LawrenceA

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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Action of the Tiger (1957) - 6/10 A woman (Martine Carol) hires an American smuggler (Van Johnson) to try and rescue her brother (Gustavo Rojo) from a political prison in Albania. They end up escorting a group of refugee kids, as well, as they struggle to make it across the border into Greece. Also featuring Herbert Lom, Jose Nieto, Anna Gerber, Helen Haye, Anthony Dawson, Yvonne Romain, and Sean Connery. I liked Carol, an actress I wasn't familiar with, and Lom has fun as the lusty leader of a group bandits on horseback. Johnson tries, and while he isn't awful, I would have preferred someone else in his role. Connery plays Johnson's second mate aboard his small boat, and the future James Bond gets to drunkenly paw at Ms. Carol. Speaking of Bond, 5 years later Connery would shoot Anthony Dawson (here playing an Albanian military officer) in the first Bond film Dr. No, which incidentally was also directed by this film's Terence Young.
  2. They're all on bookshelves, in alphabetical order. The TV series sets are kept separate from the films. I've filled up most of my viewing room with shelves of movies, so I may have to start putting them in another room, as well. Or get rid of some.
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Wayward Bus (1957) - 6/10 Melodrama based on a book by John Steinbeck. An assortment of characters travel south into Mexico on a beat-up charter bus driven by Mr. Chicoy (Rick Jason). Featuring Joan Collins as Chicoy's drab wife, Jayne Mansfield as a stripper hoping for a better future, Dan Daily as a traveling salesman, Dolores Michaels, Betty Lou Keim, Larry Keating, Robert Bray, Kathryn Givney, Dee Pol_lock, and Will Wright. Collins and Mansfield stretch their dramatic chops, and both turn in better-than-expected performances. Just try and count how many times the name "Chicoy" is said aloud.
  4. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Valerie (1957) - 6/10 Western drama told Rashomon-style. Immigrant woman Valerie (Anita Ekberg) is shot and her husband (Sterling Hayden) confesses to the deed and turns himself into the law. During his trial, various people tell their side of events leading up to the shooting, including a new-in-town preacher (Anthony Steel). Also featuring Peter Walker, Jered Barclay, John Wengraf, Iphigenie Castiglioni, Robert Adler, John Dierkes, and Stanley Adams. This holds one's attention well enough, and both Hayden and Ekberg get to show a bit of range that they didn't normally get to do, especially in a single film. Iphigenie Castiglioni is my favorite name of the day. Plus, Ekberg.
  5. LawrenceA

    ClassiCategories

    What Dreams May Come Ghost Dante's Inferno (1911)
  6. I own Rabid on Blu-ray. It ain't no They Came from Within, but it's a mite bit better than, say, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers or Rabid Grannies.
  7. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976) - 6/10 Various characters are involved in a massive pile-up on the interstate on the July 4th holiday. Flashbacks show how many of the characters came to be on the road at that time. Featuring Robert Conrad as a highway patrolman, Vera Miles as a lonely woman romanced by truck driver David Groh, Buddy Ebsen and Harriet Nelson as an elderly couple dealing with illness, Donna Mills as Conrad's nurse wife, Sue Lyon as a biker chick, Terry Moore, Herb Edelman, Sian Barbara Allen, Scott Jacoby, Joe Kapp, George O'Hanlon, Jr., Bonnie Ebsen, David Nelson, and Tommy Lee Jones. The cast is the draw, as in most disaster movies, and there are some decent performances here, particularly Miles and Groh. I watched it for Tommy Lee Jones, absent from the opening credits, playing another highway patrolman.
  8. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Unholy Wife (1957) - 6/10 A ruthless woman (Diana Dors) plots to murder her vintner husband (Rod Steiger) so she can inherit his fortune and then run off with her boyfriend (Tom Tryon). Also featuring Beulah Bondi, Arthur Franz, Joe De Santis, Douglas Spencer, James Burke, and Marie Windsor. One of Dors' better roles, even if the script is a little weak. The copy I watched was too dark, as well, but I don't know if it was the copy or the cinematography itself.
  9. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Truth About Women (1957) - 6/10 British romantic comedy with Laurence Harvey as a man reminiscing on his romantic life. We see via flashbacks his various encounters and dalliances through the decades. Featuring Diane Cilento, Mai Zetterling, Eva Gabor, Jocelyn Lane, and Julie Harris as the women he romances. Also featuring Roland Culver, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Marius Goring, Michael Denison, Derek Farr, Thorley Walters, Ernest Thesiger, and Christopher Lee. Harvey seems to be enjoying himself, and the production values are good. I found myself growing bored, as my heart is a shriveled, desiccated thing that has lain dead in my chest for decades. Christopher Lee has a brief role as Gabor's cuckolded husband. Vive l'amour!
  10. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Trump revokes Obama order on reporting civilian deaths in drone strikes President Trump on Wednesday issued an executive order revoking an Obama-era requirement to publicly report the number of U.S. drone strikes outside of war zones and the number of civilians killed by them. The new policy does not cover Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, areas of conflict where the United States has troops currently deployed. It only applies to drone strikes carried out by intelligence operatives — i.e., the CIA. The military reports casualties separately in the theaters where it operates. Trump’s order effectively canceled a policy, signed by President Barack Obama in July 2016, requiring U.S. officials to release “an unclassified summary of the number of strikes undertaken by the United States government outside areas of active hostilities,” as well as a related civilian casualty report by May 1 each year. https://news.yahoo.com/trump-revokes-obamaera-order-requiring-us-to-report-civilian-deaths-in-drone-strikes-211717968.html?.tsrc=bell-brknews Still gunning for that Nobel Peace Prize, I see.
  11. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Trooper Hook (1957) - 7/10 Western featuring Joel McCrea as Army Sgt. Hook, who is tasked with transporting Cora (Barbara Stanwyck), a white woman who had been held captive by Apaches, and the young child (Terry Lawrence) that Cora had with Apache leader Nanchez (Rodolfo Acosta). They have to deal with prejudice in the towns they travel through, as well as Nanchez himself, who escapes captivity and comes for Cora and the kid. Also featuring Earl Holliman, Royal Dano, Sheb Wooley, Edward Andrews, Celia Lovsky, Susan Kohner, John Dehner, Stanley Adams, Jeanne Bates, Cyril Delevanti, Jody McCrea, and the voice of Tex Ritter. A short and straight-forward western yarn with some slight social messaging, and filled with interesting characters that are well cast.
  12. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Time Lock (1957) - 6/10 British thriller set in Canada about a little boy who gets trapped inside a bank vault with the door containing a time lock not set to open for nearly three days. The bank employees, including the boy's parents (Lee Patterson & Betty McDowall), frantically work to get the door open before the boy runs out of air. Featuring Robert Beatty as a vault expert, Alan Gifford as the bank manager, Robert Ayres as the police inspector on the scene, Larry Cross, Sandra Francis, Gordon Tanner, Jack Cunningham, Victor Wood, and Sean Connery as "Welder #1". This is a bit too dry to really engross the viewer, a little too procedural, but it's not bad, really. Connery, despite playing a character without a name, has several lines, delivered in a thicker-than-usual Scottish burr.
  13. LawrenceA

    TCM has a new owner

    Here's some info from an article posted in another section of the message boards. It goes into greater detail, although still scant info about TCM specifically. Under AT&T’s new restructuring plan for its media operations, Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting will disappear into the annals of history. Turner will be splintered or absorbed into three newly created entities. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the overhaul is expected to lead to cost cutting and layoffs that will certainly impact Atlanta operations. It noted that Dallas-based AT&T is “currently saddled with about $170 billion in net debt, the most of any non-financial U.S. company.” Turner still has more than 6,000 employees in Atlanta centered mostly at CNN Center and the Techwood campus. Affiliate relations, operations and marketing departments are heavily represented locally. Turner Sports, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim largely operate out of Atlanta along with significant portions of CNN, CNN International and HLN, which recently centralized live programming back to CNN Center. Top executives for Turner over the years have largely migrated to the entertainment power centers of Los Angeles and New York. AT&T in a statement Monday, bluntly stated that Atlanta will remain a cog in its media operations: “The Atlanta office and operations will continue to exist. There are no plans to close it down.” How Atlanta operations will exist in terms of size and scope going down the road is not clear. An AT&T spokesperson said “this is not a cost-cutting exercise.” Rather, “it is about strengthening our ability and capabilities to invest in and develop more content for our global audiences” and “find efficiencies in our companies to ensure that we are better focusing our investments and resources into developing content and not on duplicative administrative functions or processes.” Under the new AT&T model, Robert Greenblatt, former chairman of NBC Entertainment who has also run Showtime and Fox, will lead the Direct-to-Consumer business overseeing WarnerMedia Entertainment, which includes HBO and three Turner networks: TNT, TBS and truTV. He will also design a new streaming service. David Levy, who ran Turner Broadcasting the past six years out of New York, announced his departure on Friday after 33 years at the company. HBO and Turner’s entities have to date worked as fiefdoms in a sense within Time Warner. That will no longer be the case. “This company in the past has tended to be a collection of separate entities that had their own visions and goals,” Greenblatt told the Wall Street Journal Monday. “If you are looking at the modern world, it is really incumbent on us to figure out how to manage them in a really smart way together.” Jeff Zucker, who oversees CNN, CNN Digital and HLN, will also take over all the sports operations including Turner Sports, Bleacher Report and the AT&T Regional Sports Networks. The new division’s name: WarnerMedia News & Sports. Basically, Zucker will run all live TV-related programming. Warner Bros., another division of WarnerMedia, will oversee Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies. It will be run by Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara and is described as a “new global kids and young adults business” in the release although TCM doesn’t quite fit that description. Warner Bros. already runs its own animation studio DC Entertainment. "This change will provide the company with the agility and flexibility needed to build WarnerMedia's brands across a variety of evolving distribution models with a more coordinated approach to the company's original programming," the company said in the Monday morning announcement. AT&T, which was already moving some of its Atlanta telecom jobs to Dallas, is facing increasing competition from the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Facebook for ad dollars and streaming viewership. The traditional cable model perfected by Turner is being challenged as more people stop paying for cable or satellite subscriptions or never sign up in the first place. An AT&T spokesperson said Turner Broadcasting brand is unnecessary under the restructuring and the company will be “evolving the Turner brand into the WarnerMedia brand in the weeks and months ahead.” The management’s focus will be to continue to protect the “character and uniqueness” of the specific channel brands such as TBS and TNT. “We will work diligently to sustain the brand character and culture of these proud and storied businesses through our focused creative processes and product line profitability,” the spokesperson said. https://www.ajc.com/blog/radiotvtalk/warnermedia-restructuring-breaks-turner-broadcasting/jIQG40OYSyGDyOJaOfsXLP/?fbclid=IwAR3tGqrcNSILIuW_sqkK9BlY72e_GDxY5WXjGo4b1f5cWGyZC5-f-1O9wC0
  14. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Tijuana Story (1957) - 6/10 Crime drama with Rodolfo Acosta as a crusading newspaper reporter determined to clean up the sordid title border town. Sub-plots concern Robert McQueeney as a racketeer who works to undermine them from the inside, and James Darren as a hot-head American tourist who fall for a local girl. Also featuring Jean Willes, Robert Blake, Joy Stoner, Paul Newlan, George E. Stone, Michael Fox, William Fawcett, and Susan Seaforth Hayes. Reporter Paul Coates also appears as himself and narrates. This is passable, although not as sleazy as one would hope.
  15. LawrenceA

    quirky submarine captains

    Laughton was a paranoid lout in Devil and the Deep. The main plot concerns his almost maniacal jealousy regarding wife Tallulah Bankhead, and the men that Laughton believes she's having affairs with, including co-star Gary Cooper and a very young Cary Grant in an early role. Another one I thought of that was a bit of a tyrant while at sea was Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide.
  16. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Tarnished Angels (1957) - 7/10 Depression-era drama based on a novel by William Faulkner. Rock Hudson is a New Orleans reporter who becomes fascinated by WWI ace Robert Stack who is now reduced to barnstorming appearances at county fairs, along with his parachutist wife Dorothy Malone, mechanic Jack Carson, and Stack & Malone's young son Chris Olsen. Also featuring Robert Middleton, William Schallert, Alan Reed, Robert J. Wilke, and Troy Donahue in his first credited film role. Faulkner considered this the best film adaptation of one of his works, and director Douglas Sirk named it as his own favorite of his works. The B&W CinemaScope imagery by Irving Glassberg is very good. I've found Sirk's films to be a mixed bag, but I liked this one.
  17. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) - 7/10 Romantic comedy with Debbie Reynolds as Tammy, a young woman who was raised in swampy backwoods by her grandfather (Walter Brennan). Her sheltered existence is upended by the appearance of handsome young man Peter (Leslie Nielsen), who washes up after a storm. After nursing him back to health, Tammy follows him back to his family home, a plantation manor filled with refined southern gentry who bristle at Tammy's primitive ways. Also featuring Fay Wray, Sidney Blackmer, Mala Powers, Mildred Natwick, Philip Ober, Craig Hill, April Kent, and Louise Beavers. This is definitely not my sort of film, but I was still won over its charms, particularly Reynolds' performance. The smash hit song "Tammy" was also nominated for an Oscar.
  18. LawrenceA

    ClassiCategories

    There are two versions of Death at a Funeral as well: the 2007 British version, and the 2010 American remake with a mostly black cast. Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage plays the same role in both, though, and it's a doozy. Other funeral scenes: The Funeral (1996) Phantasm (1979) Frankenstein (1931) The Loved One (1965) Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
  19. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Sorry to nitpick, since I agree with your sentiment, but Bloomberg wasn't the mayor on 9/11. That was Rudy "Nosferatu" Giuliani, and he's been shamelessly milking it ever since. Bloomberg took office in January of '02.
  20. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    One of My Wives Is Missing (1976) - 6/10 TV-movie mystery starring Jack Klugman as a former NYC cop now working as the police chief in a small resort town in the Catskills. Honeymooning James Franciscus reports his wife missing, and Klugman is on the case, but things take a turn when a woman (Elizabeth Ashley) shows up claiming to be the wife, only Franciscus claims to have never seen her before. Also featuring Joel Fabiani, Milton Selzer, Ruth McDevitt, and Garry Walberg. This starts out well, with some sharp, funny dialogue and good performances, but by the end it has taken one twist too many and just becomes silly. The Savage Bees (1976) - 4/10 The infamous Africanized South American killer bees make it to New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras. Sheriff Ben Johnson, medical examiner Michael Parks, and bee expert Gretchen Corbett must try to find the swarm and get rid of it before more people are killed. Also featuring Horst Bucholz, Paul Hecht, Bruce French, and James Best. If you've seen one bee movie, you've seen 'em all. This one gets an extra point for the performances of Johnson and Parks. I also liked the scene with a VCR the size of a suitcase. This was followed by a 1978 sequel, Terror Out of the Sky, which shows up on Svengoolie occasionally.
  21. LawrenceA

    quirky submarine captains

    Charles Laughton in Devil and the Deep (1932).
  22. LawrenceA

    Paul Newman as SOTM May 2019

    That's one of the 5 Newman movies I haven't seen. The other 4 are: The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968) Winning (1969) WUSA (1970) Quintet (1979) I have a copy of Winning among my stuff to watch, and Quintet shows up on Amazon Prime occasionally.
  23. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Strange One (1957) - 6/10 Amusingly over-heated military school drama featuring Ben Gazzara as an upperclassman who bullies and torments his classmates. Eventually his antics go too far, and the others begin to turn against him. Also featuring George Peppard, Pat Hingle, Arthur Storch, Paul E. Richards, Larry Gates, Julie Wilson, James Olson, Peter Mark Richman, Geoffrey Horne, and Clifton James. Gazzara, Peppard and Wilson all made their film debuts here. The film was presented in conjunction with the Actors Studio, with all cast and crew being members of that organization. Based on Calder Willingham's novel and play End as a Man, this film adaptation had to tamp down the more overt homosexual themes present, but they are still there, and some aren't hidden very much. The character played by Paul E. Richards (an actor that looks like the love child of John Cassavetes and Jerry Lewis) is clearly meant to be gay, and his interactions with Gazzara have a lot of blatant symbolism, like Ben fondling and polishing his sword while Richards gazes on admiringly, or a group shower scene with Richards being the one guy wearing a shower cap. There's also a lot of talk about gag reflexes, Gazzara shoving rubber tubes down guys' throats, and spanking guys with a broom. The film's chief flaw is with Arthur Storch, playing a very over-the-top buffoonish character wearing coke-bottle glasses, ill-fitting fake buck-teeth, and overdoing it to a degree that nearly every scene he's in is ruined. I can't blame Storch, who played the role on stage as well, as much as director Jack Garfein, who should have seen that this wouldn't play well on screen. In the end, I felt this was a seriously flawed film, but worth seeing for those interested in off-beat 50's cinema and boundary-pushing subject matter. On a side note, Roger Corman's Sorority Girl, released this same year and one that I watched this morning, was an unofficial adaptation of the same play, with the setting and genders changed.
  24. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Story of Esther Costello (1957) - 6/10 Interesting melodrama, based on a book by Nicholas Monsarrat. Joan Crawford stars as an American traveling through rural Ireland who comes across the title person, a young girl (Heather Sears) who has been blind, deaf and mute since childhood. Crawford adopts the girl, taking her back to America and working diligently over years to educate the girl and make her a symbol for others likewise afflicted. However, when Crawford's estranged husband (Rossano Brazzi) shows up, he begins using Esther as a front for a charitable fund-raising racket. Also featuring Lee Patterson, Ron Randell, Fay Compton, John Loder, Bessie Love, Sidney James, Denis O'Dea, Megs Jenkins, and Peter Brown. I haven't read the book, but from what I've read about it, it was a thinly-veiled indictment of Helen Keller's inner circle in particular and misuse of charitable funds in general. The resolution of the film is pretty dark, but not nearly as cynical as the book's. Crawford was well-cast for this role, as was Sears. My antipathy for Brazzi continues, however. I really didn't know what to expect with this one, and I ended up enjoying it, even if the first and second halves of the film seem like they're from different pictures.
  25. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    How long before a Trumpster chimes in with a "But America hacks other countries, too!" excuse?

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