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Perfect cast and a good story
Good movie, but best of all time? Hardly . . .
This story has more twists and turns than a second-rate soap opera.
For The Falcon Takes Over the folks at RKO chose an impeccable source in the person of Raymond Chandler for this film. It's based on the famous Chandler novel Farewell My Lovely which both Dick Powell and Robert Mitchum played Philip Marlowe in two different versions.But in this first adaption the private eye is our protagonist the urbane and witty Falcon played by George Sanders. RKO didn't even bother to change the names of the rest of the characters, just grafted the Falcon series regulars in the story.Standing out in the cast is Ward Bond playing the hulking Moose Malloy fresh out of stir and looking for his Velma. Helen Gilbert is the selfsame Velma for whom the Moose did a prison stretch for and who thanks him for that solid favor properly. Lynn Bari plays a would be reporter who gets the scoop of her life when the Falcon breaks the case. And Anne Revere really stands out as the dipsomaniacal Jessie Florian.Having seen the two classic later versions first didn't spoil this one for me. It's a solid entry in the Falcon film series though it doesn't have the style and ambiance of the Powell and Mitchum versions.How could it?
Danièle Thompson CAN make good films, as evidenced by at least two of the few she directed (she is a much more prolific screenwriter than director), "Season's Beatings" (La bûche), the caustic portrait of a dysfunctional family artificially reunited for the inevitable Christmas party, and "Orchestra Seats" (Fauteuils d'orchestre), the bittersweet chronicle of a group of art lovers centering around a young waitress freshly arrived from her province. "Des gens qui s'embrassent", her last work to date, could - and should - have been added to the list of her achievements, as the subject she deals with is rich in dramatic and philosophical possibilities. By getting death into a wedding party (a celebration and a promise of life if any), which she already did in the script of Patrice Chéreau's "Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train" (Ceux qui m'aiment prendront le train"), Danièle Thompson gave herself the means of mixing the tragic with the comic, the profound with the superficial. Alas, "Des gens qui s'embrassent" promises much but delivers... almost nothing. To be frank, Danièle Thompson's last baby is no "Four Weddings and a Funeral", the perfect model of its type. Sure, one brother must bury his deceased wife just as the other one is marrying his daughter, but where is the fun ?, where is the insight ? Agreed, there is a confrontation between two Jewish brothers, one austere and rigorist (Éric Elmosnino), the other easy-going and profligate (Kad Merad), but the whole thing remains theoretical and superficial. The real trouble is that the writer- director seems much more fascinated by filming the glittering of the jet set lifestyle and of Saint-Tropez, its unavoidable safe haven, than by reflecting on life choices, as she should have. It is all the more regrettable as, though she had set "Orchestra Seats" in about the same background, she had had a much more critical and relevant approach. In the present case, there is not much to save in this unexciting mess. On the whole, "Des gens qui s'embrassent" is nothing but a blindingly obvious story suffused with photo story sentimentality and peopled by bland characters. The exceptions to this rule are a vivid scene on a train at the beginning of the film enlivened by the charm of Lou de Lâage, a wonderfully sensitive young actress, and the unexpected performance by the famous violin player Ivry Gitlis, who at he age of 90, has a ball in playing the eccentric grandfather losing his memory. Much too little to attract large audiences, the way the other Danièle Thompson movies did. The film quickly disappeared from the screens. For good reasons...
"Deadly Strangers" opens with opens with a mysterious killer escaping from an asylum-type scene after murdering nurse.Haley Mills misses her train.She accepts a ride from a truck driver,who tries to rape her.She escapes and is then picked up by a mysterious who was watching her in the bar.He behaves suspiciously and may be an escaped lunatic...Very suspenseful and fast-paced thriller with a surprising twist ending often spoiled in various reviews.The film is currently only available on a rare VHS tape.It features Hayley Mills in several nude scenes and is told in flashbacks.The finale is gripping and suspenseful.I haven't seen Sidney Hayers "Assault" and "Revenge",but after enjoying "Deadly Strangers" I'd really like to.8 out of 10.
This Gothic Italian horror flick features '60's Scream Queen Barbara Steele as the new bride of a respected physician who learns that her seemingly charming hubby is hiding a few fiendish secrets regarding his first wife's mysterious death. Suspenseful, creepy, and atmospheric, this is the kind of historical, nightmarish horror piece that Edgar Allan Poe could have written, and there is indeed a reference to PREMATURE BURIAL. Steele, usually cast as the cunning, plotting villainess, does well in a rare sympathetic role. Horror buffs shouldn't miss this!