Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Media or Tech Mysteries

 


It's capers month, no, I don't mean those little fish things, but mysteries and I'm loving this month even though Wandering Through The Shelves made me put my thinking cap on. This week, it's about the media and/or technology and these are the 3 that popped into my head. I'm saving Zodiac for another time.

1. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT-1940

Most of you know I love Alfred Hitchcock so this film came right into my sad little head. This takes place before the States entered WW2 so Hitch must have made this film with that in mind. Joel McCrea( major crush..hubba hubba) stars as a crime reporter sent by his boss to England to find put more about the war. He soon finds himself embroiled in an espionage mystery trying to convince the police what he actually saw. You have a tense moment in a windmill, spies, a beautiful Dame and George Sanders whom I love. He was just so witty. This film doesn't get the same love as his other films, but I think it is one of Hitchcock's better early films in the U.S.

2. CALL NORTHSIDE 777-1948

The title is the phone # when one used to ask for a name not just numbers. This is based on a true story with James Stewart asked, by his boss, to check in on an elderly woman who posted an ad in the paper to clear her son. Her son was charged and convicted of killing a police officer back in 1930 and now, 11 yrs later, at her wit's end, the guy's mom took out this ad. Stewart doesn't think much about this story until he digs further finding coverups, mishandling etc..at the heart of this. The cops and district attorney really hate him nosying around. It's well acted, obviously, and I like the noirish vibe to this. It was the first film to be filmed on location in Chicago.

3. TRUE CRIME-1999

Clint Eastwood plays a recovering alcoholic who has been sleeping with the boss's wife at a newspaper office. He's assigned to talk to a death row inmate to get some final words from the condemned man. He had no idea that he was going to try to free this man whom, he believes, is innocent. He has very little time to get to the truth but he must try. This is nicely acted especially by Isaiah Washington as the condemned man. I found it a good movie, not a great one, but one that hold your attention.

Which 3 films can you come up with?

21 comments:

  1. Hi, Birgit!

    How's my mischievous bowwow buddy Harley today? I hope he's staying out of trouble.

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to work my way back and see some of Hitchcock's earlier films. I don't remember studying Foreign Correspondent in my college film class, and I never got around to watching it in the years since. I can tell from the brief scene you posted that I'd enjoy it. The crisp black and white is beautiful and the claustrophobic camera shots had me on edge in seconds wondering what's happening just outside the frame. While I am not a huge fan of WWII era espionage, I appreciate smug George Sanders in any and every role, and I also like Joel McCrae and Laraine Day.

    You know that I am a tremendous Jimmy Stewart fan, but here again I must admit that I never saw Call Northside, even though I love B&W noir dramas. Lee J. Cobb was always fun to watch. Just listening to the diction of that voice-over announcer on the trailer is such a joy. If I may jump slightly off topic for a second, while we are on the subject of crime dramas and noir films, I wanted to mention that I have in my DVD collection, Kid Glove Killer (1942) and Raw Deal (1948), two films featuring one of the my favorite actresses, Marsha Hunt. Marsha died a few days ago a month prior to her 105th birthday. Blacklisted by Hollywood during the McCarthy witch hunt of the 50s, Marsha Hunt devoted the second half of her long life to humanitarian causes including the fight against world hunger and help for the homeless, underprivileged children and the mentally ill. Marsha Hunt was a talented actress, an outstanding citizen of the world and big part of the solution. She will be missed and remembered always.

    Although I don't particularly like Clint Eastwood or James Woods, I really need to see True Crime. Just watching those scenes has me on the edge of my seat. LisaGay Hamilton is a favorite of mine from watching her every week as Rebecca on The Practice, and Mary McCormack was terrific on Murder One, West Wing, ER, in Howard Stern's Private Parts biopic and in the great but aborted TV series The Kids Are Alright. I love tense dramas in which the clock is ticking, counting down to an unjust execution, a device used on The Practice, Boston Legal and in other series and films I've watched. True Crime is must see for me.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!

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  2. I know I've seen Foreign Correspondent and it's a good one--not my favorite by Hitchcock, but still it's a good one. The other two I'm not sure if I've seen or not-don't remember.

    First film that came to my mind was The Post from 2017, but then I looked it up and don't know that I've actually seen it. But I think it would fit this week's category since it is a thriller based on Watergate.. The film that I was confusing it with is Spotlight also from 2017 which deals with the abuse scandal by Catholic priests in Boston. I was very impressed with this film. Both are based on true stories and were high profile pictures.

    Those were the first that came into my mind. I'll add to that the similar All the President's Men (1976) which was another movie about the Watergate Scandal. It's an engaging film with good acting.

    I know I've seen a lot of others in this genre. A lot used to be made prior to the 1950's.

    Hope you'll stop by for my midmonth Battle of the Bands.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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    1. I have stopped by:). I have not seen The Post or All the President's Men yet. That is a major movie I must see. Spotlight is an excellent film and so sad, angersome and disgusting g how much the Church knew and kept it be.

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  3. Hi Birgit, not seen any of these films, but I do rather like the Clint Eastwood one. Hope all's well with you, Kate x

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    1. Pain on my right side..but oh well. I hope you see the Eastwood film..it's pretty good.

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  4. Pretty sure I've seen all of these, at one time or another. It's a tough category! The one movie that came to mind is The Net, from 1995, starring Sandra Bullock.

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    1. It is tough and yet, I think there are quite a few out there that fit. I almost went with The Net. A pretty mood thriller with Sandra

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  5. I haven't seen these, but I've heard of them. It looks like Debbie D. thought of one I was thinking of, The Net. Sneakers came to mind as well, for the technology, although that was more spy thriller than caper.

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    1. I hVe not seen Sneakers yet but I almost chose The Net. Very scary when you think about it.

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  6. I really need to check out your first pick. I should add another hitchcock to my Blind Spot list.

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    1. One should see all Hitchcock films. This a pretty good one..not as good as some others but it's up there for me.

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  7. I haven't seen any of these, or don't remember if I did. Nothing comes to mind. So much for me being a mystery fan.

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    1. I think there are more out there than we realize. I just have to get the moths out of my head

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  8. Foreign Correspondent - haven't seen this one yet. I'm hoping one day Netflix will add his entire library, so I can watch the ones I have yet to see.

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    1. Wow! His entire Library? That's pretty cool

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  9. Thanks..I almost chose The Net with Sandra Bullock

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  10. Thanks..I almost chose The Net with Sandra Bullock

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  11. Oh I'm late to this but it's been a hectic couple of days Birgit!

    I like but don't love Foreign Correspondent. But to be honest it has been many years since the last time I saw it so I should revisit it to see if my opinion needs to be revised. I'm a big fan of Joel McCrea, George Sanders, Herbert Marshall, Edmund Gwenn and Robert Benchley, I like Laraine Day too though she seems even more of an atypical Hitchcock leading lady than Ruth Roman for some reason, so maybe it was just the time when I watched it that it didn't bowl me over.

    Again Call Northside isn't among my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. It's fine and interesting but has more the feeling of a procedural rather than an entertainment. Nothing wrong with that but I have to be in the mood for a picture like that.

    I know I saw True Crime but to be honest my memory of it is almost nil.

    This was a kind of tough for me and I'm not sure all are perfect fits but these are my three.

    The first is the 1975 Robert Redford/Faye Dunaway thriller "Three Days of the Condor" about a rank and file CIA codebreaker (he reads books all day-so media) who goes out to lunch one day and comes back to find everyone murdered. He has to unravel the mystery of why. Great movie!

    Next would be 1977's Demon Seed wherein Julie Christie's psychologist becomes a prisoner of her scientist husband's A.I. system when it takes over their home. Weird and stylish and hey it has one of the greatest actresses of all time in the lead!!!

    The last isn't a great movie but has some interesting ideas, 1983's Brainstorm. Part of that is the fact that one of its stars Natalie Wood drowned in the middle of filming and the film was put on hiatus for two years. Two researchers (Christopher Walker & Louise Fletcher) develop a system that records people thoughts but then the military becomes involved and the project spins out of control while the inventors and his estranged wife (Natalie) attempt to stop them.

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    1. Hi Joel...hope you are well. The first 2 of my choices aren't my favorite from Hitch and Jimmy either but they still work and are better than so much dreck of today.
      I should try that Redford film again. I'm not as enthused about it as you.
      I have not seen DemonSeed but will try to see it if ever on TV.
      Brainstorm is interesting but not great. Could have been so much better. It will always be connected to the lurid details of her death and possible affair with Walkin

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  12. I haven't seen these, but Northside sounds intriguing. Ya can't beat Jimmy Stewart:) I sent the info. Thanks so much, Birgit.

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    1. Jimmy is great in this as per norm. Yes, I got it thank you!

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