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I Just Watched...

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Lady Possessed (1952)  -  6/10

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Muddled drama with June Havoc as a woman who thinks she's be possessed by the spirit of James Mason's deceased wife. Also featuring Stephen Dunne, Fay Compton, Steven Geray, and Pamela Mason. This was based on a book written by Pamela Mason, James' wife, and the couple co-wrote the script. James produced the film, and he enlisted Roy Kellino, his wife's former husband, to direct. It was a flop, and nearly bankrupted the Masons. It has some very weak spots (anytime Mason "performs" his music), but the unusual story lends some interest.

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On 2/7/2019 at 3:43 PM, LawrenceA said:

Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1952)  -  5/10

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Musical military comedy about American G.I.'s being stationed on a remote Pacific island inhabited by dozens of single, beautiful women. The men are ordered not to fraternize, which becomes difficult when island princess Mytzi Gaynor sets her sights on C.O. William Lundigan, while Lieutenant David Wayne has to deal with beautiful secretary Jane Greer. Also featuring Gloria DeHaven, Gene Lockhart, Billy Gilbert, Jack Paar, Henry Kulky, Claud Allster, George Nader, Barney Phillips, Joe Turkel, Lyle Talbot, and Lee Marvin. Technicolor fluff that has a "wink-wink" sexuality of the type that would become over-saturated on screen in the late 50's through the mid 60's.

I'd watch this just to hear that song, Down Among the Sheltering Palms, which I enjoy each time I watch Some Like It Hot!

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The Marrying Kind (1952)  -  8/10

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Excellent comedy-drama from director George Cukor about blue-collar couple Judy Holliday and Aldo Ray filing for divorce. The family court judge (Madge Kennedy) has them relate what led to this, and we see via flashbacks the ups and downs of their union. Also featuring Sheila Bond, John Alexander, Mickey Shaughnessy, Nancy Kulp, Peggy Cass, and Charles Bronson. Both Holliday and Ray are perfectly cast, with Ray turning in perhaps his most affecting performance. The real star is the script from Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, which features honest dialogue and highly relatable situations. This was funny and moving, a difficult balance to maintain. Recommended.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

esp ID DO ANYTHING FOR YOU

but I won't do that.

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Meet Danny Wilson (1952)  -  6/10

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Musical drama that features Frank Sinatra playing a thinly-veiled version of himself, a cocky young singer struggling for his big break. He's partners with his pianist/manager Alex Nicol, and the two find success, and then trouble, when they sign a contract with gangster Raymond Burr. Frank and Alex also comes to blows over the affection of singer Shelley Winters. This was Frank's last picture before From Here to Eternity made him a superstar all over again. He's pretty obnoxious in this, and he sings "That Old Black Magic".

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SPOILERS on the ending of A Letter to Three Wives!  DO NOT READ unless you have seen the ending!  I would be interested on other people's takes after they consider mine!  (Also if anyone can make sure Ben Mankiewicz sees this, I would really appreciate it, thank you.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admittedly I didn't see the whole movie, but my mom has more than once, and we were both confused.  Why would the note to Deborah be in Addie's writing?  How would Addie know Brad was not coming home that night if she did NOT run off with him?  Unless she was his secretary or had some other special reason to deliver a message from him other than to further torment Deborah, and even if that was her game, how would she even know that Brad would be either extremely late, or not coming home that night?  (Assuming he didn't meet with foul play.)  From seeing just the beginning and end of the movie and not all of the middle, I deduce the following.

George was only a friend and never a serious contender for Addie to run off with.  Not only was he happy with his wife, but a homewrecker like Addie would never consider running off with a poor and altruistic schoolteacher.  This leaves only Porter and Brad.

The theory (advanced on another movie forum) that Porter really did try to run off with Addie, then thought better of it and confessed to his wife, is very valid.  He would have had no reason to go on with a detailed confession after Deborah left the table had he been only lying to give Deborah a better night's sleep.  This leaves at least four possibilities concerning Brad.

1.  Like George and Porter, Brad had no idea about the letter Addie wrote to the wives.  He innocently asked Addie to send Deborah a note saying he would not be home that night, she did, but Brad was home the next day.

2.  Brad himself wrote a note to Deborah saying he would not be home, which Addie intercepted with a note of her own just to mess with Deborah, but Brad was home the next day.

3.  Having failed in her attempt to run off with Porter, Addie ran off with Brad and Brad was not home the next day.  (This is the theory that Ben Mankiewicz is 63% sure happened and I also believed at first but it would depend on Brad being sincerely interested and Addie stringing him along until the last instant when Porter bailed.)

4.  Brad wouldn't run off with Addie who was so mad she bumped him off and hid the body to make it look as if he had run off with her and Brad was obviously not home ever.

It is absolutely maddening for the screenwriter NOT to let the audience know WHICH of these things happened.  The thing to do is track down a copy of the book, and then book endings often differ from film endings.

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My Six Convicts (1952)  -  7/10

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Prison drama from producer Stanley Kramer featuring John Beal as a psychologist assigned to work with the inmates of a prison. The story focuses on six men in particular, played by Millard Mitchell, Gilbert Roland, Marshall Thompson, Alf Kjellin, Jay Adler, and Harry Morgan. Beal's efforts reach some of the men, but not all of them. Also with Regis Toomey, Fay Roope, Carleton Young, John Marley, Byron Foulger, Barney Phillips, and Charles Bronson. The tone swings from comedic to dramatic, but it manages to balance the two for the most part. Beal reminded me of Dean Jagger. It was strange seeing Harry Morgan as the creepiest of the inmates. As far as I can tell, this has never been released on any home video format. Millard Mitchell won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. 

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34 minutes ago, CoriSCapnSkip said:

SPOILERS on the ending of A Letter to Three Wives!  DO NOT READ unless you have seen the ending!  I would be interested on other people's takes after they consider mine!  (Also if anyone can make sure Ben Mankiewicz sees this, I would really appreciate it, thank you.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admittedly I didn't see the whole movie, but my mom has more than once, and we were both confused.  Why would the note to Deborah be in Addie's writing?  How would Addie know Brad was not coming home that night if she did NOT run off with him?  Unless she was his secretary or had some other special reason to deliver a message from him other than to further torment Deborah, and even if that was her game, how would she even know that Brad would be either extremely late, or not coming home that night?  (Assuming he didn't meet with foul play.)  From seeing just the beginning and end of the movie and not all of the middle, I deduce the following.

George was only a friend and never a serious contender for Addie to run off with.  Not only was he happy with his wife, but a homewrecker like Addie would never consider running off with a poor and altruistic schoolteacher.  This leaves only Porter and Brad.

The theory (advanced on another movie forum) that Porter really did try to run off with Addie, then thought better of it and confessed to his wife, is very valid.  He would have had no reason to go on with a detailed confession after Deborah left the table had he been only lying to give Deborah a better night's sleep.  This leaves at least four possibilities concerning Brad.

1.  Like George and Porter, Brad had no idea about the letter Addie wrote to the wives.  He innocently asked Addie to send Deborah a note saying he would not be home that night, she did, but Brad was home the next day.

2.  Brad himself wrote a note to Deborah saying he would not be home, which Addie intercepted with a note of her own just to mess with Deborah, but Brad was home the next day.

3.  Having failed in her attempt to run off with Porter, Addie ran off with Brad and Brad was not home the next day.  (This is the theory that Ben Mankiewicz is 63% sure happened and I also believed at first but it would depend on Brad being sincerely interested and Addie stringing him along until the last instant when Porter bailed.)

4.  Brad wouldn't run off with Addie who was so mad she bumped him off and hid the body to make it look as if he had run off with her and Brad was obviously not home ever.

It is absolutely maddening for the screenwriter NOT to let the audience know WHICH of these things happened.  The thing to do is track down a copy of the book, and then book endings often differ from film endings.

Addie is only a voice in the film.  It is established that she is the town flirt.  The bulk of the film consists of flashbacks featuring each wife and the challenges she and her husband are facing in their marriage.  This provides support that Addie could have run off with any husband, each one would have had a reason.  I always thought that Porter did run off with Addie, hence she wrote the letter and sent it, but he thought better of it and returned to wife Linda Darnell--leaving Addie alone.

I think it would help to watch the entire film and not just part of it.

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A Cold Night's Death (1973)  -  6/10

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Made-for-TV psychological suspense tale with Eli Wallach and Robert Culp as a pair of research scientists sent to work at an isolated lab in the sub-zero north. Their primate experiments are a continuation of work done by their predecessor, a man who was found dead after working alone for some time. It doesn't take long for cabin fever to set in with Wallach and Culp as well, with the former convinced that he himself is part of some experiment, while the latter is certain that some other unknown force is at work. The acting is good from the two leads, but the claustrophobic setting and lack of pace make this a bit tedious, even at 70 minutes long. The ending will strike the viewer as surprising or ridiculous.

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The Late Show (1977)

Art Carney is an ageing P.I. whose partner is murdered and Lily Tomlin plays a flighty actress/dressmaker who wants Carney to find her missing cat. 

This is an interesting "neo-noir" (I guess that's what you would call it). It seems like a odd couple comedy but it has some surprising twists and turns as well as some shocking violence. Carney and Tomlin have good chemistry despite being from totally different acting styles. 

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My Son John (1952)  -  4/10

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Terrible anti-communist drama from writer-director Leo McCarey. Typical middle-class parents Helen Hayes and Dean Jagger are distraught when their eldest son John (Robert Walker) returns from a long absence voicing suspicious, anti-American dogma. That's right - Johnny is a commie! Also featuring Van Heflin as a friendly FBI agent, Frank McHugh the nice local Catholic priest, and Richard Jaeckel & James Young as the two younger, right-thinking sons. I've heard about this notorious turkey for a long time, but what I was surprised to find while finally watching it was that the truly awful elements are the script and the acting, both of which can largely be blamed on McCarey. The Red Scare agit-prop aside, the dialogue is just plain awful, and Helen Hayes gives a horrendously bad performance. Walker died before filming was complete, so some of the movie's sloppiness can be attributed to trouble finishing the movie via stock footage and stand-ins. However, this was just a misfire from inception onward, and a blemish on the career of nearly all involved.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Terrible anti-communist drama from writer-director Leo McCarey.

I don't think it was that bad. Funniest scene was when Dean Jagger composed his own patriotic song, "If You Don't Love Your Uncle Sammy" to the tune of "It's A Long Way To Tipperary"! 

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as much as i like to poor-mouth Oscar month, I have been watching lots of bits and pieces and even some stuff in entirety (sorry to bring this up again, but having Hulu has been quite nice over Oscar month as I can pick from 30-40 rotating titles at a time and am not bound by having to chose from either what's on East Coast or from 8-12 options provided in Spectrum's ON DEMAND selection.)

I think I have also been avoiding "YE OFTE SHOWNE CHESTNUTS" for long enough that, in some cases, I don't mind watching them again.

I checked out MY FAVORITE WIFE (1941) for the sixth(or so) time yesterday and for the first time ever, it clicked with me. It's nowhere near as good as THE AWFUL TRUTH or PENNY SERENDADE, but GRANT and DUNNE are magic together.

I just watched a lot of THE STORY OF LOUIS PASTEUR (1936)- i am always entertained by 30's biopics even when (or especially because) they are so wildly, deliciously inaccurate.

YOUNG MR LINCOLN (1939)- I think this might actually be DONALD MEEK's finest performance, he is always turning up in stuff and he's always good and convincingly American (although in reality he was, I believe, Scottish)

Yesterday I woke up at the butt-crack of dawn and turned on ADAM'S RIB (1950)- not intending to watch it all the way through, which is just what I ended up doing for maybe the 10th or 11th time even though I don't like it at all. The acting is terrific, but the characters (with the exception of JUDY HOLIDAY'S undiagnosed autistic housewife) are one and all- when you get right down to it- pretty loathsome. It also bothers be how bad the lawyers in this movie SUCK AT the Law. I mean, I do not portend to have extensive legal knowledge, but I am closely related to people who do (and I have spent some time in court rooms) and I can say with dead certainty that- by day three of the jury trial over a pleadable damn offense- ANY REAL LIFE JUDGE WORTH A DAMN would not even bother to call HEPBURN and TRACY to the bench but would instead inform them in open court that they could surrender their Bar Licenses right there and then and GTFO. I also refuse to believe LICORICE HANDGUNS were ever a thing, even in immediate Post-WWII America.

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10 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

My Son John (1952)  -  4/10

MV5BMjIxNTk4NzQ0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTcx

Terrible anti-communist drama from writer-director Leo McCarey. Typical middle-class parents Helen Hayes and Dean Jagger are distraught when their eldest son John (Robert Walker) returns from a long absence voicing suspicious, anti-American dogma. That's right - Johnny is a commie! Also featuring Van Heflin as a friendly FBI agent, Frank McHugh the nice local Catholic priest, and Richard Jaeckel & James Young as the two younger, right-thinking sons. I've heard about this notorious turkey for a long time, but what I was surprised to find while finally watching it was that the truly awful elements are the script and the acting, both of which can largely be blamed on McCarey. The Red Scare agit-prop aside, the dialogue is just plain awful, and Helen Hayes gives a horrendously bad performance. Walker died before filming was complete, so some of the movie's sloppiness can be attributed to trouble finishing the movie via stock footage and stand-ins. However, this was just a misfire from inception onward, and a blemish on the career of nearly all involved.

WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS????!!!!!!

IT IS ON MY "MUST SEE" BAD MOVIE DREAM LIST!!!!

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Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)  -  7/10

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Solid drama with Gary Merrill as a plane-crash survivor who attempts to contact the loved ones of a trio of fellow passengers who didn't make it. During each visit, flashbacks reveal the characters personal dramas. Featuring Michael Rennie, Shelley Winters, Keenan Wynn, Beatrice Straight, Craig Stevens, Evelyn Varden, Hugh Beaumont, George Nader, Warren Stevens, and Bette Davis. Good performances and sharp dialogue raise this above the average. Bette Davis shows up in the last act, acting like Bette Davis. Director Jean Negulesco keeps things moving at a brisk pace.

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7 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)  -  7/10

MV5BNjU1NjBmODgtMzE2NC00NGM2LWE0MjUtZWYy

Solid drama with Gary Merrill as a plane-crash survivor who attempts to contact the loved ones of a trio of fellow passengers who didn't make it. During each visit, flashbacks reveal the characters personal dramas. Featuring Michael Rennie, Shelley Winters, Keenan Wynn, Beatrice Straight, Craig Stevens, Evelyn Varden, Hugh Beaumont, George Nader, Warren Stevens, and Bette Davis. Good performances and sharp dialogue raise this above the average. Bette Davis shows up in the last act, acting like Bette Davis. Director Jean Negulesco keeps things moving at a brisk pace.

Good film, I finally got to see it awhile back. However, I don't recall a hot babe wearing an orange slit dress.

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1 hour ago, scsu1975 said:

Good film, I finally got to see it awhile back. However, I don't recall a hot babe wearing an orange slit dress.

Well the film was in B&W right?    I assume any so called 'hot babe' would be the Binky Gay, actress character, as played by Shelley Winters.    In the late 40s and early 50s,  some considered her attractive and she often played a girl-men-would-desire.    I don't get that vibe from her but she did look nice in Winchester 73.   

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Pony Soldier (1952)  -  6/10

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Technicolor western/"northern", with Tyrone Power as a Mountie tasked with signing a peace treaty with the Cree natives. He runs into trouble from hot-headed warrior brave Cameron Mitchell and hot-headed white guy Robert Horton. Also featuring Thomas Gomez as a comic-relief Blackfeet scout, Penny Edwards, Anthony Numkena, Stuart Randall, Richard Boone, Frank deKova, and Earl Holliman in his debut. This western-Canada-set feature was shot in Sedona, Arizona. So head's up Dargo: at one time, a movie crew could have stood where you currently are and used many a superfluous "U". The movie ranges from the routine to the silly, and the aged color cinematography has a pink hue. A sub-plot with Numkena as an orphaned native boy wanting to be adopted by Power is unneeded and irritating. Actress Adeline De Walt Reynolds, 90 at the time of filming and playing a native woman named "White Moon", was alive during the U.S. Civil War. Kind of puts things in perspective.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Also featuring Thomas Mitchell as a comic-relief Blackfeet scout,

Well I assume at least these scenes were interesting,  to say the least!

 

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12 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Well I assume at least these scenes were interesting,  to say the least!

Oops...I wrote that too fast. I meant Thomas Gomez, not Thomas Mitchell.

mev-10549573.jpg

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33 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Oops...I wrote that too fast. I meant Thomas Gomez, not Thomas Mitchell.

mev-10549573.jpg

Seen it recently also, Gomez is filling in the sort of parts that went to Laird Cregar. 6/10

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Oops...I wrote that too fast. I meant Thomas Gomez, not Thomas Mitchell.

 

Ah,  the casting of Gomez makes more sense since he played 'international' characters in other films; e.g. he was solid as an entrepreneurial person of Mexican decent in Ride The Pink Horse.

But the Irish Mitchell;    No wonder I was thinking; what where they thinking!

  

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Seen it recently also, Gomez is filling in the sort of parts that went to Laird Cregar. 6/10

At first, I thought that said "pants."

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The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)  -  7/10

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Rousing adventure yarn with Stewart Granger in the dual role of European royal and his British cousin lookalike. When the Prince is secretly detained, courtiers convince the cousin to take the soon-to-be-king's place until things can be sorted out. Little do they know that there's a plot afoot by Robert Douglas and James Mason to take the throne for themselves. Also featuring Deborah Kerr, Jane Greer, Louis Calhern, Robert Coote, Peter Brocco, and Lewis Stone. I liked the '37 version more, but this one was entertaining as well, and I liked Mason. 

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