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7 minutes ago, Hepburn Fan said:

I enjoyed watching The Brass Bottle. The first time I saw it was also my first peek at cable television and probably a color TV. Mom started work in Cable TV in 1967 and the manager invited us to watch this movie at his house. At 10 years of age, I didn't get the film, except it was interesting. So, just curious if anyone knows how and why Barbara Eden was in that movie? I knew Burl Ives as a singer, then an animated snowman in 2 Christmas specials. A voice you can't miss.

This is all Wiki had to say: Eden's role was instrumental in getting her cast as the star of the TV series I Dream of Jeannie, even though she did not play a djinn in this film.

BUT this comment relates to how the film helped her land the T.V. show.    

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Return of the Living Dead (1985) 8/10
 
A campy take on the horrible story behind the 1968 classic
 
Freddy is starting his first day of work at a Medical Supply Warehouse. The older employee, Frank (James Karen), is showing Freddy around. Wanting to impress him - maybe scare him a little too - Frank shows Freddy a drum that he says contains a military biological experiment gone wrong. The two manage to accidentally open the drum which floods the warehouse with toxic gas.

Frank and Freddy awake after being knocked out by the gas and find the drum empty, and they also find that the cadaver in the freezer is now alive, as well as a partially dissected dog. The two call Burt, the boss, to help, and when the freezer door is opened, the cadaver rushes out and attacks Burt, but seems to ignore Frank and Freddy. Hmmmm.

Meanwhile in the adjoining cemetery, Freddy's girlfriend, Tina, and Freddy's punk rock friends minus the rock are waiting for him among the tombstones.

This film changes the 1968 story in a few ways. Now the reanimated dead are after human brains, not just human flesh in general. Also, cutting off their heads does nothing. Every piece left just comes after you. Also, the reanimated dead are quite eloquent, even if they are just half of a skeleton. Like the original story, those killed by the zombies become zombies themselves, so geometric progression is a problem.

And finally one big event occurred between 1968 and 1985 - Watergate. In the original film the government gets on TV and levels with the public and the public believes them. In this film, it would be wise not to be as honest as Burt wants to be with the military about the predicament the cast gets themselves into.

With Don Calfa as Ernie (Burt and Ernie? Was this intentional?), a tough pistol wielding mortician at the crematorium next door, whose detailed description of rigor mortis does have a point, so pay attention. He also has the best line in the film - "Why do you eat people?".

Recommended for fans of the horror genre.
 
Source: Old DVD I found while cleaning up
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4 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I've never seen the whole film just bits and pieces, but you can see how much cinema was changing and quickly in the 60s. No wonder you have a large contingent here that wants to stay safely in the 40 and 50s. They were starting to push that bubble.

Yes, the film is a "shocker" in that it's all about the mechanics of buying sex and, then, once you have bought in, trying to maintain your dignity.

It can only have an unhappy, tragic conclusion.

The filthy street urchin represents, I think, the depth of Mrs. Stone's own personal degradation.

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4 hours ago, calvinnme said:

I think Vivien Leigh had tuberculosis and was in complete denial and refused to have it treated, thus her early death.

P.S. What is it about Tennessee Williams and his material that are just so depressing you want to hang yourself after watching filmed versions? Or am I alone in this sentiment?

He looked at the really dark and perverted side of human relationships.

Re: "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" - what could be "darker" than the tale of a gay husband who had to somehow maintain his "heterosexual credentials" in a heterosexual marriage due to the heavy pressure of his wife, his brother and sister-in-law and his father? 

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1 minute ago, rayban said:

He looked at the really dark and perverted side of human relationships.

Re: "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" - what could be "darker" than the tale of a gay husband who had to somehow maintain his "heterosexual credentials" in a heterosexual marriage due to the heavy pressure of his wife, his brother and sister-in-law and his father? 

What could be darker? The rest of his family. His dad clearly just wants a young mistress and wants to be as far from his mother as possible,  and his brother and wife are popping children out at a tremendous rate in hopes of snagging the lion share of the inheritance. If dear brother and wife had clear proof Newman's character was gay I think they'd do somersaults they would be so happy.

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15 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

What could be darker? The rest of his family. His dad clearly just wants a young mistress and wants to be as far from his mother as possible,  and his brother and wife are popping children out at a tremendous rate in hopes of snagging the lion share of the inheritance. If dear brother and wife had clear proof Newman's character was gay I think they'd do somersaults they would be so happy.

Yes, Brick's brother and sister-in-law would be ecstatic.

I saw Tennessee Williams' orginial version with Elizabeth Ashley and Keir Dullea in which the future of Maggie and Brick was completely left in doubt. 

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Kiki (1926) - Silent comedy from First National and director Clarence Brown. Norma Talmadge stars as Kiki, dirt-poor street vendor in Paris with dreams of being a singing stage star. When a spot opens up in the new production of famed producer Victor Renal (Ronald Colman), Kiki jumps at the chance. But her unpolished persona and lack of real training may be her undoing. Also featuring Gertrude Astor, Marc McDermott, George K. Arthur, William Orlamond, Erwin Connelly, and Frankie Darro.

This was a rare comedic outing for Talmadge, and it proved to be a commercial flop, but I thought it was amusing, and almost all thanks to her. She may have been a bit too old for the role as written, but she has a lot of personality and solid comic timing. Colman just has to look handsome and flustered at Norma's antics. The version I saw had no score.   (7/10)

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The Long Riders (1980) One of the last of the "Golden Age" Westerns, when then still knew how to make them look, feel, and sound right, lol. Story about the James-Younger gang with the brothers played by real life brothers the Keach's, Quaid's and Carradines. Of course the story is truncated, features mostly the highlights, with some  as the French dub it "le ballets des morts" slomo homage to Sam Peckinpah. A re-watch 7/10.  

Decoy (1946) could very well be the first SiFi Noir. Jean Gillie, a gangsters moll, cooks up a plan to bring her gas chamber candidate boyfriend back from the dead with Methylene Blue so he can retrieve the stash of $400,000 in loot from a robbery. Gillie is a piece of work. A re-watch 7/10

 

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West Point (1927) - Silent school/sports drama from MGM and director Edward Sedgwick. William Haines stars as Brice Wayne, a cocky jerk who's a new cadet at West Point. His attitude alienates those around him, but he has a change of heart just in time for the big football game against Navy. Also featuring Joan Crawford, William Bakewell, Neil Neely, Ralph Emerson, Edward Brophy, and Raymond G. Moses.

Haines plays his stock character, which undergoes the same character arc as in his previous films. Crawford looks nice but has little to do. As I don't care for scholastic tales or football, this movie did nothing for me.   (5/10)

Source: TCM

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11 hours ago, rayban said:

Yes, Brick's brother and sister-in-law would be ecstatic.

I saw Tennessee Williams' orginial version with Elizabeth Ashley and Keir Dullea in which the future of Maggie and Brick was completely left in doubt. 

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I bet Elizabeth Ashley made a fabulous Maggie. Who is that playing big daddy and big mama?

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"Young At Heart" - Richard Wallace - 1938 -

This one is David O. Selznick's famous comedy about a family of con artists - mother, father, brother, sister - whose lives are transformed by a wealthy and kindly old lady who invites them into her life and home -

the material is very lightweight - in fact, thin, would probaby be a better word -

but it is played with a great deal of charm by its' ensemble cast -

which includes, as the wayward family, who don't believe in working for a living -

Roland Young, Billie Burke, Janet Gaynor and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. -

it is so nice to believe that kindess can rule the world -

and, yes, change lives -

dad gets an executive position with The Flying Wombat Car Company -

mom invites the old lady into her new home when she learns the old lady has become penniless-

sis declares her love for a poor young man -

and brother goes to work and wins himself a very pretty co-worker -

sometimes a film is made out of the purest gossamer -

and, magically it works -

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Across to Singapore (1928) - Silent melodrama from MGM and director William Nigh. Ramon Navarro stars as Joel, the youngest of four sons in a mid-19th century fishing village. He's delighted when his three elder brothers return from long sea voyages, and looks forward to shipping out with them on their next sojourn to Singapore. Trouble sets in when eldest brother Mark (Ernest Torrence) decides that he wants to marry village girl Priscilla (Joan Crawford), not knowing that she is Joel's sweetheart. Also featuring Frank Currier, Dan Wolheim, Duke Martin, Edward Connelly, Jim Mason, and Anna May Wong.

I enjoyed this salty melodrama thanks to the performances of the leads and the shipboard scenes, particularly the big action climax. Crawford is fetching, and Wong adds some world-weary flavor as Singaporean of ill repute.   (7/10)

Source: TCM

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17 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

This was a rare comedic outing for Talmadge, and it proved to be a commercial flop,

When you name the male lead after the kidney, what do you expect?

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Our Dancing Daughters (1928) - Partially silent melodrama from MGM and director Harry Beaumont. Various young people, including fun-loving Diana (Joan Crawford), sensitive Beatrice (Dorothy Sebastian), and gold-digger Ann (Anita Page), try to live the high-life until the inevitably consequences come due. Also featuring Johnny Mack Brown, Nils Asther, Kathlyn Williams, Edward J. Nugent, Huntley Gordon, and Sam de Grasse.

This was the movie that made Crawford a major star. It's said to be one of the first films with Art Deco sets, and there's a lot to look at for fans of costume design, as well. Crawford is good, but I was more impressed by Anita Page in a showy role. The movie has a synchronized score and sound effects, but no real dialogue. It received two Oscar nominations, for Best Writing (Josephine Lovett), and Best Cinematography (George Barnes).    (7/10)

Source: FilmStruck

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While the City Sleeps (1928) - Silent crime drama from MGM and director Jack Conway. Lon Chaney stars as NYPD detective Dan Coghlan. He's after slippery mobster "Mile-Away" Skeeter Carlson (Wheeler Oakman), but it seems impossible to get a charge that will stick to him. Things get even more complicated when both Dan and Mile-Away fall for the same girl, Myrtle Sullivan (Anita Page), who herself has eyes for young man Marty (Carroll Nye). Also featuring Mae Busch, Polly Moran, Lydia Yeamans Titus, William Orlamond, Richard Carle, and Angelo Rossitto.

This was a fairly gritty crime drama for the time, and there's as much violent gunplay as there is in many modern crime dramas. The cast is fine, even if the story isn't particularly noteworthy. I would rate the film higher, but the copy I watched was in such poor condition that it's hard to properly judge the movie, as there's been substantial image degradation as well as some missing footage. Still, I appreciate any chance to see a movie from Chaney, my favorite star of the silent era.  (6/10)

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4 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

While the City Sleeps (1928) - Silent crime drama from MGM and director Jack Conway. Lon Chaney stars as NYPD detective Dan Coghlan. He's after slippery mobster "Mile-Away" Skeeter Carlson (Wheeler Oakman), but it seems impossible to get a charge that will stick to him. Things get even more complicated when both Dan and Mile-Away fall for the same girl, Myrtle Sullivan (Anita Page), who herself has eyes for young man Marty (Carroll Nye). Also featuring Mae Busch, Polly Moran, Lydia Yeamans Titus, William Orlamond, Richard Carle, and Angelo Rossitto.

This was a fairly gritty crime drama for the time, and there's as much violent gunplay as there is in many modern crime dramas. The cast is fine, even if the story isn't particularly noteworthy. I would rate the film higher, but the copy I watched was in such poor condition that it's hard to properly judge the movie, as there's been substantial image degradation as well as some missing footage. Still, I appreciate any chance to see a movie from Chaney, my favorite star of the silent era.  (6/10)

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While The City Sleeps is, I believe, Lon Chaney's only MGM film that still exists in its entirety that has not been shown on TCM. I know of a poor quality print of this film that has been on You Tube for a few years.

It's a shame that TCM's days of restoring silent films seems to be a thing of the past. This film would be a wonderful project for them if they could find the right elements.

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10 hours ago, rayban said:

She was fabulous. So was Keir Dullea.

Those actors were Fred Gwynne and Kate Reid.

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HERMAN MUNSTER WAS BIG DADDY?!?!

wow. Bet that was something to see!

ps- I seem to recall hearing Gwynne was a Yale trained actor, so I imagine he was probably terrific.

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Our Modern Maidens (1929) - Silent romance from MGM and director Jack Conway. Rich girl Billie (Joan Crawford) gets engaged to playboy Gil (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) right after graduation. However, on a train ride, Billie meets wealthy older bachelor Abbott (Rod La Rocque) and starts making time with him behind Gil's back. Meanwhile, hopeless romantic Kentucky (Anita Page) falls for Gil despite his engagement. Also featuring Josephine Dunn, Edward J. Nugent, Albert Gran, Yo Mama, and Adrienne D'Ambricourt.

This was MGM's follow-up to the previous year's hit Our Dancing Daughters although this featured different characters. The tone is more lighthearted, although there are some heavier moments. Fairbanks (who wed Crawford shortly after filming completed) impersonates some movie stars of the day. Crawford does a sexy dance in a fur-fringed get-up.  (6/10)

Source: FilmStruck

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Psycho (1960) Transitional Noir Masterpiece

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What can you say that is new about Psycho?

I can tell you my own remembrances, I was seven years old. I first heard about the film second or third hand. It was from the neighborhood girls across the street. They either claimed to have seen it or their parents had seen it and they had over heard them talking about it, whatever, but they made sure they told me about the shower scene. But of course they exaggerated it all and my imagination did the rest. Anthony Perkins killed her naked in the shower, cut her up in pieces and wrapping each piece in a towel took her out to the trunk of her car. I still remember that thought. A little personal  "mind movie."

Of course the movie never lived up to that, once I saw it. But from my example you can see how much power that creative film had on people even if they hadn't seen it yet.

Now I find out that the original story by Robert Bloch was pretty close to my original "mind movie."

I'm looking at Psycho as one of the first Transitional Noirs that crossed over into exploitation to eventually be a box office hit, and critically acclaimed a part of American cinema mythos. Its out exploiting the new found freedom that came at the end of the Motion Picture Production Code.

It took Classical Noirs mostly crime based films, and bent the style in new direction that was very popular. It took a story by Robert Bloch, a screenplay by Joseph Stefano, combining Noir, Thriller, Horror, Suspense, using alienated and obsessed characters and adding Twilight Zone type twists. Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann, George Tomasini, and John L. Russell concocted really, a magic formula out of thoughts and imagination, an idea put on film that we watched. It captured our imagination. It was a spark that ignited other sparks of imagination. All of the oddball films started appearing in late 50s early 60s they in turn influenced more free ideas.

Noir never really ended it just morphed into what we call now call Neo Noir. It didn't happen all at once in one great kink, no it gradually ripped sparking apart with new directions to explore. Some of these films on that edge that contain the noir visual stylistics, the sort of DNA of noir like Psycho, are the Transitional Noirs.

Seeing them now can be just as powerful as back then.

Full review with screen caps in Film Noir/Gangster.

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Untamed (1929) - Dreadful early talkie melodrama from MGM and director Jack Conway. Joan Crawford stars as Bingo Dowling, the wild-child daughter of an American oilman in South America. After her father dies, Bingo is basically adopted by her father's old friend Ben (Ernest Torrance), who takes the young woman back with him to NYC. On the boat there she meets handsome playboy Andy (Robert Montgomery), and the two fall in love, but "Uncle" Ben naturally disapproves. Also featuring Gwen Lee, Holmes Herbert, John Miljan, Edward J. Nugent, Gertrude Astor, Don Terry, Lloyd Ingraham, and Bess Flowers.

This was Crawford's first "all-talkie" starring role, and she's introduced singing a song. This was Montgomery's first leading role, and he also sings a ditty. This was a pretty terrible movie, though, with awful dialogue, bad performances even from usually reliable people, and a meandering plot that never really went anywhere interesting. The whole concept of Bingo (what a name!) being raised in the "wild jungles" and being "untamed" as the title suggests, is quickly ignored once they get on the boat. As soon as they're in NYC she's acting "to the manor born", wearing the poshest outfits and behaving like all of the other partying society gals. Combine all of that with the primitive nature of early sound recording, and you've got one painful movie to sit through.   (4/10)

Source: TCM

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20 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Untamed (1929) - Dreadful early talkie melodrama from MGM and director Jack Conway. Joan Crawford stars as Bingo Dowling, the wild-child daughter of an American oilman in South America. After her father dies, Bingo is basically adopted by her father's old friend Ben (Ernest Torrance), who takes the young woman back with him to NYC. On the boat there she meets handsome playboy Andy (Robert Montgomery), and the two fall in love, but "Uncle" Ben naturally disapproves. Also featuring Gwen Lee, Holmes Herbert, John Miljan, Edward J. Nugent, Gertrude Astor, Don Terry, Lloyd Ingraham, and Bess Flowers.

This was Crawford's first "all-talkie" starring role, and she's introduced singing a song. This was Montgomery's first leading role, and he also sings a ditty. This was a pretty terrible movie, though, with awful dialogue, bad performances even from usually reliable people, and a meandering plot that never really went anywhere interesting. The whole concept of Bingo (what a name!) being raised in the "wild jungles" and being "untamed" as the title suggests, is quickly ignored once they get on the boat. As soon as they're in NYC she's acting "to the manor born", wearing the poshest outfits and behaving like all of the other partying society gals. Combine all of that with the primitive nature of early sound recording, and you've got one painful movie to sit through.   (4/10)

Source: TCM

 

Did you start over with your chronological movie watching? Or are you just "feeling" the early talkies right now? 

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

Did you start over with your chronological movie watching? Or are you just "feeling" the early talkies right now? 

I started over. I'm catching up on older stuff that I've recorded from TCM (to make room), or gained access to via streaming sites that I want to see (in case they get yanked). It's not a lot, relatively speaking, and I'll be back up to 1960 in a couple of weeks, probably.

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"The Love Light" (1921)

War sure does some odd things to both man and beast.  Causing one to be NAIVE in believing a man would go AWOL because of high wind and sea to a dog pulling out a poor little bird tail feathers.

Seeing the name Giovanni throughout the film gave me a craving for pizza. :P

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