JackFavell wrote:I really love IT HAPPENED TOMORROW fer. I think it has just the right balance of comedy and charm, and I love the way Powell and Darnell work in this little sleeper of a movie. It's quite wonderful, I think. Surprising it isn't better known, but then maybe not, since whimsical period pieces are not to everyone's taste. lately I have been really going for unpretentious films like this one more than the ones touted as being great.
feaito wrote:Over this weekend I have watched:
"Fantasia" (1940), perhaps a long feature and all the sequences not equally awesome for some, but for me it's flawless due to all the work, craftsmanship, effort and love put into this project. I never cease to be amazed when watching it and the Blu Ray edition is perfect. Arguably Disney's finest and most unique film. A visual delight and a one-of-a-kind experience.
charliechaplinfan wrote:This morning I watched Black Widow made in 1954 with Ginger Rogers who looks absolutely fantastic, Van Heflin a perfromance here I enjoyed, he doesn't always strike me this way, Gene Tierney what a serene beauty she has and George Raft looking better in Cinemascope than in black and white, perhaps it's that olive complexion and silverly hair but he looked good. Peggy Ann Garner is the victim in this murder mystery and Reginald Gardiner is Ginger's husband. Unbelievably, Van Heflin plays an incredibly niave Broadway producer who takes a girl out to lunch whilst his wife, Gene Tierney is away and then lets he ruse his apartment for writing her plays, when she's found dead just as his wife returns home from her mothers he seems the only plausible suspect. Ginger Rogers is a Broadway star employed by Heflin who also lives in the same apartment block, George Raft plays the cop who's sent to invesigate. There's enough about the plot to keep guessing at in the whodunnit the pleasure also comes from the beautiful colours, Ginger and Gene's stunning wardrobes and looks and watching the raft of stars (sorry no pun intended ) in this technicolour extravaganza.
Last night I watched the interesting Nunnally Johnson directed drama “Black Widow” (1954).
Van Heflin stars as a Peter Denver, a Broadway producer married to a famed Broadway actress (played by Gene Tierney) and who’s producing a play starring another Broadway star Lottie Marin (Ginger Rogers playing a true bitchy character) who’s married to Brian Mullen (Reginald Gardiner; very good in the role of the “worthless” husband…in fact he’s called by everyone Mr. “Marin”..). The Denvers and the Mullens live in the same building in almost identical apartments and their relationship is a bit “strained” to say the least, especially between Peter & Lottie.
Enter a young and hopeful writer –Nanny Ordway- played by a grown-up Peggy Ann Garner (of “Jane Eyre” (1943) and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945) fame) who’s very good playing this duplicitous character who turns Denver’s world upside down with her scheming. I won’t give away more about the plot.
The film is a Crime Drama with Noir aspects, but the wonderful color by De Luxe, detracts from a more Noirish “atmosphere”. The film is glossy, beautifully shot in widescreen and the print I saw is full of vibrant colors which do not really suit the storyline. There are some wonderful shots of the city of New York. I think that the film would have been better served if shot in B&W and with a different, more dramatic score. It’s too glossy and good looking IMO.
Van Heflin is very good as Peter Denver; Gene Tierney has little to do but look beautiful; Reginald Gardiner gives an interesting performance and Ginger Rogers…well I am confused here….she gives a strong performance, but I felt that she was miscast and overplaying sometimes…whereas on others I felt she was giving a superb performance. I’d like to hear what others have to say about this.
Peggy Ann Garner surprised me with her complex portrayal of an apparently confused youth who has everything quite clear, it turns out…her hairstyle isn’y very becoming to her beautiful features and she looks older than her actual age.
George Raft plays a police detective and is also miscast in my opinion. Otto Kruger is very good as Nanny’s uncle, who plays an actor featured in Lottie’s running play. Cathleen Nesbitt plays the Denvers’ maid. Hilda Simms, has a short scene with Van Heflin and gives a super cool performance as a waitress who knows Nanny and “enlightens” Denver about her whereabouts….she was a beautiful black actress, with great experience on stage and thank heavens she’s given a non-stereotypical role; It would been great if she had been featured in more important roles in other films, because she definitely had talent and screen presence. A young Aaron Spelling plays a small role which is pivotal to Peter Denver (Van Heflin).
In all a worthwhile picture.
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