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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1832136 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #12795 on: December 10, 2013, 06:36:25 PM »

Dec. 12 is the 110th anniversary of Ozu's birth, and the 50th anniversary of his death. Hulu is offering streaming video of some of his films for free this week (5 more days). I just watched this:

The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952) 8/10. Amongst kibitzing friends, a petulant niece, and the deadly pachinko "craze" (which is still with us, I'm afraid), a squabbling Tokyo couple finally learn to appreciate their bourgeois marriage. This film features one of my favorite Ozu destinations, a restaurant called Calorie House (which we never see). The director actually moves the camera several times in this one--a big mistake. http://www.hulu.com/watch/406760

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« Reply #12796 on: December 10, 2013, 10:03:42 PM »

Maria Full of Grace (2004) 10/10

Unfrigginbelievable.

The only thing that bothered me were some of the scenes where the hand-held cameras panned back and forth, it didn't seem to me that they had a steadicam, but that's picking a nit in an incredible movie.

RE: the subject matter: I think y'all know my opinion of the war on drugs by now...

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« Reply #12797 on: December 12, 2013, 04:12:46 AM »

Alias Nick Beal (1949) finally got around to watching the AVI file I have of this film.

From IMDb (spoilers)Righteous district attorney Joseph Foster's main goal in life is to rid his city of the gangsters infesting it. In order to be even more efficient in his war against crime he plans to run for governor. One day he meets a strange, shadowy man, Nick Beal, who offers to help him to achieve his end. Beal convinces hesitating Foster by dint of easy money, easy sex with an alluring young woman and the promise of easy success. Joseph Foster soon becomes an influential politician but a corrupt one. A minister of God manages to show him that he has been the plaything of the so-called Nick Beal, who might be "Old Nick" , that is to say Satan himself. Foster then decides to resign and to become an honest man again.

Ray Milland is adequate but Walter Huston (The Devil and Daniel Webster) and Claude Rains (Angel on My Shoulder) have played the devil better. Audrey Totter has some great scenes, lines of dialog, and Thomas Mitchell is ok. Fred Clark plays a slimy racketeer. The film set of Totter's apartment has some great Daliesque wall murals. Entertaining enough 710

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« Reply #12798 on: December 12, 2013, 07:22:54 AM »

Alias Nick Beal (1949) finally got around to watching the AVI file I have of this film.

From IMDb (spoilers)Righteous district attorney Joseph Foster's main goal in life is to rid his city of the gangsters infesting it. In order to be even more efficient in his war against crime he plans to run for governor. One day he meets a strange, shadowy man, Nick Beal, who offers to help him to achieve his end. Beal convinces hesitating Foster by dint of easy money, easy sex with an alluring young woman and the promise of easy success. Joseph Foster soon becomes an influential politician but a corrupt one. A minister of God manages to show him that he has been the plaything of the so-called Nick Beal, who might be "Old Nick" , that is to say Satan himself. Foster then decides to resign and to become an honest man again.

Ray Milland is adequate but Walter Huston (The Devil and Daniel Webster) and Claude Rains (Angel on My Shoulder) have played the devil better. Audrey Totter has some great scenes, lines of dialog, and Thomas Mitchell is ok. Fred Clark plays a slimy racketeer. The film set of Totter's apartment has some great Daliesque wall murals. Entertaining enough 710
No mention of Milland's clever comings and goings? I thought they were a great running gag--and no special effects required!

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« Reply #12799 on: December 12, 2013, 03:44:26 PM »

No mention of Milland's clever comings and goings? I thought they were a great running gag--and no special effects required!

Yes they were clever, I was remiss in not mentioning them.

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« Reply #12800 on: December 13, 2013, 03:39:04 AM »

He Ran All the Way (1951) 5/10

John Garfield's last movie was a crappy one. It's a shame, you get the feeling that this material could have been made into a better movie.

-- How in God's name did Shelley Winters become such a big movie star? Her voice not annoys the hell outta me so much; when you wanna shoot yourself every time she opens her mouth, you don;'t even notice or care about whether or not she is a good actress. All I know is I wish she'd never been in a single movie.

-- I always like Wallace Ford, who plays Winters's father here. As I've mentioned in the "Hollywood Look-Alikes" thread, he looks and sounds like football coach Chip Kelly and I find that hilarious

-- it's sad seeing Gladys George – a wonderful actress who once played lead or major supporting roles – reduced to this crappy (fifth-billed) role, playing a couple of scenes as Garfield's mother. I'd previously seen her in The Maltese Falcon, The Roaring Twenties, and Madame X. Haven't seen The Maltese Falcon in a while so I don't have very strong memories of her performance there as the wife of Bogart's dead partner, but I remember her performances in the other two very well: in The Roaring Twenties she does a wonderful job playing Panama Smith, and in Madame X she was great in the eponymous role. I always smile when I see her name appear in the credits, so I was really sad to see her reduced to this this.

UPDATE: I'm doing a little reading about Gladys George; turns out she was sick and died three years after this movie was made, at the age of 54.

Here is her page on Find a Grave Memorial: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8040941

I'll cut and paste it here; it ain't too long; the last 5 or 6 sentences discuss her career (and life) decline:

Gladys George
Original name: Anna Clare

Birth:    Sep. 13, 1900
Patten
Penobscot County
Maine, USA
Death:    Dec. 8, 1954
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actress. Vivacious, doe-eyed, platinum blonde star of stage and screen. The daughter of actors, George made her stage debut at age three and first appeared on Broadway in 1918, opposite Isadora Duncan in "Betrothed". She later toured the United States with Pauline Frederick's stock company. Her effervescent personality made her a natural for sophisticated comedy and she was often cast as a flirtatious flapper or ditzy society girl, roles which tended to reflect her own life-of-the-party ways. Although she appeared in a handful of silent films in the early 1920s, George's movie career did not take off until she starred in "Straight Is the Way" (1934). For some reason Hollywood pegged her for melodrama, and she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination as the selfless heroine of the soapy "Valiant Is the Word for Carrie" (1936). By then her features had taken on a somewhat dissipated quality and she slipped into character parts, notably as Madame du Barry in "Marie Antoinette" (1938) and as Miles Archer's philandering wife in "The Maltese Falcon" (1941). She is probably best-remembered as the speakeasy owner with a crush on James Cagney in "The Roaring Twenties" (1939). Cradling Cagney's body at the finish, she delivered the film's famous line, "He used to be a big shot". Among her other credits are "The Way of All Flesh" (1940), "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), "Flamingo Road" (1949), "He Ran All the Way" (1951), and "Detective Story" (1951). George was married and divorced four times. Her first and third husbands were actors Ben Erway and Leonard Penn. Her second was millionaire manufacturer Edward Fowler, who walked out in 1934 after finding the actress in the arms of her leading man. At the time George was playing a nymphomaniacal star in the Broadway hit "Personal Appearance", leading to endless jokes in the press about life imitating art. Her last husband, whom she married when she was 46, was a hotel bellboy 20 years her junior. High living and romantic escapades were things of the past for George by the early 1950s. Afflicted with numerous ailments, including throat cancer, heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver, she was scarcely able to work. She gave up dyeing her trademark blonde hair and became a recluse. George died at 54 of a reported stroke, but her physician suspected a sleeping pill suicide. Her funeral services and burial were paid for by the Motion Picture Relief Fund.


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« Reply #12801 on: December 13, 2013, 04:27:10 AM »

^ agree.

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« Reply #12802 on: December 13, 2013, 07:47:24 PM »

Behind Locked Doors (1948)  Directed by Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, a "B" film that is a model of economical filmmaking and pacing. A crooked judge is suspected of hiding out in a sanitarium, a female reporter talks a private detective into getting himself committed to uncover the truth. It's unsophisticated, but a fun “poverty row” quickie noir. It’s pretty much the same setup as Fuller's Shock Corridor but without as much social commentary. Features Tor Johnson in a small role as a violent criminal, most famous for his work in Plan 9 from Outer Space 7/10

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« Reply #12803 on: December 14, 2013, 06:40:41 AM »

Top Gun - 6/10 - Quite possibly the third best movie featuring a Kenny Loggins song.

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« Reply #12804 on: December 14, 2013, 01:03:41 PM »

Top Gun - 6/10 - Quite possibly the third best movie featuring a Kenny Loggins song.

A great soundtrack that movie has.

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« Reply #12805 on: December 14, 2013, 04:33:06 PM »

The Thief of Bagdad (1940) - 9/10 - The standard by which fantasy films should be judged. Great special effects, beautiful art direction, fun performances and a nice balance of wit and whimsy. Does anyone know which scenes Michael Powell directed?

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« Reply #12806 on: December 14, 2013, 08:09:39 PM »

Le jour se lève (1939) 6/10. I'm not convinced that Jean Gabin's Francois is actually driven to kill Jules Berry's M. Valentin. Valentin is plenty slimy, sure, but the killing seems more a luxury than a necessity. Which may account for the circular nature of the plot--the filmmakers may have calculated that an audience would take less persuading if they knew the act was (cinematically) inevitable. For me, though, the lack of imperative cuts against the plot and the film as a whole. The use of the alarm clock's alarm at the end was a nice touch, though, and one I didn't see coming.

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« Reply #12807 on: December 14, 2013, 11:30:01 PM »

Looking at Gladys George's filmography on IMDB, I see that (in addition to Madame X, The Roaring Twenties, The Maltese Falcon, and He Ran All the Way, which I mentioned in the previous post), there are three more movies that I've seen in which she appeared:
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Flamingo Road (1949), and Detective Story (1951) –  in which she was billed ninth, fifth, and seventh, respectively, which is perhaps why I have no memory of her in either of those movies.

Looks like lots of her movies are unavailable on dvd, including Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936), for which she garnered an Oscar nomination (her only one) for Best Actress. I hope more of her movies are released on dvd or are shown on TCM. (It was on TCM that I saw Madame X (1937), in which she delivers a terrific performance as the eponymous character; I recommend y'all catch it next time they play it.)

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« Reply #12808 on: December 15, 2013, 04:41:20 PM »

1) Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) 7.5/10

There's a lot of disbelief you have to suspend on this one... Orson Welles doesn't look horribly disfigured. He looks just like Orson Welles with aging makeup and a beard... And how about little Natalie Wood playing a German orphan by speaking perfect English but rolling her R's and substituting V's for W's  Grin


2) There's Always Tomorrow (1956) 7.5/10

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« Reply #12809 on: December 16, 2013, 12:46:37 AM »

all this talk (by me  Wink ) about Gladys George got me in the mood of watching The Roaring Twenties again, so I pulled out my TCM Greatest Gangster Films Collection: Prohibition Era dvd set.... The movie is still a 10/10, and Gladys's Panama Smith is still a wonderful character (based on real-life Prohibition hostess Texas Guinan)  Smiley

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