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Last night I watched CAROL CHANNING LARGER THAN LIFE, a 2012 documentary on the legendary actress & entertainer. What a contrast to the Leonard Nimoy doc I saw previously- this one was perfection!

 

There were several scenes illustrating her stage talent past & present, she certainly seems ageless. Several scenes showed her in rehearsal for a special appearance, so you got to see how incredibly sharp & professional she is, still at 90 years old!

 

The filmmaker covered all aspects of Channing's life and career- her dedication to her craft, her personal life, her humanitarian & cultural arts work...shown by her example and by interviewing people she worked with. Some of the personal observations of others were incredibly heartfelt. Her chorus "boys" told many cute anecdotes about being on the road with her and how every single one of them treasured the experience of working with her. Some came out of retirement to dance with her on stage for her most recent honors. (it was fun seeing dancers with little pot bellys)

 

This documentary was perfectly edited so there was never a dull moment, or even confusion about whether you were seeing the past or present, since it switched back & forth quite a bit. It was lovely seeing Channing out of costume & charactor on old talk shows, she truly is a loving and giving personality.

She comes across as ditzsy, but she is actually highly intelligent with a mind like a steel trap. You can see this by how she picks up difficult choreography and direction FIRST TRY. At 90 years old!

 

While everyone knows Carol Channing is a force on Broadway, a long enduring entertainer and complete professional, I gained a much larger appreciation of how wonderful a human being she is, how much she actually has contributed to our society & culture by her work.

 

The film was directed by Dori Berinstein, whose name I recognised from other excellent documentaries-great job!

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I always found Channing to be a bit annoying.  But surely, It'd be foolish of me to assert that it means I don't think she was talented.  Just not my "cuppa" as some would say.

 

"She certainly seems ageless" kind of tickled me because I remember reading a bit in one of local "show biz" columnist SHIRLEY EDER's columns that Channing, when Eder tried to nail her down on just what her age WAS,  claimed to belong to some obscure religious faith that according to their doctrine, it was AGAINST HER RELIGION to reveal her true age!  :rolleyes:

 

I remember also reading in one of GEORGE BURNS books that after Gracie died, his first attempted replacement of her was Ms. Channing.

 

 

Sepiatone

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The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973) Made for TV movie

 

William Shatner, Chuck Connors, Russell Johnson

 

I don’t remember the last time I saw this movie. For all I know it could have been in 1973. Nah. I know I’ve seen it more’n once. But anyway, after watching Gargoyles last week, I couldn’t pass up Horror at 37,000 Feet.

The plane is clearly a model. I was shocked that I couldn’t see any strings on it. I thought it was ascending pretty steep on takeoff and later when they’re attempting to catch the rising sun on the rim of the Earth. But, what do I know? (Chuck Connors’ – “What is this rim of the Earth jazz?”)

I’m a William Shatner fan from way back and I thought he put in a pretty solid performance here. Not too hammy as he usually is.

The special effects are pretty much okay for a TV movie. I enjoyed it. I had fun watching it again.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914) youtube

 

uncle%20toms%20cabin_zpsnspsazf5.png

 

Fairly good adaptation of the novel, which benefits greatly from the casting of black stage actor Sam Lucas as Uncle Tom. Lucas shows restraint in his performance, just as Tom showed restraint in the novel. There are some histrionics from the other cast members, but this is about what you’d expect for a silent film.  Marie Eline, playing “Eva,” the white child who befriends Tom, does a nice job. However, Boots Walls, as the black child “Topsy,” looks ridiculous, not only in blackface but in wardrobe. There is one scene near the end which mars the film. A slave, whom Tom had refused to whip, hides in the bushes and guns down Simon Legree. This does not happen in the novel, and also undercuts Tom’s philosophy of not taking revenge on his enemies.

 

The print on youtube is passable, and runs about 48 minutes.

 

Lucas played the role in several stage productions several years before making this film. Harriet Beecher Stowe saw one of his performances, and wrote to Lucas’ manager, saying that Lucas came closest to her idea of Tom than any other actor she had seen. On having white actors play the role, Lucas once said “The trouble with most white actors is that they play Uncle Tom like they would play Hamlet or King Richard. They make him straighten himself up … and say at the top of his voice “You may kill me if you like! But I won’t do this thing! No! Never!” Slaves didn’t talk that way to their marster, shoutin’ defiance and proclaimin’ what they wouldn’t do.”*

 

*The New York Sun, October 22, 1911

 

 

 

Marie Eline with Sam Lucas:

 

uncle%20tom%20and%20eva_zpsoa0hxpiw.png

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A Window in London (1940) Michael Redgrave, Patricia Roc, Paul

Lukas, Sally Gray. English film with a few zigs and zags. Starts off as

a "love on the dole" flick, though these two newlyweds are employed.

Redgrave works the day shift as a crane operator on the Waterloo

Bridge project and Roc works the graveyard shift as a hotel telephone

operator. Due to their schedules they don't have much time to see

each other. Then it turns into a suspense movie when Redgrave sees

what appears to be a murder while he is riding on the train to work.

After some investigation, it turns out he saw Lukas, as the magician

Zoltini, practicing a knife trick with his wife, the very lovely Sally Gray.

Lukas is the very jealous type, so he thinks that Redgrave is coming

onto Gray, which he is, though in a minor way. Gray is tired of hubby's

jealously, so he leaves him and finds Redgrave. They engage in a

little smooching, but that's about it. Redgrave returns to his wife and

Gray returns to her husband and it looks as if things will work out

for both couples. Then Lukas finds some money and a airplane ticket

in Gray's purse, both of which are gifts from their manager. As expected,

the old boy blows his top and shoots Gray dead. All this occurs just

as Redgrave and Roc are riding in the train and go past the window

of the other couple. Now, isn't life strange. Sally Gray is a very lovely

lass and one wonders why she is married to Lukas, who is old enough

to be her pappy. A workmanlike film, and you wonder what Hitch could

have done with it. He surely would have improved it and given it more

life. Released in the U.S. in 1942 under the title Lady in Distress.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914) youtube

There is one scene near the end which mars the film. A slave, whom Tom had refused to whip, hides in the bushes and guns down Simon Legree. This does not happen in the novel, and also undercuts Tom’s philosophy of not taking revenge on his enemies.

 

That's one point that's always made about the symbolic cultural demonization of Cabin:

Even though "Uncle Tom" became the over-symbolized 60's codeword for willing black subjugation to the Man, the whole plot point of the story is that Tom dies rebelliously refusing to take his white-owners' side.

 

The property's so dated/loaded, it'll probably never see an actual text-faithful adaptation (think there was one for 90's cable, I remember Danny Glover doing something with it), but it needs a closer look for those who've never bothered to read the darn thing.  Don't think I have, either, come to that.

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A Window in London (1940) Michael Redgrave, Patricia Roc, Paul

Lukas, Sally Gray.

 

I watched this film a few weeks ago and found it quite enjoyable. Sally Gray was a striking beauty who spent most of her film career in England. The film's ending is suitably ironic.

 

It was interesting that its main protagonist is happily married (relatively), has a brief fling and doesn't pay a morality code price for it.

 

A suggestion, Vautrin, on future reviews. You might consider using the words SPOILER ALERT if you want to give away so much of the story, particularly the ending.

 

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I watched this film a few weeks ago and found it quite enjoyable. Sally Gray was a striking beauty who spent most of her film career in England. The film's ending is suitably ironic.

 

It was interesting that its main protagonist is happily married (relatively), has a brief fling and doesn't pay a morality code price for it.

 

A suggestion, Vautrin, on future reviews. You might consider using the words SPOILER ALERT if you want to give away so much of the story, particularly the ending.

 

Yes, Sally was very attractive, no doubt about that. I felt sorry that

she was married to a jerk like Lukas. I don't recall if it was made

clear exactly how far her relationship with Redgrave went. Perhaps

it wasn't far enough to make it worthy of punishment, at least in a film

of that time. I can see the ending in two different ways--a conclusion of

great irony or a little on the gimmicky side. Whichever way one does

see it, it's a fairly engaging movie. I forgot about giving a spoiler alert.

I'll try to remember to do so in the future.

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A Window in London (1940) Michael Redgrave, Patricia Roc, Paul

Lukas, Sally Gray. English film with a few zigs and zags. Starts off as

a "love on the dole" flick, though these two newlyweds are employed.

Redgrave works the day shift as a crane operator on the Waterloo

Bridge project and Roc works the graveyard shift as a hotel telephone

operator. Due to their schedules they don't have much time to see

each other. Then it turns into a suspense movie when Redgrave sees

what appears to be a murder while he is riding on the train to work.

After some investigation, it turns out he saw Lukas, as the magician

Zoltini, practicing a knife trick with his wife, the very lovely Sally Gray.

Lukas is the very jealous type, so he thinks that Redgrave is coming

onto Gray, which he is, though in a minor way. Gray is tired of hubby's

jealously, so he leaves him and finds Redgrave. They engage in a

little smooching, but that's about it. Redgrave returns to his wife and

Gray returns to her husband and it looks as if things will work out

for both couples. Then Lukas finds some money and a airplane ticket

in Gray's purse, both of which are gifts from their manager. As expected,

the old boy blows his top and shoots Gray dead. All this occurs just

as Redgrave and Roc are riding in the train and go past the window

of the other couple. Now, isn't life strange. Sally Gray is a very lovely

lass and one wonders why she is married to Lukas, who is old enough

to be her pappy. A workmanlike film, and you wonder what Hitch could

have done with it. He surely would have improved it and given it more

life. Released in the U.S. in 1942 under the title Lady in Distress.

Really good and suspenseful. Like all of the principal characters. Sally Gray is

always lovely. I have a PAL copy from a European friend and re=watched last night.

Very scary! Yes, I think Hitchcock would have done well there too.

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Really good and suspenseful. Like all of the principal characters. Sally Gray is

always lovely. I have a PAL copy from a European friend and re=watched last night.

Very scary! Yes, I think Hitchcock would have done well there too.

 

For those not familiar with her, here's a shot of the exquisite Sally Gray from A Window in London

 

16907110528_ab5869a7e1_b.jpg

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Really good and suspenseful. Like all of the principal characters. Sally Gray is

always lovely. I have a PAL copy from a European friend and re=watched last night.

Very scary! Yes, I think Hitchcock would have done well there too.

I think I didn't like it quite as much as you did, but it was fairly

entertaining and the London scenes were interesting to look

at. Sally Gray was certainly lovely. I can understand why Paul

Lukas was jealous.

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For those not familiar with her, here's a shot of the exquisite Sally Gray from A Window in London

 

16907110528_ab5869a7e1_b.jpg

 

 

Wasnt she in a Saint or Falcon movie??

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Wasnt she in a Saint or Falcon movie??

 

Yes. The Saint in London, which occasionally comes on TCM.

 

You may also recognize Sally Gray for her appearance in Green for Danger, a superior British suspenser which has also been on TCM.

 

sally-gray-trevor-howard-green-for-dange

 

Sadly, the voluptuous Sally suffered a nervous breakdown during the war years, but had a film comeback in 1946. Her last film was in 1952, whereupon she retired from the film business. Shortly prior to retirement she had married an Anglo Irish baron, settling into a new life in Ireland. She later returned to London. They were married for 52 years until his death at age 100. Sally followed him four years later, in her 91st year in 2006.

 

olive.jpg

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"It Came From Beneath The Sea" (1955) Movie is fair...anyone working on something from Fukushima?

 

came-from-beneath-the-sea1.jpg

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I'm watching, "The Whistler," series this morning.  I'm reminded of "The Twilight Zone," with it's weird stories and ironic endings.  Each one begins with the narrator, the whistler, who we only see in silhouette, saying something that reminds me of "The Shadow," opening.  Richard Dix plays the lead, a different character  in all of them.  I find him old, slightly cross-eyed and very unattractive, but  all the beautiful, young women fall for him the minute they meet him and invite him home to sleep on the sofa, drive off in cars with him in cars with him, and sometimes marry him almost immediately.  I can't quit watching though.

The opening:

I...am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes... I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak!

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I only watched  half of "The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues".  Couldn't bear the script  that was lame as the latex monster that looks like a mutated Barney the Dinosaur.

 

I love you, you love me...

PhantomOf10000Leagues1.jpg

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I only watched  half of "The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues".  Couldn't bear the script  that was lame as the latex monster that looks like a mutated Barney the Dinosaur.

 

I love you, you love me...

PhantomOf10000Leagues1.jpg

This is just a bad film. Kent Taylor says his name is Ted Baxter (no relation to the pompous anchorman). Then, he claims his name is Ted Stevens (no relation to the disgraced Alaska senator). Fortunately, the film ends before he claims his name is Ted Bundy.

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This is just a bad film. Kent Taylor says his name is Ted Baxter (no relation to the pompous anchorman). Then, he claims his name is Ted Stevens (no relation to the disgraced Alaska senator). Fortunately, the film ends before he claims his name is Ted Bundy.

 

Another thing laughable was one of the movie posters.  Horrifying???  :lol:

 

1955-the-phantom-from-10000-leagues-004-

 

 

One bit of interesting trivia, Alfred and Norma Hanson, experienced salvage divers were involved in the movie.  Alfred was the consultant and Norma played the monster.

 

1955-the-phantom-from-10000-leagues-035-

 

 

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While everyone knows Carol Channing is a force on Broadway, a long enduring entertainer and complete professional, I gained a much larger appreciation of how wonderful a human being she is, how much she actually has contributed to our society & culture by her work.

Going back to Carol Channing, I found it quite interesting how she was in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway on and off for roughly 30 years or so. She did the original Broadway production in 1964, then did the revival with Eddie Bracken in 1978, and then did yet ANOTHER revival in 1995. So, essentially, 30 years. Ms. Channing really must have loved this role. I remember reading somewhere that both Mary Martin and Ethel Merman declined the role when it was initially offered to them, but they did get a chance to play the role as some of the many star replacements during the run (Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable come to mind).

 

I'll have to give this documentary a go :)

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I'm watching, "The Whistler," series this morning.  I'm reminded of "The Twilight Zone," with it's weird stories and ironic endings.  Each one begins with the narrator, the whistler, who we only see in silhouette, saying something that reminds me of "The Shadow," opening. 

The opening:

I...am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes... I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak!

 

I'd never heard of the show until Jack Benny's deliberately overacted "Iiiiii...am the FIDDLER!" in a couple of memorable parodies on his radio show:

(Although with Benny's show, listening to the whole episode may be necessary for running gags.)

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The Strangler (1964) Serial Killer Noir

 

the-strangler-movie-poster-1964.jpg

 

Leo Kroll (Victor Buono), is a mama's boy who absolutely hates his nagging domineering mother (Corby). Leo has got a serious schoolboy crush on the Odeon Fun Palace arcade ring toss gal Tally (Raymond). He spends his days working as a mild mannered lab tech and most of his nights (when he can't get away to the arcade) at his mother's Park View Hospital bedside. Leo murders nurses (because they keep his mother alive) and collects dolls which he uses as sort of trophy tchotchkes for each of his kills. His usual m.o. is to follow his targets home, break into their apartments and strangle them from behind with their own nylon stockings. He then composes their bodies into a restful pose.

 

Burt Topper and cinematographer Jacques R. Marquette display a bit of style, one shot at the beginning of the film is from the POV of the peeping Leo, we see a woman victim undressing through the pupil of his eye, and then not a whole lot else at that level that quite approaches the first six minutes. Too bad, it was a promising start, this film could have used a lot more of the same. I viewed the Sinister Cinema DVD, there is also a Warner's release available with hopefully a better restoration. It would be worth checking out. As is it's about a 6.5-7/10.

 

Full review with more screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster thread.

 

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"Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" (1991)--Starring the title creatures.

 

This is the third movie in the second series of Godzilla films.

 

Plot summary; Evil intergalactic aliens from the year 2204  come to Tokyo.  They wish to make Godzilla a non-factor in Japans' future.  Naturally, they say otherwise to Tokyo's government, which does what they can to help the aliens.  Three chosen Tokyo citizens help the aliens.  They go to Lagos Island in 1944.  Godzilla was just the last surviving plesiosaur then, defending his island, as he wiped out a troop of WW II American soldiers, and spared the Japanese troops stationed on that island.  Then, in 1954, an atomic bomb hit Godzilla on nearby Bikini Atoll, and changed him into radioactive Godzilla.  That brings us back to 1991, when the terrible two go after various cities and each other.  Who will win, and what will the next sequel offer?

 

The good; special effects are notably better than usual, and the two monsters dominate the last hour of the film.

 

The bad--The time travel plot had me rolling my eyes in disbelief; "Space: 1999" was more believable handling time travel.  Film takes too long to get moving, and plot is predictable.

 

Still, special effects make this worth the watch.  2.7/4.

 

Source--archive.org.

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Bedazzled (1967).

 

Dudley Moore plays Stanley, who flips burgers at a Wimpy Bar in London for waitress Margaret (Eleanor Bron) to serve to patrons. Stanley is in love with Margaret, but too timid to tell her, and she doesn't realize it. Stuck in a dead-end life, Stanley decides to commit suicide.

 

Obviously he fails, and into his life comes George (Peter Cook). George is actually the Devil, and eventually makes Stanley an offer: Stanley can have seven wishes, but the Devil gets Stanley's soul at the end. Unsurprisingly, Stanley keeps wishing to have the perfect love relationship with Margaret.

 

I say he keeps wishing for it because every time he wishes, George fulfills the wish only insofar as Stanley has made it specific. George, being the Devil, is more than willing to take the parts Stanley has made open to interpretation and executes those in a way that would make Stanley's life profoundly unhappy.

 

But as you might expect from Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, this is a comedy, and for the most part a good one. Cook is a charming devil, to the point that we sympathize with both Stanley and him by the end. Raquel Welch plays Lust, one of the Devil's subordinates.

 

8/10. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be out of print everywhere on DVD, and I think it never even got a DVD release in the US.

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Going back to Carol Channing, I found it quite interesting how she was in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway on and off for roughly 30 years or so. She did the original Broadway production in 1964, then did the revival with Eddie Bracken in 1978, and then did yet ANOTHER revival in 1995. So, essentially, 30 years. Ms. Channing really must have loved this role. I remember reading somewhere that both Mary Martin and Ethel Merman declined the role when it was initially offered to them, but they did get a chance to play the role as some of the many star replacements during the run (Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable come to mind).

 

I'll have to give this documentary a go :)

The Forbidden Broadway parody of "Hello, Dolly" has the cast begging, "No, no, Carol, oh no, no, Carol" begging her not to play Dolly again, but she assures them, "Either it's that or Lorelei!"

 

There were not a great many roles appropriate to her unique talent, so it's not surprising she made the most of the opportunity.

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The Forbidden Broadway parody of "Hello, Dolly" has the cast begging, "No, no, Carol, oh no, no, Carol" begging her not to play Dolly again, but she assures them, "Either it's that or Lorelei!"

 

There were not a great many roles appropriate to her unique talent, so it's not surprising she made the most of the opportunity.

Wow! I'm fairly surprised someone else knows what Forbidden Broadway is. It's one of my all-time favorite things. I know exactly the song you're talking about :)

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