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I Just Watched...

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Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) - Excellent comedy-mystery from MGM and director W.S. Van Dyke. Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) are back on the case when a jockey is murdered, leading to more intrigue involving crooked sports promoters, reporters and suspicious dame or two. Also featuring Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Henry O'Neill, Sam Levene, Alan Baxter, Richard Hall, Stella Adler, Loring Smith, Joseph Anthony, Lou Lubin, Louise Beavers, Jody Gilbert, Tor Johnson, Ava Gardner in her debut, and Asta.

This is the fourth in the Thin Man series, which is a well-worn series on TCM. I've seen the first three films, the first two many years ago, but I've just never gotten around to the final three until now. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Powell and Loy still have great chemistry, although Loy is given less to do this time out. The supporting cast is interesting, with noted acting teacher Stella Adler memorable in one of her few movie roles, playing a classy lady who's secretly a shady broad. A baby-faced Barry Nelson makes his movie debut, and a very young Donna Reed plays his sweetheart. Sam Levene, as the head policeman in charge of the case, hams it up, but his shtick had me laughing by the end. Ava Gardner can be glimpsed very briefly. I'm sure I've heard about it before, but I had forgotten that Tor Johnson was in this, and when he showed up, with a head of curly hair no less, I almost fell out of my chair. My only complaints about this entry would be the unnecessarily slapstick barroom brawl scene, and some of the sappy scenes with Powell and little Richard Hall as Nick Jr.   (7/10)

Source: TCM. This was a recording from New Year's Eve of 2015/2016, with Robert Osborne doing the intro/outro.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) - Excellent comedy-mystery from MGM and director W.S. Van Dyke. Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) are back on the case when a jockey is murdered, leading to more intrigue involving crooked sports promoters, reporters and suspicious dame or two. Also featuring Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Henry O'Neill, Sam Levene, Alan Baxter, Richard Hall, Stella Adler, Loring Smith, Joseph Anthony, Lou Lubin, Louise Beavers, Jody Gilbert, Tor Johnson, Ava Gardner in her debut, and Asta.

This is the fourth in the Thin Man series, which is a well-worn series on TCM. I've seen the first three films, the first two many years ago, but I've just never gotten around to the final three until now. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Powell and Loy still have great chemistry, although Loy is given less to do this time out. The supporting cast is interesting, with noted acting teacher Stella Adler memorable in one of her few movie roles, playing a classy lady who's secretly a shady broad. A baby-faced Barry Nelson makes his movie debut, and a very young Donna Reed plays his sweetheart. Sam Levene, as the head policeman in charge of the case, hams it up, but his shtick had me laughing by the end. Ava Gardner can be glimpsed very briefly. I'm sure I've heard about it before, but I had forgotten that Tor Johnson was in this, and when he showed up, with a head of curly hair no less, I almost fell out of my chair. My only complaints about this entry would be the unnecessarily slapstick barroom brawl scene, and some of the sappy scenes with Powell and little Richard Hall as Nick Jr.   (7/10)

Source: TCM. This was a recording from New Year's Eve of 2015/2016, with Robert Osborne doing the intro/outro.

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Lol about Tor Johnson.  I have seen Shadow of a Thin Man multiple times and I didn't realize he was in the movie!  I wish that Nick and Nora hadn't had a child.  He really doesn't add much to the series.  While the first Thin Man is my favorite, I'd have to say the third one, Another Thin Man, is my least favorite mostly because I find that "baby party" incredibly irritating.  My second favorite one is the last one in the series, Song of the Thin Man, which features Gloria Grahame and great jazz music.  'Song' came out in 1947, so I guess it'll be little while before you make it to that one. 

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Call me a sucker. Call me a chump. But I absolutely adore The Jolson Story. Larry Parks did such an amazing job portraying Jolson. 

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26 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) - Excellent comedy-mystery from MGM and director W.S. Van Dyke. Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) are back on the case when a jockey is murdered, leading to more intrigue involving crooked sports promoters, reporters and suspicious dame or two. Also featuring Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Henry O'Neill, Sam Levene, Alan Baxter, Richard Hall, Stella Adler, Loring Smith, Joseph Anthony, Lou Lubin, Louise Beavers, Jody Gilbert, Tor Johnson, Ava Gardner in her debut, and Asta.

This is the fourth in the Thin Man series, which is a well-worn series on TCM. I've seen the first three films, the first two many years ago, but I've just never gotten around to the final three until now. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Powell and Loy still have great chemistry, although Loy is given less to do this time out. The supporting cast is interesting, with noted acting teacher Stella Adler memorable in one of her few movie roles, playing a classy lady who's secretly a shady broad. A baby-faced Barry Nelson makes his movie debut, and a very young Donna Reed plays his sweetheart. Sam Levene, as the head policeman in charge of the case, hams it up, but his shtick had me laughing by the end. Ava Gardner can be glimpsed very briefly. I'm sure I've heard about it before, but I had forgotten that Tor Johnson was in this, and when he showed up, with a head of curly hair no less, I almost fell out of my chair. My only complaints about this entry would be the unnecessarily slapstick barroom brawl scene, and some of the sappy scenes with Powell and little Richard Hall as Nick Jr.   (7/10)

Source: TCM. This was a recording from New Year's Eve of 2015/2016, with Robert Osborne doing the intro/outro.

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My husband and I watched this on youtube while we were waiting at DFW last Sunday. I think the sappy scenes between Nick and son - in particular with little Nick in the military outfit - was a bit of a build up for WWII. By that time - 1941 - people knew it was just a matter of time. I liked the film very much, but I could have done without Barry Nelson. There's something about his face that just makes me want to punch his lights out. Maybe it's the eyebrows. Well constructed mystery although I figured out who the villain was pretty much from the beginning.

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46 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

Call me a sucker. Call me a chump. But I absolutely adore The Jolson Story. Larry Parks did such an amazing job portraying Jolson. 

This was my absolutely favorite movie as a child.  The songs are legitimate,  but the story is sweet and fictional. It goes a long way to hide the true character of the real Jolie.

But a childhood movie is like  eating peppermint or gingerbread-- you are  transformed back to innocence, or should I say stupidity, until the movie is over.

But great casting, great character actors,  and most importantly great songs.

 

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Lorna said: I watched THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING last night, odd movie- but fun. Minimal Jean Arthur and Maximum Edward G. Robinson, which was just how I wanted it.

I'm right there with you. Was there ever so annoying a lead actress?

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The other night was also the first time I saw THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING., but I SWEAR I saw that ending before!  But with DIFFERENT ACTORS!  So, has that shootout on the stairwell scene been done in some other movie?  Or is my aging/addled brain playing yet MORE tricks on me? ;)

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

The other night was also the first time I saw THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING., but I SWEAR I saw that ending before!  But with DIFFERENT ACTORS!  So, has that shootout on the stairwell scene been done in some other movie?  Or is my aging/addled brain playing yet MORE tricks on me? ;)

Sepiatone

How can I talk about your aging/addled brain when I just watched The Whole Town's Talking last week and can't remember the ending?

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18 hours ago, Swithin said:

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940). I watched it because Nathanael West was an uncredited screenwriter, a fact that some guy named Muller, who introduced the film, did not mention (and then only fleetingly) until after the film. The movie was interesting, a few too many flashbacks for such a short film, but good atmosphere and good cast. 

Mr. Muller brought to mind two of my favorite movie lines: In response to his intro, I would quote Mae West's line to Harold Huber in Klondike Annie: "Can't you ever say anything the short way?" And I would bestow upon Muller the Mantan Moreland/King of the Zombies Award in the "Can I help it cause I'm loquacious?" category.

If TCM really wants to get into a serious study of film, they can screen a few of the West-scripted films alongside John Schlesinger's masterful 1975 filming of West's novel, The Day of the Locust, a movie which cries out to be shown on TCM more than any other.

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Of course, TCM can even go a step further and show My Sister Eileen alongside the aforementioned movies. Nathanael West was married to Eileen McKenney, whose sister Ruth wrote My Sister Eileen about her. On December 22, 1940, Nathanael and Eileen were killed in an automobile accident in California, just a few days before they were to leave for NYC, for the Broadway premiere of the play My Sister Eileen, which opened the day after Christmas that year.

Btw, Ruth McKenney's daughter Eileen -- named for her aunt -- was a long-time New York State Supreme Court judge.

https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/comdiv/ny/newyork_bio_Bransten.shtml

 

Yes, I dont think I've seen Locust since it came out in the 70s. But then, it's Paramount again. :(

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Sleepers West (1941) - Mediocre at best crime drama from 20th Century-Fox and director Eugene Forde. Private investigator Michael Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) is secretly transporting Helen Carson (Mary Beth Hughes) via train westward to testify in a murder trial. Shayne runs into an old flame, reporter Kay Bentley (Lynn Bari), who happens to be traveling on the same train. Other passengers on the train have their own secrets, and soon Shayne, Helen and Kay will all be entangled in intrigue and danger. Also featuring Louis Jean Heydt, Edward Brophy, Don Costello, Ben Carter, Donald Douglas, Oscar O'Shea, Harry Hayden, Ferike Boros, Sam McDaniel, and Mantan Moreland.

This second movie in the Michael Shayne series is a big step down from the previous, lacking much of the charm and character. The characters here are largely bland and unmemorable, and there's no mystery element involved. The only real highlight for me was the humorous passages involving the train porters played by Ben Carter, Mantan Moreland, and Sam McDaniel.  (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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40 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

...Helen Carson (Mary Beth Hughes)...

Nice to see that name. I've always wanted to see more of her after seeing of The Ox-Bow Incident where she had a small but astonishingly memorable appearance. Quite alluring, as I recall. I see from imdb she did a few movies and then spent much of her career in television. Netflix has nothing, unfortunately. I see The Lady Confesses (1945) is on youtube. I may hit that and none too soon.

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40 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Sleepers West (1941) - Mediocre at best crime drama from 20th Century-Fox and director Eugene Forde. Private investigator Michael Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) is secretly transporting Helen Carson (Mary Beth Hughes) via train westward to testify in a murder trial. Shayne runs into an old flame, reporter Kay Bentley (Lynn Bari), who happens to be traveling on the same train. Other passengers on the train have their own secrets, and soon Shayne, Helen and Kay will all be entangled in intrigue and danger. Also featuring Louis Jean Heydt, Edward Brophy, Don Costello, Ben Carter, Donald Douglas, Oscar O'Shea, Harry Hayden, Ferike Boros, Sam McDaniel, and Mantan Moreland.

This second movie in the Michael Shayne series is a big step down from the previous, lacking much of the charm and character. The characters here are largely bland and unmemorable, and there's no mystery element involved. The only real highlight for me was the humorous passages involving the train porters played by Ben Carter, Mantan Moreland, and Sam McDaniel.  (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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Yea,  even Edward Brophy couldn't save this film!   (but I see the producers tried to use him for marketing purposes).

 

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10 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yea,  even Edward Brophy couldn't save this film! 

Hmm. Did he ever save a film?:P

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Double or Nothing (1940).

This "Broadway Brevity", a WB short, stars Lee Dixon as Bill, a stunt double who gets knocked out in a stunt.  When the dentists use laughing gas during the dental work, Bill has various hallucinations about other doubles.

The framing story is inane, but for those of use who are fans of old movies, the doubles are a hoot.  Among the better ones were those impersonating Mae West, Greta Garbo, Joe E. Brown, Zasu Pitts (here pronounced "Zay-soo"), and Hugh Herbert.

8/10.  Probably available as an extra on some DVD, but I watched as it filled out the time slot from the recent airing of The Divine Lady.

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Steel Against the Sky (1941) - Short "blue collar hero" drama from Warner Brothers and director A. Edward Sutherland. Three brothers, Rocky (Lloyd Noland), Chuck (Craig Stevens) and Pete (Edward Brophy), are steel construction workers, currently building a large bridge. Trouble ensues when both Rocky and Chuck fall for the same gal (Alexis Smith). Also featuring Gene Lockhart, Howard Da Silva, Edward Ellis, Walter Catlett, Julie Bishop, Frank Faylen, and Jackie Gleason.

This exceedingly unexceptional B-picture does beggar the question: what unholy union allowed Edward Ellis to sire Lloyd Nolan, Craig Stevens and Edward Brophy from the same genetic stock? There was some potential here to tell a story detailing the dangers and frustrations of massive construction efforts, but those issues are barely dwelt upon and are mainly used to add background to a very tired romantic triangle story. There's also some unfortunate, unfunny comic relief by Walter Catlett as a bumbling inventor. I'm not sure if this movie set is where they met, but Alexis Smith and Craig Stevens married in '44 and stayed together until her death, a few weeks shy of 50 years of matrimony. Pay attention in the diner scene for a 25-year-old Jackie Gleason in his second film role.  (5/10)

Source: TCM.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Steel Against the Sky (1941) - Short "blue collar hero" drama from Warner Brothers and director A. Edward Sutherland. Three brothers, Rocky (Lloyd Noland), Chuck (Craig Stevens) and Pete (Edward Brophy), are steel construction workers, currently building a large bridge. Trouble ensues when both Rocky and Chuck fall for the same gal (Alexis Smith). Also featuring Gene Lockhart, Howard Da Silva, Edward Ellis, Walter Catlett, Julie Bishop, Frank Faylen, and Jackie Gleason.

This exceedingly unexceptional B-picture does beggar the question: what unholy union allowed Edward Ellis to sire Lloyd Nolan, Craig Stevens and Edward Brophy from the same genetic stock? There was some potential here to tell a story detailing the dangers and frustrations of massive construction efforts, but those issues are barely dwelt upon and are mainly used to add background to a very tired romantic triangle story. There's also some unfortunate, unfunny comic relief by Walter Catlett as a bumbling inventor. I'm not sure if this movie set is where they met, but Alexis Smith and Craig Stevens married in '44 and stayed together until her death, a few weeks shy of 50 years of matrimony. Pay attention in the diner scene for a 25-year-old Jackie Gleason in his second film role.  (5/10)

Source: TCM.

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Oh, no Brophy in another dud.    Maybe he doesn't save films but hurts them?   :huh:

Yea,  the looks of new WB starlet Alexis Smith wasn't enough to save this film.  

 

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Sweet Love, Bitter (aka It Won't Rub Off, Baby!) (1967) Jazz Noir

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A paean to bebop jazz.

The film is based on the novel "Night Song" by John A. Williams, which itself was loosely based on the last years of the life of jazz great Charlie (Bird) Parker. The film is an eloquent portrait of the 1960's jazz scene. Though the story takes place in New York, the film was partly shot with Philadelphia, filling in for NYC. No matter it's all Noirsville.

There is a very small sub genre of Classic Film Noirs and also Biographies or "true story based" films that have a quasi noir vibe, I call them Bio Noir's. Films such as Dillinger (1945), Young Man with a Horn (1950), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), The Wrong Man (1956), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), The Bonnie Parker Story (1958), I Want To live (1958), Baby Face Nelson (1957), and Neo Noirs In Cold Blood (1967), The Honeymoon Killers (1970), Lenny (1974) and Raging Bull (1980). There are probably a few others out there.

Sweet Love, Bitter shadows Charlie 'Bird' Parker's story arc through the fictitious tale of Richie 'Eagle' Stokes, a quasi famous bebop sax player, who's life is a series of flying highs and gutter lows, boozin', geezin', screwing, and blowin'. He's got a jive **** crumb for manager whose sole qualification is that he used to sell zoot suits, a pusher who keeps him buzzed, and friends who give him shelter from the storm. When he's out of doe he panhandels, puts the touch on his admiring devotees, or pawns his saxophones.

Produced by Lewis Jacobs. Directed by Herbert Danska known for, The Gift (1962), and  Right on! (1970). Written by Herbert Danska, and Lewis Jacobs. The cinematography was by Victor Solow, and the soundtrack was by American jazz pianist Mal Waldron and his Orchestra, with Charles McPherson ghosting for Dick Gregory.

The film stars Dick Gregory, an African-American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur and a perennial guest on countless talk shows during the 1960s, Robert Hooks (Trouble Man (1972)), Don Murray (A Hatful of Rain (1957), The Hoodlum Priest(1961), Twin Peaks TV Series (2017– ), Diane Varsi (Bloody Mama (1970), Johnny Got His Gun (1971)).

The performances of the main characters are all good for such a low budget production. Dick Gregory's is particularly moving, Don Murray is very convincing as the kid who finally gets into the jazz candy store. Robert Hooks and Diane Varsi have some touching sequences but you get the feeling that there should have been more, either their relationship was somewhat tacked on to the predominant tale as an afterthought, or that some of their story was left on the cutting room floor. The film was re-cut and shown at art houses under the alternate titles of Black Love--White Love as well as It Won't Rub Off, Baby!  A real treat for jazz fans.  7/10

Below - Loser's Lament from title sequence of film (obviously images are not from the film)

 

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Sunny (1941) - Regrettable musical romantic comedy from RKO and director Herbert Wilcox. Rich guy Larry (John Carroll) meets and falls in love with Sunny (Anna Neagle), a circus performer that he meets during a raucous night in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. They decide to get married, but his disapproving family may put the kibosh on marrying circus folk. Also featuring Ray Bolger, Edward Everett Horton, Helen Westley, Grace Hartman, Paul Hartman, Frieda Inescort, Benny Rubin, and Torben Meyer.

Neagle was a huge star in England, and she and her director husband Wilcox came to America to make a few movies, including this one. It doesn't do a very good job of displaying why Neagle was a beloved figure, though, as the movie alternates between inanity, loud obnoxiousness, and uninspired musical numbers. The movie did earn an Oscar nomination for Best Score (Anthony Collins). I'm not familiar with the source material or the previous film version from 1930, so I can't compare this picture with anything else, but if they are similar, include me out!  (5/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

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INDIGNATION (2016)
A sensitive young Jewish atheist introvert reflects on the series of events that lead to his dying during the Korean War. His relationships with his family, and with a beautiful but disturbed and fragile WASP girl. And losing his college deferment that ultimately makes him eligible for the draft.
This rather serious bittersweet romdram had few moments of levity but managed to hold my attention throughout. The plot premise is that life is full of twists and turns and assorted forks in the road, involving numerous little choices that can have life altering decisive impacts.
Though I liked this film I realize that it is Not for everyone. 
 

Written, produced, and directed by James Schamus, making his feature directorial debut, and based on Philip Roth's 2008 novel of the same name.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indignation_(film)#/media/File:Indignation_poster.jpg
Indignation_poster.jpg

 

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LIFE WITH FATHER;  Last night on TCM......

First read a part of the play's script that for some reason was included in a textbook for an eighth grade English class, along with some stills from the movie.  Finally saw it for the first time back in the '70's on some TV station's "Sunday Matinee" presentation.  Liked it ever since.  And more now, since IRENE DUNNE's "Vinnie" and my wife have the same sense of economics. :D   

Clarence Day is one of my favorite movie characters, and WILLIAM POWELL's performance of him is, I think, his finest in film.  

It's one of those movie I never get tired of.

Sepiatone

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Swamp Water (1941) - Soggy Southern melodrama from 20th Century-Fox and director Jean Renoir. When Ben (Dana Andrews) heads into the dangerous Okefenokee Swamp to search for his missing hunting dog, he finds fugitive Tom Keefer (Walter Brennan) living like a wild man. After a rough beginning, Ben and Tom grow to trust each other, and Tom reveals that he was falsely convicted of murder, which is why he's hiding out. Ben promises to look in on Tom's daughter Julie (Anne Baxter), which leads to romance, but when townsfolk begin to suspect that Ben's frequent trips into the swamp may be connected to Keefer, everyone is put in jeopardy. Also featuring Walter Huston, John Carradine, Ward Bond, Guinn Williams, Eugene Pallette, Virginia Gilmore, Mary Howard, Russell Simpson, Joe Sawyer, Paul E. Burns, and Mae Marsh.

This was one of the few American films that French master Renoir worked on, and it wasn't a pleasant experience. He and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought over everything, particularly location shooting, which Renoir preferred, versus studio shooting, which the cost-conscious Zanuck wanted. Most of the film ended up being shot in the studio, but some location shots were done in the real Okefenokee by dialogue director Irving Pichel. The movie is okay as far as these things go, "backwoods simple folk" movies never being one of my favorite sub-genres. The cast is good, especially Brennan, but Walter Huston is wasted as Andrews' disapproving father. Baxter replaced the fired Linda Darnell, and while I normally prefer Darnell, I don't think she would have been right for this part. Baxter has a certain feral look to her eyes that fit the wild-child role, even if her perfectly drawn eye brows don't. As for director Renoir, he accused Zanuck of butchering the film in the editing process, and canceled his Fox contract as soon as he was able.   (7/10)

Source: Fox Movie Channel.

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Lawrence, I dug out an old review I did of Swamp Water since we have such differing takes on the same film. I appreciate your info that much of it was not filmed on location in Georgia since I hadn't read that. Still, I really liked this atmospheric production in contrast, it would appear, to yourself. I do agree with your assessment of Anne Baxter's performance.

Swamp Water (1941)

I just had a first time viewing of director Jean Renoir's SWAMP WATER, a long forgotten (and vault buried) 1941 feature of 20th Century Fox.

Wonderfully atmospheric, it was shot on location in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, dealing with the country folk living by that swamp and their relationship with that dangerous gator, cottonmouth, quicksand filled bog where men are known to enter but often never be seen again.

Dana Andrews plays a young man trying to assert his independence from a domineering, proud father (played by Walter Huston with a stern dignity). Other characters (all wonderfully credible) include Walter Brennan as a convicted murderer hiding in the swamp, and Anne Baxter as his innocent, shy daughter working for the town's store keeper. The cast is filled out with a great collection of character actors, including Eugene Pallette as the sheriff, John Carradine as a man with a secret, and Ward Bond and Guinn Williams as a pair of troublesome louts.

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Andrews, in an early screen performance, is very impressive, in my opinion, playing the son approaching adulthood, rebelling from his father's authority, with the same kind of sensitivity that would later distinguish his portrayal in The Ox Bow Incident. He's very winning in a role far removed from the stoic types for which he is largely remembered today. It's an impressive demonstration of Andrews's acting range when you contrast this performance to the wise acres tough guy that he played the same year in Ball of Fire.

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But the star of this film is in many ways the swamp itself. Beautifully photographed on location, it becomes a living entity on its own, a swamp that is discussed by the film's characters with a fear, at times a nervous laughter. One of the earliest shots in the film is a suitably grim one, a skull on the end of a makeshift cross stuck in the swamp, an ominous warning for anyone who dares to venture into those deadly waters. And there's a death scene in the swamp that I found chillingly, eerily believable.

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I heartily recommend the little known Swamp Water, just released on DVD and Blue Ray, for its involving story line and characterizations and, the atmosphere to be found in the photography of the Okefenokee.

3 out of 4.

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

LIFE WITH FATHER;  Last night on TCM......

First read a part of the play's script that for some reason was included in a textbook for an eighth grade English class, along with some stills from the movie.  Finally saw it for the first time back in the '70's on some TV station's "Sunday Matinee" presentation.  Liked it ever since.  And more now, since IRENE DUNNE's "Vinnie" and my wife have the same sense of economics. :D   

Clarence Day is one of my favorite movie characters, and WILLIAM POWELL's performance of him is, I think, his finest in film.  

It's one of those movie I never get tired of.

Sepiatone

I love the scene where Irene Dunne explains how exchanging the pug dog for a suit doesn't cost any money.

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Texas (1941) - Decent if largely routine western from Columbia Pictures and director George Marshall. Dan (William Holden) and Tod (Glenn Ford) are two aimless friends wandering the American west shortly after the Civil War. They end up in Texas where they get separated. Dan ends up working with a gang of bandits and cattle rustlers, while Tod finds work at a cattle ranch. They both fall for the same girl, ranch heiress "Mike" King (Claire Trevor). But other developments may see them pointing guns at each other. Also featuring Edgar Buchanan, George Bancroft, Don Beddoe, Andrew Tombes, Addison Richards, Edmund MacDonald, Joseph Crehan, and Raymond Hatton.

There's nothing remarkable about this western, but it's generally agreeable, and the young Holden and Ford are pretty good. Trevor is okay, especially when she shouts lines like, "You blankety-blank hamstrung jerky piece of beef!" The best performance in the movie, to my mind, is from Buchanan as an amiable dentist. I could have done without a lengthy boxing match done for comic effect.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Texas-1941.jpg

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

LIFE WITH FATHER;  Last night on TCM......

First read a part of the play's script that for some reason was included in a textbook for an eighth grade English class, along with some stills from the movie.  Finally saw it for the first time back in the '70's on some TV station's "Sunday Matinee" presentation.  Liked it ever since.  And more now, since IRENE DUNNE's "Vinnie" and my wife have the same sense of economics. :D   

Clarence Day is one of my favorite movie characters, and WILLIAM POWELL's performance of him is, I think, his finest in film.  

It's one of those movie I never get tired of.

Sepiatone

I can't tell if this was Powell's finest but I do believe that he was perfectly cast. There is transparency when he fulminates and waxes domineering, the overall persona belies a decent man underneath, which is appropriate in something like this. IOW, though he comes across as harsh, he is a marshmallow. Powell is ideal for that. He loses every battle with his wife, she knows how to get the upper hand, oh the guys take a hit in this one. Irene Dunn is perfect. I love the sequence with the first maid, poor thing, she certainly didn't think he was a marshmallow. Sixteen year old Elizabeth is really spot on and quite charming. I loved her scenes. A wonderful moment is when Powell and Gwynn (the priest) are praying downstairs and the latter refers to Irene as a "sinner." I was actually moved by Powell's reaction, not because it was seemed anti-religious or anything but because Powell lets down the barrier a bit and reveals how much he loves his wife. Of course there was no doubt about that, it wasn't a reveal ; but it was sentimentally satisfying all the same because as is necessary for his character he was so reticent about it up to that point (not that there was not at least a smidgen of perverse satisfaction that a clergyman was so rebuked, ha). Curious for me is the accent on the second syllable, bapt-TIZED, that they all used. This may be the best family depiction in a comedy ever. You historians out there can tell me what may have come before this in this same vein, if any ... or can LWF be considered a trail blazer in happy family depictions?  In any case, I agree, I will never tire of it either.

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