Thread: And the best Black and White movie ever is:

  1. #2151
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    After learning about an old Edward G Robinson movie, I checked to see if any of the libraries I'm a member of had it. None of them did, but most libraries in Ohio are part of a statewide system of linked libraries. I did a search there and found a copy of TCM's Greatest Gangster Films Collection - Edward G Robinson. There are four movies in it:

    Kid Galahad (1937), w/Bette Davis and Bogey and directed by Michael Curtiz
    The Little Giant (1933), a comedy w/Mary Astor
    Larceny, Inc (1942), a comedy playing on Robinson's gangster persona, w/Broderick Crawford, Jane Wyman, and Anthony Quinn
    Bullets or Ballots (1936), w/Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane, and Humphrey Bogart

    Why they're listed on the case in this order is a mystery to me.

    I requested it some time last week and just picked it up. First up: the double feature of Bullets or Ballots and Kid Galahad, both with Bogey as a criminal.
    Ah, the cold car ride through a dark, suburban night. Look out the window and think of death, kids. It's a-comin'. ~ Peter Griffin

  2. #2152
    ^^ I wouldn't consider "Larceny, Inc." (a movie I LOVE) a gangster film.
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  3. #2153
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Bullets or Ballots. Maltin gave this 3 (out of 4) stars. It's better than that but I don't know that it's a 3 star movie. More like 3, which is not a rating LM uses. The movie, tho, definitely needed an epilogue of some sort, like a shot of Joan Blondell reading a newspaper headline and commenting on it. The ending was too abrupt. Still, Robinson was great as a tough cop and Bogey was better than usual as a menacing gangster. Joan Blondell was just lovely. Barton MacLane may have been miscast as a mob boss. MacLane, who I recognized even if I didn't know his name, is probably best remembered by us as General Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie. He also played the main cop in The Maltese Falcon.

    The funny thing about this movie, and a lot of those old gangster movies, is that it seems Hollywood really had little idea about the Mafia, indicated by the fact that most of the characters' names are not Italian (e.g. Bogey's character is named Nick Fenner). And in this one, the heads of the "syndicate" are all legitimate businessmen. But I thought that was easy to overlook.

    Kid Galahad. Definitely a 3 star movie. Robinson was good, Bogey was good, but Bette Davis was really good. Harry Carey plays a boxing trainer. I know his name, of course, and recognized his face but I couldn't name a single movie I've ever seen him in. Looking over his filmography, I saw that he was also in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington but I think that's the only other movie I've ever seen him in. I'm probably confusing him with his son, Harry Carey, Jr.
    Ah, the cold car ride through a dark, suburban night. Look out the window and think of death, kids. It's a-comin'. ~ Peter Griffin

  4. #2154
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    ^^ I wouldn't consider "Larceny, Inc." (a movie I LOVE) a gangster film.
    I'd like to see this. Broderick Crawford has always interested me.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  5. #2155
    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I'd like to see this. Broderick Crawford has always interested me.
    He doesn't play a major role. The reason why I don't consider it a gangster movie is that these guys are more like two-bit crooks. It's a really great concept that could easily be remade today. Not that they could improve on the original and, knowing Hollywood, they would cast someone like the utterly terrible Adam Sandler in it.
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  6. #2156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal... View Post
    Bullets or Ballots. Maltin gave this 3 (out of 4) stars. It's better than that but I don't know that it's a 3 star movie. More like 3, which is not a rating LM uses. The movie, tho, definitely needed an epilogue of some sort, like a shot of Joan Blondell reading a newspaper headline and commenting on it. The ending was too abrupt. Still, Robinson was great as a tough cop and Bogey was better than usual as a menacing gangster. Joan Blondell was just lovely. Barton MacLane may have been miscast as a mob boss. MacLane, who I recognized even if I didn't know his name, is probably best remembered by us as General Peterson on I Dream of Jeannie. He also played the main cop in The Maltese Falcon.

    The funny thing about this movie, and a lot of those old gangster movies, is that it seems Hollywood really had little idea about the Mafia, indicated by the fact that most of the characters' names are not Italian (e.g. Bogey's character is named Nick Fenner). And in this one, the heads of the "syndicate" are all legitimate businessmen. But I thought that was easy to overlook.

    Kid Galahad. Definitely a 3 star movie. Robinson was good, Bogey was good, but Bette Davis was really good. Harry Carey plays a boxing trainer. I know his name, of course, and recognized his face but I couldn't name a single movie I've ever seen him in. Looking over his filmography, I saw that he was also in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington but I think that's the only other movie I've ever seen him in. I'm probably confusing him with his son, Harry Carey, Jr.
    I'm thinking that at one point, they put out a lot of crime and boxing films then started to weld them together. Bogey in, The Harder They Fall, was great. TCM ran that a couple of weeks ago.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  7. #2157
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    He doesn't play a major role. The reason why I don't consider it a gangster movie is that these guys are more like two-bit crooks. It's a really great concept that could easily be remade today. Not that they could improve on the original and, knowing Hollywood, they would cast someone like the utterly terrible Adam Sandler in it.
    I see your point.
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  8. #2158
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    The reason why I don't consider it a gangster movie is that these guys are more like two-bit crooks.
    I see what you mean. TCM was probably being a little lenient with their definition of "gangster". But I haven't seen it yet, so I can't say one way or another. Not that I doubt you.

    Incidentally, Maltin gives this movie 3 stars, so I'm looking forward to it. And he gives The Little Giant just 3 stars. He also says that Robinson is "spoofing" his role in Little Caesar, so maybe that's where I got that EGR was playing on his gangster persona.

    I'm also interested in seeing Mary Astor in an early talkie role. I guess she started during the silent era but the earliest movie I've seen her in was The Maltese Falcon. I guess she played the matriarch in Meet Me in St Louis, too, but she's so different in the two roles - separated by only 3 years - that I don't recognize her. And I just discovered she was also in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

    You know, I always thought there were a lot of similarities between HHSC and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Now I know why: WHTBJ was based on the novel by Henry Farrell. HHSC was based on Farrell's unpublished short story, "Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?" Lukas Heller (Flight of the Phoenix, the Dirty Dozen, etc) worked on both screenplays, both movies were directed by Robert Aldrich, and of course both movies starred Bette Davis. Kinda makes me want to do a double feature with those two movies.
    Ah, the cold car ride through a dark, suburban night. Look out the window and think of death, kids. It's a-comin'. ~ Peter Griffin

  9. #2159
    Eraserhead, Sunset Blvd. Persona. Night of the Hunter.

  10. #2160
    TCM Alert! "12 Angry Men" at 10:00 tonight.

    Yes, they have been playing it a lot.

    In fact, I just noticed this and The Lady Eve (Stanwyck 1941) is on right now. I'll have to check the August schedule.
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  11. #2161
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    TCM Alert! "12 Angry Men" at 10:00 tonight.

    Yes, they have been playing it a lot.

    In fact, I just noticed this and The Lady Eve (Stanwyck 1941) is on right now. I'll have to check the August schedule.
    I love the Lady Eve. Top form for all involved.

  12. #2162
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    TCM Alert! "12 Angry Men" at 10:00 tonight.

    Yes, they have been playing it a lot.

    In fact, I just noticed this and The Lady Eve (Stanwyck 1941) is on right now. I'll have to check the August schedule.
    And just before, I saw, The Wrong Man. You know, In The Lady Eve, I think I liked Barb in her black hair better. At times she was so sweet to Henry and he seemed so boyish. The Shoe scene was nice.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #2163
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycsteve View Post
    I love the Lady Eve. Top form for all involved.
    Agree.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  14. #2164
    Member since 7/13/2000 Hal...'s Avatar
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    Larceny, Inc. Leonard Maltin gave this 3 stars. Leonard Maltin liked it more than me.

    The Little Giant. I don't know what the problem was but the disc wouldn't play.

    So, for that 4 disc collection, the movie I liked best was Bullets or Ballots. Find it, if you can, or look for it on TCM.
    Ah, the cold car ride through a dark, suburban night. Look out the window and think of death, kids. It's a-comin'. ~ Peter Griffin

  15. #2165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal... View Post
    Larceny, Inc. Leonard Maltin gave this 3 stars. Leonard Maltin liked it more than me.

    The Little Giant. I don't know what the problem was but the disc wouldn't play.

    So, for that 4 disc collection, the movie I liked best was Bullets or Ballots. Find it, if you can, or look for it on TCM.
    Hal, sorry for the disc problem but I think the fun watch would be Larceny. The cast is so intriguing. Yes, Barton MacLane did a lot of westerns as well.
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  16. #2166
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    Last night, on TCM demand, I watched Village of the Damned. Saw it when it first came out in the early 60s and, other than the glowing eyes, it made little sense to me as an 8 or 9 year-old yout. Years later I read the book and now that I've seen the movie again, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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  17. #2167
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Anyone here a fan of "Tortilla Flat" (1942, Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr)?


  18. #2168
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Anyone here a fan of "Tortilla Flat" (1942, Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr)?

    Have not seen this, Robert. How was his drinking at the time?
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  19. #2169
    ^^ I've never seen it.
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  20. #2170
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I saw it on TV a couple years ago. Been looking for a reasonably-priced DVD ever since. It's a Western, but with excellent acting, gorgeous scenery and a smart script. I was blown away by how good it was (the trailer doesn't do it justice).

    The Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan) was a hoot in it.

    Incidentally, 1942 would've been about the time Lamarr was working undercover with the DOD developing radio guidance systems for missiles, that eventually led to cellphones and Bluetooth.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:51 PM.

  21. #2171
    [QUOTE=rcarlberg;918720]I saw it on TV a couple years ago. Been looking for a reasonably-priced DVD ever since. It's a Western, but with excellent acting, gorgeous scenery and a smart script. I was blown away by how good it was (the trailer doesn't do it justice).

    The Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan) was a hoot in it Incidentally, 1942 would've been about the time Lamarr was working undercover with the DOD developing radio guidance systems for missiles, that eventually led to cellphones and Bluetooth.[/QUOT

    Undercover and without credit are 2 different things.She was not undercover. It is my understanding she developed her ideas with a partner and at the time did not take public credit. IIRC she was also involved with torpedo guidance systems.

  22. #2172
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I saw it on TV a couple years ago. Been looking for a reasonably-priced DVD ever since. It's a Western, but with excellent acting, gorgeous scenery and a smart script. I was blown away by how good it was (the trailer doesn't do it justice).

    The Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan) was a hoot in it.

    Incidentally, 1942 would've been about the time Lamarr was working undercover with the DOD developing radio guidance systems for missiles, that eventually led to cellphones and Bluetooth.
    Torilla Flat a Western? Isn't it based on the John Steinbeck novel?

  23. #2173
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    It takes place in a small California town (if memory serves) even though the real "Tortilla Flat" is a place in Arizona. The movie is not a "cowboys and Indians" western, but a story about the open spaces of the West.

  24. #2174
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    Looks to be a Bogey Sunday this weekend. The Big Sleep and Dark Passage for me. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre can be mind blowing.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  25. #2175
    TCM has some nice features coming up. Errol Flynn movies on Saturday. Buster Keaton (including a 2018 TCM doc) on Monday with "The General" and "Sherlock, Jr."

    "Freaks" is on next Thursday at 8:00 pm, too.
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