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Posts posted by Sgt_Markoff

  1. Tough call. I tend to elevate my favorite actresses to preferential status, based on how they strike me as women rather than how well they can act. Its the best of both worlds when looks and talent are both found in the same personage.

    However, when it comes right down to it I will usually opt for whoever has the most feminine impact on me. For instance I'd never choose Kate Hepburn, or Joan Crawford, or Bette Davis--because as much as I respect their skills, they all repel me as females. I find them (and a dozen others like them) all chilly and brittle and fractious. They're 'difficult' women.

    So. All that being stated upfront, 'three fave' actresses just off the top of my head might be...

    • Sophia Loren
    • Ingrid Bergman
    • Claudia Cardinale

    hon. mentions for feisty Jean Harlow; witty Myrna Loy; and doe-eyed Jean Simmons

    I never fell for Audrey Hepburn mania, Grace Kelly mania, or Mariyln Monroe mania; I like to watch them yeah--but generally prefer quieter, more subdued performers like Jean Peters or Peggy Dow. Most gorgeous? Senta Berger or Brigitte Bardot.

    • Like 1
  2. "I'm taking him back! I'm taking him back!"

    James Stewart studied marksmanship with real rifle hunters to prepare for making those Mann westerns; and he worked up a passable skill with those firearms. The way he handles his weapon is for real.

    p.s. very nice write-up by the OP.

  3. H'mmm. There's one in Leone's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". It comes poetically across the desert driverless, right to the spot where 'Tuco' is just about to deliver the coup de grace to 'Blondie' (saving his life). Filled with dead men, it starts them off as reluctant partners on the quest to find a grave halfway across the country.

    I'd have to think long and hard to come up with another instance.

    • Thanks 1
  4. Frederic March in 'The Buccaneer' by Cecil B. deMille is my personal favorite swashbuckling film. I was going to mention this in the 'Horatio Hornblower' thread. I loves it.

    As much a fan as I am of Errol Flynn, the story of Jean LaFitte is spectacular; Frederic March dashing; plus its got Akim Tamiroff and a fun little romance with a little Dutch girl--and its got a little dog, too!

    I'll mention another one "Swashbuckler" with Robert Shaw, Genevieve Bujold, and James Earl Jones.

  5. Super choices rife throughout in the thread above. Even at a skim, its a fine thread.

    Haven't got time to chivvy over every comment made; I'll just add a few of my picks (and ask for forgiveness if they've already mentioned or if I don't stick to the requirements).

    I'd give my nod to:

    'From Here to Eternity'

    'In This We Serve'

    'The Key'

    'In Harm's Way'

    'Cry Havoc!'

    'Four Jills in a Jeep'

    'The Young Lions'


    'Went the Day Well?'

    'Summer of My German Soldier'

    'A Bell for Adano'

    'Force of Arms'

    'Hiroshima, mon Amour'

    'The Burmese Harp'

  6. Sounds like the ole debate between the 'The Rains Came' (Tyrone Power) and 'The Rains of Ranchipur' (Richard Burton).

    Another one: 'Brief Encounter' (Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson) vs 'Brief Encounter' (Richard Burton and Sophia Loren)

    Anyway ...sure, I like Rider Haggard and all the rest of his peers practicing that 'heated' strain of adventure literature. 'King Solomon's Mines' and all that. But this one never particularly made an impression on me.


  7. Actually, let me add some more while I'm at it.

    Babs Stanwyck in 'Ball of Fire'
    Babs Stanwyck in 'Lady of Burlesque'.

    The original 'Front Page' starring Adolf Menjou and Pat O'Brien.

    'The Thin Man'. Or some other Powell/Loy romps.

    'My Man Godfrey' of course, 'Bringing Up Baby' and 'His Girl Friday' (obviously).

    'The Women'

    'Nothing Sacred' (--he Caroled)

    'Paper Moon' and 'What's Up Doc?' from Bogdonavich.

    'I Was a Male War Bride'...'Operation Petticoat'...'Mister Roberts'...'The Lady Eve'...'The Palm Beach Story'

    But y'know the thing with many films from WC Fields or Stan/Laurel is that while I relish certain sequences in their products; their movies as a whole can lack 'finish'. The "kumquats' hilarity in 'The Bank Dick' for example, or the bit where Fields is trying to sleep late on an outside balcony--my favorites; yet the movie(s) wrapped around these wonderful 'bits of business' seems half-composed.

    • Like 2
  8. Hey, there's at least a Lubitsch in there. I'm a fan of 1930s + comedies, certainly. Keaton, Stan & Laurel, Harold Lloyd, WC Fields, Chaplin, Preston Sturges. Marx Bros, Ritz Bros, Red Skelton, Bowery Boys, Carole Lombard, Keystone Cops, Charlie Chase, Mack Sennett, Hal Roach, Little Rascals, Three Stooges.

    Seen 'em in droves. I just can't rattle them off the top of my head as being "favorites-that-I-often-reflect-on-how-how-much-they-are-favorites-of-mine". Whereas all the others, have a place in my heart as well as my head. I don't even have to hesitate for a moment when compiling a list of 'em.

    p.s. the 'Monkey Business' is the one from Howard Hawks.

    • Thanks 2
  9. I love this pic.

    And to me the only thing 'dated' about the flick is (1) the grenade launcher, (2) the 'giant' computer run by Ralph Richardson, and (3) the font-style on the players uniforms/game board during a match (they're analog numbers).

    Pretty much everything else is faintly redolent of today.

    The theme of 'corporate controlled culture' is either happening right now or still-to-happen. Its not yet as extreme as this movie but in case you didn't know there are just six companies in the banking industry, there are just six companies in the food industry, there are just six companies in the media industry...I'm talking about today, right now.

    Look at the party scene where everyone gazes into a giant flat-screen TV. That's contemporary. (There's a similar scene in 'Soylent Green' where Leigh Taylor Young portrays a dizzy waif who only knows videogaming; never read a book in her life. All variations on a theme of Ray Bradbury's "451" but that's indeed, what's happening around us).

    And that massive storage array tended to by Richardson--there's definitely people today who think exactly like that. "We lost the 12th century last year...eh, well...just one of those things". Du'oh! Convert all knowledge to digital 'so it will be safely stored'. Winds up exactly the opposite.

    To my way of thinking, it is the background society in 'Rollerball' which is the scariest. But yah the action scenes and the Bach Cantata in D Minor(?) are stellar. James Caan is always great and I liked his co-star too; umm his name is....ummm...

    • Like 1
  10. 1) The films I would recommend to someone from this era?

    Hard to answer, because most of these weirdos are not mentally competent to experience a film. Their gaze is welded --all day long --to tiny 4" displays in their palm (feeding them a moron's diet of emails & text) and then...they take their smart-gadgets with them to a movie.

    So, they're "write-offs". They literally have the attention-span of goldfish --its even coming up that way in psych tests. I really wouldn't waste my time with a recommendation (although I scored big recently with 'Billy Jack', a must-see for any martial artist)


    2) What films would I recommend to someone competent, adult, and receptive? Someone with emotional I.Q. and sensitivity? Someone with a nervous system and a bony skeleton?

    I'd probably be less-than-enthusiastic, because if they're someone who's taste I already respect, then they should already be aware of whatever title I might mention.

    But...eh well...here I go again ranting. I gotta stop. Alright, I will name a few films I rate very highly and let it go at that.

    'The Burmese Harp' ( 1956, Ken Ichikawa)

    'The Battle of Algiers' ( 1965, Guillermo Pontecorvo)

    'The Duellists' ( 1977, Ridley Scott)

  11. I've seen it, but no, it didn't leave me with any particular ill-will towards it. I'm certainly no fan of V. Redgrave; but Dusty is always Dusty --I'd watch him in anything--and the overall 'look and feel' of the film pleased me as well.

    Is it overall lacking in 'ooomph'? Sure, but these days --when you can't even find more than ten movies per year which aren't comic-book superhero blockbusters--we should be so lucky, even to get this kind of film anymore.

  12. It's a fantastic piece of escapist (no pun intended) filmmaking. I'm glad the OP finally recognizes the quality of Hackman's death scene, my goodness. Its the point of the movie; probably why Hackman did the flick in the first place.

    Anyway the whole thing is adroit as hell. The technical feat in putting it on-screen. I got to thinking about it a few years ago --went back to review --and was just blown away by the intensity of everything in it. There's almost no slow scenes in the length and breadth of the thing; it is a narrative powerhouse. Just about every scene has your heart in your throat.

    Starting even from fifteen minutes in: check out Leslie Nielsen as the captain suddenly looking up from the sonar scope and realizing the height of the wave headed at them. Look at his face.

    And he's just one performer in a roundly solid cast who all handle their chores competently.

    Particularly memorable: the raw antagonism between Borgnine and Hackman. It is out-of-HAND. They're ready to tear out each other's throats. I even purchased the screenplay to assess how they were directed. They nail it.

    And--my god--are you gonna watch Shelley Winter's famous death scene without getting misty?

    By the way: note the author of the original paperback: Paul Gallico. You'd assume that he was just another of the droves of 1970s thriller authors who eked out a hit, right? Yeah I thought so too until I saw his bio. He'd been writing for Hollywood since the 1930s or something!

    • Like 1
  13. I've been a fan of blimps, zeppelins, and dirigibles since I was just a wee lad. Whenever I see one --even today--I race down the street on my bike and follow it as far as I can. Y'know, when you view them in old photos the sheer scale of these craft is just astounding. They used to circumnavigate the globe.

    I don't think the OP of this thread need worry that they're gone for good. They're too efficient an idea to keep down. If you do a web-search on these terms you will turn up a slew of articles reporting that the military is bringing them back into research-and-development; or private start-up companies are gathering adventure-capital for new prototypes, etc.

  14. Ah, it's always so nice to be in the great outdoors, in the sunshine and fresh air and communing with 'Mother Nature'.

    (Except that I'd rather be indoors, canoodling with her daughter...)


    Mountain climbing movies:  I can't name very many, now that I reflect on the question.

    Perhaps the sequence in "Guns of Navarone" is my fave.

  15. Sure, I do some of this kind of thing; "in-joke" gestures and sayings ...ingrained from long familiarity with Late Night black'n'white. But just a very little bit in a public setting, because few people grasp the references I'm likely to make.

    There's ones I feel which should be easy for anyone to grasp ('The Shining', or 'Airplane') ...but sometimes today's dopes even fail this really rudimentary test of film lore.

    It sounds far-fetched but sometimes I meet people who think Daniel Craig is the only James Bond. They have to be prodded and prompted to remember there were others. The only name people do not struggle with lately is probably Clint Eastwood.

    Anyway it all becomes pointless when you have to explain a reference; so why bother.

    Of course, someone could accuse me of willful unfamiliarity with today's nonstop 'churn' of pop-references; ('The Hangover', 'Batman', etc) but my reply to that is that first of all, I am a working man and I don't have time -- second of all, I don't have inclination-- to lead the life of an adolescent slacker and give my attention to this.

    Thirdly, the movies kids watch today are fly-by-night frippery; the content is thin; the turnover is instantaneous and they're forgotten by everyone in a few months. Why should I pay attention to such evanescent products?

    But meanwhile--to my way of thinking--if you don't know even one John Wayne quote or mannerism, you are sorely lacking in knowledge of your country's history. There's a big difference. His career spanned decades.

    True story: this past year I encountered some stooge in a barroom who was at least 28 yrs old...but he didn't even know who the Carradines were. None of them! I rattled off the names and films. He didn't even know who David Carradine was. Can you believe it? I mean seriously, I couldn't believe it, can you? I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record here.


  16. It's well done --even singularly well-done --as an example of it's genera and species.

    I don't consider it 'dated' at all--the 60s and 70s had scads of great political movies; and its to the great embarrassment of contemporary Hollywood that cinema today can't even do this much. Instead; we have drooling kiddie franchises; aliens-ninjas-robots-pirates-zombies-superheros. As needed as these political topics are and as salient as these dramatic behind-the-scenes stories still are; we don't get them. This film is a stinging reminder of how excellent they can be.

    The highlight for me is seeing Cliff Robertson playing a Richard Nixon-like character. Robertson is riveting whenever he played a villain.

    • Like 2
  17. No, I sure as heck don't know "what" Magnolia "is" ...reason? Complete and abject apathy. I have heard of it though, and I understand its some kind of contemporary flick. But that don't cut no ice with me. I'll never watch it.

    The fact is, every single time I even take a glance at some current-era movie or current-era television show, I want to puke. All sorts of incompetent and unconscious mistakes exhibited on the screen.

    Bad videography, plagiarism, trends like 'jerky-cam', unnecessary distractions (expletives/gratuituous nudity), commercial product placement, timid camerawork, over-bright lighting, cheesecake actresses, hurried editing.

    Another example would be this horrible fad of placing modern-pop music into period movies like 'Moulin Rouge' or 'Gatsby' remakes. Instead of appropriate period-era music which function as they should to transport me to the era.

    Or, Tarantino inserting David Bowie songs into a WWII commando flick. This is a debacle, as far as I'm concerned. When you can't even get the background music correct for a historical flick, just throw up your hands and walk away.

  18. I come across his reviews all the time as I browse titles. He had a reputation for being tough to please; hard-as-nails; conservative; and even a bit of 'wet-blanket' and 'stick-in-the-mud'. Very reluctant to accept new trends.

    He also had a penchant for curt, dismissive, titles festooning the tops of his often scathing, acidic essays. He panned a whole slew of great films which we today consider cream-of-the-crop.

    I've been planning to read one of his actual books (didn't he do a biography of Goldwyn or some other Moghul?) but its not been urgent enough.

  19. For years, this film was routinely shown to freshly-recruited US Marines in their time at bootcamps around the country. This one, along with 'The Sands of Iwo Jima'.

    I like Van Heflin in the flick, but I'm not particularly a fan of anyone in the rest of the cast except for Raymond Massey and maybe Nancy Olson.

  20. Agreed. I'm a big believer in it, too. How can you ask a performer today to depict an "Okie"? They have no idea.

    Friend of mine professes to believe that "a good actor doesn't have to experience anything in real life in order to portray it convincingly" but to this I say, "bologna". There's always a few exceptions, sure-- but they're not withstanding all the evidence to the contrary.

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