Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Apartment

Starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine
On 1st November 1959, in New York, C.C. "Bud" Baxter is a popular clerk of "Consolidate Life", an insurance company with 31,259 employees. The secret of his success is a well located apartment where he lives that he sublets for his superiors, making him climb to the executive position of 2nd Administrative Assistant very early. He likes the elevator girl Fran Kubelik, a reserved woman considered a "jackpot" among the executives. Fran is the secret lover of the director Jeff D. Sheldrake, a married man that seduced her convincing that he will divorce his wife to stay with her. When Fran tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment after a meeting with Jeff, she stays with Baxter while recovering, and he falls in love for her. Later he has to come up to a decision between his excellent position in the company and his love. (IMDB)

Watch Movie Classic - The Apartment (1960)

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Plot Synopsis;

C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lonely office drone for an insurance company in New York City. Four different company managers take turns commandeering Baxter's apartment, which is located on West 67th Street on the Upper West Side, for their various extramarital liaisons. Unhappy with the situation, but unwilling to challenge them directly, he juggles their conflicting demands while hoping to catch the eye of fetching elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). Meanwhile the neighbors in the apartment building, a medical doctor and his wife, assume Baxter is a "good time Charlie" who brings different drunken women every night. Baxter accepts their criticism rather than reveal the truth.

The four managers write glowing reports about Baxter — a little too glowing, so personnel director Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) suspects something illicit behind the praise. Mr. Sheldrake lets Baxter's promotion go unchallenged on condition that Baxter offers his apartment to him as the sole customer. Still delighted about his promotion, Baxter asks Miss Kubelik to The Music Man after Sheldrake offers him tickets to the play when he has other plans. She agrees, then stands him up when Sheldrake takes her out for drinks. Later, on Christmas Eve, Baxter arrives home with a woman he has picked up in a local bar and is astounded to find Miss Kubelik in his bed, fully clothed and overdosed on sleeping pills. Mr. Sheldrake had borrowed Baxter's apartment for the evening and evidently left Miss Kubelik there.

Baxter sends his bar pickup home and he and his neighbour the doctor keep Miss Kubelik alive and safe without notifying the authorities. She explains that she had an affair with Mr. Sheldrake the previous summer, ended it when his wife returned from vacation then caved in to his appeals and promises later in the fall. When Sheldrake offered her money instead of a Christmas present she realized the ugliness of the situation and tried to commit suicide. The act shows a startling side of her usually sunny personality. Baxter tries to comfort her with assurances of Sheldrake's concern but she refuses to speak to him on the telephone.

Kubelik recuperates in Baxter's apartment for two days, long enough for her taxi driver brother-in-law to assume the worst of Baxter and come to blows. Sheldrake's catty secretary, one of his former mistresses, finally "educates" Mrs. Sheldrake about her husband's infidelities. Faced with divorce, Sheldrake moves into a room at his athletic club and continues to string Kubelik along while he enjoys his newfound bachelorhood. Baxter finally takes a stand when Sheldrake demands the apartment for New Year's Eve, which results in Baxter quitting the firm. Kubelik realizes that Baxter is the man who truly loves her and she leaves Sheldrake on New Year's Eve to be with Baxter that evening and runs to him. They end as two misfits, both out of a job, playing a game of gin rummy. When Baxter declares his love for Kubelik, her reply is the now-famous final line of the movie: "Shut up and deal."

Link; Wallpaper Gallery Shirley MacLaine in "The Apartment"

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Starring: Peter Lorre , Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden and Walter Pidgeon.
A routine scientific expedition to the North Pole turns into a race to save all mankind when a radiation belt in space causes a fiery inferno on Earth. Admiral Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) and the crew of the atomic submarine Seaview battle saboteurs, giant sea-creatures and attacks by enemy submarines as they race to prevent global catastrophe.
The Seaview is an atomic submarine designed by Admiral Harriman Nelson. On its initial launch some politicians are visiting it to see if all the money they poured into it is worth it. It is while they are at sea that they learn that the belt of radiation covering the Earth is on fire. Nelson is asked to attend some kind of international conference to determine what to do. It is while on route that Nelson comes up with a plan which he presents at the conference. Nelson proposes that if an atomic missile is launched from the Seaview at a precise moment, it will cause it to blow up. Another scientist claims that the belt will burn itself out when it reaches a certain temperature. But Nelson says that if they wait for his proposal, they will miss the window of opportunity that he told them of. Nelson leaves, boards the Seaview, and heads off to make his rendezvous with radiation belt. However, Nelson's driven manner, causes friction between him and Captain Crane, whose relationship with him is more paternal. As they push on, some of the crew members don't want to follow the admiral, and if that wasn't enough, there appears to be saboteur on board. (IMDB

Watch Movie Classic; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a science fiction film produced and directed by Irwin Allen, released in 1961 by 20th Century Fox. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. Walter Pidgeon starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson, with Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane. The original choice for the Crane role was David Hedison who later played the role in the TV series. However Hedison had turned the role down as he had just done The Lost World for Allen and wished other roles.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a science fiction film produced and directed by Irwin Allen, released in 1961 by 20th Century Fox. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. Walter Pidgeon starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson, with Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane. The original choice for the Crane role was David Hedison who later played the role in the TV series. However Hedison had turned the role down as he had just done The Lost World for Allen and wished other roles.

The new, state of the art nuclear submarine Seaview is on diving trials in the Arctic Ocean. The Seaview is designed and built by scientist and engineering genius Admiral Harriman Nelson (USN-Ret) (Walter Pidgeon). Commander (U.S. Navy) Lee Crane (Robert Sterling), the Seaview's Commanding Officer, is on loan from the US Navy. One of the on-board observers is Dr. Susan Hiller (Joan Fontaine), studying crew-related stress. The mission includes being out of radio contact for 96 hours while under the Artic ice cap, but icebergs begin to crack and melt, with boulder-size pieces crashing into the ocean around the submarine. Surfacing, Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane discover fire burning in the sky. After the rescue of a delta flow scientist, Miguel Alvarez (Michael Ansara), the sub receives radio contact from Mission Director Inspector Bergan at the Bureau of Marine Exploration. He advises that a meteor shower pierced the Van Allen radiation belt causing it to catch fire, resulting in a world-threatening global warming. Nelson's on-board friend and scientist, retired Commodore Lucius Emery (Peter Lorre) concurs that it is possible. Bergan informs Nelson that the President wants him at a UN Emergency Scientific Meeting as soon as possible.

Nelson and Commodore Emery calculate a plan to end the catastrophe. The USOS Seaview arrives in New York Harbor in two days. At the meeting Nelson informs the UN that according to their calculations, if the heat increase is not stopped, it will become irreversible and Earth has "a life expectancy of about three weeks." The Admiral and the Commodore have come up with a plan to extinguish the Skyfire. He proposes firing a nuclear missile at the burning belt from the best calculated location, the Marianas. Nelson posits that when fired at the right place and time, 1600 hours on August 29, the nuclear explosion should overwhelm and extinguish the flames, away into space, essentially "amputating" the belt from the Earth. The Seaview has the capability to fire the missile.

But the Admiral's plan is rejected by the chief scientist and head delegate, Emilio Zucco (Henry Daniel) of Vienna. His reasons are that he knows the composition of gases in the belt and he believes the Skyfire will burn itself out at 173 degrees. Zucco's plan is to let the Skyfire do just that and he feels the Admiral's plan is too risky. Nelson claims that Zucco's burn-out point, however, is beyond that date and time if the current rise rate is maintained. But at Zucco's urging, Nelson and Emery are shouted down and the plan is rejected. Despite the rejection, the Admiral and the Commodore quickly leave the proceedings, advising that his only authorization will be from the President himself.

It is a race against the clock as the Seaview speeds to reach the proper firing position, above the trench in the Marianas in the Pacific. During this time Nelson and Crane agree on tapping the Rio-to-London telephone cable to try to eventually reach the President. However, an unsuccessful attempt on the Admiral's life makes it clear that there is a saboteur on board. But the confusion over who the saboteur might be revolves around rescued scientist Miguel Alvarez, who has become a religious zealot regarding the catastrophe, and Dr. Hiller, who secretly admires Dr Zucco's plan. Other obstacles present themselves: a minefield and a near-mutiny. And Crane himself begins to doubt the Admiral's tactics and reasoning. During the telephone cable attempt, Crane and Alvarez battle a giant octopus. Although the London cable connection is made, Nelson is told there's been no contact with the States for 35 hours. Also, a hostile submarine follows the Seaview deep into the Mariana Trench, but implodes before it can destroy the Seaview.
The sky returns to blue, telling the world that USOS Seaview has succeeded

Near the end of the film the saboteur is revealed to be Dr. Hiller. Captain Crane happens by as she exits the ship's "Off Limits" Nuclear Reactor core, looking rather ill. She has been exposed to a fatal dose of radiation: her detector badge is deep red. Walking over the shark-tank catwalk, she falls in during a struggle with the Captain, and is killed by a shark. The Admiral learns that temperatures are rising faster than expected. He realizes that Zucco's belief that the Skyfire will burn itself out is in error.

At the end, Seaview reaches the Marianas. There, in spite of the threats and objections of Alvarez, Seaview launches a missile toward the belt and it explodes the burning flames outward, saving the world.
The USOS Seaview's dramatic 60 degree angle su...Image via Wikipedia

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Disney's Ultimate classic Fantasy Movie of all time. Based on the Novel by Jules Verne
Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre star as shipwrecked survivors taken captive by the mysterious Captain Nemo, brilliantly portrayed by James Mason.
Wavering between genius and madness, Nemo has launched a deadly crusade across the seven seas. But can the captive crew expose his evil plan before he destroys the world?
 This is by far the most literate, the most moving, and the most cinematically sophisticated film Disney has ever made. Those of the reviewers at this (IMDb) site who dismiss it as a kiddie movie, or who sneer at the special effects ("time has not been kind" to this film, one of them says; according to another, "the thrill is gone") seem simply prejudiced, rather like those who automatically deride any film that features Charlton Heston or deals with a biblical theme. It is indeed quite amazing that any special effects filmed in 1954 would continue to stack up so well.
Very simply, Richard Fleischer made a gorgeous adaptation of Jules Verne's famous novel. This is an excellent adventure movie told with quite a lot of humor. Fleischer introduced humor in a few sequences and especially in dialogs. But the movie also includes a sadistic side. This sadistic side is epitomized by the captain Nemo himself. You can describe him as a despotic man who's got a grudge against the earth that made him suffer. Moreover, he regards himself as a sort of governor of the ocean. In this way, Jules Verne's novel introduces a reflection about man and the extension of his power thanks to the machine (the Nautilus).  IMDB Link

Watch the Movie Classic - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 film starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax, and Peter Lorre as Conseil. It is the first science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Pictures, as well as the only Science-fiction film produced by Walt Disney himself. It is also the first feature length Disney film to be distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. The film has become the most well-known adaptation of the book of the same name by Jules Verne.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was filmed at various locations in Bahamas and Jamaica, with the cave scenes filmed beneath what is now the Xtabi hotel on the cliffs of Negril. Some of the location filming sequences were so complex, that they required a technical crew of over 400 people. It presented many challenges and cost-overruns during production. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Unabridged Classics)

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In the year 1866, rumors of a sea monster attacking ships in the Pacific Ocean have created apprehension and fear among sailors, disrupting the shipping lanes. Prof. Pierre M. Aronnax and his assistant, Conseil, are on their way to Saigon but get stuck in San Francisco by the halting of ships. The U.S. government invites Aronnax onto an expedition to either prove or disprove the monster's existence. One of their fellow crew is the cocky master harpooner Ned Land.

After months of searching, the monster strikes, ramming the naval frigate. Ned, Aronnax, and Conseil are thrown overboard, and watch in horror as their ship, badly disabled, is unable to rescue them. The three drift into a strange-looking metal vessel, and realize the "monster" is a man-made "submerging boat", that seems to have been deserted. Inside, Aronnax wanders down into the Salon, where he finds a massive viewing window and sees an underwater funeral taking place.

When the submarine crew returns to their ship, they capture the three castaways. The captain introduces himself as Nemo, master of the Nautilus. He returns Ned and Conseil to the deck, while Aronnax, whom he recognizes for his work and research, is allowed to stay. He tempts Aronnax to remain with him, but Aronnax prefers to share his companions' fate. Nemo prepares to submerge Nautilus with the three stowaways on the deck, but at the last moment changes his mind and allows them to stay. After dinner that night, Nemo takes them all on an underwater expedition to gather supplies, but Ned tries to salvage a treasure chest from a sunken wreck, almost getting attacked by a shark.

Later on, Nemo takes Aronnax to the penal colony island of Rura Penthe. Nemo reveals he was once a prisoner there himself, as were many of the crew of the Nautilus. A munitions ship embarks at sunset, whereupon the Nautilus rams it, destroying its munitions cargo and killing the entire crew. When confronted by Aronnax, Nemo claims that his actions have just saved thousands from death in war; he also discloses that this "hated nation" had killed his wife and son in an attempt to force him to reveal his atomic secrets. Meanwhile, Ned discovers the coordinates of Nemo's secret island base, Vulcania, and releases messages in bottles, hoping somebody will find them and free him from captivity.

Off the coast of New Guinea, the Nautilus gets stranded on a reef. Ned is surprised when Nemo freely allows him to go ashore with Conseil, ostensibly to collect specimens. Ned goes off alone inland to explore avenues of escape, until he sees a bunch of human skulls, and a cannibal in a tree. Realizing his danger, Ned runs for his life and rejoins Conseil as they are chased back to the Nautilus. Despite remaining aground, Nemo is unconcerned and the cannibals are repelled from the ship by electrical charges circulated on its hull. Captain Nemo is furious at Ned for not following his orders, and confines him to the submarine's brig as punishment.

A warship approaches, firing and striking the submarine just as it breaks free of the reef. It descends into the depths, where it attracts the attentions of a giant squid. The electric charge fails to repel the monster, so Nemo and his men are forced to surface in order to fight and dislodge the beast. During the battle, Nemo is caught in one of the squid's tentacles; Ned, having escaped from captivity in the struggle, jumps to Nemo's rescue and saves his captor's life. As a result, Nemo has a change of heart; he claims now to want to make peace with the outer world, by sharing his secrets of the sea. However, this is to be short-lived.

As the Nautilus nears Vulcania, Nemo finds the island surrounded by warships, whose marines are converging on his hideout. He goes ashore, setting a time bomb to destroy his discoveries, but when returning to the Nautilus, he is struck in the back by enemy fire and mortally wounded. After navigating the submarine away from Vulcania, Nemo announces he is "taking the Nautilus down for the last time." Loyal to Nemo to the very end, his entire crew declare that they will accompany their captain in death.

Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned are taken forcibly to their cabins. Ned fights back, escapes to the now deserted bridge, and manages to surface the Nautilus, hitting a reef in the process and causing the ship to begin flooding rapidly. In his final moments, Nemo staggers to a viewing window, collapses, and looks at his beloved ocean one last time as he dies.

Aronnax tries to go back and retrieve his journal, which contains an account of the voyage, but the urgency of their escape obliges Ned to knock him unconscious and carry him out. The companions witness Vulcania destroyed in a explosion. The shock from the explosion causes the Nautilus to sink even more quickly, and as it disappears beneath the waves forever, Nemo's last words to Aronnax echo: "There is hope for the future. And when the world is ready for a new and better life, all this will someday come to pass. In God's good time." Aronnax's diary of the voyage is also lost forever, and when Ned apologizes for having hit him, the Professor replies "Perhaps you did mankind a service, Ned".

Kirk Douglas as Ned Land
James Mason as Captain Nemo
Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax
Peter Lorre as Conseil
Robert J. Wilke as Nautilus's First Mate
Ted de Corsia as Captain Farragut
Carleton Young as John Howard
J. M. Kerrigan as Billy
Percy Helton as Coach driver
Ted Cooper as Abraham Lincoln's First Mate
Fred Graham as Casey
Wikipedia Link - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Tarzan and the Green Godess

Tarzan and the Green Godess (1938 Movie), and "The New Adventures of Tarzan" present the Ape-Man to us as Burroughs saw him. As opposed to the inarticulate grunting dim-wit presented to us by Hollywood. It worked, apparently, because the actors who followed Weismuller and Crabbe began to speak with increasing fluency. I would suggest that those wishing to watch these films first familiarize themselves with the radio series from 1931 through the 1934 season as Burroughs was connected with these as well. In fact, James Pierce, a former star football player, who plays Tarzan in the early shows and in the silent film Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1927) was married to his radio "Jane" who was Burroughs' daughter Joan.
Anyway, Herman Brix did pretty well presenting the Apeman as Burroughs saw him. He must have since Burroughs used him twice. This film, incidentally, is the 1938 sequel to The new Adventures of Tarzan, from 1935.

About the footage of African animals...this practice was common back in the day...most audiences never even noticed...they expected "exotic animals and locales" from adventure films and they got them.

One last thing: "The Victory Cry of the Bull Ape" as given here sounds strange to our ears (we're more used to Weismuller's version)but,
again, as one who was a fan of the books long before she saw ANY of the movies) I can tell you that Tarzan is NOT saying "Im a monkey" as an earlier reviewer thought. What he is screaming is "Ah Mangani". The Mangani are the great-apes in the language of Burroughs' books. Tarzan is a Tarmangani or "Great White Ape" Manu means "monkey" incidentally.
Are these two the best Tarzan films ever made? Not really. But they aren't the worst, either. If you're into Tarzan they're worth adding to your collection.

Watch Now - Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938)

In a last ditch effort to extract some additional funds from their project, Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises (BTE) released a sequel to The New Adventures of Tarzan by editing a 72 minute feature film from the last ten chapters of their serial, as well as adding some new footage. Since the first film Herman Brix had taken acting lessons and changed his name to Bruce Bennett in an attempt to avoid identification with the Tarzan role and his athletic past. He is identified by the new name in the credits of Green Goddess. Edgar Rice Burroughs had loaned BTE $50,000 to launch the enterprise but the poor performance of The New Adventures of Tarzan left them in the embarrassing position of not being able to repay the loan. Salvation came in the person of Jesse Goldberg. In an agreement with the producers Goldberg was installed as the sole distributing agent of the film and was to receive 50 per cent of all profits. The reasonable success of the film in England was sufficient to repay the loan and BTE was able to clear the books. In 1939 the company closed their doors permanently. (Essoe & Fury)

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Tarzan's Revenge

1938 Tarzan Movie starring Glenn Morris as Tarzan

Watch Movie - Tarzan's Revenge (1938)

In yet another attempt to cash in on MGM's successful Tarzan series featuring Johnny Weissmuller, producer Sol Lesser produced this film starring not one, but two Olympic swimming champs. Morris takes on the role this time with Holm as a young lady on safari with her fiancée and her parents. The film concerns her father (Barbier) attempting to collect rare animals for a zoo back in the U.S. while her mother (Hopper) basically frets, fans herself and sneezes continually. Meeker plays the rather foolish and trigger-happy fiancée, joined by a feminine, fussypants, pinky ring-wearing valet (Corbet Morris) who occasionally tosses off a pithy remark. In the opening scenes (Tarzan doesn't appear until 13 minutes into the film!), Holm catches the eye of a wealthy Maharajah who wishes to add her to his harem. Later, when the group is on safari, he sends a band of natives to retrieve her with only Morris standing in the way of her future in sexual bondage. The film trudges on with many, many stock shots of jungle creatures, some cute (like a few little monkeys playing in the water) and some ordinary as Holm is periodically faced with Morris, who frequently has to come to her rescue. Their first encounter is rather amusing as he pulls her from a swamp only to get irritated when she won't allow him to grope her. Mostly, however, the film meanders on with its (by now) familiar plot line of a city girl discovering the charms of a man who sleeps on moss, forages for grapes and swims in a murky lagoon; helping animals in distress and killing anyone who causes trouble. Morris is physically fit and reasonably handsome, but lacks charisma in his virtually silent portrayal. Holm tries to inject some vigor into her scenes (and occasionally resembles Joan Crawford), but hasn't got very much to work with. Amusingly, her make up remains immaculate and her all white outfits (including a hysterical pair of little white boots) tend to stay crisp and fresh no matter what the circumstances. Film buffs may get a kick out of seeing Hopper (probably the least likely person expected in a Tarzan movie!) get carried around on a chiffon covered gurney by the natives and then complain about how worn out she is. It's of interest to fans of Tarzan, but hardly offers anything particularly special or entertaining. Neither lead continued with a career in acting, but at least the film affords a glimpse of these two athletes while they were in their prime.
IMDB Link  Glen Morris Biography

Tarzan and the Trappers

Another Classic old Movie in the Tarzan of the Apes series; This time without Johnny Weissmuller - instead, Gordon Scott plays the role. I always liked Johnny Weissmuller best, despite the fact that i was born after the time of both actors, and should perhaps have recieved them both with the same neutrality. Perhaps this was because of my parents always raving about Weissmulller and the fact that he was an Olympic Swimmer as well as an actor

Watch Movie Tarzan and the Trappers (1958)

Gordon Scott made an excellent Tarzan, he brought an interesting flair to the role, that was almost a compromise between the smart Tarzan of the books and the ignorant Tarzan of most of the films. In this film, he actually picks up a book and tries to read, but still speaks in a broken manner, however he is still full of wisdom that comes from life in a dangerous jungle. This actually one of the better films, despite some negative publicity from "purists". It is entertaining, the jungles all look real, and the double point of anti-poaching/anti-grave robbing is especially poignant. If Tarzan really did exist, that would be the kind of life that he would lead.
Tarzan (5 Movies on 2 Discs)
IMDB Link 

Tarzan and the Amazons

One of the many sequels and further adventures of Tarzan the Ape Man - starring Johnny Weismuller
A group of archaeologists asks Tarzan to help them find an ancient city in a hidden valley of women. He refuses, but Boy is tricked into doing the job. The queen of the women asks Tarzan to help them.

Watch Movie; Tarzan and the Amazons (1945)

The film opens with Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), his son, Boy (Johnny Sheffield) and their pet chimpanzee, Cheetah, setting out to meet with Jane, who is scheduled to return home from her trip in England. While going down the river on a raft, Tarzan sees a girl running from a lion and immediately comes to her rescue. The girl, with an injury to her ankle, turns out to be Athena (Shirley O'Hara), one of the Amazon women tribe of Palmeria. As Tarzan carries Athena back to her civilization, he orders Boy to remain behind. Curious as well as disobeying Tarzan, Boy, along with Cheetah, quietly follows Tarzan from a distance, watching him walking between the high mountains leading to an unknown paradise of women ruled by a middle-aged Queen (Maria Ouspenskaya), who reveals to her tribe that Tarzan is the only outsider to know of their kingdom, and has kept his secret well. Returning from the civilization and not wanting to discuss anything further to his son, Tarzan and Boy start to swim over to the steamboat where Jane (Brenda Joyce), the passenger, is accompanied by a group of archaeologists, Sir Guy Henderson (Henry Stephenson), Bannister (Barton MacLane), Anders (Don Douglas), Splivers (J.M. Kerrigan) and McClour (Steven Geray), whom she had met while in England. Because they were good travel companions to Jane, Tarzan invites these strangers to their habitat. Boy becomes very fascinated by these men, especially after witnessing items new to him such as looking through a microscope to get an eye-view of wandering germs, as well as listening to stories about the outside civilized world. Cheetah, who earlier had acquired an emblem accidentally dropped by Athena, presents it to Jane. Sir Guy takes an interest in this rare emblem, and after doing some research in a book, finds that it belongs to a lost Amazon tribe. Because Sir Guy has found out more than he should, Tarzan refuses to help lead him and his men to the Amazon tribe, and orders them to go. Not wanting them to leave, Boy decides to take matters into his own hands by escorting the archaeologists over to the lost civilization without the knowledge of either Tarzan or Jane. Once there they are all taken in by the women guards to stand before the Queen who finds them all intruders. To show they have come under friendly terms, Sir Guy agrees to give up their ammunitions. However, the Queen spares their lives, and deciding what to do with them, she has them confined in a cell, and never to leave the kingdom for the rest of their natural lives.

Noticing the valuable possessions surrounding them, greed sets in, especially with Bannister, now wanting to leave and take back with him these priceless treasures. As a favor to Boy, Athena arranges for them to depart during the night, but instead of walking out quietly and peacefully, Bannister and his men, who have retrieved their guns, decide to help themselves to the treasure, killing Sir Guy who has tried to stop them, and forcing Boy, who now realizes his error in judgment, to help carry the supplied bags of gold. The disturbance causes one of the guards to send out a distress call, with a couple of the Amazons to get shot and killed in the process, with the bad guys managing to break away while the guards grab hold onto Boy, taking him to the throne to be faced and judged by the ever angry Queen. Because Boy happened to be the one responsible for leading these strangers into her kingdom, the Queen orders to have Boy executed by drinking a poisoned potion, in spite the fact that the youngster is the son of Tarzan.

Aside from the standard routines normally found in "Tarzan" films, such as Cheetah howling laughter and mugging into the camera; Tarzan's vine swinging from tree to tree, doing some last minute rescues such as swimming to save Boy from a crocodile attack, and standing firm that he is king of the jungle, the writers of TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS toss in some aspects of reality normally found with common every-day families. Rather than presenting Tarzan, Jane and Boy as a jungle family in Africa living their day-to-day existence climbing trees, vine swinging, hunting or underwater swimming, it goes even further by showcasing Tarzan and Boy coming to one-on-one arguments and disagreements. Sheffield's Boy, who usually looks up to Tarzan in a hero worshiping sense, as would any little boy towards his father, is given the opportunity to show signs of adolescence by acting out his frustrations, questioning authority, namely Tarzan's, when not being given any reason as to why his orders are to be obeyed. Boy, who has known no other existence except roaming around half-naked throughout the jungle (though it shouldn't be forgotten about their family outing to the Big Apple in 1942's TARZAN'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE), boredom has now taken its toll, causing Boy's attitude to change towards Tarzan, especially when finding the archaeologists more interesting in comparison to Tarzan.

One heated scene finds Tarzan, believing that Boy will forget about these men, inviting him to go hunting as promised earlier in the story. The upset Boy refuses, telling him that he doesn't ever want to go hunting with him again. Tarzan's hurt feelings and anger are immediately sensed when he breaks Boy's hunting bow, which he had made for him, over his knee and departing, causing Boy and Jane to stand silently completely still. While this doesn't really make as strong a statement as father and son relationships are concerned, this does prove that these two characters are just like anyone else. In typical fashion when father and son are on non-speaking terms, it is usually the mother, Jane in this case, to come to Boy's aide, and not taking sides, makes him realize that he was wrong for his actions, and to go and find Tarzan to apologize. However, Boy, showing no signs of wanting to burst out in song to "Oh, My Papa," can be just as stubborn than Tarzan. He walks about the jungle thinking things out, and decides on going against Tarzan's wishes and guide the archaeologists into the lost civilization himself. Before a heavy winded storm sets in, Jane goes out looking for Boy, but becomes injured by a falling tree in the process. Upon Tarzan's return, he finds and takes Jane back into their treehouse. Jane in a semi-conscious state, crying out for Boy. Tarzan believes Boy will eventually calm down and return home, unaware that he and the researchers are being held prisoners by the Amazons, never to be seen or heard from the outside world again.

What makes TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS worth viewing is the presence of famed Russian actress Maria Ouspenskaya playing the Amazon Queen. Ouspenskaya is best known today for her role as Meleva, the Gypsy Woman, in Universal's THE WOLF MAN (1941) and its sequel, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943), opposite Lon Chaney Jr. Short in size, slow in speech delivery, heavy accented, but no raving beauty to say the least, those familiar with her on screen personality normally feel her presence in any sort of motion picture. Henry Stephenson, who was earlier seen in TARZAN FINDS A SON, appears for the second and final time in the series, this time in a different character portrayal. Barton MacLane, most noted for his gangster roles or playing good tough guys in numerous Warner Brothers crime dramas of the 1930s, makes his first of two appearances in the "Tarzan" series.

Light on action and long on dialogue, TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS makes interesting character study and routine adventure for any juvenile crowd. Some tense moments, however, involve a couple of villains meeting their fate when engulfed into quicksand and slowing sinking, but otherwise no real violence to speak of in this acceptable 76 minute programmer.

TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS, along with the others in the series based on the characters created by Edgar Rice Burrough, at one time popular viewing on commercial television in mid-afternoon or after-midnight hours some decades ago, was resurrected on the American Movie Classics cable channel between 1997 and 2001 where it found renewed interests and new and renewed viewers, with former host Bob Dorian giving his informative view on the film(s) and the others featuring Weissmiller with much warmth and nostalgic memories, and what these "Tarzan" adventures meant to him as a kid growing up in Brooklyn when released annually in his neighborhood theater. Unlike the six entries made at MGM, to date, the RKO Radio Tarzan series have never been distributed to video cassette. Next chapter in the series: Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946).
IMDB Link  Tarzan and the Trappers  review (dmorth)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)
  • Brenda Joyce (Jane)
  • Johnny Sheffield (Boy)
  • Henry Stephenson (Sir Guy Henderson)
  • Mme. Maria Ouspenskaya (Amazon Queen)
  • Barton Maclane (Ballister)
  • Don Douglas (Anders)
  • Steven Geray (Brenner)
  • J.M. Kerrigan (Splivens)
  • Shirley O'Hara (Athena)

Tarzan the Ape Man

Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) is an action adventure film featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous jungle hero Tarzan and starring Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith and Maureen O'Sullivan. The movie is loosely based on Burroughs' novel Tarzan of the Apes, with the dialogue written by Ivor Novello. The movie was directed by W. S. Van Dyke (who later went on to direct The Thin Man and the first three of its five sequels). It was remade twice, first in 1959 and later in 1981.

I Loved Tarzan as a kid (and still do!), - Watching the Johnny Weissmuller movies with the Chimp Cheeta is so nostalgic and brings up so many memories of my childhood. With all the mega special effects of modern cinema there is still nothing to compare to the enjoyment of watching a classic old movie such as Tarzan of the Apes. 
I loved the bit where he takes Jane to his tree house, which inspired me to make a tree house of my very own, where i used to gather all my secret store of provisions (biscuits, sweets, fruits and nusts which i would steal froom Mum's kitchen and pretend i had gathered them in the Jungle - my imagination was sparked into living out the thought that i was surviving in the Jungle and i used to enjoy thinking how long i could survive in my tree house with all i had gathered. My Mum would always comment out loud thatshhe wondered where all the dried foodstuffs were disappearing to and ask me with an inquiring look if i knew anything about it - to which i would innocently say "no mum".

Tarzan the Ape Man was the first Tarzan film to star Weissmuller and O'Sullivan, and marked the first appearance of the character of Cheeta the chimpanzee, and the animal actor who created it, Jiggs. The character of Cheeta was created for this film, never having appeared in the original Burroughs novels.
The film was the first of a long series of franchised Tarzan films running from 1932 into the 1970s, initially starring Weissmuller and later other actors.
Tarzan's distinctive call was first heard in this film; it was reportedly created by sound recordist Douglas Shearer using special audio effects, including an Austrian yodel played backwards at quickened speed. Weissmuller himself always claimed he had created the trademark Tarzan yell in a yodeling contest he won while he was a boy. He later learned to mimic the famous call so well people assumed that he was the one doing the yell in the films. (Wikipedia)

Watch the Classic Movie - Tarzan The Apeman

James Parker (C. Aubrey Smith) and Harry Holt (Neil Hamilton), in Africa on a quest for the legendary elephant burial grounds (and their ivory), are joined by Parker's daughter Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan). Holt, attracted to her, tries somewhat ineffectively to protect her from the jungle's dangers, notably failing to prevent her abduction by the jungle's guardian, the mysterious Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and his ape allies. The experience is terrifying to Jane, yet she finds herself missing the ape man after she is returned to her father. When the expedition is captured by a tribe of pygmies she sends Tarzan's ape friend Cheeta (Jiggs) for help, bringing Tarzan to the rescue. In the end, she elects to stay in the jungle with Tarzan.

Tarzan is still one a favourite Adventure Movie for Kids of all ages, and will be as far into the future as Movies exist i believe!

Below pic; Tarzan, Jane and Cheeta

Edgar Rice BurroughsImage via Wikipedia

  • Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller)
  • Harry Holt (Neil Hamilton)
  • Jane Parker (Maureen O'Sullivan)
  • James Parker (C. Aubrey Smith)
  • Mrs. Cutten (Doris Lloyd)
  • Beamish (Forrester Harvey)
  • Riano (Ivory Williams)
  • Cheeta (Jiggs - uncredited)
  • Ape (Ray Corrigan - uncredited)
  • Bird Creature (Johnny Eck- uncredited)
Edgar Rice Burroughs (left picture); (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

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Monday, December 28, 2009


1965 Movie with Jimmy Stewart

James Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer during the Civil War. He refuses to support the Confederacy because he is opposed to slavery, yet he will not support the Union because he is deeply opposed to war. When his son is taken prisoner, Stewart goes to search for the boy. Seeing first-hand the horrors of war, he is at last forced to take his stand.
Though set during the American Civil War, the film's strong antiwar and humanitarian themes reflect attitudes at the time of the movie's release, toward the Vietnam War. Upon its release, the film was praised for its message, as well as its technical production. In 1966, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound. Due in part to her performance in Shenandoah, Rosemary Forsyth was nominated for a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female.

Charlie Anderson (James Stewart) is a widowed farmer in Shenandoah, Virginia during the Civil War. He hopes to keep his family out of the war, believing that it is not "his" war. Confederate recruiters visit his farm in an unsuccessful attempt to enlist the young men in the Anderson family. Anderson's daughter, Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth), gets married to a young Confederate officer early in the film. Anderson is able to keep his family uninvolved in the war even as combat takes place on his land. His new son-in-law is immediately posted to his unit as his wedding ends.
The American Civil War: A Military History
One day while out fishing, the youngest Anderson son finds a discarded Confederate cap. He begins wearing it each time he is out. One day, this time out hunting, he is taken prisoner by a Union Army patrol who believe him to be a Confederate soldier (this is made even more complex because another group of Union soldiers nearby had just been ambushed). The boy denies he is a soldier at all, but his rifle and cap make it impossible to convince the Union soldiers. His friend, a local slave named Gabriel (Gene Jackson), is told by the soldiers that he is now free. Gabriel runs nonstop to Mr. Anderson's house to tell him that the boy has been taken by the Union men. Mr. Anderson then decides it is "our war". That night, he assembles most of his sons to go after the boy. He leaves behind one son, his daughter-in-law, and his young granddaughter. As the boys assemble to leave, Mr. Anderson's recently-married daughter also prepares to go on the search. Although the father wants her to stay behind, she points out that she can out-ride and out-shoot most of the boys. He relents, and the group sets off. He rides off to find the nearest Union encampment, believing that if he talks to a commander he can sort out the issue and free his son.
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns

in The Naked Spur (1953)Image via Wikipedia
Meanwhile, Gabriel asks Jennie what it means to be free. She tells him he is free to go anywhere he wants. Gabriel runs down the road towards an unknown destination.Pic Left; Jimmy Stewart in "The Naked Spur (1953)
Anderson visits a Union Army camp and finds a sympathetic officer who has a son of his own at school in Boston. But he also finds that the prisoners have been sent to another location. The officer gives him a note which will enable Anderson to get his son back. The boy, now a prisoner of war, befriends other prisoners. Eventually a small group escapes, taking the boy with them, and attempts to return to Confederate lines. After a period of wandering through rural Virginia, they succeed in joining a Confederate unit.

The Anderson group arrives at the train station, hoping the boy was taken there. Anderson shows the note to the commander in charge, who refuses to help him. Anderson will not be so easily defeated, and he obstructs the railroad a few miles away, and free the prisoners, coincidentally freeing Mr. Anderson's new son-in-law. Mr. Anderson then asks his son-in-law what he wants done with the train, and he orders the prisoners to burn the train. The freed Confederates burn the train and then move on.

Eventually, sensing their cause is hopeless, the boys confront the father, saying they should return home. Mr. Anderson agrees, but says that they had to try; he tells them "if we don't try, we don't do, and if we don't do, why are we here?". They head for home. While the rest of the Andersons have been away, stragglers have killed his son and daughter-in-law. Only the grandchild Martha (Kimberly Randolph and Beverly Randolph) survives, due to the timely arrival of the local doctor.

The boy, now truly a soldier in the Confederate Army, finds himself in battle. During a Union attack he is shot in the leg; as a Union soldier rushes up to finish him off with his bayonet, the boy looks up and sees that he is Gabriel, the former slave. Gabriel recognizes the boy and carries him to safety under cover before rejoining his unit.

In the final scene, the Andersons go to church on Sunday. In a repeat of one of the opening scenes, the family is late arriving and a bit disruptive as they take their seats. The family is sadly much reduced in number from the opening scene. As a hymn begins the film reaches its emotional climax - the rear doors open and the youngest son, leaning on a crutch, walks into the church and rejoins his family.

The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart. Based on a Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry

Watch The Philadelphia Story

The film is about a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and an attractive journalist. It is considered one of the best examples of a comedy of remarriage, a genre popular in the 1930s and 1940s, in which a couple divorce, flirt with outsiders and then remarry – a useful story-telling ploy at a time when the depiction of extramarital affairs was blocked by the Production Code.

The play was Hepburn's first great triumph after several movie flops had led to movie theater owners including her on a list of actors viewed as "box office poison." She purchased the film rights to the play, with the help of Howard Hughes,in order to control it as a vehicle for her movie comeback.

The Philadelphia Story was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won two: Stewart for Best Actor and Donald Ogden Stewart for Best Adapted Screenplay. It was adapted in 1956 as the musical High Society, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.

In 1995, The Philadelphia Story film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Plot Synopsis
Tracy Samantha Lord Haven (Katharine Hepburn) is a wealthy Main Line Philadelphia socialite who had divorced C. K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), a member of her social set, because he did not measure up to her exacting standards. (He was an alcoholic, and her lack of faith in him exacerbated his condition.) She is about to marry nouveau riche "man of the people" George Kittredge (John Howard).

Spy magazine publisher Sidney Kidd (Henry Daniell) is eager to cover the wedding, and blackmails Dexter into introducing tabloid reporter Macaulay "Mike" Connor (James Stewart) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Ruth Hussey) as friends of the family so they can report on the wedding. Tracy is not fooled, but reluctantly agrees to let them stay, after Dexter explains that Kidd has an innuendo-laden article about Tracy's father, Seth (John Halliday), who, Tracy believes, is having an affair with a dancer. Though Seth is separated from Tracy's mother Margaret (Mary Nash) and Tracy harbors great resentment against him, she wants to protect her family's reputation.
Katharine Hepburn Collection (Morning Glory / Undercurrent / Sylvia Scarlett / Without Love / Dragon Seed / The Corn Is Green [1979])

Dexter is welcomed back with open arms by Margaret and Tracy's teenage sister Dinah (Virginia Weidler), much to Tracy's annoyance. In addition, Tracy gradually discovers that Mike has admirable qualities. Thus, as the wedding nears, Tracy finds herself torn between her fiancé, her ex-husband, and the reporter.

The night before the wedding, Tracy gets drunk for only the second time in her life and takes an innocent swim with Mike. When George sees Mike carrying an intoxicated Tracy into the house afterwards, he thinks the worst. The next day, he tells her that he was shocked and feels entitled to an explanation before going ahead with the wedding. Tracy takes exception to his lack of faith in her and breaks off the engagement. Then she realizes that all the guests have arrived and are waiting for the ceremony to begin. Mike volunteers to marry her (much to Liz's distress), but Tracy graciously declines. At this point, Dexter makes his successful bid for her hand. Read More....
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romantic Comedies (Adam's Rib / Woman of the Year / The Philadelphia Story / Bringing Up Baby)
  • Cary Grant as C. K. Dexter Haven
  • Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord
  • James Stewart as Macaulay Connor
  • Ruth Hussey as Elizabeth Imbrie
  • John Howard as George Kittredge
  • Roland Young as William Q. Tracy (Uncle Willie)
  • John Halliday as Seth Lord
  • Mary Nash as Margaret Lord
  • Virginia Weidler as Dinah Lord
  • Henry Daniell as Sidney Kidd
  • Lionel Pape as Edward, a footman
  • Rex Evans as Thomas, the butler

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