Reviews written by registered user
Dick-42

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36 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An Ordinary Story of Young Love, and a Heartbreaking Story of Mature Love, 13 October 2005
9/10

Other reviewers have been fascinated by a fairly standard Hollywood story of a youthful courtship. It's good (I'd say a 7 on the scale of 10), but not the real story of the movie.

An elderly man (whom I can relate to because I'm writing this on my 81st birthday) has an interest in a co-resident of his nursing home, an old woman who seems "out of it," but who responds somewhat to the story he reads to her each day -- of the young lovers. (That story, of course, is told in flashbacks, and constitutes maybe 90 percent of the movie. I can relate to it, too, because the lovers are just about the ages of my wife, of 60 years, and me.) However, a second story also develops between the contemporary elderly people, that to me is the heart of the movie. My wife called it a tear jerker. I agreed, though I hadn't shed any tears. Nevertheless, unlike most movies that are forgettable, this one remains vivid, and doesn't lose its punch with time. When I thought about it the next day, I was, indeed, moved emotionally. It's a beautiful story, and if you don't get it, I'm sorry. You need to be alert to catch the point -- or "punch line" -- as the "Notebook" is shown in a close-up near the end.

A beautiful, and marvelous movie! It loses just a point in the ratings because of unnecessary, though implied, sex -- not characteristic of movies of the 40s. (The CODE, you know.)

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A strange patriotic piece for 1941, 8 August 2005
7/10

This little greeting from Lewis Stone, speaking for the entire movie industry was obviously intended for release in Christmas week of 1941, say about December 15 to 22. It starts with a view of Stone addressing the theater audience from behind a desk, cuts to stock footage of military maneuvers, probably from the mid-30s, and salutes these guardians of our liberty who will be far from home on Christmas. Given movie distribution schedules, it was probably made during the peaceful Summer or Fall of 1941.

Unfortunately, the world, at least as viewed from the United States, changed completely on December 7, 1941! Thousands of these noble Guardians of Liberty died on Pearl Harbor Day -- the Day of Infamy! The rest were either fighting for their lives on various Pacific islands, or were rushing to the aid of their brothers. By Christmas, we at home didn't know the full extent of our own families' and friends' losses, but the news was not encouraging.

A Christmas greeting from the film industry might have been appropriate, but this sweet little piece would not have been it. I wonder if it was released.

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Adaptation of Sabatini's Great Novel, 24 May 2005
10/10

This 1923 adaptation of a mid-1921 novel is one of the most faithful-to-the-original screenplays I have ever seen. Granted, large blocks of the book are omitted or greatly condensed, but who wants a 20-hour movie? The basic story line is retained and well developed.

The cinematography is superb, and the print we saw on cable was sharp and clear. It shows there is no excuse for the foggy, low-contrast prints we see in so many of the early thirties films. The sets, costumes, performances, and overall production are outstanding for any era. The silent film has been provided with a fine score, and even with its limitations is infinitely superior to the 1952 so-called "remake," which is virtually no relation to the book.

The two-hour-plus production moves along briskly (with perhaps a few too many minutes of the final mob scenes) and is exciting. Suspense is maintained very well, though my wife anticipated the ending. It was hard to keep my previous knowledge of the plot to myself.

I loved this production and give it an enthusiastic and unqualified 10.

2 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Wildly illogical, even for a Western, 3 November 2004
1/10

A movie, obviously intended for the 10-year-olds at the kids' matinees, that looks as though it was written by a 10-year-old. (I guess there were still kids' matinees in 1948. I hadn't been to one in about 11 years.)

The film depicts post-WW-II Texas (from the title, not from anything within the movie itself) in 1947 as the same as in the 1870's, with everyone wearing cowboy suits - popular with 10-year-olds - riding around on horses or buckboards, wearing guns, and engaging in shootouts on the streets, with no official accounting for the bodies. The estate settlement is inexplicably turned over to 'the insurance company', and although all the money has officially been stolen by the fake will, the crooks appeal to the townsfolk to throw the bad Government man out and 'save the children'! (How a petition from the people will accomplish this isn't clear.) In the end, all the crooks, who are the only ones who know of and can testify to the facts in the conspiracy, are dead, and the 'happy ending' leaves all the legal entanglements up in the air.

If they had thrown out the wooden-sided Ford station wagon and the telephone, made the boys Civil War orphans, and assigned the estate settlement to a court instead of the insurance company, the film would almost pass for logical by Western flick standards.

The only things close to a redeeming value in this picture are a couple of pretty good songs by the Sons of the Pioneers.

The only reason this turkey doesn't make my list of 'The Ten Worst Films of All Time' (which currently contains about 35 titles) is that as a Cowboy flick, it isn't expected to be good.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The worst movie I ever didn't walk out on, 9 January 2004
1/10

I guess I'm too old for this brand of violent nonsense. It's no wonder that 13 days after its Christmas Day release, my wife, our grandson, and I were 3 of only 4 people in the theater for an afternoon showing. (I suspect that the other person was an employee of the theater complex, relaxing or goofing off between sweeping assignments. He left 20 minutes before the end.) The only reason I stayed was that our young adult grandson seemed to be enjoying the picture.

I didn't expect Steve Martin to be Clifton Webb, but the gang of selfish brats these people perpetrated on the world are beyond comprehension. Aside from an understandable reluctance to move to a new environment, their mean-spirited attempts to sabotage their parents' careers are so revolting that I could barely stomach them. I was embarrassed to find myself laughing at the 3 or 4 truly funny incidents, when all the rest was so wretched.

Among the interminable string of commercials and promos that preceded the feature was a bit designed to discourage digital bootlegging of movie and music files. This well-done little production packed more interest and entertainment into about 90 seconds than the feature managed in 98 minutes.

I wish there were a Users' Rating below 1. I hate to have even that small number added into the overall average for such a turkey.

Needless to say, we don't see many theater movies anymore. This will probably do it for us for this year. Thank Heaven for TCM.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Great Little Musical, 27 November 2002
10/10

An unusually good Big Band short that gets a couple of extra points for Joe Sodja's fantastic guitar -- a solid 10 in my book.

Nan Wynn is adequate as a Big Band girl vocalist, and the Three Symphonettes are what we used to call sol-LID! -- entertaining and with the precision of a block of polished steel. {There was a good deal of that around in those prehistoric days of my high school time.)

A very entertaining entry in the galaxy of '30s and '40s musical shorts.

8 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Say it ain't so, Joe!, 29 July 2002
1/10

I'm quite sure I didn't see this movie when it was first released. A pity. I might have enjoyed it when I was 9 years old. Joe E. Brown was one of my favorites.

Now I wonder how he could do such a thing to me. Such an embarrassment! I didn't find a laugh in the whole thing, even if the script hadn't depicted one stupid situation after another -- far beyond the realm of fantasy. Naive is one thing; idiotic is quite another.

I think Joe owes me -- his public -- an apology.

9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Pseudo History with a Too Familiar Dumb Plot, 27 October 2001
8/10

Few middle-aged people now even remember the waning days of big time network radio, much less its prime time from the late 1920s to the mid 50s. When I first became aware of radio, about 1930, the networks had been operating for some time. Nothing in this movie would tell me how long. The signals were, indeed, carried over telephone lines. In fact, by the late 30s, at least, telephone cables consisting of thousands of wires in a lead sheath carried larger gauge wires in the center to provide a cleaner signal for radio transmission. Broadcasts originated mostly in New York, with quite a few from California, some from Chicago, and a few from other places around the country -- like Nashville. If it was necessary to switch the feed from, say, New York to Hollywood for a special interview, it took about 5 seconds for the phone lines to be reconnected in the opposite direction. It was a fun time, that this movie pretends to have invented. When it originated, the people -- broadcasters and listeners -- must have been fully as excited about it as the movie depicts.

The plot of the story is one we've seen in at least a dozen films: boy steals friend's girl; friend and girl succeed big in some enterprise, boy, left out, becomes jealous and disappears; boy turns up just in time to observe girl's ultimate triumph. The enterprise may be a business, a farm, or a mine, but more commonly it's an act or dramatic career. The story is always stupid, and this film is no exception.

Still, the music featuring Alice Faye, a couple of numbers by the Ink Spots, the hilarious Wiere Brothers, and the incomparable Nicholas Brothers, and even John Payne in one of his early singing roles, makes for eminently watchable entertainment, with the bit of questionable broadcast history thrown in for good measure. Despite the too familiar plot, it's far better than the average musical of the 30s through 50s. I loved it enough to save the recording I made off the cable 15 years ago, and liked it just as much when I dug up the tape this week.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A trivial crime story, 23 May 2001
4/10

Standard trivial crime flick -- no better or worse than most. Eddie Foy, Jr. as Ziggy, the comic-relief sidekick, is so incredibly stupid as to detract even from a film that has no particular merits to begin with. The movie's main merit is that it's over in 53 minutes.

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Good Show, 30 March 2001
7/10

I saw this movie at the kids' matinee at Peoples Theater in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., probably early in 1933. (Since it was released in November of 1932, it wouldn't have got to our neighborhood house before '33.) I thought it was great. Of course, at the age of 8, I thought everything was great. I didn't even mind sitting through this to get to the cowboy movie on the other end of the double feature -- the real reason for going to the "show," as we said in those days.

As I recall, the movie depicted the early history of Little Orphan Annie, from her days as a mistreated child in an orphanage to her being taken in by Daddy Warbucks. The comic strip had been running for several years by then, but at my age I was not familiar with the start of it.

It was a kids' movie, pure and simple (or as close as Hollywood ever got to a movie for children), and we identified with the kids getting the best of the mean adults -- or any adults at all.


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