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All reviews - Movies (2)

Dead End (1937) review

Posted : 9 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 October 2017 05:16 (A review of Dead End (1937))

Overall, not a good movie, to me, thought there were elements that I'll mention in a minute. Clunky moralizing social drama; dull and talky. I found the Dead End Kids to be bad actors and just not worth watching. If you happened to be a fan of theirs from other movies, you might see this one totally differently from me.

The good elements were isolated pleasures for me; they couldn't redeem the movie as a whole. But -

Gregg Toland's photography was great. There's some really sweet scenes of light and shadow, and some of his trademark deep shots with action in foreground and background.

The set is really impressive.

Claire Trevor and her one scene were fantastic. Bogie was good in that scene. I thought his performance varied between the early twitchiness seen in a lot of his 30s pictures, and some better work. (Allen Jenkins as his henchman was pretty good. In comedy I think he lays it on too thick; I don't know if I'd seen him as a tough before.)

Sylvia Sidney was good; I dunno if she was great, but it's not a great role, pretty much weepiness all the time. Boy, is she beatiful; that also gets in the way of my evaluation.

Joel McCrea was just OK. I love him in later work, so it's probably partly the apprentice stage of his career. And mostly the crap dialogue; again, it's just a dull role.

I like Wendy Barrie; she didn't have a lot to do, but I enjoyed her brief appearances.

Marjoie Main's expression as Bogart's mother, seeing her son for the first time in years, but repulsed, was amazing. The way it's lit and shot; they all put this scene together really well.

Charles Halton has a scene as kidnapping consultant, seemingly. I don't think I'd seen a hard-bolied attitude from him before; I thought he was awesome.

So, I'd watch parts of this movie again, to see these bits I liked. I'd fast-forward over the kids every time. And probably over the adult actors I usually like, too, when they've got talky message scenes.

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Possession (1981) review

Posted : 3 years, 5 months ago on 27 January 2015 02:12 (A review of Possession (1981))

Some striking photography, but overall it definitely does not work for me. Except the subway scene. I'm keeping a copy for that.

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