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 I watched THE ODD COUPLE from 1968 last night. I'd seen it several times, but had forgotten how funny and entertaining it was. Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau were perfect as Felix and Oscar. The supporting cast was great as well.  The two actresses that played the Pigeon sisters were fabulous.  Also the poker group was very reflective of how middle age men acted in the late 60s. I caught myself laughing out loud even though I'd seen and heard most all of the lines before.

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39 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

 I watched THE ODD COUPLE from 1968 last night. I'd seen it several times, but had forgotten how funny and entertaining it was. Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau were perfect as Felix and Oscar. The supporting cast was great as well.  The two actresses that played the Pigeon sisters were fabulous.  Also the poker group was very reflective of how middle age men acted in the late 60s. I caught myself laughing out loud even though I'd seen and heard most all of the lines before.

The Odd Couple is a great film and Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are great together. If you haven't already seen Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men, highly recommend the 2 films.  It was great to see, so many years later, almost 30, the 2 together again on screen. They were great friends on and off the screen, wish they were both still around but we're lucky to  be able  to see them in these wonderful and funny films. Jack and Walter, no doubt 2 of the greats. btw, in real life they both had wonderful reputations. Kind and generous human beings. The Yiddish word Mensch as Jack said in The Apartment, that's a  perfect description for Jack and Walter.

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I saw most of My Man Godfrey the other day, getting caught up in it, as was my spouse, who had never seen it. William Powell has the difficult task of anchoring the film and keeping the right balance between comedy and the darker elements of the film. A character like Irene might be annoying as all get out in real life, but Carole Lombard makes her funny and poetic and irresistible. Speaking of the darker elements, every time I see the film I admire Gail Patrick's performance more. She could be a cardboard villain, but she isn't. If Alice Brady and Mischa Auer aren't quite as funny (to my mind) as they are supposed to be, Powell, Lombard, Patrick, and Eugene Pallette are so great that it doesn't matter.

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I have seen GRUMPY and GRUMPIER. They were wonderful films and Ann Margaret and Sophia Loren both look amazing. Also, I just learned there is a 1998 sequel to TOC called THE ODD COUPLE II. I've done a search and haven't found a free viewing as yet. I can rent it on PRIME for $3.99 which I may do. It's Oscar and Felix seventeen years later. Apparently, their children are marrying each other in California. It got great reviews and sounds like something ODD COUPLE fans would enjoy.

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56 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I saw most of My Man Godfrey the other day, getting caught up in it, as was my spouse, who had never seen it. William Powell has the difficult task of anchoring the film and keeping the right balance between comedy and the darker elements of the film. A character like Irene might be annoying as all get out in real life, but Carole Lombard makes her funny and poetic and irresistible. Speaking of the darker elements, every time I see the film I admire Gail Patrick's performance more. She could be a cardboard villain, but she isn't. If Alice Brady and Mischa Auer aren't quite as funny (to my mind) as they are supposed to be, Powell, Lombard, Patrick, and Eugene Pallette are so great that it doesn't matter.

Just for a reference:The area of where Godfrey's dump of forgotten men and later the nightclub actually turned into a couple of Gas Holders (Gasometers) they are also long gone now too.

alEsxQw.jpg

The Queensboro Bridge at 59th St. the dump in My Man Godfrey was on the 60th-61 Street side  of the bridge a composite of  two frames from 1947 Film Noir the Unsuspeted. Also of interest what looks like another off ramp of the bridge just below the tanks was actually the spur line of the 2nd Avenue el that ran over the bridge into Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City. The bridge also had the last New York City trolley that ran on the outside of the lower level.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I saw most of My Man Godfrey the other day, getting caught up in it, as was my spouse, who had never seen it. William Powell has the difficult task of anchoring the film and keeping the right balance between comedy and the darker elements of the film. A character like Irene might be annoying as all get out in real life, but Carole Lombard makes her funny and poetic and irresistible. Speaking of the darker elements, every time I see the film I admire Gail Patrick's performance more. She could be a cardboard villain, but she isn't. If Alice Brady and Mischa Auer aren't quite as funny (to my mind) as they are supposed to be, Powell, Lombard, Patrick, and Eugene Pallette are so great that it doesn't matter.

Roger Ebert's The Great Movies III covers much of what you say here;   E.g. "My Man Godfrey,  one of the treasures of 1930s screwball comedy,  doesn't merely use Lombard and Powell, it loves them.  These two actors embody a personal style in a way that is (to use a cliche that I mean sincerely) effortlessly magical.   Consider Powell:  How can such reserve suggest such depths of feeling?  How can understatement and a cool, dry delivery embody such passion?  You can never, ever catch him trying to capture effects.  They come to him.  And Lombard in this film has a dreamy, ditzy breathlessness that shows her sweetly yearning after this man who fascinated her even when she thought he really was a bum.

God,  but this film is beautiful.   The cinematography by Ted Tatzlaff is a shimmering argument for everything I've ever tried to say in praise of B&W.  

**** there is more of course. 

 

 

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The Hired Hand (1971)

Quiet, elegic western with Henry Fonda returning to wife Verna Bloom years after leaving her to wander the West. Warren Oates is Fonda's friend. I had heard of this film before via a book I own about the films of Universal, but I hadn't heard much else, so I am happy to say this was a pleasant surprise. It's a knockout. It's so well-acted, beautifully photographed, with a hauntingly  melancholy musical score that serves as an elegy to the West. that its a shame it isn't more well known.

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15 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

I have seen GRUMPY and GRUMPIER. They were wonderful films and Ann Margaret and Sophia Loren both look amazing. Also, I just learned there is a 1998 sequel to TOC called THE ODD COUPLE II. I've done a search and haven't found a free viewing as yet. I can rent it on PRIME for $3.99 which I may do. It's Oscar and Felix seventeen years later. Apparently, their children are marrying each other in California. It got great reviews and sounds like something ODD COUPLE fans would enjoy.

Odd Couple II was basically "Grumpiest Old Men", which basically retreaded the previous two by getting Neil Simon and attaching the character names.

One thing you notice watching the play-friendly original movie is how different Felix Unger is from his later TV-sitcom incarnation:  Jack Lemmon's Felix was standard, NY-neurotic Jack Lemmon, worrying over nitpicks and psychosomatically hacking his sinuses, while Tony Randall turned Felix into NYC's last buoyant, theatrical optimist, bursting into stentorian dudgeons, and giving everything a helpful over-the-top "flair" that annoyed the heck out of basic-bachelor Oscar. 

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I watched WITCHFINDER GENERAL aka MATHEW HOPKINS: WITCHFINDER GENERAL aka THE CONQUEROR WORM aka MATHEW HOPKINS: THE CONQUEROR WORM (that last one would make a great porn name)...a British Historical film made in 1968 on a budget of what today (after inflation) would be roughly $1200.

wfg1.jpg

it's hard to tell which version you're watching, this film has- after years of censorship and rights issues over the score and edits and an American Version and a Euro version- become something of a puzzle as to what the real real version is, it's still pretty good- I think though that it is often mislabeled as a HORROR MOVIE, when it actually has a lot more in common with a traditional WESTERN.

THE ACTING IS all around excellent, although while I think VINCENT PRICE is great, he disappears from large chunks of the movie. IAN OGILVEY is just gorgeous.

HILLARY DWYER (as she is billed, although she later went by HILLARY HEATH)- the leading lady of the film- recently passed away from COVID 19 complications.

This film would make a great double feature with STRAW DOGS (the original.)

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I didn't want to search and dig up old threads concerning 'Stars of the Month', but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed watching some of Jane Russell's movies during her turn as SOTM for April, 2020.   When I was growing up, the only thing I could remember about her was that she was the spokesperson for Playtex bras, suitable for 'full-figured' gals.  Thanks to TCM, I discovered some of her movies, but until this month, there were only about 4 of them I had really ever watched; "The Outlaw", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "The Las Vegas Story", and "His Kind of Woman".  I also seem to recall that if she wasn't on one of the talk shows in the afternoon during the 60's and 70's, like Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, or Dick Cavett, anyone else associated with the entertainment industry usually had good things to say about her.  She seemed to enjoy her work and according to Dave Karger, got along very well with her male and female co-stars.  All in all, she was a great choice (for me, anyway) as a TCM Star of the Month.  Maybe in 2021 or 2022 she'll get her own day during Summer Under The Stars?

I was also toying with the idea of creating a thread called:  Star Of The Month Recap/Impressions for discussion about the men or women honored during a particular month.  I envisioned it as similar to this thread (I Just Watched) or Hits and Misses:  TCM Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. by which the thread can continue for as long as people were interested in posting things that were germane to the discussion.  I don't know if the idea would fly or not.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I watched WITCHFINDER GENERAL aka MATHEW HOPKINS: WITCHFINDER GENERAL aka THE CONQUEROR WORM aka MATHEW HOPKINS: THE CONQUEROR WORM (that last one would make a great porn name)...a British Historical film made in 1968 on a budget of what today (after inflation) would be roughly $1200.

it's hard to tell which version you're watching, this film has- after years of censorship and rights issues over the score and edits and an American Version and a Euro version- become something of a puzzle as to what the real real version is, it's still pretty good- I think though that it is often mislabeled as a HORROR MOVIE, when it actually has a lot more in common with a traditional WESTERN.

The original Euro version wasn't really TRYING to be a "horror" film in the sense of the Corman/Price Poes, it was trying to be a "socially disturbing" first entry inventing the new late-60's/early-70's AI/Hammer genre of what I would refer to as "Inquisition Porn":  Period horror films, still in 18th-cty. bodices, about covens of witches, druids or vampires who just wanna do their own writhing happening  in the woods, man, but are being hunted down by ruthless, corrupt, hypocritical, fetishistically sadistic and clearly puritanical/sexually-repressed self-authoritarian witch-hunter authorities of the church (aka the Establishment) as the real villain of the picture...Since, eventually, they turn to framing innocent Young People, like our young heroine who spurned the authority figure, just to cling to that authority.  Just that AI didn't know what to do with an artsy UK "shock" picture, and put a Poe title on it to look like their other drive-in staples.

It was horror B-movies' way of trying to edge their way into the Hippie mentality, which was hard to do with Vincent Price or Christopher Lee, and usually resulted in things like Hammer's Twins of Evil, where Peter Cushing turned up as Evil Puritan Inquisitor, or  Dracula AD 1972, where we could get nice long scenes of groovy psychedelic love-ins, work in a little bit of the Satanic pentagrams and daggers, and still have Lee show up as the franchise vampire.

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VHS kick currently. I've been withdrawing tapes, keeping quite a few (because otherwise they would go straight in the trash), and been watching some. Today I caught up with 2000's Nurse Betty, a film that deserves a second look after its leading star just won her second Oscar. Here is a review I wrote.....

Quote

 

Nurse Betty was billed at the time as a dark comedy, yet in spite of its quirkiness, its more of a bittersweet tragedy. Renee Zellweger plays a naive Kansas waitress who is so obsessed by a daytime soap opera that she does not know that her husband Aaron Eckhart is having an affair and is deep into the world of illegal drug dealing. 

One night, on her birthday, father/son crime duo Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock corner her husband and kill him gruesomely. Zellweger witnesses the crime and in shock she snaps and believes that the soap she has been watching is real. She then drives to California to try to romance the show's romantic lead Greg Kinnear, fully believing he is the affable doctor he plays, not the caddish actor that he is.

Meanwhile, Freeman sees pictures of Zellweger, and he falls for her, even though he is pursuing her. That leaves us with a film in which the two leads, a harmless woman and a dangerous man, find that the dreams they have built up are the only things that are keeping them going. And ultimately, both will find out that dreams are often entirely different than reality.

That leaves a tragic quality to the proceedings that really draws you in. I myself could not call this film a comedy because I did not care to laugh at Betty. She is a truly sweet character, wonderfully portrayed by Zellweger, who like all of us is drawn in by show business, and who among us hasn't nursed a crush about a performer or wished to have one as a friend? And Freeman is skilled at easing tender notes into his portrayal of a hardened man.

Nurse Betty is sometimes a shockingly violent film (the Eckhart death scene almost got the film an NC-17), but as grisly as some of its scenes are, the most painful scenes are the ones in which its leads wake up to the truth. Zellweger's scene in particular is  brutal. It might be one of the most devastating scenes of emotional betrayal since Vertigo and she executes it perfectly, making you feel all the pain, disillusionment and hurt she feels without even saying anything. As someone who was devastated like that before, as someone who idealized individuals and found that some of them did not even like me, it really felt like the true thing.

In light of Zellweger's  second Oscar win for Judy earlier this year, I hope that others catch up with this. Its not perfect and like any genre fusing film, it sometimes has trouble sticking all the changes, but it still a good film, one of the better ones of a weak year, and so much better than its average here would indicate. Do give it a try.

 

 

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On 4/27/2020 at 11:50 AM, kingrat said:

I saw most of My Man Godfrey the other day, getting caught up in it, as was my spouse, who had never seen it. William Powell has the difficult task of anchoring the film and keeping the right balance between comedy and the darker elements of the film. A character like Irene might be annoying as all get out in real life, but Carole Lombard makes her funny and poetic and irresistible. Speaking of the darker elements, every time I see the film I admire Gail Patrick's performance more. She could be a cardboard villain, but she isn't. If Alice Brady and Mischa Auer aren't quite as funny (to my mind) as they are supposed to be, Powell, Lombard, Patrick, and Eugene Pallette are so great that it doesn't matter.

I used to love this film when I was younger.  But now I have a hard time watching because it is too completely zany.  Eugene Pallette is perfect as the downtrodden husband, and the girls are great spoiled brats, but it comes off to me as just too much woo hoo.  Certainly not a film I can watch to relax.  I would rather watch Remember Last Night - Hey, Universal, when are you gonna open that vault, you pikers? 

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The Super Cops Poster

The Super Cops (1974) TCM 6/10

Two rookie NY cops work on their own time to fight drug dealers and corrupt police.

I had seen an edited version of this years ago on TV, this is the first time I saw it uncut. The rougher language was the only thing cut on the earlier TV version, otherwise it was pretty much intact. It's quite entertaining, with more comedy than most of the gritty NY films of the time. There is good performances by Ron Liebman (later in Norma Rae) and David Selby (he was Quentin Collins on TV's Dark Shadows). Liebman is funny in a energetic and broadly comic performance, Selby more low key and bemused. They get the nicknames of Batman and Robin due to their "rope tricks" and acrobatic stunts while making arrests. While it's not great, it is a fun way to spend 94 minutes. 

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12 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

The Super Cops Poster

The Super Cops (1974) TCM 6/10

Two rookie NY cops work on their own time to fight drug dealers and corrupt police.

I had seen an edited version of this years ago on TV, this is the first time I saw it uncut. The rougher language was the only thing cut on the earlier TV version, otherwise it was pretty much intact. It's quite entertaining, with more comedy than most of the gritty NY films of the time. There is good performances by Ron Liebman (later in Norma Rae) and David Selby (he was Quentin Collins on TV's Dark Shadows). Liebman is funny in a energetic and broadly comic performance, Selby more low key and bemused. They get the nicknames of Batman and Robin due to their "rope tricks" and acrobatic stunts while making arrests. While it's not great, it is a fun way to spend 94 minutes. 

This was a first time watch for me, I enjoyed it for what it was 7/10.

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GREGORY LA CAVA who directed MY MAN GODFREY did some interesting films, and has a lot of others I have yet to see.  I tried watching THE HALF NAKED TRUTH the other day and was underwhelmed and did not finish, which surprised me as I like evryone involved

STAGE DOOR is- I think- his best, PRIMROSE PATH is good and one of the most PRECODE post-code films I have seen, GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE is ****ing NUTS (think CAPRA ON COCAINE) and is on ON DEMAND now, I think.

I actually think GODFREY is just the right touch of a LIBERAL sensibility in its politics; WHICH ARE nonetheless pretty front and center.

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I love My Man Godfrey.  Like others have noted, William Powell's presence manages to ground the film when it would otherwise be completely ridiculous.  Carole Lombard's character is insane and could be annoying, but she has so much charm that she comes across as adorable.  I love Alice Brady in this movie and also Ladies Who Meet.  She's so funny. It's a shame she died so young.  I also like poor Carlo and Alice Brady's constant worry for her protegee. Eugene Pallette's exasperation is hysterical. 

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

I love My Man Godfrey.  Like others have noted, William Powell's presence manages to ground the film when it would otherwise be completely ridiculous.  Carole Lombard's character is insane and could be annoying, but she has so much charm that she comes across as adorable.  I love Alice Brady in this movie and also Ladies Who Meet.  She's so funny. It's a shame she died so young.  I also like poor Carlo and Alice Brady's constant worry for her protegee. Eugene Pallette's exasperation is hysterical. 

ALICE BRADY is also exceptional in YOUNG MR. LINCOLN and IN OLD CHICAGO (for which she won the Oscar.) Both of those roles are MILES AWAY from what she did in GODFREY.

I like EUGENE PALLETTE as an actor, but he appears to have been a terrible person in real life.

Google it if you want.

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11 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

GREGORY LA CAVA who directed MY MAN GODFREY did some interesting films, and has a lot of others I have yet to see.  I tried watching THE HALF NAKED TRUTH the other day and was underwhelmed and did not finish, which surprised me as I like evryone involved

STAGE DOOR is- I think- his best, PRIMROSE PATH is good and one of the most PRECODE post-code films I have seen, GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE is ****ing NUTS (think CAPRA ON COCAINE) and is on ON DEMAND now, I think.

 

I think the ideas in Gabriel Over the White House are those of William Randolph Hearst, the driving force behind the movie. Yes, it's wacko. This would be one of my examples of when the director of a film is not the auteur.

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Jesus God...

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986) is on movieland right now, I’ve been watching it for the first time in years and really enjoying it.

until I realized that they’re running a version with the *** fully restored*** ***original ending*** which I did not know existed (I thought only the raw B&W  footage existed-  I’ve seen that on YouTube)

it is HEARTBREAKING, just crushing. 

I think they were absolutely right to change the ending, 100%. (And I am usually time darkside!!!)

ELLEN GREENE just breaks your heart though, and she has a killer last scene. 

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If they had gone with this ending in 1986 people would’ve burned the **** theater down.

And I would’ve been front and center splashing lighter fluid on everything, and I was eight years old at the time.

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