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2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

The Fountainhead (1949) ---  The whole idea that you must only look after your own interests without bothering to help anybody in your life time, that's demented.

Actually you might be surprised how many people in today's world actually do base their lives on that line of reasoning, however selfish and wrong it sounds.

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12 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

While she was up for a Golden Globe for it, she never really got her due for the film (or for that matter for To Be or Not to Be or 84 Charing Cross Road around the same time).

My movie buddy knows I like Bancroft and loaned me his 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD-of course, I loved it. What ever happened to making movies that are just a STORY about PEOPLE? 

12 hours ago, Casey06 said:

Maybe I need to rewatch it in one sitting next time. 

I saw this at The Eastman House, it's what was playing on my Mother's birthday. Although I recall little about it, I was enraptured by the performances & story. Sometimes a movie just plays better in a theater because it commands all your attention.

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16 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

The Fountainhead (1949) --- AKA The Valley of the Dolls of its day......

So this is what you get when you mix together a great looking film, superior performances, a sweeping musical score.... and a completely cuckoo script! I had definitely heard of Ayn Rand before this film, but never knew really about what her controversial views were until this, and to put it this way, the film is bonkers. The whole idea that you must only look after your own interests without bothering to help anybody in your life time, that's demented. And much of the dialogue does not even sound like things normal people would ever say. So why am I still passing this film, largely because Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal are so good in this and because King Vidor directs with a steady hand.... but also in part for the unintentional hoots and hollers of laughter it brought me at times that reminded me of the later sections of Valley of the Dolls. It's a real hot mess of a film, but if you are in the mood for a rare example of deranged craziness in the classic era, it will work.

As you stated, Max Steiner provided The Fountainhead with a powerful, swirling, towering musical score. That score works particularly well in the film's final scene as Neal ascends the outside of the building in an elevator. King Vidor is in peak form here, with the dazzling visuals. You may regard the screenplay and Ayn Rand message as crazy but I find this film difficult to resist in many respects on a melodramatic level.

It was also, of course, the film which started a lengthy two or three year affair between Neal and Cooper, whom the actress would later call the love of her life. The stress in Cooper's marriage (he wouldn't divorce due to his daughter) was such that it was after this film was made that you can really see the actor starting to rapidly age on screen. High Noon was made just three years later but Cooper looks like he's aged about ten years.

I'm a bit surprised, too, that Cooper was willing to risk his wholesome, all American screen image in The Fountainhead by the sexuality and even violence of some of his scenes with Neal (in particular the one in which he crashes into her room and takes her by force).

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13 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Actually you might be surprised how many people in today's world actually do base their lives on that line of reasoning, however selfish and wrong it sounds.

Yeah, starting at the top!

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8 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

My movie buddy knows I like Bancroft and loaned me his 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD-of course, I loved it. What ever happened to making movies that are just a STORY about PEOPLE? 

 

Bancroft could light up any film, and she did.... The only thing i wish looking back is how I wish she had had more leading roles and that she had lived longer.

As for movies about people, they still make them, it just takes a very watchful eye to find them. Yesterday I went to the town's remaining video store, and rented out 5 films made either this year or last year. 4 were definitely people oriented films (and having seen 3 of them they were all very good films). the 5th was an old-fashioned heist comedy and I rented that because the cast was irresistible.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Bancroft could light up any film, and she did.... The only thing i wish looking back is how I wish she had had more leading roles and that she had lived longer.

Have you seen Nightfall?  (1957 with Aldo Ray and Brian Keith).   This is one of Bancroft earlier films and she is fine in this noir playing the part of a fashion model.  

image.jpeg.62681cd8970834937ab906439cad15e3.jpeg

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Just now, jamesjazzguitar said:

Have you seen Nightfall?  (1957 with Aldo Ray and Brian Keith).   This is one of Bancroft earlier films and she is fine in this noir playing the part of a fashion model.  

image.jpeg.62681cd8970834937ab906439cad15e3.jpeg

No, I haven't actually! I think its in one of the Columbia Noir sets so I should see if I can get around to it sometime. (ditto some of her other early titles, as I only saw one she was in in the 50s)

The Bancroft films I have seen are:

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
The Miracle Worker (1962)
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
The Slender Thread (1965)
The Graduate (1967)
The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)
Silent Movie (1976) [cameo]
The Turning Point (1977)
Fatso (1980)
The Elephant Man (1980)
To Be or Not To Be (1983)
Garbo Talks (1984)
Agnes of God (1985)
84 Charing Cross Road (1987)
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) [cameo]
How to Make an American Quilt (1995)

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Slipped into 2010s cinema via a trip to the local video store (tempted to write a whole thread about video stores actually)

So 3 films seen, one largely praised, one that received good notices, and one that was shunned, but actually all three were very good.

The Farewell (2019) was a major critical success earlier in the year and it is the best of the three. Set mostly in China, it deals with a young woman who comes to China (along with other branches of her family around the world) to visit with her dying grandmother, who is completely in the dark about her condition. About 90% of the film is in Mandarin. Its a soulful little film, mostly quiet, very perceptive about human nature and family bonds. it's a gem, and one of the best films of the last 10 years.

After the Wedding (2019) was a remake of a Danish film that was up in the foreign film category in 2006. i gather that originally in Denmark the film starred two men and a woman, but here its two women and a man, and it works well. Its truly a chamber piece for 4 players who all have to cope with their pasts after a seeming stranger was invited to a wedding. Julianne Moore is top billed, and is touching, especially toward the end, but its really Michelle Williams' film, and she's wonderful in a very sensitive, moving part. Billy Crudup is good too as Moore's husband, and quite a bit of the drama rests on his sholders as well. Its somber, old-fashioned definitely (minus the language, this could have easily been done at MGM in the early 40s with Greer Garson, Joan Crawford, and Walter Pidgeon), but it works as a moving piece and as a performance showcase.

And Tully (2018) was again a performance showcase, this time for Charlize Theron as a woman who loves her husband (Ron Livingstone) and her children but is at the end of her rope emotionally, especially after giving birth for the third time. then suddenly a nanny appears on the scene (played by McKenzie Davis, in a likable performance reminiscent of an earthier Geena Davis) and suddenly theron has a friend to confide in and to help lift her spirits. or is everything OK? The twist doesn't quite work at the end but this is still a moving film sparked by two fine performances and a perceptive script.

 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Have you seen Nightfall?  (1957 with Aldo Ray and Brian Keith).   This is one of Bancroft earlier films and she is fine in this noir playing the part of a fashion model.  

image.jpeg.62681cd8970834937ab906439cad15e3.jpeg

I had read in another thread (or it quite possibly was this one) about the rave reviews fellow poster Lorna Hanson Forbes gave this movie.  The discussion began about Aldo Ray's career and how he was seen as a big-screen thespian.  I was able to watch "Nightfall" earlier this week, and I thought it was very good.  Parts of it had sadness and sinisterism mixed with pleasant conversation between Bancroft and Ray or Ray and his camping buddy Frank Albertson.  James Gregory was fine as an insurance investigator, while Brian Keith (mean, but measured) and Rudy Bond (an annoying jerk) were interesting contrasts as the villains in this picture.  Jacques Tourneur was the director for this film.  I usually like seeing his films, because the pacing is good so as not to bore the viewer.

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

As you stated, Max Steiner provided The Fountainhead with a powerful, swirling, towering musical score. That score works particularly well in the film's final scene as Neal ascends the outside of the building in an elevator. King Vidor is in peak form here, with the dazzling visuals. You may regard the screenplay and Ayn Rand message as crazy but I find this film difficult to resist in many respects on a melodramatic level.

The problem with the movie is that Rand doesn't seem to know how to write a screenplay.  Say what you will about her writing -- the speechifying, especially in Atlas Shrugged, is thoroughly unnatural.  But I think time has shown her villains to be surprisingly on the mark.

(I've also suggested that critics would probably be more receptive to The Fountainhead if instead of being set in the world of architecture, the protagonist were an Orson Welles type destroying the studio's botched edit of The Magnificent Ambersons.)

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24 minutes ago, Fedya said:

The problem with the movie is that Rand doesn't seem to know how to write a screenplay.  Say what you will about her writing -- the speechifying, especially in Atlas Shrugged, is thoroughly unnatural.  But I think time has shown her villains to be surprisingly on the mark.

(I've also suggested that critics would probably be more receptive to The Fountainhead if instead of being set in the world of architecture, the protagonist were an Orson Welles type destroying the studio's botched edit of The Magnificent Ambersons.)

OR...hear me out on this one...how about Orson Welles destroying the studio itself just because...?  Now that's something I would pay good money to see!

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I watched "The Brasher Doubloon" from 1947.  This is a 20th Century Fox picture that I'd never heard of, but it makes for an enjoyable film noir selection.  The story is by Raymond Chandler and features his venerable L.A. area detective, Philip Marlowe.  This time, the leading man is George Montgomery, an actor I knew next to nothing about.  His bio says he was married for almost 20 years to Dinah Shore, and he had over 100 screen credits to his name, many of them in westerns.  He was also a pretty good craftsmen as he constructed homes for some of his friends and created bronze busts of not only his wife, but some of his celebrity buddies like Randolph Scott, Ronald Reagan, and John Wayne.  Some of his artistry is on display at the Rancho Mirage Golf Club, home of the Dinah Shore Tournament.

Anyway, this movie is about a missing coin valued at over $10,000 according to the owner, a Mrs. Murdock (played by Florence Bates).  She hires Marlowe to try and recover the valuable piece after it was stolen from her collection two days prior.  Marlowe falls for Murdock's secretary, Merle Davis (played by Nancy Guild), who seems very naive in the ways of romance, but Marlowe's more than willing to give her proper tutoring on the subject.  She also runs hot and cold during the course of the investigation.  She wants to help in any way she can to find the doubloon, and at the same time she adds to the confusion about how the coin came to be stolen in the first place, while being very vague about her relationship to the Murdock family.  Marlowe can't figure out why she stays in Mrs. Murdock's employ and suffers verbal abuse from the woman.  Throw in Mrs. Murdock's ne'er-do-well son (played by Conrad Janis) who factors into the coin's disappearance and has an obvious dislike for the detective on the case, plus other mysterious and seedy characters sprinkled throughout the story, and you've got a fairly decent mystery on your hands in under 80 minutes.  I have to admit, the climax of this one was pretty startling to me!

As mentioned above, this was put out by 20th Century Fox and is said to be a re-make of the 1942 film, "Time To Kill" which starred Lloyd Nolan.  However, I don't recall ever seeing "The Brasher Doubloon" show up on FXM's movie lineup, and I don't think I've ever seen it on TCM.  According to Moviecollectoroh's data, it's never been shown on this station.  Other than Florence Bates, the only other actor I recognized in this one was Fritz Kortner who was prominent in many 20th Century Fox productions.  As for Montgomery, who was the youngest of 15 children his Ukrainian-born parents raised in Montana, I thought he did well in the lead role here.  He sort of reminded me of a cross between Jeffrey Lynn and James Craig in his looks and voice.  All in all, a pretty good Chandler mystery which kept me interested and entertained.

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12 hours ago, midwestan said:

how about Orson Welles destroying the studio itself just because...?  Now that's something I would pay good money to see!

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All those valuable props broken!

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The Fat Black Pussycat (1963) New York Beat/Quasi Transitional Noir

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This film is a mess. It may be Noir by meddling. It's hard to tell it's original intent as is.

Directed by Harold Lea. Written by Harold Lea, and M.A. Ripps. Cinematography was by Urs Furrer, Music was by Don Bader and Harry Glass

Supposedly Michael Ripps who took a turkey called Bayou (1957) and with added exploitation scenes turned it into a hit called Poor White Trash (1960). expected to do the same here.  It didn't quite work with this one. Though the added scenes are interesting.Things get a bit confusing as we go along. There is a black cat side bar with a wacko theory that the cat picks up on the brainwaves of dying people. Gruesome inserts and plot changes are evident and even our films star disappears for the final denouement.

The film stars Frank Jamus (Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)) as Detective David Walsh. Janet Damon as Janet., Patricia McNair as Mitch, Wavy Gravy as the Assistant Detective, Lynn Gregory as Susie with Hyman Augenstein, Jeffrey Bond, Manny Dworman,  Hector Elizondo, Fiore, Leonard and future star Geoffrey Lewis pops up a few times.

Garbage cans. An alley. A naked woman crawls on her belly across the pave into the frame. She stops. She's dead. A black cat approaches and jumps over the woman.

It's very impressive. It starts off gangbusters. You think you are in for a treat. Nahhhh!

Then the real movie kicks in.

The plot weaves about we meet various beats, nut jobs, loft artists. I'm surprised Moondog doesn't show up at one point. One particular artist works in a pair of fuzzy slippers. More beatniks die, lots sequences of talking head police officials bog things down, and there is a paucity of what usually redeems these low budgets archival footage of New York City and particular Greenwich Village. I'll give it some credit it does show some music acts and cafe interiors. 

The inserts are great, the rest of the film no, though one high lite is a sequence in a cafe where beatnik poets are reading poetry to cafe patrons. A drummer hits a cymbal or beats out sort of punctuation's at the end of various lines. Wavy Gravy is pressured up on stage. He looks at loss for words until he pats down his jacket and pulls  a piece of paper out of his jacket. It's some kind of parking regulation He adds "man" to the end of each regulation.

Wavy Gravy: Parking in a hospital zone is strictly prohibited. Man. [cymbal]  Crossing the white line is punishable by a fifteen dollar fine... Man. [drum beat]...

Later he's surrounded at the bar by fans

Woman: Hey baby I dig it. Your zones are groovy.... like the hospital zone... and the white line...

It's chuckle inducing.

Wavy Gravy real name was Hugh Romney. He was born in the Hudson Valley in East Greenbush, New York in 1936. He's a genuine beatnik. In 1958, he began reading poetry regularly at The Gaslight Cafe in The Village in Manhattan. He knew Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters, etc., etc.

Then comedian Lenny Bruce becomes his manager and brings Romney to California in 1962. There he gets into the beginnings of the Hog Farm commune, He also later became the manager of "Tiptoe through the Tulips" singer/ukulele player, Tiny Tim. Gravy was also at the original Woodstock Festival with the Hog Farm collective helping to set it up in 1969.

Another Quasi Transitional Noir with some sputters of brilliant inserts, but minimal archival location footage. It does have some value depicting the late beat scene in the 60s and it's music taste variations  Available from Something Weird Video. Full review with some screen caps in Film Noir/Gangster Pages. 5/10

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17 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

No, I haven't actually! I think its in one of the Columbia Noir sets so I should see if I can get around to it sometime. (ditto some of her other early titles, as I only saw one she was in in the 50s)

The Bancroft films I have seen are:

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
The Miracle Worker (1962)
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
The Slender Thread (1965)
The Graduate (1967)
The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)
Silent Movie (1976) [cameo]
The Turning Point (1977)
Fatso (1980)
The Elephant Man (1980)
To Be or Not To Be (1983)
Garbo Talks (1984)
Agnes of God (1985)
84 Charing Cross Road (1987)
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) [cameo]
How to Make an American Quilt (1995)

Check her out in another Noir New York Confidential (1955) with  Broderick Crawford and Richard Conte.

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On 11/9/2019 at 12:49 PM, LawrenceA said:

The 39 Steps  (1935)  -  8/10

The_39_Steps_1935_British_poster.jpg

Hitchcock's famous "man-on-the-run" thriller, with Robert Donat as a Canadian ex-pat living in London who gets accused of murder. He goes on the run, avoiding the authorities in hopes of clearing his name, with the trail leading to the Scottish countryside. He eventually ends up involving a reluctant Madeleine Carroll. With Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Helen Haye, Wylie Watson, John Laurie, and Peggy Ashcroft.

Highlights for me: the Scottish Highlands, Madeleine Carroll removing her stockings while handcuffed to Donat, and Peggy Ashcroft's brief turn as the unhappy wife of a country farmer. Donat's easy charm and affable demeanor foretell the similar performances by Stewart and Grant in Hitchcock's later thrillers. There are some glaring plot-holes (why don't the villains deal with Donat when they off the woman in his apartment at the film's start?), but they can be ignored thanks to the pace of the proceedings.

Source: Criterion DVD. Bonus features include commentary by Hitchcock expert Marian Keane; a "visual essay" by Hitchcock expert (how many are there?) Leonard Leff; Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a short British documentary; excerpts from a 1966 British TV interview; more audio-only excerpts of Truffaut's Hitchcock interviews; a booklet/essay from critic David Cairns; and the complete Lux Radio Theatre adaptation, with Ida Lupino and Robert Montgomery.

I just watched this last night as part of my "Watch unseen Criterion films on the DVR to see if there are any I cannot live without" kick.

Wow! This was a great movie.  I think it was the first film I'd ever seen with Robert Donat.  I thought he was very handsome in this film.  I loved the entire film, from beginning to end.  I missed Hitch's cameo at the beginning, so I'll have to look out for it on a re-watch. 

I think this is the second of Hitch's British films that I have seen and I've really enjoyed both, the other being The Lady Vanishes.  They have a different style than the Hollywood films which makes them interesting to watch. 

I thought the scene of Madeline Carroll removing her stockings while handcuffed to Donat was very sexy for a 1930s film. I thought it was funny that she gave him a sandwich to hold--I was trying to figure out if she really wanted him to hold the sandwich, or whether she was trying to get him to stop caressing her leg. I also really enjoyed the scene where Donat has to give an impromptu speech.  I love the speech he made up on the spot when he clearly had no idea what the speech was supposed to be about.

I read somewhere that Donat was supposed to be re-teamed with Carroll in Secret Agent, but illness forced him to withdraw from the film.  From what I've read about Donat, it's a shame that he wasn't able to have a bigger career due to his health issues.  On the other hand, I read that he dropped out of Captain Blood due to apprehensions over his asthma... if he hadn't done that, the world may have been deprived of Errol Flynn and that would be a travesty. So I guess, way to take one for the team, Donat!

Anyway, The 39 Steps was a great film and it may be one that I'll have to procure at the B&N sale before it ends on Dec 1.

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I don't want to take up valuable space here by quoting two of the previous 3 posts, but I think CigarJoe and scsu1975 (Rich) write some of the funniest reviews of movies!  Thanks guys for helping me bust a gut from time to time!  As for Speedracer5, I wholeheartedly agree with you.  I first saw "The 39 Steps" about 39 years ago, and loved it from the start.  It's one of my favorite early Hitchcock movies.

9 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

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All those valuable props broken!

Thanks too to TikiSoo!  Glad to see someone gets my sometimes warped sense of humor!  As for LawrenceA; please keep up with your reviews (if you're so inclined).  I don't mind them at all.

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Doctor Sleep Poster

Doctor Sleep (2019) 6/10 current theatrical release.

A sequel to The Shining (1980) with grown up Danny Torrance (Ewan Macgregor) meeting a young girl with similar powers, they team up to battle some demons.

This is a good film, not overly gory and very low key. It is overlong (152 minutes) and the lead villain is a bland looking actress (Rebecca Ferguson) with an equally bland performance, she is not very frightening. The film is a treat for fans of the original, it copies several shots from that one. 

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7 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Doctor Sleep Poster

Doctor Sleep (2019) 6/10 current theatrical release.

A sequel to The Shining (1980) with grown up Danny Torrance (Ewan Macgregor) meeting a young girl with similar powers, they team up to battle some demons.

This is a good film, not overly gory and very low key. It is overlong (152 minutes) and the lead villain is a bland looking actress (Rebecca Ferguson) with an equally bland performance, she is not very frightening. The film is a treat for fans of the original, it copies several shots from that one. 

I wonder how Stephen King will like this one, considering how much he loathes Stanley Kubrick's film.

Have to admit, I am kind of interesting in going to see this one myself. Always liked Ewan Macgregor.

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A Song to Remember (1945).

Fiction film about a composer named Chopin (Cornel Wilde) who leaves Poland for Paris and becomes famous,  dying young.

Technically it's a biopic, but this one gets things more wrong than most Hollywood biopic of the era.  Chopin meets Franz Liszt who is said to be several years older than Chopin, when in reality Liszt was a year younger.  And the Jozef Elsner character (Paul Muni) was one of Chopin's teacher at the Warsaw conservatory -- but never accompanied Chopin to Paris!  So the whole dramatic essence of the movie, the conflict between Elsner and Georges Sand (Merle Oberon) about the direction of Chopin's career, never happened!

If the movie had taken the tack of The Moon and Sixpence and been loosely based on Chopin rather than pretending to be a biopic, it would be even better than it is.  The color cinematography and the music are great, while the performances are adequate.  But as history, it's way off.

7/10.

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Watched Dubarry was a lady 1943- I usually ignore musicals unless they are in the filmography of actors-actresses I complete-I do not complete Lana Turner even if I have seen almost all her films -shehas a 10 second bit in the film-i must admit Lucille Ball in Technicolor was outstanding,very beautiful redhair,i do not care too much for her films i recorded it in the hope of seeing Inez Cooper-she was a Hedy Lamarr lookalike in the early 40's-it actually more or less ruined her career or was it the other way around? I do not know but the 10 seconds of Inez Cooper in Technicolor was formidable.

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14 HOURS directed by Henry Hathaway Fox Film 1951 92min Suicide attempt in a NYC high rise building.Paul Douglas,Richard Basehart,Barbara Bel Geddes,Jeffrey Hunter,Debra Paget,Howard Da Silva,Agnes Moorehead,Grace Kelly's first feature film.Excellent cast,good story,almost a Noir film. 8/10

 

hours14.jpg

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12 hours ago, nakano said:

14 HOURS directed by Henry Hathaway Fox Film 1951 92min Suicide attempt in a NYC high rise building.Paul Douglas,Richard Basehart,Barbara Bel Geddes,Jeffrey Hunter,Debra Paget,Howard Da Silva,Agnes Moorehead,Grace Kelly's first feature film.Excellent cast,good story,almost a Noir film. 8/10

 

hours14.jpg

If you have not already, I highly recommend reading the background information/trivia section for 14 HOURS on imdb or wikipedia.
 

The real life story that inspired it was, um, a little different.

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On 11/16/2019 at 2:08 PM, speedracer5 said:

I read somewhere that Donat was supposed to be re-teamed with Carroll in Secret Agent, but illness forced him to withdraw from the film.  From what I've read about Donat, it's a shame that he wasn't able to have a bigger career due to his health issues.  On the other hand, I read that he dropped out of Captain Blood due to apprehensions over his asthma... if he hadn't done that, the world may have been deprived of Errol Flynn and that would be a travesty. So I guess, way to take one for the team, Donat!

 

I can't recall who it was, but someone once wrote of meeting DONAT when he came to America and how stunned they were to see him in real life- apparently he adjusted his posture and wore padding to appear more stocky and virile onscreen, but in real life he was quite scrawny and had a sunken chest.

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