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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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12,714
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Northern California
Thank you, FF. I am happy to see you are still around. It is always great to be here and see familiar faces and their entertaining posts. Life is pretty hectic with work and more, but still it is good. I hope to be here more often.
:D
 
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12,714
Location
Northern California
The Big Caper on TCM’s Noir Alley followed by Somebody Up There Likes Me. TCM early on a Sunday morning in the Fall is a great way to set the mood for the day. Entertaining enough movies with nice visuals. Even when the movie might not be as entertaining as I would want it to be, it is a lot of fun to soak up the background visuals of life in yesteryear.
:D
 
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16,755
Location
New York City
moss-rose.{format}.jpeg

Moss Rose from 1947 with Peggy Cummins, Victor Mature, Ethel Barrymore, Vincent Price and Rhys Williams


One thing you don't expect to find in the middle of a Victorian murder mystery set between foggy London and an English manor house is a Cinderella story. Yet in Moss Rose, the Cinderella story, embodied by the female lead, elevates the picture above its routine plot.

When a gentleman, played by Victor Mature, is seen, by a chorus girl, played by Peggy Cummins, leaving the flat of a later-discovered murdered chorus girl, the story shapes up as a typical murder-blackmail tale. We don't, though, actually see Mature murder the girl.

Mature is questioned by two Scotland Yard inspectors, Vincent Price playing his usually aloof and creepy "intellectual" and Rhys Williams, a fantastic and under-appreciated character actor, playing the smarter-than-he-appears regular-guy deputy inspector.

On the dead chorus girl's nightstand was a moss rose pressed into a Bible. Price, an amateur horticulturist, focuses on the rose, noting it only grows in certain regions at certain times of the year. The rose and Bible are interesting clues, but they don't incriminate Mature.

When Cummins, who didn't tell the police what she knows about Mature, contacts Mature later, he assumes she'll want money in exchange for her silence. But instead, and just his luck, she's looking for something else: Cummins wants her Cinderella moment.

Having always been poor and "common," Cummins is willing to exchange her silence for a stay at Mature's family manor house, where she'll be treated as "a lady." Some plot devices, like this one, work so much better on screen than they sound on paper.

Mature, up against it, agrees. So he and Cummins head out to the family estate where he introduces his new "friend" Cummins to his mother, played by Ethel Barrymore and, get ready for it, his fiancee, played by Patricia Medina, as someone who did him a great favor.

Barrymore and Medina are a bit taken back, but Barrymore plays the perfect grande dame host, while Medina issues, in private, the expected "stay away from my man" warning. Meanwhile, Mature sweats as Cummins seems to hold his life in her hands.

The fun in this one is seeing Cummins, despite the awkwardness, genuinely enjoying her stay at the house. She's like the poor kid who had looked through the candy shop's window her entire life, but now can buy whatever she wants. Her enjoyment is infectious.

It's still a murder mystery, though, so all the usual things happen. Each character acts a bit odd at times, making him or her look marginally suspicious. Plus, Price and Rhys show up, with Price still carrying on about the moss rose, which is grown in Barrymore's greenhouse.

After several more twists and feints, with the Inspectors, as usual, annoyingly and persistently poking about, the movie climaxes, no spoilers coming, in an over-the-top scene. Still, there's enough acting talent here to pull it off.

Owing to its ordinary murder plot, this is an actors' movie as Barrymore, Price and Mature make the material better. Yet it is Cummins, easily holding her own with the acting heavyweights, who elevates the entire effort with her blend of tenacity and child-like wonder.

Without Cummins and the Cinderella story, Moss Rose would just be a run-of-the-mill English murder mystery with a strong cast. With Cummins and the Cinderella story, the movie has a special verve that makes it tremendously fun to watch.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
851
Still here in the Lounge, but leaping' lizards, it's slower than molasses in January to log in.
To avoid getting cut off in the middle of posting, a quick note here. The last movie watched was Saratoga with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow starring. Race track bookmaker Gable meets his match in horse breeder's daughter Harlow, who is engaged to Ralph Bellamy-nice guy Walter Pidgeon. High-speed wisecracks and slang-heavy ripostes fly all over the place. This was Harlow's last film, passing away before it was completed. Stand-ins and a voice double finished her remaining scenes.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
lbiaffln.jpg

Look Back in Anger from 1959 with Richard Burton, Mary Ure, Claire Bloom and Gary Raymond


Look Back in Anger is another entry in the British post-war angry-young-man kitchen-sink genre with perhaps Richard Burton claiming the championship title as angriest of all the angry young men.

Look Back in Anger is also a tweaked, with British characteristics, version of A Streetcar Named Desire. In America, the southern gentry fell; in England, the Empire and its upper class fell. In both, the young generation's battlefield in these wars often became marriage.

Burton plays a lower-class kid who, although college educated, chooses to work a candy stall in an open-air market. He also married an upper-class woman, played by Mary Ure, but like his education, he seems to resent the good things in his life.

Burton could be working at a white-collar job with opportunity while happily married to a kind and pretty girl, but instead, his rage at the unfairness of, well, class, race, prejudice, the Empire - you name it - has him smashing up his life and all those around him.

His and Ure's slum-like flat, shared with Burton's good friend, played by Gary Raymond, is a battleground between Burton and Ure, except Burton fires all the salvos - long tirades against his wife and what she represents - while she almost always offers an olive branch.

It's a claustrophobic, ugly, violent (he breaks things, but doesn't hit her) and horribly depressing environment, but like in A Streetcar Named Desire, Burton and Ure have a nearly unbridled sexual passion for each other.

Raymond, a preternaturally calm man, who clearly loves both Burton and Ure, tries to keep the peace, but all he manages is to get Burton to cease fire now and then. Into this domestic hell, Ure's upper-class friend, played by Claire Bloom, comes for a stay.

Pretty and from a posh background herself, Bloom just fires up Burton's class resent some more. It all seems to come to a boil when Burton's elderly woman friend, who helped him get a start in the open-air market, passes away in poor obscurity.

Bloom, under the pretense of helping, convinces a now-pregnant Ure to go home to her parents without telling Burton she's pregnant. Bloom, like Blanche in Streetcar, can now scratch her lower-class carnal itch with Burton.

Yup, with Ure gone, she and Burton go at it like rabbits. For Burton, sex with the upper-class women he disdains clearly fires up his libido. It's not hard to connect the dots on that one.

The climax, no spoilers coming, feels rushed and forced. But a movie has to end with something happening, so a few story threads get quickly sewn up. None of it, though, feels settled as Look Back in Anger is really just a slice of an angry man's brutish life.

You can decide if Burton's full-force rage is over acting, but the man dominates the screen. Credit, though, is due to Ure, Raymond and Bloom as they don't disappear in Burton's shadow, but much more quietly create complex and engaging characters.

Director Tony Richardson, working with a John Osborne play and Osborne co-written screenplay, made a powerful movie, but to what end? Maybe capturing a place, vibe and moment in England is enough, but it makes for one exhausting and depressing movie.

Burton's rage feels more like unhinged self-indulgent virtue signaling than social justice concern. He has, afterall, the educational and social opportunities to advance himself, but instead, he seems to enjoy wallowing in self pity and free-floating resentment.

To his character's credit, Burton does sincerely support an Indian vendor at the market who is clearly being discriminated against by the other vendors and the police. Yet Burton's rage is almost nonstop; whereas, his support for the downtrodden seems haphazard.

In America, as the south fell, the country was expanding and growing strong; in England, as the Empire fell, the country was shrinking and getting weaker. Perhaps that is why Look Back in Anger is even bleaker than A Streetcar Named Desire.

There's so much talent on screen and behind the camera that Look Back in Anger is engaging, but it isn't an easy or fun movie. It may just leave you asking what exactly was the point of all the unhinged anger.

Richardson_Look-Back-in-Anger_004_1200.jpg
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
851
Blend three cups John Ford's cavalry trilogy, add one cup Vera Cruz, sprinkle with a hefty dash of proto- Wild Bunch, and , voila!, you have Major Dundee, Sam Peckinpah's revision of the Hollywood western. The version dvr'd off TCM was the "restored" two-hour plus cut, with Charlton Heston's character of Major Amos Charles Dundee descending into a drunken existential collapse in between battles. Richard Harris is Richard Harris dressed as a Confederate captain. The roster of character actors is too long to list, but you will be startled at the sheer number of them. It was gorier than I remembered. It was fun picking out the influences/homages throughout the story.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,389
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
View attachment 553237
Look Back in Anger from 1959 with Richard Burton, Mary Ure, Claire Bloom and Gary Raymond


Look Back in Anger is another entry in the British post-war angry-young-man kitchen-sink genre with perhaps Richard Burton claiming the championship title as angriest of all the angry young men.

Look Back in Anger is also a tweaked, with British characteristics, version of A Streetcar Named Desire. In America, the southern gentry fell; in England, the Empire and its upper class fell. In both, the young generation's battlefield in these wars often became marriage.

Burton plays a lower-class kid who, although college educated, chooses to work a candy stall in an open-air market. He also married an upper-class woman, played by Mary Ure, but like his education, he seems to resent the good things in his life.

Burton could be working at a white-collar job with opportunity while happily married to a kind and pretty girl, but instead, his rage at the unfairness of, well, class, race, prejudice, the Empire - you name it - has him smashing up his life and all those around him.

His and Ure's slum-like flat, shared with Burton's good friend, played by Gary Raymond, is a battleground between Burton and Ure, except Burton fires all the salvos - long tirades against his wife and what she represents - while she almost always offers an olive branch.

It's a claustrophobic, ugly, violent (he breaks things, but doesn't hit her) and horribly depressing environment, but like in A Streetcar Named Desire, Burton and Ure have a nearly unbridled sexual passion for each other.

Raymond, a preternaturally calm man, who clearly loves both Burton and Ure, tries to keep the peace, but all he manages is to get Burton to cease fire now and then. Into this domestic hell, Ure's upper-class friend, played by Claire Bloom, comes for a stay.

Pretty and from a posh background herself, Bloom just fires up Burton's class resent some more. It all seems to come to a boil when Burton's elderly woman friend, who helped him get a start in the open-air market, passes away in poor obscurity.

Bloom, under the pretense of helping, convinces a now-pregnant Ure to go home to her parents without telling Burton she's pregnant. Bloom, like Blanche in Streetcar, can now scratch her lower-class carnal itch with Burton.

Yup, with Ure gone, she and Burton go at it like rabbits. For Burton, sex with the upper-class women he disdains clearly fires up his libido. It's not hard to connect the dots on that one.

The climax, no spoilers coming, feels rushed and forced. But a movie has to end with something happening, so a few story threads get quickly sewn up. None of it, though, feels settled as Look Back in Anger is really just a slice of an angry man's brutish life.

You can decide if Burton's full-force rage is over acting, but the man dominates the screen. Credit, though, is due to Ure, Raymond and Bloom as they don't disappear in Burton's shadow, but much more quietly create complex and engaging characters.

Director Tony Richardson, working with a John Osborne play and Osborne co-written screenplay, made a powerful movie, but to what end? Maybe capturing a place, vibe and moment in England is enough, but it makes for one exhausting and depressing movie.

Burton's rage feels more like unhinged self-indulgent virtue signaling than social justice concern. He has, afterall, the educational and social opportunities to advance himself, but instead, he seems to enjoy wallowing in self pity and free-floating resentment.

To his character's credit, Burton does sincerely support an Indian vendor at the market who is clearly being discriminated against by the other vendors and the police. Yet Burton's rage is almost nonstop; whereas, his support for the downtrodden seems haphazard.

In America, as the south fell, the country was expanding and growing strong; in England, as the Empire fell, the country was shrinking and getting weaker. Perhaps that is why Look Back in Anger is even bleaker than A Streetcar Named Desire.

There's so much talent on screen and behind the camera that Look Back in Anger is engaging, but it isn't an easy or fun movie. It may just leave you asking what exactly was the point of all the unhinged anger.
Saw this once a very long time past. And Williams' Streetcar also some distance back with play read.
Brando is incomparable. Burton had an underlying angst but I hail London's Eastie meself so barrow boy
angst after college is tosh, plum pudding Dickens at best, and not even Dickens. The war took down certain
barriers remaining after the First War or rather death did, and all carried on with America's Marshall Plan
helping hand for better or not. So Burton rings hollow shrill quite unbecoming behaviour and indicative
a self absorbed ridicule of the self. Streetcar, or TW's stunning Cat On A Hot Tin Roof are vastly superior
materials to stage film production. Honourable mention Claire Bloom. She reminds memories of upper
crust Cambridge colleens worn their side of the blanket and eager for excitement floor rug ruffians offered.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,389
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Blend three cups John Ford's cavalry trilogy, add one cup Vera Cruz, sprinkle with a hefty dash of proto- Wild Bunch, and , voila!, you have Major Dundee, Sam Peckinpah's revision of the Hollywood western. The version dvr'd off TCM was the "restored" two-hour plus cut, with Charlton Heston's character of Major Amos Charles Dundee descending into a drunken existential collapse in between battles. Richard Harris is Richard Harris dressed as a Confederate captain. The roster of character actors is too long to list, but you will be startled at the sheer number of them. It was gorier than I remembered. It was fun picking out the influences/homages throughout the story.
When I was a cadet Dundee was shown for its tactics and American officer depiction when we studied the
Civil War. Captured Confederates were offered parole enlistment and western frontier posting. Of course,
Harris was proverbial fly in the soup or Irish stew. I thought Heston excellent as commanding officer.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,239
Location
New Forest
Honourable mention Claire Bloom. She reminds memories of upper
crust Cambridge colleens worn their side of the blanket and eager for excitement floor rug ruffians offered.
claire_bloom.jpg
Did you know that Claire is still alive and well? She's 92 years young and talking of did you know.
Claire had the cameo role of Dr Who's mother in David Tennant's final TV outing as the Time Lord.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,239
Location
New Forest
Never a whositsz. Claire had it in spades.
What a life she has led. She won both a film BAFTA and a TV BAFTA. She was married to outsized ego personalities like actor Rod Steiger and author Philip Roth. She had a famous romance with the even more egoistic, Richard Burton, and even one with Lord Olivier.

She has a daughter who is a successful opera singer. She has written two memoirs, the first was a serious book about her career: “Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress." The second one was a controversial tell-all called “Leaving a Doll’s House: A Memoir."

What a gal indeed!
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,389
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
What a life she has led. She won both a film BAFTA and a TV BAFTA. She was married to outsized ego personalities like actor Rod Steiger and author Philip Roth. She had a famous romance with the even more egoistic, Richard Burton, and even one with Lord Olivier.

She has a daughter who is a successful opera singer. She has written two memoirs, the first was a serious book about her career: “Limelight and After: The Education of an Actress." The second one was a controversial tell-all called “Leaving a Doll’s House: A Memoir."

What a gal indeed!
Steiger, similar to Ernest Borgnine had the goods-credibility. The Pawnbroker Steiger is perhaps his best work
although I personally favour his southern Mississippi sheriff in Poitier's Mister Tibbs. And both Borgnine and Sidney more than made mark. They carved their brand onto celluloid.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,389
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Early morning Sunday London, needing a tight fit noir awaken with coffee, and Woman on The Run
with sultry Ann Sheridan hit the spot in a 1950 circa San Francisco absolute classic. Well scripted, tightly
wrapped murder flick complete inside a marriage on the rocks led by a strong leading lady. An accompanied
trailer told the film's enigmatic disappearance from public eye after a brief theatrical dash, then became orphaned subsequent studio-distributor divorce, but ressurected to belated praise as hidden gemstone chiaroscuro classic noir.
Ann Sheridan alone suffices rhyme and reason to watch.
 
Messages
16,755
Location
New York City
Early morning Sunday London, needing a tight fit noir awaken with coffee, and Woman on The Run
with sultry Ann Sheridan hit the spot in a 1950 circa San Francisco absolute classic. Well scripted, tightly
wrapped murder flick complete inside a marriage on the rocks led by a strong leading lady. An accompanied
trailer told the film's enigmatic disappearance from public eye after a brief theatrical dash, then became orphaned subsequent studio-distributor divorce, but ressurected to belated praise as hidden gemstone chiaroscuro classic noir.
Ann Sheridan alone suffices rhyme and reason to watch.

I agree. It's an outstanding noir powered by Sheridan. I wrote about it several years back here: #26,740
 

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