and no satisfactory account of its origin can be given.' Halsbury's "The Laws of England."

'It is even more difficult to give a satisfactory reason for its continuance.' 'English Justice.'
Those are the opening titles of Inquest (1939), a mystery largely set at such a court produced and directed by the Boulting Brothers. A formerly rich man has died, and village gossip won't let his corpse lie easy. When the gun of his widow, Elizabeth Allan, turns up with an empty chamber, the body is exhumed, and the missing slug is found at the base of the corpse's spine.... and evidence of poisoning.

It's a tour de force for the Boultings in their efforts to make you dislike everyone. Miss Allan does everything she can to make you think she is guilty of.... well, if not of murder, of something. Herbert Lomas, as the pompous, bullying and out-of-control coroner makes you hope that he trips over his own feet and fails to convict her, and it's only Hay Petrie, in an uncharacteristically urbane role as her defense attorney, who bullies everyone, including his unwilling client, to stand between her and the hangman's noose.

It's based on a stage play by Michael Barringer and has clearly be opened up only minimally from what could have been presented in two acts on one set and a bit of lighting. However, its powerful performances by Petrie and Lomas make it transcend its cheap production value.

Bob
I watched this back in the beginning of 2014, reviewed it here (12 February 2014), and thought it absolutely one of the best films that no one has ever heard of. Between this and "Saloon Bar" (1940), either one may be the best Brit show I've watched on film in the last ten years that only a handful seem to know. This one is well worth the watch. It's out on a double film DVD with "Tomorrow We Live".

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:55 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:
boblipton wrote:
'The office of Coroner is of great antiquity and no satisfactory account of its origin can be given.' Halsbury's "The Laws of England."

'It is even more difficult to give a satisfactory reason for its continuance.' 'English Justice.'
Those are the opening titles of Inquest (1939), a mystery largely set at such a court produced and directed by the Boulting Brothers. A formerly rich man has died, and village gossip won't let his corpse lie easy. When the gun of his widow, Elizabeth Allan, turns up with an empty chamber, the body is exhumed, and the missing slug is found at the base of the corpse's spine.... and evidence of poisoning.

It's a tour de force for the Boultings in their efforts to make you dislike everyone. Miss Allan does everything she can to make you think she is guilty of.... well, if not of murder, of something. Herbert Lomas, as the pompous, bullying and out-of-control coroner makes you hope that he trips over his own feet and fails to convict her, and it's only Hay Petrie, in an uncharacteristically urbane role as her defense attorney, who bullies everyone, including his unwilling client, to stand between her and the hangman's noose.

It's based on a stage play by Michael Barringer and has clearly be opened up only minimally from what could have been presented in two acts on one set and a bit of lighting. However, its powerful performances by Petrie and Lomas make it transcend its cheap production value.

Bob
I watched this back in the beginning of 2014, reviewed it here (12 February 2014), and thought it absolutely one of the best films that no one has ever heard of. Between this and "Saloon Bar" (1940), either one may be the best Brit show I've watched on film in the last ten years that only a handful seem to know. This one is well worth the watch. It's out on a double film DVD with "Tomorrow We Live".
It's also on YT for those like myself who already have a pile of discs to play...

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:04 pm

Found James Broughton's THE PLEASURE GARDEN (1953) the other day. A sort of surrealist fantasy, it features a number of folk who would become more well known over the years, including John Le Mesurier (did Roger Corman see this before making TOMB OF LIGEIA?), Hattie Jacques, Jill Bennett, Jean Anderson and Lindsay Anderson (who was also production manager) as a scruffy, eccentric sculptor. Probably impossible to describe without giving too many spoilers, this is a deliberately eccentric comedy, enjoyably presented and definitely amusing, though some would (understandably) likely find it obscure and pretentious.

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

Unread post by drednm » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:40 pm

Thomas Hardy is not easy, especially for filmmakers. I wondered why his Return of the Native had never been filmed (having only vague memories of having read the novel in high school), until I watched a 1994 TV version done by Hallmark. Woof. Despite a good cast, beautiful photography, and a luscious score by Carl Davis, this film just flops before your eyes, like a fish out of water. Hardy's novel is much more than a story about star-crossed lovers on the moors. It's about the "old ways" vs the new, education vs pagan superstitions, and the usual mix of jealousy, hate, and gossip. Anyway, this version boasts Catherine Zeta-JOnes as Eustacia the witch, Ray Stevenson as the returning native, Clive Owen as the lusty Damon, along with Joan Plowright, Claire Skinner, Steven Mackintosh, and Celia Imrie as the witchy Susan Nunsuch. In the TV version, Susan throws one of Eustacia's ribbons on the fire to cast a spell on her. In the novel, she makes a wax effigy and sticks pins in it. She then throws it on the fire to melt while she recites the "Lord's Prayer" backwards! Anyway, this TV version was dreary beyond belief.
Ed Lorusso
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https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:26 pm

Also watched the Boultings' INQUEST (1939) last night. A very busy film indeed, which I found too speedy for its own good as there was quite a bit of dialogue to take in in such a brief time. The ending seemed rather rushed, too as it took a few seconds to work out what had actually happened. Hay Petrie was very enjoyable as the defence barrister, his performance reminding me rather of Claude Rains, and it made a change to see Herbert Lomas as the irritable coroner who did not seem to be able to conduct his court properly. Perhaps despite the nice meal he had been served in his office, he was suffering from indigestion. Interesting, too to see Olive Sloane in an early role as the Boultings used her to far greater effect in SEVEN DAYS TO NOON a decade later.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:47 pm

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. has invented a new surgical procedure. He's invited to a European dictatorship to demonstrate it. He discovers in mid-operation his patient is the country's dictator. When the dictator dies, the authorities, in the person of Jack Hawkins, can't let anyone know, so Fairbanks ... escapes and so begins The Great Manhunt (1950) aka State Secret.

It's Sidney Gilliat doing a Hitchcock thriller on his own, and doing it very well, thank you, with a fine cast, with heroine Glynis Johns showing up a third of the way into the movie in a cheap music hall singing "Paper Doll" very badly and Herbert Lom hilariously sleazy as a black-market fixer. There's an exciting mountain-climbing sequence shot in the Dolomites and the entire movie is shot through with a sardonic cynicism that is capped with Miss Johns' closing words to the show.

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 MaryGH » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:33 pm

Szatanski Cowboy I mean, A Rider of the Plains (1931)

Tom Tyler was 27 when he made this Trem Carr movie. He really does act sinister around Pastor Jim (Ted Adams). Andy Shuford turns in a stellar performance as Tom's partner.

Image

Image

Image

:evil:
Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

http://bit.ly/2ueCvHe
---
Aventuras de Tom Tyler

http://triggertomblog.blogspot.com/

donwc1996
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by donwc1996 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:21 am

MaryGH wrote:Szatanski Cowboy I mean, A Rider of the Plains (1931)

Tom Tyler was 27 when he made this Trem Carr movie. He really does act sinister around Pastor Jim (Ted Adams). Andy Shuford turns in a stellar performance as Tom's partner.

Image

Image

Image

:evil:
I really enjoyed Rider of the Plaines. I especially enjoyed the repore between Tom Tyler and his partner, Andy Shuford. This is truly a fine B western and one of my favorites.

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

Unread post by MaryGH » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:02 pm

donwc1996 wrote: I really enjoyed Rider of the Plaines. I especially enjoyed the repore between Tom Tyler and his partner, Andy Shuford. This is truly a fine B western and one of my favorites.
Awesome! Have you seen Tom's Two Fisted Justice (1931)? Sinister Cinema puts it out - this particular print has about 20 minutes missing though. I know UCLA has a more complete print and it's on my "trying to get this print restored and to DVD" list.

Yeah it seems like a few of those Trem Carr films tried to re-create the Tom Tyler and his boy pal dynamic, after the silent films he made with Frankie Darro for FBO. Only a handful of his Trem Carr movies exist on DVD, hopefully the rest will eventually surface.
Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

http://bit.ly/2ueCvHe
---
Aventuras de Tom Tyler

http://triggertomblog.blogspot.com/

donwc1996
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by donwc1996 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:36 pm

MaryGH wrote:
donwc1996 wrote: I really enjoyed Rider of the Plaines. I especially enjoyed the repore between Tom Tyler and his partner, Andy Shuford. This is truly a fine B western and one of my favorites.
Awesome! Have you seen Tom's Two Fisted Justice (1931)? Sinister Cinema puts it out - this particular print has about 20 minutes missing though. I know UCLA has a more complete print and it's on my "trying to get this print restored and to DVD" list.

Yeah it seems like a few of those Trem Carr films tried to re-create the Tom Tyler and his boy pal dynamic, after the silent films he made with Frankie Darro for FBO. Only a handful of his Trem Carr movies exist on DVD, hopefully the rest will eventually surface.
Thanks for the tip about Two Fisted Justice-will definitely check that out.
I've seen a lot of Tom Tyler's films, but sadly few from the 20's. I found that Tom Tyler and Frankie Darrow were in about 25 films together, but unfortunately I haven't seen any of them! Are any of them available?

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