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7 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

Bonfire of the Vanities - Now Showing on TCM

A 30 year old satirical depiction of PC corruption gone wild which has come to be reality in 2021.  Hanks, a wealthy white man is railroaded for a crime never committed by a race baiting religious huckster and a district attorney concerned with his career more than truth and justice. 

The movie would be unwatchable were it not for how unintentionally timely it is and for Bruce Willis being Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith being Melanie Griffith, both of whom are always solidly just above mediocre. OH, and Morgan Freeman, the judge presiding over the fraud of a case has a moment to shine at the end, and does. 

Julie Salamon, Ben's guest host was a real treat.  Looking forward to hearing more from her.

I'm probably the only one here but I enjoyed Bonfires and if you listened to what Julie Salamon said in the outro, she liked Bonfires of the Vanities too. She said it was a fun film and I agree. The film has it's faults, Melanie, Kim Cattrall, F. Murray Abraham's performances were a little too over the top  but the film held my attention and I think all the criticism it received was too harsh and not deserved. 

I agree Moe, sadly, the film is very timely, but I found the film very watchable

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The first time I saw NETWORK, it effected me that way. Now, even more.

TCM showed Network not long ago and I had pretty much the same feeling. The whole phony revolutionaries concerned with their market share and backend from their "news" show.

I will bet you there's a Mad magazine issue that could pass for most of last years newspapers. 

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On 7/4/2021 at 2:30 PM, SansFin said:

I apologize if this may seem to be wildly off-topic but I do feel that it applies in a manner...

I am currently reading: The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove. He is a classically-trained academic with a doctorate in Byzantine history. It is quite fascinating to read this because it is historically accurate in great detail except for the main plot of modern-day South Africans using a time machine to supply the Confederate Army with AK-47s. Things from why they scrounged clothes from the battlefield but would not wear Yankee coats to the many different styles of canteens they carried to  officers purposely ignoring women serving discretely in the ranks bring a wonderful vibrancy to the story. 

I am sad to say that it is widely considered that the majority of his work is unfilmable. I believe that this may be due in large part to the absence of villains. The conditions and situations are faceless enemies against which they must battle but no individual is inherently evil. They are all good people according to the truths and values with which they were raised. An example of this is a sergeant says that he wishes he were on picket duty along the border because he might find a Yank willing to trade coffee and candy for tobacco. No one argues that it is treason or that all Yanks are devils and not to be trusted. It is nay-sayed solely on the basis that picket duty is cold! 

I believe that it would be a fairly easy matter for a screenwriter or director to present a character in a noir novel as less violent or misogynistic on the screen. It would be far more complicated and difficult to make a character evil within the confines of the greater story.

 

 

 

I'm a huge fan of Turtledove's alternate histories.

I don't know how well they'd transfer to the big screen but I've always felt they could make excellent TV mini or maxi series, especially his Southern Victory novels.

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2 hours ago, lavenderblue19 said:

I'm probably the only one here but I enjoyed Bonfires and if you listened to what Julie Salamon said in the outro, she liked Bonfires of the Vanities too.

I doubt you'll be alone in enjoying the film. But I'll go out on a sturdy limb and say I suspect a fair portion of Julie's opinion comes from guilt for her roll in the dog-pile. I got the impression she feels bad about it and maybe slightly defensive. She said The Devil's Candy would have been the same regardless, but she "benefitted from the movie being a flop".

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12 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

BRUCE WILLIS has his moments, really and truly (PULP FICTION and DEATH BECOMES HER come to mind, also the original DIE HARD.) But more often than not, he is on AUTOPILOT.

Not too long ago, I rewatched BODY DOUBLE for the first time in ages and was struck by how delightful and uninhibited and bold MELANIE GRIFFITH is in that film...I know her career post WORKING GIRL has basically been DRESDEN, 1945, but dangit, I can't help but like her.

Agree Willis is on autopilot. And IMHO in the majority of times it works. Side note, I opened his car door for him once. He was walking out of a florist, his car at the curb, with a monstrous arrangement and I was walking past and asked if he needed a hand. He smiled and said yes. Driving a white newer Volvo. I believe Demi was nearby at Cedars and had just given birth. Always liked Bruce Willis, but really Bruce . . a Volvo?

I can't think of another girl/woman that can take her clothes off in a more easy, matter-of-fact way than Melanie.  Well, there were a couple of girls at the Body Shop on Sunset but anyway, Body Double was on last night as part of their De Palma group. I DVR'd it too and am not ashamed to say looking forward to it and particularly the Frankie Goes To Hollywood musical contribution. C'mon sing along!

RELAX!, Don't do it . . . . 

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From the week:

Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944) Enjoyed it.  Glad to see the character at University.

McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971) Didn't care for it.  Found it boring- but they did get the dreariness of the Pacific NW correct.

Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941) Liked it. Many storylines going on and feels like failing a test and not graduating was introduced a bit late and then kind of took over, but still liked it.

Saturday Night Fever (1977) Classic time-capsule cheese.  The group of friends are quite rapey, aren't they.

Guilty Bystander (1950)  Watched it on Noir Alley Saturday and I've already forgotten most of it, so didn't exactly leave a strong impression.

The Lady Vanishes (1938) Early Hitchcock.  Wish I'd watched this one sooner.

Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946) Another enjoyable film in the long series.  The second of two set in University.

Sabotage (1936) Even earlier Hitchcock.  Watched on a DVD collection I picked up years ago for cheap and the transfer isn't the best and the dialogue was hard to follow clearly and there were no subtitles- so i feel like I half-assed watched it.

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On 7/6/2021 at 7:47 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

[...] 

 I AM TELLING YOU GUYS, IF YOU EVER GET THE CHANCE TO SEE THAT MOVIE DUBBED IN FRENCH, IT IS SO WORTH IT!

I am sure that you made that suggestion with the best of intentions but I will pass on it as it would only serve to heighten my depression.


 

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3 hours ago, Citizen Ed said:

I'm a huge fan of Turtledove's alternate histories.

I don't know how well they'd transfer to the big screen but I've always felt they could make excellent TV mini or maxi series, especially his Southern Victory novels.

I am sorry to say that I have not found a critical analysis which explains the commonly-held reason most of his works are considered: 'unflimable' but I have read that notation in several different places in regards to his various works.

I doubt very much that: Guns of the South could be made into a movie today because realistic representations of historical mores, ethics and fashions are considered hate speech.

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7 hours ago, lavenderblue19 said:

 

I'm probably the only one here but I enjoyed Bonfires and if you listened to what Julie Salamon said in the outro, she liked Bonfires of the Vanities too. She said it was a fun film and I agree. The film has it's faults, Melanie, Kim Cattrall, F. Murray Abraham's performances were a little too over the top  but the film held my attention and I think all the criticism it received was too harsh and not deserved. 

I agree Moe, sadly, the film is very timely, but I found the film very watchable

I agree. I missed the beginning, but I liked it. I hadn't read the book, maybe I wouldn't have if I'd read it. Don't understand why it was a mega flop. Parts of it were over the top, but it was meant to be satire (at least I took it that way). I didnt think it was awful. But I could see the story not appealing to the masses. (a cast of unlikable Manhattanites etc.)

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8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

BRUCE WILLIS has his moments, really and truly (PULP FICTION and DEATH BECOMES HER come to mind, also the original DIE HARD.) But more often than not, he is on AUTOPILOT.

Not too long ago, I rewatched BODY DOUBLE for the first time in ages and was struck by how delightful and uninhibited and bold MELANIE GRIFFITH is in that film...I know her career post WORKING GIRL has basically been DRESDEN, 1945, but dangit, I can't help but like her.

I always liked Melanie, even if some of the films she was in, like A Stranger Among Us and Milk Money, were dreadful. I kind of feel that she is an underrated actress, given how good she was in Working Girl, Something Wild, Stormy Monday, Night Moves, The Drowning Pool, and even when the curtain was kind of closing on her, she was great in supporting turns in Nobody's Fool and RKO 281. 

 

As for Bruce Willis, I still think that moonlighting was his shining hour, although his performance in The Sixth Sense was rather touching and moving, and he made a hair-raising villain with a shocking death scene in Mortal Thoughts.

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2 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

Saturday Night Fever (1977) Classic time-capsule cheese.  The group of friends are quite rapey, aren't they.

Umm, yes, that's because they live in Brooklyn.  
A lot of young viewers are surprised to discover that the movie is not a disco musical, but a drama of no-exit Ford-era NYC Brooklyn life, which is why our hero moves to Midtown at the end, after pondering his future to the Bee Gees, on the subway.

 

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19 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I agree. I missed the beginning, but I liked it. I hadn't read the book, maybe I wouldn't have if I'd read it. Don't understand why it was a mega flop. Parts of it were over the top, but it was meant to be satire (at least I took it that way). I didnt think it was awful. But I could see the story not appealing to the masses. (a cast of unlikable Manhattanites etc.)

I think that much of the ill reaction came because many film critics had read the book, and the main audience interested in the film read the book. The film was softened somewhat from the book was was more cutthroat, and much of the film's casting did not match up with how Wolfe had pictured the characters: Brue Willis was likely closer to the book's main character than Tom Hanks was, the role Bruce did play was closer to someone like Denholm Elliott, and Kim Cattrell's character in the book was described as a rather dowdy individual, which is far from what Ms Cattrell is.....

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6 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I think that much of the ill reaction came because many film critics had read the book, and the main audience interested in the film read the book. The film was softened somewhat from the book was was more cutthroat, and much of the film's casting did not match up with how Wolfe had pictured the characters: Brue Willis was likely closer to the book's main character than Tom Hanks was, the role Bruce did play was closer to someone like Denholm Elliott, and Kim Cattrell's character in the book was described as a rather dowdy individual, which is far from what Ms Cattrell is.....

Yes, I've read about that.

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58 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I always liked Melanie, even if some of the films she was in, like A Stranger Among Us and Milk Money, were dreadful. I kind of feel that she is an underrated actress, given how good she was in Working Girl, Something Wild, Stormy Monday, Night Moves, The Drowning Pool, and even when the curtain was kind of closing on her, she was great in supporting turns in Nobody's Fool and RKO 281. 

 

As for Bruce Willis, I still think that moonlighting was his shining hour, although his performance in The Sixth Sense was rather touching and moving, and he made a hair-raising villain with a shocking death scene in Mortal Thoughts.

Usually when the studio reprimands you during the making of a film for your on-set behavior, the writing is on the wall your career is in trouble once that film wraps.  i.e. Griffith in Working Girl & Lindsey Lohan in Georgia Rule.

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

marilin-themisfits2.jpg

The Misfits (1961).

Three macho macho men decide to go mustanging and take along a very young Ingrid Newkirk.

All in all, things turn out better than might be expected.

I have a mixed reaction to this movie. On one hand, you are seeing the end to some very prominent careers as actors. On the other hand, John Huston probably should have gotten an honorary oscar to have gotten through this movie with his sanity intact.

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2 hours ago, Stallion said:

I have a mixed reaction to this movie. On one hand, you are seeing the end to some very prominent careers as actors. On the other hand, John Huston probably should have gotten an honorary oscar to have gotten through this movie with his sanity intact.

The book Courage and  Art (Jeffrey Meyers),  about John Huston covers the making of The Misfits.    Yea,  Huston had a rough time making the film;    Monroe was not reliable,  meds impacting her health and ability,    Clift and his off screen antics \ lovers got under Huston's skin,   and Huston's concerns about pushing Gable to hard (which sadly might have been the case).

Still a well made movie that I find interesting and one that takes one's emotions in a lot of different directions.       Eli Wallach and Thelma Ritter were also first rate supporting actors and this is some of their best work (which is saying a lot for those two).

 

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I watched Boy Slaves (1939), which I think is an unrecognized classic.  If you liked Wild Boys of the Road, this is the film for you.  A bunch of young hobos during the Depression get into trouble with the law and end up in a work camp.  The young actors was excellent.  Very hard hitting piece and some material that I was surprised the censors would allow, such as the strong implication that the Ann Shirley character was being sexually molested.  This one does not pull any punches about the hardships of young people during the Depression and the brutality of child labor and the justice system.  The ending is a bit of a cop-out.  I wonder whether the boys would have really been rescued and done any better at the "state farm."

 

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22 hours ago, Stallion said:

I have a mixed reaction to this movie. On one hand, you are seeing the end to some very prominent careers as actors. On the other hand, John Huston probably should have gotten an honorary oscar to have gotten through this movie with his sanity intact.

And Huston was likely at the end of his rope. I've read a little about the making of the movie and it sounds

like a difficult situation. I believe it was much the same a few years later during the production of Night of

the Iguana. Lots of riding herd on the actors. I enjoyed The Misfits, partly because I've haven't seen it in

ten or fifteen years. And leaving out the heavy handed metaphors about wild horses it's a pretty interesting

movie about a subject that one doesn't see too often in Hollywood movies. 

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9 hours ago, rosebette said:

I watched Boy Slaves (1939), which I think is an unrecognized classic.  If you liked Wild Boys of the Road, this is the film for you.

These are both great films if you love the JD genre. I find it interesting that kids were expected to behave within an adult world until after WW2 and then  progressively less mature as the decades have passed. Now, the bar is so low we don't even expect adults to "grow up" by their 20's.

I just finished watching THE SEARCHERS '56. I had several great prejudices about this film and had no desire to ever see it: I dislike John Ford as director, dislike John Wayne as an actor, can't handle violence/horse crashes, find movies about "savage Indians" racist.

A fellow forumer had suggested a book THE MAKING OF THE SEARCHERS so I read that first. Great book & it was perfect to set me up to watch the movie. I viewed all Amerindians as peaceful naturalists, since I live within Iroquois territory. Apparently, the Comanches of the West were a wholly different tribe- very violent. The book also told of the original real story The Searchers was based upon, very much clearing up some of the plot "holes" like why the Comanche Chief  Scar,  had blue eyes.

Everyone else knows this movie, so I'll only mention my impressions which vary widely from love to hate.

I absolutely LOVED the photography. The entire setting of Monument Valley was spectacular & the settler's ranches looked lonely & isolated. The opening shot of the Monuments seen through the cottage door opening and the matching end shot of Wayne walking out the door to the Monuments was beautiful. I loved the several scenes of riding through the wilderness, river, snow were all immense & gorgeous. Interior cottage scenes filmed in a studio worked fine,  but all outdoor scenes shot on the soundstage took you right out of the story.

I absolutely HATED the incidental "comedy" bits thrown in, almost all misogynistic. The man thought he was buying a blanket that really bought a "squaw"? Pretty similarly offensive as in CALL OF THE WILD.  Poor woman was treated like an idiot/slave/object.

I do think comedy could help the gravity of the story, but could have been more subtle...like personality flaws that make the charactor more well rounded, less one note. Ford more often chose more physical & insulting type comedy. The feelings between Ethan & his sister-in-law were subtly depicted.

Thankfully, not much gore was shown, although they hammer in the point that once a woman has s e x with an Indian, she might as well be dead. The scenes of the "recovered captive women" as babbling idiots almost resulted in throwing an entire bowl of popcorn at the screen. But, knowing this Settler's sentiment made Ethan's final acceptance of the rescued Debbie all the more touching. When Ethan  swept her up in his arms & said, "Let's go home, Debbie" I cried like a baby. I'm tearing up just writing it.

On an emotional level obviously the movie works. I hope someday to see it on the big screen. And boy, do I want to go horseback riding in Monument Valley.

392px-SearchersPoster-BillGold.jpg

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Apparently, the Comanches of the West were a wholly different tribe- very violent.

Battles with neighboring tribes, taking slaves and slaughter of prisoners to make a point with opponents went on long before Europeans showed up, and it was fairly common.  When there wasn't a convenient 'enemy', they fought with each other. Here in the Pacific Northwest the whole Puget Sound area was inhabited by a single people. The amount of slave taking and wholesale slaughter of hostages by the Northern  against the Southern is astounding. They weren't fighting over territory or resources,  it was done simply to do it.

 

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I think The Searchers is an iconic movie.  Wayne's performance as someone who doesn't fit anywhere is outstanding.  It is also poignant because it shows the aftermath of the US Civil War.  Great cast, lead by Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter.  Natalie Wood as Debby only has a small part (and again, in those days, they didn't worry about casting someone who was Native American in the role).  John Ford was an excellent director and Westerns or Oaters are one film genre that is truly American.

As for what I watched last night, TCM was running The Cincinnati Kid.  Unfortunately, TCM interpreted Summer Under the Stars as referring to the Zodiac.    Steve McQueen was a great actor.  He was difficult to work with (which is why he lost out on Butch & Sundance); however, so are many people (who aren't famous).  The cast is superb and I like McQueen's character, especially his affinity with the young black boy.  Ann Margaret, Tuesday Weld, Karl Malden, Edward G. Robinson and Joan Blondell:  all do a superb job.  I just could have done without the stargazing.

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6 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I just finished watching THE SEARCHERS '56

Good thing that Victor Maclagen wasn't there. Ford would have created at least a half dozen comedic scenes for him. As you point out, The Searchers is a mixed bag, It took me several tries to get through it. My first attempt was aborted with that deplorable episode with the squaw. They rolled her down a hill or something? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that scene, though thankfully the gist of it now escapes memory. Yes, the scenery was splendid. Ford should have done travelogues. That's about it.

Excellent post, Tiki.

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5 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

I think The Searchers is an iconic movie.  Wayne's performance as someone who doesn't fit anywhere is outstanding.  It is also poignant because it shows the aftermath of the US Civil War.  Great cast, lead by Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter.  Natalie Wood as Debby only has a small part (snipped) 

100% agree about the Civil War references and outstanding performances by all. For some reason I enjoyed Ward Bond a lot in this one. He plays the sort of "charactor" comedy best suited to a serious film like this.

3 hours ago, laffite said:

They rolled her down a hill or something? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that scene

Omigod- my eyes seriously bugged out of my head. Lemme tell you, things have come a long way, baby. It's awful to think things like that were actually printable. And don't even get me started how the "trades" are always chubby & submissive.

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