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Watched Last Night

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  • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post

    A Clive Brook Day???
    Yes - On Approval, If I Were Free, The Dover Road and Let's Try Again. Then it turned into a Diana Wynyard day with their overlapping films and some of her others were shown after that. TCM does that often - two actors in one day.

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    • We'll Meet Again (1942). A bit of a delayed tribute to toothy Dame Vera, who's no actress, but gets through this disjointed film by her excellent singing skills, including the title song. The plot, such as it is, involves her suddenly being recognised by the BBC as a great singer and Vera being a do-gooder, she helps out just about everyone in the cast which includes Patricia Roc, Brefni O'Rorke and a two-armed Donald Gray in her spare time. Second billed is Geraldo and his dialogue scenes with Vera are, well, interesting. Made by Columbia at Riverside Studios by George Formby's unit, and he was the associate producer.

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      • After the Ball (1957). Sentimental though pretty standard biopic about the great music hall singer and male impersonator Vesta Tilley, played with considerable skill by Pat Kirkwood. Her loyal husband and manager is portrayed by Laurence Harvey. Pat gets to sing many of Vesta's songs with great gusto and much of the film is played for laughs. Produced by Peter Rogers and directed by Compton Bennett. Leonard Sachs appears briefly, but as Larry's boss and not a musical hall chairman!

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        • Rhythm Serenade (1943). Irrelevant title for another Vera Lynn patriotic wartime yarn, with Vera's acting quite a bit improved though her songs are not so well integrated as in We'll Meet Again. She's still a do-gooder here, looking after an invalid father (Charles Victor), two brothers in the army (Jimmy Jewell and Ben Warriss performing extremely unfunny routines), displaced children (including 22 year old Jimmy Clitheroe looking and sounding like 8) and trying to aid psychologically-scarred sailor Peter Murray-Hill. In between, Vera gets seven or eight songs to belt out (some more than once) as well as give a few morale-boosting speeches to the home front. A interesting time piece.

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          • Just Ask For Diamond (1988)

            Tim Simple aka Diamond runs a Detective office from his flat in Camden where he lives with little brother Nick. When a dwarf with a package arrives in their office one day, the boys get involved in the search for a haul of diamonds.
            Anthony Horowitz penned spoof from his own novel, is a patchy affair and rather violent for a U certificate. Some of Susannah York's Femme Fatale scenes with young Nick are also a bit uncomfortable to watch.
            The two young leads Colin Dale and the late Dursley McLinden are engaging enough though and there's plenty of star support from Bill Paterson, Jimmy Nail, Roy Kinnear, Peter Eyre, Nikolas Grace and Patricia Hodge.

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            • Dry Rot (1956). I wouldn't say this is a lot of rot as there a quite a few mildly funny lines, but John Chapman's adaptation of his own farce never gets away from its stage origins in the main part of this film, with a horse race and police chase tacked on at the end. Three crooked bookies stay at a country hotel while plotting to switch horses to fix a race and win £10,000 as a result. Practiced performers Ronald Shiner, Sidney James, Peggy Mount, Michael Shepley and Joan Haythorne are fully in the spirit of the thing despite the rather unoriginal laboured material, though it's Joan Sims who comes out best as the dim maid, but I have never been a fan of the certified idiot role Brian Rix plays here again. Then there's Lee Patterson, who seems right out of place and Heather Sears who appears to be acting in something else altogether. So, apart from a few chuckles, there's not a lot going for this which retreads situations we've seen before and the ending is particularly lame.

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              • The Light Between the Oceans (2016)

                Beautfully photographed and exquisitely acted movie about a childless couple who happen upon a baby and decide to keep it as their own. It's a period piece about love, longing and loyality- no sex, no violence but it is heart wrenching. Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz are the leads with Bryan Brown and Jack Thomson. amongst the support.

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                • Smash and Grab (1937). Jack Buchanan and Elsie Randolph star as a husband-and-wife insurance investigator team, he a model railway and banana fanatic, she critical and long-suffering but loyal. A series of smash and grab raids on European jewellers take the pair to Ireland on the trail of the fence and some very dodgy Italian accents and they encounter a Welsh-sounding Irish detective played by Edward Lexy. Directed at a terrific pace by Tim Whelan, the quips and wisecracks are reminiscent of The Thin Man and the thing cracks along with good humour and some impressive sets at that new studio called Pinewood.

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                  • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                    ... Directed at a terrific pace by Tim Whelan...
                    I've noticed that in some of his other movies. He must have been an American.

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                    • Mix Me a Person (1962). Crime thriller with young tearaway Adam Faith on a murder charge and while his counsel Donald Sinden basically believes he's guilty, just like everyone else does, Donald's psychiatrist fiancée Anne Baxter is determined to prove Adam's innocence. And as it's still the capital punishment era, time is very much against her.
                      The film is rather overlong and so the mystery of what is behind it all takes a goodly while to emerge and the trendy coffee bar backdrop is obviously very dated now. But some of the story was quite daring for its time, giving the film an "X" certificate, and we do get to see Anthony Booth with the scar of his nose job still evident, Carole Ann Ford before she dematerialised in the TARDIS, Jack MacGowran prior to his hunting vampires and antipodean Scotland Yarders Ed Devereaux and Ray Barrett joined by fellow down under cobber Walter Brown. But what really lets the thing down is Miss Baxter's overly emotional and at times almost hysterical performance, not what you would expect from a professional head shrinker hailing from, ahem, Stepney (). Her Hollywood wardrobe is rather jarring too. And, sad to say, good old Sir Donald gets rather het up as well. An early score from John Barry, however, who's still in his jazzy/pop period.

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                      • Bitter Harvest (1963) Janet Munro is the pretty Welsh lass with a hum drum life yearning for the big city lights who after a drunken night wakes up in a strange bed in London. She meets barman John Stride who takes her in under the watchful eye of landlady Thora Hird and all goes well until she gets invited to a showbiz party ........... Nice cast includes Terrence Alexander as a lecherous commercial traveller, Alan Badel, Alan Cuthbertson and a brief appearance by Nigel Davenport as a policeman. Scripted by Ted Willis and directed by Peter Graham Scott. Lovely theme music from Mr Acker Bilk.

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                        • The Rat (1937). Corny old Ivor Novello melodrama about a notorious Parisian cat burglar who is tasked to take care of a condemned man's daughter, but he falls for her as well as for a moneyed lady whose necklace he covets. Then the lady's jealous boyfriend goes after the girl . . .
                          There are over-the-top performances from just about all concerned with the notable exception of Anton Walbrook in the title role who puts a fair bit of fire and passion, but it's not enough to save this from sinking into the Sienne. Ruth Chatterton, Rene Ray, Mary Clare, Beatrix Lehmann and Leo Genn appear as do Felix Aylmer as the Attorney General and Gordon McLeod as a French police inspector with a Scottish accent (cf. Duncan Macrae in Casino Royale!), but not as far as I could see, Miles Malleson, who did write the dialogue, God forgive him, and gets yet another phantom cast listing on IMDb regardless.
                          Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 18th May 2017, 10:35 PM.

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                          • The Haunting - Sub-standard, clichéd 1999 remake of the b&w 1963 classic

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                            • Originally posted by zabadak View Post
                              The Haunting - Sub-standard, clichéd 1999 remake of the b&w 1963 classic
                              I paid money to see this at the cinema when it first came out, bloody awful film!

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                              • I watched a little known film on Talking movies called They can't hang me! 1955 it had a nice sixties spy television feel to it but what impressed me most was the performance of André Morell, even by not talking you could still make out his annoyance or building anger just by his facial features, a great character actor.

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