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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Street Without End (1934) - Silent Japanese melodrama from Shochiku and director Mikio Naruse. Sugiko (Setsuko Shinobu) is a young waitress with a bright future. The day after her boyfriend proposes marriage, she's also offered a contract with a film studio to become a movie star. These wonderful options are both lost when she's accidentally hit by a car. The vehicle belongs to rich guy Hiroshi (Hikaru Yamanouchi), and he feels personally responsible, even if it was his chauffeur driving. He makes sure that Sugiko gets all the medical care she needs, while also falling in love with her, but his status-conscious mother and sister disapprove. Also featuring Akio Isono, Nobuko Wakaba, Ayako Katsuragi, Shin'ichi Himori, Chiyoko Katori, Ichiro Yuki, Yukiko Inoue, and Takeshi Sakamoto.

This fits firmly in the "women's picture" weepie genre that Naruse specialized in during the sound era (this would be his final silent film). Shinobu is good as the pure-at-heart Sugiko who gets driven to the emotional edge through no fault of her own. There's a subplot about Sugiko's former roommate becoming a film star, and her relationship with a struggling artist, that doesn't really add to the proceedings, and the film could have been tightened up with its omission. There are a few clever filming tricks used, such as a car crash being depicted not by the vehicle being shown wrecked, but rather having the personal effects of the car's occupants shown falling down a cliff in close-up.   (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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Thanks for posting.  Sorry I missed this one.  It sounds very appealing on different levels.

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

The film is OK as you note.   One thing is that Liz doesn't give a very convincing performance.   E.g.  in scenes where she is angry she comes off as 'Ok,  director,  is that how you want me to do angry?'.    What makes all of this stand out even more is the very solid performance of Eva Marie Saint.

Yes, Eva Marie Saint seemed more convncing in her role than Liz did.  Liz is more convincing in other roles like National Velvet and Elephant Walk.  She was also more convincing as a child in Jane Eyre.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) - Director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn follows up the hit 2014 first film with more satirical spy action hijinks, from Fox. Taron Egerton stars as "Eggsy" aka Agent Galahad of the Kingsman Secret Service, a clandestine British intelligence group. After the Kingsman organization is decimated by a surprise attack, Eggsy and tech wiz Merlin (Mark Strong) head to the US to connect with the Statesman group, their American counterparts. Together they must find and defeat the Golden Circle, an international drug cartel headed by the chipper Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore). Also featuring Colin Firth, Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alstrom, Poppy Delevingne, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, Thomas Turgoose, and Elton John.

While not rising to the high-spirited, manic fun of the first film, this is still worth a look for fans of fast-paced, comedic action films that don't take themselves seriously in the least. In many ways the plot and the villains are a rehash of the prior film, and while the Statesman characters have possibilities, they aren't fleshed out enough. The return of one character that very clearly died in the first film is something I won't go into, although the advertising made no attempt to hide his return. Elton John, as himself, has fun with his role as the unwilling prisoner of Moore's drug lord who's forced to perform his greatest hits on command. This film's centerpiece action sequence, set to John's "Saturday's Alright for Fighting", is well done, but fails to match the first film's Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird" bloodbath.   (7/10)

Source: Fox Blu-Ray.

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Tomorrow's Children (1934) - Outrageous exploitation film from producer Brian Foy (of the Seven Little Foys) and director Crane Wilbur. Nice girl Alice (Diane Sinclair) works hard to support her large family, consisting of variously infirm brothers and sisters and deadbeat drunk parents. She's finally going to find happiness, though, as she's set to marry her beau Jim Baker (Carlyle Moore Jr.). Unfortunately, after Ma's latest baby is stillborn, the state authorities move in and declare that everyone in the family should be sterilized to clean up society's gene pool! Kind Doctor Brooks (Donald Douglas) thinks that Alice should be saved from such a fate, but it's a race against time as the judge on the case has ordered that surgery commence within days. Also featuring Sterling Holloway, John Preston, W. Messenger Bellis, Hyram A. Hoover, and Lewis Gambart.

The thinking behind the film is a bit uncertain. While forced sterilization is shown largely in a negative light, it's only because mistakes could be made. If these errors could be rectified, one gets the feeling that the filmmakers don't think eugenics is such a bad thing, after all. Class corruption is also illustrated when a clearly deranged sex maniac is saved from the procedure because the young man is a senator's son.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

tomorrowschildren.jpg

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Tomorrow's Children (1934) - Outrageous exploitation film from producer Brian Foy (of the Seven Little Foys) and director Crane Wilbur. Nice girl Alice (Diane Sinclair) works hard to support her large family, consisting of variously infirm brothers and sisters and deadbeat drunk parents. She's finally going to find happiness, though, as she's set to marry her beau Jim Baker (Carlyle Moore Jr.). Unfortunately, after Ma's latest baby is stillborn, the state authorities move in and declare that everyone in the family should be sterilized to clean up society's gene pool! Kind Doctor Brooks (Donald Douglas) thinks that Alice should be saved from such a fate, but it's a race against time as the judge on the case has ordered that surgery commence within days. Also featuring Sterling Holloway, John Preston, W. Messenger Bellis, Hyram A. Hoover, and Lewis Gambart.

The thinking behind the film is a bit uncertain. While forced sterilization is shown largely in a negative light, it's only because mistakes could be made. If these errors could be rectified, one gets the feeling that the filmmakers don't think eugenics is such a bad thing, after all. Class corruption is also illustrated when a clearly deranged sex maniac is saved from the procedure because the young man is a senator's son.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

tomorrowschildren.jpg

The exploitation posters are so funny (especially the old ones from the 1930s-1940s). 

"Must they suffer for the sins of their parents?" 

Of course, per usual for these types of films, the man on the poster is fully dressed and the woman's dress is falling off. 

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Treasure Island (1934) - Pirate adventure tale for the whole family, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's book, from MGM and director Victor Fleming. Jackie Cooper stars as Jim Hawkins, a boy working in his mother's seaside inn. One night a crusty old sea dog named Billy Bones (Lionel Barrymore) arrives with a large chest which he zealously guards. When circumstances lead to it being opened, a treasure map is inside, which inspires Squire Trelawney (Nigel Bruce) to sponsor a sea voyage to look for the hidden booty. Jim goes along for the journey, and befriends a one-legged sea veteran named Long John Silver (Wallace Beery) who may turn out to be more than just a ship's cook. Also featuring Lewis Stone, Otto Kruger, Douglass Dumbrille, "Chic" Sale, William V. Mong, Charles McNaughton, Edmund Breese, Dorothy Peterson, Cora Sue Collins, and Bruce Bennett.

I read Stevenson's book as a kid, but I never watched any of the many film adaptations until fairly recently, when I watched the 1990 TV movie version starring a young Christian Bale as Jim and Charlton Heston as Long John Silver. This MGM version manages to do more in less time, and I liked Beery in the Silver role much more than Heston. Cooper, on the other hand, gives an awful "movie-kid" performance that pulled me out of the story with almost every line he uttered. I tend to be overly harsh on kids in movies (I'm not a fan), so letting that slide, this is an enjoyable adventure tale with excellent costumes and settings. This was a big hit, and helped spur a boom in nautical films and other period adventure movies, such as the following year's Captain Blood and Mutiny on the Bounty.   (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

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38 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Treasure Island (1934)

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I like Beery the most when he plays a rogue. Even though some sentiment sneaks into his characterization at the end this is one of his more enjoyable performances, in my opinion.

MGM was doing a number of literary adaptions around this time (Mutiny on the Bounty, Tale of Two Cities, Anna Karenina, David Copperfield) and Treasure Island is certainly a respectable presentation of Stevenson. I get a kick out of Chic Sale as a constantly scratching half crazy Ben Gunn. I'm generally indifferent to Cooper but I guess I liked his performance more than you did, Lawrence, with his scenes with Beery among the best in the film (thanks to Beery).

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Well I just watched Casablanca (for the umpteenth time) and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

First, Casablanca is my all time favorite film. I never get tired of watching it. Bogart is wonderful, Ingrid Bergman is gorgeous, and the supporting cast is perfect. What  would I give to walk into Rick's on a warm night and have Karl or Sasha serve me a glass of the "good" brandy while listening to Sam play and sing.

Second, I'm just now becoming familiar with John Garfield's work. The Postman has to be one of his best. So far I've seen this film and Breaking Point. I'm really looking forward to seeing his other films. Also, what can one say about Lana Turner that hasn't already been said. She had me when she dropped the lipstick in her first scene.

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14 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

Well I just watched Casablanca (for the umpteenth time) and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

First, Casablanca is my all time favorite film. I never get tired of watching it. Bogart is wonderful, Ingrid Bergman is gorgeous, and the supporting cast is perfect. What  would I give to walk into Rick's on a warm night and have Karl or Sasha serve me a glass of the "good" brandy while listening to Sam play and sing.

Second, I'm just now becoming familiar with John Garfield's work. The Postman has to be one of his best. So far I've seen this film and Breaking Point. I'm really looking forward to seeing his other films. Also, what can one say about Lana Turner that hasn't already been said. She had me when she dropped the lipstick in her first scene.

I watched Casablanca again recently.  It is in my top ten films!  Bogart was intriguing, Ingrid gorgeous, and  all the others were wonderfully picked for cast.  Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, etc. were great too.  Sam was great to listen to with his intriguing singing and playing.

Yes, John Garfield was an underrated actor.  When you have seen more of his films, you will see what I mean.  Postman is his best and Breaking Point was good too.  And then we have more masterpieces along the way.  There is a sad and dangerous wartime story where he risks his life for a beautiful girl who is in danger. I liked Gentleman's Agreement as well that stars Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire.   And regarding Lana, she was wonderful in Postman (with Garfield) and several other films, like Madame X and Portrait in Black.  In addition to her beauty, one really believes in the story when seeing her on screen.  She radiates a sincerity and appeal.

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"The Bishop's Wife".  I still can't decide whether I like this film all that much or not.  I know it's usually at the top of many people's lists among Christmas-themed movies.  The acting is alright by Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley, Gladys Cooper, James Gleason, and Elsa Lanchester.  Maybe the cynicism of some of the characters was a turn-off, but I guess it shows how timeless that trait is in people.  People today are just as greedy and needy for attention as they were in 1947!  All in all, it is a subtle picture for the holidays; not much of the dialog or acting is over the top.

I think what bothered me most about the bishop (David Niven) and his wife (Loretta Young) was the lifestyle they led.  They had an ostentatious house, though not as imposing or gorgeous as the one Gladys Cooper lived in, and they couldn't seem to do anything for themselves.  I mean, they had a housekeeper, a cook, and a secretary in their employ.  They also had a single child (a daughter), and while they obviously loved her, the kid never ate a meal in the dining room with them.

The sermon given by the bishop at the end of the film was great and offered the message of hope for mankind that is commonly heard by many people at this time of year.

This was a very good print of this movie.  Other stations that I've watched "The Bishop's Wife" on are rather muddy, with dialog to match, and maybe that's another reason I've not really enjoyed watching it in the past.

Ben Mankiewicz's comments after "The Bishop's Wife" were absolutely priceless, and totally worth watching this film all the way through, which I had not done for many, many years.

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Yesterday on METV (which my cable company,  just started to broadcast),   I was watching Wagon Train with Robert Horton and Ward Bond.    The ending was interesting.   The group (Bond as head master and his men) were being held hostage.   Well Bond ends up getting one rifle and two knives.   The bad guys (who outnumber Bond and his men by about two-to-one),  are very well armed with rifles and 6-shooters.    

Well Bond and his men surprise the bad guys with the two men with the knives each sticking a bad guy right in the heart while Bond starts shooting the other bad guys in the back.    No warning,  no 'hey drop your guns' crap,  but just taking out the bad guys.    All of the bad guys appear to be dead after this scene. 

I really like how realistic this ending is.     No silly scene where the guys with the knives feel they need to say 'drop your guns' or just wounding them,  but instead killing them instantly without warning.

 

 

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An Inn in Tokyo (1935) - Silent Japanese drama, although with a synchronized score, from Shochiku and director Yasujiro Ozu. Kihachi (Takeshi Sakamoto) is out of work, broke and homeless. This is especially tough since he's also the single father of two young sons, Zenko (Tokkan Kozo) and Masako (Takayuki Suematsu). The three of them spend their days wandering from one hulking factory to another, the father begging for work but never finding it, as their meager savings dwindle and hunger grows. A chance meeting with an equally desperate single mother (Yoshiko Okada) and daughter (Kazuko Ojima) sets the stage for emotional redemption and heartbreak. Also featuring Choko Iida, and Chishu Ryu.

Ozu continues to refine his style while also touching on recurring themes from his past films, including the actions of desperate parents, how acts of gentle compassion can change lives, and the world seen through children's eyes. The repeated background imagery of looming factory works and smokestacks belching black smoke into the air help to increase the feeling of a dehumanized world that the characters are trapped in. Shochiku studios regular Sakamoto shines in a rare lead role (he usually plays goofy minor roles or comic relief), and both Okada and Iida bring strong yet subtle emotional work. Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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Night Life of the Gods (1935) - Weird fantasy/comedy from Universal Pictures and director Lowell Sherman, based on the book by Thorne Smith. Alan Mowbray stars as Hunter Hawk, a rich eccentric scientist and inventor who creates a raygun that can turn people into statues. After freezing various annoyances in his life, he and his gal-pal Meg (Florine McKinney) decide to use the ray on some statues of Greek and Roman gods in a museum. Miraculously, it brings them to life, and they commence to wreck havoc in the modern world. Also featuring Peggy Shannon, Richard Carle, Theresa Maxwell Conover, Phillips Smalley, Wesley Barry, Gilbert Emery, William "Stage" Boyd, Robert Warwick, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Henry Armetta, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Pat DiCicco, George Hassell, Irene Ware, Ann Doran, and Marda Deering.

The laughs are few and far between, with most of the humor based on people talking very loudly. The "gods" are an odd assortment of performers, from venerable actors like Hassell and Warwick as Bacchus and Neptune, to stuntman and future B-movie regular Corrigan as Apollo, and Hollywood agent and scandal subject DiCicco as Perseus. This rarity was thought lost for decades. The copy I watched on YouTube was very poor quality. This was Sherman's final completed film, and he died before its release.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube.

night-life-gods1.jpg

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Just now, hamradio said:

"Despicable Me 3" (2017) on pay per view.  Disappointed - was hoping it would equal the 1st. :(

Plot about the former child star using bubble gum as a weapon is idiotic!

first-trailer-despicable-me-3.jpg

 

I agree. I absolutely loved the first film. The 2nd was good as well; this 3rd one seems to have gotten rather lazy. Should have stopped after the 1st one, but I guess they decided to take their inspiration from the Jurassic Park franchise, and go with the idea to do a trilogy. 

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Anna Karenina (1935) - Excellent adaptation of the tragic romance, based on Tolstoy's book, from MGM and director Clarence Brown. Greta Garbo is the title woman, a member of the Russian aristocracy in the late 19th century. She's trapped in a loveless marriage with the cold Alexei (Basil Rathbone), but she tolerates it for the sake of their young son Sergei (Freddie Bartholomew). That changes when she meets handsome soldier Count Vronsky (Fredric March). The two fall madly in love, but at much sacrifice to the rest of their lives, a burden that may prove too much to bear. Also featuring Maureen O'Sullivan, May Robson, Reginald Denny, Phoebe Foster, Reginald Owen, Gyles Isham, Joan Marsh, Cora Sue Collins, Robert Warwick, Constance Collier, Gino Corrado, Andrea Leeds, and Mischa Auer.

The production design is sumptuous, and the costumes top-rate. I've never read the novel, nor seen any other film versions, so I can't speak on how much or how little it diverges from the source material. If it's like many literary adaptations of the time, the differences can be quite large. The performances are good. March looks a bit severe in his military haircut, while Garbo looks much like she always does in her 30's films. Between March's and Rathbone's, I kept wondering who would have the thinnest mustache, and how much of it was drawn in.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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20 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yesterday on METV (which my cable company,  just started to broadcast),   I was watching Wagon Train with Robert Horton and Ward Bond.    The ending was interesting.   The group (Bond as head master and his men) were being held hostage.   Well Bond ends up getting one rifle and two knives.   The bad guys (who outnumber Bond and his men by about two-to-one),  are very well armed with rifles and 6-shooters.    

Well Bond and his men surprise the bad guys with the two men with the knives each sticking a bad guy right in the heart while Bond starts shooting the other bad guys in the back.    No warning,  no 'hey drop your guns' crap,  but just taking out the bad guys.    All of the bad guys appear to be dead after this scene. 

I really like how realistic this ending is.     No silly scene where the guys with the knives feel they need to say 'drop your guns' or just wounding them,  but instead killing them instantly without warning.

 

 

Those were the good old days.

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53 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Anna Karenina (1935)

 

Garbo was, as we all know, a remote individual for people to get close to. Fredric March (with a reputation as a womanizer) said that co-starring with her hardly qualified as an introduction, and Basil Rathbone was offended when she refused his request for an autograph at the end of the production.

And yet Buster Wiles, a stunt man/buddy of Errol Flynn's, said that she was the surprise "girl" that Errol said would accompany them to the beach one day, and he found her to be friendly and down to earth. I admit I was a bit surprised by this anecdote since I had never heard of Garbo socializing with "bad boy" Flynn.

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11 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Garbo was, as we all know, a remote individual for people to get close to. Fredric March (with a reputation as a womanizer) said that co-starring with her hardly qualified as an introduction, and Basil Rathbone was offended when she refused his request for an autograph at the end of the production.

And yet Buster Wiles, a stunt man/buddy of Errol Flynn's, said that she was the surprise "girl" that Errol said would accompany them to the beach one day, and he found her to be friendly and down to earth. I admit I was a bit surprised by this anecdote since I had never heard of Garbo socializing with "bad boy" Flynn.

I recently read Burt Reynolds' memoir, and he tells a story about attending a "weird artist" party in NYC when he first went there to try to be an actor in the late 50's. He was introduced to an older woman who was wearing a see-through shirt, and she was clearly not wearing anything underneath. Reynolds was a small-town southern boy and quite taken aback by this fashion choice, but at the same time, he couldn't take his eyes off of her chest. He finally wandered around the party, until late in the evening when people were going home, the woman approached him and asked if he would like to escort her home, with the invitation clearly indicating more than just a walk to her door. He was embarrassed and flustered (hard to imagine with Burt), and turned her down. 

The next day someone said that they'd never seen anyone turn down Greta Garbo before, and Reynolds was stunned at the news that that was who the older woman was. He said he never ran into her again.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Anna Karenina (1935) - Excellent adaptation of the tragic romance, based on Tolstoy's book, from MGM and director Clarence Brown. Greta Garbo is the title woman, a member of the Russian aristocracy in the late 19th century. She's trapped in a loveless marriage with the cold Alexei (Basil Rathbone), but she tolerates it for the sake of their young son Sergei (Freddie Bartholomew). That changes when she meets handsome soldier Count Vronsky (Fredric March). The two fall madly in love, but at much sacrifice to the rest of their lives, a burden that may prove too much to bear. Also featuring Maureen O'Sullivan, May Robson, Reginald Denny, Phoebe Foster, Reginald Owen, Gyles Isham, Joan Marsh, Cora Sue Collins, Robert Warwick, Constance Collier, Gino Corrado, Andrea Leeds, and Mischa Auer.

The production design is sumptuous, and the costumes top-rate. I've never read the novel, nor seen any other film versions, so I can't speak on how much or how little it diverges from the source material. If it's like many literary adaptations of the time, the differences can be quite large. The performances are good. March looks a bit severe in his military haircut, while Garbo looks much like she always does in her 30's films. Between March's and Rathbone's, I kept wondering who would have the thinnest mustache, and how much of it was drawn in.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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Same here, I never read the book nor seen all the other films based on it but I did enjoy this film very much.

I felt very bad for Anna, she gave up everything for love, but become unappreciated as time went by, so much so that the sacrifice was hardly worth it.

If I understand the haircut was the norm for the time if you were in the military.

 

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2 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

Those were the good old days.

Well not if one was a bad guy!     But seriously the manner in which the those bad guys were killed with those knives was something I wasn't expecting.    Typically there is some type of warning just to draw out the scene.  Not here,  it was,  just raw killing and all over in a manner of a few seconds.  

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I watched Johnny Dangerously, a 1984 comedy set in the 1930's and it's a spoof of the old gangster films of the 30's and 40's with Michael Keaton in the title role as a man who starts up a life of crime at an early age because of his mom's ailing health.

I really REALLY wanted to like this movie (especially since I like Michael Keaton in almost everything he's done) and Amy Heckerling (the movie's director) has admitted she was a fan of the classic tough guy movies (especially the ones with James Cagney in it)....but this movie is simply IMO NOT funny in any shape or form.

The gags are simply pathetic and Keaton has no help at all from his co-stars (never found Joe Piscopo funny and Maureen Stapleton and Peter Boyle are pretty much wasted in here. Not a big Marilu Henner fan either) or the script.

For someone who was a fan of the early 30's gangster genre, you'd think Heckerling could have made a better and funnier film. 2/10 stars from me (and even there I may be too generous).

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