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About misswonderly3

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    old film-noirish buildings

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  1. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    Well, now I know what our LornaHansenForbes is talking about when they say The Damned Don't Cry is vintage classic Joan. Damn ! I had fun watching this. Full-on melodrama Joan is hugely entertaining to watch, and full-strength Joan is exactly what we get in TDDC. It's fascinating watching her character transform from a typical ordinary housewife to a slightly trashy wise-cracking "model" (yeah, right), to a super ambitious social climber, to a classy gangster's "mistress" (quaint word, that) who can identify Etruscan art with the best of them. There was never a dull moment in this one. As (our) Lorna said, the pacing never let up, and every scene illuminated something about Ethel's ("Ethel" ? ! really? !) /Lorna's character. Poor old Kent Smith; I really liked him in this. Come to think of it, I kind of like him in Cat People too. All the men were good in TDDC. Loved the scowling David Brian as the man Ethel thinks will "give her the world". But then there's Steve Cochrane as the "low class" gangster, hanging out in Frank Sinatra's house. I've always thought Steve was one of the sexiest guys in noir. He's got a "bad boy", dark, kind of look that's very appealing. I like the way we can't really tell which one, if any, of these three men Joan really loves. But then, she loves herself more than any of them. SPOILER I think the ending would have been more effective if Lorna had actually died when Castleman shot her. After all, how much further can her life story go after all that? Instead, we find her, somewhat anti-climactically, recovering in her childhood home, her ancient parents peering anxiously at her as she smiles wanly at them. Definitely would have been a better ending if she'd been killed by Castleman's gunshot.
  2. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    Umm...besides the little incident in that small town I had some business in, I also had an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon..... Busy week !
  3. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    I had to go out of town on some business. And I had a little trouble with the law.
  4. misswonderly3


    Arturo, hope you're doing well. And your little dog, too ! ( I just had to say that, how often do we get the chance ?) Betty did the right thing; a beloved pet is like a member of the family. One thing that occurred to me when I read your story about her and how she lost the chance at that role because she took her dog to the vet instead of meeting Samuel Goldwyn: It was probably that he was kept waiting and then she did a no-show ( in his opinion) that annoyed him. Now, if he'd been a nicer person, he would have understood and accepted Betty's perfectly legitimate reason for missing the appointment with him. However, today it probably wouldn't happen, because Betty would have texted Mr. Goldwyn as to what was delaying her, and he would have known before waiting too long, and therefore not been angry about his precious big producer time being wasted. Even though I am not really a fan of cell phones, I guess sometimes they have their uses .😎
  5. Yes, I heard the news today oh boy (sorry couldn't resist) about Geoff Emerick. It's too bad. George Martin's son also had some good words for him, saying he was the best recording engineer his father ever worked with.
  6. Hi Lorna ;

    Last time I tried to pm you, it said you could not receive any messages. (Mailbox full??) So I thought, before I send you a pm with any kind of content in it, I'll just try and send this first and see if you can now receive pms.  If you can, please just send a quick acknowledgement back, so I know you got this. thanks.

    MissWonderly aka Jan

    Ok, so my question was just answered. It says you "cannot receive messages". If this is a "mailbox full" thing, any chance you could delete one or two old pms (I know, I have a bit of a nerve asking you that) to make room to receive one from me?? I feel a little awkward posting a pm on your profile page, and also I'm not sure you see it.


    1. LornaHansonForbes


      AhA!! YOU ARE RIGHT! It is full! 

      I had no idea, I swear to God I very rarely use the mail feature. There’s very little I say in private that wouldn’t say in front of all of you. But when I get the chance I will try and delete some of my mails, I am using my phone right now and everything is extremely difficult to do on my phone. You know that part in the Wizard of Oz were fFrank morgan says “i don’t know how this thing works!!”: that’s how I feel about posting with my phone.

      Sorry, I’ll do it as fast as I can. I have no idea my mailbox is full, I swear to God I rarely corresponded with hardly anybody en privette

    2. misswonderly3


      "Mailbox full" - - you're more popular than you realized !

      Hope things are getting back to normal, even if it takes a bit of time, after the hurricane.

  7. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    This week it's Odds Against Tomorrow. Now that's a great noir title ! I saw this film a few years ago and don't remember it all that well. It's got a good cast, I know that.
  8. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    I'm thinking my posts about these noirs are too long. Even I don't always like reading looong posts of many paragraphs. It's off-putting. Henceforth I'll stick to a couple of sentences.
  9. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    Random notes on The Gangster: Well, first, I think the title is very generic, and not even particularly accurate. I think of a "gangster" as actually having a "gang", a group of criminals who all work together, under one leader. Barry Sullivan's character, Shubunka, seemed to pretty much work alone. Ok, he had Jammey and maybe a few others working for him, but at no point did it feel like what one usually associates with the word "gangster". I think a much better title for this film would have been the original one, the title of the novel on which it was based: "Low Company". It's much more representative of the world of this film, where much is made of how "low" most of the characters in it are, and it's just a better, more imaginative and appropriate title. Kind of evocative in a way the generic title "The Gangster" just isn't. I still haven't made up my mind whether I liked this movie or not. I 'm glad I saw it, but like speedracer, I don't think I'll care if I never see it again. It had a very odd feel to it. Often I like sets as opposed to location shootings, and in a way I did like the look of The Gangster. But at the same time, it made it feel more like a play than a film. It seemed very stagey, not just the obviously constructed ( and apparently constructed on the cheap) sets, but in the dialogue and even the acting. And I like all these actors (well, except maybe for Belita...) But a lot of the time the dialogue sounded incredibly self-conscious and as I said, "stagey". Sometimes this works, but for some reason not so much in this film. In fact, once or twice I thought the screenplay sounded as though it had been written by a Clifford Odets wannabe, and that ain't necessarily a good thing. About Belita: usually you can spot a femme fatale character, by the way she will look kind of sneaky even as she's embracing the hero, an expression crosses her face that's hard to interpret, she gives signals, at least to the audience if not to the poor guy she's deceiving, that she will betray him. But Belita gave no such indications. I'm not sure if this was the way she was directed, or her dialogue, or her acting. But SPOILER I was completely surprised at the end when it turned out she'd crossed Shubunka. Also - hey, am I the only one who saw a physical resemblance between Belita (Nancy, Shubunka's love object), and Joan Lorring ( Dorothy, the young cashier at the soda shop) ?? Although at no time did I get them mixed up, I thought they really looked alike, definitely the same physical type and kind of face. I wonder if this was on purpose? I did not like the Dorothy character. You're supposed to think she's "good", but I dunno, she seems to have compassion for everyone except Shubunka, who actually could have used a little compassion. I do like the way, though, that they signal her "goodness" and the fact that she's better than all the confused desperate rabble who frequent the soda shop, by the way we always see her reading. Hey, if I'd done that in any of those kinds of jobs I had when I was young, I'd have been told "we don't pay you to read here" and been fired if I'd kept it up ! One thing I did like about The Gangster (which should have been called "Low Company") is the stories it tells about all the characters in it; despite the suggestion that it will focus on that one character (Barry Sullivan's) it in fact tells a number of stories, about all the people in Shubunka's life. And damn, they're all sad as can be. Jammey, a sympathetic guy, gets killed, but not by the new bad guys who want to muscle in on his business or Shubunka, but by Karty (well played by John Ireland), a desperate gambler who can't pay his debts and wants Jammey to help him out. But Karty doesn't even mean or want to kill Jammey, he's just desperate. Actually, one of the saddest lines in this whole sad movie is what Karty says to his distraught wife; don't remember the exact wording, but it's something like "Get out of here. You and I never had one good moment together, from the day we married." Ouch ! Then there's poor old Shorty (Henry Morgan), the soda jerk. You have to kind of like a guy who's obviously too old to still have a job as a soda jerk, but who feels he has his dignity none the less. And when that Russian (?) lady kicks him out into her back yard and locks the door on him, after his really awkward attempt to get physical with her, you can't help but feel at least a little sorry for him, if only because he's all dressed up in his suit and had such high hopes, and there he is, ignominiously booted out and left to climb the fence if he wants to get out of there. He's sad, just as all the characters in The Gangster are. As for Shubunka himself, although everyone talks about what a nasty bad guy he is, we actually hardly ever see him being all that nasty. The one act I can recall where he's actually a bit tough is when he socks Elisha Cook Jr., on the beach. But other than that, all this guy does is grab people by their collars and tell them to settle down. He does not carry a gun or even a knife, and although we see that Belita is afraid of him, there's no scene where he roughs her up or slaps her or anything like that. He just seems like this disturbed depressed desperate guy. A guy who had a rotten childhood, that's why he turned out the way he did (maybe this is the Clifford Odets part I was talking about.) I think it was Vautrin here who pointed out that it's kind of funny, all this fuss about an ice cream shop, and who's going to take it over. Usually rival mobsters are fighting over a nightclub, or the booze business, or "the numbers racket", or a gambling house. Of course, cigarjoe did enlighten us a bit with his information that in fact it was a bunch of brothels Shubunka was running and that this was the actual business the other guys wanted to take over. But that's not at all clear in the movie. The unrelenting morose-ness of The Gangster is a bit much to take. Usually in a noir, there's at least a few kind of fun scenes where the characters hang out in a nightclub, or there's a bit of funny, witty dialogue, or at the very least, a few laughs. But none of the "low company" in this film ever even smile, certainly not Barry Sullivan. You want to tell the guy to lighten up ! edit: ps...I never realized before that Akim Tamiroff had such long eyelashes !
  10. misswonderly3

    R.I.P. Janet

    It's always very sad when one of the regular posters here dies. And often we don't even know about it, so at least this time we know what happened with Janet aka MCannady. I remember her, she was nice and she did know and love old movies. Thank you for letting us know about her passing, Hibi. Good wishes to her family and friends.
  11. misswonderly3

    I Just Watched...

    Lorna, I liked Letter From an Unknown Woman. But ! SPOILER Something I found implausible was that Joan's lover (Louis Jourdan) would not remember her. I know the whole point was that for Joan's character , this was the love of her life, a passionate affair that changed her forever, etc. etc. (and doesn't she have his baby???can't remember for sure, it was a long time ago I saw it) so, given that, how ironic etc. etc. that Stefan (Jourdan) wouldn't remember her at all. Showing what a user of women he was, how shallow and dishonest he was, and so force*. And while I can believe that he was all those things, I just cannot believe that he would not recall Joan at all. That's a sticking point for me with the film. edit: Typing too fast. I meant "so forth".
  12. misswonderly3

    I Just Watched...

    I feel the same way about The Constant Nymph: I'm glad I saw it, mainly because I'd heard of it, and also for the cast; but I have no real interest in seeing it again. Full disclosure: I did not see it in its recent airing on TCM, it was a few years ago I watched it. So my memory might be inaccurate in some parts about the film. The only thing I might argue with in speedy's excellent write-up of The Constant Nymph is her sympathy for the Alexis Smith character ("Florence".) Yes, true, she married Lewis ( Boyer) in good faith and all that. But what the film makes clear is that she has little regard, really, for his music. Right from the first moment we see Boyer, he talks about his music and his composing career. It's clear he loves music, it's the most important thing in his life. He has ambitions to be a famous composer, not so much for the success it might bring, but for recognition of his musical ideas. As I remember the film, his wife is mainly interested and supportive of that aspect of his character because it will mean social success for them both. Tessa (Fontaine), on the other hand, is completely sympatico with Lewis and his musical dreams. She knows how much it means to him, and it is she, not Florence, who supports and truly understands his passion for music and composition. I forget the details ( as I said, it was a while ago I saw it), but I do remember that about it. Also, - SPOILER - I think there's something near the end about how Lewis finally gets a chance to have his music performed by some respected symphony orchestra, a big concert, an event that's broadcast on the radio. But due to her health issue, Joan/Tessa cannot attend it, and listens with tears in her eyes to the broadcast of her beloved Lewis' music being performed, joyful in the knowledge that the one she loves is finally having his dream come true. And then of course she dies. But happy.
  13. misswonderly3

    Centennial of Holst's "The Planets"

    Tom, I just thought of something else about that "Neptune" piece. Although this is admittedlly a long shot. So, you're from Toronto, I think?? Did you ever go to the Royal Ontario Museum? In their dinosaur exhibit ( now changed of course, this was years ago) they had an area that played Holst's "Neptune" constantly, I think it must have been some kind of loop. The dinosaur display was kind of dark and mysterious, and naturally, that music rendered it even more so. I remember just standing there in that half light, the images of those giant ancient creatures before me in their display cases, listening to that eerie music. It went so well with that part of the museum. Long gone, of course. I'm just telling about this in the extremely unlikely chance that you might know what I'm talking about, since I know you lived in Toronto at some point.
  14. misswonderly3

    Centennial of Holst's "The Planets"

    Well Tom, if you'd read my post about "The Planets" (it's the second one on the thread), you'd have seen that I mentioned "Neptune", saying it was my favourite of the pieces ( along with "Jupiter"), and that it was "mysterious". Although, as we all know, Neptune was the god of the sea, Holst seems to think he was also a mystic, which is how he titled the Neptune composition. ( At first I thought it was the "Saturn" piece, but I corrected myself in an edit in that same post.)
  15. misswonderly3

    Noir Alley

    Sounds fun to me !

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