Archive for Bridge Wives

Bridge Too Far

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , on December 6, 2011 by dcairns

Late Roscoe Arbuckle. Directing under the name “William Goodrich.” I could have tormented your retinas and imaginations with WINDY RILEY GOES HOLLYWOOD, which is also late Arbuckle and furthermore late Louise Brooks — two veterans of the silent screen washed up on the shoals of the talkies, but I decided to show mercy. The thing is hugely unfunny and his direction is as wooden as her acting — here we see the true reason old movies are flammable.

But BRIDGE WIVES fascinates. Arbuckle moves the camera with some of his former facility (he was a brisk, capable filmmaker) and if the thing isn’t exactly hilarious, it’s bizarre enough to be eye-catching. The homicidal and suicidal tendencies on display are also kind of interesting, in the context of Arbuckle’s life, and the “from poverty” aesthetic works in a vaguely REEFER MADNESS kind of way. There’s enough speed to stop it choking on its own cheapness, so the lack of production values just adds an endearing patina of decay.

I also dig the very high walls ~

By this time, “Fatty” had returned to the screen as star in some two-reelers, having been forcibly retired (officially banned by the Hays Office) for almost ten years. I can’t find any evidence that his directing pseudonym, William Goodrich, had a middle intial B at any point, making it stand for “Will B Good.”

The year after BRIDGE WIVES, he died.

Buy Fatty!

The Late Show 2

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by dcairns

It continues — here’s where I’ll post links to blog posts in The Late Show: The Late Films Blogathon. This post will stay at the top, if I can figure out how to do that, with my own entries appearing — slowly — down beneath it.

Late Losey — M KLEIN, today.

Diarmid Mogg, author of my favourite movie speciality blog, The Unsung Joe, weighs in on one of Hollywood’s forgotten men, John Ince (brother of the more famous Thomas and Ralph), here. It’s an eye-opener!

For Shadowplay, David Melville continues his alphabetical survey of Mexican melodrama with LA GENERALA, the last film of Maria Felix.

Ben Alpers on MOONRISE, my favourite late Borzage — maybe my favourite Borzage.

Gareth comes up trumps with another Melville piece – UN FLIC stars Delon and is cool as ice.

Late Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle? Are you sure? Wanna make something of it?

HUGO receives tender loving care from Farran Smith Nehme, the Self-Styled Siren, who suggested the idea of this blogathon over dinner in Brooklyn. And HUGO is not only the latest film from a senior film artist, but a film about the Autumn years of a great filmmaker. Go here, at once.

At the ever-excellent Gareth’s Movie Diary, LE CERCLE ROUGE is the topic of the day — late Melville, late Bourvil, and a terrific piece.

I try to tackle one of the trickiest entries in Richard Lester’s career, his last fiction feature, whose modest virtues are forever overshadowed by an on-set tragedy — THE RETURN OF THE MUSKETEERS.

Over at the excellent Robert Donat site, Gill Fraser Lee assesses THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS, mid-period Mark Robson, but Donat’s last film, made when he was extremely ill. This is a thoughtful and deeply moving piece and I’m proud I nudged Gill towards writing it (but also a little guilty). Boy! This kind of piece makes this whole blogathon thing worthwhile.

It suddenly occurred to me, after watching and loving HUGO, to wonder about Georges Melies last film — the story of his career’s end was well known to me, but I hadn’t looked at anything from the very end of his career. So I did.

My own first entry approaches LOVE AMONG THE RUINS, a late-ish George Cukor I really enjoyed, with fine late-ish performances by Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier. Here.

Guest Shadowplayer Judy Dean looks at The Great Mastroianni’s last bow, in Manoel de Oliveira’s VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD (below).

David Ehrenstein proves that great minds think alike with THE BOY WHO TURNED YELLOW (above and here).

The ball got rolling with two late Ken Russells from the late Ken Russell, over at Brandon’s Movie Memory here and here.

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