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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

also also, I recall miss Gelman-Waxner bemoaning that we don't see more of QUEEN OF THE NIGHT in THE BODYGUARD, and suggesting it is probably a lot like the SATAN'S ALLEY number in STAYING ALIVE.

We still see some of Queen of the night in the film..... what is strange though is how the Oscars nominated the song "Run To You"... which is only included in the film for about 25 seconds, with only a brief glimpse of Whitney in a music video. It's honestly the strangest nomination in the history of the song category.

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22 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

We still see some of Queen of the night in the film..... what is strange though is how the Oscars nominated the song "Run To You"... which is only included in the film for about 25 seconds, with only a brief glimpse of Whitney in a music video. It's honestly the strangest nomination in the history of the song category.

Sadly, my copy of INSIDE OSCAR has fallen completely to pieces and i had to junk it, but I kinda want to challenge you on this statement. there's GOT to be a weirder BEST ORIGINAL SONG NOMINEE out there in the annals of the awards...

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9 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Sadly, my copy of INSIDE OSCAR has fallen completely to pieces and i had to junk it, but I kinda want to challenge you on this statement. there's GOT to be a weirder BEST ORIGINAL SONG NOMINEE out there in the annals of the awards...

I guess there was than one a few years back where the song was disqualified after it was revealed that its writer had made promotional phonecalls. But other than that, its hard to think of a nominated song that was less featured in the film it was up from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Original_Song

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4 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I guess there was than one a few years back where the song was disqualified after it was revealed that its writer had made promotional phonecalls. But other than that, its hard to think of a nominated song that was less featured in the film it was up from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Original_Song

oh. one weird example i can think of offhand is A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON being nominated for THE STRIP when it had come out years before,

 

**although it is a great song

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2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I guess there was than one a few years back where the song was disqualified after it was revealed that its writer had made promotional phonecalls. But other than that, its hard to think of a nominated song that was less featured in the film it was up from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Original_Song

In the later years some of the nominated songs have only been heard over the credits.

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19 minutes ago, King Rat said:

In the later years some of the nominated songs have only been heard over the credits.

I seem to recall that this category used to undergo annual changes to the rules of eligibility. Some of those were trying to do away with what you're talking about, nominated songs that only played over the end credits. Part of the issue was the decline of musicals and thus films with original songs woven into the narrative. That's when it seemed the animated ones won every year.

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55 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I seem to recall that this category used to undergo annual changes to the rules of eligibility. Some of those were trying to do away with what you're talking about, nominated songs that only played over the end credits. Part of the issue was the decline of musicals and thus films with original songs woven into the narrative. That's when it seemed the animated ones won every year.

And then the Millennial habit of only using existing old 70's-80's songs for pop Cultural-Irony value, thus driving the use of new original background mood songs almost to extinction in the 00's.

Nowadays, seems like documentaries (that need songs to make statements and cover news-footage montages) sweep the category every year.

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I watched DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971), More because I am a HAMMER HORROR completist and not because there was anything about it that particularly engaged me, although I guess they do get bonus points for working BURKE AND HARE and JACK THE RIPPER into the mix. 
 

Kinkily amusing at times. Directed by ROY WARD BAKER who had a pretty wild and varied career, a year after the livelier SCARS OF DRACULA.

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17 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I watched DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971), More because I am a HAMMER HORROR completist and not because there was anything about it that particularly engaged me, although I guess they do get bonus points for working BURKE AND HARE and JACK THE RIPPER into the mix. 
 

Kinkily amusing at times. Directed by ROY WARD BAKER who had a pretty wild and varied career, a year after the livelier SCARS OF DRACULA.

All hail Martine Beswick!

Sister-Hyde-2-e1581951282830.jpeg

dr-jekyll-and-sister-hyde-1200-1200-675-

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1/6 Network (MGM, 1976)
Source: Amazon Prime

After watching Rope and Bonnie and Clyde on the night of the sixth, I found myself not yet ready for bed but not interested in whatever true crime movie was coming up next that night (I have no memories of what I turned down). So, as I often do in such situations, I spent $3.99 to watch a movie with which I was very comfortable and familiar on Amazon Prime until I was sleepy enough to go to bed. I've seen Network so many times, I can practically quote along with it. 

Whenever Ben Mankiewicz introduces this film, he always mentions how chillingly prescient it turned out to be. I'm one of Ben's biggest defenders on these message boards from all the people who hate him and come on here and mock him and belittle him. I think he's most undeserving of all the hate directed toward him on here. But having said that, I will add that I have some doubts that the movie was actually prescient about what TV news would become.  I generally don't like to put words in other people's mouths, but let's face it,, since Ben is never going to come on here and explain what he means by that, I'm going to try to guess at his thought processes, and my guess is he sees how angry Howard "I'm as mad as hell" Beale is and then looks at all the anchors on Fox News who are just angry and apoplectic with outrage all the time and draws a connection. I certainly don't object to labeling the Fox people as unduly angry, but there's a lot that the movie didn't predict. First of all, the idea that a network could be insanely popular and profitable by playing up the rage of the counterculture couldn't have happened then and can't happen now. That effing Disney has not been wiped off their air. In fact, Disney now has a hugely successful streaming service. Also, writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet clearly didn't forsee the rise of news networks that exist in their own universes outside of having to be on a network also responsible for entertainment. In fact, news as a format was probably liberated from the tyrrany of ratings-driven motivations symbolized by the Robert Duvall character. Instead, I find Network as a serious examination of the possible - the routes TV network news could have gone (had cable and then streaming never been invented) - probably more warning than satire but definitely with satirical overtones.

The story centers around the goings-on at a fiction fourth American broadcast network (a good 12 years or so before Fox actually became America's fourth broadcast network), UBS, which is mired in last place in the ratings across the board. Howard Beale (Peter Finch), a once-popular news anchor, has been in his own personal decline - drinking, divorce and slipping ratings. The network has given him two weeks' notice, the unfotunate job of informing him having been given to his longtime friend and head of the news division Max Schumacher (William Holden). The next night, Howard announces during his telecast that he'll kill himself on the air in one week's time. The network brass is incensed and ready to pull him immediately, but he begs for a chance to get a final broadcast to afford himself some dignity. Prior to this broadcast, Howard appears to have a visitation from some spiritual force that only he can hear ... or perhaps an insane delusion that he's had such a visitation. So, Howard goes on the air and says what he's really thinking - he's candid, emotional and profane. Enter Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway), a relatively new arrival to the network who's been named the VP in charge of programming. She believes Howard is only expressing what the public is feeling, and she's delighted to see his ratings go through the roof as he continues to play the role of "an angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisies of our times".  As part of a general scheme to innundate the network with angry counterculture programming, she wants to hijack Howard into some sort of news/entertainment hybrid program in which he'll be surrounded by counterculture personalities that she's apparently dreamed up. She states she'd like to do this with Max's blessing, but she definitely doesn't need it, and when she doesn't get it, she does it anyway. Max is opposed to what he sees as exploitation of his friend, whom he believes to be mentally ill. Ultimately, Max's conflicts over this and other issues he has with the representative of the corporation who's recently taken over the network (Robert Duvall) make him persona non grata at the network, rather than Howard. Depsite all this, Max and Diana have a strong attraction to each other, even though she's probably barely half his age - he references a grown daughter probably not too much younger than her (not sure if this the same daughter we see joining in the mass "I'm mad as hell" demonstration, who strikes me as more of a teenager - maybe Max has two daughters?), and they begin a relationship. Max is consumed by guilt, having been happily married for 25 years, but he's also sort of grimly resigned to going through with it, though it might well end with both his wife (Beatrice Straight) and Diana ultimately leaving him. Meanwhile, the voices in Howard's head begin directing him to expose the criminal activities of the network's new owners. He's momentarily chastened by a monologue addressed to him with evangelical fervor by the corporation's CEO (Ned Beatty) but ultimately resumes his efforts to bring down the corporation. And ... well, this is a '70s movie, and things usually don't end well for those who fight The Establishment in '70s movies.

Network doesn't have any exotic locales. It mostly takes place in TV network offices, corporate boardrooms, restaurants, bars and people's homes. But boy it looks great. It feels to me like we're watching the real world. Major props to the cinematography, art direction and costumes. Of course, Chayefsky has gotten tons of praise for his screenplay, but I think we can't diminish the efforts of director Sidney  Lumet to present all this flowery and occaionally stilted dialogue in a manner that feels natural and real. Lumet, of course, directed a lot of great films in a half-century career that spans from 12 Angry Men to Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, but this is my favorite Lumet film.

No less than five different actors got Oscar nominations for Network, and Finch and Dunaway won. This could certainly be seen as something of an injustice to Holden, who was nominated alongside Finch for Best Actor and who's the emotional heart of the movie, if there indeed is one in a movie so cynical, but he'd won already as a younger man for Stalag 17. I find the relationship between his Max and Dunaway's Diana fascinating, probably partly peversely because as every I year I get closer to his age and futher away from hers, I fantasize increasingly that a Dunaway type will feel the urge to act on her own "terrible schoolgirl crush" on me, but the relationship is very messy and problematic. They don't have much common ground other than their mutual attraction for one another. With more life experience, hee becomes aware early on of her limitations and his own before she does.  Holden does have to handle a lot of awkward Chayefsky dialogue comparing their relationship to the plot of a formulaic romance, but I like him in his more human moments of sympathy for Howard,k rage aginst the machine and the moments of humor like his anecdote about his days as a young reporter trying to get to the George Washington Bridge. Dunaways is absolute brilliant and I think much deserving of her Oscar. In my last review of Bonnie and Clyde, I confessed I found it difficult to assess her abilites as an actress because I was so blown away by her beauty. I have some of the same problem here, though she makes me pay attention to her acting, not necessarily in a showy, over-the-top, look-at-me way, but there are things I noticed, nonetheless. So many great moments from her - the bit when Duvall questions her about her intentions and she gives this impassioned nod; the way she almost pathetically stresses "then DONT' ... leave me ..." when it appears Holden is going to; the way she can't stop talking about programming and ratings when she and Holden have their first sexual encounter, pausing only for a split second to climax  and at least a dozen such other moments. Finch also won the Oscar for playing the nutsy-cuckoo Howard. I suppose in my first several viewings, I focused more on the comedy and anger he provided, but in the last few, I've come to view the movie as a grand tragedy about what happens to Howard as he efforts to become a beacon of truth, a pawn of both the corporation that exploits him and the voices in his head, until the desires of one become incompatible with the other. Finch I think died between being nominated and winning? Unsure of the timing of all that. I thought maybe their were some rules about posthumous nominations, although Heath Ledger got a nomination and a win after dying, though maybe the rules had changed by then. Beatrice Straight and Ned Beatty were both nominated for very small roles, and Straight won. Interestingly, both performers get very brief scenes of just being their normal selves before getting their five-minute showboating Oscar-bait monologues (Straight waking up Holden to tell him Finch is gone, Beatty telling Duvall "very good, carry on"" at a board meeting, as Duvall predicted). Straight seems to represent the personification of Chayefsky's idea of what most women of a certain age and level of commitment to a husband probably have to go through in America. It's short of a shocking insert that we have a whole new character's POV to consider at that late point of the movie, and some of the things she says make me giggle. "I ... hurt ... BADLY!" is not only grammatically incorrect  (she's really bad at the process of feeling pain?) but also strikes me as the inspiration for 30 years of Chris Claremont dialogue for his super-heroines (those of you who read comic books will know what I mean). And after that she's oddly sympathetic to her husband ("You're in for a lot of grief, Max"), but maybe that speaks to her devotion to him in spite of the circumstances. Beatty goes over the top in charismatic preacher style, his mouth overstuffed however with some fairly interesting Chayefsky content about The Way the World Is. Duvall was the only one of the six principal actors not nominated - voters may have found his corporate slimeball a little too one-dimensional) - though he's certainly gotten his due in his career. Duvall is one of my favorite actors. I like when Holden suggests office gossip indicates Dunaway and Duvall are having an affair, and she lets him know Duvall is only interested in ratings. Also the scene where he smiles at the implications of what Dunaway is saying and tells her "I'll get back to you", and they both know he means he's going to give her what she wants. Nice subtlety there. I'm not sure what to make of the black actors playing the Angela Davis type and the Huey Newton type. They're funny when revealed to have capitalist greed under the ideology, but it certainly lacks some subtlety if that's all Chayefsky has to say about black people in the movie. Granted, these scenes are when the movie goes its farthest into satire territory. There is a brief appearance by Ken Kercheval, the future Cliff Barnes on Dallas, I think as a network attorney, and the assistant who reads the litany of proposed new series featuring "crusty but benign" authoritarians always strikes me as being very similar to Camryn Manheim but is apparently not her.

Total films seen this year: I think 16? Gonna have to re-check my numbers.

Network (1976) - IMDb

 

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Storm Over Lisbon (1944)

There's a spectacular lack of originality in this spy versus spy Casablanca ripoff produced by Republic Pictures as yet another showcase for the beauty and non acting talents of Vera Hruba Ralston.  Here she's an undercover agent, masking as a dancer, who is hired at Deresco's, a night club casino run by Erich Von Stroheim, a secret agent for hire by the highest international bidder.

Richard Arlen's in town, a Yank carrying a secret message (what it is we'll never know) but, nevertheless, all but the final outcome of the war lies in its importance. Now how to get that secret out of Arlen, the question is posed. Sound familiar? Arlen brings the excitement of a clam to his role. Ralston's excuse is that she used to be a skater, which perhaps explains her frozen performance.

Storm Over Lisbon (1944) - IMDb

Cliche plot and dull lead performances aside, Storm Over Lisbon has some impressive art deco sets, particularly an elaborate casino that is quite splashy to the eye. The film is also distinguished by the beautiful black and white photography of John Alton. There might not be anything particularly noirish about this drama but Alton still gives the film  visual sheen. The film also benefits from an above average supporting cast. Aside from Von Stroheim, imperiously overlooking all, there is also Eduardo Ciannelli as an eager underling, always ready to knock someone off if things get a little slow, and Otto Kruger as a scared agent trying to figure out some way to stay alive. An uncredited Ruth Roman can also  be briefly seen as a checkroom girl. She has one line of dialogue.

Ralston has an elaborate dance sequence at one point, doing bizarre poses with a deadpan expression, accompanied by women in would-be skimpy Arabian Nights attire dancing to the popular My Fantasy (a '40s pop version from Borodin's Polovtsian Dances) at one moment. The number seems to go on forever. There is a threat of a second Ralston dance number towards the end of the film. Fortunately, though, it gets cut short.

And just to give you that deja vu feeling all over again the film ends with a closing shot of Ralston which is almost an exact replica of Hedy Lamarr's farewell appearance in The Conspirators, a film released by Warners the same month as this one.

Storm Over Lisbon (1944) | Radio Times

2 out of 4

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13 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have to admit though, there are certain reaction video ideas that I am down for.

 best of all, ALYSSA EDWARDS REACTION VIDEO TO SEEING "THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE" FOR THE FIRST TIME!"

Agreed.

There is a video of Jinkx Monsoon reacting to TIGER KING 2. 

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Anyone up for filming a reaction video of me discovering who Alyssa Edwards and Jinkx Monsoon are, possibly followed by another reaction video of me discovering I'm sorry I found out who they are? I'm way behind on YouTube Trivia!

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If Down Three Dark Streets is on the app, I recommend it to fans of docu-noir or those who like scenes shot on location in 50s LA, including a big scene at the Hollywood sign, or fans of Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, Marisa Pavan, Claude Akins, Casey Adams (anyone need a little helping of smarm and sleaze?) or anyone wanting to see Martha Hyer in a laugh-out-loud outfit with pouffy fur sleeves. Capably directed by Arnold Laven, with stylish cinematography by Joseph Biroc. Some good character actors, too.

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Big House, U.S.A. poster.jpg

Big House USA (1955) TCM -6/10

A group of convicts break out of prison to search for some hidden loot.

This is a good, tough little crime thriller. Ralph Meeker (the same year he did Kiss Me Deadly) plays an extortionist who kidnaps a rich man's son for ransom. The boy dies accidentally but Meeker covers that up. His character is so cold hearted he gets the nickname Iceman. This gritty beginning turns into a Dragnet style police story, complete with narration, which gets a bit distracting. Iceman is then sent to prison and his cell mates are an incredible cast  of tough guy/villainous character actors. Broderick Crawford is a bank robber who is the leader of the gang. Former horror star Lon Chaney Jr plays a drug smuggler/killer. Charles Bronson is a muscular mad dog type. William Talman (he was the evil eyed title character in The Hitch Hiker (1953)is a  mob hit man. Worth seeing for the cast and some surprisingly grim scenes.

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10 hours ago, King Rat said:

Anyone up for filming a reaction video of me discovering who Alyssa Edwards and Jinkx Monsoon are, possibly followed by another reaction video of me discovering I'm sorry I found out who they are? I'm way behind on YouTube Trivia!

i messaged you.

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On 2/3/2022 at 12:28 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

(LET'S SEE EMMA THOMPSON DO THAT!!!

..Seriously. I mean it. I would LIVE to see EMMA THOMPSON perform QUEEN OF THE NIGHT.)

The Oscars that year really missed out on what could have been a camp performance for the ages. That was the year of the much derided year of the Woman theme for the Oscars. The ceremony could have opened with some of that year's nominees trying to belt out the song: Joan Plowright, Emma Thompson, Marisa Tomei, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Catherine Deneuve with the vocal assistance of that night's honorary winner Liz Taylor, while Miranda Richardson, Judy Davis, Susan Sarandon, Mary McDonnell, and Vanessa Redgrave would be breakdancing to the music. I think it could have been a comedy act for the ages.

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22 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

The Oscars that year really missed out on what could have been a camp performance for the ages. That was the year of the much derided year of the Woman theme for the Oscars. The ceremony could have opened with some of that year's nominees trying to belt out the song: Joan Plowright, Emma Thompson, Marisa Tomei, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Catherine Deneuve with the vocal assistance of that night's honorary winner Liz Taylor, while Miranda Richardson, Judy Davis, Susan Sarandon, Mary McDonnell, and Vanessa Redgrave would be breakdancing to the music. I think it could have been a comedy act for the ages.

sounds better than what they went with as tribute to "year of the woman"...

A MUSICAL NUMBER CALLED "LADIES NIGHT" which was performed by LIZA MINELLI.

I will be merciful and not post it here.

IT WAS MOST UNFORTUNATE

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5 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

and VANESSA REDGRAVE should sing the lyric "You've got a problem with the way that I am/
They say I'm trouble and I don't give a damn"
while WAVING A PLO FLAG.

GOD I MISS THE NINETIES!!!!!!

That makes two of us. I was in a store a few years ago when they started playing a song from 1996 ( I think) and I was thinking "take me back to the 90s!"

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I watched Lightning Strikes Twice (1951),  with Ruth Roman,  Richard Todd,  Zachary Scott,  and Mercedes McCambridge.      This is another film where McCambridge dominates the scenes she is in.      Sometimes a little too much?        Hard for me to say.       Here she is with Ruth saying:  Hey,  Mercedes,  I'm not Joan Crawford!!

Lightning Strikes Twice (1951 film) - Alchetron, the free social  encyclopedia

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21 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

No less than five different actors got Oscar nominations for Network, and Finch and Dunaway won. This could certainly be seen as something of an injustice to Holden, who was nominated alongside Finch for Best Actor and who's the emotional heart of the movie, if there indeed is one in a movie so cynical, but he'd won already as a younger man for Stalag 17. ...

 Finch I think died between being nominated and winning? Unsure of the timing of all that. I thought maybe their were some rules about posthumous nominations, although Heath Ledger got a nomination and a win after dying, though maybe the rules had changed by then. ... 

the assistant who reads the litany of proposed new series featuring "crusty but benign" authoritarians always strikes me as being very similar to Camryn Manheim but is apparently not her.

 

 

Holden, out of the leading actor contenders that year, should have won the Oscar. Finch was very good, but regardless of what he himself said when MGM informed him that they were going to run him in supporting, Howard Beale is a supporting role, although definitely larger than the parts played by Duvall, Beatty, and Straight (or Marline Warfield, extremely effective as an Angela Davis type).

Finch died on January 14, 1977, passing from a massive heart attack as he entered a Beverly Hills hotel, just an hour before a scheduled promotional appearance on Good Morning America. He did pass before the nominations were announced that year on February 10.

The assistant in that scene is the late Conchata Farrell. She does look a lot like Manheim did in her days on that marvelous series, The Practice. Farrell was a TV veteran in her own right, thrice up for Emmys (once for her one season stint on LA Law;  twice for Two and a Half Men). She also appeared in a handful of other notable films such as Mystic Pizza,  Edward Scissorhands, Heaven and Earth, True Romance, and Erin Brockovich. She passed away in October of 2020.

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