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every now and then. I read something that I think will appeal to some of you here, so indulge me (because I know we have a lot of CLASSIC HORROR FANs lurking about.

I read GUY ENDORE'S 1933(?) novel THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS.

werewolf2.jpgI saw a werewolf walkin down the Chmaps-Elysses, and his hair was perfect.

a-woo!

GUY ENDORE had a hand in the writing of MAD LOVE, THE RAVEN, THE DEVIL-DOLL and MARK OF THE VAMPIRE- that last one is a film that is especially close to my withered black heart, this film was the basis for the 1961 HAMMER FILM CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago here. I am ashamed to admit that I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS BOOK UNTIL I SAW CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF and I really have to wonder WHY- it is RIPE for a full, faithful adaptation (the HAMMER film, aside from changing the setting to SPAIN, is actually a pretty tight adaptation of the first 1/3 of the book, but for obvious budgetary/censor reasons, they gave it a far more modest second act and conclusion.)

this is a very filmic story and could absolutely be done today...in fact, it was stunning how relevant certain details in it were.

KEN RUSSELL could have done something ASTOUNDINGLY ****ED UP WITH THIS IN THE 70'S.

this was quite a RICH novel and ENDORE probes into the supernatural with an UTTER RELISH, it reminded me at times of ALDOUS HUXLEY and GEORGE ELIOT, he even takes an aside in one chapter to go on and on about a SCANDAL in a Catholic Church that is AS LASCIVIOUS AS ANYTHING I'VE READ (and in its six-page entirety is more electric than all of Huxley's DEVILS OF LOUDON.)

It is set during the FRANCO PRUSSIAN WAR, which fascinated me because I am often bemused by the curious absence of WAR in the monster movies of the 40's- save some instances such as THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE- he does a magnificent job of exploring the comparative quaintness and charm of the monsters of yore and [ostensible] superstition (vampires, werewolves, ghouls and the like) with the REAL LIFE HORRORS that WAR (and man} can bring forth. (ENDORE really seems to enjoy going into little asides detailing the RAT, CAT AND DOG BUTCHER SHOPS that sprung up during the FAMINE and HOARDING that led up to yet another collapse and yet another violent overthrow of yet another incompetent government of France.

it is ASTOUNDINGLY GRAPHIC and fascinating. If you don't DROP YOUR JAW NUMEROUS TIMES IN READING IT, then you SCARE ME.

Highly recommended.

 

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Mara Maru (1952)

This is one of the later films in Errol Flynn's career which, if not forgotten, is largely dismissed. But, if one looks past the familiarity of its story line and frequent dull patches in the direction, little pleasures can still be found.

Flynn plays a salvage boat operator in Manila who gets accused of his partner's murder and eventually hooks up with a sleazy mysterious character in a treasure hunt involving a sunken PT boat. Gordon Douglas, perhaps best remembered today for his direction of Them a couple of years later, helms the assignment here, with Ruth Roman as a love interest who plays both sides and Raymond Burr, in his pre Perry Mason days, as the corrupt character waiting for his opportunity to shaft Flynn. Ironically, for a film in which Burr refers to Flynn's character by his last name a lot, that last name is Mason.

There's a lot of talk in the first half of this film as the audience waits for some action or adventure. Rather unforgivably the underwater scenes (not helped by the fact that it's a black and white production) are dull and visually murky. It's difficult to distinguish much in the scenes under the waves, and there are frequent shots of fish swimming past Flynn, obviously superimposed over the screen inasmuch as they are literally transparent. You can see the backgrounds right through the fish!

Things, however, pick up in the film's final stretch and it's here that interest improves as Flynn gets the treasure (actually a jewel laden cross) and is on the run through jungles with Burr and his muscle bound assistant in hot pursuit. There isn't much in the way of real sparks in the scenes shared by Flynn and Roman but she looks attractive and gives an adequate performance. Much of the time, though, the actress is sitting in the background, trying to act interested as she listens to other cast members talking.

In some respects Mara Maru's story has similarities to The Maltese Falcon, with Flynn in a cynical Bogart role, Burr as a Sydney Greenstreet substitute and the ever smiling (and rather irksome) Paul Picerni as a double dealer filling in for Peter Lorre.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film for me is Flynn's performance. He is not the light hearted swashbuckler here but gives a more grounded portrayal. Many comment on the actor's increasing paunchiness at this stage of his career but he still delivers a natural, understated performance, the kind of acting that often get dismissed because it seems so effortless.

Flynn also has a couple of effective moments in which he shines, none more so than a scene towards the end in which he slaps his loyal assistant across the face as the latter holds onto the jewelled cross insisting it has to be returned to the church from which it came. In a few screen seconds the expressions on Flynn's face capture the anger, frustration, as well as his character's regret and emotional confusion after he slaps the boy. It's a fine little moment, reminding one of what a highly effective actor Flynn could be when he tried.

Mara Maru shows that Errol Flynn in the later, less glamourous,  stages of his career, had the makings of being an effectively hardened, cynical noir protagonist. I wish that he had been offered better opportunities than provided here but, at least, this little remembered film shows that the potential was there. Not be be overlooked, Max Steiner's musical accompaniment in his last screen collaboration with Flynn is a good one.

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2.5 out of 4

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Blondie for Victory Poster

Blondie For Victory (1942) Youtube 6/10

Blondie organizes the housewives to do their part for the war effort.

#12 in the series goes patriotic in WW II times but there are still many laughs here. Dagwood and Mr Dithers feel neglected by their wives. Mrs Dithers is giving away rooms to soldiers and Mr Dithers is forced into a hotel. Dagwood has take care of the children and the housework. Blondie and her squad of housewives have a job where they have to guard the dam in town. Mr Dither's has a funny double entendre line " A woman's place is in the home, not by a dam site!" Alexander and Alvin use Daisy and her puppies for the war effort, collecting money for "Buy A Bomb". There are timely references to the rubber shortage as Mr Dither's is very concerned about the tires on his car. Stuart Erwin is a guest actor playing a lonely soldier. 

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I saw only the last hour of The Weak and the Wicked, which was weaker and less wicked than I would have liked. I loved the subplot with Athene Seyler, Sybil Thorndike, and some weedkiller. Glynis Johns looked very pretty. Diana Dors was an imaginative choice for SUTS, with many films that have rarely been shown on TCM. I do wish that A Kid for Two Farthings had been shown. Its mix of realism and fantasy, sadness and laughter, is unusual and distinctive.

The Unholy Wife is definitely film noir, and I considered posting this review at Noir Alley. It has certain resemblances to Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and an imdb reviewer points out that there was also the recent real-life example of the incident that was the basis for The Two Mrs. Grenvilles. Diana Dors in effect plays two roles, as the platinum blonde femme fatale and as the narrator of the flashbacks, where we see her a brunette with short hair, fascinating, obviously a good actress, and looking nothing like her carefully groomed blonde image. Tom Tryon looks at times like a young Christopher Reeve as the man she falls for.

As for Rod Steiger, he seems reasonably cast as the owner of a California winery. Steiger uses almost no facial expressions, however, and this is vocally one of the worst performances I have ever heard. Imagine someone with a mouthful of mush trying to imitate Marlon Brando. At times Steiger sounds like he's either trying to affect an accent or get rid of an accent; I could never decide which. Everyone else makes the dialogue sound plausible, but Steiger makes his lines seem unreal. I began rooting for the platinum blonde hussy to bump off this mushmouth. There could be something a little creepy about the reason the Steiger character gives (late in the film) for wanting to marry Diana.

I'd give The Unholy Wife at least a 6/10, maybe 7/10. The plot has several twists along the way. Marie Windsor makes an all too brief appearance as a friend of Diana.

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18 hours ago, kingrat said:

I saw only the last hour of The Weak and the Wicked, which was weaker and less wicked than I would have liked. I loved the subplot with Athene Seyler, Sybil Thorndike, and some weedkiller. Glynis Johns looked very pretty. Diana Dors was an imaginative choice for SUTS, with many films that have rarely been shown on TCM. I do wish that A Kid for Two Farthings had been shown. Its mix of realism and fantasy, sadness and laughter, is unusual and distinctive.

The Unholy Wife is definitely film noir, and I considered posting this review at Noir Alley. It has certain resemblances to Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and an imdb reviewer points out that there was also the recent real-life example of the incident that was the basis for The Two Mrs. Grenvilles. Diana Dors in effect plays two roles, as the platinum blonde femme fatale and as the narrator of the flashbacks, where we see her a brunette with short hair, fascinating, obviously a good actress, and looking nothing like her carefully groomed blonde image. Tom Tryon looks at times like a young Christopher Reeve as the man she falls for.

As for Rod Steiger, he seems reasonably cast as the owner of a California winery. Steiger uses almost no facial expressions, however, and this is vocally one of the worst performances I have ever heard. Imagine someone with a mouthful of mush trying to imitate Marlon Brando. At times Steiger sounds like he's either trying to affect an accent or get rid of an accent; I could never decide which. Everyone else makes the dialogue sound plausible, but Steiger makes his lines seem unreal. I began rooting for the platinum blonde hussy to bump off this mushmouth. There could be something a little creepy about the reason the Steiger character gives (late in the film) for wanting to marry Diana.

I'd give The Unholy Wife at least a 6/10, maybe 7/10. The plot has several twists along the way. Marie Windsor makes an all too brief appearance as a friend of Diana.

I’ve tried to watch this one, but Steiger ruins it for me. You’re right though, DORS is a good actress. 

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Love with the Proper Stranger Poster

Love With The Proper Stranger (1963) TCM 9/10

A Macy's salesgirl (Natalie Wood) has a one night fling with a musician (Steve McQueen) and becomes pregnant.

I had seen this a few times years ago, loved it then and still do. There is romance, comedy and stark drama all in one and it is a minor miracle that it works so well. I believe Wood gives her best performance ever in this film. She has such great chemistry with McQueen that it is a shame they never did another film together. Much of the comedy is provided by Herschel Bernardi as Natalie's blustering, over protective brother. Some hilarious moments are also provided by Tom Bosley (his film debut) as a lovesick klutz. The scene with the abortionist is still disturbing today. Other things I liked were the on location filming in New York and seeing Augusta Ciolli as McQueen's mom. She made only a handful of film appearances and I will always remember her as the drama queen Aunt Catherine in Marty (1955).

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1 hour ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I believe Wood gives her best performance ever in this film.

I agree.  I'm so glad that they showed this last night as part of Natalie Wood's SUTS day.   I think she also looks her most beautiful in this movie.  

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7 hours ago, Peebs said:

I agree.  I'm so glad that they showed this last night as part of Natalie Wood's SUTS day.   I think she also looks her most beautiful in this movie.  

I agree too, but I put PENELOPE as my #2. Most of you know how I feel about Natalie. I'm still in love with her after all these years. 

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Murders in the Zoo (1933)

Melodramatic brew about a zoologist, madly jealous (literally) of his unfaithful wife's affairs, who takes to dispatching her lovers through inventive use of the animals he captures. While there's probably nothing else in the film to quite compare to the pre code nastiness and sadism of its opening scene this production weaves a spell and will appeal to horror fans, even though it's probably a little questionable to view the film as representative of that genre.

Part of the reason for this inclusion to many, however, would be because of the central casting of Lionel Atwill, an actor associated with the genre, who gives as maniacal a performance in this film as any in his career. Kathleen Burke (always to be remembered as the Panther Girl in Island of Lost Souls) plays his beautiful but unfaithful wife who becomes suspicious that he is behind the deaths of men who pay attention to her. Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick both seem a little out of their element as a scientist and his assistant working at the zoo.

Beautifully photographed in lush black and white by Ernest Haller, and, as directed by Edward Sutherland, running a brief 62 minutes, Murders in the Zoo's effectiveness as a chiller is compromised, unfortunately, by far too much screen time given over to the mild comedy antics of Charlie Ruggles as a PR man for the zoo who seems to be afraid of almost any animal he comes near. Ruggles' humour is a matter of taste and while normally I enjoy him well enough there is simply too much of him in this film.

Even though Ruggles gets top billing, Murders in the Zoo memorably belongs to Lionel Atwill. Few other actors could convey so much evil with either a steely stare or, perhaps even more insidiously, cruel smile. Atwill fans will enjoy this production, as well as those who enjoy chillers with a touch of the bizarre. My rating of this Paramount release would have been higher if not for the abundance of screen time given to Ruggles.

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2.5 out of 4

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13 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I’ve tried to watch this one, but Steiger ruins it for me. You’re right though, DORS is a good actress. 

Lorna,  I've seen this opinion from you before...you don't like Rod Steiger.  But I believe the reason you give for disliking him is his hammy acting.  I don't deny that he's often quite porcine, but I like that in an actor.  Hammy actors are fun.  And your disapproval of hammy acting seems a bit unexpected, given your fondness for Joan Crawford.

Maybe it's just male hammy actors who annoy you?

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I have been watching the television series: Top Gear on Amazon Prime. The interest here for those who are not petrolheads is that each episode has a segment entitled: "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car." This is when they have a celebrity drive a timed lap in a compact automobile with a four-cylinder engine. Most of them are famous only in Europe and only a few of them have been actors but I have so far watched: Alan Davies, Bill Bailey, Martin Clunes, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Fry and Vinnie Jones make fools of themselves in this way. There is an interview with the celebrity prior to showing their lap and I find it amazing how many great and wonderful people have such horrible taste in automobiles. 

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The other evening I watched The Big Combo  (which I own on a very cheap and cheesey and probably semi-illegal boxed set.)   I think Eddie Muller may have mentioned this one in passing, but I'm not sure if he's ever shown it on Noir Alley.  (Anyone who knows otherwise, please feel free to enlighten me.)

Directed by Joseph Lewis and shot by noir stalwart John Alton,  The Big Combo deserves to be better-known.  I mean, for one thing, it stars the wonderful actor Richard Conte, who was in so many good films, many noirs. Conte had the ability to play, equally well, sympathetic protagonists and nasty villains.  In The Big Combo he plays the later, and quite a delightfully nasty villain he is, too.

The Big Combo also stars Cornel  Wilde (no relation to Oscar  😐 ), as the dedicated cop determined to bring Conte's evil gangster character to justice.  Cornel Wilde's other noir claim to fame is probably Road House, an enjoyable film co-starring Richard Widmark and Ida Lupino.  In Road House there's a scene where Wilde teaches Ida Lupino to bowl ! But I digress...

There are a lot of things to like in The Big Combo:  Its energetic pace, its mostly night scenes, filled with the alleys behind strip clubs and old Prohibition hide-outs,  its performances  - notably Conte's , as mentioned,  and - unexpected treat !  - Helen Walker  (you know, the beautiful, diabolical psychologist in Nightmare Alley ). One thing I found particularly intriguing,  and definitely ahead of its time, was the depiction of Conte's  (character, "Mr. Brown", you never know his first name, I love that !)  two main thugs, Fante  (Lee Van Cleef)  and Mingo (Earl Holliman), who appear to have a gay relationship.  They live together, sharing a bedroom, call each other "Honey",  and become devasted at the thought of losing one another.  This was very daring and almost revolutionary for 1955.

Also featured is an oddly sympathetic performance by Brian Donlevy as Conte's lackey, who once was his boss.  This is the second noir bad guy I've seen who's hard -of-hearing and wears a hearing aid.  (Fred Clark in Ride the Pink Horse being the other one...)  I say he's "oddly sympathetic" because he's quite horrid, unhesitating to use violence and also betrayal to get what he wants  (spoiler:  he doesn't).   But maybe because Donlevy conveys the frustration and humiliation of his character, mainly through his facial expression rather than through dialogue, you do feel just a bit sorry for him.

The weakest link in this well-done noir is the female lead, the unwilling lover of the Conte character, Susan.  Susan is played by Jean Wallace, an actress I'm not familiar with except for this one film.  She just doesn't impress me as someone Conte 's character would be so obsessed with.  She's ok, just not very memorable.  I kept thinking of who could have been better for the part -- for some reason Lizabeth Scott came to mind.

Anyway, The Big Combo had most of the elements in a typical noir that I like  (gritty settings, tough characters, tougher dialogue...) the only thing missing was a nightclub scene.  It's pretty darn good, I recommend it for any hard core fan of film noir from the classic noir era.

edit:  yup, I shamelessly also posted this on the Noir Alley thread.  I don't usually do this, but I know a lot more people read this thread than that one.

 

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5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

The other evening I watched The Big Combo  (which I own on a very cheap and cheesey and probably semi-illegal boxed set.)   I think Eddie Muller may have mentioned this one in passing, but I'm not sure if he's ever shown it on Noir Alley.  (Anyone who knows otherwise, please feel free to enlighten me.)

Directed by Joseph Lewis and shot by noir stalwart John Alton,  The Big Combo deserves to be better-known.  I mean, for one thing, it stars the wonderful actor Richard Conte, who was in so many good films, many noirs. Conte had the ability to play, equally well, sympathetic protagonists and nasty villains.  In The Big Combo he plays the later, and quite a delightfully nasty villain he is, too.

The Big Combo also stars Cornel  Wilde (no relation to Oscar  😐 ), as the dedicated cop determined to bring Conte's evil gangster character to justice.  Cornel Wilde's other noir claim to fame is probably Road House, an enjoyable film co-starring Richard Widmark and Ida Lupino.  In Road House there's a scene where Wilde teaches Ida Lupino to bowl ! But I digress...

There are a lot of things to like in The Big Combo:  Its energetic pace, its mostly night scenes, filled with the alleys behind strip clubs and old Prohibition hide-outs,  its performances  - notably Conte's , as mentioned,  and - unexpected treat !  - Helen Walker  (you know, the beautiful, diabolical psychologist in Nightmare Alley ). One thing I found particularly intriguing,  and definitely ahead of its time, was the depiction of Conte's  (character, "Mr. Brown", you never know his first name, I love that !)  two main thugs, Fante  (Lee Van Cleef)  and Mingo (Earl Holliman), appear to have a gay relationship.  They live together, sharing a bedroom, call each other "Honey",  and become devasted at the thought of losing one another.  This was very daring and almost revolutionary for 1955.

Also featured is an oddly sympathetic performance by Brian Donlevy as Conte's lackey, who once was his boss.  This is the second noir bad guy I've seen who's hard -of-hearing and wears a hearing aid.  (Fred Clark in Ride the Pink Horse being the other one...)  I say he's "oddly sympathetic" because he's quite horrid, unhesitating to use violence and also betrayal to get what he wants  (spoiler:  he doesn't).   But maybe because Donlevy conveys the frustration and humiliation of his character, mainly through his facial expression rather than through dialogue, you do feel just a bit sorry for him.

The weakest link in this well-done noir is the female lead, the unwilling lover of the Conte character, Susan.  Susan is played by Jean Wallace, an actress I'm not familiar with except for this one film.  She just doesn't impress me as someone Conte 's character would be so obsessed with.  She's ok, just not very memorable.  I kept thinking of who could have been better for the part -- for some reason Lizabeth Scott came to mind.

Anyway, The Big Combo had most of the elements in a typical noir that I like  (gritty settings, tough characters, tougher dialogue...) the only thing missing was a nightclub scene.  It's pretty darn good, I recommend it for any hard core fan of film noir from the classic noir era.

edit:  yup, I shamelessly also posted this on the Noir Alley thread.  I don't usually do this, but I know a lot more people read this thread than that one.

 

I like it also part of my review on Noirsville.

The story has a sort "Dirty Harry-esque," rouge cop M.O. The tale supposedly takes place in the 93rd Precinct, however there was no 93rd Precinct in 1955. The closest in numbers the 90th and the 94th are located in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Obsessed NYPD Police Detective Lt. Leonard Diamond (Wilde) is on the hunt for sharp dressed, rapidly staccato talking, sadistic, and carnal Brooklyn based mobster Brown (Conte) whose real Italian name is probably Marrone, Marrono or Maronna. Almost all the other goombah's in the Combo have Italian names. Marrone is Italian for Brown.

His oft repeated philosophy is "First is first and second is nobody!" Brown got strong enough to be capo by having Hate in his heart. His favorite form of persuading is using a hearing aid as a torture devise, using, what else, loud degenerate jazz music that features a "real crazy" drum solo. This is followed by a 40% alcohol hair tonic chaser.

Diamond has already spent $18,600 of taxpayer money surveillance-ing one man Brown. He gets berated from Peterson his commanding officer. Diamond's defense is that it's not just one man but a "Combination", the Mob, basically. He get's told that he's fighting the swamp with a teaspoon. Diamond rambles convoluted-ly on telling us he's worried about "the High School kids who come into the city and get loaded and irresponsible, they lose their shirts, and they get a gun, and they're worried and wanna make up their losses, and a filling station attendant is dead with a bullet in his liver.... and I have to see four kids on trial for first degree murder...."  Yea, OBSESSED.

He's also got a six month hard on for Brown's (Conte's) cute, cultured, blonde, chapping at the bit, bombshell, girlfriend Susan (Wallace). Jay Adler is Detective Sam Hill, Wilde's partner who shadows both Susan, and the two slightly "light in the loafer" escorts Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef). Brown employs these two skells to escort Susan about town. He must figure they are more interested in screwing each other than Susan or women in general. Forgedaboudit, these crooks are all made out in best 50s fashion, to be the lowest of the low degenerates.

Unsubtly later, Susan enforces this when in a night club she tells a former friend of the family that, she no longer plays the piano, now a days all she plays is "stud poke-her".... and probably the skin flute too. Later on she tells Brown she's wearing what she's wearing instead of white because "white" doesn't suit her anymore.

Helene Stanton plays a statuesque, voluptuous, brunette burlesque dancer Rita (a sort of a Marie Windsor look-a-like) who is stuck on Diamond. Diamond seems to be just using her for sex.

Wilde really needs to see a shrink, he doesn't know a good thing when he sees it, but he also becomes overly obsessed with saving "soiled" dove Susan.

McClure (Donlevy) is Brown's second banana who he inherited when he took over the racket from Grassi who left suddenly for Sicily. Jay Adler plays Diamond's partner Detective Sam Hill.  Helen Walker appears rather late in the film as Brown's ex-wife Alicia Brown.

When Diamond first hears about Alicia after Susan takes an overdose of sleeping pills, he rounds up all of Browns known associates and again gets called to the carpet for making 67 false arrests. Ted de Corsia is almost unrecognizable in a nice cameo as the broken English speaking Combo man on the lamb, Ralph Bettini.

 

 

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7 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

The other evening I watched The Big Combo  (which I own on a very cheap and cheesey and probably semi-illegal boxed set.)   I think Eddie Muller may have mentioned this one in passing, but I'm not sure if he's ever shown it on Noir Alley.  (Anyone who knows otherwise, please feel free to enlighten me.)

 

TCM has shown The Big Combo, MissW, in the pre Noir Alley days since I have a recording of it from that time.

I enjoyed the film quite a lot, though recall thinking that Cornel Wilde was a rather bland lead. On the positive side, though, Richard Conte is a charismatic gangster (as well as the most interesting character in the film), and, while I won't name which character in the film is on the receiving end, there's a uniquely filmed screen killing.

This was Helen Walker's last film appearance, coming a few years after the controversy of her automobile accident, and I found it rather sad to see the deterioration in her beauty that had occurred since her heyday in the '40s. The film's leading lady, Jean Wallace, who failed to impress you, MissW, impressed Cornel Wilde enough to be his wife at the time. Somewhere I read that Wilde was unhappy with the intensity of her scenes in this film with Conte.

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12 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna,  I've seen this opinion from you before...you don't like Rod Steiger.  But I believe the reason you give for disliking him is his hammy acting.  I don't deny that he's often quite porcine, but I like that in an actor.  Hammy actors are fun.  And your disapproval of hammy acting seems a bit unexpected, given your fondness for Joan Crawford.

Maybe it's just male hammy actors who annoy you?

there are- more or less- two different types of hams:

1. THE "I'M GONNA MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE GET THEIR NICKEL'S WORTH" HAM- ie LIONEL BARRYMORE or VINCENT PRICE- an actor who is capable of giving a BIG performance, but who is interested in doing so for the sake of the final product. Their work usually either compliments or elevates the story and the performances of their fellow actors.

and then there is

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2. THE "I'M GONNA STAND ON MY HEAD AND SPIT NICKELS" HAM- ie STEIGER or LEE J COBB- an actor who is only interested in BEING THE FINAL PRODUCT, in ECLIPSING their fellow actors, in blowing EVERYTHING that is not THEM and THEIR STORY and THEIR LINE READS and THEIR BLOCKING off the screen BECAUSE ALL MUST LOVE THEM, ALL MUST WORSHIP THEM AND DESPAIR!!!!!!!!! (waves jazz hands an inch away from the camera lens)

yeah, that second type bugs me.

*it's not just male hams, I also cannot stand LUISE RAINER

**although I note that when it comes to STEIGER, I just don't think there is much real substance to begin with. I know it's cruel to cite an actor's later performances, but he did three films in the 1990's- THE SPECIALIST, MODERN VAMPIRES and MARS ATTACKS! where his performances are just so sub-par- like, really not in any way adequate and had he not been a former BEST ACTOR WINNER he would (and should) have found himself replaced by, I don't know, Martin Landau.

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Last night, watched Maid in Manhattan because it was light.  Then followed with Chopped (chance to compete against Bobby Flay).

Who knows what we will watch tonight.  Just saw the George Raft movie.  Which brings up a slightly off-topic question.  When they choose movies for Summer Under the Stars, why are some of the prime time movies showcases for someone else?  The Searchers is John Wayne's movie, not Natalie Wood and Gone With the Wind is a showcase for the amazing and extremely beautiful Vivian Leigh.  These two movies are also very long.  Now there are other movies with these actors that they have shown often.  I am also curious if anyone who watched GWTW and was there a new introduction about the pros and cons of showing this film.

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2 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

I am also curious if anyone who watched GWTW and was there a new introduction about the pros and cons of showing this film.

I watched the intro last night for GWTW out of curiosity.  Ben  handled it well, I thought, briefly addressing the elephant in the room.  He also invited viewers interested in a more in depth discussion to watch Jacqueline Stewart's recorded intro for HBO.  But then he went back to talking about de Havilland and the movie.  Tricky balancing act.

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Raise the Titanic (1980) -- 2/10 🤢  Source:HBO

Raise_The_Titanic_Movie_Poster.jpg

A top contender for one of the dullest films I've ever seen. It's not offensive, but it is  not entertaining, interesting, or exciting either. And a capable cast is left playing characters more wooden than cardboard. A typically wonderful score by John Barry, some striking cinematography, and an impressive sequence showing the ship rising from the deep [in 1980, it was still assumed that the boat was in one piece] is all that this film has. Otherwise its terminal boredom. What is most shocking is that this film cost $36 million dollars at the time [over $125 million today], more expensive than such ambitious contemporary films of the era as Apocalypse Now, Ragtime, Blade Runner, and The Right Stuff. And for what in the end? The world's first $36 million dollar sleeping pill.

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21 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

I agree too, but I put PENELOPE as my #2. Most of you know how I feel about Natalie. I'm still in love with her after all these years. 

I have Penelope on Blu Ray; but I wish that TCM would find a better print of this movie to show.  This is the second time recently that I've seen this film on TCM and it's been kind of blurry.

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58 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Raise the Titanic (1980) -- 2/10 🤢  Source:HBO

Raise_The_Titanic_Movie_Poster.jpg

A top contender for one of the dullest films I've ever seen. It's not offensive, but it is  not entertaining, interesting, or exciting either. And a capable cast is left playing characters more wooden than cardboard. A typically wonderful score by John Barry, some striking cinematography, and an impressive sequence showing the ship rising from the deep [in 1980, it was still assumed that the boat was in one piece] is all that this film has. Otherwise its terminal boredom. What is most shocking is that this film cost $36 million dollars at the time [over $125 million today], more expensive than such ambitious contemporary films of the era as Apocalypse Now, Ragtime, Blade Runner, and The Right Stuff. And for what in the end? The world's first $36 million dollar sleeping pill.

Based on your review, I would venture to say that the poster might be the best thing about this film.

I love the dramatic tag line.  It makes it sound like a horror movie where they're going to raise the Titanic and the Titanic will go rogue and attack everyone or something.

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1 minute ago, speedracer5 said:

I have Penelope on Blu Ray; but I wish that TCM would find a better print of this movie to show.  This is the second time recently that I've seen this film on TCM and it's been kind of blurry.

I bought the DVD of it (don't have a blu-ray player) but I agree, TCM is still using an old blurry print of it, which is really strange because the picture quality on the Warner Archive release is absolutely fantastic.

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2 hours ago, Peebs said:

I watched the intro last night for GWTW out of curiosity.  Ben  handled it well, I thought, briefly addressing the elephant in the room.  He also invited viewers interested in a more in depth discussion to watch Jacqueline Stewart's recorded intro for HBO.  But then he went back to talking about de Havilland and the movie.  Tricky balancing act.

I just bought a copy of GWTW (need to upgrade my DVD to Blu Ray, the sound was abysmal) and there's a disclaimer sticker on the front inviting viewers to visit a website to read about this film in its historical context.

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