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Lawrence--Out of curiosity, how do you rate "Cat O' Nine Tails"?  My remark about Morricone's score isn't clear, and was meant as a compliment.  I'll fix my post.

 

I like it. I have it on DVD, and have watched it several times. All of those Italian giallo thrillers are an acquired taste. They have logic gaps, weird character motivations, moments that seem nonsensical, post-dubbed sound that throws the viewer off at times. I once read that Argento wanted his films to have a surreal tone, one step (or more) removed from reality, to give things a feel like a half-remembered nightmare. And most of the other giallos were made to imitate Argento's, so those odd stylistic choices carry over often to those films, as well.

 

In order of preference, when it comes to Argento's giallo films, and not the more overtly supernatural horror films, I place Deep Red at the top, followed by Tenebrae, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Cat O'Nine Tails, and Four Flies on Grey Velvet. That last one I've only seen once, though, so repeat viewing may raise my estimation. I gave Cat a 7/10, or a B-. But like I said, I understand that these Italian horrors, much like the spaghetti westerns and other fare, are not everyone's cup of tea. For some people the style clicks, and for others it grates. 

 

Edit: Lorna reminded me of Opera. That's another Argento giallo, and I like that one, too. It would rank behind Tenebrae for me.

Edited by LawrenceA
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I like it. I have it on DVD, and have watched it several times. All of those Italian giallo thrillers are an acquired taste. They have logic gaps, weird character motivations, moments that seem nonsensical, post-dubbed sound that throws the viewer off at times.

And really badly decorated kitchens, some of which are every bit as upsetting as the scenes of needles going through eyeballs.

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LornaHansonForbes--TCM has "Welcome Stranger" (1947) on DVD.

 

It's been shown at least twice; it has one User Review from 2010 and two from Jan. 2013.  It's overdue for another showing, if TCM is showing it every three years.

 

These movie reviews you guys are reading and posting about don't directly indicate that TCM actually aired anything (unless the posters come out and specifically say so).  Anyone can go in at any time and post a review on any movie they like, even if TCM has never shown it.  FWIW, I only have the 2013 date.  Sounds like a good one BTW.

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These movie reviews you guys are reading and posting about don't directly indicate that TCM actually aired anything (unless the posters come out and specifically say so). Anyone can go in at any time and post a review on any movie they like, even if TCM has never shown it. FWIW, I only have the 2013 date. Sounds like a good one BTW.

Thanks for the FYI.

The mystery deepens.....

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New Orleans (1947)

 

Society Girl (Dorothy Patrick) trained in classical music hears the new sound and falls in love with it. Conflict ensues with the people who think the new sound isn't proper.

 

That's the plot of the film, which has even less of a plot than, say, The Cobweb. It's also a story line that's been done over and over, with various embellishments (all those "put on a show in the barn" movies Rooney and Gumm did, or Twist Around the Clock). The embellishment here is the music of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday.

 

The story is a 4/10, not bad, but thoroughly unoriginal. The music is a 9/10.

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I just watched The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Woody Allen's homage (in beautiful color) to the black-and-white films of the 1940s. It's not very good, but it is enjoyable. Woody agrees that he miscast himself, but that, since it was his most expensive movie, he couldn't afford a lead actor. Helen Hunt and Charlize Theron give good performances, and the film is gorgeous to look at.

 

I found the Wallace Shawn character kind of strange -- he seems to come out of nowhere and knows everything. Like a necessary literary device come to life.

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not a fan of Judy Garland's singing.

 

Sure, she could act, and showed it in movies like The Clock, but that singing drives me up a wall.

 

(Also, I like to see who's paying attention.)

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"The Misfits" (1961)--Starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift.

 

For me, this John Huston film is more heartbreaking than it was meant to be, knowing Gable had a heart attack the day after filming ended, and died 10-11 days later.  Monroe died a year later.  Clift died five years later.

 

Film is set in Nevada, is grim (plot involves killing horses for dog food) and is hard to watch.  Thelma Ritter provides welcome comedy relief as she and Monroe rehearse what Monroe will say in front of the divorce court judge and Monroe forgets her lines.

 

Monroe, Clift, and Gable are all excellent--this may be Monroes' best performance.

 

A rough watch, but film should be seen at least once.  3.3/4.

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"The Misfits" (1961)--Starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift.

 

 

Film is set in Nevada, is grim (plot involves killing horses for dog food) and is hard to watch.  Thelma Ritter provides welcome comedy relief as she and Monroe rehearse what Monroe will say in front of the divorce court judge and Monroe forgets her lines.

 

Monroe, Clift, and Gable are all excellent--this may be Monroes' best performance.

 

 

Like Arthur Miller, everyone who knew Monroe wanted to make the movie that would express the "real" off-set actress, but only ended up getting the one that took fifteen takes for a scene.  

It's good watching them try, though, and I frankly prefer Monroe in her less glamorous roles (like playing a struggling NY actress in "Let's Make Love" at the same time as she was going back to the Actor's Institute), as she seems to be putting more interest into what she's doing, regardless of whether or not she can actually do it.

 

And yes, I went back and looked up more Thelma Ritter, after I could finally attach a name to Jimmy Stewart's wisecracking nurse from Rear Window.

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I'm not a fan of Judy Garland's singing.

 

Sure, she could act, and showed it in movies like The Clock, but that singing drives me up a wall.

 

(Also, I like to see who's paying attention.)

 

I have never heard anyone say that.  I love her singing and her acting 

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Like Arthur Miller, everyone who knew Monroe wanted to make the movie that would express the "real" off-set actress, but only ended up getting the one that took fifteen takes for a scene.  

It's good watching them try, though, and I frankly prefer Monroe in her less glamorous roles (like playing a struggling NY actress in "Let's Make Love" at the same time as she was going back to the Actor's Institute), as she seems to be putting more interest into what she's doing, regardless of whether or not she can actually do it.

 

And yes, I went back and looked up more Thelma Ritter, after I could finally attach a name to Jimmy Stewart's wisecracking nurse from Rear Window.

 

I've been watching Monty all day.  Some very good some not so much but some great movies overall.

 

The Search was very touching ... not the first watch but enjoyed it none the less.  That little boy was good

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After getting home from visiting my wife all day, I sat down to WILD RIVER.  I only saw it once before, and didn't pay strict attention then, so THIS time I noticed BRUCE DERN make an appearance!

 

I followed it up with RED RIVER (hmmmm...... a bit of a THEME here?)  This is another that for some reason I only saw once before.  But, THIS time, I noticed a HUGE major FLAW!!!

 

Kid actor MICKEY KUHN, who played MATT as a youngster, did a quick "gun twirl" before returning his pistol to his pocket!

 

Ruined the WHOLE MOVIE for me!!!  :P

 

 

Am now watching the flick on Svengoolie, which I mention in another thread.

 

 

Sepiatone

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As I mentioned on a couple times on a couple different threads, I've been trying to watch at least one film from each SUTS honoree.  For the honorees who I'm more familiar with (e.g. Lucille Ball), I'm watching a film that I hadn't seen before.  I've watched Edward G. Robinson, Lucille Ball and Bing Crosby so far.  I've watched some Monty Clift, but the films I watched, I'd already seen.  

 

EDWARD G. ROBINSON 

 

Five Star Final.  I watched this 1931 Pre-Code film the other day and I loved it! I love newspaper movies and this one is definitely one of the best.  Edward G. Robinson plays a newspaper editor who reluctantly agrees to print a yellow journalism story in order to boost circulation.  To accomplish this, he plans to do a retrospective on a 20-year old story involving a secretary, Nancy Voorhees, who shot and killed the man who got her pregnant, then wouldn't marry her.  Robinson hires Boris Karloff, a reporter, who is tasked with getting as much dirt on the woman as he can.  Nancy has remarried and is now a member of high society.  Her daughter is marrying and the family is worried that Nancy's past will make it out into the newspapers.  Edward G. Robinson is caught between Nancy Voorhees' request that the story be killed out of respect for herself and her family and the desires of his publishing company.  

 

This was a great film.  Robinson was excellent in his role.  I love how he speaks.  His lines are delivered with force and he has a very staccato-like delivery.  In this film, he has some very powerful scenes, such as the encounter with Nancy Voohrees and Voohrees' daughter, and the end scene.  I didn't much care for Marian Marsh, she was a little over the top in her scenes.  I thought Karloff was excellent and it was interesting to see him in a non-horror role.  I can see why he was cast as The Grinch's voice, he looks very similar to The Grinch. 

 

LUCILLE BALL

 

Beauty For the Asking.  This was an interesting B-movie.  In this film, Lucille Ball portrays a cosmetician who invents a new beauty cream.  She's engaged to Patric Knowles who ends up leaving her for the wealthier Frieda Inescort.  Eventually, Ball starts her own business with financial assistance from a wealthy female backer.  It turns out that her ex-fiancee Knowles' new wife Inescort, is the person who provides the financial assistance.  Despite the conflict of loyalties, Ball takes the money.  Knowles doesn't have a job, so Ball gives him a job in her factory.  Complications arise when Ball discovers she is still in love with Knowles and Knowles seems to forget he is married. 

 

I liked this movie.  It wasn't going to win any awards, but it was interesting and I liked that Ball's character was a strong character and not just some namby pamby woman.  Knowles bears a strong resemblance to my Errol in this film, but he still lacks that extra something that Errol had.  I especially liked the makeover scenes with Ball and Inescort and any film that shows 1930s exercise equipment and tactics (e.g. the big motorized belt) is a winner in my book.

 

BING CROSBY 

 

The Country Girl.  I've been wanting to see this film for awhile and I'm happy that I finally got to see it.  I really liked this movie.  I liked it a lot better than another Odets-written film, Golden Boy.  Anyway, in this film, Bing Crosby plays an alcoholic actor who has basically burned every bridge in town and is having trouble finding work.  Grace Kelly portrays Crosby's long-suffering wife.  William Holden portrays a theater director who puts himself and a bunch of money on the line to cast Crosby in his play.  Holden promises to watch after Crosby and do all that he can do to make sure that Crosby churns out a good performance.  When Holden meets Kelly, he gets the impression that she's controlling, cynical and bitter.  Crosby later tells Holden that Kelly used to be an alcoholic and had attempted to commit suicide in the past.  Crosby continues to give lackluster performances and Holden is convinced that Kelly's influence is responsible.

 

This was a very good film, there were only a couple parts that I didn't like.  Crosby himself was tremendous.  Had this not been released the same year as On the Waterfront, I think Crosby provided a very Oscar-worthy performance.  No doubt that he drew on his experiences living with his deceased alcoholic wife, Dixie to provide such an excellent performance depicting the highs and lows of alcoholism.  Holden was excellent in this film as well.  His chain-smoking theater director was very effective.  He also had an underlying tendency toward misogyny due to negative experiences with his ex-wife.  Crosby and Holden would confide in one another about their wives.  Crosby, knowing Holden's negative experiences, would use this information to manipulate Holden into feeling sorry for him.  Kelly's performance was also excellent.  Had I not known that that was Grace Kelly, I'm not sure if I would have recognized her. The makeup artists definitely did a good job making her look plain.  I thought she was really good, but I haven't decided if she was better than Judy Garland in A Star is Born.  

 

The part I didn't like in the film was the sudden plot twist involving Holden and Kelly's characters.  It seemed kind of random and nothing in the earlier part of the film hinted toward that type of complication.  This made me feel bad for Crosby's character and I was hoping the film would end in Crosby's favor, otherwise, Holden and Kelly's characters would be switched to villain status.  I also didn't quite understand how the title fit the story.  I realize that Kelly states that she's just a girl from the country. However, her character is not the central character of the story, so I'm not sure why the film is named after her.

 

This was an excellent film and I wouldn't mind watching it a second time.  This is also the film that William Holden is promoting in his appearance on I Love Lucy in the episode "L.A. at Last!" (aka "Hollywood at Last!").

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...And yes, I went back and looked up more Thelma Ritter, after I could finally attach a name to Jimmy Stewart's wisecracking nurse from Rear Window.

 

Hey Eric. Do yourself a favor and check out Thelma in director Sam Fuller's 1953 film PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. She's excellent and almost steals the whole movie in this supporting role as a small time crook and police informant, and for which she received one of her six in total Oscar nominations.

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In a departure from my SUTS viewing, the other night I watched the 1941 remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner.

 

The good: Ingrid, Lana and Donald Crisp.  I thought these three were the best part of the film.  Ingrid did a great job playing against type as the barmaid who unfortunately catches the eye of Mr. Hyde.  I also liked Lana, also cast against type, as the good girl who is in love with Dr. Jekyll.  I also liked Crisp, who played Lana's father.  He has a very calming and soothing voice which is a nice change of pace from Spencer Tracy's two faced character.  I also liked the bizarre montage that would appear when Dr. Jekyll was drinking his elixir.  

 

The bad: Spencer Tracy.  He was too over the top and too hammy.  It just didn't work for me.  His Mr. Hyde makeup made me laugh.  It reminded me of Danny DeVito's "The Penguin" character in Batman Returns.   

 

Let's just say that I started watching this film and toward the last third or so of the film, my attentions had drifted to watching things on You Tube.  

 

I thought this movie was boring.

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In a departure from my SUTS viewing, the other night I watched the 1941 remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner.

 

I thought this movie was boring.

 

 

IT REALLY IS.

 

The Froderic March version is much better- honestly I think Tracy was a real life Jekyll/Hyde, and his trying to one-up March by redoing his Oscar winning role went down in flames, but as a nasty backstory: MGM bought as many negatives of the March version from Paramount and destroyed them. it almost ended up being lost forever!

 

I also hate the sea of diahrrea during the 1941 transition scenes and the awful Bergman/Turner as Horses imagery.

 

Victor Fleming may have had some issues with women....

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"Four Frightened People" (1934)--Starring Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, and William Gargan, directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

 

This Pre-Code movie ( it was released in early 1934) ends up as a  parody of jungle films, thanks to its' not deciding if it's a drama,romance, adventure film,  or comedy.  The mix of acting approaches makes the film funnier.  Boland plays her part for comedy after the opening minutes, Marshall and Colbert play their parts for high drama, and Gargan plays his part straight faced.

 

The plot; the four are passengers on a Malay bound steamer, and bubonic plague breaks out among the crew.  The passengers panic and commandeer a lifeboat so they don't catch the disease.  They make it to an island, but have to go through a jungle  to make it to civilization.

 

There are numerous bits of insanity in this film.  Colbert breaks her glasses and becomes beautiful; the Four play bridge after a hard days' hike; Boland carries a little dog (Pekinese?) throughout the film; Marshall gets a Native spear right in the spine, and there's not only no blood, he also recovers in ten minutes time.

 

DeMille has the bath scene under a waterfall this time; a monkey steals Colberts' clothes, and she makes clothes out of tree leaves.

 

Boland is hysterical, whatever she does.  Marshall lets loose with sarcastic one liners.  Colbert is too serious, and Gargan is just annoying.

 

A very funny film after the first ten minutes, whether it was meant to be funny or not.  3/4.

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"Four Frightened People" (1934)--Starring Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, and William Gargan, directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

 

 

I like this odd ball comedy-drama, too, film lover, the last non spectacle of DeMille's career. I think that special mention should also be made to Herbert Marshall's physicality here, traipsing around the jungle and still disguising the fact he has a wooden leg.

 

FourFrightenedPeople1.jpg

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