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Girl Shy (1924)
Original Review, April 2, 1924
5 July 2002
Harold Lloyd's latest may well be called his best. There is so much action jammed into this picture that when it once gets under way one forgets the opening is rather slow. The last two reels move along so fast, with so many thrills, that the average audience is going to stand up and howl. It's a wow of a comedy picture!

The story is by Sam Taylor, Tommy Gray, Tim Whelen and Ted Wilde. Taylor, together with Fred Newmeyer, directed.

Lloyd is a small-town tailor's apprentice, frightfully girl shy and prone to stuttering. In secret, however, he fancies himself as an author and feels the urge to write a book on girls and women, with himself figuring as the heroic character in a series of romances that are 16 in number.

It is this script that brings him in contact with the rich girl. He is on his way to the city with the script when he meets her on the train. There is a lot of good laugh stuff in the train scene, the first wow coming when he rescues the toy dog belonging to the heiress. The hiding of the dog to get past the conductor and the subsequent complications are also good for laughs.

The biggest of the picture, however, is the chase stuff that runs through both of the final reels. It starts off with Lloyd becoming aware his book has been accepted and he is the receipt of $3,000 advance royalties, this followed by the discovery of the fact that "the girl" is going to be married to his rival, who already has a wife, starts him off hotfoot for the scene of the wedding. What he goes through to get there is beyond the mere power of a typewriter to describe. It is a chase that caps anything else that has ever been done on the screen.

Playing the lead opposite Lloyd is Jobyna Ralston, who proves herself considerable of an actress in addition to being decidedly pretty. The heavy is Carlton Griffith. No one in the cast other than four characters are mentioned, and, as a matter of fact, no one except Lloyd and the girl remain in one's memory.

The chances are that with "Girl Shy," Lloyd is going to run up bigger sales gross than he has had with any of his previous productions.
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Norma Shearer's last silent film
16 August 2001
"A Lady of Chance" was Norma Shearer's last silent film. The Turner Movie Classic channel debut of this forgotten gem with a brand-new score, took place on August 15, 2001. It was a total delight! The print was in excellent condition and looked just as audiences first saw it in 1928. Norma, who never looked lovelier, was in top form and showed how adept she was as a silent movie actress. Never let anyone say that she couldn't handle comedy! It's a fun film to watch and I recommend it to anyone, not just Shearer fans.
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Stop the music!
9 August 2001
This was the first, and hopefully, the last attempt at making a musical adult film. Let's face it, when we want to see a musical, we'll play a video of MY FAIR LADY. When we want to see adult rated material, we'll put in an X-rated video. The two do not mix!!!!

It's laughable when you see these "actors" break into song. Adult performers, sorry to say, CANNOT ACT and CANNOT SING! So don't even try! Just stick to what you do best (you know what that is) and leave the singing to Julie Andrews.
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I disliked this film!
9 July 2001
I have objects all over my home. The longer I have them, the more attached I get. Not one to be a packrat, I occasionally force myself to get rid of the access, which in a little way, breaks my heart. Even the most trivial of items has some kind of connection to me.

In this film, a married couple, who's only child is in a coma, acquires a life-like robot, which resembles a real 11 year old boy (designed to have human emotions to love and be loved.) The idea of placing this robot child in the home is the father's. His wife has been grieving and he is sure that this will mend her breaking heart. The mother resists at first, but the child named David (played brilliantly by Haley Joel Osment) breaks down her resistance and she accepts the robot has her child. All is well until the real child wakes up from his coma and returns home.

The father completely turns on David and their real son is jealous of him. The mother eventually is persuaded to get rid of him and this is where the film falls apart for me. No one with any kind of heart would do this. As I said, objects have always held a sentimental value for me. Now if I had a robot child that was a precious as David is, there is no way in the world I would discard him. Not only that, but the way she discards him is outrageous!

The film drags on and introduces us to a lot of characters that we don't care about and don't advance the storyline. Even the fabulous Jude Law is wasted in a role that never connects emotionally with David.

Finally, the film comes to a conclusion. Then you find out it isn't a conclusion, the film runs for another 20 minutes and then the `typical Spielberg ending' occurs. But by this time, I was numb. I couldn't feel anymore.

I believe Haley Joel Osment is the most talented performer of his generation and should be awarded an Academy Award for his performance in a film that I truly disliked. Out of a score of ten, I wouldn't go any further than a four.
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Saratoga (1937)
Jean Harlow at her finest!
23 May 2001
When you watch this film, you are overwhelmed with sadness realizing that Jean Harlow died during production. Adding to that, Jean was never better than she is in this film. First of all, MGM finally found her 'look.' Her make-up is toned down and her platinum blonde hair is now a darker shade. She never looked lovelier. But what really is remarkable is her acting skills. She developed such a natural style and her comic ability was absolutely flawless.

From what I've read, Miss Harlow was liked by all in the industry, and loved by those who were close to her. Dying a such a young age (26), one can only imagine how many more years her career would have flourished.

Almost 65 years have passed since her death and she's still one of Hollywood's greatest stars.
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Logan's Journey (1998 Video)
Logan Reed always great to watch!
13 April 2001
Logan Reed, always fun to watch, always a treat for the eyes. He's got such a handsome face and a smile that will could melt the northern glaciers.

The story line is rather stupid, but in adult films, aren't they all? Plus, you have to wait until the very end to see Mr. Reed in all his glory. But it's worth the wait!
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The Ryker Files (1996 Video)
Jordan Young steals the show!
13 April 2001
Beautiful Jordan Young steals the show from the other performers whose scenes are rather automatic and forced. But Jordan's one scene is different because he projects passion. And seeing him in sexual situations still comes out of the realm of the ordinary. You don't expect it from this "angel faced-boy" so it takes you off-guard, making it all the more hot.
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Monkeys in cages!
14 March 2001
I live just outside of West Hollywood, California, where this picture is supposed to have taken place. Every weekend, I drive into the city to see my friends and venture out socially. We are all gay and around the same age. Funny how when we're out and about, we don't recite dialog from `Auntie Mame,' `Steel Magnolias,' or vintage Bette Davis movies. We don't call each other ‘bitches,' nor do we camp it up by dressing in drag periodically. If you saw us all together, you wouldn't think anything. And why should you? We act just like anyone else.

Sadly, the writers of this film would make you believe otherwise. I was very disappointed when I saw this film drag out all the old stereotypes, almost as if they had a checklist. Even the gratuitous funeral scene (in every gay movie there has to be at least one!).

Give me a break! I'm tired of screaming queens representing the gay community in film! Get a grip! Why can't Hollywood tell the truth? To the masses, we'll always be monkeys in cages, thanks to films like this.
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Coquette (1929)
I was so disappointed!
13 March 2001
I've seen many of Mary Pickford's silent films. The picture she made right before this was `My Best Girl,' (her last silent film) which Mary co-starred with her future husband, Buddy Rogers. It was wonderful! The film still held its charm and it was a delight to see and experience. I expected this much from `Coquette,' especially when you consider that Mary won the best actress Oscar for it.

I was so disappointed! Mary seemed to have lost all her ability as an actress when she made this turkey. She mugs at the camera, poses, and does everything she can to be stilted. It's embarrassing!

I know at one time Mary wanted to destroy all her movies because she didn't think the public would appreciate them anymore. She was talked out of it, thank heavens. But I do sort of regret that this one didn't make it into the fire!
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Dragon Seed (1944)
Where is Luise Rainer when you need her?
28 February 2001
Katharine Hepburn proves that she is no Luise Rainer, who in 1937 won an Academy Award for her performance in THE GOOD EARTH. Her attempt at a Chinese accent is downright laughable. Just proves that even a great actress like Hepburn can occasionally fail. And fail she did!
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What happened?
27 February 2001
With all the talent connected to this film, it's amazing that it isn't better. Katharine Hepburn was the original choice for the lead, but some kind of contract dispute stopped her from doing it. Maggie Smith took over the role and won an Academy Award nomination. Even so, many critics complained at the time that she over-acted, but I feel she's the life and breath of what fun there is in the movie.
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Ada (1961)
The 1930's or 1961?
27 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
My pet peeve about some films is that they are supposed to be period pieces, but have the 'look' of the year in which they were filmed. This is the case with 'Ada.' We are to believe that it takes place in the 1930's, but Susan Hayward's wardrobe and hairstyle reflect the year it was made, 1961.

The ending also bugs me. After a big showdown in the Capitol building, Susan and Dean Martin leave the building and are shown ALL ALONE. Where did everyone else go? There were hundreds of people in the building just minutes before!!!!!
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Idol in the Sky (1996 Video)
Big budget release
16 February 2001
Upon it's release, a huge billboard on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, California, had the shirtless star Ryan Idol, advertising this adult film. This was a first for an X rated video.

Even though Idol is the star, my favorite scene is with Jordan Young and J. T. Sloan. It's sexy and the performers look like they are having a good time!
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These Old Broads (2001 TV Movie)
Not funny – just depressing!
13 February 2001
I believe that Carrie Fisher is a very talented writer, but you wouldn't know it by this fiasco. The script is full of off-color lines that probably would be funny if they were taken out of context, but strung along with a plot that is very predictable, it just doesn't work. There also are many feeble attempts at slapstick, which is another huge mistake. Everyone just tries to hard to be funny. Everything is forced and unnatural.

Elizabeth Taylor (I think) attempts a Yiddish accent. Well, it's either Yiddish or a Brooklyn accent, I just simply couldn't tell. Seeing the fabulous Dame Elizabeth is this cheesy TV movie made me depressed. The memory of GIANT, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and VIRGINIA WOLF are still too fresh in my mind.

Joan Collins, who has kept her beautiful figure, demonstrates that she is no natural comedian. But given a better script perhaps Joan could have done better. At least I like to think so.

Shirley MacLaine, who still has somewhat of a career in movies left, should have passed on this one. Hopefully it won't damage her credibility being in this turkey.

Of all the women, Debbie Reynolds comes off the best. The few times I had a chuckle was because of her. But then again, Debbie has made movies like this before so it wasn't much of a shock seeing her outrageous antics.

It was reported that right before production began, June Allyson, who was to portray Joan Collins' mother, backed out without explanation. I have a funny feeling June read the script.
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Romeo and Juliet goes western
12 February 2001
This western 'Romeo and Juliet' totally worked for me. How could it not with beautiful people to watch such as Janine Turner and Michael Greyeyes? Mr. Greyeyes especially is probably one of the most handsome men to come along in a long while. It's no wonder that Janine Turner's character fell for him!

Very enjoyable love story.
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Inside the Osmonds (2001 TV Movie)
What wig factory did they raid?
6 February 2001
The minute I read that the Osmond family approved of the final script, I knew I was going to hate this production. The actors we saddled with a rambling script that was totally unconvincing. Their costumes, especially the wigs, were laughable.

Actress Veronica Cartwright, who played Olive Osmond (the mother) wore a pair of contact lenses that made her look like a half-baked Vampira. Her dramatic scenes were anything but.

Terrible movie. BOMB.
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Random Hearts (1999)
A Cure for Insomnia
2 January 2001
If you're having trouble sleeping at night, go to your local video store and rent this movie. If this doesn't put you to sleep, nothing will.

I can't believe with all the wonderful people that are involved in this production that it's as bad as it is. It makes the biggest sin a movie can make – to be bored while watching it. Never at anytime do you identify or feel for the characters. I simply watched the film passively and kept wondering when it was going to conclude. I'm glad I didn't see it in the theatre because I would not have been able to stay through to the ending credits. At least with video you can read a magazine and occasionally look up at the TV. This, I'm sorry to say, was what I did while this film was running.
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Too close to be objective!
2 January 2001
As a gay man with two children, this story did not play very well with me. Rupert Everett's character is a complete ass and no wonder Madonna's character didn't want him around her child anymore. My ex-wife and I worked things out because we both loved our children. Yes, we hated each other at times during our divorce, but the children always came first. Maybe the subject was too close for me to be objective, but it would have been a better film if they had gone a different direction with the last part of the story.
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When Andrew Came Home (2000 TV Movie)
An emotional rollercoaster
11 December 2000
I hadn't planned on viewing this film. I had been watching the program before it and simply didn't turn the television off or change the channel. After about 15 minutes into it, I was pulled into the strong story. The film was thoroughly engrossing and the performances, especially that of young Seth Adkins, were superb. I found myself in tears throughout the film and the ending caused me to completely break down. I can't recommend this film enough. Next time it's on, please don't miss it.
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A comedy that isn't funny.
24 October 2000
This is probably James Stewart's worst film. His co-star is Joan Fontaine, who never was adept at doing light comedy, she and Stewart have no chemistry together whatsoever. They get no help by the pale script and the pacing of the film is very slow. A dud.
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End of an era!
28 September 2000
This film is significant in motion picture history for two reasons. The first is that it is the final feature film appearance of Loretta Young. After this, Loretta only made television appearances. The second is that this is the last film ever made by Gladys George, who died the next year (1954).
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11 September 2000
A great documentary, beautifully detailed and put together with great style. Many of the people interviewed are gone, so this is indeed a treasure of the ages. I purchased the three cassette tape of the series and recommend to any avid movie fan to do the same. It's something that can be viewed again and again.

This series is fascinating, but also very sad. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the greatest studio of them all, is no more. It's heartbreaking that Columbia Pictures, once considered the ‘poverty row' of studios, now occupies the site of MGM.
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Leatrice Joy is charming!
14 April 2000
Amusing film that is a wonderful showcase for talents of Leatrice Joy. (Not many remember her today, but at one time, she was Cecil B. DeMille's favorite actress.) Although predictable by today's standards, I'm sure 1920's audiences were immensely amused by this "Cinderella" story.
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3 January 2000
I never walk out of a screening, but I walked out on this film. I could not take one more minute of this boring, tedious film!!!! When I left, several other people followed and I heard many of the same comments that I was feeling. Not only would I list this as the worst film of 1999, but of the decade!
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Forever Hollywood (1999 TV Movie)
Interesting, but nothing new
27 December 1999
I love documentaries on Hollywood. This one was well done, but it offered nothing new. Major problem was that they covered too much material in the time allowed. This could easily had been a series, much like the British-made HOLLYWOOD, circa 1969. Another disappointment was the constant use of scenes from the 1937 film; A STAR IS BORN. Whenever filmmakers want footage of Hollywood of the 1930's, this movie is always used. I get tired of seeing the same footage. Surely someone has some home movies!
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