What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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

  1. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Love "Miracle on 34th Street" (definitely in our top-10 Christmas movie list) and "The Asphalt Jungle," my comments on the latter here: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...ovie-you-watched.20830/page-1331#post-2526253
     
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  2. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Jurassic Park III, right now.

    Sam Neill. :)
     
  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    1965's "Young Cassidy" starring Rod Taylor. Funny; I had a bit of trouble with the movie as I thought Taylor too old for the part of a young Sean O'Casey. To me he looked to be in his early 50's but turns out he was only 34 during the filming. It was fun to see a very young Maggie Smith and the stunning Julie Christie. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 6.5 rating which I think is a bit generous.
     
  4. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    From the viewpoint of an action-movie, Jurassic Park III is a very good action-movie!!

    The foggy scene in the Pteranodon-compound was my favorite!
     
  5. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    La La Land. I didn’t make it through to the end. It took forever to get started and, although it seemed a good-natured movie, I found it mechanical and unspontaneous. In the best musicals the vitality and performances conceal the contrivances. This one felt curiously lacklustre. Still, it’s nice when a movie without guns and car chases has fans.
     
  6. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    ^ A movie without guns and car chases? What's the point? :D
     
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  7. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Men of Chance
    from 1931 staring Mary Astor, Richard Cortez and John Halliday

    A down-and-out young female artist wannabe (Astor) in Paris, just about to shift to the world's oldest profession perforce, is befriended by an older male grifter (Halliday) who sees in her aristocratic pulchritude an opportunity to scam wealthy men, in part, via a race-track betting swindle. It's a fine, clunky (almost all early talkies are) and fast effort with two excellent reasons to watch. First, it's a revealing look at race-track gambling in 1931 Paris and New York. Just like Wall Street, when there were limited rules and regs, the cheaters, scammers and frauds proliferated in a version of bad/dishonest money/people driving out good/honest money/people. Second, you get to see Mary Astor before her hard life (sadly filled with real-life grifter parents and husbands) had taken the shine off of her incredible youth and beauty.



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    The Hucksters from 1947 with Clark Gable, Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner and Sydney Greenstreet

    A returning war veteran (Gable) tries to restart his career in advertising, but finds the business' dirty tricks, little cheats and the meaningless of it all are hard to take after fighting in a real war with noble goals - who wouldn't? It doesn't help that his first client is a bullying, arrogant Greenstreet, much deserving a rebuke from someone. (Recently read the book, "The Wolf That Fed Us" by Robert Lowry that hit on a similar theme, my comments here: #8327). Running on a parallel path, Gable is also trying to amend his pre-war playboy ways as he, now, sees a meaninglessness in that as well. In this effort, he pursues saintly widow Kerr while kicking nightclub singer Gardner to the curb. Here, though, he chose the wrong one, as Gardner is a good woman that's been knocked around, but who fully gets Gable; whereas, Kerr is wrong for Gable's let-it-rip personality.



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    The Letter from 1929 with Jeanne Eagles, Reginald Owens and Herbert Marshall

    It's an early Talkie that gets a lot more right than wrong and deserves at least a star and half more than the one and a half the on-screen guide gave it. Yes, it's stagey and a bit clunky (and in desperate need of restoration), but at an hour long, it doesn't waste anytime rolling out its Somerset-Maugham-penned compelling story of a British plantation owner's wife (Eagles) whose boredom with her husband (Owens) and the isolation of plantation life in Singapore drive her to an affair with an Englishman (Marshall) who, eventually, throws her over for a local Chinese woman. In a fit of rage, Eagles shoots and kills her former lover with her subsequent trial - and life and marriage - hinging on an inculpating letter she wrote that's now in the hands of the Chinese woman.

    This is Eagles' movie from beginning to end with her arresting beauty overshadowed by her powerful performance as a woman gone slightly mad, but still fighting for her life. Eagles herself would die later that year from - quoting Keith Richards - booze and pills and powders, but with this role, she gave an advance class in how to act in the aborning era of sound.

    H/T to our Lizzie for pointing this version of The Letter out to me.



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    Bordertown from 1935 starring Bette Davis, Paul Muni and Eugene Pallette

    A poor Mexican kid (Muni), against the odds in a system favoring the well-to-do, works his way through law school only to find that career success also depends on money and connections (despite this message, he's shown as unprepared in court, but that fact is oddly ignored). Now on a drive for money, he gives up his ideals and practice to become a successful casino manager for a rich, older man (Pallette) with a pretty, young and bored wife (Davis).

    Here, the second odd thing happens - Davis all but throws herself at Muni, but he expresses no interest. Despite this, as her older husband's drunkenness and personality weighs on her (he's not at all bad or abusive toward her), she (spoiler alert) kills him and continues pursuing Muni. What starts out as a Muni movie switches to a Davis movie as her half-crazed, unbridled passion takes the movie away from him. The effort overall is good, but the story just can't breathe owing to the movie production code preventing the casual sex, infidelity and other "sins" necessary to the story from coming out into the open without resulting in punishment.
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "The Hucksters" is based on one of my favorite postwar novels -- which is much, much gamier than the movie. The Breen Office made them cut out the most salacious parts of the book, which affects the overall tone of the picture -- but it's still a pretty bold indictment of The Boys, especially for 1947.

    The Greenstreet character is based on a real personality -- George Washington Hill of the American Tobacco Company, whose radio commercials were considered the most tasteless on the air, and who constantly interfered in the production of the programs he sponsored. Hill died while the film was in pre-production, which was a good thing -- they never could have made the characterization so specific if he was still alive to make trouble.
     
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Greenstreet was one of the acting gems of the period.

    I bought a 1951 book "The Build-up Boys" by Jeremy Kirk (a pen name for Richard Powell), which is supposed to be a harsh indictment of the advertising and public relations biz - might pull it off the shelf for the next read. I'll also start looking for a copy of "The Hucksters" to read.

    I'd give the Gable-Kerr marriage less than three years / he should have married Gardner's character - thoughts?

    Again - great call on '29's version of "The Letter." I love the 1940 Bette Davis version and, while it is clearly more polished, I can't say it is a better movie based on its impact. Funny that Marshall was in both, just in different roles.
     
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The tragic thing about that 1929 "Letter" is that the surviving version is a work print, not the finished release. Audiences in 1929 likely saw a more polished version, but in a way the roughness of it as we have it now serves the story rather well.

    There's a story that Jeanne Eagels' mother obsessively attended every screening of the film she could find in New York for as long as it was in release.

    In the book, the Kerr character is a married woman, not a widow, and neither the Gable character nor the Kerr character are troubled in the least bit by this as they frisk and frolic thru the nights. Joseph Ignatius Breen, however, would not stand for that, which changes the ending of the film considerably from the way the book winds up. I think Gardner's character is a much more substantial person, in both book and movie, but in the book, substantial is not what the Gable character is after.
     
  11. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    If Gable was just after sex - either or both would do. But the movie implied he wanted to settle down. In that case, it seemed screamingly obvious that Gardner's character understood Gable in a way Kerr's would never.

    To learn more, I just ordered an old copy on "The Hucksters" based on your recommendation.

    Had you ever heard of the book I mentioned "The Build-up Boys?"
     
  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    "Young Winston" a bio of Winston Churchill from 12 to 26 years old. Directed by Richard Attenborough. Came in just under 3 hours. A very entertaining movie, not so much the style and execution of the movie itself but the subject matter was fascinating. A small treat was seeing a very young Anthony Hopkins in a small role at the end as Lloyd George.
     
  13. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    The new Star Wars flick. Well... it's a Star Wars flick. (No major spoilers follow, just general comments.)

    There's continual fan service and a kitchen sink approach - callback after callback to events, plots, characters, and dialog of the other eight "Skywalker saga" films. There's loads of stuff that's not logical and/or contradicts things from the other films. There are new Force powers... when the plot requires a dues ex machina. There are walking-dead characters and walking-dead actors. As with all Star Wars films since the first, there are sequences that are very similar to, if not out-and-out remakes of, "classic" tropes. There are dogfights between Star Destroyers and X-Wings, there are lightsaber duels, there are (supposedly) moving character moments, there are "revelations", there are more cute droids and critters...

    Of course, it looks splendid and is loaded with crowd-pleasing stuff. Some of the performances are very good and elevate plot points that shouldn't work at all. But overall it's a narrative mess, buckling under the stress of being the "final Skywalker film". (Which it almost certainly isn't, given Disney/Lucasfilm and - to quote Spaceballs - The Search For More Money.)

    I went because I've seen every other one of the other eight during their original theatrical runs, and I wanted to finish off that 42-year tradition. It's a habit... but like many habits, after a while it's not all that satisfying or healthy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  14. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    The Final Countdown.

    Kirk Douglas + Martin Sheen + USS Nimitz = still damn good entertainment :D
     
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  15. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "The Night Stalker" - When I first saw this film as an adolescent it sent shivers through me that truly never went away. This film is a horror classic in every sense of the word. Vampires had been reduced to a schtick by the time this film was released. Between Abbot and Costello's lampooning of all things "monster" and other stereotypical depictions, the monster that had made women swoon when Legosi played it on the big screen was a cardboard cut-out. Hammer was doing great things with the genre but you couldn't see all that cleavage and blood on American Television... oh hell no!

    It took a T.V. movie of the week to bring the vampire to a truly modern setting and depict the troubles then current day law enforcement would have believing much less stopping such a killing machine. The titular monster one Janos Skorzeny killed cops left and right like a Blaxplotation hero and he was smart, smarter than his pursuers who he knew would rather die in ignorance than admit his existence. And in a Vegas chock full of young, tasty and scantily clad women he would and did have a field day. Only a drunken, washed up long fallen reporter would put the pieces together and end his reign of terror. Great stuff! The film also captured the paranoia of the times, even if you could prove it, even if the authorities admitted Skorzeny's existence to you... they'd never let the public know... they would maintain the illusion of control... probably at the cost of your life. An excellent film. How it got by the censors I'll never know.

    Worf

    PS I forgot how absolutely stunning Carol Lynley was.
     
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  16. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Carol Lynley popped up in one episode of "The Big Valley" and absolutely stole the episode with her charm, personality and beauty.
     
  17. La Caravana de Gardel (2015)

    Colombian film that I came across on youTube. In 1935 tango singer Carlos Gardel was killed in a plane crash in Medellìn, Colombia. The story takes place six months after Gardel's death. The two main characters are hired to secretly transport Gardel's remains from Medellìn to the port of Buenaventura where it's to be put on a steamer bound for Buenos Aires. Returning Gardel's body to Argentina becomes a heated issue as he was also greatly revered in Colombia. Much of the story is the duo's odyssey across the mountainous Colombian countryside in their Model A pickup truck which is more or less the star of the movie.
     
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  18. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    "Victoria and Abdul" starring Judy Dench. Funny, sweet, sad, ...overall a very good movie and a real surprise much much better than we anticipated.

    "Atlantics" a Cote d'Ivoire movie that is on many best of the year lists. Mixed reviews in our house. Worth a Netflix viewing but certainly not on my Best Of list.

    "Last Black Man in San Francisco", another movie that is listed on many Best Of lists. I liked it. Found it charming in an Indie/home made movie kind of way. Not brilliant but worth a watch.

    "Stockholm"...the movie that spawned the syndrome. Historically interesting but overall a weirdly absurdist take on an actual incident. A very credible cast but they delivered a very uneven performance. Worth a watch if you have nothing else on the agenda.
     
  19. DesertDan

    DesertDan One Too Many

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    My traditional New Years Day movie:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    All Fall Down from 1962 with Warren Beatty, Angela Lansbury, Karl Malden and Eva Marie Saint

    The late '50s / early '60s saw movie after movie of broken families breaking some more as happens in All Fall Down, albeit, here with a little variation on the Oedipal Complex mixing in a touch of creepiness to the sadness of this family.

    The Willart family - mother (Lansbury), father (Malden) and second son (Barndon de Wilde) - adore/idolize/blindly love handsome first-born son, Berry Berry (Beatty), who is mad at adult life in the way a wild horse is mad at being broken (or maybe he's just mad at his ridiculously horrible name).

    Unable to live up to the expectation of his lionizing family, Berry Berry vagabonds around the country keeping alive doing odd jobs, getting money wired from home (for bail now and again when he gets drunk and does something stupid) and skating around the edges of being a gigolo.

    Meanwhile, back at the homestead - a rundown old Victorian - the family pines away for their absent hero son, somewhat appeased by the appearance of cousin Echo (in what parallel universe do these names not seem insane?), a pretty, early '30s school teacher, played by Marie Saint, who the family feels is on a glide path to spinsterhood.

    With all the pieces now in place, they can start falling down. Right when the sixteen-year-old second son is developing a hard puppy dog crush on Echo, in walks Berry Berry to steal her heart. Despite initial concern, matriarch Lansbury embraces the relationship as she and her enervated and alcoholic communist husband (Mauldin) thinks this might be the thing to settle their prodigal hero son down. Even though the second son still pines for Echo, he so idolizes his older brother that he, too, embraces the relationship because anything Berry Berry does is right.

    From here, things really fall apart (and, alert, spoilers come fast and furious). While still just dating Berry Berry, we learn that, until-now, virgin Echo is pregnant with his child, which - of course - pushes away Berry Berry, who wants nothing to do with responsibility, while breaking Echo's heart (maybe) and her hold on life (for sure).

    As all of this comes out, the scales fall from the eyes of the second son and the father who finally see Berry Berry for the wrecking ball that he is, which only pushes the mother into deeper denial and a deeper love with her son. To be sure, she was jealous of his potential marriage all along, which was just part of this family's variation on the Oedipal thing, which includes the second son plotting to kill Berry Berry to avenge the wrong he did to Echo.

    At the end - I saved a little plot if you haven't seen it yet - nobody is left standing, least of all the viewer. Despite a feels-forced final-moment attempt to put a positive spin on all this breakage, the message - as with so many of this period's movies - is, as Berry Berry screams at some point, "I hate life." Hopefully you don't - I don't (except on that rare, really awful day) - but like wanting to almost touch a hot stove as a kid, sometimes it's cathartic to see your worst fears played out in a safe way. At least all these depressing movies argue the public, at that time, wanted this release.

    N.B. I don't think Karl Malden has ever given a bad performance - or at least not one that I've seen. Usually, he's perfectly cast as a model of propriety as a cop, priest or some other person of authority keeping things grounded as the world spins into chaos around him, but here he's equally convincing being part of the spinning chaos.
    All Fall Down.jpg
     
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