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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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#6521 Bogie56

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:42 PM

That 1967 was a watershed year for filmmaking!

 

There'd been signs of the coming "new Hollywood" since '63, but in '67 it exploded with a plethora of really excellent movies with a whole new non-traditional esthetic. 'In Cold Blood' is but one excellent example of that.

Yes, I think it took a few years for old Hollywood to shake things off and take notice of what was going on internationally in countries like England, Italy, France, Sweden and Japan.  It was time to take bolder steps.

In Cold Blood, Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate and even The Dirty Dozen were all good American films of 1967.  My own favourite of that year is still Bunuel's Belle de Jour.



#6522 LawrenceA

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:24 PM

PACIFIC INFERNO (4/10)

Philippines-lensed WWII action junk produced by and starring Jim Brown. After the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, a group of US naval p.o.w.s are forced to dive in Manila Bay for silver coins dumped during MacArthur's retreat. The US navy men are kept in the same camp with Filipino civilian prisoners, and they band together to aid the Filipino underground resistance in their fight against the Japanese occupation.

Jim Brown stars as the lead navy diver, with Richard Jaeckel, Tim Brown, Rik Van Nutter and the mascot of Filipino filmmaking, big Vic Diaz. The use of prodigious stock footage and scenes from other, larger budgeted features give this film a more ambitious scope than one would expect. There are anachronistic fashions, and racism is briefly touched on in a stab at social relevance. It's fun to see Jaeckel still running around, fighting the war in the Philippines 36 years after GUADALCANAL DIARY. But the film over all is a dud, with a weak script, poor performances from most of the cast and a lack of any compelling plot elements.

This marked the end of Jim Brown's run as a 70's film hero, a mantle he wore well as one of the principal stars of the blaxploitation movement. He wouldn't appear in another film for 6 years.

Featured in the credits are special thanks to Richard Pryor, Don Cornelius and Hugh Hefner!

#6523 darkblue

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:21 PM

Just an older dvd which looks to be put out by Columbia in 2003.  I'm sure the Criterion will be great.  I may have to pick one up for X-mas!

 

That 1967 was a watershed year for filmmaking!

 

There'd been signs of the coming "new Hollywood" since '63, but in '67 it exploded with a plethora of really excellent movies with a whole new non-traditional esthetic. 'In Cold Blood' is but one excellent example of that.


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White Knights, Manginas and Simps, oh my!

#6524 Bogie56

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:05 PM

Bogie, how did you see IN COLD BLOOD? A screening, your own copy at home, etc?

I ask because I recently got the new Criterion blu-ray but haven't watched it yet.

Just an older dvd which looks to be put out by Columbia in 2003.  I'm sure the Criterion will be great.  I may have to pick one up for X-mas!


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#6525 LawrenceA

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:00 PM

Bogie, how did you see IN COLD BLOOD? A screening, your own copy at home, etc?

I ask because I recently got the new Criterion blu-ray but haven't watched it yet.

#6526 Bogie56

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 07:18 AM

Richard Brook's adaptation of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1967).  IMO, this is the Best American Film of 1967 and features the two best lead performances by an Actor in Robert Blake and Scott Wilson for that year.  It just keeps getting better with each viewing.

I was lucky enough to see a reel of this film in the 70's with guest lecturer, cinematographer, Conrad Hall.  The camerawork, art direction, music and editing are firing on all cylinders in this one.

I love it when film editing propels you forward and this does it right from the start with the whip pan of the Greyhound bus turning into the train.

It is an anatomy of a senseless murder and the methodical and lucky investigation that follows.  It doesn't sympathize with the killers or demonize them.  It simply is what it is.

Dick Hickock himself while on death row says that he is a believer in the death penalty so long as it isn't he that receives it.

A scene not in the movie but in the book has the killers amuse themselves by veering off of the highway to kill stray dogs.  This may have been the inspiration for Anton shooting at the bird as he crosses the bridge in No Country For Old Men (2007).

Not long after the film was made I was in our school library killing some time going through Life Magazines.  One featured the Truman Capote story behind In Cold Blood.  Leafing through the pages there were full page photos of Robert Blake and Scott Wilson.  Then I realized something and went back and saw that the pictures were not of Blake and Wilson but of the real Perry Smith and Dick Hickock.  The resemblance was rather uncanny.  Hickock had the face that Capote had described: like an apple that had been cut in half and one side had slipped below the other.

They went back to Holcomb, Kansas and to the very Clutter home to make the movie.  Apparently people in the community were unnerved when they saw Blake and Wilson.  It was as if the real killers had somehow returned.


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#6527 film lover 293

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 01:47 AM

"Pal Joey" (1957)--Movie is not great, but wonderful score makes it worth watching.  Sinatra is in good voice, as are the people who dubbed Rita Hayworth & Kim Novak.  Hayworth does two excellent songs "Zip", and "Bewitched, Bothered. and Bewildered (in spite of Code prudes who insisted on lyric changes);  Hayworth makes both work.  Film's ending is too sweet, and doesn't fit film; but Novak's qualities of uncertainty, hopefulness, likability, of someone whose hopes you don't want to see dashed, make pasted together ending work. A terrier gets the two biggest laughs in the film.


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#6528 speedracer5

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 12:40 AM

Two Weeks With Love.  

 

I recorded this the other day, because I really like Debbie Reynolds, and I'm a sucker for fluff musicals.  This film did not disappoint.  I've only ever seen Jane Powell in Royal Wedding and I liked her in this film more than I did in Royal Wedding.  Debbie Reynolds is very young in this film and is two years away from her breakout role in Singin' in the Rain.  Reynolds and Carelton Carpenter's duet of "Abba Dabba Honeymoon" was excellent, even if the song was pretty much nonsense.  There are a lot of early 20th century music that is ridiculous like this song was.  However, I loved how much enthusiasm Debbie and Carleton had while they sang this song.  

 

Ricardo Montalban is interesting.  Even though I keep thinking of him as Mr. Roarke in Fantasy Island, I've seen quite a few films of his where he's demonstrated that he was more than that.  I've seen him in musicals like this film and Fiesta and in noir like Mystery Street.  I've been enjoying his work.  I was also intrigued by the appearance of Ann Harding as Powell and Reynolds' mother.  I'd only ever seen her in the pre-code, Double Harness, and found her role in this film to be interesting.  She has a very cultured and sophisticated aura around her and I think it added to the film immensely. 

 

When I heard the rendition of "My Hero," I couldn't help but think of Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz singing this song in the same operatic style while entertaining her home town in Albuquerque, NM while enroute with Fred and the Ricardos to Hollywood.  

 

While I wouldn't mention Two Weeks With Love in the same breath as Singin' in the Rain and Top Hat, I still found this film amusing and would watch again when it repeats on TCM.  2.5/4 stars. 


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#6529 LawrenceA

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 11:00 PM

OVER THE EDGE (7/10)

Juvenile delinquents run wild in the suburbs in this controversial release from director Jonathan Kaplan. The film follows an assortment of teens who alleviate their boredom with sex, drugs, rock n roll and more than a little impulsive destructive violence, while their workaholic parents are too busy or too tired to pay attention. Featuring a cast of then-unknowns as the kids, the film works partially because the actors are age appropriate; 15 year olds playing 15 year olds, and not the usual 30 year old freshmen too often seen in these movies.

This was shocking stuff when released, as these were upper middle class kids, from nice neighborhoods, who should have been happy and content. Instead, the ripped-from-the-headlines story reveals the sad reality of a lot families, with unsupervised kids doing things their parents couldn't imagine. The sad byproduct of a prosperous society, perhaps. The film was barely released initially, fear of riots and theater violence keeping screenings limited. However, the film has found a cult following over the years.

Michael Eric Kramer plays the main kid, with Andy Romano and Ellen Geer as his parents. Future star Matt Dillon, in his debut, plays his best friend while Vincent Spano appears as a bully. Early Scorsese regular Harry Northup plays a cop that often harasses the teens. Screenwriter Tim Hunter would go on to write and direct the even more disturbing jd film RIVER'S EDGE some years later. The soundtrack is a standout for late 70's rock fans, with songs by Cheap Trick, Ramones, Van Halen, The Cars and more.

While the impact of the film has lessened since it's release (there's worse in the news every week), it remains an engaging time capsule as well as a glimpse into the malaise of suburban America.

#6530 LawrenceA

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 10:17 PM

Two Men In Manhattan (1959) NYC Tail Fin Noir
deux-hommes-dans-manhattan%2Bad.jpg
 
In French ( Deux hommes dans Manhattan) is a 1959 New York City based French film-noir directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring, Jean-Pierre Melville, Pierre Grasset, Music by Martial Solal, Christian Chevallier Cinematography by Nicolas Hayer
 
Jean-Pierre Melville filmed both a Noir love letter and, almost a time capsule video documentary of 1958 New York City. From the opening bars of the jazzy score and Googie style credits that run over a wonderful (looking out the back window of a cab) trip down through traffic, a traffic of tail fin adorned cars, traveling South along Broadway, and then on 7th Avenue right  through the heart of manically lit Times Square you know you are in for a special visual treat.
 
Melville's New York is the real deal. Its not some Hollywood backlot dressed up like New York City. Melville's New York is a dreary smoggy winter sky New York. The old New York that bleched black coal smoke by the ton into the atmo, a New York of  steaming man holes in streets that were choked with Buses and  Checker Cabs. Melville's New York was a  holiday day  New York festooned with Christmas decorations two days before December 25th.
 
Two journalists become de facto detectives tracking down a missing diplomat through the underside of New York.
 
Full review with lots of screen caps here: http://noirsville.bl...c-tail-fin.html


Sounds intriguing, thanks for the heads up.

#6531 cigarjoe

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 10:13 PM

Two Men In Manhattan (1959) NYC Tail Fin Noir
deux-hommes-dans-manhattan%2Bad.jpg
 
In French ( Deux hommes dans Manhattan) is a 1959 New York City based French film-noir directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring, Jean-Pierre Melville, Pierre Grasset, Music by Martial Solal, Christian Chevallier Cinematography by Nicolas Hayer
 
Jean-Pierre Melville filmed both a Noir love letter and, almost a time capsule video documentary of 1958 New York City. From the opening bars of the jazzy score and Googie style credits that run over a wonderful (looking out the back window of a cab) trip down through traffic, a traffic of tail fin adorned cars, traveling South along Broadway, and then on 7th Avenue right  through the heart of manically lit Times Square you know you are in for a special visual treat.
 
Melville's New York is the real deal. Its not some Hollywood backlot dressed up like New York City. Melville's New York is a dreary smoggy winter sky New York. The old New York that bleched black coal smoke by the ton into the atmo, a New York of  steaming man holes in streets that were choked with Buses and  Checker Cabs. Melville's New York was a  holiday day  New York festooned with Christmas decorations two days before December 25th.
 
Two journalists become de facto detectives tracking down a missing diplomat through the underside of New York.
 
Full review with lots of screen caps here: http://noirsville.bl...c-tail-fin.html
 
 
 
 

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#6532 LawrenceA

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 08:41 PM

NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (8/10)

Genuinely creepy remake of the silent Murnau classic from director Werner Herzog. For the most part, this film follows the layout of the 1922 version. Unlike the original film, this version didn't run afoul of rights issues, and so restores the character names from Bram Stoker's novel. Noted actor and future internet-meme sensation Bruno Ganz plays Jonathan Harker, a solicitor sent to Transylvania to facilitate a property sale. There he meets Count Dracula, played by an unusually but effectively restrained Klaus Kinski. The story moves along the familiar path, with vampiric Count traveling to his new domicile near Harker's home, in Germany in this version. Dracula becomes infatuated with Harker's beloved Lucy, played by the gorgeous Isabelle Adjani. Harker must team with Dr. Van Helsing to stop the undead Count before he can sway Lucy away forever.

Oozing with old-world atmosphere, the use of stunning locations and natural light evoke primeval terrors, as does the eerie score. The opening shots of real mummified corpses in lingering close-up set the tone perfectly, if unnervingly. The most indelible image of the film, though, is the look of the Count. Eschewing the romantic, handsome stereotype of the contemporary vampire in film and television, this Dracula harkens back to the silent original. Gaunt, bald, bone white skin, with long, yellow fingernails and huge, misshapen ears, his fangs are thin, tapering needles in place of his upper front teeth. His manner, too, is more monstrous, like a walking rodent. Very unsettling and a nice change of pace in the vampire-heavy 70's horror scene.

The film was shot simultaneously in English and German, with either version acceptable, although Herzog himself prefers the latter. I must also admit to a little bias re: Isabelle Adjani. She bears more than a passing resemblance to my high school sweetheart. A must-see for Draculaphiles and fans of arthouse horror.

#6533 LawrenceA

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 02:54 PM

NORTH DALLAS FORTY (7/10)

Brutal football drama focuses more on the dark side of the game than heroics on the field. Terrific turn by Nick Nolte as a player on the wrong end of his career, suffering from too much physical abuse and spiritual malaise. The win is the thing, so the players are put through anything to achieve it. Team doctors pump them full of drugs to keep them going, regardless of the long-term costs. The players do nearly as much damage to themselves in their off hours, partying, drinking, drugging and womanizing toward oblivion.

Great cast includes Mac Davis, Bo Svenson, John Matuzak, Alan Autry, G.D. Spradlin & Charles Durning on the coaching staff and Steve Forrest & Dabney Coleman in the head office. The NFL was understandably reluctant to lend assistance, so the team portrayed is the fictitious North Dallas Bulls.

There are a fair amount of laughs to be had amongst the bonecrunching, but this film is really an indictment of the sport and not a good-time sports party.
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#6534 CaveGirl

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 12:25 PM

MURDER BY DECREE (7/10)

Christopher Plummer is Sherlock Holmes and James Mason is Dr. Watson in this smart, well-crafted mystery from director Bob Clark. The duo are hired by a cabal of local businessmen to investigate a series of grisly unsolved murders in the area of Whitechapel committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper! The trail takes many twists and turns, with Freemasonry, political radicals, insane asylums, psychics and even the royal family becoming involved.

The excellent cast includes Susan Clark as Mary Kelly, Frank Finlay as Lestrade, David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle, Donald Sutherland, Genevieve Bujold and John Gielgud. There's lots of atmosphere here, with the sets being appropriately damp and foggy. Although the storyline is convoluted, it's still easy to follow if one pays attention.

I make no claim as an expert on Holmes, although I have seen quite a few of the films. Rathbone will probably always be my favorite, but Plummer acquits himself nicely in the role, and Mason has a few really standout moments. This same basic version of the Ripper murders, minus Holmes-Watson, would serve as the basis of both the print and film versions of FROM HELL, the film starring Johnny Depp. Mystery fans should enjoy it.

I visited Whitechapel and Scotland Yard's Black Museum while in London, Lawrence and think that film with Plummer is one of the most accurate about the crimes even though it too cannot be definitive on the murderer's identity. Obviously many of the sites in Whitechapel are no longer in existence but it is still interesting to follow the route of the murders."From Hell" was fun but not very well researched for the true Ripperologist. Too bad the "Dear Boss" letter is missing as it might contain DNA and be some help to forensics scientists.


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#6535 Janet0312

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 12:15 PM

I watched Moontide this morning on Fox Retro. Not especially a fan of Jean Gabin, but I am of Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, Jerome Cowen, and then we have Claude. I think he is really wonderful in this film. Well, he's great in any film with the one exception being They Made Me a Criminal. I think Claude was completely miscast in his role as the detective. That part always makes me laugh. Hard boiled Claude.

But I enjoyed him thoroughly in Moontide. It's a step away from kings, sheriffs, French police captains and phantoms. Nice performance and a pretty good little film.


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#6536 LawrenceA

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 10:28 PM

MURDER BY DECREE (7/10)

Christopher Plummer is Sherlock Holmes and James Mason is Dr. Watson in this smart, well-crafted mystery from director Bob Clark. The duo are hired by a cabal of local businessmen to investigate a series of grisly unsolved murders in the area of Whitechapel committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper! The trail takes many twists and turns, with Freemasonry, political radicals, insane asylums, psychics and even the royal family becoming involved.

The excellent cast includes Susan Clark as Mary Kelly, Frank Finlay as Lestrade, David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle, Donald Sutherland, Genevieve Bujold and John Gielgud. There's lots of atmosphere here, with the sets being appropriately damp and foggy. Although the storyline is convoluted, it's still easy to follow if one pays attention.

I make no claim as an expert on Holmes, although I have seen quite a few of the films. Rathbone will probably always be my favorite, but Plummer acquits himself nicely in the role, and Mason has a few really standout moments. This same basic version of the Ripper murders, minus Holmes-Watson, would serve as the basis of both the print and film versions of FROM HELL, the film starring Johnny Depp. Mystery fans should enjoy it.
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#6537 LawrenceA

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:24 PM

MR. MIKE'S MONDO VIDEO (7/10)

Michael O'Donoghue was a writer at the "National Lampoon" before being recruited as one of the original scribes for "Saturday Night Live". The first person seen on-screen in the first sketch of the first episode, he quickly made a name for himself with his odd, dark sketches and occasional appearances, usually as the urbane dilettante "Mr. Mike". He also had a huge ego and a quick temper, and it wasn't long before he left the show. After signing a deal to create a one-off tv special, he submitted the original version of MONDO VIDEO, which was summarily rejected as being too outrageous for broadcast. He added more footage and eventually it saw a limited theatrical release, before appearing in edited form on Showtime and home video.

This one will not appeal to most viewers. Consisting of filmed and videotaped sketches mixed with bizarre stock footage, bits include a Dutch swimming school for cats, a Hawaiian church dedicated to worshipping Jack Lord, a close-up of Dan Aykroyd's real webbed toes, old footage from Thomas Edison electrocuting an elephant, random topless native girls, old nudie film, ex-bassist of the Sex Pistols Sid Vicious performing "My Way" shortly before his infamous murder-suicide (the dvd omits the audio on the order of Paul Anka, who wrote the song), strange man-on-the-street interviews, and much, much more.

Quite a few big names participate, including SNL friends Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner and Paul Shaffer, as well as Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Wendie Malick, Deborah Harry, Margot Kidder and a photo of Joan Hackett.

I found it amusing, original, weird even by today's standards, and very uneven.
Recommended for adventurous viewers, but not for the meek.

Postscript: O'Donoghue returned to SNL as headwriter for a short time in the 80's before leaving again, eventually dying of cancer in 1994 at the age of 54. He was a fascinating character, and those interested should read the excellent book "Live from New York".
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#6538 LawrenceA

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 03:38 PM

MEATBALLS (6/10)

Seminal entry in the "slob comedy" subgenre that was popular from the late 70's thru the mid-80's. Bill Murray had his first starring role as a counselor at Camp North Star, a summer camp for kids. The film follows the various hijinks and sexcapades of the kids and their misfit counselors, as well as their rivalry with nearby rich-kid retreat Camp Mohawk.

Early directing effort from Ivan Reitman, and with screenwriters including Harold Ramis. Drive-in sexpot Kristine DeBell appears as a counselor, as well as busy future movie and tv actor Matt Craven. Chris Makepeace plays the shy kid who provides a "heartwarming" sub plot.

A cult favorite to a lot of people, this film spawned a series of increasingly terrible sequels, as well as a mini-boom of summer camp movies. While I'm a huge fan of Murray, I've never really warmed to this movie. Most of it is corny and obvious, and the after-school-special-type subplot grates. I much prefer WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, a much-later parody of the summer-camp genre.

#6539 TomJH

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 02:45 PM

J. Lee Thompson's Cape Fear (1962) followed by Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991).  I'm a fan of both of these films and enjoy their differences but thankful Scorsese had the good sense to use Herrmann's score in the update.

Interestingly, in a 1964 interview, Gregory Peck called Cape Fear "a real turkey." I've never heard if by the time of the remake in which he had a cameo he had changed his mind about the original film.

 

It was really Martin Scorcese's enthusiasm for the 1962 film that, I think, caused people to take another look at it when the remake came out in 1991. Until the Scorcese version came out, and people started making the inevitable comparisons, I don't get the impression that the original (even with Mitchum's great performance) was much on the minds of filmgoers.

 

De Niro is also great in the remake but the film goes way over the top as it progresses (typical of so many films made more recently) and becomes, ultimately, ridiculous.


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#6540 Bogie56

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 02:21 PM

Mitchum scared me more than DeNiro. He was controlled and formidable without excessive expression. I've known scary men like that.

 

DeNiro was too maggoty. The smartness of Cady, played to perfection by Mitchum, felt less believable in DeNiro's Cady.

I would have to agree.  Mitchum is magnetic in the role.   De Niro took it in another direction which is okay in of itself but not so great when you compare the two.

Scorsese's version has lots to offer too.  Illeana, Nick Nolte in one of his best roles, and so on.

 

But you have to say this for De Niro, he immerses himself in the role.  That's what I meant in the Hits thread when I said IMHO Sinatra's Maggio in From Here to Eternity is self-conscious bad (not so great) acting.  The difference between De Niro and Sinatra is mind boggling.


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