The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

Sterling Silver Dialogue #16

Sterling Silver Dialogue From The Movies:  

Do you know where they're from? Answers coming soon.


"You've got a nasty reputation Mr. Gitts. I like that."

Jake Gittes: “How much are you worth?”
Noah Cross: “I have no idea. How much do you want?”
Jake Gittes: “I just wanna know what you’re worth. More than 10 million?”
Noah Cross: “Oh my, yes!”
Jake Gittes: “Why are you doing it?” How much better can you eat? What could you buy that you can’t already afford?”
Noah Cross: “The future, Mr. Gitts! The future!” 



"My purpose is madness. It's the only way you can really tell what happens in war. By lying you can open the door a little crack on the truth."


"I know I've got lots of faults, but being in love with you isn't one of them, is it?"


"I am not putting the knock on dolls. It's just that they are something to have around only when they come in handy... like cough drops."



"You like money. You've got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart."


"You have my sympathies, then. You have not yet learned that in this life you have to be like everyone else - the perfect mediocrity; no better, no worse. Individuality's a monster and it must be strangled in it's cradle to make our friends feel confident. You know, I've often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They are admired and hero-worshipped, but there is always present underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory."

Fisher: "Sounds pretty mysterious. What's it all about?"
(response) "There are some things, my dear Fisher, which bear not much looking into. You have undoubtedly heard of the Siberian goatherd who tried to discover the true nature of the sun; he stared up at the heavenly body until it made him blind. There are many things of this sort, including love, and death, and... maybe we'll discuss this later today. Please remember to make that call if I'm not back at 6:30."

(as she’s dying) "It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line."



"What she meant we'll never know. It's what she said that counts."



"They were all godless here. They used to bring their women here - brazen, lolling creatures in silks and satins. They filled the house with laughter and sin, laughter and sin. And if I ever went down among them, my own father and brothers - they would tell me to go away and pray, and I prayed - and left them with their lustful red and white women."

(feels the fabric of a guest’s low-cut gown) "Fine stuff, but it'll rot."
(touches her skin above the neckline) "Finer stuff still, but it'll rot too!"

(recurring line) “No beds!”

"The fact is, Morgan is an uncivilized brute. Sometimes he drinks heavily. A night like this will set him going and once he's drunk he's rather dangerous."

(recurring line) “Have a potato.”


"What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?"
(reply) "My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters."
(response) "The waters? What waters? We're in the desert."
(reply) "I was misinformed."

"Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."



"I have a feeling this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful hatred."

"Now Listen To Me..."

Just some thoughts on current happenings:


There are two recommended films to watch on Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. this month.


The first is my ultimate Christmas Holiday favourite, Ernst Lubitsch's 1940 delight The Shop Around the Corner. This little romantic "set-up", based on the play "Parfumerie" by Miklos Laszlo, later inspired the 1949 musical In the Good Old Summertime with Judy Garland and Van Johnson and perhaps its most famous incarnation, 1998's hit film You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. In this earlier superior version we have James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as gift shop employees who can barely tolerate one another. Each of their idolized "perfect" mates is an anonymous "pen pal" they correspond with, until they realize they are writing to one another. It's amazing how engaging such a simple premise can be, but the inspired situations, characters and performances, masterfully guided by Lubitsch's magical "touch", make the results pure enchantment. This unforgettable little charmer is scheduled to air on TCM an unprecedented three times: Thursday December 11 at 5pm, Sunday December 14 at 11am and Wednesday December 24 at 1pm. All times listed are Pacific Standard (West Coast).



My second recommendation is Hidden Gem #52: Dark Hazard. Released in 1934, this rarely shown pre-code film was recently released on video for the first time after all these years and like the film above, a pure delight; not just for those little moments of seeing a single bed in the bedroom or a more honest depiction of affection between our leading characters, but for the consistently unexpected direction its narrative takes. It's astonishing how predictable the Hays code made so many cinematic stories after it came into effect, when compared to films like this which continuously surprise and delight with so many characters and situations defying our preconceptions. This of course includes its rather sudden, perfectly realized finale. Oh and before one thinks this is a cynical crime film of Edward G. Robinson's, its title refers to a most lovable dog. This must see gem of a film is scheduled to air on TCM Friday December 12, at 10:30am PST.


TCM's current schedule can be confirmed by clicking on either of the above images.







I would like to put the spotlight on 2 recently released books for those interested in the subjects covered. Even though I have not read either, they have both received excellent notices and come highly recommended by others in the know. Reviews of each will be forthcoming. They are:

















Informative write ups on each of these enticing books along with ordering forms from their respective dealers can be viewed by clicking on the corresponding image.






The soundtrack recommendation for this month is the definitive version of Elmer Bernstein's vigorous and majestically thematic score to the John Wayne western True Grit. It is a limited edition from La La Land Records and can currently be ordered from Screen Archives Entertainment by clicking on the image.









The DVD recommendation for December is a set containing two Hidden Gems, the previously mentioned Dark Hazard and another recently listed Hidden Gem #63: Blonde Crazy. With the welcome announcement of Forbidden Hollywood Volume 8, these are 2 more titles that can come off the Cinema Cafe's Most Wanted Pinterest Board here. The other pre-code films in this set are Hi, Nellie and Strangers May Kiss. The post of this amazing set of films can be seen with many other recent DVD and Blu-ray releases on this board. It can be ordered from Amazon by clicking on the image.





Hidden Gems #7

Hidden Gem #70: Invasion of the Body Snatchers - The Director's Cut (1956, U.S.A.)

Director: Don Siegel

This very special cut of the film is without the studio imposed prologue and epilogue, but more importantly loses the useless irritating narration, so the previously "recollected"  events are now much more suspenseful and horrifying especially in the profound way they affect the characters psychologically and emotionally in the present, elevating this film to masterpiece status.





Hidden Gem #69: The Invitation a.k.a. L'invitation (1973, Switzerland/France)

Director: Claude Goretta

An insurance company man inherits a small fortune and throws a big party at his new lavish home in the country for his work colleagues, revealing insights into their true morals and vulnerabilities, as the liberally dispensed alcohol goes to work on  inhibitions in this brilliant homage to the other masterful observers of human foibles and frailties - directors' Bergman (Smiles of a Summer Night) and Renoir (The Rules of the Game). 





Hidden Gem #68: Split Image (1982, Canada/U.S.A.)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

The sensational subject of a cult group's mind control of a young man is explored with precision by director Kotcheff who elicits strong performances from his ideal cast including James Woods as a confidently aggressive de-programmer, Brian Dennehy as the emotionally distraught father and a chillingly subdued Peter Fonda as the cult's leader. 






Hidden Gem #67: Classe Tous Risques a.k.a. The Big Risk (1960, France)

Director: Claude Sautet

One of the two gangsters on the run (Lino Ventura) has his family in tow but that doesn't stop him or anyone else from committing ruthless, violent acts in this ultra-realistic criminal underworld of loyalty, sacrifice and betrayal; its gritty and explosive narrative twists and turns are courtesy of ex-con Jose Giovanni's sourced novel, and co-adaptation of the script. 





Hidden Gem #66: Monkey On My Back (1957, U.S.A.)

Director: Andre De Toth

Compared to all of the films about famous boxers (Somebody Up There Likes Me, Raging Bull) or drug addiction (A Hatful of Rain, The Man with the Golden Arm) this true story of Barney Ross with its magnificent performance by Cameron Mitchell and underrated director at the helm is practically unheard of, but more engaging than any of the films in either category.





Hidden Gem #65: Scandal Sheet (1952, U.S.A.)

Director: Phil Karlson

Its plot is similar to The Big Clock and The Man Who Cheated Himself but this little potboiler has the added dynamite of Broderick Crawford in the lead, creatively trying to hide his murderous guilt from protege John Derek in this lean and mean noir adapted from a novel by director Samuel Fuller. 







Hidden Gem #64: Never Take Candy (a.k.a. Sweets) from a Stranger (1960, U.K.)


Director: Cyril Frankel

This courageous, insightful, intelligently forthright story, which concerns a couple of young girls who fall victim to a pedophile, and the subsequent attempts to cover for the accused (since he's the town's rich, elderly  benefactor), was shunned upon its release and has been unjustly neglected since.






Hidden Gem #63: Blonde Crazy (1931, U.S.)

Director: Roy Del Ruth

This little pre-code gem might as well have been titled "Slap Crazy" the way Joan Blondell dishes them out to James Cagney as a couple of cons who sizzle like bacon on the barbie.








Hidden Gem #62: Rebellion a.k.a. Samurai Rebellion a.k.a. Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu (1967, Japan)

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

This incredibly moving story pitting deeply felt emotional reason against an unjust higher authority is better known than some of the director's earlier works, but should still be held in higher regard like Kwaidan or Harakiri, especially as it's written by the finest screenwriter of all time, Shinobu Hashimoto (i.e., Ikiru, The Seven Samurai, Harakiri, Samurai Assassin).





Hidden Gem #61: The Landlord (1970, U.S.A.)

Director: Hal Ashby

One wouldn't expect a director's debut film about such important issues as wealth, class and racial divides in New York City to be so charming, funny and endearing but it is that and much more because the storytellers never shy away from the serious relationship problems depicted; instead they cleverly infuse them into a learning curve for our naive but lovable central character.



Plundering the Genre: A Halloween Tribute to Horror in Cinema


The following montage is a selection of films that have included some noteworthy moments of horror throughout the years. The music from The Omen is by Jerry Goldsmith. The list of stills selected is printed below in the order they are presented.


The Golem (1920)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Nosferatu (1922)
Haxan (1922)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Dracula (1931)
Freaks (1932)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
The Old Dark House (1932)
Island of Lost Souls (1932)
Vampyr (1932)
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
The Wolfman (1941)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Cat People (1942)
Dr. Renault’s Secret (1942)
I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
The 7th Victim (1943)
The Uninvited (1944)
Dead of Night (1945)
Hangover Square (1945)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)
The Thing (1951)
House of Wax (1953)
Les diaboliques (1955)
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Night of the Demon (1957)
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Psycho (1960)
Eyes Without a Face (1960)
Village of the Damned (1960)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
The Haunting (1963)
The Birds (1963)
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
Repulsion (1965)
Seconds (1966)
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The Witchfinder General (1968)
Play Misty For Me (1971)
The Other (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
Jaws (1975)
The Omen (1976)
Suspiria (1977)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
The Thing (1982)
Q The Winged Serpent (1982)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Fly (1986)
Manhunter (1986)
Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Near Dark (1987)
Hellraiser (1987)
The Stepfather (1987)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Dracula (1992)
Se7en (1995)
Ring (1998)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Others (2001)
The Ring (2002)
Final Destination 2 (2003)
Matrimony (2007)
Zodiac (2007)
Let the Right One In (2008)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Shutter Island (2010)


Top Ten Fool's Gold: The Over Rated Part 4 Chinatown

In this series I would like to provide my readers with a more critical perspective to consider, one that hopefully will not detract from a person's appreciation for the films under review. At the same time, I'd question whether these motion pictures really deserve the high accolades bestowed upon them by the critical community in general. (For a further introduction on this subject please see: Top Ten Fool's Gold: The Over Rated Part 1.)
These notices are meant for viewers familiar with the following motion pictures.

(They will be addressed in alphabetical order.)

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Sterling Silver Dialogue #15

Sterling Silver Dialogue From The Movies:  

Do you know where they're from? Answers coming soon.



"You wanna be worshiped? Go to India and moo."



"You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word."


"Welcome to Chicago. This town stinks like a whorehouse at low tide."



"Ah Maggie, in the world of advertising, there's no such thing as a lie. There's only expedient exaggeration. You ought to know that."


(Referring to the drinks they've already had) "We've gotten a head start here, Mr. Thornhill."

Roger Thornhill: (Just arriving) "That won't last long."


(singing) "I've grown accustomed to my bourbon."


(on the telephone) "No. No, Mother, I have not been drinking. No. No, these two men, they poured a whole bottle of bourbon into me... No, they didn't give me a chaser."


"We'll get 'em. We'll throw the book at 'em. Assault and kidnapping. Assault with a gun and a bourbon and a sports car. We'll get 'em."



"You're marking time is what you are. You're backing off. You're hiding out. You're waiting for a bus that you hope never comes because you don't wanna get on it anyway because you don't wanna go anywhere, all right?"



"Two people dead, just so we can live without working!"


"We go together, Annie. I don't know why. Maybe like guns and ammunition go together."



"I didn't want a house. I didn't want all those pots and pans. I didn't want anything but you. It's God's own blessing I didn't get you."

(reply) "Why?"

(response) "Cause I'm a loner clear down deep to my very guts. Know what a loner is? He's a born cripple. He's a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It's his life, the way he wants to live. It's all for him. A guy like that, he'd kill a woman like you. Because he couldn't love you, not the way you are loved."



"I've had hangovers before, but this time, even my hair hurts."


"If there's anything worse than a woman living alone, it's a woman saying she likes it."



"You're told that the girl you were with last night was found in Benedict Canyon, murdered. Dumped from a moving car. What's your reaction? Shock? Horror? Sympathy? No... just petulance at being questioned. A couple of feeble jokes. You puzzle me, Mr. Steele."

Dixon Steele: "Well, I grant you, the jokes could've been better, but I don't see why the rest should worry you... that is, unless you plan to arrest me for lack of emotion."


"You know, Ms. Gray, you're one up on me - you can see into my apartment but I can't see into yours."

(reply) "I promise you, I won't take advantage of it."

(response) "I would, if it were the other way around."


"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me."




Top Ten: Cinema's Most Treasured Images Part 5 (#41 - 50)

I'll continue with some of Cinema's most treasured images bound to invoke a strong emotional response. Like the previous selections, these will be listed in ascending order with #41 as the most iconic. The narratives' indelible moments are the primary reason these captures were selected. 

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Close Encounters of the Treasured Kind #6

I am honoured to introduce noted author Preston Neal Jones making his first contribution here.

What I Did With JOAN RIVERS On My Summer Vacation

The passing of Joan Rivers inevitably calls to mind the summer of 1966, my first college-age vacation, which I filled by serving (and I do mean serving) as a production assistant, AKA "go-fer," on the Burt Lancaster movie, The Swimmer.  Based on the John Cheever short story, The Swimmer was a Sam Spiegel production, written and directed respectively by Eleanor Perry and her husband Frank, and filmed on location at the swimming pools of Cheever country in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  This was the briar patch where I was born, and when I offered my services (and the use of our family car) to the production team they hired me on the spot. The Production Manager was Joe Manduke, (later a director), and on the morning of my first assignment he sat me down in his office and gave me what is still the best piece of film-making advice I ever received.  "Preston," he said, "This is a serious business.  If we send you out for a cup of coffee, don't come back with a trombone."


Burt Lancaster and Joan Rivers in 'The Swimmer'

Burt Lancaster and Joan Rivers in 'The Swimmer'

Several hundred coffee cups later, filming was well underway, mostly intimate two-character dialogue scenes between Lancaster's middle-aging suburban stud Ned Merrill and the various neighbors he encounters on his allegorical journey homeward via various swimming pools. Came the day, however, for a real mob scene, the pool party of a wealthy married couple and their friends.  One face in the crowd was a character named "Joan," played by Joan Rivers, the young and quickly-becoming-famous comedienne (as they used to  be called in those pre-P.C. days before actresses became actors).  The Perrys had befriended Miss Rivers, (who had been an actress well before  venturing into stand-up), and had written into the script this little vignette -- a fleeting flirtation -- especially for her.  If you've seen the film, perhaps you'll agree with me that Miss Rivers acquitted herself very well in the part, making the most of her brief moment to portray a touching portrait of a cute but wistful party-goer.


When not on camera, you won't be surprised to hear, Miss Rivers reverted to her comic persona, joking and riffing with the crew.  Amid her laugh-getting, self-deprecating autobiographical reminiscences, the one bit I still remember is in retrospect not a little ironic.  She told of sitting in an airplane seat next to the legendary Marlene Dietrich.  "She never said a word to me the whole flight," said Joan, then added in a throwaway, "Probably afraid of breaking the stitches."


How often I've thought of that moment watching Miss Rivers in later years, never more so than during the recent TV obituaries with many a split screen showing, on one side, the young Joan Rivers I remember fondly, and on the other, someone wearing a mask, resembling neither Joan Rivers nor any other human being.  The voice behind the mask, however, remained identical and inimitably hers.  But this is not the moment to dwell on such things as the sadness of a clown who titled her last book, "I Hate everyone... Starting With Me."  In the wake of her sudden exit from the scene, I'd rather remember the attractive young lady on location who acted with distinction on camera, and off camera, in the words of Joni Mitchell, "played real good for free."



Time Out

For those who love creative, outrageously inspired silent cinema, this little gem with Snub Pollard called 'It's a Gift' (1923) is hilarious. It's only 14 minutes long and worth every charming second.