LawrenceA

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About LawrenceA

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  • Birthday February 26

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  1. FEBRUARY 2018 SCHEDULE IS UP!

    The Sorrow and the Pity is on the 5th...in fact, the whole day and night of Documentary nominees and winners is a rare treat. I haven't seen The Sound Barrier (8th). Immortal Love (1961) 13th...I haven't seen this Japanese movie. And that's it...I've seen everything else that month.
  2. Somehow Or Other, I'LL SURVIVE Jerks Like These

    I was just kidding, as I'm sure most everyone around here interested in seeing Psycho has done so many years ago. I've seen it 10 times, at least. However, that is another facet of this discussion...what's the statue of limitations on spoilers? How long should people be careful about openly discussing plot twists? And what even constitutes a spoiler is also fairly vague. I view a spoiler as revealing any unexpected character development, or the story resolution, but others seem to view virtually any information about a movie's plot as being a spoiler.
  3. Top Ten Favorites Review

    #7 Favorite Movie of 1935 China Seas - Rousing adventure/romance from MGM and director Tay Garnett. Clark Gable stars as hard-edged ship captain Alan Gaskell, a tough commander with a reputation for a mean temper. His mettle gets tested by two women along for the latest voyage: brassy showgirl China Doll (Jean Harlow) and high-class widow Sybil Barclay (Rosalind Russell). While the two women vie for the captain's affections, shady businessman Jamesy MacArdle (Wallace Beery) conspires with pirates to take the ship. Also featuring Lewis Stone, C. Aubrey Smith, Dudley Digges, Robert Benchley, William Henry, Edward Brophy, Donald Meek, Akim Tamiroff, Hattie McDaniel, and Willie Fung. There's nothing particularly innovative or remarkable about the filmmaking or the story, but I like it, nonetheless. The love triangle is well drawn, with all 3 participants giving great performances. Beery shows more nuance than usual, and the excellent supporting cast are all good, with high marks for Benchley as a perpetual souse. I also enjoyed the character arc for Lewis Stone, and the scene of goofy Willie Fung firing a tommygun is amusing. (8/10) Source: Warners DVD, with a pair of vintage shorts as bonus features.
  4. Somehow Or Other, I'LL SURVIVE Jerks Like These

    Spoiler much?!? Some of us have never seen Psycho!!! O...M...G
  5. Top Ten Favorites Review

    #8 Favorite Movie of 1935 A Night at the Opera - The Marx Brothers, sans Zeppo, take their act to MGM in this effort directed by Sam Wood. Groucho plays Otis B. Driftwood, who is being paid by Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to introduce her into high society. He does so by having her invest in an opera company, which leads to chaos courtesy of Otis and oddballs Fiorello (Chico) and Tomasso (Harpo), as well as romance between young opera talents Rosa (Kitty Carlisle) and Riccardo (Alan Jones). Also featuring Walter King, Sig Ruman, Edward Keane, and Robert Emmett O'Connor. Though not quite as anarchic as their Paramount films, this is still wildly hilarious, with many great sequences, such as the numerous people cramming into a small cruise ship cabin, a manic two-room chase between a beleaguered police detective and the boys, and the madcap finale on the opera opening night. There's quite a bit of music, with a few operetta numbers from the young lovers, and the usual piano and harp solos from Chico and Harpo. (8/10) Source: Warners DVD. Bonus features include a commentary track from Leonard Maltin, a 30-minute Marx Brothers retrospective, a vintage Groucho interview, and a couple of vintage short films.
  6. Top Ten Favorites Review

    #9 Favorite Movie of 1935 A Tale of Two Cities - Lavish epic adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel, from MGM and director Jack Conway. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the ensuing Reign of Terror, Ronald Colman stars as alcoholic English barrister Sydney Carton, a man who sees little of value in life until he meets the innocent and lovely Lucie Manette (Elizabeth Allan). Sydney works to acquit her husband Chalres Darnay (Donald Woods) from charges of espionage, while the political inferno in France threatens to consume them all. Also featuring Edna May Oliver, Henry B. Walthall, Basil Rathbone, H.B. Warner, Blanche Yurka, Isabel Jewell, Lucille La Verne, Fritz Leiber, Walter Catlett, Reginald Owen, E.E. Clive, Robert Warwick, and Barlowe Borland. The period detail is excellent, from the sumptuous decadence of the aristocrats to the squalid misery of the poor. The performances are all very good, with Colman turning in one of his better acting jobs as the hopelessly dissolute romantic. Edna May Oliver and Blanche Yurka are both also outstanding, and if the Best Supporting Actress category had been in existence in 1935, they would be in a dead heat to win it. I also have to point out the tremendous work done on the revolution montage sequences, which were overseen by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur. The only issue I have with the movie is that the central premise that Colman and Woods' characters look alike is very obviously not true. But I'm willing to excuse that as the rest of the film is so effective. The film earned two Oscar nominations, for Best Film Editing (Conrad A. Nervig) and Best Picture. (8/10) Source: Warners DVD, with bonus features including the Oscar-nominated 3-D film short Audoscopiks, two animated shorts, and a radio show version of the story.
  7. Oh, now you think that attitude is silly? I see.
  8. I'm sorry, I don't recall any such qualifiers from you regarding terror attacks during previous administrations, and as I know you are a man of principle and conviction, and not a partisan hypocrite and Trump toadie, I'm sure your well-worded and excoriating rebuke of the current president for his complete failure at accomplishing what you have previously stated is the president's most important and sacred duty is forthcoming.
  9. I seem to recall that any and all acts of terrorism committed on our soil are ultimately the fault of the President of the United States. So I'll patiently wait for your condemnation of Trump and his abject failure at keeping Americans safe.
  10. This is a very scarce month for me as far as movies that I want to see, but this one is the highlight of the month.
  11. Recent Buys

    I have a couple of the Martini movies as well. I think in the past you may have mentioned buying from the Edward R Hamilton catalogs. They usually have a Criterion section in the Movies Only catalog. They tend to be too pricey from there, though.
  12. Top Ten Favorites Review

    #10 Favorite Movie of 1935 The 39 Steps - Alfred Hitchcock really hit his stride with this "wrongfully accused man on the run" thriller from Gaumont. Robert Donat stars as Hannay, a Canadian working in London who has the misfortune of running into the wrong woman at a vaudeville show. She has some valuable intelligence that's made her a target of killers, but when she ends up dead, it's Hannay that gets blamed. Not only are the police after him, but so is the group of killers, a spy ring that believe he has the woman's info. Hannay's flight to safety sees him hiding out in the Scottish highlands and getting chained to a beautiful if reluctant partner (Madeleine Carroll). Also featuring Lucie Mannheim, Peggy Ashcroft, Godfrey Tearle, John Laurie, Helen Haye, and Wylie Watson. Donat makes for an agreeable everyman protagonist, caught up in circumstances that he can't quite understand. One of my favorite scenes of the film comes when he hides out with a farmer and his wife. The wife, brilliantly played by Peggy Ashcroft, is sweetly sympathetic, and her whole, sad lot in life is telegraphed in just a few short minutes. While leading lady Carroll doesn't play a major role until rather late in the proceedings, she and Donat have great chemistry as the chained fugitives on the run. (8/10) Source: Criterion DVD. Bonus features include Hitchcock: The Early Years, a documentary on Hitch's pre-WW2 output; an archival interview with Hitchcock from 1966; a complete radio broadcast of the story from 1937 with Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery; some audio bits of Truffaut interviewing Hitchcock; a "visual essay"; a written essay in the insert booklet; and audio commentary from Hitchcock expert Marian Keane. Much like the previous year's The Man Who Knew Too Much, this film has long only been available in lousy public domain editions, and seeing it remastered and presented in high-quality video and audio is extraordinary.
  13. Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    I understand your frustration and disgust. I often feel the same. But do you think anything could dissuade JakeHolman, Nippy, MM from supporting Trump or the current Republican regime? I don't think so, regardless of how awful they act in Washington. They leave near-daily torrents of posts stating how great America is and how much it has improved under Trump, so I don't think they will ever change their minds. And that's not even broaching the subject of people admitting when they were wrong about anything.
  14. For Mr Bogie 56

    I've always pictured you as more of a Strother Martin.
  15. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

    As Holden mentioned, that's Gwendoline Christie, best known for her role as the knight Brienne in Game of Thrones. She's very good on that, however, she seems to be wasted in the Star Wars part. Hopefully she has more to do this time out.

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