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A few of my favorite episodes from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Namely, "It May Look Like a Walnut," "Long Night's Journey Into Day," and "Draw Me a Pear." I plan on watching my favorite episode (as of right now) entitled "The Ghost of A. Chantz," in which Rob, Laura, Buddy, and Sally (and Mel Cooley) drive up to a cabin to spend the weekend in, and various events throughout the night lead the gang to believe the cabin is, in fact, haunted. 

 

I love this show so much. Dick Van Dyke was one of my first crushes ever since I saw him in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when I was about 3 years old. This is truly a "classic" TV show.

 

That show actually had a couple of lasting effects on my life.

 

In the episode "Give Me Your Walls", in which veteran character actor VITO SCOTTI plays a house painter, there's a scene in which  Scotti was found in the kitchen, and had already made breakfast for the kid, Ritchie.  And Ritchie blurts how Scotti's French toast was "Even better than yours" to Laura.  Scotti wags a disapproving finger at Ritchie and tells him, "NObody EVER cooks-a BETTER than-a your MAMA!"  and then turns to Laura and whispers, "Try a dash of-a vanilla extract inna the batter".  Well, I tried it, and it's a GREAT addition to French toast batter!  Been making it like that for the last 40 or so years!

 

I've had chance to use the second.----in one episode, friend and neighbor Jerry Helper says something Rob thinks is kind of dumb, but Millie thought was profound and walks off bragging Jerry up by saying, "Oh, my Jerry is so DEEP!  Isn't he just so DEEP?  Oh, I can't believe how DEEP my Jerry can be sometimes!"  After she leaves, Rob says in disgust---"Jerry isn't DEEP.  He's THICK!"

 

I was lucky to have had several opportunities to use this myself.

 

I don't know all the titles to all the episodes, but the ones you brought up were ones I like, too.  I also like the one where Rob goes skiing with Jerry and winds up injured and covered head to toe with bandages, or the one in which Rob looks into the shoe store one of Buddy's uncles owns in trying to decide if he wants to invest in it, and while in the back of the store, one of the salemen walks in, telling some lady, "I'll go right now and put them on the automatic shoe stretcher!"  then picks up a pushbroom and places the end of the broom's stick in the toe of a shoe and begins stretching it.  AND the one in which Rob tries to complete a book he's trying to write and stays at a friend's cabin in the woods and finds a million different things to distract him.  And the "flashback" episode in which Rob recalls when he was working as a disc jockey and tries to stay on the air for 24 hours straight.

 

LOVE that show!  I could watch it's reruns for HOURS.

 

 

Sepiatone

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"Arabian Nights" (1942)--The first in the Maria Montez/Jon Hall series of Universal movies.  This one also has Sabu first billed. 

 

Technicolored comic book of a movie; the credits are animated, so the viewer knows not to expect anything vaguely related to realism.  Film opens with an teacher reading a book about Scheherazade to a harem of Universal starlets.  That goes on for about five minutes, Then the story begins.  Jon Hall and Leif Erickson are brothers who hate each other; one is Caliph of Baghdad.  Scheherazade (Montez) is the woman they battle over.

 

Movie is a wonderful mix of humor (a bit of Abbott and Costello here, some inspired Marx Brothers type illogic late in the film), kidding of the stories the film is based on, good old "check your brain at the door" adventure film, and moments that slipped past The Code (one of Montez's outfits is cut Dangerously Low).

 

Film has a lush score by Frank Skinner and Charles Previn, and candy-colored cinematography by Milton Krasner; movie received Oscar nods for both, as well as Best Sound and Best Art Direction.

 

Look for Shemp Howard and Burnu Acquanetta.

 

Print I saw on Archive.org was brand new, with the colors not jumping off the screen, but were a bit more subdued.  A good "tongue in cheek" adventure film.  3.2/4

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"Arabian Nights" (1942)--The first in the Maria Montez/Jon Hall series of Universal movies.  This one also has Sabu first billed. 

 

Technicolored comic book of a movie; the credits are animated, so the viewer knows not to expect anything vaguely related to realism.  Film opens with an teacher reading a book about Scheherazade to a harem of Universal starlets.  That goes on for about five minutes, Then the story begins.  Jon Hall and Leif Erickson are brothers who hate each other; one is Caliph of Baghdad.  Scheherazade (Montez) is the woman they battle over.

 

Movie is a wonderful mix of humor (a bit of Abbott and Costello here, some inspired Marx Brothers type illogic late in the film), kidding of the stories the film is based on, good old "check your brain at the door" adventure film, and moments that slipped past The Code (one of Montez's outfits is cut Dangerously Low).

 

Film has a lush score by Frank Skinner and Charles Previn, and candy-colored cinematography by Milton Krasner; movie received Oscar nods for both, as well as Best Sound and Best Art Direction.

 

Look for Shemp Howard and Burnu Acquanetta.

 

Print I saw on Archive.org was brand new, with the colors not jumping off the screen, but were a bit more subdued.  A good "tongue in cheek" adventure film.  3.2/4

I bought that on dvd years ago just to see Acquanetta, but of course Maria Montez is out of this world too.

 

I read that she used to sit in front of her mirror and say "Oh, I am so beautiful!"

 

Can't say I disagree. Great review by the way!

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And Ritchie blurts how Scotti's French toast was "Even better than yours" to Laura.

You can't save French toast.

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"The Big Steal" (1949)--Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and William Bendix, directed by Don Seigel.

 

Lightning paced Noir opens with Bendix breaking down Mitchum's hotel room door, and doesn't slow down from there.

 

Mitchum is his sleepy-eyed self: reliably funny whether he's sparring with Jane Greer or decking the bad (good?) guys.  He and Greer sound like they improvised a third, maybe more of their dialogue. 

 

I wish Greer had done more comedy.  She had a gift for ladylike sarcasm, and shows it off in her banter with Mitchum.  She is very good, and gets more laughs than Mitchum.  "Run For The Sun" (1956) is another film where she shows off her sense of humor.

 

Bendix reminded me that he Could act.  After watching "The Babe Ruth Story" (1948), I was convinced I never wanted to see him again.  He redeems himself here.

 

Ramon Novarro is amusing as Inspector Ortega.

 

Siegel keeps film moving, regardless of what's going on.  Underrated Noir/chase film is great fun, and doesn't let the viewer get bored.   3/4. 

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"The Gorgon" (1964)--Good Hammer horror film based on Greek mythology stars Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, and Peter Cushing, and is directed by Terence Fisher.

 

Film takes place in the early 1900's.  There have been seven murders in five years in a remote German village; the victims were all turned to stone ("Gorgonized" is the term the film uses).  Cushing plays Namaroff, a doctor/coroner.  Barbara Shelley is Carla, his lab assistant, who never wears a lab coat and is always immaculately groomed.  Lee plays a University professor who takes charge of the situation.

 

Michael Reed's cinematography is effectively spooky.  James Bernard's music score is well done, if overly loud.  The special effects aren't bad, considering when the film was made.

 

Those who know their mythology may guess the plot before the halfway point of the film; still, this is an entertaining film worth the watch.  TCM is supposed to be showing it in October.  I'll watch it again.  3/4.

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"The Big Steal" (1949)--Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and William Bendix, directed by Don Seigel.

 

 

film lover, I think the film's on location Mexican photography also adds a lot to the authentic atmosphere of the production.

 

The Big Steal's largely light hearted tone makes it quite a contrast to Out of the Past, the other Mitchum-Greer outing.

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film lover, I think the film's on location Mexican photography also adds a lot to the authentic atmosphere of the production.

 

The Big Steal's largely light hearted tone makes it quite a contrast to Out of the Past, the other Mitchum-Greer outing.

 

I'd place this film in a similar category as another of Mitchum's noirs...the even slightly lighter-hearted HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951) with Jane Russell.

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film lover, I think the film's on location Mexican photography also adds a lot to the authentic atmosphere of the production.

 

The Big Steal's largely light hearted tone makes it quite a contrast to Out of the Past, the other Mitchum-Greer outing.

I caught on to THE BIG STEAL some years ago now,  and I really like the film a lot. It's one of those  fun films that I think of on occasion to just sit back and watch my dvd and enjoy. The dvd has some nice audio commentary and I have a couple of bio books on Mitchum.  The back story on the making of this little film is interesting and could make for a good little film itself. Mitchum had just been busted for drug possession (really not a big deal,  just some personal pot usage) but the potential for a career ending scandal was there. So RKO (Howard Hughes) quickly threw this film together to try to keep Mitchum  out of jail (that little ruse didn't work, the judge gave Mitch a short sentence in the county jail,  filming was done before and after Mitchum's time served). The original storyline was much tougher, violent, with dark  shady characters. They lightened that up considerably, almost to a comedy level with Mitchum a rather likable, almost lovable guy. A number of actresses considered for the costar were reluctant to be associated with Robert Mitchum  because of the "scandal" surrounding him. Jane Greer volunteered for the part because she had such a good time working on OUT OF THE PAST with big Bob. Jane was pregnant  at the time so the wardrobe people had to accommodate for that and she couldn't be doing too much physical activity. And they had to be careful with camera angle shots.  The resulting film is a little short in length, it could have used a little more padding.  Ramon Navarro's inspector cop almost steals the film, they should have given his character a little more involvement in the climatic scenes.  The film was reasonably successful at the box office, but more importantly this film helped smooth over Robert Mitchum's public image and keep his career going.

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The Public Eye (1992) Sleuthing Shutterbug

 

public%2Beye%2Bposter.jpg

 

Set in 1942 The Public Eye, is inspired by one of the first of the paparazzi, the great Weegee, aka Arthur Fellig, whose B&W photographs of New York in the 1940-50's not only time captured the city, but has also been suggested as one of the influences of the look of Classic Film Noir. Weegee's nickname was a corruption of "Ouija" board. It was in reference to his magical appearance at crime, fire and accident scenes (he actually had a license for a police radio that he kept in his automobile). Weegee was the original "nightcrawler".

 

Noirish%2B18%2BThe%2BPublic%2BEye%2B%252

 

The film is beautifully photographed, again as in A Rage In Harlem (1991) Cincinnati fills in very adequately for New York City, other locations being Chicago and Los Angeles. The score by Isham is decent. It should have more recognition. The screencaps are from the Universal Vault Series DVD. 7/10 Full review in Film Noir/Gangster thread, and with more screencaps here:http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-public-eye-1992-sleuthing-shutterbug.html

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I mainly made it a point to watch that movie Joe, due to my being a photographer and just LOVING Weegee's work!

 

Pesci did a fine job!

 

But now, something that boggled me.....

 

Last night after PERRY MASON went off on METV, it was followed by an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

 

Now, after watching that show for most of my life, and sitting sporadically through different spots through it's many "marathons" over the last decade or more, last night was an episode I NEVER SAW BEFORE!!

 

"Once Upon A Time" with BUSTER KEATON.  Starts off silent movie style with Keaton in a small New York town in 1890 with Keaton the janitor of a small workshop run by two inventors of the day, and Keaton's character enraged over how loud and "fast" life has become.  Steak selling for the "outrageous" price of 79 cents a pound and such.  He sees the inventors discussing a "time helmet" one had just invented, and sneaks it on, winding up in the year 1961.  Kind of a cute episode, and my being a long time fan of Keaton made it even better for me.

 

That it also included two of my favorite character actors, STANLEY ADAMS and JESSE WHITE didn't hurt either!  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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I mainly made it a point to watch that movie Joe, due to my being a photographer and just LOVING Weegee's work!

 

Pesci did a fine job!

 

But now, something that boggled me.....

 

Last night after PERRY MASON went off on METV, it was followed by an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

 

Now, after watching that show for most of my life, and sitting sporadically through different spots through it's many "marathons" over the last decade or more, last night was an episode I NEVER SAW BEFORE!!

 

"Once Upon A Time" with BUSTER KEATON.  Starts off silent movie style with Keaton in a small New York town in 1890 with Keaton the janitor of a small workshop run by two inventors of the day, and Keaton's character enraged over how loud and "fast" life has become.  Steak selling for the "outrageous" price of 79 cents a pound and such.  He sees the inventors discussing a "time helmet" one had just invented, and sneaks it on, winding up in the year 1961.  Kind of a cute episode, and my being a long time fan of Keaton made it even better for me.

 

That it also included two of my favorite character actors, STANLEY ADAMS and JESSE WHITE didn't hurt either!  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

OMG, Sepia!

 

I love Weegee too, but I am not a photographer so shall defer to you in that area of expertise.

 

I just like his work as an amateur, and my favorite is the the photo of the two dowager queen women who I think are leaving a DAR meeting or something, which has the poor, street woman staring at them as they emerge in their evening wear.

 

I have seen the TZ episode you mention, but mostly because I watch all the marathons even though I own the complete boxed set that I've never opened though I've owned it for five years.

 

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"Once Upon A Time" with BUSTER KEATON.  Starts off silent movie style with Keaton in a small New York town in 1890 with Keaton the janitor of a small workshop run by two inventors of the day, and Keaton's character enraged over how loud and "fast" life has become.  Steak selling for the "outrageous" price of 79 cents a pound and such.  He sees the inventors discussing a "time helmet" one had just invented, and sneaks it on, winding up in the year 1961.  Kind of a cute episode, and my being a long time fan of Keaton made it even better for me.

 

 

That one gets overlooked for being one of the "comedy" episodes--Keaton had just become rediscovered out of "exile" obscurity in the 50's and 60's, and still knew how to do his old slapstick even as an old geezer.  A lot of TV shows were trying to pay tribute by getting him to do bits, since nobody paid any attention to silent movies whatsoever in the 60's and 70's (except for those wacky-dubbed clips on kids' shows), and producers wanted to show they at least knew the "old days".

 

One of Candid Camera's great moments was when they rediscovered Buster in the 50's, and nobody else recognized him:

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Last night I re-watched my perennial favorite, The Rains Came with the fabulous Tyrone Power and the equally marvelous Myrna Loy. What is interesting is that it was from an old VHS I had taped in 1990! WE still had a few regular TV stations at the time, and I used to set the timer and watch the next day. This was a late night movie and it was fun watching some of the commercials within the film. Firstly, the entire film was there, so they allowed for commercials. Also, there were old car ads and an add for Home Alone 1990! What was interesting was I was expecting our youngest child, our daughter in '90. And here I see all these adds last night.

Anyway, the movie was played to perfection with poignant romance and lush settings. I have never seen such good graphics - even CGI could not portray it this well. They certainly simulated the tidal wave effectively in this film.

 

I do have the remake of the film, The Rains of Ranchipur with Lana Turner and Richard Burton. They are excellent in their roles, but this one really makes me cry and is more true to the novel, I have read.

 

Another great film (I had seen when I was young in the 70s) is Johnny Trouble.

Ethel Barrymore plays her role outstandingly as a wheelchair bound widow who refuses to give up her home in an apartment building which was sold to a university. As it has been converted to accommodate 50 college boys, the board of trustees try to persuade her to move. She remains firm and fits in well as Nana of the college dorm. AS the days pass, she harbors a secret that only she and her devoted chauffeur (outstandingly portrayed by Cecil Kellaway)know. A new student, Johnny Chandler, is enrolled in the college and lives in the dorm. Kathryn is certain that he is her missing grandson. Her own son had run away close to 30 years ago and had attended the same college. She hopes that this boy is her grandson and thinks that his father may be the son she had lost years ago. A very touching story. It seems I cried over both films. Each were poignant in their own way and were so powerful that they reach your emotions upon return viewings.

I rate both films a 10.

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That one gets overlooked for being one of the "comedy" episodes--Keaton had just become rediscovered out of "exile" obscurity in the 50's and 60's, and still knew how to do his old slapstick even as an old geezer.  A lot of TV shows were trying to pay tribute by getting him to do bits, since nobody paid any attention to silent movies whatsoever in the 60's and 70's (except for those wacky-dubbed clips on kids' shows), and producers wanted to show they at least knew the "old days".

 

One of Candid Camera's great moments was when they rediscovered Buster in the 50's, and nobody else recognized him:

 

 

Welcome to the boards, Eric.

 

I remember that "Candid Camera" bit too, and thought it a hoot and still laugh whenever it gets shown somewhere.

 

Back in '63 I think, was a "summer replacement" show called "Fractured Flickers" which used to show old silent clips and do parodies based on them.  It was hosted by the astute HANS CONRIED.  Funny show. 

 

Now, back to "I Just Watched"....

 

RIO BRAVO again!

 

It's one of those Westerns I first saw when it came out and always and STILL love to watch!

 

Sure, in the world of "pretentious film analysis" we have here, I suppose other westerns would be considered to be much better, but there ARE some of us who just want to be ENTERTAINED by movies.  WithOUT all the bloviated posturing or introspection. 

 

When it came out, I was 8 years old and John Wayne Westerns were to be SEEN and no dissecting of it's merits related to film making was of any interest.  And it had a cast we( me and all my also 8 year old friends) just loved!

 

JOHN WAYNE

 

WALTER BRENNAN

 

RICKY NELSON (we all dug "Ozzie and Harriett" so....)  and....

 

That "Wagon Train" guy( WARD BOND of course)

 

At that age, ANGIE DICKINSON  held no interest for us.  And we couldn't care LESS about who HOWARD HAWKS was,   and  DEAN MARTIN was largely(by us) known only as JERRY LEWIS' sidekick, so HE was OK.

 

Of course, over time all the other cast members and elements became better known by us, but it still remains a favorite I guess due to sentimentality.  But I still think it's a good Western, and a good premise for a Western movie.

 

And I actually thought and think Nelson did a pretty good job in it.

 

And didn't I notice BOB STEELE make a brief appearance in it?

 

 

Sepiatone

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"River of No Return" (1954)--20th Century Fox Western that stars Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, and Tommy Rettig, and was directed by Otto Preminger.

 

Western that is set in the Canadian Rockies centers around a man recently released from jail  (Mitchum), his son (Rettig), and a saloon singer (Monroe).  Add Indians on the warpath, a villain (Rory Calhoun), and a script that can't decide what viewpoint to take about its' characters, and this should have been a standard Western.  It's not.

 

Mitchum decides for the script, and plays a man with a past as an essentially decent person with a sense of humor.  He is excellent.

 

In this film, Rettig is a remarkably unsentimental actor; no whimpering or whining or milking the emotional moments for tears or "cuteness".  He's a welcome change from most child actors, and is very good.

 

Monroe is good in the film also, and is excellent in the five musical numbers; her voice is good and strong, and her vocal range has expanded at the top notes.  She is unexpectedly good, and has good chemistry with Mitchum and Rettig.

 

Joseph LaShelle's Technicolor photography in Cinemascope is the real star of the film. It was shot on location in Alberta, Canada.  Incredibly, it didn't even get an Oscar nomination.

 

Darryl F. Zanuck didn't like Preminger's final cut, and had two scenes added.  They don't fit, and stick out like a sore thumb.  The worst is explained away in two lines of dialogue.

 

Film is surprisingly entertaining. A fun watch.  3.2/4.

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Welcome to the boards, Eric.

 

I remember that "Candid Camera" bit too, and thought it a hoot and still laugh whenever it gets shown somewhere.

 

Back in '63 I think, was a "summer replacement" show called "Fractured Flickers" which used to show old silent clips and do parodies based on them.  It was hosted by the astute HANS CONRIED.  Funny show. 

 

Now, back to "I Just Watched"....

 

RIO BRAVO again!

 

I like that Western too and am a big fan of Ricky Nelson, still. The summer I turned 12 we had FRactured FLickers. I just loved it and so did my big sister. But I had the impression at the time that all Silents were comedies, as they put humorous touches to their spliced pictures. But our dad explained that they could not show the Silents at present, as it had to do with Camera speeds. ANyway, we loved the show and later Fractured Fairytales with Rocky and BUllwinkle. Those early 60's memories are great of TV. There were many great shows to be had, including The Farmer's Daughter with the beautiful and talented Inger Stevens and the hilarious adventures of the Clampetts in The Beverly Hillbillies. Here's Lucy brightened up our summer as well. We began to take an interest in the paranormal with One Step Beyond and Twilight Zone. Great stories and the former show was purported to be true.ll.

It's one of those Westerns I first saw when it came out and always and STILL love to watch!

 

Sure, in the world of "pretentious film analysis" we have here, I suppose other westerns would be considered to be much better, but there ARE some of us who just want to be ENTERTAINED by movies.  WithOUT all the bloviated posturing or introspection. 

 

When it came out, I was 8 years old and John Wayne Westerns were to be SEEN and no dissecting of it's merits related to film making was of any interest.  And it had a cast we( me and all my also 8 year old friends) just loved!

 

JOHN WAYNE

 

WALTER BRENNAN

 

RICKY NELSON (we all dug "Ozzie and Harriett" so....)  and....

 

That "Wagon Train" guy( WARD BOND of course)

 

At that age, ANGIE DICKINSON  held no interest for us.  And we couldn't care LESS about who HOWARD HAWKS was,   and  DEAN MARTIN was largely(by us) known only as JERRY LEWIS' sidekick, so HE was OK.

 

Of course, over time all the other cast members and elements became better known by us, but it still remains a favorite I guess due to sentimentality.  But I still think it's a good Western, and a good premise for a Western movie.

 

And I actually thought and think Nelson did a pretty good job in it.

 

And didn't I notice BOB STEELE make a brief appearance in it?

 

 

Sepiatone

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It IS necessary to watch carefully that vid with Buster. In fact on first viewing I was taken mostly by the young woman's reaction. So a second viewing is a must to see exactly what's going on with Buster. For most here probably the other way around. I found myself took by her. She reminds me a little of Lynn Redgrave, Georgygirl-ish.

 

293, I though Marilyn's voice artificially low in RONR, as if quite deliberately trying to shed the higher girlish note that was a part of that persona she felt she needed to shed; the ditzy, sexy, blonde with a breathy voice. That would not have been appropriate for the movie but I still found her voice distracting.

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"White Witch Doctor" (1953)--Starring Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward, directed by Henry Hathaway.

 

So-so jungle love story takes place in 1907.   Nurse Ellen Burton (Hayward) arrives in the Belgian Congo to join Dr. Mary in her practice.  Lonnie (Robert Mitchum) is a animal keeper/gold seeker who wants to get rich, along with his greedy partner (Walter Slezak).  Lonnie guides Burton to Dr. Mary's village, only to find the Dr. has died.  Film treads a predictable path from here.

 

Mitchum and Hayward have no chemistry.  I counted the beats as they kissed; Mitchum kissed her--1,2,3 Hayward responds--4,5,a romantic clinch, fade-out to next scene.  Walter Slezak's portrayal of a greedy slob seems like it was done while he was checking his watch.

 

 The cliched script, obvious filming on the soundstage(s), and sheer predictability of the film are major problems.  Bernard Herrman's score, which is louder than anything else in the film (including gunfire), seems composed to blare at the viewer and keep them awake.  The music over the opening credits is LOUD.  Turn down the volume before watching the film.

 

  Mitchums' and Haywards' professionalism keeps the film from being a total waste of time.  2.3/4.

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"White Witch Doctor" (1953)--Starring Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward, directed by Henry Hathaway.

 

So-so jungle love story takes place in 1907.   Nurse Ellen Burton (Hayward) arrives in the Belgian Congo to join Dr. Mary in her practice.  Lonnie (Robert Mitchum) is a animal keeper/gold seeker who wants to get rich, along with his greedy partner (Walter Slezak).  Lonnie guides Burton to Dr. Mary's village, only to find the Dr. has died.  Film treads a predictable path from here.

 

Mitchum and Hayward have no chemistry.  I counted the beats as they kissed; Mitchum kissed her--1,2,3 Hayward responds--4,5,a romantic clinch, fade-out to next scene.  Walter Slezak's portrayal of a greedy slob seems like it was done while he was checking his watch.

 

 The cliched script, obvious filming on the soundstage(s), and sheer predictability of the film are major problems.  Bernard Herrman's score, which is louder than anything else in the film (including gunfire), seems composed to blare at the viewer and keep them awake.  The music over the opening credits is LOUD.  Turn down the volume before watching the film.

 

  Mitchums' and Haywards' professionalism keeps the film from being a total waste of time.  2.3/4.

 

That's too bad, film lover. "On paper" it sounds like this film would be a lot of fun. Guess not, though. Ah well, at least if I watch it at some future date, my expectations won't be very high.

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I watched my favorite Glenn Ford westerns on TCM: 3:10 TO YUMA and FASTEST GUN ALIVE. I've seen them before and really like them, especially Ford and Van Heflin in YUMA. It was one of those times where I say to myself "I'll just watch the credits and opening scene" and ended up watching two whole movies back-to-back.

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"River of No Return" (1954)--20th Century Fox Western that stars Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, and Tommy Rettig, and was directed by Otto Preminger.

Monroe is good in the film also, and is excellent in the five musical numbers; her voice is good and strong, and her vocal range has expanded at the top notes.  She is unexpectedly good, and has good chemistry with Mitchum and Rettig.

 

 

Have to admit, between this, The Misfits and Don't Bother to Knock, I prefer the roles where Marilyn was trying to stretch and play against type, for more downtrodden/bad girls.  She really couldn't quite yet, but she makes a good effort of trying, and most of movie fans' support for her consists of sticking up for her ambitions.

 

-----

As for my Just Watched--probably too new to be in the category, but still TCM-related--I happened to be wandering through the public library while the monthly film-screening was showing the Coen Bros. Hail Caesar (2016), the pseudo-sequel to "Barton Fink" where the Bros. try to impress us with how much more 30's-40's Hollywood lore they "know" and we don't (they think).  Okay, maybe third in the trilogy if you count "O Brother Where Art Thou" as "We've seen Sullivan's Travels, get it, get it?"   :rolleyes:

As you can tell, I don't particularly worship the Coens just because they had one movie that got an Oscar, one that should've, and one that parodied stoners too stoned to know they were being made fun of, and I tend to think of them more as obnoxious jackasses too much in love with their own cleverness by half--But it was free, I serendipically happened to be there in time, and I always try to support the local library.

 

The movie was supposed to be parodies of 40's Hollywood studios, but when we see "wacky" parodies of the movies being made--a Gene Kelly sailor-suit musical (and it looks ambiguously homoerotic, get it, get it?), an Esther-Williams-dives-into-the-pool musical, and the main plot about crass George Clooney as the Roman soldier in a biblical epic--I was sitting there thinking "Who even TELLS these jokes anymore in 2016?  It's not 1975, and this isn't the Carol Burnett Show!"  (And I apologize to Ms. Burnett and her writers, who actually did know their movies.)

Between the other thirdhand Hollywood myth/anachronisms being thrown about--so Republic did singing-cowboy westerns in widescreen Technicolor in 1946?...That's enlightening--I sat there realizing, these are exactly the sort of deconstructive "mythologizing" we used to do of Old Hollywood forty years ago, back when we didn't have the same intimacy of knowing one old movie apart from another, nobody watched them to begin with, and we sneered shame and abuse on them for not being cynical enough in the 70's of Watergate and Taxi Driver.  The Coens' hostility toward...basically everything tends to be a bit more than the average Simpsons episode and almost as subtle, but listening to Joel & Ethan talk about 40's movies, the Hollywood Ten communist screenwriters, or the 30's depression in general is like listening to an atheist preaching to the choir:  Loud, uninformed, and chuckling over his own jokes we've heard twenty times just because he thought he was the first.

 

I was tempted to do an entire guest Movie Morlocks blog post on the issue ("Why should we watch somebody else's badly-remembered thirdhand gag about 'old movies', when I was on the same library floor as the DVD shelf, and could take home a real copy of Anchors Aweigh, Million Dollar Mermaid or Ben-Hur to watch instead?"), but figured someone else had done a blog post on the Bros.' "bold genius" by now, and the idea of changing movie-literacy between then and now seemed more like the stuff for my own blog.

Had to vent, though.

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