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Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

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MissGoddess
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Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 18th, 2011, 3:53 pm

TCM is airing Caught on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:15 p.m. (EST). I've never seen it but the exciting casting, director and story remniscent of Fritz Lang's Secret Beyond the Door sounds powerfully irresistible. I don't think it is broadcasted too often, so don't miss. Please share your impressions here, if you like.

Image

TCM Article: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/70511/Ca ... icles.html

P.S. Since I have not seen it or read any articles to prevent spoiling it for me, I'm going to make a guess that James Mason plays the mysterious husband,
and Ryan, for a change, is the "good guy" waiting in the wings, a la George Sanders in Rage in Heaven. :D

P.S.S. More discussion here on Secret Beyond the Door:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4580

and on Ophuls' magnificent noirish drama, The Reckless Moment:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3835



Last edited by MissGoddess on March 18th, 2011, 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 18th, 2011, 3:57 pm

I'll look forward to reading your review after you've watched it, you're right not to read any reviews or synopsis of the film. I watched it a few months ago and was completely enthralled by the plot and the actors. It's one of the best roles James Mason ever played, I'm not overly fimiliar with the other two.

I'd encourage everyone who can to watch it, you won't be dissappointed.

I love the picture attached to the article.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 18th, 2011, 4:15 pm

Thank you, CCF -- I know what a James Mason fan you are, and if my guess is right, this role is certainly one he is made for. I adored him in The Reckless Moment. It is by far my favorite performance by him. He broke my heart. Can anyone do the "tortured lover" better? He's like the male Garbo. :D (I mean that as a compliment, by the way).

Robert Ryan is one of my tippy top favorite actors of all time, and the prospect of seeing him cast opposite a great actor of such dissimilar style is enticing. Bel Geddes was in another superb noirish drama, The Long Night, directed by Anatole Litvak (a favorite) and starring Henry Fonda in one of few roles where I actually found him attractive. Vincent Price and Ann Dvorak round out the cast. I highly recommend it to you, I think you would like it.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 18th, 2011, 4:31 pm

I think the male Garbo is a good compliment for him, he is a good tortured lover. He's as good in Caught as in The Reckless Moment. I do like James Mason, he's an actor rather than an idol and taken on some interesting roles.

I like Robert Ryan in the films I've seen him, I've just not seen him in many, they are interestig casting together.

I've put The Long Night on my rental list, I like Henry Fonda but like you, don't find him attractive.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby moira finnie » March 18th, 2011, 6:17 pm

I am interested in your impressions of Caught too! For any readers who don't have a chance to see this Ophuls film on Monday, it is currently streaming online at Netflix too.

This movie used to be broadcast on WNEW Ch. 5 in NYC regularly when I was a kid, along with Letter From an Unknown Woman and The Reckless Moment (some programmer at that once fine station must have loved Ophuls). I haven't seen Caught in years, and am now quite interested. Thanks for the heads up, Miss G.

P.S. You will be surprised by some of Caught, which was inspired in part by Max Ophuls' nemesis at RKO, the estimable Howard Hughes.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 18th, 2011, 6:44 pm

Ooooh, you've whipped up my curiosity even more, Moira! And thank you for the notice that Netflix has it for streaming. Brilliant.

P.S. I like that new avatar.
:)
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 19th, 2011, 3:37 pm

I never associated Howard Hughes with this film, I have my own thoughts as to how he comes out on screen but for now I'll keep quiet until others have chance to watch it.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 21st, 2011, 3:10 pm

Don't forget to get Caught up tonight, 10:15 (EST)!
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby pvitari » March 21st, 2011, 3:29 pm

The Self-Styled Siren is drooling over Caught and has some interesting info on how it got onto the TCM schedule:

http://selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/

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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 21st, 2011, 3:40 pm

pvitari wrote:The Self-Styled Siren is drooling over Caught and has some interesting info on how it got onto the TCM schedule:

http://selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/


I look forward to reading that after I watch the movie, thank you, Paula!
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 22nd, 2011, 9:02 am

I caught Caught last night and I was not disappionted. Ryan was great as always and it was interesting seeing "Howard Hughes" on display. I may be the only one, but I felt sorry for the guy. He was clearly messed up. But I can't help but think of Tony Randall in---is it Lover, Come Back or Pillow Talk?---where he's a neurotic millionaire who goes to his shrink all the time. Ryan often makes me laugh when he's being so sarcastic, almost childish. "I'll show you! You shrinks are all the same." Hahahahahaa!!!

(The scene at the dock also reminded me of a similar one in Days of Wine and Roses).

Anyway, it was Barbara Bel Geddes' character that I could hang my emotions on to. It's a story that unfortunately still goes on today. I like that they did not make it so neatly Smith Ohrig's (Robert Ryan) meanness at fault, but just as much her own inability to make up her mind what was more important to her: money and security (with a crazy husband), or love and no money (with a nice guy). I have to admit I was torn! I can't help but want Robert Ryan, even if he's crazy.

Anyone catch another Barbara in a small, bit part? Barbara Billingsley (Beaver's Mom) was one of the patrons at the department store where Bel Geddes worked as a model. And the little "Personal Assistant", he was the pickpocket in Casablanca ("Vultures...vultures everywhere..") and the girl at the Charm School was Elisha Cook, jr's girlfriend in The Big Sleep.

The ending was wrapped up a little suddenly, but I thought it was a good movie, one I'll surely watch again.

However, good as it was, I still can't put it in the same class as The Reckless Moment.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby kingrat » March 22nd, 2011, 1:30 pm

MissG, I also really liked Caught, although the ending was less melodramatic than expected. Although there are noirish elements, it's a woman's picture, with Bel Geddes having to choose between two men. Thanks for pointing out all the character actors--I missed those connections. I agree with all of your points.

Ryan captures the Howard Hughes character. Here's one of the main differences between Smith and Hughes: the real Howard Hughes wasn't attracted to Barbara Bel Geddes. When he became head of RKO, his first two instructions were to paint the building and to fire Bel Geddes. Wonder if Dr. Quinada was originally conceived as Spanish or Portuguese or maybe Puerto Rican? With James Mason he becomes an Englishman. Bel Geddes' thin little voice became somewhat wearing over the course of the film, something I didn't notice in The Long Night, perhaps because it's Fonda who carries that great film.

All three main characters are well-rounded, and Arthur Laurents' screenplay is smart and well-constructed, not bogging us down over the points we don't want to dwell on. Anyone who enjoys good direction should definitely see Caught. The outro, with a very bright man from the legal department, emphasized the two-minute take with Mason and Bel Geddes dancing on a crowded dance floor. There's also a witty effect with Ryan at his psychiatrist's office. Ryan's reclining on a couch, and the shrink is tilted back in his chair, so that it looks like both men are lying on one couch above the other. The low angle when Mason enters Ryan's meeting room makes Mason look like a doll in comparison to the towering Ryan, and a similar effect occurs when Bel Geddes cowers on the steps with a gigantic Ryan standing below. Earlier, when Ryan shows up with his business associates, and he barks his orders to Bel Geddes on the stairs, they are very far apart in a wide angle shot. Ophuls understands spatial relations as well as camera movement.

The intro mentioned that Preston Sturges as well as Hughes was used as the model for Ryan's character. Does anyone know which characteristics were taken from Sturges?

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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby MissGoddess » March 22nd, 2011, 2:10 pm

I can't begin to think how it was based on Sturges. That really surprised me. I have read Sturges was very high energy, so maybe it's the manic-ness Ryan displayed. That's only a guess.

I know what you mean about Barbara's voice. It certainly is recognizable. :D

We never see Art Smith (the shrink) again, so maybe Ryan stopped seeing him after he got married? Isn't that when most men start? :P
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 22nd, 2011, 3:48 pm

Miss Goddess, you can have Robert Ryan, I'll take my chances with Quinada/Mason. I really enjoyed Caught on first viewing, I'll try to catch it again and catch those camera angles.
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Re: Caught (1949) - James Mason, Robert Ryan AND Max Ophuls!

Postby Professional Tourist » March 22nd, 2011, 5:57 pm

Say, it's on YouTube! Was uploaded last fall. Here is a playlist. I'm going to watch it again tonight, it's been so many years since I first saw it at a revival house.


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