flickerknickers

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  1. flickerknickers

    The Most "Beautiful" Movie ever made?

    Both "Since You Went Away" (1943) and "Mr. Skeffington" (1944) were both ravishingly photographed in black and white. The shadows and the fireplaces and the lighting were supberb. Another forgotten beauty is again, David Selznick's gorgeous "Intermezzo" filmed in l939 at the same time he was making "Gone With the Wind." The movie is so creamy with soft lights and deep shadows it glistens, almost like it's coated in photographic candy. Another offbeat favorite for beautiful movies is Deanna Durbin's l941 musical "Nice Girl?" filmed in black and white. The scene of her performing "Old Folks at Home" against a lake with strings of lights surrounding her is breathtaking.
  2. flickerknickers

    King Vidor fans

    I think King Vidor's l949 classic, "Beyond the Forest" is his greatest achievement. This movie has been tremendously maligned over the decades, thanks to Bette Davis' constant bad-mouthing of it. What one has to remember is that Bette was having a breakdown because her movies were tanking, she had tremendous marital problems and she took it out all her frustrations on "Beyond the Forest." But still, you've got to see her performance in this feverishly directed film noir masterpiece as a small-town Emma Bovary. Warner Brothers gave it a top-notch production and Bette never looked more sexy and sultry in her form-fitting blouses and dresses and long dark hair. And that ending! The whole movie is surreal but the ending when you see Bette's final sequence takes the prize.
  3. flickerknickers

    Saturday Morning 50's Revisited

    Republic made the greatest serials during the late 30s and early 40s. They all moved like a hurricane with the greatest stuntmen and women starring in them. To me, the greatest serial of all was "Spy Smasher" (1940) and "G-Men Vs. the Black Dragon." The production values were top-notch, the chapter endings were stunning and most were filmed on location in and around Los Angeles. Other outstanding Republic serials were "Daredevils of the Red Circle", "Captain Marvel" and "King of the Texas Rangers" .The truly worst of the lot and I think Republic's last serial was "King of the Carnival," which was the nadir of the glory days of Republic Serials.
  4. My favorite serials, the ones I watch again and again, are from Republic, whose serials couldn't be touched in the 40s. The best of them all, besides Captain Marvel, was G-Men Vs. the Black Dragon, a serial that moves at jet-speed and stars that perfect serial hero, Rex (Chandler?) and Constance Worth, as his feisty, gun-toting sidekick. Another Republic goodie was Daredevils of the Red Circle, about a group of circus brothers who try to find the killer of their little brother. There's not a wasted moment. Many think Spy Smasher is the ultimate serial and they might be right. the action ranges from Germany to Mexico to the USA. Come on TCM! We want more, more serials--this time from Republic!
  5. Tough, gorgeous, muscular bruiser Victor McLaughlin would get my pick as my dream date. I'd love to have a few drinks with him. Next in line would be the most gorgeous Adonis of them all during the thirties, Buster Crabbe. He makes Bratt Pitt look like Pee Wee Herman. And in that terribly brief Tarzan G-string, he wore in "Tarzan the Fearless," he would have had the guys and girls lined up. Bela Lugosi without the heavy make-up would also have been a heart-stopper. Just watch him in "The Black Cat" with that slicked back black hair and Continental wardrobe. Richard Carlson also made my heart thump faster when I watched him in all those monster movies he made during the fifties, especially "Creature From the Black Lagoon." His sexuality was understated but strong. John Garfield was certainly a looker, especially as the troubled violinist in "Humoresque" where he dumps Joan Crawford.
  6. flickerknickers

    Paramount silent and early sound features on TCM?

    Paramount made in l929 one of the very best early talkie musicals, "Sunnyside Up" starring that delightful couple, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. I taped it off PBS years ago and watch it regularly. The camerawork is amazing and the sound excellent. You won't forget the songs and especially that bizarre, alll-out musical number, "Turn up the Heat' where 50 or more chorus girls writhe and grind to billowing columns of fire. It's also fascinating to study the fashions where all the women wear chiffon dresses and gowns and large hats. Gaynor and Farrell sing in natural, unaffected voices without that fake, harsh Broadway style that came into favor. Also, Clara Bow's best movies remain unseen because Paramount won't release to be played anywhere--not even in revival houses. Her early talkie, "Call Her Savage" is a knockout and belies the fact that her voice was unsuited for the microphone. It's fascinating to watch her in those revealing gowns as the half-breed Indian girl rollop through the movie and wiping everybody off the screen.
  7. flickerknickers

    Christmas Movies

    I hope TCM plays and replays "Since You Went Away," "Holiday Inn," "White Christmas" and the original "Christmas Carol"--over and over and over again. I never get tired of those old classics. Does anyone remember that charming little black and white animated short from the 50s called "Susie Snowflake." It begins "Here Comes Susiie Snowflake, look at her snow white gown," and there were several other l950s black and white animated shorts. "The Bishop's Wife" is a goodie, too, but you have to stay with it to understand what's going on and what Cary Grant's up to. And let's not forget 'Home Alone," one of my all-time faves. It still brings tears to my poor lillte eyes at the ending.
  8. flickerknickers

    telephone moments

    Joan Crawford rarely made a movie without a telephone as a prime prop. Look at what she did in "Grand Hotel," as she made that tearful phone call to the train station. Throughout the movie she makes telephone calls. In "The Women" some of her best moments are on the phone, and in "Mildred Pierce" the whole movie centers around that phone call she won't make to the ppolice about Veda. In "Humoresque" her final goodbyes are murmured over the phone. And in Baby Jane, she tries to escape by using the phone. Joanie and that phone--inseparable.
  9. flickerknickers

    Kill me

    Okay, I'm ready for the bullets, the knives, the slings and arrows because I have a big confession to make: I watched AMC for nearly two weeks of its Monster-Fest. Two weeks of complete joy as I watched the turkies, the cheeses, the classics, of the rarely-shown. Around the clock, the marathon ran and I recorded like crazy, especially one rarely seen William Shatner goodie, The Devil's Rain. Even wtching entire 'Halloween" franchise was guilty fun although i knew that there was heavy editing and you know every turn of every plot. What I loved was the way AMC worked in the classic universal shockers like "The Mummy", "The Invisible Man" and so on. And what did TCM show? An occasional foray into horror like "Mark of the vampire" and "White Zombie." You would think that for an around-the-clock movie channel, at least two days could have been devoted to horrors of all kinds, back to back. I did appreciate watching on TCM two of my favorite early Warner Brothers Technicolor chillers, "Dr. X" and "Mystery of the Wax Museum" but these should have come on at prime time. So the outcome is that I fell in love with AMC again and can forgive the ads, especially when its Halloween. I can hardly wait to see what it does for Christmas!
  10. flickerknickers

    Your Favorite Cult Movies

    I would love to see Andy Warhol's three great flesh flicks: "Trash," "Heat" and "Flesh.", all starring the unforgettable Joe Dellasandra. These movies have mucho nudity and simullated sex but are well worth watching to see what one of of America's much hyped artists was doing on film during the 70s. "Heat," in particular, is hysterical, a take-off of Sunset Boulevard with sylvia Miles the aging film star and Joe Dellasandra her shiftless boyfriend.
  11. flickerknickers

    Halloween Night

    One of my all-time fave Universal shockers is "The Mummy's ghost," where Princess Ananka returns in the form of a stunningly beautiful Ramsey Ames. The ending, where Ramsey ages into a thousand year-old mummy as she sinks into a bog with the mummy is unforgettable. Another all-time fave is "Mystery of the Wax Museum," filmed in early Technicolor (l931) and stars Lionel Atwill as the mads sculptor. Glenda Farrell steals the picture as the wise-cracking reporter, Florence, and it also stars Fay Wray at her screaming best.
  12. flickerknickers

    BETTY HUTTON

    Can't you just imagine Ethel Merman's rage when she read that her rival, Betty Hutton, had snatched the dream role from her of Annie Oakley? From what I've read, Merman was convinced MGM was going to ask her to reprise her role in front of the cameras after Judy Garland was fired. And then here comes Betty Hutton who got the glory and ended Merman's chance of a movie triumph. I've read where they also tested Doris Day, Jane Powell, Susan Hayward and Betty Grable for the role of Annie but Hutton took it and turned it into gold.
  13. flickerknickers

    Faster Pussycat Kill Kill

    You've never seen anything like, "Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!" Thanks mostly to its amazonian star, Tura Satanya. The movie is beautifully photographed in black and white and moves like a jet plane. Tura portrays Varla, head of a trio of beauteous, ****, who get their kicks murdering hapless men. Russ Meyer has then go-going dancing all over the place but it's Tura who burns herself into your mind with her mind-boggling torso, black leather and gloves. "Mud Honey" should also be fun. Anything that Meyer made is worth watching.
  14. flickerknickers

    Republic Pictures

    It's a crying shame that none of Republic movies are available for viewing today. They're not shown on any channel, just like the majority of Universal flicks. These studios made movies geared for the small town trade and had a charm all their own. I would love especially to see the Judy Canova comedy/musicals she made back during her heyday of the 40s. Republic also turned out a series based on "Your Hit Parade" which featured the musical hits of the 40s with now forgotten bands and singers. Dale Rogers (later Mrs. Roy Rogers) was a regular in this series.
  15. flickerknickers

    Deanna Durbin

    I brought the Sweetheart pak of Deanna Durbin and loved them all, although the quality of several of the movies were blurred and needed a good digital clean-up. for the second package, I do hope they include two of my favorite Dubrin movies: "Nice Girl?" and "His Butler's Sister." Nice Girl is a glorious evocation of a time now gone, set in a small California town and World War II. Deanna looks beautiful in her Vera West costumes. "His Butler's Sister" is even better, this time with Deanna dresssed by Adrian, and her songs are beautiful. Universal owns all these movies and we'll probably never see them televised anywhere.

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