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DOUBT (2008) *Score: 6.5/10*

Starring: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis. 

Sister James (Adams) begins having suspicions about her school's priest (Hoffman), and his relationship with one of the boys, and she confides in Sister Aloysius (Streep). Sister Aloysius then begins a kind of crusade to find out for herself whether or not this man is guilty of the things her compatriot has told her. I have to admit, I was expecting a lot more from this one, but what I liked about it was there was never any outright admission of the crime. It is up to the audience to decide whether or not he is guilty. The acting was great, as was expected from these 4 powerhouses (give Amy Adams an Oscar already). Viola Davis was barely in it, but she was fantastic in just the 1 or 2 scenes she was in. Image result for doubt 2008

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

That's not what I remember reading! Maybe a worldwide smash, but not in the U.S. (her films made more money in Europe) anyway, not a big deal.

Maybe what I read was that it was considered a box office disappointment considering it's cost. It's U.S. gross isnt that much more than it's budget.

I always take box office info pre-1940 with a grain of salt; Records and communication from the time being spotty at best, and God knows everyone was skimming from the till. There’s probably no way of really knowing what was genuinely a hit and what wasn’t.

but yes- According to Wikipedia that was the worldwide gross and the domestic gross, but as I recall the domestic gross was not too shabby.

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On 3/20/2019 at 9:44 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Love AUDREY to pieces, and she does do a pretty fair rendition of HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON? in FUNNY FACE (and a charming MOON RIVER in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S) , but, at the same time, I have seen the deleted scene where she sings SHOW ME to Freddie in MY FAIR LADY and, um...well...uh....did I mention that I love Audrey to pieces?

(Range is everything is what I guess I'm trying to say....)

Lorna, I was bored today and listened to all of Audrey's tracks from MFL on Youtube and I was surprised she didn't sound as awful as I expected. She cant hold notes very long and there were some sour high notes (particularly in Danced All Night) I think with a little help in the sound dept. and Nixon or someone hitting the high notes for her she could've done it. It's obvious she's not a trained singer, but I was pleasantly surprised. I can understand why they went the safe route though.

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Vice (2018)  -  8/10

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Black comedy biopic of former Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), tracking his rise from hard-drinking Wyoming lineman to congressional aide to Donald Rumsfeld (a boisterous Steve Carell), to serving in the administration of Gerald Ford (Bill Camp), and eventually to the White House with President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell), all under the guidance and with the support of wife Lynne (Amy Adams). Also featuring Jesse Plemons, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Eddie Marsan, LisaGay Hamilton, Don McManus, Shea Whigham, Alfred Molina, and Naomi Watts. I enjoyed this satiric take on one of the most important conservative political figures of the past 50 years. The narrative is arranged in an interesting manner, with various cutaways and flashbacks to add emphasis, such as showing Cheney expertly fly-fishing while he baits, hooks and reels in various people that he's trying to persuade. The performances are all very good, and having seen the whole list of nominated roles in the Supporting Actress category, I can say that I would have given it to Amy Adams. I also rank Bale as the best that I've seen from the Best Actor nods, and that includes eventual winner Rami Malek.

 

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Yes, I liked the film too. Bale was especially good. Uncanny the work the make up people did for him.

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Quote

 a film called Bright Young Things came out, based on Vile Bodies,

--cinemaspeak

I'm a fairly avid fan of Evelyn Waugh and I've certainly read this one from him. Very fascinating author. But this one ...well, it's one of five 'early' comedy novels Waugh wrote in the early 30s when he was still finding his feet. Its pleasant enough; mildly sardonic; but just not the riotous humor he was soon capable of. Not much really happens in this book. If you want something which is really roll-on-the-floor, try "Black Mischief". I doubt it will ever be filmed, not in this day and age. More's the pity, because it is supremely, outrageously, 'incorrect'.

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aeons ago, LawrenceA hissed:

Quote

War picture about US troops led by John Hodiak taking command of a liberated Italian town. I enjoyed seeing the collection of Italian-American character actors (...) I watched this for Gene Tierney, who sports platinum blonde hair, but she ended up being the weakest part of the movie.

I've always intended to view this picture ('A Bell for Adano') sometime if at all possible, but worry that I might be disappointed with the experience. The reason I'm torn is that I very much enjoy the novel by John Hersey; its on my short-list of funniest books ever. At least one passage is so hilarious I couldn't stop guffawing aloud for ten or twelve minutes. (Hard to believe, I know).

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960)  -  6/10

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Lively adaptation of the Mark Twain novel, with Eddie Hodges as young Huck, and boxer Archie Moore as runaway slave Jim. The two set off down the Mississippi River, with Jim hoping to find freedom. They repeatedly run into shady con artists Tony Randall and Mickey Shaughnessy, who cause them no end of trouble. Also featuring Neville Brand, Andy Devine, Buster Keaton, Patty McCormick, Finlay Currie, Judy Canova, Sherry Jackson, Josephine Hutchinson, Sterling Holloway, Minerva Urecal, Royal Dano, John Carradine, and Harry Dean Stanton. Directed by Michael Curtiz, this is an amusing, fast-paced version of the oft-filmed story. I enjoyed Moore as Jim, and Devine & Keaton as the proprietors of a two-bit circus.

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All the Young Men (1960)  -  6/10

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Korean War drama starring Sidney Poitier as a sergeant in a Marine platoon who gets thrust into command after many of their number are killed in an ambush. Now the men not only have to survive in the harsh winter environment, avoiding enemy troops and landmines, but also the racial prejudices of some of the men who have never had to take commands from a black man before. Also starring Alan Ladd, Mort Sahl, James Darren, Lee Kinsolving, Glenn Corbett, Dick Davalos, Paul Richards, Ingemar Johansson, and Ana St. Clair. This was written, produced and directed by Hall Bartlett, so he must have been passionate about the material, but it's only so-so. There are too many forlorn monologues with sad harmonica music. Poitier is excellent, as usual, while Ladd, who signed on to help get the controversial movie made, looks puffy and tired. Bartlett cast his Argentinian wife Ana Maria Lynch (credited as Ana St. Clair) as a South Korean woman.

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

All the Young Men (1960)  -  6/10

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I haven't seen this film in years but it's sad watching Alan Ladd, puffy faced and more somnambulant than ever, slowly going downhill in his final films. What a marvelous performance George Stevens had elicited from him in Shane years before. Perhaps never had that sense of mystery and quiet sadness of Ladd been more effectively utilized in a role. There were no great followups, though. With the sole exception of Michael Curtiz's The Proud Rebel (in which the actor was also effective) none of his films afterward were particularly good, and he would be dead (possibly by self inflicted means) by 50.

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Alan Ladd and Marilyn Monroe, recipients of the Photoplay Gold Medal in March, 1954. These were awards voted upon by the public for the most popular performances of the year, with these two stars winning by a wide margin this year, Ladd for Shane and Monroe for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire. At the time the Photoplay Gold Medal was considered second only to the Oscar in importance to the public. The win meant a lot to the insecure Ladd. He and Marilyn were both at a peak in popularity at the time.

Both stars would be found dead under similar circumstances less than a year and a half from one another.

 

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The Angry Silence (1960)  -  7/10

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British drama starring Richard Attenborough as a factory worker with a wife (Pier Angeli), two small children, and another one on the way. Shop foreman Connolly (Bernard Lee) calls for a worker's strike in an attempt to establish the place as a labor union shop, only Attenborough continues to work as he can't afford not to. This leads to ostracism by his fellow workers, and worse. Also featuring Geoffrey Keen, Michael Craig, Alfred Burke, Penelope Horner, Laurence Naismith, Brian Bedford, Brian Murray, and Oliver Reed. Bryan Forbes, who also produced, earned an Oscar nomination for the screenplay, with direction from Guy Green. I thought the acting was superb, especially from Attenborough as a working-class man put in an untenable situation. I was a bit put off the by the film's seeming disdain for labor unions, though, as the labor organizers are portrayed as either power-hungry buffoons or coldly calculating opportunists. 

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Haunted By Her Past aka Secret Passions (1987)  -  5/10

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Susan Lucci is a quiet, reserved woman who discovers a cursed mirror while on vacation that contains the spirit of her executed ancestor (Finola Hughes). The mirror causes Susan to act more uninhibited, but it may be leading her toward a dark end. Featuring John James as her concerned husband, Robin Thomas & Marcia Strassman as their friends, Douglas Seale as a kindly old hotel proprietor, Page Fletcher, Chris Owens, and Madeleine Sherwood. This is typical supernatural TV-movie fare, with Lucci getting to stretch her acting muscles and Hughes hamming it up as the vengeful spirit.

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Detecktive (1969)

Image result for Detektive (1969) posters

Two German amateur detectives on a case, minimalist, blah, and boring overall. The poster is more interesting than the film, lol. 5/10  

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

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 I don't know....Ladd looks good to me in that photo. Most people "flesh out" as they get older, men especially look better with some age to their face.

People are always talking about how badly Flynn & Holden aged, but I don't think drinking overages a face until after 45-50. Flynn of course didn't make it that long.  In my opinion, his face aged fairly normally, with alcohol and sun exposure just beginning to accelerate it.  

Holden looked extra craggily earlier than he should have due to drinking, smoking and let's not forget TANNING.

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36 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

 I don't know....Ladd looks good to me in that photo. Most people "flesh out" as they get older, men especially look better with some age to their face.

People are always talking about how badly Flynn & Holden aged, but I don't think drinking overages a face until after 45-50. Flynn of course didn't make it that long.  In my opinion, his face aged fairly normally, with alcohol and sun exposure just beginning to accelerate it.  

Holden looked extra craggily earlier than he should have due to drinking, smoking and let's not forget TANNING.

I agree that Ladd looks good in that photo but I didn't claim he didn't. It was taken in early 1954, the year after the release of Shane (and three years after he had actually made the film). Ladd started drinking, I believe, after his relationship with June Allyson fell apart, which would have been in 1955 or thereabouts. His face (and body) both started to get gradually puffy in appearance afterward.

Here is a 1960 photo, and, keep in mind, this is a studio pose designed to make him look his best:

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It's a photo taken around the same time as the film Lawrence reviewed, All the Young Men. (The title is ironic, considering Ladd's appearance as one of the "young" men). Ladd's appearance got even more tired and bloated in the next few years prior to his passing in January, 1964.

One of the positive side effects of making Shane for Ladd, by the way, was that Van Heflin became one of his best friends (along with William Bendix). He would often contact the two in his later despondent years, looking for a sympathetic ear and reassurance. He knew his career was floundering, and he was drinking more than ever.

We'll never know if Ladd's death was an accident or suicide (a deadly combination of alcohol and sedatives, resulting in a "cerebral edema"). The coroner ruled it accidental, but the depressed Ladd had been found with a bullet in his chest on his living room floor not long before, another "accident."

During a dinner that Heflin had in New York with Robert Preston at the time he told the actor, "I'm terribly saddened. But I'm not really surprised. He tried it before, you know." He called his wife later that evening and she later said it was only the second time she ever heard her husband cry.

William Bendix was on the road for a stage show in St. Paul at the time of Ladd's death and was inconsolable at the news, saying that if he had gone home maybe Ladd wouldn't have died (presumably meaning he would have been there to accept a phone call). Bendix would die eleven months later.

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The Beatniks (1960)  -  4/10

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Low-budget crime drama/bad musical, with Tony Travis as a cynical young punk who runs with a gang of armed robbers and miscreants. When a talent agent hears Tony crooning along to a jukebox, he immediately books him for a TV gig and a record deal. This bothers the rest of the gang, especially loud psycho Moon (Peter Breck) who causes all sorts of trouble. Also featuring Karen Kadler, Joyce Terry, Bob Wells, Sam Edwards, Charles Delaney, and Martha Wentworth. This was written and directed by voice-over legend Paul Frees, who cameos (or at least his voice does) as a cop near the end. The movie is junk, but Breck is entertaining in a performance turned up to eleven.

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Because They're Young (1960)  -  6/10

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Dick Clark is the new teacher at a typical high school. His students include trouble-making transfer Michael Callan, naive new kid Warren Berlinger, girl-with-a-past Tuesday Weld, and over-amorous duo Doug McClure & Roberta Shore. With Victoria Shaw as the school secretary and love interest for Clark, Linda Watkins, Chris Robinson, Rudy Bond, Wendell Holmes, and musical performances by James Darren and Duane Eddy. I enjoyed the slice-of-life look at typical teens circa 1960, and seeing Eddy perform in his prime. The JD subplot with Callan is overheated, and perfectly accented by loud music from John Williams. 

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The Bramble Bush (1960)  -  5/10

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Dull melodrama based on a "scandalous" book by Charles Mergendahl. Richard Burton stars as a doctor who returns to his small New England hometown to help care for an old friend (Tom Drake) who is terminally ill. Drake wants Burton to promise to look after his wife Barbara Rush after he's gone, which makes everyone in the room uncomfortable. Burton is also lusted after by nurse Angie Dickinson, who herself is having an affair with sleazy politician Jack Carson. Also featuring James Dunn as the town drunk, Henry Jones as a shady reporter who blackmails Angie into taking nudie pictures, Carl Benton Reid, Frank Conroy, Russ Conway, and Nestor Paiva. This Peyton Place wannabe has turgid direction from Daniel Petrie, and a central performance from Burton that oscillates between wooden and overwrought. Angie has a nice back, though.

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Can-Can (1960)  -  5/10

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Musical rom-com with Shirley MacLaine as a nightclub owner who keeps getting into legal trouble because of the scandalous dance of the title. She tries to seduce the new judge (Louis Jourdan), only for the romance to turn real, while Shirley's lawyer (Frank Sinatra) smirks a lot. Also featuring Maurice Chevalier, Juliet Prowse, Marcel Dallo, Leon Belasco, and Nestor Paiva. I found this to be overlong and irritating in that musical-based-in-France sort of way. Neither Frank nor Shirley attempt a French accent, with Frank in full Rat-Pack mode. The movie earned a couple of Oscar nods, for Best Costumes and Best Score.

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The Buddy Holly Story (1978) - 👍

This one had been floating all over the Columbia Orphans on streaming, so my sense of 70's completism had to take a look--There were two big "50's music!" sountrack-biopics coming out in 1978, with the Alan Freed "American Hot Wax" being the other, and they both seem as if they were literally seven or eight years ahead of their time.  50's nostalgia wouldn't catch on until the Reagan 80's, and then we got floods of 50's musician biopics like Lou Diamond Philips in "La Bamba" and Dennis Quaid in "Great Balls of Fire", but this one still had the gritty, low-budget feel of a classic 70's movie, and set most of the ground rules first.

Seeing the older, dumpier current Gary Busey in those Amazon Alexa commercials ("Lookit whatcha can do, lookit whatcha can do!")--or playing the goofy comedy-relief Elvis fan in "DC Cab"--it's hard to remember when Busey was just an emerging new breakout Texas-Okie teen actor, but he's still remembered for the Oscar nomination he got for this one.  I confess I never really knew much about founding rocker Holly, apart from his being the "nerdy Elvis" that inspired all the later musicians with a rockabilly beat, but Busey does his own singing in the movie, and not only inhabits the small-town-kid-made-good character, but also gives some impression of just why 50's teens went crazy over a skinny Texas kid with glasses.

As 50's-music biopics go, there's nothing particularly standout, and it covers the default basics:  Shocked conservatives, 50's racism toward "black music" and Latinos, ego and band tensions, big execs not understanding the new style, etc.--As this was first out of the gate, it was all new territory, and had to cover them all by number.  The biggest standout Holly is culturally remembered for is the fatal '59 plane crash, but unlike the more 80's-honed "La Bamba" (in which Richie Valens was in the same plane), where the crash is sentimentalized as 'Boomer history, Holly's movie skips it over almost entirely.  The movie climaxes on the big final Clearwater, IA concert with Valens and the Big Bopper, and just tacks on a historical footnote before the credits.

Now I've got to look up "American Hot Wax", and see the other example of how the late 70's tried to parse classic 50's music in the days just after American Graffiti and Happy Days.

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Classe Tous Risques (1960)  -  8/10

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French crime drama from writer-director Claude Sautet. Notorious criminal Abel Davos (Lino Ventura) comes out of hiding in the Italian countryside with his family in tow when his funds start running low. He heads to France where he's involved in a brazen robbery that later leads to a bad confrontation with the cops. Now he's wanted more than ever, and even his underworld contacts may not see him through. Also featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sandra Milo, Marcel Dalio, Michel Ardan, Simone France, Michele Meritz, Stan Krol, Jacques Dacqmine, and Claude Cerval.

While the Americans were making French-flavored dross like Can-Can, the actual French were reinventing cinema for a new generation. This film isn't as widely known as many of the New Wave movies of the time, but it's an excellent example of the shift between earlier French crime dramas, like 1954's Touchez Pas au Grisbi, which featured Ventura in his debut and to which this film owes an obvious debt, and the more experimental work of the Nouvelle Vouge. Ventura is terrific, as is Belmondo as a getaway driver and ambitious protege to the criminal lifestyle. The film never quite goes where one expects it to, and the criminal protagonists are often their own worst enemies, making impulsive decisions that leave them worse off than before. The ending also goes a long way towards stripping the glamour from the desperate lives of paranoia and uncertainty these men led.

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"Inside Daisy Clover" - Robert Mulligan - 1966 -

starring Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Christopher Plummer, Ruth Gordon, Roddy McDowall, Katherine Baird -

Intriguingly Gothic tale of a young talented girl who becomes a movie star and enters a highly sophisticated and highly decadent world for which she is not prepared -

it might be too Gothic for some viewers, but it is an interesting take -

Daisy Clover is treated as a commodity, a product, which must be sold to millions -

she is never seen as a person with her own special needs -

the head of the studio sees her mother as a liability -

so the mother is put into "a rest home" -

she falls in love with a famous actor who is secretly homosexual -

and uses her to prove to himself that maybe he can be straight -

but he can't, and, in the process, nearly kills her -

dark, dark, dark - but, at the same time, fascinating -

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Stillwatch (1987)  -  5/10

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TV-movie based on a book by Mary Higgins Clark. Lynda Carter stars as a reporter doing a profile on powerful U.S. senator Angie Dickinson, who may be in line to become the next vice president. Carter is also revisiting the ghosts of her past, as she's staying in the D.C. house where here father killed her mother and then himself back when Lynda was a child. Featuring Don Murray, Louise Latham, Barry Primus, and Stuart Whitman. This was reasonably well made for a television feature, but it was predictable, and the early promise of supernatural elements goes nowhere.

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On 4/4/2019 at 6:33 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I mean, here, DAYUM, tell me I'm wrong:

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Yeah, I know. I'm quite a bit late to reply to this one here, but...

Okay then Lorna, you're wrong, or at least I'm not seeing how THIS Russian actor playing a sailor in the Eisenstein film could give you "the vapors" at all, anyway.

Nope sorry, but THIS guy while "beefy" I suppose, looks like a cross between Joseph Stalin and Wallace Beery, and neither of those guys ever coming across to me as ever being "sexy" or "hot", anyway! And trust me here, I didn't say "Joseph Stalin" here just because this actor was also Russian.

(...ah, but then again of course, you and I are looking at this from, lets say, "different perspectives" here, aren't we) ;)  

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22 hours ago, TomJH said:

William Bendix was on the road for a stage show in St. Paul at the time of Ladd's death and was inconsolable at the news, saying that if he had gone home maybe Ladd wouldn't have died (presumably meaning he would have been there to accept a phone call). Bendix would die eleven months later.

Apparently, this common thought (guilt, remorse) goes through everyone's mind after someone they loved dies of suicide. Eerily similar to MM's death timeline, as you noted earlier. I'm not as much on top of Ladd's story. But you're right, he looks like 5 miles of bad road for being only 47 in that photo. Although, not all men can age as well as Sean Connery, genetics is also a contributing factor. (be careful of all the factors you CAN control!)

9 hours ago, EricJ said:

Now I've got to look up "American Hot Wax", and see the other example of how the late 70's tried to parse classic 50's music in the days just after American Graffiti and Happy Days.

Please do. I saw all of them in the theater, as that's how you saw movies back then. And the only one I've revisited is AMERICAN GRAFFITI which I think holds up well. While Gary Busey made a great Buddy Holly, I noticed one of my faves Charles Martin Smith playing bass in that clip. Super talent of our time, he elevates every picture he's in, kind of like our beloved character actors of the golden age. I think '83's NEVER CRY WOLF is a CLASSIC film.

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