What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
User avatar
s.w.a.c.
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: The Land of Evangeline

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:39 pm

FrankFay wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:Finally saw the original version of Whistling in the Dark (1933) with supreme milquetoast Ernest Truex as a mystery writer who, along with his fiancee Toby Van Buren (Una Merkel), falls into the clutches of a bunch of gangsters led by Edward Arnold. Arnold wants Truex to devise the perfect murder to bump off a local tough-on-crime politician, and they writer has to put his mind to coming up with ways to both foil the plot and escape with his love. Truex is fun as the mild-mannered murder expert who's braver than he looks, and Murkel gets to do more than usual, including a racy scene where she tries to convince Truex to join her in bed, since they may not live much longer. Hard to imagine Red Skelton getting that kind of offer from Ann Rutherford eight years later.
Johnny Hines is one of the gangsters- his career dropped like a stone in the 30's & it isn't obvious why - he's not exactly burning up the screen, but lots of actors like him kept going in smaller bits. He must have had something else to do, or had good investments. He lived decades longer.
He started with Vitagraph in 1914, maybe he just got tired of the picture business. He's fine here as Slim, the mug who Truex convinces to turn traitor, and shows a lot of personality.

Considering he was headlining (and sometimes directing) comedy features in the 1920s, like The Speed Spook and the film version of George M. Cohan's Little Johnny Jones, it wouldn't be surprising if he had little desire to be a supporting character actor as his career entered its third decade.

Ben Model scored and released a version of Hines' The Crackerjack, maybe he has some additional HInes-sight.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:49 pm

Swing It Professor (1937) Ever hear of Pinky Tomlinson? He was a singer/songwriter who got his start thanks to Louis Armstrong. If you've ever tormented yourself with Alfalfa singing -- if that's the word, which it isn't -- "The Object of My Affection", then you've heard one of his songs. As the nominal lead of this Poverty Row musical, the next-to-last directed by the once-great Marshall Neilan, he makes it seem like they wanted Rudy Vallee, but had to settle for someone less dynamic.

Mr. Tomlinson is fired as a Professor of Music at his college because he doesn't know swing. He goes on the road and winds up in Chicago, where he winds up fronting as owner of a nightclub for Milburn Stone for the object of his affection, Paula Stone (in real life, they were cousin; she was the daughter of the great Fred Stone), who's accepting no favors. Tomlinson brings in his swing-deficient fiancee, Mary Kornman, and there's the usual sex-free sex conflict. There's also a major subplot of Bill Elliott as a competing gangster who thinks Tomlinson is a big, deadly mobster; and Tomlinson sings some songs written by other people.

Given all of these things and the usual Poverty Row values, there's nothing about this movie that should work except for two short dances by Miss Stone; she's dynamite. And, looking at the first fifteen minutes, which starts with a "comedy trio" that aspires to be the Ritz Brothers but lacks their intellectual complexity, and a Hooverville chorus of the Sextet from Lucia di Lamermoor accompanied by the ocarina. Yet once you get past the minefield of that beginning, the movie finds its legs and becomes moderately entertaining.

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

User avatar
FrankFay
Posts: 3268
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:48 am
Location: Albany NY
Contact:

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

Unread post by FrankFay » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:26 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
FrankFay wrote: Johnny Hines is one of the gangsters- his career dropped like a stone in the 30's & it isn't obvious why - he's not exactly burning up the screen, but lots of actors like him kept going in smaller bits. He must have had something else to do, or had good investments. He lived decades longer.
He started with Vitagraph in 1914, maybe he just got tired of the picture business. He's fine here as Slim, the mug who Truex convinces to turn traitor, and shows a lot of personality.

Considering he was headlining (and sometimes directing) comedy features in the 1920s, like The Speed Spook and the film version of George M. Cohan's Little Johnny Jones, it wouldn't be surprising if he had little desire to be a supporting character actor as his career entered its third decade.

Ben Model scored and released a version of Hines' The Crackerjack, maybe he has some additional HInes-sight.
There's a good story about him- he lived long enough to be invited to some film festivals. One of his films seemed to be loosing the audience & someone told the projectionist to speed it up a bit. Moments later, Hines complained that it was going too fast!
Eric Stott

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:52 pm

Undercover Agent: The bookie business isn't paying for Ralf Harolde, so he decides to sell phony sweepstakes tickets. Meanwhile, Russell Gleason saves the neighborhood pawnshop owner by shooting the robber with his service revolver, and gets busted for 90 days because he's a trainee Postal Inspector and he's not supposed to be carrying off duty. This disappoints his fiancee, Shirley Grey, who works for the bookies as a hatcheck girl, and her father, who's been peddling the tickets, thinking they're honest, for a 20% commission. He suggests that Russell do the same while he's laid off. Russell checks with his quondam boss and does some undercover sleuthing.

It's a thin and short Monogram second feature, run on speed, charm Kerrigan's rat-a-tat blather: not much, but there's a thin layer of justification beneath everything that isn't mentioned in the script -- the Post Office is investigating because the receipts from the phony sweepstakes are supposed to be mailed from France, which makes it mail fraud or something. Director Howard Breatherton gets through the matter as fast and painlessly as possible.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:01 am

You might want to think of Sik San aka The God of Cookery (1996) as a precursor to his Kung Fu Hustle and Shao Lin Soccer, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong -- Stephen Chow and his co-director, Lik-Chi Lee use many of the tropes and themes that Chow would re-use in those later movies.

That would ignore the fact that this is a very funny movie on its own hook It's clear that Chow is not working with as large a budget as he would be by the third movie. Do you worry that it's the third movie you've seen with Fred & Ginger and they're still dancing?

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

User avatar
s.w.a.c.
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: The Land of Evangeline

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:10 am

FrankFay wrote:There's a good story about (Johnny Hines) - he lived long enough to be invited to some film festivals. One of his films seemed to be loosing the audience & someone told the projectionist to speed it up a bit. Moments later, Hines complained that it was going too fast!
I saw that he made it to at least one Cinecon in the 1960s, I wonder if there's anyone around who remembers.

The one news story I could glean from Google mentioned a 1930 arrest for driving while intoxicated. Don't know if that hints at later problems in his life or not.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

User avatar
s.w.a.c.
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: The Land of Evangeline

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:14 am

boblipton wrote:You might want to think of Sik San aka The God of Cookery (1996) as a precursor to his Kung Fu Hustle and Shao Lin Soccer, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong -- Stephen Chow and his co-director, Lik-Chi Lee use many of the tropes and themes that Chow would re-use in those later movies.
This was my introduction to Chow, and a pretty good one at that. I bought a VCD of it years ago, based on someone else's recommendation, and still enjoy it, although I was happy when it turned up on Netflix in a much more watchable format.

Chow's acting career seems to have stalled lately, he seems to be more interested in producing and directing, but it's probably easier on the ol' skeleton than doing slapstick. At least there are still some older comedies of his I have yet to catch up with.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

User avatar
s.w.a.c.
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: The Land of Evangeline

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:34 am

Oh yeah, the last film I watched is The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which I threw on in preparation for the latest episode of the James Bonding Podcast. It was the first 007 film I saw in a theatre at 10 years old, and it holds up pretty well as one of the most balanced of the Roger Moore outings, with a decent villain (Curt Jurgens as Stromberg, who wants mankind to start living underwater and will start a nuclear war to get it there), great henchman (towering Richard Kiel as "Jaws"), and one of Bond's few evenly matched co-stars, Barbara Bach as Russian agent XXX. Bach is gorgeous, and holds her own, and makes me wish they'd been able to make better use of Chinese star Michelle Yeoh when she turned up as an agent in one of the Brosnon outings (maybe Tomorrow Never Dies? They're all a blur to me).

A couple of films later, Bach would meet Ringo Starr on the set of Caveman, get married and drop off the screen, which is a shame for viewers, but can you blame her?

The film makes good use of exotic locations in Egypt and Sardinia, using the same ruins as Death on the Nile it seems, and the balance between action and camp is fairly even. The next one, Moonraker, would really tip the scales towards the latter, with TSWLM scribe Christopher Wood working solo without his previous co-writer, Bond pro Richard Maibaum who'd been with the series since Dr. No. Love that Lotus Esprit submarinemobile in TSWLM, had the Corgi toy car version as a kid, but ruined it by taking it in the water.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

busby1959
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:12 pm
Location: Cathedral City, California

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

Unread post by busby1959 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:10 pm

boblipton wrote:Undercover Agent: The bookie business isn't paying for Ralf Harolde, so he decides to sell phony sweepstakes tickets. Meanwhile, Russel Gleason saves the neighborhood pawnshop owner by shooting the robber with his service revolver , and gets busted for 90 days because he's a trainee Postal Inspector and he's not supposed to be carrying off duty. This disappoints his fiancee, Shirley Grey, who works for the bookies as a hatcheck girl, and her father, who's been peddling the tickets, thinking they're honest, for a 20% commission. He suggests that Russell do the same while he's laid off. Russell checks with his quondam boss and does some undercover sleuthing.

It's a thin and short Monogram second feature, run on speed, charm and the rat-a-tat blather of Kerrigan; not much, but there's a thin layer of justification beneath everything that isn't mentioned in the script -- the Post Office is investigating because the receipts from the phony sweepstakes are supposed to be mailed m France, which makes it mail fraud or something. Director Howard Breatherton gets through the matter as fast and painlessly as possible.

Bob

I've always liked Ralf Harolde's performances. He had a very unique quality on film, yet I have never been able to find out anything about his background other than that he was born, worked and died. Anyone have any info?

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3423
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

What Was the Last Film You Watched?

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:56 am

Went with a group of friends to see THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY (2018) and suspect I may have been the only nay-sayer among us, as to me it seemed to epitomise what Francois Truffaut said about 'Britain' and ' 'cinema', although there are still a good many decent pictures which have produced over here. Set in and just after WWII, it tells of a journalist (Lily James) who visits the Channel Island (which had been occupied by the Germans, and had been desperately short of food aside from potatoes) to find out more about a literary discussion group which started by accident when a group of them (who had been having an illicit roast pork supper) were discovered by the Germans after curfew and had to make up some excuse for their being out of doors. Salvaging books from a derelict / bombed bookshop (don't think it was a library as there was no label in one of the books), whose stock seemed to have eluded the effects of the elements, and for some reason had not already been salvaged, they start up in earnest...

An interesting idea was for me ruined by an insane (124m) running time and the fact that the doings of the 'Society' seemed to take a back seat to the dreary romantic business between James, her American fiance (Glen Powell) and the farmer with the three-day-growth played by Michiel Huisman. The three of them were far less interesting than her new friend (Kathleen Parkinson - the ditzy receptionist in 'Doc Martin') and her waspish publisher (gay, with an penchant for smart waistcoats) played by Matthew Goode.

The 'who-will-she-marry?' (I was hoping she'd move in with either Parkinson or Goode) side of the story dominates this film to the point of extreme boredom, although there is another subplot concerning a mother (Jessica Brown Findlay) who has been taken away by the Germans and whom James and Powell are trying to trace. The supporting cast (Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay, Bronagh Gallagher and whoever played James's London landlady) are all more interesting than the love story (though apparently true-to-life) which comes over as just so much padding as well as the long-winded opening scenes and finish.

Although some care has been taken with the look of the film, I found it a very artificial piece of work, more convincing in the cottage scenes than in the recreation of 1946 London*, and some of the costuming seemed simply to draw attention to itself. Admittedly it was a film which I would not have gone to on my own, but one which could have easily been a lot shorter, with less concentration on the dreary 'stars' and more to the central situation and members of the 'society'.

*This, and the ferry / dockside scenes looked like CGI to me, although one friend disagreed.

Looking up this one on IMDb, I was pleased to see, amongst the 8/10, 9/10 and 10/10 reviews was a 1/10 saying it was the worst film the viewer had seen!
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
westegg
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:13 am

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

Unread post by westegg » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:38 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:Oh yeah, the last film I watched is The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which I threw on in preparation for the latest episode of the James Bonding Podcast. It was the first 007 film I saw in a theatre at 10 years old, and it holds up pretty well as one of the most balanced of the Roger Moore outings, with a decent villain (Curt Jurgens as Stromberg, who wants mankind to start living underwater and will start a nuclear war to get it there), great henchman (towering Richard Kiel as "Jaws"), and one of Bond's few evenly matched co-stars, Barbara Bach as Russian agent XXX. Bach is gorgeous, and holds her own, and makes me wish they'd been able to make better use of Chinese star Michelle Yeoh when she turned up as an agent in one of the Brosnon outings (maybe Tomorrow Never Dies? They're all a blur to me).

A couple of films later, Bach would meet Ringo Starr on the set of Caveman, get married and drop off the screen, which is a shame for viewers, but can you blame her?

The film makes good use of exotic locations in Egypt and Sardinia, using the same ruins as Death on the Nile it seems, and the balance between action and camp is fairly even. The next one, Moonraker, would really tip the scales towards the latter, with TSWLM scribe Christopher Wood working solo without his previous co-writer, Bond pro Richard Maibaum who'd been with the series since Dr. No. Love that Lotus Esprit submarinemobile in TSWLM, had the Corgi toy car version as a kid, but ruined it by taking it in the water.
SPY was my favorite Bond theater experience. I still dutifully attend most of them. The already 12 year old CASINO ROYALE to me is among the top five.

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7594
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

Unread post by drednm » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:45 am

Spring Reunion (1957) is a nice little film about the ironies of life and stars Betty Hutton and Dana Andrews as two former high school icons who were voted most popular and most likely to succeed. They meet 15 years later at a reunion, both unmarried and both leading aimless lives. The prophecies were not true.

Hutton still lives in her hometown, partnered with her father in a real estate development firm. Even worse, she still lives at home. She graduated in 1941 and her boyfriend was killed during WW II (so was her brother) and she's never gotten her life back on track. She pours her emotions into her work. Andrews (who broke his leg in the "big game") wanders from job to job but never seems happy or satisfied with anything. It's as if his life never recovered from the football field accident even if his leg did.

Also at the reunion are the usual types, the blowhard sports jock (Gordon Jones) who still relives his glory days, the little mother (Jean Hagen) who feels trapped by a husband and four kids, and an unsuccessful guy (Herbert Anderson) hoping to sell a few used cars. Oddest dynamic is Hutton's household, where her common-sense mother (Laura La Plante) feels estranged from her husband (Robert F. Simon) who seems fixated on his daughter as a replacement for the dead son. There's almost a sexual tension among the three adults, but since this is a 1957 movie, that is not explored.

Things come to a head when Hutton and Andrews make the snap decision to get married and daddy goes into overdrive to stop the wedding. The harder he works to sabotage the wedding, the more alarmed mother becomes. Can Hutton and Andrews withstand the interference?

1940s superstar Betty Hutton is just fine in her final film. She has a slightly shell-shocked look that fits the character. She also gets to sing a mellow rendition of "That Old Feeling." Dana Andrews is also quite good in his usual understated way. Robert F. Simon is appropriately creepy as the father, and silent film star Laura La Plante is very good (and looks great) as the mother.

Jean Hagen and Gordon Jones are fine in the minor and slightly comic subplot. There's also Irene Ryan as the high school's Miss Stapleton, and Herbert Anderson, Dorothy Newmann, Richard Deacon, and Ken Curtis among the reunion crowd. James Gleason (billed as Jimmy) as a nice bit as a lighthouse keeper, George Chandler plays the soda jerk, Sara Berner plays the awful impressionist.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:28 am

You'll never confuse Stephen Chow for Robert DeNiro, even in Hei Kek Ji Wong aka King of Comedy (1999). He's an actor who keeps fouling up takes in the movie because he puts too much life into his dying. When Cecilia Cheung can't keep her job hustling drunks at a local bar because she can't act like she's interested, she hears that Chow is an acting teaching who gives lessons for free. Naturally they irritate each other enormously and...

If you're looking for one of Chow's cartoon/Shao Lin extravaganza, you'll be disappointed, but I found it a good change of pace about two losers who find each other and fall in love, with some very funny sequences and some very sad ones. Chow and his co-director Like-Chi Lee manage some nice shots about the movie business and the idiocy of actors, while maintaining some sympathy for the underdog in this one.

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

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7594
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

Unread post by drednm » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:45 am

The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) is an absorbing drama about a dying textile mill in New Hampshire and it's efforts to modernize and switch to producing plastics. Along with the upgrades in technology, the mill and town are in turmoil over the local union and labor issues. It seems the mill can only compete if one man operates two machines, thereby cutting the workforce by half. Things really get interesting after the mill owner dies and leaves his widow (Dorothy Gish) to deal with the uproar. She fires the arrogant production manager and names the shop steward (Lloyd Bridges) as the new chief. Things get rough as the town takes sides in the battle to keep the mill operating. Excellent supporting cast includes Murray Hamilton as an agitator, Anne Francis and Carleton Carpenter as the cute young coupe, Arthur O'Connell, James Westerfield, Parker Fennelly, Ernest Borgnine, Doro Merande, Anne Seymour, Helen Shields, Diana Douglas, and Lenore Lonergan all co-star. Lonergan and Westerfield are especially good. The only real disappointment is that Gish, despite star billing, has a relatively small role.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

R Michael Pyle
Posts: 1738
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:17 am

Last December I bought a DVD from Warner Archive Collection with three Guy Kibbee films on it. In process of going South for the winter, I packed it away with several others and forgot about it. I found it finally yesterday. Last night we watched "The Big Noise" (1936) with Guy Kibbee (as star, not co-star), Warren Hull, Alma Lloyd, Dick Foran, Marie Wilson, Henry O'Neill, Virginia Brissac, William B. Davidson, Olin Howland, and many others. This comedy/crime drama/drama/romance is really a lot of fun, all wrapped up in 57 minutes. From Kibbee being deposed from his own corporation by the board of directors (!), to his founding a cleaners, to his having to overcome a protection racket, to his daughter being romanced by the son of the new director of the corporation which Kibbee founded and from which he's been dumped - it's very well put together. Simply fodder for the movie pigs as I am, but still a lot of fun. Well worth the watch. Two more to go on the DVD. Kibbee actually was the number one star in about eight or so films during the thirties, but he's been quite forgotten by the majority of film watchers today, let alone the films in which he actually was the lead. Too bad. He's really better in these, it seems, than the bumbling fool he often plays as a second banana.

Daniel Eagan
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am
Contact:

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

Unread post by Daniel Eagan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:57 am

boblipton wrote:You might want to think of Sik San aka The God of Cookery (1996) as a precursor to his Kung Fu Hustle and Shao Lin Soccer, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong -- Stephen Chow and his co-director, Lik-Chi Lee use many of the tropes and themes that Chow would re-use in those later movies.

That would ignore the fact that this is a very funny movie on its own hook It's clear that Chow is not working with as large a budget as he would be by the third movie. Do you worry that it's the third movie you've seen with Fred & Ginger and they're still dancing?

Bob
Because some of the (harmless) jokes in The God of Cookery involve little boys' penises, there are many different edits of this film. Jim Carrey optioned the rights, and was close to an American remake. I think this and Chow's next film, The King of Comedy, are better than his more corporate hits, despite their smaller budgets.

It's easy to see Carrey playing Chow's roles, but I think Chow is closer to someone like Bob Hope in his Ghost Breakers stage. I wish he would perform on screen again.
Last edited by Daniel Eagan on Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Daniel Eagan
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am
Contact:

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

Unread post by Daniel Eagan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:01 am

boblipton wrote:You'll never confuse Stephen Chow for Robert DeNiro, even in Hei Kek Ji Wong aka King of Comedy (1999). He's an actor who keeps fouling up takes in the movie because he puts too much life into his dying. When Cecilia Cheung can't keep her job hustling drunks at a local bar because she can't act like she's interested, she hears that Chow is an acting teaching who gives lessons for free. Naturally they irritate each other enormously and...

If you're looking for one of Chow's cartoon/Shao Lin extravaganza, you'll be disappointed, but I found it a good change of pace about two losers who find each other and fall in love, with some very funny sequences and some very sad ones. Chow and his co-director Like-Chi Lee manage some nice shots about the movie business and the idiocy of actors, while maintaining some sympathy for the underdog in this one.

Bob
Did your version have the Jackie Chan cameo? Chow did a cameo in Chan's film Gorgeous, which was shooting at the same time, and was the best thing in it.

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:12 am

Daniel Eagan wrote:
boblipton wrote:You'll never confuse Stephen Chow for Robert DeNiro, even in Hei Kek Ji Wong aka King of Comedy (1999). He's an actor who keeps fouling up takes in the movie because he puts too much life into his dying. When Cecilia Cheung can't keep her job hustling drunks at a local bar because she can't act like she's interested, she hears that Chow is an acting teaching who gives lessons for free. Naturally they irritate each other enormously and...

If you're looking for one of Chow's cartoon/Shao Lin extravaganza, you'll be disappointed, but I found it a good change of pace about two losers who find each other and fall in love, with some very funny sequences and some very sad ones. Chow and his co-director Like-Chi Lee manage some nice shots about the movie business and the idiocy of actors, while maintaining some sympathy for the underdog in this one.

Bob
Did your version have the Jackie Chan cameo? Chow did a cameo in Chan's film Gorgeous, which was shooting at the same time, and was the best thing in it.
Yep.

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

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:20 pm

En Kvinnas Ansikte aka A Woman's Face (1938) Disfigured Ingrid Bergman is a member of a blackmail ring. When getting the payoff of one of their "clients", she is caught by the woman's husband, a doctor, who performs plastic surgery on her and leaves her looking like.... well, like Ingrid Bergman. However, the ring's newest scam is on. The wastrel nephew of a rich man wants his own six-year-old nephew knocked off, and the gang agrees to do so for money down and a quarter of the inheritance. Miss Bergman takes the job, but with a new face comes a new her....

It's a bravura performance, just the sort that actors love, and Miss Bergman, only 23 years old, is up to the challenge, as she gradually changes. None of the other younger actors are up to her level; they all seem strident and melodramatic in comparison to her. Anders Henrikson, as the compassionate doctor, is the only actor who seems at her level, and their scenes together raise this from an improbable melodrama to high art.

It was her last film with Gustaf Molander, and by the following year, she was in Hollywood, remaking Intermezzo for Selznick. MGM would buy the rights to this story and remake it poorly with Joan Crawford in the lead role.

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

Wm. Charles Morrow
Posts: 1165
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:10 pm
Location: Westchester County, NY

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

Unread post by Wm. Charles Morrow » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:18 pm

Yesterday I returned to MoMA for another in their series of Fox Film restorations. This time it was Frank Borzage’s Bad Girl (1931), which I’d never seen. It’s a modest slice-of-life drama, yet kind of a big deal at the time, i.e. first a popular novel, then a Broadway play—featuring Sylvia Sidney as the Girl—and then a movie, which was nominated for three Oscars and won two, for the screen adaptation and for Best Director. (There were only three nominees in that category that year; Borzage beat King Vidor for The Champ, and Josef von Sternberg for Shanghai Express.)

As others have pointed out, this is essentially an early talkie version of Vidor’s The Crowd. It’s a plain, unpretentious story of a relationship between a working class young man and woman: their courtship, marriage, financial struggles, and first-time parenthood. Borzage’s take on the material is heartfelt and intense, and not as flamboyant as Vidor’s. I think the Oscar nod was primarily in recognition of his handling of the performances, which are excellent. I’ve always liked Sally Eilers, who never got her due. She’s terrific as ever here, although her character seems underwritten. You never really know what makes her tick, and she’s somewhat overshadowed by her wisecracking pal (Minna Gombell, who practically steals the show). James Dunn is an actor I never much cared for, but I have to say he’s first rate in his screen debut, playing a decent guy who has great difficulty expressing himself. The climactic sequence when he breaks down and cries in a doctor’s office may be the best scene of his entire career.

It’s a memorable, moving film—with a terribly misleading title! I guess we’re supposed to read it ironically, since Eilers’ character worries about her reputation after spending a night with her boyfriend, pre-wedlock that is, but (like the original ad campaign for this film) it suggests that she’s some kind of heedless flapper, which she decidedly is not. Then again, I guess it’s a more commercial title than The Struggles of a Nice Young Couple.
-- Charlie Morrow

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3423
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:06 am

drednm wrote:The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) is an absorbing drama about a dying textile mill in New Hampshire and it's efforts to modernize and switch to producing plastics. Along with the upgrades in technology, the mill and town are in turmoil over the local union and labor issues. It seems the mill can only compete if one man operates two machines, thereby cutting the workforce by half. Things really get interesting after the mill owner dies and leaves his widow (Dorothy Gish) to deal with the uproar. She fires the arrogant production manager and names the shop steward (Lloyd Bridges) as the new chief. Things get rough as the town takes sides in the battle to keep the mill operating. Excellent supporting cast includes Murray Hamilton as an agitator, Anne Francis and Carleton Carpenter as the cute young coupe, Arthur O'Connell, James Westerfield, Parker Fennelly, Ernest Borgnine, Doro Merande, Anne Seymour, Helen Shields, Diana Douglas, and Lenore Lonergan all co-star. Lonergan and Westerfield are especially good. The only real disappointment is that Gish, despite star billing, has a relatively small role.
Where did you see this one? It's intrigued me for quite a while...

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7594
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:44 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
drednm wrote:The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) is an absorbing drama about a dying textile mill in New Hampshire and it's efforts to modernize and switch to producing plastics. Along with the upgrades in technology, the mill and town are in turmoil over the local union and labor issues. It seems the mill can only compete if one man operates two machines, thereby cutting the workforce by half. Things really get interesting after the mill owner dies and leaves his widow (Dorothy Gish) to deal with the uproar. She fires the arrogant production manager and names the shop steward (Lloyd Bridges) as the new chief. Things get rough as the town takes sides in the battle to keep the mill operating. Excellent supporting cast includes Murray Hamilton as an agitator, Anne Francis and Carleton Carpenter as the cute young coupe, Arthur O'Connell, James Westerfield, Parker Fennelly, Ernest Borgnine, Doro Merande, Anne Seymour, Helen Shields, Diana Douglas, and Lenore Lonergan all co-star. Lonergan and Westerfield are especially good. The only real disappointment is that Gish, despite star billing, has a relatively small role.
Where did you see this one? It's intrigued me for quite a while...
I've had a copy of this forever. No idea where it came from. It was probably on YT at some point.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7594
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:01 am

The 1975 Australian film Picnic at Hanging Rock is an ethereal and mystical film about a group of women in 1900 who disappeared from the (now) infamous rock outcropping in New South Wales. Based on a 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, it's pure fiction done up as a nonfiction novel. The new 6-part miniseries is an attempt to expand the story told in Peter Weir's excellent film, and it's a total failure. The series is a whizz-bang mix of video effects and anachronistic music told in a stuttering narrative style that uses several backstories to "explain" the characters. Of course what it can't explain is the disappearance of the two students and one teacher. While there are some interesting performances in the series, it is defeated by having three directors and two writers in charge of the various episodes. While the film leaves you wanting more by tantalizing you with hints and suggestions, the series is a lesson in overkill. Why leave anything to the imagination when you can pound every idea to death and drown it out with techno-music?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

R Michael Pyle
Posts: 1738
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:35 am

I watched another Guy Kibbee starring film, "Going Highbrow" (1935), and, again, I was quite pleased with this engaging comedy. Co-starring ZaSu Pitts, Edward Everett Horton, Ross Alexander, June Martel, Gordon Westcott, and Judy Canova, this definitely goes the 30's limit with its limits but never so over-the-top to lose touch. It keeps a smile on the face from start to finish! Exceedingly wealthy Kansas Citeans Kibbee and Pitts want to meet New Yorkers in the "400", so they buy their way into a party where such an occurrence will happen. They also need to find a daughter to do so for reasons that complicate things. They find Martel in a diner where she's a waitress. Horton is helping the two do their thing. He's a money-poor top-ender in NYC. You can see where this is going. All put in a 100% performance that rings very well, thank you, today! Second film on the Warner Archive release of 3 Kibbee films.

Online
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

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

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:59 am

They Met in Bombay (1941): Gable and Rosalind Russell play a couple of jewel thieves who meet in ..... well, guess where, and keep running into each other thereafter. It's a fairly formulaic film carried on the charms of the leads; director Clarence Brown can't overcome the MGM gloss to provide the screwball details details that the film really needs, although Peter Lorre as a shady and unctuous tramp steamer captain is a lot of fun. I have the feeling Miss Russell replaced Myrna Loy at some stage in the production and the first couple of reels show damage. The leads play the movie for drama; the comedy bits are for Lorre and others, which is pretty much an expression of director Clarence Brown's opinion. Even worse, William H. Daniel's high-lit camerawork makes Miss Russell look a trifle jowly.

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

User avatar
s.w.a.c.
Posts: 2082
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: The Land of Evangeline

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

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:42 am

As with my recent viewing of The Women, I filled another big hole in my viewing history yesterday, like Bette Davis pumps her lover full of lead, by finally watching William Wyler's masterful remake of The Letter (1940), which TCM aired as an entry in Noir Alley this weekend. Host Eddie Muller notes in his intro that most people probably wouldn't classify it as a noir and lean more towards melodrama, given its A-picture pedigree and literary background, but it still bears a lot of the hallmarks of the genre, and why not have one more excuse to run it? Davis's performance is a much more controlled beast than Jeanne Eagles' in 1929, but it's definitely peak Davis, in the midst of her golden age that began with Jezebel (which, amazingly, I also haven't seen, I've got a lot of BD to catch up with). The film expands the story's Singapore setting, highlighting the gap between the self-absorbed colonials and the native population, building to a supremely creepy conclusion. So glad I finally caught up with this one.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

User avatar
Jim Roots
Posts: 2911
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:17 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:I watched another Guy Kibbee starring film, "Going Highbrow" (1935), and, again, I was quite pleased with this engaging comedy. Co-starring ZaSu Pitts, Edward Everett Horton, Ross Alexander, June Martel, Gordon Westcott, and Judy Canova, this definitely goes the 30's limit with its limits but never so over-the-top to lose touch. It keeps a smile on the face from start to finish! Exceedingly wealthy Kansas Citeans Kibbee and Pitts want to meet New Yorkers in the "400", so they buy their way into a party where such an occurrence will happen. They also need to find a daughter to do so for reasons that complicate things. They find Martel in a diner where she's a waitress. Horton is helping the two do their thing. He's a money-poor top-ender in NYC. You can see where this is going. All put in a 100% performance that rings very well, thank you, today! Second film on the Warner Archive release of 3 Kibbee films.
This one, right? https://www.oldies.com/product-view/0174KD.html" target="_blank

Is it captioned?

Jim

R Michael Pyle
Posts: 1738
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:26 am

Yes, Jim, that's the one. I do not think it's captioned, but I'm not sure, and I'm not where I can immediately check it out. I'll PM you later.

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2836
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

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

Unread post by Brooksie » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:30 pm

drednm wrote:The 1975 Australian film Picnic at Hanging Rock is an ethereal and mystical film about a group of women in 1900 who disappeared from the (now) infamous rock outcropping in New South Wales. Based on a 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, it's pure fiction done up as a nonfiction novel. The new 6-part miniseries is an attempt to expand the story told in Peter Weir's excellent film, and it's a total failure. The series is a whizz-bang mix of video effects and anachronistic music told in a stuttering narrative style that uses several backstories to "explain" the characters. Of course what it can't explain is the disappearance of the two students and one teacher. While there are some interesting performances in the series, it is defeated by having three directors and two writers in charge of the various episodes. While the film leaves you wanting more by tantalizing you with hints and suggestions, the series is a lesson in overkill. Why leave anything to the imagination when you can pound every idea to death and drown it out with techno-music?
Interestingly, the reviews in Australia have been universally appalling, while the ones in America have been pretty positive. Aside from the fact that there could not be a less apt story to 'expand' - the appeal of both film and book is how much it deliberately leaves vague - the original is so good that I can't fathom why anyone would attempt to better it. I plan to give it a wide berth.

User avatar
2 Reel
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 am
Location: Earth, for the time being

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

Unread post by 2 Reel » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:53 pm

The Viking (a.k.a. White Thunder and Vikings of the Ice Field) (1931).

This Newfoundland/American adventure film about sealing in the frozen North was directed by George Melford. Ballyhoo claims that this was "the first film to record sound and dialogue on location," which I do not believe is historically accurate. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating film on several levels:

1. The stunning documentary footage taken in frozen Newfoundland that depicts real ships, real sailors, real ice floes, real seals, and other realities that could never have been staged. As a record of the time, place, and profession, the scenes rivet your eye to enthralling details and thrilling man-against-nature actualities.

2. The studio scenes, and all dialogue sequences both on set and on location, are a classic so-bad-it's-good depiction of silent era actors untrained in the technique of dramatic dialogue struggling with banal, stilted words, point-and-shoot staging, and primitive microphones. These sequences are cringe-worthy awkward at best and painful to watch at worst, yet they survive as a powerful record of topsy turvy Hollywood's bumbling transition to talkies. Actor Charles Starrett comes across more poorly than others in the talking scenes, yet he comes alive visually in all action scenes.

3. I wish I had known the backstory of the troubled production prior to viewing, since that information would have painted yet another layer of fascination to the experience. The Viking is apparently best- known for the real drama taking place when their ship, the SS Viking (an actual sealing ship), stuck in ice and could not be freed without setting off bombs, the act of which blew a large section of the ship away and killed many crew members, including producer Varick Frissell, amounting to what is purported to be the largest loss of life in film history.

Well worth watching.
They call me "Dangerous Dal"

Post Reply