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Well, everybody have to start somewhere...
A former writer called this a B-movie, well it's actually not, it's the kind of movie that we made tons of in the 1930's, light entertainment with crooks slightly overdone, and therefor easy to point out. This movie would have been totally forgotten if it wasn't for the debut of Ingrid Bergman, and she is young and charming in this one. This kind of folksy commedies was very popular with the audiences at the time, but set wrath on critics who labeled this kind of movies Pilsner-movies (Pilsner was a non sparkling beer back then in the 1930s).
The alcoholic jokes in this movie dates back , like in USA they wanted the citizens to be sober once , and in Sweden we had something called the Mot-Book, that restricted any citizen to take out more than his or her ransion of alcohol per month.
Bombi Bitt och jag (1968)
The very early Stellan
Well everyone starts young!, for anyone now when Stellan is emerging as an international character actor, the "Bombi Bitt och jag" could be called in modern words a TV min-series. It was made in black-and-white, Swedish Television didn't went colour until around 1969-1970, and based on the popular stories (or Tall Tales) of Piraten-Nilsson. The character of Bombi Bitt (Stellan) is a kind of free spirit, that more or less follows his own rules, and also know the rules of the game when it matters, he can cheat in card-games, he knows all the odd characters, and turns it to his fortune. The "Jag" or "I" is an observer who is amazed and big-eyed about everything Bombi-Bitt do. Bombi-Bitt is a dream that the "Jag" character only in his dream wishes he was himself. The trouble is that the Bombi Bitt person excists and the "Jag" character is actually joining along in the adventures.
I have a hard time thinking this could actually interest All new Stellan fans.
She-Wolf of London (1946)
I can understand the disappointment
Since this movie turned up on the Universal Monster Legacy Boxes, a movie that probably would have been forgotten forever suddenly turns up, It has a Wolf in the title and there is an old curse. Offcourse it's always fun to see a movie That I've never seen before (at least I think so), and after all it's just around an hour so, so it's not that bad.
I have a feeling that if this story was made in the 50's it would be on one of those early TV Theatric shows, that was popular in the 50s, it could even have worked in a 30 minutes Alfred Hitchcock serial,, or why not go a few steps longer and say it would have been an acceptable episode in Angela Lansbury's Murder She Wrote episodes.
Anyway She-Wolf is according to the old edition of The Universal Story "A Thriller that wanted to be a Chiller that turned out to be a Filler".
The movie is OK as a Filler! but offcouse has no place in a Monster Legacy Collection.
A few funny Notes: - Sara Haden who at the time was popular in the Andy Hardy serials at MGM,plays a very different persona.
- Joan Caulfield, still around apparing as late in 2006 in "Gray's Anatomy " - If the London fog was ever this thick and a madman was on the loose, the uniformed guys have to go 2 by 2, or in pairs, yet the highest police officer can say a line like "I stroll around the park too for awhile!" so Uniformed policemen has to go around in pairs, but a civilied clothed superior can walk around alone "just to take a stroll". HELLO HELLO! a mad person who even kills children, will only be antagonizing policemen if they walk in pairs, and never superior officers who walks alone, in the foggiest London parks???.
If you take a movie like this, not expecting much, and 60minutes flows buy fast.
Livet i 8 bitar (2002)
No not That bad!
I have a feeling this script for the movie should have gone through an experienced screen writer, so some roles could have been better etched out! Since this script is not bad, but should have needed a bath, and a few rewrites before it was made.
As it is it becomes too many Jewish caricatures, instead of characters one cares about! It's about a Video-game fanatic who wakes up in a hospital with the important hand missing, and then he tells his life story, culminating in a Seder Weekend.
Sunil Munchi,whom I never heard about before is a natural talent, and displays the right kind of panic in his role.
Kjell Bergqvist as his father, shows the right kind of explosivness in his role. As Oppressed and without wanting it being an Opresser himself.
Jan Malmsjö (Legendary Swedish Entertainer) Once married to Barrie Chase, Is as always misused! He is such a stage artist that he so easily becomes over the top, He plays the old patriarc of the family, that keeps carps in the bathtub just to make them correctly thick. I've seen him on stage in "La Cage aux Folles"! he totally comands a live audience!!
A Farewell to Arms (1957)
Hudson and Jones!!
Iv'e read that this is supposed to be an absolutely overwrought misguided big budget movie! and a big flop at the time, .....hmmm nah 2/3 of this movie is actually very good! And I admit I have never read Ernest Hemingways tragic love story!
This movie actually have some of the most impressive co-ordinated battle scenes I've ever seen, that is not faked, cgi, or using back-projection. (LOng before The Longest Day 1962) (For some reason I've seen this movie in some War-movie boxes, and I agree it doesn't belong there, it's a wartime movie and not a war movie!) The hero is an ambulance driver so we are only in the outskirts of War, never in the battle-zones.
Rock Hudson is very good, and he was a new hot star at that time, and this was at the time when he was making tearjerkers with Jane Wyman, a few years before he was seducing Doris Day.
Jennifer Jones is very good too, she was married to producer David O Selznick, so she got many bad reviews just because of that at the time,and yes Love is a Many Splendoured Thing and Good Morning Miss Dove might have suited her better.
Vittorio de Sica!! The great neo-realist director! Bicyckle thief, Umberto D and Miracle in Milan just to mention a few, actually had a huge career as an actor too, for the role in this movie he was actually Oscar nominated!
Alberto Sordi! One of the great Italian comedians! In this film his talents is wasted as a dedicated and warmhearted priest.
Mercedes MacCambridge! has a thankless small role as a snouty nurse.
Oscar Homolka! an even more thankless role as a doctor who apparently reads everything opposite as what it is. When He says Everything is all right, someone is going to die!!
There is too very short scenes that has etched into my mind, and both have to do when they all have to go on the run. This takes place during Italian alpine war against Austria during WW1. 1. A very tired mother carriyng a child, gets a chance to sit down on a lorry small space, she falls asleep and as tired as she is, her baby slips away and falls of the lorry, and the mother is too tired to notice it. 2. Down in a ditch lays a dead mother and a baby still climbs to her dead mother trying to suck milk from her breasts. Those are very tough scence to watch.
Then comes the last 2/3 of the movie and our hero and heroine has fled to Switzerland, and for 30 minutes it becomes a tourist card movie for Switzerland (Though it apparently was Italian alps).
After seeing all the hell that war makes and people fleeing, one might think that such sights might have etched into the soul of a man, something that might not be too easy to brusk off. But not in this movie! Once they have fled to Switzerland, everything is suddenly happy and jouyous, and you wait for an Oompa Bumpa band with Yoddelers to appear behind any tree.
anyway the first 2/3 is very good!
The Nanny (1965)
There is a war within the Fane Family
Somehow this feels like it could have been a theatrical play, but isn't.
After 2 years the son who has been accused of killing his younger sister returns to his home. though 2 years has passed in a household with no children a Nanny is still there!!!, could be the Nanny is manipulative, and has become a sort of butler-nanny who fixes everything.
The Nanny could be the sweatest thing there ever was, after all she makes the sons favorite dishes. But the son only eats what the Nanny had made for his Daddy (The one she wan't to keep alive, since he pays her salary).
A few funny notes: Bette Davis wears very dark eyebrows, could it be she wanted to look like Joan Crawford. A few camera shots she actually looks like Joan Crawford.
At a dinner scene, the Fane father can't take it anymore, so what does he do, confront his family to search sollutions? or walk out of the apartment to go to his Club! Offcourse He walks out of the apartment and attends his club! (Very British). Offcourse the Father is under the spell of the Nanny, since he needs her to pack a bag for a 2 days diplomatic journey.
The Mother is also under the spell of the Nanny, who is more manipulated than the father, since she spends most of her days feeling sorry in bed (The mother is played by Wendy Craig and it took me some time before I came to thing were I've seen her before, British hospital serial The Royal where she is the stern but not heartless matron) Final notion: When you fill up a bathtub, look to see if there is only cockroaches there and not kids!!
Come September (1961)
This has become better!
This movie actually becomes better with each viewing.
The first time I thought it was a so-so 60's farce Though many scenes now might look old-time nonsense! This movie is actually directed by Mulligan who's next pic was To kill a Mockingbird!
Gina is so much better in comedies than she ever was in biblical Movies (and that horrible Solmon and Sheba).
Rock is Rock but on the light side! Even with a gray Rolls Royce.
After watching Kevin Spacey movie about Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, This movie has sure become more interesting.
Walter Slezsak is for once not playing a nazi, as if Conrad Viet would have lived, as a matter of fact I've never seen Walter in a nice guy role as this before.
Brenda de Banzie has a small role too, I remember her in Man who knew too much" 1956 Hitchcock, aqnd olde English farce about shoemaker Hobson's choice
The Dark Corner (1946)
Lucille Ball in a film-noir!
This movie was directed by the great Henry Hathaway, one of the un-sung giants of American cinema.
First of all I am a big fan of one of the greatest female clowns that ever lived, so it was nice to see Lucille in a role as a hard-boiled secretary of a Private Detective (played by the forgotten Mark Stevens), she has snappy lines and shows heart! Makes me wonder what could have happened if Lucille and Hitchcock ever met.
The story is about a Private Detective getting a few hints from his past, some of the hints is genuine and some of the hints has something to do about another blackmail that our hero has nothing to do about. But get's involved with anyway.
There is a blackmail story involved too, so suave Clifton Webb character gets in involved too.
Early USA Television star William Bendix of Life of Riley's, plays a payed a hit-man.
Walk the Line (2005)
The one and only man in Black
My trouble with this movie is that I have 20-30 albums with the real Johnny Cash so I know what he sounded like and how he looked like. On the other hand I have no clue what June Carter looked like, or how she sounded. (Except for a few duets with Johnny).
The first scenes when the camera flies over the walls of Folsom Prison, and the famous boom-chicka-boom sounds grows louder and louder , and then goes inside the walls of Folsom, where prisoners clap hands and stamp feet, is one of the most powerful openings I'v seen in a movie recently.
Then follows the usual story of childhood sorrows (Remenicent of other biography movies like "Ray" about Ray Charles), younghood backdrafts, a usual tour of Duty, to early success via Sam Philips Sun Studios, early marriage with kids, touring and drugs. Missbehavior, drunk or pills and a collapse on stage. What makes this work is the acting of Witherspoon, far beyond her Valley Girl image. From a country music hillbilly sidekick or an early version of stand-up comedy, to a caring friend and later wife.
Phoenix doesn't look like Johnny Cash at all, but yet he makes a great role about a man named Johnny Cash, he might have learned the manners and how to sing, and Phoenix does a great job, no doubt about that, and sings well in his way, but since I have Cd's Lp's with the real Johnny Cash, something is missing. On the other hand I think the producers made a correct choice to use (or pay) an A-actor, instead of searching for a lookalike, and maybe find a look-alike in the c-actor, d-actor or even z-actor divisions, that might have looked like Johnny spot image, but with no talent.
Stage Fright (1950)
No Masterpiece!!! but filled with many delights.
This was apparently from Hitchcocks low period between Notorious 1946 and Strangers on a Train in 1951, that Rope has offcourse later become a classic, while Paradine Case and Under Capricorn haven't. While it's certainly not one of Hithcocks best, it have a few scenes that is just wonderful, and characters. The Laziest Gal in Town, Marlene Dietrich does what she does best, singing a torch song, but she's very good as the spoilt superstar. (She made another movie in Britain with James Stewart and Glynis Johns in 1951) Jane Wyman reminded me of Margaret Lockwood in The Lady Vanishes, as the lady in distress who for no reason actually want's to solve a crime. OK she was somehow involved by heart to Richard Todd. Richard Todd was the man on the run, seen him in a few Disney movies of the 50s so I guess he was the star for a while (He was in a movie with Bette Davis where she played Queen Elizabeth) Michael Wilding played the Police representative, meeting Jane coincidentaly in a bar, or not.... But 3 other names makes this delicious too! Alastair Sim, Dame Sibyl Thorndike and Joyce Grenfell.