The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.
- Audrey Hepburn

WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Chit-chat, current events

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » August 7th, 2012, 12:03 pm

H.M. Pulham Esq. must be one of the few films where Hedy Lamarr plays a woman as intelligent as she actually was in real life. Definitely the only time she plays a character named Marvin! You might call this a "domestic drama," or you might use the category described by Jeanine Basinger as "the woman's film with a male protagonist." It's much like the later The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. In a way, Robert Young's relative lack of star power as compared to Gregory Peck (in Suit) helps make him seem a more average, representative kind of guy. Do you do what you want to do or what's expected of you? Exactly what is it you want to do, anyway?


Yes, and would doing what you wanted to do have made you any happier? Maybe, maybe not. It's a very questioning movie, it doesn't necessarily answer for you.

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby moira finnie » August 7th, 2012, 12:44 pm

I think that H.M. Pulham, Esq. is one of those Robert Young movies in which the actor's underlying angst, (so often expressed timidly as peevishness) enhances a character whose discontentment with what most of us would rationally see as a gilded life is used quite well. I did feel that the movie--being an MGM flick--emphasized the usual philosophy of "the bluebird of happiness is in your back yard" on the surface, but the underlying message King Vidor sends the audience is sympathetic toward this stiff and his painful sense of missing something all his life. Also, this may be the only movie I've ever believed that Hedy Lamarr was a human being and not just a preposterously symmetrical mannequin.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » August 7th, 2012, 12:49 pm

During Marilyn Monroe day, I saw RIVER OF NO RETURN, which works fine if you want to munch your popcorn, look at Mitchum and Monroe in iconic roles, and enjoy some scenery of the non-human kind. Otherwise, it's less satisfying. Mitchum seems to be on cruise control, Marilyn has paid too much attention to her acting coach so that she over-enunciates and every line reading sounds like a line reading, and the cuts from location shots to process shots are pretty jarring for a jaded modern audience. Not the movie to convince anyone that Otto Preminger can direct first-rate films (BONJOUR TRISTESSE is my candidate for that), but it would be a good date movie.

For some reason, I don't like Monroe as much as I used to. This is probably just me. I saw the last half hour of BUS STOP, tuning in as Bo is trying to carry off Cherie and everyone is overacting like crazy. To my taste, Joshua Logan doesn't quite get the difference between stage and screen, because this style would probably work in a large theater. Once things quieted down, the performances worked better, and there was even a really nice shot of Bo lying his head on the counter next to Cherie in the same pose. Monroe isn't using the breathless voice in this film, which to me is a plus. I wish she used her own voice instead of a Southern accent, however.

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » August 7th, 2012, 1:06 pm

I thought her accent was really good, kingrat. I think Josh Logan is a terrible film director, no matter how great a stage one he was.

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » August 7th, 2012, 1:06 pm

How you write it on paper, I envy.

Paper? Is that that stuff we used in the 80's?

after resisting it a thousand times for over a thousand years; I wound up liking it

I'm that way with straight drama. No genre? No humor? No angle of any kind? I'm probably not going to watch it. Too much like homework! But when I finally get around to it, "Oh wow! This is actually good!"

King Rat, I feel just as you do about the Preminger film. Fun if you don't think about it. Colorful. Scenic. In the long run, not terribly satisfying. Want to see MM and glorious scenery in a much better story? Head for NIAGARA!
Last edited by RedRiver on August 7th, 2012, 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby moira finnie » August 7th, 2012, 1:08 pm

kingrat wrote:For some reason, I don't like Monroe as much as I used to. This is probably just me.

Um, you're not alone. I know lots of people just love Marilyn Monroe no matter what, but when I'm not feeling sorry for her, she often makes me squirm when she tries to show how much she has learned in her journey to "greatness." Her Southern accent in Bus Stop was right up there with fingernails on the blackboard.

Maybe it was a blessing that Monroe was denied the role of Grushenka in The Brothers Karamazov (1958)?

kingrat wrote:I saw the last half hour of BUS STOP, tuning in as Bo is trying to carry off Cherie and everyone is overacting like crazy. To my taste, Joshua Logan doesn't quite get the difference between stage and screen, because this style would probably work in a large theater.

I normally am a sucker for William Inge stories, but Bus Stop might be the least cinematic of Logan's movies. Maybe he found it easier to film it staged as a play rather than a movie. I found myself much more interested in Hope Lange's quieter character and Betty Field's rough diamond cafe manager than any of the central characters.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » August 7th, 2012, 1:32 pm

Her Southern accent in Bus Stop was right up there with fingernails on the blackboard.

She sounded like Lou Ann Poovie! I like William Inge a lot. BUS STOP is a much better play than a movie. I agree that the Hope Lange role is much more interesting than the leads. My favorite Inge film adaptation is COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA. It's stage bound. But everything works.

I was never a fan of Marilyn's acting. I appreciate her iconic status. She's like John Wayne in that sense. But Wayne was a fine actor along with the image thing. Marilyn was...Marilyn!

User avatar
Rita Hayworth
Posts: 10098
Joined: February 6th, 2011, 4:01 pm

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 7th, 2012, 3:34 pm

MONROE in BUS STOP is one my favorites of her. In a sentimental way. :)

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » August 7th, 2012, 4:26 pm

I am so happy to read that you saw "H.M. Pulham Esq." (1941) and that you liked it Wendy. It is a film I need to revisit and arguably it contains Hedy's best-ever performance. :D

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » August 7th, 2012, 4:41 pm

Thank you SO much for recommending it, Fer! I would probably never have watched it if it weren't for you. I agree about Hedy, though I do like her in other movies as well, even if she seems bored sometimes. :D

Does anyone know whether Hedy liked this film best (or at all), or if she had a good time making it?

User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby ChiO » August 7th, 2012, 5:23 pm

kingrat wrote:
Not the movie to convince anyone that Otto Preminger can direct first-rate films (BONJOUR TRISTESSE is my candidate for that)

I'm with you on BONJOUR TRISTESSE vs. RIVER OF NO RETURN. But given the singular "candidate" and the possible implication that it is the only first-rate Preminger film, I must add:

DAISY KENYON
ANGEL FACE
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
SAINT JOAN
PORGY AND BESS
ANATOMY OF A MURDER
BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING

and, yes, SKIDOO

And enough other fine films to forgive him for...ROSEBUD.
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

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » August 7th, 2012, 6:08 pm

Sorry, ChiO, if it seemed to imply that BONJOUR TRISTESSE was my only choice as top-drawer Preminger. It's just 1) the one I think best of all and 2) the one film I'd use to encourage someone to take Preminger seriously. I haven't seen PORGY AND BESS and SKIDOO. I like all the others you named except BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING, which seems to me only fair, but then I think Carol Lynley is in way, way over her head, and Laurence Olivier is slumming, and Noel Coward as a heterosexual lecher is the most bizarre casting of all. Martita Hunt is great, though. I also like LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL (especially while Linda Darnell is still in the picture), and, maybe a cut below those, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS. ADVISE AND CONSENT has its pluses and minuses.

For me BONJOUR TRISTESSE surpasses all the others, however, even the very good ANATOMY OF A MURDER. This is the one Preminger film that bears comparison with other films I would consider great. He seems to have put everything he knew about filmmaking--about life--into this film.

I don't know his post-CARDINAL work at all, but he had a good long run from the mid-forties through the early sixties at least. Though he's not particularly thought of as a "woman's director," many of my favorite Preminger films do have a woman at the center of them. He doesn't usually tell us what we're supposed to think of his characters, and that's a quality I appreciate.

feaito

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » August 7th, 2012, 8:54 pm

JackFavell wrote:Thank you SO much for recommending it, Fer! I would probably never have watched it if it weren't for you. I agree about Hedy, though I do like her in other movies as well, even if she seems bored sometimes. :D

Does anyone know whether Hedy liked this film best (or at all), or if she had a good time making it?


Wen, In her autobiography "Ecstasy and Me", she stated: "Of all the films I did, most critics agree this was my best part, and I liked it the best. I finally had a three-dimensional character, one I felt. Everybody was very happy about the picture and it was a triumph for both Robert Young and me. Time magazine said I was a ¨revelation" and Cue said I was "startling in my understanding of the role". I was a very happy girl."

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » August 7th, 2012, 9:35 pm

It really shows in her performance! Thanks for the information. I'm glad she had that experience.

MikeBSG
Posts: 1777
Joined: April 25th, 2007, 5:43 pm

Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » August 9th, 2012, 6:58 am

I know this space is usually used only for features, BUT yesterday I saw a terrific short subject: an MGM Crime Does Not Pay film called "The Luckiest Man in the World." (1947) dir. Joseph M. Newman.

I was already familiar with the story, which is from a "Suspense" radio play, "The Man Who Couldn't Lose" that starred Dan Duryea. (And is terrific.) The MGM film stars Barry Nelson, who is a loser (an insurance salesman in the radio show, a real estate salesman here) who gets a string of lucky breaks after he accidentally kills his wife. The MGM short isn't as breathless as the radio play, but there are plenty of twists and turns, with the killer's good luck turning bad at the end. Still, "The Luckiest Man in the World" has a terrific noir feel, with brutal irony popping up every few minutes.

The short is available on the DVD of "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946).


Return to “General Chat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests