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I Just Watched...

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3 minutes ago, laffite said:

And who might you be?

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"That's right, Alf! He doesn't know me? Am I passe? How soon they forget!"

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45 minutes ago, laffite said:

I like English colonialism as backdrop and my fave is The Jewel in the Crown, not only the PBS series but the books as well. And as such I was deeply disappointed in Indian Summer. 

The Jewel in the Crown is peerless. English friends told me not to waste my time on Indian Summer.  Of course I love A Passage to India (the book and the film, which I think is Lean's finest); and of course Forster's autobiographical India book, The Hill of Devi, which is quite wonderful.

A particular favorite of mine is Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, a really excellent miniseries, featuring a brilliant performance by Janet Suzman as Edwina Mountbatten and a portrayal of Gandhi by Sam Dastor which is much better than that bloated Oscar-winning movie.

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10 minutes ago, TomJH said:

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"That's right, Alf! He doesn't know me? Am I passe? How soon they forget!"

He looks like he's heard this before.

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Santa Fe Stampede (1938) - And once again, another Three Mesquiteers entry from Republic Pictures and director George Sherman. In this one, the Mesquiteers (John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune) stumble across a plot by invading Martians to clone the brains of prominent citizens, who then those brains into powerful robot dogs that will be sent to steal the world's diamond supply, which is an edible delicacy among the Martians. Ahhhh, who am I kiddin'...the Mesquiteers are actually just out to stop a crooked judge. Also featuring June Martel, William Farnum, LeRoy Mason, Martin Spellman, Genee Hall, Ferris Taylor, Tom London, Richard Alexander, and Yakima Canutt.

More of the same, only this one features more little kids.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube.

laffite: #111!!!

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4 minutes ago, Swithin said:

A particular favorite of mine is Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, a really excellent miniseries, featuring a brilliant performance by Janet Suzman as Edwina and a portrayal of Gandhi by Sam Dastor which is much better than that bloated Oscar-winning movie.

Love it. And Ian Richardson is remarkably cast as Nehru. I'm not one for pomp but I'm glad they took the time to give the pageantry, especially at the beginning. Agree about Suzman.  Nicole Williamson is a notorious scene chewer but the role of a viceroy didn't offer too much for that and I thought he was fine.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Santa Fe Stampede (1938) -

laffite: #111!!!

 

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6 minutes ago, laffite said:

Love it. And Ian Richardson is remarkably cast as Nehru. I'm not one for pomp but I'm glad they took the time to give the pageantry, especially at the beginning. Agree about Suzman.  Nicole Williamson is a notorious scene chewer but the role of a viceroy didn't offer too much for that and I thought he was fine.

Another actor in the series whom I particularly liked was A.K. Hangal (1914-2012), who played Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who became First Deputy Prime Minister of India. Hangal himself was an Indian freedom fighter and actor.

MV5BODUxYTE2Y2EtZWI3Ni00YjlmLThiZDQtY2Y4

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I saw The Hour of 13, which is apparently a remake of a 1934 film called The Mystery of Mr. X. A serial killer in London is killing policemen. Peter Lawford plays a gentleman jewel thief who becomes the main suspect. Lawford is really quite charming, perfectly cast, as he would be in the 1950s TV series The Thin Man. This is the best part of Lawford's career, when he was no longer playing juvenile leads and before the Rat Pack and too much alcohol.

Dawn Addams makes a lovely romantic lead, and she can act, too. At first I didn't recognize Michael Hordern as her father, the police commissioner, but his voice is unmistakable. Roland Culver plays the Scotland Yard detective most suspicious of Lawford, and the supporting cast is also strong, especially Leslie Dwyer as the cabbie who is Lawford's confederate.

If you like this kind of film, and I do, The Hour of 13 is a well-made, good though not great, example of the genre. Which brings me to the director, Harold French, a little-known British director who was active from about 1940-1955, though he lived much longer. I've seen Adam and Evalyn, which is cleverly directed despite a huge script problem (Jean Simmons is a schoolgirl who first mistakenly believes that Stewart Granger is her long-lost father, though they will eventually become a romantic couple). French also did a fine job with "Sanatorium," the major segment of Trio. He worked in the genres popular at the time in Britain, and I'd like to see more of his work.

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11 hours ago, Swithin said:

Another actor in the series whom I particularly liked was A.K. Hangal (1914-2012), who played Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who became First Deputy Prime Minister of India. Hangal himself was an Indian freedom fighter and actor.

MV5BODUxYTE2Y2EtZWI3Ni00YjlmLThiZDQtY2Y4

Alas, I remember him not. I looked him up and what a long career. He bears a resemblance to the actor who played Ahmed's father in Jewel. Vladek Sheybal, who I don't know at all, was well cast as Jinnah.

While on the subject I take this opportunity to push a favorite thing. Indulge me, please. Have you seen either the (TV) movie (1982) and/or Scott's book entitled Staying On. [corrected] It is often referred to as a sequel to The Raj Quartet but I think this a stretch since it is only one novel and about only half as long as any of the four that make up the Quartet. Perhaps an addendum? Scott takes two extremely minor characters, Tusker and his wife Lucy Smalley (aptly named) who have little page time and are depicted as inconsequential people. Tusker has no ambition and poor Lucy is thought poorly of in the women's circle, partly because of the low status of her husband (actually he is a Colonel but seen as dull) but also because she seems rather timid and not intelligent to them. (Scott, however, gives her a moment of glory, if you remember. And I believe we are given to understand from Author Scott that she is in fact intelligent.). They "stay on" and the story takes up 25 years after Liberation. Not only is the marriage coming to a head but they are necessarily seen as foreigners now, not as rulers. When they are insulted (and they are) it a "t i t for tat" thing. Famed actor Saeed Jaffrey is Frankie Bhoolabdoy as a henpecked husband as well as friend to the Smalleys in a largely comic role.  The Smalleys are played by Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, who collaborate for the first and only other time since Brief Encounter (1940s). The movie and book are immensely satisfying on both serious and comic level. The movie is fave but if you haven't read the book, then try it, my guess is that you would like it.

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Service de Luxe (1938) - Romantic comedy from Universal Pictures and director Rowland V. Lee. Constance Bennett stars as Helen Murphy, who runs the title company which specializes in overseeing the mundane details of her wealthy clients' daily lives. Her exhausting work pace forces her to take a short vacation where she meets engineer Robert Wade (Vincent Price in his debut). He's on his way to the city to see about building his new tractor design, and he and Helen fall for each other without knowing the identities of each other. Wade finds a financial backer in Scott Robinson (Charlies Ruggles), but a complication in Robinson's daughter Audrey (Joy Hodges) who sets her sights on marrying Wade. Also featuring Helen Broderick, Mischa Auer, Frances Robinson, Halliwell Hobbes, Raymond Parker, Frank Coghlan Jr., Lawrence Grant, and Chester Clute.

This is an agreeable, fairly routine rom-com of the era, made noteworthy thanks to Price's debut. He was 27 at the time, and he looks traditionally handsome. He sounds as if he deepened his voice a bit to try and sound more macho, and his height is imposing. He has a scene late in the film where he angrily shouts about having insanity in his family bloodline, and I thought, "There's the Vincent I know!" Mischa Auer is amusing as a pompous Russian chef.    (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

While on the subject I take this opportunity to push a favorite thing. Indulge me, please. Have you seen either the (TV) movie (1982) and/or Scott's book entitled Moving On. 

I've heard of it but haven't read/seen it. Want to, though.

Btw, if you are watching Call the Midwife, you are probably enjoying Judy Parfitt's performance as Sister Monica Joan, the endearing older Anglican nun, who featured so movingly in last night's episode. Hard to believe she played one of the biggest b itches of all time: Mildred Layton in Jewel in the Crown.

parfittmildredlayton1.jpg?w=500

 

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

Hard to believe she played one of the biggest b itches of all time: Mildred Layton in Jewel in the Crown.

I still consider Jewel in the Crown about the best series ever created for television.

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

Hard to believe she played one of the biggest b itches of all time: Mildred Layton in Jewel in the Crown.

Mildred Layton was a stinker alright, and Judy Parfitt gives a faithful and brilliant portrayal. All the sighs, gestures, and general mannerisms on display. One might say that Judy was parfit. Remembering my Chaucer ... " ... a verry parfit gentil Knight."

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I caught ON DANGEROUS GROUND, which I had not seen in quite some time, I first saw it on DVD via Netflix some 10 years ago. I was impressed then and I was impressed again just now . Wonderful example of absolutely beautiful black-and-white photography and some really interesting camera moves, this was apparently done immediately after THEY LIVE BY NIGHT but was shelved by RKO, and I can see thAT Nicholas Ray was just as innovative in the making of this picture. Very unusual and well acted film, was interested to see on Wikipedia that  Bosley Crowther hated it. 

 I used to think the Bernard Herrman score was kind of loud and outré, but I think it fits just fine now. 

 Unfortunately, the overall experience was marred by the fact that my television absolutely refuses to keep in sync with the sound whenever I'm watching something on live TCM

It's really getting to be a drag. I had to turn off and restart the television about 10 times in the last 10 minutes of the film. 

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6 hours ago, laffite said:

TP (as I like to refer to him) may be "gorgeous" but he was his usual blandness. Brenda Joyce was a Simon, not an Esketh. Or do you mean Missionary "parents." George Brent was excellent as Ransome.

I like English colonialism as backdrop and my fave is The Jewel in the Crown, not only the PBS series but the books as well. And as such I was deeply disappointed in Indian Summer. Most scenes were overwrought with long takes and the expense of a natural spontaneity. I can hardly believe that the great Andrew Davis had anything to do with this. Although PBS (or more properly BBC) did this it was a departure from what is sometime referred to as "Classic Masterpiece" and more to do with a new "updated" Masterpiece meant to appeal to a wider audience. Folks who like Indian Summer would probably be bored by Jewel, generally speaking IMO.

Actually, I'm a fan of both The Jewel and Indian Summer.  I think The Jewel is a much better written series and explores in more depth the complexities of Anglo-Indian relations.

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3 hours ago, Swithin said:

I've heard of it but haven't read/seen it. Want to, though.

Btw, if you are watching Call the Midwife, you are probably enjoying Judy Parfitt's performance as Sister Monica Joan, the endearing older Anglican nun, who featured so movingly in last night's episode. Hard to believe she played one of the biggest b itches of all time: Mildred Layton in Jewel in the Crown.

parfittmildredlayton1.jpg?w=500

 

b0c2622e493c5878c571a51c4fb91e43--nonnat

 

 

I just watched Call the Midwife last night.  I must admit, Sr. Monica has reduced me to tears on more than one occasion.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I caught ON DANGEROUS GROUND, which I had not seen in quite some time, I first saw it on DVD via Netflix some 10 years ago. I was impressed then and I was impressed again just now . Wonderful example of absolutely beautiful black-and-white photography and some really interesting camera moves, this was apparently done immediately after THEY LIVE BY NIGHT but was shelved by RKO, and I can see thAT Nicholas Ray was just as innovative in the making of this picture. Very unusual and well acted film, was interested to see on Wikipedia that  Bosley Crowther hated it. 

 I used to think the Bernard Herrman score was kind of loud and outré, but I think it fits just fine now. 

 Unfortunately, the overall experience was marred by the fact that my television absolutely refuses to keep in sync with the sound whenever I'm watching something on live TCM

It's really getting to be a drag. I had to turn off and restart the television about 10 times in the last 10 minutes of the film. 

Oh, thank you, Lorna, I'm so glad you posted about this unusual little movie. I just watched it tonight too, like you, in "real time"  (my sympathies about the out-of-sync sound problem. I hate that, it's very distracting.)

I love "On Dangerous Ground". Shall I count the ways? Well, first, I love the way it's hard-core classic noir for the first third or so, and then morphs into a strange little drama /love story. Most noirs start out bleak and end up bleaker (although not all), but "On Dangerous Ground" starts out bleak and ends up redemptive. And it somehow manages to be redemptive without being in the least bit preachy or sentimental. So, genre-wise, I enjoy its surprises and the way it doesn't easily fit into any cinematic category, really.

Second: as Lorna pointed out, the film's score fits the movie so well, it's beautiful and haunting. Of course that's not surprising, given it's composed by the great Bernard Herrmann. There's one point in the film where the music reminds me of the score for "Vertigo" - - it strikes the same felicitous combination of suspense and mystery. 

And then there are the performances. Ah, Robert Ryan...he's got to be one of the best classic Hollywood actors ever. No one can get across psychological conflict and pain like Mr. Ryan - it's all in the eyes. And in "On Dangerous Ground", he handles Wilson's transition from bitter angry messed-up vicious city cop to compassionate gentle helper with absolute believability; it's a tall order, that kind of character transition effected within 90 minutes, not everyone could do it.

As for Ida Lupino, I don't think I've ever seen her in a sweeter, more sympathetic role. Ida is so lovely and so versatile - it's sad that her name is not more well-known today. 

I've read that Nicholas Ray was not happy with this film; I don't know why. I'm a fan of Ray's, and off-hand I'd say I like all his movies. But "On Dangerous Ground" is exceptional even for him; its blend of toughness and compassion, of despair and hope, makes it a uniquely moving film. When Ryan holds out his hand to Ida as she's tentatively feeling her way down those stairs, and she clasps it, I'm almost moved to tears.

Wonder if Eddie will ever show this one ?

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

Alas, I remember him not. I looked him up and what a long career. He bears a resemblance to the actor who played Ahmed's father in Jewel. Vladek Sheybal, who I don't know at all, was well cast as Jinnah.

While on the subject I take this opportunity to push a favorite thing. Indulge me, please. Have you seen either the (TV) movie (1982) and/or Scott's book entitled Moving On. It is often referred to as a sequel to The Raj Quartet but I think this a stretch since it is only one novel and about only half as long as any of the four that make up the Quartet. Perhaps an addendum? Scott takes two extremely minor characters, Tusker and his wife Lucy Smalley (aptly named) who have little page time and are depicted as inconsequential people. Tusker has no ambition and poor Lucy is thought poorly of in the women's circle, partly because of the low status of her husband (actually he is a Colonel but seen as dull) but also because she seems rather timid and not intelligent to them. (Scott, however, gives her a moment of glory, if you remember. And I believe we are given to understand from Author Scott that she is nothing but.). They "stay on" and the story takes up 25 years after Liberation. Not only is the marriage coming to a head but they are necessarily seen as foreigners now, not as rulers. When they are insulted (and they are) it a "t i t for tat" thing. Famed actor Saeed Jaffrey is Frankie Bhoolabdoy as a henpecked husband as well as friend to the Smalleys in a largely comic role.  The Smalleys are played by Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, who collaborate for the first and only other time since Brief Encounter (1940s). The movie and book are immensely satisfying on both serious and comic level. The movie is fave but if you haven't read the book, then try it, my guess is that you would like it.

I have seen the movie and read the book you are referencing. However, I believe it is called "Staying On" rather than "Moving On". I really like the interaction between the henpecked husband and his wife "I am ownership; you are management".

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I caught the last half hour of ON DANGEROUS GROUND and hope TCM runs it again so I can see the whole thing.  The soundtrack when Robert Ryan (swoon) and Ward Bond were chasing Ida Lupino's brother sounded just like the NORTH BY NORTHWEST soundtrack to me.  I looked it up and sure enough it was Bernard Herrman.  Heh, if you're going to "borrow" somebody's creative output it might as well be your own.  :)

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Another fine performance from Judy Parfitt, outside of her warm, empathetic turn on Midwife, is her memorable supporting turn in 1995's Dolores Claiborne, a top notch neo-noir that is well worth a look.

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33 minutes ago, ChristineHoard said:

I caught the last half hour of ON DANGEROUS GROUND and hope TCM runs it again so I can see the whole thing.  The soundtrack when Robert Ryan (swoon) and Ward Bond were chasing Ida Lupino's brother sounded just like the NORTH BY NORTHWEST soundtrack to me.  I looked it up and sure enough it was Bernard Herrman.  Heh, if you're going to "borrow" somebody's creative output it might as well be your own.  :)

I saw that film a while back and it such a good film. It starts out as a tough noir, but the longer it goes on , it becomes more nuanced, and such an emotional film in the end too. Ida was wonderful.

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6 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

I caught the last half hour of ON DANGEROUS GROUND and hope TCM runs it again so I can see the whole thing. 

There aren't a lot of noir films that morph into moments of such sensitivity. A story about a hardened, bitter street cop who, through an unexpected interaction with a kind soul possessing a quiet courage, re-discovers his own humanity, it remains memorable for its performances, particularly, in the final chapters, a soul searching one by Robert Ryan, and Bernard Herrmann's musical score.

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11 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Oh, thank you, Lorna, I'm so glad you posted about this unusual little movie. I just watched it tonight too, like you, in "real time"  (my sympathies about the out-of-sync sound problem. I hate that, it's very distracting.)

I love "On Dangerous Ground". Shall I count the ways? Well, first, I love the way it's hard-core classic noir for the first third or so, and then morphs into a strange little drama /love story. Most noirs start out bleak and end up bleaker (although not all), but "On Dangerous Ground" starts out bleak and ends up redemptive. And it somehow manages to be redemptive without being in the least bit preachy or sentimental. So, genre-wise, I enjoy its surprises and the way it doesn't easily fit into any cinematic category, really.

Second: as Lorna pointed out, the film's score fits the movie so well, it's beautiful and haunting. Of course that's not surprising, given it's composed by the great Bernard Herrmann. There's one point in the film where the music reminds me of the score for "Vertigo" - - it strikes the same felicitous combination of suspense and mystery. 

And then there are the performances. Ah, Robert Ryan...he's got to be one of the best classic Hollywood actors ever. No one can get across psychological conflict and pain like Mr. Ryan - it's all in the eyes. And in "On Dangerous Ground", he handles Wilson's transition from bitter angry messed-up vicious city cop to compassionate gentle helper with absolute believability; it's a tall order, that kind of character transition effected within 90 minutes, not everyone could do it.

As for Ida Lupino, I don't think I've ever seen her in a sweeter, more sympathetic role. Ida is so lovely and so versatile - it's sad that her name is not more well-known today. 

I've read that Nicholas Ray was not happy with this film; I don't know why. I'm a fan of Ray's, and off-hand I'd say I like all his movies. But "On Dangerous Ground" is exceptional even for him; its blend of toughness and compassion, of despair and hope, makes it a uniquely moving film. When Ryan holds out his hand to Ida as she's tentatively feeling her way down those stairs, and she clasps it, I'm almost moved to tears.

Wonder if Eddie will ever show this one ?

THAT'S A REALLY GREAT WRITE-UP.

To counter, here is what Bosley Crowther wrote of the film, which I can only imagine he saw in a theater with a spring in the seat poking right into the most sensitive part of his undercarriage:

New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther found the screenplay a failure that produced poor performances. He wrote, "the story is a shallow, uneven affair, as written by A. I. Bezzerides from Gerald Butler's Mad With Much Heart. The cause of the cop's sadism is only superficially explained, and certainly his happy redemption is easily and romantically achieved. And while a most galling performance of the farmer is given by Ward Bond, Ida Lupino is mawkishly stagey as the blind girl who melts the cop's heart. For all the sincere and shrewd direction and the striking outdoor photography, this R. K. O. melodrama fails to traverse its chosen ground."

(no one, and I mean NO ONE, was more capable of missing the boat COMPLETELY than Bos when it came to film criticism in the Golden Era.)

 

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THERE was also one really neat camera "trick" that came when Ward Bond first discovers Lupino's character is blind, seeing that she is defenseless, he takes his hand back in order to slap her (presumably so she will divulge the location of her brother, the killer, who she is hiding)

in a really tight, expertly edited shot, Ryan grabs Bond's hand and they both fly back and hit the floor and the camera does a reverse zoom.

i like Nic Ray for a lot of reasons, and I admit that i am not well-versed in camera angles and lighting and edits, but one of the things about his work that strikes me every time i see it: the man knew how to move a camera.

from the helicopter shots in THEY LIVE BY NIGHT to the tilts in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, he was doing some damn innovative things with visuals when a lot of other guys were doing very static medium-shot-filled teleplays on film.

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19 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I caught ON DANGEROUS GROUND, which I had not seen in quite some time, I first saw it on DVD via Netflix some 10 years ago. I was impressed then and I was impressed again just now . Wonderful example of absolutely beautiful black-and-white photography and some really interesting camera moves, this was apparently done immediately after THEY LIVE BY NIGHT but was shelved by RKO, and I can see thAT Nicholas Ray was just as innovative in the making of this picture. Very unusual and well acted film, was interested to see on Wikipedia that  Bosley Crowther hated it. 

 I used to think the Bernard Herrman score was kind of loud and outré, but I think it fits just fine now. 

 Unfortunately, the overall experience was marred by the fact that my television absolutely refuses to keep in sync with the sound whenever I'm watching something on live TCM

It's really getting to be a drag. I had to turn off and restart the television about 10 times in the last 10 minutes of the film. 

I caught the film again too. Really love that film. Doesnt surprise me about Bosley Crowther. UGH.

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