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Everything posted by JamesJazGuitar

  1. I think Cagney made more than only 3 "great' films at WB; I would add Footlight Parade, Torrid Zone, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Cagney of course also had many good films even if they were WB programmers. e.g. his pictures with Joan Blondell that are very funny or ones like G-Men. As for Robinson, there is Dr. Ehrlich Magic Bullet, and Kid Galahad are fine films. I also agree with the other poster that some of his farce gangster films were very enjoyable movies. Of course I would understand if someone felt that the above movies were not 'great' but only very, very good. Bu
  2. I been waiting to join in on this interesting thread. I feel now is a good time because I see too much focus on the visual style associated with noir as well as 'dancing around the edges' aspects and not enough about the noir protagonist. I'm stealing from the book Film Noir by Silver Ward here: A useabe definition of the noir protagonist must encompass two key character motifs; Alienation is prehaps the more instinsic. The second key emotion in the noir universe: obsession. The extent to which obsession is neither rational nor predictable - obbessive behavior transcends such ord
  3. Yes, Ford did show a lot of restraint with Gilda. His reasons for restraint in both movies are very different. While in both cases he had integrity (one respect for his job, the other respect for his boss by not sleeping with his wife), Ford clearly had 'issues' in Glida.
  4. I like Gene Tierney as an actress but I think she was somewhat limited. Of course maybe that was just because of the roles she was given. When I see the term 'underrated' I wonder if one is really saying 'underused'. i.e. just not given the chance to play roles other highly rated actresses of her era, like Davis, were given. Underrated to me means that an actor did shine in a role but it wasn't recognized as it should be by the industry (e.g. no oscar nom). Yes, the Bette Joan fan feud is silly. I love them both!
  5. I agree with you about the Ryan Fontaine heat. Their nature is so different that the combination of them having a love affair really creates sparks. Joan is so frail and Ryan comes off so strong one gets the feeling Ryan is just going to crush Joan when he gives her a hug. As I said before, knowing how Ryan 'goes off' in noir movies, I was saying to myself 'you better be careful Joan dear, this Ryan guy isn't one to mess with!'. As someone noted here Joan wasn't really that 'bad' and since this wasn't a noir Ryan was restrained but they still generated sparks and thus the movie was more
  6. The legal action didn't start until 1944 or so, many years after her great GWTW performance. Right after GWTW Olivia was put into yet another Flynn movie with Bette Davis as the star and then a few years latter with Bette Davis again in In This Our Life. The best role dramatic role Olivia had after GWTW was Hold Back the Dawn where she got an oscar nom (but lost to sister Joan, which set off another event!). The best part Olivia had after GWTW was with Cagney in The Strawberry Blond (but of course the Strawberry was Rita). Hey, see how I keep on topic by bringing Cagney ba
  7. Yea, I forgot that in It All Came True Ann had top billing. I viewed that movie as a Bogie picture but since it was pre-High Sierra he had 3rd billing. I tried to find out more about Juke Girl but I couldn't. I have to assume TCM has this film, I really wish they would show it. Related to this topic of actresses and studio treatment, a look at Greer Garson is useful. She gets a somewhat secondary part at MGM and then MGM designs movie after movie around her persona. In 7 years she gets 5 oscar noms and one oscar win. Of course it is impossible to say that IF other
  8. I also don't feel that Monroe is a great actess. She did a good job in a few movies like Don't Bother to Knock, Bus Stop, and The Misfits. But often her acting appears forced to me. Now to be fair this might have to do with the direction she was given. They wanted her to act in such a way and it just isn't natural to me. She was also typecast and after movie role after movie role of this it was difficult to separate Monroe the actor from Monroe the person. Thus I can understand why some might say she is underated in that she wasn't given much of a chance to show her acting chops
  9. Well Ford had his reasons for not jumping all over Gloria; First his wife just died and he was still in grief, and second Gloria was a witness that he was protecting. Not good for a cop to make love to a witness. Ford's character was key to the plot. He could of taken money from the mob boss like some others on the force but he wasn't that type. Thus he wasn't the type to jump on Gloria. His loss for sure!
  10. The point I would make is that very few of these films were film projects set up directly for these actresses. The vast majority are male lead projects (e.g. Cagney, Bogie, or Flynn films) where the lead female actress has a secondary role or there are multiple female leads. For example, all the Olivia movies mentioned are not projects set up directly for her. WB did do a few of these like Call It a Day, My Love Come Back, and Princess O'Rourke but the only real good one is O'Rourke. With Lupino there is The Hard Way and The Man I Love. For Olivia and Ida they have a jo
  11. Did you mean Zachary Scott and not Taylor? Anyhow I found all the main actors were good and as a drama there was a certain edge that kept the movie from being too much of a so called 'women's picture'. Ryan was a big reason for this. Since he is a noir icon he added a noir type element to the movie. I felt he would go real violent at anytime (in a noir Joan Fontaine would of been dead for being so bad). Joan's role was a good one for her. This was somewhat of an inverse to her role in Suspicion. In that movie Grant was the charming 'nice' guy but really just a selfish cad.
  12. Even being an agnostic since I didn't wish to offend others I would use the term 'Jimmy Cricket' after the Disney character.
  13. Well I can see you know your Ann Sheridan well. Good to see Torrid Zone get mentioned. This is a very good movie but one that a lot of classic movie fans are often unaware of. The movie is over the top but the humor is so well placed and the acting so good they pull it off. The cat fight scenes between Ann and the married women after Cagney are just great. Yea, Ann's career at WB clearly started to go down after the war. I think the new WB gal Alexis Smith had something to do with that. She was younger than Ann and Jack wanted to push her big time. As with all the gals at W
  14. I think it is best to say certain old (studio era), movies told a more coherent story. As many know there was a debate about the qualify of the movies made in the 30s that generated a lot of heat (I think the guy that started this thread was booted out by the admin). The guy did have a valid point that a lot of the 30s movies were cheap programmers where the same plot angle, and character actors were used over and over again. I favor studio era movies over current ones but one key reason is that the studio era produced a lot more movies than what we have now. A lot more. So ev
  15. What I love about this forum is finding out what others like dislike with people like yourself (ones where I respect their opinions since they can articulate them well). So we are both nuts over Babs but feel differently about Davis. So who would be a few more of your favorite actresses? After Davis and Babs, I go for the funny ladies Carole Lombard and Jean Arthur. The movies they made just make me smile. Then I have a special place for Olivia DeHavilland. She is more of my first crush type of gal. i.e. I enjoy many of her movies and think she is a very good actress, but
  16. My favorite Davis movies are The Petrified Forest, It's Love I'm After (both with Leslie Howard), and All About Eve. Of course that leaves out Dark Victory and Now Voyager! Two moves were her acting is tops As for decade? Well that is another hard one since her best 10 year period would be from 35 - 44. But if I had to pick a dedade it would be the 30s. Even in some of those fluff WB programmers of the 30s Bette still lights things up. Bette Davis is #1 in my book. Stanwyck being a very close second but still Bette moves me just a little more.
  17. My understanding is that "Big Sleep" is just another way of saying death. i.e. the ultimate sleep is the big sleep, which is death. One other major difference between the book and the movie is that Marlow has his eyes on Mrs. Mars and NOT Vivian Sternwood (Bacall). For example, it is Mrs. Mars that helps Marlow escape from the road house. Hawks changed all that around since Bogie and Bacall were an item to boast up the romance. As I'm sure you know, they even added additional scenes and reshot some others (like the road house one with a different Mrs. Mars), to even push the
  18. My wife and I go to Carmel once a year on our way to Napa. We stay at the Colonial Inn. It isn't too expensive ($130 or so a night), and is only a few blocks from the beach and about 34 of a mile from downtown. We like it better than downtown since we don't have to drive in downtown (we just walk along the beach front road to the downtown and the walk along the cliffs is one of the best in the world). I have been to the Highlands but didn't know Joan's house was there. I'll have to check it out next time. I have a 1948 Times mag with Olivia on the cover (they featured The Snake
  19. Here goes: 1 Bette Davis 2 Joan Crawford (got to ensure it will be a bumpy night!) 3 Bogie 4 Bacall (got to have her with Bogie) 5) John Huston (Bogie and John will ensure there is enough to drink) 6) Robert Mitchum (he can supply those that don't like to drink!) 7) James Cagney 8) Leslie Howard 9) William Powell 10 Myrna Loy (if there is any trouble those two can find who did it) 11) Cary Grant 12) Carole Lombard 13) Jean Arthur 14) Olivia DeHavilland 15 ) Joan Fontaine (maybe I could get them to make peace!) 16) Howard Hawks 17) Ava Gardner (yea, in that black dress fro
  20. Hey, my favorite scene in any Cagney movie is his "Shanghai Lil" duo with Ruby Keeler in Footlight Parade also. Just love that movie. Cagney is very,,, well, Cagney, like he was still in a gangster flick in this musical that is very funny. Joan Blondell has many great lines and the banter between the two stars is fantistic. Love the Joan line where she calls the other gal Virgina RICH but almost says something that rhythms with Rich starting with a 'B'! The ending had problems in certain parts of the country since the song is about a women of the night. Oh, those pre-code days!
  21. When I watch Some Come Running I feel the same way Dean does about Frank's decisions in the movie. It is clear who Frank loves and he messes that up and then decides to marry Maclaine someone he clearly does NOT love. So just like Dean it is difficult to watch Frank just mess up Maclaine's life because he has 'issues' and is too immature to resolve them. The movie has a lot of fine qualities but the basis of the plot and characters is frustrating. There just isn't anyone to root for.
  22. Well our rankings are very similar. I believe I might of short changed Universal since they are the studio of classic horror and they had that 'vibe' down like no other studio. So it would be close between MGM and Universal. I would be interested in how the women here would rank them. Now I assume MGM would rank higher because they are the studio of glamor and they had many of the best looking men under contract (well expect Grant would was mostly RKO and Columbia, and Flynn which was WB). But gals that love Bette Davis would lean towards WB.
  23. I assume you are a big fan of horror films. Universal made the best horror films. I'm more of a fan of film noir and gangster crime pictures and thus WB is my favorite. WB also did some great musical during the 30s as well has movies in every genre, like the drama's with the lady I think was the best actress, Bette Davis, so this is why they top my list.
  24. Precisely. Film noir is mostly about male longing. They are male fairy tales. In some ways, *Criss Cross* is a film noir "*Wuthering Heights*." Hey, I have never looked at Criss Cross as a noir Heights but yea, I see the connection. This is one of my favorite noirs. Of course I really like Dan Duryea. He was a great heal in so many movies (and a hero in a few noirs).
  25. Only fools would believe the MSM is 'in the bag for Obama'. Everyone knows that the MSM is in the bag for the Kardashians! I mean the MSM has some reason to cover Obama, but there is no reason to cover the Kardashians (well except for some very shallow ones that even I fall prey to!)
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