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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Yes ! Smart girl, Hibi ! I was thinking the very same thing, but didn't want to add to my already very long post about this film.

But yes, I too thought of Shadow of a Doubt while watching The Stranger. As you say, both films have a small town setting, with friendly ( and rather nosy) citizens. Both seem like "nothing very bad could ever happen", but then "something does".  And "someone from outside" brings evil to the little town...

Also: in both films, the protagonist is female. And she's the opposite of a femme fatale, she represents decency and innocence. And each of these protagonists at first utterly loves and trusts the very person who brings evil to their sweet, supposedly safe, home. Both Mary and Charlie realize the terrible nature of their beloved gradually, at first refusing to believe it. And both of them have their lives put in jeopardy when the formerly trusted evil one realizes that the young woman who previously adored him is now on to him.

Of course, there's the difference of Mary's adored trusted villain being her husband, whereas "Charlie"'s is her uncle. So it's kind of worse for Mary, because of what I said earlier about how she has to deal with the fact that she's (presumably) been sexually intimate with this monster.  Although the film does somehow get across the idea that their newly-wed sex life might not be so great....

I love the small town setting of Santa Rosa, California, Miss Wonderly, but my sick brain then also remembers that this is the setting for Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and I keep thinking as I watch it, that I am going to see Charlie and her family, all turned into those pod people!

Do I need film therapy or just a break from watching movies?

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8 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

I love the small town setting of Santa Rosa, California, Miss Wonderly, but my sick brain then also remembers that this is the setting for Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and I keep thinking as I watch it, that I am going to see Charlie and her family, all turned into those pod people!

Do I need film therapy or just a break from watching movies?

No CG, you just need to take a nice little nap like Dana is doing here, that's all...

Invasion-of-the-Body-Snatchers-1956-00-3

(...and when you awake, you'll feel like, ahem, a whole new person)

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Dargo said:

Just one of the many "suspensions of disbelief" one must facilitate in order to appreciate this movie, I would say.

Others being:

1-Eddie is knocked out by that gym ring(as Vautrin here noted), but not only for a few minutes but for hours, as he awakens hours later and after the wedding.

2-Eddie then, and even after suffering this head injury which is later said to result in a knot on his head the size of a golf ball, then calmly indulges in a game of checkers with the store owner after purchasing a bottle of aspirin.

3-After Eddie calls D.C. and tells his department associate he doesn't think Welles is his guy, he suddenly awakes from his sleep that night remembering that Welles says during the evenings dinner party that "Marx was not German, but was a Jew'. One would think that THAT would have immediately registered with him that Welles very well might be the Nazi he's looking for.

4-This whole story takes place just a year after the end of WWII, and so how did Welles manage after fleeing Europe so shortly after the fall of Nazi Germany and to become not only employed as a member of the faculty of that boy's school, but also to become a respected member of the local community AND to woo and then wed who appears to be the most eligible bachelorette in town? And all this without, IMHO, being a particularly personable or even attractive sort.

(...still though, and even with these observations of mine, I, and like MissW here, found myself enjoying this film a little more than I remember previously enjoying it the first two times I'd watched it)  

Number four is a good one that I never thought about. And all this also happens in a small town

where people are supposedly slow to take to outsiders. Hmmm. Three is one I have thought of before.

Considering what Eddie does for a living you'd think he'd give Orson the fish eye as soon as the remark

about Marx was out of his mouth and not suddenly hit on it many hours later. It's fun to find these

rather unrealistic things in movies, though it rarely spoils the movie itself.  

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11 hours ago, sagebrush said:

  

I think that's what makes her performance good. She's trying to hide her gradual discovery of who her husband really is while also trying to convince herself and those trying to enlighten her that he isn't the man they are looking for.

Yes she obviously doesn't want to believe that the man she loves was a Nazi, but to me she

just seemed a bit over the top in that situation. 

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23 minutes ago, Dargo said:

No CG, you just need to take a nice little nap like Dana is doing here, that's all...

Invasion-of-the-Body-Snatchers-1956-00-3

(...and when you awake, you'll feel like, ahem, a whole new person)

 

 

 

My favorite scene in the movie, when those eyes open and she starts screaming and poor old Kevin McCarthy, with that great bedside manner, goes off running into the highway telling all "They're here!" or whatever it is he says.
 

Loved the fact he was still running around that highway in the remake with Nimoy and Sutherland.

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3 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

It's funny, Vautrin I've seen that film many times, always enjoy it but only saw the bit in this latest showing where Loretta is dealing with the lady at the house, who drops down as if she is having a heart attack, preventing Loretta from going to the tower. I think I am prejudiced against Loretta, since her hysterics did start making me laugh. I always think she is gorgeous in films, but I'm not the biggest fan of her acting. But all in all, the film is a good one and Welles is always interesting as is Eddie G. so it is still worthy watching.

The act the old family retainer put on made Loretta seem downright stoic. I'm neutral on

Loretta Young. I did notice there were some shots where the lines around her mouth seemed

too obvious. When one watches these old studio era movies one expects the stars to look

perfect, whatever horrible predicament they are in. 

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21 hours ago, TheCid said:

 but I assume you are not including Eddie Mueller as one of the "wags."

You assume wrong, friend.  He's the MAIN "wag"  and the one to which I refer.  ;) 

I probably find his "rasp"( and the ensuing palaver) more annoying than Dargo finds Ben's "nasally" voice!  ;)

But really, I find there's LESS ime taken up for commercials than eaten up by the ads shown on AMC these days, so it doesn't bother me all that much( although I DO prefer no breaks at all).  And MOVIES! has other features( "Hollywood Rivals" and "Hollywood Couples") which are sometines interesting too.  But some of THOSE seem to be quite "aged".

Sepiatone

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On 6/24/2018 at 3:21 PM, misswonderly3 said:

Ok, "The ManWho Cheated Himself". Notes:

Yes, I have to agree with all who have observed that Jane Wyatt has no sex appeal, and that it's hard to imagine her seducing anyone into doing anything for her. It's interesting, it's hard to pin down what makes a woman in these movies seductive and attractive, certainly enough to persuade normally "decent" men to break the law for them. I mean, it's not technically "beauty", since Babs Stanwyck is not as "pretty" as Jane Wyatt. I love Miss Stanwyck, but she is not what is "traditionally" called "beautiful" or even "pretty". Same with Joan Crawford. What these woman do have is a kind of magnetism, appeal, that makes you think they're beautiful while you're watching them. It doesn't matter if they're actually beautiful or not, they come across as irresistibly attractive, you believe they are, and that's what makes them credible "femmes fatales".

Now back to Jane Wyatt:  While technically, she's "prettier" than either Joan or Barbara (and others), you just don't believe she has the kind of strength of personality which would give her power over men. She's lightweight.  (And I don't mean her figure, although she is certainly trim and slim. )

This "lightweight" quality may explain why we're not convinced that Lt. Ed would go to such lengths to cover up her murder. There's no chemistry between Wyatt and Cobb. I just don't believe that he's head over heels in love, or even in lust, with her.

Anyway, other than that small flaw with the film, I really enjoyed "The Man Who Cheated Himself". Funny thing is, I'd seen it before and been unimpressed with it. I have a collection of obscure noirs on a sketchy DVD set I picked up in the early 2000s. I suspect the set's just barely legal - maybe back then nobody was as concerned with "rights" as they seem to be now. Regardless, I saw quite a few rare and little-known noirs thanks to that dubious DVD set, including this one. But I remember not liking "The Man Who Cheated Himself" that much with that earlier viewing. This time around, I found it very engaging.

The best thing about the film is the final scene, rather a long one for a noir made in 1950. I absolutely love that setting, the abandoned courtyard / prison/ whatthehellisitanyway?  anyway that mysterious place where Cobb and Wyatt hide out in tower while John Dall, who's convinced they're there somewhere, searches for them. Eddie was right to give kudos to the cinematographer, Russell Harlan. That scene alone would justify the entire movie; it's deliciously atmospheric and, well, noirish. I gather it's the same place where Kim Novak's character meets her fate in Vertigo, eight years later. But I didn't really recognize it, the tower looks different to me. 

It's the long shots of Dall walking through the corridors of this mystery place, and the silence - no soundtrack music, all you hear is the wind - that's so memorable. It's what one of my noir books calls a "terrain vague" : a nowhereland, a strange unpopulated place where the protagonist  - or the "bad guy" - usually meets his end. They're just eerie empty spaces, often old factories or warehouses, but also railway junctions or even amusement parks  (as in the ferris wheel in "The Third Man" or the Hall of Mirrors in "The Lady from Shanghai".)  I love these mysterious obscure places, they're one of my favourite things about noir.

 

Related image

What is this place?

Guess what, I just saw that this was on TCM demand and have just finished watching it. I missed it when it was on Noir Alley. It wasn't bad actually, Cobb and Wyatt aren't exactly Powell and Loy or Mitchum and Greer. Like somebody else mentioned Cobb would probably feel lucky to win Wyatt's favors.

The only thing it didn't have was Muller's into and outro which On Demand usually shows. Oh well if any of you remember what did Eddie sat about it?

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

Guess what, I just saw that this was on TCM demand and have just finished watching it. I missed it when it was on Noir Alley. It wasn't bad actually, Cobb and Wyatt aren't exactly Powell and Loy or Mitchum and Greer. Like somebody else mentioned Cobb would probably feel lucky to win Wyatt's favors.

The only thing it didn't have was Muller's into and outro which On Demand usually shows. Oh well if any of you remember what did Eddie say about it?

Gosh CJ. I wish I could remember more of what Eddie said about this film. Other than what MissW also said earlier about Wyatt's lack of sex appeal and his mentioning this being her one and only foray into playing the femme fatale type in a movie, I think he also mentioned the final scene was filmed at San Francisco's Presidio Fort Point and where the final scene in Point Blank was also shot.

But other than that, sorry, I don't remember much else of what he said.

Saaay, why don't ya ask Sepia? He might remember.

(...seems he's a big fan of Eddie's) ;)

LOL

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I remember him dissing Dall's performance. But not much else. I think he talked about the director and scriptwriters like he usually does, but I dont remember what... oh, he did a long thing about the actress who played Dall's wife. She had a long career after she left acting behind......

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I thought it showcased San Francisco pretty well, I'd bet that is part of it's appeal to Eddie. It moved along at a good pace with basically the second string of Noir actors, doing a great job, who appeared in quite a few films in minor rolls.

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**SPOILERS**

I'm a little late to the Angel Face train, but I just watched it last night.  Unfortunately, I watched a previous recording, it was not the Noir Alley feature--I tried to google the video so I could see Eddie Muller's remarks, but I couldn't find it.

Re: Angel Face.  I thought this movie was great! I love how Jean Simmons slowly insinuated herself into Robert Mitchum's life and basically isolated him from everything he knew.  While I don't know if I would consider her the greatest femme fatale, but her character was pretty wicked.  This was definitely a precursor to Fatal Attraction. I can also see the connection to Leave Her to Heaven as MissWonderly stated prior.

In Leave Her to Heaven, we have a woman who was so devoted to her father, perhaps even obsessed, that she becomes obsessed with a man (whom she marries) who resembles her father.  Her obsession with him leads her to isolate him and eliminate anyone who stands to take away some of her husband's attention away from her.  That scene in the lake where Gene Tierney coldly watches poor Darryl Hickman drown is one of the most sinister scenes in film.  I would also argue that the last scene of Angel Face rivals this scene in Leave Her to Heaven.

I liked the twists and turns that the Angel Face plot took.  When we first meet the Tremaine family, we see the step-mother suffering from asphyxiation due to a leaking gas fireplace.  It would appear that either it's an accident, or perhaps a botched suicide attempt.  I liked the scene where Simmons tries to tell Robert Mitchum that she thinks her step-mother is trying to kill her via gas asphyxiation, Mitchum basically tells her she's full of crap and he's not buying it, yet he stays with her.  There are a lot of these noir where one character knows that the other is rotten, a la Double Indemnity, but forever reason he or she is so captivated by the other that they stay around--often with dire results.

I am wondering what the significance of the song was that Simmons played on the piano throughout the film.  I don't know if that was her meditation period where she contemplated her next move, or what exactly she was doing, but she played the same song each time.

I predicted the scene with Barbara O'Neil (step-mother) and Simmon's father, Herbert Marshall.  Earlier in the film, they talked about the driving mishaps O'Neil has when she gets behind the wheel, so I figured that something would happen when Marshall asks for a ride.  They had already shown a shot of the cliff prior to O'Neil and Marshall getting into the car.  The courtroom scene where the mechanic expert discusses the sabotage on the vehicle was interesting and I knew that they would try to use the mechanic's testimony as a means to connect Mitchum with the crime--since it had already been depicted throughout the film that he was a skilled mechanic.  I cringed a bit when the jurist asked something to the effect of whether removing the vital car parts was something that EVEN a woman could do.  Ugh. Sit down jurist. But I realize it was 1952, so I'll move on. The courtroom scene between Leon Ames and Jim Backus was excellent.  Backus keeps popping up in everything I watch lately.

I kind of predicted the end of the film, figuring that the cliff would be featured again.  I also liked the ending with the cab coming to pick up Mitchum.  What I liked about this ending is that it was dramatic, violent, and very final.  No Angel Face 2 is coming after this film.  While Leave Her to Heaven featured a romance rising out of the ashes, nobody was a winner at the end of Angel Face--except maybe Mona Freeman and her beau.

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2 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

 

...I am wondering what the significance of the song was that Simmons played on the piano throughout the film.  I don't know if that was her meditation period where she contemplated her next move, or what exactly she was doing, but she played the same song each time....

 

Yes, good observation, speedy. The piano-playing thing is somehow significant. Like you , I knew it meant something, but couldn't quite figure out what. 

For one thing, I think the filmmakers wanted the audience to first see Jean (Diane) in a sympathetic light, the more to fool us as to the true nature of her character. And I always find musicians sympathetic, or at least, I'm prepared to like them if only because they care about music. Also, the piece Diane plays is quite "soothing" and emotional in a melancholy sort of way; it reminded me of Chopin (1940s and '50s movie makers seemed to love that particular kind of piano composition...)

And also, it's not only the first the audience sees of Diane, it's Frank's  (Robert Mitchum's) first sight of her too. So what he sees is a quiet young woman, perhaps trying to comfort herself by quietly playing the piano to cope with her step-mother's near-death (through accidental gas fire leakage, of course...yeah, right.)

Interestingly, this is not the first time Jean Simmons appears in a film as a troubled young pianist. Clouded Yellow, a really good little-known British noir made in 1950 (two years before Angel Face), also features at least one scene (I think more) showing Jean Simmons' character sitting at the piano and playing a melancholy tune when the male protagonist first encounters her.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Yes, good observation, speedy. The piano-playing thing is somehow significant. Like you , I knew it meant something, but couldn't quite figure out what. 

For one thing, I think the filmmakers wanted the audience to first see Jean (Diane) in a sympathetic light, the more to fool us as to the true nature of her character. And I always find musicians sympathetic, or at least, I'm prepared to like them if only because they care about music. Also, the piece Diane plays is quite "soothing" and emotional in a melancholy sort of way; it reminded me of Chopin (1940s and '50s movie makers seemed to love that particular kind of piano composition...)

And also, it's not only the first the audience sees of Diane, it's Frank's  (Robert Mitchum's) first sight of her too. So what he sees is a quiet young woman, perhaps trying to comfort herself by quietly playing the piano to cope with her step-mother's near-death (through accidental gas fire leakage, of course...yeah, right.)

Interestingly, this is not the first time Jean Simmons appears in a film as a troubled young pianist. Clouded Yellow, a really good little-known British noir made in 1950 (two years before Angel Face), also features at least one scene (it think more) showing Jean Simmons' character sitting at the piano and playing a melancholy tune when the male protagonist first encounters her.

I was also thinking that perhaps the piano playing was Simmons' way of dealing with her emotions.  It seemed that each time she was seen playing the piano, something emotional had happened or was about to happen.  She's seen at the beginning of the film playing piano after her step-mother's "accident."  Then later, she's seen playing piano again right before she frantically runs to Mitchum's room with the phony story about her step-mother trying to kill her.  Later in the film, doesn't she play the piano after her father's death? I know there's a third piano scene toward the end, but right now I can't remember what had happened before or after it.

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13 hours ago, Hibi said:

I dont think Mona Freeman was a winner (LOL) At least not with that guy.........but as far as Mitchum, yes! (she'd always be wondering if he'd stray again)...

Yeah, somehow without Kenneth Tobey being in some kind'a military uniform, he just was never as attractive, was he.

Could never figure that out myself.

Yeah, IN a uniform, the guy goes up from a "5" to maybe a minimum "7".

(...but in Angel Face, there's poor ol' Kenny playin' second fiddle again sans those snappy uniforms o' his)

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, somehow without Kenneth Tobey being in some kind'a military uniform, he just was never as attractive, was he.

Could never figure that out myself.

Yeah, IN a uniform, the guy goes up from a "5" to maybe a minimum "7".

(...but in Angel Face, there's poor ol' Kenny playin' second fiddle again sans those snappy uniforms o' his)

Every time I see Kenneth Toby I think of him in Walking Tall.  Definitely different from his roles in this period.  I do like him in the SciFi movies that he made.

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, somehow without Kenneth Tobey being in some kind'a military uniform, he just was never as attractive, was he.

Could never figure that out myself.

Yeah, IN a uniform, the guy goes up from a "5" to maybe a minimum "7".

(...but in Angel Face, there's poor ol' Kenny playin' second fiddle again sans those snappy uniforms o' his)

Yea,  Kenny even had to play second fiddle to an over 6 feet tall vegetable!   

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

The Gangster, Sep. 29/30 feature.  Read the Wiki synopsis and it sounds like it may be confusing.  ImDB gave it 3 stars.  Reviews say it leans towards artsy.  Anybody seen it?

I haven't, and I'll be recording it, but I won't be watching it for a week or two. 

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