Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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This weekend I went with some friends to a see a showing of a classic movie - Roman Holiday. I was wondering if you ever saw it @Citizen Rules, and posted a review? ( We had some pretty animated discussion of the movie at dinner later, but I am interested in the 'Mofo ' perspective)



This weekend I went with some friends to a see a showing of a classic movie - Roman Holiday. I was wondering if you ever saw it @Citizen Rules, and posted a review? ( We had some pretty animated discussion of the movie at dinner later, but I am interested in the 'Mofo ' perspective)
Oh how cool, I'd love to see Roman Holiday on the big screen, did you enjoy it? Yes, I've seen it, but only once and like 15 years ago and so haven't ever reviewed it. I can only remember that I really liked it, and that Audrey Hepburn was adorable.

I'm interested in hearing what your animated discussion was all about?



This weekend I went with some friends to a see a showing of a classic movie - Roman Holiday. I was wondering if you ever saw it @Citizen Rules, and posted a review? ( We had some pretty animated discussion of the movie at dinner later, but I am interested in the 'Mofo ' perspective)
LL, SURELY the consensus was that Princess Ann and Joe Bradley should have somehow gotten together permanently.. Lovely film.

Any male in the 1950s --certainly younger males-- who didn't fall in love with Miss Hepburn in Roman Holiday, and some how was not cupid struck in Sabrina, certainly must have been felled by Hepburn's Natasha Rostova in 1956's War and Peace! I know I was. I left the theater on top a cloud crush that lasted for weeks...

~Doc



A warning before I post my answers to @Citizen Rules and
@GulfportDoc

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS....so if you don't want to know the end - read no further!!!!!


Yes we all did enjoy it, and it's a pleasure to see an old movie as it was originally meant to be seen- on a large screen with an audience. There's sort of a group rapture in the crowd when watching a good movie, and I think everyone else there enjoyed it as well.

Ok- some comments and observations. One of the gals was saying at the end, she was fully expecting Audrey (Princess) to come running back to Gregory (Joe) after that final press conference when she left the room. And if you think that Audrey was a man magnet @GulfportDoc -well that hasn't changed - but you shoulda heard us gals gushing about the young Gregory Peck. Every five minutes one of us would pipe up saying how handsome he was lmao.Also the epitome of what we women thought a man should be-worldly yet a gentleman. I really knew Gregory best from Mockingbird, where he was distinguished looking - but here he was really sexy.
Btw one lady felt that no woman could ever safely fall asleep at night in Rome and that was unrealistic to show- to which I kept replying 'It's a movie' lol.

Well everyone thought it was charming, and romantic and a pleasure to see, and that it was a great travelogue as well. Funny too. I also thought how the movie showed the ethics of an era that seems (sadly ) bygone. Can you imagine a princess sacrificing her love life for duty to some stodgy old Royals now? Or a newspaper man giving up the story of a century - and the purse- to honor the reputation of a lady? The movie was a fairy tale, but there was something so earnest in their growing passion and love, that it seemed real. And we all were a bit teary eyed at the end.

Btw Someone thought at the beginning that the princess was a spoiled brat, but changed their mind as the movie went on.( I didn't think that, I thought she just was a young lady who needed a big breath of fresh air. ) And they couldn't even believe it was Audrey - she looked so young. This was her first major movie role I believe.

One thing I mentioned was that after her escapade, she 'grew up' - she handled her
staff ( who really were smothering her at the beginning of the movie) with confidence and authority.

And I was the only one btw who didn't expect the couple to get together. Not that I didn't wish for that happy ending, but I think the lump in your throat ending of them going back to their own lives was fitting to the ethics and standards of that time.


Oh and Doc I think it's kinda adorable that you had such a crush on Audrey. She truly was a classy and lovable lady.

All in all a nice experience.



THERE WILL BE SPOILERS....so if you don't want to know the end - read no further!!!!!

One of the gals was saying at the end, she was fully expecting Audrey (Princess) to come running back to Gregory (Joe) after that final press conference when she left the room...I was the only one btw who didn't expect the couple to get together. Not that I didn't wish for that happy ending, but I think the lump in your throat ending of them going back to their own lives was fitting to the ethics and standards of that time...
Lenslady it sounds like you and your friends had a blast, a blast from the past, you might say Now I really want to see Roman Holiday again. When I got into films, many years ago, Roman Holiday was one of the first I watched and I promptly caught the Audrey 'bug' and so started watching all the films of hers I could find. But of course I couldn't find them all, so I still have some to see. Well one of these days I'll watch her entire filmography. I recently did that with another actress I like, Gloria Grahame...I haven't decided who'll be next though.

Regarding the ending, I'm with you. All the best love stories in movies usually end in unfilled love. That then makes us think about what might have been if the couple could have found a way to be together. I think if they had gotten together and lived happily ever after in the suburbs somewhere, it just wouldn't have been as memorable of film.




Green Book (2018)

Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini
Writers: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

'A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.'

I kind of enjoyed it while I watched it as it had some funny moments. But after the film was over and I started thinking about it, I kind of hated the stereo type caricatures the film presented. It's pathetic that in 2018 Green Book is doing dumb/poor/criminal Italian American stereo types.

I thought this film was about racial positivity, but they presented the Italian's in the film using the old & tired ethnic cliche caricatures. Then there's the whole way over the top characters of Tony the driver who eats like a pig and is stupid as a door knob and of Dr Shirley who's as cold and condescending as they come. I had to scratch my head that they did the old fried chicken bit in this movie That's something right out of an 1980s movie...And the end scene where Dr Shirley lets his hair down and jams out in the black bar has been done too many times before, it didn't fit his character's personality that he had established in the rest of the film. Green Book felt like a film that might have been made in the 80s or 90s. It had some good moments and a cool car and even tried to deliver a positive message that it takes resolve and guts to stand up for yourself against a bunch of haters...But still, it's hard to believe this won best picture.

-




The Square(2017)

Director: Ruben ÷stlund
Writer: Ruben ÷stlund
Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West
Genre: Drama Comedy
Language: Swedish

'A prestigious Stockholm museum's chief art curator finds himself in times of both professional and personal crisis as he attempts to set up a controversial new exhibit.'

The Square presents the viewer with a seemingly random set of circumstances that Christian (Claes Bang) the curator of a contemporary Swedish art museum faces. We see Christian, an atypical Swede (according to this film) to be a man of high morals...He drives an electric car and stands for openness and civility. He's seemingly a model citizen. However the way he handles himself after his phone & wallet are stolen, shows he's not quite versed at practicing what he purports.

At each encounter with an 'outsider' he reacts with mistrust. His incongruity grows as he overreacts to each situation. In one rather humorous example, Christian has a one night stand with an 'outsider' (an American woman) he mistrusts her so much that he refuses to let her have the used condom, out of fear that she will use the contents to impregnate herself.

There's many vignettes within the film's structure that goes to show how a high minded man like Christian, isn't always so broad thinking when faced with real world situations. That narrow, world view happens in reverse too....When Christian as head curator of the museum quickly agrees to use the promotional video idea of two fellow Swedes for the new exhibit. He trust them, even though their idea for a YouTube video on the museums behalf is beyond wild and ends up causing an outrage. His trust is based on his familiarity with people who look like him, thus he gives the two young Swedes free rein. That trust in this case is misplaced.

I especially liked the museum's exhibit where visitors have to choose between two paths to enter...they can choose, 'I Trust People' or 'I Don't Trust People'. Above each entrance is a count of how many have entered each path. Most chose, 'I Trust People'. Only to find they're required to prove that trust in strangers by leaving their phone and wallet unattended in a square.

The Square is an interesting film that creates real worldliness through low key filming & editing techniques...It's kind of like watching someone else's life on a videocam feed. But you know if you spend 2.5 hours watching someone else's life it does tend to get a bit monotonous at times.

+




Split (1989)
Director: Chris Shaw
Writer: Chris Shaw
Cast: Timothy Dwight, Joan Bechtel, John J. Flynn
Genre: Experimental Sci Fi Indie


'Sci-fi story about a man (Timothy Dwight) on the run from a Big Brother-like security force.'

That's a screen shot from the video I watched. The image quality wasn't good and I bet that will effect people's enjoyment of the film. I try not to let poor IQ effect how I feel about a movie, but I sure wish I could've seen a better quality version of this.

I do think this film has merit. I bet most won't see that quality, but what I perceived was an experimental indie film that really tried to break new grounds in camera work and special effects...and all done on what must have been a shoe string budget. Some of the scene dissolves and the transitions from first focal point to second focal point to a third focal point were very effective. I do think if Orson Welles was alive he would've been impressed with the film's auteurs improvisation on film technique.

I wasn't much into the actual story though, but this is an out there art film more so than a standard flick, so the narrative isn't as important as the look of the film. That's why I say if I had seen a clean print on DVD I might have been even more impressed.

+




Perfect Blue (1997)

P‚fekuto burŻ (original title)
Director: Satoshi Kon
Genre: Animation
Language: Japanese


'A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.'

I was enjoying the first half of the movie with it's introspective look at the life of a young second-level pop star, turned aspiring actress. Her initial identity crisis as she shed her old persona of the girly pop star for her new grown up one, was something I hadn't seen represented in a movie before. That first part was well done and interesting and that's what the film should have went with.

The mystery of someone stalking her, worked OK too, though I didn't really need that in the story as Mima's soul searching journey was more than enough for me. But when the second half started going into her unwinding psyche, the film starting loosing some of my interest, but I was still onboard at that point.

But damn I got so annoyed at the overuse of that silly scene of her apparently loosing her mind...being presented like it was really happening...only to find out seconds later that was her on the set of the movie she was making, OK once was a clever trick, maybe even twice that scene worked, but when they went to that trick-well 4 or 5 times it really started pissing me off. I hate it when films through in mind f*** stuff trying to look deep, Annihilation did that too, and to me that means the film makers didn't have anything deeper to say.

A lot of what I seen in the last 30 minutes was so convoluted and nonsensical that I got bored and must have checked the remaining time a dozen times. I'm still not sure how her female manager could be appearing as Mima the pop idol to her, unless the actress was nuts too. Oh well at least I liked the Neon Tetras.






Brimstone (2016)

Director
: Martin Koolhoven
Cast: Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Emilia Jones
Writer: Martin Koolhoven
Genre: Western Thriller-Horror


I remember watching an old vampire movie. As the vampire draws near, the inept vampire hunter pulls out his wooden cross to fend off the blood sucker. The vampire heartily laughs and says, 'you have to believe in that to make it work'...

Brimstone is like that...it's touted as dark and disturbing but to the savvy movie watcher it's so cliche ridden with one dimensional characters that only exist to wield knives and kill, that nothing in the movie seems real. Hence it's utterly ineffective as the vampire hunter's wooden cross was.

Brimstone is like a $35 gourmet hamburger served with a sprig of parsley in a fancy restaurant. Sure it looks fancy with it's on location shooting and impressive cinematography, but it's still just a hamburger...it's a fast food thrill flick to be gulped down.

Brimstone is a con, a sham that pretends to be something more than it is. Strip away the cinematography and sets and it's just a well dressed up horror film with a stone faced antagonist that's even more unbelievable than Jason from Friday the 13th. The plot is juvenile, pretending to deal with deep themes, when all it actually delivers is thrill kill scenes fit only for mass consumption. What Brimstone needed to be believable, was some good old fashion character development and drama.

If you want to see a top notch thriller about an evil preacher chasing down children, watch Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter (1955) now that's a movie!






Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)

This was my second time watching Anatomy of a Murder. I'd originally seen it in the 8th HoF, here's a link to my old review

I watched Anatomy of a Murder again and was so impressed I thought that I'd write a fresh review! I loved the way Otto Preminger handled the film. I know a lot of people love or hate a movie solely based on it's story content. Story matters to me too, but there's other elements that equally impress me.

What impressed me with Anatomy of a Murder was the relaxed pacing of the film, with scenes that took the time to include many little extras. Those extra little gestures and moments made me feel like I was there watching the events as they happened. Right at the start when James Stewart arrives home, the film takes it's time setting up the kind of man that Stewart's lawyer is. It does this by following him around his house as he completes simple little task like cleaning the fish he caught and putting them away in his fridge. The fridge is stacked full of fish! That take your time approach to film making is something I love and tells us important but small details. And this attention to detail continues all the way through the trial, which then made the trial seem very real too. Anatomy of a Murder is one of the few courtroom movies that I think is superb.

I loved the title credits by the graphic design artist Saul Bass. It's easy to recognize his work in 50s-60s films. They have this certain style that captures the era. Loved the jazz score too by the great Duke Ellington. And what's cooler than casting the Duke as 'Pie Eyed' and giving him a scene with Jimmy Stewart! The frosting on the cake is that Stewart's country loving lawyer also loves jazz. Now that's cool.

James Stewart is the man! One of my all time favorite actors and he's excellent here. Walter O'Connell the older booze hound lawyer was good too. Along with Eve Arden they both help to lighten the mood so that the film doesn't get to heavy and down trodden. That's important so that when we get to the lengthy trial our pallets aren't already over taxed. Sort of like having a cracker in between wine sampling.

This time around I did like Lee Remick, she's an enigma. Is she a trashy woman who falsely accused a man of rape to keep from being beat to a pulp by her brooding husband? Or is she just an innocent flirt who's wanting to have some harmless fun? You decide...And that's what I love about this film, it never force feeds an answer to you like many films would. Anatomy of a Murder can be interpreted different ways, and that's the difference between art and a commercial.

I still didn't like the Judge in the first couple minutes, he just seemed a bit flat in his acting, but then something clicked and I got it! The judge like Eva Arden (the secretary) is meant to lighten the mood so that the battling lawyers look all the more fervently bombastic. The judge is the calm between the two storms....I loved the way the lawyers did their jobs in this movie, with their fast talking, jury tainting methods, with oodles of showmanship...and armed with reference materials from past trial precedents so as to kick the oppositions ass, ha!

James Stewart was so smooth in this, he's perfectly cast...and so was George C. Scott who was very intimidating. Loved the scenes where he's grilling Lee Remick and is smack dab in her face...Very intense and effective cinematography.

Loved the way the movie wrapped things up in the last scene...And that's exactly how the real murder case, that this movie was based on ended too.




Good review, the fish detail is great he actually uses bait in his court strategy, he lures George C Scott into doing what he wants twice, and one time literally with the judge the lure in the law book. It's still a very smart film, loved the Jazz too, made the movie extra smooth, cool and classic!



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Green Book (2018)

Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini
Writers: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, Citizen, but we're worlds apart on this one.



You're certainly entitled to your opinion, Citizen, but we're worlds apart on this one.
I will say I loved the fact that the black musician and the white driver became friends and learned from each other. That was the best part of the film.




True Confession (1937)
Director: Wesley Ruggles
Writer: Claude Binyon
Cast: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, John Barrymore
Genre: Screwball Comedy


'A lawyer defends his wife, a pathological liar, in a murder trial.'

True Confession is a great example of the 1930s screwball comedy. After watching a screwball comedy, if you find yourself saying, 'this didn't seem real, people, wouldn't act that way in real life'....Well, that's what makes it a screwball comedy!...True Confession is farcical with nutty unhinged characters driving the story forward with their zany behavior.

There weren't many screwball comedies made, having only been mainly popular during the 1930s. Situational comedies took over in the 1940s and are more familiar to people today. So unless one is use to watching these 30s screwball comedies (and not all comedies in the 30s are screwball), they can be hard for people to relate to. But if you still have a hard time believing the antics of Carole Lombard, just ask yourself what would Lucy or Bart Simpson do? People readily accept that Bart Simpson has been in the 4th grade for 29 years and that Homer readily attempts to strangle his own son every other week. Screwball comedies are no different, they are screwy! Realism isn't what they aim for.

True Confession has an dynamic energy to it, that moves the story along at a quick pace. That's established right at the get-go in the opening scene with Carole rushing home and racing up a flight of stairs in a tither. She frantically takes off her gloves and hat (because women always wore hats and gloves back then!) and hurriedly grabs the phone so that she can excitedly tell her lawyer husband about her hair-brained scheme to help him get a client and make some money. Their broke you see and it is the depression. Only her husband is the quintessential straight-man and is so strict about being honest (an honest lawyer is as funny now, as it was in the 30s, ha!) So of course he won't have any part of defending a guilty man in court. That opening scene then sets the pace and the story tone for the rest of the movie.

Geez I've already wrote more than I had planned...So I'll wrap this up by saying Carole Lombard is precious in this role. There's very few actresses that could pull off such a scattered brain, lying-cutie role as Carole did. Katharine Hepburn did it in Bringing Up Baby and Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball could do it too. Carole is the movie. Her side kick Una Merkel is a long time fav of mine, and she added a lot too. As did the great John Barrymore. At first I wondered what was up with Barrymore's character, of course the clue is it's a screwball comedy...and he's plenty screwy...and oh so good at delivery those thespian styled lines too.

I thought Fred MacMurray was the perfect 'foil' for his ditzy wife's lying shenanigans. I loved the scene at the end when he's leaving her and she tells him that she will name their child after him, ha! That made me laugh out loud. And I laughed a lot at True Confession, but more importantly it brought me joy...and that's always a good thing






Nothing Sacred (1937)

Director
: William Wellman
Writer: Ben Hecht
Cast: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Genre: Comedy Romance


'An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.'


I love Carole Lombard in this, she was one of the biggest stars in the 1930s and a skilled comedian too.


What really impressed me about Nothing Sacred is the film's historical importance. It's a very early 3 Strip Technicolor film from 1937. That's two years earlier than the celebrated The Wizard of Oz. To me an old film is like a time machine back to the past, and with Nothing Sacred we get to see the streets of New York City and also see it from the air, and it's all in color! Think about that for a moment, the director William Wellman (Wings 1927) actually used full color aerial footage. I'm sure that was the first time for a feature length film.

This is the first and only time Miss Lombard was filmed in color. They dyed her hair red from her normal light blonde trusses. I thought she looked great, especially in the blue evening gown at the restaurant/club scene. Ahh, those were the days when women road horses onto the stage and people were decked to the nines as they dined and danced in a posh New York City club. Which is much more colorful than my last meal at Denny's

That's the thing about 1930s comedies: America was under the grips of the great depression and audiences went regularly to the movies as a form of escape...And what they escaped into was often the glitzy world of the rich and well-to-do. For a hour or two the poor could image what it would be like not to have to save every crumb of food just to keep from starving.

At the heart of Nothing Sacred is a story of a simple woman from a small rural town who uses her supposed radium poisoning condition to get to live the 'good life' for a short time in NYC. And it's a story about skepticism and mistrust in the newspapers, which is another common theme for 1930s films. But what I really thought was a sophisticated story element was the condemnation of the hoopla that resulted from the media coverage in NYC. We see the people poured their hearts out for the poor dying girl, putting on one helluva show, when really what they wanted was just to feel good about themselves.

Like a lot of screwball comedies of the 30s, Nothing Sacred has a much deeper meaning than the surface shenanigans.






Harvey (1950)
Director: Henry Koster
Writers: Mary Chase (play & screenplay), Oscar Brodney (screenplay)
Cast: James Stewart, Wallace Ford, William H. Lynn, Victoria Horne
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A 6' 8" invisible rabbit
...who knew such a film could be so rewarding! I loved this! I'd seen it only once before many years ago, so it was a real treat to watch again. Gosh, there's so many good things happening in the film that I don't know where to start. Actors: of course, what a cast! could Elwood P. Dowd be played by anyone else than James Stewart? Stewart's wonderful in this and in the DVD extras there was an interview from 1990 with Stewart and he sighted Harvey as one of his own favorite movies. Stewart had been in the stage play of Harvey, and when director Henry Koster made the film he decided to use some of the stage performers which was unusual for the time. Also unusual was the director's choice to literately shoot the film in long master-takes without breaking for close up shots. That way the film had a continuity and energy like the award winning play had.

And what energy the screenplay has! It takes off from the opening when Dowd leaves that neat looking old Victorian home with the heavy pillars and sun room with curved glass...and the film never lulls as it's packed with people and nuances that makes the film a joy to watch. You know what was cool was the interior of the house...no way did I expect to see that curved sun room window from the inside, but surprise, they created it from the interior for a shot during the tea party scene.

Oh, the older eccentric sister Veta Loiuse was played to utter perfection by stage actress Josephine Hull, who had played Veta in the stage play. She was good! So was her desperate to be wed daughter, Myrtle May and the Maytag Repairman Jesse White aka the nut-catcher. What a hoot he was! And I'd be amidst if I didn't give a shout out to one of my fav character actors Cecil Kellaway.

But you know what shines greater than any of the actors or sets or even direction? "The play is the thing." Hitchcock said that once, and it's so true. The play's script was written by Mary Chase who won a Pulitzer Prize and it's her story that makes these people so three dimensional. Even the doctor and nurse have their own subplot of a near-miss romance, which not only adds depth but makes these smaller roles seem so important to the story. And that's what Harvey and Harvey do, they make lemonade out of proverbial lemons.





Top Hat (1935)

Director: Mark Sandrich
Writers: Dwight Taylor, Allan Scott
Cast
: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance


'An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.'

...If you learn one thing about my movie taste it's that I love old musicals. I'm talking really old like 1930-1959, other years are good too, of course. But I love the really old musicals as they have a certain charm that went out of style after the 1950s.

There's nobody smoother on the dance floor than Fred Astaire. Astaire is the man! He's easy to relate to as he's not the tall, handsome leading man type. Let's face it he's a bit different looking. I mean Fred Astaire is no ladies man and yet he's perfect as he's likeable and we can relate to him, as he has to work at winning the girl.

And what a girl he wins! Ginger Rogers...goes with Fred Astaire like ice goes with cream. Sure Fred had different female dance partners over the years and some were better dancers than Ginger, but none of them had the down to earth charm that Ginger has. And yes she can dance up a storm too. Ginger and Fred are legendary.

I'd seen Top Hat before, but it had been over a decade...My favorite number was the second dance number No Strings (I'm Fancy Free) with Fred Astaire doing a noisy tap dance in the hotel room above a slumbering Ginger. Loved the choreography which was lose and light and so full of optimistic exuberance. The second part of that with the sand dance was clever too, loved the soft shoe, and the art deco hotel room set was a great place to dance in!

The next music number with Fred and Ginger taking cover from the rain in a band stand gazebo in Isn't This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain) was my other favorite. Lots of charm and innovation in this number. Actually all the music/dance numbers are beautifully staged and quite unique. A big shout out to the great Irving Berlin who wrote the music numbers (melody and lyrics).



Did I mention that Venice set, wow! I read that it was 300 feet long and took up two entire sound stages. Nowadays with CG everywhere, it might be hard for those use to modern movies to be impressed by a set like that, and that's a shame as the craftsmanship and artistry that was put into movies like Top Hat was half of their charm. The rest of the charm came from the beauty and glamour of it all.





Monkey Business (1931)

Director: Norman McLeod
Writers: S.J. Perelman & Will B. Johnstone
Cast: The Marx Brothers: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Thelma Todd
Genre: Comedy


'On a transatlantic crossing, The Marx Brothers get up to their usual antics and manage to annoy just about everyone on board the ship.'

What's funner than a barrel full of herring, err I mean monkeys...the Marx Brothers! and on a sea going passenger ship to boot I love movies set on ships, it's like a whole world apart from the real one, and that works wonders for comedies such as Monkey Business. I know the ship was only a set, but they sure had great looking sets in this movie. I mean just look at the photo above and it's easy to image they're on the promenade deck on some big ship sailing the North Atlantic.

What can I say about the four Marx Brothers that hasn't already been said? Groucho is the leader and usually has the funniest and naughtiness lines. And for the early 1930s Groucho could be naughty with his double meaning, innuendos. Chico gets his laughs too and Harpo gets them by playing the silent type! Then there's the straight man who doesn't do comedy but is the leading man type, that's Zeppo. Zeppo isn't as well known and didn't have as long as a career as the other three Marx Brothers.



Thelma Todd was a peach, and I really liked her in this. It was a treat seeing her as I haven't seen her in much at all. I know she was popular in the precode era, but I wondered why she didn't have more of a movie career...After reading IMDB's trivia I now know why What a bummer...Sometimes I regret reading about stars, they shine so brightly that one would think they would be immortal.

Sorry to end on such a dower note.

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Modern Times (1936)
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman
Genre: Comedy, Drama



I liked Paulette Goddard so much in Modern Times that I decided to use her as my lead photo And why not? She's exhilarating, she's dynamic and she brightens up every scene she's in. As much as I liked her in Chaplin's The Great Dictator, I liked her even more here as a poor street waif. The film refers to her as a 'gamine' which is French for mischievous imp...and that perfectly describes her role in the classic film. I loved the banana scene where she's stealing bananas from a boat and throwing them with an enthusiastic glee to the hungry kids on the dock. What amazes me most about Paulette is that she looks so contemporary and so real, that I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the produce section at the grocery store pondering whether bananas should be free or not

Chaplin is great, of course. I've enjoyed every single film of his I've seen. And I want to see more. So I was glad that this classic got nominated. Chaplin is so innovative as a director that all of the stunts 'the little tramp' does looks so effortless. Loved the entire scene in the factory with the big machinery which I swear was real! Of course after the film I read that those huge clogs and gears were made of rubber and wood...but damn what a great set piece! And just thinking of the automated feeding machine that poor Chaplin encountered, makes me laugh!


Modern Times marks an end of an era. It was the last of Chaplin's silent films. Yes he does sing and we do hear voices, but those come from mechanical contraptions. Which I thought was quite clever and of course it is clever it's a Chaplin film: Written by, directed by, produced by, music by and starring the one and only Charlie Chaplin.