speedracer5

I Just Watched...

17,262 posts in this topic

The Last Hunt (1956)  -  5/10

the-last-hunt-movie-poster-1956-10204880

Western drama with Stewart Granger as a would-be rancher who loses his herd in a buffalo stampede. He's convinced by blood-crazed a-hole Robert Taylor to join him in buffalo hunting. Along with half-breed Russ Tamblyn and one-legged coot Lloyd Nolan, they set out for the hunt. They eventually run into some natives, and after Taylor kills the men, he takes native gal Debra Paget to be his rape-slave. Eventually Taylor's cohorts grow just as tired of his BS as the viewers do. Also featuring Constance Ford as a temperamental "easy woman", Joe De Santis, and Roy Barcroft.

Taylor is usually a wooden plank, but here he's a slightly more animated despicable a-hole. Is his performance good? Well, I really thought he was a despicable a-hole, so I guess so. The filmmakers coordinated with the Wildlife department to allow the annual buffalo herd culling to be done in conjunction with the filming, so the buffalo killings on screen are real. In the end, this was a movie starring two actors I don't really care for, one of them playing a loathsome a-hole, with a story centered around reprehensible aspects of the Old West (cruelty and over-hunting of buffalo, mistreatment of the natives), featuring actual animal deaths. No thanks. 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Last Hunt (1956)  -  5/10

the-last-hunt-movie-poster-1956-10204880

 

We differ on The Last Hunt, Lawrence. For my money, probably Robert Taylor's most effective performance as a cold blooded Indian hater and gunman. This is a solid outdoor western, despite the fact that it does feature actual culling of buffalo. The final image of Taylor in this film is both unexpected and memorable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

I understood this film about as well as I understand quantum physics.

If you can figure out the ending - the secret to David Hemmings' character - the film will suddenly make sense to you.

blowup-1966-035-thomas-next-to-tennis-co

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

THE FORGOTTEN (2004) *Score: 3/10*

Starring: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Anthony Edwards, Jessica Hecht, Gary Sinise. 

Telly (Moore) is a grieving woman whose son has recently died. She constantly talks about him, but is completely dumbfounded when her husband and friends don't seem to remember him at all. Telly's husband forces her to go to therapy so they can try to resolve this issue of a seemingly made up son, but once Telly reconnects with the father of her son's neighborhood friend, the two grow suspicious of the events surrounding their children's deaths, and decide to investigate. 

I wasn't all that impressed with this one, if I'm being completely honest. I feel like they could have gone deeper with the idea, but they chose not to. Julianne Moore was the most likable I guess? But all the characters were extremely bland. 

Image result for the forgotten 2004

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TomJH said:

We differ on The Last Hunt, Lawrence. For my money, probably Robert Taylor's most effective performance as a cold blooded Indian hater and gunman. This is a solid outdoor western, despite the fact that it does feature actual culling of buffalo. The final image of Taylor in this film is both unexpected and memorable.

Yeah, I know we differed, as you were the one to recommend this one to me. Maybe I was just in the wrong frame of mind while watching it. I did like the scene where Granger drunkenly brawls with everyone in the bar. And yes, the final image of Taylor was striking. I wonder if Kubrick thought of it when planning The Shining. But as for the buffalo hunting, I kept wishing that the characters would all get stampeded. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In tonight's installment of 1970's Made-for-TV Theatre:

Cry Panic (1974)  -  6/10

80829_320.png

Decent mystery/thriller with John Forsythe as a man driving through a small California town who gets into an accident, killing a pedestrian. However, when the police arrive, the body of the victim has disappeared, and no one believes Forsythe. But this is just the beginning of his nightmare ordeal. Also featuring Earl Holliman, Ralph Meeker, Norman Alden, Claudia McNeil, Wesley Lau, Royce D. Applegate, and Anne Francis. This stranger in a strange town tale is unpredictable and well enough acted. I'm not sure it all made complete sense by the end, but it was entertaining.

 

Death Cruise (1974)  -  5/10

Long_Movies_DeathCruise1.jpg

Three couples (Richard Long & Polly Bergen, Tom Bosley & Celeste Holm, and Edward Albert & Kate Jackson) on a luxury cruise find themselves the target of a mysterious murderer. New ship's doctor Michael Constantine tries to solve the case before they're all dead. Also featuring Cesare Danova as the ship's captain. From producer Aaron Spelling, this felt like a dark version of an episode of Love Boat. The identity of the killer is fairly obvious, as are a few final-act twists. This would be Richard Long's final appearance, as he died in December of '74.

 

The Elevator (1974)  -  5/10

original_elevator2.jpg

A number of passengers are trapped after hours in a malfunctioning elevator high up in a newly-opened skyscraper. They struggle to find a way out before the elevator gives way and they all plummet to their deaths. Featuring James Farentino as a claustrophobic criminal, Craig Stevens as cool-under-pressure doctor, Teresa Wright as his wife, Myrna Loy as a rich eccentric, Roddy McDowell as the building supervisor, Arlene Golonka, Jean Allison, and Barry Livingston. Carol Lynley and Don Stroud also appear as Farentino's accomplices. This is fairly routine stuff (there's only so much one can do in a "trapped in the elevator" story), but I did enjoy Loy's turn as a gabby old dame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess ol' Myrna needed a stiff drink after this one, which is why she wandered over to the set of Airport '75 and started ordering the ingredients to make boilermakers.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Many later Italian productions recorded sound while shooting, with a babble of different languages, so as to have the English-speakers in their own voices, for the English-speaking markets.

A-HA! Now I get it. When I was a kid, my best friend thought that Japanese people's lips moved out of synch with their speech. In GODZILLA, Raymond Burr's lips were in synch with his words, but all the Japanese people's were not! (this brilliant gal has an IQ of around 120)

13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Excellent thriller

It's about time you got to see something good, Lawrence.

BTW, I never understood what was so great about BLOW UP either. I recall the plot as intriguing, but nothing else. And if you can't remember the conclusion, it must not be a very satisfying movie.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, I know we differed, as you were the one to recommend this one to me. Maybe I was just in the wrong frame of mind while watching it. I did like the scene where Granger drunkenly brawls with everyone in the bar. And yes, the final image of Taylor was striking. I wonder if Kubrick thought of it when planning The Shining. But as for the buffalo hunting, I kept wishing that the characters would all get stampeded. 

Knowing that I'm watching buffalo really getting slain in the film is the biggest grievance I have with The Last Hunt. I enjoyed the performances of both Stewart Granger and Lloyd Nolan as a peg leg, too, though it's Robert Taylor who makes the most of it in one of his few turns at villainy. His acting woodenness, which many complain about, translates easily into effectively playing a cold blooded character.

I gather you're not a fan of Stewart Granger. I was surprised that you gave a less than enthusiastic review (though you liked it well enough) of Scaramouche, which I think is one of the great movie swashbucklers with one of the three greatest screen duels of the genre. Granger and Mel Ferrer apparently did their own duelling, too, making it all the more impressive.

a7d2cafc271e8a57aae31eb242ea3b7b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, rayban said:

If you can figure out the ending - the secret to David Hemmings' character - the film will suddenly make sense to you.

blowup-1966-035-thomas-next-to-tennis-co

The ending? I was still trying to figure out that tennis game.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rayban said:

If you can figure out the ending - the secret to David Hemmings' character - the film will suddenly make sense to you.

This is like 2001- many just don't "get it" while those who do, love the non verbal storytelling. Should I give Blow Up another try?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

This is like 2001- many just don't "get it" while those who do, love the non verbal storytelling. Should I give Blow Up another try?

Tell me how you enjoyed Blow Up a second time, Tiki.

I'll be watching Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. That one I can keep up with.

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rayban said:

If you can figure out the ending - the secret to David Hemmings' character - the film will suddenly make sense to you.

blowup-1966-035-thomas-next-to-tennis-co

(the sound of tennis balls)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

This is like 2001- many just don't "get it" while those who do, love the non verbal storytelling. Should I give Blow Up another try?

I actually watched about 40-45 minutes of it on Thursday, the part where DAVID HEMMINGS is such a prat to VANESSA REDGRAVE [about giving her the pictures he took of her without her permission] bothers me on the one hand, but on the other hand- she has such a rod up her butt that I halfway cheer it on and then I feel guilty for it. 

visually at least there are interesting things going on- it's a timecapsule for fashion, cars (although that Rolls Hemmings drives has some ugly headlights), London ca. 1966 (if you love footage of stone-walled back alleys with utility sheds, THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU) and the sound and photography are great (especially all the scenes done in the park.)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

This is like 2001- many just don't "get it" while those who do, love the non verbal storytelling. Should I give Blow Up another try?

Yes, it's worth a second try.

The non-verbal storytelling is both unique and mesmerizing.

358150.jpg

The film is 53 years old - and still seems fresh and ever-new.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I just watched, last night in real time on TCM,  La Strada. It's the second time I've seen it, and I found it even better and got even more out of it this time than on my first viewing.

Made in 1954  by Italian great Federico Fellini, La Strada is a deeply moving film, one that the viewer will remember long after seeing it. It follows the story of a young woman who may or may not be "simple" (personally, I think in some ways she's pretty smart) whose poverty-stricken mother sells her to an itinerant street performer, a brutal, somewhat dim strong man whose only act is to demonstrate his muscular strength by breaking a chain he wraps around his chest. 

The girl (played by Fellini's wife, Giulietta Masina) learns to play the drum and the trumpet to announce Zampano's performance whenever they arrive at a new town. At some point they meet up with a circus troupe, which they at first plan to join. It's here that Gelsomina meets the playful, clever character of Il Matto, "the fool" (a Shakespearian kind of fool, given his wit and his insight), who plays the violin and performs a high wire act with the circus. The fool is played by Richard Basehart in one of his most memorable roles. Gelsomina and the Fool make friends, much to the ire of Zampano, who never demonstrates any affection for his sad little assistant, but resents the idea of her spending time with anyone other than himself.

La Strada is not a plot-based film; if I were asked to state what it is "about", I'd say it was about the sadness and loneliness of someone who wants to feel they matter, who doesn't know where they belong in the world. But it's also about the ability to feel wonder and curiosity, even in the most wretched of circumstances. Fellini's always been a director who values the way movies can capture moments of visual lyricism, and La Strada is filled with such cinematic poetry. It's also a paean to travelling circus troupes, to the performers who live their lives on the road, to the struggles but also the sense of fellowship such people share with one another.

Very little happens in the film, if you go by most standards for movies made in the 1950s. But what stays with you long after seeing this sad, sweet little meditation on loneliness are the images the film gives us, and the feeling of yearning for human connection it depicts. The beautiful haunting theme music by Nino Rota contributes significantly to La Strada's emotional power.

One odd aspect to the story of the making of La Strada is the fact that despite its being made by an Italian director, in Italian, two of the main characters are English speaking Americans. The barbaric Zampano is played by Anthony Quinn, and his opposite, the clever light-hearted Fool is played by Richard Basehart. I'm not aware that either of these actors were fluent in Italian, either speaking or understanding it. I think their lines are spoken by them in English, then dubbed  into Italian. How this worked during the making of the film I don't know, but it doesn't adversely affect it in any way. 

MissW, thank you for this beautiful appreciation of a great film. The final scene is one of my favorite movie endings.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, rayban said:

Yes, it's worth a second try.

The non-verbal storytelling is both unique and mesmerizing.

358150.jpg

The film is 53 years old - and still seems fresh and ever-new.

And I think a lot of that has to do with Hemmings, not just his (unusual) look but also his performance- Which when you think about it, is really quite good. I mean the film has no plot, he’s on screen for something like 99% of it, and yet there’s something about *him* that helps to keep you watching.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Last Wagon (1956)  -  7/10

MV5BMDNmMDA2YTMtYTI1Yy00MTQ5LTliOWQtNGRm

CinemaScope western with Richard Widmark as "Comanche Todd", an accused murderer journeying with a wagon train to the next big town, where he'll be hanged. However, the caravan makes the mistake of entering the "Apache valley of death", and after most of the travelers are killed by hostile natives, it falls to Widmark to help the few young survivors complete their journey. Featuring Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner, Nick Adams, Tommy Rettig, Stephanie Griffin, Ray Stricklyn, Carl Benton Reid, Douglas Kennedy, Timothy Carey, and James Drury. The real star here is the gorgeous Sedona, Arizona locations, shot with an eye for scenic grandeur by cinematographer Wilfrid Cline.

lastwagon13.jpg

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

And I think a lot of that has to do with Hemmings, not just his (unusual) look but also his performance- Which when you think about it, is really quite good. I mean the film has no plot, he’s on screen for something like 99% of it, and yet there’s something about *him* that helps to keep you watching.

Lorna, I commend  you for saying something positive about any aspect of Blowup, even if it's about the actor and his screen presence in the movie rather than the film itself, since I know that you really dislike this film.

At least, you used to...shirley you haven't undergone a conversion to the cult of Antonioni? Whose work, actually, I pretty much dislike except for Blowup.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna, I commend  you for saying something positive about any aspect of Blowup, even if it's about the actor and his screen presence in the movie rather than the film itself, since I know that you really dislike this film.

At least, you used to...shirley you haven't undergone a conversion to the cult of Antonioni? Whose work, actually, I pretty much dislike except for Blowup.

I don't necessarily hate BLOW-UP so much as I kind of like to kid it, namely with regard to its relative plotlessness, esoteric nature and (again) the performance of VANESSA REDGRAVE, who displayed a lighter, less severe touch when playing a deranged, hunchbacked, self-flagellating lesbian nun in KEN RUSSELL'S THE DEVILS about 5 years later than she does in this movie.

Seriously, VANESSA REDGRAVE in BLOW UP makes GLENDA JACKSON look like DIANE KEATON.

But, no, I have never seen anything else by ANTONIONIONI.

ps- i recently saw and then re-saw PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, which maybe made me slightly more tolerant of plotless unsolved mystery movies.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of Antonioni's works, I liked L'Avventura (1960), Il Grido (1957), La Notte (1961), L'Eclisse (1962), and Zabriskie Point (1970) more than Blow-Up, although I didn't hate that last film, either. The only one I liked less was The Passenger (1975), but that also has some good aspects to it, IMO. I want to see Red Desert (1964).

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956)  -  6/10

MV5BMDUwMDJiM2YtMDIxYS00Y2U0LTllYTktNTY5

West German adventure with Hardy Kruger as a wildlife photographer in Darkest Africa. When he is menaced by hostile natives, he's rescued by the title gal (Marion Michael), who has grown up in the jungle Tarzan-style. Kruger and the rest of his party, including doctor Irene Galter (who loves Kruger), bring Liane back to Germany, where they discover that she's the heiress to a massive fortune, one which is coveted by creepy Reggie Nalder (Salem's Lot, Mark of the DevilThe Man Who Knew Too Much). Also featuring Peter Mosbacher, Rudolf Forster, and Rolf von Nauckhoff. The film's chief selling point was seeing Michael in various states of undress, as she goes topless in the jungle scenes, although she's still largely covered by her flowing tresses. Even back in "civilized society", she wears skimpy night gowns and a tiny white bikini. Silly and exploitative, but in a fun way. The lurid nature of the film made it an international success, leading to a sequel in '57, Nature Girl and the Slaver.

ce952048849ff24e7b42efc65c83e319_jpeg_cr

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

Of Antonioni's works, I liked L'Avventura (1960), Il Grido (1957), La Notte (1961), L'Eclisse (1962), and Zabriskie Point (1970) more than Blow-Up, although I didn't hate that last film, either. The only one I liked less was The Passenger (1975), but that also has some good aspects to it, IMO. I want to see Red Desert (1964).

For Lorna and others wondering about Antonioni films: I haven't seen The Passenger, but I've seen Le Amiche and Red Desert in addition to the other films Lawrence mentions. Here's a thumbnail sketch of what you might find if you explore more Antonioni films, and I'll put these in chronological order.

Le Amiche (The Girlfriends or The Women Friends): A film about several women and their boyfriends. Sex and the City without as much sex and with depression and anomie instead of snappy girl talk. There's a scene at the beach with complicated shots that show the relationships between the various characters, and this alone demonstrates how gifted a director Antonioni can be. Contemporary critics of the next few films saw the alienation in Antonioni's films as a marker of deep problems in society. Today we might wonder if the problem wasn't more in Antonioni's psyche; surely only a deeply depressed man would have made this group of films?

Il Grido (The Outcry): Rain and depression and alienation in the Po Valley of northern Italy. One of my favorite Antonioni films. Steve Cochran plays an Italian workman who takes his daughter and wanders from place to place, woman to woman. Betsy Blair from Marty plays one of the women; she was Antonioni's girlfriend for a time.

L'Avventura: Monica Vitti was Anotnioni's girlfriend for a much longer time, and she is the muse of the next four films. Get ready for another unresolved mystery. In an unintended parallel with Psycho, which is exactly contemporaneous, L'Avventura begins with a woman (Lea Massari, giving the best performance in any Antonioni film) with a complicated life who suddenly disappears from the film. Then her lover (Massimo Girotti) and her best friend (Monica Vitti) try to find her or find out what happened to her. How long will she continue to matter to them? Beautifully filmed. I'd like to see this again to see if I like it as much now as when I saw it in college.

La Notte: Even with Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, and Monica Vitti, this isn't one of my favorites, though some like it a great deal. The stars and the director all have their moments, but the unhappy marriage and pointless lives of the rich and general sense of alienation are all too predictable and "on the nose" for my taste.

L'Eclisse: A film where the sum of the parts is much greater than the whole. The plot, such as it is: Monica Vitti ends a relationship with one man, meets Alain Delon, begins a relationship with him (well, all right!), and then . . . . The ending is famous, with a seven minutes of images with no people. The opening scene of the breakup is just as great, with every camera set-up and camera movement making us feel how the relationship is fracturing. Scenes at the stock market are exciting, and there's a memorable moment where Monica Vitti follows a man who's lost all his money, as she wonders how this must feel for him. On the other hand, there's a dull scene at an airport and an utterly embarrassing scene where Monica visits friends who have come back from Africa, so she puts on blackface and prances around.

Red Desert: Antonioni's first color film. Interesting shots around industrial areas. Monica Vitti plays a depressed woman who has a husband and a young son. She begins an affair with Richard Harris (such a comedown from Alain Delon), and there's not much of a plot.

Red Desert was his first color film, Blow-Up was his first film in English (arthouse smash hit), and Zabriskie Point was his first film shot in the United States. Hugely anticipated because of Blow-Up, Zabriskie Point is quite attractive to look at. This was Antonioni's film about student radicals (hot-button, very chic topic at the time), and, unintentionally, the moronic script and the utterly untalented nonprofessionals who play the romantic leads capture the ineptitude of the student radical movement pretty accurately.

  • Like 3

Share this post


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

I am also hot for DAVID HEMMINGS (ca. 1966, that is), so that helps me to appreciate the performance.

I agree, he's very sexy in Blowup. Not just the way he looks (which is hot), but also his  persona in the film, his seeming coolness, his insouciance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us