Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to In The Balcony. We hope you enjoy your visit.

You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free. Plus, you'll be eligible for the monthly $1 million prize. (Not really.)

Join our community!

If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Greene Screening
Topic Started: Mar 11 2018, 03:09 PM (218 Views)
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
Posted Image

I've picked up again a book called The Pleasure Dome, a collected set of film criticism by Graham Green, 1935-1940. A fun, breezy read; he rarely devotes more than a paragraph to most films, and - early on, at least - covers four to six films in his brief reviews. In the introduction, he admits being slow to accept both talkies and Technicolor, and admits that then as now he finds Hitchcock's films an "irritating" collection of small moments and tricks that go nowhere. He talks a bit about working with David O. Selznick (who drove him insane), too. And then on to the reviews: in a nutshell over the first 20 pages, he hated Bride of Frankenstein(!), which he thought badly acted and not scary in the least, and quotes Colin Clive this way: "'This heart won't do,' he says to a rather scruffy fag, 'fetch me another.'"

Greene does like Hands of Orlac, though, and gives a surprising strong rave to something called The Trunk Mystery, which turns out to be One New York Night with Franchot Tone and Una Merkel. He dismisses The Memory Expert (which we know and love as Man on the Flying Trapeze) as a "slow, worthy comedy," praises Star of Midnight more than it deserves, and seems to enjoy documentaries more than most people.

A fun, breezy read, even I don't much agree with 'im.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
To the limited extent I've read his reviews, he and I were never on the same page (and neither of us has won a Nobel Prize.)

But he was better than Mordaunt Hall, Bosley Crowther, and Pauline Kael.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
mort bakaprevski
Member Avatar
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
Yeah, but what about Penelope???
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
Online Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
If you want a serious answer (and I'm sure you don't), I'm actually OK with Penelope and Renata (anyone who hates The Green Berets is fine by me), and all those types of the time. They had their manic depressive moments, but that what was going on then, right?

IMO Graham Greene belongs to an era that valued the printed word above moving images, while ignoring that they are two different means of communication.

I still find the best critic to be that dazzling trio: me, myself, and I.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Fantomas
Member Avatar
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
Time to reprint Greene's most famous (infamous?) review--of Shirley Temple in Wee Willie Winkie. It got him and the magazine that published it sued for libel in Britain by 20th Century Fox. Fox won a judgment, the magazine folded, and Greene ran off to Mexico for a few months to avoid paying the fine. While there, he was inspired to write The Power and the Glory--so some good came out of it, after all.
Here it is:

"The owners of a child star are like leaseholders--their property diminishes in value every year. Time's chariot is at their backs: before them acres of anonymity. What is Jackie Coogan now but a matrimonial squabble? Miss Shirley Temple's case, though, has peculiar interest: infancy with her is a disguise, her appeal is more secret and more adult. Already two years ago she was a fancy little piece--real childhood, I think, went out after The Littlest Rebel. In Captain January she wore trousers with the mature suggestiveness of a Dietrich: her neat and well-developed rump twisted in the tap-dance: her eyes had a sidelong searching coquetry. Now in Wee Willie Winkie, wearing short kilts, she is a complete totsy. Watch her swaggering stride across the Indian barrack-square: hear the gasp of excited expectation from her antique audience when the sergeant's palm is raised: watch the way she measures a man with agile studio eyes, with dimpled depravity. Adult emotions of love and grief glissade across the mask of childhood, a childhood skin-deep.
It is clever but it cannot last. Her admirers--middle aged men and clergymen--respond to her dubious coquetry, to the sight of her well-shaped and desirable little body, packed with enormous vitality, only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire. "Why are you making my Mummy cry?"--what could be purer than that? And the scene when dressed in a white nightdress she begs grandpa to take Mummy to a dance--what could be more virginal? On those lines in her new picture, made by John Ford, who directed The Informer, is horrifyingly competent. It isn't hard to stay to the last prattle and the last sob. The story--about an Afghan robber converted by Wee Willie Winkie to the British Raj--is a long way after Kipling. But we needn't be sour about that. Both stories are awful, but on the whole Hollywood's is the better."
Edited by Fantomas, Mar 12 2018, 09:14 PM.
"For life is short, but death is long."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
This week's reviews included Love Me Forever (1935): Greene says that Leo Carillo gives "one of the three finest performances of the year," ranking him with Charles Laughton in Ruggles of Red Gap and Richard Barthelmess in Four Hours to Kill. He raved about, of all things, The Black Room, and applauded the opportunity that Boris Karloff had to act instead of just grunt. He liked Anna Karenina well enough and noted that no movie has ever been made big enough for Garbo's presence. He also very much liked The Informer and appreciated A Midsummer Night's Dream.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
« Previous Topic · Matinee Memories · Next Topic »
Add Reply