WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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moira finnie
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by moira finnie »

Ann Harding wrote:Yesterday I watched again Summer Storm (1943, D. Sirk) with E. Everett Horton, G. Sanders & L. Darnell. We are in Russia, a few years after the Revolution. The impoverished Count Volsky (E.E. Horton) sells a manuscript to get hold of some money. The publisher Nadina Kalenine (A. Lee) reads the story of her former suitor, Petroff (G. Sanders) who was a judge in small city in 1912...
I had seen this Chekhov adaptation before on a big screen, but on a very nasty 16mm print completely out-of-focus. I loved the film nevertheless, so it's a real pleasure to be able to see it again on DVD. The VCI print is OK, not brilliantly contrasted, but still of good quality. This is Douglas Sirk's second film in the US. The film was an independent production released by UA. It's a far cry from the glossy Technicolored Universal melodramas he was going to make a few years later. I must admit that I have a soft spot for his earlier features when he was able to choose his subjets and scripts rather than remake some old Universal melodramas of the 30s. Here, he adapts Checkhov's The Hunting Party. We are in the last years before the Revolution when the decadent aristocrats are still having fun doing absolutely nothing like Count Volsky, brilliantly performed by Edward Everett Horton (for once he has a lead role!) and the corrupt Judge Petroff played by G. Sanders. Sanders was Russian-born and he knew the customs and time better than anybody. I find his portrayal of Petroff among his best performances. He is spellbound by the peasant girl played by Darnell and will become a murderer such is his fear of losing her. There is a mixture of lust, cowardice and despair in his Petroff which seems to ring a bell inside him. Linda Darnell is the perfect temptress who will stop at nothing to rise in the social ladder. The British actress Anna Lee, who often performed small parts in Ford features, is here the good girl who found her way in the social order after the Revolution. A Sirk feature worth investigating. (Thanks Ollie!) 8)
I had looked forward to seeing Summer Storm (1943) for many months, in part because the story was drawn from Chekov's only novel, "The Shooting Party," and because of perceptive reviews that had seen something special in George Sanders' performance as well as Linda Darnell's blossoming sensuality on screen. Being fond of Sirk's films before he threw himself into the subtly satirical yet colorful melodramatic stories of his years at Universal, this movie offered neglected actors such as Edward Everett Horton and Anna Lee some decent screen time for a change, almost overshadowing Sander's excellent portrait of a weakling whose despair and self-awareness are deftly portrayed by the actor (even though the production code demanded his punishment for his sins, in the original story, his character had more fun being bad). I was a bit disappointed by the sultry characterization of Darnell, who--at least to me--was at her best working with Joseph Mankiewicz in A Letter to Three Wives and No Way Out. Without much real charm once her girlish demeanor is overwhelmed by her lush beauty and the reaction of men to her, Darnell's character is an ambitious peasant who is ruled by her vanity and a materialistic streak that even Horton's dense but likable aristocrat would have seen through quite easily. I suspect that this film was significant for the actress since it allowed her to develop beyond the innocents she had previously played at her home studio of 20th Century Fox.

I wish that VCI Entertainment would issue Douglas Sirk's The First Legion (1951) on DVD too!
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srowley75
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by srowley75 »

ChiO wrote:ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL is one of the most emotional films I've ever seen. Fassbinder, for me, doesn't create the distance or detachment from the characters that Sirk does. Sirk is a reporter; Fassbinder is a participant.
His films seem an odd mix of melodrama and realism. I know he idolized Sirk, and I think his movies have that same glossy look. The colors in Ali particularly reminded me of a Technicolor Sirk movie.

Petra von Kant was almost like a filmed play, and it was the one I had the most difficulty staying focused on. I'd tried to watch it several times before and either gotten distracted or bored. This was my 4th or 5th time through. I made it through, finally, in two sittings. I picked up immediately on the All About Eve allusion(s), though I also saw hints of The Killing of Sister George in the plot as well.

I suppose in time I will understand what people are referring to when they speak of his misogyny. Perhaps that was present in some of what I saw, but so far it hasn't really jumped out at me, not even in Petra von Kant. One odd thing that I and my friend noticed is that Fassbinder doesn't shy from depicting male frontal nudity, as opposed to showing women completely nude but stopping short at the males, as so many other filmmakers seem to do to satisfy censorship requirements.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by srowley75 »

MichiganJ wrote:I know you wont have the time now, but don't miss Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz; you'll never forget it.

A couple that I haven't seen mentioned that I'd highly recommend:
Fear of Fear (1975)--think Cassavetes with a touch of humor
Satan's Brew (1976--one of the darkest and funniest of the Fassbinder films I've seen.
Thanks to all for the recommendations. My friend has all of Fassbinder that's been released on R2, apparently, and he's seen many that I've yet to view. I know he sat through Berlin Alexanderplatz and said something to me about watching it sometime. I doubt I will have the time to do so on this vacation. We've already got quite a lineup scheduled as it is.

Fassbinder's own personal top ten list is quite interesting. As much as Sirk was apparently an influence, he doesn't list a Sirk movie in his top ten.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

To Have and Have Not

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/3190/To- ... -Have-Not/

I have a friend that has most of these films on DVD and after watching this movie on TCM today ... I haven't seen this movie in decades and beginning to understand how Humphrey Bogart operates on the Silver Screen. To me, this film introduces to a young Lauren Bacall and I have some issues with her ... but seeing her in action in this movie I can fully understand her role in this film. I enjoyed this movie more now than the last time I've seen this movie. It's deserve a 4 stars rating because its GREAT film loaded with drama, suspense, and great supporting cast. I love Walter Brennan in this movie.

I even got my DVR recording most of Bogart's films today on TCM ... running and I just can't to watch them when I get a chance later on today and tomorrow.

So, I know this off-topic ... I wished today's women have more hairdos like Lauren Bacall has in this movie. My dear Rita has it too and several other legendary starlets back in 40's. 50's, and some few 60's as well. Its so becoming on her. Here's perfect example of that:

Bogie and Bacall in To Have and Have Not
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RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by RedRiver »

I keep hoping I'll watch my video of INVISIBLE STRIPES and get back to this thread! That's an ex-con drama with Raft, Bogart and William Holden (in diapers, I assume). I checked it out from the library, but can't seem to get around to it. I'm too busy watching REAL TV. The shame!
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by JackFavell »

I hear ya, Red! That's the story of my life! If TCM weren't so interesting every day of the week, I'd be able to get to all those recordings I've made. :D

I can't wait to hear what you have to say about George Raft. I think he got a bum rap in Hollywood.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Rita Hayworth »

JackFavell wrote: I can't wait to hear what you have to say about George Raft. I think he got a bum rap in Hollywood.
Me too! George Raft is one of my favorites too! ... and he was unjustly neglected by certain selected Hollywood's circles and I felt that he wasn't being appreciated at all. To me, he is an awesome performer and commands a certain aura on screen that I have a difficult time describing it. He is one of the best character actors ... bar none!
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by srowley75 »

Finished Stand In (1937) last night. Pretty good little satire on Hollywood with Leslie Howard and Joan Blondell, who are both very funny. Blondell still had that pizazz that made her a star in the early 1930s. Whoever wrote the script really seemed to have a bee in their bonnet about Shirley Temple.

Totally forgot Jean Gabin day on TCM until I checked the board for lunch today, and am kicking myself for not setting my parents' DVR.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by kingrat »

Boo, hiss, on forgetting to set the DVR. But if you mention which films you're most interested in, I'll bet someone here can provide you with a copy. I'm still in the VCR era. Hope to have three separate tapes for nine films in all.

Kingme, I completely agree about Lauren Bacall's lovely hairstyle, which is the kind of hair a man would want to run his hands through.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by MichiganJ »

srowley75 wrote:Totally forgot Jean Gabin day on TCM until I checked the board for lunch today, and am kicking myself for not setting my parents' DVR.
Had some oral surgery this morning (what fun), but I think I remembered to set the DVR to record most of the Gabin's. It might take awhile to bump them to DVD-r, but when I do, I'll be happy to make copies for you.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by RedRiver »

My roommate just got a ridiculous cable package. 7,000 channels, or something like that. But by golly! What's the first thing I find? HATFUL OF RAIN! I hadn't seen that in 30 years. It's a good little druggie drama. Translated efficiently from play to movie. Well written, well played. Saying a thing or two about family and society. I like it.

The supporting players prop the show up nicely. Anthony Franciosa is believable as Lloyd Nolan's son. Intense and bug-eyed. Are these guys ever NOT excited? Don Murray, the go to all American guy in the late fifties, is his usual stout but sensitive self. Wife Eva Marie Saint is always good. This quiet, but determined characterization is no exception.

I imagine this story was riveting in 1957. It hit me hard in the 70's. It's effective even today. Maybe even more so? The drug problem hasn't gotten any better.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by RedRiver »

Finally got around to watching my videos. It's a good thing. They were due back today! INVISIBLE STRIPES is not my favorite WB "Crime Doesn't Pay" movie. George Raft is a little too saintly. Mom needs to go out and play Bingo! But it's fun. It's quick and to the point. Fairly exciting. The story is satisying, if predictable. I love those movies in general. So I can't complain.

Next up was MALAYA. Interesting. Jimmy and Spencer smuggle rubber for the war effort. Sidney Greenstreet REALLY needs go on a diet. This one, also, is perfectly watchable. It could use a little polishing. (I had a bad copy as well.) There's a lot of talk. Not many thrills. But unlike the Warner's film, this one is not predictable. It's mature espionage drama.

Two movies I'd never seen before. Neither great. Both worth watching!
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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by JackFavell »

Thanks for the review, Red. One good thing about Warner's movies, if the plot isn't too great, they still have that fantastic orchestra playing in the background - you can always tell a Warner's movie from the orchestrations.
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by CineMaven »

KINGRAT writes: ...I completely agree about Lauren Bacall's lovely hairstyle, which is the kind of hair a man would want to run his hands through.

Hands?? According to Franchot Tone, he'd want to run barefoot through it...
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Birdy »

Just watched Make Way for Tomorrow 1937, with Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi. This movie was described by Orson Welles as "the saddest movie ever made. It could make a stone cry." Have we discussed this movie before?
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