Vintage Film Classics

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Johnny
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 22 Apr 2018, 12:44

Today on the Sunday morning film noir TCM series, Cry Danger (1951), was shown. The film stars Dick Powell, Rhonda Flemming, Richard Erdman, Jean Porter and William Conrad. It is directed by Richard Parrish.

Seeing Cry Danger for the first time was a delightful and enjoyable surprise on several fronts. Unlike other film noirs, the cinematography captures a sunny and bright Los Angeles where many of the scenes were filmed on location. The main characters live in a dingy trailer park which lends a lot of atmosphere. The opening scenes at the Los Angeles train station are impressive.

The plot is a revenge tale led by Dick Powell's character Rocky being framed and sent to prison. A marine (played brilliantly by Richard Erdman), with an artificial leg named DeLong shows up and testifies after five years giving Rocky an alibi.

The screenplay is peppered with snappy, caustic wit. As Rhonda Flemming's character enters Rocky and DeLong's trailer, they say, Move over some dust and have a seat". On another occasion, Rocky comments on his friend, a drunken DeLong's returning says, "Lassie is home".

Another wonderful surprise in Cry Danger is supporting actress Jean Porter who plays a wisecracking, sultry blond named Darlene. DeLong says to her , "Now it is my turn to pick your pockets". My favourite line is said by DeLong to a doctor after his artificial leg is damaged in a car crash, "Please make my new leg out of knotty pine so it matches my home decor". It is an immortal line.

The TCM host Eddie Muller gave the history of Cry Danger and said it had been recently restored to it's original condition. Rhonda Flemming contributed generously to help the restoration.

For anyone who loves film noir, I highly recommend seeing Cry Danger.
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 06 May 2018, 12:24

Just saw a knockout, thrilling film noir on TCM this morning called The Narrow Margin. The riveting story involves a tough detective protecting a mobster's wife on a cross-country train ride to Los Angeles. She is scheduled to testify against the mob at the hall of justice.

The detective is played brilliantly by Charles McGraw, and the mobster's wife is played by the fascinating Marie Windsor.

The screenplay was deservingly nominated for an Academy award. The dialogue is edgy, sarcastic, funny, bitter and so satisfyingly enjoyable. The fast-paced film is directed crisply and excitingly by Richard Fleischer.

In additional to the great writing, the cinematography is outstanding in its' creativity.
The fight scenes on the train are engrossing. There is another scene beautifully shot showing Marie Windsor's character filing her long nails in synchronization with the sound of the train's wheel's.

The Narrow Margin is one of the best film noirs in Hollywood history. The film is inspiring me to research more information on actors Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor. They are captivating in this film.

If you love film noir, The Narrow Margin is mandatory viewing. It was a sleeper hit when it was released in April 1952 and it is a hit now.
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 14 Jun 2018, 22:29

Yesterday we went through our film collection and decided to watch the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. It is a sweeping romantic drama with a glorious soundtrack and breathtaking cinematography.

The film won the Academy award for best picture for 1985, best director for Sydney Pollock, best cinematography, best art direction and best original music score.

Meryl Streep plays Karen Blixen, a Danish woman who reminisces about her life in Africa starting in 1913. She married her ex-lover's brother that is a marriage of convenience. She eventually meets Denys French Hatton played by Robert Redford who is a big game hunter. They soon fall in love.

Out of Africa is a delicious visual feast. It came to mind how so few grand film dramas are made today. This film is as powerful today as it was in 1985. If you are fortunate enough to have the soundtrack, play it before watching the film. It is a special treat to share with someone who loves movies. Perhaps you will be introducing this film classic to someone who has not seen it before.
Johnny

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 30 Jul 2018, 22:46

Each month at our Odeon Cineplexes there is a revival of a classic film on the big screen.

Last week I attended with a friend the showing of the 1954 film, How To Marry A Millionaire starring Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe. The theater was packed.

The film opens with the overture, Street Scene conducted by composer Alfred Newman leading the 20th Century Fox Orchestra. My friend had never seen a film open with an overture and asked when the film starts. He was familiar with Lauren Bacall because he is a fan of Humphrey Bogart films. He had never seen any of the stars on the big screen. He did not know who Betty Grable was.

How To Marry A Millionaire is a romantic comedy story about three New York models who rent a luxury apartment in the hope of finding eligible wealthy bachelors to marry. The film is directed by Jean Negulesco.

The film also stars William Powell, Cameron Mitchell, Rory Calhoun Fred Clark and David Wayne. My friend took great delight in Fred Clark's character, Waldo Brewster, the complaining, married man who accompanies Betty Grable to a lodge in Maine.

The film moves at a brisk comic pace. There was inadvertent laughter during the fashion show sequence highlighting 1954's high end fashions.

After the film, my friend commented that Marilyn Monroe was mesmerizing in the film saying when she was in a scene, he wasn't watching anyone else. He asked me for recommendations regarding her films. I suggested All About Eve, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Niagara and Some Like It Hot

The audience clapped at the end of the film. I hope those actresses and actors heard how their timeless work is appreciated 64 years later.
Johnny

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Jas1
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Jas1 » 06 Aug 2018, 08:32

They all did a great job in this but i think special mention is deserved for Betty Grable - so gracious on her way down the ladder to the new blonde on her way up and replacing her in effect at her home studio - Betty was a great talent and she looked fab in this too= and gave her usual great performance. Lauren is okay - she is not my fav actress and is better in drama than comedy [ in my opinion]. MM is fabulous that is true.

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Johnny
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 16 Dec 2018, 16:03

Just watched The Umbrellas of Cherbourg again and it never fails to enthrall me. It is a masterpiece and one the best original musicals ever made.

It is a bittersweet 1964 French musical drama starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castleniovo as young lovers. They enchant.

The glorious unforgettable music score is by composer Michel Legrand. The score is joyful, dramatic, operatic The timeless emotional theme song is I Will Wait For You.

The vivid candy-coloured cinematography by Jean Rabier is mesmerizing.

It is important to mention that the film was restored to it's original beauty and released on DVD in 2004. It was released on Blue-ray in 2013.

The film was directed brilliantly by Jacques Demy.
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by jmichael » 16 Dec 2018, 19:49

I love that gorgeous film too and the music is exquisite. I need to watch it again over the holidays.

Michael
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Johnny
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 16 Dec 2018, 21:21

This has been a perfect lazy- day movie Sunday.

In addition the perfect Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I started the morning out with a film noir on TCM. Talk About A Stranger is a 1952 film starring George Murphy, Nancy Kelly, who married Ronald Reagan and became America's First Lady, Billy Gray. who played Doris' brother Wesley in the two moon pictures and Kurt Kaszner.

Billy Gray and his parents (Murphy and Kelly), live in California and grow oranges. Next door to their house, a stranger (Kaszner) moves into an imposing dilapidated house.

Billy Gray's (Bud), beloved dog is poisoned and he blames the stranger. He sets about to get proof which involves a number of townspeople.
The film is only 65 minutes but the cinematography creates an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. Kurt Kaszner is perfectly cast as the unnerving stranger.

I was struck by Billy Gray's authentic and engrossing performance which carried the film.
It is curious that Billy Gray did not have a major film career as an adult.

Talk About A Stranger is a gem and Billy's performance makes it worthwhile.


Later in the afternoon I watched the classic 1983 film Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacLaine in her Academy Award winning role, Jack Nicholson, Debra Winger and Jeff Daniels.

The comedy-drama film is directed with emotional intelligence by James L. Brooks. Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger give electric performances as a strong willed mother and daughter pair. Jack Nicholson matches their performances with a devil may care and hysterically funny performance. Jack Nicolson won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

I had forgotten that Danny DeVito and John Lithgow were in the film. It was a pleasant surprise to see them give sensitive performances as I associate them with madcap roles.

The children in this tearjerker story are actors, Troy Bishop as Tommy, Huckleberry Fox as Teddy who give heartfelt moving performances.

It is impossible for anyone with a good heart to watch this film and not cry. It is definitely an excellent film to be viewed from time to time.
Johnny

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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 01 Mar 2019, 23:55

On TCM tonight I saw the Martin Scorsese 2011 film Hugo. It is an adventure fantasy set in 1930's Paris.

The film stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Cohen , Asa Butterfield as the child Hugo, Emily Mortimer and Jude Law. The performances are enchanting.

The music soundtrack by Howard Shore and stunning cinematography by Robert Richardson is enthralling.

The story revolves around 12 year old Hugo Cabret who has been orphaned and secretly lives in the clock tower at a Paris railway station. Hugo maintains the clocks at the station.

The mean spirited station inspector is played by Sacha Baron Cohen who catches orphaned children and sends them away. Hugo spends time running from him.

Martin Scorsese has produced and directed a love letter to the movies and their preservation.
It speaks to the power of movies in capturing peoples' dreams.

There is a great deal more to this story that should not be spoiled.

Hugo will appeal to both children and adults. It is a truly magical film. It will enchant children.
A special word of praise must go to the child actor Asa Butterfield who is brilliant in the role of Hugo. He is the heart of the film.

If any DD forum members have seen Hugo, I would love to hear your comments.
Watch an interview with Martin Scorsese on Hugo – The Reel ___.jpg
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Re: Vintage Film Classics

Unread post by Johnny » 08 May 2019, 09:27

On TCM last night I discovered a delightful 1938 screwball romantic comedy starring Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper and David Niven called Bluebeard's Eight Wife. it was directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Initially when I read the title, I thought the film must be some kind of cheap horror film. I then saw the screenplay was written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder became immediately interested.

The plot starts when Gary Cooper (Michael), as an eccentric business tycoon tries to purchase pajamas in a department store on the French Riviera. He experiences difficulty because he only wants to purchase the pajama tops and not the bottoms. He only wants to be charged for the top. A beautiful woman named Nicole (Claudette Colbert), offers to buy the bottoms. It turns out that they are both staying at the same hotel. Both Michael and Nicole are immediately attracted to each other.

Colbert's character Nicole is the daughter of the Marquis de Loiselle ( the hilarious Edward Everett Horton), who is in financial difficulty and is two months in arrears with his hotel bill and is about to be evicted.

The action moves quickly and Michael and Nicole are to marry when Nicole shockingly discovers Michael has been married seven times before. Michael explains that he always has a prenuptial agreement that gives his wife a fifty thousand dollar a year settlement for life. Nicole demands a prenuptial agreement of one hundred dollar settlement a year when they divorce. After they marry we see Michael has started reading Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The battle of the sexes is on.

Bluebeard's Eight Wife is a fast paced delightful fun filled romp.

After the film, TCM host commented on the film saying the director and screenwriters were worried the film would not be a success. The woman they hired to type the script did not laugh as she typed. The film was a success. They asked the typist why she did not laugh. She said she did not want to reveal that she just has braces put on her teeth.

I loved the chemistry between Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper. It reminded me of Doris and Rock in Pillow Talk.
Johnny

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