Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: First << 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 >> Last
Author Topic: FilmStruck
Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 351
Permalink
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 12, 2018, 13:26
Quote

Well, in the novel Oliver Twist, Sykes and Fagin end up dead while the Artful Dodger is transported to Australia. In the musical, Sykes is killed but Fagin and the Dodger end up resuming their work together.

The musical isn't big on the backstory, but his mother had a connection to Mr. Brownlow and ended up birthing Oliver at the workhouse. It seems in the original novel that she was married, and why she ended up there is never explained. She had very little money, so some sort of falling-out with the family probably happened.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 606
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 12, 2018, 13:37
Quote

I don’t remember Fagin being killed in the Obi-Wan version, but certainly Sykes was. And a proper villain he was. Hung himself, basically.

I could have loved his movie if they would have fast-forwarded past all that poorhouse stuff and the story of the mother and spent more time in thievery in the streets of London.

And now that I think of it, Oliver is a bit of a bland character. He needed a little bit of overt “Trading Places” shtick inserted into him. I don’t know how the novel reads but the movie is a bore in this regard. Nature or nurture? The Obi-Wan movie doesn’t explore this question. It might have been interesting to see Oliver play a little bit of the Gavroche character. Maybe he gets a little tainted living in the streets and needs to be deprogrammed. Maybe he even likes it.

But everything in the movie is so simplistic and dull. His grandfather (doesn’t know he’s his grandfather at the time, of course) sends little Oliver out to return some books. His friend bets that he’ll not return. And Oliver immediately — in all of London — runs into some of Fagin’s gang. Boring. Stupid. And really, a plot cheat. Does his grandfather really live so close to the low-rent district? Couldn’t exploring where the kids loyalties lie be done in a more interesting way?

Ditch the kid. Let’s follow the life of the Artful Dodger. Let’s see how he got to where he was. Let’s even follow him to Australia. But the great Dickensian character, Oliver Twist, is a right bore.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 351
Permalink
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 12, 2018, 14:00
Quote

In the musical, Fagin was keeping a watch on Oliver, which is why Sykes was able to grab him. It was also clear that he was appalled when he discovered the gang's work involved robbery (which shows how naive he was, given Fagin's training song "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two"). The musical also devotes little time to the workhouse and his brief time at the undertaker's.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 606
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 12, 2018, 17:14
Quote

Tonight’s movie will be It Always Rains on Sunday, another one with Susan Shaw. I did a search inside of FilmStruck and that was the only other film with her in it. No, it’s not infatuation. Or maybe it is.

Anyway, it matches up nicely because it’s another crime/film-noir.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 351
Permalink
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 12, 2018, 18:56
Quote

She doesn't seem to be the female lead, according to wikiedia; that was a woman with the interesting first name of Google. In fact, the movie basically takes place within a single day, and didn't sound that interesting to me. Incidentally the male lead is one John McCallum; I was unable to find out if he was any sort of relation to David McCallum aka Illya Kuryakin.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 606
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 13, 2018, 08:55
Quote

In fact, the movie basically takes place within a single day, and didn't sound that interesting to me.

Your instinct is a good one. There are thousands of movies to watch and we somehow have to filter which ones we want. I filtered this one in because it was a piece of Brit Noir and had Susan Shaw in it.

As it was, it is not a film I would heartily recommend except to pass the time. That said, this is a quite competently directed and photographed picture. It does have that “day in a life” thing going. And I wouldn’t say it worked all that well. At times you’re wondering what a particular scene or group of people have to do with the overall story.

I’ve certainly seen many movies better assemble various threads into a whole. What “It Always Rains on Sunday” has going for it is good acting and a sense of realism. And it is mostly lacking the factor I dislike most in a movie: stupidity. There is relatively little stupid in this one.

Oh, but it’s there. The main thread of the film is an escaped convict who turns up in an outdoor corrugated metal type of shelter in Rose Sandigate’s backyard. She’s played by Googie Withers. There’s a name for you. When the rest of the family is away, she sneaks her old flame upstairs into her bedroom where he can get a good rest and a hot meal on her and her husband’s bed. And the “stupid” is that a filthy runaway such as Tommy Swann could sleep in the room and in the bed and not leave a trace. Maybe we could assume she would clean up later, but it’s a stretch. Grabbing some clothes and perhaps a few blankets and throwing them to him in the corrugated backyard shelter would have made more sense.

Rose Sandigate plays the evil stepmother. She is at least verbally abusive to her two stepdaughters (including the lovely Susan Shaw whose best scene is when she gets in a fight with Rose and Rose rips her dress off her leaving her in her undergarments). Mr. Sandigate is, of course, an older doddering clueless fellow just happy to have such a relatively young and beautiful thing such as Rose taking care of him.

Some of the side-stories, such as the cheating Morry Hyams (who is grooming Susan Shaw for an affair) are not as cinematically interesting. But it does connect with the other story of Rose in this way. There’s also a newspaper man snooping around for a story. And there’s a band of three criminals whose failed heist has netted them only a gross of roller skates which they spend the entire movie trying to get a few pounds for.

Some of this gets a little dull and you wonder why it’s even included. Fortunately there is a terrific chase scene at the end where the police pursue Tommy Shaw who has stolen a car, and now has stolen a bicycle, and now is on foot and has jumped the fence into the dangerous confines of a rail yard.

If a little more cinematic flair had been added, this would have been a good movie instead of just a passable one.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 606
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 14, 2018, 09:03
Quote

I abandoned Susan Shaw last night and watched a Brit Noit that starred Trevor Howard: They Made Me a Fugative.

Clem (Trevor Howard) is an ex war semi-hero who has always been a little shady. Unfortunately, the movie gives us no backstory and leaves this character thin from the get-go. Clem joins a band of smugglers who are looking for a front man who has had class bred into him. (Again, no to little back story on where Clem comes from, but apparently he comes from a finer background.) Does Clem need the money? Is he just looking for excitement? We have no idea. Clem is a character out of nowhere that we can never care about one way or another.

On his first job, Clem finds himself taking part in smuggling “Sherbet” which I assume is drugs but it’s never explained. A little Googling reveals that it is probably cocaine.

Well, Clem has his ethics and tells Narcy (short for “Narcissus”…but the significance of that name is never explained either) he will leave the gang if they have anything to do with this kind of stuff. Narcy, as we shall see throughout the movie, is a ruthless fellow. He tells Clem that they will no longer smuggle “Sherbet.” But on the very next job, Narcy hangs Clem out to dry by tripping the alarm while Clem is still in the building and the rest are all waiting outside.

Clem makes its out. (Somehow. Again…sketchy storytelling.) He jumps in the car. (If Narcy is trying to hang him out to dry, why did they wait for him?) Clem is the driver, I think. Sketchy. I was zoning out of this movie early, and this was the best part.

Speeding away in their getaway car, a copper appears in the middle of the road and whistles for them to stop. Whistles don’t have much effect on a moving car. Clem attempts to steer around but Narcy grabs the wheel and forcibly steers the car into the copper, killing him. While the car is still moving fast, Narcy clubs Clem over the head, knocking him out. The car crashes. (Good plan, Narcy?) Everyone climbs out and escapes except Clem who is slumped over the wheel. The cops grab him at the scene of the crash.

It then fast-forwards to Clem in prison serving a term for manslaughter. One of Narcy’s old gang visits Clem. She’s Narcy’s old dame. Everyone knows what Narcy did to Clem and she wants to help him. But her motivations are sketchy as written. Later Clem escapes from prison, but we don’t how. I assume he walked away from a prison work detail.

And then the movie becomes a real mess of talk, talk, talk but not much happening. One amusing moment was when Clem stumbles upon a remote house on the moors. He knocks and asks for some help. Everyone has heard on the radio that there is a fugitive on the run and it seems apparent that this lady knows who Clem is. Long story short, she promises to help Clem with food, clothes, money, etc., if Clem will kill her good-for-nothing drunken husband.

Clem declines. He has his ethics, you know. Clem takes off but then the lady shoots her husband and blames it on Clem. One of the major problems of this film is that they couldn’t decide whether to make Clem a sympathetic bad guy (even perhaps in the Cagney mold) or the framed good guy who just made a couple wrong movies. This is truly textbook horrible character misdevelopment.

One good character in the movie is this old lady in Narcy’s gang. I think she’s “Aggie,” played by Mary Merral. But she is a hoot and should have been a more central “Ma Parker” part of the movie replacing the wasted time on other, blander characters.

The dames in this, including Sally Gray as “Sally,” are not very good actresses, in my opinion. They seem more like they are just reciting lines. Howard seems horribly miscast for this film as well. But then no actor — perhaps not even Humphrey Bogart — could have made this script work.

The final death of this movie comes at the end where you have these horrible speeded-up fight scenes very dreadfully choreographed. This movie had “amateur hour” written all over it. It wasn’t quite bad enough to be good nor good enough to be good. But I do think the old broad, Aggie, was a hoot.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 351
Permalink
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 14, 2018, 11:37
Quote

There's a scene early in The Wild Geese (a film inspired by Moise Tshombe -- and it's the reason I once got a short biography of the Congolese leader) in which Sean Finn, played by Roger Moore, finds that he has been smuggling heroin for the gang he's working for (I guess that can happen with unemployed mercenaries). He points out to his gang boss (a son of the overall gang leader as I recall) that he had told them he would not handle drugs, and makes him eat the heroin himself. After he's done, Finn tells him that he had laced it with strychnine. Not surprisingly, he soon finds the gang after him, which makes him very willing when the mercenary commander (played by Richard Burton) comes to recruit him to rescue an African leader named Julius Limbane (based on Tshombe, of course).

In fact, I can recommend the movie very highly for the Video listings. One interesting point Limbane makes to one of the mercenaries after being recommended: "We have to forgive you for the past, just as you have to forgive us for the present." His goal is racial reconciliation, which he considers essential for black Africa to advance. So far there has been very little of that even now, over 40 years after the movie came out.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 606
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 14, 2018, 14:09
Quote

It’s reminiscent of Pauli (the head Pauli played by Paul Sorvino) in “Goodfellas” warning Conway and company not to be dealing drugs. Hookers, booze, and gambling were okay.

You can admire that they at least had an ethic. But there was just too much money to be made from Libertarians and others to ever keep the drug trade out of organized crime.

Kung Fu Zu
Moderator
Posts: 199
Permalink
Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 14, 2018, 15:08
Quote

The article about Libertarians was not bad. Finally, someone other that ST pointing out that the only thing Libertarians have done is to advance leftist social policies.

As before, I am convinced most Libertarians are either idiots or crypto-communists who misguide the idiots.

Pages: First << 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 >> Last
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.235 seconds.