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filmguy24

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About filmguy24

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  1. The casting gods were working overtime when Out of the Past was being made- as the first three actors approached for playing Jeff Bailey -though each were very talented- would not have been as perfect a fit as Robert Mitchum; in part because of Mitchum's size physical characteristics as well as acting ability. Few could match his ability to look dull/sleepy/bored and dangerous at the same time; this adds greatly to the evolution of the story. I also love that this film takes place mostly in the idealized countryside -perfectly beautiful settings- subtly indicating the inescapability of cor
  2. "When you watch a movie, do you lose interest in the character if they behave in a way you deem to be morally repugnant? And what, in your view, constitutes "moral repugnance"?" Actually, often the opposite. Having a character do something morally repugnant, particularly if it seems out of character is fascinating! One example is Gene Tierney's Isabel in The Razor's Edge - not a movie that I find that interesting- but I am fascinated by Isabel and how she destroys the alcoholic Sophie's attempt at recovery. Yet, we see that Isabel is no monster- a fine wife and mother, but also capable of
  3. Sunset Boulevard must certainly be considered one of the greatest films to come out of Hollywood. The writing is flawless as are all of the performance. The characters are alive today- this discussion about Joe Gillis is an example of just how well written the film is! Personally, I think that Joe was an ordinary guy trying to get ahead, and was certainly opportunistic. The film is in large measure about his redemption, when he realized, finally, that the best, indeed the only course of action for him, would be to go back to Dayton Ohio, extricating himself from the quagmire that was at least
  4. Finallly someone mentioned Artie! Joe was returning to Dayton Ohio, where he came from, indicating that he had finallly given up the "Hollywood dream", which had lead him to this turning point. He was not going to redeem himself by continuing to see and work with Betty because of his regard for his friend Artie. Joe realized that he could no longer stay with the destructively delusional Norma nor could he leave Norma's perfumed claustrophobic world and walk out with Betty. The only path open for Joe, who finally tries to regain his self-respect is to go back to the editing desk in Dayton. As w
  5. Among my favorite opening scenes are: The Letter, Out of the Past, The Killers, Citizen Kane, The Searchers (all previously mentioned) and The Big Clock with Ray Milland and Charles Laughton, Executive Suite and Rebecca for me these are all particularly striking opening scenes!
  6. I have thought about this issue for a very long time and I think that much of the change is due to the perfection (of a sort) of modern acting as absolute naturalism. The problem is that when the writing, acting style, and direction move in that direction, it becomes increasingly less memorable. I find that the actors of the studio era knew how to speak their lines so that the musicality of each sentence would be enhanced, in a manner that emphasized what was being said. Sometimes this is very subtle, and sometimes not, but the vocal skills of the great actors (both genders) is a great source
  7. *Out of the Past* is my favorite film noir, with superb performances from everyone. The ****-erotic element is palpable and adds a great deal. Jane Greer gives a performance of depth and subtlety and Robert Mitchum was never better. Unlike most Film Noir (a term that was applied later to this type of film) it is set nearly entirely in the idyllic countryside- emphasizing that there is no escape. great film! And the cinematography!!
  8. This is a really interesting discussion! I really miss Molly Haskell who was the last really knowledgeable co-host for Robert Osborne; indeed she may have had even greater scope: the basic concept was a conversation between equals. But, I think that TCM and RO may have moved toward a younger co-host with less exposure to classic films in order to reflect the inevitable changes in the audience. In many respects TCM is the portal to a world that is becoming more remote.
  9. Two in each gender: The two that were superb actors and were easy on the eyes: Vivien Leigh and William Holden The two that were not very good actors, but looked great: Hedy Lamarr and Errol Flynn
  10. Tom and Ms. W - just thinking about the comparison with *The Killing*... What makes the ending of *Treasure of the Sierra Madre* different is that the 3 prospectors broke no law, they toiled long and hard for the gold that they obtained. They were even careful to restore the mountain after removing the gold. It is not a case of theft, and still, Fate (or God) intervened! To the avaricious Fred Dobbs (stupendous performance by Bogart): death, but to Curtain and Howard- lives that would fulfill their dreams more perfectly than gold.
  11. These may already have been mentioned but just in case: Chinatown The Man who would be King both are excellent; hope that you enjoy them.
  12. yes, Tom- I am so completely engaged by the time I reach the end of *Treasure of the Sierra Madre* that I do not notice any slight slips of logic in the scenario. Walter Huston gives the performance of his lifetime as does Tim Holt. That parting that you mention, when they are on horseback is intensely beautiful- these men have been through what will probably be the most extreme experience of their lifetime- they know they will never see each other again- this moment will return to them often in recollection- just as it does for us, the audience. Other favorite endings: Black Narcissus (
  13. Great question- for me there is one film stands out for it's ending and that is *Treasure of the Sierra Madre* where the three principals each get what they deserve and not what they expect. The story, the performances and the direction are perfect. It is like an ancient Greek play! There are other films of course, but when I think of a perfect ending, that gives me goosebumps - this is the first one that I think of!
  14. Regarding "They knew what they wanted", I saw it once maybe 30 years ago, and thought it was a very fine film. Lombard gives a beautiful performance and Laughton is very good (a bit of over-acting perhaps). The story is strong and moving. As I recall, one of the central parts of the story, which had been a play in the 1920's was eliminated by censorship. The musical "Most Happy Fella" is based on the same story.
  15. The DVD of *Rebecca* has screen tests of Vivien Leigh and Margaret Sullivan in the role ultimately given to Joan Fontaine, and both are superb, but clearly not "mousy" enough. Vivien was simply too beautiful, but she does very well, and Margaret Sullivan cannot undermine her own assurance without moving too closely to desperation. They were both great, accomplished actresses, and yet, the role went to the right one. When shown as one of the Essentials, Robert Osborne discussed Vivien Leigh's screen test and pointed out that Vivien was probably everyone's concept of Rebecca- beautiful, acc
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