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Archive for the ‘Classic Movies’ Category

Sunset Boulevard

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I don’t like using the word-perfect that often, because perfect is almost never seen and heard of, but Sunset Boulevard along with North by Northwest, is about as close to a perfect movie as anyone could ever see.

Great plot about a young almost wannabe screenwriter who at this point is desperate for work, so he can make his car payment. Whose on the run from repossessors and stops off at what he believes is an abandoned house only to discover that one of the top actress’s ever in Hollywood lives there. Which is how Joe Gillis (played by William Holden) meets Norma Desmond, (played by Gloria Swanson) otherwise they probably never meet each other. Joe Gillis, is considering giving up Hollywood and going back to Ohio and getting a blue-collar job. Norma Desmond, hasn’t worked in a while and the Hollywood studios no longer want her.

Norma Desmond, finds out that Joe Gillis is a Hollywood writer, struggling at that and owes three months back rent on his apartment, as well as a car he can’t afford. She knows he needs money, which is what she has plenty of and needs a job, which she has one for him. She’s not working now as an actress and doesn’t have any roles coming her way and decides to write her own script and get back into movies that way. And hires Joe to be his proofreader and to fix up her script so someone would take it and make a movie from it. Joe, is not impressed with the script so far, but believes he can work with it. Still has friends in Hollywood and has one his friends Betty Schaefer (played by Nancy Olson) help him rewrite the script and they work on it together.

Norma Desmond, is lonely and desperate to get back into movies and doesn’t want to live off her royalties and investments. She wants Joe to perhaps help her get back into the movies, but what I at least believe she’s looking for is male companionship and believes her script will get her back into movies. I don’t think it is ever clear that she thinks Joe Gillis, someone who she’s never heard of who can’t afford either his apartment or car and hasn’t worked in a while, is a talented writer and someone who has a future in Hollywood. Joe, needs a job obviously as well as money and I see them as basically using each other to meet their short-term interests. I don’t see them as a writing team that is going to write their own movie together.

Gloria Swanson, has just turned 50 at this point and so has her character in Sunset Boulevard. But Hollywood already sees her has washed up and way past her prime. Gives you an idea of how Hollywood sees the world different at least in the 1940s and 1950s than the rest of us. And in many ways this movie is pretty sad, because it shows how Hollywood treats its stars once they believe they no longer have any use for them and almost treat them like strangers and as people they don’t want to be seen with anymore. Gloria Swanson, is her beautiful and brilliant self now playing someone who s past her prime, but as an actress she still has everything going for her and is still the star of the movie. Bill Holden, is his usual charming and even funny self who mixes in clever humor in a very serious if not dark and depressing, but a great movie.
Paramount Movies: Sunset Blvd. 1950 Trailer

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Anita Ekberg, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ursula Andress

Anita Ekberg, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ursula Andress

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

To be completely honest with you, I only saw 4 For Texas and really only like it because Anita Ekberg Ursula Andress are in it and both look great in it. Anita Ekberg, Marilyn Monroe without the childish immature baggage of Marilyn and yet physically almost as adorable and might even be sexier. Because similar body and yet she comes off as a grown up. The same thing with Diana Dors, who is probably comparison with Anita than Marilyn. Not as familiar with Ursula, other than as Cat Woman from Batman, but she’s also a gorgeous sexy baby in this movie. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, are both funny in this movie, but what else is new, especially when they’re together. And they both have goddess’s for girlfriends. Frank, has Elya Carlson (played by Anita Ekberg) and Dean, has Maxine Richter. (Played by Ursula Andress) Good luck finding a movie where either Frank and Dean weren’t in where they weren’t working with a goddess.

As far as the movie, Frank and Dean, both play bank robbers in Texas. Both going after the same hundred-thousand-dollars that is being transported by stagecoach in the 1870s in Galveston, Texas. Both have dreams of opening up their own casinos and going straight. (So to speak) The problem is they both want the same hundred-grand and don’t want to share it. Another problem that they have is that there’s this outlaw named Matson, (no first name given) who is after the same money. So Zach (played by Frank) and Joe (played by Dean) decide to become partners temporarily to knock off the Matson Gang. Again this is not a great movie, but because of the four stars in it and then add Charles Bronson and Victor Buono, the Three Stooges make a cameo and you’re talking about a very entertaining and even funny movie. But without Anita Ekberg and Ursula Andress, I’m probably not watching much of it.
Move Clips Trailer Vault: Four For Texas Official Trailer

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Mike Connors, Joey Heatherton, Susan Hayward

Mike Connors, Joey Heatherton, Susan Hayward

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I haven’t thought about this, until I just read it, but if you’re familiar with the great Lana Turner, (as an actress and goddess) and you’re familiar with Where Love Has Gone from 1964, the story about Valerie Hayden’s daughter Danielle Miller (played by Joey Heatherton) who ends up killing her mother’s boyfriend, is very similar to Lana’s daughter Cheryl Krane, who ends up killing her mother’s boyfriend Johnny Stompanato. The Stompanato killing, happened in real-life and both killings happened when the killer’s mother is involved in a dispute with their boyfriend. I’m not an expert on Lana Turner, most of what I’ve learned about her has been in the last two years. But she lived a crazy life as if she was always drunk or something and didn’t know what the hell she was doing. Valerie Hayden, (played by the great Susan Hayward) lives a similar life as Lana in this movie.

As far as this movie. Great movie! It is very dramatic, if not traumatic when you’re talking about a family that is led by a very overprotective mother, (played by Bette Davis) who is always making moves regarding her daughter’s life and makes those moves on her behalf and rarely if ever consults her daughter about what she’s doing for her. And as a result her daughter even though she’s this gorgeous, baby-faced adorable, sexy, intelligent, talented women, ends up being somewhat immature and irresponsible. Because her mother has a lot of control over her own life. She meets World War II U.S. Army hero Luke Miller played by Mike Connors and falls in love with and perhaps hoping she can find some independence from her mother. They get married, but now Mrs. Hayden, (played by Bette Davis) wants to control her daughter and her new son-in law. And has him blacklisted so he has no other choice, but to work for her company.

Again, this is a very dramatic if not traumatic movie and yet its pretty funny as well. And maybe that just because of Susan Hayward, who had this Liz Taylor quality of being able to combine drama, with comedy and humor. Who plays a very adorable and immature irresponsible women, who goes too far, because now she’s married to man who has just gotten out of the U.S. Army and fought in World War II. Whose use to giving orders, not taking them. Who doesn’t have any patience for the games and soap opera tactics of her wife and mother in law. This was never a relationship that was designed to work out. The Miller’s, get divorced, Luke is out of the picture and has no input with how his daughter is raised and Valerie (played by Susan Hayward) finds a new man before she dumps her husband and that is how her boyfriend gets killed. Because she has a fight with him with her daughter stepping in to end the fight and kills her mother’s boyfriend.

I think Where Love Has Gone, is also a very entertaining and funny movie, especially if you’re familiar with life of Lana Turner, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. Gorgeous, adorable, talented and yet immature and irresponsible women. Whose always involved with the wrong man while having young daughter to take care of. In Lana’s case, Italian gangster Johnny Stompanato. Valerie, gets involved with a man after Luke Miller, who isn’t a good man and he ends up being killed by her daughter. Luke Miller, by most accounts is a good man, but he only gets back in his daughter’s life after she’s charged with her murder of her mother’s boyfriend. This movie looks like a great soap opera. With a lot of great drama, writing, acting and humor, which all great soap operas have and I’m a big fan of it.
Paramount Pictures: Where Love Has Gone 1964- Susan Hayward & Mike Connors

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I Want To Live!Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I saw this movie today in preparation for this blog. Thank you TCM! This movie is about the adult life and criminal career of Barbara Graham. And this movie gives perhaps the most positive light possible of a career criminal Barbara Graham. Who before she was convicted of murder, the most serious crime she was ever convicted as far as actually hurting another person was check forgery. Not to put down check forgery and to make it look anything other than what it is which is, a serious economic crime. That has to be treated seriously with serious consequences for offenders who commit this crime. But Graham, was an economic criminal, not a terrorist, or violent criminal. But she did hang out with people like that.

If I knew nothing about this case before I saw this very good movie with the gorgeous and adorable great actress Susan Hayward as the lead in the movie playing Barbara Graham, I would say that Graham didn’t deserve the death penalty. And if I was a judge on this case or the Governor of California back when the case was going on, I would’ve commuted her sentence to life without, or life with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years. I think there is actual doubt in whether Graham is guilty of this murder, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests that she’s innocent either. But even if I believed she was guilty, I would still give her life without or second degree murder.

Barbara Graham, was no angel. She just looked like one and was a career criminal, but a small time economic criminal at worst. Someone who wrote bad checks, prostitution, doing and perhaps using illegal narcotics. But she wasn’t again violent criminal, at least in the sense that she made a career out of physically hurting people. Even if she did commit the murder that she was convicted of. Life without parole or twenty-five to life would’ve given everyone involved the opportunity to prove one way or another where Graham was guilty or not. And again we’re talking about one murder, which is bad enough, but she wasn’t likely to murder again. At least based on her personality and past. And was someone who society could’ve worked with and even gotten something out of.

Movie Clips: I Want To Live! 1958 Official Trailer

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Back From EternitySource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

This is one of the best soap opera/airplane disaster movies that I at least have ever seen. They set up very well as far as what the crew and passengers are about and why they’re on the plane and what they’re trying to accomplish. You have a couple that wants to get married, trying to get South America. You have men simply trying to get there to open and be at a new casino there. You have a Nordic goddess, played by the great Anita Ekberg, whose former boyfriend a mobster, is simply trying to get rid of her. And sends her to South America with a lot of money. She essentially has to go, or risk being killed by this mobster. You have a hotshot pilot played by Robert Ryan, who is probably a bit too cocky and doesn’t take all the precautions that she should. And is a reason why the plane crashes.

You have a condemned convicted murderer, who is being extradited to some South American country to be executed, played by the great Rod Steiger. Whose character gets to decide who leaves the jungle and goes back home on the plane once it is fixed and who stays and has to take their chances. Simply because he has the gun and the power. But he knows he’s rotten, or garbage, perhaps you have another word you prefer. And decided the people who are the most unselfish and the people who are the best in the group will leave on the plane. And people who are closest to him as far as goodness, I guess and character, will stay with him.

Anita Ekberg, is a goddess and was a goddess in this movie. And she was hot, sexy and really adorable in this movie. But she also plays a big important role as the person who essentially takes over as the parent or guardian of the lone kid on the plane. Whose mobster father has sent him away. She also serves as inspiration for the Captain and Co-Pilot, who aren’t sure they can pull this off and get the back and running. The first seventy-minutes or so of this plane, are really good and interesting. The last twenty other than the killer deciding who gets to stay and go, slows down somewhat. But this is still a very exciting and interesting movie.

Warner Archive: Back to Eternity 1956 Original Theatrical Trailer

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ShamusSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

To be completely honest with you, I watched Shamus because Dyan Cannon and Burt Reynolds were in it. Two of my favorite actors and one of the best comedic duos you could ever put together. Dyan, is so adorable, as well as sexy, gorgeous and then she’s also a hell of an actress and one of the funniest actress’s who has ever lived. They especially make a great male/female comedy duo. And they were both great in this movie, but they were great together. Not saying the movie wasn’t a good movie. Because it is a very entertaining and good action/comedy. Especially when you consider that Dyan, Burt, and Joe Santos, are the only names in the movie. The only well-known actors who’ve had long successful careers.

Shamus, is about a very good, but perhaps not a very well-known Brooklyn private detective. But someone who is very good at his job who have very good and useful friends and references. Who is hired by a New York crime boss played by Ron Weygand to find out who robbed one his jewelry stores. Shamus McCoy, played by the great Burt Reynolds, perhaps the best action/comedic actor who has ever lived, takes the job, but is suspicious of his new client right away. And digs up dirt on his client to find out what he’s about and who would rob them and why. Another crime group separate from Shamus’s client, somehow finds out quickly that Shamus is working for the man they just robbed. And try to get him off the case, if not put him out of business all together.

Dyan Cannon, plays the sister of one of the people who this group robbed. And Shamus uses her to get to her brother and his connections. That have all of these things that the group has stole and wants to steal more of. Including military surplus equipment. Shamus decides that his new and only wealthy client is no longer worth working for. And ends up taking Alexis, played by Dyan as his new client. Because she wants to know who is trying to hurt her brother. This is a fairly complicated movie and fairly violent movie as well. Where Shamus is not the Devil or the Saint in the movie. And uses a lot of ruthless and abusive tactics to solve the case. Even though he doesn’t have a full-time client in the movie. And is an interesting and funny action/drama. With a lot of humor in it, mostly coming from Burt. Who of course is a master smartass.

Sorry Haterss Canal: Shamus 1973 Theatrical Trailer

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img_0408Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I’ve never seen the original  Caddyshack movie in its entirety.  Not because I haven’t wanted to or had the time.  The bits and pieces I have seen have never compelled me to see the whole movie.  Despite an impressive cast, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Chevy Chase, and the Murray brothers Bill and Brian, it’s one of the most overrated comedies of all time.

The first Caddyshack, from 1980, is essentially about a bunch of morons, including some successful snobs.  The sequel, from 1988, is about Jack Kartunian (Jackie Mason), a wealthy man who owns an excellent construction company.  He treats his employees well and is loved by everyone with whom he does business.  He can’t get into a fancy, snobby, waspy, Anglo-Saxon country club, because of his ethnic background. He is Jewish and Armenian and has a working class attitude about life.  He is not someone who’s going to be pushed around or denied things by rich snobs.

He decides that if he can’t get into this snobby country club the old fashioned way by applying and being accepted, he’ll do the next best thing and buy it.  His friend Ty (Chevy Chase), just happens to own Bushwood Country Club.  Naturally, that pisses off the snobby leadership and membership of the club and they go to war with Kartunian to get their club back.

This movie has a lot of funny scenes.  Kartunian buys the snobby Bushwood members in an auction and puts them to work at his construction company building a house.  These people are completely unprepared to work there and make complete assholes of themselves, dressed for playing golf.

I can’t end this post without mentioning that Dyan Cannon is also in the movie. She’s fifty years old, at this point, and still a hot, adorable, and sexy babe.  She plays Jack Kartunian’s new love interest at a time when Jack is not getting along with his daughter who wants to be a member of the old Bushwood Club. This is one of the funniest movies of all time and one of the few examples of ordinary Americans beating the snobs and enjoying enjoy the better life, so to speak.

Warner Brothers: Caddyshack 2 1988 Trailer

 

 

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