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The Annual FrankGrimes Torture Thread

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I always despised Reynolds' characters in those films, too. But if I were their mom, that boy would have gotten smacked good if he'd spoken to me like that. No way!

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Miss G. - "I always despised Reynolds' characters in those films, too. But if I were their mom, that boy would have gotten smacked good if he'd spoken to me like that. No way!"

 

I'm with you right there!

 

THWACK!!!

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_Hola, Little Red Buick_ -- *No you weren't. I enjoyed the discussion. It got me thinking about the movie and why I like it.*

 

Your answers started to get very short and too agreeable. I sensed some submissive replies. I didn't want you feeling that way.

 

*In fact, I watched it again yesterday, because I felt I was harsh about Jean. This is the way we meet in the middle, come to realize what the other person sees in a film, and we can respect each other's differences. It's kind of good to have a tug of war over a film, it makes me question whether what I believe is accurate or even fair.*

 

That's how I often feel about discussion. I'll start discussing a film and realize I like it more than I thought. It's because of the discussion. I have also changed my tune on characters and stories because of discussion. *Wuthering Heights* is one that comes to mind.

 

*I'll admit, I think my liking of Marie made me blind to her mistakes.*

 

It's who you associated with most. You also found Pierre to be nice and accommodating and you felt Jean left "you" in the cold. I associate most with Jean because I'm close to family. That's who I am.

 

*I thought she was a put upon woman. But looking back at that scene in the railway station, I realize that she didn't have faith in Jean. She hung up on him when he needed her. She assumed he had changed his mind about her after being in his house with his father. She had no other mind set after her own father was so cruel, she probably didn't think anyone could love her, but still she should have tried when she heard him say, 'something terrible has happened'.*

 

And I completely forgot about that scene! And I just watched the film! I thought Jean didn't even contact her. It is funny how so many of us create reasons in our mind for things but the truth isn't that.

 

*Very much so. Though they did some fantastic dramas. It's just that usually things have to be resolved in the end. I think people expected it, and studio head Louis B. Mayer was a stickler for family values and resolution in a wholesome way. That's why A Woman's Face is what it is....but it's amazing that they even attempted this story.*

 

I see. It seems like *A Woman's Face* is a mix of both. The ending comes with the obligatory, "let's get married." It's quite a tidy bow.

 

*And the love aspect as the prime motivator of a murder...being that much in control of someone that you can make them think it's a good thing. That she would willingly do it for him no matter the consequences, even though she must have seen how he was using her. Being unable to do otherwise because of her love... THAT to me is the dark part. And Joan did it sooo well. And Veidt. There was so much nuance to their relationship. I liked the recognition they each felt on meeting one another.*

 

That's a very good point. That is quite dark. I think Anna (Joan Crawford) felt she was in debt to Torsten (Conrad Veidt). He's the one who took an interest in her when she was desperate for such attention. She saw that as "love."

 

*The truth is, she didn't really fit into the demi-monde lifestyle to begin with. She was searching for something to fill her life. In some ways, it isn't even love between two people that will fulfill you. It is the caring for those who don't have anyone. Marie would be great at this, because she was left on her own and understands. Both women had been deluded into thinking that having a man's total affection was everything. The mother was not as horrible as I thought she was in my remembrance of the movie. She was just trying to look out for her family. She learned through her suffering that others were in great need as well, even Marie.*

 

I don't see it being about a delusion of male affection. I think it's a fear of loneliness and a feeling of emptiness. What can erase these feelings? I'm sure both Marie and Jean's mother would love for Jean to be alive. I'm sure Jean's mother would love for her husband to be alive. I can't see them thinking, "who needs a man's affection?"

 

But you are right, I think Marie is probably best-suited for caring for others. And sometimes a person needs to experience one lifestyle to appreciate another. Marie will be able to do this.

 

*No I don't think so. Had she realized it at the time, she would have brought the bum who found her pearls in off the street and fed him.*

 

That's an excellent point! I didn't even think of the statement of her ripping her necklace out of the hands of a bum.

 

*I liked that scene too. I do believe she's the same woman, but life happens, and sometimes you can't see yourself anymore.*

 

I agree with you. I think we all get comfortable in a lifestyle and we become something different but not wholly different.

 

*I liked the title card that said that Marie and Jean replaced their true feelings with formality, because they didn't really feel they knew each other anymore. Why could they not discuss their feelings over what had happened? Because Jean saw the collar fall from the bureau... because she heard his words to his mother. These misconceptions got in the way of WHO they each were. Jean was not a betrayer, or even really a mama's boy. Marie was not like her friends in that other world, of parties and messing around. They each were playing a little role, based on what others wanted of them, because they had been hurt and felt had no other choices. But they did. They each took what they SAW as the reality, but the reality was far different. The reality was what they felt for each other. The outward trappings got in their way.*

 

Now that's magnificent! You just explained the entire film the way I saw it! I certainly couldn't do that.

 

I really didn't have bad feelings about any of the people except when Jean didn't speak up to his mother about his love for Marie. Other than that, I pretty much felt that life got in the way of Jean and Marie's love for each other. They both were forced into a way of living they didn't truly want.

 

*You could see her conflict over her life even in that scene with the pearls. She's looking to matter. She wants to do something with her life, not drift. I see the main thrust of that scene not as a lifestyle choice exactly, or whether to throw away the riches she has, but more a question of independence and what to do with her freedom and newfound knowledge.... She isn't happy in the relationship with Menjou. She can't be happy with Jean because of their misconceptions. Where to place the love she has left over? The answer lies on a more spiritual path for Marie, who really needs work to ease her pain. It comes around full circle in so many ways. I think no matter what, she would have given up her lifestyle. Jean's act just pushed her forward more quickly to a resolution of her quandary.*

 

I think there's more to it than just a decision of independence or not. I feel it's also about giving up the benefits of that kind of life. I really don't blame her. How many people are going to toss aside luxury? The thing is, we don't see everything she does to obtain those benefits.

 

I definitely agree with you about Marie being frustrated with Pierre and the empty life she is living. She's certainly searching in that scene. I think it's inevitable for a woman to reach that point.

 

And I also feel you are right on point about Marie needing the spiritual kind of work she finds to help her with her love. But I think even that will need to be enhanced as time goes on. She's still a young woman.

 

*In the end, without Marie, the mother would have most certainly lost her will to live.*

 

Quite possibly. That's the place Jean was in.

 

*Marie is the one I am quite sure who set up the orphanage of sorts, from their joint idea, as a way to ease the mother's suffering and her own as well. A place to give the love she always had but never got to exercise. It was also a way to give the mother something to live for. Marie finds some comfort in helping those who were in her own situation, and the children are all like little Jeans to the mother. She and the mother make the connection that she and Jean never could. Together, his memory is kept alive through the children and that connection, just as if they'd been married and had children of their own and brought the two families together.*

 

Now that was really sweet. I feel it's all true.

 

*BTW, I really loved what you said about Marie becoming Jean. It's really quite a good parallel. It struck me quite hard while re-watching the film.*

 

Thank you. And the thing is, Marie is happier than Jean. Jean was a wreck inside. He was doing something he felt he needed to do but he also sacrificed a lot of his own happiness to do it. He ended up taking the easy way out. I'm still shocked by that scene.

 

*Watching again, I tend to agree about Pierre, but I can't berate him. He was honest about his feelings and needs. There is also something to be said for good naturedness. It isn't love and it isn't kind, but it can make life less difficult sometimes. It takes the edge off of the pain of living.*

 

He's very likable. I know I didn't dislike him. I just think he represents a selfish way of life. He's used to buying everything he wants.

 

*I hate to tell you, we've been dealing with a sweet little relationship already. Very innocent. At least I hope so. Aggh.*

 

Ha! It looks like your little girl is a chip off the block! She's a romantic!

 

*Myrna always does in the end.*

 

I know. :) That's why I love her!

 

*You know, I understand the feelings about being manipulated by the writers and director here. I had a glimmering of that too, and was pretty shocked at the idea of Fred MaMurray having an affair! But in the end I thought the story was well done enough that I chose to buy that little manipulation.*

 

I'm with ya. I really enjoyed the film. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.

 

*I think it's very possible for a woman to neglect her husband for her children. Sometimes something has to give and in this case it was her relationship to her husband. It IS hard to be a wife AND a mother. I liked that they turned the tables on the neglected wife and made it the neglected husband. Joan was clueless, and the fact that it was Joan made that hard to take.*

 

It is very difficult to be both a wife and mother. It's especially hard today when women often work, as well. I guess my issue was that the husband was going out of the way to do things for his wife and she pushed them aside. That seemed to be too much. But, again, the audience is going to have issues with the husband if the wife was receptive and then he started to seek things elsewhere. It had to be heavy-handed for us to side with the husband. I understand all of that.

 

*I absolutely love Bernard Miles so I am thrilled you said that. He's a terrific actor who is the only truly all good person in Great Expectations.*

 

:)

 

*But I thought Haydn was exceptional in this movie, so understated. He completely amazed me, because this is how I've seen him up until this movie:*

 

*For him to be playing a regular guy completely blew me away! What a good friend.*

 

Ha! That's hilarious! It's true, Richard often played the fidgety Brit, just as you referenced with his appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show. The first thing I always think of with Richard is *Cluny Brown*. He's playing a persnickety guy there, too.

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_Hey there, Laffite_ -- *Hello Jimmy, where are you? I kept wondering that. They had equal billing and I?m surprised the screen time was so unbalanced. I gather that Cagney was more in a Rising Star category and EGB was ahead of him in that regard. I was disappointed that they didn?t share the story line more fully. Cagney certainly had at least as much screen presence (no surprise) in the one way of looking at it if not the other.*

 

Eddie was coming off of *Little Caesar* and Jimmy was coming off *Public Enemy*, so you'd think both would be on even footing. But evidently the studio liked Eddie more in this kind of role.

 

*Jack (Cagney) didn?t have that weakness for the ?dames? but he wasn?t as lucky as Nick either (Eddie). I love that pantomime scene they did. All their scenes together were good ...*

 

Cagney really put the "pal" angle over for the film. But Eddie's scene at the end with Jimmy was strong, too.

 

*Evalyn Knapp made Irene so regular and genuinely nice and on the up and up in that first scene with Nick in the hotel lobby and I was surprised that she turned out to be a bad girl. Sometime we are given a foreshadowing, an inkling that there is dirty work afoot but I didn?t see it. I thought she was sweet and completely trustworthy. And yet here she is slamming the door and saying, "Your?re in the big city now."*

 

I fell for her sweetness, as well. I liked being taken!

 

*Conversely, Noel Francis playing Marie has a few frames of film where she is shown flashing a false smile at Nick and I thought, look out Nick, but he had less to worry about with Marie, in theory anyway, than with Irene. Marie was the better of the two. She just got bullied. Jack (Cagney) suggested she was a DA plant but if that?s true, then that interview with the DA later on doesn?t seem to ring true. Both girls were really good.*

 

Yeah, I thought she was on the up and up. But I'm going off of memory. That's never a wise thing!

 

*Edward G Robinson is amazing! What a mug! Sometime I like to use the word, lugubrious (at least as he got older). And what versatility, he can be the quintessential tough guy Little Cesear or the sweet and gentle soul, Chris Cross. Here he was a little of both. He was immensely likeable but I have to admit that at the end I had become wary of the endless repetition of sayings, gestures, and mistakes. Don?t know why that, actually. But he was still good throughout. I like it when they had him say, ?That?s all right, dear? (to Irene), ?I?ve always had a weakness for Dames.? Obvious, but it was good to show that he had accepted his fate and that he knew the reason why ...*

 

I found him to be completely engaging. He was assertive at times but he was rarely cruel. This makes the film a pleasing one. But it's not a "feel good" picture. It has its drama.

 

*Some rough spots regarding sexism and racism have to be endured in some of these old films, I guess, but not without a grimace or two (or three ...)*

 

Different times, so I accept it for that. But, yes, there are some cringes in the film.

 

*This was before the Code but it seems that the authorities looked down on gambling to make poor Nick pay so handsomely. Gambling was illegal, yes, but why the manslaughter thing? It was tacked on to make his punishment more severe, I guess, but gosh I don?t think he deserved that. :)*

 

Good point!

 

*Frank, I consulted one of your prior lists on this thread, I think the one that eventually became the juice for that marvelous post you did with the screen caps and the capsule reviews. Just for kicks I ran them through the Netflix search engine, though sadly, only a precious few were to be found, six or seven out of 36. This is where Smart Money came from. About half of those found have WAIT tags on them so they are not at present available but will be shortly, one hopes.*

 

I'm glad you did seek it out. It's always good to hear your opinion and the opinion of others, as well.

 

Of the 36 films from that previous list, I have 21 on DVD. And I know at least five more of those are available on DVD. I'm surprised Netflix had so little.

 

*I think I have Thunder Road coming, which should be interesting because I think you have that dead last.*

 

Ha! Yeah, that'll be interesting.

 

*Anyway, if you don?t mind, if I get my eyes feasting on any of these films I may be back with some of my dubious little rambles to torture you with. After all, isn?t this what this what this thread is all about :)*

 

I look forward to that!

 

*This is what made me feel that the movie was so ?unpopular? but I should know better with all you here, you can take it. :) Shucks, I can?t believe now that I would actually throw this "well, I better not post this," at you because what does it matter. So what, for instance, if it should happen that I liked a certain film and no one else, or vice versa among us, what are you going to do, hate me? Never happen. :) And besides, I evidently drew a wrong conclusion.*

 

Now that's the attitude to take. I think every one of us has liked and disliked a film much more than the others. There have been plenty of disagreements on films people have liked! The discussion on *A Woman of Paris* is an example of that.

 

*But the matter IS dark, I?m surprised even that the subject of child-killing did not have an unwritten taboo, so repugnant it is to any sane person. But there it is.*

 

A very good point. I know of films where children are being threatened and chased but I can't think of a film that involved a plot to kill a child.

 

*We all knew that it wasn?t going to happen and consequently the scene in the tram car was not as suspenseful as it might have been, especially with the good doctor in tow with his prying eyes.*

 

It was the presence of the doctor that eliminated the fears. He was the "good angel."

 

*Still, there were some good stuff in this latter half of the film. Frank you said she lost her torture and I was thinking that perhaps, having lost one torture, that she had in fact still another to deal with, that other being Torsten Barring (I love that name).*

 

This is true. The film switches from Anna's fears about her disfigurement to her being pressured by Torsten. I guess I found the first part much more interesting than the second.

 

*And I like Jackie?s ?twisted symbiotic relationship? it is certainly apt. He wanted her to do his evil which is his part of the equation and is simpler in comparison than her somewhat more complicated psychological attachment to him. It seemed to me that there was something almost Svengali-like about it, which by definition implies an ominous intangible force, but it was also tied to their relationship prior to the operation when Torsting was the only man in her life who recognized her as a woman.*

 

I completely agree with all of that. I do believe Torsten did have a Svengali-like control with Anna. I also believe your final sentence is really where the attachment was. Anna felt as if she owed Torsten for "caring about her" and seeing as something other than a monster.

 

*Despite that, I don?t think she was in love with him in the conventional sense. There may also be some guilt in there that made her feel she owes him and she can?t quite deal with it.*

 

That's exactly how I saw it.

 

*I love the way they crafted this recognition that she no longer has the scar. They have him approach her with this huge bouquet of flowers, glancing at her at odd angles, doing double takes all the while as the realization dawns on him. I loved that. There is a sudden gaiety as they burst out laughing. How ironic that they should appear so happy and normal. Not very, as by scenes end he has convinced to her to do this dastardly and unspeakably repugnant deed and in his twisted way made it seem as if it was her idea. There?s no cajoling, no persuasion, she simply capitulates and there is something abject about that. Not that she?s a bad person, hard as that may be able to believe after she assents, but then again, there is something twisted there, like she is under a spell.*

 

That was nicely expressed. And I really enjoyed all of the scene you described. I was with the film until she left for the Barring mansion.

 

*It happens again with this evil song and dance in the attic. If this were an opera, here is the big aria, the villain's revelation of the true self.. A wonderfully, wicked, little speech, pulled off with style. I thought it more high end as opposed to sheer melodrama, whatever it was though, it seemed to me in the least a minor tour-de-force :) Despite all the darkness it is a wonderful moment in the film.*

 

I just re-watched that scene and noticed something the film was going for that I didn't originally catch. There's the mention of it's "1941" and then Torsten goes on to talk about power. There's definitely a WWII message being spoken. Also, there's the sharp words of God and Heaven and the Devil. Torsten is being played as the "Devil" and Dr. Segert is an angel.

 

womansface6_zpse1ce25b0.jpg

 

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womansface8_zpsdf4e5b5f.jpg

 

womansface9_zps06cc859c.jpg

 

womansface10_zpsf12753c7.jpg

 

*I was not that familiar with Conrad Veidt before all this but I now consider myself a fan (I hope that doesn?t make me sound morbid ;).*

 

I'm a Conrad fan. I like him for some of his German silents, most especially. I also like him *Dark Journey* with Vivien Leigh and *The Thief of Bagdad*.

 

*The end dialogue in the attic is when she (apparently) decides to kill herself. I was surprised they had her do that because it does such damage to the redemption part of the story to find that she is to simply ready to give it all up here at the eleventh hour. She snaps out of it of course and the suicide note is what helps her get the upper hand on the court proceedings.*

 

And I forgot about that, actually. That does make the end even more dark. So you are right.

 

*The script is really crafty as we the audience are led to optimism with regard to acquittal, giving us a "happy ending" when in fact a verdict has not even been rendered before movie?s end. The Code is thwarted and we go home happy (or so MGM hopes).*

 

Excellent! I didn't catch that ending, but you are right again. No verdict is given.

 

I hope you do watch the Swedish version of *A Woman's Face*. You won't like it nearly as much because the Hollywood version is much more dramatic. But I think you'd appreciate seeing how the story was first told.

 

The Hollywood version gives the Swedish film a "wink" by calling Anna's alias "Ingrid Paulsson." In the Swedish version, her name is "Anna Paulsson."

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_Bonjour, CinemAva!_ -- Love the pics from *There's Always Tomorrow* !

 

*Grimesy, how ARE you?*

 

Freezing! And I can't say it's a "Manhattan Blizzard" anymore!

 

*Whew! That list. What a spate of films you've seen. They're all over the map in genre and eras. Good for you!*

 

I was just looking at it and you're definitely right about that. It really is all over the place. I guess that's what you get when you mix myself, Jackie, Miss G, and Movieman. I try to watch their suggestions or films I feel they'll appreciate. Then you have my choices, which are usually films noir or films that I haven't watched from DVD collection. I also look to watch films from my favorite directors and performers.

 

*The one bonafide favorite I have from your list is "IN THIS OUR LIFE." What a mess Bette was. What a glorious destructive hot mess. I'll be looking to read your thoughts on that one.*

 

You made me laugh with that! You just want to go dancing, I know it!

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_A good late evening to you, Cowboy Chris_ -- *Another thorough and interesting list. I must step up my game as I continue to see or have seen fewer films on your lists. And some of them are still from some time ago.*

 

As CineMaven pointed out, my list is on the broad side. It's tough for anyone to have seen the majority of them. Miss G and Sweet T don't count! They've seen everything!

 

I will get back to you about your comments on the films.

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*Bonjour Mlle Greer :)*

 

>Tu es drole!! You should know better than to think we could ever hate you, dahling.

 

Really? Not even after my horrific career as a slashing, looting, pillaging, take-no-prisoners, swashy of the high seas? 'Course I'm not as bad as Torsten Barring, I would never kill a child. Kidnap, yes, there's great money in that (ransom, you know) :P

 

Ah oui, je suis drole, comme un bouffon, alas. ;) Ou est mon rum? :D

 

Hope all is well with you, Greer :)

 

*Bonjour M. Grimieux*

 

>Eddie was coming off of Little Caesar and Jimmy was coming off Public Enemy, so you'd think both would be on even footing. But evidently the studio liked Eddie more in this kind of role.

 

Really! Public Enemy! That makes me more surprised than ever, it being so one-sided. It was practically all Eddie.

 

>I fell for her sweetness, as well. I liked being taken!

 

Ditto :) I love the way they looked back then.

 

>Yeah, I thought she was on the up and up. But I'm going off of memory. That's never a wise thing!

 

No one knows that better than me. But I think we're both right this time.

 

>I just re-watched that scene and noticed something the film was going for that I didn't originally catch. There's the mention of it's "1941" and then Torsten goes on to talk about power. There's definitely a WWII message being spoken. Also, there's the sharp words of God and Heaven and the Devil. Torsten is being played as the "Devil" and Dr. Segert is an angel.

 

Great points and great screen caps. No wonder Conrad was so good. He was playing the Archfiend itself! Perhaps a dubious pleasure.

 

>I hope you do watch the Swedish version of A Woman's Face. You won't like it nearly as much because the Hollywood version is much more dramatic. But I think you'd appreciate seeing how the story was first told........The Hollywood version gives the Swedish film a "wink" by calling Anna's alias "Ingrid Paulsson." In the Swedish version, her name is "Anna Paulsson."

 

I am curious about it, the Swedish version. Thanks for mentioning.

 

I have THUNDER ROAD in hand and am ready for it (or am I :D ) Actually, I have an open mind about this...sort of. :)

 

==

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*Your answers started to get very short and too agreeable. I sensed some submissive replies. I didn't want you feeling that way.*

 

I was thinking, not simmering. I do try to see other people's viewpoints.... before bawling them out. :D I don't want you to avoid giving your opinion or talking because I might not like it, though I appreciate you trying to be nice. I only know of once where you pushed me over the edge. :D And even that wasn't a bad thing, it led me to think hard for a year and to come up with some of the best writing I've ever done. A little pushing isn't always a bad thing. Some of us need it. I do get attached to some movies but I would let you know if you were pushing me on a film I really liked too much to discuss that way.

 

*That's how I often feel about discussion. I'll start discussing a film and realize I like it more than I thought. It's because of the discussion. I have also changed my tune on characters and stories because of discussion. Wuthering Heights is one that comes to mind.*

 

I remember that. You were open minded enough to change your mind. I also remember you weren't as thrilled with a couple of others in your descriptions that you later said you liked a lot.

 

 

*It's who you associated with most. You also found Pierre to be nice and accommodating and you felt Jean left "you" in the cold. I associate most with Jean because I'm close to family. That's who I am.*

 

Yes, and I hope I didn't offend you because of that identification. Maybe this is where I don't like to be shown up - where I identify strongly with a character. Luckily, this movie is not one where it matters significantly to me. It's not as close to me as some. And no, I didn't find Pierre to be a villain. he was a real flesh and blood person, with faults. At least he knew himself. Some men are like Pierre on the inside, but try to make you feel like they are Jean. Those are the reprehensible ones to me. He didn't lie. He made it clear from the get go of his distaste for drama or emotional scenes. So no, he didn't bother me. He knew he was selfish.

 

That being said, what he did to Jean and Marie in the restaurant was reprehensible.

 

*And I completely forgot about that scene! And I just watched the film! I thought Jean didn't even contact her. It is funny how so many of us create reasons in our mind for things but the truth isn't that.*

 

I thought the same thing. I remembered her waiting at the station, never getting that phone call from him, thinking she might kill herself under the train going by. BTW, I loved that special effect of the lighted windows going by, looking at her face while she decides what to do.

 

*I see. It seems like A Woman's Face is a mix of both. The ending comes with the obligatory, "let's get married." It's quite a tidy bow.*

 

Ugh. You make tidy sound like a bad word. :D

 

*That's a very good point. That is quite dark. I think Anna (Joan Crawford) felt she was in debt to Torsten (Conrad Veidt). He's the one who took an interest in her when she was desperate for such attention. She saw that as "love."*

 

I think she knew nothing else to compare it to. I felt it was more complex than indebtedness though. I think Veidt was masterful at making you see the kindness towards her, while all the time you knew there was something wrong and odd about him.Right from the beginning, I liked him, I didn't like him... at the same time. Interesting. He was charismatic.

 

 

*I don't see it being about a delusion of male affection. I think it's a fear of loneliness and a feeling of emptiness. What can erase these feelings? I'm sure both Marie and Jean's mother would love for Jean to be alive. I'm sure Jean's mother would love for her husband to be alive. I can't see them thinking, "who needs a man's affection?"*

 

No you've misread me or I didn't put it well enough. I suspect it is the latter. Excuse me forgoing on about this, but I need to clarify it by writing it out long-windedly. This could take a while! :D

 

What I mean is, Marie was searching for Jean to FILL her heart, to rescue her - first from her father, and then from boredom and a feeling of waste. He DID fill her heart, but she was searching him for something he could not do....maybe for him to love her as she loved him? I don't know. She easily threw away her family life, because they were so rotten. But he could not do that. Then Menjou was just a stopover while she recuperated from the shock of being left on her own. When Jean came back to her, he disappointed again. She was left again with a full heart, because she did not express her love and no mere man could have rescued Marie - only Marie could rescue Marie. Luckily, she had the strength to do so.

 

His mother thought that by keeping Jean all to herself she would be happy. That by totally holding him away from a life with Marie, HE would be happy too. But it didn't work that way. She also never really expressed what was on her mind. She was disappointed that he picked this girl. Her expectations were higher or perhaps she wanted HIM to keep only her happy, rather than the other way around.

 

It's the exclusivity of love that is the delusion... THAT'S the delusion I am talking about. Not some feminist diatribe against men or marriage. Each woman put all her eggs into one basket that was Jean, and he was completely overwhelmed. They both loved Jean and they both killed him with their exclusivity. "Fill MY whole heart with your love. Make MY life complete. Live for MY ideals." He had his own perhaps wrongheaded ideals. He kept them apart in his life, compartmentalized without really meaning to. Till he felt he didn't belong anywhere in the world. Stuck in between without a place to land. He looked down on Marie's life. He couldn't get past it to the real Marie. Marie couldn't step out of her world any more than the mother could step out of HER world. He couldn't meet the demands of his mother's lofty ideals. He couldn't see through that to the loving mother she was, that if he crossed her ideals she would still love him and get over it. He was unable to express his feelings. He felt he let them both down, an inadequacy in some intangible way. None of them could escape their EXPECTATIONS of what a loved one IS. None of them lived up to the expectations of the others.

 

Both women loved Jean more than anything else in the world, but was that what was best for Jean, in either case? They wanted him to fill some emptiness in their lives. His mom wanted to isolate him, and Marie wanted him to choose her OVER the mother. I think what Marie learned about life was the same as the mother, that expectations fall short of reality...especially when those expectations are not spoken or dealt with. Perhaps they were unreasonable to begin with. And that's OK. It took poor Jean's death to make them humble their expectations of what love was.

 

*That's an excellent point! I didn't even think of the statement of her ripping her necklace out of the hands of a bum.*

 

I should clarify that she shoved a big wad of money into the bum's hand in exchange for the pearls. This I think is a telegraph of the kind of person Marie was. I love that Marie was a real person at all times in this movie. She was a love interest and a woman of the world and a caregiver. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. At all times she was engaging and sympathetic. Back then, the tramp or vamp was always bad. This is what I find rather amazing about the movie. She retains her heroine status despite her lifestyle.

 

*I liked that scene too. I do believe she's the same woman, but life happens, and sometimes you can't see yourself anymore.*

 

*I agree with you. I think we all get comfortable in a lifestyle and we become something different but not wholly different.*

 

But there's Marie staring back at herself from the portrait. We all need this sometimes. Isn't it a good thing that Jean gave that to Marie?

 

*I really didn't have bad feelings about any of the people except when Jean didn't speak up to his mother about his love for Marie. Other than that, I pretty much felt that life got in the way of Jean and Marie's love for each other. They both were forced into a way of living they didn't truly want.*

 

Circumstance.

 

*I think there's more to it than just a decision of independence or not. I feel it's also about giving up the benefits of that kind of life. I really don't blame her. How many people are going to toss aside luxury? The thing is, we don't see everything she does to obtain those benefits.*

 

No but it's pretty clear. And Jean could not get past that. I don't know that I could either.

 

*I definitely agree with you about Marie being frustrated with Pierre and the empty life she is living. She's certainly searching in that scene. I think it's inevitable for a woman to reach that point.*

 

I think so too. No matter who you are, if you settle, you are going to get to that point of staring at yourself wondering if that is all there is.

 

*And I also feel you are right on point about Marie needing the spiritual kind of work she finds to help her with her love. But I think even that will need to be enhanced as time goes on. She's still a young woman.*

 

Perhaps so. But I believe she and the mother will be more bending with one another... because of what happened to Jean.

 

*Thank you. And the thing is, Marie is happier than Jean. Jean was a wreck inside. He was doing something he felt he needed to do but he also sacrificed a lot of his own happiness to do it. He ended up taking the easy way out. I'm still shocked by that scene.*

 

Jean had some deep problems. I think inside him, his mother and father's voice were fighting what he really was.

 

 

And Marie was a happier person, that's so. She was resilient and she had some inner ability to live with less I think.

 

I can't get over that scene. It stays with you long after the rest of the movie fades from your memory. I was so shocked by it. It's unexpected. the way real life is unexpected. We think he's going to kill Menjou, a traditional movie confrontation. I think this is the single scene that made this movie one of my favorites, though. Because it shows a harsh reality within the context of a simple drama. It elevates the film to drama rather than melodrama. It's modern.

 

*He's very likable. I know I didn't dislike him. I just think he represents a selfish way of life. He's used to buying everything he wants.*

 

But he knew himself, no delusions there. There will always be Pierres. Not so many Jeans, sadly.

 

*Ha! It looks like your little girl is a chip off the block! She's a romantic!*

 

I kind of hope not. Is that wrong to say? Something in me wants to go a little bit Havisham and turn her into an Estella... or a Pierre. :D I don't want her to be hurt. But of course, I can't turn her into anything. She is who she is and has been from birth. I can guide... sometimes. But she has to make her own mistakes. I hope I can dissuade her from making big ones.

 

*Myrna always does in the end.*

 

*I know. :) That's why I love her!*

 

Me too. sigh. She's my top favorite.

 

 

*Ha! That's hilarious! It's true, Richard often played the fidgety Brit, just as you referenced with his appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show. The first thing I always think of with Richard is Cluny Brown. He's playing a persnickety guy there, too.*

 

I tried to find a clip of him from Cluny Brown, and then from the Dick Van Dyke Show. I was surprised I couldn't find either one on youtube.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Feb 28, 2014 8:52 AM

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Feb 28, 2014 9:09 AM

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Bonjour, CinemAva! -- Love the pics from There's Always Tomorrow !

 

:D Good. ( My show 'n tell. ) I was struck that Reynolds played that type of son.

_____

 

Grimesy, how ARE you?

 

Freezing! And I can't say it's a "Manhattan Blizzard" anymore!

 

The vortex is kicking our butts here in the Big Apple. Today is supposed to be bitingly cold. Br-r-r-r! I want my heatwave and I want it now!

_____

 

Whew! That list. What a spate of films you've seen. They're all over the map in genre and eras. Good for you!

 

I was just looking at it and you're definitely right about that. It really is all over the place. I guess that's what you get when you mix myself, Jackie, Miss G, and Movieman. I try to watch their suggestions or films I feel they'll appreciate. Then you have my choices, which are usually films noir or films that I haven't watched from DVD collection. I also look to watch films from my favorite directors and performers.

 

That?s great. You?ve got all different influences going on there from some good classic film buffs. Hey, what doesn?t make you crazy...makes you well-rounded. Right?

_____

 

The one bonafide favorite I have from your list is "IN THIS OUR LIFE." What a mess Bette was. What a glorious destructive hot mess. I'll be looking to read your thoughts on that one.

 

You made me laugh with that! You just want to go dancing, I know it!

 

Ha!! Boy, ain?t THAT the truth! :)

___

 

You and JackaAay are burnin' up the screen with your conversation. Keep it goin'.

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Thanks, M'Ava for jumping in. Oh Bette is so gloriously selfish in In This Our Life. And to be so when Olivia de Havilland is around is even more incredible. Her good makes Bette's bad worse.

 

I like weak Dennis Morgan here. Since we just talked about weak Dennis in Kitty Foyle yesterday. :D

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*HAPPY SATURDAY EVERYONE!! Heehee!*

 

Wendy, I would have answered you when you replied to me first, but my phone decided to blow up and die on me (quite literally), so I have been without a phone for two days and that is usually how I get on here, so I had to order one through the mail overnight.

 

Scotchie - I am sure you are right about MGM, and I certainly shouldn't have implied that they made NO dark films... I don't want to scare Frankie off completely!

 

Pffttt, he would NEVER watch a musical. I mean, maybe if we tied him to a chair and put duct tape over his mouth, would he watch it, but that would just be mean, and we are sweet and innocent, right? Heehee! :D

 

I think their dramas are among the best. There are very dark parts of some of those dramas as well.

 

OH, i definitely agree. Their dramas are among my top favorites!

 

In the silent era, some of the blackest films were made at MGM, including He Who Gets Slapped and Greed. They made several pre-codes that were very dark like Payment Deferred and Freaks. They distributed some of the German films of the twenties we know of now, like Faust.

 

You know, I've been watching more and more silents and I have realized that the strangest ones come from MGM. It is hardly believable. I saw Greed not too long ago and was astounded by the darkness displayed by Stroheim, but then he was quite known to be a free spirit with his filmmaking. I was also highly impressed with Zasu Pitts and was never really noticed her before that. I mean I had seen her in some other things, but her performance was pretty solid!

 

Flesh and the Devil (1926) also comes to mind as really depressing and dark even for MGM silents. It was just a weird one all around. I don't like the ending to it.

 

Prior to WWII they made The Mortal Storm and Escape, which were both pretty pessimistic about what was happening in Europe. Shocking I think, looking back at their timing.

 

I saw The Mortal Storm before I ever saw Escape and I clearly remember my reaction to the storyline. I was really surprised that they even attempted it in the 30's and it's also another one that ends on a really depressing note. Did you notice that the word, "Jew" was never used in the film? My mother caught that at the end of the movie (she is obsessed with anything having to do with World War 2 and has always tried to figure out Hitler. You should see her book collection. geee.) and it baffled me when I thought back on it. I actually watched it again, because I really didn't understand some scenes between Sullavan and Young.

 

Mrs. Miniver is also an excellent example of wartime propaganda. Just that one scene with Greer and the german pilot grabs my fullest attention. The dialogue between them and their body language; it just all seemed so real and scary. But they wanted to put that message in your head. It's kind of manipulative when you think about it. Now I'm not saying that I am at all against the movie. It is one of my favorites, but the message from it, just hits you in the face.

 

Maybe it was because MGM took the lead with wartime propaganda and forget-your-troubles type movies that we get the idea that they were soft. As soon as the war was over, and especially when Dore Schary came into power there, MGM made some really disturbing films.... as early as 1945 they made The Picture of Dorian Gray. Such a feel good movie!

 

Please tell me you're being sarcastic with The Dorian Gray comment. Heehee! Poor Angela!

 

I have mixed feelings about Dore Schary when he came after Papa Mayer. He really empowered the studio with a strategy that was completely the opposite of Mayer, even the musicals were different, not necessarily in a bad way, just different. You can tell when you watch films like Love Me or Leave Me, just how different the style and flow of the film is.

 

So forgive me if I give the wrong impression of the studio. I don't mean to imply they were lightweights. It's just that in that particular period, A Woman's Face really stood out for me.

 

Not at all, I was really just picking on Frankie, but I didn't want anyone to give up hope on MGM, because their movies are so magical. They can instantly cheer you up on a bad day! :D

 

A Woman's Face is definitely interesting. Please nobody hate me for saying this, but I am not a fan of Joan Crawford, so it was really hard for me to sit through this one and not think on a biased level, but i have been REALLY trying to get passed it and like her, by watching more of her films. And this one in particular was excrutiatingly dark. It's a frustrating story, but I do have to say that I was fairly impressed with Crawford's ability to withstand "ugly" makeup in the first half of the film. That surprised me.

 

Edited by: butterscotchgreer on Mar 1, 2014 12:13 PM

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Bonjour Mlle Greer

 

C'est un joli matin! Appreciez-vous ce?

 

Really? Not even after my horrific career as a slashing, looting, pillaging, take-no-prisoners, swashy of the high seas? 'Course I'm not as bad as Torsten Barring, I would never kill a child. Kidnap, yes, there's great money in that (ransom, you know)

 

You would even kidnap children with puppy dog eyes?! That pure savage! :P Just for the record, I'm glad you aren't as bad as Torsten. He scares me!

 

I would just whip out my feather boa and strangle you if you tried! I would use my long black gloves, but they are strictly reserved for frankie. :D Muwahahahaha!

 

Have you ever seen Cutthroat Island?

 

Ah oui, je suis drole, comme un bouffon, alas. Ou est mon rum?

 

Que m'a fait rire! Je l'ai jete dans la riviere! Go swimming for it!

 

Hope all is well with you, Greer

 

I'm peaches N' Cream, thank you! Are you doing or watching anything fun this weekend?

 

Edited by: butterscotchgreer on Mar 1, 2014 12:39 PM

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Ciao Jack-in-the-Box!

 

How are you this Saturday afternoon?

 

Hola. Snobby T

 

What kind of greeting is that? Why am I the snobby one?

 

I think I have seen more films from MGM than from any other studio and I'm surely you both will not have a hard time believing it's my favorite studio. Heehee!

 

That's definitely not a surprise! You like the cute romances!

 

Of course I do! Those are my absolute favorites!!...and musicals of course! But that doesn't mean I don't LOVE (Yes, I said Love) film noir and everything else, contrary to someone's belief!

 

But I don't have that opinion specifically because they happen to be a little glossier than most studios from that time. I actually think they had a great mix of films. You just have to dig a little to get to the good ones. And no, I don't refer to only the musicals and rom/coms, Frankie.

 

You're not fooling me one bit!

 

What am I going to do with you? What do I have to do to make you believe me?

 

Here are my highest ranking MGM films:

 

1. The Night of the Iguana

2. The Asphalt Jungle

3. Some Came Running

4. North by Northwest

5. The Shop Around the Corner

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey

7. Devil's Doorway

8. Mad Love

9. The Naked Spur

10. Mogambo

 

Something is wrong is here. I love most of those films a LOT, except for 2001: A Space Odyssey. I have to say that I kind of fell asleep during it. It's so slooooow. But that is totally just my opinion. Why on earth do you like it so? Have you seen 2010(1984)?

 

[It looks like I'm more okay with MGM after the 40s. That has to be the influence of Dore Schary. I can't say I go for Louis.

 

I can definitely see you preferring Dore to Papa Mayer. It doesn't surprise me one bit. :D The majority of the films made at MGM during the decade of the 40's were comedy/romance and musical...mostly musicals. As the 50's took off, they did heavier films.

 

This is how the other studios fared against MGM in the same amount of films (124):

 

RKO 17

Fox 14

Universal 14

Paramount 13

United Artists 13

Columbia 10

Warner Brothers 9

 

I actually thought Warner Brothers would be a little higher on your list. What are your top picks from Fox?

 

I'm actually shocked that MGM comes in higher than Warner. That's an upset.

 

You ranked them yourself and it caused an upset for yourself? You're so funny, Scott.

 

What isn't an upset is RKO ranking at the top. That's the studio I often cite as my favorite.

 

I have heard you tell me that RKO is your favorite. You must be happy with that!

 

I feel like making a list of my own to see who comes out on top? I have a feeling Fox and MGM will be at the top, but you never know. It would be interesting to see just how many films I have seen from each studio. Cool! a new project!

 

As for your new list.... Here are my favorites:

 

*Buck Privates* - (This is among my top 5 favorite Abbott and Costello movies. It sends me in raptures of never-ending giggles.)

*If I Had a Million* - (Gary!! I can't wait to hear what you think of this and of Operator 13. Though, the latter isn't among my favorites of his. It's a little slow for my taste in most parts. He's still gorgeous in it! Heehee!)

*Heroes for Sale* - (What did you think of Loretta in this one? Gorgeous, don't ya think?)

*The Notorious Landlady*

*The Prime of Miss Jean Brody* - (Maggie earned that Oscar for it and it isn't particularly one I would normally go for, but I liked the controversy of what she goes through and how she handles it.)

*The Tender Trap*

*Fire Over England* - (Anything with Vivien AND Larry together, I will watch and absolutely love)

*Life with Father*

*The Last Time I Saw Paris* - (I know what you're going to say and Yes, I Love this one, even with the ending)

*When Strangers Marry* - (This one is exhillerating. On the edge of my seat the whole time!)

*Thunder on the Hill*

 

What I think you will love:

 

1.*Lavendar Hill Mob* - I thought you had already seen this one, but maybe I'm just being silly. Heehee!

2. *White Zombie*

3. *Kongo*

4. *When Strangers Marry*

5. *A Woman's Face*

6. *A Connecticut Yankee*

 

And what's with Tonight and Every Night? That's a musical!! Who are you?? :P :P Oh it's just because of Rita, isn't it?

 

I've never seen The Hands of Orlac, but I looked it up and it sounds like something you would highly go for. Let me know what you think of that one. It sounds interesting.

 

Edited by: butterscotchgreer on Mar 1, 2014 3:06 PM

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_Hey there, Super Charger_ -- *Really! Public Enemy! That makes me more surprised than ever, it being so one-sided. It was practically all Eddie.*

 

I was very surprised by that, too. I know Jimmy could play "Nick the Barber," but there's no way Eddie could play "Jack."

 

*Ditto :) I love the way they looked back then.*

 

That's showing some fine taste.

 

*Great points and great screen caps. No wonder Conrad was so good. He was playing the Archfiend itself! Perhaps a dubious pleasure.*

 

You could tell Conrad was into his part. There's a lot of power to his performance. A lot of the German emigres wanted to show their disdain for Hitler's Germany.

 

*I have THUNDER ROAD in hand and am ready for it (or am I :D ) Actually, I have an open mind about this...sort of. :)*

 

Best of luck! And if you happen to love it, no need to be shy about saying it.

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_G'day, Lively Gal_ -- *The vortex is kicking our butts here in the Big Apple. Today is supposed to be bitingly cold. Br-r-r-r! I want my heatwave and I want it now!*

 

:D I'm with ya! I'm a summer guy. What's crazy is that I'm getting used to the cold because that's all I know now.

 

*That?s great. You?ve got all different influences going on there from some good classic film buffs. Hey, what doesn?t make you crazy...makes you well-rounded. Right?*

 

And crazy can be good. :)

 

*You and JackaAay are burnin' up the screen with your conversation. Keep it goin'.*

 

She always teaches me well. I credit her amazing patience with me!

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_Heya, Silly Goose_ -- *What kind of greeting is that? Why am I the snobby one?*

 

I have no idea how you got to be so snobby! :P

 

*Of course I do! Those are my absolute favorites!!...and musicals of course! But that doesn't mean I don't LOVE (Yes, I said Love) film noir and everything else, contrary to someone's belief!*

 

"Love" is much too strong a word!

 

*What am I going to do with you? What do I have to do to make you believe me?*

 

There's no hope! :P:P

 

*Something is wrong is here. I love most of those films a LOT, except for 2001: A Space Odyssey. I have to say that I kind of fell asleep during it. It's so slooooow. But that is totally just my opinion. Why on earth do you like it so? Have you seen 2010(1984)?*

 

No, I haven't seen *2010*. I like *2001: A Space Odyssey* for its silence and visuals. It's mesmerizing. I also love the message. It's proven to be true. But I certainly understand why it's not a film for most. The story is sparse.

 

*I can definitely see you preferring Dore to Papa Mayer. It doesn't surprise me one bit. :D The majority of the films made at MGM during the decade of the 40's were comedy/romance and musical...mostly musicals. As the 50's took off, they did heavier films.*

 

Thank goodness for that!

 

*I actually thought Warner Brothers would be a little higher on your list. What are your top picks from Fox?*

 

1. Pickup on South Street

2. Night and the City

3. Sunrise

4. Fallen Angel

5. The Hustler

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

7. 3 Bad Men

8. An Affair to Remember

9. Forty Guns

10. Unfaithfully Yours

11. Batman

12. Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

13. The Innocents

14. Nightmare Alley

 

*I feel like making a list of my own to see who comes out on top? I have a feeling Fox and MGM will be at the top, but you never know. It would be interesting to see just how many films I have seen from each studio. Cool! a new project!*

 

I didn't know you liked Fox that much. I'd love to see a list of your favorites for both. That would be great.

 

*As for your new list.... Here are my favorites:*

 

*Buck Privates - (This is among my top 5 favorite Abbott and Costello movies. It sends me in raptures of never-ending giggles.)*

 

Raptures?! Somebody here is silly!

 

*If I Had a Million - (Gary!! I can't wait to hear what you think of this and of Operator 13. Though, the latter isn't among my favorites of his. It's a little slow for my taste in most parts. He's still gorgeous in it! Heehee!)*

 

Coop was in those? I didn't even notice him! :P

 

*Heroes for Sale - (What did you think of Loretta in this one? Gorgeous, don't ya think?)*

 

Who's Loretta?

 

*The Prime of Miss Jean Brody - (Maggie earned that Oscar for it and it isn't particularly one I would normally go for, but I liked the controversy of what she goes through and how she handles it.)*

 

I can't even picture you watching this one!

 

*Fire Over England - (Anything with Vivien AND Larry together, I will watch and absolutely love)*

 

Such horrible taste! :P

 

*The Last Time I Saw Paris - (I know what you're going to say and Yes, I Love this one, even with the ending)*

 

I know why you loved it. And it has nothing to do with Liz!

 

*When Strangers Marry - (This one is exhillerating. On the edge of my seat the whole time!)*

 

You just like it because the title features the word "marry"! Now that is terrifying! :P

 

*What I think you will love:*

 

*1.Lavendar Hill Mob - I thought you had already seen this one, but maybe I'm just being silly. Heehee!*

*2. White Zombie*

*3. Kongo*

*4. When Strangers Marry*

*5. A Woman's Face*

*6. A Connecticut Yankee*

 

That's a fascinating grouping! I'm awaiting the opinions of Jackie and Snippy before I post.

 

*And what's with Tonight and Every Night? That's a musical!! Who are you?? :P:P Oh it's just because of Rita, isn't it?*

 

That's correct! It's a "Rita" watch. And what an eyeful I got!

 

*I've never seen The Hands of Orlac, but I looked it up and it sounds like something you would highly go for. Let me know what you think of that one. It sounds interesting.*

 

You're right, it's German Expressionism, so that's right down my nightmare alley.

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_Bonjour, Woman of Paris_ -- *I was thinking, not simmering. I do try to see other people's viewpoints.... before bawling them out. :D*

 

Oh, I'd never accuse you of not attempting to see another person's viewpoint.

 

*I don't want you to avoid giving your opinion or talking because I might not like it, though I appreciate you trying to be nice. I only know of once where you pushed me over the edge. :D And even that wasn't a bad thing, it led me to think hard for a year and to come up with some of the best writing I've ever done. A little pushing isn't always a bad thing. Some of us need it. I do get attached to some movies but I would let you know if you were pushing me on a film I really liked too much to discuss that way.*

 

I tend to push on people. Not because I'm trying to upset them, though. I just like to talk things out. I'm one to speak my mind. But I've learned that sometimes I can strike a deep nerve with someone. I think I've jagged Miss G's nerves a million times over! It's a miracle she still puts up with me, really. :D

 

*I remember that. You were open minded enough to change your mind. I also remember you weren't as thrilled with a couple of others in your descriptions that you later said you liked a lot.*

 

That's correct. And there are a couple reasons for that. One is that the discussion does help me to reevaluate the film or even better understand the film. The other would be that I was too inexperienced to truly appreciate the film.

 

One famous case of this for me is *The Shop Around the Corner*. Miss G pushed me to watch it the first year I was on the board. After my viewing I told her that it was "solid." She about lost her lid. :D Since I was so new to the world of classic film, I had not been exposed to such films. I was watching what I wanted to watch. There's no way I would have seen Lubitsch on my own, at that point. I just wasn't ready to appreciate such a film. Now I love the film.

 

*Yes, and I hope I didn't offend you because of that identification.*

 

No, not at all. I've come to know you well enough to understand that you are a person who will identify with certain characters in film.

 

*Maybe this is where I don't like to be shown up - where I identify strongly with a character. Luckily, this movie is not one where it matters significantly to me. It's not as close to me as some.*

 

Yes, I do know that about you. And I can usually get a sense of how much you identify with a character by how you talk about them. That's because I know some of the things that you value.

 

*And no, I didn't find Pierre to be a villain. he was a real flesh and blood person, with faults. At least he knew himself. Some men are like Pierre on the inside, but try to make you feel like they are Jean. Those are the reprehensible ones to me. He didn't lie. He made it clear from the get go of his distaste for drama or emotional scenes. So no, he didn't bother me. He knew he was selfish.*

 

Excellent point! I agree with you about all of that. It's better to be who you are than to pretend you are something you're not. It's a tough thing to convince ourselves of, though.

 

*That being said, what he did to Jean and Marie in the restaurant was reprehensible.*

 

That's money and power, to me.

 

*I thought the same thing. I remembered her waiting at the station, never getting that phone call from him, thinking she might kill herself under the train going by. BTW, I loved that special effect of the lighted windows going by, looking at her face while she decides what to do.*

 

You are right, that was stylishly shot. It's even more impressive when you consider Chaplin stepped outside of his element.

 

*Ugh. You make tidy sound like a bad word. :D*

 

With me it usually is!

 

*I think she knew nothing else to compare it to. I felt it was more complex than indebtedness though. I think Veidt was masterful at making you see the kindness towards her, while all the time you knew there was something wrong and odd about him.Right from the beginning, I liked him, I didn't like him... at the same time. Interesting. He was charismatic.*

 

I agree with you again. It's too simplistic to say Anna's (Joan Crawford) love was just that of being indebted.

 

Torsten (Conrad Veidt) was definitely playing a devilish character in that he knew what Anna desired and he preyed upon that. The users and takers are smart about that.

 

*What I mean is, Marie was searching for Jean to FILL her heart, to rescue her - first from her father, and then from boredom and a feeling of waste. He DID fill her heart, but she was searching him for something he could not do....maybe for him to love her as she loved him? I don't know. She easily threw away her family life, because they were so rotten. But he could not do that. Then Menjou was just a stopover while she recuperated from the shock of being left on her own. When Jean came back to her, he disappointed again. She was left again with a full heart, because she did not express her love and no mere man could have rescued Marie - only Marie could rescue Marie. Luckily, she had the strength to do so.*

 

Sensational! Now I understand your point. It's a terrific one. So many of us do exactly what Marie does, too. We do place a great deal of our own happiness in the hands of someone else. We need their love to feel good about our self. I guess that's being human.

 

*His mother thought that by keeping Jean all to herself she would be happy. That by totally holding him away from a life with Marie, HE would be happy too. But it didn't work that way. She also never really expressed what was on her mind. She was disappointed that he picked this girl. Her expectations were higher or perhaps she wanted HIM to keep only her happy, rather than the other way around.*

 

I can see that, as well. As you say, Jean's mother was in need of Jean. He was to replace her husband, in a way. Without his love and attention, she would fall apart due to loneliness. For her to survive, she would need to find a new kind of love. She does this by film's end.

 

*It's the exclusivity of love that is the delusion... THAT'S the delusion I am talking about. Not some feminist diatribe against men or marriage.*

 

I wasn't sure! I know you can get upset at us guys but I don't see you as the type to just shove us away for good. And I feel your comment on the "exclusivity of love" to be right on point. A lot of us struggle to understand this.

 

*Each woman put all her eggs into one basket that was Jean, and he was completely overwhelmed. They both loved Jean and they both killed him with their exclusivity. "Fill MY whole heart with your love. Make MY life complete. Live for MY ideals." He had his own perhaps wrongheaded ideals. He kept them apart in his life, compartmentalized without really meaning to. Till he felt he didn't belong anywhere in the world. Stuck in between without a place to land. He looked down on Marie's life. He couldn't get past it to the real Marie. Marie couldn't step out of her world any more than the mother could step out of HER world. He couldn't meet the demands of his mother's lofty ideals. He couldn't see through that to the loving mother she was, that if he crossed her ideals she would still love him and get over it. He was unable to express his feelings. He felt he let them both down, an inadequacy in some intangible way. None of them could escape their EXPECTATIONS of what a loved one IS. None of them lived up to the expectations of the others.*

 

Brilliant! All of that is precisely how I see the film, and there's absolutely no way I could have expressed it as beautifully as you just did. So we actually did see the film fairly similarly. Ahhhh, discussion. It really does help a person to understand and learn... if they are willing to do so.

 

*Both women loved Jean more than anything else in the world, but was that what was best for Jean, in either case? They wanted him to fill some emptiness in their lives. His mom wanted to isolate him, and Marie wanted him to choose her OVER the mother. I think what Marie learned about life was the same as the mother, that expectations fall short of reality...especially when those expectations are not spoken or dealt with. Perhaps they were unreasonable to begin with. And that's OK. It took poor Jean's death to make them humble their expectations of what love was.*

 

Perfect! And I think that's exactly what happened. Not to mention, many mothers and "daughter-in-laws" can struggle with the idea of a shared kind of love.

 

I also think Jean was too weak a man to settle the situation. All he had to do was speak his feelings to both his mother and Marie and the situation would have probably changed for the better. But he couldn't stand up to this mother because he was afraid to break her heart.

 

*I should clarify that she shoved a big wad of money into the bum's hand in exchange for the pearls. This I think is a telegraph of the kind of person Marie was. I love that Marie was a real person at all times in this movie. She was a love interest and a woman of the world and a caregiver. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. At all times she was engaging and sympathetic. Back then, the tramp or vamp was always bad. This is what I find rather amazing about the movie. She retains her heroine status despite her lifestyle.*

 

And I didn't even know she gave the bum some cash! That says a lot about her, actually.

 

I also agree with your assessment of Marie and how Chaplin paints her. As I said before, I never viewed her as a "Fran" ( *Dodsworth* ). Marie was never behaving that poorly. She went where life took her.

 

*But there's Marie staring back at herself from the portrait. We all need this sometimes. Isn't it a good thing that Jean gave that to Marie?*

 

For Marie it was a great thing because I do believe she had some misgivings about her current life. I don't think she liked herself the way she was.

 

*I think so too. No matter who you are, if you settle, you are going to get to that point of staring at yourself wondering if that is all there is.*

 

Boy, ain't that the truth.

 

*Perhaps so. But I believe she and the mother will be more bending with one another... because of what happened to Jean.*

 

I think Marie may end up in a situation that Jean was. What if she finds a guy to love? Can she leave Jean's mother? As you say, it's not that she's "leaving" her. But, as everyone knows with marriage, your time disappears. It really changes your life and the lives of others.

 

*Jean had some deep problems. I think inside him, his mother and father's voice were fighting what he really was.*

 

That's very astute.

 

*I can't get over that scene. It stays with you long after the rest of the movie fades from your memory. I was so shocked by it. It's unexpected. the way real life is unexpected. We think he's going to kill Menjou, a traditional movie confrontation. I think this is the single scene that made this movie one of my favorites, though. Because it shows a harsh reality within the context of a simple drama. It elevates the film to drama rather than melodrama. It's modern.*

 

I agree. The way that scene is shot makes it startling. It's so unexpected because of the convention you speak of.

 

*I kind of hope not. Is that wrong to say? Something in me wants to go a little bit Havisham and turn her into an Estella... or a Pierre. :D I don't want her to be hurt. But of course, I can't turn her into anything. She is who she is and has been from birth. I can guide... sometimes. But she has to make her own mistakes. I hope I can dissuade her from making big ones.*

 

I think you're afraid of her being too much of a romantic as you are. You feel a restless romantic can be a torturous life. You'd rather her be free of this inner turmoil, for her sake.

 

I get the sense she's like mom. :) That's a very good thing to me. I'd rather be the parent of a caring romantic.

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Bonjour Mlle Greer

 

*C'est un joli matin! Appreciez-vous ce?*

 

Mais non. Je n'aime?pas le matin. Je dors. Zzzzzzzzzz

 

*You would even kidnap children with puppy dog eyes?*

 

My favorite kind!

 

*! That pure savage!*

 

Oh shucks, thanks. You?re making me blush. We love compliments :)

 

*:P Just for the record, I'm glad you aren't as bad as Torsten. He scares me!*

 

Well, I'm almost as bad. So you'd better watch out.

 

*I would just whip out my feather boa and strangle you if you tried! I would use my long black gloves, but they are strictly reserved for frankie.*

 

Thank heaven for that! Whew! I feel sorry for that Frankie. But I hear you're pretty good with the machete.

 

*:D Muwahahahaha!*

 

Was that suppose to scare me? You?ll have to do better than that :P

 

*Have you ever seen Cutthroat Island?*

 

No, but it sounds like my kind of film.

 

*Que m'a fait rire! Je l'ai jete dans la riviere! Go swimming for it!*

 

Tu a jete la rum dans la riviere? Eh bien, j'ai swimm-ay dans toutes les rivieres, and Eureka! I found it! It was being guarded by Torsten Barring. He said he was hired by someone who was armed with a machete and had a ghoulish look (or was it Greer-ish :P )

 

*I'm peaches N' Cream, thank you! Are you doing or watching anything fun this weekend?*

 

Bien sur! Je vais watch-ay un film qui s'appelle ROUTE DE TONERRE aka Thunder Road. Connais-tu ce film?

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*Terrific! I hope you can give it a look.*

 

I did watch *Split Second*. I remember seeing the ending before but not the whole picture. I liked the set-up (I always like The Petrified Forest type situations with different sorts stuck together). Loved the surprise of Hunnicutt's entrance. The movie is a little lacking in suspense, but I enjoyed the performers. Jan Sterling is playing what she looks exactly like, a bottle blonde who's been around. What always surprises me about her is how she can suddenly show her vulnerability.

 

Even Richard Egan was effective as the doctor. I loved his last word on his and Alexis' relationship: "Just because I understand how you are doesn't mean I'm willing to put up with it anymore." Great! And what a pain Alexis was, I loved McNally's snears at her "There's a loyal woman for you!" ha haa! At least she was honest about herself, I guess you could say. Poor old Arthur.

 

What may have surprised me the most (this movie actually had a several surprises come to think of it) was the heavy message at the end, which had nothing to do with the whole gangster/kidnapping scene or any of the personal conflicts. It went into Serling territory and quite well.

 

 

As for who else...what about Brian Keith? Was he too young? Probably. I'm trying to think of a sort of "secondary" leading man type actor. John Payne? Dick Powell?

 

Dick Powell is a good suggestion. Can you see him as a lawyer? I'm trying to picture John Payne as being weak-willed. It seems like the role is actually best-suited for someone like Robert Cummings.

 

It is hard to see Payne that way. Maybe Dennis Morgan, since he's been mentioned elsewhere. Or the ever dependable Kent Smith. :D

 

I can see Cary in some of the Chevalier parts... minus the singing. Powell would have been perfect for Trouble in Paradise. Do you think Cary would of worked in any of Lubitsch's existing films or do you feel he would have only been suited for films that weren't made?

 

Tailoring a film for Grant is always a good idea.

 

Great point! Otto would have tried to boss Viv around and she would have stormed off the set! Who else at that time could have played such an ambitious young woman?

 

I think Susan Hayward could have done it. She had the voluptuous looks and the hard drive to survive underneath. She also could have handled Otto.

 

So that's it! it's simply beefcake! I should have known!

 

Thank you for the photos of Clark and Richard. :)

 

 

Your new list, how you may have liked them:

 

1. The Hands of Orlac (1924)

2. The Blue Angel (1930)

3. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

4. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

5. When Strangers Marry (1944)

6. 711 Ocean Drive (1950)

7. The Notorious Landlady (1962)

8. Cesar (1936)

9. Hobson's Choice (1954)

10. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

11. Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)

12. Split Second (1953)

13. The Unknown Man (1951)

14. Life with Father (1947)

15. Buck Privates (1941)

16. Suspense (1946)

17. Horizons West (1952)

18. White Zombie (1932)

19. Tonight and Every Night (1945)

20. A Connecticut Yankee (1931)

21.Golden Earrings (1947)

22. The Great Moment (1944)

23. A Woman's Face (1938)

24. In This Our Life (1942)

25. Heroes for Sale (1933)

26. The Tender Trap (1955)

27. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

28. Mata Hari (1931)

29. Operator 13 (1934)

30. If I Had a Million (1932)

31. State Fair (1933)

32. Fire Over England (1937)

33. Sunrise at Campobello (1960)

 

Thunder on the Hill (1951) how did you ever find or hear about this movie? I never have seen it.

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_Good morning, Miss Gun for Hire_ -- *I did watch Split Second.*

 

Look at you! You actually watched a film!

 

*I remember seeing the ending before but not the whole picture. I liked the set-up (I always like The Petrified Forest type situations with different sorts stuck together). Loved the surprise of Hunnicutt's entrance. The movie is a little lacking in suspense, but I enjoyed the performers. Jan Sterling is playing what she looks exactly like, a bottle blonde who's been around. What always surprises me about her is how she can suddenly show her vulnerability.*

 

I completely agree with all of that. Hunnicutt's entrance is great. He's a hoot. Loved Jan in the picture. Her look really does seem to fit this kind of character. I love your "bottle blonde"!

 

*Even Richard Egan was effective as the doctor. I loved his last word on his and Alexis' relationship: "Just because I understand how you are doesn't mean I'm willing to put up with it anymore." Great! And what a pain Alexis was, I loved McNally's snears at her "There's a loyal woman for you!" ha haa! At least she was honest about herself, I guess you could say. Poor old Arthur.*

 

Wow, you really did watch this! We're getting quotes! And great ones, too! You're right, I wasn't bothered by Egan, so that tells you something about his role. McNally and Alexis are both terrific in the film. What a pair!

 

*What may have surprised me the most (this movie actually had a several surprises come to think of it) was the heavy message at the end, which had nothing to do with the whole gangster/kidnapping scene or any of the personal conflicts. It went into Serling territory and quite well.*

 

That's correct. It really is a Serling kind of story. It's also along the lines of *Odds Against Tomorrow*, which came later.

 

*It is hard to see Payne that way. Maybe Dennis Morgan, since he's been mentioned elsewhere. Or the ever dependable Kent Smith. :D*

 

Those two certainly fit the "weak-willed" man.

 

*Tailoring a film for Grant is always a good idea.*

 

:D

 

*I think Susan Hayward could have done it. She had the voluptuous looks and the hard drive to survive underneath. She also could have handled Otto.*

 

Perfect! I can totally picture Susan as "Amber." She can easily project the ambition while also making you believe men would fall for her.

 

*Thank you for the photos of Clark and Richard. :)*

 

You are very welcome.

 

*Your new list, how you may have liked them:*

 

*1. The Hands of Orlac (1924)*

*2. The Blue Angel (1930)*

*3. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)*

*4. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)*

*5. When Strangers Marry (1944)*

*6. 711 Ocean Drive (1950)*

*7. The Notorious Landlady (1962)*

*8. Cesar (1936)*

*9. Hobson's Choice (1954)*

*10. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)*

*11. Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)*

*12. Split Second (1953)*

*13. The Unknown Man (1951)*

*14. Life with Father (1947)*

*15. Buck Privates (1941)*

*16. Suspense (1946)*

*17. Horizons West (1952)*

*18. White Zombie (1932)*

*19. Tonight and Every Night (1945)*

*20. A Connecticut Yankee (1931)*

*21.Golden Earrings (1947)*

*22. The Great Moment (1944)*

*23. A Woman's Face (1938)*

*24. In This Our Life (1942)*

*25. Heroes for Sale (1933)*

*26. The Tender Trap (1955)*

*27. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)*

*28. Mata Hari (1931)*

*29. Operator 13 (1934)*

*30. If I Had a Million (1932)*

*31. State Fair (1933)*

*32. Fire Over England (1937)*

*33. Sunrise at Campobello (1960)*

 

My goodness! I wasn't expecting you to rank all of those! That's thrilling to me! :D I don't want to give much away in case Jackie wishes to guess. I hope she does chime in. But I can say you're getting to know me too well. :P

 

What films do you like in that group? You don't have to rank all of that you've seen, if you don't wish to. I always enjoy that, though. :)

 

*Thunder on the Hill (1951) how did you ever find or hear about this movie? I never have seen it.*

 

Really? This surprises me, greatly. I got the Douglas Sirk box set that TCM offers. It's in that set.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Douglas-Filmmaker-Collection-Lightfoot-Tarnished/dp/B004AXFPZS/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1393861225&sr=1-1&keywords=douglassirkcollection

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*Wow, you really did watch this! We're getting quotes! And great ones, too! You're right, I wasn't bothered by Egan, so that tells you something about his role.*

 

He's usually best when he's talking like an analyst or a teacher (he was a teacher in real life before becoming an actor). He has that great voice, very patient sounding. Not exactly stimulating, ha, but I like him so much.

 

*McNally and Alexis are both terrific in the film. What a pair!*

 

Steve was looking saintly next to her.

 

*That's correct. It really is a Serling kind of story. It's also along the lines of Odds Against Tomorrow, which came later.*

 

"Let's take a look at the world of tomorrow." *Kiss Me Deadly* comes to mind, too.

 

What films do you like in that group? You don't have to rank all of that you've seen, if you don't wish to. I always enjoy that, though. :)

 

1. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

2. When Strangers Marry (1944)

3. Split Second (1953)

4. Life With Father

5. 711 Ocean Drive (1950)

6. Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)

7. The Unknown Man (1951)

8. A Connecticut Yankee (1931)

9. In This Our Life (1942)

10. Buck Privates (1941)

11. White Zombie (1932)

12. Heroes for Sale (1933) (it's been so long since i've seen it I can't really remember much about it, but I usually like Loretta's pre-codes)

 

 

Thunder on the Hill (1951) how did you ever find or hear about this movie? I never have seen it.

 

Really? This surprises me, greatly. I got the Douglas Sirk box set that TCM offers. It's in that set.

 

I'll have to see if it's in my ClassicFlix queue.

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*He's usually best when he's talking like an analyst or a teacher (he was a teacher in real life before becoming an actor). He has that great voice, very patient sounding. Not exactly stimulating, ha, but I like him so much.*

 

You like him? He usually annoys me. I liked him in *Split Second*, though.

 

*Steve was looking saintly next to her.*

 

You're killing me today! You don't think Alexis was sweet and loving? :D

 

*"Let's take a look at the world of tomorrow." Kiss Me Deadly comes to mind, too.*

 

That's exactly it. And that's another good comparison for *Split Second*. It's a combination of *The Petrified Forest* and *Kiss Me Deadly*.

 

*1. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)*

*2. When Strangers Marry (1944)*

*3. Split Second (1953)*

*4. Life With Father*

*5. 711 Ocean Drive (1950)*

*6. Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)*

*7. The Unknown Man (1951)*

*8. A Connecticut Yankee (1931)*

*9. In This Our Life (1942)*

*10. Buck Privates (1941)*

*11. White Zombie (1932)*

*12. Heroes for Sale (1933) (it's been so long since i've seen it I can't really remember much about it, but I usually like Loretta's pre-codes)*

 

Wow! There is absolutely no way I would have guessed this to be your favorites from that group. Not at all! I'm stunned that you like *Ride Clear of Diablo*, *The Unknown Man*, *Buck Privates*, *White Zombie*, and *Heroes for Sale*. Stunned! You must not have liked much in the group!

 

*I'll have to see if it's in my ClassicFlix queue.*

 

I wonder if they carry the TCM box set films?

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*You like him? He usually annoys me. I liked him in Split Second, though.*

 

He's no great actor but he has a presence that is so calming. I know if I was in his class I'd be teacher's pet!

 

You're killing me today! You don't think Alexis was sweet and loving? :D

 

Especially when she got wall-eyed at the thought of being left behind.

 

*That's exactly it. And that's another good comparison for Split Second. It's a combination of The Petrified Forest and Kiss Me Deadly.*

 

What a combination!

 

 

Wow! There is absolutely no way I would have guessed this to be your favorites from that group. Not at all! I'm stunned that you like Ride Clear of Diablo,

 

*RCoD* took me by surprise one day--it reminded me of a favorite Coop western, with Dan Duryea in the Richard Widmark role: *Garden of Evil*. The ending was great! I've become a fan of Dan's. *The Burglar* was a turning point, I think, and some of his television appearances.

 

*The Unknown Man* - Another movie I found little surprises in. It's story reminds me a bit of *The Big Heat*. Who really controls things? And what a switch for Pidgeon (that's two interesting roles you watched of Walter's---by the way, his part in TLTISP is my all time favorite character of his. He is so delightful and a little sad.) Ann Harding I hardly remember, though. Talk about a boring pair, her and Walter.

 

*Buck Privates*, - i don't remember much except it's the funniest i recall of theirs, except maybe the ones with the monsters. Lou in the military is enough of a set-up for some laughs.

 

*White Zombie* - really creepy stuff.

 

Heroes for Sale. i've always said i like Loretta's pre-codes.

 

I wonder if they carry the TCM box set films?

 

Yes, they do. I've watched the Stanwyck titles but I don't know how I missed this one.

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Mar 3, 2014 11:50 AM

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*He's no great actor but he has a presence that is so calming. I know if I was in his class I'd be teacher's pet!*

 

There's no doubting that! :P

 

*Especially when she got wall-eyed at the thought of being left behind.*

 

"Wall-eyed" is the perfect description! She was so discriminating. :D

 

And wouldn't you know who the injured fugitive with McNally would be. He keeps crossing my path!

 

*RCoD took me by surprise one day--it reminded me of a favorite Coop western, with Dan Duryea in the Richard Widmark role: Garden of Evil. The ending was great! I've become a fan of Dan's. The Burglar was a turning point, I think, and some of his television appearances.*

 

And I know you liked him in *Chicago Calling*, too. Dan is so much fun. Yes, I'm being elusive about *Ride Clear of Diablo*. I love Dan in *The Burglar*. It's arguably his greatest performance.

 

*The Unknown Man - Another movie I found little surprises in. It's story reminds me a bit of The Big Heat. Who really controls things? And what a switch for Pidgeon (that's two interesting roles you watched of Walter's---by the way, his part in TLTISP is my all time favorite character of his. He is so delightful and a little sad.) Ann Harding I hardly remember, though. Talk about a boring pair, her and Walter.*

 

I'm completely surprised by this! You are right on point about *The Unknown Man* sharing a similar thread with the *The Big Heat*.

 

And, boy, are you ever alert this day. I did see two very different characters for Pidgeon in this group. It's something I caught, myself.

 

*Buck Privates, - i don't remember much except it's the funniest i recall of theirs, except maybe the ones with the monsters. Lou in the military is enough of a set-up for some laughs.*

 

I just can't see you going for A&C!

 

*White Zombie - really creepy stuff.*

 

And this is why I'm shocked to see you list it as one of your favorites in this group! The message is one you'd probably appreciate, though.

 

*Heroes for Sale. i've always said i like Loretta's pre-codes.*

*I'll have to see if it's in my ClassicFlix queue.*

 

But it's really not her film. It's Richard Barthelmess. I can't see you liking him.

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