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6 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946) just on TCM - a MICHAEL POWELL film I had not seen all of... strange, gorgeous, unusual, wonderful!!!  A bit hammy, but prescient. 

This is next up for me (as well as Tale of Hoffmann)... I just recently rewatched Black Narcissus and watched The Red Shoes for the first time, and thoroughly enjoyed both. 

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On 6/20/2020 at 11:17 PM, Allhallowsday said:

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946) just on TCM - a MICHAEL POWELL film I had not seen all of... strange, gorgeous, unusual, wonderful!!!  A bit hammy, but prescient. 

Although it's a bit odd (but probably a British-morale product of its time) that the story starts out by putting David Niven on trial, and by the climax, defending his romance hinges entirely on proving devoted historic loyalty between Britain and the US...Although we're not sure how exactly that became the major argument.

Powell & Pressberger's A Canterbury Tale was more directly about US and Britain during the war, but here, it feels like a different screenwriter was brought in at the last second to turn the movie into a PSA propaganda-booster for British postwar relief.

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I've been wanting to see HARDCORE (1979) for quite some time now, largely because it was often referenced on the JOEL HODGSON ERA MST 3K- CROW T. ROBOT in particular was a fan and would growl "TURN IT OFF!" just like GEORGE C SCOTT in this movie's most (in)famous scene when they were watching something really bad.

Hardcore_1979_movie_poster.jpg

it was okay, but just okay. I found it to be a distant film, influenced I am sure by the director's background- it was cold and remote and uninvolving, which while it may have been a deliberate move by the makers to reflect the Calvinist nature of GEORGE C. SCOTT'S character, ended up (along with the MEANDERING PLOT AND DIRECTION) making you not terribly invested in what was going on.

i also thought it was a bit too derivative of CHINATOWN (the ending) and TAXI DRIVER (which the director of this movie wrote) and JOE with PETER BOYLE who was ALSO IN THIS MOVIE and was, I think, the best thing in it. it was a really nasty role and he invested himself in it 100%. It also owed a bit of a debt to THE SEARCHERS.

this movie is very 1979.

ps- I read somewhere that GEORGE C. SCOTT was abusive to COLLEEN DEWHURST and AVA GARDNER, so it was hard for me to invest in his performance as the good guy. He clearly thought he was going to get a nomination though, and was probably annoyed when he did not and could not MOAN about it publicly.

 

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Scenes from a Mall (1991)

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This was completely trashed critically in 1991, but it looks better today. The story is simple: Bette Midler and Woody Allen play a couple who have been married for 16 years, but both of them, unbeknownst to the other, have strayed from their marriage vows, although both feel miserable about it and about having to break it to their spouse. Their secrets both emerge while they are at the mall on their anniversary, whereupon the two drift through a course of complex emotions, grappling with the idea of continuing their marriage or ending it, like so many of their friends have. The film itself was mislabeled in 1991 by casting and studio publicity as a comedy; its really more of a bittersweet, wistful drama with some elements of social satire, aided immensely by strong playing by both leads, who are the whole show here. They have fine chemistry and their facial reactions really capture the sense of individuals, who despite their shortcomings, still have feelings for one another and are vulnerable even in the midst of loud squabbles. it also showcases yet again of how Paul Mazursky was a wonderful filmmaker who is definitely missed.

Source: One brand-new, recently obtained Kino Lorber Double Feature DVD (with Big Business)

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10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I've been wanting to see HARDCORE (1979) for quite some time now, largely because it was often referenced on the JOEL HODGSON ERA MST 3K- CROW T. ROBOT in particular was a fan and would growl "TURN IT OFF!" just like GEORGE C SCOTT in this movie's most (in)famous scene when they were watching something really bad.

I saw this on cable TV about 40 years ago, and watched the first hour the other night.  The beginning is stunningly beautiful - like Christmas cards - and then gets grotesque.  I don't think I'd recommend it either. 

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31 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

Sitcom? 

I see bits of it every Saturday 'cause I watch Lost In Space at 1am est each week.  Now that is dumb!  I like it. 

Lost in Space got dumber last night with the arrival of Dr Smith's cousin. 

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(Sitcom, series, whatever.)

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From Here to Eternity (1953)

I put off watching this for a long time, because I hated Clift’s acting in I Confess so much that I refused to watch anything with him in it. While I still despise that performance, I’ll no longer avoid Clift because of it. I liked this film a lot and the three main actors nailed it; Lancaster, Clift, and Sinatra. I’ve read some stories about Sinatra off camera and I’ve seen some people critique his acting, but I think he’s really good. As far as Lancaster is concerned, he’s quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite actors. The precision with which he delivers his lines is second to none. 
 

I don’t have anything unique to say about the film other than it brought me back to liking Montgomery Clift. I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to watching films at the moment, so I am picking and choosing one or two films per week.

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6 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Yeh, wasn't that dumb? 

I don't remember the infamous "Space carrot" episode, but just wait till you get to the "Space Vikings".

Goofiness, thy name is Irwin.

(Although "Flight to the Future", where Will, Dr. Smith and Robot think they've gone through a 300-yr. timewarp, is a fun episode if you're watching at Will's age.  Robot was simply one of the great icons of 60's TV.  🤖 )

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3 hours ago, YourManGodfrey said:

While I still despise that performance, I’ll no longer avoid Clift because of it.

I can't tell you how many great movies I avoided because of disliking a first viewing of an actor/actress.

It's almost embarassing to admit how much I detested both Mae West & WC Fields after seeing MY LITTLE CHICKADEE in my 20's. Thankfully, I belong to a film group that screened fabulous movies by both these comedians-changing my opinion twenty years later!

Glad you gave FROM HERE TO ETERNITY a view - it's a great film.

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4 hours ago, YourManGodfrey said:

From Here to Eternity (1953)

I put off watching this for a long time, because I hated Clift’s acting in I Confess so much that I refused to watch anything with him in it.

interesting- AS I RECALL (and I do not always recall correctly) I CONFESS has the most understated MONTY CLIFT performance that I can recall- i don't remember him doing much acting! at all... I definitely recall that ANNE BAXTER is nowhere near as GRANDLY THEATRICAL as she usually was in film...I know that HITCHCOCK had a rather sadistic relationship with CLIFT, apparently encouraging his bouts of alcoholism as the shoot wound down.

for me, MONTY CLIFT is interesting to watch- his performances are not always successful (see SUDEENLY LAST SUMMER) but they are usually compelling even when misfiring.

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9 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

I saw [HARDCORE] on cable TV about 40 years ago, and watched the first hour the other night.  The beginning is stunningly beautiful - like Christmas cards - and then gets grotesque.  I don't think I'd recommend it either. 

SOME MIGHT EVEN SAY "STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL" to a fault....it was over the top idealism, almost like an MGM small town picture of the 1950's...I mean, at least GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN got to be captured in its late-70's winter beauty, but the LOVING, LINGERING CLOSE-UPS of the downtown got to be too much and also got to be damned confusing for a period in the movie where the action shifts between Michigan and Los Angeles.

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11 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Sitcom? 

I see bits of it every Saturday 'cause I watch Lost In Space at 1am est each week.  Now that is dumb!  I like it. 

I had never heard of The Invaders until Me-TV started airing it, and I'm old enough to have been around for its original run.   But as the parents controlled the only (B&W) TV in the house at that time, it obviously wasn't in their demographic.   It never made the re-run circuit in the 1970s where I lived either.

The Tuesday night lineup in '67-'68 looks a bit drab, especially compared to Monday's lineup of Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Family Affair and The Carol Burnett Show on CBS.   The late 60s must-see TV lineup, I suppose.  The first four of those were in the top 4 of the ratings for the season.  Carol's show was 27th.

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I was amused that it was a QM Production whose shows were almost always promoted in the opening voiceover.  I always associated QM with detective/police shows.

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4 hours ago, EricJ said:

I don't remember the infamous "Space carrot" episode, but just wait till you get to the "Space Vikings".

Goofiness, thy name is Irwin.

(Although "Flight to the Future", where Will, Dr. Smith and Robot think they've gone through a 300-yr. timewarp, is a fun episode if you're watching at Will's age.  Robot was simply one of the great icons of 60's TV.  🤖 )

I try to block out the memory of THE GREAT VEGETABLE REBELLION, the name of the space carrot episode in LOST IN SPACE. Man, what a really awful episode. The show really hit rock bottom by that point. As a matter of fact, with the exception of a couple of episodes, just about all of season 3 of LIS was really terrible.

The show was at its best in season 1 when it was striving to be a 'serious' sci-fi show. But it went downhill once it became the Dr. Smith show and changed the tone of the show to all-out camp.

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4 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I try to block out the memory of THE GREAT VEGETABLE REBELLION, the name of the space carrot episode in LOST IN SPACE. Man, what a really awful episode. The show really hit rock bottom by that point. As a matter of fact, with the exception of a couple of episodes, just about all of season 3 of LIS was really terrible.

The show was at its best in season 1 when it was striving to be a 'serious' sci-fi show. But it went downhill once it became the Dr. Smith show and changed the tone of the show to all-out camp.

It's jarring when the series "turns over" and goes from the very last episode to the very first episode.  The first few episodes are so serious, it's hard to believe it's the same show.

Apparently, Jonathan Harris was the one primarily responsible for the shift in tone.  He started to rewrite his dialogue in the middle of the first season to inject lighter moments, and shifted the character of Dr. Smith and, as a result, the entire show.  He stole the show away from the headlining stars, June Lockhart and Guy Williams.

Does this series have the record for the most number of "Special Guest Star" appearances by an actor?  Jonathan Harris never was credited as a regular cast member.

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7 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

It's jarring when the series "turns over" and goes from the very last episode to the very first episode.  The first few episodes are so serious, it's hard to believe it's the same show.

Apparently, Jonathan Harris was the one primarily responsible for the shift in tone.  He started to rewrite his dialogue in the middle of the first season to inject lighter moments, and shifted the character of Dr. Smith and, as a result, the entire show.  He stole the show away from the headlining stars, June Lockhart and Guy Williams.

As he tells it, Jonathan Harris in the "cliffhanger" first part of the season was such a duplicitous baddie, he was aware of the long-standing fan question of "Why didn't they just push him out an airlock?", and realized he'd better make himself a fan-favorite character before letters started asking the network.

The same was true of Robot, who was just a mechanical no-personality "Oo, look, it's the future!" robot in the first season, but when Smith started using him for all his plots, a funny, feet-of-clay comic foil was born...I'm trying to place the episode where a suspiciously benevolent alien is giving the Robinsons gifts, and Will thinks its too good to be true--He muses, "Well, at least Robot's acting normal", and Robot enters with his gift of shiny gold-plating:  "From now on, Will Robinson, you are to call me....'Golden Boy'!"  😄

(It took me years to discover Robot's voice was the same Dick Tufeld announcer voice we associated with so much of Disney TV...)

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

As he tells it, Jonathan Harris in the "cliffhanger" first part of the season was such a duplicitous baddie, he was aware of the long-standing fan question of "Why didn't they just push him out an airlock?", and realized he'd better make himself a fan-favorite character before letters started asking the network.

The same was true of Robot, who was just a mechanical no-personality "Oo, look, it's the future!" robot in the first season, but when Smith started using him for all his plots, a funny, feet-of-clay comic foil was born...I'm trying to place the episode where a suspiciously benevolent alien is giving the Robinsons gifts, and Will thinks its too good to be true--He muses, "Well, at least Robot's acting normal", and Robot enters with his gift of shiny gold-plating:  "From now on, Will Robinson, you are to call me....'Golden Boy'!"  😄

(It took me years to discover Robot's voice was the same Dick Tufeld announcer voice we associated with so much of Disney TV...)

Makes sense.  I had read where the original intent was to kill off Dr. Smith sometime in the first season (which explains why he was able to get guest star billing, which is a coup) but he managed to steer the series away from that.  

As I understand billing rules and the unions, if you're a regular cast member, it pretty much locked you out of other opportunities.  If you're a "guest star" you have the freedom to do other projects.  At least this is what one of the Sex and the City guest stars was explaining in an interview on Sirius XM last week.  He was a guest, but had more episodes than some regulars, but because they were locked in to the program, they couldn't do anything else, and were at the mercy of the show runners/producers as to how many times he was used on the show.

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In a Lonely Place (1950)

I like Bogart and will watch almost any film that he’s in, but I have yet to figure out how he became the biggest star in classic film. He didn’t have the looks or the voice, but you recognize that something special is happening when you watch the man on screen. 

I had wanted to see this film for a while and finally got around to it. Unfortunately, it left me a bit wanting. I thought the acting was fine, but nothing really happened. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but there was never a sense of suspense. The Harder They Fall, The African Queen, and Conflict are still my favorite Bogart films. I do realize that Conflict is perhaps the most absurd choice for a favorite Bogart film. 

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I just watched.....another British film- the 1955 movie THE MAN WHO LOVED REDHEADS, recently recorded TCM premiere.

I'd normally avoid a movie about adultery, but knowing it's a comedy just went along for the ride without pre-judging the morality of the tale.

It's the story of a man obsessed by the memory of a redhead he knew in childhood. His entire mature life, he seeks the red haired girl despite being married to my favorite actress Gladys Cooper. He goes so far to have casual affairs with several redheads, all played by Moira Shearer.

No matter what costume/accent/personality Shearer wears in this movie, she is absolutely stunningly beautiful-this movie is really a showcase for her. This movie includes a lengthy ballet sequence and she even dances a modern jig showcasing her poise & dancing talent.

Thankfully, the numerous affairs are more implied than shown, this is a British movie of manners, after all. You don't get to see much of Gladys Cooper until the very end, at which there is a big surprise wrapping the story up just perfectly. Loved it!

The_Man_Who_Loved_Redheads_(1955_film).j

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I came across TWINS OF EVIL (1971)- a HAMMER HORROR i has heretofore not seen- on AMAZON PRIME.

TwinsOfEvil007.jpg

It was- most unexpectedly- an AWFULLY FUN FILM, I liked it even better than VAMPIRE CIRCUS and I like VAMPIRE CIRCUS. As someone who has seen almost all the HAMMER HORRORS, this film played like a portmanteau of most of the standard HAMMER TRADEMARKS- with a dash of WITCHFINDER GENERAL thrown in for funsies. There is LITERALLY a sequence where it's just A POUNDING SCORE as HEAVING BOSOMS and CRUCIFIXES are HURLED AT THE CAMERA- if COUNT FLOYD ever managed to get the rights to this, he would DIE ON THE SPOT of SHEER DELIGHT. 

A PETER CUSHING that I have never seen before plays the local VILLAGE RELIGIOUS NUT, I lost count of how many scenes there are interspersed throughout the film of RIDICULOUSLY SEXY peasant girls being burned at the stake, you'd think after a while either they would move or he'd run out of women with 38 c's and hair down to their waists to immolate.

KATHLEEN BYRON has a role in this, she was so good in BLACK NARCISSUS.

This movie was also filmed at PINEWOOD and not BRAY studios in Elstree  (where most of the HAMMER FILMS were shot) and the sets are vastly superior to a lot of those in most HAMMERS of the seventies.

The ending ventures into BLAZING SADDLES territory and frankly, I loved it.

 

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