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Watched Last Night

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  • #91
    Public Nuisance No 1 (1936). A lively musical comedy directed by Marcel Varnel and written by Val Guest, who had many happy memories of working on it, especially in the shape of bubbly Frances Day! She's a shopgirl who ends up a guest in a Nice hotel where her devoted if rather mature follower, certified wastrel and madcap Arthur Riscoe, also ends up but as an employee. He's certainly a public nuisance, but his performance is not at all irritating and, as Val discovered, Frances is a mischievous delight who gets to sing several Vivian Ellis songs. Peter Haddon is his usual twit self as a film producer, Claude Dampier his usual dimwit self as Arthur's valet, Anthony Holles is his usual unpleasant self as the hotel headwaiter and Muriel Aked her usual dotty self as, ahem, Miss Trumps. Val described it accurately as "a lighthearted, frothy piece of nonsense" and it's indeed good, silly fun.

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    • #92
      The Secret Man (1958). Marshall (DAKTARI) Thompson takes time out from dealing with Fiend Without a Face and First Man into Space to be a top secret research scientist (from Canada, naturally!) who is the bait to catch an in-house master spy who's after the plans of a super-duper rocket. Of course all the red herrings act suspiciously and the heroine quivers romantically. Anne Aubrey, John Stuart, Michael Mellinger and Henry Oscar are among the team developing the MacGuffin, while granite-jawed John Loder leads the undercover intelligence officers determined to solve the mystery. An ultra low budget spy thriller filmed on location which displays little of the originality and wit usually associated with the pen of Tony O'Grady (i.e. Brian Clemens) and features Anne's big close-up scene when she has to turn her car at a road junction.
      P.S. Don't check out the IMDb entry for this one if you want to keep guessing the identity of the master spy.
      Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 2nd April 2017, 09:26 PM.

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      • #93
        Hyde Park Corner (1935). Borderline reincarnation crime comedy/drama with most of the cast playing characters in 1780 and 1930 or 35. Gordon Harker nevertheless does his usual Cockney copper stuff regardless, whereas Binnie Hale is a 18th century songstress and a 20th century pickpocket. Eric Portman, Gibb McLaughlin, Donald Wolfit and David Horne also get a look-in in this enjoyable Grosvenor Film Production which features the celebrated key under the door trick and was filmed at Regent Studios, Welwyn Garden City where all the wooden floors are clunky and the soundtrack was recorded in a torrential rain storm.

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        • #94
          The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970)

          Under appreciated on it's release this is generally a pretty funny political satire, with Peter Cook in one of his best roles as the opinion pollster who rises to the top from nowhere to eventually become Prime Minister.
          Chillingly it seems to set a precedent for the rise of spin masters and the Blair administration 30 years later.
          Cookie, never much of an actor, plays Rimmer cleverly as deliberately bland, content to let the chaos evolve around him. Ably supported by Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser, Richard Pearson and especially a career best for George A.Cooper, hilarious as the publicity seeking Harold Wilson like Labour leader.

          Bedazzled (1967)

          Pete and Dud's most successful comedy, with Dud as the eternal loser short order cook Stanley Moon, lusting in vain after waitress Eleanor Bron, but then along comes Pete in his Roger McGuinn specs and sharp suits as George Spiggot, the devil himself with seven wishes, in this funny Faustian tale.
          With Barry Humphries and Racquel Welch.

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          • #95
            The Small Back Room 1949

            It had been some time since I had watched this and I had forgotten how good it was. The performances by David Farrar and Kathleen Byron were excellent but the characters played by Jack Hawkins and Geoffrey Keen - both somewhat slimy - were against their usual types and the more interesting as a result. Worth the watch for them alone.

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            • #96
              Behind the Mask (1958). Medical melodrama in Eastmancolour (sic) directed by Brian Desmond Hurst with Tony Britton as the brilliant young surgeon whose career is put on the line when he stands up for underdog and, as a side-line, drug addict Carl Mohner. Tony's patron Michael Redgrave is having to fight battles of his own to try and keep his influence at the hospital despite that devious Niall MacGinnis trying to wrest it from him. Meantime, Vanessa Redgrave appears as his daughter, betrothed to Tony and playing it incredibly upper middle class, demure and Roedean with a small Susan Hampshire voice. Others staffing the hospital and its board include Ian Bannen, Miles Malleson, Brian Rawlinson and Lionel Jeffries, with William Roche and Jack Hedley also briefly appearing. Enough soapy material for a year's worth of EMERGENCY WARD 10.

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              • #97
                What Men Live By (1938). Kindly penniless carpenter Simon takes a naked stranger into his home where he is fed and clothed and becomes a master craftsman with uncanny foresight and changes Simon's fortunes. A short fantasy film from a Tolstoy story with Eliot Makeham as Simon, Olga Lindo as his wife and Esmond Knight as the stranger, Michael. Although credited to Vernon Sewell, Michael Powell claimed he did the adaptation and it certainly brought Esmond's acting talents to his attention.

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                • #98
                  Locke (2014)

                  One man driving down a motorways for 90mins and trying to sort his life out on the phone. It could easily have been a radio play but with Tom Hardy as the only actor on the screen and vocal talents of the likes of Ruth Wilson and Olivia Coleman, it turns out to an exceptional, if minimalist, piece of cinema.

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                  • #99
                    I watched a film called Thirteen Women 1932.

                    An American film about half caste woman who has supernatural powers & uses them as revenge against former students who teased her at school.

                    Myrna Loy & Irene Dunne are the stars but the main interest for me was the only film appearance of the tragic British actress Peg Entwistle.

                    She appears briefly in a few scenes at the start of the film but she looks & sounds more natural than anybody else in the film. She should have had a fine career.

                    I recently read a biography of her & rather than the failed starlet I assumed she was, she was a very esteemed stage actress who appeared with some top notch Broadway stars!

                    Apparently quite a few of her scenes were deleted because of censorship scares. She plays a young married woman who also has a same sex relationship.

                    A bit daring for the times!

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                    • Originally posted by wadsy View Post
                      I watched a film called Thirteen Women 1932.

                      An American film about half caste woman who has supernatural powers & uses them as revenge against former students who teased her at school.

                      Myrna Loy & Irene Dunne are the stars but the main interest for me was the only film appearance of the tragic British actress Peg Entwistle.

                      She appears briefly in a few scenes at the start of the film but she looks & sounds more natural than anybody else in the film. She should have had a fine career.

                      I recently read a biography of her & rather than the failed starlet I assumed she was, she was a very esteemed stage actress who appeared with some top notch Broadway stars!

                      Apparently quite a few of her scenes were deleted because of censorship scares. She plays a young married woman who also has a same sex relationship.

                      A bit daring for the times!
                      I wonder if Stephen King ever watched it?

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                      • Or Bill Haley! :-)

                        http://images.45cat.com/bill-haley-a...k-1955-2-s.jpg

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                        • Byzantium (2012)

                          Neil Jordan is back in vampire land but the the undead are a men only club who take umbrage when Gemma Arterton joins the clan. Meloncholy stuff for most part with a rousing climax. Well acted and nicely photographed with some striking images, it doesn't quite work but worth a watch

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                          • Time Lock (1957). Tense little bank vault thriller from Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas before they got totally carried on. Little Vincent Winter gets slammed inside a time-locked bank vault. Can they get him out before he expires? That's the basic plot by Arthur Hailey and Robert Beatty, Lee Patterson, Betty McDowall and even Sean Connery are there to try and save Vince. The downside is that the police are led by somnambulistic Robert Ayres and his dull voice that killed off many a small boy in its time, plus he keeps his hat on throughout. But acting plaudits go to Alan Gifford as the truly tortured bank manager and good old Gerry T keeps the pace going very nicely.

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                            • Michael Collins (1996)

                              Neil Jordan doesn't quite catch the human drama but the historical elements are entertaining enough and Liam Neeson is excellent in the title role. Julia Roberts is a surprise addition to the cast and has a significantly more convincing accent than Alan Rickman!

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                              • Populaire (2012, France). A truly delightful French film with subtitles about a shy secretary whose boss enters her for a speed-typing contest. A thin story in itself, but of course it's just a device on which to hang the love story. Very enjoyable, and the period-style music (the story is set in 1959) is cracking.

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