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I Just Watched...

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Girl Rush (1944) - Forgettable western comedy from RKO and director Gordon Douglas. Jerry (Wally Brown) and Mike (Alan Carney) are failed vaudeville performers who decide to cut their losses and instead try to strike it rich as gold prospectors during the California gold rush. The generally inept duo get into all sorts of western-movie scrapes. Also featuring Frances Langford, Barbara Jo Allen, Robert Mitchum, Paul Hurst, Patti Brill, Sarah Padden, John Merton, Byron Foulger, and Cy Kendall.

Minor-league comedy from Brown & Carney, a sort of grade "C" Abbott & Costello. Mitchum has a big part as the typical western hero character, with Hurst amusing as his aged sidekick. I've seen worse, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, either.     (5/10)

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

very, very good review.

i'm surprised though that you did not mention LEE GRANT and KATHARINE ROSS (the former was Oscar-nominated for her part in this, the year after she won for SHAMPOO) and I seem to recall Ross maybe winning a Golden Globe (I remember her being good and very sexy in her part as a Hooker, but very little else about the film.)

I also recall ORSON wearing a cravat and a cape in his role here- this was during his cravat and cape period, I think....

Lee Grant got the only "Oscar moment" of the actresses, as she cracks up near the end, giving Faye the chance to go over the top.  As for Katharine Ross, she seemed to be in every All-Star Epic, but she still wasn't a face I recognized.

And no, Orson wasn't wearing a cape, but he did have a cravat, sit in Cuban cafe's, and deliver all his lines as if he was reading the script for the first time off of his "newspaper", doing one of his voiceover-narration hosting jobs, or tossing humorous anecdotes off the cuff on Dick Cavett.  ("It seems the...passengers' lives have now...just become a....matter of...political NEGOTIATION?")

Now I've got an urge to look up "The Cassandra Crossing"--an early film from the "Rambo" director--which had no Oscar ambitions whatsoever and even looks even cheesier for All-Star Lord Grade epic.

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8 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Girl Rush (1944)

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Mitchum must have found his role a drag.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Girl Rush (1944) - Forgettable western comedy from RKO

Since you're up to obscure RKO movies from the mid-40s, have you done Zombies on Broadway yet?  It's another Brown/Carney movie.

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19 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Since you're up to obscure RKO movies from the mid-40s, have you done Zombies on Broadway yet?  It's another Brown/Carney movie.

Yes,I finally watched that one last year or the year before, I can't recall. I liked it better than Girl Rush, but I still wasn't thrilled with it. I've also seen Genius at WorkGangway for Tomorrow, and Step Lively with the duo.

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Hotel Reserve (1944) - British mystery/thriller from RKO and directors Lance Comfort, Max Greene, and Victor Hanbury. Medical student Peter Vadassy (James Mason) is on holiday on the French coast when he's arrested and accused of being a spy. It seems someone used his camera to take photos of French military installations. Peter is released on lack of evidence, and he sets out to find the person responsible for taking the pictures. He's certain that it's one of the guests staying at the same hotel as he. Also featuring Lucie Mannheim, Herbert Lom, Raymond Lovell, Julien Mitchell, Martin Miller, Clare Hamilton, Frederick Valk, Anthony Shaw, Valentine Dyall, and Patricia Medina.

Based on an Eric Ambler work, this is a solid yet unexceptional wartime diversion that features a couple of decent performances. Mason makes for a good wrongly-accused protagonist, and a young Herbert Lom is darkly suave and about as handsome as he'd ever be. There's some evocative camerawork, although some of it overly staged. Clare Hamilton, making her sole film appearance, was Maureen O'Hara's sister.    (6/10)

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Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944) - Technicolor musical biopic from 20th Century Fox and director Gregory Ratoff. The film follows a few years in the life of turn-of-the-century songwriter Ernest R. Ball (Dick Haymes) as he becomes one of the most popular songsmiths of his day. While his manager Edgar Brawley (Monty Woolley) tries to shape young Ball's character, Ernest is more concerned with finding singer-dancer Mary "Irish" O'Neil (June Haver), with whom he's fallen in love only to have her skip town. Also featuring Anthony Quinn, Beverly Whitney, Maxie Rosenbloom, Veda Ann Borg, Clarence Kolb, Eddie Acuff, Arthur Hohl, J. Farrell MacDonald, and Minerva Urecal.

The songwriter biopic was big throughout the 40's and early 50's, but this is definitely one of the lesser entries in that sub-genre. There's either little of interest in Ball's actual life story or else the filmmakers couldn't find any, since the man himself is not illuminated in the least. Perhaps some will enjoy hearing his many famous compositions being performed. Quinn, as the film's antagonist, plays a shady Broadway figure. Alas, he doesn't sing. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Score-Musical (Alfred Newman).   (5/10)

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Flag of Iron - This martial arts film is from the same director as the Five Deadly Venoms. The leader of a martial arts clan is killed by a mysterious assassin and the next leader (Chow Feng) is about to be arrested. Brother Lo takes his spot as the guilty one and goes on the run. Instead of being helped with money and supplies the clan sends assassins to kill him. He learns that Chow Feng was behind the assassination and is leading the clan into "immoral" dealings. He fights off various assassins and goes to the clan to fight Chow Feng and bring justice t the dead Master. Like his earlier Five Deadly Venoms, the assassins are disguised as seemingly mundane people (a butcher, blind man, etc.) A light-hearted, comedic moment comes when the butcher assassin says "Well it is either this or kill pigs." :lol:  The comedy is blended well into the action scenes. The Kung Fu was also very well choreographed and I liked the sword fights. This is a very entertaining film worth a view.

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Dimension 5 (1966) - Spy thriller from United Pictures and director Franklin Adreon. American secret agent Justin Power (Jeffrey Hunter) is teamed with Hong Kong agent Kitty Tsu (France Nuyen) to thwart a Red China terror group known as the Dragon from detonating a hydrogen bomb in Los Angeles. They must find the location of the mysterious crime lord Big Buddha (Harold Sakata), who is also an operative of Dragon, before it's too late. Also featuring Donald Woods, Robert Ito, Linda Ho, David Chow, Bill Walker, Lee Kolima, Deanna Lund, and Jon Lormer.

This dollar store version of a James Bond movie is insipid, slow, and occasionally mildly amusing in its ineptitude. The film's big gimmick is the hero's use of cutting edge time travel technology to jump a few seconds or a couple of weeks forward or backward in time. He's warned by Donald Woods, playing the film's Bond boss M stand-in, that overuse of the time tech (housed conveniently in Hunter's wristwatch) could lead to a "time slip", a simplistic plot device to explain why time travel isn't used repeatedly to solve every little issue the hero comes across. Regardless, we never do see any suffer a time slip, unfortunately. Harold "Oddjob" Sakata is an unusual boss villain, appearing in a motorized wheelchair, having all of his dialogue dubbed by Paul Frees, and, in one extended sequence, appearing shirtless. Lee Kolima, who looks a lot like Tor Johnson, plays big henchman Genghis, the kind of role Sakata usually played.   (4/10)

MPW-19901

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TCM reaired Glory (1989) last night (Monday, 1/21/2019) in part of it's annual celebration to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and I noticed that it is available for repeat viewing on WATCH TCM ON-DEMAND for the next seven days.
I first saw this Civil War epic the year of it's release and was quite emotionally moved by it's depiction.
I was stationed at FAMC at the time, and one of the things that struck me was the devastating lethality of mid-19th century warfare.
I was impressed by Mathew Broderick's surprisingly believable dramatic performance in his first adult role. As well as that by a young black actor whom I was just beginning to notice at the time by the name of Denzel Washington. Also cast was another fine black actor whom I was already appreciatively familiar, Morgan Freeman. 
In fact there were so many fine actors in this movie (many unknown to me at the time) that along with the meticulous attention to detail and historical accuracy, it became very easy to transport myself back 150 plus years into another time of our brief but very turbulent history.
A few years later (in 1995) I found myself writing a review of of this fine film, and rather than rehash it, I located the document on an old hard-drive, and now present it (copy and pasted) here.

SPOILER ALERT
I reread it before posting and do not believe that it contains any blatant "spoilers."
But if one has not yet seen this movie it might be better to stop now, and then return after watching it to see if your impressions are in harmony with my now quite "ancient" review.



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A BRIEF REVIEW OF

GLORY

by

                                                                     (Me)

 
          
This 1989 film is rated R for its bloody violence, and for the liberal use of nineteenth century racial ‘profanity’ (primarily the N---- word). 

            The film is based on actual events and persons and is adapted from information obtained from two books:  Lay This Laurel,  by Lincoln Kirstein, and One Gallant Rush, by Peter Burchard, and from the letters of Robert Gould Shaw (collected in the Houghton Library of Harvard University), along with the scholarly assistance of Civil War historians:  Patricia Broderick and Shelby Foote. 

            Robert Gould Shaw, the son of wealthy and influential Boston abolitionists, was 23 years old when he enlisted to fight in the war between the states.  He wrote home regularly, telling his parents of life in the gathering Army of the Potomac. 

            Young actor Matthew Broderick, in his first adult dramatic role, portrays the youthful and idealistic Union officer, Robert Gould Shaw. Shaw is a recently appointed captain, whose chastisement under fire at Antietam Creek, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, leads to his being appointed Colonel of the soon to be formed ‘experimental’ 54th Massachusetts Infantry. 
The 54th was the brainchild of Frederick Douglass, an American abolitionist and journalist who escaped from slavery, in 1838, and became an influential lecturer in the North and abroad. 
By November of 1862, the dream becomes reality, with a rag-tag bunch of mostly illiterate, volunteer blacks, composed primarily of runaway slaves, with a handful of Northern-born ‘freemen,’ and led by mostly inexperienced white officers.
On July 16, 1863, after 8 months of uphill, racial and political frustration, the regiment finally sees its first real action on James Island, South Carolina, proving to themselves, and others, that black soldiers can and will fight. 
Two days later, the 54th volunteered to lead the fateful attack against the heavily defended Fort Wagner, guarding Charleston’s strategic harbor port.  The 54th lost over half its number in the assault, with supporting white brigades also suffering heavily, before withdrawing. 
Although the Fort was never taken, as a result of their bravery, congress at last authorized the raising of black troops throughout the Union, with over 180,000 volunteers. 
President Lincoln credited these men of color with helping turn the tide of the war.
 

            The film centers on the character of Shaw, who battles prejudice and self-doubt while training the first ‘all black’ regiment for Civil War combat. 

            Supporting actor Carey Elwes, plays Cabot Forbes, a fellow abolitionist sympathizer and childhood friend of Shaw, who is appointed  Major to assist him in his efforts. 

            Morgan Freeman plays Rawlins, an escaped slave and grave digger for the Union, who volunteers to fight in the regiment with the hopes of one day returning to his family, still in bondage in the South, as a ‘free’ man. 

            Jihimi Kennedy portrays Thomas, a well educated and idealistic Northern ‘free Negro,’ and family friend of Shaw’s, who enlists at the rank of private, as one of the Regiment first volunteers. 

            Co-star Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his performance as Chet, a cynical runaway slave and volunteer, who ultimately finds purpose and ‘himself’ within the camaraderie of the Regiment. 

            Along with a fine cast of supporting actors is an additional cast of thousands of living history re-enactors, from 20 states, who donated their time, equipment, and Civil War combat expertise, to further enhance the films credibility and authenticity.

            A montage of faithfully recreated battle scenes and their aftermath, realistically depict the gory, brutality of war, and a bygone chivalry that empowered young men to bravely march headlong into the jaws of enemy fire. 

            GLORY  was produced by Freddie Fields, from a screenplay by Kevin Jarre.  The Director of Photography was Freddie Frances, with editing performed by Steven Rosenblum.  The film Director was Edward Zwick and the hauntingly beautiful, and stirring, music score was composed by James Horner, and featured performances by The Boys Choir of Harlem. 

            This historical docu-drama is of the highest caliber and deserves its place along side such film greats as Gettysburg, and Ghandi.  Inspite of its Restricted rating, I highly recommend its viewing to audiences of all ages. 
 


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GLORY is a good movie, but it would be 10 times better with someone other than BRODERICK in the lead role.

I'm so sorry, I realize good and bad acting is- to a degree- subjective, but I just cannot stand him.

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25 minutes ago, Stephan55 said:

Co-star Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his performance as Chet, a cynical runaway slave and volunteer, who ultimately finds purpose and ‘himself’ within the camaraderie of the Regiment. 

He was excellent as the mouthy black soldier, but it was an interesting year for Supporting Actor nominees, this is who he beat out in the race that year:

Danny Aiello in Do The Right Thing

Dan Aykroyd in Driving Miss Daisy

Marlon Brando in A Dry White Season

Martin Landau in Crimes And Misdemeanors 

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11 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

GLORY is a good movie, but it would be 10 times better with someone other than BRODERICK in the lead role. 

I'm so sorry, I realize good and bad acting is- to a degree- subjective, but I just cannot stand him.

I admit that when I first saw this movie many years ago, my biggest hurdle was accepting Matthew Broderick as the lead. I too thought that he was miss-cast.
But after many viewings since, he has become far less obtrusive to me. And the film is so otherwise great that it overcomes any negativity that his presence may impart to me.
I am impressed by Broderick's physical similarity to images of the real Robert Gould Shaw.

But yeah, i do understand where you are coming from.

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I apologize, because I know from time to time I go on this rant and it bothers some of you, but I just can't help myself this morning.

I watched one hour and 21 minutes of the rebootrofitted HALLOWEEN (2018), which I paid $6.00 to rent on AMAZON PRIME. I had another 23 minutes to go and I turned it off it was so *** **** stupid. not even going to the plot summary on wikipedia to see how it ends because i don't give a rat's **** (unless everyone involved dies, and even then I'd sooner watch the KILLCOUNT video in youtube)

the BUSTA RHYMES installment is better than this ****

Written by someone who thinks themself a real goshdarned hoot (seriously, every male character in this is a hyperactive, dad-joke spouting TWIT)- there are numerous comedic references and non sequitors that land with THUD after resounding THUD.

the static gore shots were gratuitous and fake.

the first onscreen kill is a very likeable child (THANKS MOVIE!)

Set in ILLINOIS, this OBVIOUSLY SHOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA (????) movie features all sorts of native vegetation (live oaks with resurrection fern on the branches, cast iron plant, sago palms, and in a an homage the original- a ton of palm trees visible in exterior shots)

OF COURSE SOMEONE IS DOING A PODCAST [as a major plot point], OF ******** COURSE.

THERE is an SHYAMALANIAN TWIST of SIGNS level stupid proportions in the third act that perfectly sums up every damn thing wrong with movie making in the modern era.

sigh.

I have probably only seen about 25 movies made since 2003, I live almost entirely in the past. as someone who (sorry to beat this drum again) struggles with bad depression- modern movies really tend to trigger something that brings me down.

the magic is gone. cinema is dead. there are no new ideas.

across the world right now, there are thousands of people pecking away at screenplays that they'll never finish because they doubt their own abilities so profoundly, they question and critique their every decision- meanwhile coke-snorting tools are firing off DRECK like this on their MOBILE FINAL DRAFT APPS and making bank.

there's just no place in the modern world for me.

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4 minutes ago, Stephan55 said:

I admit that when I first saw this movie many years ago, my biggest hurdle was accepting Matthew Broderick as the lead. I too thought that he was miss-cast.
But after many viewings since, he has become far less obtrusive to me. And the film is so otherwise great that it overcomes any negativity that his presence may impart to me.
I am impressed by Broderick's physical similarity to images of the real Robert Gould Shaw.

But yeah, i do understand where you are coming from.

a lot of MY OPINIONS on BRODERICK come from subsequent performances of his where he seems like he just doesn't care and itsn't trying (STEPFORD WIVES and THE PRODUCERS come to mind)

**to be fair, he was nearly killed in a terrible car crash around the time GLORY came out, and I've always wondered if- TO THIS DAY- it doesn't attribute somethign to his somewhat sleepwalking style.

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"Philadelphia" - Jonathan Demme - 1993 -

when I first saw this film in 1993, I was very impressed -

but, last night on TCM, I had a few objections -

the matter of the trial - did the law firm deliberately fire the Tom Hanks character because he was a gay man and was suffering from Aids? - is left in doubt -

nobody in the law firm admits to anything - and who stole the missing document that the Tom Hanks character had left behind for his employers? -

the Denzel Washington character is converted overnight from anti-gay to pro-gay -

that conversion wasn't in the least convincing -

the prosecuting attorney, the Mary Steenbergen character, was so non-aggressive - a lady, at all times - that she wasn't real, she was "a construct" -

butter would not have melted in her mouth

the Antonio Banderas character was a fantasy figure as the lover of the Tom Hanks character -

and he barely spoke English -

the scene in which the Tom Hanks character is forced to show his lesions to the jury never would have happened -

pictures of his ravaged body would have been shown to the jury -

the Tom Hanks character is "destroyed"  before our eyes -

so, as a piece of manipulative fiction, the movie is quite effective -

if you don't take it other than that -

Philadelphia-philadelphia-1993-movie-403

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FULL DISCLOSURE: Some stuff came up at work and I had to run before I was able to finish editing my Halloween post. It’s a bit raw, Could’ve used some tempering I know

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Set in ILLINOIS, this OBVIOUSLY SHOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA (????) movie features all sorts of native vegetation (live oaks with resurrection fern on the branches, cast iron plant, sago palms, and in a an homage the original- a ton of palm trees visible in exterior shots)

As someone from the Midwest, it always annoyed me that palm trees were in every shot. They couldn't have just set the film in California? It's clearly not Illinois. lol

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

"Philadelphia" - Jonathan Demme - 1993 -

when I first saw this film in 1993, I was very impressed -

but, last night on TCM, I had a few objections -

^^^

All pretty good observations about this film I'd say in your above post, ray. I'd agree with most of them.

Yep, director Demme's pacing of events does seem somewhat scattershot a bit throughout the picture in particular.

(...in my view the two best things about the film by far were Hanks' and Denzel's performances)

 

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50 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

As someone from the Midwest, it always annoyed me that palm trees were in every shot. They couldn't have just set the film in California? It's clearly not Illinois. lol

Crepe Myrtles, I also forgot to mention: there are SO MANY crepe myrtles in this, in fact they even frame some shots through the (very distinctive) branches of one when some of the irritating teen protagonists are going through their obligatory exposition/lets make these characters exceptionally unlikeable so you're thrilled when they're all disemboweled later on scene.

Crepe Myrtles do not grow further north than Virginia.

as someone who lives in Southeast NC, I can say this was filmed within 100 miles of where i live easy.

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1 minute ago, Dargo said:

All pretty good observations about this film I'd say in your above post, ray. I'd agree with most of them.

Yep, director Demme's pacing of events does seem somewhat scattershot a bit throughout the picture in particular.

(...in my view the two best things about the film by far were Hanks' and Denzel's performances)

 

I actually thought DENZEL was the real BEST ACTOR CONTENDER for PHILADELPHIA, HANKS has an unnecessarily showy (UGH!- That darkroom, opera music scene!) supporting part.

Besides that, SPRINGSTEEN'S song suuuuuuuuuuuucks.

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I actually thought DENZEL was the real BEST ACTOR CONTENDER for PHILADELPHIA, HANKS has an unnecessarily showy (UGH!- That darkroom, opera music scene!) supporting part.

Besides that, SPRINGSTEEN'S song suuuuuuuuuuuucks.

Good point, Lorna.

But you know how it is. Those showier roles always get more attention from the Academy than do the more nuanced ones.

(...and particularly when those showier roles include some sort of drastic appearance change done by the actor)

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A LITTLE MORE RE: HALLOWEEN (2018)

(i'm sorry)

it's not without moments tho.

there is a (shameless) redux of the very effective tracking-shot scene that occurs in the beginning of HALLOWEEN II where Michael roams through some houses killing people. Well done, but also derivative.

And JAMIE LEE CURTIS brings her A game to a part where I can't imagine there was much excitement to re-explore. her best scene was when she instantly accepts a large cash offer to re-explore her story for two talentless nitwits with a podcast. bet she had to dig reeeeal deep for the inspiration to play that.

edit: the opening credits where a rotten pumpkin re-inflates itself as a sort of computer-doorbell-generated version of the theme music comes on is, I can say as someone who did not see the whole thing- THE STUPIDEST SINGLE THING IN A FILM THAT SETS A HIGH, HIGH BAR FOR STUPID THINGS. IF THEY PAID MORE THAN $39.95 FOR THAT OPENING CREDIT SEQUENCE, THEY HAVE A CASE FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT.

edit edit: in fact HERE. Watch this and tell me it's NOT the stupidest thing YOU'VE seen in a good long while:

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Good point, Lorna.

But you know how it is. Those showier roles always get more attention from the Academy than do the more nuanced ones.

(...and particularly when those showier roles include some sort of drastic appearance change done by the actor)

quite true.

I WILL ALWAYS remember watchign the Oscars that year-  HANKS'S OSCAR CLIP was THAT SCENE where he looks like someone dug up RALPH FIENNES from THE ENGLISH PATIENT and he's wailing and moaning as the opera blasts at 11 in the darkroom.

watched it with a room full of straights who all ran screaming for the exits, just the reaction it was designed to provoke, i imagine.

seriously- it made ED HARRIS in THE HOURS look restrained and calm

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Kismet (1944)  -  5/10

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Return of the Ape Man (1944)  -  3/10

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Roger Touhy, Gangster (1944)  -  7/10

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