I Just Watched...

Discussion of programming on TCM.
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speedracer5
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I Just Watched...

Post by speedracer5 »

I'm resurrecting my very popular I Just Watched... thread from the old TCM site. Despite being under the "Movies and Features on TCM" section of this forum, I want to make it clear that this thread is intended to be a casual discussion of anything that people have watched recently. The movie did not have to have aired on TCM. My old thread was popular because the conversation flowed organically, as it segued from one conversation to another, or there might have been a few conversations going on simultaneously.

I'll start.

I recently watched a pair of film noir where Joan Fontaine played a villain.

Ivy (1947)

Joan Fontaine plays the titular character, Ivy Lexton, who aspires to have the finest things in life. At the beginning of the film, she sees a fortune teller (played by Una O'Connor) who predicts that Ivy will come into a fortune and also have a new man in her life. Then the fortune teller has another vision which she can't quite see. Ivy, having heard what she wanted to hear, leaves excitedly. Then the fortune teller's last vision becomes clear and she predicts that Ivy will also have a dark future ahead (or something to that effect). This provides the ominous foreshadowing for the remainder of the film.

Ivy is married to Jarvis (Richard Ney) who it seems used to be wealthy, but Ivy has since spent all his money. Jarvis is well meaning and a bit of a dope as he doesn't seem concerned that Ivy is spending money faster than he can earn it. Later, Ivy meets Miles Rushworth (Herbert Marshall) a wealthy, but married man. Ivy has her sights set on becoming Miles' wife. She also has a lover on the side, Dr. Roger Gretorex (Patric Knowles). Ivy eventually concocts a scheme that will get rid of Jarvis and frame her lover, Roger, for his murder.

This was a great movie. I'd never heard of it before until I heard it recommended on like four different podcasts within a span of a couple weeks. I found the film streaming on Internet Archive and managed to cast it to my TV so I didn't have to watch it on the computer. Anyway, the plot moved rather slowly and I didn't expect it to take place during the Edwardian England period. Joan Fontaine's performance was very subtle. She only gives glimpses of her character's true nature, until the deed is done. Fontaine's mousy, quiet demeanor works well as it seems easy to see how she could con her way into the hearts of all of these men. In this film, much like Lana Turner's wardrobe in The Postman Always Rings Twice, Ivy wears all white--until after the murder happens, then she wears black.

This film was released by Universal, so I'm hoping there's a blu ray release in the future.

---

Born to Be Bad (1950)

This is another Joan Fontaine as a villain film noir that I watched. In this movie, Fontaine plays Christobel, a young woman who is moving to San Francisco to attend business school. Christobel's uncle is a publisher and he arranges to have her stay with his secretary, Donna (Joan Leslie). At the beginning of the film, Donna is excitedly preparing for a party that will take place in her townhouse apartment later that evening. Christobel is set to arrive the day after the party, but shows up a day early. Right off the bat, we get a glimpse of Christobel's scheming ways. It doesn't seem like her arriving the day of Donna's party is an accident. Later, Donna's wealthy fiance, Curtis Carey (Zachary Scott) shows up to take Donna to the gala. After failing to secure a third ticket for Christobel, Donna and Curtis leave for the opening night gala. While they're gone, Christobel meets an author, Nick (Robert Ryan), who has shown up early for the party. Nick immediately starts hitting on Christobel, in a rather aggressive manner. Christobel pretends to be offended and turned off by how forthcoming he is, but it is obvious that Christobel is kind of into him too. Later, at the party, Christobel meets Gobby (Mel Ferrer), a painter who is the guest of honor of the party. Eventually, Christobel sets her sights on the wealthy Curtis and schemes to get Donna out of the way--all while keeping Nick on the side as her lover.

Joan Fontaine is at least 10 years too old for the role, as I assume that Christobel is supposed to be a young college student; but Fontaine plays the role well. Her sweet, mousy demeanor works to her benefit in this film as she's able to easily insinuate herself into these people's lives and earn their trust. It is fun that Robert Ryan's character is onto her right from the start. It's nice seeing Zachary Scott not playing the sleaze for once. I thought that Joan Leslie was great. However, this is Fontaine's film the whole way. I loved how she used her little half smile when things went Christobel's way. I also loved when Joan Leslie told Joan Fontaine exactly what she thought of her. That scene was awesome.
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Fedya
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by Fedya »

Buddy the Gee-Man (1935)

Looney Tunes cartoon from before the characters we all remember. This one has Buddy, a character who apparently appeared in two dozen one-reelers, with this being the final one. It's a fairly poor effort with Buddy being asked to investigate the conditions at Sing Song prison. He get made warden and turns the place into more of a country club.

Watching this, it's easy to see why the Freleng/Jones characters are so much more remembered.
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HoldenIsHere
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by HoldenIsHere »

speedracer5 wrote: December 4th, 2022, 3:27 pm
Ivy (1947)

Joan Fontaine plays the titular character, Ivy Lexton, who aspires to have the finest things in life. At the beginning of the film, she sees a fortune teller (played by Una O'Connor) who predicts that Ivy will come into a fortune and also have a new man in her life. Then the fortune teller has another vision which she can't quite see. Ivy, having heard what she wanted to hear, leaves excitedly. Then the fortune teller's last vision becomes clear and she predicts that Ivy will also have a dark future ahead (or something to that effect). This provides the ominous foreshadowing for the remainder of the film.

Ivy is married to Jarvis (Richard Ney) who it seems used to be wealthy, but Ivy has since spent all his money. Jarvis is well meaning and a bit of a dope as he doesn't seem concerned that Ivy is spending money faster than he can earn it. Later, Ivy meets Miles Rushworth (Herbert Marshall) a wealthy, but married man. Ivy has her sights set on becoming Miles' wife. She also has a lover on the side, Dr. Roger Gretorex (Patric Knowles). Ivy eventually concocts a scheme that will get rid of Jarvis and frame her lover, Roger, for his murder.

This was a great movie. I'd never heard of it before until I heard it recommended on like four different podcasts within a span of a couple weeks. I found the film streaming on Internet Archive and managed to cast it to my TV so I didn't have to watch it on the computer. Anyway, the plot moved rather slowly and I didn't expect it to take place during the Edwardian England period. Joan Fontaine's performance was very subtle. She only gives glimpses of her character's true nature, until the deed is done. Fontaine's mousy, quiet demeanor works well as it seems easy to see how she could con her way into the hearts of all of these men.
I also re-watched IVY very recently. I agree that Joan Fontaine's performance is brilliantly subtle. Joan Fontaine is now one of my favorite female actors. I had not seen any of her movies until I saw them on TCM. Joan Fontaine's acting, in my opinion, is amazingly "real." In IVY as well as in THE CONSTANT NYMPH and REBECCA, she has such a natural, spontaneous-seeming delivery that is in stark contrast to the patterned deliveries that were typically found in movies in that era. Fontaine's performance is all the more amazing in that she can act on this "real" level and still make it work in the context of an "old Hollywood" movie.

The first time I saw IVY I initially thought that the Dr. Gretorex character played by Patrick Knowles was going to be a villain of the story. This ambiguity made his character more complex. I thought Lucile Watson was very good as the mother of Dr. Gretorex.

I think that IVY would make a great double feature with MY COUSIN RACHEL, which stars Joan Fontaine's real-life sister Olivia de Havilland in the title role. In both movies, the sisters play women who possibly killed their husbands by poisoning
Last edited by HoldenIsHere on December 4th, 2022, 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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HoldenIsHere
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by HoldenIsHere »

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by HoldenIsHere on December 5th, 2022, 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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EP Millstone
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by EP Millstone »

speedracer5,

Well, The Silver Screen Oasis has two equivalent forums to your "I Just Watched ..." forum: What Films Have You Seen Lately? and What recent films have you seen?

Some TCM Message Board refugees have posted about movies that they recently watched on those forums, i.e., Thompson and Tikisoo.

Folks might want to pick one just/recently watched forum to avoid confusion and getting lost in the shuffle.
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laffite
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by laffite »

With all due respect to Speedracer, I may opt for the genre threads for reviews or comments about a movie I saw. On the TCM board I never used the genre films because I didn't feel that there was traffic. Here, however, a genre post gets a front and center that the TCM did not have, being highlighted on the Most Recent Topics. As I believe EP said, and something we all know, that once you post on an all purpose movie watched thread, it goes down to rabbit hole and most likely never be read ever ever ever ever again. If one reviews or comment about a Silent Film, then use the genre thread because movie buffs who like silent films will have a look there resulting in a far more likely occurrence that an older post might actually be read and even commented on. Two cents.
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HoldenIsHere
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by HoldenIsHere »

Fedya wrote: December 4th, 2022, 3:46 pm Buddy the Gee-Man (1935)

Looney Tunes cartoon from before the characters we all remember. This one has Buddy, a character who apparently appeared in two dozen one-reelers, with this being the final one. It's a fairly poor effort with Buddy being asked to investigate the conditions at Sing Song prison. He get made warden and turns the place into more of a country club.

Watching this, it's easy to see why the Freleng/Jones characters are so much more remembered.
It's interesting to watch early animated shorts from the major studios.

One of my favorite Disney shorts is THE WISE LTTTLE HEN, one of the Silly Symphony cartoons from 1934. I have seen this one many times.

It features the first appearance of Donald Duck, who looks a bit different than the Donald Duck we would eventually become familiar with.
It also features a character called Peter Pig, who is not as well remembered by general audiences today.

Image
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TikiSoo
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by TikiSoo »

laffite wrote: December 4th, 2022, 10:07 pm On the TCM board I never used the genre films because I didn't feel that there was traffic. Here, however, a genre post gets a front and center that the TCM did not have, being highlighted on the Most Recent Topics.
I am thrilled this thread has been resurrected because it will encompass ANY movie seen: any genre, time period, etc so we can learn all about a variety of movies.
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CinemaInternational
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by CinemaInternational »

Over the weekend, I saw the nearly four hour cut of Once Upon a Time in America (1984). For a film that has such ugly scenes (two brutal rapes, and many gangland hits), it's a film that is unlike any other gangster film, in that when it isn't being ugly, it's absolutely beautiful. I'm not the biggest fan of Robert De Niro, but he's perfect here, and James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, and Tuesday Weld are just as good. The technical detail is astonishing, the sets and costumes sublime. And there is a gorgeous score by Ennio Morricone. In the end, I was ultimately blown away by this film.
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Detective Jim McLeod
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by Detective Jim McLeod »

The Hucksters (1947) TCM On Demand 7/10

A veteran (Clark Gable) returns from WWII and takes a job in an advertising agency.

An entertaining film, a first time viewing for me. This was an early look at the advertising business which became more popular in the 1950s and 1960s with films like The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit (1956) and Lover Come Back (1961). Gable is well cast in the lead. Deborah Kerr in her first Hollywood movie is classy as a rich widow. Ava Gardner plays a sexy nightclub singer. What I liked the best was scenes with veteran character actors. Sydney Greenstreet has some short but hilarious scenes as an eccentric head of a soap company. In his first appearance he walks into a board room meeting and spits on the table! Adolphe Menjou has a great drunk scene when he enters a room in slippers and makes some inappropriate comments toward Deborah Kerr. Keenan Wynn plays an obnoxious comedian.
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laffite
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by laffite »

TikiSoo wrote: December 6th, 2022, 7:47 am
laffite wrote: December 4th, 2022, 10:07 pm On the TCM board I never used the genre films because I didn't feel that there was traffic. Here, however, a genre post gets a front and center that the TCM did not have, being highlighted on the Most Recent Topics.
I am thrilled this thread has been resurrected because it will encompass ANY movie seen: any genre, time period, etc so we can learn all about a variety of movies.
That too! :smilie_happy_thumbup:
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jamesjazzguitar
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by jamesjazzguitar »

Detective Jim McLeod wrote: December 8th, 2022, 3:18 pm The Hucksters (1947) TCM On Demand 7/10

A veteran (Clark Gable) returns from WWII and takes a job in an advertising agency.

An entertaining film, a first time viewing for me. This was an early look at the advertising business which became more popular in the 1950s and 1960s with films like The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit (1956) and Lover Come Back (1961). Gable is well cast in the lead. Deborah Kerr in her first Hollywood movie is classy as a rich widow. Ava Gardner plays a sexy nightclub singer. What I liked the best was scenes with veteran character actors. Sydney Greenstreet has some short but hilarious scenes as an eccentric head of a soap company. In his first appearance he walks into a board room meeting and spits on the table! Adolphe Menjou has a great drunk scene when he enters a room in slippers and makes some inappropriate comments toward Deborah Kerr. Keenan Wynn plays an obnoxious comedian.
Gable shows that he still has "it" after losing his wife (Lombard) and going off to war.
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

Excellent write-ups of IVY and BORN TO BE BAD, speedracer -- I'd be interested to hear your take on MY COUSIN RACHEL.
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Detective Jim McLeod
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by Detective Jim McLeod »

Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965) Tubi-8/10

A discotheque hostess (Juliet Prowse) is terrorized by obscene phone calls.

This is a sometimes sleazy, exploitative film but I love it. Sal Mineo plays the caller who is also a busboy in Prowse's disco, he is excellent. Elaine Stritch is Prowse's lesbian boss. Comedian Jan Murray plays a vice cop who plays tapes of sex assault victims while his ten year daughter is listening in the next room. There are several songs played in the club, co written by Bob Gaudio, who was one of the Four Seasons, the songs are all catchy and could have been actual hits in the 1960s. The hypnotic title song is memorable too. There are also some great on location NYC scenes of Broadway and Times Square, then just starting to descend into sleaze.
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Hoganman1
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Re: I Just Watched...

Post by Hoganman1 »

I just watched THE KILLERS. As a big fan of film noir, amazingly; it was my first viewing. It was fabulous and is now one of my favorite noirs. Lancaster and Gardner were both great. It's easy to see how this film launched their careers.
As a side note, I really like this forum. So many of the TCM posters have moved here. I'm not on any of the main social media sites, but I do enjoy reading and posting about movies both old and new. Thankfully, this site allows me to continue.
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