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WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » November 24th, 2014, 12:29 pm

This sounds fascinating!

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lucky Vassall » November 24th, 2014, 4:21 pm

I put together a WWII double bill that I really enjoyed and think some of our members might find interesting, at least from an historical perspective.

First up, The Boy from Stalingrad (1943 Columbia). Although 3 adult actors have small parts as Nazi officers and there are 11 extras playing German soldiers, the principal cast is limited to 5 boys and 1 girl, playing Russian children. Of all the actors, the only name likely to be generally recognized is 14-year-old Scotty Beckett.

The somewhat weird story has the 6 children alone in an abandoned and mostly destroyed town a few miles from Stalingrad where the Nazis are mobilizing for their forward push. The children use clever means to slow the advance.

What makes the film a real curio is that the storyline couldn’t more fully follow the communist line if Joe S. himself had written the script, plenty of “duty and honor” messages, even to the point of having the kids teach the communist manifesto (prominently displayed on a poster on the back wall of their “headquarters”) to their youngest member. I had to keep reminding myself that, at the time, Russia was an ally and the fact that Hitler was bogged down on his Eastern front probably saved many allied lives.

In spite of the “message,” I found the film a pleasant experience, and a good lead-in to the much-better second film:

Confirm or Deny (1941 Twentieth Century Fox). This film is centered around Operation Sea Lion, Hitler’s planned invasion of England. I imagine our British friends know all about it, but if like me you’ve forgotten what little, if any, you knew, you might find interesting this link to the very informative Wikipedia listing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sea_Lion

No shortage of stars in this film. The leads are played by Don Ameche as “Mitch,” editor of the London office of a UP-type news bureau and Joan Bennett as “Jennifer,” an English teletype operator assigned to assist him in communicating with the home office and to see to it that he doesn’t send out any damaging classified information.

Naturally, they battle each other throughout the film, but since it’s a romantic comedy as well as a wartime drama, we know in advance how they will end up. The two do an excellent job playing off one another, both in the comic and the dramatic scenes.

Also in the cast, fresh from their performances in How Green Was My Valley are John Loder, as Mitch’s competion with Jennifer; Arthur Shields, as a blind WWI vet; and Roddy McDowall, as a war orphan who hero-worships Ameche. Perhaps the most fun in the cast are two well-known character actors. Raymond Walburn plays H. Cyrus Stuyvesant, Ameche’s stuffed-shirt boss who doesn’t seem to get it that there’s a war on (and Ameche isn’t about to clue him in). Eric Blore plays a hotel manager who is putty in the hands of the fast-talking Ameche. When the building the newsroom was located in is destroyed in the blitz, Ameche decides to set up operations in the hotel’s basement and double-talks his way around the poor, befuddled manager.

The efforts of the Londoners to carry on as usual during the blitz are well presented and effectively “frame” the story. As you would expect in a story with this setting, there are some heartbreaking losses along the way, a clear reminder of how serious this period of wartime history was.

All-in-all, an enjoyable evening, which I can readily recommend. Whether or not you enjoy WWII films, there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy, and the acting in the “feature presentation” is uniformly impressive. It’s a just-about perfect blend of comedy and drama.
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)

kingrat
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » November 24th, 2014, 6:58 pm

Lucky, these certainly sound interesting. I'm fond of movies about Britain during the Blitz. Went the Day Well? is about an English village invaded by Germans dressed as English soldiers. I like it quite a lot.

Another interesting one is The Bells Go Down, about a squad of firefighters in London. This was one of James Mason's early films.

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lucky Vassall » November 24th, 2014, 9:41 pm

Thanks for the info, Kingrat. Haven't heard of either of these films and will certainly look them up. The blitz was a fascinating part of the war story, often lost, at least on this side of the pond, in favor of the activities that took place after we became directly involved.
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Rita Hayworth » November 25th, 2014, 12:11 pm

In the early hours of today, I watched the War Classic - Sink the Bismark, Starring Kenneth More and Dana Wynter and never get tired of it. Great Movie.

Image

Dana Wynter in Sink The Bismark in Color.


3 Minute Trailer ...

phpBB [video]

RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » November 25th, 2014, 1:52 pm

In the Kentucky Derby a few years ago, there was a horse called "Went The Day Well"!

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Lzcutter
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lzcutter » November 27th, 2014, 11:45 am

I wanted to stop by and recommend some recent movies that MrCutter and I have had the pleasure to watch the last month.

Denzel Washington is terrific in The Equalizer. I was a big fan of the television series with Edward Woodward back in the 1980s and admit to rolling my eyes when I first heard they were going to make a movie based on the series. Well, they proved me wrong. Teaming with director Antoine Fuqua (they did Training Day together and Denzel won the Oscar that year), Denzel etches a terrific performance that is similar to the character that Woodward created but also completely different. One thing is for sure, you will never look at Home Depot or Lowe's quite the same after viewing this movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal etches the creepiest character to hit the big screen in quite awhile in Nightcrawler. You can draw a direct line from Travis Bickle to this guy in a heartbeat. Gyllenhaal lost 30 pounds to play the up and coming news videographer who rises to the top of the heap providing "can't look away" footage of traffic accidents, crimes, etc to the "vampire shift" of a Los Angeles news station (that looks eerily similar to the channel Mr. C works at). Renee Russo returns to the screen after a long absence as the news director who encourages Gyllenhaal to become the best he can be. One thing is for sure, Los Angeles at night has never looked so lovely. The cinematographer did a terrific job of capturing the City of Angels in all its glory and its rattiness.

Monuments Men with an all-star cast that includes George Clooney (looking very much like Clark Gable during WWII), John Goodman, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett, is very much an homage to World War II movies made in the 1960s such as The Great Escape. MrCutter thought it a bit shallow (it swings between comedy and drama a bit too much and can't seem to make up its mind which it wants to be) but we both enjoyed the movie and, unlike many movies recently, didn't want those two hours of our lives back when it was done.
Lynn in Lake Balboa

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RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » November 27th, 2014, 4:54 pm

I checked out the following from the library.

MY MAN GODFREY
RUGGLES OF RED GAP
DAVID COPPERFIELD
And what looks like a new copy of THE UNINVITED.

This should get me through the holiday!

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Lucky Vassall
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lucky Vassall » November 28th, 2014, 3:23 pm

Great choices, RR. I'm sure they'll brighten the evenings, especially David Copperfield. I consider it the best cast classic of all time. It seems like every one of the actors was born to play that part.
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)

RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » November 28th, 2014, 4:20 pm

I haven't watched one of these videos yet. I guess my social life is not as dull as I thought!

RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » November 29th, 2014, 3:13 pm

DAVID COPPERFIELD is better than I remembered it. It was never a favorite from previous viewings. I'm not sure why. I guess you have to be in the right frame of mind for any movie. Not only is it precisely cast, as Lucky Vassall said, the wacky, offbeat characters themselves are fascinating! Of course, Dickens is known for that. The term "Dickensian character" comes up occasionally!

The great W. C. Fields shines as Macawber. The equally great Edna May Oliver is good as Aunt Betsy ("No boys! I do not want any boys!). And I was completely charmed and delighted by an actor named Lennox Pawle as Mr. Dick! I'm not the least bit familiar with Mr. Pawle, and will probably forget his name tomorrow. But his flighty interpretation gave life to a silly, friendly Victorian goof!

I imagine most of you know this MGM classic. But even if you've seen it, you might enjoy another look, as I did.

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movieman1957
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby movieman1957 » December 19th, 2014, 5:01 pm

It's been three weeks since anyone saw anything?

I saw "White House Down" the other day as I was looking for mindless entertainment. I got it. With the casualty list looking like a section of the DC phone book and the White House like it did in 1812 the film is one long and practically uninterrupted action scene.

Jamie Foxx as the President resplendent in his red Nike's follows Channing Tatum around the secret and private places of the WH looking to get him out while searching for his daughter who is caught up as a hostage in the another part of the mansion.

Check your brain at the door and cheer them on.

(I did sprinkle some other things around here so this isn't all I saw. Heaven forbid.)
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

RedRiver
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby RedRiver » December 19th, 2014, 10:47 pm

It's been three weeks since anyone saw anything?

Maybe people are just busy with the holidays. I don't have much shopping to do. Sugar doesn't know if it's Christmas or Guy Fawkes Day! I did watch two new releases. One good, THE SKELETON TWINS. Suicidal siblings (and SNL graduates) Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader reunite after ten years. The results are more sad than funny in this sensitive, Salinger-esque drama. The other was a mediocre comedy with Melissa McCarthy. And I'm being kind! TAMMY.

Channing Tatum is a man? Clearly, I should watch more contemporary stuff! What about Tatum O'Neill?

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Lomm
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Lomm » December 19th, 2014, 11:32 pm

Well, tonight I saw the final Hobbit film in the theaters. It was pretty good, but a bit overblown (like the whole series; turning a short childrens book into 3 2+ hour movies??)

But on the classic front, I've been watching (in some cases rewatching) quite a few Cary Grant films lately.

Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House - I've seen this one a few times. Anytime you team up Myrna Loy and Cary Grant you can't go wrong.

Dream Wife - With Deborah Kerr, Cary discovers that wanting a wife who lives to serve him isn't quite all it's cracked up to be. As with many older films, you have to sort of ignore the chauvinism, which is lighthearted anyway. :)

Every Girl Should Be Married - See above, although this one is probably more toward the offensive type of chauvinism, if you go for that sort of thing (a lot of people do, which is why I mention it...to be honest I just shrug it off as "simpler times" and enjoy it for what it is). This one is a bit silly, but Cary is as always terrific.

Mr Lucky - I've been wanting to see this one for ages, and finally got to it. The (dodgy) copy I had before ended at 45 minutes in, so I had to reacquire it properly. Cary plays a con man who grows a conscience, and learns how to knit. :)

I've recently managed to complete my Cary Grant collection (I think), so I'm trying to get to all the ones I haven't seen before and wait on the ones I have until later, Dream House aside.

Also picked up a few Doris Day films, including all 3 with Rock Hudson. Basically, every Doris Day late 50s and all 60s movies that are not musicals! I've seen most of them before, but I adore this era of Doris, teaming up with the likes of Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, James Garner, and so on, in comedies, dramas, silly family escapades, you name it. I've only gotten to Caprice, one of the few I hadn't seen yet, so far. Doris plays a woman who slowly goes mad as no one will believe she is being stalked. The twist at the end was pretty obvious to me, very early on, but it was still a good film.

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Uncle Stevie
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Re: WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Uncle Stevie » December 20th, 2014, 12:55 am

I am trapped into Hallmark channels and watch holiday movies night and day. I love all the romance.
Uncle Stevie


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