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Posts posted by JackFavell

  1. Hi everyone!


    First, let me say I'm sorry for jumping in excitedly a couple of weeks ago, then disappearing right after! I don't even have an excuse for not getting back here in a timely fashion.


    Now to the Summer of Darkness Wouldn't that phrase sound great bellowed out by Raymond Burr in an echo chamber?


    Miss G - I'm so glad you like Lady Without a Passport! Atmospheric is definitely the right word for it. I love The Bribe as well for its moodiness and the non-judgmental treatment of the characters- Ava, John Hodiak and Robert Taylor all do things that seem wrong, and yet they have their reasons. They try to do the right thing in the end. The setting is appropriately steamy. Touch of Evil always gets me in the details...the more potboiler parts don't much interest me. Of course, Calleia blows my mind, and I like the scene with the young Mexican kid who is railroaded by Hank. Unfortunately now, this depiction of corruption in a police department seems all too real. Marlene is awesome, as always, and Welles is just grand... (Not Grande!) Anyway, you have a knack for comparing films, and these all have a distinctive flavor as you say...you can almost taste them. ???? Oh, and thanks for the backup on Barry Sullivan. He sometimes gets short shrift, like in The Bad and the Beautiful. He's not bad or beautiful, lol, and he gets the lamest storyline. But he's a smart actor, like you noted, and I bet Bronxie likes straitlaced Barry.


    Bronxie - I know what you mean about Duryea's looks in Too Late for Tears, but I think Molo and Laffite really covered his disintegration well. He just couldn't handle the guilt and stress of being on the run with all that money. He looked considerably more disheveled as the movie wore on. I found it actually rather attractive, as we are used to seeing Dan as a smooth operator, slicked back and suited. Here he was more modern looking, less slimy and more sympathetic. Well, kind of. ???? But I know you like your fellas a little square and well groomed.


    As for your comments on D.O.A., yes! The five second scene in front of the LIFE magazine rack captures everything. What you wrote was terrific.


    Molo, I will just say I LOVED Too Late for Tears. It was fun, suspenseful, and had everything a noir should have, including a poor, put-upon heroine. I felt so sorry for Lizabeth Scott here, she really was just a lost little girl.... Hahahahaha! Oh I loved this murderous, money loving gal! It was really fun watching her weave her web, seeing how far she would go. My mouth dropped open a few times in this movie. I too was thinking about how noir supporting characters really should not go out in boats! Don DeFore added suspense, and I liked him a lot in this. He wasn't stuck playing a big doofus here. But really it was Duryea and Scott's film...it made me decide that Lizabeth has been rooked all these years as an actress..she was terrific in TLFT. One thing I like about noir heroines, or femmes fatale,they always have issues I can rwlate to. They just take it too far. I can certainly understand her want of MORE, growing up poor as she did. I think Scott nailed her insecurity and feelings of being inferior (mostly in her scenes with the sister). It set up the whole story. And I liked her bug eyed excitement, almost sexual, when the money fell into their laps. She reminded me of two of my favorite femmes, Annie Laurie Starr and Ellen Berent. If you look closely at all three, you find some things to sympathize with. They all are dealing with feelings of powerlessness. Killing starts to make sense when you see how they have had to deny their true instincts in front of their men. I don't think any of these women ever forgot any slight they ever got, and kept a little list in the back of their mind of just who deserved a come-uppance. This is real meat and potatoes noir for me, filling and juicy. I can't get enough of it. I guess I love black widows in the movies.


    I understand your feelings about TENSION very well. I think I felt very much the same way the first time I watched it. Somehow, it is more fun or interesting once you've seen it- you can let go of plot and concentrate on details in the acting, which for me is tops and elevates rhe whole thing. Here's another dissatisfied female...that I love...to hate. Once again, she has her reasons which wr can, at least obliquely, understand. But the film itself is a bit flawed. Still it keeps you on the edge a bit. I think maybe the last part is drawn out just a little too long. But the final scene is so Maltese Falcon, I forgive and happily forget the flaws. Barry makes a pretty good Sam Spade, and Audrey Totter is a magnificent Brigid.



    James- I really felt you 'got' why Duryea in TLFT was ao atrung out...like he switched roles with Eddie G.in Scarlet Street and was in the process of going off the deep end. Funny how paranoia can take you down faster than a killer dame.


    Laffite- I just LOVED your description of Duryea! His characters in general and then how he differs from them in TLFT.


    Perhaps Jane married Alan because she needed a weaker man to mold and push forward. A lot of femme fatales follow this pattern...Martha Ivers for one. Because they can't directly seize power, they need a patsy to shove into the role they so desperately want. Or maybe she actually liked Alan. I'd have to go back to the film to look.


    I too liked Scott's animal scream "It's mine!" and I bought the balcony fall. It was satisfying. Having now watched DESPERATE, I can tell you, that's a movie with a fall at the end that was just plain BAD. I never thought I'd say that an Anthony Mann film was awful...but it was. Makes Too Late for Tears look like a masterpiece!


    Agree that The window had a tired formula, but this movie was redeemed slightly by good camera work and performances by Driscoll and evil Paul Stewart. I also really liked the killer mom at the end. Her slight depth was sorely needed in the film.


    Chris, which are worse? The murdering adults upstairs in The Window, or the neglectful, completely idiotic parents who nail the kid into his room, ensuring his death by one means or another? ????


    Frank, Beware My Lovely IS one of my faves. Ida matches Ryan for talent, and manages to stay soft while being strong. I think she is really pretty here as well as skillful. Ryan just kills me in this one (ooh, bad choice of words!), he is sooooo vulnerable! He just keeps turning on a dime, and I've seldom been as freaked out by a character. He's truly, deeply frightening to me. And tragic. And what's more tragic is how easy it is for him to drift into another town, another job. Because he doesn't give off any suspicious vibes...he doesn't know he's a killer. This story COULD NOT WORK without an A performance from the male lead. Ryan gives an A+++.


    Kansas City Confidential is jyst great! A nice tight fitting puzzle, with all actors going on all cylinders. Payne really surprised me, he's got a couple of roles in the fifties that are so visceral, you can hardly believe it's him.


    The Narrow Margin- I once told you I didn't care for it. I've revised my opinion slightly. I like it. I like Macgraw, Windsor, but this time I REALLY liked the fat man, Paul Maxey. I just loved him. I've seen him for years in bit parts in musicals, and it was SO good to see him get some attention and camera time in this movie. I also really liked Jacqueline White as the blonde love interest. She gave a nice down to earth performance.


    You know I love The Locket. It's flawed, but it has rhe sort of atmosphere I like, The way it is filmed it almost could've been one of those ghost stories of the late forties. It kind of still is- it's about a woman who is two people, haunted, like so many people of that time, by her past. Even more haunted are the men who cone in contact with her. I like seeing Mitchum thwarted at every turn, in a little more vulnerable role.


    See Elevator to the Gallows!


    Angel Face. Yes! I like it a lot. It has some weird plot stalls, where theres buildup but nothing happens, but it works anyway. Jean makes another entitled yet insecure femme fatale like the ones I mentioned above. I love Mitchum in this movie...maybe more rhan in Out of the Past. Don't know why.


    Ro- I think you need to imagine that loud jacket on the guy from Narrow Margin paired with Cary's HAT from Only Angels Have Wings. Now if that doesn't paint a picture, I don't know what does. ????


    I loved watching His Kind of Woman with you! Same with Red Light. Vinnie Price just endeared me to him.... Perhaps this is about the time he became a star? He seemed so relaxed on camera. Itvwas a fantastic part and he completely stole the film.


    I was shocked that Raymond Burr was... CUTE! What is this world coming to????


    Criss Cross is a great film. This time instead of drooling over....er...I mean appreciating Burt Lancaster, I really concentrated on Yvonne De Carlo. Man, she is so good! Just unbelievably excellent. She fits the character as if it had been written for her. Tom Pedi KILLED it as Dan Duryea's henchman/watchdog...he was a comic character who was also menacing. It was a pleasure to watch this film again.


    I Died a Thousand Times ticked me off when I realized it was a remake of High Sierra. I stupidly stopped watching.


    Brute Force is great, especially for those of us who love big supporting casts. This time through, Howard Duff looked like Marshall Thompson's older more savvy brother. Burt in a t-shirt! Art Smith, oh man, he's so great as the sadder but wiser doc. and the psychosexual scene where Hume beats Sam Levene is horribly frightening, mainly because Levene looks scared and not noble, but still, says nothing to betray his pals. Dassin is such a crisp director, I'd watch a snail crossing a road if he decided to film it. Somehow, he would imbue it with suspense.


    Ro, you must tell me what you thought of The Asphalt Jungle. I didn't like itvtge first time through, the pace was so deliberate and slow. But the next time I loved it! Huston just sets things up, one at a time, in order to knock them all down. It's like a pendulum, if it swings one way, it's got to swing back. Great cast, acting, direction. I'll tell you my favorite things about it if you'll just tell me whether you liked it.


    Whew! Sorry for hogging the page. It has really been a joy walking down noir street with you guys. Even if I don't reply, I always love to read what you all have to say.

    • Like 2

  2. Thanks, Frank! That's really nice.


    I have no idea why some films are striking me right and others (Cause for Alarm - acckkk!) aren't. I think....dare I say it? I just can't stand movies that are too 'black and white' I like a little grey area in my noir. Sorry, Ro!

    • Like 1

  3. OMG!


    Rewatched Tension and am bowled over at how much better it is the second time around! The acting is uniformly good, but especially Basehart, Totter, and oddly, Barry Sullivan, who I barely noticed at all last time around. He's basically Sam Spade, and he does a great job of luring Totter in... making her feel comfortable enough to slip up. He's an actor I am liking a lot lately, wish all of Wendell Corey's roles had gone to Sullivan.????


    Basehart is so good here, he's great at making you feel uncomfortable and yet he's terribly sympathetic. When he actually finally slaps Totter, you almost feel pleased.


    The movie really revolves around Totter though. She drives the story and is an actress I've grown to REALLY like. Sbe's terrific. Sly and sexy, always thinking on her feet...you can always see her thought processes, what drives her. A tremendously underrated actress.


    I almost loved Woman on Pier 13! What a cast! The lighting was exceptional. Every actor gave it their all, even when spouting communist hating dialogue. I really thought thos was Janis Carter's finest performance...I liked her even though she was BAD. Ryan was as always, superb. Day made playing nice look easy, and I loved her scene cozying up to the icky William Talman, who should have had a much bigger career. Am I the only person in the world who has a crush on this fine actor? I know he played loons and psychos, but I REALLY like him. An absolute pro at all times.


    My respect for Joseph H. Lewis just grows and grows. He's just about the quintessential noir director. In Lady Without a Passport, his camera work is flowing, as characters glide around corners, rush through crowds, drive down sunlit streets, around flowing fountains, into the shadows.... This film has some really wonderful outdoor sequences, which break up any cheesiness due to budget concerns. The sets are actually very good, they evoke a sense of place with their arches and paned windows. Above standard. But the vision is all flowing and loose...even the buildings have curves, mimicking the camera work. Did Lewis study Ophuls?


    One shot took my breath away- crossing through a city roundabout, passing at least four side streets on the way to the fifth one, the camera imperceptibly slowing so we could look down every street for a moment... Another shot as Hodiak is beaten by two gunsels entering his room, the camera drops away from his face to his knees, then to the floor as he blacks out. Masterful.


    John Hodiak's accent is flawless! And how can you go wrong with Steven Geray in the cast? It simply isn't noir without Geray lending his presence. He has this amazing ability to play sleazy, unassuming, massively uncomfortable, and likeable all at the same time. I like the very American James Craig shown up against the darkly European Hodiak, they make good tag team, especially in contrast to the slimy, accented and ever present dirtbag George Macready. Hedy is interested and interesting here, but her role is minimal. Group scenes are quite nice, like when the escapees on the plane begin to chatter nervously, with slight overlap in dialogue. They contrast with the overblown, deadly serious and clipped scenes Macready shares with his pilot. Loved the loose banter of the good guy tailing the escape plane...he's just a good old boy who is going to be jocular right to the end.


    This film doesn't feel like Gun Crazy... but that's to it's credit. It's sensual. Circular in style, but juxtaposed against a sort of 1950's squareness, especially when the bad guys are around, or when Hodiak and Craig are in the map room. Lewis' set ups are great, lots of two shots with someone in the dark, very close to the camera and the other actors far back in the shot. The dark is very dark, sunlight just sets it off. It creates tension that probably isn't really in the plot. The writing is terse, and the editing is pretty near perfect. Wow! The overhead shots of the escape are incredible! These ARE a little reminiscent of Gun Crazy. Lewis really pushed cinema forward with moving camera work like this. The movie just continues to surprise, getting darker and darker light wise, as the terrain toughens. I really wasn't sure where it would all end! Snake bites, a raft that tears apart as it reaches shore, there is a lot of tension... And here we are in the reeds and fog... with a three way scene...SO intense, SO creepy. It reminds me of later horror films. Nobody is getting out of here alive, I think. Ahh, nice closeup of Macready's stomach as he shoots into the fog...


    OK. I don't know if any of this makes sense, I wrote a lot while watching. I begin to think noir is a perfect term - the style is EVERYTHING here....the story of illegal immigrants is almost incidental, though quite modern. I'll just admit it didn't matter to me.

    • Like 1

  4. Did someone say fried chicken?!!


    My mom used to make baked beans from scratch. Oh man, sometimes I dream of those... She always added molasses. I made BBQ beef a few weeks ago in the crock pot, and added hickory smoke and a touch of molasses, and it came out just like Mama's baked beans! Was I in heaven.


    For some reason, I can never quite sit through D.O.A. I promised myself I would watch it straight through this time, but my attention wandered, and suddenly it was over and I didn't even know how it ended!




    Red Light was really fun to watch. I LOVED the ending! I'm with Ro, God's retribution almost always does it for me. Not since Hell's Hinges have I been so shocked and at the same time satisfied by an ending. Even though the title is referring to something else, I felt it was especially appropriate that Raymond Burr was taken out by it! If you think about it, the words 'red light' can mean different things in this film, not just the district it takes place in, or the neon underworld, or that Raft's brother wants him to put the 'red light' to, or STOP his vengeful ways. One could even see it as the red light of anger and revenge in Raft's character's mind. Am I reaching a little? Probably, but it's fun to talk about.


    I'm not too crazy about Kiss Me, Deadly either. It's got great moments, a terrific plot, excellent cast, and is well done, but I think Ro nailed it for me... I just don't like Mike Hammer. And it's sad, because I like Ralph Meeker in everything else I've seen. He has a way of making even the most scoundrelly fellows likeable.


    I didn't see On Dangerous Ground this time, but did watch when Miss G and Frank talked about it some years ago. It's my second favorite Nick Ray film, so thanks, Miss G! I love both of the atmospheric settings, that SO capture Ryan's moods, and affect him so much. I love Ryan's partner, he's my favorite character. It's hard to play nice and I like him for his honest portrayal and concern for Jim. I also like the oversexed, low rent Blonde, and the small time sweaty hood. All the character actors are excellent, I won't go into how great Ward Bond is, turning into what Jim is escaping from.


    The scenes that stand out for me in memory are:


    Ryan washing up in the tiny sink in his EXTREMELY lonely apartment...he literally HAS to wash the work day off of himself in order to sleep.




    The scene in the cabin when the lamp falls and he starts to see the light. It's so evocative.





    that last scene - the tremendous effort of reaching his hand out and the touch itself. It gets me choked up just describing it.


    Ro, I hope sometime you will also watch my favorite Nick Ray film, They Live By Night. It's such a fragile, beautiful movie, from start to finish.

  5. Oh, guys! It's so great seeing you all here again sharing your thoughts! I want to reply to everyone but life just keeps getting in the way.... We are getting ready for a weekend vacation, and I don't think there is going to be wi-fi. I will be sitting in a big field, listening to all kinds of music with a bunch of other crazy people and my family at the Green River Festival. It's going to be 90 degrees on Sunday so send out some cooling vibes please!


    Cody = Godzilla, lol! The Atomic connection!


    Cody/Roy Earle - you can think of these two characters as related to one another, but they are also spectacularly different! Where Roy is sickened by the violence and the betrayal of his job, so disgusted that it destroys his ability to do what he needs to do to survive; it almost seems like Cody is excited by it. Oh, it takes it's toll on Cody, subliminally, via the headaches, but he's really playing the game... he's going to be the MOST VIOLENT, the BIGGEST betrayer. And yet, they both commit a form of suicide because they can't handle the world anymore. Interesting. I'd love to compare and contrast the two fully sometime with everyone joining in.


    I think Hank will think of Cody often after the end of the film. Maybe not quite haunted by him, but there might be a twinge. He'll find himself saying, "A friend of mine once said...." and realize it was Cody. It will just imperceptibly bother him.


    I think that the selection of films noir has been TERRIFIC on TCM.


    I'm watching DOA this very minute, and I love the way you can hear the sound of a woman singing far off through the wall as O'Brien wakes in his hotel room from a too sound sleep. It is a transitional moment... The movie has been really normal till now. All of a sudden, he's thrust into a different world. I also like the scene in the 2nd doc's office.... Dark except for a little glowing vial....Ooh...."You've been murdered". Little touches like that make a movie for me. Ha! I should be packing.


    YIKES, Neville Brand!


    I like MBE, it's not great, but it does have a lot to recommend it, namely outside the box performances by the cast.


    Laffite, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Act of Violence. Sometimes things need to percolate a little in the brain before they come out right on paper.


    I love Act of Violence, Chris... but at first I was disappointed that thete wasn't more of Ryan. On going back to it, I find that along with Mary Astor's, his is the more resonant role.



    Anyway, I love reading everyone, and I can't wait to get back to some great conversation!



    Maybe there aren't too many Public Menace Psycho types to compare to Cody in noir because the evil on that genre is so far under the surface...or maybe pervasive is the word I mean. Evil is the new normal. Oh yeah, there are the crazy sidekicks (Jack Elam, Neville Brand, Mike Mazurki, Tim Carey) who are usually controlled by the boss types, who seem kind of OK...but which is worse? The crazy, or the cold blooded? Cody still gets to us because he's both.

    • Like 1

  6. HELLO there Miss Jackie!!!


    Welcome back to the Noir side of town, youngun!!


    I try to get away but the dark side just keeps calling me back.... (giggle)


    Ha.. yes. Apparently in the movies, the mountains only work if you are an Austrian family trying to escape from the Nazis, ha (and then only if you can sing) :D 


    Ha! And only if you aren't on skis....re: The Mortal Storm! Actually, I can't think of anything worse than busting your butt trying to ski away from Nazis, only to be shot in the back after all that exercise!


    I bet it is one that you would like. (I almost found myself getting the same feeling for that kid like your sweet little blondie in Curse of the Cat People.. not overall, just now and then. The way he kept getting in trouble with well-meaning parents.. and nobody would believe him, etc) 


    Ooh, now that's a good comparison! And both sets of parents seemed so obtuse...not understanding their kids' need forimaginative outlet, their sensitivity. Bet that little boy grew up to be a reporter, or a writer of crime fiction!



    Unglamourous. Very. And yet not ugly.. just "real" and boy are you right about Ms Hale. i HARDLY recognized her at all.


    She's such a pretty woman.



    I would not have put that together, but I can see now, how it could be seen that way. I think both films really speak to how kids can be so easily "ignored".. not willfully, but just because the "every day" busy-ness of life gets to be so much that you lose track of what is going on, sometimes. 


    Exactly. So while it's a fable meant to keep kids from "crying wolf" there's also a moral for the parents.


    I wonder which it seemed like most to the rest of the ramblers?



    Oh girlie.. I have missed your posts so much!! Exactly right and well said. You always have such a good eye for how things are filmed to make the most of what is going on in the story. It was very suspenseful how it all played out between the killer and the little boy there at the end. 


    Oh geez, is Paul Stewart the bottom of the barrel or what?? Can't get much slimier.


    And I kept thinking how much BETTER it is these days with so much technology.. they'd have cell phones and internet and all sorts of things.. that kid's face would have been plastered all over the news and online in no time.. and yet. agh, I hate to think, even with all we have at our disposal these days, stuff like this still can happen. 


    Sadly, it still could. Also sadly, half our favorite films would be unable to be made today because the tragedies would all be circumvented by the simple use of a cell phone. It makes me laugh thinking about the line in Bells Are Ringing (it's about a telephone answering service) describing how they could have helped Romeo and Juliet: "If I could have got that message through, those two kids would be alive today!"


    Well of COURSE!! We aim to please, and I seem to remember SOMEBODY around here likes her turtle candy. :D

    Someone here really IS Miss Total Recall!


  7. Hey, Bronxie! Great to chat with you again!


    Love what you said about Verna's music! Ha! I had a small epiphany about Verna the other day, I think from coming in on a scene cold, without watching the movie from the start. It was at a point least halfway through. Verna had been cooped up in the house waiting for Cody, day after day after day, while he's out buying gasoline trucks and Trojan horses,lol. She begs, literally begs Cody to take her with him, and Cody says (and I'm paraphrasing here) something like, " Naww, honey, why don'you stay here and play with your radio". Like she was a little kid, inconsequential. The LOOK she flashes him is deadly and it made me see Verna in a really different way, as an un-emancipated woman who probably left home looking to control her life rather than marry some stooge, but here she is stuck like a housewife anyway. It made me think of her just a little more kindly. What stay at home wife or mom hasn't felt that flash of anger before, when hubby has been out doing whatever he wants or at least his job, and she hasn't been out of the house for weeks?? Honestly, I think this is what noir at it's best is intended to do - bring to light social inequities without overtly pounding the point home.


    I mean, who in this film doesn't have some societal complaint? You can also ask, who in this film ISN'T a monster? Even Hank is on his way to being one.


    I think you all know how I feel about Cody- that for all his evil, he's really just looking for some unconditional love and trust. The poor guy! He's got good reason to be paranoid! His chosen few are either greedy or out to kill him, his girl loathes him and is just taking advantage of his power and money, and he's too stupid to realize that Ma has strings attached to her love as well. He's a little boy shoved into a man's role in a dirty world where friendship and love mean betrayal. No wonder he's got headaches (and their names are Verna and Big Ed)! He's just trying to get back to a state of childhood grace, the time when love meant love. That's why he responds to Hank. That's why he laughs when he discovers Hank's betrayal. That's why he goes up, quite literally - there is no place for him on this earth without that love. It's why he is who he is...that evil monster eating a chicken leg while he calmly blows somebody's brains out.


    Ro, I hope you watched the scene in the prison lunch room closely! I think it was Miss Goddess who pointed out that no one in that scene (including Edmond O'Brien) knew what Cagney was going to do that day of shooting. Cagney had seen first hand what insanity looked like, from a visit to an asylum when he was a kid. He never forgot it, and used the memory in that scene. If you can, go back and look at those shocked faces, listen to how deadly quiet it is as he's dragged away, and how the noise of talking slowly resumes after he's out of the room. It's probably the most real reaction you'll ever see in a movie.


    I also think Cagney and director Raoul Walsh were trying to push the envelope, so no one ever again would ask Cagney to do another gangster pic. Lol, they literally obliterated the genre! I can see them conspiring and laughing to themselves even as we admire the work 65 years later.

  8. If you are on the lam, DON'T go to the mountains! From High Sierra to Gun Crazy, it always ends badly.


    I liked the beginning and the end of The Window. Yes! The fire escape parts worked well. The parents looked hot and tired all the time, unglamorous, busy. They even made Barbara Hale look kind of hausfrau! A miracle I think.???? A lot of these noirs seem to me to be veiled cautionary tales - "parents,pay attention to your kids, even if you are harried and poor". Geez, M was more of a template for this type of film than I realized. It would also make a good double bill with Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol, my favorite kid viewpoint film.


    I also liked how skewed the camera work was at the end in the delapidated and intensely scary building. Especially in the scene where the boy had to jump...did you notice how far away the ground looked, and how it seemed impossible that he could ever land on that tiny target? It might have been a dutch angle, I'm not sure, but somehow, the director gave the impression that the kid would have to drop SIDEWAYS to make it. That was terrific! It made what was a foregone conclusion very suspenseful.


    What I REALLY loved best about the film though was the dopey policeman and how he never put 2+2+2 together... You would think he'd realize that the boy that was with Paul Stewart and his wife, yelling and screaming in the cab was actually the missing son of Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale. And if he had, he could have said where they went... But he never figured it out, even when they lived in the same building! That, to me, was the most noir thing about the film...that the police or those in authority (parents) are unable or even incompetent to help you in such dire, life and death situations. You are truly on your own....even if you are an eight year old boy.

  9. Wendy! YAY!


    GAD! How many musicals did you WATCH? and how did you survive?


    That would be my fault once again. and he hasn't let me forget it!! I told him I am NEVER recommending a film to him again, but he always asks me! Honest!!


    Well, great choices. little wifey! I think I might have recommended Yankee Doodle Dandy.... what did I do that for? He'll probably chew it up and spit it out....



    GAD! How many musicals did you WATCH? and how did you survive? :D


    My favorites from your list in order are:


    Yankee Doodle Dandy - it's got everything. I love the comedy, the patriotism is spot on, and the lighting is terrific for the musical stage numbers. Cagney so deserved the Oscar. A terrific movie. Best of so many kinds.

    Woman Wanted - I love the butler, I love Maureen, I love Joel. I love eveyrthing about this one. I like the lightness of it.

    Ruggles of Red Gap (one of the BEST character actor movies EVER) Another very patriotic film, disguised as a comedy. Even though it's got Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland, I find I like Maude Eburne the best. My cuppa tea.

    Beast of the City - I LOVE this one. Wallace Ford, Jean... who would have thought?

    The Court Jester - I am not sure you would like this one... but man I just love it! The pellet with the poison...

    Good News - What I love about it is that it's a reboot from the 1920's, so it doesn't take itself seriously... that being said, it's a terrifically upbeat, youthful film for post war audiences. It can actually make me cry because it's so full of hope for the future after the horror of WWII. And it has Joan McCracken. And Ray McDonald. This movie was one of my dad's great faves. I believe he had a crush on Pat the school femme fatale.

    Enchantment - a lovely film, one of my favorite Niven performances.

    Funny Girl -she really is funny. I like the mix of comedy/drama. Best scene and song for me is the Roller Skate Rag/I'd Rather Be Blue. And after that the seduction in the hotel scene. I like Fanny's love in this one. I hate the song People, which was the biggest hit from the movie, but Jule Styne is one of my favorite composers... I like all the other songs.

    Caine Mutiny - I honestly haven't seen the whole thing at one sitting, but what I have seen is terrific! Great cast, great script. Love the dressing down of MacMurray at the end. I like multi-character casts. Again, gradations of culpability here.

    The Suspect - A really neat little thriller... atmospheric

    Carrie - I like it a lot, but so terribly painful to watch. Not something I enter into lightly. Olivier is just superb here. I like that Carrie is not a villain. I like Romantic Fatalism.

    Indiscretion of an American Wife - It touches on a theme I like and is so well filmed. Plus Jennifer is terrific. I find Clift so much more likeable here than Warren Beatty in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. 

    Man in the Net - I really really enjoyed this film. A good how-to-get-out-of-it (as opposed to a whodunnit). I even liked the kids!

    Framed - a nice little noir. I very much enjoyed Janis Carter and the twists here.

    The Bad Seed - the best! The actor-y performances just heighten the mood. Love it. It kind of goes into a genre of it's own - maybe Dead RInger is stuck in there too... not quite horror, murder films

    Hunchback of Notre Dame - I don't know why, but I don't care for either version of this story much, though this one is very very well done. Maureen never looked lovelier (that's saying a lot) and Laughton is terrific. For me, the only reason I watch is to see Edmond O'Brien as a good looking young man! A great example of gradations of evil, though. Evil priests are the worst. Ugh!

    Swing High Swing Low - here's one where I didn't care for the mix of comedy and drama. In fact, I hate the drama. Such a promising start...should be better. Luckily the combo of stars is a genial one. Go watch Blues in the Night for a great light film about musicians that suddenly goes all dark.

    Major Dundee - Pretty good for Chuck. But needed more Ben, less Chuck.

    Conflict - Another in the creepy atmospheric murder films. I love the creep factor, but I like it less than The Two Mrs. Carrolls and Cry Wolf and The Suspect. Basically, a little less than most others in this genre.

    The Sea Hawk - Great movie, don't care much for Brenda Marshall. Somehow, I can't sit still for this one. A little darker Flynn coming out here. The incredibly beautiful ship footage was from the 1924 version, reused.

    A Woman Rebels - it should be good. It's a dry slog though. Never can get into it, surprisingly. And I'm the queen of Kate's poison period. I like almost all her other films from this time.

    The Vampire Bat - pretty rough. Some good lighting is about all. So stodgy in that early sound way.


    I remember liking Casanova Brown quite a bit as a young woman, Can't remember a thing about it now except it's light tone. .


    I am probably the only person here who LIKES MacDonald Carey, so I'd really like to see The Lawless.


    I think I saw part of A Dangerous Profession... I love Ella and mostly I like George Raft, especially at about this time period. I didn't see enough to make an educated assumption about it. Alice was blown away after watching SCARFACE with me that SPATS from Some Like it Hot (her latest favorite classic film) was ever young. And oh so good looking. She was positively drooling over him. Like the rest of us. :D


    I've seen parts of Ann Vickers but not enough to know what was going on.


    I haven't seen Cry havoc in a long long time, so I felt it would be unfair to try and rank it. I remember it being very good. ANd I think I was surprised at it being so good. But it's not a film I would revisit often.

  11. Alec Guinness does these roles also very well. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Ladykillers (1955) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). 


    I feel that villainy can be quite ambiguous. I remember well the comment in analysis for: The Apartment (1960) which lists the sins of the main characters and then asks: "Who are you supposed to root for?"


    George Sanders' villainy in: Rebecca (1940) would seem substantial in any other movie but it is overshadowed as Judith Anderson pegs out the depth-of-evil meter.


    I understand that you have many choices for avatar. I will "help" further by a new suggestion:




    Oh, you've hit on some of my very favorite performances! I love Guinness, and especially the Ealing comedies - probably BECAUSE they have so much ridiculous villainy in them! Perfect. The Ladykillers and The Man in the White Suit are my favorites, but Kind Hearts and Coronets is way up there, and then Lavender Hill Mob comes in right after that.


    As far as ambiguous, I think you hit on the right word... in The Apartment for instance, there are some terribly unpleasant characters = Mr. Dobisch and Mr. Eichelberger are bad enough... but then Sheldrake takes the cake... and all in a button down, home in New Rochelle kind of way.


    As for my avatar, I think little Amy wins the prize. but I will DEFINTELY be using Irena and Georgie bad boy in future.

  12. Now I am in suspense, to find out what the other two you thought of are!


    Well.. ha. was expecting the Grey Dude to chime in more specifically.. but he didn't toss that wild card option out there like I thought he would (oh that Grey Dude. he's always keeping me guessing what he'll do next, HA!) 


    I figured he'd pick either something like this one  






    OR  that he'd go with some variety of your beloved Wagon Master..  like this one: http://www.mardecortesbaja.com/WagonMasterDruGlanceBaja.JPG


    (and this second idea was the other one that I almost picked myself.. but then I went w/ The Curse of the Cat People one instead) 


    I am glad I could be the bearer of such suspense! You are cracking me up.


    Ha.. then I am the one who is glad to be bringing you a smile! :D



    Oh! Those are great! Darn this website. When I come on, sometimes the top two replies don't post right away... so I didn't see this back and forth before. I love Denver just a little better than Annie Laurie Starr, but it's close!


    love your choices for me!  I was thinking Wagon Master.  I also know her love of Ben Johnson and Joseph Calleia.  I'd love to see Sabu.  He's one of my favorites thanks to Jackie.


    Oh man, this is making me feel guilt for the ones I am cutting. Do you think anyone would get upset if I came back as 12 different screen names?


    Yeah, probably not a good idea. Hahahahahahahahahahaha! :D :D :D

  13. Frank? Any suggestions before I decide?


    I like them all!  I say use them all at different times.  I personally love Amy.  That's my favorite.  Irena is always a great choice to me.  And I'm with you on "Mr. Self-Satisfied".  That's a good one.  Where do you get such descriptions?!  And Stymie is sweet.

    Yeah, Amy got me too.


    I'm glad to know that I CAN use all of them eventually. Right now for me, it's between Amy and Irena.


    I have an animated gif of Stymie sitting on a turntable going round and round, but that would drive everyone nuts. It makes me laugh when I look at it though. :D

  14. WOO! Jackie, I am on the edge of my seat! ha. This is so exciting to see what you will pick! I bet the Grey Dude has a wild card he's going to throw in before it's all over. ha. :D ( I have two ideas already of what he might vote for and neither of them are even pictured yet.. ha. I almost picked one of them myself before I went with the option I chose. So I am going to wait and see if I am right) 


    Meanwhile.. if you decide to stick with one of the three "Jack's" I pick Jack #1 for sure.. that's him all over! :D


    Whatever you pick I know it's going to be terrific, little darlin'! :)


    I am glad I could be the bearer of such suspense! You are cracking me up.


    Now I am in suspense, to find out what the other two you thought of are!



    OK, so if not Ann Carter, then smug Jack. Ha! :D :D

  15. Pinocchio is really really gorgeous, animation wise. It's kind of dark, in a sort of Grimm's fairy tales way. There are shadows and there's depth. It's just stunning looking, to me. Rich.


    I just talked about the film with my friend last night and he said the same things.  He said Dumbo doesn't come close to it.


    It really doesn't. I don't think there is a more beautiful animated film... except for maybe parts of Bambi.


    It is. But it's also a beautiful film. I just LOVE the rainstorm sequence. And Thumper and Flower.


    And I have no recollection of that sequence.  I hope to catch it soon.


    I hope you do! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.


    It'll make you think twice about whether the evil stepmother from Snow White was all that bad... I kind of have a fascination with children's stories about overcoming abuse. I think this movie is on some level about that, without being overt. Same with James and the Giant Peach which is a TERRIFIC movie with a very dark start.


    More films to get to!  You just made Tangled one I really want to see.


    I thought Tangled was pretty great. But I'd really like to know your opinion of James and the Giant Peach. Not a Disney film, but an early and quite fascinating Tim Burton film, I believe. It's a favorite of mine. When Alice was in nursery school, we decorated her school bag with pictures of all James' insect friends. I still have it somewhere.


    I really love the representation of evil in Sleeping Beauty. Gave me nightmares as a very young kid. Though the animation isn't as good as some of the other movies, the IDEAS in the fight scene are very frightening. Malificent is so strong, so overpowering and magnetic that it really freaked me out when I was little. I still have a very strong memory of the cliff scene at the end.


    That one is on the docket for me.  And since my brother likes it, I have pretty high expectations for it.  Your words only fortify my preconceptions.


    It happened to be on the other night so I watched it again. I got bored in the middle section, but the beginning and end are really quite good. While the animation itself is not up to the others you've been watching, I felt that the design of the film is still quite beautiful and interesting.



    No, I think Disney tried a little too hard to make the dwarves funny and cutesy. It's just overkill to me. Although I do like Bashful... 


    That's my feeling on the dwarfs, as well.  I wish they were used intermittently versus all in one big chunk.  Ugh.


    Exactly! Have them come in and out through the whole movie, not that one extended section that just goes on and on... I didn't like the stupid way they were portrayed it borders on manic to me.  Maybe this is a time period thing - like watching some late twenties, early thirties films where the comedy just seems kind of creepy to me. I very much try to put myself into the time frame of the movie I am watching, but here, ugh. I just don't like the dwarves seeming so.... and this is very un-PC of me to say.... they border on having mental issues in my eyes.  And I don't find that funny.


    I think I must have watched Toy Story 50 or more times when Alice was little, including in the theater. If you can watch a movie that many times and still like it, there is something special about it.  It was as enjoyable to me as an adult as it was to Alice. Alice loved it so, intil one night she was sleeping with her Woody doll and his ring got stuck on something and he started talking in the middle of the night. Man, you never saw a kid so scared....Woody got the boot right out of the bed that night and never went back.


    Poor Woody!  I believe Toy Story started the current incarnation of animated films, where the films now include adult humor and winks, making the films desirable to all ages.  It was definitely a groundbreaking film in many ways.


    I agree, though Warner Brothers and the muppets were doing that way back. Still, it had been a long dry spell for cartoons before Toy Story came out. I love it still. And I felt bad for Woody doll too! She started taking Buzz to bed after that. Almost mirrored the movie! :D


    What I liked was how differently the townspeople were from most of the other westerns I'd seen. I also liked how withdrawn into himself Glenn Ford was, always trying to go it alone, expecting the worst.


    You are right, the townsfolk are much different than in most westerns.  A flip of convention.  George (Glenn Ford) was attempting to live in two worlds, his wife's and his father's.  He had to conquer the ghost before he could truly live.


    That's terrific. And don't we all? A British friend of mine said that the voice in your head is yor dad's.... the voice in your heart is your mom's. I don't know if I agree or not.


    Ack! Lee Bowman! Ewww. I think you are right though. Both she and Melvyn are basically the same type - smart **** who like to put one over on the other person. It should work with them one-upping each other, but it doesn't. On the other hand, it isn't a horrible movie. Just a little disappointing with the caliber of most Myrna films. I will watch it when it's on, if there is nothing else available.  Maybe Myrna was starting to get involved in politics at this time and just didn't care as much.


    I didn't know her politics were affecting her like that.  I mostly blame the script.  It seemed rather weak, to me.  For some reason, I didn't buy Melvyn Douglas as some guy headed to the simple life in Ohio.  Nor could I see Myrna chasing after him and such a life.  Geez, Myrna is Miss G!


    Now, now...


    I guess you are right about the script... something about the movie seemed tired and a bit cliche, It's a good film if you aren't too picky, or just want something easy to watch.  But it felt a little forced? I don't think Myrna would have let her other interests interfere with her acting. She was very much into the war effort later on. Both she and Douglas became very political.


    Oh. Never heard of this one, or most of the Hammer noirs. I didn't even know Hammer MADE noirs.


    I think you'd appreciate the Hammer films noir.  There is a charm to them.  Your guy Dane Clark is in quite a few of them.  Cash on Demand is actually included in a Hammer horror collection but I feel it's more crime than horror.  Peter Cushing is splendid.


    as usual.


    Me too. It feels true. It isn't forced. And it's clear that there's love between them BOTH, it isn't all on Annie's side which is so frustrating. Something just gets in their way that we can still relate to now. Kind of like A Star is Born, it's always going to be relevant. Status/Work/ Power/ Love makes conflict. Annie Oakley is a buillseye all around for me. Great casting. I even like Preston Foster in it, which is saying a lot. There are only about 3 movies of his where I really like him and this is one of them. The supporting cast is PERFECT, a dream, especially Chief Thunderbird.  And they really got the wild west show feel completely right. In fact, I'd say Annie Oakley is one of my very favorite epic films.


    Wonderfully expressed!  It can be very difficult for a man to accept being less than a woman when it comes to work and status.  The traditional societal view is always a tough force to fight.  Comparing Annie Oakley to A Star Is Born is very apt.  Nicely done!  The difference between the two is that Toby (Preston Foster) would give Annie (Barbara Stanwyck) the credit, knowing it was killing him.


    Yes, there was a whole other mean spirited "Hollywood" dynamic going on in A Star is Born. Toby is not as complex as Norman. They both have hearts to be broken, but I'd say Toby was the nicer of the two, if I had to say at all. Toby was more gentlemanly. Both were heading for a "comeuppance". You have to pay the dues when you are cocky and arrogant, at least in the movies. What I like best about Annie Oakley is that the character is SUCH a good fit for Stanwyck. It's darn near a perfect film. One I can watch over and over, and never get bored. And man, the lighting, the staging and the actors really make you feel like you are in the past.


    Not to diss Union Pacific here, sorry I got carried away. Isn't it funny that at first we are like "Babs' accent is kind of wonky" but then, pretty much right after you totally forget because her acting is so good. I think this is one of her most charming roles...I love her as these waif types, the ones who are feisty and down to earth, but very loving. It's a great fit for her.


    You hit on it, it's Barbara's feisty love that is always a great pull with me.  I like that she'll fight and tell a guy off, only to later figure out there is something about the guy that stirs her in a way she likes.  I definitely loved her love in Union Pacific.  I also liked the mix of serious and loose with Joel McCrea.  That's my kind of guy.


    Joel is just this big galoot, really he doesn't get near the appreciation of other actors because he's so dang relaxed! Pretty much right from the start of his career he's just so natural. In Union Pacific, it's kind of funny, trying to see who is the better natured one - Joel or Robert Preston! Preston's a bit of a rat here, but they are both so likable and smooth generally speaking that I enjoy seeing them go up against each other. I always get the idea that Joel doesn't take too much seriously, so people underestimate him. You are right though, when Joel gets serious, you better look out.


    A film almost can't be bad when you have more than one villain - most of my favorite films have a bevy of them - Robin Hood would not be near as good if it was only Claude Rains, or only Basil Rathbone. Prisoner of Zenda is another with a slew of great villains. I like DEGREES of badness to choose from, myself. It's why I like The Devil Doll as well.


    What a fascinating point!  I never thought of that!  I concur with you.  One of my favorite kind of film with Karloff is when he's been wronged and exacting revenge.  The horror western.  The Walking Dead is one of these films.


    Oh that's terrific! The horror western. The wronged victim stalking the bad men. Like most of Randy Scott's westerns. The Walking Dead is like Karloff's Stagecoach!


    Dang it! I think what I saw was The Mark of the Vampire. I thought it was The Devil Bat because The Vampire Bat was on right before it and I got confused. I'll have to check out the Devil Bat. Does it have Evelyn Ankers in it? Queen of B Horror? 


    No Evelyn.  But she would have fit!  The Devil Bat is good, cheesy horror fun from the early-40s.


    Sometimes there is nothing better than cheesy fun from the 40's! I think that's why you like the Chan movies so much too. They incorporate some of the horror genre as I recall.


    I remember thinking this one was so romantic when I was a kid. I haven't seen it for a long long time. I just remember the motif of waves crashing. Yeah, I'd probably still go for it. It kind of reminds me of the Merle Oberon flick, Lydia, but maybe that's only because it has Alan Marshal too.


    Is Lydia any good?


    I like it, though the first time I saw it I was disappointed in the ending. I don't know if you would like it... I personally think it's quite good now I am used to the end. Merle Oberon has several suitors throughout her life. It's a catalogue of them, basically - Joseph Cotten, Alan Marshal (who is actually quite interesting here), George Reeves. It's pretty genial, but it has some darkish moments.  I think you might like it better than some other of those episodic romantic dramas. I think you'd appreciate Lydia's love and choices.


    I unfortunately thought Gloria was not up to her usual standards. Her put-on accent was really getting on my nerves. The only thing I liked about her was that she was giving snively, whiny Richard Widmark what for.


    Ha!  Gloria was going for the young loon to start!  That's Gloria's old tricks.  She rejects Boyer!  I got a kick out of that.


    The fool! 


    You can REALLY tell when Hedy is not interested in a movie. She gets this glacially bored look on her face. I think this is one of her better films. She really seems to care. Jimmy must have charmed her.


    I never can tell with Hedy!  You know me, I like glacial.  Especially when the glacier looks like Hedy!  I'm sure Jimmy charmed her.  He charms me!


    I guess it IS hard to tell with Hedy. I have deluded myself that I can tell... she enjoyed making the movies I like! :D


    You too. I've missed you.


    Awwww!  I have often thought someone telling me they miss me is second only to hearing they love me.  Sometimes, hearing "miss" is even stronger.  Thank you for saying that.  I greatly missed you, as well.  You are an important part of my life.


    Mine too, my friend. My friend.

  16. I am sorry that you did not find this more entertaining.


    It does not have great emotional depth but it is in this way similar to other movies of its ilk. I believe that the same could be said of: The Sword in the Stone (1963), The AristoCats (1970) and Lady and the Tramp (1955).


    I feel that casting Terry-Thomas as: Sir Hiss was a stroke of genius. It is nearly type-casting as he does snake-in-the-grass roles so very well. He was strikingly similar characters in: Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies (1969).and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965).


    I remember I just loved the jauntiness of Brian Bedford's Robin Hood. Once again, you and I are on the same wavelength. You are so right about Terry Thomas, he's a great villain. That goes along with what we were talking about before - gradations of villainy. I so much like laughable villains - for instance, Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk in The Great Race (again very similar to the Magnificent and Daring Men movies). And Melville Cooper in Robin Hood is such a fool that you can't help but laugh at him. Or the sublimely ridiculous Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie and Henry Daniell in The Great Dictator... these kinds of villains not only make you laugh, but they make you think about the nature of evil... just when you think someone is at the bottom of the barrel, you find someone worse standing right behind him. For instance, in Prisoner of Zenda, who is the more dangerous? Raymond Massey as cold Prince Michael, or the kill-happy, do-anything-for-a-thrill Douglas Fairbanks, Jr? Hard for me to say.


    I think there is something to be said about the relaxed nature of those particular Disney films you've mentioned. Sometimes this is what you want from a movie, not a WOW, that was spectacular, but instead just a good enjoyable time. A film that makes you laugh and leaves you smiling. And all three of the DIsney films you mentioned are that in spades.

  17. Should we all contribute and make suggestions for Jackie's avatar or are you preferring to go "incognito", Miss Favell?  :D








    I can't decide if I like the self-satisfied Jack or the mock-confiding Jack or the quizzical, supercilious Jack. Right now it's a toss up between self-satisfied and mock-confiding.









    I have the same problem with Stymie. One of these two.




    This one is just perfect! Great choice, Sansfin.I'm very close to picking it....




    This one though, just grabbed my heart.



    Frank? Any suggestions before I decide?


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