speedracer5

I Just Watched...

8,690 posts in this topic

I watched "The Unsuspected" (1947), Claude Rains as a charming radio mystery host who has a few dark mysteries of his own.  Not a great script, but good atmospheric directing from Michael Curtiz and the usual excellent performance by Uncle Claude.  Constance Bennett was also delightful in a supporting role; she had some good lines.   I 've decided I'm willing to watch Rains read the phone book for 2 hours and still enjoy it.   

 

I saw "The Battle of the Sexes" this week-end at the theater.  I thought both Emma Stone and Steve Carrell were terrific.   I was a young teen during the time of the Riggs-King match, and wasn't really aware of the real importance of King's battle.  Some of the stuff that came out people's mouths (not just Riggs, who was just an "act"), but Jack Kramer, was enough to make you gag.   It makes me grateful for women like King and for the changes in our culture; let's hope the clock doesn't turn back to the "good old days."

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if TCM would ever show the first one - Mandingo.

 

Probably not, Mandingo was a Dino DeLaurentiis potboiler for Paramount.  (When Dino did shlock for Paramount in the 70's, he did it big.)

Drum was a quick B-sequel knocking off on the sensationalism/controversy, and was picked up by UA, which is why it's showing on TCM.

 

I remember Robert Townsend's 1987 "Hollywood Shuffle" trying to satirize white Hollywood's portrayal of blacks by satirizing "Mandingo" and "JD's Revenge" from 1974, and I sat there thinking...."Do they realize how embarrassing it is being the only person in the theater OLD enough to get these jokes?"  :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Destination Moon" (1950), even though this movie is dated, it was well thought out on a realistic level.  About the ending in shedding weight, the people of 1950 would be stunned, amazed how light weight and flimsy the actual Apollo lander that will wind up being discarded.

 

Certainly didn't weigh several tons!

 

apollo_16lm_apollo_lunar_module_wikipedi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sea Wolf (1941)

 

Many posters, I'm sure, will be familiar with this vivid Warner Brothers adaption of the Jack London novel since it has been shown so many times over the years on TCM. If you haven't caught this production, however, you're overdue to do so.

 

Only now there is a difference. The Warners Archive Collection has just released the full original version of the film on DVD, available for viewing in its complete version for the first time since 1941.

 

This film was re-released in 1947 (in combination with Warners' The Sea Hawk) but both films were edited so more tickets could be sold for extra daily viewings for a shorter double bill. The Sea Hawk's edited scenes were restored to that film a number of years ago but, until this week with the DVD release, The Sea Wolf's television broadcasts were always the 1947 re-edited version. For the record the running time of the print shown on TCM has been 87:12, while the print on the Archive release runs 99:46.

 

The Sea Wolf is representative of Warners at the peak of its studio expertise. With Michael Curtiz in full dynamic directorial form, accompanied by his favourite cinematographer, Sol Polito, and sets by Anton Grot, a terrific ensemble cast all rise to the top with vivid characterizations. All of this plus a dark, at times ominous, musical score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, makes for a stirring tale of brutality and oppression set aboard a sealing vessel, The Ghost.

 

As the brutal, sadistic captain of the ship, Wolf Larsen, Edward G. Robinson gives one of the great performances of his career. In fact this has long been my favourite Robinson film and performance, and that's saying a lot considering the often brilliant work this actor accomplished throughout his career. It's a complex characterization, however, he's not just a mere brute.

 

But the supporting cast is a standout, as well. John Garfield brings sensitivity to his role as a rebellious crew member, and Ida Lupino is terrific as an escaped convict (we never know her crime) who finds herself aboard The Ghost because of circumstances, and is tormented by Robinson as much as any of the male crew members.

 

But there is also Gene Lockhart as the pathetic alcoholic ship's doctor who wants to be treated with dignity (something the sadistic Larsen will never allow) and Barry Fitzgerald as Cookie, the ship's knife wielding cook and chief informant to the captain, a conniving, evil little man who cackles with glee as others around him are tormented but remains fearful of the captain himself.

 

In viewing the twelve and a half minutes restored to the film it is apparent there was no one big scene missing all these years. Scenes in the film were trimmed, so you might catch selections of a 30 second bit here or there that you've never seen before. There's a small bit at the film's beginning, for example, in which Garfield is hiding from police on a Frisco street that's new, later you see the character of the bookish Van Weyden (played, and played well, by Alexander Knox) when he first wakes up on The Ghost after being fished out of the drink.

 

My favourite restored scene runs about 75 seconds, and it was gratifying to see it for the first time. It's when Lupino's character is first revealed as a jailbird on the ship before the laughing crew and she begs Robinson to set her ashore somewhere other than return her to Frisco (where police are looking for her).

 

Lupino is stunning in this scene, pleading in vain with Robinson, even to the extent of offering to make it "worthwhile" for him if he does so, to which he barks at her she's not on the Barbary Coast. Lupino pleads, cries and collapses. It's a great moment for her, showing her full dramatic force as an actress, and there is also a telling closeup of Garfield, his eyes filled with pain, as he sees her grovel before a brute like Wolf Larsen. "Don't beg him," he tells her as he leaps beside her, ready to spit in Robinson's eye even if it means another beating. "Beg?" a distraught Lupino responds, "I'd crawl on my knees over every inch of this deck. I'd do anything, ANYTHING, to not have to go back!"

 

It's a very strong scene, and it's great to see it restored to the film.

 

One more thing. I know the Archive Collection doesn't spend any more money on these prints than is necessary but this 35 mil. print of The Sea Wolf is beautiful, with all of the new scenes seamlessly restored to the production. Warners really did do this film justice with this release. I'm assuming that TCM will eventually broadcast this version of the film, for those who don't care to spend the money on the DVD.

 

The Sea Wolf is one of those dramatically stirring productions that fully deserves to be hailed as a film classic, in my opinion. It has always mystified me that this film is not better known.

 

Poster%20-%20Sea%20Wolf,%20The%20(1941)_

 

3.5 out of 4

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love The Sea Wolf.  How is it that Eddie G never got nominated for an Oscar?  So many great performances and this is one of his very best.

 

Yeh, Christine, perhaps one of the problems for Eddie G. and The Sea Wolf was that 1941 was an outstanding year for films so maybe it got lost in the shuffle.

 

Aside from Robinson, one of my favourite scenes in the film is a tender tough "love scene" between Garfield and Lupino. There's no kissing or even physical contact. They merely talk as they smoke a pair of cigarettes.

 

The scene's in the ship's cargo hold after Garfield has been thrown there for defying Wolf Larsen, and Lupino comes to visit him. These two characters have both been beaten down by life, are outcasts of society and now here they are, both being oppressed again, this time by the tyranny of Larsen's rule. She is tired and resigned, ready to give it all up, while Garfield is still defiant, ready to fight back. They feed off each other. She brings out his sensitivity and he inspires her to keep going.

 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold has the lonely sounds of a harmonica playing in the background, adding to the poignancy of these two lonely souls who have a moment of solace in one another's company. The scene ends with a closeup of a tired Lupino's face, a single tear rolling down her cheek, as she speaks with an ache of a desire for peace, a need for freedom. Lupino makes you feel her character's pain.

 

4616614525e6bfcaae156bc5b701ca7c--wolf-m

 

Lupino and Garfield became friends while making this film, and would remain so until his death 11 years later. When she later appeared in the film version of The Big Knife (with Jack Palance in the role Garfield had played on the stage) shortly after Garfield's death there's a scene in which she must scream after learning of his character's death. It's tempting to think that, with Garfield's own death still so fresh on her mind, the force of her performance here was as a result of her memory of her feelings at the news of her departed friend's death.

 

e1cac0c9e1f78cb1fc47fa19c36259a3.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Blood Runs Cold (1965) TCM Movies On Demand (which seems to be working again)

 

Ok suspense yarn with Troy Donahue trying to convince Joey Heatherton that she is his reincarnated lover from about 100 years ago. Heatherton’s father (Barry Sullivan) is pretty suspicious, while her aunt (Jeanette Nolan) seems to know a lot that the others don’t. The ending is a little too unsatisfying, but what the hell … at least we get some shots of Heatherton in a couple of bathing suits and a teddy. The location photography is pretty good too. William Conrad produced and directed, and that’s his voice in the opening credits reading a verse from Lord Byron. He can also be heard as the voice of a helicopter pilot.

 

wEQKK6j.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched Tom Thumb (1958) for the first time ever because of a long-running joke in my family. My older brother, born in 1953 was taken by my parents to see it at a Saturday matinee, thinking he would enjoy the kids' movie.

 

Instead when Russ Tamblyn appeared as the little red-headed freak that he is, my 5-year-old brother started screaming and crying and had to be taken out of the theater.

 

As I got older (I was only 3 when the movie debacle happened) and heard this story, I would sneak up in back of my brother and scream "Tom Thumb" and he would cry and leave the room. I can't tell you the countless times I did this to the poor kid but it was just so much fun. 

 

From then on, all Russ Tamblyn movies were banned in our house. And it's taken me 59 years to watch Tom Thumb because of this..

 

As for the movie, it was pretty awful and I could see how it would scare a little kid. It seems adults who make kids' movies don't always realize that what adults think is "cute", kids can see as very scary. The Yawning Man that George Pal took such pride in during that documentary TCM showed earlier, was really creepy. And the Jack-in-the-Box, the dancing clowns and all the toys coming to life were particularly ghoulish.

 

However, the best part of the movie was the team of Terri Thomas and Peter Sellers as the bad guys/robbers. In their black costumes and crazy hats and accents, they were hysterical. Peter Sellers in a fat suit was a particular highlight.

 

And Alan Young  was very recognizable because of  "A horse is a horse, unless of course"...and you know the rest.

 

These movies are being shown as a salute to Pal and his early special effects work, but I watched for a very different reason.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Blood Runs Cold (1965) TCM Movies On Demand (which seems to be working again)

 

Ok suspense yarn with Troy Donahue trying to convince Joey Heatherton that she is his reincarnated lover from about 100 years ago. Heatherton’s father (Barry Sullivan) is pretty suspicious, while her aunt (Jeanette Nolan) seems to know a lot that the others don’t. The ending is a little too unsatisfying

 

Thanks scsu1975​ for recommending this movie. I enjoyed it and had never even heard of it before your post. 

 

Jeannette Nolan was a rival for a shorter version of Joan Crawford with those crazy wigs and costumes: a serape and Peruvian straw hat, sequined go-go boots, and an Elizabethan style gown. She was great in a supporting role. 

 

I was surprised how good Troy Donahue was and so was Joey Heatherton (despite her chipmunk-like voice). And she wore a shorty nightgown, not a teddy. Pls keep your sexist remarks accurate...sorta kidding.

 

The crazy harpsichord music that played every time the characters talked about the century-old past was also a great touch. I agree with you about the ending, not as good as it could have been.

 

BTW what's a sand plant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched Tom Thumb (1958) for the first time ever because of a long-running joke in my family. My older brother, born in 1953 was taken by my parents to see it at a Saturday matinee, thinking he would enjoy the kids' movie.

 

As for the movie, it was pretty awful and I could see how it would scare a little kid. It seems adults who make kids' movies don't always realize that what adults think is "cute", kids can see as very scary. The Yawning Man that George Pal took such pride in during that documentary TCM showed earlier, was really creepy. And the Jack-in-the-Box, the dancing clowns and all the toys coming to life were particularly ghoulish.

 

Four years later (and also aired tonight), Pal did Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, and Tom Thumb looks hideously unwatchable by comparison.

Pal directed the fairytale segments on Grimm, while Henry Levin directed the German-historical Cinerama segments, and keeps things in moderation.  Pal tended to turn the whimsy up to 11--before cranking it up to 15--on his fairytale movies, and in Grimm, it's a change of pace when Laurence Harvey is telling one of the stories, and feels like the built-in humor of the story as he's telling it...But in Thumb, there's no script escape and we're TRAPPED in Pal's mugging, candy-colored nightmare.  TT just comes off as a bad first draft, that needed a few more revisions before Pal could consider himself the next Disney or Harryhausen.

 

Frankly, I always thought a then-unknown Sellers looked humiliated doing his Funny German Voice and not allowed to do anything else, and while the Puppetoons were the highlight of the "Shoemaker & the Elves" segment on Grimm, the Yawning Man drags his movie to a grinding, screeching, train-wreck halt in its tracks.

 

(Of the two, it helps which end you start from--

In our family, if you asked three generations which was their favorite story out of the Grimms' books, "The Dancing Princess" would always be mentioned, and usually because of Russ Tamblyn.

I'd have shown the "Gypsy dance" clip, but think I've already posted that one three or four times already.)  :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Blood Runs Cold (1965) TCM Movies On Demand (which seems to be working again)

 

Ok suspense yarn with Troy Donahue trying to convince Joey Heatherton that she is his reincarnated lover from about 100 years ago. Heatherton’s father (Barry Sullivan) is pretty suspicious, while her aunt (Jeanette Nolan) seems to know a lot that the others don’t. The ending is a little too unsatisfying

 

Thanks scsu1975​ for recommending this movie. I enjoyed it and had never even heard of it before your post. 

 

Jeannette Nolan was a rival for a shorter version of Joan Crawford with those crazy wigs and costumes: a serape and Peruvian straw hat, sequined go-go boots, and an Elizabethan style gown. She was great in a supporting role. 

 

I was surprised how good Troy Donahue was and so was Joey Heatherton (despite her chipmunk-like voice). And she wore a shorty nightgown, not a teddy. Pls keep your sexist remarks accurate...sorta kidding.

 

The crazy harpsichord music that played every time the characters talked about the century-old past was also a great touch. I agree with you about the ending, not as good as it could have been.

 

BTW what's a sand plant?

I agree about Nolan's fashions. They were hysterical. I also agree that Donahue gives a pretty good performance in an uncharacteristic-type role. He wasn't just a pretty face. He should have had more roles like this. And yes, Heatherton could certainly act (and she sang and danced pretty well too).

 

I did some newspaper research and found that the climax was filmed at the Del Monte Sand Plant in California, which was in the Moss Beach area. Apparently sand was mined from Moss Beach and shipped to the plant. Not sure what was done at the plant; perhaps purifying or washing out stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, I always thought a then-unknown Sellers looked humiliated doing his Funny German Voice and not allowed to do anything else

 

Just a quick note ​scsu1975 ​Sellers plays an Italian named Anthony and even speaks a little Italian in the movie such as "Buona Sera" etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, got my posters mixed-up. It was EricJ who posted about Sellers being German in Tom Thumb....

 

A Thousand APOLOGIES. Mea Culpa....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched a strange little film called "Mickey One" by Arthur Penn from 1965 with Warren Beatty, which is two years before their classic "Bonnie and Clyde" collaboration.

 

The genre of the film is listed as "crime drama" but it owes more to Fellini than it does to say Siodmak.

 

Beatty is a top comic with an over-the-top lifestyle that is apparently thanks to the Mob. Suffice it to say, he runs afoul of the mob, has to flee for his life and ends up adopting the name of a guy he saw mugged (by stealing his Social Security card, no less). He is on the run for his life and ends up as a busboy in a seedy Detroit restaurant.

 

This should be a tale of paranoia and fear, but it's filmed in an almost surreal style, owing much to Fellini, who had already made La Strada, La Dolce Vita , and 8 1/2 by then. There's a Japanese mime, who seems to turn up wherever Mickey is, played by Kamatari Fujiwara, which adds a circus-like atmosphere to this "crime drama." The supporting cast is filled with oddballs and even some former film stars, including an almost unrecognizable Franchot Tone and Hurd Hatfield, far from the days of "Portrait of Dorian Gray."

 

But it is the black-and white cinematography and the swooping camera work that give this pseudo-noir it's Felliniesque touches. There are garishly dressed and made-up women populating the entire film, close-ups of backstage strippers and transvestites wrangling their costumes, and a feeling of hysteria as the camera pans up-close on the audience members laughing at Mickey's performances.

 

Mickey One was fun to watch for a while but it couldn't make up it's mind what it was about, so I had a hard time staying engaged.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched a strange little film called "Mickey One" by Arthur Penn from 1965 with Warren Beatty, which is two years before their classic "Bonnie and Clyde" collaboration.

 

The genre of the film is listed as "crime drama" but it owes more to Fellini than it does to say Siodmak.

 

Beatty is a top comic with an over-the-top lifestyle that is apparently thanks to the Mob. Suffice it to say, he runs afoul of the mob, has to flee for his life and ends up adopting the name of a guy he saw mugged (by stealing his Social Security card, no less). He is on the run for his life and ends up as a busboy in a seedy Detroit restaurant.

 

This should be a tale of paranoia and fear, but it's filmed in an almost surreal style, owing much to Fellini, who had already made La Strada, La Dolce Vita , and 8 1/2 by then. There's a Japanese mime, who seems to turn up wherever Mickey is, played by Kamatari Fujiwara, which adds a circus-like atmosphere to this "crime drama." The supporting cast is filled with oddballs and even some former film stars, including an almost unrecognizable Franchot Tone and Hurd Hatfield, far from the days of "Portrait of Dorian Gray."

 

But it is the black-and white cinematography and the swooping camera work that give this pseudo-noir it's Felliniesque touches. There are garishly dressed and made-up women populating the entire film, close-ups of backstage strippers and transvestites wrangling their costumes, and a feeling of hysteria as the camera pans up-close on the audience members laughing at Mickey's performances.

 

Mickey One was fun to watch for a while but it couldn't make up it's mind what it was about, so I had a hard time staying engaged.

Agree, I saw it a few yeas ago and liked it up to a point, then it just sort of unraveled.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mickey One is worth seeing for Ghislain Cloquet's cinematography, but, as both of you said, it doesn't really work as a whole.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Horrible Doctor Hichcock" (1962)--Starring Robert Flemyng, Barbara Steele, and Montgomery Glenn.  Directed by Robert Hampton (Riccardo Freda, according to imdb).

 

Good Italian Gothic with a odd twist.

 

London, 1885.  Respected Dr. Hichcock (Flemyng) has had a rough day at work.  He goes home to his wife Margarets' (Teresa Fitzgerald) piano recital.  She plays badly enough for friends to whisper comments.  After she's through playing, she pleads a headache and the attendees quickly leave.   The doctor then mixes up a medicine to knock out the Mrs., so he can have sex with his pretending to be dead wife.  A few days later, the doctor puts too much barbituate into his formula and kills his wife for real.  After her funeral, he leaves London for twelve years.

 

Fast forward to 1897. The doctor has married Cynthia (Steele), who was a mental patient of his and has no idea of his past.  They return to London and Hichcock's old house.  Strange events start to happen.

 

The film looks expensive and fussily Victorian.  Director Freda wise has had all the music a note or so off key, to suggest things aren't right in the characters minds and that things aren't as placid as they may seem.   The film utilizes most of the old cliches successfully; a dark and stormy night, a window banging, a piano playing by itself, etc.

 

The film owes a lot to Alfred Hitchcock, and steals some ideas from his films.  There's even a direct copy of one of his most famous shots, the glass of milk from "Suspicion" (1941).

 

Steele was a underrated actress, and is at her best here.  Flemyng is good as a man struggling not to become totally crazy.

 

This is definitely one of Freda's best films.  3/4.

 

Source--YouTube.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not wanting to tempt fate on Friday the 13th, I stayed in and watched most of two of the films shown yesterday.

THE INNOCENTS- (1961)- I don't usually tend to appreciate films that (deliberately or not) test the patience of the viewer, not having much myself, but this film really is exquisite. Deborah Kerr's finest performance (maybe the best of that year by an actress) and a truly wonderful example of an adult and child actor working together in perfect harmony, each bringing out the best in the other. I couldn't help but wonder though, given the somewhat controversial ending (that kiss!) and the fact that the movie was badly marketed as a cheesy horror flick, whether this film actually represented the beginning of a downturn of Kerr's career. She absolutely nails her reaction shots in the final scene though, the horror her face displays is so genuine.

THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE- another film that's not at all what it seems. I don't particularly like the original, and I'm not even really a huge Val Lewton fan, but this is an exquisite movie. Just completely unusual and wonderful, it still speaks loud and clear to those of us who played alone as a child because we wore clear nail polish and the other kids thought we were evil.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched "Cat People" (1942)  AKA "She was a cat, he was a  dog".

 

First off SPOILER warning as I completely (almost) spoil the film.

 

Boy (Kent Smith as Oliver) meets girl (Simone Simon as Irena). Except boy is one of the few men between 20 and 60 who is not in the military, and the girl has bizarre fantasies about being one of the "cat people" - people descended from a group of witches and warlocks in Europe that escaped the sword of King John when he came to cleanse their village of wickedness.

 

Oliver and Irena eventually admit their love, and Oliver proposes marriage. Irena has doubts because of her feelings that there is evil in her, that she is one of the "cat people". Oliver poo poos such nonsense and basically says"Forget that cat people nonsense babe and marry me anyways, it will make no difference." But it does. Irena doesn't want to consummate the marriage. Oliver says no problem he'll wait. Irena goes to see a psychiatrist, Oliver says no problem he'll wait. Irena wrestles with her cat people identity problem until a few months later she tells Oliver she has decided to put the past behind her and be a real wife to him. Not so fast Oliver says. He now loves Alice, a girl at work and he wants a divorce.

 

So Irena, a troubled soul to begin with, has a husband who thinks "Until death do you part" is just a saying people kick around at weddings and has completely overestimated his patience, while Alice, a woman who has said she was Irena's friend has been that shoulder Oliver can cry on at work until she steals his heart. Also, the psychiatrist has ulterior motives too as Tom Conway rips a page from his brother George Sanders' playbook.

 

Last line of the film - Oliver saying "She never lied to us". Yep, but ALL of you - the doctor, Oliver, Alice - essentially lied to HER. I'd like to turn into a big cat and eat the three of them if I were in Irena's circumstances.

 

Don't think I don't love this film - I do. It uses atmosphere and what you don't see where the 82 version just used cheesy sex scenes and lots of gore. I'd give it an 8/10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not wanting to tempt fate on Friday the 13th, I stayed in and watched most of two of the films shown yesterday.

 

THE INNOCENTS- (1961)- I don't usually tend to appreciate films that (deliberately or not) test the patience of the viewer, not having much myself, but this film really is exquisite. Deborah Kerr's finest performance (maybe the best of that year by an actress) and a truly wonderful example of an adult and child actor working together in perfect harmony, each bringing out the best in the other. I couldn't help but wonder though, given the somewhat controversial ending (that kiss!) and the fact that the movie was badly marketed as a cheesy horror flick, whether this film actually represented the beginning of a downturn of Kerr's career. She absolutely nails her reaction shots in the final scene though, the horror her face displays is so genuine.

 

Love how you nailed "The Innocents". What got me was how Kerr's governess character was so absolutely darned sure about every step necessary to deal with the ghosts when she is obviously making this stuff up as she goes along, and that last look of horror when she realizes she has so underestimated the evil powers she is fighting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched "Cat People" (1942)  AKA "She was a cat, he was a  dog".

 

First off SPOILER warning as I completely (almost) spoil the film.

 

Boy (Kent Smith as Oliver) meets girl (Simone Simon as Irena). Except boy is one of the few men between 20 and 60 who is not in the military, and the girl has bizarre fantasies about being one of the "cat people" - people descended from a group of witches and warlocks in Europe that escaped the sword of King John when he came to cleanse their village of wickedness.

 

Oliver and Irena eventually admit their love, and Oliver proposes marriage. Irena has doubts because of her feelings that there is evil in her, that she is one of the "cat people". Oliver poo poos such nonsense and basically says"Forget that cat people nonsense babe and marry me anyways, it will make no difference." But it does. Irena doesn't want to consummate the marriage. Oliver says no problem he'll wait. Irena goes to see a psychiatrist, Oliver says no problem he'll wait. Irena wrestles with her cat people identity problem until a few months later she tells Oliver she has decided to put the past behind her and be a real wife to him. Not so fast Oliver says. He now loves Alice, a girl at work and he wants a divorce.

 

So Irena, a troubled soul to begin with, has a husband who thinks "Until death do you part" is just a saying people kick around at weddings and has completely overestimated his patience, while Alice, a woman who has said she was Irena's friend has been that shoulder Oliver can cry on at work until she steals his heart. Also, the psychiatrist has ulterior motives too as Tom Conway rips a page from his brother George Sanders' playbook.

 

Last line of the film - Oliver saying "She never lied to us". Yep, but ALL of you - the doctor, Oliver, Alice - essentially lied to HER. I'd like to turn into a big cat and eat the three of them if I were in Irena's circumstances.

 

Don't think I don't love this film - I do. It uses atmosphere and what you don't see where the 82 version just used cheesy sex scenes and lots of gore. I'd give it an 8/10.

 

Nice write up!    I do have a lot of sympathy for Irena and that adds to my enjoyment of the film.   Just is like the Wolf man character;  a good decent person that is cursed.    She can't control what she does and ends up doing some bad things,  but the others can control what they do but still end up doing bad things. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE- another film that's not at all what it seems. I don't particularly like the original, and I'm not even really a huge Val Lewton fan, but this is an exquisite movie. Just completely unusual and wonderful, it still speaks loud and clear to those of us who played alone as a child because we wore clear nail polish and the other kids thought we were evil.

 

It's such a ten-list favorite of mine, I got kicked off of the FilmStruck blog because of my reaction to certain posters who kept putting their own, ahem, wishful spin on being "misunderstood kids".  (They always get so upset at "It's freakin' always about you, isn't it??")  :angry: Fact is, I've heard that psychiatrists have shown this movie as an "example" of socially withdrawn kids, just from Ann Carter's sullen expression, and try to illustrate Amy as a representative case history--But Carter in interviews later said she was just holding her chin down and her mouth closed trying to keep from being nervous, and deliver her lines on the right take.

 

Never could understand why the Kent Smith dad got so upset at his 7-yo. girl, gasp, having an imagination--gosh, if left unchecked, she might start liking unicorns next!--but the need for Lewton to tie the story back into his RKO "Cat People" studio demands ("She's just like Irena was, believing things that aren't true!") at least puts it into a little bit of context.

And yes, everyone wants a butler as nice as Sir Lancelot.

 

calvinme

I just watched "Cat People" (1942)  AKA "She was a cat, he was a  dog".

 It uses atmosphere and what you don't see where the 82 version just used cheesy sex scenes and lots of gore. 

And Paul Schrader's "taboo" attempt to work "Oo, INCEST!" into the updating, because abstract allegorical kinks weren't kinky enough.

Like there would be any other earthly reason Natassia Kinski, or anyone else, would consider having sex with Malcolm McDowell.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never could understand why the Kent Smith dad got so upset at his 7-yo. girl, gasp, having an imagination--gosh, if left unchecked, she might start liking unicorns next!--but the need for Lewton to tie the story back into his RKO "Cat People" studio demands ("She's just like Irena was, believing things that aren't true!") at least puts it into a little bit of context.

And yes, everyone wants a butler as nice as Sir Lancelot.

 

 But what Irena believed was true, and Kent Smith believed it all by the end of "Cat People". Plus I just love how he teaches his daughter that lying is rewarding by telling her that if she tells him that she sees Irena in the garden he'll punish her. She tells the truth - she sees Irena - and he spanks her. Wow this guy is just as bad as a father to his daughter as he was a husband to Irena.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us