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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:07 pm
by Reza
The Fuller Brush Girl (Lloyd Bacon, 1950) 7/10

This film came just before "I Love Lucy" and appears to be her audition tape for the show. Nobody was better at physical comedy than Lucille Ball and she takes the silly material and runs with it. A dumb telephone operator (Lucille Ball) gets fired from her job and with her equally dimwit boyfriend (Eddie Albert) gets involved with two murders for which they both get framed. Both stars are hilarious as they get into one scrape after another with both the police and the hoodlums after them. The highlight of the film is Lucy impersonating a burlesque dancer on stage. Extremely silly material that the two stars turn into something quite hysterically funny. The later tv show used a lot of the gags from this film with the star playing her part with superb comic timing. Well worth a watch for fans of her tv shows.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:06 pm
by Reza
The Gay Falcon (Irving Reis, 1941). 5/10

"The Falcon" is basically "The Saint" under a different name because Leslie Charteris (author of The Saint) was giving the studio problems so they got the star George Sanders to continue playing the character but under a different name. Low budget B-film series has the droll Sanders as a detective solving the mystery of a series of jewel robberies. Debonair and witty, he breezes through this rather pedestrian first entry in the Falcon series. Wendy Barrie plays his fellow sleuth while Gladys Cooper appears as one of the matrons whose jewels are stolen. Average mystery-thriller.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:06 pm
by Reza
The Price of Fear (Abner Biberman, 1956) 6/10

Twisty little B-noir with murder and blackmail part of the complicated plot. A man (Lex Barker) is framed for two crimes - a hit-and-run, committed by a woman (Merle Oberon), and the murder of his business partner by a crook. His alibi, a taxi driver, disappears but the man's wife is not averse to some blackmail of her own. It all comes together on a train ride where justice is served in violent fashion. Oberon, in slumming mode at the end of her screen career, makes for a lady-like femme fatale while Barker is bland as the man who is in big trouble. There are far too many convenient coincidences in the screenplay but the nasty characters and a fast moving pace holds interest.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:06 pm
by Reza
Beloved Enemy (H.C. Potter, 1936). 7/10

The Irish "troubles" of 1921-22 is covered in this fictionalised version of Michael Collins' attempts to find a way for peace between Ireland and England. Extremely atmospheric film - a prestigious Samuel Goldwyn production - which has at the centre a doomed romance between the Irish rebel (Brian Aherne) and the daughter (Merle Oberon) of a British diplomat (Henry Stephenson). Superbly shot by Gregg Toland on wonderfully authentic sets created on the backlot. A wonderful supporting cast - Donald Crisp, Jerome Cowan, Karen Morley, David Niven - play assorted British and Irish characters. It took Hollywood 60 years to finally come up with a true screen biography of Michael Collins when Liam Neeson played the part in 1996.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:05 pm
by Reza
Affectionately Yours (Lloyd Bacon, 1941). 3/10

Silly screwball with Merle Oberon divorcing her reporter husband (Dennis Morgan) to live a life of stability with stuffy Ralph Bellamy. The plot revolves around Morgan's crazy antics to win his wife back while sexy colleague Rita Hayworth anxiously hopes that he fails. Morgan gives an energetic performance but Oberon is too lady-like to get into the proper spirit of a screwball. Hayworth is great snappy fun and on the verge of stardom. Interesting to see in support Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen together again after "Gone With the Wind" sadly again playing maids.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:05 pm
by Reza
You Gotta Stay Happy (H.C. Potter, 1948) 6/10

Amusing screwball has a daffy rich girl (Joan Fontaine) running away from her newly married husband and hiding out in the hotel room of a pilot (James Stewart). The farcical plot involves the girl getting drugged and on a plane journey to California accompanied by the pilot's sidekick (a funny Eddie Albert), a cigar smoking chimpanzee, an embezzler and a young couple who can't stop smooching. After predictable misunderstandings the couple get together at the end. Stewart is a natural in such material but Fontaine is equally game (she was pregnant during the shoot and wears mostly men's clothing to hide it) and shows great comic timing in a film she was not particularly happy to be a part of but did as a change of pace after three heavily dramatic films. Great fun.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:05 pm
by Reza
The Sunshine Boys (John Erman, 1996) 4/10

Neil Simon adapts his play into this television version by updating the plot to the present times. The two acrimonius vaudeville comedians - played on Broadway by Sam Levene and Jack Albertson and in the big screen version by George Burns and Walter Matthau - are now comedians who were a hit during the 1960s and played here by Woody Allen and Peter Falk. The latter's niece (Sarah Jessica Parker), also his agent, decides to reunite the duo in a film and with great difficulty gets them to agree. Predictably they both get into an argument, disrupt the filming and get fired. The material was pretty hokey to begin with allowing one character to ham his way through while the other plays the straight man. Falk has the annoying part (with his face made up to look very old) and as the story progresses he gets totally insufferable. Allen holds in his usual neurotic tics and is very good but as former comedic partners the two actors have no chemistry and appear to be in two separate films. Whoopi Goldberg has an unbilled cameo as Falk's nurse trading barbs. This rather old fashioned piece of theater now needs to be put to rest.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:04 pm
by Reza
One Minute to Zero (Tay Garnett, 1952) 5/10

Routine and overlong action film set during the start of the Korean war. In between bouts of artillery fire and air strikes a Major (Robert Mitchum) romances a war widow (Ann Blyth) who works for the United Nations. There are many documentary-like exciting battle scenes but it begins to drag after a while.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:04 pm
by Reza
7 Women (John Ford, 1966) 8/10

Ford's last film is unique as it centers on primarily a group of female characters. It's a hard hitting film totally devoid of his usual sentimentality and cornball humour. Set during the strife of 1935 on the North China-Mongolia border. An American mission is run by a prim missionary (Margaret Leighton) who is also a repressed lesbian. Also part of the mission are her assistant (Mildred Dunnock), a young teacher (Sue Lyon), a male teacher (Eddie Albert) and his pregnant and hysterical wife (Betty Field). The arrival of an emancipated, chain-smoking doctor (Anne Bancroft) causes an immediate clash with the head missionary who is appalled at her brazen profane manners as she mocks religion. Also joining the group are two ladies (Dame Flora Robson & Anna Lee) who have escaped the massacre at the nearby British mission. Soon the camp is beset by cholera, in fighting amongst the women, an emergency birth and an attack by a marauding group of Mongols who kill all the Chinese children and hold them hostage. Tense and melodramatic story proves to be one of Ford's most entertaining and exciting films with Bancroft and Leighton standouts in an excellent cast. Like most of Ford's films it is totally set-bound and the story has strong Western overtones. And which other film has the distinction of having both "Lolita" and "Mrs Robinson" as part of its cast.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:03 pm
by Reza
Let's Do It Again (Alexander Hall) 7/10

Loose musical remake of "The Awful Truth", Leo McCarey's classic screwball comedy. The two stars here cannot be compared to Irene Dunne and Cary Grant but they acquit themselves with great aplomb in this fluff. A wife (Jane Wyman), fed up with her husband's (Ray Milland) womanizing, decides to teach him a lesson by making him jealous with another man. It backfires and they get divorced. So she tries to win him back before the divorce decree becomes final after a month. Charming comedy has both stars reteaming after their previous dramatic success - "The Lost Weekend" - and surprisingly both have great comic timing. Wyman is witty and very sexy - dressed to her teeth in lavish Jean Louis gowns - and in great voice during the musical sequences where she proves to also be a superb dancer. Milland (looking old) is amusing reacting to Wyman. This is a superb Technicolor production which both stars manage to keep afloat due to their sparkling screen chemistry.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:03 pm
by Reza
Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929) 8/10

Static but superb gangster film - it was von Sternberg's first talkie. Before the director found a muse in Marlene Dietrich he made three superb films with burly George Bancroft who here plays the notorious gangster, Thunderbolt. The film is a love triangle between the gangster, his moll (Fay Wray) and the young man (Richard Arlen) she is in love with. Caught and imprisoned he frames her lover on a bank robbery charge and both men get to face each other in cells. Superbly acted by Bancroft who predictably plays it tough but shows the man's vulnerable side in his interactions with the girl, a dog and the mother of his rival. He has a great sense of humour shown in his interplay with the prison warden and other cell mates. Bancroft's booming voice is used to great effect in this early sound film. He was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for his rich performance. There are some great scenes set in a speakeasy with black performers on stage where von Sternberg's camera glides through the room capturing different conversations using the medium of sound to good effect. The film is also an excellent showcase for Fay Wray who brings a world weary mature touch to her part.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:02 pm
by Reza
We Live Again (Rouben Mamoulian, 1934) 5/10

One of Goldwyn's prestigious productions, based on the novel "Resurrection" by Leo Tolstoy, is a vehicle that tried to launch Russian actress Anna Sten as a rival to Garbo and Dietrich. This and her subsequent films all flopped and she never became a star although she is not bad at all. The studio's mistake was to groom her for a year - teaching her english - which transformed her into yet another bland starlet. She speaks perfect english without any accent thus robbing her of the exotic quality which both Garbo and Dietrich became famous for. This is a superb production, otherwise, with topnotch behind the scenes technicians - Maxwell Anderson, Thornton Wilder and Preston Sturges all had a hand in the screenplay, it is beautifully shot by Gregg Toland, scored by Alfred Newman, lavish costumes by Omar Kiam and sets designed by Richard Day and Sergei Soudeikin who was the principal designer for the Metropolitan Opera. The plot revolves around the love affair between a Russian aristocrat (Fredric March) and a peasant girl (Anna Sten) living on his country estate. They are childhood friends who grow up to become lovers during a one night stand after which he leaves for a number of years without knowing she became pregnant. Years later they meet while she is on trial for murder and he sacrifices his lifestyle by giving away his property to the peasants on his land and follows the condemned girl to Siberia. A rare Hollywood film where the leading man endorses communism. March looks incredibly dashing in his Russian army uniform - as he would a year later opposite Garbo in "Anna Karenina", another Tolstoy adaptation - but his hammy performance is a major hindrance. He seems to be emoting in a silent film with exaggerated facial expressions playing to the gallery. In contrast Sten gives a lovely natural performance. The only thing going for this ponderous film is the undisguised socialist message and a chance to see Anna Sten in a major Hollywood production built specially for her by the studio.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:02 pm
by Reza
You Belong to Me (Wesley Ruggles, 1941) 5/10

This plot today - courtesy of Dalton Trumbo - would have feminists up in arms. Silly screwball has layabout millionaire (Henry Fonda) and doctor (Barbara Stanwyck) meet cute on the ski slopes when they both take a tumble in the snow. She treats him, he proposes marriage whichbshe accepts and then proceeds to get jealous at the drop of a hat when she treats her male patients. When he finally decides to work as a clerk selling ties she is ready to give up her career for him to live happily ever after. To do what....darn his socks, cook food, have his babies? As with most of the output from Hollywood's golden age it was the pairing of two huge studio stars that created magic - despite the silly shenenigans both Fonda and Stanwyck display sparkling chemistry in this their third and last teaming.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:02 pm
by Reza
In Our Time (Vincent Sherman, 1944) 7/10

WWII story set in Warsaw just before and after Poland was invaded. The intensely romantic screenplay also touches on class distinction, strong held traditions by the aristocracy and their forced adjustment to the changes brought about by war. A companion (Ida Lupino) to a vulgar antique dealer (Mary Boland) catches the eye of a Count (Paul Henreid) and they fall in love. Their union is strongly opposed by his mother (Alla Nazimova), sister (Nancy Coleman) and uncle (Victor Francen). Their lives are forever changed once the country is invaded by the Germans. Erratic film has it's fingers in too many pots but at it's center is a strong effort to make America aware about the plight of Poland not unlike how the film "Mrs Miniver" spoke up for England. The film's inspirational lines about fighting for the future prove ironic considering Poland's fate later under communism. Well acted rousing propaganda film with the two leads in fine form.

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

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:01 pm
by Reza
The Lady and the Mob (Benjamin Stoloff, 1939) 6/10

Amusing if rather silly farcical comedy with Fay Bainter, as an old society dame, taking on racketeers to uphold American values. Bainter is great fun as the dizzy woman matching wits with crooks and her prospective daughter-in-law (Ida Lupino). She even gets to make a patriotic speech declaring that America will never tolerate a dictator - with the World at war the script writers decided to throw in a jibe at Hitler. Lighthearted harmless fluff allowing Bainter the chance to let loose after a string of dramatic performances.