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speedracer5
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Forgot to mention that I recently watched Beetlejuice and it's such a terrific movie. I laughed so loud at Michael Keaton's performance. I love to really laugh, not forced laughter, and Beetlejuice is a movie I can watch over and over again and have a great time.

What I love about that movie is the presence of Sylvia Sidney. She's such a pleasure to watch on screen. I'm glad she enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an actress.

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TopBilled,

.

Agree with you about Sylvia Sidney in Beetlejuice. I've always been a fan of Miss Sidney and look for her films on TCM. She is versatile and always gives a terrific performance - even if the material is not that good. Miss Sidney is always good. I love her work with Fritz Lang in Fury and You Only Live Once, Hitchcock's Sabotage, William Wellman's Dead End, Blood On The Sun co-starring with James Cagney, The Wagons Roll At Night co-starring with Humphrey Bogart (remake of Kid Galahad starring the one and only Edward G. Robinson and my favorite actress Bette Davis), and then her "comeback" performance in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams co-starring Joanne Woodward and Martin Balsam.

She never stopped working and did many television appearances - in particular - I loved Playhouse 90 and she played Polly Bergen's mother Lulu Morgan in "The Helen Morgan Story". She even played Fantine in Les Miserables in the 1952 version starring Michael Rennie as Jean Valjean and Robert Newton as Jabert. We're lucky that her work will always be with us to enjoy over and over again.

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Leonard Maltin has delicate ears.  He called 1951's "Slaughter Trail" (ST) soundtrack "indescribably awful."  It sounds like the Sons of the Pioneers with below-par lyrics, with an occasional zinger mixed in.  Film is a sublimely stupid Western, where the "Indians" wear obvious wigs, the makeup people painted their chests but forgot their backs, Soldiers throw up their arms and fall and die before the sound effects tell the viewer they've been hit, the leading lady smooches with a highwayman and her very obvious lipstick is on his face & nobody comments on it.  When asked if anyone was killed during a robbery, Andy Devine says "just the stagecoach driver.  No one important"(!?)

 

Another line that seems to indicate the film was meant as a satire.  Devine asks if an Indian had been hit.  Soldier: "No, but he won't be riding a horse for a longgg time."

 

Something "indescribably awful" to hear is a Siamese cat giving birth (& yes, I've heard that).

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Pride And Prejudice has been made into several movies and mini-series. I love the A & E miniseries which starred Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and have seen it several times and enjoy it each and every time I see it.

 

However, that being said, I watched MGM's Pride And Prejudice on TCM the other day and this film never disappoints me. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier as Elisabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are simply superb as is the entire cast. Mary Boland as Mrs. Bennet, Edmund Gwenn as Mr. Bennet, Edna Mae Oliver as Lady Catherine, Melville Cooper, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frieda Inescort, Ann Rutherford, Heather Angel, Marsha Hunt, Karen Morley, the most wonderful ensemble cast.

 

I love the costumes, the credits, and the wonderful performances by all. This truly is one of the best made films of Pride And Prejudice ever made. It's absolutely sublime.

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Pride And Prejudice has been made into several movies and mini-series. I love the A & E miniseries which starred Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and have seen it several times and enjoy it each and every time I see it.

 

However, that being said, I watched MGM's Pride And Prejudice on TCM the other day and this film never disappoints me. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier as Elisabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are simply superb as is the entire cast. Mary Boland as Mrs. Bennet, Edmund Gwenn as Mr. Bennet, Edna Mae Oliver as Lady Catherine, Melville Cooper, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frieda Inescort, Ann Rutherford, Heather Angel, Marsha Hunt, Karen Morley, the most wonderful ensemble cast.

 

I love the costumes, the credits, and the wonderful performances by all. This truly is one of the best made films of Pride And Prejudice ever made. It's absolutely sublime.

Agree with your comments, Marsha. This is the kind of film I wouldn't mind seeing more often. Give NORTH BY NORTHWEST a rest and air PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in its place.

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Watched Grand Illusion last night and loved it even more than the time before and the time before that. I'm not much for details but this film gets me every time. I'm never disappointed. The story is terrific as are all the cast members - I'll single out Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim, and Dita Parlo. Jean Renoir made one of the truly great movies ever.

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I just recently watched 2 films: Escape Me Never (1947) & Miracle of Morgan's Creek (I1944). Both of these I thoroughly enjoyed. Escape Me Never starred Ida Lupino, Errol Flynn, Eleanor Parker, and Gig Young. Ida Lupino and Eleanor Parker were, as always, gorgeous. Oh, and Errol and Gig are attractive as well. I thought the story was pretty realistic.  Miracle of Morgan's Creek was a comedy, starring Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, & Diana Lynn. Eddie was his usual comedic/cowardly type of character, however I personally thought that William Demarest and Diana Lynn, who played Betty's father and younger sister, respectively, were the true stars of this film. I don't know what it is, maybe they were the only true voices of reason throughout its entirety.

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I like Rosalind Russell period. No matter the film, I always believe her character. I remember going to see Gypsy with my sister Norma because we both love the show and Rosalind Russell. Roz is wonderful as Mama Rose as is Karl Malden as Herbie. The dubbing for Roz was done by Lisa Kirk but Roz really made me think she was actually singing. She's that good an actress. One of my favorite performances is as Rosemary in Picnic. Roz really knocked it out of the park. Terrific actress.

Oh, I LOVE Rosalind Russell! She is definitely one of my all-time favorites as well. I loved her in Gypsy, and I watch it several times a year, probably. My favorite part is when she's giving a birthday party for Louise, and the landlord, Mr. Kringelein comes in, says, "Why, it's a damn zoo!" And then Mama Rose says, "Profanity in front of my babies! June, get the Bible! Get the Bible!" It never ceases to make me laugh.

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Enjoyed watching Vacation From Marriage produced and directed by Alexander Korda. I've seen this movie several times, but I always enjoy watching it whenever TCM has it on its schedule. Robert Donat has always been one of my favorite actors so I look for his films when they're on. I also like Deborah Kerr's performance in this film. And most of all I love Glynis Johns and am always on the lookout for any film where she is in the cast. Miss Johns is very special to me. She can do any kind of role whether it's Miranda the Mermaid or Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins and all her performances in her films made in the UK are truly wonderful. In addition, the film features Ann Todd and Roland Culver two marvelous actors.

 

I like Vacation From Marriage because of it's screenplay. I'm sure that many marriages in England as well as in the U.S. suffered due to WWII and this is an interesting take on how the husband and wife became more confident in themselves and as such brought more love and understanding to their marriage.

 

 

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TopBilled,

.

Agree with you about Sylvia Sidney in Beetlejuice. I've always been a fan of Miss Sidney and look for her films on TCM. She is versatile and always gives a terrific performance - even if the material is not that good. Miss Sidney is always good. I love her work with Fritz Lang in Fury and You Only Live Once, Hitchcock's Sabotage, William Wellman's Dead End, Blood On The Sun co-starring with James Cagney, The Wagons Roll At Night co-starring with Humphrey Bogart (remake of Kid Galahad starring the one and only Edward G. Robinson and my favorite actress Bette Davis), and then her "comeback" performance in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams co-starring Joanne Woodward and Martin Balsam.

She never stopped working and did many television appearances - in particular - I loved Playhouse 90 and she played Polly Bergen's mother Lulu Morgan in "The Helen Morgan Story". She even played Fantine in Les Miserables in the 1952 version starring Michael Rennie as Jean Valjean and Robert Newton as Jabert. We're lucky that her work will always be with us to enjoy over and over again.

 

giphy.gif

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Watched Grand Illusion last night and loved it even more than the time before and the time before that. I'm not much for details but this film gets me every time. I'm never disappointed. The story is terrific as are all the cast members - I'll single out Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim, and Dita Parlo. Jean Renoir made one of the truly great movies ever.

 

I respect the hell out of anyone who loves either GRAND ILLUSION and/or RULES OF THE GAME, because I don't doubt the authenticity of that love for one minute, that said: I DON'T GET (or like) EITHER ONE OF THEM.

 

"that said" that said...

 

I adore THE SOUTHERNER, which Renoir directed in 1945 and am hard-pressed to think of a more accurate- or respectful- depiction of rural, agricultural life in all cinema. it is a great film and a masterful piece of direction.

 

I guess being able to relate to something makes a big difference. (never been to war; haven't done much mingling with elite, but oh- I can totally distinguish what type of animal is responsible for whatever smell you are encountering on the highway.)

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"Detour" (1946) on Youtube--Good camerawork, OK heroine(?) who sings at nightclub film flashes back to in first five minutes--but the main male character (I sure can't call him a hero), is "dumber than dirt' (as a Y. comment called him).  Every decision that HE makes--not Fate--gets him into his predicament(s). Everyone he chooses to associate with is a crook. Only other comments that is he spreads his pessimism like a virus (the flu, etc.), and at 68 minutes, the movie's Endless.  I'm obviously missing something(s), as I don't see how this film rates being called a classic (except for camerawork). . :unsure:

 

 

P.S.--I like film noir(s), and this is the first one I Hated!

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"Detour" (1946) on Youtube--Good camerawork, OK heroine(?) who sings at nightclub film flashes back to in first five minutes--but the main male character (I sure can't call him a hero), is "dumber than dirt' (as a Y. comment called him).  Every decision that HE makes--not Fate--gets him into his predicament(s). Everyone he chooses to associate with is a crook. Only other comments that is he spreads his pessimism like a virus (the flu, etc.), and at 68 minutes, the movie's Endless.  I'm obviously missing something(s), as I don't see how this film rates being called a classic (except for camerawork). . :unsure:

 

 

P.S.--I like film noir(s), and this is the first one I Hated!

 

Don't worry, filmlover 293, you're not alone.

I've always wondered why Detour is so highly rated amongst  noir afficionados. I agree with you, it's a chore to watch. It's frustrating to watch the "hero" walk right into one bad situation after another. And not one person in the film is likable.

 

Some might argue, "Hey,  that's what noir's all about, bad situations and nasty characters", but I would argue right back to such people, "No, if that's what  you think film noir is about , you've got it wrong."

 

For one thing, we usually like the protagonist, even if we see he is making mistakes. For another, the perilous situations he finds himself in result from , yes, often wrong choices he's made, but also often from bad luck. A combination of the two. 

Also, one reason I love noir is, I love the world of noir. It might sound strange, but if it's a noir I like, I enjoy the world of that film, and in some perverse way would like to be in that world myself ( even if its only for 90 minutes or so.)

 

There's nothing in Detour that makes me want to be in its world. It's thoroughly unpleasant in every way. I suppose, if pressed to come up with something good about it, I would say that Ann Savage's ( is that last name of her's a coincidence?) performance as the relentless hateful virago who destroys both Al  and herself is remarkable. It's the main thing I remember about this film.

 

oh yeah, I also like the song ("I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me".) Sadly, it seems fairly obvious to me that Al's girlfriend is NOT in love with him; the reason for their "temporary" separation strikes me as pretty flimsy.

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Don't worry, filmlover 293, you're not alone.

I've always wondered why Detour is so highly rated amongst  noir afficionados. I agree with you, it's a chore to watch. It's frustrating to watch the "hero" walk right into one bad situation after another. And not one person in the film is likable.

 

Some might argue, "Hey,  that's what noir's all about, bad situations and nasty characters", but I would argue right back to such people, "No, if that's what  you think film noir is about , you've got it wrong."

 

For one thing, we usually like the protagonist, even if we see he is making mistakes. For another, the perilous situations he finds himself in result from , yes, often wrong choices he's made, but also often from bad luck. A combination of the two. 

Also, one reason I love noir is, I love the world of noir. It might sound strange, but if it's a noir I like, I enjoy the world of that film, and in some perverse way would like to be in that world myself ( even if its only for 90 minutes or so.)

 

There's nothing in Detour that makes me want to be in its world. It's thoroughly unpleasant in every way. I suppose, if pressed to come up with something good about it, I would say that Ann Savage's ( is that last name of her's a coincidence?) performance as the relentless hateful virago who destroys both Al  and herself is remarkable. It's the main thing I remember about this film.

 

oh yeah, I also like the song ("I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me".) Sadly, it seems fairly obvious to me that Al's girlfriend is NOT in love with him; the reason for their "temporary" separation strikes me as pretty flimsy.

Condemning a noir because "not one person in the film is likable"  is like condemning a musical because there is too much singing and dancing.

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Condemning a noir because "not one person in the film is likable"  is like condemning a musical because there is too much singing and dancing.

 

Sometimes I wonder how carefully you read others' posts.

I went out of my way to say that, contrary to what some perceive as a film noir standard - a dislikable protagonist - noir 's heros are usually likable, or at least someone we can empathize with.

I believe it is a misconception, a cliche based on very little, that noir's protagonists are all dislikable.  But please let's not launch into yet another long and fruitless discussion of what exactly makes up the elements of a classic film noir. Not again.

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DownGoesFrazier--There are degrees of dislikability.  From where the characters have just two or three flaws, and you still find the film interesting to fascinating--to where all main characters except the one who disappears in films' first fifteen minutes are pond scum, and the viewer doesn't care what happens to ANY of them--and the viewer wants the film to END!

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I watched The Prince and the Pauper (1937) with Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Alan Hale and Billy and Bobby Mauch.  My first complaint: Too much Mauch twins, not enough Errol.  Yes, I know that Billy and Bobby are playing the title roles, but my complaint still stands.  Errol = cute; Mauch Twins= Not so much.  Flynn really rocks thigh high boots well-- a look that really only works if you're tall and long legged (two things I am decidedly not).  Okay, with that out of the way... Flynn was his usual dashing hero self and Rains was excellent as the Earl.  The Mauch twins were fine, though there was a little too much giggling for my tastes.  I thought that they brought Mark Twain's story to life pretty well.  I'd like to read the original story and see how accurate Warner Brothers' version was.  I enjoyed Errol's 2:1 sword fight and his eventual duel with buddy Alan Hale.  This may be the only film in which Errol and Alan are adversaries rather than allies. While normally I wouldn't have a preference for a film being in color or black and white, I cannot help but think that this film would have looked better in Technicolor.  With the elaborate sets and costumes, the addition of Technicolor would have aesthetically enhanced the the look of the film.  Overall, I will give this film 2.5/4 stars.

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Sometimes I wonder how carefully you read others' posts.

I went out of my way to say that, contrary to what some perceive as a film noir standard - a dislikable protagonist - noir 's heros are usually likable, or at least someone we can empathize with.

I believe it is a misconception, a cliche based on very little, that noir's protagonists are all dislikable.  But please let's not launch into yet another long and fruitless discussion of what exactly makes up the elements of a classic film noir. Not again.

Not all, but many. Is Walter Neff, e.g, likable? Nobody in GILDA is likable. But, I agree. Let's not again open a can of worms.

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Not all, but many. Is Walter Neff, e.g, likable? Nobody in GILDA is likable. But, I agree. Let's not again open a can of worms.

 

Walter Neff is someone who we can identify with. Up to a point, anyway. No, I don't identify with people who plan to kill  their lover's husband.

But here's the thing about Walter, and for that matter, about many noir protagonists: they start out at the beginning of the movie much like everybody else. Here's an ordinary guy, not a bad guy, an insurance salesman. Certainly at the beginning of the film, I kind of like him. And by the time you realize he's swept up in a plan to murder someone, it's too late for me to change my mind about him. Walter's not a "good" character, but he's not an evil one, either.

That's what I  like about noir: a lot of its characters are neither "good" nor "bad";they're like real people, they're a mixture of both. And besides, come to think of it, just because someone is "good" does not mean they're "likable".

 

As for Gilda, I thought Gilda herself was likable. Or at least someone one could find sympathetic.

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Walter Neff is someone who we can identify with. Up to a point, anyway. No, I don't identify with people who plan to kill  their lover's husband.

But here's the thing about Walter, and for that matter, about many noir protagonists: they start out at the beginnning of the movie much like everybody else. Here's an ordinary guy, not a bad guy, an insurance salesman. Certainly at the beginning of the film, I kind of like him. And by the time you realize he's swept up in a plan to murder someone, it's too late for me to change my mind about him. Walter's not a "good" character, but he's not an evil one, either.

That's what I  like about noir: a lot of its characters are neither "good" nor "bad";they're like real people, they're a mixture of both. And besides, come to think of it, just because someone is "good" does not mean they're "likable".

 

As for Gilda, I thought Gilda herself was likable. Or at least someone one could find sympathetic.

 

I agree. In Double Indemnity, Walter Neff is likeable.  In fact, I like him throughout the film, even though he helps Barbara Stanwyck commit this crime.  I think he allows his lust for Stanwyck to make his decisions for him and he unfortunately gets in over his head.  While he did help murder someone, he also confesses to the crime in the end.  He has a conscience, it just unfortunately kicks in when it's too late.  I felt bad for him at the end that he was either dying in the vestibule or will inevitably end up in prison for life (or will receive the death penalty).  

 

In Gilda, I also liked Gilda.  I thought she was a woman who despised being controlled by her husband.  Yes, she was married to him, but to me, it was obvious that he didn't really care about her.  She was more of a trophy for him.  She genuinely liked Johnny, but out of loyalty for his employer (Gilda's husband), he treated her very coldly.  They also had a love/hate relationship, but I got the impression that the two characters genuinely cared about each other.  

 

Many of the themes in film noir are likeable characters who unfortunately get in over their heads and end up making bad decisions.

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Walter Neff, at least has a few scruples, too, unlike Phyllis, who will resort to anything including framing/destroying an innocent young daughter. At least here, we can indentify with Neff, as it's too much for even his stomach.

 

That moment in the film in the grocery store when Neff realizes that he is trapped in a murder scheme with someone far more cold blooded than he is quite chilling. Stanwyck with those dark shades on, not a flicker of emotion in her face, but a, literally, deadly resolve in her voice.

 

I love, love, love their final confrontation in her living room. The sounds of "Tangerine" drifts through the still night air from someone's radio as Walter and Phyllis sit in their chairs, two classic figures of noir, bantering with one another, both planning on killing the other one first.

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I watched The Prince and the Pauper (1937)

King George VI of the United Kingdom had his coronation in May, 1937, with much of the world absorbed in it. This film, along with the same year's Prisoner of Zenda, both have lengthy coronation sequences, not a coinicidence, I suspect.

 

There's not enough Flynn in this film for Flynn fans, of course, but, when he's on screen, he's quite delightful as the dashing Miles Hendon. Errol was one of the precious few leading men who could convincingly play in costume films with a combination of masculinity and lithe athleticism, along with an ingratiating light hearted charm and sense of fun, both indicating he didn't take life too seriously.

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"Detour" (1946) on Youtube--Good camerawork, OK heroine(?) who sings at nightclub film flashes back to in first five minutes--but the main male character (I sure can't call him a hero), is "dumber than dirt' (as a Y. comment called him).  Every decision that HE makes--not Fate--gets him into his predicament(s). Everyone he chooses to associate with is a crook. Only other comments that is he spreads his pessimism like a virus (the flu, etc.), and at 68 minutes, the movie's Endless.  I'm obviously missing something(s), as I don't see how this film rates being called a classic (except for camerawork). . :unsure:

 

 

P.S.--I like film noir(s), and this is the first one I Hated!

 

the #1 problem with DETOUR is the thoroughly inferior performance of Tom Neal- who made far more headlines with his drunken antics (i think he almost kiilled Franchot Tone in a fight over a woman once) than he did with his acting. With a stronger male lead- someone who could play off the deliciously savage Ann Savage (which I like to think was pronounced "sah-vage") it would really be something to behold.

 

in the end, the character he plays is such an petulant clueless idiot (as a result of Neal's sleepwalking performance) that any moral gravity DETOUR could achieve is severely undercut- especially as Neal completely flubs the whole "moral" speech at the end of the film (akin to the finishing soliliquies delivered by Garfield in POSTMAN or Macmurray in INDEMNITY, only minus any feeling, depth or inflection.)

 

As you mention, it's not the grand noir tradition of society or fate lined up against the "Hero" that undoes him- it's his own stupidity. a far better title for DETOUR, courtesy of Neal's performance would be CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IDIOT?!

 

as it is, it's hard for me to dislike a little one hour film like DETOUR, and one that moves at such a steady clip...I like it because it's dirty and depraved and the fate of the thoroughly rotten female lead is one of the most satisfying comeuppances I can think of in films, but it's 100% Savage's film.

 

ps- the director of DETOUR- Edgar G. Ulmer- is a minor  cause celebre amongst film snobs as he directed the interesting, but nonetheless over-praised THE BLACK CAT for Universal in 1934 and was promptly fired by an executive for having an affair with his wife. since then, his narrative has become that of  "a genius spurned by the studio system who wove indie gold out of no budgets"

 

... alas, most of his post-CAT films that I've seen do nothing to advance this narrative.

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