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Comments on Casablanca with McGraw
I have seen this episode of the series starring Charles McGraw and I have to admit that as much as I love McGraw, he does not seem comfortable in this role. I don't know if it is the wardrobe or the hairstyle, but he does not appear "natural" in this role. I wonder HOW he was chosen for this role. The plot is thin beyond measure and Anita Ekberg, while extremely nice to look at does not bring any amount of acting to her role as Ilsa. She is obviously on hand to provide "Mac" a love interest and anyway, I don't think they look good together. Standing next to McGraw, she appears younger and he, well older. But I love McGraw and I will watch him in anything. This episode of the TV series is good for historical value and for seeing McGraw play something other than his usual tough guy role but for anything else forget it. -Mercedyz
Nice to see McGraw in LOVE!
I love this movie. I almost fell out of my chair the first time I saw it, 15 years ago on AMC. I could not believe McGraw was actually given a role like this. So often we see him as the heavy with a gun, not a woman, and we certainly never see him in love. He displays the right amount of angst and regret in this movie. The movie,though not great,is an example of what McGraw could do when given the right material and good direction. Too bad he was not given more roles like this. I have always felt that if McGraw had been with another studio, i.e.Warner Bros. which specialized in turning tough guys into leading men e.g. Cagney, Bogart,Raft, he would have had a better chance at becoming a leading man like the aforementioned actors,if not a more recognizable presence in movies. He certainly COULD have had more LEAD roles in "A" movies. Anyway, the movie is predictable in that you know Peters is not going to get away with the money. What is surprising or interesting is that the movie doesn't explain how Joe and Diane end up together. In one scene she is telling him he does not make enough money and a FEW scenes later she is smashing glasses in disgust and then professing her love for Joe. The ending is typical of movies of this sort. But it is an interesting movie in that we get to see "MAC" demonstrate feelings, probably for the first time in his career-no doubt due to his being typecast. Joan Dixon is okay as the female lead but I don't think she was the best choice. I guess she was given the role because Howard Hughes was "interested" in her career and was trying to mold her into another Jane Russell. Milburn Stone, Louis Jean Haydt (excellent character actor), and Lowell Gilmore (wonderful in "The Picture of Dorian Gray") are on the mark in their respective roles. Peter Brocco, the criminal at the beginning of the movie, is used to good effect here. (He and McGraw worked together in the "Narrow Margin" and "Spartucus". In fact,you can see the two talking in the latter during a gladiator film sequence; McGraw's "Marcellus" is stooped down talking to Brocco's character when he rises to watch the gladiators train). Mercedyz
Once More, My Darling (1949)
Montgomery has done better.
I like Montgomery in several movies, especially "The Night Has Eyes" with Rosalind Russell. However, this movie is clearly not one of his best. The plot does not make sense. No one would believe for a moment that Ann Blythe would fall in love with Robert Montgomery, at least not in this movie. For this movie to be a comedy, the only time I found myself laughing was when the older woman (at his mother's shindig)asks Blythe's character if she is the one who is wearing the perfume shortly before she coughs. Charles McGraw (I know I keep talking about him, but you know he's my favorite actor)could have seen his role beefed up since it is obvious his character is a comedic foil for Collie's character. Definitely not a good day for Montgomery and company. I do not think the people responsible for this movie really thought it through before making it. I'm glad Montgomery rebounded later with "They Were Expendable". He went on to become a speech adviser for President Eisenhower. Mercedyz
The Threat (1949)
Charles McGraw- Wonderful Character Actor
I remember the first time I saw this movie- almost twenty years ago on AMC. Charles McGraw BLEW me away!!! He has been my favorite actor EVER SINCE!! He steals this movie from Michael O'Shea and with his steel blue eyes totally captivates every scene he is in. McGraw clearly IS the movie and in every scene demonstrates why he was and is considered to be one of the movies best villains. McGraw's "technique" lets us know that he was an actor to be reckoned with and that he was going to be around for a long time, which he was- another forty years as one of our better character actors who was given the lead in a few "B" movies and provided support in many "A" and "B" movies. To say nothing of the numerous television appearances he made. I can not envision too many actors taking this role and fully making it his own the way Mr.McGraw did. Even though his "look" left him for the most part typecast, he was one of our best character actors and "The Threat" bears the proof. Once you hear that voice, see those eyes and watch him do his stuff you can't take your eyes off him!! A Wonderful and Compelling Actor. Signed Mercedyz