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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> If only Claudette hadn't cried her way through so much of the movie. And I really like her.

 

I have always loved Claudette.... and she DID do a lot of "bawlin'" in this one, didn't she, ha. But you know she FINALLY got some backbone... eventually. I like how her character progressed. (and golly wasn't she just gorgeous???)

 

> Someday we are going to have to a Ford/Fonda - Ford/Wayne discussion on the differences and

> similarities, if any, on the films.

 

Oh wow, now that would be a chat for sure. Wayne and Fonda were both such different sorts of men and they played such completely different sorts of characters in the various Ford films they were in. I think Ford must have had a knack for bringing out the best in both of them.. but just in different ways.

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One thing does speak noir to me: a beautiful, dark, lethal, femme fatale, whose a little bit crazy, quite remorsefel, very sexy and gets her just desserts. And to me, boy, that is Jean Simmons in spades. She has jet black hair and gleaming coal black eyes you drown in; her eyes draw you in like black holes and shreds and purees you down to atomic particles. It can be exquisitely painful for a leading man.

 

?ANGEL FACE? stars Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Herbert Marshall, Mona Freeman and Barbara O?Neill and is ably directed by Otto Preminger ("Laura? ?The Man With the Golden Arm? ?Anatomy of a Murder? etc). Preminger doesn?t do anything wild and crazy and flamboyant in his direction; just good solid controlled storytelling. I enjoyed watching Jean Simmons weave and wend her way through this story, spinning her spider?s web with fatal accuracy. I liked watching Mitchum with her. Jean tells us herself what her (character?s) m.o. is:

 

?I know how to get things out of people. I ask a lot of questions. It?s a habit of mine. People are so accustomed to it they answer without even thinking why I want to know.?

 

Both Simmons and Mitchum concurrently tip their hand and make mistakes in this movie. The first indication that something is off with Simmons is while there?s all this ruckus of the police and EMS ambulance at her house due to a gas leak in O?Neill?s bedroom, Simmons plays her piano cooly, calmly, unaffectedly. She only breaks down when she finds out her step-mother will be okay. (She doesn?t take the news well). Mitchum is one of the EMS people who happens upon Simmons. When she goes into a fit of hysterics he slaps her. She smacks him back (hard). I guess a guy needs a good smack in the face to start the ?falling in love? engine. Jean jumps into her sportster and becomes an ambulance chaser following Mitchum to the hospital. He?s intrigued and breaks a date with his girlfriend (Mona Freeman) by lying to her. (Noir Guy Mistake #1).

 

The raison d?etre for Jean as lethal lady is her Electra complex. We can see father and daughter are close as they have a conspiratorial chuckle at O?Neill?s expense, and the way she waits on him. A brief aside: Herbert Marshall always seems to be given the loveliest of screen daughters in his movies; Teresa Wright (?The Little Foxes?) and Jennifer Jones (?Duel In The Sun?) are two that come readily to mind. I feel kind of bad for step-mother (O?Neill). She?s kind of made to look like the bad guy, and she has that prickly air of a woman with money...disappointed by love who probably knowingly marries a man who doesn?t love her. She did a good job subtly showing her disappoint-

ment when Marshall asks her to pay for a dress he?s bought for Jean. It?s your thankless role for middle-age actresses (she was so beautiful as Scarlett O?Hara?s mother in ?Gone With the Wind?), but it's the impetus for the plot in ?ANGEL FACE.?

 

In quick order and in a ?brazen hussy? move, Simmons has lunch with Mitchum?s girlfriend (Mona Freeman) and is honest about being with Mitchum. Freeman is a smart cookie and sees through Simmons? ruse of wanting to donate money towards Mitchum?s dream of opening a garage. I?m glad to see they wrote Freeman?s character smart and not a meely-mouthed girl. I liked the frank talk between the two women who both have their sights on the big hunk of post-war man. While Jean is truthful with Mona, Mitchum is not and this gets him into trouble. The double whammy is that Jean is truthful to Mitchum about her being truthful with Mona. I found that a head-spinner.

 

Jean continues to --tighten the noose-- uhmmmm, spin her web around Mitchum by suggesting to her father that the family could use a chauffeur; then poses that suggestion to Mitchum. He?s reluctant at first but Jean throws herself into the bargain, along with sweetening the deal when she says her step-mother might be amenable to financing his business venture. Jean is just the way I like my lethal ladies...M-A-N-I-P-U-L-A-T-I-V-E. Jean comes to Mitchum with his business plan crumpled and picked out of O?Neill?s garbage can. Oh no... not for one minute do I believe O?Neill threw the plan away. I think that?s allllllllllllll Jeannie. She?s ?heart - broken? that the deal won?t work out with mean ol? O?Neill. Every little plan or scheme or hurt or slight she can muster to relate to Mitchum is batted down by him with his insouciant practical...practicality.

 

?So she fires me. I?ll get another job.?

 

Jean can?t quite pin him down. He keeps kind of slipping from her web. I love this guy, but he does seem to get into an awful lot of scrapes with the ladies in his films. Now she wants to cool down the relationship: (Hot, Then Cold: MANIPULATION 101). He doesn?t put up much of a fight (Does Mitchum ever??) If this goes true-to-form in the psychology of cinematic love/lust, this should serve to only make Mitchum want Jean more. There she goes again...off in a trance at that darned piano, playing that dirge. And while it seems Jean can?t pin Mitchum down...he actually just goes where the wind blows. Not with real smarts and purpose, but b?cuz, given a slight hiatus from Jean...he calls Mona up again. But she?s not there. Well, he?ll say he?s a ?free agent? but I?m thinking he can?t make up his mind between the affable easy-going blonde or the black widow?s daughter.

 

Now he?s back trying to talk to Mona (oy vey!) when he is able to reach her. I love his nonchalant, flat affect when he talks to her, acting coy about his involvement with Jean but wanting to get back with Mona:

 

MITCHUM: ?What?s the score Mary? Has Bill taken over or do I still rate??

 

FREEMAN: ?That?s a hard question to answer, Frank; and I don?t think a fair one to ask.?

 

I really Mona?s character in this film. She?s the opposite of Jean; not cryptic but straightforward. She?s regular, not mysterious. And she?s not wimpy like the girl Mitchum had in ?Out of the Past.? What?s not to like. Tsk! It?s so hard to figure out why men like to play with fire. What is it about the flame that pulls the moth close to it? Pulls it to certain death? The heat? The pretty colors (or colours as we say in Canada, Oklahoma)? There's no contest I reckon, between Jean Simmons and Mona Freeman. Jean's very seductive with her overbite, whispery voice and faint British accent. But Mitchum is smart enough to understand that there?s something wrong with Jean. He packs his duds, trying to get the heck out of Dodge (or Tombstone). Jean gives him her father?s sob story with life with step-mother: ?...she?s humiliated him and destroyed him. There?s never been anything in my life that she hasn?t begrudged or spoiled in some way.? She wants him to take her with him. Mitchum decides to stay. Doh!!! (Noir Guy Mistake #2).

 

Uh-oh, Jean?s at the piano again playing that crazy haunting dirge. You know what that means...

somebody?s in danger. And this time, it?s not who she expects. Fate plays the cruelest of tricks on her.

 

YAY!!!! I HAVE A THERESA HARRIS SIGHTING!!! She plays the nurse who tends to Jean who?s in the hospital for shock, at the news of the death of her parents. For a lethal lady, she is remarkably honest. She wants to tell the truth about the circumstances surrounding her parents? death but her good and shrewd lawyer, played by Leon Ames, lets her know: ?The truth is what the jury decides.? And with juris prudence as a witness...the lawyer recommends Jean and Mitchum marry. Happily ever after...everyone gets what they want, right?

 

This is Preminger. This is noir. Ish. When unwilling accomplices get together no good can come of it. (See ?The Postman Always Rings Twice?). Maybe I?m as much a mug as any denizen of film noir but I believe her remorse and repentance. I believe her when she says: ?I would give my life gladly to bring them back. Both of them.? She explains why she did what she did. But Mitchum can be a flat out cold s.o.b. (NOW you choose to be a flat-out cold s.o.b., Mitch? That instinct earlier in the movie would have saved your life). But I love how Jean goes from being devoid of any emotion to seductive. A lethal lady?s got to know when to shift gears:

 

SIMMONS: ?Please don?t leave me. I wouldn?t know what to do with my life with out you.?

 

MITCHUM: ?Oh you?ll make out. You?re in the clear now. You don?t need me anymore.?

 

SIMMONS: ?We?ve gone through all of this together.?

 

MITCHUM: ?We?ve gone through all of this together because a smart lawyer had his jury figured right and for no other reason. Don?t try to make anything else of it!?

 

Mitchum is funny. He?s taken in by a raven-haired dame with his eyes wide shut and now he?s **** because he?s been had. Fellas, you can?t have it both ways. You can?t have a Mona Freeman or Teresa Wright or a Cathy O?Donnell or Donna Reed or Gail Russell waiting at home while you kiss a ten-alarm fire breathing femme fatale like Jean or Gene or Lana or Linda or Lizabeth or Rita or Gloria or Yvonne or Ava, get third degree burns and then start b*tching and crying about how hot the fire is. Nope, noir doesn?t work that way. (And I think, neither does real life).

 

But I enjoy Mitchum?s indignation and defense (now??) of Mona:

 

MITCHUM: "What do you know about a girl like Mary? You don?t even think the same.?

 

SIMMONS: ?No, and we don?t love the same either...You couldn?t hate anybody who love you as much as I do.?

 

MITCHUM: ?No, I don?t hate you but I?m getting out just the same.?

 

Oh no he?s not. Men are so fickle. I see them saying[/i]...?why you could even touch the hem of my wife?s skirt!!! Now kiss me you fool.?[/i] < Sigh >

 

I love how Mitchum runs back to Mona...YET AGAIN! He almost acts like he?s doing HER a favor.

I have to say again, I really like Mona Freeman?s character in this movie. It?s kind of alluded that they?ve slept together. I like her intense look. She was pretty and had delicate features, kind of a cross between Grace Kelly and Anne Francis. Freeman has some backbone here. I guess she must if she?s going to send Mitchum off to his doom:

 

FREEMAN: ?Frank with you I?d always be worrying. Because there are a lot of Dianes around.

I want a marriage, not a competition. I want a husband not a trophy I?d have to defend over

and over again. Maybe you would keep coming back. But that?s not for me.?

 

I liked how the movie handled the somewhat-triangle between Mitchum-Freeman and nice guy Kenneth Tobey. Tobey and Freeman felt right together (like Sam Levene & Virginia Christine in ?The Killers.?) I really liked how Kenneth Tobey played the ?rebound? suitor. He fought for Free-man in a quiet way & stood up to Mitchum. But really Mitchum is no match for a man who fought beasts from 20,000 fathoms or a thing or an octopus who came from beneath. No match at all.

 

Because Mitchum?s so laid back, so cool, it?s hard to feel if he feels ANY emotions about losing Mona Freeman for good. That?s kind of the Achilles heel of his acting, but I love him in spite of it

(or b?cuz of it). I liked Jean's quiet crazy comtemplative moment of walking through her big empty house. I guess it's just a chance for Preminger to linger on her. She's really quite beautiful and does pick up the baton from where Vivien Leigh has left off. And again, as this femme fatale, she really is remorseful. Oh what she did was premeditated murder. But she has come to see the er-

ror of her ways. Confession is good for the soul...but bad for an acquittal. She confesses to her lawyer. He gives her a good strong dose of legal advice...free of charge:

 

"Once you've been tried for a crime and acquitted, you can never be tried again. Or punished for it. The law calls it 'double jeopardy.' You can sign that statement a dozen times, in front of a dozen witnesses. You can shout it from the house tops, read it over the radio. And there isn't a thing anyone can do about it. No I'll take that back. There is one thing. They'd probably put you in an insane asylum. Do you want that?"

 

If the law won't make her pay, and her lover refuses to stay with her...there's only one thing she can do. A real femme fatale takes matters into her own hands and Jean does. If you haven't, give this movie a second chance.

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I really enjoyed your review of ANGEL FACE, Miss Maven! I enjoyed it more than I remember enjoying the movie!

 

I especially love what you wrote here, which encapsulates the whole movie for me:

 

Because Mitchum?s so laid back, so cool, it?s hard to feel if he feels ANY emotions about losing Mona Freeman for good. That?s kind of the Achilles heel of his acting, but I love him in spite of it

(or b?cuz of it). I liked Jean's quiet crazy comtemplative moment of walking through her big empty house. I guess it's just a chance for Preminger to linger on her. She's really quite beautiful and does pick up the baton from where Vivien Leigh has left off. And again, as this femme fatale, she really is remorseful. Oh what she did was premeditated murder. But she has come to see the er-

ror of her ways. Confession is good for the soul...but bad for an acquittal. She confesses to her lawyer. He gives her a good strong dose of legal advice...free of charge:

 

"Once you've been tried for a crime and acquitted, you can never be tried again. Or punished for it. The law calls it 'double jeopardy.' You can sign that statement a dozen times, in front of a dozen witnesses. You can shout it from the house tops, read it over the radio. And there isn't a thing anyone can do about it. No I'll take that back. There is one thing. They'd probably put you in an insane asylum. Do you want that?"

 

If the law won't make her pay, and her lover refuses to stay with her...there's only one thing she can do. A real femme fatale takes matters into her own hands and Jean does. If you haven't, give this movie a second chance.

 

You pegged Mitchum and Simmons perfectly, as well as hit on the hardest part for me to swallow: the ending. It just seemed like one of those tacked-on endings, ripped off of Out of the Past because the censors had to make Diane pay for her crime. Why Mitchum had to pay for it, too, I don't know. It seemed crazy. I would rather he'd have had to feel the loss of Mona Freeman and Diane and left to "wander between the winds" for shooting Mona's eyes out. Yes, it's not a good idea for me to impose my Fordian ideals in the noir universe. :D

 

I also like what you wrote about the whole "moth to the flame" aspect of Mitchum's attraction for Diane, vs. his wanting to play it safe with Mona. And I, too, liked Mona too much not to be seriously annoyed by Mitchum's straying for a psycho broad. I guess it's physical---I think Mitchum's hooked by Diana sexually, whereas Mona doesn't thrill him that way. The usual story.

 

I tend to confuse this movie with the one Mitchum made with Faith Domergue, where he also played a doctor who falls for a femme fatale. I forget the title of that one.

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Maven, I cannot tell you how much I love your review of ANGEL FACE -- you can weave pretty hypnotic webs yourself, deliriously passionate cinematic odes that celebrate your love of movies as well as your own laser-like critical analyses. Like Miss Goddess, I enjoyed reading this more than the movie itself, which for me suffers because I didn't get any chemistry between Mitchum and Simmons (although he had it with Mona ironically) and because the second half doesn't live up to the promise of the first in terms of pace and tension, as well as I didn't quite buy Jean's version of remorse. ANGEL FACE comes more alive in your hands than Preminger's. (and I generally like his work)

 

Your descriptions of all the major characters are just terrific, and I so agree with you on how much in terms of subtle intensity and piquant yet dark magnetism Jean resembles Viven Leigh.

 

My favorite line is from Jean: "I parked my broomstick outside".

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on May 22, 2010 11:15 PM

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On the mark, Miss Maven! And Jean did resemble Vivien Leigh, but her portrayals are obviously so much different, but I've always felt the resemblence, Bronxie.

 

Their talents were so diverse.

 

I love the line about the women "who both have their sights on the big hunk of post-war man."

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Hi there. I would agree SueSue, Leigh's and Simmons' portrayals of character are so very dif-ferent. But I do find their look resembled each other with the slight difference of Leigh's being delicate and Simmons looked much more...hmmm...earthy.

 

< MISS GODDESS writes > ?I really enjoyed your review of ?ANGEL FACE?, Miss Maven! I enjoyed it more than I remember enjoying the movie!?

 

Whoa and double ?whoa!? Thank you so much Miss G.

 

?You pegged Mitchum and Simmons perfect-ly, as well as hit on the hardest part for me to swallow: the ending. It just seemed like one of those tacked-on endings, ripped off of 'Out of

the Past' because the censors had to make Diane pay for her crime.?

 

Yes ma?am, I really see how you say this, but something struck me in this last viewing of the film. I felt Diane (Jean Simmons) was really broken up about...what she did. I especially thought when she went to her lawyer to make her confession, she was really sincere about wanting to get rid of the burden on her conscience. (But I could be wrong). I think I can smell a ?tacked on? (it stinks to high heaven) Hollywood ending from a mile away. But somehow (in my crazy addled cinemaholic brain) I thought Diane was sincere in her remorse.

 

?Why Mitchum had to pay for it, too, I don't know. It seemed crazy.?

 

This I understand as well, as crazy as it seems. He HAD to pay b?cuz though he didn?t push daddy and Mommy dearest off he climb, he didn?t take the escape routes that opened for him; at one point in the movie, he was even packed to leave. And then got sidetracked.

 

?I tend to confuse this movie with the one Mitchum made with Faith Domergue, where he also played a doctor who falls for a femme fatale. I forget the title of that one.?

 

The title of that Mitchum - Domergue film is ?WHERE DANGER LIVES.? And you?re right...Mitchum is involved with another psycho challenged brunette.

 

< BRONXGIRL writes > ?Maven, I cannot tell you how much I love your review of ANGEL FACE -- you can weave pretty hypnotic webs yourself, deliriously passionate cinematic odes that celebrate your love of movies as well as your own laser-like critical analyses.?[/b]

 

I?m ashamed to admit, I live for the praise from you real Message Board cinemaniacs.

 

?I didn't get any chemistry between Mitchum and Simmons (although he had it with Mona ironically) and because the second half doesn't live up to the promise of the first in terms of pace and tension...?

 

Their chemistry (kisses) seemed very genuine to me. Perhaps you didn?t feel the chemistry b?cuz Mitchum?s blood pressure never seems to raise to an obvious appreciable amount with any of his leading ladies?cuz he?s sooooo ?too cool for school.?

 

?ANGEL FACE comes more alive in your hands than Preminger's. (and I generally like his work).?

 

As an indie filmmaker...I want that on my tombstone. Thanx Bronxie.

 

(Now for something slightly different)...I had breakfast this morning in a very nice Brooklyn Heights restaurant on Montague Street. When I entered I saw there were some movie pictures on the wall. Oh yes, the typical fare was there, Ralph & Alice in "The Honeymooner" Bogie and Bergman in "Casablanca", some Three Stooges & W.C.Field shots. No biggie. But near my table, when my order of eggs benedict came (a nod to you Miss G.) ...what dropped my fork was seeing these lobby cards (if I'm using the proper terminology) from "The Shrike" "Once Upon A Horse" and "Back From Eternity."

 

Movies are alive and kickin' out there.

 

(And now for a bit of movie trivia):

 

(*) Deborah Kerr + Robert Mitchum = "HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON"

(*) Robert Mitchum + Jean Simmons = "ANGEL FACE"

(*) Jean Simmons + Deborah Kerr = "YOUNG BESS"

(*) Deborah Kerr + Cary Grant = "DREAM WIFE" and "AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER"

(*) Cary Grant Deborah Kerr Robert Mitchum + Jean Simmons= "THE GRASS IS GREENER"

 

Okay okay, alright already... I'm ready for my strait jacket now.

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Right now I'm watching Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and I can't help myself, it keeps reminding me of Mel Brooks' High Anxiety!

 

Constance Towers is excellent. It's weird to see her in a role like this.

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Pardon me if I step in here quickly folks... Miss G... I just want to thank you SO very (so, so very) much for the tip on Four Sons earlier this evening.

 

OH my goodness. (sigh) I don't even want to THINK about the implications this will have on any sort of "favorites" list I may have.. somebody somewhere is going to have to get "bumped" to make way for this film on my list now. Oh me... (and ps.. thanks for the tip on stocking up on the TISSUES too... did I mention, "oh me"?) I am still fighting back some of the emotions w/this film... when she is saying good bye to her youngest son on the train.. ugh.. where is the tissue.. I have tears all over again, just thinking about it..

 

I know I usually pay my secretaries in chocolate.. but OH golly.. it has been so warm here lately.. and these strawberries just looked so refreshing... So enjoy kiddo.. you CERTAINLY have earned it this time around to be sure.

 

Thanks again for the great tip... So I will stop for now.. sorry to interupt here.. please folks, go back to Angel Face...

 

(And enjoy your icecream little gal! ) :D

 

strawberry_sundae2.jpg

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rohanaka,

 

What you didn't hear. The original theme from FOUR SONS Fox Movie-Tone score. With the vintage scoring track, this is one of the finest movies ever made.At the time of it's release the music and effects track was an integral part of the film, and it was never intended to be seen without it. Hence, all the same selections were provided for live Orchestra. I'm going to try to get away with posting a few clips with the original music on TCM Classic Film Union later today. Wish me luck.

 

 

http://fan.tcm.com/_Four-Sons-1928-Little-Mother-Theme-Mutterchen-Vocals-By-Vaughn-De-Leath-Composition-Erno-Repee39-Lew-Pollack/audio/698436/66470.html?b=

 

http://fan.tcm.com/_Four-Sons-1928-Little-Mother-Ending-Segment-Lew-Pollack-Erno-Rapee/audio/699420/66470.html

 

 

PHOTO_9221175_66470_8093159_main.jpg

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Oh great, gagman... just as I was almost getting my emotions back in check from watching this last night, you have to come along w/ MORE stuff to make me cry.. (sigh) :-)

 

You know, I think this film would be as good for Mother's Day as it is for Memorial Day... it is such a beautiful story of a mother's love.. and her sons' love for her in return as well.

 

Thanks for the links... very endearing music.

 

Edited by: rohanaka on May 31, 2010 12:40 PM

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So FOUR SONS did a number on your waterworks, too? I watched it last night, I was going to go to sleep but I just couldn't resist. I hadn't seen it in a couple of years but it still had the same power to reduce me to tears. I don't think Ford left an emotional card unturned.

 

Thank you for the additional insights into the scoring, gagman. :)

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rohanaka ,

 

Yes, I uploaded the melodies from *FOUR SONS* on and for Mother's Day. Not for Memorial Day. I agree that is when it should have been shown. TCM was originally going to air *WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926),* but Fox reported no broadcast master. I suggested to Chuck Tabesh back in Mid March that *SEVENTH HEAVEN* or *FOUR SONS* would be very good good replacements. Still hope to see *SEVENTH HEAVEN* and *WHAT PRICE GLORY?* on TCM sometime soon. As well as *LILAC TIME.*

 

*FOUR SONS* centers around the war, though there isn't much War actually in it at all. So I can see some people complaining that it is not really a war picture. All I can say is, doesn't matter it is still a great film. And this is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. *WHAT PRICE GLORY?* on the other hand is a War picture with Epic Battle scenes. People should have seen enough of those since Thursday that they had their fill.

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So FOUR SONS did a number on your waterworks, too?

 

Oh April.. it is such a beautiful film... the story.. images... characters... everything. I love the way Ford mingled humor with the sorrow... and great beauty with the tragedy of war all at the same time.

 

What a model that Mother Bernle was. OH how she loved her sons.. each and every one and she KNEW them too, their character and their personality... and she let them each be their own man.

 

And OH how they loved and cherished her in return..

 

OH golly.. give me the tissue again... for pete's sake.

 

PS: gagman... I agree... Mother's Day, Memorial Day... good gravy even Grounhog Day.. this film is worth seeing no matter what.

 

Edited by: rohanaka on May 31, 2010 2:46 PM

 

Edited by: rohanaka on May 31, 2010 3:30 PM

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rohanaka,

 

Well, apparently allot of people were still expecting WHAT PRICE GLORY? and plenty anxious to see it. As it is currently the number 5 most popular search on the TCM Movie Data Base. I just hope these same folks watched FOUR SONS if they had not seen it before.

 

Hold on to the tissues, because I am uploading the "Dying Soldier Sequence" right now with the original Movie-tone track on TCM Classic Film Union. Hope they allow it to be viewed. I freely admit that the sequence is so powerful that it never fails to reduce me to a shambles. I'll add a couple more scenes later.

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Thank you so much for posting that, Jeff. It really tore me up. It is MUCH more powerful with the original track---and I wouldn't have thought that possible. I couldn't hear "Mutterchen!" when I watched it last night, so I was even more moved to hear it in this version. What an amazing scene, filled with SO many emotions...there's even a moment while he's holding his dead brother and his American comrades are approaching where you can see a momentary hatred in his eyes, as though he might suddenly turn on those boys, one of whom made the shot that killed his brother. But, what if the one who shot him...was himself? What a movie!

 

Thanks again for posting that scene at TCMU (I added a comment).

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(Oh bah, gagman.. I can't get your clip to play.. I think it is my doofy computer. I will keep trying though. It sounds very poignant, to be sure)

 

Hiya Miss G:

 

What an amazing scene, filled with SO many emotions...there's even a moment while he's holding his dead brother and his American comrades are approaching where you can see a momentary hatred in his eyes, as though he might suddenly turn on those boys, one of whom made the shot that killed his brother. But, what if the one who shot him...was himself?

 

OH, that's it exactly. The whole aspect of the dual emotions he must have felt just took that scene to a completely different level. I found the segment of the story you mentioned above really heartwrenching in the way the individual people became seperate from the two indivdual "armies". More than any other film on "war" that I can recall, I thought Ford did a particulary good job of stripping away the various "sides" of the two armies... and just focused on what we all have in common as PEOPLE instead.

 

This film did such a good job of seperating the "cause" for fighting from the people who were caught up in the fight. I liked how the faceless voice of the unknown "poor devil" calling out "Mutterchen" made Joseph's friend (or was it Joseph?) stop and think how even the enemy has "a mother" who loves them. It truly did bring out the human aspect of how we are really all the same, despite the things that make us different) And then... sob.. (spoiler territory here) to have Joseph discover that poor devil was his brother... oh me.

 

It was really hard for me to reconcile all the emotions I had watching it all play out. There I was feeling so sad w/ all the German soldiers lying around, finding out one of them was Andreas.. and yet to be so proud of our "boys over there" as they went forward into that fog. It made you really empathize with Joseph all the more.

 

This really wasn't a "war movie" as gagman has pointed out.. but the wartime scenes do sort of drive all the other parts of the story at least for a time. And all throughout the portions where they focus on the war as a part of the story, I felt the mother's pride in her sons as they were marching away.. and the pride the two older boys had in their "fatherland" too. And I also felt the "national" pride from all the people in the town as well. And it suprises me to admit, if only for a moment.. I was on their side. (and that makes NO sense to me at all.. because in EVERY other WW1 film I can ever remember.. I am rooting ONLY for our boys) But then I TOTALLY related to the guy in Joseph's shop as he was telling him what was what w/ regard to those "Heinies" and I was cheering along w/ him as he gives Joseph the send off in the street as he is leaving to enlist. It really had me struggling inside as I started sorting out the implications of it all from both points of view. Very unusual feelings for me with this story

 

But I will say that one thing that DID help me to come back to my usual line of thinking, at least with regard to that war in general (and what to think of which side, etc) was that the commander was SO evil... you KNEW what you wanted to happen to HIM. OH my golly the way he went after the mother.. and treated her (and her family's sacrifice in the war effort) so disrespectfully and then ROBBED her of her last remaing son (the last remaining one at home, anyway) OH, what a fitting end to HIS story.. he got off FAR better than he deserved. So along with all the conflicting emotions I had, there was some honest reflection on what side was the "good" and which was the "bad" in terms of how the story was told as well. I liked that the story adds that aspect to it all too.

 

A very unexpected and extremely moving story.. all told from a very human point of view. Again, I can't thank you enough, little lady for giving me the heads up on this one.

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rohanaka,

 

I'm sorry. Just click on what looks like the pause button a couple times, and it should start to play back. Used to be that the videos would start playing once you reached the page automatically This is no longer the case. You can also try the same method on this clip from WINGS

 

http://fan.tcm.com/_The-Departure-From-WINGS-1927/video/1077415/66470.html

 

 

Let me know it is works.

 

Missgoddess,

 

I just added you as a friend on TCM Classic Film Union.

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> OH, that's it exactly. The whole aspect of the dual emotions he must have felt just took that scene to a completely different level. I found the segment of the story you mentioned above really heartwrenching in the way the individual people became seperate from the two indivdual "armies". More than any other film on "war" that I can recall, I thought Ford did a particulary good job of stripping away the various "sides" of the two armies... and just focused on what we all have in common as PEOPLE instead.

>

 

You said it! Suddenly, it was just all so impersonal, it was the insanity of human destruction and there were no "sides". The fog swirling around really emphasized this feeling that they were in "no man's land"---literally.

 

I also liked how, for the only time I can recall, Ford used "big head" close-ups on the soldier lads to show their reactions when they first heard "Mutterchen!" It pulled you in and it made their reactions all the more powerful. Ford does use close-ups, though sparingly, but I've never seen him do a series of such tight ones like that. This sounds crazy, but it reminded me of some of the war themed episodes of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone".

 

> This film did such a good job of seperating the "cause" for fighting from the people who were caught up in the fight. I liked how the faceless voice of the unknown "poor devil" calling out "Mutterchen" made Joseph's friend (or was it Joseph?) stop and think how even the enemy has "a mother" who loves them. It truly did bring out the human aspect of how we are really all the same, despite the things that make us different) And then... sob.. (spoiler territory here) to have Joseph discover that poor devil was his brother... oh me.

>

 

That was Ford's close friend Jack Pennick who made that comment. He was in just about all of Pappy's movies, often in non-speaking roles, or playing a bar man.

 

> This really wasn't a "war movie" as gagman has pointed out.. but the wartime scenes do sort of drive all the other parts of the story at least for a time. And all throughout the portions where they focus on the war as a part of the story, I felt the mother's pride in her sons as they were marching away.. and the pride the two older boys had in their "fatherland" too. And I also felt the "national" pride from all the people in the town as well. And it suprises me to admit, if only for a moment.. I was on their side. (and that makes NO sense to me at all.. because in EVERY other WW1 film I can ever remember.. I am rooting ONLY for our boys) But then I TOTALLY related to the guy in Joseph's shop as he was telling him what was what w/ regard to those "Heinies" and I was cheering along w/ him as he gives Joseph the send off in the street as he is leaving to enlist. It really had me struggling inside as I started sorting out the implications of it all from both points of view. Very unusual feelings for me with this story

>

 

Didn't it seem like the guy in Joseph's shop at first was all for the German soldiers, before America entered the war, and then when Joseph went off to enlist, he was for the Americans? Maybe I'm wrong but I thought it was an interesting twist.

 

> But I will say that one thing that DID help me to come back to my usual line of thinking, at least with regard to that war in general (and what to think of which side, etc) was that the commander was SO evil... you KNEW what you wanted to happen to HIM. OH my golly the way he went after the mother.. and treated her (and her family's sacrifice in the war effort) so disrespectfully and then ROBBED her of her last remaing son (the last remaining one at home, anyway) OH, what a fitting end to HIS story.. he got off FAR better than he deserved. So along with all the conflicting emotions I had, there was some honest reflection on what side was the "good" and which was the "bad" in terms of how the story was told as well. I liked that the story adds that aspect to it all too.

>

 

That evil captain was played by a real-life Austrian aristocrat and boy, did he do a great job playing a you-know-what.

 

Besides the "November 9th" scene, the other one that really was hard to watch was when that creep conscripted Andreas and had them shave his head. Did you think that this scene sort of eerily foreshadowed the Nazi camps that were to come in the next war?

 

> A very unexpected and extremely moving story.. all told from a very human point of view. Again, I can't thank you enough, little lady for giving me the heads up on this one.

 

I'm so glad you liked it. :)

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MissGoddess,

 

Thanks. Hope they get it going. What makes the sequence all the more gut-wrenching is Andreas dies, just as the war is coming to a close. A few more hours and word may have reached the front. He might have been spared.

 

Did you check out the clip from *WINGS?* Also posted three from *WHAT PRICE GLORY?* last week. Please comment on all my vids when you have time.

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As quiet and as calm as that scene is, it took a lot of people to make it. I was impressed with the dolly pullers and pushers. They had to follow the guy across the field and they had to stop when he stumbled and slowed down. And the camera operator (the guy behind the camera) had to keep the camera aimed at him, while the dolly pushers sometimes lagged behind and sometimes got ahead of him.

 

Then there was the chief cameraman who helped the director set up the scene. The director who directed it. The lighting technicians who carefully lit it, mostly with soft backlight. And the set decorators who put all that grass or wheat in just the right places. And the wardrobe people.

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