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LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

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I just noticed that TCM sneaked in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY again today. I believe that this film has surged into the lead, over NORTH BY NORTHWEST and SOME LIKE IT HOT, as TCM's most played film.

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Going out on a limb here without actual data . . . but suspect that tomorrow night's "Wuthering Heights" is in the running for that trend, too.

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Speaking of films that are shown too much on TCM, is airing THE THIN MAN for the umpteenth time the best they could do tonight? I'm stifling a yawn.

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I grooved hardest this week to:

 

Constance Bennett and Basil Rathbone in SIN TAKES A HOLIDAY (1930)!!

 

Constance Bennett and Richard Barthelmess in SON OF THE GODS (1931)!!

 

BURN WITCH BURN (1962) a nightmarish horror flick that really rocked!!

 

THE MALTESE FALCON (1931) pre-code version natch with hotcha-cha-cha Bebe Daniels and Ricardo Cortez!!

 

And grooving hard now to George Sanders and Wendy Barrie in THE SAINT STRIKES BACK (1939)!!

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Seven movies in the last two weeks. The best is The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha. I suspect many of you don't know that Satyajit Ray made children's films. But this adventure about two poor musicians whom the King of the Ghosts grants the ability to be good musicians is very charming, including a squat Christian ghost, a city striken by muteness, and an army defeated by a rain of sweets. Brute Force and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn are not bad movies. No, they're not bad at all. Also worth watching is the early Dreyer movie The Parson's Widow. Black Girl is an early (and short) feature by Ouswane Sembene, and it's more subtle than you might think about politically committed filmmaking in the late sixties. The Last Hurrah is passable, but ultimately uninspired. And then there's Judgement at Nuremberg. Like other Stanley Kramer movies it is a deeply flawed movie. At least Burt Lancaster and Marlene Dietrich acquit themselves well, if not their dialogue. But it's a deeply problematic film. For a start the acting consists mostly of speeches, even the whole point of the film is to debate questions of Nazi guilt. And this is true of Clift's and Garland's performances. Their characters aren't being cross-examined, they're being prompted. On a factual level the movie is also flawed. Schell's cross-examination of Clift and Garland is insane. He's cross-examining in them in an American court before American judges. What does he expect his badgering to achieve? And his point about Germany not being collectively guilty is obviously flawed: Germany isn't on trial, very powerful judges are. Obviously, Americans were increasingly less interested in taking a hard line on Nazi war crimes as the cold war went on. But how can a judge dissent at Tracy's decision, and how can Dietrich's character be angry, when the only defendant who we could show the slightest sympathy to (Lancaster) has basically admitted in open court that he is guilty. On issues of Nazi war crimes, the movie is quite muddled and confused. Widmark brings up the Holocaust, something the defendants would be only tangentally involved in. The movie also muddles the facts about the Garland/Nuremberg laws case. In order to get a death sentence, the actual judge had to stretch the law to get it (the original law didn't require a death sentence, so he had to use a provision of blackout laws). As for German knowledge about the Holocaust, many people know more about it than they were prepared to admit after it. But they also knew better to ask questions about it, many had other things to worry about itand most didn't realize the scope and the complicity of the country in it. But Dietrich's character should have realized that the Wehrmacht was not fighting a clean war.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Speaking of films that are shown too much on TCM, is airing THE THIN MAN for the umpteenth time the best they could do tonight? I'm stifling a yawn.

Yes, amen to that. I believe they are also featuring Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? in heavy rotation because, as I recall, it ran two weekends ago and probably the month before that. It's difficult to groove to any movie they are running aground so incessantly.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}I just noticed that TCM sneaked in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY again today. I believe that this film has surged into the lead, over NORTH BY NORTHWEST and SOME LIKE IT HOT, as TCM's most played film.

Don't forget a dark horse surging from the rear by the name of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:}{quote}I grooved hardest this week to:

>

> BURN WITCH BURN (1962) a nightmarish horror flick that really rocked!!

That's a great one for the women, because the two main women in the film are controlling the lives/destiny of the men around them, one for good purposes and the protection against evil, and the other for evil purposes and the ruin of the good. ]:)

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> {quote:title=twinkeee wrote:}{quote}I too watched & recorded THE SAINT STRIKES BACK.....Love George Sanders, he's soo smooth & cool! :)

 

I agree, Twinkeee!!! And he's up for a few more Saint flix over the next few Saturdays too! I really like the feel of the Saint films, they have a unique quality about them in the annals of the 30's/40's detective mysteries.

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This past week or so has been quite dull with the exception of the mini series "Band of Brothers" I finally got to see for the first time. Very well put together and produced, stories told from the accounts of WWII veterans.

 

I don't get HBO.

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Six movies over the last two weeks. For a Few Dollars More is by no means a bad movie, though clearly Leone's next two movies show continuing improvement. If you want to use two fiendishly successful bounty hunters to eliminate your accomplices so you don't have to share the loot, one would think you'd have a better plan to make sure they don't get you as well. The Leopard Man shows that the idea of a Val Lewton movie is usually a better one than the execution. For a start, the protagonist gives a speech pointing to the murderer well before the movie ends. The Master of the House shows signs of Dreyer's future genius, even if it hasn't fully manisted itsefl. The Charles Laughton The Huncbback of Notre Dame is not a bad movie, though I suspect the ending shows some alteration of the book, which I've never read (A major riot breaks out between two groups who are both trying to protect Esmeralda? I suppose this could be Hugo's comment on mob violence, but it doesn't seem right.) Finally two children movies by Satyajit Ray. Kingdom of Diamonds is a less successful sequel to The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha. The Golden Fortress is better, though I suspect children would be surprised at its leisurely 135 minute pace involving a child remembering the titular fortress, two criminals who incorrectly believe he knows of some treasure, and the private detective who tries to stop them.

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I was really, really surprised by how much Anne of Green Gables grew on me.

 

Did not know that was how Anne Shirley got her name; thought Helen Westerly(sp?) was *terrific* as the frosty aunt and I am now fully intrigued by OP Hedgie (again, sp?) who I am discovering was one hell of a character actor.

 

A neat little film which would have made a waaaaaaaay better selection for Essentials Jr. than pretty much everything they ran this summer....and last.

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Five movies this week. I think The Narrow Margin was the best of the lot, a good thriller indeed. Lincoln was a good movie too. Day-Lewis was very good indeed, I sort of wonder why I didn't like it more. While not as sentimental as it could easily be, it lacked something. Part of the problem I suppose was that slavery was somewhat abstract in the movie, in the way that Nazi genocide wasn't in Schindler's List. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, also known as Lady Vengeance had a good first half, but I suppose you would have to have more sympathy for the concept of vengeance to fully accept it. The Three Ages is an amusing early Keaton feature. Far from the Madding Crowd was not fully satisfactory. Better than Darling not as good as The Go-Between, it lacks a certain life, with only Terrence Stamp making much of an impression.

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I didn't see this favorite coming, "Evacuate Earth" on NGC. The special effects was great. Earth and Saturn destroyed by a Neutron Star. 250,000 survivors on a space ark 2 X 15 miles in size (geeze Babylon 5 was only 5 miles long).

 

Neutron Star destruction, ha! Wake up Hollywood, the end is near.

 

EvacuateEarth_CGI_28.jpg

 

Earth getting shredded - this could put a smile on a Mayan's face.

67089_sucking-up-earth_7hqdjmj4am3d2cszx

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Four movies this week: Ladies of Leisure starts out interestingly and Stanwyck starts out good, but not unlike other Capra movies it becomes more conventional and sentimental as it goes on. Golden Boy is rather irritating by any standard, even though Holden, Stanwyck and Menjou try their best, and Holden's brother in law is mildly amusing. I've heard that Mamoulian does some interesting things with this movie, so I'm sorry I didn't watch it with more attention. Executive Suite is the kind of smug, moralistic predictable soap opera that does not put fifties cinema at its best. So I suppose The Avengers is the movie of the week. It's not a bad movie, though not a particularly good one, and some of the beats show too many signs of script-writing programs. And it does not start out well, with several characters outrunning explosions. But it does get better and the final action sequence does show some spirit, if not genius.

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A much better week for movies this week. Two in the first rank with Holy Motors and the French Les Miserables. The former reminds me of how annoying the Oscars are in ignoring really good movies, while the latter reminds me that the musical with the same name is not likely to be an improvement. Not far behind are Lorna's Silence and Amore. I hope to see Sorry Wrong Number later this week, but I strongly suspect that Barbara Stanwyck will not beat Anna Magnani for the best Actress of 1948. The other movies I saw weren't bad: The Man I Love gives Ida Lupino a good role, Remember the Night is a nice little comedy (it reminds me I should have remembered what happened in Midnight, since I don't seem to remember Mitchell Leisen movies). I wish I paid more attention to The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg but it was good as well and Norma Shearer was never more charming.

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Least Favorite of the Week: Magical Mystery Tour - Rubbish. Vague Fellini-isms and proto-Python-isms, embarrassing attempts at/cribbing from experimental film. Not funny at all. The parts with The Beatles' songs don't even work as good music videos.

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I saw most of TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN again late last night. I'm starting to like it a lot more. Not as good as THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, but underrated.

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> {quote:title=JonasEB wrote:}{quote}Least Favorite of the Week: Magical Mystery Tour - Rubbish. Vague Fellini-isms and proto-Python-isms, embarrassing attempts at/cribbing from experimental film. Not funny at all. The parts with The Beatles' songs don't even work as good music videos.

 

I couldn't disagree more, with all of that. I've thought it was wonderful since the first time I saw it, and I own it on LD and LP. "Proto-Pythonisms?" one would think that anticipating Monty Python humor by two years would be considered a plus, not a minus. But, of course, *MMT* didn't invent that style of British humor. They just psychedelicized it a bit.

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