AVS Forum banner

2541 - 2560 of 2561 Posts

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,541 ·
The Premonition, directed by Gerd Oswald.

The Outer Limits (1963)

A test pilot flies so fast he creates a time warp. On crashing his plane he and his wife find themselves in a frozen world a few seconds before the crash. The time lines are going to sync up again, but they have another problem: how to save their little girl from being hit by a truck when they cannot move anything in the frozen world?

Another SF thriller plot with a long setup: it is 11 minutes until we reach the weirdness. Much stock footage. Instructions to the crew: just get it done in six days, hand in whatever you have then. That must have been disheartening to Gerd Oswald who put so much into the series.

It still has some Outer Limits touches: the mysterious "Limbo Being" who is caught in the warp just has they are. The notion that when time resumes they have forgotten their adventure in the frozen world and are left with the vague premonition that something was about to happen. Maybe this is the source of our premonitions...

Their solution to saving the little girl is a good one.

I remember Dewey Martin from The Thing from Another World (1951) and The Desperate Hours (1955).

Mary Murphy is the often overwrought wife, perhaps understandably so. Last seen in The Wild One (1953), The Mad Magician (1954) and also The Desperate Hours (1955).

Written by Ib Melchior, who wrote The Angry Red Planet (1959) (also directed), Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and the original story of Death Race 2000 (1975).

On the Blu-ray commentary track Tim Lucas again compares this to the minimalism of French New Wave filmmaking, as he did for The Duplicate Man.

He has the details of the X-15 crash shown in this episode. Only three of these were built; I did not know that.



-Bill
 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,542 ·
The Probe (1965), directed by Felix E. Feist.

The Outer Limits (1963)

Forced down in a hurricane, the crew of a cargo plane at first find themselves in a raft on stormy seas, but wake up the next day on a solid surface, inside a mysterious structure. They learn they are inside an automated alien surveyor probe and have to contend with its strange workings and a mutated giant germ picked up from some previous planet.

Is there anyway to communicate with the device, or the beings behind it?

And so we come to the end of the series. After a season and a half ABC pulled the plug on a show they never understood or appreciated.

This is not an auspicious ending: "Let's throw in a bunch of weird stuff to keep the kids happy. Look: a monster!" The plot reminds me of Heinlein's story Goldfish Bowl.

Peter Mark Richman returns from The Borderland.

Peggy Ann Garner was a child actress in Jane Eyre (1944):



...and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). I remember her as an adult in the soapy murder mystery Black Widow (1954).

The creeping monster was later developed into the "Horla" for Star Trek The Devil in the Dark. Both were designed and performed by Janos Prohaska.

The Blu-ray has no commentary track for this final episode. Previous second season tracks detailed the reduced budgets, change in creative talent, shifted time slot and network indifference.

The second season Control Voice narrations became consistently dull in their high-toned abstract vagueness.



-Bill
 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,543 · (Edited)
That completes my survey of The Outer Limits (1963): 48 episodes over one and a half seasons. Once again I am sorry to see it end.

Any updates or corrections will appear at my own site: The Outer Limits (1963).

The Kino Blu-ray set was well worth the investment, not just for the video upgrade, but for the rich set of commentaries and extras.

Here is my attempt to sort the episodes into categories, always subject to change:

Personal favoritesDistinguished episodes, fan favoritesEpisodes I like more than I shouldTending to dullnessThe rest, always worth a second lookThank you for reading!

-Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
That completes my survey of The Outer Limits (1963): 48 episodes over one and a half seasons. Once again I am sorry to see it end.

Any updates or corrections will appear at my own site: The Outer Limits (1963).

The Kino Blu-ray set was well worth the investment, not just for the video upgrade, but for the rich set of commentaries and extras.

Here is my attempt to sort the episodes into categories, always subject to change:

Personal favorites
Distinguished episodes, fan favorites
Episodes I like more than I should
Tending to dullness
The rest, always worth a second look
Thank you for reading!

-Bill
An impressive undertaking! I bow to your commitment!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Bullitt (1968)
Director:
Peter Yates
Writers:
Alan Trustman(screenplay) (as Alan R. Trustman) and
Harry Kleiner(screenplay)
Robert L. Fish(novel) (as Robert L. Pike)
Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
TCM DVR, FTV

Steve McQueen plays San Francisco PD Lieutenant Bullitt, a no-nonsense, sandy-haired, hard-drivin, fast-lovin cool-as-ice dude that knows all the angles. Robert Vaughn is Chalmers, a seemingly powerful politician that hires Bullitt to protect Ross, a witness from Chicago that's going to testify against the mob ("The Organization"). Simple enough premise, but when the layers of this onion start peeling away, it just gets more and more stinky and rotten.

Obviously, the movie is mainly known for its lengthy car chase around the bay area, pitting Bullitt's fastback green Mustang 390 against the bad guy's Dodge Charger 440 Magnum. The Charger is slightly faster in a straight line, but the Mustang is more nimble. Both cars are quite slow by today's standards, but that doesn't matter when you're burning rubber and launching off hills through the streets of San Fran. It was quite exciting, but I do also appreciate the setup to the ending climax at the airport, especially the portrayal of Bullitt's intelligence and extraordinary ability to think on his feet in the heat of the moment. This was a fun watch but quite procedural, honesty. I like McQueen's understated performance a lot. He's not a talker. He just gets **** done. And Jacqueline Bisset...WOW...IMDb: 7.4/10, my score: 7.1/10





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
The Premonition is the one I remember watching as a kid and liking. I mentioned it a page or two ago, but got wrong some of the details in that post! I've got to pull these DVDs out and watch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RobKnapp

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,334 Posts

King Kong (1976)
Ordered Shout! Blu-ray
On HBOMAX



Introducing Jessica Lange in her film debut.....

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.
Director:John Guillermin
Writers:James Ashmore Creelman (based on the {1933} screenplay) (as James Creelman), Ruth Rose (based on the {1933} screenplay)
Stars:Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange

You all know the story; a shipload of men are going to Skull Island and along the way they pick up an attractive young woman who was "saved by Deep Throat". Once they arrive, they discover a giant wall, a tribe of natives, and soon realize that the tribe is involved in sacrificing women to a giant ape. The natives eventually kidnap the aspiring actress and offer her to the huge primate named Kong. He takes her, and the adventure begins.

With a script by Lorenzo Semple Jr., creator of the similarly tongue-in-cheek Batman television series, this version of Kong is loaded with silly dialogue and situations.

Jessica Lange was indeed recruited out of 'nowhere' to be 'discovered' by Dino De Laurentiis. Before Kong Lange was mainly a model with an impressive education and some stage and dance experience. Jessica Lange was sensational as sexualized Dwan ! She could act in her debut role and it shows . Lange a very alluring . She has sexy vulnerability about her spirit. Her talent is very obvious. She was panned by some critics who apparently can not spot talent . She had many lines that she delivered with her Veronica Lake Marilyn Monroe influences. And Jessica Lange used that sexualized persona brilliantly. Because of her terrific performance she retains her dignity! I have pre-ordered the Shout ! King Kong (1976) Collector's Edition - Blu-ray releasing on my Birthday May 11 2021. I think that Jessica Lange is the biggest reason that audiences stick with the movie. Her silly 'conversations' with Kong are reasonably funny.
Quotable's :

Jessica Lange : Sometimes I get too physical, it's a sign of insecurity, you know, like when you knock down trees. ... Such a nice ape. Such a nice, sweet - nice, sweet, sweet monkey. You know, we're gonna be great friends. I'm a Libra. What sign are you? Nice, sweet monkey. We're gonna be great friends." -- Dwan to King Kong.

Jessica Lange: Hey, Kong. Remember me from before, your blind date? Why are you waking up all these sleepy people? -- Dwan to King Kong.

Jessica Lange: " Did you ever meet anyone before whose life was saved by "Deep Throat"? --Dwan to ship crew

Jessica Lange : "You God damn chauvinist pig ape! What are you waiting for? You wanna eat me? Then go ahead! Do it! Go ahead and eat me! Go ahead! Choke on me! -- Dwan to King Kong.



Jessica Lange : "Oh, come on, Kong. Forget about me. This things just never gonna work. Can't you see? -- Dwan to King Kong.

What makes King Kong such an exciting monster was the production team. They Employed Carlo Rambaldi, Rick Baker, and Rob Bottin in the effects department. The creature effects for 100% practical using an ape bodysuit and some Animatronics ..... mechatronic puppets.The film was released on December 17, 1976 to mixed reviews from film critics, but was a box office success. It won a noncompetitive Special Achievement Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

Overall, the story is presented with heart (thanks, in large part to Jessica Lange's performance) and spirited work by Jeff Bridges who both make the show watchable and even fun. 9/10.

 
  • Like
Reactions: wmcclain and Ben23

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
Balance of Terror (Star Trek)

Here is my second favorite episode of the original series, the 14th episode of season 1. I'll probably do one more episode of my favorites and that will be it. Here we are introduced to the Romulan race with the commander played by Mark Lenard. Lenard would later return to play Spock's Father, Sarek. (Lenard also played a Klingon captain in the first Star Trek movie giving him the distinction of playing a Klingon, Romulan and Vulcan for the franchise.) The episode is said to be the same story as The Enemy Below (1957), about a cat and mouse game between an American destroyer and German U-boat, the director admitted such.

The episode starts with the Enterprise investigating a series of communication losses from Federation outposts along the neutral zone. At outpost 4, Kirk makes contact with the lone survivor. While doing so the Romulan bird of prey destroys the outpost. The game of cat and mouse starts. The attack on outpost 4 also interrupts the wedding of two of the crew. Lt Stiles, who works on the bridge with Sulu and lost members of his family in the old earth-vulcan war, questions Spock's loyalty when an image of the Romulan's comes through showing them to be almost identical to Vulcans. In a contentious meeting on whether or not to follow the ship into the neutral zone and attack, Stiles again accuses Spock of not being loyal and recommends they attack. Spock surprises Stiles and agrees saying that Vulcan also had a violent history and if the Romulans are an off shoot of Vulcan, "attack becomes even more imperative".

The cat and mouse game continues with Kirk generally getting the best of the Romulan commander, even with the Romulan's having a cloaking device. In one part of the episode the Enterprise uses the tail of a comet to get a location. Every time the Enterprise damages the Romulan vessel the commander ejects debris and slips away and continues toward home. In one exchange that debris is an old fashioned nuclear device , which the Enterprise detonates with phasers partially incapacitating it. The Romulan commander continues home but is challenged by a crewman and the commander say's we'll attack, 'but on my orders!". Phasers are operative and Kirk lies in wait as the Romulan vessel attacks. Stiles who is filing in at the phaser station becomes incapacitated due to a phaser coolant leak with Kirk frantically saying fire, fire. Spock assessing damage, goes in and saves Stiles, fires and the Romulan vessel is nearly destroyed. Kirk and the Romulan commander talk and Kirk says to surrender your vessel. The Romulan command says no and tells Kirk in another time I could have called you friend. He then tells Kirk there is one more duty to perform and blows the vessel up. The episode ends with Kirk comforting the bride to be, who lost her groom in the battle.

This was probably one of the most suspenseful episodes of the series and it was a real joy to see Lenard introduced as a Romulan commander. He did a superb job. It was also sad that this was the last episode of Yeoman, Lt Janice Rand.


3120268
3120269


3120270
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,334 Posts


The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
First Time View
Charles Laughton is Quasimodo and the stunning Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda ! O'Hara is definitely worth the price of admission.


In 15th-century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bell ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director:William Dieterle
Writers:Sonya Levien (screen play), Bruno Frank (adaptation)
Stars:Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke
Charles Laughton's biographer, Simon Callow, has called The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) the actor's last great screen performance, certainly the last in which he endured physical hardship and tapped his most painful inner conflicts to create a character.Charles Laughton endured a daily five-and-a-half-hour makeup session to become Quasimodo, the mocked and vilified bell ringer of Notre Dame. The result was one of his best performances: out sized yet nuanced, heartrending yet inspiring.

Released in 1939, the film is one of an amazing lineup of movies - including Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gunga Din - that have earned that year a reputation as the greatest in Hollywood history.

. The Hunchback of Notre Dame marked the first U. S. screen appearance of Maureen O'Hara, a protégée of Laughton's since her appearance in Jamaica Inn (1939). Maureen O'Hara is the gypsy Esmeralda, whose simple act of pity frees the emotions within him. When she is wrongly condemned, he rescues her from hanging, sweeping all of Paris into a fight for justice. .
The cinematography is stunning and the entire film has an incredible atmosphere to it. With huge sets, rousing scenes and a versatile throng portraying a medieval Paris of cutthroats, clergy, beggars and nobles. ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ (1939) is one of Hollywood’s grandest spectacles. Highly recommended.

FILM FACT: Award Nominations: Academy Award for Best Original Music Score for Alfred Newman. Academy Award for Best Sound for John Aalberg. For this production RKO Radio Pictures built on their movie ranch a massive medieval city of Paris and Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the largest and most extravagant sets
ever constructed.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Ben23 and wmcclain

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,550 ·
Battle of Britain (1969), directed by Guy Hamilton.

First review

Another large-scale, technically accomplished historical reenactment film. Hitler wants to destroy the British air force in preparation for an invasion. The Brits hold on, barely. Which is a victory, although the Luftwaffe advisor (who ran the operation for the Germans during the war) would never admit that. How the Brits won against such odds is left a bit vague. It was very close.

Some stunning flying and fighting sequences over the areas where they actually occurred, with nice shots of the Dover cliffs and beaches.

We meet a lot of pilots on both the German and British side, but (a) it's hard to tell who they are when wearing oxygen masks, (b) most get killed before we know them well anyway.

A few bits of human interest, including an irritating romance subplot with Susannah York and Christopher Plummer. They argue a lot and then it is just left hanging.

Available on Blu-ray and often on sale.

Second review

A few more notes and I've added thumbnails from the Blu-ray.
  • The reenactment is still very impressive. The human interest stories less so, but worth watching for the cast of characters. This time I noticed Michael Bates who was the shouting prison guard in A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Ian McShane at age 27.

  • I now see that in the Susannah York and Christopher Plummer subplot, they are married and he is unreasonably sour that she is in uniform. She arranges a room for them for three nights -- "It could be wonderful", she says helpfully -- but he scoffs and drives away. They aren't "left hanging" as I wrote before: we understand that he is badly burned but will live.

  • "How the Brits won": the common wisdom is that the German's erred by turning the attacks to London rather than finishing off the southern air fields. This allowed the Brits to continue to put up fighters and hit the attacking forces along their longer route. As always, there is some dispute.

  • I had forgotten that the movie makes the links between the air campaign and Operation Sea Lion, the German plan to invade Britain.

  • The wikipedia article gives details on the aircraft used in filming, and on the historical and composite characters.

  • Made by a James Bond crew: produced by Harry Saltzman, directed by Guy Hamilton -- Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), photographed by Freddie Young -- You Only Live Twice (1967). John Barry was approached to do the score but declined.

  • There was a dispute over the score. The American studio heads did not like Sir William Walton's music and hired a new score by Rob Goodwin -- Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965), Where Eagles Dare (1968), Frenzy (1972). Walton's music for the "Battle in the Air" dogfights was retained.

  • Fifteen cast and crew members -- including Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier and Edward Fox -- return in A Bridge Too Far (1977), another large scale WW2 reenactment film.

  • Four return from The Dam Busters (1955), including Robert Shaw and Michael Redgrave.
Available on Blu-ray with an old mpeg2 encoding. The detail is not very good and I see halos in spots, but it is perhaps good enough for this source.

Both musical score tracks are included.



-Bill
 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,551 ·
The Gunfighter (1950), directed by Henry King.

Notorious gunman Gregory Peck is tired of his fame and even more tired of the "young squirts" who want to fast-draw on him in every town. Tired of staying ahead of their vengeful surviving brothers. Now he just wants a quiet day to visit his estranged wife and see the boy who has no idea who his father is.

What are the chances Jimmy Ringo will get what he wants?

Peck is, as always, excellent. His adult persona is well-suited to the role of a bad man who has calmed down with age. We also have Karl Malden, Millard Mitchell, and Skip Homeier looking ridiculous as a "young squirt" gunman. And Alan Hale Jr, uncredited as one of the vengeful brothers.

A fine looking western: the town has mud streets. More character driven than action oriented, although there are some shootouts. I don't believe we ever see Ringo draw. (He's too fast). A nicely comical interlude when he has to cope with a delegation of furious respectable ladies.

Alfred Newman score. Photographed by Arthur C. Miller -- How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), The Song of Bernadette (1943).

Later: I added thumbnails from the Criterion Blu-ray.



-Bill
 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,552 ·
Road to Morocco (1942), directed by David Butler.

I've never found Hope and Crosby that funny and am not a particular fan of the series but once I start watching the appeal is undeniable. I can't help getting pulled into their unapologetic mid-20th century goofiness, especially those from the War years when people needed a laugh.

Self-referential and with vast amounts of comic mugging. The comedy of silliness doesn't always wear well but what was old becomes new again. It was a different world, standards of entertainment that would not be allowed today. Culturally insensitive? That is the culture.

Dorothy Lamour seems extra-gorgeous this time, and Anthony Quinn has his masculine menace down pat.

Like all golden age Hollywood fantasies set in exotic locales, the settings are a mish-mash of anything and everything north of the Sahara and east of Suez.

Each Jack gets his Jill. I was unfamiliar with Dona Drake, the second female lead. She was three-quarters black, presented herself as Mexican, played both "ethnic" and non-ethnic roles, and lead an all-girl orchestra:



The complete series:
  • Road to Singapore (1940)
  • Road to Zanzibar (1941)
  • Road to Morocco (1942)
  • Road to Utopia (1946)
  • Road to Rio (1947)
  • Road to Bali (1952)
  • The Road to Hong Kong (1962)
Costumes by Edith Head, putting a lot of sparkle wattage into the women's clothes.

Photographed by William C. Mellor -- Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Compulsion (1959), Giant (1956), The Naked Spur (1953).

The score is by Victor Young, uncredited. Music and lyrics by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke.

This introduced "Moonlight Becomes You" which became a standard. Paramount must have the rights because it shows up in their films: we catch a bit from the nightclub chanteuse in the holodeck scene in Star Trek: First Contact (1996).

Available on Blu-ray from Kino. The commentary track is a fact-packed history of the series and everyone involved.

He says that Dorothy Lamour's start on the picture was delayed by two weeks because the government needed her to continue her phenomenally successful War Bond sales tour. She used her vacation time for this and paid her own expenses. During the whole war she sold $300 million worth and was known as the "Bond Bombshell".



-Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,334 Posts
Union Pacific (1939)
First Time View
There's plenty here to like. Barbara Stanwyck's excellent acting is the number one reason to seek this film out . Stanwyck especially appealing as a plucky Irish lass willing to face reality squarely in the eyes.




The director originally wanted Jean Arthur, who had starred in The Plainsman, for the female lead. Studio publicity also named Irene Dunne as a potential star (alongside Joel McCrea and Fredric March). Instead, Barbara Stanwyck took on the role. She quickly proved herself to DeMille by insisting on doing her own stunts, always arriving on set early and fully prepared and never complaining about difficult location conditions. In his memoirs, he would answer the question most Hollywood directors dread, "Who is your favorite actress?" by writing, "...I have never worked with an actress who was more co-operative, less temperamental, and a better workman, to use my term of highest compliment, than Barbara Stanwyck.... Barbara's name is the first that comes to mind, as one whom a director can always count on to do her work with all her heart".
Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Catherine Stevens; July 16, 1907 - January 20, 1990) was an American actress, model, and dancer. A stage, film, and television star, she was known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional for her strong, realistic screen presence. A favorite of directors including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang, and Frank Capra, she made 85 films in 38 years before turning to television.

Stanwyck was well praised during her 6 decades in Hollywood. She received four Best Actress nominations. It is widely thought that Stanwyck should have won an Academy Award for Best Actress rather than being just nominated.

She received an Honorary Oscar in 1982, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1986 and was the recipient of several other honorary lifetime awards. She was ranked as the 11th greatest female star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
Stanwyck as a Ziegfeld girl in a 1924

Union Pacific (1939)
In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.
Director:Cecil B. DeMille
Writers:Walter DeLeon (screen play), C. Gardner Sullivan (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Stars:Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff

Veteran Dick Allen (Robert Preston) and gambler Sid Campeau (Brian Donlevy) plot to derail the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad at the behest of crooked banker Asa M. Barrows, a major investor in a competing railroad line who will profit from any delay. Meanwhile, Allen and his old friend, railroad boss Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea), compete for the attention of Mollie Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck), beautiful postmistress and daughter of the railroad engineer.
Cecil B. DeMille's sprawling, adventurous film takes on the building of the first trans-continental rail road. The actual building of the track takes second stage to the fates of three employees; Joel McCrea as the Union Pacific hired gun, Robert Preston as his war buddy working with a crooked bank man to stall the proceedings, and Barbara Stanwyck as the mail woman caught in between them for their loyalty and love. The love triangle may be contrived, but the three stars are believable. Preston conveying a surprising amount of sympathy in a colorful good/bad guy, a murderer melodramatically delivered by the love of a good woman. DeMille keeps the 140 minutes moving with exciting action, some wonderful set pieces, two or three exciting finales -- robberies, a train wreck and an enthralling Indian attack. The tale is well-directed, and the cinematography is splendid. The special effects are impressive. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Special Effects.


In reading about its premier I learned some fascinating trivia !

"The biggest premiere in movie history."
Apr 1939 Hollywood Reporter news items reported that Union Pacific's world premiere in Omaha, Nebraska was a gala "three-day celebration" that drew crowds of over 250,000, instantly doubling the city's population and requiring the deployment of eight national guard troops to help local authorities maintain order. Large crowds were also said to have gathered at many stops along the train route from Hollywood to Omaha, as it was publicized that a special train carrying, among others, producer and director Cecil B. De Mille, and stars Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea, was making its way to Nebraska for the event. The film's premiere took place at three Omaha theaters simultaneously. A 22 Apr 1939 HR news item noted that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to officially start the premiere proceedings by pressing a button in Washington, D. C. that would open Omaha's civic auditorium. An advertisement in HR claimed that Union Pacific's premiere, which was accompanied by parades, special radio broadcasts and a banquet, was the "biggest world premiere in motion picture history." The ad also notes that following the premiere, De Mille was joined by many of the film's stars aboard an antique train for the continuation of the fifteen-day, coast-to-coast promotional tour, which was scheduled to stop at thirty cities around the country. Now how awesome this adventure would have been to be apart of for the lover of cinema !
Kino Lorber will bring to Blu-ray Cecil B. DeMille's Union Pacific (1939), starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff, Robert Preston, and Lynne Overman. The release is expected to arrive on the market during the summer 2021.
Kino Lorber | 1939 | 135 min | Not rated | Summer 2021
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Inherit the Wind (1960)
Director:
Stanley Kramer
Writers:
Nedrick Young(screenplay) (originally as Nathan E. Douglas) and
Harold Jacob Smith(screenplay)
Jerome Lawrence(play) and
Robert E. Lee (no, not that Robert E. Lee...)(play)
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly
TCM DVR, 2nd time view

Another one I watched so long ago it's essentially a FTV. Heavily based on the 1925 "Scopes monkey trial" in Tennessee, Spencer Tracy fills in for Clarence Darrow (Henry Drummond in the movie), and Fredric March is doing William Jennings Bryan's part (Matthew Harrison Brady in the movie). A teacher is on trial for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which was outlawed in this particular town.

A Baltimore newspaper hires Drummond (famous, brilliant attorney) to defend the teacher as the story has become hot national news. Brady is the high-profile prosecutor, religious fundamentalist, bible literalist, and three-time presidential candidate. The trial has basically whipped up the entire town into a dogmatic fervor, and they're ready to burn the teacher at the stake for the "crime" of heresy. They spend their days marching through the streets singing "Old Time Religion" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in an almost trance-like state while they burn the teacher in effigy and call for Drummond to be run out of town, but it's clear they'd also be fine hanging him from a tree.

The teacher did technically break the law, but one of the overarching themes of the movie is that this law was unjust and ultimately indefensible based on the precedent it set. After all, "there are unjust laws, as there are unjust men." (Mahatma Gandhi). My main impressions: Spencer Tracy is a force in this movie. He does a fantastic job, and his passion and talent are on full display. Gene Kelly is quite refreshing here as well. He provides some nice comic relief, but he also has some key interactions with Tracy that prove his intellect is also not to be trifled with.

Definitely worth a watch for the performances alone, but the civics lesson and constitutional ramifications are incredibly important as well. IMDb: 8.1/10, my score: 7.9/10



 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,555 ·
The Wages of Fear (1953), directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.

At first the setting seems to be one of those decaying colonial African outposts from a Graham Greene novel. We soon see it is actually an oil town in South America, but with the same dirt streets, scrap metal shanties and morning vultures in the road.

Shady, lazy multi-national drifters have landed there and can't get away. Earn money in construction? No: "We work with our brains", which means not at all.

It is a cruel, brutal, exploitative place. When an oil well explodes the damned Company cares nothing for the deaths, they just need drivers for a well-paid suicide mission to deliver nitroglycerin to the site which will somehow blow out the conflagration.

It is a nightmarish, white-knuckle driving job. Never has the tension of traction been so well shown in a film, the difficulty of negotiating rough roads and impossible corners.

We come to understand that the money is just an excuse. It gives the men permission to do something so crazy. They would deny that.

Camaraderie? Not much, but some.

Our drivers:
  • Corsican Yves Montand -- Le Cercle Rouge (1970) -- a young man who fancies himself as some sort of player.

  • Older French gangster Charles Vanel, good at bullying people, not so brave on the road.

  • Italian Folco Lulli, the happiest member of the crew, even though he is already dying from lungs full of cement dust.

  • German Peter van Eyck -- Run for the Sun (1956) -- stoic and brave.
The young woman at the café, dog-like in her devotion to the uncaring Montand, is Véra Clouzot, the director's wife, next seen in Diabolique (1955).

Notes:
  • This is an important entry in the "trucker noir" genre. Others: Thieves' Highway (1949), They Drive By Night (1940), The Long Haul (1957).

  • "Hauling nitro over rough roads" became it's own little film genre. William Friedkin's Sorcerer (1977) is another adaptation of the original novel.

  • Long setup in the town: it is 40m until the oil-well blows, an hour before the trucks roll.

  • The American oil-men are the chief villains. Note they live on Coca-Cola.

  • To keep from detonating the cargo you drive slow through the mud-holes but fast to fly over the washboard.

  • Just as is done today, roadside crosses mark places where people have died. Theirs are iron.

  • Only in the movies: drilling a 30" hole in solid rock by pounding on it with an iron rod.
Georges Auric score. Photographed by Armand Thirard, who also did the director's Diabolique (1955) and La Vérité (1960).

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion.



-Bill
 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,556 ·
The Outrage (1964), directed by Martin Ritt.

This is an odd little remake of Rashomon (1950) (Kurosawa's "strange picture scroll") in a Western setting. The original created a famous trope in story-telling: how a past event is remembered differently by different observers.

The "event" is a rape where the husband is tied up and made to watch, followed by his death by stabbing. A murder? We're not sure: different accounts and too many confessions.

This gives the actors a chance to play varying versions of their characters. In his own account the bandit Carrasco is clever and has intense magnetism. In his victim's testimony she describes him as drunk and vulgar, and she plays up the melodramatic tragedy of her own role.

It's not just the murder that leaves us uncertain, but the circumstances of the sexual assault: what happened afterwards, what was everyone's attitude?

This is suggesting fraught, heavy issues of violence, consent and secret desires when the director blows it up with a bizarre final account that becomes an outdoor bedroom farce where the victim is dissatisfied with the manliness of both her husband and attacker and is happy to see them fight it out.

Although a remake of an earlier film, it has strong stagey aspects with playwright-speak in the exposition, particularly in the framing story at the train depot in the rain. I wonder if that was intentional?

The cast are all very good:
  • Paul Newman is the infamous Mexican bandit: "When you are old your listeners will thrill to your account of how you were raped by Juan Carrasco". He gets oddly whimsical music for his own account.

  • Brits Laurence Harvey and Claire Bloom put on American southern accents.

  • Edward G. Robinson: the satirical, jibing Con Man.

  • William Shatner: the shell-shocked Preacher.

  • Howard Da Silva: the Prospector.

  • Paul Fix: an ancient Indian shaman.
Score by Alex North and with James Wong Howe's always stunning cinematography. He uses a hand-held camera during the fight scenes.

Available on DVD.



-Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Lilies of the Field (1963)
Director:
Ralph Nelson
Writers: James Poe (screenplay), William E. Barrett (novel)
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
TCM DVR

This is the movie that gave Poitier his only Oscar (for best actor). I love Poitier but considered amongst his other performances in movies like The Defiant Ones, A Patch of Blue, To Sir, with Love, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night, this one didn't really grab me too much. He does a fine job, and, by any reasonable measure, carries the movie, but it is surprising to me that this is the role that got him his only Oscar.

This is simple but effective storytelling. Homer Smith's car overheats in the Arizona desert. In the search for water, he happens upon a small convent farm being run by five Eastern European nuns who speak German. Lilia Skala, playing Mother Maria, garnered a supporting actress nom here, and her interactions with Poitier are the core of what drive the story forward. She sees Homer as a man sent by God to help her convent build a chapel, and she simply will not be denied.

What is ultimately captured here is a portrayal of people that get placed on a path, mostly by chance, and by the end of it, they've come out better for what they experienced. Nothing sensational. Absolutely zero edge or intrigue. Just a simple slice of life that does touch on some profound, deeper meanings, but it mainly just makes you smile, and that's...okay. IMDb: 7.6/10, my score: 7.2/10



 

·
One-Man Content Creator
Joined
·
25,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2,558 ·
Judex (1963), directed by Georges Franju.

A criminal banker is getting threatening messages from the mysterious "Judex" ("Judge" or "Avenger"). Mend your ways or else. The evil-doer chooses "else".

The Shadow-like Judex is a master of disguise, an expert conjurer with a secret lair and advanced video technology with a team of loyal masked minions.

This is an homage to a French silent serial -- Judex (1916) -- which I have not seen. The respectful treatment causes some problems in slow pacing and narrative slackness, but the joy of old-time thrills is still there.

The plot is ludicrous: non-stop kidnappings, escapes and recaptures, cunning plans that make no sense. Incredible coincidences like the clever boy who is on hand for every important plot development.

My favorite such: an inept private detective is waiting outside a building he cannot get into when a circus wagon pulls up and out jumps an old school friend who ran away to become an acrobat. She scales the outside of building and has a rooftop fight with the chief villainess. They are both clad in skin-tight leotards and that is pretty exciting.

Édith Scob, the banker's much-kidnapped innocent daughter, was the masked Christiane in the director's Eyes Without a Face (1960).

Maurice Jarre score.

My thumbnails are from the Criterion DVD. They also have a Blu-ray edition.



-Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,334 Posts
Kino Lorber | 1939 | 135 min | Not rated | Aug 03, 2021 (2 Months)

Pre-order alert for those of you who enjoy Barbara Stanwyck !!!
Kino Lorber will bring to Blu-ray Cecil B. DeMille's Union Pacific (1939), starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff, Robert Preston, and Lynne Overman. The release is expected to arrive on the market during the summer 2021.

My only comment is they should have used real photograph of the movie poster , does not look like Barbara Stanwyck
definitely not going to let that stop me from adding it to the collection just could be much better cover art.

Union Pacific (1939)
TCM First Time View
There's plenty here to like. Barbara Stanwyck's excellent acting is the number one reason to seek this film out . Stanwyck especially appealing as a plucky Irish lass willing to face reality squarely in the eyes.




The director originally wanted Jean Arthur, who had starred in The Plainsman, for the female lead. Studio publicity also named Irene Dunne as a potential star (alongside Joel McCrea and Fredric March). Instead, Barbara Stanwyck took on the role. She quickly proved herself to DeMille by insisting on doing her own stunts, always arriving on set early and fully prepared and never complaining about difficult location conditions. In his memoirs, he would answer the question most Hollywood directors dread, "Who is your favorite actress?" by writing, "...I have never worked with an actress who was more co-operative, less temperamental, and a better workman, to use my term of highest compliment, than Barbara Stanwyck.... Barbara's name is the first that comes to mind, as one whom a director can always count on to do her work with all her heart".
Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Catherine Stevens; July 16, 1907 - January 20, 1990) was an American actress, model, and dancer. A stage, film, and television star, she was known during her 60-year career as a consummate and versatile professional for her strong, realistic screen presence. A favorite of directors including Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang, and Frank Capra, she made 85 films in 38 years before turning to television.

Stanwyck was well praised during her 6 decades in Hollywood. She received four Best Actress nominations. It is widely thought that Stanwyck should have won an Academy Award for Best Actress rather than being just nominated.

She received an Honorary Oscar in 1982, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1986 and was the recipient of several other honorary lifetime awards. She was ranked as the 11th greatest female star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
Stanwyck as a Ziegfeld girl in a 1924

Union Pacific (1939)
In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.
Director:Cecil B. DeMille
Writers:Walter DeLeon (screen play), C. Gardner Sullivan (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Stars:Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff

Veteran Dick Allen (Robert Preston) and gambler Sid Campeau (Brian Donlevy) plot to derail the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad at the behest of crooked banker Asa M. Barrows, a major investor in a competing railroad line who will profit from any delay. Meanwhile, Allen and his old friend, railroad boss Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea), compete for the attention of Mollie Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck), beautiful postmistress and daughter of the railroad engineer.
Cecil B. DeMille's sprawling, adventurous film takes on the building of the first trans-continental rail road. The actual building of the track takes second stage to the fates of three employees; Joel McCrea as the Union Pacific hired gun, Robert Preston as his war buddy working with a crooked bank man to stall the proceedings, and Barbara Stanwyck as the mail woman caught in between them for their loyalty and love. The love triangle may be contrived, but the three stars are believable. Preston conveying a surprising amount of sympathy in a colorful good/bad guy, a murderer melodramatically delivered by the love of a good woman. DeMille keeps the 140 minutes moving with exciting action, some wonderful set pieces, two or three exciting finales -- robberies, a train wreck and an enthralling Indian attack. The tale is well-directed, and the cinematography is splendid. The special effects are impressive. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Special Effects.


In reading about its premier I learned some fascinating trivia !

"The biggest premiere in movie history."
Apr 1939 Hollywood Reporter news items reported that Union Pacific's world premiere in Omaha, Nebraska was a gala "three-day celebration" that drew crowds of over 250,000, instantly doubling the city's population and requiring the deployment of eight national guard troops to help local authorities maintain order. Large crowds were also said to have gathered at many stops along the train route from Hollywood to Omaha, as it was publicized that a special train carrying, among others, producer and director Cecil B. De Mille, and stars Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea, was making its way to Nebraska for the event. The film's premiere took place at three Omaha theaters simultaneously. A 22 Apr 1939 HR news item noted that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to officially start the premiere proceedings by pressing a button in Washington, D. C. that would open Omaha's civic auditorium. An advertisement in HR claimed that Union Pacific's premiere, which was accompanied by parades, special radio broadcasts and a banquet, was the "biggest world premiere in motion picture history." The ad also notes that following the premiere, De Mille was joined by many of the film's stars aboard an antique train for the continuation of the fifteen-day, coast-to-coast promotional tour, which was scheduled to stop at thirty cities around the country. Now how awesome this adventure would have been to be apart of for the lover of cinema !


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
Ok, It's time to do my third favorite Star Trek Episode. It was just on MeTV this weekend. I had a hard time deciding, the first two were easy and already reviewed, City on the Edge of Forever and A Balance of Terror. It came down to The Doomsday Machine and Trouble with Tribbles. I went with the fan fave Trouble with Tribbles. As a bonus, I'll reveal my favorite Star Trek woman of all time. Must be a guest or everyone would pick Seven of Nine)

Written by David Gerrold, this was his first sold script. 20 pages had to be cut out as he used a typewriter with a smaller font, necessitating it be cut back. There were plans for a comeback episode in season three, but those were scrapped as Roddenbery had stepped back from production and budget cuts were imposed on season three. The Episode was nominated for a Hugo award, the award instead going to my favorite episode, City on the Edge of Forever. Deep Space nine revisited the tribble during its run in an episode where its characters were digitally place into scenes from the original episode. I've never seen it.

As the story goes, Kirk is summoned via a priority one distress call to a space station. Armed for battle he finds that he's been summoned to the station by undersecretary Baris, played by William Schallert, who you might remember from the Patty Duke Show.
3144187


Kirk is asked to send security to guard the wheat, quadrotriticale. Eventually the Kingons show requesting shore leave and Baris is livid. You should remember the Klingon Captain, he also played the lead chartacter in the episode The Squire of Gothos.

3144188


Cyrano Jones, a trader, sells Tribbles to the bar tender and gives on to Uhura who brings it on board. They multiply exponentially. During one scene on shore leave, a fight breaks out. Scottie who sat there and took all sorts of insults to himself and Kirk sits quietly and tells his men to relax. Until the Klingon says the Enterprise should be hauled away as garbage then Scottie gets up and slugs him.

Baris then summons Kirk over again with worries the Klingons will sabotage the grain and get a leg up on establishing relations with Sherman's Planet. Kirk goes to check the storage compartment and has trouble opening it. When finally opened nothing comes out but tribbles.

3144189


Baris is outraged and says he will go to Starfleet and see Kirk punished and will be there when it happens. Spock notes that one tribble is dead and Bones says many are dead, leading them to conclude the grain has been poisoned. In a meeting in the station commander's office afterward it is discovered that tribbles don't like Klingons. Baris' assistant is discovered to be a Klingon and Kirk, with a smile on his face, tells Baris, 'Let's see what Starfleet command says about that.' Cyrano Jones is tasked with cleaning up the station. Back on the Enterprise Kirk notices that there are no tribbles on board. He asked where they went and after some wrangling Scottie says he got rid of them using the transporter. Kirk was aghast, thinking maybe he beamed them to deep space and Scottie says no, he gave the a very good home, the engine room of the Klingon ship, 'where they'll be no tribble at all'.

A great episode and one of the lighter and funnier ones they had.

Now for my favorite all time Star Trek Woman. From an episode 'A Private Little War', Nancy Kovack. There were many, but she wins out. I limited it to just guest appearances. It was hard to pick a winner. I almost went with Droxine, Diana Ewing, from the episode 'The Cloud Miners'. Here are both. Both from the Original Series. After The Next Generation, I've not watched any of the later series.

3144190


3144191



That's all for my dabbling in TV series, except up next I will review the pilot movie for a TV series.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wmcclain
2541 - 2560 of 2561 Posts
Top