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Five Graves to Cairo (1943) - Good wartime suspense from Paramount Pictures and director Billy Wilder. British tank crewman J.J. Bramble (Franchot Tone) is the sole survivor of his group, and after wandering through the desert, he arrives in a small North African desert town. He is taken in by the local hotel owner Farid (Akim Tamiroff) who, along with French maid Mouche (Anne Baxter), are the only occupants left in town. When the German army moves in and takes the hotel over as their HQ, Bramble pretends to be a crippled servant. The leader of the occupiers is none other than General Erwin Rommel (Erich von Stroheim), so Bramble sets out to kill the military commander or at least gain some valuable intelligence. Also featuring Peter van Eyck, Fortunio Bonanova, Ian Keith, and Miles Mander.

Wilder does an excellent job of building suspense on many levels as more aspects of the characters are discovered as the film progresses. Tone does an admirable job of portraying someone pretending to be someone with secret knowledge that he in fact does not know. However, I think Tone was miscast as a British soldier, and he doesn't even attempt an accent, which stands out all the more as the German characters all speak in German or with German accents, as well as Baxter (French) and Tamiroff (generic Middle Eastern). Von Stroheim is great as usual as the German military genius, even if he bears little resemblance to the screen depiction of Rommel that I always picture, James Mason from The Desert Fox (1951). The movie earned 3 Oscar nominations, for Best B&W Cinematography, Best B&W Art Direction, and Best Editing.    (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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"Project Almanac" (2015)

First rule of time travel, don't forget those annoying butterfly effects.

Quinn met himself in bed (drawing funny face scene) and the universe didn't explode. :huh:

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Question about how the movie was shot - what type of cinematography do you call that?  It's like someone follows them around with a camera like in "Cloverfield"?

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6 hours ago, hamradio said:

"Project Almanac" (2015)

Question about how the movie was shot - what type of cinematography do you call that?  It's like someone follows them around with a camera like in "Cloverfield"?

That type of filmmaking is called "Found Footage". The name comes from The Blair Witch Project, which was shot in the same faux-documentary, faux-home movie fashion, and the conceit was that what the audience was watching was the footage that the characters had shot that was later found by someone hiking through those woods. Even though the same story gimmick isn't always used, any subsequent movie shot to appear like home video, (fake) documentary footage, GoPro cameras, security cameras (as in Paranormal Activity), cellphone video, etc., is referred to as "Found Footage".

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

That type of filmmaking is called "Found Footage". The name comes from The Blair Witch Project, which was shot in the same faux-documentary, faux-home movie fashion, and the conceit was that what the audience was watching was the footage that the characters had shot that was later found by someone hiking through those woods. Even though the same story gimmick isn't always used, any subsequent movie shot to appear like home video, (fake) documentary footage, GoPro cameras, security cameras (as in Paranormal Activity), cellphone video, etc., is referred to as "Found Footage".

The earliest example I've seen is "Lovers and Lollipops" (1956) where Morris Engels shot the film in home movie style.

Morris Engels with the camera he used during filming.

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Flesh and Fantasy (1943) - Supernatural anthology from Universal Pictures and director Julien Duvivier. In the framing story, a nervous man (Robert Benchley) at a private club is told or reads through a series of tales meant to ease his discomfort. In the first tale, a homely woman (Betty Field) wears a magical mask during Mardi Gras to attract her long-sought lover (Robert Cummings). In the second tale, a man (Edward G. Robinson) has his fortune told by a palm reader (Thomas Mitchell), but he doesn't like what he hears. And in the third tale, a high-wire circus acrobat (Charles Boyer) has reoccurring dreams about a mysterious woman (Barbara Stanwyck) and his own demise. Also featuring Dame May Whitty, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Anna Lee, Edgar Barrier, David Hoffman, Eddie Acuff, Marjorie Lord, Peter Lawford, Ian Wolfe, Hank Worden, and Clarence Muse.

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French director Duvivier worked in the U.S. during much of the war years. He had a hit in '42 with another anthology film, Tales of Manhattan over at Fox, so this follow-up seemed like a sure bet. He co-produced it with Boyer, which is ironic since the weakest segment to my mind was the last one which featured Boyer. The first segment had loads of atmosphere, and one can see how the blank mask worn by Field inspired the later Euro-horror classic Eyes Without a Face. The second segment, featuring Robinson and Mitchell, is the most like an episode of The Twilight Zone, and it also has excellent camerawork. The last segment isn't bad, but it seems to be the least inspired, and suffers a bit from dated effects work during the many high-wire scenes.   (7/10)

Source: Universal Vault DVD.

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An interesting story concerns the original version of the film, which did not have the humorous framing story featuring Robert Benchley. Rather it began with another tale, this one focusing on a fugitive murderer (Alan Curtis) who runs into a farmer (Frank Craven) and his blind daughter (Gloria Jean). This segment ended with the killer dead and floating down a river. Preview audiences loved it, but for some reason it was removed from the film and the new framing device added. However, each story bleeds into the next, so even in the released version, the story with Field and Cummings begins with Mardi Gras celebrants finding the dead body of the killer from the deleted story in the river. Universal later used the removed footage, padding out the running time and changing the ending, ultimately releasing it as Destiny in 1944.

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Cops and Robbers (1973): Joseph Bologna and Cliff Gorman star as two NYC cops who grow tired of seeing slimy characters grow rich while they can barely make ends meet for their families, so they decide to try a little heist for themselves.  They don't want to pull any petty jobs..they want one great caper that will provide them new lives, but the problem is they don't really know what's involved or how to plan it, so they go (in disguise) to a mob boss who they know has skirted the law easily for years.  He gives them the inside info on a Wall Street company, and the benefits of stealing bonds, which he will pay handsomely for.  The day they choose? The day the Apollo 11 astronauts are given a ticker tape parade just downstairs from their target.  This is a crime/comedy..so needless to say, all does not go as planned, and their biggest worry isn't getting arrested for the actual crime, but for their problem delivering 'the goods' to the mob.  This was really a fun watch..much better than I anticipated..it is flat out a New York film..in no way is it 'Hollywood-ized'.  It's true to the NYC of the early 70's..lots of corruption, chaotic arrests, the noise, the little messy shops on littered streets contrasted to the order and sterile space of the financial offices.  The actors are NY too, and there is a natural feel to every performance from accents to body language.  It's like a darkly funny crime caper set in a time capsule, and wonderfully watchable..not your usual cop movie. source: terrarium   

loved the grocery store scene..Bounty paper towels in peach and aqua!! and the prices!

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The Gang's All Here (1943) - Camp Technicolor musical from 20th Century Fox and director Busby Berkeley. The meager plot concerns Army sergeant on leave Andy Mason (James Ellison) who falls for nightclub performer Edie Allen (Alice Faye). The only problem is that Andy's already engaged to Vivian Potter (Sheila Ryan). Edie's flamboyant friend and co-worker Dorita (Carmen Miranda) tries to help, to mixed results. Also featuring Eugene Pallette, Edward Everett Horton, Phil Baker, Charlotte Greenwood, Tony De Marco, Dave Willock, Frank Faylen, June Haver and Jeanne Crain in their debuts, and Benny Goodman and His Orchestra.

The plot is naturally secondary to the musical numbers, several of which are bizarre, most notably "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat", featuring chorus girls running around with giant bananas. Berkeley's camera moves around, under and above the action, shattering the pretense that these numbers are designed for a nightclub or theatrical audience, taking them strictly into the realm of cinema. The costumes are also eye-popping, even those worn in the non-musical scenes, and Miranda wears an assortment of outlandish hats. This marked the end of Alice Faye's star period. She had a cameo in the following year's Four Jills in a Jeep, and then a non-musical part in 1945's Fallen Angel, before entering into screen retirement for 17 years. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Color Art Direction.   (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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Gangway for Tomorrow (1943) - Drama anthology from RKO and director John H. Auer. On the way to work in a military supply factory, 5 carpooling workers reminisce on how they came to be there. Lisette (Margo) was a Free French resistance fighter, Joe (Robert Ryan) was an auto racer, Tom (James Bell) was a prison warden, Mary (Amelita Ward) was Miss America, and Mr. Wellington (John Carradine) was a hobo. Also featuring Harry Davenport, James Bell, Charles Arnt, Alan Carney, Wally Brown, Erford Gage, Rita Corday, and Sam McDaniel.

This is more flag-waving patriotic propaganda, but the anthology structure and brief (69 minutes) running time make this passable fare. Margo and Carradine are the acting stand-outs, but Ryan isn't bad in his under-cooked racing segment.    (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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7 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The plot is naturally secondary to the musical numbers, several of which are bizarre, most notably "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat",

That's putting it mildly.  The "Polka-Dot Polka" number at the end might be even stranger.

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So on my quest lately to see as many weird, esoteric, borderline horror movies from the 1970s that I've heretofore  missed out on as I can, I was excited to see PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975) on TCM on demand.

It was like a sumptuous cake that someone forgot to put eggs in- all the ingredients being the camera work and photography and costumes and sets and acting, and the eggs being THINGS HAPPENING ONSCREEN. 

It's like Peter Weir was at a party in 1974 and someone was like "Man did you see DONT LOOK NOW? I don't think anyone could make a more interestingly filmed movie about absolutely nothing if they tried" and Pete was all "Aye, hold me beer, mate."

 

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Henry Aldrich Haunts A House (1943)

"Hen-reeeeeee! Hen-ree Aldrich!. . .  Coming Mother!"

One of the signature phrases of a popular radio series translated to a "B" movie series during the early '40s, the Henry Aldrich comedies can be seen as Paramount's answer to MGM's popular Andy Hardy films. The Aldrich films, though, are less pretentious, without the moralizing that can be found in the Hardys. Jackie Cooper played the Middle America teen in two films, before Jimmy Lydon took over for nine entries made between 1941 and 1944.

I have only vague memories of having seen a few of them when they had television play when I was a kid, with Henry Aldrich Haunts A House the primary title that stayed in my mind, due to the haunted house comedy aspect, fairly typical for a number of films at the time.

Lydon is likeable as gangly Henry, as is Charles Smith as his fraidy cat friend, "Dizzy." Henry's parents are played by John Litel and Olive Blakeney (Lydon's real life mother-in-law). The lightweight story has Henry swallowing a serum which he thinks may make him three times stronger. He passes out by a "haunted house" in town. His principal is in the house that same night and disappears after being attacked by a large man (we see the huge shadow of the man looming on the wall before the attack). Henry, uncertain of his own behaviour after he passes out, is afraid that he may be the culprit. Henry, along with a girl friend and a very reluctant Dizzy, decide to investigate the house.

The haunted house scenes have a few mild thrills in them, along with the usual laughs. (Dizzy's heart beats so loudly he mistakes it for a drum; his teeth do a lot of loud chattering, as well). We get to see the double in the "mirror" routine, this time with two different characters in suits of armour imitating one another's actions. There's also a stuffed gorilla in the house, which never-gonna-be-a-brain surgeon Dizzy mistakes for Henry. On the slightly eerie side, a body wrapped like a mummy will be found in the house. His eyes open when approached. There is also some kind of creature lurking in the place that is ready to attack them. Keep an eye open for Mike Mazurki as "the Goon."

The Aldrich films are difficult to find today. This entry, though, can be found on archive. org, while I was surprised to see that Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour just became available on You Tube (the first complete print of the series to make it there, to the best of my knowledge). I assume that Universal owns rights to the films and doesn't consider it financially worthwhile to do any kind of restorations for release. That's unfortunate, for there is an innocent charm to these lightweight teen comedies that can still make them entertaining or, at least, that was my experience with Haunts A House.

Jimmy Lydon, by the way, continued to work as an actor until 1987 and is still with us today. He'll turn 95 in May. I wonder if he's still haunted by the occasional cry of "Hen-reeee! Hen-ree Aldrich!" by someone who recognizes him in public.

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2.5 out of 4

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3 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

Man, I haven't seen this movie in so long... Where did you say you saw it, the Universal Vault? Huh?

Flesh and Fantasy? It was on DVD. The Universal Vault collection is Universal's version of Warner Archive, where they produce DVD-R discs on demand when you order them. They tend to cost more than the average DVD releases, but you can catch them on sale occasionally.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Flesh and Fantasy? It was on DVD. The Universal Vault collection is Universal's version of Warner Archive, where they produce DVD-R discs on demand when you order them. They tend to cost more than the average DVD releases, but you can catch them on sale occasionally.

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Oh, yes. 

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Flesh and Fantasy? It was on DVD. The Universal Vault collection is Universal's version of Warner Archive, where they produce DVD-R discs on demand when you order them. They tend to cost more than the average DVD releases, but you can catch them on sale occasionally.

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I purchased this disc a few years ago. The Edward G. Robinson episode alone makes the purchase worthwhile.

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

shattering the pretense that these numbers are designed for a nightclub or theatrical audience, taking them strictly into the realm of cinema

Wasn't it amazing that those club and theatre stages were so huge ??..my favorite was the elaborate By a Waterfall number in Footlight Parade - all thrown together quickly on a movie theatre stage

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The Hard Way (1943) - Backstage melodrama from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. When young poor girl Katie (Joan Leslie) shows some song-and-dance talent, her older sister Helen (Ida Lupino) assumes control over her burgeoning career. Katie is originally part of a team with vaudeville nobodies Paul (Dennis Morgan) and Albert (Jack Carson), but eventually Helen convinces her to strike out on her own, despite Katie having married Albert. Helen's controlling ways eventually spell trouble for everyone. Also featuring Gladys George, Faye Emerson, Paul Cavanagh, Murray Alper, Roman Bohnen, Ann Doran, Leona Maricle, Nestor Paiva, Joan Woodbury, Stacy Keach Sr., and William Hopper.

Lupino has one of her stronger roles here, certainly unlikable, but understandable, too. I was also impressed by Gladys George in small role. In just three scenes, she paints a full portrait of a character, a has-been stage star on the wrong side of 40 and with too many drinks under her belt. I would have nominated both Lupino and George for Oscars. The movie itself is predictable, and it loses steam a bit before it finishes, but it's not bad at all.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943) - Technicolor costume musical from 20th Century Fox and director H. Bruce Humberstone. Set in 1910's San Francisco, the story concerns nightclub proprietor Johnny Cornell (John Payne), who's worked his way up from nothing to owning a variety of entertainment venues. His star attraction is singer Trudy Evans (Alice Faye), and she's secretly in love with Johnny. But Johnny has his eyes set on the rich society folk of Nob Hill, particularly Bernice Croft (Lynn Bari). Also featuring Jack Oakie, June Havoc, Laird Cregar, Ward Bond, Aubrey Mather, John Archer, Frank Orth, George Lloyd, Fortunio Bonanova, and George Barbier.

This is a handsome looking production with excellent costumes and sets. I find Faye and Payne to rather bland, so my involvement in the tale was limited. Oakie is amusing as a comedy performer named Dan Daley, and Laird Cregar gets to stretch as a scruffy gold prospector. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Color Cinematography, and it won for Best Song "You'll Never Know". The song is considered Faye's signature tune, even if it came near the end of her run of hit Fox musicals.   (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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23 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

There's a lot, but it's all Thomas Mitchell.

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*Oscar victor & character player *Mitchell was just an extraordinary actor!  Of course pretty much a part of the famous *Ford stock company & although he of course took home his sole s. actor statue for *Ford's 1939 "Stagecoach" (UA) I think-(though he was superb!) it was more to do with *Thomas also being in other strong roles that legendary cinematic year of 1939 "Only Angels Have Wings" "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"  However, the outright overall finest work as an actor I've ever seen him achieve was in *Ford's wonderful Adventure 1940's "The Long Voyage Home" (UA) as Driscoll, leader of the men. & runner-up, or close to it would be 1940's "Angels 0ver Broadway"-(not nommed though) His only other shot was for 1937's "The Hurricane" though?

 

(P.S. TCM has got to start honoring that era's character players now as well as it's monthly "Star of the Month"  WHO AGREES?)

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943) - Technicolor costume musical from 20th Century Fox and director H. Bruce Humberstone. Set in 1910's San Francisco, the story concerns nightclub proprietor Johnny Cornell (John Payne), who's worked his way up from nothing to owning a variety of entertainment venues. His star attraction is singer Trudy Evans (Alice Faye), and she's secretly in love with Johnny. But Johnny has his eyes set on the rich society folk of Nob Hill, particularly Bernice Croft (Lynn Bari). Also featuring Jack Oakie, June Havoc, Laird Cregar, Ward Bond, Aubrey Mather, John Archer, Frank Orth, George Lloyd, Fortunio Bonanova, and George Barbier.

This is a handsome looking production with excellent costumes and sets. I find Faye and Payne to rather bland, so my involvement in the tale was limited. Oakie is amusing as a comedy performer named Dan Daley, and Laird Cregar gets to stretch as a scruffy gold prospector. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Color Cinematography, and it won for Best Song "You'll Never Know". The song is considered Faye's signature tune, even if it came near the end of her run of hit Fox musicals.   (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD.

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(TRIUIA/FUN/FAX:"The Great 0ne: Jackie (RALPH KRAMDEN) Gleason-(l9l6-l987) always claimed his own role models, heroes & idols were>Oliver Hardy-(l892-l957) & Jack 0akie-(l903-78) the latter was actually quite deaf

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

A plug, too, for Jack Carson's sympathetic performance in one of the few dramatic roles he had during his Warners contract years.

Many still get upset that the never a contender IdaLupino-(l9l8-l995) won the Best Actress award for "The Hard Way" but never was up for even a supporting *Oscar i.e. 1972's "Junior Bonner"  I;m not certain, but believe now after seeing something online that wasthen covered with foliage. That Lupino & her sister for that matter, were very close to ERROL FLYNN. His modest grave is virtually right next to theirs. Something only in more recent yrs you can see via the internet.

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Hard Way (1943) - Backstage melodrama from Warner Brothers and director Vincent Sherman. When young poor girl Katie (Joan Leslie) shows some song-and-dance talent, her older sister Helen (Ida Lupino) assumes control over her burgeoning career. Katie is originally part of a team with vaudeville nobodies Paul (Dennis Morgan) and Albert (Jack Carson), but eventually Helen convinces her to strike out on her own, despite Katie having married Albert. Helen's controlling ways eventually spell trouble for everyone. Also featuring Gladys George, Faye Emerson, Paul Cavanagh, Murray Alper, Roman Bohnen, Ann Doran, Leona Maricle, Nestor Paiva, Joan Woodbury, Stacy Keach Sr., and William Hopper.

Lupino has one of her stronger roles here, certainly unlikable, but understandable, too. I was also impressed by Gladys George in small role. In just three scenes, she paints a full portrait of a character, a has-been stage star on the wrong side of 40 and with too many drinks under her belt. I would have nominated both Lupino and George for Oscars. The movie itself is predictable, and it loses steam a bit before it finishes, but it's not bad at all.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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(***-out of four) not a big fan of Ida's but she was almost as strong in WB's difficult to finish, because Edward G. Robinson & George Raft detested each other! At any rate she stole the picture 1941's "They Drive By Night" (***1/2-out of 4 stars)

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