Finally Watching [Old Movies]

Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We'll kick your ass in

Postby No Good Advice » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:08 am

Got to see Dial for M Murder at a 50s 3D movie festival with original-style silver screen and all. It was surprisingly enjoyable as a 3D movie, maybe the only 3D film I've been happy to watch with dumb glasses on.
User avatar
No Good Advice
 
Posts: 6893
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:59 pm

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:39 am

I was watching for that and it didn't seem like a movie that would be much improved by 3D. I assume the big gimmick was that axial shot where she's reaching for the scissors?
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby No Good Advice » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:42 am

As far as I remember there's a lot of positioning things or people in the room in the foreground or background. I think 3D works better for intimate films and intimate details like that than big vistas or gimmicks.
User avatar
No Good Advice
 
Posts: 6893
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:59 pm

Postby mystery meat » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:25 pm

Rock Hunter is genius and Tashlin is a natural cartoon-satirist spackling his flicks with color and Termite Terrace throwback madcap irreverence and idk what harmful stereotypes it’s pushing when the whole thing is a delirious lampoon of the corporate cultural cross-section of American existence helmed by Tony Randall rightly making constructive use of his natural cornball spinelessness. i guess Mansfield is a hard sell? eh.
User avatar
mystery meat
 
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:47 am
Location: paid to shit

Postby Merciel » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:26 pm

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

feat. Gloria Grahame doing one of the worst Southern accents I have ever beheld

This is a pretty good melodrama. I liked it a lot, and KIrk Douglas does a great job with the anchoring performance of Jonathan Shields, talented asshole producer who inevitably burns everyone who works with him while simultaneously launching their careers. Each of the secondary stories had some fun twists and turns, although they were mostly predictable and Lana Turner's story was far and away the boringest (alcoholic starlet is saved by love! then is wronged by her man!!).

The Bartlow author subplot was easily my favorite because, horrible accent aside, Gloria Grahame is so perfect as the twerp wife that, yeah, actually is pretty worth losing in a plane crash in exchange for a Pulitzer. Truly it was the role she was born to play.

8.5/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Merciel » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:52 pm

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

This movie is apparently based on a guy's actual life story, which is wild. It's a pre-Code piece, so there's a fair amount of brutality for an old movie. It's not as explicit as what you'd see today, but there's plenty of straight-up prison guard brutality and state corruption, and even a couple of low-key nods to racial disparities in prison populations, e.g. there's a shot of a chalkboard showing the number of chain gang workers by race and the black prisoners outnumber the white ones by 2:1, and in another scene the black workers are seen singing slave spirituals as they get worked just like their slave grandparents did.

I thought that was pretty progressive and cool for 1932.

This movie also features a bit character with another hilariously terrible accent, this time "the Texan," who apparently thinks Texas is a county somewhere in Alabama.

Another interesting detail about this movie is that it's the first time I've seen women affecting the semi-hunchbacked slouch that you see in some '20s advertisements, like

Image

You see it in drawings all the time but that's the first time I've seen women actually doing it live action. It looks very uncomfortable.

Anyway the movie starts off a little slow and stagey, but picks up momentum and gets pretty good once the guy finally walks out of the factory life and turns into a drifter. Initially I was confused about what the message was supposed to be -- I was expecting a clear-cut morality play, but instead of that this movie has a bunch of muddled messages, with the only clear statement being "chain gangs suck and Southern states are corrupt and shitty as fuck, also it's a terrible idea to get yourself blackmailed into marriage" -- but knowing that it follows a guy's actual life story rather than being fiction solves that mystery.

9/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Milk » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:08 am

Love this film. A kind of proto-noir. " I STEAL!"
"I'm a quivering collection of the worst and least helpful emotions: fear, anxiety, terror, paranoia, indigestion, dishpan hands.."
User avatar
Milk
 
Posts: 10309
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:56 am
Location: Shut the fuck up Milk

Postby Mesh » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:15 am

Merciel wrote:It Happened One Night (1934)


Me and Mrs. Mesh knocked this one out a few nights back too. Found a $5 Criterion DVD. Yeah, we were fine with it. Gable mansplaining the thumb styles is still the takeaway.
...brewed into the common yeast of the waves.
User avatar
Mesh
 
Posts: 5090
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:07 pm
Location: Detroitia

Postby Merciel » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:58 am

The most confusing thing to me is why James Allen didn't just come out to his old friends once he got back to Chicago. It's not like he would have been locked out of his bank accounts, and he could just petition to avoid re-extradition on the grounds that the unnamed-Southern-state-that-definitely-isn't-Georgia dishonored its bargain and he should no longer be bound by its terms.

I mean that just seems so dead easy and the movie never explains why he doesn't do it.
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby HotFingersClub » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:34 pm

Have you seen The Earrings of Madame De... ? It's an old movie
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:12 am

Kirk Douglas just had so much energy.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:13 am

He was probably an outstanding lover.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:20 am

I wasn't especially impressed with Lana Turner though. Dick Powell is a lot more convincing as a gee-whiz musical-comedy guy than he is as a sarcastic professor but you know... he's fine. It is a pretty fun movie overall.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby ratbags » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:28 am

Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:He was probably an outstanding lover.


um
session to session
User avatar
ratbags
 
Posts: 13003
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:05 am

Postby Merciel » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:28 am

This Gun for Hire (1942)

I was not expecting a Code-era movie to feature this much violence. There's even a murder of a woman!

Alan Ladd is so good at conveying dead-eyed menace in this movie that I legitimately tensed up a little when one scene did a "will he or won't he" re: shooting a child who saw him leaving the scene of a crime. I knew there was no way the movie would show a kid getting shot on screen, but I was less sure that they wouldn't just pull a Graysons-dying-on-BTAS murder by implication.

It's pretty good when a melodrama from 1942 can make you doubt that for even a second.

Veronica Lake is great in this thing too. Her magic routine was impressive (even the extremely bad cut during her disappearing act at the end was impressive, although not in the way the filmmakers probably intended). Lake must have been pretty deft at sleight of hand in real life.

Willard Gates, the main villain in this film, has a phenomenal shoe closet. I don't think there's a single normal pair of shoes in his collection. He has some fantastic cowboy boots, a bunch of men's saddle shoes, and just all kinds of peak '40s foppishness. It a truly excellent shoe closet and I am deeply happy it gets so much screen time.

9/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:53 am

I like how instead of rejecting Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake for being too short, Paramount just decided to put them in a bunch of movies together. That's the studio system at its finest.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Merciel » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:35 am

Strangers on a Train (1951)

feat. the OG fight-on-a-runaway-carousel scene, which remains fresh despite its endless imitators because it's just flat-out hilarious: the police officers looking at each other and going "well, do you want to do it?" when the carousel operator offers to go on the suicide mission; the look on the guy's face while he's crawling under the carousel (which makes a lot more sense when you realize he's not an actor or a stuntman, but an actual carousel operator, and they are actually running the carousel over him, and he is actually going to get his head smashed if he lifts it up a couple inches); the fact that the carousel operator makes the carousel go crazy instead of shutting it off; and the little kid batting at the combatants with the exact same stiff-armed whack! whack! whack! that Kermit has laid upon our heads yea so many times.

For that alone I would give this movie a solid A+.

I didn't like it that much in the beginning because Bruno is such a loathsome character (although his nutso shoes + lobster tie + BRUNO tieclip were pretty great) and I was severely unimpressed with Guy Haines's inability to just blow him off. And then I was pretty unimpressed with how much the movie stacked the deck w/r/t Miriam being a tramp (she's so vulgar! and pregnant by another man! and wears unflattering Coke-bottle glasses! and goes out to the park with not one but two guys! and eats too much while she's there! and eye-fucks Bruno behind the backs of both of her beaus-for-the-night!!) and the new girl being ridiculously perfect.

But then it got better and there were some funny bits, and those idiot preschooler slaps are just too damn good.

10/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:57 am

Strangers on a Train is my second-favorite Hitchcock I think. It's been a while since I saw Rear Window et al. though.

I've been reading Highsmith's short fiction and I was curious to see how her sensibilities would mesh with Hitchcock's; he's a lot gentler, generally, and while they're both pretty funny I don't think they have quite the same sense of humor. I think Miriam's characterization is a good example of how it could've gone wrong — you need to tone down Highsmith's waspishness a bit because it isn't as funny on film. But for me that's the only really sour note.

Bruno is a fantastic character. I love that he comes up with this elaborate Perfect Murder and then barely avoids fucking it up a dozen ways because he just can't wait to kill someone.

The shot of the murder is incredible obviously but I was also really impressed with the way the tennis was filmed. I also like that Hitchcock made two movies about tennis players who are unwilling to give up their amateur status.

Pat Hitchcock is hilarious.

Great movie.

Edit: Pat Hitchcock. Not Barbara.
Last edited by Spoilt Victorian Child on Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby palmer eldritch » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:06 am

to me it should be called Tennis Scene After a Murder
User avatar
palmer eldritch
 
Posts: 28225
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:41 pm

Postby ratbags » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:09 am

ABC, my dude you gotta see some late period hitchcocks
session to session
User avatar
ratbags
 
Posts: 13003
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:05 am

Postby vivian darko » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:20 am

Worth noting that Hitchcock completely ditches the Highsmith halfway through, which incidentally led to me not liking this movie very much
User avatar
vivian darko
 
Posts: 9541
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 8:04 pm

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:08 am

Yeah I haven't read any of her novels but I'm really enjoying her short stories. And she writes the best movies, indirectly.

I think we can probably go as late as Marnie in this thread.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Milk » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:29 am

Talented Mr Ripley is one of my favorite books ever. Too bad the whole Ripley series isn't as recommendable as that first book.

I have Strangers on a train but somehow never got around to reading it. I did skim through it once though to see the differences with the movie though and yeah seems like a very loose adaptation. I mean in the book both go through with the murders for one...
"I'm a quivering collection of the worst and least helpful emotions: fear, anxiety, terror, paranoia, indigestion, dishpan hands.."
User avatar
Milk
 
Posts: 10309
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:56 am
Location: Shut the fuck up Milk

Postby mystery meat » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:47 am

Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:Dick Powell is a lot more convincing as a gee-whiz musical-comedy guy than he is as a sarcastic professor but you know... he's fine. It is a pretty fun movie overall.

watch Murder My Sweet or The Tall Target asap
User avatar
mystery meat
 
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:47 am
Location: paid to shit

Postby No Good Advice » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:02 pm

Milk wrote: yeah seems like a very loose adaptation.


Hecht suggested his assistant, Czenzi Ormonde, to write the screenplay.[16] Although Ormonde was without a formal screen credit, she did have two things in her favor: her recently published collection of short stories, Laughter From Downstairs, was attracting good notices from critics, and she was "a fair-haired beauty with long shimmering hair"[17]—always a plus with Hitchcock. With his new writer, he wanted to start from square one:

At their first conference, Hitchcock made a show of pinching his nose, then holding up Chandler's draft with his thumb and forefinger and dropping it into a wastebasket. He told the obscure writer that the famous one hadn't written a solitary line he intended to use, and they would have to start all over on page one, using Cook's treatment as a guide. The director told Ormonde to forget all about the book, then told her the story of the film himself, from beginning to end.[17]

There was not much time though — less than three weeks until location shooting was scheduled to start in the east. Ormonde hunkered down with Hitchcock's associate producer Barbara Keon—disparagingly called "Hitchcock's factotum" by Chandler[18]—and Alma Reville, Hitchcock's wife. Together the three women, working under the boss's guidance and late into most nights,[16] finished enough of the script in time to send the company east. The rest was complete by early November.
User avatar
No Good Advice
 
Posts: 6893
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:59 pm

Postby Merciel » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:51 am

You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

It seems like Argentina is the go-to for "we want to set this movie somewhere in Latin America so we can use Latin dances but we also want everybody to be white or at least, as Pete Campbell would put it, 'Spanish'."

It makes sense insofar as it's a reworking of an Argentine musical (according to Wikipedia) and Astaire reportedly wanted to stretch his dance repertoire a little, but it is weird to me that this is the second Rita Hayworth movie in a row that's positioned her in Argentina. Also, the "traditional wedding song" that's supposedly from 19th-century Brittany (where, as SVC noted, the Acunas are from) is loltastic as pure '40s schmaltz. I got a good laugh out of the band actually rolling its eyes while playing that one.

Kermit was extremely into the dance sequences. He wouldn't even suck his thumb while Fred Astaire was dancing -- he just stared at the screen in total openmouthed fascination -- and he craned his neck to watch around Pongu when the dog got in his way. However he was not that interested in any of the parts where people weren't dancing and was kind of a pain in the ass when we were trying to watch the rest.

This movie has some interesting gender dynamics. I'm not sure how much they're meta commentaries on the roles that women were forced into, but you could probably put a pretty interesting gloss on the Acunas insisting that all four sisters get married in order (which in itself is almost Shakespearean in being a transparently artificial plot dynamic that exists only for the sake of the comedy), and the mom repeatedly telling her daughters not to act too intelligent (and then the sisters reiterating this advice to each other), etc. Like I don't think the movie intends for any of that to be taken at face value; it seems, at least to me, to be pretty arch in undercutting all that stuff.

But who knows, I'm too tired to try navigating my own way through right now. Anyway the dance numbers were pretty good, Rita Hayworth really was a knockout for the ages, and Fred Astaire is charming as ever. This isn't a top-tier movie as a movie, but it's certainly a top-tier musical comedy, and it's actually quite difficult to put out a good movie that adheres so rigidly to its genre conventions in a genre that has, at this point, been going pretty regularly for about a decade.

9.5/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Merciel » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:22 am

Monkey Business (1952)

This movie is real weird.

The main reason it's weird is that the plot premise just doesn't make any sense. Cary Grant's elixir isn't a youth serum. It doesn't actually make you any younger (it temporarily restores his vision, but he needs glasses as soon as it wears off, and it temporarily relieves his bursitis but he's left almost incapacitated by muscle soreness when that wears off too). It just makes you act like a complete jackass, so as far as I can tell, it's basically like being drunk, except dumber and worse.

So nothing about the plot makes any sense, but then on top of that, most of the jokes aren't that funny. There are some good ones, but probably about half this movie is just wasting Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers's considerable comic gifts on unfunny pratfalls and extended gags that just make them seem like hysterical jerks. Marilyn Monroe gets another dumb blonde role, which she carries off well (she really was a solid comic talent), but that character type can't help but annoy me.

Boo hiss on all that shit, I don't like it.

Then there's some winceworthy gender stereotyping, but this actually ends up being accidentally interesting on a couple of levels (at least I think it's accidental, although it's possible the movie did this on purpose).

First, Grant and Rogers do their most flagrant self-stereotyping when they're in immature mode (Ginger trying to make her husband jealous and going off on crying jags about nothing; Cary trying to impress Marilyn with a flashy car and flashy driving and a giant belly flop [and a completely nonsensical haircut where I still have no idea what that was meant to signify]). The movie's intended message is that youth = immaturity and these are the behaviors of immature people. But I think also it's true that younger people (and here I mean mainly teenagers and preteens, although it continues for a while after that) tend to hew most closely to what they perceive as the "right" gender signaling behaviors, because they're unsure of their identities and so want desperately to acquire the right sets of signifiers to be taken seriously as whoever it is they're trying to be. So on that level, too, it makes sense that our protagonists act like exaggerated stereotypes, because that's what lots of teenagers do.

Second, by bringing an actual toddler into the movie toward the end, there's an interesting (if accidental) demonstration of what actually is intrinsic to various developmental stages (that toddler in 1952 is just like Kermit! he even sounds the same! they have the exact same dopey toddler voice!) and what's largely or entirely cultural (that whooooole cringeful scalping/"war dance" bit, among other things).

It's a pretty weird movie all the way around. It's not hard to see why it was panned when it came out, and it's not that hard to see why it was re-evaluated some time later. It's just that weird.

Additionally it features Marilyn wearing an outfit with pompom fringes on the half-length sleeves, which is also weird.

6.5/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Merciel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:40 pm

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

I don't really get the level of traction that The Island of Dr. Moreau has on the imaginations of so many people. It's even got a BTAS adaptation.

Maybe the idea of uplifting animals to human-like intelligence had more currency when there was still some active debate about the nature of souls (and whether animals had souls) and the reality of evolution, but in an age where it's pretty apparent that souls are not a thing in the metaphysical sense, evolution is well established, and both animals and humans exist on the same continuum of sentience and self-awareness, the transgressiveness and shock value of the Dr. Moreau concept are, uh, kind of less resonant for me.

This is a pretty good movie for its time period, though. They used a lot of real animals on a real boat, which is impressive but also a little sad when you consider the context of animal captivity in the '30s (spoiler: it was not great! and you should read Animal Madness if you haven't already, it's a hell of a pop history book), and Charles Laughton turns in a genuinely chilling performance as a baby-faced lunatic scientist.

The whole thing with Kathleen Burke as Lota the Panther Woman is... interesting... but my main takeaway was woof, her costumes were possibly the least flattering "sexy" costumes I have ever seen. Clearly Burke is a good-looking lady with a reasonably nice figure, but this is like a master class in how not to showcase that.

I was amused by how Bela Lugosi got prominent billing when he's barely in this movie (and isn't asked to do anything besides yell some rote lines in a call-and-response thing), but then I read on Wikipedia how that became a regular thing in his career and felt pretty sad for him. Poor guy.

8/10
User avatar
Merciel
Hipinion Dog Lady
 
Posts: 24002
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: dog dog dog

Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:36 pm

I think the thing with The Island of Dr. Moreau is that it's a book that combines tropical castaways, mad scientists, and beast-men, which makes it extremely potent as a work of pulp fiction. Think of the position it (or rather its pulpy adaptation) occupies in "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories"; it's a story that can feel like home, because it's at the nexus of all these different youth-oriented narratives and archetypes. And it's been in the public domain since the '30s.

I thought Island of Lost Souls was a pretty good adaptation overall, though a lot of it obviously hasn't aged very well. Laughton is great, and I really enjoyed the set design. I thought Arlen had a hard time selling some of his lines, and the pacing didn't make his job any easier. And of course a lot of the horror has been eaten by camp. Some of it does come through though, in the vivisection and some scenes in the beast-man village.
User avatar
Spoilt Victorian Child
ok
 
Posts: 34141
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Geoff » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:38 pm

have you reviewed Freaks by Tod Browning
User avatar
Geoff
i like jazz
 
Posts: 5281
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:33 am

PreviousNext

Return to Don't. Let. Go. You’ve got the music in you.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: antoine, Besuretoloop, bosse de nage, Christmas Ape, deep blue meanies, droctagon2000, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Grey Poupon, hit record, iacus, inmate, jalapeño ranch, Kaputt, mariavesperi, Meeps, mooncalf, murderhorn, No Good Advice, Science, shacky, silverapples, spencasaurus, sunglasses, tonybricker, unsandpiper