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Speaking of movies that aren't what they seem when you compare the title and/or poster to the film's actual content:

MAN WHO HAD POWER OVER WOMEN, The (1970-UK).  TCM has aired this movie 1 time that I know of -- I watched it when it aired.  I'd seen it before several times having owned the VHS release for years, but it was *nice* to see this movie on Turner Classic.   

The movie is steadfastly not about Rod Taylor attempting to seduce members of the opposite sex for his personal gain and lust.  He plays an advertising executive who gets saddled with an obnoxious sleazeball singer for a client while also having to deal with his wife who hates him and moves out and various other mid-life complications.   ALSO:  If ever you've wondered where you saw a scene about a man killed by toilets -- THIS IS THE MOVIE!  :)  

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35 minutes ago, laffite said:

Nobody liked working with Marilyn Monroe, and you can't blame them. She was always late, she couldn't memorize her lines, many takes, etc. Olivier was very nice to her though, at least in the long run. When filming was done, Marilyn was seen as being very bad. Olivier told her that they could rework the scenes, if she wanted to. She assented. That was a lot of trouble for him but he did it.

He was gracious to her,he had a better opinion of her when the movie was finished.He said she was a Professional Amateur !

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1 hour ago, Shank Asu said:

Yves Montand- the French singer?

Yes,  but he was born in Italy to Italian parents.   They moved to France when he was 2 years old  (1923),  because of Italy's Fascist regime and the fact his dad  was a communist.

 

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9 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Is it true that Marilyn had an affair with Yves Montand  while making the movie?  I've seen the movie also.

This from Wiki:

In 1951, he  (Montand) married Simone Signoret, and they co-starred in several films throughout their careers. The marriage was, by all accounts, fairly harmonious, lasting until her death in 1985, although Montand had a number of well-publicized affairs, notably with Marilyn Monroe, with whom he starred in one of her last films,

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Agreed.  That is the film where I realized what a HAM OLIVIER was...

I don't think I've EVER seen Sir Larry do a comedy, let alone express sufficient enough sense of humor to hold his own in a scene with Marilyn.

John Gielgud has perfect comic timing, Ralph Richardson had an 80's comeback, and Alec Guinness created Ealing, but do any other Laurence Olivier comedies even exist?  Or was dying too easy?

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

Laurence Olivier comedies even exist?

I can't think of one right now, but he had some comic stuff to do in THE 49TH PARALLEL.

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On 7/20/2021 at 5:01 PM, Polly of the Precodes said:

Whale is commonly remembered as a horror director, but he had a knack for drawing-room comedy (see 1933's By Candlelight). The genius of The Old Dark House is the ambiguity as to whether the Femms are just blithely egocentric aristocrats, or monsters.

Whale also directed the 1936 musical Show Boat.

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Well this certainly is perfect timing....I just watched THE DIVORCE OF LADY X '38, a 3 strip Technicolor screwball comedy starring Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon. 

220px-The-divorce-of-lady-x-1938.jpg

I had seen this as a teen spurring a lifelong love of Merle Oberon who I thought was the most adorable actress ever. I had zero recollection of the male lead & was pleasantly surprised to see it was Olivier in the opening credits.

It's the story of a madcap girl who is forced to stay overnight in town because of impassible fog. She's not the only one scrambling for a room, Olivier's charactor snags the last one in town-a big suite. She sneaks in his room just to get a safe night's sleep and being the gentleman, he gives her the bed & sleeps on the floor. 

The next morning there is of course, misunderstanding about "propriety" and people get confused over what did or did not happen, making the comedy screwball. But obviously all ends well.

I cannot imagine what about this movie intrigued me so much, because this viewing, it fell pretty flat in several ways. I was kind of disappointed in Oberon's charactor, she was incredibly manipulative & smug in her treatment of men. How could you? It made Larry's charactor look like a dolt, which I did not like. Although his charactor remained honest & kind throughout. For the most part, he was the straight man.

This was a British film, directed by A Korda. It was sumptuous looking, but there were a few lags in the editing. But the real distraction was the overly kooky music: a lot of wah-wah-wah of the trumpet a la WB Looney Tunes. Larry was gorgeous and all the supporting cast great. I was amazed how "Asian" Oberon appeared, I know she was British/East Asian and her make up accentuated her eyes even moreso.

Were Americans that prejudice in the 30's to hold Anna Mae Wong back, while British audiences accepted those of Asian decent better? Could this be a reason Merle Oberon didn't have a bigger career in Hollywood? I've always found her fascinating and always thought Audrey Hepburn modeled herself after her.

merle-oberon-300x399.jpg

uRc4TzGXojrivskCw37609FcK0i.jpg

(the absolutely most symmetrical fave I've ever seen)

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But she did have a big career in Hollywood. She wasn't a studio star though. She worked through Korda mostly or freelanced.

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Interesting comment about those with Asian descent.  I could buy Paul Muni and Louise Reiner (sp?) in The Good Earth (both were Jewish); however, Katherine Hepburn didn't do a great job in Dragon Seed (the film itself, in spite of a great cast, fell flat for me).  I read a great deal of Pearl Buck.  The Good Earth is the best film adaptation.  As for Merle Oberon, I think she made up some of her biography.  Lord Olivier did a great deal of Shakespeare (both stage and screen); however, can't see him in any of the comedies.  My Mom saw an abbreviated version of Romeo & Juliet in NYC.  Olivier and Vivian Leigh were a stunning couple (even though, like many actors and actresses who have played the role, they were too old).  I think she saw it as part of Maurice Evans' (of Bewitched fame) abbreviated Shakespeare plays.

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During the Meet and Greet with the Hosts of TCM at the 2021 Classic Film Fest, I asked the hosts what is their favorite film that they could never bring themselves to watch again and Eddie answered the question with Gaspar Noe's Irreversible (2002) although he said he didn't want to bring attention to it and have people seek it out.  Two months later someone (still unknown) gifted me the DVD and I watched it last night.  Not sure what I think about Noe.  I've only seen a few of his films and once you get past the shock, there really is a talented storyteller and filmmaker.  Some spoilers below.

This violence and abuse in this film is very hard to stomach and it comes out swinging.  I imagine many people turn the film off within 15 minutes.  The cinematography and sound used to show the frantic state of the characters in the opening few scenes, while jarring in its own right, i think is perfect.  I don't believe this is a story that needed to be told- just a chain of horrible events and highlighting a few disgusting individuals, but the way it is told gives the film its validation.  Pasolini could've learned a lot from Noe.  The 10 minute single shot rape/assault scene on Monica Bellucci's character is just horrible to watch.  I was actually expecting it to be more graphic but the very long take of her face screaming in the forefront of the shot is probably more effective.  Effective at what, i don't know.

I've always thought Bellucci is one of the most beautiful women. period.  She really is a shape in a drape later on in the film where her beauty and curves really stand out while out at a party.  All the more sickening to juxtapose that her beaten and bloody face.  Her character is the only one i'm drawn to actually care about in the film.  Even her boyfriend and friend, before they are seeking out revenge in a rage, just seem like messes, fueled on drugs and alcohol and acting like fools.  The ending scenes (beginning of the narrative story) really make her a sympathetic character as she's obviously at the point of moving on with her life positively before fate intervenes. 

So i still don't know about this film.  It has its merit, but man do i feel sick after watching it.

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Well this certainly is perfect timing....I just watched THE DIVORCE OF LADY X '38, a 3 strip Technicolor screwball comedy starring Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon. 

220px-The-divorce-of-lady-x-1938.jpg

I had seen this as a teen spurring a lifelong love of Merle Oberon who I thought was the most adorable actress ever. I had zero recollection of the male lead & was pleasantly surprised to see it was Olivier in the opening credits.

It's the story of a madcap girl who is forced to stay overnight in town because of impassible fog. She's not the only one scrambling for a room, Olivier's charactor snags the last one in town-a big suite. She sneaks in his room just to get a safe night's sleep and being the gentleman, he gives her the bed & sleeps on the floor. 

The next morning there is of course, misunderstanding about "propriety" and people get confused over what did or did not happen, making the comedy screwball. But obviously all ends well.

I cannot imagine what about this movie intrigued me so much, because this viewing, it fell pretty flat in several ways. I was kind of disappointed in Oberon's charactor, she was incredibly manipulative & smug in her treatment of men. How could you? It made Larry's charactor look like a dolt, which I did not like. Although his charactor remained honest & kind throughout. For the most part, he was the straight man.

This was a British film, directed by A Korda. It was sumptuous looking, but there were a few lags in the editing. But the real distraction was the overly kooky music: a lot of wah-wah-wah of the trumpet a la WB Looney Tunes. Larry was gorgeous and all the supporting cast great. I was amazed how "Asian" Oberon appeared, I know she was British/East Asian and her make up accentuated her eyes even moreso.

Were Americans that prejudice in the 30's to hold Anna Mae Wong back, while British audiences accepted those of Asian decent better? Could this be a reason Merle Oberon didn't have a bigger career in Hollywood? I've always found her fascinating and always thought Audrey Hepburn modeled herself after her.

merle-oberon-300x399.jpg

uRc4TzGXojrivskCw37609FcK0i.jpg

(the absolutely most symmetrical fave I've ever seen)

I was pleasantly surprised by this one but it's not exactly a glowing endorsement.

I've been an admirer of Alexander Korda's movies so when I saw his name I knew I had to watch it. I'm less than enamoured with Olivier however (I still haven't been able to finish Wuthering Heights despite a score of attempts) and I may have actually groaned aloud when I spotted his name in the credits too. So I went into this one with such diminished expectations that anything short of all the other characters dying in the opening scene and the remaining 89 minutes being one long non-stop soliloquy from Larry was gonna be a win.

It actually ended up being a fairly decent little movie. Don't know if I'm a big enough fan of Korda to watch it again but it was an okay diversion for the night.

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I like The Divorce of Lady X,   and there is chemistry between Oberon and Olivier.     While  Olivier screen persona wasn't  much of a "fit" for comedy,  he does well enough.

The film is better than the next Oberon romantic comedy,  The Cowboy and the Lady with Gary Cooper (despite Cooper's better sense of comic timing than Olivier).

I'm a big fan of Oberon and she was in many fine films,   but like a lot of actresses at her "level" she  never rose to be a top 1 - 3 actress at a major studio.     Her best years were while married to Korda (39 - 45),  and the United Artist films they made with Korda as the producer. 

One of my top 3 actress beauties,  ever since I first saw her in the 1934 film The Scarlet Pimpernel.

 The Scarlet Pimpernel 1934 - Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon | The scarlet  pimpernel, Classic hollywood, Hollywood legends

 

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6 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Well this certainly is perfect timing....I just watched THE DIVORCE OF LADY X '38, a 3 strip Technicolor screwball comedy starring Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon. 

220px-The-divorce-of-lady-x-1938.jpg

I had seen this as a teen spurring a lifelong love of Merle Oberon who I thought was the most adorable actress ever. I had zero recollection of the male lead & was pleasantly surprised to see it was Olivier in the opening credits.

It's the story of a madcap girl who is forced to stay overnight in town because of impassible fog. She's not the only one scrambling for a room, Olivier's charactor snags the last one in town-a big suite. She sneaks in his room just to get a safe night's sleep and being the gentleman, he gives her the bed & sleeps on the floor. 

The next morning there is of course, misunderstanding about "propriety" and people get confused over what did or did not happen, making the comedy screwball. But obviously all ends well.

I cannot imagine what about this movie intrigued me so much, because this viewing, it fell pretty flat in several ways. I was kind of disappointed in Oberon's charactor, she was incredibly manipulative & smug in her treatment of men. How could you? It made Larry's charactor look like a dolt, which I did not like. Although his charactor remained honest & kind throughout. For the most part, he was the straight man.

This was a British film, directed by A Korda. It was sumptuous looking, but there were a few lags in the editing. But the real distraction was the overly kooky music: a lot of wah-wah-wah of the trumpet a la WB Looney Tunes. Larry was gorgeous and all the supporting cast great. I was amazed how "Asian" Oberon appeared, I know she was British/East Asian and her make up accentuated her eyes even moreso.

Were Americans that prejudice in the 30's to hold Anna Mae Wong back, while British audiences accepted those of Asian decent better? Could this be a reason Merle Oberon didn't have a bigger career in Hollywood? I've always found her fascinating and always thought Audrey Hepburn modeled herself after her.

merle-oberon-300x399.jpg

uRc4TzGXojrivskCw37609FcK0i.jpg

(the absolutely most symmetrical fave I've ever seen)

This is one of my favorite little movies! It is a quite delightful bit of fluff.

My take on it is that Laurence Olivier is a misogynist by trade rather than by inclination. His position as a barrister representing men in divorce actions has forced him to see only the faults in women for many years so that he can be passionate and unswerving in his painting them as the sole cause of the failure of the marriage.

I did not see Merle Oberon as being unrealistically manipulative or smug. Her brash innocence reminds me much of a teenager. I ask only for you to remember what many girls were like in high school. Shirley Temple played much the same character in: The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947). 

It has long been my belief that English have at all times been more accepting of other races because it is an upper-class refined aesthetic. Lords and ladies did not care a whit who was serving them or entertaining them as long as the serving or entertaining was done well. Good performances were praised and bad ones punished. It meant no difference to them if the hand receiving their tip or the back under their whip was Asian, Black or Cockney. 

I do hope that all noticed the brief cimbalom playing. I do not have a fine ear for such things but I believe that it was of the Romanian school.

 

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Larry was in A Little Romance which can be described as a romantic comedy. He had a comic role,

the aging, poor, semi-scoundrely, gentlemanly type pretending to be much better off than he was. He

played it very well. And MM was more than a sex symbol. She had a 5,000 book library and an IQ of 145.

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6 hours ago, Vautrin said:

And MM was more than a sex symbol. She had a 5,000 book library and an IQ of 145.

Yes, smart as a whip. She complained when she was so poorly paid for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes while Jane Russell was being gazillions more than her. "After all," said she, "I'm the blonde." I think her IQ might have been more in the 155-165 range.

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On 7/21/2021 at 4:06 PM, laffite said:

Nobody liked working with Marilyn Monroe, and you can't blame them. She was always late, she couldn't memorize her lines, many takes, etc. Olivier was very nice to her though, at least in the long run. When filming was done, Marilyn was seen as being very bad. Olivier told her that they could rework the scenes, if she wanted to. She assented. That was a lot of trouble for him but he did it.

Yes.  It also behooved him to do it.  Still didn't help. 

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

Yes, smart as a whip. She complained when she was so poorly paid for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes while Jane Russell was being gazillions more than her. "After all," said she, "I'm the blonde." I think her IQ might have been more in the 155-165 range.

Yeah, combine Marilyn's and Jayne Mansfield's IQs and I believe we'd be somewhere north of 300.

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Yes.  It also behooved him to do it.  Still didn't help. 

With respect, he didn't have to do it. He offered and she accepted. Lesser folk might have not even offered, given her problematic ways. And I'm sure he knew that he would not cure her. That was not intention, my guess. He wanted to help. I feel he might have felt sorry for her a little.

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20 hours ago, Citizen Ed said:

I'm less than enamoured with Olivier however (I still haven't been able to finish Wuthering Heights despite a score of attempts) and I may have actually groaned aloud when I spotted his name in the credits too.

I've watched Wuthering Heights several times just for Merle Oberon's beautiful performance, I don't know any actress who uses her eyes as wonderfully as she does -- but I think Olivier as Heathcliff was a huge mistake.  I don't think anyone ever read the book and pictured half-wild Heathcliff running like a girl with his elbows pressed to his side.

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16 hours ago, SansFin said:

My take on it is that Laurence Olivier is a misogynist by trade rather than by inclination. His position as a barrister representing men in divorce actions has forced him to see only the faults in women for many years so that he can be passionate and unswerving in his painting them as the sole cause of the failure of the marriage.

(snipped)

I do hope that all noticed the brief cimbalom playing. 

I did because I'm Hungarian (like Korda) loved it. 

Ah, you're absolutely correct! I had totally forgotten about establishing Olivier as a woman-hater in the early courtroom scene! Bearing that in mind, everything makes much more sense.

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On 7/20/2021 at 12:07 AM, SansFin said:

The Old Dark House (1932)

 

Three people caught in a terrible storm take refuge in the first place they find. They are soon joined by two others who were caught in the storm also.

I find it surprising and more than moderately suspicious that I have never before watched this movie in its entirety. Boris Karloff is superb in his first credited starring role. Melvyn Douglass was beginning his career as a suave leading man. Charles Laughton was perfecting his complex blustering characterizations. Raymond Massey was quite interesting as a happily-married man trying very hard to not strangle his wife. 

8.8/10

It is available for viewing free with commercials on: TubiTV.

Edit: I am sure that it was quite frightening to watch this is a large dark movie theater of the 1930s. Watching it in bed sipping hot cocoa and nibbling treats while the two kittens whom I am fostering fight under the covers until they fell asleep ... not so much.

A friend of mine attended a horror film convention years ago (can't remember where exactly, Ohio?) that was attended by Gloria Stuart who signied photos of herself. I was pleasantly surprised when he returned from that trip to hand me a signed pix of Miss Stuart, personalized by the lady to me. It was a photo of her being grabbed by Karloff in The Old Dark House.

File:Gloria Stuart and Boris Karloff in The Old Dark House.jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

This isn't the same pix but the photo was similar in nature to it

The days of being able to attend a convention with film participants from the 30s, 40s or even 50s is over now, I'm sorry to say. Today, if you're lucky, maybe one of the offspring of a star or two will appear. Mind you, in covid 19 times, I guess there aren't any paper show conventions at all.

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