Talking Rare & Lost Films

AND OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT

Talking Rare & Lost Films Rare & Collectible DVDs & Movies

Hello my fellow film lovers. Rare and Collectible DVDs as the name suggests is all about those films that are not mainstream, that have been lost, or forgotten or you have just not heard about.

We are all different as to why a film appeals to us but some films are universally recognized as having that certain something that sets them apart. I am not a film critic but merely someone who watchers a film and either likes it or doesn’t so it’s more about the storyline. Sometimes the direction can be a bit average, or the actors are miss cast but if the plot is good and well written then that s good enough for me.

The first film I would like highlight is also one of my favourites (strange about that).

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is in my opinion one of the best films made on Pearl Harbor. It starts with looking into a peacetime army not ready for war and preocupied with social events that begin to have inevidable and eventual tragic consequences.

“It’s 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, ‘Prew’ is adamant that he doesn’t box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain’s wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew’s friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant ‘Fatso’ Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance.”

The actual attack on Pearl Harbor is brilliantly filmed and captures the panic and confusion that undoubtably happened. The ending where Karen Holmes and Lorene are being repatriated by ship back to USA  sums up the reality that America is now at war and life has changed forever.

The acting by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine is outstanding and what makes this film the great film it is.

The last comment on this film is the famous beach scene between Kerr and Lancaster. When this film was made in 1953 it had the censors in meltdown. By today’s standard it would not raise an eyebrow but in 1953 it was risque.

TRIVIA : Montgomery Clift threw himself into the character of Prewitt, learning to play the bugle (even though he knew he’d be dubbed) and taking boxing lessons. Fred Zinnemann said, “Clift forced the other actors to be much better than they really were. That’s the only way I can put it. He got performances from the other actors, he got reactions from the other actors that were totally genuine.”

Burt Lancaster was so nervous about acting alongside Montgomery Clift that he was physically shaking in their first scene together.

Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and author James Jones were very close during the filming, frequently embarking on monumental drinking binges. Clift coached Sinatra on how to play Maggio during their more sober moments, for which Sinatra was eternally grateful.

The MPAA banned photos of the famous Burt LancasterDeborah Kerr passionate kiss on the beach for being too erotic. Many prints had shortened versions of the scene because projectionists would cut out frames to keep as souvenirs.

The censors demanded that Deborah Kerr‘s swimsuit should feature a skirt in its design so as to not be too sexually provocative.

Talking Rare & Lost Films Rare & Collectible DVDs & Movies

THE THIRD MAN. This is truly a forgotten masterpiece of film noir. The camera work in this film is outstanding. It sets the mood and the mystery that is at the very heart of this film.

“An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has led to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime’s friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime.”

The actors in this film take this film to the next level. Of course any film that has Orson Wells in it starts with an advantage but the performances of Joseph Cotton, Trevor Howard and Alida Valli are exceptional and help set this film apart from the pack.

In keeping with sad premise of this film the ending makes perfect sense.

Without doubt besides the brilliant plot and acting one more thing that sets this film apart from others in this genre is “The Harry Lime Theme”. This one piece of music introduced the musical instrument – The Zither – to the world and no self respecting pop orchestra during the 50’s and 60’s would dare not include a cover version of this popular tune in there latest album release.

TRIVIA : During the shooting of the film, the final scene was the subject of a dispute between Graham Greene, who wanted the happy ending of the novella, and Carol Reed and David O. Selznick, who stubbornly refused to end the film on what they felt was an artificially happy note. Greene later wrote: “One of the very few major disputes between Carol Reed and myself concerned the ending, and he has been proved triumphantly right.”

Somewhat apocryphal stories abound regarding Carol Reed discovering musician Anton Karas while scouring Vienna bars and nightclubs. Reed actually heard Karas playing at a production party and insisted the Austrian zither player come to Reed’s hotel room and record songs to use for the contract. Later in production, Reed realized he wanted to use Karas’ music for the whole film and flew Karas out to London to record the score. Karas became a top-selling musician thanks to the film and opened a nightclub called “The Third Man” in Vienna, which he ran to the end of his days.

There are many oblique angles in the movie, where the camera is tilted so the horizon line is not horizontal, to give a feeling of awkwardness and uneasiness (in film theory these are called Dutch Angles). After he saw the movie, William Wyler, a friend of Carol Reed, sent him a spirit level with a note: “Carol, next time you make a picture, just put it on top of the camera, will you?”

Talking Rare & Lost Films Rare & Collectible DVDs & Movies

IRMA LA DOUCE What a forgotten Romantic Comedy Classic. It is based on the 1956 French stage musical Irma La Douce by Marguerite Monnot and Alexandre Breffort. It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards and won one for Best Scoring Of Music. Shirley MacLaine was nominated for best actress.

This was the first film I saw Jack Lemmon act it and I was a fan forever. This is a very funny film based on a hilarious plot. Naive, by the book French police officer Nester Patou, is transferred to the Red Light district. Upon witnessing what must be a brothel, he calls the station and organizes a raid, transporting all the ‘ladies’ to the jail. This unfortunately disrupts the well organized system of the police and the Pimps union. Not to mention inadvertently netting his station superior at the brothel. Fired, he goes to a bar to drink, is befriended by Irma, beats up her pimp, and finds he is now Irma’s new pimp. Nester’s doesn’t like the thought of his girl seeing other men, so comes up with a plan.

It began as a Broadway play and ran from Sep 29, 1960 to Dec 31, 1961 playing at both the Plymouth Theatre and the Alvin Theatre in New York. It quickly won the attention of Hollywood and in 1963 debuted as a film starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

Banned from TV for many years by network censors is most probably the reason this truly hilarious film fell into the forgotten basket. If you want watch a film that will give you a genuine good belly laugh this is the one for you.

TRIVIA : In order to be able to play Irma properly, Shirley MacLaine traveled to Paris to see what it was like for real Parisian prostitutes. They were eager to tell her what it was like, and very willing to answer any questions she had. When asked if she would like to “watch them in action”, she politely declined, but to her surprise they became indignant. They requested that she watch one of their weekly customers with three of the girls through a small window in the hotel door; she unwillingly obliged.

Billy Wilder loved Marilyn Monroe‘s performance in Some Like It Hot (1959) and wanted her for this role, but she died before production started.

Included among the American Film Institute’s 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is in my opinion one of the best films made on Pearl Harbor. It starts with looking into a peacetime army not ready for war and preocupied with social events that begin to have inevidable and eventual tragic consequences.

“It’s 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, ‘Prew’ is adamant that he doesn’t box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain’s wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew’s friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant ‘Fatso’ Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance.”

The actual attack on Pearl Harbor is brilliantly filmed and captures the panic and confusion that undoubtably happened. The ending where Karen Holmes and Lorene are being repatriated by ship back to USA  sums up the reality that America is now at war and life has changed forever.

The acting by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine is outstanding and what makes this film the great film it is.

The last comment on this film is the famous beach scene between Kerr and Lancaster. When this film was made in 1953 it had the censors in meltdown. By today’s standard it would not raise an eyebrow but in 1953 it was risque.

TRIVIA : Montgomery Clift threw himself into the character of Prewitt, learning to play the bugle (even though he knew he’d be dubbed) and taking boxing lessons. Fred Zinnemann said, “Clift forced the other actors to be much better than they really were. That’s the only way I can put it. He got performances from the other actors, he got reactions from the other actors that were totally genuine.”

Burt Lancaster was so nervous about acting alongside Montgomery Clift that he was physically shaking in their first scene together.

Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and author James Jones were very close during the filming, frequently embarking on monumental drinking binges. Clift coached Sinatra on how to play Maggio during their more sober moments, for which Sinatra was eternally grateful.

The MPAA banned photos of the famous Burt LancasterDeborah Kerr passionate kiss on the beach for being too erotic. Many prints had shortened versions of the scene because projectionists would cut out frames to keep as souvenirs.

The censors demanded that Deborah Kerr‘s swimsuit should feature a skirt in its design so as to not be too sexually provocative.

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