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Old 10-10-2013, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), written, produced and directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.

Inept aliens attempt to invade Earth by creating zombies which will...well, that part is unclear. As is the lecture about the Sun being like a bucket of gasoline.

This is pretty watchable if you've just seen Ed Wood and know the actors and backstory of making the film. It helps to turn on the subtitle fact track, and you can always listen to the feeble humor audio commentary by the famous Mike Nelson.

A couple of well-known faces: Gregory Walcott (as pilot Jeff Trent) did a lot of TV and some movies; he was in Ed Wood. I remember him from The Eiger Sanction and Prime Cut. Lyle Talbot (the single-scene General) has 323 acting credits in the IMDB.

The Legend Films Blu-ray has both restored (?) b&w and a colorized version. It's under $10.



-Bill

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Old 10-10-2013, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), written, produced and directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.

-Bill

Ah...the good ol' days when abysmal scripts and utterly inept direction got the funding it deserved instead of studio backing that can make such fare look and sound almost as high quality as Ben-Hur or 2001: A Space Odyssey. IMO, Plan 9 From Outer Space is imminently more watchable, more fun to watch than any of the last half dozen Michael Bay mega bucks blockbusters. Junk is more fun to watch when it looks and sounds like the junk that it is. biggrin.gif
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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The Other (1972), produced and directed by Robert Mulligan.
Quote:
Have I seen the real world yet?

In a setup that reminds me of Ray Bradbury stories, twin boys in a big family enjoy idyllic days in a country house around the time of the Lindbergh kidnapping. We slowly note an unusual number of deaths and accidents around them. Niles seems a bit wild, but Holland is the Bad Seed.

Strangely, even though the two boys are played by actual twins -- who never made another movie -- we find that they are never in the frame at the same time. What's going on? Are they really two? Is one a figment or a ghost or...?

Even more strangely, their Russian granny is a bit witchy and has taught them "the game" where they project their minds into plants, birds, animals, other people and even into a grave: What do you see? Cold, dark, locked prison, a mahogany box with handles, a face...

In a great bit, Niles says he expects a bright angel to take him to heaven:
Quote:
Holland: "She might take you to Hell".

Niles: "Angels don't go to Hell, only bad people do".

The damned look Holland gives him freezes the blood.

I'd never seen this before and it is a remarkable balance of the suggested and the explicit, a mix of the psychological type of thriller with intimations of supernatural horror. After one viewing I'm not sure how well it works: I complain about formulaic plots but when a film violates genre conventions I may be befuddled for a time.

Actor Tom Tryon adapted the screenplay from his novel, and was also executive producer.

Jerry Goldsmith score.

Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray with an isolated score track.



-Bill

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Old 10-16-2013, 03:58 PM
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I dunno; Bradbury was never this creepy. This scared the crap outta me as a kid!
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"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The Other (1972), produced and directed by Robert Mulligan.

I'd never seen this before and it is a remarkable balance of the suggested and the explicit, a mix of the psychological type of thriller with intimations of supernatural horror. After one viewing I'm not sure how well it works: I complain about formulaic plots but when a film violates genre conventions I may be befuddled for a time.

-Bill

I love this movie and saw it several times over the years. I never read the book, so my conclusion about what the movie is up to is based solely on what I saw and heard in the movie...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
But it is my belief that nothing "supernatural" occurs in the story at all. There is no "possession" of Niles by Holland's ghost or personality. At most (and worst, as regards Niles' psychological state), Niles has been led to believe he might be host to Holland's more cruel personality, led to believe such a thing by that "witchy" Grandma' Ada, who is more responsible than anyone for creating a hysteria around which several deadly events occur, none of which are perpetrated, intentionally at least, by Niles either as a cruel twin himself or possessed by the spirit or ghost of a cruel twin.

Looking back at the movie, there is only one death that occurs in direct association with Niles, but that one is portrayed as essentially unintentional. That is the death by heart attack of the dithering old lady neighbor. But watch the scene again. The scene ends with a look of genuine surprise on Niles' face. It might have been foolish to show such a "trick" to that old lady, but there is no way he could have KNOWN that she would die from it. And the look of surprise on his face illustrates that fact, imo. Considering her dithering nature, she mistakenly refers to Niles as "Holland", which works beautifully in misleading us in the audience early on about the truth of it. However, the fact that Niles doesn't correct her about the name confusion means little. It doesn't mean he is trying to make her believe he is Holland or anything like that. I imagine this dithering old lady had been calling each of the twins by the wrong name since they were infants and Niles would long ago have dropped an effort to correct her. Was it "criminal" for Niles not to have run to an adult to tell them the neighbor lady just collapsed? Possibly. But we aren't shown what transpired immediately after she collapsed. What if she had roused enough to say to Niles, "I'm ok", Niles left and then she collapsed again and died a half hour later?

None of the other dastardly events can be attributed to Niles. I believe hired farm hand Angelini kidnapped and killed the baby. I believe Angelini was the only one with the opportunity and ability to place the pitchfork in the haystack. The business with the dead infant in a pickle barrel occurred during a rip roaring rain storm. Yet, Nile's hair and clothing remain bone dry. He did not go outside that night. Not as himself, not as "Holland". Again, this opinion is based solely on what the movie presents, not on what the book suggests, which might be quite the opposite of what I am asserting. I believe the mother's own clumsiness and hysteria caused her fall, the scene does not show Niles pushing her or tripping her, and on and on.

I think the movie demonstrates a very clever sleight-of-hand in playing to our expectations that "supernatural" or "ghostly" events will take place in it while at the same time providing no real evidence that any did and plenty of evidence that they did not occur.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hitchfan View Post

I love this movie and saw it several times over the years. I never read the book, so my conclusion about what the movie is up to is based solely on what I saw and heard in the movie...

As usual, much insight!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
We could think of the spooky element as Niles' imagination, and then of his mother's and granny's apprehensions of what may be happening.

How did it get started? Niles has the ring and we know what he did to get it. That happened immediately after Holland's death. Was there enough time for a delusion to develop? Did he play the Game on his dead brother? If so, he has forgotten that he did.

So even if there is nothing supernatural going on, Niles was "troubled" from before the start of the story we see.

And...exactly how did their father die? Fell in the cellar. Could have been an accident.

-Bill

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Old 10-17-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

As usual, much insight!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
We could think of the spooky element as Niles' imagination, and then of his mother's and granny's apprehensions of what may be happening.

How did it get started? Niles has the ring and we know what he did to get it. That happened immediately after Holland's death. Was there enough time for a delusion to develop? Did he play the Game on his dead brother? If so, he has forgotten that he did.

So even if there is nothing supernatural going on, Niles was "troubled" from before the start of the story we see.

And...exactly how did their father die? Fell in the cellar. Could have been an accident.

-Bill
Thanks, Bill. I should pop in the DVD again soon (I have not yet been able to talk myself into the overpriced blu-ray). This is one of those movies that benefit from multiple viewings. You have watched it more recently than I...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
...but I have always thought Niles' interest in magic and the scene of him catching the solution to the magic act at the carnival was not so much a foreshadowing of the next supposedly dastardly deed he was planning to commit with the excelsior in the cellar, but more of a hint at his obsession with "trading places" or pretending to be something or someone other than what and who he is (The Game). Despite his being a twin, was he always a lonely kid wishing and willing to buy into The Game bit his Grandma' was only too happy to indulge in him? Was he the less "fun" one of the twins, the one that garnered less attention, even as Holland's way of getting attention was to pull cruel pranks? Of course, those are rhetorical questions raised by what is shown in the movie, not something I am asking you to answer unless you have an observation about it. He apparently had no friends or playmates other than his now dead twin.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bill. I should pop in the DVD again soon

See if you can spot...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
...his drawing of Bruno Hauptman. On the wall, or the icebox? I forget...

-Bill

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Old 10-17-2013, 01:46 PM
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See if you can spot...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
...his drawing of Bruno Hauptman. On the wall, or the icebox? I forget...

-Bill
No kidding? I'll have to look for that. wink.gif
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Black Sunday (1960), directed by Mario Bava.

(Aka The Mask of Satan).

Two doctors travel through Moldavia just in time to awaken a pair of vampire/witch/satanists who have cursed the area and their own descendents. Plenty of decaying crypts and ruined castles, plus hidden rooms with acres of cobwebs. Running, fighting, transformations of the flesh. An actual interesting plot: not so much.

Bava's first big picture, and an international success. It is most notable for the striking, finely textured photography of light and shadow, and for advances in gruesome effects that were radical at the time.

Dubbing is unavoidable in Italian pictures, but the voice actors are notoriously hard to take and distract us with their conversational, perfectly modulated speech coming from a dead studio space.

Kino Blu-ray. The black levels fluctuate a good deal, from "inky" to indifferent gray. I only sampled the commentary track: lots of silence. No subtitles.



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Old 10-21-2013, 11:02 AM
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Unfortunately, Plan 9 is a windscreen film, but no DVD releases have it that way, only academy AR.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:33 PM
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Widescreen.....not windscreen. Bad typo.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Rope of Sand (1949), directed by William Dieterle.

We know what happens to those who try to steal diamonds from a South African mining preserve. Burt Lancaster has returned to face sadistic commandant Paul Henreid and his dapper boss Claude Rains. Will he get away with the stones this time, and what about the new French cutie? Trust her or not?

I had been wanting to see this tough guy desert noir for a long time but it is a let-down. It's brutal enough but the characters are all stock types and the plot just trundles along without much involvement by the viewer. You get the feeling the actors are competently professional, but otherwise not caring that much.

They reassemble some of the Casablanca gang: Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, and we also have Mike Mazurki and Sam Jaffe.

Loud, distracting Franz Waxman score. Costumes by Edith Head.

Olive Films Blu-ray, and as always with this label there are no subtitles, which I could have used in this case. "Introducing" Corinne Calvet was particularly hard to understand at times.



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Old 10-30-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Three Secrets (1950), directed by Robert Wise.

When the sole survivor of a plane crash is a little boy stuck on a mountain ledge, three women discover that he may be the child each gave up for adoption. As they assemble at the remote lodge to watch the rescue effort, we learn the back-story of each.

I review this one because of the people involved. The story is just ok, one of those melodramatic semi-weepies inspired by the sometimes cruel realities of human biology. The clunky dialogue of this type of picture hurts it: always explaining everything out loud. Maybe that comes from writing for radio?

But if you like the actresses, each gets good screen time:

Eleanor Parker loved a soldier who already had a girl back home. She now has a husband, but he doesn't know about the baby. She can't have more children. This is the actress they call in when the script specifies "pain and fear".

Patricia Neal is a wise-cracking, hard-driving reporter, one of the boys with the newshounds. She can't keep her husband because her job comes first. By the time she discovers she's pregnant, he has remarried, so she keeps it secret. She has a crooked smile and wins the cheekbone contest.

Ruth Roman is a dancer who killed the producer who dallied with her and abandoned her. She had her baby in prison. She's out now, hardened and drinking too much, but there is still a heart of gold in there.

Finally, I have to see everything Robert Wise directs. He doesn't get the notice of auteur directors like Hitchcock or Kubrick, but his craftsmanship is always worth studying.

Olive Films Blu-ray. Variable quality with some print damage. An occasional good hidef image. I rent all these Olive Blu-rays from ClassicFlix.



-Bill

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Old 11-01-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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The Great Escape (1963), directed by John Sturges.

Misc notes:

  • In the opening scenes, Elmer Bernstein's whimsical score clues us that this will be a fun, "cozy" war picture, exciting but not too serious or gruesome. It darkens in the final act when a bunch of our escapees are shot, but comes back with Steve McQueen bouncing that baseball.
  • The prisoners are all on a first-name basis, unusual in British Army pictures.
  • The July 4th moonshine scene is especially fun.
  • This is a The Magnificent Seven reunion, with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, the director, producer, composer and other crew.
  • Actor James Donald, the Senior British Officer, deserved some sort of award for POW films: he was also in King Rat and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  • Screenplay by James Clavell, who also wrote King Rat.

Available on Blu-ray. I don't remember seeing this on film so can't be sure what it is supposed to look like, but the Blu-ray verges on the ugly. Detail is usually poor, the image dim and the colors washed out.



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Old 11-01-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The Great Escape (1963), directed by John Sturges.

Misc notes:

  • In the opening scenes, Elmer Bernstein's whimsical score clues us that this will be a fun, "cozy" war picture, exciting but not too serious or gruesome. It darkens in the final act when a bunch of our escapees are shot, but comes back with Steve McQueen bouncing that baseball.
  • The prisoners are all on a first-name basis, unusual in British Army pictures.
  • The July 4th moonshine scene is especially fun.
  • This is a The Magnificent Seven reunion, with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, the director, producer, composer and other crew.
  • Actor James Donald, the Senior British Officer, deserved some sort of award for POW films: he was also in King Rat and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  • Screenplay by James Clavell, who also wrote King Rat.

Available on Blu-ray. I don't remember seeing this on film so can't be sure what it is supposed to look like, but the Blu-ray verges on the ugly. Detail is usually poor, the image dim and the colors washed out.

-Bill

I liked The Great Escape too. Until I saw your post, had forgotten that James Clavell wrote the screenplay. Clavell was one of my favorite writers and I read all his novels, some of them more than once.

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Old 11-01-2013, 03:03 PM
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Available on Blu-ray. I don't remember seeing this on film so can't be sure what it is supposed to look like, but the Blu-ray verges on the ugly. Detail is usually poor, the image dim and the colors washed out.

A lot of the problems with the picture quality stem from the original production due to its extensive use of opticals.

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Old 11-01-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I liked The Great Escape too. Until I saw your post, had forgotten that James Clavell wrote the screenplay. Clavell was one of my favorite writers and I read all his novels, some of them more than once.

He was a POW in Singapore. King Rat was inspired by his experiences.

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Old 11-04-2013, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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High Plains Drifter (1973), directed by Clint Eastwood.
Quote:
It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.

This seemed so weird and mysterious upon first viewing all those years ago, but once you know the trick it is straightforward. The Western mythology is not suggested or symbolized but just laid out and enacted: the most powerful form of revenge must employ supernatural forces, yes?

The guilty are punished according to the degree of their villainy. In descending order:

  • The killers.
  • Those who conspired with them.
  • Those who watched and did nothing.
  • Those who would have helped if they could.
  • The innocent, like the Mexican laborers, forbidden to come to the fiesta, a kindness to them.

All, apart from the totally innocent, are humiliated and made to contribute to their own degradation. The cowardly, treacherous townsfolk are punished by the most manly of avengers. He takes what he wants; the women love it, eventually.

This is all rather blunt, but Clint Eastwood is at his mythic peak here: physically and in ironic mannerisms:
Quote:
Mordecai: What do we do then?

Stranger: Then you live with it.

How is an authentic Western town like one constructed for the movies? Both can look new and fresh built.

The score combines a spaghetti western's strange loneliness with appropriate ghostliness.

Available on a great-looking Blu-ray. Excellent detail, lovely natural color and fine grain. Bare bones otherwise, but that's ok: give me the movie, the whole movie and nothing but the movie.



-Bill

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Old 11-06-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Pit and the Pendulum (1961), produced and directed by Roger Corman.

Investigating the mysterious death of his sister, a young man encounters hereditary madness in the in-laws, their private torture chamber, and a haunting by the maybe-dead, maybe not.

It's been so long since I last saw this that all I remembered was the shocking opening of the tomb (Doctor: "I swear I thought that she was dead!"), and the ironic sadism of the final image. The Blu-ray has a rarely-seen prelude of the surviving sister in an insane asylum. I'm not sure how it was supposed to link up.

It is natural to assume that Vincent Price, deranged by the morbid suspicion that he buried his wife prematurely, is unconsciously haunting himself. But no! They offer that half way through, but it is not so simple: we have some nice twists in this one.

In those days the movies talked about torture but did not show it, and we dreaded what was not shown. It worked more in the imagination.

We are somewhat deflated at the outset by the dress-up costumes and the evident cheapness and quickness of the production. The modern haircuts on the men are particularly unfortunate. But after a time we forget about that, and the castle interiors are actually rather good. Corman says that as the Poe cycle continued they accumulated reusable sets and other gear, so the productions became richer looking.

Richard Matheson screenplay. Poe's story only loosely inspired the final act.

The score is rather fine for this sort of picture.

Available on Blu-ray. The director provides a reflective, low-key commentary track. It is not exactly fact-filled, but has some good background:

  • He took a Freudian perspective during this period: Castle = Woman's Body, etc.
  • They had just one day's rehearsal with two read-throughs, discussion of the characters and some improv. Union rules require rehearsals to be paid time, but dedicated directors and actors have been known to sneak off and work off the books.
  • Not much improv in the Poe movies: they are meant to be rather formal.
  • He praises everyone involved. (I thought young hero John Kerr was pretty wooden).



-Bill
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:11 AM
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Pit and the Pendulum (1961), produced and directed by Roger Corman.
l

I remember seeing these Poe inspired films in the theater as a kid. They were shocking for the day and plenty scary for a kid. Saturday matinee fun. But it was always Vincent Price that we went to see.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:01 PM
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"Father Goose" is one of my all-time favorites. I wish it were available on Blu-Ray.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by runnerdon View Post

"Father Goose" is one of my all-time favorites. I wish it were available on Blu-Ray.

It is. Review: Father Goose (1964)

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Old 11-10-2013, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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The Bedford Incident (1965), produced and directed by James B. Harris.

Most "action in the North Atlantic" films feature the intense suffering of those involved (worse things really do happen at sea), but we don't have that here: the emphasis is on the personal tensions, the pressure cooker environment that might spark WW3. Like Dr Strangelove (1964) without the laughs, or Hell in the Pacific (1968) or Fail-Safe (1964) with a few moments to silently reflect "My God, what have we done?"

There are no villains in this Cold War sub-hunting drama. Captain Richard Widmark pushes too hard but the crew loves him. He should have kept a closer eye on Ensign James "Book 'em Dano" MacArthur; they might have avoided The Incident but we would have missed one of the great dark endings in war films.

Journalist Sidney Poitier isn't a bad guy, but he is after the big story, which involves getting under the Captain's skin. You can see his disappointment when he is forbidden from using a juicy, if inaccurate, quote.

We get just a glimpse of the Soviet sub and there are no scenes "down below".

Widmark co-produced. Young Donald Sutherland is a lab tech in sick bay. Martin Balsam is the new Medical Officer who just isn't fitting in.

Interior shots were filmed on British warships and it has a realistic, almost documentary look at times.



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Old 11-15-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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West Side Story (1961), produced by Robert Wise, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.

I'd forgotten how gorgeous this is. I'd like it more if I cared for the singing and dancing, and for the very slight story, but it's not doing much for me. But give them credit: the dancing is impressive, with Russ Tamblyn (Riff) doing some incredible acrobatics.

Leonard Bernstein gets the music credit and a lot of it sounds like him, but some of the tunes ("Maria", "Tonight", "I Feel Pretty") sound much more like Lerner and Lowe. This is punctuated when Marni Nixon dubs the singing voice of Natalie Wood, just as she did for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Aesthetically, this is a hard one to puzzle out. Doing stylized moves -- even the knife fight is ballet -- against the realistic and gritty street background: is it "bold" or "just plain wrong"? As they say in Spinal Tap: "There's a thin line between clever and stupid".

We can't judge a film by what has happened since, but in retrospect the street gangs are pathetically weak. See what fifty years of progress can accomplish?

The wikipedia article has many production details, including lists of actors considered for Tony:
  • Elvis Presley
  • Warren Beatty
  • Tab Hunter
  • Anthony Perkins
  • Russ Tamblyn (Riff!)
  • Burt Reynolds
  • Troy Donahue
  • Bobby Darin
  • Richard Chamberlain
  • Dennis Hopper (!)
  • Gary Lockwood

...and for Maria:
  • Jill St. John
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Diane Baker
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda!)
  • Elizabeth Ashley
  • Suzanne Pleshette

The alternate-universe combinations are mind-boggling.

Fascinating: George Chakiris played Riff the Jet on stage and Bernardo the Shark on screen.

Available on a fine-looking Blu-ray.



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Old 11-19-2013, 05:18 PM
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WSS was a stage play... the movie version maintains that element. For some, that can be a distraction, but I understand it and it works for me.

What is fun is to compare the lyrics of songs like America, and see how they were altered/changed for the film.

WSS remains a popular play....and IMHO, so does the film. Several of the songs were very popular in the day, and hold up today
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JSUL View Post

WSS was a stage play... the movie version maintains that element. For some, that can be a distraction, but I understand it and it works for me.

What is fun is to compare the lyrics of songs like America, and see how they were altered/changed for the film.

WSS remains a popular play....and IMHO, so does the film. Several of the songs were very popular in the day, and hold up today

I have always been ambivalent about West Side Story. Despite Leonard Bernstein's brilliant music and Stephen Sondheim's equally wonderful lyrics, there is something jarring about watching Broadway dancing boy's trying to credibly portray NYC street toughs. That sort of thing can be made to work on a musical theater stage but those closeups on more or less realistic looking inner city sets make it damn near impossible to pull off. I thought the film was also weakened by the mediocre singing voices, at least by the standards required by Bernstein's demanding music, of its stars, Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. I have the CD recording of the concert version of the show, with Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria and Jose Carreras as Tony, which serves to starkly demonstrate the vocal weaknesses of the film's stars.

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:05 PM
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Agree. Film stars rarely equate to vocal champs, hence dubbing by the more qualified is the rule of thumb. I enjoy several of the dance numbers and do not go too deep into the life of nyc street gangs of the period.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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The Uninvited (1944), directed by Lewis Allen.

An adult brother and sister find a grand old house on the sea cliff and the price is surprisingly reasonable. Haunted? No, just a few tales and a cold room, some minor inexplicables. The ghostly midnight sobbing does not begin until minute 29...

They say this is the first film to take ghosts and haunting seriously. The suspense is marred by intermittent comic relief and a romance subplot.

And yet: it shows how simple things can be the most chilling. Standing on a dark staircase, looking up: "There's something up there".

At the beginning they give a hint of bringing back something from the brother and sister's childhood, but then dropped it. That's how a modern film would do it: hauntings are a projection of interpersonal psychodrama. A worthy plot device, but overused.

Haunted-eyed Gail Russell is only 20 here. She had a troubled career and personal life. I last saw her in Seven Men from Now (1956).

Victor Young score; bits of The Wizard of Oz come through. His "Stella by Starlight" first appears here; it became a jazz standard. Costumes by Edith Head.

Criterion Blu-ray. The black levels are only fair. This title was unavailable on home video for a long time.



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Old 11-21-2013, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The Bedford Incident (1965), produced and directed by James B. Harris.

Most "action in the North Atlantic" films feature the intense suffering of those involved (worse things really do happen at sea), but we don't have that here: the emphasis is on the personal tensions, the pressure cooker environment that might spark WW3. Like Dr Strangelove (1964) without the laughs, or Hell in the Pacific (1968) or Fail-Safe (1964) with a few moments to silently reflect "My God, what have we done?"

There are no villains in this Cold War sub-hunting drama. Captain Richard Widmark pushes too hard but the crew loves him. He should have kept a closer eye on Ensign James "Book 'em Dano" MacArthur; they might have avoided The Incident but we would have missed one of the great dark endings in war films.

Journalist Sidney Poitier isn't a bad guy, but he is after the big story, which involves getting under the Captain's skin. You can see his disappointment when he is forbidden from using a juicy, if inaccurate, quote.

We get just a glimpse of the Soviet sub and there are no scenes "down below".

Widmark co-produced. Young Donald Sutherland is a lab tech in sick bay. Martin Balsam is the new Medical Officer who just isn't fitting in.

Interior shots were filmed on British warships and it has a realistic, almost documentary look at times.



-Bill


I love the bedford incident... where is this available?

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