This forum is to jibber and jabber
154 - Let It Be - 7/10 - This documentary chronicles some of the time when the Beatles were working on their final album. It mostly just features them rehearsing songs and playing around followed by excerpts from their rooftop concert in 1969. I enjoyed the music, but was expecting something more from the film.
155 - Swanee River - 6.5/10 - This fictionalized biography of Stephen Foster, the creator of Oh Susanna and many other songs in the middle of the 19th Century. stars Don Ameche as Foster. It is watchable, but not particularly good. Al Jolson costars and spends a lot of time in blackface while performing Foster's songs.
156 - Bitter Sweet (1940) - 6.5/10 - This version of the Noel Coward play stars Jeanette MacDonald as the daughter of a wealthy family who is about to be wed in an arranged marriage when she runs off and elopes with her music teacher (Nelson Eddy). They struggle to make a living in Vienna, but are happy together. The singing isn't bad, though the story is a bit thin. Noel Coward swore off Hollywood after this because he was so unhappy with the result.
157 - The Seventh Veil - 7/10 - A woman tries to commit suicide, but is rescued and placed under the care of a doctor who uses hypnosis to explore the reasons for her mental issues. He delves back to her youth and the people in her life and the effect that they've had on her. It was a decent film.
158 - The Flame and the Arrow - 7.5/10 - This Robin Hood style film features a German overlord in 12th Century Lombardy and the rebels who fight against him. Dardo has no desire to join the rebels, even thought the German count stole his wife five years earlier. When his son is taken, his plans change. It was a decent film with plenty of action.
159 - The Five Pennies - 8/10 - This semi-biographical film about cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols was pretty entertaining. It had a decent story starting with Nichols moving to New York City in the 1920s through his career, family, leaving the music business, and getting back into the music business in the 1940s. The music was also pretty good and there were a number of humorous parts.
160 - Maytime - 8/10 - Miss Morrison is an old woman who gives advice to a young woman who is thinking of leaving home to pursue an opera career. It turns out that Miss Morrison was once a popular opera star and her story of love and loss is told in flashbacks. This is another Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy vehicle, but was much better than the later Bitter Sweet movie.
161 - The Gunfighter - 8/10 - Gregory Peck stars as Jimmy Ringo, a gunfighter in the old west who is trying to get away from his reputation and the young hotshots looking to make a name for themselves. He visits a small town where his presence stirs up the locals, but he is there to visit the woman he loves and the son who doesn't know about him. I thought this was very well done.
162 - Ace in the Hole - 8.5/10 - Kirk Douglas stars as a big time reporter who is down on his luck. He takes a job at a small town newspaper to get back on his feet. When he stumbles upon a man stuck in a cave in, he sees it as the opportunity to get back in the big leagues and manufactures a circus like atmosphere around the rescue. I thought it was really well done.
163 - The Woman in the Window - 8/10 - Edward G. Robinson stars as a psychology professor who gets involved with a woman (Joan Bennett) whose painting he sees on display in a window. The two become involved and events spiral out of control when they try to cover up a death. This film noir movie was well acted and pretty entertaining.
164 - Coney Island - 7.5/10 - Betty Grable stars as a singer in a Coney Island establishment who finds herself in a love triangle with two men who are friends and rivals. I thought the movie was pretty funny and also romantic moments, too.
165 - The Blue Dahlia - 8/10 - Three naval pilots return home from the war in the South Pacific. Lieutenant Commander Johnny Morrison finds that his wife hosting a lively party and seeing another man, the owner of the Blue Dahlia Club. When Helen Morrison is murdered, the police want to have a talk with Johnny, but he is 50 miles away, having left his wife the night before. This noir crime thriller was written by Raymond Chandler and I thought it was pretty well acted and entertaining.
166 - Blues in the Night - 7.5/10 - Elia Kazan and Priscilla Lane are two of the stars in this musical noir film about a group of musicians who meet a stranger while riding in a boxcar. The stranger, Del, is a criminal, but helps set them up at a nightclub where they have success, but Jigger (the pianist) is unhappy with the type of jazz they are playing. I thought it was pretty well done.
167 - Pat and Mike - 7.5/10 - Katharine Hepburn stars as a college phys ed instructor who excels at golf, tennis, and just about any other physical activity, except when her fiance happens to be present. She comes to the attention of a promoter/agent at a golf tournament who signs her up to make some money for both of them. He also happens to fall for her. I thought it was a fun film.
168 - Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet - 7.5/10 - This biography focuses on the German Nobel Prize winner who helped find treatments for diptheria and syphilis while helping advance chemotherapy. Edward G. Robinson does a nice job as Paul Ehrlich.
169 - The Spoilers (1942) - 7.5/10 - John Wayne stars as Roy Glennister, a prospector in Nome during the Alaskan gold rush who, along with a partner, have a big gold strike. They become the victims of a plot to steal their mine which involves the new gold commissioner (Randolph Scott), the local judge and others. Marlene Dietrich costars as a saloon owner and Glennister's former love interest. I thought it was a fun movie and it ends in a nice saloon brawl.
170 - Reap the Wild Wind - 7.5/10 - Paulette Goddard plays Loxi Claiborne who operates a salvage ship out of Charleston in 1840, continuing her father's business. King Cutler is known for setting up shipwrecks so that he can salvage them and make a lot of money. Loxi gets caught in a love triangle with Jack Stuart (John Wayne), a ship captain whose ship is wrecked by Cutler and Steve Tolliver (Ray Milland), a ship owner. It was a pretty good movie.
171 - Wabash Avenue - 6.5/10 - A subpar remake of Coney Island, which also starred Betty Grable. The action is switched to Chicago, but is otherwise very similar. Apparently they were going to make a different film, but things fell through so they recycled Grable's earlier film.
172 - One in a Million - 6.5/10 - Adolphe Menjou plays a promoter who gets stuck in the Swiss Alps with his wife and three musical or comedy groups. He discovers a girl who is an excellent skater and has visions of building a show around her, but she has Olympic dreams. Sonja Henie, the three time Olympic Champion, plays the skater. The movie seems mainly to be an opportunity for Sonja to skate and for the musical and comedy groups to perform. Overall, it was okay. I thought that the Ritz Brothers were pretty funny. I wasn't familiar with them, but I guess they were pretty popular from the 1920s-1960s.
173 - Golden Boy - 8/10 - William Holden has his first starring role as Joe Bonaparte, a violinist turned boxer who shows an aptitude for fighting. Barbara Stanwyck is the girlfriend of Bonaparte's manager, but she and Bonaparte fall for each other. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. This movie was also the beginning of a lifelong friendship between Holden and Stanwyck.
174 - Closely Watched Trains - 8/10 - Milos is a young man in Czechoslovakia during WWII. He starts a job at the local train station where there really isn't much to do. This works well for him since he comes from a family that seems to enjoy avoiding work. He is shy around women and when the opportunity arises for him to lose his virginity, he is unable to perform. He eventually seeks help from others to see if he can avoid a repeat performance. I thought the movie was very good. There is a lot of humor, though a few serious parts as well.
175 - Knife in the Water - 7.5/10 - A husband and wife are driving to a lake for a boating expedition when they nearly hit a hitchhiker. They give the young man a ride and the husband invites the young man to accompany them. There is some tension along the way and the husband gives the young man a hard time, which eventually leads to a fight. This was Roman Polanski's first full length film and it was pretty good.
176 - Omar - 8/10 - Omar is a young Palestinian man who works in a bakery and hangs out with his two childhood friends, Tarek and Amjad. He is also in love with Tarek's sister, Nadia, and is saving up money to marry her. The three friends shoot an Israeli border guard, but are later betrayed and Omar is taken into custody. He is given the choice of helping the Israelis capture Tarek or face life in prison. This was a very good film.
177 - The Scent of Green Papaya - 8/10 - Mui is a 10 year old Vietnamese girl in 1951 Saigon. She travels far from her home village to work as a servant for a family that runs a textile business. There is an older son and two younger boys in addition to the husband, wife and grandmother. Mui works hard and becomes like a daughter to the lady of the household. The second part of the movie takes place ten years later and Mui is let go by the family and sent to work for a pianist who happens to fall in love with her. I thought that the first half of the movie was better and more interesting, but the movie overall is pretty good.
178 - Four Days in September - 8/10 - This is a fictionalized account of the kidnapping of the US Ambassador to Brazil back in 1969. It tells how four young radicals are brought into a revolutionary group and come up with the kidnapping idea to free 15 of their comrades who are being held and tortured by the Brazilian military which runs the country. It was a pretty good thriller.