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TCM and Other Sources for Classic Film


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Just now, ando said:

more She 

tmmac.jpg  plex-1-282404.png

They Made A Criminal (1939, Busby Berkeley) 

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk. Sheridan disappears after the first 10 minutes in this potboiler but Berkeley keeps the story hopping as poor John Garfield is double crossed by everyone on his run from the law. Free on Plex.

This flick is in the public domain.

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marymorris3.jpeg


The Double Door (1934)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Charles Vidor
Screenplay:  Gladys Lehman and Jack Cunningham (based on "the play that made Broadway gasp" by Elizabeth McFadden)
Cast: Evelyn Venable, Sir Guy Standing, Ann Revere, Kent Taylor, and Mary Morris
Now Playing: YouTube

Recently issued on Blu-ray Disc by Kino Lorber Studio Classics, this adaptation of a popular Broadway play is the only movie made by stage actress Mary Morris. Categorized and marketed by Paramount as a horror movie ("Frankenstein, Dracula, and all the other male monsters are sissies compared to Victoria Van Brett"), it presents the dastardly machinations of dominatrix Victoria Van Brett ("The Female Frankenstein of Fifth Avenue") who terrorizes her family solely by the sheer force of her personality -- which is, in a word, rotten.

The tone of this terror tale is set during the title sequence, which is accompanied by that beloved, ol' horror standard Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach AND Mary Morris' scowling, sour puss, which looms forward to destroy the cast credits -- a harbinger of things to come. Cinematographer Harry Fischbeck and (uncredited) art directors Hans Dreier and Robert Odell appropriately complement Van Brett's dark doings with sinister shadows, eerie lighting, and imprisoning, claustrophobic sets.

If spooky spinsters and villainous viragoes are your cup of arsenic, then open this Double Door and step inside . . . if you dare!

 

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A Life at Stake (1955)
Genre: Film Noir
Director: Paul Guilfoyle
Screenplay: Russ Bender
Cast: Angela Lansbury, Keith Andes, and Douglas Dumbrille
Now Playing: YouTube

For me, the highlight of this entertaining if not exceptional noir thriller was seeing Angela Lansbury in a swimsuit. That's what she's wearing when femme fatale Doris Hillman (Lansbury) first meets architect Edward Shaw (Andes).

"You better call out when you get to the guest house. Sometimes she swims in the nude!" alerts Hillman's maid to Shaw.

"Don't worry about it," Shaw coolly replies, "So do I."

If the remainder of A Life at Stake fulfilled the sexy possibilities promised by that titillating dialogue, I would more highly regard this Hank McCune Production.

"In a nutshell." architect Ed is propositioned -- in more ways than one -- by Black Widow Doris to bankroll a real estate deal that (she entices) will make the pair of them a whole lotta moolah. If he'll just agree to sign a life insurance policy, she'll split from her drab ball 'n chain  Gus (Dumbrille), who (baffling to me) complains about his sultry, shapely spouse, "Four closets full of clothes, and all she ever wears is a bathing suit!"

What's the problem, Dude?

Unknown to Ed, hubby's in on the scheme. Paranoia strikes deep as Ed begins to suspect that he's not in good hands with Mr. and Mrs. H -- who he feels are out to kill him!

Russ Bender's script (based on McCune's story) predictably follows noir conventions, offering nothing new or particularly thrilling. Andes' beefcake allure is not enough compensation to write off his stilted acting. Seasoned pros Lansbury and Dumbrille consummately pick up the slack in their brawny co-star's performance and their producer's derivative plot.

Yet, there are delights to be found in this variation on Double Indemnity. One such: the vignette when Ed and Doris passionately negotiate the amount of the insurance policy during a vigorous osculatory battle of wills.

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OIP.XkFlfsgK2kzLyu2xw5rEdAHaLH?pid=ImgDe

The Female Bunch (1969)
Genre: Western
Director: Al Adamson
Screenplay: Jale Lockwood and Brent Nimrod
Cast: Russ Tamblyn, Jennifer Bishop, and Lon Chaney Jr.
Now Playing: Odnoklassniki (OK)

The Female Bunch is notorious for two reasons:

  • It was shot at Spahn Ranch while "The Manson Family" was in residence there.
     
  • It was Lon Chaney Jr's last movie.

Ummmm.

IMO, this is a crummy movie . . . I ain't gonna lie.

I watched this stinker (directed by shlockmeister Al Adamson, who was to Lon Chaney Jr. what Ed Wood was to Bela Lugosi -- both a life saver and a career killer) strictly because it featured Lon Chaney Jr.

As a major fan of Chaney the Younger, watching this travesty (production title: A Time to Run . . . which would have been a dead giveaway and a cue to audiences) is a painful and depressing experience. This was the second Adamson-Chaney "collaboration," the first being the equally execrable and excremental Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Both turkeys were made in 1969 but not released until 1971. Both turkeys are sad, ignominious swan songs for Lon Chaney Jr.

The plot? A gang of rough-ridin', whip-crackin', ball-bustin', man-hatin' wymyn hole up at a desert ranch to deal drugs, terrorize a Mexican rancher, and party hard with biker scum at the local watering hole. Unlucky enough to get in their way: Russ Tamblyn (see his forehead in the movie poster) who, like LCJ, is slumming and also a willing victim of Al Adamson.

By this time in his life, Chaney had been diagnosed with throat cancer* and was receiving radiation therapy. Bloated, bleary-eyed, and blotto because of booze, the once "smiling young husky" is, if nothing else (and there is plenty else to the legacy of Lon Chaney Jr!), a heart-breaking "poster boy" for a modern-day Temperance Movement.

In Dracula vs Frankenstein, filmed a few months before The Female Bunch, Chaney's role was a mute brute ("Groton," another variation on Lennie Small). But in his second Adamson flick, Chaney had a speaking role. His voice, ravaged by cancer and the medical treatment, was a hoarse, raspy whisper. Nonetheless, Lon reliably and dutifully delivered a solid performance, his character (a broken-down, besotted stuntman) surprisingly winding up as the hero in the finale!

Thus, for me, the casting of Lon Chaney Jr. was simultaneously a delight and a sorrow. I am glad to have watched his final performance and sad that it was his final performance.

* The same disease that killed his father.

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ee31a2cf5c438efd4f3316d25a95f0b5--spanis

The Hanging Woman (1973)
Genre: Horror
Director: José Luis Merino
Screenplay: Enrico Colombo and José Luis Merino
Cast: Stelvio Rosi, Dyanik Zurakowska, Maria Pia Conte, and Paul Naschy
Now Playing: YouTube

I watched this EuroHorror potboiler on Tubi, where it is being presented as Beyond the Living Dead. This is one of those flicks that has multiple titles:

  • La Orgía de los Muertos (O rgy of the Dead)
  • Return of the Zombies
  • Terror of the Living Dead
  • Andy Hardy Meets the Zombies

Okay. Maybe not that last one.

A handsome production (evocative of Hammer Films chillers), old-world locations that enhance the minatory mood, and a serious treatment of the fantastic plot, alas for me, do not overcome the middling results.

The tale begins with the hero of the story (Rosi, he of the enviably beautiful hair) discovering the titular Hanging Woman, which is only the beginning of his troubles. Later on, he encounters devil worshippers and zombies. Also hanging around for "laughs" is Igor, a necrophiliac gravedigger (EuroCult superstar Naschy).

The primary draw for EuroHorror-EuroCult fans is Paul Naschy ("the Spanish Lon Chaney") who has a very minor but memorable supporting role.

The primary draw for me was blonde, beautiful Dyanik Zurakowska whom Tubi introduced me to in the more enjoyable (for me) The Sweet Sound of Death.

For fans of EuroHorror-EuroCult cinema and Gothic horror (yes, please!), and especially for fans of Paul Naschy, The Hanging Woman is probably worth . . . uhhh . . . hanging around to watch.

 

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13 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:


marymorris3.jpeg


The Double Door (1934)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Charles Vidor
Screenplay:  Gladys Lehman and Jack Cunningham (based on "the play that made Broadway gasp" by Elizabeth McFadden)
Cast: Evelyn Venable, Sir Guy Standing, Ann Revere, Kent Taylor, and Mary Morris
Now Playing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCowWefex-k&t=9s

Recently issued on Blu-ray Disc by Kino Lorber Studio Classics, this adaptation of a popular Broadway play is the only movie made by stage actress Mary Morris. Categorized and marketed by Paramount as a horror movie ("Frankenstein, Dracula, and all the other male monsters are sissies compared to Victoria Van Brett"), it presents the dastardly machinations of dominatrix Victoria Van Brett ("The Female Frankenstein of Fifth Avenue") who terrorizes her family solely by the sheer force of her personality -- which is, in a word, rotten.

The tone of this terror tale is set during the title sequence, which is accompanied by that beloved, ol' horror standard Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach AND Mary Morris' scowling, sour puss, which looms forward to destroy the cast credits -- a harbinger of things to come. Cinematographer Harry Fischbeck and (uncredited) art directors Hans Dreier and Robert Odell appropriately complement Van Brett's dark doings with sinister shadows, eerie lighting, and imprisoning, claustrophobic sets.

If spooky spinsters and villainous viragoes are your cup of arsenic, then open this Double Door and step inside . . . if you dare!

Grateful you mentioned this one. I am going to include it on the Neglected Films thread next month!

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Grateful you mentioned this one. I am going to include it on the Neglected Films thread next month!

TopBilled,

In his commentary on the Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray Disc, Tom Weaver reported that he not only sold KLSC on releasing Double Door but also convinced KLSC to remove the music at the end of the movie . . . because he felt that it ruined the mood created in the final scene.

WT . . .?! When did commentators get such power and authority to customize movies to their liking?

Fortunately, the print of DD on YouTube is not (as far as I know) edited.

Weaver also expressed his recommendation of another 1934 Paramount thriller, Menace. Included in the cast: "Raymond Milland." One of Weaver's sycophants contacted KLSC to request Menace, and received a response of Not Interested.

Fortunately, Menace can be seen on the Russian OK website. The print is not pristine and the transfer is shaky. But, it is watchable.

 . . . perhaps another flick for your Neglected Films thread?

Menace (1934)
https://ok.ru/video/282167675555

MV5BOTU1NzgzNmItYWY1MC00YWUyLTk1YTQtMjhm

 

MV5BMTdmNWQ0ZDYtZDdhZC00NTg2LThjZjYtOGQ4

 

 

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roller1.jpg  app_icon_200x200.png

Rollerball (1975, Norman Jewison)

In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game. Cult classic. Finally watching this one tonight. There was a remake in 2002 that doesn't strike me as very smart as the appeal of the original lies in its very 70s stylized portrait of "the future", ideological conception, notwithstanding. Free on tubi.

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3 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

TopBilled,

In his commentary on the Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray Disc, Tom Weaver reported that he not only sold KLSC on releasing Double Door but also convinced KLSC to remove the music at the end of the movie . . . because he felt that it ruined the mood created in the final scene.

WT . . .?! When did commentators get such power and authority to customize movies to their liking?

Fortunately, the print of DD on YouTube is not (as far as I know) edited.

Weaver also expressed his recommendation of another 1934 Paramount thriller, Menace. Included in the cast: "Raymond Milland." One of Weaver's sycophants contacted KLSC to request Menace, and received a response of Not Interested.

Fortunately, Menace can be seen on the Russian OK website. The print is not pristine and the transfer is shaky. But, it is watchable.

 . . . perhaps another flick for your Neglected Films thread?

Menace (1934)
https://ok.ru/video/282167675555

MV5BOTU1NzgzNmItYWY1MC00YWUyLTk1YTQtMjhm

 

MV5BMTdmNWQ0ZDYtZDdhZC00NTg2LThjZjYtOGQ4

 

 

Well I am a fan of Henrietta Crosman-- love her in PILGRIMAGE and GIRL OF THE OZARKS. So this seems like something I'd be interested in viewing.

Speaking of young Raymond Milland, I will be looking at another Joe Morrison movie later this year (Paramount's backup singing star in case Bing Crosby got difficult)...and Milland is in it. It's called FOUR HOURS TO KILL (1935).

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50112-adaptation--0-230-0-345-crop.jpg?k  app_icon_200x200.png

Adaptation (2002, Spike Jonze)

As a screenwriter struggles to adapt a best-selling book he writes himself into his own movie. An old favorite. Great cast. Free on tubi.

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6 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Wednesday February 23, 2022

988391E5-9442-48D3-A705-B6BC6D14F4CF_4_5005_c

Affairs on TCM

the arnelo affair

the postman always rings twice

more affairs

 

 ltip2.jpg  app_icon_200x200.png

Last Tango In Paris (1972, Bernardo Bertoluci)

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who insists that they remain ignorant of their lives apart from each oher.  Free on Pluto.

3e220ca8542262b21ffc66483297f134.jpg  app_icon_200x200.png

Paris Blues (1960, Martin Ritt)

Two American expatriate jazz musicians living in 1960s Paris meet and fall in love with two American tourist girls. Free on tubi.

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On 2/8/2022 at 9:30 AM, Shank Asu said:

Well, i'm officially without TCM at this point.  We had to cut our cable bill in the US as we don't primarily live here and there was no reasonable package available that offered it.  Trying to find a way to get it as an add-on through another app/streaming service such as Hulu but not having any luck.  I haven't seen Noir Alley in two weeks and feel like i'm  behind the times on here.

I guess I have Criterion channel and the TCM Hub through HBO Max, but not the same.

🙁☹️🥺

Without TCM i've been absent from the forums for a while, not feeling like i could contribute anymore to popular threads like Noir Alley.  I have since had a plan to watch the Noir Alley films through renting on Amazon Prime and am surprised that the films that I've missed from the past month and upcoming to the schedule after the month off in March, are actually not even available on Prime.  I'm shocked.  I thought most everything was available to rent on Prime.

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