speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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I actually went down a rather strange youtube rabbit hole yesterday, since i couldn't leave the house but also had power.

I watched A WHOLE DAY'S WORTH OF 1989-1991 episodes of the NBC SOAP OPERA ANOTHER WORLD, of which I was a HUGE FAN during said window of time (i WAS ABOUT 12-14 years old and would secretly tape it behind my mother's back while at middle school)

(ALAS, like all soaps, it changed creators and ran out of steam and fired all the good people and ran everything into the ground just a little while later and died ca. 1999)

but damned if it wasn't- in moments- as good as anything else on television at the time.

it was a NEW YORK SHOW with NEW YORK ACTORS, it was also produced by PROCTOR AND GAMBLE-  a literal soap opera- and as such- the median age of an actor on the show was about 40, and I love it.

I don't think there is any point trying to explain to someone BORN AFTER 1995, the STRANGLEHOLD SOAPS had some of our lives many years ago, when there were THREE NETWORKS, The SuperStation, HBO and (for some reason) THE CHICAGO CHANNEL- and that was IT for entertainment, besides (shudder!) reading a book. 

back when there was NO INTERNET or 24 HOUR NEWS or CANDY CRUSH or SNAPCHAT or HOT MESSES FALLING ALL OVER THEMSELVES ON LIVE TELEVISION TO VARIOUS DEGREES, you could watch highly competent actors REALLY MAKE YOU COME TO LIKE THEM AND CARE ABOUT THEM IN THE PROCESS. And there was even a BONDING PROCESS THAT COULD OCCUR- honestly, I remember my 8th GRADE ALGEBRA teacher was also a fan and she would tape it during the day (as would i) and then we'd watch that evening and then be all "DID YOU SEE WHAT PAULINA DID!!!???...and by the way, you failed the test" the next day

nowadays PEAK TV and streaming services and 10000 shows out there right now have kind of taken away that communal power TV used to have when it was smaller and the options were not as PLENTY and SOAPS have largely gone the way of the buffalo.

Besides ANNE HECHE (who was INCREDIBLE in the role of twin sisters, its a shame she got beamed up by the mother ship in Fresno and lost her Gotdamm MIND ca. 1999(?), because she was A DAMN GOOD ACTOR on this show) and DAVID HEDISON, i don't think any of you would know the names.

On a somewhat indulgent note, I went looking up the actors on IMDB and was HEARTBROKEN to discover that CARMEN DUNCAN, a MARVELOUS AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS who played IRIS WHEELER passed away last February.

she was MAGIC and I loved EVERY MINUTE SHE WAS ON THE SHOW and they just are not, i think, (most heartbreakingly) making actresses like her anymore.

(she is the one ROCKING THE FUR on the right.)

furglamor-another-world-22.jpg

 

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:47 PM, Swithin said:

Kings Row (1942). Part of the Scorsese/C_ocks series at the Film Forum.

This is my favorite kind of film: a classic/epic which opens in 1890 with childhood friends whose adult interactions comprise the main body of the film. There are five children at the start: Parris, Drake, Cassie, Louise, and Randy. Parris is a good natured boy who is very fond of Cassie. Drake is wild -- Louise loves him. Randy is kind of a tomboy. An early scene features two birthday parties: Cassie's, which is attended by Parris and almost no-one else; and Louise's, which is attended by Drake and lots of other children. The word is that Louise held her party on the same day as Cassie's for spite. For various dark reasons, Cassie and Louise grow up to be confined to their bedrooms by their fathers.

Parris and Drake -- best friends --are played as adults by Robert Cummings and Ronald Reagan. They're fine, although I think I would have preferred Tyrone Power and possibly Don Ameche. Cassie, Louise, and Randy grow up to be played by Betty Field, Nancy Coleman, and Ann Sheridan. They're excellent, particularly Ms. Sheridan. The older generation includes (perhaps in her best performance) Maria Ouspenskaya as Parris's grandmother; Claude Rains as Cassie's father; and Charles Coburn and Judith Anderson as Louise's parents. Harry Davenport plays a benevolent older friend with a strange beard.

Based on a famous novel, the movie focuses on small-town life and the good and evil therein. The music score -- one of the best -- is by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. You can hear echoes of it years later in John Williams's Star Wars score.

I'm not going to go further into the plot, which is pretty well known and features Ronald Reagan's famous line: "Where's the rest of me?," which became the title of his autobiography. There is great evil in this film, particularly in the character of Charles Coburn. 

But: Since seeing Kings Row again, I read a bit about how the film script differed from the controversial novel. In the novel, Parris and Drake are evidently gay; Dr. Tower (Claude Rains), who takes his daughter Cassie out of school and confines her to her room, does so in the film because of her mental illness. In the novel, it's because they are having an incestuous relationship. I think if you see the film with the knowledge of those relationships, you can sense them from Sam Wood's (the director's) hints. 

I hadn't seen Kings Row in decades and was glad to see it last week in a movie theater, where the audience was rapt.  For me, it represents the best of the old Hollywood. You might say it's the dark side of Our Town, which Sam Wood directed two years earlier.

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Harry Davenport and his beard

Kings Row theme music

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Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan

There's another thread on the novel, but I do want to correct the idea that Parris and Drake are gay.  There is another male character who is gay (and eventually ostracized), and at one point, Drake looks at how handsome he is and has homoerotic feelings toward him.  Bellamann was way ahead of his time in his writing about adolescence and sexuality.  Most of the characters have sexual experiences at early ages, and it's pretty clear that Randy and Drake have a sexual relationship before marriage, and that Drake has had relations with several of the town girls.   I've got a battered copy of the book, and rereading bits reminds me of the musical "Spring Awakenings," which is about adolescent sexuality in Germany during the same era.  

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I actually went down a rather strange youtube rabbit hole yesterday, since i couldn't leave the house but also had power.

I watched A WHOLE DAY'S WORTH OF 1989-1991 episodes of the NBC SOAP OPERA ANOTHER WORLD, of which I was a HUGE FAN during said window of time (i WAS ABOUT 12-14 years old and would secretly tape it behind my mother's back while at middle school)

(ALAS, like all soaps, it changed creators and ran out of steam and fired all the good people and ran everything into the ground just a little while later and died ca. 1999)

but damned if it wasn't- in moments- as good as anything else on television at the time.

it was a NEW YORK SHOW with NEW YORK ACTORS, it was also produced by PROCTOR AND GAMBLE-  a literal soap opera- and as such- the median age of an actor on the show was about 40, and I love it.

I don't think there is any point trying to explain to someone BORN AFTER 1995, the STRANGLEHOLD SOAPS had some of our lives many years ago, when there were THREE NETWORKS, The SuperStation, HBO and (for some reason) THE CHICAGO CHANNEL- and that was IT for entertainment, besides (shudder!) reading a book. 

back when there was NO INTERNET or 24 HOUR NEWS or CANDY CRUSH or SNAPCHAT or HOT MESSES FALLING ALL OVER THEMSELVES ON LIVE TELEVISION TO VARIOUS DEGREES, you could watch highly competent actors REALLY MAKE YOU COME TO LIKE THEM AND CARE ABOUT THEM IN THE PROCESS. And there was even a BONDING PROCESS THAT COULD OCCUR- honestly, I remember my 8th GRADE ALGEBRA teacher was also a fan and she would tape it during the day (as would i) and then we'd watch that evening and then be all "DID YOU SEE WHAT PAULINA DID!!!???...and by the way, you failed the test" the next day

nowadays PEAK TV and streaming services and 10000 shows out there right now have kind of taken away that communal power TV used to have when it was smaller and the options were not as PLENTY and SOAPS have largely gone the way of the buffalo.

Besides ANNE HECHE (who was INCREDIBLE in the role of twin sisters, its a shame she got beamed up by the mother ship in Fresno and lost her Gotdamm MIND ca. 1999(?), because she was A DAMN GOOD ACTOR on this show) and DAVID HEDISON, i don't think any of you would know the names.

On a somewhat indulgent note, I went looking up the actors on IMDB and was HEARTBROKEN to discover that CARMEN DUNCAN, a MARVELOUS AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS who played IRIS WHEELER passed away last February.

she was MAGIC and I loved EVERY MINUTE SHE WAS ON THE SHOW and they just are not, i think, (most heartbreakingly) making actresses like her anymore.

(she is the one ROCKING THE FUR on the right.)

This was an amazing post.  Even though I never watched Another World, you took me right down the rabbit hole with you. 

Even though I never really watched daytime soaps (regularly), give me the nighttime soaps like '90210' and Melrose Place (both of which I watched every week from elementary school through high school, with my parents no less) any day of the week.  TEAM DYLAN + KELLY. The moment on Melrose Place when looney tunes Kimberly rips off her wig to reveal her jagged scar (sustained in a car accident w/ Michael), then proceeds to blow up the apartment building, was definitely one of the best TV moments I recall watching. 

I remember always seeing the beginning of Days of Our Lives, and would watch the "Through the sands of the hourglass, these are the days of our lives" part, but when the actual show started, I would change the channel to watch Batman: The Animated Series. My mom was an avid 'Days' viewer during the first half of the 80s, heard a name she liked, which subsequently became my first name. Lol. 

I also recall during summer vacation, seeing La Lucci on All My Children. 'Children' came on at lunchtime.  I never knew what was happening on that show, as I would just see some random episode.  But it always seemed like the characters were having the same argument each and every time. 

Other shows I recall catching randomly during summer break: General Hospital, Young & the Restless, Passions, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, and The Bold and the Beautiful. For me though, all these shows kind of run together, except for All My Children as Susan Lucci is the only person whom I immediately recognize, lol. 

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5 hours ago, Hibi said:

I think for once the Academy had the good sense not to nominate any Xanadu songs. YUCK. I know many were hits, but that doesn't mean they were good. I saw Xanadu once, thankfully I don't remember much about it, except I thought it was AWFUL. Poor Gene Kelly.

I did have to feel a bit for Gene in the one scene where they had him in all of these gaudy outfits. One made him look like David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Another made him look like Roy Rogers, minus Dale Evans and Trigger.

But, otherwise, he still had all of his class intact, and even if its unexpected, his one song and dance scene with Olivia Newton-John is lovely. It could have come from one of his MGM musicals in the late 40s/early 50s. Simplicity and great charm intact. Not to mention great dancing.

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3 hours ago, rosebette said:

There's another thread on the novel, but I do want to correct the idea that Parris and Drake are gay.  There is another male character who is gay (and eventually ostracized), and at one point, Drake looks at how handsome he is and has homoerotic feelings toward him.  Bellamann was way ahead of his time in his writing about adolescence and sexuality.  Most of the characters have sexual experiences at early ages, and it's pretty clear that Randy and Drake have a sexual relationship before marriage, and that Drake has had relations with several of the town girls.   I've got a battered copy of the book, and rereading bits reminds me of the musical "Spring Awakenings," which is about adolescent sexuality in Germany during the same era.  

I've never read the novel, I've only read about it. However, there are many comments in various essays about the homoeroticism in the novel and the film. I was interested to learn that Tyrone Power was indeed considered for the role of Parris, but Fox wouldn't lend him.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

https://emanuellevy.com/comment/kings-row-part-one-8/

https://emanuellevy.com/comment/kings-row-part-2

My family had a copy of Parris Mitchell of Kings Row when I was very young, but I never read it. It's a sequel, also written by Henry Bellamann and finished by his widow.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

I've never read the novel, I've only read about it. However, there are many comments in various essays about the homoeroticism in the novel and the film. I was interested to learn that Tyrone Power was indeed considered for the role of Parris, but Fox wouldn't lend him.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

https://emanuellevy.com/comment/kings-row-part-one-8/

https://emanuellevy.com/comment/kings-row-part-2

My family had a copy of Parris Mitchell of Kings Row when I was very young, but I never read it. It's a sequel, also written by Henry Bellamann and finished by his widow.

 

 

 

The sequel is really trashy and incredible in places.  You can tell that Bellamann didn't write it all himself.

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10 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I did have to feel a bit for Gene in the one scene where they had him in all of these gaudy outfits. One made him look like David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Another made him look like Roy Rogers, minus Dale Evans and Trigger.

But, otherwise, he still had all of his class intact, and even if its unexpected, his one song and dance scene with Olivia Newton-John is lovely. It could have come from one of his MGM musicals in the late 40s/early 50s. Simplicity and great charm intact. Not to mention great dancing.

Originally, Kelly only agreed to the movie by saying "NO dancing!"--But then, after talking with choreographer (and worshipful fan) Kenny Ortega, they worked up a few low-impact dances, and even let Kelly set up his own number with the 40's-flashback scene.  I'd showed the scene to another non-Musehead, and they could immediately see everything in that scene was taken straight out of Kelly's own 40's-MGM musicals...Right down to Gene losing the girl at the end, and the camera dollying in on a big smiling closeup.

And in the crazy-costume scene, there's a brief moment where Kelly is in an old-fashioned suit, tap-dancing through a giant pinball-machine room, setting off the bumpers--I double-took for a moment, looked at the scene again, and realized:  "He's deliberately doing Fred Astaire's penny-arcade 'Shine on your Shoes' from The Band Wagon! 😄 "

Xanadu+All+Over+The+World.JPG

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all right fine, i watched TROG! (1970) yesterday, and rather than prattle on about JOAN CRAWFORD'S FINAL FILM ROLE, I instead turn and ask a question of the cineastes among you:

WHAT THE HELL WAS THE DEAL WITH FREDDIE FRANCIS?

He was, I'm sure you know, a CINEMATOGRAPHER (or DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY as he is often credited) on some INCREDIBLY WELL SHOT FILMS- films where, his OSTENSIBLE PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTION CONTRIBUTES IMMEASURABLY TO THE OVERALL IMPACT AND MEMORABLE AND WATCHABLE QUALITY OF SAID FILMS: THE INNOCENTS, THE CAPE FEAR REMAKE, GLORY (edit- which he won an OSCAR for, he won another for SONS AND LOVERS), DUNE, and a handful of others (and for the record, while he was the director and not the DoP on DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, it is one of my personal favorites just FOR THE SUMPTUOUS WAY IT IS SHOT, it has some of the MOST GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE SIXTIES.

And yet as a DIRECTOR, which he did a handful of times- twice competently- the aforementioned ...HAS RISEN... and EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN, (which still could be better in many ways and it's his fault as director) he also did some films where, I'M SORRY, but my first reaction is to speculate that before, during, and after filming EVERYONE WAS LIT ALL THE HELL UP ON MESCALINE JELL-O AND COUGH SYRUP AND TAR HEROIN BECAUSE DAMN, THEY ARE SOME POORLY EXECUTED MOVIES THAT ARE JUST BARELY STRUNG TOGETHER COHERENTLY- SON OF DRACULA (with RINGO STARR), THE DEADLY BEES, and now TROG! (and his version of TALES FROM THE CRYPT is RATHER listless)

I just...I do not understand how someone SO HIGHLY COMPETENT IN ONE AREA can be so very very bad at another...he's like a mechanic who can take apart, clean and reassemble a transmission in record time YET IS UNABLE TO CHANGE A TIRE.

(checks imdb to see whether he's dead or not, posts review)

ps- has anyone checked on LOIS CHILES?

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I agree with you, but I'm not surprised. There are professions and specialties. Actors and cinematographers may long to become directors, but it's just a different skill/art. Because they work in proximity with directors, they may think, "I can do that." But they can't.

I remember going to see The Doctor and the Devils. A fascinating story, disappointing to some extent by the direction of Mr. Francis.

 

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The Tall Men (1955)

Raoul Walsh directed this rugged outdoor western, which starts off in 1866 Montana.

Clark Gable and Cameron Mitchell play a pair of ex-reb brothers who turn outlaw, robbing fancy pants dude Robert Ryan of a bundle of money. Ryan, though, offers them a chance to make potentially bigger money and go straight in the process by joining him in driving a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana. The brothers agree, along the way encountering jayhawkers, rampaging Sioux and, more memorably, Jane Russell.

The story's pretty ordinary but the outdoor photography, whether it be snowy landscapes in Montana or along the dusty cattle trail (Walsh and crew went to Durango, Mexico for these later scenes) are all more than pleasant to the eye. Victor Young composed a lovely, rather lyrical musical score which heightens the visuals. At times, when the cattle are crossing rivers or stampeding through a canyon, The Tall Men makes one think of Red River, though this western never comes close to approaching the mythic quality of that Howard Hawks-directed production.

Gable, of course, rides a horse well and is a man's man of integrity (despite being a robber in the early scenes), with Jane Russell frequently reprising (and teasing Gable) as she sings her "Tall Man" song throughout the film. Despite the age difference (20 years) Gable and Russell have nice chemistry, largely because Jane plays it like a down-to-earth gal.

Jane sings while taking a bath in a tub (you get to see her raising her legs for a scrub but little else here). At another time she is taking a dip in a lake when Cameron Mitchell playfully and immaturely throws all her clothes in the water. Rather than fetch her new dry clothes Gable throws a branch with a handful of scrawny leaves on it to her so Jane can presumably shield her well known parts as she climbs out of the water. We never see her do it, though, as the scene fades out and I'm sincerely sorry that we didn't as there can't be more than a hundred small leaves on that branch.

Robert Ryan is wasted in a colourless part which makes little impression (Jane takes up with him but spends a lot of time singing about Tall Men that fit Gable's description - major clue Ryan won't be there for the long haul with her). Ryan does get to say a line about Gable's character that "he's the kind of man young boys want to grow up to be and old men wish they had been." But that's just paying verbal tribute to Gable's character rather than being allowed to provide a characterization himself.

In the final analysis The Tall Men is a visually impressive outdoorsy time waster that hardcore western buffs will probably enjoy and forget. This film was a hit in 1955, bringing Gable back into the listing of top ten box office stars for the first time in years. It would also be his last time in that group.

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2.5 out of 4

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Interesting how the poster makes Russell look almost as tall as the guys.

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On 8/28/2019 at 1:19 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

i've never seen THE CARDINAL, but I want to because I like JOHN HUSTON as an actor very much and it was the one time he was nominated for an Oscar for his acting. it's also the second of PREMINGER'S TWO BEST DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS, the other being for LAURA.

I don't remember her in BROADCAST NEWS! It's been A LONG TIME.

I have seen DEATH ON THE NILE A WHOLE WHOLE LOT OF TIMES GOING BACK TO MY YOUTH, and even as an eight year old, I remember thinking, "WOW, SHE SUCKS!"

LOIS CHILES'S two best worst moments IN DEATH ON THE NILE are

1.a scene with ANGELA LANSBURY which is amazing for its demonstrative AND INVALUABLE lesson in GOOD BAD ACTING vs. BAD BAD ACTING. Her reading of the line that ends with "...your vulgar dribble!" is SO BAD and yet SO DUBBED, it is mindboggling to sumise that THIS WAS THE BEST READ SHE GAVE OUT OF MULTIPLE TAKES WHILE SITTING IN AN ADR BOOTH IN LONDON.

2. The scene where SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD AND SHE BLINKS. I think even DREW BARRYMOORE could convincingly play dead...although she always has the capacity to surprise me.

 

Time to bring in Pauline! (Kael that is)

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W*h*o*r*e (1991) H*o*o*k*e*r Reality Neo Noir

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W*h*o*r*e is Ken Russell's satirical reality check to the fairytale Cinderella fantasy of chick flick Pretty Woman. It's almost a docudrama. The film's screenplay by Ken Russell and Deborah Dalton (Dalton produced a radio series on hookers and prostitution BTW) was based on former part time taxi driver David Hines' famous monologue called Bondage. It was inspired by the conversations he had with real prostitutes while running them around to their various tricks. Bondage was a sort of an amalgamation into a night in the life of a London Kings Cross h*o*o*k*e*r. It was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and throughout Europe.

Once you get your head around the fact that this isn't a cutesy treatment a la Pretty WomanThe Cheyenne Social Club, Irma la Douce, or The Owl and the Pussycat and more in the serious vein of Pretty Baby and Fellini's The Nights of Cabiria you'll see if for what it is, an unglamourous view of "the life."

Cinematography by Amir Mokri is a bit light on visual style for the most part. but that could be a result of budget restraints. Its subject matter is quite Noir-ish to overcome its lack. Music by Michael Gibbs with some interesting soundtrack selections.

Theresa Russell (Bad Timing (1980), Black Widow (1987), Impulse (1990) as prostitute Liz, Benjamin Moulton (Basic Instinct (1992), Falling Down (1993)) as the pimp as Blake, Antonio Fargas (Shaft (1971), Across 110th Street (1972), Pretty Baby (1978)) as Rasta, Elizabeth Morehead as Katie, Sanjay Chandani as Indian, Jered Barclay as the Dead Trick in Car and Ken Russell himself as the snooty waiter in the French Restaurant..

An intelligent, realistic,and b tongue-in-cheek look at prostitution. Café au lait Neo Noir. Full review with some screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster pages. 7/10.

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12 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

W*h*o*r*e is Ken Russell's satirical reality check to the fairytale Cinderella fantasy of chick flick Pretty Woman. It's almost a docudrama.

Nice description. I only saw this once, in the theater and remember liking it a lot. I went with co-workers and heard an audible groan early on when the lead character spoke to the camera.

I loved Theresa Russell in this and always wondered why she didn't become a bigger star.

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6 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Nice description. I only saw this once, in the theater and remember liking it a lot. I went with co-workers and heard an audible groan early on when the lead character spoke to the camera.

I loved Theresa Russell in this and always wondered why she didn't become a bigger star.

Theresa Russell is also very good in Sondra Locke's Neo Noir Impulse (1990) (below)

Las%2BPalmas%2B%2526%2BSanta%2BMonica%2BTeresa%2BRussel%2BNeo%2BNoir%2BImpulse.jpg

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Deadline At Dawn (1946) Ensemble Noir

"If she'd cut off her head she'd be very pretty."  (Val Bartelli)"

220px-Deadline_at_Dawn_movie_poster.jpg

Directors: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited). Written by Clifford Odets (screenplay), based on Cornell Woolrich (as William Irish). Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca, Music by Hanns Eisler.

The film stars Susan Hayward as taxi dancer June Goffe, Paul Lukas as the cabbie Gus Hoffman, Bill Williams as Seaman Alex Winkler, Joseph Calleia as gangster Val Bartelli, Osa Massen as Helen Robinson, Lola Lane as "V" girl Edna Bartelli, Jerome Cowan as a showbiz producer Lester Brady, Phil Warren as Jerry Robinson, Constance Worth as Nan Raymond  and Marvin Miller as Sleepy Parsons.

Seen the film multiple times. Susan Hayward is pretty cute as a taxi dancer turned amateur sleuth. Though based on Woolrich's eponymous novel the film truncates the tale and adds extra characters.

Anyway, I suspect a lot of MPPC finageling because the film could have taken equally a different track quite easily. Either one by the way different from the novel. Joseph Calleia as the gangster is a hoot especially when he gives the header quote. The film also lacks any real New York City location footage, it's all studio sets. Full review with screenshots at Film Noir/Gangster pages. 7/10

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I just saw BLUE DENIM (1959) for the first time tonight and was surprised at how much I liked it.

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Sometimes a story that takes on a difficult issue and doesn’t entirely succeed In terms of realism, can still be extremely engrossing for the sincerity of the attempt and the admirable quality of the honesty.

Man, I bet this flipped people the hell out in 1959.

The print was extremely clear, both the leads are gorgeous – I have a feeling Carol Lynley disappears from the second part of the film because she was Maybe not quite ready for the challenge, and Brandon de Wilde was an established star.

🎶Oh I’m deWilde about Braaaandon, and he’s deWilde about me!!!!🎶

(he does fascinate me and I could watch him all day.)

MacDonald Carey and most especially Marsha Hunt were very good as the parents, The screen writers clearly understood some of the complications and ins and outs and ups and downs of having a child and doing your best to bring them up and live your life at the same time.

It’s kind of staartling that a film this honest – in as many ways as it is – came out in the 1950s.

I really did love the ending, flaws and all.

Surprisingly sweet film, and I have to say I sort of love the non-Sequitur title.

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Yes, except for the melodrama at the end, I liked it a lot too. The two leads were very appealing. I think the film could've been a bit longer. Felt rushed at the end.

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The Chaperone (2018):  In 1922, a proper married mother of two offers to accompany a teenage girl from Kansas to New York to attend a prestigious dance academy; this film is about her reasons for wanting to take such a trip, and the changes it makes in her life.  Oh yeah...the young woman she accompanies is the future silent star Louise Brooks.  Fans of Brooks need to search elsewhere for insight into her life, because despite a look at her early 'roots' (the truth of which I couldn't attest to, and honestly it doesn't matter here) this film is really about the title character, well played by Elizabeth McGovern. We learn that McGovern has many reasons to seek this adventure, including tracing her own background to the NYC orphanage she remembered as her first home.  McGovern's character is a mixed bag:  the wife of a successful attorney who, by Wichita standards at the time, might be considered quite liberal (appreciation of 'modern' dance, a disdain for the Klan) but is outwardly a woman who's grown accustomed to restrictions..right down to her dreaded corset. Brooks (portrayed by Haley Lu Richardson) is painted as a self-assured, independent spirit from the start, and she influences McGovern to loosen up a bit, but because of the events surrounding McGovern's NY stay, the viewer has to believe she would've 'found' herself on her own.  Brook's flirtatious charm does play a role here,  the relationship between the two is important and Richardson is pretty good at handling the role with the exception of her dance scenes.  She is described by the instructors as being the best and having a star quality...but it really doesn't come across in the routines. The relationship between the two women starts with a parent/child feeling, but through some sharing of secrets and mutual support, it grows into a friendship.  Jump ahead 20 years--Brooks has returned to Wichita, broke and forgotten by Hollywood: the one voice she trusts is McGovern's telling her to go back to NY. Overall, I enjoyed the film, especially McGovern's performance.  The sets, costumes and cinematography were all impressive.  Despite the presence of the Brook's character, this is really a film about the title character coming to grips with her demons and finding a new path in life.  Not really high drama, but nice story telling that looks terrific.                      Related image

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I'll have to seek this out. I really like Elizabeth McGovern. 

One of these why didn't she become a much bigger star?... running acting circles around the likes of Julia Roberts.

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45 minutes ago, Roy Cronin said:

I'll have to seek this out. I really like Elizabeth McGovern. 

One of these why didn't she become a much bigger star?... running acting circles around the likes of Julia Roberts.

the 80s weren't that kind to many young actresses, and come the early 90s she moved to England (where she remains with her husband, director Simon Curtis... who cast her in a bit part in his 2015 film Woman in Gold). However, she has had a major comeback in recent years thanks to a memorable supporting turn on Downton Abbey (which the film version comes out next week) and it seems that she is being sought out more again. Which is good, as she always delivers good work, and has ever since her debut in Ordinary People.

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Thanks Shutoo.  I watched "The Chaperone," on the PBS site last week and really liked it.  I was happy to find the film was less about Louise Brooks than I had expected because I really didn't think the actress captured her very well. Elizabeth Montgomery, however, was wonderful.  She was so underused in "Downton Abbey,"  it was nice to see her in a full roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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