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I just watched Caged with Eleanor Parker and Agnes Moorehead.  Wow! What a great movie! Previously, I was only acquainted with Parker through her two films with Errol.  She was a great actress, I don't know why I hadn't really heard of her prior to watching the films made with Errol. Parker is definitely underrated.  I always love Moorehead in everything she does, so I was anticipating her to be great.  While the film was definitely gritty, it was interesting to see how an innocent woman becomes slowly hardened and entrenched in the "criminal lifestyle" after a year and a half in jail. 

 

 

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I've been watching a bunch of circus themed movies.  The other night I watched He Who Gets Slapped (1924) and tonight I watched Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) both with Lon Chaney.

They were both from TCM broadcasts and both very good.  The music with Laugh Clown Laugh was particularly good.  I think it was by H. Scott Salinas for the 2002 restoration.

I know the silents are entirely a different sort of screen acting but I might stick my neck out and say that Lon Chaney was perhaps the very best screen actor of all time.  He is just so versatile.  The silent style is no longer 'believable' but I wonder if stars of today could have possibly have achieved what Lon did in his variety of roles.  Alternatively, I think it would have been a breeze for Chaney to act like a Gene Hackman or Robert De Niro.  But this is kind of like asking who would have won the fight if Cassius Clay had ever faced Rocky Marciano.  (Some will know that there was such a staged fight that was filmed.  It was supposedly determined by a computer.  I saw it several times).

Loretta Young was a revelation in Laugh, Clown, Laugh.  I couldn't get over how incredibly beautiful she was at that age.

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But this is kind of like asking who would have won the fight if Cassius Clay had ever faced Rocky Marciano.  (Some will know that there was such a staged fight that was filmed.  It was supposedly determined by a computer.  I saw it several times).

Easy question to answer. Ali by decision during Marciano's era. If fought under later rules when films were more frequently stopped because of cuts, Ali by TKO. (And, yes, I know how that crazy computer fight ended).

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Easy question to answer. Ali by decision during Marciano's era. If fought under later rules when films were more frequently stopped because of cuts, Ali by TKO. (And, yes, I know how that crazy computer fight ended).

They used to play that fight at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) every year for quite some time.  I think I saw it three times in all.

I seem to recall they billed it as Clay vs. Marciano.   I wonder if that one is kicking around?  Interesting that youtube shows the alternative ending with Ali winning the fight by TKO.

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They used to play that fight at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) every year for quite some time.  I think I saw it three times in all.

I seem to recall they billed it as Clay vs. Marciano.   I wonder if that one is kicking around?  Interesting that youtube shows the alternative ending with Ali winning the fight by TKO.

Not to sidetrack this thread with boxing, but I've noticed that you can find so many boxing matches, going right back to the days of Jim Corbett, on You Tube.

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They used to play that fight at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) every year for quite some time.  I think I saw it three times in all.

I seem to recall they billed it as Clay vs. Marciano.   I wonder if that one is kicking around?  Interesting that youtube shows the alternative ending with Ali winning the fight by TKO.

 

It would be interesting to see what the computer input was. After all, Marciano never lost a professional fight.

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It would be interesting to see what the computer input was. After all, Marciano never lost a professional fight.

The computer "input" was that Marciano and Ali play fought one another in the ring for this "fight," trying to cover all ring possibilities, neither participant knowing what the final outcome would be, as to be decided by the computer. This happened shortly before Rocky's death in a plane crash. He never knew the final outcome, I believe. Ali, at the time this was staged after his being striped of the heavyweight crown, was also undefeated at the time.

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... Joe E. Brown in The Circus Clown (1934).  A mildly amusing b-comedy.  Brown's athleticism impressed me.  He is obviously doing some of his own stunts.

What was curious though is that a major plot point has Brown falling in love with a rather manly female impersonator.  And of course he has no idea that she is really a he.  Shades of Some Like It Hot.

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"The Mikado"--1939-- very good version of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta--Kenny Baker as Nanki-Poo, heir to Japans' throne, looks as Oriental as Nelson Eddy (due to a notably bad make-up job)--but he has a beautiful tenor voice that redeems everything.  Film was made at Pinewood Studios in London, England in 1939--must have been among the last to reach America before WWII started in Europe. TM is well executed--avoids the realm of "camp."  If you enjoy musicals, this one's worth searching out.

 

Trivia--one of the few lighthearted episodes of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation/tors) centered around the music from The Mikado. :)

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3D RARITIES - Blu-ray - 2015

 

Utterly fascinating for the 3D enthusiast, like me!  Silent shorts, from the dawn of stereoscopic cinematography, a fighting match between Rocy Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott, film trailers, a Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon, travelogues and more.  Really fantastic, and a reminder of how much better 3D cinematography was in the early days, compared to today, where most films appear to be 2.5D.

 

The Blu-ray also features a 2D version of all the content, but I cannot imagine the point of watching that.

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I just watched Caged with Eleanor Parker and Agnes Moorehead.  Wow! What a great movie! Previously, I was only acquainted with Parker through her two films with Errol.  She was a great actress, I don't know why I hadn't really heard of her prior to watching the films made with Errol. Parker is definitely underrated.  I always love Moorehead in everything she does, so I was anticipating her to be great.  While the film was definitely gritty, it was interesting to see how an innocent woman becomes slowly hardened and entrenched in the "criminal lifestyle" after a year and a half in jail. 

 

Y'know, I watch some or all of CAGED each time it's on, and each time I come away with a slightly different impression. It is most certainly an entertaining and well-acted film (although- forgive me- I think Eleanor Parker is a bit mannered in the lead role)...the performance I usually come away most impressed with is the lady who plays Kitty Stark (I'm sorry I can never remember her name) but it's a  meaty buffet of tough broad performances all around.

 

Still, I kinda sorta can't help but feel like it could have used a lighter hand in the script and direction, because there's a point where it makes a turn into Horatio Alger territory and becomes a little too sensational to have as much of an impact as it could.

 

ps- all apologies, 'cause I know there are some hardcore Caged fans out there.

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Impulse (1990) Neo Noir directed by Sondra Locke is a surprisingly gritty story of an LA "femme" Vice Cop Lottie (Teresa Russell) and her dance, at the cusp of Noir, with death, love, and temptation. Has some decadently beautiful cinematography of seedy LA in the '80s. 9/10

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Y'know, I watch some or all of CAGED each time it's on, and each time I come away with a slightly different impression. It is most certainly an entertaining and well-acted film (although- forgive me- I think Eleanor Parker is a bit mannered in the lead role)...the performance I usually come away most impressed with is the lady who plays Kitty Stark (I'm sorry I can never remember her name) but it's a  meaty buffet of tough broad performances all around.

 

Still, I kinda sorta can't help but feel like it could have used a lighter hand in the script and direction, because there's a point where it makes a turn into Horatio Alger territory and becomes a little too sensational to have as much of an impact as it could.

 

ps- all apologies, 'cause I know there are some hardcore Caged fans out there.

I can agree with all the above.

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Y'know, I watch some or all of CAGED each time it's on, and each time I come away with a slightly different impression. It is most certainly an entertaining and well-acted film (although- forgive me- I think Eleanor Parker is a bit mannered in the lead role)...the performance I usually come away most impressed with is the lady who plays Kitty Stark (I'm sorry I can never remember her name) but it's a  meaty buffet of tough broad performances all around.

 

Still, I kinda sorta can't help but feel like it could have used a lighter hand in the script and direction, because there's a point where it makes a turn into Horatio Alger territory and becomes a little too sensational to have as much of an impact as it could.

 

ps- all apologies, 'cause I know there are some hardcore Caged fans out there.

I'm a hardcore Caged fan, but you won't get any death threats from me. That is, so long as you don't give me any: I think Eleanor Parker's performance is brilliant. I think the two really "mannered" performances that year were by Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.

 

The actress who plays Kitty Stark is Betty Garde. She's wonderful. Her other notable performances include Wanda Skutnik in Call Northside 777; the original Aunt Eller in the Broadway show Oklahoma!; and Thelma the Maid in one of the best episodes of "The Honeymooners."

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I'm a hardcore Caged fan, but you won't get any death threats from me. That is, so long as you don't give me any: I think Eleanor Parker's performance is brilliant. I think the two really "mannered" performances that year were by Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.

 

The actress who plays Kitty Stark is Betty Garde. She's wonderful. Her other notable performances include Wanda Skutnik in Call Northside 777; the original Aunt Eller in the Broadway show Oklahoma!; and Thelma the Maid in one of the best episodes of "The Honeymooners."

But don't you think in the case of All About Eve and Sunset Blvd. the 'mannered' performances of the ladies fit the characters they were portraying and were therefore entirely appropriate?

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The actress who plays Kitty Stark is Betty Garde. She's wonderful. Her other notable performances include Wanda Skutnik in Call Northside 777; the original Aunt Eller in the Broadway show Oklahoma!; and Thelma the Maid in one of the best episodes of "The Honeymooners."

 

Thank you. It's a remarkable transformation that she undergoes in CAGED...and it could have easily been a camp performance, but there is nothing camp about it. If I were allowed to fudge with the Oscar nominations in 1950, I probably would've replaced Hope Emerson's name with hers in the Best Supporting Actress category (although Emerson is pretty good herself.)

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I'm mad at myself for using the word "mannered" in referance to Parker's work in CAGED. It's a go-to word for too many critics when we can't find just the right (or simpler) way to say "I don't entirely buy that they ARE the character as opposed to someone playing a character in a movie/play."

 

Please don't think I'm saying she was a bad actress or is bad in the role- far from it- but there is a level of theatricality to her work that I think the director would've been wise to have worked with her to eliminate.

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I'm mad at myself for using the word "mannered" in referance to Parker's work in CAGED. It's a go-to word for too many critics when we can't find just the right (or simpler) way to say "I don't entirely buy that they ARE the character as opposed to someone playing a character in a movie/play."

 

Please don't think I'm saying she was a bad actress or is bad in the role- far from it- but there is a level of theatricality to her work that I think the director would've been wise to have worked with her to eliminate.

You mean how every single Meryl Streep performance strikes me?  She never, ever, ever lets me forget she is A C T I N G!!!

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I'm mad at myself for using the word "mannered" in referance to Parker's work in CAGED. It's a go-to word for too many critics when we can't find just the right (or simpler) way to say "I don't entirely buy that they ARE the character as opposed to someone playing a character in a movie/play."

 

Please don't think I'm saying she was a bad actress or is bad in the role- far from it- but there is a level of theatricality to her work that I think the director would've been wise to have worked with her to eliminate.

Remember, movies are not real life. It's people playing roles. There is of course a level of "theatricality" to any actor's work; but Parker's pales in comparison to the hamminess of Swanson and Davis, who are actually playing actors.

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Remember, movies are not real life. It's people playing roles. There is of course a level of "theatricality" to any actor's work; but Parker's pales in comparison to the hamminess of Swanson and Davis, who are actually playing actors.

 

 

But, I think with CAGED, there is an effort being made at gritty realism, and elements of Parker's performance are out of step with that. I also think it is important that the viewer not be made to feel manipulated- and I do commend the film for saying something about the sad state of prisons in America (something that has not improved)- but again, there is a touch of manipulation, of sensationalism and of theatrics that turns off some viewers to the ideas the filmmakers are putting across because there is something disingenious about how they are being related to us. 

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