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Did anyone like "The Tunnel"?


FredCDobbs
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I loved it. I'm watching it again right now.

 

By the way, this is the type of film I've occasionally said that is available right now, and there are thousands of these old obscure films from the 1930s and '40s that are resting in library, archive, and studio vaults right now, that can be easily dubbed over to digital tape, with no expensive restoration being needed.

 

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Look at these titles of films that are already being show in theaters at film festivals:

 

http://www.picking.com/cinefest2008.html

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There is a thread beginning in the *Science Fiction* forum about it.

 

I thought it was interesting, but the acting left much to be desired. Richard Dix seems to play the same character every time I see him. Leslie Banks has weird hair. Why did it take so long for that other woman to figure out that Madge Evans was blind?

 

The effects were pretty good, especially at the end when Dix and Banks were in that machine traveling through the fiery tunnel. The "viewscreens" were pretty good too.

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>Richard Dix seems to play the same character every time I see him.

 

Just think of it as The Whistler in the Tunnel.

 

>Leslie Banks has weird hair.

 

Yes, well, he?s British, you know.

 

>Why did it take so long for that other woman to figure out that Madge Evans was blind?

 

Long enough to make for a very emotional moment in the film.

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Why did it take so long for that other woman to figure out that Madge Evans was blind?

 

Long enough to make for a very emotional moment in the film.

 

But Evans clearly was not even looking at the woman. Was the other woman that dense? Well, maybe she had tunnel vision.

 

Message was edited by: scsu1975

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I thought the film was terriffic. Considering it was made long before television, cell phones, the Chunnel and streamlined cars, if fortold of all of them in a very unsensational way. I found nothing to complain about in the acting and certainly the art direction was superior. Helen Vinson was convincing to me when she didn't immediately realize Madge Evans was blind; she was on a nerve wracking errand...to tell a friend that she was in love with her husband. It's possible that she was so involved with her own discomfort that she didn't even see Madge. And yes, it did turn out to be a very emotional scene as a result.

I had no idea that this film eve existed. Think of how many more are out there!

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After a week commemorating "JC's second hundredth birthday", a couple of explosions aren't bad. Actually, "Torch Singer" might have been more enjoyable if followed up by "White Heat". OK, just tack on the ending, that'd be fine.

Bad Jokes aside, I enjoyed it. I always like an old sci-fi.

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The videophone technology looked very clean, functional and believable. Not much stylistic hokiness to be seen, like in some American sci-fi movies of that era. The set design looked intelligent and understated.

 

The movie itself has a certain grimness, as it involves a dangerous project that consumes lives and casualties, not unlike a military campaign. The metaphor to war, complete with the sacrifice of male lives, is underscored when a woman in the picture muses that they wouldn't let her work in the tunnel, as she is "not a man". Good thing for her, as the tunnel is a Moloch that demands lives; not a place people are comfortable sending women! There is also a closeup of a plaque showing the names of those who have already died, with room for plenty more names. It looks very reminiscent of a war memorial.

 

The fatigue in money and lives takes its' toll, and the project is almost scratched. The sacrifice ultimately must be worth it, in the minds of the planners and politicians, as they all act very happy in the end when it's all completed. It's a wonderful project, for the survivors. Many did not make it to the ribbon cutting ceremony!

 

The mood of the film was affected by the European political situation. People knew and felt that another war was coming, and sure enough, one came. Sacrifices.

 

Thelma

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>I loved it, Fred; reminded me in some ways of "Metropolis" and, of course, you've always gotta be grateful for that "star-crossed lovers" subplot when it's a GUY plot with explosions and machines.

 

I agree. The ladies in the film added a lot to it and to the overall story.

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>The videophone technology looked very clean, functional and believable.

 

That?s a good point. I?ve noticed in some 1930s videophone type scenes in other films, if the guy in the foreground is standing off to the right, the guy on the videophone screen is looking to the right (his own left), because the film?s cameraman thought they should seem to be looking at each other.

 

But in reality, a videophone (even in 1935) would have its camera aimed straight forward, so even if the guy in the foreground of the movie is off to the right, the guy in the videophone image should be looking straight ahead, right at the center of his own videophone.

 

In almost all the scenes in ?The Tunnel? everyone was looking right at the center of their own videophone. Also, the videophones basically turned on and off, with not a lot of knobs to adjust. In some other early films about TV, there are all sorts of knobs that are adjusted and in some films the TVs make all sorts of humming and buzzing noises.

 

I noticed the plaque of the long list of names of people who died while working on the tunnel. It did resemble a war plaque, but also the tunnel disaster scenes reminded me of mine-disaster films (and news reports) where miners had been trapped and killed. See this story from 1934:

 

http://patheoldminer.rootsweb.com/braeburn.html

 

And this one:

 

http://www.rozylowicz.com/retirement/dawson/dawson-colfax.html

 

I?ve been to the cemetery at Dawson, and it is very sad, since nearly all the tombstones are dated either 1913 or 1923.

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>Maybe because she was sitting there with a book in her lap when she came in; what was THAT about???

 

I just looked at that scene again. Although it is a regular looking book, she is reading it with her fingers, so I guess it?s supposed to be brail.

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Here is a still from the German version, Der Tunnel, 1933, directed by Curtis Bernhardt. He also made a French version the same year. During the filming of the German version, the associate producer was killed when the tunnel collapsed.

 

scan0001-35.jpg

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Wow, I'd love to see all three versions on the same night. I really enjoyed seeing the 1943 German Titanic film. It contained some plot material that was later used in the British Titanic film and both US Titanic films.

 

I'd also like to see the Errol Flynn version of Mutiny on the Bounty.

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