Black Narcissus

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Today I talk about Black Narcissus. Swiss film historian Fredrik Gustafsson describes Powell’s work in post-WW2 as having a quality of “extravagant dreamlike passion.” One such example is their 1947 production of “Black Narcissus,” a movie which propelled Deborah Kerr to stardom and featured a burgeoning Jean Simmons. I re-watch the movie often as its truly a classic movie. So I hope you enjoy My talk and review of the Black Narcissus now.

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Black Narcissus (1947) is perhaps most overtly infused with elements of horror and fantasy. It also stands out from their catalog of lush collaborative visions of both of them together make such masterpieces such as  The Red Shoes and their other remarkable classics as each of them are such wonderful classics. Cinema’s a multidisciplinary medium. In a perfect movie, all of its various elements would work together toward a unified goal: writing, acting, cinematography, editing, score that work so marvelous in this wonderful classic gem all are united to make this a marvelous classic that is perfectly one of the best movies ever made.

The flim is so hauntingly beautiful, and for good reason. Firstly, the film set a new technical benchmark for Technicolor cinematography building upon their past efforts such as The Thief of Bagdad (1940), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and A Matter of Life and Death as its color in Black Narcissus really is so impressive you feel like you are really visiting it with the cast as its a remarkable sight to behold upon the screen.

Black Narcissus is also memorable for its incredible characters whom are all played by a remarkable cast of acting talents that all give out such wonderful performances. Deborah Kerr is remarkable in her role as tortured Sister Clodagha registers every emotion, every longing, every doubt and every fear with her eyes and movements as she truly is so marvelous in this role she plays on the screen. A beautiful young Jean Simmons is sensuous as Kanchi that is such a good role showing her talent as an actress. David Farrar is Mr. Dean, the Englishman that is a very impressive role for him to play upon the screen. They play out such remarkable roles in their respective roles that all showcase the wonderful talents of its acting cast upon the screen.

It is the destructive power of emotions repressed and released that is most obvious in ‘Black Narcissus’, but more fundamental to this beautiful film is a stronger, yet quieter, ancient and more subtle power, that of place. The Himalayan setting is established surprisingly convincingly for the period, in a series of vivid shots that disclose the fact of that landscape’s power from the beginning. And the particular quality, the particular power of that place is continuously present in the wind that blows constantly, stirring every fabric, every soft thing. Only as that power of place begins to work its insidious magic on the nuns does it begin to reveal its nature. Everyone there is affected, their practical efforts diverted by poetry and passion. Somehow flowers are planted, not potatoes. The Young General (Sabu) falls in love with a dancing girl (Jean Simmons). Two of the nuns are drawn to the rough Agent, already sunk into the life of the society around him. Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), the Sister Superior, initially drawn back to memories of her lover in Ireland, remains strong in her faith, yet is softened, becomes more human. Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), on the other hand, becomes maddened by jealous passion and it is her tragedy, itself peculiarly bound up with the geography of the place that brings the drama to an end. The testing of a few people brought together in isolation is a familiar theme, but this is an unusual example. Black Narcissus’ has an unusual symmetry acceptance of this tainted life. Powell and Pressburger are experts at using color. Instead of employing their Technicolor to simply make their film look pretty, the color almost becomes a character in itself, creating a feverish, hyper-realistic glow to the film.

Legendary cameraman Jack Cardiff is responsible for the sterling and Oscar-winning cinematography. Equally stunning is the art direction, which created very realistic mountains out of papier-mache that stand out as some of best ever put to flim.

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Black Narcissus looks amazing but that visual glamour never spreads over film’s story and its characters, there’s no poetic romance or heartwarming humor here. Powell and Pressburger implant the darkest and most unsettling themes in film’s appealing pictures and thus create something that will terrify you with its contrasts to create an immensely powerful and thought provoking masterpiece to put it simply that you will adore watching again and again.

The Searchers

Today I talk about The Searchers which in terms of classical westerns really outshines many others of the genre. John Ford’s most compelling Western avoids  association with the genre’s established precepts. Its one of the best movies ever made for the screen as my review today looks upon this classic movie as i define this classic gem.

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In terms of classical storytelling The Searchers John Ford’s most compelling Western avoids many of the genre’s older traits. The film stars John Wayne, an actor eternally linked to Westerns, perhaps giving his best performance in any Ford film as he plays a very racist man that hates Indians with a passion in many ways you shouldn’t connect to this hero yet he is an interesting hero that is deeply flawed with so many diffrent sides to this man.

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By 1955 when production began on when production began, The Searchers would be Ford’s first Western in five years a personal risk after a number of commercial failures and artistic missteps caused him to contemplate retirement as he filmed what would be one of the finest westerns ever made. The Searchers comes naturally, as beyond its unequivocal beauty and dramatic intensity, there exists what appear to be incompatible narrative developments, symbolism, and thematic undercurrents signifying the end product that is something so profound upon the screen with amazing shots and an interesting character and story that unfolds upon the screen. When Edwards (John Wayne) returns home to Texas after the Civil War.

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When members of his brother’s family are killed or abducted by Comanches, he vows to track down his surviving relatives and bring them home. Eventually, Edwards gets word that his niece Debbie (Natalie Wood) is alive, and, along with her adopted brother, Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), he embarks on a dangerous mission to find her, journeying deep into Comanche territory.(plot form goggle) 

The Searchers sets up grim set of conditions, ranging from the landscape to individual character histories. The first iconic shot (mirrored by the film’s last iconic shot) of Martha opening the front door seems to frame the outer terrain like a photograph that shows us the vast landscape upon the screen. I would say many do hate this movie because its hatred towards Indians as the villain is common in many westerns.

A clue to Ethan’s hatred for Comanche Indians appears early in the film, when the younger Debbie goes to her hiding place before Scar first attacks in the film. He kneels down in the graveyard by a headstone, which, appearing for only a few frames, reads: “Here lies Mary Jane Edwards killed by Comanche’s May 12, 1852 A good wife and mother in her 41st year.” Sixteen years earlier, was Ethan’s own mother massacred by Comanche’s? He is a deeply flawed man on a quest to save a woman for years. It’s the quest of this man and his drive to save his family that really drives this hero to many points of rage that you see his hate come upon us and the dark humor used is often to tame down the ways of this dark hero characterizes the film’s fundamental struggle whether or not Ethan and Martin actually find Debbie is less the fear than what Ethan will do when he finds her.

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In the film’s most memorable scene, one of the greatest single moments of film, Ethan emerges from Scar’s tent on his horse and spots Debbie, who, dressed in full Comanche attire, runs in terror. Ethan chases her down a hill and corners her; Martin trailing behind yelling “No!” for Ethan not to do what he has intended to do from the outset. Ethan gets off his horse and picks Debbie up, raises her in the air like a child, the fear radiating from her. He lowers her into his arms, and says, “Let’s go home, Debbie. Ethan also is genuinely scary. His obsessiveness, his absolute hatred of Comanche’s and all Native Americans and his loneliness set him apart from any other characters Wayne played as its one of his finest with many layers to him making you wonder about him throughout the film.

John Ford was particularly proud of The Searchers, as was Wayne, who named his son Ethan after his character. The film’s initial critical reception, however, lacked passion, as did its box office receipts, and Ford was devastated by its apparent dismissal reputation at the time of its release.  The picture’s reputation would grow over time, earning recognition on top film lists as it is one of the finest movies made form this genre with marvelous acting by everyone in its cast and marvelous direction and the cinematography of The Searchers is one of films finest gems ever made upon the screen. It contains painterly images of majestic scenery, some of the most remarkable ever captured. Historians and film scholars attest to its supremacy and recognize its influence on the medium and the artists working therein. And yet, the motion picture Ford considered his own masterpiece confronts prior standards, meets issues of revenge and discrimination within a ponderous text, and revises the director’s Western model forevermore as its one of the finest movies ever crafted upon the screen. John Ford amends The Searchers from a traditional Hollywood Western into an uncommon human tragedy that makes this movie one of the finest classics you will ever see ever upon the screen that you should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

Mr. Skeffington

Today I talk about my favorite actress all time whom is Bette Davis for The Third Annual Bette Davis Blogathon.  https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest

picmonkey_image-12I pay tribute to her today by reviewing Mr. Skeffington today for my friend’s Crystal Kalyana Pacey’s The Third Annual Bette Davis Blogathon today. I am so happy to review another classic movie starring this great legend today for her birthday today. Happy birthday to this wonderful legend of the screen. 

I hope you also check out the work of my friend Crystal Kalyana Pacey’s called IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD as i would also suggest you also read other posts form The Third Annual Bette Davis Blogathon today.

Bette Davis remains my favorite actress all time as my top favorite actress all time. A wonderful actress that was one of the finest actresses to grace the screen, she was one that gave me such wonderful memories of her wonderful image on the screen of a powerful woman. She stood out from other actresses because of her audacity, it was how studios owned the stars, she defied Warner brothers, she was lifting the veil for women in film for their behavior and traits as she did what was right for the character as she was able melt into characters greatly, she was a short woman but always stood out among every-one in the room, she truly is my favorite actress all time I always admired highly Bette Davis. She is always my favorite to watch anytime. She remains one of the best actresses I ever watched on screen as far I am concerned she remains timeless to my eyes. I am happy to begin my review now to honor this legend whom is my favorite actress all time. Let’s begin to honor this legend.

Mr. Skeffington reviewMr. Skeffington is one of the great Hollywood melodramas has both Bette Davis and Claude Rains starring in one of her darkest melodramas. Bette Davis has the showy role in this epic story of a troubled relationship, but it’s Claude Rains as her Jewish husband who jerks the tears in this movie.

Mr. Skeffington is a rewarding Bette Davis vehicle. Bette Davis’s performance is decidedly affected as she plays this Fanny as a young girl, but the pure talent and visual power of this actress makes one believe that she is truly the beauty that she is supposed to be as one would notice how her movements and responsiveness reinforce the sense of someone almost 15 years younger than herself then she transforms from young to old in such a marvelous change of her role to the older fanny as many did not like the makeup of her i find it to be very fine as we see such a marvelous role unfold on the screen by Bette Davis as i would place this performance in Bette Davis’ top tier, along with “Now, Voyager”, “The Little Foxes”, and “All About Eve.

Claude Rains plays the title character with restraint, integrity, and great love for Fanny, but the sense of pathos that he communicates really helps to give the movie a lot of power to his performance that really does stand out as a remarkable performance on the screen. The other acting performances are uniformly excellent performances that all stand out on the screen. Franz Waxman’s score is simply marvelous in my eyes. This is easily Vincent Sherman’s best work as a director as he crafts out a marvelous classic that you should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

I would love to express my great joy today that I got to talk about Bette Davis my favorite actress today by reviewing another classic gem that she starred upon the screen. I would love to thank everyone i hope you return next time for another magical review soon.

the sea wolf

the sea wolf

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Today I review the Michael Curtiz/Robert Rossen adaptation of Jack London’s famous novel the sea wolf which I frankly just watched recently as I brought it recently which is the Warner brothers archive Blu-ray release of this movie which is a remastered version with lost scenes we have not seen as this wonderful movie really speaks about Nazi fascism in a way that stands out. I would also love to wish Ida Lupino a happy 100 years old.

IdaLupinoPinUpPotrtaitbyMadisonLacy

So now to review this classic movie

the sea wolf review

The sea wolf  takes one  of the most famous jack London novels of same name in a way that really shines upon your viewing of it on the screen. The  sea wolf is loosely based upon the book.  Edward G. Robinson does one of his finest hours  of acting as the cruel captain of the ghost a ship which no one wants to sail upon. Edward G. Robinson puts his own brand of cruelty on the role of a freighter captain who tyrannizes his crew and some unexpected passengers in such a marvelous acting performance.

Ida Lupino and John Garfield and Alexander Knox all  play in a crew of a ship that is basically a ship that feels like its form hell in some regards as they all give out such marvelous acting and performances that all stand out as you watch them on screen.

This Michael Curtiz/Robert Rossen adaptation of Jack London well known novel  was mostly shot on one location as it has lots of atmospheric shots, tons of memorable conflicting personalities(Edward G. Robinson, Alexander Knox, John Garfield, Barry Fitzgerald, Gene Lockhart, an underserved Ida Lupino) It really shines with this new Blu-ray release.  It is Rousing old-school sea adventure yarn functioning as an allegory for the burgeoning Nazi dictatorship in Europe in 1941. It is a truly marvelous classic you should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

Today i reviewed the sea wolf which is a rousing old school yarn that i feel has such marvelous acting that makes it such a marvelous movie that may be one of the finest movies i ever seen as this true classic is something i enjoyed to talk about today as always until next time for another movie review.

The Shop Around the Corner

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So today I talk about the The Shop Around the Corner which is directed by Ernst Lubitsch whom is such a wonderful director with many wonderful classics i adore to watch often. Lubitsch’s charming masterpiece, so often imitated and re-adapted since it appeared in 1940 as its so charming and enduring to watch on screen as today i talk about why i adore this classic so much.

The Shop Around the Corner review

Ernst Lubitsch’s charming masterpiece is often imitated and re-adapted since it appeared in 1940 on the screens as it is one of those rare films that is simply perfect form beginning to end.. Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart worked in several films together over their film history on the screen as both of them give out their finest performances ever on the screen. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan play off each other well as they are a perfect pair to watch on the screen. Frank Morgan is truly wonderful in his performance as the owner of the shop as he gives out his finest performance ever on the screen.

The Shop Around the Corner is a charming comedy gem in Ernst Lubitsch had another quiet triumph added to his credit with this lovely film as this charming little shop could be set anywhere in the world. The shop is a life microcosm with its little quiet joys and its bitter disappointments it feels very close to frank Capra in its charms you see unfold on the screen.  It is one of the sweetest and most charming of comedies all time. Everything works out perfectly in this perfect film which was often remade but never matched to same level as this marvelous classic gem.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

I hope you enjoyed my talk about The Shop Around the Corner which frankly is one amazing classic gem that I simply adored to talk about today. See you next time for another classic review soon.

Camille

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So today I talk about Camille which I review for my friend Crystal’s blog for THE Greta Garbo Blogathon today.    Greta grabo gives out amazing performances on the screen in her many roles on the screen. I review Camille a classic drama that showcases the amazing talents of Greta Garbo for the screen for this this BLOGATHON today. I would advise you to check out other posts form this event today. I will begin my review now of this classic gem.

Camille review 

Camille of all love stories ever put to the screen few are done as good as this movie is done for the screen. It is a movie about unquestionable love from a lady that has played many men and that has been played many times over when she meets a younger man she finds love to be the happiest girl on earth as she gets sick in the end. It is truly very sad to watch her lose her love on the screen.

Greta Garbo channels the soul of this damaged soul so perfectly in her performance. She pulls at your heart strings by her acting skills for the screen. This movie shows you why Garbo was such an amazing legend that acted on the screen..Robert Taylor plays one wonderful role in the movie. The supporting performances of the cast of this movie are all wonderful to watch unfold on the screen. George Cukor crafted out one of his finest classics all time. The costumes are gorgeous as an example of French extravagance despite the fact that Camille was made in the 30s. Greta Garbo earned an Academy Award nomination and the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award for her memorable work in which you can see why in this movie as it is truly an amazing performance  to watch unfold on the screen.

Camille is a film that will live on forever in our hearts. This movie is a wonderful gem that you should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

I hope you enjoyed my talk about Camille today which stars Greta Garbo in what may be one of her finest hours on the screen for THE GRETA GARBO BLOGATHON as i truly enjoyed talking about one of my favorite movies all time that really is one of the finest hours you can watch off movies. I hope you enjoyed it as much I enjoyed talking it today to you. See you next time for another classic review soon.

the time machine

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So today I talk about the time machine. The time machine is directed by George Pal who directed some of my favorite movies all time. I loved stories of adventure and fantasy as a boy. George Pal movies are prime examples of this kind of story that I adored so much as a boy. The Time Machine may one of the greatest Science Fiction movies ever made for the screen. I review this classic movie now for my blog.

the time machine review

George Pal brought to fruition a visionary concept for a film based on a the time machine which was written by H.G. Wells years before. Rod Taylor passed away just four days shy of his 85th birthday with close to 60 films credits, his last performance was as Winston Churchill in Inglorious Bustards. He began with the movies the birds directed by Hitchcock. This movie may be Rod Taylor’s finest hour on the screen. The story is brilliantly told on screen with such wonderful special effects. Director George Pal crafted out an amazing classic that will delight you anytime to watch unfold on the screen. The Morlocks aren’t really evil as they are products of their age and time period that are truly scary to watch on the screen.

The Time Machine has such wonderful creature designs. It has the best creature designs of that era of films. We always ask one another if we would go back or forth in time if having the option giving in the time machine but we would likely not really want to risk the trouble as we know the effects can be worst then we think to travel back in time. The time machine as this is a great adaptation of the excellent novel. George Pal has shown us that it is wonderful characters and story that makes a movie magical to watch unfold on the screen. Nicholas Meyers achieved the same type of success years later with the film Time After Time with a time travel movie that is done with same effect as this wonderful classic you should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

I hope you enjoyed my talk about the time machine  today which frankly is one amazing classic gem that i simply adored to talk about today.see you next time for another classic review soon.