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Clifton Collins Jr.

Knight of Cups (2015)

4/4 stars
this is an absolutely mesmerizing film, and i gave it 4/4 stars.. this is truly a mastgerpiece, from a master filmmaker.. cate blanchett is really good in this..

ohhh shit! clifton collins! and from what i can hear, his line is “1 xanny per wine glass”– that’s 1 xanax pill per glass of wine? if he means the long bars, that’s fucking crazy.. there’s 5 official glasses in a bottle.. having just 1 of those long bars and just a couple of glasses of wine will fuck your whole life up- no way you’ll remember SHIT if u have the whole bottle, let alone 5 bars to go with it..

lol @ “work those muscles- you’re like a 1975 housewife who takes steroids and fucks girls during the day”

um.. did we ever get an answer as to why there’s lucha libre wrestling on the dance floor at the club?

also- this score will haunt your dreams..

The Stöned Age (1994)

4/4 stars
even in the 70’s, “she has a great personality” was trite, and never said in a non-sarcastic way..

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Spencer Tracy

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

5/10

uh, i get why the screenplay wants the warden to be vindicated, but it’s worth asking the question– how is the warden vindicated, when Spencer Tracy committed a murder? yeah he came back, but he committed a fucking murder while he was out..
spencer tracy: “you’d think you were travelling with a cripple or an interior decorator” “interior decorator” was the socially acceptable 30’s speak for “fag”
this could be a meme:

Myrna Loy: “don’t think i’m trying to whitewash myself.. there aren’t any halos lying around that will fit me..”

Whipsaw (1935)

5/10

this is average.. the only thing noteworthy is (SPOILER) the final shootout, for several reasons:

(1) spencer tracy starts firing on these fools from point blank, aiming at the waist down. was this on purpose? were they allowed to show attempted homicide?

(2) when the cops arrive to break up the shootout, these are some laid-back cops- they don’t come in guns blazing.. the cop just pretty much yells at a man in an active shooter situation, and the guy gives up and stops shooting..

couple of weird things in the fish-slapping incident in the diner:

(1) this white guy calls the whitest-looking guy u can imagine a “chinaman”.. wtf?

(2) there was one way to play drunk in the 30’s- over the top while hiccuping.. i counted at least 3 drunkards, and they all have the same act..

Me and My Gal (1932)

5/10

so even in 1932, they were unsure about whether coffee is good for you or not.. today, with the internet at our fingertips, you can still google enough “coffee is good for you” and “coffee is bad for you” articles where you will hear convincing arguments from both sides, and you won’t know what to believe.. if you read enough conflicting articles, u won’t know which way is up:

Spencer Tracy: “u want a cup of coffee, captain?”

Captain: “no thanks, never use it- coffee’s bad for you”

partner: “coffee’s bad for you”

Spencer Tracy: “coffee’s bad for you”

Captain: “get all the rest you can.. and whatever you do, lay off the coffee.”

Spencer Tracy: “alright, cap. hey, al, get me a cup of coffee”

Spencer Tracy: “you oughtta remeber that you’re a married woman, and married women don’t cheat.. much..”
Spencer Tracy: “one guy threw his shoe at me but forgot to take his foot out of it”

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Peter Lorre

Mad Love (1935)

6/10

“Gogol- nasty, foreign-sounding name”and it’s pronounced almost like Google.. being xenophobic was the punchline back then..
Some cheeky 30’s:

Ted Healy: “Gin for executions, beer for birthdays, wine for weddings, and champagne (muah), champagne!

p2: “for what?”

Ted Healy: “you ask that and you’re a frenchman?”

while we’re on the topic of Ted Healy, he has a Harrison Ford quality about his face and his mannerisms.. at times it’s uncanny (like his posture), and he seems like harrison ford’s dad or something..
this is decently good for 1935 horror..

Crime and Punishment (1935)

5/10

The time of our story is any time, the place any place where human hearts respond to love and hate, pity and terror.
oh lord:

inspector: “you beat your wife often?”

p2: “no, about once a week”

wow, this is a smiling, fun-loving (albeit serial killer) version of peter lorre which i haven’t seen before..
inspector: “they say every great man owes his genius to his mother””
re: his cigs, the inspector says “i burn 30-40 of these a day”.. so he’s on a 2-pack a day habit..

I’ll Give a Million (1938)

5/10

The South of France
lol @ the town getting overrun by vagrants.. it would so happen like this..

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Marlene Dietrich / Dir: Josef von Sternberg

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

5/10
About two centuries ago, in a corner of the Kingdom of Prussia, lived a little princess — chosen by destiny to become the greatest Monarch of her time — Tsarina of all the Russias — the ill-famed Messaline of the North.

Suddenly like a swift storm appeared the messenger of Russia — a vast empire that had built its foundations on ignorance, violence, fear and oppression.

On March the fifteenth, 1744, Princess Sophia Frederica departed for Russia, full of innocent dreams for the future, and completely unaware of the fate which was to transform her into the most famous woman of her day.

From the very start the journey proceeded at a rapid pace set by the envoy, who had orders to kill all his horses, if necessary, to catapult his charge into the impatient arms of Russia.

After weeks of hard riding the Russian border was reached, where the populace hid behind closed shutters — out of the way of the feared Cossacks, who with reckless fury protected their nobles from even a glance of the enslaved people.

Across a huge soft carpet of snow the journey continued, while age-old bells related the message along anxiously waiting villages that new blood was being carried to the Krelin to temper the madness of the holy Russian dynasty.

With all her ideas of romance outraged, Sophia Frederica was thrust into the Russian cauldron, her name altered, her riligion changed, and pushed like a brood mare into the preparations for her marriage to a royal half-wit.

With all of Russia’s bells pealing, the marriage took place in the old Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the central seat of the then so powerful Eastern Church.

And thus Catherine took the first innocent step to become Russia’s most powerful and most sinister Empress, while the machine of the marriage went on.

And throughout the vast night that blanketed Russia arose the hum of its people praying for an heir to the throne.

With the carefree spirint of youth Catherine now began a joyous existence, unconcerned with the problem of being, next to the Empress, the most important woman in Russia.

The second step forward in a great career had begun. Firmly entrenched in her position by now being the mother of a future Tsar, Catherine discarded her youthful ideals and turned to the ambitious pursuit of power.

In rainy weather it was the custom of the imbecilic Grand Duke to exercise his Hessian troops indoors.

And while His Imperial Majesty Peter III terrorized Russia, Catherine coolly added the army to her list of conquests.

The historic banquet, which was the last to be shared by Peter and Catherine, began with the traditional collection of alms for the poor.

HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY PETER III TSAR BY DIVINE RIGHT, INFORMS THE PEOPLE OF RUSSIA THAT THE CONDITION OF HIS CONSORT, CATHERINE IS VERY SERIOUS, HIS SUBJECTS ARE REQUESTED TO PRAY FOR HER.

Dishonored (1931)

5/10
1915 … A ring of steel encircles Vienna … Strange figures emerge from the dust of the falling Austrian Empire.
One of these, listed in the secret files of the War Office as X-27, might have become the greatest spy in history … if X-27 had not been a woman.

Josef von Sternberg is one of the only directors of this time consistently making films with a female lead..

“you’re not gonna turn me over because of a kiss” — ohh, if he only knew..

Victor McLaglen with a sweet parting line: “hope you’re on my side next war!”

Marlene Dietrich, on hearing her treason accusation: “i suppose i’m not much good, that’s all”

Shanghai Express (1932)
4/10
this sucks..

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Marlene Dietrich / Dir: Josef von Sternberg

Blonde Venus (1932)

8/10

there are a ton of good actors, early in their careers- cary grant, herbert marshall, etc.. very fucking cool to see them all in a good film..
oh wow, here we get an inside look at the dirty pre-harvey world of seedy hollywood skeeviness:

agent: “get up and walk around a bit”

(he takes a long thirsty look at her ass and them thighs in that coat)

agent: “let’s see what you got”

Marlene Dietrich: “what i’ve got?”

agent: “let’s see your legs”

(she shows her legs)

Marlene Dietrich: “is that enough?”

agent: “for the time being..”

Marlene Dietrich not giving a fuck:

Rita La Roy: “my name’s ‘Taxi Belle Hooper'”

Marlene Dietrich: “do you charge for the first mile?”

holy shit- that is fucking cold-blooded!

what’s interesting about the show where dietrich emerges from the gorilla suit, is that it’s an entertaining show.. if someone put that show on live today, people would be interested in watching it.. except for the abhorrently racist background dancers..
wow, listen to the incredible screenwiriting here, and you really need to see how cary grant delivered them, masterful:

Marlene Dietrich: “what do u expect for all this?”

cary grant: “nothing.. i like you, that’s all.. and i think you’ve got a swell kid.. and i’m trying to help you both out of a tight spot.. there’s no use trying to fool myself, or you helen.. i’m crazy about you.. and i want u to like me too if u can”

Marlene Dietrich: “you’re making it difficult for me not to”

more exceptional screenwriting.. it’s easy to see how this has achieved cult status, despite it’s 1932 release date- it’s aged decently well.. here we see that Marlene Dietrich has mastered the art of “Power Talk” and plausible deniability:

cary grant: “anything the matter?”

Marlene Dietrich: “he’s coming back”

cary grant: “when?”

Marlene Dietrich: “in about a month”

cary grant: “completely cured?”

Marlene Dietrich: “yes, he’s swell now”

cary grant: “what are u gonna do?”

Marlene Dietrich: “go back to him”

cary grant: “do u want to?”

Marlene Dietrich: “he’s my husband”

cary grant: i see, u wanna tell him about me?

Marlene Dietrich: “no”

cary grant: “do u still love him?”

Marlene Dietrich: “he needs me”

cary grant: “so do i, helen”

Marlene Dietrich: “not the way he does.. you’re strong nick, he’s not”

this is extraordinarily well-written.. this exchange would still work today:

cary grant: “can’t stay in the same city without seeing you”

Marlene Dietrich: “how long will you be gone?”

cary grant: “oh i dunno, a year, a couple years– til i forget you”

Marlene Dietrich: “i wish i was someone else, then i could stay here with you forever”

finally, here we have a legit 8/10, and from fucking 1932 no less.. this is the highest rating i’ve given a film in weeks.. i was beginning to think it wasn’t possible to get an 8/10 from this time period outside of hitchcock or howard hawks or someone of that level..
is herbert marshall really that stupid, even in 1932, to expect that this mom would just hand her kid over to him? lol..
wow, very nice long take by director Josef von Sternberg when Marlene Dietrich gives the old lady the money..
i give it 8/10 for the great writing, slick acting (marlene dietrich and young cary grant in particular), and Josef von Sternberg’s directing..

Morocco (1930)

7/10

Gary Cooper: “anyone who has faith in me is a sucker”
funny scene where the colonel forgets what he just said- people today definitely still do this..
this is another one that is quite good- not as good as “Blonde Venus (1932)”, but good as hell for 1930.. here again, we see Josef von Sternberg taking top shelf american actors (Gary Cooper/Herbert Marshall/Cary Grant) and giving them a thoughtful, well-written screenplay, and elite direction..
this is the kind of film that’s just not made anymore- who is making a story like “Morocco (1930)” today?

The Blue Angel (1930)

5/10

lol @ the professor trying to teach these germans to say “the” instead of “ze”
lol @ the porn of this time- playing cards where the skirt was made out of real material (much like baseball cards with a piece of the jersey on the card).. so this idiot blows on the “skirt” and it lifts up slightly to reveal her upper thighs– and that was as good as it got back then.. if u had one of these dirty cards, u were golden.. dudes were stroking strictly from memory, like savages..
with all these cheeky shots of skirts/lingerie/corsets riding up too high, the way it’s shot suggests that showing thigh that high up was very naughty in 1930.. whereas today, you’re a few keystrokes away from pictures of girls spreading their pussy open like this is a pap smear..
lol that their version of hazing involved pinning him down and smacking his ass repeatedly.. that shit would hurt after a while LOL

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Margaret Lockwood / Dir: Carol Reed

Midshipman Easy (1935)

5/10

jesus man- again the 30’s with total disregard for brain health.. this kid gets knocked out, and is out for at least half a minute.. then they force him to get up (while clearly confused from the concussion), and they send him out to the deck to work like this..
WARNING:”i should like to argue that point!” — good god, parents please don’t ever let your kid watch this movie- if your child starts telling you “i should like to argue that point!”, you will definitely be committing suicide by hanging yourself..
“equality and trust are the basis of cooperation”

Bank Holiday (1938)

6/10

wait a second- there’s 2 options (1) ROOM- Two Persons, Double Bed 12/6 (2) Two Persons, Double Bed with Bathroom 18/6– so there were rooms without bathrooms???? can u imagine? there was probably a communal bathroom for everyone to use, like a dorm LOL..
listen to this bad little bitch, margaret lockwood, running some serious game on this dork in 1938:”jeff, you haven’t yet told me when you’ve stayed in a big hotel before– are you sure it wasn’t with some girl i haven’t heard about?”
again we have a relatively normal-seeming movie, then the fact that it’s 1938 jumps up and bites us in the ass- trying to check into a hotel as a couple without being married cannot be done, and it turns into a sherlock holmes detective show with the front clerk checking the baggage to make sure the initials match.. *eye roll @ the 30’s*
LOL @ when she tries that strong ass cocktail, and immediately approves “yes, we’ll have some of that!”.. i immediately think of someone snorting a line in 2018 and being like “yezzir”
holy shit- the bartender pours her like a quarter bottle of whiskey..
listen to this old-school bitch game:”a girl should never let a man know she cares for him until after the match- it cheapens it”
due to the supporting nature of her role in tonight’s “Midshipman Easy (1935)”, i couldn’t tell what a great actress margaret lockwood was.. with more lines in this, she really shows us a wide range.. she does an incredible job in this, with some highly complex and subtle lines, and she crushes all of it.. very well done.. in comparison, John Lodge looks like a weasely dork with zero charisma..
the patient sargeant Wilfrid Lawson:

margaret lockwood: “look, i’ve got to get to London”

Wilfrid Lawson: “alright, alright, it won’t run away”

and while we’re on the topic of Wilfrid Lawson, who is this guy? he’s a really good actor- the scene where he’s on the phone while questioning margaret lockwood is acting brilliance- look how naturally everything is, and how tight the writing is to reflect a real conversation..
this started slow, and it’s getting quite good near the end here.. but it’s too little too late to elevate this past slightly above average..

A Girl Must Live (1939)

5/10

ha, these chicks were cunty as fuck to each other:

margaret lockwood: “i thought that if she started in the chorus, that perhaps you’d be able to-“

Renee Houston: “-shut up, you, i’m in a hurry!”

and again, Renee Houston going hard in the paint:

girl: “you met an Earl?”

Renee Houston: “yes, and i’m the first white woman he’s seen in 7 years”

girl: “what did he do? catch the next boat back?”

Renee Houston: “i wouldn’t advise you to make remarks like that.. one of these days i might be lady Pangram”

girl: “you might.. but as the girl in ‘Pigmalion’ said, “it’s not very likely””

Renee Houston: “you’ll never be a lady of any sort- you common little twerp”

SHOTS FIRED!!!

damn, Renee Houston getting off another cold-blooded one-liner:

Renee Houston: “the parties over and it’s getting rather late”

girl: “oh time doesn’t worry me”

Renee Houston: “oh, don’t u believe her, Lord P, she’s just been telling me how these late nights make her look her age”

this isn’t as good as “Bank Holiday (1938)”, which wasn’t that great to begin with.. i chose this cornetto based on Carol Reed (director of “The Third Man (1949)”, which i liked a lot)