Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I've never heard of this film until I saw it on TCM one afternoon. With
Victor Mature and the sultry Diana Dors, I thought there'd be some
high-voltage electricity going on between the two. Unfortunately, no
one ever throws the switch.
Basically an overblown, soap opera without a sympathetic character to be found. Who represents the moral center of this story? They'll all broken people who continue to make bad decisions as the film unfolds. With bloodless lines like "I love you more than anyone in my whole life," the script runs the emotional gamut from A to B.
I've seen most of the other films that feature the life and loves of guys in trucks, including "They Drive By Night" and the sublime "Wages of Fear." But "The Long Haul" is a complete misfire.
Not to over-analyze why it is, but this film is extremely dated. Like a
lot of "adult" movies from this era, it tackles the dynamics of a
male/female relationship with non-stop innuendos about sex. By today's
standards of good drama, the lack of candor seems immature, phony, and
just plain boring. It's not even fun to mock.
You can tell "Period of Adjustment" was adapted from the stage because the direction is static and the script is nothing more than a 112 min. blabathon. At times it tries to be cutesy. At other times it tries to be serious. A lot of the time it's impossible to tell if it's trying to be one or the other. I found the overall effect to be unnerving at times.
The lead actors are terrible. Each scene drags along with dialogue awash in phony Southern accents. Jane Fonda fluctuates between giddy and obnoxious (the scene in which she's shrieking hysterically while her father's on the phone is unbearable). And Anthony Franciosa chews scenery like it is a bad piece of meat. Holy crap, save the gristle to give to the dog!
By the time it finally stopped, I wondered why "Period of Adjustment" was filmed in the first place. Someone must have thought it would be profitable. After all, it was based on a Tennessee Williams play, whose work was popular in the 50's. Audiences considered him a controversial American writer, important because he dramatized sordid subjects that were usually swept under the rug during the 50's. Today his work just seems like more flabby trash.
I'm watching "Lullaby of Broadway" right now during TCM's "Summer Under
the Stars." The entire production looks good in color (especially
Doris). But it's a 100% idiot plot. The whole Runyonesque deception
that her mother is a washed-up drunk seems particularly unnecessary.
Everyone is aware of this except her own daughter?
I find the Gene Nelson's character Tom, who assumes Melinda is a slut, especially creepy. Maybe it's his slick veneer or the fact that he's practically stalking her. One Hollywood essential in the 50's was the happy ending. The easiest way to end a picture was just show that a girl who says "no" really means "yes, take me away." Everybody lives happily ever after. Times have changed, at least I hope so.
As a musical, the song and dance numbers look great. I was unaware what a good dancer Doris Day was! There's no denying she is enormously talented performer, whether it's your cup of tea(for two) or not. She made a lot of show-biz pictures- all vehicles that highlight her considerable appeal (the only other performer who comes close is Debbie Reynolds). I hope she comes out of retirement long enough to make an appearance at this years TCM Festival.
We've all seen "Kill the Irishman" before: a neighborhood tough guy claws his way to the top only to find he's his own worse enemy. All the ingredients are there. Sergio Leone's epic masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in America" brilliantly covers the same story. Even Brian DePalma did a better job with ethnic stereotypes in "Scarface" than writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh does in this tired old warhorse. Then there's the acting. Other than "Waking the Dead," I'm not familiar with Ray Stevenson's work. Judging by his role in "Kill the Irishman," he's very good at playing ruthless, delusional killers who occasionally recalls his sensitive side. At times he electrifies the screen with his viciousness. Whether or not that qualifies as "acting" is debatable. Walken deadpans and mumbles his lines like he's sleepwalking. Vincent D'Onofrio reprises his role as Robert Goren in the final episodes of "Criminal Intent." Nothing dynamic there. Linda Cardellini and Laura Ramsey do the best they can with characters who are basically one- dimensional window dressing. Fionnula Flanagan is totally dispensable as the Irish, hard-drinking, working-class broad with a heart of gold and a brogue to beat McNamara's band- Mother McCree! And let's not forget the food-loving, Italian mobsters who order a hit as casually as a plate of osso bucco. I think a better name for this mess would have been "Kill 106 Minutes." Watch Cagney in 1931's "Public Enemy" instead.
I wouldn't exactly call this a noir, although it is a hardboiled
detective yarn. It reminded me of The Big Sleep mainly because of its
rambling story line. Raft is no Bogart and Ella Raines is no Bacall.
His stiff delivery gets tiring after you realize he really doesn't have
anything interesting to say. Her sultriness falls far short of what's
required for the role of bad girl. And her hair is incredibly awful.
The photography was above par. When the character of Lucy is introduced in the story, you just see the back of her hat. Then there's a close-up, and well, it's just Ella Raines. The script is a lot of yak, some of it's kinda good, but it's still mainly a yakfest. I gave-up after 55 minutes.