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What Are You Watching Now?


FredCDobbs
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365 Nights in Hollywood​--never heard of this 1934 musical comedy before, but it really was pretty entertaining.  The real interest is Alice Faye, still a teenager, in one of her first films, who is made up (platinum hair and smoky eyes) to be the image of Jean Harlow..it's amazing.  Faye is a small town girl who comes to Hollywood for stardom and enrolls in a shady school for actors run by Grant Mitchell.  James Dunn is the has-been director who is in on the deal.  She works nights as a car hop, and meets a fellow who just inherited a lot of $ and is willing to finance a film..if she gets to star. Yeah, it's hokey, but the acting and Faye's singing make it worthwhile...and the final song and dance number, complete with some great black and white 30's outfits, is really a cut above this B flick.

MV5BMjM0ODc5ODc2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTM5 looks like Harlow, right?

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365 Nights in Hollywood​--never heard of this 1934 musical comedy before, but it really was pretty entertaining.  The real interest is Alice Faye, still a teenager, in one of her first films, who is made up (platinum hair and smoky eyes) to be the image of Jean Harlow..it's amazing.  Faye is a small town girl who comes to Hollywood for stardom and enrolls in a shady school for actors run by Grant Mitchell.  James Dunn is the has-been director who is in on the deal.  She works nights as a car hop, and meets a fellow who just inherited a lot of $ and is willing to finance a film..if she gets to star. Yeah, it's hokey, but the acting and Faye's singing make it worthwhile...and the final song and dance number, complete with some great black and white 30's outfits, is really a cut above this B flick.

MV5BMjM0ODc5ODc2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTM5 looks like Harlow, right?

 

Yea,  even the eyebrows!

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Just watched "Gymkata"  (1985) again on TCM Underground.  A few thoughts on films' absurdities:

 

Fire engine red is a wonderful color for camouflage.

 

Bad guys fire thousands of bullets and None hit their targets (the hero and heroine).  They use bows and arrows and spears and kill several expendable cast members (those whose billing is sixth or lower).

 

Were pommel horses part of the design of every town square built in the 18th century or later?

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Right now, I'm watching the second half of the 1959 version of Imitation of Life.  I started watching this last night and fell asleep--no fault of the movie however.  I wanted to see what happened, because I was invested in the story--I just made the fatal mistake of lying down on the couch.  

 

This movie is heartbreaking--especially the relationship between Sarah Jane and Annie.  

 

I'll have to watch the Claudette Colbert version and see how it compares.  I'm usually somewhat indifferent to Lana Turner, but I really like her in this film. Sandra Dee is excellent here as well.  She starts out somewhat Gidget-like, but as the film progresses, Dee is really showing that she did have acting talent.  She's no Natalie Wood or Judy Garland, but she's very good in this film. 

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The Ruth Etting short "Roseland" (1930), the Doris Day biopic of Etting "Love Me Or Leave Me" (1955), and the Etting short "A Regular Trouper" (1932).

 

I never knew until today how good a job Day did of copying Etting's screen persona, from her body language to Etting's habit of barely enunciating the final consonant in a word while she was singing.

 

Trivia--the song Day does while on a swing in "Love Me Or Leave Me" is from a barely glimpsed number at the beginning of "A Regular Trouper" (1932). 

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Smooth as Silk--​pretty good for a B pic:  Kent Taylor is an attorney who 'arranges' for his guilty client to be acquitted so he'll do him a favor--get Taylor's girlfriend Virginia Grey (an ambitious..to put it nicely..actress) a big part in the client's uncle's film.  Seeing bigger fish to fry, Grey decides to hook up with the playboy client..he's rich after all..and then with the producer uncle.  Yes..she's three-timing Taylor to get ahead...and you know someone is going to end up murdered..and they do.  The film moves very quickly, and the performances are good..especially Grey who steals the scenes as the femme fatale with no conscience.  The only one who seemed 'out of place' was Milburn Stone, as the DA..who sort of shuffles through it all.

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In honor of Barbara Stanwyck and Ginger Rogers' birthdays today, I am having a movie tribute to both ladies tonight.

 

First up, I'm watching my Criterion of Stanwyck w/ Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve.  I just got this Criterion for Christmas and it's my first time watching it.  Great print! 

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Password--​early 60s, Betty White and Shelley Berman--a woman paired with Berman was a housewife with a daughter named Taffy--now I can't stop thinking of a woman about 60 named Taffy around somewhere today... :)

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Someone published the best looking print I have ever seen of THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE on YouTube. I never watched this film before because all the other copies had such poor print quality. What a great story, and I don't think TCM has ever aired it.

 

screen-shot-2017-07-19-at-6-31-50-am.png

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Someone published the best looking print I have ever seen of THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE on YouTube. I never watched this film before because all the other copies had such poor print quality. What a great story, and I don't think TCM has ever aired it.

 

It used to play a lot on the Fox Movie Channel, and the print there was very good.

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It used to play a lot on the Fox Movie Channel, and the print there was very good.

 

Okay, makes sense. There was no Fox Movie Channel logo on the print I found on YouTube. Maybe it's a Fox Archives release and that's the copy published online. Such a good movie. 

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Wending my way through Edward the King, Disc One (1975) where Annette Crosbie chews the scenery as a young Queen Victoria and Robert Hardy's German accent sounds faintly ridiculous as Prince Albert but I've gotten used to both. Surprised to see a very young Charles Sturridge as young Bertie (boy Edward), the same who later distinguished himself as a director including Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Handful of Dust (to name two) and who, in the present drama, portrays the young Prince trying to grow up despite the pernicious influence of his parents. There is great impetus to hang with this because when Bertie finally grows up he will be portrayed by the wonderful actor, Timothy West, who was fantastic as Porfiry in Crime and Punishment (with John Hurt as Raskolnikov) a few years later.

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