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post #1951 of 1958 Old 09-07-2017, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomas2 View Post
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is producer/director Stanley Kubrick's brilliant, satirical, provocative black comedy/fantasy regarding doomsday and Cold War politics that features an accidental, inadvertent, pre-emptive nuclear attack. The undated, landmark film - the first commercially-successful political satire about nuclear war, has been inevitably compared to another similar suspense film released at the same time - the much-more-serious and melodramatic Fail-Safe (1964). However, this was a cynically objective, Monty Python-esque, humorous, biting response to the apocalyptic fears of the 1950s.
If you're going to quote someone else's published writing, please link to the original:

http://www.filmsite.org/drst.html
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post #1952 of 1958 Old 09-07-2017, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
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If you're going to quote someone else's published writing, please link to the original:

http://www.filmsite.org/drst.html
Deleted my post and unsubscribed

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post #1953 of 1958 Old 09-07-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomas2 View Post
Deleted my post and unsubscribed
Seems like an easier solution would be to just put a link in the post when you quote something, rather than plagiarizing it without credit. But you do what you need to do.
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post #1954 of 1958 Old 09-10-2017, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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A Kid for Two Farthings (1955), produced and directed by Carol Reed.

Cute little boy Joe grows up in the street markets of the East End in London, fascinated by all the animal stalls. I think it is supposed to be a Jewish neighborhood. His mother (Celia Johnson, last seen in Brief Encounter (1945)) works for a tailor who tells Joe about the magic of the unicorn, its ability to grant wishes. Joe buys a runty little goat with only one horn and assures everyone the unicorn will get them what they need.

Everyone works and everyone has dreams. Mom needs Dad to come back from Africa. Seamstress Sonia (Diana Dors, last seen in The Long Haul (1957) and briefly in Deep End (1970)) wants to marry her bodybuilder boyfriend but they have no money unless he gets into the wrestling game. The tailor needs a steam press.

It's very sweet, perhaps excessively so. Critics love Carol Reed but didn't care for this one. Like all "kids with animals" stories it turns weepy at the end. That poor weak little goat. Too many wishes.

My thumbnails are from a disc in the "Diana Dors: The Collection" PAL DVD box set. She is a supporting character in most of the other titles, which are:

  • Diamond City (1949): a formula "western" in the South African diamond fields. Featuring Honor Blackman, age 24.
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949): Yorkshire bicycle club romance, again with Honor Blackman, a better role for her.
  • Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951): it's actually about beauty pageants.
  • As Long as They're Happy (1955): with Janette Scott, age 17.
  • Yield to the Night (1956): a starring role for Dors in a serious death penalty drama.
  • The Blonde Bombshell (1999): TV bio-pic with Keeley Hawes as the younger and Amanda Redman as the older Dors.



-Bill

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post #1955 of 1958 Old 09-13-2017, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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The Sundowners (1960), produced and directed by Fred Zinnemann.

Australian sheepherder Robert Mitchum likes to keep on the move, but his wife Deborah Kerr and their teen boy want to get a farm and settle down. Some conflict but also enough love to work it out. Along the way we have sheep-drives across the outback, wildfire, a marathon shearing contest, good natured drunken brawling, and horseracing.

Mitchum did the picture so he could work with Kerr again, having become friends with her while making Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957). They have good, relaxed married-couple chemistry. She is always particularly good at clear-eyed, unsqueamish sexual relations.

It's startling to see Peter Ustinov as former sea captain turned drover; I always thought of him as an indoor guy, but he can ride a horse and do the work.

This was well liked at the time, nominated for five Academy Awards. It's still pleasant but seems modest in range and scope.

The outdoor scenes were filmed in Australia, with Nicolas Roeg as an uncredited second unit camera operator.

Dimitri Tiomkin score.

Available on DVD.



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post #1956 of 1958 Old 09-13-2017, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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The Grass Is Greener (1960), produced and directed by Stanley Donen.

This light comedy of infidelity did not do well in the US, probably because audiences wanted to see more jealous outrage and punches thrown rather than Cary Grant's dry drawing-room wit and cool calculation. Adapted from a stage play so it is dialogue-heavy.

It is notable for gathering together four great stars who had worked together in pairs previously:


Available on Blu-ray from Olive; no subtitles.



-Bill
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post #1957 of 1958 Old 09-13-2017, 08:48 AM
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Review older films here: 1979 and earlier

Woman of the Year:

I'd been holding out in hopes that a BD release befitting this classic would come along to replace my DVD. Criterion didn't disappoint.

One of the finest "and then they met" moments in film.

https://instagram.com/p/-0aE0viKvb/

Kwaidan:

Usually cut in the US release, this Criterion offers the entire film. An incredible experience, worth enjoying in one sitting. Up there with DEAD OF NIGHT and THE HAUNTING as one of the greatest ghost/horror movies ever made.
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post #1958 of 1958 Old 09-19-2017, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hell in the Pacific (1968), directed by John Boorman.

We get right to it with no backstory or preliminaries: a Japanese and American soldier, castaways on a small island, at first continue the war, then learn to cooperate and become partners in survival. Even buddies, for as long as it lasts.

It is rare to find such a concentration of talent, all personal favorites:

  • Stars: Lee Marvin and Toshirō Mifune (the only two people in the film).
  • Director: John Boorman.
  • Cinematographer: Conrad Hall.
  • Score: Lalo Schifrin.

It is a quirky treatment: both men are tough enough but neither is Sanjuro (Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962)) or Major Reisman (The Dirty Dozen (1967)). Their hide-and-raid warfare begins to resemble Tom & Jerry or Roadrunner cartoons, with Marvin giving an especially goofy interpretation.

Boorman's original ending was cut by the producer and replaced with an abrupt bit of stock footage for the theatrical release. When I first saw it I thought they must have run out of film and just quit the picture. The original final two minutes is much more in keeping with the tone of the film. Both versions are available on the Blu-ray.

What I learned from the Blu-ray commentary track:

  • Marvin and Mifune both served in the Pacific war.
  • They got on well together, getting stone drunk every night and then up at 7AM ready to work.
  • Marvin had a bad war and hated the glorification of violence. He hated The Dirty Dozen (1967).
  • Both Boorman and Marvin disliked the title. Boorman wanted The Enemy.
  • This was not Boorman's project. He did it for Marvin (they had worked on Point Blank (1967) together). Robert Aldrich turned down the picture.
  • The initial script had much more comedy. Boorman took most of it out and fought with Mifune over the new interpretation.
  • He had to deal with Mifune through an interpreter. Boorman: "Tell him he is being stupid". Interpreter: "I can't tell him that, he'll kill me". Boorman: "You're not saying it, I am". Interpreter whispers to Mifune, who hits him with his fist and lays him flat. Hearing the story, Akira Kurosawa laughed his ass off. "You don't direct Mifune; you point him like a missile".
  • In the theater, Mifune's Japanese was not subtitled in English. Boorman said he wanted the audience to understand one language or the other, but not both. (I think it is clear what Mifune is saying even for those who don't speak the language, but the subtitles on the Blu-ray are worth having: he first calls Marvin "Old Man" and then "White Beard" and gives his thoughts on raft design).
  • The producers wanted to fire Boorman but Mifune would not allow it. Even though they had fought it was a matter of honor: he's my director.
  • Filmed in the islands of Palau, which was unnecessarily strenuous. Boorman said he didn't think he'd get out of it alive. They could have gotten the same results in Hawaii. Maybe.
  • It was a flop at the box office.

Twenty years into the DVD era, after ten years with Blu-ray, we finally get a Warner Archive Blu-ray to replace the ancient and sad 4:3 letterboxed DVD. This has been on my want list for ages.

Image quality in bright scenes is fair, not great; dark scenes have a lot of noise.

The commentary track by two film scholars gives deep background on everyone involved, but not so much on the film itself.

Both theatrical and director's cuts are included, as are a good set of extras. The cuts are identical apart from those final two minutes.



-Bill
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