Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
MV5BMDE5NGU2ODgtNGY2MS00N2ViLWI1OWQtYmY5NWM2ZGZmNzBmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjkwMzEwNg@@._V1_.jpg

The Silver Cord from 1933 with Laura Hope Crews, Irene Dunn, Joel McCrea, Frances Dee and Eric Linden


God bless the precode movie and not because The Silver Cord has any naughty sex in it (it doesn't), but because it takes a brutally honest look at a selfish mother who wields her "love" like a club to beat her two adult sons into submission.

It's a stark honesty you won't see often in movies in only a few years because, after 1934, The Motion Picture Production Code was all but fully enforced and a lot of truth left the screen

In The Silver Cord, Joel McCrea plays an American architect who, living in Europe for a time, romances and marries another American, a biologist played by Irene Dunn.

They then return to the States planning to move to New York City where she has a position waiting for her at the Rockefeller Institute and he has an opportunity with a large architecture firm, but first they are going to visit his mother.

Bad move. The mother, played by Laura Hope Crews, is a manipulative control freak who has no interest in letting McCrea or her other adult son, played by Eric Linden, leave the nest.

Wealthy, widowed long ago and with, convenient for her, heart trouble, she raised her two boys to worship their "self-sacrificing" Mom, and they do.

Her plan for McCrae is for him to build houses on a nearby strip of land she owns so that he'll be both near her and grateful to her for the opportunity. Dunn, no fool, quickly sees the trap Mama Crews has set, but it takes her time to form a counter argument.

Linden, the other son, is engaged to a young girl played by (Joel McCrea's soon-to-be wife) Frances Dee. When McCrea and Dunn arrive at his Mother's big gloomy mansion, we see that Crews has already been beating the spirit out of Dee.

Mama Crews uses a combination of passive-aggressive behavior, overwhelming chatter and, when necessary, outright bullying to keep her sons emotionally blackmailed and their wives/fiances cowed.

The plot is pretty straightforward: Crews wants total control; the women want the sons to break free and the boys are pulled in both directions.

Most of the movie, of which ninety-five percent takes place in the mother's mansion, is watching Crews use every weapon in her arsenal to get her way as the wives initially flail and the boys equivocate.

Linden's character, it's implied in the subtext of the day, is closeted (maybe, even to himself) gay. It's explained that he didn't "fully" love Dee and he wants to be an interior decorator (era code for a gay man). This explains his struggle to break from his mother for Dee.

McCrea is a bit more independent, but it is Dunn who, eventually, goes toe-to-toe with Crews in the best exchanges of the movie, as the two women throw verbal haymakers at each other when the gloves come off toward the end.

There are a few key plot pivots including Dee having a hysterical breakdown when, at his mother's urging, Linden kinda sorta breaks their engagement. Another pivot happens when Dunn learns from the family doctor that there is nothing wrong with the mother's heart.

When Crews is confronted with this fact, though, she simply denies it and goes on lamenting her poor health and all she's sacrificed for her sons: the woman has no shame and an indomitable will.

The plot itself is really just here as a platform for the dialogue and family dynamic to play out in this very stagey movie, not surprisingly, based on a play. Still, the picture grabs hold of you from about ten minutes in and doesn't let go from there.

Sure it's contrived and obvious, but the story is also real and powerful as a common family dysfunction is painfully laid bare. You don't even want to think about why these adult sons kiss their mother on the mouth, ew.

Crews, Dunn and Dee give the strongest performances, in part, because they represent the antipodes of the argument and, eventually, fight with absolute conviction and emotion; whereas, McCrea and Linden waffle for most of the movie.

The Silver Cord today would be an HBO series about a powerful yet broken family, but in 1933, precode movies simply ripped through these stories with brutal honesty in just over an hour.

For modern audiences, these precode movies (1930-1934) are a valuable window into the true complexity of society back then as, once the code was enforced, most of this nuance and candor sadly left the silver screen for the next several decades.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
851
View attachment 524011
Stray Dog from 1949, a Japanese film with Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Keiko Awaji


This post-war Japanese movie uses the simple story of a rookie detective losing his gun to explore the themes of honor, duty and responsibility in a country where those values were so horribly perverted during WWII that it nearly destroyed itself.

In Stray Dog, if you want, you can ignore a lot of its philosophy and country soul searching and just enjoy a good detective story, Japanese style, by noted director Akira Kurosawa. Today, you can also enjoy its invaluable historic window into 1949 Japan.

When a rookie detective, played by Toshiro Mifune, has his gun stolen, he is distraught. He offers his resignation in disgrace, but the older and more forgiving police inspector simply teams him up with a senior detective to find the man now committing crimes with his gun.

The senior detective, played by Takashi Shimura, tries unsuccessfully to calm Mifune down with the pragmatic comments "If it wasn't a Colt it'd have been a Browning" and "Instead of brooding, prevent the next incident."

Mifune, though, only gets more wound up as his gun is linked to additional crimes. It doesn't take much to see that the older generation has learned something about fanaticism that, surprisingly, some in the younger generation still need to learn, even after the war.

Most of the movie is watching Shimura and Mifune, ploddingly but doggedly, tracking down the criminal with the stolen gun. Their investigation takes us on a trip through some of the seedier parts of Tokyo, including a burlesque-like nightclub where stolen guns are sold.

The movie doesn't shy away from showing the abject poverty of many in Japan at that time. While it doesn't indulge the poverty-absolves-the-criminal theory, there is, however, an understanding of the stresses it causes.

Foreshadowing many rookie-veteran-cop pairings in movies to come, Mifune is all raw energy and bumbling, while Shimura has the patience and experience to diligently piece small clues together. He also, though, shows a weariness from decades on the job.

Director Kurosawa has a genius for picking small details to humanize his characters, as when a suspect, wonderfully played by Keiko Awaji, shares a beer with Mifune after a day-long game of cat and mouse those two played in the stifling summer heat of Tokyo.

Awaji, a chorus girl, represents Japan's post-WWII version of Fitzgerald's post-WWI The Lost Generation. She, as opposed to Mifune, has little patience for the older generation's values. She just wants to have fun, like so many Americans in Paris did after that earlier war.

The story climaxes (no spoilers coming), as these stolen-gun stories all must, with a final confrontation between the rookie in search of his gun and the criminal who has been using it to commit crimes (parallels to 1982's 48 Hrs. can't be missed).

Mifune is good as the distraught detective, but at times, his Greek Tragedy response to having his gun being stolen is a bit much. Shimura's performance, as the thoughtful, smart but tired detective, is believable and moving, which is why he’s a stock character to this day.

The movie, shot in black and white and in need of a restoration, is slow moving but not boring as you feel as if you are along for the ride with the police on an investigation in a poor dusty city where even the well-to-do look enervated by the heat.

Stray Dog is a good detective story, but it's also a commentary on a post-war Japan trying to come to terms with WWII. One cannot simply renounce honor, devotion and duty, but having seen them twisted into evil, the country is rightfully leery of strict adherence.

Those values, though, are also deeply woven into the historic culture of Japan. Stray Dog doesn't claim to have the answers; who did at the end of the war? Its value lies in simply asking the questions in a smart and thought-provoking way as Kurosawa does here.
Some time back I raved about Stray Dog, as a story and as a view of post-war Japan dealing with the vast changes of war, surrender, and a national rebuilding. Shimura is excellent as the "thoughtful, smart but tired detective"; the humanity that Kurosawa shows us in Shimura's home life is a balance to the rough crime atmosphere. Mifune's exaggerated performance is well-balanced by Shimura's low-key presence.
Many of the black market scenes were shot in the actual locales, putting the cameraman at risk of rousing the suspicion of the real gangsters running the place. If memory serves well, camera operator Kazuo Yamada had to drape a coat over the camera to secretly get some of the footage.
If FL'ers enjoyed this film, a viewing of Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well, about corporate corruption and a seeker of vengeance driven by familial piety, is worth a watch. Many of Kurosawa's "stock company" appear, including Seiji Miyaguchi who played the laconic swordsman in Seven Samurai, here in suit and tie as a prosecutor.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
Some time back I raved about Stray Dog, as a story and as a view of post-war Japan dealing with the vast changes of war, surrender, and a national rebuilding. Shimura is excellent as the "thoughtful, smart but tired detective"; the humanity that Kurosawa shows us in Shimura's home life is a balance to the rough crime atmosphere. Mifune's exaggerated performance is well-balanced by Shimura's low-key presence.
Many of the black market scenes were shot in the actual locales, putting the cameraman at risk of rousing the suspicion of the real gangsters running the place. If memory serves well, camera operator Kazuo Yamada had to drape a coat over the camera to secretly get some of the footage.
If FL'ers enjoyed this film, a viewing of Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well, about corporate corruption and a seeker of vengeance driven by familial piety, is worth a watch. Many of Kurosawa's "stock company" appear, including Seiji Miyaguchi who played the laconic swordsman in Seven Samurai, here in suit and tie as a prosecutor.

That is some great color on the making of the movie.

I just recorded, coincidentally earlier today, since TCM was running it, "The Bad Sleep Well." With your comments, I'm even more excited to see it.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
851
It's 1936 and Samuel Goldwyn presents us with the screen adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel Come and Get It. Quite frankly, when I saw the poster art on Prime, with Edward Arnold prominent, I thought it might be a wartime musical morale booster, or a variation on screwball comedies. But, no, it's a drama and a romance, starring Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, and Frances Farmer; interestingly, those three are the only cast members billed at the start, with the full cast given at the end.

Directed by both Howard Hawks and William Wyler. IMDB alleges that Wyler directed the last 30 minutes of the film.

Arnold is a rough, two-fisted lumberjack/operations manager in the rough, two-fisted Wisconsin logging world of 1884, who bulls his way to the top, accompanied by his Swedish lumberjack pal played by Walter Brennan. I'm not going to give anything away, except to say that once Arnold is rich and powerful in 1907, he reconnects in a Ferberian plot development with his past, in a way that has us gasping out loud.

Actress Cecil Cunningham plays the Thelma Ritter part of secretary to Arnold's lumber tycoon, and her pithy comments on Arnold's life choices, and her silences mixed with arched eyebrows, steal the screen whenever she walks on, zings Arnold, and ambles back to her office. Not to be missed.

Very cool is actual footage of timber felling, logs zipping down chutes, lots of dynamite blowing up log jams, then logs making their riverine way to saw mills.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
47a2de172e20e05ec0b5c0606dc4369d.jpg

Highway 301 from 1950 with Steve Cochran, Virginia Gray, Gaby Andre, Aline Towne and Edmon Ryan


"These men had been handled too leniently in the early stages of their careers in crime. You cannot be kind to congenital criminals like these. They would show you no mercy. Let them feel the full impact of the law." - Detective Sergeant Truscott


Other than several clearly forced public service messages from three, yes three, state governors at the start, Highway 301 is an unapologetic full-throttled cops-and-robbers noir with a high-bullet and body count.

Several men, the "Tri-State Gang" with two willing and one unaware gunmolls in tow, terrorize three states in a spree of robberies done in broad daylight without masks or concern for life.

Led by a ruthless, psychotic killer, played by Steve Cochran, the gang is so brazen that they hijack an armored car in the middle of the day, kill a guard, shoot at a few others and speed away, only to casually stop at a diner to get a meal later that same day.

It has a 1930s Bonnie and Clyde "we'll do this until we get killed" feel to it, which makes sense as it's based on a real 1930s gang. Back then, it was the Depression and, for some, life felt hopeless, so going out in a blaze of glory had an odd appeal.

Cochran is very good as the psychotic leader. He has an ability to go from being almost personable, to calmly sinister, to violently dangerous and, then, back again to almost personable in a matter of minutes, as only a sociopath can.

The other men in the gang are, basically, just that, the other men who follow Cochran as he is a dominating leader. The three women in the gang, though, despite having fewer lines of dialogue, are the more-interesting characters in this one.

Aline Towne plays Cochran's cynical girlfriend who is weary of the gangster life and sick of Cochran's abuse. Her meltdown and personal denouement is harrowing and swift.

At the other extreme is Gaby Andre playing a woman who, all in one week, met and married a man she thought was a traveling salesman, but who is really part of Cochran's gang. Her swift and horrifying realization that she married a mobster is operatic.

The most engaging of the gunmolls, though, is played by Virginia Gray as she's all in on the gangster life. It's not so much that she's a gangster herself, it's just that the gangster world is her world, like say, carny people who live in a carny world.

Having to bolt from a hotel room at night or listening to the news on the radio for police updates on the search for the gang are all just part of her normal life. When called upon to reconnaissance a situation for the gang, she proves nervy and smart.

You don't like admitting it, but she's the quietly sexy, smart gunmoll you'd want if you were a gangster. Watching her match wits with the detective, played by Edmon Ryan, heading up the search for the gang is the most-intense scene in the movie.

Most of the movie, though, is the gang, after the armored car robbery and an even more-audacious and murderous bank robbery, trying to run from an extensive manhunt.

Being the 1950s, you know how it will end, but director Andrew L. Stone does a good job of keeping the movie zipping along with a lot of action, engaging dialogue and some classic noir cinematography.

Unfortunately, the police are just cookie-cutter law-enforcement characters, other than detective Ryan who brings some personality and nuance to his role as the man heading up the search for the killers.

Highway 301 is a low-budget B noir that, while not rising above its station, delivers a solid punch of crime drama within its sandbox, especially with several interesting women along for the ride. Plus, its iconic Warner Bros. sets gives it a classic 1950s B-noir feel.

ETwuOnEWsAE45Mf.png
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
empire-of-light-cinema-exterior1200-1024x679.jpg

Empire of Light from 2022 with Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth and Toby Jones


If you are looking for a pleasantly nostalgic story about the romance of cinema's past - about the movie "palaces" of yore where large, awed crowds sat in a darkened theater as poignant moments of life flickered by on the screen - this is not really the movie for you.

That thead of nostalgia is, yes, beautifully woven into this 2022 Sam Mendes film, but being a modern picture, its main themes are racism and mental illness. While those themes are smartly and movingly handled, and that alone is worthwhile, nothing new is said.

Empire of Light is ostensibly the story of two damaged people in early 1980s England who find a temporary lifeboat in each other amidst the visually engaging setting of a beautiful-but-faded 1920s movie "palace" located in a beautiful-but-faded fin de siècle seaside resort town.

Olivia Colman plays a middle-aged white woman and worker in the Empire Theater in Margate, England who forms a bond with a new co-worker, a young black man played by Michael Ward. Colman is on lithium for depression seemingly related to loneliness.

Ward is disappointed that he has yet to get into university where he wants to study architecture. Worse, still, he has to deal with near daily encounters with subtle and not-so-subtle racism that are disaffecting this otherwise positive young man.

He and Colman are gentle souls, one already beaten down by life and one still hopeful. Their connection in the theater's now-shuttered beautiful rooftop restaurant, which takes on a sexual intimacy, is both happy and sad as they kinda know at the start it will be fleeting.

For the brief moment their affair works, though, it is warm and uplifting for them and the audience. Sometimes life is about nothing more than making the here and now better. But the here and now grinds toward the future.

Colman's symptoms reappear when she, against her doctor's orders, goes off her medicine, which begins to scuttle her relationship with Ward. Then, 1980s racism, ugly as always, comes right to the theater's front doors.

Mendez and cinematographer Roger Deakins use the magnificent Art Deco theater and Margate, with its run-down but iconic architecture, to create an incredibly appealing visual setting that, maybe, says something about faded glory, but really is just evocative and pretty.

Scenes in the movie's projection booth with talented Toby Jones wonderfully portraying a veteran projectionist, a man with his own broken past, just like the scenes set in front of the giant salt-water pool on the Margate beach, have both an intimacy and a days-gone-by feeling.

Mendez also knows how to show the small moments when humans honestly connect as when Colman and Ward heal a pigeon's broken wing or when they enjoy sharing a poem or song.

Ward and Colman both give nuanced, moving and Oscar-worthy performances (the Academy, though, thought otherwise) as damaged human beings fighting to maintain their dignity in a world looking to take it from them.

Colin Firth turns in his usual professional performance as the theater manager. But portraying a man pathetically trying to boost his own ego felt like a check-another-culturally-approved-box in a movie already safely full of progressive-approved characters.

Showing a confidence in his audience lacking in many modern movie makers, Mendez, thankfully, doesn't have Empire of Light speed through a series of only short scenes, as so many movies do today.

Instead, Mendez believes in his viewer's attention span, so he lets individual scenes and the movie itself unfold at a reasonable pace, allowing its story and characters to develop over time.

There is, maybe, less here than you want as the movie so beautifully captures a moment and the story and characters seem to have so much promise that the full result feels like a bit of a letdown, especially if you are looking for a traditional story ending.

But as a slice-of-life story - a story about two unlikely people briefly finding each other in a charming but now-faded place, a place redolent of former grandeur and cinematic history - Empire of Light will stay with you.


N.B. @LizzieMaine, I would think this movie would play well with your theater's audience.

thumb_BBF64C30-7AAC-4248-88C8-D8FC4F57E71E.jpg
 

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,217
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
I thought Empire of Light was good, but not great. Everything Roger Deakins shoots is a treat to watch.

 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
MV5BNDFjZDkwMzMtZmYzOC00OTc2LWIwY2ItNjU0ZmU0NzczNTIyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjU4NzU2OTA@._V1_.jpg


Page Miss Glory from 1935 with Marion Davies, Pat O'Brien, Frank McHugh, Mary Astor and Lyle Talbot


Page Miss Glory is very 1930s and very Warner Bros. in its fast-paced slapstick movie style, but its core story - an image of a person is created and sold to the public for money and fame - is, basically, the same story as today's "influencers" and others on social media who create a "fabulous" persona and lifestyle for publicity and money that has little connection to their real life.

Marion Davies, in her first movie made at Warner Bros after moving from her long-time home at MGM (big doings in Hollywood at the time), plays a small-town girl who comes to New York City to be a chambermaid.

Once there, she gets caught up in a scheme hatched by a down-and-out flim-flam team played by Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh, with McHugh's girlfriend, played by Mary Astor, grudgingly along for the ride.

McHugh, whose character is also a photographer, at O'Brien's urging and using cutting-edge technology for the time, creates a composite image from magazine pictures of a gorgeous woman. They give their composite the made-up name Dawn Glory and enter her picture in a radio beauty contest sponsored by a yeast company.

They win, take the prize money, make additional endorsement deals, but are under intense pressure to produce the winner, "Dawn Glory," which they eventually do by pushing chambermaid Davies into the role of the new glamour queen.

All sorts of 1930s screwball comedy ensues: a famous aviator, played by Dick Powell, proposes to "Dawn Glory" over the radio without meeting her (she accepts) and a rival yeast company tries to get Miss Glory (Davies) to switch to endorsing its yeast.

Since that's not enough chaos, a couple of hoods, hired by the rival yeast company, go rogue and try to kidnap Davies and her fiance Powell to get a cut of the Dawn Glory revenue.

Finally, a newspaper man, played by Lyle Talbot, sniffing out that something phoney is going on, relentlessly investigates the story and O'Brien's background (it's not a pretty one).

All of these troubles fall on O'Brien’s shoulders as he, the "brains" behind the scheme, spends most of the movie talking faster and faster as he tries to spin his way out of all the above trouble.

Innocent Davies, meanwhile, gets more and more frustrated as she doesn't like being "Dawn Glory," a manipulated product. She just wants to live a normal life.

The style of the movie is 1930s high-spirited chaos, which was in Warners Bros. sweet spot, especially with actors like O'Brien, McHugh and Astor who are able to make silly scenes and nonsensical dialogue kinda believable and often fun. It's their talent and incredible on-screen chemistry that carries the picture.

The silliness of the script would have collapsed in on itself without O'Brien, McHugh and Astor playing off each other in a wonderful way: O'Brien is the huckster, McHugh; his always nervous partner and Astor, whose role should have been bigger, is the one who realizes the other two are idiots, but they're her idiots.

Davies is, oddly, often in the background or even off screen as she's just the "product" the two nutjobs are selling. She's fine in her role, but it's odd that as the titular star she gets less screen time than the other leads and has the less-interesting part.

Despite all its dated 1930s style, the core story of Page Miss Glory is amazingly relevant today: a (literally) fake image of a woman is created and sold to the public with endorsement deals and sponsorships following its success.

Davies as made-up Dawn Glory, like some social influencers today, becomes exhausted trying to live up to her public persona, while those profiting from that persona want her to keep going.

You will either enjoy the very 1930s movie "antics" of Page Miss Glory or not, but you can't help appreciating how so little has changed, in almost ninety years, in the advertising world's approach to selling an image to the public.
 
Last edited:

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
32,850
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
View attachment 525981
Empire of Light from 2022 with Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth and Toby Jones


If you are looking for a pleasantly nostalgic story about the romance of cinema's past - about the movie "palaces" of yore where large, awed crowds sat in a darkened theater as poignant moments of life flickered by on the screen - this is not really the movie for you.

That thead of nostalgia is, yes, beautifully woven into this 2022 Sam Mendes film, but being a modern picture, its main themes are racism and mental illness. While those themes are smartly and movingly handled, and that alone is worthwhile, nothing new is said.

Empire of Light is ostensibly the story of two damaged people in early 1980s England who find a temporary lifeboat in each other amidst the visually engaging setting of a beautiful-but-faded 1920s movie "palace" located in a beautiful-but-faded fin de siècle seaside resort town.

Olivia Colman plays a middle-aged white woman and worker in the Empire Theater in Margate, England who forms a bond with a new co-worker, a young black man played by Michael Ward. Colman is on lithium for depression seemingly related to loneliness.

Ward is disappointed that he has yet to get into university where he wants to study architecture. Worse, still, he has to deal with near daily encounters with subtle and not-so-subtle racism that are disaffecting this otherwise positive young man.

He and Colman are gentle souls, one already beaten down by life and one still hopeful. Their connection in the theater's now-shuttered beautiful rooftop restaurant, which takes on a sexual intimacy, is both happy and sad as they kinda know at the start it will be fleeting.

For the brief moment their affair works, though, it is warm and uplifting for them and the audience. Sometimes life is about nothing more than making the here and now better. But the here and now grinds toward the future.

Colman's symptoms reappear when she, against her doctor's orders, goes off her medicine, which begins to scuttle her relationship with Ward. Then, 1980s racism, ugly as always, comes right to the theater's front doors.

Mendez and cinematographer Roger Deakins use the magnificent Art Deco theater and Margate, with its run-down but iconic architecture, to create an incredibly appealing visual setting that, maybe, says something about faded glory, but really is just evocative and pretty.

Scenes in the movie's projection booth with talented Toby Jones wonderfully portraying a veteran projectionist, a man with his own broken past, just like the scenes set in front of the giant salt-water pool on the Margate beach, have both an intimacy and a days-gone-by feeling.

Mendez also knows how to show the small moments when humans honestly connect as when Colman and Ward heal a pigeon's broken wing or when they enjoy sharing a poem or song.

Ward and Colman both give nuanced, moving and Oscar-worthy performances (the Academy, though, thought otherwise) as damaged human beings fighting to maintain their dignity in a world looking to take it from them.

Colin Firth turns in his usual professional performance as the theater manager. But portraying a man pathetically trying to boost his own ego felt like a check-another-culturally-approved-box in a movie already safely full of progressive-approved characters.

Showing a confidence in his audience lacking in many modern movie makers, Mendez, thankfully, doesn't have Empire of Light speed through a series of only short scenes, as so many movies do today.

Instead, Mendez believes in his viewer's attention span, so he lets individual scenes and the movie itself unfold at a reasonable pace, allowing its story and characters to develop over time.

There is, maybe, less here than you want as the movie so beautifully captures a moment and the story and characters seem to have so much promise that the full result feels like a bit of a letdown, especially if you are looking for a traditional story ending.

But as a slice-of-life story - a story about two unlikely people briefly finding each other in a charming but now-faded place, a place redolent of former grandeur and cinematic history - Empire of Light will stay with you.


N.B. @LizzieMaine, I would think this movie would play well with your theater's audience.

View attachment 525983
Yep, we had it here last fall, and it was very well received. I didn't identify with it at all, nosirreee not one little bit.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
Hey Fading Fast, are you aware that there's also a "Page Miss Glory" Warner Bros. cartoon?

It's an early Termite Terrace gem, a color Merrie Melodie, made the same year as the feature (yeah, there was corporate content synergy even then!) directed by Tex Avery. It features some cool Deco stylization.:


Very cool, I was not aware of it.

Very funny, as you note, that they were already doing the "marketing blitz" style approach back then.

Also as you note, the full-on Deco style is very cool (even the chauffeurs' features are Deco).

Thank you, great find.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
32,850
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
"Miss Glory" is a real favorite of mine in both feature picture and cartoon forms. Marion Davies is one of the most underrated comedic actresses of her generation, despite Hearst's domineering efforts to force her into serious costume roles, and she brightens any picture she's in. And Pat O'Brien had a whole niche of his career where he played fast-talking press agents/promoters/show-business fixers -- if you liked him in this film, you'd like him in "Twenty Million Sweethearts," where he plays the same type of cheesy promoter, only against a radio background.

Almost the identical plot of "Page Miss Glory" also shows up in a 1933 RKO programmer called "Professional Sweetheart," with Ginger Rogers in the role of the would-be celebrity who bucks against her manufactured public persona. This being a pre-code film it gets quite a bit more risque than could be attempted in 1935, to the point of becoming utterly bizarre in the third act, but it also has some very funny moments.

As for the cartoon, it's breathtaking on the big screen. I've had the chance to run it twice over the years, and the audience, going into it with no idea what to expect, has both times ended up spellbound. Leodora Congdon, the designer -- who is the only person to receive screen credit in the short -- was a Chicago-based advertising artist who was apparently a -- um -- protege of Leon Schlesinger, who later went on to found a successful design firm of her own.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
"Miss Glory" is a real favorite of mine in both feature picture and cartoon forms. Marion Davies is one of the most underrated comedic actresses of her generation, despite Hearst's domineering efforts to force her into serious costume roles, and she brightens any picture she's in. And Pat O'Brien had a whole niche of his career where he played fast-talking press agents/promoters/show-business fixers -- if you liked him in this film, you'd like him in "Twenty Million Sweethearts," where he plays the same type of cheesy promoter, only against a radio background.

Almost the identical plot of "Page Miss Glory" also shows up in a 1933 RKO programmer called "Professional Sweetheart," with Ginger Rogers in the role of the would-be celebrity who bucks against her manufactured public persona. This being a pre-code film it gets quite a bit more risque than could be attempted in 1935, to the point of becoming utterly bizarre in the third act, but it also has some very funny moments.

As for the cartoon, it's breathtaking on the big screen. I've had the chance to run it twice over the years, and the audience, going into it with no idea what to expect, has both times ended up spellbound. Leodora Congdon, the designer -- who is the only person to receive screen credit in the short -- was a Chicago-based advertising artist who was apparently a -- um -- protege of Leon Schlesinger, who later went on to found a successful design firm of her own.

I have seen "Professional Sweetheart," which as you note, does get pretty odd, but it is also another example of how Ginger Rogers was so much more than just Fred's dance partner.
 
Last edited:

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,388
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
View attachment 525981
Empire of Light from 2022 with Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth and Toby Jones
Colin Firth turns in But portraying a man pathetically trying to boost his own ego felt like a check-another-culturally-approved-box in a movie already safely full of progressive-approved characters.
But as a slice-of-life story - a story about two unlikely people briefly finding each other in a charming but now-faded place, a place redolent of former grandeur and cinematic history - Empire of Light will stay with you.

GF wanted to see this in theatre but I really cannot tolerate what you rightly dub a culturally approved movie
full of progessively approved characters even if I adore Olivia Colman. I liked Firth as King George in The King's Speech and all but no. One needs draw the line and stay on the right side of things.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
106,653
Messages
3,018,866
Members
52,268
Latest member
reagan
Top