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Last night I watched my TCM recording of THE BURGLAR '57.  I mostly recorded this to see Jayne Mansfield in a dramatic role. I like Mansfield but generally dislike her work, it always seems beneath her, exploitative. I wasn't disappointed for her and this movie seals my admiration for Dan Duryea, being the second film of his seen this week. 

This movie starts off a typical crime story of a jewelry theft perpetrated by 3 guys. Jayne is Duryea's "ward" (like little sister) and is only involved in the crime as a scout, casing the joint for the burglars. Duryea is the cool leader and his 2 accomplice thugs are more emotionally volatile, always creating tension.

The heist is fascinating to watch, the camera work is particularly clever and sometimes more dramatic than the action. I can't reveal ANY plot points but let's just say, I gasped out loud & yelled at the screen a few times. I've come to the conclusion all crime stories have to have weird quirks or there would be no story intrigue. But we know something's up when the camera keeps certain character's faces cleverly hidden from the viewer.

Jayne Mansfield was perfect-especially her appearance-she's not glitzy or overly made up. She actually looks like a sweet young gal who was taught the ropes of thieving from childhood. She played her part sincerely and believably, I wish her career had gone a different path.

Duryea was great. I'm really beginning to appreciate his skill as an actor, he is pretty intense but keeps understated, reminding me of a less manic Richard Widmark. Duryea has kind of a thin voice despite his size, but he knows just how to use it for full effect. His face somewhat reminds me of William H. Macy at times. On the recently watched NO WAY OUT dvd, there were interviews with Duryea's sons who were surprised when as adults, they saw their father act in films. He strikes me as being a normal guy who just acted for a living, his job. But he took it seriously & was really great at it. I don't think he minded being typecast, he was just happy to be supporting his family. I bet he had fun acting too, since he pretty much always played outrageous charactors.

Like the aforementioned JEOPARDY '53, you need to suspend belief for some wholly illogical plot points and just go with the story. For example, much hinges on a toll collector calling police after recognizing the criminals from a drawing! Is crime fighting now DOOMED with EZPASS replacing live toll collectors on the lookout?

The Philly & Atlantic City locations gave the film an authentic vibe. Of note is the very old stone houses shown indicative of the Philly area. In the 50's they are crumbling "old" houses & thankfully today are revered treasures worthy of costly maintenance & restoration. Atlantic City shows long gone touristy businesses* & amusement rides...I'm always a sucker for amusement parks shown in a movie, suspended in time. LOVED THIS!

Theburglarposter.jpg

*omigod a guy in white shorts, socks & loafers saunters by....a crime of fashion!

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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

 Not true, we did have someone, appropriately enough, post a review of Murder By Death (1976)...Can't have a Clue discussion without it.

“For it is an inarguable fact that as a man you are very passable, but as a woman? You are a DOG!”


“that’s your opinion, Big Boy”

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Also also, I missEd  the review of MURDER BY DEATH. This particular thread has been fast moving lately and there are all sorts of parallel conversations going on. You know, in a lot of ways this thread, and the message boards themselves, are a lot like an ALTMAN FILM. 
(one of the good ones, not READY TO WEAR)

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30 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

“For it is an inarguable fact that as a man you are very passable, but as a woman? You are a DOG!”

"Twelve guests for dinner, and I'm serving them hot Nothing!"

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Evil+Under+the+Sun+-+rigg+swim+2.jpg

I'm so sorry, but I rewatched EVIL UNDER THE SUN and I have to tack a few things on.

spoilers spoiler spoilers

The costumes are MARVELOUS and DIANA RIGG LOOKS AMAZING

evil-under-the-sun-1982-diana-rigg-date-

I also reiterate that this same story TOLD WITH SOME COMEDY could have really been something. It was written, I discovered by ANTHONY SCAEFFER- who also wrote one of my favorite films- THE WICKER MAN (another isolated island tale as well.) there is ONE brilliant line "ODELL, if you were A MAN I would divorce you!"- but the rest of the script needs a second pass to put tongue in cheek...some of the lines are really quite bad- ie "she runs like a dromedary with dropsy" would be funnier as "God she runs like a camel."

it strains for wit when the ingredients are right in front of it, and so many scenes play up to the edge of comedy (especially with JAMES MASON) they should have GONE FOR IT and made it LIGHT PARODY as opposed to a divine retread. [I also note that PETER USTINOV was quite a funny man...I also also note that because I have watched him as POIROT so often, it is REALLY WEIRD TO ME whenever I see him talking in his actual British accent.)

I also have to say that I THINK IT WOULD MAKE A MARVELOUS MUSICAL, even using THE SONGS OF COLE PORTER, there is one outright musical number and many would say it's the highlight of the film.

also I LIVE FOR THE MOMENT JANE BIRKIN WALKS  DOWN THE STAIRCASE AT THE END AND SHE IS DONE, HONEY.

OIP.U0MvmoVi3WlXJM3ceKjykwHaLO?pid=Api&r

RULE OF FASHION: IN LIFE, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS DRESS FOR THE MURDER ONE MIGHT COMMIT

(I am not always "in" to JANE BIRKIN, but I think she is delightful in this film, ESPECIALLY when she turns into ONE OF THE SIAMESE CATS from LADY AT THE TRAMP when we find out she's eeeeeeeeeeeeeville.)

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I also note that DEATH ON THE NILE got pulled FAST from TCM ON DEMAND. I went back to rewatch it two days after it aired and it was GONE.

ETA:

CAME ACROSS THIS SOMEWHAT UNUSUAL TRAILER FOR EVIL UNDER THE SUN. IT INCLUDES A VERY OLD FASHIONED GIMIC WHERE USTINOV AS POIROT ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE.

 

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Last night, I watched Charade, although I've seen it at least ten times.  Found the backstory interesting.  One thing I thought that I had heard before regarding getting the movie made.  I believe Cary Grant offered to produce or coproduce the film but wasn't an actor who wanted input (excuse awkwardness).  It is very much like Hitchcock (including the bits of humor and the great soundtrack).

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Sadly, THESE DAYS, there are A LOT OF MONKEY BRAINS to be found ALL OVER DC!!!!!!

 

"He threatened to kill me in public"

"Why would he want to kill you in public?"

"I think he threatened, in public, to kill her"

"Oh"

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17 hours ago, SansFin said:

Ray Miiland might not be every person's first choice as lead in a slapstickish comedy but he acquits himself very well as a hapless and clueless man forced into a situation beyond his control with both the cat and his girl.

Yes,  Ray Milland doesn't come to mind as a slapstick type comedian but he cut his teeth with some very talented people in 1937's Easy Living,  with Jean Arthur and  Edward Arnold,  and director Mitchell Leisen (with a screen-play by the iconic 40s comedic director Preston Sturges).     While Ray was no  Cary Grant (who was),   he held his own with a good sense of comedic timings and charm.

Amazon.com: Easy Living (Universal Cinema Classics): Jean Arthur, Edward  Arnold, Ray Milland, Mitchell Leisen: Movies & TV 

 

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46 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

"He threatened to kill me in public"

"Why would he want to kill you in public?"

"I think he threatened, in public, to kill her"

"Oh"

That's one of MY FAVORITES IN THE WHOLE MOVIE.

The whole movie is a LESSON in DIALOGUE TIMING and BACK-AND-FORTH.

SEE ALSO:

"What are you afraid of? A FATE worse than DEATH?"

"No, just death, isn't that enough?"

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Evil+Under+the+Sun+-+rigg+swim+2.jpg

I'm so sorry, but I rewatched EVIL UNDER THE SUN and I have to tack a few things on.

spoilers spoiler spoilers

The costumes are MARVELOUS and DIANA RIGG LOOKS AMAZING

evil-under-the-sun-1982-diana-rigg-date-

I also reiterate that this same story TOLD WITH SOME COMEDY could have really been something. It was written, I discovered by ANTHONY SCAEFFER- who also wrote one of my favorite films- THE WICKER MAN (another isolated island tale as well.) there is ONE brilliant line "ODELL, if you were A MAN I would divorce you!"- but the rest of the script needs a second pass to put tongue in cheek...some of the lines are really quite bad- ie "she runs like a dromedary with dropsy" would be funnier as "God she runs like a camel."

it strains for wit when the ingredients are right in front of it, and so many scenes play up to the edge of comedy (especially with JAMES MASON) they should have GONE FOR IT and made it LIGHT PARODY as opposed to a divine retread. [I also note that PETER USTINOV was quite a funny man...I also also note that because I have watched him as POIROT so often, it is REALLY WEIRD TO ME whenever I see him talking in his actual British accent.)

I also have to say that I THINK IT WOULD MAKE A MARVELOUS MUSICAL, even using THE SONGS OF COLE PORTER, there is one outright musical number and many would say it's the highlight of the film.

also I LIVE FOR THE MOMENT JANE BIRKIN WALKS  DOWN THE STAIRCASE AT THE END AND SHE IS DONE, HONEY.

 

RULE OF FASHION: IN LIFE, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS DRESS FOR THE MURDER ONE MIGHT COMMIT

(I am not always "in" to JANE BIRKIN, but I think she is delightful in this film, ESPECIALLY when she turns into ONE OF THE SIAMESE CATS from LADY AT THE TRAMP when we find out she's eeeeeeeeeeeeeville.)

This movie was worth watching just for the clothes, especially Diana Rigg's ensembles.  The bathing costume with matching turban and robe was my favorite.    She really was a knockout.

 

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42 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yes,  Ray Milland does come to mind as a slapstick type comedian but he cut his teeth with some of very talented people in 1937's Easy Living,  with Jean Arthur and  Edward Arnold,  and director Mitchell Leisen (with a screen-play by the iconic 40s comedic director Preston Sturges).     While Ray was no  Cary Grant (who was),   he held his own with a good sense of comedic timings and charm.

Amazon.com: Easy Living (Universal Cinema Classics): Jean Arthur, Edward  Arnold, Ray Milland, Mitchell Leisen: Movies & TV 

 

This is one of the most underrated screwball comedies, with Jean Arthur at her most delightful.   The automat scene is one of my favorites.

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10 minutes ago, rosebette said:

This movie was worth watching just for the clothes, especially Diana Rigg's ensembles.  The bathing costume with matching turban and robe was my favorite.    She really was a knockout.

 

the film was made in 1981 and the fashion in it has a slight 80's vibe- lots of primary colors and patterns. sadly, it was not nominated for the COSTUME DESIGN OSCAR, the ignomy of which we have discussed before.

OIP.7ndBUKjDjgeL7jolp1MbAwHaEP?w=308&h=1

sylviamilesevilunderthesun82.jpg

evil-under-the-sun-1982-sylvia-miles-dat

3fc65f1922461eff2a572c39e6f2dfd9.png

evil-under-the-sun-1982-maggie-smith-dat

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1 hour ago, rosebette said:

This is one of the most underrated screwball comedies, with Jean Arthur at her most delightful.   The automat scene is one of my favorites.

I agree;   Classic example of a 30's screwball comedy.     Arthur was a peach in a film that fit her screen persona and comedic talents to a T.

PS:  If one clicks on the photo it takes them to a great write up for the film.  

Easy Living (1937) | The Blonde at the Film

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6 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

the film was made in 1981 and the fashion in it has a slight 80's vibe- lots of primary colors and patterns. sadly, it was not nominated for the COSTUME DESIGN OSCAR, the ignomy of which we have discussed before.

Sylvia Miles looks sexy

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20 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I would agree with you re: Miriam in her pre-codes versus her in her films with Bette.  While Bette wasn't above scenery chewing and upstaging, it seems that Miriam's attempts to do so somewhat upstages her own performance.  It's almost as if Bette upstages Miriam by holding back and looking more restrained by comparison.  I especially agree with you re: Old Acquaintance.  I can only imagine Bette's joy when she got to shake Miriam.  Apparently during the first take, Miriam, once again had to upstage Bette and allowed herself to go limp so when Bette shook her, Miriam's head was all over the place.  They had to re-film it so that Miriam would flail around less. 

I used to not be a fan of Miriam, I think it's because I saw these two films with Bette first.  I thought that Miriam's character was so irritating that I figured she was like that in all of her films.  Even in Virginia City, where she isn't trying to upstage Errol Flynn, because really, who can? But I digress, she's a little more subdued, but she and Flynn have absolutely zero chemistry.  I would have rather seen a Buddy Western with Flynn, Bogart, and Bogart's bad mustache and bad Mexican accent.  

Then I saw Miriam in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and loved her.  I thought she was fantastic.  I also saw Design for Living and Trouble in Paradise and loved those films as well.   She was fantastic in The Story of Temple Drake.  I even liked her in These Three.  Later in her career, she's good in The Heiress and The Children's Hour

Speedy, I'm on the same page as you and rosebette about Miriam Hopkins. I saw her first in The Old Maid and Old Acquaintance and thought  she was hammy, a wannabe who couldn't compete with Bette. Then I saw her pre-Code films. Great in comedy (Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living). Great in drama (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Story of Temple Drake). A star who holds her own against other stars. Parting ways with Paramount did not turn out to be a good move.

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58 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Speedy, I'm on the same page as you and rosebette about Miriam Hopkins. I saw her first in The Old Maid and Old Acquaintance and thought  she was hammy, a wannabe who couldn't compete with Bette. Then I saw her pre-Code films. Great in comedy (Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living). Great in drama (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Story of Temple Drake). A star who holds her own against other stars. Parting ways with Paramount did not turn out to be a good move.

Old Acquaintance provided Bette another opportunity to give a very grounded and controlled performance along the line of The Great Lie,  made two years before, where Mary Astor has the juicier role.    But unlike Astor,  Hopkins didn't make the best use of her opportunity,  being too-over-the-top playing an already,  over-the-top character.  

Hopkins didn't make another film for 6 years,  coming back in The Heiress,   with former Warner's star Olivia DeHavilland.   

I Googled "1930s Actresses" and this Top-10 list came up.   I admit I was surprised Hopkins is listed #2.    

The reason I Googled,  was to see how other star actresses of the 30s faired after the end-of-the-decade.   It is fair to say that only Stanwyck,  Crawford and Davis had better careers after the 30s then they did during them.    (of course there were Lombard and Harlow's tragic death,  and Garbo and Shearer retired).

  1. Barbara Stanwyck
  2. Miriam Hopkins
  3. Carole Lombard
  4. Claudette Colbert
  5. Norma Shearer
  6. Jean Harlow
  7. Greta Garbo
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. Myrna Loy
  10. Bette Davis

 

 

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

 I am SO JEALOUS you can shop McKays! Once we discovered McKays, most of our vacation was spent (minimum 4 hours) perusing each branch store. The Prius was draggin' bottom all the way home.

It is rare for us to venture into Nashville. It is only when we both have appointments there that we essay to dip over to McKay's. It is common for us to each spend from thirty to sixty dollars there. That may not seem to be very much but most books and DVDs are two dollars or less. I purchased a two-sided DVD with: No, No, Nanette (1930) and: Dinner at the Ritz (1937) for twenty-five cents. The disc is not in pristine condition but I believe it likely that it will play adequately on at least one side. My one expensive purchase was a Criterion Collection edition of: The Hidden Fortress (1958) for twenty-one-ninety-five. We have a copy but have discussed buying another for back-up. It is a case of: 'two great minds...' that my fuzzy purchased a copy also during his shopping there later.

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12 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Last night I watched my TCM recording of THE BURGLAR '57.  I mostly recorded this to see Jayne Mansfield in a dramatic role. I like Mansfield but generally dislike her work, it always seems beneath her, exploitative. I wasn't disappointed for her and this movie seals my admiration for Dan Duryea, being the second film of his seen this week. 

This movie starts off a typical crime story of a jewelry theft perpetrated by 3 guys. Jayne is Duryea's "ward" (like little sister) and is only involved in the crime as a scout, casing the joint for the burglars. Duryea is the cool leader and his 2 accomplice thugs are more emotionally volatile, always creating tension.

The heist is fascinating to watch, the camera work is particularly clever and sometimes more dramatic than the action. I can't reveal ANY plot points but let's just say, I gasped out loud & yelled at the screen a few times. I've come to the conclusion all crime stories have to have weird quirks or there would be no story intrigue. But we know something's up when the camera keeps certain character's faces cleverly hidden from the viewer.

Jayne Mansfield was perfect-especially her appearance-she's not glitzy or overly made up. She actually looks like a sweet young gal who was taught the ropes of thieving from childhood. She played her part sincerely and believably, I wish her career had gone a different path.

Duryea was great. I'm really beginning to appreciate his skill as an actor, he is pretty intense but keeps understated, reminding me of a less manic Richard Widmark. Duryea has kind of a thin voice despite his size, but he knows just how to use it for full effect. His face somewhat reminds me of William H. Macy at times. On the recently watched NO WAY OUT dvd, there were interviews with Duryea's sons who were surprised when as adults, they saw their father act in films. He strikes me as being a normal guy who just acted for a living, his job. But he took it seriously & was really great at it. I don't think he minded being typecast, he was just happy to be supporting his family. I bet he had fun acting too, since he pretty much always played outrageous charactors.

Like the aforementioned JEOPARDY '53, you need to suspend belief for some wholly illogical plot points and just go with the story. For example, much hinges on a toll collector calling police after recognizing the criminals from a drawing! Is crime fighting now DOOMED with EZPASS replacing live toll collectors on the lookout?

The Philly & Atlantic City locations gave the film an authentic vibe. Of note is the very old stone houses shown indicative of the Philly area. In the 50's they are crumbling "old" houses & thankfully today are revered treasures worthy of costly maintenance & restoration. Atlantic City shows long gone touristy businesses* & amusement rides...I'm always a sucker for amusement parks shown in a movie, suspended in time. LOVED THIS!

Theburglarposter.jpg

*omigod a guy in white shorts, socks & loafers saunters by....a crime of fashion!

I just watched The Burglar a few weeks ago.  I agree about Duryea! He was fantastic.  I also agree about Jayne.  Of the things that I've seen her in, she always comes across as cheap and somewhat sleazy.  There seems to always be a focus on her large bust size and nothing else.  I do think that behind "Jayne Mansfield" the character, the real Jayne Mansfield was a savvy business woman (she had to have been to capitalize on her "brand") and a very kind, lovely person.  In The Burglar, we get to see Jayne Mansfield before she was "Jayne Mansfield" and I thought she was very pretty here and a good actress.  I actually thought she looked better dressed down in this film, than she does when she's playing "Jayne Mansfield." Mickey Shaughnessy's character was gross and I'm glad Duryea was around to keep Jayne away from him.  Shaughnessy always seems to play a bit of a sleaze, at least in the films of his that I've seen. 

I really like Dan Duryea.   He always seems to play a weasley villain, but in this film, he's actually decent.  Too Late for Tears is also fantastic when Duryea isn't the worse person in the film.  I never thought about him having a thin voice, but he definitely does and I agree that he uses it to its best potential.  He does come across as a man who just happened to have acting as a profession and not necessarily someone who was concerned with stardom or being a star.  Since he didn't have an image to maintain, unlike the matinee idols or the huge stars, he could just focus on earning a living and not worry about vanity. 

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13 hours ago, SansFin said:

It is rare for us to venture into Nashville. It is only when we both have appointments there that we essay to dip over to McKay's. It is common for us to each spend from thirty to sixty dollars there. That may not seem to be very much but most books and DVDs are two dollars or less. I purchased a two-sided DVD with: No, No, Nanette (1930) and: Dinner at the Ritz (1937) for twenty-five cents. The disc is not in pristine condition but I believe it likely that it will play adequately on at least one side. My one expensive purchase was a Criterion Collection edition of: The Hidden Fortress (1958) for twenty-one-ninety-five. We have a copy but have discussed buying another for back-up. It is a case of: 'two great minds...' that my fuzzy purchased a copy also during his shopping there later.

I really gotta watch THE HIDDEN FORTRESS one of these days.

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