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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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11,959
Location
Southern California
Bonny & Clyde (1967)

BOY, this is a movie for us Loungers!! :)
Flatcaps, hats, type I jacket and so on!
I've mentioned this before, but Bonnie and Clyde was the first movie I can remember seeing in a theater. Heck of an introduction to cinema for a six-year-old! :cool: But I was always under the impression that the wardrobe department "enhanced" the wardrobes at least slightly because, like in The Sting (1973), the costumes look more like physical caricatures of the clothing from the '30s than faithful reproductions.
 
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12,686
Location
Germany
I've mentioned this before, but Bonnie and Clyde was the first movie I can remember seeing in a theater. Heck of an introduction to cinema for a six-year-old! :cool: But I was always under the impression that the wardrobe department "enhanced" the wardrobes at least slightly because, like in The Sting (1973), the costumes look more like physical caricatures of the clothing from the '30s than faithful reproductions.

I had permanently the feeling, (younger) Sonny Corleone would drive by in the next minute. :D
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,005
Location
Gads Hill, Ontario
As the girls get older, the Friday night movie night has evolved from a family film (animated or otherwise) together, followed by their bedtime and then a grownup film for the wife and I, to watching something generally appealing together, then the wife and I watch something more mature when the girls do their thing, usually watching their shows together.

Which is to say, it is getting more and more difficult to agree on the family viewing film.

Friday last, the girls felt like something scary. Our many Hallowe'en flicks are too recently viewed, so perhaps something not yet seen. We check out Netflix and Prime, and pick something called HOUSE, from about 2007 or so. The "stars" are Leslie Easterbrook from the Police Academy flicks, and Michael Madsen.




Do not watch this film.
 
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Haversack

One Too Many
Messages
1,193
Location
Clipperton Island
Last night we watched Secret Agent, a 1936 Hitchcock film staring John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre, and Robert Young. Set during the First World War, it involves Gielgud as a British officer who 'officially' died of wounds so he can assume another identity in Switzerland as part of a team who's task is to assassinate a German agent. As typical Hitchcock, it all seems rather light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek until, suddenly, it isn't. Good use of disturbing sound to raise tensions, (an organ note and singing bowls for example). Peter Lorre gets to chew a lot of scenery but always produces a knife. It's quieter that way.
 
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17,023
Location
New York City
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The Last Flight from 1931

"Isn't he just sorta wasting himself?"

"On the contrary, he's trying awfully hard to get hold of himself."


The Last Flight is an incipient "talky," but it's also an early and powerful movie instantiation of PTSD veterans or, as these Great War former servicemen were known then, "the lost generation."

Four airmen with physical and mental injuries face returning to civilian life at the end of the war. The army physician who signs their release papers sends them off with kind wishes and advice, but can offer no ongoing support. Turning to a fellow doctor, he describes these men as "spent bullets" who were "taught to kill not live."

The men make their way, not home, where they'd have to "adjust" to civilian life, which they know intuitively they can't do, but to Paris. They hide their anguish behind a front of partying and a devil-may-care attitude. With various combinations of eye tics, burnt hands and thousand-yard stares, these broken men support each other as best they can as they drink their days away.

Along the way, they meet cute, flighty, but sensitive Nikki, played by Helen Chandler (a wonderful slip of attractiveness). They "adopt" her into their group, not for sexual pursuit, as that's too much for these men right now, but as a faint flicker of what women and pre-war life used to mean to them.

This character-study not plot-driven movie has a Hemingwayesque feel as the group spends its days in an alcoholic haze taking trips here and there for no reason until finally winding up in Portugal. There, climatic trips to a bloody bullfight and a carnival shooting gallery bring back the horrors of war, shattering their fragile stability.

While these men wear tailored suits, go to nice bars and have physical injuries that are tamped down for the movie audience, as was done then, The Last Flight is a powerful and heartbreaking study of a World War I version of what would come to be called post traumatic stress disorder.

These physically and mentally damaged men truly are, as noted by the army doctor, spent bullets moving with whatever is left of a flagging forward trajectory they no longer fully control. We tend to think it is only more-modern movies that are willing to take on provocative issues, but The Last Flight was made ninety years ago in the insanely valuable and too-short pre-code era.
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
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4,294
Location
Ontario
Last night I watched "Passion" by Brian De Palma. By the end I was laughing, not because it was funny (it's not) or bad (it's well crafted), but rather because it is soooooooooooo Brian De Palma!! The first third was lame and bubble gum and I was asking myself why I was watching this, but then it gradually started to get edgier and darker and darker until the resolved/unresolved ending. If you're a De Palma fan then it's recommended.
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
^^^Last Flight looks good. A lot of the pre code film canon never made it to television when I was a kid,
so I missed this genre entirely, and films in-an-around code also were neglected for competing modern fare.
 
Messages
17,023
Location
New York City
JEM2.jpg
Jeanne Eagles from 1957 with Kim Novak, Jeff Chandler and Agnes Moorehead

Prior to this movie, these are the major things I knew about 1920's stage-and-early-screen-star Jeanne Eagles (1890-1929):
  1. She was arrestingly beautiful
  2. She had major drug and alcohol problems
  3. The one performance I saw of hers, 1929's The Letter, was captivating even with her substance abuse all but on display (she died later that year)
After seeing this 1957 movie and having a sense that it played fast and loose with the facts, I read the Jeanne Eagles Wikipedia page (knowing Wikipedia has its issues, but still, the outline of the biography is probably somewhat close to reality).

As is Hollywood's wont, it created its own Jeanne Eagles story inside the broad sketches of her life. Watching the movie, even without knowing her bio until afterwards, you could feel the "Hollywood treatment" as the story fit too neatly into a typical fifties' Hollywood "star succumbs to substance abuse" template.

In the movie, Eagles, played with gusto by Kim Novak, jumps from carnival "actress" to major Broadway star in one big leap. In real life, Eagles seemed to have worked her way up through both the theater and Hollywood. It happened quickly, but not as in the film, in one giant jump when she "steals" a role from an aging alcoholic actress (the foreboding was heavy handed).

Real-life Eagles' was married and divorced twice; whereas, fictional Eagles married and divorced once, but all the while carried a torch for the one true love of her life, good-guy Jeff Chandler. It's a nice Hollywood story, but apparently not true.

Eagles' alcohol and drug abuse is presented lightly in the movie as, yes, an alcohol issue, but the drugs are "prescribed" by a shady doctor, which makes movie-version Eagles almost a victim. No lighters, spoons, syringes and needle tracks in this movie. In real-life, Eagles seemed an early version of Keith Richards' chosen "booze and pills and powders" lifestyle.

Even Novak, who maybe looks, ehhh, a bit like Eagles, misses the one key Eagles physical feature - her early heroine chicness. Eagles, at least later in her short life, had that drug-user wan fragility that became oddly popular in the 1990s, but healthy-as-heck Novak, despite heavy dark eyeliner, simply looks vibrantly sanguine.

If you accept that the movie only brushes against the real Jeanne Eagles biography now and then, it's okay for what it is: a 1950s-style rise-and-fall morality tale stamped out of Hollywood's assembly line. In another five years, Hollywood would show more ugly reality in its drug- and alcohol-abuse movies, but in the mid '50s, most, like Jeanne Eagles, were handled with a gentler touch.

Maybe a 1920s stage and film star is too remote for a modern audience. And God knows, it's not as if present-day Hollywood hasn't saturated us with substance-abuse tales, but there might be a new period movie waiting to be made from the Jeanne Eagles story.


Ms. Eagles herself.
1-portrait-of-jeanne-eagels-edward-steichen.jpg
 
Messages
11,959
Location
Southern California
Seven Psychopaths (2012). Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling screenwriter who suddenly finds himself in the middle of Los Angeles' criminal underworld when gangster Charlie's (Woody Harrelson) Shih Tzu is kidnapped. Co-starring Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, and a host of "that guy/gal" actors, this is a fun-to-watch-but-ultimately-pointless movie.
 
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17,023
Location
New York City
James Cagney signalling to Myrtle.jpg

Sinner's Holiday from 1930 with James Cagney and Joan Blondell

At one hour in length on the dot, you look back and wonder how they jammed so much plot into sixty minutes, but Warner Bros. pre-codes, in particular, did that.

A matriarch who runs a penny arcade in a Coney-Island-style amusement park tries to keep her adult kids - two boys and a girl - on a short leash, but she clearly has a favorite, and weak spot for, younger son James Cagney.

Unfortunately, somewhat unbeknownst to momma (she sees no evil when it comes to son Cagney), he's rum running out of the arcade next door while romping around with arcade worker Joan Blondel - no favorite of momma's. Thrown into this mix is momma's daughter who is dating (and denying it to momma) a ne'er-do-well arcade roustabout with too-high an opinion of himself.

With the police poking around the amusement park looking for the bootleg operation they know is there but can't quite find and Cagney, maybe, shorting his mob boss, it's all about to explode and, then, does. A murder, a dead body stuffed in an arcade, a planted gun and a false alibi leads to a lot for the police to sort out all in less than a quarter of an hour, but Warner Bros. never saw multiple plot entanglement it couldn't address in mere minutes.

Poor momma has to come to terms with who her favorite son really is and who her daughter is really dating. After that emotional moment, it's back to running the penny arcade as, well, it's the Depression and the business has to open.

The real fun in this pre-code is not the plot, but the time travel to an early thirties amusement park (even if only to a Hollywood-set version). Also revealing of the period, the man dating momma's daughter acts with exaggerated (for the day) homosexual mannerism that seemed to slip into a lot of thirties movies. One assumes those gestures flew past many viewers, but were delivered, with a wink-and-a-nod, for those in the audience who got it.

Finally, this is Cagney's film debut and the first movie he'd do with regular partner Joan Blondel. Cagney is still perfecting the "Cagney persona" here, but you can see it forming. His rapid body movements and warp-speed-dialogue delivery are a bit herky-jerky, but within a few movies, full-blown Cagney would burst to stardom. It's fun to see him just before all that is about to happen.
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,005
Location
Gads Hill, Ontario
Up late, could not sleep, and I decided to watch In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich and Rene Russo. Quite enjoyable, I saw it in its original run, but found it less impressive after 28 years. Not bad, just not as impressive.

What I really remember is the trailer for it. Seeing a movie I do not even recall, this black screen with the year 1963 comes up, and Clint starts talking about the events of 22 November that year, and as a clock ticks, the 6 turns around to become a 9, so 1993. Clint dramatically appears, and the crowd goes nuts.

According to the wikipedi entry, the trailer was one of the first ever available online, thru AOL. In a week and a half, it was downloaded precisely 170 times.

You must read this article, it is so quaint in its description of the web.

https://variety.com/1993/digital/news/studios-go-online-to-woo-audiences-108856/

In fact:

 
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1967Cougar390

Practically Family
Messages
789
Location
South Carolina
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I watched Confidence Girl this afternoon. It’s a 1952 documentary-crime drama. The movie stars Tom Conway and Hillary Brooke.

I liked the format of the movie. It showed how the confidence couple would pull off their scams by winning over the confidence of their targets. Overall it’s a great period movie.


Steven
 
Messages
17,023
Location
New York City
DxUOdeXWwAAgQbK.jpg
Murder, My Sweet from 1944 with Dick Powell, Claire Trevor (above left, revealing a lot of leg) and Anne Shirley

Powell as Marlow (sniffing the air): "Is that you?"
Ann Shirley: "Is what me?"
Powell: "That nice expensive smell."

It took until this, probably my third viewing in thirty years, to finally appreciate Murder, My Sweet. It doesn't have the insane perfectness of The Maltese Falcon, the prurient bookshop scene from The Big Sleep or Edward G. Robinson picking Fred MacMurray apart stitch by stitch in Double Indemnity, but it does do just about everything film-noir right.

Powell wears the Phillip Marlowe private investigator role with weary comfort and a wonderful balance of cynicism and fatigued morality, the only honest philosophical combination adulthood leaves a sentient being.

Hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Powell's investigation morphs into a ride-along for the payoff of a stolen jade bracelet, which results in the murder of a bag man. This leads him to a wealthy and broken family comprising an older husband, a young straying wife, Claire Trevor, and her angry adult stepdaughter, Ann Shirley.

It's another entry in the popular noir subgenre of rich people living in mausoleum-like mansions. Oftentimes, as in Murder, My Sweet, these families have too many pretty and, umm, "unsatisfied" young women with nothing to do so they get themselves involved with dandy men and murder (see The Big Sleep and Born to Kill amongst others).

As Powell continues to dig by instinct in the dark, almost everybody tries to hire, fire, pay off, beat up or kill him (sometimes all five) anytime he gets close to the truth. Nobody, save maybe, the two-steps-behind-it-all police, wants the real story coming out.

But since Powell has the noir-era PI code requiring a private investigator or lawyer (see Perry Mason), who takes on a client, to stay with that client no matter how dishonorable the client may be, he just keeps getting up, brushing himself off and going back in for more. It's a code of personal integrity, not charity, which is why it feels foreign to us today.

After a bunch of head bonking and gunfire, a lot of sexual tension in the Powell-Trevor-Shirley love triangle, a few rough police interrogations and too many lies to keep track of, Powell unravels this murder, jewel-heist and unrequited-love mystery and makes off with the not-guilty woman.

It's a solid noir ride from beginning to end as nobody is totally honest, some are horribly dishonest, sex is used as a weapon, often by the women, streets are dark and wet, men carry guns and truncheons and you know whom you are rooting for, but not always why. It took me a few viewing, but now I fully appreciate the noir wonderfulness of Murder, My Sweet.


N.B. 1. Claire Trevor, a noirland regular, might have broken the land-speed record for aging as she goes from middle-aged seductress in this one to withered alcoholic four years later in Key Largo.

N.B. 2. While it only appeared briefly in the movie, check out, below, the insane Art Deco grill on the wonderfully named 1931 Isotta Fraschini (which sounds to me more like an Italian cinema sex goddess than a car).
i071360.jpg
 

Harp

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,508
Location
Chicago, IL US
That sentient being line and the gam shot bowled me over my Starbucks coffee, great composition, gam pix.
But Powell's hands in suit pockets slouch don't think quite the proper PI look. Pants pocket stuff, if and when,
perhaps.
I need another cup of joe.

Another gotta see.
 

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