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The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960)  -  3/10

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Low-budget drama with Brett Halsey and Lowell Brown as a pair of young drifters who end up in a small town, where they both fall for local girls: Brett for Joyce Meadows and Lowell for Selette Cole. The boys run into trouble with local thugs and a house of ill repute, while the gals have to deal with town creep Jack Elam. This has shoddy production values, bad acting and a lousy script, but I thought Elam was perfect as the oily weirdo. I have to confess to watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this, which I'm glad I did, as I laughed myself silly and got in a better mood.

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30 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960)  -  3/10

I have to confess to watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this, which I'm glad I did, as I laughed myself silly and got in a better mood.

Yes, we've noticed a lot of MST3K episodes being published as just "regular" reviews, with a few fan jokes attached, and wondered whether that might be the case.

The MST3K version had a better theme song, too:

 

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The Haunted (1991)  -  5/10

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TV-movie "based on the true story"of the Smurl family, who begin experiencing supernatural phenomena after moving into a house in Pennsylvania. The wife (Sally Kirkland) becomes increasingly distressed while the husband (Jeffrey DeMunn) is slow to accept what's going on. They eventually have to turn to the clergy and others for help. Featuring Louise Latham, Diane Baker, Stephen Markle, Joyce Van Patten, George D. Wallace, and William O'Connell. This was based on another case (and subsequent book) from paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, here played by Stephen Markle and Diane Baker, respectively and pictured below. These are the same two that The Conjuring movies are based on. After reading up on the facts of the case, they appear to be as full of **** with this one as they are with their other cases. The movie also takes a lot of liberties with the purported occurrences as detailed in the book, changing around what was done to who, and when. It's still fairly entertaining in places, with some very outre "ghost" moments, including an attempted assault on the dad by a demon, and a big brown smudge floating around the house scaring Kirkland and Latham.

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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

Yes, we've noticed a lot of MST3K episodes being published as just "regular" reviews, with a few fan jokes attached, and wondered whether that might be the case.

I'm not sure what's meant here. Who is the "we" being referred to? And this is the first movie that I've watched as a MST3K version since City on Fire, which I watched a few years ago. None of the other movies that I've reviewed have been from MST3K watching, and I'm not even sure which have been on that show and which haven't. I've noticed that you have a very difficult time accepting that the movies used on that show actually exist outside of it, or that people would watch them as originally released, but they do.

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Dead Man's Island (1996)  -  4/10

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Dull "all-star" TV-movie mystery based on a book by Carolyn Hart. Barbara Eden stars as a writer who is summoned to the remote island estate of ultra-wealthy businessman William Shatner. He believes someone in his inner circle is trying to kill him, so he's had them all invited to his mansion so that Barbara can try and find out who the culprit is. With Traci Lords as the trophy wife, Roddy McDowall as the business associate, Morgan Fairchild as the vain actress in-law, Jameson Parker, David Faustino, Christopher Atkins, Donnie Most, and Olivia Hussey. Eden uses an atrocious Texan accent which is almost as bad as Lords' phony southern belle accent. Shatner has a few scenes in a black unitard. I didn't figure out whodunit before the end, but I didn't really care, either.

 

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Shatner has a few scenes in a black unitard.

I'm impressed you know the proper name for that garment! And you realize that sentence influences my decision to seek out that movie.

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Haunted (1991)  -  5/10

MV5BNjllZjRlZmYtMjM2YS00OTQzLWI2ZDYtNjUy

TV-movie "based on the true story"of the Smurl family, who begin experiencing supernatural phenomena after moving into a house in Pennsylvania. The wife (Sally Kirkland) becomes increasingly distressed while the husband (Jeffrey DeMunn) is slow to accept what's going on. They eventually have to turn to the clergy and others for help. Featuring Louise Latham, Diane Baker, Stephen Markle, Joyce Van Patten, George D. Wallace, and William O'Connell. This was based on another case (and subsequent book) from paranormal investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, here played by Stephen Markle and Diane Baker, respectively and pictured below. These are the same two that The Conjuring movies are based on. After reading up on the facts of the case, they appear to be as full of **** with this one as they are with their other cases. The movie also takes a lot of liberties with the purported occurrences as detailed in the book, changing around what was done to who, and when. It's still fairly entertaining in places, with some very outre "ghost" moments, including an attempted assault on the dad by a demon, and a big brown smudge floating around the house scaring Kirkland and Latham.

vlcsnap-2017-08-15-00h45m58s167.png

I remember watching this when first broadcast and thought it was pretty good.

I own the book it was based on and whether you believe it or not, it makes for a fascinating read, reading about the incidents are more frightening than seeing them on screen. 

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The Hand (1960)  -  5/10

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I thought this was going to be another "disembodied hand crawls around and kills people" movie, but instead it's a British mystery with a pair of Scotland Yard inspectors (Ronald Leigh-Hunt & Ray Cooney) trying to find a killer who severs his victims' hands. Also featuring Derek Bond, Reed De Rouen, Reginald Hearne, Tony Hilton, Bryan Coleman, Harold Scott, and Walter Randall. This was written by co-stars Cooney and Hilton. It resembles one of the numerous European 60's films based on the works of Edgar Wallace. 

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After having seen numerous films starring Greta Garbo this past week on TCM, I have a better appreciation for the woman's talent.  I know a lot of the posters here don't like TCM's 'Star of the Month' being showcased on consecutive nights like Garbo was last week, but given the short attention span a lot of us have for various reasons nowadays, I thought it provided a good opportunity to see the progression of one's acting ability.

Garbo had those smoldering 'come hither' eyes that served her well in her 15-year MGM career, especially in her silent films, where she made her male co-stars fall head-over-heels in love with her, even though it would lead to their ruination (or more often than not, hers!).  It was cool to catch her work in silent films during prime time hours, rather than having to wait till late Sunday night, and even then her films from that era would be spaced out so much that it would have provided a much different viewing experience for us.  The whip duel in "The Temptress" was pretty graphic and probably shocking to viewers in the context of 1926 when the film was made.

Like some people here, I wasn't particularly impressed with "Anna Christie" (either the English or the German version), but compare Garbo's work in that 1930 production with how she acted in "Camille" or "The Conquest".  You can tell she has much better command of the English language in the latter two films than she did in her first talkie.  It's no surprise that her portrayal in the German version of "Anna Christie" is considered better than the English language edition, since she was fluent in German.  Not only that, but the sets and sound recording were much more advanced and technologically better by the mid- and late-1930's than they were in the early days of talking pictures.  It's too bad Marie Dressler was at the tail end of her career in the early 30's.  I would have liked to have seen her in a role where she had better makeup.  It seems like every film she was in, her eyes looked like she had a prize fight with a racoon---and lost!

And this part here is a little off topic, but in silent films, did the actors and actresses recite actual dialog when we see their lips moving?  I mean, it must have been difficult for foreign-born stars like Garbo to pull off lines in a language they had difficulty speaking.  Did filming require multiple takes because some of the men and women had trouble picking up their cues from someone they were doing a scene with?  It would be a hoot if the real conversation between characters had nothing to do with the script, like "I don't think Doris loves me as much as she loves you." shows up on the story board, but the two men on set were really saying, "I can't believe how bad the Reds skunked the Braves yesterday." 😄

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32 minutes ago, midwestan said:

And this part here is a little off topic, but in silent films, did the actors and actresses recite actual dialog when we see their lips moving?

My understanding is sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I'm reminded of Valentina Cortese's character in Day for Night.  She's playing an actress who has difficulty with her lines, so the character reminds François Truffaut that in Italy it was common to do all the dialog in post production, and claims that Fellini would let the actors just say random numbers, at which point she goes around the set spouting a series of numbers.

(I haven't been able to find that exact scene on Youtube, or else I'd post it here.)

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45 minutes ago, midwestan said:

And this part here is a little off topic, but in silent films, did the actors and actresses recite actual dialog when we see their lips moving? 

I remember reading once that a lip reader watching a silent movie stated than an actress spent much of the time complaining about her plumber and another was giving stage directions and stating when he was going to grab some person's hand. I do not know how common it was for them to do that. 

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2 minutes ago, SansFin said:

I remember reading once that a lip reader watching a silent movie stated than an actress spent much of the time complaining about her plumber and another was giving stage directions and stating when he was going to grab some person's hand. I do not know how common it was for them to do that. 

Also, in What Price Glory?  the actors actually used salty language which could not be on the subtitles, but the audience could see it when they read the actors' lips.

All this brings to mind Singin' in the Rain,  during which Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont state how much they hate each other while filming a silent love scene.

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Heller in Pink Tights (1960)  -  6/10

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Colorful western about a theatrical troupe traveling throughout the old west, barely keeping one step ahead of their creditors. Anthony Quinn runs the show, while Sophia Loren is the main attraction. Things get complicated when ruthless gunslinger Steve Forrest takes an interest in Sophia. Also featuring Edmund Lowe, Eileen Heckart, Ramon Navarro, Margaret O'Brien, Edward Binns, and Frank Silvera. Director George Cukor disowned the final cut of the film, but it isn't that awful. I haven't read the source novel by Louis L'amour, but Cukor's origins in the theater show through in his depiction of the show people. I can't say that I was too crazy about Sophia Loren being a blonde, although she turns in a good performance. I enjoyed seeing old pros Lowe and Navarro, too. This would turn out to be the last theatrical film for both men. Lowe was 70, and retired after this, having fallen ill even before filming was finished. He died 11 years later. Navarro continued to work in television for several years before dying in 1968 at age 69.

 

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Heller in Pink Tights (1960)  -  6/10

220px-Heller-in-pink-tights-1960.jpg

Colorful western about a theatrical troupe traveling throughout the old west, barely keeping one step ahead of their creditors. Anthony Quinn runs the show, while Sophia Loren is the main attraction. Things get complicated when ruthless gunslinger Steve Forrest takes an interest in Sophia. Also featuring Edmund Lowe, Eileen Heckart, Ramon Navarro, Margaret O'Brien, Edward Binns, and Frank Silvera. Director George Cukor disowned the final cut of the film, but it isn't that awful. I haven't read the source novel by Louis L'amour, but Cukor's origins in the theater show through in his depiction of the show people. I can't say that I was too crazy about Sophia Loren being a blonde, although she turns in a good performance. I enjoyed seeing old pros Lowe and Navarro, too. This would turn out to be the last theatrical film for both men. Lowe was 70, and retired after this, having fallen ill even before filming was finished. He died 11 years later. Navarro continued to work in television for several years before dying in 1968 at age 69.

 

A cast list is one of the fascinating aspects about any movie from any era, and the one in this picture you've reviewed for us is proof of that.  What an array of talent!  Was Margaret O'Brien good in it?  I don't think I've seen any of her films after she made "The Secret Garden" or "Little Women".

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18 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960)  -  3/10

220px-Girl_in_lovers_lane_poster_01.jpg

Low-budget drama with Brett Halsey and Lowell Brown as a pair of young drifters who end up in a small town, where they both fall for local girls: Brett for Joyce Meadows and Lowell for Selette Cole. The boys run into trouble with local thugs and a house of ill repute, while the gals have to deal with town creep Jack Elam. This has shoddy production values, bad acting and a lousy script, but I thought Elam was perfect as the oily weirdo. I have to confess to watching the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this, which I'm glad I did, as I laughed myself silly and got in a better mood.

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I often wonder how Brett Halsey was able to get himself through "The Return of The Fly".

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1 minute ago, midwestan said:

A cast list is one of the fascinating aspects about any movie from any era, and the one in this picture you've reviewed for us is proof of that.  What an array of talent!  Was Margaret O'Brien good in it?  I don't think I've seen any of her films after she made "The Secret Garden" or "Little Women".

She wasn't bad. She was the youngest member of the acting troupe, the daughter of Eileen Heckart's character, and she was supposed to come off as naive and innocent, although she later admits to being older and more worldly than she's given credit for. It's not a big role, and I wonder if more was left on the cutting room floor after the studio "butchered" it, as Cukor asserted.

From left: O'Brien, Heckart, Quinn, Loren, George Mathews, and Lowe.

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Hello London aka London Calling (1960)  -  5/10

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Odd British musical featuring Sonja Henie and Michael Wildling as themselves. They star in a touring musical ice-capade show that's currently in London. They, along with the rest of the cast, tour the London sights, stopping for numerous song-and-dance performances, and more ice-skating. With Dennis Price, Roy Castle, Robert Coote, Eunice Gayson, Joan Regan, Lisa Gastoni, and Stanley Holloway as themselves, plus Dora Bryan, Ruth Lee, and Oliver Reed in bit parts. This ill-fated venture was Henie's attempt at a comeback, but it was barely released, and she never made another picture. It was shot in 1958, making Oliver Reed's blink-and-you-missed-it turn as a reporter his debut, but it didn't see the light of day until 1960, after several of his later-filmed movies had been released. There's currently a nigh-unwatchable copy on YouTube.

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Saw one on Friday night on VHS that early 80s but might be of some interest to TCM fans.

It was a 1980 B movie called The Man with Bogart's Face. I'm not saying it was a completely sccessful film, it definitely feels like a B and there is this rather tacky trait of having much of its cast in their skivvies or in partial nudity at points (Robert Sacchi, Michelle Phillips, Misty Rowe, Franco Nero, Victor Buono, Sibil Danning, and Olivia Hussey), but, and its a big but, its a lot of fun for movie fans because Sacchi, the lead, is a dead ringer for Bogart and the film references to 40s classics are everywhere in the diologue, the script is a witty take on The Maltese Falcon, George Raft, Henry Wilcoxan, and Yvonne De Carlo drop by briefly, and the late Robert Osbourne even has a one-line cameo early on (you can't miss him even though its brief because of his voice). Worth a look really.

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Ice Palace (1960)  -  5/10

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Boring soap opera based on the Edna Ferber novel. It's the multi-generational story of two men, Zeb Kennedy (Richard Burton) and Thor Storm (Robert Ryan), who begin as friends and fishermen in Alaska during the years after WWI. When they both fall for the same woman (Carolyn Jones), the two split, with Zeb becoming a bitter but wealthy cannery magnate, while bitter but motivated Thor fights for Alaskan rights and eventually statehood. Their children and grandchildren also grow to adulthood against this backdrop. Featuring Martha Hyer, Jim Backus, Ray Danton, Shirley Knight, Diane McBain, Karl Swenson, Barry Kelley, Steve Harris, I. Stanford Jolley, Sam McDaniel, Red West, and George Takei. The novel was a big hit, although critics thought it was bad. Its success is credited with helping Alaska become a state in '59. The movie is a big, ponderous bore, stretching an interminable 143 minutes, with Burton and Ryan trying to out-scowl each other. A bear attack looks very silly, with a guy in an obvious bear costume stomping around an unconvincing snowy forest set. This was Diane McBain's debut, as well as the credited movie debut of 22-year-old George Takei, playing a Chinese immigrant friend and servant to Burton. At one point, Takei's character is supposed to be frantic, and he lapses into his native "Chinese" language, but it's hilariously apparent that the Japanese-descended Takei is just spouting gibberish.

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i'm so grateful to LawrenceA to devoting his time to watching mostly 60s crap so I don't have to watch it!

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Is that Ruth Lee and not Ruta Lee in London Calling?

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9 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Is that Ruth Lee and not Ruta Lee in London Calling?

It was Ruth Lee. She played "Woman".

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The Iceman Cometh (1960)  -  7/10

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TV production of the Eugene O'Neill play, directed by Sidney Lumet and originally presented live over two nights. A motley assortment of broken-down old drunks hang around a bar/flophouse, pontificating on the world and lamenting their troubles. They're waiting for the arrival of Hickey (Jason Robards), a traveling salesman who's usually the life of the party, only he arrives a "new man" and with an agenda. Also starring Myron McCormick as cynical ex-anarchist Larry Slade, Robert Redford as guilty young man Don Parritt, James Broderick, Tom Pedi, Farrell Pelly, Roland Winters, Michael Strong, Joan Copeland, and Sorrell Booke.

I've seen the 1973 version, with Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Fredric March, and Jeff Bridges, and I liked that version more, specifically for Ryan's scorching final role. However, this version has Jason Robards in the role that made his name, and he is phenomenal. McCormick is good, too, as is Redford. The play itself is hard to like, as it's a lot of meandering monologues full of self-pity and outrage, and the frankness of the dialogue has lost its ability to shock. Plus, the combined running time of roughly 3 and a half hours is a bit much. This aspect surprised me in this TV presentation, as it leaves most of the salty language intact, and there's a lot said here that would not have been allowed in a film of the time.

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The Dead One (1961)  -  2/10

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Bottom-of-the-barrel horror treat from director Barry Mahon. Slow-witted John (John MacKay) has just married dizzy dame Linda (Linda Ormond), fulfilling a stipulation in John's grandfather's will that now allows the young man to inherit a large estate in rural Louisiana. John and Linda decide to honeymoon there, but first they stop off in New Orleans to visit a strip club because that's how honeymoons worked in 1961. They pick up clinically brain-dead exotic dancer Bella Bella (Darlene Myrick) on the side of the road. Her car broke down, so they decide to take her along, because, again, that's how honeymoons worked back then. They arrive at the estate only to learn that John's cousin Monica (Monica Davis) doesn't want to share the place with her new in-laws, so she conducts voodoo ceremonies with the help. They resurrect a dead ancestor who is wearing a jacket two sizes too small, a bow-tie (because nothing says horror like a bow-tie), and a bad fright wig that makes him look like a roadie for Bon Jovi circa 1987. That's when the fun really starts. I'm kidding, there's no fun here.

 

Bella Bella wonders why John & Linda want her to leave their bedroom on their wedding night.

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The Dead One rises...

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Alexander the Great (1963)  -  7/10

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Failed TV pilot that was later shown (in 1968) as a TV movie after more of the cast got famous. William Shatner stars as Alexander, who has led his armies to victory throughout the Levant and is now in deadlocked battle with the Persian Empire and their general Memnon (Cliff Osmond). Alexander's position is made more perilous by a plot against his life secretly masterminded by one of own generals, Karonos (John Cassavetes). Also featuring Adam West, Joseph Cotten, John Doucette, Simon Oakland, Peter Hansen, Robert Fortier, and Ziva Rodann.

I didn't think this was awful, as far as TV product of its time goes. However, the IMDb average sits at 5.3, so I may just be a sucker for the cast and the genre. It feels like an attempt to make a weekly series in the style of a historical epic or an Italian peplum Hercules-type movie. It has a simplistic view of history, but that's to be expected for the medium. Shatner isn't bad, and seems to be locking in some of his future Capt. Kirk moves. Adam West and John Doucette would have been series regulars playing Alexander's closest friends.

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