lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)

You lucky London based types get a chance to see this on the big screen next month... Wish they were showing it at our local fleapit. (It was on Film4 HD today as well, but who needs ad breaks, or was in the mood when there's a big screen showing to think about?)

So, Escape

Aug. 31st, 2014 11:50 pm
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (jaffar)
Far from Connie’s greatest movie, but he stole the scenes he was in, by wisely playing against the script. At the same time, I didn’t find it as bad as I feared, on account of having a filthy mind.

Viewing the trailer before was enough to make me notice that it wasn’t a “digging under the wire” kind of POW escape movie, and it came over as sort of a proto-Mission Impossible in some places (how may episodes of that show involved a faked death to rescue somebody?)

Robert Taylor and Norma Shearer were wooden, Philip Dorn had some moments, but other than Connie, Bonita Granville was the one who made an impression, though her actual role seemed confused in the minds of writers and director.

It all felt like… I mean, there are a lot of problems (horrible clunky dialogue, wooden hero, ridiculous uniform inaccuracies, huge levels of coincidence, people switching sides suddenly and with no reason…) but it kept coming up with bits that you just know could have been fantastic if they’d just been slightly tweaked, refined, or - most frequently - actually explained on screen.

So, basically a mess with a couple of standout scene-stealers, that makes me actually want to read the book, because I suspect it will explain all the stuff like who Ursula is actually supposed to fuck up, and what’s wrong with the general…
lonemagpie: robot maria (robot maria)
I mean literally - I'd fallen asleep with music playing on my MP3 player, but by half past 8 this morning it had reached that radio version of A Woman's Face that I posted a link to a week or two back.

Which at least means I've now actually listened to it. Interesting experience. Being cut down to half an hour means it's very bitty. Connie's very charming, but makes Torsten's turn to villainy sound even more out of left field, especially since in this version of the piano scene he mentions having a rich uncle and Anna immediately goes "who gets his money?" which sort of implies she's corrupting him.

Speaking of Anna, Bette Davis is good in the role, and seems to actually be doing a softer version of Connie's accent. Whether this is a deliberate choice to convey their relationship, or just a convenience for getting a quick European accent for the role, is harder to tell.

The attic scene is there in shortened form, and the climax is *slightly* improved, but only a tiny bit. Oddly, Dr Regert seems to be cast older, more like a father figure though Anna still ends up marrying him.

Of course, being radio, Anna's scarring can be as subtle or excessive as the listener imagines, but I'd disagree with the line that Torsten is lying when he says he finds her beautiful. Lying when he implies he loves her, definitely.

Anyway, overall, not too bad an effort, considering how much had to be chopped.
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
Here’s another Conrad Veidt radio oddity.

This is episode 64 of Treasury Star Parade, a show from 1942 which was designed to encourage listeners to buy War Bonds.

Many of them had Hollywood stars as guests or hosts for big band music, but this one is a little play, in which Connie plays Kurt Schuschnigg, giving Hitler a piece of his mind.

Schuschnigg was the Nazi-opposing Chancellor of Austria from 1934, who had been jailed after the Anschluss, and who, at the time of this play’s recording, was in a concentration camp. (He was liberated by US troops in 1945, and died in 1977.)

Anyway, if you ever wanted to hear Connie slag off Adolf, here you go!

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)

Heh, this just turned up on TV an hour ago- a pretty dodgy knockoff of Thief Of Bagdad, but starring Christopher Lee. That's pretty interesting inasmuch as Lee has often said that Conrad Veidt is his acting hero and took inspiration from his performances in order to play Dracula in the original Hammer version.

So, here Lee has a somewhat Jaffar-ish look with turban and moustache - and his good mirror-image has the white turban reminiscent of Jaffar's wedding outfit. He doesn't have Connie's motionlessness, but does have that deep Lee voice, obviously.

It's not a patch on the 1940 Thief, as you can tell from this clip (I couldn't find a trailer), but I remember being entertained when I saw it at the cinema back in 1979, aged 10...

Jafar Kree!

Feb. 5th, 2014 09:37 pm
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (jaffar)

Ahahaha! I've never even seen this movie. But I'll take the result cos there's a superior live-action version in the form of Conrad Veidt - though he *isn't* a villain, really. (No, he's not. Trust me on this.)

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Watching the Murder Rooms episode The White Knight Stratagem - in which Arthur Conan Doyle is the assistant to Joseph Bell (Ian Richardson) in solving crimes - and the episode’s second scene started with a guy reciting, in German, the code phrases that Captain Hardt (Conrad Veidt) has in The Spy In Black.

As Holmes/Connie connections, go that’s pretty thin, but I do find myself wondering if it’s a deliberate reference by the makers.


Jan. 8th, 2014 07:43 pm
lonemagpie: robot maria (robot maria)
That annoying thing where you think "I might be in the mood for some Conrad Veidt, purely for the research, but the one I want to watch - Above Suspicion, sadly his last movie, but Rathbone is in it, and it's a re-team with Joan Crawford - is one I haven't got, so I'll end up not bothering..."

Why do I bother?
lonemagpie: if only (by me)
So, we’re starting to get some art done for A Study In Steampunk (whether this will appear in the book or just in publicity I’m not sure), such as this take on one of the Connie photo portraits I sent along as references. So this one’s done by the publisher himself, Adrian Middleton.

lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
Speaking of angels, I'd actually probably be more like Conrad Veidt in Passing Of The Third Floor Back...

Oh, you know what, I promised some more special links, didn't I? Over the Festive period?

OK, well, since I've mentioned a Connie movie, and there are Connie fans, and vintage fans, and cinephile fans among my followers...

It's not his best movie, and it's not a Xmas movie, but he plays basically, an angel of sorts, which is close enough - and it never turns up on TV - so here's the full movie. Based on a book by Jerome K Jerome...

What the hell, have that too, all legit and everything: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/865

lonemagpie: 10Doc whats (wtf)
So, a bunch of us were transporting three coats for Conrad Veidt (Connie wasn't actually in the dream, by the way, we were just trying to deliver these coats to the theatre where he'd be needing them).

In Citizen Khan's car. (If you don't know that show, you're probably lucky)

From Birmingham to Bradford by way of at least one flooded spooky old house, and lots of juggling things around in rain-soaked car parks.

After which we had a message that Connie thought the show was his worst ever.

Even in my dreams I let everybody down sooner or later.
lonemagpie: Bogie! (bogie)
The Last Performance is a 1927 silent movie with Conrad Veidt now released on DVD and Blu-Ray on the Criterion Collection in time for Halloween - but not so’s you’d notice!

The sneaky fuckers have actually attached it as a special feature extra on the release of “Lonesome,” a 1928 movie by the same director.

So, Connie fans, that’s the release to looking for in order to get the remastered Last Performance.

Here's a clip...

What the hell, have the Spanish poster for The Last Performance while I’m on the subject.

Hm, he does kinda look as if he’s examining a clue… which reminds me to get back to work…
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Well, I know where I'd want to be going if I was in London on Dr Who's anniversary weekend.

No, not the sold-out big DW cattlemarket - this!


Somebody should tell Snowgrouse.

Actually, doubtless she'll know already - I'm half surprised she's not the expert they've got introducing it, cos she should be.
lonemagpie: McGoohan as Number 6 (6)
Ooh, the US theatrical trailer for the Korda version... Aside from having the stunning June Duprez, and Conrad Veidt (he's a fucking antihero here, right, not a villain... But that's for another post) this is one of the seminal genre movies, as it essentially invented blue-screen as a genre tool. If you haven't seen it, you should- it's flawed but important.

lonemagpie: 10Doc whats (wtf)
That's weird- I thought the USB board on my 360 was bust cos it won't play anything from my phone or MP3 player even though it'll charge them... This started round about October 2011 after an update. But I just plugged the new tablet I bought a couple of weeks ago in there, and it plays fine off that! WTF?

And playing through the USB port from the tablet, my Conrad Veidt movies have sound in synch, which wasn't working across the ethernet cable from WMP... So I can watch them on the big telly.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Urgh, so much politics I ought to shunt all that stuff to a separate blog.

So, a change of pace- Watching The Magic Sword, crappy movie with Basil Rathbone as the evil wizard, and thinking a) obviously Conrad Veidt from Thief Of Bagdad was unavailable (having been dead for 19 years) and b) shit, if Connie was still around in 1962 this is the sort of shit he might have got stuck in.

Basil deserved better...

Sadly I'm watching on TCM, not this MST3K version.


lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)

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