Reviews written by registered user

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231 reviews in total 
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1 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
The trials and tribulations of a telephone repair man, 22 February 2013

Watching this, if you didn't know, you would think that a telephone repair man back in the day could do anything. That's what makes this film so laughable.

A tops in his field telephone repair man goes throughout his workday solving telephone related problems. Along the way he tries his suave ways on the lady clients he meets. In the midst of all this he meets a girl who finally falls for his lame charms. She in turn gets unwittingly involved with a scumbag who uses her to rob her boss of some bonds. Then...telephone repair man to the rescue.

Words can't describe how lame this film is. Pat O'Brian didn't have much range as an actor and it shows in this. There are so many laughable moments I can only mention a few cause it would ruin for anyone who wants to watch this lame time piece.

First off, what telephone repair man has the skills to cut any kind of live electrical wires? One scene has a building burning and for some reason they need him to get to the top of a burning building and cut telephone wires. Who knows what purpose this serves but in the process he decides there are live electrical wires and he just takes some pliers/snips and cuts them. This is beyond ridiculous. Not gonna happen folks unless he intended to make himself a charcoal briquette in the process.. After this he jumps off the building and lands in a fireman's net to safety. With this act he's the king of the day. LOL..what a joke.

The funniest of all is the end fight scene. It could very well be the worst fight scene in film history. To set up this fight I'll start off with..they kidnap the repair man and are dragging him back to their car to leave and the whole of the telephone repairmen from the company come to his rescue. Mind you, all these crooks trying to take him away are all armed. When the repairmen arrive and decide to try and save him, all these crooks just run at em like it was WWI. I mean, these guys have guns and they decide to fight? Gimme a break. The fighting in this is so funny it's worth watching just for that. It's so bad you'll spit up you soda and chips while watching it. I will say this was an early 30's film so they hadn't gotten the realistic look of fighting by then but if your a filmmaker and want to do a film with fighting, watch this and see what not to do.

For me, this was a real joke of a film. Not even funny or believable at any point. Bad script, stupid premise and 65 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Light Comedy WWII Spy Drama, 2 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think when you go into a film and see that there aren't many actors you recognize you immediately think.."Uh-Oh". This is one of those films.

A well known American person (or spy) gets a call and goes to North Africa. He's suppose to talk to some important people there but gets kidnapped and told if he doesn't co-operate they will kill his butler. He does but the kidnappers (who are nazi's with pretty amazing non-German accents) already know he will tell his superiors so they work out a plan to get what they want (the plans for the minefields in the Suez Canal) in reverse. Throughout all this we get a butler who constantly gets kidnapped and harassed and spies that, if you aren't blind or stupid, you figure out pretty early on. Will they get the plans before they get caught?

This one wasn't terrible but wow was it pretty easy to see who the double agent was. I mean very early on you see in span of 5 minutes 2 separate incidents that show no other perpetrator but 1 and throughout the film your suppose to be guessing who the culprit is. The fact that it had a young Lloyd Bridges didn't really help cause his role is very minor. The casting for the 3 main leads was good and were noted character actors but the leftovers weren't really that impressive. For a mild B-grade film it was fairly entertaining because of the Casablanca feel it has to it but it's still just a nothing special type of film.

The butler is the highlight for me. Also watch for the heavy who looks painfully like William Conrad of Jake and the Fatman fame. If you've got a spare 71 minutes then try this one and see some mild WWII spy intrigue.

1 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
An almost Noir with another case of bad acting by Lizabeth Scott, 2 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow Lizabeth Scott was no winner of an actress. She is just dreadful. I can't see how any producer thought she was gonna be the next big thing back in this day and time. She's basically a short version of Lauren Bacall with half the talent.

A noted gambler comes back to town to lay low. The town holds bad memories for him because his wife died in a supposed car accident there. It haunts him all the while he's there. He gets involved with a lot of the old friends he knew from there including an old flames daughter. She's young and stupid and is basically clueless about everything. The local deputy likes her and she the same but she decides to take to the local thug/gambler instead. Her mother and the deputy warn her about him but she doesn't care. She goes against their advice and soon...sparks will soon fly.

I didn't go into this one with high hopes because I saw Lizabeth Scott's name in the cast. She was never anything special and in this she show's why. Her portrayal of a 19 year old "I'll do what I want" daughter of a local gambling house owner is just laughable. We get a young Burt Lancaster as the Deputy and the great Mary Astor as the mother but when your working with Lizabeth Scott, all the talent there was in this oozed away with her terrible performance. I mean this one had a really decent cast. With John Hodiak and Wendell Corey playing the heavies I thought maybe it could work but nope. The really unbelievable performance by Ms. Scott threw all that other talent right out of the window.

I personally have no problems telling any one to save your time and watch something else but this film has one good thing going for in that there's a little twist in the film you try and try to figure out but won't...until the end. The twist is actually pretty good and after I learned it I had one of those "A-ha" moments. It may be a nothing moment to other viewers of this film but it sewed up a lot of questions I had.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The only pairing of Lombarde and Gable...pretty good, 1 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You would think that since this is the only film with these 2 big stars it would be a big one...don't expect anything groundbreaking.

A Card Sharp has his way with a lot of suckers in the city but a pesky cop keeps on his tail and he decides it's time to get out of town. He heads to a small town and tries his suave city ways on a bored local girl. She sees right through him but she likes him. They immediately fall in love but she wants marriage. He thinks he'll just have some fun but she won't have it. They flip a coin and she wins. They get married. He gets back to the city thinking he'll keep her around for a few months and send her back home. Only thing is, he doesn't foresee her taking charge and loving him...for real. She finally realizes he's a Card Sharp and tries to convince him to stop...He won't.

Carole Lombard is as beautiful as ever but this early effort doesn't show what she had in store with the screwball comedy antics she had in store for her later films. This one is a fairly ordinary light comedy/drama. Don't expect fireworks considering the 2 leads and you'll be fine.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Amazing special effects and a decent story but...quite a bit of over-acting and some poor casting, 1 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is another one of those films from an A+ Director that's just not one of his best unfortunately.

A Pacific Island is home to some peaceful natives. One is a Captain on a ship and has been promoted rapidly up the ranks. He gets married before he goes on his next trip to Tahiti then sets off. In Tahiti he gets into a fight and breaks the jaw of a local important official with connections. He has done nothing wrong but defend himself but he gets 6 months in jail anyhow. They tell him to hold out and it'll be over soon but he can't wait to get back to his wife and proceeds to repeatedly escape and get recaptured. The last time he tries and succeeds but kills a guard accidentally. Throughout all this he has to deal with a sadistic guard who eventually becomes the warden and repeatedly taunts him. The Governor of his home island is not swayed by his innocence from because the law must be upheld regardless. When he finally arrives home, at the same time, a hurricane arrives.

The whole story is really about choosing what's right and wrong with the justice system. The Hurricane is only in the last part of the film...and the best part. John Carradine plays his usual scumbag self as the prison guard without a conscience. I do believe he was the original bad guy in film as he has played those roles since he's been in films. Looking at him you know he's no good but that was his niche so he was typecast with it....effectively I might add. The over-acting comes in the form of Raymond Massey. It's just ridiculous to see him play this holier than thou island Governor who plainly sees the injustice happening and he just keeps his mantra going..."the law must be upheld". It's really a theater type of acting that makes it really corny to watch. If you've ever seen John Barrymore act in film then you'll know what I mean. His type of acting performed by Raymond Massey was not needed. The miscasting came in the way of Jon Hall. Wow what a terrible actor. He is easily one of the best looking male actors in history but if you notice his screen credits after this film, you'll notice they're all B grade stuff. Why you say? Simple...he was a terrible actor. I have never seen him in anything other than this but it's plain to see why he never succeeded in major roles. He needed some serious acting lessons.

The real reason to see this film is last 15 to 20 minutes. The special effects in this are stunning. I have never seen a film about a Hurricane more effective than this. You will feel absolute terror for these people in the end. You will find it hard to believe how realistic these effects are. Even by today's standards it's a 10 on the wow factor.

See this one for the special effects..and maybe to take a notch out of your John Ford film catalog. Other than that it's nothing special imo.

My Geisha (1962)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Beautifully shot but an average story and a casting miscue can't save this one, 1 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now this one was a real Technicolor treat. The scenery in this one is just gorgeous. Unfortunately the story and 1 casting mistake can't make me like this film.

A famous comedy star is always directed by her husband. He wants to go out on his own and do a film without her so he can prove himself as a Director. The studios want none of it and barely give him a budget to work with so her agent and herself conspire to try and fool him by slipping her in the title role as a Geisha. Will he find out it's her and what will he do?

This one had a lot I liked but the casting of Bob Cummings was a dreadful mistake. His day and time was in the 40's comedies and by this time....he was far past his prime. His annoying portrayal of a leading comedy star who can't stop marrying women or keep his hands off of them just doesn't work. One scene he comes close to just about forcing himself on the Geisha character and let me tell's a very uncomfortable watch for a "suppose-to-be-comedy". He just can't pull off the handsome leading man in this. It's a laugh in itself. The coup of this film was Yves Montand. A great French film star but for the life of me, how blind could he be not to see or figure out the Geisha was his wife? It's just not plausible that your married to someone and around them all that time and you don't get a hint that it's her. Shirley McClain is her usual stellar self. She had a nice run in the late 50's and mid 60's. She never fails to entertain but even she can't save this thing. The master himself, Edward G. Robinson, does a fine job playing her agent. Once again though, he can't save this from a negative review. The ending is pretty obvious but again, believable?... Hardly.

I think my main gripe is those Hollywood Endings we got stuck with. Within a few years we got films with some plausible consequences to bad behavior in films but this absolutely needed a different ending.

Watch this one for the fantastic scenery shots of Japan in the mountains. I doubt you'll ever see any better. Other than that, move along little doggy.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Ginger Rogers finally goes out on her own...and it's a winner, 1 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a real favorite of mine. We get to see a young and un-Astaire'd Ginger Rogers film. She doesn't get all the credit though. A stellar cast with jimmy Stewart and Charles Coburn round it out.

An Associate Professor goes to NY to find and bring his cousin back home. He finds him in a Dance Club and he refuses to come until the lead girl dancer/singer marries him. He decides to hide from his cousin but it doesn't work out. The Singer immediately has a connection with his cousin and they get married the same day. Now, they both have to go home and tell his overbearing Professor of the University father that they are married. It won't be an easy task.

I've never been a big dance/musical fan so it was a real treat to see this early Ginger Rogers comedy. It was one of the first I saw of hers and it still remains one of my favorites. She's very sweet and appealing when she meets Jimmy Stewart but when they get back to his small home town, she has to deal with a girl that "thinks-she's-his-girlfriend". After this, the real Ginger Rogers spunkiness comes out. She's a pistol in this one. There is some dancing in this but it's pretty minimal. Watch Charles Coburn play the stodgy father of Jimmy Stewart. He never falters in these roles and this one is no different. Jimmy Stewart is his usual shy and clumsy self and rarely misses in films he was in. Again, this one is no different.

On a side note...towards the end in the train scene, watch for Willie Best as the train porter. He barely says a word but he doesn't have to to make you laugh. For a small part he really does get the most of it. Such a funny moment it had to be mentioned.

Just a sweet funny comedy all the way around. Not a bad word to say about this one.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
One of those films I can watch over and over, 27 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those films that's slipped through the cracks of being mentioned as funny for it's day. My guess is it wasn't very popular but I'm glad it exists, cause it made me laugh.

A professor of a local college is married to the pretty girl from the same college. She was the popular one and he was the smart bookish type. It works until her old college boyfriend shows up and. Amongst all this he decides he's gonna read a letter for an English class to show his students about how good the composition is. Turns out the letter is considered "red" or commie and the school's trustees don't want it read and threaten his job if he does. He has too many things too concentrate on like the letter and his wife's old boyfriend trying to rekindle their old romance so he gets drunk and decides the best thing to do about his wife is to let her do whatever she wants....basically....give up and quit the relationship. What will be will be.

An All-Star cast really brought the best out in this one. Look out for Jack Carson and Eugene Palette. They really did a great job with their roles. Eugene Palette plays the stodgy ant-commie trustee perfectly. It couldn't have been played better. De Havilland got this role at the right time being she was at the right age to play the perky former college cheerleader.

This film has a lot going on in it. It's got too many characters and inter stories to mention. It's just funny and well written all the way through. It wasn't lost on me the heavy handedness of the "free speech/ant-communist" undercurrent they laid on this film but it doesn't detract from the fun too much. If you happen upon this one...grab it...and laugh.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good crime drama...with a weak/unbelievable/predictable ending, 27 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This one I didn't have a clue what it was about when I decided to watch it. Being that Richard Conte was in it I expected more of the same with him. Lo and behold, he finally gets a role that's a little different from his usual bad guy/scumbag roles.

Eddie Rico runs and owns a laundry service in Florida and does really well for himself. He and his wife can't have kids so they decide to adopt but something in the way of and old acquaintance needs a favor derails his plans. His wife demands he doesn't do what they want but he has no choice...he's a former account for the mob. He still believes his old connections are "OK" so he tells her not to worry. His old friend from years back wouldn't steer him wrong. Turns out his brothers were involved in a killing and their bosses think one of them is going to squeal so they disappear. He's ordered to find them under the guise of they just wanna make sure "they're safe" under wraps. Eddie doesn't realize he's being used to find his brothers so his old connections can kill his brothers.

I will say that right up until the end this is a pretty good little film. For the lack of cast it had they really picked some decent B grade actors to make this believable. The tension and watching Conte play this clueless ex mob guy railroad his brothers to their death is sad. He thinks you really can be left alone when you leave the mob, but in reality, you can't. He's naive in this regard.

Richard Conte has always played the scumbag roles but this one is a tad different. He's an old mob accountant who really has no violent or bad guy tendencies. The real down point of this film is the end. It's beyond unrealistic. It just about wastes the entire film's effectiveness. Throughout you realize that this guy is not gonna get revenge through violence for them killing his brothers and he would turns states evidence instead. It's a pretty transparent conclusion throughout but the real "yeah right" in this is turning states evidence and his life in the end resumes to normal. This wouldn't happen lol. I've read enough news stories and books in my life to know that would never happen. He would have been relocated somewhere else with a new name. Not in this. Keeping up with every things ends up alright theme of Hollywood in the 50's, they just about give it a "G" rating ending.

Outside of the ending this is a really decent film. Not a great cast but it was well written and solidly acted without a doubt. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for someone to see. Well worth the time.

Almost a remake of Bombshell but with a Busby Berkeley touch, 23 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For my viewing taste...this is far better acting and story wise than Gold Diggers of 1935.

A vocalist in Glen Miller's band gets a call to go to Hollywood. When he arrives, we get to see what actors get to go through to break into the business. When the vocalist arrives, within hours, he gets a call to be a big stars date at her world premiere. Problem is...she's a stand-n and he doesn't know it. After this we get a lot of shenanigans and really funny stuff throughout.

You won't get any depth with any Busby Berkeley film but you will get style. Unfortunately there's very little musical or dance value in this one but that doesn't mean it hurts what it is. There are 2 numbers and the biggest is in the middle where the all the singing waiters and customers at a car hope have some fun. Not a lot of the Busby Berkeley extravaganza you're use to but thats not bad. You have to remember, by this time, Busby Berkeley and his style of films were on their way out and he was adapting so we get no masterpiece of choreographed dance and singing. We get a film with good actors and a pretty good script/idea.

Flat out though, watch Bombshell with Jean Harlow, and notice the similarities. The spoiled brat star and her do nothing father and dumb/worthless sibling. Not far into this I was grinning. They tried "slightly" to take from a fine film like Bombshell but with some singing. It actually works quite well.

Watch this to see Busby Berkeley segway into real mainstream non-musical stuff. I really enjoyed it. Lots of stars and painfully funny situations made me itch to write a review.

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