marlene_rantz

IMDb member since September 2003
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    16 years

Reviews

The Conquering Power
(1921)

Beautiful Ending To a Well-Made Movie!
For all of you who loved the ending of "Random Harvest", and I am one of them, I promise that the ending of this movie will really get to you-a beautiful ending to a well-made movie! I have watched just the ending of this movie over and over again, and I never get tired of it! Once again, Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry both from "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" give solid performances as a man and his cousin deeply in love while being separated by the lady's father, excellently played by Ralph Lewis. The movie is based on a novel by Balzac which I will read because of this movie. The direction by Rex Ingram is excellent!

Camille
(1921)

A Beautiful Movie
It is not often that I have the opportunity to review a movie I considered a beautiful movie, but this movie was a beautiful movie! It was a beautiful movie because of the story, the performances by Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino, and the set decorations by Natacha Rambova! Do not be misled by Rudolph Valentino's extravagant acting in "The Sheik"-he was capable of subdued and subtle acting, and his performance in this movie was an example of it. He was also romantic-beautifully romantic! If I must compare it to the talking version, I am in favor of this version! As much as I admire Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor, Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino were a better fit as Marguerite and Armand! My one regret is that Nazimova deleted his deathbed scene-I understand he was brilliant in it!

True Heart Susie
(1919)

A Beautiful Movie!
What a beautiful movie, and as the familiar expression goes, they don't make them like this, anymore! Lillian Gish is True Heart Susie, a plain young woman devotedly in love with her neighbor, portrayed by Robert Harron, who, in turn, is attracted to a more flashier type of woman, portrayed by Clarine Seymour. He is totally unaware of True Heart Susie's love, devotion, and sacrifice for him, as she deprives herself to help him get ahead in his profession. All ends well, and true love wins out in the end! As always, Lillian Gish was excellent. She may have been plain, but her heartfelt expressions made her a beautiful woman, in my opinion. Robert Harron and Clarine Seymour were both excellent, and it is so sad to note that both of them died very young soon after this movie. The direction by D.W. Griffith was excellent.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
(1921)

Excellent Silent Film!
Because of its length, I had to watch this film in three segments, and each segment presented a revelation. In the first segment, it was the famous tango by Rudolph Valentino, which might be considered great acting all by itself. In the second segment, it was the tragic romance between Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry, so well played by both of them. In the final segment, it was Nigel De Brulier's reply to Josef Swickard's question: "Did you know my son?"-"I knew them all", and what a beautiful expression of sympathy was on his face! The movie was quite long, but it had a story to tell that needed a longer length! Everyone in it was quite good, especially Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Nigel De Brulier, and Josef Swickard! The direction by Rex Ingram was excellent, also!

The Sealed Room
(1909)

Very Well-Done Movie!
I loved this movie, and I loved Arthur V. Johnson's performance in it. I have seen him in several movies, and he was always excellent in them. He is described as a "pioneer actor and director of the early American silent film era", but an even better description would be "the first great actor in silent films", and he was certainly great in this movie! I do not think he over-acted: he was required to play a man outraged by his woman's infidelity, and that is how he acted it. Much credit should be given to director D.W. Griffith, and to co-stars Marion Leonard and Henry B. Walthall, who both turned in excellent performances. Considering this movie was made in 1909, I would say it is a superior movie, and I definitely recommend it!

The Goddess
(1958)

Great performance by Kim Stanley!
After watching Kim Stanley give an absolutely great performance in "Seance On A Wet Afternoon", I wondered if that was a one time great performance! I recently watched "The Goddess", and I got my answer: another great performance by Kim Stanley, and so I now conclude that Kim Stanley was a great actress, and, by the way, in looks and acting style, she reminded me of another great actress: Geraldine Page! In this movie, she portrayed a Marilyn Monroe type woman who sought stardom in Hollywood, but paid a heavy price for it! The supporting cast was good! I rather liked Steven Hill's excellent performance as her first husband; likewise, Lloyd Bridges excellent performance as her second husband! Also worth mentioning was Betty Lou Holland's excellent performance as her mother! An interesting movie worth watching for Kim Stanley's great performance!

Above Suspicion
(1943)

Conrad Veidt's Final Movie!
I, more or less, agree with practically all the reviewers. I, too, have seen better spy thrillers and anti-Nazi movies, however, this movie, was, nevertheless, a good movie! Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray were very good in the lead roles, although I thought the chemistry between them was not that good, whereas the chemistry between Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in their movies together, especially "Double Indemnity", was fantastic! Bruce Lester, Reginald Owen, Richard Ainley, and, especially, Basil Rathbone all contributed very good supporting performances! Now we come to the actor for whom, like Mark.Waltz, this movie has a special place in my heart: Conrad Veidt! Conrad Veidt was not only an excellent actor, but he had a way about him that made him stand out in any movie, and this movie was no exception! Near the end of the movie, he danced a tango-smiling, and looking so happy, and that made me feel so good, and then I realized that this was his final movie before his early death at the age of 50! I felt so sad that he would no longer be giving his excellent performances!

Poirot: Three Act Tragedy
(2010)
Episode 1, Season 12

Exceptionally Excellent Episode of Hercule Poirot
You may add me to the list of admirers of this episode of Hercule Poirot. I found it to be an exceptionally excellent episode: plot-wise and acting-wise! David Suchet was exceptionally excellent, but then, David Suchet is always excellent! Even his summation of the crime was exceptionally excellent! The entire supporting cast was excellent, and now I, too, would like to say a good word about Martin Shaw. I agree with every reviewer who applauded his performance. I had never seen him before this episode of Hercule Poirot, but based on his so excellent performance, I would have to say, without a doubt, that he is an excellent actor! I definitely would recommend watching this episode!

Gone with the Wind
(1939)

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn-Final words of a great performance!
I don't have to read the hundreds of reviews on this website to know that they will more or less agree with me that this was a great movie! Vivien Leigh deserved her Academy Award for Best Actress for her excellent performance, as did Hattie McDaniel deserve her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her excellent performance! Everyone in the supporting cast was excellent, especially Olivia DeHavilland, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mitchell, and Ona Munson! Now we come to the real star of this movie- Clark Gable! As far as I am concerned, he stole this movie with his great performance-his charm, humor, forcefulness, and humanity seemed to dominate the movie! Oh, how I wish there had been a tie for Best Actor Academy Award that year- Robert Donat for his great performance in "Goodbye Mr. Chips" and Clark Gable for his great performance in "Gone With The Wind"! If ever there was a year for a tie for Best Actor Academy Award, it was that year!

Seance on a Wet Afternoon
(1964)

Great Movie!
I was not sure if I would like this movie, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I not only liked it, I loved it! The plot about a psychic seeking recognition by involving her husband in a kidnapping plot might seem trivial, but there was nothing trivial about the great acting by Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough. They worked well together! What I really liked about Richard Attenborough's performance was that he did not say much(except for one scene), but he held my attention just the same with his marvelous facial expressions. In my opinion, an actor who does not say much, but still can gain your attention is an excellent actor, and that is Richard Attenborough! This movie might not appeal to everyone, but it will definitely appeal to anyone liking great acting, so I recommend it for that reason!

The Beat Generation
(1959)

Trashy, but interesting!
I watched this movie with some hesitation, because it really received awful reviews; however, because I like Ray Danton and Steve Cochran, I decided to give it a chance. Ray Danton and Steve Cochran both gave very good performances, as did Mamie Van Doren, Fay Spain, Jackie Coogan, and Jim Mitchum, and the plot, though trashy, was interesting, and as pointed out by Martin Teller, this movie was weirdly compelling, mainly due, I think, to Ray Danton's very menacing and interesting performance as a killer, and Steve Cochran's performance as a complex cop. I am, therefore, recommending this movie, but only if you like any of the actors in it, since they all gave good performances, and, I think, one can bear with the worst movie if one is a fan of an actor!

What Price Hollywood?
(1932)

Hollywood in the 1930's!
I might recommend watching this movie, because it presented an interesting view of Hollywood in the early 1930's. I might also recommend watching this movie, because of the excellent acting by Constance Bennett, Neil Hamilton, and Gregory Ratoff. I am definitely recommending watching this movie, because of the excellent performance by Lowell Sherman! For those of you not familiar with Lowell Sherman, he was not only a distinguished motion picture and stage actor, he was also a director who directed Mae West in "She Done Him Wrong" and Katharine Hepburn in her Academy Award winning role in "Morning Glory". In this movie, he gave an Academy Award worthy performance! It's too bad he retired from acting to become a director, and that he died young, ending a promising career as a director!

The Brigand
(1952)

Well-played B-movie!
In my opinion, watching one Anthony Dexter would be a delightful experience, but, in this movie, he played a dual role, so it was a real treat, and, I must say, he acquitted himself quite well! His performance was quite good, and he also did some dancing, a la his role in "Valentino". Two beautiful actresses supported him quite well, Gale Robbins and Jody Lawrence. Anthony Quinn in the cast has to be considered a definite asset, and you know Anthony Quinn will give a good performance! Ditto for Carl Benton Reid and Ron Randell! I found this movie quite interesting, as far as B-movies go, and much of it was due to the dual role played so well by Anthony Dexter!

Desire Me
(1947)

Excellent acting by entire cast and interesting story!
I will give three reasons to watch this movie. First reason-an interesting story about a man returning from the war and trying to take over his dead friend's wife and life! Second reason-excellent acting by the entire cast of Greer Garson, Richard Hart, Robert Mitchum, George Zucco, Morris Ankrum, and Cecil Humphreys! Third reason- Richard Hart! He died young, and he did not make too many movies. This movie might be one of your best chances to see his acting, as I do not think he had such a big role in another movie, and he was excellent in this movie. In fact, on the basis of this movie, I am surprised he did not become an even bigger name in motion pictures!

Topper Returns
(1941)

Funniest movie seen by me!
I agree with jmcsparin that this was the funniest movie seen by me, and without hesitation, I am recommending it, and especially to anyone who is depressed, because this movie was so funny, that it has to lift up even the most depressed person! The basic plot of a murdered woman coming back as a ghost to find her murderer was humorous, but it would never have worked without such an excellent cast! Roland Young was excellent as Topper, as was Joan Blondell as the murdered woman. Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as a chauffeur, Billie Burke as Mrs. Topper, and Donald MacBride as a detective-all hilarious, and it does not end there- Dennis O'Keefe as a taxi driver and Patsy Kelly as Mrs. Topper's maid had some very funny lines! Even the non-funny actors were excellent-Carole Landis, H.B. Warner, George Zucco, Trevor Bardette, and Rafaela Ottiano! Do not miss this movie!

Les Miserables
(1952)

A Very Good Version of Les Miserables!
This version of Victor Hugo's classic novel was not as good as the 1935 version. Obviously, the two leading actors can not compare to Fredric March and Charles Laughton, but let me tell you, Michael Rennie and Robert Newton both gave excellent performances! Joseph Wiseman was excellent in a small role, as were James Robertson Justice, Edmund Gwenn, Cameron Mitchell, Debra Paget, and Sylvia Sidney! Once again, this version was not as good as the 1935 version, but all the actors did their very best, and I believe the result was a movie worth watching, and I highly recommend it! The excellent acting definitely lifted it up to almost the 1935 version!

The Twilight Zone: The Four of Us Are Dying
(1960)
Episode 13, Season 1

A Great Episode!
In my opinion, this was a great episode! It not only had a very unusual plot about a man able to change his face at will, but it gave four very good actors the chance to show their skills as actors: Harry Townes, Phillip Pine, Ross Martin, and Don Gordon. Each of them contributed an excellent performance, and the ending was also very surprising! This is another episode I have seen more than once, and I always enjoy it! These four actors definitely deserved to get such an excellent script in which to show their acting skill! I will continue to watch this episode each time, and I will never tire of it! I certainly recommend it to everyone who is a fan of good television!

The Twilight Zone: The Masks
(1964)
Episode 25, Season 5

A Great Performance By Robert Keith!
I am so glad I have the opportunity to say something good about Robert Keith! His performance in this episode of The Twilight Zone was absolutely great! He portrayed a dying bitter, sarcastic old man in such a way that we can not hate him-quite the opposite, we feel sorry for him, and we admire his honesty in telling his family exactly what he thought of them! He could have portrayed this man in such a way that we hate him, but because of his skill as an actor, he did not portray him that way! The supporting cast was very good, but it was Robert Keith's performance that stood out! I have seen this episode more than once, and I never fail to be in awe of Robert Keith's performance!

Scarlet Pages
(1930)

Excellent performances by Elsie Ferguson and John Halliday!
I agree with both reviewers that Elsie Ferguson gave an excellent performance in this movie, and that the supporting cast was pretty bad, with one exception-John Halliday! John Halliday was too good an actor to ever give anything but an excellent performance! It is true that his role in this movie was very small, basically because it was Elsie Ferguson's movie, but he did an excellent job, anyway. The movie was a bit corny, and many people might find it quite old-fashioned, but I still would recommend it, solely because of the excellent performances by Elsie Ferguson and John Halliday! Even the bad supporting cast should not deter anyone from seeing this movie!

Funny Games
(2007)

An Interesting Movie!
I agree with everyone who found this movie fascinating, and I agree with everyone who found it horrifying! As a matter of fact, it is the combination of fascination and horror, plus the extreme loathsomeness of the two young men, played so well by Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet, that made this movie so interesting! Because of their loathsomeness, one must feel sympathy for the innocent family preyed upon by them, played so well by Tim Roth, Naomi Watts, and Devon Gearhart! Had the two young men been less loathsome, the movie would have lost much of its impact! I was fascinated by this movie, it held my interest from beginning to end, and the acting was excellent!

Blood and Sand
(1922)

One of Rudolph Valentino's Best Performances!
Why is this movie one of my favorite silent movies? For a start, it was one of Rudolph Valentino's best performances! I consider his other best performances to be in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" and "The Eagle", although, of the movies in which I have seen him, he never gave a bad performance-some were just better than others! As the doomed bullfighter, he is perfect! Then there were the two leading ladies, both very good in their roles-Lila Lee, as the suffering wife, and Nita Naldi, as the seductress. Finally, there was Walter Long, memorable as a bandit friend of the bullfighter. I don't know if sound affected his career, but, in the silent movies in which I have seen him, he was very good! The only flaw in this movie was a ridiculous seduction scene, but, if one can overlook it, this movie will prove to be a very worthwhile movie!

Platinum Blonde
(1931)

A perfectly delightful movie!
This was a perfectly delightful movie, not the funniest movie seen by me(The Odd Couple, The Producers, Marx Brothers movies, and Charley Chase movies get that honor), but certainly a very pleasant 90 minutes! Although the entire cast was quite good, I agree that Robert Williams was excellent, and stole the movie. I disagree with the comments that he was annoying and irritating: I thought he was quite good, and sometimes rather sweet. I, too, would have liked to see more of his work, but since he died so young, I am content that I can view his four movies: The Common Law, Devotion, Rebound, and this movie(all on Turner Classic Movies).

A Night to Remember
(1958)

A Motion Picture To Remember!
The night of the title was the night of the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage in April of 1912 as related in the book of the same name by Walter Lord. I have read several books on this subject, including this one, and the events of this motion picture seem fairly accurate. When you add excellent acting by an all British cast, I believe you have a motion picture worth remembering. I particularly liked Kenneth More's performance, but the excellence of the acting was such that even minor performances by John Merivale, Michael Goodliffe, Anthony Bushell, and other actors stood out. This motion picture was two hours long, but it did not seem that long. From beginning to end, it was well-done and interesting. I highly recommend it!

The Maltese Falcon
(1931)

A Very Good First Version of "The Maltese Falcon"
I very much enjoyed this 1931 version of "The Maltese Falcon, an outstanding movie of 1941. Ricardo Cortez, a consistently good actor, portrayed Sam Spade differently than Humphrey Bogart-more warmth, more charm. I liked his portrayal as much as I liked Humphrey Bogart's portrayal. Gutman, the role played by the great Sidney Greenstreet, was played by Dudley Digges, himself an excellent character actor. Peter Lorre's role, Dr. Joel Cairo, was played by Otto Matieson, a very good actor who would have definitely gained prominence had he not died in 1932 at an early age. The role played so well by Mary Astor was played by Bebe Daniels, and she performed it equally well. Elisha Cook's role, Wilmer, was played well by Dwight Frye, probably best known for his role in Dracula. The plot is basically the same as the 1941 version-they are all involved in the search for a rare treasure. I found this version to be nearly as good as the 1941 version, and certainly the acting was as good as the 1941 version.

Mystery House
(1938)

Good mystery movie
I enjoyed this movie very much. Considering it is a B-movie, in my opinion, it is a good B-movie. It is based on the mystery novel "The Mystery of Hunting's End" by Mignon G. Eberhart, and the movie title "Mystery House" is very appropriate, since a group of people are gathered together in a house where a man was murdered. The acting by the entire cast is good. With the exception of Dick Purcell and Ann Sheridan, I was not familiar with any of them. It is a short movie, but there is much action in less than one hour. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in a good mystery movie. The hour went by very fast.

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