Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
I dearly love this movie -- it's been a favorite of mine for years. It's no Gone With the Wind, to be sure, but it's entertaining, witty, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. The cast not only contains a pre-stardom William Holden and Susan Hayward, which alone is enough of a recommendation, but it has some absolutely priceless performances from Mabel Paige, Robert Benchley, Eddie Bracken, Martha O'Driscoll, and Florence MacMichael. The whole film, from start to finish, offers an implausible, screwball-type plot and performances, and it is absolute fun. There is truly never a dull moment -- and the more you see it, the more you'll appreciate it.
I had rather high hopes when I learned this film had a 1939 release and the first 10 minutes or so were quite entertaining. I thought I was in for a pleasant comedy, but the laughs ended early. Everything went downhill at about the midway point, and never recovered. Florence Rice was capable enough in her role, and of course Una Merkel is always a delight, but they weren't enough to carry the weak script and ham-handed situations. It was nice to see Tom Neal in a small part, and Buddy Ebsen as well, and Jessie Ralph was good in her role as the head nurse who doesn't take any guff from anyone. Overall, though, I'd say you can skip this one.
I've lost count of the number of times I have seen this first-rate movie, and it makes me laugh every time. The plot and dialog are outstanding, and Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery are excellent. Reginald Denny and Una Merkel are a delight as well. In one of the film's many excellent scenes, Shearer shows off the acting skills she honed during her silent screen days -- hearing the musical strains of a song once dear to her and her ex-husband in happier days, her expression goes from recognition to fond remembrance to regret to resignation, all in the span of a few seconds. Although she is best known for her dramatic gifts, Norma is top-notch throughout this film, displaying an excellent flair for comedy. I've often read her performance being unfavorably compared to that of Gertrude Lawrence, but I thought Shearer was a wonder. It's hard for me to conceive that this movie was released 80 years ago -- it is still fresh, funny, and worth every moment of your time.
I saw the movie at the Chicago International Film Festival. It was so
wonderful, I am still glowing from the experience. The movie was
absolutely beautiful -- moving, touching, magical. Johnny Depp, as I
expected, was outstanding, as were Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, and
the little boy who played Peter. Seeing the movie made me want to learn
all about James Barrie -- it was great.
I really can't say enough about Johnny Depp's performance. I was entranced by his beauty and awed by his talent. He is a joy to see.
Like many movies based on real people, this one is not meant to serve as a documentary. If you want to learn about Barrie, read a book. If you want to be enthralled, see this movie.
The first 40 minutes or so of Edge of Doom are quite interesting, as Farley Granger offers a character that we sympathize with and understand. Another standout is the always excellent Paul Stewart, who portrays a no-good neighbor of Granger's. But the movie becomes predictable and rather tiresome about halfway through, and the viewer is forced to endure trite dialogue and a tired climax before it's all over. Although there are several good scenes, and strong noir overtones, the overpowering religious message is a bit much, being pounded over the viewer's head like a mallet. It's not a complete waste of time, but it comes pretty close.
From the film's opening scene, which shows the protagonist, Lucky Gagin, emerging from a bus into a dusty Mexican town, the viewer is hooked. There are so many good things about this film, primarily the acting performances -- Robert Montgomery is a standout, as are Wanda Hendrix, Fred Clark, Thomas Gomez, and Art Smith. They each completely occupy their characters and make them come to life. Another highlight is the dialogue -- there are numerous memorable exchanges between Montgomery and Hendrix, and Clark delivers two especially well-written diatribes that serve to solidify his character in the consciousness. The story itself is quite simple, and is driven far more by characterization than by plot, but that is what makes the film so good. The film also contains its share of classically dark noir imagery -- most memorable is the scene in which the Gomez character is savagely beaten by two hoods while a group of neighborhood children sail along on the nearby merry-go-round, at first gaily enjoying the free ride but growing increasingly somber and afraid as they witness the brutal attack. This one is a definite must-see, particularly for film noir buffs, but also for film lovers of all types.
Overall, I was fairly disappointed in Manhandled. The best part about it was Dan Duryea, who played his usual oily self and is always a pleasure to watch. The plot of the film was satisfactory as well, involving a rich woman's coveted jewels, her murder, and a melange of would-be killers. But Dorothy Lamour is miscast as the leading lady and adds little to the production, and a running gag between a police detective and his partner is not only tiresome but also out of place. The film did offer several notable elements of film noir, however, including the opening sequence, in which a man dreams that he bludgeons his wife to death with a perfume bottle, and a later scene in which a duplicitous doctor is run over -- repeatedly -- by a car. Still, I'd probably place this one way down on my list of film noir must-sees.