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|7 reviews in total|
The last review I read at IMDb for this film stated that it starred a
"young" June Allyson. Actually, she was 39, seven years older than her
co-star, Jack Lemmon, and MUCH too old to play the part of a young
heiress fleeing her father. This in a nutshell is what ruins the film
(along with it being made into a musical for the 2nd time). Not that
she didn't do her best, but that she was simply miscast.
Besides, it was foolish to try to recreate a film when the original was already perfect. They had nowhere to go but down. Apparently, Allyson's husband (director of the film) was trying to bank in on what he thought would be a sure thing. The film did indeed make money, but not one person who ever lived thought it was remotely as good as the original. If you haven't see the 1934 version called It Happened One Night, do yourself a favor and watch that one first. There's a very good chance you won't want to bother watching another version once you see how good Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were. Incidentally, this film was remade into a musical once before during the 1940s, and again was quite inferior to the original. Perhaps Hollywood should learn to leave a good thing alone.
This film was widely panned by critics everywhere when it came out, and it doesn't take much to see why. The story is a completely one-sided railing against doctrines of the Catholic Church in order to justify homosexual activities. Don't waste your time with it. "I want to, so I'm gonna" is the entire statement of the movie. Don't expect any real arguments or philosophy here. The acting is passable at best, but given that the screenplay/story is terrible, they didn't have much to work with. What's frustrating is that there's no serious dialog where the clergy get to spell out exactly why sins are sins here along with the harmful after-effects of them. The film seeks immoral justification without proper philosophical/mental evaluation.
Bergman always does this--asks tons of questions about life and God but never even attempts to answer them. What's his point? None really. His photographic style of cinematography is interesting, and his very sparse use of music as well. He tends to use rooms to great advantage by leaving them sparsely furnished with wooden floors so that the sound is very lively in them. Every movement is heard, and this almost negates the need for musical enhancement in his films. Bergman has great style, and his questions about the world are substantive, but if a man has no answers and goes through life with no opinions, he best stay out of filmmaking.
Forbes also wrote this one (as he often did). It's hard to find any
fault with this movie. You can't get much better than a film, not only
written and directed by Forbes, but starring an unforgettable pairing
in Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough. Ms. Stanley didn't make too
many movies, but this one is enough to show why she's often thought of
as the best stage actress of the 20th century.
Just to tell a small bit of the story, it's about a woman and her husband who earn some money giving séances for people. It's unclear whether the husband, played by Attenborough, actually believes anything supernatural is going on, because as the story progresses, what does become clear is that his wife, played by Stanley, is having, or has already had, a serious break with reality.
A word of warning to those thinking this is a movie about the supernatural given the film's titleit is not, although some may see something of the supernatural in the wife's delusional mode of existence. The film is actually about something entirely differentthe kidnapping of a young girl. Very suspensefully done from beginning to end.
Mickey Rooney plays Sammy Hogarth, a famous comedian of stage and
television, adored by the masses, hated and despised by his intimates.
There are two plots here, the lesser involving Sammy's brother, Lester, played by Mel Torme--a grown crybaby who clings to his big brother's shirttail from which comes his job as an abused go-for, and along with the job comes a weekly sketch portraying him as Lester the bumbling fool. There's a desire to get out from under this character abuse, but poor, weak Lester hasn't the backbone to properly make his stand without the aid of his endearing, but troubled wife played by Kim Hunter.
Edmond O'Brien plays the pivotal role in this production as Sammy's head comedy writer, and the plot involving a less than honorable script he's come up with is the real fuel for this story. Deceit is the name of the game in this television... well, let's call it a mini-movie since that's what Playhouse 90 more or less turned out, and as usual, O'Brien upstages pretty much everyone he's on screen with. Mickey Rooney certainly gives him a run for his money though. Unfortunately, these bad guy type roles Rooney started playing in the 50s were a big part of what contributed to his losing the public's admiration even though he did them well.
I don't think you'll be disappointed with anything, except perhaps the ending, which may leave you less contented than ole' Bossy on a late milking day. It's done well though.
I've seen many movies that undertook the subject of evil. They come and
they go year in and year out. Some do it reasonably well like
Hitchcock's 1960 thriller, "Psycho", for instance. However, if
anything, "Psycho" tried a little too hard to be frightening, so that,
in the end we came away feeling that the subject was one of fear itself
more than of the thing that made us fearful. Michael Powell also
released "Peeping Tom" in 1960, a movie about a psychopathic
photographer/cinematographer who kills women and films them as they're
dying. "Peeping Tom" was certainly creepy and disturbing, but in all
the wrong ways. The murderer was treated as a poor, misunderstood man
whose upbringing molded him into the villain he became instead of
recognizing and acknowledging the self-will that must always be
involved in the transgressions of man. The treatment of evil in most
other films is either too underplayed to make us think hard about what
evil really is, or is a typical Saturday afternoon cinema thriller like
"The Exorcist" and its myriad of clones which are generally steeped in
outward physical manifestations that all too often seem more of an
excuse for showing off their latest special effects arsenal than
There are few films which try to show us that "subtle suggestion" that evil plays within all mankind, that essence of a presence which can be felt in your marrow trying to work its way to the outward physical universe as though it's in need of a host to do any real damage to the world. (I'll never forget reading Charles Williams' book "Witchcraft" and his line about how demons "pine for matter", something which still chills me). 1972 brought us, however, what may be the two most notable and praiseworthy treatments of that subtle suggestion of evil within. One was "The Other" about a young boy who seems truly tormented by his own psychopathic inner twin (actually he had a real life twin who had died and which his mind has turned into an inward dwelling entity of destruction).
"The Offence" is the other great film on the subject of evil from the same year. The offence mentioned in the title is that of child molestation. There is a molester loose who not only rapes little girls, he does his best to make it hurt, to make them feel some of his own anguish for childhood traumas inflicted on him early in life. But we'll find nothing of "Peeping Tom" and its misplaced sympathy for the villain. Sean Connery is a police officer/detective who, by God, will have none of that! However, the movie takes a very strange turn during the interrogation, and during the second half of the film we get a real honest to goodness glimpse of what God must have meant when he said to Cain just before he killed Abel, " sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Let me also echo what many film critics have said before me: Anyone who claims Sean Connery can't act hasn't seen this film! He is nothing short of brilliant in this movie. Having said that however, Ian Bannen very nearly steals the show with his performance as the suspected villain. I can't recommend this one enough.
Honestly, I had no idea this was coming and know very little about the
show's star, Mark Valley. While I'm a little old to care about TV shows
that fit the "action" genre, I have to admit this was quite a thrill
ride and a fun one at that.
Valley stars as Christopher Chance, a sort of private eye with a penchant for taking chances (living up to his name). Actually, if there's one thing this pilot lacked it was background info. I'm assuming we'll be filled in a little at a time as the show progresses throughout the season. For now, we'll have to be content to know very little and discern the rest about Chance's firm.
There's a wise cracking, tough guy element to Chris Chance, but not in an adolescent way. It's more of a "I'm smarter than you, but I won't hold it against ya", approach not unlike the role Robert Conrad played in The Wild Wild West. In fact Valley reminds me very much of Conrad. Neither are terribly big guys, but their tougher than nails attitude combined with real life experience (Conrad was an able boxer, and Valley was a West Point grad with martial arts training) allows them to play these kinds of roles with great aplomb and relative ease. It takes a man with a certain swagger in his step to capture the attention of viewers in an action show, and Valley has it in spades.
Despite the show's uninventive title, it has the kind of punch that combines the wit and wisdom of The Wild Wild West with action writing comparable to Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels. Throw in a bit of 007 and a couple of Macgyver moments (ala the rigged parachute scene) and you've got at least a small bit of what this show has to offer. I haven't been this excited about an action show since Tales of the Gold Monkey. Let's hope it doesn't suffer the same fate.