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I Dream Too Much (1935)
Pons' high notes
Because of Lily Pons' high soprano, this film was rudely nicknamed "I Scream Too Much." Actually, Pons had a lovely light voice with a girlish sound; her singing didn't sound like screaming. In spite of my love of serious music, I have to laugh at the nickname.
Henry Fonda and Lily Pons? OK. Today, combining a young male romantic lead with an opera singer seems strange. In the mid 20th Century, classical music wasn't viewed suspiciously by most people, as it is now. No rock, rap, or hip hop yet (now THAT's what I call screaming).
I hope this film will become available on DVD or tape - it's been years since I've seen it.
Not as a Stranger (1955)
Strange, but good in spots
The previous comments have just about covered it: this is an unusual film, as Kramer's often were, but worth seeing once. Mitchum is good, as usual, and DeHavilland is up to her expected high standard, the best thing in the film. I found Sinatra's presence jarring - the personality's all wrong for a medical student - and yes, the boys do seem too old to be students. I wonder if they thought of casting, say, Montgomery Clift as a swingin' big band singer to ice the cake. But the corker is the unfathomable decision to make DeHavilland a blonde and Grahame a brunette. I didn't even recognize Grahame at first.
See it, decide for yourself, and enter the drawing for a free sample of hair dye and complimentary Swedish lessons.
The Naked Jungle (1954)
Which red menace is scarier to Leiningen?
Now that I've seen this film in its original glorious color -- It's NOT a science fiction B movie at all, but a very good tale of a male/female battle of wills superseded by a battle between humans and nature. The human threat is redheaded, and the ants - the threat from nature - are red. Red Scare, anyone? Eleanor Parker is accomplished, elegant, and ravishing. (Perhaps it strains credibility that anyone would have the luck to send off for a 'mail order' bride and get HER.) Heston looks good too. His acting must have improved later with the help of William Wyler: he and Parker were only 2 years apart in age, but he comes across as a greenhorn by comparison. But he's as magnetic as ever and the direction and script are top drawer. It's also a pleasure to look at the mores of the 1900s through the filter of 50s Hollywood.