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post #2161 of 2269 Old 12-17-2018, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Morocco (1930), directed by Josef von Sternberg.

Quote:
You'd better go now. I'm beginning to like you.
Newly arrived singer Marlene Dietrich has a job in a nightclub frequented by Legionnaires, including rangey American Gary Cooper. The first scenes of the film are all about propositions, both subtle -- as with glances at the club -- and blunt, as when rich guy Adolphe Menjou offers his card to Dietrich when they are still on the ferry boat: "Anything I can do for you. Anything at all". (She tears it up).

The story is a romantic melodrama set in a place where death is near. The agreeable rich man wants her, but she'd rather have the tall soldier and he's not cooperating.

I always note those classic actresses who exhibit confident and unsqueamish sexuality, and have suggested Deborah Kerr and Joan Bennett as examples, but no one can match Dietrich is this regard. The precise way she moves, the flash of her eyes, it's like she's cutting the film around her.

And she can do it while wearing men's clothes.

Which makes the plot turn even more effective: she has fallen in love, no longer strictly in control, and plays the second half with a strange combination of toughness and vulnerability. It's the damnedest thing.

Quote:
There's a foreign legion of women, too. But we have no uniforms, no flags, and no medals when we are brave, no wound stripes when we are hurt.
I've noticed that the quality of cinematography declined for a while when sound came in. Quoting the wikipedia:

Quote:
Sternberg was the first director to attain full mastery and control over what was essentially a new medium by restoring the fluidity and beauty of the late silent period. One of the key elements in this was his understanding of the value of silence itself. Morocco contains long sections sustained only by its stunning visual beauty, augmented with appropriate music and aural effects. Sternberg was the first artist to make an authentic virtue of the arrival of sound. (Charles Silver)
Lee Garmes (The Desperate Hours (1955), Nightmare Alley (1947)) is the cinematographer, with an uncredited Lucien Ballard assisting. The composition of light and shadow is very fine.

Criterion has this on Blu-ray now, but my thumbnails are from their DVD, which has a soft image.



-Bill
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post #2162 of 2269 Old 12-20-2018, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What a difference a Blu-ray can make. Both editions are from Warner Archive. Did they have a new source, or is there that much magic in the lab?

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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post
Bad Ronald (1974), directed by Buzz Kulik.

[...]

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:

-Bill
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post #2163 of 2269 Old 12-21-2018, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Christmas in July (1940), written and directed by Preston Sturges.

I wouldn't have reviewed this 68 minute comedy, but an early scene pulled me in and I was lost in nostalgia for a past I never knew. Just a guy and a girl on a tenement rooftop, listening to the radio and looking over the city, kissing and bickering, talking about apartments and getting married someday. A perfect setting.

At the office, practical jokers fake a telegram and convince him he has won a fortune in a coffee slogan contest. This causes enormous joyful upset and the fiction becomes reality for a while. The jokers are good enough to feel embarrassed about the prank, but they can't stop it once it is in motion.

A lot of Capra in this treatment: the good-hearted common folk of the Depression, the eccentric petty tyrant bosses, too funny to be wicked. Colorful ethnic characters: Irish, Jewish, Negro. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) was set in the Irish/Jewish slum of Williamsburg; I wonder if this is supposed to be the same neighborhood?

Glimpses of the 1940 outer world creep in: our young lovers dream of visiting Europe -- but it's a bad time, so maybe go to the Grand Canyon instead. A little girl is in a wheelchair, a hint of the terrible polio epidemics that struck children in the hot summer months in the city.

Many familiar faces, members of the directors "crew". Sturges adapted this from his own 1931 play, A Cup of Coffee, not performed until 1988, 29 years after he died.

Available on DVD.

Photographed by Victor Milner. That's Sturges in the straw boater in the second image below.



-Bill
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post #2164 of 2269 Old 12-24-2018, 05:25 PM
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), wr. by W.D. Richter, dir. Philip Kaufman.

Coming after the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, and the Jonestown massacre and mass-suicide in Guyana (the People's Temple was started and resided for a time in the city) , San Francisco was reeling from disorienting events. I remember that time, it felt like the country was going insane (rather like now). Producer Robert Solo had approached director Philip Kaufman, a huge fan of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, about a remake. Talking with that film's director and star, Don Siegel and Kevin McCarthy, Kaufman learned their original cut had humor as well as scares, but the studio intervened and removed the humor (they also intervened and tacked on a framing narration story and upbeat ending). Rather than remake it, Kaufman and scripter W.D. Richter updated Jack Finney's tale to the post-60s, 1970s "Me Decade" era, where loose social conventions and freestyle notions of relationships could further disguise the conspiracy. "Pop psychology" and self-help were in full swing, along with e.s.t. and other "work on the Me" self-empowerment fads -- a new kind of "pod people?" Transplanting the story from Mill Valley ("Santa Mira" in the original film) to a cosmopolitan urban center gives further drama and paranoia: who's still human, who's turned, and what's with all this grey stuff in the garbage?

Fresh from his groundbreaking work in Star Wars, Ben Burtt (wearing the new "sound designer" hat) created all manner of organic and mechanical sounds to build this world. Utilizing the new Dolby 6-track stereo process for 35mm film,[1] he and his editors (Susan Krutcher and Bonnie Koehler) panned the organic and city soundscape around the theater. Listen to the panning and echo of motorcycle cops passing a cab in the Broadway tunnel (Don Siegel did his cameo as the cab driver; DP Michael Chapman said Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams were genuinely nervous, because Siegel, despite failing eyesight, took his glasses off and was driving in the busy city streets half-blind). If you pay attention, hints that the conspiracy is already in full swing are indicated by sights and sounds from the outset. Watch the corners of the frame, and listen.

As Bill mentioned in his Strange Picture Scroll review (spoilers!!), the core premise is revealed in the opening (and why not? most people know the original, the term "pod people" was arguably already in the vernacular); it's the HOW and the HOW MANY that gets scarier by the minute. Kaufman's idea was that this film, like the original, would be film noir but in color, and DP Michael Chapman filmed it accordingly. Lots of dark shadows, unseen areas, getting lost in the dark. Add to that the alienation (sorry) of crowds in the overcast daylight, and you have a pretty spooky tale. The original film's bubble bath and papier mache pods were updated by the Tom Berman studios with some realistic, organic ick factor that is still a bit unnerving.

[1] I can't recall if it was two-channel surround yet, or if that was intro'ed by Apocalypse Now the next summer in 1979 (enabling the circling "ghost helo" opening that panned from RR to LR, to L, to C, and zooms off in R). The DTS 5.1 mix on the BD has a stereo surround channel, clearly. I don't have any information if they remixed it for 6-track for release, or later, though in one the extras, Koehler said they mixed it using "the new Dolby [Stereo] process."

Local jazz performer (and professor of psychiatry) Denny Zeitlin, on his first film scoring project, blends orchestral pieces, mellow jazz (the "Love theme" is a classic) and strange electronic colorations. His deep descent in to ULF bass on "The Body" (a body is found in the Bellicec mud bath spa) will give a good subwoofer a workout. He has all kinds of experimental and atmospheric effects that mix with Burtt's sound FX until it's unclear which is which.

Sutherland's understated performance is one of the stealth surprises. See more under the spoiler tag. Jeff Goldblum, then pretty much an unknown, does much better here than his loony performance in Death Wish. Kevin McCarthy has a neat cameo, repeating his closing lines from the original film, as if he's been doing this for twenty years, and no one will listen to him.

City Sleuth at Reelsf.com (more spoilers in pics, you have been warned!) revisits many of the locations, all authentic. Kaufman used the hilly and old-versus-new topography of San Francisco to great effect. In addition to some Dutch angles, at one point Nimoy is walking down a Telegraph Hill alleyway (Castle St) and the steep hill (Union St) forms its own disorienting Dutch angle. Perfect.

Spoiler!


If you haven't seen this, the studio Blu-Ray release(s) are good quality, but I'm looking to buy the 2016 Shout! Factory BD release, featuring a new 2K master from an interpositive, with all the prior DVDs' extras and some new interviews -- Blu-ray.com's review says it's a smidgen better.
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post #2165 of 2269 Old 12-26-2018, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), directed by John Ford.

Reverential, sometimes very sweet bio-pic on Lincoln's years as an Illinois lawyer. Not entirely hagiographic: he had his dark side, as future years would show.

One of the best scenes has him facing down a lynch mob, first using courageous toughness and willingness to fight, then humor and finally an appeal to "the better angels of our natures" (as he would later say) and some gospel quotes.

Henry Fonda's false nose is distracting, but otherwise he plays the character naturally and with conviction. The women in his life seem to guide him.

In a weepy bit, a prosecutor tries to force a mother to choose which of her children (as in Sophie's Choice 1982)) to send to the gallows. This is Alice Brady in her last film; she was dying of cancer and puts a lot of heart into the performance. I last saw her as the ditsy mother in My Man Godfrey (1936).

Would you believe that this and Ford's Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) and Stagecoach (1939) all came out in the same magical year? The unrelated Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) came out the next year.

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion with a thoughtful commentary track by Ford biographer Joseph McBride who knew the director and many others involved. He highlights foreshadowing symbols of the still-distant Civil War and quotes other directors' thoughts on the film: Eisenstein, Welles, Kazan.



-Bill
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post #2166 of 2269 Old 12-28-2018, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Fury (1936), directed by Fritz Lang.

Spencer Tracy and sad-eyed Sylvia Sidney plan to get married but have to separate to make some money first. On his way to visit her he is mistaken for a kidnapper and arrested. A lynch mob storms the jail and burns it down. By a miracle he survives and -- now embittered -- plots revenge by staying dead and seeing the ringleaders tried and executed for murder.

Lang's first American film. Goebbels offered to make him head of a German film studio but he left the country instead, first to France and then the US. His wife stayed behind and joined the nazis. They divorced (for various reasons, not just politics).

Lynching in a standard western is just a matter of loud talk in the saloon and then a large crowd suddenly appears with ropes at the jail. Lang is much more realistic, having had experience of mob violence in his home country. We have a long developing section, starting with gossip and rumors, then confrontation with the police and enthusiasm of the press for a good story.

The police try to do their job, first on the steps of the jail, then with an indoor barricade, rifle butts, tear gas bombs and a fire hose. They don't shoot at the crowd; it doesn't seem to occur to them. Later at the trial the sheriff folds and will not testify against the rioters.

He also calls for National Guard help, but the governor's political advisor overrides him. Might not look good. Lang had a dim opinion of politicians.

As a great twist we see the accused man, haunted by his experience, has become as malicious as the mob. The desire for revenge will do that.

Music by Franz Waxman and photographed by Joseph Ruttenberg. The cute but doomed Cairn Terrier is played by "Terry", later "Toto" in The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Available on DVD with a commentary track by Peter Bogdanovich. He includes audio recordings he made with Lang in the mid 1960s where they discuss his career as well as this film.

MGM required a lot of compromises even apart from the obligatory happy ending. The innocent man had to white, not black, because racism issues were off-Code. Lang wanted to make an anti-lynching message film, but wanted the accused man to be guilty. It is too easy to feel sympathy for an innocent man wrongly accused.



-Bill
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post #2167 of 2269 Old 12-28-2018, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The Woman in the Window (1944), directed by Fritz Lang.

His friends at the club warn the mild Assistant Professor of Psychology. Says his pal the District Attorney: middle-aged men who have "adventures" come to tragic ends.

Despite that, when the prof meets his dream girl that night, he can't help himself. She picks him up and takes him back to her place. Just for drinks, although his wife and kids are out of town...

Then, sudden death: the man who pays her bills bursts in and attacks him. It was self-defense, but who will believe that? They decide to hide the crime and dispose of the body. The prof is meticulous in his clean-up, but you know how that goes.

Wouldn't you know it? There is always a blackmailer lurking in the shadows. Only two ways to handle him: pay him or kill him. Getting in deeper.

This is a dandy scenario and a good companion to Scarlet Street (1945), a similar story the next year with the same director, cinematographer and stars.

We have:

  • Edward G. Robinson: a respected member of society walking on the wild side. In a great sequence he is able to follow the investigation of the murder and inadvertently starts giving himself away. Is he an amateur at crime, or does he secretly want to be caught, or is he beginning to enjoy the game?
  • Joan Bennett: not really a femme fatale here; not exactly good but neither is she intentionally bad. Just jammed up and wondering who to trust. Bennett often got a type of role that was rare in that era: a woman clear-eyed and confident in sexual matters. Deborah Kerr would be another example.
  • Dan Duryea: O, how I want to slap him. Thin little tough guy, preying on women, that wheedling sneering voice. I'll never trust a man wearing a boater because that is what he always wore. This was his break-through role.
  • Raymond Massey: the prosecutor who is in hot pursuit of his best friend without knowing it. He's good at his job but we don't like him. He also wears that same straw hat.

The hats are a recurring motif, as are reflections and doubled images, a dream-like sense of displacement: "Am I really doing this?"

Two twist endings. The second may be a cheat:

Spoiler!


Robert Blake (age 11) has one scene as the prof's little boy. He was a busy child actor.

Available on Blu-ray from Kino. The film scholar on the valuable commentary track calls this "portrait noir" along with Scarlet Street (1945) and Laura (1944).

She says Duryea had a big female fan base, despite (because of?) his studio-promoted image as the tough guy who slaps women around. He was, of course, perfectly nice in real life, but relished playing his villains.



-Bill

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post #2168 of 2269 Old 01-04-2019, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The Sting (1973), directed by George Roy Hill.

The director and two stars return from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). A smash hit and well-liked by critics; were they compensating for snubbing the earlier film? The second film won seven Academy Awards.

It's a fun movie, but in some ways hard to evaluate all these years later. Relying on a deceptions-within-deceptions plot, you can enjoy it the first time only once (obviously). You also have to recapture the escapist mood of the early 1970s (when people really needed to escape): that decade's fondness for the Great Depression and general appetite for everything retro, a return to simpler times and pleasures.

Its good points:

  • The buddy chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford still works, although they dial back the comedy a little.
  • Audiences always love to see con men in operation, just for defensive knowledge, of course.
  • Likewise the charm of a secret society of con men amongst us.
  • It confirms our cynicism about police corruption.
  • Robert Shaw fanclub.

The point of the whole con is to sting Doyle ("The Big Mick") Lonnegan, without him realizing it had been done. You know, that wouldn't have worked. Lt Snyder (Joliet PD) would not have gotten his reward from "the FBI". Looking up the agents, what would he have found? Better tell Lonnegan's people.

Robert Surtees cinematography.

Available on Blu-ray.



-Bill
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post #2169 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 06:23 AM
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I guess I should add what I'm doing this year here. I decided to focus on only movies from the 70's this year.






So far, from Amazon Prime:


Truck Stop Women


A Real American Hero


Black Oak Conspiracy


Rancho Deluxe


Boxcar Bertha


Where Have All The People Gone


Fast Break


Walking Tall


The Bermuda Triangle


All Quiet On The Western Front




Rancho Deluxe has been the one to stick with me so far and the Buford Pusser stuff has been good with some interesting reading afterwards.
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post #2170 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I should add what I'm doing this year here. I decided to focus on only movies from the 70's this year.
Rich hunting ground, especially for smaller lesser known films.

Of your list I've reviewed only Boxcar Bertha (1972), but Rancho Deluxe is high on my list for a rewatch.

-Bill
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post #2171 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post
Rich hunting ground, especially for smaller lesser known films.

Of your list I've reviewed only Boxcar Bertha (1972), but Rancho Deluxe is high on my list for a rewatch.

-Bill
Seeing the blueprint for 80's comedies being laid out is great as well as Frontier Justice still being a thing and every movie is road movie, pretty great. Jump in your El Camino and go handle The Man.


I've seen tons of 70's films but have yet to dedicate to a serious deep dive. My reviews won't be as good as yours though.
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post #2172 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Endless Night (1972), written, produced and directed by Sidney Gilliat.

The intense young man has a taste for art but works as a chauffeur for hire. We wonder if he isn't a Tom Ripley character, plotting to assume other identities by whatever means necessary.

Maybe we've misjudged him: he falls in love and is irritated to find that the young woman is a secret heiress. Her family is difficult and most troublesome is her best friend Greta, who arrives to run their lives with teutonic authority.

Their country house may be cursed and is eventually haunted. Did we misjudge our main character or not?

From one of Agatha Christie's later novels, when she was turning moodier, this did not do well in Europe and was not even released in the US. She did not like the treatment and particularly objected to the brief flashes of nudity by Britt Ekland.

It is not a strong film but I review it for the talent involved:


Notes:

  • The young lovers and Bernard Herrmann and Harry Waxman all reunite from Twisted Nerve (1968).
  • Mills and Bennett were also a couple in The Family Way (1966), a non-thriller.
  • The title is from William Blake with the text also used as a song lyric: "Some are born to sweet delight / Some are born to endless night".
  • Shirley Jones dubbed Mills' singing voice.

Available on DVD with a soft image. Made in the era of lens filters that produced star patterns on bright points, so it would not be very sharp anyway. No subtitles, but I found a downloadable track online.



-Bill

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post #2173 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post
I guess I should add what I'm doing this year here. I decided to focus on only movies from the 70's this year.
Walter Matthau

Charley Varrick 1973

Taking of pelham one, two, three 1974
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post #2174 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 08:41 AM
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Walter Matthau

Charley Varrick 1973

Taking of pelham one, two, three 1974
It's on the list for sure. I've seen it a few times but will do it again.
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post #2175 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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It's on the list for sure. I've seen it a few times but will do it again.
There is so many good ones from the 70’s.

Across 110th street is another one thatt comes to mind.

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post #2176 of 2269 Old 01-11-2019, 10:02 AM
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Walter Matthau

Charley Varrick 1973

Taking of pelham one, two, three 1974
Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three is fantastic. I need to rewatch it for sure. Still need to see Charley Varrick. I think it's on my Netflix queue (and has been for many years, if it's still there).

This is also giving me a hankering to rewatch The French Connection.
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Review older films here: 1979 and earlier

Can we keep this thread to REVIEWS and not just lists of films, please? :}

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post #2178 of 2269 Old 01-12-2019, 08:05 AM
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Can we keep this thread to REVIEWS and not just lists of films, please? :}
I was only getting caught up, ease up Buckaroo.
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post #2179 of 2269 Old 01-12-2019, 11:09 AM
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There is so many good ones from the 70’s.

Across 110th street is another one thatt comes to mind.
It's in the pile, I'm looking forward to it for sure.
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post #2180 of 2269 Old 01-12-2019, 11:11 AM
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Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three is fantastic. I need to rewatch it for sure. Still need to see Charley Varrick. I think it's on my Netflix queue (and has been for many years, if it's still there).

This is also giving me a hankering to rewatch The French Connection.
There are many great action movies from that decade with that slower burn style.
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post #2181 of 2269 Old 01-12-2019, 02:44 PM
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Skyjacked. 1972

One of many airplane centered disaster movies, Skyjacked aims to please with its drama. You get a little mystery leading up to the reveal of the villain, you get characters from all walks of life, you get a really solid cast, and some great interior photography.

I see a lot of online reviews calling out stereotypical characters but what do you really expect on a commercial airline? Even today you'd get nearly the same mix of people and situations. I feel that is part of the charm of the disaster films in that we all get equalized in the face of adversity.

What can you say about Heston? He's always in charge. He directly deals with Brolin's over the edge war veteran throughout. As the captive crew, comprised of Yvette Mimieux, Susan Dey, and a short run with Leslie Uggams, all dance like puppets to his demands but stay so cool under that pressure.

In the breaks between terroristic threats and competing wills you see slices of life and other characters take care of each other and some subtle and not so subtle attempts to get control back from the hijacker. All in all a solid drama that feels pretty realistic and mostly holds up.


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post #2182 of 2269 Old 01-13-2019, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Summer of '42 (1971), directed by Robert Mulligan.

During summer vacation on "the Island", a teenaged boy falls in love at a distance with a married young woman, a neighbor. When her husband goes off to war he may be able to spend time with her. They are only a few years apart in age, but that is a gulf of experience and maturity. Raging hormones and earnest adoration make for pain and confusion. As they say: it's complicated.

Adolescents understand that lust and love are different things, but that doesn't mean they are easy to untangle. Our hero struggles.

A good bit: dating girls their own age, the boys try furtive groping in the dark theater while elegant Bette Davis and Paul Henreid are projected in Now, Voyager (1942).

Also the reminder of those days when a glimpse of the loved one seemed a bit of heaven.

And something you find in literature more often than in films: people sometimes have sex to assuage grief.

The coming of age story is a well-worn genre. This was the blockbuster entry of the early 1970s, earning 30x its budget. Michel Legrand's theme song became an omnipresent standard, the ambient background music of those years. The lyrics are not used in the film: "The summer smiles / The summer knows / And unashamed / She sheds her clothes..."

Jennifer O'Neill (23) is lovely as a dream. She insisted on no nudity in the film. I know her name better than her filmography, recalling her clearly only from Cronenberg's Scanners (1981). She did quite a lot of TV work.

Photographed by Robert Surtees, a soft look. The outdoor scenes seem particularly hazy and I wonder if there isn't something about Mendocino, standing in for Nantucket. Dead & Buried (1981) was also filmed there and has that same soft atmosphere.

Available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive.



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post #2183 of 2269 Old 01-13-2019, 01:59 PM
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Summer of '42 (1971), directed by Robert Mulligan.

... The coming of age story is a well-worn genre. This was the blockbuster entry of the early 1970s, earning 30x its budget. Michel Legrand's theme song became an omnipresent standard, the ambient background music of those years. The lyrics are not used in the film: "The summer smiles / The summer knows / And unashamed / She sheds her clothes..."

Jennifer O'Neill (23) is lovely as a dream. She insisted on no nudity in the film. I know her name better than her filmography, recalling her clearly only from Cronenberg's Scanners (1981). She did quite a lot of TV work.

Available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive.
One of those great films from the early 70s (like The Sting, Jaws, Murder on the Orient Express) that seemed perfectly made, may look dated, but still work today, banging on all cylinders.

Spoiler!


I think O'Neill was at that time just a well known model, one of those fresh-faced Ivory girls or something. This might've been her first or second role. A few years ago she acquired the rights to film a sequel from a short story she'd written. Her story sounds sweet, but thankfully it hasn't been filmed.

In one of those "there is justice" Hollywood stories, Warner Bros. had such little confidence in the film (despite the respected director) they offered Raucher a percentage of the profits ("points") versus a flat fee. He accepted. Gee, there's a sucker born every minute, right? And they asked him to pen a novelization to promote the film, a little extra gravy y'understand. He wrote the book in about three weeks and it was released a few months ahead of the film's release. ... The novel was a bestseller, translated into many languages. As you said, the film, released as "from Herman Raucher's national best seller," was a huge hit as well. Raucher said in an interview recently that the proceeds let him nearly retire, and he still gets healthy checks from it decades later. (Interviews are linked from the film's and novel's Wikipedia pages if anyone'd like to read them.) We should all be so lucky.
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post #2184 of 2269 Old 01-17-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Safe in Hell (1931), directed by William A. Wellman.

When a New Orleans prostitute encounters the man who ruined her life she leaves his body behind and flees to Tortuga, where there is little law and no extradition, just a collection of seedy, unreliable and dangerous men.

There is one good man in her life -- an officer of the merchant marines -- but their letters are intercepted by a villain. Put in a jam, she'd rather die than submit again.

Dorothy Mackaill is very good in this; I don't remember seeing her before, and recognize very few among the rest of the cast. The plot is contrived, the island men are cartoonishly vile, and the resolution unbelievable. Still, it is an entertaining 73 minutes.

I don't have the link but this was on a list of recommended pre-Code films which feature the women's point of view. I had never thought of that. Pre-Code suggests sex and violence not allowed after 1934, but other topics also lapsed for a few decades. Not until Douglas Sirk's "women's" pictures (All That Heaven Allows (1955), Imitation of Life (1959)) do we see more pictures about the woman's inner life, the effect that men have on her, rather than the reverse. (On second thought: that's overstated. We could come up with a list of good Code films with a woman at the center who is not there simply for the men).

Other points of interest:


Michael Curtiz was originally scheduled to direct, and Barbara Stanwyck was considered for the lead.

Available on DVD. Poor image.



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post #2185 of 2269 Old 01-17-2019, 12:10 PM
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The Watch TCM app has a couple of clips and the trailer. Cable subscription may be required.
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post #2186 of 2269 Old 01-19-2019, 10:46 AM
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I thought we might have a thread for capsule reviews of older titles. I've arbitrarily picked 30 years (from 2009). For more recent titles, see:


1979 does not seem that long ago to me; the summer of ALIEN and APOCALYPSE NOW and "1941" and LIFE OF BRIAN...ah, such, such were the days...

I'm not going to get into Best/Worst/Top 100, etc. I'm also not going to argue the merits of these films; just post some thoughts and move on.

-Bill
I just stumbled on to this thread . Awesome !!! I love films , I just wanted to touch on one of my favorite "Genres" Film Noir . Most of which I watch on Turner Classic Movies 'TCM' Noir Alley every Saturday night at 10 pm MST . Link : http://noiralley.tcm.com/schedule
I also try to buy these films on disc. I put a list together from IMDb. For information. Took for ever with my 'dyslexia' but want to share !

: It is impossible to pick one 'flim noir' as the best . But I got thinking of Quintessential nominations !!

Edit :My first post; I have been reading through thread . I see that poster want reviews I will do this in future posts . I am a newbie. Peace

Sunset Boulevard (1950) Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Out of the Past (1947) Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Flem
Double Indemnity (1944) Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
The Night of the Hunter (1955) Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason
Key Largo (1948) Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall Claire Trevor
The Asphalt Jungle (1950) Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Gun Crazy (1950) Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger
Caged (1950) Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
The Killing (1956) Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Clash by Night (1952) Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott ,Kirk Douglas
The Mob (1951) Stars: Broderick Crawford, Betty Buehler, Richard Kiley
Criss Cross (1949) Stars: Burt Lancaster,
The Killers (1946) Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Baby Doll (1956) Stars: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach

Honorable Mentions:

Pushover (1954) Stars: Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, Philip Carey
The Prowler (1951)Stars: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell
Rebecca (1940) Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
You Only Live Once (1937) Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane
NEO-NOIR : Badlands (1973) Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates
NEO-NOIR : Klute (1971) Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
NEO-NOIR : The Long Goodbye (1973) Stars: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Strangers on a Train (1951) Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman,
T-Men (1947) Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Alfred Ryder
Split Second (1953) Stars: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling
Raw Deal (1948) Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
The Sniper (1952) Stars: Arthur Franz, Adolphe Menjou, Gerald Mohr
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post #2187 of 2269 Old 01-20-2019, 02:36 PM
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Rebecca (1940) 10/10 FREE on YouTube

1940 Hitchcock's first American film (and his only Best Picture winner), Rebecca is a masterpiece of haunting atmosphere, Gothic thrills, and gripping suspense The acting is uniformly excellent. Olivier is the hardened Maxim de Winter, untitled lord of Manderly, trying to forget the past and given to unexpected bouts of anger and coldheartedness. Fontaine is perfect as the unnamed mousy heroine, innocent yet deeply in love, still carrying with her the aura of an awkward schoolgirl. But it is Judith Anderson's role as Mrs. Danvers that viewers are likely to remember best. Her presence is as dark and foreboding as that of the deceased Rebecca herself, and Fontaine is evidently cowed by her icy stare and unnervingly formal manner. The dynamics between the two actresses are wonderful. In a line-up of great motion pictures, "Rebecca" stands as one of the giants. It is arguably Hitchcock's greatest film effort.

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post #2188 of 2269 Old 01-21-2019, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), written, produced and directed by Albert Lewin.

It's not wrong that the femme fatale is looking for love and is unable to find it, but does she have to be so mean to the men she rejects? They commit suicide over her and she seems used to that.

The night she first hears the legend of the cursed and immortal Flying Dutchman (see the Pirates of the Caribbean series for another version) she sees a yacht off the Catalonian shore and swims out naked to climb aboard it.

O, the irony of who she finds there.

As a story it is slow and not as narratively rich as something Michael Powell might have done, without doubt also employing Jack Cardiff as cinematographer. A busy writer and producer, Albert Lewin directed six films all from his own scripts. He seemed to feel the stories deeply and cared about literary merit. As with his The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), verses from Omar Khayyam serve as an epigraph.

We have a bullfighting subplot, a persistent theme in Ava Gardner films.

Gardner is obviously a great choice for the lonely, love-lorn goddess, but James Mason is the unreplaceable character here. What other actor could put such intensity and seriousness into a fable without going over the top and becoming ridiculous? His portrayal of a man managing immortality is better than many I have seen.

Deep thoughts: death is not dreadful to lovers who understand that Love exists outside of Time.

Available on Blu-ray from Kino, but judging by online prices it must be out of print now.

The Technicolor seems desaturated to me; it must have been more vivid in the theater.



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post #2189 of 2269 Old 01-21-2019, 01:48 PM
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Wow, based on the screenshots and review on Blu-ray.com, it almost seems worth the $149 ( !!) price on Amazon. Looks like it was re released in 2010 (correction) after a George Eastman House 35mm restoration. Yum.

Apparently the UK release was the one with the Khayyam epigraph? Reminds me of The Third man (Carol Reed did the intro voiceover for the UK release, Selznick had Joseph Cotton intro the US version).
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post #2190 of 2269 Old 01-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. 1972.



By all accounts this family is dysfunctional but I personally found it very relatable. Perhaps the similar economic status of the family rung true to me or the single mom desperately holding the reigns of a runaway existence. It all feels realistic.

In the middle of mom's maelstrom are two young ladies doing everything they can to become individuals against the hand they've been dealt.

This type of drama doesn't get much play today but there are films like it out there and I do enjoy them when I find them. The most recent examples that come to mind are Leave No Trace along with Lane 1974.

Fans of dialogue driven playhouse drama will do well with this one, it is displayed in much the same manner as stage performances but still beautifully framed. The grime of the house permeates all those scenes and it's no wonder the youngest daughter "lives" at school.


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