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Tous Les Matin du Monde (1991) - a paean to music IMO pure and simple. This movie is a take on what does music mean. Monsieur de Sainte Colombe  (1640-1700), in a wonderfully sensitive performance by Jean-Pierre Marielle, was devastated by the loss of his wife. This inspired him to compose what might have been the first real "soul" music (from the gut) to see the wider audience (i.e. surviving to this day). His most famous student was Marin Marain (1656-1728), played by Gerard Depardieu (both pere and fils). He was accepted as student but told perhaps a bit too dismissively that although he played well he was most fit for public squares and perhaps the Court, the latter held in deep contempt by Sainte-Colombe. Subsequently we indeed do see Marain bouncing a pole on the the Royal floor (apparently they way they conducted back then) leading a group of Court musicians in what was simply the music of the age, i.e., pomp and circumstance, but within the context of the story hopelessly dull and inartistic. Can the story mean simply that music should have feeling? Or is there more? A prevailing cliche is when there are no longer words to describe, that's where music starts. Is that good enough? What would Monseiur de Sainte Colombe say about that? There is a subplot involving love interest that informs the theme. As indicated above, the young Marain is played by Gerard's son with the latter taking over as the adult. Wow, how often does that happen? Depardieu fils is impressive. There are fairly long music passages that the uninitiated might find a tough go but it is a well-made film, meticulously so. Well worth it for those who hang around.

****

Netflix

(rating---out of 4)

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4 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Fortunately I have the DVD so I can watch it anytime I want.

Great women in prison film BTW. Eleanor Parker is just brilliant in it. 

She should have won the Oscar for Best Actress. She was nominated, but Judy Holliday -- who was also great -- won. There is always hand-ringing because two of the other ladies (Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson) didn't win. They were good, but Ms. Parker was better.

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6 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Next to "ladies in prison" and "teen beach movies," "overwrought teen melodramas" are probably my next favorite subgenre of film.  Monday night, I watched Susan Slade, which had everything I could hope for in a teen-oriented melodrama.  Susan Slade starred Connie Francis (no doubt another studio's attempt at finding their own Sandra Dee-esque type personality) as 17-year old Susan Slade who up until the beginning of the film, had led a sheltered life as the only daughter of Dorothy McGuire (who seems to be a regular in these types of films) and Lloyd Nolan (I chuckled when I saw he was in this film.  This was just hours after having the 'Who is Lloyd Nolan?' discussion here on the boards).  Throughout the film, Francis deals with her first crush, losing her virginity, teen pregnancy, tragic deaths, an illegitimate baby, babies lighting themselves on fire, a love triangle, class warfare...everything you could want in a melodrama. 

At the beginning of the film, while on the ship from Chile to Monterey, CA, Francis falls in love with (and loses her virginity to, and consequently becomes pregnant by) a wealthy young mountain climber named Conn.  Mother McGuire at the beginning is pushing Francis into pursuing a relationship with Conn, but after Francis comes home at like 4am from an onboard party (where they are playing "A Theme from A Summer Place" in the background), McGuire tells Francis that she's not too sure about Conn.  Francis continue their onboard romance anyway, in fact, the love-making comes after McGuire voices her concerns, so I'm sure that Francis' rendezvous with Conn was partially out of rebellion.  Francis and Conn want to marry, but Conn wants to wait until he returns from his Mt. McKinley mountain climbing trip (uh oh... foreshadowing!). 

In Monterey, Francis, McGuire and Lloyd are put up in a home owned by their friends, Brian Aherne, Mrs. Lovey Howell (aka Natalie Schaffer) and son Bert Convy. McGuire and Lloyd are pushing for Francis to get together with Convy.  However, he and Francis really have nothing in common and Convy is one of those guys who thinks that he can just throw money around and get whatever (and whomever) he wants.  Francis isn't interested.  Convy then buys Francis a horse, which she loves.  She goes down to the local stables to meet her horse and also meets the stable hand played by Troy Donahue (foreshadowing!).  Donahue is of a lesser social status than Convy and even Francis for that matter, but he's more genuine than Convy and not a snob.  The Convy-Francis-Donahue triangle is the main action of the film.

Shortly after moving to Monterey, Francis finds out she's pregnant.  The father is her former paramour, Conn, from the ship.  Francis tearfully tells McGuire about her predicament.  McGuire decides that the only reasonable thing to do is to move away before the baby is born.  They will then return after the baby comes and McGuire will pretend that her daughter's son is her own.  This scheme will protect Francis' reputation and hide the fact that the baby is illegitimate.  Francis' father, Lloyd, despite having retired, takes a temporary 2 year assignment in Guatemala.  The family leaves and returns with the new baby, Rogie.  

Back at home, Aherne and Mrs. Howell coo and aww over "McGuire's baby," even going as far as to remodel their home giving McGuire a mother suite and setting up a separate apartment on the property for Francis.  Francis resents not being able to mother her baby and even begins to resent her mother for insisting on maintaining the charade. Meanwhile, Convy and Donahue are still pursuing her. 

Typically in these types of movies, you know how it's going to end, so there aren't typically any surprises.  I just love all the drama, anguish, emotion, just every over-the-top thing that can happen to these poor characters.  These types of films are so much fun. I think A Summer Place is still my favorite teen melodrama, but Susan Slade was also a fun film to watch.

Summer Place is my favorite sexy teen melodrama too.

BTW-- Connie Francis was a fine singer and appeared in some movies like Where the Boys Are for which she sang the song too.

However, Connie Stevens, who was a credible singer herself and really a TV actress, was the star of Susan Slade.

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The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1940) - 15-chapter action serial from Universal Pictures and directors Ford Beebe & John Rawlins. Britt Reid aka the Green Hornet (Warren Hull) returns home from a Hawaiian vacation for some crime-busting and racketeer thwarting. Along with faithful valet Kato (Keye Luke), the Green Hornet disrupts various criminal operations, staying one step ahead of the police, who want the Green Hornet either because they think he's a crook, too, or simply for his vigilantism. And once again the Hornet is convinced that there's one mastermind behind all of the crooked operations. Also featuring Wade Boteler, Eddie Acuff, Anne Nagel, Pierre Watkin, James Seay, Arthur Loft, Joe Devlin, William Hall, Dorothy Lovett, Jean Brooks, Nestor Paiva, Barry Sullivan, Jason Robards Sr., and C. Montague Shaw.

Released in late December of 1940, less than a year after the first serial, the only big change is in the lead role. I'm not sure why they recast it, as Gordon Jones fit the role perfectly. Hull isn't bad, but he's lacking just a little something. The producers also decided not to dub the Hornet's voice while masked with radio voice Al Hodge, instead having Hull deliver his lines muffled behind his full-face mask, which is a little comical. Kato didn't seem to be in this one as much, either, with added time given to Wade Boteler's bumbling ex-cop "bodyguard" to Reid. Boteler spends a lot of time with a new, unnecessary character played by Eddie Acuff, a reporter at Reid's newspaper. This may have been a time-saving move, though, as Boteler/Acuff scenes could be filming at one location while Hull/Luke were at another. This one was still enjoyable as serials go, with the repeated format from the previous outing of many small storylines instead of one drawn out one making for better binge viewing.   (7/10)

Source: VCI DVD.

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One thing that crossed my mind while watching these serials is the comparison of the image of the street hood between then and now. Now when you have a career criminal gunman in a movie/TV show, they'e covered in tattoos, with facial piercings, bad haircuts or a shaved head, often wearing athletic apparel. But back in 1940 Green Hornet land, every thug, no matter their standing in the criminal food chain, all wore nice suits and a tie, a hat, faces freshly shaved and groomed, with a clean haircut. Where did our criminals lose their way, sartorially?

green-hornet-strikes-again-heavies.jpg

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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

Summer Place is my favorite sexy teen melodrama too.

BTW-- Connie Francis was a fine singer and appeared in some movies like Where the Boys Are for which she sang the song too.

However, Connie Stevens, who was a credible singer herself and really a TV actress, was the star of Susan Slade.

Oops I got the Connies mixed up. Thanks! I apparently should have looked up the movie on wikipedia before writing this. Lol.

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Haunted Honeymoon aka Busman's Honeymoon (1940) - Light comedy-mystery from MGM and director Arthur B. Woods, based on the works of Dorothy L. Sayers. Gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey (Robert Montgomery) has just wed crime novelist Harriet Vane (Constance Cummings), with them both vowing to put their past pursuits behind them and lead quiet lives of moneyed leisure. However, when they arrive at their newly purchased country manor, they discover a hotbed of treachery and deceit, and even murder, among the townsfolk that puts them both on the case. Also featuring Leslie Banks, Robert Newton, Googie Withers, Sir Seymour Hicks, Frank Pettingell, Joan Kemp-Welch, Aubrey Mallelieu, and James Carney.

There's not a lot to this minor effort, and Montgomery and Cummings both look bored rather than exasperated. Sayers is said to have refused seeing the movie, as it bore little resemblance to her written works. I'd have to say that if I were to decide whether or not to read her books based on this movie, I would probably choose not to. Like so many of these cookie-cutter mysteries, it's not bad, really, just bland.  (6/10)

Source: TCM.

MV5BMGQ4MzViMmEtNDE3ZC00NjZjLWFkOGEtYWQ4

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21 hours ago, darkblue said:

Wicked?

Yes, wicked and stupid were the adjectives Bette Davis used for the upbringing that young women of her era were subjected to: being told that they had to wait until marriage to experience sex with someone they loved. She elaborates that there could be no marriage without sexual compatibility and that for two people to go into a marriage without knowing that was right between them was ridiculous.       

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3 hours ago, BagelOnAPlateOfOnionRolls said:

Yes, wicked and stupid were the adjectives Bette Davis used for the upbringing that young women of her era were subjected to: being told that they had to wait until marriage to experience sex with someone they loved. She elaborates that there could be no marriage without sexual compatibility and that for two people to go into a marriage without knowing that was right between them was ridiculous.       

I don't get why she used the word "wicked".

Not having sex when you're not married is wicked? Makes no sense at all.

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2 hours ago, darkblue said:

I don't get why she used the word "wicked".

Not having sex when you're not married is wicked? Makes no sense at all.

Not having sex with the one you love before marrying same is a wicked thing to be taught. The word "wicked" seems almost an incorrect usage in this context but she is using it for emphasis. She feels that strong about it.

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The Damned Don't Cry (1950) = The movie suffers from the frailty of the narrative and the lack of a cohesively conceived and believable main character. Both are decisively unrealistic. The movie survives because the embodiment of the main character is Joan Crawford, which subordinates plot and irreality and elevates suspension of disbelief so that her performance can be viewed undismissed and enjoyed. It's fine but not as compelling as some others she did in this period, say, between 1945-53, from Mildred Pierce to Sudden Fear. Staunch fans are not likely to be disappointed however ; and yet she isn't the whole show. The mild-mannered bookkeeper Kent Smith (not Clark Kent, haha), the towering robot-like stepper crime boss David Brian, as well as the California-based enfant terrible of the organization, Steve Cochran, are all good.

**

Netflix

(Rating 4max)

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I do enjoy THE DAMNED DON'T CRY for a lot of reasons, but it is an ultimately unsatisfying film.

HOWEVER, THE SCREEN DIRECTOR'S PLAYHOUSE did an hour long radio version that is waaaay better and I really, really recommend it for a variety of reasons (it cuts out some of the odd, non sequitor points of the story like Castleman's wife and gets to the meat.)

It also has A VERY DIFFERENT (AND MUCH BETTER) ENDING! (Seriously, if they had ended the movie this way, it would have been a whole lot better.)

[skip ahead to the last 10 minutes if you want, it's worth it to hear]

 

 

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I do enjoy THE DAMNED DON'T CRY for a lot of reasons, but it is an ultimately unsatisfying film.

HOWEVER, THE SCREEN DIRECTOR'S PLAYHOUSE did an hour long radio version that is waaaay better and I really, really recommend it for a variety of reasons (it cuts out some of the odd, non sequitor points of the story like Castleman's wife and gets to the meat.)

It also has A VERY DIFFERENT (AND MUCH BETTER) ENDING! (Seriously, if they had ended the movie this way, it would have been a whole lot better.)

[skip ahead to the last 10 minutes if you want, it's worth it to hear]

 

 

How does it end? (I dont want to!!)

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

[skip ahead to the last 10 minutes if you want, it's worth it to hear]

 

Thanks Lorna. I took the 10-minute express. Agree completely. In the Nitpicking Department, the movie spells Hansen with an e. Doubt this has ruined your life but I can't help myself, I'm a pest.

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20 minutes ago, laffite said:

Thanks Lorna. I took the 10-minute express. Agree completely. In the Nitpicking Department, the movie spells Hansen with an e. Doubt this has ruined your life but I can't help myself, I'm a pest.

as Orson Welles said to the guy who pointed out that there was no one in the room to hear CF Kane whisper "Rosebud..." when he died: you must never tell this to anyone.

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35 minutes ago, laffite said:

Thanks Lorna. I took the 10-minute express. Agree completely. In the Nitpicking Department, the movie spells Hansen with an e. Doubt this has ruined your life but I can't help myself, I'm a pest.

Yes, he's been told before about it!

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Twelve Miles Out (1927)

A John Gilbert silent melodrama of which only a 62 minute French sub titled version of what was originally an 85 minute feature film is known to exist. I saw a copy, courtesy Grapevine Video, taken off that print, with English subs (though the French ones can still be seen intermittently popping up briefly) that ran a bit more than 58 minutes. Some of the print, particularly the action scenes towards the end, are quite dark and a challenge to view.

twelve-miles-out-joan-crawford-john-gilb

The story casts Gilbert in the unlikely role of a bootlegger who lives for the thrill of his illicit enterprise. In avoiding the Coast Guard he and his gang briefly take refuge in a house, occupied by Joan Crawford, in one of her earliest film roles, and her boyfriend. Crawford and the boyfriend make it apparent they will call the police as soon as the bootleggers leave. Not a smart admission since it results in Gilbert deciding to kidnap the pair to take aboard his boat with him.

The rest of the film, from what I could see of it, at least, follows a familiar dramatic path. Crawford is haughty towards a laughing Gilbert (both stars get their fair share of movie star closeups) before they both start to soften and fall for one another.

Things perk up when a rival bootlegger, played by Ernest Torrence, takes over Gilbert's boat. Torrence had the ability to play it as a loveable, even comical, rascal capable of turning into a lascivious villain (certainly based upon the way his eyes pop and he starts grinning earlobe to earlobe when he spots Crawford). Gilbert and Torrence get into a drinking contest, the winner to get Crawford as the prize (though Gilbert doesn't word in that way, saying, instead, that he will protect her). (Take a guess which one Joan is rooting to win).

Somewhere in the midst of all this Crawford's boyfriend completely disappears from the film without a word of explanation (again this is a truncated print). Prior to his disappearance the boyfriend had been sea sick a lot then trembling when Gilbert challenged him to a duel with guns. Maybe he fell overboard during one of his more violent bouts of mal de mer.

Fans of Gilbert and Crawford will be the ones primarily interested in this okay melodrama as an historical curiosity. As a film it maintained my interest. But I also happen to enjoy Ernest Torrence's broad performances so he added not inconsiderable interest in the film for me, as well.

It would be nice if a complete print of Twelve Miles Out was ever discovered (one in considerably better visual condition than the Grapevine Video release). In the meantime, we should be grateful for what we've got considering the huge percentage of silent films that are now considered lost.

By the way, for those interested, I saw the Grapevine Video version of this film on You Tube. It's gone now, unfortunately, but keep your eyes open there. It's far from inconceivable that it could pop up again sometime.

27twelve14oct1.jpg

2.5 out of 4

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

Twelve Miles Out (1927)

A John Gilbert silent melodrama of which only a 62 minute French sub titled version of what was originally an 85 minute feature film is known to exist. I saw a copy, courtesy Grapevine Video, taken off that print, with English subs (though the French ones can still be seen intermittently popping up briefly) that ran a bit more than 58 minutes. Some of the print, particularly the action scenes towards the end, are quite dark and a challenge to view.

twelve-miles-out-joan-crawford-john-gilb

The story casts Gilbert in the unlikely role of a bootlegger who lives for the thrill of his illicit enterprise. In avoiding the Coast Guard he and his gang briefly take refuge in a house, occupied by Joan Crawford, in one of her earliest film roles, and her boyfriend. Crawford and the boyfriend make it apparent they will call the police as soon as the bootleggers leave. Not a smart admission since it results in Gilbert deciding to kidnap the pair to take aboard his boat with him.

The rest of the film, from what I could see of it, at least, follows a familiar dramatic path. Crawford is haughty towards a laughing Gilbert (both stars get their fair share of movie star closeups) before they both start to soften and fall for one another.

Things perk up when a rival bootlegger, played by Ernest Torrence, takes over Gilbert's boat. Torrence had the ability to play it as a loveable, even comical, rascal capable to turning into a lascivious villain (certainly based upon the way his eyes pop and he starts grinning earlobe to earlobe when he spots Crawford). Gilbert and Torrence get into a drinking contest, the winner to get Crawford as the prize (though Gilbert doesn't word in that way, saying, instead, that he will protect her). (Take a guess which one Joan is rooting to win).

Somewhere in the midst of all this Crawford's boyfriend completely disappears from the film without a word of explanation (again this is a truncated print). Prior to his disappearance the boyfriend had been sea sick a lot then trembling when Gilbert challenged him to a duel with guns. Maybe he fell overboard during one of his more violent bouts of mal de mer.

Fans of Gilbert and Crawford will be the ones primarily interested in this okay melodrama as an historical curiosity. As a film it maintained my interest. But I also happen to enjoy Ernest Torrence's broad performances so he added not inconsiderable interest in the film for me, as well.

It would be nice if a complete print of Twelve Miles Out was ever discovered (one in considerably better visual condition than the Grapevine Video release). In the meantime, we should be grateful for what we've got considering the huge percentage of silent films that are now considered lost.

By the way, for those interested, I saw the Grapevine Video version of this film on You Tube. It's gone now, unfortunately, but keep your eyes open there. It's far from inconceivable that it could pop up again sometime.

27twelve14oct1.jpg

2.5 out of 4

Thanks for posting this. I'm always excited to hear about a film I've never heard of, especially a silent. The knowledge always sets my research juices in motion, so here comes some trivia:

Cinematographer Ira Morgan tried some experimental lighting in this film, in an attempt to replace makeup. He used blue light to soften a ruddy complexion and red light to shade a face. (Tom, did you notice anything in the faces when you watched?)

Although the action is supposed to take place 12 miles out on the Atlantic Ocean, Director Jack Conway shot the scenes 100 miles out on the Pacific.

Betty Compson was cast to play Ernest Torrence’s girlfriend, but she was cut out of the film, as well as a long sequence with Gilbert as a daredevil motorcyclist at an amusement park. She is in two stills below. The first is a publicity still with Gilbert, and the second is from the film (eventually cut) with Gilbert and Torrence:

kU4UjS0.png

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And here is an oddball piece of trivia:

j4bS08z.png

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1 hour ago, scsu1975 said:

Thanks for posting this. I'm always excited to hear about a film I've never heard of, especially a silent. The knowledge always sets my research juices in motion, so here comes some trivia:

Cinematographer Ira Morgan tried some experimental lighting in this film, in an attempt to replace makeup. He used blue light to soften a ruddy complexion and red light to shade a face. (Tom, did you notice anything in the faces when you watched?)

 

 

Although the action is supposed to take place 12 miles out on the Atlantic Ocean, Director Jack Conway shot the scenes 100 miles out on the Pacific.

Betty Compson was cast to play Ernest Torrence’s girlfriend, but she was cut out of the film, as well as a long sequence with Gilbert as a daredevil motorcyclist at an amusement park. She is in two stills below. The first is a publicity still with Gilbert, and the second is from the film (eventually cut) with Gilbert and Torrence:

 

 

kU4UjS0.png

 

 

LYQgoCf.png

And here is an oddball piece of trivia:

j4bS08z.png

The quality of the murky and often dark print I saw was such that it wouldn't be possible to detect subtle lighting techniques employed by the cinematographer. But, as I stated in the review, both Crawford and Gilbert did have more than a fair share of closeup shots.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed about Twelve Miles Out was the presence of this large Scottish actor

MV5BMjY1MzY1MzUtMjMxNi00YzI1LTk2MzYtMWNk

Ernest Torrence, probably best remembered for his first screen appearance as the psychopathic Luke Hatburn in Tol'able David (1921). He would become a skilled film character actor during the rest of the silent era, as well as in a few early talkies, often playing rough, but amiable, types. But he could be a memorable villain. Torrence could pierce you with his eyes in a chilling closeup when playing one. That was certainly the case in Tol'able David. That film has a major, even brutal, fight sequence between Torrence and Richard Barthelmess.

vlcsnap-02113.jpg

In Twelve Miles Out his character is potentially ominous but, for the most part, rather likable. However, he was a big boned man and towered over John Gilbert. When the two finally get into a rip snorting fist fight (most of it too dark to really see in this print, unfortunately), it's really stretching it to think that Gilbert could have stayed in a physically bruising contest with the 6'4" Torrence.

Silent fans may recognize Torrence for, among other roles, playing a wagon train scout in The Covered Wagon (1923), king of the beggars in Chaney's Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) , Captain Hook in Peter Pan (1924), and Buster Keaton's disapproving father in Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928). In one of his few talkies he played Moriarty to Clive Brook's Sherlock Holmes (1932).

According to Wiki Torrence had an attack of gall stones while on a ship voyage in May, 1933, was rushed back to New York City for an operation but died of complications soon afterward. We lost a good one when Torrence went. It's a shame his name is not better remembered today.

220px-Ernest_Torrence.jpg

The photo above is a shot, I believe, from Fighting Caravans, a not particularly good 1931 wagon train western, where his character support as a scout (he's a good guy in this film despite the growl in that shot) is one of the best things about the film.

By the way, Ernest had a brother, David, also a character actor. As you can see the brothers had a strong resemblance to one another.

MV5BZDM3ZGU2ZGEtODJjZS00MzBhLTljYzItYmVj

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The Howards of Virginia (1940) - Slightly dopey, cornball historical romance from Columbia Pictures and director Frank Lloyd. Colonial Virginia farmer Matt Howard (Cary Grant) wants to travel to the dangerous Ohio frontier to claim land, but his well-meaning friend Thomas Jefferson (Richard Carlson) convinces him to stay, even playing matchmaker between Matt and wealthy socialite Jane Peyton (Martha Scott). Despite the protestations of Jane's snobbish brother Fleetwood (Cedric Hardwicke), she and Matt marry and head to the Shenandoah valley to cultivate Matt's new thousand acre farm. However, differences in temperament and upbringing cause marital woes that are slightly alleviated by having children, and when Matt becomes involved in the brewing American independence movement, their marriage may not withstand the strain. Also featuring Alan Marshal, Paul Kelly, Irving Bacon, Elisabeth Risdon, Anne Revere, Tom Drake, Phil Taylor, Rita Quigley, Ralph Byrd, Wade Boteler, Dickie Jones, Alan Ladd, Terry Moore, Jason Robards Sr., Richard Gaines as Patrick Henry, George Houston as George Washington, and Peter Cushing.

I've heard of this being one of Cary Grant's worst films, and one that he regretted the most. It's not as horrible as all that, but it's not very good, either. Grant is miscast, and his acting is frequently terrible in it. Scott comes off better able to sincerely sell the often hokey dialogue. The settings and costume work are good, as is the score. I liked seeing Peter Cushing in one of his small Hollywood roles he made during his ill-fated initial attempt at film stardom in the US. He would return to his native England in 1941 and wouldn't find success in movies until the mid-50's. The movie earned Oscar nominations for Best Score (Richard Hageman) and Best Sound.  (5/10)

Source: GetTV.

306full-the-howards-of-virginia-poster.j

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I Love You Again (1940) - Wonderful romantic comedy from MGM and director W.S. Van Dyke. Mild-mannered Larry Wilson (William Powell) falls overboard trying to rescue a drunk while on a cruise, and a subsequent bonk on the head leaves Larry with amnesia. This is especially troublesome since Larry was a reformed con-man and crook actually named George Carey. With the help of Doc (Frank McHugh), the man he tried to rescue and the only one who knows that he has amnesia, George pretends to still be Larry in order to bilk the locals of the town where Larry has become a respected model citizen. George also tries to make nice with Kay (Myrna Loy), his/Larry's wife who had been seeking a divorce. Also featuring Edmund Lowe, Donald Douglas, Nella Walker, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Pierre Watkin, Paul Stanton, Morgan Wallace, Charles Arnt, Jason Robards Sr., and Robert "Bobby" Blake.

Powell has one of his best roles here as a constantly scheming con artist with a heart of gold, always trying to keep the con of being nice-guy Larry going. He's very funny, and McHugh as his sidekick and co-conspirator is an able match. Loy is beautiful and her natural chemistry with Powell is used to expert effect. The "cooing of the lovebirds" will remain in memory. Lowe is also entertaining as a fellow con artist. I enjoyed this one more than most lately. Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: Warner DVD, part of the Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection, with a couple of vintage shorts.

iloveyouagain.jpg

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George Jessel and his Russian Art Choir (1931)

Jessel tells some bad jokes before introducing a Russian choir who sing a couple of songs.  I have no idea whether the choir was Soviet and on some sort of cultural exchange (remember, James FitzPatrick was able to visit the USSR in 1932 and made a short that predates the Traveltalks shorts and was edited into one of the shorts during World War II), a choir of émigrés, or totally made up.

There's little in this one as Jessel is woefully unfunny and the camera work is static.  2/10, and I'm being generous.

This is an extra on the Smart Money DVD in the Warner Gangsters set, Volume 3.  The features in the box set are worth the price; this Jessel short sure isn't.

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21 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Definitely NOT one of Cary's classics. And he looks ridiculous with that wig!

I tried to find a GIF of that scene in OVERBOARD where Goldie Hawn is being pulled in from the water on the local news and she has no idea who she is or what's going on, and she takes one look at the female news reporter who is trying to interview her and goes "ugh, horrible wig."

seems appropriate.

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