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Everything posted by rayban

  1. rayban

    Male Beauty In The Movies

    Throughout the years in the movies, there have been many, many examples of actors who became a major component in a film's success due to their youth, beauty and charm. And most of them have gone on to become genuine stars, too. It can be said of these actors that "The camera loved them." And they, in turn, responded without restraint to the camera. Whether they could act or not was never that important. Because what they brought to the camera - in terms of their over-all presence - was always an indelible ingredient of any film that they chose to inhabit. And, here is just one early example:
  2. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    The most famous re-make (1970) is the Italian film, "The Secret of Dorian Gray", with Helmut Berger.
  3. rayban

    Memorable Music!

    Bronski Beat and Marc Almond - "I Feel Love"/"Johnny Remember Me" - listen to second version first -
  4. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "See No Evil" - Richard Fleischer - 1971- starring Mia Farrow - This thriller is one of those "lady-in-distress" excursions that tries hard, really hard, to tell its' story purely in visual terms - the screenplay is by the gifted Brian Clemens - however, at evey turn, it really does strain credulity - for example, if you were a blind girl who lived with her family and you came home to an uninhabited house and then went to bed and woke up the next morning to nobody, wouldn't you call the police - yes, you would - but then Miss Farrow wouldn't go through the life-challenging experiences that this film puts her through - like being locked in a wooden shack - and being lost in a mud field - it's painful to say the least - she's more than game and gives a terrific performance - but she embraces the film's undeniable misogany - namely, that a woman, especially a blind one, cannot help herself in any way - just think of the feistiness of Audrey Hepburn as the blind heroine in "Wait Until Dark" - the film is exquisitely directed by Richard Fleischer who casts a blind eye on all of the dubious proceedings - when the identity of the homicidal maniac is revealed, there is no explanation of his slaughter of the heroine's family - but my guess is that Jacko (Paul Nicholas) wanted the heroine's boyfriend (Norman Eshley as Steve) and, since he couldn't have him, he decided to punish her for it -
  5. rayban


    Hitchcock's final film, "Family Plot", has never worked its' way into the body of his work, Indeed, if truth be told, this final film does seem to be most un-Hitchcockian. Barbara Harris and Bruce Dern and Karen Black and William Devane do not inhabit the same tilm. In fact, the lighter side and the darker side of the film never do mesh. At the very end, the very different plotlines do mesh, but they mesh in a horribly ironic way. Would a man who is obsessed with stealing diamonds (kidnapping people for them) really care that he was actually the heir to a family fortune? It is well-known that Hitchcock had to bring in a co-director. He was not able to complete this film on his own. And, in the process, it does seem to have gotten away from him.
  6. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    His idea of comedy seems to be - keep it in motion - and keep it zany - it will be funny. I don't think that the scriptwriters - Roman Polanski and Gerard Brach - were conversant in English. Perhaps that's the problem. (This set piece is meant to be funny, but it elicits no laughs.)
  7. I watched an episode of "Bonanza" today, which was about a prison riot and had a fairly conventional storyline. But the prison itself was an extraordinary physical manifestation - a seething pit of filth and depravity. The prisoners looked like they were crawling with lice. And there was a stunning performance by Marco St. John as a rabid dog of a man. He looked like he could bite his way through the TV tube. Later, I watched an episode of "Rawhide", which was in black and black and rather dull-looking. A lot of the "outdoor locations" looked like studio sets. But this one had an extraordinary performance by Eddie Bracken as a man whom nobody wanted to take seriously, but who actually saved the day. Also, one of the regulars - he worked on the chuck wagon with Wishbone - was James Murdock; he played "Mushy", a mentally challenged young man who was so warm and friendly - he was, also, extraordinarily beautiful. Below, James Murdock as "Mushy" -
  8. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "The Fearless Vampire Killers" or "Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck" - Roman Polanski - 1967 - I hate to offer a negative opinion of this film, because Roman Polanski is one of my favorite filmmakers - but this film is a very bad spoof of vampire films - it is extremely energetic and in constant motion - but it just is not funny - or even that interesting - the large cast is serviceable and tries, tries, tries - the standouts are Roman Polanski himself as the professor's assistant - and Iain Quarrier as the gay vampire Herbert von Krolock - and, of course, the film's star, Jack MacGowran - (Herbert von Krolock is sexual innuendo for what is happening to Herbert in the assistant's presence.) (Are you laughing?)
  9. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "The Night Digger" - Alastair Reid - 1971 - "Spoiler Alert" - This one has the elements of a thriller - but it isn't really a thriller - it also has the elements of a study of a homicidal maniac - but it isn't really that serious - instead, it seems to be a well-intentioned drama that embraces some rather strange elements - a blind and dominating mother - an isolated middle-aged daughter who has sacrificed her own life to take care of her mother and a mysterious stranger who is hired as the gardener - tensions are on hold between mother and daughter - and the stranger has a secret - when that secret is revealed - of a sexual nature, of course - you might want to scream - or even leave the room - it's bizarre, to say the least - but, when the stranger is actually shown in the depths of his secret, you can actually figure out why he is doing what he is doing - eventually, the mother is left behind, the daughter takes off with the family loot - and, no surprise, the gardener - eventually, too, the daughter and the gardener seem to have gotten rid of the young man's "sexual problem" - but the film insists on a tragic ending - and so, the young man commits suicide - it makes no sense - unless, of course, the film is saying that the young man is gay and cannot live with it - he hates women, he's gotten back at them and he can now succeed with them, but, surprisingly, doesn't really want them - competent direction and superlative acting from Patricia Neal as the daughter, Pamela Brown as the mother and Nicholas Clay as the young man - will women never learn - and will young men realize that being gay isn't the end of the world - in England, the film was known as "The Road Builder" - here, it was called "The Night Digger" - I would call it "The Iceman Cometh" -
  10. There are just so many so-called straight films that actually turn out to be gay. A recent example is "Dead Reckoning" with Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. In the film, Bogart goes through hell and high water to prove that his war buddy was murdered and the reasons for it. At the end of the film, Lizabeth Scott, who is going to be brought to justice by Bogart, says to him, "Don't you love me?" He says to her simply, "Of course, but I loved him more.". Suddenly, the film is thrown into an entirely different light. Also, throughout the film, the overall narration by Bogart has some definite gay vibes, which do point the way to the unexpected conclusion.
  11. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Let's Make It Legal" - Richard Sale - 1951 - starring Claudette Colbert (Miriam), MacDonald Carey (Hugh), Zachary Scott (Victor), Barbara Bates (Barbara), Robert Wagner (Jerry) and Marilyn Monroe (Joyce) - The basic outline of this tale of marital woe is predictable - two recently divorced people cannot stay away from each other - but the screenwriters, F. Hugh Herbert and I.A.L Diamond, ring enough changes on the material to make it engaging and amusing - Hugh is constantly visiting Miriam in their former residence, because he's worried about the state of his rose garden - Miriam turns a blind eye to his shenanigans and basically ignores his presence - Barbara, Miriam's daughter and Jerry, her husband, don't get along with each other, live with Jerry's mother-in-law and seem in danger of a divorce themselves - Victor, Miriam's former beau, is delighted that Miriam is available again - and Joyce, a hot blonde, wants Victor for herself - the ensemble cast seems to be delighted with their roles and embrace the material with a great deal of verve - they imbue the basically tired material as if it were "new" and "funny", too this kind of movie needs a fully-engaged cast - I credit the director with keeping his principals on their toes - it all ends predictably - and yet somehow satisfactorily - if Miram and Hugh hadn't reconciled, you would have been so disappointed - credit F. Hugh Herbert and I.A.L. Diamond for turning some unexpected corners - even the most familiar territory can bring up some craggy surfaces - (It's a one-of-a-kind cast, but somehow Robert Wagner is missing.)
  12. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Young Billy Young" - Burt Kennedy - 1969 - starring Robert Mitchum (Ben Kane), Robert Walker, Jr. (Billy Young), Angie Dickinson (Lily Beloit) and David Carradine (Jesse Boone), Jack Kelly, John Anderson, Willis Bouchey, etc. - this Western is a very dark tale of an aging gun-for-hire (Robert Mitchum) who is hired by a businessman to clean up a lawless town - Ben Kane becomes involved with a wild young man (Robert Walker, Jr.) who brings back memories of his dead son - and with a saloon girl (Angie Dickinson) who's hanging on by a thread - death itself seems to be lurking around each and every corner - and the fact that the three lead characters survive is some kind of miracle - Ben Kane is very rough on Billy Young, because he wants to keep him alive - and he tries hard to keep Lily Beloit on her feet, too - he's like an Avenging Angel, who really does know what is best for you - the film is expertly directed with a persistent sense of doom and gloom and Robert Mitchum, Robert Walker, Jr. and Angie Dickinson keep you poised on the edge - it's a forgotten Western, I think, that deserves to be re-discovered - (Robert Mitchum sings the title song.)
  13. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Crime In The Streets" - Don Siegel - 1956 - This engrossing film is an extremely persuasive look into the heart and soul of a juvenile delinquent - that young man is played very compellingly by John Cassavetes in his screen debut - he is soaked in a forbidding kind of anger - and he wants to spill it over everyone and everything - he is especially mean to his waitress mother and his little brother - he needs to kill - and he makes plans to kill an elderly man who had the courage to slap him - in the end, he is finally able to see the depth of his despair - and he makes an effort to reform - the film is sharply directed by Don Siegel, who achieves a rare kind of screen intensity - and it is beautifully acted by its' ensemble cast, especially James Whitmore (as a concerned social worker), John Cassavetes (as the young man on the brink of madness) and Peter Votrian (as the little brother, Richie, who loves his older brother deeply and wants to save him) - don't miss this one, "it packs a punch" - (In 1956, a new kind of crime was out there on the streets.)
  14. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Amityville: The Awakening - Franck Khalfoun - 2017 - starring Jennifer Jason Leigh (as the mom) and Bella Thorne, McKenna Grace and Cameron Monaghan (as her three children) - this horror film is a surprising and interesting addition to the franchise - and has a deeply disturbing relationship between the mom and her comatose son - suffice it to say, if I talk about it in any detail, I will spoil it for me - for devotees of the horror franchise - and for anyone interested in the lengths that a mom will go for her son - errily realized and directed - with a knockout performance from Cameron Monaghan that will chill you to the bone -
  15. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Colette" - Wash Westmoreland - 2018 - It's a wonderfully involving tale of the famous French author whose early works (the Claudine novels) were co-opted by her so-called husband - Colette was a talented, but timid soul whose true identity wasn't evolved UNTIL she discovered and embraced her lesbianism - beautifully produced, directed and acted by Keira Knightley, Dominic West and Denise Gough as her lesbian lover -
  16. rayban

    Handsome men who did not become movie stars

    Sasha Mitchell - a great beauty - (This photo is so provocative.)
  17. rayban

    PRIEST (1994)

    Linus Roache had one of the screen's great faces.
  18. rayban

    Pauline at the Beach (1983)

    "Time To Leave" (2006) - any film with Melvil Poupard is worth a visit - (Melvil Poupard is at the right.)
  19. rayban

    TCM and Other Sources for Classic Film

    He was so memorable in "Middle of the Night" with Kim Novak.
  20. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Flying Down To Rio" - Thornton Freeland - 1933 - music by Vincent Youmans, Edward Elison, Gus Kahn and Max Steiner - screenplay by Erwin S. Gelsey, H.W. Hanemann and Cyril Hume, dances by Dave Gould and Hermes Pan - what can you say that hasn't already been said? - still, after 85 years, one of the screen's most glorious musicals - it's a seamless combination of story, music and dance - it floats, actually floats - it starred two of the screen's most beautiful people - Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond - and brought us for the first time the screen's most memorable dancing couple - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - dancing, of course, "The Carioca" - this film will never grow old -
  21. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "April Showers" - James V. Kern - 1948 - This film is a highly entertaining musical about the ups and downs in the life of a show business family - a father, a mother and their young son. The principal roles are played memorably by Jack Carson, Ann Southern and Robert Ellis.
  22. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Eye of the Devil" needs to be - re-discovered.
  23. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    Suzanne Pleshette could have given us a racier version, but the script and the direction hold everything carefully "in check".
  24. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "A Rage To Live" - Walter Grauman - 1965 - "Spoiler Alert" - This daring-for-its' time drama is about a young woman, Grace (Suzanne Pleshette), who gradually realizes that she is a promiscuous young woman and finally tries to turn the tables and marry a nice young man, Sidney (Bradford Dillman). But her tendencies return to the surface again when she encounters an acquaintance from her past, Roger (Ben Gazarra). Roger is madly in love with her. For Grace, it's a not-exactly wanted "roll in the hay". Although she is forgiven by her husband, who knew "the sins of her past", she is eventually brought down by Jack (Peter Graves) and his jealous wife (Bethel Leslie) who sees an affair where there is none. She accuses Grace of the affair with Jack at a party, and while there is no truth to the accusation, Sidney decides that he must walk out on Grace. He just doesn't trust her anymore. The film is nicely realized by Walter Grauman. And it is well-performed by its' large cast. But the film seems somewhat "tepid". There's a tendency to enact the somewhat sordid material with a great deal of "taste". If a film can be accused of erring on the side of "taste", "A Rage To Live" is the one. It has none of the heat in the Claire Bloom, George Cukor-directed segment in "The Chapman Report".
  25. rayban

    I Just Watched...

    "Born To Sing" - Edward Ludwig - 1942 - starring Ray McDonald and Virginia Weidler - this MGM musical is a low-budget programmer - but when Ray McDonald dances - the film rises to a much higher level - Ray McDonald was a dancing sprite - and, as a dancing sprite, he was tremendoudly engaging - he's ably supported by a terrific cast in a film which is about, you guessed it, putting on a show -

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