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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

If it's the 30's actor who invented the stereotypic Italian-waiter sloping walk as he carries a tray, always thought that was Henry Armida.

In the wartime 40's, it wasn't popular to be Italian, so some actors either disguised their heritage, or, like Sinatra, went out of their way to do onscreen patriotic stunts--It's possible Armida became Armetta, though it's hard to tell from the picture.

I can't find any evidence that Armetta ever used the name "Armida," and I have been researching his life for a book I've been working on. However, there was a Mexican actress from the 30s and 40s, who was billed as "Armida." She may have been the one who signed that autograph.

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1 hour ago, scsu1975 said:

I can't find any evidence that Armetta ever used the name "Armida," and I have been researching his life for a book I've been working on. However, there was a Mexican actress from the 30s and 40s, who was billed as "Armida." She may have been the one who signed that autograph.

I have to second this. As I've been watching a ton of 30's and 40's films as of late, I've seen Mr. Armetta's name come up in credit listings a lot. Plus, I just watched Armida in Fiesta.

Armida004.jpg

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1 hour ago, scsu1975 said:

I can't find any evidence that Armetta ever used the name "Armida," and I have been researching his life for a book I've been working on. However, there was a Mexican actress from the 30s and 40s, who was billed as "Armida." She may have been the one who signed that autograph.

 

34 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I have to second this. As I've been watching a ton of 30's and 40's films as of late, I've seen Mr. Armetta's name come up in credit listings a lot. Plus, I just watched Armida in Fiesta.

Armida004.jpg

Thanks very much, guys. I never heard of Armida, but I just took a look on line at her autograph, and guess, what, it's the same as the one I have in my autograph book.

autograph-vendrell-armida-signed-photo-1

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The Velvet Trap (1966) Campy Exploitation Noir

the-velvet-trap-movie-poster-1966-1020436058.jpg

West Coast Exploitation Noir from director Ken Kennedy.  It's a 1966 updated version of what can happen to a "wayward" girl or an independant women. Think of Stella in Fallen Angel (1945). The old double standard morality is quite touching.

Twenty-one years later.

The film opens with a shot of a night time highway. A truck looms up and we get to listen to an inside the cab conversation of the two drivers talking about the charms of a waitess at the truckstop up ahead.

You have your 20 something blond, hash slinger Julie (Jamie Karson), working out of some two lane blacktop roadside beanery. Julie is the star attraction. Truckers head to this lunch counter like ducks to water. Their favorite pastime, a nightly ritual, is feeding Julie change to drop in the juke box for them. When it lights up and plays her selections they all get a free show of Julie's ample assests, her waiterss uniform becomes quite transparent as she wiggles to the beat.

By today's rating standards the film is quite tame, there's a bit of T&A, and some of the Las Vegas locations shots circa 1965 are interesting, but most of the interior sets are all pretty low budget cheap. The Velvet Trap, I guess, alludes to the Nevada whorehouse presided over by an ex silent film star madam, that seems to have all the rooms hung with log velvet curtains. The acting is uneven and at times amateurish, but there are occasional set piece shots that are quite powerful and do really work. 

Even though Five & Dime pulp fiction book racks of the day were full of this type of sleazier subject matter, studio Hollywood wasn't gonna touch it straight on even with the demise of the code, they always teased their audiences peripherally. It was the Hollywood outsiders who put these films together, occasionally they'd get actually to the A List in later careers, director Kennedy made The Legend of Grizzly Adams (1990) BTW, but most would never get a foot in the door and sink into the obscurity of straight porn production. An interesting Noir artifact worth a view, 5-6/10. Fuller review with screencaps in Film Noir/Gangster board.

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22 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Make a Wish (1937) - Wholesome musical from RKO and director Kurt Neumann. Bobby Breen stars as Chip Winters, a precocious ten-year-old singing prodigy who is attending summer camp in Maine. Across the lake from the camp lies the residence of composer Johnny Selden (Basil Rathbone), who has moved from the city in order to overcome his creative stagnation. Selden meets Chip and the two become friends, and the youngster decides to try and set the older man up on dates with Chip's mother Irene (Marion Claire). Also featuring Donald Meek, Henry Armetta, Leon Errol, Billy Lee, Ralph Forbes, and Leonid Kinskey.

The plot doesn't sound all that much different from the Shirley Temple version of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

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Don't Talk to Irene (2017) This is one of those 'little indie'movies that make the film festival rounds, and usually  gets lost in the shadow of Hollywood blockbusters..but this one's worth a watch.  Irene, played by Michelle McLeod, is an overweight teen who talks to/with a poster of Geena Davis.. Davis gives her motivational direction..and considering she's not even in the movie, Davis gets some great lines. Irene is forbidden internet access, cell phones and tv by a mother who thinks sheltering her will spare her the bullying of the real world.  Mom (Anastasia Phillips) was a popular high school cheerleader, whose teen pregnancy re-wrote her future..she vaccilates between smothering her daughter and being brutally honest about how 'fat girls' are preceived in today's culture.  Irene is determined to become a cheerleader too, which makes her a laughing stock at school and the butt of a cruel practical joke that lands her, and two of the instigators, on suspension and assigned to work at the retirement home next door to the school.  The characters in the home are no-nonsense real..no sweet little old grandmas here--and the performances of the three seniors closest to Irene (Bruce Gray, Joan Gregson and Deborah Grover) are honest and quirky.  Scott Thompson, as the home's director who will ignore most things to keep his job, Andy Reid as the noncomformist of questionable gender, and Aviva Mongillo as the epitome of 'mean girl' all turn in laudible performances as well.  Irene listens to Davis's advice to 'never give up', and actually starts believing it..we don't know whether to feel sorry or hopeful for her, but she uses her enthusiasm for cheerleading (and some stolen vodka) to start her own cheer team--among the seniors, and a lot of people are affected by her new found tenacity.  The ending may have been a little more sugar coated than was necessary, but I liked the film because it was filled with imperfect atypical characters, each allowed their own small story, who find their way into Irene's world. Newbie McLeod is quite good, fighting tears as her face genuinely registers pain in one moving scene.  She may not have the polish of Saoirse Ronan in last year's Lady Bird, but this teen story is just as entertaining..maybe more original in style and execution.  The film provides genuine laughs and pulls at your heart.  source: terrarium    Related image

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Since this thread is viewed by so many knowledgeable film buffs, would anyone know who the person is on the left below? This is one of the autographs in my autograph book that I can't make out.

I should add that this book has general show biz autographs, though most of them are film. This person might not be a film star, though. Possibly he made his living on the stage. The autograph album is dated "1934."

qKQcZLz.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Fedya said:

I can tell you it's Ona Munson on the right.  :D

 

Yeh, I kinda knew that.

Interestingly, an autograph dealer told me that her autograph is worth more in my book than most because it's apparently fairly rare and there are a lot of GWTW collectors.

edb4afb9894b17636d10019caf13bc2e.jpg

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Stand-In (1937) - Amusing Hollywood satire from United Artists, producer Walter Wanger, and director Tay Garnett. Brilliant accountant Atterbury Dodd (Leslie Howard) travels to Hollywood on behalf of his banker employees to oversee operations at struggling movie studio Colossal Pictures, which the bank owns. The bosses want to sell it off, but Dodd is intent on getting things back on track and profitable for all. He runs into trouble from a group of insiders who are trying to sabotage the company into bankruptcy, but Dodd gets some unlikely assistance from former child star Lester Plum (Joan Blondell). Also featuring Humphrey Bogart, Alan Mowbray, C. Henry Gordon, Jack Carson, Marla Shelton, Tully Marshall, and Charles Middleton.

The unlikely duo of Leslie Howard and Joan Blondell turn out to be a great screen team, both amusing as contrasting personalities. Bogart plays an important character to the story, but it's not a very interesting role, and he personally brings the little flavor there is to it. I found the movie a funny, acerbic stab at the picture industry of the day.  (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

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Just for contrast, look at this other poster for the movie, I'm guessing from a later re-release.

MV5BMjA1MDU4Y2MtOTM3Ni00OWYzLTg5YjEtZTZk

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3 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

I can't find any evidence that Armetta ever used the name "Armida," and I have been researching his life for a book I've been working on. However, there was a Mexican actress from the 30s and 40s, who was billed as "Armida." She may have been the one who signed that autograph.

Yeah, I'm probably getting them confused:
I remembered Henry being frustrated by Stan Laurel's fingers in The Devil's Brother from 1933, and he's listed as Armetta.  Serves me right for not IMDb'ing before posting.  :huh:

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Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937) - First in the series of mysteries loosely based on the books by John Marquand, from 20th Century Fox and director Norman Foster. After a series of murders occurs in San Francisco, the mysterious Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) boards a cruise ship to China, where he befriends Bob Hitchings (Thomas Beck), the son of the owner of the cruise line. Bob has fallen for a moody passenger named Gloria (Virginia Field). Once they make landfall in China, things get dangerous for them all. Also featuring Sig Rumann, Murray Kinnell, John Rogers, Lotus Long, George Cooper, Philip Ahn, Richard Alexander, and J. Carrol Naish.

This initial outing in the series is different in at least one respect: Mr. Moto's motives and allegiances are kept a mystery for most of the picture. In fact, he's even presented as a possible suspect, or at least in league with the villains. Despite it being another regrettable instance of "yellow-face" casting, Peter Lorre is outstanding as Moto, charming, funny, mischievous, and just a little creepy. His performance elevates what would have been just another routine mystery programmer of the day.   (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

1531457_original.jpg

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4 hours ago, TomJH said:

Since this thread is viewed by so many knowledgeable film buffs, would anyone know who the person is on the left below? This is one of the autographs in my autograph book that I can't make out.

I should add that this book has general show biz autographs, though most of them are film. This person might not be a film star, though. Possibly he made his living on the stage. The autograph album is dated "1934."

qKQcZLz.jpg

 

2 hours ago, EricJ said:

Yeah, I'm probably getting them confused:
I remembered Henry being frustrated by Stan Laurel's fingers in The Devil's Brother from 1933, and he's listed as Armetta.  Serves me right for not IMDb'ing before posting.  :huh:

The Devil's Brother . . . Hmmm.

THAT'S IT!

The answer to my question, that is, as to who that mystery person is in my autograph album:

Dennis King, the operetta stage star seen in a handful of early '30s films, among them, The Devil's Brother, with Stan and Ollie.

Thanks for leading me to the answer to my question, Eric.

Here's his pix, as appears in IMDb, the same photo that's in my album

MV5BY2ZlM2JjMzYtOTM0NS00NjRmLTk2MjItY2Q3

Bizarre and strange are the workings of the minds of TCM board posters, one supplying the answer to a question (in a circuitous manner) without even meaning to (or DID HE?).

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Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937) - Second in the mystery series, from 20th Century Fox and director Norman Foster. Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) is in China tracking down members of a smuggling ring specializing in local artifacts, especially anything pertaining to the tomb of Genghis Khan. Also featuring Thomas Beck, Pauline Frederick, Sidney Blackmer, Sig Rumann, Jayne Regan, Philip Ahn, Wilhelm von Brincken, Nedda Harrigan, John Bleifer, Richard Loo, Victor Sen Yung, and John Carradine.

This was as enjoyable as the first. It's more outrageous than most of the other B mysteries of the period. Moto is still presented as an odd, creepy character that others in the story have trouble figuring out. He's ill-defined, with characters saying that he's a soldier of fortune, an adventurer, a freelance detective, or something in between. He's also very violent, a master of judo who seems to revel in throwing people around rooms and occasionally off balconies. He's also quick with a gun, and more people are shot and killed on screen in these first 2 Moto movies than in all of the Charlie Chan movies combined.   (7/10)

Source: YouTube.

MV5BMjMwMGJjZTgtODI0Yy00MmQ5LTgzNWYtNmRl

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This Is My Affair (1937) - Entertaining yet ludicrous historical crime drama from 20th Century Fox and director William A. Seiter. US President William McKinley assigns naval lieutenant Richard Perry (Robert Taylor) to go undercover in order to find and stop a bank robbery ring in Minnesota. The job is so sensitive that no one is aware of Perry's true identity and mission other than McKinley himself. Once in Minnesota, Perry connects the gang to a casino run by Batiste Duryea (Brian Donlevy) and his right-hand man Jock Ramsey (Victor McLaglen). Perry tries to gain entry to the gang while also romancing Batiste's stepsister singer Lil Duryea (Barbara Stanwyck), who had been Jock's girl. This is all leads to confrontations, double-crosses, and...well, any history buff can probably guess what happens. Also featuring John Carradine, Sidney Blackmer, Douglas Fowley, Alan Dinehart, Sig Ruman, Robert McWade, Paul Hurst, John Hamilton, Lon Chaney Jr., and Frank Conroy as William McKinley.

This silly circumstances of the plot lead to a decent undercover cop story with a lot of interesting actors. Stanwyck and Taylor's real life romance helped their on-screen chemistry, although it didn't help Stanwyck's singing voice. Sidney Blackmer makes for what may be the screen's worst Teddy Roosevelt.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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What Did the Lady Forget? (1937) - Japanese comedy from Shochiku and director Yasujiro Ozu. A medical professor (Tatsuo Saito) is ruled over by his overbearing wife (Sumiko Kurishima). Their household is upended when their "modernized" niece Setsuko (Michiko Kuwano) comes for a visit, and her unconventional ways causes chaos. Also featuring Shuji Sano, Choko Iida, Takeshi Sakamoto, Ken Uehara, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Masao Hayama, and Tomio Aoki.

This is more of a standard comedy than many of Ozu's films. While some consideration of traditional familial roles is addressed, the movie's main concern is laughs, and while it's still a good movie, it's a lesser one compared to Ozu's others. The cast is uniformly good, as usual, with Kuwano the stand-out as the "scandalous" Setsuko, who smokes, drinks, wears western-style clothes, and isn't afraid to upset tradition. Ozu, who had directed 24 movies between 1930 and 1937, didn't direct another one for 4 years.   (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

what-did-the-lady-forget_592x299-7.jpg

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Sidney Blackmer makes for what may be the screen's worst Teddy Roosevelt. 

What about the guy who appeared as Teddy Roosevelt toward the end of the movie "Buffalo Bill (1944)? But wait, that was Sidney Blackmer too! "Splendid performance! Bully!"

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6 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

What about the guy who appeared as Teddy Roosevelt toward the end of the movie "Buffalo Bill (1944)? But wait, that was Sidney Blackmer too! "Splendid performance! Bully!"

I have that one on my list to watch when I get to '44. Thanks for the warning!

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King Solomon's Mines (1985)

I hadn't seen this film in a few years so I took another look at this cartoon-like comedy adventure take on the H. Ryder Haggard novel. Okay, there's not too much Haggard here but there's a lot of Indiana Jones inspiration.

Richard Chamberlain plays the intrepid Allan Quartermain this time, one with a strong inclination to crack bad jokes. When questioned at the film's beginning as to the direction they are taking trekking when through a jungle, Chamberlain just deadpans, "It's a jungle out there."

Sharon Stone (before becoming regarded as a screen sex symbol) plays the feisty client of Quartermain wanting him to help her find her father. To further emphasize the Indiana Jones influence, Herbert Lom is cast as a stereotypical German officer, pompous, wax moustached and inclined to listen to recordings of Wagner a lot. There is also, right out of the cast of Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Rhys-Davies as an over-the-top knife wielding, torture loving Turk who despises Quartermain and seems to live for the day he can kill him. (Best of luck!).

Much of the first three quarters of the film I found to be loud, fast paced, over-the-top cartoony fun. There will be fights on trains, cannibals throwing the hero and heroine into a giant pot, the hero suspended over a pool of crocodiles as he is slowly lowered down into it, etc..

One of the highlights occurs when Stone, who knows nothing about flying a plane, somehow finds herself at the controls of a WWI era bi-plane, with Quartermain clinging to a wing and trying to scream instructions to her.

Things get so silly that when they encounter a German pilot flying a plane directly at them, things get turned around and they wind up directly over top of that German plane. The German peers around, not knowing where they have disappeared, only to receive a kick in the head by Quartermain's boots as they pass directly over top of him. Stupid and silly, I know, but I found myself chuckling.

The film has a good natured appeal for me and I found Lom's pomposity fun to watch, and Stone surprisingly charming and likeable. Unfortunately, the humour gets lost in a lot of loud silly action towards the end (with a lot of obvious rear screen projection and not the best special effects) and it all seems to run on a little too long. The film has a loud, Indy Jones-type musical score by Jerry Goldsmith which helps set the tone for the production.

This film was popular enough that Chamberlain and Stone were reunited for a sequel, Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold. It's been years since I saw that one but I recall it as being a tedious bore.

MV5BZjk3ZGYyZmUtYTQ3ZC00NDBjLWI5NTctNDY0

2.5 out of 4

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Alexander Nevsky (1938) - Soviet historical epic from Mosfilm and directors Sergei Eisenstein and Dmitri Vasilev. In 13th century Russia, Prince Alexander (Nikolay Cherkasov) is admired for having recently repelled an attempted Swedish invasion. Now comes word that German Teutonic Knights are invading Russia. The citizens of Novgorod appeal to Alexander to lead them in battle against the invaders. Also featuring Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitri Orlov, Vasili Novikov, Valentina Ivashova, Sergei Blinnikov, and Vladimir Yershov.

Eisenstein's first completed sound feature has proven to be influential in it's depiction of epic historical battle scenes. The dialogue and plot are minimal and largely confined to the usual anti-upper class, pro-lower class, anti-church, patriotic rhetoric in many early Soviet films. There's also a comic subplot involving two soldiers' rivalry over the same girl. The performances are merely adequate. Some of the battle scenes are nicely shot, while others look like kids wildly thrashing wooden swords at each other. This movie shows obvious nods to Shakespeare's Henry V and Fritz Lang's silent epic Die Nibelungen. There's enough of interest to make viewing this worthwhile, but a lot of the "character" scenes are cringeworthy in their awkwardness. Cherkasov, in the lead role, reminded me a bit of SNL cast member Bill Hader in a blonde wig.   (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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Nevsky.jpg

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28 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Alexander Nevsky (1938)

0003245-3-films-on-2-dvds-set-alexander-

 

Alexander Nevsky has its flaws, but the Battle on the Ice sequence is a perfect illustration of a fusion between striking visuals and the highly dramatic musical score by Prokofiev.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ7JbvIZYuG_w4LcDkzePN

Good guy

nevsky+knight.jpeg

Clearly a bad guy.

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Always Goodbye (1938) - Textbook "woman's weepie" from 20th Century Fox and director Sidney Lanfield. Margot Weston (Barbara Stanwyck) loses her fiancee in a car crash on the day of their wedding. She never had a chance to tell him that she was pregnant. She meets kind stranger Jim (Herbert Marshall) who helps her through her pregnancy, finds her a good adoptive home once the child is born, and even sets her up with a job in a dress store. Many years later, the now successful Margot bumps into a kid (Johnny Russell) in a hotel in Paris, only to learn that it's her son. She doesn't reveal her identity, but forms a friendship with the boy and his adoptive father (Ian Hunter). Also featuring Cesar Romero, Lynn Bari, Binnie Barnes, Mary Forbes, Albert Conti, Marcelle Corday, Franklin Pangborn, Eddie Conrad, and Mary Treen.

This tearjerker racks up the unlikely contrivances to best exploit Stanwyck's suffering, with every chance at "true happiness" being thwarted in one way or another. It's not all a sob-fest though, as Cesar Romero, as an overactive "Latin lover", provides great comic relief. This story had been filmed in 1933 as Gallant Lady starring Ann Harding.  (6/10)

Source: YouTube (with French subtitles).

always-goodbye-barbara-stanwyck-herbert-

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I am ANNOYED.

I was out of town for a week and the TV I had access to had cable, but no TCM, but it was one of those cable systems that included the channels you don't get in the listings, so you stop enthusiastically on something thinking you're going to be able to watch it, but instead after a couple beats- it's just blackness.

Apparently the 1944 VERSION OF THE LODGER WAS ON !!!!!!!!!!!!

AND THERE WAS, LIKE, A WHOLE DAY OF CLASSIC FRICKEN HORROR???!!!!

I missed FREAKS and THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM and DON'T EVEN TELL ME WHAT ELSE.

(Altho FREAKS and THE LODGER are ON DEMAND, I'm just bummed I didn't get the chance to give a heads up on thE LATTER film, IT IS SO GOOD!!!!)

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