speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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The Sunshine Boys--no, not the good one, the 1996 made for tv version.  The story is much the same, but the result is quite different.  First of all, the time--our 'Lewis and Clark' are, evidently, comics from the 50's era (yet we never know what they were remembered for, or what their routines were like). Why were they famous? Who was the straight man? Second..casting.  In the Imdb reviews, there were many remarks about the abrasive demeanor of Peter Falk (reprising the Walter Matthau character)..seemingly forgetting Matthau was a grouch.  Woody Allen's is the opposite of George Burn's portrayal..he looks decades younger than Falk (he really wasn't) and he can't stop talking...it's nervous Woody-talking about every little thing--fine in his own films, but overly hyper here.  The basic problem is that we don't ever get the feeling these two ever worked together or shared anything ever..it's just strained. Another example of 'don't mess with the original'..and it was Neil Simon himself who did a lot of the messing.  If you liked the '75 version, then watch it again..don't bother with this.                        Image result for the sunshine boys 1996

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38 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Beauty and the Beast (2017) - Excruciating musical fantasy from Disney and director Bill Condon. A live-action retelling of the 1991 animated hit...

I can see where you're coming from with this. It is just another cash-grab by Disney. I've stated this before: Disney is essentially a machine, and they know what works for them and what doesn't. I think all these past and future live-action remakes are basically geared a lot towards the people with younger kids who were the kids watching these movies back when they originally came out. 

That being said, I thought this film was somewhat problematic. I did enjoy Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Sir Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, and Ewan McGregor... After his success in Frozen (and by "success" I mean, Disney has found their new cash cow and is fully milking it to the point of making everyone over the age of 10 lactose intolerant), Josh Gad has apparently sold his soul to the Walt Disney Company, as he was almost essentially the same exact character in BATB as he was in Frozen, and will almost definitely be the same exact character in their upcoming adaptation of the Artemis Fowl book series (which, by the way, no one asked for). 

However, I thought this movie's good moments outweighed its bad moments, despite what you witnessed in the previous paragraph. I may be the only one, but hey, I'm a square in the social circle. Might I add that I actually liked this better than their recent remake of Jungle Book? I may be a die-hard Disney fan (again, despite what I wrote a couple paragraphs ago), but Jungle Book was rather difficult for me to actually sit through. I can't imagine taking younger kids to go see that. They must have been bored out of their minds. 

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1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I can see where you're coming from with this. It is just another cash-grab by Disney. I've stated this before: Disney is essentially a machine, and they know what works for them and what doesn't. I think all these past and future live-action remakes are basically geared a lot towards the people with younger kids who were the kids watching these movies back when they originally came out. 

That being said, I thought this film was somewhat problematic. I did enjoy Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Sir Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, and Ewan McGregor... After his success in Frozen (and by "success" I mean, Disney has found their new cash cow and is fully milking it to the point of making everyone over the age of 10 lactose intolerant), Josh Gad has apparently sold his soul to the Walt Disney Company, as he was almost essentially the same exact character in BATB as he was in Frozen, and will almost definitely be the same exact character in their upcoming adaptation of the Artemis Fowl book series (which, by the way, no one asked for). 

However, I thought this movie's good moments outweighed its bad moments, despite what you witnessed in the previous paragraph. I may be the only one, but hey, I'm a square in the social circle. Might I add that I actually liked this better than their recent remake of Jungle Book? I may be a die-hard Disney fan (again, despite what I wrote a couple paragraphs ago), but Jungle Book was rather difficult for me to actually sit through. I can't imagine taking younger kids to go see that. They must have been bored out of their minds. 

I liked the live action Beauty and the Beast, though I thought Emma Watson lacked some of the spark of the animated Belle.  I also liked Ewan McGregor and thought he did a great job as Lumiere. Audra McDonald's wardrobe and Stanley Tucci's harpischord were awesome.  I also love Emma Thompson and she did a great job as Mrs Potts.  I liked that they filled in some of the backstory by giving the objects in the castle actual family members who've been waiting patiently in the village for their loved ones to return.  Who knew there was a Mr. Potts back in town? 

**As an aside, I've always thought that the Mrs. Potts in the 1991 cartoon is too old to be the mother of a child as young as Chip.  If she was his grandmother, I could believe it, but Chip clearly calls her "mom."  Maybe Chip's real mom died and Mrs. Potts adopted him? 

I didn't really like the Beast guy, he was okay.  His Beast costume is whatever; but I thought that when he's in his true human form, he did look a lot like the cartoon Beast post-transformation, which I can't say is particularly a compliment because human Beast is hideous.  He's probably the ugliest of all the Disney Princes, which is saying something because Snow White's prince, Prince Florian btw, is not attractive either.  The Beast actor was more attractive than Beast human cartoon.  So there's that.  

I always got annoyed though when they would sing songs that weren't in the cartoon.  Lol. The "Gaston" song is my favorite song in the cartoon, and in the movie, they left out the "Ev'ry last inch of me is covered in hair!" part, which is unfortunate.  

All in all though, the film was enjoyable and I liked the sets and costumes.  I think Disney has been doing a pretty good job on these live action films so far, I liked Maleficent and Cinderella.  I haven't seen The Jungle Book, but I just picked up the 1967 cartoon the other day.  I haven't seen this film in forever.  I used to own it on VHS.  I'm skeptical about their Aladdin and The Lion King revivals.  

Disney should go the other way and animate their live action films. 

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1 minute ago, speedracer5 said:

All in all though, the film was enjoyable and I liked the sets and costumes.  I think Disney has been doing a pretty good job on these live action films so far, I liked Maleficent and Cinderella.  I haven't seen The Jungle Book, but I just picked up the 1967 cartoon the other day.  I haven't seen this film in forever.  I used to own it on VHS.  I'm skeptical about their Aladdin and The Lion King revivals.  

Disney should go the other way and animate their live action films. 

Don't forget about Mulan, which is in production now. I haven't seen that new-ish Cinderella, but I didn't like Maleficent much either. Although I'll say that I liked it more than this Beauty & the Beast

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1 minute ago, LawrenceA said:

Don't forget about Mulan, which is in production now. I haven't seen that new-ish Cinderella, but I didn't like Maleficent much either. Although I'll say that I liked it more than this Beauty & the Beast

I don't think I saw the 1998 Mulan.  I should see it before seeing the live action one.  I liked the Cinderella one mainly because Cate Blanchett made an excellent Wicked Stepmother.  I liked Maleficent, though I wish they had cast someone else to be Princess Aurora aka "Briar Rose," aka "Sleeping Beauty." Elle Fanning isn't ugly by any means, but Sleeping Beauty is supposed to be a beauty.  Fanning is too plain Jane.  And Prince Phillip in the cartoon is the most attractive of all the Disney princes.  In Maleficent, he makes a brief appearance and looks like a reject from One Direction or something.  I'm glad Angelina Jolie put him out of his misery and got him out of the scene quickly.  I will say that Angelina and her prosthetic cheekbones made a great Maleficent.   

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3 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

And Prince Phillip in the cartoon is the most attractive of all the Disney princes.  In Maleficent, he makes a brief appearance and looks like a reject from One Direction or something.  I'm glad Angelina Jolie put him out of his misery and got him out of the scene quickly.  I will say that Angelina and her prosthetic cheekbones made a great Maleficent.   

The highlighted line made me laugh. :lol:

I think I read the other day that they're making a Maleficent 2 soon.

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I wasn't too wild about the new Jungle Book either although its effects were good. I did like Cinderella (which unlike the 1950animated film was not a musical) It was a bit too long, but it told the story well and in a way that brought some new insights to that stepmother of hers (played quite well by Cate Blanchett). 

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12 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't think I saw the 1998 Mulan.  I should see it before seeing the live action one.  I liked the Cinderella one mainly because Cate Blanchett made an excellent Wicked Stepmother.  I liked Maleficent, though I wish they had cast someone else to be Princess Aurora aka "Briar Rose," aka "Sleeping Beauty." Elle Fanning isn't ugly by any means, but Sleeping Beauty is supposed to be a beauty.  Fanning is too plain Jane.  And Prince Phillip in the cartoon is the most attractive of all the Disney princes.  In Maleficent, he makes a brief appearance and looks like a reject from One Direction or something.  I'm glad Angelina Jolie put him out of his misery and got him out of the scene quickly.  I will say that Angelina and her prosthetic cheekbones made a great Maleficent.   

Mulan is an example of conflicting tones. The underlying story is quite strong, Mulan herself is a great character, the dramatic moments are well handled, and there is a strong, stern, grim musical score from Jerry Goldsmith that makes a big impression. But I found the comic relief to be too frequently intrusive to the detriment of the rest.

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There's always something lost when live action films are remade from animated films and vice-versa.  And, IMHO, more lost when good movies are remade into musicals.  For example---

There's that not too bad but not great '84 movie IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES in which RYAN O'NEAL plays a film director whose career tanks after the failure of his attempted musical remake of GONE WITH THE WIND.  In fact, I found the whole idea of turning GWTW into a musical the most amusing aspect of the whole movie.

Sepiatone

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33 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

 

There's that not too bad but not great '84 movie IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES in which RYAN O'NEAL plays a film director whose career tanks after the failure of his attempted musical remake of GONE WITH THE WIND.  In fact, I found the whole idea of turning GWTW into a musical the most amusing aspect of the whole movie.

me too!

and it stars SHARON STONE!

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55 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

There's always something lost when live action films are remade from animated films and vice-versa.  And, IMHO, more lost when good movies are remade into musicals.  For example---

There's that not too bad but not great '84 movie IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES in which RYAN O'NEAL plays a film director whose career tanks after the failure of his attempted musical remake of GONE WITH THE WIND.  In fact, I found the whole idea of turning GWTW into a musical the most amusing aspect of the whole movie.

Sepiatone

If I recall in IRRECONCIBLE DIFFERENCES (of course SPOILER ALERT) his musical remake of GWTW ended up seriously ruining the career of O'Neal's character's career, his reasons for remaking it was nothing more than to appease the vanity of his lover (Sharon Stone) that he dumps his family for. 

IRRECONCIBLE DIFFERENCES is an interesting film. Like you I don't love it but I don't exactly hate it either. I know that the parents played by O'Neal and Shelley Long became more and more unlikable, the both of them, that you can't really blame Drew Barrymore for not wanting to live with either of them by the end of the movie (though the ending does give some hope that the three of them can at least try to make more of an effort to be get along with each other).

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The Big Combo (1955) Noir Masterpiece

big-combo-poster.jpg

Directed by Joseph (H) Lewis (My Name Is Julia Ross(1945), So Dark the Night (1946), The Undercover Man(1949), Gun Crazy (1950). This was Lewis' last Classic Film Noir.

The film stars the usual noir suspects, Cornell Wilde, Brian Donlevy, Richard Conte, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Middleton, Earl Holliman, Ted de Corsia, Jay Adler, John Hoyt, along with Jean Wallace, Helene Stanton, and Helen Walker.

Director of photography was the great John Alton (Bury Me Dead (1947), T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), Canon City (1948), The Amazing Mr. X (1948), Hollow Triumph(1948), He Walked by Night (1948), one of Noirsville's favorites The Crooked Way (1949), Border Incident(1949), Mystery Street (1950), The People Against O'Hara (1951), I, the Jury (1953), and another fave color Classic Noir Slightly Scarlet (1956). The film, consequently, is very dark and quite stylistically lighted as you would expect.

The screenplay was by Philip Yordan, who gave us Dillinger (1945), Whistle Stop (1946), The Chase(1946), House of Strangers (1949), Panic in the Streets (1950), Edge of Doom (1950), No Way Out (1950), Detective Story (1951), Joe MacBeth (1955), and The Harder They Fall (1956).

The story has a sort "Dirty Harry-esque," rouge cop M.O. The tale supposedly takes place in the 93rd Precinct, however there was no 93rd Precinct in 1955. The closest in numbers the 90th and the 94th are located in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Obsessed NYPD Police Detective Lt. Leonard Diamond (Wilde) is on the hunt for sharp dressed, rapidly staccato talking, sadistic, and carnal Brooklyn based mobster Brown (Conte) whose real Italian name is probably Marrone, Marrono or Maronna. Almost all the other goombah's in the Combo have Italian names. Marrone is Italian for Brown.

Its a gritty, violent film noir that shows some surprising sparks of style. Watch for McClure's silent rub out. 

A very kinky film indeed, stylishly lit and directed.  The whole film has a consistent dark halo around it as if you are peeping on the characters from out of a sewer, we can call it "Sewerscope". The Big Combo has it all, not one but two obsessed characters, a Femme Fatale, sexual innuendos, stylistic lighting and again McClure's (Donlevy) demise is just icing on this cake. There are one or two far-fetched plot points but the film is so overwhelmingly compellingly sleazy that you just go with the (sewage) flow. 


One of my favorites, 9/10. Full review with some screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster.

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I Just Watched 31 Days of Oscar 2018 Edition, Post #1: 2/1

Swing Time (RKO, 1936) - "The Way You Look Tonight" is the song that won the Oscar from this movie, but my personal favorite is "A Fine Romance". The song is performed under a reversal of the usual Astaire-Rogers romantic dynamic. Normally, he's the one trying to woo her from the beginning of the movie and has to wear down her resistance. Here, he's trying to resist HER advances because he feels guilty about the fiance waiting for him in another city, and she, put out by him playing hot and cold with her, launches into the sarcastic number. Although, after a dialogue interlude in which Rogers learns about said fiance, now they resume their more conventional roles of her pulling away from him, and the number resumes with him singing. I guess the other notable thing about the movie is the replacement of the goon-eyed, double-taking, easily shocked and offended Edward Everett Horton from the first two Astaire-Rogers starring vehicles with borderline idiot savant Victor Moore as Astaire's boon companion this time around. They both have their advantages. Moore fits in so naturally I would have liked to have seen him work with Astaire again.

The Harvey Girls (MGM, 1946) - Pleasant, if not especially memorable, MGM big-budget Judy Garland musical Western from her mid-pushing-to-late years at the studio. Her romantic lead, John Hodiak, is not an actor I've come to know very well, although he had some other high-profile appearances in Lifeboat and Battleground. IMDB suggests he come to prominence at least partly because so many big-name actors were off at war. The same thing happened with Gregory Peck, but he made a much more substantial career out the opportunity. I think it didn't help he and Preston Foster were both wearing similar mustaches. The first couple of times I saw the movie, I had a bit of trouble telling them apart! I did like the bit where he lets Garland know he's aware the story she's telling is Longfellow, that he's not just some hick rube. Angela Lansbury transitioned very quickly from semi-sexpot roles like here and Gaslight to matronly roles. She played Elvis' mother in Blue Hawaii when she was in her mid-30s and only about eight years older than him! They dubbed her singing voice for some reason, though I'm sure she would have been just fine. Interesting to see Ray Bolger appearing prominently alongside Garland in the "Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe" number, although their characters barely interact for the rest of the film, given of course, that he's the Scarecrow, and she's Dorothy. I wonder if the powers that be knowingly placed them together in a couple of closeups as a kind of Easter egg, or if the same people worked together so often in MGM's Golden Age, that nobody even thought twice about it. And you feel bad about Chill Willis' character having to beg Garland NOT to marry him, because ... why? Because it would make her look like a heel if she was the one doing the begging? Although they do establish that Hodiak wrote the letters she fell in love with, so by old movie tropes, that made him her soul mate.

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) - Unusual psychological horror drama from A24 and director Yorgos Lanthimos. Heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) works hard and spends time with his family: wife Anna (Nicole Kidman), teen daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy), and young son Bob (Sunny Suljic). Steven also spends time with teen boy Martin (Barry Keoghan), although the nature of their relationship is only slowly revealed. Things take an unexpected turn when Steven's family is slowly afflicted by mysterious maladies, and he's told that he must choose a member of his family to kill or else they will all die. Also featuring Bill Camp and Alicia Silverstone.

Greek filmmaker Lanthimos was behind the strange yet enjoyable 2009 film Dogtooth and the even more bizarre 2015 offering The Lobster. This film is more straightforward, but it certainly diverts into the realm of Magic Realism. The cinematic techniques are designed to disquiet the viewer, with a brooding score and removed cinematography that is either framed at an "unnatural" angle or slowly zooming in like an invasive presence. The performances as also just off, with a very slight emotional disconnect, a feeling that disappears as the film progresses and the stakes get higher. Farrell is hidden behind a bushy, salt-and-pepper beard, while Kidman is determined to show that she's not letting age stop her from baring it all. Keoghan's is the most difficult character to convey, and he does a good job, a sort-of man-child with passive malevolence lurking beneath. The film's resolution left me a bit disappointed, and so I rank this slightly below The Lobster, but it's still worth a look for fans of off-beat cinema.  (7/10)

Source: Lionsgate Blu-ray.

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16 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

There's always something lost when live action films are remade from animated films and vice-versa.  And, IMHO, more lost when good movies are remade into musicals.  For example---

There's that not too bad but not great '84 movie IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES in which RYAN O'NEAL plays a film director whose career tanks after the failure of his attempted musical remake of GONE WITH THE WIND.  In fact, I found the whole idea of turning GWTW into a musical the most amusing aspect of the whole movie.

Sepiatone

You know, that probably seemed really funny and ridiculous in 1984, but since in the intervening years, they've made musicals of RockySunset Blvd.Legally BlondeGroundhog DayHeathersA Christmas Story9 to 5 and, I hear now, Catch Me If You Can, I'm sorta surprised there HASN'T been a Gone With the Wind musical! People have certainly tried to launch one, I would think.

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I'd imagine the PARODIES would be inspired. ;)

Like playing "Disco Inferno"(burn baby, burn) for the Atlanta fire scene.

Paul McCartney's "Another Day" peppered throughout.   :D 

Maybe "Georgia" for it's main theme.  B)

Sepiatone

 

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Scarlett's new dress is made from the shower curtain at the Bates Motel.

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1 minute ago, Fedya said:

Scarlett's new dress is made from the shower curtain at the Bates Motel.

But then again, you can't beat what CAROL BURNETT did with that! :lol:

Sepiatone

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7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

You know, that probably seemed really funny and ridiculous in 1984, but since in the intervening years, they've made musicals of RockySunset Blvd.Legally BlondeGroundhog DayHeathersA Christmas Story9 to 5 and, I hear now, Catch Me If You Can, I'm sorta surprised there HASN'T been a Gone With the Wind musical! People have certainly tried to launch one, I would think.

They did. 

 Several pages (5?6?) back in this thread someone mentioned it, It ran on the London stage a few years back and nothing much came of it...

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STRANGERS IN A TRAIN... because I watch it every damn time they show it no matter what. 

Having now watched one film this Oscar month, I’m already tied with how many I watched on TCM during last year’s Oscar month. 

(And I MEANT to wAtch THE STRIP)

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

They did. 

 Several pages (5?6?) back in this thread someone mentioned it, It ran on the London stage a few years back and nothing much came of it...

At one point, there was even a Fritz Lang "Metropolis" musical in London, but didn't bear much resemblance to the original, and didn't even hold a candle to Giorgio Moroder's version.

(With Brian Blessed as Rotwang, who also did a great Baron in the London "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" musical.)

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now this is weird...

by a series of strange coincidences I was led to this episode of Biography about the life of IDA LUPINO today and- again, weird coincidence- it turns out that tomorrow (February 4th) is her birthday!

Maybe it's a sign Ida wanted me to post this.

OoogieBoogie, whatever- enjoy

(it's fun, but sad at the end, and it has some great clips of her work in THE LIGHT THAT FAILED.)

 

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Just a quick note to say how much I agree with cigarjoe about The Big Combo. If you like the cinematography of John Alton or the craziness of Timothy Carey, it's a must-see.

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I Just Watched, 31 Days of Oscar Edition, Post #2, 2/2

Limelight (United Artists, 1952) - This was my first time to see this film all the way through. It's both funny and poignant but verrry loooonng. Presumably, it did not win an Oscar for Best Editing. I feel like I need to read a Chaplin biography and learn what it is exactly that got him banned from the States for essentially 20 years. Red affiliations, I'm sure, but I don't know the specifics. If he was publicly declaring Communist manifestos, I've never seen or heard anything about that. Really my only exposure to his backstory is the Richard Attenborough biopic, which concentrates more on his earlier life. I do know from that movie and other sources about his predilection for very young girls. It's hard for me to watch this movie and not want to play amateur psychiatrist. His character Calvero, as written by Chaplin himself, is able to resist the temptation of young flesh in a way the real-life Chaplin clearly was not. I want to say maybe it was an idealized presentation of Chaplin himself the way he wanted to be, but I'm sure my assumptions are simplistic. Claire Boom, only 20 in this film, is not an actress I'm very familiar with, but she is admittedly lovely. She reminds me of Audrey Hepburn and got her movie start a couple of years ahead of Audrey, who often early in her career played innocent gamines who through the course of the movie gain life experience and become more sophisticated and a bit more world-weary by film's end, just like Bloom's character in this movie. At least in this film, however, Bloom is totally lacking in the humorous side Audrey would also give us. Looking at her imdb resume, I do see I've seen her in other things, though I didn't know who she was when I was watching them: Queen Mary in The King's Speech, Hera in Clash of the Titans, Martin Landau's clueless wife in Crimes and Misdemeanors, "The Wife" in The Outrage, Theodora in The Haunting, Katya in The Brothers Karamazov, Lady Anne in Olivier's Richard III. I mean, my gosh, I've been watching her for years. I just didn't know it. Seeing Sydney Chaplin in a prominent role makes me wonder which Chaplin son it was Brando said Chaplin was so verbally abusive to on the set of The Countess from Hong Kong. Sydney Chaplin would have been middle-aged by then, so I'm wondering if it was a younger son. But Sydney was in that movie as well, so maybe it was him. I guess my biggest gripe about this movie is that it telegraphs its ending so thoroughly practically from the first frame. I was dreading the ending right from the beginning because it was so obvious to me that (Spoiler Alert!) Calvero was going to die. Thereza was so unfailingly devoted to him, even after he ran away, that the only way to get her into that age-appropriate relationship Chaplin probably thought the audience demanded was to kill off his character.

Fiddler on the Roof (United Artists, 1971) - I just haven't warmed up to this movie very much after repeated viewings. I suppose the numbers and the choreography are just as impressive as any lavish production from MGM's Golden Age, but the setting and the costumes and the plethora of characters I just don't care about that much have always failed to capture my imagination. Musicals aren't my favorite genre to begin with, but if I have to watch one, I suppose I prefer the flash of swanky nightclubs and tuxedos and three-piece suits and dresses and evening gowns to poor Russian Jewish milkmen living in the middle of nowhere in 1900. I guess I'm a snob. There is some nice social messaging, and Topol brings a nice subtlety to the lead role. They say in the promo TCM often shows that Zero Mostel originated the role on stage, but Norman Jewison wanted somebody less in your face for the movie, and I think that was a wise choice. I like Mostel, but he knew only one approach to acting, grand and scenery-chewing. I didn't know that John Williams had won an Oscar for "scoring adaption and original song score" for this film. Is that a category that's still in use? Prince won the same award for the Purple Rain movie as I recall, accepting in full Prince regalia, and the Beatles also won that award for Let It Be. And none of of the Beatles actually showed up. Quincy Jones accepted on their behalf. But if it's an award that's still being given, I have no idea who's won it in the last 20 years.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (Warner Bros., 1942) - I always get a kick out of Cagney's dance style, especially the performance of the title number. All that crazy hunch-walking with long strides, coupled with dramatic spins and kicks so high, it's a wonder he doesn't fall on his Irish-American arse. I wonder what someone like Fred Astaire thought of Cagney's dancing, if he ever commented on it. Cagney seems to me to have not had any classical (or any?) training. He just does what comes naturally to him, and it works. I love that scene where Joan Leslie first meets Cagney in his makeup and thinks he's a hundred years old and about to go on a date with a 17-year-old! That makes me laugh every time. There are other nice scenes, like when Cagney worries needlessly about having given Leslie's show part away to Fay Templeton. And when Cagney gently kisses S.Z. Sakall on his hat, and Sakall looks up, uncertain what's just happened. And when young Cohan's parents decide a good beating is just what their son needs and debate about where is the best place to strike him! Nice casting bits with Cagney's real-life sister playing his movie sister and Eddie Foy, Jr. playing his father. One weird moment: what the heck was the bit with the number early on in the movie where six-year-old Josie Cohan apparently pulls up her dress and flahses the audience while her parents look on adoringly? We don't see anything, but still ... that certainly wouldn't fly today.

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34 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

 

Yankee Doodle Dandy (Warner Bros., 1942) - I always get a kick out of Cagney's dance style, especially the performance of the title number. All that crazy hunch-walking with long strides, coupled with dramatic spins and kicks so high, it's a wonder he doesn't fall on his Irish-American arse. I wonder what someone like Fred Astaire thought of Cagney's dancing, if he ever commented on it. Cagney seems to me to have not had any classical (or any?) training. He just does what comes naturally to him, and it works. I love that scene where Joan Leslie first meets Cagney in his makeup and thinks he's a hundred years old and about to go on a date with a 17-year-old! That makes me laugh every time. There are other nice scenes, like when Cagney worries needlessly about having given Leslie's show part away to Fay Templeton. And when Cagney gently kisses S.Z. Sakall on his hat, and Sakall looks up, uncertain what's just happened. And when young Cohan's parents decide a good beating is just what their son needs and debate about where is the best place to strike him! Nice casting bits with Cagney's real-life sister playing his movie sister and Eddie Foy, Jr. playing his father. One weird moment: what the heck was the bit with the number early on in the movie where six-year-old Josie Cohan apparently pulls up her dress and flahses the audience while her parents look on adoringly? We don't see anything, but still ... that certainly wouldn't fly today.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY is definitely one of Cagney's best, and the role he was most proud of. He always did much prefer to be remembered as a song-and-dance man rather than for his gangster roles (I love him either way myself).

And yes the scene where he's pulling Leslie's leg about his age is hilarious. I also love the scene, during Cohan's elder years when he's retired to the farm, when a group of teens stop by with car trouble and he's irked when they failed to recognize him. It pumps him up to leave retirement and go back on stage.

I love all the musical numbers too, especially the HARRIGAN song and the patriotic numbers on stage.

I read somewhere though that his winning the Oscar for YANKEE DOODLE DANDY actually wasn't a popular one, at least with the critics. I believe one of Cagney's competitors for the Oscar that year was Gary Cooper for THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES. Cooper had won the previous year for SERGEANT YORK, otherwise he might have won over Cagney.

I think Cagney's Oscar was well deserved, he puts so much energy and work into the role. And of course the rest of the cast is brilliant as well, and that includes Leslie and Walter Huston as Cohan's father.

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