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I Just Watched...

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9 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Bardot gets naked within the first five minutes. How can you hate that movie?

That was it's only uplifting quality.

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1 minute ago, cigarjoe said:

That was it's only uplifting quality.

Never yet saw that one, but as I was saying the tcm area has abut 20 classics running, watched the magnificent Wild Bunch last evening

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9 hours ago, laffite said:

“21 years.” (1942). British drama with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Oliver, a young man in this, accidentally kills a man in a scuffle. He runs to his brother who is a high profile lawyer and in line for a judgeship for help. Olivier is as much a non-achiever as his brother is a consummate success. Olivier must play frightened and helpless and who cowers to his brother in these early scenes, and does not seem to do very will with it. A biographer said that Olivier was always best in costume dramas and Classical Plays because his elaborate garb in roles like this provided him with a means for getting and staying in character, and that simply wearing a business suit left him cold and struggling. So seems the case here. He is almost bad. Meantime a passer-by gets arrested for the murder providing much conflict among the principal players. Leigh doesn’t have a whole to do but she provides great window dressing and attracts much admiration. This movie is not to bad, but not to good either. But it’s watchable. It was made prior to GWTW and due to the colossal magnitude and success of the latter, was not released until two years later. Was Olivier’s character’s motivation due to needing to proving himself in some small way in the light of this brother’s success in life … or was it simply normal guilt?

 

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I gave it a 6/10. It was actually filmed in 1937 and not released until 1940. Don't know where you got the 1942 date.

It's called a British Film Noir. What's interesting is if this was an American Noir, the MPPC would usually not allow Larry to get away so Scott-free.

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Cleopatra (1934)

Amidst the over the top lavishness of the sets and costumes and sexy splendour of this Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza, there beams the intelligence of Claudette Colbert's portrayal of the sly Egyptian queen that distinguishes this production and continues to make it as eminently watchable as it is today.

With Egypt falling before the mighty Rome and Cleopatra having to deal with macho chauvinists like Caesar and Mark Antony, this ruler, along with internal struggles for power with her own brother, is a skilled survivor at the power game by any means possible for a woman in a man's world, whether it be through her sexual charms or the wits of her political cunning.

Colbert brings a modern sensibility to her portrayal that prevents this character from seeming dated. She is kittenish and sly, seductive in her, at times, skimpy outfits, while also deadly ruthless in one sequence (plunging a spear into an assassin hiding behind a curtain before Caesar's startled eyes). While other women are mere play things for the men who rule the world, Colbert makes the Queen of Egypt a wily opponent capable of holding herself equal to the men of power with whom she has to cope.

Warren William makes a strong impression as a wily Julius Caesar, perhaps more interested in the Egyptian queen for the political advantages she brings to him than her physical allure. In contrast, Mark Antony, as played by Henry Wilcoxon, is bull headed and impulsive, an old fashioned chauvinist reduced to a fawning eager lover of the queen. The blustery Wilcoxon is a bit of a macho pin head, at times, seeming very much an impulsive little boy beside Colbert's sly, cunning queen. Typically for this Antony, when he first arrives at the queen's barge, he does so dressed in armour while accompanied by a pair of great danes the size of small horses.

Later when Antony, months into his affair with the Egyptian leader, hears that Rome is offering Cleopatra an olive branch and the right to remain in power if she poisons him, his response is to burst into uproarious laughter at such a suggestion. Soon afterward, however, after seeing a man's body being carted away because the queen is testing poisons, his laughter disappears.

Arguably the most spectacular sequence in the film is when Antony first meets Cleopatra on her barge, as she sets out to seduce him with spectacle and her charms. And spectacle there is, with half naked girls, one of them suggestively riding an ox that she caresses, a scrambling cat fight among women dressed in leopard skin outfits, women sumersaulting through fiery hoops and, at one moment, a net pulled up from the Red Sea, filled with seductive women who crawl up to Antony, each of them holding shells filled with jewels for him.

Keep in mind that this film was released in October, 1934, after the production code was being enforced. So, as much as DeMille tries to stretch the sexual boundaries here, Cleopatra never comes close to the same sexual kinkiness that had distinguished (and still does) the director's Sign of the Cross two years before. Still DeMille manages to have an image in partial shadow of a naked woman in recline under the film's opening titles. It was undoubtedly Colbert's performance as the wicked Queen Poppaea in Sign of the Cross that lead to her casting in the title role of this production.

Cleopatra is a visual delight, of course, its huge sets and costumes photographed in, at times, stunning black and white photography by Victor Milner, who would win the film's one Academy Award for his work. There is one shot, in particular, of Cleopatra's barge slowly sailing down the Red Sea at night that is quite breath taking. Rudolph Kopp's musical score, bombastic at times, also captures the exotic flavour of an ancient time and place.

SPOILER ALERT: The film's final image is a memorable one. Cleopatra, as history tells us, has lost her power struggle. Antony is dead and the mighty Roman army, lead by Octavius, is battering down her palace gate, having promised, as the Queen knows, to take her back to Rome in chains. But this Queen will go out her way, taking the poison of an asp to her breast. She dies as the Roman soldiers approach her throne. But she is dressed in royal finery and, while leaning forward slightly, she still sits up on her throne. Even in death, this cunning woman who defied the odds as long as she could in her grasp for power, remains regal in appearance.

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3 out of 4

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11 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Bardot gets naked within the first five minutes. How can you hate that movie?

Because we only see her naked from behind? :(

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9 hours ago, Swithin said:

The Bowery is a fictionalized account of two old New York characters: Chuck Connors (played by.Wallace Beery)

Chuck ended up on top by using his trusty rifle to kill all his rivals.  :D

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

I gave it a 6/10. It was actually filmed in 1937 and not released until 1940. Don't know where you got the 1942 date.

I believe it's actually 21 Days.  IMDb suggests it was released in the USA as 21 Days Together.  I've got it on my DVR but haven't watched it yet.

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1 hour ago, Fedya said:

I believe it's actually 21 Days.  IMDb suggests it was released in the USA as 21 Days Together.  I've got it on my DVR but haven't watched it yet.

Yea laffite got the title and date wrong, maybe that is a US release date, funny I didn't even notice it. It's watchable.

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I gave it a 6/10. It was actually filmed in 1937 and not released until 1940. Don't know where you got the 1942 date.

It's called a British Film Noir. What's interesting is if this was an American Noir, the MPPC would usually not allow Larry to get away so Scott-free.

SPOILERS for "21 Days"

The Criterion Channel lists the title as just "21 Days." According to Wikipedia that was the original title. Korda added together for the American Release.

Yes, I got the date wrong.

As you suggest, if the movie had been made in the U.S. (or under U.S. jurisdiction etc, or not BFN, or whatever) the Code would have shot it down. I would certainly agree with that. I wanted to avoid this, a spoiler, in the review but above what the Code decision would or would have not decided is the insouciance of the happy couple after the acquittal indicating a complete disregard that they had killed. They are so ebulliently happy that the idea is almost amusing to the audience (to me).. 'Olivier' has this scruple for a man taking the blame for him but absolutely no regard for the initial victim. Hey, the guy was a rotter, so he doesn't count LOL. Maybe that's how they look at it across the pond, haha.

The movie had a real noir-ish feeling at the outset but faded away with me. The couple may have been whistling in the dark inside while on that 'vacation' but the mood communicated to the viewer was still gaity. The notion that everything was going to turn out okay (by English standards anyway) was too strong for brute noir IMO.

David Hay Petrie (1895-1948) played the accused man and was impressive. Quite a solid screen presence. An extensive filmography, including some high profile movies. Reminds me a bit of Edmund Gwynne and/or Claude Raines. Very strong.

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Christopher Columbus (1949), starring Fredric March.

Anyone care to tell us how good this film was because I couldn't stay awake through most of it.

My dog slept through it, too.

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The Lower Depths (1936) Jean Renoir

The Lower Depths (1956) Akira Kurosawa

I was watching away chez Renoir when I kept getting the ole déjà vu and then it hit me----Kurosawa. Having two based on the same story and with such a singular setting, I was moved to find the source which turned out to be a play by Gorky. A large hovel-like area housing an assortment of impoverished beings trying to make it while living in what can only be classified as a dump (Bette would have been left speechless though). In the Renoir it is referred to as a flophouse. There is a painter (played by Jean Gabin and Toshiro Mifune respectively) who shags the wife of the landlord but who really loves the sister. The wife wants the painter to kill her husband and take over as landlord etc. There are about a half dozen other characters and they each have a story.

The two versions are uneven. Renoir seems more on the lighter side (that is, if there is a lighter side). There is Baron who loses all his money and ends up in the flophouse but there is at least some scenes in more respectable settings and even after the story settles in the poorer venue, there are outdoor scenes and a little sunshine here and there. In this way it is less claustrophobic than the Kurosawa which takes place almost exclusively in a large rectangular common area with horribly tiny living quarters that are too cringe worthy to even contemplate. The characters butt up against each other and the overall effect is rather depressing as opposed to the Renoir. The performers are more intensely theatrical and expound on heavier subject matter. There is that central conflict with the painter etc, but there subplots. A woman is dying and her husband doesn’t seem to care. An actor/alcoholic wants to be cured of drink. A old man checks in the place and issues pieces of wisdom in an effort to resolves these nagging controversies that plague the others. They call him a liar but they listen. The Kurosawa is much more a grittier affair. The notion is that K is a more faithful version to the original. I wouldn’t care to evaluate and comparethe two movies though. Both films succeed in what they want to accomplish, so it seems anyway. Kurosawa is clearly the more ambitious project.

The Kurosawa ends rather curiously. In a moment of collective enthusiasm, several of the tenants engage in jumping around and beating on drums. By rights, it should have simply been a jumbled mess but watching and listening to it became a fascination. Clearly, professionals put it all together because it sounded so damn good. Captivating even! It seems a nod and wink to the viewer, an effective if not realistic musical treat just prior to the end. It will serve in my memory as a rather good set piece. I had to back it up and listen three or four time before letting go of the movie.

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11 hours ago, TomJH said:

Christopher Columbus (1949), starring Fredric March.

Anyone care to tell us how good this film was because I couldn't stay awake through most of it.

My dog slept through it, too.

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If I remember correctly, he discovers America ... but not really, I guess. Then we find out he is really a racist, and Fredric March's star is removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

I haven't seen this since 1968 when it came out. Where the heck has it been hiding? Has it ever played on TCM? Anyway, I'd forgotten how low key creepy it was and the time it takes on it's slow buildup. 

A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I've come to a point where I've come to appreciate other genres and styles of film making. This Polanski film gets overshadowed now by Chinatown

Its got an eclectic cast. A couple of Film Noir Vets in the cast Elisha Cook Jr. of course in many, many noir, and also Sidney Blackmer (Little Caesar (1931), Accused of Murder (1956), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), Ralph Bellamy (Lady on a Train (1956)).

It's got iconic quirky yenta-ish Ruth Gordon from Harold and Maude (1971) and later a couple of Eastwood comedies. Also D'Urville Martin from Blaxploitation films, Charles Grodin and character actor Phil Leeds. 

Features The Dakota on Central Park West and  72nd Street though the novel used another equally suitable imposing location. 8/10

 

 

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37 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

If I remember correctly, he discovers America ... but not really, I guess. Then we find out he is really a racist, and Fredric March's star is removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Well, at least it has a happy ending.

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

Has it ever played on TCM?

Looks Like a Paramount Film logo on the poster I just noticed, so probably no.

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I find it interesting that you mention RUTH GORDON only in relation to HAROLD AND MAUDE and "a couple of Eastwood comedies" and foregoing her exemplary filmography listings like ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS or DR. EHRLICH'S MAGIC BULLET.  :huh:

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

I haven't seen this since 1968 when it came out. Where the heck has it been hiding? Has it ever played on TCM? Anyway, I'd forgotten how low key creepy it was and the time it takes on it's slow buildup. 

A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I've come to a point where I've come to appreciate other genres and styles of film making. This Polanski film gets overshadowed now by Chinatown

Its got an eclectic cast. A couple of Film Noir Vets in the cast Elisha Cook Jr. of course in many, many noir, and also Sidney Blackmer (Little Caesar (1931), Accused of Murder (1956), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), Ralph Bellamy (Lady on a Train (1956)).

It's got iconic quirky yenta-ish Ruth Gordon from Harold and Maude (1971) and later a couple of Eastwood comedies. Also D'Urville Martin from Blaxploitation films, Charles Grodin and character actor Phil Leeds. 

Features The Dakota on Central Park West and  72nd Street though the novel used another equally suitable imposing location. 8/10

One of my top ten films of all time. I know TCM has played it, I believe around Halloween time a few years ago.

Patsy Kelly has a good role as Ruth Gordon's friend, she also has a funny scene with Mia Farrow at the end, they argue over rocking the baby. 

Maurice Evans plays the Van Helsing type role as he figures out the diabolical plan of the witches. He was having a great year, also playing orangutan Dr Zaius in "Planet Of The Apes" and occasionally appearing as Samantha's warlock father in the sitcom "Bewitched". 

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Nashville (1975) 9/10 in Film Forum Theater

Nashville Poster

I just saw this again and love it more each time I see it. It's a great Robert Altman directed mosaic involving several characters coming together in Music City. Some of my favorite characters were:

Henry Gibson as Haven Hamilton-he is a veteran country singer with old school thinking. Gibson wrote a few songs himself for the character and they actually hold up as good country songs.

Ronee Blakeley as Barbara Jean, country music queen beloved by her fans. She is in a fragile mental state and has a memorable breakdown scene while performing. 

Geraldine Chaplin as Opal, a BBC reporter doing a documentary, she is both confused and fascinated by this very American city. 

Elliot Gould and Julie Christie have quick cameos as themselves. Hamilton meets Julie and tries to explain to his friends who she is. He says "She won an Academy Award for one those movies, though I don't know which one it was!"

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36 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Nashville (1975) 9/10 in Film Forum Theater

Henry Gibson as Haven Hamilton-he is a veteran country singer with old school thinking. Gibson wrote a few songs himself for the character and they actually hold up as good country songs.

Actually, ALL the actors in the movie were asked to write their own songs--Keith Carradine got the Best Song Oscar for writing "I'm Easy" to wow Lily Tomlin with.  Which means Altman, as with most of his 70's movies, wasn't really doing a movie about Nashville or rightwing patriotism, so much as a movie about the struggling folks in the entertainment industry, three thousand miles away.

Still, it's nice to see the iconic "Freeway jam" scene before every quirky indie filmmaker copied it (ahemlalaland).  

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

I find it interesting that you mention RUTH GORDON only in relation to HAROLD AND MAUDE and "a couple of Eastwood comedies" and foregoing her exemplary filmography listings like ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS or DR. EHRLICH'S MAGIC BULLET.

Because most peeps know her from Harold & Maude, she also had a long stage stage career also, between films. Mention her name and H&M is what pops into most peoples heads.

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Eureka (2006-2012) This is a warm little science fiction series which I feel is accessible to even those people who do not usually watch science fiction. The focus is very much on interpersonal relationships. There is technobabble but what the viewer might be expected to understand vis-à-vis the 'science' is presented in such basic form that it is perfectly reasonable that the non-scientific, non-genius main character is able to make suggestions which lead to the solution of the problem.

A U.S. Marshall is escorting a young female prisoner when they become lost during a storm and have an accident. They walk to the nearest town for help. What they find is not a typical Pacific Northwest hamlet.

Spoilers: The primary reveals of the premiere episode are that the Marshall is separated from his wife, the prisoner is the Marshall's runaway daughter, the town is a super-secret think tank for scientific research funded by the Department of Defense, the idea that there is a line between genius and insanity is a myth, and an ex-special forces female deputy sheriff in a town full of geeks has trouble dating.

The first three seasons are a marvel as relationships develop. I am sad to say that the first half of the fourth season loses all sense of ingenuity as science fiction and the personal issues become ineffective melodrama. The second half of that season and the fifth season scrape to regain the lost momentum but are only partially successful.

I hope that those who generally do not like science fiction watch the first episode because it has a wider appeal than its genre connotes.

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After the Wedding (2006) A highly touted film from Denmark that was nominated for Best Foreign film. A man who devotes his time to living in India and helping the poor. An opportunity arises where a major financial contribution might be available. This leads to a return to his home in Denmark.. And there he meets a whole lot of emotional baggage from the past. That about as much of cutting to chase as you're going to get from me as far as to story details. Anything more reveals too much.

I had trouble getting through this film and I'm not sure why. There is something about the story that seems distasteful to me. I don't like the premise and I don't like how I was lead through it. It seems a bit overly contrived and unrealistic. Well, maybe that's it.  The lead actor, the man from India, is not likable though he is supposed to be. He looks like a gangster. I disapprove of making this comment but I'm going to anyway, the billionaire resembles Donald Trump and acts like him. I'm not sure to what degree that affected my view of the movie, I hope not very much. But if they ever make a movie of the guy, here is your man. Just dye his hair and give him extensive training in English and there you are. But there is something repulsive about him that evoked an EW response in me. I'm always saying, why do movie goers always insist that characters must be likeable or that there must be a character to root for. This comes back to haunt me because there was no none here at for me. I don't give a crap for any of the lot.  Okay, maybe the little boy in India who has been a friend of the gangster-looking guy all his young life.

This movie would not be considered a soap but it comes across that way at times. Just I was noticing this the daughter who gets married in the film has an emotional effusion while talking with her father that was positively brilliant. I nearly damn well wept. I wonder if she got nominated for anything. The principal resolution of conflict comes relatively early and I found I didn't want to slog my way through the rest of it. But I hung on. It's up in the air for me whether the movie is actually attempting to be ambiguous at the end, one of those is he going to do this or that. Some movie endings can be very compelling that way and give the movie a little boost and though it doesn't rise to that level here, it is still interesting to consider. But you have to care enough to even try.

EDIT : i would still recommend this movie because it's not so bad in a general sense and I think my displeasure is peculiar to my own individual take and not to anything intrinsically bad in the film.

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 RE: Rosemary's Baby forgot to mention it's available to stream for free to Amazon Prime members.

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37 minutes ago, laffite said:

After the Wedding (2006)

EDIT : i would still recommend this movie because it's not so bad in a general sense and I think my displeasure is peculiar to my own individual take and not to anything intrinsically bad in the film.

It's probably been a decade since I watched it, but I liked it at the time. 

Your description of Mads Mikkelsen looking like a gangster made me laugh (in a good way).

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The movie had an American remake released earlier this year, with the two leads played by Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore.

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