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Posts posted by rayban

  1. On 4/17/2019 at 9:05 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

    I watched a lot (but not all) of TEA AND SYMPATHY (1956) because I always do.

    Ironically, VINCENTE MINNELLI was not the right director for this. MINNELLI was a good director, but he was not an honest director. He is all about the facade- the colors, the sets, the red in Kerr's hair- I bet you he even personally replanted her flowergarden on the soundstage set in Culver City every day...with Minnelli, the actors and the script rank in importance somewhere below whether or not to use Forsythia blossoms in a scene even though the film is set in the Fall.

    my mind goes back to that OBVIOUSLY GAY CHOREOGRAPHER character in DESIGNING WOMAN, who MINNELLI has avow his heterosexuality ("I have two children...") in spite of the fact that in the climactic fight scene he throws some leg kicks and demi-entrechants that would make MOIRA SHEARER envious....

    every time i see it, I just can't help but think "Gurl..."

    Watching TEA AND SYMPATHY I found myself constructing a scenario where, in the hazy process of contracts and legalities, FRITZ LANG found himself assigned to direct instead of Minnelli.

    In his version, now called SISTER BOY, I see neon signs blinking and an air of sleaze, I see SISTER BOY stabbing the hooker/waitress and ensnaring Kerr into his web like a femme fatale. I see the husband taking the fall for a crime he did not commit and someone gets an ice pick to the sternum in the final scene.

    (at least it's a more honest film that what we have now...)

    EDIT- kee-ripes! I think I fixed all the misspellings of "MINNELLI." All apologies, if one is going to be critical of someone (even lovingly) one should get the name spelled correctly!


    I am sure that Vincente Minnelli knew that he was dealing with a falsified version of "Tea and Sympathy", not the already famous play that everybody said COULD NOT BE DONE.

    Well, the famous play was not done - the subplot involving Laura Reynolds' husband's homosexuality was dropped.

    Dropping the REAL HOMOSEXUAL from the plot meant that the screen version was now about what was happening to Tom Lee, in other words, homophobia.

    On that basis, I think that Vincente Minnelli did a very fine job.

    Don't forget that Mr. Minnelli was often thought to be a homosexual, too.

    Yes, the indelible Minnelli trademarks are there, that is, the attention to "the facade".

    Yes, Minnelli packed a watered-down version of some pretty explosive material with considerable wallop.

    If he hadn't, that devastating ending - Tom, meeting the husband, the long-departed Laura and her letter - would not have hit home so hard.

    Forced to work with a lot less, Vincente Minnelli delivered a "Tea and Sympathy" that was different, but no less true - the ingrained destructiveness of homophobia.  


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  2. 3 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

    Murder in the First (1995) Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman (from IMDb) Henri Young stole five dollars from a post office and ended up going to prison - to the most famous, or infamous, prison of them all: Alcatraz. He tried to escape, failed, and spent three years and two months in solitary confinement - in a dungeon, with no light, no heat and no toilet. Milton Glenn, the assistant warden, who was given free reign by his duty-shirking superior, was responsible for Young's treatment. 

    It's very loosely based on the life of Henri Young. The real guy was already doing time for bank robbery and murder.

    Entertaining still 7/10

    Murder in the First Poster

    Terrific movie, Kevin Bacon should have received an Oscar nomination.,

    Years later, it opened Off-Broadway as a stage play.

    It was well-received.

  3. 52 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

    You want to hear something funny? I saw TEA AND SYMPATHY twice and it wasn't until I started reading reviews and trivia on the film THAT I (totally) REALIZED KERR'S HUSBAND IS SUPPOSED TO BE A CLOSET CASE!!! (and can totally see it now!)

    And I think we'd all agree I'm pretty perceptive when it comes to that.

    If the film were re-made today - and remained faithful to the play - it would still be as controversial, I think, as the play in its' initial run.

  4. 7 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

    I'd be genuinely intrigued to.

    Maybe we're too far ahead societally now, but I've always thought TEA AND SYMPATHY deserved an HONEST remake.

    (I'm sure the play HAS to be more straightforward than the movie, yes?)

    When it was made as a film, it was too bold for the screen.

    The fact that the husband was gay, and not Tom Lee, was such a revelation.

    It upended everyday conceptions of what it meant to be "gay".

    It should be re-made - with all of the original material that concerned Laura and her husband and his need for the young men in his house.

    His homosexuality was almost beside-the-point - but it was very real.

    When push came to shove, the young men were far more important than his wife.


  5. 7 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

    That's a very perceptive comment.

    I don't know how many times I have seen this movie in bits and pieces or one full sitting- Hell, I've even lived parts of it...

    I may stand alone on this, but I bemoan the fact that the word "q u e e r" has been redefined and now has a heavy sexuality-defined context, even the positive reclamation of it years ago by the gay community irks me, because in the process we lost a REALLY EFFECTIVE TERM FOR DESCRIBING SOMETHING THAT IS (plainly and simply and independent of any concept of sexuality) JUST ****ING ODD.

    and TEA AND SYMPATHY is one Q U E E R movie. As in just plainly and simply odd.

    You must read the play - it might be the very essence of "queer".

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  6. 2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

    The Wrong Man - (1993) - The Good, The Bad, And The Heart-breaker


    Director: Jim McBride, Writers: Roy Carlson (story), Michael Thoma (screenplay), Cinematography by Affonso Beato. Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Kevin Anderson, John Lithgow, Jorge Cervera Jr. and Ernesto LaGuardia

    Neo Noir, Half Road pic, half Policier, half dysfunctional Drama.



    Kevin Anderson (The Good) plays a young 30-ish American, Alex Walker, a sailor on the run after a fight over a woman that went seriously wrong. He's fleeing from a manslaughter charge in Massachusetts, he says he didn't want to spend 10 years picking up cans along the highways.  His cargo ship The Starfish is working the Gulf coast of Mexico.



    John Lithgow (The Bad) plays a chain smoking "ne plus ultra" Ugly American John Mills, channeling Henry Fonda and touches of other classic Noir performances, you see a bit of Jimmy Stewart and get impressions of Broderick Crawford, he's so very entertaining in the role, an excellent performance.



    Rosanna Arquette (The Heartbreaker) plays Missy, Mills' younger wife/common law friend with benefits, a real sweetheart Floozy of a Femme Fatale. Missy's past is shrouded in Noir. She spins a honey dipped, storybook fantasy background, but we learn later that she "worked" at an infamous Georgia highway truck stop in probable salacious endeavors "giving the best business in hash house history."  Arquette is playing the exact type of exhibitionist, free spirit role that in the late 50s early 60s would have been given to Brigitte Bardot, Arquette is smoking-ly sultry in this film and beautiful to watch, a siren luring men to their fate.

    There is also a good policier angle that is nicely fleshed out of a young ambitious Mexican Criminal Law graduate Ortega played by Ernesto LaGuardia, who will remind you of a young Ricardo Montalban, vs. the old school Police Chief Diaz,  played excellently by Jorge Cervera Jr. who gives off a John Wayne/Harry Carey vibe. The cinematography is outstanding, the noir sequences to die for, the  Mexican locations humid-ly hypnotic.

    I'm starting to believe that what makes Neo Noirs authentic Neo Noirs for me,  is not only a heavy dose of Noir stylistic cinematography along with a simple Noir storyline, but also a bit of cinematic memory, when you can picture the stars in these Neos as inheritors of Classic Noir star parts, or see a nod to Classic Noir type locations combined with an old school, without bells & whistles, low budget, "B" film artistry you reach the tipping point into full blown Noirsville.

    I had to order this off Ebay from Hong Kong, it's worth it. It's equal to the best Neo Noirs of the 90s, a great, great soundtrack by Los Lobos too, 10/10 enjoy. Needs an official release.

    Full review at Noirsville The Wrong Man. 😎

    Sounds very interesting, whatever happened to Kevin Anderson, who seemed destined for stardom?

    • Like 1

  7. 10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    Kapo (1960)  -  8/10


    Italian Holocaust drama with Susan Strasberg as a teenage Jewish girl in France during the occupation.  She's soon sent to a concentration camp where she assumes the identity of a non-Jewish political prisoner, thus avoiding immediate execution. She's later sent to a women's work camp, where her desperation drives her to become a "kapo", a sort of trustee assigned to guard over her fellow prisoners, earning more food and creature comforts, but in exchange losing her humanity. Also featuring Emmanuelle Riva, Laurent Terzieff, Gianni Garko, Annabella Besi, Graziella Galvani, Paola Pitagora, and Didi Perego. Stark, brutal and emotionally devastating, with fantastic performances from Strasberg, Riva (as a sensitive prisoner), and Perego (as a tough-as-nails prisoner). The version I watched was mostly in Italian, but I understand that there's also an English-language dub.

    Source: The Criterion Channel

    Such a shame, this fine, but brutal film has fallen into oblivion.

    At the time, Susan Strasberg, fresh off her Broadway triumph as Anne Frank, was such a big name.

    • Like 1

  8. 9 hours ago, Thenryb said:

    How, in your view, does this version compare with the earlier version starring Robert Morley and the later version starring Stephen Fry? I liked both of those versions, but have not seen this one. I have always been interested in this trial and even have a book containing a verbatim transcript of the trial.

    Since the year was 1960, I do realize the limitations that were imposed on the production,.

    But Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas never even touch each other.

    They do not embrace and they do not kiss.

    They seem like contentious friends on the same side of the same issue.

    The film is very good in that it concentrates on the emotional toll of the three trials - yes, all three trials are included.

    Peter Finch gives an understated but heartfelt performance.

    And John Fraser is a beast of a boy.

    But, as films about Oscar Wilde go, I prefer "Wilde" with Stephen Fry and Jude Law.

    And the most recent one, "The Happy Prince" with Rupert Everett, is a devastating glimpse into his last three years,  in which old age, poverty, alcoholism and depravity got the best of him.  


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  9. 2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)  -  7/10


    British biopic on the noted author and playwright and his various legal troubles. Wilde (Peter Finch) leads a successful, extravagant life, the toast of society and a source of amusement for his rapier wit and eccentric manner, but when his dalliances with a young man (John Fraser) bring undue attention, especially from the man's father the Marquis of Queensbury (Lionel Jeffries), Wilde finds his presence unwanted, and his exploits eventually lead him to the courthouse. Also featuring Yvonne Mitchell, Nigel Patrick, Sonia Dresdel, Maxine Audley, James Booth, Laurence Naismith, Michael Goodliffe, and James Mason. The subject matter was controversial, but the film tested the boundaries of what was allowed to be discussed onscreen at the time. It seems a bit quaint now, not to mention saddening, but the film works as both an indictment on British society in the time depicted, and the time in which the movie was made. Finch is exceptional, as is Jeffries as the detestable Marquis. Mason has a brief but showy role as a lawyer. 

    Source: YouTube

    What went on between Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas is left in doubt in the film.

    But the casting of John Fraser, who is quite good, makes it quite obvious.

    The ending, in which Wilde can't even acknowledge Douglas, is very sad indeed.

  10. 10 hours ago, rayban said:

    "Tea and Sympathy" - Vincente Minnelli - 1956 -

    starring Deborah Kerr, John Kerr, Leif Erickson, Edward Andrews, Daryl Hickman, Norma Crane -

    Beautifully rendered, but thoroughly falsified version of the famous Broadway hit -

    sadly, the screenplay was written by the playwright, Robert Anderson -

    for, in the play, it is not Tom Lee (John Kerr) who is homosexual, but Bill Reynolds, Laura's husband (Leif Erickson) who is homosexual -

    but, since the subject of homosexuality could not be embraced, everyone concerned did a commendable job -

    still, the revelation that a macho-oriented married man was a homosexual would have been quite a revelation back in 1956 -

    superb performances from all of the mentioned actors -

    especially Deborah Kerr, who is the essence of sympathy -

    and John Kerr, who is such a wounded individual -



    The famous play is about homosexuality -

    the screen version is about homophobia -

    quite a difference, I would say -

    John Kerr deserved a screen career -

    he got better and better, he was terrific in "Gaby", the film that might have made him a star -



    • Like 1

  11. "Tea and Sympathy" - Vincente Minnelli - 1956 -

    starring Deborah Kerr, John Kerr, Leif Erickson, Edward Andrews, Daryl Hickman, Norma Crane -

    Beautifully rendered, but thoroughly falsified version of the famous Broadway hit -

    sadly, the screenplay was written by the playwright, Robert Anderson -

    for, in the play, it is not Tom Lee (John Kerr) who is homosexual, but Bill Reynolds, Laura's husband (Leif Erickson) who is homosexual -

    but, since the subject of homosexuality could not be embraced, everyone concerned did a commendable job -

    still, the revelation that a macho-oriented married man was a homosexual would have been quite a revelation back in 1956 -

    superb performances from all of the mentioned actors -

    especially Deborah Kerr, who is the essence of sympathy -

    and John Kerr, who is such a wounded individual -



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  12. "Hit The Deck" - Roy Rowland - 1955 -

    starring Jane Powell, Vic Damone, Ann Miller, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Russ Tamblyn, Gene Raymond, Kay Armen, etc. -

    Bloated but entertaining MGM musical about three sailors on shore leave and their lady loves -

    it has a terrific score, which was taken from the music of Vincent Youmans -

    the film is based on a play and a musical -

    the choreography, which is quite spirited, was by Hermes Pan -

    lots of characters, a lot of plot -

    but, at two hours of screen time, you are having a great time -

    this one was Jane Powell's last screen musical at MGM -

    RKO made the stage musical in 1930, but, when they sold the rights to MGM, the film disappeared -



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  13. 13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1960)  -  3/10


    Another dose of insipid lunacy from producer-director Albert Zugsmith. A group of people on a bus, including a couple having marital problems (Mamie Van Doren & Martin Milner), another couple having marital problems (Mickey Rooney & Fay Spain), a runaway teen (Tuesday Weld), a traveling salesman (Mel Torme), a hot-rodding musician (Paul Anka), and the bus driver (Cecil Kellaway), are caught up in a torrential flood, causing them to seek shelter in church. Then the story shifts to a comedic retelling of the Adam & Eve story, with Milner & Van Doren as the first couple, Fay Spain as temptress Lilith, and Mickey Rooney as Satan! Also with June Wilkinson and Ziva Rodann. Rooney gets a co-director credit on this bizarre mash-up of soap opera, cheesecake and sub-moronic humor. 

    Source: internet



    Martin Milner made so many films in so many genres - he is an underappreciated actor.

  14. 53 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

    Friday April 12, 2019


    Ann Miller on TCM

    TEXAS CARNIVAL with Red Skelton

    LOVELY TO LOOK AT with Kathryn Grayson

    THE KISSING BANDIT with Frank Sinatra

    ROOM SERVICE with Marx Brothers

    SMALL TOWN GIRL with Farley Granger

    ON THE TOWN with Gene Kelly

    HIT THE DECK with Jane Powell

    TOO MANY GIRLS with Lucille Ball

    "Small Town Girl" should be a better-known musical.

    • Like 2

  15. 6 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

    Roger Moore with just about anyone in any film. He's played with Michael Caine ('Bullseye'), Lee Marvin ('Shout at the Devil'), Tony Curtis ('the Persuaders') and Stacy Keach in something-I-can't-recall. It rarely works unless his co-star has the same accent, (like Susannah York in 'That Lucky Touch'). Almost the only film I like him in, is 'The Wild Geese'

    He's very good in the "Maverick" tv series.


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