scsu1975

Members
  • Content Count

    14,061
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    15

Everything posted by scsu1975

  1. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Yes. They became the first members of The High and the Mighty Mile High Club.
  2. It's an entertaining film, with a memorable theme song. But it's overlong, and much of the flashbacks are uninteresting. I suppose they are intended to make us care about the passengers. It's always fun to see Wayne b-slap Robert Stack. But then as the plane is about to land, we have to hear Wayne say "now I lay me down ta sleep." Geez.
  3. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Credit Elmer Bernstein (who did several Wayne films) with the music. This was the first soundtrack album I ever bought, primarily for the title track.
  4. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    This film is more in keeping with the "fun" aspect of the Indiana Jones films. Temple of Doom substitutes too much violence for fun, although it still has entertainment value.
  5. scsu1975

    NOW PLAYING (100 YEARS AGO)

    From February 20-22, 1918, the feature at the Poli was the comedy Here Comes the Bride, starring John Barrymore. Released in January of 1919, the film was five reels, and is presumed lost. It was based on a play first produced in September, 1917, at the George M. Cohan Theatre in New York City. Plot: Frederick Tile, a New York lawyer, is in love with Ethel Sinclair, daughter of a corn magnate. But there is another man named Frederick Tile, married to a woman named Maria Pizzaro, who is from South America. Maria has divorced her husband, and under the terms of her father’s will, her former husband cannot share in the estate if he remarries within a year after her father’s death. Maria comes to New York with Sevier, her lawyer. Her divorced husband wires her than he is leaving on the next ship. Sevier tells Maria that he will find another Frederick Tile, and arrange a sham marriage before her divorced husband arrives in New York. This would protect her fortune. They find Frederick Tile’s name in the city directory and hire a lawyer to arrange the marriage. Meanwhile, Ethel’s father finds a marriage license for Tile and Ethel. He assumes Tile is after her money, and tears up the license in front of Tile. Tile is despondent, until the lawyer contacts him with an offer of $100,000 to marry a widow, who would also agree to an immediate divorce. Tile agrees to the marriage, not realizing how ugly the woman is because she is hidden under a veil. Ethel telephones her father that she and Tile have eloped. She withdraws money from the bank and bursts in on Tile just as his wedding has concluded. She tells him she is ready to marry him, but he tells her he cannot marry for one year, due to the terms of his marriage. Ethel departs in anger, and her father has the police search for her. James Carleton, a friend of Tile, gives him the key to his home and tells him to stay there until the situation is resolved. Ethel goes to the same house, believing that Carleton’s sister, who is her friend, will put her up. Ethel and Tile end up in adjoining rooms, then bump into each other in the hallway. They end up dining together, then read newspaper accounts of their supposed elopement. Tile’s bride appears on the scene, claiming she is dissatisfied with the $500 she was paid to become Tile’s wife, and demands more money. Tile locks her in a room. Ethel’s father demands that his daughter and Tile have an official marriage, not realizing that Tile is already married. Tile is forced to tell him the truth. At this point, an ex-convict who has just been released from Sing Sing appears and recognizes the bride as his wife. The two are sent to Cuba. However, Tile and Ethel must still wait a year before they can get married. Director John Stuart Robertson wanted to film a scene showing Barrymore, in a hungry state, dreaming about food floating over his head. When he asked Barrymore what particular food would appeal to him, the actor replied “bacon and eggs.” In short order, a waiter appeared from the hotel across the street with the food. Barrymore thought Robertson was buying him breakfast, so he wolfed down the food before the scene could be filmed. A reviewer for The Film Daily wrote “robbed of the dialogue, which had considerable to do with giving snap to the stage play, this becomes just a passable offering, depending largely upon the personality of John Barrymore, whose comedy method is distinctive enough to give value to scenes that otherwise wouldn’t register anything in particular.”
  6. This thread will take a look at what was playing in the theaters 100 years ago. To narrow the scope, I chose one theater, Poli’s, in the city where I was born, Bridgeport, CT. In 1919, the theater was managed by Matt Saunders (more on him later). I will post the theater listings (from publicly available sources), and whenever possible, see what I can discover about the film(s) being shown. I encourage anyone who knows anything about the films to chime in. First up, a brief look at the theater: Poli’s Theater (which no longer exists) was located on Main Street in downtown Bridgeport. The movie house was part of the chain owned by S.Z. Poli, and was considered the finest theater on the circuit, boasting a seating capacity of 3,300. The “first lobby,” or entrance, seen below, featured a great mirror on either side, framed between marble columns. Three sets of double doors led to the “second lobby,” which was the ticket lobby. The ticket lobby, shown below, contained two marble ticket windows, and three more sets of double doors leading to the “third lobby,” or foyer. The foyer, shown below, sported four sets of triple doors on the left, leading to the seats. The doors on the right led to the exits and manager’s office. The columns were all made of marble, as was the staircase in the center. The last photo shows the auditorium, with the stage, and box seats on either side. A beautiful painting adorned the arch. Next up: a look at Matt Saunders.
  7. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Well, the poster is nice.
  8. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Which would have come as a big surprise to Leonard ... heh heh
  9. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    The weirdest thing about this film (and there is a lot to choose from) is that the opening music is from On The Waterfront.
  10. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    I've seen some of his films, and he sounds like Cochise in every one of them.
  11. scsu1975

    NOW PLAYING (100 YEARS AGO)

    From February 17-19, 1919, the Poli featured For the Freedom of the East. Released in the fall of 1918, the film was anywhere from five to seven reels, depending upon the source. It is presumed lost. The star of the film was Lady Tsen Mei, sometimes billed as the “First Chinese Star of the Screen, “The Screen’s Only Chinese Star,” and “the Chinese Nightingale.” One reviewer referred to her as a “black-banged China Doll.” According to several trade journals, Tsen Mei’s father had brought her to America when she was young. She studied in this country, and attended the Pittsburgh Musical Conservatory. She completed a law degree at Columbia and passed the bar exam. Supposedly she also had a medical degree. (Some of this may be taken with a grain a salt.) She then performed as a singer in vaudeville before making films. Plot: Princess Tsu is the leader of a secret Chinese society to fight German propaganda in her land. Franz von Richtman, head of the German spy system, plots with the Princess’ uncle, the Viceroy. Von Richtman will make the uncle ruler of China if he organizes a Chinese army to join forces with the Germans in Siberia. The two put their agreement in writing. The Princess overhears the plot and informs Robert Kenyon, head of the American Secret Service in China. He photographs the document, with the intent of sending it to Washington, D.C. Princess Tsu mistakes Kenyon’s gratitude for love. Prince Kang, who has been promised to Princess Tsu since they were children, is jealous of Kenyon and tells the Princess that Kenyon is already engaged to an American girl. She lashes Prince Kang, and says “Bring Kenyon to me and he shall choose your punishment.” When Kenyon admits the truth, the Princess says “Let there be no more lies between us.” The Princess decides to turn against Kenyon, and informs von Richtman that she has a photo of the agreement. But then the Princess changes her mind, and she and her followers rush to Kenyon’s aid as he is being overpowered by von Richtman’s thugs. Kenyon leaves for Washington, with von Richtman traveling on the same steamer. Princess Tsu is also on board, disguised as a servant. In Washington, von Richtman plans against Kenyon. He sends word that the Secretary has returned and is ready to see Kenyon. Kenyon goes to the Secretary’s office and is surprised by one of von Richtman’s henchmen. Princess Tsu jumps from a window thirty feet to the ground, then climbs up a fifty-foot wall covered with ivy leading to the balcony where Kenyon has been tied up. Princess Tsu saves the day and returns to China to marry Prince Kang. The three additional stills below could not be placed in the context of the film. The first two are from the same sequence, but it is unclear who the woman is … perhaps Kenyon’s betrothed, being threatened by the Princess and Prince Kang. The third still shows the Princess holding a document, probably the agreement between the Viceroy and von Richtman. The man on top is probably Prince Kang. Perhaps the man on the ground is the Viceroy. For this film, Tsen Mei insured her hands, arms, and back for $10,000, because she would appear in an evening gown during a scene in Washington, D.C. Moving Picture World noted that “the full beauty of these indispensable portions of her anatomy are shown.” Other critics fell all over themselves praising her figure and athletic prowess. One wrote “the modern evening gown she wears in the last reel shows her splendid muscles, and the ease and sureness of her movements are fascinating.” In describing the film’s climax, the same critic wrote “the manner in which she climbs down the side of a house while in evening costume and throws the villain after a short and sharp encounter is an interesting sight.” So I guess Lady Tsen Mei was the “Wonder Woman” of her time. Newspapers promoted the film by stating “a division of American troops dashes across the Asiatic plains and saves China and Russia from the grasp of the Huns.” The weirdest tagline, however, was “The Sensational Uprising of the Ku-Klux-Klan of the Far East.” The film was distributed by Goldwyn Pictures. Marcus Loew, who owned a chain of theaters, booked the film for seventy days on his circuit, which was an almost unheard of vote of confidence. The film appears to have gotten good reviews and performed well at the box office, possibly due to Tsen Mei’s popularity as a vaudeville performer. She herself commented “I have noted that my return to the vaudeville stage adds a great deal more interest to the motion picture in which I have the leading role and that the picture adds more interested to my vaudeville act. One of my friends told me that she personally knew many women who had witnessed my act in vaudeville and then hastened to see ‘how I looked and acted’ in a screen melodrama. I suppose it is a case of curiosity.” But for whatever reason, Tsen Mei’s film career was short-lived, although she did have a substantial part in the 1929 version of The Letter. That version has been shown on TCM, and is also available on YouTube. Tsen Mei’s actual distaste for the German government went on full display during a vaudeville show in Washington, D.C., just before America entered World War I. She was doing a number in which she imitated bird and animal calls. At the conclusion of the performance, she told the audience she would imitate any animal they requested. A German diplomat and his aides were attending the show, and one of the aides yelled out “make a noise like me.” Tsen Mei replied “I said birds and animals. You are decidedly not a bird. You ask for the sound of your cry. It is also your master’s voice. Listen.” She then squealed like a pig.
  12. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Actually, there is another possibility. Perhaps those guys working on the railroad smoked grass. From what I understand, marijuana allows you to hear music from the future.
  13. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Exactly. Of all his films I've seen, this is the one where he looks the best. Incredibly good-looking guy in 1940.
  14. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    My memory is not quite clear on this, but I believe this film was made while the real Chessman was on death row awaiting an appeal. Campbell was always good at playing sleazeballs.
  15. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Well, DeMille was always ahead of his time.
  16. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Union Pacific (1939) Entertaining from start to finish, this is one of C. B. DeMille’s better flicks. Joel McCrea plays the troubleshooter for the Union Pacific Railroad, which is to meet up with the Central Pacific Railroad out west. Barbara Stanwyck, with an Irish brogue, plays the daughter of a railroad engineer. Of course, there are scoundrels involved (Brian Donlevy, for one), and Robert Preston gets in the middle of the scheming. The action sequences are exciting, and there is just enough brawling with McCrea taking out the trash. The cast is loaded with familiar faces (too many of them in beards, by the way). Akim Tamiroff and Lynne Overman make a crazy pair. The typical ham acting and cornball script associated with DeMille’s productions are ditched for the most part, except for when Regis Toomey buys the farm early on, and we are treated to a rendition of “Danny Boy.” I hadn’t seen this in over forty years. This is one of those “don’t make ‘em like this anymore” films. Fun.
  17. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    I think this is the first film I ever saw with Robert Taylor. I had seen him on tv in The Detectives series but had never gotten a chance to see any of his movies. Throughout the entire film, I kept thinking, "man this guy is really p.o.'d about something."
  18. One share for being a person, one share for being a person in a car, one share for ...
  19. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Yeah, but the monkeys got even in A Cold Night's Death
  20. scsu1975

    more interesting movie photos..........

    Doesn't look like him, nor anyone else in the cast. Maybe it's from another film, and Garbo wore a similar dress.
  21. scsu1975

    more interesting movie photos..........

    The old guy in #3 is Claude Gillingwater. #8 looks like Wally Ford #9 looks like Garbo Now this is a long shot, but I wonder if #1 is a very young Alan Ladd
  22. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    I remember watching this as a kid and being scared. I revisited it about a year or two ago, and I lost count of how many people were offed in this thing. But I still liked it. And it's a hoot seeing Herbert Marshall wielding a flame thrower.
  23. scsu1975

    I Just Watched...

    Actually, I stand corrected ... somewhat. Payne did use the name Tiger Jack Payne. but as a pro wrestler in New York during his days at Columbia. He also used the Alexei Petroff moniker, and here is one more ... a wild Indian named The Masked Marvel. Geez ... today this guy would be driven out of town for cultural appropriation. Hmm ... now I read that Payne wrestled a "red Indian" named "The Unmasked Marvel." The plot thickens.

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us