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lydecker

Short & Sweet Favorites

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I've got to say I am loving this month's Spotlight, "Short & Sweet."  Amazing how so many of these "less than 75 minute" films are simply terrific.  "Kid Glove Killer," "Address Unknown," "The Eagle & The Hawk" and "Ex-Lady" are among my favorites so far and I am really looking forward to the daytime block of "quickie mysteries"  --  Hildegarde Withers, Torchy Blane, Philo Vance and Sherlock Holmes, etc. etc  --  next week.

Any particular "Short & Sweet" films stand out to you this month??

Lydecker

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Morning Glory (1933)

Jewel Robbery (1932)

Duck Soup (1933)

But I'm really fond of the pre-codes in general thanks to snappy diologue, the big female roles, and their short succinct runtimes, with no extra fuss.

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Three on a Match has more plot than most of the two-and-a-half-hour movies you can see these days.

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4 hours ago, lydecker said:

I've got to say I am loving this month's Spotlight, "Short & Sweet."  Amazing how so many of these "less than 75 minute" films are simply terrific.  "Kid Glove Killer," "Address Unknown," "The Eagle & The Hawk" and "Ex-Lady" are among my favorites so far and I am really looking forward to the daytime block of "quickie mysteries"  --  Hildegarde Withers, Torchy Blane, Philo Vance and Sherlock Holmes, etc. etc  --  next week.

Any particular "Short & Sweet" films stand out to you this month??

Lydecker

I'm glad you created this thread since I felt this was one of the best Spotlight features TCM has hosted.

Lots of fine films,  and if one finds one they don't like,,, well,  all one has to do is wait an hour,,,, and try another.

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32 minutes ago, vidorisking said:

Pretty much all the Warren William movies! Why isn’t he as big as Gable?

He didn't want ears that big.

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1 hour ago, vidorisking said:

Pretty much all the Warren William movies! Why isn’t he as big as Gable?

When one asks such questions related to actors under the studio-system I believe it is best to look at what studio the actor was under contract with and what other actors were also under contract at the same time:

Warren was under contract with Warner Bros and once James Cagney was signed by the studio in the early 30s, and because a major fan favorite,  Cagney got most of the major projects and Warren was left with serial projects (Perry Mason, and other lesser film).

Warren's contract with WB was up in 1936 (after the last of his Mason roles for WB).    Note that WB had other actors,  like E.G. Robinson,  that studio producers favored over William.

After he left WB,  he did films for Paramount,  MGM,  Universal, and eventually Columbia (the Lone Wolf serial being his biggest project for that studio),  but he was now a second-tier actor and wasn't going to get the roles that the from studios that already had major stars,  like Gable,  under contract.

I.e.  timing and competition;     these are often the basic reasons for 'why wasn't X a bigger star'.

   

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I'm glad you created this thread since I felt this was one of the best Spotlight features TCM has hosted.

Lots of fine films,  and if one finds one they don't like,,, well,  all one has to do is wait an hour,,,, and try another.

I agree.  What a great idea this spotlight is.  How is it that it took them this long to do it??  I am in awe of what great writers/directors/actors could do in less than 75 minutes (in some cases, barely 60 minutes!)  Reminds me once again how films have gotten so "bloated" these days to fill out 2+ hours.  I mean, how many car chases, building blow-ups can you stand in one movie?

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This thread reminded me of an article I read earlier today. It seems Netflix is considering adding an option to watch movies at 50% faster speed, so that impatient viewers can get through movies and shows faster. Sure the voices will be sped up, and the pacing and direction of everything will be totally ruined, but it'll be faster! This is a trend that has taken off with audio books in recent years, with people opting to listen to them at quicker speeds. I thought it all sounded like the further decay of western civilization, but maybe you guys will like this kind of feature?B):lol:

Netflix Testing Variable Playback Speed

Netflix is reportedly testing out variable playback speed of its content, allowing viewers to watch film and TV titles at anywhere from 50% speed to 150% speed.

Android Police broke the news, indicating the streaming service has seemingly been testing the ability on Android devices only at this point. It’s not clear if Netflix will adopt this concept for other platforms.

Faster speed playback has been in common use for audiobooks and podcasts for years, video is a different kettle of fish though YouTube has had variable Playback Speed options available for a while.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/netflix-testing-variable-playback-speed/

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Yes I love short & sweets, especially precodes. My library has a copy of Forbidden Hollywood 2, a pre-code box set. I own 3 out of the 4 films on DVD, but had to see FEMALE '33 after all the talk about it here. Love it!

I'm also a big Warren William fan. Also you usually can't go wrong with cutie Joan Blondell.

1188918958_BlondellJoan_01.jpg.0153de1c7d3515839dbd9398aa7e16c7.jpg

Short & Sweets make fantastic double features for a classic film group night.

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

 

Netflix Testing Variable Playback Speed

Netflix is reportedly testing out variable playback speed of its content, allowing viewers to watch film and TV titles at anywhere from 50% speed to 150% speed.

 

150%?  :o  Well.  Now, EVERY movie will take on the qualities of those old silent flicks where people running and car chases move at what looks like supersonic speed.  

I know, they did back in TV's earlier years since those movies(to my understanding) were filmed at a speed at which more modern projectors ran faster than, giving the impression they were filmed faster than what they really were.  The filming speed being slower than the later projectors ran(or something like that).   It kind of reminds me of what Chuck Berry said about some of his songs( many of them).  For instance, growing up, we budding young guitar players, learning Chuck's tunes off of the 45s, would find that say, JOHNNY B. GOODE was in Bb, while years later, when Chuck, while on tour, would choose a local band for back-up rather than travel around with his own band( thereby eliminating one major hassle touring bands have) and when these bands, who learned Chuck's tunes off the 45s would start to play, Chuck had to stop them and tell them they're in the wrong key.  It was THEN that he told them, "This song was originally recorded and written in A, but Leonard Chess, trying to promote them as dance tunes, sped the master tape up a bit at pressing, which would make the song faster, and more danceable, which too, changed the key from A to Bb."  

Sepiatone

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Journey Into Fear (1943) 68 min.

Journey-into-fear-1943%2Bposter.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised, when I first saw this one years ago. What really makes this great is that you never know what's happening next, although a caveat to that is you also don't know if this is intentional or if the studio cuts made it way more convoluted than it was actually intended to be. Regardless it works!

Either way the chiaroscuro cinematography, the sound design, studio sets, and the bizarre characters that Joseph Cotten encounters in The Levant aboard a cattle boat crossing the Black Sea are priceless  8/10

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Screenshot%2B%25282242%2529.png

Screenshot%2B%25282283%2529.png

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

150%?  :o  Well.  Now, EVERY movie will take on the qualities of those old silent flicks where people running and car chases move at what looks like supersonic speed.  

I know, they did back in TV's earlier years since those movies(to my understanding) were filmed at a speed at which more modern projectors ran faster than, giving the impression they were filmed faster than what they really were.  The filming speed being slower than the later projectors ran(or something like that).   It kind of reminds me of what Chuck Berry said about some of his songs( many of them).  For instance, growing up, we budding young guitar players, learning Chuck's tunes off of the 45s, would find that say, JOHNNY B. GOODE was in Bb, while years later, when Chuck, while on tour, would choose a local band for back-up rather than travel around with his own band( thereby eliminating one major hassle touring bands have) and when these bands, who learned Chuck's tunes off the 45s would start to play, Chuck had to stop them and tell them they're in the wrong key.  It was THEN that he told them, "This song was originally recorded and written in A, but Leonard Chess, trying to promote them as dance tunes, sped the master tape up a bit at pressing, which would make the song faster, and more danceable, which too, changed the key from A to Bb."  

Sepiatone

Hopefully those local bands' guitar players knew and used bar-chords;  moving up a half-step is simple,  but with those cowboy open chords;  well,  that is another story! 

PS:   Many producers would speed up songs and thus they would be slightly 'off-key';   there is no such concept as "wrong key" for jazz musicians,  but instead what key the band leader wishes to play the song in.     This is a debate I have with some of my ignorant rock buddies who join us for a jam;  they will complain we are playing the song in the 'wrong key' (as in different then some original recording they learned the song from).    I remind them,  YET AGAIN,   that we intentionally chose the said key, because that is the key the singer wanted,  and therefore it can NOT be "WRONG" by definition!!!!!

  

 

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I hope all you guys talking about the 150% speed (or whatnot) sounding like Alvin & The Chipmunks are either joking or just don't know.  That would be a mockery of the viewer, as technology has been in place (especially in the digital realm) to time-compress audio without changing the pitch.  Think about that fast-talking disclaimer guy at the end of all those pharmaceutical ads that state death may result, or if you don't watch establishment media I can't blame you.

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8 minutes ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

I hope all you guys talking about the 150% speed (or whatnot) sounding like Alvin & The Chipmunks are either joking or just don't know.  That would be a mockery of the viewer, as technology has been in place (especially in the digital realm) to time-compress audio without changing the pitch.  Think about that fast-talking disclaimer guy at the end of all those pharmaceutical ads that state death may result, or if you don't watch establishment media I can't blame you.

So if someone watches a video at 150%, the audio will not change pitch? The examples you cite are off-screen voice overs. How will that work when you are watching the characters' mouths move while speaking dialogue? Is the pitch-correction something that's done in real-time via a program, or will the provider (Netflix for example) have to post each film/TV show with different audio tracks, one for normal speed and one for increased speed but adjusted for pitch and to match the mouth (no Godzilla dubbing effect)? 

And btw, the one example that I've heard of an audio book sped up, the voices were higher pitched. Not Alvin high, but higher than normal.

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

So if someone watches a video at 150%, the audio will not change pitch? The examples you cite are off-screen voice overs. How will that work when you are watching the characters' mouths move while speaking dialogue? Is the pitch-correction something that's done in real-time via a program, or will the provider (Netflix for example) have to post each film/TV show with different audio tracks, one for normal speed and one for increased speed but adjusted for pitch and to match the mouth (no Godzilla dubbing effect)? 

And btw, the one example that I've heard of an audio book sped up, the voices were higher pitched. Not Alvin high, but higher than normal.

It is certainly possible, how do you think they speed it up like that in post. It would involve resampling and processing.  Nothing at all interesting about that, but rather than use that extra code in the player on the customer's computer to assemble it in real time, alternate audio tracks prepared ahead of time with automation on Netflixs' end would go even smoother given the marginal equipment that consumers so often expect to "just work" on their end.

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Of those scheduled: Wednesday, October 30, 2019:

The Saint in New York (1938) I feel this movie is a little more hardcore than the later Saint movies made by RKO. Louis Hayward is so boyishly charming and yet so very believable as a cold and calculating murderer. Perhaps that is wrong because he is less 'murderer' than he is 'assassin'. The contrast between soft and stark scenes is amazing. It is of passing interest to me that this is the earliest movie in which I have seen the set used as Hutch's office. It appears in several other movies of the era.

Penguin Pool Murder (1932) and Murder on a Honeymoon (1935) are quite wonderful. Edna May Oliver and James Gleason had great chemistry and were truly equals in being able to dish it out and to take it. I believe that all of the Hildegarde Withers movies were quite short and sweet. 

Fog Over Frisco (1934) is one of my favorite Bette Davis movies. She clearly shows why she became a star. 

Cat People (1942) I do not know what to say of this because I doubt any person who loves classic movies has not watched it and formed their own opinion.

Mark of the Vampire (1935) I love fun little murder mysteries and I feel that this is one of the best. 

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To answer the OP

Some of the Bowery Boys movies fit this shorter time slot.  Also I thought of a handful of more obscure Frankie Darro and Mantan Moreland mystery-comedies.

Speaking of Bowery Boys, there is one airing this month that doesn't come up that often.  It is High Society (1955) on Nov 2 on the TCM schedule..  Not to be confused with the way-overplayed Bing Crosby movie of the same/similar year.  Every time I see that other one come up, I think of this one.  Hopefully it plays as scheduled.

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23 hours ago, SansFin said:

Of those scheduled: Wednesday, October 30, 2019:

The Saint in New York (1938) I feel this movie is a little more hardcore than the later Saint movies made by RKO. Louis Hayward is so boyishly charming and yet so very believable as a cold and calculating murderer. Perhaps that is wrong because he is less 'murderer' than he is 'assassin'. The contrast between soft and stark scenes is amazing. It is of passing interest to me that this is the earliest movie in which I have seen the set used as Hutch's office. It appears in several other movies of the era.

Penguin Pool Murder (1932) and Murder on a Honeymoon (1935) are quite wonderful. Edna May Oliver and James Gleason had great chemistry and were truly equals in being able to dish it out and to take it. I believe that all of the Hildegarde Withers movies were quite short and sweet. 

Fog Over Frisco (1934) is one of my favorite Bette Davis movies. She clearly shows why she became a star. 

Cat People (1942) I do not know what to say of this because I doubt any person who loves classic movies has not watched it and formed their own opinion.

Mark of the Vampire (1935) I love fun little murder mysteries and I feel that this is one of the best. 

I just love "Fog Over Frisco." Great for Bette and one of her many pairings with Margaret Lindsay. As for "Penguin Pool" and "Murder on a Honeymoon"  --  Edna May absolutely rocks (James Gleason, too!)

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To answer OP :    24 HOURS (1931) Clive Brook, Kay Francis, Miriam Hopkins

                          2 SECONDS (1932) Edward G. Robinson

I don't have TCM anymore, so doubt these are on the schedule, but both of these are really impressive films IMO.

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The Westerns that Budd Boetticher made with Randolph Scott tend to fall into this category. Some of my favorites are Ride Lonesome (1959), The Tall T (1957), and Seven Men From Now (1956).

Other 'short and sweet' films worth seeing that haven't been mentioned yet:
Five Came Back (1939) - 73 minutes
Dillinger (1945) - 70 minutes
Thirteen Women (1932) - 59 minutes
Freaks (1932) - 64 minutes
The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932) - 68 minutes
The Lost Patrol (1934) - 73 minutes

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On 10/26/2019 at 2:13 PM, SansFin said:

Mark of the Vampire (1935) I love fun little murder mysteries and I feel that this is one of the best. 

this film will forever hold a special place in my heart.

ps- check out the quote over my avatar

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while we're on it, THE WOLF MAN (1941) is, as I recall, an hour and ten minutes long.

(there was some deleted footage- including an encounter with a bear)

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17 hours ago, Spritz Nipper said:

The Westerns that Budd Boetticher made with Randolph Scott tend to fall into this category. Some of my favorites are Ride Lonesome (1959), The Tall T (1957), and Seven Men From Now (1956).

Other 'short and sweet' films worth seeing that haven't been mentioned yet:
Five Came Back (1939) - 73 minutes
Dillinger (1945) - 70 minutes
Thirteen Women (1932) - 59 minutes
Freaks (1932) - 64 minutes
The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932) - 68 minutes
The Lost Patrol (1934) - 73 minutes

"Five Came Back" and "Thirteen Women" are among my favorites, too!

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