speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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On 9/13/2019 at 12:00 PM, speedracer5 said:

I think I have this recorded as well.  I haven't watched it yet.  I really cannot remember anything remarkable about Robert Taylor, except 1) He was married to Barbara Stanwyck; and 2) Lucy Ricardo got him to autograph an orange (off screen) at the LA Farmer's market; and 3) His real name is Spangler Arlington Brugh.  What a name.

I love Audrey Totter and I also love movies that feature lots of rain--it makes me feel right at home.  Why wasn't Oregon used for noir? Portland would have been a great noir city! Lots of rain, bridges, trees. 

Herbert Marshall is one of my faves.  I didn't learn about his fake leg until the last couple of years or so--now I look for it when I see him in a film.  I love Marshall's voice.  Is it weird that I thought he was kind of cute in Trouble in Paradise ?

I’m sorry, I missed this reply (We’ve been so deep in discussions on blue denim)

HERBERT MARSHALL is VERY SEXY in TROUBLE IN PARADISE, Especially in the scene where he tells Kay Francis what shade of lipstick shade she needs to be wearing.

You just know if they had gotten together she would so have caught him in a tryst with the pool boy. And forgiven him. 37 different times.

MARSHALL is AMAZING in THE LITTLE FOXES; also BOTH VERSIONS of THE LETTER (1929 and 1940) which could be screened back to back for an acting class as a master lesson in versatility.

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Seconds (1966) Shades of Rod Serling and Franz Kafka right from the get go. The Bachannale sequence was jarring and disruptive. It was so 60s. I was actually, uh, grooving on the story until that. I liked the haunting expectation just prior. In retrospect it might have been seen as a foreshadowing of ole Tony waking up at the end after a bad trip. And a pretty bad trip it was. I had a mistaken notion throughout that the "company" was honing our hero for some grievous unnamed task or role that was to be proved distasteful to the extreme. I sincerely hope (and I believe to be so) that he is meeting his demise at the end and not being inserted into another body. Enough is enough. Reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon where a middle-aged couple are enjoying themselves sunning on a beach. "Well, here we are on vacation. We're still us." ////

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Dracula (1931) Now that I have finally seen this film, the historians can close the book on its watching history. It can now be said that it  has been viewed by everyone in the world. I am generally anti-horror, anti-vampire, Anti-Frankenstein (and the like) in the extreme and did not think I would like this that much. But I was wrong. I DID like it. Expanding my horizons. Early on I was lamenting that the movie would have been so much better if they had waited a couple of years. As we all know, there is big, big difference between 1931 to, say, 1933. They had the appearance of trying to film a movie during a period where they didn't know much yet and therefore it was required that all participants give everything they had "if we're going to make this work." The actors (sorry, please see IMDB) who played Mina, Von Helsing, and Renfield were very solid (with the latter closing in on brilliant). Even not having seen this movie the piercing stare of Bela seemed to have been etched in my mind since birth and so that was very anti-climactic. But it was sure interesting to hear him speak. Early on in his Hollywood career he knew not a whit of English and had to sound out phonetically every utterance. I don't know how much he had progressed when the film was made but the intonation and pronunciation was weird enough to effectively add to the effect of his menacing person. His threatening gesture towards Von Helsing and his reactions to crosses, wolfsbanes, and mirrors were pure melodrama but managed to evoke the stature of well-done classical movements and thus avoid the notion of "corny." IMO.  

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16 minutes ago, laffite said:

Dracula (1931) Now that I have finally seen this film, the historians can close the book on its watching history. It can now be said that it  has been viewed by everyone in the world. I am generally anti-horror, anti-vampire, Anti-Frankenstein (and the like) in the extreme and did not think I would like this that much. But I was wrong. I DID like it. Expanding my horizons. 

And even though Bela's career took a sad downturn after horror fell out of fashion at the studios, the only other time he actually played Dracula onscreen for Universal was in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), and even then, his old-school dedication provides a nice believably in-character counterpoint to all the wacky comedy.  Everyone else may be silly, but Bela's Dracula is still the creepy serious monster in the room.  :)

abbott-and-costello-meet-frankenstein-ss

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2 hours ago, laffite said:

Dracula (1931) Now that I have finally seen this film, the historians can close the book on its watching history. It can now be said that it  has been viewed by everyone in the world. I am generally anti-horror, anti-vampire, Anti-Frankenstein (and the like) in the extreme and did not think I would like this that much. But I was wrong. I DID like it.

. But it was sure interesting to hear [LUGOSI]speak. Early on in his Hollywood career he knew not a whit of English and had to sound out phonetically every utterance. I don't know how much he had progressed when the film was made but the intonation and pronunciation was weird enough to effectively add to the effect of his menacing person. His threatening gesture towards Von Helsing and his reactions to crosses, wolfsbanes, and mirrors were pure melodrama but managed to evoke the stature of well-done classical movements and thus avoid the notion of "corny." IMO.  

I still can't believe you had not seen this up until now.

in re: LUGOSI and PHONETICISM. I do not think it is on DVD...but you maybe can find it online, I HIGHLY recommend you check out THE 13TH CHAIR (1929)- directed by the same director of DRACULA and featuring LUGOSI in a major role- he is second-lead as a detective on a murder case. LUGOSI has lots of dialogue in it and it veru good speaking both English and French, so I personally think he knew ENGLISH quite well.

 

 

(get it now?)

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ps- also, don't be ANTI-FRANKENSTEIN!

(Unless you are FIRE, he is FINE with YOU! Especially if you happen to have a cigar.)

-note: if it is LON CHANEY JR. AS FRANKENSTEIN, disregard this advice and RUN!

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Dracula is my favorite of the source materials for the Universal monsters, but Dracula the film I consider to be the least of the Big Four. My preference is Frankenstein, then The Wolf Man, then The Mummy, and then Dracula. The Dracula film is not without its merits (I think Dwight Frye is the best Renfield out of any filmed version), but it's too clunky, with poor pacing, and, after the superior opening moments in Transylvania, the film shows its roots in the stage version with the confined settings of the England-set majority of the film.

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24 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Dracula is my favorite of the source materials for the Universal monsters, but Dracula the film I consider to be the least of the Big Four. My preference is Frankenstein, then The Wolf Man, then The Mummy, and then Dracula. The Dracula film is not without its merits (I think Dwight Frye is the best Renfield out of any filmed version), but it's too clunky, with poor pacing, and, after the superior opening moments in Transylvania, the film shows its roots in the stage version with the confined settings of the England-set majority of the film.

DRACULA 1931 is an utterly fascinating, beguiling, MESMERIZING failure. I don't know how many times I have seen it, but I'll watch it again; probably some time in the coming weeks. 

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...and let us also do give some mention to WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935) which is second only to THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN is my favorite UNIVERSAL HORROR FILM.

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

...and let us also do give some mention to WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935) which is second only to THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN is my favorite UNIVERSAL HORROR FILM.

I like both of those as well, but I left them out of my previous listing as I was speaking only of those that started a series for Universal. BoF is a sequel (and my favorite of that series), of course, while Werewolf of London is a standalone, like The Black Cat or The Invisible Ray

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GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN is not without some real merit; i actually put it to you that THAT movie is the birth of the JASON VORHEES/MICHEAL MYERS style killer...i really kind of enjoy the fact that LON CHANEY JR chose to play the monster as an out and out murdering psychotic, and a fast one too!

also FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN may be where things start to get a little goofy, but i LOVE IT.

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I'm having fun catching up on all the Ruth Chatterton pre-codes, such as Lily Turner and Frisco Jenny.  Ruth is really good, not "stagey" at all, and in Lily Turner can suggest a mood (or a proposition) with a slight smile or raise of an eyebrow.  Great chemistry with George Brent, not one of my faves, but it turns out, her husband at the time, and I think he's pretty cute in Lily Turner.  The ending of Lily is a bit of a surprise.  Frank McHugh is also very good in this one.  William Wellman directed -- short, racy, and to the point.  I can see why it had trouble with re-release; it's clear she and McHugh might have what we would call an "open marriage"; they're just pals, and he seems to be relatively OK or just oblivious to the fact that there are other men in her life.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I still can't believe you had not seen this up until now. [ Dracula 1931 ]

That's nothing. I saw Casablanca for the first time less than a year ago. :o

1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

The Dracula film is not without its merits (I think Dwight Frye is the best Renfield out of any filmed version), but it's too clunky, with poor pacing, and, after the superior opening moments in Transylvania, the film shows its roots in the stage version with the confined settings of the England-set majority of the film.

That's fair so don't get me wrong. I would just ask you to remember---it was made in 1931 !! . I wouldn't hold it to any higher standard than that. I sort of touched on that before. Movies were still putting their pants on for the first time in 1931. I would be more inclined to praise it for what was able to do rather than knock it for it was not possible for it to do. I was pleasantly surprised. I guess it's a relativity thing for me, at least with this movie.

 

1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

ps- also, don't be ANTI-FRANKENSTEIN!

(Unless you are FIRE, he is FINE with YOU! Especially if you happen to have a cigar.)

Yeah, I know. He's a good dude. And wait till I show him by Vape. Hey, Frank, look; no fire!

 

1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

so I personally think he [ Bela Lugosi ] knew ENGLISH quite well.

He learned it then. When he first came over he knew nothing at all and, according to someone on the DVD extra, had to mouth the words without knowing what they meant. They got him almost for nothing. The whole show was cast except Dracula and they had no money to get the name star to play it. Enter Bela who shipped over from Hungary. They didn't say, but they couldn't have paid him that much. This story might not apply to the movie; if not, it was an earlier production, on stage, or something. But maybe the story does apply to the movie.

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5 minutes ago, laffite said:

That's fair so don't get me wrong. I would just ask you to remember---it was made in 1931 !! . I wouldn't hold it to any higher standard than that. I sort of touched on that before. Movies were still putting their pants on for the first time in 1931. I would be more inclined to praise it for what was able to do rather than knock it for it was not possible for it to do. I was pleasantly surprised. I guess it's a relativity thing for me, at least with this movie.

Dracula came out in 1931, but so did Frankenstein. 9 months made a big difference in that transitional period. It's also a good illustration of the directorial skills of James Whale vs Tod Browning. The latter made some terrific silents, but Whale showed much more finesse in the sound era.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Dracula is my favorite of the source materials for the Universal monsters, but Dracula the film I consider to be the least of the Big Four. My preference is Frankenstein, then The Wolf Man, then The Mummy, and then Dracula. The Dracula film is not without its merits (I think Dwight Frye is the best Renfield out of any filmed version), but it's too clunky, with poor pacing, and, after the superior opening moments in Transylvania, the film shows its roots in the stage version with the confined settings of the England-set majority of the film.

Looks like we're in sync here. I would put these same four movies in the same order.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I like both of those as well, but I left them out of my previous listing as I was speaking only of those that started a series for Universal. BoF is a sequel (and my favorite of that series), of course, while Werewolf of London is a standalone, like The Black Cat or The Invisible Ray

In my opinion, The Mummy (1932) featuring Imhotep as the title creature should probably also be considered a standalone movie separate from Universal's four 1940s movies featuring Kharis.

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Hunted (1952) (aka The Stranger in Between) Gritty Britt Noir

Poster.jpg

A Kids Noir, a Road Noir, a nice surprise. We first see Robbie excellently played by Jon Whiteley running in a panic with his teddy bear through the streets of London. He runs almost under the hooves and wheels of a Watneys Keg wagon carrying Reid's Stout. He darts off and climbs up into the ruins of a still bombed out rubble filled section of the city. He runs down into a ruined cellar and almost into Chris Lloyd (Dirk Bogarde).

Chris grabs him in mid run. Robbie startled drops his teddy when he sees the other man's body. Chris asks him what is he doing down here. Robbie tells Chris that he set the house on fire. We hear the happy voices of playing children. Chris takes Robbie's hand and they run out through a ruptured cellar wall and out into the daylight.

The two unlikely fugitives one only in his mind, the other for real hit the road and escape from London headed for the "wild" North.

A very well acted film directed by Charles Crichton, based on an idea of Michael McCarthy and a screenplay by Jack Whittingham. The excellent cinematography was by Eric Cross.
 Music was by Hubert Clifford.

The cast stars Dirk Bogarde as Chris Lloyd, Jon Whiteley as Robbie, Elizabeth Sellars as Magda, Kay Walsh as Mrs. Syke, Frederick Piper as Mr. Sykes., Julian Somers as Jack Lloyd, Geoffrey Keen as Detective Inspector Drakin, and Douglas Blackwell as Detective Sergeant Grayson.

It's a gem of British Noir 9/10. Full review with more screencaps at Noirsville.

Hunted is a part of  Great British Movies - Film Noir [DVD] along with 21 Days, Sapphire, So Long At The Fair, and Turn the Key Softly.

PS - You'll need a third party converted region free DVD player to watch these in the U.S.

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The Dead (1987) If I watch this movie and am not moved by this movie ; why then, I am not alive. James Joyce's short story of the same name has been lauded by his peers, critics, and readers alike (but not by all, of course) as the greatest short story in the English language. In that, it has something in common with Citizen Kane within its own medium. As a general reader, I can truthfully say that it is one of the best short stories I have ever read. In this faithful adaptation, Angelica Huston gets first billing but has the fewest words. She simply is not given much to say ... until the end ... and then is given much to say ... and if she doesn't say it right, the movie is a big fat nothing. The movie ends with a musing by her husband which serves as a sort of afterword. In this little monologue he states a wider theme by saying, "Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally from age." In a smaller, more local context, he says in this same little speech, "How poor a part I have played in your life, it's almost as if ..." [spoiler avoided] This is about time and memory and about the consequence of personal revelation. And a lot more. /////

 

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I cherish John Huston’s film version of “The Dead,” although oddly I have never read the original story.  I find the film more moving than almost any movie I have seen, but I can’t really explain why.  Being Irish has something to do with it, I guess. For whatever reason, it has become a staple of my holiday viewing.  Surely it must be the greatest swan-song ever by a great director.

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15 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

DRACULA 1931 is an utterly fascinating, beguiling, MESMERIZING failure. I don't know how many times I have seen it, but I'll watch it again; probably some time in the coming weeks. 

How can something be "fascinating, beguiling, MESMERIZING," and be a failure too. You don't know how many times you've seen it, i.e., quite a lot ... and your gonna watch it yet again. I cannot imagine what words are left in our language that you would use for movies that were successes.;)

14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Dracula came out in 1931, but so did Frankenstein. 9 months made a big difference in that transitional period. It's also a good illustration of the directorial skills of James Whale vs Tod Browning.

I find Frankenstein vastly inferior to Dracula. It may have technically better owing to nine months of growth of movie making, but it bored me. And leaving aside the Browning-Whale comparison, Dracula runs circles around Frankenstein. It could be that the cult of Dracula and all it entails grabs me more than the creation of home made monsters. If I had a copy of F and I left it on the table in a community room somewhere I would probably not care. Boris does a good job of NOT appearing absolutely ridiculous going around acting so goofy and I give him a lot of credit for that. But it doesn't help me enjoy watching him doing it any the more. Maybe Peter Boyle ruined any serious take on the beast. People do take it seriously, right? I really don't know. Maybe it's all tongue-in-cheek. At least he was funny, Mr. Boyle was. In the novel, the creature had intellect and was given first-person rights and a section of the novel all his own. He actually acts like as real person. Of course Hollywood wouldn't be interested in that, he's gotta be some horrific monster with no verbal articulation whatsoever, but instead talks like a moron and grunts like a pig while going around throwing little girls in water.

Bride of Frankenstein is infinitely better than the earlier F movie and 1935 had a lot to do with it. It was more refined and with much better production values. The camera angles, light and shadows, folks roaming the hills with torches, lots of visual excellence like that. And, of course, Minnie. I can't watch the blind priest scene without thinking of Boyle again, and if that's so, then how can I take the original seriously. The opening scene with Mary Shelly, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelly is excellent. Perfection, even. And the appearance of Elsa as the Bride was mesmerizing. Those camera angles, her magnificent face, and that streaky beehive hairdo. I wished she would have given a more piercing scream. The down parts were old Boris going "GOOOOOOOOOOOOD" and "BAAAAAAAAAAAAD." Yike !!!!!!! I have plans to see more Draculas but no more Frankies, thank you very much. ////

 

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Image result for it chapter 2 imagesIt Chapter Two (2019) 7/10 In theaters 

The misfit kids have now grown up and get together to fight the supernatural evil clown that haunted them in the past. 

This a long (2 hours and 40 minutes) but engrossing version of the classic Stephen King novel. It has a good cast (Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader among them) and despite the rampant CGI, it still has a good human story to it. I liked this chapter better than the first one. Which is the opposite of how I feel about the 1990 TV miniseries. There I liked the kids chapter better than the adults. I also liked the TV version better as a whole, but this new one is worth seeing.  

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

1. How can something be "fascinating, beguiling, MESMERIZING," and be a failure too. You don't know how many times you've seen it, i.e., quite a lot ... and your gonna watch it yet again. I cannot imagine what words are left in our language that you would use for movies that were successes.;)

2. I find Frankenstein vastly inferior to Dracula. It may have technically better owing to nine months of growth of movie making, but it bored me. And leaving aside the Browning-Whale comparison, Dracula runs circles around Frankenstein. .

3. Bride of Frankenstein is infinitely better than the earlier F movie and 1935 had a lot to do with it. It was more refined and with much better production values. The camera angles, light and shadows, folks roaming the hills with torches, lots of visual excellence like that. 

4. I have plans to see more Draculas but no more Frankies, thank you very much. ////

 

1. Because I am a joyless person who only truly "comes alive" when shredding the work of others....kidding...sort of. IT IS VERY HARD TO PUT INTO WORDS, especially on a Monday Morning wher emy brain is scrambled- I could go on forever about 1931 DRACULA- and every time I watch it (or its second cousin of a sort, the later 1935 MARK OF THE VAMPIRE)- my MIND (which is always spinning and dissecting and critiquing and looking for ways to re-interpret things or make a story "better") is in overdrive on the DOZENS of things TOD BROWNING could have done to make the film better, small little things, which are ALL OVER THE SPANISH VERSION- like the wild, frenetic TRACKING SHOT when Spanish Dracula first appears or Spanish Dracula SMASHING THE CIGARETTE BOX WITH HIS WALKING STICK, as opposed to just SMACKING IT DOWN. IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO ME LIKE FOR 1931 DRACULA- THE CAST IS ON POINT, THE LIGHTING AND SETS ARE MOSTLY ON POINT, THE SCRIPT NEEDS SOME WORK, and the direction is- at times- nonexistent.

2. I understand re: FRANKENSTEIN. It is a film that needs to be seen more than once, and i have to add, that i agree with LEONARD MALTIN (ew, I feel all gross and sticky now) that 1931 FRANKENSTEIN *CRIES OUT* for a musical score. The biggest weakness in FRANKENSTEIN are the NUMEROUS plot holes- how does the mOnster know where the doctor lives or that he is getting married? Why does the little girl's father ASSUME she was MURDERED? (there's no evidence she was, etc.)

3. so much of the reason for the superiority of BRIDE to the original IS THE FRANZ WAXMAN MUSICAL SCORE. It is a CASE STUDY in how the addition of film scoring to the soundtrack of talking pictures ELEVATED THE PRODUCT IMMEASURABLY by the mid thirties

4. You're missing out then. I don't care for SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, but I really, really do like GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (flawed, but fascinating.)

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On 9/13/2019 at 1:14 PM, speedracer5 said:

I remember on Nick at Nite, during Block Party Summer one year there was "Joe Friday Fridays" or something and it was a 3-hour block of Dragnet.  Being young at the time though, it wasn't a show that interested me. 

I don't think I could've lasted that long.....

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10 hours ago, Nightbird311 said:

I cherish John Huston’s film version of “The Dead,” although oddly I have never read the original story.  I find the film more moving than almost any movie I have seen, but I can’t really explain why.  Being Irish has something to do with it, I guess. For whatever reason, it has become a staple of my holiday viewing.  Surely it must be the greatest swan-song ever by a great director.

I have, and while it has been quite some time since i did- I recall thinking not only is it reeeeeeally short (4 or 5 pages?) NOTHING HAPPENS IN IT. I would love to see the movie, but i imagine A LOT was added.

edit- went to wiki and checked, and according to them , THE DEAD is almost long enough to be a novella, so i guess i remembered that wrong...

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