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Old October 14 2010, 03:59 AM   #748
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

230. When a Man Loves [C-]
231. Baby Face [B+]
232. The Reckless Moment [B+]

When a Man Loves: One of the first silent films with a synchronized soundtrack using vitaphone technology, that doesn't help this film from being an excruciating bore at most times.

Baby Face: Brilliant, as long as you're watching the original, uncensored version (the censored edit contains a new ending that is totally nonsensical and edits several other moments due to sexual innuendo). Stanywck is at her best, sleeping her way to the top of a bank (including, for a very brief time, with a young and heavily made up John Wayne). Every time she should be fired, she manages to weasel her way higher in the ranks, instead. The final tragedy of her husband's suicide doesn't quite work, because their love affair isn't quite believable as anything beyond her usual use of seduction for career advancement, but it makes for a far better ending than having the husband survive and go to work in a steel mill! Yeah, right.

The Reckless Moment: Incredibly well-shot, and well-acted by all around (including excellent performances from James Mason and Joan Bennett, among others), this family melodrama is more in the style of film noir and is definitely superior to the 2001 adaptation of the same short story starring Tilda Swinton, The Deep End. Both films suffer the same problem, however. Darby's death isn't well staged in either version, leading to some moments of confusion and ambiguity that the films don't seem interested in exploring. But the rest of the film more than makes up for that here.
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