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Cracked Nuts (1931) - Comedy from RKO and director Edward F. Cline. Wendell (Bert Wheeler) hopes to marry Betty (Dorothy Lee), but first he must make something of himself in the eyes of Betty's disapproving Aunt Minnie (Edna May Oliver). To that end he decides to foment a revolution in the far-off nation of El Dorania, where it just so happens Betty and Aunt Minnie are sailing. Meanwhile, motormouth gambler Zander Ulysses Parkhurst (Robert Woolsey) accidentally wins the king's crown in a game with the current king, making Zander the new king. Also featuring Stanley Fields, Boris Karloff, Leni Stengel, Frank Thornton, and Ben Turpin.

Anyone who's seen a Wheeler & Woolsey comedy knows what to expect: a manic pace, silly sight gags, and bad one-liners. This one is no exception, and it's enhanced by funny performances from Edna May Oliver and Stanley Fields. I watched this for Karloff, who plays one of the operatives who "helps" Wheeler in his revolutionary activities.   (6/10)

Source: VHS

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Just watched "WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?" (1932) w/Constance Bennett & Lowell Sherman. It's probably been mentioned here before, but I only just realized that this movie was in many ways the precursor for all the subsequent versions of "A STAR IS BORN".  Yes, the plot line differs in many ways.  But the basic foundation for "ASIB" future generations is well established:

Unknown starlet (Mary/Constance) discovered by big-time, yet alcoholic, director (Max/Lowell). She rises to fame while he spirals downward.  No love line between them (she falls in love and marries a polo player, Neil Hamilton), but she and Max remain fast & loyal friends.  She rescues him repeatedly from jail and drunken blackouts. The last time she does so and brings him to her home, he realizes how much he's fallen and can't have her constantly taking care of him. So he commits suicide. (Future "ASIB" incarnations had two drownings & one automobile accident.  Don't know how Bradley Cooper dies in the latest version.)

Right before he kills himself and Mary is leaving the room, he calls her name, she turns and asks "Yes?"  and he says:  "I just wanted to hear your voice one more time". That one moment really struck me as near identical w/the subsequent versions. In those versions, I think the director character says "I just wanted to look at you one more time".  Difference of a word, but sentiment and message is the same.

While adaptations/remakes of movies are not duplicate copies, it's interesting that exact or near exact lines of dialog will frequently be inserted. I guess if it was that good and effective the first time around, it ain't broke so there was no need to fix it.

 

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For the past several years I've been wanting to see THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (the 1934 version) and missing it when it ran on TCM.

This August, it aired on LIONEL ATWILL'S SUTS day, and I finally got the chance to see it and I was only able to make it to the 1/2 way mark and I ran an incomplete review wherein I mentioned (in so many words) that I thought it (unofficially) sucked.

i caught the second half by utter chance on TCM yesterday, and i can now officially say it sucks.

It's really ironic that 1993 got the restrained, cinematic, hint-laden, all actions implied,  all emotions beneath the still surface (and accurate) version of EDITH WHARTON'S novel and 1934 Hayes Code(?) Hollywood got the version where they tried to "sex it up"  as much as could be possible- and, bless their hearts, the result is a real hot mess of a movie.

How hot a mess? There's an Italian Spitfire housekeeper that goes off on Lupe Velez-like tantrums. I think there's also a talking bird.

the oddest thing about it was how terrible the performances of three actresses whom I admire a lot were- HELEN WESTLEY, IRENE DUNNE and LAURA HOPE CREWES, I can only imagine that the director- whose name i did not recognize- did not have the slightest clue what in the Hell he was doing and demanded they play every scene wrong.

Truly, I hope this trio of fine actresses spent every morning having long, expletive-laden kvetch-sessions about what a complete nitwit he was while in hair and make-up because I know they knew how to play it right.

JOHN BOLES was like a blank VHS tape with a mustache.

The one performance that i think managed to at least be interesting was the young girl in the role of the manipulative young fiancee of the protagonist (the role for which WINONA RYDER snagged one of the only Oscar nominations the 1993 version got, although- to be honest- I like Winona, but I thought she was awful in the part) I imdb'd her, but i've been on such a  rant about this movie i forgot her name, i'm sorry, because she did manage to ground this thoroughly ludicrous misfire for a few odd moments here and there.

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14 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

And HOT.

That’s right, I said it.

C. was a STONE COLD FOX back in the 1700s or whenever the hell that picture was taken.

I mean it, take your fingers and cover up the hat because that hat is terrible. But underneath the hat, hell yeah I would. MUSTACHE OR NO.

AND THOSE MAN PAWS!!!!

10/10 would smash. 

LMREO! Who would've thought?

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I was going to re-purpose Groucho's line " actually it was [his] mother who saw [him] first, but let's not bring the Civil War into this" in re: C. AUBREY'S birth date, but then I went and wiki'd him and HE REALLY WAS BORN IN 1863.

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I was going to RE-use Groucho's line about "let's not bring the Civil War into this" in re: C. AUBREY'S birth date, but then I went and wiki'd him and he REALLY WAS BORN IN 1863.

LOL! No wonder he looked so old!!!!

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

For the past several years I've been wanting to see THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (the 1934 version) and missing it when it ran on TCM.

The 1934 version is sort of a slight, tip of the hat, to the book. The 1993 version is, IMHO, Scorsese's greatest film and one of my top ten films of all time. 

And, in a supporting role, Alexis Smith's final performance, as Luisa van der Luyden:

AO33_150.jpg

 

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12 minutes ago, Swithin said:

The 1934 version is sort of a slight, tip of the hat, to the book. The 1993 version is, IMHO, Scorsese's greatest film and one of my top ten films of all time. 

And, in a supporting role, Alexis Smith's final performance, as Luisa van der Luyden:

AO33_150.jpg

 

And looking REGAL too. 

This may make some of you ashamed of me, but the only Scorsese films I have seen are “taxi driver”(And on the big screen at that!), “the age of innocence”, “Goodfellas” (wsaaaay back when it came out) and GANGS OF NEW YORK, Although I don’t think it’s fair to call that last one a Martin Scorsese film. It’s my understanding it was taken away from him and re-edited aggressively by He Who Shall Not Be Namedstein.

i think TAXI DRIVER is better than INNOCENCE, but they are both EXCELLENT, maybe the Best Pictures of their respective years.

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Goldie (1931) - Pre-Code comedy from Fox and director Benjamin Stoloff. Sailors Bill (Spencer Tracy) and Spike (Warren Hymer) keep dating the same girls at each port of call without ever meeting each other. They finally do meet and become friends, but that relationship is strained when Spike falls for high-dive carnival showgirl Goldie (Jean Harlow), whom Bill has a storied past with. Also featuring Jesse De Vorska, Leila Karnelly, Ivan Linow, Lina Basquette, Maria Alba, Billy Barty, and George Raft.

There's some snappy dialogue in this remake of Howard Hawks' 1928 silent picture A Girl in Every Port. Tracy and Hymer, who had appeared together in 1930's Up the River, make for a passable comedy team, with Tracy as the cynical loudmouth and Hymer as the big dumb lug. Harlow's acting is more than a little sketchy, but at this point she wasn't being hired for her thespian skills. The copy I watched may have suppressed my grade for it a bit.   (5/10)

Source: Bootleg DVD, made from a VHS camcorder recording of a revival theater screening, complete with visible audience members and their reactions on the soundtrack. One of, if not the worst, copies of a movie that I've ever watched all of, simply because I don't think there's any other option for seeing it.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

seen here with C. AUBREY SMITH....

C. Aubrey Smith passed in 1948.   Age of Innocence was released in 1993.

So me think that is Michael Gough.

PS:  I guess you were joking.    C. Aubrey just got back from playing cricket.  

 

 

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17 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

The Todd Killings (1971) Directed by Barry Shear

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It's on a well known streaming site also but in the old tv ratio looks like a multi generated copy of a VHS tape. The film is surprisingly well made, you'd think it would taken the easy route and had been more juvenile given the subject and the time period, but no, it's a serious treatment of the subject matter. 

It at times felt like an updated Psycho and a little bit of Ace In The Hole thrown in with an antagonist who looks like Peter Fonda.

It actually comes off well. Gloria Grahame and Barbra Bel Geddes are nice to see out of their usual '40-50's milieu and Richard Thomas and Robert F. Lyons (as Skipper Todd) are great. 

It may be worth a purchase just to see it in the correct aspect ratio. 

Whatever happened to Robert F. Lyons?  I always felt that he was on his way to stardom.

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41 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

C. Aubrey Smith passed in 1948.   Age of Innocence was released in 1993.

So me think that is Michael Grough.

PS:  I guess you were joking.    C. Aubrey just got back from playing cricket.  

 

 

I was joking, but thank you- I knew he looked sorta familiar but couldn't quite place the face.

Although I'm gonna have to invoke DerSprocketman and remind you it's "G-O-U-G-H."

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6 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I was joking, but thank you- I knew he looked sorta familiar but couldn't quite place the face.

Although I'm gonna have to invoke DerSprocketman and remind you it's "G-O-U-G-H."

Yes, Michael Gough. The man who taught to beware gift binoculars!

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The Guilty Generation (1931) - Crime drama from Columbia Pictures and director Rowland V. Lee. John Smith (Robert Young) is the son of notorious gangster Tony Ricca (Boris Karloff), but he refuses to acknowledge him, as the young man detests his father's criminal ways. Smith later meets young woman Maria (Constance Cummings), and the two fall in love, only to discover that she's the daughter of Ricca's chief underworld rival, Mike Palermo (Leo Carrillo). Also featuring Leslie Fenton, Emma Dunn, James Wilcox, Elliott Rothe, Phil Tead, Ruth Warren, Willie Best, and Glenn Strange.

Yeah, it's yet another riff on Romeo & Juliet, but it's worth seeing for Carrillo as the deceptively friendly gang boss. Robert Young looks impossibly young, and I have to say I never imagined seeing him as the son of Karloff. Speaking of Karloff, the film offers a rare chance to see two Frankenstein's Monsters together, as Glenn Strange shows up as one of Karloff's strong-arm men.   (7/10)

Source: TCM

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12 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Guilty Generation (1931) -

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Looking at Karloff as a gangster makes me think of how Lon Chaney could have prospered in roles of that nature during the early talkies.

81d3663aaf53203a25685d0cd3d260f0--lon-ch

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His Woman (1931) - Tepid romantic drama from Paramount Pictures and director Edward Sloman. Merchant sea captain Sam Whalan (Gary Cooper) discovers an abandoned baby while in port at a Caribbean island. Eventually convinced to take the child back to New York, he decides to hire a nursemaid to watch over the child during the sea voyage. He settles on Sally Clark (Claudette Colbert), a woman of "ill repute" who claims to be the orphaned daughter of a missionary. Sam and Sally fall for each other, but what will happen when Sally's sordid past is revealed? Also featuring Averell Harris, Joseph Calleia, Hamtree Harrington, Sidney Easton, Joan Blair, Charlotte Wynters, Douglass Dumbrille, Preston Foster, Barton MacLane, Donald MacBride, and Harry Davenport.

There's not much I can say about this timewaster. Cooper and Colbert are passable, the story never goes anywhere unexpected, and the filmmaking is perfunctory.    (5/10)

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I Like Your Nerve (1931) - Breezy romantic comedy from First National and director William C. McGann. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. stars as Larry O'Brien, a fun-loving playboy bouncing around from country to country trying to have a good time. He spots beautiful young woman Diane Forsythe (Loretta Young) and decides to pursue, and even when he learns that she's scheduled to soon marry the nation's richest man, Larry's still determined to win her over. Also featuring Henry Kolker, Claud Allister, Edmund Breon, Luis Alberni, and Boris Karloff as Luigi the butler.

Fairbanks is fun and charming, and Young is lovelier than ever, so it's unfortunate that they couldn't have worked with a more inspired script. The filmmakers never quite manage to develop a compelling or amusing scenario for these characters to inhabit, and unfortunately the film fell flat for me.   (5/10)

Source: TCM

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