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LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...


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THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE- This film was hilarious.  The telepathy between the girlfriend's head and the creature in the closet, the maniacal driving in the beginning that led to the girlfriend being decapitated, the scientist's botched hand transplant, this film had everything.  I think I may have liked this film better than "The Attack of the Puppet People."

 

 

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE was batsh*t crazy in such a good way.

The part where the creature in the closet tears off the assistant's good arm and the assistant's loooong death scene as he smears blood all over the place!

And then later when the creature from the closet bites off some of the scientist's flesh! 

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Witness for the Prosecution


The Ghost and Mrs. Muir


I Could Go on Singing


A Child is Waiting


 


These are EXCELLENT films. All unusual. You'll be blown away by Garland's acting chops in the last 2.


 


Footlight Parade


Yankee Doodle Dandy


 


I just showed TikiKid Footlight Parade this past Fri and was shocked, shocked at how much she loved it. She was enthralled with the Busby Berkeley dance numbers instead of thinking them silly! 


I wanted her to see Cagney (her fave) dancing. She wasn't as taken with YDD, although she cracked up seeing me cry when he dances down the stairs at the end. I've seen George M Cohen movies and he DOES dance just like Cagney depicts.


 


Lust for Life


 


You're not going to believe what a "painterly" movie this is. Great direction by Minnelli, great acting by Douglas.


 


Baby Doll


 


Saw this for the first time last year. I needed a bath afterwards. It's painfully gritty.


 


Thelma & Louise


 


Saw THAT for the first time last year too. Good, but once was enough.

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My favorite of the week was the film Surprise Package,  a 1960 comedy \ suspense film staring Yul Brynner, Mitz Gaynor,  and Noel Coward.      Both Yul and Mitz were very funny and while the film was a major farce it kept my interested and moved along nicely.      

 

GET-TV shows a lot of Columbia films and I was happy to stumble upon this one.

 

 

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I saw five movies over the last two weeks.  Wild Tales is an Argentinian movie that is basically a Tarantinesque anthology of people losing control.  It's not a bad way to waste an evening, though it's not particularly deep and two of the endings are all too easily predicted.  Watching the original Gaslight I would say that Walbrook beats Boyer, while Bergman and Lansbury beat Wynyard and Cordell.  Since Walbrook's character is the most important, I suppose this gives the movie a slight edge.  Lucy is the kind of summer blockbuster that surprises by actually being competent and effective as well as reasonably short.  Interstellar, by contrast is lucky to get enough respect from me that it does.  Nolan is still no good at emotional connections and presenting alternative societies, which means that the big emotional moments are less sincere than in other Hollywood corn.  And the plot holes are larger than the worm hole that powers the plot (such as, if Damon's character knows the world is doomed, why he is so desperate to get back there?  How does Chastain's character save the world once she gets the information of Morse Code in the watch?  Given the time distortion effect and the fact that Chastain lived decades after she solved the equation, wouldn't Earth have reached the Goldilocks planet well before Hathaway's character did?)  And the tesseract sequence is incomparably inferior the Kubrick's Star gate.  But one does admire a scene where the characters land on a watery world, and McConaghey realizes the mountains in the distance are in fact a giant wave.  The Last of the Unjust is a sort of outtake from Shoah, basically consisting of Claude Lanzmann's converstations with Benjamin Murmulstein, the last elder of the Thereisenstadt ghetto (the Nazis murdered the first two).  The movie has a certain power as Murmulstein explains and defends his undoubtedly difficult position.  But I think J. Hoberman is right to say it is too uncritical of its subject.

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I watched quite a few things since I last posted in this thread:

 

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, I just finished watching this.  Loved it.  Gene Tierney is so beautiful and I believe, an underrated talent.  She was perfect as Lucy Muir and I loved how well she carried off the aging of her character in this film.  Natalie Wood was adorable, but I prefer the adult part of her career.  I loved George Sanders and even Rex Harrison was good as the ghost. 

 

Torrid Zone.  I thought this was an excellent movie (despite Andy Devine).  I loved Ann Sheridan and James Cagney, though I did not love Cagney's moustache.  I don't know what he was thinking, but I do not like a moustache on him.  I loved Sheridan's sassiness.  From this film, I learned that I cannot stand Andy Devine.  He was so annoying in this film, I do not desire to see more for him.  God forbid he turns up in another film I'm watching. 

 

The Stepford Wives. I watched the 1975 version.  I thought this was a great movie.  I liked the campiness of it.  Katharine Ross was good as the suspicious newcomer to town and I also enjoyed Paula Prentiss.  I was disappointed that Ross' character wasn't able to beat the men's club, but also found the ending satisfactory since this was a sci-fi horror film.  I also really liked the movie poster showing Katharine Ross' robot in broken into pieces.  "Joanna, how could you do a thing like that?... I thought we were friends!"

 

Footlight Parade.  I watched this to see James Cagney in a musical.  I also liked Joan Blondell.  I found Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell very annoying.  I like Powell in his film noirs, but I can't say I like his singing.  While I don't loathe his singing as much as I do Jeanette MacDonald's and Kathryn Grayson's, it's just a little too old timey for me, if that makes any sense.  It reminds me of the one part of Singin' in the Rain that I don't like--the part during the montage showing the transition to talkies and the guy with the mega phone sings "Should I" (I think).  Busby Berkley's musical numbers are boring.  While I get the kaleidoscope affect that he goes for and the impressiveness of the chorus girls pulling off the numbers, they do nothing for me.  I find Berkley's choreography tedious, though I'm not denying his groundbreaking work in the early days of the talkies, he's just not my favorite by any means. 

 

Passage to Marseille. The cast of the movie looked promising (Bogart, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre), but I didn't find it that exciting.  The film was a Casablanca reunion, sans Ingrid Bergman.  All the "usual suspects," Bogart, Rains, Lorre, Paul Henreid, even the lady who plays the little guitar was there.  Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as Casablanca.  The movie just wasn't very exciting despite the exciting sounding synopsis. 

 

Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn.  Even though I can't say I'm the biggest Spencer Tracy fan, I do enjoy documentaries.  I found this documentary to be interesting and I liked hearing Hepburn's narration.  From what I've heard her say on this documentary, her own documentary and various interviews, she and Tracy were genuinely in love--even though she was basically his mistress for 20+ years.  While I don't think I'll ever become a huge fan of Tracy, I do appreciate him a little bit more after seeing this and will try to watch more of his films in the future. 

 

My Reptutation. I already talked about this movie on another thread, but I loved it.  Barbara Stanwyck never fails to entertain.  This was one of those great "weepie" films that Warner Brothers was known for.  Stanwyck and Eve Arden were definitely the highlights.  George Brent was sufficient as the man whom Stanwyck loves.  I also liked Lucile Watson's cranky old mother.  The cranky old women in these Golden Era films are hilarious.

 

Baby Face.  I also already talked about this movie on another thread, but I loved it.  I'm finding the pre-code films very entertaining and this film was no exception.  Barbara Stanwyck plays the bad girl very well.  I found her character very sympathetic and liked the ending.

 

They Drive By Night.  Another film that I've already discussed.  I really enjoyed Bogart's small role and George Raft wasn't half bad.  This film truly belongs to the women however, Ann Sheridan's sassy waitress and Ida Lupino the bonkers woman scorned.  I thought this was a great film and I especially loved Lupino's breakdown on the witness stand.  I will definitely be seeking out more of both Sheridan and Lupino. 

 

George Washington Slept Here.  Ann Sheridan and Jack Benny make an interesting couple and you can't go wrong with Hattie MacDaniel.  I love these old movies with the dilapidated homes.  As a new home owner, I identify with these films very much.  Except my house is not falling apart like they typically are in the movies.  I found it interesting to find out that Sheridan and Benny's home in this film is the house from Arsenic and Old Lace, just with some modifications.  The little black terrier dog in the film is also Toto from The Wizard of Oz.  I recognized Lee Patrick from Auntie Mame and Footsteps in the Dark and John Emery, he played a couple different characters in a couple different episodes of I Love Lucy.  In one episode he was a tramp and in another he was a grumpy neighbor who didn't like Little Ricky's dog.  I also liked seeing Percy Kilbride.  I wasn't aware he was in any other films aside from the Ma and Pa Kettle films.

 

Films left to watch:

What's the Matter with Helen? (This movie just sounded ridiculous so I had to record it)

The Pride of the Yankees

Forbidden Planet

Little Miss Thoroughbred

One More Tomorrow

Honeymoon For Three

Kings Row (I watched part of this but need to re-watch)

Of Human Bondage (the remake with Kim Novak)

Stage Fright

Scaramouche

Escape From Fort Bravo

Invisible Stripes

BF's Daughter

Breakfast for Two

I Could Go On Singing

A Child is Waiting

The Forbidden Street

People Will Talk

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Klute

Witness For Prosecution

City For Conquest

Lust for Life

Baby Doll

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

Thelma & Louise

A Yank in the RAF

Humoresque

Bird on a Wire

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I saw CRY OF THE CITY tonight at London's BFI as part of a Robert Siodmak retrospective.  A very good noir made in 1948 with some great set-pieces and fabulous score by Alfred Newman.

It stars Richard Conte and Victor Mature.

And a great supporting cast with Hope Emerson, Shelley Winters, Berry Kroeger, Konstantin Shayne and Mimi Aguglia who plays Conte's mother.

I wasn't familiar with Aguglia so I looked her up on the imdb as soon as I got home.  What an amazing career she had.  Seems she was a classically trained Sicilian actress.  Her pedigree showed in this little film.

I highly recommend this to all the noir fans out there and I hope it makes it onto TCM's schedule even though it is by Twentieth Century Fox.

 

Interesting you mention the great set-pieces.    In the book Film Noir (Silver \ Ward),  it mentions how Cry of the City was a different type of film for Siodmak due to the fact that he used less set-pieces in this film than his other noir films with a lot of the focus being on the Italian ghetto.    i.e.  A lot more scenes mostly on the 'cry of the city' instead of interior settings.  

 

One quote ",,,effort on the part of the director, Siodmak,  most closely associated with the highly artificial, expressionistic style of the studio film noir, to exploit a semidocumentary, location style,,,'

 

Note that MOVIES-TV shows this film a lot.   A lot.   Like every other Saturday or Sunday the last few months. 

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The four movies I saw this week were interesting.  I suppose Pearls of the Dawn was the most successful, though it was only the last sequence that I was able to devote my full attention to, the one about a Czech boy who falls in love with a gypsy girl.  A Report on the Party and its Guests was also interesting, if not as brilliant as Daisies.  Home from the Hill shows many of the strengths of Minnelli as a director.  Robert Mitchum gives an excellent, commanding performance, the first half of the movie is beautifully shot and intelligently paced.  But the movie as a whole is weakened by its gender ideology.  Eleanor Parker plays the role of the wife who is insufficiently appreciative of her husband, and as such everything can be indirectly be blamed on her.  Her performance isn't nearly so interesting, but then it's not supposed to be.  And the manipulations so that George Hamilton can impregnate his girlfriend, but never have her could be best be described as "contrived."  Jealousy is a French movie, about a man who leaves the mother of his daughter for another woman who eventually leaves him.  It's not a bad movie by any means, strikingly shot in black and white.  But I must confess I feel little sympathy for this sort of person, and one needs more reason to be interested in him.

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I saw four movies this week.  Crime Wave and The Blue Dahlia were competent noirs, and Sterling Hayden and Alan Ladd were worth watching in both.  I suppose I want something more in a noir, such as wittier dialogue, a cleverer mystery, or more ambiguous characters.  A Better Tomorrow is another of John Woo's Hong Kong Films.  I must confess that The Killer and Bullet in the Head ultimately did not leave much of an impression on me, and I suspect notwithstanding several extremely violent scenes this won't either.  (The score is definitely a weakness.) So the best movie of the week was clearly Jean Rouch's 1959 documentary about eve of independence Ivory Coast, Moi, un Noir.

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The week started with a screening of REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM....Shirley Temple is always a crowd pleaser. Love the movie, but not enough Raymond Scott (only the end number) I noticed the plethora of close ups on Miss Shirley's face. I think that's the appeal of these movies-Shirley had the ability to give sincere smiles-a human brain can instantly recognise a fake smile. Shirley's smile is genuine and it's infectious.

 

Then I watched the recorded Underground William Castle movie IT'S A SMALL WORLD. I actually enjoyed this "serious" look at what life for a "midget" was like in the past. Of course, it's viewed as campy and exploitative, but I think it was a sincere attempt. The guy who starred in it was very good and put into a lot of bad situations. His first friend after escaping a sideshow is Todd Kearns, son of Roscoe Kearns ("Shapley's the way I like 'em")  the actor best known for playing Harry Bailey; "To my big brother George, the richest man in town!" It was fun seeing him in another role- playing a good guy, just out of the service who is a shoe shiner. Nobody told him to remove his wedding band for the role.

The movie has a happy ending in Cole Brothers Circus with the "midget" finding true love.

 

Another fun watch this week was THE STEPFORD WIVES. I was expecting that lilting theme, but that was VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. Same story?

From the first frame showing crazy 60's wallpaper, I knew I was in for a treat. Katherine Ross reminded me of Kathy Ireland and Tina Louise reminded me of Shelly Long. Both were really good in their roles, I was surprised at how good Tina Louise was in this. The story was predictible, but fun in the way it was told. It did get just a bit scary at the end.

I noticed all sorts of foreshadowing imagery in the movie: the man carrying the mannequin in the beginning of course, but also the living room had an antique dress form "doll", the bedroom had a man's valet, and a shot from the kitchen showed an odd print of a hanging dead rabbit.

The husband, played by Peter Masterson, behaved like a big 12 year old dope; "I want to screw in every room of the new house" He could have been played by Clint Howard just as effectively. Peter is Mary Stuart Masterson's dad and she played one of his daughters in the movie-early start for her career.

I saw this movie as a metaphor for the bland conformity of suburbia.

 

Not a movie, but we watched old episodes of POLICE SQUAD with the family on our home movie night. The kid at first complained how "corny" it was, but by the end of episode one was laughing and enjoying it. It was kind of like the Marx Brothers in that MrTeek laughed at some things, I laughed at others and the kid laughed at completely different things. Fun.

 

Last night we attended a screening of RANDOM HARVEST. This was touted as a "requested" film and many in our audience were excited to see this new restoration. It did look wonderful, Greer Garson is a gem, especially in her mini skirt kilt. I was hoping seeing it with an audience might bring a new enjoyment of this story, which I always found preposterous. 

Confirmed: I hate this movie.

I was surprised MrTiki felt exactly the same way as I did-this was his first viewing and I didn't say a WORD about my impressions of it. TikiKid loved it.

 

Ronald Coleman is awful, I cannot warm up to him. I realize his charactor is confused, but he will just about do anything any woman suggests. Amnesia shouldn't make you stoopid. The story is far fetched until Garson decides to be his secretary to be "near" him. Then it falls into ridiculous. It should have been edited about 15 minutes shorter, I could feel the audience losing patience with the story near the end. Some were hoping he'd get hit by another car and be done with it. 

But as I said, if you like this soaper, the restoration is glorious. Makes me want to see the far superior MRS MINIVER again.

 

My least favorite movie this week was a silent double feature of Louise Brooks in THE SHOW OFF and Clara Bow in THE PLASTIC AGE. I just can't get into watching silents home alone on TV. Endless time spent on showing people packing to go away to college, or walking to a destination, title cards instead of snappy dialogue....they just didn't have the medium of film honed yet.

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Last night we attended a screening of RANDOM HARVEST. This was touted as a "requested" film and many in our audience were excited to see this new restoration. It did look wonderful, Greer Garson is a gem, especially in her mini skirt kilt. I was hoping seeing it with an audience might bring a new enjoyment of this story, which I always found preposterous. 

Confirmed: I hate this movie.

I was surprised MrTiki felt exactly the same way as I did-this was his first viewing and I didn't say a WORD about my impressions of it. TikiKid loved it.

 

Ronald Coleman is awful, I cannot warm up to him. I realize his charactor is confused, but he will just about do anything any woman suggests. Amnesia shouldn't make you stoopid. The story is far fetched until Garson decides to be his secretary to be "near" him. Then it falls into ridiculous. It should have been edited about 15 minutes shorter, I could feel the audience losing patience with the story near the end. Some were hoping he'd get hit by another car and be done with it. 

 

 

Did TikiKid elaborate on what made her love the movie?

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Did TikiKid elaborate on what made her love the movie?

 

Oh she's 17 and kind of an unrealistic romantic. She was just happy the couple found each other and lived happily ever after. The "love conquers all" theme. 

 

Hey, at least she followed the story...she's easily confused by plot lines. A testament to a kid's anemic attention spans. I often worried she might be ADD, but now think attention is a learned skill that (hopefully) will come with maturity. 

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Another fun watch this week was THE STEPFORD WIVES. I was expecting that lilting theme, but that was VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. Same story?

From the first frame showing crazy 60's wallpaper, I knew I was in for a treat. Katherine Ross reminded me of Kathy Ireland and Tina Louise reminded me of Shelly Long. Both were really good in their roles, I was surprised at how good Tina Louise was in this. The story was predictible, but fun in the way it was told. It did get just a bit scary at the end.

I noticed all sorts of foreshadowing imagery in the movie: the man carrying the mannequin in the beginning of course, but also the living room had an antique dress form "doll", the bedroom had a man's valet, and a shot from the kitchen showed an odd print of a hanging dead rabbit.

The husband, played by Peter Masterson, behaved like a big 12 year old dope; "I want to screw in every room of the new house" He could have been played by Clint Howard just as effectively. Peter is Mary Stuart Masterson's dad and she played one of his daughters in the movie-early start for her career.

I saw this movie as a metaphor for the bland conformity of suburbia.

 

I saw STEPFORD WIVES for the first time when it aired on TCM during the spotlight on costume design. 

 

I was sad when Tina Louise's character gave up her tennis court.

 

The part where the "new" Paula Prentiss short circuits after Katherine Ross stabs her was amusing.

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I saw STEPFORD WIVES for the first time when it aired on TCM during the spotlight on costume design. 

 

I was sad when Tina Louise's character gave up her tennis court.

 

The part where the "new" Paula Prentiss short circuits after Katherine Ross stabs her was amusing.

That was sad when Charmaine's tennis court was torn up. 

 

I loved the ugly ruffle dresses the Stepford Wives wore.  As if real women would wear those dresses in the 1970s.  Women weren't even wearing those types of dresses in the 1950s!

 

I also liked when Katharine Ross stabs friend Paula Prentiss.  "...I thought we were friends!..."

 

This is such a campy movie, I loved it.  I found it for $3.99 at a movie store I go to occasionally.  I thought it was a total score.  Lol.

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That was sad when Charmaine's tennis court was torn up. 

 

I loved the ugly ruffle dresses the Stepford Wives wore.  As if real women would wear those dresses in the 1970s.  Women weren't even wearing those types of dresses in the 1950s!

 

I also liked when Katharine Ross stabs friend Paula Prentiss.  "...I thought we were friends!..."

 

This is such a campy movie, I loved it.  I found it for $3.99 at a movie store I go to occasionally.  I thought it was a total score.  Lol.

 

According to the host's commentary during the showing of THE STEPFORD WIVES during the spotlight on costume design, the original idea was for the Stepford Wives to be wearing bikiins (or some other skimpy costume) in the final scene in the supermarket.

I think the costume designer's ultimate choice of the ugly ruffle dresses made a better point although there may be some who would have liked the bikinis.

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According to the host's commentary during the showing of THE STEPFORD WIVES during the spotlight on costume design, the original idea was for the Stepford Wives to be wearing bikiins (or some other skimpy costume) in the final scene in the supermarket.

I think the costume designer's ultimate choice of the ugly ruffle dresses made a better point although there may be some who would have liked the bikinis.

The bikinis would have made more sense after all, the shallow Stepford Men were replacing their wives with the ideal wife.  You'd think prancing around in skimpy clothing would have been the first thing on their list of ideal wife attributes.  Lol.  The ruffle dresses are hilarious though, because they're so ugly that they only add to the camp factor of this film.  Plus, they were a good symbol to show that the wife was a Stepford Wife.  As soon as she was donning the ugly ruffle dress, you knew she'd been replaced. 

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I've watched quite a few movies lately:

 

City For Conquest, this was another pairing of James Cagney and Ann Sheridan.  I thought this was a great film.  It was very dramatic and had quite a cast: Cagney, Sheridan, Anthony Quinn, Elia Kazan, Arthur Kennedy, Lee Patrick... This film was very interesting and I was happy to find out that I already owned the film as part of the TCM Greatest Gangster Films: James Cagney collection.  I didn't realize I already had it.  Lol.

 

Honeymoon for Three.  This film paired Ann Sheridan with George Brent whom she apparently married a few months after making this film.  Brent is still whatever with me.  He's not bad, but he doesn't "grab" me either.  This film was okay.  It wasn't the greatest film, but it wasn't terrible either.  I think Sheridan has made better films though.  The film tried to make Brent out to be some casanova Don Juan, and I just wasn't buying it.  Perhaps with a more attractive male star or someone with more personality, this film would have worked better. 

 

People Will Talk.  For 1951, I thought this was a pretty scandalous film.  Cary Grant plays a professor who gets mixed up with his student (Jeanne Crain), an unwed mother.  There was also a suicide attempt (Crain's character after finding out about her pregnancy).  Overall, I thought this was a very weird film.  I didn't get into the storyline much.  

 

I'll Be Seeing You.  This was a great film.  At first, I was skeptical because the storyline sounded weird, but I recorded it because I like Joseph Cotten and adult Shirley Temple.  I am not the biggest fan of Ginger Rogers (I don't know why, she always seems bland to me) and have been trying to give her a chance.  I did like her in Top Hat.  Shirley Temple was good as the teenager who is at first nervous at sharing her room with Rogers, on leave from prison, but later warms up to her after hearing the circumstances of her sentence.  This was different from the roles I've seen Rogers in prior and I really liked her.  Although, I am wondering how she ended up imprisoned.  I know she's there for involuntary manslaughter, but it appears she killed the guy in self defense.  Although I suppose with no other witnesses except for her and the dead guy, there isn't much she can do to prove her case.

 

Three Little Girls in Blue.  I recorded this film because it had Vera-Ellen.  I hardly recognized Vera-Ellen in this film.  She was not fat by any means, but definitely a little bigger than she was in On the Town and White Christmas.  This movie was ridiculous and not in a good way.  It was very cornball and Vera-Ellen's dance number in "You Make Me Feel So Young" was bizarre.  While I liked the actors in the film, I found the dialogue cheesy and lacking in splashy dance numbers.  

 

Night Nurse.  This was a crazy pre-code with Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell and Clark Gable.  While I liked the cast, this was a very dark film.  It focused on Stanwyck trying to thwart Gable's plan of murdering the children in his household.  I liked Blondell and Stanwyck's quips and dialogue.  A young Clark Gable was also very interesting and very sinister.  

 

Rat Race.  First I thought this was the original version of Rat Race from 2001, but it most definitely was not.  Tony Curtis almost seemed like the same character from Some Like it Hot sans the drag.  He played a struggling saxophone player trying to make it in New York City.  Debbie Reynolds played a taxi dancer who is also struggling and spends her days trying to bribe the man from the telephone company (Norman Fell aka Mr. Roper from "Three's Company) and dodge her landlady.  The landlady was hilarious.  This film also featured Jack Oakie as a wise old bartender.  I thought this was an interesting film.  Reynolds didn't play a bubbly young woman in this film, she played a cynical, bitter young woman who is frustrated that she can't make a life for herself in New York.  

 

Step Lively.  This was a musical remake of Room Service.  I recorded it for Sinatra.  Gloria de Haven co-starred and she was good and sings beautifully.  Of course, Sinatra sings a few songs and seems to be the key to saving the show that they're trying to produce in a hotel room.  Eugene Pallette was funny, although he seems to play the same guy in every film.  

 

Without Love.  Another of the Hepburn/Tracy films.  I've been trying to see all their collaborations and this one also featured Lucille Ball in a supporting role.  This film was good I thought the entire beginning part with Spencer Tracy trying to take a drunk Keenan Wynn home was funny.  Wynn's girlfriend in the film was a total nag.  Her character irritated me.  Lucy was funny.  She does the supporting character with the smart quips thing very well.  

 

Deception.  I got this one through Netflix because it starred two of my favorites: Bette Davis and Claude Rains and Paul Henreid.  Paul Henreid is okay, he's passable in his films, but he seems rather interchangeable.  While Bette Davis was fantastic as the woman who has been keeping a secret from her lover (Henreid) and scorned lover (Rains), this film belongs to Rains.  His character was so deliciously evil and nasty that I loved him.  He is really what made this film work.  Had they cast someone else in Rains' part, this film would not have been nearly as entertaining. 

 

I've got so many more films to watch and my list never gets shorter.  Thanks to finding the Fox Movie Channel and now Retroplex, it's getting even longer.  

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how'd ya like Don Rickles turn as the creep in "Rat Race" ?

 

!B6tlJGgEGk~$%28KGrHqIOKiYEy9OK-eDLBMyU,

Omg.  I hated Don Rickles in that movie.  I felt so bad for Debbie Reynolds and was waiting for Tony Curtis to clobber him.  Poor Debbie, I hated seeing her disgraced and embarrassed by her creep of a boss, Rickles. 

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Hi Speedy,

I've been on the lookout for a copy of this film either to buy, or to record some day.  I haven't seen it in sometime.  

I don't believe it was part of the Debbie Reynolds salute, which is a shame.

Do you recall how you caught up with this one?

It aired on Retroplex last week.  I think it might be repeating this week.  It used to be on Netflix Instant, but it looks like it is gone now.

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I saw five movies over the last two weeks.  Clouds of Sils Maria on the one hand shows the difference between a movie with great acting, as this one does with fine performances by Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, and the knid of movie that the Academy thinks has great acting. like The Theory of Everything or Dallas Buyers Club.  The question is whether that is enough to make it a great film.  Most of the reviews have been favorable, but Richard Brody was so withering in The New Yorker that one wonders about the overall achievement.  There is much less to doubt about in The Ice Storm, another one of Ang Lee's meretricious manipulations.  With Kevin Kline starting off with in an awful seventies collar and Tobey Maguire with an idiotic analogy of family it starts off flattering its audience with its sense of superiority over the seventies.  There are then several ghastly scenes about adultery and sex, a predictably cringeworthy key party and finally the portentous death of a child.  Here's Your Life is an interesting bildungsroman about an early 20th century worker who will eventually become the novelist whose autobiographical novel will be the source of the movie.  It's interesting that there were so many great filmmakers in the sixties that one forgets Jan Troell's first feature on the grounds that a realistic drama would be nothing special.  Prometheus has one good idea, Michael Fassbender doing an excellent impression of Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.  Otherwise Ridley Scott doubles down on the flaws of the original Alien:  such as having an even more uninteresting cast and having gaping plot holes (such as why is the Engineer so ready to destroy Earth when his biological weapon for doing so has wiped all out his colleagues.)  Twin Peaks:  Fire Walk With Me was widely loathed when it originally came out, but having now seen it a quarter-century after the original Twin Peaks and after having seen Eraserhead and Inland Empire in the meantime, it actually works rather well and the lack of interest in dealing with all of the questions fans with the show is actually fairly impressive.

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Has this thread been abandoned? I learned a lot from others posting opinions......in fact pretty much every movie I watched this week was a direct result of comments found around here.....

 

I CONFESS: The best film I saw this week. I have been bored with Hitchcock, seeing the same handful of movies through the years, it was nice to find this hidden gem, thanks to the board. Montgomery Clift was very good as a priest and this film was stylishly photographed. Anne Baxter is terrific, as usual. Her angelic face along with that husky voice makes her more interesting than the typical starlet. What a great, sometimes underrated actress-a perfect counter to Clift. I knew the story would resolve, but I was on the edge of my seat, pulled along by clever Hitch at the helm.

 

DECEPTION: Since I'm reading a book about Claude Rains and everyone says this is his showiest role, I thought I'd give it a try. Paul Heinreid is typically wimpy and Bette Davis typically dramatic. Rains has Bette by the ba!ls and it's kind of uncomfortable watching her squirm. MrTeek stopped watching after the dinner scene, Rains bad behaviour upset him too much! I wasn't surprised by the ending, more relieved. I especially like (in WB fashion) that even though she "got away" with it, she decided to own up to it at the end....and actually like the morality of WB movies.

 

HIT THE DECK: After reading in Debbie Reynold's UNSINKABLE about this movie, I just had to see it. Wanted to see Debbie paired with fave Russ Tamblyn. Also including fave Janie Powell and Ann Miller, how could you go wrong? Well, it was a musical dud despite all that talent. I hated seeing Janie wooing an old coot geezer, it seemed totally implausible.

Everyone looked fantastic, loved the costuming. But the songs were meh and although good, the dance numbers were not enough to carry this movie. This movie had all the right elements, I wonder why it wasn't a hit?

 

IT'S ALIVE & THE BABY: Two Underground movies I've heard a lot about on these boards. 

IT'S ALIVE was awful. You barely saw the creature, you never saw it killing anyone, so you really don't know if it was eating people or just killing to escape. Dumb, dumb, dumb. This must have been just for making out at the drive-in. MST3K couldn't make this movie fun to watch.

Clearly, the worst movie I saw this week.

 

THE BABY was just weird. I saw Bernard Herrman did the score, and that was the best part of it. The actress that played the social worker played her role straight, but was so lousy she was laughable. Well, social workers can be kind of weird.

 

This was my first time seeing often-mentioned-here Ruth Roman and I could see she was a powerhouse actress. She was beautiful as a matronly lady, she must have been a knockout as a younger woman. The two sisters were creepy and funny at the same time, I liked them. I especially liked that one was named Germain, my name! The 70's costuming & sets were also fun to look at.

I pretty much guessed who "Baby" was halfway through the movie, so there really was no surprise to the ending. But the entire plotline was so absurd, so crazy, so DIRTY, I felt as though I needed to shower afterwards. Although I somewhat liked the insinuations of lesbianism & male sexual assault implied.

It seems any movie with "baby" in the title instantly falls into sordid-land: BABY DOLL, SPIDER BABY, etc.

 

Keep those suggestions coming!

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Well I saw three movies last week.  Penguins of Madagascar is more amusing than usual for a Dreamworks animated movie, with more good jokes and better action sequences than usual.  It would be better if it didn't have a didactic plot about Skipper being nicer to Private.  I may have seen The Goddess before on TCM, but rewatching does allow one to see Ruan Lingyu in a truly great performance as the wronged woman.  The Kozintsev Hamlet is also worth watching, it's better than the Olivier version, though I have a special place in my heart for the Branagh version.  Innokenty Smoktunovsky does offer a special intensity which does make the is-he-mad-or-not question particularly interesting.

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Without Love.  Another of the Hepburn/Tracy films.  I've been trying to see all their collaborations and this one also featured Lucille Ball in a supporting role.  This film was good I thought the entire beginning part with Spencer Tracy trying to take a drunk Keenan Wynn home was funny.  Wynn's girlfriend in the film was a total nag.  Her character irritated me.  Lucy was funny.  She does the supporting character with the smart quips thing very well. 

 

 

I think this is an underrated gem in the Hepburn/Tracy filmography, and I watch it fairly often (I have all their collaborations on DVD). 

 

Night Nurse.  This was a crazy pre-code with Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell and Clark Gable.  While I liked the cast, this was a very dark film.  It focused on Stanwyck trying to thwart Gable's plan of murdering the children in his household.  I liked Blondell and Stanwyck's quips and dialogue.  A young Clark Gable was also very interesting and very sinister.  

 

I have to watch this every time it airs.  I love pre-Code Stanwyck, and this movie is just delightfully dark.

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