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I Just Watched...

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5 minutes ago, jimmymac71 said:

Not sure what this thread is exactly for.

It's self-explanatory. It's for people to discuss a movie that they just watched. Write about what you just watched, or comment on something someone else said that they watched. Talk about them in as much or as little depth as you feel, although I try to avoid spoilers after getting more than a couple reprimands. Your comments on the poor sound of what you just watched (or are still watching) are fine. 

Like most threads, especially those that stick around a while, things will go off on tangents occasionally.

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Hi-De-Ho (1947) - Musical "race picture" from All-American and director Josh Binney. Cab Calloway stars as Cab Calloway, a singer and bandleader who hopes to get his act a headlining gig at the new nightclub in town. His demure manager Nettie (Ida James) is also his love interest, much the anger of "loose woman" Minnie (Jeni Le Gon) who wants Cab all to herself. Also featuring William Campbell, Virginia Girvin, George Wiltshire, James Dunmore, Augustus Smith, and Leonard Rogers.

The threadbare plot is nearly as bad as the acting, and based on that, the film would be a complete failure. But the point here is the music, and there's lots of it. The majority of the film consists of performances by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, as well as other singing and dancing acts, all in a nightclub setting. Any fans of Calloway will find this invaluable. Dancing by the Miller Brothers & Lois, as well as a raucous song by the Peters Sisters, are additional highlights.    (5/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

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Currently watching Wizard of Oz. Taking notice of sets, costumes, etc more in detail for the musicals course. As this was made in the height of the Great Depression, it really epitomizes the escapism and contrast between reality and fantasy. I love the hopeful vibe you are left with whenever you watch it. 

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If Winter Comes (1947) - Melodrama from MGM and director Victor Saville. Set in a small English town just before the beginning of WW2, the story follows the trials and tribulations of Mark Sabre (Walter Pidgeon), a good, decent man married to the shrewish Mabel (Angela Lansbury). He's secretly in love with the also-married Nona Tybar (Deborah Kerr), but both are hesitant to make a move forward. When the war breaks out, Mark discovers that young Effie Bright (Janet Leigh) is pregnant, and the father is a mystery that she won't divulge. Forced out onto the streets by her religious father, Mark agrees to take Effie into his home, much to the rage of Mabel, and the condemnation of his fellow townsfolk. Also featuring May Whitty, Binnie Barnes, Reginald Owen, John Abbott, Rene Ray, Virginia Keiley, Rhys Williams, Dennis Hoey, Halliwell Hobbes, Hugh French, Nicholas Joy, Ian Wolfe, Maila Nurmi, and James Wethered.

The overstuffed script reveals the material's literary roots, with perhaps one or two too many minor characters for the 90+ minute running time. I get the feeling this was supposed to be a an Oscar contender for Walter Pidgeon, but he's not quite up to challenge, faltering in the film's last act with some amateurish acting. 19-year-old Janet Leigh, in only her second film, seems to have had trouble with her British accent as much of her dialogue is noticeably looped. Poor Angela Lansbury was only 22, and she auditioned for the role Leigh got, but was instead cast as the disagreeable wife of 50-year-old Pidgeon. Kerr often seems like an afterthought, a victim of the script trying to do too much. The clash of old morals mixed with small-minded people and small-town gossip would make this a good addition to a triple bill including My Reputation and Cass Timberlane.   (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

It's self-explanatory. It's for people to discuss a movie that they just watched. Write about what you just watched, or comment on something someone else said that they watched. Talk about them in as much or as little depth as you feel, although I try to avoid spoilers after getting more than a couple reprimands. Your comments on the poor sound of what you just watched (or are still watching) are fine. 

Like most threads, especially those that stick around a while, things will go off on tangents occasionally.

Thanks. So many people here are helpful. There are times I get totally frustrated with modern day TV audio. I find TCM less capable of audio leveling. I am vision impaired, which makes TV frustrating. My mom is hearing impaired, which also makes TV frustrating. I could dump TCM and spend that money of DVDs, which I could process through a computer using VLC media player, and deal better with the audio. The good news is, I would purchase DVDs from the TCM shop, as their prices are nice. For 10 years, I've been dealing with digital TV and all that doesn't work as well as before. No one can give me ideas or answers. In time, I will try FilmStruck, but Mom really doesn't need another new technology to figure out. She doesn't really get the DVD machine.

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It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) - Lighthearted musical romance from MGM and director Richard Whorf. Shy singer Danny Miller (Frank Sinatra) musters out of the army and returns home to Brooklyn. He ends up rooming with school janitor Nick (Jimmy Durante), while romancing music teacher Anne (Kathryn Grayson). A love triangle forms when Danny's acquaintance Jamie (Peter Lawford) comes over from England in order to try his hand in the music business. Also featuring Gloria Grahame, Marcy McGuire, Aubrey Mather, Tamara Shayne, Bobby Long, Lumsden Hare, and William Roy. 

There's a lot of music, and fans of early Sinatra will find much to enjoy. He attempts a semi-operatic duet with Grayson which was ill-advised. Grayson naturally gets a showcase operatic number late in the film during which the momentum screeches to a halt. Durante is amusing, and gets a couple of duets with Frank. Gloria Grahame makes the most of her small role as an army nurse at the film's start.   (6/10)

Source: Warner DVD.

220px-It_Happened_in_Brooklyn_FilmPoster

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Lawrence said: Any fans of Calloway will find this invaluable. Dancing by the Miller Brothers & Lois, as well as a raucous song by the Peters Sisters, are additional highlights.

Any chance to see Calloway perform is pure gold for me. Like Garland, there is no such thing as a "bad" performance.

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When I saw that picture posted, I thought that was Paulette Goddard, not Janet Leigh- Lookalikes! Why did Lansbury always get the snotty girl roles? (like Shelly Winters)

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The Late George Apley (1947) - Comedy-drama from 20th Century Fox and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Ronald Colman stars as George Apley, an uptight traditionalist in Boston circa 1912. He rails against the march of progress, be it electric signs, men outdoors without coats on, or his two children John (Richard Ney) and Eleanor (Peggy Cummins) contemplating marrying people not from Boston. Oh, the horror! Also featuring Vanessa Brown, Richard Haydn, Charles Russell, Percy Waram, Mildred Natwick, Edna Best, Nydia Westman, and Diana Douglas.

Colman has always had a slight air of upper-crust stuffiness to his cultured charm, and that's thoroughly exploited and accentuated in this rather drab comedy. His Apley has no apparent redeeming qualities, is insufferable, devoid of any of Colman's usual charm, and spending 90 minutes with him was a bit of a chore. None of the rest of the cast make things more tolerable, either, including Haydn, one of the crown princes of cinematic priggery. I know this movie has its fans, but I'm not one of them. As a comedy, it isn't funny, and as a drama, it failed to move me in the slightest.  (5/10)

Source: TCM.

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Les Maudits aka The Damned (1947) - French war drama from Gaumont and director Rene Clement. In the last days of WW2, a German u-boat is carrying a diverse group of "important" men and women from Oslo to South America. There are German military officials, an SS commander, French and Italian collaborators, as well as the u-boat's full crew. When a shipboard accident forces them to venture into France, the Nazis take Dr. Guilbert (Henri Vidal) prisoner and bring him on board for the remainder of the voyage. Acutely aware that he will be killed as soon as he is no longer useful, Dr. Guilbert tries to find a means of escape, while the various worries and paranoia of the ship's compliment see them begin to destroy each other and themselves. Also featuring Marcel Dallo, Florence Marly, Fosco Giachetti, Paul Bernard, Jo Dest, Michel Auclair, Anne Campion, Andreas von Halberstadt, and Jean Didier.

Some of this film is very rough around the edges, with uneven performances, out of focus cinematography, and sloppy editing. Other scenes are very well executed, though, such as lengthy tracking shots through the bowels of the u-boat. I was unfamiliar with the cast, so at times they tended to blend together based on appearance. Jo Dest is very despicable as the SS chief, and Michael Auclair is memorable as his killer flunky.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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On 6/5/2018 at 11:16 PM, LawrenceA said:

Desperate (1947) - "B" crime drama from RKO and director Anthony Mann. A hapless truck driver named Steve (Steve Brodie) gets unwittingly caught up in a robbery that leads to a cop's death and the arrest of the little brother of chief crook Walt Radak (Raymond Burr). Radak wants revenge on Steve for his brother's situation, and the gangster threatens Steve's pregnant wife Anne (Audrey Long). Steve and Anne hit the road to try and escape, and their circumstances continue to get worse. Also featuring Jason Robards Sr., Douglas Fowley, William Challee, Freddie Steele, Lee Frederick, Paul E. Burns, Ilka Gruning, Cy Kendall, Robert Clarke, and Dick Elliott.

There are a lot of rough edges on this crime picture, but I liked it anyway. The first half of the story could have been subtitled "A series of increasingly poor decision making" on the part of Steve. Things settle down for the second half, where things become a bit more brooding and almost nihilistic before snapping out of it. Brodie and Long are both likable leads, even if they aren't the most gifted actors. Burr is terrific as the menacing brute Radak, even before he packed on the pounds as Perry Mason. And this may be the best role that I've seen Jason Robards Sr. in, after a career stretching way back into the silents. He plays the cold-blooded, cynical police detective on the case with just the right angle to his smirk. There are a lot of reprehensible characters filling out the background, from Douglas Fowley as an oily P.I., to Cy Kendall as a loathsome used car salesman.   (7/10)

Source: Warner DVD.

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It's got some excellent cinematography by George E. Diskant (They Live by Night (1948), On Dangerous Ground (1951), The Narrow Margin (1952)) also

 

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Just now, cigarjoe said:

It's got some excellent cinematography by George E. Diskant (They Live by Night (1948), On Dangerous Ground (1951), The Narrow Margin (1952)) also

Yes, that scene was outstanding, visually. 

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Magic Town (1947) - Comedy-drama from RKO, writer-producer Robert Riskin, and director William Wellman. James Stewart stars as Rip Smith, a leading pioneer in the new sciences of public polling and demography. He discovers a small town that serves as a microcosm of the US, with the same percentages of men to women, farmers to shop-keepers, Democrats to Republicans, etc. etc. This means that Rip and his two associates Ike (Ned Sparks) and Mr. Twiddle (Donald Meek) can survey this one town and get the same results as if they's polled the whole nation, saving companies vast amounts of time and money. However, to keep the townsfolk's answers honest, the trio of newcomers pose as insurance salesmen. Rip also falls for local gal Mary (Jane Wyman), but how will she and the others react when they learn the truth of why Rip's in town? Also featuring Kent Smith, Ann Doran, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, E.J. Ballantine, Ann Shoemaker, Harry Holman, Selmer Jackson, and Franklyn Farnum.

This was made during a time when the new advances in sociology, group psychology, and by extension Madison Avenue's advertising firms, were thought be on the pulse of the future of the nation. This kind of thinking could make for a thoughtful movie with the right script, but this isn't it. This is a traditional rom-com mixed with lukewarm social commentary and square citizenship lessons. Stewart and Wyman are both fine, as usual, and I liked seeing Ned Sparks, one of the busier character actors of the 1930's, acting wry and cynical again. This would be Sparks last film, as it would be for Harry Holman and Donald Meek, too. Wellman keeps things moving quickly enough, but no one would consider this one of the better films by anyone involved.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941)

Starring Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, William Demarest, & Eric Blore. 

McCrea stars as a movie director who is longing to make a new kind of film, and ultimately decides to step into a different set of shoes and live as a homeless man for a while to get some inspiration. Along the way, he meets Lake and she wants to follow him along on his journey (not a lot of women would do that, mind you). I enjoyed this; Preston Sturges' films are great, in my opinion. 

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Nora Prentiss (1947) - "Women's noir" from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. A married doctor (Kent Smith) has an affair with a nightclub singer (Ann Sheridan), causing him to lose it and make a lot of dumb decisions. Also featuring several other people.

I liked it.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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9 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Nora Prentiss (1947) - "Women's noir" from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. A married doctor (Kent Smith) has an affair with a nightclub singer (Ann Sheridan), causing him to lose it and make a lot of dumb decisions. Also featuring several other people.

I liked it.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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I believe that having an affair with Ann Sheridan would cause me to lose it and make a lot of dumb decisions.

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12 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Nora Prentiss (1947) - "Women's noir" from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. A married doctor (Kent Smith) has an affair with a nightclub singer (Ann Sheridan), causing him to lose it and make a lot of dumb decisions. Also featuring several other people.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I believe I just recently watched this for the first time, and felt the same way you did about. I enjoyed it, but I have to admit that the doctor really lost hold of his morals after meeting Nora. I was sitting there, silently rooting for him to make different choices, but to no avail. 

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WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950)

Starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill, Karl Malden.

I don't know if anyone can tell, but I've been really into film noir lately for some reason. Anyway, I watched about 70% of this one 5 years ago, and decided I might want to re-watch it (this time in its entirety). I like both Andrews and Tierney. I have seen the other noir they made together (Laura, 1944). I think Dana was perfect for the "hardboiled detective" sort of roles. The story was pretty good, the acting was good. Not a whole lot to say about this one, though. 

Image result for where the sidewalk ends 1950

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I found the "Living Stereo" short listed for September. It is playing prior to 8 PM Eastern tonight. I watched the short already on YouTube, and it is good. 

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The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947) - Period character-study drama from United Artists and screenwriter-director Albert Lewin. In late 19th-century Paris, former soldier Georges Duroy (George Sanders) is looking for ways to succeed in civilian life. He discovers a skill at manipulating women, and uses it to climb his way up the social and economic ladder, giving little regard to the heartbreak he leaves in his wake, which of course will come back to haunt him. Also featuring Ann Dvorak, Angela Lansbury, John Carradine, Warren William, Hugo Haas, Susan Douglas Rubes, Marie Wilson, Frances Dee, Katherine Emery, Richard Fraser, Lumsden Hare, C. Montague Shaw, and Albert Bassermann.

Sanders seems tailor-made for the role of a scoundrel, and he acquits himself well, even if he seems a bit too "healthy" in the early, starving-years scenes. The female cast is very good, with Lansbury and Dvorak the standouts. This was the final film role for Warren William, the great 1930's star who would die too young at age 53 in 1948.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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The answer to the question on the lobby card is a resounding NO!  :lol:

 

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Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947) - Japanese drama from Shochiku and director Yasujiro Ozu. Poor second-hand merchant O-Tane (Choko Iida) is put in a tough spot when her neighbors bring her a very young boy (Hohi Aoki) and ask her to take care of him. It seems the child was abandoned, and after searching for some time, no family for him could be found. O-Tane angrily agrees, but her grumpy exterior slowly softens as she spends more time with the quiet child. Also featuring Chishu Ryu, Reikichi Kawamura, Takeshi Sakamoto, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, and Eitaro Ozawa.

This was Ozu's first film after a 5 year break during WW2. It seems a warm return home, as his style is intact, and many of the same familiar Shochiku players return. Ozu regular Iida gets a spotlight role as the ornery old widow who slowly cottons to becoming a surrogate mother. The film is also of interest for its glimpse of post-war Japan, and the struggles and hardships of maintaining a life in the rubble left behind. My only complaint would that, at 71 minutes, it's a bit too short.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

 

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Reet, Petite and Gone (1947) - Another musical "race picture", this time from Astor Pictures and director William Forest Crouch. Louis Jordan stars as Louis Jarvis, a singer, saxophone player, and bandleader, much like Louis Jordan. The silly plot concerns the death of Jarvis' father, and the stipulation in his will that Jarvis marry a girl of certain physical measurements if he wishes to inherit his father's fortune. The father's shady attorney (Lorenzo Tucker) has altered the will, however, in order to trick Jarvis into marrying his secretary, who will then take all the money and run away with the attorney. Featuring June Richmond, Milton Woods, Bea Griffith, David Bethea, and Vanita Smythe.

Much like the Cab Calloway movie I watched earlier this week, the plot is ludicrous and beside the point. The draw here is seeing Jordan and his Tympany Five perform several songs, along with various guest singers like June Richmond and Pat Rainey. Jordan is considered the father of R&B, and the through-line from big band swing and jazz to rock and roll is evident in his quick tempo songs, often with slang-filled lyrics, such as the title track. Jordan was an early inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and this film is a good visual record of his talents.  (5/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

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Ride the Pink Horse (1947) - Excellent noir crime drama from Universal Pictures and director Robert Montgomery. Ex-solider Lucky Gagin (Robert Montgomery) arrives in the little southwestern town of San Pablo during a hectic fiesta weekend. He's come here seeking revenge against the man he holds responsible for his friend's death. But his quest may be derailed by one of the motley assortment of characters he meets: scheming federal agent Retz (Art Smith, spooky-eyed young Mexican girl Pilar (Wanda Hendrix), and boisterous carousel operator Pancho (Thomas Gomez), among others. Also featuring Fred Clark, Andrea King, Rita Conde, Iris Flores, Grandon Rhodes, Richard Gaines, and John Doucette.

Montgomery does a very good job in both the directing and acting departments. The film showcases several stylish flourishes, and maintains an evocative, "stranger in a strange land" aura of uncertainty and mild paranoia. His performance as the plainspoken Gagin is also a nice stretch from his usual smooth charmer. He's blunt, occasionally rude, maybe not the sharpest guy in the room, but cunning enough to be a threat to those he targets. The movie takes an unexpected turn in the last third which helps set it apart from the other crime pictures of the period, but in my opinion it weakened the resolution a bit. I liked Hendrix, and Gomez is affable in a character type he would go on to play several times in the future. Fred Clark, as a crime boss, and Art Smith as the fed, are unusual casting choices that work. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Gomez.   (7/10)

Other than a few that appear in films believed lost, this was the last Oscar nominated performance that I had not seen. So now I've seen all that are available to see since 1927 to this latest year's. It only took me 23 years to do it.

Source: Criterion DVD.

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On 6/8/2018 at 11:00 PM, LawrenceA said:

Nora Prentiss (1947) - "Women's noir" from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. A married doctor (Kent Smith) has an affair with a nightclub singer (Ann Sheridan), causing him to lose it and make a lot of dumb decisions. Also featuring several other people.

I liked it.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Nora-Poster2.jpg

GREAT ANN SHERIDAN POSTER!

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