Vintage Film Classics

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Johnny
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Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 03 Jun 2016, 21:08

Watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on PBS and enjoying immensely the Paris night court scene involving Jane Russell impersonating Marilyn Monroe's character Lorelei Lee- Marilyn and Jane sparkle throughout the entire film. It is a beautifully written film and a joy to watch again.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 05 Jun 2016, 08:16

I love this film and love the rapport between the two female leads and how lovingly Jane talked about Marilyn to her dying day.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 11 Jun 2016, 15:47

Watching Giant(1956) with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, on TCM today and appreciating it more than ever.
There is wonderful "Caveman" speech. Elizabeth makes to her husband and a group of men excluding her from a discussion on politics. She says, " What is so masculine about a conversation that a woman can't enter into?

The Cinematography captures the beauty of the sweeping Texas landscape. It is unforgettable.

More importantly the film addresses racial injustice.

Rock Hudson and James Dean were given Academy nominations as well as the director George Stevens, and the film. Stevens won. It is difficult to understand why Elizabeth Taylor was not nominated for best actress. It is one of the best performances of her career.
Around The World In 80 Day won best picture in 1956. Giant, in my opinion is a superior film and holds up better to this day. There are so many themes in Giant that give the audience a lot to think about and discuss.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Musiclover » 12 Jun 2016, 10:00

I must watch Giant again, Johnny. You mentioned Around the World in 80 Days, which won 5 of the 8 Oscars for which it was nominated. The title song was so popular -- and yet its composers, Victor Young and Harold Adamson, were not nominated for best song. Just another one of those puzzling decisions from the Academy.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 13 Nov 2016, 10:50

We recently viewed Leave Her To Heaven (1945) with younger family members who had not seen this film before.
The observations and comments are summarized.

On Gene Tierney:

"One of the most strikingly beautiful actresses of any generation - her beauty makes a powerful contrast with her character's evil actions.

"The softness in her voice and manner is contradicted by the hate in her eyes".

"She deserved to win the Academy Award. Joan Crawford was terrific as Mildred Pierce but Gene Tierney was terrifying as Ellen Barrent".

"Leave Her To Heaven is visually spectacular but unfogettablely frightening. It is amazing that this film was made in 1945."

"I will never forget Ellen letting her 14 year old brother-in-law drown or her deliberately falling down the stairs."

The one big criticism was Gene Tierney's speech to Cornel Wilde about being a devoted wife wanting to cook and do the dishes for him.

There were many more comments. The impact that was made on me and others who had seen Leave Her To Heaven many times is the importance of seeing that younger family members and friends watch, discuss and learn from classic films.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 03 Dec 2016, 12:06

Saturday Mornings on TCM with The Bowery Boys starring Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall is a terrific way to start the day.
Although the the stories are formula B. The script if full of hilarious malapropisms and outstanding comedy, in particular from Huntz Hall. The cast of characters are full of good natured timeless charm. Bernard Gorcey (Louie, the sweet shop owner), is Leo Gorcey's father and David Condon is Leo's brother.
Today's film is a Western spoof called Dig That Uranium. The gang is involved with crooks and a phony uranium mine.
The Bowery Boys started out in 1937 as The Dead End Kids, and in 1940 became The East Side Kids. In 1946 they were called The Bowery Boys. From 1946 to 1958, they made 48 films.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 16 Apr 2017, 19:55

The rarely seen film Our Miss Brooks (1956), starring the wonderful Eve Arden and Gale Gordon is showing on TCM on Thursday, April 27-2017 at 10:15 p.m.(Eastern Time).
Our Miss Brooks (1952) - Toronto Film Society - Toronto Film Society.jpg
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 24 Apr 2017, 18:34

Where Danger Lives_ Film Noir Movie Posters_ BURT LANCASTER.jpg
Yesterday on Turner Classic Movies I discovered an absorbing 1947 film noir thriller called Brute Force. It stars Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, John Hoyt and Howard Duff as prison inmates coping with a sadistic prison captain played brilliantly by Hume Cronyn. The prisoners are planning an escape.

From the opening scene until he last frame Brute Force lives up to it's title. The violence is shocking and intense for the period. The film is directed by Jules Dassin. The female stars in the cast are Yvonne DeCarlo, Ann Blyth, and Ella Raines.

It is a film well worth seeing. Hume Cronyn deserved an academy award nomination for his searing performance.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 07 May 2017, 02:08

I saw two Kirk Douglas films on TCM at today. I had not seen them before although I read about them.

Spartacus is a three hour epic based on a true story about a slave rebellion in 70 B.C.

Although I have never found Kirk Douglas a likable actor, I did find him compelling as the lead character in Spartacus. There are many fine performances in this film. Peter Ustinov won in he best supporting actor award for this film. The cast includes Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, John Gavin, John Dall, and Nina Foch. It is a great and and intense film.


The second film with Kirk Douglas is Lust For Life, telling the story of tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh. Anthony Quinn stars as artist Paul Gauguin. Quinn won the 1956 best supporting actor award for his role.


Both Spartacus and Lust For Life are films well worth watching. I would like to see Lust For Life remade with Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender in the Van Gough role and Colin Farrell in the Gauguin role.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 14 May 2017, 14:47

Today on TCM the 1953 film So Big was shown as part of their Mother's Day tribute.

Jane Wyman gives an exceptionally strong performance raising her son as a widow on a farm in the early 20th century. Wyman plays the role with grace, determination and humility.

The cast is uniformly strong and effective. The cast includes Sterling Hayden, Nancy Olsen, Martha Hyer, Richard Beymer (who played Tony in West Side Story), Tommy Rettig, and Steve Forrest.

The are many tender and heartfelt moments enhanced by Max Steiner beautiful music score.

The screenplay is well written. There is a discussion between mother and son on the subject of beauty.

Son to mother: "Beauty is in what you think and in the way you look at thing"

Mother to son: " Beauty is a spirit and can be everything and everywhere".

So Big is well worth a look and a very enjoyable film.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 16 May 2017, 05:34

talking about Jane [Wyman] and Rock - and mothers- I love "All That Heaven Allows" with Jane as the older widow falling in love with the younger and less socially acceptable Rock- and her awful grown up children who forced her to end the relationship [scandal] only to practically desert her buying her a TV for Christmas!

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 17 Jun 2017, 16:23

I discovered a classic film noir on TCM today called In A Lonely Place, (1950), starring Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame and Frank Lovejoy.

Bogart plays a suspicious, volatile screenwriter who is a suspect in the murder of a hatcheck girl. Gloria Grahame plays Bogart's love interest. Frank Lovejoy is the detective.

In A Lonely Place is a taut black and white thriller. It is captivating from beginning until end. Bogart's performance is complex, mesmerizing and unforgettable.

There is an extraordinary scene in a lounge where Grahame is flirting with Bogart while a pianist (Hadda Brooks), sings I Hadn't Anyone Til You.

The film is brilliantly directed by Nichols Ray who wold later direct James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause. Ray gave the lead female role Laurel to his wife Gloria Grahame despite the fact that they had separated. Originally the studio wanted the role to go to Ginger Rogers or Lauren Bacall. Grahame gives a nuanced performance that perfectly balances Bogart's intensity.

In A Lonely Place is among the best of film noir.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 22 Jun 2017, 08:49

Last night on TCM I watched the 1971 infinitely delightful film Harold and Maude starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort.

It is a dark comedy romance between a introverted 20 year old Harold and an 80 year old optimist Maude whose hobby is going to funerals.

The film was a milestone in my film-going experience and left an indelible impression. I remember in the first ten minutes of the film feeling incredibly uncomfortable. The moment Maude knelt in a church pew behind Harold and whispered to him "Do you want a stick of licorice"? I felt like the sun came out from behind a cloud. When the casket rolled down the aisle and the camera showed the manufacturer as Permaseal, I thought it was hilarious. When Maude stole the priest's little blue Volkswagen I burst out laughing. I knew then that the film was going to be a great ride. The brilliance of the film was in it's challenging conventional, institutionalized thinking and traditions.

The film was not financially successful at the time. I believe it was a film that was ahead of it's time. It demanded more from the audience that was beyond it's experience. Fortunately, Harold and Maude has become a cult classic.

Watching the film yesterday, I was totally engaged by the power of chemistry between Harold and Maude. Listening to Cat Steven's music filled me with nostalgic. I don't think I will ever tire of seeing this film. It is a life-affirming film that reminds one to appreciate the wonders and gifts of nature and this journey we call life.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 22 Jun 2017, 10:04

I must re-watch Harold and Maude.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 22 Jun 2017, 11:33

Jas,

Let us know what you think when you see Harold and Maude. It really brightened my day. Enjoy!
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 26 Jun 2017, 05:38

Will do Jonny, I think I saw it many years ago - but have meant to re-view it for a long time.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 23 Jul 2017, 11:29

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Watching film noir Deadline At Dawn today on TCM makes me yearn for more of these films to be made for today's audience.

The film's principle stars are Susan Hayward as a weary dance hall girl, Bill Williams as a young sailor and Paul Lukas as a philosophical cab driver trying to solve a murder. Joseph Calleia is a standout as a tough guy.

The sailor is accused of murder and he receives help from Hayward and Lukas to find the killer. The beautiful Susan Hayward does a great job as the tough but tender love interest of of the sweet sailor.

The screenplay is by Clifford Odets sparkles with wisecracks, edgy dialogue reflecting the harshness and mystery of 1946 New York nightlife.There screenplay is peppered with many fascinating characters that could be the murderer.

The surprise ending is a treat.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 02 Aug 2017, 10:50

August on TCM is traditionally called Summer Under The Stars, which means each day in August a different actor or actress is featured or the entire day. Yesterday was a day that focused on Marilyn Monroe films.
Last night I watched the 1953 suspense film Niagara with Marilyn playing the unfaithful wife and Joseph Cotton playing her unstable husband. Jean Peters and Casey Adams played a young honeymooning couple who get caught up in the intrigue.
The backdrop of Niagara Falls gives the film and story an engaging authenticity. Marilyn Monroe is exceptionally good as the calculating seductress. The drama moves quickly with a thrilling ending.
As an adult, I developed a new appreciation for Marilyn Monroe as an actress. She was highly skilled in comedies like Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, How To Marry A Millionaire, and the superior Some Like It Hot. Marilyn also excelled in dramas like Bus Stop, and The Misfits. It is a sad reality that she was underappreciated for her talent and was thought of as a money machine by the industry. Fortunately the love of the public has kept her from being forgotten. I heard a statistic that said more books have been written about Marilyn Monroe than any other person in history. I would like to verify this statement.
If anyone has not seen Niagara, I highly recommend it as a wonderful 1950's classic.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 08 Aug 2017, 05:27

I agree Johnny about Niagra - MM looked stunning and sang that song in the red/pink dress so seductively.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 11 Sep 2017, 22:32

C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_220px-Tea_with_Mussolini_film.jpg
Today I saw Tea With Mussolini (1999), directed by the brilliant Franco Zeffirelli. It is a beautiful constructed story of a boy brought up by a group of English women in Florence Italy. The story begins in 1935 and goes through the second world war.

The superb cast includes Joan Plowright, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin and Cher as a wealthy America woman named Elsa Morganthal. The story is filled with suspense, humour and Italian art treasures.

The acting, direction and cinematography are enthralling. The music by Stefano Armaldi and Alessio Vlad is glorious.

Although the film is only eighteen years old, it is a classic not to be missed.Tea With Mussolini is a true pleasure to experience.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 24 Sep 2017, 12:23

Today on TCM I watched the excellent film noir Scandal Sheet starring Broderick Crawford, Donna Reed and John Derek.

The film is set in a daily New York newspaper that has become a scandal sheet that stages a number of publicity stunts. Broderick Crawford plays the hard- edged editor whose wife resurfaces after twenty years. She has the intention of blackmailing him for deserting her. He accidentally kills her and true to hide it. In a surprising performance Rosemary De Camp plays the bitter, angry wife. It is dramatically different from her roles as the wise. loving mother in On Moonlight Bay and By The Light of The Silvery Moon.

John Derek plays hotshot crime reporter Steve Mc Cleary and Donna Reed plays feature writer Julie Allison and Steve's love interest.They team up to solve the mysterious death of the editor's wife.

Henry O' Neill is exceptional as the former reporter Charlie Barnes who has become an alcoholic living in the Bowery. He comes across evidence that indicates Crawford's character Mark Chapman is the killer.

Scandal Sheet is a hidden gem that moves at a fast and engaging pace. It is thoroughly enjoyable. It was released in January 1952.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 11 Apr 2018, 08:51

Yesterday, I saw an incredibly powerful 1948 film called The Search, starring Montgomery Clift.
It is the story of 9 year-old lost boy who is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and his encounter with an American soldier played by Clift.

The film is directed by master Fred Zinnemann. The raw bombed out parts of Germany are used in the film.

Seeing masses of orphaned, starving and lost children being helped off the trains in the beginning of the film is emotionally over -powering. The haunted face of the blond -haired boy Karel will stay with me forever. The boy is played brilliantly by Ivan Jandi. Another unforgettable performance is given by Jamila Novotna who plays the boy's mother.

In reading about this film, there is a remark by Clint Eastwood who said Montgomery Clift's performance in The Search was a major influence on his career. Clift was nominated for an Academy award for best actor.

If you have not seen this film, it is definitely a must-see film for movie lovers.
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by jmichael » 11 Apr 2018, 10:58

Johnny, thanks for the tip. I must see this. Zinnemann was a great director and I think Monty Clift was an overall better actor than M Brando or James Dean.

So glad you brought this film up.

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by jmichael » 11 Apr 2018, 11:06

Speaking of great films from the golden age of Hollywood -

Check out "In A Lonely Place" with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame which was released in 1950. It's a moody film noir set in LA that features a quietly explosive performance by Bogey. A departure for him in many ways and I think it is one of his best performances. Grahame matches him every step of the way in the more difficult of the two roles. She has to express romantic yearning and passivity on one hand, then a world weary skepticism on the other. They were simply terrific together. This film was directed by another great director of that era: Grahame's husband at the time (not for long though) - Nicholas Ray.

I just caught it by accident the other night when it was starting. I didn't move for two hours.


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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 11 Apr 2018, 12:36

Thanks Michael!

In A Lonely Place is one of my favourites. I have watched it several times and each time there is something fascinating to see or hear. I posted an article on In A Lonely Place last summer after seeing it again on TCM.

Each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on TCM there is a film noir series hosted by Eddie Muller who gives great background information.

I am a huge fan of Terence Malik films and would recommend these films if you have not seen them.
Badlands
Days of Heaven - my all time favourite - visually spectacular
The Tree of Life
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