kingrat

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  1. Bogie, I think A Tree Grows in Brooklyn keeps getting better on rewatching.
  2. I Just Watched...

    The Big Night, though nowhere near so good as the other two noirs Joseph Losey directed in 1951 (The Prowler and M), is still worth watching for noir fans. Too bad the budget didn't allow for the location shooting that Losey got for M. On his birthday a young man tries to avenge the savage beating his father receives at the hands of a sportswriter. John Drew Barrymore is pretty good as the young man (as one imdb reviewer notes, he looks a lot like Sean Penn), but I'd love to have seen what James Dean could do with the part. Several members of the supporting cast deserve honorable mention in my 1951 acting honors, including Preston Foster, who has a couple of great scenes as the father; Howard St. John as the vicious sportswriter; Philip Bourneuf as Dr. Cooper; Dorothy Comingore as his wife (I like this much better than her work in Citizen Kane); and Joan Lorring as his sister. All the middle-aged men in the cast have great faces for noir. Mauri Lynn, an African-American singer, also has a small but significant role in the film.
  3. Recommendation for early Tuesday morning: Teresa (1951). Outstanding performance by Pier Angeli as the Italian bride of a GI (John Ericson) who marries her in a bombed-out Italian village and then brings her home to face the wrath of his possessive mother (Patricia Collinge). Some scenes make use of a documentary technique. Fred Zinnemann made a sort of unofficial cycle of films about the war and its aftermath, and all are worth seeing. Noir lovers shouldn't miss Odds Against Tomorrow, one of Robert Wise's best-directed films.
  4. ann wedgeworth dies

    Thank you for posting this sad news about an actress who delighted audiences for decades. I first saw her as Lahoma Vane on Another World. This is essentially the character she played the rest of her career. As stated above, Lahoma was brought on as the other woman in a triangle with Sam (Jordan Charney) and Lee (Barbara Rodell). If memory serves, she had won a rigged beauty contest as Miss Citrus Fruit. Ann Wedgeworth could make us sympathize with Lahoma as well as providing much comic relief. When the show foolishly killed off Lee (Barbara Rodell was another talented actress whose specialty was playing fragile women), Sam and Lahoma became the main couple of a spinoff show, Somerset. Ann Wedgeworth's scenes with Gene Hackman in Scarecrow were a hoot. My favorite moment was this: Ann (breathy and seductive): "What did you miss most in prison?" Gene (deadpan): "Home cooking."
  5. A wonderful short film late tonight/early Sunday morning: The Red Balloon. I'll also second Bogey's recommendation of Summer with Monika. It's interesting to see what Bergman was like just before he made the films which established his reputation. There's also Harriet Andersson, a fine young actress, and her occasional lack of clothes.
  6. TCMFF 2018 - Expensive?

    Yes, the cost of the festival has gone up significantly since the first years. Here are some thoughts about cheaper alternatives: There are quite a few hotels within easy walking distance (no more than four city blocks) of the festival venues. You should be able to find a hotel for $200/night or less. I never stay at the Roosevelt, which usually sells out quickly, even at its inflated prices. Investigate the cost of getting airport transportation to and from your hotel. Driving a car in LA is extremely unpleasant, and you will probably have a daily fee for parking your car at your hotel. Unless you have specific reasons to go places other than the festival, don't bother with a rental car. For many people, the Classic Pass at $649 is perfectly adequate. If you get to your movie at least 45 minutes in advance, you should probably get in. There are fast food places and inexpensive restaurants near the festival sites. Some of the hotels include breakfast in their price. For most people, food is less expensive than on a regular vacation because you eat whenever there is time between your movies or other events.
  7. Rosemary Leach 1935-2017

    Thank you for alerting us to the sad news and for your appreciation of a fine actress.
  8. Anthony Perkins

    Rayban, I'd also like to mention the big scene toward the end between Yvonne Furneaux and Maurice Ronet, where the audience has good reason to believe that one or the other is the killer. Notice how Chabrol has the actors moving in and out of the wide screen shots appearing headless as they go out or come into the frame. Because the killer strangles the victims, this is quite appropriate. Chabrol probably was influenced by the police station scene in Rebel Without a Cause, where Ray uses this notion as a point-of-view shot to indicate what James Dean sees of his surroundings. The ending of The Champagne Murders is indeed remarkable. Thanks to TCM for showing this film. Is this really only the fifth Chabrol film they've shown: Le beau Serge, Les cousins, Une affaire des femmes (Story of Women), L'enfer?
  9. I Just Watched...

    Lawrence, I think you'd enjoy both the 1890s story and the 1840s story on Dark Shadows. Thayer David as Count Petofi was a big favorite of mine. Last night I saw some silent films: two Laurel & Hardy gems, Do Detectives Think? and That's My Wife, followed by the 1927 Paul Leni version of The Cat and the Canary. All were shown with an organist playing the accompaniment. Leni gave many German Expressionist touches to The Cat and the Canary. Laura La Plante looks much more modern than most silent stars. Flora Finch as Aunt Susan and Martha Maddox as Mammy Pleasant added many amusing touches. Creighton Hale does a good job as the nerdy hero, but if you've seen Bob Hope in the 1930s remake, that's a hard standard to match.
  10. I have not seen The Champagne Murders or Fear Strikes Out and hope to record those Friday night. Saturday has the 1951 Joseph Losey remake of M, which I love. Many great shots of downtown L.A., along with first-rate cinematography and a fine cast.
  11. LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    Lawrence, I'm thoroughly enjoying your year by year reviews. You draw our attention to movies I've loved and point out some I want to investigate. I liked The Half-Naked Truth better than you did. Easily an 8/10 for me. Gregory La Cava was an excellent director of comedies, and it's unfortunate that alcoholism shortened his career.
  12. I Just Watched...

    Though I haven't seen all of the Sissi trilogy yet, what I've seen is outstanding. Historical romance doesn't get much better than this. Ernest Marisca gets the tone exactly right. Here's an outstanding director most of us have never heard of. The film version of The Sound of Music owes quite a bit to the first Sissi film. When you see some of the early scenes, you may be singing, "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" Sissi presents the same kind of problems to the adults. Romy Schneider has the warmth and charm without which these films simply would not work.
  13. January 2018 Schedule is Up!

    Not to mention that it's directed in ultra pretentious artsy fashion. Almost every camera set-up is a scream for attention from film students. I lasted about an hour. Well, it seemed like an hour.
  14. Not to be shallow or anything, but Burt, Tony, and Gina all look pretty darn good in their tight circus duds.
  15. I Just Watched...

    Having seen Victoria and Abdul, we wanted to see Mrs. Brown (aka Her Majesty Mrs. Brown), which like V&A was quite enjoyable. The movies have a great deal in common, including Judi Dench as Queen Victoria. Billy Connolly as Mr. Brown makes an admirable partner, and Antony Sher is a delight as Disraeli.

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