Bogie56

HITS & MISSES: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow on TCM

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If you're looking for only one Marlene Dietrich movie tonight, Shanghai Express is the one I'd recommend. Brilliantly directed and photographed.

On the other hand, if you're looking for more of a "drag queens on acid at the Liberace Museum" vibe, The Scarlet Empress is definitely the one.

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3 minutes ago, kingrat said:

If you're looking for only one Marlene Dietrich movie tonight, Shanghai Express is the one I'd recommend. Brilliantly directed and photographed.

On the other hand, if you're looking for more of a "drag queens on acid at the Liberace Museum" vibe, The Scarlet Empress is definitely the one.

I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I've always liked The Scarlet Empress much more than Shanghai Express

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I love SHANGHAI EXPRESS, but I was very disappointed in THE SCARLET EMPRESS (rented the Criterion DVD through Netflix.)

SAM JAFFE is (as always) WONDERFUL and the CRAZY ART DIRECTION doesn't really bother me, but I've always found it a listless, kind of distant film, the actress playing the Czarina gives a polarizing performance (is it merely awful or wonderfully awful? is it on purpose? I'm STILL NOT SURE) and Dietrich is fine, but HER PART ISN'T ANYWHERE NEAR STRONG ENOUGH, which is something i think even some of the film's many fans concede to.

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I recall first seeing THE SCARLET EMPRESS at a Toronto film society presentation in a library basement. And at the end of this bizzaro world presentation of Catherine the Great, with those towering ornate doors and walls, those stone gargoyles, Sam Jaffe's lunatic freak-of-nature Czar performance, and that thundering hoof pounding climax up the throne steps, punctuated by Tschaikowksy's 1812 Overture, the film received a standing ovation. It's the only film society film I saw that got one.

Catch the brief pre-code nudity (look fast) in the film's next-to-opening sequence depicting the bloody history of Russia, as told to a young Catherine (played by Maria Riva, Dietrich's daughter). Dietrich is stunningly beautiful and gives an effective performance even amidst all the stone carvings and bric a brac surroundings.

This film is definitely worth viewing but be prepared for something different.

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I'm looking forward to some of the Tod Browning films tomorrow.  Thanks to those who mentioned them in other posts.  I'm particularly interested in three I haven't seen before:  the two John Gilbert ones (Maltin gives one of them a star and a half so it might be great -LOL) and THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR.

I love these early Dietrich movies.  I've seen them all but there's a couple I haven't seen in decades like THE SCARLET EMPRESS that I want to watch again.  She and Sternberg were quite the creative team.

TCM's got some great early film history coming up -  undoubtedly bookcased by Backlot and Wine Club commercials.  ?

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23 minutes ago, ChristineHoard said:

I'm looking forward to some of the Tod Browning films tomorrow.  Thanks to those who mentioned them in other posts.  I'm particularly interested in three I haven't seen before:  the two John Gilbert ones (Maltin gives one of them a star and a half so it might be great -LOL) and THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR.

If one of those is The Show, I liked it. Here's my review from when I watched it a few months ago:

The Show (1927) - Tod Browning, who directed many of the most bizarre films of the silent era, comes through again with this look at carnival performers. **** Robin (John Gilbert) is the handsome barker and showman at a minor Budapest sideshow carnival. He's caught the eye of Salome (Renee Adoree), the dancing girl whose "dance of the seven veils" serves as the show highlight. The show magician, known as the Greek (Lionel Barrymore) is jealous and longs for Salome's affections, so he plots Robin's demise. Meanwhile, Salome cares for a blind old man (Edward Connelly) who longs for word from his missing soldier son. Also featuring Gertrude Short, Andy MacLennan, Betty Boyd, Polly Moran, Zalla Zarana, and Edna Tichenor as Arachnida the Human-Spider.

This presages Browning's 1932 masterpiece Freaks, but it lacks the real-life physical "oddities" of that film. In fact, this sideshow is all fake-outs, with sleight-of-hand and tricks of perspective standing in for deformities. Gilbert is different here than in the last few movies that I've seen him in, more unpredictable and even sadistic. The love triangle is full of perverse undertones, while the other lovely ladies of the sideshow are a highlight. The newly commissioned music used in the version I saw sounded like a Danny Elfman/Tim Burton score, which would please all involved, I think.   7/10

Source: TCM

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Thanks so much for your review and the great photos, LawrenceA.  Yes, I am definitely watching/recording THE SHOW and it was one of the Gilbert flicks I was referring to. It's FAST WORKERS that got the one and a half star from Maltin.  Browning and Gilbert were probably being punished by the MGM head honchos so I'm not expecting a masterpiece but I still want to see it.

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9 hours ago, kingrat said:

If you're looking for only one Marlene Dietrich movie tonight, Shanghai Express is the one I'd recommend. Brilliantly directed and photographed.

On the other hand, if you're looking for more of a "drag queens on acid at the Liberace Museum" vibe, The Scarlet Empress is definitely the one.

The cinematography in Shanghai Express is very exquisite. 

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Looking forward to THE SHOW, as well. I love Tod Browning's seedy view of mankind! Also, John Gilbert's work in his non-Garbo silent films often gets overlooked.

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Saturday, May 12

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10 a.m.  Popeye: Can You Take It (1934).

 
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7 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

Saturday, May 12

b494035f47dd502d8394a59c52b5619e.jpg

10 a.m.  Popeye: Can You Take It (1934).

 

Looks like he's auditioning to be the new CIA chief.

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24 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

Saturday, May 12

b494035f47dd502d8394a59c52b5619e.jpg

10 a.m.  Popeye: Can You Take It (1934).

 

I recall my cousin and I tried this when we were little kids.

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Sunday, May 13/14

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2 a.m.  Danton (1982).  Very good Andrzej Wajda film with Gerard Depardieu.

Spoiler ...

 

 

danton.jpg

 
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Thanks for the reminder, Bogie. I definitely want to record Danton. Earlier in the day, The Light in the Piazza is an unusual drama about an American woman (Olivia De Havilland) traveling with her mentally challenged daughter (Yvette Mimieux) in Italy, where they meet a charming father (Rossano Brazzi) and son (George Hamilton).

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8 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

Sunday, May 13/14

danton_web_04.jpg

2 a.m.  Danton (1982).  Very good Andrzej Wajda film with Gerard Depardieu.

Spoiler ...

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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Afterwards is the Polish classic, A Generation.

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Monday, May 14/15

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4:30 a.m.  The Wacky World of Mother Goose (1967).  With Margaret Rutherford as Mother Goose

 

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I'll admit to being less fond of A Generation. See it with the proviso that you need to see Ashes and Diamonds, if you haven't already. When censorship in Poland was strong, Wajda made A Generation, where all the cool kids are Communists and only the stodgy middle-aged types are anti-Communists. For a brief period in Poland, censorship lessened, and Wajda made Kanal, which celebrated the doomed anti-Communist uprising in Warsaw against the Nazis, and Ashes and Diamonds, where the cool kid--actually the coolest guy in, like, all of cinema history (Zbigniew Cybulski) is staunchly anti-Communist, and the stodgy middle-aged guy he's trying to assassinate is a bureaucrat prepared to be a Soviet puppet in the Poland that's just been liberated from the Nazis.

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Tuesday, May 15

Joseph Cotten day

american-actors-joseph-cotten-and-louis-

10:45 a.m.   The Man With a Cloak (1951).  Also starring Barbara Stanwyck and Louis Calhern.  I haven’t seen this one.

 
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5 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

Tuesday, May 15

Joseph Cotten day

american-actors-joseph-cotten-and-louis-

10:45 a.m.   The Man With a Cloak (1951).  Also starring Barbara Stanwyck and Louis Calhern.  I haven’t seen this one.

 

Babs sings in this one.  (ok, she is dubbed).    But yea, I haven't seen this one and I'm looking forward to it.

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I enjoyed The Man with a Cloak, though it's not one of the top films of 1951. Leslie Caron stars as a damsel in distress, with Joseph Cotten, Louis Calhern, and Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck is in more of a supporting role.

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Wednesday, May 16/17

240px-Young_Dr_Kildare_(1938)_movie_post

1 a.m.  Young Dr. Kildare (1938).  I thought this was pretty good.  With Lionel Barrymore and Lew Ayres.

 

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Thursday, May 17

6c9d79ca73e3a83546eba3a2bcfc20f9.jpg

10 p.m.  Angel (1937).  A lesser Dietrich picture which is why it is probably not on as often.  By Ernst Lubitsch (seen above with Marlene).

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On 5/10/2018 at 1:01 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I love SHANGHAI EXPRESS, but I was very disappointed in THE SCARLET EMPRESS (rented the Criterion DVD through Netflix.)

SAM JAFFE is (as always) WONDERFUL and the CRAZY ART DIRECTION doesn't really bother me, but I've always found it a listless, kind of distant film, the actress playing the Czarina gives a polarizing performance (is it merely awful or wonderfully awful? is it on purpose? I'm STILL NOT SURE) and Dietrich is fine, but HER PART ISN'T ANYWHERE NEAR STRONG ENOUGH, which is something i think even some of the film's many fans concede to.

I tried watching it this time, but I was supremely bored. Gave up about half way through. (I've seen it a couple times before) Empress I mean. Takes forever to go anywhere (and bad history too) Can see why it flopped.

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