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cinemaspeak59

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  1. I recently saw Betty in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), and she was excellent.
  2. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971). Robert Altman’s modernist, haunting Western is a masterpiece. Warren Beatty gives one of his finest performances as John McCabe, an ambitious hustler too confident for his own good. Julie Christie, as the business woman who opens a brothel in a mining town, is aware of McCabe’s feelings, but understands McCabe needs not a lover, but a guardian, to protect him from the murderous corporation McCabe naively, and foolishly, tries to negotiate with. Christie’s Constance Miller is a counterculture feminist hero, a giant really. Leonard Cohen’s songs are not simply
  3. One of the best & scariest movie ever.
  4. Hitchcock is an embarrassment of riches. Like Vertigo, another film about obsession is Hitch's The Paradine Case, from 1947. It's not up there with some of his more famous movies, but I like it.
  5. Ginger Snaps (2000) The recipe for the werewolf sub-genre is spiced up with a few additional ingredients: teen comedy, coming-of age story, and the curse of being outcast girls in high school. The curse is courtesy of a lycanthrope bite. But the film also has some fun with the onset of menstruation. Ginger and her younger sister Brigitte are death-obsessed goths, who like photographing themselves in gruesome reenactments: impaling, hangings, etc. Unfortunately, there is real death occurring in their small town, by an unidentified animal blamed for killing pet dogs. This setup works fine for mo
  6. Happy Death Day (2017) Inventive and clever take on the slasher movie. This could easily have been another tired Scream knockoff. Instead, it’s funny and witty, and Jessica Rothe makes for a likeable heroine we can root for, even if her character isn’t very likeable. Rothe plays Tree, who keeps reliving the day she was murdered. Every attempt to change her fate backfires. The supernatural catalyst is a small, spooky toy that plays the Happy Birthday jingle. I loved the mask the killer wears. Happy Death Day also pokes fun at sorority life tyranny and campus politics. It’s topped off by a
  7. I liked the ending in They Won’t Believe Me. The production code put the filmmakers in a bind. Having Robert Young’s character, a philanderer and liar, walk away unpunished may have been problematic. The three central women were different temperamentally. They weren’t saints, but within them was a moral compass that malfunctioned a bit because they fell in love. I must point out Jane Greer’s graceful, poignant portrayal. It’s hard to imagine this woman could play one of the most legendary femme fatales in movie history.
  8. I absolutely adore Metropolitan (1990). There are also elements of Eric Rohmer. I love Stillman''s other films: Barcelona , The Last Days of Disco, Damsels in Distress and Love and Friendship.
  9. Zachary Scott, in Danger Signal, is rather handsome when he’s serious. It’s only when he smiles, with those large teeth, that he looks so villainous it borders on comical. There wasn’t much character development to Mona Freeman’s character Anne as the younger sister who returns home sweet and wholesome, only to turn into a Jezebel. Anne is more sexually sophisticated than her naive sister Hilda. Eddie Muller made his feelings about the ending clear: he hated it. Okay, Zachary Scott’s demise wasn’t drawn out. But when he trips, and his body hits the rocky ledge, and then bounces into the sea,
  10. I knew Eddie Muller’s effusive praise of Janis Carter’s performance in Night Editor was not hyperbole. I had seen Carter in Framed (1947), and was impressed by her femme fatale bona fides. Carter acts with her eyes, always in control, and several moves ahead of everyone else. Now, for that much-discussed scene Muller went to great lengths to highlight. Cochrane knew she was sexually aroused by violence. Being a cop, he must have seen her react that way before, liked it, and hated himself for liking it. The scene did not last long, but Carter, with her breathless excitement, sold it as well
  11. The Wind (2018) Well-executed story about a woman haunted by demons. Or is her imagination, fertilized by cabin fever, running the show? The Wind has a classic setting: the nineteenth century, in an isolated prairie town, the events unfolding in the backdrop of the ominous, wide-open West. What’s a horror movie without a preacher? Well, The Wind has one, and it makes for one of the best scenes. I liked the minimalist production, and the use of space. The two women at the center give good performances, and some fun is had at the male chauvinistic view of female hysteria and pregnancy. The m
  12. I think it had do with the script. So smitten was he with Norma’s character that he acted like a nervous, clumsy schoolboy, even though he played a songwriter, implying he’s had experience with women. The smooth determination coupled with compassion was missing. Had a few clunky scenes been taken out, Her Cardboard Lover would have had more of the Cukor touch. This was a remake of the 1932 comedy The Passionate Plumber, with Irene Purcell, Buster Keaton. and Jimmy Durante, which I liked, and was impressed by Irene Purcell’s comedic chops. I haven’t seen Escape (1940). I guess genetics have mu
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