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WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 13th, 2012, 9:09 am

Loy has something natural, even in her earliest talkies. Her line readings, while not completely perfect make her stand out from the rest of the starlets who are making their talking picture debuts. Alice White is an actress I love, for her perky flapper image, but I imagine if the movies she made were more serious or longer she might become grating, her voice is thin and restricted her to dumb blonde types or saucy city girls.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » September 13th, 2012, 12:04 pm

Hi Alison...Wendy! I’m glad I’m not alone out on the limb with my comment. ( Whew! ) Now I admit, I don't know Alice White; never even heard of her. But I had ( another ) stream-of-cine-consciousness moment. You guys mention Alice, and I think of Pearl White....who makes me think of Edna Purviance...who makes me think of Esther Ralston. ( And there I linger... ) I don't know WHY my brain does this. My brain has a mind of its own. ( At least my hands don't have a brain of their own! But that's another Forum. ) B4 I get kicked to the curb for not sticking to the silents and pre-codes subject matter of this thread, may I take one more moment to talk about Today's successors to the throne of Loy and Dunne and "Ladies Of That Ilk"?

Aspire to Loy and Dunne. Yeah. Exactly. There's that "A" list of actresses: ( you know...the Bettes, Babsies, Kates & Joanies ) but I'm talking just a little bit below the radar, where you can't see the thespian strings. The Jennifers you mentioned Alison are pretty, but I agree, not weighty at all. And I really like Jennifer Garner too, but... Hey, you know who is a Jennifer TO look out: Jennifer Lawrence.

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE in "WInter's Bone."

She appeared in "The Hunger Games" but I first saw her give a whale of a performance in "Winter's Bone." I like Geena Davis...and Virginia Madsen, too.

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VIRGINIA MADSEN

Madsen was getting a little heat when she did "Sideways" but then poof, fell off the radar again. ( Her brother is actor Michael Madsen who, POOF! fell off the wagon again, and just got arrested for a DUI. ) Catherine Keener? YaY!! Yes Wendy!! But listen, she doesn't only do comedies. I've mostly seen her in dramas, and was really scared of her when I saw her in the comedy "The 40-Year Old Virgin." She's been so daunting in the dramas, when I found out she was going to be in that comedy, I thought she surely would rip Steve Carrell's character a new one...and he'd never lose his virginity. But she was nice and gentle. No edge in that film. I like her.

I'm thinking of Melissa Leo, my untried and true sister sistuh Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver and Glenn Close:

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Rachel Weisz is on the young side, but can carry a drama. ( "THE CONSTANT GARDNER" )

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RACHEL WEISZ

She was so devastating and destructive to Paul Rudd in "THE SHAPE OF THINGS" it took my breath away. Every time I saw her thereafter, I hated her. Naaaaah, I don't hate her anymore. She's really good. ( My friend's husband worked with her in a movie called "CONFIDENCE." )

Ladies who should get more attention ( in MY book ) would be Diane Lane and Laura Linney.

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DIANE LANE and LAURA LINNEY

Diane's been around since she was a kid, but "THE UNFAITHFUL" opened my eyes. Laura Linney is a cool, serious, blonde, really should have had a shot. The sharp persona but perhaps not playful as Loy & Dunne. I think maybe it's more of her own choice not to pursue that "movie" career hot and heavy. She's on HBO, I believe, in "THE BIG C" about a woman battling cancer. Also a denizen of The TheAtre. ( Lah-dee-dah! ) And they both worked with Richard Gere.

I guess I'm really thinking of those actresses who are the big FIVE-OHHHHH or older. I want to see Lorraine Bracco and Kim Basinger and Mimi Rogers back out there...fifty, front and center.

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I tried to pick fotos that weren't glammed up, so you would take them ( and me & my picks ) seriously. Alas ( and alack ) I'm talkin' from the cheeeeep seats of my local multi-plex. I don't have the script or money or clout at all to help these actresses, but I like 'em all. And I would pick any one of them in a nanosecond, in a heartbeat over Keira Knightley.

Actually, I do have an idea about a courtroom drama where...
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 13th, 2012, 6:58 pm

God you made me howl laughing about your brain having a mind of it's own....and I have just one thing to say:

Patricia Clarkson!

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » September 13th, 2012, 10:32 pm

Ahhhhhhhhh! Why of course...

PATRICIA CLARKSON. And may I please add: ANNETTE BENING.

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And another wonderful character actress:

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JOAN ALLEN - Always believable
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Robert Regan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Robert Regan » September 13th, 2012, 11:36 pm

You're right about Clarkson, Wendy. And Theresa, if you like Weisz, you've got to see The Brothers Bloom and especially The Deep Blue Sea which reminds me of the great masochistic melodramas of the forties! And since I saw Margaret (twice!), I gotta say that Anna Paquin is one of today's best!

And, since this thread claims to be Silents and Pre-Codes, has anybody here seen the new Criterion release of Paul Fejos' Lonesome? This is a movie I have been hearing about since the early sixties, but never saw till now. It's one of the best of the late twenties movies, but I wish I had seen way back, because it is a bit arty for my present-day taste, a bit too much montage and superimpositions. Too much Eisenstein and Murnau, and not enough Borzage and Vidor! Still, a lovely story of young love, nicely played by Glenn Tryon (anyone remember Tom?) and Barbara Kent who is very cute. I wish she had lived long enough to be remembered for this one, rather than losing John Gilbert to Garbo in Flesh and the Devil. Lonesome might have been the only movie in which she was not second-fiddle! Criterion also includes two other films by the mostly and unjustly forgotten Paul Fejos (my high school friend who only spoke Hungarian till she went to kindergarten tells me to say Fay-osh!), The Last Performance, a pretty good mad magician story with Conrad Veidt losing his head over Mary Philbin, another cute silent gal, but one of the least charismatic. Rounding off the set is the early talkie Broadway with Tryon back in what would soon be a Lee Tracy role. His chorus girl partner here is Evelyn Brent, but she is so ho-hum that it's hard to believe she is the same woman who was so exciting in Underworld and The Last Command, but then Josef Von Sternberg did have a way with women, didn't he. Mostly, this story of gangsters and an enormous Hollywood night club is the kind of movie that gave early talkies an undeserved bad reputation. Soporific drama scenes alternate with mediocre musical numbers that are almost, but not quite redeemed by the spectacular use of a huge crane devised by cinematographer Hal Mohr. Still, if you like late silents, part-talkies, and early sound, this is a great set and worth the Criterion price.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2012, 6:11 am

Oooh you are making me want to rush out to buy the set!

Is this version of Lonesome all silent or part talkie? I read that there were two releases of the film back in 1928.

Fejos' life would make a good film in itself.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » September 14th, 2012, 3:02 pm

I know quite a few of those actresses, I'm not as unaware as I thought I was. What is it about Lorraine Bracco? Her voice is so warm and dare I say it sexy, I loved her in The Sopranos and Goodfellas. Did she make anything worth seeing that doesn't involve the mob? I'd love to see her in something else.

I watched the third of my Myrna Loy films and from the title Barbarian, I wasn't expecting much but her co star was Ramon Novarro, an actor I rate higher than audiences in the 1930s must have. It's a really surprising and quite sexy little film, well Myrna is very sexy in this, so many sheer costumes and half hooded eyes. The film starts with Ramon saying goodbye in a railway carriage to Hedda Hopper a tourist he's been romancing and immediately after saying goodbye to a German tourist and getting the same reward, he's utterly charming and without scruples. He eyes his next target, Myrna and kidnaps her dog only to return it and enter into her service, he's the servant who anticiaptes every need and sings love songs that disarm Myrna's Diana. He enters her room in the morning whilst she's asleep and throws orchids all over her and kidnaps her in the desert, takes her to a rich mans house and then rescues her, having got rid of all her rich girl expectations and letting her drink from the oasis only after the horse and himself, he takes her (large hints of The Sheik here but Novarro isn't quite Valentino) kidnaps her again and takes her to his father (he's a prince) and introduces her as his fiance, she gets rescued by her real fiance and Ramon becomes a wanted man who then risks his life for a moment with her on hr wedding day. Does it sound confusing? I was confused, it hopped around quite a bit but it was lots of fun, I'd say that Myrna was far sexier than Ramon, who was made to play it a bit for laughs, one was never sure if he meant it, at least with Valentino's Sheik we knew he meant it, he was more dangerous. One wonders if MGM were wondering what to do with Novarro at this point and it was nice to listen to his singing, which was very pleasant. I think Novarro himself was more interested in his singing at this point in his career. He's an actor I enjoy and this film is worth catching, the supporting cast is excellent too.
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Robert Regan » September 14th, 2012, 4:49 pm

Yes, Wendy, Lonesome is presented with a few talking sequences and some elaborately tinted shots. I didn't feel that the dialogue really added anything to the picture. The lack of "star power" in the two leads does add to the credibility of their characters. And yes, the life of Paul Fejos is extremely fascinating. One of the extras is a short summary of that life with a voice over recorded by him for an oral history project some years back. Another has Hal Mohr talking about the famous "Broadway Crane" that he invented and used brilliantly in that film.

Last week was a sort of Hungarian festival for me. I revisited some of my favorite movies by Zoltan Korda, like The Macomber Affair, Sahara, and The Four Feathers. Criterion's excellent disc of the latter includes an interview with the director's son David discussing the lives and works of his father and uncles. Another treat was the "discovery" of a charming comedy Korda made in England in '33 called For Love or Money. Edmund Gwen, Wendy Barrie, and Robert Donat star.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2012, 8:58 pm

I would love to see that Donat picture, Robert! There are so many Criterion films I'd like, I completely skip over Four Feathers because I already have it recorded from TCM. It's a favorite though. John Clements, Ralph Richardson and C Aubrey are perfection.

Alison, I watched the beginning of the Barbarian when it was on recently but it was on early in the morning on one of the first days of school. I though Novarro was just great in those scenes at the beginning, cheerfully scamming the romantic lady tourists with his sincere act. You just know he's met his match in Loy. One of these days I'll catch the rest of it. I was hoping for a little pre-code heat from the picture, but I'd be just as happy if it played for laughs all the way through.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby knitwit45 » September 15th, 2012, 9:04 am

believe me, Jacks, there is heat....I recorded those Loy's for Alison, and sat down to watch them (when recording from the DVR, the TV has to stay on that station) I was slightly amazed. He's a cheerful scoundrel, and she is a spoiled young lady, who worries more about her dog than her 'fiance'. Everyone is so used to kow-towing to her wishes/whims/demands, she is completely thrown off by Navarro's behavior. He is thrown, too, by her willfulness, her refusal to fall for his line, etc. I almost put a 'warning' label on this one! :shock: :lol: :shock: :lol:

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby moira finnie » September 15th, 2012, 11:43 am

For Love or Money (1933-Zoltan Korda) aka Cash aka If I Were Rich is available on youtube. Zoltan Korda was a fascinating man and excellent director. I am hoping to see Zoltan Korda's A Woman's Vengeance (1948) again someday. Haven't seen it in 20 years! If anyone knows where to see this, I hope they will speak up.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD9PMo1SvT8[/youtube]
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » September 15th, 2012, 1:14 pm

knitwit45 wrote:believe me, Jacks, there is heat....I recorded those Loy's for Alison, and sat down to watch them (when recording from the DVR, the TV has to stay on that station) I was slightly amazed. He's a cheerful scoundrel, and she is a spoiled young lady, who worries more about her dog than her 'fiance'. Everyone is so used to kow-towing to her wishes/whims/demands, she is completely thrown off by Navarro's behavior. He is thrown, too, by her willfulness, her refusal to fall for his line, etc. I almost put a 'warning' label on this one! :shock: :lol: :shock: :lol:


It quite woke me up after I'd dropped the kids at school Nancy. Wow, very sexy, it didn't strike me until quite a while afterwards that in real life Ramon didn't fall for the ladies, one couldn't tell, he's wonderful, then again who can resist Myrna in that negligee :shock: :wink:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 15th, 2012, 1:53 pm

Oh goodie! I can't wait to watch, even if it is on youtube, thanks Moira! And thanks for the tip on THE BARBARIAN too, ladies! I WON'T miss it next time! It seemed just like my cuppa tea judging from the beginning.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby knitwit45 » September 15th, 2012, 10:56 pm

I just finished watching Sunrise with some one very very special to me...my 91 year old 'second mom'. I had to do some fast talking to get her to watch a silent movie. The first 15 minutes was touch and go...but she was totally hooked by the time the Man and his Wife get in the boat. When it was over, she told me she absolutely loved it. whew. (and she thinks Robert O is a doll :lol: :lol: )

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » September 16th, 2012, 12:50 pm

That's wonderful knitty! It sounds like a perfect movie watching experience.

I watched last night with Andrew. It was less than perfect. I thought it might catch his interest since he generally likes strong visuals. Unfortunately, he was not really prepared to give it all his attention. I guess he thought he could focus in and out at will and still understand what was going on. He started playing a game on his pad, then went to the kitchen for a snack. He spoke three times, once to ask what the movie was, once to say that women in classic movies should not get into rowboats as it always boded badly, and once to ask what the heck was going on, I thought he was going to kill her, why are they so happy? :D


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