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High Noon (1952)
Frank Miller actor ruins movie
All my life I have heard about High Noon and what a classic western it is. I agree that Gary Cooper is great in it and Grace Kely has never been more beautiful , but as to the climax, I'm left baffled. All through the film we are led to believe that the Frank Miller character is coming to town to gun down the marshal. He's got two of the baddest bad guys in film history in his gang namely Lee Van Cleef and Robert J. Wilke. So when Frank Miller finally shows up at the end of the film who do you suppose plays Frank Miller...? Ian MacDonald that's who! Now this raises a few questions in my mind. Who the hell is Ian MacDonald? Why would the director want to cast an unknown actor in this pivotal role?! This guy is big and pock-marked but he is surely no match for the iconic Gary Cooper. He doesn't display the menace that the part requires. This ruined the movie for me. Frank Miller should have been played by a classic heavy closer to Gary Cooper in stature. Jack Palance or somebody like him. Frank Miller is a psychopathic killer and it's a big letdown to see this unknown actor be the one we've all been waiting to see at the end.That's all I have to say about it.
Superman II (2006)
Who played Clark Kent in the window scene?
At the beginning of this version, when Lois jumps out the window,it seems like they needed a reaction shot of Clark which Chris Reeve never filmed and so they used a look-a-like. Why didn't the actor get a screen credit? He doesn't look or sound enough like Chris Reeve to fool anyone. His one line is "Lois...What have you done?" Another question... does the voice reading the line belong to the actor in the window? If not two actors in addition to Chris Reeve play Clark Kent in this version and neither one is credited.Not counting stunt-men, this is the only time in an official Superman film that an actor playing Clark Kent has not been credited.This should be corrected in future releases of the Donner version.
Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)
The title should be Abbot and Costello meet Superbaby
I bought this DVD recently because it was a cheapy and I love A & C. I would say it is pretty funny and action packed if you look at it with the innocence of a child I think you will enjoy it more. If you look at it closely you will see Lou doing a lot (if not all )of his stunts himself which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the picture.The male and female leads are pretty bad and were no threat to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in the talent department but the girl is beautiful in a 1950's kind of way.As a big Superman fan , the biggest kick I got out of it is that the baby boy in the beginning of the picture is none other than baby Kal-el from the first episode of the George Reeves TV series "Adventures of Superman" entitled "Superman On Earth". I don't know what this baby's name was since he is not credited in either appearance but it's definitely the same tot.If he was born in 51 he would be in his early fifties now and I'm sure all Superman and A & C fans would like to know his name and what became of him. So if you are out there little Kal-el give a holler!By the way Betty Page fans will enjoy the tall actress who dances with Lou in the film.
Where is the theme song on the DVD?
I've been catching up on a lot of great westerns lately and for me the teaming of Wayne and Stewart is enough to have made this a great film. The only actor who could ever get away with playing a part he was much too old for was James Stewart. He also did it brilliantly in "Spirit of St. Louis". He put a lot of passion and volatility into the young Stoddard and a lot of bluff and stuffiness into the older version. I always loved the irony of the ending. Edmond O'Brien is wonderful as the drunken newspaper editor but I wonder if his miraculous recovery had something to do with Ford keeping his options open as to cutting the film down in the editing process. It does seem a bit too long.O'Brien played a similar over- the -top character in "The Girl Can't Help It" which any fan of fifties pop culture should see if they haven't already. He's also great in the "Wild Bunch" which should be seen in the longest version available.I bought the DVD of "Valance" and was surprised that the theme song sung by Gene Pitney was not in the film! This seems pretty crazy to me. Does anybody know why? I assume it was sung over the opening and /or closing credits of the film in it's theatrical release but I don't know. I got burned in a similar way recently when I bought a "Petticoat Junction" DVD which didn't have the familiar theme song at the beginning of each episode. What gives? They should at least have a disclaimer on the cover if they tamper with history like that.Lee Marvin was one of the baddest bad guys in screen history! Check out" The
Comancheros" where the Duke takes him out way too early in the film and "Cat Ballou" where he plays two roles one ,the gunfighter Strawn, is pretty much a send-up of Liberty. Magnificent Marvin.
Pressure Point (1962)
Indeed Bobby D."s best dramatic performance
As a kid, I never failed to catch this movie when it was on TV. Bobby D. steals the show as a nazi punk with big time mental problems. He played a similar role in" Captain Newman, M.D." but this one had more meat to it.The boy actor who played Bobby D. as a child is Barry Gordon. There is an interesting Jack Benny connection here. In a 1961 Jack Benny Show, Jack was casting a TV special about his life story. A little boy comes in to audition and Jack is pleased that his parents aren't with him probably because he can get the kid for less money.Then the boy actor's "agent" (Barry Gordon) storms in and makes demands on the surprised Benny. Jack immediately signs up Barry to play him as a child instead of the kid actor. Little Barry wowed the studio audience with a letter- perfect imitation of Benny's famous"Well!" complete with black suit and tie and eyeglasses. A few years later Benny did an episode where he was casting a movie about his life and Bobby D. was the guest star. This time Jack wanted Bobby to play him as a young man! It should also be noted that James Anderson who plays Barry/Bobby's sadistic butcher father in "Pressure Point" is the same actor who played the sadistic racist father in "To KIll a Mockingbird" which like "Captain Newman, M.D." featured a young actor called Robert Duvall as a catatonic.Mr. Anderson was always excellent in a malevolent role. Downright menacing I'd say. If Bobby had lived he might have tied Sinatra in the "legendary all-around entertainer" category.