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post #1861 of 2226 Old 05-25-2017, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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This was Laird Cregar's last film. A tragic case, he was closeted gay man, very conflicted, large framed with a poor self-image. As said, dropping all that weight probably killed him.

Everyone who worked with him remembered his intense focus and great talent.

Vincent Price was a friend and gave the eulogy at his funeral. Much of the work Price got in the next few years probably would have been the "Laird Cregar" role if he had lived.

-Bill
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post #1862 of 2226 Old 05-25-2017, 09:03 AM
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I believe I have that "Concerto Macabre" on one of fine Charles Gerhardt and National Philharmonic film score albums from the 70s (remastered for CDs in Dolby Surround). Have to see the film now, I'd watch Linda Darnell doing anything. I'd watch her doing nothing, in fact.
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post #1863 of 2226 Old 05-26-2017, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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The Locket (1946), directed by John Brahm.

An unusual women's noir thriller: our central character is a mystery woman and the story is about her and her men. She seems too perfect, and in fact has a flaw: she takes jewelry and sometimes leaves a body behind. She doesn't seem to remember. Is she an exceptionally good liar, or does she (like many of us) have a creative memory, or is she evil or amoral, or just mentally ill?

The story unfolds in nested flashbacks: from her wedding day, back to a previous marriage with a psychiatrist, then back to a romance with tough guy painter Robert Mitchum, then back to a childhood incident of yearning and humiliation. Incredibly, after all the flashbacks are unwound, the oldest and newest part of the plot are ingeniously linked together.

(The only other film I recall having such deeply nested flashbacks is Passage to Marseille (1944)).

I haven't seen much of Laraine Day, but she was very impressive when featured, for example as co-star in Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940). She is amazing here and I wonder that she didn't become a major star. Her beauty is like a fortress, protecting impenetrable secrets.

The segment with Mitchum gets the greatest amount of time and they are good together.

I don't know why I had never seen this before; it is an exceptional effort. I've been seeing quite a few films by director John Brahm lately and he always delivers a superior treatment.

Cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca is not as famous as some, working on genre movies for Val Lewton as well as notable noir like Out of the Past (1947), but I'm always on the lookout for him these days. Here his lighting and composition are just stunning.

Musuraca began his Hollywood career as a chauffeur during the silent era; he ended it working on the TV series F Troop.

Melodramatic score by Roy Webb.

Available on DVD.



-Bill
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post #1864 of 2226 Old 05-27-2017, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The Mad Magician (1954), directed by John Brahm.

The craftsman who invents new stage magic tricks wants to perform them himself, but his conniving employer and another magician won't allow it. Murder is the solution, but getting away with it is a lot of work. One thing leads to another, of course.

A favorite bit: an arrogant magician struts around the room, dictating terms, while Vincent Price coolly watches, unconcerned. The door to the workroom is locked and the visitor is a fool dancing on the edge of the grave.

A quick followup to House of Wax (1953): 3D again, Price returns, same writer and cinematographer, and the artist in his workshop looks very similar in both films:



Saving money by going black-and-white. Only 72 minutes long.

John Brahm directs this time and he recycles elements from his earlier films: the mysterious, dangerous tenant from The Lodger (1944) and disposing of a body on a giant bonfire as in Hangover Square (1945).

Brahm did not think much of the picture and it is the lightest of his thriller series.

Price appears very fit, still with those leading man looks, and said he had never been in such good shape. Mad murderer that he is, we are on his side, all his victims being so unlikable.

Patrick O'Neal's first feature film; he'd done TV and theater before. With Eva Gabor, who is quite a dish.

We have a few gimmicky 3D exploitation moments, but otherwise the composition in depth is nicely done.

Available in 3D Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Even for 2D viewing this is probably the first time the correct aspect ratio has been available for home viewers.

Extras include an enthusiastic commentary track by two Twilight Time regulars, one who knew Price for many years and always has great stories about him. Also with two Three Stooges shorts in 3D.



-Bill

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post #1865 of 2226 Old 05-27-2017, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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That completes my short series on director John Brahm. As mentioned, I reviewed The Brasher Doubloon (1947) a few years ago.

I'll keep an eye out for others, but I think this covers his best known feature film work.

-Bill
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post #1866 of 2226 Old 05-27-2017, 05:43 PM
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I was going to overlook The Mad Magician, but perhaps not now. Price was great.[1] Screen Archives Entertainment puts the TT titles on sale regularly, but you have to be careful, some titles (e.g. Harryhausen's First Men In The Moon) sell out fast and unexpectedly. Almost always have an isolated music track, which in the case of Journey To The Center Of the Earth is worth the price of the disc alone.

[1] And a very sweet man. My father went to prep school with him — that old cliché, "they were bunkies" — and my mother met him when, I think the story goes, he once came backstage at The Interplayers, the rep theater my parents were members of in the late 1950s, early 60s in San Francisco. She said he stepped back onto her foot accidentally, and was so gentle and apologetic she said it stopped hurting. Wish I'd been able to meet him just once and thank him for all his great film roles.
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post #1867 of 2226 Old 05-28-2017, 06:01 PM
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Seven Days in May (1964), directed by John Frankenheimer.

A nice mix of detective story and political thriller, my favorite. How quickly can Kirk Douglas come to believe that a military coup is scheduled for the weekend, how to convince the president, and how to stop it?

It's a great cast but the two utterly believable performances are Fredric March as the President and Martin Balsam as his chief of staff. They could be those people.

Burt Lancaster is the perfect soldier, brave, precise and scrupulously if pointedly polite, but also our egomaniac villain.

Ava Gardner is a love-lorn ex-girlfriend and Edmond O'Brien the hard-drinking senior senator from Georgia who is on the side of the angels.

John Houseman had been a long-time producer. At age 62 he got his first real acting part as the patrician admiral who will only bet on a sure thing.

Screenplay by Rod Serling; now and then I can hear his voice when the characters start to lecture.

Jerry Goldsmith score.

Available on DVD with a relaxed, conversational commentary track by the director. As always he lavishes praise on his cast and crew. He collects people who are dedicated and hard working. He says:

  • The picket riot at the beginning was staged with amateurs and quickly got too real.
  • They had permission to shoot outside the White House and photograph the interior for their own set construction because JFK and his press secretary Pierre Salinger had enjoyed The Manchurian Candidate (1962). (Think about that...)
  • Fredric March was one of the two finest actors he knew, and he didn't name the other.

Where's the Blu-ray?



-Bill
After all these years, the Blu Ray version of "Seven Days In May" was released on May 2, 2017!
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Seven-...Blu-ray/42428/

Even though I'm a penny-pinching tightwad 90% of the time, the moment I discovered that the BD is available, I did not hesitate for one second to pay a ridiculous amount of money for this more-relevent-than-ever classic. (The Donald should definitely see this one!)

According to the above link's reviewer, it's a great looking and sounding blu-ray and my wife and I very much look forward to enjoying it once again. I may even light up a "cigarette" for that very special occasion.
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post #1868 of 2226 Old 05-28-2017, 07:28 PM
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Bill -- You have me considering buying the newly released Seven Days in May BD. It is a fine film with a great cast. I thought its writer, Rod Serling, was a genius. It's a shame he died so young.
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post #1869 of 2226 Old 05-30-2017, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The Wrong Man (1956), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

This is an odd one in the Hitchcock filmography: a true story stranger than fiction. Filmed on location. He forgoes his usual cameo to present a serious introduction.

Henry Fonda is tremendously sympathetic as an innocent man arrested for armed robbery, helplessly caught up in the police, court and prison machinery. On top of everything else, because of the pressure his wife Vera Miles sinks into depression and paranoia and is hospitalized.

He gets to face the "right man" briefly. The two women who accused him falsely: one strides by with nose in the air, the other tearfully scuttles past.

It's a sobering story, meticulously told. An interesting experiment from the director, but humorless, which we do not expect from him.

We seldom consider his religious sentiments, but they come out now and then, as in I Confess (1953). Here, our suffering man prays for a miracle and gets one.

In the Truffaut interviews the two directors discuss the difficulty of adapting Hitchcock's style to the docu-drama genre.

Bernard Herrmann score and Robert Burks photography, both long-time Hitchcock collaborators.

Available on Warner Archive Blu-ray. Very grainy image.



-Bill
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post #1870 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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The Hurricane (1937), directed by John Ford.

A Polynesian bridegroom is sent to prison after knocking down a rude white man. After years of escape attempts he makes it back to the home island and his wife and child just in time for the biggest hurricane I have ever seen on film.

Seriously: they must have retired those pumps and wind machines afterward as being too dangerous. Amazing effects, both models and life-sized.

I wasn't going to review this but -- as is often the case -- the Blu-ray commentary track made it a more interesting film. Notable points:

  • John Ford had a great fondness for the Pacific.
  • We are lured by the fantasy of the South Seas as the Earthly Paradise, a bit of Eden where the locals still live in happy innocence...
  • ...except when disturbed by cruel colonial overlords, the French this time. Raymond Massey is the unyielding governor and John Carradine the sadistic prison guard. This is a sharp political critique of colonialism. The French government insisted that the prison scenes be toned done because they were too cruel.
  • Some of the Europeans are nice: Mary Astor as the governor's sympathetic wife, C. Aubrey Smith as the kindly priest, and Thomas Mitchell does his usual scruffy doctor, dancing with the natives.
  • Ford was not much interested in organized religion, and here even the humane church is no shelter from the storm. Built from massive stonework as it is, nothing survives the hurricane.
  • Eroticism in plain sight: the simple wrappings the island women wear give them soft, unencumbered outlines. Very appealing. And you know the lovers will dispense with even that much clothing when the Euros are out of sight.
  • You can see why Dorothy Lamour was called the "Sarong Queen". We know she's Polynesian because of the clothes and flowers in her hair, but I didn't understand for a long time that hunky Jon Hall was also supposed to be an islander. Then I found that the actor was himself half Tahitian, so you never know.

Available on a Kino Blu-ray.



-Bill

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post #1871 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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They Were Expendable (1945), directed by John Ford.

A mostly-true account of the battles of US Navy PT Boats against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in the first part of WW2, made shortly after the actual events.

All I know about PT Boats I learned from PT 109 (1963) and McHale's Navy. They were light, made of plywood, fast and maneuverable and carried four torpedos.

The film doesn't have the mythical power or emotional depth of Ford's other films, but makes up for it in realism and is also a valuable account of those early days when the US was losing the war. It is a fighting retreat, scrounging for fuel and torpedos, with terrible attrition of men and boats until there is no squadron left.

The way the boats roar into battle: they are filmed just like cavalry charges. We have a combination of real locations and rear projection, but the location battles are very impressive action.

Robert Montgomery is the squadron commander with John Wayne as second in command. Wayne gets to spend time with nurse Donna Reed. Again it reminded me of the cavalry pictures: how eager the young officers are to have her over for a "formal" dinner, how courteous they are to her.

After Ford broke a leg Montgomery directed some scenes. He had been a Lt Commander in the Navy, served in both Europe and the Pacific, and had actually commanded a PT Boat.

On Blu-ray from Warner Archive.



-Bill
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post #1872 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Mister Roberts (1955), directed by John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, and Joshua Logan.

This fondly remembered service comedy seems slow going these days, talky and obviously adapted from a stage play, with a chorus of sailors always clustered nearby. Ford had a fondness for all things military.

The fun is watching Ford's crew together again: chiefly Henry Fonda in the title role, but also Ward Bond, Ken Curtis and Harry Carey, Jr. Photographed, as usual, by Winton C. Hoch and with a comical score by Franz Waxman.

Worthy new additions to the ensemble: James Cagney as the bitter, unfit but ambitious captain, a lighter version of Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954). One scene reveals the class-based source of his resentment, which makes him more human.

Also with Jack Lemmon, age 30.

Most significantly, this is a great exit for William Powell; his last feature film, although he lived in retirement for almost 30 years after. For the first time he had trouble remembering his lines and decided it was time to go. As Doc he is a natural Ford character and I wish they had done more together.

A troubled production. Ford was in a nasty mood and abusing everyone, apparently throwing punches, then had a medical leave. Mervyn LeRoy came in and said he would shoot the rest as he judged Ford would have done it, then Fonda had Joshua Logan, who wrote the play, do extensive reshoots. It is hard to know who is responsible for what.

My wife had objections to some sex play: long-range spying on the women as they shower and alcohol as a dating adjunct.

Available on a poor DVD. Jack Lemmon provides an intermittent commentary track: you have to chapter skip.



-Bill
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post #1873 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 07:14 AM
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Bill -- Your reviews of The Hurricane, They Were Expendable, and especially Mister Roberts go to show what a great director John Ford was. As you mentioned, John Ford really had been a Naval Officer in WW-II. So had Robert Montgomery, Ford's star in They Were Expendable.

Mister Roberts is one of my all time favorite WW-II navy movies. 10 Stars out of 10. Jack Lemmon was wonderful in his Oscar winning role of Ensign Pulver. By the way, Henry Fonda, who played Mister Roberts, created the role on Broadway in 1948. Later, I saw him perform it in a national touring company production of the show that came to OKC a looong time ago.
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post #1874 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by oink

Saw it recently in HD and completely blew my mind....what a fantastic movie this is!


Whenever someone says The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is Leone's best film (and it IS a great film), you can pretty much guarantee that they haven't seen Once Upon a Time in the West. Easily the greatest western ever made.

Fantastic cinematography. Charles Bronson's finest hour (with thhe possible exception of The Great Escape). Claudia Cardinale, one of the most beautiful women in the history of cinema. Great performance by Jason Robards. Henry Fonda as you've never seen before (playing a heartless, cruel villain like nobody's business). Another magnificent Ennio Morricone score.

This film also opens with the greatest performance by a fly in the history of the movies in a fabulous scene with the great Jack Elam.

I mean....what's not to like? Few films are as operatic as this one. The day this film is released on Blu-ray can't come soon enough.
I concur!!! Greatest. Western. Period.
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post #1875 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 11:54 AM
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I think Lemmon's character was appealing enough that a less successful (?) sequel, ENSIGN PULVER, was produced. Unknown quality.

THEY WERE EXPENDABLE is considered one of the great war/anti-war movies in which our heroes do not prevail. It's tragic; it's noble; it has moments of heroism, humor, camaraderie; it also has moments that stop your heart. I'm not a big Ford fan, but I own this on DVD, will have to upgrade just because. From all accounts, Warner Archive Classics is doing what many media producers neglect to: use all the storage that a BD-25 or BD-50 allows, minimal compression or artifacts, careful mastering with light or *no* DNR or other fat-fingering to mess with the original, extant image.

I think you've mentioned THE HURRICANE before (or was it some other South Seas romance-cum-weather catastrophe film), still have not seen. Must search online.

For more on John Ford and WWII support, see FIVE CAME BACK on Netflix (streaming). All about how Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston, and others joined the war effort to use their filmmaking know how to inform and "shape" Americans' views on why we were going to war. Not coincidentally, Netflix suddenly offers the films these men made for the war effort.
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post #1876 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 12:03 PM
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Review older films here: 1979 and earlier

After the Thin Man (1936), dir. W.S. Van Dyke, from a story by Dashiell Hammett.



Set apparently a few days after the conclusion of The Thin Man (1934), Nick and Nora Charles arrive home in San Francisco on New Year's Eve, having just made headlines and spoiling Christmas for the killer by solving the "Thin Man Case" in New York. Dorothy and Tommy (the lovebirds from the first film) must've departed the train en route (in Dashiell Hammett's treatment, which I got from the library today, they are accompanying the Charles' in this film).










I posted this to the Ongoing Name That Movie thread on May 37, the 80th anniversary of the opening of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Filmed in (edit) late September through October 1936, the film's opening panning shot of Nick, Nora, and of course Asta arriving in Pioneer Plaza in front of the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower (location doubling for the Charles' mansion) shows the GG Bridge in only partial form. Either haze obscures the Marin side tower, or it's not there yet. I can't tell from the DVD. Coit Tower, another highly recognizable landmark, had been completed in 1933.











Polly Byrnes, the singer, is played full-to-the-hilt by Penny Singleton (credited as Dorothy McNulty) who later went on to play Blondie (dyed) in a popular film series, and was the voice of none other than Mrs. Jane Jetson in that original series. She has one of the most brilliant lines in the film, "Whaddya mean illiterate? My mother and father were married right here in City Hall!"



Look for another very young actor, Paul Fix, as Phil Byrnes.







This film also marked a very early appearance by a contract player named James Stewart. You might'a heard of him.









Sam Levene, Joseph Calleia, Jessie Ralph, and George Zucco round out the huge cast. In the first film, a lot of the humor is based on socialite Nora meeting Nick's old criminal world acquaintances. This story reverses it for a while, showing Nick reacquainting himself with Nora's stuffy old money relatives (much to his dislike in this case).



Directed by W.S. Van Dyke from a story by Dashiell Hammett (his treatments were recently published under THE RETURN OF THE THIN MAN),[1] this sequel featured a better budget, better photography, location shooting in San Francisco, and a cracking good script by the married team of Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich.



Throw in a couple of song and dance numbers, a heaping helping of that trademark, boozy "Thin Man" humor, and you've got a winner. No wonder it rates 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, nearly that high on IMDb.



If you haven't seen one of the Thin Man series (too obscure?), or haven't seen one recently, The Thin Man (from Dashiell Hammett's bestselling novel, nearly his last published work) is a great place to start, but After the Thin Man (released Christmas, 1936) is IMHO the crown jewel of the series. Still youthful, gay, a little bawdy, and loaded with comedy, intrigue, mystery (can you guess the killer before Nick does?), high society, low lifes, swells dressed up for New Year's Eve.





[1]
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post #1877 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 03:09 PM
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.....from a story by Dashiell Hammett (his treatments are now published under THE RETURN OF THE THIN MAN...
The only treatment I know of also includes his treatment for Another Thin Man published by The Mysterious Press, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett, which I own. Are you referring to this, or is there another edition?

Ever read Spade and Archer, by Joe gores?
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post #1878 of 2226 Old 06-03-2017, 03:28 PM
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The only treatment I know of also includes his treatment for Another Thin Man published by The Mysterious Press, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett, which I own. Are you referring to this, or is there another edition?



Ever read Spade and Archer, by Joe gores?
Yes, it's published by Mysterious Press, ISBN 978-0-8021-2050-2. RETURN OF THE THIN MAN.

I think I read HAMMETT by Gores.

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post #1879 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Next: three with Robert Mitchum at RKO while Howard Hughes was running it.

-Bill
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post #1880 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Where Danger Lives (1950), directed by John Farrow.

Doctor Robert Mitchum shouldn't have fallen for attempted suicide patient Faith Domergue, and definitely shouldn't believe her when she says she wants to get away from her "father" Claude Rains. (That was an awkward moment). When they are on the run he has suffered a concussion and is no longer thinking clearly. His mentally unstable lover will have to guide them across the border to Mexico.

What looks like a standard RKO noir thriller turns into something more offbeat. Mitchum is not a tough guy and he is not in charge after getting hit on the head. He is probably dying. Their paranoia about getting caught leads them far astray: "The wicked flee when no one pursues".

We also have bitterly comic segments, as when he is apprehended during a "Western Days" celebration for not having a beard. Quirky characters keep getting in their way and they are at the mercy of criminal low-lifes.

Subtract the unnecessary final minutes happy ending and we have an rather good "we're screwed" noir genre plot.

Mitchum had great range but was seldom called on to use it.

Domergue was a Howard Hughes protege.

Claude Rains has only one scene but is, as always, excellent. The essential actor.

Photographed by the great Nicholas Musuraca. Roy Webb score.

Available on DVD with a commentary track by two film scholars who take it very seriously.



-Bill
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post #1881 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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His Kind of Woman (1951), directed by John Farrow and Richard Fleischer.

This is an odd production. Sometimes seeming tongue-in-cheek, any violence completely off-screen, until the last act when it turns brutally sadistic. The modern Mexican resort looks like a romantic comedy setting, until we go indoors and those noirish shadows play on the ceiling.

What happened: RKO owner Howard Hughes become obsessed with the film late in production, replaced director Farrow with Richard Fleischer and did extensive reshoots and modification of the story. You can see the exact moment where he takes control: it turns into an action plot and no longer makes any logical sense.

Robert Mitchum is comfortably at home in his character, the relaxed professional gambler and tough guy who knows the score. Until they make an offer he is not allowed to refuse: go to the Mexican resort and wait. For what? They won't say. We have to figure it out with him.

He falls in with singing rich girl Jane Russell, her impressive décolletage concealed with frills, per the film censor's orders. We hope she is not part of the conspiracy.

It's hard to know how to take Russell as an actress. Beautiful, intelligent and famously full-figured, she seems hard sometimes but is likable here. She and Mitchum have warm chemistry. She does her own singing in this one.

Vincent Price is a hoot as a ham actor and big game hunter who becomes a comical but effective action hero.

A good set of tough guys supporting: Tim Holt, Charles McGraw, Raymond Burr, Anthony Caruso.

At first, Leigh Harline's score sounded like Miklós Rózsa to me. It's the genre.

Available on DVD. The commentary track is pretty bland until we get to the last section and she gives much detail on Hughes' insane degree of meddling with the production. He added Raymond Burr's part and all that material had to be reshot. He vastly inflated Vincent Price's comic action role.

All of the violence and sadism was at his specific insistence. He wanted to reshoot everything on the yacht because he thought a ladder was on the wrong side of the ship. They finally talked him out of that.

The censor was definite about cuts they wanted made but he ignored them and got away with it. I don't know why Jane Russell had to wear frills to cover her cleavage; he'd used her to push back against the censors before.



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post #1882 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Macao (1952), directed by Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray.

This low-energy romance/crime story might be a good companion to The Big Steal (1949) but is not as much fun. We have Robert Mitchum and William Bendix back again, now with Jane Russell as the love interest. She sings several songs, including "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)". She and Mitchum have good chemistry and were life-long friends.

Also with Gloria Grahame in an underused role as Mr Big's girlfriend. Neither she nor Russell wanted to do the picture but it's hard to say no to Howard Hughes. (But not impossible: see the case of Jean Simmons in Angel Face (1953), also with Mitchum)

Philip Ahn is the knife-throwing henchman.

Hughes fired Josef von Sternberg and brought in Nicholas Ray to complete the picture.

Available on DVD with a commentary track by author Eddie Muller interviewing Stanley Rubin who did the first draft of the screenplay. Separately recorded comments by Jane Russell are edited in.

Rubin has a lot of great stories from those days. He dated Gloria Grahame for a while. Janet Leigh agreed to go out with him but then quietly canceled: when she had gone out with an assistant choreographer Hughes fired the guy the next day.

Muller thinks that Hughes used Mitchum as an alter ego. When you are very rich you know people want you for your money; he made Mitchum play the same role over and over again, the guy without a dollar who women fall for anyway. This type-casting drove Mitchum nuts at RKO. Several pictures would be in production at the same time and he would lose track of which one he was doing on any given day.

He also thinks Jane Russell's talent was to be a statuesque woman who was also one of the boys. Oddly enough for such a sexy character, she had a masculine side, probably the toughness required to fend off constant sexual advances.



-Bill

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post #1883 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 09:04 AM
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… I don't know why Jane Russell had to wear frills to cover her cleavage; he'd used her [anatomical parts] to push back against the censors before.
I fixed that for you. ^
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post #1884 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 12:22 PM
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Where Danger Lives (1950), directed by John Farrow.

Mitchum had great range but was seldom called on to use it.
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His Kind of Woman (1951), directed by John Farrow and Richard Fleischer.

Robert Mitchum is comfortably at home in his character, the relaxed professional gambler and tough guy who knows the score. Until they make an offer he is not allowed to refuse: go to the Mexican resort and wait. For what? They won't say. We have to figure it out with him.
Bill — As your reviews of these Robert Mitchum films make clear, he was one of the most underestimated and misused actors in the history of Hollywood. Given the right role, the guy was capable of doing anything. What a waste!
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post #1885 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 03:00 PM
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Mitchum has 133 film credits over a 54 year career. I'd hardly call that a "wasted" or "misused" actor. 19 award nominations of various kinds. Like many actors of his period he chose to keep working on whatever came along and wasn't picky. No part was too small,. he just wanted to work. Underrated? Maybe.

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Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a train accident when he was two, and Robert and his siblings (including brother John Mitchum, later also an actor) were raised by his mother and stepfather (a British army major) in Connecticut, New York, and Delaware. An early contempt for authority led to discipline problems, and Mitchum spent good portions of his teen years adventuring on the open road. On one of these trips, at the age of 14, he was charged with vagrancy and sentenced to a Georgia chain gang, from which he escaped. Working a wide variety of jobs (including ghostwriter for astrologist Carroll Righter), Mitchum discovered acting in a Long Beach, California, amateur theater company. He worked at Lockheed Aircraft, where job stress caused him to suffer temporary blindness. About this time he began to obtain small roles in films, appearing in dozens within a very brief time. In 1945, he was cast as Lt. Walker in Story of G.I. Joe (1945) and received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His star ascended rapidly, and he became an icon of 1940s film noir, though equally adept at westerns and romantic dramas. His apparently lazy style and seen-it-all demeanor proved highly attractive to men and women, and by the 1950s, he was a true superstar despite a brief prison term for marijuana usage in 1949, which seemed to enhance rather than diminish his "bad boy" appeal. Though seemingly dismissive of "art," he worked in tremendously artistically thoughtful projects such as Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter (1955) and even co-wrote and composed an oratorio produced at the Hollywood Bowl by Orson Welles. A master of accents and seemingly unconcerned about his star image, he played in both forgettable and unforgettable films with unswerving nonchalance, leading many to overlook the prodigious talent he can bring to a project that he finds compelling. He moved into television in the 1980s as his film opportunities diminished, winning new fans with The Winds of War (1983) and War and Remembrance (1988). His sons James Mitchum and Christopher Mitchum are actors, as is his grandson Bentley Mitchum. His last film was James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young (1997) with Casper Van Dien as James Dean.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver
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post #1886 of 2226 Old 06-08-2017, 07:27 PM
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Mitchum has 133 film credits over a 54 year career. I'd hardly call that a "wasted" or "misused" actor. 19 award nominations of various kinds. Like many actors of his period he chose to keep working on whatever came along and wasn't picky. No part was too small,. he just wanted to work. Underrated? Maybe.

Thanks again to Jim Beaver for collecting endless reams of data on everyone in the business
I am old enough to have have been a serious movie fan during all of Mitchum's career as a leading man. I think you will agree with me, and Jim Beaver who you quoted, that Mitchum was underrated. Throughout most of his career, most movie lovers, and critics too, dismissed him as an indolent pretty boy who gave reliable but not very memorable performances. I thought so too, I confess. Not until I saw Mitchum’s performance as a homicidal preacher in Charles Laughton’s masterpiece, The Night of the Hunter, did I come to appreciate Mitchum’s depth and range. So, yeah, I thought he was misused and thereby wasted because he never had a chance to fully display his talent.

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post #1887 of 2226 Old 06-09-2017, 08:57 AM
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Twlight Time's BD of HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON is on sale, and I'm sorely tempted to snatch it.

In a career of so many great roles, I love his subtlety and emotion in THE YAKUZA.

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post #1888 of 2226 Old 06-09-2017, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Twlight Time's BD of HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON is on sale, and I'm sorely tempted to snatch it.
Disappointing video quality on that one.

-Bill
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post #1889 of 2226 Old 06-10-2017, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Jubal (1956), directed by Delmer Daves.

The wife of a jolly but crude cattle rancher has eyes and plans for the new foreman. He's not having it, but that won't stop what's coming: jealousy and murder.

This is soap opera in a Western setting; it could have been done in other genres just as easily. I see it compared to Othello; both are about jealousy but that's about it.

Strong cast, although the female leads are not well known. And Rod Steiger: that over the top thing he does, a little goes a long way and here it goes on and on.

Note that Steiger was Marty (1953) and Ernest Borgnine was Marty (1955).

Filmed in Jackson Hole WY and the spectacular Grand Tetons range is in the background of every shot. I always look for that black dike on Mt Moran:



David Raksin score.

Criterion Blu-ray, unusually bare-bones. Subtitles but no extras. The aspect ratio is 2.55:1.



-Bill
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post #1890 of 2226 Old 06-12-2017, 10:28 PM
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After all these years, the Blu Ray version of "Seven Days In May" was released on May 2, 2017!
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Seven-...Blu-ray/42428/

Even though I'm a penny-pinching tightwad 90% of the time, the moment I discovered that the BD is available, I did not hesitate for one second to pay a ridiculous amount of money for this more-relevent-than-ever classic. (The Donald should definitely see this one!)

According to the above link's reviewer, it's a great looking and sounding blu-ray and my wife and I very much look forward to enjoying it once again. I may even light up a "cigarette" for that very special occasion.
I finally received the Blu Ray version of "Seven Days in May" today and within 5 minutes my wife and I were watching it. In short, it's a very big step up from the DVD in every way other than script.

Considering what has transpired in the world since that movie was released, President Jordan Lyman's speech to the media at the end of the movie is rather ironically amazing.

See this Blu Ray version. You won't be disappointed.
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