31 Days of Film in March 2020-Week 3

March 15th-Crossfire from 1947 (Director: Edward Dmytryk, Writers: John Paxton and Based on The Brick Foxhole by Richard Brooks, Stars: Robert Mitchum, Robert Young, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame and Sam Levene, Cinematography: J. Roy Hunt, Runtime: 86 mins)

The film follows an investigation into the murder of a Jewish man. Its been a few hours and I don’t think I have a whole lot to say about this film, which is very good but nothing I feel too spectacular. It has a very straight forward style, little better than a noir b picture but not A quality. However the three Roberts and Gloria Grahame deliver strong performances in a film you kind of know where its going. Really, check out the film. Its very good. Thumbs up.

[Trailer]

March 12th-Once A Thief from 1965 (Director: Ralph Nelson, Writers: Zekial Marko and based on his novel, Stars: Alain Delon, Ann-Margret, Van Heflin and Jack Palance, Cinematography: Robert Burks, Runtime: 103 mins)

That was depressing. Eddie Padek is an ex-thief who has a detective hounding him. When a robbery happens with a woman killed, circumstantial evidence leads detective Vido to Pedak who claims he is set up. Also Pedak’s brother and his crew show up wanting Eddie for a job. Pedak is also fired from his job (boss says he quits, cause the boss id a douche) and his anger at his inability to provide for his wife and daughter is making him an asshole who is being abusive to his wife. Eventually he agrees, realizes his brothers partner is setting people up, and everything ends badly.

An interesting crime film with a strange opening inter-cutting a jazz drummer with scenes around a bar, before hitting the crime the kicks off the film. Vido, played by Van Heflin, is a good character. I mean he’s fascinating to watch and is interesting to watch him struggle with a case and with a man he believes shot him. Then there is our lead, played by Frenchman Alain Delon, who is very good. For the first half seems like a good man on the straight and narrow but the turn when he becomes violent and angry is disheartening. Especially when he beats his wife, played by Ann-Margret. Ann-Margret is great. I am always impressed with every film I see her in. Which is really only two films but I really like her. I do feel Jack Palance is about wasted, and he doesn’t really sale as Delons brother. Its the accents.

The part of the film I really like is watching Eddie fall apart. The struggles especially the unemployment office. I don’t really care about the actual robbery, but the part after that was great. Him and Vido working out how to get the mastermind and get Pedak’s girl back. Once again Ann-Margret is great in this final third. Her pain and worry is so well done. Stylistically the film has these moments of grimy beauty mixed in with a basic, almost minimalism in location. Its an interesting looking film that goes from A picture to B picture and back to A. Also, what an ending. Jesus.

[Trailer]

March 17th-The Accused from 1949 (Director: William Dieterle, Writers: Ketti Frings and based on Be Still, My Love by June Truesdell, Stars: Loretta Young and Robert Cummings, Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner, Runtime: 101 mins)-comedy/crime usb

I got Joan Crawford vibes from Loretta Young for some reason. Solid film. Three stars.

[Film-Okay Quality]

March 18th-The Craft from 1996 (Director: Andrew Fleming, Writers: Andrew Fleming and Peter Filardi, Stars: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True, Cinematography: Alexander Gruszynski, Runtime: 101 mins)

I have seen this film several times, last time was basically when I started stealing movies online so… five years ago? I always admired the film but had a spotty recollection of a lot of it. The most basic bits. New girl, befriends witches, stuff happens, Fairuza Balk goes crazy. The in-between all that gets lost. So watching it now, I think I do like this movie more every time I see it.

I don’t know how I felt first time I saw this, other than liking the aesthetic. But I always appreciated what it was. I got to thinking about it when Funko Pops got announced and I preordered Nancy and Rochelle. So then I thought, time to rewatch the film and so I bought a blu-ray. The latest release from Shout Factory. I think its a great film now. The 90s aesthetic-which I finally realize I mean Mtv music video meets popular 80s style with specific camera filters. This has such a look of its time with wonderful performances from all the ladies but really Fairuza is amazing. I think I always felt detached from the third act but Now I really enjoy it. Though there is a deleted scene that is great that I wish was kept in the film.

So this break from the usual was a great detour.

[Trailer]

March 19th-The Bad Sleep Well from 1960 (Director: Akira Kurosawa, Writers: Hideo Oguni, Eijirō Hisaita, Akira Kurosawa, Ryūzō Kikushima and Shinobu Hashimoto, Stars: Toshiro Mifune, Cinematography: Yuzuru Aizawa, Runtime: 151 mins)

An underwhelming Kurosawa film, which feels wrong. Ome of the great directors, doing a film that is visually beautiful with Toshiro Mifune, killing every moment. But the story is just boring. And long. The opening ten or twenty minutes do nothing for me. I wish the film focused even more on Mifune and his female co-star Kyoko Kagawa.

This film is objectionable good, but its the least interesting Kurosawa film I ever seen. Its the second of three noir flicks Kurosawa made with Mifune. Existing between the proto buddy cop noir Stray Dog and the police procedural High and Low. Those two films have a much better legacy than this one.

[Trailer]

March 20th-The Changeling from 1980 (Director: Peter Medak, Writers: William Gray and Diana Maddox, Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, and Melvyn Douglas, Cinematography: John Coquillon, Runtime: 107 mins)

It was fine. Not my type of supernatural film but a well put together and acted movie.

[Trailer]

OTTO PREMINGER DOUBLE FEATURE: March 21st-Fallen Angel from 1945 (Director: Otto Preminger, Writers: Harry Kleiner and
Based on book by Marty Holland, Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, and Charles Bickford, Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle, Runtime: 98 mins)

Bunny Lake Is Missing from 1963 (Director: Otto Preminger, Writers: John Mortimer, Penelope Mortimer and Based on the book by Marryam Modell, Stars: Laurence Olivier, Cinematography: Denys N. Coop, Runtime: 107 mins)-both comedy/crime usb

Two Otto Preminger flicks. Fallen Angel is about a drifter named Stanton who cons his way into a job with a traveling fortune teller and his assistant. That job is getting their show off the ground in a town where a local influencer disapproves. Stanton likes local diner worker Stella, but she is not into people without money. He plans to try to milk the influencers younger sister for her money. Stella ends up killed and Stanton and his now new wife go on the run. Neither of them did it. Spoiler alert. This was fine. Of the Perminger/Andrews collabs I seen, this is dead last. I have such mixed feelings on Dana Andrews. Sometimes I think he’s great, sometimes I think he’s good, and others I just kinda ‘meh.’ This is meh. As for Preminger, I can’t quite get a handle on him. Most of his stuff is in the very least-good. Go watch Laura of Where The Sidewalk Ends.

Then I watched Bunny Lake Is Missing and loved it. My now favorite Preminger flick follows a Annie Lake and her brother Steve who are frantic when Annie’s daughter goes missing. On the case is Superintendent Newhouse. The girl was taken from school on her first day and no one remembers seeing her. In fact, when they return home to get a photo of Bunny all Bunny’s things are missing. Newhouse begins to doubt if Bunny is real. I loved this, even if it has that post Psycho faux mental illness stuff happening. I was captivated by the look, a UK set mystery noir with excellent locations. The story, the investigation coupled with the performances-thank you. #3 for the month.

Seriously, I stopped this film 42 minutes and checked the opening few minutes again because even I doubted there was a child. There is no child in the start of the film. Seriously it kind of spends the first few minutes following Carol Lynley getting settled in and then once she goes to retrieve her daughter, it makes that turn. That building anxiousness and worry. Turning into fear and desperation. Carol Lynley is so fucking good. From the realization of her missing daughter, to how she carries herself with each and every character, and to the excellent sequence at the hospital, to that weird nightmarish end sequence. Laurence Olivier is so laid back and so effective as the officer on the case. Keir Dullea is interesting as Steve. The choices-especially the final act. I mean…

Stylistically this is a cool look flick. I like the big shot of the UK in the middle of the film. Its set in England but that shot is so clearly England and such a beautiful shot of the city. The creepiness of the doll hospital, the creepiness of the hospital, and of course the creepiness of that big house. Oh, and the creepiness of the school. Lots of great locales and I do appreciate a noir flick that feels of the world. So many noirs are simplified to a handful of areas without a big world sensibility but this one takes you around. Also, much props to the way the story engaged me through it. I hit that burn out I get every month and this one came at the right time. I mean, don’t get me wrong Craft was great but that was a rewatch in the middle of a bunch of 3-3½ star flicks. This one, even with the silliness of the villain, was fantastic. A great amount of seriousness and such strange camp that also still built a great amount of tension. I loved it.

[Fallen Angel-Good Copy / Bunny Lake Is Missing Trailer]

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days of Films in March 2020-Week 2

Sunday-Saturday

March 8th-The Roaring Twenties from 1939 (Director: Raoul Walsh, Writers: Based on The World Moves On by Mark Hellinger, Stars: James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart, and Gladys George, Cinematography: Ernest Haller, Runtime: 104 mins)

Originally I planned two films featuring Humphrey Bogart third billed but between my Orphan Black rewatch and WWE Elimination Chamber cut it to the popular Roaring Twenties. The story about Eddie Bartlett, returning from WWI and finds no legitimate work. He falls into the bootlegger racket. He has a crew, he finds himself falling for a singer named Jean, and reunites with a former soldier named George he served with who comes along into Bartletts team. Bartlett decides to get out, makes some peace with Jean marrying his old associate, a lawyer who went straight.

I loved The Public Enemy and really liked Angels With Dirty Faces, so I was underwhelmed with this one. It lacked the visceral nature of the Public Enemy, another story about prohibition era gangsters. Taking longer to move and without the grittiness of that film. Angels with Dirty Faces, also featuring Bogart, had more heart to it. The brotherly relationship, and of course Ann Sheridans role was much meatier than Priscilla Lanes here. Stylistically, I think Raoul Walsh’s film is very good. Not on the level of the other two but still high quality looking move. When the violence goes down its sudden and powerful. The montage of violence is well done. That second half looks really good. Its just the story doens’t click for me as well as the others.

Then the performances. I like Cagney and love Bogart but this isn’t any of their best work. Cagney feels like a version of his other gangsters. Bogart is pushing to break out, and he does stand higher in the film but is not nearly in enough of the film. Plus as good as he is, very two note character. Priscilla Lane I generally like, but I feel Saboteur from Alfred Hitchcock may be her finest role. Only Blues in the Night coming close but she’s surrounded by so many great performers there she gets overshadowed at times.

Now, I am being negative on film that is objectionably good. It is good. Its just you expect more from the people involved. In fact, this film is making me itch to rewatch Wgite Heat with Cagney and director Walsh. Which I happen to have planned in the coming days. I remember really loving that film, hope it holds.

[Trailer]

DOUBLE FEATURE: March 9th-Dressed to Kill from 1980 (Director/Writer: Brian De Palma, Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, and Keith Gordon, Cinematography: Ralf D. Bode, Runtime: 104 mins)

Bound from 1996 (Director/Writers: The Wachowskis, Stars: Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, Cinematography: Bill Pope, Runtime: 108 mins)-both crime usb

A pair of erotic neo-noirs. First up is Brian De Palmas Dressed to Kill. De Palma has directed a couple of my favorite 70s films, specifically Phantom of the Paradise. In this flick, a rip off of Psycho, we watched a sexually frustrated housewife get murdered at the end of the first act. A witness is a sex worker named Liz who is threatened to be booked by the police unless she produces the other witness she was with. The son of the victim, named Peter, starts his own investigation, assuming it was another patient of Dr. Elliot, who his mother was seeing. I will leave it at that.

This film has sex and talk about sex. Got that type of soft lighting, color scheme and approach that seems erotic. I don’t know, not really my genre the erotic thriller and I live in the world of internet porn. Still, its a very cool looking film. De Palma is a good director, and I generally like his films. The way he captures Liz seeing the killer through a mirror in an elevator as it closed is a neat visual. I like the split screen scene. The lighting and style of the two female leads (Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen) is top notch.

The performances are very good coming from the ladies. I think Keith Gordon is quite good as the son. However I was not exactly impressed with Michael Caine’s performance. The cop was a real jerk but Dennis Franz was at least gu . Story wise there are bits and pieces that I didn’t care for. The final nightmare sequence as a finally sting is a waste. Feels like someone told De Palma to add more slasher to the film. The violent black men was annoying, at least there was a black security guy, I guess. Overall I thought De Palmas direction, three of the performance, raise up De Palmas trashy Psycho knock off.

Next film is 1996 Neo-Noir crime thriller by the Wachowski’s, their debut feature Bound. The story follows a fresh out of prison Corky and a gangsters moll named Violet. Corky is hired to do renovations on an empty homes plumbing and Violet is a frustrated kept woman. Violet seduces the lesbian Corky. After a situation at their apartment when an associate of her boyfriends is tortured over missing millions, Violet wants out. Following Violets information about the money Corky works out a plan to steal the money and get rid of the boyfriend Cesar. Of course their plans don’t go off the way they wanted.

A very simple, tight, almost play like neo-noirs. Most the action taking place in Cesar and Violets apartment or the one next door. A few other spots but very contained. Wachowski’s film is tense once we push into the actual attempted heist, watching Cesar (played by Joe Pantoliano) break down and freak out as the film progresses as well as the way Tilly handles the obstacles in his orbit and Gershon waits, worried and then is pulled in to try and save Tilly. Tilly has great back and forth with Pantolano and fantastic chemistry with Gershon. Bound and But I’m A Cheerleader were the lesbian films of the 90s and both films are stylish in different ways. This one has the feel of one of those b-film noirs that transcends their limitations to become an important part of the cannon. Wachowskis have such mastery of the genre I wish they would return to noirs. I already said as much, but the three main performances are great. I really don’t have much else to say other than its one of the best of the month thus far.

[Dressed to Kill Trailer / Bound Trailer]

March 10th-Touch of Evil from 1958 (Director/Writer: Orson Welles and on Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson, Stars: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff and Marlene Dietrich, Cinematography: Russell Metty, Runtime: 111 mins)

I am someone who gets frustrated very easily and is also easily distracted. So when I was watching this classic film noir I had internet issues. AT&T Uverse was not allowing me on twitter, this blog, letterboxd, and other sites I use like wikipedia. Couldn’t access on any device. Reboot of router did not help. Then I remembered to check twitter (mobile data) as I was going to sleep. It was an AT&T issue. My friend/co-worker had a similar problem the same night.

Anyway, Charlton Heston plays a Mexican, which would not happen today. Luckily, Heston is fine and doesn’t fuck it up. By which I mean playing like a stereotype. Orson Welles is great as the The Police Captain who works rotten.Iwish there was more Dietrich and Leigh. A cool looking film with great black and white photography.

I really enjoyed it, but probably would have enjoyed it more had I not been upset with the internet. I also would have had a more detailed review if I had my net working last night.

[Teaser]

March 11th-Tiger Bay from 1959 (Director: J. Lee Thompson, Writers: John Hawkesworth and J. Lee Thompson, Stars: John Mills, Horst Buchholz and Hayley Mills, Cinematography: Eric Cross, Runtime: 103 mins)

Um… what the hell was that? And I mean it in a good way. Hayley Mills plays Gillie Evans, an orphan living with her aunt who is kind of a psychopath. I say this because she’s a notorious liar. Also she witnesses a murder, and her reaction is to basically keep the gun and sort of lie about whats happening. Seriously, she has more concern with ebing caught seeing the murder than the murder, even repeating her aunts statement about how the victim was not quite a good person. Also, after being kind of pursued by the murderer, becomes his friend. His original reaction is to, well, not really silence her and he seems to get along with her fine. Gillie really does lie for a dude who killed his ex-girlfriend. Why’d he do it? Well… Korchinsky (Horst Buchholz) is a Polish sailor who had been sending his girlfriend money. When he returns to England and looks her up she has left her home, owing money. He pays it, tracks her down, and he is so glad to see her. However they get into an arguement, he hits her, she pulls a gun, insults him, he gets the gun and shoots her. Yeah… so he murders his now ex-girlfriend, strikes up a weird friendship with Gillie which is… yeah… Yeah…

Tiger Bay is really something else. I figured it was just going to be a killer chasing a girl through London. What I got was a liar who is attracted to guns hanging out with a murderer who is… well, I hate to say sympathetic because the woman didn’t deserve that. Mills is very good here, in fact it is her best performance which makes me think Disney kind of stunted her growth as an actress. I think she’s great in Parent Trap but Pollyanna and the Moonspinners were not memorable performances. She’s fine in That Darn Cat. I wonder what would have happened with her career if she had done more serious roles as a youngster. I still have a few films form her when she was a teen. Mills is opposite Horts Buchholz who I don’t remember from Magnificent 7 (which I didn’t care for) but loved in One Two Three. He is very good in this film, playing up a character who really shouldn’t be as sympathetic as he is. Or as he plays it. He is a creep, but kind of likable? I blame the writing on that a little bit. Hayley’s father, John Mills plays the Police Superintendent and is very good as well.

Stylistically this is an interesting feature. Cardiff comes off in the few shots as a sort of industrial town with how it looks. The setting switches to the country side and the boat and its a good looking film. Though I do kind of wish it played up a darker look because their are times it almost leans into that noir style but never embraces it. J. Lee Thompson and his team are good here, at times great. Thompson did the excellent Cape Fear which is the only other movie I seen by him. Well, I might have seen those Planet of the Apes on TV when I was younger and I think I have one of his flicks on DVR. I’m getting off track. I really did enjoy this film, even if I was creeped out by the friendship and Gillie is a bit of a crazy girl. Its a kind of a strange crime film, check it out.

[Full Film]

March 12th-Sudden Fury from 1975 (Director:/Writer: Brian Damude, Stars: Canadian actors, Cinematography: James B. Kelly, Runtime: 92 mins)

This crime thriller is a Canucksploitation film. Yep, that’s a thing. A husband and wife are traveling, he is a creep with a temper. Eventually crashing his car and flipping it, leaves his wife to die. A man who they had a brief encounter with earlier sees the car, tries to help the woman, and the husband basically tries to set up that she dies and the good samaritan takes the rap for it.

This film is a downer. Dominic Hogan plays Fred, the husband and its a pretty intense part. From his argument with the wife Janet, trying to rig it to make sure she dies, and then manipulating the farm couple and leading to his further descent into violent madness. What a villain. What a total fucking loser. Its a great performance. Dan Hennessy plays the protagonist and you have to feel for guy. He tries to help but Janet dies, one of the farmers thinks he did it, and when things start looking like they meet the bad guy his mistake throws a giant wrench into it all.

This film is not the most tense thriller, it takes a little too long to get going and sometimes drag in the middle but that third act is top notch. When Al shoots the wrong person it seriously makes you question where do you go. The open endness of the film, leaving on detectives confusion of the mess is actually pretty brilliant. While the film has its pacing issues and the quality is clearly low budget, it is an effective low budget flick. Glad I picked this one up.

[Vinegar Syndrome Blu-Ray Release Trailer]

DOUBLE FEATURE: March 14th-White Heat from 1949 (Director: Raoul Walsh, Writers: Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts and Based on the book by Virginia Kellogg, Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien, Margaret Wycherly and Steve Cochran, Cinematography: Sidney Hickox, Runtime: 114 mins) keep usb

3:10 to Yuma from 1956 (Director: Delmer Daves, Writers: Halsted Welles and based on the Elmore Leonard, Stars: Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, Cinematography: Charles Lawton, Jr., Runtime: 92 mins) bluray

A pair of films I had been meaning to rewatch. First up is White Heat, a classic gangster film starring James Cagney. The story of Cody Jarrod, a violent gangster who gives himself up for a crime he did not commit to take the heat of a train robbery. In jail an undercover police officer tries to get in with the crew to report the details of Cody’s suspected train heist and his fence. Things start getting complicated when the planned jail break happens under different circumstances and the undercover cop is trying to figure out how to get word out to the police.

First up, distracted again but I put the film on pause and handled it. Luckily that was after the dynamic robbery opening. The first act which is basically the robbery until Cody gives himself up is top notch stuff. Cagney is great as Cody, a mentally ill psychopath. Vicious and cruel. You see it with one of his crew gets badly burnt on his actions, then Cody wants the vicitms buddy to knock him off. The buddy asking for Cody to get a doctor. The first act is incredibly effective with Virginia Mayo as the annoyed girlfriend and Margaret Wycherly as his loving Ma. I think they give two great performances as well.

I think the film kind becomes less interesting in the middle. The set up is good and there are some tense moments but it lacks the energy of the first and last act. The second act is basically meeting Fall/Prado (played by Edmond O’Brien) up to right before the heist. Its all good but I prefer Cagney going crazy being a criminal so him in prison is kind of muted. Plus the focus is more on O’Brien who is good but like I said, lacks that energy. Which starts picking up on the prison break, him getting his lying girl back and killing one of his old crew members. Then the third act hits, the tension builds. The job starts but the cops arrive and then a beautifully shot gun battle and finish. Then then sudden ending. This is a beautiful gangster film from director Raoul Walsh, cinematographer Sidney Hickox and the whole team. It has a lot of great stuff going on it, but the rewatch did make me think I rated it a little high. Not that that really matters because this one is truly one of the great gangster films you should see.

Last film is the original 3:10 to Yuma about a rancher who is having financial problems agreeing to help take a gang leader to the city of Contention, to put him on a train to the prison. Simple story with a bit about class, family, and more. I don’t really like writing a long bit about the film because while its good, what makes it legendary is when leads Van Helfin (the Rancher) and Glenn Ford (Ben Wade, the criminal) arrive in Contention. The interactions between the two during the first half are strong, but here is the masterclass. Leads up to the shooting and action. Strong performances married with Delmar Daves strong direction. Basiucally, I am not a big western fan but this is one to check out.

[White Heat Trailer / 3:10 To Yuma Trailer]

FRITZ LANG TRIPLE FEATURE: March 14th-Human Desire from 1954 (Director: Fritz Lang, Writers: Alfred Hayes and Based on the novel La Bête humaine 1890 novel by Émile Zola, Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford, Cinematography: Burnett Gufffey, Runtime: 91 mins)-crime usb

Manhunt from 1941 (Director: Fritz Lang, Writers: Dudley Nichols, Lamar Trotti and Based on Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, Stars: Walter Pidgeon and Joan Bennett, Cinematography: Arthur C. Miller, Runtime: 105 mins)*

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt from 1956 (Director: Fritz Lang, Writers: , Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer, and Arthur Franz, Cinematography: Douglas Morrow, Runtime: 80 mins)-2 on comedy/crime usb

First a returning soldier gets involved with a married woman. Married to the Yard Master of the train station he works. Carl, the yard master lost his job and convinces his wife to help him by going to a businessman named Owen who is a customer of the train station. The wife, Vicki grew up in Owens home as her mom was the housekeeper. Carl kills Owen as he is jealous of what might have happened. Vicki tries to get the soldier, Jeff, to kill her husband.

A Fritz Lang flick that looks good, has good performances, but feels like a drag. A good looking drag but not up to the energy of a number of his films. Though there is at least one Lang movie I liked less than this one. Its solid, but not a major point to his overall filmography. I do think however any Gloria Grahame fans should check this one out. I think this is her better collaboration with Fritz Lang then Big Heat, though Big Heat is considered the better film. I don’t know if I agree, but then again I think You & Me is awesome so… Anyway, this one was fine.

(Checked, yeah I liked Big Heat more but I think Grahame was probably better here.)

Man Hunt is… about a game hunter who was caught possibly trying to kill Hitler with a sniper rifle. He refuses to admit he was going to kill Hitler and refuses to sign a confession. Then becomes a hunted man. Look, I know this one is popular but I only cared when Jon Bennett showed up and that is really it. I guess it was fine. Then Beyond A Reasonable Doubt which was frustrating until that twist happened. The I was like cool.

Look, I like or love half the Fritz Lang films I’ve seen. Now I can say there’s half of them I don’t much care for. Or I think are objectionably good but not for me.

[Human Desire Film / Man Hunt Trailer / Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Trailer]

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

31 Days of Film in March 2020-Week 1

BOXING AND NOIR DOUBLE FEATURE: March 1st-The Set-Up from 1949 (Director: Robert Wise, Writers: Art Cohn and Based on a poem by Joseph Moncure March, Stars: Robert Ryan and Audrey Totter, Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner, Runtime: 72 mins)

The Harder They Fall from 1956 (Director: Mark Robson, Writers: Philip Yordan and based on Budd Schulberg’s 1947 novel, Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger and Jan Sterling, Cinematography: Burnett Guffey, Runtime: 109 mins)

Like last year I decided to dedicate March to crime and noir films. I had a blast last year doing it and after a rock February I needed this. I made the decision to start out with two noirs set around a popular sport of its time (not as much now), boxing. Boxing has a history of ties to organize crime so its no wonder boxing continues to be a fixture in mob films. Each center around the fix. The Set Up takes place over one night as Stoker Thompson is telling his suffering wife he’ll turn it all around, beat his opponent in Paradise City Arena (Boxing Wednesdays Wrestling Fridays). What Stoker doesn’t know is his manager and trainer taken money for him to take dive. Worse, they don’t tell him because they believe he will fail and so they can split the money two ways. In The Harder They Fall an out of work sports writer named Eddie agrees to be the press agent for an Argentinean giant who can’t box. The skeezy promoter is going to fix fights. Eddie also begins working as a manager for Toro, and has to navigate making sure they don’t get caught but also his desire to look out for the big man.

Both these films are great but the Set Up is easily my favorite boxing movie of all time. Director Robert Wise, most famous from Westside Story and Sound of Music along with perennial genre classics The Haunting from 1960 and The Day the Earth Stood still delivers a fantastic film that all takes place in the same night. With award winning cinematographer Milton R. Krasner they bring about a beautiful film. Inside the locker room with the boxers and assistants, the arena itself with its spectators, the action in the ring but also Stokers wife trying to keep herself distracted wandering the city. So worried about her husband. Its such a cool looking film with such great pieces. The locker room is a fantastic bit of film with Stoker and others having their conversations and chats. The rookie worried about his first pro fight. The black fighter so confident he will get the job done. Gunboat hoping to turn it all around. Then the fight, unlike any staged boxing fight I ever seen. The action then cutting to the trainers and managers, certain engaged spectators, and of course the man making the fix. Then the build to end which I won’t spoil.

Robert Ryan is great as Stoker. Speaks in low volume, longing looks for his wife, his banter with the men, and his fear when he realizes everything going on. There is not overacting, no big scenery chewing, this is the kind of performance that feels more modern than some for the big stars would deliver of that era. Audrey Totter as the wife, wandering, observing, keeping herself occupied. It works so well that when they come back together at the end its great. Everyone is great. This is such a fantastic cast. This film runs less then 80 minutes and feels so thick with moments. A true blast. An amazing way to kick off March as this was the first film I watched this month.

I was worried Humphrey Bogart would let me down after this. I was wrong. Bogarts last movie may not be his best or one of his best remembered but it is still a fantastic picture. Bogart is doing Bogart through the film, hitting those classic Bogie bits you expect from him. Yet, it feels wonderful alongside Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling and everyone else. When he has his biggest blow up in that third act it was sweet. Going from a guy looking for a new job and good money to being torn up by the business. He knows its bad but to watch them screw over a gentle giant looking to make money for his family, you can see how it twists him up. Steiger is great as the films bad guy, him and Bogie going at it is fantastic. I do wish there was more with Jan Sterling involved because she brought quite a bit of energy holding her own in scenes with Steiger and Bogart.

While stylistically not in Set-Ups class, this is still a very good looking film in its own right. Just that it is lit more like a sports drama and less like a gritty noir. There are still some very cool shots throughout. The fight scenes in this are a different type of action, not as dramatic but effective knowing all the matches are fixed. makes that final boxing sequence even more powerful. Toro, played by Michael Lane, gives a great performance. This was his first role and he came out of professional wrestling. Explains his fantastic size at 6 foot 8.

Two great films to kick of March.

[TCM Comments About the Set-Up / The Harder They Fall Clip]

1940s NOIR DOUBLE FEATURE: March 2nd-Bewitched from 1945 (Director/Writer: Arch Oboler, Stars: Phyllis Thaxter and Edmund Gwenn, Cinematography: Charles Salerno Jr., Runtime: 65 mins)

The Dark Mirror from 1946 (Director: Robert Siodmak, Writers: Nunnally Johnson with Story by Vladimir Pozner, Stars: Olivia de Havilland and Lew Ayers, Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner, Runtime: 85 mins)-both crime usb

After an amazing first day to kick off the month and then this hit. Two slow, boring psychological noirs. One about a woman hearing voices which leads her to kill. Then a film about identical twin sisters where one is a killer. Which I believe De Palma did similar in Sisters decades later. I need to rewatch that. Bought it on bluray last year. Anyway, both films are thuds. Such a good day 1 and then such an underwhelming day 2. Oh well, day 3 films looks like a winner.

[Bewitched 1945 Trailer / The Dark Mirror Full Film But Not A Great Copy]

March 3rd-Violent Saturday from 1955 (Director: Richard Fleischer, Writers: Sydney Boehm and Based in the novel by William L. Heath, Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan and Stephen McNally, Cinematography: Charles G. Clarke, Runtime: 90 mins)

After a dull second day into March I rebound this this color noir thriller. Set from Friday through Saturday, it follows bank robbers and some of the the people who will cross their path. There is the Fairchilds, the husband is depressed and drinking. Troubled by his marriage to his wife he loves, but is philandering. Theres the nurse who is admired by both Boyd Fairchild and the bank manager Reeves. There is Boyds associate, Shelly Martin who has a wife and two kids. A librarian who owes the bank money, and outside of town an Amish family.

Not a lot of color noirs of the classic era. Interestingly, Virgina Leith is featured in this one and another. What a weird career. A barely known actress in two well l9ved noirs, leading one of the great bad genre classics, and in an unseen Stanley Kubrick film. Leith plays the nurse and is actually quite quite good in her few scenes with Richard Egans Boyd. As well as her single scene with Margaret Hayes who crushses every scene. The domestic drama there versus Martin family, where Victor Mature and his wife are concerned for his oldest son. Sadly the actress gets little to do but the story around the son is fine. It works around Matures character not going to war and how that effects how young people see those who did not fight. Not deeply looked at but understandable hook.

Mature is very good. Plays a real stand up guy, loving family man. Watching him go from being a good man to being a hero is so good. Such tense scenes including his getting out of being tied and taped. Along with him is Ernest Borgnine, the legend. Dude always good even if I don’t care for the film. I thought the Amish angle was handled pretty well for it. Playing the bad guys we got Lee Marvin, Stephen Nelly and J. Carrol Naish are all doing solid work as the baddies. I do wish Sylvia Sidney got more to do but I am happy to see her.

Stylistically its beautiful. Filmed in beautiful color and capturing such sights. The small town look, the mountains where the copper mines are, to the barn scene. The establishing shots are great. The tracking shot of Matures kidnapping is pretty cool. The action is well paced too. The suddenness of it in the bank and the barn shoot out. The ending has both a happy ending and sad ending. I prefer the sad ending but the scene with Mature and his son is nice.

Really a cool looking noir film with lots of performers nailing it. High marks.

[Full Film, Not A Great Copy]

March 4th-Caged from 1950 (Director: John Cromwell, Writers: Virginia Kellogg from the story “Women Without Men” by Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld, Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Betty Garde, Hope Emerson, and Ellen Corby, Cinematography: Carl E. Guthrie, Runtime: 96 mins)

Its been a few hours since I watched this and my mind is still putting it altogether, but as I wrote on my rare Letterboxd review: God damn. Seriously, every trope I expect from prison films centered around women seems like it came from this. Not that I have watched a lot of women in prison films or shows, but its all here. Pregnant inmate, shady guard, lesbianism (on the low, it was 1950) and discussion about the politics of prison and how much the system screws its prisoners. The film follows the journey of Marie Allen, as played by Eleanor Parker, from her arrival in prison to her release on parole. Convicted as an accessory to her husbands botched robbery that left him dead. She arrives and learns quickly she is pregnant. Once in general population she meets the players. Kitty, played by Betty Garde, who has a grift going with people on the outside shoplifting. There is a lifer played Gertrude Hoffman (thanks IMDB) how crushes two scenes including one against primary antagonist Matron Harper, played by Hope Emerson. Harper expects gifts from the outside if you expect her to treat you better. If not, she’ll treat you like garbage. Marie struggles inside, breaking down both when her mom and step-dad refuse to take in her kid and then being denied parole. Denied because of her young age and the parole board not sure her home life would be good. Things continue to spiral including a new vice queen entering the scene who seems interested in Marie and more BS with Matron Harper.

This film is amazing. Eleanor Parker-best known from Sound of Music, is fantastic in this film. Deserving of that Oscar nomination. From how she starts the film as a scared woman trying her best to survive to the pessimistic woman at the end. This film ends on a fucking downer and Eleanor sells every moment. Her breakdowns are amazing, especially when her mom says she can’t take the kid. The post solitary reaction with the head shaved. The way she sees herself becoming more and more broken down by everything. Then there is Hope Emerson as the bad guy, another Oscar nom. What a bitch. You know exactly the kind of woman she is right off the bat, and is awful through out. You cheer when she gets hers. Also, what a cast. Agnes Moorehead has the hard job of being the idealistic warden. hard because Agnes soars when she gets campy, though she is a good dramatic actress and it shows. She has the most scenes working across from men and total owns those scenes, plays well across both Parker and Emerson, and delivers the stark coda at the end of the film. Betty Garde plays Kitty, the one trying to recruit young Marie, into her gang. A positive performance as the toughen criminal who has a fascinating arc in her own right. Jan Sterling in an early role who plays cute. Its nothing compared to other roles I’m sure, I only seen two other films but really liked her in The Harder They Fall which I caught a few days ago. I really dug Gertrude Hoffman in that first scene where she threatens to kill Matron Harper and dares her to do something, Damn. Such a stacked film.

Now this film is a great looking movie. Its tight, claustrophobic, and a nightmare. Focused mostly inside the specific block watching the women do their thing. There’s a scene early on where all the women stop what their doing to look to the windows at the sound of a train. What is more depressing than that? Marie finding a stray cat and some of the prisoners getting milk and they all just watch the cat drink milk. I mean-it sucks. Then when Harper tries taking the cat and then the riot and then spoiler the cat dies-JESUS! Those are two of the most fantastic scenes ever. The buzzcut section is brutal. The way they build to Harpers murder is amazing. Its entire execution is great. I would have liked them to embrace the underlying queerness more but 1950, its bubbling and insinuated. Especially that scene right before her parole with Vice Queen as played by Lee Patrick. The final ten minutes gave me chills. The only real negative is that it does feel like drags in tiny sections but this one gets high marks. See this film.

[Trailer]

March 5th-Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans from 1927 (Director: F. W. Murnau, Writers: Adapted by Carl Mayer from the short story “The Excursion to Tilsit”, from the collection with the same title by Hermann Sudermann, Stars: George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston, Cinematography: Charles Rosher and Karl Struss, Runtime: 95 mins)

I don’t get into silent movies. I don’t. Not my thing. So I can’t properly review anything. What I can say is the inital set up for this film is wild. The visuals are absolutely stunning in various sections of the film. If I had a better grasp of the style of silent films I’d probably really like this. Also, much better than MASH. Fuck that film.

[Trailer]

1950s NOIR DOUBLE FEATURE:March 6th-Woman on the Run from 1950 (Director: Norman Foster, Writers: Alan Campbell, Norman Foster with Ross Hunter, Stars: Ann Sheridan and Dennis O’Keefe, Cinematography: Hal Mohr, Runtime: 77 mins)

Crime Wave from 1954 (Director: Andre DeToth, Writers: Crane Wilbur with Bernard Gordon, Richard Wormser and Based on the story “Criminal’s Mark” by John Hawkins and Ward Hawkins, Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson and Phyllis Kirk, Cinematography: Bert Glennon, Runtime: 73 mins)

A pair of 50s noir films. First a film about a wife searching for her husband who is on the run from a killer. He saw a man get killed, cops were pressing him and he got spooked. The wife, Eleanor, teams with a newspaper man named Daniel to track him down. What Eleanor is unaware of is that Daniel is really the killer. Then a film about a man trying to go straight, live his life with his loving wife. Too bad Steve Lacey’s old crew is in town and have pulled a botched caper. He gets dragged into their mess while being pressed and insulted by a tough cop played by noir stalwart Sterling Hayden.

So, in all, both good movies. My copy of Woman on the Run (which I stole online) was not the best version. Definitely not HD and probably some bootleg copy that got ripped onto digital. I am sure if I had a clearer copy I would raise this one a bit. Its a good film. It feels like a lot going on for its tight 77 minutes. Ann Sheridan delivers the goods. She is almost like a chameleon to me because I keep thinking “Is this the first film I seen with her” but no. She is in a few films I’ve watched, all ones I like-one I really like. She always delivers in a new and different ways. She starts off as sort of cold, dismissive but secretly concerned for her husband. Her demeanor shifts more and more as the film runs on. She is clear and a way the best performer in this film. Dennis O’Keefe is very good as Danny Boy, the real bad guy in the film but this is an Ann Sheridan special.

The pacing is interesting with how Ann shows up after we establish the basis of the film. She is playing detective and learning how others view her husband. Very interesting details about him as a sort of artist without direction. There are a lot of small bit players through out and Sheridan works well opposite everyone. While not a bit player, Robert Keith’s inspector is excellent opposite Ann. him picking at their relationship but also the highly questionable tactic of trying to prevent the husband from getting his medication. All to get him to turn himself in. The film finishes up at an amusement park and here is where I really wish I had a clearer copy. Another downside is I wish Ann figured deeper into the finish. Also, always happy to see an old film where someone of color has mroe than two lines and in this one we got a few Chinese performers who deliver more than three lines each. Nice.

Crime Wave is a nice piece. Opens with the botched robbery and we move into the investigation and poor Steve and Ellen. Gene Nelson and Phyllis Kirk have an interesting dynamic as a married couple. Their chemistry is almost subtle. She has this concern and belief in him going straight and he is very tough exterior who cares and doesn’t want to let her down. Sterling Hayden is his most prickish and least varied performance. I mean he is comes in big and stays big but not one of his better performances. He’s still good. I didn’t recognize Charles Bronson, but what a good bad guy asshole performer he is here. The performances vary per person. Some playing to obvious, others not so interesting, and others doing their thing well. Stylistically this one is about standard for a noir. Good looking but nothing too spectacular. Still, its a pretty tense thriller and I enjoyed it because I was invested in Steve and Ellen’s relationship. I wanted them to be happy.

[Woman on the Run Film, Better Copy Than What I Watched / Crime Wave Clip]

March 7th-Private Property from 1960 (Director/Writer: Leslie Stevens, Stars: Corey Allen, Warren Oates and Kate Manx, Cinematography: Ted McCord, Runtime: 79 mins)

Private Property is a film I was interested in because I appreciate films that grow in acclaim much later in years. This film was not liked when it came, attacked by Catholics and even Jacky O because her and the husband (JFK) hated it. Yet, I was underwhelmed. It was still a fine, solid noir film about two criminals who stalk a beautiful woman. One criminal tells his virgin partner he well set up a lady for him. Its disgusting. The performances are all very good and the film looks nice. Its just, for the reputation, I expected something more grand.

[Trailer]

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

29 Days of Film in February 2020-Links, Rankings, & Stats

I decided to compare notable days from months 2019 to 2020. Updated January overview to include this. Real quick, so you don’t have to go look, in 2019 I watched Citizen Kane and Philadelphia Story on New Years and MLK Day. Went full 5 out of 5 on them. In 2020 it was Blackboard Jungle and Class of 1984 on New Years while MLK Day I watched Beast of 20000 Fathoms and Things To Come. Class I went the highest on, the scifi double feature on MLK was disappointing. Overall February was an odd month with me not liking more films than usual. Also, I Hated MASH. I have felt underwhelmed by some of the classics before but wow.

Top 10 for The Month
1. Tokyo Story
2. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
3. Death Becomes Her*
4. Se7en*
5. Cluny Brown
6. Cactus Flower
7. The Invisible Man (2020)
8. Cabaret
9. In The Mood For Love
10. A Star Is Born (1954)

*Rewatch

Worst Film Of The Month
M*A*S*H

Films Watched This Month
39 Total
35 New
4 Rewatch

Average Star Rating Based On My Letterboxd Ratings: 3.15 out of 5

VALENTINES DAY 2019 VS 2020
Pillow Talk (3/5) // In The Mood For Love (4/5)

PRESIDENTS DAY 2019 VS 2020
Jean Harlow Double Feature: Red Headed Woman (3.5/5) & Wife vs Secretary (4.5/5) // Princess O’Rourke (2.5/5) and A Royal Scandal (2.5/5)

February Weekly Reviews
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

Letterboxd|Twitter|Instagram

Previous Months Links, Rankings & Stats
January, February, March, April, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January 2020

By The Numbers
This Is An Incomplete List
All Names Are Actors Unless Otherwise Noted
Includes Archival Footage-Clips of a film with an actor were used in another film. For example, James Cagney movie plays in Fade to Black and are used as story elements in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.

Twenty-Six Films: Cedric Ribbons (Production Design)

Twenty-Five Films: Bess Flowers (Queen of Extras), Edith Head (Costume/Wardrobe),

Twenty-Two: Lyle R. Wheeler (Production Design),

Twenty Films: Cary Grant (Includes Archival Footage), Alfred Hitchcock (Master of Suspense),

Eighteen Films: Jean Harlow,

Seventeen Films: Adrian (Costume/Wardrobe),

Sixteen Films: Mel Berns (Make-Up), Humphrey Bogart (Includes Archival Footage), Franz Waxman (Composer),

Fifteen Films: Ben Hecht (Writer), Cyril J. Mockridge (Composer),

Fourteen Films: Travis Benton (Costumes), Wally Westmore (Make-Up),

Thirteen Films: Irene (Costume/Wardrobe), Ben Nye (Make-Up), Perc Westmore (Make-Up),

Twelve Films: Orry-Kelly (Costume/Wardrobe), Jack Carson, Alfred Newman (Composer),

Eleven Films: Gino Corrado, Joan Crawford (Includes Archival Footage), Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price (Includes Archival Footage), Max Steiner (Composer), James Stewart,

Ten Films: John Carradine, Roger Corman (Director/Actor), Clark Gable, Howard Hawks (Director), Eugene Joseff (Costume/Wardrobe), Boris Karloff, Charles Lang (Cinematographer), Marilyn Monroe, Bert Moorhouse, Hal Pereira (Production Design), Jack P. Pierce (Make-Up), Dorothy Spencer (Editor),

Nine Films: Mario Bava (Director/Writer/Cinematography), Ward Bond, Henry Fonda, John Leipold (Composer), Carole Lombard, Dick Miller, Billy Wilder (Director/Writer),

Eight Films: Lucien Ballard (Cinematographer), Ralph Bellamy, Carroll Clark (Production Design), Charles Coburn, George Cukor (Director), Bette Davis (Includes Archival Footage), Arthur Edeson (Cinematography), Jules Furthman (Writer), Ernest Haller (Cinematography), Ted J. Kent (Editor), Stephen King (Novelist), Norman Krasna (Writer), Fritz Lang (Director/Writer), Ernst Lubitsch (Director), Michael Mark, Van Nest Polglase (Production Design), Harold Rosson (Cinematographer), Miklos Rozsa (Composer), Sylvia Sidney, Bert Stevens, Gene Tierney, Arthur Tovey, Travilla (Costumes), Vera West (Costume/Wardrobe), Roy Webb (Composer),

Seven Films: Mary Astor, Colleen Atwood (Costume/Wardrobe), Lionell Atwill, Lauren Bacall, James Cagney (Including Archival Footage), Louis Calhern, Leo G. Carroll, William H. Daniels (Cinematography), Hugo Friedhofer (Composer), Lee Garmes (Cinematography), Porter Hall, Theresa Harris, Colin Kenny, Milton Krasner (Cinematography), Doris Lloyd, Peter Lorre, Jean Louis (Costume/Wardrobe), Daniel Mandell (Editor), Frank McLure, Ray Milland (Includes Archival Footage), Franklin Pangborn, John Qualan, Heinz Roemheld (Composer), Ving Rhames, Ginger Rogers, Spencer Tracy, Jean Claude Van Damme, Norma Varden,

Six Films: Edward Arnold (Includes Archival Footage), William Axt (Composer), Martin Balsam, William Bendix, Ingrid Bergman (Archival Footage Included), Wade Boteler, Walter Brennan, Robert Burks (Cinematography), Lon Chaney Jr., Spencer Charters, Claudette Colbert, Elisha Cook Jr, Gladys Cooper, Jeff Corey, Tom Cruise, Jack Dawn (Make-Up), William Demarest, IAL Diamond (Writer), Pat Flaherty, Leland Fuller (Production Design), Edward Gargan, Ernesto Gastaldi (Writer), Charles D. Hall (Production Design), Charles Halton, Leigh Harline (Composer), Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Holmes Herbert, William Holden, Edward Everett Horton, James Wong Howe (Cinematography), Rene Hubert (Costumes), John Huston (Director/Writer), Ray June (Cinematography), George Kennedy, Charles Lane,Joseph MacDonald (Cinematography), Strother Martin, Rudolph Maté (Cinematography/Director), Hattie McDaniel, Roddy McDowall (Archival Footage Included), Una Merkal, Nicholas Musuraca (Cinematography), Una O’Connor, Eugene Pallette, Gregory Peck, Edgar Allan Poe (Writer/Inspiration), Edmond O’Brien, Sig Ruman, Leon Shamroy (Cinematography), Barbara Steele, Harry Stradling Sr. (Cinematography), Frank Sullivan (Editor), Ted Tetzlaff (Cinematography), Geoffrey Unsworth (Cinematography), Joseph Walker (Cinematography), James Whale (Director), Victor Young (Composer), Florence Wix,

Five Films: Wesley Addy, Dana Andrews, Gertrude Astor, Irving Bacon, Frank Baker, John Barry (Composer), William Benedict, Charles Bennett (Writer), Elmer Bernstein (Composer), Billy Bevan, Fortunio Bonanova, Marlon Brando, Charles Bronson, George Chandler, Jimmy Conlin, Jack Conway (Director), Gary Cooper, Harry Cording, Marcel Dailo, Doris Day, Ann Doran, Mary Field, George J. Folsey (Cinematography), Glenn Ford, Wallace Ford, Stuart Freeborn (Make-Up), Dwight Frye, Oliver H.P. Garrett (Writer), Steven Geray, Charley Grapwin, Russell Harlan (Cinematography), Harry Hayden, Rita Hayworth, Bernard Herrmann (Composer), James Wong Howe (Cinematography), Samuel L. Jackson, Isabel Jewell, Henry Jones (Archival Footage Included), Roscoe Karns, Alan Ladd (Includes Archival Footage), Veronica Lake (Includes Archival Footage), Elsa Lanchester, Joseph LaShelle (Cinematography), Charles Laughton (Actor/Director/Includes Archival Footage), Christopher Lee (with Archive footage), Charles Lederer (Writer), John Litel, Louis R. Loeffler (Editor), Arthur Loft, Myrna Loy, Anita Loos (Writer), Barton MacLane, John Lee Mahin (Writer), Raymond Massey, Edwin Maxwell, Matt McHugh, Adolphe Menjou, Torben Meyer, Arthur C. Miller (Cinematography), Vicente Minnelli (Director), Thomas Mitchell, Robert Mitchum, Ennio Morricone (Composer), Barboura Morris, Alan Mowbray, Lionel Newman (Composer), Robert Emmett O’Connor, Moroni Olsen, Garry Owen, Reginald Owen, Nat Pendleton, Jack Pennick, Otto Perminger (Director), Walter Plunkett (Costumes), Sol Polito (Cinematography), William Powell, Tyrone Power, Andre Previn (Composer), Claude Rains, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter, George Robinson (Cinematography), Howard St. John, Jeff Sayre, Arthur P. Schmidt (Editor), John F. Seitz (Editor), Blanche Sewell (Editor), Jo Swerling (Writer), Dimitri Tiomkin (Composer), George Tomasini (Editor), Fred ‘Snowflake’ Toones, Jacques Tourneur (Director), Ellinor Vanderveer, Robert Warwick, John Wayne, Ferris Webster (Editor), Richard Widmark, John Williams (The Actor Not The Composer), Chill Wills, Robert Wise (Director/Editor/Sound Design),

Four Films: Frank Albertson, Murray Alper, John Alton (Cinematography/Director), Don Ameche, Morris Ankrum, Eve Arden, Dario Argento (Director/Writer), George Axelrod (Writer), Stuart Baird (Editor), George Bassman (Composer), George Barnes (Cinematograhy), Don Beddoe, Gordon Bau (Make-Up), Les Baxter (Composer), Ned Beatty, Louis Beavers, Brooks Benedict, Bruce Bennett, Marjorie Bennett, Charles Bernstein (Composer), Kent Beyda (Editor), Clara Blandick, Joan Blondell, Eric Blore, Rudy Bond, Beaulah Bondi, Charles Brackett, Egon Brecher, W.R. Burnett (Writer), Frank Capra (Director), Bernie Casey, Mae Clarke, James B. Clark (Editor), EE Clive, Ann Codee, Joyce Compton, Alec Craig, Laird Cregar, Floyd Crosby (Cinematography), Robert Cummings, Jack Curtis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Curtiz (Director), Jane Darwell, Harry Davenport, Ted De Corsia, Hubert De Givenchy (Costumes), Olivia De Havilland, Frank De Vol (Composer), Richard Deacon, Andy Devine, Adolph Deutsch (Composer), Robert Di Niro, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Dixon, Ruth Donnelly, Jay Dratler (Writer), Dan Duryea, Danny Elfman (Composer), Frank Ferguson, Victor Fleming (Director), John Ford (Director), Lance Fuller, Judy Garland, Jeff Goldblum, Mary Gordon, Lawrence Grant, Robert Grieg, Pam Grier, Charles B. Griffith (Writer), Moses Gunn, Karl Hajos (Composer), Sam Harris, Joan Harrison (Writer), Forrester Harvey, Paul Harvey, Gene Havlick (Editor), Friedrich Hollaender (Composer), Miriam Hopkins, Esther Howard, John Hoyt, Paul Hurst, Walter Huston, Olaf Hytten, George Irving, Howard Jackson (Composer), Carolyn Jones, Garson Kanin (Writer), Elia Kazan (Director/Actor), Grace Kelly, Guy Kibbee, Fred J. Koenekamp (Cinematography), Henry Kolker, Rudolph G. Kopp (Composer), Stanley Kubrick (Director/Writer/Producer), Ernest Laszlo (Cinematography), Philip H. Lathrop (Cinematography), Anna Lee, Ernest Lehman (Writer), William Levanway (Editor), Gene Lockhart, Otho Lovering (Editor), Dolph Lundgren, Ida Lupino, Fred MacMurray (Includes Archival Footage), Karl Malden, Johnny Mandell (Composer), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Writer), Fredric March, Owen Marks (Editor), Hugh Marlowe, Mae Marsh, Chris-Pin Martin, Joel McCrea, Russell Metty (Cinematographer), Hayley Mills, Grant Mitchell, Dickie Moore, Frank Morgan, Noel Neil, Daria Nicolodi, Robert Emmett O’Connor, Ann O’Neal, Anna Q. Nilsson, Jack Palance, Inez Palange, Lee Patrick, Simon Pegg, Dorothy Peterson, William Prince, Merrill Pye (Production Design), George Raft, David Raksin (Composer), Ivan Rassimov, Gene Raymond, May Robson, Hayden Rorke, Richard Roundtree, Joseph Ruttenberg (Cinematography), Hans J. Salter (Composer), Walter Sande, George Sanders, Erskine Sanford, Lalo Schifrin (Composer), Mario Serandrei (Editor), Harry Shannon, Ann Sheridan, Curt Siodmark (Writer), Frank Skinner (Composer), C. Aubrey Smith, Spring Byington, Barbara Stanwyck (Includes Archival Footage), Larry Steers, Donald Ogden Stewart (Writer), Lewis Stone, Woody Strode, Preston Sturges (Director/Writer), Donald Sutherland, Dub Taylor, Ubaldo Terzano (Cinematography), Gregg Toland (Cinematography), Franchot Tone, Robert Townsend, Dalton Trumbo (Writer), Edgar G. Ulmer (Director/Production Design/Costumes), Joseph A. Valentine (Cinematography), H.B. Warner, Paul Weatherwax (Editor), Richard Webb, Bud Westmore (Make-Up), Larry Wheat, Ernest Whitman, Sam Wood (Director), Will Wright, William Wyler, Jane Wyman, Kennan Wynn, Nedrick Young,

Three Films: Renié (Costumes), David Abel (Cinematography), Dorothy Adams, Robert Aldrich (Director), Henri Alekan, Kirk Alyn, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, Richard Anderson, Arthur A. Arling (Cinematography), Dorothy Arzner (Director), Fred Astaire, Jim Backus, Fay Bainter, Lucille Ball, George Bancroft, Bobby Barber, George Barbier, Don Barclay, Harry Barris, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Billy Barty, Albert Bassermann, Angela Bassett, Florence Bates, Louise Beavers, Wallace Beery, Lionel Belmore, Gregg Berger, Henry Berman (Editor), Ted Billings, Whit Bissell, Oliver Blake, Folmer Blangstad (Editor), Monte Blue, Sammy Blum, Sydney Boehm (Writer), Lilian Bond, Ernest Borgnine, Willis Bouchey, Charles Boyer, Neville Brand, Edward Bredell (Cinematography), George Brent, Felix Bressart, Al Bridge, Richard Brooks (Writer), Clarence Brown, Barbara Brown, Robert Brown, Tod Browning (Director), Sidney Buchman (Writer), Victor Buono, Billie Burke, Frederick Burton Tim Burton (Director/Art Design), Stephen H. Burum (Cinematographer), David Buttolph (Composer), Frank Cady, James M. Cain (Writer), Leonard Carey, Milton Carruth (Editor), Walter Catlett, Nora Cecil, Raymond Chandler (Novelist/Screenwriter), Don Cheadle, William Ching, Eduardo Ciannelli, Candy Clark, Matt Clark, Wallis Clark, Dora Clement, Ruth Clifford, Chester Clute, Tony Curtis, David Clyde, Emmett Cogan, Charles Coleman, Ray Collins, Chester Conklin, Sean Connery, Frank Conroy, Albert Conti, Ellen Corby, Maurice Costello, Joseph Cotton, George Coulouris, Hazel Court, Brian Cox, Jack E. Cox (Cinematohraphy), Charles Crichton (Director/Editor), John Cromwell (Director), Hume Cronyn, Bing Crosby, Henry Daniell, Linda Darnell, Delmer Daves (Writer), Geena Davis, Anthony Dawson, Robert De Grasse (Cinematography), Gustavo De Nardo, Brian De Palma (Director), Howard De Silva, Albert Dekker, Rob Delaney, William Demarest, Richard Denning, Harry Depp, Bruce Dern, Eddie Dew, Jacqueline DeWit, Jean Dixon, Richard Donner (Director), Kirk Douglas (Includes Archival Footage), Melvyn Douglas, Elspeth Dudgeon, George Duning (Composer), Robert Duvall,Julius and Philip Epstein (Writer), Leif Erickson, Edith Evanson, Tom Ewell, Antonio Fargas, William Faulkner (Writer), Adrienne Fazan (Editor), Don Fellows, Rebecca Ferguson, Giancarlo Ferrando (Conematography), Steve Fisher (Writer), Charles Fleischer, Ian Fleming (Novelist), Rhonda Fleming, John Fiedler, Hugh S. Fowler (Editor), Franco Fraticelli (Editor), Paul Frees, William Gargan, Beverly Garland, Spencer Garrett, Juan Gaspard, Bruce Geller (Writer), John George, Merritt B. Gerstad (Cinematography), Michael Giacchino (Composer), Stuart Gilmore (Editor), James Gleason, John Glover, Betty Grable, Gloria Grahme, Charles Gross Jr. (Editor), Clu Gulager, Edmund Gwenn, Sara Haden, Jean Hagen, Jonathon Hale, Murray Hamilton, Dashiel Hammett (Novelist), Mark Hanna (Writer), Gene Hackman, Cedric Hardwicke, Hugo Hass (Director/Writer/Actor), Sterling Hayden, John Michael Hayes (Writer), Margaret Hayes, Patrica Hayes, Jonathan Haze, John Heldabrand, Fay Helm, Tom Helmore, Darryl Hickman, Howard C. Hickman, Sidney Hickox (Cinematography), Jack Hill (Director), Paul Hirsh (Editor), Leyand Hodgson, Edmund Holding (Writer and Director), Tom Holland (Director/Writer), Tim Holt, John Houseman, Olin Howland, Kim Hunter, Brandon Hurst, Leila Hyams, Peter Hyams (Cinemtography/Director), Warren Hymer, Clifton James, Maurice Jarre (Composer), Allen Jenkins, Scarlett Johansson, Nunnally Johnson (Writer), Russell Johnson, Jeffrey Jones, Victor Julian, Reginald Gardiner, Bert Glennon (Cinematography), Mary Gordon, Roy Gordon, James Gregory, Goldie Hawn, Samuel Hoffenstein (Writer), Rock Hudson, Mama Hung, Garson Kanin, Bernhard Kaun (Composer), Elia Kazan (Director), Brian Keith, Cecil Kellaway, Barry Kelley, Mike Kellin, Gene Kelly, Tom Kennedy, June Kenney, Erle C. Kenton (Director), Hal C. Kern (Editor), Donald Kerr, Margot Kidder, Nicole Kidman, Aron Kincaid, Clarence Kolster (Editor), Alma Kruger, Jack Kruschen, Harry Kurnitz (Writer), Carole Landis, Priscilla Lane, Ring Lardner Jr., Marc Lawrence, Richard Lawson, Chris Lebenzon, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Louis Levy (Composer), Joseph H. Lewis (Director), John Lithgow, Lionel London (Cinematography), Herbert Lom, Ray Lovejoy (Editor), Warren Low, Michael Luciano (Editor), Sidney Lumet (Director), George Lynn, Donald MacBride, Matty Malneck (Composer), Marjorie Main, Wally Maher, Rouben Mamoulian (Director), Henry Mancini (Composer), Hank Mann, Frances Marion (Writer), Herbert Marshall, Archie Marshek (Editor), Grouco Marx, Lois Maxwell, Edwin Justus Mayer (Writer), Mike Mazurki, Leo McCarthy (Director/Writer), John McGiver, Ewen McGregor, Edward McNamara, Butterfly McQueen, Edward McWade, Harriet Medin, Beryl Mercer, John J. Mescall (Cinematography), John Miljin, Kristine Miller, Victor Milner (Cinematography), Dan Mindel (Cinematography), Michelle Monaghan, Jack Montgomery, Cleo Moore, Agnes Moorehead, Andre Morell, Adrian Morris, Charles R. Moore, Clarence Muse, J. Carroll Nash, James E. Newcom (Editor), William Newell, Alfred Newman (Composer), Jack Nicholson, Bruno Nicolai (Composer), Roberto Nicolosi (Composer), Marni Nixon, Alex North (Composer), Edgar Norton, Pat O’Brien, Maureen O’Hara, Frank Orth, Maria Ouspenskaya, Rick Overton, Frank Oz, Dorothy Parker (Writer), Elizabeth Patterson, Robert Paynter (Cinematography), Georges Perinal (Cinematography), Anthony Perkins, Nehemiah Persoff, Irving Pichel, Luciano Pigozzi, Franz Planer (Cinematography), Donald Pleasence, Christopher Plummer, John Posey, Dick Powell, Denver Pyle, Margot Robbie, Samson Raphaelson (Writer), Gregory Ratoff, John Ratzenberger, Paula Raymond, Jeremy Renner, Leoda Richards, John Ridgely, Massimo Righi, Roy Roberts, William Roberts (Writer), Hugh A. Robertson (Editor), Howard Emmett Rogers (Writer), Donald R. Rondell, Deep Roy, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Carlo Rustichelli, Tim Ryan, Waldo Salt (Writer), Telly Savalas, Joe Sawyer, Sauro Scavolini (Writer), Palo Schifrin (Composer), Gus Schilling, Lizabeth Scott, Jean Seberg, Ralph Von Seyffertitz, Dan Seymour, Stanley Shapiro (Writer), Anita Sharp-Bolster, Jack Sholder (Director/Editor), Howard Shore (Composer), Leo Shunken (Composer), Henry Silva, Jay Silverheels, Alan Silvestre (Composer), Robert L. Simpson, Russell Simpson, Frank Sinatra, Andrew Solt (Writer), Leonard Spigelgass (Writer), Sylvester Stallone, Terrance Stamp, Lionel Stander, Wyndham Standing, Rod Steiger, Ronald Stein (Composer), Henry Stephenson, Josef Von Sternberg (Director), George Stevens (Director), Patrick Stewart, George E. Stone, Harold J. Stone, Herbert Stothart (Composer), Glenn Strange, Julius Tannen, Frank Tashlin (Director and Writer), Holland Taylor, Philip Tonge, Regis Toomey, Leo Tover (Cinematography), Eijiro Tono, Arthur Tovey, William Tracy, Henry Travers, Claire Trevor, Burnell Tucker, Brian Tyler (Composer), Tom Tyler, Alida Valli, Lee Van Cleef, John Vernon (includes Archival Footage), Bruno VeSota (Actor/Writer), Christopher Walken, Helen Walker, Walter Walker, Eli Wallach, Benjamin Wallfisch (Composer), Raoul Walsh (Director), Edward Ward (Composer), Rachel Ward, David Wayne, Damon Waynes, Mel Welles, Pat West, O.Z. Whitehead, Cornel Wilde, John Williams (Composer), Bruce Willis, Shelley Winters, Ian Wolfe, John Wray, Junkie XL (Composer), Christopher Young (Composer), Robert Young, William H. Zeigler,

Two Films: Ann-Margret, Walter Abel, JJ Abrams (Director/Writer), Enrique Acosta, Eddie Acuff, Edie Adams, Brooke Adams, Eddie Albert, John Alcott (Cinematography), Fred Aldrich, Scott Alexander (Writer), Maxine Alexandre (Cinematography), Nancy Allen, Sara Allgood, Robert Altman (Director), Leon Ames, Arthur Anderson, Mary Anderson, Judith Anderson, Stanley Andrews, Heather Angel, Edward Anhalt (Writer), Evelyn Ankers, Franesca Annis, George Antheil (Composer), Maurice Argent, David Arkin, Jean Arthur, Roscoe Ates, Edith Atwater, Rene Auberjonois, Mischa Auer, Georges Auric (Composer), Leah Ayers, Dan Aykroyd (Actor/Writer), Lew Ayres, Diane Baker, Joe Don Baker, Lynn Baggett, Raymond Bailey, Alec Baldwin, Ann Bancroft, Tallulah Bankhead, Elizabeth Banks (Actor/Director/Writer), Raymond J. Barry, George Barton, Walter Bason, Jacob Batalon, Tyler Bates (Composer), Hubert Bath (Composer), L. Frank Baum (Novelist), David Baxt, Anne Baxter, Barbara Bel Geddes, Janet Beecher, Ed Begley, Hank Bell, James Bell, Marco Beltrami (Composer), Robert Benchley, Annette Bening, Robert Russell Bennet (Composer), Sally Benson (Writer), Daniel Bernhardt, James Best, Clem Bevans, Roger Beverly, Lynette Bernay, Alberto Bevilacqua (Writer), A.I. Bezzerides (writer), Charles Bickford, Theodore Bikel, Peter Billingsley, Herman Bing, Robert Bischoff, Folmer Blangsted (Editor), Ann Blythe, Maryann Brandon (Editor), Steve Brodie, Ole Bratt Birkeland (Writer), Joseph F. Biroc (Cinematography), Jacqueline Bisset, Larry J. Blake, Ronee Blakely, Betty Blythe, George Boemler (Editor), Beaulah Bondi, Mark Boone Jr, Nancy Borgenicht, Matthew Boulton, George Bowers (Editor), George Bowler (Editor), Lee Bowman, William Boyd, Lovyss Bradly, Leigh Brackett (writer), Charles Bradshaw (Composer), Jocelyn Brando, Maryann Brandon (Editor), Elwood Bredell (Cinematography), David Bretherton (Editor), Helen Broderick, Norbert Brodine (Cinematography), Adam Brody, James Brolin, Hilary Brooke, Leslie Brooks, Charles D. Brown, Peter Brown, Mae Bruce, Nigel Bruce, Horst Buchholz, Jan Buckingham, Joe Burke, Raymond Burr, Norman Burton, Tony Burton, Francis X. Bushman Jr., W.R. Burnett (Writer),Dan Butler, James Caan, Susan Cabot, John Call, Malcolm Campbell (Editor), Charles Cane, Truman Capote (Writer), Jack Cardiff (Cinematography), Hoagy Carmichael, Morris Carnovsky, Jack Carr, Anthony Carras (Editor), Lynn Cartwright, Antony Caruso, Claire Carleton, John Carpenter (Director/Writer/Composer/Editor), Maeline Carroll, Frances Carson, Jay Cassidy (Editor), William Castle (Director), Wheaton Chamers, Park Chan-wook (Director/Writer), George Chandler, Edward Chapman, Lilyan Chauvin, Lita Chevret, Agatha Christie (Novelist/Stage Writer), Ken Christy, Chung Chung-hoon (Cinematography), Al Clark (Editor), Bob Clark (Director/Writer), Fred Clark, James B. Clark (Editor), Marlene Clark, Mae Clarke, Curtiss Clayton (Editor), John Cleese, Colin Clive, Anne V. Coates (Editor), Lee J. Cobb, James Coburn, Lenore J. Coffee, Larry Cohen (Director/Writer), Tom Coleman, Heine Conklin, Constance Collier, William Collier Jr., Derek Connolly (Writer), Walter Connolly, Richard Conte, Russ Conway, Tom Conway, Donald Cook, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Cooper, Jeane Cooper, Melville Cooper, Maxine Cooper, Tex Cooper, Wendell Corey, Valentina Cortese, Stanley Cortez (Cinematography), Mariclae Costello, Jospeh Cotton, Mickey Cottrell, Inez Courtney, Jerome Cowan, Tony Cox, James Craig, Donald Crisp, David Cronenberg (Director/Actor), Edward Cronjager (Cinematography), Billy Crudup, Peggy Cummins, Edward Curtis, Sidney Cutner (Composer), Charles Cyphers, Henry Czerny, Howard Da Silva, Mark Dacascos, Willen Dafoe, Royal Dano, Joe Dante, Sonia Darrin, William B. Davidson, William Davis, Laraine Day, Jules Dassin (Director), Jean De Briac, Buck DeMaggio (Editor), Andre De Toth, Viña Delmar (Writer), Nick Dennis, Reginald Denny, Danny DeVito, Brad Dextor, Khigh Dhiegh, Dante DiPaolo, Dick Dickinson, Robert Emmett Dolan (Composer), Arturo Dominici, Pino Donaggio (Composer), Illeana Douglas, Sarah Douglas, Doris Dowling, Cathy Downs, Robert Downey Jr., Betsy Drake (Actor/Writer), Bob Ducsay (Editor), Howard Duff, Tommy Duggan, Margaret Dumont, Faye Dunaway, Paul Dunlap (Editor), Emma Dunn, Michael J. Duthie (Editor), Shelley Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Blaoe Edwards (Director), James Edwards, Robert S. Eisen (Editor), Jack Elam, John Eldridge, James Ellison, Isobel Elsom, John Emery, Fern Emmett, Emilio Estevez, Estelle Etterre, Chris Evans, Rex Evans, Daniel L. Fapp (Cinematorgraphy), Francis Edward Faragoh (Writer), Dennis Farina, Colin Farrell, Nat Faxon, Rudi Fehr (Editor), Edwige Fenech, Gabriele Ferzetti, Betty Field, Verna Fields (Editor), David Fincher (director), Laurence Fishburne, Barry Fitzgerald, Paul Fix, Joe Flood, Elizabeth Flourney, George Buck Flower, Nina Foch, George J. Foley (Cinematography), Marcello Fondato (Writer), Joan Fontaine, John Taintor Foote (Writer), Luis Forbes (Composer), Mary Forbes, Francis Ford, Gleen Ford, Sally Forrest, Robert Forster, Romana Fortini (Editor), Byron Foulger, Almeda Fowler, Marjorie Fowler (Editor), Michael J. Fox, Anne Francis, Scott Frank (Writer), Benjamin Franke (Composer), Christopher Franke (Composer), John Frankenheimer (Director), Bert Freed, Helen Freeman, Charles Frend (Editor), Gerald Fried (Composer), Samuel Fuller (Writer/Director/Cinematography), Edward Furlong, Richard Gallagher, Lowell Ganz, Ava Gardner (Includes Archival Footage), Tay Garnett (Director), John Gavin, Ernest L. Glesey (Writer), Gladys George, Frank Gerstle, John Gieguld, Billy Gilbert, Tom Gilmore, Vaughan Glaser, Ned Glass, Scott Glenn, Willis Goldbeck (Writer), Mark Goldblatt (Editor), William Goldenberg (Editor), Jerry Goldsmith (Composer), Lisa Golm, Minna Gomball, Thomas Gomez, Eiza Gonzalez, Gavin Gordon, Gordon and Mildred Gordon (Writers), Ruth Gordon (Writer), Marius Goring, Walter Gotell, Elliot Gould, David Goyer (Writer), Richard E. Grant, Colleen Gray, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nigel Green, Clarence Greene (Writer), Grahme Greene (Writer), W. Howard Greene (Cinematography), Sydney Greenstreet, Ethel Griffies, Kathy Griffin, Greg Grunberg, Harry Guardino, Burnett Guffey (Cinematography), Luis Guzman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Greta Gynt, Robert Haines, Alan Hale, Jack Haley, Victor Halperin (Director), Eddie Hamilton (Editor), Margaret Hamilton, William Hamilton (Editor), Nicholas Hammond, Lumsden Hare, W. Franke Harling (Composer), Rand Harper, Doane Harris (Editor), Julie Harris, Marilyn Harris, Sean Harris, Rex Harrison, Henry Hathaway (Director), Rutger Hauer, Martha Hayer, Allison Hayes, Eileen Heckart, Dan Hedaya, Robert Helpmann, David Hemmings, Paul Henning (Writer), Lance Henrickson, Brian Tyree Henry, Buck Henry, Michael Herz (Director), Werner R. Heymann (Composer), Remy Hii, Walter Hill (Director/Writer), Brent Hinkley, Hsiao Ho, Monckton Hodge (Writer), Christina Hodson (Writer), Kristin Holby, Henry Holding, Hope Holiday, Judy Holliday, Earl Holliman, John Hollis, Celeste Holm, Jack Holt, Mark Holton, Oskar Homolka, Anthony Hopkins, Bo Hopkins, Kenyon Hopkins (Composer), Dennis Hopper (Archival Footage), Hedda Hopper, Lena Horne, James Horner (Composer), Djimon Hounsou, Leslie Howard, Ron Howard (Director/Actor), Rochelle Hudson, Ken Hughes (Director), Frank E. Hull (Editor), Henry Hull, Alan Hume (Cinematography), Chiu Hung, Holly Hunter, Wilifred Hyde-White, Eugene Iglesias, Rex Ingram, Michael Ironside, Robert Ito, Paul Ivano (Cinematography), Brion James, Gladden James, Elton John (Singer/Actor), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dean Jones, Jennifer Jones, Freddie Jones, Grace Jones, Darwin Joston, Nathan H. Juran (Director/Writer), Lampros Kalfuntzos, MacKinley Kantor (Writer), Bronislau Kaper (Composer), Larry Karaszewski (Writer), Boris Kaufman (Cinematography), Lloyd Kaufman (Director/Writer), Edward Keane, Camille Keaton, Michael Keaton, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Kelly (Archival Footage Included), Steven Kemper (Editor), Arthur Kennedy, Ken Kercheval, Jerome Kern (Composer), Deborah Kerr, Frederick Kerr, Charles Kevin (Composer), Evelyn Keyes, Gary B. Kibbe (Cinematography), Udo Kier, Richard Kiley, Patrick Kilpatrick, Aton Kincaid, Tony King, Leonid Kinsky, Vanessa Kirby, Werner Klemperer, Bernard Knowles (Cinematography), Patric Knowles, Clarence Kolb, Carl Kress (Editor), Otto Krueger, Jack Kruschen, Sho Kosugi, Nancy Kyes, John La Mesurier, Jack La Rue, Hedy Lamarr, David Landau, Martin Landau, John Landis (Director), Gleen Langan, Jessica Lange, Lisa Langlois, Bobby Larson, Sydney Lassick, John Latch, John Laurie, Piper Laurie, Gabriele Lavia, Viola Lawrence (Editor), Jeni Le Gon, William Leanway (Cinematography), Sam Leavitt (Cinematography), James A. Lebovitz (Cinematographer), Raymond Lebotiz (Editor), Vivien Leigh, Mitchell Leisen (Director), Virgina Leith, Kasi Lemmons, Richard LeParmentier, Alan Jey Lerner (Writer), Joan Leslie, Mark L. Lester (Director/Writer), Henri Letondal, Oscar Levant (Actor/Composer), Benn W. Levy (Writer), Ben Lewis (Editor), Harry Lewis, Sophia Lillis, Howard Lindsay (Writer), Margaret Lindsay, Anatoly Litvek (Director), Desmond Llewellyn, George Lloyd, Carol Locatell, Louis R. Loeffler (Editor), Donal Logue, Gina Lollobrigida, Frank Lovejoy, Edward T. Lowe Jr., Paul Lukas, Carl Lumbly, James Luisi, George Lynn, William A. Lyon (Editor), Derek Lyons, George Burr Macannan, Ranald MacDougall (Writer), Robert MacLeod, Ben Maddow, Michael Madsen, Richard Maibaum (Writer), Marini Malfatti, Albert Maltz (Writer), Babaloo Mandel (Writer), Herman J. Mankiewicz (writer), Tom Mankiewicz (Writer), Jayne Mansfield, Richard Marcus, Antonio Margheriti (Director), Lisa Marie, Michael Mark, Mary Jo Markey (Editor), J. Peverell Marley (Cinematography), Eddie Marsan, E. G. Marshall, Jaeden Martell, Lee Marvin, Marino Mase, Jean Marsh, Oliver T. Marsh, Tully Marshall, Alphonse Martell, Helen Martin, Steve Martin (Actor/Writer), Arthur Martinelli (Cinematography), Lucien Martini (Writer), Sergio Martino (Director), Marx Bros (Chico and Harpo), James Mason, John Mathieson (Cinematography), Walter Matthau, Victor Mature, James McAvoy, Kevin McCarthy, Marc McClure, Ted McCord (Cinematography), Patty McCormack (Archival Footage Included), Joel McCrea, Frances McDonald, John D. McDonald (Writer), John McIntire, Horace McMahon, Christopher McQuarrie (Director/Writer), Margaret McWade, James Kevin McGuinness (Writer), Kate McKinnon, Edward Meade, Donald Meek, Ben Mendelsohn, Heather Menzies, William Cameron Menzies (Director/Production Design)Gary Merrill, Emile Meyer, Thomas Middleditch, Toshiro Mifune, Vera Miles, Gene Milford (Editor), John Milius (Writer), David Miller (Director), Lee Miller, Belle Mitchell, Cameron Mitchell, Howard M. Mitchell, Laurie Mitchell, John Mitchum, Hayao Miyazaki (Director/Writer), Ricardo Montalban, Alvy Moore, Juanita Moore, Victor Moore, Baboura Morris, Patricia Morrow, Arthur Morton (Composer), Elizabeth Moss, Dermot Mulroney, Eddie Murphy, Michael Murphy, Reggie Nalder, Nieves Nararro (aka Susan Scott), Alan Napier, Charles Napier, Mario Nascimbene (Composer), Howard Negley, Leslie Nielson (Archival Footage), Shawn Nelson, Cathleen Nesbitt, Dorothy Neumann, Alfred Newman (Composer), David and Leslie Newman (Writers), Dudley Nichols (Writer), Leonard Nimoy, David Niven, Jeanette Nolan, Tom Noonan, Kim Novak, Philip Noyce (Director), Joseph Nussbaum (Composer), Christian Nyby (Editor), Lupita Nyong’o, William H. O’Brien, Kevin O’Conner, Martha O’Driscoll, Jack O’Halloran, Ryan O’Neal, Mika Orasmaa (Cinematography), Arthur O’Connell, Barbara O’Neil, Ed O’Ross, Oscar O’Shea, Ben Oakland (Composer), Ian Ogilvy, Ken Olandt, Laurence Olivier, Merritt Olsen, Nancy Olson, Vivienne Osbourne, Frank Otto, Ernest Pagano (Wroter), Riccardo Pallottini (Cinematography), Gwenyth Paltrow, Chris Pang, Sarah Jessica Parker, Charles Paton, Cheng Pei-Pei, Wolfgang Petersen, Valerie Perrine, Frank V. Philips (Cinematography), Joaquin Phoenix, Jack P. Pierce (Writer), Ania Pieroni, Brad Pitt, Edward Platt, Oscar Polk, Roy Poole, Bill Pope (Cinematography), Albert Popwell, Natalie Portman, Victor Potel, Michael Powell (Director/Writer), Dinny Powell, Tilo Prücknker, Mario Puzzo (Writer), Anthony Quayle, Milo Quesdada, Eddie Quinlin, John Sayles (Writer), Giuliani Raffaelli, Umberto Raho, Jane Randolph, John Randolph, Jean Ransome, Basil Rathbone, Aldo Ray, Nicholas Ray (Director/Writer), Robert Redford, Vanessa Redgrave, Manning Redwood, Alan Reed, Oliver Reed, Christopher Reeve, George Reeves, Keanu Reeves (Archival Footage), Elizabeth Reinhardt (Writer), Lee Remick, Frano Ressel, Alma Reville (Writer), Marjorie Reynolds, Ryan Reynolds, William Reynolds (Editor), Leoda Richards, Thomas Richards (Editor), Ralph Richardson, Stanley Ridges, Shane Rimmer, Antonio Rinaldi (Cinematography), Elizabeth Risdon, Beatrice Roberts, Leona Roberts, Edward G. Robinson, Mark Robson (Writer), William Roerick, Clayton Rohner, Owen Roizman (Cinematography), Greg Roland (Cinematography), Lawernce Roman (Writer), Micheal Rooker, Mickey Rooney, Harry Rosenthal, Angelo Rossitto, Ellyn Rosyln, Mickey Rourke, Russell Rouse (Writer), Charles Ruggles, Wesley Ruggles (Director), John Rusell, John L. Russell (Cinematography), Keri Russell, Rosalind Russell, Edmon Ryan, Robert Ryan, Morrie Ryskind (Writer), Howard St. John, Chris Sarandon, Oscar Saul (Writer), John Saxon, John CW Saxton (Writer), William Schaller, Maximilian Schell, Evan Schiff (Editor), Russel F. Schoengarth (Editor), Joseph Schrank (Writer), Eugen Schufftan (Cinematography), Ben Schwartz, Zachary Scott, George Seaton (Director/Writer), Jean Seberg, George Segal, William A. Seiter (Director), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Writer), Mario Serendrei (Editor), Leo Shaken (Composer), Joan Shawlee, William Shea (Editor), Martin Sheen, Reginald Sheffield, Lawrence Sher (Cinematography), Ann Sheridan, Robert Sherwood, David Shire (Composer), Tony Sibbald, Don Siegal (Actor/Director), Jean Simmons, Tom Skerritt, Carl Sklover, Tess Slesinger (Writer), Walter Slezak, Everett Sloane, Brooke Smith, Charles Martin Smith, Dan Snow, Drew Snyder, Vladimir Sokoloff, Suzanne Somers, Alberto Spagnoli (Cinematography), Ned Sparks, Dorothy Spencer (Editor), Douglas Spencer, Harry Dean Stanton, Helene Stanton, Benito Stefanelli, John Steinbeck (Writer), John Steiner, Naomi Stevens, Onslow Stevens, Kisten Stewart, Nick Stewart, Paul Stewart, Sofie Stewart, Ludwig Stössel, David Strathairn, Randy Stuart, Harry Stubbs, John Sturges (Director), Grady Sutton, Seijun Suzuki (Director), Joseph Sweeney, David Swift (Director/Writer), Robert Swink, Ben Taggert, Isao Tamagawa, Russ Tamblyn, Daniel Taradish (Writer), Ron Tarr, Ada and Arlene Tau, Dwight Taylor, Libby Taylor, Samuel A. Taylor (Writer), Lewis Teague (Director), Lew Temple, Fabio Testi, Thorin Thatcher, Harvey F. Thew (Writer), J. Lee Thompson (Director), Marshall Thompson, Walter Thompson (Editor), Sven-Ole Thorsen, Pamela Tiffin, Philip Tinge, George Tobias, Marisa Tomei, Franchot Tone, Robert Towne (Writer), John Tourette, Lee Tracy, Emerson Treacy, Lana Turner (Includes Archival Footage), Brenda Vaccaro, John Van Druten (Writer), Virgina Van Upp (Writer), Evelyn Varden, Conrad Veidt, John Vernon (Archival Footage Included), Martha Vickers, Yvette Vickers, Henry Victor, Herb Vigran, Jon Voight, George Voskovec, Christian Wagner (Editor), Robert Wagner, Sidney Wagner (Cinematography), Raymond Walburn, Bill Walker, Robert Walker, Tracey Walter, Cotton Warburton (Editor), Anthony Warde, David Warner, Theron Warth (Editor), Gedde Watanabe, Ken Watanbe, Lucille Watson, Keenan Ivory Waynes (Actor, Writer, and/or Director), Clifton Webb, Robert Webber, Ferris Webster (Editor), Paul Weigel, Tuesday Weld, William A. Wellman (Director/Writer), David Weisberg (Editor), Orson Welles (Actor, Writer, Director), HG Wells (Writer), Howard Wendell, Mae West (Actor/Writer), Martin West, James Westerfield, Bill Weston, Garnett Weston (Writer), Christine White, Jesse White, Merrill G. White (Editor), Forest Whitiker, James Whitmore, Dame May Whitty, Patrick Whyte, Henry Wilcoxon, Harry J. Wild (Cinematography), Hagar Wilde, Kathleen Wilhoite, Rhys Williams, Robert Williams, Laureen Willoughby, Clarence Wilson, Dooley Wilson, Marie Windsor, Robert Winkler, Isabel Withers, Googie Withers, John Woo, Donald Woods, Teresa Wright, Margaret Wycherly, George Worthin Yates (Writer), Bolo Yeung, Philip Yordan (Writer), Michael York, Clifton Young, Gig Young, Mary Young, Susannah York, Hans Zimmer (Composer), Carl Zittrer (Composer)

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

29 Days of Film in February-Week 4

February 22nd-Susan Slept Here from 1954 (Director: Frank Tashlin, Writers: Steve Fisher & Alex Gottlieb, Stars: Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds, Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca, Runtime: 98 mins)

Being sick sucks. It made watching MASH unbearable. Made this film feel longer than it was. That said, I enjoyed this deeply dated and problematic Frank Tashlin picture about a young woman who becomes a bride to an older writer who just wants to help her avoid jail. Seems weird right? Well, these vice cops drag a juvenile named Susan to the apartment of writer Mark Christopher. They know he wants to work on a script about juvenile delinquency but also don’t want to book Susan over Christmas. Marks against it but he gets to know Susan and her story and thinks, she needs help. So he goes into what he thinks is a faux marriage that will be annulled eventually and he will help support her. However Susan is actually “in love with him.”

Mark is 35 and 18 years older then Susan, played by the 50 year old Dick Powell. Susan, 17, played by then 22 year old Debbie Reynolds. That’s 28 years. Its a bit much. However Debbie’s captivating performance really sales the film. Without her I think this would falter. Well, it helps when you have Frank Tashlin. The former animator turned film director uses a great range of color and pop art. The wardrobe and set design pop out so much. The film wisely brings up how its all a bad idea with some of the supporting players. All doing a good job but this is Reynolds and Tashlins picture.

Okay, Dick Powell is good. He has a good back and forth with Reynolds. Still, such a weird story you can’t do anymore. I had plan to do a Tashlin double feature but being sick I stuck to just this.

[Trailer]

CLAUDETTE COLBERT DOUBLE FEATURE: February 23rd-Midnight from 1939 (Director: Mitchell Leisen, Writers: Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder based on a story by Edwin Justus Mayer and Franz Schulz, Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer, Mary Astor, and Elaine Barrie, Cinematography: Charles Lang, Runtime: 94 mins)

Thunder on the Hill from 1951 (Director: Douglas Sirk, Writers: Oscar Saul, Andrew Solt, based on the play Bonaventure by Charlotte Hastings, Stars: Claudette Colbert and Ann Blyth with Robert Douglas, Gladys Cooper, Michael Pate, John Abbott and Norma Varden, Cinematography: William H. Daniels, Runtime: 84 mins)

Still sick, not as bad but the stomach doesn’t like me. Watched these two Claudette Colbert movies. They were fine. I like Claudette, such a lovely actress. Midnight is a screwball comedy with several good performances but I never really felt it was funny outside a few scenes. Still, Don Ameche and John Barrymore are very good alongside Colbert. Mary Astor feels wasted though. Midnight is a dramatic piece with wonderful photography and a good noirish drama. Though it was not a standout in any way.

[Midnight Trailer / Thunder on the Hill Trailer]

Cabaret from 1972 (Director: Bob Fosse, Writers: Jay Allen and Based on Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, I Am a Camera by John Van Druten and Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, Stars: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey, Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth, Runtime: 124 mins)

Need to clean up the DVR so I watched this classic film. A British academic and writer named Brian Roberts arrives in Berlin in 1931, rents a room at a boarding house where Cabaret dancer and aspiring actress Sally Bowles lives. They become friends and eventually lovers. Roberts teaches English, a couple of his students get involved. Roberts and Bowles get involved with a rich playboy baron. The rise of Nazi party in this depressing film.

Look, I hope Sally gets out of there. I hope the married Jewish couple use the wifes money to flee the country. Roberts left toward the end. Seriously, fuck Nazis. As for the film, its really good. It has a simple, elegant style to it. The staging of the performances-both musical and acting-are incredibly well done. All the scenes inside the kit kat club are dazzling. The scenes with the Baron at the estate are glamorous. Liza Minnelli and Michael York performances are fantastic. So much energy there. Everyone is good but those two are fantastic.

Well, that’s all I got to say. 4 stars.

[Trailer]

Beneath the Planet of the Apes from 1970 (Director: Ted Post, Writers: Paul Dehn, Stars: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, Linda Harrison, and features Charlton Heston, Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner, Runtime: 95 mins)

This was a garbage sequel.

[Trailer]

Seven from 1995 (Director: David Fincher, Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker, Stars: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow, Cinematography: Darius Khondji, Runtime: 127 mins)

Finchers second film and first major hit has two mismatched partners tracking a serial killer who is basing his murders on the seven sins with a little Dantes Inferno thrown in. Mills is the new guy who moved to the city with his wife and Somerset is the retiring detective who has had enough of the life.

I rewatched the film because I listened to the Faculty of Horror episode. I had decided not to rewatch it before hand, didn’t think I needed to. It had been over a decade since I seen the film and figured I remembered enough. The podcast made me put it in and take another look. There were the things I did remember but I forgot a lot. Like the tension between Mills and Somerset at the start, the line up of the first few murders. The chase scene was an amazing piece of work on this watch through.

I don’t think of myself as a Fincher fan really. I didn’t get the love for Social Network and thought his version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was quite disappointing. Plus Benjamin Button is so damn boring. But I do kinda like Alien 3 and Zodiac is an excellent film. So I guess I find him hit and miss. I enjoyed rewatching the film. Enjoyed Freeman and Pitts performances. Spaceys good too but fuck that guy. Allegedly.

[Trailer]

1941 DOUBLE FEATURE: February 25th-Moon Over Miami from 1941 (Director: Walter Lang, Writers: Many, Stars: Betty Grable and Don Ameche, Cinematography: Various, Runtime: 91 mins)

Blues In the Night from 1941 (Director: Anatole Litvak, Writers: Robert Rossen and Based on the play Hot Nocturne by Edwin Gilbert, Stars: Priscilla Lane, Richard Whorf, Betty Field, Lloyd Nolan, Elia Kazan, and Jack Carson, Cinematography: Ernest Haller, Runtime: 88 mins)

A pair of 1941 musicals. One about marrying millionaire. Another about playing in a band dine in the noir style. Both okay. I probably could write about Blues In The Night more but I don’t feel like it. Sorry.

[Moon Over Miami Performance / Blues In The Night Trailer]

Zombeavers from 2015 (Director: Jordan Rubin, Writers: Al Kaplan, Jordan Rubin, and Jon Kaplan, Stars: Rachel Melvin, Hutch Dano, Cortney Palm and Lexi Atkins, Cinematography: Jonathan Hall, Runtime: 77 mins)

Watched this for Horror Queers podcast. The film looks better than it should. Half the jokes land. Zombeavers looked silly. It was fun but I think I would have preferred to see this with a crowd.

[Trailer]

February 25th-Cactus Flower from 1969 (Director: Gene Saks, Writers: I. A. L. Diamond and Based on story by Abe Burrows, Stars: Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn, Cinematography: Charles Lang, Runtime: 103 mins)

The story of a beautiful young woman named Toni who is in love with a married older man named who is not married. When Toni attempts suicide Julian decides it time to marry but now he has to prove his phoney marriage. He convinces his secretary to pose as the wife. The secretary, Stephanie, has long had a crush on her boss. There is also Igor, Tonis neighbor. Shenanigans!

Goldie Hawn is very good, but Ingrid Bergman is fucking fantastic. Hawn won a supporting Oscar, Bergman got thing. She is amazing balancing light comedy and drama. From her tough and organized nurse to the hurt she has when she finds out her bosses scheme to the. Ink! The response to getting mink was amazing. She is beautiful and fantastic. She deserves better, as many romantic comedies the women may not get better. Though I guess she got what she wanted-Walter Matthau.

Walter is good as the jerk. He does have quite a bit of chemistry with Ingrid, and the way he plays everything balances what the film plays out. I don’t think he and Goldie Hawn are a good match but its amusing to see them. Moreso with Igor, adding some nice touches of comedy. Rick Lenz is great in his supporting role, lots of good supporting players. Goldie Hawn is really good as Toni. Pretty, naive, optimistic.

The films look is simple, almost play like with its limited sets. It is staged well and plays out well. Not flashy or stylistic but sets and wardrobe are great. Sort of then vs now in a number of places. I can’t believe I was thinking of delaying this further.

[Trailer]

February 28th-Invisible Man from 2020 (Director/Writer: Leigh Whannell, Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid and Harriet Dyer, Cinematography: Stefan Duscio, Runtime: 125 mins)

The Invisible Man reboot that was not originally planned. However after Mummy did not perform up to planned standards and things went screeching to a halt. Enter Leigh Whannell who brings a #metoo edge to the classic story at a time that’s even more serendipitous with Harvey Weinstein going to jail.

Adrian Griffin is still the invisible man and still a crazy person. This time its not the invisibility driving him mad. Its his need to control his girlfriend Cecilia who leaves him. He fakes his death, leaves her a fortune, then starts fucking with her leading up to murder. Things become more difficult when Cecilia discovers she is pregnant.

Elizabeth Moss gives a strong performance. Very classic horror film scenario woman going from terrified to motivated and powerful. She looks a mess through out the gaslighting and the reactions to everything going on is a wonder. She’s joined by wonderful Aldis Hodge and Storm Reid. They’re playing what could be weak supporting parts but give such earnest performance to elevate them. Aldis as a cop and father helping Cecilia with Storm as the daughter. Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays Griffin and is not much in the film but his big scenes have him, well, creepy. He feels like a creep. Michael Dorman as the brother also turns in quite a performance.

The film has a slick thriller look to it. A shine that would look to slick in other horror films but this ones use of technology lets it work. The action and violence are effective. As are the effects. While not groundbreaking as the original film, it still has a fee fantastic scenes showcasing the invisible asshole. Plus props on the twist. I was worried it was going to go anti-climactic but it came out with a satisfying ending.

[Trailer]

INSTITUTIONALIZED DOUBLE FEATURE: February 29th-Shock Corridor from 1963 (Director/Writer: Samuel Fuller, Stars: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans and James Best, Cinematography: Stanley Cortez, Runtime: 101 mins)

Lilith from 1964 (Director/Writer: Robert Rossen and Based on story by J. R. Salamanca, Stars: Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg, Cinematography: Eugen Schüfftan, Runtime: 114 mins)

Ended the month on a pair of whimpers.

[Shock Corridor Trailer / Lilith Trailer]

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

29 Days of Film in February-Week 3

Saturday-Friday

February 15th-Red Shoes from 1948 (Directors: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Writers: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Keith Winter and Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, Stars: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, and Marius Goring, Cinematography: Jack Cardiff, Runtime: 134 mins)

Famous British film about ballet. It was good. Great dancing, beautiful and vibrant colors. Yet, I didn’t much care about the characters and their drama though the performances of the three leads were strong. Still, objectionably speaking, it was very good.

[Trailer]

February 16th-Sonic the Hedgehog from 2020 (Director: Jeff Fowler, Writers: Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, Oren Uziel with Story by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller, Stars: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey and James Marsden, Cinematography: Stephen F. Windon, Runtime: mins)

Video game movies are tough. For some reason its a fifty fifty split between bad and decent or better. Sonic lands in the latter. A string of decent video game movies have hit in the recent years with Rampage and Detective Pikachu. So has Hollywood hit a corner? Not really. Still a ways to go before they get that sweet spot of fan popularity, critical success and big numbers. Sonic has got one of those (fan support) and might get a second (doing really well) but its still a long road for video game adaptations as many studios put “filmmakers crafting a story they like that appeals to nonfans” above “using iconography and action that the built in fanbase want to see.” Looking at you Tomb Raider 2018, hope the sequel corrects course.

Sonic doesn’t spend a lot of time with its mythology in part because original Sonic did not have a deep story. Sonic has powers, fled from his planet because his power attract bad attention, and has made the small city of Green Hills, Montana (fictional city with Green Hills getting its name from the first stage of the original game). Transport between worlds due to powerful rings, which look like the rings you collect in the games. Sonic is a city myth, has spied on the cities inhabitants and learned of them though he is lonely. When he uses his powers super charged after a sad moment he creates a black out which attracts attention. Enter Dr. Robotnik and also Tom the Donut-Lord. Toms the local sheriff who has to help Sonic. Adventure ensues.

Its fun. Jim Carrey is 90s Jim dialed down for PG audiences as Dr. Robotnik. The right kind of villain for a childrens movie because he is a favorite of my generation and understands how to play to young audiences. James Marsden has done a similar role before and is a reliable performer shifting between light comedy and drama. Tika Sumpter is someone who I am not familiar with but she plays well as Marsden’s wife in her scenes and they have good chemistry. Which translates to Sonic as well in their even fewer scenes. Ben Schwartz is the perfect voice for Sonic, being able to be fun while also expressing sadness. He does it on the current Ducktales, he does it here. Its a solid cast and the script gets what people want to see from Sonic. Speed. Taking cues from Quicksilver from the X-Men films, and then add in scifi constructs for Robotnik it gets it. The film does not over think Sonic. It works and its a fun kids film. I really enjoyed it.

[Trailer]

DOUBLE FEATURE: February 15th-Princess O’Rourke from 1943 (Director/Writer: Norman Krasna, Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Robert Cummings and Charles Coburn, Cinematography: Ernest Haller, Runtime: 94 mins)

A Royal Scandal from 1945 (Director: Otto Preminger and Ernst Lubitsch, Writers: Edwin Justus Mayer with Story by Bruno Frank and Based on Die Zarin by Lajos Bíró and Melchior Lengyel, Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Coburn, Anne Baxter, and William Eythe, Cinematography: Arthur Miller, Runtime: 94 mins)-comedy*/crime usb

I did not care for either film. I guess they were fine.

[Princess O’Rourke Trailer / A Royal Scandal]

February 18th-Pollyanna from 1960 (Director/Writer: David Swift and Based on novel by Eleanor Porter, Stars: Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden, and Richard Egan, Cinematography: Russell Harlan, Runtime: 134 mins)

It was fine. Three stars.

Look, I can only write so much about films I rank 2-3½ stars before I start running out of adjectives and getting tired of saying the same thing.

[Trailer]

February 21st-Snapshot (aka Day After Halloween aka One More Minute) from 1979 (Director: Simon Wincer, Writers: Everett De Roche and Chris De Roche, Stars: Sigrid Thornton and Chantal Contouri, Robert Bruning, Cinematography: Vince Monton, Runtime: 92 mins)

Last year I discovered Vinegar Syndrome. I think I had heard of them but my curiosity of the Tammy & the T-Rex gore cut brought them to my attention really. So after Christmas I took advantage of the coupon, and free shipping on orders over 50 bucks, so I got from my first purchases and picked up a trio of flicks. Since I was unfamiliar with like 85% of the films they released I had to dive on letterboxd and other aggregators to help my choices. Snapshot had a decent score and sounded like it could be trashy fun.

Snapshot is about a young woman named Angela whose friend, a model named Madeline , convinces her to do modeling work. She gets her a job and Angela is a bit scared because her mom is a bitch and also her sister sucks. Plus the creepy ex-boyfriend. She gets kicked out of her home before the mom finds out she’s a model. I think because she broke up with the boyfriend. I don’t know, but the mom does show up, lying about her sisters being injured and how Angela should pay her back, and then accusing her of sex work and stealing her money so less of her please. Basically the film follows Angela’s journey as trying to be a model, sort of. She does meet people but other than on extended sequence and some people in the industry there is little. We do see Madeline on set, and we learn Madeline is very much into Angela for more than friendship. here we have the predatory lesbian angle, that is problematic. The film has a horror framing device with only a couple scenes of an actual psychological thriller peppered through. When it gets to the horror there is actually some decent twists with quite an ending. This really isn’t a good thriller but its actually a cool trashy dramatic film? I quite enjoyed it.

The lead ladies, Sigrid Thornton and Chantal Contouri are quite good. Sigrid, who appears to have had a long list of credits in Australian film and TV, gives quite a performance. She is great in every scene and its her carrying the film. Chantal has a certain flair to her, a very charismatic on screen persona. The mom, I believe Julia Blake but its hard to find proper credits, is quite a bitch in her one scene. She shows up, knocks it out of the park, and leaves. The various male performers are fine too. For an exploitation film this quite a well acted dramatic film. Its barely an exploitation film. There’s nudity but no sex. There is the gay panic to it. Whether its Madelines use of the F-word early on or the fake she’s playing a dyke who wants Angela for her own. It’s not good… But I like the performers and performances. I also like that the various twists which leads to, well… Lets get tot he horror.

So one of the guys (Madeline’s husband Elmer. I guess I kind of missed that) is creepily obsessed with Angela. He “saves her” from her creepy ex that Angela believes is stalking her (he kinda is) and left a pigs head in her bed. So Elmer is forcing her to take pictures in a room with her one ad making up wall paper. He must’ve bought a hole like of magazines to do that. The creepy ex tracks her, there’s a fire. Angela gets out but Elmer dies. Now Angela needs to hurry up to the airport because she was flying to a job, the ex doesn’t want her to go. They argue, she accuses him of the pugs head thing, he seems confused. Then Madeline runs him over in his ice cream truck. This is after she arrived to find the place on fire and she was super worried about Angela. Anyway, Angela leaves with madeline and the film ends. Did the predatory lesbian get the girl? Hmmmmmmmm. Hey, ballsy.

So yeah, Snapshot. A lame psychological thriller thats actually a pretty good trashy drama.

[Trailer]

February 20th-Beat Girl aka Wild for Kicks from 1960 (Director: Edmond T. Gréville, Writers: Dail Ambler, Stars: Gillian Hills, Noelle Adams, with Christopher Lee, Cinematography: Walter Lassally, Runtime: 87 mins)

Jennifer is mad that her dad, who sometimes is gone for long periods of time and into his work too much, married a French woman younger than him. She doesn’t like this Nichole, doesn’t wnat to be a family, and is genuinely bad attitude. She tries to get dirt on her when she finds out one of Nichole’s old friends works at a strip joint, with a slimey asshole played by Christopher Lee. She’s awful, ends up at the scene of crime where she cries for her father and the credits roll on this family as dad and Nichole take Jennifer home. Actually, they roll on the friends who give up being a beatnick? Whatever, bad film with surprisingly good performances for such bad material. Gillian plays an awful girl but with such commitment. Noelle’s grasp of English is a bit tough but the face acting and intonations are on point. Christopher Lee is good for such a one dimension character. The dads forgettable I guess. It looks like, cheapy teen exploitation nonsense. It was overall fine.

[Scene]

February 21st-M*A*S*H from 1970 (Director: Robert Altman, Writers: Ring Lardner Jr., based on Richard Hooker’s novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, Stars: Donald Sutherland, various, Cinematography: Harold E. Stine, Runtime: 116 mins)

I strongly disliked this film.

[Trailer]

Posted in film, movies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

29 Days of Film in February 2020-Week 2

February 8th-Birds of Prey from 2020 (Director: Cathy Yan, Writers: Christina Hodson and based on the DC Comics, Stars: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, and Ewan McGregor, Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Runtime: 109 mins)

So this is the story of Harley Quinn, post break up with Joker. The immunity she had rescinded and people want her dead. While this is all going on the Crossbow Killer (aka Huntress aka Helena Bertinelli as played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is targeting a number of gangsters in Gotham. Renee Montoya (played by Rosie Perez) is on multiple cases including Harley, the crossbow killer, and her main case-the Roman Sionis case. Roman is a crazed disinherited rich boy turned criminal kingpin and played by Ewen McGregor. He employs several people including songbird and new bodyguard/driver Dinah Lance (the Black Canary as played by Jurnee Smollet-Ball). Montoya wants Lance’s help on the Roman case, she’s not interested, oh! And her neighbor is Cassandra Cain, a pickpocket who steals the diamond Roman wants. Got it?

So yeah, this is a type of neo-noir funneled through a comic book kaleidoscope. The pickpocket getting the wrong prize is a noir trope-famously in Pickup on South Street. We got the gangsters running the city, a cop on the big case, and a number femme fatales. One out for revenge. Then Harley bringing the dramatic narration and playing the character who winds up over their head. Its a break from traditional comic book film storytelling even if their is still the big third act action scene. Luckily This film gives the amusement park fight scene we have never got in a big Batman flick. Well, not since Batman Returns and we only got it under the carnival and it was a carnival rather then a theme park. But yeah, that action set piece is one of the finest I have seen in comic books. Totally worth it. Plus what a great wrap up ending. Before that though, its not quite linear storytelling could be a hard sell for some comic fans not into crime films. Also Harley’s constant reminder of her break up might grate on the nerves. Still, thumbs up for being as different as they could make the film.

Margot Robbie continues to be the right person for a live action Harley Quinn. All the ladies are good too. This version of Dinah is totally unlike the gung ho hero type so common but Jurnee’s performance is very good and she brings a certain straight woman approach to the film. Rosie Perez does too, but in that 80s cop way that the film makes fun of. They both get some good fights and great scenes. Huntress role feels smaller but her line deliveries in her attempt to be total badass are perfection. She’s funny without it seeming funny. Then Ella Jay Baco bringing it altogetehr as Cassandra Cain. Sadly, not the comic book badass version but her pickpocket is quite a gem. Then McGregor and Chris Messina having fun as the bad guys Roman Sionis (aka Black Mask) and Mr. Zasz. Going back to the noir elements, the queer coding on Roman and Mr. Zsaz is there but the film does not dig into it. Letting your mind wander and appreciate what they’re doing. Also props for acknowledgement of Harley’s bisexuality and Renee Montoya’s lesbianism. Harley’s is shown in the silly animated opening, and Montoya’s ex-girlfriend is played by comedian Ali Wong.

This film is closer to a 3.5 with me but something about made me think, at least a four because I am going to rewatch this one. I will find more reasons to enjoy it more and more. Its one of those films I know has replay value. I really enjoyed it. One of the funner superhero films out there.

[Trailer]

February 9th-Tokyo Story from 1953 (Director: Yasujirō Ozu, Writers: Kogo Noda and Yasujirō Ozu, Stars: Chishū Ryū, Chieko Higashiyama and Setsuko Hara, Cinematography: Yūharu Atsuta, Runtime: 136 mins)

Tokyo Story appears on 2012 Sight & Sound poll best movie of all time as voted by directors. The film has placed high in many best of lists. So what is Tokyo Story and why does it continue to resonate? Prepare for a summary with some spoilers for a 67 year old film. The story of Hirayama’s, an elderly couple who live with their youngest Kyoko. They are going to Tokyo to visit their two oldest children as well as their widowed daughter-in-law. Their eldest son, Koichi, is a busy neighborhood doctor who works from home and his kids are annoying. The eldest daughter, Shige, runs a salon in her home and her husband is a bill collector. Then there is Noriko, who was married to their second oldest son Shoji. With their two eldest busy Noriko shows them around Tokyo and they visit her tiny apartment where she does her best to entertain. The father and mother try staying at a spa end but leave early due to crowd and noise. Shūkichi goes out drinking with old friends and ends up back at Shige’s drunk, annoying her. Tomi soends a night with her daughter in law, telling her she should get remarried. Tomi falls ill on the travel back home, briefly staying with the youngest son before getting back home, but Tomi is critically ill. The siblings and Noriko are all there. Keizo, youngest son, arriving too late but in time for the mourning ceremony. Kyoko, the youngest, now alone with her father is upset with some of her siblings but thankful to Noriko. Shūkichi gives Noriko, before she leaves, Tomi’s prized watch and tells her how she is a good woman and to forget about their son, who died 8 years prior, to find someone and be married. To be happy.

This film is a punch in the throat. I don’t cry with my black heart but this film had me almost at tears. This is a beautiful film. The performances are so fucking good. The couple we follow played by Chishū Ryū and Chieko Higashiyama give so much with almost so little. Chishū Ryū seemingly only has a few facial expressions throughout but every line of dialogue he delivers is poetic. The scene where him and his friend talk about their children, its an amazing work. Just as the scene with Chieko Higashiyama and Setsuko Hara in her home, just the sadness in their love. Love for Shoji, the desire for Noriko to move on and Noriko wanting her mother-in-law to enjoy herself. Of course the elderly Hirayama’s work with one another is so fantastic. The others who are playing the sibling are also so good. The sort of tough coolness of So Yamamura (as Koichi) or the easily annoyed Haruko Sugimura (as Shige).Shige is a frustrating character, you know she loves her parents but their is something mean about her. Her annoyance with her parents in scenes, her wanting of keepsakes from her moth immediately after her death. Then the other two children who have less time but come through great. Shirō Ōsaka as Keizo shows up at the start of the third act, joking a bit with his colleague about the sudden appearance of his parents and having to help cause his mom got sick on the train. His colleague tells him to be a good son and says something to him that strikes him harder after his mothers death, repeating it to Noriko as he walked away form the mourning service broken up. I don’t remember the exact line but was about how you can’t serve your parents after their dead. Its a small role and Shiro is great. Then their is Kyoko as played by Kyōko Kagawa who we see really in the wrap around. Helping her parents before their trip and essentially being the one left behind by her siblings as they return to their normalcy. She helped take care of her parents and she is so broken up by her mothers death and upset with Shige. Those final scenes with Setsuko are fantastic.

Wow. We haven’t even got to the look of the film. This movie so simple but like beautiful pictures. The framing on certain film scenes are a masterclass. Putting the camera in a room to give the feel of a homes architecture and space, letting the actors play out. Scenes shot straight ahead so it felt like the actors were talking directly to the viewer. Then all the beautiful shots around both Tokyo but also the Hirayama’s home in Onomichi. There are this moments when the camera just lingers in a moment, almost letting your feelings take a breather before jumping to the next sequence. It is not flashy but so filled with style that it stays with you. I love the brief bus sequence for the Tokyo tour. The moments inside Noriko’s home. The look of Shiges place. There is one scene with the Hirayama on this sort of lifted barrier, overlooking the channel. The camera gets moved a distance away as we watch the elderly couple walk atop it. Damn it, what a movie.

Seriously, what an amazing film.

[Trailer]

GENE TIERNEY DOUBLE FEATURE: February 10th-Dragonwyck from 1946 (Director/Writer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz and based on the novel by Anya Seton, Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, and Vincent Price, Cinematography: Arthur C. Miller, Runtime: 103 mins)

Whirlpool from 1949 (Director: Otto Perminger, Writers: Ben Hecht, Andrew Solt amd Based on Methinks the Lady by Guy Endore, Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer and Charles Bickford, Cinematography: Arthur C. Miller, Runtime: 97 mins)

Pair of Gene Tierney films for the day. I skipped out doing a planned Joan Crawford set and had thought to skip this but I have sooooooo many films still needing to be watched. First up a period piece drama about a Miranda Wells who goes from her home in farmland with domineering and god fearing father to live with her cousin (not by blood) who is a rich patroon. He owns lands farmers use and they have to pay him tribute. She marries this cousin, played by Vincent Price, sometime after his wifes death. Whirlpool is an Otto Preminger noir about a kleptomaniac named Ann Sutton who is married to a psychoanalyst who gets caught shoplifting but is helped a man named David Korvo. Korvo then manipulates her though hypnosis and sets her up as the fall woman to a murder.

Dragonwyck is a gothic period drama with grand performances and some nice costumes and set design. Its not for me though. The dramatic story of the small town girl falling for obviously a jerk did nothing really but allow me to watch Vincent Price do his thing. While not over the top, still the. Iggest performance of any of the films he did with Tierney. Gene Tierney is also very good, though not her best performance she does a lot and in times subtlety. Like the baptism scene in which she crushes it. Its a fine film for people into these sort of films.

Whirlpool is fine. Gene Tierney is very good and bad guy José Ferrer is good, though his character gets stupid towards the end. The set up and execution were all sound. Yet, something removes me from this film. I had no issues with it other than some annoyance over certain characters actions, I just wasn’t feeling what this film was laying down. Still, its a fine enough film noir and if you like Gene Tierney you should check it out.

[Dragonwyck Trailer / Whirlpool Trailer]

Pat and Mike from 1952 (Director: George Cukor, Writers: Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, Stars: Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Cinematography: William H. Daniels, Runtime: 95 mins)

It was good.

[Trailer]

February 11th-Stay Tuned from 1992 (Director/Cinematography: Peter Hyams, Writers: Jim Jennewain and Tom S. Parker, Stars: John Ritter, Pam Dawber, Jeffrey Jones, and Eugene Levy, Runtime: 88 mins)

Nostalgia 3 stars.

[Trailer]

February 12th-A Star is Born from 1954 (Director: George Cukor, Writers: Moss Hart and based on the 1937 film by William A. Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell, Stars: Judy Garland and James Mason, Cinematography: Sam Leavitt, Runtime: 176 mins)

The first remake of the classic film is, depending on who you talk to, the best of the four. It’s the one that continues to come up when people discuss Academy Awards getting it wrong, as Judy garland lost to Grace Kelly that year. So how does the remake differ from the original? The films Esther soon to be Vickie Lester is already in the entertainment industry. A singer and dancer playing with a band. When performing at a big Hollywood shindig famous actor and drunk Norman Maine is being a drunk jerk backstage and wanders on set where Esther tries to work him into the performance. He becomes fascinated by her, tracks her down and convinces her Hollywood is where she needs to be. She agrees, quits the band, takes various jobs before Norman can get her a studio contract. He helps get her a big job and she breaks out. As her star grows and grows, his dwindles and this is where the film really starts to lay out in the same was as the original. Complete with depressing ending though the film does spend more time in the aftermath with slight changes.

First off, the TCM hist explained that WB butchered the original cut and that the I was going to watch the restoration. The restoration is strange, and I think because its strange how they put it together I have to cut it slack. I believe the full unseen cut probably is better. Of course, this film is better than the original. Its length allows more time for the story to breath. I like switching Esther from a wannabe actress to being a song and dance performer. It also allows us to see her work which I don’t remember ever being shown in the original. You’re just told she’s really good. In this Garland does musical numbers and they’re all pretty good (one of them is way dated) but that first on screen performance is amazing. The set design on it a thing of beauty. Garland and James Mason are very good, mason being a better fit for this role then Fredric March. This is really a great Garland performance and Mason also deserves props. I think their meeting here is way better than the original film and the shift to music here, which is pushed farther in the next films, was smart.

Now, the restoration involves using original audio over pan and scans of stills. It is really weird and takes me out of the film. While the two leads are so much better, I do think the removal of the Andy Devine character (or they totally changed him so I didn’t register) sucked. I think the changes to the publicist guy is both good and bad. The one in the original was more of ass, here he’s less of an ass. I think this film, I struggle with. I went 4 stars when I think I should’ve went lower but the main two performances, the song and dance numbers, and set design is spectacular. I really wish I could have seen the full intended version of this film.

[Trailer]

February 13th-The Country Girl from 1954 (Director/Writer: George Seaton based on the play by Clifford Odets, Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and William Holden, Cinematography: John F. Warren, Runtime: 104 mins)

The Country Girl centers on a play director named Bernie Dodd who believes washed up performer Frank Elgin is perfect for his play. Against the wishes of his producer. He wants to convince him to take the role but believes he is getting push back from Franks wife Georgie. She wants her husband to succeed and attempts to help him but Franks insecurities and lies makes Dodd believe Georgie is holding him back. She is not, and Bernie is an idiot. Why is Frank messed up? An alcoholic who blames himself for the death of his and Georgies son.

So, yeah, Judy Garland probably should have won the Oscar. Not that Grace Kelly isn’t good, she’s actually quite good. Might even be her best performance, but its not her best film. That is Rear Window. Seriously, Bing and Grace are great. Not as into William Holden here, because his character is a idiot. I guess he’s good but, hmm… I don’t even know if I really like William Holden. He’s good in everything but he’s never my favorite person in any of those films. Still, as a trio of performances its a strong picture. Visually, its a nice looking film especially in certain scenes. I think the weakest part is the switch in the story where Holden’s character Dodds kisses Kelly’s Georgie. That annoyed me and the switch in him toward her after being such an ass. She actually likes him or is she just starved for attention of someone who isn’t falling apart? I don’t know, I don’t care. That kind of took me out of it.

Regardless The Country Girl is a good melodrama.

[Trailer]

February 14th-In the Mood For Love from 2000 (Director/Writer: Wong Kar-wai, Stars: Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, Cinematography: Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping Bin, Runtime: 98 mins)-multi genre USB

Hey, it’s Valentines Day and I picked a classic Hong Kong Romantic film. Su Li-zhen/Mrs. Chan and Chow Mo-wan are two new neighbors. Them and their spouses rent out rooms in homes next to each other, moving in on the same day. Mrs. Chan’s a secretary whose husband is abroad a lot for work. Chow’s wife works different hours so he rarely sees her. The two cross paths constantly, both are lonely. Things get harder when it seems their respective spouses seem to be having an affair with one another. Mrs. Chan and Chow began a deep platonic friendship. Him becoming a writer of kung fu serials, a genre she likes and she reads and gives him tips. They never get together, sorry for the spoiler. I am fucking depressed.

This plot is pretty thin but has a lot going on in it. The way the film is edited and shot in the first act has a lot of quick scenes and you get the passage of time. As well as what both leads are going through, with their work and us never seeing their spouses but hearing their voices. An interesting, and super effective choice. Watching everything unfold is quite a treat, especially with Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. Both giving incredibly beautiful performances. Maggie Cheung is a fucking delight. She is so beautiful and so sad. Leung is also so damn good. The last ten or so minutes skips around in time to see where they are and it hurts my soul. Visually, this is a pretty film. The set design, the wardrobe, and use of light and shadows is amazing. This is a gorgeous film.

I don’t know what else to add. 4 out of 5.

[Trailer]

Posted in movies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment