The Golden Age of Hollywood

I thought I would add a thread to discuss the last "classic"  movie you watched. As opposed to just any movie. I might start a thread for modern films later. I would prefer that you post more than just a title.

Kevin

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I enjoyed Dodsworth Patti. Nice film and you are right about Mary Astor. She was a very lovely woman and what a quality underrated actress she was. She makes many films for me that might otherwise have been duds.

As for my latest viewing I watched My Favorite Brunette to follow up My Favorite Blonde. It starred Bob Hope of course and the as always beautiful Dorothy Lamour. It had some good co-stars with Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr. and Reginald Denny.

In the film Bob Hope plays a children's photographer who offices next door to a private eye Sam McCould (played by an uncredited and brief appearance by Alan Ladd). Hope's character wants to be a detective like his neighbor and while he is out Hope is mistaken to be Sam and gets himself involved in a case accidently. Hope is always the sucker for the pretty girl and thus assumes Sam's identity to be near the girl but he gets more than he bargained for.

The film is about the same vein and quality as My Favorite Blonde and perhaps a little better but only because I like Lamour a lot. This certainly was not one of her better roles though as she overacts in almost every scene she is in but I assume that was intentional. In the end My Favorite Brunette is just a detective film spoof just like My Favorite Blonde was a spy film spoof. Fans of Hope will enjoy it for what it is. Peter Lorre is always fun no matter what and sadly this was not one of Lon Chaney Jr.s shining moments. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. ***

If I have a copy my next viewing will be My Favorite Spy. I think I do somewhere.

Kevin

The "Road to...." movies starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour are quite hilarious.  

I agree with Patti about the "Road to..." movies. There are actually 7 films in the series. Four of them are by Universal, two by Columbia Pictures and a last one on MGM. Six of the seven star Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. The last one had Joan Collins.

 The Universal films are the best of the series though and are the following:

Road To Singapore (1940)

Road to Zanzibar (1941)

Road to Morocco (1942)

Road to Utopia (1946)

The Columbia ones are:

Road to Rio (1947)

Road to Bali (1952)

The MGM film is:

The Road to Hong Kong (1962)

Lamour does make a very brief cameo appearance in Road to Hong Kong. 

All of the films are slightly the same plot where Bing and Hope fall for the same girl on their quest for money. The question is who gets the girl in the end? My favorite is Road to Utopia because it has some really hilarious scenes. They are all silly though and light entertainment. The Road to Bali and The Road to Hong Kong are on Netflixs if you have that service. Hope and Crosby had good chemistry together. Check them out if you can.

Kevin

I find that to be true in almost every Bob Hope film. Another thing I enjoy is that in most of Hope's films there are either cameos of Bing with some kind of joke or a Bing reference. I think the same thing happens in some of Bing's films too but he had several more serious films that those kind of in-jokes would never have flown.

Kevin

I'm glad you finally got to see this Patti :D now you need to catch Ruth in "Female", "Lily Turner" and "Friso Jenny"! 

Just discovered this thread...

The last classic movie I watched yesterday was 1926 silent classic, "The Temptress", starring Greta Garbo and Antonio Moreno.  Also starring Lionel Barrymore.

The story opens in Paris at a masquerade ball where the unhappy Elena (Garbo) meets Manuel Robledo (Antonio Moreno) an Argentine engineer. After removing their masks, they spend the night together in a park and they fall in love under the stars. They declare their love for one another, with Manuel giving her a ring, before departing.

The next day when he goes to visit his friend, Marques De Torre Bianca (Armand Kaliz), Manuel is stunned to learn that his wife happens to be Elena. He is disillusioned and upset. Wanting nothing more to do with her, he leaves.

At a dinner party, Fontenoy (Marc MacDermott), a middle-aged banker permitted by Bianca to have Elena be his mistress in order for them to be financially secure, distracts the guests by making a startling speech around the table on how Elena, the temptress, has ruined his life and blames her for his financial ruin. As he drains his glass he collapses at the table after taking his drink that was filled with poison.

Back at their home, the Marquis, who had encouraged his wife's affair with Fontenoy, informs Elena that he too is overwhelmed with debt. Distraught over the incident and the departure of Robledo back, she empties her jewel box, giving all that she received from Fontenoy to the Marquis. Robledo arrives to comfort his friend and tell him that he is returning to Argentina. As he is leaving, Elena tries to convince him that she really does love him, but he doesn't love her and departs quickly.

When Robledo returns to Argentina, he receives a difficult reception from the whole town, especially associates Canterac (Lionel Barrymore) & Pirovani (Robert Anderson).  We learn that these men have escaped their financial troubles and women back home by traveling to this remote country to spearhead the construction of a dam.  Their efforts are being stalled by a local bandit, Manos Duras (Roy D'Arcy) and his men.

The Marquis shows up to visit Robledo in Argentina, and he has brought Elena. He tells Robledo he had no choice since she financed the trip. Elena dresses formally for dinner and every other occasion, showing up the local shoeless women and entrancing all the men much to the disdain of Robledo. Manos, who observed her arrival, comes to Robledo’s one evening to serenade Elena. He becomes jealous and he fights Manos to protect her honour. Even though they use whips, with which Manos is a master, Robledo wins. After Manos leaves, Elena tends to Robledo's wounds, and he denies that his actions were a sign that he loves her. And Manos, still seething from his loss in the fight, returns to shoot Robledo but kills the Marquis instead.

Free from marriage, Elena has distracted the men. Robledo's associates Canterac & Pirovani have even forgotten about their women back home. One night, the town throws a party in her honor, during which Canterac kills Pirovani with his sword over Elena. Manos, who had not lost sight of the larger fight of stopping the foreigners from completing their project, chooses that night to seek his revenge and dynamite the dam, producing some early special effects for 1926.

Robledo and the men attempt to repair the damage before it floods. However, they are not successful and a tired, nearly drowned Robledo returns to find Elena. Though at first he tries to kill her, he finds that he cannot and, with his resistance low, he succumbs, declaring that he is beaten and that he does love her. As he sleeps, and though she had insisted to Robledo that she had never used the word "love" with anyone else, she leaves him, with a note telling him that she will not be his ruin.

Six years later, the dam is completed and the engineer Robledo is back in Paris being lauded for his success by a crowd of people, with his fiancée on his arm. As they are climbing into a cab, however, Robledo sees a woman in the crowd that he thinks is Elena. He follows her, finding her in a cafe, where he buys her a drink. She is dressed in rags, clearly she has fallen upon hard times.  Robledo is surprised that Elena doesn't seem to remember him.  But she has become a hopeless alcoholic.  He buys her a drink, and once she has that booze bottle in her possession, its contents are all she cares about.  Robledo places some money in her bag and soon leaves.  Elena then has a hallucination, that a man sitting across from her at the cafe is actually Jesus Christ, halo and all. It is then revealed that she has kept Robledo's ring, the one he had given her that first night they met. She gives it to the man and the film ends with her walking away, alone down the street, and the man in the cafe showing the ring to the cafe owner, and they marvel at the fact that the stone in the ring given to them by this down-and-out woman is in fact the genuine article.   (a lot of help from wikipedia putting this together)

Wow! What a movie Karen! It sounds like the plot to a Verdi opera. I'm exhausted just reading the story. I'll have to see if I can find that one. Thanks for adding to my thread. I hope we can get this one to catch on.

Kevin

Thank you for reading my entry!  And for having this new thread.  The Temptress is well worth seeing.  Its one of the movies in The Garbo Silents Collection, from TCM Archives.  All three movies in this set are awesome.  Greta Garbo is brilliant.  Flesh and the Devil, and The Mysterious Lady are the other two movies.

I tried to see if I could find a streaming version of it Karen but I was unsuccessful. However, the set you mention is down to only $13.15. So, I'll probably spring for it.

Kevin

That's a great price!  Oh do spring for it.  Hopefully you like these movies as much as I have.

Honestly Patti, I'm only just discovering silents.  These 3 Garbo films are a great place to start.  Also I went and saw Chicago with Phyllis Haver recently.  That was  a great silent movie too.

Karen - If you are just getting into silents I would highly recommend the new Blu-Ray releases of Wings and also The Thief of Bagdad. Both are really excellent and the transfer on Blu-Ray for both is well worth the money. Sam's Club has Wings for I think $12.98. That's where I bought it (maybe it was $9.98). If you're like my wife you'll swoon over Fairbanks and Wings is kind of a tear jerker but a fine film.

Kevin

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