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Thread: Tcm mark 2

  1. #31
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    THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955)



    Dramatic noir from Otto Preminger.
    Frank Sinatra plays Frankie Machine, fresh out of prison and back home in Chicago.
    He got clean in jail, from an unspecified drug. (In the Algren book it was morphine, but it's obvious it's heroin)
    He wants to start a new life as a musician, but those hopes get dashed when he gets hooked again.
    His wife Zosh is in a wheelchair, but she's faking it and unstable.
    He has an old flame (Kim Novak) who is more supportive of his drumming plans.
    He also moonlights as a shady card dealer.
    This movie is merely ok, it's Sinatra as a junkie, how exciting is that?
    He's not a terrible actor, but this role isn't juicy enough.
    The scene of him going thru withdrawals was good, but nothing amazing.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #32
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    This came across as lurid at the time and was well publicized, but emerges as only a watered down version of the bolder Nelson Algren novel it was based on, and watered down from its own original version. Scanning the Metacritic reviews, I gather it's not much. I thought Sinatra was supposed to have been great in it, and emerged as one of the great Hollywood actors of the fifties. I'm surprised you dismiss him: he got an Academy Award nomination, do you scoff at that? Why is "Sinatra as a junkie" uninteresting to you? I have not seen it, imagine it would seem dated to me.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-31-2023 at 06:56 PM.

  3. #33
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    His Oscar nomination was probably due to how sensational and edgy this was at the time.
    He's believable, but ultimately boring to me.
    Put Brando in his role and then you have something!
    It's very dated to 1955.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #34
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    PSYCHO (1960)



    Probably Alfred Hitchcock's most famous film.
    Was this the first slasher flick?
    Janet Leigh is Marion Crane, a woman who embezzles $40,000 from her workplace to cover her lovers' debts.
    She hits the road, and decides to stay at the Bates motel.
    She's booked into a room under an assumed name by Norman Bates, an odd fellow.
    Norman kills her when she takes a shower- the famous "shower scene".
    The next day he cleans up, putting her body, belongings and stolen money in the trunk of her car and submerges it in a swamp.
    The following investigation into her disappearance is real good.
    Norman is a sick puppy, and the final scene with him is creepy to the max.
    A must see. One of the best horror movies ever.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #35
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    PSYCHO - some pull quotes and a personal comment.

    The score alone is a supporting character. It makes various appearances throughout suspenseful moments in the story most notably the shower scene. Those high-pitched, ear-piercing violin strings will forever be associated with fear and catastrophe. - Jamie Broadnax
    The impeccable direction and cinematography, the masterful suspense, and the pitch-perfect performance of Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates all combine to create not just one of the best horror movies of all time, but one of the best films of all time. - Samantha Allen.
    Psycho still works on the big screen. Its success lies in its ability to find horror in the mundane... the true horror of Hitchcock’s masterpiece is that (Norman Bates) could be anywhere, just waiting at that next rest stop.
    “Gets scarier after you leave the theatre and discover how much it’s gotten under your skin.”– Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

    “Excruciatingly tense and frightening…If you’re too scared to look you can still hear the slashing sounds.”– Pauline Kael. But she said its shrink explanation at the end was his worst scene ever.

    “A chic, creepy thriller. The ultimate in arthouse Grand Guignol.”– J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
    And yet it doesn't represent the qualities I love in Hitchcock - or in movies, except for his precision of construction and skill in manipulation of audience response. The most critically admired Hitchcock film today is VERTIGO. My favorite Hitchcock film is STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, but I love many others. PSYCHO is minor, limited, and despite what people say, forgettable. It's like a Fun House horror show. It shocks you and scares you for a few minutes. But it's totally unreal. There is more real horror in a Bergman film, or one by Michael Haneke. I love Hitchcock though, I love his craftsmanship and his ability to entertain. I love the Hitchcock-Truffaut dialogues tapes. You can find them somewhere on YouTube. Currently HERE.

    Pauline Kael didn’t review it (even when it ran in revival) but, in 1978, complained about it as “a borderline case of immorality… which, because of the director’s cheerful complicity with the killer, had a sadistic glee that I couldn’t quite deal with,” and she condescended to the shower scene as “a good dirty joke.”- Richard Brody, "The Greatness of PSYCHO" in The New Yorker Nov. 18, 2012. .
    As a great Pauline Kael fan myself (not that I don't disagree with a lot of her opinions and disapprove of some of her behavior), I fall in with her regarding PSYCHO as an outlier. Brody in that article points out that PSYCHO made Hitchcock a fortune, and was a flop with the critics. Incidentally I don't think it was a "career-best performance" for Anthony Perkins; I think it ruined his career.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-01-2023 at 12:23 PM.

  6. #36
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    You mean Anthony PERKINS.

    He's very good in this movie- the first time I ever saw it I was convinced his mother was alive, a testament to his acting ability. I suppose you could reduce this to a cheap parlour trick, but the filmmaking is pretty bravura. Hitchcock knew something we didn't.
    Years ago the mother of a friend of mine said she had a mad crush on Anthony Perkins; I couldn't see how you could after seeing Psycho!

    Thanks for the juicy context, Chris.
    I can see how Kael would be turned off by it.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #37
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    NOAH'S ARK (1928)



    An awesome silent/talkie that I'm very happy to have seen.
    All actors play dual roles. George O'Brien is the star of this early Michael Curtiz film.
    We get the epic disaster Bible story of Noah and his Ark, which people scoff at as folly until the great flood comes. We also get a parallel story of World War 1.
    For the most part this film is silent with intertitles, but it was on the cusp of talkies, so we get some scenes with dialogue and synchronized sound effects.
    The acting can be a bit over-the-top, a little hammy, but I didn't mind.
    This is a silent that should be seen.
    When the flood comes, whoa baby...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    You mean Anthony PERKINS.

    He's very good in this movie- the first time I ever saw it I was convinced his mother was alive, a testament to his acting ability. I suppose you could reduce this to a cheap parlour trick, but the filmmaking is pretty bravura. Hitchcock knew something we didn't.
    Years ago the mother of a friend of mine said she had a mad crush on Anthony Perkins; I couldn't see how you could after seeing Psycho!

    Thanks for the juicy context, Chris.
    I can see how Kael would be turned off by it.

    I certainly did mean Perkins, NOT "Hopkins" and I've corrected that.
    Tony Perkins played slightly weird, over-sensitive characters but he did get to play human beings. Thhis is a classic monster. The shrieking noises are very effective. But they erase our sense of reality and take us into extreme horror-movie mode. He was cute. He had a lot of gay appeal. He also was funny.

  9. #39
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    THE BROTHERS WARNER (2007)



    This is a tremendous detailed biography of the 4 Warner brothers, pioneers of film.
    Made by Harry Warner's grandaughter Cass Warner Sperling, we get a beautiful overview of their careers; from Rin Tin Tin to Camelot.
    They were Polish jews who immigrated to the USA and changed their names to fit in: Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Wonskalaser became the Warner brothers when they got into the nickelodeon business.
    Among their achievements is bringing sound to film, a big risk at the time. They bought Vitaphone for seven million in the late 20's.
    THE JAZZ SINGER (1927) with Al Jolson inspired Walt Disney to start making cartoons with sound, and MGM honchos told Warners it was just a fad, that it won't last.
    Well, it revolutionized the industry.
    They were a socially-conscious studio, declaring that the films meant more than making a buck. In 1934 they got wind of Hitler and the concentration camps and tried to make a film about it but were dissuaded.
    They stopped doing business with Germany LONG BEFORE anyone else in America- they were told they were fools for doing so.
    The family was not without problems- Sam died right when The Jazz Singer was taking off, oldest Harry did not like youngest Jack, and he was ultimately betrayed by the studio's sale.
    He vowed to never set foot on the lot again and he didn't.
    This doc is chock full of talking heads who give their memories/recollections.
    A loving tribute from a member of the family...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  10. #40
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    SAFE IN HELL (1931)



    Great little thriller clocking in at 73 minutes.
    Gilda (a luminous Dorothy Mackaill) is a prostitute in New Orleans.
    She gets a trick that turns out to be the guy who cost her her former job as a secretary.
    She loses it on him and kills him, setting the apartment on fire to boot.
    She flees by boat to an island where there is no extradition.
    She marries the man she loves and stays at a hotel. One day the guy she killed shows up to the island! Then she is conned into taking a gun in case he causes trouble. He does, he attempts to rape her and she shoots him.
    She goes on trial, and the jury is seemingly on her side. But the cretin who gave her the gun wants sexual favours and tells her she'll be guilty of gun possession and sentenced to six months, her word against his...
    The film ends with Gilda being led to the gallows.
    Nice pre-code gem of a movie from William "Wild Bill" Wellman, director of the classics Wings (1927) and THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931).
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  11. #41
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    THE SEA WOLF (1941)




    Dynamic drama directed by Michael Curtiz.
    A great acting showcase for Edward G. Robinson, Captain of the seal-pelt ship "GHOST".
    He's a megalomaniac, a sadist and a fascist. He rules his ship with an iron fist.
    His ship picks up two survivors of a shipping collision: a writer and a female criminal who escaped prison. (Ida Lupino)
    From then on it's the dramatic tension onboard, leading to a mutiny and ultimately the sinking of the Ghost. Based on the Jack London novel. Well worth your time.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #42
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    THEY WON'T FORGET (1937)



    Strong courtroom drama from Mervyn Leroy, 2 years prior to his work on The Wizard of Oz.
    It's Memorial day for the Civil war, and a teenager is killed at her school when no one was there- except for a janitor and witness accounts of seeing a teacher and a boyfriend of the girl.
    Claude Rains is the district attorney who wants to make his career with this case.
    The girl, Mary, is played by Lana Turner in her screen debut.
    The teacher is innocent, the janitor is innocent and her boyfriend (Young Kubrick alum Elisha Cook, Jr.|) is also innocent. But they need a scapegoat, and the teacher is it.
    Claude Rains is a real thespian...this movie shows him in full flight, and I must say he's commanding. You can really notice how much better he is than all the other actors.
    The teacher is convicted of murder, and it's an outrage. The governor ultimately commutes his sentence to life in jail, only to have a mob seize him and lynch him. (They won't forget, see?)
    Good movie that highlights prejudice and corruption and the media's role, not to mention how justice is elusive.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  13. #43
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    THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)



    John Huston's adaptation of the novel about mining for gold in Mexico.
    Starring Humphrey Bogart as Fred Dobbs, a down on his luck drifter.
    After finding work and then getting stiffed on payment he and a friend go to a flophouse, where he overhears an old man talk about finding gold in them thar hills...
    He and his friend take the old man up on the offer, and soon they are prospecting for gold and doing pretty good. They run into trouble when their operation is discovered.
    This film is dusty, grimy, dirty. You can smell the dirt and sweat!
    Stanley Kubrick listed it in his ten favorite films.
    Last edited by Johann; 04-11-2023 at 03:12 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #44
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    WHITE HEAT (1949)




    Universally recognized as one of the best gangster movies ever made.
    Directed by Raoul Walsh and starring a crazy James Cagney, this was a treat.
    Cagney is Arthur "CODY" Jarrett, a homicidal psychotic. He leads a gang that robs a mail train, has the authorities in hot pursuit, and when it looks like he's going to jail, he concocts a plan to get a lesser sentence. His mother is in on his crimes too, and while he's in jail she gets shot dead in the back. He manages to escape prison with some help, and he plans more crime.
    He's basically cornered by police by the film's end, but they won't take him alive..."I made it, Ma....TOP OF THE WORLD!!!"
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  15. #45
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    Sounds great, and I should definitely see it. I do rather prefer the Éric Rohmer type of film, though, these days. As one grows older, one's taste for violence may diminish.

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