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Yohe's Movie Update
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3084
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Westerns a lot .... Ok. I had watched parts of RIVER OF NO RETURN (1954) over the year & was never interested. Kind of bored me. I decided to watch it on TCM the other night, Why? After watching FALLEN ANGEL & doing a fantastic review, I've become interested in director Otto Preminger. Also on Ebay lst week looking for new Jim Londos photos, I saw a photos of Marilyn Monroe, that brought out feelings of wanting to see more. Watching RIVER OF NO RETURN I liked it. It's a good western. Maybe ***1/3 stars. Filmed really well in CinemaScope (looks like 70MM film), has wonderful shots of the raft on the river, and the set ups were very interesting. The stunt work was very good, and the out door shots fit in well with the rear projection stuff done in the studio. Looks like a major production which it was at the time, staring the huge match up of Marilyn Monroe, and Robert Mitchum with lesser stars Rory Calhoun and as a kid Tommy Rettig ( a major TV star every Sunday night in LASSIE).

I was surprised at how it had the feel of a major western, because I didn't think Otto Premingger had the style for it. Turns out that Otto got upset with Monroe's acting coach & walked out on the movie before it was finshed. Looking at the shots by Preminger, the producer, Stanley Rubin didn't like what he saw..... listing many of the thing I saw as strong points in the movie.....and the finish movie was put together by him and the editor Louis R. Loeffler.... and used retakes by director Jean Negulesco. I think the Cinematographer, Joseph Lashelle also played a big part in creating what I liked about the movie. To me, it's now a really well made outdoors movie.

I'm not a big fan of Marilyn Monroe. My type isn't blonds and I don't like makeup. I think she was the type who fucked her way to the top, using just about anyone in Hollywood. She didn't know it, but I see the talent & she is a major star. Altho I think the only major classic film by her was SOME LIKE IT HOT. The rest I could do without. She usually looks good and the camera loves her .... but studios liked to star her with older actors, who she over powers. He films seem phony & not real. I think she was the style woman, that old men fall for......mainly for sex ..... and she fucked a bunch of them. Off & on camera, she did have a nice rappor for people, and had a sympathetic feel to her. But as someone to work with she was a mess. It takes book to explain her, so I'm going to stop there. You had to be super patient with her or she could destroy your film....or at least, your budget.

But in this movie they gave her Robert Mitchum, the most natural, layback movie star in Hollywood. He also was a great actor, who's disinterested style made him underrated & valued at the same time. Major action star, who could be as powerful as anyone in film. Not overly good looking, he wasn't a pretty boy, but was a masculine as Monroe was feminine. He was an actor Monroe couldn't blow away.

I think Monroe is very good in this. She looks great as a poor bar singer with a good heart, and the music stuff works Ok. You can see she was working hard on everything. She had a style of talking, which worked for her, but the timing could make it seem like she couldn't act .... but no one could say she wasn't a star. Her good looks just pop out at you in this. Really I think she is very good, and it's stuff done a million times in Westerns.

This is basically a film of a man, a woman, and a girl on a raft going down a wild river, with a few cheap Indians, and some bad guys thrown in. Monroe does some of her own stunts, and handles it well. Mitchum is no surprise, but she is.

Mitchum is always good. Some of the writing had to be overcome. At one point, I think they felt that things were getting boring....so Mitchum jumps on Monroe like he is raping her following a bath ....after an hour of him not being interested and gentalman .....then the boy yells and Mithum runs back to their fire and wrestles a mountain Lion, like Johnny Weissmuller with a stuffed toy .... then the lion is shot by two bad guys .... then Mitchum fights one of them. The two fights in this movie was more like wrestling matches. Bob first uses a double wrist lock....followed by a mare throw....and Bob makes him submit to a hammer lock! Old style wrestling! I think that may have been the worst section of the film, but it goes back being kind of real after that. It is a western.

Rory Calhoun is also in the movie, as the bad guy gambler type, who was Monroe's boy friend. He starts all the trouble that puts Bob & Marilyn on the raft...in the river...of no return. As a pretty boy bad guy needed to stand up to Robert Mitchum he is very good. He actually is better looking that Bob & much bigger. He is 6'4" in real life & Bob is only 6 foot. There is a fight between the two, and Calhoun gets the best of it. I think the producers cast a major cowboy star who would be able to believable, and work cheap, against Mitchum. Rory has to do some acting because he walks a line between good, likeable, and very bad. That was one of it's strong points....bad guys having a real dimension to them, and the western world is shown as being a good place.

Calhoun had past similar to Mitchum's. he had been a boxer and cow hand, and the real deal. He had a long career in Film & Tv. I gained some respect for him from this film.

Mitchum always bitched about working with Monroe. She made him wait & stuff. But there was one scene where she has a lot of emotional dialog that didn't seem to fit her speaking style. (Clint Eastwood couldn't have read those lines either.) You can see that Bob's lines are filmed first and then Monroe's. I have a feeling that the Morroe part had to be filmed 20 times over & over, until they got what they wanted. But Mitchum stands there to help her get it done. Most stars would have gone to their dressing room & left it to his stand in. Only nice guys do that for another young actor. So he was trying to help her.

To end this...the boy is played by Tommy Rettig who was the first boy on the TV LASSIE show. It was a famous show for a number of years. As a kid I liked the show, and my cousin loved it. He used to take Lassie home with him and they slept together, until the trainer got upset because the dog was obeying the actor ang not the him. He goy older and after 7 years he left the show, and that forced the producers to change the family. The acting work dried up. and he did other things. At one point he gat busted for drugs & made the newspapers. As an adult he made a comeback...failed...and retired. A few years later, after computer world stated up, he became once again famous as one of the first computer programmers. He created something & became rich. I don't know what. They say he was a good guy. During the filming of RIVER OF NO RETURN, Preminger said he was the most professional actor in the movie, and the crew used him to calm Marilyn down.

He died early at age 54 from a heart attack. They put his ashes in the ocean at a ceremony attended by one of Lassie descendances. --- Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3084
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight I was upset over learning how Trump is going to fit the election, and didn't feel like watching basketball or baseball. So I watched another Robert Mitchum movie I had taped. This one was a film I had never heard of, and knew nothing about. It was called BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948). I taped it thinking was a Mitchum B western, made when he was first starting. I just wanted to see what it looked like.

BLOOD ON THE MOON was one of the best Westerns I've ever seen. It would seem like a standard gunfighter movie with the normal B movie story, but it was so well done, that is a classic & one of the best westerns. Everything about it is great. On reading, it is called the greatest noir western of all time. The cinematography , by Nicholas Musuraca, had it looking better than any John Ford movie.

It's dark, moody and filled with action, but, like all good westerns about ethics & morals. Mitchum is over the top great as the silent gunman. He and everyone else is perfect.

It's made by the same RKO people who made OUT OF THE PAST, and THE CAT PEOPLE. Robert Wise directed. You might say it was one of the first Adult western. It's at least ****. Really...I want a blue ray copy.

It might have the best fight scene in movie history between Mitchum and the bad guy Robert Preston....both beat each other to death. It's filed with action, but doesn't over shadow the acting.

Mitch's love interest, a gun toting tom girl, played by Barbara Bel Geddes....who was fired after the movie by Howard Hughes because she wasn't sexily enough. Later she play Maggie the Cat in the first Broadway production of A CAT ON A HOT TIM ROOF....and later was Miss Ellie Ewing on Dallas. --- Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3084
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE GHOUL (1933) played on TCM a couple of days ago. It was a film made by Boris Karloff in England in 1933 after Universal failed to give him a raise after FRANKENSTEIN. It was considered a lost film until being found in a Shepperton Studio vault in 1980 or later. It wasn't on VCR in good condition until 2003. So I never saw it as a kid, and tonight was my first viewing. It's a old British drama type film, but a must for any fan of Karloff. It's a cross between FRANKENSEIN and THE MUMMY .... and Boris does play a monster. His Ghoul is more like the Frankenstein monster that any other role he plays. The make up is good. I would say it is better than 90% of the Universal horror films. Like ***. Has some plot holes, but does have some action. It was the first horror film made in the post-silent era in England. It was also Ralph Richardson's first film. Has the great Ernest Thesiger in it, a future co-star to Karloff.

After this movie, Karloff returned to America and made THE LOST PATROL for John Ford, which got him more money from Universal. Him standing up to the studio probably kept him away from the fate of Bela. --- Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch the new REBECCA on Netflicks last night after winning the World Series. I'm interested in English History & over the last few years read some books on the subject. It kind of ties in with my GAME OF THRONES interest. I'm also a big Lily James fan, and I liked Hitchcock's version of the film & it is a classic but I don't remember everything about it & I seem to have my idea of the story mixed up with something else.

I enjoyed the first part of this, and the world being created seemed different than most films of this era, and that was working for me. The mansion Manderley was a star in it's self. They must have got permission to film in one of the famous landmarks of England, because no movie set director could have created it. It was the highlight of the film. It & the beaches seemed like something out of a David Lean movie. It had me thinking I wish it was in a theater, instead of on TV.

Other than the leads, the supporting cast was very good. The servants & masters of the house play their part well & I had hopes that it would contain parts of GOSFORD PARK in it. I don't think it ever pulls it off.

Lily James, I'm a big fan of & I hoped this would be a big career part for her. In fact, I saw her in it, being the reason for remaking the classic film. But she isn't very good in it. She kind of over acts and you can see her working hard. I think she needed help from the director ... and she doesn't get it. She just makes the wrong choices. Joan Fontaine gave the performance of her career in the Hitchcock version & she couldn't overcome that. I think James' blond hair didn't fit the part. She needed some help. It's a hard part to play.

Same goes for Armie Hammer. I think he was the big disappointment. This was seen as a important drama, and the role had been fine crafted by Laurence Olivier. I'm trying to place Armie Hammer in to the big picture. He is secondary lead actor. He is not a top level movie star. He is the actor you settle on, when you can't get a major star. I've liked him in some thing, and I may change my mind as he ages, but he was bad in this part. he is in over his head. It needed a big star who could really act. He wasn't the guy. Too white & boring. It hurt Lily's performance because he wasn't there to play off off.

If you didn't have the right actors and directors you shouldn't have attempted the movie.

Kristin Scott Thomas is powerful & great & does her part well. But the ending as written, hurts her work. She seemed to be the one actor who realized how important her part was. The skinny girl who plays the 2nd Mrs de Winter personal servant does a lot in a small part.

The movie falls apart in the last haft. They change the story at the end, and if doesn't work. Very disappointing. I give *** because I liked the house & it kept my interest. I didn't think about it being bad until it was over. To it's credit, it was a real movie, and it wasn't based on a comic book. They just reached too high, and took short cuts. ---Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3084
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They should cancel this year's Oscars, and just cover two years for 2001. I think, as is, it will just be giving awards to black or gay art films, off of TV. --- Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3084
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE SOCIAL DILEMMA is the most important film in the history of movies. It's on Netflix ****5/6 Everyone should be forced to watch this film. --- Steve Yohe
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