LawrenceA

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About LawrenceA

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    Encountered, Briefly
  • Birthday February 26

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  1. LawrenceA

    Top Ten Films of...

    Top Ten Favorite Movies of 1945 (99 titles seen) Brief Encounter The Lost Weekend Mildred Pierce Rome Open City And Then There Were None Spellbound They Were Expendable Dead of Night Leave Her to Heaven Detour Runner-ups: Pride of the Marines Ten Worst Movies of 1945 White Pongo The White Gorilla Hollywood and Vine The Phantom of 42nd Street Fog Island Go Down, Death! Adventure The Jade Mask Strange Illusion Wildfire Top Ten Box Office of 1945 The Bells of St. Mary's Spellbound Leave Her to Heaven Mildred Pierce Anchors Aweigh Week-End at the Waldorf Saratoga Trunk Thrill of a Romance The Valley of Decision Wonder Man
  2. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Wicked Lady (1945) - Costume melodrama from Gainsborough Pictures and director Leslie Arliss. In 17th century England, Barbara (Margaret Lockwood) arrives at the estate of her friend Caroline (Patricia Roc) to attend the latter's upcoming wedding to wealthy Sir Ralph Skelton (Griffith Jones). Deciding that she like the money and prestige of being Lady Skelton, Barbara steals Sir Ralph's affections in record time, and they are soon married. However, the capricious Barbara grows bored and eventually begins a secret second life as a masked highwayman, teaming with the notorious Captain Jackson (James Mason). Also featuring Michael Rennie, Felix Aylmer, Enid Stamp Taylor, Francis Lister, Beatrice Varley, Amy Dalby, Emrys Jones, and Martita Hunt. This was a massive hit in the UK, one of the biggest ever there. The mass appeal is evident: opulent costumes and sets partnered with lurid, scandalous behavior provided a much needed respite for a war-weary nation. Lockwood is terrific, unapologetic in her scheming and subterfuge, leaving a trail of bodies both figurative and literal in her wake. Mason is good in a supporting role as a wanted bandit of legendary status and carnal prowess. I also greatly enjoyed the catty repartee between Lockwood and her sister-in-law, played by Enid Stamp Taylor. The movie was reportedly heavily edited for American exhibition. (7/10) Source: FilmStruck.
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Thrill of a Romance (1945) - Technicolor romance from MGM and director Richard Thorpe. Swimming instructor Cynthia Glenn (Esther Williams) is swept off her feet by businessman Robert Delbar (Carleton Young), and the two are quickly married. They travel to mountain resort for a long honeymoon, only Robert is called away on business the day they arrive. The despondent Cynthia meets war hero Major Thomas Milvaine (Van Johnson), and the two become fast friends, but will their relationship become something more? Also featuring opera star Lauritz Melchior, Henry Travers, Spring Byington, Frances Gifford, Ethel Griffies, Donald Curtis, Jerry Scott, Helene Stanley, Virginia Brissac, Thurston Hall, and Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. This was an inoffensive bit of romantic fluff with some decent musical interludes, including instrumentals by Dorsey and his band, and operatic bits from Melchior, who also gets a goofy subplot about being on a diet. (6/10) Source: Warner DVD, with live-action and animated shorts as extras.
  4. LawrenceA

    NFL bans anthem kneel

    And what does that mean, exactly? What specifically do you think cops are not doing now that they should be doing? Are you calling for a suspension of civil rights? Summary executions in the street? Warrantless searches? Or are you calling for a bigger army of cops, like a constant police presence, with hundreds of cops on foot and in cars constantly patrolling the most dangerous neighborhoods, setting up checkpoints for anoyone traveling through these neighborhoods and subject to searches and frisks without warning?
  5. LawrenceA

    Help with scifi/horror film title, please

    Sounds like The Caller (1987): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097007/?ref_=kw_li_tt It appears the movie is available on YouTube. I haven't seen it. It looks interesting.
  6. LawrenceA

    August 2018 Schedule is up

    I remember also watching the TV movie Death of a Centerfold which aired in 1981. It featured Jamie Lee Curtis as Dorothy Stratten, Bruce Weitz as Snider, and Mitchell Ryan as Hefner. Death of a Centerfold Star 80 The real Dorothy Stratten and Paul Snider
  7. LawrenceA

    NFL bans anthem kneel

    I hope I wasn't misunderstood...I wasn't calling you to task. I was pitying you for having to try and decipher that nonsense Nippy posted. As I said, I don't see how Chicago's murder rate (repeatedly referenced by Nipkow) has anything to do with incidents of police brutality, overreach, and/or misconduct anywhere else in the country, the latter of which the protests are supposed to be addressing. I also notice that Nipkow has once again failed to suggest what should be done to curtail the violence in Chicago or Baltimore, only to tell people what doesn't work.
  8. LawrenceA

    NFL bans anthem kneel

    Good luck explaining that, jakeem. I hope you can make sense out of it, because I can't. WTH has the Chicago murder rate have to do with incidents of police brutality or excessive force everywhere else in America?
  9. LawrenceA

    NFL bans anthem kneel

    I remember this being a frequently raised issue by Nippy during the campaign, the Chicago murder rate. And I also don't recall him offering any suggestions on what should be done, despite my asking him several times. The most he would say was that "the Chicago PD should be unleashed". When asked to clarify what that would entail, or in what ways they were currently "leashed", I got no response.
  10. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    State Fair (1945) - Enjoyable musical adaptation of the non-musical 1933 Will Rogers film, from 20th Century Fox and director Walter Lang. It's state fair time in Iowa, and one farm family provides several stories to follow: father Abel Frake (Charles Winninger) is showing his best hog; mother Melissa Frake (Fay Bainter) is competing in the pickles and minced meat contests; son Wayne Frake (Dick Haymes) finds romance with singer Emily (Vivian Blaine); and daughter Margy Frake (Jeanne Crain) falls in love with reporter Pat (Dana Andrews). Also featuring Donald Meek, Frank McHugh, Percy Kilbride, Jane Nigh, Phil Brown, John Dehner, Francis Ford, and Harry Morgan. This was the only musical that the venerated duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote directly for the screen. I saw the Will Rogers non-musical film many years ago, and enjoyed it, and I was surprised to like this one, too. The cast are all good and suited to their roles, although Crain looks a bit too polished to be a farm girl. Both she and Dana Andrews were also dubbed for their singing. There are several humorous moments in the film, but I think my favorite involved Donald Meek as one of the taste judges in the pickles and minced meat contest. The movie was nominated for the Oscar for Best Score (Charles Henderson & Alfred Newman), and it won the Oscar for Best Song ("It Might As Well Be Spring"). (7/10) Source: Fox DVD.
  11. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Don't forget the unimaginable horror of the "coffee salute". It was like he just **** on every grave in Arlington.
  12. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1950

    Scandal is another of Akira Kurosawa's lesser known films. Coming out the same year as Rashomon, that later film completely eclipsed it in the public eye. But Scandal isn't bad, and it features good performances. Toshiro Mifune stars as a temperamental artist who travels to a vacation spot to do some landscapes. He meets Shirley Yamaguchi, a major singing star, although Mifune doesn't know she's famous. What starts out as a romantic movie scenario changes when some paparazzi take photos of the platonic friends, and a scandal is created when they are published and assumed to be evidence of a romantic liaison. Mifune decides to sue the newspaper that printed the pics, and he hires attorney Takashi Shimura, who has problems of his own. The film becomes an examination of personal responsibility, journalistic ethics (which Kurosawa seems to be saying don't exist), and celebrity culture, which makes the movie relevant today. Like the Bergman set Bogie mentioned, this film is also available in an Eclipse box-set from Criterion, and they're all available to stream on FilmStruck, as well.
  13. LawrenceA

    Clint Walker R.I.P. 1927-2018

    They aren't the only ones left. Trini Lopez is still around, at age 81. And Colin Maitland (75) & Stuart Cooper (76), two of the other Dirty Dozen who weren't big names, are still alive.
  14. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Strange Holiday (1945) - Surreal nightmare propaganda from Elite Pictures and writer-director Arch Oboler. Claude Rains stars as John Stevenson, a typical American businessman, husband, and father. He goes on a lengthy fishing trip with a pal, and when they return home, John discovers that the government has been overthrown by fascists who have the populace in the grip of fear. As John struggles to understand what has happened, the true cost of losing freedom comes into stark relief. Also featuring Martin Kosleck, Gloria Holden, Milton Kibbee, Helen Mack, and Tommy Cook. This short (61 minute) movie can't exactly be called a thriller, as there aren't a lot of thrills, and the situation is so exaggerated, and presented in such a hallucinatory way, that you can't really call this a straight drama, either. It plays a bit like an overlong Twilight Zone episode, and it's a definite precursor to the many "Red Menace" films of next 25 years. This was actually produced by General Motors to be shown to employees and their families to hit home how important the American way is, and how fragile it's existence is in the face of tyranny. I'm not sure how people took it back in '45, but it still seems a little uncomfortable now. (6/10) Source: YouTube.
  15. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I discussed it at length in my review for Swing Hostess (1944) when I watched it a few weeks ago (I'm not sure when, but since I'm going by year and in alphabetical order, more or less, you can guess how far back it was). It seems to have been a primitive jukebox system wherein a customer would put in his money (a nickle according to The Shanghai Cobra) and a live, female operator at another location would ask the customer over an intercom speaker in the jukebox what song he/she wanted to hear. Then the hostess would find that album on a series of racks containing dozens of vinyl records and play it, with the sound going along the same telephone lines and playing on the speaker in the jukebox. In the older movie, one location had several hostesses operating jukebox throughout the city. It's something I had never heard of before Swing Hostess, but it shows up here again in The Shanghai Cobra.

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