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I Just Watched...

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1 hour ago, Fedya said:

Better than The Garden of Allah?

Maybe not, but they were quite different styles. Garden of Allah has a more painterly look, while Happy Breed has a sharper, more modern clarity.

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EASY VIRTUE (2008) Source: Netflix/ Score: 3/5 

Starring Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, & Kristin Scott Thomas. 

The film is set in 1929, and Biel stars as an American woman who is brought back to her new husband's family house in England. Biel tries her utmost to be welcomed into the family, but the matriarch is strongly against her and her ideals/upbringing, etc. Kristin Scott Thomas really embraced her role as the cold and severe matriarch. She, quite frankly, made me almost hate her character. I really felt for Biel's character throughout the film, as she tried very hard to make her new mother-in-law like her. 

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THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001) Score: 3.5/5 

Starring: Gene Hackman, Anjelia Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, and Owen Wilson & brother Luke Wilson. 

This is a Wes Anderson movie... and it really does have that general feel to it that some of his other movies have. I feel like Coen Brothers' movies and Anderson movies have this almost surreal feel to them. They seem to portray real life, but maybe a particular version of real life. I don't think these types of movies are for everybody. It seems to be the general consensus that you either hate it or enjoy it. With this movie, don't expect to really enjoy it unless you're into a special form of comedy/drama. I liked it, though. 

The Tenenbaum family consists of father Royal, wife Etheline, and their three prodigious progeny (try saying that 3 times fast). Royal and Etheline end up divorcing while the kids are still fairly young, which leads to his estrangement and further familial issues. Fast forward 22 years or so, and all the kids have lives of their own, but are reunited at their childhood home once their father re-enters the picture with the startling revelation that he is dying. Naturally, he wants to repair his relationship with his 3 kids and 2 grandsons before his time comes. 

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Tomorrow, the World! (1944) - Hysterical propaganda drama, based on a Pulitzer-prize winning (!!!) play, from United Artists and director Leslie Fenton. Fredric March stars as Mike Frame, a small-town American who is taking charge of an orphaned relative, 13-year-old German boy Emil (Skip Homeier). Mike, his sister Jessie (Agnes Moorehead), young cousin Pat (Joan Carroll), and Mike's fiancee Leona (Betty Field) welcome the boy into their home but are shocked and appalled by his Hitler Youth sensibilities, including vocal antisemitism, anti-American sentiments and a desire to continue the Nazi cause in any way possible. Emil's attitude naturally leads to trouble both at home and in school, with things coming to a violent conclusion. Also featuring Edit Angold, and Rudy Wissler.

I called this hysterical and it is, in both senses of the word. Emil is depicted as such an extreme exaggerated caricature that he becomes an object of unintended hilarity. Homeier, who had originated the role on Broadway and was making his film debut here, overplays it to the hilt. The situations are often absurd, the character decisions ludicrous, and the last half hour is just one bizarre moment after another, including attempted murders, brutal fist-fights among children, and one of the more unconvincing sappy endings in some time. There's no way that I'd call this a good movie in the conventional sense, but as a bad movie I found it very amusing.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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I, TONYA (2017) Score: 4/5 

Starring: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, & Sebastian Stan. 

Biographical film of U.S. figure skater, Tonya Harding, with Robbie as Harding. It was very interesting seeing a behind the scenes look at Harding's childhood/past leading up to her skating competitions. She was the first American woman to successfully land a triple axel, which I think is commendable. I was thoroughly impressed with both Robbie's and Janney's performances. I was already a fan of Janney's, but was struck by Robbie's dramatic prowess. Hope this movie leads to more meaty roles for her in the future. 

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Safari Drums (1953). One of the later Bomba films, featuring a somewhat more sophisticated Bomba, who has become pretty good at assessing the unspoken intentions of the whites. This more sophisticated Bomba is actually billed as "John Sheffield" in the credits. Bomba is asked by Commissioner Barnes (played as always by Leonard Mudie) to accompany a group of white men (and one woman) on an alleged photographic safari, because the police are after one of them. As it turns out, one of the party has killed a geologist and stolen diamonds. The leader of the group has a strange animal in the back of his truck -- Bomba has never seen such an animal, which turns out to be a tiger. The man has brought the tiger to Africa so that he can photograph a fight between the tiger and a lion. In any case, as Miss Prism says in The Importance of Being Earnest, "The good ends happily and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction is." There is a young woman with the whites who helps Bomba. It's clear she fancies him; but he's not interested, and steals away at the end, without saying goodbye. Smoki Whitfield, a regular in the Bomba series, plays the recurring role of Eli.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Maybe not, but they were quite different styles. Garden of Allah has a more painterly look, while Happy Breed has a sharper, more modern clarity.

Dramatically foolish as it may be, The Garden of Allah remains one of the great visual treats of the movies, with its stunning photography perfectly augmented by Max Steiner's lush, evocative musical score. That shot of the camel caravan disappearing over a giant sand dune at sunset is one of the most breath taking shots I've ever seen in a film.

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Torment (1944) - Swedish drama from writer Ingmar Bergman, producer Victor Sjostrom, and director Alf Sjoberg. Widgren (Alf Kjellin) is a high school student beginning to buckle under the pressure of impending final exams. He's also tormented by his sadistic Latin teacher whom the students call "Caligula" (Stig Jarrel). Widgren begins a relationship with troubled shopgirl Bertha (Mai Zetterling), and his after school activities will intersect with his school problems in unexpected ways. Also featuring Olof Winnerstrand, Gosta Cederlund, Stig Olin, Hugo Bjorne, Jan Molander, and Gunnar Bjornstrand.

Bergman's first major film production, this has some stylish directorial touches and excellent performances from the three leads, but the script seems like juvenile venting, as Bergman deals with his own personal bad school experiences by creating the luridly monstrous Caligula. Later in the film we see how everyone in Widgren's life has mistreated him to some degree, until a credibility stretching finale sets everything right. Still, there's enough here to make it worth a watch, especially for fans of Bergman's later work.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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8 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

EASY VIRTUE (2008) Source: Netflix/ Score: 3/5 

Remake of a late Hitchcock silent, which if memory serves was based on a Noël Coward stage play.  I haven't seen the remake.

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11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Tomorrow, the World! (1944) - Hysterical propaganda drama, based on a Pulitzer-prize winning (!!!) play, I called this hysterical and it is, in both senses of the word. Emil is depicted as such an extreme exaggerated caricature that he becomes an object of unintended hilarity.  as a bad movie I found it very amusing.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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one of the funniest comedies of the 1940's, they showed this one morning not long ago and i was heartbroken when i had to go to work.

i love this movie.

ps- did you hear that they're trying to re-name a theater that is named after FREDERIC MARCH because it's been discovered he was affiliated with the KluKluxKlan in college?

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/university/report-probes-history-of-****-at-uw-madison-m-history/article_76b807f7-7e00-5362-9218-4e9bd80e2ea4.html

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HE'S A DRIP! HE'S A KILLER! HE'S TREACHEROUS! HE'S CHARMING!

HE'S ALL THAT AND MORE!!!!!!

TODAY, MY HEART- TOMORROW THE WORLD

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12 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I, TONYA (2017) Score: 4/5 

Starring: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, & Sebastian Stan. 

Biographical film of U.S. figure skater, Tonya Harding, with Robbie as Harding. It was very interesting seeing a behind the scenes look at Harding's childhood/past leading up to her skating competitions. She was the first American woman to successfully land a triple axel, which I think is commendable. I was thoroughly impressed with both Robbie's and Janney's performances. I was already a fan of Janney's, but was struck by Robbie's dramatic prowess. Hope this movie leads to more meaty roles for her in the future. 

Image result for i tonya

And let us not forget the true star of I, Tonya: Allison Janney's crimson bellied conure!

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

HE'S A DRIP! HE'S A KILLER! HE'S TREACHEROUS! HE'S CHARMING!

He's the sensational SKIPPY HOMEIER!  :D

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Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein, 1938)

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Soviet propaganda preparing the Russians to fight the Germans on the eve of WWII. Nevertheless, one of the classics of world cinema. Those Teutonic Knights throw babies in a fire, and they are the scariest bastards ever to charge across a frozen lake of ice. That legendary Sergei Prokofiev score. Sublime for over an hour, then a bit campy after that, in the Wolfenstein everyone-likes-to-shoot-Nazis-in-a-barrel kinda way.

You can see how this has been copied to death by so many movies since then, but never equaled, as the Battle On The Ice may be the greatest battle scene in movie history.

Overall, pretty darn good work of art.

 

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Trocadero (1944) - Musical drama from Republic Pictures and director William Nigh. When Tony Rocadaro (Charles Calvert) is killed in an accident, his two foster kids Judy (Rosemary Lane) and Johnny (Johnny Edwards) struggle to keep his nightclub the Trocadero open in his honor, despite various financial troubles and outside efforts to take over the joint. Also featuring Ralph Morgan, Sheldon Leonard, Dick Purcell, Marjorie Manners, Erskine Johnson, and Cliff Nazarro, Dave Fleischer, Bob Chester & His Orchestra, Gus Arnheim, the Stardusters, and the Three Radio Rogues as themselves.

This independently produced trifle is only of note for the various radio and club acts appearing and performing as themselves. Dave Fleischer, the noted animation director, shows up along with an animated character, so animation buffs may wish to take a look. Others won't find much of interest.   (5/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Tomorrow, the World! (1944) - Hysterical propaganda drama, based on a Pulitzer-prize winning (!!!) play, from United Artists and director Leslie Fenton. Fredric March stars as Mike Frame, a small-town American who is taking charge of an orphaned relative, 13-year-old German boy Emil (Skip Homeier). Mike, his sister Jessie (Agnes Moorehead), young cousin Pat (Joan Carroll), and Mike's fiancee Leona (Betty Field) welcome the boy into their home but are shocked and appalled by his Hitler Youth sensibilities, including vocal antisemitism, anti-American sentiments and a desire to continue the Nazi cause in any way possible. Emil's attitude naturally leads to trouble both at home and in school, with things coming to a violent conclusion. Also featuring Edit Angold, and Rudy Wissler.

I called this hysterical and it is, in both senses of the word. Emil is depicted as such an extreme exaggerated caricature that he becomes an object of unintended hilarity. Homeier, who had originated the role on Broadway and was making his film debut here, overplays it to the hilt. The situations are often absurd, the character decisions ludicrous, and the last half hour is just one bizarre moment after another, including attempted murders, brutal fist-fights among children, and one of the more unconvincing sappy endings in some time. There's no way that I'd call this a good movie in the conventional sense, but as a bad movie I found it very amusing.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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OMG! Poor little Skippy Homeier as a Nazi youth! I feel for him each time this film is on. It possibly destroyed his future career but he is so impressive in the role. I always enjoy him in his later and many other television roles, on things like "Science Fiction Theatre" but this part remains his best known role possibly. Fab review of the film!

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

HE'S A DRIP! HE'S A KILLER! HE'S TREACHEROUS! HE'S CHARMING!

HE'S ALL THAT AND MORE!!!!!!

TODAY, MY HEART- TOMORROW THE WORLD

LOL. I saw part of this film on TCM once. Wish they'd run it again!

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3 minutes ago, Hibi said:

LOL. I saw part of this film on TCM once. Wish they'd run it again!

Will definitely send out an alert if I see if on the schedule, but it was just on 3-4 weeks (?) ago, so i wouldn't count on seeing it again soon.

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23 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Will definitely send out an alert if I see if on the schedule, but it was just on 3-4 weeks (?) ago, so i wouldn't count on seeing it again soon.

SH-T!!!!! Didnt realize that. :(  Thanks.

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Uncertain Glory (1944) - French-set war drama from Warner Brothers and director Raoul Walsh. After condemned murderer Jean Picard (Errol Flynn) escapes the guillotine during an air raid, Inspector Marcel Bonet (Paul Lukas) tracks him down and captures him, intent on taking him back to fulfill his death sentence. However, the occupying Germans have recently been beset by saboteurs, and in retaliation, they have arrested over a hundred local citizens and will execute them unless the saboteurs reveal themselves. Picard suggests that he turn himself in as the saboteur since he's a condemned man anyway, and therefore the innocent captives will be spared. Bonet reluctantly agrees, but whether or not the wily Picard means to go through with his ruse is uncertain. Also featuring Lucile Watson, Faye Emerson, Jean Sullivan, James Flavin, Douglass Dumbrille, Dennis Hoey, Odette Myrtil, Francis Pierlot, and Sheldon Leonard.

This is more of a low-key drama than the action spectacle I expected with Flynn in the lead and director Walsh at the helm. The movie keeps you guessing as to which way Flynn will go, as his character vacillates between fulfilling his promise and escaping with his life. This was one of the better roles that I've seen Paul Lukas in, a sort of then-modern Javert who struggles between his law-and-order duty and his patriotic sense in defeating the Germans. Lucile Watson gets a few good scenes as a local woman enraged over her son being taken prisoner by the Germans, and who is determined to get him back regardless of the moral cost.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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Voodoo Man (1944) - Incredibly silly horror tale from Monogram Pictures, producer Sam Katzman, and director William Beaudine. Young women have been disappearing in the countryside, so Hollywood screenwriter Ralph Dawson (Tod Andrews) is sent by his boss to investigate. Sure, that sounds reasonable. Anyway, he discovers a complex plot involving Nicholas (George Zucco), a voodoo priest masquerading as a helpful gas station owner who directs unsuspecting women into the clutches of mad scientist Dr. Marlowe (Bela Lugosi). Nicholas conducts voodoo ceremonies in order to drain the "life essence" from the captive women to revive Marlowe's dead wife Evelyn (Ellen Hall), all while giggling, simple-minded assistant Toby (John Carradine) plays the bongos. Also featuring Wanda McKay, Louise Currie, Terry Walker, Henry Hall, Dan White, and John Ince.

I'm not sure how I missed this ridiculous movie until now. The assemblage of Lugosi, Zucco and Carradine is worth the price of admission alone, and all three are at their ludicrous best. If I had to pick a fave here, though, it would be Carradine as the jaunty, cackling simpleton Toby, who takes care of the post-ceremony mindless zombie girls, who are kept stored in the basement. This is cheap, dumb, and poorly made, but it's also entertaining and memorable.    (4/10 or 7/10, depending on your preferences)

Source: Amazon Prime

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When Strangers Marry aka Betrayed (1944) - Low-budget suspense thriller from Monogram Pictures and director William Castle. Small town girl Mildred Baxter (Kim Hunter) travels to NYC to meet up with her husband Paul (Dean Jagger), a traveling businessman who she only knew for three days before marrying him. Mildred bumps into old flame Fred (Robert Mitchum) who offers to help her find Paul, who they learn is under suspicion for murder. Also featuring Neil Hamilton, Lou Lubin, Milton Kibbee, Dewey Robinson, Minerva Urecal, a photo of Byron Foulger, and Rhonda Fleming.

Castle manages a few nice stylish touches, although the script is a bit lacking, and the big twist is a bit too obvious. The performances are decent, with Mitchum asked to stretch more than in previous appearances. Look out for William Castle's cameo in a framed picture.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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I'll Be Seeing You (1944) 8/10

Looks like you guys have a 1944 thing going on here. Okay, I'll play too.

This sentimental favorite of mine captures the loneliness of two people who - besides their own serious problems - just don't fit into the bustling wartime image we often see of America in film during that time.The opening scene is in a busy train station. We quickly focus in on two travelers. She (Ginger Rogers as Mary Marshall) is uncomfortable when she tries first to buy a stick of gum and then a chocolate bar and is rebuffed by the sales clerk as though she had been asking to buy gold bullion at a five and dime. He (Joseph Cotten as Zachary Morgan) is uncomfortable because he wants to buy reading material and all that is available is full of news about the war and images that you can tell make him squeamish.

Zach is suffering from what would be called PTSD today due to battle fatigue, and he's ashamed of that fact, afraid of winding up like the shell-shocked WWI soldier he knew as a boy.

Mary is a convict out on Christmas furlough, although what she is serving time for will probably be a shock to modern sensibilities - I know it was for me. She is also ashamed - understandably perhaps for being a convict, not so understandably for what she did to become one. I'll let you watch the movie and see what I'm talking about here.

Against this backdrop of people who feel badly for the positions they are in due to social mores of the 1940's - soldiers are always brave and good girls never get themselves into the position Mary got herself into, these two lonely people find each other and connect. At first Zach lies to Mary about his situation, but then tells her the truth. Mary chooses to keep the truth from Zach, partly because she loves him and doesn't want to lose him, but mainly because her company is making him well - he says her self-confidence is giving him confidence - and she doesn't want to set back his recovery.

Mary is staying with her aunt, uncle, and cousin during the holidays, and this warm family setting has both of them healing just a bit. Shirley Temple plays the cousin that is too young to know why Mary is in prison or wear lipstick according to her parents, but is apparently old enough to go out unchaperoned with a Lieutenant on leave who is probably five years older than she! Spring Byington plays the aunt who is supportive overall but still drops phrases from time to time that leave you wondering about the overall wisdom of her advise. For example, she keeps telling Mary to settle for second best and pretend it's first best - that's what she did!. Rather wacky advice by today's standards, but maybe mainstream feelings for people who married during the roaring twenties, and then raised a family during the depression and world war.

I'm rather surprised this hasn't become more of a Christmas standard, because even though in many ways it is a unique snapshot in time, the story of two lonely people finding each other in a world that would probably judge them severely if they were open about their problems is universal.

Source: Kino Classics DVD

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The Golden Idol (1954). Tenth of the 12 Bomba movies. It opens in the village of an Arab prince, who has invited a disreputable white hunter, whom he wants to hire to steal the eponymous statue. The Arab had already stolen it, and killed the proper (black) tribal owner, but Bomba got it back, so that the needy tribe could sell it to improve life in their village. (By way of entertainment, the Arab stages a fight between a tiger from Sumatra and a warthog from  Ceylon. I don't know why African wildlife is not sufficient for these people).

Because there are Arabs, there is lots of Efendi-ing and rather less Bwana-ing in this film. However, many of the characters say "Ungawa." The good guys include, as usual, Leonard Mudie and Smoki Whitfield, as well as the necessary woman, who fancies Bomba, but, after all the evil characters are dispensed with, Bomba leaves without saying goodbye. This is one of the weaker films in the series, partly because so much of it takes place at night, in the jungle. Kimbbo the Chimp gives a particularly good performance in this film.

 

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You Made Me Love You (1933)

Sprightly musical comedy from Estree Studios in London. The plot, a variation on Taming of the Shrew, is a trifle, dealing with the marriage between a little man (Stanley Lupino) who falls head over heels in love on first sight (at a traffic jam) with a spoiled, temperamental heiress (Thelma Todd), she agreeing to marry him because she is fooled into believing that her family is in debt to him. Again, it's not the story so much as the fast pace of this affair, combined with the engaging performances of the two leads, that makes the film worth viewing.

The film has a silly, engaging song ("What's Her Name" which Lupino creates after first spotting Todd), a lot of slapstick and a fast edited climax with pretty well every bit of visible furniture in existence getting smashed.

Todd traveled to England to make this film, her only production made outside America. She is more than up to the demands of her role, alternately fiery and occasionally sweet (when she wants to get something). The actress would later call this the most enjoyable film she ever made.

Lupino, a music hall veteran, dancer, comedian and writer, is a high energy performer, adept not only at fast dialogue but lots of physical pratfalls, as well. He's a funny looking little guy, difficult not to like, and most engaging to watch in this film. He's little remembered today (though some might know him as the father of actress Ida, who would be a friend of Todd's) but he more than matches up to the light hearted musical comedy talents of Todd.

And at a little under 68 minutes, You Made Me Love You does not overstay its welcome.

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2.5 out of 4

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