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The Trouble with Harry (1955)
The trouble with Harry is ... its awful.
I'm a big Hitchcock fan everything from "Blackmail 1929 to Frenzy 1972. The Trouble with Harry is by far his worst movie. Dull doesn't begin to describe the hollow, cringe worthy clunking amateurish quality of this film. Its as if Hitch had forgotten everything he had learned from making movies in the U.S. for the last 16 years. He has gone back to making one of his less than successful British clunkers from the early 30's. The characters are life less ,forced, the plot a one note joke. Just how long has Edmund Gwynne been napping by that log? Please avoid this movie unless you need to confirm that even a cinematic master could screw up now and again.
Cover Girl (1944)
So the message of this movie is stay with the person you truly love because he doesn't want you to become a famous Broadway star because he'll never be one. Huh? Even though you're in the entertainment business don't have any ambition . Why do the three of them wish for an oyster then? Rita Hayworth is the only reason to watch this movie. She's outrageously beautiful, charming, and my favorite female dancer. She moves beautifully and is very underrated as a dancer.imho. Kelly except for the dance he does with himself (yes that's right) is pretty wasted in a role as jealous schmuck who seemingly has no ambition other than running his Brooklyn show. Plus there's the always annoying kvetching of Phil Silvers. Fast forward to Rita's dance numbers and forget the rest.
Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942)
One of the best in the series
I thought I wouldn't like this because of the New York setting but half the movie still takes place in the jungle. Plus the New York scenes are sensational. Cheta has some hilarious moments in a hotel room and steals every scene she's in. The spectacular dive from the Brooklyn Bridge is masterfully filmed and the cast are great as always. One of my favourite supporting actors Charles Bickford (R.F. from Singin in the Rain) makes an excellent villain with a pronounced sense of menace I'd never seen in him before. Tarzan is still Tarzan and is given an excellent comic moment in the hotel shower. Maureen O'Sullivan remains the most beautiful,sexy, and intelligent Jane ever. A big winner in my books and possibly in the top 3 of the classic Tarzan movies.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Gave it another chance still don't like it...
Tried to watch it again last night with the same result. I just simply don't care about either Norma Desmond or Joe Gillie. Gloria Swanson is just too hideous to look at . All that clenched teeth, bugged out eyes,and spider like movements. It's a great performance I suppose, but not one that in any way gains sympathy.If anything she's repulsive. Holden is Holden. If you like him you probably like the movie. I'm not a Holden fan but I thought the film would be great in spite of him. Like for example Bridge on the River Kwai. However he doesn't help things here and to me he is just too boring of an actor to be of interest. Kind of like Joel McCrea or Van Johnson. Add to that the narration. It's funny at times, nicely cynical as well. But there's too much of it. The movie is over-narrated and by a guy who is dead. Wilder doesn't allow the scenes to breath. Holden's narrator continually interrupts to tell us what is going on. All in all Sunset Blvd. is one classic that doesn't hold up.
Thunder Road (1958)
Because of the low-budget look and no-name cast except Mitchum. This is an overlooked B budget classic. I found the acting to be on the whole very good. Robert's son ,Jim Mitchum has the same physical presence of his father. All he is lacking is the sneer. The brutality of the moonshine business. The danger the shiners faced and how they were viewed as dare devil heroes. The story gives us a vivid picture of all the aspects of what it was to be a moon shiner in the south. The feds are the opposite side of the coin to the mob wanting to muscle in on the business. Feds using tactics almost as nasty as the mob allows us to sympathise with rebel putting it to the man. Mitchum is perfectly cast as the ultimate non-conformist but one who realizes what is he is doing has a short shelf life.Knowing this he discourages others particularly his "brother" (Jim Mitchum) from getting involved in the business. The principles are all excellent and some of moonshiners look like the genuine article. The "Whooperwhill" sung at the credits by Keely Smith is appropriatley haunting.
Track of the Cat (1954)
Waste of a good Mitchum performance (spoilers)
I thought Robert Mitchum was very good as the alpha male sibling in a very dysfunctional family.That's part of the problem with Track of the Cat, the family are so miserable, so distraught that the film is weighed down. Track of the Cat never rises from a state of heavy melodramatics. It's a John Ford movie written by Tennessee Williams. Adding to the dire proceedings is the monotone "color" photography and obvious stage bound ranch set. Then of course there's the unintentionally funny result of Mitchum being lost in the woods and then finally realizing how to get home. I will say no more except the result is more Looney Tunes than action western.
Tom Jones (1963)
I've attempted to watch this "Oscar winner" a number of times and have not gotten through the entire movie. This is a mess! Dialogue undecipherable, no plot, little in the way of characterization. It is a series of pointless scenes leading to nothing. I will say that it foreshadows a great deal of pointless,mindless, noisy, messy drug addled swinging 60's films that followed it. I refer to "Casino Royale", the last part of "What's New Pussycat" and "Rowan and Martins Laugh-in." I suppose at the time it seemed revolutionary and rebellious. But like many a sixties extravagance, it now appears to be nothing but self-indulgent senseless garbage. Oh, and why was Molly hanging out in the woods?
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
As is the case with most all-star movies this is extremely disappointing. Unlike others who disliked it though, I thought Finney was the best actor in the movie.I loved his fastidious,darting , suspicious, but always composed Poirot. Others who fared well - Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergmen, and Sean Connery. Was Vanessa Redgrave in this movie? What a waste of a powerhouse talent. All she seems to do is smile lovingly at Connery. Most of the rest of the cast seemed stagey and forced. And above all else everyone acted suspicious right from the beginning so once it was revealed that they all had a connection to the child kidnapping story shown at the beginning . It was pretty obvious to figure out the obvious. That everyone was somehow guilty. I knew that within about the first 2O minutes and I'm not that smart . It's just that the movie is that bad.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Couldn't get past first 33 1/3 mins
I'm giving it a generous 1. Haven't seen a truly good Woody Allen movie since Husband and Wives. Matchpoint was good until the final third of the movie when it went completely off the rails. This time at least the movie goes off the rails right at the beginning so I didn't have to waste so much time before turning it off. As other reviewers have said what is about the main character in an Allen film that compels them to act like Woody Allen. Is his personality that forceful? Why couldn't Owen Wilson just be Owen Wilson . He's a funny guy . But Owen Wilson pretending to be Woody Allen pretending to be some hack asking a pretend Hemingway to show a pretend G.Stein his work. Wow that was when I called it quits. Speaking of calling it quits that's what Woody Allen should do. He's become a sandwich maker rather than a film-maker putting out the same peanut butter and jam crap year after year after year. Pathetic.
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
a lost masterpiece
A film of noble aims and perfect execution. Jane Wyman is beautiful profound, and perfect, in her portrayal of a lonely widow dealing with the loss of a husband, and the emergence of a new love. Although Rock Hudson is limited, he conveys the image of a wild and free rebel. Determined to go his own way no matter what society says. An opinion which would gain more relevance in the 60's and early 70's before becoming a fashion statement and ..alas.. finally irrelevant. "All that Heaven Allows" is way ahead of its time. Perhaps it should take a German like Douglas Sirk to reflect the underlying narrow thinking that is the heart of the 1950's mind set and dominated the culture of the 50's and continues to dominate our culture today,.It's not so much a critique of conservative small town values as it is a confrontation of the conformity that continues to exist today in 2012.