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... Robinson Crusoe on Mars.  I haven't seen this in about 40 years or so, but it still holds up well. Just three actors:  Adam West (who departs quickly), Paul Mantee, and Vic Lundin.  Also, one monkey. Mantee, as the spaceshipwrecked survivor, is in virtually every scene and carries the film, with good support from Lundin as an alien "Friday." The special effects are decent, and kept to a minimum. The photography is great; much of this was filmed in Death Valley. If you can stick with its 1 hr 50 minute running time, it's a good survival story.

One of my favorite sci-fi movies. I saw this when it was released in theaters - great stuff. Did you recognize the Martian's spacecraft?

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One of my favorite sci-fi movies. I saw this when it was released in theaters - great stuff. Did you recognize the Martian's spacecraft?

They looked like just the tops of the ships in War of the Worlds. They also made the same sounds and fired the same stuff.

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Last night I watched Chad Hanna with Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour and Linda Darnell.  Fonda plays an "aw shucks" country boy who falls in love with Albany Yates (Dorothy Lamour) in the circus... before later marrying Caroline (Linda Darnell), who has also joined the circus.  

 

The movie was okay, not great.  I've enjoyed Fonda more in other roles (e.g. 12 Angry Men), and I've been appreciating Linda Darnell more and more, the more movies I see her in, but here her role was weaker (or it was just a poorly written script).  I liked the Technicolor and got a kick out of Jane Darwell's role as a feisty fat lady.  In one scene she stands holding a rifle, making a man promise that he won't bother the circus team again.  He does.  She then hits him over the head with the rifle, knocking him out, then says, "Now I believe him!"  Lol...

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Hey Laffite, 

 

 

Blast of Silence is a late noir (i.e. 1961) and a pretty, pretty, pretty, good flick and maybe somewhat of a sleeper since I have not heard tell of it no how on these boards. It is the story of a hit man. The circumstances which comprise the plight of the average noir hero (or anti-hero) are probably many and varied. A guy might be living an ordinary life and suddenly be hurled into the mire by fate. Or another maybe a guy who has a dangerous life style but finally makes the mistake that begins the nightmare. In this case, however, the hero has apparently and seemingly been so afflicted since the womb. This is wonderfully depicted in an opening sequence that should go down as a classic, in my view. I shall not reveal it but it is immensely satisfying and an excellent way to begin the show....

 

Nice write up on Blast of Silence.  I checked my collection and I don't have it which is a shame because what you wrote makes me want to give it a look.

 

The first thing that struck me when I looked it up was the cast, none of whom I recognised. That actually makes it more interesting to check out. I liked the way you set up the story and the characters. A nice teaser. 

 

Now I'll set out to find the film.

 

Also to film lover 293,

 

Thanks for the additional information.

 

 

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Another Face

 

It was a pretty good little film for midday fodder. I enjoyed it, but what a dumb plan Broken Nose Dawson had. Get you face fixed up to elude police and then go to Hollywood to become a heartthrob in front of millions. Way to go, Broken Nose.

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Another Face

 

It was a pretty good little film for midday fodder. I enjoyed it, but what a dumb plan Broken Nose Dawson had. Get you face fixed up to elude police and then go to Hollywood to become a heartthrob in front of millions. Way to go, Broken Nose.

Yup.

 

What I didn't buy at ALL was that a mobster who supposedly got as far as he did was portrayed to be such a moron.

 

I did like Brian's send-up of pretty boys, his posing would put Madonna to shame. And of course, I forgive him anything for the wonderful and glorious Impact.

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Last night I watched recorded NIGHT TIDE (61) and MOONFLEET (55)

 

Night Tide was pretty cool, with a very young sailor Dennis Hopper falling for a beautiful but mysterious girl. I was thrilled to see so many scenes take place in a carousel round house-the Santa Monica Pier Carousel-a 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Co machine. Hopper wanders into the building and comments on how beautiful the carvings are and the owner tells him they are all different and hand carved in Bavaria (!) Just goes to show just how easily mis-information is perpetuated.

 

There is a sideshow/carnival sort of theme which I really enjoy, even a fortune teller! It was moody and well told, a pretty good film overall.

 

Then I watched MOONFLEET mostly because I like Fritz Lang's filmmaking skills. I was surprised it was a Technicolor costumer. I wasn't immediately sucked into the story and kind of lost interest-something a film should never do. I'll give it another try over the weekend in the afternoon. If it doesn't "catch" me then, I'll give up on it.

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Tough Guy (1936) with Jackie Cooper and Joseph Calleia.  It had been on TCM a while ago and I recorded it.

Well it was kind of silly fun made worthwhile by the performances of both Calleia, in familiar gangster role and the young Cooper - who gets to cry about his dog.

One has to suspend all belief in the plot.  At the start Calleia is intent on rubbing out young runaway Cooper because he is a witness to a crime he has just committed.  But then a common love bond develops for Cooper's dog, who happens to be Rin Tin Tin, Jr. and Calleia does a miraculous if somewhat unbelievable 180.  He soon becomes a big brother to Cooper and even does battle with the other baddies to protect him.

The good thing about most of these cliche ridden oldies is that they go by quickly.

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Tough Guy (1936) with Jackie Cooper and Joseph Calleia.  It had been on TCM a while ago and I recorded it.

Well it was kind of silly fun made worthwhile by the performances of both Calleia, in familiar gangster role and the young Cooper - who gets to cry about his dog.

One has to suspend all belief in the plot.  At the start Calleia is intent on rubbing out young runaway Cooper because he is a witness to a crime he has just committed.  But then a common love bond develops for Cooper's dog, who happens to be Rin Tin Tin, Jr. and Calleia does a miraculous if somewhat unbelievable 180.  He soon becomes a big brother to Cooper and even does battle with the other baddies to protect him.

The good thing about most of these cliche ridden oldies is that they go by quickly.

 

SKIPPY --- another movie about Jackie Cooper and a dog -- is scheduled to air on TCM on July 25.

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SKIPPY --- another movie about Jackie Cooper and a dog -- is scheduled to air on TCM on July 25.

Yes.  Very rare too.   I won't tell you how much I paid for a rotten bootleg copy of that one.

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Having gone to another graduation celebration last night, I just watched a couple of the noir films shown last night (well, one I watched when I got home last night, the other just now),.NIGHTMARE ALLEY.and TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY. I've seen both any number of times, and have rhem on dvd, but wanted to hear Muller's comments. Falling asleep to Power as the Geek, I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares.

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I watched Nightmare Alley last night. 

 

This movie was ridiculous.  I liked the carnival setting for part of the film.  Carnivals and amusement parks can be creepy and are excellent settings for noir. 

 

I thought Tyrone Power was really good in this film.  While I know he was the big matinee idol at Fox, he didn't do anything for me--not ugly by any means, but not for me.  Anyway... his performance as the carnie who later turns into a big time swindler and later some pseudo-religious guy was very interesting.  I also really liked Joan Blondell and Coleen Gray's performances.  I wish Blondell had had a larger part, but I liked her in the scenes she was in.  Helen Walker who played the crooked psychiatrist, was also very good. 

 

I liked the storyline of Power's character who thought he was so intelligent and clever ending up being swindled by the psychiatrist he was using to further his act.  

 

His rise and fall was interesting to watch.  I also learned about what a "geek" was.  I only knew what the word was in the modern sense, but had no idea about the geek's role in the carnival.  I don't understand how the geek could be considered entertainment, but sometimes those carnivals can be full of weird people, so maybe it is to them.

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Great post on Nightmare Alley, speedy.  I have it on DVD - this is my favorite Power flick.  Both he and Joan Blondell hit it out of the park.

 

I think the "happy" ending weakens it. But it's good up 'til then.

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I think the "happy" ending weakens it. But it's good up 'til then.

Agreed.  It seemed rather convenient that Molly just happened to be working in the same carnival.  Although, I can't imagine there'd be too many traveling carnivals moving around the countryside. 

 

I think I would have liked it if the film ended with him having to give his first geek show or something like that--or some type of ending that was truly pitiful--a complete 180 from the beginning of the film.

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Agreed.  It seemed rather convenient that Molly just happened to be working in the same carnival.  Although, I can't imagine there'd be too many traveling carnivals moving around the countryside. 

 

I think I would have liked it if the film ended with him having to give his first geek show or something like that--or some type of ending that was truly pitiful--a complete 180 from the beginning of the film.

 

Like most movies from the studio era, it copped out.

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Agreed.  It seemed rather convenient that Molly just happened to be working in the same carnival.  Although, I can't imagine there'd be too many traveling carnivals moving around the countryside. 

 

I think I would have liked it if the film ended with him having to give his first geek show or something like that--or some type of ending that was truly pitiful--a complete 180 from the beginning of the film.

 

I assume the happy ending was a compromise with the suits that were already nervous the film wouldn't do well at the box office (and they ended up being right in that regard).

 

But hey,  if the film was going to only do so-so at the box office anyhow,  it would have been better if they had just stuck to the noir ending of Power ending up being the geek and said 'The End' right after that.

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great post, speedy, on my fav Power film.

Mueller's end remarks on "Nightmare Alley" got me curious about Wm. Lindsay Gresham, the author.

He had quite an interesting life and sad death....

"He had started to go blind and had been diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. On September 14, 1962, he checked into the Dixie Hotel — which he had often frequented while writing Nightmare Alley over a decade earlier.[2] There, 53 year old Gresham took his life with an overdose of sleeping pills. His death went generally unnoticed by the New York press, but for a mention by a bridge columnist.[4] In his pocket they found business cards reading, "No Address. No Phone. No Business. No Money. Retired."[1]"

 

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

 

also: https://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/archives/200007/0019.html

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I've decided that I am only going to watch films that are on the Top 10 most-searched titles on the TCM database - because that's where it's happenin', baby!

 

 

 

Well, it's about time. Where you've been, man. I don't even watch movies any more. I used to read once in awhile and have sex with girls, but hey, why waste time with dull activities like that when you can treat yourself to the exhilarating experience of consulting the top ten most searched TCM database. I no longer engage in unworthily activities such as watching films on that august list when I could be watching the actual list itself. Hey man, time to get your priorities in order.

 

laffite

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Well, it's about time. Where you've been, man. I don't even watch movies any more. I used to read once in awhile and have sex with girls, but hey, why waste time with dull activities like that when you can treat yourself to the exhilarating experience of consulting the top ten most searched TCM database. I no longer engage in unworthily activities such as watching films on that august list when I could be watching the actual list itself. Hey man, time to get your priorities in order.

 

 

You channel Dennis Hopper quite well.

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I watched Nightmare Alley last night. 

 

This movie was ridiculous.  I liked the carnival setting for part of the film.  Carnivals and amusement parks can be creepy and are excellent settings for noir. 

 

I thought Tyrone Power was really good in this film.  While I know he was the big matinee idol at Fox, he didn't do anything for me--not ugly by any means, but not for me.  Anyway... his performance as the carnie who later turns into a big time swindler and later some pseudo-religious guy was very interesting.  I also really liked Joan Blondell and Coleen Gray's performances.  I wish Blondell had had a larger part, but I liked her in the scenes she was in.  Helen Walker who played the crooked psychiatrist, was also very good. 

 

I liked the storyline of Power's character who thought he was so intelligent and clever ending up being swindled by the psychiatrist he was using to further his act.  

 

His rise and fall was interesting to watch.  I also learned about what a "geek" was.  I only knew what the word was in the modern sense, but had no idea about the geek's role in the carnival.  I don't understand how the geek could be considered entertainment, but sometimes those carnivals can be full of weird people, so maybe it is to them.

 

So - just trying to clarify for myself here, speedy - when you say "this movie was ridiculous", you mean that in a good way?

 

As I said in another thread about the film, I love Nightmare Alley. But I'm kind of a sucker for almost any film with a carnival locale. Even though you just know that life in such a place would be hard, dangerous, and dirty (that last one, literally), there's something fascinating about carnivals as depicted in old movies. Nightmare Alley does not glamorize the carnival, but for some reason I still want to be there when I watch it.

 

Helen Walker's character - what a piece of work! And, interesting, I think it's the first, and possibly the only time, that I've seen a woman threatening to have a man certified for the insane asylum.

 

But while it lasts, she and Power really do have quite a clever little scam going, don't they? Til, of course, they both have to get too big for their collective britches.  (hm, weird image...)

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After reading a #number# of posts below I thought to mention that I aspire to watching the Top 5 Least Searched Movies on the TCM database.  (Or something . . .   ).  

 

     Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space

     Over-s e x e d Rugsuckers from Mars  (The El Cheapo plot has to do with aliens and vacuum cleaners)

     Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama

     Voyage of the Rock Aliens

     Assault of the Killer Bimbos

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So - just trying to clarify for myself here, speedy - when you say "this movie was ridiculous", you mean that in a good way?

 

As I said in another thread about the film, I love Nightmare Alley. But I'm kind of a sucker for almost any film with a carnival locale. Even though you just know that life in such a place would be hard, dangerous, and dirty (that last one, literally), there's something fascinating about carnivals as depicted in old movies. Nightmare Alley does not glamorize the carnival, but for some reason I still want to be there when I watch it.

 

Helen Walker's character - what a piece of work! And, interesting, I think it's the first, and possibly the only time, that I've seen a woman threatening to have a man certified for the insane asylum.

 

But while it lasts, she and Power really do have quite a clever little scam going, don't they? Til, of course, they both have to get too big for their collective britches.  (hm, weird image...)

Yes.  I meant ridiculous in all the best sense of the word.  You know me, I like stuff that's a little off the wall sometimes.

 

I agree that the Helen Walker character was a piece of work.  When I first started watching, I figured that Coleen Gray was going to end up being the femme fatale, and then after they married and their show hit the big time, I changed my mind.  Then he met Walker and thought "here we go.  Here's the femme fatale."

 

One thing I didn't understand was why Power and Gray had to get married in the beginning.  Why? They made it seem like they were forced to get married and they didn't do anything.

 

Like someone else mentioned, this may be one of the few noirs where someone actually gets away with something.  Helen Walker got away with most of the money and wasn't punished for her part in the scheme.  That poor man who only wanted to see his long lost girlfriend got swindled.

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