WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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

Post by Lzcutter »

Fe,

I love What Price Hollywood. In addition to being filmed on the studio lot, it at was actually filmed at various locations around my beloved City of Angels and I love seeing them. Plus the story, ah the story.

We're off to see Napoleon tomorrow, all 5.5 hours. Look for my recap in the next couple of days!
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

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Carmen (1926, Jacques Feyder) with Raquel Meller, Louis Lerch, Victor Vina and Gaston Modot

I first saw this adaptation of Prosper Mérimée's short story, about 5 years ago at a screening at the CF. At the time, I felt the film was overlong at 165 min and the piano accompaniment was pretty inadequate. Therefore, it was a pleasure to be able to watch the film again with its original score written by the then young composer Ernesto Halffter Escriche who had studied music with Manuel de Falla and Maurice Ravel. It was certainly worth revisiting this gorgeous looking film with this digitized print shown on Arte TV in 2002. First, surprisingly, I found the digital print superior to the 35 mm one I saw, especially in terms of tinting and toning. The film was shot mostly in Spain (around Seville) and in the South of France making the most of the breathtaking landscapes. In the lead, Raquel Meller plays an unusual Carmen. She is not flamboyant and she clashed with the director during the shooting. She even suggested they should call the author, Prosper Mérimée (who died in 1870...) over the phone! But we can't fault Feyder as a director of actors. He gets the best out of the Austrian Louis Lerch as Don José, avoiding the usual excesses in the part. Gaston Modot, as the One-Eyed smuggler, is a delight with his huge tatoo of Carmen on his chest. Meller was a celebrity in the 20s in France after making three features with the talented Henry-Roussell, including Violettes Impériales (Imperial Violets, 1923) and La Terre Promise (The Promised Land, 1924). If her Carmen is not that demonstrative, she still provides a valid characterization of the gypsy girl. But what makes the film worth investigating again is the orchestral score by Ernesto Halffter Escriche. His music recalls the impressionistic colours of Ravel. It's not a leitmotiv full score delineating each character. It's more an accompaniment creating an atmosphere throughout the film, a bit like Henri Rabaud did it for Le Joueur d'échecs (The Chess Player, 1927) by R. Bernard. With the music, the film flows in spite of its length (165 min). I was very glad I was able to revisit the film again.
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

Lzcutter wrote:Fe,

I love What Price Hollywood. In addition to being filmed on the studio lot, it at was actually filmed at various locations around my beloved City of Angels and I love seeing them. Plus the story, ah the story.

We're off to see Napoleon tomorrow, all 5.5 hours. Look for my recap in the next couple of days!


Lynn, I hadn't read this post, sorry. I did not know it had location footage.

On Saturday I saw "One Romantic Night" (1930) aka The Swan, and as it usually happens to me when I watch a film I don't have much expectations about, due poor reviews, I liked it!

Firstly, the print is crisp, pristine, sharp, with fine contrast and detail (good job WArchive!) Secondly, the three leads are fine in their roles: Lillian Gish is perfect for the part of Alexandra, although she was a bit too old -37- (but that's not very important, because she looks young anyhow); Conrad nagel is adequate as the Tutor and Rod La Rocque good as the skirt -chasing Prince. I read that this film is the more faithful to Molnar's play of the three released in Hollywood. Marie Dressler is amusing as Princess Beatrice and O.P. Heggie all-knowing as Father Benedict. Not creaky, stodgy or stiff.
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

I have just watched the 1933 Precoder "Sensation Hunters", directed by Charles Vidor at Monogram, in which Marion Burns plays an educated and classy lady who joins a troupe of "loose" women lead by decadent Juanita Hansen. Preston Foster is the man who loves Burns, Arline Judge her sassy pal from the troupe and Kenneth MacKenna,a rich guy who wants to marry Burns. Very interesting and worthwhile Poverty Row film. Alpha's print is poor.

Walter Brennan has a bit in Hansen's joint. I wonder why Marion Burns dis not become a better-known actress, she had beauty, talent, charm and personality; she's a cross between Benita Hume and Helen Chandler.
feaito

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Post by feaito »

Ann Harding wrote:I have just seen Mitchell Leisen's Tonight is Ours (1933) with Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. The film was co-directed by Stuart Walker.

Colbert is a royalty living in exile in Paris. She meets very romantically a man (F. March) during a masked ball. They kiss before realising they are not kissing the right person! The romance develops and they are going to marry when, alas, she is recalled to her country. She has become the new queen of her small kingdom in political upheaval and has to leave behind her lover....
The film was based on a Noël Coward play. But, frankly, it was obvious that the Coward wit had been heavily diluted by Edwin Justus Meyer! Nevertheless, there was some very interesting bitter sweet scenes between Colbert and her future royal consort where they both discuss their heartbreaks. Paul Cavanagh was not as stiff as usual in the scene. March and Colbert are doing their best with their parts. But, somehow one feels that their characters are not quite as well as delineated as they should be. The (happy) ending was a bit rushed and not quite believable. But, I don't regret the trip as I saw a gorgeous 35 mm print with glowing close-ups lit by Karl Struss and superb gowns by Travis Banton, and incredibly beautiful sets by Hans Dreier. 8) The film had its pre-code naughty aspect with Colbert spending a night with her lover just before contracting a loveless marriage... :wink: Overall, enjoyable! :)


Christine, I am quoting your review of 4!! years ago (time flies...) because it pretty much reflects what I felt after watching "Tonight is Ours" (1933) yesterday, minus the joy of watching a glorious 35mm print -in fact, I watched a poor copy on youtube.

I may add that I loved the way Colbert looked during the first part of the film set in Paris, especially her hair and face...very attractive and sexy, in those romantic scenes between her and March, where they love one another passionately...I only can imagine how a pristine of this film would look on a big screen :roll: A combination of sophisticated romantic comedy that develops into drama. Claudette Colbert belongs better in the comedy world of Continental-Paramount-Make-Believe though.

I felt the same than Christine, especially regarding the honest scenes between Cavanagh and Colbert, as resigned royals to fulfill their duties. Can we have hopes for the release of a Mitchell Leisen Collection?
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

After reading Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man" I had to revisit the 1934 landmark film with Bill Powell and Myrna Loy, and although it lacks some of the most sordid aspects of the novella, the movie is nevertheless quite brilliant, capturing the essence of the characters and story. Perhaps these sophisticated characters would have been even more "at home" at Paramount studios? Who knows?
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

Thanks to "YOUTUBE" I watched the very interesting Paramount film, "Evenings for Sale" (1932- Stuart Walker) set in Vienna with Herbert Marshall as an impoverished Count who ends working as a gigolo in a fancy Café. Charles Ruggles is funny as his ex valet and dear Mary Boland is truly wonderful -in one of her best roles mixing hilariousness and charm- as an affluent Midwestern American an widow trying to live her fantasy of "The Merry Widow" in old Vienna (like Fran Dodsworth in "Dodsworth" (1936), but in just the opposite, good natured, naïve way, devoid of any other craving for sophistication or else; she just wants to live her fantasy, her idea of an operetta. The very appealing Sari Maritza is Marshall's leading lady (a cross between Dietrich, Anna Sten and Nancy Carroll) and she's charming. During the film there's a masked ball very much like the one depicted in "Tonight is Ours", which was also -partly- directed by Stuart Walker (1933).
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Jezebel38 »

feaito wrote:Thanks to "YOUTUBE" I watched the very interesting Paramount film, "Evenings for Sale"


This is but ONE of the 18 or 19 movies on my little list to watch on Youtube - thanks for the review and I will bump this one up to the top - I'm always on the look out for those Paramounts. And one can't wait forever to watch these - I also had found THE SILVER CORD (1933) on Youtube within the last few months, and went to try and find it again yesterday, and it was gone.
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

Hi Jez, look also for "Tonight Is Ours" (1933), "Secrets of a Secretary" (1931) and "The Magnificent Lie" (1931), they are all still there, but we never know for how long....
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

I watched the very interesting 1932 MGM film "Lovers Courageous", based upon a play by Frederick Lonsdale, which benefits of sincere and appealing performances by its two leads Robert Montgomery and Madge Evans (both pictured here) and Roland Young. The lesser-known films I've seen Madge Evans perform in account much more for her acting talent (save for "Son of India" (1931)) than her better known movies like "Dinner at Eight" (1933) or "David Copperfield" (1935). The film is filled with honest moments and situations, perhaps save for the ending.

I read on the net that while Bob Montgomery was filming the last scenes of this feature, his daughter Martha was dying and he did not stop working, which accounts for his professionalism. Elizabeth was born one year later. Another thing, before Madge Evans returns to England and meets her fiancé (played by Reginald Owen), we can see a photograph of actor Reginald Denny -as her fiancé- at her home in Cape Town, South Africa...A change of casting concerning Reginalds?? Beryl Mercer, who plays Bob mother, also impersonated his mother in "The Man in Possession" (1931), in which Owen played Bob's older brother.

Recommended for early '30s fans.
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

feaito wrote:I watched the very interesting 1932 MGM film "Lovers Courageous", based upon a play by Frederick Lonsdale, which benefits of sincere and appealing performances by its two leads Robert Montgomery and Madge Evans (both pictured here) and Roland Young. The lesser-known films I've seen Madge Evans perform in account much more for her acting talent (save for "Son of India" (1931)) than her better known movies like "Dinner at Eight" (1933) or "David Copperfield" (1935). The film is filled with honest moments and situations, perhaps save for the ending.

I read on the net that while Bob Montgomery was filming the last scenes of this feature, his daughter Martha was dying and he did not stop working, which accounts for his professionalism. Elizabeth was born one year later. Another thing, before Madge Evans returns to England and meets her fiancé (played by Reginald Owen), we can see a photograph of actor Reginald Denny -as her fiancé- at her home in Cape Town, South Africa...A change of casting concerning Reginalds?? Beryl Mercer, who plays Bob mother, also impersonated his mother in "The Man in Possession" (1931), in which Owen played Bob's older brother.

Recommended for early '30s fans.


Thanks for sharing this feaito ... I have seen all the movies that you mentioned in the first paragraph and I'm very fond of Lovers Courageous and David Copperfield ... I would love to see these two movies again. I have not seen The Man in Possession yet ... it is on my list of movies to see.

I do like Bob Montgomery.
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

You're welcome Kingme, sadly there's not as much people interested in early '30s films as in films from later decades.
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Western Guy »

Films . . . in later decades . . .

What are those?

IMO, nothing beats the classics. Actually can't even remember the last "latest release" I've seen.
feaito

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

Post by feaito »

Hi WG, I'm meaning specifically movies from the forties and fifties, which IMO have a wider audience amongst Classic film buffs than films from the early 1930s.
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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Ann Harding »

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Recently I saw Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt (The Woman One Longs for, 1929), a Curtis Bernhardt silent with a young Marlene Dietrich before her Sternbergian period. The cinematography by the great Kurt Courant is gorgeous and Marlene never looked better in her silent pictures than in this film. She plays a femme fatale who attracts the attention of a young man, just married, played by Swede Uno Henning - who appears also in A Cottage on Dartmore (1929, A. Asquith) and in The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927, G. W. Pabst). If the story is not very original, the film provides great performances and such a great cinematography that it makes Marlene a real star. She positively glows as Sacha. And I wonder if her image was not inspired by the then famous Greta Garbo. Her first appearance is the film is through a frosty train window a bit like Garbo's first appearance in Flesh and The Devil through a cloud of steam. Watching the film, it's easy to see why Sternberg selected her for The Blue Angel. Lovely picture!
Last edited by Ann Harding on May 7th, 2012, 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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