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I Just Watched...

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5 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

Lawrence, not to derail the thread, just curious, did you get to watch or record The Little Fugitive this morning?

No I didn't. I forgot to program it, darn it all. However, I just tracked it down online, and I'll add it to my list of stuff to see.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954)  -  7/10

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TV version of George Orwell's novel, produced as part of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre. Peter Cushing stars as Winston Smith, a lowly worker in a future fascist dystopia. He begins to question the authority of Big Brother as he falls for Julia (Yvonne Mitchell). Also featuring Andre Morell as "O'Brien", Donald Pleasence, Arnold Diamond, and Wilfrid Brambell. Adapted by Nigel Kneale after the success of the first Quatermass TV project, this remains pretty faithful to the source. It's a mix of live performance with some pre-filmed inserts. It was a massive though controversial success, and even led to debate on the floor of Parliament over the merits of the program. It firmly established Cushing as a rising British talent, and his career took off afterward. The same was true for Donald Pleasence, who went on to appear in the big-screen adaptation in 1956. This 1954 TV version was thought lost for decades (a Peter Cushing biography that I read years ago listed it as so) but a copy was later discovered in the Library of Congress. It's now available via Amazon prime video.

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Orders are Orders (1954)  -  5/10

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British comedy about an American film crew causing chaos on an English army base by taking over the barracks to film a low-budget sci-fi film. The fast-talking film producer (Sidney James) convinces the base commander (Raymond Huntley) to comply via use of his seductive leading lady (Margot Grahame). Meanwhile, another officer (Brian Reece) tries to build up the nerve to propose to his girlfriend (June Thorburn). Also featuring Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Peter Martyn, Maureen Swanson, Clive Morton, Barry McKay, and Donald Pleasence. The laughs are few and far between. Sellers, looking chubbier than I've ever seen him, has a small role as a goofy gofer. The movie got re-released after he became a big star, and the posters promoted him as the star (see above).

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Rogue Cop (1954)  -  7/10

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Crime drama with Robert Taylor as a veteran cop who's on the take for mobster George Raft. Taylor's younger brother, fellow cop Steve Forrest, won't play ball, so Raft orders Taylor to wise him up, leading to escalating conflict. Also featuring Janet Leigh as Forrest's chanteuse gal-pal, Anne Francis as a drunken gang moll, Alan Hale Jr., Robert Ellenstein, Robert F. Simon, Peter Brocco, Olice Carey, Roy Barcroft, Ray Teal, Paul Brinegar, Richard Deacon, Russell Johnson, Milton Parsons, and Vince Edwards. Taylor is pretty good cast against type, even if he is still a stiff square. The supporting cast is top notch.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Rogue Cop (1954)  -  7/10

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Crime drama with Robert Taylor as a veteran cop who's on the take for mobster George Raft. Taylor's younger brother, fellow cop Steve Forrest, won't play ball, so Raft orders Taylor to wise him up, leading to escalating conflict. Also featuring Janet Leigh as Forrest's chanteuse gal-pal, Anne Francis as a drunken gang moll, Alan Hale Jr., Robert Ellenstein, Robert F. Simon, Peter Brocco, Olice Carey, Roy Barcroft, Ray Teal, Paul Brinegar, Richard Deacon, Russell Johnson, Milton Parsons, and Vince Edwards. Taylor is pretty good cast against type, even if he is still a stiff square. The supporting cast is top notch.

I think this is the first film I ever saw with Robert Taylor. I had seen him on tv in The Detectives series but had never gotten a chance to see any of his movies. Throughout the entire film, I kept thinking, "man this guy is really p.o.'d about something."

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11 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

I think this is the first film I ever saw with Robert Taylor. I had seen him on tv in The Detectives series but had never gotten a chance to see any of his movies. Throughout the entire film, I kept thinking, "man this guy is really p.o.'d about something."

I know what you mean. It's even more striking when one considers the rather beatific look he has on the poster.

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Secret of the Incas (1954)  -  7/10

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Adventure set in Peru with Charlton Heston as a cynical tour guide and mercenary who travels to Machu Picchu with foreign gal Nicole Maurey in search of a legendary Inca treasure. They meet up with archaeologist Robert Young and scheming crook Thomas Mitchell along the way. Also featuring Glenda Farrell, Leon Askin, Michael Pate, Marion Ross, and Yma Sumac. Heston is entertaining as the anti-hero, whose look inspired that of Indiana Jones. Michael Pate plays a native, sporting one of those Peruvian pointy hats. Singer Yma Sumac has one of her only two acting roles as another native, and she gets to sing(?) a few songs(?), as well. A fun Technicolor popcorn flick.

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I've managed to remove three films (count 'em three!) and only recorded one in its place (Merrily We Live).  I am making progress!

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Operation Mad Ball (1957).  I recorded this movie during the Ernie Kovacs birthday tribute a few weeks ago.  I actually recorded everything that evening, except Bell, Book and Candle which I already own.  I was only really familiar with Kovacs from an episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour that he and Edie Adams appeared in.  I had no idea his brand of comedy.  The experimental comedy of The Ernie Kovacs Show was very interesting, especially in context of the era in which it was made.  

'Operation,' was Kovacs' first film.  He was excellent as the stuffy, by-the-book captain.  He made a great foe for Jack Lemmon.  It's a shame that Kovacs was killed at such a young age and so early in his career.  Anyway, this film takes place at a military hospital unit after WWII.  Because they're not in war, the soldiers and nurses stationed at the base are bored.  Lemmon plays the brash, but personable soldier, Private Hogan.  Hogan is portrayed as Captain Lock's (Kovacs) biggest nemesis.  However, Colonel Rousch (Arthur O'Connell) likes Hogan and reminds Lock that he is the most decorated soldier in their unit.  Hogan decides that the men in the unit need something to cure them of boredom--a big blow out party.

The remainder of the film features Hogan and the other men in the company trying to covertly plan and set-up this big shindig right under the nose of Captain Lock.  A venue is procured and fixed up, supplies are organized, a band is cobbled together and nurses are invited to be the dates of the servicemen.  There is a conflict when Rousch wants to arrange a party for his brother on the same night and later, Hogan is potentially without a date when he has a falling out with Lieutenant Bixby (Kathryn Grant), the dietician nurse whom Hogan has a crush on.

I enjoyed this film very much.  I always enjoy Jack Lemmon and I really like Ernie Kovacs.  Arthur O'Connell is always reliable.  Kathryn Grant was very pretty.  There were a ton of people in this film whom I recognized: my boy James "Moondoggie" Darren played one of the younger soldiers who also plays the ocarina in the band; Roger Smith (Auntie Mame) plays Corporal Berryman, whom Lemmon enlists to help plan the party.  The old uncle from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ("THE BLESSS-ING") portrays one of the other soldiers.  Dick York (Darrin Stephens #1 from Bewitched) is Corporal Bohun who works as Lock's assistant and is hired by Lock to spy on Hogan's activities.  Mickey Rooney makes a very loud, boisterous appearance as Bohun's cousin (Master Sergeant Yancey Skibo) who helps Hogan plan his big shindig. Look for a young Mary Tyler Moore in an uncredited role as a nurse who piles into the back of the ambulance, enroute to the big party!
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Macao (1952)

This is the second Robert Mitchum/Jane Russell pairing that I have seen.  This was an interesting film.  In this film, Russell portrays a singer, Mitchum is an ex-serviceman and William Bendix portrays a New York detective who also dabbles in contraband. All three characters arrive at the same port in Macao, a unique east Asian locale where people speak Chinese and Portuguese.  A corrupt police officer (Thomas Gomez) informs Vincent Halloran of the three new strangers in Macao.  Halloran is the big casino boss and leader of the underworld movement.  Halloran apparently has been tipped off that New York Detectives plan to lure him out into international waters (about 3 miles off the Macao coastline) so that they can arrest him.  Gomez assumes that Mitchum is the detective and tells Halloran.  Russell ends up applying for a job as a singer with Halloran and he hires her.  Mitchum tries to get a job but is turned down, mostly because Halloran is under the assumption that he's a detective. 

Gloria Grahame plays Halloran's girlfriend.  Her talents are wasted in this film.  The only really interesting thing about her character is the wild wrap/glove combo that she wears in the casino and the fact that she seems to play on both sides of the fence when it comes to being a "good" character or a "bad" one.  

This film was okay.  I don't know if I'd watch it again, but I'm glad I watched it this time.  Jane Russell does a horrible version of "One For My Baby (and One for the Road)."  Sinatra sings it very melancholy and Russell tries to make it sound uplifting.  I loved Russell's costumes in this film and I liked the scene toward the end when Mitchum chases the enemy through floating fishing boats and large nets.

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It Had to Be You (1947)

This was a strange film.  I can't decide if I liked it or not.  In this film, Ginger Rogers portrays Victoria Stafford.  A woman who has had three weddings in three years and hasn't said "I do" at any of them.  Each time she's prompted to say "I do," she bails. My opinion is that she's jumping into marriage too soon. Really? Getting married within a year of meeting someone? Anyway, a year after failed wedding #3, Victoria announces that she wishes to marry her new beau.  Her father is understandably skeptical. He orders Victoria to spend a month alone and seriously think about her relationship and determine if she really wants to get married.  Victoria goes to her Maine home for reflection.

A month later, while on her way home, Rogers has a dream about a man dressed as a Native American (Cornel Wilde).  When she wakes up, the man from her dream is in her train compartment! Now normally, I would assume that her dream has come to life, but only she can see him.  No.  Everyone can see him.  He follows Victoria home and stays at her family home as a friend.  She introduces him as "George Mocassin" (pronounced Mo-Case-in).  Based on his tendency to wear mocassins.  Understandably, Victoria's beau is not a fan of George Mocassin.  

While out shopping, Victoria comes across Johnny Blaine (also Cornel Wilde), a fireman, in a department store.  He looks exactly like George Mocassin, but more serious.  They of course get off to a bad start and Johnny cannot stand Victoria.  However, they meet again and end up discovering that they have a ton in common--including three failed weddings that did not result in a marriage.  Johnny decides he wants to marry Victoria.  He goes to her father to ask for her hand.  The Staffords assume that Johnny is George and are against the wedding.  Johnny thinks they are bonkers and leaves. 

Toward the end of the film, the "man dressed as a Native American" thing begins to make sense.  As Victoria is watching old home movies, she comes across a video of herself as a kindergartner.  In the video, a boy dressed as a Native American gives her a kiss.  This is the moment when Victoria realizes that George Mocassin is the little boy she's been pining over since she was a child.  The film ends with an Officer and a Gentleman-moment between Wilde and Rogers.

In this film, Rogers affects a breathy, dingy voice.  I'm not sure if I enjoyed that as much, but her comedienne skills were fully on display.  Wilde was fun as George Mocassin, but as Johnny Blaine, he was a bit stiff.  Maybe Wilde just needs to wear costumes to be able to have fun in his film roles.  This film was enjoyable, albeit a little confusing.  Rogers wears this bizarre wedding veil that has a big plastic circle on it.  I think it was supposed to simulate the idea of a halo? I'm not sure.  What I love about the golden era of Hollywood films, is that the actresses sometimes wear the wildest looking gowns and hats, but they always look elegant. 

Image result for it had to be you 1947

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Satan's School for Girls (1973)  -  5/10

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One of the all-time great TV-movie titles unfortunately delivers a mediocre film. Pamela Franklin stars as a woman whose sister commits suicide after attending an exclusive all-girls school. Franklin assumes a false identity and enrolls at the school herself to try and find out why, leading to some infernal discoveries. Featuring Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd as fellow students, Jo Van Fleet as the oddball headmistress, Roy Thinnes and Lloyd Bochner as teachers, Bing Russell, Bill Quinn, and Frank Marth. There are a few fleeting moments of suspense and mystery, but not enough, and the overly-dark cinematography makes the dull stretches seem even longer. The film's revelations don't come as much of a surprise, either. 

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Better than Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Singer Yma Sumac has one of her only two acting roles as another native, and she gets to sing(?) a few songs(?), as well.

My main reason for loving this movie. She just lip synchs songs from her recordings. The recordings blow you away played on rich old vinyl on a really good hi-fi. Amazing. 

What other movie can I see her in? I hear a lot of her songs used on soundtracks, but I like seeing her. So exotic!

7 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

One of the all-time great TV-movie titles unfortunately delivers a mediocre film.

I really enjoy your sentiments, Lawrence.

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

My main reason for loving this movie. She just lip synchs songs from her recordings. The recordings blow you away played on rich old vinyl on a really good hi-fi. Amazing. 

What other movie can I see her in? I hear a lot of her songs used on soundtracks, but I like seeing her. So exotic!

Yma Sumac is also in Omar Khayyam (1957), with Cornel Wilde, Michael Rennie, Raymond Massey, and John Derek. Here she is on the right, with Debra Paget:

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Witness to Murder (1954)  -  7/10

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Thriller with Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who witnesses George Sanders murder a woman across the street from her apartment. She promptly reports it to the police, but they find no evidence, so Sanders walks. Then it becomes a game of cat and mouse as Stanwyck tries to prove what she saw and Sanders tries to shut her up. Also featuring Gary Merrill, Jesse White, Claude Akins, and Juanita Moore. A solid nail-biter, well-shot by John Alton and directed by Roy Rowland.

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16 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Thriller with Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who witnesses George Sanders murder a woman across the street from her apartment. She promptly reports it to the police, but they find no evidence, so Sanders walks. Then it becomes a game of cat and mouse as Stanwyck tries to prove what she saw and Sanders tries to shut her up. Also featuring Gary Merrill, Jesse White, Claude Akins, and Juanita Moore. A solid nail-biter, well-shot by John Alton and directed by Roy Rowland.

I love this one. Sanders is a despicable though clever villain in this. He even has Stanwyck doubting her own sanity!

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Apache Woman (1955)  -  4/10

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Woeful western from director Roger Corman features Lloyd Bridges as a government agent investigating reports of Apache attacks near a small town. Lloyd falls for title dame Joan Taylor, a half-breed whose brother (Lance Fuller) is secretly behind the attacks. Also featuring Morgan Jones, Paul Birch, Jonathan Haze, Chester Conklin, X Brands, and Dick Miller in his movie debut. Corman, directing for only the second time, manages to bring out the worst in his performers, some of whom have done good work before and since. Dull and amateurish, this was the first feature released by AIP, then known as American Releasing Corporation. 

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The Atomic Man aka Timeslip (1955)  -  5/10

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British science fiction mystery with Gene Nelson and Faith Domergue as American reporters working in England. They investigate a story about a prominent scientist (Peter Arne) found floating in a river with multiple bullet wounds. Not only does the man survive, but due to massive radiation doses, his consciousness is now 7 seconds in the future. Gene and Faith try to stop enemy agents, one of whom is the scientist's doppelganger, from subverting the doctor's efforts to create artificial tungsten. Also featuring Joseph Tomelty, Donald Gray, Vic Perry, Martin Wyldeck, and Barry MacKay. This is probably the best artificial tungsten movie that Gene Nelson made that year.

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Union Pacific (1939)

Entertaining from start to finish, this is one of C. B. DeMille’s better flicks. Joel McCrea plays the troubleshooter for the Union Pacific Railroad, which is to meet up with the Central Pacific Railroad out west. Barbara Stanwyck, with an Irish brogue, plays the daughter of a railroad engineer. Of course, there are scoundrels involved (Brian Donlevy, for one), and Robert Preston gets in the middle of the scheming. The action sequences are exciting, and there is just enough brawling with McCrea taking out the trash. The cast is loaded with familiar faces (too many of them in beards, by the way). Akim Tamiroff and Lynne Overman make a crazy pair. The typical ham acting and cornball script associated with DeMille’s productions are ditched for the most part, except for when Regis Toomey buys the farm early on, and we are treated to a rendition of “Danny Boy.”

I hadn’t seen this in over forty years. This is one of those “don’t make ‘em like this anymore” films. Fun.

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Betrayed Women (1955)  -  5/10

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Women-In-Prison flick with Beverly Michaels as "Honey Blake", the belligerent ex-moll of a notorious outlaw. She's sentenced to life in prison at a bayou-country work farm where the usual mistreatment from sadistic guards awaits. Honey teams up with fellow inmates Carole Mathews and Peggy Knudsen for a prison break, much to the consternation of Knudsen's ex, state prison inspector Tom Drake. Also featuring Sara Haden, Esther Dale, and John Dierkes. Trashy, low-budget thrills.

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2 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

Union Pacific (1939)

....The typical ham acting and cornball script associated with DeMille’s productions are ditched for the most part, except for when Regis Toomey buys the farm early on, and we are treated to a rendition of “Danny Boy.”

You shouldn't blame DeMille for that, Rich. I believe Regis Toomey had that sort'a thing written into his contract.

He dies...they play "Danny Boy".

Didn't know Toomey had that much bargaining power, did ya.

(...btw, Regis would also become independently wealthy in his later years by selling off his invention for a new type of ratcheted wrench set to the Sears Roebuck and Company...they in turn would rename it and include it into their Craftsman brand of hand tools from the original name of, yeah you guessed it, the "Socket Toomey" ratcheted wrench set, and with a memorable appearance by Richard Milhous Nixon once hawking it on television, before of course he sold it to Sears...betcha didn't know that either, did ya)

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On 2/15/2019 at 1:44 PM, LawrenceA said:

The Long Wait (1954)  -  7/10

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Mystery/crime drama with Anthony Quinn as an amnesiac who tries to piece his past back together, only to learn that he's wanted for murder. Featuring Charles Coburn, Gene Evans, Peggie Castle, Mary Ellen Kay, Shirley Patterson, Dolores Donlon, James Millican, Jay Adler, and Bruno VeSota. Based on a book by Mickey Spillane, this features his usual trope of having every woman on screen fall instantly in lust with the leading man. It's overdone to the point of hilarity, although Quinn leans into the role with gusto. There's also Spillane's penchant for fisticuffs, which is most humorously displayed when Quinn slaps rotund Bruno VeSota around before sending him down a flight of stairs. A fun time in the dark city.

Did you see a good print of this? The online offering is horrible. It's entertaining enough, and quite noirish, liked the stylistic sequence in the warehouse. agree 7/10

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2 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

The typical ham acting and cornball script associated with DeMille’s productions are ditched for the most part, except for when Regis Toomey buys the farm early on, and we are treated to a rendition of “Danny Boy.”

You know I believe that "Danny Boy" was written after the turn of the century, would be anachronistic during the building of the Union Pacific.

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13 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Did you see a good print of this? The online offering is horrible. It's entertaining enough, and quite noirish, liked the stylistic sequence in the warehouse. agree 7/10

I watched the online one. It wasn't too horrible, but I've watched some really awful prints online, so it didn't seem as bad to me. I've grown used to the trade-off of bad prints in exchange for seeing something I otherwise wouldn't be able to. However, I have watched just as many online that were very good prints.

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1 minute ago, LawrenceA said:

I watched the online one. It wasn't too horrible, but I've watched some really awful prints online, so it didn't seem as bad to me. I've grown used to the trade-off of bad prints in exchange for seeing something I otherwise wouldn't be able to. However, I have watched just as many online that were very good prints.

I'd like to see if a decent print adds to the appreciation of the cinematography, you just can't tell with that one all the blacks are overly crushed.

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3 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

You know I believe that "Danny Boy" was written after the turn of the century, would be anachronistic during the building of the Union Pacific.

Yeah, but how in the heck would playin' "I've Been Workin' On The Railroad" while watching Regis bite the dust have elicited a tear from the audience, CJ???

(...and besides, don't forget that whole contract thing I just mentioned here too!)

;)

 

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