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7 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i WAS STUNNEDto see CLU GULAGER in a LEGIT film. I truly thought he was of a CONRAD BROOKS type, strictly Z-MOVIE ACTOR, heretofore I would've thought RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD was his career  high-point, his LOST WEEKEND if you will.

CLU made quite a few appearances in some films featured on MST 3K and RIFFTRAX.

I saw him on a Barnaby Jones episode, which is where I learned to pronounce his name. I had only seen it in print before that and I always read it as Gallagher. 

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22 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i WAS STUNNEDto see CLU GULAGER in a LEGIT film. I truly thought he was of a CONRAD BROOKS type, strictly Z-MOVIE ACTOR, heretofore I would've thought RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD was his career  high-point, his LOST WEEKEND if you will.

CLU made quite a few appearances in some films featured on MST 3K and RIFFTRAX.

Clu Gulager was in the 1960s Don Siegel remake of The Killers, where he was most enjoyable. I like the film a lot, although seeing it at the 2019 TCM festival after Hello, Dolly! was a strange experience.

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5 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Thanks for that succinct impression. I have it recorded from TCM, but haven't watched it yet. 

And I thought I might be giving too much away with schmaltz! 

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On 4/16/2021 at 9:52 PM, TomJH said:

Blondell and Cagney were a wonderful screen team.

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"Beat it, Countess. As long as there are sidewalks you've got a job."

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Having posted these gifs the other day, upon looking up the careers of Cagney and Blondell I was surprised at how little these two high energy performers, both toiling at Warner Brothers for years, were actually co-starred.

They both appeared in seven films for the studio which, on the surface, might sound like a lot. Upon closer inspection, though, four films hardly count as they were not used as a screen team in any of them. In fact, I'm not even certain how many minutes in those four they actually shared on screen.

It was only in three films together that James Cagney and Joan Blondell were true co-stars. The first two, BLONDE CRAZY (1931) and FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933), the latter a Busby Berkeley musical, are the kinds of fast moving, high energy escapist entertainments in which they could shine and their chemistry together is apparent. Let's face it, though, Blonde Crazy is a low budget quickie, with their performances and chemistry the film's primary distinguishing graces. Their final film together, HE WAS HER MAN (1934) is a very different affair, a melancholy, downbeat romance, distinguished by a touching dramatic performance from Joan in what was one of her few departures at that point in her career from breezy, lightweight fare. But it's a small budget production that largely fails to realize its potential.

Bottom line: Warners Brothers miserably failed to utilize Cagney and Blondell as a screen team at a time when the studio was churning out their products in assembly line fashion. In fact, it's apparent to me the studio never even thought of these two stars as a screen team or they would have co-starred them more often with far better material. In retrospect Footlight Parade comes closest to realizing some of their potential but even then they were part of a large ensemble cast. The emphasis was not upon them as a screen team.

What a frustrating waste that was, in retrospect, especially for fans of Joan and Jimmy.

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19 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I saw him on a Barnaby Jones episode, which is where I learned to pronounce his name. I had only seen it in print before that and I always read it as Gallagher. 

i made it a point to go double check on imdb.

the JOEL-ERA MST had a running gag about his name.

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 Blow-Up (1966) 9/10

I really expected to hate this film because, for one, the sixties is just not my decade for film. Generally, films from this decade feel free of the production code for the first time in 30 years and make sex the point of the film, and they just seem archaic today. The so-called "shock value" sometimes gets in the way of what would have been a good film with the distraction removed. Also, I was told by some people that this film was slow and boring. Instead I was intrigued.

There is quite a bit going on at several levels. David Hemmings as Thomas, a fashion photographer, goes to great lengths to get gritty photographs for a book he is making. He even spends the night in a homeless encampment. He is always looking for interesting subjects, but at the very beginning of the film, he passes by a carload of mimes in various costumes, somebody who appears to be a member of the Queen's guard just walking down the street, and a group of men in native African dress. He doesn't notice them. He treats his models like objects. They bore him. When two girls enter his office and want him to photograph them he shoos them away. Then when he tries to buy something in an antique shop, the shopkeeper shoos him away. He doesn't get the connection. To anything. Unless it is in a photograph. And it is in some photographs of a couple having some kind of secretive romantic moment in a secluded tree surrounded glen of a public park that he finds something that jars him. But he has to see it in a "blow up" of the photographs he took to realize there is something else there that he never noticed. And you are an hour into the film before this happens.

He goes to confirm what he thought. It is true. He tries to get somebody to help him. They ignore him. Ultimately he seems to be like John Sims in the 1928 film The Crowd. The next morning, stripped of any evidence to the contrary, he just gives in to the false narrative signified by him throwing an imaginary tennis ball to some mimes who are faking a tennis game.

In an American film he would have been shadowed by the perpetrators, taken captive to their lair, told the significance of what he saw, and just before he is killed by them, the police would break in, save him, and capture the bad guys. This is not an American film
.

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2 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

That's the difference the smile makes. 

I believe that the important difference is that a smile is all that she is wearing.

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41 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

Then when he tries to buy something in an antique shop, the shopkeeper shoos him away.

Doesn’t he buy a large airplane propellor?  
 

Blow Up is usually associated with the night club scene where The Yardbirds perform, with both Jeff Beck AND Jimmy Page.  Great Stuff! A near riot ensues when they band smash up their equipment. Thomas escapes with the prize neck of Beck’s guitar which once he’s outside, he tosses away like trash. 

 

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1 minute ago, Moe Howard said:

Doesn’t he buy a large airplane propellor?  

Later, he returns to the shop and a completely different salesperson agrees to sell him the propeller. The first one though just shoos him away. 

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1 minute ago, LsDoorMat said:

Later, he returns to the shop and a completely different salesperson agrees to sell him the propeller. The first one though just shoos him away. 

Ah! Thank you.  

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23 minutes ago, SansFin said:

I believe that the important difference is that a smile is all that she is wearing.

Well it's all we can see, anyway. But if she wore a blank expression, it would be a very different photo. That's the point Tikisoo was making. I'm sure you agree.

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Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)

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A company wants to set off a long series of small explosions so they can seismically map a potential mining site. Aborigines believe this will disturb the green ants who will then rise to destroy the whole universe world.

This is a Werner Herzog film. That means that the plot has only a loose and quite superficial relationship to the story. 

This is culture shock at its most real. What makes it compelling is that we are not presented with simple stereotypes in opposition. Each person on each side is unique and has a unique effect on the situation and are uniquely affected by it.

I can not begin to describe how deeply this movie touches me. I identify with the geologist who simply wants to do his work and not see any person harmed. I identify with the bulldozer operator who has a quick and easy solution which likely would not cause more than a few people being bruised. I empathize with the elder who fears the white men will ruin the world. I feel strongly the plight of: 'the mute' whom no one can speak with because he is the last of his tribe and no one knows his language.

This movie is ultimately a staggering balancing act keeping cultures and people from crashing all at once.

9.9/10

It is available on several streaming services. 

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45 minutes ago, SansFin said:

Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)

A German director amazed by Australian aborigines (back during the mid-80's Crocodile Dundee-era cultural fascination with Australia) almost brings to mind Australians' historical complaint about having their own world image "decided for them" back before the Sydney Opera House in the 60's or the rise of Australian "art" cinema in the 70's/80's--And how, up to that point, Australia, in western movies, was one big savage untamed Outback full of didgeridoos and dingos.

It's a good enough Herzog movie, I guess, and has Mad Max's weaselly sidekick as the hero, but still feels culturally appropriating and pandering.

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21 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

All right, I'll give some hints on the rare TV show I mentioned earlier that's on YouTube. It was a 90s show that was once up for an Emmy for best series of the year and would be of particular interest to TCM fans. It's a sensational show.

Won’t mention the show title,  just in case, but if this series is the one I’m thinking of, I really wish it were available on DVD. 

Don’t have internet at home (high speed broadband isn’t available here in horse & buggy country) and watching on my phone isn’t an appealing option, though I know there are other ways.

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4 minutes ago, Calamity said:

Won’t mention the show title,  just in case, but if this series is the one I’m thinking of, I really wish it were available on DVD. 
 

 I see where someone who made recordings of the show actually was selling copies of it on DVD on one website (and for only $35). I'm normally not into such things, but with a series like that I am sorely, sorely tempted......

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Blonde Crazy (1931)

Breezy, unpretentious  Warners "B" featuring James Cagney as a larcenous bell hop who teams up with newly hired linen girl Joan Blondell as they try turn a fast buck together. The first portion of the film works quite well with Cagney as a small time hustler constantly on the make. Blondell, who refuses to commit to Jimmy emotionally, goes along with his ploys though her heart is not in the life of a con artist. Joan will, most importantly for pre code audiences, also have the teasing opportunity to take a bath in this one.

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The film turns sentimental and a bit mawkish towards the end (you know that, pre code or not, Jimmy will have to pay a price for his con jobs) but the two stars largely surmount the material, helping to generally maintain interest in the film to the end.

Louis Calhern is on hand as a smooth sharpie who takes Cagney for a ride, with Jimmy, naturally, then out for revenge. Also featured in the film is Guy Kibbee as a wealthy hotel patron whose randiness for Joan turns him into a convenient chump for a Cagney money making scheme, and a young Ray Milland in one of his earliest roles as a seemingly "proper" member of society who courts Blondell.

Blonde Crazy, minor as the film might be, helped to set the tone for the studio's casting plans for Cagney by featuring him as a larcenous character of breezy charm and personality that an audience could enjoy without having him so bad that he winds up dead in the final reel. The film also gives Jimmy the opportunity to call one character "That dirty, double crossin' rat!," not quite the "You dirty rat!" line Cagney impersonators relished for years but close enough.

This fun little film is one of the Warner Brothers pre-coders that, fortunately, gets reasonably frequent broadcasts on TCM. If nothing else, you can count the number of times Joan slaps Jimmy across his fresh face.

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2.5 out of 4

 

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9 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Thanks for that succinct impression. I have it recorded from TCM, but haven't watched it yet. 

I've never cared for CASABLANCA, don't really know why. One view was plenty, although I would see it on the big screen to see if that makes a difference for me.

I was overwhelmed by Citizen Kane first time viewing but enjoyed it enough to give it another go. I like it more every viewing and would estimate seen it about 20 times. 

Sorry to backtrack, people. Your hunch is right, TikiSoo, CASABLANCA definitely plays better on the big screen, with an audience. The first time I saw it was at the Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge MA, in the 70's on a weekend night.  I was about 10 years old. The audience seemed to include a lot of legit film aficionados and Bogart fans (Bogart was big in the 70's). And a lot of smartass college kids who seemed to be in competition to be the first to laugh at the humor. I will say this, certain scenes got a genuine reaction - for one the scene where Rick's crowd sings  "La Marseillaise"- to see the film with audience members cheering and shouting at the screen was great. Some scenes rocked the house so much, I couldn't hear the dialogue, so I was anxious to see it again.

Saw it again, numerous times on TV... enjoyed it. Was a little disturbed about the reference to "General de Gaulle" guaranteeing the exit visas. Even as a junior high school student, I knew better.

Then as an adult in the mid 80's I saw it again on the (not-so) big screen (but scratchy print) at Theater 80 St Marks in NYC. The experience was much like that at the Orson Welles a decade earlier. Theatre 80 was fairly close to NYU (lots of film people, film students in the audience). And they went nuts at the appropriate times. "Are my eyes really brown..." Great night.

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13 minutes ago, Herman Bricks said:

Sorry to backtrack, people. You hunch is right, TikiSoo, CASABLANCA definitely plays better on the big screen, with an audience. The first time I saw it was at the Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge MA, in the 70's on a weekend night.  I was about 10 years old. The audience seemed to include a lot of legit film aficionados and Bogart fans (Bogart was big in the 70's). And a lot of smartass college kids who seemed to be in competition to be the first to laugh at the humor. I will say this, certain scenes got a genuine reaction - for one the scene where Rick's crowd sings  "La Marseillaise"- to see the film with audience members cheering and shouting at the screen was great. Some scenes rocked the house so much, I couldn't hear the dialogue, so I was anxious to see it again.

Saw it again, numerous times on TV... enjoyed it. Was a little disturbed about the reference to "General de Gaulle" guaranteeing the exit visas. Even as a junior high school student, I knew better.

Then as an adult in the mid 80's I saw it again on the (not-so) big screen (but scratchy print) at Theater 80 St Marks in NYC. The experience was much like that at the Orson Welles a decade earlier. Theatre 80 was fairly close to NYU (lots of film people, film students in the audience). And they went nuts at the appropriate times. "Are my eyes really brown..." Great night.

I'm shocked . . . SHOCKED there are people who don't love Casablanca.

All joking aside, I watched the film two years ago for the first time in a decade and, even though I knew everything that was coming, marvelled at what a wonderfully entertaining film it remains to be. The perfect cast (except for maybe Paul Henreid's character, a bit dull, I think), the marvelous crackling Epstein Brothers dialogue, Michael Curtiz's smooth direction, it all adds up to a classic that really deserves to be called one. I can even forgive the film for the fact that it bumps off Peter Lorre too soon.

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

Now that's depressing.  I remember in late 50's took a trip through the Panhandle and Amarillo to go to visit an aunt in Sunray TX.  As best my memory recalls, very flat and very desolate.

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