#3641  
Old 02-22-2018, 06:40 PM
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Dracula (1931)
9/10

A vampire from Transylvania threatens the lives of good folk in England.

I seem to remember once remarking that the film was a bit stagey as it's derived from the stage play. I take that all back. The shot direction is not stagey. It's certainly not the head-whipping shot direction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), but there's plenty of effective depth, movement and change of angle. And the giant sets and mattes of Dracula's castle are as beautiful as they are threatening.

Bela Lugosi (Dracula) and Dwight Frye (Renfield) play two of the most odd, captivating and iconic characters in film history. The ongoing battle between Dracula and Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) is often riveting. Although Helen Chandler as Mina Seward often plays it plucky, David Manners as John Harker is overly lifeless.

Although there are very few scenes of particular suspense, and it's more foreboding than scary, each scene steadily progresses the plot.
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  #3642  
Old 02-23-2018, 06:57 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928). Although there are some static moments this is really quite good with Conrad Veidt very moving as the titular character. Basically, this is a Lon Chaney film without Lon Chaney.
Also has Mary Philbin (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) and Olga Baclonova (FREAKS) with some impressive Universal studios sets. ***1/2
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  #3643  
Old 03-03-2018, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryeDwight View Post
THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928). Although there are some static moments this is really quite good with Conrad Veidt very moving as the titular character. Basically, this is a Lon Chaney film without Lon Chaney.
Also has Mary Philbin (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) and Olga Baclonova (FREAKS) with some impressive Universal studios sets. ***1/2
Thanks for the reference. I just checked it out on youtube.

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928)
6.5/10

Gwynplaine, is surgically altered to always smile, by a vengeful King to punish his rebellious noble father, who's then executed, leaving the boy an orphan. He saves an orphaned blind girl Dea (Mary Philbin) and joins with a kindly traveling performer. Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) feels unworthy of Dea's devoted love. Then when his noble identity is discovered, he must face a return to his inheritance and seat in the House of Lords.

It's an interesting and notable silent film. It can be fairly captivatingly sweet and romantic at times, when tight shots display Veidt's ability to effectively emote. Very nice sets, and (oft romantic) musical score, particularly at the beginning, where, for the most part, it keeps the pace of the shots reasonably short.

Unfortunately, pacing of shots really slows down when the trio arrives at a town to preform. Basically, every time there are large groups, the shots linger, are too wide and unfocused. This numbing effect is enhanced when the soundtrack drones crowd noise and clamor. The film length is 1hr 50mins. A trimming would surely sharpen the focus and pace of the film, but rather I could see Tim Burton taking on this film, as his specialty is the emotional plight of the naked artist.
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Last edited by Sculpt; 03-03-2018 at 06:50 PM.
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  #3644  
Old 03-04-2018, 01:06 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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TERROR OF THE TONGS (1960). Have not heard many good things on this one, but actually found it pretty entertaining, with good turns by Chris Lee and Yvonne Monlauir (BRIDES OF DRACULA the same year). ***
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  #3645  
Old 03-06-2018, 12:08 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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DIE, MONSTER DIE! (1965). Ungodly incoherent mess of a Lovecraft story, despite the presence of Boris Karloff. Even my Wife, who loves Mr L, was fidgeting through this. *
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  #3646  
Old 03-06-2018, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FryeDwight View Post
DIE, MONSTER DIE! (1965). Ungodly incoherent mess of a Lovecraft story, despite the presence of Boris Karloff. Even my Wife, who loves Mr L, was fidgeting through this. *
What's to get? They just needed some Thongs to kill the Monster.
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  #3647  
Old 03-09-2018, 12:55 AM
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X THE UNKNOWN (1956). Decent B/W Hammer about some radioactive Primordial slime with some frankly creepy moments. Give it a Look. ***
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  #3648  
Old 03-13-2018, 10:58 PM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY (1959). Pretty good story of Englishmen fighting undesirables in a Colony, in this case, Thuggees in India. I'm quite sure Speilberg liked this as quite a few elements of the story ended up in TEMPLE OF DOOM. Pretty much any mention of the film focuses on photos of Marie Devaruex's incredibly imposing cleavage, although she isn't even mentioned in the credits and just mainly reacts to what's going on. ***
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  #3649  
Old 03-24-2018, 01:41 PM
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The Big Sleep (1945) (I happened to see the 1945 version, which was unmarked on the duo-sided DVD. The released version is 1946, a film with some acting changes, but no plot changes)
8/10

Humphrey Bogart, as Phillip Marlowe private detective, runs around figuring out who's doing what to who. Also stars Lauren Bacall.

It's fun and fast paced, but the plot is thoroughly incoherent. The film keeps piling up the somebodies who are doing something to somebody. Even at the end, it won't make a lick of sense. It's interesting that the film always only follows Bogart throughout the film, so everything is revealed to the audience in realtime from Bogart's perspective. This method works fantastically.
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  #3650  
Old 03-25-2018, 12:47 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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Originally Posted by Sculpt View Post
The Big Sleep (1945) (I happened to see the 1945 version, which was unmarked on the duo-sided DVD. The released version is 1946, a film with some acting changes, but no plot changes)
8/10

Humphrey Bogart, as Phillip Marlowe private detective, runs around figuring out who's doing what to who. Also stars Lauren Bacall.

It's fun and fast paced, but the plot is thoroughly incoherent. The film keeps piling up the somebodies who are doing something to somebody. Even at the end, it won't make a lick of sense. It's interesting that the film always only follows Bogart throughout the film, so everything is revealed to the audience in realtime from Bogart's perspective. This method works fantastically.
Will have to see if my copy has the 1945 version. Have always enjoyed this very much...the sharp dialog, the seedy aspects covered up by the Code and one of Bogie's best turns, almost as good as 1941's THE MALTESE FALCON.
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