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About midwestan

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  1. midwestan

    Noir Alley

    In a previous Noir Alley presentation from this year which co-starred Steve Cochran, Eddie Muller recounted Cochran's life in Hollywood and his strange, untimely death. Eddie said he was dishing with Mamie Van Doren about who some of the Hollywood 'studs and duds' were. Van Doren said without a doubt, she'd put Cochran near the top of the list as one of the legendary studs in H-wood. Edith Evanson also played one of Irene Dunne's sisters in 'I Remember Mama'. She also played a small, but crucial part to the plot of 'The Big Heat', as the secretary to the mechanic who worked on Glenn Ford's car before said vehicle was blown to smithereens and claimed the life of his wife. I've seen her in several other films on TCM. She may have had limited range, but the roles she played were done well by her. Agree with you about Kent Smith. Like many other Hollywood stars, he was good enough to get enough work to earn a decent living, even though he wasn't considered an "A-lister".
  2. After watching "I Remember Mama" this afternoon, I can't envision anyone other than Oscar Homolka playing the part of Uncle Chris.
  3. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Howard Hughes was a renowned womanizer around Hollywood, and a young Jane Russell had the goods to be considered someone in his wheelhouse. What I didn't realize until your initial post about "The Outlaw" was that Howard Hughes apparently swung both ways?
  4. midwestan

    Unheralded Actors Who Deserve Our Admiration

    Good topic, with plenty of possibilities. I think 3 women who would fit this category were relatively old when they made their big-screen talkie debuts. Well, relatively old by Hollywood standards. They don't have a huge list of movies compared to others who were in the big-screen biz for say, 30 years, and all of them were dead by 1960. My choices would be: Constance Collier Florence Bates Hope Emerson They might not be household names except for the most avid classic movie fans, but each time I see them in a film, no matter how brief their roles, they certainly make an impact and turn in memorable performances.
  5. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I can see it now. Some programming genius at Bravo or TLC will come up with a show about men and women with attractive upper torsos. Wonder what the Nielsen ratings for "Say Yes To The Chest" will be? 😋
  6. midwestan

    Noir Alley

    I saw 'The Locket' many years ago when it aired on TCM, but I couldn't finish watching it due to a prior commitment. I think the last part I remembered was the party where Ricardo Cortez 'buys it'. I thought Laraine Day was pretty good in this one. She's the focal point of the film, and she looks quite attractive. I think there were some scenes where you could be forgiven for mistaking her for Ann Sothern. I did chuckle at some of the hats she wore in some of the scenes...my, how styles have changed over the years! Robert Mitchum was very good in his role. Brian Aherne was good too, but he's one of those guys who looks much better with facial hair than without. Gene Raymond looked almost identical compared to his role in 'Red Dust' 14 years earlier. God, I wish I'd aged that gracefully! The only complaint I'd have against the picture (and maybe this is why Leonard Malten didn't like it), was what Eddie mentioned in his post-movie comments. Did Kathy realize the man she was about to marry was the son of the woman who tormented her some 20-25 years previous that led her into her kleptomania? From that aspect, the story could have been a little more plausible if the audience knew she was scheming to get back at Mrs. Willis, or it never occurred to her in the first place that Gene Raymond's mother was the woman who accused her of theft lo those many years ago. Overall, still a pretty good flick, even if my cable television viewers guide gave it 2 stars out of 4.
  7. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I get where you're coming from on this LHF. Subtitled movies can be difficult for some people to follow. If the story is interesting enough for me, I'll stick with it till the end. Afterwards, I play a little mental volleyball with the voices in my head weighing the pros and cons about what I've just watched and whether or not it's worth another look if there were parts I didn't understand (just like any other movie I view without subtitles). Of course, other distractions can make that exercise somewhat pointless!
  8. Until I saw this thread, I never gave the issue much thought. But now, it's clear to me that the 'powers that be at TCM' have become sell-outs who morphed from the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. How, pray tell, could this have possibly happened? Oh well, here's hoping that one day, more movies about people who'll do just about anything to sustain or advance their station in life will be shown here. I nominate Spike Lee's "Girl 6" as a candidate! Hope everyone here has a great holiday weekend, nonetheless.
  9. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    You make a good point about the ambiguity of whether or not the soldiers depicted in "Last Train From Madrid" were Republicans or Loyalists. Prior to showing this movie, "All Quiet on the Western Front" was shown, and Dave Karger mentioned afterwards that Germany refused to show the film there because government officials thought it was too anti-German. By the same token, the Polish government refused to show it, because it thought the movie was too pro-German! I'm guessing the studio heads at Paramount wanted to avoid this problem with Spanish authorities and any other country by not making the soldier's loyalties known. The point of the story was that people in charge issued a decree. The decree was carried out, and there were consequences and chaos that ensued for people wishing to leave. Funny comment there about Gilbert Roland! Whether shirtless or fully clothed, the guy seemed to exude some kind of stud quality. Between him, Anthony Quinn, and Lew Ayres, I'd say you've got the makings of three-quarters of a swim relay team?
  10. midwestan

    News to Me- The Big Sleep

    In the intro to "The Big Sleep", Ben Mankiewicz said the actual movie had been shot in 1944 but not released until 1946, due in part, to a backlog of war pictures Warner Brothers wanted to screen first. Since Bogart and Bacall were such a hit in "To Have and Have Not", scenes with them were added to "The Big Sleep" to capitalize on their screen chemistry. It made me wonder if this scene in the bar was one of those added to the movie. I always get a kick out of seeing Louis Jean Heydt in other roles. Every time he makes an appearance, I flash back to Martha Vickers muttering..."Joe Brody..who's he?" 😀 I really like Sonia Darrow in her surprisingly un-credited role as Agnes in "The Big Sleep". She had some great lines (as did most of the other characters in this film).
  11. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I just checked out TCM ON DEMAND, and "Star 80" is on the roster. Why does this happen? I don't know, but if I had to guess, I'd say ON DEMAND can probably show anything that's aired on TCM if it's from Warner Brothers, MGM, and RKO. Most of the time, these re-aired streams are available for about 8 or even 10 days. If the picture in question is from 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and Universal, it may only be available for say, 3 or 4 days and maybe even not at all. Of course, I could be way off base on that assertion, but it's the only thing I can surmise.
  12. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I enjoyed watching Lew Ayres' Summer Under The Stars day. I particularly liked "The Unfaithful" which had a good cast and presented the story in a mature way about an affair between a woman and another man while her husband is off in the Pacific during World War 2. The husband finds out about the affair years after it happened, and it nearly destroys the marriage between he and his wife (played by Zachary Scott and Ann Sheridan). Lew Ayres is a friend of the couple and an attorney who tries to pry the truth out of each of them about their feelings surrounding all that's happened to them and whether or not their marriage can be saved. Eve Arden, who plays Zachary Scott's cousin who really isn't fond of Sheridan, plays a good role in support. Until Tuesday night, I'd never seen "The Last Train From Madrid". Seeing that the film is under the Universal/Paramount umbrella, it's easy to see why! What a cool film! Released in 1937, the story is set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. Local authorities are preparing for a supposedly decisive battle in the conflict around Madrid and order anyone wishing to leave the expected carnage to get special Transport Passes for the final train from Madrid to Valencia. This story pre-dates "Casablanca" by about 5 years, and many of the scenes are familiar...a mob of people desperately trying to get out of the city with a limited number allowed to go to safety. There's intrigue amongst the passengers as well as the authorities who are trying to make sure people fighting on 'the other side' don't make a break for it, either by sneaking aboard the train or using forged passes. By now, people like Lew Ayres, Karen Morley, Gilbert Roland, and Lionel Atwill were veterans of 'talkies', but you got to see early performances from relative newcomers like Robert Cummings, Dorothy Lamour, Lee Bowman, and Anthony Quinn who plays the most pivotal part of the movie. All in all, a very good cast and a pretty good story. As a side note, this is only about the 4th movie I can think of where I've seen Gilbert Roland, who had a pretty long career, and the more I watch him, the more impressed I am with his acting...he always seems to bring his 'A' game to the table.
  13. I sure hope the version of "All Quiet on the Western Front" is the sound version and not the silent one TCM has shown, at least the last 2 times I tried to watch it. I know the sound quality wasn't the best, if I remember correctly, so I'm hoping TCM showed the silent versions in lieu of the poor sound version while it underwent some audio restoration? It's coming on in less than 45 minutes, so I guess I'll get my answer then!
  14. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I haven't noticed too many problems with In Demand, although I had to start "Green Fire" on three separate occasions as it froze up on me twice. The story wasn't particularly good, but I did enjoy the interaction between Grace Kelly and Stewart Granger and Granger with Paul Douglas. I'm sure "The Face Behind the Mask" has been shown on TCM before, but I've never seen it here. When I watched it Friday morning, it was the first time I'd seen it in 47 or 48 years! I remember as a kid I practically cried after the car blew up, because the service animal got whisked away to doggie heaven. 😭 I too watched "Island of Doomed Men" and got a kick out of Peter Lorre's performance. With apologies to Rick James, you could say Lorre's character here was a super creep, super creep, he's super creepy....yow!
  15. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I saw "The Mask of Dimitrious" Friday night. I've seen it about 4 or 5 times (all on TCM), and I still like it a lot. Zachary Scott gives a fine performance as the title character as he leaves a trail of jaded and broken people from the Bosporus to the Seine. The makeup crew did a good job on him too, from when we first 'meet' Dimitrious in Smyrna in 1922, to the final scene in Paris 16 years later. Another aspect of the film I appreciated was putting the names of the public buildings involved with the story in English, but also in the languages native to the country where the different scenes were taking place (Turkish, Greek, Slavic). What I thought was kind of corny though was the end scene where Dimitrious, who up to that point had been a calculating, indifferent, and sadistic rogue was reduced to a quivering plate of jello when Mr. Peters pulls a gun on him. I also had a hard time buying the fact that Peter Lorre could out-muscle Zachary Scott. But hey, it's the movies, where nerds end up winning out over the studs most of the time, right? On Saturday, I watched "Baby Doll" for the first time. The performances by Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Karl Malden, and Mildred Dunnock were all very good. Unfortunately, it's a Tennessee Williams play, which means most of the characters are in need of considerable psychotherapy and the dialog is reduced to characters shouting at one another as fans at a high school football or basketball game would do. I liked the performances, but not the story. On the other hand, seeing so many Williams characters with so many flaws, tends to make me feel better about my own self.

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