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Lucky Ghost aka Lady Luck  (1942)  -  6/10

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Comedy from director William Beaudine, starring Mantan Moreland and F.E. Miller as a duo down on their luck and tramping across the country. They end up at an illegal gambling house that also happens to be haunted by spirits that disapprove of the current activities. Also featuring Maceo Bruce Sheffield, Arthur Ray, Florence O'Brien, Harold Garrison, Jesse Cryer, and Napoleon Whiting. This low-budget all-black-cast "race" film is pretty amusing, with Mantan as funny as usual. I like that there are actual ghosts in the story, and not just crooks in costumes, like most poverty row "old dark house" type movies. I wasn't familiar with F.E. Miller, who is also funny here. He was apparently very influential in the theater world.

Source: internet

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Secret Mission  (1942)  -  5/10

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British WWII thriller about a quartet of Allied soldiers (Hugh Williams, Roland Culver, James Mason, and Michael Wilding) sneaking into Occupied France with hopes of gaining some pre-invasion intel on the German positions. Frenchman Mason reunites with his sister-in-law (Carla Lehmann), who also gets involved in their espionage efforts. With Nancy Price, Percy Walsh, Nicholas Stuart, Herbert Lom, Karel Stepanek, Walter Gotell, and Stewart Granger. The tone is all over the place here, comedic in one scene, deadly serious in the next. Williams and Culver make for dull leads, while Mason's French accent leaves something to be desired. I've seen worse, but this isn't something I need to revisit.

Source: YouTube

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Golden Gloves  (1940)  -  6/10

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Boxing drama with fighter Richard Denning teaming up with newsman Robert Paige to try and start a legitimate boxing association free from the corruption of racketeers like J. Carrol Naish. Also featuring Jeanne Cagney, William Frawley, Edward Brophy, Abner Biberman, Byron Foulger, and Robert Ryan in his debut. This was a minor B picture directed by Edward Dmytryk with some gusto. The fighters themselves are mainly a bunch of teenagers who look like extras from a Bowery Boys flick. Ryan plays a tough boxing competitor who faces off with Denning. Ryan reportedly hurt Denning enough during filming to send him to the hospital. 

Source: internet

golden-gloves-robert-ryan-in-training-on

I don't think I've ever seen a beefcake photo of Robert Ryan before.

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28 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I don't think I've ever seen a beefcake photo of Robert Ryan before.

I thought it was just a shot of Ryan skipping rope.

All in the eyes of the beholder.

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4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I very much like L'Avventura, followed by Zabriskie Point (yes, I'm another of the few who actually like it!), and Il Grido

I was less enthused, but still liked, L'eclisse and La Notte. Then The PassengerBlowup, and Red Desert.

I had forgotten about two of them until I looked up his filmography!

Michelangelo Antonioni does inspire a lot of negative criticism.

A lot of it is due to his indifference to narrative-driven cinema.

A lot of it is due to his bleak view of humanity.

And, then, of course, a lot of people did not like Monica Vitti.

I am so glad that you can appreciate "Zabriskie Point".

Among his major films, I find the trilogy most impressive.

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18 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I thought it was just a shot of Ryan skipping rope.

All in the eyes of the beholder.

Ahem, excuse me here Tom, but a guy as tough and as macho as Robert Ryan wouldn't have been caught DEAD "skipping" rope.

Nope, now "JUMPING" rope is a whole OTHER thing, ya know! ;)

LOL

Actually though and all kidding aside here, I've just now did a little internet investigation into this nomenclature, and found that the term "skipping rope" is more an British English thing, and whereas the term "jumping rope" is an American English idiom.

And so, seein' as how you Canadians mimic the Brits a lot with the Language (YOU know, like that whole superfluous 'u' thing  ;) ) I guess I can see why you offered up the phrase "skipping rope" here.

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32 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Ahem, excuse me here Tom, but a guy as tough and as macho as Robert Ryan wouldn't have been caught DEAD "skipping" rope.

Nope, now "JUMPING" rope is a whole OTHER thing, ya know! ;)

LOL

Actually though and all kidding aside here, I've just now did a little internet investigation into this nomenclature, and found that the term "skipping rope" is more an British English thing, and whereas the term "jumping rope" is an American English idiom.

And so, seein' as how you Canadians mimic the Brits a lot with the Language (YOU know, like that whole superfluous 'u' thing  ;) ) I guess I can see why you offered up the phrase "skipping rope" here.

What can you do with double dutch?

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12 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

What can you do with double dutch?

Well, if you're talkin' about those hot as hell Van der Meer sisters, I could think up a whole LOT of stuff I could "do" with THEM, Princess!!!

(...oh wait...you're talkin' about that JUMP rope maneuver, weren't ya...sorry, never mind then)

 

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

Ahem, excuse me here Tom, but a guy as tough and as macho as Robert Ryan wouldn't have been caught DEAD "skipping" rope.

Nope, now "JUMPING" rope is a whole OTHER thing, ya know! ;)

LOL

Actually though and all kidding aside here, I've just now did a little internet investigation into this nomenclature, and found that the term "skipping rope" is more an British English thing, and whereas the term "jumping rope" is an American English idiom.

And so, seein' as how you Canadians mimic the Brits a lot with the Language (YOU know, like that whole superfluous 'u' thing  ;) ) I guess I can see why you offered up the phrase "skipping rope" here.

It is my understanding that the difference is methodology. "Skipping rope" is when the person lands on one foot and alternates between feet with each jump. This may include also a shuffling of the foot on the ground in imitation of a child skipping. "Jumping rope" is when the person lands on both feet at the same time. The latter is more popular among boxers and others who exert more energy and concentrate their force while the former is more popular among casuals such as Englanders.

This is an example of "jumping" as all feet land simultaneously to exert maximum force:

7uRSo.gif

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6 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

What can you do with double dutch?

 

 

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7 hours ago, Dargo said:

Ahem, excuse me here Tom, but a guy as tough and as macho as Robert Ryan wouldn't have been caught DEAD "skipping" rope.

Nope, now "JUMPING" rope is a whole OTHER thing, ya know! ;)

LOL

Actually though and all kidding aside here, I've just now did a little internet investigation into this nomenclature, and found that the term "skipping rope" is more an British English thing, and whereas the term "jumping rope" is an American English idiom.

And so, seein' as how you Canadians mimic the Brits a lot with the Language (YOU know, like that whole superfluous 'u' thing  ;) ) I guess I can see why you offered up the phrase "skipping rope" here.

 

4 hours ago, SansFin said:

It is my understanding that the difference is methodology. "Skipping rope" is when the person lands on one foot and alternates between feet with each jump. This may include also a shuffling of the foot on the ground in imitation of a child skipping. "Jumping rope" is when the person lands on both feet at the same time. The latter is more popular among boxers and others who exert more energy and concentrate their force while the former is more popular among casuals such as Englanders.

This is an example of "jumping" as all feet land simultaneously to exert maximum force:

 

I bet nobody argued with this macho tough guy about the correct verbiage to use, whether he called it skipping or jumping.

MuhammadAliXBrianLondon-01b-SkipRope-400

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Candlelight in Algeria  (1944)  -  6/10

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British WWII thriller with Carla Lehmann as an American sculptress in Occupied Algeria. She gets mixed up with a British agent (James Mason) and finds herself a target of the German secret police. Also featuring Raymond Lovell, Enid Stamp-Taylor, Walter Rilla, Pamela Stirling, and Leslie Bradley. This is serviceable wartime diversion and propaganda, with a good performance by Lehmann.

Source: YouTube

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Ladies of Washington  (1944)  -  7/10

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Suspense drama about a group of women forced to live together due to the wartime housing shortage in D.C. The newest housemate Jerry (Sheila Ryan) has a troubled past, and she starts dating an enemy agent (Anthony Quinn). When things go south, housemate Carol (Trudy Marshall) tries to clear the name of her erroneously suspected boyfriend Dr. Hugh Mayberry (Ronald Graham). With Robert Bailey, Robin Raymond, Beverly Whitney, Carleton Young, J. Farrell MacDonald, and Byron Foulger. This is a minor B programmer, but I thought it was entertaining. The setting is interesting, and the performances good. I especially liked Robin Raymond as a wisecracking cab-driving housemate. Top-billed Trudy Marshall is the mother of Deborah Raffin.

Source: internet

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

Ahem, excuse me here Tom, but a guy as tough and as macho as Robert Ryan wouldn't have been caught DEAD "skipping" rope.

Nope, now "JUMPING" rope is a whole OTHER thing, ya know! ;)

LOL

Actually though and all kidding aside here, I've just now did a little internet investigation into this nomenclature, and found that the term "skipping rope" is more an British English thing, and whereas the term "jumping rope" is an American English idiom.

And so, seein' as how you Canadians mimic the Brits a lot with the Language (YOU know, like that whole superfluous 'u' thing  ;) ) I guess I can see why you offered up the phrase "skipping rope" here.

I'd figure they'd both come up with something like  "hopping" rope. ;)  or the other way 'round.

And yep... ALI could call it anything he LIKED!  ;)  :D 

And PRINCESS     "double Dutch"?  Well, since( and for no reason anyone's been able to provide me so far) to be "IN Dutch" means to be in serious trouble, I imagine DOUBLE Dutch is REALLY serious trouble!  :o :D

Sepiatone

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Man of Evil aka Fanny By Gaslight  (1944)  -  7/10

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Period-piece British melodrama from Gainsborough Pictures. Fanny (Phyllis Calvert) loses her mother at a young age, and when her father dies under suspicious circumstances, her reputation is further tarnished. She finds love with rising attorney Harry Somerford (Stewart Granger), but class barriers may prove overwhelming. And over everything, the recurring shadow of the detestable Lord Manderstoke (James Mason) threatens to blight out the sun of their happiness. Also featuring Wilfrid Lawson, Jean Kent, Margaretta Scott, Nora Swinbourne, and Cathleen Nesbitt. This has the handsome production design one expects of a Gainsborough picture, as well as the overheated melodrama that made them basically soap operas dressed up in pretty packaging.

Source: internet

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Quai des Orfevres  (1947)  -  8/10

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French crime drama, with Louis Jouvet as a veteran police detective trying to solve the murder of a rich, lecherous old man (Charles Dullin). The chief suspects include a promiscuous showgirl (Suzy Delair), her jealous songwriter husband (Bernard Blier), and their photographer friend (Simone Renant). The third film from writer-director Henri-Georges Clouzot, this police procedural features great characters, terrific acting, and a wonderfully lurid look at the seedier side of post-war Paris. Jouvet and Delair gets the showiest roles, but I was particularly taken by Renant as the photographer who specializes in cheesecake girlie pics, and whose sexuality couldn't be hinted at any more directly. Recommended. Also released as Jenny Lamour.

Source: internet

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I surprised myself by watching STAR WARS EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE on TCM ON DEMAND. It's a film I have not seen in 30 or so years, but before that I had seen a whole lot of times.

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THE STAR WARS TRILOGY and GREASE run neck-in-neck for the title of "movie I have seen the most times that I am ultimately apathetic to, neither disliking nor loving it intensely..."

and yet, that said, watching it in 2019, I had twin feelings of being charmed by the performances and the production design and also  realizing that the simplicity of the dialogue and plot are actually attributes of the film and not detriments as they are oft cited as being...

but also being really annoyed by the fact that the STAR WARS EPISODE IV that is "out there" now is not the film that was released in 1977 or on VHS in the 80's (and 90's)

the only edition of the movie on DVD or leased to stations for broadcast or that plays in theaters on re-release is one that GEORGE LUCAS MADE NUMEROUS CHANGES TO sometimes in the 1990's, in some cases altering significant things about characters and special effects which really, were fine to begin with and even if they weren't, I'm sorry George, PENCILS DOWN. YOUR MOVIE IS DONE.

it annoys me.

for one who does not feel passionately about the film, I have got to say HAN ****ING SHOT FIRST AND LUKE AND LEIA KISSED ON THE BRIDGE, MAYBE EVEN WITH TONGUE (I can't say as I entirely recall, again, it's been three decades)

ALSO THE MOSS ISLEY (SP?) CANTINA SCENE DOES NOT BENEFIT FROM THE 27 EXTRA FRAMES OF ACID TRIP MUPPET NIGHTMARES.

That aside, (this is not just me being misty), CARRIE FISHER's performance is one of the absolute strongest things about the picture (certainly it was my favorite)I also have to say I loved PETER CUSHING TOO, although OMG, he looked like a HUMAN PEZ DISPENSER at this stage!

(bless his heart and all)

 

 

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Song for Tomorrow  (1948)  -  5/10

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British musical drama starring Evelyn McCabe as Helen Maxwell, a successful Irish singer on the club circuit in postwar Britain. During one performance, pianist Derek Wardell (Shaun Noble), who has suffered from amnesia since head injury year earlier, has a memory stirred by the sound of Helen's voice. The singer agrees to assist doctor Roger Stanton (Ralph Michael) in trying to restore the young man's memories. Also featuring Christopher Lee, James Hayter, Valentine Dunn, and Conrad Phillips. This less-than-an-hour tearjerker was rather forgettable. I watched it for Christopher Lee in an early role as a nightclub owner. He was dubbed.

Source: YouTube

 

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40 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I surprised myself by watching STAR WARS EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE on TCM ON DEMAND. It's a film I have not seen in 30 or so years, but before that I had seen a whole lot of times.

but also being really annoyed by the fact that the STAR WARS EPISODE IV that is "out there" now is not the film that was released in 1977 or on VHS in the 80's (and 90's)

the only edition of the movie on DVD or leased to stations for broadcast or that plays in theaters on re-release is one that GEORGE LUCAS MADE NUMEROUS CHANGES TO sometimes in the 1990's, in some cases altering significant things about characters and special effects which really, were fine to begin with and even if they weren't, I'm sorry George, PENCILS DOWN. YOUR MOVIE IS DONE.

As noted earlier, not the ONLY version on DVD (but which couldn't be converted to Blu-ray, hence fan rages)--But it's gone, and getting pricey:

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Episode-IV-Limited/dp/B000FQJAIW/

(It still affects an OG fan to see no "Episode" on the crawl. 😥 )

And yes, Han Shot First.  Because Han ALWAYS shoots first, it's his answer to everything.

tumblr_o0cv61q3Ws1r5cxuyo1_540.gif

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Bitter Rice  (1949)  -  8/10

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Italian melodrama from writer-director Giuseppe De Santis. Criminals Francesca (Doris Dowling) and Walter (Vittorio Gassman) are on the run after pulling off a jewelry theft at a hotel. Francesca decides to hide out among the seasonal rice field laborers, which are all women, until things cool down and Walter comes to get her (and the loot). However, when fellow worker Silvana (Silvana Mangano) sees the jewels, it sets in motion a series of betrayals and tragedy. Also featuring Raf Vallone, Checco Rissone, Adriana Sivieri, Lia Corelli, and Maria Grazia Francia. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, this was a big hit in Europe, and made Mangano a major star in Italy. She's definitely memorable as the amoral Silvana, often seen in provocative poses or dancing with wanton abandon. The director intended for her character to be an indictment of the influence of American culture and morality on postwar Italy, thus all of her gum chewing, which was viewed by many Europeans as a defining American habit. American actress Dowling is also very good, as are Gassman and Vallone, the latter playing a good-hearted ex-soldier. Recommended.

Source: The Criterion Channel

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uninvited+10.pngI watched THE UNINVITED (1944) last night as part of RUTH HUSSEY'S SUTS DAY.

When i was a teenager in the 1990's I really really got into classic movies as a lot of them were finally being rolled out on VHS and burgeoning cable tv stations...yet, as i recall it, this film was unavailable for a while, but I did find a copy of the book on which it was based and I found it a little bit of a letdown, a feeling that I can't help but shift to the film which, lovely and gorgeous and stylish as it is (the black and white cinematography was nominated for an Oscar but lost to LAURA)- and as much as it is able to get away with (murder, adultery, the intriguing rehash of the MRS DANVERS character from REBECCA as an EVEN MORE AGGRESSIVE U-HAUL LESBIAN with a dash of Holistic Bull**** thrown in for funsies)- I feel as if opportunities were missed...and yet, I know there was only so much one could do with such a story in the HAYES CODE ERA OF 1944 (the relationship between brother and sister seems ripe for a subtext that is not even hinted at)

This is set in England but everyone, even the British actors like RAY MILLAND and DONALD CRISP- sound vaguely American, I guess this was to make it easier for newcomer GAIL RUSSELL to not have to put on an accent in what was her first substantial role in a big film with big stars.

this is awful, but the TRAGIC STORY OF GAIL RUSSELL adds something to this movie; as does the score and- of course- STELLA BY STARLIGHT.

It's a good movie, even if tame by today's standards.

I got a little annoyed by the scene wherein Hussey and Milland walk into the especially haunted studio room and proclaim to to be "the ugliest room in the house", maybe even the ugliest they've ever seen...

um:

The+Uninvited+204115.jpg

No.

You could charge $4500/mo for this thing in Brooklyn, and that's taking into account the waves are just a rear projection effect.

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11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Bitter Rice  (1949)  -  8/10

bitter-rice-1200-1200-675-675-crop-00000

Gosh, Mangano looks like Bergman in that shot except I don't recall Ingrid ever having a leg quite as impressive as that one.

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I've spent this morning looking in on those "late career" flicks of SHIRLEY TEMPLE.  She was a cutie in her teen and young adult stages, and too bad her film career didn't get into her more "grown up" phase.  By the time she was in her late teens she had the experience and developed the chops to handle roles with more MEAT on the bones and less fluff.  It would have been interesting to see her in some dark noir, steeped in some hazardous intrigue.

Sepiatone

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Jour de Fete  (1949)  -  7/10

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French comedy from writer-director-star Jacques Tati. He plays a bumbling postman in a small village who gets mixed up in various slapstick misadventures when a fair comes to town. This was Tati's first feature-length effort, and it's not as polished or as funny as his later works. Still, it's amusing enough to pass the time.

Source: The Criterion Channel

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27 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I've spent this morning looking in on those "late career" flicks of SHIRLEY TEMPLE.  She was a cutie in her teen and young adult stages, and too bad her film career didn't get into her more "grown up" phase.  By the time she was in her late teens she had the experience and developed the chops to handle roles with more MEAT on the bones and less fluff It would have been interesting to see her in some dark noir, steeped in some hazardous intrigue.

Sepiatone

i recall reading somewhere a rumor she was considered for the part of the daughter LOLA in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, whether that's true or not, I  cannot say.

Her marriage to JOHN AGAR was apparently as dark as the bleakest noir there was....i think it maybe even had something to do with her stepping away from acting...although she did do some TV in the 50's i think.

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