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On 2/15/2021 at 6:05 AM, Bogie56 said:

wonderbar3.jpg?ssl=1

Wonder Bar (1934) with Al Jolson, Kay Francis, Dick Powell, Dolores Del Rio, Ricardo Cortez and Guy Kibbee and Hugh Herbert thrown in for comic relief.  Jolson plays Al Wonder, the manager and headliner of a Parisian cabaret nightclub that hosts lots of intrigue and inter-connecting love and crime stories.  

Did Warners think that they might have a Grand Hotel (1932) on their hands.  If so, what were they smoking?  If this doesn't turn up on TCM it is little wonder why.  One act has Cortez playing a gaucho and taking a bullwhip to the lovely Del Rio.  As in other films the cabaret stage magically becomes the size of a football stadium for some numbers.  

all-black-cast-1934-wonder-bar-negro-hea

And then there is the closing act where Al Jolson dons blackface and does a big Mammy, Pearly Gates number that not only has a huge stage with hundreds of black face extras but it keeps changing perspective and location as if we were transported to another land and not in a cabaret.  Truly ****ed up which brings to mind the shot of the audience with jaws dropped in Mel Brooks' The Producers (1967).

6a00e5523026f588340120a58677b3970c-600wi

The scene below is also supposed to be part of the cabaret show!  Al on his donkey going to the Pearly Gates.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRyRGU1_bk62E1pmgRnFh1

And this was "black people's" heaven which made clear that we are segregated in the afterlife.  In this heaven pork chops dangled from the branches of trees.

Orig-1934-HAL-LEROY-with-Dancers-in-Blac

I really felt sorry for this "real" black talented  tap dancer who magically appears out of a giant watermelon.  Every other performer is in black face.

It was interesting from a film history perspective but even stripped of its un-PC elements this still would have been a stinker.

 

Don't forget that Boys Will Be Boys dance number. LOL.

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:45 AM, Polly of the Precodes said:

That's Hal Le Roy in blackface (and body paint). The total number is a prime example of what Busby Berkeley could achieve when 1) ignoring the limitations of the proscenium stage, and 2) given a massive budget and zero restrictions. But the blackface and poor Black stereotypes really made me cringe.

WONDER BAR has previously played on TCM. However, in the last several years the only Al Jolson movie that TCM scheduled seemed to be THE JAZZ SINGER--are the programmers wary of Jolson's legacy of blackface and appropriating Black culture? (Related: I don't remember TCM scheduling any Eddie Cantor movies since I started watching the channel. Blackface concerns, or licensing issues?)

This film rarely shows up on TCM. (Even though its WB). Maybe too un-pc??  I'm not sure I've ever watched the whole thing!

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On 2/14/2021 at 8:46 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I don’t know how long it has been, but I started watching THE LATE SHOW (1977) on TCM a long time ago and I disliked it so much that I not only quit watching it, I recall actually starting a thread where I asked why it was such a well-reviewed film.

i mean, I LOVE 1970s neonoir, period or not, but this thing, eh! 
 

I just now finished it and “eh.”

Maybe with a different director and a different cast. Get mad at me if you want to, I’ve never seen a single episode of THE HONEYMOONERS or HARRY AND TONTO And literally the only thing I have ever seen ART CARNEY in is THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL....

and I don’t get LILY TOMLIN, And yes that is in part due to that footage from I HEART HUCKABEES Even though it is now my understanding that Dustin Hoffman probably deserved it. I just don’t get the appeal. 

INTERESTING FINAL ACT THOUGH. 
 

otherwise, “eh.”
 

I watched this again a month or so ago. It's ok. (thought so when it came out too). Not great, but not awful either. I thought both leads were perfectly cast in their roles. My main gripe was the script. Weren't enough suspects and was easy to figure out where the story was heading. (which wasn't very interesting). So no payoff at the end. Lots of good character actors in small roles. (Loved Ruth Nelson as the accommodating landlady). Poor Howard Duff. Barely a cameo.

I don't know who wrote that terrible song over the credits or who the mediocre singer was. Does anyone know?

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

I watched this again a month or so ago. It's ok. (thought so when it came out too). Not great, but not awful either. I thought both leads were perfectly cast in their roles. My main gripe was the script. Weren't enough suspects and was easy to figure out where the story was heading. (which wasn't very interesting). So no payoff at the end. Lots of good character actors in small roles. (Loved Ruth Nelson as the accommodating landlady). Poor Howard Duff. Barely a cameo.

I don't know who wrote that terrible song over the credits or who the mediocre singer was. Does anyone know?

 
 
Edit
The Late Show (1977) Poster

The Late Show (1977)

Soundtracks

 

Soundtrack Credits 

What Was
Lyrics by Stephen Lehner
Music by Kenneth Wannberg (as Ken Wannberg)
Sung by Bev Kelly
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On 2/14/2021 at 12:38 PM, speedracer5 said:

It's the Saved by the Bell/Showgirls cross-over that we didn't know we needed.

And we do  need it! 

This reminds of the sketch from THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON's  tribute to SAVED BY THE BELL featuring original BELL cast members  a few years ago that references not only SHOWGIRLS but BEVERLY HILLS 90210.

 

This sketch made me happy then and continues to make me happy now!

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12 minutes ago, HoldenIsHere said:

And we do  need it! 

This reminds of the sketch from THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON's  tribute to SAVED BY THE BELL featuring original BELL cast members  a few years ago that references not only SHOWGIRLS but BEVERLY HILLS 90210.

 

This sketch made me happy then and continues to make me happy now!

YES! I watched this when it was new.  I want to know about Mario Lopez' deal with the devil.  That man is in his mid-to-late 40s and looks exactly the same as he did on Saved by the Bell! 

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I just watched last month's TCM recording of VACATION FROM MARRIAGE '45 starring Deborah Kerr & Robert Donat:

Perfect_Strangers_FilmPoster.jpeg

I don't know what I was thinking- maybe because of the title-but was expecting a screwball type comedy. I love Deborah Kerr and knew a movie directed by A Korda would be a visual treat at least.

Boy, was I surprised! I didn't even recognize Kerr in the first 20 minutes, she played Cathy, a young but dowdy, timid housewife. She was married to Donat (Robert both really & charactor) who was equally timid, a milquetoast.

WW2 breaks out, and both Cathy & Robert are enlisted. They face all that's thrown at them heroically. They meet people, see things, expanding themselves. Three years later, the War's over and they face being reunited, dreading it, knowing how much they have changed.

I have to interject here, because of the lockdown, my partner & I have been separated since Jan 1 2020 and we are facing similar circumstance! It's actually reassuring to know this is nothing new. 😎

I won't spoil the ending for you, it's a super great one told with symbolism & heart. Very British. The photography is magnificent, I believe some of the footage was filmed in London showing lots of rubble & damage. The photography was beautiful and the story edited well. Adorable Glynis Johns who's still with us btw (97!) is a standout and exemplifies the term "supporting actor" I've really come to appreciate her talent the more I see her. Wow-still gorgeous!

Glynis-Johns-Now.jpg

 

 

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lila+leeds+in+court.jpeg

 

She Shoulda Said No! (1949) (aka Wild Weed, The Devil's Weed, etc., etc.) Lila Leeds, Alan Baxter, Lyle Talbot.

Bastard stepchild of Reefer Madness, warning kiddies about the awful future that awaits them the minute

they take one deep hit from a joint. Leeds is a dancer whose girlfriend introduces her to mary juana and

Markey, the big dope dealer at the same time. She falls for both, leading to her holding weed parties at

her home. The filmmakers also imply that the ladies will say yes to other thing besides pot in their

condition. Leeds is also an orphan trying to earn some extra cash so she can send her younger brother to

college. Sadly he comes home to discover his sis and her dope fiend pals laughing it up. This drives him

around the bend and the next morning when Lila goes to the garage she finds bro hanging from the rafters,

a suicide. The coppers take her on a tour of prison and nuthouses where poor victims of mary juana do

their psychotic things. Lila sees the light and turns Markey in and returns to the straight and narrow, drug

free, except for alcohol and nicotine perhaps. This flick has higher production values and somewhat better

acting than Madness, which isn't saying much. Star Lila Leeds was of course with Mitchum when he was

busted for pot and likely wasn't getting very many acting offers so why no go with what you know. The film

also lacks the hilarious hysteria of Madness, though there are a few laughably crazy scenes here and there.

And howcum there is always a piano handy in these dope films that some nut can grind away on while smiling

like a madman? Jack Elam of the spinning eyeballs has a supporting role as one of Markey's hoods. His fashion

choices are either the result of addiction to drugs or bad taste or a combination of the two. And there is the

usual sidesplitting voice of authority narration going on about the evils of drugs. Fairly entertaining movie of

its type, and at only 70 minutes not a big waste of time, though still likely best seen while high. 

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I still haven't seen nearly enough Claude Chabrol films and have liked most of those I've seen. A double tour (French title means "twice locked"; film is sometimes called Leda in English), is an exception. I wouldn't want to see it again. Visually it is interesting, as Chabrol and the gifted cinematographer Henri Decae create and explore the house of a painter, Leda, played by Antonella Lualdi. The script, however, is a disaster. We're supposed to hate the bourgeois family, especially the mother, yet the mother never does anything that merits our hatred. She's a devout Catholic and won't give her husband a divorce, but that's scarcely a reason for the audience to hate her. I think we're supposed to see Kovacs, the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo, sympathetically as someone who tries to expose and break up this bourgeois family, but he's so utterly obnoxious that I was ready to convert to Catholicism and go to Mass three times a day.

A murder mystery plot occurs, but not well-done, and the identity of the murderer is obvious long before the welcome end of the film. A double tour, Chabrol's third film, after Le beau Serge and Les cousins, is somewhat interesting as a step along Chabrol's path to much better films. The very next film, Les bonnes femmes, gets the tone right, gets all the elements right, as far as I'm concerned.

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Last night I watched Alimony (1949),  with Martha Vickers,  John Beal, and Hillary Brooke.      This "B" noir \ crime film was OK.     Since I'm a big fan of Martha Vickers I did enjoy the scenes she was in,  and felt she did a fine job as a selfish gal out to make it anyway she can.     Hillary Brooke was also good as the nice girl.    John Beal was the disappointment.   He just didn't have enough juice and there were too many scenes were he was the main actor with other supporting players (who were a lot more interesting than he was),  such as Leonid Kinskey (bartender in Casablanca).     Douglass Dumbrille,  know for his slimy character roles  was the best actor in the film,  playing,,,  no surprise a slimy lawyer like he did in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.    Beal has two playing piano \ singing scenes,  and frankly he stunk.

At only 70 minuities it was worth the time,  and Martha looked very beautiful.    

Alimony FilmPoster.jpeg

    

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Last night I trotted out the old chestnut ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW '76 that I usually have on Halloween because it can easily be interrupted for trick or treaters. This time I watched it through silently like my first viewing in 1976, in a virtually empty, quiet theater.

I remember my reaction well, the film adaptation was so dynamic! The movie made the performances intimate (although when seeing the stage show, I was in the front row center) while expanding the experience with the marvelous sets & orchestration. While thrilled it became a Saturday Night Midnight feature at our local neighborhood "palace", I stopped going around 1980 when people started acting out in front of the screen.

The movie is wonderful, I don't know why people find it "terrible". Every performance is spot on & my eyes wandered to different actors this viewing, often catching really funny emoting. I noticed Brad & Janet's bedroom sets were exactly the same set just with different lighting & noticed graffiti on the tile wall of the laboratory, never noticed before. What a 1976 audience called "cheesy" special effects were actually pretty expensive for the day (castle rising) but still gave a 50's creature feature vibe. Some effects (like the plaster/cheesecloth castings) were extremely low tech, but cleverly done retaining the feel the stage show. I especially love the Criminologist's pasted photo/text folder & classroom pull down dance steps.

The songs are great, with a rockabilly feel...the 50's were very popular for newly emerging punk scene in the mid 70's. Meatloaf was spectacular, his voice was so high back then! The costuming was incredibly daring for the time and actually set the tone for Punk and later Goth, now all pretty mainstream styling. 

But to me, the real strength in the movie is the editing. It's sharp, succinct and never drags. The musical interludes are paced perfectly in the story. The editing prowess & humor has been overlooked because it's become so familiar, but someone had to think up the triple Dr Scott-Janet-Brad-Rocky-Silence schtick. There is a lot of camp classic film references here, but it's never a cheap shot for laughs, more of an acknowledgment of movies we loved growing up. That seems to be the universal thematic chord the film carries.

Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poste

 

 

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Last night I trotted out the old chestnut ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW '76 that I usually have on Halloween because it can easily be interrupted for trick or treaters. This time I watched it through silently like my first viewing in 1976, in a virtually empty, quiet theater.

I remember my reaction well, the film adaptation was so dynamic! The movie made the performances intimate (although when seeing the stage show, I was in the front row center) while expanding the experience with the marvelous sets & orchestration. While thrilled it became a Saturday Night Midnight feature at our local neighborhood "palace", I stopped going around 1980 when people started acting out in front of the screen.

The movie is wonderful, I don't know why people find it "terrible". Every performance is spot on & my eyes wandered to different actors this viewing, often catching really funny emoting. I noticed Brad & Janet's bedroom sets were exactly the same set just with different lighting & noticed graffiti on the tile wall of the laboratory, never noticed before. What a 1976 audience called "cheesy" special effects were actually pretty expensive for the day (castle rising) but still gave a 50's creature feature vibe. Some effects (like the plaster/cheesecloth castings) were extremely low tech, but cleverly done retaining the feel the stage show. I especially love the Criminologist's pasted photo/text folder & classroom pull down dance steps.

The songs are great, with a rockabilly feel...the 50's were very popular for newly emerging punk scene in the mid 70's. Meatloaf was spectacular, his voice was so high back then! The costuming was incredibly daring for the time and actually set the tone for Punk and later Goth, now all pretty mainstream styling. 

But to me, the real strength in the movie is the editing. It's sharp, succinct and never drags. The musical interludes are paced perfectly in the story. The editing prowess & humor has been overlooked because it's become so familiar, but someone had to think up the triple Dr Scott-Janet-Brad-Rocky-Silence schtick. There is a lot of camp classic film references here, but it's never a cheap shot for laughs, more of an acknowledgment of movies we loved growing up. That seems to be the universal thematic chord the film carries.

Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poste

 

 

I like Susan Sarandon. I see BULL DURHAM on the MLB network almost daily.....until the baseball season starts. I recently watched ATLANTIC CITY again....I have to say the old Burt Lancaster is often better than the young. I have ELMER GANTRY in my queue. Maybe tonight.  My favorite Lancaster role is "Moonlight" Graham in FIELD OF DREAMS. He was the perfect actor for that role. When Ray Liotta shouts out, "Hey Rookie! You were good.", just as Lancaster goes back into the corn, the look on his face of what was lost and could've been was perfect...just perfect.

But, I digress. 

Can't go wrong with Susan Sarandon, however. 

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Watched "Quick Money" this morning on TCM -- a 1937 comedy with only a couple of names still remembered today (Hattie McDaniel and Jack Carson, neither of whom in a lead role here), about a guy returning to his home town ostensibly to build a resort but a small group of citizens suspects something's up.  This is the kind of obscure film I love discovering on TCM, this one featuring some great satire on small town American life.

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3 hours ago, MrMagoo said:

Can't go wrong with Susan Sarandon, however. 

Isn't she a great talent? I had heard she took the part because she wanted to see if she could sing, I believe her father is a professional singer. But her comic timing, gestures, voice, everything is just top notch. Most especially considering how young she was when she made Rocky Horror. I've never seen her give a bad performance & she's kept her life & career classy despite that potentially exploitative early role as Janet.

susan-sarandon-assemblage-lenny-kravitz-

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:09 AM, TikiSoo said:

I love Deborah Kerr and knew a movie directed by A Korda would be a visual treat at least.

Boy, was I surprised! I didn't even recognize Kerr in the first 20 minutes

Have you seen I SEE A DARK STRANGER, that she made right after VACATION ? ....  She is somewhat unrecognizable there but not in the same sense, The dowdiness is not  there but she appears so young that I had to look twice to make sure. Some of early films are like that. It didn't take long for her grow out of this "young girl" phase and to grow into how we normally see her in later films.  I am mesmerized by her in STRANGER. She falls into a rather dangerous political situation and she is continually preoccupied what she should do (like a fish out of water) as the story progresses, and as a result we get a lot close-ups and facial acting. I love Deborah Kerr. Robert Donat in VACATION, who plays sophistication so well finds a notch something below that, at least early on, when he comes across as a sort of stumble bum. Deborah does look different early on, she too is imbued with, well, what you said, dowdy. A way in both actors to suggest estrangement, though it's not immediately clear at the time.  I love the movie.  

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20 hours ago, kingrat said:

I still haven't seen nearly enough Claude Chabrol films and have liked most of those I've seen. A double tour (French title means "twice locked"; film is sometimes called Leda in English), is an exception. I wouldn't want to see it again. Visually it is interesting, as Chabrol and the gifted cinematographer Henri Decae create and explore the house of a painter, Leda, played by Antonella Lualdi. The script, however, is a disaster. We're supposed to hate the bourgeois family, especially the mother, yet the mother never does anything that merits our hatred. She's a devout Catholic and won't give her husband a divorce, but that's scarcely a reason for the audience to hate her. I think we're supposed to see Kovacs, the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo, sympathetically as someone who tries to expose and break up this bourgeois family, but he's so utterly obnoxious that I was ready to convert to Catholicism and go to Mass three times a day.

A murder mystery plot occurs, but not well-done, and the identity of the murderer is obvious long before the welcome end of the film. A double tour, Chabrol's third film, after Le beau Serge and Les cousins, is somewhat interesting as a step along Chabrol's path to much better films. The very next film, Les bonnes femmes, gets the tone right, gets all the elements right, as far as I'm concerned.

Have you seen THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE? A fave that I go back to from time to time. Shephane Audran has been around and never really disappoints. But it is the work of Michel Bouquet that enthralls. He has a sort of Olivier manner about him. He has much more to do than Shephane. His answer to the possibility that his wife has stepped out in very much in the Hitchcockian vein and plays out accordingly, very engrossing.

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This last batch of Netlix arrivals gave me three “true story” films. I had no idea. I don’t read the blurbs and I know practically nothing in advance of the films I generally watch. So this was a weird coincidence. The first one was THE DIG (1921) about a stupendous archeological find on the eve of WW2 on a field in England. Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) is an amateur excavator (though powerfully imbued with a consummate skill)  is hired by Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan) to dig up her vast holding. Basil is his 60s and married and Edith is probably about 35 (in real life back then she was in her 50s) but a special and touching relationship develops between them, totally Platonic. The Authorities get wind of the find and want to take it over for the British Museum. Additional characters appear whose stories seem to dilute the significance of the beginning, including a love triangle. A sudden dumbing down of the main story line might be suspected, perhaps to recapture a viewer who might have been tiring of all the “boring” archeology. And yet the magnificence and glory of the find has effective moments of cinematic treatment.

The second one I might have known the subject matter if I knew my history better.  RED JOAN (2018) as a young lady had no early desire to be a radical or even a politico, but she met a guy who was and she was drawn in. The story is probably well known so I won’t say any more about that. At the outset of the story, Judi Dench is seen as a retiree living a simple life. The door knocks and she is taken in by the authorities on a charge of treason. She haltingly and reluctantly answers questions and the flashbacks that ensue make up most of the picture. There is a harsh criticism that Judi was under used as she has a relatively small amount of screen time. I disagree. Every time they left the flashback and returned to her in the question room are special moments and her weight as an actor comes through. Her character, now in her 80s, was played with restraint and intelligence.

The third one deals with the inception of the Oxford Dictionary, the daunting magnitude of which finds researchers and writers in an impasse. How to continue? They find a possible savior in James Murray played oh so effectively by Mel Gibson. I haven’t see him in later films and I was nearly overcome by his magnificent looks and demeanor. Wow, Mel, who knew? Not a fave, I find his Hamlet and his Braveheart much to be desired. But here, he is astonishingly good. Murray is like Basil Brown (above), a greatly learned man but without credentials. So impressive is he, however, that they put him in charge. A parallel story and seemingly disparate story line deals with a man (Sean Penn) who shoots an innocent man by accident, who subsequently is deemed insane. The stories finally converge. The movie is The Professor and the Madman (2019). Sean Penn is equally brilliant in role not easy, in my estimation. His wild and sometimes histrionic portrayal contrasts with Gibson’s more traditional gentlemanly gravity, both equally great.

All of these films have fine moments, make no mistake. But they seem to slip into sentimentality. This doesn’t ruin the movies. But it grates a little with me. I am an incorrigible lover of MasterPiece-type TV productions of the old school that told stories without the excess of sentimentality, ostentatious displays of sensationalism, overly lurid scenes and frothy film scores. These types of productions are “stuffy” to some viewers.  But I was still more or less engrossed with all three films and I would recommend them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y2rlzEz0oQ

 

 /

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23 hours ago, kingrat said:

I still haven't seen nearly enough Claude Chabrol films and have liked most of those I've seen. A double tour (French title means "twice locked"; film is sometimes called Leda in English), is an exception. I wouldn't want to see it again. Visually it is interesting, as Chabrol and the gifted cinematographer Henri Decae create and explore the house of a painter, Leda, played by Antonella Lualdi. The script, however, is a disaster. We're supposed to hate the bourgeois family, especially the mother, yet the mother never does anything that merits our hatred. She's a devout Catholic and won't give her husband a divorce, but that's scarcely a reason for the audience to hate her. I think we're supposed to see Kovacs, the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo, sympathetically as someone who tries to expose and break up this bourgeois family, but he's so utterly obnoxious that I was ready to convert to Catholicism and go to Mass three times a day.

A murder mystery plot occurs, but not well-done, and the identity of the murderer is obvious long before the welcome end of the film. A double tour, Chabrol's third film, after Le beau Serge and Les cousins, is somewhat interesting as a step along Chabrol's path to much better films. The very next film, Les bonnes femmes, gets the tone right, gets all the elements right, as far as I'm concerned.

I do not see the name of Claude Chabrol here often.A great director and very prolific.I'am on a binge right now  finishing his complete filmography with 7 to go  all later period,i Had seen many before on the silver screen but i'am a completist... a real master

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