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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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I Just Watched...


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#1 cigarjoe

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Posted Today, 06:07 AM

Body Double (1984) L.A. Café au lait Noir
 
News%2BAd%2BBody%2BDouble.jpg
 
Another film dealing with voyeurism. My, how perceptions and attitudes swiftly zig-zag. In 1954's Rear Window it was a wheelchair-bound good guy photographer who spies on his neighbors, 1960's Peeping Tom he's depicted as an irredeemable murderer, 1964's Strange Compulsion dealt with it clinically in an exploitive sort of way. Body Double deals with it as one of the perks of living in a Jetsons style flying saucer-like California hillside highrise.
 
Part Film Noir/Hollywood homage, part Hitchcock homage to Rear Window, and in one aspect also to Vertigo, part black comedy, director Brian De Palma gives us a nice peak into 1984 era tinseltown.
 
Director Brian De Palma (Dressed to Kill (1980), Scarface (1983), Carlito's Way (1993), The Black Dahlia (2006)) is amusing himself and us with various genres and at the same time poking a little fun at Hollywood show business in general. A few vintage L.A. institutions are lovingly lensed, others i.e., Angels Flight are faintly hinted at in the inclined access railway to the Chemosphere House. The film also has some quite humorous lines.
 
Body Double was written by Robert J. Avrech (screenplay) from a story by Brian De Palma. The cinematography was by Stephen H. Burum (8 Million Ways to Die (1986), Carlito's Way (1993)) and the music was by Pino Donaggio (Don't Look Now (1973), Dressed to Kill (1980)). Noir light 7/10. Full review in Film Noir/Gangster page and with some NSFW screencaps from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD here:http://http://noirsv...-lait-noir.html


#2 EricJ

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Posted Yesterday, 02:18 PM

I just watched WALT & EL GRUPO (2015) the third in the "Disney Documentary" trilogy. The first two I saw were "Waking Sleeping Beauty" about the Disney Animation Renaissance of the '80's/90's, and "The Boys" about the music writers brothers Richard & Robert Sherman.

 

El Grupo was the weakest of the three, pretty much saying "...then they went to Argentina, then they went to Chile..." without much story arc. But the artwork shown was spectacular. It was fun seeing faces of some of the famous animators whose names I've known since a child. It was fun seeing Walt Disney enjoying the art & culture of an exotic place-he always seems so white bread to me. The message I got from the movie is that the language of art is so universal & timeless.

 

They're not Disney's "own" documentaries, they're made by the folks with a story to tell:  "The Boys" was produced by the Shermans' grown kids, trying to get the feuding brothers back together again, and Waking was Don Hahn's own semi-eulogy tribute to the 90's Renaissance to re-motivate the studio during the last days of the Roy-vs.-Eisner "SaveDisney.com" troubles. (When the also anti-Eisner fans were shouting "Kill the studio!" after Home on the Range, and some at the studio thought days really were numbered.)

Disney just wanted to keep them under their own label before anyone else did.  Also worked out pretty well for them in the "Frank & Ollie" documentary.

 

But yes, El Grupo was maddeningly off the point, as the director wanted to showcase all the lovely forgotten sketches that the artists did, while the unique quirks of 40's Disney history were all swept downstage:

The idea that the government wanted the Good Neighbor policy to prevent Axis influence in South America, that the artists jumped on to the "government service" as a way of stalling the wartime draft, and Walt's own conflicting feelings about the strike that labor-influence in Hollywood was hitting the studio with.

Here, we basically get the Saludos Amigos travelogue all over again, only trotting out the rare home-movies and sketches from the archive.  By the end of "If this is Tuesday, it must be Chile", we hear the artists just wanted to get home again, and so do we.


Let's start a revolution:  http://movieactivist.blogspot.com


#3 midwestan

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Posted Yesterday, 11:12 AM

The Sunday night Double-Header of "The Great Man" and "Sweet Smell of Success".

 

I had never seen "The Great Man" before.  It had a good cast and was about a popular and beloved radio/television commentator who had a coast-to-coast audience of admirers.  When he suddenly dies in an auto accident, the network that produced his program arranges a larger-than-life memorial tribute to this 'great' man.  One of his staffers and co-workers (Jose Ferrer) who is in line to replace the deceased man on future broadcasts, is tasked with writing a script and getting audio interviews from fans and friends for the tribute show.  What Ferrer discovers is that the beloved and highly respected commentator was viewed as a real jerk by those who knew him best!  Besides Ferrer, other prominent casties include:  Keenan Wynn, Jim Backus, Julie London, Ed Wynn, Joanne Gilbert, Lyle Talbot, and Dean Jagger.  This film was also directed by Ferrer.  Visually, the airing of "The Great Man" on TCM was fine, but the sound quality was terrible.  In some scenes, the voices by the actors were inaudible, but when they walked to a different part of the set or turned their head in another direction, it was OK.  I found that I had to crank up the volume on my set to hear the dialogue.  That did the trick.  Overall, I'd give it 3 out of 4 stars.  During the intro, Ben Mankiewicz said "The Great Man" was a vastly under-rated film.  I agree with that assessment.

 

I had never seen "Sweet Smell of Success" all the way through, even though it's aired numerous times on TCM.  I loved the way this film was shot!  It gave a pretty good depiction of fast-paced night life in Manhattan.  Most of the characters are unlikable, especially Tony Curtis' portrayal as a seedy press agent who's supposed to try and break up a budding romance between Susan Harrison and Martin Milner.  Harrison plays Burt Lancaster's kid sister who's trying to get out from under the control of her domineering brother who just happens to be New York's premier gossip columnist.  Like many of his roles, Lancaster is blunt and straightforward in this character.  He's one of those guys who has real screen presence in just about any scene he's in, although Curtis had the meatiest part in this film.  Very good supporting cast helps this one move along at a pretty good clip.  I can see why it's highly regarded by critics.  I'd rate it 3.7 out of 4 stars.


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#4 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted Yesterday, 09:22 AM

Is [ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL] the one where he beats the crap out of George Foreman?

 

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really though:

 

Coming from someone who isn't all that "in" to foreign films, or films that aren't fast-paced, or films of the seventies, and who has a borderline phobia of hideous 70's decor, THIS WAS A GREAT FILM.

 

i really highly recommend it, especially to fans of ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, which this film borders on being an outright remake of.

 

exquisite acting.

 

wonderful direction (could SO EASILY have gone off the rails in the wrong hands)

 

but most of all, it was a film experience that encapsulates everything i love about TCM and why I think it is so important: I know it's easy to believe that the problems we have in the world of today are so new and unique and worse than ever before, but then you sit down and watch something from the past (be it from 30,40, 50 or more years ago) that continuously slaps you in the face and reminds you:

 

"Nope (slap!) this **** (slap) has always (slap!) been (slap!) going on."

 

(and then a good backhand just for funsies.)

 

this is the kind of film that should be an Essential because it speaks to today, because it's relevant, because i learned from it and because- in all honesty- my step is a little lighter and my mind a little bit clearer this morning for having sat down and watched it last night.

 

(and Thanks TCM.)

 

PS- it may still be on TCM ON DEMAND.


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#5 Hibi

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Posted Yesterday, 09:12 AM

Hibi,

 

Sorry I couldn't tell from your reply if you were referring to Mandalay or Hat, Coat, and Glove (or perhaps another film).  These threaded comments are hard to follow sometimes.  Just wanted to let you know that Hat, Coat, and Glove is coming on TCM this Thursday, in case you wanted to see it.  It's one that I'm looking forward to as well.  (Thanks to TomJH for his original post.)

 

 

Yes, thanks for letting me know! I'll record it. (I've seen Mandalay several times).



#6 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted Yesterday, 08:54 AM

May's screening will be a 40th anniversary presentation of Smokey & the Bandit.

 

this is a GREAT IDEA.

I might have to go to this one.


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#7 sagebrush

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Posted Yesterday, 06:13 AM

I saw the Fathom Events/TCM 50th anniversary screening of The Graduate on Sunday....

...It was a very small crowd, 10 people including myself, although I went to the 7 pm showing. Quite likely it would have been more crowded at the 2 pm showing. I'd been to the 2 pm showings of each of the three previous films, and each one was attended by at least 50 people.

I've attended many of these showings as well, always the matinee. Most of the time, the theatre is half to less than half full. The exception was Singing In The Rain, which I had to drive to 2 theaters to find tickets still available, and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, which was 3/4 full. I always thought the 7 pm showings would be more full.


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#8 TikiSoo

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Posted Yesterday, 05:53 AM

I just watched WALT & EL GRUPO (2015) the third in the "Disney Documentary" trilogy. The first two I saw were "Waking Sleeping Beauty" about the Disney Animation Renaissance of the '80's/90's, and "The Boys" about the music writers brothers Richard & Robert Sherman.

 

El Grupo was the weakest of the three, pretty much saying "...then they went to Argentina, then they went to Chile..." without much story arc. But the artwork shown was spectacular. It was fun seeing faces of some of the famous animators whose names I've known since a child. It was fun seeing Walt Disney enjoying the art & culture of an exotic place-he always seems so white bread to me. The message I got from the movie is that the language of art is so universal & timeless.

 

I am SO GLAD the Disney studio is focusing on the company history with these documentaries, much more interesting than their franchise feature animations these days.

 

I then watched a TV movie from 1990 THE MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF THELMA TODD. Loni Anderson starred as Thelma Todd and although she was pretty, was hard to suspend my disbelief she was playing Todd-mostly due to her long hair & way too obvious chest.

I did like the writing and Anderson's delivery of snappy lines. It definitely gave me an idea of what Todd may have been like in real life. Also liked the actress playing Patsy Kelly. She did a great job without having to resort to broadcasting Kelly's sexual orientation. It goes to show how really unnecessary that is, although it's so often insisted upon these days. The actor playing Lucky Luciano was excellent as well.

The movie was eye candy in the costume, sets & locations too. But good strong writing & acting is what makes this a pretty successful story.

 

So then I watched a few Todd/Kelly MGM shorts just to get Loni Anderson's bewbs out of my mind....


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#9 sewhite2000

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Posted Yesterday, 03:52 AM

I saw the Fathom Events/TCM 50th anniversary screening of The Graduate on Sunday. Not sure how long these screenings have been going on. I'd been vaguely aware of them for quite some time, but I've gotten in a groove where I've seen every one of their 2017 airings so far - An Affair to RememberAll about EveNorth by Northwest and now The Graduate. In each instance, it was my first time to see the film in question on the big screen. This is a film I've seen so many times, I probably couldn't even count, so I can't say there was anything new, other than some visual details I'd never been able to see on my small TV screen at home (I haven't embraced the giant flat screen yet) - lipstick on Benjamin's cheek after a woman kisses him in the opening party scene and visible sweat on his face when Mr. Robinson insists he stay for a drink seconds after his wife, unknown to him, has stripped nude for Benjamin and when he calls Mrs. Robinson in the phone booth at the hotel. Also, I'd never seen so clearly before the gentle smile on Mrs. Robinson's face right after she and Benjamin have fought about Elaine in the hotel room. "Benjamin ..." she says warmly, and I would like to have known what she would have said next, before he cuts her off with "Let's not talk. Let's not say anything at all," ironically echoing her sentiments at the beginning of the scene. As the screen fades to black, it's presumably the last time the two characters make love before becoming mortal enemies. It's sort of a sad moment - Mrs. Robinson makes an effort to really connect to Benjamin, but she's already done too much damage earlier in the scene. Although, in all honesty, I guess there was no real chance for a meaningful relationship or even friendship between those two characters.

 

It was a very small crowd, 10 people including myself, although I went to the 7 pm showing. Quite likely it would have been more crowded at the 2 pm showing. I'd been to the 2 pm showings of each of the three previous films, and each one was attended by at least 50 people. There was a college age couple sitting three seats over from me. It wasn't until the lights came up that I saw the young man was African-American and the woman Latina. Certainly surprised me they had come to see this whitest of all movies on a Sunday evening. There's not a person of color who delivers a line of dialogue in the entire film. A handful of black Berkeley students are seen very briefly. I wanted to approach them after the film and ask whatever possessed them to attend - was it a class requirement? - and what they thought of it. I'm assuming it was their first viewing. The girl gasped in shock when Mrs. Robinson appeared nude before Benjamin early in the film. Otherwise, I didn't notice much reaction from either of them, but I guess it held their attention. Amazingly for people their age, neither one of them got on their phones the entire movie.

 

Ben Mankiewicz' intro and outro was chock full of information I already knew. The only tidbit I hadn't heard before was Candice Bergen was up for the role of Elaine, something Ben said Bergen herself revealed when she was a TCM Guest Programmer. According to Bergen, the filmmakers "decided to go in a more brunette direction". Prior to the movie, they showed the lineup for the rest of the year. It's all pretty predictable fare. May's screening will be a 40th anniversary presentation of Smokey & the Bandit.


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#10 film lover 293

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Posted Yesterday, 03:21 AM

"Pocahontas" (1995)--Starring the voices of Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, and David Ogden Stiers, and many others.

 

Beautifully drawn, gorgeously colored, Disney film is more "suggested by" historical events than a factual retelling of history.  Film briefly focuses on the British voyage to Virginia, then changes emphasis to the natives, Pocahontas in particular, and their/her unity with nature.  Film contrasts the beauty/majesty of nature with the destruction the British bring to North America, in their zeal to find gold.

 

Kuhn, as the singing voice of Pocahontas, more than does justice to Alan Menken's original score.  Her renditions of "The Colors of the Wind" and "Just Around the River Bend" are beautiful.  Kuhn had sung in Broadway musicals, most notably as the leads in 1988's "Chess" and the 1993 revival of "She Loves Me" (information from ibdb.com).

 

Mel Gibson does a generally good job of voicing John Smith; his baritone is listenable but when he shifts into tenor range for his duet with Kuhn, his voice noticeably weakens and Kuhn has to be careful not to drown him out.  David Ogden Stiers is appropriately hateful and amusingly greedy as Commander Ratcliffe in the song "Mine, Mine, Mine".  

 

In the song "Savages" film shows plainly it's against racism and war, showing the Europeans And the Native Americans as both being wrong in choosing violence as their first choice to settle their grievances.

 

Pocahontas won two Oscars, for Best Score and Best Song (The Colors of the Wind).

 

Underrated film is very worth the watch.  3.2/4.

 

Source--archive.org.  Search "Disney_Classics"; was archived 2/28/2017.  Link has multiple films; Pocahontas is #65.


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#11 cmovieviewer

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Posted Yesterday, 03:19 AM

Sorry I missed that one. I have a fondness for Cortez too. I find him very handsome, in a slimy sort of way. I can see why he was always getting killed off! LOL. 

 

Hibi,

 

Sorry I couldn't tell from your reply if you were referring to Mandalay or Hat, Coat, and Glove (or perhaps another film).  These threaded comments are hard to follow sometimes.  Just wanted to let you know that Hat, Coat, and Glove is coming on TCM this Thursday, in case you wanted to see it.  It's one that I'm looking forward to as well.  (Thanks to TomJH for his original post.)



#12 scsu1975

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:15 PM

Wow.

Sat down and watched ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL on TCM ON DEMAND...

Is that the one where he beats the crap out of George Foreman?


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I'm a big boy.


#13 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:12 PM

Wow.

Sat down and watched ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL on TCM ON DEMAND...i'm not even entirely sure why, since I'm not a foreign film person and I had a very depressing day today, something just compelled me to.

Glad I did.

It is one beautiful movie.

#14 Dargo

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:08 PM

Wilson is a hagiography of a nasty man.

I love the scene where he's serving coffee to all the white soldiers of various immigrant backgrounds going off to fight World War I, and he gives a sermon about Americans of all races coming together. Of course, at the time the movie was made, the military was still segregated; President Truman wouldn't desegregate it until about 1947.

(And don't get me started on the Keefe Brasselle sequence in It's a Big Country. That's the sequence that should have been about equal rights for blacks, and not the infuriating stock footage sequence we do get.)

 

Ironic, then ain't it Fedya, that your present avatar, Mr. Coburn there, was a member of the White Citizens' Council which was an organization opposed to racial integration, and besides often playing in film as you make note above it, a "crotchety blankety-blank".  ;)

 

(...in fact, and NOT "to start somethin'" here, but I'd perhaps place the film WILSON as example No.1 in regard to why the concept of "hating the political correctness of today" which as you know is often decried by many in our society today, is all TOO often a false lament, as the more we know of our past "heroes" and the more they're TRUTHFULLY examined warts and all, and the less sugar-coated they are and such as is this film about President Wilson and due to the "political correctness" of THIS film's era, the better we all are for it)



#15 Fedya

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:59 PM

Wilson is a hagiography of a nasty man.

I love the scene where he's serving coffee to all the white soldiers of various immigrant backgrounds going off to fight World War I, and he gives a sermon about Americans of all races coming together. Of course, at the time the movie was made, the military was still segregated; President Truman wouldn't desegregate it until about 1947.

(And don't get me started on the Keefe Brasselle sequence in It's a Big Country. That's the sequence that should have been about equal rights for blacks, and not the infuriating stock footage sequence we do get.)

#16 im4cinema2

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:23 AM

WILSON.    I'm glad to have watched.  How President Wilson really was a great man and a great President and a great movie by Zanuck to boot.



#17 Hibi

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:20 PM

I'm actually rather partial to Ricardo Cortez. He could be a good slimy two timer played with some charm (he was quite good looking, with that patent leather hair style looking a bit out of the Valentino school), and he could also be a fairly credible tough guy. I like his Sam Spade, for example, or playing a gangster trying to solve a crime (before he gets blamed for it, if memory serves me correctly) in The Phantom of Crestwood.

 

Rich, you might take a look at a Kay Francis soaper with an exotic setting, Mandalay, which occasionally comes on TCM. It features Ricardo at his charming oily rat fink best.

 

2ebcc3a5902a4e82127636ae6ef176a4.jpg

 

There's a Cortez coming on TCM this Thursday at 6:15pm (EST) I've never seen. Hat Coat and Glove was originally intended as a John Barrymore vehicle but was given to Cortez when the Great Profile was sent to a sanitarium for a lengthy stay.

 

 

Sorry I missed that one. I have a fondness for Cortez too. I find him very handsome, in a slimy sort of way. I can see why he was always getting killed off! LOL. 



#18 cigarjoe

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 03:09 PM

I love the MST3K version. it almost becomes a musical as they make up words to sing along to the odd score.

It's on a popular video site as a stand alone film. wink, wink



#19 MCannady1

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:32 AM

Agree about Cortez. I've seen Mandalay, but not Hat, Coat, and Glove, so I will have to check that one out. Thanks for the headsup!

Yes, Ricardo Cortez is always interesting to watch. I have not seen Hat,Coat and Glove yet either. I am adding it to my list on the DVR.
Though Ricardo played some slick, dishonest but charming types, he was also "a good guy", His performance in B R O A D W A Y B A D with Joan Blondell is quite touching.

#20 MCannady1

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:24 AM

Last night I watched the original version of The Winslow Boy for the first time.
It has an excellent cast, headed by Cedric Hardwicke, Robert Donat, and lovely Margaret Leighton. Set in Pre-World War I era, The story is intriguing from the time we hear that Ronnie Winslow, aged 13, was expelled from school for forging postal orders.
We see how the entire family is affected, and Ronnie's father (Hardwicke) and sister (Margaret Leighton) are determined to prove his innocence, amid his father becoming ill and his sister (Leighton) nearly loses her suitor (Lawton to whom she was engaged.
The family is socially disgraced as a result.

Robert Donat gives an outstanding performance as the impassioned family lawyer whose quest for justice goes above and beyond his position.

It was great to see Francis L. Sullivan, Frank Lawton, and Basil Radford in their roles.
The movie does not disappoint and is interesting up until the twist ending.
I rate the film a 5 out of 5 for great photography, background music, and sensitive story.

As an interesting footnote; the story is from a play that enacts a true situation from several years earlier...
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