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I enjoyed the film but didnt feel it was best picture quality. Unsure what else was up that year. Very well acted, to be sure.

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2 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I enjoyed the film but didnt feel it was best picture quality. Unsure what else was up that year. Very well acted, to be sure.

The Best Picture lineup in 2013....

12 Years a Slave
Nebraska
American Hustle
Gravity
Dallas Buyers Club
Philomena
Captain Phillips
Her
The Wolf of Wall Street

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25 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I've never seen this film. Does TCM ever show it?

I watched an old recording of Carnival Story recorded off TCM but I have no idea if the channel still shows the film. It is, however, currently on You Tube.

61yTVJPWxBL._AC_SY445_.jpg

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7 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Gulager wrote and directed a short avante-garde short film in '69 called A DAY WITH THE BOYS that had a surprise ending.  I think his son was part of the cast.  I saw it(of course) as an in between movies filler at a local drive-in.  

https://youtu.be/imMJrTnGZZk

Sepiatone

It's also on the Criterion Channel, if you have access to that.

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45 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I saw a few minutes of Nebraska last night, enough for me to order it promptly from the local library. I kept thinking that most of the characters in the film must be related to me. Is Nebraska actually part of the South?

Choice morsel: A good ole boy is trying to make pleasant conversation with a stranger. "What kind of car you drive?" When this topic quickly dies: "What kind of car does your brother drive?"

And when they REALLY want to measure the cut of a man's jib they challenge with "how long did it take for ya to get here?"

Nebraska get's a lot of undeserved credit. Dern and Forte in particular often get a lot of praise for what are IMO adequate performances. June Squibb's no nonsense  portrayal of the matriarch makes the movie. 

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Planet of the Vampires (1965)

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Explorers land on a mysterious planet. It is quickly evident there are forces beyond their understanding there.

It would be easy to dismiss this as shlocky spaghetti sci-fi if it were not for the fact that it was directed by: Mario Bava.  The exterior shots are quite beautiful while evoking a sense of unseen horror. The story is slow in places but his direction keeps them from being boring. I have read that this movie greatly influenced: Alien (1979). The parallels are quite solid. I must wonder what might have been done with a reasonable budget.

Observations:

Barry Sullivan. I know him mostly from stodgy dramas. His performance here did not win me over. He has all the charisma and animation of something which lacks all charisma and animation. I must wonder why they paid him a salary when they could have saved much money by simply buying a mannequin and propping it up where appropriate.

Crew uniforms: The black leather is somewhat tasty but I could find no reason why they incorporate a cone of shame as you might see after taking a puppy to the vet for a Barker snip.

Vampires: There are none. The hostile beings are ethereal parasites which transform dead crew members into a form of zombie.

Italian cast: Some of their fighting and close-up shots were overblown to an extreme but their performances were quite competent for the material and budget.

Spaceship interior: Any person who has even been aboard an airplane or submarine will marvel at the size of the rooms. I believe it may be safely construed as saving recreational space as they could with ease play baseball in the generator room or hold horse races in the control room.

Alien spaceship: This is a treasure! I fully intend to download the movie and use shots of this as wallpaper.

I am sorry to say that there is a fair bit of gore which might prevent some from watching it. It is generally limited to bashed faces but the make-up is sufficiently well-done as to border on realistic.

I can not say that I like this movie but it is interesting. I feel it is worth watching for the visuals alone.

7.4/10

 

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I saw Leon Morin, Priest, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as the priest and Emmanuelle Riva as the atheist who's more interested in Christianity than she lets herself acknowledge and who, of course, wants to jump Belmondo's bones. The setting is WWII as an unnamed town in southern France is occupied first by the Italians and then by the Germans. It helps if you know that a fair proportion of French were Communist-leaning at that time, that France was divided with the southern half ruled from Vichy before the Germans took everything, and that some Frenchmen worked for the Resistance and some informed for the Germans. Of course, Melville's French audience would automatically know all of this. The story is episodic rather than tightly organized, which at first seems to be a flaw, and none of the above facts are spelled out. Ultimately, this seemed like a strength of the film, as it did not have careful plot points that manipulated the audience in a particular direction.

How should a priest behave? How does a soul fight against acceptance of God and the church, and how does that soul change? This is not the film one might expect from the director of crime films like Le Samourai, although there is a connection with the best Melville film I've seen, the great noir When You Read This Letter. I would especially recommend Leon Morin, Priest to admirers of Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest.

Belmondo, hardly the actor one would imagine as a priest, is believable and sexy, and Emmanuelle Riva, who has to carry the film, does so without strain. One of the most interesting episodes occurs when Riva learns that a woman she knows who is informing for the Germans will be killed by the Resistance. She goes to the priest to ask what she should do. His response surprised me, though it adds to the strength of the film.

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1 hour ago, SansFin said:

Planet of the Vampires (1965)

I remember seeing it in the wee late hours during our college town's 24-hour sci-fi film marathon, just as everyone was either caffeine-pumped or punchy.  (We invented MST3K, because in a college town at 2am with no bus or subway back to the city, you are trapped in outer space.)

And it became one of the running gags every year that a few veteran fans of the movie notice that, thanks to dodgy Italian/English dubs, nobody ever refers to Barry Sullivan's captain as "Captain":  They not only refer to him by name, but in EVERY single line of dialogue where they address him.   For ninety minutes, we don't get "Captain, what's our heading?", we get "Mark, what's our heading?"..."Mark, I'm getting a strange reading"..."Mark, there's something out there"...

Prompting an entire audience ready to shout out a drinking-game "MARK!!" countdown every time Sullivan's name was mentioned.  Think we got up past a hundred, before I nodded off.  😆

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I just watched THE POISON ROSE on Prime. It's a pretty good neo-noir with John Travolta and Morgan Freeman. It takes place in the late 70s and has many elements of classic noirs. There are some flaws and serious noir fans may find it predictable, but I thought it was entertaining.  

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15 hours ago, TomJH said:

I watched an old recording of Carnival Story recorded off TCM but I have no idea if the channel still shows the film. It is, however, currently on You Tube.

61yTVJPWxBL._AC_SY445_.jpg

Thanks. It must not pop up that often.

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The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

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A young pirate comes to the end of his apprenticeship. He has come to love each and every one of the pirates dearly but his sense of duty leads him to vow to destroy them. An amusing paradox is that his apprenticeship ends when he is twenty-one but being born on February 29th means that he is twenty-one years of age but counting birthdays means that he is only five-and-a-little-bit and so he is not yet truly released from his apprenticeship and must rejoin them. 

This is an exhilaration of pure silliness!  No one expects production of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta to be somber but this melding of Broadway and cinema is glorious in its absurdity.

The Broadway cast reprised their roles for this production but for the substitution of Angela Lansbury as Ruth. I am not a great fan of hers but she truly personifies the character as "the remains of a fine woman." 

A particular gem is Tony Azito. It is quite unusual to find a Cornish police sergeant who is made of rubber and he uses his bonelessness to great effect.

It would be quite easy to compose paragraphs praising each member of the cast but I am sure virtually all know of them and those few who do not would be more confused than enlightened by my viewpoints.

I realize that this movie does not strictly adhere to Victorian standards in all respects and that liberties were taken with some arrangements. I seriously doubt that either Sir Gilbert or Sir Sullivan would disapprove of the updating.

9.9/10  I subtract one-tenth point because this is not available for free streaming and is rarely broadcast so one must purchase the DVD.

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16 hours ago, SansFin said:

one must purchase the DVD.

Most libraries have it. Gilbert & Sullivan just doesn't work for me on film, no matter how great the performances & production. Something magical happens when real people perform for an audience, the movie just left me cold.

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I don't know why, but I'm not a big fan of musicals.  I don't hate them and tend to agree they're better on stage than on film.  WEST SIDE STORY is probably my favorite and I enjoyed FIDDLER ON THE ROOF as well as PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  I know there are some classics that people really love.  I cannot explain why I'm so luke warm because I love music and many of the songs from these classic musicals are wonderful.  I guess I'm just weird.  Maybe I'd like them better "IF I WERE A RICH MAN!"

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The Steel Trap Poster

The Steel Trap (1952) DVD 7/10

An assistant bank manager (Joseph Cotten)  steals $1 million dollars from the vault and plans to flee the country.

This film reunites Cotten with Teresa Wright, his co star in Hitchcock's Shadow Of A Doubt (1943). In the earlier film they were uncle and niece and here they are husband and wife. Wright is a blonde in this one, the only time I saw her that way. The Hitchcock film is one of my top ten favorites so I enjoyed the novelty of seeing them together again. As for this film, it is a pretty good heist/noir. There is narration by Cotten to help the story along. There are some tense scenes of narrow escapes he must go through to get the money out of the bank and make his plane to flee to Brazil with his unsuspecting wife. The real locations help too, the bank scenes are from an actual Los Angeles bank. There are also some location work in New Orleans, which is where he has to make a connecting flight to Brazil. 

 

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Senso is the best Luchino Visconti film I've seen so far. I prefer the shorter Visconti films--The Stranger, White Nights, Sandra (Vaghe stelle dell'orse)--to the long, slow, tending-to-be-dull ones like The Leopard or La terra trema, though they have lovely images every hour or so. Rocco and His Brothers is like a longer Italian version of Written on the Wind, quite enjoyable as one of the campier Douglas Sirk soap operas, although Alain Delon, miscast as a boxer, needs butch lessons from his mother, Katina Paxinou. Visconti, born an aristocrat,  enjoys renown in certain quarters as a serious Marxist thinker, which works if your notion of a Marxist intellectual is Calvin Klein. The Damned must be one of the dumbest films ever made about Nazi Germany, and as homophobic as Rossellini's Germany Year Zero.

Visconti truly loves opera--opera, interior decoration, and pretty young men--and all are on display in Senso. The stunning opening scene is set in Venice's Teatro La Fenice, and the seats and tiers and tiers of boxes are filled with extras, not CGI creatures. Verdi's Il trovatore is on stage, and soon the opera house is caught up in the political events of the day (1866): Garibaldi's rebellion against the Austrians who control much of Italy. The Countess Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) meets the Austrian officer Franz Mahler (Farley Granger, looking delectable) in an attempt to save her cousin from a duel, and the encounter leads to a passionate affair.

Yes, this is an operatic love affair, minus the arias, but with sections of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony as a romantic background. Alida Valli shows us all the emotions of a woman who falls wildly in love for the first time. Farley Granger has a wider emotional range than he usually gets to play in his American films. Is he truly in love? Will her love redeem him, or is he a cad like Louis Jourdan in Letter from an Unknown Woman? Valli and Granger do eventually go over the top, for my taste, especially in their last scene together, but this is clearly part of the operatic style Visconti wants.

Almost every shot, especially in the first half of the film, shows us something beautiful to look at.

 

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On 4/19/2021 at 8:48 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

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I watched MONA LISA (1986) for the first time last night.

Someone needed to take this movie out to a nice lunch and have a talk with it about what exactly the Hell kind of STORY it wanted to BE.

On one thing, there is no ambiguity- BOB HOSKINS is AMAZING

MICHAEL CAINE is also in it as a SADISTIC PIMP, and he is very good, but there is an unforgiveably bad sequence late in the film where HOSKINS rescues a girl from his clutches that I don't buy for a minute.

A Criterion copy from the library was waiting in the queue when you wrote your impressions. I watched it for the first time too. I thought all the performances were great, as was very good photography-I felt "there" although thought it was Philly in the opening sequences until hearing British accents. I couldn't understand the mumbling at the beginning but eventually the story unfolded despite the dialogue. 

I would take this movie to task for it's editing. The Caine/Hoskins backstory which the whole thing rests upon is unclear. Like Lorna, I found the climax confusing* and then the scenes jump to an unrelated, earliest aspect of the story. Huh? *although I liked the 2 way mirror!

My only guess is Hoskins' adventure tempered his anger towards women we saw earlier?

I betcha this is one of those movies that's better the second viewing, but I'm not interested enough to try it again. I like Hoskins, but wish he wasn't such a mouth breather. In that movie poster he looks more like Bogart.

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Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)

After delaying it for a long time I finally stuck out this sorry combination of music, "comedy" and "horror."

Three country and western performers (Ferlin Husky, Joi Lansing and Don Bowman), on their way to a Nashville Jamboree, stop off at an abandoned mansion for the night, not knowing it has a reputation as being haunted. Inside the place they will encounter four characters searching for some rocket fuel formula in the basement, along with a gorilla. The film is as lame at it sounds.

Those into country and western music (I'm not) might like portions of this film as the movie stops cold countless times for a country soul hurtin' tune. I assume that Ferlin Husky and Don Bowman are, or were, country and western stars, because this film shows that they sure weren't actors. The last 15 minutes of this film is, in fact, nothing but music.

The only reason I watched the film with its painfully lame "comedy" is because of the appearance in it of three Hollywood veterans, all sadly desperate for a pay cheque, Basil Rathbone, John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr.. You feel embarrassed for these three actors that they had the financial need to appear in a cheap disgrace like this. This would be Rathbone's second last film and the final one released before his death. He looks very frail, says his lines and looks like he wants to be off the film set as soon as possible. I was surprised, too, that on occasion, this actor always known for his clear diction, slurs a few of his words. "Mexico," for example, sounds more like "Messco."

Hillbillys In a Haunted House (1967) – Mike's Take On the Movies ……….  Rediscovering Cinema's PastHillbillys in a Haunted House (1967) - Photo Gallery - IMDb

The beautiful blonde Joi Lansing was cast in cheesecake Mansfield-Van Doren type roles, in outfits emphasizing her bust line, in a lot of '50s and '60s films and TV. It's a sorry comment on her career that she was reduced to appearing in a cheapie like this, as well. Tragically, Lansing would be dead from breast cancer just five years after this film's release. There's not a lot to be said in favour of any film that can't even spell hillbillies correctly in its title.

Watch Hillbillys In A Haunted House | Prime Video

.5 out of 4

 

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)

Yes this one is as bad you can get. Rathbone, Chaney and Carradine were obviously there for the paycheck, I guess they all needed it very badly.

Joi Lansing was one of the most gorgeous of the blond bombshells at the time, to see her at her most stunning, see the episode of The Adventures Of Superman called "Superman's Wife". She looks like an actual doll come to life.

Superman's Wife Poster

I'd also like to mention Asian actress Linda Ho, she had a short film career, mostly playing sexy, evil "dragon ladies" from the Far East.

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32 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Yes this one is as bad you can get. Rathbone, Chaney and Carradine were obviously there for the paycheck, I guess they all needed it very badly.

Joi Lansing was one of the most gorgeous of the blond bombshells at the time, to see her at her most stunning, see the episode of The Adventures Of Superman called "Superman's Wife". She looks like an actual doll come to life.

Superman's Wife Poster

I'd also like to mention Asian actress Linda Ho, she had a short film career, mostly playing sexy, evil "dragon ladies" from the Far East.

There's a "comedy' moment in the film in which Ferlin Husky throws a sheet over Basil Rathbone and wrestles him to the floor. While it's undoubtedly a stunt double rolling on the floor underneath the sheet, it's Basil we see lying on the floor as he removes the sheet from his head and tries to adjust his hair. Rathbone was still trouper enough to perform in a so-called comedy bit like this but I was sorry the screenplay asked the aged actor to do it. I considered it demeaning to the man who had once, with such great pride and dignity, played roles like Sherlock Holmes and Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

I wrote a fan letter to Rathbone around the time this film was made, knowing nothing about the junk in which he was currently forced to appear, as I enthusiastically waxed nostalgically on paper about his performances in Robin Hood, Captain Blood and Zorro. I never heard back from him and will, of course, never know if he even saw my letter. In retrospect, I wonder how dispirited Basil may have felt in his final years with the film drek that he had to accept because he needed the money.

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Tom, I am also a big Basil Rathbone fan. I don't get too sad thinking about the end of his career. By the late 1960's like many actors from the classic era he was a senior citizen, working actor and the business was skewing towards a younger audience. He did what was necessary.

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1 minute ago, Herman Bricks said:

Tom, I am also a big Basil Rathbone fan. I don't get too sad thinking about the end of his career. By the late 1960's like many actors from the classic era he was a senior citizen, working actor and the business was skewing towards a younger audience. He did what was necessary.

I know but what a financial trap to be stuck in in his senior years. Yeh, I feel sorry for dear old Baz (not to mention Chaney and Carradine and a whole slew of others at the time).

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On 4/20/2021 at 9:29 AM, Hibi said:

Thanks. It must not pop up that often.

Carnival Story was a premiere several months ago. So you are right!

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Becky Sharp  1935 directed by Rouben Mamoulian

With Miriam Hopkins Frances Dee Nigel Bruce Billie Burke Cedric Hardwicke Alan Mowbray.Made by Pioneer Pictures distributed by RKO.Set in early 1800's England during the Napoleonic wars good comedy drama main  feature  are the  beautiful pastels as it is the first film made in 3 strip Technicolor. Frances Dee in Technicolor is  quite something    but Alan Mowbray as a romantic interest  is quite unusual i have seen him in many films but not in this type of role..anyway I have never seen this film on TCM and it was not featured on her Star of the Month tribute  There must be a rights problem , I watched it in Canada yesterday. 6/10

becky.jpg

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