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 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 1:13 AM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

It was William Holden's birthday last week. Watching the big finish of John Milius' Flight Of The Intruder, recently, made me think of the 1954 Korean war film, The Bridges at Toko-Ri. William Holden's other "Bridge" movie. Based on the James A, Michener novel, it stars Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March, Charles McGraw, Earl Holliman, and Mickey Rooney (great as a Mutt & Jeff pair of helicopter rescue pilots). Holden plays Harry Brubaker, a slightly embittered navy pilot stationed on March's aircraft carrier, who just wants to get through the war and get back to his law practice and beautiful wife and the two daughters he was taken from by being called to duty as a reservist. He just has to fly one major (likely suicidal) mission to take down some strategically vital bridges behind enemy lines.

I just picked up a copy of the DVD on Amazon for $5 bucks, and that was a steal. I rewatched it today, and it still holds up very well. I was surprised to read comments online that the film is considered forgotten, and for reasons I mention below, I sure won't.

The aerial sequences are well done and boast some impressive oscar-winning miniature work in a climax that may make you think of a climactic sequence from a certain1977 sci-fi film. The jet fighter runs on the bridge are shot in natural light and still look damned good. No CGI could improve the realism of these scenes

SPOILER: if you have an interest in seeing this film, you may not want to read this part. Bridges At Toko-Ri is one of those films I remember seeing at a very young age during an afternoon TV broadcast, maybe on Dialing For Dollars. I tuned in toward the final moments of the film, which has a heart-rendingly bleak ending that has stayed with me for a long time. One of the earliest films I ever saw where the hero died, and the efforts to rescue him utterly fail. It really punched me in the gut. After The Wild Bunch, William Holden's second best last stand.

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Since when is Riotengine a full-fledged film critic/blogger??????!!!!!
smile
just what the board needs!

Re TOKO RI

It starts out well with Holden a reluctant soldier. He argues passionately against being sent to war so soon after WWII ended> And, he makes the case that the US is not justified in going to war against Korea.

Then , the PENTAGON flack gives him a flag waving speech about fighting the Commies, defending Democracy, blah blah blah BLECH!
Holden goes from dove to hawk and gets his just deserts.
That's the problem with this film - its propaganda for the Korean War.


Hey Greg, does your boss know you're an anti-Communist warmonger?
wink
bruce

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I've been watching Carroll Ballard films for the first time recently: The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Wind, Fly Away Home, and now Duma later this week. I wish I had seen these on the big screen - but I'm surprised that, with the exception of Black Stallion, none of these had 70mm blow-up or IMAX versions.

I did this a few months ago. I'd seen a couple of them many years ago, but first time for others. Are you going to watch his Nutcracker as well?

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I've been watching Carroll Ballard films for the first time recently: The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Wind, Fly Away Home, and now Duma later this week. I wish I had seen these on the big screen - but I'm surprised that, with the exception of Black Stallion, none of these had 70mm blow-up or IMAX versions.

I did this a few months ago. I'd seen a couple of them many years ago, but first time for others. Are you going to watch his Nutcracker as well?


That's the only Ballard movie that my library system doesn't have - but at least I actually attended a performance of the PNB production back in the 80s here in Seattle! (But I still would like to see the film eventually.) smile

 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 5:52 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I've been returning to Kurosawa this month, seeing old favorites, such as Dersu Uzala (Man, I want to watch a 70mm presentation of this again - I haven't since I was 12 or so) and Seven Samurai, and new discoveries like Kagemusha and Rhapsody in August - which is almost amusing in its Ozu-like small scale compared to grandeur of the more famous Kurosawa films. Next up: Sanjuro and Red Beard.

Also:
Queen Kelly - Von Stroheim and Swanson, 1929. Utterly enthralling, but a pity that it was unfinished.

The Freshman - After this and seeing Safety Last last summer, I'm starting to become a Harold Lloyd fancier.

The Long Day Closes - Terence Davies, 1992. Beautifully crafted; an evocative memory film, but nothing much going on behind it all.

Not old or a classic yet, but I watched Sorrentino's The Great Beauty earlier this month and I can't stop thinking about it - and I'm not sure what I think of it. A few more viewings of it are in order. (Kicking myself for not going to it when it was in the theaters. But I'm sure it will return - stunning, stunning imagery.)

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 25, 2014 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

RED PLANET MARS-54-It was so nice to see this magnificent film again.A wonderful heart wrenching ending that made me so proud to know I am on the right side of things. I didn't realize how well this film holds up. I saw it when I was a kid and I didn't really get the whole meaning. Then I saw the film in the 80's and I did get the whole meaning and I loved the film even more. These days after years of seeing all the misery destruction and death I understand it even more.It reminds me of that great line from LADY FRANKENSTEIN. I MAY GO TO HELL BUT YOU WILL BE REACHING UP TO ME.LOVE TO SEE A REMAKE.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 3:33 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Since when is Riotengine a full-fledged film critic/blogger??????!!!!!
smile
just what the board needs!



Clearly you haven't been paying attention. wink

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 3:34 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Bob Hoskins passed away this last week, so I thought I should watch what arguably may be his best film, The Long Good Friday, from 1980. Considered one of the best British gangster films, Hoskins plays London gangster turned businessman, Harold Shand, who's about to go legit by closing a lucrative billion dollar deal and suddenly finds himself under siege from a mysterious enemy.

One of the things I liked about this film was how Shand, despite his outwardly polished veneer as a businessman, regresses to the brutal violence of his earlier criminal life to find out who's gunning for him, with disasterous results. It reminded me a bit of the 1960 John Guillerman-directed film, Never Let Go, with Richard Todd and Peter Sellers. Sellers played a brutal car thief named Lionel Meadows, who also maintains a veneer of repectability, but resorts to brutal violence when the veneer gets chipped away by the end of the film.

The film also stars Helen Mirren. Paul Freeman (pre-Raiders Of The Lost Ark) plays a pivotal role, and Pierce Brosnan appears (as Irishman number 1) in his feature film debut. Brosnan would later work again with director MacKenzie in The Fourth Protocol, with Michael Caine. Very cool score by Frances Monkman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhMGq-4wpO0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8at91y-vA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAXxYKave6o

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 9:39 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

'On the Beach' (1959)- Gregory Peck, Ava Garder, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins.

There is no situation so dire that it cannot be livened up with some pure, uncut, grade-A Hollywood melodrama.
I mean that as a sincere compliment.
Gardner and Perkins are completely unconvincing as Australians, but the truth and heart of their (all of these) performances cannot be denied.

I like to add to the tragedy by imagining Perkins and Astaire as barely in the closet, and could have had a brief fling some 5 yrs before the events of the movie.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 9:55 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

'On the Beach' (1959)- Gregory Peck, Ava Garder, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins.
There is no situation so dire that it cannot be livened up with some pure, uncut, grade-A Hollywood melodrama.
I mean that as a sincere compliment.
Gardner and Perkins are completely unconvincing as Australians, but the truth and heart of their (all of these) performances cannot be denied.
I like to add to the tragedy by imagining Perkins and Astaire as barely in the closet, and could have had a brief fling some 5 yrs before the events of the movie.



Adm, you're not gonna believe this. I was just taking a break from what I was watching and absentmindedly logged on here for the hell of it. I don't even usually look in this thread.

The movie I am watching: "On The Beach"!!

I am so freaked out right now I should probably call it a night.

eek

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 7:38 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Antenna TV ran some hard to see war films for Memorial Day, and I TiVo'd the 1960 Korean war drama, All The Young Men, which starred Alan Ladd and Sidney Poitier. Interesting supporting cast with, James Darren, Glenn Corbett, Paul Richards, and Mort Sahl. And boxer, Ingmar Johansson, who even sings in the film. wink

Poitier plays inexperienced Sgt. Towler, part of an integrated platoon, who gets promoted to leader by his dying lieutenant after a Korean ambush. This doesn't sit too well with experienced maverick ex-sergeant, private Kincaid, played by Alan Ladd, and a Southern racist played by Paul Richards. Poitier has to hold the squad together while under siege in temple located in a strategic mountain pass, by scores of Chinese troops...and his own men.

It's an uneven film worth seeing for the cast and for Poitier, who owns the film. Poitier gives Richards a serious beat-down when he drunkenly tries to rape Ana St. Clair. Some of my quibbles are with authenticity, like the Chinese troops using the wrong weaponry (German MP40s, old Browning machine guns). Exterior shots were filmed up in Glacier National Park, in Montana, and it doesn't really sell you it's in Korea.

Just two years later, Don Siegel would make the similar, and vastly superior Hell Is for Heroes.

"Don't judge us the way we are now."

"Why not?"

"Because we are frightened now. We have seen too much death and we don't understand why. Because we have had to bury our friends in places we can't even pronounce."

"I felt like that when my father died. But time helps all of us. You too. And the day will come when your color makes no difference, to any of them."



"Merry Christmas, Tiger." Merry Christmas...Sergeant."

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 8:12 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

HUSH, HUSH....SWEET CHARLOTTE
pretty bad imho
but part of the reason i disliked it (apart from the exhorbitant running time) is that all the twists were predictable (maybe, at the time they weren't if you didn't see DIABOLIQUE).
Nice photography though.

brm

ps i acant belive Agnes moorhead got an Oscar nod for her lunatic, dreadful performance!

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 8:15 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

'On the Beach' (1959)- Gregory Peck, Ava Garder, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins.

I like to add to the tragedy by imagining Perkins and Astaire as barely in the closet, and could have had a brief fling some 5 yrs before the events of the movie.


I know he seems a bit fey, but I believe Astaire was hetero!
brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 8:17 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

.......I TiVo'd the 1960 Korean war drama, All The Young Men, ...

Greg Espinoza


Tivo'd!!!!!!!!!!!!???
I told you to TAPE it, dammitt!
brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2014 - 8:59 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

BAD COMPANY - 1972 - Jeff Bridges and Barry Brown.

Finally saw this film by Robert Benton. A fantastic slice of Civil War-era Americana. (It's not about the Civil War though - it's about two draft dodgers who scrape their way West.) A local Seattle critic, John Hartl, quite aptly described it as "part Mark Twain, part Charles Dickens, and all Andrew Wyeth in its look and feel." It's not only a puckish, involving tale about the friendship between two unlikely young men, but it's also one of the great films to use nature and sense of space beautifully.

There's also an encounter between the two Jeff Lebowskis - over 25 years before "The Big Lebowski."

Spot-on piano score by Harvey Schmidt as well. This film needs to be reconsidered, and placed among the list of best American movies of the 1970s. (I know -already a huge list to begin with.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2014 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Just watched the 1967 film, The Night Of The Generals, which starred Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif. Very interesting murder/mystery with Sharif playing a relentless German officer investigating the brutal murder of a prostitute, with the suspect being one of three Generals, brutal General Tanz, played by O'Toole, Donald Pleasance and Charles Gray (some interesting Bond trivia there. All they needed was Telly Savalas in this film for a Blofeld trifecta).

Sharif's investigation is set against the backdrop of the 20 July Plot (Operation Valkyrie) to assassinate Hitler, and features Christopher Plummer in a brief role as Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

Sharif's Major Grau goes after his quarry with Columbo-like tenacity, making some of his fellow officers wonder why he should care about the death of one prostitute when millions are dying in the war. Major Grau simply believes no one is above the law, especially not a German General. He has a rather interesting relationship with a local police inspector (Phillipe Noiret) with ties to the French Resistance.

Excellent cast with Tom Courtenay, Joanna Pettet, with veteran British character actors Harry Andrews and Gordon Jackson.

At one point in the film, Courtenay plays a German corporal ordered to take O'Toole's General Tanz sightseeing in Paris, it made me think of a much darker version of My Favorite Year, without the laughs.

The film was a reunion of sorts, with Lawrence Of Arabia producer Sam Spiegel, Sharif, and O'Toole together again. I'd read, however, the film had a troubled production history. I liked it, but the film telegraphs who the killer is early on, and film had a rather inelegantly abrupt transition near the start of the film to contemporary mid-1960s. After that, I got used to the film jumping back and forth in time.

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/84918/The-Night-of-the-Generals/articles.html

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/178476/Night-of-the-Generals-The-Movie-Clip-Opening-Credits.html

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2014 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Just watched the 1967 film, The Night Of The Generals, which starred Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif. Very interesting murder/mystery with Sharif playing a German officer investigating the brutal murder of a prostitute...
Greg Espinoza


I remember watching this on television.
It was probably the worst example of a Pan & Scan flick i ever recall seeing.
There were all these scenes with people sitting around talking and they were at extreme edge of the screen.
This was the era of the helical-scan where the camera would slowly, stutteringly, and conspicuosly pan across the image. uggh!
brm

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2014 - 7:03 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I couldn't stand the HELICAL-SCAN either, one of my cameraman was playing around with that idea, I said if you do that you can worked on another film. When you think of the many different ways camera people have come up to film movies that were thank god fleeting and bad. I hated the zoom shot, I don't know why the far east movies loved that technique, headache inducing, for sure on the full screen.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2014 - 1:53 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

I think -- I hope -- that Adam was speaking of a speculation about the two characters played by Perkins and Astaire in ON THE BEACH, without intending to characterize the actors themselves in any way. In real life, that particular shoe fit Perkins, but no one has ever claimed that it fit Fred.

This was, of course, Astaire's first film in a non-singing/dancing role, and in the opinion of many he did an outstanding job. Late in the night of the day that Astaire died in 1988, CBS's Charlie Rose conducted a substantial interview with Anthony Perkins about his long-ago co-star, and his memories of working with Astaire in ON THE BEACH were warm and insightful. I haven't looked at my VHS recording of it in a long time, but one thing I remember is Perkins relating that Fred gave him some helpful advice about acting for the camera, warning the younger performer that he was blinking too much.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2014 - 4:46 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I just RE-DISCOVERED "Talk of the Town". Having not seen it for years I took it off my shelf and re-watched. It was absolutely hilarious and a masterpiece of screwball comedy. Cary Grant, Ronald Coleman and Jean Arthur were perfection with director George Stevens in top form.

Absolutely wonderful!

 
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