Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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JackFavell
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

Post by JackFavell »

If any of you can see Five, it's an excellent film. Arnelo Affair is also well worth seeing. John Hodiak... yum. I'd have had an affair with him too.
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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Married to a stuffed shirt like George Murphy, who could blame ya. ( Loved Eve Arden's brief turn in the movie too. )
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JackFavell
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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Yeah, George is at his least charming here, stuffy is right. he's so b-o-r-i-n-g.
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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Cinemagic!

I watched THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY on the afternoon movie too. Probably about the same time period as you. Say, 119 years ago? A silly little movie, but the songs were cute. That's pretty much the only reason to make the movie! What I'll never forget is my redneck friend, Jerry. Wanted to be a tough guy. Loved cars and guns. And...THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY? He talked about that movie for weeks! "Man, I wish they'd show Eddie Cantor again!"
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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[u]JackFavell[/u] wrote:Yeah, George is at his least charming here, stuffy is right. he's so b-o-r-i-n-g.
YAWN! He was a real snoozer. I have to laugh at The Movies, when they make that contrast between hot and boring, good and bad, so stark. I know the "choices" in real life are shades, not stark contrasts.

* * *
[u]RedRiver[/u] wrote:Cinemagic!
Hiya RED!! :)
I watched THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY on the afternoon movie too. Probably about the same time period as you. Say, 119 years ago?
Puhleeeeze, I'm not as old as that. I just turned 105 in January.
A silly little movie, but the songs were cute. That's pretty much the only reason to make the movie! What I'll never forget is my redneck friend, Jerry. Wanted to be a tough guy. Loved cars and guns. And...THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY? He talked about that movie for weeks! "Man, I wish they'd show Eddie Cantor again!"
A tough guy who liked musicals. I have to laugh. Come out come out whereever you are. I just remember Eddie/Keefe singing "Ida, Ida Idolize Ya." I'd like to see the movie again myself. But I'm no tough guy.
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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kingrat wrote:
I started laughing--and gagging--at the thought of a "Keefe Brasselle lookalike"
Sorry. Being a catalyst for the gag reflex was unintended. But understandable.

Actually, I find that Brasselle's clueless smarmy schtick works in NOT WANTED (Ida Lupino (uncredited) 1949) and DIAL 1119 (Gerald Mayer 1950).

The moral -- albeit clueless -- center.
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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Chio, I've really enjoyed reading about all your exploits! Tell Lynn and "Dewey" I said hello!

This is a fabulous festival Dewey has organized!

Wish I was there soaking up all the noir!
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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LZC --

If Mrs. Dewey appears, the whole gang will be there (minus that stick-in-the-mud MIA Moraldo -- but I've had my Bi-Rite ice cream in his memory).

I'm incredibly psyched for tonight. Two movies I absolutely love. And (cue chorus) Percy Helton and Hugo Haas!

I may have to sit through Hugo twice.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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ChiO wrote:I'm incredibly psyched for tonight. Two movies I absolutely love. And (cue chorus) Percy Helton and Hugo Haas!

I may have to sit through Hugo twice.
Oh, you lucky people.

Here's a touch of the trash unjustly neglected Wicked Woman (1953-Russell Rouse) with Percy apparently working for Welcome Wagon in Beverly Michaels' new neighborhood. Percy shows up around 3:59 into the movie. I can't wait to see Richard Egan and Beverly Michaels together to see who mumbles more effectively:

[youtube][/youtube]

More about Mr. Percy Helton here too:

http://noirbabes.com/film/2013/01/19/sp ... an-k-rode/
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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I just remember Eddie/Keefe singing "Ida, Ida Idolize Ya."

"Sweet as apple cidah!"
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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This is a fabulous festival Dewey has organized!

The Fabulous Dewey Festival!
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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To return for a moment to the NIGHTMARE, Don – who’s as shady sans shades as with – tipped me off to this nightmare: Mike Wallace interviewing Diana Barrymore here.

Thank you, Don. (Do you think Martin Short studied this interview for his?)

I like Noir William Castle. I like Scott Brady. Golly, I even like cuter-than-a-bug Peggy Dow and the seemingly perpetually fourth-billed Bruce Bennett. So I like UNDERTOW (William Castle 1949). I like it…but that’s about it.

Scott Brady is the ex-con framed for a murder. With the help of a woman he met in Reno and sat with on the plane to Chicago (Peggy Dow), he searches for the killer. Could it really be his best friend (John Russell) who just happens to be hooked up with Brady’s finance (Dorothy Hart)?

Good, but non-essential, noir, nicely shot by Irving Glassberg (THE STORY OF MOLLY X (Crane Wilbur 1949), OUTSIDE THE WALL (Crane Wilbur 1950), THE TARNISHED ANGELS (Douglas Sirk 1957)), with the seemingly always uncredited voice of authority Thomas Browne Henry, an uncredited Roc (sic) Hudson and a very Castle-ian climax.

Now, let’s give that lineup a shakeup – keeping Peggy Dow, Bruce Bennett, Rock (with a new “k”) Hudson, and Irving Glassberg, substitute Scott Brady with his brother, and add Howard Duff, Anne Vernon and Brian Donlevy – and the result is SHAKEDOWN (Joseph Pevney 1950).

If multiple blackmails, frame-ups and double-crosses are your thing (and they are), all in the name of critiquing win-at-any-price ambition, then SHAKEDOWN is right up your nightmare alley.

Jack Early (Howard Duff) is trying to break into photojournalism. He insinuates his way into a newspaper and works his way up by sweet-talking an assistant editor (Peggy Dow), hounding the editor (Bruce Bennett) and stealing a tip from another photographer at the paper. He worms his way into the confidence of the city's top businessman-mobster, Nick Palmer (Brian Donlevy), who uses Early to put the bite on a former cohort who is now Palmer's crime rival and menace, Coulton (Lawrence Tierney). Early double-crosses Palmer with Coulton and works all three sides of the fence -- both sides of the crime game and the legit journalism side. Early's star continues to rise because of the exclusive photos he gets regarding crimes-before-they-happen. Having stepped on and over everyone he comes into contact with, there is a price to pay -- and dead bodies are everywhere by the end.

Paradoxically, a movie based on photography is relatively mundane visually. This is a movie the focuses on the story and the characters...and their lack of character.

Pevney cleverly uses Duff to show the dark side of blind ambition (the printable terms “heel”, “cad”, “jerk”, and “Howard Roark” come to mind), yet still allows the audience to maintain, occasionally, just enough empathy to think he may be redeemable. His self-assuredness and ability to manipulate are established early. When he first struts into the newspaper office, every pretty-young-thing greets him with a smile…and checks him out (that’s not his eyes they’re looking at) as he walks away.

Donlevy and Tierney meet and exceed all expectations of their usual characters. A favorite (two) moment(s): When Duff meets Tierney and blackmails him for 25 grand, just as he's about to leave, Tierney gives him an excruciating backhand to the face. Later on, again in Tierney's office, Duff gives him some photos. Tierney asks how much Duff wants. Duff ponders the question and then gives Tierney an excruciating backhand to the face. That makes it even, Duff says as he leaves. I'm betting Duff didn't allow himself to be alone anywhere around Tierney for the rest of the production, or maybe ever again.
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Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

Post by Lzcutter »

I don't want to steal ChiO's thunder and I will let him recap the Beverly Michaels double bill we saw this evening thank to Elliot's mad film curating skills but Wicked Woman totally ROCKED!!!!!

Percy Helton stole every scene he was in!

Howland Chamberlin (looking like Toby Ziegler's older brother) stole scenes in the other Michaels' film, Pick Up. Hugo Haas not only starred but also directed and it's a nifty little film.

I have no idea how tall Beverly Michaels was in real life but on screen, she looks almost Amazonian. The woman knew her assets and how to make the best of them for the camera. I just wish a good hair stylist had been on hand for her!
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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I have no idea how tall Beverly Michaels was in real life but on screen, she looks almost Amazonian.
5'9"
The woman knew her assets and how to make the best of them for the camera. I just wish a good hair stylist had been on hand for her!
Let me hear an Amen! Mookryan and I made a similar observation on the way out. The only thing in her hair's favor was the platinum. She wasn't especially pretty. Not buxom in the classically cheesecake way. But, boy, did she know how to walk...and talk. Only she could say Aw, shut up! and make every man in a four State region say, Can I do anything else for you? Anything? And then they'd shut up. Tough...and sultry.

She had a short film career (first screen appearance in 1949, and last in 1956) and married Russell Rouse in 1955 (their son, Christopher, won an Oscar for editing THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM).

It was a special night, wasn't it, LZ. And whatta crowd! WICKED WOMAN definitely received the best reception of any movie during my nights here and, with PICKUP, the best combined reception.
Last edited by ChiO on May 18th, 2013, 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
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Re: Dewey's I WAKE UP DREAMING 2013 at the Roxie

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The Roxie – A Friday Night of High Art and High Concept in the Beverly Michaels Oeuvre.

The Gang was all (well, almost all – Moraldo, you missed it) there for the double feature of the Festival. Don and Dewey (catch that obscure Specialty Records R’n’B reference?) were giddy over my excitement. Mookryan was willing to indulge and trust me. And LZCutter…didn’t see her until intermission, but, based on the debriefing, I’m confident she, too, now has two – well, maybe one – new favorites.

First, the High Art.

PICKUP (1951) was the first American movie directed by Hugo Haas (he also was the producer, co-writer, male lead and, yes, the auteur). And a fine start it is.

Jan Horak aka Hunky (No, I'm Czech, but it's easier for Americans to say I'm Hungarian.) (Hugo Haas) is a widower and railroad employee who lives in an old ratty house at a train tank stop. He goes into town to buy a puppy at a carnival, leaving his new truly hunky assistant, Steve Kowalski (Allan Nixon), to mind the train water tank. At the carnival, he is among a group of men gawking at the fish-netted gams of Betty (Beverly Michaels), who is riding an outside horse on the merry-go-round sidesaddle, stems facing outwards. Failing to buy the dog because the seller (Bernard Gorcey) wanted too much, he has a bite to eat. Betty spies him...and the wad of money he's carrying...and, being without funds herself and having absolutely no hesitancy about using his, she introduces herself and, one thing leading to another, they're married about two or three weeks later.

Life is lonely, boring and loveless for Betty. Jan loves her and she loves money, but Jan is "an old geezer" and pretty tight with his money to boot. She tries to convince him to claim a disability and retire so that they can move to the town, but he's too honest for that. Then it gets worse (or, is it better?) when Jan goes deaf. Now he can retire and, somehow, Betty can get his pension and savings. When he's in town to finalize his disability retirement, he is hit by a car that he doesn't see or hear. The shock of the collision restores his hearing, but rather than withdraw his filing, he hears Betty's voice and feigns deafness. He knows that Betty is the only person he can share his secret with, but, before he can tell her, he figures out that Betty and Steve have some chemistry. So deaf he stays, hearing all of their coo-cooing, and refusing to make his accounts into joint accounts. Betty now knows that there is only one way for her to get his money...she must become a widow.

[youtube][/youtube]

One night she goes to Steve's shack in the back. She tells him that she loves him and that Jan beats her. I'll kill him, says Steve, but Betty has a plan. When Jan takes Steve out to show him how to check the tracks, Steve can push him off a cliff. Steve fears that he can't do it, but will try. The time comes and he can't. Back at the house, Jan discloses the secret of his hearing. Steve, enraged that he fell for Betty's love-talk, tries to strangle her. Jan says, She's not worth ruining your life. Betty grabs her suitcase and heads down the track toward town.

And Jan’s poetry and philosophy spouting homeless Greek Chorus friend (Howland Chamberlain) brings Jan a puppy.

PICKUP's narrative is the precursor to Haas' later HIT AND RUN (1957). In PICKUP, however, it is tough to have any sympathy for the femme fatale, Michaels being hard-edged (and torpedoed in the bra department) and irredeemable, whereas Cleo Moore in HIT AND RUN is softer and not all bad. Also, here, one generally – no, always – has sympathy for Haas' character; in HIT AND RUN he's a stinker. Similarly, here Nixon's bad boy isn't really totally a bad boy, but Vince Edwards' bad boy is a bad boy.

Haas provides some marvelous touches. When Jan is losing and regaining his hearing, the sounds are muffled and there is some irritating ringing. When Jan is deaf, and Haas wants the viewer to identify with him, there is no sound except the irritating ringing. Paul Ivano's cinematography (see the Day 2 review of BLACK ANGEL) is striking throughout, the highlight being a scene of Betty and Steve. The camera is in the shack, framing them in the door against the night sky. They are backlit, giving them a halo effect. It is as beautiful as any shot from a '30s or '40s romance. I love you, Steve.... And then she explains how he is to murder her husband.

Haas and his co-writer were nominated by the Writers Guild of America for the award for Best Written American Low-Budget Movie. Nominated? What could have possibly been better?

And, now, the High Concept.

WICKED WOMAN (1953), written and directed by Russell Rouse, whose other credits include THE OSCAR (1966 – director & screenplay), PILLOW TALK (1959 – story), CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL (1955 – director & writer), and D.O.A. (1950 – story & screenplay), is a film noir that inhabits its own seedy and tawdry universe.

Blond floozy Beverly Michaels (you know she's a floozy because of the music her hips seem to cue each time she walks into the frame) moves into town looking for a job. Hired by Evelyn Scott, the lush co-owner of a local watering hole, to be a server, she soon becomes very friendly with the other co-owner, bartender and Scott's husband, Richard Egan. During this time, Michaels is also deflecting the advances of the lascivious voyeur who lives across the hall at the rooming house where she lives. Egan and Michaels eventually develop a plan to defraud Scott and a prospective bar buyer involving Michaels pretending to be Egan's wife and forging Scott's name to the bar's deed and sales agreement. They will then take the money and run off to Mexico to live happily ever after. But...

In his stalking of Michaels, her neighbor hears the plot and starts blackmailing her, not for money, but for dinners and the promise of fulfilling his basest desires. She, of course, keeps these activities a secret from Egan. Their plan unravels when Egan arrives unannounced at her room and finds the neighbor kissing and otherwise slobbering over her neck. Enraged, Egan admits the fraud, which the prospective buyer forgives, and returns to Scott, who acts as if she will take him back just in order to nag him about this episode for the rest of her life.

What is the primary reason that what otherwise appears to be a minor B-Noir melodrama (many shades of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE) is elevated to glittering B-Noir melodrama status? The neighbor, the Lothario that can send Richard Egan (or any man) into a blind jealous rage, the sexual obstacle to a couple's life of riches and romance:

Percy Helton!

Only in the twisted B-Noir Universe.

And to hear the audience, collectively as if on cue, roar Eeeyyyoooo – after Helton had gained their sympathy by being the poor lonely guy who can’t get a gal – is one of the most heart-warming moments I’ve experienced in a movie theater.

Plot? I may as well have made it up myself. This is just about characters – mundane, everyday slobs and harridans (albeit one who is a hip-swaying advertisement for tight skirts and torpedo bras) – and an idea. The idea that it is all a sham. Nothing matters. And that’s all that matters.

Trailer (but it’s all on YouTube in six parts):
[youtube][/youtube]
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
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