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3 hours ago, Fedya said:

The real best song of 1988 ;)

(Seriously, it actually is from 1988.)

Amazing that this video has been up on YouTube for about 10 years, and it's gotten just under 600 million views¬†ūüė≤!¬† For my money, the best song nominee at the 1988 Grammys I would have voted for is "Fast Car" by Tracey Chapman.¬† It's sad, thoughtful, introspective, and for some listeners, probably real too.¬† A bit of a bummer for lyricists, but the accompaniment is awesome.

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The Light At The Edge Of The World (1971)

Kirk Douglas's second appearance in a film adaption of a Jules Verne novel (following his box office smash for Disney, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea). But this film couldn't be more contrasting to the earlier light hearted adventure. This is a grimly serious tale of survival with Kirk as the assistant lighthouse keeper on a barren rock bound island in 1865 (the location is never identified but it is, apparently, off Argentina).

Kirk is hiding and on the run on the island after the old sea captain and chief lighthouse keeper (Fernando Rey) and his young assistant are both murdered by a gang of ruthless pirates, headed by Yul Brynner. The pirates want the island so they can bring wayward ships to its barren rocks to wreck them in order to collect the spoils. Samantha Eggar plays a young woman from a ship taken as a pretty plaything by Brynner.

This film has a nasty tone as the pirates are a leering, sadistic bunch (one of them cross dressing and whopping and hollering in a strange dance to terrify Eggar). There will be men left hanging upside down swinging in the breeze, a gang rape and a man hung up and flailed alive. It's no wonder Kirk doesn't want to be captured, as he sneaks around and eventually sets about to try to knock off as many of the pirates as he can.

The characterizations in the film are paper thin and there's isn't much plot but a bearded Douglas is clearly in good shape and Brynner brings a little interest to his role by playing a sadist who likes to act like a gentleman. Not an easy film to like but, even though it's overlong at more than two hours, a passable time waster. I'm not certain how many would want to view this film a second time, though.

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2.5 out of 4

 

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5 hours ago, TomJH said:

It certainly is a remarkably intense scene. James Wong Howe's photography even makes Coburn look Satanic to a degree, a reflection of his character's true self as a small town doctor who is also a sadist.

The film is certainly filled with remarkable scenes. But, having read a bit about the book (including by one writer who says the "Where's the rest of me" line could be the novel speaking about the film), I am particularly intrigued by the more complex character of Dr. Tower, the Claude Rains character who is mentor to Parris. Dr. Tower later kills his daughter Cassie and commits suicide, ostensibly because of his daughter's madness. However, the novel is clear that Dr. Tower was having an incestuous relationship with Cassie. 

With that in mind, a scene I find troubling yet painfully sad is the scene, early on, when Mrs. Tower, who never leaves the house, peers out of her upstairs window through the curtains. I think the tone of that brief scene is Sam Wood telling us that the poor woman has gone mad because of what her husband is doing to their daughter.

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9 hours ago, Swithin said:

With that in mind, a scene I find troubling yet painfully sad is the scene, early on, when Mrs. Tower, who never leaves the house, peers out of her upstairs window through the curtains. I think the tone of that brief scene is Sam Wood telling us that the poor woman has gone mad because of what her husband is doing to their daughter.

It's an unsettling moment in Kings Row, an innocent little boy (young Parris) sees the face of a woman at a window, pale as a ghost, and calls up to her to say hello. But she pulls back from the curtain and out of sight. It tells the audience that something here is "off."

I don't have quite the same interpretation of this scene as you do, though, Swithin, since in the film version Dr. Tower is NOT doing to his daughter what he did in the novel. But I do agree that it is a sign of the mental illness that the woman's daughter will inherit.

I also agree with your earlier statement that Tyrone Power would have been more satisfactory casting in the role of Parris than the callow, earnest Robert Cummings.

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Don't Bother to Knock (1952) I can't believe that there was a time I didn't like this film ... and I didn't like Marilyn in this either. I was ensconced in a prison of prejudice with the absolute certainty that Marilyn was not a good dramatic actress in anything she did prior to the Actor's Studio and that was final. She might have been, you know, okay in Niagara but that was easy because she looked so good. This whole idea has changed considerably. She is as fragile as a daisy in a windstorm in the beginning and it has been commented before that she appeared to be somewhat of a picture of the real Marilyn at the time of her life. A sort of time capsule of the real Marilyn, but only at the start. She of course becomes increasingly deranged  and by the end of the film I am nearly drawn to tears. Yes, Widmark exhibits the "understanding heart" that Anne Bancroft values so much in a man, and we have it too. Marilyn made that possible. I don't know to what extent she was directed in the final taut moments leaning against the wall with a piece of glass in her hand but her body language and timing was pitch perfect and her tortured utterances wrings the heart. "How did you know my name?" was never spoken thus. "Somebody entirely else" doesn't make sense unless you are her.

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She was quite good throughout the film but from the time she emerges from the elevator in a daze up until the end she is riveting. And she would be so glad to know that. I wonder if anyone ever told her. This is what she really wanted. The studios didn't follow up on this of course. Anne Bancroft is such a handsomely pretty woman and is quite a vision in her own right. I wonder if they might not have made Widmark come across a little more ornery or cad-like at the beginning (but not too much) so we can see how so affected he is with the plight of this girl. But it is still fine as it is.

///

 

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Thanks for the wonderful shots of Mrs. Tower at the window.  Having also read about the making of the film after I first saw it many years ago, I learned that this was the sometime actress Eden Gray making an uncredited appearance.  The lace curtain hovering about the side of her face is especially haunting, perhaps giving the impression of being streaked by tears?

As for the incest factor:  while I have never read the source book, I am, like other viewers, familiar with what was excised.  But while not explicit in the film, isn't it possible that Cassie's emotional madness was exacerbated by her father's abuse, while the mother cowers in madness and helplessness aware of the situation?  It's there, but it's not there. 

That's what makes Kings Row all the more fascinating upon repeated viewings.  It's actually quite bold (for the time) in some respects about sex.....Louise telling her mother she wishes it was she, Louise, fornicating with Drake!

I'll have to locate the novel and finally read it.

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21 minutes ago, Roy Cronin said:

Thanks for the wonderful shots of Mrs. Tower at the window.  Having also read about the making of the film after I first saw it many years ago, I learned that this was the sometime actress Eden Gray making an uncredited appearance.  The lace curtain hovering about the side of her face is especially haunting, perhaps giving the impression of being streaked by tears?

As for the incest factor:  while I have never read the source book, I am, like other viewers, familiar with what was excised.  But while not explicit in the film, isn't possible that Cassie's emotional madness was exacerbated by her father's abuse, while the mother cowers in madness and helplessness aware of the situation?  It's there, but it's not there. 

That's what makes Kings Row all the more fascinating upon repeated viewings.  It's actually quite bold (for the time) in some respects about sex.....Louise telling her mother she wishes it was she, Louise, fornicating with Drake!

I'll have to locate the novel and finally read it.

Thanks, Tom, for those shots -- I couldn't find them. 

Regarding the incest, directors have ways to indicate something that can't be said in the script. Although incest is not -- could not be -- given as a reason in the film, Sam Wood may have found ways to indicate it between the lines, visually. My most recent viewing of the film was at the cinema, but I have the DVD and will look at it for any other visual cues.

It seems odd that Dr. Tower, who is portrayed as an American pioneer in the field of psychiatry at that time, would kill his daughter and himself because of her mental illness. It goes against everything he says about the new field.

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I'm also compelled to comment on and ask questions for discussion about Kings Row and Peyton Place.

Maybe I should start a new thread so as to not clutter up this one.

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Xanadu (1980) -- Source: Showtime

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So, um, yes, this one. Curiosity let me go for it. The soundtrack is for the most part surprisingly great. I knew of "Magic" and "Xanadu", but "Whenever You're Away from Me", "Suddenly", "Don't Walk Away", "All Over the World" and "Suspended in Time" are smashingly effective as well. Olivia Newton-John is likable and melodious and Gene Kelly is a welcome sight as ever. They both play a bit of a back seat to Michael Beck. And the storyline, while obviously fantasy, is quite charming, like a late 1940s film. However, the drawbacks are that the whole roller disco theme was dated right at the film's release, and the ultimate (long) disco scene at the end is very hokey looking. The best scene comes early (the Kelly/Newton-John song and dance scene which is very nostalgic and left me with a big smile). A few production numbers can cause winces. The film is better when it doesn't have flashing lights and goofy Disco dancers, and yet, the film has something about it that makes it likable and that helps get it over its rough patches. A guilty pleasure type.

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I love Xanadu and feel absolutely no guilt for loving this film.  I am also partial to roller disco films.  But this film has everything:

-Olivia Newton-John

-Great music

-Gene Kelly

-Gene Kelly playing clarinet (I played clarinet from grade 5-12)

-Disco

-Neon

-Greek Gods

-Roller Skating

-Flashbacks

The weakness might be Michael Beck who may be one of the worst actors ever.  Though, now I cannot recall if I'm thinking of him or the male lead from Roller Boogie--my second favorite roller disco film.  I am waiting for TCM to air Skatetown USA on the Underground. 

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Everyone be sure to place their orders for the long-awaited Blu-ray release of 1979's classic Skatetown, U.S.A., available September 24th at all fine retailers. Featuring Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Patrick Swayze, and "Horshack" from Welcome Back, Kotter. Written by the guy who played the killer in the first Halloween and later directed The Last Starfighter.

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One of the songs from Xanadu -- take your pick -- deserved an Oscar nomination, but it was a really strong year for the Original Song category.  Well, except I don't know how that song from The Competition got nominated.  But then a pretty bad song from 10 was nominated the previous year.  The Academy just likes certain types of songs.

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7 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I love Xanadu and feel absolutely no guilt for loving this film.  I am also partial to roller disco films.  But this film has everything:

-Olivia Newton-John

-Great music

-Gene Kelly

-Gene Kelly playing clarinet (I played clarinet from grade 5-12)

-Disco

-Neon

-Greek Gods

-Roller Skating

-Flashbacks

- AND Don Bluth cartoons, which weren't even a thing yet in the early 80's.  

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(And Los Angeles's late Pan-Pacific Auditorium, which is why tourists love to take shots on roller skates in front of Disney Studios' Florida theme-park gates.)

And I continue to fight this movie's unfortunate umbilical-cord to being linked with the Village People's "Can't Stop the Music", which was released within a month:
There is no actual "disco" music in Xanadu, thus disqualifying it from being a "Disco musical". ¬†There's a disco in the plot, but it's playing Olivia's mellow pop or ELO's 50's-infused rock, which, as we can see, takes new viewers by surprise. ¬†ūüėĀ

7 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

However, the drawbacks are that the whole roller disco theme was dated right at the film's release, and the ultimate (long) disco scene at the end is very hokey looking. 

The original test screening was two hours long, and a disaster--Whenever you see a flashy graphic or stylistic screen-wipe in the movie, which is often (I'd love to have seen what the "All Over the World" number originally looked like), it's usually covering for some judicious edits.

In the longer version, the big ending production number was almost twenty minutes long (Kelly was reportedly going to do "Singin' in the Rain" on skates), and the choppy flying-graphic "medley" we get in the final cut is literally Edited Highlights.  Hokey, yes, but, like the rest of the movie, throwing everything into it--I've tried watching Skatetown USA and Roller Boogie, but both were drive-in B-fodder, and not the classy big-studio production that Xanadu was.  Only fans who've watched the movie know that.  

2 hours ago, SansFin said:

I am sorry to say that roller derby and disco do not seem to me to be an ideal mix. 

Well, how would you know if you've never SEEN it?  That's what trend-musicals are for.

(Silly fad, yes, and never survived the 70's, but who doesn't like the drill-team carhops?)¬†ūüėĀ

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Everyone be sure to place their orders for the long-awaited Blu-ray release of 1979's classic Skatetown, U.S.A., available September 24th at all fine retailers. Featuring Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Patrick Swayze, and "Horshack" from Welcome Back, Kotter. Written by the guy who played the killer in the first Halloween and later directed The Last Starfighter.

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Oh man. I‚Äôve never seen this one. I feel like it‚Äôd complete the trifecta of roller disco films. I wonder if the library will grab this one... do I bite the bullet and just buy it? With Patrick swayze, Scott Bain, flip Wilson, horshack and I believe Maureen McCormick¬†in the cast, can I really go wrong with this purchase? I could pick up ‚ÄúRoller Boogie‚ÄĚ while I‚Äôm at it and treat myself to an evening of roller disco films.¬†

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It's a rare treat to be able to watch early James Bond movies uncut and commercial free.¬† I've seen many Bond films on other stations that get chopped up, and you feel like you miss something.¬† Apparently, none of the Thursday night offerings this month saluting the British super spy will be shown on TCM on Demand¬†ūüė≠.¬† I crashed out watching "Goldfinger", and I was hoping to watch "Thunderball" and "You Only Live Twice" on Demand, but those plans have been scotched.

However, I was able to catch "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love".  Not only did/do Bond films feature beautiful dalliances for Mr. Bond to bed, but the villains are great too.  Also, the henchmen and henchwomen employed by the villain in these movies are characterized by being suave, savvy, sexy, and sinister...sometimes all rolled into one!  Add to the acting all the action sequences that provide opportunities for incredible escapes by Mr. Bond as well as innovative ways for the villainous creeps to get what's coming to them, and it makes for an enjoyable viewing experience!

Thumbs down to Ben Mankiewicz on the post-movie segment to "Dr. No" when he referred to James Bond's first female conquest in the series as being played by Eunice Grayson...(there's no 'R' in her last name).  

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13 hours ago, Fedya said:

One of the songs from Xanadu -- take your pick -- deserved an Oscar nomination, but it was a really strong year for the Original Song category.  Well, except I don't know how that song from The Competition got nominated.  But then a pretty bad song from 10 was nominated the previous year.  The Academy just likes certain types of songs.

The academy lineup was two from Fame (title song and "Out Here on My Own"), the title track from Nine to Five, "On the Road Again" from Honeysuckle Rose and "People Alone" from The Competition (which was an odd touch having a discoish song at the end of a film about classical piano playing)

Left out: The whole soundtrack of Xanadu, Blondie's thumping "Call Me" from American Gigolo, the rest of the Fame songs, Diana Ross's "It's My Turn" from the film of the same name, Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack, and Donna Summer's "On the Radio" from Foxes. Some of the Popeye songs were fun too.

if I'd have to make a top 5 (gulp. Daunting task.)....
"Magic"/Xanadu
"Nine to Five"/Nine to Five
"Out Here on My Own"/Fame
"Suspended in Time"/Xanadu
"Whenever I'm Away from You"/Xanadu

I'd need some time to decide which one to pick ultimately.

Re: 1979 Oscar race for song. I think the whole momentum of that race was changed when it was revealed that "The Rose" was not originally written for that film (not that is stopped the academy from nominating "Do You Know Where You're Going To" and "Maniac"). On another website, someone once shared the Preliminary Oscar shortlists for the technical categories that they did between 1964 and 1979. (they started doing it again this past year, which might have explained a few surprise nominations) That year's song race and the 5 that came closest to being included....

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ICE CASTLES, "Through the Eyes of Love"; Marvin Hamlisch; Alan and Marilyn Bergman
THE MUPPET MOVIE, "The Rainbow Connection"; Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
NORMA RAE, "It Goes Like It Goes"; David Shire; Norman Gimbel
THE PROMISE, "I'll Never Say Goodbye"; David Shire; Alan and Marilyn Bergman
'10', "It's Easy to Say"; Henry Mancini; Robert Wells

CHAPTER TWO, "I'm On Your Side"; Marvin Hamlisch; Carole Bayer Sager
THE MUPPET MOVIE, "Movin' Right Along"; Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
THE MUPPET MOVIE, "Never Before Again"; Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
THE MUPPET MOVIE, "Something Better Comes Along"; Paul Willliams and Kenny Ascher
THE ROSE, "Sold My Soul to Rock "n" Roll"; Gene Pistelli

 

 

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5 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Re: 1979 Oscar race for song. I think the whole momentum of that race was changed when it was revealed that "The Rose" was not originally written for that film

 

OKAY, THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING THAT!

I have always been curious what the deal was with that and have never come across anything in print or on the interwebs that explained this.

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

OKAY, THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING THAT!

I have always been curious what the deal was with that and have never come across anything in print or on the interwebs that explained this.

I found out a while ago, and I don't remember where i first heard about it, but the Wikipedia article does give a good idea about it all.

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"The Rose" was first recorded by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits. However the song was not written for the movie: Amanda McBroom recalls, "I wrote it in 1977 [or] 1978, and I sang it occasionally in clubs. ... Jim Nabors had a local talk show, and I sang ["The Rose"] on his show once."[1] According to McBroom she wrote "The Rose" in response to her manager's suggestion that she write "some Bob Seger-type tunes" to expedite a record deal: McBroom obliged by writing "The Rose" in forty-five minutes. Said McBroom: "'The Rose' is ... just one verse [musically] repeated three times. When I finished it, I realized it doesn't have a bridge or a hook, but I couldn't think of anything to [add]."

McBroom's composition was one of seven songs selected by Midler from thirty song possibilities proffered by Paul A. Rothchild, the producer of The Rose soundtrack album. Reportedly Rothchild had listened to over 3,000 songs in order to assemble those thirty possibilities.[2]

Released as the second single from The Rose soundtrack album, "The Rose" hit number 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, it was number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks running. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for over a half million copies sold in the United States.[3][4]

Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "The Rose", beating out formidable competition from Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer among others.[5]

.....

"The Rose" did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite not having been recorded prior to the soundtrack of the film The Rose, the song had not been written for the film. According to McBroom, AMPAS inquired of her if the song had been written for the movie, and McBroom answered honestly (that it had not). McBroom did however win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "The Rose", as that award's governing body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), does not share AMPAS' official meticulousness over a nominated song's being completely original with its parent film.[6]

 

 

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I think for once the Academy had the good sense not to nominate any Xanadu songs. YUCK. I know many were hits, but that doesn't mean they were good. I saw Xanadu once, thankfully I don't remember much about it, except I thought it was AWFUL. Poor Gene Kelly.

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