What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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Daveismyhero
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Daveismyhero » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:17 pm

I finished up Mister Roberts (1955) last night. What a great film, with an equally great cast. I'm pretty sure this was my first James Cagney film, and I think it's the first Henry Fonda film I have seen since I saw On Golden Pond when I was a youngster.

I really need more Jack Lemmon in my life.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:29 pm

Pirates of Tortuga (1961): Ken Scott and a mass of little-known actors perform in a Sam Katzman sea-faring fest, with never an eyepatch, arrgh or yo-heave-ho among them. They've been ordered to head to the Caribbean Sea, to deal with Henry Morgan, who's exceeding his authority or something. Letícia Román has snuck onboard for reasons that are never clear.

It's actually a visually handsome movie, thanks to cinematographer Ellis Carter, and handsome sets and costumes. It definitely falls into the seen-one-seen-them-all category, and several screenwriters, including Jesse Lasky Jr. never produce anything interesting. However, Hortense Petra is credited down the cast list, and for a name like that, I'll pronounce this a decent time-waster: a triumph for Katzman.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:36 am

Cheer Boys Cheer (1939) is a bit of froth about rival beer companies in England. Edmund Gwen reads "Mein Kampf" in between corporate crusades to take over the territories of his rivals. The political comment is pretty unmistakable for this 1939 film. Otherwise the film centers of the romance between Nova Pilbeam, daughter of one brewer, and Peter Coke, son of Gwenn. The plot is a trifle in this one as it sails along on a sea of suds. Jimmy O'Dea co-stars as the brewery manager in love with Pilbeam (referred to as a "horse-faced hag"). Indeed, leading man Coke gets the loving close-ups here rather than Pilbeam. Alexander Knox and C.V. France also co-star but it's Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt (together again) who steal the film with their foolishness and their version of the song "The Two Obadiahs." While Gwenn was soon off to Hollywood, both Pilbeam and Coke turned down offers from tinsel town.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:25 am

drednm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:36 am
Cheer Boys Cheer (1939) is a bit of froth about rival beer companies in England. Edmund Gwen reads "Mein Kampf" in between corporate crusades to take over the territories of his rivals. The political comment is pretty unmistakable for this 1939 film. Otherwise the film centers of the romance between Nova Pilbeam, daughter of one brewer, and Peter Coke, son of Gwenn. The plot is a trifle in this one as it sails along on a sea of suds. Jimmy O'Dea co-stars as the brewery manager in love with Pilbeam (referred to as a "horse-faced hag"). Indeed, leading man Coke gets the loving close-ups here rather than Pilbeam. Alexander Knox and C.V. France also co-star but it's Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt (together again) who steal the film with their foolishness and their version of the song "The Two Obadiahs." While Gwenn was soon off to Hollywood, both Pilbeam and Coke turned down offers from tinsel town.
It’s a favorite of mine and I see in it the beginning impulses of the Ealing Comedies from the 1940s and 1950s, with its “community of eccentrics.”

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:49 am

boblipton wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:25 am
drednm wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:36 am
Cheer Boys Cheer (1939) is a bit of froth about rival beer companies in England. Edmund Gwen reads "Mein Kampf" in between corporate crusades to take over the territories of his rivals. The political comment is pretty unmistakable for this 1939 film. Otherwise the film centers of the romance between Nova Pilbeam, daughter of one brewer, and Peter Coke, son of Gwenn. The plot is a trifle in this one as it sails along on a sea of suds. Jimmy O'Dea co-stars as the brewery manager in love with Pilbeam (referred to as a "horse-faced hag"). Indeed, leading man Coke gets the loving close-ups here rather than Pilbeam. Alexander Knox and C.V. France also co-star but it's Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt (together again) who steal the film with their foolishness and their version of the song "The Two Obadiahs." While Gwenn was soon off to Hollywood, both Pilbeam and Coke turned down offers from tinsel town.
It’s a favorite of mine and I see in it the beginning impulses of the Ealing Comedies from the 1940s and 1950s, with its “community of eccentrics.”

Bob
Yes, Bob, I read your review, and I agree. Nobody celebrated eccentrics better than the Brits.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by busby1959 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:59 pm

SWEET MAMA (1930) is one of Alice White's best films and she's a humdinger in it. She plays a singer who, en route by train to NY to see her boyfriend, unwittingly finds herself in a detective's berth she ducks into to avoid buying a ticket. The sympathetic cop (Robert Elliot) turns the room over to her and she promises to repay him when they reach their destination. Unfortunately, she discovers that her fellow (David Manners) has gotten mixed up with a group of gangsters headed by Joe Palmer (Kenneth Thompson). She goes to the police station to repay her debt to the detective. Impressed by her honesty, he convinces her to get a job at Thompson's nightclub so she can spy on the goings on and provide information to the police so they can bring his crime ring to an end. This means cozying up to Palmer, which infuriates the boyfriend, who is unaware of her ruse. Suspense and complications follow, and Alice is able to get the police to Thompson's penthouse hideout just as his goons are preparing to throw Manners off of the roof.
Alice gives a great performance. Her persona of a girl oozing sex appeal who is really decent and on the square lends itself perfectly to the story. Manners does well as the boyfriend, and Thompson plays a variation of the sleazy lecher he portrayed so effectively in THE BROADWAY MELODY (1929). In the nightclub, Alice and the girls perform "Giving It This And That" which is not only a very catchy song but contains the best overhead camera work of the pre-Busby Berkeley era...whose first screen assignment, WHOOPEE! pened three months later.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:39 am

Le Magnifique aka The Man From Acapulco (1973): Jean-Paul Belmondo is a French super-spy sent to Acapulco to find out why another agent was eaten by a shark in a telephone booth and to have sex with Jacqueline Bisset. No, wait, after about twenty minutes, it turns out that he's actually the writer of the potboilers in which he imagines himself, the people who annoy him in real life (particularly his publisher Vittorio Caprioli) and Jackie Bisset, the pretty student who lives upstairs, and whom he's much too shy to speak to. His life is pretty dire. He's divorced, has a son he can't talk to -- the boy is a teenager, so that's a given -- his apartment is a wreck because the plumber won't start until the electrician is done, and vice versa --and he's broke. Plus he has to write 83 pages because the next book is due.

It's another of the hit comedies that Belmondo made under the direction of Philippe de Broca, and it was originally written by Francis Veber. It was Veber's first year of movie credits, so when de Broca insisted on rewriting it himself, Veber took his name off the credits. It's telling and funny and Veber probably wrote the script based on his own experiences and daydreams. It's very funny. However, like the earlier de Broca-Belmondo collaborations, it seems to be erratically paced, uncertain from one moment to the next whether it's supposed to be camp, dramatic or a hip comedy, resulting in a bit of a mess. I've concluded that's de Broca's style.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 am

Working my way through things on FilmStruck not on DVD, as we count the clock down on FilmStruck's last month:

They have a bunch of films by Luis Garcia Berlanga—you remember, the man who made the terrific Spanish black comedy, The Executioner. The only title that I had vague ideas of having heard of was Welcome, Mr. Marshall!, a political satire from 1953 and his first solo feature.

A tiny town in the Castile region gets news that the Americans and the Marshall Plan will be dispensing their largesse to certain places... setting off a competition among these sleepy hamlets. As it happens, an Andalusian singer and her manager happen to be playing the town, and the manager gets in good with the mayor (Jose Isbert, who was the old executioner in the later film, and seems to have been Berlanga's ace in the hole generally, with his mix of Andy Devine's voice and Lupino Lane's shape) and they quickly dress up the town in Andalusian cliches— a joke along the lines of a New England town doing themselves up Gone With the Wind style. Though the film is really less about such jokes than a sort of Altmanesque, or Felliniesque, picture of all the characters in the film, from the scolding priest to the lofty old Don, on the verge of change coming from the New World that they can hardly comprehend.

It's an enjoyable film, and you get the sense that it's very sharp on the types in this kind of town. That said, in its broad, carnivalesque approach, it's no Executioner, with its sly Kafkaesque black comedy about life in a fascist country closing in on a young man—if that film is Dr. Strangelove, this is The Mouse That Roared, a genial topical comedy.

* * *

Looking through the Kinoshita films again, I saw a two-part film based on a Japanese legend called Yotsuya Kaidan—amusingly, today Yotsuya is a neighborhood in Shinjuku in Tokyo, close to where we stayed a couple of years ago. I looked it up and apparently Kinoshita's version, from 1949, gets rid of the ghosts to tell a psychological tale of a murderously Macbeth-like ronin with an Iago-like companion. So I could spend three hours with that... or, I was told, the most popular version of the tale was directed by Nobuo Nakagawa in 1959 in color and widescreen in 76 minutes. Sold.

Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan/The Ghost of Yotsuya is like the Hammer version of the tale, in stylish and somewhat lurid widescreen. A ronin named Iemon confronts the father of the woman he wants to marry; told that he's not worthy and generally ridiculous for even asking, he grows infuriated and cuts the prospective father in law and his friend down. A scheming attendant called Naosuke proposes hiding the bodies, blaming it on a rival clan and taking the daughters of the two men with them as they go for revenge. Naosuke's solution to most problems turns out to be for Iemon to kill the inconvenient persons involved, and so when Iemon sees another, richer lord with a daughter, how else is he to get rid of his first prospective bride? The trouble is, she doesn't take well to being dead...

Not a great Japanese film, but a lot of good bloodthirsty fun. Popular as it was, it didn't seem to help its studio, Shintoho—Nakagawa followed it with a film which is on Criterion disc, Jigoku, a vision of Buddhist Hell—and that was, for whatever reason, the last film Shintoho released before going into bankruptcy.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:06 am

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) features Cher playing Meryl Streep's mother and a whole bunch of ABBA songs I never heard before.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:18 am

Long after his movie career had dried up, Jody McCrea appeared in the direct-to-video Lady Street Fighter (1981), directed by James Bryan. The plot is a little obscure, but it seems to involve Renee Harmon (who also appeared in several Al Adamson movies) running around Brutalist architecture in Los Angeles, sucking on celery stalks, shooting at and being shot at by members of an assassin's organization which, as one character explains to another who already knows, has tens of thousands of members.

It seems to have been shot around 1975 and is a fine example of utter ineptness, given that the uncredited director of photography didn't bother to match light levels in the same scene even approximately, and the uncredited writer of the score seems to have used Morricone's theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but played it on a synthesizer. Except for one Black woman, none of the performers seem to be able to give a line reading that makes sense.

On the plus side, Miss Harmon does show that it isn't easy to run in heels and there are several topless women.

A few movies are poor enough to be entertaining in their awfulness. This one doesn't even achieve that. the credits show that Miss Harmon is the producer. I guess she thought she was ready for the spotlight and willing to spend someone's money to prove it. She was wrong.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Robert W » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:22 am

I finally took a look at Criterion's blu-ray of The Freshman which has been sitting on my shelf since the film was released in 1925 ( or at least it feels like that I've had it that long, unwatched. )

Gorgeous print, and I actually think the torn suit at the dance sequence may have been funnier than the climactic football game.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:13 pm

Another Ken Loach (written by poet Christopher Logue* and composer Stanley Myers) 'Wednesday Play' for the BBC, THE END OF ARTHUR'S MARRIAGE (1965) couldn't have been more different from THE RANK AND FILE, the one I watched last week, as it had me thinking it was by another director altogether, the style being reminiscent of 'Swinging Sixties' films which Loach said he disliked.

Shot in a slightly disconcerting style, at first, the film tells of a downtrodden husband (Ken Jones, who looks older than his thirty-five years) sent to put £400 of his father-in-law's hard-earned savings as a deposit on an unappealing terraced house which looked as if it would collapse if the family cat broke wind.

He is accompanied on this quest by his young daughter (Maureen Ampleforth), to whom he displays an affection which struck me as rather more than fatherly. Failing to secure the house, Arthur embarks on a reckless spending spree in London's West End, encountering a singing salesman and a dodgy zookeeper anxious to sell him an elephant amongst others. Other encounters include a couple on a scooter with whom he plays 'bullfighters' on the sort of wasteland beloved by film-makers, and a group of youngsters (a bit out of BLOW-UP, only a year earlier) who accompany the joyful trio onto a barge which ends up with a wild party of sorts.

Told with songs both on the soundtrack, and by some of the players, this is an odd mixture of fantasy and satire, with the girl (appealingly played by Miss Ampleforth) being greedy for possessions before rebuking her father for being wasteful. Somewhere along the way, the elephant gets left behind and most of their purchases disappear, and (unconvincingly) Jones chucks the rest of the money in the canal, where it is ignored.

As well as being amusing in an odd way, ARTHUR'S MARRIAGE had some resonance with me, as I recall being taken up to London during that period. It seems to have come in for some criticism at the time, for being rather 'different' in its construction and style. I suspect Mary Whitehouse and her associates would have complained at the shots of bare breasts (albeit of 'natives') and the touch of nudity. The film doesn't seem to have been repeated by the BBC, and though by no means a 'classic' is entertaining after a fashion and is a bit of a misfit in the Loach canon.

*born in Portsmouth, and an alumni of my old school, as was Michael Ripper!

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:57 pm

Today's movie with my cousin was The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story (2018), which is a long-winded title. My first impression was puzzlement over the fact that all these Swedish characters speaking Swedish in Sweden speak with Swedish accents. I guess they're Swedish accents, even though no one speaks like Garbo or the Swedish Chef, but they don't sound like standard English speakers of any variety. Ah, you say, they're speaking English! Yes, I snap right back, but it's notionally Swedish, because who would expect two people in what is labeled right off the bat "Stockholm" who are Swedish to be talking to each other in but Swedish? I've never seen A Doll's House or Hedda Gabbler with anyone speaking in a Swedish accent, even though Ibsen set his works in Sweden and all the characters are Swedish. They never sound like they've just gotten off the boat, or even El Brendel. Usually they're speaking in British Stage accents. And don't blame Hollywood, because the producers and several key actors are Swedish. And the director is Uruguayan.

I saw the Swedish version of this about a decade ago. I recall nothing about it, except that it was terrific and, like all Scandinavian cinema, made me glad I wasn't Scandinavian, because I would have to kill myself. However, I'm pretty sure this is not the same story, because somehow Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, aka "the girl with the dragon tattoo" has become Batman, or perhaps Batwoman, complete with a Tragic Back Story and a sister who is her dark side, like a feminist Alan Dwan movie from the 1950s. She tootles around Sweden on her Batcycle -- I suppose we should call in her Dragoncycle -- or stolen Maserati, hunting down men who are abusive to their wives or whores, hanging them upside down and draining their bank accounts; everyone knows who is doing this, but no one can find her because Computers.

Her paying job, however is calling. An American computer whiz has developed a program to control every nuclear missile in the world. He's decided it's not such a good idea, so he hires Miss Foy to find it and steal it. However, Sauron wants his Ring back.... I mean there's a three-way hunt for it, since the American NSA has sent Lakeith Stanfield to fetch the program -- he doesn't speak with a Swedish accent, but he does use his White voice -- the Swedish government is blaming her for everything, and her Evil Blonde Twin, Sylvia Hoeks, has been hired to fetch it for an unnamed employer, whose identity will surprise you (No, it won't).

There are some fine shots in this movie, all of which have been used in the trailer and TV commercials.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:00 pm

I am reminded of Jonathan Rosenbaum marveling at the curious movie notion that Inspector Clouseau's French accent ("I want a rheum for my minky") is too thick for... Frenchmen to understand.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:43 pm

Filmstruck had the last two films of David Lean's which I had not seen, and so I watched Madeleine (1950) tonight, despite Lean's warnings that it was the least favorite of his own films. As it turns out both of the films I haven't seen, each probably considered the least of his films, star his wife, the actress Ann Todd, who had had a great international hit with The Seventh Victim (but really not much of anything else).

It's apparently an accurate-ish retelling of a once-famous scandal, the murder trial of a Glasgow society girl, Madeleine Smith, who was tried for allegedly poisoning her French lover when she had a more advantageous betrothal in the works. (The same case spawned Letty Lynton, with Joan Crawford.) With Guy Green shooting the Victorian settings, as he had done for Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, the setup is beautifully shot—the claustrophobically overdressed house, with Leslie Banks as the severe father; the moonlit cobblestone street where Ivan Desny as the lover arrives for their assignations; Desny (later to play in many Fassbinder films) remarkably resembling the young, rakish Orson Welles; Todd, lit from behind to reveal her shapely figure inside her Victorian lingerie.

And the two main characters are rendered three-dimensionally—Desny a bit of a heel, Todd seemingly under his boot (literally a couple of times, this movie has a bit of a boot fetish), yet when she cuts him loose and he whines about their love, they take on the customary roles of the opposite sex in such a scene. Lean does all he can to keep sex aflame in such a repressed environment (you decide if I mean Victorian or postwar England); the movie has more jittery, rod-stiff walking sticks and policeman's clubs than any film you've seen, and there's a particularly fine moment when Desny, having finally penetrated the upstairs of the house, sees a container full of erect walking sticks, and makes sure his gets in there too.

But... Lean is right, it doesn't all work. First, Todd (who'd played Smith on stage) is too old, but more than that, too stable and self-assured for the role; she lacks the neurotic edge the part needs, at least not much more of it than Anna Neagle or Julie Andrews would have. Second—Smith's trial is rather a famous one in the U.K., I gather, with the defense attorney delivering one of the all time blistering summations. But that makes for a movie that is romance-murder mystery for an hour, and then shifts on a dime to being a courtroom drama, with Todd doing little but sitting impassively. It's reasonably well staged, certainly well-acted (Andre Morell plays the defense counsel, to the hilt) but... it's a different movie. When MGM did it with Letty Lynton, they went all the way toward making her sympathetic (and the murder accidental), because this tawdry case is only interesting if you are swept away on Madeleine's side—and even if he was married to her, Lean is too much the rationalist for that.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:42 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:43 pm
Filmstruck had the last two films of David Lean's which I had not seen, and so I watched Madeleine (1950) tonight, despite Lean's warnings that it was the least favorite of his own films. As it turns out both of the films I haven't seen, each probably considered the least of his films, star his wife, the actress Ann Todd, who had had a great international hit with The Seventh Victim (but really not much of anything else).

It's apparently an accurate-ish retelling of a once-famous scandal, the murder trial of a Glasgow society girl, Madeleine Smith, who was tried for allegedly poisoning her French lover when she had a more advantageous betrothal in the works. (The same case spawned Letty Lynton, with Joan Crawford.) With Guy Green shooting the Victorian settings, as he had done for Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, the setup is beautifully shot—the claustrophobically overdressed house, with Leslie Banks as the severe father; the moonlit cobblestone street where Ivan Desny as the lover arrives for their assignations; Desny (later to play in many Fassbinder films) remarkably resembling the young, rakish Orson Welles; Todd, lit from behind to reveal her shapely figure inside her Victorian lingerie.

And the two main characters are rendered three-dimensionally—Desny a bit of a heel, Todd seemingly under his boot (literally a couple of times, this movie has a bit of a boot fetish), yet when she cuts him loose and he whines about their love, they take on the customary roles of the opposite sex in such a scene. Lean does all he can to keep sex aflame in such a repressed environment (you decide if I mean Victorian or postwar England); the movie has more jittery, rod-stiff walking sticks and policeman's clubs than any film you've seen, and there's a particularly fine moment when Desny, having finally penetrated the upstairs of the house, sees a container full of erect walking sticks, and makes sure his gets in there too.

But... Lean is right, it doesn't all work. First, Todd (who'd played Smith on stage) is too old, but more than that, too stable and self-assured for the role; she lacks the neurotic edge the part needs, at least not much more of it than Anna Neagle or Julie Andrews would have. Second—Smith's trial is rather a famous one in the U.K., I gather, with the defense attorney delivering one of the all time blistering summations. But that makes for a movie that is romance-murder mystery for an hour, and then shifts on a dime to being a courtroom drama, with Todd doing little but sitting impassively. It's reasonably well staged, certainly well-acted (Andre Morell plays the defense counsel, to the hilt) but... it's a different movie. When MGM did it with Letty Lynton, they went all the way toward making her sympathetic (and the murder accidental), because this tawdry case is only interesting if you are swept away on Madeleine's side—and even if he was married to her, Lean is too much the rationalist for that.
Good film, and I really like the aloofish Ann Todd, especially in The Passionate Friends and The Seventh Veil.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:44 am

The Wild Affair (1965) Nancy Kwan is to be married in a few days, whereupon she will become a housewife. She's a good girl in the early phases of the Swinging Sixties, and she wonders what she is missing.

It's a pleasant and, in the end, rather normative effort, mostly distinguished for its efforts to make a real star of Miss Kwan (who is still alive and working), with lots of cinematic leering efforts of the men to get in a one-night stand with the lovely actress while the getting is good. In the end it is pleasant, if not particularly distinguished.

Some of the casting is rather interesting, with Bessie Love playing Miss Kwan's mother, Bud Flanagan as the building's door man, and Terry-Thomas as her boss -- sans mustache and gap-toothed grin.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:15 am

The Attic (1980) tells the story of a repressed librarian in Wichita (Carrie Snodgress) who's about to lose her job. She lives with her domineering, crippled father (Ray Milland) in a mansion. Seems she was left at the altar 20 years before when the groom just up and disappeared. She devotes her time to her job and to daddy, but daddy tries to control her every waking moment. He's even jealous of her friendship with a fellow librarian who lives with a domineering mother. When Carrie comes home with a chimp one day, daddy goes into a tizzy. The chimp up and disappears one day while she's at work. Daddy isn't as pitiable as we think, when we learn he's not crippled at all; it's just act to keep the daughter under his control. What else why daddy have been capable of doing? Well, there's that attic....

Repo Man (1984) is a lively cult fave that stars Emilio Estevez as a young man who wanders into the repo game when he's recruited by snarky Harry Dean Stanton. He soon learns the mantra, "Repo man's got all night ... every night!" as he learns his trade. There's a subplot about a loony (Fox Harris) driving a 1964 Chevy Malibu who has something nasty in the trunk of his car. He's being chased by a team of agents who want whatever it is in the trunk. Their paths all cross when the Malibu gets stolen because there's a $20,000 bounty on the car. Holding all these plots together is a junkyard philosopher (Tracey Walter) who spouts cosmic wisdom like "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are" and "It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness." All the repo men are named after brands of beer. Familiar faces include Helen Martin, Vonetta McGee, Olivia Barash, Del Zamora, Eddie Velez, and Sy Richardson.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by AlonzoChurch » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:05 pm

The Shadow (1937) has nothing to do with the radio show. Instead, it's a whodunnit set in a circus that features Rita Hayworth in an ingenue role that doesn't suggest the stardom that red hair would bring, and Marc Lawrence as the young man who plays amateur sleuth. Marjorie Main, looking very dapper in ringmaster clothes, and Dwight Frye both have good supporting roles. The mystery isn't bad, and there are those lines that old movies sometimes have that suggest the screenwriters were having a little fun with the censors. A fun B.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by busby1959 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:36 pm

drednm wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:06 am
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) features Cher playing Meryl Streep's mother and a whole bunch of ABBA songs I never heard before.
Meaning Cher had Meryl Streep when she was three. That's ever more implausible than Shirley MacLaine having Streep when she was 14. Or Angela Lansbury having Elvis at 10. We could go on all day on this topic.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:52 pm

Angela Lansbury has long experience in this field, having had Laurence Harvey at 3 as well.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:04 pm

Man on the Run (1948): Derek Farr deserted from the British Army after four years of service and went underground. Now he is at the end of his rope, so he takes his service revolver to a pawn shop.... to pawn it. While he's standing there, two other men enter, knock out the owner and flee, killing a bobby as they go. Now Farr is really being pursued and he randomly stops Joan Hopkins... who agrees to help him.

There are definite noir elements in this movie, with discussion the estimated 20,000 deserters and some grimy cinematography by DP Wilkie Cooper, but that's about the limits of it. Otherwise, writer-director Lawrence Huntington has turned out a reasonably taut man-accused movie. Despite a decent story, the movie itself is curiously inert, with a lot of talk and not much movement.

Farr is clearly not wearing his hairpiece for this movie, an odd choice for a romantic lead type, but that, I suppose, it part of the Noir aspect of it. Watch out for Laurence Harvey in his second screen appearance, playing a detective. He's only mildly creepy in this one.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:52 am

Somewhere in Time (1980) is apparently a cult fave, a fantasy romance about time travel, based on the writer's own vivid dream about Maude Adams. Here we have Christopher Reeve as a writer who has a weird experience with an old lady who turns out to be a former actress named Elise McKenna. He becomes obsessed with her because of the gift she hands him and because she died that very night. Years later he self-hypnotizes himself and time travels back to 1912 where he stalks the real actress (Jane Seymour) only to learn she has been waiting for him. They filmmakers wisely skip most of the "science" here and concentrate on the romance. The gorgeous setting of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan and perfect period costumes (Oscar nominated) lend a lush feel to this slim story. A key element is Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43" which is beautifully complemented by John Barry's lush score. Reeve and Seymour are fine. Christopher Plummer plays the possessive manager. There's also Teresa Wright, Bill Irwin, Susan French, and George Voskovec. Based on a book by Richard Matheson.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:22 pm

Saw the new remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria (2018), which makes about as much sense as the original. Nice visuals and score though.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:22 pm

I just finished watching Kino's new blu-ray of Nothing Sacred, which hit the market today. Kino touts it thus--

Brand New HD Master from a 2K Scan of the Restored Fine Grain Master!

--and it is gorgeous. Fleeting shots, mostly dissolves, are a bit grainy, but the lines, scratches, density fluctuations, &c from older editions are gone; the image is beautifully sharp, and the Technicolor fairly pops off the screen. What a treat!

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:48 pm

Dean Thompson wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:22 pm
I just finished watching Kino's new blu-ray of Nothing Sacred, which hit the market today. Kino touts it thus--

Brand New HD Master from a 2K Scan of the Restored Fine Grain Master!

--and it is gorgeous. Fleeting shots, mostly dissolves, are a bit grainy, but the lines, scratches, density fluctuations, &c from older editions are gone; the image is beautifully sharp, and the Technicolor fairly pops off the screen. What a treat!
When I think of the blotchy print that the 80 St. Marks used to run....

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:19 am

The Assam Garden (1985) is perhaps too delicate for its own good. The film marks Deborah Kerr's final feature film appearance. She plays an English woman who spent her young adulthood with her now-dead husband n India where they ran a tea plantation. Back in England, she has always felt out of place. The husband spent his UK years building an exotic garden in homage to his years in India. Kerr slaves to maintain the garden, but it's more than just the garden she's trying to preserve. She meets an Indian woman (Madhur Jaffrey) who lives in the village and who longs to return to India. The immigrant starts to help Kerr in the garden and the two women form an odd bond because of their Indian "roots," though each woman's India is a very different place and likely does not even exist any more. Kerr's memories of the waning days of colonial India and Jaffrey's memories of quaint village life are just that: memories of long-lost worlds. In the end, one of the women succumbs to the lure of memory and leaves the garden. Excellent performance by both actresses.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:38 pm

Dean Thompson wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:22 pm
I just finished watching Kino's new blu-ray of Nothing Sacred, which hit the market today. Kino touts it thus--

Brand New HD Master from a 2K Scan of the Restored Fine Grain Master!

--and it is gorgeous. Fleeting shots, mostly dissolves, are a bit grainy, but the lines, scratches, density fluctuations, &c from older editions are gone; the image is beautifully sharp, and the Technicolor fairly pops off the screen. What a treat!
Nice to hear, since the copies floating around earlier were usually pretty grim. Even the copy I watched at the NFT in London back in the 1970s was inferior... Can we expect the same for A STAR IS BORN?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Scrapping my intention to watch 23 1/2 HOURS LEAVE (1937) for Armistice day (a poor copy), I found an oddity entitled 6 HOURS TO LIVE (1932) which has Warner Baxter as a murdered diplomat who is temporarily brought back to life in order to identify his killer. He is also a rival (with John Boles) for the hand of the same woman (Miriam Jordan) and is the one dissenter in a diplomatic vote which could mean ruin for his people.

What starts out as drama / thriller, continues into science fiction and philosophy in a bizarre film, which has touches of Frank Borzage to it. Despite a copy which hisses and crackles a lot, this makes for an interesting, thoughtful work, worth watching on several levels. There is a WWI element in Beryl Mercer as a mother whose son was killed and who wonders if they will meet again. Followed by Victor Saville's ARMISTICE (1929), of which I wrote earlier.

THE THREE WEIRD SISTERS (1948) was an enjoyably overripe melodrama with Nancy Price (blind), Mary Clare (nearly deaf) and Mary Merrall (arthritic) as the three ladies who live in a decaying house above a highly unsafe mineworks in Wales. Feeling responsible for the destruction of several cottages in the area, they seek help from their half-brother Raymond Lovell, whose is by now fed up with their demands on his purse. He is accompanied by his secretary Nova Pilbeam, to whom he decides to leave his money to, out of fear of being murdered by the well-meaning, but rather 'different' ladies.

Nancy Price is perhaps the most effective of the three, her part recalling that of the deaf headmistress in MANDY, although Mary Clare comes a close second with her relish at the awful things that seem to occur in the village. Nicely cast and played, with a more sympathetic role for Lovell for a change. All that's missing is Tod Slaughter in a film which is unjutly awarded a mere two points in David Quinlan's guide...

A mixture of history and fiction, I'LL BE YOUR SWEETHEART (1945), concerns itself with the problems of copyright amongst the composers of English music-hall songs, centred around real-life composer George Le Brunn, author of 'Oh! Mr Porter!', played appropriately by Moore Marriott. Michael Rennie plays a would-be song publisher. Peter Graves a less scrupulous one, Margaret Lockwood (dubbed by Maudie Edwards) is the (fictitious?) Edie Story, and Vic Oliver, Frederick Burtwell and Garry Marsh lead a rather splendid supporting cast.

I found the film rather let down by some of the more spectacular production numbers, which came over as imitative of those in the Fox musicals of the time and rather out of character. Aside from this, I'LL BE YOUR SWEETHEART is a lively and agreeable piece of semi-fiction, from Val Guest, who had a degree of knowledge on the subject matter, and a nice addition to the list of music-hall films of which there seem rather too few.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

Unread post by drednm » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:21 am

Texas Carnival (1951) is a big, bright MGM musical that seems skimpy at 77 minutes. My guess is something was cut at the last minute. Red Skelton and Esther Williams stars are carny bilkers who work a water=tank dunking act (Williams wears a bathing suit with DUNK ME inscribed on the front). Skelton runs into a drunk millionaire (Keenan Wynn) who tries to give him cash. When the other carny workers think he's pocketed bi cash, they chase them off the grounds. Skelton and Williams escape in Wynn's car and wind up at a swank resort where they are mistaken for Wynn and his sister (Paula Raymond). In one of those endless string of coincidences plots, Howard Keel shows up to romance Williams, and Ann Miller does a few dances, thinking Skelton will finance her nightclub act. When Wynn finally shows up again, he has no memory of Skelton or the carnival. In order to pay back the money they owe, they of course enter a chuck wagon race, which allows Skelton to have a slapstick finish to the film. Keel sings a few songs and Miller does a few dances. Williams is oddly limited to one aquatic number but it's terrific. In a dream sequence, he water number is superimposed over Keel's hotel room, so she seems to float around in room in a billowing white dress. The four stars are all quite good, but the films just ends, when it needed a big finale. Other familiar faces include Thurston Hall, Hans Conried, Donald MacBride, Tom Tully, Glenn Strange. The Technicolor is gorgeous.
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