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10 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

The Macamober Affair (1947) a Film Soleil Noir one of those sun baked, desert or tropical based Noirs. 7/10

The Macomber Affair Poster

This one leaves it up in the air at the end as to the outcome.  Joan Bennett and her husband Robert Preston  are on safari with guide Gregory Peck  in Nairobi.  They are in a sort of estranged relationship. Hints of some type of  infidelity are implied.  Preston hopes the trip will revitalize their marriage.  Instead of regaining his manhood  he displays his weenie-ness when he throws away his rifle and runs  when the lion he wounded charges out of the brush. Back at the camp, Preston takes out his humiliation on the native crew. Its bad form, very bad form.   All that is witnessed by Bennett who is turned on to Peck. 

Eventually Preston shows hes got a pair and is able to shoot an antelope, he also is ready to give Bennett he walking papers. Bennett realizes shes gonna loose her sugar daddy.   Preston next shoots a couple of buffalo. One is only wounded and the same scenario with the lion plays out. They have to go in to dispatch it. When the buffalo rears up and charges  both Preston and Peck shoot at it along with Bennett but instead of hitting the buffalo she shoots Preston in the back of the head.  Was it an accident or deliberate.?  Peck fills out a report that it was an accident, but questions Bennett who admits that in her heart she wanted to kill him. The film ends with her walking to the coroners inquiry.

 

7 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I love THE MACAMOBER AFFAIR . . . whatever it is.  Preston Foster would be surprised to know he's in it!  :P

I've seen THE MACOMBER AFFAIR twice.  Most enjoyable.  I like the fact the ending was 'up in the air'. 

The filmmakers softened Hemingway's ending by making the Joan Bennett character more sympathetic than she was in the short story.

Yes, Preston Foster didn't look much like himself in that film, did he?

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(I may wander off The Reservation with this one.)

for whatever reason, I am still needing "Horror" movies- but classic arty horrors are fine (even preferred) and on that note, I FELT COMPELLED TO WATCH DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1965/6?)...and discovered that, although it is shown a lot on TCM, it is not available on amazon and as far as DVDs go, it can largely be found as only a BLU-RAY and a REGION 2 DVD (cuales solamente trabajando en Espana, no se por que) or as a triple feature set, which I actually paid $30 for, largely motivated by the fact that I checked out SCARS OF DRACULA on DVD and THE COPY I OWN AND PAID $20 for IS NOW SELLING FOR $129.99 AT THE LOWEST PRICE, so i was like, "why not?"That's a better return than I'd get on a T-BILL. "

pdvd691.png

It's a great DVD- nice picture and everything, few extras- but a lot of the extras about the film (including HOME FOOTAGE OF THE FILMING OF THE FINALE NARRATED BY BARBARA SHELLEY AND CHRISTOPHER LEE, who remember the names of ALL THE CREW PEOPLE- who are about the BRITISHEST LOOKING LOT I've ever seen IS ON YOUTUBE)

as someone who is FASCINATED by VAMPIRES, I want to say that this is the first DRACULA FILM I EVER SAW...And it was The Summer sometime in the 1980's on TBS: THE SUPERSTATION and we even timed the VCR to record it because we had a swim meet to go to and would not be home.

and it's funny, because every single time I see it, my thoughts are about the same as they were when I saw the movie ca. age 7 or 8.

SIR LEE FAMOUSLY has no dialogue- but he truly looks so perfect in the part, I can't argue. Out of all the HAMMER DRACULAS- this is the one where he looks just right- and he is lit PERFECTLY.

I was lucky that my introduction is that marvelously framed opening piece, re-using the ACTION-HEAVY finale from HORROR OF DRACULA- IT'S A WONDERFUL WAY TO OPEN A FILM.

THE SCORE- all the HAMMER SCORES- are MARVELOUS. I highly recommend searching youtube for this, I listen to them cleaning my house or working in the yard. I like a score that GRABS YOU BY THE SHOULDERS AND SHAKES THE **** OF YOU , and ALL the DRACULA SCORES (Up to SCARS) do that so nicely.

[spoilers to follow]

I've learned to live with a certain amount of dissatisfaction/disappointment/frustration with the FILM, one of the reasons why it fascinates me- because I think it could have used a rewrite.

I always feel like the wrong couple dies in this movie-

draculapod0.jpg

of course, those of you who have seen the film will then offer, "Yes, but BARBARA SHELLEY would not have gotten that marvelous death scene", to wit I admit thatI just feel like CHARLES AND DIANA (their names in the film-  THE BLONDE WITH 20 POUNDS OF HAIR and her PONCY CARY GRANT-LIKE HUSBAND (STANDING) in this photo) WERE JUST TOO STUPID TO LIVE.

I would have VASTLY ENJOYED THIS FILM had THEY been the ones to get offed in the second act , leaving HELEN and her HERBERT MARSHALL-FACSIMILE HUSBAND to be the ones to FACE THE ULTIMATE EeeeeeeVIL- and all the while she HENPECKS HIM MERCILESSLY OVER WHAT A SH!TTY VACATION THIS HAS BEEN.

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I remember sometime back in the late 80's, my sister and I watched the remake of THE BLOB (1988) and when it was done, we both turned to each other and were like "WOW, that movie was ACTUALLY GOOD!"

So all these years later, I decided to check it out on AMAZON PRIME.

WOW, this movie is ACTUALLY GOOD!

I'll be upfront with the fact that- THEME SONG ASIDE- I do not much care for the 1958 ORIGINAL. I also am NOT INTO STEVE McQUEEN, who makes about as believable TEENAGER as MARIA OUSPENSKAYA.

If anyone wants to contend this is one of the best HORROR REMAKES ever, you got solid ground and not much in the way of competition to stand on...

The STUNTS AND Special effects are superb [GOD I MISS "SPECIAL" EFFECTS!!!!!!]- this movie cost $10 million [VERY LARGE BUDGET in those days] and only made 8 and has since faded into more obscurity than it deserves. it's also a clever remake- taking the bones and outlines of the original and laying a much more interesting cloth over the top. it also plays PSYCHO with us- killing someone we do not expect to be killed early thusly setting the 'all bets are off" tone.

i think my favorite thing about the film was SHAWNEE SMITH as cheerleader/warrior goddess MEG PENNY who undergoes one hell of a metamorphasis of her own by the film's end:

ishot-1130.jpgJEJUNE

g.png "we're out of MYDOL and DIET COKE.!"

 

ishot-1140.jpg AMERICA, 2020

I would really highly recommend this film, and it would be GREAT for TCM UNDERGROUND or even the regular programming line-up.

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I finally broke my HORROR streak and watched KID GALAHAD (1937)

Poster%20-%20Kid%20Galahad%20(1937)_02.j

It is almost as good as the poster and a fascinator because I THINK it is the only pairing of DAVIS AND ROBINSON, and he is one of VERY FEW COSTARS in her career who works on an even keel with her- it's a mutual performance-  and it's great to watch (the only other actor who compliments her that comes to mind IMMEDIATELY is CLAUDE RAINES.)

EDIT: herbert marshall too.

it's a BOXING MOVIE ALL THE WAY, I don't know how accurate the fighting styles were or if they'd pass muster with the experts, but it looked like some OUTRIGHT BRAWLING WITH OVEN MITTS ON AND I NOTE THAT EVEN IN BLACK AND WHITE, THE OVERHEAD SHOT OF THE RING SHOWED IT SPATTERED IN BLOOD.

BETTE is fantastic- there are actually quite a few of her early films that I have not seen- and this was one of them. It is nice to see her before she turned into ONE OF THE SURLY APPLE TREES FROM "THE WIZARD OF OZ," she was very genuine and real, it was a good part and she looked great (although her hairstyle was curious- hard ringlets for the bangs and front, strait and lacquered in the back.) Also not fond of bras, apparently was Miss Davis.

ROBINSON is fantastic in this and it is ultimately HIS MOVIE- I wonder if GARFIELD watched his performance in this before he did FORCE OF EVIL.

WAYNE MORRIS was SO cute. I have no idea if he was any good or not. (HANDSOMENESS is like a lead shield against my SUPERCRITIC ABILITIES)

BOGART is stuck being the bad guy and manages to be both visibly hostile to his part while being good in it at the same time. No small feat.

The ending is a surprise.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I finally broke my HORROR streak and watched KID GALAHAD (1937)

Poster%20-%20Kid%20Galahad%20(1937)_02.j

It is almost as good as the poster and a fascinator because I THINK it is the only pairing of DAVIS AND ROBINSON, and he is one of VERY FEW COSTARS in her career who works on an even keel with her- it's a mutual performance-  and it's great to watch (the only other actor who compliments her that comes to mind IMMEDIATELY is CLAUDE RAINES.)

EDIT: herbert marshall too.

it's a BOXING MOVIE ALL THE WAY, I don't know how accurate the fighting styles were or if they'd pass muster with the experts, but it looked like some OUTRIGHT BRAWLING WITH OVEN MITTS ON AND I NOTE THAT EVEN IN BLACK AND WHITE, THE OVERHEAD SHOT OF THE RING SHOWED IT SPATTERED IN BLOOD.

BETTE is fantastic- there are actually quite a few of her early films that I have not seen- and this was one of them. It is nice to see her before she turned into ONE OF THE SURLY APPLE TREES FROM "THE WIZARD OF OZ," she was very genuine and real, it was a good part and she looked great (although her hairstyle was curious- hard ringlets for the bangs and front, strait and lacquered in the back.) Also not fond of bras, apparently was Miss Davis.

ROBINSON is fantastic in this and it is ultimately HIS MOVIE- I wonder if GARFIELD watched his performance in this before he did FORCE OF EVIL.

WAYNE MORRIS was SO cute. I have no idea if he was any good or not. (HANDSOMENESS is like a lead shield against my SUPERCRITIC ABILITIES)

BOGART is stuck being the bad guy and manages to be both visibly hostile to his part while being good in it at the same time. No small feat.

The ending is a surprise.

I've been a big fan of Kid Galahad (1937)  for decades.      While in many ways the film is a Warner Bros.  "programmer" its hard to find another film where the 3 main stars are as talented as Robinson,  Davis and Bogart.      Note that Davis and Bogart had just completed Marked Women,  a fine crime film and unique one for Bogie at this stage of his WB career since he played a good guy (DA) to Davis's 'hostess' (code for lady of the evening).     Of course Robinson and Bogart  and Davis and Bogart made many WB films together.    So to see 3 of my favorites in one film, all with good parts (even if Bogie's in very typical) makes this one a winner for me. 

Add the fine supporting cast (Morris and Bryan are solid as the youngsters),  and Harry Carey,  first rate as the fight manager.     Oh and don't forget Veda Ann Borg.   She was just getting her start but in 1937  she was in 14 films for Warners Bros.      Her parts are small but she always gets in a few good one-liners.

 

 

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8 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

That poster looks more like Angela Lansbury than Bette Davis to me.

I can see that. It’s not an angle that were used to seeing Bette from.

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I forgot to mention my favorite part of KID GALAHAD...

BETTE plays a NIGHTCLUB SINGER and she shows up in a scene near the end of the film where she is standing on stage, with an orchestra behind her, *and a cigarette in her hand* moving her mouth while a voice that no reasonable person could possibly believe was hers sings one of those standard “Gossamer wings of love” type songs that exist for scenes like this. 
The only thing that could’ve made it better would be if she had taken a few puffs from the cig while the voice continued singing. 

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Here is another poster for the film:  similar but Bette at a different angle:     (and somewhat misleading as it relates to their relationship). 

Kid Galahad (1937 film) - Wikipedia

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when i first got into classic films I was about 8 years old and one of the very first classic films I EVER watched was THE SISTERS (1938) on TNT sometime ca. 1988(?), and as I watched morE classic movies into my teens and twenties-  BETTE DAVIS became one of my favorite classic actors (for the record, my FAVORITE favorite was probably then (and possibly now) BELA LUGOSI.)

but as I have grown older I have come to re-assess her work, AND WHILE SHE WAS ABSOLUTELY A FINE, FINE ACTRESS- there are a few performances of hers from 1938 onward that I would consider labeling "failed" although some of them entertainingly so. (And one in particular BAD, YET debateably genius PERFORMANCE that I only recent caught- 1949'S BEYOND THE FOREST.) And sometimes when she's playing a good character she can be ANNOYINGLY PRIM.  And from THE CATERED AFFAR onwards, she tended to try to milk sympathy from the audience shamelessly. 

BETTE DAVIS became a different actor after winning that second Oscar for JEZEBEL. I'm not saying it necessarily in a good or bad way- but I think those TWO WINS maybe gave her the tendency to just sort of do her own thing, and while she was a good actress, "her own thing" can be A LOT TO TAKE (as in IN THIS OUR LIFE.)

but in the past few years, I have caught a few of her pre-1938 films and I have to say, I am intrigued by this other actress who is not quite so, um...

[WAVES imaginary CIGARETTE ALOFT]

"BEH-tee DAAAAAAAYvissssss!"-ish in her persona.

She's quite appealing.

a0b9b60b8ce1c923bf6740fb0c58e830--betty-

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Okay, sort of "cheats" to do a Blu-ray, but it's a lockdown Sunday, and I wasn't sure whether I'd "officially" done this one already*, just to sound out other secret closet fans, or spark a few more Amazon Prime streamings...But, since I've been working down my new-unwatched-Blu-ray pile with the library closed, it counts as "Just watched":

Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)  - 👍

uy2db_hd.jpg

I'm assuming some have already well heard of this one, and the rest...haven't, so thought it might spark discussion:  If there was ever a "JFI 100" of great Japanese anime films on the level of live-action Kurosawa classics, this is literally considered to be in the top 5, if not actually #2 or 3.  Unlike most folks' attempt to jump into "the kids' new Anime thing", only to land feet-first in either some dreary, impenetrably surrealist arthouse-import like Akira or Paprika, or get stuck in the cute Studio Ghibli canon and never find their way out again, this one's absolutely approachable (and yes, funny) for those neophytes new to the genre, and a lot more fun to sit through--But still with a touch of classic-status style that will allow first-timers to hold their own in a snooty discussion with uber-fans hammering them to watch "Grave of the Fireflies" or "Neon Genesis Evangelion" for their own "good".

It's usually not recommended for first-timers because it's the feature spinoff of a long-running, and very eccentric wacky sitcom, and requires knowing the pilot-episode setup (which is necessary for understanding a key moment of the climax), and being able to recognize some of the oddball supporting-characters' running gags (although first-timers should get the idea fairly quickly).  The TV backstory, for those who tuned in late:  Ataru, the high school's resident wisecracking, girl-chasing troublemaker-irritant, is picked as an "average Earthling" by aliens to defend the Earth in a race against the space commander's cute, and very Barbara Eden-like daughter Lum.  Long story short, he wins by cheating, only to discover the "prize" involves an alliance marriage, and, in the true spirit of Maj. Nelson and Jeannie, she's all for the idea--While our hero tries to flee, she moves into his house, tells everyone they're "engaged", and even enrolls at his school, where, to put it mildly, the new alien in class may be the most "normal" one there.

Series director Mamoru Oshii, who later moved on to more famous artsy-anime classics like Ghost in the Shell, said he wanted to take a break from our wacky couple, and do a feature focusing on the "normal" school life of the underappreciated B-players on the series:  Here, he takes the characters (almost) out of their chaotic comedy, and puts them in an eerie, X-Files like mystery, where the characters first feel as if their never-ending preparations for the school's festival have sunk into a Groundhog's Day-style time loop--And emerge from their long camp at the school grounds only to discover that everyone in the city, or possibly the world, may have mysteriously disappeared overnight.  It's strange, but don't worry, it's all explained in the end, with both funny and imaginatively eerie/surreal scenes in a comfortable 50-50 ratio, and (with above backstory) a good first introduction to the series.   Unfortunately, the remainder of the original TV series, and four other movie spinoffs, were originally licensed by a small US company, fell out of print fifteen years ago, now making it a "lost" classic, and the second feature fell between the licensing cracks to stay on as last remaining artifact.  (The other four movie spinoffs have been just been picked up for next year on Blu by another company, but that's looking ahead.)  However, it's now playing everywhere on Amazon Prime and other streaming services along with a package of other fan-archival 80's anime features, so that those first-timers who want to brag about having watched That New Anime Thing don't have to contain themselves to discussions of Hayao Miyazaki or Dragon Ball Z. 

(* - I know I've alluded to its Amazon availability before, but when I did a past-discussion search for "Lum", I found only Abner.  Guess this one's new, and if it's not, I'll delete and make note for the record.  😉)

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Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

Fresh off the success of the memorable Zula, director Cy Endfield and actor Stanley Baker were reunited for this tale of survival of six passengers in a small plane which crashes in the Kalahari Desert. Strong shades of Flight of the Phoenix, which would be released the same year, and, like Phoenix, this is an unsentimental, realistic presentation. Interest in the film increases throughout as it becomes apparent that the characterizations here strongly veer away from the usual stereotypes of movie survivors in harsh conditions (ie. 1939's Five Came Back).

Baker plays an alcoholic whose leg is injured in the crash, Nigel Davenport the plane's pilot, nominally the group leader who unexpectedly takes an unhealthy interest in the one woman among them (played by Susannah York). York's character will make some equally unexpected choices about her fellow survivors. Also featured are Stuart Whitman as a great white hunter who spends most of the time macho shirtless (with his back curiously never breaking out into blisters or burn from that broiling sun), Harry Andrews in a colourful spin as a retired German soldier (quite remarkable when contrasting this portrayal to his stunning very hard Brit commanding officer in The Hill, released the same year) and Theodore Bikel as a likable professor.

MV5BMTM0MTEwMjM4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzgy

Cinematographer Erwin Hiller brilliantly captures the hard, beautiful, harsh and forbidding desert locations. The film remains a visual marvel throughout, not only for the desert photography but also some startling closeups of baboons with some of the most ferocious dagger-like teeth you will ever see. As the story develops it increasingly becomes a tale, not of group solidarity, but survival of the fittest, with one of the participants doing his best to stack the deck in his favour.

Of the cast, Whitman is a standout with his hard, macho portrayal, making one appreciate what an effective performer this actor could be in the right role. The film's final scene is one quite unlike any other film ending that comes to mind, guaranteed to linger in the memory for some time.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had been under consideration for lead roles in this production but backed out, due to the harsh shooting conditions, I believe. Burton may have been fine as the hunter (assuming that was the role he would have played) but I'm glad they wound up with Whitman instead.

By the way, one of the key messages that Sands of the Kalahari leaves for any viewer unfortunate enough to wind up in circumstances similar to that of these film characters - don't ever anger a troop of baboons!

43757.jpg

3 out of 4

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35d9c949139781ed05bdc979a6856f16.jpg

so almost a year ago exactly, I started watching VANISHING POINT (1971) on TCM, and it was really good, but it was on pretty late at night and I tend to LEGALLY DIE every evening by 11:00 pm, so I went to bed halfway through thinking it would be ON DEMAND later.

It wasn't and I was BUMMED.

I have searched around for it and even considered renting it WHEN IT SHOWED UP ON MY ADD-ON CHANNEL MOVIELAND which I have come to believe has just GOT to be a PASTICHE of every title I have done an internet search for. I love it.

Watched it all the way through this time and damn, it is ONE HELL of a movie- pretty damn hard to dislike, and it's kind of AS IF ANTONIONI decided to remake SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT as a sort of CHRIST ALLEGORY and it ACTUALLY TURNED OUT TO BE GOOD!

The soundtrack is outstanding as is the location shooting and all the acting, I have to single out BARRY NEWMAN as the lead- who is perfect as a disillusioned EX-COP SPEED FREAK RACING TO CALIFORNIA.

I want as DODGE CHALLENGER now.

The ending stunned me.

The films dealing with issues of RACE and THE POLICE are, um, TIMELY AS ****.

The version they showed on MOVIELAND included a5 minute scene near the end with a LUMINOUS CHARLOTTE RAMPLING- apparently this wAS CUT FROM THE aMERICAN VERSION (oops, caps lock). She got third billing, I think, but was not in the end credits.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE.

Vanishing-Point-Car.jpg

HOW'S MY DRIVING? DIAL 1-800-EAT-****.

 

 

 

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The Last Picture Show (1971)

I'm listening to both the TCM Podcast, The Plot Thickens, about Peter Bogdanovich and the new season of You Must Remember This about Bogdanovich's ex-wife, Polly Platt.  I decided to watch The Last Picture Show as a companion piece to both podcasts.  This film turned out to be a life-changing experience for both Bogdanovich and Platt.  Plus, I've always wanted to see this movie and for whatever reason, I hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I doubt I need to go into the plot much, as I'm sure a majority of people here have seen this film.  In a nutshell, The Last Picture Show, is about a group of people living in the depressing town of Anarene, TX in 1951.  This town is thisclose to being a ghost town.  Almost all the storefronts are boarded up.  There seem to be exactly four businesses still open: a pool hall/bar; a diner; a gas station; and a one-screen movie theater.  Every building is in disrepair.  None of the businesses seem to have more than two customers at a time.  In the diner, the waitress is also the cook.  This town is so miserable, it's a wonder why anyone lives there at all.  In The Plot Thickens, Bogdanovich said that when he and Platt were scouting locations, they were trying to find the most rundown, depressing looking town possible--the type of town where people don't live there because they want to, they live there because they're stuck.  Bogdanovich and Platt visited the tiny town of Archer City, TX, the hometown of Larry McMurtry.  McMurtry was the author of The Last Picture Show novel and was co-writing the screenplay with Bogdanovich.   Bogdanovich and Platt liked the town, but to make it look even more stark and somber, Bogdanovich and Platt considered painting all the buildings grey.  But what Bogdanovich really wanted to do, was shoot the film in black and white.  He sought advice from his friend and mentor, Orson Welles, who said matter of factly, "Of course you'll shoot it in black and white."

Black and white was definitely the right artistic choice.  I cannot imagine this film in color, it wouldn't convey the desperation and direness of the characters' lives and situations.  Friends Duane (Jeff Bridges) and Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) are best friends and high school seniors.  Duane is dating the prettiest girl in school, Jacy (Cybil Shepherd).  Sonny is dating Charlene at the beginning of the film, but they break up within the first 10 minutes as it's obvious that Sonny is not into her at all--despite her willingness to do anything that would possibly make him desire her.  Jacy's issue is that she's a virgin and at first, feels pressure to remain chaste.  Her mother, Lola (Ellen Burstyn), I got the idea that she was the bored housewife and got around with the various men in town.  She encourages her daughter to marry up.  But unlike many mothers in movies who tell their daughters to marry rich, I didn't get the idea that she was telling her this as a means to move up in class, but as a means to get out of their depressing town.  Lola, I feel must have settled and as a result, she's stuck in that town--even though it seems that the family is relatively well off.  As the film progresses, Jacy seems to lose her anxiety over being a virgin.

Sonny's conflict is that he becomes embroiled in an affair with Ruth Popper (Cloris Leachman), the wife of his basketball coach.  Ruth is in an unhappy marriage, because her husband is in the closet--and presumably, she is in a sexless marriage.  Sonny and Ruth have one of the most awkward, unsexy sex scenes I have ever seen in a movie.  

Then, there is Sam the Lion (Ben Johnson), the proprietor of the pool hall/bar.  It seems that Sam is the glue that holds together the remaining pieces, i.e. the things that give the town any sense of life whatsoever.  He owns the diner run by Genevive (Eileen Brennan) and he helps operate the movie theater.  The movie theater is really the only thing left in that town that keeps the town from being completely cut off from the outside world.  

I loved this movie.  The characters were all very interesting, I loved the black and white, I loved the music.  I am looking forward to purchasing my own copy and watching this again.

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35 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

The Last Picture Show (1971)

I'm listening to both the TCM Podcast, The Plot Thickens, about Peter Bogdanovich and the new season of You Must Remember This about Bogdanovich's ex-wife, Polly Platt.  I decided to watch The Last Picture Show as a companion piece to both podcasts.  This film turned out to be a life-changing experience for both Bogdanovich and Platt.  Plus, I've always wanted to see this movie and for whatever reason, I hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I doubt I need to go into the plot much, as I'm sure a majority of people here have seen this film.  In a nutshell, The Last Picture Show, is about a group of people living in the depressing town of Anarene, TX in 1951.  This town is thisclose to being a ghost town.  Almost all the storefronts are boarded up.  There seem to be exactly four businesses still open: a pool hall/bar; a diner; a gas station; and a one-screen movie theater.  Every building is in disrepair.  None of the businesses seem to have more than two customers at a time.  In the diner, the waitress is also the cook.  This town is so miserable, it's a wonder why anyone lives there at all.  In The Plot Thickens, Bogdanovich said that when he and Platt were scouting locations, they were trying to find the most rundown, depressing looking town possible--the type of town where people don't live there because they want to, they live there because they're stuck.  Bogdanovich and Platt visited the tiny town of Archer City, TX, the hometown of Larry McMurtry.  McMurtry was the author of The Last Picture Show novel and was co-writing the screenplay with Bogdanovich.   Bogdanovich and Platt liked the town, but to make it look even more stark and somber, Bogdanovich and Platt considered painting all the buildings grey.  But what Bogdanovich really wanted to do, was shoot the film in black and white.  He sought advice from his friend and mentor, Orson Welles, who said matter of factly, "Of course you'll shoot it in black and white."

Black and white was definitely the right artistic choice.  I cannot imagine this film in color, it wouldn't convey the desperation and direness of the characters' lives and situations.  Friends Duane (Jeff Bridges) and Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) are best friends and high school seniors.  Duane is dating the prettiest girl in school, Jacy (Cybil Shepherd).  Sonny is dating Charlene at the beginning of the film, but they break up within the first 10 minutes as it's obvious that Sonny is not into her at all--despite her willingness to do anything that would possibly make him desire her.  Jacy's issue is that she's a virgin and at first, feels pressure to remain chaste.  Her mother, Lola (Ellen Burstyn), I got the idea that she was the bored housewife and got around with the various men in town.  She encourages her daughter to marry up.  But unlike many mothers in movies who tell their daughters to marry rich, I didn't get the idea that she was telling her this as a means to move up in class, but as a means to get out of their depressing town.  Lola, I feel must have settled and as a result, she's stuck in that town--even though it seems that the family is relatively well off.  As the film progresses, Jacy seems to lose her anxiety over being a virgin.

Sonny's conflict is that he becomes embroiled in an affair with Ruth Popper (Cloris Leachman), the wife of his basketball coach.  Ruth is in an unhappy marriage, because her husband is in the closet--and presumably, she is in a sexless marriage.  Sonny and Ruth have one of the most awkward, unsexy sex scenes I have ever seen in a movie.  

Then, there is Sam the Lion (Ben Johnson), the proprietor of the pool hall/bar.  It seems that Sam is the glue that holds together the remaining pieces, i.e. the things that give the town any sense of life whatsoever.  He owns the diner run by Genevive (Eileen Brennan) and he helps operate the movie theater.  The movie theater is really the only thing left in that town that keeps the town from being completely cut off from the outside world.  

I loved this movie.  The characters were all very interesting, I loved the black and white, I loved the music.  I am looking forward to purchasing my own copy and watching this again.

Agree its a great film, I also like Paper Moon I assume you have seen that one also by now.

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2 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Agree its a great film, I also like Paper Moon I assume you have seen that one also by now.

I have seen Paper Moon.  I loved that film.  Black and White was also the right artistic decision.  It's hard to believe that Tatum O'Neal was only 10 years old in this film, even though obviously, by looking at her, she's 10 years old. She more than held her own with her adult co-stars. 

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3 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I have seen Paper Moon.  I loved that film.  Black and White was also the right artistic decision.  It's hard to believe that Tatum O'Neal was only 10 years old in this film, even though obviously, by looking at her, she's 10 years old. She more than held her own with her adult co-stars. 

Other than those two I really haven't cared for much else.

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15 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I like TARGETS and WHATS UP DOC? 

I have What’s Up Doc? On my DVR as well. I was considering watching that one next. 
 

Has anyone seen “The Cat’s Meow” from 2001? Is it good? 
 

 

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10 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Has anyone seen “The Cat’s Meow” from 2001? Is it good? 

It's VERY good, and better than some of Bogdanovich's 80's films before "Noises Off":

A sardonic movie version of that Hollywood urban-legend about "That one party on William Hearst's yacht...", with Kirsten Dunst as a cute Marion Davies, Eddie Izzard doing a surprisingly good backstage Charlie Chaplin, and Edward Hermann 180 degrees away from Orson Welles as a very real scary, insecure, and bullying party-animal William Randolph Hearst.  Almost makes you want to believe it.

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Seconding the recommendation of The Cat's Meow. I've been currently working on a top 20 of the year project starting in the present and working back  on another website, and The Cat's Meow came in at #7 for 2001. It's a wonderful film.

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

Fresh off the success of the memorable Zula, director Cy Endfield and actor Stanley Baker were reunited for this tale of survival of six passengers in a small plane which crashes in the Kalahari Desert. Strong shades of Flight of the Phoenix, which would be released the same year, and, like Phoenix, this is an unsentimental, realistic presentation. Interest in the film increases throughout as it becomes apparent that the characterizations here strongly veer away from the usual stereotypes of movie survivors in harsh conditions (ie. 1939's Five Came Back).

Baker plays an alcoholic whose leg is injured in the crash, Nigel Davenport the plane's pilot, nominally the group leader who unexpectedly takes an unhealthy interest in the one woman among them (played by Susannah York). York's character will make some equally unexpected choices about her fellow survivors. Also featured are Stuart Whitman as a great white hunter who spends most of the time macho shirtless (with his back curiously never breaking out into blisters or burn from that broiling sun), Harry Andrews in a colourful spin as a retired German soldier (quite remarkable when contrasting this portrayal to his stunning very hard Brit commanding officer in The Hill, released the same year) and Theodore Bikel as a likable professor.

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Cinematographer Erwin Hiller brilliantly captures the hard, beautiful, harsh and forbidding desert locations. The film remains a visual marvel throughout, not only for the desert photography but also some startling closeups of baboons with some of the most ferocious dagger-like teeth you will ever see. As the story develops it increasingly becomes a tale, not of group solidarity, but survival of the fittest, with one of the participants doing his best to stack the deck in his favour.

Of the cast, Whitman is a standout with his hard, macho portrayal, making one appreciate what an effective performer this actor could be in the right role. The film's final scene is one quite unlike any other film ending that comes to mind, guaranteed to linger in the memory for some time.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had been under consideration for lead roles in this production but backed out, due to the harsh shooting conditions, I believe. Burton may have been fine as the hunter (assuming that was the role he would have played) but I'm glad they wound up with Whitman instead.

By the way, one of the key messages that Sands of the Kalahari leaves for any viewer unfortunate enough to wind up in circumstances similar to that of these film characters - don't ever anger a troop of baboons!

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3 out of 4

Tom, I also like Sands of the Kalahari. Cy Endfield is a good director. But not only does Stuart Whitman not get sunburned, Susannah York's hair looks runway-ready.

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