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  • Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
    Chaplin, of course, played the French wife murderer "Monsieur Verdoux" in 1946, which was based on French wife murderer Henri Desire Landru.Jeff
    That's right! I've seen that one, too, but forgot all about it.

    Comment


    • How about this one of Charlie

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZX6TUsuUQo
      G U T

      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
        The incident is mentioned in Chaplin's Autobiography, as is his walking by the home of a family that was murdered by one Edgar Edwards, who found this a novel way of acquiring property for sale purposes. Agains Chaplin felt queasy while staring at the house (the killings had not yet been uncovered).

        Chaplin, of course, played the French wife murderer "Monsieur Verdoux" in 1946, which was based on French wife murderer Henri Desire Landru.

        Jeff
        Perhaps Chaplin had a bit of a sixth sense about murderers.

        Landru is another name I've encountered hanging around these forums, yet know very little about. May need to look up that movie.

        My favorite biographical film about Charlie Chaplin is "Chaplin" starring Robert Downey, Jr. Highly recommended to those who think Downey can only play superheroes in iron flying suits.
        Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
        ---------------
        Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
        ---------------

        Comment


        • Hi Pat,

          If you see "Verdoux" [the sound film Chaplin made between "The Great Dictator" (also based on someone and his gang who can be called great murderers) and "Limelight"] keep in mind that it is set between 1918 and 1933,
          whereas the career of Landru was between 1914 and 1918 (then he was arrested and his trial did not occur until 1921-22, when he was found guilty and executed). Chaplin was trying to make a point about Landru, a little murderer (if you will) who kills for profit and the "grand world" of politics, diplomacy, and warfare, where rulers kill millions for aggrandizement. It is a curious point (and not totally original - I have seen a quote from an 18th Century murderer on the scaffold which says the same thing briefly).

          However the film is well done, and has a wonderful performance in it by Martha Raye, as a loud woman who won a fortune (by luck) in a lottery, whom Verdoux, in one attempt after another cannot manage to kill (in fact she survives him). There are nice touches in it, including an unnerving segment involving Verdoux's killing of another wife/victim that is without any humor in it at all, but is basically done straight. It is quite unnatural to see this sequence and recall Chaplin is a great comedian. He was also an effective dramatic actor.

          It is not the only film based on Landru's career. In 1960 a film called "Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons" starring George Sanders was made in Great Britain, and is set in the correct period (the Great War years), but was reset to be in Britain in that period. I don't see why, as Sanders (with his wonderful speaking voice) had played French characters in films like "This Land is Mine" and "Bel Ami". He even played the criminal turned detective genius Vidocq in Douglas Sirk's "A Scandal in Paris" (1944). There was a French film called "Landru" that was made in the 1960s as well..

          If I can suggest a good spot to begin on reading up on Landru, start with William Bolitho's classic criminal history colleciont of essays, "Murder For Profit", which comprises of essays on Burke and Hare, Troppmann, George Joseph Smith, Landru, and Haarmann, each of which shows Bolitho's ability to somehow bring the killings into their particular periods of history (Edinburgh in the 1820s; Napoleon III's Second Empire in it's seedy last years of the 1860s;
          Edwardian / Georgian England of the pre-Great War period; France in the heart of the Great War; and post - Great War Germany, with it's financial and social collapse). The whole book remains a great read. Bolitho (who died prematurely in 1930) would write a similar type of book, "Twelve Against the Gods" about various historical figures in a variety of periods. He had been a newspaper reporter, and covered Landru's trial.

          Interestingly enough, Bolitho had wanted to do (in his original scheme) a sixth essay that he never did. If his work on it were still around it might prove very interesting. In his last section he claims his choice of killers were the bottom of the barrel - the worst murderers of the many he lists who were the worst in the two hundred years of the social world he grew up with. The sixth one he could not include was "Jack the Ripper" because of a lack of adequate documation on background (i.e., youth and pre-murder career), and other matters he does not mention. My suspicion is that as in one way or another the killers he documented murdered for the purpose of getting some financial profit one way or another (in Haarmann's case, utilizing the victim's corpses for sale of meat to hungry citizens in his native Hannover), the lack of information on Jack would have included no way of knowing if he got any personal financial gain from his killings. If something like that ever actually was shown, it would be proof of identity.

          Jeff

          Comment


          • Leading Men Film Actors (1930 to 2016)

            Karl started an interesting thread under "Pub Talk" regarding two photos of the bust of an ancient Roman whom he felt looked like a British male actor of the 1950s and 1960s. I was thinking of British leading men or leading character actors (extending it back to the 1930s and forward to the present) to see which ones are considered the favorite ones. They should be primarily in British films, although some may end up in U.S. movies or in films made in other countries. They can include actors born in former parts of the British Empire or to British people in other parts of the globe or to non-British people, but born or raised in Britain.

            My choices are (not actually ranking them):

            Laurence Olivier
            Kenneth Branagh
            Russell Crowe
            Trevor Howard
            Alec Guinness
            Jack Hawkins
            Geoffrey Rush
            Peter Sellers
            Peter O'Toole
            Michael Redgrave
            Ralph Richardson
            John Guilgud
            Paul Schofield
            Rex Harrison
            Richard Burton
            John Mills
            Dirk Bogarde
            Richard Attenborough
            Charles Laughton
            Jim Broadbent

            There are others.

            Jeff

            Comment


            • Jeff, why on Earth did you leave out Cary Grant (aka Archibald Leach), born and raised in Bristol, who has appeared in some British films. I know he did go to Hollywood and become a naturalized citizen of the USA, but we shouldn't hold that against him, should we?
              Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
              ---------------
              Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
              ---------------

              Comment


              • Hi, Mayerling.

                I'd like to add Sean Connery to your list if I may. He played very much against type in the harrowing 1972 film 'The Offence', which co-stars Trevor Howard. If you haven't seen it I'd certainly commend it to you.

                Your, Caligo.
                "I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire: God wouldn't trust an Englishman in the dark."

                Comment


                • A few more :

                  Leslie Howard
                  David Niven
                  Robert Donat
                  Kenneth More
                  Michael Dennison
                  Eric Portman
                  Ronald Colman

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                    Jeff, why on Earth did you leave out Cary Grant (aka Archibald Leach), born and raised in Bristol, who has appeared in some British films. I know he did go to Hollywood and become a naturalized citizen of the USA, but we shouldn't hold that against him, should we?
                    Sorry Pat, it's the emphasis on basically being a star of the British cinema, though they could make films in Hollywood. Personally if the list was of film stars who were British but zoomed to the top in Hollywood films, Grant would have been number one.

                    Jeff

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Caligo Umbrator View Post
                      Hi, Mayerling.

                      I'd like to add Sean Connery to your list if I may. He played very much against type in the harrowing 1972 film 'The Offence', which co-stars Trevor Howard. If you haven't seen it I'd certainly commend it to you.

                      Your, Caligo.
                      Hi Caligo,

                      My personal favorite of Connery playing against type (and as the villain) was his film "Woman of Straw" with Gina Lollabrigida, Ralph Richardson, Johnny Sekka, and Alexander Knox. When he reveals his fangs to Lollabrigida it is definitely not OO7 but more like Ernst Stavro Blofeld that we are listening to at that moment.

                      Jeff

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Robert View Post
                        A few more :

                        Leslie Howard
                        David Niven
                        Robert Donat
                        Kenneth More
                        Michael Dennison
                        Eric Portman
                        Ronald Colman
                        Good choices, until you reach Niven and Colman, both favorites of mine - but they made most of their movies in Hollywood (in fact, I can't recall any film Colman actually made in Britain). The key is those British Leading Men whose main films were made in Britain, with some Hollywood films included (one I did not include was Leslie Banks, whose best known role in Hollywood was Count Zahroff in "The Most Dangerous Game", but whose major films were such productions in Britain as "Fire Over England", "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), and Henry V (Olivier's - 1945).

                        Jeff

                        Comment


                        • Jack Hawkins is a favorite of mine. Leo Genn was a leading man in some of his films and as handsome as Hawkins, IMO. Genn, a barrister by profession, started in Britain and was doing okay there--"The Wooden Horse" and "Personal Affair"--to name two British films--but I think his downfall was becoming an MGM player. Sure, "Quo Vadis" was great for him but after that it was downhill in a handcart. The studio didn't really know what to do with Genn who, BTW, still has young female fans to this day. I have spoken to them on the Net.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
                            Good choices, until you reach Niven and Colman, both favorites of mine - but they made most of their movies in Hollywood (in fact, I can't recall any film Colman actually made in Britain). The key is those British Leading Men whose main films were made in Britain, with some Hollywood films included (one I did not include was Leslie Banks, whose best known role in Hollywood was Count Zahroff in "The Most Dangerous Game", but whose major films were such productions in Britain as "Fire Over England", "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), and Henry V (Olivier's - 1945).

                            Jeff
                            Niven and Colman, with Grant, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, and many others, were part of Hollywood's colony of expatrite British actors.
                            Television lured additional British actors, notably David McCallum, who did the successful spy series "The Man from U.n.c.l.e."with Robert Vaughn from 1963 to 1969, later returned to the U.K. and starred in "Sapphire and Steel", made a variety of other tv appearances in the Sixties and Seventies, as well as several British and internationally produced movies, and is now back on television as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on "N.C.I.S." He shows no sign of retiring yet.

                            What
                            about Anthony Hopkins, or is he better known here?
                            Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                            ---------------
                            Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                            ---------------

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                              Niven and Colman, with Grant, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, and many others, were part of Hollywood's colony of expatrite British actors.
                              Television lured additional British actors, notably David McCallum, who did the successful spy series "The Man from U.n.c.l.e."with Robert Vaughn from 1963 to 1969, later returned to the U.K. and starred in "Sapphire and Steel", made a variety of other tv appearances in the Sixties and Seventies, as well as several British and internationally produced movies, and is now back on television as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on "N.C.I.S." He shows no sign of retiring yet.

                              What
                              about Anthony Hopkins, or is he better known here?
                              I'm not sure about the bulk of Hopkins films at the start of his career. Aside from his Richard the Lion - Hearted in "The Lion In Winter" where were the bulk of his films prior to the 1990s (when he got the Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs")?

                              Jeff

                              Comment


                              • I recently watched City Streets the Gary Cooper gangsta flik from 1931. I'm always finding new gangster movies from 1931 I havent seen yet. 1931 is the single most important year in film history. The gangster picture is the ultimate movie. The Talking picture was fresh, raw and frankly everything after 31 is somewhat of imitation. Movies slowly became more and more of a joke until today when they are just pure garbage. It's incredible how many amazing gangster movies were banged out in 1931. Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Scarface, Quick Millions, City Streets. I'm waiting on a copy of The Secret Six, also from 31 which has Wallace Beery playing Capone. Does anybody know any other early gangster flicks that I might have missed? I've seen all the cagney and robinson ones. I learned about Quick Millions on here and it's awesome! Outside the Law and Widow from Chicago are really dope too and they predate the 31 flicks

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