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

Robert Crawford

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From my iTunes digital library I watched "We're No Angels". This 1955 movie that was filmed in 1954, is about three escaped convicts on Devil's Island helping out a family during the Christmas Holidays in the late 1890's. This dark comedy isn't a barrel of laughs, but there are several dialogue sequences in which I chuckled. This is a solid movie, but is far from one of Bogart's best. The iTunes stream is quite good for this VistaVision and Technicolor film and easily beats my previous viewings of this movie on DVD and TV broadcasts. A Blu-ray release is coming on November 10th from Paramount. Anyway, I'm quite happy with this HD digital so I doubt I'll buy this upcoming Blu-ray unless it's a Paramount Presents release with some bonus material.

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Hollywoodaholic

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Destination Murder. I could have done without this one, as well. The dialogue and presentation were stiffer than a three-day-old corpse. Sometimes the only thing that makes a Noir worth watching are Muller's insights in the intro and exit. He could have saved his breath on this one; even those insights were nothing to sit up and take notice about. Oh well, how many winners can there be from the Bs? Some, but not this one, imo. I think I'd rather dial up an East End Kids short instead.
 

Matt Hough

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Yes, an ignominious end for Stanley Clements' character off-screen: and he's second-billed! Lots of plot holes and nonsense, but I kind of enjoyed seeing this low budget production to see how corners were cut to save money. I also enjoy seeing bad people come to bad ends when they think they are SO clever. Some of the acting was really mediocre, even from Albert Dekker who under other circumstances can be very good.
 
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Robert Crawford

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It was okay for a "B" movie, but I still don't understand why the first victim was murdered and why he and Frank Niles were business rivals. Another thing I don't understand is why Eddie loves this mediocre "B" film noir so much. I guess it's because all the "bad" characters were double-crossing each other. I have to agree with Eddie on a couple of things. Joyce MacKenzie looked older than her years in playing this college student character and that she and Barbara Hale could have passed as sisters.


Joyce MacKenzie
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Barbara Hale
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bujaki

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It was okay for a "B" movie, but I still don't understand why the first victim was murdered and why he and Frank Niles were business rivals. Another thing I don't understand is why Eddie loves this mediocre "B" film noir so much. I guess it's because all the "bad" characters were double-crossing each other. I have to agree with Eddie on a couple of things. Joyce MacKenzie looked older than her years in playing this college student character and that she and Barbara Hale could have passed as sisters.


Joyce MacKenzie
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Barbara Hale
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My wife asked whether the lead in Destination Murder was William Katt's mother. There you have it.
 

Robert Crawford

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A week spent watching plenty of movies on disc , TCM and streaming.

One of those movies was a beautiful looking Blu-ray of "Sergeant York" (1941 starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias and Margaret Wycherly. Watching this movie again on Blu-ray was like watching it for the very first time. The audio and video presentations were that good. Outstanding job by Warner Archive!

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Robert Crawford

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On the TCM app, I watched "Killer McCoy" (1947) starring Mickey Rooney, Brian Donlevy, Ann Blyth, James Dunn and Sam Levene. It's about a young boxer that is backed by a gambler who takes a shine to the gambler's daughter while dealing with his alcoholic father and rival gamblers. It's an okay remake, but I always preferred the original movie "The Crowd Roars" (1938) starring Robert Taylor, Edward Arnold, Maureen O'Sullivan and William Gargan which I watched again on DVD from WA.

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Robert Crawford

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On TCM was "Hard to Handle" (1932) starring James Cagney, Mary Brian, Ruth Donnelly and Allen Jenkins. This Pre-Code comedy is about a con man trying to make a fast buck during the depression era while romancing Mary Brian. The movie itself is just okay, but Cagney and Donnelly as Brian's money hungry mother are hilarious in this movie. The film is part of Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5 DVD release from WA. From my previous viewing, I don't remember any bonus material on that DVD, but Eddie Muller was on TCM giving before and after comments about this movie along with "The Beast of the City", "One Way Passage" and "They Live By Night" in which he was promoting the book his publishing house just released "Scoundrels & Spitballers" which was referenced a couple of pages back in this same thread. I didn't watch those other three movies because I watched each of them in the last couple of years, but I did watch Eddie's comments for each movie. However, I couldn't help myself in watching the violent ending of "The Beast of the City" with its great shootout between the cops and gangsters while seeing Jean Harlow
getting her comeuppance.

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Robert Crawford

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Yesterday, I watched "Mogambo" (1953) which is John Ford's remake of "Red Dust" (1932) which I watched last week. Both movies starred Clark Gable, but I guess I kind of preferred the remake because of the on-location filming, being in color and the change of the locale to Africa. With that said, the Pre-Code version has that going for it as well as Jean Harlow and Mary Astor, who were better actresses than Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly. By the way, "Mogambo" was on TCM, but I instead watched my iTunes HD Digital which was mediocre at best video presentation-wise


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Robert Crawford

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This weekend's "Noir Alley" movie is "Macao" (1952) starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix and Gloria Grahame. The last time I watched this movie was back a couple of years ago. I might breakout my 2007 DVD because I can't remember if I listened to the audio commentary that Eddie did with Jane Russell and the screenwriter Stanley Rubin. I think I did, but I'll see if any bells go off in my pea brain when listening to it.

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)
09-06-20: Night Editor (1946) "Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Only"
09-12-20: Danger Signal (1945)
09-19-20: Gilda (1946)
09-26-20: They Won't Believe Me (1947)
10-03-20: Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
10-10-20: The Racket (1951)
10-17-20: Destination Murder (1950)

10-24-20: Macao (1952)
10-31-20: The Seventh Victim (1943)
11-07-20: Nightfall (1957)
11-14-20: Fear (1946)
11-21-20: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
11-28-20: Suspense (1946)
12-05-20: Tomorrow is Another Day (1951)
12-12-20: The Burglar (1957)
12-19-20: The Unsuspected (1947)
12-26-20: Detour (1945)
 

Hollywoodaholic

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Macao. Predictable but enjoyable. Everyone with the smartass dialogue. Then you find out in the exit notes from Muller that Mitchum and Russell improvised much of their dialogue. Okay, I get that, but what did you need six writers for? Well, the story is pretty good, and Bendix does a great job with his role. But tell me, is it really a Noir when it features not one, but TWO, musical showcase numbers for the female star? Personally, I think not, but there's always the fast forward button.
 

Matt Hough

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Yes, I personally wouldn't call this noir, but I wouldn't put up a fierce argument if someone were passionately sure that it is. I've always enjoyed Jane's singing voice, and her rendition of "One for My Baby" is one of her more heartfelt vocal performances. As usual, Eddie provided interesting background information about the making of the film (I don't own the DVD that has him and Jane Russell talking about it), but I always wish his segments were longer. There were interesting people in the supporting cast of the movie that I would like to have been told things about.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yes, I personally wouldn't call this noir, but I wouldn't put up a fierce argument if someone were passionately sure that it is. I've always enjoyed Jane's singing voice, and her rendition of "One for My Baby" is one of her more heartfelt vocal performances. As usual, Eddie provided interesting background information about the making of the film (I don't own the DVD that has him and Jane Russell talking about it), but I always wish his segments were longer. There were interesting people in the supporting cast of the movie that I would like to have been told things about.
The DVD commentary did talk about the supporting cast especially about Grahame along with Bendix, Brad Dexter, Thomas Gomez, Philip Ahn and Vladimir Sokoloff. They said that Ahn and Sokoloff got paid more money for the picture than Brad Dexter, though Dexter was the main villain.

Even though, they mentioned that Joyce MacKenzie (Destination Murder/The Racket) was replaced by Grahame, the original actress that was considered for the role was Jane Greer. However, she was being punished by Howard Hughes for marrying somebody else as Hughes had his own romantic desire for her. What a sick bastard he must have been to deal with especially for young attractive actresses. Anyhow the DVD commentary also compared Mitchum's cool acting persona to Bogart. They spent a great deal of time talking about Gloria Grahame in which they talked about her sexy persona combined with her being a really good actress. She was also a strange person in real life with some issues. Eddie loves him some Grahame which I share the same sentiment. Other than that the DVD commentary talks more about other stuff beyond "Macao".
 

Robert Crawford

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This week's "Noir Alley" movie is "The Seventh Victim) (1943) starring Tom Conway and Kim Hunter. I haven't watched this film in 15 years when the "Val Lewton Horror Collection" came out on DVD. TBH, my memory of this movie is vague so I'm looking forward to watching it again.

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)
09-06-20: Night Editor (1946) "Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Only"
09-12-20: Danger Signal (1945)
09-19-20: Gilda (1946)
09-26-20: They Won't Believe Me (1947)
10-03-20: Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
10-10-20: The Racket (1951)
10-17-20: Destination Murder (1950)
10-24-20: Macao (1952)

10-31-20: The Seventh Victim (1943)
11-07-20: Nightfall (1957)
11-14-20: Fear (1946)
11-21-20: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
11-28-20: Suspense (1946)
12-05-20: Tomorrow is Another Day (1951)
12-12-20: The Burglar (1957)
12-19-20: The Unsuspected (1947)
12-26-20: Detour (1945)
 
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TravisR

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This week's "Noir Alley" movie is "The Seventh Victim) (1943) starring Tom Conway and Kim Hunter. I haven't watched this film in 15 years when the "Val Lewton Horror Collection" came out on DVD. TBH, my memory of this movie is vague so I'm looking forward to watching it again.
My favorite Val Lewton movie behind Cat People.
 

Robert Crawford

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This week's "Noir Alley" movie is "The Seventh Victim) (1943) starring Tom Conway and Kim Hunter. I haven't watched this film in 15 years when the "Val Lewton Horror Collection" came out on DVD. TBH, my memory of this movie is vague so I'm looking forward to watching it again.

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)
09-06-20: Night Editor (1946) "Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Only"
09-12-20: Danger Signal (1945)
09-19-20: Gilda (1946)
09-26-20: They Won't Believe Me (1947)
10-03-20: Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
10-10-20: The Racket (1951)
10-17-20: Destination Murder (1950)
10-24-20: Macao (1952)

10-31-20: The Seventh Victim (1943)
11-07-20: Nightfall (1957)
11-14-20: Fear (1946)
11-21-20: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
11-28-20: Suspense (1946)
12-05-20: Tomorrow is Another Day (1951)
12-12-20: The Burglar (1957)
12-19-20: The Unsuspected (1947)
12-26-20: Detour (1945)
It only took me about 10 minutes or so to have total recall about "The Seventh Victim". IMO, I think it's a fine movie so I do agree with Eddie about it. Also, you can see how others stole some stuff from this 1943 movie.
 

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