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

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,038
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I love The Snake Pit, and it would have been hard for me in 1948 to decide the Best Actress Oscar between Olivia in this and Barbara Stanwyck in Sorry, Wrong Number. It definitely would not have gone to Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda if I had been giving out the awards.
 
  • Agreed
Reactions: Robert Crawford

lark144

Screenwriter
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,110
Real Name
mark gross
LIke Peter says, he's a different character each time.

I said they're "horror movies" but they're mysteries (like the series title says :) ) rather than having Dracula or the Wolf Man running around the European Street set at Universal. They're B-movies but if someone enjoys low budget movies of the war era, I think they'll be entertained by these movies.
AS Travis writes, they're mostly mysteries, based on the Inner Sanctum radio show. Chaney is playing more of a romantic lead in these, which is something he really wanted to do. Many of them have to with with a romantic relationship gone bad. Many of them evoke the supernatural in the beginning, which then turns out to be erroneous, along with a "wrong man" scenario, in which Chaney is accused of murder and then has to investigate and clear himself of the crime. The best is "Weird Woman", which is in fact supernatural, based on Fritz Leiber's "Conjure Wife" which was later remade as "Burn, Witch, Burn." That's the best photographed (lots of dry ice and menacing shadows) as well as the best directed film in the series.

I don't know whether I'd recommend owning the complete series. Other than "Weird Woman", they're not really wonderful. I grew up watching them on television Saturday afternoons, so there's a big nostalgia component for me. But coming to them for the first time, unless you have a real interest in Universal B mysteries, I think they're fairly run of the mill.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TravisR

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
1596031983551.png


Another great movie and performance by Olivia de Havilland. Over the years, I've seen this movie a number of times, but one thing that always bothered me about this movie is near the ending of the movie when Aunt Penniman says to Catherine "How can you be so cruel?" and Catherine replies "I was taught by masters". I can understand her feeling that way about her father, as he was a prick of a father, but who else is she talking about besides him? Of course, Morris Townsend is another candidate, but her aunts appear to love and care for her in the movie. Perhaps, the source novel by Henry James portrays them more harshly. Either way, it was a classic line of dialogue.:thumbsup: Anyhow, as she ascends the stairs with that slight smile on her face while Morris is banging on the door always brings a smile to my face.

Another splendid Criterion Blu-ray release. Here is the link to our BD review. I need to delve into the bonus material. I did watch that 22 minute featurette about the movie.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I love The Snake Pit, and it would have been hard for me in 1948 to decide the Best Actress Oscar between Olivia in this and Barbara Stanwyck in Sorry, Wrong Number. It definitely would not have gone to Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda if I had been giving out the awards.
IMO, Olivia should have won her Best Actress Oscars for "The Snake Pit" and "The Heiress". With that said, I also could see Missy winning it in 1948. I thought Jane Wyman was Oscar worthy, but I'm not sure she was as good as those two ladies.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,654
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
View attachment 76173

Another great movie and performance by Olivia de Havilland. Over the years, I've seen this movie a number of times, but one thing that always bothered me about this movie is near the ending of the movie when Aunt Penniman says to Catherine "How can you be so cruel?" and Catherine replies "I was taught by masters". I can understand her feeling that way about her father, as he was a prick of a father, but who else is she talking about besides him? Of course, Morris Townsend is another candidate, but her aunts appear to love and care for her in the movie. Perhaps, the source novel by Henry James portrays them more harshly. Either way, it was a classic line of dialogue.:thumbsup: Anyhow, as she ascends the stairs with that slight smile on her face while Morris is banging on the door always brings a smile to my face.

Another splendid Criterion Blu-ray release. Here is the link to our BD review. I need to delve into the bonus material. I did watch that 22 minute featurette about the movie.
Morris is a master of cruelty as well. As far as Aunt Penniman, it was a lack of judgment cloaked in a romantic fantasy that turned into an act of moral cruelty. I mean, she even repeated the same act twice, having learned nothing from Morris's act of caddishness the first time around. She was still pushing to thrust Catherine into the arms of the "chastened" young man. That is cruel.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,654
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
IMO, Olivia should have won her Best Actress Oscars for "The Snake Pit" and "The Heiress". With that said, I also could see Missy winning it in 1948. I thought Jane Wyman was Oscar worthy, but I'm not sure she was as good as those two ladies.
Olivia in The Snake Pit, hands down. She even won the New York Film Critic's Circle Award unanimously. A very rare thing indeed. The Oscar vote must have been split, thus favoring Wyman. And that's how Reagan left the Democratic party and joined the Republicans. The strange twists of history...
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Your viewing diary continues to be a great resource. I'm searching for 'Hold the Dawn' right now; it's one I've missed thus far.
I think many of us on this forum are great resources. Case in point, I got the idea to watch the following movie from another poster's comments in the "What's on your Daily Viewing List" thread.

1596096968331.png


The 2017 Arrow Blu-ray of the above will be this morning's movie viewing. This is one of three movies Olivia de Havilland did between "To Each His Own" (1946) and "The Snake Pit" (1948). Another fine movie directed by the great Robert Siodmak. My last viewing of this film was when I watched my 2012 Olive BD so I'm looking forward to watching it again and delving into the bonus material on the Arrow BD.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I think many of us on this forum are great resources. Case in point, I got the idea to watch the following movie from another poster's comments in the "What's on your Daily Viewing List" thread.

View attachment 76198

The 2017 Arrow Blu-ray of the above will be this morning's movie viewing. This is one of three movies Olivia de Havilland did between "To Each His Own" (1946) and "The Snake Pit" (1948). Another fine movie directed by the great Robert Siodmak. My last viewing of this film was when I watched my 2012 Olive BD so I'm looking forward to watching it again and delving into the bonus material on the Arrow BD.
If anybody is familiar with "The Dark Mirror" there is a sequence near the end of the film in which Ayres is talking to de Havilland about sisters being rivals that I found highly ironic, as that sequence played out, I kept thinking of Olivia and Joan. They're weren't twins like in this movie, but Olivia was only one year older than Joan. I do wonder what was going through Olivia's mind while filming that particular sequence.:) Anyhow, I wish Olivia did more film noirs as she would've made a good "femme fatale" with that sweet, innocent face that could hide some devilish intentions. Great camera work by Siodmak with Olivia playing twin sisters. I'm glad I revisited this fine film. I'm going through some of the bonus material on the Arrow BD right now.

By the way, Eddie needs to consider this movie for Noir Alley.
 

David_B_K

Advanced Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
2,059
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
David
Your viewing diary continues to be a great resource. I'm searching for 'Hold the Dawn' right now; it's one I've missed thus far.
Robert's recommendation of Hold Back the Dawn has me intrigued as well. I've always avoided it because the title sounds like a routine chick-flick melodrama, and I have never been a fan of Charles Boyer, who often seems to play gigolo types. I also read Matt's review. Now it sounds like a movie I must see. I believe it is on TCM's schedule in August.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Robert's recommendation of Hold Back the Dawn has me intrigued as well. I've always avoided it because the title sounds like a routine chick-flick melodrama, and I have never been a fan of Charles Boyer, who often seems to play gigolo types. I also read Matt's review. Now it sounds like a movie I must see. I believe it is on TCM's schedule in August.
It's one of the last movies in TCM's film tribute to de Havilland on August, 23/24.
 

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,038
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I think I read an interview somewhere that Olivia said playing the evil twin in The Dark Corner was a miserable experience for her. Many actors relish playing bad guys, but Olivia seems to have suffered psychologically from it and didn't choose to play evil very often.
 

lark144

Screenwriter
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,110
Real Name
mark gross
Hey, Guys. This was on Facebook which I thought you might find interesting:

NOIR ALLEY may be on a break, but add some darkness to your #SummerUnderTheStars viewing with these noir films during the festival.

1596169389326.png
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
1596186388708.png


1596186451927.png


On Thursday, I finished watching all of the Western/Noir movies that Criterion was showing in July. Only one of these movies were "The Walking Hills" was a first time viewing for me. The others I've seen multiple times over the years with my last viewing during the last several months. Sam Fuller's directed his first movie "I Shot Jesse James" (1949) starring John Ireland, Preston Foster and Barbara Britton. A mediocre western in my opinion that I always found somewhat boring to me. John Ireland is another favorite actor on mine which is why I watched it again yesterday on The Criterion Channel. Ireland plays Bob Ford, the man who murdered Jesse James and received a pardon for doing so. An interesting trivia point about this movie is J. Edward Bromberg being part of the cast. He also appeared in "Jesse James" (1939) and "The Return of Frank James" (1940) as the nemesis of Jesse and Frank James played by Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda.

The second western I watched on Thursday was my Blu-ray of "Man of the West" (1958) starring Gary Cooper. I watched this Blu-ray some years ago so I felt the need to watch it again. An underrated western that has gain some respect over the years. It wasn't appreciated when it was released back in 1958, but this Anthony Mann directed movie is a fine western movie with a great cast of actors. A former bandit that has changed his life for the better since leaving his gang/family is reunited with them in a chance meeting. His struggles to remain on the right side of the law is severely tested as he tries to stay alive against his former gang/family.

  • Blood on the Moon
  • Station West
  • I Shot Jesse James
  • The Walking Hills
  • Lust for Gold
  • Rancho Notorious
  • The Naked Spur
  • Man with the Gun
  • The Violent Men
  • Man of the West
  • Day of the Outlaw
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,842
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
A reminder that the following linked John Ford documentary is playing on TCM today at 4:00 p.m. ET.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Hollywoodaholic

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,476
Messages
4,711,164
Members
141,262
Latest member
badsahbrneha