Me

Movie Critique – The Red Kimona

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A tale of damaged innocence; shattered dreams and fighting back to gain a steady ground out of the muck she was in; Gabrielle's story definitely touches everyone who sees it, and cannot help but shed a tear.

The Red Kimona is a 1925 American silent film drama starring Priscilla Bonner, Nellie Bly Baker, Virginia Pearson and Carl Miller in the lead cast. Directorial debut by Walter Lang and Produced by Dorothy Davenport, the primary plot revolves around prostitution and how one of them tries to get out.

Gabrielle Darley (portrayed by Priscilla Bonner) in order to escape her unhappy family finds solace in Howard Blaine (portrayed by Carl Miller). Hoping he would marry her she leaves her home to New Orleans with him. Instead Blaine sells her into prostitution and she starts servicing other men for Blaine. The rest of the story shows how Darley lives through prostitution, and finally gets a break to come out and live a life of peace on her own. 

Producer Dorothy Davenport is credited as Mrs. Wallace Reid for this film. Although not credited, she also co-directed with Lang. Dorothy Arzner adapted the screenplay from the true story written by reporter Adela Rogers St. Johns. Azner would go on to become Hollywood's first female director. Piano solo through the film was performed by Robert Israel. 

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – Racket Busters

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A good crime drama where the underdog fights for their rights against the mobsters and come out in victory. Perhaps could have had more laughs or more drama or a little more action that many films of similar kind have been dishing at us.

Racket Busters is a 1938 American crime drama film starring Humphrey Bogart, George Brent and Gloria Dickson in the lead cast. Directed by Lloyd Bacon, the screenplay for this plot about crimes in trucking industry was written by Robert Rossen and Leonardo Bercovici.

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – Murder, My Sweet

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: With great performances, powerful dialogues, intriguing plot, stunning play of shadows and light, the film made justice to the novel from which it was adapted, giving the world another hard-boiled cynical private eye not only entertaining and engaging, but also giving us the hard side of life.

Murder, My Sweet is a 1944 American film noir starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor and Anne Shirley. The film is based on Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel, Farewell, My Lovely, it was directed by Edward Dmytryk. It was released in United Kingdom with the title of the original novel. First film to feature Chandler's hard-boiled private eye Philip Marlowe.

Philip Marlowe (portrayed by Dick Powell) is hired by an ex-con, Moose Malloy (portrayed by Mike Mazurki), to locate Velma Valento (portrayed by Claire Trevor), his former girlfriend. The case then quickly turns deadly leading Marlowe into a world of murder, deceit, blackmail and mystery.

Philip Marlowe first appeared in The Big Sleep novel published in 1939 by Raymond Chandler. Although he didn’t appear on film until 5 years later in this film, he did make fame on paper and radio by then. Several of Chandler's earlier short stories that were published in Black Mask and Dime Detective magazines, later were re-written into full-fledged novels by Chandler with changing the protagonist name to Philip Marlowe.

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Almost like a autobiographical type of haunting love story that is charming, funny and entertaining as well. With a touching and romantic ending, this love story gives you happiness, poignancy and fills your heart completely.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a 1947 American romantic fantasy film starring Gene Tierney, Sir Rex Harrison and George Sanders. Based on a 1945 novel of the same name, written by Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym of R. A. Dick, the film was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Despite it being a hit and now considered a classic, the film received only one Academy Award nomination, for the Black and White Cinematography to Charles Lang. 

The film is set in early 1900s in England. Young widow Mrs. Lucy Muir (portrayed by Gene Tierney) moves to a seaside village, Whitecliff, where she rents a place called Gull Cottage. However, she doesn’t expect the place to come with a ghost of it's own, Captain Daniel Gregg (portrayed by Sir Rex Harrison), former owner of the cottage. Initially both Mrs. Muir and the Ghost have animosity towards each other, then eventually forge a path of friendship to live in harmony. 

Collapse )
Me

53 Week Journey through the Land of Drapes and Colors: Week #22

For details on all the sarees I have posted so far, go here.

A month ago for the first time in three months I finally ventured out for a barbeque at a friend's. This COVID-19 Pandemic had made me so paranoid that I had not stepped out or met anyone in person except on video or just one friend who I knew also was quarantined like me. So when the BBQ idea came up, hesitating though I went since I knew the family that I was going to also were quarantining themselves really good.

I thought why not dress up too, since we aren't really going anywhere and hardly get dressed even to walk to put the trash out. Well, here you go, another saree to my meme here; and posing in front my friend's front porch.

This time I wore this White and Orange Handloom Cotton with Orange block prints of dancing tribal people, flowers and intricate design. Paired it with a matching blouse, long gold plated silver and red beads earrings; and orange-white-gold bangles on my wrists. It was so windy that day and my hair again had a mind of it's own.

This past March when I went to India for a very short visit before all the pandemic broke lose, I got an opportunity to go the Telangana Handloom Expo that was happening at the same time. That is where I saw this saree in one of the booths, I fail to remember from which part the country that particular booth was though. 

A friend of mine, Pratibha Pal, mentioned that this print is called as Warli Print, a tribal art by the tribal people from the Northern Sahyadri Range in Maharashtra, India. I am guessing the booth was by some vendors who represented these tribal art. I only wish I had taken the name and region they represented since Northern Sahyadri Range encompasses so many districts.

However, this saree was hanging on one corner of the wall and it caught my attention immediately. Loved it so much that it is now in my closet.

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – West of Zanzibar

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: A masterpiece by Browning with some excellent performances from great names such as Chaney, Barrymore and Nolan, an entertaining movie bordering on horror and cruelty of one human against another, giving viewers shivers and shudders.

West of Zanzibar is a 1928 American silent film starring Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore and Mary Nolan. Based on a 1926 Broadway play called Kongo, this film was directed by Tod Browning. The Broadway play had Walter Huston in the lead role. Huston also starred in the 1932 adaptation of the play into a sound movie with the title Kongo. 

A crippled magician, Phroso "Dead Legs" (portrayed by Lon Chaney) builds an elaborate plan to take revenge on his rival, Crane (portrayed by Lionel Barrymore), who had usurped with his wife, Anna (portrayed by Jacqueline Gadsden) and left him to dead. 

I just finished watching Browning's 1929 The Thirteenth Man which was released a year after this movie was released. How different both are including the genre when the director's touch had been the same. Except though I noticed that in both the films, were distributed by MGM and the opening credits were printed on a backdrop that are very similar. Perhaps MGM insisted on using the same template for several of their films. 

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – The Thirteenth Chair

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: Seventy two minutes of fun and entertainment all the while solving two murders, and exposing the true nature of all the thirteen people involved.

The Thirteenth Chair is a 1929 American pre-Code mystery film starring Conrad Nagel, Leila Hyams and Margaret Wycherly in the lead roles. Based on the 1916 play of the same name by Bayard Veiller, the film was directed by Tod Browning.

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – Peeper

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: As bumbling and stumbling the private investigator is in the film, so is the plot, getting muddled up. Entertaining if you want to watch on a DVD or on TV, a mild spoof on the film noir doesn’t disappoint you though.

Peeper is a 1975 American comedy-mystery film starring Sir Michael Caine and Natalie Wood in the lead roles. Directed by Peter Hyams, the film was a parody on the film noir style of Hollywood film that was famous in the 1940s and 1950s. 

We see one of those crazy credits in this film. Instead of being printed or typed on film, they are spoken by Humphrey Bogart impersonator Guy Marks. 

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – The Maltese Falcon

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A very entertaining murder mystery coupled with treasure hunt leading to some heartaches, some no-nonsense talks, more of push and shove with muscles and considerable loss in every manner. Each and every character perfectly executed with no room for boredom, repetition or drag. 

The Maltese Falcon is the 1941 directorial debut film noir by John Huston based on the 1930 novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. The film introduced Hammett's private eye, Sam Spade, to silver screen; a character immortalized by Humphrey Bogart on screen. Among other star cast, we see Mary Astor in a femme fatale role of Brigid O'Shaugnessy, Gladys George as Iva Archer; Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo; and Sydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman. 

Sam Spade and Miles Archer, a pair of San Francisco private investigators are approached by Ruth Wonderly who is looking for her missing sister who was involved with a man named Floyd Thursby. A simple case of finding a missing person turns into a hunt for a mysterious falcon statue and three unscrupulous antagonists that Spade and Archer face along, while dealing with murder along the way.

Collapse )
Me

Movie Critique – A Streetcar Named Desire

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: Having not read the book yet, I can still say that it has been adapted into a fantastic film with some superb action by all the cast members. If you haven't watched it yet, add it to your list immediately.

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film adapted from Tennessee William's 1947 book of the same name. While the book one a Pulitzer Prize to Williams, the movie won four Academy Awards (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Art Direction Black & White) among other awards. This became the fifth biggest hit of the year. Although based on the play and book, the film had considerable changes. 

Blanche Dubois (portrayed by Vivien Leigh), a middle-aged high school teacher comes to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella (portrayed by Kim Hunter) & brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski (portrayed by Marlon Brando) seeking refuge. But her personal losses, issues from her past and her secrets slowly start creeping into her new life, seeping also into the lives of her benefactors who have been giving her shelter.

Screenplay for the film was a collaborative effort between Williams himself along with Oscar Saul and the director, Elia Kazan. Dialogues of the film have become household lines, some of them being:

"Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,".
"Stella! Hey, Stella!"
Collapse )