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

Robert Crawford

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I added the Peacock channel to my growing list of streaming options. The following movies I'd placed on my Watch List with more to come:

  • True Confession (1937)
  • The Great Imposter (1960)
  • The Chalk Garden (1964)
  • Untamed Frontier (1952)
  • Cimarron Kid (1951)
  • Destry (1955)
  • Tumbleweed (1953)
  • The Shepherd of the Hills (1941)
  • Beau Geste (1966)
  • Morocco (1930)
  • Desire (1936)
  • The Spoilers (1956)
  • The Texas Rangers (1936)
  • Streets of Laredo (1949)
 
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Mark-P

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Robert, I’m debating picking up Mildred Pierce from the Criterion sale. I know you’ve got the disc, but by chance do you also have it on iTunes? I ask because I’d like to know if iTunes is using the Criterion transfer or an older one. If it’s the same I would much prefer to buy it there for only $5. I looked at the transfer on HBOMax and it is super clean and rock steady leading me to believe it must be the Criterion transfer. If iTunes has an older, worse-looking transfer I can easily be persuaded to get the Criterion disc.
 

Robert Crawford

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Robert, I’m debating picking up Mildred Pierce from the Criterion sale. I know you’ve got the disc, but by chance do you also have it on iTunes? I ask because I’d like to know if iTunes is using the Criterion transfer of an older one. If it’s the same I would much prefer to buy it there for only $5. I looked at the transfer on HBOMax and it is super clean and rock steady leading me to believe it must be the Criterion transfer. If iTunes has an older, worse-looking transfer I can easily be persuaded to get the Criterion disc.
Mark,

No, I only have it on Criterion BD.
 

Robert Crawford

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This is an interesting article about catalog titles being released again on disc and digital due to this pandemic shutting down the output of new movies to the general public.

Here are part two and three of a four part series:


 

Robert Crawford

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Today, I had a double-feature of Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich. I kind of wish they made more movies together as they made a good screen couple. Both movies were viewed on Peacock even though I have "Morocco" on Criterion Blu-ray. I got so caught up in watching "Desire" (1936) for the first time that I immediately decided to re-watch "Morocco" (1930) without leaving my seating position.

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Robert Crawford

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This morning, I watched three "western" remakes of movies that in my opinion aren't as good as the prior film versions. All three movies I watched on Peacock.

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"Destry" (1955) with Audie Murphy and Mari Blanchard is not nearly as good as "Destry Rides Again" (1939) with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. Both films have great casts, but there is little doubt in my mind that the 1939 is a superior movie in just about every way. Also, I didn't like the final confrontation in the saloon in the 1955 movie versus how it was executed in the 1939 movie. Anyhow, this was my first time watching the Murphy movie in its OAR, so it at least had that going for it.:)

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"The Spoilers" (1955) with Anne Baxter, Jeff Chandler and Rory Calhoun is another remake that doesn't measure up to "The Spoiler" (1942) with John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich and Randolph Scott. I haven't seen the 1955 movie since I was a kid so it was nice re-visiting it. However, there is something about the 1942 movie that lies near and dear to my heart. Though, I like the lead actors in the 1955 version, my affinity for them is not in the same vicinity as my affection for Wayne, Dietrich and Scott. Furthermore, I still think the Wayne and Scott brawl is superior to the one between Chandler and Calhoun. By the way, the 1955 movie wasn't in its OAR which was another downer. There are five different movie versions of "The Spoiler". I sure would like to see 1930 movie version with Gary Cooper. Matter of fact, I wouldn't mind seeing the silent film versions of 1914 and 1923.

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"Streets of Laredo" (1949) with William Holden, William Bendix, MacDonald Carey and Mona Freeman is another inferior remake of "The Texas Rangers" (1936) starring Fred MacMurray, Jack Oakie, Lloyd Nolan and Jean Parker. I dislike the ending of the 1949 movie as the final outcome should have been between the two former friends. The one thing I did like about the 1949 version is Alfonso Bedoya role in the movie. Other than that, I think the 1936 movie is better executed with a more satisfying ending.

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bujaki

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This morning, I watched three "western" remakes of movies that in my opinion aren't as good as the prior film versions. All three movies I watched on Peacock.

View attachment 75577

"Destry" (1955) with Audie Murphy and Mari Blanchard is not nearly as good as "Destry Rides Again" (1939) with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich. Both films have great casts, but there is little doubt in my mind that the 1939 is a superior movie in just about every way. Also, I didn't like the final confrontation in the saloon in the 1955 movie versus how it was executed in the 1939 movie. Anyhow, this was my first time watching the Murphy movie in its OAR, so it at least had that going for it.:)

View attachment 75581



View attachment 75578

"The Spoilers" (1955) with Anne Baxter, Jeff Chandler and Rory Calhoun is another remake that doesn't measure up to "The Spoiler" (1942) with John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich and Randolph Scott. I haven't seen the 1955 movie since I was a kid so it was nice re-visiting it. However, there is something about the 1942 movie that lies near and dear to my heart. Though, I like the lead actors in the 1955 version, my affinity for them is not in the same vicinity as my affection for Wayne, Dietrich and Scott. Furthermore, I still think the Wayne and Scott brawl is superior to the one between Chandler and Calhoun. By the way, the 1955 movie wasn't in its OAR which was another downer. There are five different movie versions of "The Spoiler". I sure would like to see 1930 movie version with Gary Cooper. Matter of fact, I wouldn't mind seeing the silent film versions of 1914 and 1923.

View attachment 75582



View attachment 75579

"Streets of Laredo" (1949) with William Holden, William Bendix, MacDonald Carey and Mona Freeman is another inferior remake of "The Texas Rangers" (1936) starring Fred MacMurray, Jack Oakie, Lloyd Nolan and Jean Parker. I dislike the ending of the 1949 movie as the final outcome should have been between the two former friends. The one thing I did like about the 1949 version is Alfonso Bedoya role in the movie. Other than that, I think the 1936 movie is better executed with a more satisfying ending.

View attachment 75580
Busy, busy! I remain Peacockless, alas! I remember spending a day at MoMA watching all 3 versions of "Destry" during the Universal rerospective. Yes, the 1939 is still the best. I saw "The Texas Rangers" there as well during the King Vidor retro. Unfortunately, no Cooper Spoilers for me neither.
 

Robert Crawford

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This week's Noir Alley movie is "Three Strangers" (1946) starring Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Lorre and Joan Lorring. A very fine film that still isn't available in 1080p, not even on iTunes so I guess we're stuck with whatever TCM gives us this weekend. I'm going to DVR'd it and then watch it as part of my Sunday morning viewing. I'm looking forward to Eddie's comments about this movie.

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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)
 
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Robert Crawford

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Last night's viewing was "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932) starring Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Neil Hamilton and C. Aubrey Smith. A childhood favorite movie of mine. I watched Ben Mankiewicz's comments on the TCM app. then viewed my iTunes HD digital of it. It's probably not going to happen, but, I wish Warner Archive would release all of those Weissmuller movies on BD. I always thought Maureen O'Sullivan was a much more attractive actress than her daughter Mia Farrow. Quite an Irish vixen.

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Robert Crawford

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Finally, my DD and Criterion shipments arrived today. Besides "Three Strangers", I'll be busy the rest of the weekend watching some of the following Blu-ray releases. My main problem is determining which movies to watch first. Knowing me, I'll probably start with the film noirs, but I'm really interested in watching "The War of the Worlds" Criterion BD and comparing it to the Imprint BD as well as the iTunes 4K/DV digital. TBH, that might be better suited for one day next week as it could turn into one of those projects that consumes an entire day. The same with the "Laurel & Hardy box set so "The Lady Eve" might be a better choice for this weekend.

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Ronald Epstein

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Finally, my DD and Criterion shipments arrived today. Besides "Three Strangers", I'll be busy the rest of the weekend watching some of the following Blu-ray releases. My main problem is determining which movies to watch first. Knowing me, I'll probably start with the film noirs, but I'm really interested in watching "The War of the Worlds" Criterion BD and comparing it to the Imprint BD as well as the iTunes 4K/DV digital. TBH, that might be better suited for one day next week as it could turn into one of those projects that consumes an entire day. The same with the "Laurel & Hardy box set so "The Lady Eve" might be a better choice for this weekend.

View attachment 75612

View attachment 75611

View attachment 75609

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For you, that almost seems like the holy grail of releases!

I so much want to see LADY EVE. I am tempted to buy it from B&N but I have two $10 coupons from Criterion for their next sale. You also told me about DESTRY RIDES AGAIN so that is on the list as well.

Enjoy your viewing weekend
 

Robert Crawford

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Matt Hough

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This week's Noir Alley movie is "Three Strangers" (1946) starring Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Lorre and Joan Lorring. A very fine film that still isn't available in 1080p, not even on iTunes so I guess we're stuck with whatever TCM gives us this weekend. I'm going to DVR'd it and then watch it as part of my Sunday morning viewing. I'm looking forward to Eddie's comments about this movie.

View attachment 75606

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)
Yeah, I really like Three Strangers a lot. I only have a DVD-R I recorded off TCM at least a decade ago, so I'll be curious to see if there is any difference in what they show, and, naturally, it'll be wonderful to see it again along with enjoying Eddie's thoughts on it.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yeah, I really like Three Strangers a lot. I only have a DVD-R I recorded off TCM at least a decade ago, so I'll be curious to see if there is any difference in what they show, and, naturally, it'll be wonderful to see it again along with enjoying Eddie's thoughts on it.
I have pulled out my 2012 WA DVD just in case I want to compare TCM's presentation to it.
 

Robert Crawford

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I watched on Blu-ray, "Calcutta" (1947) starring Alan Ladd, Gail Russell, William Bendix and June Duprez. I have vague memories of this movie, but, nothing beyond Ladd and Bendix being pilots as I have no memory of the movie's plot. One of three pilots is murdered and the remaining two pilots try to find the murderer. Ladd plays a character that doesn't trust women nor does he believe in marriage. The movie is mediocre, but, it had some entertaining sequences in it. Some of my favorite parts in the movie is when Ladd roughs up Gail Russell as I didn't expect anybody to rough up that lovely face and those sequences properly defined Ladd's character in this movie. Also, watching sweet looking Russell playing a "femme fatale" was interesting and I really need to see her in "The Tattered Dress" (1957) in which she plays another similar type character. A bit of irony is this movie was filmed in 1945, but was released in 1947, the same year another movie was released in which Russell played a lovely Quaker girl that steals John Wayne's heart in "Angel and the Badman". Gail Russell is another very sad Hollywood case in which a beautiful woman was destroyed by that environment and tragically died at a very young age. Man, she had beautiful, but very sad captivating eyes. John Farrow directed this movie, but his film noirs that came after this movie are better thought of by movie critics like "The Big Clock", "Night has a Thousand Eyes", "His Kind of Woman" and "Alias Nick Beal". Farrow was married to Maureen O'Sullivan and is Mia Farrow's father.

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Another first time viewing was "Six Bridges to Cross" (1955) starring Tony Curtis, George Nader, Julie Adams and Jay C. Flippin. The film evolve around a decades long relationship between a career criminal and a Boston cop, as the latter fails to keep a delinquent on the straight and narrow. Some great Boston on-location filming. Not a bad movie as Curtis was good in this movie with Sal Mineo playing his character during his delinquent years. A later plotline in the movie was derived from the Brink's robbery in Boston. The Blu-ray video presentation was good, but, something was off with the audio presentation when it came to hearing the movie's spoken dialogue. I had to turn up the volume quite a bit more than my normal settings.

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"An Act of Murder" (1948) is a movie I've seen beforehand on TCM. I had the 2016 MOD DVD, but never watched it.:blush: The Kino Blu-ray video presentation is mediocre at best as it's obviously derived from film elements several generations removed. There are long vertical black lines for several minutes near the end of the movie that are distracting. I checked and that same defect is present on the 2016 DVD. Anyhow, I think this is the best we're going to get for this movie. The film itself is pretty good with some moral issues regarding mercy killing. Did a respected judge kill his wife, who suffered great pain from an incurable illness? Fredric March plays the judge, his wife is played by March's real wife, Florence Eldridge. Their daughter is played by Geraldine Brooks while Edmond O'Brien plays her lawyer boyfriend that has legal philosophical differences with March.
 

Robert Crawford

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This week's Noir Alley movie is "Three Strangers" (1946) starring Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Peter Lorre and Joan Lorring. A very fine film that still isn't available in 1080p, not even on iTunes so I guess we're stuck with whatever TCM gives us this weekend. I'm going to DVR'd it and then watch it as part of my Sunday morning viewing. I'm looking forward to Eddie's comments about this movie.

View attachment 75606

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)
I think this was Greenstreet's best acting performance so I disagree with Eddie when he mentions "The Verdict". A few things I do agree with him about is that Geraldine Fitzgerald looked beautiful in this movie and the supporting performances were outstanding.

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Hollywoodaholic

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Three Strangers. Good'un. A very original story (and structure), but the ending is a bit Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Oh, well, if you're going to nick, nick from yourself. I also couldn't help but imagine Bogart as Johnny West throughout. What a different spin on the character that would have been. A little less... enthusiastic. I almost wish Muller would not reveal these casting misses until after the picture. I love Peter Lorre, but I still don't buy him as the romantic lead here. He just oozes, not so much drunken charm, but a bit icky-ness. And...

... why does he even need to burn the winning ticket? Fitzgerald is dead and he witnessed Greenstreet busy confessing to her murder, so doesn't that leave him free and clear to cash in the ticket? I must be missing something.

What happens after The Breaking Point in the schedule? Does it go on hiatus for a while? What will I do with my Sunday afternoons? And no, I don't think football (or any spectator sports) are really coming back for a while. And when they do... my original home team will have a different name and mascot. But why should we be loyal to any team these days when players aren't? My nephew is a Bucs fan and has always hated Tom Brady. What's he to do now?

But that's another thread.
 

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