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"West of Zanzibar" (1928)--Directed by Tod Browning, starring Lon Chaney Sr.  Effective revenge melodrama, one of Chaney's and Browning's last collaborations.  Film is almost a jungle noir, with No likeable characters.  Chaney is excellent, as are Warner Baxter and Mary Nolan.

 

I saw film on archivedotorg; was a watchable print, but fuzzy at times.  3/4.

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"West of Zanzibar" (1928)--Directed by Tod Browning, starring Lon Chaney Sr.  Effective revenge melodrama, one of Chaney's and Browning's last collaborations.  Film is almost a jungle noir, with No likeable characters.  Chaney is excellent, as are Warner Baxter and Mary Nolan.

 

I saw film on archivedotorg; was a watchable print, but fuzzy at times.  3/4.

 

If you haven't seen it, you should also watch Kongo (1932), the remake of West of Zanzibar, with Walter Huston in the Chaney role. It's just as weird and crazed.

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"The Taming of the Shrew" (1929)--This is the film with the infamous credit "Dialogue by William Shakespeare, additional dialogue by Sam Taylor".  Starring Douglas Fairbanks as Petruchio and Mary Pickford as Catherine, badly directed by Taylor.

 

Films' Big problem is that Pickford is so small; when I got my first look at her, she looked like a little girl playing at fancy dress.  Taylor stages things so she is equal in height or taller than Fairbanks through the film, but she is obviously not his physical equal.  Maybe a match in bad manners, but she is blown about by a high wind in one scene, while Fairbanks is unaffected.  Petruchio comes off as a loutish bully. 

 

Fairbanks is fine through the first third of the film.

 

Pickford resembles Bernadette Peters in a 1970's Carol Burnett Show, where Peters was playing a preteen.  She sounds like her too.  Disastrous miscasting.

 

Film's expensive looking. All the minor things were done well. The major mistakes sink the film.  1.5/4.

 

 

Edit; Saw the 1966 Restoration, on archivedotorg.

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her standard measurements, according to her dressmaker, were roughly 35-22-35 


Lawrence said:  I hope this helps.


 

Lawrence-your post absolutely helps clarify the discretion in sizes for MM. And thanks speedy for clarifying "vanity sizes". A junior size 0-1 is equal to a child size 14/16 and wasn't introduced until the 2000's.

 

Sheesh, no wonder I've been a size 7 for 30 years....it just gets larger along with me!
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OLIVER! is jyst wrapping up.

 

I think I probably stand in the minority, but really this is my favorite film of 1968 and I'm glad it won best picture.

 

It would have been nice if they had hired a male lead who was masculine or likable or able to carry a tune in any way whatsoever, but it's got so many other pluses and the kid takes a backseat for so much of the film) that i look beyond that

 

What the hell happened to the girl who played Nancy in this? She is WONDERFUL and I don't think she had much of a film career afterwards. Would have made a much better supporting actress nominee then at least one person I can think of who did make the cut that year.

 

In the end though, I actually have to say that my favorite thing about it is Oliver Reed. It's funny because I read that he was the nephew of the director, and as such the director was incredibly resistant to cast him and was accused of nepotism. Surely all of this kvetching and whispering was shut down the minute everyone saw the film. Everytime I see him in something, I'm blown away by what a damn good actor he was and what amazing physicality he had.

 

... of course this is also somewhat tempered by the fact that, I'm not even sure why but, but I am INCREDIBLY attracted to him. There is just something about him that really revs my motor.

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Two things I distinctly remember from the Academy Awards broadcast the year OLIVER! won.

 

First, the show opened with Ron Moody and Jack Wild outside the theater, in costume and in character, saying something like "If we don't win these Oscars tonight, we'll steal 'em!".

 

Second, this was when they had dancers come out during the annoucement of each Costume Design nominee, appropriately dressed.  Planet of the Apes was nominated and the dancers, as apes, did the frug, or some such thing that was in vogue.

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Though Marilyn's weight and sizing obviously fluctuated over the course of her career, her standard measurements, according to her dressmaker, were roughly 35-22-35. This accounts for why her pant and dress sizes were often listed as an 8 and 12, respectively—a dress would also need to accommodate her bust, while pants could be sized smaller based on her slimmer hips. She is often cited as having been a size 16—and she was! Kind of. But only based on British vintage sizing (a U.K. size 16 was a rough equivalent to a U.S. size 12 in the '50s). But according to today's sizing guides—which is what people generally have in mind as a reference when discussing her measurements—Marilyn would be roughly a U.S. size 6 or 8. She'd likely need an 8 for her bust, but with forgiving fabric, a 4 or a 6 would easily fit her hips. And of course, her tiny waist would certainly need a belt. 

 

 

 

Read more: http://mentalfloss.com/article/66536/what-dress-size-was-marilyn-monroe-actually

 

 

I hope this helps.

I totally enjoyed reading your post, Lawrence. 

 

Another thing to remember is, that when you see an old movie from like the 1940's and the woman in it says "Why I am a perfect size 10" and you think she looks quite a bit thinner than someone now would be with that size, that dressmakers changed all the measurements for clothing manufacturers after those years, and so today's size 10 is not the same as yesterdays.

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I've never thought of MM in terms of measurements. Why quibble with perfection.

 

:D

Laffite, did you know that Norma Jean had six toes on each foot?

 

Yes, she had to have each small one, that was the extra, amputated.

 

The studio made her do it I think.

 

Maybe she was part Spanish, as I've read of a village there in Ripley's Believe It or Not, which had so much intermarriage that six digits on each hand and foot was the norm.

 

Update: My friend, Angie who is the Marilyn expert just messaged me to say that Marilyn had six toes on only one foot. Wow, that's even weirder than on both!

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"The Taming of the Shrew" (1929)--This is the film with the infamous credit "Dialogue by William Shakespeare, additional dialogue by Sam Taylor".  Starring Douglas Fairbanks as Petruchio and Mary Pickford as Catherine, badly directed by Taylor.

 

Films' Big problem is that Pickford is so small; when I got my first look at her, she looked like a little girl playing at fancy dress.  Taylor stages things so she is equal in height or taller than Fairbanks through the film, but she is obviously not his physical equal.  Maybe a match in bad manners, but she is blown about by a high wind in one scene, while Fairbanks is unaffected.  Petruchio comes off as a loutish bully. 

 

Fairbanks is fine through the first third of the film.

 

Pickford resembles Bernadette Peters in a 1970's Carol Burnett Show, where Peters was playing a preteen.  She sounds like her too.  Disastrous miscasting.

 

Film's expensive looking. All the minor things were done well. The major mistakes sink the film.  1.5/4.

 

 

Edit; Saw the 1966 Restoration, on archivedotorg.

 

Yes, though I've never seen the film to verify that credit!

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OLIVER! is jyst wrapping up.

 

I think I probably stand in the minority, but really this is my favorite film of 1968 and I'm glad it won best picture.

 

It would have been nice if they had hired a male lead who was masculine or likable or able to carry a tune in any way whatsoever, but it's got so many other pluses and the kid takes a backseat for so much of the film) that i look beyond that

 

What the hell happened to the girl who played Nancy in this? She is WONDERFUL and I don't think she had much of a film career afterwards. Would have made a much better supporting actress nominee then at least one person I can think of who did make the cut that year.

 

In the end though, I actually have to say that my favorite thing about it is Oliver Reed. It's funny because I read that he was the nephew of the director, and as such the director was incredibly resistant to cast him and was accused of nepotism. Surely all of this kvetching and whispering was shut down the minute everyone saw the film. Everytime I see him in something, I'm blown away by what a damn good actor he was and what amazing physicality he had.

 

... of course this is also somewhat tempered by the fact that, I'm not even sure why but, but I am INCREDIBLY attracted to him. There is just something about him that really revs my motor.

 

 

So I assume you've seen Women in Love then? :D I'll always remember Shelley Winters pouring water on him on the Tonight Show!

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So I assume you've seen Women in Love then? :D I'll always remember Shelley Winters pouring water on him on the Tonight Show!

Lordie, be!

 

That clip is available on Youtube if anyone wants to see it. Johnny Carson's deadpan observance of their snit is fun to watch also, particularly after Reed stands up dripping with wine all over his head.

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Laffite, did you know that Norma Jean had six toes on each foot?

 

Yes, she had to have each small one, that was the extra, amputated.

 

The studio made her do it I think.

 

Maybe she was part Spanish, as I've read of a village there in Ripley's Believe It or Not, which had so much intermarriage that six digits on each hand and foot was the norm.

 

Update: My friend, Angie who is the Marilyn expert just messaged me to say that Marilyn had six toes on only one foot. Wow, that's even weirder than on both!

 

She must have been a witch. I'm not surprised.

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I'll always remember Shelley Winters pouring water on him on the Tonight Show!

 

They showed it on TCM recently. It was kind of uncomfortable to watch.

 

I bet you anything that (at the time) it was probably the first water Oliver Reed had come into contact with it in at least six weeks.

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Two things I distinctly remember from the Academy Awards broadcast the year OLIVER! won.

 

Second, this was when they had dancers come out during the annoucement of each Costume Design nominee, appropriately dressed. Planet of the Apes was nominated and the dancers, as apes, did the frug, or some such thing that was in vogue.

Oh wow.

 

Sadly i am not on my computer right now, but if I get the chance I will see if I can find this on YouTube and post it here. Thank you for sharing this so much!!!!!

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She must have been a witch. I'm not surprised.

Some say it is not true, Miss Wonderly.

 

I like to believe it is and the photos of her foot are impressive.

 

If they had only finished "Something's Gotta Give" with all those pool scenes, we might have found out, about the "witch" origin I mean.

 

Welcome back, by the way!

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OLIVER! is jyst wrapping up.

 

I think I probably stand in the minority, but really this is my favorite film of 1968 and I'm glad it won best picture.

 

It would have been nice if they had hired a male lead who was masculine or likable or able to carry a tune in any way whatsoever, but it's got so many other pluses and the kid takes a backseat for so much of the film) that i look beyond that

 

What the hell happened to the girl who played Nancy in this? She is WONDERFUL and I don't think she had much of a film career afterwards. Would have made a much better supporting actress nominee then at least one person I can think of who did make the cut that year.

 

In the end though, I actually have to say that my favorite thing about it is Oliver Reed. It's funny because I read that he was the nephew of the director, and as such the director was incredibly resistant to cast him and was accused of nepotism. Surely all of this kvetching and whispering was shut down the minute everyone saw the film. Everytime I see him in something, I'm blown away by what a damn good actor he was and what amazing physicality he had.

 

... of course this is also somewhat tempered by the fact that, I'm not even sure why but, but I am INCREDIBLY attracted to him. There is just something about him that really revs my motor.

 

I remember seeing Oliver ! as a kid, and really liking it. I also loved the music, I knew all the songs, because my parents bought the soundtrack record. 

I agree that the kid who played the title role was not memorable, and a bit of a  w uss. Maybe this was just due to the way he was directed. And anyway, even in the Dickens novel Oliver is not the hero of his own story (oh wait that's another Dickens novel....)  the other characters, especially the "bad" ones, are much more interesting.

 

I remember I had a huge crush on the boy who played the Artful Dodger, Jack Wild. He was so good in Oliver !, but sadly, he came to a terrible end. (I don't want to talk about it, you can look it up if you want.)

 

Other outstanding leads (Oliver ! is kind of a group effort ): Yes, agreed, the woman who played Nancy, Shani Wallis, is very talented. I love her performances of those songs, "It's a Fine Life"   and "Oom-pah -pah".  She really has style.

 

Ron Moody,who played Fagin. It's always tricky discussing this character, whether depicted in film or the original novel, because of the anti-Semitic element that cannot quite be denied. But Ron Moody makes Fagin very likable. In fact, I've always liked Fagin; Alec Guinness gave us a memorable rendition too.

 

Finally: Yes ! Oliver Reed !  Funny, although I had a crush on Jack Wild when I saw this movie as a young girl, it's Oliver Reed who's the "hot" one when I watch Oliver ! as an adult. He has these menacing good looks, dark haunted-looking eyes ( and he is haunted in the end, by Nancy ....) I think it's that darkness in him that makes him kind of sexy. 

(I realize that's a very incorrect thing to say, especially considering that his character   - SPOILER ! -  murders his girlfriend. But I never said I liked or admired Bill Sykes, just that I too find Oliver Reed somewhat attractive.)

Sadly, he too came to a tragic end. But at least he was considerably older than Jack Wild when it happened.

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Some say it is not true, Miss Wonderly.

 

I like to believe it is and the photos of her foot are impressive.

 

If they had only finished "Something's Gotta Give" with all those pool scenes, we might have found out, about the "witch" origin I mean.

 

 

 

alfred-eisenstaedt-marilyn-monroe-on-pat

 

"I'm utterly bewitching and everyone knows it."

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The Earrings of Madame de ...???!!! (1953). Crack director Max

Ophuls is back again plowing the burnt over district of a sumptuously

photographed tale of weary Eurotrashers and their love affairs.

mostly on the dull side. At first it seems the film will follow the

title jewels as they go from hand to hand, but thankfully they

quickly boomerang back to Madame de's home territory. She

is married to aristocratic officer Charles Boyer, but they are

have grown tired of each other and Charlie even has a piece

of tail on the side. Bored with hubby, Madame de, played by

Danielle Darrieux, starts to fall for the new old boy in town,

Vittorio De Sica. After much back and forthing about honor

and position and all that old world European nonsense, the

two men decide to settle things with a duel. Only one survives.

Madame de is heartbroken, heads to the Catholic church where

she deposits the much traveled diamond earrings. Maybe the

archbishop can use them as pendants on his ermine robe. All

three Eurotwits are kind of bores, though in different ways. You

can't help pitying the poor servants who had to put with these

tiresome folks. But the photography sure is nice to look at.

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"The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" (1975)--Directed by Gene Wilder, starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, and Dom DeLuise.

 

Film has a dream cast, plush Victorian atmosphere, some inspired jokes (watch for the Victorian version of "Some Like It Hot") and a good MacGuffin to set things in motion; but the film doesn't quite fall into place.

 

Part of the fault is an erratic, hit or miss script; part is first-time director Wilder shoving potentially funny material in the viewers face, making sure they see How Funny it is, using seven shots for the viewer to see when two were enough to get the joke across; it kills the laughter (for me).

 

The cast does their best.  Wilder is funny as a resentful smart-***, and all the performers get their time to shine.

 

Madeline Kahn in particular is funny as a compulsive liar, and when she gets a chance to sing.  When she gets a specific target to satirize  (opera), she is deadly accurate and funny, as is Dom DeLuises' parody of an Italian tenor.

 

Film is scattershot, hit or miss satire, but enjoyable viewing.  2.5/4

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The Earrings of Madame de ...???!!! (1953). Crack director Max

Ophuls is back again plowing the burnt over district of a sumptuously

photographed tale of weary Eurotrashers and their love affairs.

mostly on the dull side. At first it seems the film will follow the

title jewels as they go from hand to hand, but thankfully they

quickly boomerang back to Madame de's home territory. She

is married to aristocratic officer Charles Boyer, but they are

have grown tired of each other and Charlie even has a piece

of tail on the side. Bored with hubby, Madame de, played by

Danielle Darrieux, starts to fall for the new old boy in town,

Vittorio De Sica. After much back and forthing about honor

and position and all that old world European nonsense, the

two men decide to settle things with a duel. Only one survives.

Madame de is heartbroken, heads to the Catholic church where

she deposits the much traveled diamond earrings. Maybe the

archbishop can use them as pendants on his ermine robe. All

three Eurotwits are kind of bores, though in different ways. You

can't help pitying the poor servants who had to put with these

tiresome folks. But the photography sure is nice to look at.

 

Eurotrashers? Vautrin, I am quite taken aback by that ;-). The term is jarring because it does not belong to the same world as the movie. EuroT is a fairly recent coinage while the movie was made in 1953, depicting an even more distant era. The term also refers more to the lower classes rather than to the uppers.

 

Piece of Tail? The current vernacular is awkward when in fact it was common---no, practically de rigeur---for an aristocratic gentleman and certainly a heroic commander (Like Andre the Count) to maintain a mistress.

 

The Two men decided to have a duel. It was the Count who wanted the duel. Donati (de Sica) would have liked to run away. The Count, finally losing patience with whatever was going between his wife nad Donati, concocted a pretext for the duel because the real reason would have exposed am as a cuckold. A rather cheap strategem. Donati had no choice but to accept and he does it with a long face. He had little or no chance in a duel with a military commander. Although the Count had his concerns there is something untoward about baiting someone into a dual that was tantamount to murder.

 

Old European nonsense? Well, honor and position was, pretty, pretty, pretty important back then.

 

All three Eurotwits are kind of bores. Eurotwits? Oof. I enjoyed their dance, not bored in this quarter. But yes, Madame was bored with hubby (hubby? ;-) ) after all he wouldn't sleep in the same room with her (or was it the other way around.) But above that the poor woman was bored with everything. There were signs that Andre (Boyer) had misgivings that they didn't communicate better but at least he was a man and had his wars and drills to go to while she has nothing to do. Her life is necessarily circumscribed as dictated by the age in which she lived, which is why she embarks on her little trivial pursuits. On the outside she is hardly a sympathetic character, but as a victim of her station her plight resonates a little differently (for me). She was a goner for someone like Donati, someone who actually paid attention to her (for awhile). The Count restrains himself early but ends up with more than a hint of bully as is the wont of someone in his station. Donati was a little vapid.

 

==

 

Okay, I'm done nitpicking, Vautrin. Actually your capsule review is rather well done, clever in fact and no doubt, I gather, was intended as tongue-in-cheek in its expression. My problem is I'm adamant about accepting the world of the movie and refrain from judging from own modern vantage point (you see how stuffy I am) which includes, doggone it Vautrin, these Euro words and the modern vernacular to characterize these fragile, quaint societies (in the movies anyway) the settings of which provide us (stuffy people) with so much viewing pleasure ;-). I thought your review a little irreverent and no doubt I appreciate the movie a little more that you do. But I'm partial to this sort of thing. I have a vast appreciation of the Old World and feel it should be treated with respect, doggone it man.

 

;)

 

--

 

 

 

 

 

===

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