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Yohe's Movie Update
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3125
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
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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



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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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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



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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



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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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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've watched it twice on Netflicks, but I've been sitting on writing it up, because I thought it was an important film & deserved my best ....but I can't think of anything ....so I'm just going to crank this out. MANK is probably going to be the best film of 2020. FUCK there just isn't anything else. It would get a nomination in any year, but in 2020 it might get best picture. That a joke because I know the true winner will be about Black or Gay issues, so why think about it.

MANK is the story of washed up Herman Mankiewicz writing CITIZEN KANE with a broken leg in a Palmdale Hotel ... drunk. It's a film told mostly threw flashbacks....which covers a lot of film history and movie people of the era. There was nothing in it that I haven't read about in film books. Even mentions the Marxs Brothers cooking potatoes in Irving Thalberg's office. All of it had meaning for me, and it fulfilled the images I had in my little brain of what 1940 was like. So ****1/8, at least.

When it's all done....none of the famous character are really treated badly. Davis & Hearst love each other & comes off well. Orson Welles seems like the Orson Wellies we know. All the famous MGM writers are cool. Irving Thalberg seems like he is going to be a dick, but end up being a good guy. The only real jerk is Louis B. Mayer.

Filled with great dialogue with great acting. Might be hard to stop Gary Oldman from winning another Oscar. All the women are really good. Amana Seyfried as Marion Davis does her best to steal the movie & is getting a lot of talk. Charles Dance is the best William Randolph Hearst in film history.....and he has only about 5 lines. Dance gives Hearst some power & smarts ...... instead of a old dopy fat guy walking around.

Gary Oldman is great as Mankiewicz. There is a big scene at the end where he bust into a dinner party at the Hearst Castle & gives a long speach in Hearst's face.. It's filmed mostly in one shot. Turns out the director David Fincher made him do 100 takes .... over & over. It's high point of the film.

There is a lot of stuff done at Hearst Castle. Not the real one. But is created from all type of angles. Really enjoy seeing it in it's prime. Even has the zoo.

My only fear is that you need to know about Hollywood history to get the full effect. Like Tim Hornbaker's NWA book...the more you know the better it gets. Hope it does well. Want to see it in a theater. ---- Steve Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
That a joke because I know the true winner will be about Black or Gay issues, so why think about it.


Only 3 out of the last 10 winners have been about either black issues or gay issues - Green Book in 2018, Moonlight in 2016 and 12 Years a Slave in 2013.

Going backwards from there you have to find Driving Miss Daisy in 1989 and Midnight Cowboy in 1969. I'm not sold that DMD was massively a "black issues" movie.

Given how White and Straight the winners have been over the nearly century of awards, I wouldn't get to worked up over 3 in 7 years winning. Especially after last year has 0.00% of the Best Picture nominations deal with either black issues or gay issues.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the movie, I agree that it's good. It's likely to get nominated for the big one, and pick up a lot of other acting and technical nominations.

Hard to tell what the other favorites are as some are being rushed out into mini-release this month.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What other film is a major movie in 2020? What are the candidates?

Well the Oscars have been pushed back to late April, so something may show up. --- Yohe
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Bob Morris



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late on this, but Birds of Prey came out just as the pandemic hit the United States and, a few weeks after its release, people stopped going to movie theaters, and they were going to shut down anyway because of stay-at-home orders.

I think there are some critics out there who just want to put over films with female leads because they think they are boosting feminism or whatever -- when the truth is, there are lots of films with female leads that are good, lots of films with female leads that are bad, and a number of films with female leads that are classics.

And when it comes to superhero films, there's plenty of fans that want to play to "wokeness."

I can't judge Birds of Prey because I haven't seen it. I'll be watching Wonder Woman 84 at the local theater this weekend (I can never get it to load on HBO Max for some reason, even though I can load other content).

At any rate, there's nothing wrong with more films with female leads. But the average person isn't interested in the underlying theme -- they just want to enjoy a film, and that likely explains the disconnect between critics and viewers when it comes to these films.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Months ago, I watched BIRDS OF PREY on HBO. All I remember it was bad. An attempt to make it like DEADPOOL 1, a movie I hated. And it didn't work. I don't remember any more & had no other feelings. It's one of those films I forget. Since 1963, I've hated everything DC has done .... except a few Batman movies.

I don't mind woman characters in any type of role....but it has to be kind of has to be fit in as some type of reality. Doing a female Ghostbusters, or female Oceans II, or a film with female gunfighters in the west..... is a fucking bad idea. Just taking a male character & switching it to a female is bad. Give them their own characters & stories.

So Chris Evans is talking about doing another Capt. American ..... who thought that wouldn't happen?

Tom Hacks has a film I really want to see.... but the title, "NEWS OF THE WORLD" doesn't fit a western.

I'm going to review TENET when I have time. The movie has a lot of time in it.--- Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only place you can see a film on a big screen, is at one of the drive-ins. I was thinking about it because they were showing some good movie & I'm getting desperate. Then I found out it cost $65 a car. So forget that.....even with free popcorn.---Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watched another really underrated Western last night called THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE. Well directed (Michael Gordon), has a great cast of actors not remember like they should be: Glenn Ford, Gene Tierney, Zachary Scott, Ann Dvorak, Cyril Cusack, Ethel Barrymore, Barbara Bates, Richard Hylton , & more. All of them with good parts. The woman actors are all good. A group of escape convict travel thru a major snow storm to a village of women who's husbands are away. The plot has a noirish feel & intelligent. Ford is great again as a guy who was set up for a murder by Tierney's husband .... and the two, Ford & Tierney, fall in love ...... before the gun fight. Scott leads three other bad guys who think Ford has $40,000 hidden in the village. Super acting by everyone, with lots of action & drama. ***2/3. Based on a true story & has a secret at the end. --- Steve Yohe
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TCM was showing a number of good westerns this week. I like westerns a lot & I was surprise to find so many good ones I didn't know about.

ROUGHSHOD (1949) was good. About a rancher & young brother taking 9 horses threw a valley being hunted by three escape convicts lead by John Ireland. During the trip the two brothers run into four dance hall girls (hookers) who are stuck on the road. Over course, they help the girls .... until a big shoot out at the end of the movie. Kind of the same old thing, but the acting and cinematography carries it into being very good. The film is really is a one girl show, with Gloria Grahame stealing the whole film. She eats the movie up. She is the leader of the 4 women, and she is the movie. And she is one of the great film actresses. I don't know if it's sex appear or whatever, but she has it. Everyone is good in this film, but it's like acting with King Kong. Really there is nothing like Gloria Grahame.

Robert Sterling plays the lead hero, and he would seem the weakness. He is the actor who played TOPPER on TV, & he is a lot more like Cary Grant that Randoff Scott. But he is a good actor & the part works Ok. His brother is Claude Jarman Jr, who is one of the best kid actors in history, after starting in the film THE YEARLING. He pulls this film together, working well with his brother & Gloria. I give this at ***1/4. The gunfight at the end is good.

I think John Ireland is one of the very best western villains' actors. He adds to every movie I've seen him in. He isn't big or rough.... he comes cross as skilled gunman & a killer. (Like Eastwood, he was a major swimmer) To get his character across he doesn't need much dialog. He is John Ireland .... you know him. He says very little in his movie ... but you feel his powerful presence thru out the film. Ireland in movies comes across as a match for any hero, even John Wayne, & Kirk Douglas. And he made a ton of great films like Howard Hawks' RED RIVER.

Lets talk about Howard Hawks, one of the greatest directors in film history, who anyone would work with. Ok so why would he make RIO BRAVO (1959-**7/8) three times with John Wayne. The other two were El DORADO (1966 **), and then the worst RIO LOBO (1970-*). Same story with the only changes being the moving around of the actors: Dean Martin went to Robert Mitchum, and then Jorge Rivera ....Ricky Nelson went to James Caan to Chris Mitchum ... Walter Brennan went to Arthur Hunnicutt to Jack Elam ... and Angie Dickinson went to Charlene Holt to Jennifer O'Nell. I dislike all of them. To me, it really is a downer seeing Robert Michum play drunk side kick to Wayne. I think Bob thought that way too, because he refused to return for the 3rd one. So Hawks gave a part to his son.

I think studios were refusing to make movies with old directors like Hawks & John Ford, and the only reason they got movies was because John Wayne would star. And Rio BRAVO was a big hit, so they did two more.

Funny...John Wayne didn't like and refused to work with Jack Elam. In Rio Lobo, he felt Elam stoled a scene from him.

Also watched on TCM, STATION WEST, a western staring Dick Powell. I thought it was a fun movie with cool dialog. More like Phillip Marlowe in the west than any other type western movie. Jane Greer is in it too, but the whole movie is Powell doing his film noir stuff. Feels more like a comedy. ***

Has some good action & horse riding stuff. If your going to be grading the great film fights in history, there is a long brutal fist fight between Powell and Gunn " Big Boy" Williams that ranks high. It stops the movie it's so brutal. Powell, the dancer, being in a action movie, had something to prove. It a very enjoyable film, but no big deal. ---Steve Yohe
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