1940's Hall of Fame II

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



I finished "I Remember Mama" couple of days ago and will review it soon. I only have "Mr. Lucky" and "The Sea Wolf" left to watch.



The Ghost and Mrs. Muir



Another gem in this HOF for me. I pretty much enjoyed everything about the movie, but this was certainly elevated by a fantastic performance by Gene Tierney as Mrs. Muir. She has slowly become one of my favorites actresses of all time. She is captivating and beautiful on screen. Her chemistry with Rex Harrison was excellent as well. The two played off each other very well and we're both casted perfectly. She can act! And so can he. The sound in the film was really well done and I thought the cinematography was beautiful. The house gave the film a pretty nice setting, at first I thought maybe the house should have been more haunting but I think in the long run it was fine. It's hard for me to talk a lot about this movie because I was so entranced by the production that I wasn't even thinking about what I was going to say here. For that, I'm sorry, but it's a real gem of a nomination. Thanks Jeff!




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I did the same thing, raul. I had to remind myself that I was gonna need to review this lol
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Glad you liked The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Raul. I have a Gene Tierney film to watch, Whirlpool (1950)
Other movie sites say it's a 1949 film, so I don't know if it qualifies for the Top 100 1940s countdown? Anyway I just want to watch it



cricket's Avatar
Pimpin' ain't easy
Glad you liked The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Raul. I have a Gene Tierney film to watch, Whirlpool (1950)
Other movie sites say it's a 1949 film, so I don't know if it qualifies for the Top 100 1940s countdown? Anyway I just want to watch it
In regards to Gene Tierney, Heaven Can Wait was very good and I'm planning on watching Dragonwyck which is on YouTube.



In regards to Gene Tierney, Heaven Can Wait was very good and I'm planning on watching Dragonwyck which is on YouTube.
MovieGal really liked Drangonwyck, she got me to watch that one. It's pretty good.



I've seen Dragonwyck couple of times. It was actually one of the films I considered nominating. Gene is pretty good there, though it's more of a Vincent Price show.



I'm having trouble finding Mr. Lucky, hoping someone can help me out with that.

And then I have two rewatches that I'm looking very forward to, with Double Indemnity and Ride the Pink Horse!



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


Double Indemnity


Considered a MUST SEE for anyone who enjoys noir films this was co-written by a decective-story great, and creator of Philip Marlowe; Raymond Chandler, and his style of colorful penmanship is all over this film.
The other writer? None other than Billy Wilder.

This film has all the usual pieces to a clever scam going to hell. With a femme fatale; Barbara Stanwyck, whom I really love when she plays it tough. When she plays the nervous/scared damsel it doesn't seem real. Or perhaps that's the point, since it's all a charade anyway. One you can see on multiple scenes when she watches Murray's character walk away; and if you know what you're looking for, you do see behind the mask. Though she does hide it VERY well.
She truly shined in the final confrontation. Sitting coldly on the sofa as things fell apart between her and Murray and the tension was very well done.

As for Murray, he played the sucker perfectly. Making the plays and the orchestrating the plans without the slightest clue he was the one being used. Though I must say I never had any sympathy for him, while I did enjoy him trying to play it cool.
But I really think that has to do with the bias of being so used to him playing Walt Disney films when I was a kid; like Flubber and Shaggy D.A. Never mind the sitcom; My Three Sons. So any time I ever watched this, those characters always stuck in my head.

The final character, Murray's boss played with his usual excellence is my man Edward G Robinson. I think some of my favorite scenes included Murray and Robinson; especially the closing scene of this movie.

An excellent addition to this HoF and very happy to revisit it; THANKS Nestorio!!



Glad you liked The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Raul. I have a Gene Tierney film to watch, Whirlpool (1950)
Other movie sites say it's a 1949 film, so I don't know if it qualifies for the Top 100 1940s countdown? Anyway I just want to watch it

Thanks for the heads up about Whirlpool (1950). It's scheduled to air on a local cable channel on Monday, so I set my DVR to record it. (And the description on the cable box lists it as 1949.)
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Gentleman Jim (1942)
Dir. Raoul Walsh
Starring: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson

Since I don't follow any kind of sports history, I wasn't aware that this film was based on the life of a real champion boxer. While watching Gentleman Jim, I didn't find it believable that Corbett, whose only experience was in backyard brawls with his brothers, could've won his first fight against the former English and Australian champion. His Wikipedia page doesn't support any of that story, instead just mentioning that Corbett was a boxing instructor at a prestigious athletic club well before he fought Sullivan, so I have to wonder how much of this film (and the autobiography it was based on) was fantasy. Whether or not it is historically accurate doesn't bother me, I was just curious to know how much of this story was actually true.

As for the film itself, unfortunately I wasn't particularly impressed. Unlike Body and Soul, Gentleman Jim didn't have an engaging personal story to keep me invested. I did find Errol Flynn to be charming as always at the start, however once boxing became the focus, I found his character to be too arrogant and rather unlikeable, and thus didn't care whether or not he succeeded. The fights seemed to lack any impact, which might've been helped by mixing the sound differently, but they ultimately failed to keep my attention anyway. The acting was otherwise pretty great across the board, and I particularly liked the priest for some reason, however the occasional attempts at humour didn't work for me either.

Perhaps if more of the film focused on Corbett's ability to persuade people instead of turning its attention almost entirely to the sport, I would've enjoyed it more. But I don't think people like me were the target audience for this film in the first place. It's a little disappointing because I managed to enjoy Body and Soul despite my opinions on boxing, but as a few people have already pointed out, they focus on different elements of the story, which would account for why I liked one but not the other. I can see how this film might appeal to someone who is interested in boxing, and particularly for anyone who appreciates what James Corbett has apparently done for the sport, but it didn't manage to entertain me for very long.

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Gentleman Jim

...Perhaps if more of the film focused on Corbett's ability to persuade people instead of turning its attention almost entirely to the sport, I would've enjoyed it more.
I kind of thought that too. I enjoyed watching his wrangling himself into the good graces of Alexis Smith and into the well-to-do club. But once he achieved that goal the film wasn't as interesting to me, but I did still like it.

That's a 11 for you? is that right?



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
need to see Dragonwyck JUST for Tierney alone.
Le me know how Whirlpool is, CR
I like that cricket brought up Heaven Can Wait. I thought Dragonwyck was a good movie, but if I were to recommend the next Gene Tierney film (if that is the reason why someone is watching any of these ), I would definitely tell someone to watch Heaven Can Wait. I think that one and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir are by far her best films.
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If anyone cares, here's how I'd rank Gene's top 5 acting performances...

1. Leave Her To Heaven
2. The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
3. The Razor's Edge
4. Heaven Can Wait
5. Laura / Dragonwyck



I like that cricket brought up Heaven Can Wait. I thought Dragonwyck was a good movie, but if I were to recommend the next Gene Tierney film (if that is the reason why someone is watching any of these ), I would definitely tell someone to watch Heaven Can Wait. I think that one and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir are by far her best films.
Good choices, I really like all of those. I almost nominated Heaven Can Wait, it's an excellent film, though in that one Don Amache IMO is what makes the film.

If anyone cares, here's how I'd rank Gene's top 5 acting performances...

1. Leave Her To Heaven
2. The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
3. The Razor's Edge
4. Heaven Can Wait
5. Laura / Dragonwyck
That's solid, good to see some love for Leave Her To Heaven, that was my nomination for the 9th Hof.

If I ranked Gene Tierney's performance here's how I'd do it.

Leave Her to Heaven
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Laura
The Left Hand of God
Heaven Can Wait
Dragonwyck

I've seen these but it's been so long I can't remember much about them, so a rewatch is in order

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Night and the City
Whirlpool
The Razor's Edge



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Body and Soul


I’ll admit I wasn’t looking forward to this movie; I put it off for a while. But actually it was really good.

What I liked about it was that it was a movie focused around boxing, but it wasn’t really like a cliched sports movie. Most of the boxing is only ever in montage. There are a couple of fights shown in more detail, but neither of those are ever about ‘will he win?’. They are tense for entirely different reasons, and that’s what I really liked about it.

This is more of a drama, about a local boy who makes it big and then gets seduced by money and fame. Nothing groundbreaking really, but done very well. There are definitely shades of Rocky and Raging Bull in this - or perhaps it would be fairer to say there are shades of Body and Soul in them. My favourite line in this is when Charley and his mother are poor and she doesn’t want him to fight, she tells him he might as well buy a gun and shoot himself and he replies, "You need money to buy a gun!"

Acting was good in this, especially from Anne Revere as Charley’s mother and Canada Lee as Ben. Charley himself was very well drawn - not an idealistic hero, but not really a narcissistic villain either. I do have to say I was more convinced by the way Peg’s relationship developed with Anna than her relationship with Charley, who comes across as a bit of a pest at first. All of the characters felt really distinct. They may have been types, but they were well-rounded ones.

The camerawork and editing were good too - not too flashy but the montages were done well and it really captured the immediacy and the state of mind in the fight scenes. (Poor job from the referees - both of those fights would have been stopped before the end these days! But that would have robbed it of some of the drama…). The score employed some fairly tiresome cliches but it didn't really impact too much on the movie.

I thought the ending would be more downbeat than it actually was - in fact it almost seemed to be trying too hard to give it a happy ending, it wasn’t quite convincing.

WARNING: "Ending" spoilers below
I don’t have a problem with Charley winning the fight after all, that made sense to me. He doesn’t go in intending to. He’s clearly not quite in a clear frame of mind by that point after so many blows to the head (and there’s a clear parallel with Ben in his final scene). It’s not hard to see why an impulsive character would, after the literal and metaphorical knocks he’s had, want to fight back at whoever’s in front of him. I have a bit more of a problem with the film presenting this as a victory, a plausible happy ending. He might not care if he dies, I can even see it as a plausible that it’s a suicide mission in a way - his last fight, going out still the champion. But him going off with Peg into happy retirement right under Roberts’ nose? I think if the film continued for another ten minutes we would have seen Peg dead in a ditch.


Altogether a good film, I liked it.