This forum is to jibber and jabber
154 - Let It Be - 7/10 - This documentary chronicles some of the time when the Beatles were working on their final album. It mostly just features them rehearsing songs and playing around followed by excerpts from their rooftop concert in 1969. I enjoyed the music, but was expecting something more from the film.
155 - Swanee River - 6.5/10 - This fictionalized biography of Stephen Foster, the creator of Oh Susanna and many other songs in the middle of the 19th Century. stars Don Ameche as Foster. It is watchable, but not particularly good. Al Jolson costars and spends a lot of time in blackface while performing Foster's songs.
156 - Bitter Sweet (1940) - 6.5/10 - This version of the Noel Coward play stars Jeanette MacDonald as the daughter of a wealthy family who is about to be wed in an arranged marriage when she runs off and elopes with her music teacher (Nelson Eddy). They struggle to make a living in Vienna, but are happy together. The singing isn't bad, though the story is a bit thin. Noel Coward swore off Hollywood after this because he was so unhappy with the result.
157 - The Seventh Veil - 7/10 - A woman tries to commit suicide, but is rescued and placed under the care of a doctor who uses hypnosis to explore the reasons for her mental issues. He delves back to her youth and the people in her life and the effect that they've had on her. It was a decent film.
158 - The Flame and the Arrow - 7.5/10 - This Robin Hood style film features a German overlord in 12th Century Lombardy and the rebels who fight against him. Dardo has no desire to join the rebels, even thought the German count stole his wife five years earlier. When his son is taken, his plans change. It was a decent film with plenty of action.
159 - The Five Pennies - 8/10 - This semi-biographical film about cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols was pretty entertaining. It had a decent story starting with Nichols moving to New York City in the 1920s through his career, family, leaving the music business, and getting back into the music business in the 1940s. The music was also pretty good and there were a number of humorous parts.
160 - Maytime - 8/10 - Miss Morrison is an old woman who gives advice to a young woman who is thinking of leaving home to pursue an opera career. It turns out that Miss Morrison was once a popular opera star and her story of love and loss is told in flashbacks. This is another Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy vehicle, but was much better than the later Bitter Sweet movie.
161 - The Gunfighter - 8/10 - Gregory Peck stars as Jimmy Ringo, a gunfighter in the old west who is trying to get away from his reputation and the young hotshots looking to make a name for themselves. He visits a small town where his presence stirs up the locals, but he is there to visit the woman he loves and the son who doesn't know about him. I thought this was very well done.
162 - Ace in the Hole - 8.5/10 - Kirk Douglas stars as a big time reporter who is down on his luck. He takes a job at a small town newspaper to get back on his feet. When he stumbles upon a man stuck in a cave in, he sees it as the opportunity to get back in the big leagues and manufactures a circus like atmosphere around the rescue. I thought it was really well done.
163 - The Woman in the Window - 8/10 - Edward G. Robinson stars as a psychology professor who gets involved with a woman (Joan Bennett) whose painting he sees on display in a window. The two become involved and events spiral out of control when they try to cover up a death. This film noir movie was well acted and pretty entertaining.
164 - Coney Island - 7.5/10 - Betty Grable stars as a singer in a Coney Island establishment who finds herself in a love triangle with two men who are friends and rivals. I thought the movie was pretty funny and also romantic moments, too.
165 - The Blue Dahlia - 8/10 - Three naval pilots return home from the war in the South Pacific. Lieutenant Commander Johnny Morrison finds that his wife hosting a lively party and seeing another man, the owner of the Blue Dahlia Club. When Helen Morrison is murdered, the police want to have a talk with Johnny, but he is 50 miles away, having left his wife the night before. This noir crime thriller was written by Raymond Chandler and I thought it was pretty well acted and entertaining.
166 - Blues in the Night - 7.5/10 - Elia Kazan and Priscilla Lane are two of the stars in this musical noir film about a group of musicians who meet a stranger while riding in a boxcar. The stranger, Del, is a criminal, but helps set them up at a nightclub where they have success, but Jigger (the pianist) is unhappy with the type of jazz they are playing. I thought it was pretty well done.
167 - Pat and Mike - 7.5/10 - Katharine Hepburn stars as a college phys ed instructor who excels at golf, tennis, and just about any other physical activity, except when her fiance happens to be present. She comes to the attention of a promoter/agent at a golf tournament who signs her up to make some money for both of them. He also happens to fall for her. I thought it was a fun film.
168 - Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet - 7.5/10 - This biography focuses on the German Nobel Prize winner who helped find treatments for diptheria and syphilis while helping advance chemotherapy. Edward G. Robinson does a nice job as Paul Ehrlich.
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169 - The Spoilers (1942) - 7.5/10 - John Wayne stars as Roy Glennister, a prospector in Nome during the Alaskan gold rush who, along with a partner, have a big gold strike. They become the victims of a plot to steal their mine which involves the new gold commissioner (Randolph Scott), the local judge and others. Marlene Dietrich costars as a saloon owner and Glennister's former love interest. I thought it was a fun movie and it ends in a nice saloon brawl.
170 - Reap the Wild Wind - 7.5/10 - Paulette Goddard plays Loxi Claiborne who operates a salvage ship out of Charleston in 1840, continuing her father's business. King Cutler is known for setting up shipwrecks so that he can salvage them and make a lot of money. Loxi gets caught in a love triangle with Jack Stuart (John Wayne), a ship captain whose ship is wrecked by Cutler and Steve Tolliver (Ray Milland), a ship owner. It was a pretty good movie.
171 - Wabash Avenue - 6.5/10 - A subpar remake of Coney Island, which also starred Betty Grable. The action is switched to Chicago, but is otherwise very similar. Apparently they were going to make a different film, but things fell through so they recycled Grable's earlier film.
172 - One in a Million - 6.5/10 - Adolphe Menjou plays a promoter who gets stuck in the Swiss Alps with his wife and three musical or comedy groups. He discovers a girl who is an excellent skater and has visions of building a show around her, but she has Olympic dreams. Sonja Henie, the three time Olympic Champion, plays the skater. The movie seems mainly to be an opportunity for Sonja to skate and for the musical and comedy groups to perform. Overall, it was okay. I thought that the Ritz Brothers were pretty funny. I wasn't familiar with them, but I guess they were pretty popular from the 1920s-1960s.
173 - Golden Boy - 8/10 - William Holden has his first starring role as Joe Bonaparte, a violinist turned boxer who shows an aptitude for fighting. Barbara Stanwyck is the girlfriend of Bonaparte's manager, but she and Bonaparte fall for each other. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. This movie was also the beginning of a lifelong friendship between Holden and Stanwyck.
174 - Closely Watched Trains - 8/10 - Milos is a young man in Czechoslovakia during WWII. He starts a job at the local train station where there really isn't much to do. This works well for him since he comes from a family that seems to enjoy avoiding work. He is shy around women and when the opportunity arises for him to lose his virginity, he is unable to perform. He eventually seeks help from others to see if he can avoid a repeat performance. I thought the movie was very good. There is a lot of humor, though a few serious parts as well.
175 - Knife in the Water - 7.5/10 - A husband and wife are driving to a lake for a boating expedition when they nearly hit a hitchhiker. They give the young man a ride and the husband invites the young man to accompany them. There is some tension along the way and the husband gives the young man a hard time, which eventually leads to a fight. This was Roman Polanski's first full length film and it was pretty good.
176 - Omar - 8/10 - Omar is a young Palestinian man who works in a bakery and hangs out with his two childhood friends, Tarek and Amjad. He is also in love with Tarek's sister, Nadia, and is saving up money to marry her. The three friends shoot an Israeli border guard, but are later betrayed and Omar is taken into custody. He is given the choice of helping the Israelis capture Tarek or face life in prison. This was a very good film.
177 - The Scent of Green Papaya - 8/10 - Mui is a 10 year old Vietnamese girl in 1951 Saigon. She travels far from her home village to work as a servant for a family that runs a textile business. There is an older son and two younger boys in addition to the husband, wife and grandmother. Mui works hard and becomes like a daughter to the lady of the household. The second part of the movie takes place ten years later and Mui is let go by the family and sent to work for a pianist who happens to fall in love with her. I thought that the first half of the movie was better and more interesting, but the movie overall is pretty good.
178 - Four Days in September - 8/10 - This is a fictionalized account of the kidnapping of the US Ambassador to Brazil back in 1969. It tells how four young radicals are brought into a revolutionary group and come up with the kidnapping idea to free 15 of their comrades who are being held and tortured by the Brazilian military which runs the country. It was a pretty good thriller.
179 - Good News - 7/10 - This musical is based on the 1927 stage musical and takes place at a college. It deals with a number of sorority girls and the football players that they like. Lots of singing and dancing in a fairly average musical. It does have June Allyson and Peter Lawford so that's a plus. Their french lesson number was pretty good.
180 - Kiss Me Kate - 7.5/10 - Fred is putting on a musical based on Taming of the Shrew with songs by Cole Porter. He convinces his ex-wife, Lilli, to star in the musical with him instead of going away on a honeymoon with her Texan fiance. Fred uses this as an opportunity to try and rekindle his relationship with Lilli, though there are a few complications involving misunderstandings and gangsters trying to collect a debt. I thought it was a decent film and pretty amusing at times.
181 - A Stolen Life - 8/10 - Bette Davis plays Kate Bosworth, a shy painter who falls in love with a man she meets while at Cape Cod. However, he falls in love with Kate's twin sister Pat (also Bette Davis) and marries her instead of Kate. Kate resigns herself to this situation until a twist of fate offers her another chance. I thought Davis did a nice job and the movie is pretty good.
182 - Joyeux Noel - 8/10 - The Christmas Truce of 1914 is seen through the eyes of Scottish, French and German troops. There is some violence at the beginning on Christmas Eve, but as the day turns to Christmas Day, the troops on both sides come together to exchange greetings and presents as well as hold a religious service. I thought it was nicely done.
Last edited by Rusty on Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
183 - Revanche - 8.5/10 - This Austrian film follows an ex-con and his girlfriend, a prostitute from the Urkaine, but now living in Vienna. He decides to rob a bank to help fund both of their dreams and to get her out of the prostitute life which is becoming more dangerous for her. He also goes to visit his grandfather on a farm in the countryside. The old man lives alone and has few visitors. I thought that the movie was very well done.
184 - The New Land - 8/10 - This Swedish film continues the story from The Emigrants. The Emigrants followed a group of Swedes as they decided to emigrate to Minnesota in the 1840s. Their journey was harsh, but the movie ended with their arrival. This movie starts with Karl Oskar, his wife Kristina and the rest of their family as they journey to their new land. When they arrive, they have to build a home and start clearing land and planting before winter sets in. Their struggles with their fellow Swedes, the Sioux and each other is followed for the next dozen years. This is a good movie and I liked it a bit more than the first one. The two movies were filmed simultaneously over the course of a year.
185 - When My Father Was Away On Business - 7.5/10 - The story starts in Yugoslavia in 1950. Malik is a young boy whose father (Mesa) sleeps around a lot. When one of his Mesa's lovers tells Mesa's brother-in-law something that Mesa said about a political cartoon, the brother-in-law (a Communist Party official) has Mesa sent away for a couple of years at a labor camp. The family is eventually reunited, though Mesa's womanizing hasn't changed much. There are a number of family things that happen along the way, including Malik falling in love with a girl his age that he meets. It was a decent film.
186 - Iphigenia - 8/10 - The Greek armies are massed on the beaches, ready to head to Troy to recover Helen (and to loot). However, Artemis is upset that one of her sacred deer was slain and refuses to let the winds blow. The armies become restless as the days pass with no wind to sail their ships. An oracle message is procured that states that King Agamemnon (husband to Helen's sister) must sacrifice his oldest daughter, Iphigenia, in order to get the winds to blow. He does not want to do this and is torn between dissolving the armies and sending for her. I thought that this was a very nice adaptation of the Greek myth.
187 - Hamilton - 10/10 - I thought that they did a really nice job with the filmed version of the stage musical. The closeups were nice, but I would still give the edge to seeing the show live in the theater. It was also nice to see the original Broadway cast.
188 - The Sandpiper - 7/10 - Elizabeth Taylor plays a single mother and artist who is homeschooling her 9 year old son in Big Sur, California. Her son gets in trouble and a judge mandates that he attend a private boarding school in San Simeon or go to a reform school. The private school is run by a married reverend (played by Richard Burton) who ends up having an affair with the mother. It was a bit slow at times, but wasn't a bad film.
189 - Best Friends - 7/10 - Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn star as Hollywood screenwriting partners who have been in a great relationship for years. He wants to get married, but she doesn't see the need. She finally agrees to get married and they travel east to visit each set of parents. Those visits end up causing lots of strife between them and made lead to their breaking up. I thought it was a decent film.
190 - Tristana - 7.5/10 - Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) is a young woman in 1920s Spain. When her mother dies, an older man named Don Lope assumes her guardianship. At first, he treats her like a daughter, but soon makes advances and treats her as a wife as well. Eventually, she grows more confident and leaves him for an artist, but an illness leads to a reunion.
191 - The Virgin Spring - 7.5/10 - This Ingmar Bergman film is based on a 13th Century Swedish Ballad and is a tale of rape, murder and revenge. It is a somewhat simple tale, but is well told with very good acting and cinematography.
192 - Hiroshima Mon Amour - 8/10 - A French actress is visiting Hiroshima while filming a movie about peace and she has a short affair with a Japanese businessman. Over 36 hours, they have a number of conversations about their pasts with flashbacks. It doesn't sound exciting, but I thought it was a very good movie.
193 - The Barkleys of Broadway - 7/10 - Dinah and Josh Barkley are a married couple who have been performing and feuding for many years. Their marriage may actually be in trouble, though, when Dinah decides that she wants to be a serious actress. This was the last film with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and the only one in color. It wasn't my favorite of their collaborations, but it wasn't bad.
194 - Black Orpheus - 8/10 - Orpheus works in a train station in 1950s Rio de Janeiro. He is soon to be married to Mira, but doesn't seem too excited about it. He meets Eurydice, the cousin of his next door neighbor (Serafina), and quickly falls in love with her. Eurydice is being stalked by death, though. All of this takes place during Carnival where Orpheus, Mira and Serafina all perform in a samba school. I thought this was a pretty good (fairly) modern version of the Greek myth.
195 - The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) - 7.5/10 - Steve McQueen stars as the mastermind behind a bank theft that nets over $2.6 million dollars. A pair of insurance investigators eventually follow leads and circle in on him. One of the agents is a beautiful, but smart woman who will use whatever methods she thinks will work. I thought that it was pretty good.
196 - Period of Adjustment - 7/10 - A student nurse marries a patient, a Korean war veteran with a nervous condition. Things go wrong as soon as the marriage is completed and she sees that he has purchased a used hearse for their honeymoon trip. The trip itself is no better and the breaking point comes when they arrive at his friend's house. His friend is having his own marital difficulties. The beginning part of the movie was difficult to watch, but got better after they arrived at the friend's house.
197 - Gypsy - 7/10 - Rosalind Russell stars as the mother of two young girls, born in the early 1910s. She pushes hard for them to be successful in vaudeville with the younger girl (Baby June) the star and the younger one (Baby Louise) the follower. She is very domineering and gets a supporting cast of boys to be part of the act as they travel from city to city. She makes very few adjustments to the act and booking become scarce as vaudeville slowly dies. The younger daughter elopes to get away from her mother and the older daughter becomes a burlesque star to achieve her independence. Baby June was in a few films as a child and eventually became a serious actress on stage and screen, including a recurring role on Dallas. The older sister used the stage name Gypsy Rose Lee and was also fairly well known. It was a decent adaptation of the stage musical.
198 - Two for the Road - 8/10 - Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn star as a married couple who have been together for 12 years. They are having a few marital problems, but are headed to Europe to meet with a wealthy client. During the trip, there are numerous flashbacks to earlier trips to Europe, including when they first met, which show their marriage at different stages. I thought it was pretty well done.
199 - Casanova Brown - 6.5/10 - A descendant of Casanova finds himself in a similar situation when he gets a message on the night of his wedding rehearsal. He quickly runs off to Chicago to find his first love and is subjected to a battery of tests at a maternity hospital. There were parts that were funny, but I don't think it really came together as a whole.
200 - The Strange Love of Martha Ivers - 8/10 - Martha Ivers is a young girl who inherits a large fortune after the death of her domineering aunt on the night that she was going to run off with her friend Sam. The death was blamed on an intruder, but that was a lie. Sam returns to town 17 years later and reunites with Martha and her husband Walter, who lived in the same home as Martha as a child. The secret of the death of Martha's aunt comes out in this noir film starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas (in his film debut). It was pretty entertaining.