‘Charade’ – Part Six

Well, as you may know if you’ve been watching this space, I have an on-going movie serial in the works here. This time around, I’m featuring one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant pairings. But I hope to get back in the faux-MST3K mode after this. And I think I’ve got my next victim B-movie film lined up! It’s Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)!

But first, here’s Part Six of Charade!

And here’s a preview of the coming attraction! 🙂

 

Is this Eight Shades of David Lynch or what? 🙂

PS: Here’s another video I shot for Vimeo’s Weekend Challenge. It’s an homage to the tricycle scene from The Shining! Except as seen by a cat! 🙂

The Shining – A Cat’s Eye View from Debbi Mack on Vimeo.

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My Review of ‘Rope’ (1948)

This film is a taught 80-minute study of two twisted minds at work. Well, three—counting the director. 🙂

Two young men lure a friend to their Manhattan apartment, where they proceed to strangle him to death. Then, dump him in a chest. Which they drape with a tablecloth and use to serve food for a nice, cozy get-together they have afterward.

And everyone at this a gay fete (no pun intended) (and, yes, film critics have made much of the homosexual subtext between the two killers) knew the victim by virtue of blood relation, friendship or marriage engagement. So, naturally, there is building discussion about why he hasn’t made an appearance, etc.

While one of the young men, Brandon (played by John Dall) seems to get a slightly nervous charge out of this game he and Phillip (played by Farley Granger) have devised, Phillip becomes increasingly unhinged and starts drinking like a fish too much.

Jimmy Stewart plays their old prep school housemaster and publisher Rupert Cadell, who’s not only the odd man out at this weird party, but apparently sparked the idea for committing “the perfect murder” when he discussed his theories about Nietzsche and the “art of murder” with the deadly duo back in the day. Brandon imagines that, of all the invitees, Cadell should most appreciate what he calls their “work of art”.

Hitchcock’s use of a confined space adds a claustrophobic touch to the film, despite the panoramic view through a long line of windows. The movie unfolds in real time and the background vista changes colors as the sun sets. Even as one watches the players interact, one’s eye is drawn to the ever-changing skyline which looks artificial and painted, as if to wink at the audience and say, “Don’t worry. It’s just a movie.”

The film is also structured through a series of long shots made to appear as if the movie were done in one take. Hitchcock managed this by focusing on someone’s back, cutting the shots together there, and moving on. It’s not only a tension-filled device, but an inspired (if ever-so-slightly clunky) feet of technical wizardry.

However, for all its artifice, this movie was inspired by real-life events: none other than the Leopold and Loeb murders. Now, that’s scary!

The combination of the Hitchcock touch (complete with his characteristic dark humour) and the sheer technical mastery in making this film makes it a winner in my book!

Respectfully submitted today, as part of The Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon, hosted at Maddylovesherclassicfilms! 🙂

Posted in Blogathan, Crime Movies, Film Noir, Hitchcock, Movie Reviews, Psychological Thrillers | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Atomic Blonde Review

I absolutely must see this film! 🙂

MILLENNIAL MOVIES

Based on the 2012 Graphic novel The Coldest City and directed by David Leitch, Atomic Blonde is the new spy thriller staring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Roland Møller and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

Atomic Blonde7 Image via Universal

The movie is set during the final days of the Cold War, with the film starting with Lorraine Broughton (Theron) debriefing her superiors in British Intelligence (Toby Jones) along with CIA officer (John Goodman) about her most recent mission. Lorraine recounts being sent into Berlin to find out who had killed another MI6 agent and recover a list that has the details of all the double agents. Once in Berlin she encounters fellow MI6 agent David Percival (McAvoy), who Lorraine is unsure if she can trust, that tells her she not only has to find the list but she also needs to protect a defecting Stasi agent, code name Spyglass, who…

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Funny Women of the Silents

This looks fantastic! Must add to TBR list! 🙂

Silver Screenings

Anita Garvin and Marion Byron in 1928. 

There is no delicate way to put this: We’ve been ripped off.

We, meaning all of us movie-watching folk.

Now, before we continue, we realize countless people in the world have been ripped off in much bigger ways, such as famine, war, injustice, etc.

What we’re talking about is a rip-off in film history, an epic What Might Have Been.

Let us explain. We just finished reading Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy by Steve Massa (Bear Manor Media, 2017). This oddly-punctuated volume is a work of staggering research; a look at female movie comediennes in the silent era – an era that gave us Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and a whole army of funny women.

“American silent comedy in particular has come to be regarded as man’s work, as if only men were brave (or foolhardy) enough to hang off a…

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‘Charade’ – Part Five

With great pleasure, we present to you now Part Five of that awesome classic film featuring the lovely Audrey Hepburn and the aging long in the tooth distinguished Cary Grant. I speak of none other than the movie Charade!

I would have edited in this image, but it wouldn’t have translated well to video! 🙂

And if you’re a die-hard film noir fan like me or you’d like to learn more about the genre, just click here and fill out the form for a free download of this book.

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My Review of ‘Deadline to Dawn’ (1946)

As part of TCM’s Noir Alley line-up, I recently saw this interesting little film noir.

The story concerns a U.S. Navy sailor Alex Winkley (played by Bill Williams) who wakes up post-bender with a big wad of moolah on him. Although his mind is a blank as to the previous evening, he recalls getting the dough from a woman he’d visited, the not-so-lovely Edna Bartelli (played briefly mostly lying down by Lola Lane).

So … being a really nice guy, and with help from dance hall girl June Gaffe (played awesomely by Susan Hayward), he tries to return the money. But, honey—it’s too late for that, because the woman has been offed whacked murdered as dead as a doornail.

Alex is so hazy on the previous night’s details, he can’t be sure he didn’t kill her. Thus, June and Gus Hoffman, New York City’s most philosophical cabbie (played by Paul Lukas) spend all night with him trying to figure out whodunnit. And the deadline is dawn, because that’s when Alex has to ship out. So, it’s shape up and ship out for Alex. Before dawn. Which explains the movie’s title. Well, book and movie, because it was a book first.

Apparently, the stiff deceased was quite the blackmailer, because she kept compromising letters about various men’s affairs and made a nice chunk of change off blackmailing them. Complicating matters is the appearance of Edna’s brother Val (played by Joseph Calleia), your typical gangster type who’d like to fix Alex up as the fall guy.

The plot has some nice twists and turns, as befits the genre. I do have to take issue with Eddie Muller’s observation during his introduction that the story relies too much on coincidence. In my opinion, it’s exactly that randomness that underscores the existential nature of the film noir genre (or style, if you will). So much of our lives are determined by coincidence and luck (or lack thereof).

I also thoroughly enjoyed the cinematography. Specifically, the way it captured the feeling of a big city at night—a place jammed with people who hardly know each other in the dark urban setting of empty streets.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say it involves a plot twist that I never saw coming. And there is one thing I particularly liked about Hayward as June. She was anything but the typical film noir female. Instead of a femme fatale, June was a dance hall girl with a heart of gold.

I think this movie is an overlooked film noir delight. I highly recommend it for fans of the genre!

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‘Charade’ – Part Four

With the arrival of Saturday, for your entertainment, we have Part Four of Charade, a really funny and suspenseful film. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn make such a cute couple, if you ignore the fact that Grant’s old enough to be her grandfather.

In any event, I’m pleased to make it part of the Saturday Matinee line-up!

So … here it is! 🙂

Having said that, here’s a survey I’m doing, in the interest of providing more and better B-movie entertainment!

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