I just want to say: it seems like there's a tendency to build people up as stars, and then knock them down. Gwyneth Paltrow isn't any more or less silly/deluded than stars of the past like Shirley MacLaine or Jane Fonda
The luckiest stars were the ones who knew when to quit
There's nothing wrong with the Remake of Stagecoach.
Big disagreement here. I think The Last Hunt is a very underrated western. Talky? Perhaps but not mediocre. It's not a traditional western to be sure but there's a nice intelligence and maturity to it. As for the movie ending with a whimper and not a bang, I first saw the film as a kid and I'll never forget the horror I felt at Taylor's end.
IRC, there just aren't that many jokes, and they aren't very funny.
I think this was an excellent idea for a comedy that had mediocre execution. But then that's my opinion of almost every Carl Reiner movie comedy.
Souls at Sea is a rousing 1937 sea yarn directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Gary Cooper, George Raft and Frances Dee. Cooper is on trial (isn't he always?) for his actions following the sinking of a ship and the rescue of passengers that required killing off a few. Cooper won't testify in his own defense (just like Mr,. Deeds) but as he's about to be carted away, George Zucco of all people comes in to provide the details to the judge and the audience. It turns out that Cooper and his friend and companion George Raft were once crew members of a slave ship, they were captured but released in order to complete a secret mission to put an end to the slave trade.
Particularly good in this one is Raft, perhaps the best performance of his career and one in which ancient texts had claimed he was nominated for a supporting Oscar. He was even asked about this on TV and denied the nomination saying he was never accused of being a good actor, but the rumor persisted. Raft falls for Olympe Bradna, the traveling companion of Frances Dee. Amazingly, Bradna was only 16 at the time of shooting but she does have poise and is quite engaging, enough so that Raft begins to shed his hardened shell and even begins to quote poetry to attract her attention. A sea-worthy adventure, Paramount obviously spent some money on it and the effects during the sinking are top-notch.
Mothra - Godzilla may be the most well-known figure of the kaiju adventures, and in his first film certainly the most ferocious. Mothra takes a different approach and while the film can be considered as much of a social commentary piece as Toho's first monster opus, the film is closer to a fairy tale than to science-fiction. TCM aired the Japanese version which is slightly longer yet oddly during the New Kirk City scenes, the head bad guy starts talking English to his flunkies. Yes, it all looks so fake - it did even in 1962 when I first saw it. But you have to laugh and enjoy it, especially at the sight of the miniature building that has the sign "New Kirk City Motors Bilding" (sic) on it.
The Face Behind the Mask is a Columbia B from 1941 that has Peter Lorre as the sweetest little just off-the-boat character you would ever want to see. Really, it's amazing that this actor started his career playing a serial killer of children. Not long after his arrival he's in a hotel fire and is so disfigured that no one will hire him. Despondent, he's about to jump off a bridge when he runs into George E. Stone who convinces him to lead a life of crime to earn money fast so he can get his face fixed. Evelyn Keyes is along for the ride as a blind girl who is thus unaware of Lorre's disfigurement and it is only with she that he displays any of the humanity that once existed.
One of the great low-budgeters from Robert Florey, a man who deserves a greater footnote in film history than to be remembered as the man who was kicked off Frankenstein in order to make room for James Whale.