Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Films I Saw in April

The Long, Hot Summer

The Best:

1. The Long, Hot Summer - A
2. Demolition - A
3. The Horse’s Mouth - A-
4. The Moon is Blue - A-
5. The Sons of Katie Elder - A-
6. I Married a Witch - B+
7. Midnight Special - B+
8. The Damned United - B
9. The Whisperers - B
10. The Drowning Pool - B

The Rest:

Absence of Malice - B
Anthony Adverse - B-
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - B-
The Confirmation - C+
Exorcist II: The Heretic - C
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - C
I Saw the Light - C+
The Jungle Book (2016) - B
The Last Command - B
The Love Parade - B
Naughty Marietta - C+
The Program - B-
Stage Fright - C+


Lethal Weapon 3 - B
Lethal Weapon 4 - B-
Midnight - A
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - A-

27 Films Watched - 23 New, 4 Rewatched


  1. Some really good films this month.

    Happy to see that you caught up with I Married a Witch and liked it. Such a fun bit of whimsy and the entire cast plays it just right. I know that Sullivan’s Travels and This Gun for Hire are more famous in her filmography but I think this is the best Veronica Lake ever was on screen. Jennifer really was suited to all her special qualities and she and March have a great chemistry. I think I mentioned when I picked her as my Best Actress winner in the ’42 CineSpecs that they loathed each other behind the scenes. March, wonderful actor though he was also was a notorious hot pants and put the make on her which she rejected. From that point on he treated her like dirt under his talented feet and she retaliated with a series of tricks to make his life difficult, including sewing stones into the hem of her dress during a scene where he had to sweep her up and then blowing the scene so he had to do it repeatedly. You’d never know it though they seem completely enamored. Cecil Kellaway is wonderful as Veronica’s father and Susan Hayward perfect as the frosty bitch March is cursed with marrying.

    Of the others I thought Alec Guinness was great in The Horse’s Mouth but I didn’t really care much for the picture, same goes with The Whisperers and Edith Evans. The Sons of Katie Elder surprised me, I was expecting just another western but it had quite a bit of depth to it.

    I’m assuming The Last Command is the silent version with Emil Jannings. It had some rough patches but by the end I was caught up in it and Jannings was incredibly moving. It was also interesting to see William Powell as a villain and in a silent which is always rather weird. As is the case with Ronald Colman sound made such a difference in the personality he projected, I hate to say it completed him, that’s such a dumb turn of phrase, but his speaking voice was so distinctive and suited to him I don’t know how else to put it.

    With regards to Stage Fright it’s lesser Hitchcock but I’d probably rate it a bit higher than you did, no higher than a B though, because of Marlene Dietrich and I love Patricia Hitchcock as Chubby Bannister! Conversely I’d give Anthony Adverse a C or C-. To me it really was a ponderous bore and much as I love Gale Sondergaard I’m at a loss how this performance won her the first Supporting Actress Oscar.

    Finally The Long Hot Summer is a solid take on Faulkner’s book, though I like The Tarnished Angels better of his adapted work, with that brilliant cast but it’s a bit overlong. Still a very entertaining film and I can see how it made a huge difference in Newman's career, he's so magnetic and sexy in it.

    1. Lake is SO good in I Married a Witch. I'd probably call it her best performance as well.

      I agree on The Whisperers and The Sons of Katie Elder. I think Guinness' brilliant work in The Horse's Mouth made it a much better film.

      Yeah, I saw the Jannings film. It's a shame that most of his other Oscar-winning performance is lost.

      I liked Anthony Adverse more than I thought I would, but I was often bored with Stage Fright, unfortunately.

      The cast of The Long, Hot Summer is great. I even enjoyed Welles' hammy performance. I still need to see The Tarnished Angels.