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Piafredux

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69 reviews in total 
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Macha Magarin, 17 August 2014
8/10

'"A Very Cautious Boy' is one of the best of the hour-long 'Naked City' episodes. Tremendously powerful acting from Ruth White.

But the IMDb mystery of this mystery episode is that the lovely young woman who plays pianist-chanteuse Gaby Duclos is, in the episode's own closing credits, listed as Macha Magarin, yet from IMDb's episode cast list Miss Magarin is absent.

In her IMDb name page there's no data whatsoever - not a birth date, not a single line item as movie/TV cast member or of show biz employment. Just her name.

More substance about this episode I would type here. Instead I'm typing this filler you're reading because IMDb commenting rules require a minimum of ten lines of text. So: TAG! You're IT!

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Footage From Oskar Werner film, 3 May 2013
2/10

The monorail, red Jaguar police loudspeaker car, and the quartet of flying policemen footage was ripped off from the (quite good) Oskar Werner & Julie Christie film 'Fahrenheit 451.'

I never cared for the 'Night Gallery' series, as I consider it to have been poorly written and crudely filmed in comparison to Serling's far superior 'The Twilight Zone' series.

'Night Gallery' also included a lot of occult/horror episodes, a genre rarely seen in 'The Twilight Zone' program, and occult/horror has never appealed to me.

Have fun, Folks!

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Numbers Always Add Up, 31 May 2012

Sure, the mob took a 40% profit on however much it paid out on the one winning number, but the mob kept ALL of the profit from the money wagered on the other 999 losing numbers. The numbers game was very lucrative, which is why it's no longer in business as a criminal enterprise, but is very much in business in the form of state lotteries' Pick-3 and Pick-4 wagering games and, of course, in the form of state 5 and 6-number lotteries and in the form of the multi-state PowerBall and MegaMillions games.

Prohibition of the numbers racket didn't need to be ended by law enforcement, but merely by the state itself taking over the numbers game - and then adding assorted other lucrative forms of state and multi-state lotteries. You might be excused for thinking, then, that the state could end illegal drug trafficking (and all of the blood shed by criminals over its profits and by police in the course of their duty of enforcing drug laws) by legalizing marijuana and taxing it. But then that would put a lot of unionized local, state, and federal police and DEA agents out of a job - and out of a generous government pension and lifetime health and dental benefits.

Alcohol prohibition didn't work - it just turned a lot of people, even lots of ordinary mugs, into criminals (during Prohibition my grandfather, who worked a factory day job, made bathtub hooch that he sold or just gave away to his cronies on his city block). Which, if you think about it, is what the numbers game did to a lot of ordinary people who were numbers runners and bagmen - turned them into criminals until the state started running its numbers games and lotteries, and is what marijuana prohibition is still doing to a lot of small-time dealers and puffers.

Eliot Ness was still a Treasury agent when Repeal of the Volstead Act came along - and so will a lot of present day agents and police still be carrying their badges when, one fine day, marijuana prohibition comes to its logical, humane end when the state finally grasps the eternal fact that people like to sin - and that it's better for government than it is for murderous criminals to profit from people's wont to sin.

"Birdsong" (2012)
2 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
One Good Thing, 3 May 2012
3/10

In 'Birdsong,' which is overall dismal, self-indulgent, plodding, and almost lethally dull, there is one good thing, just one: Marie-Josée Croze, whose acting in this miniseries made her character, Jeanne, stand out to convince the audience that, among the series' other bloodless uninteresting characters, Jeanne alone is flesh and blood, heart and soul - a genuine, fully-dimensioned human being jam-packed with sense and emotion. Ten stars, then, for Ms. Croze's performance.

To my wits and sense the rest of the characters appeared to be cardboard cutouts - yes, even Jack Firebrace, who struck me as inhabiting the BBC's stock role of the working class stand-in who delivers the BBC's notional ration of the homely wisdom of the Great Unwashed whom the bien pensant of the BBC unfailingly show themselves to hold in contempt, except when it suits the British political class's worship and imposition of dead dull Marxist tropes.

Great, memorable filmmaking succeeds at showing that less is more. 'Birdsong' lavishes an immense surfeit of less, bereft even of the pretense to have even lethargically hinted at more.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Tantalizing, 14 March 2012
8/10

'Static' is one of my favorite 'Twilight Zone' episodes because it's tantalizing, because it waltzes graciously with the sense that the body ages inexorably but the heart lives outside the bounds of time.

Dean Jagger's line that "radio has to be believed to be seen" is itself a minor gem. Perhaps Rod Serling devoted his television offerings to trying to put into "seen to be believed" video images what in earlier times of radio he'd "believed to be seen."

The IMDb site software informed me that the foregoing two paragraph review could not by itself be made to appear on the IMDb site, because it did not consist of the minimum number of ten lines of text. Be that as it may, I hope that if you happen to see 'Static,' you'll now appreciate that radio alone does not generate it.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, 18 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A sweet, light, spritely-paced romance launched by a decently-done meet-cute, 'A Lady Takes Chance' earned my 8-stars simply because the more I see of Jean Arthur's work, the more I admire her absolute mastery of acting, and not just in in comic roles. John Wayne here has his part well in hand, but it's Arthur's luminous feminine presence that juices this one a few watts higher than most of the light-romantic A-B comedies of its day.

And I'll bet that if 1943's 'A Lady Takes A Chance' was screened for our boys overseas, those boys ate it right up - especially (Spoiler Alert!) its home-cooked lamb chops motor lodge room supper sequence.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Hidden Classic Scales Disney Adventure Heights, 1 May 2010
7/10

Until I rented it on disc I'd never heard of 'Third Man On The Mountain' - and what a lovely surprise it was.

What's not to like? The alpine location photography, abetted by select matte paintings which, for a 1959 film, hold their own against all such in Cameron's 'Titanic,' is simply gorgeous. The solid cast gives rock-solid performances, making 'Third Man On The Mountain' a splendid Disney coming-of-age adventure animated with believable, earnest characters. Through the story's onward and upward progress Ken Annakin's gives sure-handed and sure-footed direction: he has a story to tell, and he orchestrates his actors and camera to tell it.

And, oh, I second what my Canadian cousin, "oldyale6," from up there in BC, said in his IMDb review about this film's rock-solid values (we used to call them ideals): this is most definitely a film children ought to enjoy and profit from. 'Third Man On The Mountain' is timeless worthy fare for all.

10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Not Sacred And Profane, But Merely Profane, 2 July 2009
1/10

Saucer-shallow and squalid 2008 production, misdirected by Julian Jarrold, of 'Brideshead Revisited.' It's shallow and squalid because Waugh subtitled his book 'The Sacred And Profane Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder,' but this movie gives us only the Profane ones, yet it descends further as it misapprehends and profanes even Ryder's Profane recollections, while giving what its makers probably liked to imagine was a fitting rude digital gesture towards Catholicism and Catholics. This misbegotten, twisted movie utterly lacks depth, sensibility, and believable characterizations; it desecrates Waugh's book and its profound theme. Its cast are not to be blamed for their having been given such thin gruel to have to try to chew on.

Finally, this execrable production comes nowhere near to the superlative 1981 TV miniseries which is arguably the finest film adaptation not just of Waugh's novel, but of any book.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Focus on the Supporting Players, 17 June 2009
9/10

It's remarkable that for 'Young Mr. Lincoln's' supporting players Ford cast lesser known, other-than-star actors. This not only heightens his film's focus on the central character of Lincoln, but it also affords the audience a refreshing insight into Lincoln as a man of his place and time, a man embroiled, as each one of us inexorably is, in the issues and sentiments of his time and seeking his way to resolving them. It's not so much through Fonda's Lincoln's words and actions but in the faces, the reactions of the supporting players that Ford tells the story of the formation of the young Lincoln's worldview, sense of place in society and polity, and of how the people responded to Mr. Lincoln's words and deeds and placed their trust in this man whom they deemed to have earned their respect and heeding.

Give this a try: instead of focusing on Henry Fonda, next time you view 'Young Mr. Lincoln' shift your focus to the supporting characters - you will, I expect, be handsomely rewarded with a more profound appreciation of both Lincoln and Ford. I like to suspect that Ford's storytelling through the supporting characters' reactions to Fonda's Lincoln may have appealed to David Lean when he directed Omar Sharif in 'Doctor Zhivago', in which it's the supporting characters' reactions to Zhivago that actually tell about Zhivago.

Cor, Blimey! (2000) (TV)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fond Look Back to A Cast That Gave Hearty Laughs to Many, 13 November 2008
7/10

In the U.S. in the 60's and into the early 70's the 'Carry On' films were telecast as Late - or more usually, as Late, Late Shows: in the age before wall-to-wall content/media these films were, in the States, filler fare - almost throwaways, because it's likely that U.S. distributors didn't, or couldn't, demand or get great sums for the 'Carry On' films from broadcasters who used them to flesh-out (pun definitely and cheekily intended!) their late-night schedules. But whenever a 'Carry On' film aired I did my best to see and enjoy it - there's just something so utterly and unselfconsciously charming about them that made them irresistible to me. (My favorite, by the way, is 'Carry On, Sergeant,' because it features the brilliant, and under-appreciated - at least on this side of the Pond, William Hartnell.) The 'Carry On' films are from a time when good, clean fun could be and was enjoyed, a time before the soul-corroding rubbish of political correctness and the supercilious hypersensitivity with which it burdened life in all of its dimensions except for the realm of the individual's soul, hadn't yet begun to darken everyone's doorway and to dumb-down and dull to death what now passes for education, newspapers, and television and theatre; it was also a time before we let our children be soaked in the properly adult matters of sex and sexuality - and yet even children could and did enjoy the 'Carry On' series. It was a time in which harmless titillation and suggestiveness allowed viewers' imaginations to do their own good and joyous work; it was nothing like nowadays when the Beeb, and much of Hollywood, vomits monotonously nothing but dull Orwellian multi-culti preachiness and strictures - which are far worse than "liberal" and "progressive" critics of the foregoing vibrant and delectable "monoculture" have had the imagination to have yet grasped (heaven forfend that anyone should scandalize a Mohammedan or offend another nunnish radical feminist to anguished despond and spitefulness). It was the existence of the now dead and late lamented, at least by me, monoculture's healthful customs and manners that made the Carry On films the widely enjoyed success that they were; nowadays, with the so-called barriers to everything and anything (except, obviously, to genuineness and to the decency which it begets and widespreads) having been demolished, and all babies having been thrown out with the bath water of the monoculture's supposedly unique and malicious "Eurocentric" hypocrisy, the consequent lack of spontaneity and decency have yielded nothing but Orwellian dullness and monotony which the monoculture's detractors had supposed themselves to be gloriously relieving us of. It was the existence of sound rules and healthful customs that made funny business funny; now that all those old rules have gone, the lack of rules and "barriers" (except, of course, those prescribed for us by our self-vaunted "correct" elites who have replaced the people we once knew to be our betters) has rendered nothing funny and everything grim and seedy and contentious - 'Much Ado About Nothing' indeed.

U.S. 'Carry On' film fans saw very little of the UK publicity for, or British gossip sheets' focus on, the 'Carry On' cast members, so I ought to take 'Cor, Blimey!'s' account of the James-Windsor affair with a large grain of salt; and comments made by Britons here on IMDb, having pointed out the film's taken licenses and liberties, I feel that grain of salt is a proper one to take. It was filmed on a very low budget as its resort to extant, ready-to-hand cinema sets, props, and costumes testifies amply; and yet, like the 'Carry On' films themselves, 'Cor, Blimey!' has its own irresistible charms because it's well-cast, well-played and, almost throughout, astutely written from an ear finely attuned to the sensibilities of its period and the milieu in which James and Windsor carried on their affair. Despite its lackluster editing and somewhat muddy soundtrack, I enjoyed it immensely, and so with great enthusiasm I recommend 'Cor, Blimey!' to everyone who's ever enjoyed - even secretly lest they dread to suffer accusation of deserving to belong to the vulgar mass or, perhaps worse, to one or another of the so-called "Oppressor classes" - a good old, pull-the-bung-out (but only halfway, because it's always far funnier when your imagination does the really funny work) hilarious 'Carry On' film.

Now, since "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity," let men go out and stare unselfconsciously at greater and lesser bosoms and let women giggle gleefully at the men making fools of themselves. Carry On, All!


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