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The Margot Fonteyn Story (1989 TV Movie)
6/10
A nice view of Dame Fonteyns professional career
11 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a nice little production that essentially constitutes an autobiographical retrospective of Dame Fonteyn's career; as well as some parts of her "private" life (it really was not very private nor is it very likely that a person as well known as her could have much privacy). Most of what is shown was already pretty well known though it was quite interesting to see the old film clip showing her marriage to Arias. Some new tidbits of information is mentioned such as how she met her husband initially in the late 1930s at Cambridge. Which is somewhat ironic as she dropped out of school at age 14! Also interesting is the fact that when she and Arias finally got around to marrying 15 years and a World War after they first met! he had been married in the interim period and had 3 children by that first marriage. Which may explain why she never had any kids. On a related note: Other than her romance with Arias no mention is made with her other affairs or romances (even the ones before her marriage) though they are well known. To be fair, she did take care of her paralyzed husband during the last 25 years of his life so she was definitely devoted to him (if not always faithful and one cannot really blame her if did have an affair after her husbands shooting); and could not talk about his shooting even 25 years later without breaking up emotionally in front of the camera. Rudolph Nureyev is shown dancing with Fonteyn in a number of 1960s film clips of their performances. He is also interviewed later in his life (about age 50) concerning his early career with her. It is interesting to see the change in his demeanor as well as appearance in the intervening 20 years as I do not believe he gave many interviews after he discovered that he was HIV positive. An interesting retrospective done late in the life of the ballerina assoluta.

When this was filmed Arias was alive
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8/10
A great film but I don't think it will be on TV again
19 June 2005
This film is a great film; perhaps a little more "way out" in the death ray premise than the other films in the series but that really does not detract from it. ALL the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies are absolutely great and you can't go wrong by viewing them. Other people have submitted comments and reviews that give a better look at this movie than what I can. Still, I am making a comment as I feel an important aspect of this movie has been mainly overlooked by other commentators to IMDb. This concerns whey this movie may never be shown on American network TV again. There are, in fact, actually two main problems with it ever being shown again on television. The first reason is due to the White House scenes that are a parody themselves on the Gerald Ford administration, some thirty years ago. Unless you were an adult or teenager living in the United States then you probably don't realize the extent and nature of the parody. The second, and unfortunately sadder, reason why this film will probably not be shown again on American TV is the scene where the United Nations building is "erased". This hits a serious note that is "too close to home" considering the real life destruction of the World Trade Towers on 9/11/2001. Particularly as these towers can be seen in the New York skyline during this part of the movie.
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The Aviator (2004)
4/10
This leaves a lot to be desired; Hepburn notwithstanding
30 May 2005
I presume this movie was released more or less in conjunction with the centennial of the birth of Howard Hughes; he was born on Christmas Eve 1905. This film covers, or at least tries to cover, the "public" period of Howard Hughes life, which is shown here as being from 1927 to 1947. That is not too far off. He did not go into seclusion the day he flew the "Spruce Goose" though he was well on his way by that time. Hughes was seen frequently for a few more years after wards, then by 1954 or so it became very difficult to find him. He flew a Lockhead Electra on a few occasions in 1958 in Los Angeles; making touch and go landings at the airfield on some Sunday mornings. It seemed that most people working at the airport then knew who was flying that plane, but that didn't generated enough interest to call up the press. By the early 1960s he would venture out rarely, but it was not until 1966-when he started buying up Las Vegas- that his state of seclusion became newsworthy. This movie does not attempt to show those years as the director evidently felt the viewers would already be quite familiar with that phase of Hughes' life.

The main problem is that what is shown has already been shown in other films; even more accurately. About a year after Hughes died the made for TV movie "Howard the Amazing Mr. Hughes" depicted the 1927-1947 phase of Hughes life even more realistically than this movie does EXCEPT for one area, and that area is the strength of this movie and probably the reason, other than the centennial issue, why it was made. As I mentioned before other films have already shown this part of Hughes' life in realistic detail as this part of his life was very well documented. In one area though it was NOT well documented and that was about the intimate relations between Hughes and Katherine Hepburn. It was not until her death very recently that letters and notes and other writings between them were discovered in her personal effects. This represented the last known treasure trove of Hughes writings (until his infamous missing will is found) to be discovered. That gives a look at Hughes that had not been seen before. It also shows a lot of Hepburn that is not seen very often as it is part of her life that predates Spencer Tracey. That is, I believe, one of the main reasons why this film was made; not only as a tribute to Hughes but also to Hepburn- who was adored by the movie industry in her later years. The movie also implies that the breakup between the two started Howard Hughes over the edge, but I doubt that was the case in real life. Still, the scenes with the young Hepburn and Hughes are a refreshing part of the movie and I have no doubt that Cate Blanchett shows the young Hepburn as she really was in private with Hughes.

Speaking of romance- One of the problems with this film is the omission of even mentioning Hughes' first marriage- to the daughter of the founder of Rice University. They were married for five years and did not divorce until the filming of Hell's Angels (shown in this movie) was well underway. Why Katherine Hepburn's first marriage is mentioned in the movie and Hughes' is not is probably something of an oversight as it causes him to appear as a playboy who simply cannot commit whereas in reality he was married three times.
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7/10
Gave it a "7" because of Deborah Kerr
26 March 2005
This movie is an overlooked gem, and deserved better than what it got. I remember it coming out in theatrical release in the late 1960s, and it received very good reviews but for some reason it quietly died off; or so it seems. The director, in the commentary on the DVD, tells why this occurred and that was basically due to a change of management at MGM shortly after this movie was released. Now, it can be appreciated with the new DVD technology.

The technology used to film this movie was very sophisticated for its time and gave results that would challenge the technology of today. Film cameras instead of video cameras were used by the skydivers; nevertheless they obtained tremendous aerial shots that are thrilling even today. It is hard to believe that these scenes were filmed thirty six years ago.

The documentary film on the DVD about the making of this movie is absolutely essential to fully enjoy and understand the skydiving associated with this movie; including the "Bat Wing" stunt skydiving that forms a sort of particular drama with this movie. A better film documentary film about this movie, which I doubt exists or will be shown, would be about the making of the love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. The had a love scene, of sorts, in the 1953 movie, "From Here to Eternity". That scene, on the beach, is quite well known. However, due to the Code restrictions then not really that much could be shown.

I believe that one unspoken reason this movie was made was to allow a reunion between Lancanster and Kerr. Also, she was willing to be naked in a movie, very rare for the late 1960s. Those would be the primary reasons why she was in the movie as she was actually somewhat miscast due to her accent; a definite British accent in Kansas is somewhat incongruous (nowhere in the movie are we told that she is, say, a war bride or a British girl who somehow otherwise married a Kansas man).

Having said that I am actually very glad they cast her! Nowadays I look a lot like her and worry about whether or not I can find another husband (divorced and looking). Debby showed that a girl could still get a gorgeous hunk like Burt even when she was 48! You guys just can't imagine what us middle aged gals feel when we see Debby and Burt finally doing the wild thing in that living room! It gives us hope that we can still get a man! Deborah Kerr still had a great body at 48, and that is why I think she did not mind doing the nude scene. I think she was not near as nervous showing off as Burt was and certainly not near as nervous as the director. Her performance was certainly a highlight of this movie.

Puzzling was the performance of William Windom; who portrayed her husband. His role is somewhat out of place; and I don't understand why his fine acting skills weren't use more than they were. His role is disjointed at best and it is hard to understand how the character is supposed to fit within this movie. There are absolutely no husband-wife dynamics shown between him and Kerr. Even in the most disjointed of marriages (such as the second of my two marriages) there is generally some sort of attachment between the two even though they may both be in the divorce court! Interestingly enough, when Lancaster was on this film he had just gone through a divorce. His wife was upset due to all the flings he had been through while married to her. Well, it is easy for this gal to see why he was not totally loyal to his wife; he had all those sexy women throwing themselves at him! And, if I had been around that area when this film was being made I would have been one of them! He was a good looking fellow then! Debby, you were a lucky gal!
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7/10
Brings on the tears
12 March 2005
This is actually a sad movie. I will not mention the end for fear of including a "spoiler", but also I cannot imagine that most American viewers would not already know how it ends.

Though I live overseas now I grew up in the United States in the 1960s (in fact, I still retain my U.S. citizenship). Some of the lines in this 1967 movie are, in fact, anachronisms (they were not in the language in the 1860s or 1870s when this movie was set). The phrase that one U.S. soldier was worth (in combat) 10 Indians was a takeoff on the phrase used at that time in the Vietnam War concerning the kill ratio. Also, the term that General Sheridan used, "Bleeding hearts" comes from the 1960s; not the 1860s. The director of this movie was obviously comparing the moral problems we felt with Vietnam with the same problems the U.S. felt during the Indian Wars a century before. I did not know, of course, any Indian War veterans, but I did know two good men who went to Vietnam and did not come back alive.

Also tearful is the real life love you detect between George and Libby Custer that is portrayed by the real life married couple of Robert Shaw and Mary Ure. Six children between them. She died about ten years later from an accidental overdose of alcohol mixed with sleeping pills. He was so heartbroken that he died a few years later literally of a broken heart.

It is still a magnificent film. The western scenes are indigenous to that part of the United States that it is actually a shock to find out they were filmed not in South Dakota, California, Nevada, Kansas,etc. but rather in Spain!!
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5/10
Samantha Mumba was alright, but how about Guy Pearce???
12 March 2005
For some reason you people in the United States give an "R" rating to a movie that show bare female breasts. To keep this movie to a PG rating Samantha Mumba had to cover up, somewhat, her nice breasts. She wore top that was pretty much see through, but still enough to allow a more permissive "PG" rating. You guys may not believe this but we actually like to go topless; particularly when the weather allows. There was a scene in the movie when Samantha should have been not only topless, but nude (due to that part of the story). In fact, it looked like a few parts of the scene were filmed with her at least topless (viewed from her backside so her breasts were not showing), but later she appears wearing a shirt. But, I am digressing. My main complaint about this film is that Guy Pearce did not appear topless!!! A man can appear topless in a film and it not only keeps a PG rating, but even a G rating so why didn't they let him go shirtless???!! I am so upset about that!
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9/10
Great movie; make sure you get the DVD
5 March 2005
The movie was fantastic for its day and age; but, you should make sure to get the DVD so you can see a feature concerning details of the production of the movie and the making of the machine. The feature includes a short film made in 1993 about this and is narrated by Mr. Taylor himself. Another short scene, using the original time machine from the film, was filmed in 1993 with Taylor and Young and is included within the feature. It shows a reunion of the two men after 33 years and also attempts to answer a plot question left over from the original movie. This special feature is at least as good as the original movie. The machine had quite a history after 1959 or 1960 (when post production was completed).

Rod Taylor was not the "Russell Crowe" of the 1960s. Russell Crowe is a great actor but I still think of him as the "Rod Taylor" of the 21st Century. Taylor was a fine actor and why he did not make permanent superstar status is something of a mystery but considering the time in which he was a lead actor and the competition he faced; well, as the saying goes "they don't make them like him anymore".

Much has been written about the variance between the film and the original work by H.G. Wells. However, as much a futurist as H.G. was, the fact remains that by 1960 we simply knew more about how the 20th century would develop than what H.G. did at the beginning of that century. So, the variances between book and movie were necessary.
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9/10
I personally give it a "9", but I doubt if it will ever be a best seller
5 March 2005
I lived in the United States when this movie came out and for quite a few years after wards. I personally loved it (the movie I mean though I still love the U.S. also), but I doubt if the movie will ever be a best seller or even much liked by the general population. The main problem is of course the leading man, Rock Hudson. He was a homosexual during the time when you could not even mention that word in a movie. There were rumors of his homosexuality during that time; years later he admitted to being one. When that occurred the residual values of his movies fell and have never come back up. Which is a shame for some of his movies; they were excellent works. I consider this a good movie, but other factors came up some years later that ruined the reputation of the B-52 SAC wings (other than Hudson's homosexuality). First, they were used in some rather controversial bombing raids during the most hated war in American history-Vietnam. Second, it was discovered in the late 1980s that the Commander of SAC (General Powers) at that time this movie was made had advocated the use of American force against the Soviets that would have undoubtedly caused WW III. Not good. There were other problems with the "mindset" shown in this movie. Fortunately, the SAC Wings did keep WW III from occurring by deterrence; without pushing so hard so as to set war off. All in all, a great movie, but somewhat murky to the average person. One last note: I won't tell you how the movie ends but I will tell you how history developed. At the end of the movie a B-52 bomber is shown returning from a mission; flying by some missiles that were on alert (probably for an ORI). Anyway, this was something of a prediction of the future as nuclear deterrence gradually shifted from the bombers to the missiles. Today there are no bombers on nuclear alert (at least in the U.S. Air Force), and I doubt if any will be again in the future. Even the missiles have been greatly reduced in number. So, in real life, the Cold War had a happy ending. Being that is the case- who really cares about how the movie ended?? :)
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Testament (1983)
9/10
THIS Really Happened!!!!!
18 February 2005
This movie actually happened just three years later! I was living in the United States then (despite my name and current residence in Lithuania I am American born and remain a U.S. citizen) and remember seeing this movie. I recently watched it again and was horrified at the fact this actually happened!! The movie deals with the effect of a nuclear war and the subsequent problem with radiation. This actually occurred though, of course, not in the United States. Three years later the "unthinkable" actually did happen. In this case it was a reactor meltdown. And, while at first only a few people died eventually thousands of people died. Unfortunately most of them were children-who are the most at risk of Iodine 131 (a radioactive byproduct) poisoning. This result of this is noticeable even today as far removed as the Baltic Republics-which were downwind of the reactor accident in Ukraine. There is a noticeable demographic dip in the number of people who were children at that time. This film is VERY true to life even though it was made three years before the accident. The only reason why I did not give this film a 10 is that some of the scenarios were unrealistic- for instance, the continued lack of telephone service even on a local scale as well as the local authorities not giving an immediate evacuation order such as was given in Ukraine in towns and villages near the reactor mishap. A very powerful film that is more real than most people realize.
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The Stranger (1946)
An underrated film; interesting historical look
18 December 2004
A lot of this film is misunderstood due to the day and age in which we live at. When it was released there was NO television and newspapers simply would not print, for reasons of 1940s taste, the photos taken of the concentration camps and the victims of that terror. This film, released shortly after WWII, was the first time most Americans saw actual film footage of the concentration camp horrors. These scenes are certainly old news today but back then the scenes were very disturbing. And, could therefore led to Americans wondering if there were, indeed, former Nazis hidden in the United States. This film shows the ultimate paranoia- a highly placed member of the Third Reich hidden in a tranquil, semi-paradise, town in New England- even married to a daughter of an esteemed local jurist. People in 1946 seriously thought this was possible. Hence the reason why it is an interesting historical look at the times.

Wells does not play the villain convincingly. He has not a hint of a German accent, yet the movie explains him coming from a German speaking country by having him mention that he is from Swizterland. The war has ended only shortly before; how could he have gotten a teaching job and integrated himself so well in the community in such a short time? How did he romance the daughter of such a respected jurist? Loretta Young is beautiful; she is obviously not desperate for any man- she can take her pick. The plot holes are obvious, but in 1946 the United States was paranoid about Nazi infiltrators; much like the United States is ultra paranoid about Islamic infiltrators.

So, Orson was not a convincing villain. He was much better the next year as "Harry Lime" in the movie, "The Third Man". There he stunningly played a real life secret villain, Kim Philby. I think that in 1946 it was simply very hard to find a Grade A actor to play a Nazi; considering the sentiment at that time. Wells did the best he could with what he had to work with. Yes, Agnes Moorehead would have been great for the role that Edward Robinson plays, but Wells was too far ahead of his time. Having a woman portray a lead investigator in 1946 was simply something the audience would not accept nor believe. And, a middle aged Robinson was still very good even if he was not first choice. Lastly, I referred to Orson Welles being ahead of his time with the desire to use Agnes Moorehead as the lead investigator; actually he was ahead of his time in everything else in the movie industry. In a way, it is VERY frustrating to look at his films; knowing they were done in the film media. His techniques were actually best done in the digital media; which, unfortunately, was not available during his lifetime.
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Congo (1995)
Fair to good adaptation of the novel
27 November 2004
The movie is fair to good at most. One of the problems in adapting any work of Crichton is the technical background behind any of his novels. "The Andromeda Strain" was successfully adapted but that took a lot of expense and extraordinary effort. Most producers do not have the desire or resources to do the same. Also, there was a considerable amount of time between the publication of the novel and the making of this particularly movie (about 15 years). Part of the premise of his novel, the communicating gorilla, was simply found to not be true. In the early 1980s it was determined that very little communication was coming from the sign language enabled apes. Most of that research was shut down; continuing only with the most "intelligent" apes that showed the most potential. Even then results since that time have been lukewarm, at best. Certainly the real life apes can not communicate on the order of the fictional ape shown. The movie does not take this into account for the reason that there really could not be a movie without a communicating ape.
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Gia (1998 TV Movie)
Nice look at 1980
21 September 2004
Though I lived in the United States then I know that Gia was very popular even in Eastern Europe- quite a supermodel that gal! She was very famous model even though she was not blonde! It is interesting to see the scenes between Angelina Joline, who portrays Gia, and Elizabeth Mitchell, who portrays a girlfriend of Gia as it is blonde meets brunette and you can directly compare the two. You men make too much of those scenes; thinking they show two lesbians. In reality those actresses were just showing off- it is nothing to have two women in a shower helping each other to wash off. That is all those scenes really showed. It was the scenes that showed her injecting drugs that made me wince. Especially shower scene that shows her bleeding needle wounds. In the shower Linda is not her lover; you men do not realize that. Linda is taking care of Gia; she is her nurse and comforts her as a nurse does. Of course, other scenes do show romance between the women.

In 1980 there was no AIDS and a lot of free love. I knew Gia was a woman who liked other women so I did not know how she got AIDS. Then I find out she got AIDS from dirty needles; the only way a woman can get AIDS without a man. Being with Linda did not kill Gia; drugs killed her.
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Love Among Thieves (1987 TV Movie)
Great film to watch; remember it is not serious!
12 June 2004
I really enjoyed watching this film; a made for TV movie filmed in the late 1980s. Some of the reviewers have expressed disappointment with this film; expecting some serious Audrey Hepburn classic I guess. Hey guys, that is not what this movie is about! Audrey and Robert Wagner were already proven stars when this movie was made. It was not the vehicle that made them stars nor was it meant to be. They were doing it for fun; much like an old timers baseball game. They wanted to perform for their loyal fans and enjoy themselves in the process. Nothing serious was meant for this film and it would be interesting to see the outtakes. I am sure Audrey cracked up laughing a few times when she repeated some lines in this movie that she had said in some other movie over twenty years before. This movie was more of a pleasant retrospective piece than anything meant to be serious. Much like a 55 year old Mickey Mantle at bat at an old-timers game or Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra doing some stand up comedy together in the early 1990s. Without spending much energy on their part all of these old-timers could still be fun to watch. It is a great film to watch as long as you remember that it is not serious; nor meant to be. There is one serious note to all this that I would like to conclude with. This would have been an even greater film had Audrey not died prematurely just a few years later. That is the sad part about all this. Audrey, we miss you.
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This actually happened in 1957
7 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Though not known at the time of the filming (in fact, not for over thirty years afterwards!) this incident happened; except that it was a United States submarine and Soviet destroyers. I will not provide the ending for The Bedford Incident-simply rent or buy the movie to see the ending and then compare with the true life incident.

In 1957 a U.S. diesel submarine went into Soviet waters on a reconnaisance (spy) mission. It was detected by Soviet destroyers. The submarine tried to surface and run but the Soviet destroyers threw hand grenades into the water as a warning to the submarine not to try to run for the open ocean. The U.S. submarine had no choice but to remain submerged. Finally, after three days (they were NOT nuclear powered; they were like the Soviet submarine in the movie and hence could not remain underwater for long periods of time) their air was very close to running out and they were almost totally out of battery power. The Soviet warships were still on the surface above them. The U.S. Captain realized there was no option and prepared his crew to surface, to try to fight their way out, and probably be taken captive by the Soviets as there was no way they could outfight all the Soviet ships. The submarine surfaced with the last of it's air and battery power. The Soviet ships did not interfere with the submarine as it surfaced. Instead, as the submarine started it's diesel engines the Soviet ships went into a "U" shape in back of the submarine and followed as the submarine made it's way into international waters (i.e. the Soviets simply wanted to direct the submarine to leave in a direct path out of Soviet waters). When the submarine finally made international waters the Soviet ships turned around and let the submarine proceed by itself back home. Just as the Soviet flagship turned about it sent a message by flashing light to the submarine "thanking them for the sonar practice"!
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Mahler (1974)
Probably best in the DVD version
25 March 2004
Definitely a good film about the composer; it portrays him better than "Bride of the Wind" did (that movie showed only the older Mahler as he was not the central feature). Alma is portrayed more realistically in this movie. Much has been made about the conversion to Christianity and though this segment of the film is quite controversial in the U.S. it should be noted that in the German speaking areas of Europe at that time Christianity was not nearly as benevolent towards people of the Jewish faith as it is in the U.S. (or Lithuania) today. Realize that Lithuania is a Catholic country and we lost our Jews in the Great Patriotic War due to the Germans coming through here so we know. Russell was trying to show that Mahler had to take a heck of a leap, psychologically, to go from being a Jew to becoming a Christian.

Enough of politics. This film has much more of his music than "Bride of the Wind" and that is certainly enjoyable. VHS does not give adequate quality of sound reproduction for the music so I highly recommend DVD with good stereo speakers for viewing this film. His work was incredible and he was definitely the greatest German composer after Beethoven. One item of note: Most of this film seems to take place at Mahler's summer residence- where he composed most of his music. Yet, during most of the year(s) he was in Vienna conducting. Was Mahler unfaithful to Alma in Vienna? Well, when you consider the conductor of any great philharmonic was then as popular to women as hard rock singers are now; Let's just say that he was probably not as unfaithful to Alma as he could have been.
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The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999 TV Movie)
Barbara missed the entire point!
21 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING! POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!

This is not the best movie or work made about Ayn Rand. That is because it comes from the viewpoint of a person who is (was) personally bitter about the founder of the Objectivist school of philosophy. She does not see the entire point about this movie as she is obviously quite bitter, and such people quite frequently are not very objective and miss their own shortcomings.

The sad fact is that had she provided sexual fulfillment for her husband; he certainly would never had strayed from her. Ayn was having problems being fulfilled by her husband, Frank (probably due to his age). Ayn soon discovered that Barbara was not fulfilling the sexual needs of her young husband; therefore as Barbara seemed not to care about her husband's sexual satisfaction and Ayn needed a young man, Ayn quite rationally reasoned there was justification for the affair.

Controversial, yes, but I do not believe that it should be immediately condemned. If Barbara had really wanted her husband she should have immediately (upon hearing of the proposal ) called Ayn a "bitch" and grabbed her own husband and said "Honey, let's get out of here. I love you too much to share you with this woman and I will do the best I can from now on to satisfy you." As Barbara did not do so I can only conclude that she did not actually love her husband (enough) and should stop complaining about what happened afterwards.

Ladies, stand by your man!
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The Damned (1969)
8/10
Good movie, but somewhat misleading piece of history
7 March 2004
The movie is based somewhat on the theme of "McBeth"; an otherwise good man being tempted to kill the king so that he can take over the throne. Except that eventually the new king starts to see his conspiracy (with his wife) unravel and he must keep killing in order not to be killed. The kingship here refers to the head of a very large steelwork firm and supposedly this movie is based on the Krupp or Junkers families though in reality neither family had this occur (It should be mentioned that, in reality, the historical McBeth did not silently kill his predecessor either, he killed the king openly in battle). The problem with this movie is that it shows Nazi Germany (in the early 1930s) as a place where morality is unlikely to matter. Yet, unfortunately for the reluctant murderer and the viewing audience, it actually did and this selective twisting of history is confusing to the viewer to say the least. Murder was a crime in early Nazi Germany and the movie tries to point out that the murderer is still subject to prosecution, but fails to do so as it also hints the "popular" and sensationalist view that murder was no big deal. Well, it was a big deal when a German killed a titled German. Confusing? Well, yes. Still it has great scenery and people of both genders will enjoy the nude bodies in the various sex or murder or both scenes. It is a VERY intense movie with some things being shown that were simply not even spoked about in most of society in 1969; when this movie was released. One final note: The movie gives the popular depiction of the Nazis being twisted, insane characters with very little regard for human life. The problem is that one could accept the holocaust as being caused by such individuals more readily than by the actual type of people who committed mass killings (in concentration camps or on the battlefield). The horrifying fact is that the Nazis were, in reality, not quite as sick as what this movie shows. The chilling reality is that had they been able to speak perfect British English they would have been able to assimilate quite readily into British society. There really was not that much difference between them and the British aircrews that firebombed German cities during the war or the American Marines in the Pacific who considered the Japanese non-combatants proper targets for Atomic Bombs. Perhaps we do not like to realize how close we are to being monsters ourselves. That is my main criticism of this movie; the Nazis were not actually as perverted as this movie shows yet they still performed terrible acts.
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Angel Heart (1987)
Interesting Film, but not true to original story
22 January 2004
The original story was published in the late 1970s. In the book the detective Harry Angel seemed to be a little classier than what he is shown in this movie. Also, the book version is set in 1959; not 1955 as in the movie, and the book version has absolutely nothing to do with Louisiana. All the action in the book takes place in New York State; most of it in the City.

In the mid to late 1980s the State of Louisiana was trying to attract the movie industry and have portions of movies made in the state. This was to cash in on Louisiana's "different" culture at the time when it's economy was in a terrible slump. The filmmakers were probably given tax breaks, free police escort, that kind of stuff (or so I was told at the time) to induce them to film there. That is probably why the story was amended somewhat to include Louisiana scenes. One error in the movie comes to light- in one scene of the film the detective, played by Mickey Rourke, is clearly shown sitting in the colored section of a street car (presumably the Royal Street street car); being 1955 segregation is still the law of the land except in public schools. Though whites, technically, could go into the colored areas of public establishments or transportation, in reality the other whites would not allow them to do that. It certainly would not be casually done as shown in that movie.

Perhaps the movie is right in showing Harry Angel as being a down-on-his-luck gumshoe. In the book he wears a suit and carries a gun quite carefully; taking the legal ramifications of his actions in consideration. Though the book Harry Angel is still somewhat on the shady side he probably is not as realistic as the detective portrayed in this movie, or it is at least not as likely that the book detective would be the sort of person to be involved with such a evil business.

Lisa Bonet is great in her role and the movie should be seen if only for that reason. One of the interesting points about a segregated Louisiana is that whereas there was not as much casual race mixing as shown in the movie there was an exception to that where white men were allowed to have a black woman, so long as it was done discreetly. And, this movie shows that quite well.
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D.O.A. (1949)
Based on a True Story!! (Possible Spoilers)
15 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The poison that forms the plot of this movie does actually exist. However, one glass of it will not kill you unless it is VERY concentrated and then it would be glowing! I doubt if anybody would drink that stuff in such concentration. However, in the late 1920s and early 1930s a patent medicine was sold in the United States. It was called "Radiothor". It was a small amount of radium within water; sold in 1 oz bottles. A few bottles would not hurt you, but a few people bought quite a few of those bottles and drank them. They died slow, lingering deaths (it took months of agony before death released them). The man who marketed this product was put in prison and the Food and Drug Administration was created to keep this from ever happening again.
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Return to Everest (1984 TV Movie)
A great biography of Edmund Hillary
3 December 2003
This program is well worth seeing; even though the 50th anniversary of his "conquest" of the mountain has passed. It not only examines his historic 1953 climb, but more importantly the work he has done in that area since. This will give you a much better and insightful perspective on the man and his accomplishments since 1953.
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Anna Karenina (1985 TV Movie)
Christopher Reeve plays Count Vronsky in the most chilling role of his career
23 November 2003
When Count Vronsky, played by Christopher Reeve, falls off his horse in the race scene I shiver; knowing that is how that fine young man was later incapacitated in real life. It is absolutely chilling!! This is not the greatest adaptation of the novel Anna Karenina but it is certainly the most memorable due to the fate of the actor!!
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The Rainbow (1989)
This is a great movie! Why the bad reviews?
18 October 2003
Why do some reviewers think this is a bad movie? There is nothing bad about it at all; unless you are some exceptional prude. Both Sammi Davis and Amanda Donahoe give outstanding performances. The chemistry between the two that was just glimpsed in "The Lair of the White Worm" comes to a beautiful frutation in this movie. That said, it should be noted that females have the primary roles in this movie unlike in "Lair" where Hugh Grant upstaged Amanda and drove Sammi into a virtually insignificant role. Perhaps that is the reason; movies that have women as leads are boycotted by the male audience.

Regardless of why, this movie got a lot less credit than it deserved. I hope it comes out on DVD in the near future.
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Futuristic "Old West" Western
20 June 2003
This was a good TV series; not great but rather original. Some commentators stated that it copied a great deal from the 60's western TV series "The Wild, Wild West" and though there definitely was some influence there I do not believe it was as much as some would think. A "true" Old West TV series; in an authentic Old West setting would probably not last very long nowadays as it would be perceived as too dull. Hence, the futuristic (for that time period) fixtures.

The most descriptive comment concerning this series came from a Radio DJ on a morning show during the time this series was on it's original run. Some group or society had labeled "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." as the most violent show on TV. Which, to anybody who ever saw it, was patently absurd. The DJ put it properly, after he stopped laughing about the violence statement, as he doubted the show could be too violent as "it doesn't even have a plot!" And, it really never did. Still nice to see an episode after all these years, though.
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Full Body Massage (1995 TV Movie)
Great film!! Wish I could get a massage as good as that one.
8 June 2003
The title "Full Body Massage" hints that this is a pornographic film, but it isn't. Erotic, yes, but not pornographic. The title refers not only to a full body massage, but to what is really a "full mind massage". I only wish my massuse had the skill and equipment the masseur had in this film!!
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Possession (2002)
Paltrow took time off from London Stage to do this film
1 June 2003
Gwyneth Paltrow was acting in London last year when she took some time off to do this movie. She acts reasonable well in it; almost convinces us that she has a doctoral degree in English literature (and is English by birth) when, in reality, she dropped out of college after one semester and is Californian by birth. Nice accent, but not a showcase for her talent.
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