speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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23 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

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

DpvR2IiWwAAdaTQ.jpg

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.

WAS A BIT CONTROVERSIAL FOR THE TIME

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Just now rewatching the magnificent heavy drama A PLACE IN THE SUN again on Demand/TCM section.  as most probably recall it was Robert 0sorne's A #1 fav. ever

 

It's not as great rewatching it, but haunt some for a longtime after *Sydney Pollack used to speak about it aftyer first going to it around 1951-52

Obviously the close runner up for Best Film Oscar. Generally if a film wins BD & not BP it's obvious it was the runner-up  i.e. 1952 *Greatest Show on earth vs The Quiet Man,  12yrs a Slave vs Gravity-(swept & but not BP Gold), *In the Heat of the Night vs The Graduate, even *GFI vs Cabaret & so on,  it's almost become the norm in the last decade for them to split

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4 hours 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.

Although, like other whatever-happened-to 80's stars, she did get her brief featured episode on Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tales:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goLLpzST0JY  😀

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And, for obligatory Just Watched content:

---

Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) - 👍

Even I remember this one from the theaters as being one of the laughingstocks of the early 80's:  Partly due to it being the other of two fatal big-budget disasters that ultimately sank Lord Grade, and mostly due to a lot of audience bricks deliberately thrown at would-be new star Klinton Spilsbury after the high-profile rights trial that "took the mask away" from TV star Clayton Moore.  But nearly forty years is a long time, and--particularly after audiences briefly came to the movie's defense to throw it back in Gore Verbinski's face after his lil' 2013 psychotic Johnny Depp episode--clunky as it is, it almost seems like a movie ahead of its time, and due for a re-appraisal, after a load of 70's Lord Grade ITV movies were dumped on the streaming ether.  (And thanks to Shout Factory, caught this one resurfacing out of limbo this month on the wilds of PlutoTV).

Pop-culture heroes were coin of the realm in the post-Star-Wars 70's, after Christopher Reeve's overly-earnest Superman, and the tongue-in-cheek '80 Flash Gordon.  This one's definitely in the "Overly-earnest" category, to the point that critics called it downright "Wagnerian"--I remember audiences audibly snickering at Merle Haggard's "balladeer" narration, but propelled by sweeping Monument Valley scenery and John Barry's sweeping Western strings, it almost adds to the naively innocent attempt at retro-serials...As the benefit of hindsight teaches us, things could always have been a lot worse.  Spilsbury (who turned out to be no actor, and ended up overdubbed by a serviceable enough James Keach) shows no lack of sincerity as the hero, and--no need to put a bird on his head to placate the native audience--Michael Horse, before he became Deputy Hawk on "Twin Peaks", also plays a revisionist full-sentence Tonto with not a drop of irony, delivering realistic loyalty and plenty of contractually-obligated speeches on the white-man's treatment of the West.  And even though it takes literally the first ponderously earnest, overwritten hour of the movie to dig the tenth grave for Texas Ranger John Reid and put him in the mask, the heavy air of gravitas still works to give a chill when--no CGI elephants here--we get the first big William Tell Overture reveal:

The movie's biggest problem is coming up with an episode story big enough to match the long buildup, but they come close enough:  An unlikely and very pre-Doc Brown Christopher Lloyd makes an effectively cold-blooded baddie, turning series outlaw Butch Cavendish into a full-on black-caped Western 007 villain, and Jason Robards adds a fresh note of weary cynicism to the fourth act as Lloyd's target President Grant.  It all requires a heavy and sporting suspension of disbelief, and as such, it probably wasn't what 1981 audiences were expecting...But put next to the all-in straightforward telling of the first MCU Marvel movies like "Captain America", there's a lot that taking the material seriously can do.  It's no classic, and hope springs eternal that we'll someday get a better one (as soon as Hollywood stops blaming "It musta been too old!" for the fate of Verbinski's post-Pirates looney-bin bibbity-bibbity), but for now, if it's not necessarily the feature-movie Ranger we want, it's close enough to being the Ranger we deserve.

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8 hours 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.

This is a good stream (the site is safe and has a lot of new/and older films:)   https://hdflex.net/the-chaperone-2018-14561.html

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The Slender Thread Poster

The Slender Thread (1965) 7/10 TCM

A college student (Sidney Poitier) volunteers at a crisis center and gets a call from a woman (Anne Bancroft) who has taken an overdose of pills.

I believe I had seen this many years ago, but did not recall it. It totally kept my interest throughout the entire 98 minutes. Both stars were recent Oscar winners and they help maintain the suspense. Bancroft has a majority of the scenes as we get some flashbacks of her life while Poitier tries to keep her on the phone. There is a supporting cast of future stars of TV- Telly Savalas (Kojak) plays the supervisor of the crisis center, Edward Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show) is a cop and Steven Hill (Mission Impossible) portrays Bancroft's fisherman husband. There is nice B&W cinematography and on location shots of Seattle. Fans of 1960s music will enjoy a funny scene at a discotheque where  rock group that resembles The Yardbirds play some catchy music. 

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12 hours ago, EricJ said:

Although, like other whatever-happened-to 80's stars, she did get her brief featured episode on Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tales:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goLLpzST0JY  😀

Sadly, in recent interviews I think Shelley has lost it mentally  Among the most silly things she told the interviewer was that *Robin Williams (l951-2014) was by no means dead, but hiding?

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56 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

The Slender Thread Poster

The Slender Thread (1965) 7/10 TCM

A college student (Sidney Poitier) volunteers at a crisis center and gets a call from a woman (Anne Bancroft) who has taken an overdose of pills.

I believe I had seen this many years ago, but did not recall it. It totally kept my interest throughout the entire 98 minutes. Both stars were recent Oscar winners and they help maintain the suspense. Bancroft has a majority of the scenes as we get some flashbacks of her life while Poitier tries to keep her on the phone. There is a supporting cast of future stars of TV- Telly Savalas (Kojak) plays the supervisor of the crisis center, Edward Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show) is a cop and Steven Hill (Mission Impossible) portrays Bancroft's fisherman husband. There is nice B&W cinematography and on location shots of Seattle. Fans of 1960s music will enjoy a funny scene at a discotheque where  rock group that resembles The Yardbirds play some catchy music. 

(*** good one)

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7 hours ago, shutoo said:

This is a good stream (the site is safe and has a lot of new/and older films:)   https://hdflex.net/the-chaperone-2018-14561.html

Never see or hear about McGovern anymore & is an official AMPAS contender for the marvelous-(TCM you should play this grand epic more!) 1981's Ragtime!!!

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The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher (1979), written and directed by Ray Dennis Steckler, with optional audio commentary from Joe Bob Briggs.  Enough said.

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher (1979), written and directed by Ray Dennis Steckler, with optional audio commentary from Joe Bob Briggs.  Enough said.

On disk, I take it, but I've still been searching for the other titles with Joe Bob commentary--His track for "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter" was a hoot, but haven't seen that since the days of mail-Netflix.

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

On disk, I take it, but I've still been searching for the other titles with Joe Bob commentary--His track for "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter" was a hoot, but haven't seen that since the days of mail-Netflix.

The Hollywood Strangler... was part of a set with a few other Steckler films, some of which had Joe Bob Briggs commentary tracks. I also had a disc of an obscure horror flick called Warlock Moon with Joe Spano that had a pretty funny Briggs audio track. They were all part of a Guilty Pleasures imprint of releases from Media Blasters/Shriek Show.

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Never Cry Wolf (1983) --- 9/10  Source: VHS

Disney changes their look

Never_Cry_Wolf-601384816-large.jpg

At a time when Disney is turning out only blockbusters, remakes, and sequels, it is sometimes worth a look into the company's past to see projects that didn't fit that package. And, under the Disney banner at least, there is no more unusual title than Never Cry Wolf, the 1983 nature drama. 

What is perhaps most striking about this film is that it seems to be the complete antithesis of your typical live-action Disney film. it's often quiet, there are no children, the leading man is completely naked for nearly 7 and a half minutes of the film (many shots of his rear and subliminal flashes of his pen!s, including once in closeup, makes for a very odd Disney film and a very, very extreme PG), the ending is moody and tragic, two of the three supporting characters are in deep shades of gray. Oh, and for a company that is most famous for a cartoon mouse, the lead gorges himself on mouse sandwiches and Shish kebabs. (Watch out, Mickey and Minnie!)

In essence, while it might be more traditional for another studio, its very off-the-wall for Disney especially with it saying "Walt Disney Pictures" at the beginning of the film. it was one of the final "New Hollywood" films to hit the screen, tying with the simultaneously released Star 80 and The Right Stuff  as being the last of the name-director sagas that proliferated so much in the 70s.

Although the film has more than its share of sluggish moments, it is made into a must-see by the film's intelligence, Charles Martin Smith's excellent leading performance, the breathtaking cinematography of the northern wilderness, the wolves, and an otherworldly synth score by Mark Isham. It is truly a film that is one of a kind, and certainly one we will never see the likes of again from a major studio.

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Cast A Deadly Spell (1991) Fantasy P.I. Noir

Poster.jpg

A dash of Noir, and of films Hammett, Sin City, Alien, Gremlins, Big Trouble in Little China, Dick Tracy, Angel Heart, Marlowe, I Walked With A Zombie, and the "Leviathan" Storyline from the old Dark Shadows TV Soap.

Directed by Martin Campbell. Written by Joseph Dougherty. Cinematography by Alexander Gruszynski and Music by Curt Sorbel. An HBO cable TV film.

Its 1948, Los Angeles in a parallel time (another Dark Shadows storyline BTW). Magic is the "new thing,"  everybody practices it, everyone except Phil. Phil is Harry Philip Lovecraft a City Of Angels P.I. and ex LAPD detective. Phil rents office space from a dance studio instructor and practicing white magic witch Hypolite Kropotkin, this was a running joke (without the magic of course) in James Garner's Marlowe.

Phil is hired by billionaire Amos Hackshaw who thinks his ex-chauffeur Larry Willis stole a book after he was fired. The book is not just any book it's the Necronomicon a textbook of magic its infamous author, Abdul Alhazred the "Mad Arab."


This film is a light amusement. The more Noir/Neo Noir and other popular films you have under your belt the more references/homages to other films and styles you'll notice. It is at times reminiscent of the color pallet of Dick Tracy combined with the magic realism of recreated 1948 studio sets, which are shot with the noir stylistics of Sin City, Hammett, and Angel Heart. For the kids it's got cutsie muppet like gremlins and animated gargoyles. This is a film for the whole family 7/10. Full review with screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster Pages.

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15 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Never Cry Wolf (1983) --- 9/10  Source: VHS

(VHS??)

There are some running movie lines that root themselves so perfectly for the situation into your subconscious, you look for excuses to use them in the real world.  For me, such a line would be the two baffled Eskimo hunters, every time Smith explained his experimental theories:

"He say.......'Good idea'."

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Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground (1997)

SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground Poster

Ten stories selected from New Yorker's experiences on the Subway. Some are hilarious others tragic. The film recreated the tales with actors Denis Leary, Bill Irwin, Bonnie Hunt, Rosie Perez. Mercedes Rhule, etc., etc. and directed by well known directors such as Jonathan Demme, Ted Demme, Abel Ferrara, Craig McKay, Julie Dash, and Bob Balaban.

Online Streaming in about 7 parts. 8/10

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:40 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

The Slender Thread Poster

The Slender Thread (1965) 7/10 TCM

A college student (Sidney Poitier) volunteers at a crisis center and gets a call from a woman (Anne Bancroft) who has taken an overdose of pills.

I believe I had seen this many years ago, but did not recall it. It totally kept my interest throughout the entire 98 minutes. Both stars were recent Oscar winners and they help maintain the suspense. Bancroft has a majority of the scenes as we get some flashbacks of her life while Poitier tries to keep her on the phone. There is a supporting cast of future stars of TV- Telly Savalas (Kojak) plays the supervisor of the crisis center, Edward Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show) is a cop and Steven Hill (Mission Impossible) portrays Bancroft's fisherman husband. There is nice B&W cinematography and on location shots of Seattle. Fans of 1960s music will enjoy a funny scene at a discotheque where  rock group that resembles The Yardbirds play some catchy music. 

Just finished it. Excellent film. And a landmark one for me, as it was my #400th film from the 1960s.

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I keep reading that the mid-budget adult drama is practically an endangered species, so it is refreshing to see an intelligent, well-written, unflashily directed drama like “The Slender Thread.”  This crisp black & white drama manages to build up a good deal of suspense, and there is considerable chemistry between the two main characters, even though the stars are never on screen together.  Of course, that is in main part because these 2 characters are played by 2 superb actors, Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft.  The charismatic Poitier could seemingly do no wrong at this point in his career, and Bancroft uses her wonderfully expressive face and eyes to tell us all we need to know about her character.

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SCANDAL SHEET (1952)

I managed to tear myself away from Dylan McKay's side long enough to watch a classic film. (Actually, my husband and I are re-watching seasons 1-3 to get him caught up on the story.  He got hooked mid-season 3, I'm on season 4, and cannot proceed without him), anyway...

I watched Scandal Sheet which was featured last spring as part of TCM's spotlight on journalism in film.  I do love a good newspaper film and Scandal Sheet did not disappoint.

First, I have to get this out of the way:

John Derek was really hot--at least in this film.

Okay. With that out of the way, I can get down to the nitty gritty of this film.  Scandal Sheet features Derek as a young, ruthless newspaper reporter who idolizes mentor, Broderick Crawford.  Crawford is a newspaper editor who has recently taken over for a struggling newspaper.  Under Crawford's supervision, he has changed the format of the paper from a legitimate newspaper, to a tabloid.  Crawford exploits scandals and blasts sensational headlines in size 5000 font on the front page.  Donna Reed also appears as a reporter who resents the direction that the paper has taken--she'd rather write legitimate news rather than yellow journalism.

Along with Reed's unhappiness, the stockholders in the newspaper are also unhappy with the direction the paper has taken.  One such stockholder, one Kathryn "Mrs. McGillicuddy" Card vehemently voices her unhappiness to Crawford.  Crawford is not swayed and basically tells the stockholders where they can put their concerns.  Derek eagerly follows Crawford's direction, as he admires the way that he's been so successful in his position.

As a publicity stunt, the newspaper arranges a "Lonely Hearts Club Dance," an event intended to bring single people together and hopefully spark a romance.  Couples who declare themselves in love and ready to marry will win prizes (like a brand new bed w/ built-in TV, which personally sounds amazing).  The couples have to marry at the dance however to be eligible to win the prizes.  The newspaper staff (Crawford, Derek, and Reed) act as the overseers of the event.  Reed is disgusted by the event.  Eager to please Derek is indifferent.  A mysterious woman (Rosemary DeCamp) sees Crawford at the event.  You can tell by the look in her eyes that she knows who he is from somewhere else.  It seems that there may be more to Crawford's past than he lets on.

The remainder of the film deals with Crawford and DeCamp and then Derek and Reed.  I don't want to give away all that happens, but I thought it was a very interesting film.  I love the newspaper films where the reporter gets a hot lead and has to call it in via payphone to the news team.  The news team springs into action to get the new scoop into the next issue.  There's some great darkroom photography also featured in this film.  I also appreciated that the film featured blood and not just people pretending to be injured.

DeCamp was fantastic.  If I hadn't of recognized her, I would have never known that she played Doris Day's mother in On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon. I also thought Reed was great.  For someone who is primarily known as "Donna Stone," in The Donna Reed Show, it's interesting that Reed seems to frequently play very cynical, unhappy women.  Reed's character in this film reminded me of her Oscar-winning turn as prostitute, Alma aka Lorene, in From Here to Eternity. I also recognized Harry Morgan immediately from his voice, but for whatever reason, I always mix him up with Jack Webb. I don't really know why. I have to look up the credits for the film and be like "oh yeah, Harry Morgan, the MASH guy, not the Dragnet guy." 

Broderick Crawford seemed like a slightly more mellow Harry from Born Yesterday, but he still had that gruff, quick tempered persona.  I also thought John Derek was great. I didn't really know much about him other than a joke about him being married a lot in The Golden Girls

Overall, I enjoyed this film and would watch it again. 

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9 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

SCANDAL SHEET (1952)

First, I have to get this out of the way:

1. John Derek was really hot--at least in this film. I also thought John Derek was great. I didn't really know much about him other than a joke about him being married a lot in The Golden Girls

2. I also recognized Harry Morgan immediately from his voice, but for whatever reason, I always mix him up with Jack Webb. I don't really know why.

3. Broderick Crawford seemed like a slightly more mellow Harry from Born Yesterday, but he still had that gruff, quick tempered persona.

 

1. JOHN DEREK was fine as Hell.

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I have no idea if he was a good actor or not (handsomeness blinds me to all other shortcomings in men)...it's interesting that in looking through a lot of google images of JOHN, i have to say- pictures do not capture how good-looking he was in his films. I have also heard here and there that all the wives of his were a front and he was actually gay, take that for what it's worth.

2. OKAY, that is a little odd, but I confuse ABBOTT with COSTELLO all the time, so no judgment here.

3. THAT WAS BRODERICK CRAWFORD'S "THING." Like seriously, he just had that *one* facet- gruff, abusive, declasse'- but with ABSOLUTELY NONE of the nuance of PAUL DOUGLAS or even EUGENE PALLETTE. BRODERICK CRAWFORD was, in my opinion, hands-down the worst actor to ever win the BEST ACTOR Oscar (at least in the years 1927-2000)

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I watched "HIGH WALL" last night, apparently that is the official title (?), which just seems stupid since it REALLY SHOULD BE "THE HIGH WALL", but, what are you gonna do?

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I tried watching this when it aired on NOIR ALLEY  awhile back and ROBERT TAYLOR'S monotone drove me away...I made it all the way through this time, and while it has some real faults- it's not  abad way to kill an hour and a half.

I absolutely LOVED the photography and all the use of RAIN in this movie, there were also some excellent montages and scene transitions, some rapid edits and great music- this was more like a WARNER BROS picture than an MGM one.

AUDREY TOTTER costars in the role of a Psychiatrist who makes Dr. Harlene Quinzel look like a beacon of good judgment and wise decision-making, I wonder why directors always wanted to shoot her with a POV camera...feels slightly VOYEURISTIC and PERVERSE.

HERBERT MARSHALL is the best though.

THE RADIO ADAPTATION THEY DID OF THIS MOVIE FOR THE 30 MINUTE SHOW "SUSPENSE" (WITH A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AND WAAAAAAY BETTER ENDING absolutely BLOWS THIS MOVIE OUT OF THE WATER.

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Well, Harry Morgan did costar with Webb in the Dragnet reboot in the late 60s.

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) is a story about memory, displacement, gentrification, and love letter to a city.  Jimmie Fails (Jimmie Fails) dreams of once again living in the elegant Victorian house he grew up in, located in San Fran's Fillmore District. With his best friend Mont, (Jonathan Majors) an aspiring playwright, they make surreptitious visits to clean up the house's garden, paint chipping wood, and other cosmetic upgrades. The white owners tell them to stop, with the wife threatening to call the cops.  The husband assures them that no, they won't call the cops.  Thanks to a perfect storm of circumstance, Jimmie finds himself living in his beloved abode.  But his happiness is short lived. There's a sweetness and poignancy to The Last Black Man in San Francisco reminiscent of early Vittorio De Sica. Directed by Joe Talbot, and with Danny Glover, in a lovely performance, as Mont's blind grandfather.  Finn Wittrock has a small role not far removed from his character in The Big Short.

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

Well, Harry Morgan did costar with Webb in the Dragnet reboot in the late 60s.

I have not seen Dragnet, but maybe I should watch this so I can finally sort out Morgan and Webb.

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LOL. Funny show (though not intended to be).....

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