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I just watched MOTHER IS A FRESHMAN 1949. The comedy is dated but still enjoyable because Loretta Young and Van Johnson make a good team. The only way Loretta`s daughter can remain in college is if her mother takes back her maiden name. A $3,000 scholarship was started by Loretta`s grandmother, but can only be used by a relative with the name of Abigal Fortidude. Since Loretta and her daughter have overdrawn their bank account, the only solution is for Loretta to enter college as a freshman to receive some of the scholarship money for herself and daughter. The daughter has a crush on English Professor Van Johnson, and after Loretta is enrolled in his class he feels the same way about her. A mother daughter split occurs with Loretta ready to leave the college. It was nice to see the fashions when I was born too.

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PARADISE ALLEY (4/10)

 

Sylvester Stallone involved in the world of wrestling, circa 1946. Written and directed by the star, it was his follow up to ROCKY. It tries desperately to be poignant and earthy, but it just comes across as phony and irritating.

 

It should be noted that Stallone isn't the wrestler in the story, a role played by Lee Canalito. According to his autobiography "Total Recall", Arnold Schwarzenegger was briefly considered for the part after he and Stallone met at the 1977 Golden Globes.

 

With Anne Archer, Kevin Conway, Terry Funk and "introducing" Armand Assante.

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PARADISE ALLEY (4/10)

 

Sylvester Stallone involved in the world of wrestling, circa 1946. Written and directed by the star, it was his follow up to ROCKY. It tries desperately to be poignant and earthy, but it just comes across as phony and irritating.

 

I remember liking it quite a bit more than that. The scene I remember liking best was Canalito carrying that block of ice up the stairs and then having the ice come crashing all the way down toward the camera.

 

Of course, I was pretty high at the time so that scene was probably that much more entertaining to me for it. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the movie and really enjoyed the Canalito character especially.

 

When the Dereks (John and Bo) were casting for 'Tarzan, the Ape Man' (1981), Lee Canalito was their first choice to play Tarzan and they actually hired him for it. But on the 2nd day of production they said he suddenly didn't look right to them - not sleek enough or something. So they let him go and re-cast Miles O'Keefe in the role.

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PIRANHA (7/10)

 

The 70's B-movie classic about genetically modified killer fish. Seen at the time as a tongue-in-cheek homage to 50's science-gone-amok monster movies, it now prefigures the unending stream of killer animal movies so popular on Syfy.

 

Featuring Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Richard Deacon, Dick Miller, Barbara Steele and Paul Bartel. From director Joe Dante and with a screenplay by John Sayles!

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PUNK (8/10)

 

A collection of performances from 1976-1978, highlighting many of the lead acts of the scene. Includes Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Penetration, Undertones, The Clash, Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers, Joy Division and a pair of blistering performances from Iggy Pop.

 

A great snapshot of a time and a place, it's funny to think that these songs are as old today as the Astaire-Rogers films were to the people at that time.

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Girl On The Run (1953) Dirs. Arthur J. Beckhard (writer Border Flight), and Joseph Lee, Writer  Arthur J. Beckhard and Cedric Worth. A third string Film Noir that actually may be the best of the Carney based Film Noir. 

 

As much as I like Nightmare Alley (1947),  this carnival film never leaves the midway much like Todd Browning's Freaks (1932).  It's a great capture of the gritty atmosphere of a traveling carnival of tent and plywood, lit by strings of bare light bulbs. Victor Lukens cinematographer, creates a gritty claustrophobic carny setting,  with convoluted passageways between tents, the midway, plywood arcades, cramped backstage areas,  trailers, and equipment.

 

Most of the cast are playing carnies, Charles Bolender is the Carney Boss Blake, a cigar chomping little person who runs the show. Bolender deploys great ways of evening the keel whenever he has to deal with other people often ending up higher and looking down on them. Veteran actor Frank Albertson (Mantrap, Nightfall, Physco, Shed No Tears, They Mane Me A Killer, It's A Wonderful Life) plays the local cop Hank on carnival duty. Harry Banister a early TV vet  plays the local corrupt politician Reeves.

 

Veteran TV  Western Actor Richard Coogan (Vice Raid) is Bill Martin, a falsely accused of murder reporter who takes refuge at the carnival. Rosemary Pettit (Walk East On Beacon) plays Janet his girl who gives off a Gene Tierney vibe. She is forced to hide out with a chorus of carnival strippers, the de-facto "Girl On The Run" mothered by veteran early TV actress Edith King (Calcutta). Pettit is great as the good girl who has to be a quick study learning how to jiggle along with the rest of the strippers. 

 

Rounding out the rest of the cast John Krollers and other un-credited actors play carnival barkers, you can see a bit of Phil Silvers, or Bud Abbott in the parts. 

 

A shout out to Renee de Milo (her only credit) where ever she may be, she plays the headliner stripper Gigi. She does a complete dance and is so good at it that I suspect that she was an actual carnival stripper. She does her act without removing her bikini type outfit but she's got the moves down that you can easily imagine what she'd display. Check out Carnival Strippers - Early Years (1971-1978) | by Susan Meiselas for a reference work.

 

The film also has an early Steve McQueen as an extra.

 

The score is carnival music inter-spaced with jazz for the dance routines. This low budget Noir delivers I go as high as a 6.5/10.

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THE RETURN OF THE 5 DEADLY VENOMS a.k.a. CRIPPLED AVENGERS (8/10)

 

A sequel in name only, this is vintage Shaw Brothers kung fu at it's finest.

 

3 killers show up at a man's house to kill him, only he's not home, so they decide to chop off his wife's legs and hack off his small son's hands. Just then, the father returns home and calmly slaughters the 3 killers. Unfortunately, his wife perishes from her leg-whacking, but the son survives, and the father sees to it that he is fitted with fully articulated metal hands. After training into adulthood, the son uses his metal-handed kung fu prowess to cripple the grown children of his mother's killers. And all this just in the first 15 minutes!

 

All of this training and revenging has left the father and son mean and violent. When a traveler makes an impolite comment, they blind him. When the local blacksmith dares speak out, they render him deaf and mute. When a passerby offers help, they chop off his feet! And finally, when a wandering hero promises to avenge these crimes, they defeat him, put his head in a vice, and give him brain damage!

 

The four victims band together and travel to a wise old kung fu master who trains them to overcome their handicaps and become Crippled Avengers!

 

Exciting, colorful and ludicrous in equal measure, this film actually manages to outdo it's more famous predecessor. Highly recommended to fans of the genre and bizarre-cinema buffs.

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THE ROLLING STONES:SOME GIRLS-LIVE IN TEXAS '78 (7/10)

 

Concert film, featuring a more stripped-down stage presentation than their previous tour. Featuring songs like "**** Tonk Women", "Beast of Burden", "Miss You", "Shattered", "Tumbling Dice", "Brown Sugar", "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and many more.

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"Green Mansions" (1959)--It's easy to see why 1959 critics called it "muddled". The film, which is set in South America's jungles, manages to be an ecological statement (man should take care of his surroundings (film implies this very strongly), a love story, a tale of redemption (in films' first ten minutes, Abel (Anthony Perkins) sees his father killed & vows vengeance on the killers--I won't spoil GM by totally giving away the plot--Audrey Hepburn as Rima does her utmost in a near impossible part.  Lee J. Cobb overacts as Rima's protector.

 

MGM spent over one million getting shots of South America to mix in with the main filming done on MGM's back lot--the mixing in of the shots is well done, but it's still obvious what was shot at MGM & which are the South American jungle shots.  Perkins is the voice of sanity in the film--whenever film's plot threatens to get too wispy, he brings it back down to earth.  He has a scene where he serenades Rima--Perkins had a lovely tenor--he was never in a film musical--a pity.

 

If film has a "message"--it's that 'True love never dies."  I'd be delighted to have this become a "regular" on TCM--I'd much rather see this than "Mame" (1974).

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NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE (7/10)

 

Enough said.

I love this movie!

 

It was also filmed at the University of Oregon in Eugene and the parade was filmed in nearby Cottage Grove, OR. 

 

My favorite part is when they're eating in the cafeteria, it's in the building known as "The Fishbowl" at UO.  I love when Bluto is stuffing his face and the other girl says: "That boy is a P-I-G pig!" 

 

This film also features the theme of A Summer Place

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"Green Mansions" (1959)--It's easy to see why 1959 critics called it "muddled". The film, which is set in South America's jungles, manages to be an ecological statement (man should take care of his surroundings (film implies this very strongly), a love story, a tale of redemption (in films' first ten minutes, Abel (Anthony Perkins) sees his father killed & vows vengeance on the killers--I won't spoil GM by totally giving away the plot--Audrey Hepburn as Rima does her utmost in a near impossible part. 

 

First I read the book as a school assignment, then I saw the movie.

 

Not only was the plot of the movie muddled, but the mysterious "bird sounds" of the girl were not correct and did not match the book's description of them.

 

This is more like how the book described them, like in this old Lily Pons movie. The book was first published in 1904:

 

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Fred--Thanks for the information.  I will have to seek out the book and movie the film clip was from. :)

 

TCM has shown the movie a couple of times. Funny thing... I was doing something else and I heard the lady singing like a bird, and I immediately said, "HEY! That singing is from the book GREEN MANSIONS."

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THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH (7/10)

 

The brainchild of Monty Python alum Eric Idle and his songwriting partner Neil Innes, this parody of the Beatles features many cameos by artists such as Mick Jagger, Ron Wood and Paul Simon, as well as SNL performers such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Al Franken, Tom Davis and even producer Lorne Michaels. Fellow Python alum Michael Palin and Beatle George Harrison round out the cast.

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Fred--Thanks for the information.  I will have to seek out the book and movie the film clip was from. :)

 

I read so few fiction books in my life, because of my dyslexia, It amazed me that when I heard Pons singing, I immediately recognized the source of her "warbling" bird-like style.... it meant that the director, screen writer, music composer, and Pons most likely read those early sections of the GREEN MANSIONS book, so that Pons would know how to imitate bird-like sounds, and Pons knew exactly how to imitate the sounds described in the book. It was only then that I realized the book was written well before the 1930s.

 

 

With my eyes fixed on this green hiding-place I waited with suspended breath for its repetition, wondering whether any civilized being had ever listened to such a strain before. Surely not, I thought, else the fame of so divine a melody would long ago have been noised abroad. I thought of the rialejo, the celebrated organbird or flute-bird, and of the various ways in which hearers are affected by it. To some its warbling is like the sound of a beautiful mysterious instrument, while to others it seems like the singing of a blithe-hearted child with a highly melodious voice. I had often heard and listened with delight to the singing of the rialejo in the Guayana forests, but this song, or musical phrase, was utterly unlike it in character. It was pure, more expressive, softer—so low that at a distance of forty yards I could hardly have heard it. But its greatest charm was its resemblance to the human voice—a voice purified and brightened to something almost angelic. Imagine, then, my impatience as I sat there straining my sense, my deep disappointment when it was not repeated! I rose at length very reluctantly and slowly began making my way back; but when I had progressed about thirty yards, again the sweet voice sounded just behind me, and turning quickly, I stood still and waited. The same voice, but not the same song—not the same phrase; the notes were different, more varied and rapidly enunciated, as if the singer had been more excited. The blood rushed to my heart as I listened; my nerves tingled with a strange new delight, the rapture produced by such music heightened by a sense of mystery. Before many moments I heard it again, not rapid now, but a soft warbling, lower than at first, infinitely sweet and tender, sinking to lisping sounds that soon ceased to be audible; the whole having lasted as long as it would take me to repeat a sentence of a dozen words. This seemed the singer's farewell to me, for I waited and listened in vain to hear it repeated; and after getting back to the starting-point I sat for upwards of an hour, still hoping to hear it once more!

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/942/942-h/942-h.htm

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I just watched a double feature starring my beloved John Barrymore;

SVENGALI & TOPAZE

 

I loved Svengali the story and the look of the film-the lighting, costumes and especially the sets. I often confused pics of Barrymore's Svengali & Rasputin and I see why, they're almost the same make up. It was an interesting story, I loved the gal who played Trilby, adorable. And Barrymore's gleeful, slippery delivery was perfect for the role. His accent, however, was horrific-part Hungarian, part British, part Italian. I don't know if he purposely messed up or was trying to portray the charactor as not talented in dialects. After all, Svengali is a manipulator.

 

TOPAZE was a complete 360, as Barrymore plays a shy, pushed around schoolteacher. It was a very fun romp, almost a screwball comedy with an interesting moral undertone. Barrymore was brilliant and lovable in this entertaining morality tale.

I loved this movie, and especially love having the contrast of the two on one disk!

 

THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH

 

You don't say what you thought of what you "just watched".

I was horribly disappointed when I saw this when it came out in the theaters. Could my expectations have been too high? Or has it aged better?

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THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH

 

You don't say what you thought of what you "just watched".

I was horribly disappointed when I saw this when it came out in the theaters. Could my expectations have been too high? Or has it aged better?

I gave it a 7 out of 10, or a B-. I chuckled my way through it with a couple of big laughs. With the talent involved I expected a bit more, but it was amiable enough.

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SLAVERS (5/10)

 

Lurid exploitation about a disparate group of Europeans and Americans involved in the slave trade in 19th century Africa. With Trevor Howard, Britt Ekland, Ron Ely, Cameron Mitchell and Ray Milland as an Arab slaver.

 

Somehow manages to be violent, gratuitous and dull all at the same time.

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SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME! (7/10)

 

Effective tv thriller most notable today as the film made by writer-director John Carpenter just prior to his breakout hit HALLOWEEN. The two films share more than a few similarities, with an unseen voyeur stalking a damsel in distress.

 

Lauren Hutton stars, with David Birney and Carpenter regulars Adrienne Barbeau and Charles Cyphers. It's worth noting that Barbeau plays an open, non-predatory lesbian, a real rarity for tv movies at the time.

 

I like the sequences near the end that feature a lot of fast paced POV shots.

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I just watched a double feature starring my beloved John Barrymore;

SVENGALI & TOPAZE

 

I loved Svengali the story and the look of the film-the lighting, costumes and especially the sets. I often confused pics of Barrymore's Svengali & Rasputin and I see why, they're almost the same make up. It was an interesting story, I loved the gal who played Trilby, adorable. And Barrymore's gleeful, slippery delivery was perfect for the role. His accent, however, was horrific-part Hungarian, part British, part Italian. I don't know if he purposely messed up or was trying to portray the charactor as not talented in dialects. After all, Svengali is a manipulator.

 

TOPAZE was a complete 360, as Barrymore plays a shy, pushed around schoolteacher. It was a very fun romp, almost a screwball comedy with an interesting moral undertone. Barrymore was brilliant and lovable in this entertaining morality tale.

I loved this movie, and especially love having the contrast of the two on one disk!

 

THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH

 

You don't say what you thought of what you "just watched".

I was horribly disappointed when I saw this when it came out in the theaters. Could my expectations have been too high? Or has it aged better?

 

Trilby was played my Marian Marsh. Be sure and see Beauty and the Boss (1932) if you get a chance. She is wondrous.

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I posted a little review of  Girl On The Run (1953) a few posts back and  none of you have commented on the film could it possibly be that none of you have ever seen it? Not even you FredCDobbs?

 

Well let us remedy that. A  friend of mine found a free site that actually has Girl On The Run, for your viewing pleasure here:

 

[...]

 

Watch it and report back enjoy ;-)

 

well since the Mod deleted the link just go to free-classic-movies.com and put  the title in yourself ;-)

Edited by cigarjoe
Link to video removed due to copyright concerns
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.....THE RUTLES: ALL YOU NEED IS CASH

 

You don't say what you thought of what you "just watched".

I was horribly disappointed when I saw this when it came out in the theaters. Could my expectations have been too high? Or has it aged better?

 

Really? You didn't like The Rutles movie? But it's hilarious, always was. Didn't have to "age", it was funny when it came out, and still is.

I'm not sure how detailed a familiarity you have with the Beatles. I think the more you know about them, the funnier it is. 

But even those with merely a passing recognition of most of their hits would at least find all the Rutles parodies of those hits laugh-out-loud funny. At least I did. I think it was because they absolutely nailed the sound of the song they were referencing, but sort of turned it inside out. (Like, "With a Girl Like You", a spoof of "If I Fell ".)

The Rutles is, I hasten to say, an affectionate parody of the famous Brit band,there's nothing mean-spirited about it. In fact, the more you like the Beatles, the funnier you'll find it.

Oh, what the hell, I can't resist. Here's The Rutles doing "With a Girl Like You." If you're at all familiar with how Paul McCartney used to mug for the camera and sort of pout and widen his eyes as he sang, you'll find this tune laugh-out-loud hilarious.

 

 

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TCM aired  Make Mine Mink the 1960 British comedy this week-end. It's the 2nd time I've seen this hilarious film. Terry Thomas, Athene Seyler, Hattie Jacques, Billie Whitelaw and Elspeth Duxbury. Last time was years ago and the film was just as funny this time around. Each performance was hilarious.

 

Three ding-a-ling woman sharing an apartment with Terry Thomas (who's somewhat of a ding dong himself in this one) and lovely Billie Whitelaw as the maid who was a former thief and tries to get them to stop stealing. They steal furs and donate the money to charity.  However, for a bunch of ding-a-lings they still manage to pull off these heists) If you enjoy British humor this one is great. Love those '60's Brit films

 

Other than Friendly Persuasion and Make Mine Mink, I watched the Route66 blitz Decades had this week-end.
 

 

edited by me

 

 

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THE WILD GEESE (7/10)

 

Big European hit about mercenaries trying to rescue an imprisoned African leader. Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger star, with Stewart Granger as the man who funds them, Jeff Corey as a gangster, Frank Finlay as a missionary and a huge cast of familiar British character actors.

 

A lot of the behind-the-scenes talent were veterans of the James Bond films, and the action scenes are well-played. There was apparently quite a bit of controversy at the time about filming in apartheid South Africa, as well as the portrayal of most of the native Africans, but the most cringe-worthy scenes involve a stereotype gay character. However, if one can turn off their sensitivity brain for a couple of hours, it's fairly entertaining.

 

I liked Kruger's instant-death cyanide crossbow!

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