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Between the Lines (1977)
Underrated when it came out, but prescient and influential to this day.
This note perfect film really must be seen. It is one of the best ensemble pieces ever made.
Viewed as an exercise in character, is is a strong enough . As a comment on its times, it was accurate and prescient. It was once possible to have a newspaper, music, a life that was not co-opted by corporatism.
Some of weaknesses in our culture are manifested in the sell-out, the opportunist, the survivor, the careerist. The real politician who changes political parties out of expedience, even if it means laying down with the dogs, could have stepped out of this picture. The once progressive believer who becomes a lapdog of the powerful was portrayed here.
This movie was too smart and knowing for Hollywood.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Standard for travel suspense
There is something about the train that grounds this masterpiece. Traveling a great distance on a comfortable train (as opposed to hobo sling or empty reefer) is still the most exciting and satisfying way to do it. I think Hitchcock, a traveler, understood this and created an effective frame for the puzzle. Long journeys on a train bring people close while allowing boundaries to stand. There's always a bit of mystery. It's all here in this movie. I particularly love the "Two Gentlemen", who are terribly concerned about the "Test Match at Manchester. Cricket, man!" Margaret Lockwood was never better. I believe this was Michael Redgrave's first film. He was just great.
One Way Passage (1932)
love happens unexpectedly
This film is a sleeper.
I had never heard of it an hour and ten minutes ago, and just caught it on television. William Powell's performance is outstanding.
My own delightful surprise find was Aline MacMahon, who was sublime as the Countess; what a beauty she was.
The sound and visual effects as shown on TCM are crisp and clear. It's a solid film that belongs on DVD.
I suspect we will never get the chance to own it for home viewing because of its age-1932, and the unfortunate trend of too many to dislike or ignore films older than six months