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Reflections of Murder (1974)  -  7/10

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TV-movie remake of Diabolique, with Joan Hackett as the headmistress at a private boarding school who plots with a teacher (Tuesday Weld) to kill Hackett's abusive husband (Sam Waterston). Also featuring Michael Lerner, Lucille Benson, R.G. Armstrong, and Lance Kerwin. This one was surprisingly well-made and effective, with excellent cinematography and taut direction from John Badham. One of the better TV movies of the decade.

 

Savages (1974)  -  6/10

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Sam Bottoms stars as a desert guide accompanying hunter and big-city lawyer Andy Griffith. When Andy accidentally shoots and kills a man out in the wild, Bottoms becomes the prey as Griffith decides to eliminate the sole witness. Also featuring James Best and Noah Beery, Jr. This TV-movie features an against-type role for Griffith, playing a ruthless, perhaps sociopathic killer who seems to revel in Bottoms' degradation. The movie stumbles a bit in the final act, but it's still better-than-average. This was remade as Beyond the Reach in 2014, with Michael Douglas and Jeremy Irvine.

 

Death Stalk (1975)  -  5/10

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Two couples (Vince Edwards & Anjanette Comer, Robert Webber & Carol Lynley) on a white-water rafting vacation run into a quartet of escaped prisoners (Vic Morrow, Neville Brand, Norman Fell, and Larry Wilcox). The cons take the women hostage and head down the river, while the husbands struggle to catch up to them and save the day. Routine and lacking in surprises, the only appeal here is the cast and the scenery.

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11 hours ago, rayban said:

"The Human Comedy" - Clarence Brown - 1943 -

starring Mickey Rooney, Van Johnson, Fay Bainter, Frank Morgan, James Craig and Jackie "Butch" Jenkins -

Beautifully realized panoramic view of several months in the life of a small town during World War II -

there is a great deal of pathos, but it is always understated -

the thread through all of this is one small-town family -

 

 

 

*Excellent* review, you might wanna give a spoiler warning though. 

(From someone who has, on occasion, spoiled a movie or two for people here- unintentionally)

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all this talk about ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE really makes me want to watch the 1984 version which used to show on HBO all the time and which I watched often as a child.**

I don't think I've seen it in 30 years though.

As I recall, it was my introduction to HER ROYAL FAYENESS and DONALD SUTHERLAND has a great presence in it too and it is otherwise VERY VERY VERY BRITISH.

all you can find on youtube is the opening minute and 26 seconds, no title- and one other clip in Turkish(?)- not even the trailer.

 

**I had lax parents and unusual viewing habits.

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Tried to watch "Snowpiercer" (2013) last night, couldn't take anymore stupidity of the last of humanity trying to kill each other.  Come'on a train has to stop SOMETIMES!

Had a bright spot, no trace of global warming to be found.

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Should had been called "Nuts on a Train"

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Hell Bound (1957)  -  7/10

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John Russell stars as the head of a gang planning on robbing a ship of a military medicinal narcotics surplus. We see the plan played out in theory, and then the actual heist, which naturally does not go according to plan. Featuring June Blair, Stuart Whitman, Stanley Adams, Margo Woode, George E. Mather, Frank Fenton, Gene O'Donnell, Virginia De Lee, and Dehl Berti as "Daddy". This movie is jam-packed with low-life thugs, junkies, slimeballs and cheap dames. The striptease dance of De Lee is memorable, but the real star is Russell. I've seen him in a few westerns and was never really impressed by him, but he makes for a rather compelling and intimidating heavy here.

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Skippy 1931

I adore Jackie Cooper. This was a treat for me the other night when I got home from work. I usually tune into the news and Perry Mason, but I landed on this rare little gem while surfing the available programming.

Skippy is coaxed out of bed by Mom and complains non-stop about it. He goes on and on talking to himself about how how unrighteousness it is for him to be up and bathed so early in the morning. And he doesn't bathe. He wets his toothbrush, goads his father about everything, but plays a nice boy to Mama. 

I guess this is the film where his uncle Taurog got the kid to wail when he told him he had a hand kill his dog. It worked. But to go to that extent??? Such an extremity to bring on tears. 

Good flick. 

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I love Jackie Cooper too, Janet. And I also love Jackie Coogan but for some reason one never seems to be able to see all the films Jackie made when he was a giant child star, like "Tom Sawyer" and "Peck's Bad Boy" and so on.

I wonder why?

Just wondered if you like both Jackies also?

Enjoyed your post!

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Hell's Crossroads (1957)  -  5/10

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Republic western retelling of the James/Ford story. Gunman Vic Rodell (Stephen McNally) ran with the James-Younger gang until a wound forces him to hide out at the farm of Paula (Peggie Castle), the sister of Bob Ford (Robert Vaughn making his "official" movie debut). When Bob gets into trouble, he's offered a chance at freedom, only he's ordered to kill Jesse James (Henry Brandon). Also featuring Barton MacLane, Harry Shannon, Douglas Kennedy, Grant Withers, Myron Healey, and Morris Ankrum. A weak re-imagining of the oft-told story, although Vaughn already shows some screen charisma.

(This one was a delayed posting after I had a four-hour power outage due to thunderstorms. All that precious movie-watchin' time lost!)

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17 hours ago, EricJ said:

As a kid, I always liked to read up on stage magic, but I could never understand the concept of "Misdirection".

Until I started watching the David Suchet/Hercule Poirot and Geraldine McEwan/Miss Marple episodes, and realized that just about EVERY single Agatha Christie mystery solution is based on some form of magicians' misdirection--If there's a clue that's passed off as utterly meaningless side business, it'll usually turn out to be the clue, and the clue we're asked to focus our central theory on will nearly always turn out to be the wrong one.

For ex., "But we know the murder happened at 8, because that was when we heard the gunshot!", or "But she must have taken the drink that was meant for Lord Crommel...Who could be trying to poison him?", or "But it had to be Lady Ashley running away from the scene--I didn't see her face, but I recognized that big wide hat she always wears!"  I'm sure that anyone sitting through the recent Kenneth Branagh "Murder on the Orient Express" was nodding along familiarly with our search for the "suspect".  ;)

Exactly. Part of the fun of re-reading or re-watching a Christie story is that now you appreciate exactly how and where the misdirection occurs.

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Hot Rod Rumble (1957)  -  3/10

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Dreadful drama about bad-boy hot-rodder Arnie (Richard Hartunian), who gets blamed for causing a wreck that killed the guy who was dating Arnie's ex Terri (Leigh Snowden). Arnie says he's innocent, so he tries to redeem himself. Also featuring Brett Halsey, Wright King, Joey Forman, Larry Dolgin, Dorothy Adams, and Ned Glass. Hartunian is awful, a hysterical Method abuser who comes off as mentally unbalanced. It doesn't help when the dialogue is a bunch of overwrought garbage.

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46 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Hot Rod Rumble (1957)  -  3/10

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Dreadful drama about bad-boy hot-rodder Arnie (Richard Hartunian), who gets blamed for causing a wreck that killed the guy who was dating Arnie's ex Terri (Leigh Snowden). 

I didn't like this film nearly as much as you did.

But Snowden was a hot babe.

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House of Numbers (1957)  -  6/10

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Crime thriller with Jack Palance in dual roles as brothers Bill and Arnie. The latter is doing life in San Quentin, so the former decides to help him break out, with the assistance of Arnie's wife (Barbara Lang). Their plan involves Bill sneaking into San Quentin and then switching places...sort of. It doesn't make a lot of sense, and seeing as how San Quentin approved of the film and allowed filming on their grounds, you can guess how things turn out. Also featuring Harold J. Stone as a guard, Edward Platt as the warden, and Joe Turkel and Timothy Carey, the same year they were in Paths of Glory, as other prisoners. Palance is always a treat to watch, as he's so jaw-clenchingly intense that I can't tell from scene to scene if he's supposed to be scared, angry, crazy, or all three.

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...gotta agree with venerable TCM forum poster "Miss Tiki Soo". Caught a bit of Billy Wilder's "The Spirit of St Louis" tonight whilst ordering some fries to go from a hipster bar where this movie was airing. I was standing up --awaiting my order --and it almost knocked me out on my feet. Astounding sensation of lethargy. Who ever had the audacity to believe a guy cramped alone into a cockpit this small, just looking at the dials on his control panel, could carry a plot?

But the other thing which struck me is--as I watched these trendy losers around me quaffing brewpub ales and dipping their fried cauliflower florets into oxygen-infused dijonnaise--how bizarre it must be to gaze up at the screen where this movie was unreeling and probably not even know who Jimmy Stewart is?????

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I'm glad that TCM has finally been able to show Forever Amber, which I had seen on TV perhaps thirty years ago. If the Legion of Decency made the studio evade some of the franker sexuality implied by the story, there's still much to enjoy. Linda Darnell is stunningly beautiful, as Amber must be for the story to make sense. (I can't imagine Peggy Cummins, the original choice, in the role at all; she would seem more suited to play Amber's maid, deliciously acted by Jessica Tandy.) It's great to see favorites like Leo G. Carroll, Anne Revere, Robert Coote, and Margaret Wycherly in small roles, and I'll have to add two more names to my list of best supporting actors for 1947: George Sanders is brilliant as King Charles II, perfectly cast, all wit and irony, intelligence and dissipation. Every syllable counts. Richard Haydn also makes a big impression as the aging lord with a twisted nature underneath a perfectly polished surface. Tastes differ about Cornel Wilde, but if you don't like him, Richard Greene, Glenn Langan, and John Russell are also on display.

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Murder on Flight 502 (1975)  -  6/10

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All-star TV-movie answer to the Airport films. An airport security chief (George Maharis) receives an anonymous letter informing him of a series of murders about to be committed on a transatlantic flight. It's up to flight captain Robert Stack to try and stop the killings before they happen. Also featuring Hugh O'Brian, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Pidgeon, Molly Picon, Dane Clark, Laraine Day, Ralph Bellamy, Theodore Bikel, Danny Bonaduce, Brooke Adams, Fernando Lamas, Polly Bergen, Rosemarie Stack, Elizabeth Stack, Steve Franken, and Sonny Bono. This is cheesy and often laughable, but the old pros are worth seeing, with Pidgeon and Picon having a fun time. It's hard trying to take Stack seriously in an airplane movie after Airplane.

 

Time Travelers (1976)  -  5/10

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Imaginatively titled science fiction TV-movie featuring Sam Groom as a 20th century doctor who agrees to travel back 100 years in time in order to try and find a cure for a mysterious illness. He's accompanied by veteran time traveler Tom Hallick who tries to teach him the ins and outs of responsible time traveling. They run into trouble when they realize that their time travel machine has sent them to Chicago on the eve of the Great Fire, so they have to work against the clock (HA!). Also featuring Richard Basehart, Trish Stewart, Francine York, Booth Colman, and Walter Brooke. This was a failed pilot from producer Irwin Allen (he even reused sets decorations from Time Tunnel), and it also features a story credit for Rod Serling. A lot of stock footage is lifted (and tinted) from In Old Chicago (1938).

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9 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

House of Numbers (1957)  -  6/10

220px-HouseOfNumbers1957.png

Crime thriller with Jack Palance in dual roles as brothers Bill and Arnie. The latter is doing life in San Quentin, so the former decides to help him break out, with the assistance of Arnie's wife (Barbara Lang). Their plan involves Bill sneaking into San Quentin and then switching places...sort of. It doesn't make a lot of sense, and seeing as how San Quentin approved of the film and allowed filming on their grounds, you can guess how things turn out. Also featuring Harold J. Stone as a guard, Edward Platt as the warden, and Joe Turkel and Timothy Carey, the same year they were in Paths of Glory, as other prisoners. Palance is always a treat to watch, as he's so jaw-clenchingly intense that I can't tell from scene to scene if he's supposed to be scared, angry, crazy, or all three.

These must be exciting viewing days for you, Lawrence. You're seeing a lot of Ed Platt films.

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11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Hartunian is awful, a hysterical Method abuser who comes off as mentally unbalanced. It doesn't help when the dialogue is a bunch of overwrought garbage.

Mmm-what did you really think? 😎 (I like when you say it like it is)

 

13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

a four-hour power outage due to thunderstorms. All that precious movie-watchin' time lost!

You really DO pack it in, movie watching-wise! I have to discipline every minute: internet 6-8am, work until sunset, excersize, then veg out watching TV 6-8pm. Sometimes a movie's good enough to keep me awake until 9pm!

And Janet, I am a HUGE Jackie Cooper & Jackie Coogan fan. Both just great performers their entire lives. Love Skippy.

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It All Came True (1940)

A minor but enjoyable sentimental comedy-drama, with some musical numbers, from Warner Brothers, noteworthy for an above average cast, its two leads on the verge of being two of the studio's biggest stars in the upcoming decade, and an overall feeling of nostalgia.

Humphrey Bogart plays Chips Maguire, a gangster on the lam, who hides out in a boarding house run by the mother of Jeffrey Lynn, a pianist working for Maguire, also on the lam since the gangster shot someone with a gun registered in his name. Aside from Lynn's mother (played by Jessie Busley, little remembered today) the house is co-run by Una O'Connor, whose daughter (Ann Sheridan) has just returned home as she is getting low on cash. There are also an assortment of kooky, eccentric types in the establishment, including Zasu Pitts, who thinks she is constantly being followed by men when she is outside and Felix Bressart as a vaudeville performer who has no idea his performance as a magician plays more like a comedy act.

Bogart fans will regard this film as a minor effort made the year before he started to hit it big time with the releases of High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. However, while the role of a hood was standard casting for the actor at this time, Bogie has the opportunity to play this decidedly none vicious one for the occasional comedic effect.

One of the highlight comedy moments in the film is when Bogart, lying in bed while smoking a cigar, has his room suddenly invaded by O'Connor and Busley who decide to "mother him" by feeding him a bowl of soup. Bogie resists, making faces like a child, but they put a bib around his chin, take the cigar from his mouth and start spooning the bowl's contents into him. It's a scene quite like no other in Bogart's career and his facial reactions to being fed are quite amusing.

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Making an equal, if not greater, contribution to the film, however, is Ann Sheridan. There had been a lot of "Oomph girl" publicity about the actress put out by the studio the year before and It All Came True would be one of the first films that really started to highlight her considerable talents. Sheridan exudes a warmth in personality, combined with some wise cracking banter, that makes her most appealing in this film.

What's more, she has the opportunity to sing a few nostalgic Gay '90s songs (it's difficult to figure out the exact time setting of this film, whether it's Gay '90s or just afterwards) as well as look either sexy sleek or glamourous in period costume. Some scenes in this film with her may be seen as forerunners to when she would be cast in Shine On, Harvest Moon a few years later, a Gay 90s musical nostalgia trip. In any event, Sheridan comes off extremely well here and it makes one wish that the studio had continued throughout the decade to give the actress better material to take advantage of her potential as a performer.

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The billing in It All Came True is curious. In the opening titles Bogart gets top billing, with Sheridan second. But in the closing titles it's Sheridan's name at the top of the list with Bogie relegated to third place, as in the poster displayed below which gives a huge emphasis to a glamourous "Oomph Girl" at Bogart's expense.

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2.5 out of 4

 

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4 hours ago, TomJH said:

These must be exciting viewing days for you, Lawrence. You're seeing a lot of Ed Platt films.

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"Did I think that last film of yours was good, Chief? Would you believe . . . missed it by that much."

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How to Murder a Rich Uncle (1957)  -  7/10

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Amusing British black comedy about a formerly wealthy, aristocratic family that is plotting to kill a rich relative (Charles Coburn) while he visits, with hopes to inherit his fortune. Nigel Patrick directed and stars as the family patriarch, Wendy Hiller as his flighty wife, Katie Johnson, Anthony Newley, Athene Seyler, Kenneth Fortescue, Paddy Webster, and Michael Caine. There's lots of good character works from the performers, with Patrick, Hiller and Coburn the stand-outs. 

 

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It All Came True was re-released after the successful High Sierra and the opening credits were changed to give Bogart top billing.     But the film was 'designed' to promote the career of Sheridan.   The year before WB kicked off the their  "The Oomph Girl" campaign and All Came True was part of that.    

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Istanbul (1957)  -  6/10

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Remake of Singapore (1947), with the location changed, obviously. Errol Flynn stars as a former US Army pilot who returns to the title locale after a long absence. He had been mixed up with smugglers, which resulted in the death of his girlfriend (Cornell Borchers), only he learns that she's still alive, but suffering from amnesia and now married. Also featuring Martin Benson, Torin Thatcher, Werner Klemperer, Leif Erickson, Peggy Knudsen, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Nat King Cole. Flynn looks tired, and the material is a bit too muddled, but I've seen worse, and the supporting cast is interesting. Cole sings "When I Fall in Love".

With the exception of the presumed-lost Murder at Monte Carlo (1935), Istanbul was the final Errol Flynn movie that I had not seen.

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there's a TV movie starring Jan-Michael Vincent you have left to do too. At least someone should. He, his father, and his father's two best friends are hunting elk in the Pacific Northwest and they discover the missing loot of DB Cooper.

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27 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

With the exception of the presumed-lost Murder at Monte Carlo (1935), Istanbul was the final Errol Flynn movie that I had not seen.

 

Congratulations, Lawrence.

However, I suspect there's a second Flynn film you've yet to see - Hello God (1951). And best of luck with that one.

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23 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

there's a TV movie starring Jan-Michael Vincent you have left to do too. At least someone should. He, his father, and his father's two best friends are hunting elk in the Pacific Northwest and they discover the missing loot of DB Cooper.

Deliver Us from Evil (1973) - I haven't seen that one yet. It looks promising.

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