Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Reza
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:55 am

Whiplash (Lewis Seiler, 1948) 5/10

Atmospheric but rather slow romantic melodrama with noir overtones. A failed painter (Dane Clark) takes up boxing to be near the mysterious woman (Alexis Smith) he loves. She is unhappily married to the manipulative crippled boxing promoter (Zachary Scott) who holds her in his cruel grip. Clark is good and easily passes off as a John Garfield clone, Smith is sexy but morose throughout while Scott does his usual sleazy bit. Coming off best are Eve Arden as a wisecracking pal and charming S.Z. Sakall as a romantic bartender.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am

The Woman in White (Peter Godfrey, 1948) 7/10

A painter (Gig Young) arrives at a country estate to find an odd group of eccentrics living together in a perpetual state of morose tension and terror - his pupil the pretty heiress (Eleanor Parker), her hysterical doppleganger and "woman in white" (also played by Parker) whom he meets in the forest, the girls' cousin (Alexis Smith), their hypochondriac invalid uncle (John Abbott), the seemingly charming but diabolical guest (Sydney Greenstreet) plotting to get the heiress (and her sister) killed and his wife (Agnes Moorehead) who holds the key to the mystery . Overwrought gothic melodrama moves at a lightning pace creating an eerie atmosphere through wonderfully moody photography. Sleazy Greenstreet steals the film with his maniacal plotting and Parker creates two sexy characters although with subtle shadings between the two. Sadly Alexis Smith is wasted in an underwritten role.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am

When Strangers Marry (William Castle 1944) 7/10

Studio bound vision of New York seen through the eyes of a naive war bride (Kim Hunter) who arrives in search of her husband (Dean Jagger) and gradually realises he may be the stocking killer on the loose. Castle directs this minor film with imagination (although there is a direct lift from Hitchcock's "39 Steps" during one scene) as every nook and shadowy corner seemingly houses something sinister often using odd camera angles to effectively create suspense. The girl is helped along the way by an old friend (Robert Mitchum) leading up to a twist ending. Hunter is very good, Jagger an odd choice as a leading man and Mitchum is deadpan throughout.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:53 am

Highway 301 (Andrew L. Stone, 1950) 8/10

Tough B-noir is a newsreel-like thriller that follows the crime spree of a gang of bank robbers led by a vicious criminal (Steve Cochran) who has no qualms about shooting people who come in his way. The story is narrated by a cop and the exciting film closely follows the gang (Richard Egan, Robert Webber, Edward Norris) and their molls (a snappy Virginia Grey, Gaby André, Aline Towne) as they rob, kill, bicker and hide as the cops snap at their heels. The films violent ending has a strong (if preachy) message that crime does not pay. Cochran, sadly very underrated in Hollywood, is brilliant as the cold blooded murderer.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:53 am

Dangerous Mission! (Louis King, 1954) 5/10

A woman (Piper Laurie) witnesses a mob killing in New York and hides out in Glacier National Park in Montana. At a hotel she befriends two men (Victor Mature & Vincent Price) and unbeknownst to her one of them is a hit man out to get her. Action adventure film has a number of set pieces - an avalanche, a forest fire and a dangerous trek across a glacier. The three attractive stars go through the paces but its all rather stale. Routine B film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:52 am

Madame Butterfly (Marion Gering, 1932) 7/10

Puccini's famous opera gets a work out in early Hollywood minus the arias. High born Cho Cho San (Sylvia Sidney) - who can speak english with a "very high class Brooklyn accent" - is sold by her family to a geisha house which in turn makes plans to get her married to a rich bidder. Along comes an American Navy sailor (Cary Grant) who is charmed by her beauty and decides to get married to her despite a fiancé back home. After he leaves, his wife waits for three years along with his son, but when he returns he brings along his American wife leading to tragedy. Sidney is heart breaking as the demure geisha while Grant, in one of his early lead roles, is handsome and dashing. The famous music from the opera is heard in the background and despite typically creaky moments from old Hollywood this is an effective adaptation with good production values.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:52 am

I Confess (Alfred Hitchcock, 1953) 8/10

Somber broody thriller about Catholic guilt. A murderer confesses his crime to a priest (Montgomery Clift) who refuses to divulge his identity to the investigating cop (Karl Malden). When the priest becomes the prime suspect his former lover (Anne Baxter), now married to a politician, comes to his rescue providing herself as his alibi. The matter is exploited in court by the prosecuting attorney (Brian Aherne) leading to much hand wringing for the two lovers. Despite the melodrama this is a beautifully acted film shot starkly by Robert Burks on location in Quebec City. Clift and Baxter make an intense and swooningly romantic couple. One of Hitchcock's least celebrated films - the murderer is revealed at the start hence there is no suspense and the director's macabre sense of humour is totally missing - but there are enough captivating elements in the plot to make this one of his most intriguing films.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:51 am

The Passover Plot (Michael Campus, 1976) 6/10

Little seen adaptation of the controversial book by Hugh J. Schonfield which goes contrary to the New Testament in presenting Jesus Christ (Zalman King - who would later go on to direct several soft porn movies) as a con artist. Christ the zealot, having read the Old Testament and its prophesy of a king leading his people to freedom, decides to stage his arrest and fake his death on the cross by taking a sleeping potion and plans to "rise" later after the effect of the medicine wears off. Christ is like a politician here strong-arming his way through some miracles and rabble rousing people to join his "cause" which is basically to oust the Romans from Jerusalem. Matters don't go quite according to plan resulting in the events which the world now believes to be true. The film had a shoestring budget though manages to feel authentic with a number of forceful cameos by familiar faces - Donald Pleasence as Pontius Pilate, Harry Andrews as John the Baptist, Scott Wilson as Judas and Hugh Griffith as Caiaphas. There is a rousing score by Alex North and Oscar nominated costumes. Fascinating alternative look at history not unlike a similar stance (with a different take) by Nikos Kazantzakis in his novel "The Last Temptation of Christ" which was brought to the screen by Martin Scorsese which also proved equally controvercial.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:51 am

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 10/10

Haunting, dream-like film is one of Hitchcock's most personal thrillers. From the dazzling titles created by Saul Bass and accompanied by Bernard Herrmann's magnificent score the film sets the tone from the opening nightime roof-top chase sequence which dizzyingly establishes the main protagonist's fear of heights. A retired police detective (James Stewart), suffering from vertigo, is hired by an old friend to follow his disturbed wife (Kim Novak) whom he thinks might harm herself. When she jumps into San Francisco Bay he rescues her and falls in love with her. This deceptively simple plot proves to have more sinister layers which are gradually revealed intertwining the cop and the woman in a macabre dance involving obsession, love, deception and death. This was a rare flop for Hitchcock after a string of hits during the 1950s but the film has gained stature over the years and is now considered to be the director's masterpiece. The success of the film rests on the two stars and both Stewart and Novak deliver outstanding performances. Stewart was coming off a series of brutal westerns by Anthony Mann and here captures the tough yet vulnerable quality of the character who finds himself enraptured by a woman which leads him to the depths of catatonic hysteria. Novak - the ultimate "cool blonde" Hitchcock heroine - makes a dazzling entrance with the camera gliding towards her from afar and capturing her from the back followed by her slow walk towards the camera (and the audience), a vision in black with an emerald green wrap. Her character, initially deadpan but later acquiring a subtle change, is the key to the mystery and her performance is greatly helped by the dramatic costume designs of Edith Head - this is a perfect case of how costumes help to enhance the mood of a film. The entire enterprise deserves praise starting with the intelligent script, the outstanding production design, great use of sound, sharp editing, Robert Burk's outstanding camerawork, the special effects and the iconic score. The film takes us on an exciting rollercoaster ride leading up to a devastating conclusion. A must-see.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:50 am

Scene of the Crime (Roy Rowland, 1949) 3/10

MGM's belated entry into the noir genre is a dull police procedural. A tough cop (Van Johnson) tries to clear the name of his former partner who is gunned down. Deathly slow film goes through the paces with the usual pat clchés. Pretty Arlene Dahl is wasted as the wife-at-home who is disillusioned by her marriage because her cop husband is never home. Boring film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:50 am

No Questions Asked (Harold F. Kress, 1951) 7/10

Solid hard hitting B-noir with an excellent performance by Barry Sullivan - an insurance lawyer is jilted by his girl friend (Arlene Dahl) and he gets in over his head trying to get rich by making a deal with mobsters over stolen goods. A cop (George Murphy) suspects him while he has on his side a lovelorn girl (Jean Hagen) from his office. The twisting plot full of surprises is courtesy of Sidney Sheldon. Dahl makes an alluringly cold blooded femme fatale. One of many noir gems that are ripe for discovery.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:49 am

Moon Over Burma (Louis King, 1940) 4/10

Standard plot has two men fight for the affections of a woman in an exotic setting. As a vehicle for Dorothy Lamour the screenplay either had her wearing a sarong or in this case she plays a stranded showgirl who has a timber manager (Robert Preston) in Rangoon fall for her while she has eyes for his gruff buddy and partner (Preston Foster). The romance is complicated by a cobra, a forest fire and timber floating down a raging river. Creaky hokum is saved by the three attractive stars.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:49 am

Khyber Patrol (Seumour Friedman, 1954) 4/10

Silly Hollywood version of the skirmishes between the British - led by square jawed Richard Egan - and the Pathans - led absurdly by Raymond Burr playing an "Afridi" tribesman - along the Khyber Pass in the North West Frontier Province of India. Low budget B-film is hilarious in its inaccuracies - check out Hollywood's version of Muslims praying - with enough action sequences and stiff upper lip Brit shenenigans to make this watchable. Dawn Addams plays the love interest of Egan who inexplicably plays a Canadian posted in the British army in India. Absolute hokum.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:48 am

The Diamond Queen (John Brahm, 1953) 3/10

Colorful nonsense is pure hokum. Two frenchman (Fernando Lamas & Gilbert Roland) go to India to get a large diamond which is needed to be put on the crown of King Louis XIV for his upcoming coronation. Helping them in their quest is blonde, green-eyed Arlene Dahl as an Indian Queen which alone puts this enterprise into the realm of pure fantasy. She is a lovely presence though even if all the fake action is created on the backlot with stock shots of chimps and crocodiles stuck on in a most unconvincing way. Rubbish exotica which Hollywood thrust upon the movie going public during the 1950s in competition to the growing "menace" of television.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:48 am

The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson, 1956) 9/10

Backed by the Mob a racketeer (Rod Steiger) hires a has-been sports journalist to build up the reputation of an Argentinian amateur boxer. The plan is to place him in the ring against a series of boxers who have been asked to take a fall. Tough, hard hitting exposé - screenplay by Philip Yordan and based on a book by Budd Schulberg - about the underbelly of the sport of boxing. Superbly acted film was Bogart's last screen appearance - he was dying of lung cancer - and was a fitting swan song to a remarkable career. He is well supported by Steiger as the shark-like crook, Nehemiah Persoff as the shady book keeper and Jan Sterling as his supportive wife. Superbly photographed by Burnett Guffey who was nominated for an Oscar. A morality play warped by greed and power the screenplay provides a critical and nasty view of American society.


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