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11 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

So Raft was made out of mahogany instead of pine.    

Yeah *J.L. warner & Warner Bros. publicity tried that artificial jazz with *Cagney, by wanting him to put on lifts & shaving 5yrs of his life, citing him born in 1904 vs 1899, but he'd have none of it

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The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) - Italian swords-and-sandals epic from MGM and director Sergio Leone. In the year 280 BC, Rhodes is a rich and powerful seaport island nation. King Serse (Roberto Camardiel) has just unveiled the Colossus, a massive metal statue of the god Apollo that stands over the port entrance. Greek hero Dario (Rory Calhoun) is in town for the festivities when he's approached by Peliocles (Georges Marchal) to join in a slave uprising against the Rhodesian oppressors. Dario is reluctant until he learns that the Phoenicians are plotting to overthrow the king and take the city's treasures. Also featuring Lea Massari, Conrado San Martin, Angel Aranda, Mabel Karr, Mimmo Palmara, and George Rigaud.

This handsome production strives more for Ben-Hur or Spartacus style epic grandeur than Hercules Unchained B-movie peplum. Calhoun is a very dubious casting choice as the hero, and the French star Marchal is a more suitable lead. The costumes are nice and colorful, and the sets are very impressive, especially the Temple of Baal. At 127 minutes, this goes on about a half hour too long. However, there are some good action scenes, including an extended gladiator arena sequence. Unfortunately, a guy in a gorilla suit glimpsed briefly near the beginning never returns. This was the first credited directing job from spaghetti western maestro Sergio Leone, but his skill was not readily evident from this effort. Still, there's enough spectacle to keep this from being a complete waste of time.   (6/10)

Source: TCM. It's nice seeing these Italian efforts in full widescreen glory (this one is credited as being in "SuperTotalScope"), as so many of these films were only available in washed-out pan-and-scan versions that never did them justice.

Il-Colosso-di-Rodi-AKA-The-Colossus-of-R

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Samson and Delilah (1949)

For all of producer-director Cecil B. DeMille's lasting fame associated with Biblical epics, the reality is that he only made two during the talkie film era. We all know the title of one of them. Samson and Delilah is the other one.

Actually the showman director had been making plans for a film about the Danite Hebrew strongman and his downfall through his love of a Philistine seductress as far back as 1935. Original casting considerations had been, according to DeMille, for Henry Wilcoxon and Miriam Hopkins, among others. Other film projects for the director delayed those plans until 1948, when the majority of principal photography on the film was completed.

With Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr in the titles roles, the film would be a critical and box office smash, the biggest money maker of 1950 and, for a while, even ranking third in the all time box office rankings (behind Gone With the Wind and The Best Years of Our Lives). The film would receive five Oscar nominations, winning two for Best Color Art Direction and Best Color Costume Design. Among the other nominations were those for special effects and Victor Young's appropriately exotic musical score.

paramount-05010-Full-Image_GalleryBackgr

Overall, the film holds up well. There are the usual lapses to be found in most DeMille films, of course, with the occasional slow static scene but when the big action moments occur, such as Samson's slaying the Philistine soldiers with the jawbone of an a s s or, of course, the film's still stunning climax when the now blind strongman destroys the temple of Dagon, killing all within, the film is riveting.

Less successful, though, is the sequence depicting Samson's slaying of the lion. Mature was afraid of the animals on the set (among other things, while making the film, much to DeMille's chagrin). The result is a choppily edited sequence with an all too obvious stunt double in the long shots as Samson wrestles with the lion, followed by closeups of a grimacing Mature as he tangles with a stuffed animal.

1362947938_3.jpg

There are also a few moments of unintentional humour with some of the usual hokey dialogue. When Samson, now shorn of his long hair, is taken prisoner by Philistine soldiers, there is a medium shot of Mature's head, now surrounded by spears, as he sneeringly calls Delilah, "You Philistine gutter rat!" That is immediately followed by a loud uniform "Grrrrr" from the soldiers surrounding him as their spears move in closer on his face.

MV5BMTM5NDU5ODU1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTE5

"You Philistine gutter rat!"

A beefed up Mature and slinky Lamarr are both quite adequate in their roles. Even better, though, is George Sanders, delivering a beautifully understated performance as the Saran, leader of the Philistines. While the Saran is cold blooded and ruthless, Sanders brings an intelligence to the role and the perspective of a jaded observer of mankind.

SPOILER ALERT: While the crowd of Philistines will jeer and laugh at a blinded Samson as he is put on display to be publicly humiliated in the temple, Sanders' Saran watches dispassionately. Likewise when the temple begins to crumble and everyone is screaming and scrambling for their lives, the Saran remains still (after a bystander in awe says that Samson has the strength of a devil, Sanders corrects him, "No, the strength of a God") and stoically accepts his doom. DeMille even allows Sanders a marvelous final moment. As the statue is about to crash down upon him, the Saran stands to give a toast with his goblet to Delilah.

Angela Lansbury appears in the film as Delilah's sister, with whom Samson is in love in the earliest scenes, while Henry Wilcoxon, not playing Samson, is still cast in the film anyway, as a Philistine commander. A pre-Superman George Reeves can be seen telling the Saran of Samson's single handed destruction of a command with the a s s's jawbone. And, in the film's earliest scenes, Mike Mazurki can be seen as one of three bullying Philistine soldiers. For some reason, though, Mazurki's voice is dubbed by another actor.

Finally, at 128 minutes, Samson and Delilah does not over stay its welcome, in contrast to many of the later screen epics, the Biblical ones, in particular. This would apply to DeMille's own production of The Ten Commandments seven years later.

A lot of film buffs and high brow critics like to poke fun at DeMille for his over-the-top unsophisticated theatrics. Some of that criticism is undoubtedly warranted. But he was always a showman who knew how to tell a story and give the public what it wanted. Whatever its flaws may have been, Samson and Delilah remains eye filling spectacle that still entertains.

Samson+%2526+Delilah.jpg

3 out of 4

 

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) - Italian swords-and-sandals epic from MGM and director Sergio Leone. In the year 280 BC, Rhodes is a rich and powerful seaport island nation. King Serse (Roberto Camardiel) has just unveiled the Colossus, a massive metal statue of the god Apollo that stands over the port entrance. Greek hero Dario (Rory Calhoun) is in town for the festivities when he's approached by Peliocles (Georges Marchal) to join in a slave uprising against the Rhodesian oppressors. Dario is reluctant until he learns that the Phoenicians are plotting to overthrow the king and take the city's treasures. Also featuring Lea Massari, Conrado San Martin, Angel Aranda, Mabel Karr, Mimmo Palmara, and George Rigaud.

This handsome production strives more for Ben-Hur or Spartacus style epic grandeur than Hercules Unchained B-movie peplum. Calhoun is a very dubious casting choice as the hero, and the French star Marchal is a more suitable lead. The costumes are nice and colorful, and the sets are very impressive, especially the Temple of Baal. At 127 minutes, this goes on about a half hour too long. However, there are some good action scenes, including an extended gladiator arena sequence. Unfortunately, a guy in a gorilla suit glimpsed briefly near the beginning never returns. This was the first credited directing job from spaghetti western maestro Sergio Leone, but his skill was not readily evident from this effort. Still, there's enough spectacle to keep this from being a complete waste of time.   (6/10)

Source: TCM. It's nice seeing these Italian efforts in full widescreen glory (this one is credited as being in "SuperTotalScope"), as so many of these films were only available in washed-out pan-and-scan versions that never did them justice.

Il-Colosso-di-Rodi-AKA-The-Colossus-of-R

Colossus of Rhodes is your average sword and sandal peplum until Leone focuses in on the colossus itself, there you finally get hints of what is to eventually come in his Spaghetti Westerns, the shots of the sword fight on the Colossus's arm with the soldiers climbing out the ear are spectacular, the camera angles and the framing are precursors of shots to come, you know, the huge boot & spur steping down into the frame as a gunman stands off beyond it. There is a closeup of one eye of the colossus where two of the baddies are framed in the opening of the pupil. Another over the shoulder shot showing the side of the face (hommage to Saboteur & North by Northwest perhaps). Looks as if Leone replaced the colossus with human faces and iconic western artifacts, six-guns, spurs, hats, false front western towns making a WEST that was mythological.

Its worthy of a view.

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Thousands Cheer (1943) - Morale booster musical romance from MGM and director George Sidney. Kathryn Grayson stars as Kathryn Jones, a classically trained singer who gives up her lucrative singing job with Jose Iturbi (Jose Iturbi) in order to follow her Army officer dad Bill (John Boles) to his new base assignment. Kathryn is secretly trying to get her dad back together with her mom (Mary Astor) after their estrangement, but that gets sidelined when army private Eddie Marsh (Gene Kelly) enters the young woman's life. It all leads to a big show for the troops, featuring many top MGM stars. Also featuring Ben Blue, Frances Rafferty, Mary Elliott, and Frank Jenks. The show includes appearances by Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Powell, Virginia O'Brien, June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Frank Morgan, Lucille Ball, Ann Sothern, Marsha Hunt, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Red Skelton, Marilyn Maxwell, Donna Reed, Margaret O'Brien, Bob Crosby & His Orchestra, Benny Carter & His Band, and Kay Kyser & His Orchestra.

This flag-waver and time-waster was a hit, MGM's biggest of the year and the fourth largest overall. It's inoffensive to the point of dullness for the most part. Nearly the entire first half is a slog, with Grayson, a performer that I can't say I'm fond of, and Kelly's romance tedious and uninvolving. It gets silly when we meet Kelly's aerialist circus family, and the subplot involving Boles and Astor is a non-starter. The only real interest is during the all-star stage show in the film's last third. Even that is hit and miss, but seeing all the stars in short vignettes will appeal to some. I never really enjoyed any of it, and it felt like it would never end. The movie earned 3 Oscar nominations, for Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction, and Best Score (Herbert Stothart).   (5/10) 

Source: Warner Archive DVD.

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We Dive at Dawn (1943) - Solid British submarine war action, from Gainsborough Pictures and director Anthony Asquith. The film tracks the officers and crew of a British Naval submarine, both before their deployment when they are dealing with various personal issues, and during a perilous patrol of enemy waters. Starring John Mills, Eric Portman, Niall MacGinnis, David Peel, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar, Reginald Purdell, and Walter Gotell.

This is an excellent entry in a popular subgenre of war movie. Most submarine films follow the same formula, and this one isn't very different, but the direction is good, the suspense is well mounted at times, and the performances, particularly from Eric Portman, are good.   (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

MV5BZTI3YWNmNmItNGVlOS00MTQ3LTgzOWEtYzY4

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We've Never Been Licked (1943) - Corny, overlong wartime propaganda flick from Universal Pictures, producer Walter Wanger, and director John Rawlins. The first half of the film concerns the awesomeness of Texas A&M University as we see cocky new student Brad (Richard Quine) arrive on campus and immediately alienate everyone with his terrible personality. Even his roommate Cyanide Jenkins (Noah Beery Jr.) has trouble putting up with Brad until the newcomer is taught some humility. Brad and Cyanide are also both in love with the same girl, professor's daughter Nina (Anne Gwynne). The second half of the movie gets even sillier as Brad deals with evil Japanese agents on campus. Also featuring Harry Davenport, Robert Mitchum, Martha O'Driscoll, William Frawley, Edgar Barrier, Bill Stern, Mantan Moreland, Samuel S. Hinds, Moroni Olsen, and Cliff Robertson in his debut.

This is a cheesy military school drama that hits most of the usual marks in that kind of story. The second half involving various espionage shenanigans is more entertaining but no less ridiculous. Quine is just terrible, unlikable and irritating. Mitchum's role as a hardcase upperclassman is larger than many he was getting at the time.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube. The upload is from a TV broadcast that has Spanish subtitles. 

image_120.jpeg

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What a Woman (1943) - Romantic comedy from Columbia Pictures and director Irving Cummings. Rosalind Russell stars as high-powered talent agent Carol Ainsley. She's after the mysterious author of a recent bestseller to try and get inspiration for finding the lead actor in a movie adaptation of the book. She tracks him down, only to discover that he's a college teacher named Michael Cobb (Willard Parker) with no interest in further fame. Carol becomes convinced that Michael himself would be the perfect man for the film role and sets out to woo him to the job. Meanwhile, world-weary reporter Henry Pepper (Brian Aherne) has been tasked with writing a profile article on Carol which requires him to shadow her on her daily rounds, eventually leading to romance. Also featuring Alan Dinehart, Edward Fielding, Ann Savage, Norma Varden, Grady Sutton, Douglas Wood, Hobart Cavanaugh, John Hamilton, Byron Foulger, and Shelley Winters.

This is a basically agreeable trifle, fast-moving and with good performances from Russell and Aherne. I'm not familiar with Willard Parker, and his role could have been recast with a stronger personality. Shelley Winters can be glimpsed briefly in her second film role as a secretary.    (6/10)

Source: TCM. My recording of the movie was from last year's Summer Under the Stars. The station identifier, the little "TCM" that pops up every 20 minutes or so on the bottom right of the screen, was up throughout the entire movie on this one. Was that a thing TCM was toying with, or just a one-time glitch?

What-a-Woman-1943-Rosalind-russell-Brian

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

What a Woman (1943) - Romantic comedy from Columbia Pictures and director Irving Cummings.

Sounds like fun, I don't think I've ever seen it. And Byron Foulger is always a welcome presence in a film.

image.png.00e8d5ba5515cb4b1caa3b013a1225df.png

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The Earthling (1980) - Australian wilderness survival tale from Filmways and director Peter Collinson. Patrick Foley (William Holden) is dying, and he's returned to New South Wales after decades of living in the U.S. He plans on making a dangerous trek to the secluded valley where he lived as a child in order to die there. Hi splans are interrupted when he encounters Shawn (Ricky Schroder), a small American child vacationing in the area with his mother and father. His parents were killed in an accident, and Patrick is forced to take the boy along with him, teaching him the ways of survival so that Shawn can make the journey back to civilization by himself. Also featuring Jack Thompson, Olivia Hamnett, Pat Evison, Redmond Phillips, and Alwyn Kurts.

I'm usually not a fan of family films, or ones with a kid as a main character, but this one grew on me over time, and by the end I was moved by it. Schroder is still often annoying, particularly when he's shouting that he's God while swinging a dead rabbit around. Holden is craggy and weathered and tired looking, but his usual world-weariness fits with his role as a dying man. The real stars of the film are the beautiful locations and the almost comically abundant wildlife, of all shapes and sizes.    (7/10)

Source: TCM.

220px-Earthling.jpg

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19 hours ago, TomJH said:

Samson and Delilah (1949)

For all of producer-director Cecil B. DeMille's lasting fame associated with Biblical epics, the reality is that he only made two during the talkie film era. We all know the title of one of them. Samson and Delilah is the other one.

Actually the showman director had been making plans for a film about the Danite Hebrew strongman and his downfall through his love of a Philistine seductress as far back as 1935. Original casting considerations had been, according to DeMille, for Henry Wilcoxon and Miriam Hopkins, among others. Other film projects for the director delayed those plans until 1948, when the majority of principal photography on the film was completed.

With Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr in the titles roles, the film would be a critical and box office smash, the biggest maker of 1950 and, for a while, even ranking third in the all time box office rankings (behind Gone With the Wind and The Best Years of Our Lives). The film would receive five Oscar nominations, winning two for Best Color Art Direction and Best Color Costume Design. Among the other nominations were those for special effects and Victor Young's appropriately exotic musical score.

paramount-05010-Full-Image_GalleryBackgr

Overall, the film holds up well. There are the usual lapses to be found in most DeMille films, of course, with the occasional slow static scene but when the big action moments occur, such as Samson's slaying the Philistine soldiers with the jawbone of an a s s or, of course, the film's still stunning climax when the now blind strongman destroys the temple of Dagon, killing all within, the film is riveting.

Less successful, though, is the sequence depicting Samson's slaying of the lion. Mature was afraid of the animals on the set (among other things, while making the film, much to DeMille's chagrin). The result is a choppily edited sequence with an all too obvious stunt double in the long shots as Samson wrestles with the lion, followed by closeups of a grimacing Mature as he tangles with a stuffed animal.

1362947938_3.jpg

There are also a few moments of unintentional humour with some of the usual hokey dialogue. When Samson, now shorn of his long hair, is taken prisoner by Philistine soldiers, there is a medium shot of Mature's head, now surrounded by spears, as he sneeringly calls Delilah, "You Philistine gutter rat!" That is immediately followed by a loud uniform "Grrrrr" from the soldiers surrounding him as their spears move in closer on his face.

MV5BMTM5NDU5ODU1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTE5

"You Philistine gutter rat!"

A beefed up Mature and slinky Lamarr are both quite adequate in their roles. Even better, though, is George Sanders, delivering a beautifully understated performance as the Saran, leader of the Philistines. While the Saran is cold blooded and ruthless, Sanders brings an intelligence to the role and the perspective of a jaded observer of mankind.

SPOILER ALERT: While the crowd of Philistines will jeer and laugh at a blinded Samson as he is put on display to be publicly humiliated in the temple, Sanders' Saran watches dispassionately. Likewise when the temple begins to crumble and everyone is screaming and scrambling for their lives, the Saran remains still (after a bystander in awe says that Samson has the strength of a devil, Sanders corrects him, "No, the strength of a God") and stoically accepts his doom. DeMille even allows Sanders a marvelous final moment. As the statue is about to crash down upon him, the Saran stands to give a toast with his goblet to Delilah.

Angela Lansbury appears in the film as Delilah's sister, with whom Samson is in love in the earliest scenes, while Henry Wilcoxon, not playing Samson, is still cast in the film anyway, as a Philistine commander. A pre-Superman George Reeves can be seen telling the Saran of Samson's single handed destruction of a command with the a s s's jawbone. And, in the film's earliest scenes, Mike Mazurki can be seen as one of three bullying Philistine soldiers. For some reason, though, Mazurki's voice is dubbed by another actor.

Finally, at 128 minutes, Samson and Delilah does not over stay its welcome, in contrast to many of the later screen epics, the Biblical ones, in particular. This would apply to DeMille's own production of The Ten Commandments seven years later.

A lot of film buffs and high brow critics like to poke fun at DeMille for his over-the-top unsophisticated theatrics. Some of that criticism is undoubtedly warranted. But he was always a showman who knew how to tell a story and give the public what it wanted. Whatever its flaws may have been, Samson and Delilah remains eye filling spectacle that still entertains.

Samson+%2526+Delilah.jpg

3 out of 4

 

 

19 hours ago, TomJH said:

Samson and Delilah (1949)

For all of producer-director Cecil B. DeMille's lasting fame associated with Biblical epics, the reality is that he only made two during the talkie film era. We all know the title of one of them. Samson and Delilah is the other one.

Actually the showman director had been making plans for a film about the Danite Hebrew strongman and his downfall through his love of a Philistine seductress as far back as 1935. Original casting considerations had been, according to DeMille, for Henry Wilcoxon and Miriam Hopkins, among others. Other film projects for the director delayed those plans until 1948, when the majority of principal photography on the film was completed.

With Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr in the titles roles, the film would be a critical and box office smash, the biggest maker of 1950 and, for a while, even ranking third in the all time box office rankings (behind Gone With the Wind and The Best Years of Our Lives). The film would receive five Oscar nominations, winning two for Best Color Art Direction and Best Color Costume Design. Among the other nominations were those for special effects and Victor Young's appropriately exotic musical score.

paramount-05010-Full-Image_GalleryBackgr

Overall, the film holds up well. There are the usual lapses to be found in most DeMille films, of course, with the occasional slow static scene but when the big action moments occur, such as Samson's slaying the Philistine soldiers with the jawbone of an a s s or, of course, the film's still stunning climax when the now blind strongman destroys the temple of Dagon, killing all within, the film is riveting.

Less successful, though, is the sequence depicting Samson's slaying of the lion. Mature was afraid of the animals on the set (among other things, while making the film, much to DeMille's chagrin). The result is a choppily edited sequence with an all too obvious stunt double in the long shots as Samson wrestles with the lion, followed by closeups of a grimacing Mature as he tangles with a stuffed animal.

1362947938_3.jpg

There are also a few moments of unintentional humour with some of the usual hokey dialogue. When Samson, now shorn of his long hair, is taken prisoner by Philistine soldiers, there is a medium shot of Mature's head, now surrounded by spears, as he sneeringly calls Delilah, "You Philistine gutter rat!" That is immediately followed by a loud uniform "Grrrrr" from the soldiers surrounding him as their spears move in closer on his face.

MV5BMTM5NDU5ODU1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTE5

"You Philistine gutter rat!"

A beefed up Mature and slinky Lamarr are both quite adequate in their roles. Even better, though, is George Sanders, delivering a beautifully understated performance as the Saran, leader of the Philistines. While the Saran is cold blooded and ruthless, Sanders brings an intelligence to the role and the perspective of a jaded observer of mankind.

SPOILER ALERT: While the crowd of Philistines will jeer and laugh at a blinded Samson as he is put on display to be publicly humiliated in the temple, Sanders' Saran watches dispassionately. Likewise when the temple begins to crumble and everyone is screaming and scrambling for their lives, the Saran remains still (after a bystander in awe says that Samson has the strength of a devil, Sanders corrects him, "No, the strength of a God") and stoically accepts his doom. DeMille even allows Sanders a marvelous final moment. As the statue is about to crash down upon him, the Saran stands to give a toast with his goblet to Delilah.

Angela Lansbury appears in the film as Delilah's sister, with whom Samson is in love in the earliest scenes, while Henry Wilcoxon, not playing Samson, is still cast in the film anyway, as a Philistine commander. A pre-Superman George Reeves can be seen telling the Saran of Samson's single handed destruction of a command with the a s s's jawbone. And, in the film's earliest scenes, Mike Mazurki can be seen as one of three bullying Philistine soldiers. For some reason, though, Mazurki's voice is dubbed by another actor.

Finally, at 128 minutes, Samson and Delilah does not over stay its welcome, in contrast to many of the later screen epics, the Biblical ones, in particular. This would apply to DeMille's own production of The Ten Commandments seven years later.

A lot of film buffs and high brow critics like to poke fun at DeMille for his over-the-top unsophisticated theatrics. Some of that criticism is undoubtedly warranted. But he was always a showman who knew how to tell a story and give the public what it wanted. Whatever its flaws may have been, Samson and Delilah remains eye filling spectacle that still entertains.

Samson+%2526+Delilah.jpg

3 out of 4

 

It would have been nice to see Miriam Hopkins in her element as a seductress. 

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21 hours ago, TomJH said:

Samson and Delilah (1949)

I have not seen this movie in decades. And now, after reading this, I want to. And soon. If that is not the sign of a bloody good writeup, TomJH, I don't know what is.

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22 hours ago, TomJH said:

Samson and Delilah (1949)

 

Great review, as always, Tom.

This film is campy at times, like many a DeMille film, but still manages to entertain. I had to laugh the first time I heard George Reeves delivering his lines using some weird speech affectation. I kept waiting for him to say "what da hey ..."

It was nice to see silent screen star William Farnum in a somewhat substantial role as Lansbury's father, as he was nearing the end of his career (and life). DeMille must have thought highly of him, and even served as a pallbearer at Farnum's service. Interestingly, Farnum had appeared in a local production of another Biblical story, The Robe, in the 1940s, and there was some talk he would appear in the film production. But that never happened.

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18 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

 

image_120.jpeg

Gosh, I hate to hear that.

And now that they've shut down the Personal Ads on Craigslist, their chances just got even smaller.

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1 hour ago, scsu1975 said:

Great review, as always, Tom.

This film is campy at times, like many a DeMille film, but still manages to entertain. I had to laugh the first time I heard George Reeves delivering his lines using some weird speech affectation. I kept waiting for him to say "what da hey ..."

It was nice to see silent screen star William Farnum in a somewhat substantial role as Lansbury's father, as he was nearing the end of his career (and life). DeMille must have thought highly of him, and even served as a pallbearer at Farnum's service. Interestingly, Farnum had appeared in a local production of another Biblical story, The Robe, in the 1940s, and there was some talk he would appear in the film production. But that never happened.

Thanks for mentioning William Farnum's participation in Samson and Delilah, Rich. I had forgotten to mention his name in the review.

DeMille obviously appreciated the actor's history as a veteran silent star, he having played the role of Marcus Superbus in the 1914 version of Sign of the Cross, 18 years before DeMille did his immensely successful early talkie version of the same tale, with Fredric March in the same role. Some years prior to Samson the director had used Farnum in small roles, having cast him in both Cleopatra and The Crusades.

By the way, there are a couple of nice looking prints of the silent Sign of the Cross on You Tube now. Unfortunately, neither version has English subs.

MV5BMzE2ZTY0MGItMjEzZC00ZTY5LWJkOTQtMTRm

 

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32 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Thanks for mentioning William Farnum's participation in Samson and Delilah, Rich. I had forgotten to mention his name in the review.

DeMille obviously appreciated the actor's history as a veteran silent star, he having played the role of Marcus Superbus in the 1914 version of Sign of the Cross, 18 years before DeMille did his immensely successful early talkie version of the same tale, with Fredric March in the same role. Some years prior to Samson the director had used Farnum in small roles, having cast him in both Cleopatra and The Crusades.

By the way, there are a couple of nice looking prints of the silent Sign of the Cross on You Tube now. Unfortunately, neither version has English subs.

MV5BMzE2ZTY0MGItMjEzZC00ZTY5LWJkOTQtMTRm

 

I reviewed The Sign of the Cross somewhere in this thread. The version I saw was a clear print and had Dutch subtitles, but since I was already familiar with the novel, this wasn't a problem. I thought there was a mediocre print with English subtitles, but maybe it's been yanked.

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I watched the original CAPE FEAR last night, and what a terrific movie.

Robert Mitchum makes one scary bad guy (which he also demonstrated brilliantly in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER), able to terrorize and menace while manipulating the law on his side. 

And while CAPE FEAR may or may not have been one of Peck's favorites (don't know for certain either way), he is equally great as the lawyer/family man driven to desperate measures to try and protect his family from Mitchum's wrath, but seems almost totally powerless to do so until the climax.

Really quite a suspenseful film.

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1 minute ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I watched the original CAPE FEAR last night, and what a terrific movie.

Robert Mitchum makes one scary bad guy (which he also demonstrated brilliantly in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER), able to terrorize and menace while manipulating the law on his side. 

And while CAPE FEAR may or may not have been one of Peck's favorites (don't know for certain either way), he is equally great as the lawyer/family man driven to desperate measures to try and protect his family from Mitchum's wrath, but seems almost totally powerless to do so until the climax.

In a 1964 interview, when asked if he had a worst film, Peck named Cape Fear "if you want a real turkey." I wonder if he changed his mind as the years rolled by, especially as he agreed to a cameo in the remake.

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5 minutes ago, TomJH said:

In a 1964 interview, when asked if he had a worst film, Peck named Cape Fear "if you want a real turkey." I wonder if he changed his mind as the years rolled by, especially as he agreed to a cameo in the remake.

Either that, or he felt Scorsese's remake was far superior.

I actually like the 1991 remake as well. In that version Max Cady actually does have good reason to hate Sam Bowden, although it still doesn't make Cady's character any more sympathetic or less frightening, certainly.

 

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17 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I watched the original CAPE FEAR last night, and what a terrific movie.

Robert Mitchum makes one scary bad guy (which he also demonstrated brilliantly in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER), able to terrorize and menace while manipulating the law on his side. 

And while CAPE FEAR may or may not have been one of Peck's favorites (don't know for certain either way), he is equally great as the lawyer/family man driven to desperate measures to try and protect his family from Mitchum's wrath, but seems almost totally powerless to do so until the climax.

Really quite a suspenseful film.

I love this movie.  I haven't seen the remake.  I love the original however.  Like in The Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum makes a terrifying villain, especially when it comes to sex-oriented crimes, because it's easy to see how Mitchum can get so many women to succumb to his charms.  He manages to charm Shelley Winters in 'Hunter' and Barrie Chase in Cape Fear and it's not hard to see how he was able to do so.  His easy "baby I don't care" demeanor, low voice and bedroom eyes make him easy on the eyes.  Mitchum's scene with Polly Bergen in the houseboat is probably one of the creepiest scenes I have ever seenIt's amazing that they were able to make this type of film in 1962.  I also love how its obvious what type of crime Mitchum committed, but it is never explicitly stated in the film--it's only implied. 

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7 hours ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

It would have been nice to see Miriam Hopkins in her element as a seductress. 

:lol:

I'm taking that as a joke.

She would chew all the scenery before getting around to seducing anyone.

Good one !!

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Either that, or he felt Scorsese's remake was far superior.

I actually like the 1991 remake as well. In that version Max Cady actually does have good reason to hate Sam Bowden, although it still doesn't make Cady's character any more sympathetic or less frightening, certainly.

 

I thought the remake was ok, but one issue I had with it is that it seemed like DeNiro turned into a "Jason" type character near the end ... he couldn't be killed no matter what.

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Noah's Ark (1928) - Biblical/historical disaster epic from Warner Brothers and director Michael Curtiz. Pals Travis (George O'Brien) and Al (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) join up to fight in WW1. Travis is married to German Marie (Dolores Costello), which causes some contention. Their tumultuous existence is paralleled by the Old Testament tale of Noah (Paul McAllister) and his preparations for surviving the Great Flood. Also featuring Noah Beery Sr., Louise Fazenda, Anders Randolf, Armand Kaliz, Noble Johnson, and Myrna Loy. 

This reminded me of a less ambitious but still visually spectacular Intolerance (1916). The effects, sets and costumes are all excellent, and the disaster scenes are said to have been as dangerous as they look. This was made during the transitional sound period, so while much of the film silent with intertitles, sections also have sound dialogue and effects. The version shown was nearly a half hour shorter than the original release, which is believed lost. John Wayne, Andy Devine, and Ward Bond are said to be among the extras.  (7/10)

Source: TCM.

NoahsArkLobbyBest.jpg

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The Yellow Ticket (1931) - Pre-Code drama from Fox and director Raoul Walsh. Set in Czarist Russia, the story concerns Marya (Elissa Landi), a young Jewish woman who tries to travel to her father, who is said to be deathly ill. However, the Czar has recently decreed that all Jews must stay in their own villages and cannot travel. The only way around this restriction is if Marya accepts a "yellow ticket", a document that declares her a prostitute but which allows her to travel freely. Swallowing her pride, she accepts the ticket, but tries to avoid actually performing as a prostitute. She draws the attention of lascivious Russian Baron Igor Andreeff (Lionel Barrymore), and British journalist Julian Rolfe (Laurence Olivier). Also featuring Arnold Korff, Mischa Auer, Edwin Maxwell, Rita La Roy, and Boris Karloff.

The scandalous nature of the story is delicately handled, although viewers may be shocked by some nudity in an early scene. Landi isn't bad, but Lionel hams it up while also not attempting anything resembling a Russian accent. Olivier is bland, as he often was in his earliest roles. Boris Karloff has a brief, uncredited bit as a drunken orderly who tries to paw Landi.   (6/10)

Source: Rarefilmm.com

1931theyellowticket1.jpg

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Noah's Ark (1928) - Biblical/historical disaster epic from Warner Brothers and director Michael Curtiz. Pals Travis (George O'Brien) and Al (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) join up to fight in WW1. Travis is married to German Marie (Dolores Costello), which causes some contention. Their tumultuous existence is paralleled by the Old Testament tale of Noah (Paul McAllister) and his preparations for surviving the Great Flood. Also featuring Noah Beery Sr., Louise Fazenda, Anders Randolf, Armand Kaliz, Noble Johnson, and Myrna Loy. 

This reminded me of a less ambitious but still visually spectacular Intolerance (1916). The effects, sets and costumes are all excellent, and the disaster scenes are said to have been as dangerous as they look. This was made during the transitional sound period, so while much of the film silent with intertitles, sections also have sound dialogue and effects. The version shown was nearly a half hour shorter than the original release, which is believed lost. John Wayne, Andy Devine, and Ward Bond are said to be among the extras.  (7/10)

Source: TCM.

NoahsArkLobbyBest.jpg

The film drags a bit here and there, and probably would have worked better had it been all silent. Some of the spoken dialogue between O'Brien and Costello is pretty dull. However, the climactic flood scene is a memorable spectacle and very well done.

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