Monday, February 9, 2015

More TCM Movies: 1936's The Last of the Mohicans and 1937's Kid Galahad

One of the nicest things about having a DVR is the ease of recording; you can record something on the spur of the moment (assuming you have room, of course.)

The Last of the Mohicans:

I had enjoyed the 1992 version of the film with Daniel Day-Lewis. That film credited the screenplay of the 1936 movie, so I wanted to see it.

I was disappointed in the 1936 version. The acting was just okay. The casting of lily white actors as Indians was comical. All the Indian characters were mere stereotypes.

I love classic movies of the 1930's and 1940's. I can see beyond the censorship, the back lot rather than on location settings, the primitive special effects. This film just didn't do anything for me.

Kid Galahad:

I've seen this movie many times before, and written about it here, but it's been awhile so I was glad to watch it again. This is the only film starring Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson. For that reason alone, it's worth watching. The movie combines boxing, gangster and romantic stories.

I noticed a few things today. First, Michael Curtiz (who deserves a post of his own) directed. He also directed The Adventures of Robin Hood which we watched last week. I liked the way Curtiz staged the party after the film's opening fight. The camera moved through several rooms in Nick's (Robinson's) hotel suite. Reflections in mirrors captured guests partying, Nick getting a haircut, and women putting on make-up. Most importantly, a confidential conversation between Nick, Fluff (Davis) and Silver (Harry Carey) about Turkey Morgan (Bogart) seen in a mirror is almost overheard by a reporter.

I also liked the last scene of the film. Bette is walking down the alley from the arena after the last boxing match--alone.

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