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Nero's Mistress aka Mio Figlio Nerone 1956 Produced by Titanus .Directed by  Steno Gloria Swanson Alberto Sordi Brigitte Bardot Vittorio De Sica.Bardot filmed this movie exactly 5 minutes before becoming a superstar,Swanson is Agrippina the mother of Nero (Sordi).Swanson took the role as she was only offered Norma Desmond -type parts,filmed in Italy ,released in the USA in 1962 104 minutes,a comedy-curio in full color. 6/10

 

 

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8 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

 "Watts a Matter" from April 5, 1990.... which was only a week after the other episode you mention "Justice Swerved" on March 29,1990. 

Oh wow, that would have been a great alternate title for FRIDAY. nOT SUre if it fits the overall tone of the episode tho.

ps- sorry, caps lock issues

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The  Tattered Dress 1957  Universal .Directed by Jack Arnold. Jeff Chandler Jeanne Crain Jack Carson Gail Russell Elaine Stewart. Long story about a lawyer with a roving eye framed by another man,a bit noirish but  slowish.Each time Elaine Stewart appears on screen the saxophone player gets excited , hilarious, Crain is totally wasted and Russell also I presume,the title has nothing to do with Chandler's tendancy to enjoy cross dressing,well according to Esther Williams,denied by his family but only the Shadow knows I guess. 93 minutes 6.5/10 

 

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Finally watched The French Dispatch.  While i think it is a good film, as a huge Anderson fan, i'm disapointed.  His first 4 films are in my top 30 of all time and among the most re-watchable films for me and his fifth film is in my top 100.  The last 4 i will probably never bother to watch a second time.

I'm just sick of the cartoonish tropes and making every set a movable stage piece like a play.  Not sure he's no longer interested or capable of making a 'straight' film like Tenebaums at this point, but as a HUUUUUGE fan of his early work, i'm bummed.  And news of adapting another Roald Dahl book is about the last thing that will excite me.

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3 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

Finally watched The French Dispatch.  While i think it is a good film, as a huge Anderson fan, i'm disapointed.  His first 4 films are in my top 30 of all time and among the most re-watchable films for me and his fifth film is in my top 100.  The last 4 i will probably never bother to watch a second time.

I'm just sick of the cartoonish tropes and making every set a movable stage piece like a play.  Not sure he's no longer interested or capable of making a 'straight' film like Tenebaums at this point, but as a HUUUUUGE fan of his early work, i'm bummed.  And news of adapting another Roald Dahl book is about the last thing that will excite me.

I'm only reading this post a good half hour after your other post on the thread I created, which maybe I took too personally. This post gives me a greater comprehension of your specific issues. As I said, on the other thread, I've mostly only seen later-career Anderson, so I'm less aware of how his style has evolved over a longer period of time. He does put a lot of effort into constructing movement of people and objects into every shot. I can' see how that would get annoying. I do think there are still great human elements. Loved Adrien Brody's performance in The French Dispatch, for example.

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1/3 Trouble in Paradise (Paramount, 1932)
Source: TCM

A much-celebrated film from Ernst Lubitsch, one of history's most-celebrated directors. I'm not sure there's much I can add to what's already been said about this movie, other than to toss my voice on the pile of those mouthing its praises.

So, Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins are thieves, both pretending to be nobility. They meet in Venice, where Marshall has just stolen from  Edward Everett Horton a large sum, pretending to be a doctor and conking him over the head after getting him to open his mouth and say "aaahh" (this scene occurs off-camera but is recounted in painful detail by Horton to the Italian authorities in the one scene in the movie I didn't find funny). They arrange a romantic dinner where each tries to fleece the other of their valuables (and also in Marshall's case or Hopkins' garter). They catch each other in the act, reveal their true identities and instantly fall in love.

There's a bit of an awkward transition in which a radio report of the Venice robberies segues into a commercial for a Parisian perfume company, and this is used as an excuse to introduce us to the third major character, the company's new owner, played by Kay Francis - this is her STOM run, after all - a widower who refuses to cut employee's salaries despite this being the middle of the Depression. She has a connection to the other storyline, as she's being wooed, not to any great success, by both Horton and a "major" played by Charlie Ruggles. She tolerates their attention and occasionally goes out with them - sometimes at the same time, like the opera scene - but she tells them both frankly early on that she doesn't love or intend to marry either of them, which doesn't seem to have any negative effect on their efforts. Marshall spots Francis and all her finery through his field glasses, and by the end of the opera, her handbag, containing a great deal of money and jewels, has gone missing. She offers a reward, and reading about it in the paper, Marshall and Hopkins realize there's more to be made by turning the bag in than by trying to fence the easily identifiable items it contains.

There's a bit where a bunch of poor folk are trying to collect the reward - it made me think of all the people showing up for the free food in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - and one guy who's obviously a Marxist who just want to rub it in Francis' face that she's been deprived of some of her fabulous wealth. He was kinda funny and topical, although having him say "Phooey" three times about a minute and a half apart was a repetetive joke not that funny the first time. There follows a very funny scene in which Marshall swoops in with the handbag, describes the extremely obscure but nevertheless plausible spot here he allegedly found it and makes no pretense of turning down the reward money, saying he's fallen on hard times and needs it. What I like best about the scene is that every time Francis turns her back on him then turns back around, he's in a different location, admiring some expensive knicknack or another of hers, then at at her safe and then her bed! As the conversation prcoeeds, he offers her all sorts of advice about things that might ordinarily seem to be outside of a gentleman's expertise - on lipstick color and so forth. Duly impressed, she offers him a job as her personal assistant.

We jump ahead a little bit in time, and Marshall is living in the house - in the bedroom right next door to hers. He's also secured a receptionist job for Hopkins, who tries to mouse herself up with eyeglasses. There are some cute moments where she tee-hees along with Francis and her schoolgirl crush on Marshall, then goes stoneface whenever Francis isn't looking, indicating that she's less than thrilled with the set-up.

It seems wildly uncertain during the middle stretch of the movie where all this is going. Marshall and Francis are falling hard for each other. Hopkins wants to take what they can get and vanish into the night - she misses Venice and hates to see Marshall becoming a "gigolo" - but he urges her to wait a few more days when there will be an opportunity to make off with a much larger hall. But as his flirtations with Francis seem to morph into genuine affection, both Hopkins - and we - wonder if he'll be able to go through with it. Meanwhile, time may be growing even shorter. Horton is a frequent houseguest and  teeters on being ever closer to remembering just where he's seen Marshall before. And a board member at the perfume company played by C. Aubrey Smith is highly supicious of the fictitous background Marshall has invented for himself and is determined to expose him as a fraud, though he has secrets of his own that Marshall may be able to expolit for blakcmail purposes. Meanwhile, there are recurring scenes of the head butler (Robert Greig) becoming apoplectic at the sight of Marshall and Francis constantly emerging from one another's bedrooms. This was pre-Code, after all, though the butler's horror has a bit of a Victorian-morality ring to it that seemed to me old-fashioned even for the movie's day. Ultimately, all three leads have to make decisions about what's best for themselves and for everyone else. The love triangle reminds me of The Smiling Lieutenant, which also partnered Hopkins with Lubitsch. We know one woman isn't going to end up with Marshall. This was probably close to my 10th viewing, but I must say the first time I saw it, it kept me guessing right up until the end.

It's a beautiful-looking film. The cinematography is very stylish, and the costumes and sets are possibly the most exquisite of any '30e  film. Possibly, we shouldn't expect any less of Lubitsch, but he really hit a home run with this one.

Marshall has a penchant for breezy comedy, and if he's done more of it, I havent' seen those films. I should seek them out. I mostly know him as Bette Davis' sad-sack sucker of a husband in a couple of films - The Little Foxes and The Letter - and while he generates great pathos in those films, and while he also plays the role of friend-narrator in The Enchanted Cottage and The Razor's Edge, his comedic yet debonair performance here reveals leading man depths I hadn't been aware of prior to seeing this movie. I can see Hopkins in some transition point between the sex bomb she would play in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Design for Living and the annoying whiner she would become in Old Acquaintance and The Children's Hour. She has to show a broad range of attitudes and emotions and succeeds admirably. Francis is the least interesting of the three leads, frankly. Most of the movie, she plays one note - the lovestruck widow blithely unaware she's being set up for a fall, though she does bring some gravitas to the movie's final scenes. There's comedy gold in the pointless rivalry between Horton and Ruggles - I loved all of their scenes together; it's like an embarrassment of supporting actor riches. Though Horton and his double takes when he realizes there's a deeper meaning to what's just been said have worn me down over the years, and his scenes without Ruggles aren't my favorite in the movie. Smith has a touch of menace in his role which I haven't seen in a lot of his performances. He's a worthy adversary.

Looking Lubitsch's resume pn imdb, this film comes between One Hour with You, a Maurice Chevalier-Jeanette MacDonald pairing I haven't seen, and an uncredited segment of the episodic ensemble piece If I Had a Million entitled "The Clerk" and featuring Charles Laughton (also which I haven't seen. I've got some work to do!)

Total films seen this  year: 8

Trouble in Paradise (The Criterion Collection)

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This Man is Mine from 1934 with Irene Dunn, Ralph Bellamy and Constance Cummings. 
 
 
Depression-Era America loved its drawing-room dramas about rich people having affairs and being all sophisticated about them. This Man is Mine is a better-than-average entry in the genre where we meet happily married couple Ralph Bellamy and Irene Dunn. It's clear Dunn is the one in this marriage who is head over heels, but all seems good at first.
 
Then we learn Bellamy married Dunn on the rebound after being jilted at the altar by Constance Cummings, which explains why insecure Dunn works hard at her marriage. It's an insecurity that is amped up when she learns that a now-divorced Cummings is coming back East for the first time since her husband's very public jilting.
 
"Society" is gleefully atwitter about Cummings returning in a "does Bellamy still love the woman who jilted him" way. Dunn, in an aggressive move, arranges for Bellamy to meet Cumming alone; her logic being her husband can be trusted, so get them together and put rumors to rest. 
 
Well that plan blows up in her face as Cummings, who gets off on "the chase," pursues still-carrying-a-torch-for-her Bellamy. While they don't show them doing the horizontal bop as they would today, still, being a pre-code, it's clear what happened in the five hours Bellamy and Cummings were together when their "car broke down."
 
When Dunn learns this, she also sees Cummings for the first time - a woman ten-years younger than she and, honestly, prettier: life isn't fair. Despite being a short, off-the-shelf cheating-husband tale, Dunn's response to her husband's philandering brings gravitas and intrigue to the story of a woman trying to save her marriage. 
 
Dunn's first move is to tell her husband she'll give him a divorce, no questions asked, but he has to wait six months as she believes the affair will burn itself out. Bellamy, being the idiot that he is, stomps around because he wants a divorce now (!), but Dunn smartly sees that Cummings wants the attention of being pursued, but not the actual marriage itself.
 
After a while, though, unable to take the mental abuse and social shame, Dunn, in a freakin' awesome move, tells Bellamy and Cummings that she's filing for divorce. But she's not doing it in the socially acceptable way (going to Reno or staging a fake affair), she's charging Cummings as a correspondent, which "wasn't done" in her set because it will blow up Cummings' standing in society. 
 
Sure, it will also damage Dunn's standing, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and Dunn stares down both Bellamy and Cummings who initially think she's bluffing - she isn't. (Spoiler alert) That pressure brings out the worst in Cummings who dumps Bellamy to marry a socially respectable man to save her reputation. That's checkmate; Dunn wins. 
 
(Spoiler alert, but you knew this was coming) All that's left is to see if Dunn will take now-contrite Bellamy back. You wish she wouldn't, but she does. The message the movie is selling is that these two belong together, but that Bellamy had to scratch his Cummings' itch before he'd truly realize it. Maybe, but you'll probably think Dunn should have found herself a better husband.
 
This Man is Mine is a quick, copycat pre-code that punches above its weight owing to Dunn's strong performance highlighted by her full-throttle Mexican standoff strategy where Bellamy and Cummings blink first. As an angry and frustrated Dunn said, "I'm tired of trying to be civilized about it." She wasn't kidding and that makes the movie special.  
 
    
 
    
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A.J. Cronin's novels have been adapted into many great films and television miniseries: The Citadel, The Stars Look Down, Vigil in the Night, Shining Victory, Hatter's Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom, and my favorite, The Green Years (1946), which I recorded when TCM showed it during the tribute to Dean Stockwell.

Both parents deceased, Stockwell plays Robert Shannon, a child who moves from Dublin to Scotland to live with his mother's family. He's a Catholic whose mother had left her dour Protestant Scottish family to marry a "wild Irishman" years earlier. The first part of the film focuses on the challenges of a Catholic boy adapting to his new family and surroundings; the second part of the film deals with young adult Shannon, played by Tom Drake, and his struggles to become a doctor (this is after all a Cronin film).

The Green Years, which opens in 1900, is filled with colorful characters, played by a cast of great actors: Hume Cronyn as the penny-pinching Scottish uncle, who is the head of the house; Gladys Cooper as Cronyn's severe, puritanical mother; Selena Royle and Jessica Tandy as more loving relatives; Norman Lloyd as the mercenary son of Cronyn and Royle; and, most notably, Charles Coburn in his greatest role, as Stockwell's great-grandfather, with whom Stockwell bonds early in the film.

This is a beautifully made film, with lots of local color and a gripping, moving story. The film was Oscar-nominated for Coburn as supporting actor and for cinematography.  Stockwell is amazing as young Robert Shannon.

thegreenyears1946.76987.jpg

Cronin_Green_Years_poster.jpeg

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Lady in a Cage  1964  Paramount  Directed by Walter Grauman.  Olivia De Havilland Ann Sothern James Caan in his first important role.Filmed in early 1963,a wealthy lady gets trapped in her own elevator in her living room... then her house gets breaked in,enters Caan and his gang. A great payday for Olivia -$300000 was a very big fee then (still is),-it made a small profit for Paramount.Plot problem: Sothern goes to the bathroom never to be seen again !Reviews were not kind :Time wrote : adds Olivia de Havilland to the list of cinema actresses who would apparently rather be freaks than be forgotten". Alternative title should have been The Birdcage... 94 minutes 6/10 

olivia.jpg

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13 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

1/3 Trouble in Paradise (Paramount, 1932)
Source: TCM

A much-celebrated film from Ernst Lubitsch, one of history's most-celebrated directors. I'm not sure there's much I can add to what's already been said about this movie, other than to toss my voice on the pile of those mouthing its praises.

So, Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins are thieves, both pretending to be nobility. They meet in Venice, where Marshall has just stolen from  Edward Everett Horton a large sum, pretending to be a doctor and conking him over the head after getting him to open his mouth and say "aaahh" (this scene occurs off-camera but is recounted in painful detail by Horton to the Italian authorities in the one scene in the movie I didn't find funny). They arrange a romantic dinner where each tries to fleece the other of their valuables (and also in Marshall's case or Hopkins' garter). They catch each other in the act, reveal their true identities and instantly fall in love.

There's a bit of an awkward transition in which a radio report of the Venice robberies segues into a commercial for a Parisian perfume company, and this is used as an excuse to introduce us to the third major character, the company's new owner, played by Kay Francis - this is her STOM run, after all - a widower who refuses to cut employee's salaries despite this being the middle of the Depression. She has a connection to the other storyline, as she's being wooed, not to any great success, by both Horton and a "major" played by Charlie Ruggles. She tolerates their attention and occasionally goes out with them - sometimes at the same time, like the opera scene - but she tells them both frankly early on that she doesn't love or intend to marry either of them, which doesn't seem to have any negative effect on their efforts. Marshall spots Francis and all her finery through his field glasses, and by the end of the opera, her handbag, containing a great deal of money and jewels, has gone missing. She offers a reward, and reading about it in the paper, Marshall and Hopkins realize there's more to be made by turning the bag in than by trying to fence the easily identifiable items it contains.

There's a bit where a bunch of poor folk are trying to collect the reward - it made me think of all the people showing up for the free food in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - and one guy who's obviously a Marxist who just want to rub it in Francis' face that she's been deprived of some of her fabulous wealth. He was kinda funny and topical, although having him say "Phooey" three times about a minute and a half apart was a repetetive joke not that funny the first time. There follows a very funny scene in which Marshall swoops in with the handbag, describes the extremely obscure but nevertheless plausible spot here he allegedly found it and makes no pretense of turning down the reward money, saying he's fallen on hard times and needs it. What I like best about the scene is that every time Francis turns her back on him then turns back around, he's in a different location, admiring some expensive knicknack or another of hers, then at at her safe and then her bed! As the conversation prcoeeds, he offers her all sorts of advice about things that might ordinarily seem to be outside of a gentleman's expertise - on lipstick color and so forth. Duly impressed, she offers him a job as her personal assistant.

We jump ahead a little bit in time, and Marshall is living in the house - in the bedroom right next door to hers. He's also secured a receptionist job for Hopkins, who tries to mouse herself up with eyeglasses. There are some cute moments where she tee-hees along with Francis and her schoolgirl crush on Marshall, then goes stoneface whenever Francis isn't looking, indicating that she's less than thrilled with the set-up.

It seems wildly uncertain during the middle stretch of the movie where all this is going. Marshall and Francis are falling hard for each other. Hopkins wants to take what they can get and vanish into the night - she misses Venice and hates to see Marshall becoming a "gigolo" - but he urges her to wait a few more days when there will be an opportunity to make off with a much larger hall. But as his flirtations with Francis seem to morph into genuine affection, both Hopkins - and we - wonder if he'll be able to go through with it. Meanwhile, time may be growing even shorter. Horton is a frequent houseguest and  teeters on being ever closer to remembering just where he's seen Marshall before. And a board member at the perfume company played by C. Aubrey Smith is highly supicious of the fictitous background Marshall has invented for himself and is determined to expose him as a fraud, though he has secrets of his own that Marshall may be able to expolit for blakcmail purposes. Meanwhile, there are recurring scenes of the head butler (Robert Greig) becoming apoplectic at the sight of Marshall and Francis constantly emerging from one another's bedrooms. This was pre-Code, after all, though the butler's horror has a bit of a Victorian-morality ring to it that seemed to me old-fashioned even for the movie's day. Ultimately, all three leads have to make decisions about what's best for themselves and for everyone else. The love triangle reminds me of The Smiling Lieutenant, which also partnered Hopkins with Lubitsch. We know one woman isn't going to end up with Marshall. This was probably close to my 10th viewing, but I must say the first time I saw it, it kept me guessing right up until the end.

It's a beautiful-looking film. The cinematography is very stylish, and the costumes and sets are possibly the most exquisite of any '30e  film. Possibly, we shouldn't expect any less of Lubitsch, but he really hit a home run with this one.

Marshall has a penchant for breezy comedy, and if he's done more of it, I havent' seen those films. I should seek them out. I mostly know him as Bette Davis' sad-sack sucker of a husband in a couple of films - The Little Foxes and The Letter - and while he generates great pathos in those films, and while he also plays the role of friend-narrator in The Enchanted Cottage and The Razor's Edge, his comedic yet debonair performance here reveals leading man depths I hadn't been aware of prior to seeing this movie. I can see Hopkins in some transition point between the sex bomb she would play in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Design for Living and the annoying whiner she would become in Old Acquaintance and The Children's Hour. She has to show a broad range of attitudes and emotions and succeeds admirably. Francis is the least interesting of the three leads, frankly. Most of the movie, she plays one note - the lovestruck widow blithely unaware she's being set up for a fall, though she does bring some gravitas to the movie's final scenes. There's comedy gold in the pointless rivalry between Horton and Ruggles - I loved all of their scenes together; it's like an embarrassment of supporting actor riches. Though Horton and his double takes when he realizes there's a deeper meaning to what's just been said have worn me down over the years, and his scenes without Ruggles aren't my favorite in the movie. Smith has a touch of menace in his role which I haven't seen in a lot of his performances. He's a worthy adversary.

Looking Lubitsch's resume pn imdb, this film comes between One Hour with You, a Maurice Chevalier-Jeanette MacDonald pairing I haven't seen, and an uncredited segment of the episodic ensemble piece If I Had a Million entitled "The Clerk" and featuring Charles Laughton (also which I haven't seen. I've got some work to do!)

Total films seen this  year: 8

Trouble in Paradise (The Criterion Collection)

1. dunno if you know this or not, but HERBERT MARSHALL lost either all or part of his leg in WWI, so every time "he" runs up the stairs in this film, it's a stunt double! after i found out that, MARSHALL became even more admirable in my eyes, just ONE HELL of an actor.

2. I dunno if you have heard of or seen CLUNY BROWN (1946)- it is LUBITSCH'S final film and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT, highly highly highly recommended, it is not often as referenced as some of his others (HEAVEN CAN WAIT, SMILING LIEUTENANT etc.) but it is just SO CHARMING!

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

A.J. Cronin's novels have been adapted into many great films and television miniseries: The Citadel, The Stars Look Down, Vigil in the Night, Shining Victory, Hatter's Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom, and my favorite, The Green Years (1946), which I recorded when TCM showed it during the tribute to Dean Stockwell.

Both parents deceased, Stockwell plays Robert Shannon, a child who moves from Dublin to Scotland to live with his mother's family. He's a Catholic whose mother had left her dour Protestant Scottish family to marry a "wild Irishman" years earlier. The first part of the film focuses on the challenges of a Catholic boy adapting to his new family and surroundings; the second part of the film deals with young adult Shannon, played by Tom Drake, and his struggles to become a doctor (this is after all a Cronin film).

The Green Years, which opens in 1900, is filled with colorful characters, played by a cast of great actors: Hume Cronyn as the penny-pinching Scottish uncle, who is the head of the house; Gladys Cooper as Cronyn's severe, puritanical mother; Selena Royle and Jessica Tandy as more loving relatives; Norman Lloyd as the mercenary son of Cronyn and Royle; and, most notably, Charles Coburn in his greatest role, as Stockwell's great-grandfather, with whom Stockwell bonds early in the film.

This is a beautifully made film, with lots of local color and a gripping, moving story. The film was Oscar-nominated for Coburn as supporting actor and for cinematography.  Stockwell is amazing as young Robert Shannon.

thegreenyears1946.76987.jpg

Cronin_Green_Years_poster.jpeg

I seem to recall hearing that THE GREEN YEARS was a major moment in the history of profanity on film, doesn't Charles Coburn get to swear mildly a couple of times?

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I was aware of Marshall's leg situation, and while it didn't hamper his ability to walk from one end of a room to another, apparently, I was suspicious when I saw someone bounding up and down a staircase. I made a mental note to himself that we didn't see the person's face in those quick shots and did read later on imdb that it was a stunt double.

I saw Cluny Brown on TCM some years ago and watched maybe the first 15 or 20 minutes recently when it aired late last year as part of the Lubitsch showcase (just before the parameters of my reviewing every film I've seen THIS year). It is quite charming, although I was a bit dubious at Cluny's ability to fix any plumbing situation just by whacking the pipes with a wrench of a few times. If only my plumbing troubles were so easily solved ....

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29 minutes ago, nakano said:

Lady in a Cage  1964  Paramount  Time wrote : adds Olivia de Havilland to the list of cinema actresses who would apparently rather be freaks than be forgotten".

olivia.jpg

yeah, bless everyone's heart and all, but the souffle just don't rise on this one.

have to say, I really do appreciate OLIVIA DeHAVILLAND warning us not to see it alone on the poster you included, originally, the advert read "MISS OLIVIA DeHAVILLAND WARNS YOU: THIS MOVIE WILL **** YOU UP FOR LIFE!" but they decided to go with something a little less "attention grabby."

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4 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I was aware of Marshall's leg situation, and while it didn't hamper his ability to walk from one end of a room to another, apparently, I was suspicious when I saw someone bounding up and down a staircase. I made a mental note to himself that we didn't see the person's face in those quick shots and did read later on imdb that it was a stunt double.

I saw Cluny Brown on TCM some years ago and watched maybe the first 15 or 20 minutes recently when it aired late last year as part of the Lubitsch showcase (just before the parameters of my reviewing every film I've seen THIS year). It is quite charming, although I was a bit dubious at Cluny's ability to fix any plumbing situation just by whacking the pipes with a wrench of a few times. If only my plumbing troubles were so easily solved ....

honest to God, there have been MANY OCCASIONS where I called the plumber and they literally fixed the problem in front of my eyes by doing something pretty much along the lines of whacking the pipe (or tightening a screw) so, I dunno, I'll let it slide since I am not knowledgable on any and all things related to hardware.

**EXCEPT DON'T EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER FLUSH THOSE "DISPOSABLE WIPES" EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. Someone, in fact, needs to LOBBY CONGRESS and ask they have a Government-mandated name change to INDISPOSABLE WIPES or, my idea "NO FLUSH 'EMS"

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The Last Duel (2021)

And so an uneasy relationship with 2021 films continues. The Last Duel is a film with many elements going for it. But its also a film that is slavishly monotonous at times and it is ultimately the kind of film one more respects than loves. The story, although based on medieval fact, brings back memories of Rashomon; a woman was sexually assaulted and we end up seeing what led up to what happened and the horrible aftermath of the terrible deed from three different perspectives: from the victim (Jodie Comer), the perpetrator (Adam Driver), and the victim's husband (Matt Damon). It all leads to a brutal fight to the death, upon which the dead man will be strung up stark naked upside down.
The film is perpetually heavy. Even when not dealing with rape, duels, or brutal medieval warfare, there isn't a single moment of relief from the rest of the goings-on. The cinematography is sometimes effective, but at other times suffers from looking too austere and grey. The script is somewhat fascinating, with good period detail, even down to infuriating details on how wives were thought of as chattel subject to the whims and caprice of others in those days, and interesting splits in the characters' perceptions, as in that the wife is slightly frustrated with her domineering husband, but he feels she is truly in love with him. Ridley Scott directs well, no stranger to brutal stories like this { or for that matter, no strangers to duels either, as witnessed by his first film 1977's The Duellists with its magnificent cinematography} , and, as is usually the case in a film directed by a veteran, most things are handled with aplomb. The performances tend to be good: Matt Damon willing to look less than the knight in shining armor he tries to think of himself as, Adam Driver extremely oily and unsavoury, Jodie Comer, quite magnificent e especially in her section of the film, and Ridley Scott even gets an exceptional performance from Ben Affleck (words I never thought I would write) as a debauched libertine.
I guess though, although made with utmost care and precision, The Last Duel must be chalked up as either a muted victory at best, or a slight but noble misfire at the least. I can't really dismiss it or praise it, only to note that it might be slightly better if it was slightly shorter than 153 minutes.

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20 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

The Last Duel (2021)

And so an uneasy relationship with 2021 films continues. The Last Duel is a film with many elements going for it. But its also a film that is slavishly monotonous at times and it is ultimately the kind of film one more respects than loves. The story, although based on medieval fact, brings back memories of Rashomon; a woman was sexually assaulted and we end up seeing what led up to what happened and the horrible aftermath of the terrible deed from three different perspectives: from the victim (Jodie Comer), the perpetrator (Adam Driver), and the victim's husband (Matt Damon). It all leads to a brutal fight to the death, upon which the dead man will be strung up stark naked upside down.
The film is perpetually heavy. Even when not dealing with rape, duels, or brutal medieval warfare, there isn't a single moment of relief from the rest of the goings-on. The cinematography is sometimes effective, but at other times suffers from looking too austere and grey. The script is somewhat fascinating, with good period detail, even down to infuriating details on how wives were thought of as chattel subject to the whims and caprice of others in those days, and interesting splits in the characters' perceptions, as in that the wife is slightly frustrated with her domineering husband, but he feels she is truly in love with him. Ridley Scott directs well, no stranger to brutal stories like this { or for that matter, no strangers to duels either, as witnessed by his first film 1977's The Duellists with its magnificent cinematography} , and, as is usually the case in a film directed by a veteran, most things are handled with aplomb. The performances tend to be good: Matt Damon willing to look less than the knight in shining armor he tries to think of himself as, Adam Driver extremely oily and unsavoury, Jodie Comer, quite magnificent e especially in her section of the film, and Ridley Scott even gets an exceptional performance from Ben Affleck (words I never thought I would write) as a debauched libertine.
I guess though, although made with utmost care and precision, The Last Duel must be chalked up as either a muted victory at best, or a slight but noble misfire at the least. I can't really dismiss it or praise it, only to note that it might be slightly better if it was slightly shorter than 153 minutes.

Nice MATT DAMON diss.

I'm flirting with checking out TICK, TICK...BOOM ! this weekend as my own uneasy relations with 2021 IN FILM continue....

(my new rubric for assessing modern films is now: "does it feature a nude MERYL STREEP getting eaten by a giant chicken at any part?", if the answer is "no," then I am willling to proceed....but cautiously.)

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I should have posted this yesterday when I saw it, but, oh well, I'm doing it today...
Tribute (1980)
Source:YouTube
I'm always a bit uneasy watching films on YouTube, but since there is  no other way to see this particular film, I went with it. Tribute is the film version of a tragi-comic stage play involving a dying press agent and amateur comedian and his attempts to make  a meaningful connection with his hostile estranged son before he dies. It also has to be one of the few films around about a dying man that ends before the character actually dies.... Anyway, the Broadway show had been quite the hit because Jack Lemmon played the main role, and he reprises his role in this movie, getting an Oscar nomination in the process. He also later referred to it as his favorite of all the roles he ever played. Certainly, the role is Lemmon at his most quintessential self, wisecracking at some points, tender and poignant at others. Its a great "star" performance and it helps the movie to get over some lumpy elements. The supporting cast never gets quite the same rhythm going that Lemmon does, but most of them still work out well: Lee Remick, understated and tender as his sympathetic ex-wife, Coleen Dewhurst as a no-nonsence doctor, Kim Cattrell (yes, that Kim Cattrell) as his son's would-be girlfriend, John Marley as his business partner, and one-hit 60s singing wonder Gale Garnett as a lady of the night that Lemmon treats with more  tenderness and dignity than most in her life have shown (one pauses though to mention that Garnett has a decidedly unnecessary and extended topless scene in a PG rated film when, disguised, she flashes Lemmon at a surprise party; the early 80s certainly were a different time than now). Robby Benson misses the boat as the son, but the character as written is so insufferable that I doubt anyone could make it work. You can tell it was based on a stage play because it still feels a bit stagy even after the opening up. The script is often funny , and very sentimental; this is definitely not for the hard of heart. There is also a pretty good Barry Manilow song over the end credits. But frankly, this film's  reason for being is Jack Lemmon, to keep his perfomance in perpetuity, and he rises to the occasion well. If you are a fan of his, this is definitely a film you should see.

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Yesterday's Enemy  1959 Hammer Prod dist in the USA by Columbia .Directed by Val Guest.Stanley Baker Leo Mckernand several good uk actors. Set in the second  World War  in Burma during  the Japanese invasion there,based on true facts,lots of cruelty from British officers -this was inspiration for the screenplay.The intense Stanley Baker leads the film, one of his favorites,he wished the budget could have been bigger. 95 minutes 7/10

 

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The Silent Enemy    1958  Romulus Films dist in the USA by Universal  Directed by William Fairchild. Laurence Harvey Dawn Addams beautiful Gianna Maria Canale  Michael Craig and several good British actors. True story with real names, set in World War 2 at Gibraltar,filmed there,it surely explains the very blond looking Laurence Harvey in the film. Very good documentary style film about the UK frogmen on the same spot where the original action  took place. Good acting and story . 112 minutes 6.75/10

 

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I watched quite a few films recently.  

Chance at Heaven (1933) This was a Joel McCrea/Ginger Rogers pre-code that I recorded off TCM a while back.  This film was just okay. In the film, McCrea played the proprietor of a service station who is doing well enough financially that he is planning on opening a second location.  He and Ginger Rogers are long time friends, and she seems to be in love with him, but he's clearly friendzoned her.  However, at some point in the beginning of the film, they are basically engaged to be engaged.  Then a socialite comes barreling through McCrea's gas station and he's instantly smitten.  She is such a dope, I don't know what he sees in her.  But regardless, they have a whirlwind romance and elope, much to the chagrin of the socialite's mother.  The film then evolves into a story about social classes.  This film was just okay, but I found McCrea's character to be such a dork and the socialite was so annoying.  Rogers' character was way too much of a saint to be believable.  

Le Piscine (aka "The Swimming Pool") (1969).  The Criterion Channel is currently featuring two different French cinema features: French New Wave and Wet Hot Delon Summer.   Thanks to Guest Programmer Dana Delany, I discovered Alain Delon late last year.  Delany selected one of Delon's English-language films, Once a Thief, as one of her featured films.  OMG.  My girl, Dana, is my hero.  Alain is hot hot and I wish now that I'd watched his films when he was featured on SUTS a few years ago.  Anyway, thanks to Criterion Channel, there is lots of Delon to watch.  This also coincides with my desire to see some French New Wave and expand my knowledge of foreign cinema.  Anyway, I settled on Le Piscine.  This film was everything I could have wanted: hot people lounging around a swimming pool in the summer at a big house in the French Riviera.  This film was supposedly a thriller, but thriller didn't happen until the last twenty minutes or so.  The basic plot of this film is that Alain Delon and Romy Schneider are a hot young couple who are vacationing at a friend's home in the French Riviera.  They spend their days swimming, lounging and making love to one another.  Then one day, their vacation is interrupted when an old beau of Schneider's announces that he wants to visit them for a few days on his way to Milan.  He has his 18-year old daughter, Jane Birkin, in tow.  Soon, Schneider and her old boyfriend are cozying up to one another, and Delon becomes interested in Birkin, much to the chagrin of her father.  Then things come to a head and Delon and Schneider find themselves the center of a murder investigation. 

The Jazz Singer (1980).  I watched Neil Diamond's remake of the first talkie.  Despite using the same title, at no time does this film feature any jazz music.  Neil Diamond wrote and performed all the music in this film.  I watched this movie with my friends and we discovered that Krusty the Klown's backstory was inspired by this film.  Krusty's father, Hyman, wants Krusty to become a Jewish rabbi, but Krusty wants to be a clown instead.  He follows his dream and is basically disowned by his father.  The same thing happens to Diamond in this film.  His father, Laurence Olivier, is a Jewish Cantor and is heavily devout and involved with the synagogue. Diamond however, does not want to be a Cantor and dreams of becoming a popular singer.  He ends up going to LA to follow his dream, where he falls in love with Lucie Arnaz--despite being married to a complete wet blanket who wants him to follow his father's dream.  Despite the bad rap that this film gets, I found it to be entertaining and not bad.  Of course, I also love Roller Boogie and Xanadu, so maybe I just have low standards.  I thought that the weakest part of this film was Olivier, whose affected accent and propensity for crocodile tears was a bit much at times.  He was way too hammy in some of his scenes.

No Way Out (1950).  I watched Sidney Poitier's film debut the other day in tribute to the late actor.  I thought this film was fantastic.  Poitier plays the first African American doctor at a local urban hospital where he immediately has to tend to a pair of wounded criminals.  The two criminals, also brothers, both sustained a gunshot wound to the leg during a botched robbery attempt.  One of the brothers seems to be ailing more than the other.  Poitier tends to the more wounded brother and discovers that he is suffering from more than just a gunshot wound.  While Poitier is giving the man a spinal tap, the man dies.  The other brother, Richard Widmark, who is a reprehensible racist, immediately accuses Poitier of murdering his brother.  To clear his name, Poitier wants an autopsy performed.  However, as next of kin, Widmark refuses to give permission.  Poitier then appeals to the dead man's widow, Linda Darnell, who at first refuses, but then starts to come around.  However, she's got to face her racist brother-in-law.  Widmark's character is one of the more vile, hateful characters I have ever seen in a film.  The amount of n-words thrown around was truly shocking to me.  I've never seen a film from this era that featured such blatant racism.  It was very impactful and could never be made today.  No Way Out and Odds Against Tomorrow are two of the best films about racism that I have ever seen.

Paris Blues (1961).  This was another Poitier film that I watched which I recorded a long time ago (Paul Newman's SOTM) and got around to watching.  I loved this movie.  I don't know why it took me so long to watch it.  In this film, Newman and Poitier play friends and bandmates who perform in a jazz club in Paris.  They're American expatriates and have lived in Paris for about five years.  One day, they meet a pair of American tourists, two women, Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll.  Newman immediately turns on the charm and invites the women to see him and Poitier perform at Club 33.  Carroll is reluctant, but Woodward convinces her to go.  The women go and meet up with the men after the show.  The couples (Woodward & Newman and Carroll & Poitier) pair off and spend the entire evening together.  Woodward and Newman's date goes especially well as it doesn't end until the next morning.  By daybreak, both couples are in love.  Carroll and Woodward are in Paris for two weeks, so as one can expect, the day will come when they need to part. Carroll wants Poitier to return to the States with her.  He is reluctant, as he loves living in Paris, where attitudes about race are much more progressive.  As he explains to her, in America, he's "a negro who is a musician," but in Paris, he's "just a musician."  Carroll feels that Poitier is wrong for turning his back on his home.  Woodward wants Newman to return with her, and he is also reluctant because he's had a dream of becoming a famous composer and feels that he's been working successfully toward his goal in Paris.  The ending of this film is heartbreaking.  I loved the jazz score and it was fun seeing Louis Armstrong in a supporting role not playing himself--though he is really just playing himself. 

Crime of Passion (1957).  This was a Barbara Stanwyck/Sterling Hayden film noir that I watched on the Criterion Channel.  This was a very interesting film and progressive for the 1950s.  At the beginning of this film, Stanwyck works as a high powered newspaper woman in San Francisco.  One day, a pair of policemen from LA visit the paper looking for a female fugitive from LA who is hiding out in San Francisco.  When Stanwyck wants to assist in their investigation, she is rudely dismissed by one of the policemen, Charlie Alidos, who tells her that she ought to be at home cooking dinner for her husband.  Ugh.  Stanwyck then uses her column to appeal to the female fugitive and gain her trust.  She does so and is able to point the other LA policeman, Sterling Hayden, to the woman's whereabouts.  After the investigation, Stanwyck and Hayden go out to dinner.  Later, Stanwyck's big column and subsequent assistance in aiding the fugitive leads to a big job offer in New York City.  On the day she's supposed to leave, Hayden calls and invites her to LA for dinner.  She goes to LA on her way to NYC, then unbelievably, she ends up abandoning her big job to marry Hayden and become a housewife.  Ugh. Anyway, domestic life is dull for Stanwyck and she quickly tires of the monotonous life she is leading.  Socializing with the boring police wives, whose lives seem to revolve around gossip, television sets, new dresses, food, and other superficial topics becomes too much for Stanwyck to bear. She especially dislikes Sarah Alidos (Virginia Grey), the wife of Charlie whom she despises.  Through listening to the women's gossip, Stanwyck figures out that Inspector Pope (Raymond Burr) and his wife, Alice (Fay Wray), are at the top of the heap in the police station social circle.  She figures out how to meet Alice and soon Stanwyck and Hayden are in the Popes' social orbit.  Stanwyck also figures out how to squeeze Sarah and Charlie out.  Soon she starts scheming to get Hayden promoted to a higher position within the police department, through appealing to Pope.  Eventually though, Stanwyck's schemes start to backfire and she finds herself in a heap of trouble.  I thought this was an interesting film and it was very progressive for 1957.  It was interesting seeing Burr in a non-villain role. 

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La Piscine is a great film, from around 77 there is L'Homme Pressé,His son Anthony did a remake  in the 2000' try to see the original,and a fantastic one is Mr Klein directed by Joseph Losey from 76 ( I  think) I  watched on the big screen then.set in 42-43  in occupied France,one of his best films.

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On 1/13/2022 at 5:01 PM, speedracer5 said:

39783-AF2-ED3-B-4-EB4-A93-A-43-E59-D628-

Pronounced “La-Law,” of course. 

Well, to Rose's defense, the show's title appeared on a license plate, so it did look like LA LAW

la-law_title.jpg

I still remember in that Golden Girls episode how once corrected, Rose says "I always wondered why Susan Dey wasn't speaking with a French accent!"

Seriously though, its interesting looking back how channels (NBC in this case) plugged some of their shows even in the episodes of their other hits. Golden Girls episodes also name-dropped The Cosby Show and St. Elsewhere.

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And you could always tell what season of LA Law you were watching from the credits, the sticker in the upper right corner would change every year. In season 1, it was marked first 86 then 87, in season 2 it read 88, season 3 89, all the way though the final season where it read 94.

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13 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Well, to Rose's defense, the show's title appeared on a license plate, so it did look like LA LAW

la-law_title.jpg

I still remember in that Golden Girls episode how once corrected, Rose says "I always wondered why Susan Dey wasn't speaking with a French accent!"

Seriously though, its interesting looking back how channels (NBC in this case) plugged some of their shows even in the episodes of their other hits. Golden Girls episodes also name-dropped The Cosby Show and St. Elsewhere.

I had a very good friend whose younger sister did not want to see “La Confidential” because she did not want to see a French film.

[yes, she pronounced it “Lah con fih den shee al.”]

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