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  1. 10 points
    I watched Rocky Mountain this evening, a solid, spare 1950 Warner Brothers western, the last of eight films of that genre in which Errol Flynn would star. Flynn is the only actor of the Hollywood Golden Age (or beyond it, for that matter) who was a convincing performer in three action genres, costume films, war dramas and westerns. He appeared in some noteworthy efforts of each genre, too. Rocky Mountain was made at a time when the actor's career was in flux. No longer top box office, Warners had reduced the budgets on his films. This particular film, directed by veteran William Keighley, is quite good, a tale of a band of Confederates, led by Flynn, who, in the dying days of the Civil War, are sent by Robert E. Lee to California to try to stir up rebellion and, perhaps, pull some of the Union troops away from the battlefields out East. The film was filmed near Gallup, New Mexico, and benefits from, among other things, its stark black and white photography which is appropriate for its rather somber tale. This is a bit of an odd man out among Flynn westerns, though, certainly for those who remember the bright Technicolor and high spirits of a Dodge City or San Antonio. But also in contrast to those earlier horse operas is the star himself. An older, more weary looking Flynn (who, according to co-star Sheb Woolley spent much of the time off camera drinking heavily) relies not at all upon his patented charismatic charm. This time it's a low key, reflective Flynn, with a touch of sadness about him that I suspect was a reflection of the actor himself at this point in his life. His glory days as a film star were behind him now and his future looked increasingly uncertain, both professionally and, with his alcohol and drug intake, personally. Rocky Mountain has a slightly darker portrayal than the audience is used to from Flynn. At one point he will cold bloodedly shoot down a Union soldier when he pulls out a gun. You could call it self defense, if you like, but it's an action you would never have seen from the youthful, brimming with virtue Flynn of ten years before in Dodge City. That reflective sense of sadness in Flynn works well for his character in this film. It will lead directly to a fateful decision that he will make which will lead to the film's exciting, as well as poignant, ending. Throughout his life Flynn got little credit for his acting ability. He was regarded as a flamboyant playboy actor who made a lot of headlines for his at times yachting, brawling and womanizing lifestyle. But there was more to this complex man than that. He liked to philosophize about God and man's place in the cosmos. He was a man who read all kinds of literature throughout his life, and had, indeed, written two books himself (Beam Ends and Showdown). But his Hollywood lifestyle and self indulgent self destructive behaviour had robbed him of his capacity to sit down and concentrate on writing by this stage in his life. Flynn had always wanted to be a writer but he increasingly lacked the disciple to work at it when there were so many other activities around to easily distract him. Even though he had demonstrated a remarkable ability to live a larger than life adventurous existence, I strongly suspect he regarded himself as a failure for not having worked harder at the writing. This perception of melancholy shows up in his Rocky Mountain performance. I suspect, if the studio had been so inclined, with this minimalist portrayal as a template, that he was an actor who could have prospered in film noir, with darker, more complex characterizations. Certainly Flynn was tired of his heroic screen image and would have probably welcomed the change in screen image. Alas, it was not to be. But his darker portrayal in Rocky Mountain gives hints of what may have been. It's a good little western anyway, with two solid action sequences, with one of them a rather memorable ending, with Flynn in true heroic form. But perhaps it's that haunting sense of melancholy in an understated, world weary Errol Flynn that stays with you as much as anything else and makes you think that his later career could have offered so much more.
  2. 8 points
    Here is what Ben said: “Stories of troops stationed throughout the empire had long been popular and movies like The Lives of a Bengal Lancer routinely delivered, packing in audiences eager for a glimpse of an exotic foreign locale, and generally stories of white soldiers fighting dangerous natives to maintain an empire’s grip on its colonies.” Personally, I'm more offended about the poor sentence structure than the content.
  3. 6 points
    Tab Hunter, who became a film star in the 1950s while living a double life as a closeted homosexual, died Sunday in Santa Barbara, California. He would have observed his 87th birthday on Wednesday. His longtime partner, producer Allan Glaser, said that Hunter died of cardiac arrest as the result of a blood clot. Born Arthur Andrew Kelm in New York City, he grew up using his mother's surname, Gelien, after his parents divorced. He received his stage name from the legendary talent agent Henry Willson, who also came up with new names for such promising actors as Roy Scherer (Rock Hudson), Robert Moseley (Guy Madison), Merle Johnson, Jr. (Troy Donahue) and Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr. (Ty Hardin). One of Hunter's first noteworthy films was William Wellman's "Track of the Cat," a 1954 drama co-produced by John Wayne. Set on a Northern California ranch in the early 20th-century, the film starred Robert Mitchum as the older brother of the young actor's character. Hunter became a star in the 1955 World War II film "Battle Cry," which was directed by Raoul Walsh. The movie's all-star cast included Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, James Whitmore, Raymond Massey, Mona Freeman, Nancy Olson, Dorothy Malone and Anne Francis. The picture was a box-office hit for Warner Bros. As a contract player at Warner Bros., Hunter co-starred with Natalie Wood in the 1956 films "The Burning Hills" and "The Girl He Left Behind." There would have been a third team up if he had been chosen for the role of Tony in the 1961 screen version of "West Side Story," which starred Wood. Although he didn't consider himself a singing talent, Hunter wound up recording the 1957 hit "Young Love," which was the No. 1 song for six weeks on the Billboard pop chart. It also sold more than a million copies. A year later, Hunter co-starred with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston in a Warner Bros. screen version of the hit 1955 Broadway musical "Damn Yankees!" The film adaptation starred Robert Shafer as senior citizen Joe Boyd, a longtime New York Yankees hater. After he made a deal with the Devil (Walston), Boyd became magically transformed into the young slugger Joe Hardy and signed with the lowly Washington Senators of the American League. Verdon -- who played the Devil's alluring assistant Lola -- and Walston both won 1956 Tony Awards for their performances in the stage production. During the 1960-1961 television season, Hunter starred in a short-lived sitcom in which he played a Malibu-based cartoonist. "The Tab Hunter Show," which co-starred Richard Erdman and Jerome Cowan, aired Sunday nights on NBC. Hunter starred in more than 40 films, but his career began to fade in the 1960s. He made an impressive comeback in John Waters' offbeat 1981 film "Polyester," which featured Hunter as Todd Tomorrow -- the unlikely love interest of Baltimore-area housewife Francine Fishpaw (played by the female impersonator Divine). The actors reteamed for Paul Bartel's 1985 Western comedy "Lust in the Dust," which was co-produced by Hunter and Glaser. Hunter co-starred with Divine in two offbeat 1980s comedies Hunter acknowleged that he was gay in the 2005 autobiography "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star" -- which was co-written with Eddie Muller. The book was a best seller and prompted the making of the 2015 documentary "Tab Hunter Confidential," directed by Jeffrey Schwarz and produced by Glaser. It was announced last month that producer/director J.J. Abrams is planning a feature film about the hush-hush relationship between Hunter and fellow actor Anthony Perkins during the 1950s. Actor Zachary Quinto, who announced he was gay in 2011, will serve as a co-producer of the project. Robert Madge‏ @Rob_Madge_02 Farewell, Tab Hunter. One of the first to live his truth as a gay man in Hollywood, at a time when homophobia ruled supreme. "I don't care whether people like me or dislike me. I'm not on earth to win a popularity contest. I'm here to be the best human being I possibly can be." Harvey Fierstein‏Verified account@HarveyFierstein Sad to report that Tab Hunter, the gawjuss gay icon, and true gentleman, has left the building. We shared some good laughs back in the 80’s. I was always fond of this dear man. Zachary Quinto‏Verified account@ZacharyQuinto so sad to wake up to the news of the passing of tab hunter. i was honored to get to know him in the past year and am so grateful to have experienced his sheer joy and love of life. and… https://www.instagram.com/p/BlAzakaHjuJ/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share&igshid=a9l8n9pa3hs5 … Scott Feinberg‏Verified account@ScottFeinberg I've never met a movie star lovelier than Tab Hunter, who I got to know very well over the last few years, and who died today. Here are some things you should know about him. RIP. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/tab-hunter-opens-up-life-781046 …, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/savannah-film-fest-hollywood-legend-835181 …, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/tab-hunter-almost-being-outed-812591 … & https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jj-abrams-zachary-quinto-making-film-tab-hunter-anthony-perkins-1117878 …. Eddie Muller‏Verified acnt@EddieMuller A FORTUNATE LIFE. That's what I would have called the autobiography I co-wrote with #TabHunter. Our two-year collaboration was a significant chapter in my life and I thank Tab for being an open, generous and gracious "subject" and friend. Your mater was proud of you, pal. RIP.
  4. 6 points
    Thanks for the great write-up Tom! I actually own this movie as it's part of the Errol Flynn Westerns collection that I own, but it's the only one of the collection that I haven't watched. I should probably do that one of these days. I've mentioned this multiple times, but I find it hard to watch Errol's films from the last part of his career. Aside from the obvious changes in his physical appearance, he seems to play characters that are a little more weary, a bit cranky, just tired--which I suppose reflects the real Errol Flynn. However, as I've seen more of his later films, I find that I do like how he's evolved his image. It'd be ridiculous if a 40-something Errol Flynn continued to try to be the young, lithe, energetic Robin Hood. Perhaps Flynn could have done a sequel along the lines of Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn's Robin Hood. He would have been excellent as Robin Hood, 30 years later. I do think Errol did some of his best acting towards the end of his career, even if the films turned out to be less than stellar. Errol's parts were always the highlight of the film. He's great in Mara Maru. I also really liked him in Too Much, Too Soon and The Sun Also Rises. It's a shame that Flynn's lifestyle caught up to him at 50. I think he really could have had a renaissance of some sorts, if only his mind and body were in better shape. He would have been a great character actor. He could have also gotten himself back into shape and taken on some older romantic leading man parts a la Cary Grant. Even in The Sun Also Rises, he showed that he still had charm and panache.
  5. 6 points
    Whoever said you weren't entitled to your opinion? Ben, while doing so on occasion in the past (and usually in a humorous way), didn't add any of his political views in that intro, at least based on the quoted passage. That you see any political stance inherent in his comment is in your perception. You seem to be overly sensitive on this issue, but that's just my opinion based on your comments on here. By the way, has anyone else noticed that, despite the "trigger warning" comments before a potentially sensitive movie showing, we never have any "leftists" or "social justice warriors" that make an account to complain about a movie's content? No people upset that a movie was sexist or racist or insensitive to the handicapped or immigrants or any other categorization of people. Yet we seem to have an endless stream of people who appear to be on the other end of the political spectrum who feel the need to complain about perceived political correctness or political commentary. And these same people invariably view "the other side" as weak-kneed complainers and professional victims. Kinda odd, ain't it?
  6. 5 points
    Pat Dennis‏ @patdennis Pat Dennis Retweeted Donald J. Trump I am not making this up. The person who actually said this was Senator Dianne Feinstein, in a 1985 Cosmopolitan article.
  7. 5 points
    The Notorius Bettie Page (2005) Quasi Bio Noir I used to ride the Ditmars Blvd Bus in Astoria, NY. From the Ditmars - 31st. Street Station to 49th Street going to and from the city. I was just a baby about 3-4 years old. I loved riding the bus and the subways. We used to go shopping, places like Macy's, Gimbals, Bloomingdale's, or go to the movies. Once I watched a woman get on the bus carrying a hat box. She came smiling down the aisle between the bench seats towards us. I was standing on my seat, and leaning forward over the top of the bench seat in front of me. She was noticeable even to me. She sat a few seats in front of us. She stayed on heading for Jackson Heights, and we got off. Years later I stumble upon a picture of Bettie Page, and I remember back to that day on the bus. Was it really Bettie, or am I wishfully fantasizing? I'll never know for sure or not, but it's a good story. That's part of her mystique. Bettie (Mae) Page was a bonafide, raven haired, American Icon. She was "The Dark Angel, The Queen of the Pinups." Bettie was a very popular photographers model who established a significant profile in the 1950s for her pin-up photos, with a copious enough amount of content to achieve the title of "Queen of Pinups." Directed by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), American Psycho (2000)). The screenplay was by Harron and Guinevere Turner (American Psycho (2000), the beautiful Black & White & Color cinematography was by W. Mott Hupfel III, and the music by Mark Suozzo (American Splendor (2003)). The film stars Gretchen Mol (Get Carter (2000), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Manchester by the Sea(2016)) as Bettie Page, Chris Bauer (Sweet and Lowdown (1999), The Deuce TV Series (2017– )) as Irving Klaw, Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)) as Paula Klaw, Sarah Paulson (Serenity (2005), 12 Years a Slave(2013)) as Bunny Yeager, David Strathairn (Matewan (1987), The River Wild (1994), L.A. Confidential (1997), ) as Senator Estes Kefauver, Norman Reedus as Billy Neal, Kevin Carroll as Jerry Tibbs and Molly Moore as young Bettie. The film selectively follows some parts of Bettie's life while significantly leaving out or inexplicably changing/rearranging other parts. That accounts for the "Quasi" in the header description. The Notorious Bettie Page is told mostly in Black & White and in flashback, with the Florida sequences in bright paradisian color. Gretchen Mol is great as Bettie Page though she should have by all accounts had more of a Tenneesee accent, Chris Bauer and Lili Taylor do a believeable job. The film ends with Bettie giving up modeling and turning to Jesus. The film is about a 7/10. It was only the intermission.... the real story goes quite Noirsville. More review with screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster pages.
  8. 5 points
    Wednesday, 2:45 PM: Zero Hour! Impossible to watch this movie now without cracking up and inserting lines from the film which spoofed it, Airplane! 8:00 PM: The Time Of Their Lives Excellent Abbott & Costello film, which really showcases Lou's acting ability (and Bud is pretty funny as the shrink). Binnie Barnes gets off some good wisecracks, and Gale Sondergaard is terrific as the medium. Great closing gag.
  9. 5 points
    Errors in grammar aside this should read, "Now, let's see THEM giant ants get out."
  10. 5 points
    i apologize for not shutting up in re PARTY GIRL, but like Peter O'Toole's dry cleaner: I hate seeing work that is not its best. this was not a movie, this was a contractual obligation. MGM was staring at the 1960's and a new world that wasn't in the mood for garish pastel musicals and candy-dipped slices of Americana. they had three properties (this script, Charisse and Taylor) that needed to be liquidated and this was cashing a check. in re Robert Taylor: there are some bad actors I personally dislike and hold in contempt and some that- for whatever inscrutable reason- i don't actively dislike as people- Robert Taylor falls into the second category. Maybe in the days before prescription opioids and ten hour long youtube videos of ocean waves, people were lulled into a tranquil state by going to see his movies in air conditioned darkness and listening to him DRONE ON IN THAT GD LIFE-SUCKING MONOTONE for two hours until they achieved something as close to nirvana as you could attain in Eisenhower's America; at least when he was younger he was cute. i add that while i don't actively dislike him, I still find myself shouting at the television periodically when he is on in something: "YOU LIVED WITH STANWYCK FOR, WHAT?!, A DECADE, AND NONE- and I MEAN NONE OF THAT TALENT RUBBED OFF? SHE NEVER GAVE YOU A LESSON? DID SHE CHARGE TOO MUCH? WHAT?!! TELL ME BOB!!!!!" in re: Charisse. I'm mad at her. There was no excuse for her performance in this movie; with Taylor- he was at the end of his run and knew it- with her- NO, this was at a critical juncture in her career and some ACTUAL EFFORT OUTSIDE OF A BIKINI WAX IS NECESSARY FOR THIS ROLE. Look, Cydney, I'm sorry MGM is a Gestapo; I know they don't make films noir, they ARE one big film noir; I know you want out of this place and i know you're inclined to give, at best, 60% to this effort as it's your last for the company, but the thing is, film is forever. And people are going to pay to see this. i know in HOLLYWOOD, you're only as good as your last picture, but i am still stunned that neither lead actor in the movie was willing (by all appearances) to [REALLY AND TRULY]work with a director who had very recently directed two pretty impressive and successful and innovative films that even back then, i think it's safe to say, made an impression on people (JOHNNY GUITAR and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.)
  11. 5 points
    STILL though here folks, and DESPITE what the OP said earlier about "hearing something that others didn't" in what Ben said, I'll add MY two freakin' cents in here NOW and say that IF Ben ONLY said what Rich earlier quoted that he said, there was NOT one iota of "politics" and/or "revisionist history" in what Ben said...PERIOD!!! Nope, READ once again WHAT he ACTUALLY said here, and then tell me where exactly some supposed "political opinion" is either expressed OR implied: Here is what Ben said: “Stories of troops stationed throughout the empire had long been popular and movies like The Lives of a Bengal Lancer routinely delivered, packing in audiences eager for a glimpse of an exotic foreign locale, and generally stories of white soldiers fighting dangerous natives to maintain an empire’s grip on its colonies.” NOPE, all this sounds as if he was merely STATING FACTS! And, I DON'T give a crap WHAT "some people" THINK he might have "implied" with that comment! (...and although while I have to admit that I didn't actually hear or see Ben say this, I'll bet my house when he said the word "Lancer", it probably sounded pretty darn nasally) LOL
  12. 5 points
    Katharine Hepburn and Robert Mitchum in Undercurrent remain one of the worst screen couples ever. (Mitchum called it "Underdrawers"). They hated each other off screen, too. In the first half of Come and Get It the lovely Frances Farmer is in a love triangle with Edward Arnold and Walter Brennan. If there was ever a reason to say, "Monty, I'll take what's behind Door #3 . . . . "
  13. 5 points
    I'm going to give Ray credit and say that I think that he wanted to make an interesting film, but Taylor and Charisse are fighting him every step of the way. it was wise to cast Kent Smith to periodically remind the audience that there are, in fact, duller actors than Robert Taylor.
  14. 5 points
    The Hill‏Verified account@thehill Woman called Steve Bannon a "piece of trash" inside a Virginia bookstore http://hill.cm/FDjbSqn
  15. 5 points
    He Ran All the Way (1951) - Taut crime drama from United Artists and director John Berry. John Garfield stars as low-life crook Nick Robey. He takes part in an armed robbery that leaves a cop dead, so he decides to hideout in the apartment of Peg (Shelley Winters), a girl that he's just met. Peg, along with her father (Wallace Ford), mother (Selena Royle) and little brother (Bobby Hyatt), become terrified hostages, never knowing if or when Nick may blow-up and kill them all. Also featuring Norman Lloyd and Gladys George. This small-scale, modestly-budgeted independent production does a tremendous job of evoking the nervous, sweaty environment of its characters. Garfield is terrific as usual, playing a very unsympathetic character with surprising honesty and no glamour. Winters and Ford are also very effective. Sadly, this would prove to be Garfield's final film, but it's a good one to go out on. (7/10) Source: TCM.
  16. 4 points
    No worries. I was kidding, hence the wink emoji and the meme. I didn't even see the rap/hip-hop comment. Let's hope they don't do West Side Story Live! For NBC starring Ariana Grande as Maria and Justin Bieber as Tony. Featuring One Direction as the Jets and a K-pop boy band as the Sharks.
  17. 4 points
    TCM is doing a daytime tribute to Tab Hunter on July 20. 6:00am The Steel Lady (1953) 7:30am Return to Treasure Island (1954) 9:00am Lafayette Escadrille (1958) 10:45am Operation Bikini (1963) 12:15pm The Golden Arrow (1964) 2:00pm The Girl He Left Behind (1956) 4:00pm The Burning Hills (1956) 5:45pm The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) http://www.tcm.com/this-month/movie-news.html?id=1418805&name=TCM-Remembers-Tab-Hunter-1931-2018-
  18. 4 points
    The Blue Sky Maiden by Yasuzo Masumura has a young country girl travelling to the city to live with her father, step mother and step-siblings. Just as in Cinderella she is treated like a servant by the siblings and step-mother. Ayako Wakao is enchanting in the lead role. A young man from the city is smitten by her but Wakao carries a torch for her teacher back home.
  19. 4 points
    Denizcan Grimes‏ @MrFilmkritik Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh called for Bill Clinton’s impeachment because "he had lied about Monica Lewinsky." With that logic, he shouldn’t have any problem calling for the impeachment of Trump, a serial liar who's accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women.
  20. 4 points
    63 year old Bill Holden's last role in 1981's S.O.B....
  21. 4 points
    The Mysterians This is another Japanese science fiction film from Ishiro Honda (Godzilla, Rodan). It involves an alien race from the planet Mysteriod, which used to exist between Mars and Jupiter, but was destroyed in a nuclear war. The Mysterians demand land to live on and Earth women to breed with, and they employ a giant robot to try and intimidate the peoples of the world into submission. It's all very silly, but fun and visually engaging like many of Honda's films. It was shot in full color and anamorphic widescreen, one of the first Japanese genre films to do so. It later inspired the band name ? and the Mysterians, who had a hit in 1966 with "96 Tears".
  22. 4 points
    No doubt somebody will start a thread about that now.
  23. 4 points
    Billy Wilder was a great film director but, Well, nobody's perfect.
  24. 4 points
    This was a great film. John Garfield was such a great actor--he was also versatile too. I loved him in Humoresque and in The Breaking Point. I also really liked He Ran All the Way, he was terrifying in that movie. I was also proud of Shelley Winters for making it all the way to the end of the film. I was surprised that she made it out of the swimming pool without drowning. It's a shame that Garfield wasn't able to survive HUAC and his heart. I feel like if he hadn't had the heart issues, and had been affected by HUAC, he eventually would have come back, better than ever.
  25. 4 points
    Sunday, July 8/9 4:30 a.m. The Warped Ones (1960). Delinquents, Japanese 60’s style.

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