Tuesday 20 August 2019

78 - UA stuff, mainly.

Raffles (1939 - B/W) - Focuses less on adventure, more on romance. A strange, trying version of "modern London". Still, Niven at his smoothest. A remake of the extremely close Raffles (1930 - B/W). Ok.ru.

Three Broadway Girls (1932 - B/W) - Typical romantic comedy with Joan Blondell.

Mr. Robinson Crusoe (1932 - B/W) - Douglas Fairbanks in almost a documentary manual.

Cock of the Air (1932 - B/W) - Chester Morris in a  wartime light-drama with the rhythm of silent cinema. ok.rued.

What, No Beer (1933 - B/W) - Hmm, not Keaton at his best. Sound's win, cinema's loss. Ok.rued.

The Bowery (1933 - B/W) - Typical 30s juvenalia with George Raft and Jackie Cooper.

The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933 - B/W) - A stage farce and a documentary. Laughton so immerses himself you can't not but dislike him.

Adventures of Don Quixote (1933 - B/W) - Basically a panto with Chaliapin Sr and George Robey.

The Mystery of Mr. X (1934 - B/W) -Unmemorable whodunnit set in a horribly false Victorian London full of anachronisms, with Robert Montgomery. Double-Ok.ru

Search for Beauty (1934  - B/W) - Buster Crabbe in another variety show themed around a futuristic beauty thing. Ok.ru.

The Last Gentleman (1934 - B/W) - I can now do a very grating impression of George Arliss.

The Devil Diamond (1937 - B/W) - Forgettable poverty row juvenile adventure thing with Frankie Darro.

Night Must Fall (1937 - B/W) - Robert Montgomery's Welsh (?)/Oirish/Canadian accent is bloody awful. He's a gurner. Double-ok.ru.

History is Made at Night (1937 - B/W) - Frank Borzage romance. Charles Boyer uses Senor Wences to charm Jean Arthur.
See also Algiers (1938 - B/W).

Storm in a Teacup (1937 - B/W) - Vivien Leigh romances Rex Harrison. Did Rex get surgery?

Knight Without Armour (1937 - B/W) - Dietrich and Donat in another identikit exotic romance.

THE BEACHCOMBER (1938 - B/W) - My main carryover was that Elsa Lanchester plays a character called Miss Jones, who's a posh spinster-type. Now, I want to see a version of Rising Damp/The Banana Box with Charles Laughton as Rigsby.

Gunga Din (1938 - B/W) - Utterly dreadful Colonialist pap.

Fast and Furious (1939  - B/W) - Neither, but a screwball comedy with some fedoras, Franchot Tone and Busby Berkeley.

Eternally Yours (1939 - B/W) - David Niven romance.

Slightly Honorable (1939 - B/W) - Forgettable romcom with Pat O'Brien.

Captain Caution (1940  - B/W) - Unremarkable pirate fare with Victor Mature and Alan Ladd in a minor role.

Pot O'Gold (1941 - B/W) - Silly James Stewart musical romance, vaguely Oirish in tone.

Sundown (1941 - B/W) - Typical desert romance with Bruce Cabot, Gene Tierney and George Sanders.

Roadshow (1941 - B/W) - Goofy, but reasonably mirthfree Hal Roach carnival comedy.

Larceny Inc. (1942 - B/W) - Tonally awkward, grating baseball-related Ed G. Robinson crime-comedy. Double-ok.rued.

White Cargo (1942 - B/W) - Did people really take Hedy Lamarr seriously as a black woman? Yes, I know they make her half-Egyptian and half-Portuguese, but still we're supposed to think her as black, even though she technically isn't. This is almost as bad as that Crown Court with the blacked-up Leontyne Price-type. Double-ok.rued.

To Be Or Not To Be (1942 - B/W) - Interesting array, but I don't get the characters.

Journey for Margaret (1942 - B/W) - As schmaltzy as a bag of sugar. World War Two thing with Margaret O'Brien as a crying orphan in a backlot blitz. With Robert Young, Myrna Loy and Nigel Bruce. Ok.ru twice.

THE DEMI-PARADISE (1943) - Olivier does comedy. Seems to be playing multiple characters.

Lady of Burlesque (1943 - B/W) - Another variety show setpiece with Barbara Stanwyck.

Hi Diddle Diddle (1943 - B/W) - Nothingy romcom enlivened by Leon Schlesinger animation

None But the Lonely Heart (1944 - B/W) - Grim faux-Cockney melodrama with Cary Grant, Barry Fitzgerald, Ethel Barrymore and George Coulouris as the cast of EastEnders. Grant doesn't look good in a flat cap. His Cockney accent is odd. Double Ok.rued, barely.

Once Upon A Time (1944 - B/W) - Disney shopping cart-movie-type schmaltz with Cary Grant and a performing caterpillar. Double-ok.rued to get more frames.

Passport to Destiny (1944 - B/W) - Routine comedy, lifted by the idea of Elsa Lanchester as a Cockley charlady fighting Nazis.

Song of Open Road (1944 - B/W) - Okru.ed this forgettable teen musical, despite Edgar Bergen and W.C. Fields. Ok.rued.

Wilson (1944) - A sumptuously mounted but sentimental view of the President. Weird to see Alexander Knox in something American. Is Vincent Price wearing a false nose?

Paris Underground (1945 - B/W) - Doesn't know if it is a noir or a female buddy-thing in WW2 with Constance Bennett and Gracie Fields.

The Man in Half Moon Street (1945 - B/W) - Period melodrama later remade as Hammer's The Man Who Could Cheat Death, starts off stagnant. Has a neat ending set a London rail terminus. OK.ru.

The Locket (1946 - B/W) - Half-hearted melodrama/gaslighting noir with Robert Mitchum.

Breakfast in Hollywood (1946 - B/W)- Nothingy variety show with Spike Jones and Nat King Cole.

Copacabana (1947 - B/W) - Basically just the musical numbers from a  Marx Brothers film, but only Groucho and Carmen Miranda.
Love Happy (1949 - B/W) - The Marx Brothers and a small Marilyn Monroe appearance. Feels like retreading. Plus the boys are noticeably older.
Also saw The Cocoanuts (1929 - B/W). It lacks something. Sound cinema hadn't developed beyond vaudeville, really.

The Naked City (1948 - B/W) - A documentary-style noir. Not even Barry Fitzgerald as a Muldoon helps.

Kiss the Blood off my Hands (1948  - B/W) - Burt Lancaster wanders about a very fake Universal backlot England, while Robert Newton hides in shadows. Clocks on poles!

Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1948 -  B/W) - Preston Sturges and Harold Lloyd, not at their best.

Luck of the Irish (1948 - B/W) - Awful Oirish twaddle with Tyrone Power finding alleged leprechaun Cecil Kellaway.

So This Is New York (1948 - B/W) - Nothingy travelogue with humourist Henry "not Harry" Morgan.

Here Comes Trouble (1948 - B/W) - Forgettable but sporadically electrifying Hal Roach comedy featurette.

I Was A Male War Bride (1950 - B/W) - It doesn't work as a drag comedy. Cary Grant looks like an Egyptian rent boy.

Quicksand (1950 - B/W) - Mickey Rooney and Peter Lorre in what might have been good in 1939.

The Man With My Face (1951 - B/W) - Dull Puerto Rico-shot tropical noir with Barry Nelson in two roles.

Ace in the Hole (1951 - B/W) - Captures the uneasy discomfort of being in a desert.

Hotel Sahara (1951 - B/W) - Peter Ustinov gurns in a fez.

OK.rued noir Mystery Street (1950 - Ricardo Montalban in a fedora skulking about), The Prowler (1951) and The Scarf (1951 - B/W), almost identikit.
The Phenix City Story (1955 - B/W ) - Documentary, somewhat aimless though well-staged. But not my thing.Weird to see a young and pretty Richard Kiley.

Venetian Bird (1952 - B/W) Overromanticised tourist-trap mystery with Richard Todd.

The Green Glove (1952 - B/W) - Typical war-weepie-actioner with Glenn Ford.

Mutiny (1952) - Angela Lansbury in a skevy faded-color Poverty Row seafaring "epic" on a shoestring.

Down Three Dark Streets (1954 - B/W) - Broderick Crawford in a forgettable suburban noir.

His Majesty O'Keefe (1954) - Nicely colourful but kind of empty, but weirdly exciting to see Burt Lancaster and Andre Morell as co-leads.

Richard III (1955) - Is this deliberately Jackanory-ish?

The Monte Carlo Story (1956 - B/W) - Ageing Dietrich/De Sica travelogue.

God's Little Acre (1958 - B/W) - Preachy kind of Southern slice-of-life. Some nice setups.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1959 - B/W) - John Mills and Ernest Borgnine play Aussie larrikins. The latter's accent only seem to come in at the end of sentences, to the extent I wondered if he was even bothering with any accent at all.

The Last Woman on Earth (1960) - Corman dreariness in Puerto Rico.

The Hypnotic Eye (1960 - B/W) - Dreary Allied Artists schlock. A lobby card for it sits in my local pub. Ok.ru.

Barabbas (1961) - Typical biblical "epic". Weird to see Lawrence Payne billed over the likes of Douglas Fowley, with kaiju-level destruction.

Darna vs the Planet Women (1975) - Filipino's national superheroine in one of numerous cheap films. This has  bad wigs, Catholicism, bad dances, amateurish attempts at tokusatsu and so on. Like most Filipino movies, it's ninety per cent wandering about suburban back streets. It's not very glamorous or exciting. See also Darna and the Giants (1974).

Captain Barbell (1986) - Filipino Captain Marvel knockoff gets adapted. Cheap, reuses John Williams off-cuts and an unfulfilled sequel hook featuring Darna.

Darna (1991) - Badly lit, tacky, plotless adaptation.

Junoon (1992) - An American Werewolf in London-Bollywood style! An Indian tiger in India. The tiger makeup is interesting but silly. He looks like Floyd Pepper. It plays the story straight, as tragedy, but it looks ridiculous. And it draaags.

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