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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 LawrenceA

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Posted Today, 07:42 PM

Tom, I omitted He Got Game from my list of recommended Washington films because I wasn't sure if you would enjoy it due to the sports milieu. It goes to show that I should not judge what someone else will like. I like all of the films he's made with Spike Lee, even the frequently maligned Mo' Better Blues.

 

Fedya, Glengarry Glen Ross is one of my favorite stage-to-film adaptations. Even though it retains the stagebound quality, it works in this film, and maybe even enhances it due to the claustrophobic feel. Alec Baldwin's speech scene is one of the best small roles I've ever seen. He completely owns the screen for his short time there, and it changed the direction of his career. But I think everyone was terrific. It was the first time I paid attention to Kevin Spacey ("Will you...go...to...lunch?"), and Ed Harris has rarely been better. Alan Arkin's disbelief that someone would steal the telephones. And while Pacino got the Oscar nod for the movie (his dressing-down of Spacey is hilariously profane), many thought Lemmon would get another Oscar for his role.


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#2 Fedya

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Posted Today, 07:32 PM

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Four real-estate agents for property developers (Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, and Alan Arkin) are given an ultimatum by their boss (Kevin Spacey, accompanied by motivator Alec Baldwin): whoever has the most in closings this month gets a new Cadillac; whoever closes the least gets fired. Of course, the agents are given lousy leads; they'll only get the good leads if they can close deals.

Ed Harris gets the idea to burgle the office and steal the leads; everybody swears their way through the movie as they try all sorts of underhanded tactics to close deals of one sort or another.

The performances are uniformly excellent, but with the exception of a supporting role by Jonathan Pryce, every single one of them is loathsome. I think I mentioned Under the Volcano earlier in this thread, and I was thinking about that movie a lot as I watched Glengarry Glen Ross: it's hard to watch when everybody is such a horrible human being. At least the protagonists in the Maysles' documentary Salesman all had a human side.

9/10, if you're prepared to watch a bunch of unremittingly repulsive people.
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#3 TomJH

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Posted Today, 07:12 PM

He Got Game (1998)

 

I admit that I approached this film, not knowing much about it, with low expectations, afraid it might be a sports movie (not my favourite film genre). What I saw, however, was an emotionally involving, at times powerful, study of the contentious relationship between a father and his son.

 

Written and directed by Spike Lee, basketball plays a key lynch pin in this relationship but the film is not about the sport, per se. Ray Allen plays a basketball high school player who is the nation's top recruit (he's already a star in his neighbourhood) who must choose which university he will attend (and they all want him).

 

But Allen is also a mature young man who has raised his young sister by himself after his father is sent to prison for the death of his mother. The father, played by Denzel Washington, receives an offer from the state governor, a basketball fanatic, to shorten his sentence if he can convince his son to go to the governor's alma mater.

 

Washington is released (with two tough security personnel watching his every move) back into society for one week in an attempt to influence his son's decision. The problem, though, is that the son wants nothing to do with the father following the death of his mother.

 

The sensitivity and intelligence of the film's screenplay makes for an involving film of human emotions. But the film also shows the leeches, exploiters and temptations that can surround a star athlete, even so emotionally grounded a one as that played by Allen here. Allen, by the way, is an NBA player who can really act in a completely convincing portrayal.

 

Milla Jovovich also appears as a pimp abused hooker to whom Washington extends a sympathetic hand.

 

Washington delivers a beautifully controlled understated performance, the power of his emotions just beneath the surface. One of the film's most memorable scenes is that in which the emotionally stoic father visits the grave of his wife for the first time in years. In just a few seconds of screen time Spike Lee powerfully conveys the depth of this man's true feelings for his wife.

 

It's a long film at well over two hours, perhaps my chief grievance with it. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend He Got Game as strong dramatic fare. The on location shooting (Chicago, I believe) brings great credibility to the tale.

 

This is the most recent in a series of Denzel Washington films I have viewed for the first time. I was not disappointed. He's an actor who continues to supply me with unyielding treasures, some big, some small, when viewing his performances.

 

HeGotGame.jpg

 

3 out of 4.


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#4 sagebrush

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Posted Today, 04:33 PM

I find Creighton Chaney an appealing big lug of a guy, not unlike Jack Carson. While Creighton was never "smart alecky" like Carson, he instead projected a gentle, deep, passionate heart that somehow comes through when on screen.

 

I feel that way about him, as well. For what it's worth, I think he was an attractive man. I also think E.G. Robinson was. I didn't say I thought they were handsome, but attractive. You know who I think of as handsome? Eli Wallach. 

Am I alone here?



#5 Janet0312

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Posted Today, 11:15 AM

Janet said about Lon Chaney Jr: But it's just a shame that he didn't go on to be a powerful leading man in the movies.

 

Boy, do I agree with THAT!

 

I find Creighton Chaney an appealing big lug of a guy, not unlike Jack Carson. While Creighton was never "smart alecky" like Carson, he instead projected a gentle, deep, passionate heart that somehow comes through when on screen.

 

Obviously, he learned this from his Dad, or maybe it was just natural, in his DNA.

 

Well, I've dated many a lug in my day. I just thought that Chaney, Jr did a nice love scene. I've always loved that scene. You know? Gwen offers him a penny in return for the pentagram necklace and he says, "It isn't enough". For the types of roles that junior got and played at Universal, it's damn good.



#6 TikiSoo

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Posted Today, 05:31 AM

Janet said about Lon Chaney Jr: But it's just a shame that he didn't go on to be a powerful leading man in the movies.

 

Boy, do I agree with THAT!

 

I find Creighton Chaney an appealing big lug of a guy, not unlike Jack Carson. While Creighton was never "smart alecky" like Carson, he instead projected a gentle, deep, passionate heart that somehow comes through when on screen.

 

Obviously, he learned this from his Dad, or maybe it was just natural, in his DNA.



#7 wouldbestar

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Posted Yesterday, 05:44 PM

It was on for four seasons, 1961-1965. Only season one is on DVD via Shout Factory. I don't remember it at all and I was old enough to remember it when it was on the air.. My parents are very conservative and I can see them banning this show from their TV back when I was a kid, thus I would have never known about it.

 

They have to do something about this.  The later seasons had Jack Klugman winning an Emmy as a blacklisted entertainer and Don Gordon becoming a star as a mentally challenged death row inmate for which he was robbed of one.  Others dealt  with capital punishment, the right of parents to withhold treatment from children for religious reasons, using collusion to get around the New York adultery-as-the-only-grounds divorce law, the "unwritten law" about killing a wife's lover and Ruth Roman in a shattering performance as an abused wife who kills her husband and faces the chair. 

 

The show was very liberal in tone and some I had issues with.  One had a couple the men defended who justified a robbery they committed because they were poor with no prospects.  It made you think about what you did and didn't believe.  The whole series needs to be out.   



#8 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 01:55 PM

How come they didn't pack up and skeedaddle when they knew that Bela was a werewolf? Huh? Why didn't Maleva give her own son a charm to keep the curse at bay?



#9 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 01:53 PM

Also reportedly a bit of a nasty bully when in his cups, which was increasingly often.  His declining career didn't help his mood, but even his best performances always seemed a bit blue-collar thuggish.

 

 

Although the disk commentary brings up a few perfect story goofs:

We see gypsy Bela (Lugosi) already looking suspiciously cursed before passing it on to Larry, and when there's the sudden shouts of "There's a werewolf in the camp!"...uh, yeah, could it maybe be the one who's presumably been with the gypsy camp for twenty years?  

:lol:

 

That was Chaney, Jr's dog Moose that fit the bill.



#10 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 01:50 PM

IIRC, Lon Chaney Jr. had a bad alcohol problem that got worse, as these things do. Plus, being typecast as either a horror actor or a simpleton (many viewers of the day always recalled him from Of Mice and Men) kept him from getting more leading man parts in mainstream fare.

 

How many actors didn't have a drinking problem? I think Universal typecast their actors into oblivion. I think Chaney, Jr could have had an outstanding career.



#11 EricJ

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Posted Yesterday, 01:23 PM

IIRC, Lon Chaney Jr. had a bad alcohol problem that got worse, as these things do. 

 

Also reportedly a bit of a nasty bully when in his cups, which was increasingly often.  His declining career didn't help his mood, but even his best performances always seemed a bit blue-collar thuggish.

 

TomJH

 

But any film with Maria Ouspenskaya as the gypsy Mileva going into her "The way you walk is thorny . . ." speech is worth a look. Sad eyed Maria really does look concerned about poor Larry Talbot.

 

Although the disk commentary brings up a few perfect story goofs:

We see gypsy Bela (Lugosi) already looking suspiciously cursed before passing it on to Larry, and when there's the sudden shouts of "There's a werewolf in the camp!"...uh, yeah, could it maybe be the one who's presumably been with the gypsy camp for twenty years?  

:lol:


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


#12 TomJH

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Posted Yesterday, 01:06 PM

The Wolf Man

I don't know what happend with Chaney, Jr. Why he wasn't as successful as many other actors of his day. If you look at the love scene in the gypsy camp - Gwen offers him a penny in return for the charm necklace he has given her. He says that it isn't enough and moves in to kiss her. Wow. I think this scene and the one in House of Frankenstein are the only two love scenes that I know of that Chaney, Jr did. But they are powerful. They work. And I wish I had been one of those actresses.

 

 

I like The Wolf Man fine, even though I perhaps appreciate it more for some of its individual components parts (casting, photography, music) than to the overall satisfaction of the film. This film is clearly not in the same league as Universal's best horror films like a Bride of Frankenstein or Black Cat or The Mummy.

 

But any film with Maria Ouspenskaya as the gypsy Mileva going into her "The way you walk is thorny . . ." speech is worth a look. Sad eyed Maria really does look concerned about poor Larry Talbot.

 

As for Lon Chaney Jr. as a romantic, I get a kick out of his initial courtship scene with the beautiful Evelyn Ankers in which he is trying to charm her. But one of the things that he lets slip out is that he spies upon her in her room with a telescope. I don't know about girls in this neck of the Universal sound stages but isn't the average girl going to be less than flattered by this information bulletin?  Wouldn't an unexpected news flash like that more than likely receive a response along the lines of "Yikes! Get this stalker away from me!"

 

On the other hand, to call the Wolf Man a stalker seems kinda appropriate.

 

007-the-wolf-man-theredlist.jpg

 

 

"Whatta mean ya don't wanna dance? Come on, baby, the spotlight's on us. I'm a hairy Fred. Be my Ginger!"



#13 LawrenceA

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Posted Yesterday, 12:29 PM

IIRC, Lon Chaney Jr. had a bad alcohol problem that got worse, as these things do. Plus, being typecast as either a horror actor or a simpleton (many viewers of the day always recalled him from Of Mice and Men) kept him from getting more leading man parts in mainstream fare.



#14 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 12:24 PM

Chaney, Jr wasn't a very handsome man when compared to leading men like Flynn, Power,  Cooper,  etc.....  

 

Yea, a  guy like E.G. Robinson was a leading man and he wasn't handsome but generally looks count. 

 

Oh, I think Chaney, Jr is quite handsome. I wouldn't throw him outta bed for eating crackers.



#15 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted Yesterday, 12:16 PM

His name was hyped up at Universal when they cast him to play the phantom. Following in Daddy's footsteps, so to speak. But he never could have pulled it off. He was too big. Not the right type. Although, I bet he could have sawed the chandelier chain in half the time that Claude did.

But it's just a shame that he didn't go on to be a powerful leading man in the movies.

 

Chaney, Jr wasn't a very handsome man when compared to leading men like Flynn, Power,  Cooper,  etc.....  

 

Yea, a  guy like E.G. Robinson was a leading man and he wasn't handsome but generally looks count. 



#16 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 11:40 AM

The Wolf Man
.
I don't know what happend with Chaney, Jr. Why he wasn't as successful as many other actors of his day. If you look at the love scene in the gypsy camp - Gwen offers him a penny in return for the charm necklace he has given her. He says that it isn't enough and moves in to kiss her. Wow. I think this scene and the one in House of Frankenstein are the only two love scenes that I know of that Chaney, Jr did. But they are powerful.
 

 

His name was hyped up at Universal when they cast him to play the phantom. Following in Daddy's footsteps, so to speak. But he never could have pulled it off. He was too big. Not the right type. Although, I bet he could have sawed the chandelier chain in half the time that Claude did.

But it's just a shame that he didn't go on to be a powerful leading man in the movies.



#17 Hibi

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Posted Yesterday, 11:33 AM

Not a guess. Fact. I read a section of the Green Acres books on Amazon that said that very thing. It was the execs at CBS who were tired of the cornpone shows and low, All in the Family and shows like it moved in.

 

Yes, Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies were still getting good ratings. I think Acres was still in the top 20, but CBS wanted to change its image and cancelled them. (along with others).


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#18 Janet0312

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Posted Yesterday, 11:21 AM

The Wolf Man
This is my #2 favorite film. (Phantom '43 is my 1st.) Anyway, what a picture! I know it's considered a B movie, but to me, it has always been an A. It's got everything. Music, atmosphere, chills & thrills, incredible make-up and a slew of excellent actors. The one flaw that I find is Claude Rains playing Chaney's dad. I mean, what freak of nature induced a son from a such a small man with absolutely no similarities? Who cares, really? If you can get past that, and we do, Claude Rains is excellent, as he always is. He's philosophical too. "You policemen are always in such a hurry, as if dead men hadn't all eternity." And then there's, "Larry, for some people life is very simple. They decide that this is good, that is bad. This is right, that's wrong. There's no good in bad, no right in wrong, only shadings and grays. Now others of find that good, bad, right, wrong are many sided, complex things. We try to see every side. But the more we see, the less sure we are"  I mean, this man has the golden lines in this film. Although, what exactly a mental quagmire is, I'll never know.
I don't know what happend with Chaney, Jr. Why he wasn't as successful as many other actors of his day. If you look at the love scene in the gypsy camp - Gwen offers him a penny in return for the charm necklace he has given her. He says that it isn't enough and moves in to kiss her. Wow. I think this scene and the one in House of Frankenstein are the only two love scenes that I know of that Chaney, Jr did. But they are powerful. They work. And I wish I had been one of those actresses.
They seemed to have gone to no expense in this film except the pentagram scar on Larry's chest. Looks like it was drawn with a Bic pen. Sloppy. Jack P. Pierce must have been off that day. Or out to lunch.
And in the end, Claude's eyes are highlighted somehow. Kudos to the camera guy or whoever, but Claude's eyes are white and bright and large as he clubs the werewolf to death. And I always cry at the end when Sir John realizes that he's killed his only surviving son.
 


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#19 hamradio

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Posted Yesterday, 10:31 AM

"The X From Outer Space" (1967)

 

What the heck is with the MUSIC?? :blink:

 

The old Gerry Anderson "Thunderbirds" had better SPX!

 

Is the name Guilala the best they can come up with, how about Antennahead?. :lol:

 

guilala.jpg

 

 

 

The AIP English dub version is on Youtube.



#20 cigarjoe

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Posted Yesterday, 07:06 AM

Twilight Of Honor (1963) What if "Anatomy Of A Murder" had went Noirsville?
 
220px-Twilight_of_Honor_FilmPoster.jpeg
 
Twilight of Honor is a courtroom drama along the lines of Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Otto Preminger's film deals with a service man (Ben Gazzara) accused of killing a popular backwoods Michigan resort owner who the defense (James Stewart) claims allegedly rapped his wife (Lee Remick). The state prosecutors (George C. Scott and Brooks West) are determined to impinge the reputation of the service man's wife, claiming that her revealing attire (she went around "bare legged") and intense sexuality signified her as a woman of loose morals. The fact that both the service man and his wife were heavy boozers also enters into the equation.
 
What makes Twilight Of Honor different from Anatomy Of A Murder and tips the film directly into Noirsville is the use, by director Boris Sagal, of vivid and extremely lurid true and false story flashbacks of the sleazy details of the Ben-Laura-Mae-Cole Clinton relationship that lead up to the death of Cole Clinton.
 
Full review here in Film Noir/Gangster genre board and with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.bl...if-anatomy.html

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