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Million Dollar Manhunt (1956) aka Assignment Redhead (1956)

 

A known document forger and counterfeiter goes to London. The authorities identify him as a passenger on a particular flight but their attempt to trace his movements is hampered by not having a photograph of him. This is despite the fact that they know he is traveling under the passport of an official who visits their offices regularly. The only person with a photograph is murdered and they know that the forger did it but they chase the victim's roommate and put out the equivalent of an APB to arrest him on sight for murder. The plot muddies a bit after that.

This movie is classified as a police procedural. That clearly explains the origin of the phrase: plodding copper. 

The stars are American B-movie actors: Richard Denning and: Carole Mathews. This is a British B-movie. I admit that I do not understand movie algebra but it is apparent that B+B=D. 

It is possible that the original script was quite wonderful but budget constraints meant filming only every third page. I can think of no other explanation for the plot holes, disconnected action and unexplained characters. There is no explanation also for the emphasis on the leading lady being a redhead in a Black&White movie.

It is not a terrible movie but it is not one to watch if you desire action, mystery and great performances.

4/9.53

Available on Amazon Prime Video at no additional cost.

 

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Bend of the River (1952)

James Stewart plays a border raider with a past leading a wagon train of settlers along the Oregon Trail. He's a man trying to flee his past in this Technicolor western, the second of five that he made with director Anthony Mann and one of the big box office hits of its year.

As with his other Mann westerns, though possibly to a less developed degree here, Stewart's generally amiable demeanour covers some dark secrets, the actor's lanky frame convincing in the saddle, though there remains an interesting vulnerability about him. Arthur Kennedy scores well, bringing some charm to his role as another border raider though one unrepentant about his past. Though engagingly affable at times, Kennedy is also quick with his gun and, in a split second, can turn rattlesnake nasty. He and Stewart have an uneasy friendship, each saving the other's life at times, but you know it's a matter of time before there will be the inevitable showdown.

The film benefits from strong on location photography shot in Oregon, with mountainous backdrops, lush evergreens and surging rivers. There is also an impressive supporting cast including Julia Adams as a pioneer (two years before the actress donned that one piece swimsuit that would pop Gill Man's already pop eyes out still further), Jay C. Flippen as her father, Lori Nelson her sister and a young Rock Hudson as a gambler who tags along for the ride. Hudson is handsome, of course, and adequate in his role, though his character remains ill defined.

Stewart has one great moment in this film when, after being beaten and betrayed, he swears vengeance in a low angle shot on the man who betrayed him.

"You'll be seeing me," he says, "You'll be seeing me. Every time you bed down for the night, you'll look back to the darkness and wonder if I'm there. And some night I will be. You'll be seeing me."

Shades of the Duke four years before in Red River. Stewart brings a smoldering anger and determination to this scene that leaves no doubt he was the wrong man to cross and leave alive.

SPOILER ALERT: The final confrontation between Stewart and Kennedy, while well photographed and edited, is rather odd as it becomes apparent that Kennedy is not actually in the scene. All the work is clearly done by a stunt double. Kennedy had earlier been established as an effective villain in this film but, with the actor's absence when his character receives his final comeuppance, it is curiously unsatisfying.

Bend of the River even if, arguably, the least of the Stewart-Mann westerns, is still well worth viewing thanks to a superior cast and those beautiful vistas.

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3 out of 4

 

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1 hour ago, Lori Ann said:

I recently finished my 3rd time watching "Gambit" with Shirley MacLaine & Michael Caine from 1966.  Great movie!!  Please watch it if you get a chance!

Shirley MacLaine shows Michael Caine she's no fool in... Gambit (1966)

Lori

I watched it when it was on TCM recently.  I'd never seen it before, but I really liked it too.  Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, and Herbert Lom were all very good in it.

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On 11/20/2020 at 7:55 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I had the distinct pleasure of watching GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH yesterday morning.

I am a huge fan of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. I've never seen GODFATHER II. THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES I can take or leave.

Thusly I put it to you that THIS is THE GREATEST SEQUEL OF ALL TIME.

I

LEONARD MALTIN actually has a pretty fun cameo.

 

I watched GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH  this weekend as well,  after seeking it out  based on information posted on these boards. 

I have seen GREMLINS quite a few times but had  never seen the sequel until now.   

THE NEW BATCH was a wild ride that I  really enjoyed, but I don't think it's a movie I will return to often as I do with  the original GREMLINS.  I love the Mrs. Deagle scenes in the first movie!  And Billy's mother's battles with the gremlins.

SPOILER:

  I was surprised to see the Futtermans  in the sequel.  It was strongly implied they were killed in the first movie.

 

PS.  I though of you, LHF, when Leonard Maltin appeared  (as himself).

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8 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

I had the distinct pleasure of watching GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH yesterday morning.

I am a huge fan of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. I've never seen GODFATHER II. THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES I can take or leave.

Thusly I put it to you that THIS is THE GREATEST SEQUEL OF ALL TIME.

Christopher Lee: "We can't let them get away. All they have to do is eat three or four children and it will be the most appalling publicity!" 😄

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19 hours ago, Lori Ann said:

I recently finished my 3rd time watching "Gambit" with Shirley MacLaine & Michael Caine from 1966.  Great movie!!  Please watch it if you get a chance!

Shirley MacLaine shows Michael Caine she's no fool in... Gambit (1966)

Lori

This is one of my favorite movies. It is much like having two movies in one by the way it changes from precision caper to walking disaster.

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I watched two movies last night. They were recordings from March/April because the host referred to 31 Days of Oscar was the previous month! 

First was SIREN OF THE TROPICS '27 a silent film starring Josephine Baker. Silent films are great to watch when you're on a long rambling phone call with someone that only requires an occasional, "uh huh". The story is about a young guy sent away to some tropical paradise to forget about the girl back home he wants to marry. He has a grand old time, but sprite Papitou (Baker) falls in love with him & follows him back to "civilization" Paris.

This movie mostly revolves around Baker's charactor, an adorable sprite you can't take your eyes off of-her joyousness  comes across in every scene. She loves life and everything in it and you love her too.

Even though Baker's charactor lives as a "primitive savage" with all the stereotypes, she is depicted as a normal person: not subservient, lazy or low intelligence like US films of the time. She is especially striking in "modern" clothing of the flapper era and she has DIGNITY. Enough dignity to make a happy ending in an otherwise insulting scenario. Baker only made 3 films, all similar stories, but SO GLAD her magic is captured on film-

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74c73eff295fe904626616fe8853e814.gif

Cute comedic moments like this-

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(and for all of you boys that like glimpse of bewbs, there are a few scenes like this)

Siren-of-the-Tropics-1927-Josephine-Bake

Second movie was IT'S LOVE AGAIN '36 a British comedy starring another sprite Jessie Matthews. This is a cute story of gossip columnist (American Robert Young) who fabricates a fabulous charactor Mrs Smythe-Smythe to intrigue readers. Matthews decides to "impersonate" Mrs Smythe-Smythe to show off her singing/dancing talents in society nightclubs to be "discovered".

I love Jesse Matthews and this was a great vehicle for her. She's adorable and wears some fabulous costumes. She has a gorgeous singing voice and I enjoyed the songs. But this viewing, I noticed I really wasn't impressed by the dancing. Even Robert Young does a little soft shoe with her and these scenes stall with a thud. Don't get me wrong, she was an OK dancer...but my mind just wandered to Astaire/Rogers dance numbers noticing these just weren't them. Matthews dancing has a jerky phrenetic quality to it, it's not soothing or even graceful, really.

Matthews singing is enjoyable, her personality engaging, the story is fun and it's definitely worth watching. Again, there just aren't enough movies with Jessie Matthews either.

Its-love-again-1936.jpg

jessie-matthews-victor-savilles-love-193

 

 

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The Fake (1953)

 

Someone has stolen two great masterpieces and put expert forgeries in their place. An American investigator is sent to prevent the loss of a third. Will he track down the forger? Will he catch the thief? Will he find a beautiful young lady who will fall in love with him? 

This is a very nice little British crime drama with touches of lightheartedness. There is no great mystery and the solution is telegraphed so that it is not shocking but it moves along at a good pace and the characters are likeable. There are many worse ways to spend eighty minutes.

4.8/6

 Available on Amazon Prime Video at no additional cost.

 

Doctor Who - The Twelfth Season (2020)

I believe that all agree that  Jodie Whittaker's first season as The Doctor was an unmitigated disaster. Most of the feminist, SJW woke themes were left behind for the twelfth season. This is a return to classic villains and mostly competent storylines. It is obvious that she tries very hard to capture some of the whimsical traits which made previous Doctors lovable. The worst episode is: Orphan 55 which carries the terrible and surprising message that we are polluting the Earth. This seems to be a script left over from the eleventh season. The best episode is a toss-up between: Fugitive of the Judoon and: The Haunting of Villa Diodati. Both revisit old adversaries and have sufficiently twisty storylines. She is truly coming into her own as The Doctor and the increasing quality of the scripts portends great things. My single complaint is that the current showrunner is very heavy-handed with CGI. One of the great charms of the series is making simple things ominous and the villains nearly parodies of aliens. These slick and over-engineered graphics are as bad as a sitcom's laugh track.  

Episodes range from 2/27.3 to 9.6/14.

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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients.

The film won a lot of awards, and it's known for being the film debut of Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, and Danny DeVito.

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I actually rented THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA (1971)- I've seen it before numerous times, and I first saw it over a decade ago (along with THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES) during a difficult time in my life and it re-instilled my fondness for classic horror- (DR PHIBES moreso tho.)

OIP.VCHuQIPUwYqPMgEw8OxRwQHaEK?pid=Api&rsadly, ROBERT QUARRY does not look like this from the neck down in the movie, which is a shame because it would have been really something to see him HOP AFTER PEOPLE ON THAT CHICKEN LEG.

This is a (as I recall it) superior sequel to COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE- although to be honest, THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA is not a particularly good movie. although it sure as **** has some entertaining moments and makes GREAT USE of its NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LOCATIONS- some of the cinematography and shots of A GIANT VICTORIAN and a SPANISH STYLE MISSION are really exquisite. sadly, almost all of the dialogue and sound effects are clearly done with ADR and FOLEY, to the point where you kind of wish they'd just acknowledge it have have a braying donkey sound when someone fires a gun just for funsies.

there's some attempt at comedy and a bizarre cameo by GEORGE MACREADY (of GILDA and PATHS OF GLORY)- apparently his son was the producer.

MARIETTE HARTLEY is in this and she looks great and wears some kiki ensembles. OIP.2dWSjG-STm4SQ-5wKw8QSwHaF1?pid=Api&r

God damn ROBERT QUARRY is a very bad actor though. I can see why VINCENT PRICE hated him.

THE YORGETTES are what really make this one memorable:

OIP.MQsHoh-Bpn1PYeJptWVcGAHaEH?pid=Api&r

they're just as exciting from behind as they are up close. trust me.

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:57 PM, HoldenIsHere said:

I watched GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH  this weekend as well,  after seeking it out  based on information posted on these boards. 

I have seen GREMLINS quite a few times but had  never seen the sequel until now.   

THE NEW BATCH was a wild ride that I  really enjoyed, but I don't think it's a movie I will return to often as I do with  the original GREMLINS.  I love Billy's mother's battles with the gremlins.

SPOILER:

  I was surprised to see the Futtermans  in the sequel.  It was strongly implied they were killed in the first movie.

 

PS.  I though of you, LHF, when Leonard Maltin appeared  (as himself).

I'm touched!

Those of us with STRONG MOTHER FIGURES really enjoy the scene with BILLY'S MOM AND THE GREMLINS because we all know that if our Mom was in the same situation, she'd do THE EXACT SAME.  (And then probably make us clean out the microwave. )

BILLY'S MOM IS STREET-CERTIFIED HARDCORE. I'm not saying Billy's Mom shot Tupac, but I would like to know where she was on the night in question.

It's a lesson in moviemaking and screenwriting to see how the FIRST GREMLINS movie was CHANGED DRASTICALLY during or before production. They edit the scene with THE FUTTERMANS so it's not clear that they die from the snow plow, but they died in the original draft as did BILLY'S DOG and his MOM (who was DECAPITATED by the GREMLINS!!!!!!)

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

BILLY'S MOM, ORIGINAL GANGSTA:

 

Haha thanks for letting me know what I'm in for (requested this from my li-berry) 

Billy's Mom, "Get out of my kitchen!" Uh, he can't get out of your kitchen after blending.

I hated the first movie because of the cheesy puppets & mean spirited heroes. Think I'll like this one because I'm older & will enjoy the absurdity factor. Good acting can elevate cheesy horror. 

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Diplomatic Courier (1952)

Entertaining Cold War espionage tale from 20th Century Fox, with Tyrone Power as a somewhat innocent American diplomatic courier who is set to retrieve a mysterious package from another agent. When a friend is murdered Power is sent out to track down the package and the woman last seen with him before his death.

There's a certain comforting familiarity about films like this even if the story line is a little involved. Much of the film is spent on a speeding train with enemy agents aboard, shades of so many other spy melodramas, including The Lady Vanishes and From Russia With Love. There are some acts of violence here but much of the time Power is just trying to figure out what's going on and who can he trust. There is a mystery woman who may be a double agent (Hildegarde Neff), as well as an American tourist attracted to Power who he keeps bumping into (Patricia Neal).

Stephen McNally plays an American intelligence officer who decides to use Power as a rabbit to attract Soviet spies. If Power gets knocked off, well, war is hell, even if it is a cold one. Karl Malden scores well as an excitable military sergeant who tags along and tries to help the frequently baffled Power (with whom the audience identifies) get out of jams. Small roles in the film are played by Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin in their pre-stardom days.

Director Henry Hathaway keeps the film moving at a pleasant clip, and there are plenty of on location shots taken in Trieste, the city of spies, which agreeably adds to the atmosphere of this production. I noticed that you never actually see any of the film's actors in those Trieste settings, though. There are plenty of long shots of doubles so presumably Power and company did all their emoting on studio backlots.

The entire cast give professional accounts of themselves, with Neal particularly engaging in a droll performance as the tourist.

i?r=AEE-HZfz734vGAKlsp5gLh-pU2RKt7bej3kz

2.5 out of 4

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:55 AM, MikaelaArsenault said:

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients.

The film won a lot of awards, and it's known for being the film debut of Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, and Danny DeVito.

This was an excellent write-up, thank you! 
ps- There’s a whole mini series on FX called RATCHED where they’ve done sort of a prequel about the Nurse Ratched character and how she turned out to be such a beast.

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10 hours ago, TomJH said:

.

Second thoughts, eh?

Last night everything I put in the DVD player I had already seen. I stayed with 1941's THE SMILING GHOST mostly because I had forgotten it. It's a very simple mystery involving a ghost who kills or maims any man interested in marrying Elenor Bently played by beauty Alexis Smith. Wayne Morris is a happy go lucky never-do-well who is duped into pretending he's her fiancé to help unravel the mystery.

This is lighthearted fluff but well crafted & acted by all involved. It contains two quotable lines that have wormed their way into my everyday speech: when looking at a homely woman, hero "Lucky" (Wayne Morris) proclaims, "Her face looks like 7 miles of bad road" and when Willie Best as Clarence is chided for being reluctant to enter the cemetery, "Oh don't act so scared" he replies "What makes you think I'm ACTING?"

It's sad to see Willie Best play a bug eye scared valet/companion, but he makes the most of it with great lines & lots of screen time, albeit unrealistic. While I'm a taphophile, I'd never walk into a crypt full of old caskets at NIGHT! (not even in the daytime)

The star of this movie is Wayne Morris who's career took a downturn after being put on hold serving in WW2. He is a joy to watch, kind of a cross between Alan Hale (who's in this film as the butler) and Aldo Ray.... a big slab of lovable beef and it's great to see him in this leading role, no matter how silly. He died at 45 while on a Battleship and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery, a true American hero.

wayne-morris-paths-of-glory-0.jpg

Apparently after Universal's success with horror, other studios dipped their toes in the genre. WB's decided to try with this lighthearted spooky tale.

The_Smiling_Ghost_placcard.jpg

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18 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

It's sad to see Willie Best play a bug eye scared valet/companion, but he makes the most of it with great lines & lots of screen time, albeit unrealistic. While I'm a taphophile, I'd never walk into a crypt full of old caskets at NIGHT! (not even in the daytime)

 

I realize it's politically incorrect to express affection for an actor who was constantly cast in racially stereotypical roles but I really like Willie Best, even though scripts sometimes required him to act bug eyed scared in some films. But even in those parts Willie had great comic timing and delivery and there was always a sweetness about him as a person that appealed to me. Probably the best role he ever had was as Bob Hope's manservant who accompanies him to a haunted castle in THE GHOST BREAKERS. And it's Willie who gets a few of the best lines in the film.

At one point in the film, upon first arriving on a spooky island with Hope, Best gets frightened when they spot a spectral figure slowly walking across a bridge in the fog. Hope, also rattled by the sight, tries to remain calm by saying they're just trying to scare them to which Willie, with perfect timing, replies, "Well they're wasting their time cause we're scared already!"

Wonderful as I find Willie Best to be as a performer in some films, it makes me cringe when I hear that his original screen name in the movies was Sleep N' Eat. Willie was  only 45 when he died of cancer in 1962.

-RKCKzWvmWPrI8K6V9ccrQi7eBzGAKDac5m0UJ16

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The star of this movie is Wayne Morris who's career took a downturn after being put on hold serving in WW2. He is a joy to watch, kind of a cross between Alan Hale (who's in this film as the butler) and Aldo Ray.... a big slab of lovable beef and it's great to see him in this leading role, no matter how silly. He died at 45 while on a Battleship and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery, a true American hero.

Thanks for making reference to the heroic war record of Wayne Morris as a pilot, Tiki Soo.

From Wiki;

A December 15, 1944, Associated Press news story reported that Morris was "credited with 57 aerial sorties, shooting down seven Japanese Zeros, sinking an escort vessel and a flak gunboat and helping sink a submarine and damage a heavy cruiser and a mine layer."[4] He was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals.

Morris was considered by the Navy as physically 'too big' to fly fighters. After being turned down several times as a fighter pilot, he went to his uncle-in-law, Cdr. David McCampbell, imploring him for the chance to fly fighters. Cdr. McCampbell said "Give me a letter." He flew with the VF-15 (Fighter Squadron 15), the famed "McCampbell Heroes."

While Morris remained employed as an actor after WW2, as you said, his career suffered and, if he got any lead roles, it was usually in cheap Bs, often westerns. It's ironic, considering Morris' impressive war record, that he is probably best remembered today for playing a cowardly army officer in Stanley Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY. Wayne Morris was not some sabre rattling paper tiger like some others but the true incarnation of a wartime patriot who put his life on the line.

Paths-of-Glory-1957-Images.jpg

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