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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    I enjoyed "Impact" a lot (my comments on it here: #26810). Ella Raines should have been a bigger star IMHO.

    Just recorded, but haven't watched "The Racket" yet - more excited to see it, now, after your comments.

    Love "Mogambo," more each time I see it. If you've ever seen a love triangle IRL, you recognize the pain and jealousy so well captured here.
     
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Caught the last two-thirds of "Hard To Handle," one of those great little 78-minute early-thirties Warner Bros. comedies that manages to slip a little social critique in with the gags. James Cagney is a sleazy Boy From Marketing whose motto is "The masses are a cow that must be milked!" and he proves it by coming up with a promotion to suit every craze that comes down the pike. He starts off running marathon dances, and ends up cornering the national market on grapefruit when he pushes it as an "aid to reducing" just in time for the big diet fad of 1932. The romance plot pairs him with Mary Brian and her loudmouthed mother Ruth Donnelly, who dress identically and are somehow convinced that Cagney is their ticket to prosperity. The whole storyline comes across like a comic-strip plot from "The Gumps," but any excuse to watch Cagney run around flapping his yap for an hour and a half is worthwhile. I'll always stop and watch any Cagney picture, but somehow I'd never seen this one. A very enjoyable little triviality.
     
  3. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Recorded it and look forward to seeing it as, like you, if Cagney's spewing a line of BS, I'm in.
     
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  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    It appears to be Constance Bennett day on TCM. "Bed of Roses" is a solid precode - Bennett has to decide between being a kept woman in luxury and marrying a man of modest means for love. They ain't making this movie once the code is enforced.

    Constance Bennett might have the largest head-to-shoulder-width ratio of any women ever.
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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  5. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Kitty Foyle from 1940 with Ginger Rogers, Dennis Miller and James Craig

    My journey to watching this movie a second time started with me watching this movie a few years back. I could "feel" that there was a better story behind it - meaning the Motion Picture Production Code had mangled it - so I bought the book it was based on.

    The 1939 book is outstanding in a real-life way (comments here: #8419). There's a lot of not-code-approved stuff going on in the book - sex and pregnancy out of wedlock, an abortion, working women supporting themselves in careers by choice, interfaith relationships and more - and none of it is gratiutious or salacious. It just reminds us that life was always way-more messy, expansive and complicated than code-enforced movies allowed.

    So, after the book, I returned to the movie to see if there was more here than I remembered. Unfortunately, there really isn't, as the code strangled this story to death. I'm good at code-speak, but I still struggled to see through all the obfuscation; at some point, it's just too much.

    The very broad outlines of the story are still there in the movie. Kitty Foyle is a young girl from working-class Philadelphia who falls in love with an uber-society, "Mainline" boy, which, apparently, means everything in Philadelphia at that time. After several attempts at making their relationship work, but failing, Kitty decamps to New York City for a fresh start where she builds a career in marketing for a cosmetics firm. There, she begins to date a young doctor, but Philly boy keeps popping in and out of her life, buffeting Kitty's attempts to make a clean break and start anew in New York.

    Using that outline, the movie starts near the end with, in the opening scene, Kitty having to decide between marrying the doctor or having an affair with her now-married Mainline love. Then, through flashbacks, the movie shows how Kitty got to that point.

    But so much of Kitty's and her society man's background are left out and so much is "cleaned" up for the movie code, that the characters' motivations are obscured and life experiences elided. In the end, not much of the book's engaging story is left. Sadly, Kitty's really well-handled interfaith relationship in the book - she's Catholic, her New York boyfriend is Jewish - is scrubbed out of the movie.

    One good thing that made it to the movie is the scene where Kitty basically tells the Mainline family - who is willing to accept her if she's willing to adopt their social customs and manners - to shove it. We all love a good "go to hell" comeuppance for the old guard and it's well done here, but also sneaking in - both in the book and the movie - is that the family isn't really that snobbish or bad. They sincerely like Kitty and want to embrace her; however, they can't see completely past the norms of their insular culture to say "come as you are," but still, they did genuinely invite her in.

    Ginger Rogers gives her all as Kitty and it's a good performance as is James Craig's as the doctor boyfriend, but Dennis Morgan comes across as wooden as the love of her life. That said, with the movie stripped of so much that made the book good, the fault in the movie lies with the Motion Picture Production Code destroying the verisimilitude and nuance of the story and not with the actors.

    I clearly devoted too much effort to this Kitty Foyle exercise, so to benefit from my experience, just read the book.
     
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  6. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Finally making my way through the 3 hour epic, "The Irishman" starring De Niro, Pesci, Mel Brooks, and Ray Romano on Netflix. Very detailed oriented, though I don't know how much embellishment is being made here. The entire movie is made flashback style with De Niro narrating, very similar to how Casino was made. Considering they're both Scorsese movies, this is not to be unexpected. I'm barely halfway through at this point, but I'm enjoying it so far.
     
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  7. Debbie Harry of “Blondie” ...

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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Touché. (I believe that is the second time this week, good on you).
     
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  9. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Watched Knives Out the other night, having missed it in the cinema. Great little film, part noir, part fairytale (a la Grand Budapest Hotel). In tone it reminded me a lot of that glorious French film, Eight Women. Lovely story to it, and one of those open ends that should never be given a sequel so we can always imagine one of our own... Nice to see Daniel Craig breaking so far away from Bond, too.

    My maternal grandmother died last November at the age of ninety three, God rest her soul, and right up to the end she always said her favourite film was the original Halloween. My parents hate horror. I must have inherited a recessive gene for it...

    I didn't find the dialogue quite as sharp as the original, but nonetheless I enjoyed it. Chris Hemsworth's performance really trumpeted his gift for comedy, which in turn led Thor: Ragnerok to be vastly superior to the first two (even before the great benefit of no Natalie Portman). I think it did suffer unfairly from incel fanboys freaking out about it being women. I especially loved that the humour was above things like cheap and obvious jibes about weight and such. It's just a shame that it was such a full-on reboot that these characters can't recur in the next film, intended to be a sequel to the original two, but on the other hand we'd then have been robbed of Bill Murray's glorious cameo, so...

    Good cast. Is the title a Monty Python reference?
     
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  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    College Humor from 1933 with Bing Crosby (!), Mary Carlisle and Jack Oakie
    • Early entry in the almost-always busy college-movie genre
    • Not a musical in the traditional sense (dialogue and action played out in song and dance), but a movie with several musical numbers performed as part of the story by up-and-coming crooner Bing Crosby (still perfecting his laid-back acting style)
    • Like most college movies, albeit in a '30s way, it's about boys and girls chasing each other, kids (and some helicopter parents, yup, they existed back then, too) worrying or not about grades and their future, plus tests, cheating, sports, clothes, fraternities and drinking - you know, a college movie
    • Being the '30s, a coed is openly dating a teacher; he's young and not married, but I would think that's still a complete no-no today
    • The uber-importance of football obviously started early as we see intense pressure on the players, "bending" of the rules for star athletes and the administration kowtowing to big-donor alumni who want a winning team
    • Drama amps up a bit when a star athlete is expelled for drinking and a teacher who defends him gets fired, but still, College Humor is mainly a fun romp and early look at college life



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    Design for Scandal from 1941 with Walter Pidgeon, Rosalind Russell and Edward Arnold
    • While billed as a screwball comedy, it's more like a romcom as there isn't too much screwballness going on, but there's plenty of silly romcomness happening
    • Pidgeon, a reporter, tries to help his boss, Arnold, get some dirt on a female judge, Russell, who ruled against Arnold in a divorce case
    • The plot these two idiots hatch is to have Pidgeon get close to Russell by romancing her so that he can then tarnish her reputation - you know, silly, stupid romcom stuff
    • While it has a few good moments, Pidgeon and Russell never develop any real chemistry as comedy is not Pidgeon's forte and the script is forced and flat
    • The highlight of the film is Arnold, once again, playing a morally challenged tycoon who pushes everyone around, including his gold-digging ex-wife, but, as usually happens to him, everything, eventually, blows up in his face
    • I'm a Rosalind Russell fan, but even she never finds her real grove in this one perhaps because she's stuck with a hairdo that looks like she was auditioning for the role of an alien on Star Trek
     
  11. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    The beginning leading up to the bombing is done so well that it grabs me every time as it did on this day.
    :D
     
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  12. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    Right now, Harper (again) on TCM. It’s a Ross MacDonald story so of course I am watching it.

    The other night, Rebecca on Netflix. Not as good as I hoped or as bad as I thought it would be.
    :D
     
  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Recording "Harper" now as, somehow, I've never seen it. Also, watched about a third of Netflix's "Rebecca" last night and will finish it tonight or tomorrow. Compared to Hitchcock's version, it's not much, but as a stand-alone made-for-TV effort, it's entertaining enough. And, heck, I'd watch it for the beautiful period details alone.
     
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  14. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I liked it more and less than I thought I would. The cinematography, character development, pacing, "mood" and acting are incredible (like the opening one, as you noted), but the story, especially, the ending, left me a little underwhelmed.
     
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  15. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    I totally agree, the ending is not equal to the beginning. The movie does peter out as it moves along. It is the energy of that beginning scene, the cinematography, and the mood which carries this movie and makes it entertaining for me.
    :D
     
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  16. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

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    As we watched we realized that we were staying more for the visuals than anything else. :D
     
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  17. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    JoJo Rabbit. My second time to watch it. It's such a well done film in so many ways.
     
  18. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Million Dollar Baby from 1941 with Priscilla Lane, May Robson, Jeffery Lynn and Ronald Reagan

    It's an early entry in the "working-class man or woman is gifted/inherited/wins a million dollars" genre. The premise here is that an eccentric, wealthy older woman, May Robson, discovers that some of her fortune was originally obtained, decades ago, by her father embezzling from his partner, so she sets out to right the wrong.

    Robson is pitch perfect as a rich, but pragmatic octogenarian used to getting her way as, early on, she rebukes her affable and young lawyer, Jeffery Lynn, to give her the facts without any "wherases or wherefores -" who hasn't wanted to say that to a lawyer?

    A quick search for an heir of her father's wronged partner, led by lawyer Lynn, leads Robson to Hollywood's perfect version of the girl next door, Priscilla Lane. Happy and optimistic Lane lives in a boarding house, works in a department store and dates a somewhat-radical piano player, (future president) Ronald Reagan, trying to break into classical music.

    Upon learning of her good fortune, Lane is half happy and half suspicious, so, in one of the movie's better scenes, she all but tells a stuffy banker, at the bank where her money is being held, that she doesn't trust his bank with her new-found wealth. She even makes him show her some of the bank's physical money and demands a tour of the vault.

    It is a wonderful moment of common sense cutting through pompous speech (like earlier, when Robson upbraided her solicitor for using "lawyer-speak"). A country less than ten years removed from hundreds of bank failures would appreciate Lane's skepticism.

    And Lane, who sees the money as an end to her and boyfriend Reagan's struggle, is surprised when Reagan expresses happiness for her good fortune, but tells her they are over as a couple as he won't live off of her and that their two worlds no longer meet. Meanwhile, lawyer Lynn, who has been guiding Lane through the wrinkles her new-found wealth creates, is falling for Lane.

    From here, it's a bunch of '30s/'40s movie cliches - Lane gives a lot of the money away to the other needy residents in the boarding house while, separately, she is also taught "proper" upper-class ways to fit into society, which she, then, finds stuffy and boring. It's not hard to understand why these bromides were popular with Depression Era audiences: a shared windfall has serious political overtones and mocking the ways of the wealthy might be the oldest movie stereotype of them all.

    You can probably guess the ending of both the Lane-Lynn-Reagan love triangle (I thought Lane chose the wrong guy) and Lane's windfall itself, but the fun is seeing Lane cutely and innocently stumble her way to the outcome. The movie is charm over substance, but, with several witty lines and scenes and strong performances from Robson, Lynn and Lane, it's a reasonable way to spend an hour and forty minutes. Plus there's some great footage of a Clipper "flying boat" landing at LaGuardia Field's Marine Air Terminal.
     
  19. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Last night I watched the original slasher flick, Hitchcock's "Psycho"!
     
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  20. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I watched this this afternoon and enjoyed it. I also think she chose the wrong guy! Reagan's character was a pompous, brash guy who threw temper tantrums. The lawyer was much better for her.
     
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