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Two on a Guillotine (1965)
I especially remember one viewing
I saw this movie several times in the late '60s to mid '70s on local (Los Angeles) television and then it disappeared. I enjoyed it a lot, especially Cesar Romero and Connie Stevens. I had wandered over here from Connie Stevens' biography.
The viewing I remember most occurred in 1975. I was in Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California (Los Angeles County). I had just given birth to twin girls a day or two previous; new mothers and babies were kept in the hospital for three days back then. The babies weren't kept in the room with us. Being a county/teaching hospital they didn't put extras like TVs in the rooms and there were four beds to a room. One of the gals brought her 13" b/w set complete with rabbit ears. Since it was across the room on the other side from me on the window sill, I sat on the edge of another new mommy's bed and watched it.
Reading various areas of this title I've found out it's out on DVD. I'll have to see about getting hold of it and see if I still enjoy it as much as I remember. I always got a kick out of that kind of movie. They never really took themselves seriously. Vincent Price appeared in a lot of those and it wouldn't have been surprising if he'd been in it instead of Romero. Would have been right up his alley.
Witness for the Prosecution (1982)
Compared quite favorably
I benefited by watching the 1957 version and this one within hours of each other.
Each has it's weaknesses and strengths. The major weakness IMO of this version was the music used. It intruded and didn't match the mood of the story. Though Ralph Richardson's portrayal doesn't have the bravado of Charles Laughton's, he brought a quiet conviction to the part. Beau Bridges was compared unfavorably to Tyrone Power but he (Bridges) showed the boyish charm that would take in a lonely older woman who would want to mother him or even marry him. Power came across as more mature and world weary though he did bring his own brand of charm to the part. Diana Rigg was very good but I felt Marlene Dietrich in the 1957 film was the better actress, especially, as a native German speaker, she was able to pull off a Cockney (or near enough) accent.
People have said the scene where Sir Wilfred meets the "Cockney" woman differed and that the 1957 version was the correct and superior one have got it wrong. This version's meeting is the one in the short story the movies were based on. Never having seen the play or read a copy I can't say which meeting was used in it but I do own the book that contains the short story and have recently read it.
There are complaints that they followed almost word for word and scene for scene the Wilder version but I don't have a problem with that. A good story is a good story and they wouldn't be the first nor the last to do such a thing.
Town on Trial (1957)
Not available in the States?
I watched this on television many a moon ago as a young teenager and I'm now over 60. I really liked this movie and would love to see it again. Since I like British movies of the '40s-early '60s I probably wouldn't be too disappointed seeing it again. I especially like thrillers, suspense, and mysteries. I thought the way they fingerprinted every male in town trying to find the killer was great (I read somewhere that that was used in a real case). Also the notes found with Ezekiel 23:5 "And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours . . ." because of the first victim's reputation and the author's opinion of women in general had me running to a Bible and I actually memorized it.
The young man climbing the church tower/belfry (or some high precipice) when he felt cornered really had me hold my breath.
This is all from memory, mind you. It hasn't even been shown on television here in the States in years. I lived in the Los Angeles area when I did see it.
I really really wish it would be made available in a Region 1 DVD though at this point I'd probably take any format and any region I could get!
I found it!
I was feeling unwell and wanted to lay down and watch a movie to take my mind off it. I was searching on Netflix on the Instant Play and did 1930s romantic comedies. I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw "Evergreen" offered as one of them. I had been searching for the movie since the 1970s, the last time I saw it on PBS in the Los Angeles area. It disappeared about the same time as a Barbra Streisand movie, a remake of "A Star is Born" came out, with the theme song "Evergreen". I can't be certain but it seems to be more than a coincidence.
It was even better than I remembered. Sometimes it's a bad idea to watch a movie you hadn't seen since you were a child or a teen since it often disappoints. "Evergreen" didn't do that. :) Jessie Matthews is absolutely charming and Sonny Hale is less annoying than I remembered him being. I enjoyed the 1890s-early 1900s music during the first segment (I like that kind of music). The song "When You've Got a Little Springtime in Your Heart" written in 1934 but supposed to be from ca. 1904 didn't jar or sound like it didn't belong to the earlier era, but also wasn't made to sound stereotypically "Gay (or Naughty) Nineties". The music in this picture hit all the right notes (pun intended).
A bit of trivia--"Tinkle, Tinkle, Tinkle", a song from this movie, was used as the closing music in Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 "39 Steps" when Hannay and Pamela are backstage at the London Palladium and had uncovered the spy ring and their secret-- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026029/trivia
The video and audio are both very good, not in the least muddy or dark.
It's a very well written story. Just when it looks to slow down it picks right back up. Very funny, sweet, and just plain fun. The nostalgic moment when Harriet Green, Jr, is in the court room to prove her innocence of defrauding the public is a highlight of the picture. She is harmonizing with her mother's recording of "When You've Got a Little Springtime in Your Heart" and it really does bring a lump to the throat. They made and used a cylinder recording and didn't artificially amplify it (other than to be able to hear it). It sounds just like real cylinder recordings do.
Lizzie Borden Had an Axe (2004)
Using modern forensics for a century old crime
Tends to be a bit graphic at times but there is an advisory before the program commences and coming back to it from each break.
Tom Lange, who headed the investigation in the O.J. Simpson case and who is now retired, brings police logic to the crime. He's assisted by many experts in various fields of forensics including that of psychological forensics.
They find physical evidence and get a chance to "reunite" (if, indeed, they'd met before) the hatchet head with the scarf worn by Abby Borden, Lizzie's stepmother.
The actual home, now a B & B, was used for the various conjectures on how and by whom. The reenacts really got into their roles.
By the way, I wonder why, on other films recommended, "The Legend of Lizzie Borden" which starred Elizabeth Montgomery, wasn't one of them.
High Flight (1957)
Excellent flight movie
One of the posters said that it was too bad the movie is in black and white. Well, it's on right now and it looks like it's in color to me. Possibly watched it on a black and white television? Excellent _color_ photography. Unfortunately the copy TCM owns isn't wide-screen. :(
Good early performance by Anthony Newley.
Sparkling, sharp dialogue.A good character study as well.
I think it's one of Ray Milland's better though lesser known performances, which is a shame. IMO it's up there with "Dial M for Murder".
This movie should be more well known than it is.
Voodoo Island (1957)
Karloff--a touch of class in a sea of mediocrity
I've seen worse programmers. Boris Karloff brings class to anything he works in. It's fun just to watch him. His ill-health hadn't yet slowed him down and he was a real presence. Elisha Cook also gives an excellent performance.
I think I know how the lesbian undertones between the two women got by (though the tones weren't that "under"). If it had been a big budget picture, the censors would have been on it like white on rice. As a low-budget picture it came in under the radar.
Several of the actors do rise above the material. Actually it reminds me of some of the TV shows being churned out about the same time. They, too, didn't have much of a budget. What adds to the TV feeling are some of the actors, such as Rhodes Reason and Mervyn Vye, who were mainstays of '50s television.
Alice Adams (1935)
The best thing about this film is Fred Stone
Everyone else is all right. Kate is a bit over the top. Hedda Hopper made the right move in becoming a gossip columnist.
It's a treat to watch him trying to keep his dignity wearing a tux which has boiled shirt that keeps popping open, all the while trying to eat a very fussy, very hot dinner which should have been served (if at all) during the winter, not the summer. The ice cream, when it arrives, is soupy and Fred Stone sips it just like was soup. It's the little bits he does that keeps this picture from becoming a soap opera. Attempting to eat a caviar appetizer, which is obviously not very appetizing, is one of those. BTW it wasn't just his comic bits. He brings an unexpected bite and depth to what could have been a very shallow character.
It's said that Hepburn and Stevens, because Stone was so good, expanded his part, which him added screen time. Very wise decision. I can't imagine anyone else as Virgil Adams.
Carry on, Constable (1960)
My introduction to the Carry On films
This was the first Carry On movie I ever saw and that was by accident. My father took me (10 years old) and my brother (4 years old) with him. He was wanting to see a Danny Kaye movie. It was probably during the summer otherwise I wouldn't have been going to a picture show at night, especially in the middle of the week when the program changed. What I remembered most clearly the shower scene. When the movie hit television, part of that scene was cut out (three guesses, first two don't count, as to which part).
It was shown as a double feature with "Please Turn Over". What _was_ my father thinking??? It was both of those movies that started my love affair with British comedies. Though I never again saw any of the Carry On movies in a theater, I did see most of the '50s-early '60s installments on television. Sometimes I wonder what I missed since TV at that time (1960s) wouldn't have shown certain things (such as that "au natural" part of the shower scene).
The Carry On movies haven't been shown in the U.S. in several years. :(