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Posts posted by rayban

  1. "Duchess of Idaho" -Robert Z. Leonard - 1950 -

    starring Esther Williams and Van Johnson and Paula Raymomd and John Lund -

    this is one of those Esther Williams flicks that seem thoroughly inconsequential -

    and yet it is done with such verve ands style -

    that you wouldn't miss a mnute of it -


  2. 8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    The Tales of Hoffmann  (1951)  -  7/10


    British operatic musical/ballet from Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. A trio of tales trace the tragic love life of poet Hoffmann (Robert Rounseville), including time with a dancing robot (Moira Shearer). Robert Helpmann co-stars as various evil antagonists. Also with Ludmilla Tcherina, Ann Ayars, Pamela Brown, Frederick Ashton, and Leonide Massine. This is a visually sumptuous, deliberately theatrical production. I care not for opera nor ballet, but this kept me largely engaged throughout.

    Source: internet

    It's artifical, theatrical - and gorgeous.

  3. 11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    Les Enfants Terribles  (1950)  -  7/10


    French drama directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, based on the book by Jean Cocteau. Cocteau also wrote the script, provides narration, and even directed a few scenes. The film follows brother and sister Paul (Edouard Dermithe) and Elisabeth (Nicole Stephane) and their close, combative, unusual relationship pushes away those around them. Featuring Renee Cosima, Jacques Bernard, Melvyn Martin, and Jean-Marie Robain. There's an air of sophisticated decadence about the proceedings, but there's also a theatricality that I found off-putting. Dermithe looks striking, but he's a weak actor, while Stephane, who had co-starred in Melville's previous film La Silence de la mer where she had virtually no dialogue, is very good here, with tons of dialogue. While I liked this well enough, I would still rank as my least favorite film by either Melville or Cocteau, both filmmakers that I generally like a lot.

    Source: The Criterion Channel

    I have to confess -I love this film.

    • Like 1
  4. "The Shining Hour" - Frank Borzage - 1938 -

    starring Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Margaret Sullivan, Melvyn Douglas, etc.

    essentially, this film is a soap-opera -

    but the director doesn't embrace the genre's conventions -

    instead, he turns it into a somber romantic melodrama -

    I don't want to reveal the plot's details -

    but the love lives of the characters, meant to go one way, quite sudddenly, go another way -

    there's a lot of suffering - mentally, emotionally, domestically -

    and there's a wicked witch in the middle of it all -

    the film has two unforgettable sequences -

    the burning of the main couple's newly-built home -

    by - you won't believe it -

    and the attempted rape of Crawford's character -

    by - you won't believe it -

    in the end, well, you might not believe it, either -

    the distinguished cast does have a ball, though -

    Crawford's character is the best - she's been around the block, at least twice -



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  5. "Susan and God" - George Cukor - 1940 -

    starring Joan Crawford and Fredric March -

    according to the credits, the screenplay by Anita Loos is based on the celebrated play by Rachel Crothers -

    if this play was the state of the American theatre at the time, the theatre must have been in dire straits -

    as for the film, Susan (Crawford), a wealthy nitwit, returns home from Europe with a new understanding of God -

    it involves being brutally honest about other people, and telling them to shape up or ship out -

    how anyone could interpret this as anything other than embracing one's darkest impulses is beyond me -

    Susan sees it as a harmonious relationship with God -

    meanwhile her own life is falling apart -

    she is estranged from her husband, a drunk and her daugher, a lonely wallflower -

    she tries to embrace her advice and make amends -

    but her view of herself as God's messenger gets in the way -

    but somehow she is granted God's grace -

    and is re-united with the only people who will make her life meaningful -

    Crawford, who is the most deluded of women, gives a knockout performance -

    it could not have been easy -


    • Like 1
  6. 15 hours ago, jaragon said:

    Was this the "Brokeback Mountain" of tv westerns? The way these two look at each other it's beyond bromance....


    Robert Fuller was probably a closeted homosexual.

  7. 4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

    I very much like L'Avventura, followed by Zabriskie Point (yes, I'm another of the few who actually like it!), and Il Grido

    I was less enthused, but still liked, L'eclisse and La Notte. Then The PassengerBlowup, and Red Desert.

    I had forgotten about two of them until I looked up his filmography!

    Michelangelo Antonioni does inspire a lot of negative criticism.

    A lot of it is due to his indifference to narrative-driven cinema.

    A lot of it is due to his bleak view of humanity.

    And, then, of course, a lot of people did not like Monica Vitti.

    I am so glad that you can appreciate "Zabriskie Point".

    Among his major films, I find the trilogy most impressive.

  8. "Red Desert" - Michelangelo Antonioni - 1965 -

    starring Monica Vitti, Richard Harris , Carlo Chionetti, Valerio Bartoleschi -

    it was Antonioni's first film in color -

    and it is a visually dazzling canvas -

    a young married woman is falling apart in an industrial environment that seems both alien and threatening -

    her husband is not exactly sympathetic -

    his friend tries to reach her with little success -

    her son is seeming to mimic his mother's condition -

    the atmosphere is oppressive -

    she just can't seem to function -

    neither can her son -

    the visual and sound and color design of this film is staggering -

    it's oppressive -

    and there is no escape -

    it is one of the screen's most prestigious achievements -

    and perhaps Antonioni's greatest film -

    and a great companion piece to "Zabriskie Point" -





  9. 2 hours ago, laffite said:

    I was late to Joan as well. She was SOTM in January 2014 and after watching a number of her films I appreciated her more than ever before. I would replace "adequate" with "competent" and perhaps even more than that. I respect her commitment to character that is relatively un-showy considering her immense preoccupation of being the "Greatest Star." We see photos of her with scads of fan mail while looking with pride at the camera, her ego is so fragile she can't make it the Oscars in 1945 for fear that Bette might win, yet when she is being Mildred Pierce on screen there is no trace whatever of "look at me, I am a star" which IS something you get with Bette IMO. The latter is much more self-consciously aware of her star status, even in those moments on film when she is on screen, at least in some roles. (Not everyone will agree with this but this is just something that I seem to notice, true or not). And don't get me wrong, I love Bette. I have always held Bette above Joan but now they are much closer to each other in my estimation. And this may surprise, but I seem more drawn to her later stuff (middle to late period?), the years 1945-1953 are wonderful years, from professional on screen and somehow that impresses upon me more than with some of the others.Mildred Pierce to Sudden Fear. For all her rah-rah I am he greatest star etc etc. she was the consummate professional on screen and somehow that impresses upon me more than with some of the others. She is so incredibly locked in to her characters and absolutely convincing, for me anyway.

    I couldn't agree more.

  10. 2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

    I just put the review up for The Blue Lamp (1950) in Film Noir/Gangster pages though I watched it a few weeks ago.


    Directed by Basil Dreaden (Cage of Gold (1950), Pool Of London (1951)). Written by T.E.B. Clarke, with Jan Read and Ted Willis credited for original treatment. Additional dialogue was by Alexander Mackendrick. Cinematography was by Gordon Dines.

    The film stars Jack Warner as PC George Dixon, Jimmy Hanley as PC Andy Mitchell, Dirk Bogarde as hood Tom Riley, Peggy Evans as Diana Lewis, Patric Doonan as hood Spud, Bruce Seton as PC Campbell, Gladys Henson as Mrs. Dixon, Frederick Piper as Alf Lewis, Tessie O'Shea as herself, and Sam Kydd as Bookmakers Assistant White City (uncredited)

    The film boasts a couple of great high speed auto chases through the Paddington district of West London. They probably influenced Robbery (1967) which influenced McQueen's Bullit (1968). It was, for me anyway, a bit ear opening to hear a loud double clank bell sound coming from the pursuing police "wireless" car rather that a wailing siren. It's reminiscent of the sound of the type of thumb activated bell that a kid would have attached to the handlebar of a tricycle, only much louder.

    The Blue Lamp is also a bit similar to M where both the police and the professional criminals join forces to apprehend a cop killer.

    All the actors are excellent, and the story is nicely balanced. It provides a great archival snapshot of 1949/50 London. Screencaps are in review in Film Noir/Gangster. 9/10

    P.S. Off to South Shore for the weekend don't know if I'll be able to respond, and eat your hearts out....



    I can't imagine Dirk Bogarde as a hood.

  11. 10 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

    It has been making the rounds several times a week recently on FXM and I caught it there. The acting is indeed its strong suit, as the film itself is a bit diffuse and meandering. But who can carp about the performances from Ford, Pleshette, Kwan, Malone, and Wickes?

    Sorry, I didn't quite finiish up my review.

    It got away from me.

    Rod Taylor is very good, too.



    • Like 1
  12. "Fate Is The Hunter" - Ralph Nelson - 1964 -

    starring Glenn Ford, Nancy Kwan, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette.,etc.

    Strange movie -

    a plane crash, almost everyone is killed, the pilot is suspected of being drunk -

    his good friend tries to salvage his reputation and prove that he wasn't drunk -

    he does, but this portion takes up most of the movie -

    it plays somewhat like a whodunit -

    okay, so what happened -

    by re-enacting the tragedy, the good friend proves that it was a spilled coffee cup -

    which sort-circuited the wiring of the engines -

    it plays out very weakly - especially in this day and age -

    where this ending would probably be laughed at -

    still, the film is both well-directed and well-acted -

    and there's an unbilled appearance by Dorothy Malone -

    I think that the problem with the film -

    is that you just know that the pilot wasn't drunk -

    that somethng more dire was up -

    but a spilled coffee cup? - 



    • Thanks 1
  13. 8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

    all apologies to RAYBAN, he posted a review of this movie and I have gone back to try and read it (I hadn't finished watching when it was was posted, so i did not read it) and I CAN'T FIND IT. It's probably right in front of me, sometimes on these scrolling sites, something can be right the hell in front of me and i miss it.

    anyhoo, i turned on TCM the other morning just to have some white noise on while i got my coffee and my **** together. and SWANN IN LOVE (1984) was on...it's a FRENCH LANGUAGE adaptation of part of MARCEL PROUST'S REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST.


    I DID NOT EXPECT TO GET INTO IT at all, but then I look up from my phone to see IRONS' character finger-banging a cattleya orchid corsage atop ORNELLA MUTI'S healthy decollotage and I decided I needed to go back and watch this thing from the beginning.

    i'm glad i did.

    I had a hard time getting past the fact that JEREMY IRONS' marvelous KARLOFFIAN VOICE was dubbed by that of another actor, he is still marvelous in his part; at several points he wears a monocle and looks like a sexy cousin of COUNT VON COUNT. He was, I'm sure, annoyed to be dubbed, but he makes up for it by doing some MARVELOUS things WITH HIS FACE.

    Slightly off-topic- but this movie really got me wondering just why exactly it was that IRONS fell off the map after finally winning BEST ACTOR after several overlooked performances in the 80's. I can only chalk it up to he must be really difficult or really eccentric or a heady mix of the two. Nonetheless, I can think of scores of movies made in the last three decades that would've benefited from his presence immensely.

    ITALIAN HUMAN/CAT HYBRID ORNELLA MUTI is in this, I knew her from OSCAR and FLASH GORDON and have worshiped at her feet since I was a child. She is SUCH A TOTAL MOVIE STAR. She is also dubbed, and it's a rare case of an ACTRESS being so beautiful, I have no idea if she's any good or not in the role- it doesn't really matter BECAUSE YOU CANNOT LOOK AWAY FROM HER.

    I wonder if they lured her to the set each morning with a crystal dish of FANCY FEAST with a sprig of parsely atop it...

    ALAIN DELON is terrific in a very small almost non sequitor part, nonetheless, the film benefits from his presence and he has a marvelous scene where he spurns a lover so artfully, i really want to go back and get a quote of what he says in case i ever need to use it.

    it's a GORGEOUS FILM with METHODICAL PERIOD DETAIL and some great cinematography- the FLORIST BUDGET MUST'VE BEEN HUGE! There are PALMS and ORCHIDS and ferns and hothouse lillies filling every nook and cranny- all in pristine shape...I especially loved the LANGUID conservatory in the background of MUTI'S apartment. 

    this movie would make a GREAT COMPANION PIECE TO THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993)- they are very very similar in many ways, only this one has multiple topless scenes.

    That the filmmakers could have gotten this film out of Marcel Proust's famous masterpiece is a miracle.

    It is an exquisite film.

    From what I've read over the years, Jeremy Irons didn't like to become involved in commercial properties.

    He is an extraordinary actor.

    I saw him on-stage in "The Real Thing" and his stage presence was magnetic.

    The film does have a very strong cast.

    What's your take on the ending - did Charles Swann get a life that he wasn't exxpecting?

    (My review is on page 785.)



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  14. "Swann In Love" - Volker Schlondorff - 1984 -

    starring Jeremy Irons,  Ornella Muti and Alain Delon -

    exquisitely realized portrait of an upper-class gentleman, Charles Swann, who becomes obsessed with a courtesan with a very dubious sexual history, Odette -

    it is very freely adapted from Marcel Proust's first novel -

    Charles confides a great deal in his homosexual best friend, Baron de Charlus -

    the obsession is quite real and totally consuming -

    the filmmakers make you feel the weight of such an obsession -

    it practically immobilizes you - 

    and drives you to ridiculous extremes -

    in the end, Charles Swann gets something he wasn't expecting -

    marriage, a child and a totally conventional life -

    there's a highly charged sex scene that's one-of-a-kind, I'd say -

    it's mostly a lot of whorehouse gossip -

    a film this exquisite and rarefied -

    could not have been an easy accomplishment -




    (obsessions, straight and gay)

    • Thanks 1
  15. On 7/23/2019 at 8:17 AM, cigarjoe said:

    What Am I Doing in the Middle of a Revolution? (1972) Che c'entriamo noi con la rivoluzione? (original title)

    Che c'entriamo noi con la rivoluzione? (1972)

    Third Zapata Western in Sergio Corbucci's Revolution Trilogy, stars Vittorio Gassman, Paolo Villaggio, Riccardo Garrone and staple Corbucci actor Eduardo Fajardo.

    This one is a full on Comedy Western with quite a bit of slap stick humor. Watchable 6/10.

    Can be found online in a crappy multi-generational print.

    Vittorio Gassman did get around.

    • Like 2
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