Archive for Simon Simon

Return of the Kings

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2020 by dcairns

New edition of Forgotten By Fox over here! Looking at Fox’s remakes of silent classics: DANTE’S INFERNO gets a look in, just so I can post video of the hell sequence which is mind-blowing, and then we’re on to Henry King’s talkies of Borzage’s SEVENTH HEAVEN and Griffith’s WAY DOWN EAST, which also get clips to give you an idea. Some of Simone Simon’s close-ups in the former may take the sting out of quarantine for those indoors.

WAY DOWN EAST stars Tom Joad; Jessie Pullman; Irving Pincus: the Wicked Witch of the West; Pa Joad; Link Appleyard; Penny Sycamore; Susan Paine; Aunt Milly; Whitey; Mr. Herman Shimelplatzer; Mrs. Carol Stark; Mary Todd Lincoln; and Michaela Villegas.

SEVENTH HEAVEN stars Irena Dubrovna Reed; John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson; Dr. Paul Christian; Max Fabian; Mrs. Manette; Miser Stevens; ‘Pap’ Finn; ‘Concentration Camp’ Ehrhardt; Frau Berndl; Napoleon Bonaparte; Malita; Lo Tinto; and Dr. Leonardo.

Coming Soon…

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by dcairns

devil d webster

FILM CLUB wants you! After lengthy and mostly sober consideration, I’ve elected to start our experiment in internet confluence, Film Club, off with Arthur’s suggestion, THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (AKA ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY), a William Dieterle classic from 1941.

Shadowplay requires that every man and woman in the land(s) shall watch along and report their findings next Monday when I blog about the movie. I’m hoping to snap the internet clean in two with the weight of insights generated.

I would be deee-lighted if those of you who haven’t seen the movie bought copies forthwith, pocket money allowing. You won’t regret it, I can guarantee that much. The movie is available from Masters of Cinema in the UK and Criterion in the US: trot along to Amazon and nab a copy now!

(For serious cheapskates, the movie is also on YouTube — but what I suggest you do is, watch the first ten minutes, realize you’re in the presence of greatness, and shell out the necessary simoleons to own your own pristine Digital Versatile Disc of said movie meisterwerk.

Following hard on the heels of CITIZEN KANE, Dieterle’s film employs some of the same German Expressionist tropes, only more German. Editor Robert Wise and compose Bernard Herrmann came fresh from KANE to this one, and I think BH’s score may be his best ever. My scratchy old vinyl recording of it attests to my love of its exuberant oomph.

Cast — Walter Huston — regular readers will know how much I deplore hyperbole, but truly, Mr. Huston is arguably the world’s greatest thing. Edward Arnold — the man has a certain way about him — when he scrunches up his face like an adorable puppy it does kind of make me want to hide behind the curtains, but he’s good. And Simone Simon, being unspeakably French. Nobody has ever been this French, honestly. She makes Maurice Chevalier look Swedish.

Story — an American retelling of Faust. But not like THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, I promise.

Look —

OK, so it’s not a great trailer. The film died. Like a dog. I think people are put off by that kind of “a story so captivating in its winsome uniqueness –” baloney. What we’re talking about is a gripping slice of Cinema Fantastique. You will thrill.

So, a week from now?