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WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 12th, 2014, 1:00 pm

Joanie goes without sayin'... :D

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CineMaven
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » September 14th, 2014, 9:16 am

SHE HAS HER REASONS:

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"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2014, 10:04 am

OMG! This is now my second favorite of your posters after the Joseph Cotten one. What a great idea. Did you get it while watching Deneuve last night? Love that photo of MacKaill that anchors it all. Perfect! Thanks for posting it.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » September 14th, 2014, 6:54 pm

Thanx! :-) I hadn't watched TCM last night to see "Belle de Jour" "Walk on the Wild Side" or "Frisco Jenny." But I knew they were on and that gave me the idea. I recorded "Frisco Jenny." I've got to check out Ruth Chatterton. Is this like "Madame X" where the lawyer / son has no idea he's prosecuting his Mom?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2014, 7:01 pm

Yes, Madame X pretty much right down the line. In spite of the overused plot, it's one of my favorite Ruth Chatterton movies. She's terrific in it. It doesn't hurt that it's a William Wellman film, so no punches are pulled. Nice earthquake sequence too.

I have turned into a big Wellman fan, especially his work with female protagonists on "women's pictures".

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » September 15th, 2014, 11:54 am

Wellman's son said that his father tried to pick a variety of scripts at WB so that he wouldn't be typed as a woman's director. He also said that Wellman was never happier than at WB. These early films of his are so entertaining and hold up really well.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » September 16th, 2014, 2:52 pm

I enjoyed Bombshell quite a bit, but I would say that the direction doesn't make the most of the script. Victor Fleming is a capable director, but better at comic scenes within a drama, as in Red Dust, than in an out-and-out screwball comedy. The actors tend to yell too much on the same pitch. It's fast-paced, there are funny lines, and some inventive staging like the scenes where Lee Tracy leans in the windows, but a greater awareness of variety in pacing and variety in delivery would have made this one of the great comedies.

There's an outstanding article by one of the Morlocks on Bombshell and how it is based on Clara Bow, but also on Harlow herself, not just the references to retakes for Red Dust, but the sponging relatives.

In contrast, I saw the last half of Design for Living again, and though Lubitsch's direction calls little attention to itself, I kept having a smile on my face.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 17th, 2014, 8:38 am

So far, there hasn't been a Wellman movie, early or late, that I haven't liked. There's a mixture of grit and grand ideals in his work that speaks to me, especially when it plays out in small scale western or seamy underworld backgrounds. The occasional nobility of the lowest of the low. Wellman is great at the small personal story. I think that's what keeps me coming back to his films, over and over again. And he never preaches or talks down to women.

I hate to admit that I agree about Bombshell, a very good if not great film. It's a little too strident, LOUD and might have been better had Fleming used different tones for some of the scenes, building up to that terrific ending. That being said, I love the scenes where mayhem is really called for, for instance during Harlow's morning schedule with studio men and women walking right into her room as she awakens, and the scenes where her entourage is at the same time trying to keep her from and push her to go to the studio. Love the dogs!

As for Design For Living, it's easy to complain that it's not the same as the play or that it's miscast (which I think isn't true) but I defy anyone to get through it without smiling. It's still one of my favorites.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 17th, 2014, 9:20 am

I know this is a little late for discussion - but, I find Belle de Jour not my cup of tea and I find the movie too disturbing for my taste. I watched the movie with several friends of mine and they all enjoyed it - but not me. Sorry.

It was mentioned earlier on this thread ...

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » September 22nd, 2014, 9:17 pm

“BOMBSHELL”

Folks, for my money “BOMBSHELL” is a qualitative, unequivocal hit for me. Loud, shrill, one-note, over-the-top, shrieking, sharp? I wouldn’t agree with that assessment, but if I give it that...if I go along with what's been said, it’s those very elements that offers up the laughs and my enjoyment of this movie.

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From Lola’s bloodsucking family to those over-sized dogs wrangled by Louise Beavers ( who I’m grateful is allowed to be normal...normal for this cacophonous household ) to the phoniness of show business and it’s self-referential portrait to her agent who wants her pound of flesh ( any way he can get her ) the whole movie is anarchic. ( You’d forgive it if it were the Marx Brothers. :lol: )

Harlow deftly handles it all like a juggler spinning those plates on Ed Sullivan’s show. I think she plays it on different notes. She talks at breakneck speed, uses humor ( read sarcasm ). She’s harried, put-upon, lied to, double-crossed. She puts on airs, thinks she’s in love, is exasperated and goes from one drama to another. She’s in the eye of the storm of this screwball comedy. As for her acting, you tell me Harlow’s the same girl that’s in “Wife vs. Secretary.” Go on, I dare you. I double darn dare ya.”

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If “Bombshell” is shown at the 2015 TCMFF, it would be the hit of the festival. And I'll be the first on line.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lomm » September 25th, 2014, 2:48 pm

Not a silent, but I watched a pre-code film called The Naughty Flirt the other night starring Alice White as the titular flirt and a young Myrna Loy in a small role as the sister of a conniving gold digger (and no small gold digger herself). It's a fairly typical 30s farce, with rich people walking around in tuxedos and formals, getting into all sorts of mischief, with a lesson learned in the end. Post code, this young flirt could never have had the happy ending this film finishes with. :) I love this very short era of cinema though, and enjoyed it. It's funny to see how Myrna Loy developed in a short time into such a comic genius after her early roles as something of a vixen.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » September 29th, 2014, 2:56 pm

After seeing Cary Grant in a couple of his earliest films, including Hot Saturday, I have a question for those of you with sharper eyes and more knowledge of the era: Cary doesn't quite look like his later image, and it's not just a question of his learning more about film acting. Did he have a nose job? Did they alter his hairline?

On the other hand, Randolph Scott simply looks like a younger version of himself in Hot Saturday, and I kept thinking that Nancy Carroll made the wrong choice in preferring Cary to Randy. Of course, the First Commandment of classic Hollywood movies is that a girl should always trade up to Cary Grant.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lomm » September 29th, 2014, 3:27 pm

kingrat wrote:After seeing Cary Grant in a couple of his earliest films, including Hot Saturday, I have a question for those of you with sharper eyes and more knowledge of the era: Cary doesn't quite look like his later image, and it's not just a question of his learning more about film acting. Did he have a nose job? Did they alter his hairline?

He looks the same to me, only thinner. His hairline certainly didn't change, nor his nose. He (or directors of photography) just learned what angles, styles, and lighting worked best for him over time, IMO.

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moira finnie
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby moira finnie » September 30th, 2014, 3:35 pm

Not sure about the nose job, though I know what you mean about the difference in appearance. I've read that a couple of things happened to Cary that changed his appearance.

1.) On the set of Blonde Venus (1932), director Josef von Sternberg told Cary that his hair was parted on the wrong side and instructed him to start parting it on the right. The rest is history.

2.) On the set of Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Katharine Hepburn teased him mercilessly about being chubby. Around this same time, he began to lose some of his boyish weight and began tanning more, both of which made the planes of his face photograph beautifully (and film quality was progressing by leaps and bounds in this same decade, so that may have helped too).

3.) Also, he appears to have curlier hair in some of his earlier movies. I wonder if he had it straightened and/or found some Hollywood hair goop to keep things under control. He definitely used some kind of shiny Brylcreem type stuff on his hair in the late '30s, early '40s.

BTW, when she was a young teen, my mother saw a certain stunning Archie Leach in a Broadway musical called "Nikki" (which was later dramatized as the film, The Last Flight). She was bummed when she heard he'd given up trodding the boards. She never forgot the vision of the most handsome actor ever that she'd seen on stage that night. Mom never expressed any qualms she felt about his hair or weight--but what did she know?--she was a hormonally electrified adolescent. Those Hollywood perfectionists got to him.
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lomm » September 30th, 2014, 4:21 pm

I knew about the hair parting on the wrong side thing, but I thought that happened before he got to be a name star.


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