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BruceGhent

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Everything posted by BruceGhent

  1. INDEPENDENCE DAY was a pretty good disaster/war of the worlds film. Very high production values,excellent special effects and pretty good acting all around.I thought it was an odd portent of things that actually happened just a few years later.As for TOWERING INFERNO and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, they both had great casts, mediocre scripts and overblown acting. Irwin Allen's films were like his television shows,victories of style over substance. It always amused me when watching his television series, such as LOST IN SPACE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, to see that he often recy
  2. Holly, Robert Cummings seems to come into his own as a television actor in the late 50's and early 60's. Two shows come to mind;the highly successful, LOVE THAT BOB and MY LIVING DOLL with Julie Newmar. He had a distinguished war career in the USAAF and was the first private citizen to attain a pilot's licence in the U.S., in 1929.So, there was lot more to Mr. Cummings than most people ever thought. To see him in a very good albeit strange and eerie role,check him out in the TWILIGHT ZONE episode,KING NINE WILL NOT RETURN. It'll knock your socks off(or some other article of clothing!).Best, B.
  3. Fred, I made the mistake of purchasing this film as a dvd,probably because I am a military historian with an abiding interest in post WWII Germany. The film was highly derivative of many a good film noir from the 40's ala THE THIRD MAN, THE BIG LIFT and THE MAN BETWEEN. But I couldn't get involved in the story because none of the characters were believable or sympathetic. Didn't give a damn about any of them. I like German films and this film, supposedly about Germans and Americans was absolutely inept.It was shown in theaters in and around Toronto, but disappeared after about a week.Cate Blan
  4. Hi Holly.To me, Robert Ryan was an underutilized actor.He was in some really good films during his long career. His appearance always struck me as rather severe looking, or drawn. He looked mean but wasn't. So I guess he was often the first choice of directors for playing cops, outlaws, and the like.Two films of his stand out for me, because they were films where he was cast almost against type.One was Peter Ustinov's BILLY BUDD where he played a sadistic sargeant-atr-arms(ok, maybe not so cast against type) in a naval (Royal) picture.The other is INFERNO where he is lost in the Mojave desert
  5. Russian cinema during the Stalinist regime must have been a creative nightmare for Eisenstein and many others who probably vanished in the night and were sent to a Siberian Gulag or worse. Can't imagine anything more horrible. Presenting the party line,either in your face or obliquely with subtle or not so subtle references to the regime itself was a terrific challenge, if only for personal survival.And yet to turn out pieces like BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN while churning out endless reels of drek about crop production and bogus biological experiments glorifying THE NEW SOVIET MAN, is in and of itse
  6. The only good thing I can say about TOPAZ was the interview with Alfred Hitchcock here in Toronto,in early 1968. A local radio station had arranged for Hitchcock to come in and be interviewed and talk about his career as a director and to promote his new film. It was lively and humorous and lasted about a half hour. Unfortunately, the film didn't live up to the hype. I think that after PSYCHO, Hitchcock's career began a precipitous decline in terms of skill as a director and in terms of story choice.Second level actors are often the result of studio budgetary restraints. At this time, film was
  7. Fred, The Criterion release of THE THIRD MAN had a great short film on Anton Karas, the composer of the music. What did yoy think of it? I always trhought the zither was a rather quaint and obscure instrument. Didn't realize just how versatile a thing it was, especially when played by a genius.Have you seen both versions of the film, one narrated by Joseph Cotten anf the other by Graham Greene? Also that Holly Martin's first name was originally Rollo, or that David Selznick had originally planned to cast Noel Coward in the role of Harry Lime? Can't imagine anyone else in the role but Orson Wel
  8. Hi again, Holly. I have THE SMALL BACK ROOM from Criterion. Thanks for jogging my memory, Forgot I had it.The movie THE SPY IN BLACK was made over ten years earlier in glorious black and white and starred Conrad Veidt(a rather nice role for him as a completely gentlemanly U-boat commander trying to sink a few ships at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys) and June Dupre.It was wnderfully suspenseful, funny and quite romantic. Would be really nice to see this on a dvd as my copy was recorded over twenty years by antenna only. The SMALL BACK ROOM is almost a twin for the LOST WEEKEND in terms of a man stru
  9. Hello, Hollywoodgolightly, Did you ever view the Criterion restoration of THE INVADERS(aka THE 49th PARALLEL) or THE SPY IN BLACK or THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP? Criterion's work on THE INVADERS and COLONEL BLIMP is absolutely superb.My mother and father saw COLONEL BLIMP in London during the war and thought it wasn't much. They watched it again, fifty odd years later, and thoroughly enjoyed it.Amazing what maturity and half a century will do for you.Regards,B.G.
  10. Hi Pk,Thanks for the info about HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE. Will check to see if it's available in my area.Regards, B.G.
  11. Helo again.Will keep this short as I tend to be somwhat longwinded.Does anyone out there in cyberspace recall ever having seen THE MASK OF DEMETRIUS[sic] or ROPE OF SAND as being available on DVD? Would like to know, as many of favorite actors were in both(as in Peter Lorre,Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Burt Lancaster and Zachary Scott. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,B.G.
  12. I liked Joel McCrea in RIDE THE GIGH COUNTRY with Randolph Scott.I felt that it was a sort of salute, homage, and swansong for two great actors of the western genre who go out in a great cowboy blaze of glory. I also liked him very much in DEAD END with Sylvia Sims and iinteresting in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME with Leslie Banks. He was much like a younger Gary Cooper, except that he was underutilized for most of his career. In FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT,PALM BEACH STORY, and SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS he finally came into his own displaying a great flair for comedy and pathos, and certainly depth of charcate
  13. Hello HGW, (I shortened your monicker, I hope you don't mind).The Hunt for the Graf Spee was quite a good film,but the actual battle was even better.The film is loosely based on Dudley Pope's book, THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE. The book itself is quite gripping and exciting in terms of action and naval warfare. In terms of the human element, Captain Langsdorf(portrayed by a then almost Peter Finch)was a very humane, and chivlarous naval officer. He treated his prisoner with the utmost care and courtesy. His actions were duly noted by his British adversaries who considered him a very capable o
  14. Fred C.Dobbs, I don't even think Raymond Chandler fully understood or even cared that the plot of the BIG SLEEP made sense.The book was such an intriguing read and the movie equally twisted like a gordian knot, but the atmosphere, the whole rank smell of tawdriness and the wonderful use of language was the key thing. After all, in real life, a lot of things don't make a lot of sense anyway.Best,B.G.
  15. Hello Finance.The actor who played Gavin Elster was Tom Helmore, not Elmore. I"ve only ever seen him in one other film;George Pal's THE TIME MACHINE, as one of Rod Taylor's dinner guests at the start of the picture. Not exactly germaine to the discussion, but you might as well get his name right.Regards,B.G.
  16. Hello. The list of great actors, both of stage and screen is seemingly endless.Some of the greatest actors were never recognized fully for their depth and breadth of talent. I always thought that someone like James Whitmore or Burt Lancaster should have been recognized more for their work than others.A career's worth of acting is in many ways a better tribute to a rare talent. British actors should be given equal consideration as should those of other nations.But some actors don't lend themselves as readily to the screen as they do to the stage.Olivier was quite electrifying in nearl
  17. Peter Bogdanovitch had tremendous potential. His LAST PICTURE SHOW proved that he could make a very good film,but that was nearly 40 years ago.What's he done since, of any consequence?AT LONG LAST LOVE?NICKLEODEON?Stinkeroos.karloff was quite an accomplished actor witha good deal of versatility. I think the scene in TARGETS when he wakes up after a bit of a benderand scares himself half to death by looking in the mirror is hilarious. If he had had more time to live, I think he might have been a rather good comedic actor. As it is,it is a fitting end to an interesting career. As for poor Bela L
  18. Yes indeed.Who knows what gems he might have created, had he lived a little longer.I believe . . he passed away maybe ten years ago, at the relatively young age(I'm 55) of 63.Would like to see some films with storylines by Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont or even Ray Bradbury. There was a TV version, possibly two of Cornell Woolrich's REAR WINDOW, one of which had the late Christopher Reeve in it.Another version was a loose adaptation of the short story. Unfortunately, I can't recall anybody who was in it., yet alone the title.This discussion might lead to a new forum thread. Regards,B.G.
  19. The actor who portrayed the shy musical introvert is Brian Bedford whom you may remember from GRAND PRIX as the race car driver who was seriously injured at the beginning of the film.Mr. Bedford is a renowned Shakesperean actor who resides in Stratford, Ontario, Canada and is a perennial favorite with theatergoers there . Just thought you'd like to know.Regards, B.G.
  20. Hello again cpc91156.You mentioned horror films made for TV when you replied to my last query.One little gem I recall seeing on television was HARVEST HOME with Bette Davis.I think it was on in my area eithe in the late 70's or early 80's.Not exactly sure when. In any event,if you ever read the book by Thomas Tryon, you were treated to horror writing of the first caliber. He had a unique ability for wringing absolute ghastliness out of the seemingly ordinary.The pacing in the book was relentless. The television adaptation was quite good, given the limitations of the small screen. I saw the fi
  21. Dear cpc91156,many thanks for the correct title.Have been wondering for years what the proper name of the film was. Strange or an odd coincidence that Jason Robards was also in another Christmas movie entitled A HOUSE WIHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE in which he portrayed a very similar role of an embittered father who grieves for his dead wife, especially at holiday time. This one, as well as THE GATHERING aren't available on DVD. I have a couple of TV copies from many years ago, but that's all. Another I remember from this period was SILENT NIGHT,LONELY NIGHT with Lloyd Bridges and Shirley Jones. Aga
  22. Hello again , everyone.Here's a poser.Obscure Christmas film seen on TV thirty or so years ago.Involves older farmer trying to tell a story to somebody younger about events during or just after WWI or WWII.In the tale the narrator is a young boy whose father mourns the loss of his oldest son,killed in the war.Christmas is not celebrated in his house as his grief has no end. Consequently, it affects the lives of everyone else around him, especially the younger son, who confides in a neighbor's daughter, who is about his age. Now here, the story gets a little fuzzy. I recall seeing the
  23. Most of the great films, even the not so great were banned by the Nazis in occupied Europe. They were seen as subversive allied propaganda which might have undermined their terrible hold on all of the conquered nations.Any sign of rebellion would have been crushed anyway. After the war, Europe was absolutely starved for films. It ws a unique opportunity for good American films to be distributed for movie hingry audience, until such time that native French, Italian, even German cinema could be revived. Which is why, the French absolutely adored , analysed and often imitated crime, gangs
  24. Yes the movie was released in Britain and Canada as A BOY TEN FEET TALL and released in the U.S. as as SAMMY GOES SOUTH.Fergus McClelland was the boy living in Port Said, Egypt(near Alexandria) during the Suez Crisis of 1956. His parents are killed in an air-raid. Having no nearby family, Sammy sets out on his own to find his aunt who live in Durban,South Africa. Africa is a huge continent, encompassing nearly a quarter of the earth`s landmass.Sammy`s journey is long, hard and highly eventful. Especially thrilling is his shooting a leopard, saving the life of a diamond smuggler, playe
  25. Many thanks for the info,molo. Much appreciated. I viewed some of the Warner bloopers at youtube and they were in fact the same things I remembered from before. They sure used `Goddam`` a lot back then.Thanks, Bruce G.
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