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Saturday, October 30, Halloween with Joe Breen. The Siren's patient readers know she is, not to put too fine a point on it, a wuss when it comes to horror movies.
She'll do "subtly creepy," "atmospheric," and "ghostly" all day, but Chat sexy Oprisor we get to "utterly freaking terrifying," let alone "physically nauseating," she starts coming up with excuses. Perhaps it will gladden the hearts of Trish and David E. Alone, with the kids in bed, curled up on the couch with a flannel blanket, a box of Kleenex for her head cold and a small glass of brandy to keep the beasties at bay. The Siren had a dilemma, however. She was going to write about something scary for Halloween, and Zodiac didn't scare her. Creeped her out, yes; made her clutch her blankie during violent scenes; showed her that Robert Downey Jr.
But scared, no. The Siren didn't even need the brandy, although she drank it anyway. So here it is, Halloween eve, and everybody else is doing scary stuff. The Siren wants to play too, so she came up with a solution. You what's scary?
This guy is scary. Joseph I. Breendean of the Hays Office, enforcer of the Production Code, scourge of toilet-flushing, decolletage and the word "lousy. So grab your blankie and your brandy and return with the Siren to the days when the Great Bluenose From Philadelphia stomped through Hollywood, leaving in his wake piles of balled-up script s and discarded film stock, as well as filmmakers rubbing their temples and reaching for the bicarbonate. Let's see how Breen sought to protect us from too much sex in our horror movies, because isn't that the first thing you think about when deciding which one to watch?
That's the Siren's first concern with every horror movie, no matter the year: "Gee, I hope there's no sex.
The Hays Office did a great deal of its work before cameras ever turned, going through scripts and tossing out whatever ran afoul of the Code and their interpretation of it. What follows are some excerpts from correspondence about the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. These script notations are part of Joe Breen's memo to Louis B. Mayer, Nov. Please also do not overemphasize the garter… The line Chat sexy Oprisor want you--want you every minute' is not acceptable… Omit the underlined words in the expression 'the little white-breasted dove'… The following broken line must be changed: 'Underneath I'm as soft as your white--' The dialog that ends the scene beginning 'I'm hurting you because I like to hurt you--' is unacceptable by reason of containing a definite suggestion of sadism… After the script had been edited to the censors' satisfaction, often a movie would be screened so they could be sure a director wasn't trying to screw them a verb the Hays Office was striking as late as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Screening Dr. Jekyll resulted in the following memo: In the scene where Jekyll carries Ivy up to her room, delete the large close-up where Ivy's breasts are unduly exposed… In the first montage, delete all scenes [of Hyde] lashing the two girls. In the Chat sexy Oprisor montage, delete all scenes having to do with the swan and the girl, and the stallion and the girl… [Note from the Siren: Damn, I would have liked to see that.
Breen, ever ready to do a good deed, also warned the filmmakers that the British Board of Censors would probably delete a reference to Buckingham Palace. Let us turn now to James Whale's very great Bride of Frankensteinwhich began life inthe year the Code came into full effect. Sex wasn't so much the problem with this one, although Whale received notice that the term "mate" was unacceptable as it implied that the monster "desires a sexual companion…we suggest that you substitute the word 'companion. We suggest changing the word 'entrails,' as it will be offensive to mixed audiences.
A We also suggest omitting this scene of the rat, as its portrayal has in the past proved offensive… B We suggest omitting the line 'It was like being God. B For the same reason, we suggest omitting the line 'as they say, "in God's own image. James Whale responded to each point, changing the word "entrails" to "insides," for example, and altering the B-7 line to "it was like being the Creator himself.
It's worth noting that the Hays Office was, unbelievably, often more lenient than other censors.
Despite all those protracted negotiations and extensive changes, Bride of Frankenstein was banned in Trinidad "because it is a horror picture"Palestine and Hungary, and shown only with extensive deletions in Japan, China, Sweden and Singapore. The Siren adds that Mr. Gardner cleared up her confusion about the poison in Ivy : "The word 'arsenic' was struck from many scripts on the theory that, deprived of this information, the moviegoer would never realize that arsenic was a lethal substance.
The Siren, confident that she has fulfilled her obligation to frighten her readers, adds links with the same aim: Kim Morgan on Strait-Jacket. The Siren can't think of another film writer anywhere who could use this giddily bizarre flick to anchor the most respectful and deeply affectionate tribute to Joan Crawford that any fan could desire.
The Futurist has been doing a lot of scary stuff for Halloween, but this takes the biscui t. Jacqueline T. Lynch reminds us of what might have been frightening people on other radio channels during that War of the Worlds broadcast. Complete with a newsreel of Orson Welles saying "Sorry, guys," a rundown on the movie and advice on how to handle a Martian invasion. Every day is Halloween at Obscure Hollow. Just click over and bask in all the incredible screen grabs. The Siren may not be a horror connoisseur, but she loves this site to bits and pieces.
Posted by The Siren at PM 65 comments:. Wednesday, October 27, Intimacy at the Movies. The camerawork reminded me of Ophuls. I am still trying to write that one up. It was glorious, it was rejuvenating. But my old-movie habit wasn't being fed. Sometime around the two-week mark the withdrawal became too much and I posted on Facebook and Twitter that I was going to dig up a pre movie and watch it to the last frame.
Maybe some followers thought I was being cute about how much I needed to do this. I was as serious as All Quiet on the Western Front. And I watched Ivy. And it was good. So good I started Chat sexy Oprisor wonder if this was simple addiction. It did feel uncomfortably like I was one of those people who went to sleep in Shreveport and woke up in Abilene. I can, in fact, stop anytime I like. Don't look at me like that. I have a Netflix copy of Zodiac right there on my dressing table, you just can't see it because it's under the eyeshadow palette.
I've had it three weeks and haven't watched it yet, but I'm telling you I could watch it right now if I felt like it and if my daughter weren't already downstairs watching the Blue Bird. I just don't want to.
I'll watch Zodiac this weekend. Right now I need to keep watching old movies, I have too much else going on to quit something that isn't harming me anyway. Hey, did anybody else notice some benevolent soul has posted Hold Back the Dawn on Youtube? I'm not going to quit-- I don't have a problem --but I often have stretches of wondering why I do this, aside from the prestige of attending swank parties and announcing that I blog about movies a lot of people have never heard of, let alone seen.
And I have had a small moment of clarity. He writes mostly about contemporary movies and some politics, in his graceful and very witty style, and I love it even when he's making me feel guilty for not watching Zodiac. I found a post called " Best Films of the s. Movies that cast a spell. I don't mean surrealism — not a fan.
I mean a big-budget studio picture that despite the involvement of hundreds of people, from money-grubbing producers to eagle-eyed costumiers, seems to have bloomed from the unconscious of a drowsy Keats I recently had a spirited debate with my friend Nat about my theory that one cannot know and enjoy a picture made before you were born with quite the same casual intimacy of a film made in your lifetime.
That older film can be times better but it still doesn't breathe the same air you do in the same way that even a cruddy picture produced yesterday can. Absolutely bloody fascinating, in fact, because it's the precise opposite of the way I react to new versus old movies. But if I want a film to speak to my most secret Siren soul, something to forget my life and the venue and possibly even the day of the week and whoever is sitting next to me, I'm looking at immensely better odds if I go pre Casual intimacy for me usually comes in black and white or Technicolor.
Or sepia. Or Color by Deluxe. I've been intimate with sepia and Deluxe. I don't want to argue muchI want to attach an endnote. Clearly, it's true for Tom. Today we had coffee and I told him I was thinking about writing this and he's already got a lovely, lucid response right here. This has got to be a personal best in terms of slow composition.
I am now so slow that someone responds before I post. His observation is probably true for most moviegoers.Chat sexy Oprisor
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