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12 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Didn't know until this thread that "Reaction Videos" were actually something that existed. In addition to being a bit ostentatious, wouldn't it be a little hard to capture hearing a song for the first time on camera? Suppose you are in a car either as a driver or a passenger and some wonderful song you never heard before appears on the radio. It would be pretty hard to whip out a phone mid-song and try to capture it that way.

I don't know. If I have a reaction to seeing a film for the first time, I'll post it here in this thread and sometimes on my personal page at Letterboxd (A film review and tracking site, much more user friendly than IMDb in keeping track of what you have seen). We're all a pretty tight knit group on this website, so posting a reaction to a film here is just simply like informing some close friends or pen pals about a film. Not like YouTube where you are potentially telling half the world.  The only difficulty posting about films here is that sometimes it is hard to really write  about a film for one reason or another. For example, if using some of the last few films I saw as an example, it would be noted that one (1960's The Time Machine) was purely entertaining, exhilarating, and pleasing and another (1942's The Pied Piper) is a wonderful film. Its sometimes hard to write a review of a film you really like; sometimes writing superlatives gets repetitive. On the other hand, you don't want to be too glum; another film I saw (2020's French Exit) was such a weird little chamber piece (concerning depression, premonitions, ennui, seances, and cross-species reincarnation) that was so slow at times that it was hard to get involved, although Valerie Mulhaffey was delightful in a supporting part, stealing the show from a surprisingly bitter Michelle Pfeiffer (I only watched it because of Pfeiffer in the first place), and I didn't have the desire to write a full review.

These are not spontaneous experiences by any means.  They are well-planned to get some sort of reaction to their reaction: indignation (How dare you not like my favorite thing!), disgust (how can you like something so racist/sexist/homophobic/violent, etc.), and so on.

I think some of this has drifted over into real life too, as I noticed there were 3 or 4 groups that kept up a running commentary on West Side Story recently, and there were only about 20 of us in the auditorium at the time ( so nearly half of the audience).  Maybe it's a generational thing? 

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I've seen The Damned once or twice.  It's a bit of  a  slog on occasion over two and a half hours. I really  didn't  take it  all that

seriously as the characters are pretty  much over the top. And "perversity" isn't much  more  interesting  with  the addition of

swastika armbands. It was kind  of funny  to  watch the SA boys plowing  one another.  And the production values are  first rate.

I remember that in the early 1970s one  of  the three networks still had  a late night movie  program, think it  was CBS.

They ran The Damned one  time very late at night and of  course  with lots of  cuts. At the  time  it got  a lot of publicity.

From what I can see there  are  a number of sites  on the net  where it's available in the complete version with dubbing,

which should  be no problem for the Dirk Bogarde  character.  

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1/6 Bonnie and Clyde (Warner Bros., 1967)
Source: TCM

Night One of True Crime continued with this biopic of the infamous Depression-era bandits and lovers. First of all, I have to say I've done almost zero reading on the lives of the real Clyde Barrow and Bonie Parker, so no space in this review will be devoted to the differences between the movie and real life, which can be a major point of contention for viewers of some fact-based movies. I know there are significant differences - the trivia section on the IMDB page is loaded with them. I sort of live in a delusional state when it comes to many movies, but this one in particular - the events as depicted seem to exists in some real, if parallel, universe to me, to the point that I'm not sure I really want to know the reality, alhtough I do have some vague geographic connections to the real story, living in Dallas, not terribly far from where they got their start, although over the last 90 years, Dallas has expanded many miles to the north of what the real Bonnie and Clyde would have known. The part of the city where I live now was probably farmland back in the day.

On the other hand, I know quite a bit about the backstory of the making of the movie, much of it cullefd from Mark Harris' excellent book Pictures at a Revolution, about the five Best Picture nominees for 1967. While that book ostensibly divides its time equally between the five films, there's definitely a special love in it for Bonnie and Clyde. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunnaway appear on the cover, and I believe the entire first chapter is devoted to the film. 

Bonnie and Clyde was co-written by Robert Benton and David Newman, who were editors at Esquire magazine. Benton, the future Oscar-winning director of Kramer vs. Kramer, was born in Waxahachie, a town 30 miles south of Dallas that now has a population of nearly 40,000 but probably just a silver of that in those days. He set his movie Places in the Heart, which recently aired on TCM, in the Waxahachie around the time of this birth. I am learning with something of a shock that Benton and my father were born on the exact same day, my dad about 150 miles east of Waxahachie in Kilgore, which during his early childhood would become an oil boom town. My dad died two years ago, only days after his 88th birthday. Benton, as far as I can tell, is still alive and is pushing 90. I learned from a more recent Mark Harris book, a biography of Mike Nichols (who also gets discussed quite a bit in Revolution, thanks to The Graduate) that the two directors had the same girlfriend, one Gloria Steinem, who dated Benton first. Benton became interested in the Bonnie and Clyde story through his father, a longtime Waxahachie resident who attended both Bonnie and Clyde's funerals.

Anyway, Benton and Newman envisioned a more romantic and comic version of a Warner Bros. gangster film from the '30s - somewhat ironic, since the film ended up being distributed by Warner Bros. They wanted to make a classic ganster film, authentic to its era as far as costumes and setting went, but with modern filmmaking techniques. They were particularly influenced by the scripts of the French New Wave. They sent an unifinished draft to Arthur Penn, best known at the time for The Miracle Worker. At the time, Penn was just about to begin production of The Chase and couldn't commit to another project.  Then, the writers had the thought, why not use an actual French New Wave director? They approached Francois Truffaut, also committed to another film - Farenheit 451 - but Truffaut suggested they talk to Jean-Luc Godard. In Harris' book, Benton says talks bogged down over Godard's desire to shoot the picture in New Jersey in the dead of winter, which would likely lead to a very inauthentic representation of Texas, which tends to be warm all year round (Snowmageddon of February 2021 in which every county in the state had snowfall aside).  Meanwhile, Warren Beatty was I think at Cannes and learned about the project by talking with Truffaut. He returned to Hollywood, met with Benton and Newman, read the script and bought the rights. He also took a meeting with Godard, but it didn't progress any further than the one Benton and Newman had with the French director. Perhaps convincing himself as much as them, Beatty then told the writers while the script very much had a French New Wave style to it, the subject matter was such that it could only be understood by an American director. A host of famous directors from all eras  - William Wyler, George Stevens, John Schlesinger, Karel Reisz and Sydney Pollack, among others - turned it down. Penn himself turned the script down twice before Beatty convinced him to take it on. 

Initially, Beatty was attached as producer only and was keen on having his sister Shirley MacLaine play Bonnie. The more familiar he became with the script however, the more he decided he watned to play Clyde, which would make the casting of MacLaine too icky to consider. There was quite the search for the leading actress - Jane Fonda, Carol Lynley, Sharon Tate, Sue Lyon, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margaret, Julie Christie, Katharine Ross and Leslie Caron (some notable Warren Beaty girlfriends on that list) were all considered. Beatty begged his ex-girlfriend Natalie Wood to take the part, but she'd found him difficult to work with before and turned it down. There was a long-standing urban legend that Fonda also turned the part down but decades later she revealed in a TV interview that she lost out the role to Dunnaway and at the time was seething with jealousy. Dunnaway was hardly a household name - she'd had supporting roles in Hurry Sundown with Michael Caine and Fonda and The Happening with Anthony Quinn and George Maharis, but this was her first leading role in a major studio release. 

The movie also brought kind of sad end to the reign of Jack Warner, the last surviging Warner Brother, as head of the studio. Warner had already been crushed by the previous year's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the film  directorial debut of Nichols, that was a big commercial and critical success, but Warner watched it and dismissed it as a "seven and a half million dollar porno". He'd had some reluctance about commiting to Bonnie and Clyde, as well, but Beatty charmed by pointing out the water tower on the lot with the WB logo, telling Warner, "It's your studio, but those are my initials!" The old man let out a belly laugh and was apparently charmed enough to greenlight the project. But once he saw it, he hated it. Warner ordered that the film be dumped into drive-ins and second-run theaters, but a few weeks later, he sold his interest in the studio to Seven Arts for nearly $200 million, and the new owners apparently were much more interested in Bonnie and Clyde's commercial potential (there are conflicting stories), and it took off after a screening at the Montreal Film Festival. 

The plot: Bonnie and Clyde "meet cute" when he tries to steal her mother's car. Bored by her job as a waitress and intrigued by Clyde, Bonnie decides to become his partner in crime. They pull off some amateur holdups, but these don't prove to be very lucrative. Things shift into higher gear when they recruit a gas station attendant named C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard, playing an amalgam of a couple of real life Bonnie and Clyde henchmen) to be their driver and then fall in with Clyde's older brother Buck Barrow (Gene Hackman) and his new wife, a preacher's daughter named Blanche (Estelle Parsons). Many of their victims aren't passive standers-by as they're being held up. In fact, a good number of them come after the bandits with murder in their eyes, kind of like the bit in Raising Arizona where everybody's firing a gun at Nicolas Cage, except it's supposed to be serious. Fairly early on, Clyde has to kill a guy in his desperation to get away, and the fate of the outlaw band is pretty much sealed at that point. Killing becomes easier for the whole gang as the movie progresses. 

An interesting plot thread that runs through the movie is how the Barrow Gang become media darlings. They're TikTok starts, 80 or 90 years before TikTok. Everyone wants to meet them, get held up by them, help them escape, or in a few cases, hunt them down and kill them.   The most dogged in his pursuit is Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, played by Denver Pyle, the future Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazard. He seems driven by revenge after the gang temproarily capture and publicly humliate him through the use of their camera. One of my favorite scenes of the movie comes (Spoiler alert!) after Buck is killed and Blanche blinded and captured, Hamer manipulates her into revealing damning information by feigning sympathy (a telling closeup of his face when he's the gang's captive and realizes Blanche is the only one speaks out against killing him forshadows this later scene) and then eager to resume the hunt, abandons in her hospital room, prattling on, bandages over her eyes, unaware he's gone.  In more recent years, I know there was sort of a "revisionist history" version of this story with Kevin Costner, I think, as Hamer and Woody Harrelson as another Texas Ranger, in which the forces of the law are cast in a far more heroic light and Bonnie and Clyde are reduced to subsidiary and more villainous characters, on one of the streaming services in recent years.

A lot of the story is thrilling and fun and quite action-packed. One interesting thing I learned from IMDB is that this was the first American film in which we see the immedioate impact of a firing of a gun without a cut or edit - gun fires, victim gets wounded or killed all in a single take, thanks to squibs or whatever technology permitted in those days to simulate gun wounds. This technique had already been used by Sergio Leone in his spaghetti Westerns but was an American first.  

However, a sense of fatality permeates over the proceedings, never letting us forget for long the fate for which Bonnie and Clyde are almost certainly destined. In one mostly comic scene, where he intercut between the Barrow Gang's escape from a bank robbery with scenes that obviously take place sometime later in which variious witnesses and law enforcement officers bask in the temporary celebrity given them by the media, a man permitted by Clyde to keep his own money so long as it doesn't belong to the government proudly declares "The Mrs. and me will be proud to be at their funeral". This gets a laugh as if the movie is telling us, "Welp, there's only one this story can possibly end, and even this **** knows it." But it gets more somber soon after when Clyde takes Bonnie to a reunion with her family. This was filmed on location in the tiny town of Red Oak, Texas, located in the same county as Waxahachie but about a dozen miles closer to Dallas. Most of these little Texas towns hadn't changed much from the '30s to the '60s, and it was easy to simulate a period setting. I think I read most of the scene is shot through a window to give it its gauzy feel, and there are nice bits like the young boys playing cops-and-robbers-, rolling silently down a hill, pretending to be dead. Then, when Clyde, caught up in his own braggadocio, promises Bonnie's mother they'll never live more than three miles away from her, she tells them frankly they won't live long if they do that. 

Then of course, there's the extended scene with Gene Wilder and Evans Evans playing a couple who witness his car getting stolen by the Barrow Gang and try to chase them down only to become their captives and for a few minutes their friends. This is initially playedf for comedy - Pollard eats Wilder's hamburger; Wilder is stunned mute when Evans blurts out her real age; Hackman tells his joke about giving the ailing mother milk spiked with whiskey again - then Wilder says he's an undertaker; Bonnie loses her sh*t, and they leave couple on the side of the road. At this point in the movie, the fate they're all destined for is becoming obvious even to them.

The glamorizing of the gangsters is certainly a point of controversy for the film. The "live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse" creedo is in full effect, and people who bristle at the historical inaccuracies of the film are particularly unappy that Bonnie and Clyde are played by beautiful movie stars and are made to be more sympathetic than they ever were in real life. As I stated before, I'd seen the movie many times before doing any reading at all about the real-life Bonnie and Clyde (of which I"ve still done very little), and while big screen adapatations of feal-life events are usually a wormhole I like to dive down, I'm content to let this movie exist in its own pocket universe where its characters have their own reality. In so doing, I don't have the complaints many others do.

The acting is a definite part of the appeal to me, and admittedly, I may be a sucker for movie star-dom. Beatty's Clyde is charming as all get-out, but in many ways a big kid - confused and emotionally wounded when the butcher tries to kill him, doggedly insistent that the bank teller expalin to Bonnie why there's no money to take, beaming with joy after his first successful sexual encounter. Director Penn apparently excised any references from Benton and Newman's original draft to Clyde's alleged homosexuality - including an implied sex scene between Clyde and CW! - telling them people were going to hate the movie enough; if Clyde was gay in addition to being a heartless kiler, mainstream America would dismiss the movie as being about nothing but a bunch of "freaks". Instead, they made Clyde impotent, which leads to many interesting scenes between Beatty and Dunnaway, whose characters are clearly desperately in love with each other though unable to fully express it physically (there's one quick reference to the script the way it was when Beatty says, "Don't get me wrong - I don't like boys or nothing!" before comically banging his head against the car door frame).  I am so blown away by Dunnaway's beauty - the clearly nude without ever quite showing any explicit nudity opening scene is a particular favorite of mine - I'm not sure I can comment intelligently on her acting ability. We do see Bonnie's aching love for Clyde and her frustration at his "peculiarities". The implications of how thier story is probably going to end seem to strike her on a much more profound level than they do him. Hackman shares some of Beatty's dangerous charm, but his Buck is also a hopeless nerd and happily henpecked husband. It's a teriffic performance. Only after many repeated viewings have I come to appreciate Pollard more. His CW is perfectly stuck between adolescene and manhood, having come home from military service with tattoos his father hates but still young enough to hero-worship Bonnie and Clyde. He walks that tightrope effectively. In my first viewings, I just found Parsons annoying, but if that's the intent of how the character should be portrayed, then she's very masterful at it. And I already talked about Pyle, certainly a surprise for people who only know him from Dukes. It's also fun to look back at pre-stardom appearances of future stars, and Wilder brings all the things that we will come to love about him to his small screen time.

I haven't talked much about director Penn. He clashed with Beatty a lot, as pretty much all of Warren Beatty's directors not named "Warren Beatty" seem to have done, and I don't know whose vision mainly prevailed - Penn as director or Beatty as star and producer. But I like The Miracle Worker a lot and am willing to give Penn a heap of the credit for what I like about this movie as well.  I certainly like it better than his previous collaboration with Beatty, Mickey One, which I mostly found confusing and self-consciously arty. Also worth noting are the uncredited contributions made to the script by Robert Towne (who also contributed to various degrees to The Godfather and of course Chinatown and The Two Jakes), who apparently hung around during filming and did variious re-writes when called upon (he was also there because he and Beatty were working out the plot for another movie, which ultimately became Shampoo).

Total movies seen this year: 14

 Bonnie and Clyde Turns 50: How to Get the Film's Sensational '60s Style |  Vogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

1/6 Bonnie and Clyde (Warner Bros., 1967)
Source: TCM

Night One of True Crime continued with this biopic of the infamous Depression-era bandits and lovers. First of all, I have to say I've done almost zero reading on the lives of the real Clyde Barrow and Bonie Parker, so no space in this review will be devoted to the differences between the movie and real life, which can be a major point of contention for viewers of some fact-based movies. I know there are significant differences - the trivia section on the IMDB page is loaded with them. I sort of live in a delusional state when it comes to many movies, but this one in particular - the events as depicted seem to exists in some real, if parallel, universe to me, to the point that I'm not sure I really want to know the reality, alhtough I do have some vague geographic connections to the real story, living in Dallas, not terribly far from where they got their start, although over the last 90 years, Dallas has expanded many miles to the north of what the real Bonnie and Clyde would have known. The part of the city where I live now was probably farmland back in the day.

 

I live in Plano.  Dallas city limits to the north pretty much ended where University Park and Highland Park started.   There were railroads where today's DNT and Central Expressway stand, and Dallas had just started to expand on either side of the Park Cities to Lovers Lane around the time of Bonnie & Clyde.  Preston Hollow was also starting to be developed at that time, but it was just a few streets, and really out in the country (meaning, the streetcars didn't go out there).  There was also development NW towards Bachman Lake, spurred by the creation of Love Field, but there was a gap between the Love Field area and the Park Cities areas.

To the east, White Rock Lake was still isolated, except for some new development on the SE side of the lake.

Here's a map of 1925 Dallas:

https://www.mapsofthepast.com/dallas-texas-tx-city-west-1925.html

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Thanks. I'd deduced we're pretty close neighbors from some of your previous posts.  l live well south of you but officially inside present-day Dallas city limits and I think still pretty far north of what constituted Dallas city limits in Bonnie and Clyde's day.

 

 

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I am quite happy to say that: Firefly (2002–2003) is available now on: TubiTV!

 

The setting is that cowboys, the Chinese and soulless bureaucrats colonized space. It is very dark and very funny. 

I would never recommend that any person who is not a lover of science fiction begin by watching the first episode. It is very dark and somewhat convoluted and has far less humor than most other episodes. 

I would like to think that some who do not care for most science fiction will at least give this series a try by watching the episode: Our Mrs. Reynolds. It is a romp and has minimal science fiction for a series set on a tramp spaceship smuggling goods from planet to planet.

Ron Glass plays one of the most delightful characters. He is a Shepherd which is a sort of combination monk, missionary and vicar. He is conflicted about living on a ship crewed by criminals. His ability to rise to an occasion is demonstrated when they are preparing to rescue the pilot and the captain.  Zoë walks up to him as he is checking a weapon:  Zoë: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killin'?" Shepherd Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps." Only Ron Glass could deliver that line with such aplomb.

Summer Glau was a ballerina before moving on to acting. She is here a brain-addled waif of incredible grace and fluidity of movement. She reminds me that sharks also do not have bones.

9.4/10

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On 1/23/2022 at 6:00 PM, Girl Friday said:

I had the good fortune of seeing two pre-code movies on the big screen yesterday.  Alicia Malone came to the Redford Theatre in Michigan to introduce them.  She was enthusiastic about presenting two of her favorite pre-code movies - Trouble in Paradise and Merrily We Go to Hell.  I have seen Trouble in Paradise before and rank it among my favorite pre-codes too.  If you ever wondered what the Lubitsch Touch means, see this movie.  Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins are two extraordinary and sophisticated crooks who are madly in love with each other.  The trouble starts when they decide to rob Kay Francis.  Edward Everett Horton and Charles Ruggles also add laughs as Kay's hopeful suitors who clearly have no chance with her.  I thought this would be a great movie to watch with an audience, and it didn't disappoint.  From its witty dialogue to Kay Francis's fabulous wardrobe and the Art Deco sets, this romantic comedy offers escapism at its best.

Although I wouldn't rate Merrily We Go to Hell as highly as Trouble in Paradise, I did think it was a good movie.  Not surprisingly, life is not "happily ever after" when the charming, but alcoholic, character played by Fredric March marries Sylvia Sidney, who Alicia says has the saddest eyes in Hollywood.  Although, Sylvia loves Fredric, she has reason to be sad because he still carries a torch for a past love.  I found this 1932 movie reminiscent of other "modern marriage" movies of the 1930s, such as The Divorcee (1930) and No More Ladies (1935).  Although Merrily We Go to Hell blends comedy and drama together, it has some heartbreaking moments, and I felt more sympathy for Sylvia Sidney than I did for Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford in the previously mentioned movies.  I was interested in seeing Merrily We Go to Hell because it was one of the few Cary Grant movies that I hadn't seen.  However, his screen time is very limited.  Another familiar face that shows up briefly is Asta in one of his first film appearances.  I also enjoyed seeing Esther Howard in one of her early movie roles, looking much younger than she does in the Preston Sturges movies that first introduced me to her.  I was glad Alicia pointed out that this movie was directed by Dorothy Arzner and spoke some about Dorothy's career in a male dominated field.

Alicia graciously signed autographs, posed for pictures, and talked with moviegoers before the films and during intermission, which made this enjoyable night at the movies even more memorable.

I'm envious. Trouble In Paradise was so good on TV, I bet amazing on a big screen.
Same goes for Ms. Malone- I'm a sucker for accents!

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On 1/24/2022 at 6:32 AM, TikiSoo said:

I have never seen a disaster movie - actually more frightened of the scenarios than horror movies! In fact, I can't see any movie that portrays drowning & almost lost my cookies in the theater seeing the ending of Captain Courageous!

After all the talk in here about these all-star disaster movies, I would love to give one a try, they sound kind of formulaic & fun.

Wow another great cast in a movie I've never heard of! TCM is a great station, but streaming certainly has expanded the choices. Syracuse winters are made for many long hours of movie watching- we'll warm up to the Towering Inferno.

Should you be tempted to go the disaster route, please try out The Poseidon Adventure for your first disaster movie. Great upside down boat sets and nice work by Shelley Winters.

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7 hours ago, SansFin said:

Only Ron Glass could deliver that line with such aplomb.

Agree- Ron Glass was packed with talent. I loved him in everything I'd ever seen him in. I still quote his line (with his menacing inflection) from ALL IN THE FAMILY;  "Black is beautiful, baby"

latest?cb=20130904095104

TXfilmfan said: These are not spontaneous experiences by any means. 

Correct. Realize these are people who think this will be their big break into celebrity, their adorableness will be discovered! Note I did not say "talent" because apparently, people want to become "celebrities" or "famous" or insidious "influencers" rather than actually having a talent & entertaining others.

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I had heard Carol Burnett repeat her Lucy story so many times, I really wanted to see ONCE UPON A MATTRESS just to see her performance. Alas, there is no visual recording of her in her breakout role, but I was pleased to see a 2005 TV movie version at least with Burnett participating. I had zero idea of what I'd be seeing.

The story opens in a fairy tale setting and first thought the visual design was too bright & cheesy. I then realized this version, (produced by Burnett for Disney) was recreating the "look" of a stage production. I still found it kind of overpowering & harsh on a TV screen. We first see a romance between 2 royal staffers played by Zooey Dechanel & Matthew Morrison who both succeeded as strong supporting charactors. Carol Burnett came out as the cartoony truly evil Queen and Tom Smothers as the quiet King. At first, I found the tale maudlin and was worried I'd abandon it. An unwanted pregnancy brings a little hint of interesting conflict....

...and then comes Tracy Ullman as Princess Winnefred. I have not seen Ullman in anything since her TV show-completely aware of her huge talent-but not prepared for the performance I was about to see. Her appearance in this movie completely turned the tide from a simpering bore to a dynamic, entertaining exciting show!

d0LZzD9bbA2UHen5HKynWgT556r.jpg

Ullman bounds out with bombastic, ironic song "SHY" and carries the entire story from that point on and that's saying a lot considering Carol Burnett's strong performance as the evil Queen. Ullman is adorable, vivacious and very unprincess-like but like Ullman herself, shoots adrenaline into this fairy tale kingdom.

I won't tell any of how the story unfolds, but only say I loved this. I liked the songs, with many clever, hilarious lyrics. There were also fun dance numbers, in many ways the costumes/choreography reminded me of 7Brides7Bros. This was filmed pretty "stagey" but included some close-up shots you'd never see live.

I finally deduced Carol Burnett originally played the Princess and I bet she was great. But I think Tracey Ullman was most likely even better. Looking at all the stars who have played Princess Winnefred -Dodie Goodman, Imogene Coca, Sarah Jessica Parker- I'd guess they were probably all good, but wow Tracey Ullman was really just perfect. (she was 45 years old in this production!)

All the supporting roles were excellent, the role of silent King was played by Tom Smothers who hasn't aged a day. His role had been played by Buster Keaton, I can easily see that. 

I do have to mention the beautiful costumes, all upstaged by the incredible creations of Bob Mackie for Burnett. His costumes were all structural fantasies with incredible jewel work, head pieces and flattering lines. My eyes popped out at her last costume that had jeweled netting bodice & sleeves (covered in picture below by orange fur trim)

Mattress.jpg

So glad I sought this one out! Fun musical that would appeal to kids especially.

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Sabakapos.jpg

Sabaka (1953)  EPIX On Demand -2/10

An Indian boy seeks vengeance on a fire worshiping cult that killed his sister.

This was filmed on location in India, I only saw it because it was one of Boris Karloff's more obscure films and I was trying to see all of them. Unfortunately, it was probably one of his worst. He plays a general with a turban and fake mustache and has barely 10 minutes of screen time. The real star is the Indian boy (named Gunga Ram) and played by Nino Marcel in his only film role, understandable since he can't act at all. There are some travelogue shots of India with some elephants, monkeys and tigers. The direction is dull and the color washed out. Unless you are a Karloff completist like me you can avoid this one. Only other interesting thing is voice actress June Foray (she was Rocky the Flying Squirrel on Rocky And Bullwinkle and voiced many characters in WB cartoons) plays an evil high priestess of the cult.

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1 hour ago, mkahn22 said:

Does anyone know, did TCM stop doing those montages of movies playing for the month set to one song. I don't think I saw one for January (but could be wrong).?

This was one of my favorite: 

 

since so many of us no longer watch TCM conventionally (ie live and on cable), I think they have gotten away from producing those in-between commercials and mini-docs and monthly promos...it's a shame and I kinda miss themj, but at the same time, I'm cool with TCM ON DEMAND and having , more or less, access to everything they've played this week whenever I want it.

 

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

I had heard Carol Burnett repeat her Lucy story so many times, I really wanted to see ONCE UPON A MATTRESS just to see her performance. Alas, there is no visual recording of her in her breakout role, but I was pleased to see a 2005 TV movie version at least with Burnett participating. I had zero idea of what I'd be seeing.

The story opens in a fairy tale setting and first thought the visual design was too bright & cheesy. I then realized this version, (produced by Burnett for Disney) was recreating the "look" of a stage production. I still found it kind of overpowering & harsh on a TV screen. We first see a romance between 2 royal staffers played by Zooey Dechanel & Matthew Morrison who both succeeded as strong supporting charactors. Carol Burnett came out as the cartoony truly evil Queen and Tom Smothers as the quiet King. At first, I found the tale maudlin and was worried I'd abandon it. An unwanted pregnancy brings a little hint of interesting conflict....

...and then comes Tracy Ullman as Princess Winnefred. I have not seen Ullman in anything since her TV show-completely aware of her huge talent-but not prepared for the performance I was about to see. Her appearance in this movie completely turned the tide from a simpering bore to a dynamic, entertaining exciting show!

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Ullman bounds out with bombastic, ironic song "SHY" and carries the entire story from that point on and that's saying a lot considering Carol Burnett's strong performance as the evil Queen. Ullman is adorable, vivacious and very unprincess-like but like Ullman herself, shoots adrenaline into this fairy tale kingdom.

I won't tell any of how the story unfolds, but only say I loved this. I liked the songs, with many clever, hilarious lyrics. There were also fun dance numbers, in many ways the costumes/choreography reminded me of 7Brides7Bros. This was filmed pretty "stagey" but included some close-up shots you'd never see live.

I finally deduced Carol Burnett originally played the Princess and I bet she was great. But I think Tracey Ullman was most likely even better. Looking at all the stars who have played Princess Winnefred -Dodie Goodman, Imogene Coca, Sarah Jessica Parker- I'd guess they were probably all good, but wow Tracey Ullman was really just perfect. (she was 45 years old in this production!)

All the supporting roles were excellent, the role of silent King was played by Tom Smothers who hasn't aged a day. His role had been played by Buster Keaton, I can easily see that. 

I do have to mention the beautiful costumes, all upstaged by the incredible creations of Bob Mackie for Burnett. His costumes were all structural fantasies with incredible jewel work, head pieces and flattering lines. My eyes popped out at her last costume that had jeweled netting bodice & sleeves (covered in picture below by orange fur trim)

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So glad I sought this one out! Fun musical that would appeal to kids especially.

Burnett did a couple of scaled-down versions of it for TV back in 1964 and 1972.  The 1964 version had Jane White, Jack Gilford and Joe Bova, with  relative newcomer Elliot Gould and Shani Wallis (to star in Oliver! on film a few years later) in supporting roles and Michael Bennett (choreographer/director-to-be) in the chorus.

The 1972 version had Gilford and White again, with Bernadette Peters, Wally Cox, and Ken Berry as the Prince.  Kermit the Frog also appeared!

There's a pretty bad copy of the 1964 version on YouTube (a tape of a kinescope of a tape), and I've seen bits and pieces of the 1972 version on YouTube as well.  The 1964 version was not aired live - it was taped.  I'm not sure why there was a kinescope made as well (What's My Line did the same thing - made kinescopes of shows already taped).  The original videotape may have been wiped.

The 1964 version was done from NYC (in front of an audience), while the 1972 version was taped at CBS Television City in Hollywood and unfortunately had a laugh track added.  The 1972 version also had an updated score that definitely has a 70s feel to it.

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It appears to be Kay Francis day on TCM (I have it on mute in the background as I work). I think she's an enjoyable actress and I like her movies, but she might have the most unattractive head of  hair of any leading lady ever. 

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48 minutes ago, mkahn22 said:

It appears to be Kay Francis day on TCM (I have it on mute in the background as I work). I think she's an enjoyable actress and I like her movies, but she might have the most unattractive head of  hair of any leading lady ever. 

Did you just see Guilty Hands?     In this film she has the very short 20s doo.      Yea,  I'm not much of a fan of that type of  hairstyle.   Good think that hairstyle was no longer fashionable by 1933. 

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Discovered a Billy Wilder film i'd never heard of before on Prime, Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) starring Dean Martin, Kim Novak and Ray Walston.  SPOILERS Martin basically plays himself, only under the name Dino and as a bachelor who is out for action, but the film opens with him doing one of his real-life comedy routines on stage and singing one of his well-known songs and talking about doing a film with Sinatra, Davis Jr. and Bishop (Lawford was on the outs at this time).  Pretty funny.  What threw me was the raunchiness of the film and the fact that married couple involved, Walston and Felicia Farr, both end up cheating on the other with Walston sleeping with Novak's character and Farr with 'Dino' when the whole plot was for the over-possessive Walston to shield his wife from Dino while trying to sell songs to him that he'd written.  I guess in the end the songs were the most important thing.  We don't know if Walston ever changes from being controlling over his wife (if not, why make it so prominently featured in the beginning when it doesn't really contribute to the story).  Either way, despite the infidelity, and the two female characters in the film basically fine with accepting money for sex and Martin forcing himself on women who seem to be okay with it after they take a shot of alcohol, it's a happy ending for everyone. Enjoyed watching Walston in a film.  I know him only from Fast Times at Ridgemont  High as the memorable Mr. Hand and have never seen his show that he was best known for, My Favorite Martian.

I enjoyed this film.  Kind of odd elements, but i love Wilder, Dean Martin and Novak shaking her r u m p  🤐 

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2 hours ago, mkahn22 said:

It appears to be Kay Francis day on TCM (I have it on mute in the background as I work). I think she's an enjoyable actress and I like her movies, but she might have the most unattractive head of  hair of any leading lady ever. 

What film are you talking about? . Kay had quite a few different hairstyles over the years. I like her slicked back "doo" of the early 30s/late 20s. Very modern.

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1 minute ago, Hibi said:

What film are you talking about? . Kay had quite a few different hairstyles over the years. I like her slicked back "doo" of the early 30s/late 20s. Very modern.

I had it on mute in the background during a few of her movies this morning, but I was really comment on her hair overall. Yes, the slicked-back look isn't bad for her, but that's cause, when they do that, they've managed to control that tangled mess of hers a bit. Again, I think she's attractive and talented and I enjoy her movies. I'm just commenting on her big unruly hair that usually looks like some sort of odd hair helmet with the occasional frizzy curl shooting out in some crazy direction. And let's not forget, we're looking at it after some of the most talented hairdressers in the world gave it their all before she went on set. 

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It was interesting to see the Powell \ Francis film For the Defense.      While the film really doesn't go anywhere and Powell as a jealous man just doesn't come off right for me,   the acting was first rate and it was worth seeing.

 Amazon.com: Jewel Robbery From Left William Powell Kay Francis 1932 Photo  Print (28 x 22): Posters & Prints

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4 hours ago, mkahn22 said:

It appears to be Kay Francis day on TCM (I have it on mute in the background as I work). I think she's an enjoyable actress and I like her movies, but she might have the most unattractive head of  hair of any leading lady ever. 

I love Kay's hair, both the slick-backed mannish bob of the early 30s, and the later dark curls.   She also has a great hairline, almost a widow's peak.   I think she may have had naturally curly hair that was a bit unruly which is why the slick-backed bob might have worked and why when her hair is chin-length or longer it might be a bit wild.  I wasn't crazy about her hairstyle in Stella Parrish.  I think she looks better with it parted in the middle than on the side.  Of course, my girl crush on Kay knows no bounds -- I watched Guilty Hands even though I had seen it before just to watch her in the black satin and pearls number in the last scene.  

However, I find her less attractive in the early 40s with those hairstyles.  She seemed to have lost that luminous quality she had in earlier films and seems hard.

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3 minutes ago, rosebette said:

I watched Guilty Hands even though I had seen it before just to watch her in the black satin and pearls number in the last scene.  

Saw Guilty Hands for the first time last night and enjoyed it.    Kay was the most grounded actor in the film in that she didn't overdo it.    The young couple were frankly horrible in the hey-you-know-this-is-not-a-silent-film mode:  what I often see with early taking pictures.     Lionel  Barrymore  was very animated and that mostly worked (i.e. he didn't go over-the-top too much).

As for Kay and her hairstyles;   I like her best in hats;   she had such style and few made a gown and hat look so good!

 

 

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3 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

It was interesting to see the Powell \ Francis film For the Defense.      While the film really doesn't go anywhere and Powell as a jealous man just doesn't come off right for me,   the acting was first rate and it was worth seeing.

 Amazon.com: Jewel Robbery From Left William Powell Kay Francis 1932 Photo  Print (28 x 22): Posters & Prints

I'd seen the film before, and while not great, it's interesting to see Kay before she became a star. Too bad there are several dozen Paramount's never seen on TCM! Would love to see the 3 other Powell-Francis films.

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1 hour ago, rosebette said:

I love Kay's hair, both the slick-backed mannish bob of the early 30s, and the later dark curls.   She also has a great hairline, almost a widow's peak.   I think she may have had naturally curly hair that was a bit unruly which is why the slick-backed bob might have worked and why when her hair is chin-length or longer it might be a bit wild.  I wasn't crazy about her hairstyle in Stella Parrish.  I think she looks better with it parted in the middle than on the side.  Of course, my girl crush on Kay knows no bounds -- I watched Guilty Hands even though I had seen it before just to watch her in the black satin and pearls number in the last scene.  

However, I find her less attractive in the early 40s with those hairstyles.  She seemed to have lost that luminous quality she had in earlier films and seems hard.

I stayed up to watch Guilty Hands this round and was glad I did! I'd seen it before years ago, and remembered being disappointed in it. But I liked it a lot more this time around. It's stagey and a bit hokey, but the story is different than the usual whodunit. I thought Kay was great! She wasnt given  the glamour girl photography of her later years either. Loved the dimly lit sets and menace of it all too. Worth seeing for those who missed it this time around.

I love the slicked back short hair that Kay wore in the late 20s/early 30s. Very modern looking. Wish she had  kept that look a bit longer.

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