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Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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melwalton

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Postby melwalton » October 4th, 2007, 6:10 pm

"Treasure of Sierra Madre" is one of Huston's best films but it's also (IMO) Bogey's best movie too.

Yes!. Also, Bogart's best performance, a few steps ahead of 'the Caine Mutiny'. Right on, Feaito.

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Postby moira finnie » November 18th, 2008, 10:31 am

Rhodes of Africa (1936), (aka Rhodes)is on TCM today (11/18/08) at 9:45am ET. Since this is a pretty rare Walter Huston movie, (made in Britain close to the period when he also appeared in a small role in the highly imaginative movie, The Tunnel (1935) as the President of the U.S.) I'm hoping that someone saw this and might add their comments on it.

I'm quite interested in the attitude in this movie toward colonialism and Cecil Rhodes as a near mythical figure whose widely accepted racism influenced so much of African history. Naturally, I'm also curious if this is one more of Huston's often interesting performances, blending bravura acting while projecting an implicit commentary on his character's conscious and unconscious motives. Thanks in advance for your observations.
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Walter Huston as Cecil Rhodes (above) & the real Rhodes (below).
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Postby MissGoddess » November 18th, 2008, 10:45 am

I debated on recording this movie, and decided against it, thinking the subject would possibly bore me. I don't know what possessed me. :(
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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Postby ken123 » November 18th, 2008, 12:23 pm

DeBeers is the cause of so much misery in the world today, even though Rhoads has bee dead for over 100 years. For a look at Rhoads & DeBeers please see Tragedy & Hope by Carroll Quigley, & The Anglo - American Establisment by the same author.


Huston was fine in his role as Rhoads, but I would have wished for a more critical view of the great imperalist was given, the other actors can barely be called such IMHO !

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Re: Walter Huston: Famous and Lesser Known Work

Postby moira finnie » October 20th, 2009, 2:47 pm

There's a surfeit of good Walter Huston movies coming up on TCM in the next few months. I thought it might be helpful to post some of them here since a few of these movies are TCM premieres and many are ones worth seeing more than once. Walter is not always the star, but he is, as always, most memorable. All times are ET:

Dodsworth
Oct 21, 08:00PM

Gabriel Over The White House
Oct 23, 02:00AM

Dragonwyck
Oct 23, 10:00PM
Jan 17, 02:00PM

American Madness
Oct 29, 09:30PM
Dec 14, 05:15AM

The Maltese Falcon
Nov 08, 12:00PM
Dec 16, 08:00PM
Dec 16, 12:00AM

The Devil and Daniel Webster
Nov 28, 08:00PM

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Nov 30, 09:45PM

_______________________
Pearl Harbor Day special programming:
_______________________
The Nazis Strike
Dec 07, 11:30AM

The Battle of Britain
Dec 07, 01:30PM

War Comes to America
Dec 07, 05:15PM
_______________________

Mission To Moscow
Jan 20, 10:00PM

Always In My Heart
Jan 13, 06:15PM

Rain
Jan 25, 08:00AM
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Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 20th, 2009, 3:08 pm

Some very good choices.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

jdb1

Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby jdb1 » October 21st, 2009, 8:31 am

Please, please, please, friends. If you haven't yet seen Dodsworth, try to see/record it tonight. It's one of Hollywood's best, mature and gripping, and everyone in it is positively perfect. One of the best page-to-stage transfers ever.

feaito

Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby feaito » October 21st, 2009, 11:30 am

jdb1 wrote:Please, please, please, friends. If you haven't yet seen Dodsworth, try to see/record it tonight. It's one of Hollywood's best, mature and gripping, and everyone in it is positively perfect. One of the best page-to-stage transfers ever.


Ditto!

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Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby moira finnie » October 21st, 2009, 11:59 am

I'd also like to add my love of Dodsworth, which may be one of a handful of great American movies, superbly acted, by Walter, Ruth Chatterton (in the ultimate thankless role), Maria Ouspenskaya and especially Mary Astor.

Still, if anyone has never seen the Depression era fantasy, Gabriel Over the White House, overflowing with prescient references to both the New Deal and fascism, (and somehow making both appealing, since this film was made before the nightmarish aspects of fascism became a well known reality and before Roosevelt took office), and all brought vividly to life by the strange, appealing gleam in Walter Huston's eye, please do yourself a favor and set the dvr for 2 am in the early hours of the 23rd.

If you are interested in some background on this film, you may wish to see the article here.
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Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby CineMaven » October 22nd, 2009, 12:53 pm

I watched "Dodsworth" last night and I ditto the "DITTOed" post above!

What an excellent motion picture. I thought Walter Huston was great. SO natural. SO engaging. He was such an open-faced sandwich on that boat, looking at the lighthouse light sweep across the Atlantic with his wife and new boy-toy reluctantly tagging behind. Yes, Chatterton had a thankless role, but I did pay attention that she was fighting from becoming old. She wanted experiences that she didn't get their dear old hometown. What she also wanted was her husband's permission to have flings. THAT was not going to happen. Poor Sam. He's losing his wife right before his unsuspecting trusting eyes.

* I liked their breakfast scene in Paris, where we really see they are going their own ways and living separate lives together.

* I liked Mary Astor and Ruth Chatterton's scene about "when you're MY age" and when Astor says her goodbyes to Chatterton, looks over at Paul Lukas and tells Chatterton: "Don't."

* I liked Huston's tirade that his library is out of order when it's really his life that is out of order. (Ooooh, and there's that cutie pie John Payne as the son-in-law).

* My heart broke when he's on the train and says to Chatterton how much he adores her. That was worse than Rick's train ride in the rain with Sam when he realizes Ilsa is NOT coming.

* Call me crazy, call me silly...but I loved Huston taking off his pants and preparing for bed. That scene seemed very mature for the post-Code 1930's.

* I just loved Mary Astor's character. Her beauty, maturity and her love for Dodsworth. She has a great look, a great presence a great voice and one of the best character actresses to come out of Hollywood. I think she is one of those unsung actresses who deserves the TCM treatment and should be about time to be served up as "STAR OF THE MONTH."

Huston gives a killer performance of a man who has worked all his life...and now has to learn how to really LIVE his life.

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! If you kept on TCM after "DODSWORTH" ended, (and right before "THE THIRD MAN" aired) a commercial came on with four guest programmers' fan perspectives.

I was one of those shown in that group of four: Theresa Brown.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby MissGoddess » October 22nd, 2009, 1:42 pm

I think I have to admit that as hard as it is for me to choose between several outstanding choices, DODSWORTH is my favorite Willim Wyler movie and my favorite Walter Houston movie. Wyler's hand as a director is more evident in other films, but I've always had a soft spot for "invisible" direction that allows the story and characters to be front-and-center, and nowhere is that more remarkably showcased than in this movie.

I weep over how this marriage comes apart and weep that Sam is hurt by Fran. I used to have a more balanced attitude toward Fran but now I despise her more with each viewing, because she's throwing away with both hands what most people never get to experience in order to chase after quicksilver.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 22nd, 2009, 2:36 pm

Count me among the fans, it's a great movie. This film and Make Way For Tomorrow are films I wouldn't have put at the top of my list but after reading others reviews I had to find out what the fuss was. They're gems.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby feaito » October 22nd, 2009, 3:26 pm

Great insight on "Dodsworth" (1936) ladies. This film is number two in my all-time favorites list. I agree that it's Wyler's, Chatterton's, Astor's and Huston's best film. A magnificent movie from all points of view. So honest, so real, it hurts. For this film alone Goldwyn deserves a place among Hollywood's most prominent producers. I think I'll have to watch it again!

jdb1

Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby jdb1 » October 22nd, 2009, 3:47 pm

MissGoddess wrote:I think I have to admit that as hard as it is for me to choose between several outstanding choices, DODSWORTH is my favorite Willim Wyler movie and my favorite Walter Houston movie. Wyler's hand as a director is more evident in other films, but I've always had a soft spot for "invisible" direction that allows the story and characters to be front-and-center, and nowhere is that more remarkably showcased than in this movie.

I weep over how this marriage comes apart and weep that Sam is hurt by Fran. I used to have a more balanced attitude toward Fran but now I despise her more with each viewing, because she's throwing away with both hands what most people never get to experience in order to chase after quicksilver.


Very interesting about Fran, MissG. I, too find her pretensions exasperating. However, I like her - or maybe I should say I understand her - better than I used to. The first time I saw this movie, many years ago, I hated the selfish, foolish and desperate Fran. But now I can empathize with her dismay and fear at seeing her "best years" behind her (even though the Dodsworths are still young by today's standards). I see Fran falling deeper and deeper into pointless and unfulfilling materialism as her husband grows more and more thoughtful, broad-minded and satisfied with his new life. He achieves, through natural maturation and native decency, what Fran aspires to and never gets. Even as an ex-pat with a more sophisticated veneer, Sam will remain proudly and recognizably American. It's the always-fascinating conflict between what the author considered Old World and New World values.

feaito

Re: Walter Huston: Lesser and Better Known Work

Postby feaito » October 23rd, 2009, 9:05 pm

What I loathed the most about slefish, immature, self-centered Fran Dodsworth and which I cannot stand about people I meet in the flesh either is her snobbish, nouveau riche ways and attitudes.

Notwithstanding her issues with youth and her desperate need of masculine attention and flirting, it's her abrupt loathing of her homely life, of her friends of all her life, looking down on them, her way of life and the society she lived in, etc. I detest people who want to be something they are not. People who pretend to pose as socialites, beau monde or whatever they feel in their minds is fancy, desirable and elegant, despising hard-work, achievement and being proud of what they've become in life. People who are not proud of what them, their husbands or parents achieved, but who rather would hide their origins and pretend to be "blue-blood". It's such a shallow attitude. I've met so many people who are this way in my life. And that's one thing I can't tolerate and alienates Fran's character from my sympathies even more. I cannot feel sorry for her.

On the other hand I just love Mary Astor's wonderful, wise widow.


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