Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...


Recommended Posts

I saw three movies last week.  The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still is an uninspiring film in every respect.  Just thinking about it, the switch from the original to fears of nuclear war to environmental devastation make little sense.  One can imagine alien races fearing Earth's nuclear weaspns, on the grounds that by discovering the secret humans would soon find out secrets that would soon threaten other planets.  By contrast, if worse came to worse, a ruined Earth would just be another planet.  I should also point out the one thing that is most striking about the original is its use of the theremin.  There is nothing equivalently striking and strange in the remake.  Even having Klaatu or Gort have the strange effect of making every radio play "Afternoon Delight" or "Macarthur Park" or some similiarly loathed song would be an improvement.  By contrast, Thieves Highway is a much better film, with a genuine sense of economic risk of exploitation behind Lee J. Cobb's skullduggery.  Timbuktu has many interesting aspects as it tells the story of the titular city ruled by Islamists fanatics who introduce stoning and ban soccer and music.  It's a pity I didn't appreciate it more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw seven films last week:

 

"Hit the Deck"--(1955)--underrated MGM musical that was released as the musical was going out of style.  Plot is nonsense, but standards like "Hallelujah", "More Than You Know", & "Ciribiribin" more than make up for a blah plot.  "Hallelujah" was excerpted in MGM's "That's Entertainment" (1974).

 

"Singin' in the Rain"--(1952)--The classic musical comedy. A must-see if you've never seen it.

 

"Ride the High Country"--(1962)--A  goodbye to the formalized westerns of John Ford of the 1930's--1950's.  Director Peckinpah knew how to intercut images with music, playing the viewers emotions like a violin.  Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, & Warren Oates all give thoughtful, fine performances.

 

"Hero's Island"--(1962)--a movie that concentrates on the inhabitants of the Carolinas--the pirate is not the main focus of the film.  Obviously low-budget--it's OK.

 

"Kismet"--(1955)--Director Vincente Minnelli was working pre-planning "Lust for Life".  It shows.  Musical veterans Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, & Delores Gray sing their way out of trouble, Monty Wooley clowns his way out of trouble, the rest of the cast--are sunk.  Worth seeing because the main singers directed themselves quite well.

 

"Under Capricorn"--(1949)--Surprisingly good melodrama from Alfred Hitchcock.  Strong performance from Ingrid Bergman, & Joseph Cotten is nearly as good.  Look for a young Margaret Leighton.

 

"Saratoga Trunk"--(1945)--A Maltin 1 & 1/2 star rating, so I had to see it--and was delighted!  Apart from the inexplicable casting of Flora Robson as a mulatto maid, & her wearing Much too dark makeup through the film, ST is a delight.  Becoming brunette seemingly liberated something in Bergman--it's funny watching her wrap every man within hearing range around her little finger & get social revenge for her family at the same time.  Cooper seemingly doesn't know what hit him for films' 1st half hour--Bergman & Cooper seem on same wavelength & both play ST for comedy--as a result, ST works.  BTW, Robson received a Best Supporting Actress nomination (she didn't win).  An overlooked gem.

 

Best film--"Ride the High Country" (1962)

 

Worst film--none.  All should be seen once.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a ton of library movies lately, mostly Disney, which many of you know I have great disdain for (the company at least)

 

INTO THE WOODS- Not a great Sondheim fan musically, but very much enjoy his witty lyrics. Surprisingly, loved the costumes, sets, lighting and minimal use of cgi effects. All the acting & singing were great. Cinderella & Red Riding Hood were stand outs. The story starts as a "fairy tale" of familiar charactors who must gather ingredients for the witch's "spell". Once they do (not a spoiler) you think the movie is over, but wait! The story switches gears and the last 45 minutes it becomes a different story. Very modern, and unique. I think this bombed at the BO because most of today's audience loathes musicals. I Loved it.

 

TOPSY-TURVEY- Got this out after it was mentioned on this board. I love Gilbert & Sullivan and know very little about them as people. The movie was about the men and how they wrote one of their operas, The Mikado. Well acted, well written, beautiful costumes & performances are all lost in an overlong movie. Where was the editor? What a wasted opportunity to enlighten a new generation to G&S wonderful musicals. Instead, you have to wade through lots of lingering close ups of actors "thinking". I did like however, the intersprinkling of performances, rehersals & singing in between the narrative.

 

TANGLED- OK, I'm trying to catch up on my Disney cartoons. I'm not a big fan of the Animae Barbie head-on-a-stick body look for "princesses", but got past it. I loved this story, especially just after seeing Meryl Streep playing the same witch/mother to Repunzel in INTO THE WOODS. I hate the crutch of a "comic relief" charactor used here with the chameleon, but was mesmerized by the animation of the white horse. It perpetuates the stupid idea a horse is a big dog (even had him sniffing the ground!) but when the horse was startled and planted his feet-he looked exactly like a real horse would react. The head & neck movements were dead on and that's extremely hard to fake. Included songs, but endurable.

 

FOR THE DEFENSE (30) A TCM recording with William Powell & Kay Francis. Both look good, but a dull movie. Both charactors are unlikeable and the story wasn't really interesting.

 

THE BIG STREET- I wrote about this on the Lucille Ball thread. Lucy played a despicable charactor and Henry Fonda played a rube even dumber than the one in LADY EVE. In short, Lucy was a glamorous gangster moll who got Fonda an incidental job, then became paralyzed. Fonda took total care of her and she was cruel to every kindness. It was hard seeing Lucy so mean, but she was wholly believable-a testament to her talent. She certainly was gorgeous in those gowns & jewelry. I won't give away the ending, but it's a movie I'll never watch again.

 

Best of the week: Tangled

Worst of the week: For The Defense

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen seven movies over the past two weeks.  The Kiss is the one silent Garbo film which really does show her appeal as a star.  Jacques Feyder also has an interesting directorial style.  Listen up Philip is about an obnoxious but talented writer whose obnoxiousness eventually makes him deeply unhappy.  Perhaps.  But it's much easier to show him being obnoxious than it is to show him being talented, so there's little reason to care for him.  It seems the point of the movie is to flatter the audience that while they're not as talented as Philip Roth, at least they're not jerks.  There is certainly no sign of the qualities one might associate with literary talent, such as wit, curiosity or insight.  The Battle for Russia is obviously a flawed propaganda film, but it does benefit from genuine Soviet footage.  From the Clouds to the Resistance was seen with French subtitles, so this austere film which combines Greek mythology with Cesare Pavese's The Moon and the Bonfires wasn't fully appreciated.  Citizenfour is a documentary about Edward Snowden's revelations about government spying.  And while it does have footage about his interviews with Glenn Greenwald just before the story broke, it doesn't necessarily make it a cinematically successful film.  Beau Geste is an interesting film, and the siege of Fort Zinderneuf is exciting, notwithstanding that we know the outcome, or most of it, and Brian Donleavy gives a good performance as a brutal, ruthless sergeant with genuine military devotion.  It does continue William Wellman's reputation as a director whose best films can be compared to other more successful ones (in this case The Four Feathers).  Canyon Passage is an interesting western, showing aspects of a larger society, and slowly developing a more complex set of characters.  Unfortunately, after the first hour or so, I couldn't give the movie my full attention, and so didn't quite see  how all the loose ends of the plot were tied up to give Dana Andrews the expected happy ending.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw 8 movies last week--am glad SUTS is over.

 

"Harper"--(1966)--Good remake of "The Big Sleep with an all-star cast.  Shelley Winters & Lauren Bacall are standouts.

 

"The Poseidon Adventure"--(1972)--THE disaster movie of the 1970's--special effects deliver & Shelley Winters gained 40 pounds for her role (and another Oscar nomination).

 

"A Man Called Horse"--(1970)--Good western starring Richard Harris & Dame Judith Anderson as an old Indian woman--Anderson does well by her role--interesting use of music (score is mostly drums & flutes & cavalry trumpets (all instruments available to the Sioux tribe that captures Harris--score by Leonard Rosenman).

 

"Deadlne at Dawn" (1946)--Underrated noir that I saw during SOD & wanted to see again.  Written by Clifford Odets--anyone wanting to see a non-****** side of Hayward, watch this.  It would have been So easy to kick the trouble out of her life--& I mean man--but she shows compassion & a sharp mind.

 

"Girls on Probation"--(1937)--Hayward's role is smaller than in "Beau Geste".  Not essential.

 

"Show People"--(1928)--Best silent or sound film of Marion Davies, actress whose inspired clowning & comedy sense livened up several silents and some talkies.  Best other silents are "The Patsy (1928) & "The Red Mill (1927)--best talkies are "Marianne" (1929), "The Floradora Girl" (1930) & next film listed, IMHO.  Comcast showed a Dreadful print of this film.

 

"Going Hollywood"--(1933)--Marion's last good musical & one of Bing Crosby's 1st.  Song "Temptation" was excerpted in "That's Entertainment" (1974).

 

"The Pirate"--(1948)--Judy Garland had so many absences from filming it's a wonder film got made.  But expert farce playing by Garland & Gene Kelly, & Walter Slezak (of all people) + a good Cole Porter score make this film a delight.  Watch for The Nicholas Brothers with Gene Kelly.  Unexpectedly good print from Comcast.

 

Best film(s)--a tie, because of print qualities--"Show People" (1928) & "The Pirate" (1948).

 

Non-essential--"Girls on Probation" (1937).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw three movies & 2 shorts the past week:

 

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"--(1919)--From what I read before film began, 1st reel was reconstructed from stills of a 1935 print--film sounded like it was put & held together from bits & pieces--so am Very glad I saw this classic of German Expressionism where filmmakers learned they could affect viewers emotions by the use of camera angles & set construction (according to intro by Ben Mankiewiscz)--films plot is simple--but the camera shots & the set construction did get on my nerves--which was the point.  I was grateful when the film wound up its plot & could watch something sane--this film has power even after 96 years to get on ones' nerves--which is a testimonial in its' favor.

 

"San Pietro"--(1944)--Graphic 38 minute film showing military strategy & its' cost--Worthwhile film, glad I saw it, but won't see it again--NOT a film for kids.

 

"Let There Be Light" (1982)--A film that the Army suppressed I had to see--fascinating picture of Battle Fatigue & 1940's psychiatry.

 

                            The shorts:

 

"In the Aleutians" (1945)--amusing short with Private Snafu--Chuck Jones' voice is very recognizable.

 

"The Goldbrick"--Director Frank Tashlin already shows his affinity for anatomical jokes (Private Goldbrick's snores lift a calendar girls' skirt up & down).

 

Favorite--"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919)

 

Least favorite--"San Pietro" (1944)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I saw five movies last week.  Bergman Island and Let there be Light were good competent documentaries.  I suppose they could have been better.  THX 1138 clearly could have been much better.  In its favor, its use of white backgrounds does show some of the stylistic sense that didn't entirely desert George Lucas in The Phantom Menace.  On the other hand the basic conceit is a literary cliche, a dystopia which denies sex and reduces people to numbers, like Zamyatin's We a half century earlier.  The Gunfighter is by contrast a much better western.  Readers of this thread will know I'm not that enamored of westerns, but this example of a man about to be killed by his own myth works quite well not only on its own terms, but on others ones as well.  Mauvais Sang works even better, with the combination of crime noir and unconsummated l'amour fou making it one of the best movies I've seen this summer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw four movies this week.  The most striking thing about It's Alive is not the killer baby, but the willingness of authorities to destroy it without a thought, and their incompetence in doing so.  I wish I had paid more attention to Just Tell me What you Want, it actually seems rather interesting as I watched it in a half interested way.  It has Myrna Loy's last performance and Ali McGraw and Alan King make an unexpected couple.  The Long Voyage Home got a relatively rare Canadian showing, and it strikes me as one of Ford's exercises in male bonding, which I didn't find particularly interesting or profound.  Nostalgia for the Light is an interesting documentary by Patricio Guzman which deals with a vast Chilean desert with so little water that it's excellent for astronomers.  It's also the sight of one of Pinochet's prison camps, and much of the movie is spent of people, like Antigone, looking for the bodies of his victims after the regime made some effort to destroy them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw 4 movies this past week.  "Just Tell Me What You Want" (1980) is like those wonderful screwball comedies of the 1930's--you have to listen to Ali McGraw, Alan King, & Myrna Loy to catch all the laughs & one-liners; & the battle in Bergdorf--Goodman's dept. store is classic.  JTMWYW was Loy's last film.  Classy exit for a classy lady.  "Murder Most Foul" (1964) is one of Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple films--Rutherford is the film & she's a delight.  "The Girl in Black Stockings" (1957) is an odd case;there's barely an outline of a script, except for the paraplegic's scenes, the rest of the men are all bores, but the two leading ladies are to be commended:  Mamie Van Doren gets 15 minutes of screen time, & proves she can play comedy, & Anne Bancroft makes pathos out of---nothing.  "The Conqueror" (1956)--oh, what a dud. Oscar Millard's script plays like a smug, smirky, Tartar Eastern--John Wayne is understandably helpless when confronted with lines like "Eternal skies, send me men" & "You're beautiful in your wrath"--Susan Hayward manages to keep a straight face while listening to those lines--& none of the cast is as bad as the script.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I saw 4 movies this week:

 

"Stingaree" (1934)--Irene Dunne is in glorious voice in this operetta set in Australia, & Richard Dix is--there--as the bandit who sweeps her away to a singing career.  But the film is stolen by Mary Boland, as an old lady who fancies herself an accomplished singer--whose every move toward the piano sends the servants running for cover--or a pair of earmuffs--& inspires moans/groans of dismay from her recital audience.  Her accompanist on the piano possesses slightly more ability than Frankenstein's monster.  The final touch is Una O' Connor as a clueless maid.  A gem of a movie.

 

"Sweet Adeline" (1935)--Irene Dunne stars in this operetta also, which features songs like "Why Was I Born", the title song, & other standards.  Enjoyable fluff.

 

"The Haunting" (1963)--THE haunted house film--a classic.  Based on Shirley Jackson's novel "The Haunting of Hill House".  I can't recommend either highly enough.

 

"The Opposite Sex" (1956)--Dreadful remake of "The Women" (1939)--Makes the awful mistake of introducing songs & men.  The films' smug attitudes are infuriating.  Agnes Moorehead, Ann Miller, & Delores Gray are amusing in their roles--everyone else sinks without a trace in the films' muck & mire--including Joan Collins, who comes off as a witch in training.

 

Best film--"The Haunting" (1963)

 

Worst film--"The Opposite Sex" (1956)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw six movies over the last three weeks.  Goodbye to Language is certainly worth watching, even if as a complex modernist film it has no narrative, or at least no obvious one.  And the version I saw wasn't in 3D.  Wind over the Everglades is not my favorite Nicholas Ray film.  It has some of the themes of his other movies, in this case an outlaw element (a group of ruthless bird poachers) who have some attractiveness before they meet their inevitable comeuppance.  As an exploration of turn of the century Florida, it's less compelling than The Lusty Men.  The Big Country, which I saw the following night, is kind of odd since Burl Ives plays a similar character to the one he plays in Wind (he won the 1958 best supporting actor oscar, and while not bad, he can't hold a candle to Orson Welles in Touch of Evil).  I'm not the biggest of western fans, but there are interesting themes in this William Wyler directed film (such as a duel sequence which if not up to the standard of Barry Lyndon is worth looking at in its own right.  Scenes from City Life is a 1935 Chinese film by Yuan Muzhi, director of the later and more successful Street Angel which I watched earlier this year.  It has some amusing touches, although it doesn't really present a realistic picture of 1930s Shanghai, and Street Angel is the more interesting film.  True Love by contrast can be clearly dismissed as a failure.  Aside from the coarse language and sexual overtones this portrait of a disastrous Italian-American marriage is shallower than many sitcoms and never moves beyond stereotypes.  There is nothing that shows the insight of Killer of Sheep, My Brother's Wedding or To Sleep with Anger.  (And seriously what groom is so moronic that he doesn't realize he's supposed to spend his wedding night with his wife?)  Clearly the movie of the last three weeks is Hard to be a God, Alexei German's final film, an absolutely brilliant sci-fi film about a medieval planet with truly brilliant misc-en-scene and complex, elaborate tracking shots with obvious relavance to Russian history.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw four movies last week--3 favorites & 1 camp classic that maybe isn't so campy:

 

"The Phantom of the Opera"--(1925)--Lon Chaney Sr. stars--The creepiest & best version--unless you want to hear opera, of course.

 

"Good News"--(1947)--Stars Peter Lawford--who couldn't sing or stay on key (when he couldn't stay on key during the climactic "The Varsity Drag", Director Charles Walters had him shout instead of sing his lines) but who does a very good job talk singing his lines with the boards least favorite actress  (LFA) in the song "The French Lesson"--& the Oscar-nominated dance number "Pass That Peace Pipe" is worth waiting for--it's non-PC, I know, but a darn good example of MGM at its' height, when it could devote extra resources to even small budgeted musicals with a first time out director.

 

"The General"--(1927)--Buster Keaton's finest comedy, IMO--it's the Confederate version of " The Great Locomotive Chase (1956).

 

"The Brain That Wouldn't Die"--(1962)--a camp classic in its' day--the execution of the film is Unarguably camp (just one bit of trivia--a "Date" comes in & doesn't notice  fresh bloodstains on the carpet)--but now makes one think about medical advances--if one isn't too busy laughing at the films' ineptitude (the preceding statement Definitely goes for me--one scene had me hiccoughing with laughter). :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw three movies last week.  The Grim Reaper was not enough to hold my interest as I was working on other matters as it played in the background.  Portrait of Jason was much more interesting, even if I didn't quite catch the end.  The portrait of a black homosexual (stereotypically effeminiate at the time), would have gotten more attention at the time than it does now, but the documentary did have a certain power.  La Promesse, not actually the Dardenne Brothers first film, or even their first fiction film, but their first second film, in which their style of their future films becomes clear, is an interesting and compelling film.  But I agree with Stuart Klawans that the protagonist's decency is a little too easily obtained. 

 

I should also remind myself that I rewatched Nostalghia.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw six films last week.  "Tonight's the Night" (1954) was a mildly amusing David Niven comedy--nowhere near his best or worst film.  "Soldiers Three" (1951) was an action comedy--amusing, but could have been funnier.  "The Kings' Thief" (1955) was a David Niven movie TCM hid in Wednesday mornings' schedule,  I don't know why, because it Easily was the best acted, produced, & enjoyable  of the three Niven films I saw that week--Niven played the villain and seemed to enjoy that immensely & communicated his enjoyment to the viewer.  "King Richard and the Crusaders" (1954)--just when the viewer is about to doze off, something ridiculous happens.  "The Producers" (1968)--wildly uneven film--ones' enjoyment depends on ones' tolerance for the tasteless.  When it's funny, it's funny--& vice versa.  Musical numbers are unforgettable.  "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1949) is a low budget British take on the Poe classic; is almost as good as Corman's 1960 version, but beginning is hopelessly stilted--stay with film, because it improves radically once preface is over.

 

See all six films--all are worth viewing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw four movies last week.  No End had interesting aspects, but like Kieslowski's three colours trilogy, it didn't make that great an impression on me.  The Prince of Tides was much less impressive:  melodramatic and contrived in places.  La Cage Aux Folles was not a particularly good film.  Dave Kehr has written it is amusing, but it would be much better if the director had a proper sense of timing.  Indeed, one can see how inadequate the timing is as one watches the movie.  It strikes me as more a way for audience viewers to celebrate their tolerance (it was made in 1979) as opposed to being a particularly brilliant farce.  And was it supposed to be un-letterboxed?  Finally, there's The Men who Tread on the Tiger's Tail, an early Kurosawa movie based on a Japanese legend.  It's actually fairly good, although it's also rather short (it's under an hour) and hardly as weighty as his later movies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw four movies this week.  Lina Wertmuller's reputation has largely vanished in the 39 years since Seven Beauties, and seeing Love and Anarchy gives me little reason to challenge that view.  It strikes me as broad, a bit vulgar and ultimately not very interesting.  The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is amusing, if not brilliant.  The Headless Horseman's chase is certainly interesting and clever, and it's not wrong that it should supplant the original story, which is a just a piece of small time bullying.  Escape from Witch Mountain is competent, but it lacks any special spark.  There is a bland homogeneity which growing up watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" or whatever the TV show was called I mistook for reality, but which made me wonder why so many of classmates in my by no means particularly diverse community didn't have WASP surnames.  It's striking that Donald Pleasance gives the most striking performance.  Manakamana is a documentary more odder than interesting.  Basically it takes place in the mountains of Nepal as various people ride a cable car from one mountain to another, usually set in long takes.  Some of the people are native Nepalese, some more closer to the traditional culture than others.  There's a couple of English speaking tourists, a trio of young haired men who could be Indian tourists, a couple who play musical instruments, and even a batch of goats.  As I said, more odd than interesting.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw nine films last week. Am only counting films I hadn't seen before or had been five years or more since I'd seen them.  "Battle at Apache Pass" (1952 is a competent western, distinguished only by Jeff Chandler's performance as Cochise & Jay Silverheels' performance as his enraged brother.  "Lady L" (1965) had the effortless seeming, film saving performance from David Niven I'd been waiting all month to see.  After a third of the film has gone by with Sophia Loren (an underrated comedienne) getting scattered laughs & Paul Newman Trying for but never quite getting laughs, Niven comes into the movie, starts getting laughs, & gets a comedy rhythm going with Loren--film then knits itself together & is a delight while Niven & Loren are on screen. Director Peter Ustinov has an amusing cameo.  Slow starting but very worth seeing.  

 

"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" (1949)--Disney animation is predictably excellent, Basil Rathbone & Bing Crosby as narrators are very good.  "Disney's Wonderful World of Color: The Plausible Impossible" (1956) is a television gem: the sketches for an unused episode in "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) are a delight to see with the soundtrack that was recorded but not used.  Same with the " A Night On Bald Mountain" sketches from "Fantasia" (1940), except this time you hear Mussorgsky's music with the sketches, Then the animated sequence And the music.  The cherry on top is that ABC filmed this in color in 1956, but aired it in black-and-white because they didn't have the technology to show it in color.  TCM's airing Thursday morning was 1st showing in color(?)

 

"The Leopard Man"--Very effective low budget  thriller from Val Lewton's unit at RKO.  Very, very  good.  "Ghost Ship" (1943)--mood piece that depends on lighting and actors' ability to draw the viewer into the story--Richard Dix is excellent.

 

"The Devil's Bride" (1968) is a classy, high budget Hammer horror film, & this time money spent pays off in a scary tale with Christopher Lee as the good guy.  "Curse of the Demon" (1958) is a horror classic made more so by the ending--Peggy Cummins & Dana Andrews are very good.  "Dead of Night" (1946) is a classic British horror anthology--Googie Withers, Michael Redgrave & Sally Ann Howes are most notable.

 

Least notable--"Battle at Apache Pass" (1952). 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 "Lady L" (1965) had the effortless seeming, film saving performance from David Niven I'd been waiting all month to see.  After a third of the film has gone by with Sophia Loren (an underrated comedienne) getting scattered laughs & Paul Newman Trying for but never quite getting laughs, Niven comes into the movie, starts getting laughs, & gets a comedy rhythm going with Loren--film then knits itself together & is a delight while Niven & Loren are on screen. Director Peter Ustinov has an amusing cameo.  Slow starting but very worth seeing.  

 

More often than not David Niven's light hearted attitude and effortless charm is a pleasure to watch in comedies, even if the films themselves have vanished from your memory almost as soon as you saw them. I saw Lady L a few years ago, got through it somehow, the "somehow" being thanks to the performances of Niven and Loren. Of course, I can't remember the film at all today.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" (1949)--Disney animation is predictably excellent, Basil Rathbone & Bing Crosby as narrators are very good. 

 

I first saw this film 66 years ago. i've remembered much of both segments and I loved the film when I first saw it in a theater as a 7 year old boy. I've been waiting for 66 years to see it again, and finally TCM showed it to me. I love it as much now as I did back in 1949.

 

Thanks TCM. :)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw seven films last week.  "The Mouse That Roared" (1959) is a delight about The Duchy of Grand Fenwick declaring war on the United States, in order to lose and qualify for Foreign Aid.  There's a great gag in the films opening titles, & film rolls from there.  Peter Sellers is in three roles.  "Slaughter Trail" ( 1951) has a soundtrack Leonard Maltin hates--but it sounds like  The Sons of the Pioneers, with bad lyrics and an occasional zinger mixed in.  Soundtrack aside, ST is a delightfully Stupid movie, where the Soldiers operatically fall & die before the arrow hits them, the conniving leading lady kisses a highwayman & leaves Very noticeable lipstick behind, and nobody comments, Andy Devine wails away with the soundtrack for a chorus (Thankfully, No More), one Indian has one arm painted, the other is not--A marvelously idiotic film, for fans of the silly.

 

"It! The Terror From Beyond  Space" (1958) is a surprisingly enjoyable 1950's low budget sci-fi film.  There are the expected howlers, (a frisbee for a planet? star?), but there is also a good script, OK  acting, and a monster that isn't bad.  Those who have seen "Alien" can play "cut and paste" with ideas--ITTFBS used at least two first.

 

"Love Crazy" (1941) is a Powell-Loy farce I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it--a very funny film.  "Norma Rae" (1979) was an Essential--Sally Field and the film are very good, as is the theme song "It Goes As  It Goes; "Marie" (1985) was good, with an excellent performance from Sissy Spacek; wasn't her fault the script was predictable.  "Quentin Durward" (1955) was a sillier than usual Robert Taylor costumer, with the witty Kay Kendall in support.  A correction--Kendall very clearly says "rooms" ,not "runes", as I'd wondered in an earlier thread.  I'd stayed up too late and was silly from trying to stay awake.  But today I noticed--Kendall makes all the decisions in the story--Taylor spends the film chasing after her, & getting himself out of trouble.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw eight movies over the last two weeks:  two last week and six this week.Tangerine is an independent film about a prostitute looking for the other prostitute who her pimp cheated on.  The twist, such as it is, is that the prostitutes are actually male transvestites.  I'm not sure I'm really the audience for this movie.  Memphis deals with a blues singer who is facing a personal and artistic crisis.  It has interesting aspects, though it meanders.  The Spring River Flows East is a 1947 Chinese movie, which deals with a marriage strained by the Japanese invasion of 1937.  It actually is of some interest, even if the reunion of the central couple is a bit implausible in a country which at the time had 500 million people.  But the actual encounter is fairly effective.  I also saw three documentaries this week.  Drifters is a 1929 documentary by John Grierson about fishermen.  It's interesting, if not especially informative.  The Exiles, strictly speaking a quasi-documentary is by contrast more of a revelation.  The Connection is by contrast a pseudo-documentary, actually a play about people being filmed for a documentary.  It's interesting, if not brilliant.  The Man from Uncle has some interesting set pieces and witty touches, but it suffers from its two uninteresting male leads.  A Most violent Year is probably the best movie I've seen recently, with Isaac Davis giving a good performance as the businessman under siege (while Jessica Chastain is less impressive).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a lot of TCM recordings this week. Contains many spoilers....

 

• THIS IS THE ARMY-saw this in a theater setting, the newly restored version from Warner Bros. What a crowd pleaser! The audience sang along to GOD BLESS AMERICA and applauded after a few outstanding numbers, especially the "Harlem" one.

 

• ORDINARY PEOPLE- I wanted to revisit Donald Sutherland after a conversation on this board.

I enjoyed the movie very much, outstanding performances. I liked that MTM played against type, brilliantly. I never "hated" her, even though I thought she was unfairly coldly written. Instead, I felt so badly for her, losing a child. It made a great contrast to the surviving son charactor who because of youth, was more resiliant. I really liked the portrayal of a therapist, (my original chosen profession) played by Judd Hirsch. I was struck by the Karen charactor, played by Dinah Manoff, familiar to me from the old SOAP series. Outstanding actress of course....she's Lee Grant's daughter!

 

• KLUTE - another Sutherland film. Once he slept with the prostitute, I lost interest and turned it off. Fonda was outstanding in her performance. Even though I knew I was watching a movie star, I wholly believed her charactor and felt much pathos for her. But the plot didn't interest me a whit.

 

• A THOUSAND & ONE NIGHTS - I love "sandal" pictures, and this is one of the better ones. I loved Evelyn Keyes as a genie and wasn't annoyed by Phil Silvers' charactor. Great costumes, great sets, great Technicolor, good writing all helping to make Cornell Wilde as a singing Aladdin tolerable.

 

• RACHEL & THE STRANGER - nothing special about this pioneer tale. Loretta Young was her usual self, William Holden HIS usual self and bit cameo Robert Mitchum part was too insignificant to elevate the story. I am left cold by "savage" Native American portrayals, but try suspending belief for a story's sake.

 

• GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES - MM is spectacular playing a vapid blonde, Jane Russell brave to appear on screen next to her. A true classic that just about anyone can enjoy. MM singing often brings a tear to my eye, she was such a special person, I'm so glad we have her forever preserved on film.

 

• LADY KILLERS 

• THE MAN WITH TWO FACES - 2 Warner Bros shown on Mae Clark Day. I can say these are "nothing special" programmers, typical WB fare, but there is something so wonderful & entertaining about WB programmers. The first movie had Cagney, the second on EG Robinson...both with Mae Clark. You really can't improve on that, can you? Good writing, good photography, great acting....like the staple, bread. Bread can be ubiquitous, yet such a strong basic staple.

 

So, best of the week for me, was ORDINARY PEOPLE. I'd guess because it was the only movie viewed for the first time. Worst of the week was KLUTE, also a first, if incomplete viewing.

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...