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Mystery & Crime Series 30's & 40's

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Mysto, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. Message #861 of 874 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    I got caught up in watching Murder, She Said (1961) last night--Margaret Rutherford's first outing as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. I had every intention of doing a film commentary about it*, but decided to just lay back and enjoy the film without the nuisance of taking notes. The harpsichord-heavy theme music is just a delight even if such an obvious early 60's earmark. Who cares--I eat 60's nostalgia for lunch.
    Some interesting points of interest that I can remember, sans notes:
    • Joan Hickson (the future PBS' Miss Marple) appears in a small part
    • Marple's mystery-reading friend Jim Stringer is played by Rutherford's real-life husband, ironically named Stringer Davis
    • When asked if she can cook, Miss Marple states she's "fair". Then proceeds to whip up scratch-made mushroom soup (with "just a touch of lemon") and curried duck with rice pilaf
    • Ronnie Raymond, as the precocious kid Alexander who helps Marple find a dead body, had a very limited acting career and eventually made his living as an undertaker
    upload_2019-4-28_9-42-14. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A current Marple facing a future Marple; Stringer / Stringer and wifey Margaret; Margaret auditioning for the cover of Cosmopolitan?

    *Sorry, Marv--I really did intend to do a full-blown commentary to help fill the thread. This was the best I could muster for now.
     
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  2. Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    It's hard not to just sit back and enjoy. This series is a really fun ride. As I mentioned before - I started a thread on movies watched 10 times or more. The Rutherford Marple series appeared on several lists. Not bad for any series - incredible for a mystery series.

    Very much enjoyed the comments. Thanks for keeping the thread alive. We've been catching up on a lot of other stuff so I need to get another review in here soon.
     
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  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Love Murder, She Said, and love every one of the actors in it. Ronny Raymond is a lot of fun, but that's not his voice. His entire performance was dubbed by another actor, Martin Stephens, who was in The Innocents.
     
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  4. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Karloff *is* an odd choice to play a Chinese detective. It's especially odd hearing his distinctive voice in the role. If you can overlook the miscasting, they're actually fun little programmers. Karloff starred in the first 5.

    The 6th Mr. Wong movie stars Key Luke as Mr. Wong. It was the first time an American sound film used an Asian actor to play a lead Asian detective.

    The Mr. Wong DVD set I have has all 6 movies. While I like Karloff, I really wish Key Luke had been able to play the role in all 6.

    [​IMG]

    For another case of miscasting, one of the Mr. Wong movies starred Bela Lugosi! This one pre-dates the ones with Karloff and Luke and, like those entries, is from Monogram Pictures although it's not related to the later series. Mr. Wong does not appear in the story on which this one is based.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Those series always had super good covers! Even if they removed the series and book names you'd know what they were and those blue spines really stood out on the library shelves.

    I loved both series and read as many as I could. I was able to purchase a few (still have them) and borrowed more from the local library. My sister had the Nancy Drew ones and I'd borrow hers to read. They were just as good as The Hardy Boys ones.

    Your comments on them being edited make me want to dig mine out and see if they are edited versions. Mine are from the early 60s right after they started tampering with them. Even if they're the edited versions I don't know that I care as I really enjoyed the stories. Of course I'd now like to see the unedited versions just because.
     
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  6. Message #866 of 874 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    Rustifer

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    Howie--You need to find the original Grosset & Dunlap printings that have hard covers that look like either of these two:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    They're not easy to find--maybe in a used book store or on Ebay. All my originals were handed down to me from my older brother--some with the dust jackets, and I did find a few used ones in a tiny bookstore years ago that were being sold for 50 cents. Good luck with finding that bargain ever again.

    Later, I also bought the earlier blue-spined novels (mainly for the covers) and at at first I couldn't tell the difference in the texts until re-reading the originals again. There some some references in the first printings that are so socially unacceptable by today's standards (that I won't point out here for decorum's sake) and were rightfully deleted in the later issues--but also sacrificed the flavor of the times.
    After the Hardy Boys TV show caught hold in the 70's, new printings were issued where the text dramatically changed the boys' characters and surroundings, e.g rock bands, cars, dress, high school activities, etc. I won't even touch those as they do nothing to bring back the happy nostalgia I got from reading about those adventures as a twelve year old. There are 38 volumes that can be considered "original" before the writing syndicate began to revise as well as add new titles.
     
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  7. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Jeez...I feel bad that the last post on here for a while is my dumb Hardy Boys reading habits. Zzzzzz.
    I promise to get some new mystery commentaries fired up here soon, Marv. I've got a small trove saved up.
     
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  8. Matt Hough

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    I watched Alias Boston Blackie tonight. It was so enjoyable with Blackie continually coming out on top in confrontations with the relentless police. Wasn't that Lloyd Bridges as the bus driver early in the movie? And I hadn't noticed Larry Parks' name in the cast list at the opening, so when he turned up, that was another big surprise. Great fun for 67 minutes.
     
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  9. RBailey

    RBailey Second Unit

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    Bonus points for the Christmastime setting...and Adele Mara!
     
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  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    After a long hiatus, I watched my next Boston Blackie entry: Boston Blackie in Hollywood. The transfer itself was very dark and the sound wasn't always in sync either in the DVD copy I was watching. The leads were as fun-loving as usual and made monkeys of the police as they always do, but I couldn't get into the caper. Part of the problem was I had just watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse just before this, and I was so exhausted from its frenzied pacing and kaleidoscopic colors that I didn't have a lot of patience for the lapses of the DVD print they were presenting.

    Maybe I'll be in a better mood for the next one.
     
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  11. Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    I thought I would give this old thread a bump. Took a while but got to watch this new BLU RAY copy of the Thin Man. Finally, the release this great film deserves. In all of the wonderful mystery series we have covered in this thread only the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes have been released in Blu Ray. Now we have at least one of the Thin Man series and it is beautiful. Hopefully this will sell well and the rest of the series will follow.
     
  12. Message #872 of 874 Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    Rustifer

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    No matter how many times I've watched "The Thin Man" (which is more times than I have fingers), I always discover something new that I've missed before. Myrna Loy's Nora Charles is the quintessential 'modern' woman of the 30's, and no one is more erudite on the subject of liquor than William Powell's Nick Charles. My favorite line comes towards the end of the film during the tipsy dinner party with all the crazy relatives and suspects. Nora asks the waiter, "Will you please serve the nuts...I mean...will you please serve the nuts to the guests..."

    upload_2019-9-15_8-46-37.
    "I read, dear, that you were shot in the tabloids".
    "Not true" scoffs Nick. "He came nowhere near my tabloids."

    Whether on Blu Ray or just watching on TV, this is a must-see film.

    On a different note, good to see you back and shaking the trees in this thread, Marv. I was beginning to think we'd need a stiff wire brush to scrape the rust off it. Or off you.
     
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  13. Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    Probably both! Still very limited in watching and posting time but hopefully we'll get back to normal soon.

    I don't know that this will inspire others to post but I felt I had to update on the Thin Man. One of my very first posts on this forum was to ask if anyone had any info on a Blu Ray release of same. I couldn't believe that it wasn't available. Still can't believe the rest of the series isn't out yet.

    Also thought we might have new members that might enjoy some of these series and I wanted them to know we have info on every mystery series from the 30's and 40's in this thread.
     
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  14. Matt Hough

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    If the quality of this transfer for The Thin Man is any indication, all of the others (that aren't nearly as badly marked as the original was) should look simply smashing if they ever get around to doing them.

    I can't say enough good things about The Thin Man, as a movie and as a Blu-ray.
     
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