1940's Hall of Fame II


....I hate sports. I mean I can't stand watching sports of any kind, period. They bore me to tears...

However, I love movies about sports, especially older ones. I find them immensely charming and often inspiring. What matters is the context. I get to know a character, and I care about his struggle, I then care about him winning a match and triumphing against all odds...
That's me too. I've never watched sports events, live or on TV, they bore me...except the Olympics I like those.

I do for some strange reason really like sports theme movies. I did like Body and Soul too, but it didn't really feel to me like a sports movie, it was more about a man coming to grips with what is and isn't important in life.

Body and Soul
However, there were minor issues that I had with the movie, the one that bothered me the most was the ending.

Charlie Davis was paid off the throw the fight, but he didn't, and then he expects to just walk away, without the guys who paid him coming after him?! That just doesn't make sense. There would be consequences to his actions, and most likely, they would come after him and kill him. So basically, him trying to redeem himself at the end would just be worthless.

But overall, I liked the movie, but the ending just didn't work for me.
That's a good point and I actually thought about that too, so I can see what you're saying. The conclusion I came to was that the head guy who controlled boxing and fixed the matches (can't remember his name) was indeed a bad guy, but...not like the cut throat mafia characters in most movies, so it was unclear if he would resort to murder or what. Remember when the black boxer played by Canada Lee wanted to quit because of the blood clot, the head guy didn't try to stop him by force, but did say his manager owned him money and would have to pay. I actually kept expected in the movie for it to become a murder mafia type film, but it never did and I think that was a plus for the movie.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Ride the Pink Horse

This was a strange film and I kind of liked that. I liked the start, with the mysterious man turning up at the hotel. Who is he? What does he want? How far will he go to get it? To be honest, although these questions are answered to a certain extent, the characters and their motivations remain something of a mystery all the way through. But that all just adds a sort of enigmatic charm to the proceedings. I particularly liked the scene with the carousel. There’s a sort of fatalistic sense to the whole thing and I expected more a downbeat ending.

I’d be interested to know what other people thought of the character of Pilar. I wasn’t completely convinced by her, but she made an interesting counterpoint to your usual noir femme fatale.

Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm pretty surprised you enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, as well, @cricket. VERY cool. It's a rendition I've never seen, so, should be pretty [email protected] cool.

WARNING: "With the end to Body and Soul" spoilers below
I kept thinking: you'll be dead within the week, pal. Or simply making his life complete and utter hell.

But I do appreciate HOW they did it and the reasons why.

and to join in, not much for sports, though I would always watch Hockey (white guys with sticks, beating the hell out of each other. . . not THAT'S entertainment) Though I got bored when they made it more family friendly for the extra cash of having kids there to insist on their parents buying stupid paraphernalia. Couldn't watch it after that.
But, yeah, a good sports film ABOUT someone or team can be quite entertaining.
- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.

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Odd Man Out

I first watched this movie about 6 months ago. I feel much the same after watching it again, but I'd say my favorability has gone up slightly. The movie grabs me quick with the planning of a heist, the heist itself, and then the direct aftermath which sets the stage for the rest of the movie. I think the first half of the movie is brilliant as a sort of exciting yet fairly subtle thriller. I think the second half slows down, becomes more contemplative, and for me at least, less interesting. It does have a fantastic finale, and it continues some of the great characteristics of the first half including superior acting and visuals. I also think the movie gives an interesting look at the community, and it seems very modern for it's age. I feel like it's almost a great movie, and it would have been for me if the whole movie was like the first hour and the last five minutes.

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Regarding the ending to Body and Soul, I found it very believable. I was in a lot of trouble to crooked people, several times having a gambling debt of 20k or more that I couldn't pay. Sometimes you can feel like you have very limited options and nothing to lose. Now, I've never in my life not paid everything I owed to anyone, but if I was that kind of guy, I might have just not paid and hoped for the best. After all, it took a miracle for me to find a way to get myself out of my mess. Still, while it sometimes felt like my life was in danger, I was never 100% sure that it was. I can easily see a guy like Charlie getting pissed off and taking a stand. There were times that I got pissed off myself. It's not that hard to get to the point where you need to take a risk in order to save what you love.

Gentleman Jim (1942) - Raoul Walsh

WHAT AN AMAZING FILM ! I cannot transfuse to words, how much I enjoyed and cherished this film. To a boxing history buff like me, this was certainly a real treat. The film was set in late 19th century, the time when boxing was dealing with a lot of structural changes and when the competion was at its best. One of the heroes of that era was James J. Corbett or otherwise simply known as "Gentleman Jim". And a story of his was definitely a story to tell. The story of a man who revolutionized boxing, with his supreme footwork and a stick&move technique, the man who defeated the great John L. Sullivan and was a great influence on future heavyweight champions like Gene Tunney. The man who played Corbett was none other than Errol Flynn. I personally haven't seen much of Flynn's films expect Robin Hood maybe, but I was really impressed with his performance. He had that perfect blend of charisma, charm and confidence, which suited his character extremely well. From the beggining I was just astounded by the film's authenticity and a great humour. There were just so many scenes I loved. My personal favourite was Corbett's first big fight at the harbor. It was just an amazingly atmospheric scene. From an aroused masses going mental to Corbett's friends mimicking his every punch, while the two fighters are going back and forth ... Brilliant! Also I have to point out the genius behind the final scene, between Corbett and Sullivan, with the two champions acknowledging each other and a shot of a reflexion in the mirror of a defeated and visibly lost Sullivan leaving the room. I found that scene incredibly touching and sincere and a manifest of great acting by Errol Flynn and Ward Bond. Watching this film has really put me in the mood for watching some classic greats like Johnson, Tunney and Dempsey. It's been a while since I daily enjoyed watching those great fights on ESPN Classic and I feel like "Gentleman Jim" has kind of restored my love for boxing and its history. I can comfortably say that this film is now at the top of my favourite boxing films, alongside "Cinderella Man".

Errol Flynn as Gentleman Jim

Real Gentleman Jim

Great, great nomination Blix !

The most loathsome of all goblins
I'm so happy you loved it!

Even though none of them are about boxing, I think that if you enjoy Gentleman Jim that much you should look at the rest of the Errol Flynn filmography. His movies are nothing if not exuberant pictures that use his natural charisma to full advantage.

Damnit I better get going. I'm behind everyone already

The most loathsome of all goblins
Damnit I better get going. I'm behind everyone already
You and me both!

Right now I need to primarily focus on the 13th HOF though, because several of those are movies outside of my comfort zone and require more mental preparation.

But forties movies? Especially the Hollywood ones? It's been harder to force myself not to watch them.

I'm so happy you loved it!

Even though none of them are about boxing, I think that if you enjoy Gentleman Jim that much you should look at the rest of the Errol Flynn filmography. His movies are nothing if not exuberant pictures that use his natural charisma to full advantage.
What other Errol Fynn movies have you seen that you recommend?

His Girl Friday (1940)

What color do you think the hat and blazer that Rosalind Russell is wearing is? On the DVD cover it was purple with stripes. I suspect it wasn't as gaudy looking as it's been colored to be, and was probably gray with black stripes. It's a very odd looking outfit, but it wasn't chose randomly, they never do that in movies. It was selected for a reason and I'd venture a guess that it was the 1940's version of a 'power suit'. Rosalind certainly looks commanding in it and it gives her a sense of showmanship....and that's what this film is about, showmanship!

The title His Girl Friday sounds somewhat demeaning to Hilda (Rosalind Russell), it sounds like Hilda is just a skirt in an office full of old crusty newspaper men and her only job is to powder her nose and make coffee for the boys. Uh uh...not true, Hilda is a self made woman. Make no mistake about it, she's in control of the situation and not Walther (Cary Grant). She knows her mind and knows how to write a news story that cooks! All the boys in the newsroom are in awe of her gutsy anything-for-a-story journalist skills. Hilda's a power house and if anything this is a movie that empowers women. So the title is kind of funny, cause Hilda's nobody's lackey.

I read that this has some of the fastest dialogue spoken in a film at 240 words a minute! Add to that, this early example of actors deliberately speaking over each others lines, all while ad libbing over an already fast paced script and you get one helluva a unique film that takes one's full attention to fully follow it. I read that Quentin Tarantino is a fan of this movie, I can see why.

There's two things that makes this movie special: the witty banter and intense chemistry from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Oh and Ralph Bellamy plays the straight man to a tee.

His Girl Friday is so complex in it's dialogue that I feel I missed some of the more subtle witticisms. The first witty word play comes during the title credits...did you spot it?

This was one of the 77 movies I had consider nominating, so I'm glad to see it here. Oh...I plan on watching this one again before the Hof is over.

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I hope I like it more the second time around. I mean, I like it, but I didn't love it.

I hope I like it more the second time around. I mean, I like it, but I didn't love it.
I was a bit distracted during the last watch and felt I missed so much of the cleverness, that I will watch it again.

Gentleman Jim

This was one fun movie! Errol Flynn was one of the great on-screen personalities. Come to think of it, he was one of the great off-screen personalities too. And this is a star powered movie....it frames Errol and his likeable roguishness to a tee. Errol gives the movie that same roguish charm as the son of a poor Irish family, headed by one of the hardest working character actors in the biz, Alan Hale. Hale of course being the real life father of Alan Hale Jr,...The Skipper on Gilligan's Island. That's two reviews here where I've mentioned Gilligan's Island, hmm I wonder if I can do a third one?

Anyway it's the cast that makes this film fun...one of my favorites was Ward Bond as the aging heavy weight boxing champion who Gentleman Jim goes up against. Ward Bond almost always gives a heart felt performance, as he does here at the party scene when he gives Jim a gift, thus teaching Gentleman Jim a lesson in humility...a touching scene and my favorite.

Jack Carson as the non to bright friend was a strong point in the movie, Jack's always good for laughs. Oh and I liked the actress who played the mom too,
Dorothy Vaughan. Alexis Smith was decent as the rich girl that Jim chases around, though she wasn't a favorite. I did like their on-off again...love-hate-love relationship.

Good nom Blix!

La Belle et la Bete

This film does a lot of things well. First off, the cinematography is very brilliant for it's time. It's a beautifully shot black and white film. I liked the look of the Beast and it does a pretty good job of storytelling for the most part. You can certainly tell that Cocteau has a lot of imaginative talent. The costume design was solid and the music that accompanied the film was real nice. That being said, it has things that held it back for me as well. I didn't really care for the actress who played Belle. She was a rather bland pick for a casting choice in my opinion, and she really wasn't that believable as to be falling for the Beast. The sisters also were kind of bland to me and didn't add much to the film in my opinion. I also thought some of the fantasy elements came off as cheesy, certainly to be expected for a film made so long ago. But the glove being able to transport her just kind of made me chuckle for some reason. And then the editing at the ending scenes was just below average to me. Kind of also wish the castle was more badass or that we would get to see more off it if there actually was more to it. Overall, I feel it's an important film as I'm pretty sure this is the first time this tale was told on the screen, but it's overall enjoyment from me was rather lower than I expected it to be.

As i told Citizen i've had basically no time for movies recently (actually just watched my first two of this month today) so it still might be a bit before i get started. I'm already a third of the way through anyway though haha.

Also of course Cricket loves Beauty and the Beast. Think he should just give up and accept that i know him better than he knows himself