Movies

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Rusty
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368 - Village By the River - 8/10 - This movie from the late 1950s takes place in a rural Netherlands community and focuses primarily on the local doctor who has his own ways of doing thing. The antics of some of the locals also bring plenty of humor to the film. I thought it was a pretty good movie.

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369 - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - 8/10 - This film has been getting mixed reviews but I liked it a lot and so did everybody in my group that went to see it. Abrams packed a lot into the film and it did feel a bit rushed at times. There were also elements borrowed from Return of the Jedi, but not to the extent of The Force Awakens. Overall, I think it is my favorite of the three films in this trilogy, even though Last Jedi was probably a better movie. Lots of good moments, though definitely a movie with a few flaws as well.

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370 - Knives Out - 8/10 - A very successful (and wealthy) mystery writer commits suicide during the night after his family gathered to celebrate his 85th birthday. Police and a private investigator look in to the death and suspect that foul play may have been involved, but there are a plethora of suspects from among the family and others as well. The movie is pretty funny at times and is entertaining. Daniel Craig with a southern drawl is a bit strange.

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1 - The Promise - 7.5/10 - A young woman is seriously disfigured in a car accident that also injures her fiancee and his friend while on the way to get married. The fiancee's mother is wealthy and tells him that she died in the accident while secretly paying for reconstructive surgery on the promise that the woman will stay away from her fiancee. They eventually meet again a few years later. It was a pretty good movie.

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2 - The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond - 7.5/10 - A gangster movie about the life of Jack "Legs" Diamond. Heavily fictionalized, but entertaining.

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3 - Is Paris Burning? - 8/10 - An epic film about the liberation of Paris in 1944. There is a large cast and archival footage is mixed in. I thought it was well done.

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4 - She (1935) - 6.5/10 - Leo Vincey learns a family story from his dying uncle about an ancestor who supposedly found a fountain of youth 500 years earlier. Leo and friends follow a route they find in an old journal and stumble upon a hidden civilization ruled by a mysterious woman. Some ofthe staging was good, but I thought the acting was kind of wooden in many spots and the story was kind of dull.

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5 - Sally - 6.5/10 - Sally is a waitress who hopes to become a dancer. She eventually gets her chance, though there are ups and downs along the way. It's not a bad film and the dancing is good, but it can also be a bit dull. This was an early color film, though it mainly survives in black and white now.

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6 - The Dawns Here are Quiet (1972) - 9/10 - This Russian film takes place in a remote outpost near the Finnish border in 1941. The sergeant in charge is surprised to get a group of young women soldiers as replacements to man the anti-aircraft batteries. When two German soldiers are spotted by one of the women while in the woods, the sergeant takes five of the women into the woods to try and capture or kill the two Germans only to discover that there are many more soldiers than they expected. I thought this was a very entertaining film and is well worth seeing.

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7 - Make a Wish - 6.5/10 - A musical from 1937 that pretty much served as a vehicle for Bobby Breen to sing. Breen plays a boy at a summer camp whose mother is a good singer, but is relatively unknown. Breen befriends a man across the lake who writes musicals, but is suffering from writer's block. The writer takes inspiration from the children at the camp and from the boy's other to write his new musical. Basil Rathbone starred as the writer. It was okay.

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8 - The Aeronauts - 7/10 - Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in this tale 'inspired' by James Glaisher, a scientist who went up higher in a balloon than anyone had gone before to run experiments and almost died as a result. It was a decent film.

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9 - Madron - 7/10 - A nun on her way to Santa Fe is the only survivor of an Indian attack in the old west. She is found by an old gunfighter who agrees to escort her to her destination, but they run into trouble from Indians and from bandits along the way.

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10 - Can't Help Singing - 7/10 - Deanna Durbin stars as a senator's daughter who heads west to chase after her fiance, a soldier who has been sent to California. She takes a steamboat and later joins a wagon train where she becomes involved with a card sharp. The movie was watchable and had some humorous parts.

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11 - Pieces of Dreams - 7/10 - A Catholic priest starts to question his role in the church and whether he wants to continue in the priesthood. He also becomes involved with a social worker.

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12 - The Thief - 8.5/10 - This Russian film takes place in the 1950s and is about a young woman whose husband was a soldier, but died shortly after the birth of their son. When the boy is 6, they are traveling on a train and meet a charming soldier and start to travel with him as a family. They soon learn that the man is a thief and after getting the people in their rooming house to trust him, robs them and skips town. This pattern repeats for quite some time and the woman wants to escape the situation, but finds herself unable to. It was very well done.

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13 - The Hawaiians - 7.5/10 - This movie continues the adaptation of James Michener's Hawaii and details one family from approximately 1870-1905. They also have ties to a Chinese family where the parents came over to Hawaii at the start of the film. I enjoyed this historical epic.

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14 - The Swarm - 6/10 - A disaster movie about a giant swarm of killer bees. It was not that good.

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15 - Mother Wore Tights - 7.5/10 - A daughter looks back on her parents and their Vaudeville career from the time they met through her sister's graduation. It was a decent musical.

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16 - Desiree - 7.5/10 - An adaptation of the novel based on the life of Desiree Clary, the woman who was engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte before he broke it off to marry Josephine. She married a French General who later became King of Sweden, making her Queen of Sweden as a consequence. I enjoyed it.

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17 - Vogues of 1938 - 7/10 - A popular fashion designer is beset with problems from his wife, his competitors and his creditors. One of his clients ditches her fiancee and asks hi for a job.

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18 - The Other Side of the Mountain - 7/10 - The story of Jill Kinmont is told here. Kinmont was an Olympic hopeful skier who suffered significant injuries that left her a quadriplegic during an event prior to the 1956 Olympics.

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19 - Susan Slept Here - 7/10 - A Hollywood writer's holiday plans are disrupted when two vice cops drop a 17 year old girl off at his apartment so that she doesn't need to be in jail on Christmas. This leads to a few humorous bits. He takes her to Nevada to marry her in order to keep her out of jail intending it to be a marriage on paper only. He eventually discovers that he really has feelings for her. I didn't find Debbie Reynolds particularly convincing as a 17 year old, but the movie was okay.

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20 - When Ladies Meet (1941) - 7/10 - Joan Crawford plays a popular novelist who falls in love with her publisher and tries to lure him away from his wife (Greer Garson). Robert Taylor plays a man who is in love with the novelist and befriends the publisher's wife. It was a decent film.

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21 - The Champ (1979) - 7/10 - This remake wasn't bad. It had decent performances from Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight. It wasn't as good as the original, though.

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22 - Lacombe, Lucien - 8/10 - In June 1944, Lucien is a 17 year old boy who tries to join the underground in German controlled France, but is turned down due to his age. He falls in with a group of collaborators and learns to like the power he feels. He also becomes involved with the daughter of a jewish tailor. This was a pretty good movie.

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23 - The Front - 8.5/10 - Woody Allen stars as a cashier and part time bookie in the early 1950s named Howard who doesn't do very well on the gambling front. An old friend of his shows up one day and needs his help. The friend is a writer who has been blacklisted and needs somebody to act as a front for him so that he can sell scripts and make a commission. This turns out to be fairly lucrative for Howard and turns his life around in many ways. I think that this is my favorite Woody Allen film now. I enjoyed this one from start to finish. It was written and directed by people who were blacklisted in the 1950s and also had a couple of them as costars. It is a very good movie.

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