The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

Top Ten Treasure Maps: Best Movie Trailers Part 4 Village of the Damned

Top 10: Best Movie Trailers

This is a list of previews that speak of their feature length wealth to come with #1 being the most promising:

 

The choices are by a young Mr. X.

 

#7. Village of the Damned (1960)

This trailer promises endlessly engaging thrills, suspense and unique dramatic conflicts, which is exactly what it is supposed to do. It just so happens the film fulfils those promises.  

"Now Listen to Me..."

 

 

Just some thoughts on current happenings:

There are 5 recommended films to watch on Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. this month:

 

 

Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers

Blake Edwards' whimsical, charming and finally endearing little comedy was previously recommended as a video release here. The Party starts on TCM Thursday April 7 at 7:15pm PST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is a film noir that even today doesn't get much notice probably because its star, Brian Donlevy, is typically just shy of top billing even in these types of relatively low budget crime features. For film noir lovers, however, pictures like this one rarely come as authentic and insightful in regards to examining the tenacious motives behind their characters' distinctive and pronounced thoughts, desires and actions. This, its meticulous attention to detail, and incisive emotional honesty amidst a bold corkscrew plot of cold-blooded murder, make the aptly named Impact (1949) well worth viewing and if seen already, relishing again.

Ella Raines, Brian Donlevy

Ella Raines, Brian Donlevy

Nothing here feels telegraphed or manipulated for the viewer's easy gratification and yet surprises abound, not only in how the murder plays out but in its devastating psychological aftereffects and subsequent investigation, the latter of which is doggedly pursued by the great character actor Charles Coburn. Noir fans will get a kick out of the wickedly gorgeous Helen Walker's duplicitous femme-fatale whose planned desire to see her husband deader than a lug wrench knows no bounds. There's also plenty of on location photography to soak in, mostly in and around San Francisco including the recognisable Brocklebank apartments where another murderously intentioned Gavin Elster would fictitiously take up residence in Hitchcock's Vertigo almost a decade later. 

 

Charles Coburn, Helen Walker

Charles Coburn, Helen Walker

The startlingly original and emotionally potent screenplay was a collaborative effort between Dorothy Davenport (writing under Dorothy Reid) and Jay Dratler taken from the latter's story. It was produced by Harry and Leo (D.O.A.) Popkin and consummately directed by Arthur Lubin who would go on to collaborate with Reid again on the intriguing thriller Footsteps in the Fog (1955). Impact is well deserving of higher reappraisal especially considering the current resurgence of interest in films noir, the best of which, like this little torpedo, deliver more than their title's promise in refreshingly unique and unexpected ways. Its "impact" can be felt on TCM Friday April 8 at 12pm PST. 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Jean Brooks

Jean Brooks

Rarely does an atmosphere of such overpowering dread subsume a cinematic story so completely as it does in 1943's The Seventh Victim. A young woman (portrayed as a fetching innocent by Kim Hunter) goes searching for her missing sister (enigmatically played by Jean Brooks) in New York City's Greenwich Village and stumbles upon a satanic cult of devil worshipers putting both of their lives at risk. Mark Robson, who directed a number of these Val Lewton produced gems is himself at the peak of his considerable creative powers. This devilishly striking combination of horror and film noir was a previous TCM recommendation and reviewed here. The fate of both sisters will be determined Monday April 18 at 11:30am PST. 

 

 

 

 

If you've never seen the immensely enjoyable Blonde Crazy, you'll find it impossible to tell who's conning who until after each one of its many clever little sting operations are played out.

Joan Blondell, James Cagney

Joan Blondell, James Cagney

Hidden Gem #63 also has an equally smart and sassy relationship between its central charismatic characters played by James Cagney and Joan Blondell that's additionally full of surprises. This pre-code delight's craziness will ensue on Friday April 22 at 1:45pm PST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Cinema's Most Treasured Image #9

Top Ten Cinema's Most Treasured Image #9

Finally there's John Ford's enigmatic masterpiece The Searchers previously reviewed here. It is Top Ten Western #2 and is as likely as any film to provide one with a truly unforgettable, rich and rewarding movie watching experience. It will commence Monday April 25 at 10am PST.

 

 

TCM's current schedule can be confirmed by clicking on any of the above images. For those who live in parts of the U.S. other than the western region, the time zone can be adjusted in the upper right hand corner of TCM's programme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Happy Birthday shout-out to the immensely talented actress Cloris Leachman who turns 90 on April 30th.

Some of her more notable film roles include her strong debut appearance in the hard-boiled noir Kiss Me Deadly, a best supporting actress Academy Award winning performance in The Last Picture Show and an hilarious turn in Mel Brooks' comedy classic Young Frankenstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soundtrack recommendation this month is James Newton Howard's majestically sweeping score to Wyatt Earp.

This limited but definitive 3 CD release from La La Land Records adds an integral element of nobility to the film's subject and is equally captivating and emotionally stirring on its own. It is currently available from Screen Archives Entertainment who provide international shipping. More information including ordering is available by clicking on the image.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Lovejoy, Lloyd Bridges

Frank Lovejoy, Lloyd Bridges

Hidden Gem #24 Try and Get Me! a.k.a. The Sound of Fury is April's Blu-ray recommendation. Restored in 2012 by the Film Noir Foundation, it has recently been released by Olive Films and reviewed here. Additionally, more information concerning this landmark release (including ordering from Amazon.com) can be obtained by clicking on the "review" link.

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly TCM is having its annual film festival April 28 - May 1, 2016 in Los Angeles. All of the exciting events are now listed including information on attending by clicking on the image.

 

 

 

A.G.

 

Treasure Trivia: Quiz #6

Treasure Trivia:

The Cinema Cafe has a chat room on Facebook that readers are welcome to join here. On Mondays we have a movie trivia game called "Match-up Mondays" where the object is to name the common denominator between all of the captures provided and also identify each of the films pictured. 

My most recent post seems to have stumped even our most knowledgable and regular members as to the common denominator, so I thought I would post it here and offer a prize to the first person who can identify (in the comments section below) what the following film characters share in common. 

91v-TYZveTL._SY679_.jpg

There are 6 characters, all of whom have been identified correctly by various chat room members and confirmed on the "Match-up Monday" post. One may use whatever resources are available to answer correctly and guess as often as possible. The prize selected is one I believe most film buffs don't already have but should: A new and sealed Region A Blu-Ray of Hidden Gem #17: The Matrimony a.k.a. Xin zhong you gui (2007, China)  which will be internationally airmailed to the winner. 

 

 

Here are the 6 previously identified film characters (Good luck!):

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Capturing a Golden Moment #14

In this series I'd like to present some exceptional scenes inspired by cinema's most gifted artists of yesteryear.

 

Ikiru (1952)

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Scene: "The Finale"

 

*Note: My approach to describing the following scene will be different than the preceding entries in this series. The dramatic effect of Ikiru's final moments is not as self contained as its predecessors and is cumulative in nature, relying on the narrative strength of what has come before it. I would therefore request that it be respectfully observed by those who have seen the entire film. Otherwise it would be like reading only the last pages of a literary masterpiece. Please pardon my reverential attitude here, but I consider this film to be cinema's finest, most spiritually profound masterpiece.

This final scene concerns one of the office workers. After expressing his wordless outrage at his bureaucratic colleagues returning to their former ineffectiveness, he's stared down by his superior and reluctantly retreats behind a mountain of paperwork. At the end of the day he looks down from an overpass at some children joyfully using the playground his deceased former colleague Watanabe, with great effort and perseverance, created. Celebrating his glorious accomplishment, Watanabe sat on the playground's swing in the night's freezing cold, singing a most poignant song. Two children abandon the swing, the seats of which are empty; the shot is held there as they gently sway back and forth. The song's tune is heard on the soundtrack. Is this meant as a symbolic invitation for us to fill the empty spaces and become "creators" ourselves? The figure stares down at the park before finally walking off. As he walks across the bridge from above, notice how the filmmakers ingeniously capture him if only for a few seconds, in a pyramid shape of the swing structure, the chains of which can still be seen swaying. And as he walks out of this framing device and then leaves the scene completely, is he representative of time that passes regardless of how we choose to live our lives, suggesting the fleeting nature of man’s opportunity to give unto others? Watanabe is gone but his creation, his spiritual inspiration, endures. Its meaning however, and perhaps more importantly what will be done about it, is left up to us.

Time Out

Here's a bit of a Time Out within a Time Out. In this clip from Rio Bravo (1959), Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson sing a little song called "My Rifle, My Pony and Me". The tune was penned by the film's composer Dimitri Tiomkin (with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) which interestingly enough comes from the same composer's music for another John Wayne / Howard Hawks western Red River (1948). The prominent theme is identified in the earlier film as "Settle Down".

Sterling Silver Dialogue #19

Sterling Silver Dialogue From The Movies:  

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

 

"I'm surprised that you're going away with him."

(response) "I'm surprised you think I would. Why, the guy's no good, never was any good, never will be any good. He was born that way. His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

 

 

“The stork that brought you should have been arrested for peddling dope.”

 

 

"You, on the level? Why, for six bits you'd hang your mother on a meat-hook."

 

 

"You'll always be a two-bit cannon and when they pick you up in the gutter dead, your hand'll be in a drunk's pocket."

 

 

"I remember the first time you told me that... that you were just one punch away from the title. Don't you see Bill, you'll always be one punch away."

 

 

"Prayer's not gonna keep you from being killed."

(response) "People don't pray to keep from dying. They pray to keep from being disappointed when they do."

 

"You don't know what a love affair is."

(response) "It's what goes on between a man and a .45 pistol that won't jam."

 

 

"It was the bottom of the barrel and I scraped it, but I didn't care. I had her."

 

"Oh Jeff, you ought to have killed me for what I did a moment ago."

(response) "There's still time."

 

 

"If I were a ranch they would call me the Bar Nothing."

 

 

"You know, Johnny, when you play solitaire you can only beat yourself."

 

"My old man always said, liquor doesn't drown your troubles... just teaches 'em to swim."

 

"You can't take the law into your own hands! Things aren't done that way!"

(response) "That depends on who's doing them."

 

 

"Killing you is killing myself... but you know, I'm pretty tired of both of us."

 

 

"This guy's got 'em like that. He's everything they say he is!

(response) "What about you, Sal? Are you everything they say you are?"

 

 

"There's a lot of nobility in this room. Must be the panelling."

 

 

"Beware the beast man... for he is the devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport... or lust... or greed. Yea he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home, and yours. Shun him. Drive him back into his jungle lair: For he is the harbinger of death."