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Old Film Lover

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  1. Warning: SPOILERS! I've recently watched Bridge on the River Kwai, and very much enjoyed it. However, there is one scene that does not seem to make sense, and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about it. (Warning: SPOILERS for those who haven't yet seen the film.) Near the end, Jack Hawkins and the female Asian bearers are looking at the scene of death below. Hawkins turns to speak to the female bearers, some of whom were in love with men who were just killed. They recoil from him, backing away as if they are afraid of him, or angry with him, or both. He says to them, in a frantic, apologetic tone, "I had to do it. They might have been captured alive!" or words to that effect. It is as if the women hold him responsible for the death of the men they loved, and as if he is admitting responsibility. But he isn't responsible. The men killed were killed by Japanese fire, not his mortar fire; and in any case, he would have had no motive to kill them until after the detonation, since they were the only ones who could overpower Alec Guinness and get to the plunger to see that the detonation happened. He wouldn't have killed any man vital to the mission of destroying the bridge. The only man affected by his mortar fire was Alec Guinness, and the women weren't in love with Guinness and wouldn't have been upset by anything that happened to him. So that line of dialogue, indeed, that whole scene, makes no sense. My suspicion is that this scene reflects an earlier draft of the film in which Hawkins's character has to kill his friends, perhaps he because he doesn't want them to endure the torture of being prisoners. But in the film as we have it, this grim decision wouldn't be necessary, because they die before they could be taken prisoner. None of the special features on the Blu-ray directly address this problem, though somewhere someone mentions an alternate ending (perhaps from the novel?) in which Hawkins's character does have to kill one or more of his squadron. Is this an example of bad film editing? If so, it's surprising, given how much care Lean and Spiegel put into the film, and given that Lean was present for the editing. Has anyone heard anything about this, or thought about it?
  2. txfilmfan: Thanks for pointing this great resource out to me! I didn't know of it. Many of the pictures are much clearer than anything in the IMDb. They should help in the future.
  3. Over the years I've learned to recognize scores of the minor actors who play "bit" parts and crowd scenes. The IMDb has helped me find some of them. However, there are several actors who have supposedly played in hundreds of movies (according to IMDb) for whom there are either no pictures, or contradictory pictures (i.e., it looks as if two different actors have been confused), or only pictures from when the actor was extremely young in the silent days and aren't a safe guide to what he looked like in middle age. This poses a problem. For example, for a long time, there was no picture for "Sam Harris", but now there is one picture of him with a Colonel Sanders-looking beard -- but that's almost useless since such beards can be pasted on. Yet the guy was supposedly in hundreds of films. You'd think his children or someone would have posted a few snaps of him online. Can anyone point me to scenes in classic films (30s through 60s), beyond the few scrappy images found on the IMDb which are often unreliable or too small or fuzzy to see, featuring any of the following actors in sufficiently large size that the face is clearly recognizable, or even (touch wood) in very minor speaking roles? (Saying "Yes, sir" to a Sergeant, for example): Mike Lally James Conaty Larry Steers Ralph Brooks Sam Harris Jack Mower Hans Moebus Jacob Steven (I suspect that last-named person is a complete fiction invented by an IMDb prankster)
  4. Can you tell me exactly who runs that site? It's very mysterious. There are links to all kinds of movies, but the site seems to have no name, and there is no "about this site" tab where you can find out what person or organization owns it, etc. If the place had a name, one could Google it on the internet and try to find out if clicking on the links is safe. But there is nothing. You are asked to sign up on trust, click on the links on trust, etc. Very unusual. Most sites have *some* identifying information. Even if I could watch the movie I want that's up there, I'm a bit spooked by the secrecy of the place.
  5. I've never seen 84 Charing Cross Road, and am thinking of getting it for a member of the family who is somewhat sensitive to rough language. The information on the IMDb is lacking, and reviews on Amazon aren't clear. Some say the film is wholesome because refreshingly free of any crude language, some say its use of crude language is "moderate" or "not too bad" (but that could mean very different things depending on who is making the judgment), and some say that the real-life American woman the film is about was given to very crude language in her letters to the English bookseller. I imagine that a number of people here have seen the film several times (obviously, I haven't). So can anyone who has recently watched the film or otherwise knows it very well tell me if the f-word is ever used in the film, or if other crude language is heard in it?
  6. Thanks again. No, it's not Park Row, which I just watched recently. Park Row is set in the 19th century, and is about a 19th century newspaper pioneer. This movie I'm talking about is set in the times the film was made, i.e., 20th century USA, late 30s at the earliest. I'm guessing the film was made between 1938 and 1960, from what I remember of the visual style, the acting, the plot, etc. Most likely the late 1940s or 1950s. Thanks to all for the information that Scandal Sheet has aired on TCM. I will check out that angle. But still not sure that's the film.
  7. Nope. When I click on the arrow, I'm asked to sign in or open an account. Even if I delete that message and click on the arrow, the arrow vanishes but the movie doesn't start playing; it just sits there. Did you try watching the film itself -- even a few minutes of it? Did it play for you?
  8. I was going to suggest Morocco as well. I don't remember the exact lines of dialogue, but a character in the film tells Marlene Dietrich that many women follow the men they love on their campaigns in the desert, living in tents and supporting the men any way they can after their hard days of battle. It may be the film you want.
  9. Thanks to Marysara1 and shutoo for their information and suggestions. The movie I'm looking for is not Deadline, USA -- I have that one. It might be Tell No Tales, but if so, it will take me a while to procure a copy -- I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere at the moment. But even Tell No Tales, based on the IMDb description, doesn't sound quite right. So I'll keep looking.
  10. Dear jamesjazzguitar: Thanks for the suggestion. Is this Broderick Crawford suggestion a film you have actually seen? It's actually a hard film to get and check out; I can find only an expensive European edition in PAL format. (There is another film called "Scandal Sheet" but it has different actors and plot.) I wouldn't want to buy it unless you have seen the film and definitely remember the climax in the newspaper press room.
  11. Dear txfilmfan: No, it's not Florence Lake. Florence Lake plays the goofy blonde, "Miss Smith", who is dancing with "Joe", the character played by Gene Morgan. But thanks for trying.
  12. Dear Jezebel38: I looked at the credits for Night World on the IMDb, and several photos are provided there for Helene Chadwick. None of them look anything like the actress/character in the scene I'm referring to. Those photos *do* look a bit like the character in the picture I gave above, but as I mentioned, that picture is not from the scene I'm talking about. To see the scene I'm talking about, you have to click on the link and then go to 4:46 of the excerpts. When you do that, you can see that the actress looks nothing like the Helene Chadwick pictures. Chadwick's face is rounder and more plebeian in its beauty, whereas the cheating wife in the scene I'm talking about has a more slim and angular face and a more aristocratic look, sort of a younger version of Mary Forbes. Thanks for trying, but I don't think this is the person.
  13. I've just recently watched the 1932 film Night World, featuring Boris Karloff as the owner of a nightclub. It's a great minor crime film, and I recommend it. I'm having trouble with the name of an actress. Her role does not seem to be listed on either the AFI or IMDb cast lists. She's blonde and as an actress I would guess she is maybe 28-30, but here playing a woman slightly older, maybe 35-40. In her first scene, maybe 5 to 10 minutes in, she is a patron in the nightclub, with a soft-spoken, mustached, middle-aged husband, and the husband is suspicious that she has been carrying on with another man in the nightclub when he's not there, and asks the manager, Karloff, about her with a "trap" question. She signals Karloff silently, and Karloff covers for her. Karloff calls her "Mrs. Bryce" or "Mrs. Price" when speaking to her husband. Later, she slips out to a Cadillac (the doorman addresses her as "Mrs. Price" or "Mrs. Brice" or perhaps "Mrs. Brand"), and embraces and sneaks away with her lover. She can be seen clearly at 4:46 of the excerpts posted on YouTube [note that she is *not* the woman in the picture immediately below, which is from a different scene], at this location:
  14. Hello, everyone. New user here. I've for the past several years been increasingly immersed in noir and crime films, but despite all the films I've found, one still eludes me. I don't have a name for it, but only a vague plot outline. Much of the film takes place in the building of a large metropolitan newspaper, and at least some of the crucial scenes, particularly near the end, take place very late at night, and in the part of the building where the printing presses are and where the papers are loaded up to go out into the city early in the morning. There are a young man and woman involved, though whether either or both of them is a reporter I can't remember. There may be a kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of a woman involved. Some criminals -- perhaps criminals in danger of being exposed by the newspaper -- end up chasing down the heroes and trying to finish them off in the printing press room, or something like that. But it's all vague. I just remember the moody late-night atmosphere. I saw it rerun on TV somewhere between about 1966 and 1978, but it struck me as an old-fashioned story even then, and I'd say in retrospect it was a late 1940s or 1950s crime picture. Probably more crime than noir. Probably fairly low budget. I don't remember any obviously big stars in it -- it seems to me that the actors were generic "B" crime actors, rather than big names like Bogart, Powell, etc.
  15. Hello, everyone. New user here. I've for the past several years been increasingly immersed in noir and crime films, but despite all the films I've found, one still eludes me. I don't have a name for it, but only a vague plot outline. Much of the film takes place in the building of a large metropolitan newspaper, and at least some of the crucial scenes, particularly near the end, take place very late at night, and in the part of the building where the printing presses are and where the papers are loaded up to go out into the city early in the morning. There are a young man and woman involved, though whether either or both of them is a reporter I can't remember. There may be a kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of a woman involved. Some criminals -- perhaps criminals in danger of being exposed by the newspaper -- end up chasing down the heroes and trying to finish them off in the printing press room, or something like that. But it's all vague. I just remember the moody late-night atmosphere. I saw it rerun on TV somewhere between about 1966 and 1978, but it struck me as an old-fashioned story even then, and I'd say in retrospect it was a late 1940s or 1950s crime picture. Probably more crime than noir. Probably fairly low budget. I don't remember any obviously big stars in it -- it seems to me that the actors were generic "B" crime actors, rather than big names like Bogart, Powell, etc.
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