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Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV (5 Viewers)

Robert Crawford

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A great interview with Alan K. Rode about "The Proud Rebel" (1958) with Alan Ladd and Olivia de Havilland. Also, much of the interview is about Michael Curtiz that Rode wrote a book about. Some nice information and tidbits in this 87 minute interview.


By the way, I see that iTunes is selling "The Proud Rebel" for $4.99.
 

lark144

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Apparently, the initial batch from Amazon was BD-R, all other retailers supposedly were pressed from the beginning.

Since Amazon has shut down their burning facilities, I would assume any new items would also be pressed.


Bitter Tea Of General Yen had two releases. The first was BD-R. It was later re-released as a pressed disc
Yes, I bought the BDR of "General Yen", the first release, when the price went down, thinking it would last 15 or twenty years, which is what I've read about DVDR's, and now it freezes up after 2 years or maybe less. I know they re-released it as a pressed disc, but I'm not going to buy it again. And I'm not going to buy any more BDRs.

The photo on Amazon's site still shows "We're No Angels" as a BDR, with that generic thingy instead of a blue Ray logo on the spine. It's good to know they might now be selling pressed discs, though it's not certain. Guess I'll wait till next Xmas to get it. By then, hopefully, it will be pressed.
 

Robert Crawford

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I was considering buying the Blu-Ray just yesterday, then noticed it's a MOD. I never thought there was a difference between MODs and pressed discs, but the other day I tried to watch a MOD of "The Bitter Tea of General Yen" which I bought on Amazon a few years ago, and it kept freezing up and I wasn't able to watch the last five minutes. So I'm passing on "We're No Angels" as a Blu-ray.
Apparently, the initial batch from Amazon was BD-R, all other retailers supposedly were pressed from the beginning.

Since Amazon has shut down their burning facilities, I would assume any new items would also be pressed.


Bitter Tea Of General Yen had two releases. The first was BD-R. It was later re-released as a pressed disc
I just played my BD-R of "The Bitter Tea of General Yen" in its entirety without any issues. It was played on an Oppo 203 player.
 

lark144

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I just played my BD-R of "The Bitter Tea of General Yen" in its entirety without any issues. It was played on an Oppo 203 player.
I'm glad to hear it. This is the only BDR I own. I have a Sony--the number isn't displayed on the case--and this is the first time I've had trouble with it. It stutters in the beginning as well as the end, where it finally freezes.

What did you think of the film? This is the first time I've seen it. I think this is where Stanwyck really comes into her own as a dramatic actress, and though she's also terrific in "The Miracle Woman", I found her a real revelation here. The film is very subtle, with a kind of lingering, expressive quality, like the aroma of incense, which you only realize after being the the room for a while. The emotional power of the film, and the way it changes, and alters a viewer's impressions, rests firmly on Stanwyck's shoulders, and she rises to the challenge. And it's beautifully lit, even more impressively, I think, than "Lost Horizon". Joseph Walker uses a lot of "north light" on Stanwyck's face, the way Lee Garmes lit Dietrich in "Shanghai Express", and here I find it even more successful. I don't think of Walker as a creative cinematographer when it comes to lighting, but I clearly was mistaken. Also Capra, in this film, really surprises me. The direction has such a delicacy. He holds shots for a long time to let the mood come through and for Stanwyck's performance to come across, as well as for a viewer to identify with her. And then there's NIls Asther. He brings a real Scandinavian quality to the film, one which Capra's direction and Walker's cinematography reflects, that reminds me of the silents of Victor Sjostrom, especially in the use of light and also the feeling between the two which comes across very strongly. Initially, I was skeptical, but the film won me over.
 

Robert Crawford

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What did you think of the film? This is the first time I've seen it. I think this is where Stanwyck really comes into her own as a dramatic actress, and though she's also terrific in "The Miracle Woman", I found her a real revelation here. The film is very subtle, with a kind of lingering, expressive quality, like the aroma of incense, which you only realize after being the the room for a while. The emotional power of the film, and the way it changes, and alters a viewer's impressions, rests firmly on Stanwyck's shoulders, and she rises to the challenge. And it's beautifully lit, even more impressively, I think, than "Lost Horizon". Joseph Walker uses a lot of "north light" on Stanwyck's face, the way Lee Garmes lit Dietrich in "Shanghai Express", and here I find it even more successful. I don't think of Walker as a creative cinematographer when it comes to lighting, but I clearly was mistaken. Also Capra, in this film, really surprises me. The direction has such a delicacy. He holds shots for a long time to let the mood come through and for Stanwyck's performance to come across, as well as for a viewer to identify with her. And then there's NIls Asther. He brings a real Scandinavian quality to the film, one which Capra's direction and Walker's cinematography reflects, that reminds me of the silents of Victor Sjostrom, especially in the use of light and also the feeling between the two which comes across very strongly. Initially, I was skeptical, but the film won me over.
I've always liked the film, especially the performances by the two leads, but I do find some of the dialogue cringe-worthy with my 2021 sensibilities. I love the ending! You can see why Stanwyck was a favorite actress of directors like Capra and Wellman.
 

Robert Crawford

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At first glance, I thought that IMDb ratings were all wrong, but after viewing the entire 40 movies, I'm not so sure now. Perhaps, next year we can run a similar poll here on the HTF with our top 40 "Film Noirs"?
 

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Furthermore, a few foreign films deserve mention. Visconti's Ossessione is much darker that The Postman always Rings Twice. It wasn't constrained by the Code.
 

Robert Crawford

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Furthermore, a few foreign films deserve mention. Visconti's Ossessione is much darker that The Postman always Rings Twice. It wasn't constrained by the Code.
Since those ratings were based on IMDb ratings, I seriously doubt many people submitting those ratings have seen that film. I haven't seen that film! By the way, darker doesn't necessarily mean better.
 

bujaki

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Since those ratings were based on IMDb ratings, I seriously doubt many people submitting those ratings have seen that film. I haven't seen that film! By the way, darker doesn't necessarily mean better.
True, darker may not always be better, but in this case it probably is. Ossessione hews to the plot of the novel: it's James M. Cain dirty, with subplots that would have never passed muster with the code, but which deepen the noir roots.
There used to be a meh DVD, but now it seems to be available to rent on Amazon prime (quality unknown). I last saw it last year when Eddie had a Noir Festival online. It is an exceptional film made during WW2 in Italy. I don't even understand how it passed the censors there. There's the adultery plot, the crime plot; throw in communism, anti-clericalism, bisexuality, an affair on top of the affair...all of this in the most squalid, sordid places you can imagine.
BTW, Visconti paid no royalties to Cain.
 

Robert Crawford

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True, darker may not always be better, but in this case it probably is. Ossessione hews to the plot of the novel: it's James M. Cain dirty, with subplots that would have never passed muster with the code, but which deepen the noir roots.
There used to be a meh DVD, but now it seems to be available to rent on Amazon prime (quality unknown). I last saw it last year when Eddie had a Noir Festival online. It is an exceptional film made during WW2 in Italy. I don't even understand how it passed the censors there. There's the adultery plot, the crime plot; throw in communism, anti-clericalism, bisexuality, an affair on top of the affair...all of this in the most squalid, sordid places you can imagine.
BTW, Visconti paid no royalties to Cain.
Well, that's a matter of opinion in which I'll reserve mine until I actually see it. A couple of things that Italian film doesn't have is John Garfield and Lana Turner. That's a lot to overcome from my personal perspective.
 

lark144

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Well, that's a matter of opinion in which I'll reserve mine until I actually see it. A couple of things that Italian film doesn't have is John Garfield and Lana Turner. That's a lot to overcome from my personal perspective.
"Ossessione" is a much greater film in every way than MGM's "Postman", in fact, it might even be one of the greatest Italian films ever made, totally original, exceeding dark, sexy as all hell, at certain points you're wondering why the film doesn't combust considering what's happeneing on the screen, though elegantly photographed, hey, it's Visconti, and extraordinarily acted, though nearly impossible to see because of the James M. Cain estate--I saw an excellent 35mm print somewhere 25 years ago MOMA? Columbia University? NYU?--but all that being said, John Garfield and Lana Turner are hard to beat.
 

Robert Crawford

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"Ossessione" is a much greater film in every way than MGM's "Postman", in fact, it might even be one of the greatest Italian films ever made, totally original, exceeding dark, sexy as all hell, at certain points you're wondering why the film doesn't combust considering what's happeneing on the screen, though elegantly photographed, hey, it's Visconti, and extraordinarily acted, though nearly impossible to see because of the James M. Cain estate--I saw an excellent 35mm print somewhere 25 years ago MOMA? Columbia University? NYU?--but all that being said, John Garfield and Lana Turner are hard to beat.
A greater film perhaps, but that doesn't mean it's more entertaining which is how these polls are decided. Like I said, I'll reserve judgment once I finally see this movie.
 

Robert Crawford

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Well, I did it, I watched the last movie on my "100 All-Time Favorite Westerns" list. Per my tradition, I started watching my iTunes HD digital of "3 Godfathers" (1948) shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve into early Christmas Day morning. I love this movie and I've probably seen it as many times as any other movie not named "The Searchers". I think Wayne gives one of his best performances in this movie and that Pedro Armendariz was excellent as his fellow "compradre" along with Harry Carey Jr. Some people might be turned off by the religious aspect in this western tale of three bandits that come across an abandoned woman about to give birth and their task of saving her newborn baby as they cross a hot desert with no horses and little water to do so. To me, it's the religious aspect of this 1948 version that makes it stand out against the prior film adaptations of this same storyline. IMO, the only weak part of the film is the ending.

I hope next December, Warner Archives releases this fine western onto Blu-ray as I think it's one of the most beautiful westerns ever filmed, especially being filmed in 3 strip Technicolor.



Crawdaddy's "100" All-Time Favorite Westerns:


  1. 3 Godfathers (1949) (DVD/HD Digital)
  2. 3:10 to Yuma (1957) (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  3. 5 Card Stud (DVD)
  4. Alamo, The (1960) (DVD/HD Digital)
  5. Ambush (DVD)
  6. Angel and the Badman (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  7. Apache (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  8. Arizona (DVD/HD Digital)
  9. Backlash (Blu-ray)
  10. Big Country, The (Blu-ray)
  11. Big Sky, The (DVD)
  12. Blood on the Moon (Blu-ray)
  13. Bravados, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  14. Broken Lance (Blu-ray)
  15. Buffalo Soldiers (1997) (DVD)
  16. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Blu-ray/4K Digital)
  17. California (Blu-ray)
  18. Canyon Passage (Blu-ray)
  19. Cheyenne Autumn (DVD/HD Digital)
  20. Comanche Station (Blu-ray)
  21. Cowboy (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  22. Death Hunt (Blu-ray)
  23. Destry Rides Again (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  24. Devil's Doorway (DVD)
  25. Dodge City (Blu-ray)
  26. El Dorado (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  27. Escape from Fort Bravo (Blu-ray)
  28. Fastest Gun Alive, The (DVD)
  29. Fort Apache (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  30. Four Faces West (Blu-ray)
  31. Furies, The (HD Digital/Criterion BD)
  32. Geronimo (1939) (Not on Home Video)
  33. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  34. Gunfighter, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  35. High Noon (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  36. Hombre (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  37. Hondo (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  38. Horse Soldiers, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  39. Hud (DVD/HD Digital)
  40. Jeremiah Johnson (Blu-ray)
  41. Joe Kidd (Blu-ray)
  42. Jubal (Blu-ray)
  43. King and Four Queens, The (Blu-ray)
  44. Kit Carson (DVD)
  45. Last Hunt, The (Blu-ray)
  46. Last of the Dogmen (DVD/2022 Kino BD)
  47. Last of the Mohicans, The (1992) (DVD/Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  48. Last Train from Gun Hill (DVD/Upcoming Paramount BD)
  49. Last Wagon, The (Blu-ray)
  50. Lonely are the Brave (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  51. Magnificent Seven, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  52. Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  53. Man Without a Star (Blu-ray)
  54. McLintock! (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  55. Monte Walsh (Blu-ray)
  56. My Darling Clementine (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  57. Naked Spur, The (Blu-ray)
  58. Nevada Smith (DVD/HD Digital)
  59. Night Passage (Blu-ray)
  60. Only the Valiant (Blu-ray)
  61. Open Range (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  62. Outlaw Josey Wales, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  63. Ox-Bow Incident, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  64. Pillars in the Sky (Blu-ray)
  65. Plainsman, The (1936) (DVD/Kino BD)
  66. Professionals, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  67. Proud Ones, The (DVD/HD Digital)
  68. Pursued (Blu-ray)
  69. Red River (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  70. Ride the High Country (Blu-ray)
  71. Rio Bravo (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  72. Rio Grande (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  73. Rocky Mountain (DVD)
  74. Searchers, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  75. Shane (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  76. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (Blu-ray)
  77. Shootist, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  78. Sons of Katie Elder, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  79. South of St. Louis (Blu-ray)
  80. Stagecoach (1939) (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  81. Tall in the Saddle (DVD/HD Digital)
  82. Tall Men, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  83. They Died with their Boots On (DVD/HD Digital)
  84. Tin Star, The (DVD)
  85. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  86. Unforgiven, The (1960) (Blu-ray)
  87. Unforgiven (4K/UHD/4K Digital)
  88. Union Pacific (German Blu-ray/Kino BD)\
  89. Vera Cruz (MGM Blu-ray/Kino Blu-ray)
  90. Virginia City (DVD/HD Digital)
  91. Walk the Proud Land (DVD)
  92. Warlock (Blu-ray)
  93. War Wagon, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  94. Westerner, The (DVD)
  95. Western Union (Blu-ray)
  96. Westward the Women (DVD)
  97. Wild Bunch, The (Blu-ray/HD Digital)
  98. Will Penny (DVD/HD Digital)
  99. Winchester '73 (DVD/HD Digital)
  100. Yellow Sky (Blu-ray)
 

Robert Crawford

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Before watching "3 Godfathers" last night, I spent the last few days watching some silent westerns that I have on Blu-ray. Three of them were directed by John Ford. The first two starred Harry Carey which were "Straight Shooting" (1917) and "Hell Bent" (1918). The third Ford directed silent western was "3 Bad Men" (1926) starring George O'Brien. I found it interesting listening to the audio commentaries that Ford had a falling out with Harry Carey, George O'Brien and Henry Fonda. Is this a by product from Ford's alcoholism? I imagine it was part of it and I think Ford's personality changed over the years as he became more difficult to deal with. I think he even had a brief falling out with John Wayne, but it didn't nearly last as long as the ones he had with Carey, O'Brien and Fonda.

As to the westerns, I still consider "3 Bad Men" my favorite of those three westerns. None of them are replacement candidates for my "100 Favorite" list, but I do enjoy watching all three silent westerns. By the way, all three Blu-rays are Kino releases.

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Robert Crawford

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Also, I watched two more silent westerns on Blu-ray. They were "Wagon Tracks" (1919) starring William Hart. This was a tough viewing as I found the movie quite boring with its lack of action. I've seen parts of it beforehand, but the 69 minute runtime felt more like two hours. William Hart just isn't my cup of team when it comes to silent westerns. I prefer Harry Carey and George O'Brien. This viewing was from the 2017 Olive Blu-ray release.

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The second silent not-directed by John Ford was "The Covered Wagon" (1923). I've watched this movie beforehand, but decided to watch my Blu-ray again with the audio commentary by Toby Roan. I found the commentary very informative and somewhat entertaining. This expensive western shot on location out in Nevada has some very impressive camera shots without CGI and actual wagons used in some of those camera shots. It always cracks me up seeing Alan Hale Sr. playing a "baddie" as I grew up watching him playing nothing, but good guys with Errol Flynn. This movie takes place as a large wagon train is making it's way across the Western plains using "The Oregon Trail" until circumstances and greed causes dissension within this group of pioneers. Kino did a good job with this 2018 Blu-ray.

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Robert Crawford

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With no "Noir Alley" movie this weekend and Christmas Day being on a Saturday, I'm going to watch "Lady in the Lake" (1947) because much of it happens during the Christmas holidays and it's a personal favorite "Noir" of mine. IMO, it's been an underrated "Noir" film, mainly because of the casting of Robert Montgomery as Philip Marlowe. Also, filming the movie from Marlowe's POV was viewed as too gimmicky for some people. I liked it, but that's film appreciation for you. Another thing I like about that camera perspective was watching Audrey Totter.:) A pretty impressive cast too with Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Leon Ames and Jayne Meadows.

One more thing, this actress wasn't bad to look at either. I can see why Robert Mitchum was busted smoking weed with her.;)

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Updated TCM's Noir Alley 2021/2022 schedule:


10-02-21: The Glass Wall
10-09-21: Brighton Rock
10-16-21: The Dark Past
10-23-21: La bestia debe morir (The Beast Must Die)
10-30-21: Cat People/The Leopard Man
11-06-21: Five Steps to Danger
11-13-21: The Lineup
11-20-21: Johnny O'Clock
11-27-21: Tight Spot
12-04-21: The Unsuspected
12-11-21: Cruel Gun Story
12-18-21: Blast of Silence

01-01-22: Repeat Performance
01-08-22: Nightmare Alley
01-15-22: The Mob
01-22-22: Over-Exposed
01-29-22: Quai des Orfèvres
02-05-22: The Turning Point
02-12-22: Side Street
02-19-22: Cast a Dark Shadow
02-26-22: TBA
 

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