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Everything posted by slaytonf

  1. None of the movies tonight was the one from the murk of my past. I only remember one scene. The monster, a brontosaur-like, or is it now apatosaur, or brachiosaur? Anyway. It comes upon an isolated croft in a wild and storm-wracked landscape, perhaps by the sea; in it living a solitary old woman. It snatches her out of it and swallows her, whole. The only image I have is of her sliding into the creatures gullet. Ah well, I suppose I will have to reconcile myself to living with this mystery, and move on.
  2. Did Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever do Beast From 20,000 Fathoms? Seems like perfect fodder for it/
  3. There are two things which are disagreeable to me when I encounter them. One is uncritical approval, the other is setting up straw men. All About Eve is a great film. That does not mean it has no flaws. Films can have flaws, even major ones, and still be great. On the other hand, the inappropriate claims of others should not be used to discredit a film, or affect one's appreciation of it. Neither should a film be criticized for not having what it should not have. This is a film about the interplay of people's personalities. The drama and energy is in the writing and performances. The
  4. The one about a gun is called "The Gun." It's a TV movie. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071590/
  5. I find it interesting that people consider as far-fetched in movies that which happens not infrequently in real life. The thing about big egos is that they are vulnerable to flattery--after all, they are only hearing opinions that they consider natural for the entirety of humanity to have. And there is nothing shrinking about the egos of the people in this movie. In any case, what I like about the movie is the acting, the performances polished and refined to tolerances within one ten-thousanth of an inch.
  6. The Story of Three Loves is pretty much a dog-so much so even Leslie Caron isn't able to lend it any charm-save for the shining presence of Moira Shearer, who manages to communicate beauty and ecstasy, in spite of all the superfluous embellishments Mr. Minnelli dresses up the segment with.
  7. That was clearly his best role. It is both wonderful and painful to watch him in it. Wonderful because of his commanding performance. Painful thinking of all the performances we don't have of him because he was black. Lena Horne doesn't represent the only collection of lost opportunities due to the idiocy of racism. I like to imagine Shanghai Express with Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich playing each others roles.
  8. I will watch and record for my library any movie with Juano Hernandez. Any movie. Even Rachel Cade.
  9. With regard to Shirley MacLaine, she also starred in What a Way to Go, which chronicled her character's marriages, wherein her husbands all achieved spectacular success, and all ended in disaster and death. Naturally, it was a comedy. Edited by: slaytonf on Jun 16, 2011 9:47 PM
  10. I see two competing views of America in the 50s. One where there was no prejudice against women in the sciences and professions, or anywhere else, for that matter. One where women faced discrimination and exclusion from careers, and sternly directed to roles as wives and homemakers. I'm afraid I have to accept the latter, else why the strident move for equality in the social/cultural upheaval in the 60s and 70s? But there was ferment happening. As for the prettiness of the leading ladies, well, all leading ladies had to be pretty. Just as all leading men had to be pretty. That's true
  11. > {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote} > No, it's not. I was a pre-teen and a teenager when I saw all these films originally, and the reason they made the girls "doctors" and scientists was so they would not seem out of place in a film, and boys always liked to see good looking women in films. Ah well, it's sad to have my cynicism confirmed. > I don't recall any prejudice against women scientists back in the '50s, since there were plenty of girls in school who took science courses, and all nurses were "scientists" and professional women. > I think there was pr
  12. You don't have to go back to the 30's and 40's to find damsels in distresses. What intrigues me about these movies is the way they differ from contemporary movies. For a standard drama, comedy, western, or the like it took a big star to have a woman portrayed as other than a stereotypical June Allyson Good Obedient Wife Who Knew Her Place. These films certainly didn't have headliners in them. But these women pursued interesting scientific careers, and they remained women while they did it. Contrary to the formula then predominating in the culture where a woman would have to trade in her
  13. One interesting aspect, and a refreshing one, of this genre of movies is their portrayal of women. Instead of the brainless, dependent, emotional, yet gorgeous object of the hero's attention, they-at least the primary female role-are not so infrequently competent, intelligent, accomplished, and occupy a position of importance and influence. They also at times direct operations and even command men in the campaign against the monsters/invaders. All this without patronizing or condescending attitudes--if not from the characters, then at least from the filmmakers. Accounting for this in th
  14. I doubt that TCM would go the the time and expense of creating a special set of prints solely for the purpose of furthering a unspoken policy of imposing on its viewers alternate color regimes. In fact, TCM makes a big deal of it when it participates in a restoration. More likely is it that the prints TCM gets are ones made with poor reference to the original negatives. Most of the prints we see are very old, much used and faded prints, or prints made from prints, not negatives. It is my thinking TCM has little or no control over the prints it gets for any particular movie, and cannot be a
  15. That was the movie I was thinking of.
  16. I do not like to respond without the title of a movie, so I was waiting to see if someone else came up with anything. As there has been no response, I will tell you what I have in mind and see if that jogs your, or someone else's memory. The girl is on a bicycle, and is the target of a thug. She is the daughter of a police detective who is putting big pressure on a crime boss. As a precaution, the detective sends his family to stay with relatives. The thug the crime boss has sent to get the family discovers where they are, and goes after the little girl, but I believe he only succeeds in
  17. Taking a cue from programming: "Without Reservations." Claudette Colbert and John Wayne. Hey, not so bad. Who'd a thunk it?
  18. Lovers and Lollipops, perhaps? See here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049453/
  19. OK, let's try it-- >Good observations about Lewton and Cat People. I should have specifically stated in my previous post that I quite agree with you, about it being an "Essential." That was the point of my definition of what is an essential film, but I neglected to make it clear I meant to back you up. Sorry. No need to apologize, I understood your intent.
  20. I wish I knew how to do that trick quote-in-a-white-rectangle thing. Well, I will have to struggle the best I can. "It doesn't matter if a film has actually deeply changed filmmaking, it only matters if it is artistically true to itself. . ." I agree it is not sufficient to discount any creative effort based on its lack of influence, but it certainly is necessary. My point was that the lack of its influence was the result of its poor quality, not evidence of it. "When was the last time you actually saw a new Lewton-esque picture?" I can truthfully say never. As I said before
  21. Well, then, do so. Say how "The Fountainhead" has influenced films and filmmakers. Say how anything in its use of camera angles, its framing, the composition of the pictures, its use of sound, or lighting, or art direction, or editing, or anything else has affected the way any films have been made. Or identify any filmmaker who has referred to it as an inspiration. I don't think it is possible, because, far from being innovative, the movie is distinctly derivative. It uses well-worn and trite conventions to communicate its story and themes in a clumsy, heavy-handed, and pretentious manner
  22. People often conflate big budget with high quality. This is a correlation which is not reliable. I'm sure many can come up with numerous examples of films with big budgets, big stars, big everything, that are wretched. The opposite is true for low-budget, or B-pictures, Casablanca being perhaps the most well known example. Most film noirs were B-pictures. Regardless of what you may think of his pictures, Val Lewton's work, especially his collaborations with Jacques Tourneur, and among those especially "Cat People," had a great influence on many other filmmakers and filmmaking, especially
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