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Postby inglis » July 30th, 2008, 10:04 am

feaito wrote:Inglis,

"The Marrying Kind" (1952) was a real surprise for me when I watched it and it demonstrated to me Judy's huge talent as dramatic actress as well. I think that I haven't yet watched a film of hers I haven't totally enjoyed. She was magnificent.
Hi Feaito .I agree about Judy Holliday .She was a great actress .I loved her in Born Yesterday as well. Too bad she died at such a young age .I can only imagine the great body of work that would have followed .

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Postby MikeBSG » July 31st, 2008, 5:16 pm

I watched "The Black Swan" this afternoon. I'd never seen it before. The only time I tried to watch it previously, the TV station had cut the first seven or eight minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It seemed like they studied "Captain Blood" and "The Sea Hawk," took the best parts, and tried to heighten them a bit. The film moved rapidly (and left the fate of minor villains unaccounted for, but that was okay.) It looked great with its technicolor, and I liked Maureen O'Hara very much as the heroine. Tyronne Power was okay as the hero, but Laird Cregar was magnificent as Morgan. Thomas Mitchell did fine relief, and George Sanders, to my surprise, was terrific as a rude and crude villain.

I was a bit surprised at one scene in which a shirtless Power gets in bed with O'Hara to fool Sanders into thinking they are married. Sanders looks under the sheets, sees that Power still has his shoes on, and realizes what is going on. I thought that would have been pretty daring for 1942.

Chalk up another good film for Henry King.

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Postby Bogie » August 1st, 2008, 4:48 am

Hey guys, I tell you the summer months are terrible for movie watching. That being said I watched some movies here and there but not like the movie maven I am. That being said I do want to share with you a review I did after viewing The Dark Knight (2008)

I just came back from the movie

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm speechless! That was the single greatest comic book movie ever. In fact, it's on a par with some of the best crime/dramas i've seen in the last 20 years. It felt like a Graphic Novel put to life in all the right ways.

Heath Ledger was truly amazing to watch. I wanted to see more of him. It's a shame he died as I truly think the dynamic between he and Bale was electric. I think the Joker character should be retired from making any more appearances in any Batman related movie from now on as there's no way in hell anyone can come as close to Ledger. He pulled off the insanity without being over the top. I also liked how he used Nicholson's vocalization as the basis for his Joker voice.

Ledger gave Joker so much vitality especially with his little ticks such as the gesticulations and using his tongue to wet his lips. He was both terrifying in the deepest most psychological ways yet humorous in macabre ways as well. It's a fine line trying to play an insane criminal genius but Ledger did it and his portrayal was very much the way I picture Joker as being. Ledger definitely deserves at LEAST an Oscar nomination. I'd say that even if he was still alive.

Aaron Eckhart hit all the right notes as Harvey Dent and in a small way I had to feel sorry for him. This is one of the more difficult things to convey in film with Batman's Rogues Gallery but by golly they hit the nail on the head with Dent. They gave Dent the right mixture of cockiness and vulnerability.

As for the plot of the movie...You guys weren't kidding about having tons of things going on. My father thought it got a little confusing but I didn't as i'm used to the pacing of a Graphic Novel and how there can be tons of things going on. There were a lot of scenes and action sequences that are going to stick with me for a long time to come. I honestly think Chris and Jonathon Nolan should get some nominations for the script as they did a fine job of juggling all the different plot elements and as far as I can tell there wasn't very many loose threads or illogical story twists.

I give this movie an A+++++ rating. Honestly I don't see any other comic book movie coming anywhere close to this one EVER.


BTW i'll be around regularly now. I'm like the crazy elderly uncle who comes and goes LOL

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Postby silentscreen » August 2nd, 2008, 10:14 am

Thanks to Gagman, I got to see "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with Lon Chaney Sr. and Patsy Ruth Miller last night. I've been wanting to see it for quite some time, and I wasn't disappointed. :D

The recreation of mideval Paris and the cast of thousands was very realistic, and made the viewer feel that they were right there! The sets were absolutely impeccable! Ernest Torrance as Esmeralda's foster father was impressive as always, and Patsy Ruth Miller put in a sympathetic performance as the kind hearted Esmeralda. But the film really belongs to Chaney as he made Quasimodo come alive even through tons of make up! I was surprised to learn that Chaney didn't do all the stunts in the film as I had always thought. As usual though, he brought pathos to his role as a deformed and tortured human being caught up in a tide of events beyond his control.

This will be one that I'll have to revisit to catch all the details.
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Postby Bogie » August 4th, 2008, 9:16 am

Well folks I watched a movie this weekend.

Two-Headed Spy 1957

This is a pretty good espionage movie directed by Andre De Toth. It stars Jack Hawkins as a German officer ,who secretly refuses the nazi ideology and who passes on military information to the Allies. Unfortunately De Toth wanted to stick with the facts of the story so we're never told why exactly Hawkins' character would have these feelings and do this. Nonetheless, he has contacts within the British espionage services as he originally came from Britain. At first he hands all his information to a kindly old antiques dealer who is more then what he seems.

Later on in the movie Hawkins' adujant starts to have doubts about his superior and thinks that Hawkins may be a traitor unfortunately for him he never gets the goods. Hawkins eventually falls for and finds out that a lovely singer (played by Gia Scalla) also works for the espionage service and they try to get as much information out as they can.

The movie is basically a race against Hawkins' superiors and such as they start to see that he may be the mole in the General staff who's giving military secrets away. His adujant is the main one who goes after him. It's a pretty taunt film. The only thing it really lacked was a big action sequence.

Another thing, there were some scenes with Hitler (you never see him though) where he's yelling, screaming and basically the caricature image of him that people had of him at that time. I think it would've been a lot better if they made Hitler a little less the maniacal fool and be a little more lucid. I don't know how much the world knew of the more lucid Hitler in that time period so maybe it's not completely the fault of the screenwriter.

Overall, I give this movie a strong *** stars.

Oh yeah, I never heard of Gia Scalla but she was very beautiful and unlike a lot of pinup type women in film now and then, she could actually act. It's a shame what a read tho as she apparently died of an overdose?

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Postby moira finnie » August 4th, 2008, 12:42 pm

Hi Bogie,
I too caught The Two-Headed Spy, (writing a bit about the history of it the other day here). I thought that Hitler (what we saw of him) was pretty whacked out too in this film, but then, the events depicted began around the time of the Von Stauffenberg attempt to assassinate Adolf in 1944. He was already showing signs of possible Parkinson's disease/addictions to several drugs and was increasingly paranoid and irrational when it came to most of the meetings he conducted with the General Staff.

After the near miss with the bomb, the Fuhrer was even crazier, though I liked the way that Jack Hawkins seemed to have an unerring gift for telling Adolf what he wanted to hear, rather than indulging in reality. The lingering question for me after watching this was: Were any of the events real? Was there really a guy at this high level who was a British agent or was it movie blarney? There's some evidence that there may have been, but little documentation that I could find. In any case, it was well-acted by Jack Hawkins and Gia Scala, (who was also very good in The Guns of Navarone). Both gave the film some sense of reality. I thought that the scene with Felix Aylmer being tortured was a bit much for me--though it was certainly realistic.

I didn't know about Gia Scala's overdose either before reading about this film a bit, nor the circumstances of her background, found here. As with others from that similar wartime background (Pier Angeli, as another example), those early deprivations may have left a deeper mark on these actresses than was readily apparent.
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Postby Bogie » August 4th, 2008, 1:16 pm

I also wondered if it was real or not....Even if the events didn't happen in real life I do have to say that everyone involved did a very good job of making it seem real.


Postby feaito » August 4th, 2008, 10:06 pm

Last weekend I watched only two films but I had a grand time:

The first film I saw wasn't my original choice. I had picked "State of the Union" (1948) which I recorded off Cinecanal Classics, but since I was at my parents' House near the beach of Santo Domingo and their DVD player is extremely "sensitive" it did not play well, so I chose instead "The Black Rose" (1950), an amusing Ty Power adventure film in which he plays the illegitimate son of a Saxon Nobleman in Medieval England. The film's very colorful and full of action, with some fine casting: notably Finlay Currie as Ty's very likable grandfather, Jack Hawkins as his mate and Orson Welles as Mongol War Lord. I feel that although Cécile Aubry wasn't a bad actress, she was not believable as Ty's love interest and didn't have chemistry with him. My parents who watched the film with me did not like her at all.

Then I re-watched alone "Strange Cargo" (1940) which I had seen a couple of years ago. Back then I rated it 8/10 and now I gave it 10/10. How one's appreciation of a film can change! And how the mood in which one watches a particular film can highly influence the way in which one perceives the film's qualities.

This unique, quite offbeat MGM film captured my attention completely, with its allegorical overtones and religious symbolism. Ian Hunter portrays the Christ-like character, Cambreau, rather wonderfully. It's one of the his best roles ever. He's so uncannily believable. And the whole atmosphere of the movie is truly bewitching. I think that objectively it must be the best film in which Crawford & Gable performed together. A film of superior quality. Albert Dekker, Paul Lukas, Pete Lorre et al are superb! It's the kind of film I shall watch over & over again. Sadly, since it hasn't Spanish subtitles I could not watch it with mum & dad. I'd like more people to get to know Borzage in this country, but most of his films are not available with Spanish subtitles. :(

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Postby Bogie » August 7th, 2008, 6:25 pm

Well I saw The Last Frontier (1955) before going off to Niagara Falls for a couple days (aside: I won $130 bucks WOOHOO!) anyways I just got back so i'm not so much into the typing mood BUT I gotta say I have a new found respect for Victor Mature. What a great role and what a great Tony Mann Western this was. It's easily a 4 star film IMO.

I will mention that I really liked the "civilized man vs. wild outdoorsman" subtext to the movie. It really went on in two different levels that was very rewarding to discover. (one that can clearly be seen, the other more subtle) Mature really did a bang up job tho visually he reminded me of a cross between Dean Martin and Gary Cooper. That was a little unsettling LOL

Anyways I heartily recommend this movie if you haven't seen it.


Postby feaito » August 7th, 2008, 9:07 pm

Watched "Turnabout" (1940) thanks to Ollie. I was very curious because I had read rave reviews of it and although I expected more, it did not disappointed me. The best thing about this film is the superb cast, especially the gallery of priceless supporting players...even George Renavent, who played the evil Maharaha in the camp-classic "East of Borneo" (1931). The scene featuring Franklin Pangborn and John Hubbard is greatly done and full of innuendo. I wondered how some parts of the film passed the censorship. Great fun.


Postby jdb1 » August 8th, 2008, 9:12 am

Nando, I'm so glad you got to see Turnabout. I agree it's not up to the standards of truly great screwball comedy, but it's pretty close, and it's probably Hal Roach's masterpiece. Every time I look at it, I'm struck, as you were, by the absolute harmony of the cast, and how they all manage the same level of madness, while making it all seem perfectly normal.

I think Turnabout comes closest to my alltime favorite crazy comedy: Million Dollar Legs (1932). Both of these films are done in a style we now take for granted, a kind of freewheeling, Dada, blackout skit, Pythonesque style. In a way, they are more like Loony Toon cartoons than like the movies of their time.

Everyone in Turnabout is funny, but I think Pangborn and Donald Meek steal the show. This is the kind of movie you can count on to cheer you up every time.


Postby feaito » August 8th, 2008, 3:21 pm

Yes Judith, the film is totally SCREWY and extremely enjoyable and it must have been quite hit back in 1940. You are right about Meek, I was going to mention him as well.

As I watched it, my wife was doing stuff in our bedroom and kept giggling.

After watching it I immediately when to read about Carole Landis and her life was so sad. :( A great beauty.


Postby feaito » August 9th, 2008, 2:19 pm

Today I finished watching Luchino Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers" (1960), I film I had wanted to see for a time, because I had read recently some raving reviews of it.

Firstly I must say that I was terribly annoyed by the dubbing of most of the actors' voices. Even more, you can tell that at least in some scenes Annie Girardot, Alain Delon and Katina Paxinou are speaking in another languages. The two former in French and Ms. Paxinou, who knows? I founD that very distracting.

The film is beautifully done, photographed, it has a subtleties, many layers, etc. No doubt it's one of Visconti's landmark films, but in spite that I can see all of its merits, I found that some scenes were plagued by extreme dramatism and I do not know quite well if it has to do with the dubbed voices or not.

Katina Paxinou's manipulative Italian mama, is well played, but is a character I'd run away from in real life. A female relative of mine lived in Rome for a while, with an Italian family and she told me she was quite annoyed by the idiosyncracies of a particular Italian mother she met. Alain Delon plays wonderfully the Christ-like Rocco, ever so good natured, so well intentioned, so self-effacing.... too good for my taste. He did too much to save that hideous brother of his. I hated the character of Simone. He's so selfish and immature. Mama's fault?

It's been the first time for quite a time that I've been so emotionally shaken by a film. And this speaks well of the masterful Visconti. There's no indifference when you watch this film; there are characters to hate, to like, to feel sorry about (Girardot's doomed Nadia is a gem!). While I was watching the movie and Delon's Rocco was being so nice to Simone, in spite of all the wrong he's done to him, I found myself yelling with anger at the TV Set! Fighting with Delon because he was being (IMO) too good and generous and this hadn't happened to me in a long time.

Great experience, although I did not agree with how things worked out. But it's as real life is, isn't it?


Postby feaito » August 9th, 2008, 11:38 pm

Watched "State of the Union" (1948) and loved the film. I had read some reviews of it saying it was outdated in its subject. I do not agree. I feel its themes are quite timeless. The cast is uniformly superb, but both Angela Lansbury and Kate Hepburn stand out as the women in Tracy's life. I can't imagine Claudette (who was scheduled to star opposite Spencer Tracy) in Kate's role. Kate's just perfect and the chemistry both have is not easy to achieve. Lansbury gives a performance worthy of an Oscar. Van Johnson is suprisingly good as a cynical character. And Maidel Turner, playing a Judge's wife is priceless and a joy to behold. Margaret Hamilton has also a nice part as Menjou's maid with a crush on Johnson. Grade "A" film!


Postby feaito » August 10th, 2008, 11:26 am

I watched "The President's Lady" (1953) a highly entertaining biopic of Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Hayward and Heston make a perfect screen couple, and the story never becomes dull.

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