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3 minutes ago, spence said:

It's in CAGNEY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Thanks, Spence.

I haven't read it which I guess is probably why I didn't know it.

So, I was surprised to read it just now. It's kinda hard to imagine.

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3 minutes ago, spence said:

Don't 4-get about his ROCKY SULLIVAN

& as fantastic as RAGTIME (l98l) is it only grossed about $8 to $13m. at best  & nobody seems to recall his official finale a tv movie from '84 TERRIBLE JOE MORAN (***) Oscar winner ART CARNEY won another Emmy

Never forget Ebert & Siskel were furious he didn't earn a 4th nomination for s. actor this time for RAGTIME

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2 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

Thanks, Spence.

I haven't read it which I guess is probably why I didn't know it.

So, I was surprised to read it just now. It's kinda hard to imagine.

musta p..,..d FONDA off big-time, as all know he worked quite a bit with FORD

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1 minute ago, spence said:

musta p..,..d FONDA off big-time, as all know he worked quite a bit with FORD

Yes. Did Cagney give any specifics as to the abuse Ford was giving him?

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11 hours ago, spence said:

According to CAGNEY they were below decks taking a break & FORD was being really nasty to him, then FONDA got up & threw FORD across the room, telling him to be more respectful of him

Actually, Spence, that's not quite the way I heard it. To the best of my knowledge nobody was ever nasty to James Cagney on this set or any other in his career, not even a known prick like John Ford. Ford induced Cagney to accept the role by referring to it as a vacation in Hawaii with old Cagney pal Spencer Tracy, playing Doc, as a co-star. The thought of playing with Tracy appealed to Cagney, though the role finally went to Bill Powell, with whom Jimmy got along well.

Now there was a physical altercation between Ford and Fonda (I forget the cause but these two did have different interpretations of the screen adaption). Cagney avoided the scuffles and later said that he and Bill Powell spent a lot of their time  swimming and sun tanning on the beach. Ford was replaced by Mervyn LeRoy after the fall out, and to this day Ford fans are rather dismissive of this film.

Cagney wrote in his autobiography that he had one scene in the film that it was difficult for him to play. It's the one in which the Captain first encounters Ensign Pulver (Jack Lemmon) and asks him how long he's been on the ship. Pulver replies 14 months, and Jimmy had great difficulty repeating the line "Fourteen months!" without breaking up. Therefore he said that he and Lemmon rehearsed and re-rehearsed the scene until he was finally able to play it straight.

Mr. Roberts was, I believe, Warner Bros. top money maker of 1955, with Cagney's performance as the Captain getting positive reviews. Just to let you know, though, that I am not the only one to be disappointed by Cagney's work another critic of his portrayal was the story's playwright, Joshua Logan. He complained that Cagney through off the story's tone by playing the Captain "like an old New England bumbler, without any hatred, without darkness, without threat . . . a kind of Walt Disney character."

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"Fourteen months!"

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Actually, Spence, that's not quite the way I heard it. To the best of my knowledge nobody was ever nasty to James Cagney on this set or any other in his career, not even a known prick like John Ford. Ford induced Cagney to accept the role by referring to it as a vacation in Hawaii with old Cagney pal Spencer Tracy, playing Doc, as a co-star. The thought of playing with Tracy appealed to Cagney, though the role finally went to Bill Powell, with whom Jimmy got along well.

Now there was a physical altercation between Ford and Fonda (I forget the cause but these two did have different interpretations of the screen adaption). Cagney avoided the scuffles and later said that he and Bill Powell spent a lot of their time  swimming and sun tanning on the beach. Ford was replaced by Mervyn LeRoy after the fall out, and to this day Ford fans are rather dismissive of this film.

Cagney wrote in his autobiography that he had one scene in the film that it was difficult for him to play. It's the one in which the Captain first encounters Ensign Pulver (Jack Lemmon) and asks him how long he's been on the ship. Pulver replies 14 months, and Jimmy had great difficulty repeating the line "Fourteen months!" without breaking up. Therefore he said that he and Lemmon rehearsed and re-rehearsed the scene until it was finally able to play it straight.

Mr. Roberts was, I believe, Warner Bros. top money maker of 1955, with Cagney's performance as the Captain getting positive reviews. Just to let you know, though, that I am not the only one to be disappointed by Cagney's work another critic of his portrayal was the story's playwright, Joshua Logan. He complained that Cagney through off the story's tone by playing the Captain "like an old New England bumbler, without any hatred, without darkness, without threat . . . a kind of Walt Disney character."

hqdefault.jpg

"Fourteen months!"

Tom, it may be unfair, but I tend to believe that the most broadly played scenes are the ones directed by Ford. Mervyn LeRoy replaced Ford, Joshua Logan directed some of it uncredited, and it is said that Henry Fonda even directed a few scenes. Fonda and Logan came to the film from the Broadway play; as well as directing, Logan was also co-author of the play with Thomas Heggen, on whose book it is based. Logan and Fonda had a more serious view of the story. Someone on imdb (I think) says that the scene of the sailors returning drunk from leave was much more realistic on stage; it's broadly played slapstick on screen, though enjoyable enough. Again, I'm guessing that Ford directed that scene. Fonda wanted to make the film as much like the play as possible, and that was apparently the source of his friction with Ford. Both play and film were highly successful at the box office.

 

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Tread Softly Stranger (1958) Brit Bombshell Noir

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Directed by Gordon Parry. Written by George Minter and based on the play by Jack Popplewell. The exellent cinematography was by Douglas Slocombe and music by Tristram Cary.

The film stars Diana Dors as Calico, George Baker as Johnny Mansell, Terence Morgan as Dave Mansell, Patrick Allen as Paddy Ryan, Jane Griffiths as Sylvia, Joseph Tomelty as Joe Ryan, Thomas Heathcote as Sgt. Lamb, Russell Napier as Potter, Norman Macowan as Danny, Maureen Delany as Mrs. Finnegan, and Betty Warren as Flo.

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A good introduction to Diana Dors, 7/10.

Full review with more screenshots in Film Noir/Gangster pages.

 

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8 hours ago, kingrat said:

Tom, it may be unfair, but I tend to believe that the most broadly played scenes are the ones directed by Ford. Mervyn LeRoy replaced Ford, Joshua Logan directed some of it uncredited, and it is said that Henry Fonda even directed a few scenes. Fonda and Logan came to the film from the Broadway play; as well as directing, Logan was also co-author of the play with Thomas Heggen, on whose book it is based. Logan and Fonda had a more serious view of the story. Someone on imdb (I think) says that the scene of the sailors returning drunk from leave was much more realistic on stage; it's broadly played slapstick on screen, though enjoyable enough. Again, I'm guessing that Ford directed that scene. Fonda wanted to make the film as much like the play as possible, and that was apparently the source of his friction with Ford. Both play and film were highly successful at the box office.

 

Ford and his love of broad humour! The Searchers is a very great western but I always cringe when I see the slapstick fight with Ken Curtis (with that atrocious accent) and Jeffrey Hunter rolling on the ground together. The scene is completely out of place in such a film but you just know it was done because it made Pappy Ford laugh.

When it comes to Mr. Roberts, I don't know which scenes are Ford and which are LeRoy but, you're right, any in which subtlety is thrown to the wind when there's any comedy is probably Ford. LeRoy, by the way, once estimated that 90% of the film was his. If that's true you can hardly blame Ford entirely for a cartoony Captain though he may have established the tone for the characterization in Cagney's mind.

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The Thin Man Poster

The Thin Man (1934) TCM On Demand 7/10

A rich couple look into a murder case involving a missing inventor.

First time viewing for me, I thought this was an entertaining comedy/mystery. I liked how Nick Charles (William Powell) was a former detective now living the jet set life with his wife (Myrna Loy) who had inherited a fortune. The chemistry between the two was delicious, I liked their banter even more than the plot. The ending of inviting all the suspects together for dinner may have seemed like a cliche but it was still entertaining, The enjoyable thing for me is that Nick hadn't even figured it out, he was waiting for the murderer to reveal him or herself. I'd like to see it again sometime, maybe around Christmastime. 

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4 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

A good introduction to Diana Dors, 710.

Thanks, I would like to see this one, I always thought Dors (along with Mamie Van Doren) was  the sexiest of the blond bombshells at the time. She seemed more worldly and  seductive than  Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield. 

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6 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

The Thin Man Poster

The Thin Man (1934) TCM On Demand 7/10

A rich couple look into a murder case involving a missing inventor.

First time viewing for me, I thought this was an entertaining comedy/mystery. I liked how Nick Charles (William Powell) was a former detective now living the jet set life with his wife (Myrna Loy) who had inherited a fortune. The chemistry between the two was delicious, I liked their banter even more than the plot. The ending of inviting all the suspects together for dinner may have seemed like a cliche but it was still entertaining, The enjoyable thing for me is that Nick hadn't even figured it out, he was waiting for the murderer to reveal him or herself. I'd like to see it again sometime, maybe around Christmastime. 

I like this one and Song of the Thin Man as best of the series

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Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Chaplin’s sound acting is superb in this black comedy about a man that murders wealthy widows. The first half of the film is incredibly entertaining and offers some of the best dark comedic moments that you look for in these sort of films. However, as the film progresses to the second half, it becomes a bit tedious. The film falls into a rut and fails to remove itself until the final few scenes. Having not seen Chaplin outside of his shorts, I was thoroughly impressed by the way he delivered his lines throughout. He was even able to sprinkle some of his slapstick throughout, which made me chuckle. 

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A Killer In The Family (1983)

Gripping made-for-TV account of the true life story of Gary Tison, a killer serving a life sentence in an Arizona penal institute, who is broken out of prison by his three sons after he tells them his life is in danger there. Along with another inmate, a two time killer who participates in the escape, the five men head for Mexico with police on their tail.

Filmed entirely on location in Utah with great desert backdrops, the primary power of this surprisingly violent film lies in the performance of Robert Mitchum as the mercurial Tison. In the film's early scenes, when his family visits him for picnic outings, he comes across as a loving family man. Once on the road, however, a gradual cold blooded ruthlessness shocking to his sons emerges. Mitchum is frightening in some scenes of this film as you never quite know how he will react to a situation, and there will be a true life recreation of an incident in the middle of the desert that, while you can see it coming, is still shocking in its impact.

Much of the film concentrates upon the relationship between Tison and his oldest son (played by James Spader) who participates in the prison escape largely to make sure that his two younger brothers (both of whom unquestioningly love their father) are not hurt or killed. Spader is excellent as is, in a stone cold portrait, Stuart Margolin (Angel in The Rockford Files) as the other convict who joins the escape.

Any Mitchum fan should see this film which, from what I read, adheres to the facts of the Tison case. This is a performance by the actor that should not be missed. There is no compromising in this portrait of manipulative evil.

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3 out of 4

 

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Downhill Racer (1969)

SOURCE: Amazon Prime Streaming

I always see this movie during Barnes & Noble's Criterion sale and had always wanted to see it.  I didn't want to just purchase the movie blind. I was intrigued by the cast: Robert Redford (perhaps the only blonde man, aside from Brad Pitt, who I find attractive) and Gene Hackman.  I also love sports movies and there aren't many that I know of that are about skiing.  I also find movies from the latter part of the 1960s interesting visually, as this is an era when up and coming filmmakers are experimenting with different camera angles, sound editing and mixing, graphics, etc.  Downhill Racer had a lot of interesting angles and perspective, such as when it appears that Robert Redford is wearing a Go-Pro as he skis down his first downhill course.  Obviously, he's not wearing a Go-Pro, but it was excellent camera work that takes the audience down the slopes, so we can see how it looks, feels, and sounds like for Redford when he competes in these races. 

In this film, Redford plays cocky skier, David Chappelett, a young skier who is asked by US Ski Team coach, Eugene Claire (Gene Hackman), to compete on the European race circuit on the US Men's Ski Team after one of his skiers is injured in a race.  David's main agenda is being a downhill racing champion.  He has no interest in being part of a team.  He has no interest in listening to his coach.  He wants to be #1, period.  This attitude has made him very much a loner in all areas of his life.  When he returns to his rural hometown of Idaho Falls, Colorado (after training in Oregon, yay!) his father is cold and distant to his son.  David's father cannot understand why his son is wasting his time as an amateur downhill racer.  When David responds that he wants to be a champion, his father gives the very blase response of "the world's full of 'em." 

In his first couple of races, David is seeded very low.  He balks at having to ski so late in the competition, mostly concerned about poor snow.  However, he hasn't proven himself, so there is no reason for the race organizers to give him a good spot, he has to prove himself.  In fact, in one race, he is seeded so low, that David refuses to even compete.  However, he finally does, (in position #79 or something like that) and manages to rank a respectable 4th place.  From then on, he keeps getting higher starting places in subsequent races, but he has a problem with consistency.  He'll perform amazingly well in one race, and fall in the next.  All of these races are building up to the grand prize: a spot and possible a gold medal in the Olympics. 

The US Men's Ski team however, has never won a medal in downhill skiing in the Olympics and the representatives in the US are hesitant to pour any additional funds into a losing team.  Coach Claire convinces the representatives to give his team a chance, he thinks he has a couple gold medal contenders: David and another top skier, "Creech."  However, drama erupts between the two men when they both have their eyes set on the same gorgeous European woman, Carole.  However, it is hard to truly figure out Carole's intentions, as she also works as an assistant for Machet, a businessman who produces top of the line skis.  Machet repeatedly approaches David asking him to use and endorse his brand of skis.  Does Carole truly like David? Or is she using him to get an endorsement for her employer? It is hard to tell. 

I thought this was a very interesting film and I especially enjoyed Redford and Hackman's performances.  I loved the music and the use of sound in the film.  I also thought the ski scenes were visually striking.  Much of this movie was filmed on location in various locales in Europe.   There is a truly abysmal performance of "Moon River" by a band in a club that Redford visits.  I am not sure whether it needed better sound, a better singer and band, or both.  But it was painful.  It reminded me of a bad karaoke performance that you're forced to listen to while you're trying to eat dinner.

This film might be one that I'd pick up on Blu Ray for my Criterion film collection.

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Blondie in Society Poster

Blondie In Society (1941) Youtube 5/10

Dagwood brings home a Great Dane that is supposed to be a champion in dog shows.

#9 in the series and this one is OK. The title is a misnomer since Blondie never gets into any high society. Most of the laughs come from some great character actors. William Frawley is a rich client of Mr Dithers who also owns a Great Dane entered in the dog show. Edgar Kennedy does his classic slow burn as a  veterinarian. Charles Lane plays a washing machine salesman. Penny Singleton gets to sing again as this is the only way to get her Great Dane to stand up at the show.  Baby Dumpling loses his baby teeth and becomes a Boy Ranger.

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Last night, Mom and I watched It's Complicated.  It is cute but too many commercial interruptions.

This afternoon, it was Perry Mason reboots (still with Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale) on Hallmark Channel (one of them).  The original episodes in black and white were better, and guest stars/main cast/stories were better (in my opinion).

Tonight, will either watch The Two Mrs. Carrolls or Iron Chef/Blue Blood repeats, and then Jo Jo Rabbit on HBO. 

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22 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Last night, Mom and I watched It's Complicated.  It is cute but too many commercial interruptions.

I feel ya.

I'm much too spoiled by TCM, DVD's, and online watching to do movies on commercial TV anymore.

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

A Killer In The Family (1983)

Gripping made-for-TV account of the true life story of Gary Tison, a killer serving a life sentence in an Arizona penal institute, who is broken out of prison by his three sons after he tells them his life is in danger there. Along with another inmate, a two time killer who participates in the escape, the five men head for Mexico with police on their tail.

Filmed entirely on location in Utah with great desert backdrops, the primary power of this surprisingly violent film lies in the performance of Robert Mitchum as the mercurial Tison. In the film's early scenes, when his family visits him for picnic outings, he comes across as a loving family man. Once on the road, however, a gradual cold blooded ruthlessness shocking to his sons emerges. Mitchum is frightening in some scenes of this film as you never quite know how he will react to a situation, and there will be a true life recreation of an incident in the middle of the desert that, while you can see it coming, is still shocking in its impact.

Much of the film concentrates upon the relationship between Tison and his oldest son (played by James Spader) who participates in the prison escape largely to make sure that his two younger brothers (both of whom unquestioningly love their father) are not hurt or killed. Spader is excellent as is, in a stone cold portrait, Stuart Margolin (Angel in The Rockford Files) as the other convict who joins the escape.

Any Mitchum fan should see this film which, from what I read, adheres to the facts of the Tison case. This is a performance by the actor that should not be missed. There is no compromising in this portrait of manipulative evil.

 

3 out of 4

 

OK, where is it available?  Is it going to be on TCM?

Incidentally, Margolin was a producer(?) on Love American Style TV series as well as frequent actor in it.

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35 minutes ago, TheCid said:

OK, where is it available?  Is it going to be on TCM?

Incidentally, Margolin was a producer(?) on Love American Style TV series as well as frequent actor in it.

I found it on the internet a few years ago and only just watched it now after burning it. But I just noticed there is a copy of it now on You Tube. It's also available as a Warner's Archive made on demand DVD (Amazon should have it, among others).

51RzOgxqClL._AC_UL600_SR417,600_.jpg

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Just now, misswonderly3 said:

That's it?  That's all you have to say about it?  

well I'd of mentioned that future Spaghetti Western Director Sergio Leone was one of the priests

The young priest standing next to the main character's left arm is played by... Sergio Leone!

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Jo Jo Rabbit didn't work for my Mom.  I would like to see it and judge for myself.  Ergo, It was Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, and a great cast of characters in Ball of Fire (I think her singing was dubbed in at least part of the film).  I liked Ben M.'s commentary about how much individuals on the film were paid.  It was cute but not great (or what I would consider essential viewing).  One of the highlights in the film was watching Dan Duryea (a favorite and underrated actor) being tickled in order to get critical info.

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

I think this is a film that will require multiple viewings. This was my entry into German expressionist film and it was certainly as ridiculous as I imagined it would be. I flip flopped on whether I hated it or loved it throughout. After reading through some of the theories surrounding the plot, I feel compelled to watch the film again at some point. 

The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)

This was my second German expressionist film and was my favorite of the two. The score, the tinting, and the Golem are as scary as you could possibly get in a silent horror film. My only gripe is that the subtitles  appeared to be a very direct translation from German. However, it’s a silent film and the title cards don’t determine how great a film is. I really enjoyed this one and now I have to decide which film to watch next!

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:15 PM, spence said:

According to CAGNEY they were below decks taking a break & FORD was being really nasty to him, then FONDA got up & threw FORD across the room, telling him to be more respectful of him

I think I recall reading that Fonda refused to make another film with Ford after Mr. Roberts.  I also remember reading that Fondahad words with Ford after Ford humiliated John Wayne on the set of Fort Apache.  Apparently, Ford made a practice of humiliating actors on sets and Fonda would have none of it.

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