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When I Grow Up (1951)
This could easily be the best performance Bobby Driscoll ever did. Like the other comments, this is a wonderful and unforgettable movie. Like others here, I saw it as a child. I think I was 10. I'm a movie buff and it has stayed with me all these years and yet almost nobody has ever heard of it. It is truly a shame that it's not available with such memorable performances from Driscoll, Robert Preston, Charley Grapewin and the others. Can it be that costly to make this exceptional film available again? It excels in every way possible ---directing, acting, music, cinematography, editing, and a superb original script. It's a rare treasure and deserves to be saved and seen. Please, someone, make it happen!
Far above average western
This is a well made western that star Robert Young also produced. It includes three solid performances by Young, Marguerite Chapman and Barton MacLane. There is also a fun and somewhat poignant subplot involving a burro and a colt that is most unique. The title comes from the fact that Young's character never gives up in his pursuit of finding a killer. Chapman is highly engaging and real as she stands by her man (Young)with evidence to the contrary. Highly recommended. (Oh, watch for the appearance by Willard Parker as the sheriff. In a scene, towards the end, his physique and attitude remind you that he would have made a pretty good Lone Ranger if the commanding Clayton Moore hadn't been around.)
Timber Tramps (1975)
An Insider's Look
Make all kinds of fun of this movie if you want to, but it was certainly not a tax write-off. It was done sincerely and with concern by writer/director/producer Chuck Keen. I know far more about what went on than most, including the stars of the film. I was in charge of the Four Wall distribution, which was done with great success throughout Oregon in 1976. Keen was a self made man who looked and talked like a lumberjack. He was folksy, didn't believe in banks and his handshake was his word. I didn't get along with him 100%, but I respected him. He worked long and hard on this film, as he did with others he did. I don't think he was creatively talented, except with a camera, but he pulled it off, folks...like a lot of determined people in a dog eat dog industry. They deserve a pat on the back for getting it done. "Timber Tramps" is not ever going to rate highly, but it has superb photography and shows off Alaska grandly. Watch it for that and realize one man at least made it happen despite all odds.
Have Gun - Will Travel: High Wire (1957)
I think what's interesting in this episode is that TV's Paladin, Richard Boone meets up with radio's Paladin, John Dehner. Since the radio version was popular and on that medium just a few years earlier, I wonder how many watched this episode of the TV version and got a little confused on hearing the voice of the Paladin they had known so well? John Dehner was always an excellent actor and he is so in this fine episode as well. William Conrad played Matt Dillon on radio's "Gunsmoke" and he did something similar as well. However, in 1973, only his voice was heard on TV's "Gunsmoke" in a narrative-driven episode. Conrad was too portly to play the action-driven Dillon on TV and Dehner was tied up doing TV's "Roaring 20's."
Take the High Ground! (1953)
Basic training during Korean war with a stellar performance by Richard Widmark.
This is an overlooked military film about basic training during the Korean War. Although it's far less probing and gut-wrenching than "Full Metal Jacket," it's still an enjoyable movie with a stellar performance by Richard Widmark. It's one of his best roles. There are also fine performances by Karl Malden, Carleton Carpenter, Robert Arthur, a very athletic Russ Tamblyn, and Elaine Stewart delivers a poignant and tender portrayal as the troubled Julie (God, she is beautiful here!)Most of the scenes were shot at Fort Bliss, Texas. Yes, it's formula in many ways, but what makes it work is Widmark, surely one of the most underrated actors ever in the movies. He died in 2008 at the age of 93. For years, friends in the Motion Picture Academy tried to get him an honorary Oscar, but the votes were never there. So, watch "Take the High Ground" for Widmark. He'll evoke sympathy and you'll care about him. Oh,by the way,few actors have ever offered so many variations of a simple smile. You'll see them on display here. Young actors take note.
Out to Sea (1997)
A Fantastic Voyage
Once in a blue moon, along comes a film that is genuinely "sweet." This is one of those rare gems. Expertly directed by Martha Coolidge. What a fun ride this must have been for all concerned. There are legendary performers having a great time on screen and sadly most are now gone. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon have an on-screen give-and-take that is delicious and funny to watch (and Lemmon has a poignant and wistful scene as well.) Dyan Cannon(with a delightful giggle and a contagious laugh) and Gloria DeHaven are the romantic counterparts to Lemmon and Matthau and it's terrific to watch Edward Mulhare, the great Elaine Stritch, Rue McClanahan, Hal Linden, and wow ---there's Donald O'Connor showing he's still got it(wish his role was bigger.) Finally, although it would seem impossible to steal the movie from such greats Brent Spiner virtually pulls it off as the arrogant singing cruise director. (He should star in a TV sitcom. not too late!) His timing is superb. Along with established ballroom dancer, Andre Fortin, the dancing sequences would make "Dancing With the Stars" fans applaud with joy. Don't miss the added dancing sequence during the end credits with all of the stars and some funny outtakes. "Out to Sea" makes you want to finally book that seven day cruise
if only you could bump into these wonderful characters before you head back home.
This Movie Should Not Be Forgotten!
I agree with many others who've commented about this wonderful movie. My sadness is that other generations have not been able to see it on TV, VHS, or DVD. Because of that, it has been lost to new fans. There are few movies that have captured the era after the turn of the century as well (although this one encompasses a period of time beyond that.) "The Strawberry Blonde" is another. David Wayne, always an under-rated screen actor was celebrated on Broadway, winning Tony Awards for playing Sakini in "Teahouse of the August Moon" and Og in "Finian's Rainbow. Here, we follow his character's life as a young man as he grows old with friends and family beside him and his love for Nellie everlasting. It's a touching story full of nostalgia. It deserves better. Isn't it amazing that so many of us remember it from our youth? That's how good it is.
Fortunately, this movie failed financially as well as critically. I'm not remotely close to being a feminist -- but NOBODY who likes women would admire this offensive, boring, film with a disgusting unsatisfying ending. It's a piece of crap!It lacks any satisfying result and the dialogue is plain silly throughout most of the story. Acting? Credits to all. The fault here, dear Brutus --is in the writing and directing. In the interest of creating something "new." they decided to create a silly way to make the characters utter ridiculous statements! So dumb and unsatisfying --shame on all of you. Still --the satisfying thing here is that it made NO money. Thank God!