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I Just Watched...

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5 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I have to agree, if the sexual accusations against James Franco hadn't come out, he would undoubtably have gotten Washington's slot.

I'm not sure it was a done deal either way.

His playing Tommy Wiseau and mining a broad, bad performance for laughs was such obvious low hanging fruit, even Academy Voters were turned off.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

His playing Tommy Wiseau and mining a broad, bad performance for laughs was such obvious low hanging fruit, even Academy Voters were turned off.

Agreed--Not to mention Franco's Andy Kaufman-esque antics of staying in character as Wiseau while directing pretty well put the movie in the "Cult" ghetto, where loyal cult-fans nag about why it didn't get a Best Picture/Director nomination.

18 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

CORALINE (2009) for the 7th time in 6 months or so. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I just really enjoy the use of color and the animation style. 

Nothing wrong with you, you just happened to be one of the people who noticed that it wasn't Tim Burton who directed "The Nightmare Before Christmas", it was Henry Selick.

I'd recommend "James & the Giant Peach" as a director followup, but boy, did Disney ruin that book.  :(

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Hey, Lawrence, never noticed till I looked at your thumbnail pic, how much Georges Melies looked like Jose Ferrer if he wore a mustache.

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm not sure it was a done deal either way.

His playing Tommy Wiseau and mining a broad, bad performance for laughs was such obvious low hanging fruit, even Academy Voters were turned off.

You didn't think much of his performance, that's fine. But that doesn't mean others didn't. Franco got enough critical acclaim that I think he was indeed a strong possibility for a nomination before the accusations started coming out.

As much as I loved Denzel, I think Franco (regardless of whether the accusations are true or not) turned in the better performance (doesn't mean he isn't a creep if the charges about him are true though).

It's a tricky business when you have to weigh in an actor's performance against his personal life, especially the last couple of years.

It's always been a wonder to me that Casey Affleck managed to win Best Actor last year with the accusations against him at that time. But that was before the #metoo movement started in.

(And for the record I honestly wish Denzel had win for FENCES instead of Casey. I am not basing this on the public backlash against Affleck BTW. I saw MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, but Denzel totally blew him away).

 

 

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Hell, there are still people defending child-rapist Roman Polanski.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I was unaware of Gloria Jean, an operatic singer who Universal groomed to be a replacement for the aging Deanna Durbin. Jean was a popular film star from 1939 through the war years, but this is first time I've seen her.

Her real name is Gloria Jean Schoonover (1926-   ) and appears to have been a little sweetheart. I had never heard of her either.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gloria+jean&client=firefox-b-1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF-5up7a3ZAhVr2IMKHfTdDdYQ_AUICygC&biw=864&bih=399#imgdii=pm2I0SgSBxUAuM:&imgrc=FLm1nuKVWVUb5M:

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Just now, laffite said:

Her real name is Gloria Jean Schoonover (1926-   ) and appears to have been a little sweetheart. I had never heard of her either.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gloria+jean&client=firefox-b-1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF-5up7a3ZAhVr2IMKHfTdDdYQ_AUICygC&biw=864&bih=399#imgdii=pm2I0SgSBxUAuM:&imgrc=FLm1nuKVWVUb5M:

I looked her up on Wikipedia after watching the movie to learn more about her. She's still kicking, enjoying her golden years in Hawaii.

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53 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Hell, there are still people defending child-rapist Roman Polanski.

The guy's reaching 90 and has really suffered enough and had his name tarnished. What more do you want? Even the girl he raped thinks he doesn't deserve so much hate.

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Susan and God (1940) - Comedy-drama based on the play by Rachel Crothers, adapted by Anita Loos, from MGM and director George Cukor. Society woman Susan (Joan Crawford) returns from a lengthy European trip. She's become a religious convert, and attempts to push her new-found faith on all those around her. This is especially hard for her alcoholic husband Barrie (Fredric March), and their awkward teenage daughter Blossom (Rita Quigley). Also featuring Ruth Hussey, Rose Hobart, Rita Hayworth, Constance Collier, John Carroll, Nigel Bruce, Bruce Cabot, Marjorie Main, Gloria DeHaven, Richard Crane, Norma Mitchell, Joan Leslie, Lon McCallister, Susan Peters (in her debut), and Dan Dailey.

This wasn't what I expected from reading the brief plot description on TCM. I suppose I was expecting a more serious look at what can be wrought from obsessive or misplaced religious fervor, a topic on which I have first hand experience, having known more than a few people who have "found God" and then proceeded to wreak havoc in the lives of all those around them. Instead, this plays more frequently like any number of light-comedy stage productions with fast-talking, wisecracking characters, only without the verbal spark of many of the best of that genre. Cukor doesn't do much to open the play up, and most the film seems trapped in overstuffed theatrical sets. The costumes, too, are a bit much, with a couple of real oddities, perhaps an attempt to add visual interest to a talky, static production.    (6/10)

Source: TCM.

susan-and-god-movie-poster-1940-10205312

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The Killer That Stalked New York (1950) Public Service Noir

TKTSNY.gif


The title sequence with a giant  silhouette of a 
woman looming over NYC gives a preview
 of the gravity of the unfolding story.
                                                                     

Director: Earl McEvoy. Writers: Milton Lehman (a Colliers Magazine article), Harry Essex (adaptation). Cinematography was by Joseph F. Biroc, and music was by Hans J. Salter. 

Starring Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, Jim Backus, Whit Bissell, Dorothy Malone, Lola Albright, and William Bishop. This is sort of a companion piece to Panic In The Streets (1950). It's part film noir and part public service education.

The film almost flawlessly transitions between New York location footage, Los Angeles location footage, and studio sets. The only giveaways are the street lamps, New York has the old Bishop's Crook lamps, the L.A. Columbia Studio studio sets use the single globe on a concrete post Hollywood type lamps, and they are also invariably illuminated by bright California sunshine, in contrast to the drabber real Manhattan cityscapes.

This is an OK thriller, though it does beg the question about what happened to all the other contacts Sheila made before she hit NYC, the people on the boat or plane she took from Cuba, she most assuredly came in contact with before she took the train. Unless she was somehow not contagious during some type of incubation period, but what do I know. This film has great location shots of old Penn Station, various Manhattan locals and a great 3rd Avenue el sequence at the old Chatham Square Station that I've captured and uploaded on Youtube below:


Keyes is great in this and her makeup gets increasingly effective conveying her sickness, its part of the Bad Girls of Film Noir set 7/10. Full review with more screencaps here: Noirsville

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DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID (1982) 

Starring Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, and Carl Reiner. My first time watching this comedy/mystery; I liked it enough. I appreciate the decision to film it entirely in black and white; the reasoning for this primarily being because of the several "cameos" by such stars as Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster. The writers really did their research. Bits of movies of some of Hollywood's most illustrious stars like Stanwyck, Cagney, Crawford, Lake, Lana Turner, Bette Davis, Bogart, Laughton, Price, Ladd, Bergman, Cary, Kirk Douglas, Gardner, and Lancaster were incorporated into the movie's plot.

It was interesting to see classic Hollywood actors "co-starring" with Steve Martin. I thought that was an original and ingenious idea. I thought it was funny how Veronica Lake's character was named "Monica Stillpond." I quickly figured out who they were talking about once they said her name. I'd give this one a 3/5. 

Image result for dead men don't wear plaid

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Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women (1979) - CBS TV movie thriller from director Joseph Pevney. A planeload of oil company men, including Steven Keats, Clint Walker, Peter Lawford, and Guich Koock, is forced to land on an unknown Pacific island, where they discover a multi-ethnic tribe of beautiful woman living in the jungle. The two groups slowly start to interact, and Keats begins to learn who they are and how they got there, while a tribe of "head-choppers" from a nearby island sporadically attacks them all. Also featuring Jamie Lynn Bauer, Rosalind Chao, Sandy McPeak, Michael McGreevey, Susie Coelho, Deborah Shelton, Jayne Kennedy, and Kathryn Davis.

Featuring standard TV-movie production values of the time, this is really just an excuse to show a lot of pretty women in skimpy outfits, while aging male stars get to enjoy a tropical vacation while filming as well as acting with said ladies. The biggest surprise by the end of this one was just how little had actually occurred during its running time. Shot in Hawaii.   (4/10)

Source: Svengoolie, by way of MeTV.

pby7.jpg

 

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15 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

The guy's reaching 90 and has really suffered enough and had his name tarnished. What more do you want?

Elia Kazan was approaching 90 when he got his honorary Oscar, and look at how people treated him.  But that's different because we're supposed to celebrate communist mass murderers apparently.

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17 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

The guy's reaching 90 and has really suffered enough and had his name tarnished. What more do you want? Even the girl he raped thinks he doesn't deserve so much hate.

I am sorry that Polanski has had such a hard life. However, a lot of people have had horrible stuff happen to them in their lives and don't molest children. 

Nobody told him to drug and sleep with a 13 year old so he only has himself to blame for his name and reputation being ruined. 

I am glad that his victim was able to forgive and move on, but that doesn't mean the law should especially since Polanski fled instead of facing the music. 

I heard the old 'but the judge screwed him in the sentencing' bit. But as I understand it judges do have the right to reject plea bargains. Maybe he believed that the bargain was too lenient towards Polanski, and frankly I agree.

Brilliant filmmaker that Polanski may be, neither his celebrity status nor his tragic past should have been used as a shield to protect him from the law.

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And as far as Elia Kazan is concerned, I will attest to his brilliance as a filmmaker.

But the fact that he ended up naming names, many of whom were certainly innocent, and remained so unrepentant about it, is why he was despised all through out his life.

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women (1979) - CBS TV movie thriller from director Joseph Pevney. A planeload of oil company men, including Steven Keats, Clint Walker, Peter Lawford, and Guich Koock, is forced to land on an unknown Pacific island, where they discover a multi-ethnic tribe of beautiful woman living in the jungle.

 

I remember seeing this the first time it was shown on tv ... because I never miss a Guich Koock film.

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2 hours ago, Fedya said:

Elia Kazan was approaching 90 when he got his honorary Oscar, and look at how people treated him.  But that's different because we're supposed to celebrate communist mass murderers apparently.

Kazan never "celebrated mass murderers" as far as I know. Supporting an economic model isn't the same as celebrating murder. Stalinism, Socialism With a Human Face, and German Democratic Socialism were all extremely different things. By your logic all Capitalism must be Mussolini, Hitler, Ian Smith and the unjust wars undertaken by Truman, LBJ, Bush and just about all the US presidents and UK Prime Ministers in the latter half of the 20th Century.

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45 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I am sorry that Polanski has had such a hard life. However, a lot of people have had horrible stuff happen to them in their lives and don't molest children. 

Nobody told him to drug and sleep with a 13 year old so he only has himself to blame for his name and reputation being ruined. 

I am glad that his victim was able to forgive and move on, but that doesn't mean the law should especially since Polanski fled instead of facing the music. 

I heard the old 'but the judge screwed him in the sentencing' bit. But as I understand it judges do have the right to reject plea bargains. Maybe he believed that the bargain was too lenient towards Polanski, and frankly I agree.

Brilliant filmmaker that Polanski may be, neither his celebrity status nor his tragic past should have been used as a shield to protect him from the law.

I'm not saying what he did was justified or okay. I was just saying I don't think they should prosecute or be so cruel against him after all this time. If even his rape victim thinks people are too hard on him then I think that says something.

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3 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

I remember seeing this the first time it was shown on tv ... because I never miss a Guich Koock film.

While I was changing channels I stopped at this one after first seeing the group of ageing actors like Lawford etc.. on a beach.  Then came the group of spear carrying babes.    My wife said 'what is this,  island of the beautiful women'.   I checked what the title was and said 'what have you seen this before???'.   No it was just a wild guess.

 

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Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Good dance musical from MGM and director Norman Taurog. Professional dance partners Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy) are barely keeping one step ahead of their bill collectors when, in a case of mistaken identity, Shaw is tapped to co-star in the new Broadway production of sensation Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell). Brett, who has held a torch for Bennett from afar for a long time, was really the dancer that was supposed to be hired, but as his old friend Shaw starts to let his hard-drinking ways interfere with the show, Brett may just get his big chance after all. Also featuring Frank Morgan, Ian Hunter, Florence Rice, Lynne Carver, Ann Morriss, Herman Bing, Mel Blanc, and Trixie Firschke.

I saw Broadway Melody of 1936 and Born to Dance a long time ago, but I couldn't recall anything about Eleanor Powell from those. After watching this one, I don't think I'll forget her. As most musical fans know, she's an outstanding dancer, and Astaire was quoted as saying that she was the only dance partner he was ever intimidated by. Their closing number done to "Begin the Beguine" is classic. The story is fluff, naturally, and there isn't any call for dramatic exhibition. But the music numbers are very well done, and that's the point, isn't it?  (7/10)

Source: Warner DVD, with a featurette on Cole Porter and an Our Gang short as bonus features.

21348-broadway-melody-of-1940-0-230-0-34

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19 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - Good dance musical from MGM and director Norman Taurog. Professional dance partners Johnny Brett (Fred Astaire) and King Shaw (George Murphy) are barely keeping one step ahead of their bill collectors when, in a case of mistaken identity, Shaw is tapped to co-star in the new Broadway production of sensation Clare Bennett (Eleanor Powell). Brett, who has held a torch for Bennett from afar for a long time, was really the dancer that was supposed to be hired, but as his old friend Shaw starts to let his hard-drinking ways interfere with the show, Brett may just get his big chance after all. Also featuring Frank Morgan, Ian Hunter, Florence Rice, Lynne Carver, Ann Morriss, Herman Bing, Mel Blanc, and Trixie Firschke.

I saw Broadway Melody of 1936 and Born to Dance a long time ago, but I couldn't recall anything about Eleanor Powell from those. After watching this one, I don't think I'll forget her. As most musical fans know, she's an outstanding dancer, and Astaire was quoted as saying that she was the only dance partner he was ever intimidated by. Their closing number done to "Begin the Beguine" is classic. The story is fluff, naturally, and there isn't any call for dramatic exhibition. But the music numbers are very well done, and that's the point, isn't it?  (7/10)

Source: Warner DVD, with a featurette on Cole Porter and an Our Gang short as bonus features.

 

Trixie Firschke's juggling was pretty impressive as well.  I remember reading about her after seeing this film for the first time and found out that she was a world renowned juggler and is even in the Juggling Hall of Fame.

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20 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

This wasn't what I expected [Susan and God] from reading the brief plot description on TCM. I suppose I was expecting a more serious look at what can be wrought from obsessive or misplaced religious fervor, a topic on which I have first hand experience, having known more than a few people who have "found God" and then proceeded to wreak havoc in the lives of all those around them. Instead, this plays more frequently like any number of light-comedy stage productions with fast-talking, wisecracking characters, only without the verbal spark of many of the best of that genre. Cukor doesn't do much to open the play up, and most the film seems trapped in overstuffed theatrical sets. The costumes, too, are a bit much, with a couple of real oddities, perhaps an attempt to add visual interest to a talky, static production.    (6/10)

I wish I could remember this one better, though I recall enjoying it a lot, more than expected. Your criticisms are right on but it was fun anyway. Joan Crawford personas are not reticent by any means but I don't think I know a more voluble Joanie than here. But I found her appealing, as well as the rest of the cast.

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33 minutes ago, laffite said:

I wish I could remember this one better, though I recall enjoying it a lot, more than expected. Your criticisms are right on but it was fun anyway. Joan Crawford personas are not reticent by any means but I don't think I know a more voluble Joanie than here. But I found her appealing, as well as the rest of the cast.

I remember this one from awhile ago.  It is an interesting theme, and  I have met people who were overbearing about religion and indoctrinating others like that.  Joan was good in the role and made it more than worth watching, as with all of her roles.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

As most musical fans know, she's [ Eleanor Powell ] an outstanding dancer, and Astaire was quoted as saying that she was the only dance partner he was ever intimidated by.

...a fascinating admission ... how interesting !

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19 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID (1982) 

It was interesting to see classic Hollywood actors "co-starring" with Steve Martin. I thought that was an original and ingenious idea. I thought it was funny how Veronica Lake's character was named "Monica Stillpond." I quickly figured out who they were talking about once they said her name. I'd give this one a 3/5. 

Actually, most of the vintage-clip characters are more or less playing themselves--

When Martin calls up hysterical Barbara Stanwyck from Sorry, Wrong Number, he explodes "Listen, you phony fruitcake!", Ingrid Bergman from Notorious is "F. X. Huberman" and James Cagney in prison from White Heat is Cody Jarrett who won't talk to anyone but his mother (or Martin in disguise).  And of course, the line where Charles Laughton from The Bribe asks "And do you know who I might be?", Martin replies, "...The Hunchback of Notre Dame?"

I remember when this movie came out in 1982, when B/W movies were still "the Late Show" trivialized on television before the VCR and Cable movie-rennaissance came along (which is why we got a lot of old-movie/celebrity jokes before 1983), and nobody got the jokes.  Most knew that old movies in general were being featured, but only about 10% actually knew which movies, and--as it was Martin's first movie after "The Jerk"--most just focused on the comedy scenes where Steve pours coffee or shaves his tongue.

But, at least it's on Blu-ray now:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073ZYKJC7  ^_^

I saw Broadway Melody of 1936 and Born to Dance a long time ago, but I couldn't recall anything about Eleanor Powell from those. After watching this one, I don't think I'll forget her. As most musical fans know, she's an outstanding dancer, and Astaire was quoted as saying that she was the only dance partner he was ever intimidated by.

BM36 isn't a great movie (starring Jack Benny back before he had an act or was likeable), but it's got one of Powell's more amazing tap scenes on film, as her chorus girl has to pass herself off as famous French star "LaBelle" to try and attract her man--

Although to say it also might be average for Powell's career at MGM, is also to the point.

Every time I see that obnoxious sour-grapes-cultural-leech feminist t-shirt/bumper sticker slogan about "Ginger did everything Fred did, backwards", I want to sit them in a chair and show them how Eleanor did everything herself AND wowed Fred.  

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