Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
Thanks for the alert, although I prefer the Fredric March version.
Something about Tracy as a monster just doesn't compute...
I have a DVD with both the 30s version and the 40s version on it. After watching the 30s version, the 40s version is like My Fair Lady or something. It's not bad or anything, but the 30s version really crackles.
This Saturday (Sept. 1):
7:45 am Eastern: The Black Cat
9:00: Thunderbirds Are Go
11:30: Fail Safe
4:00 pm: 2010
It's the difference between pre-Code and post-Code Hollywood. The 30's version is surprising frank and brutal, especially in its depiction of the abusive relationship between Hyde and Ivy, while the 40's version seems rather too tame and tasteful by comparison.
Or so I recall. I haven't seen the Tracy version since I was a kid.
There's an old story about how some celebrated author (Somerset Maugham?) visited the set of the 40s version--and couldn't tell whether Tracy was playing Jekyll and Hyde that day!
^^ That's exactly it. The 30s version is pre-Hayes (or at least pre-enforcement). This is why I love early 30s movies.
I've got Black Cat and 2010 on DVD. I'll tape Thunderbirds. I hope they bring back the serials soon.
^ I hear the actors are a bit wooden, ho ho!
Maybe now that the Month of Stars or whatever they call it we'll start to get some more fun stuff.
Saw Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last night. It had a good hook at the beginning with the dinner discussion on evil and the soul, but it kind of dragged after that.
I also just found out that Ingrid Bergman is Isabella Rossellini's mother. Never knew that. I can see the resemblance.
Pretty good line-up for Saturday, September 22, 2012.
1:30 PM ET: IT! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)
2:45 PM ET: Them! (1954)
4:30 PM ET: The Thing From Another World (1951)
6:00 PM ET: The Time Machine (1960)
That's a great schedule. I've got all but The Thing on DVD. TCM has also been showing Jungle Jim movies on Saturdays; those are pretty cool.
I've never seen "It!..." so this'll be a treat.
Yes, I've read articles and discussions about the similarities between "It!..." and "Alien" some 21 years later. That's particularly why I want to see it, to see how close the latter resmbles the former. I think the core comparison is the motif of a monster picking off crew one by one while secluded aboard a spacecraft.
And rather interesting "Them!" follows "It!..." I've also read comments how "Aliens" (Cameron's sequel) resembles elements of "Them!" You have the orphaned girl, monsters that are "colony" creatures, the rescue of a child, and the pursuit through a labrinth of tunnels with a flame-thrower.
Plus, it'll be fun to see these in high-def now that DirecTV is supplying TCM's HD feed. (I was stunned to see how good the original "Invisible Man" with Claude Raines looked when aired last August.)
I haven't seen It! in a long time and then always from a shoddy source so I might check that out as well. From what I remember the ship is much more in close confines than in Alien which affects the feel.
Yeah, it's more a conventional '50s-movie rocketship with a number of small decks stacked atop each other, like a vertical submarine.
It's funny as I get older I really appreciate these older movies more. They don't seem near as corny or whatever to me. It! has a really great black and white look with some great contrast and shadows and I think everything looks to be realized pretty nicely actually.
ETA: Them! is full of Wilhelm screams.
Wow, Them! was a cool movie. I'm lucky I got back from the grocery store juuuust in time to catch the beginning (and had a DVR so I could pause the live cable feed while I put the frozen stuff away). It's a pretty effective movie right from the start, with that reallllly creepy scene of the silent, staring little girl with the broken doll. The script is good, there's some nice suspense, Dr. Medford is a fun character, the obligatory lady scientist is kinda hot, and we even get a bonus science lecture on ants in the middle! (Filmgoers had so much more patience for these huge infodumps back then.) Plus we got cameos by William Schallert as the coroner (wouldn't be a '50s American sci-fi B-movie without him) and Leonard Nimoy as the guy who got the teletype message about the "ant-shaped flying saucers." And, as mentioned above, the multiple Wilhelm screams. Even James Whitmore got one!
Interestingly, this movie came out only four and a half months before Godzilla (or Gojira, if you prefer). I guess Dr. Medford was right that the ants were just a harbinger of what lay ahead in the atomic age...
I think Ben M did a bad job describing John Carpenter's The Thing as an attempt to add something to The Thing From Another World. He should've at least mentioned that even if say Carpenter was influenced by Hawk that The Thing is actually pretty close to the original story wheras it was Hawk's movie that took liberties. Kind of undersold what both men achieved with their films.
I caught that as well, and thought, "Hey, Carpenter's was the more faithful of the two!"
Even with the liberties taken in the Hawks' version, there's a lot to like about that film. The use of overlapping dialog, it gave a layer of realism to an otherwise "fantastic" situation because people often don't wait for others to complete their sentences. The female roles, though there are only two in the film, neither are portrayed as "shrinking violets". Both do what needs to be done and don't simply cower and scream. And though relased in 1951, the strak lighting with the deep shadows harkens to the "film noir" period of the 1940s.
I see TCM aired the "extended" version again. You can tell which scenes are "recovered" fotage because the film quality is a tad inferior to the rest of the movie. Once that material was discovered TCM rarely airs the "common cut" any more.
Finally, one has to wonder what made Carington so fascinated with the asexual method of the Thing's reproduction? His voice kinda' trailed off as he contemplated it. I suspect the writers didn't go any deeper with it than what we saw on screen, but "in universe", one gets the impression he may have ahd problems with interpersonal relationships that made him later think, "We'd be better off without all that 'sex' business. "Simple and 'unconfused'" is the phrase he used. Interesting choice of words.
The only one I got to watch was It!, which was pretty good all things considered... the vertical decks were interesting, and I also liked that the women weren't just there to scream.
Maybe it's from seeing Alien lol, but I thought of opening it to vacuum right away!
I didn't realize there were restored sections to The Thing... what parts?
^^ I didn't either. I would have watched if I did.
I'm glad to hear that. That's exactly how I feel.
Wilhelm must have a heck of a sore throat by now.
It was cheeky of TCM to schedule them that way -- It! followed by Them!
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