What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:49 pm

oldposterho wrote:
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.
Did Esper's widow retain it? And if so, where is it now? Great stuff!

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:37 pm

Bret Wood actually published 3 of their screenplays in what is now a pretty pricey book, I suspect the originals might be at UCLA.

https://www.amazon.com/Marihuana-Mother ... 0810833751

I think I'll try to get this through inter-liberry loan, I imagine it's a hoot. Hard to believe any of Maniac was pre-planned.

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:27 pm

Billy Wilder's only film made in France on his way to the US, Mauvaise graine, (Bad Seed) (1934) is a real find. Although only co-written and, in fact, co-directed by Billy, it is chock full of what would become key signatures for the later Wilder films. The characters are all of questionable repute, being a gang of car thieves and all, but everything is treated quite breezily and there is a high likeability factor in the proceedings. It's quite a compare/contrast with the US crooks/JD films of the same era, although I suppose they were spared the whole prohibition gangster history American filmmakers had going on.

The camera work is really good with lots of moving shots to ride along with the cars and it's a real treat to see Paris mid-wars, plus the cars! Any movie with three Hispano-Suizas as a plot point is OK by me. Throw in Danielle Darrieux (RIP) and there's really nothing to dislike about it. Print was from Lobster via Arte.

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:04 am

Watched "Broadway Babies" (1929) with Alice White, Marion Byron, Sally Eilers, Charles Delaney, Fred Kohler, Tom Dugan, Bodil Rosing, Maurice Black, Louis Natheaux, and Jocelyn Lee. Very early musical was actually originally shot as a silent. With music and a lot more dancing, the thing became a soundie musical. Nice early backstager that will creak for a few, but it's actually pretty well done. Directed by Mervyn Leroy. Curiously, the silent was released in July of '29. The soundie came - first - June of '29. Charles Delaney's voice sounds like he's striving for the high notes at times, and is buried in the early sound equipment. Doesn't help that his New York accent gets in the way of the high notes, either. Sound at the beginning of the film is not in very good condition in general, but overall it's still very watchable fluff. Must have been a wow, though, in its day. Enjoyed seeing Fred Kohler get a part where he's actually a half-way decent guy. Just a liquor guy (during Prohibition) from Detroit (with a coterie of gunsels) amid a group of New York's lowest gambling hoods (and Fred doesn't realize it!) who falls for Alice White and treats her very well. Of course, her guy's Charles Delaney (the guy with the high pitched voice). I still like looking at Sally Eilers.

Recently released by Warner Archive Collection.

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

Unread post by drednm » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:45 am

Wednesday's Child (1934) was based on a Broadway play and stars Frankie Thomas as the child of woe, a boy caught up in the divorce of his parents. He's shuttled between the unfaithful mother who has remarried and his doting father who wants to remarry. The kid is left out in the cold and is shuffled off to military school. Effective little drama back in the day when divorce was still scandalous. Edward Arnold plays the dim but jovial father; Karen Morley plays the unsympathetic mother. Frankie Thomas is mostly good but has a few hammy scenes. He's likely best remembered as Nancy Drew's sidekick in 4 movies. One of the lawyers is played by Frank M. Thomas and the nurse is played by Mona Bruns, the kid's real-life parents. Shirley Grey was Louise, Elsa Jannsen the cook, and Frank Conroy the judge.
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earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:52 pm

Despite a fairly hideous copy, I watched the British movie THE SECRET (1955). Despite a rather convoluted premise (we never really know whether the woman who is found dead at the start was killed or died accidentally), there is a reasonably interesting plot which is rather muffed throughout. Sam Wanamaker plays an unsuccessful entertainer dreaming of the Big Time, who steals some diamonds which have been smuggled from Russia in Mandy Miller's teddy bear. (Mandy and brother Richard O'Sullivan play the children of the dead woman.) Unfortunately Mandy notices that the teddies have been switched, putting Wanamaker in an awkward position, particularly as he has rather clumsily buried the remnants of the original teddy.

Brighton (Sussex, England, that is) locations provide a good spot of interest despite the poor condition of the Eastmancolor, and there is welcome support from Andre Morell as the local police inspector. Should a good copy surface, it would doubtless render the film more entertaining than it is, although much of it is still pretty routine. Directed by Cy Endfield.

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:41 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
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.

Jim
Watched it last night. Kelley may have been 27 years old at the time, and playing a 24 year old, but he looked about 21 ... hardly recognizable. He gave a good performance, at least by DeForest Kelley standards; he never once said, "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a ..."

There were three or four very choppy edits resulting in mismatched shots. Lots of flashy effects. The story has the usual Woolrich touches of the preposterous, which you don't care about because it's all part of the fun.

An enjoyable film, not much more than that.

Jim

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

Unread post by drednm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:39 am

On almost all levels S.O.S. Tidal Wave (1939) is a terrible B film. Yet the plot, concerning crooked politicians, manipulation of the media, and fake news, makes it surprisingly relevant and interesting. A convicted felon who's changed his name is running for mayor and is a front for a crooked syndicate. A local television reporter (Ralph Byrd) is threatened and and doesn't air the show proving his guilt. So that leaves it to a local ventriloquist (George Barbier) to expose the crooked politician on his show on voting day. The crooks is winning until the expose airs. So the crooks take over the TV station and start a panic by showing false footage about an earthquake and tidal wave that have destroyed New York City. The panic empties the voting stations and the crooks ram the car the ventriloquist is driving (which also contains Byrd's wife and kid). That gets him mad so he hits the air waves to expose the crook and the fake news. But is it too late? Apparently the election results were announced while in progress back then. Anyway, films features Kay Sutton as the wife, Marc Lawrence as the sleazy syndicate head, Frank Jenks and Dorothy Lee as the comic relief, and Raymond Bailey as a TV executive. A lot of the tidal wave footage is from Deluge (1933).
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:54 pm

drednm wrote:On almost all levels S.O.S. Tidal Wave (1939) is a terrible B film. Yet the plot, concerning crooked politicians, manipulation of the media, and fake news, makes it surprisingly relevant and interesting. A convicted felon who's changed his name is running for mayor and is a front for a crooked syndicate. A local television reporter (Ralph Byrd) is threatened and and doesn't air the show proving his guilt. So that leaves it to a local ventriloquist (George Barbier) to expose the crooked politician on his show on voting day. The crooks is winning until the expose airs. So the crooks take over the TV station and start a panic by showing false footage about an earthquake and tidal wave that have destroyed New York City. The panic empties the voting stations and the crooks ram the car the ventriloquist is driving (which also contains Byrd's wife and kid). That gets him mad so he hits the air waves to expose the crook and the fake news. But is it too late? Apparently the election results were announced while in progress back then. Anyway, films features Kay Sutton as the wife, Marc Lawrence as the sleazy syndicate head, Frank Jenks and Dorothy Lee as the comic relief, and Raymond Bailey as a TV executive. A lot of the tidal wave footage is from Deluge (1933).
Wow. I can actually see your president playing the lead role in this film.

Jim

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:04 am

Revisited "A Shriek in the Night" (1933) with Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, Purnell Pratt, Arthur Hoyt, and others. Standard "B" produced by M. H. Hoffman, former general manager of Universal Pictures who went on to form Allied (which produced this) and Liberty (which, with others, became Republic Pictures). Slickly done, good editing, though direction is static at times. Plot may be stale, but the performers do a decent job anyway. Biggest problem is that director doesn't rein-in the performers at a few places, especially Lillian Harmer, and they out-perform the bounds of the script to the point of "Whoa, boy (or) girl". About reporter who thinks something's going to happen to a guy she thinks is involved with baddies. Whoops, it does. Reporter gets crossed by another reporter who steals story by subterfuge. One's a man, the other a girl. Talbot. Rogers. The rest you can figure out without even having to watch it, especially if you look at the full cast and know who usually plays cops and who usually plays baddies. Still, for 66 minutes I wasn't disappointed. And - what was a pleasure - the print was really decent. My old VHS was a mess. I hadn't seen this for nearly 30 years. Oh, and, yes, Louise Beavers' name is mis-spelled in the credits.

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

Unread post by AlonzoChurch » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:47 am

The Republic eagle fades, and we are at a bowling ally somewhere at LA. An old guy is gleefully hitting a few strikes, and is going to have something to brag about back at the tavern. But the usual psycho is lurking around, and we know something really bad is going to happen, because this is one bang-up precredit sequence, with the nice location footage you can get in a late b-noir.

And...cue the very cool credit cards for When Gangland Strikes (1956) , which emulates a newspaper extra typeface and suggest, yes, we are in the middle of some energetic gangster movie, with 50s noir touches.

And then keep watching, and have the utter disappointment set in. Because, after a so-so set up at a penitentiary's gates, we are no longer in the streets of noir era LA. We are, instead, on some very cheap studio back street that represents, badly, some small town. A small town where everyone talks country-like, and our crusading DA is some 80-year-old doing the cracker barrel genius thing, and Slim Pickens (playin' a character called Slim Pickett, heh heh) is trying to get the ol' geezer to retire so they can both settle down to a life of fishing every day at the lake. Of course, there is some crime involved, and the murder which we saw early on is sorta shoe horned into the mess, along with bachelor papa stereotypes and older women frantic to get hitched. But, really, this may be the most annoying case of pre-credit bait and switch I've bumped into. Like someone on the IMDB suggests, this is like turning on a movie that starts out looking like Gun Crazy and ends up as Crime Finds Andy Hardy.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:55 pm

A US Government short, THE NEW GIRL AT THE OFFICE (1960) (with more government than technical credits, including Mr Nixon) is a promotional film for equal opportunities for black people in the white-collar workforce. Rather conservative in outlook, with rather arty camerawork at times and an early brief bit from Ed Asner.

PEACOCK ALLEY (1930) seems to be missing a reel (and the Technicolor) near the end where Mae Murray's dance is missing as well as a jump in continuity. After a rough beginning (the condition and sound, that is), this odd comedy gets a bit more watchable and is easier to follow. Murray is torn her between a childhood friend (Jason Robards Sr) who is keen on marrying her and her lover who is a modern-thinking fellow who regards marriage as a pain in the neck. A hotel-room meeting with the lover is followed by marriage and a honeymoon in the same hotel, which makes the hotel detective very suspicious indeed! Mix-ups follow thick and thin, and there is some amusement to be had in the latter part of the film.

The poor condition makes the first reel or so rather hard to it through, but the film is too short to become too much of a chore to sit through.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:40 pm

In his last screen role, WIlliam Haines gave it a shot, but The Marines are Coming (1934) is too clearly an B movie recapitulation of earlier movies, half Tell It to the Marines and half Quirt & Flagg. Loose cannon Marine lieutenant Haines is assigned to by-the-book Captain Conrad Nagel, steals Esther Ralston from his superior while dodging firebrand girlfriend Armida, and gets in enough trouble that he's forced to resign just before the company is shipped out on a filibuster to a generic banana republic. But old war horses can't hear "Semper Fidelis" without charging into the battle, so he enlists as a private to get into the fight.

There are lots of good bits in this movie and lots of fine performances by old pros, but Haines sounds phony in his longer speeches, and Armida acts like a cut-rate Lupe Velez. Even so, there are enough good points in this movie to keep it interesting through the end. Most of what prevents it from being outstanding is the sense that it was over-edited to keep it to 70 minutes, second-feature length.

Perhaps had there been enough grace notes added to more than suggest older, more successful movies, Haines might have cared to continue making movies. Still, he had his successful decorating business to fall back on and given the Hays Office, his homosexual relationship with Jimmy Shields -- sometimes called "the most successful marriage in Hollywood" -- must have made it seem like too much of a bother.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sat May 05, 2018 7:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:48 pm

boblipton wrote:In his last screen role, WIlliam Haines gave it a shot, but Tell it to the Marines (1934) is too clearly an B movie recapitulation of earlier movies, half Tell It to the Marines and half Quirt & Flagg. Loose cannon Marine lieutenant Haines is assigned to by-0the-book Captain Conrad Nagel, steals Esther Ralston from his superior while dodging firebrand girlfriend Armida, and gets in enough trouble that he's forced to resign just before the company is shipped out on a filibuster to a generic banana republic. But old war horses can't hear "Semper Fidelis" without charging into the battle, so he enlists as a private to get into the fight.

There are lots of good bits in this movie and lots of fine performances by old pros, but Haines sounds phony in his longer speeches, and Armida acts like a cut-rate Lupe Velez. Even so, there are enough good points in this movie to keep it interesting through the end. Most of what prevents it from being outstanding is the sense that it was over-edited to keep it to 70 minutes, second-feature length.

Perhaps had there been enough grace notes added to more than suggest older, more successful movies, Haines might have cared to continue making movies. Still, he had his successful decorating business to fall back on and given the Hays Office, his homosexual relationship with Jimmy Shields -- sometimes called "the most successful marriage in Hollywood -- must have made it seem like too much of a bother.

Bob
Shouldn't this be THE MARINES ARE COMING? (no double-entendres, please)

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:43 pm

Forgot to say we saw "The Philadelphia Story" (1940) on the big screen yesterday as part of Fantom Events. As many times as I've seen this film, it really made a difference to see it up there. For me anyway, I feel the screen play may be the single wittiest ever written, compliments of Donald Ogden Stewart. May I add, Jimmy Stewart really comes alive on the big screen. He's great on television when they show the film there, but something really changes with this picture shown up there. Not that he should have won the Best Actor Oscar instead of his friend Henry Fonda that year, but his performance was, is, and will remain, superb! Katherine Hepburn is absolutely radiant. And the fact that Cary Grant never won an Oscar - well - simply amazing... Even John Howard turns in a superlative performance instead of his rote stuff, as fun as some of it could be (e.g. Bulldog Drummond). And there really is something about Ruth Hussey... Always enjoy Roland Young and John Halliday. And throw in Mary Nash and the scene stealer of scene stealers in the movie, Virginia Weidler, with a dollop of Henry Daniell - what have you got? Confection Perfection.

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

Unread post by drednm » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:02 pm

Dillinger (1945) is a real cheapo of a film from Monogram, but features an interesting central performance by Lawrence Tierney, who gets an "introducing" credit as the title character. Two interesting things of note are that none of the violence is shown on camera until Dillinger is gunned down and that there must be a dozen scenes that are clearly dubbed. These seem to be clips taken out of other films and inserted in to the 1945 film with overdubbing. Despite the low budget, Anne Jeffreys does well as "the lady in red" as does Edmund Lowe as Specs. There's also Marc Lawrence, Elisha Cook, Eduardo Ciannelli, Constance Worth, Lou Lubin, and Victor Kilian as Dillinger's father who comes out on stage to tell the story after a "newsreel" abut Dillinger has finished. Unfortunately as the curtain closes on the screen, the word THE END appear, but they are outside the curtain and not on the screen the audience is watching. The newsreel also implies that Dillinger is still alive, but the story Kilian tells in flashback goes right up to the death. So much for the reliability of the flashback.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:33 am

Watched an el cheapo last night that's actually pretty well done. "Scream in the Night" (1935) stars Lon Chaney, Jr., who plays two different parts, and excels at both (!!!). Also in the cheapy little indy made by Ray Kirkwood Productions are Sheila Terry, Richard Cramer, Philip Ahn, Zarah Tazil (married to producer Ray Kirkwood), and others. The IMDb lists the title with the article "A" at the beginning of the title, but the credits on the film do NOT.

Now, to begin with: the country in which this takes place is Allasianislandschinaturkeymexicoamerica; and may I add, probably others. The scenery is actually quite good, but there are so many types of ethnicities represented in clothes and accouterments of furniture and decoration, transportation (rickshaws where they don't belong!!!), and people. The turbaned individuals looked as if they could be from Turkey or a desert area of the Middle East, while those who were Asiatic in the picture were wearing what appeared to be shell hats or bamboo hats in the shape of upside down boats (not sure what they're called), not quite conical rice hats. Then there were the Lon Chaney Sr. types - such as Lon Chaney, Jr. - who were dressed and facially made-up to look like Chaney, Sr. in some of his Asiatic island films of the middle 20's. Sheila Terry, on the other hand, and her father, look as if they walked off of California university in the 1930's. A couple of scenes seem to take place near Spanish architecturally influenced California homes or buildings of the 1920's! Fortunately for verisimilitude, no Los Angeles boulevards are seen in the picture that I remember...

Second: Chaney, Jr. does a very creditable job as actor! Never thought much of him except in "Of Mice and Men" and "Wolf Man". Here he seems to be himself without drink as a younger man; what you might meet at 8:00 AM in the youthful days of his Hollywood career - without drink.

Third: the story, though it was done many, many times is well directed (by unbelievably prolific Fred C. Newmeyer), decently acted by almost all involved, and actually fun to watch. Might remind some of 50's or 60's TV.

Well worth the watch - as long as you'll forgive the choppy editing and, and, and...even with all the "ands" it's good. About a stolen gem. That's all you presently need to know.

Sometimes cheap is much, much better than expected - and sometimes much better than the $200,000,000 films that explode on screen today.

I think this was the 1943 re-release, too, because the credits at the beginning don't look like 1935 credits. In fact, they look like a TV release later, though nothing reads in the credits about such things.

Oh, and for the second night in a row, this film, too, mis-spelled someone's name. Philip Ahn, born in America in a rather prominent Korean family, who spelled their name Ahn, has his name spelled Philip Ann. The night before it was Louise Beavers - with her name spelled Louise Beaver. Cheapy or not, at least they could have double-checked the spelling as though it made a difference to mom or dad - or the actor or actress involved.

A side note: Philip Ahn's father, Ahn Changho, was a Korean diplomat who constantly fought for Korean independence. Philip Ahn's sister, Susan Ahn Cuddy, was the first Asian-American to join the US navy, eventually becoming a gunnery officer.

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

Unread post by AlonzoChurch » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:14 am

Robert Ryan and Stewart Granger share the star billing in the intriguing but ultimately failed potboiler The Crooked Road (1965). This is one of those movies you really want to have work, because the settings are interesting and different (Yugoslavia), the movie itself is obscure (only one IMDB review), and Ryan, as always, is quite good as one of those fearless reporters who loves his story more than the big hair women who cross his path. But the script is bad and Granger, as the suave Balkan dictator facing an election, is not right for the role. As a result, the whole thing doesn't quite hold together. Too bad, because the b&w photography is often excellent, mixing beautiful scenery with some noirish effects.

Easy to find, if you look quickly. You might like it better than I did.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:45 pm

The pre-credits sequence of a truck careering crazily across a highway while the bug-eyed driver is gobbling pills prior to hurtling down an incline gives DEATH IN SMALL DOSES (1957) a good start. Seems like the poor guy had been popping amphetamines (or 'bennies') by the dozen to keep awake, hence the hallucinations.

Government official Peter Graves is sent to masquerade as a learner truck driver in order to find out the source of the deadly pills. Lodging in attractive widow Mala Powers's house, where he is across the way from fellow driver Chuck Connors, who is permanently drugged up to the eyeballs and over-sexed to an astonishing extent. A death at the depot where Graves finds a job leads to his boss doing a little investigating, with tragic results...

Although very routine in many ways, Joseph Newman's movie is nevertheless reasonably watchable, with a nice support from Merry Anders as the sexy waitress who (SPOILER) turns out to be a link to the source of supply. Co-feature stuff, admittedly, but not a film I regretted spending an hour or so over.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:45 pm

Richard Arlen is a stunt driver. When Vinton Hayworth walks out, Arlen is promoted to race driver, and there's a fatality. He's found not responsible, but he's considered a Danger on Wheels (1940) by Peggy Moran, whose ailing father has developed a new motor in collaboration with Andy Devine. Miss Moran doesn't like Arlen, so how are they going to prove the motor and get these two kids together.

It's a super-quick Universal B, distinguished only by some cut-in race-track photography Andy Devine does some decent clowning, Miss Moran's line reading is erratic and Arlen is near the end of his starring days, ready to head off to Poverty Row in this programmer that has Second Feature written all over it.

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

Unread post by oldposterho » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:19 pm

For a behind the scenes view of a complete cinematic trainwreck, you can't beat Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau. It is pretty hilarious - not in a haha funny way mind, but as a recounting of how a film can go so horribly, horribly wrong. It is quite sympathetic to Stanley although it does hint that he was certainly no small part of the problems and, when you've got Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer hoisting their gargantuan egos around, you've got to wonder just what the executives were expecting to happen.

Of course now I have to actually watch Island of Dr. Moreau, but I think I'll keep Island of Lost Souls cued up on standby.

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:47 pm

Island of Dr. Moreau: David Thewlis is excellent in it, Kilmer is okay, Brando is beyond bizarre.

* * *

I can't think what Asian crime movies I've seen where the hired killer and the romantic lead (who may in fact be a cop or something) move in next to each other in a big anonymous apartment complex without knowing who each other are. It seems to be a common trope in Asian films, and probably says something about all the people crammed together in Seoul or Hong Kong and how they imagine themselves with more vivid lives than they lead. Anyway, it's common as heck, and it probably comes from La Femme Nikita, clearly the most influential film of the late 20th century, and one which The Villainess (2017) steals from whole-heartedly, along with Kill Bill and many others.

I could recount the whole plot— assassin chick kills literally 60 people in a series of opening fights, she gets officially executed and secretly trained as a (government?) assassin, she falls in love with the guy next door who is secretly there to keep an eye on her, in flashbacks we learn her story (so convoluted I couldn't keep track of it all), and then it all goes to hell and she kills and kills— but I think it's better to look at a clip:



A sword fight on motorcycles. Ben-Hur on crank. Lest you think that's brilliant stuntwork, notice that at one point the camera goes under the motorcycle and comes out on the other side. I don't know how this was done precisely, but clearly there's very little reality involved, just utterly convincing CGI work blending actors (well, faceless helmets anyway) in a studio with street background footage and who knows what all.

This is the future of filmmaking. The movie-- it's okay, it's long, dour, takes too long to get to the final fight/chase/apocalypse. It's made of bits from other movies. But it utterly convinces your eyes of things your brain knows cannot have really happened, but there they are.
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R Michael Pyle
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:29 am

I thought I'd watched all the Mr. Moto films of Peter Lorre at some time or other, but after having watched "Mr. Moto's Last Warning" (1939) and not remembering having seen it before, then discovering that it was not in my database of films - well, I saw a new one last night, didn't I?! Cast is superlative, beginning with Lorre, of course. Then add Ricardo Cortez, John Carradine, George Sanders, Virginia Field, and so many other fine character actors and actresses - you've got a film filled with talent. Now, all you need is a great script and performers who will perform it admirably. Well, the script is seemingly one of those aiming to show that WWII is on the verge of possibly becoming a reality, and the "enemy" is trying to thwart France and England from doing maneuvers in Port Said. The plan also is to mine the entrance to the Suez Canal and blame Britain. Who the enemy is, though, is even held from the viewers at the end by having Moto not mention the country which is responsible as written on a document. This, after he thwarts the evil plot by doing away with the culprits who fomented the problem at the beginning of the film. Now - the long and short is - what about the rest of the "evil country"? Where do we go from here? The script was relatively good until it left us hanging at the end... This was the 6th of 8 in the series. According to the American Film Institute, Miles Mander was originally to play the part played by John Carradine. Virginia Bruce was also to appear: she didn't. Not the best, and, interestingly enough, directed by Norman Foster.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:04 pm

Eien No Hito (Immortal Love (1961): Wealthy Tatsuya Nakadai returns from war in Manchuria with a gimp leg. Hideko Takamine tells him she loves Keiji Sada, who is still at the front. Angered, he rapes her, and then forces her to marry him, They spend the next 29 years tormenting each other in that particularly demonic way that only the cinematic Japanese manage.

I don't know how younger movie-goers will deal with the relationships in this movie, but I saw marriages when I was a youngster where man and wife hated each other with a passion, and that led me to believe that perhaps the title was a mistranslation, despite the fact that this is the only Japanese movie I've ever seen with a flamenco score. Was the love that felt by Miss Takamine for Mr. Sada, despite the fact that he shows up later with a wife and son? Might the word in Japanese actually mean "Passion"?


All was revealed by the end, but in the meantime, the story, performers and cinematography by Hiroshi Kusuda certainly kept my interest going!

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

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:33 am

boblipton wrote:Eien No Hito (Immortal Love (1961): Wealthy Tatsuya Nakadai returns from war in Manchuria with a gimp leg. Hideko Takamine tells him she loves Keiji Sada, who is still at the front. Angered, he rapes her, and then forces her to marry him, They spend the next 29 years tormenting each other in that particularly demonic way that only the cinematic Japanese manage.

I don't know how younger movie-goers will deal with the relationships in this movie, but I saw marriages when I was a youngster where man and wife hated each other with a passion, and that led me to believe that perhaps the title was a mistranslation, despite the fact that this is the only Japanese movie I've ever seen with a flamenco score. Was the love that felt by Miss Takamine for Mr. Sada, despite the fact that he shows up later with a wife and son? Might the word in Japanese actually mean "Passion"?


All was revealed by the end, but in the meantime, the story, performers and cinematography by Hiroshi Kusuda certainly kept my interest going!

Bob
The title might be deliberately ironic.

Jim

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

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:21 am

"The Devil's Party" (1938), released by Universal Pictures 2 June 1938 is VERY similar to "Angels with Dirty Faces" (1938), released by Warner Brothers 26 November 1938. "The Devil's Party" is based on a novel by Borden Chase, while, according to credits, the screenplay for "Angels with Dirty Faces" is based on a story by Rowland Brown. Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur were uncredited contributors to "Angels with Dirty Faces". In the end the stories differ materially, but the fact that both begin with kids at the beginning in gangs, where one is caught, sent to reform school, while another becomes a cop (in "The Devil's Party" it's two), and there's a girl (of course), makes them seem very similar. The story-line in "The Devil's Party" differs materially - as already mentioned - but the story's the same overall. It's the themes of the two that finally are quite different. "The Devil's Party" is more a straightforward crime drama whereas "Angels with Dirty Faces" has an ulterior motive. "The Devil's Party", starring Victor McLaglen, William Gargan (brother Edward's also in the film, and the two of them in one scene together), Paul Kelly, Beatrice Roberts, Frank Jenks, Joe Downing, and others, is really a good crime drama of the era. No, it's not "Angels with Dirty Faces", but former "Best Actor" Oscar winner McLaglen is quite good. Character actor Joe Downing is really nasty in this one, and I found it interesting that he was here because he's a baddy in so many of the Bogart gangster pictures over at Warner Brothers. Beatrice Roberts actually has a decent voice and sings Jimmy McHugh's songs. She's better known as Louis B. Mayer's mistress for years. Outside of that she was Queen Azura in "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars", a secondary lead in a couple of films, but uncredited in nearly 100 others. I had tried to watch this film on a Alpha release a few years ago, but the print and sound were so bad I couldn't get into it and had to throw the DVD away. This one was half-way decent, with a good (not great) sound track, and good print (watched on a BluRay player). It's one of four films on one of the "Mystery Classics" DVDs that have been released in a series of prints over the last several years.

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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 5:52 am

It's been more than half a century since I last saw Broken Arrow (1950), and that would've been on a B&W portable in the kitchen. Yeah yeah, it was a good story. Last night I looked at it again on my large home screen and wow! Three well-deserved Oscar nominations for best screenplay (blacklisted Albert Maltz operating under the front of Michael Blankfort, Ernest Palmer's lovely photography and Jeff Chandler's awesome Cochise.

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

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:01 am

"Newness" (2017) is a picture about young couples sending each other messages on their mobile 'phones and then meeting for the purpose of engaging in horizontal dancing. The dialogue has been made up from shorthand notes taken by scriptwriters as they listened to the banal conversations people have whilst commuting on trains or trams.

Alfred Hitchcock said that pictures are life with the boring bits cut out. This film seems to have taken the opposite slant, concentrating as it does on the vapid and vacuous. It was obviously made on a tight budget too, for they didn't seem able to afford a tripod for the camera.

I can only assume that Nicholas Hoult was short a million or two for his weekend pocket money and gleefully accepted a cheque for this rubbish.
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:49 am

Donald Binks wrote:"Newness" (2017) is a picture about young couples sending each other messages on their mobile 'phones and then meeting for the purpose of engaging in horizontal dancing.
The limbo.

Jim

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:41 pm

There were several uploads of Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke's THE CITY (1939), of which the lengths and picture quality varied quite a lot. The one I watched (titles missing, so went to another one for those) wasn't too bad. This film contrasts small towns with large cities such as New York, with their hurry and hustle, indigestion (a scene reminiscent of that in LONESOME), danger, poverty (a woman digging amongst garbage - an old fellow unconscious on some steps) and dirt amongst other bad features. Saying that, some of the youngsters seemed to be enjoying themselves. We also see a family picnicking by a roadside filled with fumes.

This nightmare vision (with its use of Russian-style montage and Aaron Copeland's music) is then contrasted with a new city - the city of the future. This place is clean and organised and set up as a model, comparable to the new towns here in England and those in Holland and other parts of Europe. Never having visited America, one wonders if anything progressed as THE CITY proposed and whether the new city is at all recognisable from the one here. Although the poverty and pollution are rightly condemned here, the new city does seem too tidy, too organised and with a feeling that this sort of life leads to conformity and that the inhabitants lose something else beside dirt and disease.

One of Warner Bros patriotic Technicolor shorts of the period, LINCOLN IN THE WHITE HOUSE (1939) is a brief selection of incidents between Lincoln's election and the Gettysburg Address. Somewhat theatrical in parts (with Frank McGlynn Sr again) and with a rather miscast Dickie Moore as his son Tad, this is nevertheless an attractive and interesting drama and a good addition to the rather rich helping of Lincoln on the screen that year.

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