Mike Nichols,Director:1931-2014,R.I.P.

Nov. 25th, 2014 | 10:56 am

Mr. Mike Nichols starting his direction during the roller-coaster 1960s with memorable films:¨Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?¨(1966),¨The Graduate¨(1967),
¨Catch-22¨(1970),¨Carnal Knowledge¨(1971),¨Silkwood¨(1983)and Charlie Wilson's War¨(2012).He directed other films too,to mention ¨The Birdcage¨(1996),¨Closer¨(2004)
and Biloxi Blues¨(1988).

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¨Without Reservations¨(1946) Comedy **1/2

Oct. 5th, 2014 | 09:03 pm

B&W . Kit Madden(Claudette Colbert)has written a award winning book and is on her way to Hollywood to have her book made into a film.On the train,she meets two men Rusty(John Wayne)and Dink(Don De Fore)who do not know who she is.Comedy that doesn't have as many laughs as one might think.Director:Mervyn LeRoy.Running time:101 minutes.

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¨Door-To-Door Maniac¨(1961) ** Somera Productions-Flowers Film Productions

Oct. 5th, 2014 | 08:47 pm

Drama/Crime/B&W A ¨B¨ movie dotted with stilted dialogue about a gang of bank robbers who terrorize a small town by knocking on doors killing the dwellers.One of the bad guys is Johnny Cash,playing Johnny Cabot,with guitar in hand all the while terrorizing a housewife,Nancy Wilson(played by Cay Forester),after little boy Bobby Wilson(Ron Howard)goes of to school and husband,Ken Wilson(Donald Woods)is gone to meet with his love.Director:Bill Karn.Running time:74 minutes.

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¨The Hidden Eye¨(1945) **** Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Sep. 14th, 2014 | 09:37 am

Mystery / In Black&White. A very perceptive blind detective Duncan Maclain(Edward Arnold)depends on his senses to solve a complicated murder case.Maclaine's canine is also instrumental in solving what seems out of reach from other detectives.A similar movhe cast for ¨The Hidden Eye¨is:Edward Arnold(Capt. Duncan Maclain),Frances Rafferty(Jean Hampton),Ray Collins(Phillip Treadway),Paul Lanngton(Barry Gifford),Theodore Newton(Gibbs-Chauffeur),Jack Lambert(Louie),Raymond Largay(Arthur Hampton),Leigh Whipper(Alistair),Sondra Rodgers(Helen Roberts).Director:Richard Whorf.Running time:69 minutes.

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¨Forbidden Games¨(Jeux interdits)(1952) ***** War/Drama

Sep. 6th, 2014 | 01:36 pm

Directed by Rene Clement tells a strong anti-war tale on the closing of World War II in Europe,in France, when refugees mostly women,children and elderly trying to find safety from German warplanes have to duck and dive from the bullets and bombs.The movie is told through the eyes of children,especially a little girl named Paulette(Brigitte Fossy).The woman she's with may be her mother,but the woman is struck down by German bullets.And Paulette's puppy is also killed in the aftermath.Guess what?That little girl goes and finds the dead pet after a woman throws it into the river and buries it.When she is taken to a nearby village by local residents she buries a few more pets and observes the burial of well-known man in the village.In French in English subtitles(also dubbed).

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¨Dear Heart¨(1964) **** Comedy

Sep. 6th, 2014 | 01:11 pm

Out of Towners Production In Black&White
A womanizing salesman,Harry Mork(Glen Ford),for the annual Postmasters' convention in New York crosses paths with lonely woman,Evie(Geraldine Page),emerges into an-up-and-down relationship.She gets on his nerves and vice versa.Harry has been promoted to his marketing department,although not sure of himself.But in the same hotel is Harry's adult son,Patrick(Micheal Anderson Jr.),who doesn't know what he's going to do after he has quit going to a prestigious university somewhere in Massachusetts.Maybe Patrick will agree to marry his girlfriend or maybe go surfing on a beach somewhere.Yes,all this family stuff is dysfunctional,a word not seldom used in popular culture in 1964.Late in the movie,Harry's wife,Phyllis(Angela Lansbury),comes to the hotel knowing and really caring her husband has been cheating on her with someone.She doesn't know that it's Evie--at least at first.Is ¨Dear Heart¨a chip of the old block of¨Grand Hotel¨(1932),with a little silliness to it?
Cast:Glen Ford(Harry Mork),Geraldine Page(Evie Jackson)Micheal Anderson Jr.(Patrick,son of Harry and Phyllis)>Mary Wicks(Miss Fox),Joanna Crawford(Emile Zola Bernkrant),Sandra Gould(Mrs. Sloan),Alice Pearce(Miss Moore),Steve Bell(Chester),William Cort(Jerry),Tom Palmer(Mr. Weinstock),Ruth McDevitt(Miss Talt).Charles Drake(Frank Taylor).Running time:114 time.Director:Delbert Mann.

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¨Brass Target¨(1978) Drama/War **1/2

Aug. 29th, 2014 | 03:41 pm

Another one starring Sophia Loren,this movie she plays Mara,near the end of World War II,General Patton(George Kennedy) tries to transfer the gold to Frankfurt,but there are those lurking to assassinate Patton.Are there near misses or is Patton to shrewd for his potential killers?How often has gold been the incentive for murder,betrayal or pure greed in movies(and in real life)?

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¨Arabesque¨(1966)( Color) **1/2 ThrillerRomance

Aug. 29th, 2014 | 03:36 pm

Stanley Dolen's ¨Arabesque¨ is similar to his ¨Charade¨,but more convoluted and not as good as the later.Both Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in ¨Charade¨pull off what is a real Alfred Hitchcock look-alike.But ¨Arabesque¨with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren(first time they worked together)sometimes feels comical(I think unintended),although seeing them on screen together is delightful.
Gregory Peck plays an American professor visiting Oxford and while there he deciphers a secret message which puts him in danger of being killed by spies,oil sheikhs and other international crooks.Sophia Loren plays a mistress of a wealthy oil typhoon who gets tied into the whole mess along with David Pollack.When the going gets dicey leaving the professor's life in the balance,just whose side is the mistress?¨Arabesque¨,it can be said,is also like a James Bond imitation.Nonetheless,¨Arab-
esque¨with a few tense moments feels affected and the romance is predictable(I cheer for them,though)as the sunrise.Cast:Gregory Peck(Professor David Pollack),Sophia Loren(Mistress),Alan Baded(Nejim Beshraavi),Carl Duering(Hassan Jena).Running time:105 minutes.Director:Stanley Dolen.

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Richard Attenborough,90,Actor,Director,Giant of British Cinema,Dies

Aug. 25th, 2014 | 09:05 pm

He did lots of stage and film acting leading to great directing as,for example,the excellent film Gandhi¨(1982).But in ¨The Great Escape¨(1963),quite a movie on captives of the Nazis,starring with great fanfare Steve McQueen,but Attenborough plays a quiet role in a long cast of actors:James Garner,James Coburn,Charles Bronson,Donald Pleasence,etc.

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Lauren Bacall(1924-2014)

Aug. 17th, 2014 | 08:29 am

¨You know how to whistle don't you?You just put lips together and blow.¨That's from the movie ¨To Have and To Have Not¨(1944)with Humphrey Bogart.Her husky voice,her subtlety,her ability to disguise always appealed to me.¨To Have and Have Not¨her first film and first film is with Humphrey Bogart,who she married at age 19.They acted together in¨The Big Sleep¨(1946),¨Dark Passage¨(1947),and ¨Key Largo¨(1948).Bogart died in early 1957,Ms.Bacall later had a short relationship with Frank Sinatra,then married and divorced Jason Robards Jr.
Bacall would go on to movies such as ¨How To Marry a Millionaire¨(1953),
¨Written on the Wind¨(1956)¨Sex and the Single Girl¨(1964),¨Harper¨(1966),
¨Murder on the Orient Express¨(1974),¨The Shootist¨(1976),¨Misery¨(1990)¨Dogville¨
(2003)¨These Foolish Things¨(2006).

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