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I Just Watched...

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Again, imagine my surprise when on came an old TV production from the old Kodak sponsored show SCREEN DIRECTOR'S PLAYHOUSE of a short filmplay with that title starring JOE E. BROWN, BUSTER KEATON and ZASU PITTS!

 

I'm not sure if the mix-up was WOW's or TCM's, but it's all sawdust now, so it's all good.  :)e

 

 

Well, as TCM was showing Joe E. Brown all day anyway, I'm pretty sure the mixup was WOW's.  

They only have a certain amount of film descriptions in their computer, and nobody usually goes around showing the lesser-known version.

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Yes, SILENT PARTNER, that was the title.

Thanks!

 

( for all who missed it, I have an intuition you may be able to find it online.)

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It's probably the fault of whatever service your cable provider contracts with for listing services.

 

I remember once when TCM was running Rose Marie, my DirecTV box guide listed the program in that slot as the Sissy Spacek movie Marie: A True Story (under just the title Marie).

 

The box guide also tends to have problems with blocks of shorts (such as the Disney cartoons or when Silent Sunday Nights is a bunch of two-reelers).

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It's probably the fault of whatever service your cable provider contracts with for listing services.

 

I remember once when TCM was running Rose Marie, my DirecTV box guide listed the program in that slot as the Sissy Spacek movie Marie: A True Story (under just the title Marie).

 

The box guide also tends to have problems with blocks of shorts (such as the Disney cartoons or when Silent Sunday Nights is a bunch of two-reelers).

 

 

It's going to be someone like Tribune Media Services. 

 

I just checked and it looks like TCM got it right on their website, but my DVR didn't.  Since I program my DVR with the Schedules Direct/Tribune listing, I am unsure at this point.

 

I have DirecTV too and to get anything other than movies, like a block of Disney shorts, I just record all the surrounding blocks and everything in-between, and then deal with it later.  The short features like that often get split right in half according to the DVR schedule.  The movies I never seem to have that problem.  I have about 1 minute of pre padding and 2 minutes of post padding on the DVR and that covers almost everything nicely.

 

EDIT: Blah blah blah...  OK it worked.  very good.  Now I have that Screen Director's Playhouse ep.  One more off my list.  Thank you once again TCM for delivering.

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Well, as TCM was showing Joe E. Brown all day anyway, I'm pretty sure the mixup was WOW's.  

They only have a certain amount of film descriptions in their computer, and nobody usually goes around showing the lesser-known version.

 

You're probaly right.  But later I tuned in to see THE LAST DETAIL, so my birthday night went just fine.

 

The first time I saw this one( not when it came out though) was back in the later '70's when an old movie house here in Detroit called the STATE THEATER tried to make a comeback by restoring and renovating and to raise some money for the project tried showing  older movies that "aged out" of even the "dollar shows" in the area.  One night, possibly intending some kind of "theme", they had a double bill presentation of THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and THE LAST DETAIL.  I liked TLPS, and went mainly to see that, and was also treated to "Detail".

 

At the time, I was only familiar with RANDY QUAID as a "buffoon" in movies like "Picture show" and PAPER MOON, so it was refreshing to see him "spread his wings", so to speak.  JACK NICHOLSON was at his best too, and love that scene in the train station restroom where he tells four Marines, "If I was a Marine, all I'd have to do is take off my hat" in order to u r i n a t e!  :D

 

Sorry to say, the State theater never achieved it's goal, and over the years fell under new ownership who remodeled the place to be a "music/club" venue and stupidly(IMHO) changed it's name to THE FILLMORE.

 

 

Sepiatone

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The Taking  of Pelham One Two Three

 

I never get tired of watching this, and last night I watched it again with my fiancee who was seeing it for the first time. The film is just pure entertainment.  Virtually every character in this is interesting - even the bad guys, led by Robert Shaw, are fun to watch. The Ed Koch-lookalike playing the mayor is a riot. Walter Matthau has that classic "hang-dog" look from the beginning to the final hilarious shot. Jerry Stiller looks really bad in a policeman's uniform, but I can let that one go. I always notice something new when I watch. This time, I noticed an ad on the subway car which featured Iron Eyes Cody - no doubt he was crying over litter.

 

I suspect that everyone involved in this film had a blast making it.

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"Manpower" (1941)--Starring Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft.

 

 Blame a confused, unmotivated script by Richard Macaulay and Jerry Wald and overemphatic direction by Raoul Walsh for the muddled film that ended up on screen.  Robinson plays a would-be ladies man, George Raft plays a ladies man, and Dietrich is the woman with a Past they fight over. 

 

But the script never decides if it is a comedy or a drama, and Walsh directs it to be both.  When the action lags, Walsh throws in a brawl.  Everyone sinks in the murky script.  Dietrich comes out best, looking glamorous even when leaving prison, and getting some of the few one liners.

 

Eve Arden's way with sarcasm is a welcome relief in this film.

 

There is a priceless scene in a diner using 1940's slang.  It's not worth seeing the movie for it alone, but it is the funniest scene in the film.

 

Film is underwhelming.   2.2/4.

 

Edit: Saw on archivedotorg.

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"Manpower" (1941)--Starring Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft.

 

Blame a confused, unmotivated script by Richard Macaulay and Jerry Wald and overemphatic direction by Raoul Walsh for the muddled film that ended up on screen. Robinson plays a would-be ladies man, George Raft plays a ladies man, and Dietrich is the woman with a Past they fight over.

 

But the script never decides if it is a comedy or a drama, and Walsh directs it to be both. When the action lags, Walsh throws in a brawl. Everyone sinks in the murky script. Dietrich comes out best, looking glamorous even when leaving prison, and getting some of the few one liners.

 

Eve Arden's way with sarcasm is a welcome relief in this film.

 

There is a priceless scene in a diner using 1940's slang. It's not worth seeing the movie for it alone, but it is the funniest scene in the film.

 

Film is underwhelming. 2.2/4.

 

Edit: Saw on archivedotorg.

I did not realize that this had lapsed into the public domain, but I can certainly understand why. Tell me: did I remember the details of the scene where Raft hits Dietrich accurately? Or did my mind exaggerate the details? It's been a few years I think since last I saw it, but I just really remember how unpleasant it is when that occurs in the film and how frankly disgusting it is that is portrayed as a good thing that our "brave hero" hits a woman.

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The Night Stalker 1972. I think this is one of the scariest vampire movies of all time. My opinion, anyway. I don't know if you could say it was a bit ahead of its time, but for a made for TV movie at 85 minutes, it's pretty spooky. A Dan Curtis production, with Robert Corbett's Dark Shadows themed score, the Las Vegas locale and creepy lighting, it makes for one great vampire movie. I remember ABC kept advertising the coming of this film and my father and I were crazy to see it. On the night it was to be broadcast, who comes on and interrupts the thing but President Nixon. ARGH!

Great flick. Hope some of you kids have a chance to catch it.

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LornaHansonForbes--You remembered accurately.  I saw only two hits (maybe film was edited?).  The script is nauseating in its' attitude towards women; especially Ward Bonds' character, who keeps making snide remarks about Dietrich's morals/lack of them.  Also Alan Hales' character is supposed to be happy-go-lucky, but he comes off as a menace to society--just follow the screams (seriously, he scares a woman into screaming three times in the film; and he's supposed to be the Comedy relief!)  Schizophrenic film.

 

Dietrich is only brainless when the script requires it.  Eve Arden is also around to show a woman can have a functioning brain.

 

Maybe the film played well in the 1940's, but it sure hasn't aged well, attitudes wise.

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 I remember ABC kept advertising the coming of this film and my father and I were crazy to see it. On the night it was to be broadcast, who comes on and interrupts the thing but President Nixon. ARGH!

 

Yes, that was Nixon's famous "I am not a vampire" speech.

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Yes, that was Nixon's famous "I am not a vampire" speech.

 

There were a number of swear words going on that night.

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I just watched more of DONOVAN'S BRAIN than anyone ever should.

 

Ed Wood would be so proud.

 

Sped up, scratchy, grainy stock footage clumsily interspersed with scenes. Absolutely AWFUL acting- both in terms of line reads and even basic actions: seriously watching Lew and Nancy "struggle" with one another near the end was outright hilarious. unappealing stars, not a whit of chemistry between Ayers and Nancy Davis. Bad editing. Horrible special effects, I especially enjoyed the "thunder storm" that occurs in broad daylight at the end of the film. I REFUSE to believe the actors rehearsed any of their scenes, and I think the location scout for this thing was a manic-depressive.

 

Nancy Davis was about as warm and enticing as a swizzle stick, and slightly less gifted in the acting department.

 

Woof!

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I just watched more of DONOVAN'S BRAIN than anyone ever should.

 

Ed Wood would be so proud.

 

Sped up, scratchy, grainy stock footage clumsily interspersed with scenes. Absolutely AWFUL acting- both in terms of line reads and even basic actions: seriously watching Lew and Nancy "struggle" with one another near the end was outright hilarious. unappealing stars, not a whit of chemistry between Ayers and Nancy Davis. Bad editing. Horrible special effects, I especially enjoyed the "thunder storm" that occurs in broad daylight at the end of the film. I REFUSE to believe the actors rehearsed any of their scenes, and I think the location scout for this thing was a manic-depressive.

 

Nancy Davis was about as warm and enticing as a swizzle stick, and slightly less gifted in the acting department.

 

Woof!

 

But how about that room service?

 

Ayres books a room in a great hotel, and gets the $50-per night Donovan rate on the sixth floor.

 

Ayres: “Send up a thick steak, porterhouse, rare, charred, esparagus, hollandaise, celery hearts, crisp, olives, large ones …”

 

The food arrives in 72 seconds (yes, I timed it). Of course, he did say rare. His cigar order takes 90 seconds – but that’s because they had to send out for it.

 

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You know what could have totally saved "Donovan's Brain"?

 

A role for Tor Johnson as a lab assistant named Lobo.

 

Instant classic.

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I'm in the middle of watching THE FIFTH MUSKETEER, and I'm liking it a lot more than I expected to. Pretty good flow, great costumes, wonderful locations, Olivia de Havilland is terrific in what has proven to be a (sadly) very small part thus far, and it's always nice to see Rex Harrison.

 

And yet...

 

I don't know if I've ever seen a worse performance by an actor than Beau Bridges in this. He RUINS every single moment he is on screen.

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The Night Stalker 1972. I think this is one of the scariest vampire movies of all time. My opinion, anyway. I don't know if you could say it was a bit ahead of its time, but for a made for TV movie at 85 minutes, it's pretty spooky. A Dan Curtis production, with Robert Corbett's Dark Shadows themed score, the Las Vegas locale and creepy lighting, it makes for one great vampire movie. I remember ABC kept advertising the coming of this film and my father and I were crazy to see it. On the night it was to be broadcast, who comes on and interrupts the thing but President Nixon. ARGH!

Great flick. Hope some of you kids have a chance to catch it.

 

Fortunately, the entire Kolchak series is coming back in print on DVD, in October, but no word on MGM's disk of the original two TV-movies (along with "The Night Strangler".)

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I'm in the middle of watching THE FIFTH MUSKETEER, and I'm liking it a lot more than I expected to. Pretty good flow, great costumes, wonderful locations, Olivia de Havilland is terrific in what has proven to be a (sadly) very small part thus far, and it's always nice to see Rex Harrison.

 

And yet...

 

I don't know if I've ever seen a worse performance by an actor than Beau Bridges in this. He RUINS every single moment he is on screen.

 

I wasn't going to watch this film but I ended up watching most of it.   Yea, better than I expected (the book The Films of Olivia DeHavilland didn't have much praise for it).      Harrison was in fine form and Cornel Wilde held his own.   While Olivia didn't have much to do she did have the best line in;  'that is my son'.   

 

As for Beau Bridges;  his limitation were clear to see.   Ok,  it is difficult to play two very different parts but at least get one of them down!

 

Leo Dicaprio did a much better job in the later version of this. 

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Merry Andrew with Danny Kaye. I saw this film on TCM one Sunday morning, not expecting it. I loved it! Danny is his usual exuberant self and keeps up with the athletic dancers in the salude number. There are a couple times when one of the dancers - the guy in the yellow shirt - whacks Danny on the shoulder. I don't know if it's to give him a cue or he's giving Danny some sh*t. It's a grand number and Danny Kaye is awesome!!!!

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"Against All Flags" (1952)--Starring Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara, and Mildred Natwick.

 

Universal pirate picture has a standard script, but good action sequences, some wit, and ad-libs among the connect-the dots plot.  Film looks expensive for early 1950's Universal films.

 

Flynn acts older but wiser, and is charming but slightly sarcastic in his scenes with O'Hara.  O'Hara is gorgeous, and by now could play the role of a lady pirate in her sleep.  The two seem to be having a good time, and O'Hara is unable to keep a grin off her face when she's supposed to be angry.  Natwick is chaperone to a harem of girls on a ship taken by pirates, and gets off the best lines in the film.

 

The handsome Technicolor cinematography was by Russell Metty, best known for his work on Orson Welles' films (1958's "Touch of Evil", 1942's "The Magnificent Ambersons") and his work with Douglas Sirk's films.

 

AAF took five directors to film.  One of them was Douglas Sirk, who directed the scenes with swordplay.  

 

AAF is Flynn's last really good swashbuckler.  The charm, expertise, and wit of the cast make this an entertaining watch.  2.8/4 

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Abar (1977). A black doctor and his family move into a wealthy (ie. white) suburb of Los Angeles so he can focus on his research. Unfortunately, all his neighbors are preternatuarlly racist, in ways that make the cast of In the Heat of the Night look like pikers. So the family winds up being protected by Abar, the head of the Black Front for Unity.

 

It turns out that the doctor is working on a formula for invincibility, and after he perfects it, he administers it to Abar, who uses he newfound superpowers to make black teens go to college, black hobos drink milk instead of malt liquor(!), and black preachers ride a horse and buggy instead of a Caddy. Really.

 

The plot veers wildly, with a wacky western dream sequence and liberal use of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech punctuating things. Meanwhile, the acting ranges from pretty bad to unbelievably awful. The doctor is ridiculously wooden, while his wife resorts to over-the-top screaming.

 

And then there's the fabulous 1970s design. There probably wasn't enough of a budget for a wardrobe, so most of the people presumably wore whatever they had (thankfully, they didn't have Audrey Hepburn's Givenchy). This results in a lot of authentic 70s black fashion and some garish color schemes in the outfits. But there's even more garish color in some of the sets. The doctor's new house has lovely avocado green shag carpeting, and one room that's entirely bright red, as though it had been borrowed from Bergman's Cries and Whispers. (Because every blaxploitation movie should be compared to the Bergman œuvre.)

 

The result is an utter disaster, but one that winds up being a hell of a lot of fun.

 

1/10 if you're looking at it as a normal movie; 8/10 if you're looking for a "so bad it's good" experience.

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Re-watched "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966) starring Don Knotts (whom I love) as a newspaper typesetter named Luther Heggs, who works his way up to an actual journalist after spending a night in the town's haunted mansion that served as the scene for a murder-suicide several years before. 

The-Ghost-and-Mr-Chicken-Don-Knotts-base

 

Luther basically becomes sort of a town hero, and impresses Alma, this girl he's apparently had a crush on for ages. 

tumblr_m8ywn5hBeW1qedb29o1_500.gif

 

All in all, I'd give this film a 7/10. It was entertaining enough, Don Knotts was great, and it made me feel happy.  :)

*Co-starring Joan Staley, Liam Redmond, and Dick Sargent. 

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"The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)--Starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Una O'Connor and Ernest Thesiger.

 

Horror and parody mesh effortlessly in this James Whale gem.  Everything went right; from the opening,where Lanchester plays Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley with a gleam in her eye, and overly sweet sarcasm, to the beginning of the sequel, where Karloff is thought dead, to Lanchesters Nefertiti hair  near the end , her priceless reactions.

 

Karloff is excellent as a monster wanting a mate.  Una O'Connor is a scream as Minnie, the old biddy who is screeching to see the Monster killed, then shrieks when she spots the Monster.  She is told to shut up at least five times in the film.  Ernest Thesiger as Dr. Pretorius is a great mix of horror and humor; he robs graves, and also swigs gin out of laboratory beakers, has supper on top of a coffin, gets the Monster to have cigars with him.

 

Franz Waxmans' playful score, the cinematography and set design that are both reminiscent of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919), Everything works.  The perfect mix of horror and humor. 4/4

 

Saw on Another website.

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"Against All Flags" (1952)--Starring Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara, and Mildred Natwick.

 

AAF is Flynn's last really good swashbuckler.  The charm, expertise, and wit of the cast make this an entertaining watch.  2.8/4 

 

Have you not seen The Master of Ballantrae, film lover?

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