speedracer5

I Just Watched...

14,752 posts in this topic

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN (1985)

Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, Shannen Doherty, Kristi Somers, Lee Montgomery, Ed Lauter, Jonathan Silverman. 

Janey (Parker) moves with her family to Chicago in the middle of high school, and she is simultaneously nervous and excited. She is nervous because she doesn't have any friends, and high school as the new kid can be quite daunting, and she is excited because Chicago is where the popular tv show, "Dance TV" is filmed. Janey has been taking dance lessons for years, and her one goal is to be on the show. She meets Lynne (Hunt) on the first day of school, and the two of them come up with a plan to audition for the show. They audition for the show, and the rest of the movie follows their journey through the audition, and dealing with mean, rich people.

Related image

Despite being very predictable at times, this one was entertaining enough.  

Shannen Doherty was very likable in this. I've seen her in "Little House on the Prairie," "Charmed," and "Heathers" (1988), and I've liked her in all of those.

Image result for girls just wanna have fun 1985On another note, Helen Hunt was about 21/22 years old in this movie, which is very evident by her speaking voice, but otherwise, she did a good job of behaving like a high schooler. 

Related image

Dialogue: 0.5/1 

Story: 0.25/1 

Acting: 0.5/1 

Effects/Cinematography: 0/1 

Music/Score: 0.25/1 

Enjoyment: 0.75/1

Score: 2.25/6  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/31/2018 at 6:07 PM, speedracer5 said:

As much as I love William Holden and Picnic, I would be curious to see how Meeker did in the Hal Carter role.  He would be a little closer in age than Holden, but not by much.

This whole time, I got mixed up, and thought everyone was talking about Donald Meek. And I was wondering why on Earth all of you would want him to play the lead in Picnic. ?

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NickAndNora34 said:

This whole time, I got mixed up, and thought everyone was talking about Donald Meek. And I was wondering why on Earth all of you would want him to play the lead in Picnic. ?

Lol.  While I've heard the name, I googled Donald Meek so I could place him.  Lol! He definitely doesn't have the eye candy factor that William Holden or Ralph Meeker would bring to the role.  Donald Meek reminds me of Joe E. Brown for whatever reason.  Brown also does not lend eye candy to a film. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) 

Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton (the mayor from Jaws). 

Newly married George and Kathy Lutz move into an old and interesting house with their 3 young kids (two boys and a girl) and their dog, Harry. Despite hearing that the last inhabitants had all gotten murdered, they decide to move in anyway, and just have a priest bless the house. The priest shows up and becomes violently ill, and quickly leaves the property, never to return (so the house doesn't get blessed after all). Strange things start to happen in the house, and wife Kathy notices how irrational her husband George is behaving

I'd watched part of My Amityville Horror (2012), the documentary about grown-up son Danny Lutz--one of the real-life sons who doesn't seem to be in the film--who still stubbornly claims the events were "real" and traumatized him into dysfunctionality for life, even though it's been pretty well and thoroughly busted by now, and from the results we see, it was a pretty messed-up family to begin with.  

The dramatic subplot in the '79 movie has Brolin struggling to adjust to being a new stepfather to someone else's kids, and we're not supposed to know whether it's dysfunctional-family pressure, or sinister forces making him act irrationally, but in hindsight, we have the feeling the book and movie gave us the tip of the iceberg for just how messed-up.  The other events in the movie seem like what was accused in the book of being just standard paranormal incidents embellished for tabloid value, but when we get the plot point about Brolin unable to find the money for his son's wedding caterer--sinister forces must have hidden it!!--it suddenly becomes very hard to take seriously at face value without psychoanalyzing for deeper motives behind writing the book.  

21 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Catch-22 (1970) Looks beautiful, a satire and anti war film much like MASH, didn't like it then all that much, it's watchable but a bit too much off the wall for its own good. 6/10 source Kanopy. 

I'm not fond of "The Graduate", either, but Catch-22 was the movie that officially put me off late-60's Mike Nichols satire for good--The late-60's/early-70's counterculture was just starting to discover Angry Satire, and while Robert Altman could turn it into a "M*A*S*H", Nichols in most of his "rebellious" 60's dramedies was just too counter-cultural to be subtle.  (And yes, even the Mad Magazine satire had Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould showing up at the end saying "We did the crazy-war bit first!")

I can take Vietnam-era war satire, but when we see hospital nurses discussing recipes between themselves while treating a burn patient, you realize that this stuff must have been bold and hilarious back when the Smothers Brothers were being kicked off the TV networks. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I like Ted Danson; I've started watching "Cheers" on Netflix for the first time (I'm now on Season 4), and I have to say he's quite adept at comedy. I don't believe I've ever seen anything of Selleck's, and I had never even heard of Steve Guttenberg until yesterday. 

You're not the only one unfamiliar with them....I only know Danson from watching CHEERS first run (I was in high school, I think)

I'm not sure I understand if you liked the movie or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ampersand said:

Certainly not Dark Hazard (1934) or Little Caesar (1931) with Edward G. Robinson as my TV said it would, instead it was Grand Slam (1933) followed by In Caliente (1935).

Did enjoy how they were all from the 30s and so close together in years and while I didn't get Edward G Robinson and missed most of In Caliente, Grand Slam was surprisingly a slam. Never knew a bridge movie could be this good because I don't know a lick of bridge apart from there being four players, a deck of cards and collusion or some kind of teamwork between 2 players and it's a game old ladies play on Sunday afternoons.

What I learned is that bridge was huge in America way back and these games were as intense and hotly watched as some games played today (Kinda reminded me of Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis and the story about Hearts and the Vietnam War). And as it went on, I became more engaged with it, even cheering on in the climatic showdown between the bridge 800 lb giant gorilla and the unknown.

I probably wouldn't remember it down the line but this is the bridge movie for the ages.

7.5/10, docked 0.5 because I wanted some Edward G. Robinson.

DAMN!

about a year ago, i started work on a screenplay in which the game of Bridge (amongst old ladies no less!) is a pretty significant plot point and, as such, had to learn the basics of it.

i actually found myself really enjoying it quite a bit and from time to time will play AN INTERNET VERSION which is available on a game site.

there are many fascinating things about the game of bridge, not the least of which is that the 48 cards in the deck are divided four ways between two sets of players and as such- sometimes The Lord hands you the ability to THRASH YOUR OPPONENT BECAUSE YOU HAVE BY GLORIOUS CHANCE BEEN HANDED A REALLY AWESOME SUIT OF CARDS, it's not impossible to have four kings or four aces (or four kings and four aces) when you're getting 1/4 of the cards in the deck....you can even have (on rare occasion) EVERY SINGLE CARD OF ONE SUIT, then combine that with what your partner has and you can MURDER your opponents in what is known as a GRAND SLAM- ie winning every possible trick in a hand while they can do NOTHING ABOUT IT BUT WATCH AND WEEP (it's like being check-mated twelve times in a row, or for those of you with older siblings, four minutes straight of playing "why are you hitting yourself?")

there are few other games with such a long, painful, BRUTAL way to lose or win as bridge. it is a game to crush the very soul of one's opponents, and i know now why it is a big favorite of my Mother's.

THUSLY I AM REALLY REALLY REAAAALLY SORRY I MISSED THIS ONE! I had no idea a major motion picture about bridge had been made, and with EDDIE G no less!!!!!!!!!!!!

(great review by the way)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in re: MIKE NICHOLS' CATCH 22

We read the book in senior AP English class in high school and we pretty much unanimously loved it.

Then our teacher showed us the movie and at ALAN ARKIN'S line rendering of "I'm the bombadier" [which makes Kevin Coster's "my boat" line from WATERWORLD seem like Pacino at 11] we broke out in laughter and the teacher turned it off.

it's so bad.

however, for the rest of the year it became an in-joke for us to suddenly say 'I'm the bombadier" in the middle of a silent spot in conversation in the flattest, most atonal, unemotional way possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio all'italiana) (1964) Directed by Vittorio de Sica

1JBl7k8.jpg

Winner of a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film. 8/10 Source Kanopy.

aHEM.

No one's going for the obvious here?

Dargo? SCSU? You guys okay?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

aHEM.

No one's going for the obvious here?

Dargo? SCSU? You guys okay?

Yeah, the film should have been awarded two Golden Globes.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

Yeah, the film should have been awarded two Golden Globes.

There we go. The world is back on its axis.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Panic in the Streets (1950).  There’s a heightened sense of realism to this film, directed by Elia Kazan, due to the on-location shooting (New Orleans), utilitarian production design, and the urgency of the performances.  The consequences could not be direr: A police detective and military doctor race against time to prevent a pandemic, as one unsuspecting crook has been infected by pneumatic plague, a form of bubonic plague.  Jack Palance, billed as Walter Jack Palance, plays B*l*a*c*k*i*e, a mob kingpin wannabe, who thinks his dying underling is holding out on him. Little does he know. B*l*a*c*k*i*e has a hair trigger temper, killing a man over a card game.  Richard Widmark as the dedicated doctor and Paul Douglas as the pragmatic cop complement each other quite well.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Panic in the Streets (1950).  There’s a heightened sense of realism to this film, directed by Elia Kazan, due to the on-location shooting (New Orleans), utilitarian production design, and the urgency of the performances.  The consequences could not be direr: A police detective and military doctor race against time to prevent a pandemic, as one unsuspecting crook has been infected by pneumatic plague, a form of bubonic plague.  Jack Palance, billed as Walter Jack Palance, plays B*l*a*c*k*i*e, a mob kingpin wannabe, who thinks his dying underling is holding out on him. Little does he know. B*l*a*c*k*i*e has a hair trigger temper, killing a man over a card game.  Richard Widmark as the dedicated doctor and Paul Douglas as the pragmatic cop complement each other quite well.

ah, I was thinking it must be "b l a c k i e"

the autocensor, He is a funny one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

ah, I was thinking it must be "b l a c k i e"

the autocensor, He is a funny one.

Yes, it would be nice for him to take a nap once and a while.  BTW, I like your spelling better.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was lucky to catch HEAT LIGHTNING (1934) yesterday evening. it's sort of like THE PETRIFIED FOREST meets THE FACTS OF LIFE (the TV show)

MV5BMjg2OTI2ODI2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE4

one of the last of the Precodes to get in under the limbo line, it is a highly sexually charged film, the climax revolved around two sisters giving in and sleeping with two men- both of whom turn out to be real heels. ANN DVORAK is the younger sister, and it's surprising how YOUNG and innocent she appears- this on the heels of SCARFACE and THREE ON A MATCH; ALINE MACMAHON plays her older sister, a dowdy mechanic with a past- and the two paired wonderfully, making a very believable onscreen pair of siblings.

dvorak-on-phone.jpg?w=678

MACMAHON was not a natural beauty (she resembled AGNES MOOREHEAD quite a bit), but she nails the part and comes across as highly sexual, earthy and believable- a subtler American world-wearier ANNA MAGNINI, if you will. She has some stunning scenes near  the end of this very brief (63 minutes) film.

aline-after-the-murder.jpg

some great black and white photography and the print they showed was pristine- i especially enjoyed the scenes of a Mexican family in a jalopy on the way to a fiesta camping amongst the saguaros as the heat lightning flashed in the black and white sky.

I have the feeling the script for this 63 minute long film was 120 pages, but the actors just talked that fast. GOD I LOVE WARNER'S PRECODES!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Fabulous Suzanne (1946)--Pleasant rom/com B from Republic with Barbara Britton in the title role.  Britton works for her fiance, William Henry, at his small diner.  Britton has a soft heart and a knack of picking winners at the track using her lucky hat pin..both qualities change her life.  She always insists that a shabby looking patron eat, offering to pay his bill, and when he dies suddenly, it turns out he wasn't so shabby..he leaves her several thousand dollars.  She's upset that Henry won't let her pay for the bigger diner he craves, and decides to head to the city, where she uses her hat pin trick to pick stocks.  Her staid stockbroker, Rudy Vallee, tries to dissuade her, but she keeps getting richer, and along the way uptight Valee rationally decides he loves her.  His business partners, ladies-man brother Richard Denning and laid-back father Otto Kruger, also find Britton's charms irresistible, so the whole family is pursuing her.  Britton denies she still has feelings for Henry, but arranges some of her money to be sent to him, disguised as an inheritance from his aunt.  She visits his new eatery, only to find another waitress from the past, Veda Ann Borg, bragging that she's the new woman in his life now.  The events pertaining to her love life turn madcap, and both Valee and Denning are grooms waiting for the missing bride.  Sure, you know how things are going to turn out, but it's a fun ride getting there.  Britton, mostly forgotten today, really shines in the role..and Vallee is always well cast as a stiff fellow ("Stocks and blondes don't mix").  Enjoyable watch..a 7.  source: rarefilmm.com.

As a side note:  this source was somewhat stagnant for months, but lately, they've been adding to it like crazy.  Unfortunately, the index hasn't been updated since August, but if you start at http://rarefilmm.com/ you'll find over 30 pages that have been added since then (that aren't included in the index)..all genres, including some tv movies.                           Related image

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THREE MEN AND A BABY (1987) Score: 2/6*

I like Ted Danson; I've started watching "Cheers" on Netflix for the first time (I'm now on Season 4), and I have to say he's quite adept at comedy. I don't believe I've ever seen anything of Selleck's, and I had never even heard of Steve Guttenberg until yesterday. 

10 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

You're not the only one unfamiliar with them....I only know Danson from watching CHEERS first run (I was in high school, I think)

If she's just started watching "Cheers", I guess that can excuse my child-of-the-80's reaction at "...NEVER HEARD of Tom Selleck or Steve Guttenberg?? 😱 "


Selleck, of course, was the real Magnum, P.I., not that shoddy pretender now airing on network nostalgia reboots--And while Steve Guttenberg's career has since fallen a bit from his high of "Cocoon", I'm hoping the "Heard of him yesterday" came from either the original Short Circuit or Police Academy, both "orphans" now airing on the Usual Streaming Suspects (including Vudu Free Movies On Us).  Seriously, don't judge the first Police Academy by the crimes of its offspring, the 1984 original is one of the great screwball comedies of the decade, and yes, Guttenberg is hilarious in it.  :D 

10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

DAMN!

about a year ago, i started work on a screenplay in which the game of Bridge (amongst old ladies no less!) is a pretty significant plot point and, as such, had to learn the basics of it.

I still have no idea of it, apart from the usual excuse for 50's-60's sitcom characters to get together for no other reason, or from Chico & Harpo's version:

(Watch Margaret Dumont's reaction to Harpo, forever destroying the myth that Margaret "didn't get the jokes"...)

I gather it's something like a combination of four-hand Hearts and Liar's Dice, only with more wild suits, more competitive, and score-bidding options?  I remember when they used to have tip columns in newspapers, next to the comic strips, asking "How should you play this hand?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i was lucky to catch HEAT LIGHTNING (1934) yesterday evening. it's sort of like THE PETRIFIED FOREST meets THE FACTS OF LIFE (the TV show)

MV5BMjg2OTI2ODI2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE4

one of the last of the Precodes to get in under the limbo line, it is a highly sexually charged film, the climax revolved around two sisters giving in and sleeping with two men- both of whom turn out to be real heels. ANN DVORAK is the younger sister, and it's surprising how YOUNG and innocent she appears- this on the heels of SCARFACE and THREE ON A MATCH; ALINE MACMAHON plays her older sister, a dowdy mechanic with a past- and the two paired wonderfully, making a very believable onscreen pair of siblings.

dvorak-on-phone.jpg?w=678

MACMAHON was not a natural beauty (she resembled AGNES MOOREHEAD quite a bit), but she nails the part and comes across as highly sexual, earthy and believable- a subtler American world-wearier ANNA MAGNINI, if you will. She has some stunning scenes near  the end of this very brief (63 minutes) film.

aline-after-the-murder.jpg

some great black and white photography and the print they showed was pristine- i especially enjoyed the scenes of a Mexican family in a jalopy on the way to a fiesta camping amongst the saguaros as the heat lightning flashed in the black and white sky.

I have the feeling the script for this 63 minute long film was 120 pages, but the actors just talked that fast. GOD I LOVE WARNER'S PRECODES!

So glad you got to see Heat Lightning. Mervyn LeRoy's 1930s WB films are usually good, and I'm very fond of this one. I also loved Ruth Donnelly and Glenda Farrell as the two dizzy dames who just got divorces in Reno. You even get Jane Darwell as one of the passing tourists. Aline MacMahon seems very butch in the early part of the film, then convincingly feminine when Preston Foster returns to her life. For once she gets a starring role, and she knows just what to do with it.

And, of course, the key point that you made, Lorna: more story than today's two-and-a-half-hour snoozefests, yet it doesn't seem rushed.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Oklahoman" - Francis D. Lyon - 1957 -

It's an unusally "dignfied" western in which an aging doctor (Joel McCrea) tries to negotiate a balancing act between a rapacious rancher (Brad Dexter) who discovers oil on an Indian's land, which was given to him by the government and the Indian himself (Michael Pate) whose daughter (Gloria Talbott) works for the doctor and is in love with him.

It deliberately avoids the melodrama that is inherent in the plot and instead insists on the decency of one man to achieve a nearly impossible solution.

It does include the shooting death of one of the principals - but such was often the way in the Old West.

The film is anchored beautifully by the presence and performance of Joel McCrea.

Peter Votrian of "Crime in the Streets" fame plays Michael Pate's son and Gloria Talbott's brother.

  3At9miJNY3FvjZHNSdsG8Q6bMfr.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, EricJ said:

If she's just started watching "Cheers", I guess that can excuse my child-of-the-80's reaction at "...NEVER HEARD of Tom Selleck or Steve Guttenberg?? 😱 "


Selleck, of course, was the real Magnum, P.I., not that shoddy pretender now airing on network nostalgia reboots--And while Steve Guttenberg's career has since fallen a bit from his high of "Cocoon", I'm hoping the "Heard of him yesterday" came from either the original Short Circuit or Police Academy, both "orphans" now airing on the Usual Streaming Suspects (including Vudu Free Movies On Us).  Seriously, don't judge the first Police Academy by the crimes of its offspring, the 1984 original is one of the great screwball comedies of the decade, and yes, Guttenberg is hilarious in it. 

 

If you look back on my original post, I never said that I haven't heard of Tom Selleck. I have. I just can't recall ever seeing any of his work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

You're not the only one unfamiliar with them....I only know Danson from watching CHEERS first run (I was in high school, I think)

I'm not sure I understand if you liked the movie or not.

It was enjoyable enough. Some of my posts may not be overly cohesive depending on when I'm actually writing them/if I'm tired haha, sorry about that :) It wasn't anything special, but I managed to watch the entire thing through. Which sometimes doesn't happen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Night Stalker (1972) Twilight Zone Neo Noir

"It Couldn't happen here."

the-night-stalker-dvd-cover.jpg

Dan Curtis's (the producer of Dark Shadows) next project after the two films based on the soap, was The Night Stalker (1971) the tale of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) Noir-ish newspaperman as de facto detective, tracking down a series of bizarre serial killer murders in Las Vegas. The bodies, all women, have their throats ripped out and are completely drained of blood. When Kolchack suggests to the police and the mayor of Las Vegas that they could be dealing with a vampire he's laughed at. For Noir cinematic memory no less than ten of the cast appeared in Classic Film Noir. Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Charles McGraw, Kent Smith, Elisha Cook Jr., Stanley Adams, Virginia Gregg and Barry Atwater as Janos Skorzeny.

The film is carried masterfully by Darren McGavin. McGavin did 9 films starting in 1945 then a TV show Crime Photographer TV 51-2, then mostly guest parts until he played Louie the drug pusher in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), a couple more films including another noir The Case Against Brooklyn (1958), Then McGavin played Mike Hammer in the first TV series version that overlapped with another series Riverboat, then he did another Private Eye pilot TV called, The Outsider (1967), he played an ex-con private eye working the City Of Angels.

Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, adapted from the novel by Jeff Rice The Kolchak Papers by Richard Matheson (writer The Beat Generation (1959), Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), The Legend of Hell House (1973), and produced by Dan Curtis. The Night Stalker became ABC's highest rated original TV movie, it did so well it was actually released overseas as a theatrical movie and inspired a sequel TV movie titled The Night Strangler.

The cinematography was by Michel Hugo and music was by Bob Cobert.

Carl Kolchak is a pushy, eccentric, cynical reporter formerly from New York City who wears an out of style seersucker suit white loafers and a straw pork pie hat. He carries by a shoulder strap a Sony cassette recorder and totes either a Rollei 16mm subminiature camera, or a . He drives around in a slightly beat 1968 Chevrolet Camaro convertible that looks as if it was damaged by an under the hood fire.

The film begins in dive motel room. In a nice stylistic flourish A Sony TC-40 is giving us Kolchak's  Voice Over dietetic narration. We see Carl Kolchak laying on his bed proofreading his file to the narration.

Carl Kolchak [over the Sony cassette recorder speaker]: ........ This will be the last time I will discuss these events with anyone. So when you have finished this bizarre account judge for yourself its believability and then try to tell yourself, wherever you may be, it couldn't happen here.

His file is about a series of brutal murders that took place recently in Las Vegas, and the official cover up that followed, when the authorities are afraid of  hurting the tourist and gambling biz. The victims are found completely drained of blood and with bite marks on their necks, oh, and what is found to be human saliva.

It a nice mashup of Noir and Horror. McGavin is excellent. Barry Atwater as the vampire Janos Skorzeny is genuinely creepy, emitting an unearthly hissing growl when he is "on the bite." This is no reluctant Barnabas Collins vampire, or Dracula distinguished count. The creative decision was to make the vampire a bloodthirsty land shark. Bravo! 8/10

Full review with screen caps here in Film Noir/Gangster.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2018 at 10:39 PM, shutoo said:

The Happy Prince (2018)--Rupert Everett wrote, directed and stars in this look at the last days of Oscar Wilde..maybe that was a mistake.  First of all, his performance is terrific--he is barely recognizable and totally believable as the bloated, sick Wilde living in exile in France.  Supporting actors Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson turn in their usual splendid work, but they get very little screen time in small parts.  Colin Morgan is getting accolades as Wilde's long time lover who got him into trouble in the first place, coming across as a spoiled, nasty self-absorbed brat.  Edwin Thomas, as friend Robbie Ross supplies a lone touch of humanity among the bunch.  The performances are good, the costumes and details are really noteworthy, but the story-telling itself leaves something to be desired.  The story mixes Wilde's last sad days with flashbacks of better times when Wilde was The Star..and he never really gives up the belief that he still is.  From a single prison scene of his hair being cut off, we're supposed to understand all the suffering he went through while incarcerated for two years..but that experience didn't seem to make him more unselfish. What did he learn? How did it change him?  The 'flashbacks' and narration are somewhat random, and the film doesn't really have a good flow.  About a third is in French, with subtitles..no biggie, but some of the scenes stretch on a bit too long.  All in all, I think it would've been a more cohesive film if Everett had handed over the director's chair to someone who had some distance from the project that Everett had been working on for a decade, and maybe seen it more objectively.  I give Everett an A for his performance, but a C for the overall result.  source: Cinema apk  

 

I absolutely disagree with Shutoo's critical assessment of The Happy Prince. I saw it last night, and I loved it.

First, unlike Shutoo, I don't feel that a film has to have a cohesive story-line (he says, "the story-telling itself leaves something to be desired".)  Nor do I feel that a character in a film, especially someone based on a real -life person, has to "learn" or "change". I got the sense that Oscar Wilde was true to himself at all times. Why does he have to "learn" anything? He didn't do anything wrong, except to happen to live in a time and place that found the idea of homosexuality unacceptable. Ok, yes, he did let the idiotic selfish Bosie ( we can agree on this guy's character !) talk him into initiating a lawsuit against Bosie's father, who'd been the one to draw public attention to Wilde's sexual orientation in the first place. And he definitely had apparently "learned" nothing about how selfish,nasty, and untrustworthy Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas) was. 

But other than that, I did not see Wilde in a negative light. I don't think he was particularly "selfish"; I will say he was self-indulgent right to the end, but that's not the same thing. 

I found the film at all times deeply engaging, and most of the time, heart-breaking. Oscar Wilde's story is a true tragedy, in the most classic sense of the word. He fell from grace; he was someone who flew very high, he was adored and sought after in English Victorian society; he was the equivalent of what would today be called a "rock star". And he deserved all this adulation: his plays were hilarious, and I think, still so today. He had an exceptionally vivid and creative imagination - hence the beautiful children's stories, as well as "The Picture of Dorian Grey". And of course, there's his famous wit - by all accounts he was a fun guy to be around, funny and clever and unpretentious.

He had all this, and he lost it all ( as he does say, repeatedly, in the film). Not so much because he was gay ( which can hardly be called a "tragic flaw"), but because he lost all judgement in his infatuation with Bosie.

My  only criticism of The Happy Prince is that this fall from grace would have been rendered even more affecting to the audience if we'd had a few more flashback scenes of Wilde's glory days, before the trial and his disgrace. I do also feel that, if someone who had no already existing knowledge of Oscar Wilde and his story were to watch this movie, they would not entirely "get it". The film assumes the audience is already aware of Oscar Wilde and the tragedy of what happened to him.

One more thing: I love the way the film integrated Oscar's telling of his unusual, beautiful story, "The Happy Prince", into the narrative. It's told in bits throughout the film; we get the profoundly moving ending of the story at the very end, which is also the end of Oscar's life. Anyone who could conceive of and write such a meaningful, poignant story deserves our respect and admiration.  Every time I think of Oscar Wilde and how sad the last period of his life was, I am moved.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2018 at 6:10 PM, EricJ said:

Not even Amarcord, considered his most accessible, where all the circus-y over-the-top Fellinics can be excused away as the character's sentimental boyhood-memory spin?  (And which Woody Allen also ripped off, as "Radio Days".)

Again, Ginger & Fred is a little closer to the TV Hell idea of bizarre pop-culture Italian entertainment-industry, and probably makes a better transitional bridge between the two movies.  I'm not a Fellini fan (even he admitted he was as much of a pervert as old-school Italians can get :D), but it's not hard to understand his style and licks after one or two.

Eric, I feel compelled to say that I disagree with pretty much every single thing you say about movies and film directors. Just sayin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

Night Stalker (1972) Twilight Zone Neo Noir

"It Couldn't happen here."

the-night-stalker-dvd-cover.jpg

Dan Curtis's (the producer of Dark Shadows) next project after the two films based on the soap, was The Night Stalker (1971) the tale of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) Noir-ish newspaperman as de facto detective, tracking down a series of bizarre serial killer murders in Las Vegas. The bodies, all women, have their throats ripped out and are completely drained of blood. When Kolchack suggests to the police and the mayor of Las Vegas that they could be dealing with a vampire he's laughed at. For Noir cinematic memory no less than ten of the cast appeared in Classic Film Noir. Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Charles McGraw, Kent Smith, Elisha Cook Jr., Stanley Adams, Virginia Gregg and Barry Atwater as Janos Skorzeny.

The film is carried masterfully by Darren McGavin. McGavin did 9 films starting in 1945 then a TV show Crime Photographer TV 51-2, then mostly guest parts until he played Louie the drug pusher in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), a couple more films including another noir The Case Against Brooklyn (1958), Then McGavin played Mike Hammer in the first TV series version that overlapped with another series Riverboat, then he did another Private Eye pilot TV called, The Outsider (1967), he played an ex-con private eye working the City Of Angels.

Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, adapted from the novel by Jeff Rice The Kolchak Papers by Richard Matheson (writer The Beat Generation (1959), Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), The Legend of Hell House (1973), and produced by Dan Curtis. The Night Stalker became ABC's highest rated original TV movie, it did so well it was actually released overseas as a theatrical movie and inspired a sequel TV movie titled The Night Strangler.

The cinematography was by Michel Hugo and music was by Bob Cobert.

Carl Kolchak is a pushy, eccentric, cynical reporter formerly from New York City who wears an out of style seersucker suit white loafers and a straw pork pie hat. He carries by a shoulder strap a Sony cassette recorder and totes either a Rollei 16mm subminiature camera, or a . He drives around in a slightly beat 1968 Chevrolet Camaro convertible that looks as if it was damaged by an under the hood fire.

The film begins in dive motel room. In a nice stylistic flourish A Sony TC-40 is giving us Kolchak's  Voice Over dietetic narration. We see Carl Kolchak laying on his bed proofreading his file to the narration.

Carl Kolchak [over the Sony cassette recorder speaker]: ........ This will be the last time I will discuss these events with anyone. So when you have finished this bizarre account judge for yourself its believability and then try to tell yourself, wherever you may be, it couldn't happen here.

His file is about a series of brutal murders that took place recently in Las Vegas, and the official cover up that followed, when the authorities are afraid of  hurting the tourist and gambling biz. The victims are found completely drained of blood and with bite marks on their necks, oh, and what is found to be human saliva.

It a nice mashup of Noir and Horror. McGavin is excellent. Barry Atwater as the vampire Janos Skorzeny is genuinely creepy, emitting an unearthly hissing growl when he is "on the bite." This is no reluctant Barnabas Collins vampire, or Dracula distinguished count. The creative decision was to make the vampire a bloodthirsty land shark. Bravo! 8/10

Full review with screen caps here in Film Noir/Gangster.

Excellent review, except Kolchak drives a Mustang. 

This is one of my favorite films and it really holds together well today. Still creeps me out some, especially at night home alone. I have always loved Darren McGavin. 

I have tried to catch Barry Atwater in other roles, but I never seem to be able to focus on him long enough to catch the resemblance. I can't remember what I saw him in, but he was a blonde.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one of the weirder things about TCM ON DEMAND on my TV is that they have started offering movies well before they air (I think?)...THE BRIDE WORE RED (1937) showed up this morning, and I've never watched it before, so I did.

the-bride-wore-red-1937-american-film-wi

it was awfully close to THE LAST OF MRS CHEYNEY territory, which was from around the same time, and it's typical MGM CRAWFORD in that she is mannered, humorless, severe, cold, remote, and prone to playing The Lady Elegant, eg "I dislike orchids in the ahf-ter-noon"...

She's got shoulders like Joe Namath and wears her hair like GARBO and it's surprising to see her with such a relatively contemporary hairdo- usually her hair looks like something you would forge a horseshoe on, in this film it's very sleek and simple. gives her a whole different look from any of her other films.

it's one of the weird MGM films that is set in a foreign country and the names are Eastern Europeany as all get out and they even wear Leiderhosen and Swiss Miss-style costumes and yet all the actors are PLAINLY American and not a wit of accent is attempted on the part of anyone (see also MARK OF THE VAMPIRE, A WOMAN'S FACE, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, THE MORTAL STORM, THREE COMRADES...)

I GUESS that was kinda MGM's "thing" in the late thirties/early forties: non-foreign foreign films...?

It's basically CINDERELLA, and even though it's turf that's been trod before and after (see also: MIDNIGHT, PRETTY WOMAN, LADY FOR A DAY, POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES, MY FAIR LADY etc) it's watchable, although the RED DRESS BY ADRIAN that CRAWFORD wears in the film's last act kind of reminded me of what IRENE DUNNE wears when she wants to humiliate CARY GRANT in front of his new fiancee's family in THE AWFUL TRUTH.

FRANCHOT TONE was not particularly good, BUT EVERYONE else is allright...although who did GEORGE ZUCCO cheese off so bad that he ended up doing poverty row stuff like THE APE MAN (sort of) and VOODOO MAN less than a decade later?

I'm not sure of the actress's name, but the character of the former prostitute who has become a hotel maid was the best in the picture and the film's most interesting aspect.

FYI: CRAWFORD sings* "WHO WANTS LOVE?" in this one.

(Well, I presume it was her singing, there is the outside chance that she was dubbed by ANDY DEVINE.)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us