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Yeah, really. Throw Duel In The Sun in there too! (a bit before).

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IT SHOULD ALSO BE MENTIONED THAT THE "ELLSWORTH TOOHEY" CHARACTER IS SOMETHING TO BEHOLD. 

Like CLIFTON WEBB in LAURA, but less masculine.

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from a TIME WHEN HOLDING THE POSITION OF "ARCHITECTURE CRITIC" FOR THE CITY NEWSPAPER HAD WITH IT AN AWESOME, UN-QUESTIONED POWER EQUAL TO POSSESSING A TOLKIEN RING!!!

5df561795d01dc3189cbb9e0861b13ee.jpg

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THE FOUNTAINHEAD is a film of many virtues that some love to attack because of the Ayn Rand message. But I have always ignored that message (which is rather laughable) and concentrate, instead, upon Vidor's direction (the marble quarry Freudian drill bit, while obvious in its symbolism, is still effective, for example) or the sexual assault scene. The film further benefits from the highly dramatic, at times swirling, musical score of Max Steiner, one of the composer's best in my opinion, perhaps never more effective than in the film's final scene of triumph. Also of interest to me is the courage of Gary Cooper in tampering with his wholesome all American screen image in a scene in which, in essence, he rapes the leading lady.

So my advice to those who have yet to see the film is to judge it on your own and don't be swayed too much by the negative comments on this thread. Some times I think that some are inclined to laugh at a film only because others are doing so. I'm not saying The Fountainhead doesn't have over the top issues but, in the final analysis, it's an uneven film, not a bad one.

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40 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

now that I've seen BEYOND THE FOREST, I understand what aN IMPRESSIVE ONE-TWO PUNCH 1949 was for KING VIDOR.

Beyond the Forest was amazing!

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The Wild, Wild West

Night of the Man Eating House

Featuring Hurd Hatfield (Guess what? He plays an old guy that turns young and, yes, ladies and gents, there is a portrait.)

 

I love any story that features a haunted house. I had to laugh when Jim and Arte are exploring the old house, making their way through  multitudes of cobwebs.  Jim looks at Arte and says, "Get any on ya?" Artemus gives him a nasty look.  I don't know if this was ad lib, but it sure was funny! 

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22 hours ago, Hibi said:

I love the parts where the unwashed masses riot over architecture. LOL! As if anyone would care about some building......

In the current days of the Twitter mob, it's not as far-fetched as it might have seemed in the 1940s.  After all, there have been outrage mobs over... knitting.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

But I have always ignored that message (which is rather laughable)

I like to make the comparison of the auteur against the studio system.  How much different is what happened to Roark's housing project design compared to what RKO did to, say, The Magnificent Ambersons?

Now, Ayn Rand wasn't particularly adept at writing screenplays, and in her books gave her characters unnatural speeches, but when it came to villains there's more that resonates today than you might think.

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The Last Stand (2013) Amazon Prime

A drug kingpin escapes from FBI custody and attempts to cross the border into Mexico, driving a souped-up Corvette. Only Sheriff Arnold Schwarzenegger stands in his way. Guess how this turns out.

Never boring, often hilarious (and intended to be, no doubt), this is really a riot of a movie. As soon as FBI agent Forest Whittaker announces to his underlings that they will be transporting a criminal, you know the guy is gonna escape. There is some nasty violence and multiple f-bombs during the first half, but the second half almost turns into comedy. My wife was laughing hysterically. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned by the bad guys, Arnold and his small crew are able to improvise. It helps that one of the guys in town owns a gun and ammo store that is loaded to the hilt. Oh, and don’t mess with the gun-toting old lady.

At various times during this non-stop rollercoaster, I said “hey, they are ripping off High Noon … hey, they are ripping off Rio Bravo … hey, they are ripping off Run Silent, Run Deep.” I know that last one may not make much sense, but you have to see the two cars in the cornfield to understand.

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22 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Ann Revere won an Oscar as Taylor's loving mother. Her best scene is a touching one where she talks about her past dreams and encourages daughter Taylor to follow hers.

That scene always makes me cry. I think the message of things come in their own time is a valuable one.

22 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I have to say he was very convincing as Mi Taylor, the young lad at first anxious to make an easy buck through theft, but he comes to care for Velvet and the rest of the Brown family 

I agree Mickey Rooney was born to play that redemption role-he looks right and acts so tough, but happy that someone recognizes his talent.

I absolutely love this clip:

National-Velvet-gif-elizabeth-taylor-211

Amazing. I would never gallop a horse in the open like that-especially without a helmet!

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The Apostle Poster

The Apostle (1997) DVD 10/10

A Texas preacher commits a crime and goes on the run, settling in small town in Louisiana.

I just re watched this last night on Valentine's day, simply because I first saw it on Feb 14 1998 when it first released. 

I love this one and it's practically a one man show by Robert Duvall-writing, directing and acting in the lead role. It could have become a stereotypical Southern bashing film or a police procedural showing the manhunt for his capture, but Duvall does not let the audience off that easy. This is brilliant character study is told nearly completely through the eyes of Duvall role Sonny Dewey. It begins with a charismatic Dewey losing his lavish church and his wife (Farrah Fawcett) and children due to his anger and jealousy issues. After he erupts in sudden violence he leaves town and goes on an odyssey. He then finds the small town and a retired preacher who agrees to help him, using  an assumed name and conceals his past. He then starts a small church and charms the small congregation. Many of the people are played by actual locals and not professional actors which adds to the authenticity. Billy Bob Thornton shows up in a small role of a racist trouble maker. This movie really draws me in every time I watch it. You may not like Sonny but you will be mesmerized by him.

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Great film.

Robert Duvall is great as always. As far as I am concerned he should have won the Oscar for Best Actor that year (but lost to Jack Nicholson in AS GOOD AS IT GETS, not one of Jack's best performances, I must say even though Jack is one of my favorites).

The fact that Duvall also wrote and directed this movie proves how multi-talented he is, not only is he an expert actor but also an expert filmmaker period.

 

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16 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

At various times during this non-stop rollercoaster, I said “hey, they are ripping off High Noon … hey, they are ripping off Rio Bravo … hey, they are ripping off Run Silent, Run Deep.”

Not The Sugarland Express?

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Amazing. I would never gallop a horse in the open like that-especially without a helmet!

Or, as the Carol Burnett parody said:
"I can hide my hair under a helmet:"

(shows Liz Taylor profile)

"...I think you need TWO helmets."

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Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) - Amazon Prime

w/ Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Maxine Jennings and Evelyn Bent. And directed by William Nigh.

Chinese-American detective James Lee Wong investigates the death of a chemical manufacturer of a poison gas with a questionable provenance. And, eventually, investigates the deaths of that manufacturer's associates. And, along the way, investigates a ring of foreign spies (obviously from Nazi Germany but no one ever comes right out and say those two words) interested in that particular gas.

The first of six detective movies from Monogram Pictures featuring the aforementioned Mr. Wong; the first five of which starred Boris Karloff in that role. A series which was basically Poverty Row's version of 20th Century Fox's Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto detective series. And pretty much a precursor to what that former series would devolve to budget-wise when it transitioned from 20th Century Fox to Monogram Pictures.

And, visually, Mr. Karloff as Mr. Wong was Mr. Wrong. Especially that dark lacquered hair style! But, performance-wise, he is is usual sturdy self. And kudos to whomever decided that his character could speak English correctly.

Unfortunately, the other characters leave a bit to be desired (especially Grant Withers who makes the stereotypical loud but dimwitted police officer even louder and dimmer than usual). And the plot is not one that will tax the brain. Especially if one has seen Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) which uses a very similar murder mechanism. But if you, like me, are a sucker for 1930s/1940s detective movies series, Mr. Karloff makes it a good way to waste 70 minutes.

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The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939) - Amazon Prime

w/ Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Dorothy Tree (one of the vampire brides in Dracula (1931)) and Craig Reynolds. Plus Holmes Herbert and Lotus Long. And again directed by William Nigh.

A wealthy and fairly loathsome San Francisco antiques collector comes into possession of a famous and cursed sapphire that has been smuggled out of China and, having received a threat on his life due to that gemstone, asks Chinese-American detective James Lee Wong to investigate that threat. And, soon after, is conveniently murdered during a party game in his own home in front of many witnesses. Which leaves Mr. Wong with a host of suspects to winnow through: The collector's not-so-devoted wife, his male secretary, a Russian singer (maybe), another criminologist, a Chinese butler, a Chinese maid (maybe). And, eventually, his lawyer with a revised but equally conveniently unsigned will.

The second of six detective movies from Monogram Pictures featuring the aforementioned Mr. Wong. With Boris Karloff back in the title role and Grant Withers back as Police Captain Street (who is less loud and less dim but, oddly enough, less interesting in this one). And, in my opinion, the second movie is an improvement on the first.

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January 7
The Fountainhead
 (Warner Bros., 1949)
Source: TCM

I'm falling ever more desperately behind on my stated goal of reviewing every movie I've seen this year. I've made several stops and starts on this one. I had to use the imdb plot synopsis as a crib sheet because trying to remember major plot points more than a month later made my head spin. The plot is ridiculously dense in the first 45 minutes or so and difficult to encapsulate. But I'm going to put my head down and now and just try to plow through it.

I don't know too much about Ayn Rand. I know she's a politically divisive figure, and it appears to me mostly conservatives like her philosophies. From watching this movie, I can tell they clearly have something to do with the sanctity of freedom of expression and the triumph of the individual. Some of the contempt expressed in this movie for "the masses" would lead me to believe she didn't care much for any kind of communism or socialism, but that's just speculation on my part.  I've never read either the novel on which this movie was based or Atlas Shrugged. I do know she wrote some other things. I was in a community theater play she wrote in the '30s, an interactive courtroom drama in which 12 members of the audience are asked to serve as the jury for a murder trial, and the play ends differently whether they say innocent or guilty. I played a doctor who was a state's witness who's then made to look a bit foolish under cross-examination. I was onstage maybe five minutes. Also, she wrote Love Letters, which is one of my favorite movies. I'm going to attempt to abstain from discussing Rand and her place in the realm of political thought and just stick to what I thought of the movie. 

Below is a synopsis of maybe the first 3/4 of the movie. It's very lengthy, if you want to skip it or already know it. I'll give another bold indication of when it's over.

So, Gary Cooper plays an architecture student named Howard Roark who gets kicked out of the university at the beginning of the movie by the dean himself because Roark shows no interest in the history of architecture, only in the modern possibilities of building. There's only one architect Roark wants to work for, Henry Cameron (Henry Hull), who was a man of renown 30 years earlier. He's advised against this by his fellow student and friend Peter Keating (Ken Smith), who tells Roark bluntly that Cameron is "a finished man". But Roark is undeterred. He's undeterred quite a lot in this movie.

Cameron hires Roark but also warns him "You'll be finished like me in a couple of years." Jump ahead a couple of years! Cameron has sunk into alcoholism and is drunkenly purchasing copies of the yellow-press newspaper The Banner just so he can have the satisfaction of ripping them to shreds. A kindly Roark gets Cameron back to his office, where he has a fit and then collapses and is rushed to the hospital. On his deathbed, Cameron makes Roark promise to burn every copy of his notes. He also advises Roark to learn how to compromise "or you'll end up like me". 

Jump ahead another year and a half. Roark is still burning Cameron's documents, but he can't bring himself to destroy one idea Cameron had that he never implemented -  a very modern-looking building made only of glass and metal without balconies, decorations or outside distractions. He's visited by Keating, who's now rich and successful because he's compromised to middle-of-the-road tastes. Roark, however, is about to be evicted, is past due on multiple bills and has only $14 to his name.

Roark completes Cameron's ideas and submits the design for consideration for a new bank in Manhattan. He wins the commission, but the board of directors insist on making several changes, including a Greek temple-looking entrance and rococo stonework on one side. Roark takes his designs and walks out. He'd rather be a day laborer than compromise his vision. Standing in the shadows is a man who says nothing but was present for the whole conversation. This is Ellsworth Toohey (Robert Douglas). Toohey says this was all an experiment, but he knew all along Roark would reject their offer.

Turns out Toohey is one of two "architectural critics" (was there ever really a daily newspaper with TWO of these?) for Gail Wynand (Raymond Massey), who's both the publisher of the aforementioned Banner and holder of controlling interest in the bank. Toohey, knowing Wynand expects some classical elements in his building, recommends that Wynand hire Keating, who's never had an original thought but just copies the ideas of the average man. Wynand complains that Keating makes "marble monstrosities" after looking at some samples. He consults the paper's OTHER architectural critic, one Dominique Francon, played by Patricia Neal. She also happens to be engaged to Keating,  though not enthusiastically so - indeed she seems to be suffering from some kind of malaise - who's partners with her father Guy (Jonathan Hale), also an architect. Despite this connection, she refuses to recommend Keating for the commission.

Wynand has dinner with Keating and Dominique and tells Keating he'll give him the commission if he breaks off his engagement. At first, Keating is outraged, but when Dominique makes it clear she doesn't particularly care one way or another, he enthusiastically accepts. Later, alone with Dominique, Wynand asks him to marry her. This she says she'll only do "if I want to punish myself for some unredeemable guilt."

Dominique retreats to her father's manor house in the countryside, close to a quarry where Roark happens to be working. They exchange long glances on more than one occasion, until she chides him for staring at her, and he mocks her for her attitude and for putting on airs. She breaks a chunk of marble off the mantlepiece in her bedroom and calls for Roark to replace it. He immediately detects it was broken on purpose and comments that the fireplace is atrocious. She angrily responds that it was designed by her father.  The next day, another quarry worker arrives instead to replace the piece. Outraged, Dominique rides out to the quarry on her horse and strikes Roark with her riding crop. That night, Roark appears unannounced in her bedroom and forces a passionate kiss upon her. She struggles but ultimately swoons as so often happened in the old movies. Returning to his lodges, Roark finds a telegram from Roger Enright (Ray Collins), who wants to hire him to construct a building. He pauses for a moment, then packs up his stuff and leaves. The next morning, Dominique learns from the quarry supervisor that he's gone, possibly to New York. The supervisor asks her if she wants to know his name. She thinks about it for a second and says no.

Back at the banner, Alvah Scarrett, the editor (Jerome Cowan) wants to denounce something because "the newspaper sells more when it's on a crusade against something." Toohey suggests the Enright's new building, a luxury apartment complex, modern and weird-looking. Enright is a self-made man, "stubborn and rich as blazes," Toohey says, and "a crusade against the rich will always attract the masses." Dominique sees a photo of the building and asks who designed it. She's told "Howard Roark", but the name means nothing to her.  Dominique asks Wynand not to greenlight this muckraking campaign, because the building "is a great architectural achievement." He goes ahead anyway, and she resigns on the spot.

Toohey starts his defamation campaign, and all the other architects in the city sign a petition denouncing Enright. The building gets done anyway. Enright himself plans to move into the building, and gives a party to celebrate the grand opening. Dominique attends and says she wants to meet Roark.  She wants to run away when she sees Roark is her quarryman infatuation but has no choice but to make polite conversation with him. Later, Enright tells Roark Dominique quit the Banner in defense of him, and he's surprised.

Later, Roark and Dominique are alone. She begs him to compromise, saying people will destroy him, pointing out he hasn't had a single offer for work since the Enright building. Roark thinks he'll survive regardless. They kiss, and Dominique asks him to marry her. He refuses, telling her when she becomes independent from the opinion of the masses, she can come back to him. Despondent, Dominique goes to the docks to meet Wynand as he returns from a voyage around the world. She tells him she'll marry him even though she doesn't love him. This doesn't seem to be bother him, and he accepts.

Roark still can't get work and sees jobs he would like going to Keating and Guy Francon, like a new opera house. He happens to glimpse Dominique and Wyand's wedding from his office window across the street. He encounters Toohey on the street, who invites him to "tell me what you think of me to my face", but Roark replies, "I don't think of you at all."

Finally, a gas station owner asks Roark to design him a new station. From there, he builds a farm, a country home, an office building, a factory. Each building is made only with concrete and clean lines, with no decorations or windows, only what's required for building. He becomes successful enough to build his own office far from New York, designed with the same clean lines as all his buildings. Finally, Wynand, who privately admits he likes Roark's work despite all the terrible things his newspaper has been saying, asks him to design a country house where he can essentially keep Dominique a prisoner. Roark accepts.

Dominique is visibly upset - not so much at the prospect of being under house arrest but of the thought of living in a home designed by the man she actually loves. She's angry at Wynand for going away while his paper's smear campaign against Roark marched on.  However, she relents. Wynand wants Roark to build all his future buildings, but when he starts talking about "rococo hotels and semi-Grecian office buildings", Roark draws him a sketch of a hut. Roark tells Wynand they're equals. Wynand rose out of Hell's Kitchen to become a self-made man, but Wynand, in Roark's opinion, "chose the wrong career."

Meanwhile, Keating has fallen on hard times after the death of Dominique's father. Toohey asks him if there was ever a reason he should have been successful. Keating wants to get the commission for the Cortland Housing Project, meant to accommodate the lower classes. Keating visits Roark and admits he's never had an original idea. Roark says he never even submitted a design because he's never been accepted for any work that requires approval by committee. Roark agrees to make designs and give them to Keating to pass off as his own, as long as Keating agrees to never accept any compromises.  Only the two men will know the secret.

Keating wins the commission, and only Dominique and Wynand can tell the designs came from Roark. Wynand invites Roark to go with him on a months-long yacht trip, and while Dominique doesn't like it, he accepts. While he's gone, other architects have forced changes on the Cortland project, adding decorations, color and balconies. Keating tells him they started making the changes without even consulting him, and there was no way for him to stop them.

Dominique approaches Roark and says she loves him and is  planning to leave Wynand. He asks her to serve as a diversion for the night watchman at the Cortland project long enough for Roark to get out a detonator and blow it up. This goes down as planned, and Roark patiently waits to be arrested. Meanwhile, Dominique runs off and tries to commit suicide by slashing her wrist with a piece of broken glass.

Toohey goes on a public smear campaign against Roark, and only Wynand defends him. Dominique survives and recovers. She wants to be with Roark, but he tells her to stay with Wynand in case he's found guilty and has to serve a lengthy prison sentence. Wynand is eager to champion Roark's cause. He says it's the crusade he's been waiting for all his life.

Toohey gets Keating to admit the Cortland design was Roark's and has him sign a confession. Scarrett grumbles that other papers will be headlining with Keating's confession. Toohey admits his ambition is to run a newspaper like Wynand. 

There are public demonstrations against Roark. Meanwhile, the Banner is falling apart. Some people in the executive offices have apparently committed suicide. Dominique and Wynand seem to be the only people still working there. Wynand realizes he never had any power. He was always a tool of the masses. The board of directors demands he stop defending Roark.

Okay, it's over!

There's still quite a bit of plot left; I haven't given away everything. You would have to watch the rest to find the final fates of the main characters.

As you can see, a lot happens in this movie, but it's always about one thing: one man's unwillingness to compromise his vision as a creator/artist and as an individual. The other characters seem to primarily exist to show various weaknesses in contrast to all of Roark's strengths: Keating is the epitome of compromise. Wynand is only a figurehead, a powerless tool of mob mentality. Cameron was too weak to remain true to his principles. Even Dominique isn't fit to be Roark's lover until she can prove to him she's liberated from groupthink mentality.  Roark has none of these flaws. Time and again, he's the paragon of all virtue. I think I would have found Cooper's Roark pretty insufferable if I'd known him in real life, but he's clearly meant to be admired. There seems to be some sort of message that financial success like Keating's and Wynand's is undeserved if it shows even the tiniest degree of compromise to popular tastes. This is sort of an odd message for me to digest in capitalist America, where trying to capitalize on trends is the order of the day. Also, I have a hard time seeing how Roark blowing up an affordable housing intended for the poor can be principled or heroic. Well, the homeless still don't have a place to sleep indoors, but Roark's vision wasn't compromised, thank goodness! That's more important! But there I go trying to get into the political realm ...

 I don't know how well the movie works just as a story, if you're not trying to overthink all the political implications, as I certainly wasn't. I don't know who else could have played Roark but the Old Great Stoneface. The part doesn't require any real emoting, but a lot of delivery of principle as if it was the word of God or Lincoln or somebody. Cooper certainly fits the bill for that kind of role. I liked very much the acting of Massey and Smith and particularly Neal. This was one of her Star of the Month features. She has to run the gamut of emotions, from almost catatonic malaise, to her first stirrings of passion to righteous anger, dread, gumption and a bit of conventional classic movie stand by your man mentality. It seemed like she had the makings of a major star in this performance. Her looks are a bit unconventional, but I was reminded during January of how sexy I always thought young Neal was. I believe there was an affair between her and Cooper? He was 48 and married. She was 23.

Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal in The Fountainhead (1949)

Total Movies Watched in 2020: 9

 

 

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54 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

But I'm going to put my head down and now and just try to plow through it.

It may be easier for you to keep up with your "review" posts if you keep them shorter & less detailed. While the above post is very impressive, realize many of us have already seen these classics and are familiar with the actors, studios, directors, etc.  I'm more intrigued hearing a poster's impressions of a movie, rather than a synopsis.

55 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

The part doesn't require any real emoting, but a lot of delivery of principle as if it was the word of God or Lincoln or somebody.

LOL!

1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

The other characters seem to primarily exist to show various weaknesses in contrast to all of Roark's strengths:

Perfectly stated!

Thanks for your thoughtful review!

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Frankenstein, el Vampiro y Compañía (1962)

I stumbled across this thing while channel surfing last night; it appeared on a station called “Latele Novele.” I know almost no Spanish, but I guessed I could follow along anyway. In the opening scene, two nitwits are delivering crates to a warehouse. One of the crates contains the Frankenstein monster, the other a vampire … hey, wait a minute – this is a Mexican ripoff of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Oh, did this mucho stinko. The two clowns, Agapito and Paco, meet up with a guy who happens to turn into a wolf – if you can call that shag rug on the guy’s kisser fur. The Frankenstein monster looks like Peter Boyle, so maybe the producer could have sued Mel Brooks. The vampire (he is never referred to as “Dracula”) looks like an emaciated version of George Nader. The women are just average looking; for a Mexican film, I expected some great cleavage, at bare minimum. The film is not funny, not scary, and not designed for anyone with an IQ above uno. There was exactly one funny line, when the vampire takes a sip of something and spits it out. I could swear the translation of what he muttered was “hey, this blood is domestic.”

Apparently there is an English subtitled version of this, but no one knows where it is. Or maybe they do know where it is, and it is in quarantine.

I started watching the next film, something called Las Mujeres Panteras, but got too tired. This one was apparently about a gang of female Satan-worshippers who also perform as wrestlers … my kind of movie.

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Commandos Strike At Dawn (1942) with Paul Muni and Lillian Gish

I’m aware that this was a propaganda film, but I was also bored out of my mind and did not find myself wanting to join up and fight the Germans. The only redeeming quality is that I was able to tick off a lesser-known Paul Muni and Lillian Gish film. 

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it's always telling that during OSCAR MONTH the I JUST WATCHED THREAD slides to page two or three while the "upcoming month schedules" threads stay near the top.

on that note, it's been nice that HULU has retained quite a few titles from LAST MONTH in my TCM feed (don't know why) and it recommended a movie to me that I had never even heard of: DR CRIPPEN (1962 OR 63, according to various sources), a black and white Period British drama about an infamous murder in either Georgian or Victorian England (would make an interesting companion piece to MADELEINE by DAVID LEAN)

**I SAY IT WAS from last month because I cannot find that it was nominated for any oscars.

a surprisingly LEAN DONALD PLEASANCE stars with SAMANTHA EGGAR (who seems like a future star, although she makes an even less convincing young man in drag than PALTROW in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE) as a doctor and his secretary girlfriend who maybe possibly murdered his wife.

it's a weird film that vacillates between COURTROOM TESTIMONY that conflicts greatly with the fictionalized scenes of CRIPPEN and his wife, who is played by the future MRS. VINCENT PRICE, CORAL BROWNE.

coral+browne+dr+crippen.jpg

CORAL BROWNE is one of those BRITISH actresses who did not make many films, but she is QUITE memorable in the ones she did make (ie THEATRE OF BLOOD and THE RULING CLASS) She gives an UTTER TOUR-DE-FORCE here, which is kind of amazing because HER PART IS VERY ODDLY WRITTEN- in some scenes she's a cuckolding, man-hungry shrew who hates her husband, while in others she's a needy wife DESPERATE TO BE LOVED. Whatever the scene demanded though, CORAL is GAME, and she makes every minute she is on screen worth watching (it's as if MARTHA from VIRGINA WOOLFE was a retired music hall entertainer.)

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:38 AM, sewhite2000 said:

Thanks. I expect my next review will be much shorter.

sewhite, I think you're an intelligent film fan, and a good writer.  But I will join with TikiSoo in her suggestion to keep the story synopsis shorter.  I just want the briefest mention of the general plot of a film, two sentences, maybe.   I'm not interested in the story, I'll find that out when I watch the film myself.  Or, as Tiki said, maybe I've seen it and I'm already familiar with the story.  Like Tiki, I'm interested in your personal response to the film you're talking about -- which you also wrote about, and which I enjoyed. 

"That said", I do enjoy your take of movies and your presence on these boards.

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On 2/14/2020 at 12:48 PM, TomJH said:

THE FOUNTAINHEAD is a film of many virtues that some love to attack because of the Ayn Rand message. But I have always ignored that message (which is rather laughable) and concentrate, instead, upon Vidor's direction (the marble quarry Freudian drill bit, while obvious in its symbolism, is still effective, for example) or the sexual assault scene. The film further benefits from the highly dramatic, at times swirling, musical score of Max Steiner, one of the composer's best in my opinion, perhaps never more effective than in the film's final scene of triumph. Also of interest to me is the courage of Gary Cooper in tampering with his wholesome all American screen image in a scene in which, in essence, he rapes the leading lady.

So my advice to those who have yet to see the film is to judge it on your own and don't be swayed too much by the negative comments on this thread. Some times I think that some are inclined to laugh at a film only because others are doing so. I'm not saying The Fountainhead doesn't have over the top issues but, in the final analysis, it's an uneven film, not a bad one.

Never mind the controversy over the Ayn Rand stuff,  The Fountainhead is just a sub-par movie. ( In my opinion, of course.)  Yes, it's got some nice direction and  cinematography, and I've no problem with the actors  (or their acting) in it. In fact, I like all of them, especially Raymond Massey's performance. 

But !   OMG, the thing is so over-wrought and self-important !  It's weighed down with its own message-y earnestness.  Words such as "overblown" and "pompous" come to mind.  One example:  that scene that you seem to admire, where  Howard Roark and Dominique Francon see each other for the first time,  seems laughably portentous and and over-dramatic to me. 

And ...aside from anything else...the script !  (which I assume is based on the dialogue in Rand's novel) ---people just don't talk like that !

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