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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Amy Jeanne, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    I enjoyed him in "The Big Clock" as well as those you mentioned. Although, after thinking about it, I do not really remember much about it. Time for a rewatch.
    :D
     
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    "Phantom Lady"
    - 1944 film noir / story okay, if forced / film noir cinematography outstanding - elevated platform scene is noir perfect
    - How did Ella Raines not have a bigger career - she carries this movie (with a hearty assist from Thomas Gomez) on her back?
    ---- Strikingly beautiful in that quiet way that washes over you / not the smash-into looks of the va-va-voom girls
    ---- Showed decent range and an ability to credibly deliver forced dialogue
    ---- Having just seen Lana Turner fumble her way through "A Life of Her Own," I repeat, how did Raines not become a big star?
    - Male lead Alan Curtis has George Brent's woodenest
    - Franchot Tone seemed miscast as the dark, evil murderer
     
  3. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    Frenchman's Creek (1944), a Restoration-set costume drama where a lord's wife (Joan Fontaine) dallies with a French pirate (Mexican actor Arturo de Cordova) on the Cornish coast. Not a good film, though it's nice to see young Fontaine in Technicolor, and it's always a pleasure whenever Basil Rathbone plays a villain who's killed (she does it in self-defense). Fontaine's performance is okay, but considering that she did this film the same year as her splendid take on Jane Eyre, I expected better.

    Based on a Daphne de Maurier novel that's clearly no Rebecca, it plays like a schlocky romance paperback... though Fontaine ultimately returns to her children and a-hole husband (which is pretty much inevitable under the Production Code). And the "pirates" are just insanely romanticized: sweet, good fellows who sing songs and steal for kicks, and there's a palpable gay subtext to their scenes (likely due to allegedly bisexual director Mitchell Leisen).

    Not good, but certainly an interesting curiosity.
     
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Here's what I read in this post: bad movie, Rathbone good as always, Fontaine - at the peak of her beauty - makes any movie, even this clunker, worth watching. Couldn't agree with you more. "Rebecca," "Jane Eyre*" and "Suspicion" are the Fontaine-at-her-best hat trick.


    * I enjoy her in "Jane Eyre" under protest as she is way, way to classically beautiful to play Jane Eyre.
     
  5. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    This is also true of Mia Wasikowska, Ruth Wilson, and virtually every other actress who's played Jane - even suitably de-glammed, they're too attractive! As I've said here many times, the Fontaine/Welles film is my favorite adaptation by a huge margin. Sure, it's not entirely faithful to the book, but it's got loads of film noir atmosphere, a tremendous Bernard Herrmann score, a splendid supporting cast, and Fontaine is perfect.

    Interesting labor-of-love site about Jane Eyre adaptations:

    http://eyreguide.awardspace.co.uk/
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Very, very fair points. It seems impossible for Hollywood not to put a beautiful woman in the lead - it took decades for it to even have to the courage to, at least, put a not traditionally beautiful women in the role.

    I only saw it when it came out - hence, twenty years ago - but I remember liking the 1996 version with William Hurt.

    And only marginally related, in the DVD version of "Rebecca" that we have, there's and "extra" that shows the screen tests that several big-name starts (Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullivan and Loretta Young were just some of them) made for the lead role that eventually went to Fontaine. You get a real sense of how different actresses interpret or, just by their style and abilities, alter a character. It might have been a better, the same or worse movie with any of those actresses, but it definitely would have had a different feel.
     
  7. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    'Killer Joe' (2011) .......
     
  8. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I love this movie. I know, it's totally cheesy and smacks of a bodice ripper (i.e. romance novel), but it was one of the first classic movies I watched and thus it holds a soft spot for me. In her autobiography, Joan says she knew it was all very silly and I think she felt bad for Arturo de Cordova to have to play such a role. The book was very good, though not as good as Rebecca. I do love a good Daphne du Maurier story!
     
  9. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    Operation Pacific with John Wayne and Patricia Neal. I don't know why I neglected to watch this one for so long, but it's a good movie though a little slow-moving in parts. My daughter watched it with me and she actually enjoyed it. I got a kick out of seeing them watch Operation Tokyo onboard the submarine and make fun of it.

    I didn't think the chemistry was very good between Wayne and Neal, though. I'm not sure Neal fit her character's role, either. And of course, Ward Bond was in it and I always enjoy him (he was born in Nebraska!).
     
  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The three main actors that are in it, I enjoy - Wayne, Neal and Bond - but I agree with you and would even go one further, to me, the chemistry amongst all three is horribly off to the point that the entire movie felt awkward.

    Wayne seemed so off his game that he came across as wooden in this one; whereas, Neal - IMHO - the most talented of the three, pushed it forward with more believability, but even she struggled. I wanted to like it, but it just never gelled for me.
     
  11. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer A-List Customer

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    It Happened One Night
     
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  12. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Hell or High Water with Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster. My wife rented it as she wants to see some of the various nominated films, and figured this was the only one I'd want to watch as well!

    It was really good and reminded us in various ways of No Country for Old Men and Drive.
     
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  13. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    My husband watched this and really didn't like it - he said it moved too slow. I always find it fascinating what some people love and what others don't! Points again to the fact that art in all its various forms is subjective.
     
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  14. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    That was one of the things we liked about it. It wasn't about the need to have action or some dramatic event every 20 seconds. The characters spoke to each other and you could really get into them.

    Funniest line: Ranger to Jeff Bridges - "Do you want to know about these robberies, or are you just going to sit there and let Alzheimers take its course"?
     
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  15. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    We really enjoyed Hell or High Water. We saw in a pretty much empty theater which is always nice. Top to bottom we thought it excelled. No need for special effects and fast and furious out the wahzoo, just great dialogue and interesting characters. Just all around great. One of the best movies we saw last year. :D
     
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  16. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    My husband said it moved really slow - and maybe that's why he didn't like it - but to his credit, he couldn't stop watching it. Had to find out what happened. ;)
     
  17. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Sounds like he kinda liked it!
     
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  18. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    "Bringing Up Baby"

    I don't really enjoy slapstick, screw-ball, physical or Catskill type of humor. On the right day, at the right moment and with the best of the best of it, I'll enjoy it a bit - like a good Abbott and Costello routine - but in general, it just doesn't work for me.

    But for some reason, I always enjoy "Bringing Up Baby," even if I cringe a bit at some of the too-slapstickey, too-screwball aspects - the personalities of Grant and Hepburn carry this one along for me with enough wit and personality that I just enjoy the ride.

    And knowing that people were truly struggling in the Depression, I am amazed at how many movies like this one that show wealthy people - people with nice homes, cars, clothes, people who go out to fancy restaurants, belong to country clubs, take exotic vacations - were made. Despite the social unrest and active firebrand populace movements, clearly a lot of people wanted this type of movie or Hollywood (always looking to make a buck) wouldn't have made them. I guess "escapism" trumped "populace anger" at the box office.

    Question: In the movie's scene where Grant is wearing a woman's nightgown and he is asked why, he responds with an exaggerated feminine gesture and voice "I just went gay" (or something close to that). I know "gay" meant "happy" or "cheery" at one point, but that definition didn't fit the scene, but our modern definition of "gay" would. However, it seems very out-of-place for that kind of disparaging humor (or any direct reference to homosexuality) in a movie from the code-enforced era. Does anyone remember this scene and have any thoughts about its meaning?
     
  19. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    That scene is pointed to constantly as one of the first uses of "gay" in its current meaning. That is, he's saying exactly what it sounds like - and it's a surprise to hear it in 1938.

    Personally, I do not like this film AT ALL. Sure, I love Grant and Hepburn... but in Holiday, not Bringing Up Baby. I find this one to be overwrought and strident from beginning to end, and it just exhausts me. It's just too much, way too broad and overdone.

    I know it's considered one of the all-time great screwball comedies, a high point of Howard Hawks output as well as Grant and Hepburn. Okay, sure, but it has just never worked for me.
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    You are a fount of information. I'm amazed he was able to say it and get it by the code. Also, a bit of personal irony for Grant as he's always been viewed as having had his male dalliances - at least when young.

    I'm a big fan of "Holiday," a much better movie IMHO. I'm surprised I like "Bringing Up Baby," as it is the type of movie I usually don't, but for some reason, on the right day, I enjoy it.

    For my money, Grant's best one of his "battle of he sexes" movies in the '30s is "In Name Only" with Carol Lombard and Kay Francis. This is not a light movie at all, but starts on a light note that becomes serious and engaging fast.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017

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