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I Just Watched...

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

And yet for some reason it's included in the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die book. I liked the movie well enough, but I don't think I'd have included it on that list.

in their defense, once they got to movie #937, they were probably like "alright, let's just open the Maltin Guide and see where our fingers land."

there just might be several copies of the film on youtube, for those of you who are "in" to that sort of thing.

here's a scene, notable for the set and Joan's wardrobe:

 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Yes, Lorre was a drug addict for many years after getting hooked on morphine thanks to gallbladder pain dating back to before he came to the US. He also had awful teeth problems, probably exacerbated by his drug addiction, that caused him even more pain. Check out his teeth in any of his earliest movies, up through the Moto's, and you'll see they were in rough shape. He had them fixed (pulled and denture replacements) and got clean, but then he started gaining weight, leading to the chunky Lorre of later years.

Yes, his teeth must have been pulled in the 1940-41 period, based upon his appearances in Stranger on the Third Floor (horrible looking teeth, from what little you can see of them) and The Maltese Falcon (nice shiny new choppers).

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"Sure I'll be slapped and like it too, Mr. Spade. Who wouldn't smile with teeth like these? Just don't slap too hard. You might knock them right out of my mouth."

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53 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Especially her agent, the one who got shot in the ... (you know)

ps- would love to see it too, but i have the feeling i'd be disappointed.

LOL. I think he was shot for other reasons.......

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46 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Yes, his teeth must have been pulled in the 1940-41 period, based upon his appearances in Stranger on the Third Floor (horrible looking teeth, from what little you can see of them) and The Maltese Falcon (nice shiny new choppers).

MV5BZWFkMWZhMmUtYmRmNC00MTM2LWIwMGMtZGJm

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"Sure I'll be slapped and like it too, Mr. Spade. Who wouldn't smile with teeth like these? Just don't slap too hard. You might knock them right out of my mouth."

 

Yes, his teeth were quite noticeable (bad) in the earlier film........

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The Stars Look Down (1940) - British drama from Grand National Pictures and director Carol Reed. The movie involves the struggles of English coal miners. They go on strike when the company bosses refuse to listen to safety concerns when potential flooding of the mines is detected. The strike leads to much suffering and angst, and miner's son Davey (Michael Redgrave) heads off for a higher education. However, it's not that easy to escape the mines, and Davey eventually finds himself back in the mix of things. Also featuring Margaret Lockwood, Emlyn Williams, Nancy Price, Allan Jeayes, Edward Rigby, Linden Travers, Cecil Parker, Milton Rosmer, and George Carney.

This downbeat social drama seems like an odd choice for a film during wartime, but it was a success. The battle between the workers and the head office is as old as the Industrial Revolution, and for some reason the coal mines seem to be the most resonate setting for this kind of tale. Redgrave is good as a young idealist who has his way of thinking challenged by the vagaries of daily life. When this was released in America, some narration by Lional Barrymore was added, and roughly 20 minutes were cut from the film, including the more ambiguous yet realistic original ending.  (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

This poster really sells the movie as a dark drama about labor struggles and coal mining, doesn't it?

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Three Texas Steers (1939) - B western from Republic Pictures and director George Sherman. The Three Mesquiteers (John Wayne, Ray Corrigan and Max Terhune) get involved with a circus troupe led by Nancy Evans (Carole Landis) who inherit a ranch. However, a group of unscrupulous land developers keep trying to trick Nancy into selling her land, so the Mesquiteers try to help, causing more trouble along the way. Also featuring Ralph Graves, Roscoe Ates, Collette Lyons, Billy Curtis, Ted Adams, and Stanley Blystone.

This is the strangest Mesquiteers film I've seen. Co-star Ray Corrigan was in dozens of cheap westerns and serials during the 30's and 40's, but he had a secondary acting career as the chief movie gorilla, making his own costumes and playing ape roles in many films, often uncredited. Since the circus folk also have a gorilla as part of their attraction, Corrigan gets to run around quite a bit in his gorilla suit, usually bothering Terhune's Lullaby Joslyn character. Landis, with dark hair, is a welcome co-star, and the story climaxes with a horse race.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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10 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

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Secret Beyond The Door (1948) The title card is very Daliesque, and so are the images that accompany the opening voice over narration (this is only the second noir I've seen where a woman does the voice over, the other being Claire Trevor in Raw Deal (1948)).

 

NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950)with Barbara Stanwyck also has voiceover narration by the female lead. It's one of my favorite films noir, released on DVD by Olive films who seem to be the company that also put out SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950)with Barbara Stanwyck also has voiceover narration by the female lead. It's one of my favorite films noir, released on DVD by Olive films who seem to be the company that also put out SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR

Olive films is a great company. It is so great that they are releasing so many classics on DVD either for the first time or bringing them back after absences. They along with Kino lorber and Warner Archive are the best at releasing classics to DVD.

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26 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950)with Barbara Stanwyck also has voiceover narration by the female lead. It's one of my favorite films noir, released on DVD by Olive films who seem to be the company that also put out SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR

Yea you're right, I forgot about that one.

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Don't Lie (1942).

Late-era "Our Gang" short in which Buckwheat claims to have seen an ape (he really did since one escaped from the circus) and none of the others believe him.

No female Gang member in this one.

The jokes are old hat and not very good.

5/10.

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Wyoming Outlaw (1939) - One more B western from Republic Pictures and director George Sherman. The Three Mesquiteers (John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, and Raymond Hatton) are working a cattle ranch, but someone keeps rustling one cow here, and another one there, and the number is adding up. They track down the culprit, a young man named Will Parker (Don "Red" Barry), but it turns out he has a good reason for stealing their cows: he's trying to feed his family, as his father (Charles Middleton) is disabled, and there's a crooked politician in town named Joe Balsinger (LeRoy Mason) who is only allowing jobs for pay-offs. The 3 heroes set out to make things right, but the odds are stacked against them. Also featuring Pamela Blake, Katherine Kenworthy, Elmo Lincoln, Jack Ingram, Dave O'Brien, and Yakima Canutt.

This is the last of Three Mesquiteer films featuring Wayne that I hadn't seen, and I lucked out by saving the best for last. The story is a little more complicated, and the characters have more depth, especially Barry's anti-hero Will, who spends more time fighting the law than not, even though he's a decent guy. I also liked seeing Middleton and O'Brien, and silent-era Tarzan Elmo Lincoln.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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Terror Aboard (1933)

A Paramount production that clearly qualifies for the "Good Little Film You Never Heard Of" list. A suspense thriller variation on the killer in an old house by being set aboard a yacht.

The film gets off to an intriguing start that I suspect will hook most viewers. The crew of small boat come across an unpiloted yacht in the South Seas, One of the crew climbs aboard only to disappear. When other crew members climb aboard they find him dead, his head bashed in, just as the audience sees a mystery person dive from the yacht into the ocean. A further investigation finds two more dead bodies, a man having hung himself, as well as a woman lying in a gangway, the doctor of the investigating crew saying she had frozen to death, even in that tropical climate with its sweltering temperatures.

The rest of the film is a flashback to explain the opening. And what follows is gripping. The mystery killer is revealed within minutes of the flashback's beginning, but it remains intriguing to watch him in his decision to kill everyone aboard the yacht (save one other) so that there will be no witnesses as he makes an island escape from the law.

Character actor John Halliday is highly effective as the yacht owner and killer. His character is manipulative and cold blooded and some of the killings in this pre-coder (in one case taking a victim's shoulders in his hands then driving his chest down upon the sharp point of a paper holder spike) are shocking and a bit grisly. But he doesn't kill everyone himself. In some cases he's clever enough to manipulate others into either performing the killings or, in one case, committing suicide.

Charlie Ruggles is the film's chief comedy relief as a superstitious steward, and I found him to be quite engaging, rather than an irritating distraction to the suspense. Surprisingly in this little film of the unexpected one of the victims (not Ruggles) is a cast member usually associated with comedy relief. Normally these characters survive films of this nature. Not this time.

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And at the end of the day the film plays fair with the audience, too. The flashback will wrap up bringing us back to the film's beginning, with all incidents rationally explained. There is no cheating in the film's screenplay.

The cast of potential murder victims aboard includes Jack La Rue, Veree Teasdale, Leila Bennett and Neil Hamilton.

I thoroughly enjoyed this suspenser which ran 66 minutes in the print I saw. It's just a shame that a good little film like this is so difficult to find.

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3 out of 4

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A Chump at Oxford (1940) - Comedy from Hal Roach and director Alfred J. Goulding. Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy star as Stan and Ollie, a couple of moronic fools who can't hold a job. They hit on the idea of attending college to better their prospects, and are naturally accepted at Oxford University, where they run into trouble with the snobbish upperclassmen. Also featuring Forrester Harvey, Wilfred Lucas, Forbes Murray, Frank Baker, Eddie Borden, and Peter Cushing.

I've never been a fan of Laurel & Hardy, and this movie did nothing to change that. I watched it for Cushing, in his third movie role, playing one of the upperclassmen and sporting a pencil mustache.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube.

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Peter Cushing on far left.

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17 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

A Chump at Oxford (1940) -

I've never been a fan of Laurel & Hardy, and this movie did nothing to change that.

 

Unlike yourself, Lawrence, I'm a fan of Laurel and Hardy. But it's primarily based upon the best of their comedy shorts (both silent and early talkie), rather than their often all-too-padded feature films. Many would say that the best thing the boys ever did were short subjects like Big Business (in which they were Christmas tree salesmen in July destroying James Finlayson's home in t i t for tat fashion as he destroyed their car and trees) and The Music Box, in which they had to lug a music box up a very long flight of stairs (those concrete stairs are a tourist stop for many L & H fans today).

Of their feature films most regard Sons of the Desert and Way Out West as the best of their careers.

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Unlike yourself, Lawrence, I'm a fan of Laurel and Hardy. But it's primarily based upon the best of their comedy shorts (both silent and early talkie), rather than their often all-too-padded feature films. Many would say that the best thing the boys ever did were short subjects like Big Business (in which they were Christmas tree salesmen in July destroying James Finlayson's home in t i t for tat fashion as he destroyed their car and trees) and The Music Box, in which they had to lug a music box up a very long flight of stairs (those concrete stairs are a tourist stop for many L & H fans today).

Of their feature films most regard Sons of the Desert and Way Out West as the best of their careers.

I've seen Sons of the Desert and The Dancing Masters, and a few of the shorts, both sound and silent, including some solo Stan Laurel stuff. The version of A Chump at Oxford that I watched was prefaced with an explanation that the movie had been 43 minutes for the US release, but European exhibitors demanded a full-length feature, so they added 20 odd minutes to pad it out at the beginning. It was the extended version that I watched.

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Unlike yourself, Lawrence, I'm a fan of Laurel and Hardy. But it's primarily based upon the best of their comedy shorts (both silent and early talkie), rather than their often all-too-padded feature films. Many would say that the best thing the boys ever did were short subjects like Big Business (in which they were Christmas tree salesmen in July destroying James Finlayson's home in t i t for tat fashion as he destroyed their car and trees) and The Music Box, in which they had to lug a music box up a very long flight of stairs (those concrete stairs are a tourist stop for many L & H fans today).

Of their feature films most regard Sons of the Desert and Way Out West as the best of their careers

That's a fair assessment, both of the shorts and the features--

Unlike the surreal synchronized choreography of the Three Stooges, L&H's slapstick was often "t*t for tat", that just kept back-and-forth one-upping its own immature wounded-pride slaps or smashes until things got classically silly, and Big Business just throws out the plot and takes it all the way.  And The Music Box, of course, is considered the funniest American comedy short ever made, even beating out Chaplin, the Stooges, or WC Fields' "Fatal Glass of Beer".

Sons of the Desert is probably the most "essential" L&H feature for their characters, while Way Out West has their talent for musical numbers--Most first-time fans are often surprised just what a good dancer and singer Ollie could be when given the chance.

(Me, I became an L&H fan after learning that Stan Laurel wrote most of their gag material, and in the 30's, it was almost revolutionary to see Stan creating "Minimalist humor" by just doing some strange bit of comic business with absolute earnest focus for a whole minute of screentime, while Hardy expresses the audience's frustration and impatience with looks of "...Mmff!!"  Like Chinese Comedy Torture, only done with perfect timing.)

 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

A Chump at Oxford (1940) -

 

I still enjoy this one, especially when Stan is "transformed" into the pompous Lord Paddington and gives it to Ollie: "Well, you don't seem to have the dignity becoming of a lackey."

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The Broadway Melody (1929) - Not the '33, '36 or '40 one, since I'd found the disk at the library, was curious about its Oscar pedigree, and wanted to see the earliest talkie musical that was on classic disk.  (And also because I keep confusing it with "Hollywood Revue of 1929", and couldn't remember in which one Cliff Edwards first sang "Singin' in the Rain".)

It's probably best remembered as MGM's first talkie, and first talkie Best Picture, which it won for the novelty, but...that's about all it can be remembered for.  It was reportedly also released as a silent, for non-upgraded theaters, and you can see the directorial style still rooted in silent films, complete with silent-style intercards explaining the change of scene.  Otherwise, the backstage story comes off as corny to the point of non-existent (a sister act is almost broken up when one of them falls for a charming cad), and although most of MGM's classic Arthur Freed & Nacio Herb Brown songs were introduced in the Broadway Melody series--the cad wins the girl over by singing "You Were Meant For Me"--it's hard to listen to them without flashing back on their Singin' in the Rain equivalent.  (Quick, what springs to mind when we see a big production number for "Wedding of the Painted Doll"?--"It's a holiday, today..."  :lol: ) But if Warner became the studio we associate with gritty backstage 30's-musical stories of struggling chorus girls, MGM just didn't seem to have their heart in it:  The dialogue is painfully trying to be Depression-era city-talk, and you never heard so many "Gee, you're swell" lines in romantic dialogue before.  It's hard to keep a straight face when Bessie Love, as the spunkier born-trouper of the sisters, dares our hero to go and fight the bad guy for the girl--"You're yellow!"--and after he goes off newly inspired, sobs, "Oh, Eddie, you're not yellow...You're white!"

As for the musical numbers, if Busby Berkeley is often kidded for "Musical numbers that would never fit on any stage", early-talkie musicals before him had numbers that fit EXACTLY on the stage:  The camera would be statically planted in the mid-orchestra, to give us a virtual theater seat and show us a big wide glimpse of the entire stage of scenery and girls from a distance, and basically concert-transcripted groups of stage chorus girls that seemed a bit less co-ordinated or synchronized than more polished later Hollywood musicals would give us once they learned how to make their own.maxresdefault.jpg.0a4a5f502c1c9284e104b3f300853775.jpg 

The static "in-concert" style from 1929-32 reportedly almost killed early talkie musicals at the box office, until Berkeley's "42nd Street" legendarily let its cameras unleashed, and the rest is history.

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Even though Laurel was the creative genius behind the team, working long hours and days at the studio in preparation for the filming while "Babe" Hardy would be out on a golf course during that same period of time what we saw on screen was an equal partnership.

I have to confess to a special love for Oliver Hardy, though, with his exasperated looks at the camera (Charlie Chase, another Roach comedian for many years, had closeup reaction shots with the camera as well). But Hardy, as pointed out by Eric, was also a surprisingly graceful dancer when the opportunity arrived, as well as a pleasant tenor.

I love watching Ollie ordering Stanley around, or even slapping him (possibly getting a poke in the eye in return) but then turn into a big quivering bowl of jelly whenever confronted by an kind of tough guy. There would be a lot of nervous tie adjustments on Ollie's part. Of course the joke on Ollie was that he was almost as dumb as Stan and didn't know it.

One of my favourite Hardy moments occurs whenever he is about to chase someone (usually Stan). You see his face grimace but before he actually starts actually running after him there will be a two second stationary moment in which Oliver's legs pump up and down on the spot, almost like he's revving himself up to go.

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14 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Olive films is a great company. It is so great that they are releasing so many classics on DVD either for the first time or bringing them back after absences. They along with Kino lorber and Warner Archive are the best at releasing classics to DVD.

Yeah, their catalogue is amazing. it's like they took a poll of every classic movie lover's dream releases and are working to put them out there, PLUS they are not ludicrously overpriced the way the DVDs in The Criterion Collection are.

I own their DVDs of JOHNNY GUITAR and NO MAN OF HER OWN- and while neither is laden with extras, both are good clean prints.

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for any of you bummed out that you haven't seen SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR- ya'll ain't missing a damn thang.

WOOF!

Joan Bennett is a class act all the way, and Man did she deserve better than this gut-bucket REBECCA ripoff. I would never in a million years have guessed it was directed by anyone with even a modicum of talent it's so poorly sewn together and languidly filmed- right down to the framing and uninteresting lighting which do nothing to add to the mood (if there were one)

slight non sequitor, but how was Natalie Schaeffer perpetually 54 years old? anyone?

i don't care for Anne Revere for the most part, but this was oddly one of the few times where she seemed to be playing a flesh-and-blood human being, even wearing attractive hairstyles and suits as opposed to her usual washerwoman styles. 

i love Barbra O'Neil, she also deserved better than this.

can anyone explain to me the deal with MICHAEL REDGRAVE? I've seen him in this, MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, THE LADY VANISHES and DEAD OF NIGHT and he is DISHWATER DULL in each, and that's no small task considering THE LADY VANISHES is a great picture. was he just pure electricity on stage and it didn't translate to film or something? 

from the imdb trivia section for the film:

The grove of trees that Joan Bennett runs through when she flees the house is the same grove that the Wolf Man ran through in the 1941 film, also made by Universal. In particular, the tree she leans against is the same one that the Wolf Man is beaten under.
 
Fritz Lang's attempt to do his version of Rebecca (1940) was a project fraught with disaster. It ran over budget and over schedule, while Lang was at constant loggerheads with his leading lady, Joan Bennett. The first preview of the film attracted comments like "beyond human endurance" and "it stinks". Bennett herself referred to the film as "an unqualified disaster".
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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

for any of you bummed out that you haven't seen SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR- ya'll ain't missing a damn thang.

WOOF!

Joan Bennett is a class act all the way, and Man did she deserve better than this gut-bucket REBECCA ripoff. I would never in a million years have guessed it was directed by anyone with even a modicum of talent it's so poorly sewn together and languidly filmed- right down to the framing and uninteresting lighting which do nothing to add to the mood (if there were one)

slight non sequitor, but how was Natalie Schaeffer perpetually 54 years old? anyone?

i don't care for Anne Revere for the most part, but this was oddly one of the few times where she seemed to be playing a flesh-and-blood human being, even wearing attractive hairstyles and suits as opposed to her usual washerwoman styles. 

i love Barbra O'Neil, she also deserved better than this.

can anyone explain to me the deal with MICHAEL REDGRAVE? I've seen him in this, MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, THE LADY VANISHES and DEAD OF NIGHT and he is DISHWATER DULL in each, and that's no small task considering THE LADY VANISHES is a great picture. was he just pure electricity on stage and it didn't translate to film or something? 

from the imdb trivia section for the film:

The grove of trees that Joan Bennett runs through when she flees the house is the same grove that the Wolf Man ran through in the 1941 film, also made by Universal. In particular, the tree she leans against is the same one that the Wolf Man is beaten under.
 
Fritz Lang's attempt to do his version of Rebecca (1940) was a project fraught with disaster. It ran over budget and over schedule, while Lang was at constant loggerheads with his leading lady, Joan Bennett. The first preview of the film attracted comments like "beyond human endurance" and "it stinks". Bennett herself referred to the film as "an unqualified disaster".

 

LOL. Thanks, Lorna, for your pithy comments!

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Just now, Hibi said:

 

LOL. Thanks, Lorna,  for your pithy comments!

IT'S REAL DAMN BAD.

it's one of those mystery/suspense movies that you stick around for just to see how they're going to have the unmitigated gall to end it, and when they do, it's the cinematic equivalent of a middle finger right in your face.

ps- in his review for the NYT, Bosley Crowther said nicer things about it than he did ON DANGEROUS GROUND.

!

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Go figure! (Crowther) I guess I shouldnt comment as I havent seen the film yet, but its rep is so bad.......and I know Ground is SO good......

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