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GILDA

As I've mentioned recently I just read the biography of Glenn Ford by his son, Peter, so I've decided to concentrate on some of his most famous films. I DVR'd Gilda the other night and I have  THE BIG SLEEP in my queue.

This was Rita Hayworth's movie. For 1946 this must have been  pretty racy. 

Director Charles Vidor had some interesting lighting scenes where one character was in light and the other was dark. I thought that was a fine artistic technique. I'm sure it's used often but that was the first time I really noticed it. A great way to keep the viewer focused on only one character while he/she is talking to another...who you basically see only in silhouette. Nice. Artistic.

The big singing/dancing number at the end seemed clumsy to me. I know she trained as a dancer and appeared with Astaire but that song and dance scene in GILDA  seemed clunky to me...but then...that wasn't meant to be the focus of the scene...was it.

Refreshing how there were no swear words even though the themes screamed out for them. Oh, for a simpler time. 

And one more thing. I wonder who had the cigarette contract for that film? Very few scenes were sans a cigarette in someone's hand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And another thing. In the opening credits it was shown that the UCLA film archives had restored this copy of the film that really enhanced it's image. Beautiful job I might say.

In the beginning Hayworth is in a sequined gown that literally sparkles on screen. Like little Christmas lights twinkling on a tree.  I had to rerun the scene a couple times just to marvel at the image. Again....very artistic. 

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I also watched DEATH ON THE NILE ("Stop!") and EVIL UNDER THE SUN.  It's true the plots are implausible at best, but great casts make them fun to watch. 

DEAR HEART (1965) I love GERALDINE PAGE in that part. 

CHURCHILL AND THE MOVIE MOGUL (2019)  learned a lot!  Followed by THAT HAMILTON WOMAN (1941) a movie I love. 

LISTEN, DARLING (1938) which is MGM corn incarnate - and cute as a button with a fascinating cast! 

Last night it was DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1931) which is the best version of that story I know.  MIRIAM HOPKINS best part! 

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Here's another early Soundie. And take a listen to what a pleasant singing voice Alan Ladd had. Sorry the visuals are so bad. And, yes, for those recognizing her, Rita Rio later changed her name to Dona Drake.

 

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8 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

It looked like a few cuties that look familiar... 

Yes, there are a lot of pretty faces in this short but take a look at the last one to appear. I was surprised to see her here.

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On 1/5/2021 at 5:26 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

“PLEASE!!! FASHION HAS CHANGED!!!”

”No, it hasn’t.”

(SMACK!)

I just watched the film myself between yesterday and today. In other film circles I have been around, Serial Mom is a big cult classic; I know someone who counts it among their very favorite films.  Kathleen Turner is the whole shows; she's wild and unhinged, and she's perfect in the part. The courtroom finale is hilarious, especially the Patty Hearst developments. But earlier on, there are a few lulls, and I feel it goes a bit too far in the bathroom killing with the poker pulling out the guy's liver with some of it getting attached to the base of her shoe. Still, its probably about an 8/10. 

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Yes, there are a lot of pretty faces in this short but take a look at the last one to appear. I was surprised to see her here.

She is the one that looks most familiar and she is also the most memorable actress in the short but...? 

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8 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

She is the one that looks most familiar and she is also the most memorable actress in the short but...? 

Still can't place her face? Think of Champion (1949) and Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951).

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33 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I just watched the film myself between yesterday and today. In other film circles I have been around, Serial Mom is a big cult classic; I know someone who counts it among their very favorite films.  Kathleen Turner is the whole shows; she's wild and unhinged, and she's perfect in the part. The courtroom finale is hilarious, especially the Patty Hearst developments. But earlier on, there are a few lulls, and I feel it goes a bit too far in the bathroom killing with the poker pulling out the guy's liver with some of it getting attached to the base of her shoe. Still, its probably about an 8/10. 

Every time I see it, it strikes me as curious that SERIAL MOM is, pretty much, discovered early on, even playing her hand openly quite soon in a couple cases (ie “pussywillows, Dottie” ) but then again, she is insane. 
It just seems like you would want to build some level of suspense in the story.

Sam Waterson- who is not really one of my favorites is also pretty good in the film, his reactions are funny. I have issues with the two actors who played their children though
The ending is almost like something out of an Ealing comedy though. It’s got a great ending. 

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1 hour ago, Allhallowsday said:

RUTH ROMAN

I notice you did not cite the obvious movies like THE WINDOW (love it) or STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - I had to look them up!  BOING!  RUTH ROMAN

Still can't place her face? Think of Champion (1949) and Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951).

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I watched "Listen, Darling" this afternoon.  Very good film & the songs were cute.  One thing confused me - why was Pinkie always calling her mother Dottie instead of mom or mother?

Listen, Darling (1938) Starring: Judy Garland, Freddie Bartholomew, Mary  Astor - Three Movie Buffs Review

Lori

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1 hour ago, Allhallowsday said:

I notice you did not cite the obvious movies like THE WINDOW (love it) or STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - I had to look them up!  BOING!  RUTH ROMAN

Still can't place her face? Think of Champion (1949) and Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951).

Tomorrow Is Another Day was on Noir Alley around a month ago. Assuming you follow it, I thought that would be a real giveaway.

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January 5 Dark Victory (Warner Bros., 1939)
Source: TCM

This movie kicked off the primetime programming for the first night of TCM's monthly theme of the studio system, which focused entirely on Warner Bros (after the daytime programming was devoted to Columbia features). I did enjoy the discussion between Alicia Malone and the two critics preceding the movie. Mark Harris I think used to work for Entertainment Weekly and wrote a great book about the five Best Picture nominees for 1967 and another one I haven't read about the five US directors who went into combat zones to make documentaries for the government during World War II. His newest book is a biography of Mike Nichols, which I will probably check out. He talked about how MGM was clearly the prestige studio of the era but how Warner Bros. had the best young stars and also tended to have a little more grit in their films than the other studios and dealt more openly with contemporary social issues. He also said they had a staff in New York that kept up with all the latest plays and novels and were ready to buy the rights to them usually well ahead of their competitors. I believe this movie was adapted from a play. I've already forgotten the female critic's name, but she's also written for magazines. She wanted to talk more about Warner's more recent history as the premiere nostalgia studio left and emphasized more than once that we may be currently standing at a crossroads for what the future of the movies are going to look like, as Warner recently announced they're going to release every one of their 2021 features to theaters and on streaming the same day (this intro to the film must have been recorded fairly recently).

Anyway, on to the movie. I'm sure it's well known to all regular TCM viewers. Bette Davis plays a fabulously wealthy heiress who lives on a beautiful estate I believe in upstate New York that she shares with a gal pal (Geraldine Fitzgerald) who gets no backstory. She parties a lot and is surrounded by an entourage that rarely leave the house, most notable of which is future president Ronald Reagan. She also breeds horses for racing, and her trainer is Humphrey Bogart. It's funny to see all the future WB leading men popping up in supporting roles in the first 10 minutes of movie. Presumably Cagney and Flynn were unavailable. We're told she's 23 (I believe Davis was 31 at the time) and she supposes she will one day marry but is in no hurry about it.

She begins experiencing bouts of double vision and gets thrown from her prize horse when her view of the fence directly in front of them suddenly splits in two. Later, she falls down the grand staircase in her home. These incidents alarm the doctor who delivered her (Henry Travers), and he seeks out a brain specialist (George Brent) on the very day he's about to close his office in Manhattan and relocate permanently to his country home in Vermont. Having lost his last patient on the operating table, he's decided to switch to pure research on cells. He tells Travers as much and is about to show him out, but Davis has accompanied Travers, and went Brent sees her in the waiting room, he's partially captivated by her beauty and partially alarmed some telltale signs something is seriously wrong she's exhibiting. And so he tells his nurse to cancel his train tickets, saying "There will be other trains on other days", but we of course now he's now staying in New York for most of the rest of the movie.

Spoiler Alert

So, Brent operates on Bette's brain, but it's clear that the malignancy will return, probably in a little less than a year, and this time it will certainly be fatal. Not sure how he could tell all that, but hey, it's the movies. Also, it's one of only in the movies diseases, maybe not quite Ali McGraw Syndrome, as Roger Ebert once called it, wherein the dying patient suffers no symptoms other than getting more beautiful, but pretty close. We're told Bette will live perfectly happy and symptom free for the rest of her life until maybe a handful hours before she'll drop dead she will suddenly have a darkening of her vision. Brent and Travers decide not to tell her, and eventually Brent lets Fitzgerald in on the secret, too. Davis complicates matters by falling in love with Brent, and he's already fallen for her. 

Davis is in one regard lucky in that everyone around her wants her to be as happy as possible for whatever amount of time she has left, and everyone works hard to ensure her happiness. But she'll read the words "prognosis negative" (hilariously later the title of a movie of the cast members of Seinfeld want to go see - I didn't know until later that was a sly reference to this movie), and this is where the moments of heaviest drama come in. Feeling betrayed by Brent, Davis momentarily seeks refuge in Bogie's arms. I guess this was the only movie they ever did together. Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong. She was the star, and he was just a contract player, but you feel his weight in his one big scene. I like Reagan, too, in a smaller part, as a drunken hanger-on with a good heart. Brent is pretty blah, as he usually is. I have a crush on young Geraldine Fitzgerald, and this was certainly good year for her between her roles in this movie and Wuthering Heights. Davis, of course, is uber-intense. Those eyes! Boy, I didn't know when that song came out what that really meant. I was just entering my teen years, and I only knew from Death on the Nile and that Witch Mountain sequel. But this movie highlights the eyes intensely. She doesn't get to ugly herself up very much, as she seemed to enjoy. She's supposed to be glamorous in this film. But she runs the gamut of emotions from fiery and independent to helpless and terrified to lovesick with just a tinge of jealousy to bitter and resentful to joyously happy to finally resolved and brave. It's an even broader range than Jezebel, I think.

I really like this movie, and it's hard to say why, exactly, other than the acting. It's really preposterous a lot of the time, a weepy "women's pic", but I always get swept up by it.

Dark Victory - Wikipedia

Total films seen this year: 10

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37 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I really like this movie (Dark Victory), and it's hard to say why, exactly, other than the acting. It's really preposterous a lot of the time, a weepy "women's pic", but I always get swept up by it.

Same here.    Even my wife teases me when she sees me crying at the end.    Hey,  I have a sensitive side.    The acting is first rate (well,  Bogie as an Irish dude is out-there),  but this is one of Bette Davis' best performances.       But that ending,,,,, I often use that as an example of Hollywood magic.      Just pushing the envelope as it relates to being over-the-top,  but if it doesn't get to you,,,,  well you have no blood in your veins!

A first rate example of the Warner Bros studio "A" team at their finest. 

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12 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! (HE LOOKS EVEN BETTER UN-FLIPPED)

OH, I JUST WANT HIM TO BRANDISH A RIDING CROP AND BERATE ME IN GERMAN!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Du ungezogenes Mädchen! 

From the few quotes I've read of him, he'd probably enjoy that too. Maybe next life.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

Tomorrow Is Another Day was on Noir Alley around a month ago. Assuming you follow it, I thought that would be a real giveaway.

I'm not often in front of my TV, though it's usually on and sometimes I catch the Noir Alley flicks, maybe even TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY.  They were certainly easy enough to look up!  

RUTH ROMAN is striking, but I can't claim to be a fan.  Wait a minute... isn't there one where she's a bad girl who gets shot to death?

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I watched DEATH ON THE NILE (1978)- which is an old friend, one I taped as a child in the 1980's and watched over and over again to where I remember certain lines.

as a film, it's not anywhere near as well constructed as it needs to be AND YET, how can one get mad at the SUMPTIOUS BUFFET OF CAMP ACTING this brings us., as well as some great scenery and costumes?

I do not watch this movie without reciting lines back to the screen, it gets kinda ROCKY HORROR, especially in re: THE WAY PETER USTINOV SAYS  the name "Jacqueline" as "JACK-A-LEEN" [which reminds me of how GRACE JONES says it in BOOMERANG] and how SIMON MACORKINDALE says "JACKIE!" which just invokes memories of the MARTIN SHORT CHARACTER JACKIE ROGERS JUNE-YAH!!!! from SCTV.

438ecacd741860d805e6c191cabb7a35.jpg"THAT'S FOR BEIN SUCH A SH!TTY ACTRESS!"

There's also BETTE DAVIS in FULL KABUKI MAKE-UP, not entirely at ease in her part but HIGHLY WATCHABLE; ,MAGGIE SMITH in lesbian chic tuxedo [she won The Oscar that year for CALIFORNIA SUITE]; MIA FARROW being a ***damn MESS- but pulling it off, a REAL Egyptian Cobra, DAVID NIVEN as DAVID NIVEN, GEORGE KENNEDY as GEORGE KENNEDY and a really, really AWFUL sterotype INDIAN MANAGER CHARACTER who- honestly- could and should have been cut from the film. "goody goody gum drops!" indeed!

Acting Honors really do (and forever will) go to ANGELA LANSBURY tho, she looks GREAT in a TURBAN (almost as good as VON STROHEIM!)

0b09f1ba70972c5e8647f97fd2ae40c1.jpg

 

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i watched the trailer for the upcoming remake and i'm not enthused even if it's nice to see JENNIFER SAUNDERS WORKING.

poirot_s9_death_nile_sky_go_large.jpg

SPOILERS IN RE DEATH ON THE NILE: [even the POIROT VERSION]

It's worth noting that I recently watched the POIROT version of DEATH ON THE NILE (which I had seen before) and while it is- surprisingly- VERY BADLY ACTED BY ALMOST ALL INVOLVED {including a couple of actors who I know know better] it does some clever things with the story and characters that I wish the 1978 movie had done.

one of the shortcomings of the 1978 version is that it banks everything on the one surprise solution at the end, the POIROT version has several- including a second identity for the young MARXIST (who has not much reason to be there in the 78 film) and a funny twist about the stolen PEARL NECKLACE and a love story for DR BESSNER. It also changed the ending slightly to where an empathetic POIROT deliberately allows JACKIE to get her hands on the pistol  she uses to kill herself and Simon.

it also makes WONDERFUL USE of THE OLD RAY NOBLE SONG "LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING" which has become one of my favorites.

I wish that story shot in the way it was shot had been acted by the 1978 cast.

(and i think they use the same boat)

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18 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Feeling betrayed by Brent, Davis momentarily seeks refuge in Bogie's arms. I guess this was the only movie they ever did together. Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong.

I think they were both in Three on a Match, but that was near the beginning of Bogart's career.  He only had a bit part and I can't recall if they had any scenes together.

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Games (1967) -- 8/10 Source: TCM

games-1967-james-caan-simone-signoret-pa

Games is one of the more unusual releases to come out of Universal in the late 1960s. It was a strange time for that studio; they had moved away from the fluffy comedies and women's pictures that had helped them immensely at the box office and many of their films in the late 60s, outside of a few A-list films like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Isadora, and Sweet Charity, often had a visually bland, TV-like look. Games is mostly set in one big house, so it was probably done on a pretty low budget, but this particular psychological thriller benefits from this due to the intense feeling of claustrophobia. The house itself is oppressive; with its bizarre denizens, bizarre occult rituals, and hair-raising 60s and disturbing décor, it feels like one of the creepier things I've seen. The plot however is one of those things that isn't so original; there is a definite reason why Simone Signoret made a rare jaunt to the US to make this film, and her presence is a tip-off to what this film is so heavily indebted to. Anyway, she does give a fine performance, as do James Caan and Katharine Ross quite early in their careers as a very strange couple. Games might be derivative, and it is certainly not for everyone, but it definitely feels out of the ordinary for the moment in which it was made.

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32 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

**ALSO i could not help but notice that THE PRINT they showed of DEATH ON THE NILE was not great, it looked (from someone who is not well-versed) "fuzzy" and "faded" to me.

I noticed that as well; I think its a print from decades ago to be honest. The tip-off was right at the top with this Paramount logo. Death on the Nile was financed by EMI films and distributed through Paramount in 1978. But Paramount only had the theatrical distribution rights, not the lingering rights to the film. EMI kept those, and after they went out, their films ended up in the hands of Studio Canal which promptly removed the Paramount logo from all the prints of the film they had. This Paramount logo below appeared on the TCM print; it does not appear on the DVD version at all. So this print the other day is at least 20 years old.

airplane.png

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