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currently on at the 'pictures': 
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Well, this is far from being 'currently on,' but I enjoyed it so much I had to share.

TWO-HEADED SPY (1958). Starring the great Jack Hawkins, I'd never heard of this film until I stumbled across it on YouTube. I love it when that happens and the film proves to be not-a-disappointment.

That's certainly the case with this one. Loosley inspired by - ie, not remotely resembling - the career of AP Scotland, it tells the story of German General Alex Schottland. At the end of the First World War, dual-nationality Alex remains in Germany and eventually witnesses the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. He rises with them, his fanatical loyalty to Hitler and the Party making him one of Hitler's most trusted commanders.

What Hitler doesn't know is that Schottland is and always has been an officer in British Intelligence. Whilst Hitler may not suspect Alex, others do - including his adjutant ( the excellent Erik Schumann ) and Gestapo Leader Muller. The net begins to close on General Schottland even as the Russians advance towards Berlin...

Hawkins is great in this, a fanatical Nazi one moment, a weary and cynical spy the next, tired of the double life. Felix Aylmer gives wonderful support as his Secret Service handler, and with espionage being a pet subject of mine it's pleasing that Gestapo Leader Muller is played by Alexander Knox, who would later play George Smiley's boss, Control.

Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K2PW9DmTwI


Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:49 am
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that's a new one on me, JT----sounds good.

I do watch films on youtube now and again---I waited decades to see the 1932 much-banned film ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and I first saw it on youtube.


That cramped screen is not really the same though---yes you can blow the image up but the quality suffers.

I use youtube if nothing else is available.

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:00 pm
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Did you ever see `Freaks` Rab? Also from 1932 it was made at the very staid MGM of all studios. It was banned in the UK till about 1968. Only got made because MGM's head of production, Irving Thalberg: who, unlike studio boss Louie B.Mayer (Who disowned it) liked to encourage oddball talent; and Todd Browning's `Freaks` was as way out as it gets in 1932.

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:05 pm
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yes I have a copy of FREAKS , Alan, the Tod Browning M-G-M early talkie---it is very unsettling indeed and not pleasant to watch---it has survived in better shape than Island of Lost Souls though, which is stitched together from several prints of varying quality.

Universal put out a really good Blu-ray set of 8 of their best early Horror films including Frankenstein which is a delight.


'One of Us! One of Us!' [dialogue from Freaks].

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:12 pm
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MGM bieng the biggest film company (in the 1930s) had best facilities for keeping prints-hence most old films made by MGM survive in better condition than those of Paramount, Warners, Fox, Columbia etc! Earl Marx Bros (1929-33) made at Paramount are sadly not complete apart from `Duck Soup`

Did you know that over 90 % of silent film stock was melted down for use again (The Silver Nitrate) when sound arrived, because the film community didn't think anyone would want to view silent films (on re-release) for that reason!

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:23 pm
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the old film stock was also highly inflammable as I am sure you know, Alan: you see photos of editors poring over 35 mm frames with fags sticking out of their mouths as they work!

Later on, many of the best films got transferred to safety stock. As you say, there are huge gaps in missing films from the early period: the most famous early missing silent Horror film is London at Midnight starring Lon Chaney Snr.

The most agonizing wait I had to see a film was the 14 years I waited to see A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: just virtually impossible to see in the UK for a long time in the pre-video days.

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:37 pm
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I must admit that I have been having a bit of a classics kick myself as I just watched Robin and the 7 Hoods on Sunday and I have been watching Pardners in chunks between doing other things.

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:57 pm
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Watched X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. Another triumph for the X-Men. I rate it higher than the recent Captain America, being an almost faultless superhero epic. I did notice that Sony use Quicksilver, whilst Marvel use the Scarlet Witch, with similar fates to the other siblings.

Wolverine a scene-stealer but great pic all round. Shame about my once hometown of Cairo mind you. I did spare a thought for all those that I've known there.

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Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:06 pm
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alanultron5 wrote:
Did you ever see `Freaks` Rab? Also from 1932 it was made at the very staid MGM of all studios. It was banned in the UK till about 1968.


It finally got a UK release a few years earlier than that - 1963. Then vanished for another 31 years.


Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:02 am
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Even some of Greta Garbo's silent films are `lost` The third ever Technicolour film RKO's 1936 "The Dancing Pirate" gone! 1937s "Lost Horizon" still has just over seven minutes footage missing; though the full soundtrack does survive!How about this! All but a handfull (about Five) films from the "Fox" corporation (Before they amalgamated with "20th Century" films) exist as the company deliberately wiped hundreds of pre 1935 films before the merger!

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Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:20 am
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Oops! I meant `Don't Exist` Fox films actually took the decision to destroy all films with the `Fox` logo when they merged with 20th Century films in 1934. Hundreds of classic films junked because of `economics` Thankfully, a few turned up in European vaults/libraries so that at least a very small sample of `Fox` film product before the merger exists!

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Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:00 pm
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obscure fact related to comics:


MAD MAGAZINES' ALFRED E. NEUMANN [the famous ginger-haired, big-eared, gap-toothed kid on most covers] gets his name from Alfred Neman, the composer of the uber-famous 20TH Century Fox fanfare heard during the 'searchlight intro' which I am sure you are all familiar with...


One very early Fox talkie does exist, though---the bizarre curio JUST IMAGINE [1930] : a lavish sc-fi musical satire, that predicted the then-far future 1980, a hopelessly inept vision, with everyone zooming around vast cityscapes using personal fly-ing craft---this one was on youtube in full at one point.

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Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:08 pm
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Found in French Film Library Paris Rab! in 1968 I think! A lost Paramount `talkie` was found in Denmark's vaults "The Smiling Luitenant" from 1931. Will Hay's "Where's that Fire" was `lost` for over 40 years!

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Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:41 pm
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ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
that's a new one on me, JT----sounds good.

I do watch films on youtube now and again---I waited decades to see the 1932 much-banned film ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and I first saw it on youtube.


That cramped screen is not really the same though---yes you can blow the image up but the quality suffers.

I use youtube if nothing else is available.


I know what you mean. I tend to download them and watch on my laptop, which helps a bit.

I seem to remember that the first time I saw FREAKS was on Channel 4 during its early days, when they did a series of 'controversial' films. Thought I don't think it was one of the infamous Red Triangle broadcasts. I Loved it, of course!


Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:38 am
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I think FREAKS was shown around 1983 on Channel 4 on a series presented by Leslie Halliwell called What the Censor Saw [or something like that]...he introduced the story behind the ban before the screening.


YouTube has provided me with viewings of little-seen older sci-fi films like THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING and CURSE OF THE FLY.


youtube is always worth a look when it comes to niche films.

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Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:07 pm
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