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I Just Watched...

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You should see A Little Romance (1979), then.

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A Woman's Face (1941) - Excellent noir-ish drama from MGM and director George Cukor. Told in flashback during a criminal trial, the story concerns Anna Holm (Joan Crawford), the leader of a blackmail ring. Her face is horribly scarred on one side from a childhood incident, and it's twisted her into a bitter, heartless crook. However, plastic surgeon Dr. Gustaf Segert (Melvyn Douglas) thinks he may be able to return her face to normal. Will the outward change be enough to change the woman within? Also featuring Conrad Veidt, Albert Bassermann, Osa Massen, Reginald Owen, Donald Meek, Marjorie Main, Connie Gilchrist, Richard Nichols, George Zucco, Henry Daniell, Henry Kolker, and Robert Warwick.

I was very impressed with Joan Crawford's performance in this. She shows a real depth of character and attention to nuance. Vedit is suitably villainous, and Bassermann is avuncular and pleasant. There's some very nice, moody cinematography from Robert Planck. This was a remake of a Swedish film that had starred Ingrid Bergman. I haven't seen that version yet.    (7/10)

Source: TCM.

a-womans-face-1941.jpg

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2 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

MUST LOVE DOGS (2005): starring Diane Lane, John Cusack, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, & Elizabeth Perkins (fun fact: when I was very young, I used to confuse Perkins with Geena Davis). 

The last (and only other) movie I saw Diane Lane in was Six Pack (1982), so there's that for reference. 

Not much to say about this one; it's a rom-com. It didn't put me to sleep. 

*Source: Netflix 

 

I'd second Fedya's recommendation and check out A Little Romance, a wonderful film. Lane is also quite good in The Cotton Club, Unfaithful, Under the Tusacan Sun, and Secretariat. Her film last year, Paris Can Wait, was small-scale but smart and tasteful. And I also recall her cameo in the brilliant 1992 film Chaplin.

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Did a bit of multitasking earlier and while busy tackling something watched for the first time the British mystery Green for Danger, which was really wonderful. Snappy, fast paced, exciting, highly enjoyable.

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I saw The Eagle and the Hawk, which I had never heard of, even though it stars Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie, and Carole Lombard. It's directed by Stuart Walker, a new name to me, with assistance from Mitchell Leisen. As Ben M said in his introduction, it was written to cash in on the success of Howard Hawks' The Dawn Patrol. (I've never seen the Hawks film, just the very good remake with Errol Flynn, David Niven, and Basil Rathbone).

Fredric March is an ace pilot for the RAF during WWI. Cary Grant is his rival, a screw-up as a pilot though perhaps too successful as a gunner (called "observers," because their main task is to photograph enemy installations).  March succeeds in mission after mission while his observers are killed, and the pressure begins to mount. On furlough the only person who understands his feelings is a character known in the credits as "the Beautiful Woman," appropriately played by Carole Lombard, who makes the most of her one appearance. Jack Oakie provides some comic relief. As in The Dawn Patrol, the death of a young and enthusiastic recruit creates a crisis, and as in many movies, the hero's rival is the one who finally understands and appreciates him.

Fredric March has several big dramatic scenes which he plays very well. As is often the case in his early films, Cary Grant isn't yet the actor he would become, but he's still reasonably effective. I would guess that Mitchell Leisen had something to do with Carole Lombard's look and her outfit; Leisen knew how to make his stars look good. Leisen and Lombard became close friends.

The Eagle and the Hawk is not especially well paced in the early going; the film mainly relies on the script, the actors, and the aerial footage, some of it taken from Wings. It is surprisingly dark in places, with its consideration of battle fatigue, suicide, and the morality of shooting down enemy fighters who have parachuted from their plane.

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30 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I saw The Eagle and the Hawk, which I had never heard of, even though it stars Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie, and Carole Lombard. It's directed by Stuart Walker, a new name to me, with assistance from Mitchell Leisen. As Ben M said in his introduction, it was written to cash in on the success of Howard Hawks' The Dawn Patrol. (I've never seen the Hawks film, just the very good remake with Errol Flynn, David Niven, and Basil Rathbone).

Fredric March is an ace pilot for the RAF during WWI. Cary Grant is his rival, a screw-up as a pilot though perhaps too successful as a gunner (called "observers," because their main task is to photograph enemy installations).  March succeeds in mission after mission while his observers are killed, and the pressure begins to mount. On furlough the only person who understands his feelings is a character known in the credits as "the Beautiful Woman," appropriately played by Carole Lombard, who makes the most of her one appearance. Jack Oakie provides some comic relief. As in The Dawn Patrol, the death of a young and enthusiastic recruit creates a crisis, and as in many movies, the hero's rival is the one who finally understands and appreciates him.

Fredric March has several big dramatic scenes which he plays very well. As is often the case in his early films, Cary Grant isn't yet the actor he would become, but he's still reasonably effective. I would guess that Mitchell Leisen had something to do with Carole Lombard's look and her outfit; Leisen knew how to make his stars look good. Leisen and Lombard became close friends.

The Eagle and the Hawk is not especially well paced in the early going; the film mainly relies on the script, the actors, and the aerial footage, some of it taken from Wings. It is surprisingly dark in places, with its consideration of battle fatigue, suicide, and the morality of shooting down enemy fighters who have parachuted from their plane.

Nice write-up, kingrat. I'd never heard of this film either, but thought I'd give it a shot (no pun intended.) I liked it, although, "that said", it's probably just as well that the film is only 70 (?) or so minutes long.

In his intro to The Eagle and the Hawk, Ben mentions that it can be construed as an anti-war movie, and I think he is right. Pretty unusual for 1933, especially for an American film. Fredric March's character's loathing for what he has to do, every day - - which is basically to kill Germans in planes - -  really comes across. There's an interesting scene where he's asked by some superior officer to give a speech, a kind of pep talk, to the new young recruits who've just arrived at the air force base. March is regarded as a hero by everyone except himself, because of all the enemy planes he's shot down (and also all the enemies he's killed.) At first he tries to beg off the pep talk, but the officer won't take no for an answer. So March's character (his name's Jerry Young), conflicted as he is, says what the authorities want him to say to the young newcomers - his talk is all about how the enemy is bad, and their cause is just, etc. War-time platitudes, and Young knows it. March does a fine job of giving lip-service to the ideals of the "right side", yet showing he has no pride in what he does. 

I've always liked Fredric March. Don't ask me to explain what I mean by this, but to me there's something noble about him. I like his serious - looking face, and  how he always seems principled and decent (well, except maybe when he's turned into Mr. Hyde). I saw him recently in "I Married a Witch", and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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13 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

In his intro to The Eagle and the Hawk, Ben mentions that it can be construed as an anti-war movie, and I think he is right. Pretty unusual for 1933, especially for an American film.

Actually, anti-war sentiment was quite common in American films from the 20s thru the mid-to-late 30s. The WW1 generation had their fill of bloodshed, and that was reflected in the books, plays and subsequent films on the subject. Remember that All Quiet On the Western Front, although told from the German POV, was an American film for the American market, and it had come out a scant 3 years earlier. Having watched a large number of war films from the period in the last few months, I've noticed most were anti-war. It's only with the drive to increase US military recruitment from the late 30s up to the Second World War that there started to be a more positive stance given, although the studios still seemed to prefer modern military films have comedy, romance or musical underpinnings.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

A Woman's Face (1941) - Excellent noir-ish drama from MGM and director George Cukor. Told in flashback during a criminal trial, the story concerns Anna Holm (Joan Crawford), the leader of a blackmail ring. Her face is horribly scarred on one side from a childhood incident, and it's twisted her into a bitter, heartless crook. However, plastic surgeon Dr. Gustaf Segert (Melvyn Douglas) thinks he may be able to return her face to normal. Will the outward change be enough to change the woman within? Also featuring Conrad Veidt, Albert Bassermann, Osa Massen, Reginald Owen, Donald Meek, Marjorie Main, Connie Gilchrist, Richard Nichols, George Zucco, Henry Daniell, Henry Kolker, and Robert Warwick.

I was very impressed with Joan Crawford's performance in this. She shows a real depth of character and attention to nuance. Vedit is suitably villainous, and Bassermann is avuncular and pleasant. There's some very nice, moody cinematography from Robert Planck. This was a remake of a Swedish film that had starred Ingrid Bergman. I haven't seen that version yet.    (7/10)

Source: TCM.

a-womans-face-1941.jpg

I love this film! Thanks for the review; it's a reminder to me to rewatch this gem. 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Actually, anti-war sentiment was quite common in American films from the 20s thru the mid-to-late 30s. The WW1 generation had their fill of bloodshed, and that was reflected in the books, plays and subsequent films on the subject. Remember that All Quiet On the Western Front, although told from the German POV, was an American film for the American market, and it had come out a scant 3 years earlier. Having watched a large number of war films from the period in the last few months, I've noticed most were anti-war. It's only with the drive to increase US military recruitment from the late 30s up to the Second World War that there started to be a more positive stance given, although the studios still seemed to prefer modern military films have comedy, romance or musical underpinnings.

Oh, ok, Lawrence. I hadn't realized that - although come to think of it, there was "The Mortal Storm", probably the only other anti-war film from that period I'm familiar with (well, there was a lot more going on in that film than anti-war sentiment....) I guess I was thinking of all the jingoistic pro-military American movies that came from Hollywood - but, as you say, not so much in the early 1930s. Interesting post, thank you.

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I just watched the 1969 classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid directed by George Roy Hill with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. A couple of weeks ago I have seen The Sting for the first time and really enjoyed it I thought I can't go wrong with the same combination of director and actor and I was right. Redford and Newman are just made for eatch other with so much chemistry and after seen both mvoies with them together I wish they had made more films together. The friendship between Cassidy and Kid is carrying the movie, thanks to Newman and Redford who play their role witch such ease and believable.

I was surprised by the amount of comedic moments, but it felt right with the tone of the movie and Newman riding on a bike, doing tricks and escaping an bull is just one of the many funny scenes. Katharine Ross in her supporting role is great and she is such a beauty. It feels organic when they flee together and she takes part in the criminal activity.

The ending is so fitting for characters like Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid and it is truly one of the best bittersweet endings of any movie. 

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4 minutes ago, Shentenza said:

I just watched the 1969 classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid .......

An excellent film. You can seldom go wrong with a movie that has Robert Redford in it. Paul Newman's films tend to be more of a mixed bag of good and not so good, but you're correct that he and Redford together were awesome.

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3 minutes ago, darkblue said:

An excellent film. You can seldom go wrong with a movie that has Robert Redford in it. Paul Newman's films tend to be more of a mixed bag of good and not so good, but you're correct that he and Redford together were awesome.

Redford had a better hand in picking the right movies, but Newman was the kind of actor that you still watch in bad movies just because of him. But you are right Redford's filmography was better in comparison. 

I read that Redford wanted Newman for the 2015 movie A Walk in the Woods, but it took so long to get the movie made (it was a project going back to '98) and Newman's health was already to bad. I would have loved to see them work together in that movie. 

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15 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Shanghai Gesture (1941) - Bizarre, exotic drama from United Artists and director Josef von Sternberg. In the polyethnic city of Shanghai, various unusual characters cross paths in the gambling den of Mother Gin Sling (Ona Munson). These include rich girl Poppy (Gene Tierney), womanizer Dr. Omar (Victor Mature), stranded chorus girl Dixie (Phyllis Brooks), and many others. Things get complicated when English businessman Sir Guy Charteris (Walter Huston) buys the block containing Gin Sling's place and he orders the place shut down. Also featuring Albert Bassermann, Eric Blore, Ivan Lebedeff, Mike Mazurki, Michael Dalmatoff, and Maria Ouspenskaya as the Amah.

This fairly lurid stuff, obviously neutered a bit by the Production Code, but still managing to be salacious enough to upset some. This ended up being the final completed American film for director von Sternberg. Munson as dragon lady Gin Sling is a riot, with her ridiculous hair-style certainly memorable. Gene Tierney looks terrific, while Victor Mature looks appropriately sleazy. I'm not sure how good this really was, but it was outrageous enough to entertain me quite a bit. It earned Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction, and Best Score (Richard Hageman). One unusual bit about the movie is this entry at the end of the films opening credits: "And a large cast of "HOLLYWOOD EXTRAS" who without expecting credit or mention stand ready day and night to do their best - - and who at their best are more than good enough to deserve mention."  (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

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A two young women, floozie Dixie (Phyllis Brooks) and mysterious Poppy (Gene Tierney), arrive  in Shanghai, a very memorably bizarre, sleazy, and oily looking "Doctor" Omar (Victor Mature) spots down and out Dixie and basically pimp-like picks her up and conveys her to a huge den of iniquity, an ornate gambling house/brothel visually cueing Dante's Inferno owned by "Mother" Gin Sling (Ona Munson) a Classic Dragon-lady who gives Mature a run for his money in the bizarre department, looking almost like a Chinese Medusa with a hairstyle that resembles writhing snakes.  

When I first saw Munson I could have almost sworn she was Gloria Swanson she'll really remind you of Swanson's performance in Sunset Boulevard hell she even sounds like Swanson unless Swanson was doing a Munson interpretation in Sunset. . . B)

 
Based on a play by John Colton, Sternberg according to TCM's Robert Osborne (back when I first watched this), had a lot of trouble getting the original material past the Hayes Code, and its not hard to see why when you see the film. The original play was about a brothel, Gin Sling was the madam in fact her name was Madam G*o*d*d*a*m*n in the play, "Doctor" Omar was  probably a pimp/abortionist, Poppy was addicted to opium and at one point in the play declares that she is a nymphomaniac. Anyway it may behoove the Noir aficionado to track down the play and see what might have been. 

When Mature deposits Dixie into "Mother's" clutches and "chorus girl" Dixie visually clues us in to her true profession "p*r*o*s*t*i*t*u*t*e" when she spreads her legs as she sprawls upon a chair displaying her runny nylons to a leering Mature.

Afterwards in the huge gambling hall sitting at the bar Poppy (an incredibly beautiful Tierney) is spotted by Omar sitting with an Indian where she remarks "It smells so incredibly evil", intoxicated by the very repugnance of the place, she adds "I didn't think a place like this existed except in my imagination." Omar zeros in inducing her to try her luck at roulette. She ends up hocking her jewels to stay in the game.

Sir Guy Charteris (Huston), wealthy entrepreneur, has purchased a large area of Shanghai, and is forcing Gin Sling to vacate her holdings by the coming Chinese New Year.  Gin Sling, who has found out that Poppy is Charteris' wayward daughter, has instructed the smarmy Doctor Omar to hook Poppy deeper and deeper into an addiction to gambling, alcohol, and probably opium. Gin Sling, eventually realizes that Charteris was her long-ago husband who she thinks abandoned her and she now plans her revenge by inviting Charteris to a Chinese New Year dinner party to expose his past indiscretions. Charteris, however, has his own hole card up his sleeve. 

This film has been called a proto Noir more for its subject matter than for its "look" its more in the traditional Hollywood lighting style but its interesting never the less. A cast of hundreds is employed to replicate Shanghai and you will spot a bald headed Mike Mazurki playing a coolie who utters the closing line about Chinese New Year which I'll bet Polanski used as a reference in Chinatown. Caught this on TCM entertaining, 6-7/10
 

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It's been years since I saw Shanghai Gesture, which I enjoyed for its sense of wicked rawness (at least for 1941) and bizarre qualities. Ona Munson's snake-like Medusa hairstyle as Mother Gin Sling remains in the memory. There is also a vast over head camera shot of the gambling den (similar to a shot later used by Litvak of the insane asylum in The Snake Pit) making that den look like its occupants are a collection of the damned.

I vaguely recall, too, a line of dialogue spouted by Victor Mature as "Doctor" Omar. He acknowledges that he is not a real doctor, that it is just a title he uses but adds that he does a great deal less harm with the title than do some real doctors.

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hi

 

The best MADELEINE CAROLL AND GARY COOPER FILM IS "THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN, WHICH IS FROM A JOHN O'HARA STORY. I  SAW IT ALL THE TIME FROM THE LOS ANGELES INDIE STATION KTLA, WHICH WAS THEN OWNED BY GENE AUTRY.  AUTRY OWNED THE RIGHTS TO BOTH PARAMOUNT AND UNIVERSAL CLASSIC FILMS. HE WASN'T AFRAID TO SHOW THEM.  IF ANYBODY REMEMBERS TOM HATTEN, HE DID THE '"FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL" EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT.THAT WAS LONG AGO.  NOBODY REMEMBERS THE FILM NOW. s320x240.jpg.5d40a66a5d808f3b959024cd176421ac.jpgdownload.jpg.05e233691181439a2d141b746786f268.jpg

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I encourage posters to view this 4 minute interview with Jean Darling, a '20s child actress, regarding an incident she witnessed involving a mad dog and Fatty Arbuckle during Arbuckle's years of disgrace when he was persona non grata with much of the public. I had never heard this anecdote before and it's a telling reflection of the kind of treatment Fatty must have been receiving from a lot of the public in his final years.

 

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La Dolce Vita (1960) - Federico Fellini

Is there anything that hasn't been said about Fellini's La Dolce Vita? The depiction of rich high society people in Rome is fascinating and entertaining and that alone is an huge accomplishment for Fellini. The way he shows the obsession with stars and rich people by the journalists and paparazzi seems so crazy and over the top, but the reality proved him right and it only got worse with the time. 

Mastroianni is similar as in 8 1/2 great, but for me the real star of the film is Anita Ekberg. The film could have been three hours just with her and it would be worth it. The scene with her alone, at night, in the streets of Rome with the white cat, walking towards the Trevi Fountain has something magical and will stuck with me and it baffles me that Ekberg did not become an huge star after La Dolce Vita. Sure she had many roles after it, but she should have been one of the biggest stars of her time and it is sad how her life ended.

I quite enjoyed La Dolce Vita despite it's runtime of 3 hours and it has something special just like 8 1/2, but I still like Amarcord the most. 

The perfect double feature has to be La Dolce Vita and Paolo Sorrentino's La Grande Belezza.

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16 hours ago, kingrat said:

I saw The Eagle and the Hawk, which I had never heard of, even though it stars Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie, and Carole Lombard. It's directed by Stuart Walker, a new name to me, with assistance from Mitchell Leisen.

 I would guess that Mitchell Leisen had something to do with Carole Lombard's look and her outfit; Leisen knew how to make his stars look good. Leisen and Lombard became close friends.

The Eagle and the Hawk is not especially well paced in the early going;

I tried watching this for all the same reasons but unfortunately the sound sync on my TV went ALL TO HELL and I was exhausted from restarting my TV something like (seriously) 27 times during the hour, so i quit.

THAT COAT OF CAROLE'S WAS YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!!!!!

Your last statement is one I find very true. However, it was an interesting film in moments- maybe the ones Leisson (sp?) directed?. If my television weren't determined to jump violently up and down and the very last nerve I still own, i might've made it to the end.

tumblr_m211ctuN7D1qehzu2o1_500.gif

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5 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THAT COAT OF CAROLE'S WAS YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!!!!!

100% 

5 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

The Eagle and the Hawk

This movie was riveting. The nuanced relationship between the Frederick March character and the Cary Grant character was fascinating. 

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I was in a confusion after seeing LawrenceA's review of The Shanghai Gesture listing Ona Munson. D0-do-do-do, I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. But Lawrence came to my rescue a few posts later listing Osa Massen in the cast of A Woman's Face. I would have lost a bet because prior to enlightenment I would have said Ona Munson was in AWF. A confusion of name not countenance (avoiding a repetition of 'face').

Love both films. A number of years ago (10?) an exhaustive analysis of TSG was agonized over on another less-visited sector of the Board by largely posters who are no longer even here. I am here but the finer points of the film are sketchy due to the ravages of time and my brain. Lawrence is right about GeneT, her acting was as earthily uninhibited as I can remember her being.

Conrad Veidt was a particular standout in TSG. Osa was very cute in a ditsy role.

I sometime connect music with movies. I don't try, they just occur to me from time to time. Here is a piece by Ernest Bloch, one episode out of Four Episodes, composed in 1926. How about calling it 'Prelude to The Shanghai Gesture.' 

 

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THE LAND BEFORE TIME (1988)

Don Bluth animated film from the late 80s. I saw this when I was a lot younger, and wanted to re-watch it. I still enjoyed it, although it's no Pebble and the Penguin (also a Don Bluth-helmed film). I'll admit, the plot-line is a tad shallow, but it's still a cute movie nonetheless. Score: 3/5. 

Image result for land before time 1988

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THE MUSIC MAN (1962)

Re-watched this with my grandparents last night. I love this movie. The score manages to be one of the rare ones of which I will listen to every single song on the line-up (others being Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, & Les Miserables). 

Image result for the music man 1962

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Lorna, I was sure you'd love that spectacular coat Carole Lombard wore in The Eagle and the Hawk. Mitchell Leisen knew how to make his stars look their best.

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38 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Lorna, I was sure you'd love that spectacular coat Carole Lombard wore in The Eagle and the Hawk. Mitchell Leisen knew how to make his stars look their best.

Fur is murder and all...but have you ever tried on a REALLY NICE sable?

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