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17 hours ago, midwestan said:

but in silent films, did the actors and actresses recite actual dialog when we see their lips moving?

I recall seeing a silent film at a rare film festival where the audience would all twitter with laughter during violent scenes - ignoring the action while reading the actors' lips - obviously they were swearing, not reciting "lines".

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%22The_Hand%22_(1960).jpg

When I saw that, I instantly thought of this:

m-movie-poster-1931-1010144331.jpg

Amazing so many movie posters borrow similar themes. Within the last week, this thread had at least 2 posters shown of the now ubiquitous "subject seen through women's spread legs" 

For_Your_Eyes_Only_Poster.jpg

The most recognizable example. Startling that she has no "crack"

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CHANGE OF HEART (Fox Film Corporation, 1934)

I came across this yesterday morning on the Movies! channel and never having heard of it, decided to watch.

It was the final pairing of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, also starring James Dunn and Ginger Rogers.

The four are college friends who all travel to New York City from the west coast together to find fame and fortune.

I particularly enjoy 30s films with footage of New York and there is a cute scene of the four in a taxi, each craning their neck out of the window looking up at skyline.  Footage shows a quick glimpse of the Rogers Peet menswear store just off 5th Ave. which I remember visiting once before it closed in, I believe, 1984 or 1985.

Also enjoy dialogue such as "Can you get by on $10 a week?"  "Can I?  Oh, boy!!"

A New York apartment with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge:  "It's $40 a month, but we'll make it work somehow!".

And there is a 15 hour transcontinental TWA flight depicted, with Shirley Temple walking songlessly down the aisle.  She was billed simply as "Shirley".

I've never really been a Gaynor fan and this certainly reinforces that. Farrell is definitely, for me, the better half of the pairing, both in appearance and acting ability.  Watching Dunn and Rogers, however, was a pleasure. 

A scene with Farrell near death on his sick bed shows how incredibly good looking he was, even in this condition, with just the right amount of stubble.

Later, Gaynor sits on the bed and shaves him, which was probably considered quite risque.  She uses a safety razor, but during this fairly long scene, I contorted my face and winced several times along with Farrell.

Near the end Gaynor confronts Ginger over Farrell (think Norma v Joan); Ginger is now wealthy, has those 30s wispy bangs, mixed cocktails during the day and is smoking, so you know she is up to no good.  Gaynor has her hair pulled neatly of off her angelic face and neither drinks nor smokes.

A rather bizarre ending, with Gaynor telling Farrell that he has made partner at this law firm as they embrace.

(A small role by Nella Walker, who went on to portray the Bogart/Holden mother in Sabrina.)

Overall, it was quite enjoyable with the performances of Dunn and Rogers being the highlight and I'm glad I accidentally discovered it.

 

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i was a little under the weather yesterday, so i watched a lot of stuff and a lot of bits and pieces of stuff...

i watched all of PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (MGM 1981) a HERBERT ROSS directed musical starring STEVE MARTIN and BERNADETTE PETERS that seems to be very little discussed and mostly forgotten today- although, WOW! could I EVER see its influence on later movies (CHICAGO especially owes it a HUUUUUUUUGE debit. Like, probably should've included an "inspired by" note in the credits)

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I thought it was going to be a comedy and holy ****, was it ever not a comedy.

that said, it was  a good- if challenging- movie and (while i liked it quite a bit) I could totally see how someone else would not. I am also not surprised that it was a COLOSSAL FLOP (earning 9 million against a 22 million budget- OUCH!)...MARTIN is okay, but he shouldn't have done this film for a variety of reasons, BERNADETTE PETERS is marvelous- I'm still not entirely sure why she never became a BIG movie star, other than she seems somewhat from another time period.) The actor who played the school principal who fires PETERS when she gets pregnant was outstanding (I know him as the Priest Dorothy falls in love with on season 2 of THE GOLDEN GIRLS)-he did SO MUCH with a small part. JESSICA HARPER (of SUSPIRIA and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE) is also outstanding as Martin's frigid wife. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN is very, very good his one scene.

the excellent cinematography was by GORDON WILLIS. Off the top of my head, I don't know what five films got nominated for best cinematography in 1981, but once again Ole Gordy got shut out for showing all the other ASCers how you properly light and shoot a movie.

(really and honestly, the only excuse I can think of for WILLIS nearly always getting shut out of the cinematography category is pure, petty jealousy)

Really, the only two problems I had with this movie were the final two minutes, where i feel like it went off the rails; and the fact that- like DETOUR (1944?)- we're supposed to feel sorry for a "Tragic Hero" and his downfall, but honestly- the guy is SUCH a creep, and everything bad that happens to him is 100% his fault, so.....

a billboard for LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST with CAROLE LOMBARD makes an intelligent cameo.

the script was nominated for an Oscar, as well it should have been.

finally, i sometimes toss this line off after a bad film and I don't entirely mean it, I'm using it now in all seriousness to refer to this very good movie- if you have an inclination toward suicidal thoughts, please stay away from this movie.

outside of that though, i recommend it.

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Lorna, I'm glad you liked Pennies from Heaven.....

I absolutely love this film  I saw it when it first opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 54th Street and went over and over again.  I saw it perhaps 5 times.  By the end of its run, however, I was one of a handful of people in the 1100 seat theater.

As you note, a very unusual and challenging film that never found an audience.

Bob Mackie was also nominated for the Academy Award, as well as a nomination for Sound.

Cinematography nominees that year were Excalibur, On Golden Pond, Ragtime, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Reds (Winner).

 

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5 minutes ago, RoyCronin said:

Lorna, I'm glad you liked Pennies from Heaven.....

I absolutely love this film  I saw it when it first opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 54th Street and went over and over again.  I saw it perhaps 5 times.  By the end of its run, however, I was one of a handful of people in the 1100 seat theater.

As you note, a very unusual and challenging film that never found an audience.

Bob Mackie was also nominated for the Academy Award, as well as a nomination for Sound.

Cinematography nominees that year were Excalibur, On Golden Pond, Ragtime, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Reds (Winner).

 

EXCALIBUR??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW! I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN THAT ONE!!!!!!!

(thanks!)

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'Pennies from Heaven' (same source story) is also a very fine BBC mini-series starring Bob Hoskins. Written by the same superb talent who gave us 'The Singing Detective' (my #1 favorite mini-series of all time). The BBC 'Pennies' version has period-piece atmosphere and aesthetics (filmed with sepia-tone), true seaminess (realistic sex and violence, adult attitudes), location/outdoors shooting; and great big raft of 1930s songs.

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It Started in Naples (1960)  -  6/10

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Romance with Clark Gable as an American who travels to Italy to settle the estate of his deceased brother. He discovers that his brother had a child with a local woman (Sophia Loren), and as he struggles to decide what to do about them, he begins to fall for Sophia's ample charms. Also featuring Vittorio De Sica, Marietto, Paolo Carlini, Giovanni Fillodoro, and Claudio Ermelli. This is lightweight stuff, beautifully shot on location, and with Loren looking exquisite in a lively role. This was the final Clark Gable movie that I had not seen.

 

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It Takes a Thief aka The Challenge (1960)  -  5/10

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British crime drama with Anthony Quayle as an ex-con who gets menaced by his former criminal cohorts in order to try and get their hands on loot from the job that sent Quayle up the river. The gang includes Jayne Mansfield, the gal who seduced Anthony into joining them before. With Carl Mohner, Peter Reynolds, John Bennett, Barbara Mullen, Edward Judd, Dermot Walsh, John Wood, Bill Shine, and Peter Pike. A minor entry as far as English crime caper flicks go, but of note thanks to Mansfield's role as the femme fatale with ambiguous allegiances.

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Key Witness (1960)  -  7/10

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Solid if dated crime thriller starring Jeffrey Hunter as an average husband and family man who witnesses Dennis Hopper and his gang murder a teenager. Hunter helps the police and promises to testify, which makes he and his family targets for the unhinged Hopper. Also featuring Pat Crowley, Susan Harrison, Joby Baker, Johnny Nash, Corey Allen, Bruce Gordon, Ted Knight, and Frank Silvera. Hopper is entertaining as the chief bad guy, exhibiting his later penchant for playing manic psychos, even if he's clean cut here. I also enjoyed Susan Harrison as his ruthless girlfriend. Silvera and Gordon are effective as jaded cops on the case. Directed by Phil Karlson.

Dennis-Hopper-Key-Witness-1960-Vintage-P

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

It Started in Naples (1960)  -  6/10

 

. This was the final Clark Gable movie that I had not seen.

 

Which was your favorite and which do you think he gave the best performance in?

(i've never thought twice about him until I saw THE MISFITS and he blew me away.)

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On 4/7/2019 at 1:00 PM, midwestan said:

After having seen numerous films starring Greta Garbo this past week on TCM, I have a better appreciation for the woman's talent.  I know a lot of the posters here don't like TCM's 'Star of the Month' being showcased on consecutive nights like Garbo was last week, but given the short attention span a lot of us have for various reasons nowadays, I thought it provided a good opportunity to see the progression of one's acting ability.

😄

Great Greta Post!

I have the shortest of attention spans and I also liked The GARBO BOMBARDMENT, and I caught a few of her films I have not seen heretofore as a result of having them offered after they aired as options to view on hulu.

I watched FLESH AND THE DEVIL for the first time, although I admit to pausing it and coming back later (see above note re: attention span) I often have a hard time "getting in" to silent movies, but this one was fun....I have to say, I noticed there were very minimal title cards for lots of parts of it.

the sets, including a lot of what i assume had to be painted backdrops, were really impressive, especially the final one- an Avalon-like islet in the middle of a frozen lake in winter. there was also a Manor Home, an opera house, a whole Gothic Church....

edit: now that i think about it, when they didn't have to spend time and money on sound equipment, a sound crew and getting the sound right, i bet they sure as Hell could go ALL OUT on the sets.)

GARBO was smoldering in it, the camera adored her; and her body language with GILBERT spoke volumes. I also enjoyed the scene where he lights her cigarette in the evening shadows and a (very hot in real life) light is hidden in his hand where the match would be.)

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this may not be a film for everybody, but for those of you who just really enjoyed it when your kooky Great Aunt would take out incredibly esoteric antiques, like a chocolate serving set or an Aspic Dish, to show you: this is a film you will like.

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38 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Key Witness (1960)  -  7/10

I love this one. Hopper is at his nasty best here, maybe the most despicable juvenile delinquent ever in a film. Jeffrey Hunter gives one of his best performances as the witness/victim. Johnny Nash was a good actor, though he had bigger success with singing (I Can See Clearly Now).

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18 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Great Greta Post!

I have the shortest of attention spans and I also liked The GARBO BOMBARDMENT, and I caught a few of her films I have not seen heretofore as a result of having them offered after they aired as options to view on hulu.

I watched FLESH AND THE DEVIL for the first time, although I admit to pausing it and coming back later (see above note re: attention span) I often have a hard time "getting in" to silent movies, but this one was fun....I have to say, I noticed there were very minimal title cards for lots of parts of it.

the sets, including a lot of what i assume had to be painted backdrops, were really impressive, especially the final one- an Avalon-like islet in the middle of a frozen lake in winter. there was also a Manor Home, an opera house, a whole Gothic Church....

edit: now that i think about it, when they didn't have to spend time and money on sound equipment, a sound crew and getting the sound right, i bet they sure as Hell could go ALL OUT on the sets.)

GARBO was smoldering in it, the camera adored her; and her body language with GILBERT spoke volumes. I also enjoyed the scene where he lights her cigarette in the evening shadows and a (very hot in real life) light is hidden in his hand where the match would be.)

giphy.gif

this may not be a film for everybody, but for those of you who just really enjoyed it when your kooky Great Aunt would take out incredibly esoteric antiques, like a chocolate serving set or an Aspic Dish, to show you: this is a film you will like.

I caught most of the film this round (have seen it before, but not in a long time) Garbo and Gilbert really sizzled. It was more than just acting. Can you imagine what their offspring would've looked like if they had married and had children? I don't think either had a bad angle..........

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51 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Which was your favorite and which do you think he gave the best performance in?

(i've never thought twice about him until I saw THE MISFITS and he blew me away.)

My favorite is probably It Happened One Night. I know that's one of the obvious choices, but that film is one that first turned me on to classic films as something other than a curiosity. Thanks to it, and my initial response to it, Gable ranks among my favorite male stars of the 1930's. I really liked him in Manhattan MelodramaChina SeasMutiny on the BountyTest PilotSan Francisco, and Wife vs Secretary. It was pretty much downhill after Gone with the Wind thanks to Lombard's death and WWII, but I still found him enjoyable in most of his movies, even if they were very uneven. And that last film triumph in The Misfits...what a great send off.

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9 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i was a little under the weather yesterday, so i watched a lot of stuff and a lot of bits and pieces of stuff...i watched all of PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (MGM 1981) a HERBERT ROSS directed musical starring STEVE MARTIN and BERNADETTE PETERS that seems to be very little discussed and mostly forgotten today- although, WOW! could I EVER see its influence on later movies (CHICAGO especially owes it a HUUUUUUUUGE debit. Like, probably should've included an "inspired by" note in the credits)

Chicago on stage in the 70s' was Kander & Ebb trying to follow their own "symbolic musical-number" lead from Cabaret, and it was only the '02 movie that came up with the idea of putting the numbers in the character's imaginations.  Cabaret's movie could get away with such abstract touches in the 70's, but in '02, we'd had sixteen years of an entire pre-Millennial generation saying "Musicals?  But, like, why would anybody break into song, that's weird!"

Quote

I thought it was going to be a comedy and holy ****, was it ever not a comedy.

Really, the only two problems I had with this movie were the final two minutes, where i feel like it went off the rails; and the fact that- like DETOUR (1944?)- we're supposed to feel sorry for a "Tragic Hero" and his downfall, but honestly- the guy is SUCH a creep, and everything bad that happens to him is 100% his fault, so.....

Dennis Potter is a snarky British deconstructionist--I slogged through "Dreamchild" in the theaters, but still haven't gotten around to the Robert Downey Jr. version of "The Singing Detective"--so, in the 70's, the idea that audiences would (gasp!) bury their heads in the sand and try to find escapism from the doom and fatalism of the Depression by going to see Fred Astaire was something "unforgivable" enough to Bitterly Satirize in the BBC series.

It came with the territory, but since musical movies were starting to wind down by the 80's, and we were looking for anything new (we had just as high hopes for "Annie" and "Yentl" the next year), the studio promoted the big-budget musical numbers as if it was a glorious "At Long Last Love" tribute to the great Fred & Ginger days.

Bait-and-switch?...Oh, a TAD.  Some got on board with the "Song lyrics trying to hide 30's nastiness" idea--mostly thanks to Christopher Walken turning out to be a better hoofer than we expected--but for the majority of the audience, to say that their response to being called "idiots" for trying to escape the nasty-people-doing-horrible-things tragedy by enjoying the old-school Herbert Ross-homaged musical numbers was "**** you, we're trying to get some entertainment out of our ticket! 😡 " was putting it mildly.

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35 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

My favorite is probably It Happened One Night. I know that's one of the obvious choices, but that film is one that first turned me on to classic films as something other than a curiosity. Thanks to it, and my initial response to it, Gable ranks among my favorite male stars of the 1930's. I really liked him in Manhattan MelodramaChina SeasMutiny on the BountyTest PilotSan Francisco, and Wife vs Secretary. It was pretty much downhill after Gone with the Wind thanks to Lombard's death and WWII, but I still found him enjoyable in most of his movies, even if they were very uneven. And that last film triumph in The Misfits...what a great send off.

It Happened One Night gives us a different Gable from the MGM Gable, to a degree, at least. This is Gable as Capra's everyman (maybe not as much as Gary Cooper soon would be, admittedly) as opposed to the actor's home studio where he was promoted as a sexual Zeus with an leering machismo eye towards bedding all his female co-stars (well, the big ones anyway). You don't see that same Gable at little Columbia. He's more approachable here, he's not on that stud superstar pedestal here as he is at MGM.

Somewhere I read that people who knew Gable said the Capra film is closer to the real Gable off screen.

I would still say that his Rhett Butler performance remains the most memorable and charismatic of his career, but his reporter in It Happened One Night is perhaps the one that more guys watching can actually connect with. I would also include most of the other Gable performances you also cited, Lawrence, excluding Wife Vs. Secretary. His final performance in The Misfits may well be his most humane and touching.

One more performance I would add as one of his best: his cynical hardened escaped prisoner in Strange Cargo.

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Kidnapped (1960)  -  6/10

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Disney production of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, from screenwriter and director Robert Stevenson. James MacArthur stars as a young man who finds himself alone in the world after his father dies. He gets sold into servitude to pirate Bernard Lee, and later teams up with Jacobite rebel Peter Finch. With Finlay Currie, John Laurie, Niall MacGinnis, Miles Malleson, Duncan Macrae, Oliver Johnston, and Peter O'Toole. As many films versions as there are, this is the first one I've seen, and I've also never read the book. I enjoyed the scenery in the film, and the performances are decent, but the story didn't interest me, and it felt as if some needed detail may have been omitted in the screenwriting process. 

Peter O'Toole as a feisty highlander.

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Late Autumn (1960)  -  8/10

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Japanese comedy-drama from director Yasujiro Ozu. Three old friends decide to help the daughter (Yoko Tsukasa) of their deceased friend find a husband. They have the approval of the man's widow (Setsuko Hara), even if it means that she will be left lonely. Featuring Mariko Okada, Keiji Sada, Miyuki Kuwano, Shin'ichiro Mikami, Shin Saburi, Nobuo Nakamura, Kuniko Miyake, and Chishu Ryu. Ozu's style is as rigid as usual, with stationary, low-set cameras, and performers often speaking directly into the lens. The framing of each shot is deliberate and controlled, but the film is far from a cold exercise in style, as the low-key performances are rich in human emotion and nuance. I noticed the score (by Takanobu Saito) more than I usually do in an Ozu film, and it added a breezy, whimsical vibe to the affair. I wouldn't rank this among my favorite of Ozu's works, as I found it just a tad too derivative of his earlier stuff, but it's still an outstanding effort for those with the patience for this sort of thing.

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