Sunday, September 22, 2013
Phil Goes Hollywood: Phil attends CINECON 49: Day Four at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre-September 1, 2013
TURKISH HOWLS (1927): Also known as Wisecrackers #2: Turkish Howls, the short takes place at a hotel where they are visited by a Royal Turkish King. However, they staff finds that the king is an impostor and they help the real king take his rightful place on his throne. This was part two of the Wisecrackers series from the Film Booking Offices of America and was released on February 13, 1927.
EVE'S LEAVES (1926): Now here's a cute and funny silent film! Eve Corbin (Leatrice Joy) is a young girl who was raised by her father as a boy who then finally discovers that she's a girl when she falls in love with a man named Bill Stanley (William Boyd). But when Eve's father's boat is taken over by the ruthless Chang Fang (Walter Long) and his crew, it's up to Eve and Bill to regain the ship and save the day.
Director Paul Sloane does a great job of balancing the comedy with the action. Boyd is great as our hero, but Joy is the star here and she steals every scene that she's in. Outstanding comedic timing and just an all around great actress! Yet another film by DeMille Pictures Corporation, it was released to theaters on June 13, 1926.
SUTTER'S GOLD (1936): This supposed biopic tells the life of the one and only Californian pioneer John Sutter (portrayed by Edward Arnold). It chronicles his entire adult life: from leaving his family in Switzerland (which bugs me that he never had an accent) to his conquering of California and the discovery of gold, thus ushering the Gold Rush.
The film ran waaaaay too long, the script was underdeveloped and the filmmakers to liberty with Suter's story. This was the most expensive film that Universal Pictures made up until that time (a whopping $2 million dollars), and it completely bombed at the box office. It was because of this financial disaster that founder and president Carl Laemmle and his family were booted off the lot forever. The film was originally released on March 1, 1936.
After an hour and a half lunch break, the festival continued with...
A THRILLING ROMANCE (1926): A silent two-reeler short is about an aspiring writer (Wanda Wiley) who chases after a couple of thieves who stole her purse, which sets off a chain reaction of comedic yet thrilling situations! A fun short film to watch! It was released by Century Film on July 14, 1926.
OH MARY, BE CAREFUL (1921): This film should've been called OH MARY STOP BEING A FLIRT! Mary Meacham (Madge Kennedy) is a college student who flirts with every single man in town. Seriously, she does! She lives with her man hating aunt Miss Myra, who has these weird test to see if a man is worthy of marriage. Well, Mary meets a handsome young tree surgeon named Morgan Smith (George Forth). She puts him thru some tests, and then tells her auntie that he's the one she wants to marry.
According to the Cinecon program, actress Madge Kennedy only made 27 silent films and only a handful survive, with this being one of them. Now supposedly that the film was made a number of years prior to 1921. It was produced by Goldwyn Pictures and released by the Pioneer Film Company on September 1, 1921.
APRIL LOVE (1957): Chicago troubled youth Nick Conover (Pat Boone) is sent by his mother to live with his Aunt Henrietta Bruce (Jeanette Nolan) and Uncle Jed Bruce (Arthur O'Connell) on their horse farm in Kentucky. Soon Nick meets the neighbors, the Templetons, and their younger daughter Liz (Shirley Jones), who takes a liking to Nick right from the get go. However he has his eyes on her older sister Fran (Dolores Michaels), but she has a boyfriend already. The four of them spend time together, eventually leading Nick to the charms of Liz, especially she coaches him in the big horse race at the country fair.
Filmed in color and full of singing and dancing, this was one of my favorite films of the festival. Boone was great, but Jones was just amazing! She sang well but she was quite a looker back then! OK she was cute and hot at the same time! But the movie was a real joy to watch! Unfortunately it's not on Blu-ray or DVD yet! Boo! After the screening, both Boone and Shirley participated in a fun and informative Q&A! Afterwards Shirley Jones was signing copies of her book in the theatre lobby! And in case you were wondering, of course I bought a copy!
After a hour dinner break, it was back to the theatre to see...
BOTTOMS UP (1934): The film's about a promoter named 'Smoothie' King (Spencer Tracy) who helps a Hollywood extra actress Wanda Gale (Pat Paterson) con her way into a movie company and soon towards stardom with the help of his "associates" as well: Spud Mosco aka Reginald Morris (Sid Silvers) and Limey Brook aka Lord Brocklehurst (Herbert Mundin). However, she begins to turn away from Smoothie as she falls in love with her leading man Hal Reed (John Boles).
Spencer Tracy was the man. He really was one terrific actor. Here, we kinda see a softer side to him, as he portrays Smoothie with sympathy and love for Wanda. But he still talks a mile a minute, and he still sounds like a gangster, but he just commands your attention when he's up on the screen. And the film itself was a hoot to watch. Really enjoyed this film, which ran for just under a hour and a half. It was released by the Fox Film Corporation on April 13, 1934.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (1956): This Fox musical is about two songwriters Buddy De Sylva (Gordon MacRae) and Lew Brown (Ernest Borgnine) who are joined by piano player Ray Henderson (Dan Dailey) to form a successful musical show writing team. With their friend and sometime leading Kitty Kane (Sheree North), the team goes from Broadway to Hollywood. But when Buddy begins to follow his personal ambitions, they rest of the guys feels left out and soon it looks like the end for this amazing songwriting team.
I found the film overall to be entertaining, but it went on a bit too long, but then again, that was the way films were made back then. Studios were going against television, so to lure people away from their sets, they offered them lavish movies with amazing dance numbers and cool soundtracks. This being a product from that time, it reflects those ingredients. The acting was great, the music okay, but I felt the script could've been more tighter. Now the film would go on ti receive an Oscar nomination and also turned a profit, despite its mixed reviews from critics. The film was released by 20th Century Fox on September 28, 1956.
There was another film screened at 10:50pm, but I was so tired that I headed back to Mo's place. But overall, I saw some amazing and wonderful films! They sure knew how to make them back then! I still had more films to see on Monday, so come back for those! To learn more about the Cinecon Film Festival, visit their website at www.cinecon.org.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!