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I Just Watched...

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The Promoter aka The Card (1952)  -  7/10

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British comedy with Alec Guinness as an ambitious young man who uses his wits to further himself in early-1900's society. He never passes up a chance to earn money, and isn't above using schemes and connections to get more. Also featuring Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson, Petula Clark, Joan Hickson, Edward Chapman, Michael Hordern, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Joey the Mule as himself. A clever script and keen performances highlight this fine example of 50's English comedy. Fans of Guinness should get a kick out of the musical cue at the end of the film.

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The Savage (1952)  -  6/10

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Technicolor western with Charlton Heston as a white man raised by Sioux indians after his family were killed by a Crow war party. Now an adult, Heston is wary about his people entering a war footing with the white settlers coming west, so he attempts to minimize their potential conflict by posing as a scout for the U.S. Cavalry troops escorting the settlers. Also featuring Susan Morrow, Joan Taylor, Peter Hansen, Richard Rober, Don Porter, Milburn Stone, Michael Tolan, John Miljan, and Ted de Corsia. Run-of-the-mill outing with nice costumes and some surprising violence. I liked Milburn Stone as a seen-it-all cavalry man.

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I’m not a big fan of CAPRA, but I’m watching MR DEEDS (again) right now. 

1. Damn GARY COOPER was FINE (and a pioneer for men who wear eyeshadow)

2. There’s actually an excellent and very accurate description of manic depression that occurs in the court room scene at the end of the film, It’s meant to be played for larfs And not taken seriously, but to be perfectly honest with you, I think COOPERs character completely and absolutely fits the bill. 

 

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Brewster McCloud (1970) 7/10

Robert Altman's followup to "M*A*S*H". Bud Cort is the title character, a strange young man who believes he has figured out how to fly like a bird. He is protected by a guardian angel (Sally Kellerman) with clipped wings. He then becomes a suspect in a series of murders of people who are found strangled and covered in bird droppings. Shelley Duvall nearly steals the film as a kooky tour guide who falls for McCloud. It is her first film and she wears these huge false eyelashes, she later has a passionate kissing scene with a guy right after she vomits. One of the most fun things about the film are some funny references to other movies. Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch Of The West herself) plays a nasty old woman who becomes one of the murder victims. She is found dead wearing a pair of ruby slippers! There are few references to "Bullitt" as well. Michael Murphy plays a "super cop" investigating the murders, he is a direct parody of Steve McQueen's Lt. Frank Bullitt, complete with turtleneck sweaters and upside down shoulder holster. The famous chase scene is lampooned here as well, Shelley Duvall plays the crazy driver in this one, she even puts on gloves and clips on her seat belt before the chase, an exact copy of the original scene. 

This is worth seeing, it loses a bit of steam toward the end, but the funniest parts are hilarious.

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Scaramouche (1952)  -  7/10

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Technicolor swashbuckler with Stewart Granger as Andre Moreau, a late 18th century Frenchman who gets caught up in the pre-revolutionary intrigue affecting the country. He earns the ire of nobleman and expert swordsman Mel Ferrer, so Granger hides out among a theatrical troupe while also honing his own fencing skills, in order to one day exact his revenge. Also featuring Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh, Nina Foch, Richard Anderson, Henry Wilcoxon, John Dehner, Robert Coote, and Lewis Stone. Sumptuous production values highlight this costume adventure tale. The sword fightin' ain't bad, neither.

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I’m not a big fan of CAPRA, but I’m watching MR DEEDS (again) right now. 

1. Damn GARY COOPER was FINE (and a pioneer for men who wear eyeshadow)

2. There’s actually an excellent and very accurate description of manic depression that occurs in the court room scene at the end of the film, It’s meant to be played for larfs And not taken seriously, but to be perfectly honest with you, I think COOPERs character completely and absolutely fits the bill. 

 

Even though I often find Gary Cooper dull and stiff, I do find times when his robot persona works.  I would agree with you on him being perfect in Mr Deeds Goes to Town.  He's supposed to be a small town everyman type and it works.  I also think he's great with Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe and Ball of Fire.  I also love him in Design For Living.  

I would agree that he's attractive, but sometimes he's too pretty which I find off-putting? Does that make sense? It's like in Another Dawn with Errol Flynn and Kay Francis.  I don't know what they did to my boy Errol, but he almost looks like a porcelain doll and I don't find him as attractive.

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The Thief (1952)  -  7/10

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Audacious thriller starring Ray Milland as an American scientist who has agreed to sell state secrets to Soviet agents. He soon finds himself under the scrutiny of the FBI, which makes his position even more perilous. Also featuring Martin Gabel, Rita Gam, Harry Bronson, Rex O'Malley and Rita Grapel. The unusual aspect of this seemingly routine Cold War thriller is the lack of any spoken dialogue for the film's entire 86 minute running time. The score by Herschel Burke Gilbert becomes that much more important, and he received an Oscar nomination for it. Milland does an admirable job as the conflicted center of the action. 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

The Thief (1952)  -  7/10

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Audacious thriller starring Ray Milland as an American scientist who has agreed to sell state secrets to Soviet agents. He soon finds himself under the scrutiny of the FBI, which makes his position even more perilous. Also featuring Martin Gabel, Rita Gam, Harry Bronson, Rex O'Malley and Rita Grapel. The unusual aspect of this seemingly routine Cold War thriller is the lack of any spoken dialogue for the film's entire 86 minute running time. The score by Herschel Burke Gilbert becomes that much more important, and he received an Oscar nomination for it. Milland does an admirable job as the conflicted center of the action. 

Also memorable for me about this thriller is the sensual presence of Rita Gam as "The Girl" who lives down the hall from Milland.

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I don't recall if this second shot is actually in the film but her come hither erotic appeal contribution to the film is nicely conveyed in this photo anyway.

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Any film with two Ritas can't be bad.    Lovely Rita,  doesn't look like a meter maid.

No dialog;  wow,  need to check this one out. 

 

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This Is Cinerama (1952)  -  7/10

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Documentary travelogue showcase for the new Cinerama film process, with Lowell Thomas hosting and narrating scenes shot around the world in the widescreen, curved format. An opera performance, a Scottish marching band, a religious ceremony, a water show at Cyprus Gardens are all among the vignettes shown. The copy I watched was in the "smilebox" format. This probably wouldn't be of interest to many viewers now, but I found it to be an invaluable relic of that period in cinema history. Along with the 3-D Bwana Devil released that same year, This Is Cinerama heralded the end of the "Golden Age" of American filmmaking and the beginning of the "Silver Age", when technical achievements like CinemaScope, Panavision, stereophonic sound, 3-D and other techniques attempted to lure viewers away from their TV sets at home.

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And, as far as 3-D goes, what is more effective than "House of Wax" in 3-D?

 

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2 hours ago, rayban said:

And, as far as 3-D goes, what is more effective than "House of Wax" in 3-D?

Arch Obler's The Bubble (1966 - Obler also gave us "Bwana Devil") is, like "Bwana", a horribly amateurish film, but has one shot that will make you a believer in 3-D. B)  If it had been a better movie, I'd have kept the disk around during the 10's, just to shut up all those angry home-theater cheapskates who whined about "greedy studios" trying to sell us Blu3D, and that nothing "popped out" like in Panasonic's ad for Avatar on disks.

But yes, Charles Bronson popping up out of the third row in in "Wax" does still make you jump every time.

Haven't gotten around to seeing any of the other Smilebox Cinerama-restorations from Flicker Alley, as they mostly do the Cinerama company's own independent travelogues.  Warner owns most of the MGM Cineramas, like "Battle of the Bulge" and "Ice Station Zebra", and you know the possibility we have of seeing those restored on disk.

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

And, as far as 3-D goes, what is more effective than "House of Wax" in 3-D?

 

I wish Rita Gam had been in 3-D in The Thief.

She sure lived up to her last name.

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The Turning Point (1952)  -  7/10

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Crime drama from director William Dieterle. William Holden is a newspaper man and Edmond O'Brien is a city prosecutor. Both are tasked with taking down the rackets run by gang boss Ed Begley. Things are complicated when Holden learns that O'Brien's cop dad Tom Tully is on the take, and both Holden and O'Brien fall for Alexis Smith. Also featuring Danny Dayton, Adele Longmire, Ray Teal, Ted de Corsia, Don Porter, Whit Bissell, Russell Johnson, Carolyn Jones, and Neville Brand as a grinning killer. This was an entertaining gangland yarn, with a few rough patches as Dieterle tried to film sections with a neo-realist aesthetic. This was the debut of Carolyn Jones, a brief but memorable cameo as a gang moll testifying before an investigatory panel.

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We're Not Married (1952)  -  6/10

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Anemic comedy from director Edmund Goulding concerning a justice of the peace (Victor Moore) who discovers that several marriages he performed are illegitimate due to a technicality. There are vignettes showing the status of 5 of the couples: Ginger Rogers & Fred Allen as a bickering celebrity couple with a radio show; David Wayne taking on the father duties to the baby he has with beauty pageant queen Marilyn Monroe; Paul Douglas who dreams of the dalliances he could have away from cold wife Eve Arden; Louis Calhern as a wealthy businessman who is being set-up for the big divorce pay-off by gold-digger Zsa Zsa Gabor; and Eddie Bracken as a soldier horrified that to learn that he's not actually married to expecting wife Mitzi Gaynor. Also featuring Jane Darwell, James Gleason, Paul Stewart, Byron Foulger, Dabbs Greer, Gloria Talbott, and Lee Marvin. There are some mildly humorous bits, but the stories are too brief to offer any depth. This was the final Marilyn Monroe film that I had not seen.

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Babes in Bagdad (1952)  -  4/10

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Cheap, goofy Arabian Nights nonsense from Edgar Ulmer. New slave girl Paulette Goddard is incensed about being placed in the caliph's harem. She puts forth the revolutionary idea of monogamy, a concept that also appeals to fellow harem girl Gypsy Rose Lee. They find an unexpected advocate in the form of the caliph's nephew Richard Ney, who sets out to convince the Kadi (John Boles) to change the marriage policy. Also featuring Thomas Gallagher, Sebastian Cabot as Sinbad(!!!), MacDonald Parke, Natalie Benesh, and Christopher Lee. Silly and anachronistic, my viewing wasn't helped by the poor copy I watched on YouTube; the originally-color film was in B&W, and the sound was dodgy, to boot. The smudgy print even made it difficult to ogle the titular babes. This was the final film for John Boles, a long way from Frankenstein. I watched this for Christopher Lee, who has a minor role as a slaver.

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The Devil's Daughter (1973)  -  7/10

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Made-for-TV fright flick starring Belinda Montgomery as a young woman whose mother has just died. She's invited to stay with her mother's old friend Lilith (Shelley Winters), but Belinda soon realizes something sinister is afoot with Lilith and her weird friends. Also featuring Jonathan Frid as the mute manservant, Joseph Cotten as the kindly old lawyer, Abe Vigoda doing a Boris Karloff impression as a cult member, Martha Scott, Robert Foxworth, Lucille Benson, Barbara Sammeth, Ian Wolfe, Robert Cornthwaite, and Diane Ladd. As far these Satan-in-the-suburbs 70's TV movies go, this is one of the better ones, even if it's highly predictable. The performances save it from obscurity.

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Babes in Bagdad (1952)  -  4/10

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You forgot to mention the clever dialogue Babes in Bagdad has, Lawrence. At one point Paulette Goddard calls John Boles a "Bagdad wolf" which was, apparently, supposed to be a cue for laughter from the audience. Boles is so huge he's barely recognizable as the same handsome (if dull) leading man and operetta singer of the '30s. The atrocious quality of the only print I've seen of the film perhaps helps to hide the embarrassment on the faces of those involved.

Paulette, a vivacious Hollywood charmer during the '40s,  got stuck in a lot of "B"s at the end of her career, unfortunately, and I think this painfully unfunny Arabian Nights "romp" probably represents the low point for her. For another costume clinker of her's around this same time, however, there is also Sins of Jezebel, in which Goddard is unconvincingly cast as a Biblical seductress, with cheap cardboard sets propped up around her.

 

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7 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Devil's Daughter (1973)  -  7/10

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Made-for-TV fright flick starring Belinda Montgomery as a young woman whose mother has just died. She's invited to stay with her mother's old friend Lilith (Shelley Winters), but Belinda soon realizes something sinister is afoot with Lilith and her weird friends. Also featuring Jonathan Frid as the mute manservant, Joseph Cotten as the kindly old lawyer, Abe Vigoda doing a Boris Karloff impression as a cult member, Martha Scott, Robert Foxworth, Lucille Benson, Barbara Sammeth, Ian Wolfe, Robert Cornthwaite, and Diane Ladd. As far these Satan-in-the-suburbs 70's TV movies go, this is one of the better ones, even if it's highly predictable. The performances save it from obscurity.

Great twist ending too.

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Blowing Wild (1953)  -  7/10

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Action/melodrama with Gary Cooper and Ward Bond as American oil workers flat broke in South America. They luckily cross paths with old friend Anthony Quinn who gives them a job on his nearby oil wells, but trouble is a-brewin' as Quinn's wife (Barbara Stanwyck) has a past with Cooper that she may not want to let go of. Also featuring Ruth Roman, Ian MacDonald, and Juan Garcia. Stanwyck gets to be a bad girl again, which is always a plus. Ward Bond gets punched in the face, which is always a plus. Anthony Quinn gets drunk and causes a scene, which is always a plus. Oddly enough, there's a sequence early in the film where Cooper and Bond have to transport nitroglycerin in the back of a truck over a bumpy road, the same year that The Wages of Fear used the same plot to craft one of the greatest films ever made.

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Bright Road (1953)  -  6/10

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Classroom drama with Dorothy Dandridge as a new elementary school teacher determined to connect with troubled student C.T. (Philip Hepburn). School principal Harry Belafonte (in his movie debut) thinks the boy is a lost cause, but gives Dorothy the leeway to try, anyway. This is a very simple tale, told in a simple manner, with occasional heavy-handed symbolism (the young boy watches over the weeks as a caterpillar spins a cocoon and becomes butterfly, much as the troubled boy learns and grows and becomes a young man). The classroom sub-genre has gone on to be visited many times by filmmakers, so this film will look very primitive to modern viewers, but it's still nice to see Dandridge and Belafonte.

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On 2/10/2019 at 1:21 PM, speedracer5 said:

Even though I often find Gary Cooper dull and stiff, I do find times when his robot persona works.  I would agree with you on him being perfect in Mr Deeds Goes to Town.  He's supposed to be a small town everyman type and it works.  I also think he's great with Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe and Ball of Fire.  I also love him in Design For Living.  

I would agree that he's attractive, but sometimes he's too pretty which I find off-putting? Does that make sense? It's like in Another Dawn with Errol Flynn and Kay Francis.  I don't know what they did to my boy Errol, but he almost looks like a porcelain doll and I don't find him as attractive.

I have that book from the 1970's about Errol and write-ups on all his films, with loads of photos of him with Lily Damita, and his dad and sometimes it looked like Warner Brothers wanted to make him look like a kewpie doll, with a slight lipstick put on and curled and peroxided hair, which looked foppish. Is not this guy good looking enough, that he could play the Earl of Essex without hair dye and a marcelled wave look? I will say the improvement done to his choppers though was an improvement. 

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21 hours ago, rayban said:

And, as far as 3-D goes, what is more effective than "House of Wax" in 3-D?

 

Saw that way back at a theater and it had some of the best 3-D effects of all time. Much better than Andy Warhol's foray into horror with 3-D chunks of human flesh thrust out over the audience in some sequences. As silly as it was, I even enjoyed the ridiculous paddle ball scene in HOW.

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The Captain's Paradise (1953)  -  7/10

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Amusing British comedy with Alec Guinness as a ship's captain who secretly has two wives, one of each of his regular ports. Celia Johnson is the proper homemaker wife, while Yvonne De Carlo is the one he has fun with. Naturally his polygamous ways catch up to him. Also featuring Miles Malleson, Peter Bull, Ferdy Mayne, and Sebastian Cabot. Lightly played and deftly handled farce.

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