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One Potato, Two Potato (1964)  -  7/10

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Moving drama starring Barbara Barrie and Bernie Hamilton as an interracial married couple who are taken to court by Barrie's ex-husband (Richard Mulligan), who's suing for sole custody of his daughter. The film shows the courtship between Barrie and Hamilton, and the ensuing fallout from the custody battle. Also featuring Robert Earl Jones, Marti Mericka, Vinnette Carroll, Anthony Spinelli, Faith Burwell, and Harry Belaver. Controversial subject matter at the time, to say the least, this is presented in a matter-of-fact, non-sensationalist manner. I liked the early scene featuring the couple's awkward courtship the best, but the second half is powerful, infuriating and effective.

Source: TCM

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On 6/1/2019 at 1:29 PM, LawrenceA said:

Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)  -  6/10

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Sex comedy from writer-director Billy Wilder. Dean Martin stars as Dino, a Vegas singer and comedian who heads to Hollywood to make his next picture. His ends up in the small town of Climax where his car "breaks down", leading him to stay at the home of local piano teacher and aspiring songwriter Orville (Ray Walston), who hopes to get Dino buy some of his songs. The only problem is that Dino wants a woman for the night, and the insanely jealous Orville is afraid he'll target Orville's wife Zelda (Felicia Farr). So Orville arranges for the real Zelda to be gone, and hires local cocktail waitress Polly (Kim Novak) to pose as her and take the brunt of Dino's charge. Also featuring Cliff Osmond, Barbara Pepper, Skip Ward, John Fiedler, Howard McNear, Henry Gibson, and Mel Blanc. 

This was highly controversial upon release, condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, and lambasted in the press as smutty and prurient. Even Barbara Stanwyck made public condemnations of the film. Now of course it doesn't come across as anything more than a typical primetime sitcom, and even tame by those standards. I wasn't too fond of Walston, although I learned that he was a late replacement for Peter Sellers, who suffered a series of heart attacks after filming began. In fact, the main cast was originally supposed to be Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and Shirley MacLaine in the Martin, Farr, and Novak roles, respectively. Dean Martin's exaggerated spoof of his own persona seems to have been a forerunner of later "meta" self-parodies like Being John Malkovich, Topher Grace in the Ocean's movies, or the entirety of This Is the End

Source: TCM

What I noticed on my one and only viewing of this film, was that underneath all of the jokes considered so risque in 1964, that there is this rather beautiful current of wistful poignancy running throughout the film. It's most noticeable in Novak's performance (she's absolutely wonderful here bringing a great deal of complexity to a role that could have been one dimensional), but it also is visible in other elements as well.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm just too used to him from 2001 and David & Lisa, so he seems strange playing other things.

This would be a good idea for a thread. What actors are spoiled for you? Who is so typecast in your mind that you have trouble viewing film "out of type". I had that for Jonathan Price after watching Carrington, but I saw a couple films where he looked so different that it was okay. There are a couple of films advertised on NetF streaming who I recognized as being a cast member on Game of Thrones, that would be hard.

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I thought I was the only person who remembered One Potato, Two Potato.  I 've not seen it in 50 years but can still see it as if I just did.  There was a real case like it playing out in Texas then with the same unfair ending.  I also thought Bernie Hamilton was a fox before he put on weight and began bossing around Starsky and Hutch.   

Sadly, I this could could happen today in parts of the country. 

Oh, and when i first clinked on the thread I saw the comments on Hollywood and the Stars and the wonderful clip of the Elmer Bernstein theme both of which I also loved.   The music was just as I recalled it.  Thanks, four years late. 

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DAMN IT!!!!!

i caught half of VANISHING POINT (1970) this morning and then I **had** to go Somewhere. I totally assumed it would be available on Hulu when I returned and it is not.

DAMN IT, I WAS LOVING IT AND I WANTED TO SEE HOW IT ENDED!!!

SERVES ME RIGHT FOR POKING FUN AT BARRY NEWMAN IN THE MURDER SHE WROTE THREAD.

It was like watching a Surprisingly good longform commercial for the Dodge Charger and trucker speed as directed by MichaelAngelo Antonioni

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12 minutes ago, wouldbestar said:

Oh, and when i first clinked on the thread I saw the comments on Hollywood and the Stars and the wonderful clip of the Elmer Bernstein theme both of which I also loved.   The music was just as I recalled it.  Thanks, four years late. 

Hollywood and the Stars - as a young boy watching this documentary series on television I was galvanized by the clips I saw of so many Hollywood films of the studio system days - films I had already seen and loved, as well as those I had yet to view. Joseph Cotten was the host.

The memorable theme score by Elmer Bernstein splendidly captures a sense of grandness, of majesty even, that can come with the best of the cinema going experience. A few of the episodes of this superior series can be found on You Tube, including A Man Called Bogart, The Immortal Jolson, Funny Men, Sirens Symbols and Glamour Girls and The Swashbucklers.

 

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Paris When It Sizzles (1964)  -  5/10

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Romantic comedy with William Holden as a Hollywood screenwriter who drinks too much and is up against a deadline for his new script, which he's supposed to have been working on in Paris. He gets a new typist (Audrey Hepburn) to help him finish the task and hopefully to inspire him, and as the two work, they envision the story they are creating. Also featuring Noel Coward, Gregoire Aslan, Raymond Bussieres, and Tony Curtis. The film is meant as a Hollywood satire, and yet the resultant film comes across as the type of slapdash and uninspired screenwriting that they are mocking. Tony Curtis' appearance was meant to be a cameo (one of many), but his role was beefed up when Holden was sent to a "health retreat" to dry out. Hepburn was said to have considered this her worst film, but she escapes unblemished, giving another charming performance.

Source: Amazon video

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Lawrence, you might find the French original, La fete a Henriette (British title: Holiday for Henrietta) more to your taste. Excellent direction by Julien Duvivier. One of the proposed stories in the French film is noir, so that segment of the film is shot in film noir style. This film is sometimes available on YouTube or similar sites.

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I'm doing better at weening myself from my strict MURDER, SHE WROTE viewing diet.

All the FRIDAY THE 13TH titles vanished from amazon prime on Thursday and I was sad, and then on Saturday, they all showed up with different thumbnails- including parts one and 2.

I watched PART 2 and then RE-WATCHED 3 and 4...

I must say that while PART V is the debateable worst , PART 2 is  in many, many ways the  least satisfying of the series with the amended and nonsensical "endings" from which to choose and a premise with a foundation built on the sandiest of sand (but once established, the latter sequels ran with it).

Truly, I really think of it more as THE STORY OF JEFF AND SANDRA than FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2.

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Why, Lorna? you ask...

well, if not them, then who the Hell is this movie about?

certainly not this guy, he's from THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN:

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OT THESE TWO STICKS OF BUTTER:

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and nearly everyone else gets about 5 minutes in before they get offed...so I think with a little re-editing and focus on the two actually compelling (by comparison) characters in the film, there would be nothing but benefits...like the JAR JAR FREE edit of STAR WARS.

JEFF AND SANDRA YOU DESERVED BETTER!

EDIT- I DISTINCTLY RECALL seeing a full length sex and impalement scene with the two of them where you see EVERTHANG on SKINEMAX in the early to mid nineties.

i read on imdb that the actress playing SANDRA turned out to be underage and all the footage has since been scrapped, removed and destroyed.

but i very much recall seeing it in full late one summer night....

 

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"Three" - written and directed by James Salter - 1969 -

starring Charlotte Rampling, Robie Porter and Sam Waterston -

a movie needs a script - without one, the actors are in trouble -

two friends are vactioning in Europe -

they pick up a girl -

they become a threesome -

the characters aren't interesting -

and they aren't interested in each other -

there is a lot of walking -

and a lot of wandering -

so little happens that you might start to imagine some profundity -

here it is -

one of the friends returns home to school -

the other two have sex -

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I think that the film might be about unfulfilled homosexual desire -

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

All the FRIDAY THE 13TH titles vanished from amazon prime on Thursday and I was sad, and then on Saturday, they all showed up with different thumbnails- including parts one and 2.

Yep--That's the first thing to check, once that Prime banner disappears from the corner.

(I was only curious about the, wink-wink, "Final Chapter" IV, but I knew they'd be back.  Just like that copy of "Fiddler on the Roof" that keeps "disappearing" and reappearing with a different thumbnail before I can get around to finishing it.)

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Red Desert (1964)  -  6/10

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Italian drama from director Michelangelo Antonioni. Monica Vitti stars as Giuliana, married to factory foreman Ugo (Carlo Chionetti) and mother to a young son. She was recently in a car accident, and she's been a mental and emotional wreck since then. She meets Corrado (Richard Harris) who's in town recruiting workers from Ugo, and she seeks a connection with the stranger. Antonioni's first color film looks good, even if it's fixated on ugly things. Modern industrial pollution and waste are a recurrent visual motif. There's also an electronic, science-fiction-style score and sound effects peppered throughout. The film seems to be about alienation in the modern world, much like many of the director's prior films. There are also no easy answers, and viewers will either find it mysteriously poignant or pretentious and half-baked.

Source: The Criterion Channel

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Ride the Wild Surf (1964)  -  6/10

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Typical summer fun about a trio of surfer pals (Fabian, Tab Hunter, and Peter Brown) who travel to Hawaii to catch the big waves, only to find love along the way. Shelley Fabares, Susan Hart, and Barbara Eden are the love interests, respectively. Also with Jame Mitchum, Roger Davis, John Anthony Hayes, and Catherine McLeod. This isn't anyone's idea of high art, but it serves the purpose for which it was designed: showing beautiful people having a good time at the beach. 

Source: TCM

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MV5BNDljMDMzNzAtOGNjZC00NjJlLWJmYTgtOTVh

 

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Monrovia, Indiana (2018) Directed by Frederick Wiseman. This showed up on my PBS station

last week which is fortunate since the chance of it coming to any local cineplex is zip. As in all

of Wiseman's documentaries there is no narration and no interviews. Monrovia is a small town

of a little over 1,000 residents in a rural area of Indiana. Wiseman shows various locales of small

town life--the town council, the barber shop and beauty salon, the restaurant where the old timers

meet to discuss events local and national, a church, a church wedding, a church funeral, farmers

going about their business, etc. Each segment lasts for five minutes or so. Interspersed

between them are picturesque shots of amber waves of grain, blue skies and white

clouds, and tractors going about their business. One of the weirdest sequences is of the

classic car get together at the local fair and flea market. Suddenly, over the loudspeaker,

comes Ike and Tina Turner's cover of Proud Mary. The films runs a bit short of two and

a half hours but, for the most part, is interesting as people go about their everyday

business. While the small town seems nice, it's also a bit on the dull side.  I was

reminded of those Talking Heads' lyrics--I wouldn't live there if you paid me, I wouldn't

live there no siree. I wouldn't do things the way those people do, I wouldn't live there if

you paid me to. But it's not a bad place to visit for a few hours.

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The Secret Invasion (1964)  -  6/10

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WWII men-on-a-mission action flick from director Roger Corman. Allied officer Stewart Granger is put in charge of a special squad of troops, each of them a convicted criminal: an Italian mobster (Raf Vallone), a forger (Edd Byrnes), a demolitions expert (Mickey Rooney), a master-of-disguise (William Campbell), and an assassin (Henry Silva). They are tasked with infiltrating an Italian fortress prison to free a general from the Nazis. Also featuring Mia Massini, Helmo Kindermann, and Peter Coe. This is like The Dirty Dozen, only cheaper, sillier, and less abundant. Rooney uses an atrocious Irish accent. Silva is the most memorable as the creep with a heart of gold. At one point our heroes are captured and tortured, yet Byrnes, Campbell and Granger maintain their perfectly styled hair. This had to be one of the biggest budgeted movies directed by Roger Corman.

Source: internet

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Made a venture into modern films with Bad Times at the El Royale, which is a good, solid 9/10.

No, this grade is not a typo, as some who know my usual film tastes might expect. Bad Times at the El Royale is one of those movies that come in under the radar at times, and end up deeply impressing you by how good they really are. Indeed, I had not even had the film on my radar until about a few days before it opened last October. It didn't do well at the box office, but don't let that stop you. It deseves a lot better than that. To some this might be a Tarantino homage, and indeed it is filled with some shocking, outrageously violent moments, especially toward the end.

But to just dismiss this whole film by calling it a homage would be an injustice. This film is one of those modern day rarities, a major studio film aimed at adults with a completely original story. And underneath all the grit, there is a surprisingly strong amount of character development, or understanding, and in the case of several of the characters, a surprising store of empathy. You really begin to feel for several of these characters trapped in this terrible situation. You want them to get the closure they so desperately need, the release from danger. What's also surprising is the strong undercurrent of the topic of faith, something rarely seen in films today and also gives the film a fresh, moving spin.

The ensemble cast is pretty ideal too, with Jeff Bridges as good as ever. i am of the opinion that he is one of the best actors who ever lived, and he is up to his usual game here, creating a complex portrait of a man who is battling a faltering memory and has more to him then meets the eye. Cynthia Erivo is stunning in her first theatrical film, delving into her part with a beautiful mix of understatement, vulnerability, and a golden, beautful singing voice that is blessedly heard many times throughout the film. its a soulful performance, and one that should have received much more attention. The trio of sublime performances is capped by another newcomer, Lewis Pullman, son of Bill, who gives a performances that gets to the very heart of his troubled character, one longing for absolution and forgiveness of his past deeds.

These three have the largest roles in the film, and with them, the film is in good hands, although Chris Hemsworth is chilling as a Charles Manson clone, Cailee Spaeny is equally creepy as a character perhaps modeled after Squeaky Fromme (she also looks a bit like Linda Blair in The Exorcist), Dakopta Johnson proving both tough and gritty at some times, and near heartbreaking at other times, and Jon Hamm as another individual who might know more than he lets on under his shallow exterior.

At 141 minutes, this might feel too long for some, but it seems about the right length to me. Yes, its a bit startling when the film reverses chronology twice to capture what was happening at a critical moment from other points of view, but it ultimately feels earned, and also its nice to know and understand the backstories of all these characters. its a deliberate pace, one that feels much like a classic from 1969, the year the film is set in, would proceed at. That's a compliment. it gives you plenty of time to think and absorb what has just happened, while tantalizing you with what is to come. That's the best thing a movie can be.

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Seduced and Abandoned (1964)  -  7/10

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Italian comedy from director Pietro Germi. Sicilian patriarch Don Vincenzo (Saro Urzi) tries to reclaim his family's honor when the fiancee (Aldo Puglisi) of one of his daughters has an affair with the youngest daughter, 15-year-old Agnese (Stefania Sandrelli), leaving the girl pregnant. Vincenzo pursues multiple options, both legal and not so legal, to save the family's honor. Also featuring Paola Biggio, Leopoldo Trieste, Lola Braccini, and Lando Buzzanca. Like Germi's earlier film Divorce - Italian Style, this is a send-up of traditional values and the hypocrisy of many who hold them most sacred. The cast is excellent and authentic, and the film depicts Sicily very vividly.

Source: The Criterion Channel

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31 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Seduced and Abandoned (1964)  -  7/10

Sedotta_e_abbandonata_1964-cast.png

Italian comedy from director Pietro Germi. Sicilian patriarch Don Vincenzo (Saro Urzi) tries to reclaim his family's honor when the fiancee (Aldo Puglisi) of one of his daughters has an affair with the youngest daughter, 15-year-old Agnese (Stefania Sandrelli), leaving the girl pregnant. Vincenzo pursues multiple options, both legal and not so legal, to save the family's honor. Also featuring Paola Biggio, Leopoldo Trieste, Lola Braccini, and Lando Buzzanca. Like Germi's earlier film Divorce - Italian Style, this is a send-up of traditional values and the hypocrisy of many who hold them most sacred. The cast is excellent and authentic, and the film depicts Sicily very vividly.

Source: The Criterion Channel

It's one of Pietro Germi's greatest films -and who could forget that cast?

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Red Desert (1964)  -  6/10

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Italian drama from director Michelangelo Antonioni. Monica Vitti stars as Giuliana, married to factory foreman Ugo (Carlo Chionetti) and mother to a young son. She was recently in a car accident, and she's been a mental and emotional wreck since then. She meets Corrado (Richard Harris) who's in town recruiting workers from Ugo, and she seeks a connection with the stranger. Antonioni's first color film looks good, even if it's fixated on ugly things. Modern industrial pollution and waste are a recurrent visual motif. There's also an electronic, science-fiction-style score and sound effects peppered throughout. The film seems to be about alienation in the modern world, much like many of the director's prior films. There are also no easy answers, and viewers will either find it mysteriously poignant or pretentious and half-baked.

Source: The Criterion Channel

Lawrence, I love that Antonioni manages to get up to the 6/10 level, as good as Ride the Wild Surf. I'm with you on your view of Red Desert. There are some fine images, I like Monica Vitti, Richard Harris is miscast and kind of meh, and the theme of alienation just isn't very interesting. The whole alienation thing seemed much more profound when I was in my twenties. Instead of modern society alienating poor us, I can't help feeling that what Antonioni shows us is his own deep depression. This is how someone who is suffering from clinical depression sees life.

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Send Me No Flowers (1964)  -  7/10

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Another fun romp with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Rock plays the hypochondriac husband of Doris. When he mistakenly believes that he has mere weeks left to live, he goes about trying to set his affairs in order, in secret and not letting Doris know his dire prognosis. However, Doris begins to suspect that Rock is having an affair due to his secretive activities. Also featuring Tony Randall as their next-door neighbor and the one person Rock confides in. With Edward Andrews, Patricia Barry, PaulLynde, Hal March, and Clint Walker. While I think I enjoyed Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back more, I still found this one frequently amusing, with all of the performers giving their best effort. I especially liked Paul Lynde's bit as a jovial cemetery plot salesman, and Clint Walker as an Alpha Male rival for Doris' affection.

Source: Universal DVD

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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)  - 6/10

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Visually-inventive Soviet film from director Sergei Parajanov. The story follows Ivan (Ivan Mykolaichuk) from boyhood to manhood. He lives in a small farming village in the Carpathians, and falls in love with the daughter of the man who killed his father. After tragedy strikes later in life, Ivan tries to make a future, to mixed results. Also featuring Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva, and Spartak Bagashvili. The narrative is both simplistic and obtuse, based on local folklore but presented with avant-garde abandon. In the end I couldn't find enough substance to fill out the interesting visuals, but the film still has plenty of beautiful, entrancing moments. I wouldn't mind watching this again in the future if a remastered print were made available.

Source: YouTube

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Shock Treatment (1964)  -  7/10

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Entertaining thriller with Stuart Whitman as an actor hired to pretend to be crazy so as to be hospitalized in the local asylum. His employers want him to find the location of a fortune hidden by another inmate, homicidal gardener Roddy McDowall. Whitman runs into trouble with doctor Lauren Bacall who also wants the fortune. Also featuring Carol Lynley, Ossie Davis, Olive Deering, Bert Freed, Robert J. Wilke, Edward Platt, Red West, and Timothy Carey. This is B-movie material, but presented well enough.

Source: internet

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