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9 (2009) Score: 3.5/5 

I have seen this before, but it's been a while, and it was just added to Netflix, so...

A series of 9 sentient voodoo dolls are created by a scientist during the war between man and machine. The scientist hopes the dolls can help save humanity before it's too late. I thought the whole idea was original, and well executed. There are several rather creepy moments, so I definitely wouldn't show this to young kids (maybe 9/10 and up). 

I think sometimes people tend to assume that everything even remotely strange is automatically Tim Burton's work, but in this case, the film was directed by Shane Acker. The film was based on his short film of the same name and concept. 

Image result for 9 2009

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On 10/12/2018 at 1:44 AM, LawrenceA said:

The Undead (1957) - Cheap, goofy paranormal fantasy, from AIP and director Roger Corman.

This is bizarre and stupid as only prime Corman can do it. At times I was impressed with what he tried doing with a low-budget drive-in B picture, using Olde English dialogue through much of the film, however ineptly, and utilizing complicated time travel theory. But then things get dumb again, and a glaringly awful performance or two drags things down, and most of it doesn't make sense. However, I liked the audacious nature of it all, Devon's pointy-eared and pitchfork-wielding Satan, and Allison Hayes' impressive pulchritude.    (5/10)

Source: YouTub

YOU seem to be going through a line of titles that were featured during SEASON 8 OF MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER, coincidence?

As such tho, I have seen all of these NUMEROUS times in fact, THE UNDEAD runs second only to THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES ETC.... as MST 3K episodes that I have watched more times than any others.
I LOVE how they never give CORMAN a break for one second.

(Because no one should.)

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VENOM (2018) Score: 3.5/5 

Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Reid Scott. 

I'm not going to pretend to know much about Marvel comics/characters, but I enjoyed this as someone not as well versed in the superhero universe. 

Tom Hardy stars as this man named Eddie, who is a pretty famous San Francisco reporter, and is known for exposing the higher powers. One day, he gets in a little over his head, and asks the wrong questions of a young visionary (Carlton Drake). Drake has launched rockets into space in order to bring back alien specimens. He and his team perform experiments on humans; their goal is to find the perfect host for the symbiotes (aliens) to mesh with. 

Ultimately, Eddie becomes infected accidentally by one of the symbiotes, and the rest of the movie deals with his transformation and taking down the "bad guys." 

I was sort of thinking that the whole character and mission of Carlton Drake was a little reminiscent of that of real-life visionary, Elon Musk. Not entirely sure if it was meant to be a sort of commentary or not, but that's how I personally perceived it. 

Related image

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11 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

YOU seem to be going through a line of titles that were featured during SEASON 8 OF MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER, coincidence?

As such tho, I have seen all of these NUMEROUS times in fact, THE UNDEAD runs second only to THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES ETC.... as MST 3K episodes that I have watched more times than any others.
I LOVE how they never give CORMAN a break for one second.

(Because no one should.)

Yes, it's just a coincidence. I looked at a list of horror and sci-fi movies from each year and tried to watch every one that I haven't seen.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen a ton of MST3K, as I didn't get either Comedy Central or the SciFi Channel until years after most people did. In fact, my greatest exposure to the show was from a friend who bought all of the VHS tape releases. I later saw the last season or two of MST3K, when it seemed to repeat the Girl in Gold Boots episode every other week.

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Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959) - Mexican-flavored Italian horror from Allied Artists and directors Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava. Archaeologists studying Mayan ruins in an effort to learn what ended their civilization discover Caltiki, a giant blob monster with an acid touch that the natives worship as a god. The foolish outsiders take a piece of the creature back to Mexico City, where it grows and replicates itself, causing much mayhem. Starring John Merivale, Didi Perego, Gerard Herter, Daniela Rocca, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, and Gay Pearl as Indian Dancer.

The miniature effects are bad and the English dubbing is laughable, but I really enjoyed this creature feature thanks to the good cinematography, the exploration of Meso-American mythology and culture, and the implied cosmic connections. The movie is also shockingly grisly for the time. Original director Freda dropped out, and Bava finished the film (uncredited).   (7/10)

Source: There are two versions available: the English dubbed version is on YouTube, but it has rather poor visual quality. The remastered version, with a pristine picture and sound, is available on Amazon Prime, free for members, but it is only the Italian language version with English subtitles.

Caltiki.jpg

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Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) - British thriller from Anglo-Amalgamated, AIP, and director Arthur Crabtree. Michael Gough stars as true-crime writer Edmond Bancroft, who uses drugs and hypnosis to compel his assistant Rick (Graham Curnow) into committing murders that Bancroft then writes about. Scotland Yard superintendent Graham (Geoffrey Keen) is determined to find the culprit. Also featuring Shirley Anne Field, June Cunningham, Gerald Andersen, John Warwick, Austin Trevor, Dorinda Stevens, and Beatrice Varley.

This lurid murder thriller was given top treatment by the producers, who shot it in color and in CinemaScope. The script is implausible, the acting hammy, and the resolution more than a bit too easy. It reminded me of the typical grindhouse exploitation shocker of the 70's, but with no nudity and a classier veneer. The American release tacked on a lengthy prologue that discussed "Hypnovision", but I saw the British release version.   (6/10)

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12 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)

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Poor June Cunningham. In Horrors of the Black Museum she will soon learn one of the true moral signatures for women in horror films: if she's a s l u t, she must die! (Unlike virgins, who may be terrorized, but will still be alive at the end).

Horrors+of+the+Black+Museum+029.jpg

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8 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Kinda sounds like the title of a '70's PORN flick!

I thought of the Oates and Hall song:

Wo-oh here he comes,
Watch out girls, he'll chew you up,
Wo-oh here he comes,
He's a woman eater....

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Uncle Was a Vampire (1959) - Italian horror comedy from Titanus Films and director Steno. Baron Osvaldo Lambertenghi (Renato Rascel) is forced to sell his ancestral castle to a hotel conglomerate just as he receives word that his long-lost uncle Baron Roderico de Frankurten (Christopher Lee) is coming to visit. Osvaldo, who was forced to take a job as a lowly bellhop, tries to make his uncle comfortable, only to learn that he's a vampire who wants to use the hotel's guests as a blood buffet. Also featuring Sylva Koscina, Lia Zoppelli, Kai Fischer, Franco Scandurra, Carl Wery, and Antje Geerk.

Comedy doesn't often translate well across cultures, and I'm assuming that's the case here, or else the movie's just bad. Rascel isn't very amusing or interesting as a performer. Lee has more lines here than he did in Horror of Dracula, only he's dubbed. The women are lovely, even if the fashions aren't.   (5/10)

Source:YouTube

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8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

YOU seem to be going through a line of titles that were featured during SEASON 8 OF MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER, coincidence?

As such tho, I have seen all of these NUMEROUS times in fact, THE UNDEAD runs second only to THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES ETC.... as MST 3K episodes that I have watched more times than any others.
I LOVE how they never give CORMAN a break for one second.

(Because no one should.)

Over on the MST3K discussions, that bit of Mike-era smug paper-target bigotry usually brings up a discussion in defense of "Masque of the Red Death", "The Intruder", and "X - the Man With the X-Ray Eyes", and an appreciation of how Corman, working for Sam Arkoff and James Nicholson, knew he wasn't expected to deliver art, as long he could deliver ahead of schedule and under budget--And was savvy enough to experiment with his own small self-indulgent attempt at art or Important Message anyway, because as long as he was lord of his own independent production domain, he could.  B)

And then, from the more core Corman fans, a defense of tongue-in-cheek screenwriter Charles B. Griffith, and how the "mad" gravedigger in "The Undead" was supposed to be comic relief (Griffith originally wanted the medieval scenes to be in Shakespearean pentameter, and Corman wisely held back), which inevitably gets sidetracked off onto cult praises of Griffith's satirical scripts for "A Bucket of Blood" or "Death Race 2000".

But yeah, even though Lawrence had just seemed to have found a box full of Amer.Int'l's, by the time we got to Terror5K, I was wondering whether he might've been a Mike-era MST3K fanboy talking about all the titles he was "supposed" to talk about.  Just kept waiting for that other shoe to drop.

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The Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960) - Dreadful science fiction from CCM Productions and writer-director Phil Tucker. A couple of disembodied aliens possess the corpses of two people who just died in a car crash. They need the bodies to sabotage NASA's emerging space program. Hero Tom Wright (Scott Peters) proves to be a hindrance to the aliens' plan. Also featuring Linda Connell, Jason Johnson, Katherine Victor, Harriet Dicher, Chuck Howard, Bill Vess, Joe Chester, and Billy M. Greene.

This zero budget wonder features awful acting, an atrocious script, and inept filmmaking. I'd rate it even lower than I have if it weren't for a running gag concerning the severed arm of the male alien. Avoid this one, unless you're a particularly depraved cinema masochist.   (3/10)

Source: YouTube

PDVD_032.BMP

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The Snake Woman (1961) - British horror from United Artists and director Sidney J. Furie. Atheris (Susan Travers) is an unusual young woman who was born with cold blood and the ability to transform into a venomous snake, thanks to snake serum injections that her mother received while pregnant with the child. Many years later, Atheris has grown to adulthood, and the body count continues to rise in her small village, prompting Charles Prentice (John McCarthy) to travel there and get to the bottom of things. Also featuring Geoffrey Denton, Elsie Wagstaff, Arnold Marle, John Cazabon, and Frances Bennett.

This very modest effort has a wee bit o' atmosphere, but generally comes across as a bargain basement Hammer rip-off. Stick to 1966's The Reptile instead.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube. The copy is very good.

92336-the-snake-woman-0-230-0-345-crop.j

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11 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Snake Woman (1961) - British horror from United Artists and director Sidney J. Furie. Atheris (Susan Travers) is an unusual young woman who was born with cold blood and the ability to transform into a venomous snake, thanks to snake serum injections that her mother received while pregnant with the child. Many years later, Atheris has grown to adulthood, and the body count continues to rise in her small village, prompting Charles Prentice (John McCarthy) to travel there and get to the bottom of things. Also featuring Geoffrey Denton, Elsie Wagstaff, Arnold Marle, John Cazabon, and Frances Bennett.

This very modest effort has a wee bit o' atmosphere, but generally comes across as a bargain basement Hammer rip-off. Stick to 1966's The Reptile instead.   (5/10)

Source: YouTube. The copy is very good.

92336-the-snake-woman-0-230-0-345-crop.j

I equate The Reptile, which I like, with the Cult of the Cobra sub-genre, rather than The Snake Woman, which I also like.

The Snake Woman is an interesting film, with a creepy performance by Elsie Wagstaff.

snake-woman-midwife.jpg?resize=750,422

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) - British thriller from Anglo-Amalgamated, AIP, and director Arthur Crabtree. Michael Gough stars as true-crime writer Edmond Bancroft, who uses drugs and hypnosis to compel his assistant Rick (Graham Curnow) into committing murders that Bancroft then writes about. Scotland Yard superintendent Graham (Geoffrey Keen) is determined to find the culprit. Also featuring Shirley Anne Field, June Cunningham, Gerald Andersen, John Warwick, Austin Trevor, Dorinda Stevens, and Beatrice Varley.

This lurid murder thriller was given top treatment by the producers, who shot it in color and in CinemaScope. The script is implausible, the acting hammy, and the resolution more than a bit too easy. It reminded me of the typical grindhouse exploitation shocker of the 70's, but with no nudity and a classier veneer. The American release tacked on a lengthy prologue that discussed "Hypnovision", but I saw the British release version.   (6/10)

hqdefault.jpg

I knew Graham Curnow. Lovely man. He was the partner of Victor Spinetti. I have an amusing story about Graham which I will PM you sometime, Lawrence. 

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W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)

W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings Poster


W.W. is a happy-go-lucky crook who makes his living robbing gas stations through the drive-up windows. The Dixie Dancekings are a country music band trying to get their first big break. A time waster. 5/10

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Amphibian Man (1962) - Soviet science fiction romance, from Goskino, Lenfilm Studio, and directors Vladimir Chebotaryov and Gennadiy Kazanskiy. On the Argentine coast, the locals live in fear of the "sea devil", a fish-man who has been frequently spotted in the nearby ocean. In reality, he's Ichtyandor (Vladimir Korenev), a young man who was born human, but with a deadly lung disease. His brilliant scientist father Professor Salvator (Nikolai Simonov) grafted shark gills onto the boy, relieving his ailment and granting him the ability to breathe underwater. One day Ichtyandor rescues beautiful young woman Gutiere (Anastasiya Vetinskaya), and he falls instantly in love with her. Unfortunately, she's been promised in marriage to lout Pedro (Mikhail Kozakov). Also featuring Anatoliy Smiranin, and Vladlen Davydov.

I really enjoyed this colorful and energetic romance. It exists in its own, slightly surreal world, which is exaggerated by the setting and the characters all being Argentinian, yet played by Russians in the Russian language. The direction is propulsive and inventive, and there's a quaint joy to the 60's era aesthetic seen in the fish-man's silver suit and his father's high-tech lab home. I also appreciated the film's sense of humor.  Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: Amazon Prime video

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Amphibian-Man-photo-2.jpg

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On 10/12/2018 at 10:29 PM, LawrenceA said:

Terror in the Haunted House aka My World Dies Screaming (1958)

terror_in_haunted_house_poster_02.jpg?w=

When I saw that poster, I instantly thought of THE SCREAMING SKULL also '58. The plot is eerily similar:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screaming_Skull

I've seen SCREAMING SKULL numerous times on MST3K (huge fan) and it's a pretty funny episode. 

GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS '68 is one of my all time favorite episodes. I love the movie so much, I have the poster & lobby card set. (movies these days don't even have lobby cards, they have standees and giveaways) There is an "Hollywood Backstage" show that includes footage of Sonny & Cher visiting the HAUNTED HOUSE available on YouTube.

 

 

 

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"The Night Digger" - Alastair Reid - 1971 -

"Spoiler Alert" -

This one has the elements of a thriller - but it isn't really a thriller -

it also has the elements of a study of a homicidal maniac - but it isn't really that serious -

instead, it seems to be a well-intentioned drama that embraces some rather strange elements -

a blind and dominating mother - an isolated middle-aged daughter who has sacrificed her own life to take care of her mother and a mysterious stranger who is hired as the gardener -

tensions are on hold between mother and daughter -

and the stranger has a secret -

when that secret is revealed - of a sexual nature, of course - you might want to scream - or even leave the room -

it's bizarre, to say the least -

but, when the stranger is actually shown in the depths of his secret, you can actually figure out why he is doing what he is doing -

eventually, the mother is left behind, the daughter takes off with the family loot - and, no surprise, the gardener -

eventually, too, the daughter and the gardener seem to have gotten rid of the young man's "sexual problem" -

but the film insists on a tragic ending -

and so, the young man commits suicide -

it makes no sense -

unless, of course, the film is saying that the young man is gay and cannot live with it -

he hates women, he's gotten back at them and he can now succeed with them, but, surprisingly, doesn't really want them -

competent direction and superlative acting from Patricia Neal as the daughter, Pamela Brown as the mother and Nicholas Clay as the young man -

will women never learn -

and will young men realize that being gay isn't the end of the world -

in England, the film was known as "The Road Builder" -

here, it was called "The Night Digger" -

I would call it "The Iceman Cometh" -

Nicholas-Clay-Patricia-Neal-The-Night-Di

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The Desert Song (1929) 7/10 (IF you like the early talkies, otherwise YMMV)

It could have been a chapter in the story of the transition to sound on film,  instead it is barely a footnote. That is mainly because Warner Brothers failed to recognize that this era in film history - 1928-1929 - was a special time and required them to dispense with their rigid film release schedule. The Desert Song was complete and ready for release in November 1928 - one of if not the first Technicolor all sound musical, a true innovation and marvel of the time. But instead it sat in its can until May 1929, its scheduled release date. By that time it was a museum piece as MGM's Broadway Melody, released in February 1929, won all of the accolades and the Best Picture Oscar.

And now for the production itself, adapted from the musical, and the truest adaptation of all of the filmed versions. The film begins with The Riffs, Arab soldiers, charging across the desert, and camping in a small canyon. And I mean very small considering the breadth of the desert. That is because once the Riffs dismount their horses they break into the rousing "Riff Song", and the limitations of early sound cinematography do not allow for wide shots and force them to be placed in close quarters. The leader, "The Red Shadow" (John Boles), is actually the French Pierre Bierbeau . He tells his story to two of the Riffs -and it is the longest narrative in the film - because still in the age of the title card, the alternative would be dozens of title cards!

Pierre speaks of how his love for Margot caused him to join the French army years before, sending him to Morocco. He was ordered by the cruel general in charge there to attack and destroy an Arab village. He saw the savagery of such an act and refused. The general, Margot's father, accused him of treason, slapped him so hard he fell, and demanded he resign. Pierre fled into the desert, asked the Riffs to follow him as the Red Shadow - his face always covered so they would not know he was French - and then he returned to town acting as though his disgrace in the army turned him into a flower picking simpleton. This allows him to wander in and out of the French settlement, learn of the Army's plans, and then warn and lead the Riffs as a sort of Robin Hood, always unsuspected by his fellow Frenchmen. Complications have arisen as now Pierre's father is the general charged with the capture of the Red Shadow, dead or alive.

Carlotta King plays Margot. WB's wardrobe people are a curious lot. They either have her dressed as a seductress and singing to the troops in a cabaret, or dressed in a riding habit which makes her look quite frumpy. Margot is engaged to the slimy soldier Fontaine (John Miljan). Apparently Fontaine is planning to marry Margot at least partially for social climbing reasons, because he is carrying on with the "half caste" Azuri (Myrna Loy). The title card tells you she is "half caste" (part European), because not even in the precode era would a romance between a European and an Arab be allowed in an American film. Azuri learns the true identity of the Red Shadow, but she is biding her time as to what she does with the information. Poor Myrna Loy. Being repeatedly forced by WB into roles where she is the vindictive vamp who cannot speak in complete sentences. No wonder she fled from there as soon as her contract allowed.

Humor is injected into the plot by Benny Kid (John Arthur), a timid reporter with rather effeminate qualities. He is being vigorously pursued by the rather ditzy blonde flirt Susan (Louise Fazenda). Louise Fazenda spent 1929 playing the voluptuous giggly flirty type, but then in 1930 she suddenly is portraying portly prudish matrons from that point forward! I don't know what happened here, particularly since she was married to Warner Brothers producer Hal Wallis.

How will this all work out? I'll let you watch and find out, but good luck finding a copy. Until recently all I could find was the blurry copy that has been around for years, the only copy in existence, the black and white print found in Jack Warner's vault. It appears this film has been recently restored. Of all of the players here,  three had notable careers that made it past the early sound era. Of course there is Myrna Loy who had a great career over at MGM, there is Louise Fazenda who played comic supporting roles until she retired in 1939, and finally there is John Boles whose rich tenor voice made him a natural in the early musicals and whose film career was robust until the beginning of WWII. Boles was unusual in Hollywood in that he was married to the same woman for 52 years until his death in 1969.

Forgive this long review, but these early sound films and their eccentricities are among my guilty pleasures.

Source : youtube. The sound has been cleaned up but the volume is very low!

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THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN (2018) Score: 2/5 

Starring: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Keith Carradine (was literally only in 1 scene & had a single line of dialogue). 

Redford stars as Forrest Tucker, a man who is addicted to robbing banks (a mostly true story). He has been arrested about 16 times, and has managed to escape every single time before his sentence is up (even from Attica and San Quentin). Tucker knocks off banks with his 2 friends, played by Danny Glover & Tom Waits. The Texas police force starts to take notice of this seemingly endless string of robberies, and cop Affleck becomes obsessed with solving the crime and slapping the handcuffs on Tucker himself. Tucker eventually meets and falls for Jewel (Spacek), a horse enthusiast/farmer, and their relationship is somewhat interesting. She seems to know him almost better than anyone else. 

I guess the main theme of this film was the relationship between crime and the criminal. It showed how addicting crime can be for some people, and how some seem to not care about getting arrested. That aspect was sort of interesting to me, but overall, I was not a huge fan of this one. I believe this might be Redford's last film (correct me if I'm wrong)... I feel like the source material was interesting, and the film was a nice concept, but it just seemed rather bland to me. If you like Redford or Spacek, go see this; otherwise, don't bother seeing it until it comes out on rental. 

*There was a short scene from the movie, "The Chase," which a young Redford acted in. I always think it's fun when a film incorporates other scenes from other movies. 

Image result for the old man and the gun 2018

 

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9 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

The Desert Song (1929)

Thanks for the notification of this rare 1929 version being on You Tube, calvinme. I don't believe it's been on TCM. Nor do I believe it is available on DVD.

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Just now, TomJH said:

Thanks for the notification of this rare 1929 version being on You Tube, calvinme. I don't believe it's been on TCM. Nor do I believe it is available on DVD.

It is not on DVD and it was scheduled a few months back for TCM, but then pulled from the schedule. This youtube copy looks better than I've ever seen it, so some professional restoration must have been done. Like I said, the only bad thing about the copy is that the sound is very weak, although it is cleaner than I've ever heard it.

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19 hours ago, Fedya said:

I thought of the Oates and Hall song:

 

Oh?

I thought HALL & OATES did it.  ;) 

Anyway....they never were as good as GARFUNKEL and SIMON.  Or CHER and SONNY.  Nor as funny as COSTELLO and ABBOTT, or HARDY and LAUREL.  or even THE STOOGES THREE.  ;) 

Tonesepia.. :unsure:

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I caught THREE ON A MATCH (1931?) this morning, I'd seen it before, but it's a memorable and engrossing film- a PRE-CODE WOMEN'S PICTURE, if you will (although no one goes to prison, even though JOAN BLONDELL is in it.)

it's about the disparate fortunes of three girls in the years leading up to the early thirties, permeated at each passing of time leading to the present with a charming montage of popular songs, newspaper headlines and landmark events of the eras...really, that frequent device is, I think, the most charming and engrossing part of the movie, which is something, because JOAN BLONDELL is really charming and engrossing herself, as is ANN DVORAK in a really complicated, demanding part that is easier to understand and appreciate in this day and age.

Oddly, BETTE DAVIS is the third of the trio demanded by the title, and her role is terrible, like as bad as it is in WATERLOO BRIDGE- in that she has, like a dozen lines of the "will you pass the salt?' variety and is in it for all of seven or eight minutes, she also has to share scenes with an ADORABLE CHILD ACTOR which I AM SURE PIS SED HER OFF TO NO END, However, she looks TERRIFIC (really, I don't think she was ever lovelier than she is in this film) and has one of those charming "THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT, BUT ENJOY IT ANYWAY" PRECODE motifs wherein she strips down to her slip while talking to a roommate in a scene.

LYLE TALBOT was handsome, WARREN WILLIAM as well, although he is sadly not a lothario in this one.

the child actor is TERMINALLY ADORABLE.

the title refers to the idea that lighting three cigarettes with one match is bad luck (one will die) and then explains the notion was devised by a match manufacturer to make people use more matches.

it's also interesting that of the three, DVORAK faded not long after, BLONDELL maintained mid-level stardom for decades and BETTE of course became immortal in spite of her glaringly limited role here.

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