kingrat

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  1. kingrat

    Joan Bennett for SOTM

    Cute saying, although Jessica Tandy never had the Babe phase. Constance Bennett had a reputation in the thirties as . . . well, not the easiest person to work with. When her films were no longer box-office magic, the people she'd met on her way up were happy to see her on her way down. I think I've seen 17 of the films on Lawrence's list, plus There's Always Tomorrow. A rough sketch of her career: in Disraeli she's appealing, but not that much of an actress. She has learned a lot by Me and My Gal, where she's a comic delight as a platinum blonde waitress. She and Spencer Tracy make a good comic team; too bad she didn't make more comedies. She's a hoot as the selfish Amy in Little Women. Trade Winds is the film where she goes brunette in mid-film, and it's an enjoyable mix of comedy and melodrama. All four Fritz Lang films are special: she's delightful as a spirited Cockney gal in Man Hunt; gets to play an ultimate femme fatale in Scarlet Street and The Woman in the Window; and Secret Beyond the Door reverses the sexes, with Michael Redgrave as a possible "homme fatal" threatening her. The Macomber Affair (directed by Zoltan Korda) gives her the chance to play a kind of ultimate biotch. In The Reckless Moment, expertly directed by Max Ophuls, she plays a woman trying to protect her daughter from a blackmailer. (Ah, already playing mother roles.) She did a lot of stage work in the 50s and 60s, not on Broadway but in various playhouses across the country. In Douglas Sirk's There's Always Tomorrow she plays a 1950s housewife whose life revolves around her home and children, and whose lack of interest in sex drives her husband toward the arms of another woman. Dark Shadows gives her another audience in the 1960s. Joan Bennett was fortunate to work with so many fine directors whose work has held up well. I'd love to see her as SOTM, but because her films are from so many different studios, TCM would need to purchase the rights all at the same time.
  2. kingrat

    Old King Arthur Movies

    Nicholas Clay was a very handsome Lancelot in Excalibur, and I thought he'd go on to have a big career. There was also the TV mini-series The Mists of Avalon, which didn't do justice to that interesting variation on the Arthurian story.
  3. kingrat

    Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

    This would probably be the consensus pick as Preminger's best film, though my personal fave is from the previous year, Bonjour Tristesse. However, Anatomy of a Murder is well made in every respect. The accuracy of the legal setting also counts for a lot. SPOILER: Preminger's best films usually let us decide for ourselves what we think of the characters. I love the way that James Stewart uses his good ole boy Jimmy Stewart persona very deliberately and manipulatively in the courtroom to allow a killer to go free. Ben Gazzara plays sleazy extremely well, and the reunion of husband and wife at the end is enough to make anyone's stomach churn--and it's perfect for this film. Lee Remick's performance suggests that the wife even gets something of a kick out of the fact that her husband has killed to protect her--"honor" might be too strong a word. I can't imagine what Lana Turner would have made of the part.
  4. kingrat

    Woody Allen has been shelved

    Manhattan is worth seeing for several reasons. Gordon Willis' B&W photography is much admired. I would take Diane Keaton's performance in this over her work in Annie Hall, Reds, or many of her other films because for once she isn't playing a neurotic, allegedly adorable nebbish but an emotionally cold New York literary intellectual of a rather common type. You also get to see Meryl Streep in a small role before she got to be famous. She's playing Woody Allen's first wife who came out as a lesbian and wrote about a book about him. The soundtrack is a lot of great standards, so that's another plus. Then there is, yes, Mariel Hemingway, who, according to me, gives the most annoying performance ever nominated for an Oscar. I mean I'd rather watch Martha Hyer in Some Came Running. Mariel is tall, unkissed by talent, with a whiny voice that drives me up the wall. Any middle-aged man running after this adenoidal adolescent absolutely deserves what's he getting. Husbands and Wives would be such a good film if not for the jiggly cam which is supposed to make everything more real and authentic. It's just annoying and literally nauseating. Judy Davis is terrific, and the film would be worth seeing for her performance alone. Mia is essentially playing the same role as in Hannah and Her Sisters, except that the angle has changed. What was sweet and kooky and adorable when Woody was falling in love with her in real life is now seen as cold and passive-aggressive and manipulative. One more thing: Babi Christina Engelhardt?? That sounds like a name Woody would have invented. Is she "Baby" or is the German pronunciation, "Bobby"?
  5. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    Paid in Full is what used to be called a "woman's picture" and is now called a "domestic melodrama." Lizabeth Scott is in love with her sister's husband. The sister (Diana Lynn) has mental problems, and the husband begins to think he married the wrong sister. However, the married couple has a child. Get ready for a big soapy twist! All is set soapily right in the end, at least in women's picture terms. I must have seen this on AMC many a year ago. Tom, I am also a fan of Seven Men from Now and most of the other Boetticher/Scott westerns. You've described the opening of the film so well.
  6. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    For Burt Lancaster: Criss Cross. Not to be missed. An Eddie Muller favorite, I think. Yvonne DeCarlo looking glam. Dan Duryea exuding nastiness from every pore. A brilliantly shot heist scene. Some glimpses of LA. For Lizabeth Scott: Desert Fury is the one I haven't seen, but want to. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is one of the classic noirs, with Van Heflin, Barbara Stanwyck, and, as a weak nerdy guy, Kirk Douglas. They hadn't figured out how to cast him. Lizabeth Scott probably has more screen time than Stanwyck, although Stanwyck is the star who plays the title character.
  7. Lots of great films on tomorrow. I do hope the print of The Walls of Malapaga is better than the really bad one previously shown on TCM. This seems to be a good film, but it needs a restoration. I Vitelloni is one of the best early Fellini films, and if, like me, you greatly prefer early Fellini to later Fellini, this is a must-see.
  8. kingrat

    And Your Favorite William Wyler Film Is

    Juliette Binoche looks beautiful, but I'm having difficulty with the notion of Heathcliff having a hairdo like the 1960s Tiny Tim..
  9. kingrat

    And Your Favorite Howard Hawks Film Is...?

    Great list, Lawrence. I'd replace The Thing From Another World, Only Angels Have Wings, and Twentieth Century with The Big Sky, To Have and Have Not, and a player to be named later. I've never seen Monkey Business, for one. James, I like your list, too. For me, Hawks is a minor figure, though an excellent director of comedy. I don't care much for Only Angels Have Wings, mainly because 1) Jean Arthur is not going to be happy with a man who only wants her to look after him because his buddy got killed; and 2) there are parallels with The Wages of Fear, which makes the backlot make-believe of Angels all too apparent.
  10. kingrat

    Julie Adams (1926-2019)

    Thanks, TB. I was hoping someone would mention her role in Capitol. I didn't get to see much of this--the woman had pretended to be claustrophobic for twenty years, wasn't that it, and committed a murder, but then the writers tried to make her more sympathetic. Anyway, Julie Adams was always worth watching, whatever the writing was like. Bend of the River and The Man from the Alamo are other films where she had good roles.
  11. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    Wow, Lawrence, that is some Grade A supporting cast. The casting director deserved a big bonus.
  12. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    Thanks for the pictures, Tom. Raymond Burr looks almost handsome with that pensive gaze off-camera. Rhonda Fleming and Julie Newmar look sensational.
  13. kingrat

    New (OLD) Movies Please

    The Blue Veil is one of those films with rights issues, but it can sometimes be found on YouTube or unofficial websites. The Fountainhead is shown fairly often (recently in a Patricia Neal tribute), and Bonjour Tristesse, The Day of the Jackal, Tea and Sympathy, and Strangers When We Meet all turn up from time to time. Bonjour and Jackal are both favorites of mine. Good Morning, Miss Dove was shown when Jennifer Jones was Star of the Month. The Fox films are turning up more often these days, so there is hope. You mention a number of interesting films that I'd like to see, too.
  14. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    SPOILER ALERT: Lawrence, I thought the picture would end with Bergman having a tryst with the hunky lighthouse keeper and then throwing herself into the volcano. Maybe I'd been seeing too many films like No Man of Her Own and The Secret Fury! Stromboli is my favorite of the several Rossellini films I've seen, but the catch is that I don't especially like Rossellini and don't react the way he wants us to. I know I'm supposed to moved by the fate of the priest in Open City, but I am not. I know I'm supposed to find Bergman sympathetic in Europa '51, but I don't. I know I'm supposed to be happy that the couple reconciles at the end of Voyage in Italy and decides to have a baby, but I feel acutely sorry for any child born to those two.
  15. kingrat

    I Just Watched...

    Unfortunately, Robert Ryan and Claudette Colbert have little chemistry, which is odd, considering that both usually have good chemistry with a variety of other actors. However, one of the nice surprises about The Secret Fury is that Mel Ferrer turns out to be a pretty good director. The murder of a certain character is more violent than is usual for the 1950s. I enjoy seeing Vivian Vance in her pre-I Love Lucy roles, and Jane Cowl was a highly regarded actress on Broadway. Like Lawrence, I'd give it a solid 7/10.

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