Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Mike Boone

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I'll be watching my Blu-ray of "The Bad and Beautiful" today as a salute to this great actor.
Robert, yesterday. like so many film fans, I was saddened to learn of the passing of the terrific Kirk Douglas, a somber event that, unfortunately, many news services, either seemed to overlook, or to make all too brief a note of, probably because of the large amount of attention grabbing news, that's been occurring this week.

But anyway Robert, thank you for resolving a question on my mind, concerning which movie would be a good choice, on this free evening, for me to view as my own small salute to the great actor. I'd considered viewing the DVD (which recently arrived) of 1951's "Detective Story", a film I've never seen, but your own comment shifted my focus to "The Bad and the Beautiful", my 2nd favorite "inside Hollywood" film, after "Sunset Boulevard". I've been saving the enjoyment of seeing "The Bad and the Beautiful" again, but on Blu-ray, for the first time, until my wife would finally agree to see that great film for her first time, if she'd just take a break from watching all of these TV amateur talent shows, & other shows, like "Chicago Fire", so that we can enjoy a true classic together. Anyhow, the Mrs won't even be home tonight, but with a rain/snow mix promising to make NE Ohio kind of dreary here, the dreamlike atmosphere provided by a viewing of that black & white cinematography of "The Bad and the Beautiful" on Blu-ray, should provide a nice escape from 2020 reality, for 2 hours. Also, I'll sure enjoy hearing the great score David Raksin wrote for the film, which is music Mr Raksin, himself conducted on a CD of the score, that I have.

Anyhow, Mr Douglas, wherever you might be, my sincere thanks goes to you for all of the powerful & heartfelt performances that you gifted film fans with in such movies as "Paths of Glory", "Lonely Are The Brave", "Ace In The Hole", "Seven Days In May", "Gunfight At The OK Corral", "Last Train From Gun Hill", "Lust For Life", "The Bad and the Beautiful", "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers", "I Walk Alone", "Out of the Past", "The Vikings", "There Was A Crooked Man", "Town Without Pity, and of course: "Spartacus".
FWIW, let me offer thanks for all of the contributions that Kirk Douglas made to cinema , both as an actor, and in other areas.
 

Robert Crawford

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Why sombre? To reach 103 is an achievement to celebrate. It would have been sombre if he had died at 50, or even 60.
Because the major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood are gone except for Olivia de Havilland. It makes us take stock in our own mortality as we know that death is just around the corner for all of us.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Note I wasn't criticising the 'sombre' description, but just noting that his reaching that age could have been a cue for a joyous remembrance. I've been to two funerals in the past fortnight and at each, for different reasons, people were happy to be rejoicing in a timely and peaceful death. Sadness, yes, but shaded with happiness.
And yes Robert .. I certainly did think at the same time of the remarkable Olivia de Havilland. That will be a death to celebrate!
 
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Robert Crawford

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I watched the HD digital of "Teacher's Pet" (Filmed in 1957, but released in 1958) a romantic comedy starring Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren and Nick Adams. The cast even had a younger version of Richie Cunningham's mother (Marion Ross) in the film. I forget how funny this film was and some of the messaging in it. When I was a kid, I wasn't a big fan of Doris Day. However, I must say as a mature adult, her status has grown with me quite a lot over the years. Her speaking and singing voice were just sexy as I could listen to her sing all day long. She was such an attractive actress. As to Gable, he was fine in the role, but I wish he was ten years younger. Gig Young actually got nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in this film.

By the way, this is a VistaVision "Black and White" movie in the 1.85 film ratio. I must say the HD digital is a big improvement over the 2005 DVD.

A young Marion Ross:

 
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John Hermes

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I watched the HD digital of "Teacher's Pet" (Filmed in 1957, but released in 1958) a romantic comedy starring Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren and Nick Adams. The cast even had a younger version of Richie Cunningham's mother (Marion Ross) in the film. I forget how funny this film was and some of the messaging in it. When I was a kid, I wasn't a big fan of Doris Day. However, I must say as a mature adult, her status has grown with me quite a lot over the years. Her speaking and singing voice were just sexy as I could listen to her sing all day long. She was such an attractive actress. As to Gable, he was fine in the role, but I wish he was ten years younger. Gig Young actually got nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in this film.

By the way, this is a VistaVision "Black and White" movie in the 1.85 film ratio. I must say the HD digital is a big improvement over the 2005 DVD.

A young Marion Ross:

I like this film as well. Two charismatic Hollywood greats here. Doris is a luscious babe and a wonderful singer. Another Paramount film we need on Blu-ray.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Yesterday, I also watched "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936) starring Paul Muni on DVD from Warner Archive. A good movie with Muni at his best.



Another WA DVD "Danger Signal" (1945) starring Faye Emerson and Zachary Scott. Man, Scott can really play a scoundrel very well which probably hurt his career as he was type cast. The movie itself has its moments, but it is just okay to me in comparison to other film noirs from that era.
 
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Mike Boone

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Why sombre? To reach 103 is an achievement to celebrate. It would have been sombre if he had died at 50, or even 60.
Anthony, since you posed the question as to why I used the term somber to characterize the passing away of Kirk Douglas, from this mortal coil, please allow me to venture an answer.

I always feel that a person's death (unless the person was evil) has a somber quality to it, but in addition to that, a death of someone I've known (or know OF, like Mr Douglas) gives me a feeling of gratitude for having had the opportunity to have experienced some of what that person was. But the reason WHY I feel a little somber whenever people pass away, is due to the fact that in spite of folks holding many different various BELIEFS, regarding the matter, no one honestly KNOWS, for sure, what happens to folks after death, or if ANYTHING happens. My own beloved Aunt Aune (Aune is a Finnish name) might have been correct in 2012, when, at age 97, she answered a question about whether she expected to be re-united with my Uncle Ted, after dying, by my Aunt simply saying to me: "Of course not, Michael, because I'll be dead!"

Now I hope a moderator doesn't censor this post by mistakenly thinking I'd engaged in some sort of a religious argument here, because I haven't. It's just that to properly answer Anthony's question concerning why I considered the death of Kirk Douglas (one of my 3 favorite actors) to include a somber aspect, it was necessary for me to explain why I always consider a person's death to have a somber quality to it, by my pointing out that none of us, in spite of personal beliefs, knows for sure, what is in store for us, if anything, after we die. And even ministers have been honest enough to tell me that although they've learned to believe in an existence after the one here on earth, they still cannot honestly say that they know it's a fact that people have a conscious existence after they die here. So apparently, none of us can know for sure, what may, or may not, happen when we pass away, as Kirk Douglas has just done. But I hope that no one misunderstands me by thinking that I only consider a person's death as possessing a somber quality. Since, when a person who I value has died, that has always brought gratitude to me, for having known some of what that person was, along with the realization that the person's life should be celebrated by trying to communicate to others, the value that the deceased person had added to the lives of other people. And Mr Douglas did that!!
 
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AnthonyClarke

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I enjoyed reading your post. And we all ponder these things when someone we love dies. And especially, it's good we can air these thoughts on a forum like this where, although we're way off topic, we're not confronted by babbling idiots who seize on any pretext to argue and abuse.
And I confess I did feel something had been removed from my life when one of my favourite actors, Fred Astaire, died. Happy because he lived such a great life. Sad (even sombre) that something so marvellous had been removed from my personal universe .. the universe I've created inside my being.
 

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Having just lost somebody close to me very unexpectedly the day after Christmas, I can tell you that what I felt was sadness for those of us left behind, but happiness for the one leaving.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Underwater! (1955) starring Jane Russell, Gilbert Roland, Richard Egan and Lori Nelson. A mediocre film about treasure hunting in the Caribbean with Russell and Egan as a married couple along Egan's best buddy Roland. The Blu-ray video presentation was outstanding so I salute Warner Archive for producing such a fine Blu-ray. As to the movie itself, this film was far from John Sturges's best efforts, but I had a good time watching this 1955 RKO released movie in its 2.00:1 aspect ratio. The movie started filming in late 1953, and was completed in 1954. Another RKO film that was delayed by producer Howard Hughes.
 
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Robert Crawford

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In another film salute to Kirk Douglas I watched "The Hook" (1963) starring Douglas, Robert Walker Jr. and Nick Adams. This Korean War film is basically about three soldiers ordered to kill a captured POW pilot that just bombed their Headquarters and a Red Cross hospital. Not a bad film that I watched once beforehand, but is not well known as I think it's only been released on DVD by Warner Archive. I bought the HD digital from iTunes when it was on sale the other day so I decided to watch it on Tuesday. Again, an interesting movie with a good harmonica musical score by Larry Adler. The movie was directed by George Seaton, a really good director near the end of his directing career. The next year, he would direct "36 Hours" another fine WWII film starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint and Rod Taylor followed by "Airport" in 1970 with an all-star cast headed up by Burt Lancaster.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Yesterday, I watched a couple of RKO film noirs. The 1948 "Race Street" with mediocre video presentation and 1951 "Gambling House" with a surprising good video presentation. Neither film is top notch, but somewhat entertaining. From previous viewings, the ending of "Race Street" still surprises me to a certain degree.
 

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I'm glad to see you're keeping up the Noir Alley vibe even with the show away for the month. I'd join you if I wasn't knee deep in doing a TV box set review,. (Hopefully posted late this afternoon.) I'm days behind on my TV watching, too.
 

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Have any of you seen the noir "Storm Fear"? I've always been curious about it but never pulled the trigger...
 

Robert Crawford

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Have any of you seen the noir "Storm Fear"? I've always been curious about it but never pulled the trigger...
I have that Blu-ray, a good film that was directed by the star of the film Cornel Wilde, with my man Dan Duryea playing his brother along with Wilde's real wife at that time, Jean Wallace.
 

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I have that Blu-ray, a good film that was directed by the star of the film Cornel Wilde, with my man Dan Duryea playing his brother along with Wilde's real wife at that time, Jean Wallace.
I was never a huge Duryea fan but apparently he was one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. I did enjoy him in Scarlet Street.

Here's a nice interview with his son from Noir City...

 

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I wanted to post a shout-out to Milestone's DVD of Bless Their Little Hearts (1983), starring Kaycee Moore, in a performance that's just seared into my brain. There is a close to 10 minute one take scene between her and the actor who plays her husband that is breathtaking in its raw honesty. She is so compelling and brutally honest that she left me wondering when I've seen a better performance from an American actor. Furthermore, appearing in a scant 5 films, one being a brief appearance, she can boast that 3 of her films have been inducted into the National Film Registry (Killer of Sheep, Daughters of the Dust, Bless Their Little Hearts). How many actors can boast of this?
This is Black History Month, a perfect time to pay tribute to this great actress and to these great film makers.
 

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