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Everything posted by Jlewis

  1. I finally got to MAN IN THE ATTIC. We can debate which version of THE LODGER is the best. It is certainly on par with the others. My basic problem is that I saw this one last and was starting to get bored with the basic story premise regardless of the changes made here and there. What was most interesting to me was the recycling of certain sets and, while I would have to re-check both films more carefully, it also looked like a few stock-shots of cops in the streets were lifted from the earlier film. Had it been made two years later, I would have mistaken it for an extra long episode of 2
  2. I still have to watch MAN IN THE ATTIC. I have mixed opinions about each of these movies but I did like the cinematography and production details of this one, more so than the story and performances.
  3. I knew you were not typecasting ALL silent films that way but pointing out a tendency you have noticed in many that you have personally viewed. Nonetheless, it did get me into the whole topic of how countries compared and contrasted with each other in that pioneering pre-Talkies period.
  4. I liked this one better than you did, going by what you are hinting in your comments. However I did enjoy the version we will get to next week more and, yes, I was a trifle disappointed that this was not quite as good as its reputation in movie critical print suggests. I think the primary reason why this one tends to get well reviewed is because it was the first of Hitch's "Hitchcockian" efforts. To be perfectly frank, much of his competition in British cinema during the twenties was not all that great. Many in that nation's film industry simply threw in the towel competing with Hollywood
  5. I think I figured this one out. Looks like Tab Hunter in the 1956 Warner feature The Girl He Left Behind. Amusingly this clip reminds me of another discussed quite a bit on another thread, featuring Ramon Novarro: The Flying Fleet.
  6. Two years ago, I started a thread on animated shorts worth seeing, starting with another one by Soyuzmultfilm. Consider it a companion piece of sorts to this month's feature length "essentials". Had to re-edit some posts when videos disappeared on YouTube in the time since... as often happens when you upload links here.
  7. The Alexander Korda production that was filmed in 1941 was, for a time, pretty popular simply because it fell in public domain and many early VHS editions, hardly representative since they didn't involve high quality Technicolor prints, were available in the 1980s during the initial home video boom. As we have discussed before... I don't think most of us, the film fanatic sort at least, think of Walt and his company being a benchmark for animation any more than Taco Bell being the benchmark for Mexican food. Yes, it is hard to avoid his name in these discussions, especially since most rea
  8. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. Pity this version isn't familiar to the masses like the Disney versions... a.k.a. there were at least three, animated, live-action and mixed with cgi effects. Note the watercolor emphasis in the backgrounds. Also Soyuzmultfilm was still employing inkers outlining the characters in paint instead of using the economized Xerox process that Disney had been emphasizing since 1959's Donald in MathmagicLand. Granted, this sketchy look worked well with some Disney cartoons like their Winnie the Pooh featurettes, emulating Ernest Howard Shepherd's original illustrati
  9. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times (May 14, 1951: https://www.nytimes.com/1951/05/14/archives/the-screen-in-review-emperors-nightingale-fantasy-made-in.html) considered Karloff's narration "intriguing", as audiences did at the time. He also observed, as I did, that the design of the characters resemble vintage porcelain figures: Chinese characters designed from Chinese art. Think of it along the same lines as... oh, just to use two examples that come to my mind... the animators recreating a Nigerian folk tale with bronze Oba Benin pieces from centuries ago as inspiration or a Greek myth wit
  10. I do like the Boris Karloff narration a bit better than you do, but I do agree that this film works best with no narration at all. In fact, I think the original Czech version is devoid of it, but would have to confirm it with a viewing. Unfortunately all DVD and online copies feature Karloff.
  11. A lot of these movies are time capsules and that is the best way to judge them. As mentioned, this and GOODBYE, COLUMBUS were cashing in on THE GRADUATE, all trying to be as edgy as the former blockbuster without tumbling into too-too provocative Andy Warhol/Russ Meyer/Radley Metzger territory. The plots are all different, but they all share a basic theme of "shall we try something new that our parents wouldn't have dared doing?" Of course... in turn, the characters' own children and grandchildren would be trying a lot more new things in the future and would, therefore, view such movies as qua
  12. Regarding your number 3: in 1998, Pixar and DreamWorks both released humanized insect flicks (A BUG’S LIFE and ANTZ) competing with each other and with production teams far larger than this fellow could have ever imagined. He only worked with his wife and daughters pretty much and spent every day solo moving these figures one frame at a time and having the patience for mistakes and accidents that required a re-do. This is why I tend to be less critical of animated films in comparison to their live action counterparts since they are truly labors of love, especially when the makers are limited i
  13. For those who need a crash course in stop-motion animation, here is a quickie refresher. This video, like many others, goofs a bit with film dates: for a time, the imdb.com site used the year 1930 for our featured feature until it was corrected.
  14. Intriguingly it was filmed in the late summer and fall of 1972, a few months after Cabaret hit it big at the box-office. Note that some of the shirtless guys are sporting face-paint, channeling their best Joel Grey. Also a bit of Fellini's Satyricon mixed in too. It appears that the popular trend in seventies religious films, including Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, was to show everybody not on God's side enjoying life more than those who are on God's side. Oh... and Jesus must always have blue eyes. However I was watching some vintage footage of Billy Graham's popular young peop
  15. I wish I had all of the answers here, but it is good that you posted this for all eyes to see. I went ahead and fixed the name error in the list. I think I copied it from an old periodical reprinting.
  16. My comment was in regards to yours: "Since this is an area of film I know little about". Yes... yes... YESSSSSSS... I goofed in the way I expressed it. I should not have used the word "favored" since that wasn't exactly the word I was thinking of. My whole point here is that you did quite well with some interesting commentary in multiple paragraphs regardless.
  17. Although animated features may not be your favored choice for movie commentary, you did have plenty to say about this one. In regards to the silhouette animation and every character being black (a "thumbs down"), you do have to keep in mind that audiences of the 1920s were more accepting of its technique overall since most of them were familiar with shadow puppets in their youth. The only difference here is No Strings Attached. I saw plenty of shadow puppet theater in my youth too, but... then again... I had a rather antiquated childhood full of "primitive" entertainment and watched an awful l
  18. What I especially liked about Wayne, despite his strong polarizing conservative politics and his questionable interviews like the one he did for Playboy (but, hey!... at least he sat for an interview with them!), was his sense of humor. This is something that tends to be lacking in our current, much more polarizing, time. He appeared memorably on Maude opposite "The Liberal" Beau Arthur. Dallas was a another good show for keeping famous stars of the classic era, including Howard Keel. Animation voice-over work also kept many of the formally famous employed, such as those classic Rankin-Bass pu
  19. “feature films in the 1960s were resembling television more and more Doris' own career increasingly heads in this direction since her last feature, WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL, is indeed a glorified sitcom. Which was soon followed by a weekly sitcom called The Doris Day Show.” I think you pretty much sum up a decade in Hollywood with these lines. Backtracking to the years 1948-1955, we see Hal Roach, Revue Studios (later absorbed by Universal), Screen Gems a.k.a. Columbia, Disney, Warner, 20th Century Fox and MGM make their first tv shows, followed a few years later by United Artists. Pa
  20. Jlewis

    Ramon Novarro

    I was debating on uploading it when I posted earlier, but I realized you would have ssssoooooo much more fun searching for it yourself. Like a little diamond of delight found in the vast rocky terrain of YouTube. Eventually you may stumble on another involving a pagan clip by the water... * hint hint *
  21. Jlewis

    Ramon Novarro

    Since most of his films are still Warner owned and pretty much available on DVD, you will just find little clips from them here and there on YouTube. There is another from The Flying Fleet, under the title "1920s Navy physical examination", that shows him topless as in Ben-Hur and The Pagan. Actually clips like these encourage folks to seek out the DVD and make wonderful sales promotion. From what I gather, The Pagan is his top seller. Check out the reviews on Amazon. You would think it was the greatest movie of 1929 from the way the satisfied customers are gushing. (Yes, I admit that I have t
  22. Jlewis

    Ramon Novarro

    I have the Andre Soares book, if that is the one you are mentioning. Read much of it, but not all. In hindsight, his career was probably no different than so many other Hollywood stars. Some like Bette Davis really battled the system and remained employed up until their seventies. Roman managed to stay afloat with some TV shows in his final years but he really did struggle post-MGM. Granted, he always had a roof over his head and money in the bank but his alcoholism took its toll. I suspect, had he not been murdered so suddenly... and only because he wasn't getting out of the house much and wa
  23. Intriguingly the first three seasons are being sold in a box set at Big Lots , of all places, for under $15. However those are the ones with Michael Douglas instead. Yet I have a feeling the others may also be available at the stores like that if you search in your neck of the woods. No, I did not get any of this series because I have a ton of DVDs already covering complete seasons of I Love Lucy, Twilight Zone, Bewitched, Land of the Lost, Dallas, Golden Girls, Lost, etc. Yeah... my tastes are all over the map!
  24. Ha ha! You are not busting any bubbles here. No, I do not consider this film a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but it is still an interesting and entertaining relic of its era when Hollywood, as you even hint above, was confused and uncertain about how far to push the envelope in “adult” themes. In a way, it only goes a little further than the Doris Day vehicles we venture into next and they are more comfortable in their own “skin” so to speak. Personally I consider Ted and Alice far more interesting than Bob and Carol since those two performers seem more comfortable with each ot
  25. To make myself clear here... and I did re-edit my post above accordingly, I don't think one style of story telling is any better than another. Of course, it depends on what mood you are in. If you are feeling depressed, maybe When Harry Met Sally is better for you than Jules et Jim. Obviously the former film does not have any "downer" ending. Yet you do have to view certain movies in the correct mood and emotional state. When I suggested that Hollywood tends to favor happier endings than many European films and got all wishy washy and over analytical in my discussion about Americans being more
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