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The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) - West German crime thriller, from CCC and writer-director Fritz Lang. A new crime wave has brought the attention of police commissioner Kras (Gert Frobe), and rumors persist that the crimes are the work of mastermind Dr. Mabuse, a legendary super-criminal thought dead for nearly 30 years. As Kras sets out to find the true culprit, American businessman Henry Travers (Peter van Eyck) finds himself the latest target of Mabuse's machinations. Also featuring Dawn Addams, Wolfgang Preiss, Werner Peters, Andrea Checci, Marielouise Nagel, Reinhard Kolldehoff, and Howard Vernon.

Lang returned to Germany and the character that he had so much success with in the 1920's and early 30's. This newer film doesn't rank with those earlier ones, but it's a lot of fun, and was an obvious influence on the spy films of the 1960's. The mystery of Mabuse's identity isn't very difficult to guess at all, but there are enough interesting characters to fill up the screen and make things enjoyable. Frobe as the dogged policeman, Preiss as a blind psychic, and Howard Vernon as an assassin with a needle gun, are all stand-outs. This was a big hit in Europe, and spawned a whole new series of sequels, but without Lang's participation.   (7/10)

Source: Sinister Cinema DVD

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Chronicle of a Summer (1961) - French documentary from Argos Films and directors Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch. The directors set out to document the daily lives and concerns of a small group of Parisians during the summer of 1960. Their ultimate aim is to see where truth ends and artifice begins within the confines of the documentary format.

This is one of those film school favorites that holds little appeal for the average viewer. It's an intellectual exercise rather than any kind of entertainment, and will appeal to those more concerned with structure than content. I found it mostly tedious, self indulgent and banal to the point of boredom. I appreciate its place in the history of "cinema verite" filmmaking, but I certainly have no wish to ever revisit it again.   (5/10)

Source: TCM

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COPYCAT (1995) Score: 2.5/5 (wow, I really have not been all that generous with my ratings these days, huh)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick, Jr.

This centers around a prolific psychologist (Weaver) who is the sole survivor of one of a serial killer's attacks (his last one before getting nabbed by the police and thrown in jail for the foreseeable future). Two detectives (Hunter & Mulroney) are tasked with catching a new "copycat" killer who has been changing the M.O. for each killing to properly fit a list of notorious serial killers (including Bundy, Dahmer, etc). Hunter and Mulroney beg Weaver to assist them in their investigation, as she is rather an expert on serial killers and their crimes. 

I like both Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, and am trying to watch more of their films. I believe the only ones of Hunter's I've seen are, "The Incredibles," "The Piano," The Incredibles 2," and "O Brother Where Art Thou" (although she was only a supporting player in that one). For Weaver, I have seen "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters 2," You Again," "Alien," and "Aliens." 

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*Fun fact: Sigourney Weaver is 6 feet tall, while Holly Hunter is a mere 5 feet, 2 inches (I suppose I shouldn't use the word "mere," considering she's got about half an inch on me).* 

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6 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I like both Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, and am trying to watch more of their films.For Weaver, I have seen "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters 2," You Again," "Alien," and "Aliens." 

 

I highly recommend GORILLAS IN THE MIST '88, but have tissues handy. 

When all the boys raved about how hot Weaver was in ALIEN '79, I just didn't see it. I thought she was kind of hard looking, but that may have been by design.

I only saw GITM a few years ago, but was struck by how captivating Weaver was in that. She's a powerhouse actress, carrying the entire movie. I also think she is one of those rare woman who actually got prettier as she matured.

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I hate myself, so I've been watching the FRIDAY THE 13TH film series on AMC ON DEMAND, which means they have both commercials (although, unlike regular AMC,  commercials comprise only 30% of the total viewing time on AMC ON DEMAND as opposed to a solid 70% on regular AMC) and the films are edited for content,

so...I dunno, non-alcoholic beer anyone?

I grew up on these, and they are all terrible (although it's worth noting that Part 3 in 3-D has a certain zietgast to it and PART VI at least has some clever(ish) humor and action as well as the hot guy from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD as the protagonist)- but they're still noteworthy studies of the times.

i'm one of those who ultimately feels like film is a reflection of the values of society and not so much an influencer  on said social beliefs, but still- you can really see the beginnings of society's collective loss of empathy in these (not to mention the makers had some clear issues with women.)

I don't know why, but I am highly amused by the fact that about 30% of these films are comprised of "looking for Tina"- ie there is ALWAYS a character named Tina and there is always a lengthy scene where someone wanders through the woods or cabins looking for her and urging her to "stop screwing around."

Like, why even invite Tina if this is all she does?

The worst of the series was JASON GOES TO HELL, with a viable case to be made for JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, but again- they're really all pretty atrocious.

(Yet repeatedly watchable.)

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12 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

COPYCAT (1995) Score: 2.5/5 (wow, I really have not been all that generous with my ratings these days, huh)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick, Jr.

This centers around a prolific psychologist (Weaver) who is the sole survivor of one of a serial killer's attacks (his last one before getting nabbed by the police and thrown in jail for the foreseeable future). Two detectives (Hunter & Mulroney) are tasked with catching a new "copycat" killer who has been changing the M.O. for each killing to properly fit a list of notorious serial killers (including Bundy, Dahmer, etc). Hunter and Mulroney beg Weaver to assist them in their investigation, as she is rather an expert on serial killers and their crimes. 

I like both Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, and am trying to watch more of their films. I believe the only ones of Hunter's I've seen are, "The Incredibles," "The Piano," The Incredibles 2," and "O Brother Where Art Thou" (although she was only a supporting player in that one). For Weaver, I have seen "Ghostbusters," "Ghostbusters 2," You Again," "Alien," and "Aliens." 

Related image

*Fun fact: Sigourney Weaver is 6 feet tall, while Holly Hunter is a mere 5 feet, 2 inches (I suppose I shouldn't use the word "mere," considering she's got about half an inch on me).* 

If you're a fan of Sigourney Weaver, I suggest you watch THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY from 1982. It didn't get a lot of attention even though Linda Hunt won an Oscar for her portrayal of Billy Kwan a photographer working with Mel Gibson as Guy Hamilton an Australian Journalist in Indonesia in the 1960s. It is a fictional story about the overthrow of then President Sukarno. It is one of my top ten favorites.

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I hate myself, so I've been watching the FRIDAY THE 13TH film series on AMC ON DEMAND, which means they have both commercials (although, unlike regular AMC,  commercials comprise only 30% of the total viewing time on AMC ON DEMAND as opposed to a solid 70% on regular AMC) and the films are edited for content,

so...I dunno, non-alcoholic beer anyone?

I grew up on these, and they are all terrible (although it's worth noting that Part 3 in 3-D has a certain zietgast to it and PART VI at least has some clever(ish) humor and action as well as the hot guy from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD as the protagonist)- but they're still noteworthy studies of the times.

i'm one of those who ultimately feels like film is a reflection of the values of society and not so much an influencer  on said social beliefs, but still- you can really see the beginnings of society's collective loss of empathy in these (not to mention the makers had some clear issues with women.)

I don't know why, but I am highly amused by the fact that about 30% of these films are comprised of "looking for Tina"- ie there is ALWAYS a character named Tina and there is always a lengthy scene where someone wanders through the woods or cabins looking for her and urging her to "stop screwing around."

Like, why even invite Tina if this is all she does?

The worst of the series was JASON GOES TO HELL, with a viable case to be made for JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, but again- they're really all pretty atrocious.

(Yet repeatedly watchable.)

I actually really like this series. Just watching an evil man stalking some clueless people for an hour and a half is actually pretty fun. I like the first few films of the series best but of the newer ones, Jason X has some charm to it. It really satirizes the earlier films and the slasher genre in general. 

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

I actually really like this series. Just watching an evil man stalking some clueless people for an hour and a half is actually pretty fun. I like the first few films of the series best but of the newer ones, Jason X has some charm to it. It really satirizes the earlier films and the slasher genre in general. 

JASON X and JASON VS FREDDY are the only two I haven’t seen.

(I even saw the Michael Bay produced remake.)

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White Sun of the Desert (1970) - Russian action flick from Mosfilm and director Vladimir Motyl. Sukhov (Anatoliy Kuznetsov) is a former soldier making the journey home across the desert near the Caspian sea. He ends up tasked with protecting the harem of a notorious bandit leader named Black Abdullah (Kakhi Kavsadze), after the bandit left them for dead while running from the Soviet army. What should be a short and simple escort mission turns into a perilous battle when Abdullah returns for his wives, leaving only Sukhov and a handful of allies to defeat the bandit army. Also featuring Pavel Luspekayev, Spartak Mishulin, Raisa Kurkina, Nikolai Godovikov, and Tamara Fedotova.

Most of the Soviet films that I've seen have been the propaganda works of the late silent era and the coldly remote intellectualism of Andrei Tarkovsky. However, much like The Amphibian Man which I watched last week, White Sun of the Desert is an entirely different kind of Russian film, much more fun, vibrant, exotic, and entertaining. Sukhov makes for a great change-of-pace hero: positive, confident, and romantic, as depicted by his frequent narrated composition of love letters to his beloved back home, which often amusingly contrast with what's being shown on screen. The action scenes are capably done, and there are many funny lines of dialogue ("He had the wrong grenades.") that work across the cultural barrier. There are some surprisingly dark plot turns, but instead of derailing the adventurous mood of the film, it just makes it feel more Russian, somehow. Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: Amazon Prime video. The subtitles could use some improvement , but otherwise a nice copy.

Beloe-solntse-pustyini-e1444832857626.jp

 

(Thanks to Gershwin fan for letting me know about this movie, which I had never heard of before his recommendation in another thread.)

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39 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

White Sun of the Desert (1970) - Russian action flick from Mosfilm and director Vladimir Motyl. Sukhov (Anatoliy Kuznetsov) is a former soldier making the journey home across the desert near the Caspian sea. He ends up tasked with protecting the harem of a notorious bandit leader named Black Abdullah (Kakhi Kavsadze), after the bandit left them for dead while running from the Soviet army. What should be a short and simple escort mission turns into a perilous battle when Abdullah returns for his wives, leaving only Sukhov and a handful of allies to defeat the bandit army. Also featuring Pavel Luspekayev, Spartak Mishulin, Raisa Kurkina, Nikolai Godovikov, and Tamara Fedotova.

Most of the Soviet films that I've seen have been the propaganda works of the late silent era and the coldly remote intellectualism of Andrei Tarkovsky. However, much like The Amphibian Man which I watched last week, White Sun of the Desert is an entirely different kind of Russian film, much more fun, vibrant, exotic, and entertaining. Sukhov makes for a great change-of-pace hero: positive, confident, and romantic, as depicted by his frequent narrated composition of love letters to his beloved back home, which often amusingly contrast with what's being shown on screen. The action scenes are capably done, and there are many funny lines of dialogue ("He had the wrong grenades.") that work across the cultural barrier. There are some surprisingly dark plot turns, but instead of derailing the adventurous mood of the film, it just makes it feel more Russian, somehow. Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: Amazon Prime video. The subtitles could use some improvement , but otherwise a nice copy.

Beloe-solntse-pustyini-e1444832857626.jp

 

(Thanks to Gershwin fan for letting me know about this movie, which I had never heard of before his recommendation in another thread.)

I'm glad you liked it. It's probably the best "red western." I agree that the scenes with Vereschagin, Petrukha and Gyulchatai in particular were very dark but moving. 

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2 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

I actually really like this series. Just watching an evil man stalking some clueless people for an hour and a half is actually pretty fun. I like the first few films of the series best but of the newer ones, Jason X has some charm to it. It really satirizes the earlier films and the slasher genre in general. 

Since I know better than subject myself to the entire series--only looked at bits of 3, and the goofy #2, back when Jason still wore a burlap sack because "The Road Warrior" hadn't come out yet--settle a bet:
Along with "James Cagney never said 'You dirty rat'" and "Humphrey Bogart never said 'Play it again, Sam'", I've always thrown around the movie-lover's nitpick of "In the original Paramount films, Jason never wielded a chainsaw".  (As he's often depicted in goofy pop-culture references, especially around Halloween time.)  That was the other guy--Jason preferred phallic weapons, like long machetes or skewering weapons.

So...DID Jason ever use a chainsaw in the later films?  Did one of the later campy New Line producers ever ruin that bar bet for us?  ?

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Roughshod (1949) Director: Mark Robson, stars: Robert Sterling, Gloria Grahame and John Ireland

Roughshod Poster

Three convicts Lednov (John Ireland) and two buddies break out of prison, shoot down three cowboys and steal their clothes. Ludnov wants revenge on Clay Phillips (Robert Sterling).

Clay Phillips hears about the escape. He and his young brother though have been planing on leaving town to take a herd of horses to Sonora to sell. Out on the road they come across four cat house girls Mary Wells (Gloria Grahame) and her friends, Elaine, Helen and Marcia, who were forced out of town by the reform element. They are heading the same way but have a broken wheel on their buggy. One of the girls boyfriends shows and Marcia leaves with him to get married. Clay takes the remaining girls on to the nearest ranch, where it turns out one of the girls Elaine is the homesteader's wayward daughter. 

As Clay already knows that one of the cons is probably after him he is less than thrilled to have to take the remaining two girls Mary and Helen on with him. Mary meets a prospector and decides to stay with him. Then Clay flags down a stagecoach and puts Mary on it, just in time to have a showdown with Ludnov and crew. 6/10
 

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Lady From Shanghai (1947) A Noir Nightmare

AP333-la-signora-di-shanghai-lady-from-shanghai-orson-welles-italian-movie-poster-1948.jpg

The Lady From Shanghai is like a train wreck.  

If it's on I'll watch it, its sort of trance inducing, some sequences are downright creepy, others (like the opening carriage ride meet of Welles and Hayworth) silly especially with that Irish brogue accent.

Written and directed by Orson Welles. Based on the 1938 novel "If I Die Before I Wake"  by Sherwood King. The cinematography was by Charles Lawton Jr., the music was by Heinz Roemheld.

The film stars Rita Hayworth as Elsa "Rosalie" Bannister. For the film Welles cut Hayworth's long red locks and dyed what was left blonde. I hate it, funny thing is in the novel "If I Die Before I Wake" by Sherwood King, that the film is based on, the character has flowing red hair.

The story is narrated by Welles and shown in a long flashback.

Welles does suck as an Irishman, (the character in the book is Laurence Planter, an ex-sailor working as a chauffeur). This "Irishman" change to the story was apparently all Welles' idea. It adds nothing.  He could have just it played normal. As it is he sounds as if he's looking for his "Lucky Charms" (referencing a TV commercial about an overly sweet breakfast cereal with marshmallow bits called Lucky Charms where a leprechaun is stating in the same Irish brogue that he is looking for his "lucky charms").

The film has some great visual sequences (the Steinhart Aquarium in Golden Gate Park, the Playland at the Beach amusement park's Magic Mirror Maze, and San Francisco's Chinatown). Sloane's bizarre over the top Bannister character steals the show, He's got a two canes which he uses to propel himself with a swinging cripple walk. He has an often demeaning obnoxious voice. Anders' portrayal of Grisby is as equally over the top as Bannister. Anders's got a sing song delivery with exaggerated pronunciation combined with a cackle that's offsetting. It's a shame Anders didn't make more movies his career was mostly on the stage. His only other noir was M(1951).

Again, I don't care for Hayworth's short blond locks, or as I've mentioned before Welles' Irish brogue, but that doesn't keep me from watching. 6.5/10

Full review with more screen caps here in Film Noir/Gangster pages.

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Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010) - Mind-numbing bad horror (?) film, from writer-producer-director James Nguyen. Tech company salesman Rod (Alan Bagh) and model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) struggle to survive when birds begin attacking people in a northern California coastal town. Also featuring...who cares.

Inept on every level, from the acting to the atrocious script to the worst-ever-on-film CGI effects, this is one overlong spectacle that takes itself seriously enough to merit so-bad-it's-good status. The only thing worse than the cringe-worthy musical interlude found at the movie's midway point is the laughably heavy-handed environmental message. It's a must for bad movie fans, but others need not apply. This currently sits at #5 on the IMDb Bottom 100 list, the 100 lowest rated movies on the site.   (2/10, or 9/10, depending on your disposition)

Source: Severin DVD

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22 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010) - Mind-numbing bad horror (?) film, from writer-producer-director James Nguyen. Tech company salesman Rod (Alan Bagh) and model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) struggle to survive when birds begin attacking people in a northern California coastal town. Also featuring...who cares.

Inept on every level, from the acting to the atrocious script to the worst-ever-on-film CGI effects, this is one overlong spectacle that takes itself seriously enough to merit so-bad-it's-good status. The only thing worse than the cringe-worthy musical interlude found at the movie's midway point is the laughably heavy-handed environmental message. It's a must for bad movie fans, but others need not apply. This currently sits at #5 on the IMDb Bottom 100 list, the 100 lowest rated movies on the site.   (2/10, or 9/10, depending on your disposition)

Source: Severin DVD

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Honey, you ok?

*i saw the rifftrax version ONCE. They did JAMES NGUYEN’s other feature an EXCEPTIONALLY HALFASSED UNOFFICIAL CYBER REMAKE OF”PETER IBBETSON” CALLED “JULIE AND JACK” and again, saw it only once And I usually re-watch rifftraxeses

*I say “unofficial” because the movie is too stupid to even know that it’s a remake of PETER IBBETSON.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010) - Mind-numbing bad horror (?) film, from writer-producer-director James Nguyen. Tech company salesman Rod (Alan Bagh) and model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) struggle to survive when birds begin attacking people in a northern California coastal town. Also featuring...who cares.

Inept on every level, from the acting to the atrocious script to the worst-ever-on-film CGI effects, this is one overlong spectacle that takes itself seriously enough to merit so-bad-it's-good status. The only thing worse than the cringe-worthy musical interlude found at the movie's midway point is the laughably heavy-handed environmental message. It's a must for bad movie fans, but others need not apply. This currently sits at #5 on the IMDb Bottom 100 list, the 100 lowest rated movies on the site.   (2/10, or 9/10, depending on your disposition)

Source: Severin DVD

giphy.gif

So, surprised you didn't at least mention The Birds. I mean, I thought you were going to, it seems obvious. But, judging how rubbish this thing apparently is, guess you thought it would be an insult to Hitch.

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The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) 8/10

It's great to see George Sanders play a normal person for a change, or ALMOST normal I should say. Plus for once Geraldine Fitzgerald is given a part that she can sink her teeth into instead of the many bland "pass the salt" parts she otherwise got.

So George Sanders plays Harry Quincey, brother of Hester (Moyna McGill), and Lettie (Geraldine Fitzgerald). Hester is a widow. Lettie and Harry have never married and are now middle aged. They were once a wealthy prominent family, but lost their money in the Depression, and all they have left of their fortune is their sprawling old mansion. Harry supports his sisters by working in the mill as a pattern designer. It was a long social fall, especially if you consider that the siblings were grown when it happened - they can remember the trappings of wealth - but they have seemed to adjust well. Harry likes to joke with the younger workers at the mill, and enjoys a night out once a week at his "club" where other male townsfolk congregate, play piano, and drink beer.

Lettie...well, she never really had to adjust. She either feigns illness or is a hypochondriac, probably a little bit of both. This allows her to pretty much just lie around the big house all day. And she has basically replaced both husband and father with Harry, to whom she closely clings to the point where her attention seems somewhat incestuous, but just emotionally so.

And then one day a "fashion expert" from New York comes to the plant where Harry works - Ella Raines as Deborah. She is a good 15 years younger than Harry, but the two end up falling in love. This is something Lettie didn't count on! Harry getting married! So the plan is that Hester and Lettie will find some other place to live, but months pass and Lettie claims no house in town for rent will do. Lettie's passive aggressive tactics eventually work, and Deborah breaks up with Harry and returns to New York. Later there is news of her marriage to someone else. Afterwards, Lettie makes a remarkable recovery from a serious illness she was feigning and leaves Harry fuming. The final straw is when he finds out Lettie did something else, unrelated, months before, in spite of how Harry felt. He now realizes Lettie does not just depend on Harry, she uses him to always get her way. And looking at some poison Lettie had bought months earlier stashed in a desk, Harry is thinking there is only one way out and he is not thinking suicide either.

So now we are in Hitchcock territory, but like with Hitchcock, these things rarely work out as planned. If you want to know what I mean watch and find out.

This is a great little noir that bothers to incorporate the Great Depression into its plot but not the very recently ended - as in days - WWII. People were probably ready for an escape from that almost four year nightmare, the Depression seemed far away by now, and this little film fit the bill. Highly recommended.

Source: Olive Films DVD

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7 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

If you're a fan of Sigourney Weaver, I suggest you watch THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY from 1982. It didn't get a lot of attention even though Linda Hunt won an Oscar for her portrayal of Billy Kwan a photographer working with Mel Gibson as Guy Hamilton an Australian Journalist in Indonesia in the 1960s. It is a fictional story about the overthrow of then President Sukarno. It is one of my top ten favorites.

Thanks, Hogan! This movie is on my list already, but after reading your praise of it, I will make sure to make time for it as soon as possible (this weekend, perhaps)

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26 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

Thanks, Hogan! This movie is on my list already, but after reading your praise of it, I will make sure to make time for it as soon as possible (this weekend, perhaps)

For Sigourney Weaver, I would also include Working Girl (1988), which is now quite the period-piece time capsule, with giant shoulder pads and mile-high hairdo's; and The Ice Storm (1997), which is a good ensemble film, with Weaver a stand-out.

Also Death and the MaidenGalaxy QuestHeartbreakers, and Tadpole

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19 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I like both Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, and am trying to watch more of their films. I believe the only ones of Hunter's I've seen are, "The Incredibles," "The Piano," The Incredibles 2," and "O Brother Where Art Thou"

For Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona is an absolute must, as is Broadcast News. I also liked her in Thirteen, The Firm, and The Big Sick. If you're adventurous, try Crash (1996).

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4 hours ago, EricJ said:

Since I know better than subject myself to the entire series--only looked at bits of 3, and the goofy #2, back when Jason still wore a burlap sack because "The Road Warrior" hadn't come out yet--settle a bet:
Along with "James Cagney never said 'You dirty rat'" and "Humphrey Bogart never said 'Play it again, Sam'", I've always thrown around the movie-lover's nitpick of "In the original Paramount films, Jason never wielded a chainsaw".  (As he's often depicted in goofy pop-culture references, especially around Halloween time.)  That was the other guy--Jason preferred phallic weapons, like long machetes or skewering weapons.

So...DID Jason ever use a chainsaw in the later films?  Did one of the later campy New Line producers ever ruin that bar bet for us?  ?

I don't think so. In Jason X, he uses axes, knives and even skewers people on futuristic piston looking things in the spaceship. 

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Beau Geste (1939)

Handsomely mounted adaption of P. C. Wren's famous novel about a stolen sapphire and three brothers who disappear from their English estate and enlist in the French Foreign Legion. This Paramount production is noteworthy for an impressive cast, as well as a great art direction set piece with the creation of Fort Zinderneuf, where most of the story and action take place in the North African desert. The strong black and white photography of Theodor Sparkuhl and Archie Stout provides producer/director William Wellman's film with a memorable visual glow.

The three Geste brothers are played by Gary Cooper in the title role, Ray Milland and Robert Preston. They all look good in uniform and are capable in their roles. English? Well, no, except for Milland (okay, he's Welsh, but he can pass). It's Brian Donlevy's tyrannical Sergent Markoff, the brutish despised officer of the outpost, however, who dominates all the scenes in which he appears and easily steals the show. Wellman occasionally shoots the actor from a lower camera angle to make him dominate a scene all the more.

Legend has it that Donlevy was as despised by the cast as was his character on the screen, the actor apparently taking on some of the characteristics of Markoff on the film set. This lead to a moment in which Ray Milland, who genuinely disliked Donlevy, deliberately pricked him with a sword in the film's climax, causing Donlevy to see his own blood and pass out.

Whatever. The final victory was still Donlevy's, winning a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his memorable performance. Particularly impressive is one scene in which Donlevy's Markoff, hoping to fool the Arabs who surround the fort but don't realize there are only seven men still alive inside it after several battles, coerces those still living Legionnaires to start laughing loudly.

Donlevy points to the cringing J. Carol Naish in the lookout tower as Wellman's camera remains at a low angle beneath Donlevy.

"Laugh, you human jackal," Donlevy shouts up at Naish, "Laugh!"

Naish breaks out into a loud giddy high pitched laughter which causes the Legionnaires below to genuinely laugh in response to his sounds. A single bullet suddenly rings out and Naish tumbles from the tower to his death as the Arabs resume their attack.

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Noteworthy in small supporting roles in the production are a pair of future stars: Susan Hayward, as a proper young lady in love with Milland who waits for him back home in England, and Broderick Crawford as a towering Yank who joins the legion and befriends the brothers.

This is the kind of film in which two legionnaires dying in bed from fever let everyone know they are leaving them by suddenly sitting straight up, and letting out piercing screams before collapsing back dead in their beds. I chuckled a bit at this but accept it as a script writer's idea of a stirring Hollywood death scene. All that sudden adrenaline in their fading, dying seconds!

A silent version of Beau Geste with Ronald Colman had been filmed in 1926, and the story would see light again in 1966 with Guy Stockwell. Marty Feldman would also film a 1977 satire called The Last Remake of Beau Geste. Hopefully one day the Colman silent will get a much needed restoration to do that version justice. The 1939 Cooper version is probably the best known today and the most highly regarded.

The tyrannical sergeant (played by Noah Beery) in the silent version, by the way, was named Lejaune. With war clouds darkening over Europe when the Wellman-Cooper version was filmed in 1939 it was decided to change the sergeant's name to that of a German, Markoff. Three decades later when the tale was filmed again the sergeant's name would be French once again.

90716-004-FD5D2B83.jpg

3 out of 4

 

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

For Sigourney Weaver, I would also include Working Girl (1988), which is now quite the period-piece time capsule, with giant shoulder pads and mile-high hairdo's; and The Ice Storm (1997), which is a good ensemble film, with Weaver a stand-out.

Also Death and the MaidenGalaxy QuestHeartbreakers, and Tadpole

 

4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

For Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona is an absolute must, as is Broadcast News. I also liked her in Thirteen, The Firm, and The Big Sick. If you're adventurous, try Crash (1996).

Thanks Lawrence for the recommendations! I'll be sure to add all these to my ever-growing list haha. Much obliged to you. 

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Once You Kiss a Stranger (1969) - Terrible reworking of Patricia Highsmith's Strangers On a Train, from Warner Brothers and director Robert Sparr. Psychotic rich girl Diana (Carol Lynley) makes a pact (or at least thinks she does) with pro golfer Jerry (Paul Burke) to kill the annoyance in the other person's life. Also featuring Martha Hyer, Peter Lind Hayes, Philip Carey, Stephen McNally, Kathryn Givney, Elaine Devry, Ann Doran, and Whit Bissell.

Lynley's the best part about this, as she gives it her all. It's a shame the rest of the production is bland, dull, and overlong by a good 30 minutes. The era production design is a fun flashback, with 8-track players and a hidden video camera the size of a large hardback book.    (5/10)

Source: TCM

MPW-36269

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19 hours ago, EricJ said:

Since I know better than subject myself to the entire series--only looked at bits of 3, and the goofy #2, back when Jason still wore a burlap sack because "The Road Warrior" hadn't come out yet--settle a bet:
Along with "James Cagney never said 'You dirty rat'" and "Humphrey Bogart never said 'Play it again, Sam'", I've always thrown around the movie-lover's nitpick of "In the original Paramount films, Jason never wielded a chainsaw".  (As he's often depicted in goofy pop-culture references, especially around Halloween time.)  That was the other guy--Jason preferred phallic weapons, like long machetes or skewering weapons.

So...DID Jason ever use a chainsaw in the later films?  Did one of the later campy New Line producers ever ruin that bar bet for us?  ?

In FRIDAY THE 13th PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD he kills Terry “Bernie Lomax” Kiser with what appeared to me to be a gas powered lawn edger with a blade saw attached.

Despite being the lowest box office performer of the series and decidedly not a fan favorite, PART VII is one I’d recommend to somebody who’s not familiar with the series as it hits all the notes you expect. 

(There is also SO MUCH looking for Tina in this one- it ventures solidly into SAMUEL BECKETT terrain.)

But no chainsaw from 1980 to 1992 as I recall.

 

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