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WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 26th, 2012, 5:16 pm

JackFavell wrote:I wanted to write earlier that watching Berkeley Square with SOTM Leslie Howard was a real treat! Thanks to RO and TCM for making this one available to see. I enjoyed it very much, thought that the story was really different, showing how awful the reality of time travel might be. Howard was so melancholy as the man who thought he was born in the wrong time (modern day), only to find he can't deal with living in the past he has chosen. Heather Angel was excellent as Howard's beloved Helen, so far, she has never disappointed me in the few movies I've seen with her. Does anyone know why her career petered out? I found the story engrossing and did shed tears at the end from the power of the two leads performances.

I do wish it had been directed with more style and pace. The mise en scene could have been incredible but I thought that Frank Lloyd's direction was just adequate here. It's a shame, he did a couple other movies that were very good, even magical, but this one just bothered me a tad. You have all of Hollywood's magic at your disposal, and yet there was no real magic for me at the moment when Howard goes back in time. Just a shot of the door opening into the house from the outside during modern times, then a cut to a shot of the door opening slowly on the inside seemingly by itself into 1784, and that's it. Now you are in the past, and there is nothing interesting about it. A few blurred dissolves were all Lloyd had up his sleeve as a director?


Wendy, I agree with you. I watched the film on youtube in May 2009 and this what I wrote back then. Try to get hold of "I'll Never Forget You" (1951) to compare:

Secondly I watched "Berkeley Square" (1933), a film that had eluded me for years. As a kid I was flabbergasted by the 1951 Remake "I'll Never Forget You" (1951) with Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth, which I got to revisit for the second time as an adult, only recently thanks to its release on DVD. I had read that the 1933 film was superior than its remake and to a certain point I agree. I guess that it's more faithful to its source -a stage play- and thus, its stage origins are more apparent in the 1933 film. I think that the screenplay of the first version is better, but the changes that were made in adapting the story in 1951 and the chemistry between Ty Power and Ann Blyth, improved on the original version from a Romantic point of view. The 1933 film is well acted and touching in some parts, but certain scenes have a too-stagey feeling, whilst the 1951 version, although not as impressive to watch as a grown-up, is more endearing and has a special magic quality that trascends the story. I'd like to watch a good copy of the 1933 movie, because the print I saw at youtube is quite poor. But I'm glad that I had the opportunity to watch it. Someone like Borzage would have been better suited to this material than Frank Lloyd.

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 26th, 2012, 5:37 pm

My gosh, Fer! You took the words right out of my mouth, literally! I had a sentence in my above review that read, "The movie could have been magical had a Borzage directed it..." :shock: I thought it was too harsh and i didn't want to compare directors. I guess I just never forgot I was watching a movie, and I wanted to be swept away by it. I was, somewhat, but little things kept pulling me back from it.

It was funny though. In the moment before the movie started, right at 9:45, after Robert Osbourne did his introduction, and the TCM logo flashed on the screen, just in the pause before the actual movie came on, the wind here in Connecticut picked up suddenly. It whipped around the windows blowing the curtains up and I could hear it rushing in the trees on either side of the house. I swear, I thought Leslie Howard was coming through time to find me! :D

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 26th, 2012, 7:44 pm

I
t was funny though. In the moment before the movie started, right at 9:45, after Robert Osbourne did his introduction, and the TCM logo flashed on the screen, just in the pause before the actual movie came on, the wind here in Connecticut picked up suddenly. It whipped around the windows blowing the curtains up and I could hear it rushing in the trees on either side of the house. I swear, I thought Leslie Howard was coming through time to find me!


That's an uncanny out-of-this-world experience! :shock:

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 26th, 2012, 8:04 pm

I wish I could have gone back in time to 1930's Hollywood!

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Rita Hayworth » July 26th, 2012, 11:37 pm

JackFavell wrote:I wish I could have gone back in time to 1930's Hollywood!


I do too. And, remain there for the duration of my life ... hopefully!!!

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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » July 27th, 2012, 12:32 pm

Chris, I don't think you're alone in finding a sleaze factor in GPB; when I mentioned the drag show factor, we're really talking about the same thing.

During yesterday's Ernest Borgnine tribute I watched the middle hour of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. Incidentally, Peter Bogdanovich mentioned this film favorably in his recent comments on the Aurora shootings; this could be taken as a sign that the rehabilitation of Fred Zinnemann's reputation is in full swing, given the status of Bogdanovich as an early auteurist. Because I've seen it several times before, this time I noticed many details of the director's art which had not registered fully before, such as the matching cut from the ocean spray to the smoke of Donna Reed's cigarette, uniting the two developing love stories; the presence of Asian-Americans on the sidewalk as Sinatra guides Clift to the Congress Club; the scene at the bar where Clift is with four other soldiers, including Sinatra, and the camera shifts from Clift with one pair of soldiers to Clift with Sinatra and his buddy, Clift not really belonging in either grouping, and Sinatra not in the same shot as the NCOs from Lancaster's office; Donna Reed in a dark dress in her first meeting with Clift and in a light dress later when she's begun to fall in love with him; many uses of spatial relationships, such as the boxing ring towering high above Clift, who's mopping the floor; and a careful introduction of one important detail in a scene, then a camera pull-back or shift or cut to reveal the next information we need to know.

Though this isn't Borgnine's film, it was a necessary inclusion to show Borgnine's ability to play a sadistic villain, unforgettably. Clift, Lancaster, Sinatra, and Borgnine are unforgettable; so is Kerr, though I wish she were on screen more; and so is Donna Reed, though the Code limits how honestly her character can be portrayed.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 27th, 2012, 1:12 pm

[quote="JackFavell"]Chris: I liked it! (Lina Lamont voice) :D

For me, Alison, Madame De... would be hands down above the other Ophuls. Probably because of Boyer mainly, but all the actors in it have supreme control over the frail nuances of romantic despair. The story is more mature, and seems to me to be just a bit more intricate. But I love all the Ophuls movies I've seen so far.

quote]

I have to agree about it's maturity, LFAUW doesn't deal with mature emotions rather adults with adolescent feelings towards love. At a push I'd chose Earrings because it is perfect.

It's been so long since I watched From Here To Eternity, I appreciate your write up, I must watch it again soon.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 27th, 2012, 3:43 pm

I've never really "gotten" From Here to Eternity kingrat. Thanks for noting some things that might make it a better watch for me.

Speaking of Ernie, I watched The Catered Affair from beginning to end yesterday, and cried my eyes out. It's not an easy watch, and I have moments where I'd like to leave, it's so painful, but it's so worthwhile. It's a really great movie, and I don't know why it's not better known. The acting is faultless, with Davis and Borgnine perfectly matched, at least acting wise. :D

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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » July 27th, 2012, 6:05 pm

My take on FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is that none of the sympathetic characters fit their roles. Lancaster is a natural leader of men and has sympathy for them, but he's not in a position of authority. Clift is too sensitive to be a soldier, let alone a boxer. The very skinny and short Sinatra is a born victim with no chance against Borgnine. Deborah Kerr is unlikely as a wife who sleeps around, and Donna Reed makes an unlikely bar girl/prostitute. Zinnemann chose these actors when he took over the project, rejecting the more typecast Joan Crawford as the wife, Gloria Grahame as the B-girl, Aldo Ray as the boxer. All these characters are more sensitive and finer than the roles they've been assigned by circumstances.

Overview of Z's career: Zinnemann's concern with WWII, standing up to the Nazis, and the aftermath (THE SEVENTH CROSS, ACT OF VIOLENCE, THE SEARCH, THE MEN, TERESA, JULIA) leads to his interest in those willing to make a moral stand against authority (HIGH NOON, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS) and to those who don't fit into established orders, even when those institutions are necessary and do good (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE NUN'S STORY). This doesn't cover films like THE SUNDOWNERS and DAY OF THE JACKAL, but I want to suggest connections rather than fit everything into a straitjacket. Zinnemann's parents died in a concentration camp, and THE SEARCH obliquely reflects his own search to discover what had become of his parents.

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 27th, 2012, 6:22 pm

I have just seen and interesting, odd little film titled "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" (1948) in which Bill Powell plays a man nearing 50 suffering a middle-age crisis. He's married to Irene Hervey and one day, while on vacation on an island he literally fishes a mermaid (lovely Ann Blyth, who does not utter a single a word during the whole film). This movie has pretty bold aspects for the Code (a middle-aged man after a "naked" young mermaid who could well be his granddaughter; he romances her, she falls for him and they kiss each other; a flirting wife; a flirtatious young woman after Powell, etc.) Quite unique and amusing.

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JackFavell
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 27th, 2012, 6:41 pm

Thanks kingrat. You're right, I think the casting really throws me in FHTE. I can't get around it, though I never realized before how much it bothers me.

I love Mr Peabody and the Mermaid! I have to thank MissG for recommending it. I'm so glad someone else has seen it now. I agree about the adult implications of the film. It's an odd picture, but I found it very moving.

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 27th, 2012, 7:15 pm

Indeed Wendy! I did not know that it was also fave of April. :D

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knitwit45
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby knitwit45 » July 27th, 2012, 7:35 pm

Add me to that short list, 'Nando! I remember seeing it when I was about 10 or 11, didn't get all the implications, just loved the whole idea of a mermaid in love with the marvelous Mr. Powell.

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 27th, 2012, 8:25 pm

:D

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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MissGoddess » July 27th, 2012, 9:05 pm

I saw Mr Peabody long ago and it made such an impression. Then I watched it again on TCM in just the past year, and still found it touching....I had been expecting just a silly little fluffy comedy and was in tears at the end. I never saw William Powell so poignant before. It's one of his finest hours as an actor. It is rather a novel way to tell an adult tale about a man coming to terms with aging by couching it in a romantic fantasy. Love it and I'm delighted that Olive Films will be releasing it on DVD!
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