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Too Much, Too Soon
Too Much, Too Soon
DVD ~ Dorothy Malone
Price: $14.98
27 used & new from $10.35

3.0 out of 5 stars For Fans of Flynn, July 12, 2015
This review is from: Too Much, Too Soon (DVD)
“Too Much Too Soon” is the 1958 biopic about Diana Barrymore (1921-60), the daughter of stage and screen great John Barrymore. Diana made 10 films between 1941 and 1951 then transitioned to TV where she had a very brief career. She was married 3 times and had problems with alcohol and pills, and wrote the best-selling book from which this film was adapted in 1957.

Sultry Dorothy Malone (1925) plays Diana. Malone is best known for her role on “Peyton Place” (1964-8), but she was also an Oscar winner for “Written on the Wind” (1956), which is what earned her the starring role in this film. She was featured in the TV series “Rich Man, Poor Man” (1976) and most recently in “Basic Instinct” (1992).

Errol Flynn (1909-59) plays John Barrymore. For more than a dozen years Errol Flynn was one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, both on and off the screen. But by 1950 his best days were behind him, and his role here as John Barrymore is more than an ironic picture of his own career. Flynn and Barrymore were great friends and there is a legend that Flynn stole Barrymore dead body.

Neva Patterson (1920-2010) plays Diana’s mother. Patterson was a busy actress in the 50s and 60s transitioning to TV and busy through the 80s.

The acting by Flynn and Malone is excellent. The New York Times said the film was “…undaring and even unsurprising… Mr Flynn steals the picture lock, stock and keg. It is only in the scenes of his savage disintegration, as the horrified girl looks on, that the picture approaches real tragedy.” But the LA Times was not so positive – “For all his capturing of John's surface mannerisms, some of the physical appearance and, most effortlessly, his way with a bottle, Flynn is not the great profile and great actor of our time…”

The top grossing films in 1958 were “South Pacific”, “Auntie Mame”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, “No Time for Sergeants”, and “Gigi”. The big Oscar winner was “Gigi” (Picture, Director). David Niven won for Best Actor (“Separate Tables”) and Susan Hayward won for Best Actress (“I Want to Live”). Other notable releases were “Vertigo”, “The Blob”, “The Fly”, and “King Creole”.

This film will appeal to fans of Flynn mostly, for his excellent acting, although truth be told, he is playing more the aging Flynn than the aging Barrymore. Barrymore was a much better classical actor, and Flynn was a marvelous swashbuckler. So the fit isn’t exactly 100%. But both were at one point at the very top of their profession, only to see their personal foibles quicken their respective declines.


The Corsican Brothers
The Corsican Brothers
DVD ~ Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Price: $14.98
35 used & new from $7.84

2.0 out of 5 stars He did a lot of relatively undistinguished work but did put in an amazing performance opposite Cary Grant and Victor McLaglen in, June 28, 2015
This review is from: The Corsican Brothers (DVD)
The Corsican Brothers” is a 1941 black and white adventure films from the Alexander Dumas novel (1844) of the same name. It was the 8th adaptation of the book to film, and would continue to be adapted including “Cheech and Chong’s The Corsican Brothers” (1984) and “Start the Revolution without Me” (1970).

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.(1909-2000) stars as the brothers. Fairbanks’ father had been one of the top stars of the silent era (“Robin Hood”, “Mask of Zorro”, “Thief of Bagdad”) so Junior began working early. He did a lot of relatively undistinguished work but did put in an amazing performance opposite Cary Grant and Victor McLaglen in “Gunga Din” (1939), earning him the top billing in this film. This was the last film he made before enlisting in the Navy where he worked as a “Beach Jumper” and earned several distinguished medals.

Fairbanks is OK in the role, but clearly not as swashbuckling as his dad or his contemporary Errol Flynn.

Akim Tamiroff (1899-1972) co-stars as a man with a vendetta against the Brother’s family. Tamiroff was a busy actor in the 30s and 40s, although I think his best performance was in Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil” (1956). He had been nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in “The General Died at Dawn” (1936) and would be nominated again in 1944 in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, losing to Charles Coburn (“The More the Merrier) but he would win the Golden Globe. Tamiroff is more of a buffon than a menace in this film.

Ruth Warrick (1916-2005) plays the love interest. She made her film debut in “Citizen Kane” (1941) as Kane’s first wife. She went on to make more than a dozen films and then transitioned to TV where she had recurring roles in “All My Children” (1999 – 2005) as Phoebe and “Peyton Place” (1967-9) as Hannah Cord. She was nominated for an Emmy several times, but never won. She brings nothing new or exciting to this role.

J. Carrol Naish (1896-1973) plays the Brothers’ mentor. He was twice nominated for an Oscar ("Sahara" in 1941, "A Medal for Benny" in 1946). He was extremely versatile and could play an Indian ("The Whirlwind"), a Russian (""British Agent"), an Arab ("The Crusades"), an Asian ("The Hatchet Man") and a Latino ("The Kid from Spain"). He played the lead role in "Sitting Bull" (1954). He does his usual good performance, but nothing noteworthy.

Nothing about the film is remarkable. Acting, photography, music, and location are all OK. The special effects (Fairbanks plays his own brother) are mediocre even considering the data, and often out of true sync.


Scaramouche
Scaramouche
DVD ~ Alice Terry, Ramon Novarro, Lewis Stone, Julia Swayne Gordon Lloyd Ingraham
Price: $14.99
28 used & new from $5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holds Up Well, June 11, 2015
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
Scaramouche is a 1923 black and white silent action romance starring Ramon Navarro and Alice Terry

Ramon Navarro (1899-1968) was the “latin lover” successor to Rudolph Valentino and very popular through the mid 30s when MGM cancelled his contract partly as a result of an early “red scare”. Shortly after this film he achieved the apex of his fame with “Ben Hur” (1925). Navarro was a (secret) homosexual and this may account for the lack of chemistry between Navarro and Alice Terry. Navarro’s performance is very good in the dramatic and action scenes, but the love scenes leave a lot to be desired.

Alice Terry (1899-1987) played the love interest to both Rudolph Valentino (“The Four Horsemen…”) and Ramon Navarro. She started in films in 1916 and in 1921 married director Rex Ingram during the production of “The Prisoner of Zenda.” She appeared mainly in silent films.

Lewis Stone (1879-1953) plays the evil Marquis. He was a major star in the 20s and 30s and was nominated for an Oscar for “The Patriot” (1930). Between 1914 and 1953 he made more than 150 films; his memorable roles were as the warden in “The Big House” (1930), Doctor Otternschlag in “Grand Hotel” (1932), Commissioner Smith in “The Mask of Fu Manchu” (1932), and “Doc” in “Three Godfathers” (1936). He’s probably best known for his continuing role as Judge Hardy in the Andy Hardy films (1937-46). Stone gives his usual fine performance, very understated for a 1923 silent drama.

Rex Ingram (1892-1950) directed this film. He was considered one of the greatest directors of the silent era, alongside such notables as D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. He made 30 films, all but two of them silent. Among his most memorable films are “Prisoner of Zenda” (1922), “Scaramouche” (1923), and “Ben Hur” (1925). He helped launch the career of Ramon Navarro who was Valentino’s chief rival for the “Latin Lover” title.

John Seitz (1892-1979) was Ingram’s photographer in a dozen films, including “The Four Horsemen…” and “Prisoner of Zenda”. He was nominated 7 times for an Oscar, most of them black and white, and ranged from 1930 (Divine Lady) to 1954 (Rogue Cop). Among his best known films were “Double Indemnity” (1944), “the Lost Weekend” (1945), “When Worlds Collide” (1951) and “Five Graves to Cairo” (1943).

The sets for this film are stunning, as is the photography, although there are too many long shots for my tastes, with action that is hard to detect without much effort.

This is certainly above the standard for the era and holds up well nearly a century after it was made.


Five Steps To Danger
Five Steps To Danger
DVD
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Subpar Spy Story from mid 50s, June 7, 2015
‘Five Steps to Danger” is a 1957 black and white spy story starring Sterling Hayden and Ruth Roman.

Sterling Hayden (1916-86) had so many memorable roles it’s hard to begin - General Jack D Ripper in “Dr Strangelove”, King Zharko in “King of the Gypsies”, the corrupt police captain in “The Godfather Part 1”, Jim Bowie in “The Last Command”, and Dix Hardley in “The Asphalt Jungle”, Johnny Guitar in the film of the same name, etc. This film, unfortunately, ranks among his least memorable films as he plays a man caught up in an espionage plot.

Ruth Roman (1922-1999) plays a woman looking to stop a Communist plot to build a rocket. Roman was nominated for her role in “Champion” (1949) and is well known for her roles in “Strangers on a Train” (1951) and “Joe MacBeth” (1955). In the late 50s she transitioned to TV where she was a staple in dramas and westerns. She plays the damsel in distress pretty well.

The film was written and directed by Henry Kesler (1907-97) who was mainly a TV director in the 50s (“I Led 3 Lives”).

This is a pretty low budget and low action film, and though there is some suspense, it isn’t engaging.

Among anti-communist films of the 50s, most are similarly devoid of any real merit. The allegorical films, OTOH, were memorable – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956). It was only in the 60s that anti-communist films evolved (e.g., “The Manchurian Candidate”,1962) but shortly thereafter the topic lent itself more to satire (e.g., “Dr. Strangelove”, 1964, “The Russians are Coming”, 1966).


The Torrent
The Torrent
DVD ~ Ricardo Cortez
Price: $14.32
26 used & new from $10.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Garbo Will Enjoy This Film, June 1, 2015
This review is from: The Torrent (DVD)
“The Torrent” is a 1926 black and white silent film that features Greta Garbo (1905-90) in her first featured English film. That same year she made “Flesh and the Devil” (1926) which was directed by Clarence Brown, with whom she worked often. Garbo was nominated 3 times for an Oscar (“Anna Christie”, “Camille”, and “Ninotchka”) but never won. She is listed #5 on the AFI’s list of Greatest Actresses. Quite frankly, from this film, it’s not obvious that she would have such a distinguished career ahead for herself.

Ricardo Cortez (1900-77) is top billed in this film as the son of a Spanish landowner, though Cortez (born Jacob Krantz in NYC) is no more Spanish than Garbo was. Cortez was groomed as a successor to Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) and had a busy career in silent and early talkies, and was one of the first people to play Sam Spade (“Maltese Falcon” 1931).

The film is pretty standard love story for the mid 1920s, with star crossed lovers and an interfering mother. But the location scenes and the special effects are remarkable for the time, and this is one of the few major films from the silent era in which the actors do not over-act. The musical score is a little heavy handed, but again, for the era it is quite restrained.

Fans of Garbo will definitely want to see it.


Ancient Roads From Christ to Constantine
Ancient Roads From Christ to Constantine
DVD ~ .
Price: $17.79
12 used & new from $14.16

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious resource, June 1, 2015
This is a marvelous film that everyone interested in the history of Christianity should see. It is filled with details that are not otherwise generally available, and more importantly, you get to visit each of these places and look at the artefacts and remnants from past civilizations. The graphics are good and the photography is excellent. It's not however, a perfect film as my rating "5" implies. The experts are definitely from the B list, and seem to be chosen because of their proximity to Phillips. There is also an orthodox approach to the history of Christianity, taking the accepted POV which is church dogma, but not necessarily the latest interpretation of events/people. Putting aside these issues, the film is unduplicated in giving you access to material you can't find elsewhere. Phillips and his crew are to be commended for giving us this great gift.


La Jetee
La Jetee
DVD
Price: $1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Precursor to "12 Monkeys", June 1, 2015
This review is from: La Jetee (Amazon Instant Video)
La Jetee is a 1962 black and white 28 minute sci-fi multi-media product, consisting largely of still photographs with a very brief film near the end. It has an accompanying musical score and occasional voice-over. The “film” takes place in post WW 3 Paris, at some near future date, when time travel is just being invented. A prisoner is “sent back” some 30 years to a time before the war, where he searches out and finds a woman whom he recalls from his past.

The prisoner is played by Davos Hanich and the woman is played by Helene Chatelain, neither of whom have you probably seen before. The film is written and directed by Chris Marker (1921-2012), a French film maker associated with the Left Bank Cinema movement of the 1950s.

The film apparently inspired Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film “12 Monkeys” which was a phenomenal film, featuring not only a great plot, but excellent performances from Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, neither of whom are known for such quality work. Considering how remarkable “12 Monkeys” is, it is even more remarkable that “La Jetee” gave birth to the film.

La Jetee is certainly an interesting and provocative film, and the use of still photography to tell the story is way ahead of its time. Sci fi fans will enjoy this film, but it wouldn’t be among my top films on time travel – “12 Monkeys” (1995), “Time after Time” (1979), “Time Bandits” (1981), “Back to the Future” (1985), “The Terminator” (1984), “Planet of the Apes” (1968), “The Time Machine” (1960), and “Frequency” (2000).


World Without End / Satellite in the Sky
World Without End / Satellite in the Sky
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $9.99
9 used & new from $2.91

3.0 out of 5 stars OK Sci Fi Film for 1950s, May 31, 2015
When you watch a sci fi film made more than a half century ago and it seems just plain silly, you have to wonder if our films today will look as ludicrous a half century from now. I suspect they will.

“World Without End” was part of a sci fi explosion in films that took place in the 1950s, many of them focused on Mars – “Flight to Mars” (1951), “When Worlds Collide” (1951), “Red Planet Mars” (1952), “Invader from Mars” (1953), “Devil Girl from Mars” (1954), “The Angry Red Planet” (1959), etc./Even Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” (1953). “World Without End” mixes the sci fi element with time travel, also a popular topic at the time – “Terror from the Year 5000” (1958), “The Atomic Man” (1955), “I’ll Never Forget You” (1951), and of course, “The Time Machine” (1960).

The film stars Hugh Marlowe, Rod Taylor, and Nelson Leigh.

Hugh Marlowe (1911-1982) was a mature and stable presence in dozens of films, notably “Twelve O’Clock High” (1949), “All About Eve” (1950), and “The Earth Stood Still” (1951).

Australia born Rod Taylor (1930-2015) played macho roles for more than 50 years. He’s best known for his work in “The Time Machine” (1960), “The Birds” (1963), and “The V.I.P.s” (1963). He was very active on TV in series like “Falcon Crest” and “Walker Texas Ranger”.

Nelson Leigh (1905-1985) appeared as a co-star in dozens of films and on TV, especially in the 50s and 60s.

The film is written and directed by Edward Bernds (1905-2000) who is best known for his work in sci-fi (“Queen of Outer Space”, “Return of the Fly”, “Space Master”) and with the Three Stooges in the 60s.

It’s an unremarkable film, notable as the first sci fi in Cinemascope. The color photography is excellent and the outdoor sets go beyond sound stages.

For my tastes, the best sci fi films of this era are “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), “Red Planet Mars” (1952), “The War of the Worlds” (1953), “Forbidden Planet” (1956), “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956), “The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957), and “The Fly” (1958)


American Standard 1748.218.020 Colony 5-1/2-Feet by 32-Inch Left-Hand Whirlpool with Integral Apron and Hydro Massage System-I, White
American Standard 1748.218.020 Colony 5-1/2-Feet by 32-Inch Left-Hand Whirlpool with Integral Apron and Hydro Massage System-I, White
Price: $1,342.30
7 used & new from $1,314.11

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but limited, May 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an excellent tub for the price, however, it has some drawbacks. The blowers are not situated in such a manner that they hit the best spots (back, neck feet) so you can enjoy the swirling motion but not where you want it. Also, this model, because it is relatively small, does not allow for an in-line heater.


Classic Accessories Fairway Golf Cart Terry Cloth Bench Seat Cover, Navy
Classic Accessories Fairway Golf Cart Terry Cloth Bench Seat Cover, Navy
Price: $29.00
2 used & new from $29.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Adapts to Boat seats too, May 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used this terry cloth seat cover for my lake boat seats and it works fine. Easy to use and while it doesn't fit perfectly because we are adapting it to a boat cushion seat instead of a golf cart seat, no one will be able to tell the difference. The costs of re-doing our seats would have been $1000, instead we can cover them for $100.


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