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O'Malley

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10 reviews in total 
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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
An outstanding, surprisingly dark film, 18 March 2008
10/10

Poster Mkilmer gets it.

This movie by the way underrated Vincent Sherman is a sequel to the 1944 Michael Curtiz picture, Janie, which was about a high-spirited bobby-soxer and the havoc she inadvertently causes for her family and her town. I thought the Curtiz was at best fitfully amusing but contrived, sit-comy and slight. The Sherman is something else entirely. As the title indicates, the eponymous character is now wed (to a returning G.I. she fell for in the first film) It's rather grim for a comedy, and much of the thrust of the film is a portrayal of marriage as a stultifying and unrewarding condition, hardly what one would expect in a 1940s comedy about newlyweds. There are intimations of adultery, and Janie and her husband even have a contract, which is to be renewable each month at each spouse's option if he and she want to remain married. One can certainly see the pair 20 years down the line having become the couple in Sherman's 1947 masterpiece, Nora Prentiss.

Despite the dark undertones, the film is also quite funny. And as a story of G.I.s returning from World War 2, it's more effective and empathetic than Wyler's pompous The Best Years Of Our Lives, and spares us the self-seriousness (it also has the same deep focus cinematography that was celebrated in the Wyler film).

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Superb, Morally Compex Film, 4 December 2007
10/10

Gone Baby Gone is the best film I've seen so far this year. I can't think of another movie that is so mournful, or another mood piece which so perfectly and beautifully sustains its mood throughout.

Ben Affleck memorably has compassion and empathy for his characters, while not shrinking away from the appalling aspects of their personalities and the grimness of dead-end lives And what a joy to see a thoughtful movie with moral ambiguities, one that is asks hard questions and presents no easy answers. The ethical struggles through which the characters are going are so deeply expressed as to be completely palpable, and this is accomplished without an ounce of sentimentality.

Affleck's non-judgmental stance towards most of the characters adds to the depth and richness of the picture. The film's ambiance is also superb – the production design, costumes, extras all convey such a strong sense of a very particular place.

And what acting! If we didn't know Amy Ryan was an acclaimed stage actress, we'd assumed she was someone Affleck came upon at a bar in Dorchester. She's uncannily good. And a shout out to Amy Madigan, who is just as impressive (and in some ways even more terrifying than Ryan). As for Casey – wow! After The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Bob Ford, another superb and unforgettably self-effacing performance. One of the most exciting things film-wise this year has been his emergence as a major, major acting talent. I love what Mahnola Dargis wrote in the NY Times: "I'm not sure exactly when Casey Affleck became such a good actor." A truly haunting achievement.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Medium-Level Entry In The Series, 27 September 2005
5/10

"Lucky Losers" is too straight-forward to be a memorable Bowery Boys picture, though it does contain a good supporting cast. It's just not wacky enough and it lacks memorable set pieces. The scenes with Louis posing as a rich gambling fool, for example, fall flat. Still, it manages to be quite amusing and the Gorcey-Hall chemistry is as incomparable as ever.

Hillary Brooke is one of the glories of B cinema (although, regrettably, she doesn't have much to do here). Dick Elliott, who plays the drunken conventioneer, would turn up as Mike Clancy in a couple entries at the tail end of the series.

18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
The Best Series of the 1966-67 TV Season, 4 June 2005

This was my favorite show when I was in the sixth grade, and I was heartbroken when it was canceled.

Michael Callan and Patricia Harty had terrific chemistry (they would later marry, although not for long). Jack Collins was also perfect as Callan's boss, and the reaction shots of the Man In The Middle (i.e. the guy who had the apartment in between those of Callan and Harty) were priceless.

Back in the 60s, we accepted absurd premises on TV shows without giving it a second thought -- the beauty of Occasional Wife was that the actors performed as if there was nothing at all absurd in their situations.

Sure would love to see it again!

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Always A Treat To See Leo And Huntz, 12 February 2005
5/10

It's not one of the better Bowery Boys pictures -- by the mid 50s the gang seemed pretty tired. It's main interest is seeing Amanda Blake just before Gunsmoke and, hell, I'd never turn down a chance to see Leo and Huntz, even when they're not at the top of their game.

But F Gwynplaine MacIntyre has it all wrong. The writers who were nominated for High Society weren't some delusional losers who thought some way they might actually win an Oscar. They were Hollywood veterans who had been in Hollywood for a quarter-century -- Bernds in fact started as a sound engineer at Columbia who worked on Frank Capra's 30s classics. Bernds and Ullmann toiled (profitably) in the world of B comedies and short subjects, working, in tandem or alone, on such fondly remembered endeavors as the the My Little Margie TV series, many Three Stooges shorts, some Blondie and Ma & Pa Kettle movies, and films starring Elvis, Brett Halsey, Zsa Zsa Gabor,Stanley Clements, Scotty Beckett (in a couple of Gasoline Alley pictures) and Rad Fulton.

They were fully aware of their place in the industry, and when they withdrew their Oscar nomination it wasn't for any self-serving reason but to spare the Academy any embarrassment when its writers branch screwed up so royally. As they said when they did so, the nomination "was clearly a case of mistaken identity." Ironically, although the MGM musical High Society is much better than the nominated Bowery Boys picture, I definitely prefer the best Bowery Boys films (Blues Busters, Blonde Dynamite, Live Wires, Bowery Bombshell) to the Charles Walters musical with Crosby, Kelly and SInatra.

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A True Gem, 12 February 2005
8/10

If this Bowery Boys comedy-melodrama doesn't make you laugh, then we could never be friends. Filled with wonderful moments, the "Shoveler" line is one I remember from childhood, and thanks to Rob Waggs for mentioning it.

I would disagree with Rob that this is the greatest Bowery Boys picture (for me that is Blues Busters, followed by Blonde Dynamite and then Live Wires), but it is certainly up there.

Piece of trivia: In 1949, Leo Gorcey married Amelita Ward, who played Teresa in the film. They met on the set, and given the hurried shooting schedules of Monogram pictures, it must have been a whirlwind romance.

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Loved It, 19 May 2004

When I was in 5th grade, this was my favorite show, and I even wrote an essay about it for school. Great interaction between Tom and Dick, and Roland Winters's comic timing as Dickie's boss was an extra bonus, and Harriet McGibben as his wife was hilarious.

Would love to see it again, although I don't need to in order to sing the title song: "My brother Tom, was lost at sea, without his water wings . . . "

And the cartoon opening credits are forever etched in my memory, too. It wasn't political like the Comedy Hour, but it sure was fun. And Tom was the best angel since Henry Travers's Clarence in It's A Wonderful Life.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
One Of The All-Time Greats, 31 December 2003

As TV sit-coms, I would say that only I Love Lucy has it over Leave It To Beaver. The beauty of Beaver is that it portrayed life from the point of view of kids, which made it unique among other family comedies of its era (Father Knows Best came closest to understanding what it's like to be a kid).

Beaver gave us some of the most unforgettable characters ever (Eddie Haskell, Lumpy, Larry Mondello) and managed to convey familial love without being cloying or moralistic -- and often it was the parents who were the brunt of the jokes.

Today, Leave It To Beaver serves as a time warp, but it also remains one of the most endearing shows ever, and the perfect example of wholesome entertainment also being witty and very clever. Too bad Jerry Mathers grew up to be a Republican . . .

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Reactionary ode to the Red States, 18 May 2003
1/10

A cynical, manipulative tribute to the right-wing politics of the Deep South at the expense of the progressive Northeast, this movie is equal parts stupid and offensive. Saluting the home state of George Wallace at the expense of the home state of Herbert Lehman, Sweet Home Alabama can kiss my big fat New York City ass.

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Tom Conway Rules!, 28 February 2003
10/10

The Falcon is my favorite B-movie detective series, largely because of the presence of the charismatic, suave and self-deprecating Tom Conway (who took over the role from his real-life brother, George Sanders). Conway was as cool as Bogart, but in place of Bogie's cynicism, Conway possessed a wonderful mix of wry sagaciousness, skepticism, self-awareness and chivalry.

The Falcon And The Co-Eds is arguably the best of the series, with an exceptionally clever mystery plot, a very talented cast and some incomparable interplay between Conway and the various title Co-Eds. Once seen, the "3 Ughs" are never-to-be-forgotten. I've seen The Falcon And The Co-Eds a half-dozen times, and it has always given me genuine pleasure.