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post #961 of 2287 Old 05-26-2013, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post

A comedic story about a kind hearted mute Parisian janitor (Gigot). He befriends the daughter of a Paris prositute. Gigot is loved by children and pets, belittled and teased by adults. His hobby is attending funerals. Although a comedy it is also a touching story with good morals about respect and treating others. Gleason wrote the movie and the music for the movie. In fact if you watch the credits, he about did it all. Directed by Gene Kelley. Filmed entirely in Paris.


The movie was a box office flop, but still recieves good reviews, even today. Kelly and Gleason were very unhappy about Fox's handling of the movie, Fox doing some additional editing even after their submittal.


I saw this movie one saturday afternoon as a teenager and loved it. It has never made either a DVD or even VHS tape release. I used to see it occasionally being played on AMC. In fact I even still have a grainy VHS rendition of the movie recorded from when AMC was commercial free. The only problem was I missed the first 3-4 minutes of the movie!! Later I found it on line in DVD at Joe's Classic Movies, a now defunct internet business for hard to find movies. It was basically a commerical free tape transfer from a Fox Movie Channel. The network logo is in the corner of the picture. But I still love the movie. Every year I go to TCM's website and recommend its showing. Every year they seem to ignore it. I'd hope to catch a DVD recording off of TCMHD.


The movie (1962) should pass into public domain in 2012, unless Fox applies for renewal. Given their never having released this film for home consumption, I'd hope they would just let it pass into public domain and at least let someone put out a less grainy DVD of the flick.


The recent movie, the Wool Cap, is basically a remake of this flick. The remake is nothing like (in my opinion) the genious of Jackie Gleason. This flick was Gleason, the great one, at his best.

FYI Gigot (pronounced Gee-go) will be shown on the new Movies! Channel on Sunday June 2nd at 8:00am and Monday June 3rd at 3:25am (Eastern/Pacific Times).

Here's the Link to find out more about the Channel debuting May 27th:

http://moviestvnetwork.com/schedule.php?date=06/02/2013

I have the Fox Cinema Archives DVD © 2012.
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post #962 of 2287 Old 05-27-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Richard III (1955), directed by Laurence Olivier.

Traditionally, Shakespeare is all about the words and the acting. Originally, movie versions were more or less filmed stage plays, sometimes with elaborate sets, sometimes more minimalistic. Only in recent decades have we seen more cinematic presentations, where we see more of the story instead of listening to it.

This is still from the earlier era and that is a problem: Richard III is a nightmarish story and the fine fancy dress costuming and traditional stage sets hamper that tone. Maybe in the theater you lose yourself in the performances, but that's harder to do in the movies.

The film does gradually become more realistic, until in the last 25 minutes we get outdoors to the battlefield. The camera work changes radically, becoming oddly geometrical and moving through wide arcs and down radial lanes.

Shakespeare is politically very astute here: the talent for getting power is different from the talent for wielding it. Scrambling is not the same as ruling. Richard is murderously crafty in getting to the throne, but once there he has no talent for keeping it. It's only then we begin to sympathize with him, and he does fight and die bravely. Although: through much of the film he is more dapper and witty than positively villainous, despite all the evil things he does.

Olivier, Gielgud and Ralph Richardson are a powerhouse trio. Also with young Claire Bloom. She had a brief fling with Olivier and said he was "a cold lover".

This is Shakespeare's longest play, written early in his career when he was just coming into his powers. It is part four in a series about the Wars of the Roses.

Although not as intense as the "who wrote Shakespeare?" debates (answer: William Shakespeare of Stratford) there is an active debate on "how bad was Richard, really?": actual villain or unfairly maligned in Tudor propaganda, reinforced by Shakespeare? The Ricardians attempt to improve his reputation. All I know is from Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, but the front line between the factions moves back and forth as old records continue to come to light.

Criterion Blu-ray, a fine restoration.



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post #963 of 2287 Old 05-30-2013, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Leave Her to Heaven (1945), directed by John M. Stahl.

The setup is like a "women's romance drama" kicked up to 11: Gene Tierney's exotic, almost unearthly beauty (those cheekbones, that overbite!), Cornel Wilde with so much makeup he looks like he's made of plastic. The luxurious, finely decorated vacation homes and "cabins", with everyone dressed so formally. The lush Technicolor and exquisite lighting and set decoration.

Were they intentionally pushing this too far for a fantasy effect, or is it just what audiences expected from a Technicolor drama at the time?

But wait: immediately, the plot goes off-kilter. Tierney's thousand-yard stare is just too unsettling. Her obvious Daddy issues, and the way her family is so cautious around her, the things they won't say to outsiders. We find her jealous and possessive to a psychotic degree -- murder comes easily. She resents even her unborn child and stages a miscarriage (bold plotting for that era). In the final act we move into a quick murder mystery and courtroom drama.

Another strange dimension: the emotions are so understated, the characters all so reserved. Douglas Sirk, who remade a couple of Stahl's "weepies" in the 1950s, would have pushed it harder, but this is in some ways more weird.

Notes:

  • The drowning scene, where Tierney coolly watches the boy struggle and die. I remember that from when I was boy myself, and it really torqued my mind: my first exposure to the femme fatale psycho-bitch character.
  • Is "polio" ever mentioned? The kid brother is at Warm Springs, GA: audiences would have recognized that as the clinic where FDR went for treatments.
  • In the review of Repulsion (1965) I commented on "passion sounds" in the movies. We have a bit of prehistory here: the newlywed couple's bedroom is sandwiched between the kid brother and the handyman with thin walls: zero privacy, provoking the bride to exteme deeds.
  • The expression on Chill Wills's face as he listens to the bride's prescient psycho-dream of watching a man drown: priceless.
  • Look at Mom's face after the drowning: she doesn't say anything, but she knows.
  • Vincent Price prosecutes the murder of his former fiance: improbable, you think?
  • Look at that modern, minimalist courtroom! Very unusual for Hollywood, which always used a standard, heavy wood-paneled setup back then.
  • Darryl Hickman (the kid brother) praises all the cast and crew except for the director, who was hostile and of no help, and Tierney, who was cold and self-absorbed, not interacting with anyone.
  • He said Chill Wills was the same person off-screen as the characters he played.
  • Hickman had to do his own swimming because the water was too cold for his stunt double. That scene took three weeks. He really did get a cramp during a shoot and no one would believe he was in trouble.
  • Alfred Newman score.
  • The title is from Hamlet: the ghost warning Hamlet not to take revenge on his mother.

Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray. Richard Schickel and Darryl Hickman provide a light, interleaved commentary track. Isolated score.



-Bill
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post #964 of 2287 Old 05-31-2013, 09:44 PM
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Those beautiful screencaps of Leave Her to Heaven are pushing me to pick up the Twilight Time BD.

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post #965 of 2287 Old 06-01-2013, 01:11 PM
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Last week I found that the John Frankenheimer film "99 and 44/100% Dead" had been released on DVD a couple years back. I ordered it and it arrived yesterday so watched it last night. The reason I was interested in this 1974 film was one Saturday afternoon when I lived in Seattle and driving through the University District I noticed quite a crowd gathered around the closed elementary school. I parked and walked over to find they were shooting a scene from this film. It's at about 1 hour and 19 minutes in as Richard Harris walks away from the building and a blast blows out windows. It took about 3 takes for that shot to work and for coverage they had three Panavision cameras.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071089/

BTW, contrary to the box description the DVD is OAR or 2:35:1.

A lot of the film was shot in Seattle as were a number of films in the 1970s. This film got panned and watching it again (I only saw it once before in a theater) can see why as it needed tighter editing. Another film that was shot a year earlier in Seattle was "Cinderella Liberty" which the jazz group I was in played the cast party (James Caan sat in to play some 3/4 blues on piano).
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post #966 of 2287 Old 06-05-2013, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Sunset Blvd. (1950), directed by Billy Wilder.

A tale told by a dead man: a sarcastic writer, down on his luck and trying to escape the repo men, finds refuge in the rich, weird mansion of a nearly forgotten silent film star. Cynically, he devises a cunning plan to extract money from her by helping with her terrible comeback script ("Salome -- what a woman!") but the joke is on him. He can't get away and devolves into her boy-toy.

It begins as a dark comedy by a director who had notoriously bitter feelings about Hollywood. It becomes more serious, but as it turns out the romance plot is the smallest part. This is a film-lover's tale of the movies, with many striking contrasts, parallels and juxtapositions:

  • The contrast between the old, wide-eyed and extravagant acting of the silent film era, as absorbed and reprojected by mad Norma Desmond, with the low-key, more naturalistic acting and personality of the younger man of 1950.
  • Gloria Swanson had been a silent film star without an acting career since then. (Note: the actress was not a mad recluse and she had a busy professional life off screen).
  • Erich von Stroheim had been a silent film director with a ruined career, reduced to slight acting parts.
  • The movie they watch in the home theater: starring Gloria Swanson and directed by Erich von Stroheim.
  • This is a Paramount film about Paramount Studios.
  • Many more Hollywood people playing themselves, or very similar characters.
  • "I'm still big: the pictures got smaller". She's not wrong: the silent film actors were gods and goddesses such as we have not seen since.

Once you've seen the film and learn a certain plot twist, you find yourself watching Erich von Stroheim's tragic expressions more closely.

It's all self-referentially dizzying, with some moments of even greater magic:

  • Norma Desmond visits the set, sits in the spotlight and all the old-timers gather around, worshiping her and reviving the glorious past, the better days of their youth. You can't fake that star power: "fakery" has no meaning in such a case. It is a shared reality.
  • When William Holden and Nancy Olson stroll through the nighttime studio lot. She was born just a few blocks away and is a third-generation movie person. The boundary between fantasy and reality becomes untraceable.
  • In the famous final "I'm ready for my close-up" scene, she thanks "Those wonderful people out there in the dark", punching us in the gut and drawing us into her story.

Franz Waxman score, Edith Head costumes.

Available on Blu-ray. Ed Sikov provides an insightful commentary track:

  • Drag queens love to do Norma Desmond but never get it quite right. She is a real actress and the silent style and her madness may be easy to lampoon, but not everyone can do what she does.
  • Similarly, her Chaplin impression is better than most such efforts.
  • He thinks DeMille comes across as sour and unpleasant, but I don't see that at all. He is in an embarrassing situation and gets out as gently as he can. Like Max, he knows Norma can never be told the truth.



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post #967 of 2287 Old 06-05-2013, 08:00 AM
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There are times in Sunset Blvd. when Gloria Swanson looks eerily like Ethel Merman. wink.gif


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post #968 of 2287 Old 06-05-2013, 08:03 AM
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I Saw Sunset Boulevard first run in 1950 and it has been one of my favorites ever since. I have the BD of the restored version of the film. It looks incredible and sounds about as good as it's possible to make a 1950 soundtrack sound.
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post #969 of 2287 Old 06-07-2013, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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High Noon (1952), directed by Fred Zinnemann.

A now classic tale, shown in real time, of a killer arriving on the noon train and the marshal abandoned by his townspeople.

A meditation on courage and duty, not always clear in its message: the marshal claims he is just being practical, that running away from the gang would be bad tactics, but we don't necessarily believe him.

Being a debate on ethics, it is more talky than most westerns. Was the West really settled by such timid folk?

We have a big set of familiar faces. Much as I admire Grace Kelly she seems a bit insipid here, particularly next to fiery Katy Jurado, who knows a Real Man when she sees one. He's just no longer her man.

Dimitri Tiomkin score. A strange drumming-and-mumbling motif is used during the film. The main theme is sung by Tex Ritter. I think of it as "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin'" but it is properly "The Ballad of High Noon".

Available on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Mine was a Netflix rental; I don't remember getting an Olive disc from there before, but maybe it's just been a while.



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post #970 of 2287 Old 06-07-2013, 08:29 AM
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Like any well educated kid growing up in this era I read Mad Magazine which gave this film a classic treatment in Hah! Noon! biggrin.gif



http://jeffoverturf.blogspot.com/2011/08/hah-noon-jack-davis-mad-mondays-day.html

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post #971 of 2287 Old 06-07-2013, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

We have a big set of familiar faces. Much as I admire Grace Kelly she seems a bit insipid here, particularly next to fiery Katy Jurado, who knows a Real Man when she sees one. He's just no longer her man.

Even in her heyday, I never thought Grace Kelly was much of an actress, although I admired her beauty and cool elegance. I have seen many of her films again over the years but doing so merely reinforced my long held belief that Kelly wasn't very talented. She was certainly a joy to look at, however.smile.gif

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post #972 of 2287 Old 06-07-2013, 10:39 AM
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Agree with you, gwsat
The original ice princess, perhaps?...nonetheless, High Noon is a good film.

Some say that The Searchers was John Wayne's answer to High Noon.
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post #973 of 2287 Old 06-08-2013, 08:08 AM
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Dimitri Tiomkin score. A strange drumming-and-mumbling motif is used during the film. The main theme is sung by Tex Ritter. I think of it as "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin'" but it is properly "The Ballad of High Noon".

-Bill

There are examples in film history where the music soundtrack boosts a movie to a level it would not have attained on its own, High Noon is a prime example IMO. The iconic "The Ballad of High Noon" is what brings me back to view this film from time to time, without it I don't think I'd bother. The movie has the look of one shot on studio backlots which is true for many of the scenes. The production is tainted with a strange back-story involving the Red Scare (Communist witch-hunt) of the period.

The song won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song and is number 25 on the AFI's 100 Years - 100 Songs list.

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post #974 of 2287 Old 06-09-2013, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Bad Ronald (1974), directed by Buzz Kulik.

Ronald is a spoiled, nerdy teen artist who illustrates a private fantasy universe. When he "accidentally" kills a girl, his over-fond mother makes a secret room for him in their house where he can hide out until the police lose interest. When Mom dies Ronald is still there. A new family moves in with three teenaged daughters and Ronald, watching through peep-holes, takes an intense interest in their lives.

This is a cheap made-for-TV effort only 70m long, although judging by IMDB comments those who saw it at an early age found it memorably creepy. For some reason, girls find especially unsettling the notion of a unseen presence in the house, spying on them and fingering their intimate apparel when no one is at home.

And yet: there is something appealing about the "in-crowd vs outsider" here, the revenge of the ridiculed and unfashionable, represented by both Ronald and his mother.

If this had been done as a full-length feature film with a bigger budget and just a slightly harder rating, it might be remembered as a solid entry in 1970s thriller genre, terr-o-rama before slasher films became big. As it is, we have a minimalist made-for-TV effort, although it builds to a decent climax as the girls begin to realize the Awful Truth.

Ronald is played by Scott Jacoby (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)) and his mother by Kim Hunter (The Seventh Victim (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946)).

I review this only because Jack Vance died recently and this is one of his very few IMDB writing credits. The others were two episodes of "Captain Video" and one of "Thriller".

Vance is one of my life-long favorite authors. He was well-regarded as a minor mystery writer but the bulk of his work was in science fiction and fantasy, where he is celebrated as one of the greatest stylists of the genre. Like many others, it is a shame he is not better known outside of fandom.

Bad Ronald is not a very characteristic work; perhaps a clue that Hollywood wanted something other than what he usually wrote. The book is darker than the movie: the original crime is rape and murder and he's not done yet. I don't recall any other Vance book where the protagonist is a psycho-killer.

(If you are wondering how Ronald managed certain things: he had a toilet in his secret room and flushed it only when hearing another toilet elsewhere in the house. When his own food stocks were exhausted he raided the family refrigerator in the night. His hygiene was poor and the family did notice an unexplained odor after a while, although certain objects buried in the crawlspace under the house may have had something to do with that).

Just as I had despaired of scrounging up replacements for disintegrating paperbacks, Vance's complete works became available as ebooks, DRM-free (but not $$$-free!): http://jackvance.com/.

Warner Archive DVD. Soft image, faded color.

Later: Warner Archive delivered a Blu-ray with vastly better color and detail. Now with subtitles.

From the Blu-ray:



For comparison, the old DVD:



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post #975 of 2287 Old 06-13-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Barabbas (1961), directed by Richard Fleischer.

A tale of the criminal pardoned instead of Christ just before the Crucifixion.

This is not one of the top-tier Bible epics like Ben Hur or Roman adventures like Spartacus, but on its level is really rather good. Much better than I remember, although the last time I saw it was as a cut-up version on a small boxy black-and-white TV.

The first act is the best part: glimpses of the Passion, mysteries happening just out of sight. Anthony Quinn is outstanding as the coarse, drunken brute who is haunted by Christ and his own part in the story, until he finally finds redemption on his own cross. The fear and pain in his life-long struggle with the truth makes the movie.

Harry Andrews is excellent as a confident, soft-spoken Peter, talking of nets and fishing for men. We have a strangely eerie sequence with Lazarus, who looks like a revivified dead man. "No one else ever asked me what it was like to be dead," he says.

I think the latter parts in the sulfur mine and with the gladiator story slack off a bit, although sadistic Jack Palance is impressively evil as the head gladiator.

Also with Arthur Kennedy as Pilate, Katy Jurado as a tavern wench, and Ernest Borgnine as a secret Christian in Rome.

Filmed in Italy. For the "darkness at noon" part of the Crucifixion they used a total eclipse of the sun that occurred during filming.

The DVD could use an upgrade. A nice Blu-ray of this title would be very welcome.



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post #976 of 2287 Old 06-13-2013, 12:08 PM
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One Flew Over the Cuckoos was such a great film. Nicholsan was really at his best back them. I keep meaning to get a hold of the book because I've heard it's a lot different than the movie, but life keeps getting in the way. Now, I really wanna see this movie again. I really felt bad for Billy, out of the whole lot, his mother was looney tunes and that nurse should have had her butt kicked a few times.
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post #977 of 2287 Old 06-15-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Lisztomania (1975), written and directed by Ken Russell.

Rock star plays pre-rock star. The fan phenomenon shown was real: see the wikipedia article on Lisztomania (phenomenon).

I guess this is what happened when Russell was allowed to make his own movie without any restraint. We expect the excess, but the persistent dumbness is hard to take.

Quite a of bit of nudity and rude sexual humor, and we have wild fantasy pieces, including Roger Daltrey riding a gigantic penis across the stage to the delight of the female chorus (but it ends at the guillotine -- ouch!)

It has something to say about fascism inspired by art (Wagner is the villain) and the political evil of pop-music mesmerism, although that was treated better in Privilege (1967). The whole effort is feeble and dull. Daltrey's musical numbers go on too long.

I don't remember the dialogue being so difficult to follow in the theater (yes, I've paid twice for this) but maybe my hearing is gone. We have a variety of accented English voices and the sound mix drops them under the music; I'm getting maybe one word in 10. No subtitles.

Score by Rick Wakeman, who appears briefly as the Frankenstein monster version of "Thor".

"First film to be encoded with a Dolby Stereo optical soundtrack."

Warner Archive DVD with a rather good image for a single-layer disc. Needs subtitles, doesn't have them.



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post #978 of 2287 Old 06-16-2013, 04:29 PM
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Agree with you, gwsat
The original ice princess, perhaps?...nonetheless, High Noon is a good film.

Some say that The Searchers was John Wayne's answer to High Noon.

No- that would be Rio Bravo.

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post #979 of 2287 Old 06-16-2013, 06:34 PM
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Correct ratpacker .. my bad.

I love both.....saw them with my dad when they came out, in theatres here in Fort Worth, TX.....great childhood memories, here on Fathers Day.
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post #980 of 2287 Old 06-18-2013, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Union Station (1950), directed by Rudolph Maté.

When a woman spots suspicious characters on a train, she reports it and -- no good deed going unpunished -- gets wrapped up in a vicious kidnapping and ransom case.

This is a small crime thriller but a good one, emphasizing the seriousness and toughness of both the cops and the crooks. These were the good old days when you could take a suspect into the subway, beat the crap out of him and plausibly threaten to throw him onto the tracks.

I counted the shots fired from each revolver: six and you're empty! Isn't that amazing?

We have a small budding romance subplot but it doesn't interfere with the serious tone of the picture. William Holden and Nancy Olson were together in Sunset Blvd. (1950) the same year. Barry Fitzgerald does his patented Irish detective inspector role.

Set in Chicago but filmed in LA. Good use of real locations: stockyard, train station, underground tunnels. 81 minutes long.

Olive Films Blu-ray. Some of the images are good, but we have lots of brightness fluctuation, probably from the film source.



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post #981 of 2287 Old 06-20-2013, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The Petrified Forest (1936), directed by Archie Mayo.

Quote:
I spent most of my time since I grew up in jail. Looks like I'll spend the rest of my life dead. -- Duke Mantee
When gentlemanly but disillusioned writer Leslie Howard hikes into an isolated desert diner, he encounters young Bette Davis, wasting away and dreaming of moving to France to be an artist. Transient love blooms like a desert flower, until destiny arrives in the form of desperado Humphrey Bogart and his gang. There will be blood.

I've never seen a bad performance from Leslie Howard and here he is excellent as the amused, failed intellectual who has given up on civilization, secretly wanting to die and admiring the savages taking over the world. The young woman is his redemption, a hope that she can live as he has failed to do.

Bogart is the savage with rough charm of his own. He calls ladies "Ma'am" when stealing their jewelry and won't let Gramps have a drink when told it is bad for him. And he too is in love. Sticking to his girl is what dooms him. And he knows it.

Adapted from a stage play, it runs pretty well on screen, talky of course and more or less bound to the diner. Howard and Bogart did the stage version and Howard refused to do the film without him. It became Bogart's breakout role. His walk -- like a trousered ape -- and the way he hangs his hands are eccentric; he said he modeled it on films of Dillinger.

Howard and Davis starred in Of Human Bondage (1934) two years earlier. She's still young enough to be on the edge of pretty, before she developed her "exotic" looks. Howard died when his plane was shot down in 1943, a great loss.

Unusually for the 1930s we have two black actors in good roles: one is the officious and semi-comical chauffeur, but the other is a serious member of the crime gang.

Filmed entirely on a soundstage, apart from a couple of desert terrain shots.

Available on Blu-ray. The old heavy-grained film source will not win any eye-candy awards, but this is an upgrade over the previous DVD: more detail, better black levels and less compression ringing.



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post #982 of 2287 Old 06-20-2013, 11:50 PM
 
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^A classic Bogey film, and required viewing for every movie lover.wink.gif
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post #983 of 2287 Old 06-21-2013, 09:25 AM
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With this great cast of actors it's easy to overlook Charley Grapewin who seemed to make a career out of portraying 'Grampa' types in films.



Some other films he was in following The Petrified Forest were:

The Good Earth (1937)
Captains Courageous (1937)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Tobacco Road (1941)
They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

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post #984 of 2287 Old 06-21-2013, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by See The Light View Post

FYI Gigot (pronounced Gee-go) will be shown on the new Movies! Channel on Sunday June 2nd at 8:00am and Monday June 3rd at 3:25am (Eastern/Pacific Times).

Here's the Link to find out more about the Channel debuting May 27th:

http://moviestvnetwork.com/schedule.php?date=06/02/2013

I have the Fox Cinema Archives DVD © 2012.

That was a while ago when I posted a reviewon the movie. I was shocked to find out that the movie is now out on DVD. It never had a VHS release even. I scooped up a copy right away even at 19 bucks for a DVD. I guess Fox decided at the last minute to not let the movie pass into the public domain. I wish they had released it in its original 16:9 instead of chopping it at 4:3. Oh well, its better than nothing.

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post #985 of 2287 Old 06-23-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hard Times (1975), directed by Walter Hill.

(A revision of an earlier review in honor of the Twilight Time Blu-ray).

Aka Street Fighter.

Brutal bare-knuckles boxing story set in depression-era New Orleans. It's more like brawling: no rules other than empty hands and don't hit a man when down. The men strip to the waist and fight in their street clothes.

Walter Hill's first picture; an auspicious beginning. No frills, bare bones, just an authentically sad and grimy 1930s look to everything.

Chaney (Charles Bronson) drifts into town, just looking for a way to make some money. Speed (James Coburn), a gambler and fight promoter, becomes his partner. He's not quite as smart as he thinks he is, or maybe it is just an attitude and gambling problem. He talks too much and at the wrong time. He never does figure Chaney out. Chaney has to ponder whether money really is everything before it is over.

Strother Martin is Poe, a fight "doctor". Two years of medical school and a weakness for opium. He has some great lines:
Quote:
[Introducing the fighter] That's Chaney. He don't say much.

[Sadly, when some losing gamblers won't pay up] Somebody always shows up with a gun.

[Cautioning his partner in a tense situation] Steady on, Speed. These boys are not refined.

Jill Ireland, Bronson's real-life wife, is a tentative romantic interest. It can't last: she has a husband in prison and needs someone more reliable than Chaney for "right now".

It's hard to believe that Bronson is 54 years old in this picture. He still looks like he's made of iron, although the director said he was smoking and didn't have much wind. Some of his fans think this is his best film. He still has that laconic manner and immobile face, but somehow projects a deeply conflicted nature: proud and self-sufficient but lonely and without purpose.

Looking at his biography: Bronson started in the coal mines. In WW2 he was a B-29 tail gunner, flew 25 missions and had a Purple Heart.

I think real bare-knuckles boxing would produce much more blood. In England, Regency sportsmen called it "claret" and the fighters were covered head to toe.

Clint Eastwood played a bare-knuckles boxer in his two monkey movies made just after this: maybe inspired by it?

The original US DVD release was a flipper with 4:3 pan & scan on one side and widescreen (anamorphic, I'm told) on the other. The reissue was 4:3 pan & scan only. Isn't that infuriating? The original aspect ratio is 2.35:1 so cropping it to 1.33:1 is a crime. Rather than take the risk that the seller of a used disc might not be aware of the differences, I imported an anamorphic PAL region 2 version.

But the Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray obsoletes the DVDs now. Isolated score. Not a showpiece by current standards, but I'm very pleased with the image. Huge upgrade over the DVDs. Skin tones look a bit white to me, but apart from Frank McRae these are all pale people.

Also available on Amazon streaming but I don't know about the quality.



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post #986 of 2287 Old 06-24-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

It's hard to believe that Bronson is 54 years old in this picture. He still looks like he's made of iron, although the director said he was smoking and didn't have much wind. Some of his fans think this is his best film. He still has that laconic manner and immobile face, but somehow projects a deeply conflicted nature: proud and self-sufficient but lonely and without purpose.

Looking at his biography: Bronson started in the coal mines. In WW2 he was a B-29 tail gunner, flew 25 missions and had a Purple Heart.

Also available on Amazon streaming but I don't know about the quality.

-Bill

Thanks for the review Bill. I do think this is one of Bronson's best films if not the best.



The actor on the left who many people are familiar with is the late Robert Tessier who passed away in 1990 at age 56. It's noteworthy that Tessier also had served time in the United States Armed Forces seeing action in Korea as a paratrooper and earning both a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. I remember he was a staple on TV and movies for many years.

I'll have to revisit this film, it's been a while, possibly the streaming Amazon HD version.

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post #987 of 2287 Old 06-25-2013, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post

That was a while ago when I posted a review on Gigot. I was shocked to find out that the movie is now out on DVD. It never had a VHS release even. I scooped up a copy right away even at 19 bucks for a DVD. I guess Fox decided at the last minute to not let the movie pass into the public domain. I wish they had released it in its original 16:9 instead of chopping it at 4:3. Oh well, its better than nothing.

Yes, of course Gigot deserves a complete restoration and a Blu-ray release. But, the DVD will suffice for now ..... smile.gif

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post #988 of 2287 Old 06-27-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), directed by Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and Toshio Masuda.

The emphasis is on historical accuracy in this joint US-Japanese production, a meticulous retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As documentary it is quite well done, but is less satisfying as drama. Nothing wrong with the actors, but they have to speak the plot every step of the way and this makes it wooden. Critics found the film dull but history buffs in both countries have liked it better.

We get a sense of the risky gamble the Japanese were taking, and of their luck in finding the Americans so poorly prepared. The last aspect is really hammered: one poor decision after another.

The air battle and ground attack are tremendous. The model work on the ship explosions is not as good, and for some reasons movie recreations never match the colossal scope of the disaster as shown in the original newsreels:



The wikipedia article has a section on errors; they are all the sort of details that fly right by me.

Akira Kurosawa put quite a lot of time in on this but was replaced and little of his film used. It really wasn't his sort of project.

Jerry Goldsmith score with a variety of martial themes. For DC he brings up the Copland-esque music traditional in American political thrillers.

Available on Blu-ray with a fine image and natural color.



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post #989 of 2287 Old 06-30-2013, 10:20 AM
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Get Carter 1971

-> the one With Michael Caine is the 'only' one to watch! I waited a long time for this come out, got it from 'Movies Unlimited'

A line at the beginning of the film =" A pint of bitter, in a thin glass." You REALLY have to see it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Carter[/URL]

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post #990 of 2287 Old 07-01-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Badlands (1973), written, produced and directed by Terrence Malick.

Cast your mind back to adolescence. Little bit crazy, were you? Afraid you might launch off into some extreme bad behavior? But you were in love, awkward but pure. Until it ended.

That's the story of Kit and Holly, if you throw in the extra craziness that lets them casually murder a whole string of family, friends and strangers, and then camp out in the woods in a survivalist compound that combines Gilligan's Island with Lost.

Even her father (the great Warren Oates) is crazy: he shoots her dog to punish her!

Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are young, fresh and convincing. Just guessing, but I suspect the director did not rely on storyboards: there seem to be many scenes found during the shoot, maybe bits of improvisation.

Spacek had only a brief ingenue period before developing her exotic look, but she is improbably cute in little white shorts here.

After first sex:
Quote:

Holly: Did it go the way it's supposed to?

Kit: Yeah.

Holly: Is that all there is to it?

Kit: Yep.

Holly: Gosh, what was everybody talkin' about?

Kit: Don't ask me.

Holly: Well, I'm glad it's over. For a while I was afraid I might die before it happened. Had a wreck or some deal like that.

I love her dim, romantically overblown diary narration.

Ironic twist: when finally captured, Kit and the police are similar people. They like each other in the end.

The score, using bits of Carl Orff, is initially childlike, becoming darker and psychotic as the story changes but the characters don't.

Malick's first film, begun when he was a student. The story is suggested by the history of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate in 1958. Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers is an absurd treatment of the same material, much less watchable than Badlands.

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion. Excellent natural color.



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