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Castle on the Hudson (1940) - Old-fashioned prison drama from Warner Brothers and director Anatole Litvak. Cocky criminal Tommy Gordon (John Garfield) gets busted for his latest armed robbery job, and despite his lawyer's best efforts, Tommy gets sent up the river to Sing-Sing, the "castle on the Hudson", for 5-to-30 years. He immediately butts heads with warden Long (Pat O'Brien), but the warden sees something good in Tommy, as does Tommy's loyal girlfriend Kay (Ann Sheridan). Also featuring Burgess Meredith, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Jerome Cowan, Henry O'Neill, Margot Stevenson, Eddie Acuff, Paul Hurst, William Hopper, and John Litel.

I'd seen the original 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing with Spencer Tracy that this was a remake of, and I liked that one a bit better. Maybe I just excused the script's naivete due to the earlier era. Either way, this version isn't completely awful, just frequently corny and unbelievable, especially the third act scene when O'Brien lets Garfield travel unattended and unsupervised back to NYC to visit his ailing girlfriend, with the promise to return the next day. Yes, O'Brien should lose his job. Sheridan is lovely as usual, but doesn't have a lot to do. I was impressed with Burgess Meredith's role as an intelligent fellow con determined to escape.   (6/10)

Source: TCM.

castleonthehudson3.jpg?w=300&h=297

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Castle on the Hudson (1940) -

castleonthehudson3.jpg?w=300&h=297

It must have been extraordinarily frustrating for Garfield to receive so many second rate scripts like this hackneyed piece from Warners. He'd appear in a small handful of good films for the studio but it really wasn't until he was loaned to MGM for Postman Always Rings Twice or left the studio altogether that he did some of his best work (Body and Soul, Force of Evil). Ironically Garfield would return to Warners and director Mike Curtiz (who had helped make him a star there in 1938) for one of his very best films with one of his greatest performances, The Breaking Point. It was as that film was released, though, that the Communist smearing hysteria would completely overcome his career.

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Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) - Another mystery, this one with spy movie overtones, from 20th Century-Fox and director Norman Foster. Various persons are suspected when a man is killed in a Panamanian hat shop being run by an undercover Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler), who is on the lookout for spies attempting espionage on US naval ships moving through the Panama Canal. Also featuring Lionel Atwill, Jean Rogers, Victor Sen Yung, Mary Nash, Kane Richmond, Chris-Pin Martin, Lionel Royce, and Jack La Rue.

The formula is starting to grow stale by this point, and the plotline more ludicrous. Why Chan would be chosen for counter-espionage work in Panama is beyond me, and the excuse given as to how his son happens to be nearby (he was playing baseball with his college team) is silly. I liked seeing Lionel Atwill and Jean Rogers in the cast, but neither have much to do. This one has an exceedingly patriotic tone, although it was released a full 20 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. This was also the first of four Chan movies released in 1940.  (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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14 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) -

1220589425_3.jpg

Whoa! We must have seen different films, Lawrence. After Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, I recall thinking that CC in Panama was one of the slickest and most entertaining of the Toler Chans. I must admit, though, that I haven't seen the film in a few years.

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2 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Whoa! We must have seen different films, Lawrence. After Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, I recall thinking that CC in Panama was one of the slickest and most entertaining of the Toler Chans. I must admit, though, that I haven't seen the film in a few years.

I'm still relatively early in the Toler Chans. I have at least 8 more to go. In Panama was well made technically, and had some moody cinematography, but as I said, there were more than a few nonsensical touches and some of the cast were underutilized. Maybe I was overly harsh, but a 6 out of 10 is still slightly above average, meaning it's not a complete waste of time, in my book.

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The Emigrants (1971).

Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann are parents in a family of subsistence farmers in 1840s Småland, a province in southern Sweden.  Disaster after disaster after disaster befalls the family, from Grandpa breaking his leg to Uncle getting assaulted for not being a good enough indentured farmhand to another uncle being a dissident pastor.  Disasters continue to befall the family, and when they hear about good free land being available in America, they decide to emigrate.

The acting is excellent, the cinematography is excellent, the set design is excellent (the cramped scenes onboard ship are particularly effective), and the costume design was very good.  However, the movie has a flaw in that it was extremely extremely slow.  And it's only half of the story; the second half of the story is in the follow-up movie The New Land.  (It's actually based on four novels by acclaimed Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg.)

8/10.

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Force of Arms (1951) I watched this movie starring William Holden and Nancy Olson the other night.  While it wasn't the best movie I have seen, I did enjoy it.  I love the romance films (read: real romance films, not predictable rom-com or Hallmark movies) and I did think that Holden and Olson's romance was portrayed well and was realistic.  This was an interesting post-war film as it portrayed Holden and Olson's characters involved in the Allied Forces efforts in Italy in WWII.  I haven't seen many WWII films depicting the war in Italy. 

In this film, Holden's character, Sergeant Joe Peterson, is fighting in an intense battle and he and his regiment are granted a five-day rest in a nearby Italian town.  Either the night before they leave for town, or the first day of the rest (I can't remember), Holden meets WAC Lieutenant Ellie McKay, Nancy Olson.  In typical romantic film fashion, Olson brushes off Holden's advances, but you can tell that she likes him.  Holden is promoted to Lieutenant and Olson offers to take him out for a celebratory drink. She ends up admitting to Holden that the reason she's rebuffing him is because she almost married a soldier who ended up being killed in battle. As a form of self-preservation, Olson had promised herself that she wouldn't fall for another soldier.  However, this of course goes out the window, and Olson allows herself to fall in love with Holden.  Holden promises her when he comes back from his next leave.

Throughout the rest of the film, Holden and Olson carry on with their relationship while Holden deals with stress, pressure and guilt (when his friend is killed in a battle, a death that Holden blames himself for).  Olson has an excellent dramatic sequence at the end of the film.

I thought that Holden looked great in this film.  For a guy who seemed to maintain a physically fit physique his whole life, it's interesting that he was a heavy smoker and drinker.  In 1951, Holden's vices had not yet caught up to him, so he looks gorgeous in this film.  No wonder Olson was in love with him.  I also like Olson.  She has a unique look.  She's very pretty, but also has a unique looking face that sets her apart from others.  She didn't have the glamour of stars like Elizabeth Taylor or Rita Hayworth, but she had a pretty girl next door vibe that works for me. 

It's also interesting that this film was reissued under the title A Girl For Joe.  To me, that title doesn't really make sense considering the course of events in this film.  Force of Arms doesn't really make that much sense either, but A Girl For Joe makes the film sound like a buddy comedy starring Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson or something. 

---

He Ran All the Way.  This was a fantastic noir starring John Garfield (in his last film) and Shelley Winters.  Mankiewicz stated in his introduction that Garfield was dealing with the blacklist from refusing to name names in the HUAC hearings and then ended up dying from a heart condition the next year--stating that many thought that the stress of HUAC is what killed him.  He ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing by HUAC shortly after his death.  I wonder if his career would have picked up where he left off had he not died. 

In this film, Garfield's character, Nick Robey, and his partner, Al (played by Norman Lloyd) botch a robbery.  Lloyd ends up shot and Garfield runs off with the $10,000 they had stolen from a business man.  Garfield remembers the advice Lloyd had given him about escaping from the cops, "blend in with the crowd." Garfield blends in with the crowd and wanders into a big community swimming pool.  While swimming, Garfield meets Shelley Winters' character, Peg.  Garfield ends up escorting Winters home and meets her family.  Wanting a safe place to hide, Garfield ends up taking Winters and her family hostage until he can escape.  Throughout the film, Garfield's paranoia consumes him and he ends up acting out violently when he thinks someone is going to rat him out.  The family, understandably, is on edge and very scared, in Garfield's presence.  He does allow the family members to come and go from the home on two conditions: 1) At least one family member will stay with Garfield at all times; 2) If someone uses their time out of the house to inform the police, then Garfield will kill whichever family member he's with.  

Throughout the film, we aren't really sure what Winters' stance is in all of this.  She likes Garfield as evidenced by the pool scene and when he takes her home (before taking the family hostage).  She even admits to liking him despite him taking the family hostage and even dresses up for him at one point.  Her father thinks his daughter is nuts and doesn't want her to have anything to do with him, can't blame him there, even though John Garfield is pretty hunky.  The taking the family hostage and committing crimes thing would be a deal breaker for me though. 

I anticipated the ending of the film, but it was still a good ending and seemed to be the only ending this film could have.  

Garfield is so adept at playing men who are decidedly working class, rebellious, a bit tragic, but trying to overcome it all to get what he thinks he deserves. His performances are intense, but not in an off-putting way, he definitely has charisma and screen presence. I am captivated by him when I see him on screen. I always DVR his films when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I have Pride of the Marines and Force of Evil waiting to watch.  I've seen him in: The Breaking Point, Four Daughters, Out of the Fog, Thank Your Lucky Stars (where he sings!), The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Humoresque (which I loved).

 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm still relatively early in the Toler Chans. I have at least 8 more to go. In Panama was well made technically, and had some moody cinematography, but as I said, there were more than a few nonsensical touches and some of the cast were underutilized. Maybe I was overly harsh, but a 6 out of 10 is still slightly above average, meaning it's not a complete waste of time, in my book.

You have probably yet to see Toler as Chan in Dead Men Tell from 1941, Lawrence. It's a moody piece with some striking black and white photography. Castle in the Desert, the last of the Tolers made at Fox, set in a castle in the Mojave Desert, also has shimmering photography of handsome sets and an above average cast of murder suspects, even if the story itself is nothing special.

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Is it in this topic somebody touched on the ultra fun 1982 comedy & cinema homage "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid?"

At the time (summer of 82, a great movie year & my first going to between 36 & 60 new releases & trying to predict the *Oscars  though I did awful) "Dead Men..." only took in $21 million & fell bay the wayside, over the years it's gained fans though

This was of course the year of "E.T."

Obviously meant for us die hard Golden Age Buffs the most, it deserved *AMPAS attention though for it's Cinematography, Costumes-(*Edith Head's last) & Film Editing, & had a strong score by (*Miklos Rosza.)

Easily among my "Essential Steve Martin Flix"

(P.S. to true fans of it's type of movie & Hollywoods Golden Age, is there anyone-(except K. Douglas) still with us in it's clips?)

THANKS

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18 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Force of Arms (1951) I watched this movie starring William Holden and Nancy Olson the other night.  While it wasn't the best movie I have seen, I did enjoy it.  I love the romance films (read: real romance films, not predictable rom-com or Hallmark movies) and I did think that Holden and Olson's romance was portrayed well and was realistic.  This was an interesting post-war film as it portrayed Holden and Olson's characters involved in the Allied Forces efforts in Italy in WWII.  I haven't seen many WWII films depicting the war in Italy. 

In this film, Holden's character, Sergeant Joe Peterson, is fighting in an intense battle and he and his regiment are granted a five-day rest in a nearby Italian town.  Either the night before they leave for town, or the first day of the rest (I can't remember), Holden meets WAC Lieutenant Ellie McKay, Nancy Olson.  In typical romantic film fashion, Olson brushes off Holden's advances, but you can tell that she likes him.  Holden is promoted to Lieutenant and Olson offers to take him out for a celebratory drink. She ends up admitting to Holden that the reason she's rebuffing him is because she almost married a soldier who ended up being killed in battle. As a form of self-preservation, Olson had promised herself that she wouldn't fall for another soldier.  However, this of course goes out the window, and Olson allows herself to fall in love with Holden.  Holden promises her when he comes back from his next leave.

Throughout the rest of the film, Holden and Olson carry on with their relationship while Holden deals with stress, pressure and guilt (when his friend is killed in a battle, a death that Holden blames himself for).  Olson has an excellent dramatic sequence at the end of the film.

I thought that Holden looked great in this film.  For a guy who seemed to maintain a physically fit physique his whole life, it's interesting that he was a heavy smoker and drinker.  In 1951, Holden's vices had not yet caught up to him, so he looks gorgeous in this film.  No wonder Olson was in love with him.  I also like Olson.  She has a unique look.  She's very pretty, but also has a unique looking face that sets her apart from others.  She didn't have the glamour of stars like Elizabeth Taylor or Rita Hayworth, but she had a pretty girl next door vibe that works for me. 

It's also interesting that this film was reissued under the title A Girl For Joe.  To me, that title doesn't really make sense considering the course of events in this film.  Force of Arms doesn't really make that much sense either, but A Girl For Joe makes the film sound like a buddy comedy starring Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson or something. 

---

He Ran All the Way.  This was a fantastic noir starring John Garfield (in his last film) and Shelley Winters.  Mankiewicz stated in his introduction that Garfield was dealing with the blacklist from refusing to name names in the HUAC hearings and then ended up dying from a heart condition the next year--stating that many thought that the stress of HUAC is what killed him.  He ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing by HUAC shortly after his death.  I wonder if his career would have picked up where he left off had he not died. 

In this film, Garfield's character, Nick Robey, and his partner, Al (played by Norman Lloyd) botch a robbery.  Lloyd ends up shot and Garfield runs off with the $10,000 they had stolen from a business man.  Garfield remembers the advice Lloyd had given him about escaping from the cops, "blend in with the crowd." Garfield blends in with the crowd and wanders into a big community swimming pool.  While swimming, Garfield meets Shelley Winters' character, Peg.  Garfield ends up escorting Winters home and meets her family.  Wanting a safe place to hide, Garfield ends up taking Winters and her family hostage until he can escape.  Throughout the film, Garfield's paranoia consumes him and he ends up acting out violently when he thinks someone is going to rat him out.  The family, understandably, is on edge and very scared, in Garfield's presence.  He does allow the family members to come and go from the home on two conditions: 1) At least one family member will stay with Garfield at all times; 2) If someone uses their time out of the house to inform the police, then Garfield will kill whichever family member he's with.  

Throughout the film, we aren't really sure what Winters' stance is in all of this.  She likes Garfield as evidenced by the pool scene and when he takes her home (before taking the family hostage).  She even admits to liking him despite him taking the family hostage and even dresses up for him at one point.  Her father thinks his daughter is nuts and doesn't want her to have anything to do with him, can't blame him there, even though John Garfield is pretty hunky.  The taking the family hostage and committing crimes thing would be a deal breaker for me though. 

I anticipated the ending of the film, but it was still a good ending and seemed to be the only ending this film could have.  

Garfield is so adept at playing men who are decidedly working class, rebellious, a bit tragic, but trying to overcome it all to get what he thinks he deserves. His performances are intense, but not in an off-putting way, he definitely has charisma and screen presence. I am captivated by him when I see him on screen. I always DVR his films when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I have Pride of the Marines and Force of Evil waiting to watch.  I've seen him in: The Breaking Point, Four Daughters, Out of the Fog, Thank Your Lucky Stars (where he sings!), The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Humoresque (which I loved).

 

& was the very first in the method style of acting in cinema. I know of a young girl that also has a website that has a crush on him &  66yrs after his untimely demise

He deserved to win that 1938 s. actor race for "Four Daughters" (WB) (***1/2) but lost to 3 time victor: *Walter Brennan in "Kentucky" (Fox)

During his filming they didn't even want him running across a room due to his poor health

& something disgusting surfaced many yrs ago in "Too Young To Die" the book, a photo of Garfield in his casket

I've seen "He Ran all the Way" (***) a few times & is underrated, but Ebert & Siskel among others always rated '47's great "Body and Soul" (4 stars!) as his best & it's easily among Hollywoods Greatest Boxing & even Sports pix

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1942's "Tortilla Flat" (M-G-M) is a fun one too (***)  but not a showcase for him, *"The Great: Spencer Tracy" & Oscar nommed Frank Morgan steal the  show

 

Hemingway was said to prefer Garfield's powerful 1950 "Breaking Point" (***1/2) over 1944's "To Have and Have Not"

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20 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Garfield is so adept at playing men who are decidedly working class, rebellious, a bit tragic, but trying to overcome it all to get what he thinks he deserves. His performances are intense, but not in an off-putting way, he definitely has charisma and screen presence. I am captivated by him when I see him on screen. I always DVR his films when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I have Pride of the Marines and Force of Evil waiting to watch.  I've seen him in: The Breaking Point, Four Daughters, Out of the Fog, Thank Your Lucky Stars (where he sings!), The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Humoresque (which I loved).

 

I'm a big Garfield fan, too, Speedracer, and both of the Garfield films you have yet to see are well worth watching. Force of Evil, a box office bomb in 1948, has been since re-discovered and is now considered one of the more significant films by film noir buffs. Thomas Gomez, playing Garfield's brother caught up in the numbers racket, is outstanding, in my opinion, but everyone is good in this one. You might take notice, too, of the film's dialogue. At times it has a lyrical, almost poetic quality. Very unusual, especially for a noir, but I thinks it works, and Garfield's handling of the dialogue is a real treat. But there's also a bleakness at the core of Force of Evil which makes it chillingly memorable. One of Garfield's best, in my opinion.

force_of_evil_08.JPG

 

 

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29 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Force of Arms (1951) I watched this movie starring William Holden and Nancy Olson the other night.  While it wasn't the best movie I have seen, I did enjoy it.  I love the romance films (read: real romance films, not predictable rom-com or Hallmark movies) and I did think that Holden and Olson's romance was portrayed well and was realistic.  This was an interesting post-war film as it portrayed Holden and Olson's characters involved in the Allied Forces efforts in Italy in WWII.  I haven't seen many WWII films depicting the war in Italy. 

In this film, Holden's character, Sergeant Joe Peterson, is fighting in an intense battle and he and his regiment are granted a five-day rest in a nearby Italian town.  Either the night before they leave for town, or the first day of the rest (I can't remember), Holden meets WAC Lieutenant Ellie McKay, Nancy Olson.  In typical romantic film fashion, Olson brushes off Holden's advances, but you can tell that she likes him.  Holden is promoted to Lieutenant and Olson offers to take him out for a celebratory drink. She ends up admitting to Holden that the reason she's rebuffing him is because she almost married a soldier who ended up being killed in battle. As a form of self-preservation, Olson had promised herself that she wouldn't fall for another soldier.  However, this of course goes out the window, and Olson allows herself to fall in love with Holden.  Holden promises her when he comes back from his next leave.

Throughout the rest of the film, Holden and Olson carry on with their relationship while Holden deals with stress, pressure and guilt (when his friend is killed in a battle, a death that Holden blames himself for).  Olson has an excellent dramatic sequence at the end of the film.

I thought that Holden looked great in this film.  For a guy who seemed to maintain a physically fit physique his whole life, it's interesting that he was a heavy smoker and drinker.  In 1951, Holden's vices had not yet caught up to him, so he looks gorgeous in this film.  No wonder Olson was in love with him.  I also like Olson.  She has a unique look.  She's very pretty, but also has a unique looking face that sets her apart from others.  She didn't have the glamour of stars like Elizabeth Taylor or Rita Hayworth, but she had a pretty girl next door vibe that works for me. 

It's also interesting that this film was reissued under the title A Girl For Joe.  To me, that title doesn't really make sense considering the course of events in this film.  Force of Arms doesn't really make that much sense either, but A Girl For Joe makes the film sound like a buddy comedy starring Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson or something. 

---

He Ran All the Way.  This was a fantastic noir starring John Garfield (in his last film) and Shelley Winters.  Mankiewicz stated in his introduction that Garfield was dealing with the blacklist from refusing to name names in the HUAC hearings and then ended up dying from a heart condition the next year--stating that many thought that the stress of HUAC is what killed him.  He ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing by HUAC shortly after his death.  I wonder if his career would have picked up where he left off had he not died. 

In this film, Garfield's character, Nick Robey, and his partner, Al (played by Norman Lloyd) botch a robbery.  Lloyd ends up shot and Garfield runs off with the $10,000 they had stolen from a business man.  Garfield remembers the advice Lloyd had given him about escaping from the cops, "blend in with the crowd." Garfield blends in with the crowd and wanders into a big community swimming pool.  While swimming, Garfield meets Shelley Winters' character, Peg.  Garfield ends up escorting Winters home and meets her family.  Wanting a safe place to hide, Garfield ends up taking Winters and her family hostage until he can escape.  Throughout the film, Garfield's paranoia consumes him and he ends up acting out violently when he thinks someone is going to rat him out.  The family, understandably, is on edge and very scared, in Garfield's presence.  He does allow the family members to come and go from the home on two conditions: 1) At least one family member will stay with Garfield at all times; 2) If someone uses their time out of the house to inform the police, then Garfield will kill whichever family member he's with.  

Throughout the film, we aren't really sure what Winters' stance is in all of this.  She likes Garfield as evidenced by the pool scene and when he takes her home (before taking the family hostage).  She even admits to liking him despite him taking the family hostage and even dresses up for him at one point.  Her father thinks his daughter is nuts and doesn't want her to have anything to do with him, can't blame him there, even though John Garfield is pretty hunky.  The taking the family hostage and committing crimes thing would be a deal breaker for me though. 

I anticipated the ending of the film, but it was still a good ending and seemed to be the only ending this film could have.  

Garfield is so adept at playing men who are decidedly working class, rebellious, a bit tragic, but trying to overcome it all to get what he thinks he deserves. His performances are intense, but not in an off-putting way, he definitely has charisma and screen presence. I am captivated by him when I see him on screen. I always DVR his films when I see them on the TCM schedule.  I have Pride of the Marines and Force of Evil waiting to watch.  I've seen him in: The Breaking Point, Four Daughters, Out of the Fog, Thank Your Lucky Stars (where he sings!), The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Humoresque (which I loved).

 

Leonard Maltin always votes for "Humoresque" as *Joan Crawford's finest hour

a couple others you may or may not have seen are 1943's terrific (***1/2-out of 4) "Destination Tokyo" & "Air Force"

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1 minute ago, TomJH said:

I'm a big Garfield fan, too, Speedracer, and both of the Garfield films you have yet to see are well worth watching. Force of Evil, a box office bomb in 1948, has been since re-discovered and is now considered one of the more significant films by film noir buffs. Thomas Gomez, playing Garfield's brother caught up in the numbers racket, is outstanding, in my opinion, but everyone is good in this one. You might take notice, too, of the film's dialogue. At times it has a lyrical, almost poetic quality. Very unusual, especially for a noir, but I thinks it works, and Garfield's handling of the dialogue is a real treat. But there's also a bleakness at the core of Force of Evil which makes it chillingly memorable. One of Garfield's best, in my opinion.

force_of_evil_08.JPG

 

 

Only time Garfield ever appeared on screen in color was a Warner Bros. short subject & very briefly in it's commissary, still standing for now anyway  Went by it on the superb WB's VIP tour in 1999

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35 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Lloyd Nolan died in 1985.     

Norman Lloyd is still alive.

OOPS, got them backwards, Lloyd's last was 1986's wonderful Hannah and Her Sisters

But he is still alive right & about age 94  He was also on the great 1980's tv series St. Elsewhere

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