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Mr. Skeffington.jpg

 

Mr. Skeffington (1944) TCM On Demand-8/10

Several decades in the life of a selfish New York City socialite.

A first time viewing for me and I loved it. I am a big Bette Davis fan though I have been discovering many of her 1930s and 1940s films only  recently. The films starts just before WWI and goes through Prohibition, the Depression and finally the fight against the Nazis. I loved Davis' performance and her character is vain and spoiled but you still feel sorry for her. She marries the title character played by Claude Rains in one of his best performances. The film is melodramatic soap opera (complete with dramatic musical blaring) but it is engrossing and also has some comedic moments. Few can toss off urbane witty remarks better than Davis and Rains. Rains also has heart breaking scene with his young daughter. One special treat for me was seeing John Alexander as one of Bette's suitors, he was best known as loony Teddy Roosevelt Brewster from Arsenic And Old Lace (1944).

 

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Private Worlds (1935), which I found on another website is a fascinating film. It was, as far as it seems, the first film involving mental health to appear on the big screen. Claudette Colbert was Oscar nominated for playing a doctor and she is marvelous in it. Charles Boyer is one of the other doctors, and it seems as though it made his career in Hollywood. Joan Bennett is outstanding as a patient. Strong writing, beautiful black and white photogaphy.

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26 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Private Worlds (1935), which I found on another website is a fascinating film. It was, as far as it seems, the first film involving mental health to appear on the big screen. Claudette Colbert was Oscar nominated for playing a doctor and she is marvelous in it. Charles Boyer is one of the other doctors, and it seems as though it made his career in Hollywood. Joan Bennett is outstanding as a patient. Strong writing, beautiful black and white photogaphy.

I did not know BOYER did an American, English-language film before ALGIERS!

Have you seen CLUNY BROWN (1946)? I know you recently mentioned LUBITSCH (it was the final film he directed)- and it is one of CHARLES BOYER'S best performances.

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2 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I did not know BOYER did an American, English-language film before ALGIERS!

Have you seen CLUNY BROWN (1946)? I know you recently mentioned LUBITSCH (it was the final film he directed)- and it is one of CHARLES BOYER'S best performances.

Yes, I am very fond of Cluny Brown. A truly charming film with wonderful work from Boyer and Jennifer Jones. I bought the Criterion DVD a few years back. It was one of those titles I knew I had to have as soon as it was announced.

Boyer had been kicking around Hollywood since 1931, but this was his American breakthrough.

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2 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Yes, I am very fond of Cluny Brown. A truly charming film with wonderful work from Boyer and Jennifer Jones. I bought the Criterion DVD a few years back. It was one of those titles I knew I had to have as soon as it was announced.

Boyer had been kicking around Hollywood since 1931, but this was his American breakthrough.

"nuts to the squirrels."

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48 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Yes, I am very fond of Cluny Brown. A truly charming film with wonderful work from Boyer and Jennifer Jones. I bought the Criterion DVD a few years back. It was one of those titles I knew I had to have as soon as it was announced.

Boyer had been kicking around Hollywood since 1931, but this was his American breakthrough.

I was about to say, have you not seen him as Jean Harlow's chauffeur/boyfriend/co-conspirator in "Red-Headed Woman"?

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Just now, Polly of the Precodes said:

I was about to say, have you not seen him as Jean Harlow's chauffeur/boyfriend/co-conspirator in "Red-Headed Woman"?

I recall seeing that film a few years back. Definitely was one of the most controversial films of its era when it was released. It was banned in England for decades.

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56 minutes ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

I was about to say, have you not seen him as Jean Harlow's chauffeur/boyfriend/co-conspirator in "Red-Headed Woman"?

I forgot that… But to be fair he only appears at the very end of the film and I don’t think he has any lines.

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9 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Mr. Skeffington.jpg

 

Mr. Skeffington (1944) TCM On Demand-8/10

Several decades in the life of a selfish New York City socialite.

A first time viewing for me and I loved it. I am a big Bette Davis fan though I have been discovering many of her 1930s and 1940s films only  recently. The films starts just before WWI and goes through Prohibition, the Depression and finally the fight against the Nazis. I loved Davis' performance and her character is vain and spoiled but you still feel sorry for her. She marries the title character played by Claude Rains in one of his best performances. The film is melodramatic soap opera (complete with dramatic musical blaring) but it is engrossing and also has some comedic moments. Few can toss off urbane witty remarks better than Davis and Rains. Rains also has heart breaking scene with his young daughter. One special treat for me was seeing John Alexander as one of Bette's suitors, he was best known as loony Teddy Roosevelt Brewster from Arsenic And Old Lace (1944).

 

THE LETTER (1940) is her best, but I really adore ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO (1941) in which she stars with…

Charles Boyer. 

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THE LETTER (1940) is her best, but I really adore ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO (1941) in which she stars with…

Charles Boyer. 

Davis' version is outstanding, but have you seen the 1929 version with Jeanne Eagles? Eagles is impressive in it. Also, Herbert Marshall is in both, but in different roles. 

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I did not know BOYER did an American, English-language film before ALGIERS!

I think my favorite of Boyer's pre-Algiers American films is History Is Made at Night (1937) which is a terrific film. Boyer has great chemistry with Jean Arthur. It's also very stylish.

MV5BNzM2ODY1MGYtNDExOC00ZTZmLTlhNTItMGMy

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23 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I am a big Bette Davis fan though I have been discovering many of her 1930s and 1940s films only  recently.

Isn't it GREAT when there's still wonderful movies like these out there for you to discover? Bette Davis was one of the first classic film stars I fell in love with as a young adult seeing DARK VICTORY. I didn't see Mr Skeffington or Now Voyager until my 30's & those two remain my very favorites. And there's many movies out there I still haven't seen!

Last night I watched THE EYES OF LAURA MARS '78 prompted by discussion here. I'm glad I saw it, but once was plenty. It was my first time seeing Tommy Lee Jones in anything and it was obvious to me he would become a star. 

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G Men (1935) TCM-7/10

A lawyer (James Cagney) joins the FBI when his friend is killed.

Cagney is on the side of law and order for a change here but he is just as tough as ever. The film is a little slow to get going but it explodes in the final third with some shocking violence and brutal gunfights. I learned some interesting things about the early times of federal agents, such as at first they did not carry weapons, leaving them at the mercy of the criminals who had machine guns and shotguns. A good supporting cast has Ann Dvorak as an old girlfriend of Cagney's now involved with a nasty gangster (Barton MacLane). Robert Armstrong (just 2 years after King Kong) plays an agent who trains Cagney for his new career in law enforcement.

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50 minutes ago, Tikisoo said:

Isn't it GREAT when there's still wonderful movies like these out there for you to discover? Bette Davis was one of the first classic film stars I fell in love with as a young adult seeing DARK VICTORY. I didn't see Mr Skeffington or Now Voyager until my 30's & those two remain my very favorites. And there's many movies out there I still haven't seen!

That's very true. I first got into her 1960s movies like What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962) and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964), as well as some TV movies she made in the 1970s like Scream Pretty Peggy (1973). I didn't see Dark Victory or Now, Voyager until about 2 or 3 years ago and now they are among my favorites.

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"Now Voyager," will always be my favorite Bette Davis movie because it's my favorite movie, period, but I was amazed by her performance in, "Of Human Bondage. I never would have believed a young star would have the courage to deliberately make herself so despicable.  I think another stand out (well they all were) was "Jezebel."  It was before "Gone With the Wind," and I thought Bette's vain southern bell was much better than Vivian  Leigh's.

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11 hours ago, Swithin said:

I think my favorite of Boyer's pre-Algiers American films is History Is Made at Night (1937) which is a terrific film. Boyer has great chemistry with Jean Arthur. It's also very stylish.

MV5BNzM2ODY1MGYtNDExOC00ZTZmLTlhNTItMGMy

!

i would have totally thought HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT was made after ALGIERS!

It is a fun little movie, I especially enjoy the wild twist at the end.

DOROTHY ZBORNAK had an Aunt, I think, who once went skinny-dipping with CHARLES BOYER.

"She always had one foot in the gutter."

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1 hour ago, AndreaDoria said:

"Now Voyager," will always be my favorite Bette Davis movie because it's my favorite movie, period, but I was amazed by her performance in, "Of Human Bondage. I never would have believed a young star would have the courage to deliberately make herself so despicable.  I think another stand out (well they all were) was "Jezebel."  It was before "Gone With the Wind," and I thought Bette's vain southern bell was much better than Vivian  Leigh's.

GOD FORGIVE ME, but- while I am aware that there is a litany of great BETTE DAVIS performances to chose from, honest-to-GOD, my favorite performance of hers that I have seen is in BEYOND THE FOREST, which is kinda like a live-action version of DUCK AMUCK! (aka the one where an EVIL ANIMATOR torments DAFFY DUCK into fits of rage by putting him in a series of increasingly ridiculous scenarios)- it's one of the most openly HOSTILE performances ever given by an actor and I love it.

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

GOD FORGIVE ME, but- while I am aware that there is a litany of great BETTE DAVIS performances to chose from, honest-to-GOD, my favorite performance of hers that I have seen is in BEYOND THE FOREST, which is kinda like a live-action version of DUCK AMUCK! (aka the one where an EVIL ANIMATOR torments DAFFY DUCK into fits of rage by putting him in a series of increasingly ridiculous scenarios)- it's one of the most openly HOSTILE performances ever given by an actor and I love it.

 

While I wouldn't say Beyond the Forest is my favorite Bette Davis film, it was awesome.  I am so happy that I saw this movie on the big screen at the theater at the Portland Art Museum.  This movie was truly something else.  Bette was completely wrong for the part and she knew it, which made it even better.  Poor Joseph Cotten was just caught in the middle of Bette's mania. 

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15 hours ago, Swithin said:

I think my favorite of Boyer's pre-Algiers American films is History Is Made at Night (1937) which is a terrific film. Boyer has great chemistry with Jean Arthur. It's also very stylish.

MV5BNzM2ODY1MGYtNDExOC00ZTZmLTlhNTItMGMy

History is Made at Night is fantastic. I just saw this movie for the first time a couple years ago.  I'd never even heard of it, but then Criterion announced that they were adding it to the collection.  I absolutely loved this movie.  Both Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur were fantastic.  I wonder why TCM never shows this one? 

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My first experience with Charles Boyer was when he popped up on I Love Lucy playing himself.  While the Ricardos and Mertzes are in Paris, Lucy becomes obsessed with finding Charles Boyer.  Everywhere they go, she keeps thinking that she's spotted Boyer.  While dining at a cafe, Lucy actually does see Boyer.  Ricky convinces her to leave the table and go freshen up before she introduces herself to Boyer.  Ricky, wanting to protect Boyer from Lucy, convinces him to lie about his identity.  Boyer acquiesces and tells Lucy that he's just a look-a-like actor, Maurice DuBois, and how tired he is of being mistaken for Boyer.  Lucy takes the bait.  Later, she hires "Maurice DuBois" to impersonate Charles Boyer to make Ricky jealous.  This leads to the hilarious scene where Lucy tells DuBois/Boyer to look as if he smells cauliflower cooking.  Then, there's my favorite part, the line that I always think of when I see Charles Boyer on screen, "AH LUCY. I LIKE YOU. YOU'RE SO GORGEOUS." 

I actually hadn't seen a Charles Boyer film until the last couple years ago when I saw Cluny Brown, upon recommendation from Lorna (!) right here on the boards.  I loved it.  I bought the Criterion release as soon as it came out. Last year, I actually saw Gaslight for the first time (I know) and loved it.  Boyer was terrifying in this film.  I also saw Love Affair, History is Made at Night, and Hold Back the Dawn all for the first time within the last year or so when I went on a little Boyer binge.  He was fantastic and while I wouldn't particularly consider him a heartthrob myself, with that voice, I can see why women went weak in the knees for him back in the day.   For the record, I consider Love Affair superior to An Affair to Remember.  Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are great, but there's just something about Boyer and Irene Dunne in the original.

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

GOD FORGIVE ME,  honest-to-GOD, my favorite performance of hers that I have seen is in BEYOND THE FOREST, (snipped) I love it.

 

Ugh, I've been trying to see this movie for YEARS, TCM never shows it. And that picture of Bette with black wig & devil horn barrettes just seals it- OY!!

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1 hour ago, Tikisoo said:

Ugh, I've been trying to see [BEYOND THE FOREST (1949)] for YEARS, TCM never shows it. And that picture of Bette with black wig & devil horn barrettes just seals it- OY!!

It's on AMAZON PRIME, I bought it** for $1.99!!!!!!!!

(**as a digital copy, insofar as I know, it's still not out on DVD.)

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