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telegonus (642)


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Police Stations Etc. Back To The Original Series Revisiting Frankenstein Starting Up Again Any Thoughts On Why There Aren't More Serious Posters Here? One Vicious Movie The 7th Is Made Up Of Phantoms View all posts >


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Sounds about right to me. I love both films.Each is great in its own way, different from the other. The 1933 original is more lush, stunning to look at, it would have made a big splash if it had been a silent film; while the remake, from exactly twenty years later, relied heavily on the 3D "gimmickry" (as it were), which was a huge selling point at the time, yet was to fall out of favor in a in a couple of years. In this case the color is also a huge asset, though it's full three strip Technicolor, which came in about two years after Wax Museum33, and was a point in its favor, too, as color was still somewhat restricted to big budget films and westerns. The later version was somewhat more realistic looking, was made with less "flamboyance" than the original, though it's handsome to look at all the same. I find the writing somewhat better in the remake; and the characterizations are more modern, as it's not truly Expressionistic,while the first version creates more "its own special world", and stays in that world. House actually made an attempt to create a realistic picture of early 20th century New York City, and makes a handsome job of it. There's also a stronger emotional quality to this one, with Vincent Price's character's decline in the course of its story sympathetic, while in the first picture Lionel Atwill's fall felt way more diabolical. I have watched it occasionally, and it plays well and realistically. This A.M. I watched [i]No Margin For Error[/i], which I think was either a condensed version of three episodes or a TV movie. Whatever it was I found it intense and exciting. The acting was off the charts. Brilliant story, it wasn't gimmicky like the later Hill St. Blues, which I also watch on the H&I channel.It wasn't like any other police series I've ever seen. Different, steady, the emotions are strong, and scenes sizzle with feeling: rage, guilt, regret and love. It's all there. I think it's one of the other top contenders for best in its field, along with The Naked City and Hill Street Blues being the other two.The three hour show I just saw was a riveting experience. I was deeply touched at times, never felt manipulated. It was never preachy or pc; nor was it good clean family entertainment even though it played by the rules of 1970s television. A near masterpiece for the kind of show it is. I watched the movie and loved it as usual; alas, I and (apparently) all those who watched it missed the naked Louise Albritton. Queen Zimba had less screen time than I remembered from previous viewings. Overall, enjoyable, beautifully made, with an intelligent script and superb direction. Also, the show's star, Sven himself, played fair with the viewer for the most part. Not that I mind his humorous asides,--I like them--and yet his attitude felt more respectful (toward the movie he was presenting) than usual. Some good stuff here, EC, and all of it true or close enough. I certainly agree that Edgar Buchanan's vocal style better suited him to comedic or semi-comedic roles. He appeared in more serious parts early on, yet as the years went by Hollywood recognized the actor's "funny bone". (I see a similar "development" in Chill Wills, but from the other end of the telescope, as he continued in his folksy vein now again right to the end of his career, yet he was downright frightening as a cowboy type, and near diabolical seeming in the Hitchcock half-hour about a voluble boy taking a long distance train ride with his parents in what turns out to be snowstorm, and the consequence on what he should do when he sees a desperate man outside trapped in the snow, ponders what to do about it; the right thing or the selfish one. Wills was even more sinister in a Night Gallery revolving around how Wills behaves around ex-doctor Burgess Meredith and the contents of his black bag.) As to Hitch and other "rustic" players, I believe that Royal Dano was a classically trained stage actor who bore a resemblance to Abraham Lincoln somewhat, and had an "Old American" look about him whether Revolutionary War period, the western frontier, clipper ship, whaling vessel or New England farm. Dano was classy and quite versatile, and he had range; could play preacher, teacher or town marshal. I can't see him as California Charlie, but he'd have made a fine Al Chambers, and a decent Mr. Lowrey for Psycho. Any number of fine actresses could have played Mrs Chambers, though Lurene Tuttle got it, Jeanette Nolan or Ellen Corby have have done it well. As to Arbogast, Martin Balsam made the part his own. Nor am I sure that his short stature reduced his "formidability" . Short though he was, he was stocky, not slight framed. In a fight with George Reeves he could have given the much larger man a run for his money; and I can seeing him easily handling Tony Perkins. But a mad Perkins rushing down staircase with a knife, the quick head wound, the shock killed him; and it would have killed Reeves just as easily. No,--or yes, EC--I agree that George Reeves would have been a poor casting choice for Arbogast in 1958-59,--but who knows?--if Hitch had considered him, and Reeves was "brushing up on his Shakespeare", this might have energized him, given him a new lease on life even as the role itself might seem like a "career killer" in most other respects. Though for the record, Reeves would be dressed like Clark Kent, not Mr. Supes, so it's not like Our Favorite Superhero's gonna go down those stairs in tights. Another problem here (of many) is director Hitchcock's aversion to actors who don't have prestigious credentials, even if it's primarily radio. He seldom used veteran cowboy actors (let alone stars) in his films. Where are the Hitch features with good supporting roles for Walter Brennan, Arthur Hunnicutt, Lee Van Cleef and Pat Buttram? I remember Sometime western player Rod Cameron in a Hitch half-hour (The Man Who Found The Money) but how many others like him are there? I recall seeing "sometime" western players like Brian Keith and Robert Bray in occasional TV Hitch episodes, but who else? In this, Psycho was a classy production, with John McIntire as the local lawman, not Jon Lormer. Used car dealer John Anderson was inspired in Psycho. Now let's try to imagine Edgar Buchanan,--who could be inspired when playing a frontier con-man--playing California Charlie. If they hadn't used Simon Oakland as the shrink I can see Hitchcock vet Macdonald Carey doing nicely in the same role, albeit in a different key. I like Betty Thomas's character, the way she plays it; her empathy, caring and professionalism; thus she's on the side of the angels so far as I'm concerned. Her light hair and stature are appealing to me. It's the way it is. A beauty? Babe? My type? No. But I really like her as an actress, and I like Lucy, so in this she's my kind of gal on Hill Street. I also love that frog. And he's a big fella, too. It's a surreal sound and image, and not in a funny way. In the context of the series as a whole that croaking frog could be Richard Kimble's familiar. A nice, almost brilliant touch from the first season. A feature film for Hill Street would have been nice; and it might have worked. Big Problem: they'd need talent as first rate as the TV series had, and from start to finish. No, not an over-hyped big screen reboot like the MI films; or feature film sequels like Star Trek TNG. No, the real HSB, same deal, different medium. A feature film now. There'd be problems, problems, problems. Put more emphasis on Calletano? Build up Lucy? More for Lindsay Crouse to do? Money issues would hurt things. Travanti, if he deigned to appear in such a movie series, might get twice the money as Haid, Weitz and Franz; and then what? Could all this have been ironed out? It would have taken an heroic effort. I'd say yes, but with great difficulty. If a feature or two succeeded, maybe some AWOL players and writers would return. Stranger things have happened. It worked for me. The final episode, I mean. Maybe a modern Shakespeare could could have written the perfect closure for Hill Street, but neither he nor anyone with near his talent was available. Yet I wouldn't call that final episode "meh" or journeyman: the beat went on. Sort of; and that's just like life. The chief had it coming. Buntz deserved another chance. There were a lot of loose ends. Why should we expect the worst for the "ends" we're most familiar with? A Hill Street station house wouldn't be Hill Street if they let Buntz get taken out. I can see every single person, including non Buntz lovers, coming to his defense; saying, in effect, if he goes, we go. It would have been, from a realistic perspective nearly unbelievable, yet first rate TV series have been "saved", or characters in them, by unlikelier approaches. Logical response to all this: things like this don't happen in real life. Only on TV. Okay, on Hill Steet they could have pulled it off, thanks to its strong fanbase. Nah, the ending they did wasn't so bad. A lot of the much older guys survived. I mean literally, as characters, not on the Hill Street that didn't get another season. It's not like Tierney and Prosky got gunned down by teen hoods outside a diner somewhere. It didn't feel bad to me. Over, yes. That was sad, but it didn't suck. What sucked was that the Hill Street Blues we came to love was ending. Damn! I just saw the one with Maude Eburne and the Great Dane, and this (and other short sequences) add to the picture's length; and they add to the movie overall. It's a creaky old movie, but it has the goods, and it delivers them; and It's likely to ever acquire classic status. A fine sample of early sound horror View all replies >