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

Robert Crawford

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I'll be checking out some of these western noirs this month on the Criterion Channel:

 

Robert Crawford

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It took me almost five years after reading Matt's review, but I finally watched my Blu-ray of "Mr. Holmes" (2015) today. Better late than never.;) Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed this Sherlock Holmes movie that mainly takes place when he's 93 years old in 1947. Though, the movie does shift back in time to when he was in his 60's involving a case that haunted him into retirement. McKellen was excellent and so was Laura Linney as his housekeeper and Milo Parker as her young, bright and inquisitive son.

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Robert Crawford

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This evening on Disney+ I watched "Hamilton". I was surprised I recognized so many actors from the original cast due to various TV appearances on different shows and even some movies. The accolades this musical received were well earned in my opinion. One of the best musicals I ever seen in my lifetime. It looked and sounded beautiful on Disney+ in 4K/Dolby Vision with Atmos. Without a doubt, I'll be watching this musical again in the near future.

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Robert Crawford

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This morning's viewing was "Pride and Prejudice" (1940) on HBO Max. This stream looks like it was derived from a new master as it looked terrific. It's schedule to leave HBO Max on August 1st with the new WA Blu-ray being released on July 14th. Just a great movie with a cast of actors to match it.:thumbsup:

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Ronald Epstein

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This morning's viewing was "Pride and Prejudice" (1940) on HBO Max. This stream looks like it was derived from a new master as it looked terrific. It's schedule to leave HBO Max on August 1st with the new WA Blu-ray being released on July 14th. Just a great movie with a cast of actors to match it.:thumbsup:

View attachment 75053

You know what? I have had HBO MAX sitting on my Apple TV for about a month now and I haven't even watched anything on it.

I am not doing anything special today. I think I'll go down and inaugurate my HBO MAX by watching this film.

I'll be back and let you know what I think
 

Robert Crawford

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This week's Noir Alley movie is "The Sign of the Ram" (1948) starring Susan Peters, Alexander Knox, Phyllis Thaxter and Peggy Ann Garner. This will be a first time viewing so I'm really looking forward to watching this movie. With that said, a sad story about Susan Peters.


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Updated TCM's Noir Alley 2020 schedule:

03-07-20: Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
03-14-20: I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
03-21-20: Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
03-28-20: Crime Wave (1954)
04-04-20: Address Unknown (1944)
04-11-20: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
04-25-20: Wicked Woman (1954)
05-02-20: Fallen Angel (1945)
05-09-20: Mildred Pierce (1945)
05-16-20: The Crimson Kimono (1959)
05-23-20: Cornered (1945)
05-30-20: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
06-06-20: The Underworld Story (1950)
06-13-20: Murder by Contract (1958)
06-20-20: Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
06-27-20: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

07-04-20: The Sign of the Ram (1948)
07-11-20: Bodyguard (1948)
07-18-20: Three Strangers (1946)
07-25-20: The Breaking Point (1950)
 

Ronald Epstein

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This morning's viewing was "Pride and Prejudice" (1940) on HBO Max. This stream looks like it was derived from a new master as it looked terrific. It's schedule to leave HBO Max on August 1st with the new WA Blu-ray being released on July 14th. Just a great movie with a cast of actors to match it.:thumbsup:

View attachment 75053
Pretty good movie. Great characters. Love Mr. Bennett! I enjoyed watching this film.
 

bujaki

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This morning's viewing was "Pride and Prejudice" (1940) on HBO Max. This stream looks like it was derived from a new master as it looked terrific. It's schedule to leave HBO Max on August 1st with the new WA Blu-ray being released on July 14th. Just a great movie with a cast of actors to match it.:thumbsup:

View attachment 75053
Imagine if it had been directed by the likes of a George Cukor instead of the lumbering Robert Z. Leonard!
 
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lark144

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Imagine if it had been directed by the likes of a George Cukor instead of the lumbering Robert Z. Leonard!
Robert Z. Leonard is indeed lumbering. A perfect description of his "style without a style." But in this case, he had Karl Freund behind the camera, a wonderful director in his own right, and a master of light and shadow who knew how to move the camera in the most concise manner that would transform everything. Like Greg Toland at Goldwyn, Karl Freund was the real genius behind the scenes at MGM, that along with the cast, made those pictures what they were and make them eminently watchable even today.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Tonight's viewing was "Hollywood Story" (1951) starring Richard Conte, Julia Adams, Henry Hull, Fred Clark, Richard Egan and some cameo appearances of silent movie stars along with Joel McCrea. The movie is about an unsolved murder in 1929, that becomes the basis for a new movie being produced by an independent producer. Conte plays the independent producer that tries to get at who killed a famous director back in 1929, as he's committed to making a movie about that murder while identifying the killer. An entertaining "B" movie with an implausible plot with a good cast of actors along with on-location shooting around LA and Hollywood. Yup, I enjoyed it even with the implausibility of the script. The Mill Creek Blu-ray looked damn good so I'll try to watch the other disc of this double feature BD release this week which is "New Orleans Uncensored" (1955). Also, I have that particular movie on BD twice as it's part of the 2019 "Noir Archive" Volume 2 from Kit Parker/Mill Creek.

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Robert Crawford

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This morning's viewing was "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) starring James Cagney, Walter Huston, Joan Leslie and Richard Whorf. A great looking Blu-ray for a fine movie. This was another of my July 4th tribute viewings. Cagney deserved his Oscar for this role. It's too bad it was his only Oscar winning role. Another thing, that sequence with Eddie Foy Jr. playing his father cracks me up everytime I see it. :laugh: You can tell that Cagney had a great time doing that sequence as he was kind of laughing throughout it.

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Robert Crawford

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This week's Noir Alley movie is "The Sign of the Ram" (1948) starring Susan Peters, Alexander Knox, Phyllis Thaxter and Peggy Ann Garner. This will be a first time viewing so I'm really looking forward to watching this movie. With that said, a sad story about Susan Peters.


View attachment 75055

Updated TCM's Noir Alley 2020 schedule:

03-07-20: Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
03-14-20: I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
03-21-20: Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
03-28-20: Crime Wave (1954)
04-04-20: Address Unknown (1944)
04-11-20: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
04-25-20: Wicked Woman (1954)
05-02-20: Fallen Angel (1945)
05-09-20: Mildred Pierce (1945)
05-16-20: The Crimson Kimono (1959)
05-23-20: Cornered (1945)
05-30-20: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
06-06-20: The Underworld Story (1950)
06-13-20: Murder by Contract (1958)
06-20-20: Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
06-27-20: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

07-04-20: The Sign of the Ram (1948)
07-11-20: Bodyguard (1948)
07-18-20: Three Strangers (1946)
07-25-20: The Breaking Point (1950)
As an Aries, I should be offended by "The Sign of the Ram". :laugh: Definitely, not a film noir and the transfer wasn't good with some noticeable weaving appearing and then disappearing throughout the movie. Hell, Phyllis Thaxter was basically useless in this movie. Other than that, it's a mediocre movie with some gullible characters.
 

Bert Greene

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"Sign of the Ram" (1948), one of those typical post-war women's pictures that are innately a bit overbaked in character motivation and such. But I'm glad it was made at Columbia. When Warners or MGM made these type of things, they were usually way too florid and (in my mind) over-directed for my tastes. But with the more modest budget and more modest house-style of Columbia, which happily tamps things down a bit, I find the results far more agreeable. A likeable cast also helped. It was indeed funny to see Phyllis Thaxter's role to ultimately be so secondary to the proceedings. Susan Peters and Thaxter were starlets together at MGM, and maybe they were friends, with Thaxter there for Peters' moral support...? Glad that Muller mentioned Irving Cummings. Although he made his fame as a director, he starred in a series of northwestern Mountie two-reelers in the early-20s, and I've always hoped more of these might survive. Charles Bennett, the writer, I had lunch with one time. Despite his advanced age, he still seemed pretty sharp. Didn't know he wrote the screenplay here. All in all, I wasn't particularly displeased with the film. It's not generally my 'type' of thing, but it was decently entertaining, and I was particularly glad it didn't go over-the-top, so to speak (in either the direction or any reliance on tiresome psychological mumbo-jumbo, which made these type of films increasingly unpalatable as the years moved on).
 

Hollywoodaholic

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Sign of the Ram. More of a melodrama than a Noir. About the only thing this has in common with John Sturges later, more famous work, is that it was perhaps harder to escape from Leah and the Bastions than from a WWII German prison camp.

Funny, but I did see tints of color or edges of blue on some frames, so when Muller says there were intents to have parts colorized, I knew I wasn't seeing things. Otherwise the print looked okay to me, with some damaged areas. The film itself I struggled with to hold my interest. Having been recently confined to a wheelchair myself due to a rare autoimmune disorder, I was encouraged to hear about Peters' successful return to the screen and her chosen profession after her accident, but I should have stopped paying attention to her biography there.
 

bujaki

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Sign of the Ram. More of a melodrama than a Noir. About the only thing this has in common with John Sturges later, more famous work, is that it was perhaps harder to escape from Leah and the Bastions than from a WWII German prison camp.

Funny, but I did see tints of color or edges of blue on some frames, so when Muller says there were intents to have parts colorized, I knew I wasn't seeing things. Otherwise the print looked okay to me, with some damaged areas. The film itself I struggled with to hold my interest. Having been recently confined to a wheelchair myself due to a rare autoimmune disorder, I was encouraged to hear about Peters' successful return to the screen and her chosen profession after her accident, but I should have stopped paying attention to her biography there.
Lots of chroma and weaving. Bad, old transfer. Apt comparison with The Great Escape although the Nazis never killed anyone with "kindness."
 

Robert Crawford

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Sign of the Ram. More of a melodrama than a Noir. About the only thing this has in common with John Sturges later, more famous work, is that it was perhaps harder to escape from Leah and the Bastions than from a WWII German prison camp.

Funny, but I did see tints of color or edges of blue on some frames, so when Muller says there were intents to have parts colorized, I knew I wasn't seeing things. Otherwise the print looked okay to me, with some damaged areas. The film itself I struggled with to hold my interest. Having been recently confined to a wheelchair myself due to a rare autoimmune disorder, I was encouraged to hear about Peters' successful return to the screen and her chosen profession after her accident, but I should have stopped paying attention to her biography there.
Wayne,

I'm sorry to read about your health issues. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
 
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Matt Hough

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Yeah, I'd never in a million years call The Sign of the Ram a film noir. And with a manipulative bitch oozing artificial concern while trying the control everything to have things her way, it reminded me of two films Joan Crawford would make at Columbia in the upcoming years: Harriet Craig (a remake of Craig's Wife) and Queen Bee. I watched until the end, but I was rolling my eyes a lot since these adults would have to be pinheads not to figure out the obvious manipulations going on. Don't young people who are SUPPOSED to be in love communicate with one another before making rash decisions that would affect both of them and their lives together? Two minutes of conversation would foil any of the shrew's manipulations. I think the authors and filmmakers were expecting a little too much suspension of disbelief from the audience for this. I did think Peters acted it very well, and it was nice to see Peggy Ann Garner and Alexander Knox in roles other than the ones that made them famous.

And, yes, the video anomalies with this transfer were very off-putting and irritating.
 

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