This forum is to jibber and jabber
716 - Corvette K-225 (1943) - 7/10 - Randolph Scott is the commander of a Canadian corvette during WWII that is assigned as a convoy escort. The first part of the film seemed pretty dull. He was dating a woman whose younger brother is assigned to his ship as a newly minted lieutenant. The movie picks up during escort duty with some decent sea battle action.
717 - Friendly Enemies (1942) - 6/10 - Karl and Henry are wealthy German immigrants during WWI. Their children are about to get married, but the two argue incessantly. Karl is an ardent supporter of the motherland while Henry supports the U.S. side of the war. The film definitely shows its stage roots. The second half is a bit better than the beginning.
718 - Hers to Hold (1943) - 7/10 - A wealthy young woman (Deanna Durbin) takes a job as a riveter in an airplane factory. She also falls for an older pilot (Joseph Cotten). The story wasn't one of Durbin's best and I wasn't overly impressed with most of the songs that were used, but it is still fairly entertaining.
719 - Louisiana Purchase (1941) - 5.5/10 - Bob Hope is framed by colleagues for their own graft. He has to find something compromising on a Senator (Victor Moore) who is investigating the charges. Hope sets out to create the compromising situation that he needs. I found much of the film to be unfunny, though it did get better at the end.
720 - Bless the Beasts & Children (1971) - 7.5/10 - Six boys at a summer camp are sickened by the shooting of captive buffalo and set out to free the herd. It started out a bit slow, but got to be pretty good by the end.
721 - A Man Called Peter (1955) - 7/10 - Peter Marshall was a Presbyterian minister from Scotland who moved to the U.S. in the 1920s and eventually became chaplain of the U.S. Senate. This biopic has good performances from Richard Todd as Marshall and from Jean Peters as his wife, Catherine. I wasn't enjoying this film at first, but at some point in the first half hour or so, I found that had changed. It ended up being a pretty decent film, though with a theological/philosophical bent.
722 - Paris Underground (1945) - 8/10 - Kitty de Mornay (Constance Bennett) is an American living in Paris and recently separated from her French husband when the German army is approaching the city in 1940. She tries to escape to the south with a British friend (Gracie Fields), but ends up stuck in Paris. The two end up working to help British soldiers escape from occupied territory at great risk to themselves. This is based on a memoir that was published in 1943 about an actual pair of women in Paris. Bennett and Fields very good and so is the film.
723 - The Princess and the Pirate (1944) - 7/10 - A princess (Virginia Mayo) is traveling incognito aboard a ship that is attacked by pirates. Bob Hope is an actor who uses his disguise skills to survive the attack and to help him escape the pirates (along with the aid of a grizzled sailor (Walter Brennan)). There's plenty of comedy and bad jokes. I didn't think it was all that funny early on, but by the end it was enjoyable. Brennan was pretty funny as Featherhead.
724 - Road to RIo (1947) - 6.5/10 - There is plenty of silliness as Hope and Crosby stow away on a boat to Rio and get involved with a young woman (Dorothy Lamour) who is being hypnotized to marry somebody she doesn't want to marry.
725 - Song of the Open Road (1944) - 6.5/10 - Jane Powell is kept very busy in the studio and has no time for friends. She dyes her hair and runs away from home to join other kids at a youth hostel, hoping to make friends and pick crops. Things don't go exactly as planned. It was watchable, if unspectacular.
726 - Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962) - 7/10 - Doris Day stars as a woman who is barely keeping a circus running due to her father's (Jimmy Durante) gambling issues. The main attraction is Jumbo, a trained elephant. Many of the employees are leaving for other opportunities since they haven't been paid in quite some time. Then a very capable drifter arrives who is able to do just about everything in the circus and things start to go better. The circus scenes and music were good and I liked both Day and Durante in this.
727 - Morituri (1965) - 7.5/10 - Marlon Brando stars as a German pacifist living in India during WWII. He is blackmailed by a British officer to go aboard a German freighter heading out of Japan. He'll have fake papers to show that he is an SS officer and his assignment will be to prevent the ship from being scuttled so that it (and its cargo) can be captured by the Allies. Brando is good here and Yul Brynner isn't bad in his role as the captain of the freighter. There isn't a ton of action, but it works for the most part.
728 - The Dolly Sisters (1945) - 6.5/10 - Betty Grable and June Haver star in this biopic based on the lives of twin sisters who became very popular from around 1912-1929 on vaudeville and elsewhere. There is lots of singing and the two leads aren't bad, but it's not a very memorable film.
729 - Night and Day (1946) - 7/10 - Cary Grant stars as Cole Porter and does an adequate job in the role. The film is kind of bland overall, but the main attraction is Porter's music. Monty Woolley was a close friend of Cole Porter and plays himself in the film.
730 - The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) - 5.5/10 - Harry Street (Gregory Peck) is a writer who is slowly dying from an infection while on safari in Africa. He is cared for by Helen (Susan Hayward) and he reflects back on his life with Helen and two other women. It's a pretty dull and uninspired film and I don't think that Peck was very good here. Some of the effects were also subpar.
731 - The President's Lady (1953) - 7.5/10 - Charlton Heston portrays Andrew Jackson and focuses on his relationship with his wife, Rachel (Susan Hayward). It covers the time from when he first met Rachel through her death on the eve of his becoming President with all the trials and tribulations along the way. Heston and Hayward were each pretty good here. Heston would go on to play Jackson again five years later in The Buccaneer.
732 - Two-Minute Warning (1976) - 6/10 - A sniper sets up on a tower above the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in advance of a championship football game. He is spotted during the game and police and swat teams move to surround him. There are a lot of familiar actors - Charlton Heston, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, Gena Rowlands, etc., but most are not utilized very well and the film is not very exciting or interesting most of the time.
733 - A Thousand and One Nights (1945) - 6.5/10 - Cornel Wilde stars as Aladdin in this comedy version of the classic tale. Wilde isn't bad and I liked Evelyn Keys as the genie, but Phil Silvers wasn't funny and brought the film down.
734 - Banning (1967) - 6/10 - Robert Wagner stars as a former golf pro who gets a job at a country club under an assumed name. He needs to raise a large sum of money to get the mob off of his back. It's not really all that interesting.
735 - The Emperor Waltz (1948) - 6.5/10 - Bing Crosby is a salesman who arrives in Austria early in the 20th Century to try and sell the Emperor a gramophone. He ends up falling for a countess (Joan Fontaine) while he is there. The movie seemed a bit flat, but was mildly entertaining.
736 - Hans Christian Andersen (1952) - 7.5/10 - Danny Kaye stars as Hans Christian Andersen in this re-imagining of Andersen's life as one of his fairy tales rather than as a biopic. Andersen is a cobbler with a penchant for storytelling who travels to Copenhagen after being kicked out of his village. Kaye is pretty good here and I also liked the songs and stories based on Andersen's work.
737 - Man of La Mancha (1972) - 7/10 - This adaptation of the stage musical has Peter O'Toole as Cervantes/Don Quixote, James Coco as Sancho, and Sophia Loren as Dulcinea. Cervantes is arrested by the inquisition for putting on a play that mocks the inquisition. In prison, he is put on trial by the prisoners to see if he should keep his possessions or not. He enlists them to perform Don Quixote as his defense. O'Toole ad Loren had their singing voices dubbed and the film has been derided in a number of places, but I thought it wasn't that bad.
738 - Roberta (1935) - 7/10 - John is a football player (Randolph Scott) who visits Paris along with his friend Huck (Fred Astaire) and Huck's band. They end up at John's aunt's place. The aunt owns a prestigious dress shop named Roberta's. John falls for the woman who runs Roberta's (Irene Dunne) and Huck runs into an old flame (Ginger Rogers). There is plenty of dancing and music and it's a decent film, though around middle of the road for Astaire/Rogers pairings.
739 - The Virgin Queen (1955) - 6.5/10 - Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) tries to get Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis) to finance a ship to the new world. She becomes enamored with him, but he is smitten with another (joan Collins). Davis and Todd weren't bad, but the film itself is mediocre.
740 - The Last Tycoon (1976) - 5.5/10 - Robert De Niro stars as a movie producer during the Golden Age of Hollywood who is used to getting his way in all things. He pursues one young woman while another tries to get him to fall for her. It's mostly very dull and boring, unfortunately.
741 - The Wind and the Lion (1975) - 7/10 - Sean Connery stars as a Berber chieftain who kidnaps an American woman and two children in Tangier in 1904. The captives come to care for the chieftain as forces are set to capture him, including U.S. Marines sent by Teddy Roosevelt. The score was pretty good and the movie itself wasn't bad.
742 - Babes on Broadway (1941) - 7/10 - This is another of the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland putting on a show films. They aren't getting a chance to perform in regular venues so they decide to put on their own show and use it to benefit kids from the U.K. who are in the U.S. as an escape from the war. It's pretty good overall, except for one unfortunate blackface number at the end.
743 - Blaze (1989) - 7/10 - Paul Newman stars as Earl Long, the Governor of Louisiana for 10 years between 1939-1960. Long enjoyed visiting strip clubs and had a relationship with a woman named Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich) that his opponents tried to use against him. His opponents also didn't like that Long supported a number of civil rights for black people in Louisiana. I thought Newman did a very nice job and Davidovich wasn't bad either. The movie mostly follows the course of the relationship between Long and Starr.
744 - Ice Castles (1978) - 7.5/10 - A teenage ice skater (Lynn-Holly Johnson) gets an opportunity to train in Colorado Springs with other top skaters. her boyfriend (Robby Benson) gets a tryout with the Minnesota North Stars. Their relationship is tested by the separation, but rekindles after the girl is injured in an accident and returns home. The film is intentionally pulling on the heart strings, but it worked for me and I thought the acting from the two leads was pretty good.
745 - Northwest Passage (1940) - 8/10 - Spencer Tracy stars as Robert Rogers, a major in charge of colonial soldiers known as Rogers' Rangers who fought with the British during the French and Indian War. The focus is on one particular battle and the aftermath as the men need to cross quite a bit of territory to reach their objective and then return safely home. It makes good use of technicolor and has a few good battle scenes.
746 - Madame Bovary (1949) - 6.5/10 - This adaptation of the classic novel uses Gustave Flaubert's obscenity trial as a framing device. The costumes and sets were fine and I liked Jennifer Jones, but I didn't really care that much for the story itself, at least as presented here.
747 - In Harm's Way (1965) - 8.5/10 - The film starts just before the attack on Pearl Harbor and then skips ahead a few months. John Wayne stars as a naval captain named Rock whose ship escapes damage in the initial attack and is sent out to find the Japanese fleet. His XO (Kirk Douglas) has marital problems that have a lasting effect on him. Rock becomes involved with a nurse (Patricia Neal) whose roommate is dating Rock's estranged son, a naval Ensign. There are a few nice action scenes, but overall it is just a good drama with nice performances. It probably didn't have to be shot in black and white, but it didn't really detract from the film.
748 - Cradle of Genius (1961) - 7/10 - A look at the old Abbey Theater.
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749 - The Molly Maguires (1970) - 7.5/10 - The Molly Maguires were an Irish-American group who worked for improved labor conditions in the 19th Century. This story takes place in 1876 Pennsylvania at a coal mine. Sean Connery is one of the leaders of the group and Richard Harris is a detective who infiltrates the organization. The film is a bit slow at times, but has good music, acting, and cinematography.
750 - The Brink's Job (1978) - 7/10 - In 1950, a group of low level criminals robbed the Brink's warehouse in Boston and got away with around $3 million. Things went pretty smoothly, though the FBI complicated things when they got involved. This is a decent heist film with comedic elements. Peter Falk and Peter Boyle had big roles in this ensemble cast.
751 - Three Little Words (1950) - 7.5/10 - Fred Astaire and Red Skelton star as the songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby in this biopic. Vera-Ellen co-stars as Kalmar's dance partner (and later wife) Jessie. Astaire and Skelton have pretty good chemistry and make a convincing team. The songs and humor are good and I thought the film was pleasant.
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752 - Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) - 7/10 - Two young men travel across the country in a 1955 Chevy, looking to race others as they go. A teenage girl stows away and joins them and they also encounter a man in a GTO who likes to pick up hitchhikers. I was pretty bored with this one at first, but it grew on me as it went along and I did end up liking it.
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753 - Don't Make Me Go (2022) - 8/10 - John Cho stars as a single father who finds out that he has about a year to live unless he undergoes a risky operation. He decides to take his teenage daughter (Mia Isaac) on a road trip to meet his mother. Cho and Isaac are each very good here. Some might not like the ending, but I thought it was fine.
754 - The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959) - 7.5/10 - Kaji is a pacifist and humanist during WWII. He takes a job supervising prisoners at a labor camp in Manchuria in hope of improving conditions for them and to avoid being drafted into the army. He finds that his methods are resisted by other Japanese in charge at the camp and disbelieved by the prisoners as well. It's a good film, but I thought it was a little uneven in addition to being too slow at times and too long.
755 - Like Stars On Earth (2007) - 7.5/10 - Ishaan (Darsheel Safary) is an 8 year old boy who has trouble reading, concentrating, doing math, and even dressing himself. His only real strengths are his imagination and his art. His mind wanders and he gets verbal abuse from his parents and teachers alike. He is sent away to a boarding school where a new art teacher (Aamir Khan) recognizes that his underlying problem is dyslexia and proceeds to help Ishaan overcome his problems. The movie lays things on pretty thick and the teachers are pretty one-dimensional through most of the film. Despite this, I still enjoyed the film and Safary is excellent as Ishaan.
756 - The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (1959) - 8.5/10 - Kaji has been drafted and he (along with other recruits) suffers abuse from the soldiers training them. Despite this, he perseveres and gets some positive notice for his marksmanship and guts. He later serves on the front line as the war is winding down and the Soviets invade Manchuria. I thought this was a much better film than the first part. The pacing was better and the story kept my interest throughout.
757 - The Human Condition III: A Soldier’s Prayer (1961) - 8.5/10 - Kaji has survived the war, but will he survive the aftermath. He attempts to cross Manchuria with a few comrades and others he picks up along the way in a bid to get home. I still like the second film more, but this one was also very good.
758 - Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) - 7.5/10 - A lonely 60 year old woman strikes up a friendship with a middle aged mechanic from Morocco and the two end up getting married. She gets to see the oppression that he faces on a daily basis in Germany since it is now directed somewhat toward her as well.
759 - A House is Not a Home (1964) - 6/10 - Shelley Winters stars as Polly Adler in this biopic. Adler was a successful madam from the 1920s-1940s who wrote a bestselling book in the 1950s about her life.
760 - Captain Eddie (1945) - 7/10 - After Eddie Rickenbacker's plane crashes in the Pacific during WWII, he looks back on his life from the time he was a boy, through his time as a car salesman, ace pilot during WWI, and race car driver. It's a decent film and was fairly entertaining.
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761 - Mardi Gras (1958) - 7/10 - Pat Boone stars as a VMI cadet who becomes involved with a visiting French actress (Christine Carère) during Mardi Gras when he goes to New Orleans to invite her to VMI's graduation. It's a pleasant film with plenty of songs and light romance.
762 - The Four Poster (1952) - 7.5/10 - Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer (who were married at the time) portray a married couple from their wedding night through to their deaths with all of the accompanying ups and downs of their marriage. The action takes place almost entirely in their bedroom which features a large four poster bed. The animated sequences which show time passing between segments are well done and I think both Harrison and Palmer were good here.
763 - The Girl Said No (1937) - 5/10 - A bookie sets up a fake production of The Mikado to get even with a taxi dancer who ripped him off. the movie isn't that great, but it is watchable and has its moments.
764 - The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962) - 5/10 - Charlton Heston stars in this WWII comedy adventure about a U.S. army officer who is sent into occupied Rome on a special mission. He is supposed to use pigeons to reach his outside contacts. The movie isn't particularly funny or interesting.
765 - This Woman is Mine (1941) - 6/10 - A woman (Carol Bruce) is tricked into stowing away on a trip leaving for a two year fur trading mission thinking that the ship was instead sailing to France. The crotchety captain (Walter Brennan) puts her to work as a cabin boy. Two men (Franchot Tome and John Carroll) vie for her attention during the voyage. The film starts out pretty poorly, but does get a bit better toward the end.
766 - The Little Ark (1972) - 7/10 - Two Dutch children are separated fro their parents during the great flood of 1953. They board an abandoned houseboat along with their dog, cat, rabbit, and rooster. They are later helped by a fisherman and he helps them find their parents while also helping others in need.
767 - The Passover Plot (1976) - 4/10 - This film presents Jesus as calculating, deliberately planning his moves, knowing what the likely reactions will be. He even has a plan for surviving the crucifixion and becoming the King of the Jews. The plot itself isn't the problem with the film so much as the acting (and overacting in cases) which is not very good. A couple of actors pretty much just shout their lines throughout the film.
768 - Scarlet Street (1945) - 8.5/10 - Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) is a cashier and amateur artist. He becomes infatuated with a beautiful woman named Kitty (Joan Bennett) who leads him on for fun and then in hopes of getting money, though she is really only interested in Johnny (Dan Duryea), a small time crook. This is a very nice noir with excellent performances all around.
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