Raoul Walsh

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HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

Re: Raoul Walsh

#26 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:08 pm

Well I guess it's safe to say there'll be no Raul Walsh At Fox Box Of Boxes this year for Xmas.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Raoul Walsh

#27 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:28 pm

To be fair, I don't remember the last time Fox even released a DVD

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david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
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Re: Raoul Walsh

#28 Post by david hare » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:32 pm

South Pacific on Blu Ray?

Who would know!

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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Raoul Walsh

#29 Post by Finch » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:21 pm

Slant has a nice appreciation of Walsh and a capsule review of Me and My Gal as well as Band of Angels, both of which little seen these days.

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tarpilot
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am

Re: Raoul Walsh

#30 Post by tarpilot » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:34 pm

EDIT: Removed my Big Brown Eyes review as I was re-using some of it in another thread and I like to do my best to disguise my crossposting. Hopefully I'll think of something to fill this space with before the topic gets bumped. Kind of exciting, huh?

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Raoul Walsh

#31 Post by whaleallright » Tue May 06, 2014 6:35 pm

my personal favorites are two wartime Errol Flynn vehicles, Gentleman Jim and Objective, Burma!, but his filmography is full of some of the best films made in the studio era. following is a post about his Fox films of the late 1920s/early 1930s, from the thread for the Ford at Fox set:
I had some hopes for something like an Eclipse set of "pre-Code" Walsh films but that was dashed when Fox released Me and My Gal on their (mostly godforsaken) MOD line. the quality on that is decent but I wouldn't say "excellent"--it's an unrestored release print transferred in the VHS era is my guess. the 35mm print that had been circulating looks better, although as with many films of the time it's rather grainy to begin with. the Fox MOD series often doesn't have access to new restorations/prints made by the Fox archives, simply because their production budget is too low to allow for new scans of 35mm material. or at least that is my sense.

most of the Raoul Walsh Fox films of the late silent/early sound period(s) are pretty great, although many of them are so un-PC (from ethnic caricatures to downright racism) as to make me wonder if any company could release them outside of some high-ticket coffee-table set. Me and My Gal is pretty benign in this regard; perhaps that's why it's the only one of these films that has seen release in the digital era.

FWIW (and just to lament what could have been) the keepers of Walsh's early Fox period are, other than The Big Trail:

- What Price Glory? (1926) - epochal, much-imitated war comedy-drama, was once considered a stone classic (which it is) but now seems generally unknown
- The Cock-Eyed World (1929) - a talkie sequel to What Price Glory?
- The Man Who Came Back (1931) - an interesting attempt to extend the Gaynor/Farrell magic into the sound era
- Wild Girl (1932) - Farrell matched with a young Joan Bennett, supposedly sublime (I haven't had a chance to see this one, but it had a very enthusiastic reception at Bologna)
- Me and My Gal (1932) - Bennett again, with Spencer Tracy; probably the best of the lot - hugely entertaining, ecstatic, life-affirming
- Sailor's Luck (1933) - an anarchic shore-leave comedy, striking number of motifs carried over from Me and My Gal (IIRC they were shot almost back-to-back)
- The Bowery (1933) - a kind of retooling of Vidor's The Champ, but even better than that classic - as with several of these films, amazing cast from top to bottom (Wallace Beery, George Raft, Jackie Cooper, Fay Wray...)
- Under Pressure (1935) - not as good as the previous films, but a fitting (temporary) end to Walsh's Fox employment (he went freelance after this)

Most of these films have the same cynical-but-romantic, wisecracking attitude. They feature many of the same actors in similar parts, from the stars down to Fox bit players. One can spot a ridiculous number of visual motifs, gags, etc. that carry (and develop) from film to film. In other words, they would all benefit from being packaged (and viewed) together.

alas...
here's a link to a 2013 Pacific Film Archive series on Walsh; a larger retrospective was held at Bologna in 2013: http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/walsh" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Raoul Walsh

#32 Post by zedz » Tue May 06, 2014 7:15 pm

Nice selection, but I would absolutely add The Yellow Ticket to the 'essential' pile.

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Raoul Walsh

#33 Post by whaleallright » Tue May 06, 2014 8:12 pm

I've never seen that one! it doesn't seem to have much of a reputation, and admittedly I get it mixed up with the other silent and early-sound adaptations of the same ca. 1914 stage play by Michael Morton, which is itself highly derivative of “La Tosca.” I tried to disentangle these a few months ago, because there’s a lot of confusion online and even in some scholarly histories:

1) 1914 Polish film (lost) starring the yet-to-become-an-international-star Pola Negri -- this one is referenced in a few places but is not on IMDB (and may only be a rumor)

2) 1916 American film (lost) The Yellow Passport produced by the Shubert Film Corporation, an extension of the major Shubert theater chain, who also made Maurice Tourneur's The Wishing Ring

3) 1918 American film The Yellow Ticket starring Fanny Ward and Walter Oland, produced by Astra Films (survives)

4) 1918 German film Der gelbe Schein, also w/ Negri, released in the USA as The Devil's Pawn -- this was co-written by Ernst Lubitsch's regular collaborator Hanns Kraly, and produced by the same company that made Lubitsch's films as actor and director (until he left for Hollywood). this survives and may be the best-known version, not that that’s saying much.

5) 1928 Soviet film by Mehzrapom studio, directed by Fyodor Otsep and starring Anna Sten. Russian title translates to Land in Captivity (survives). has a strong reputation.

6) 1931 American sound film The Yellow Ticket, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Elissa Landi, Lionel Barrymore, and Laurence Olivier (!)

(& no idea what if anything Raul Ruiz's 2009 film El pasaporte amarillo has to do with all this)

the only one I've seen is #4, though I have #5 and will get around to it.

tell me/us about the Walsh version!

[edited for spelling]
Last edited by whaleallright on Thu May 08, 2014 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Raoul Walsh

#34 Post by zedz » Wed May 07, 2014 12:04 am

The Walsh version is great. Dark and moody, with a climactic scene staged in two adjoining apartments / hotel rooms that Walsh plays out with a characteristically brilliant use of deep space composition. It's a creaky old melodrama, but Walsh sharpens everything up and keeps the pace cracking.

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liam fennell
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Raoul Walsh

#35 Post by liam fennell » Wed May 07, 2014 8:37 am

Thanks for that list and descriptions, Jonah, it is much appreciated. It's a shame about the non-PC aspect of these things, I can definitely imagine it being a little over the top in these early Walsh films as his sense of humor in general is a little over the top! Which was something I definitely had to adjust to (especially the way he directs Alan Hale!) but once I did I came to appreciate his goofball humor very much.

Me and My Gal really is something else! It would make a strange but funny double bill with Father of the Bride.

I also often think Gentleman Jim, along with the tonally similar Strawberry Blonde, as his best and my favorite. The thing is just so fun and perfect in every way. It doesn't even have a story or any conflict at all, really. It cruises along almost solely on the strength of Flynn's charm and Walsh's seemingly effortless direction. Such a slight film in many ways and somehow that is its greatest strength!!! Fascinating stuff. It is the kind of rare movie that makes me look at and appreciate movies differently.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Raoul Walsh

#36 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:21 pm

I didn't have time to go see the IB Tech print of Rio Bravo at Metrograph, but despite the ridiculous train rerouting this weekend, I made it to Me and My Gal at MoMA. This was a "new 4K restoration from nitrate elements held by MoMA, funded by Twentieth Century Fox," and as always you definitely know you're watching a DCP. I've never seen this before, but I'm guessing they did a remarkable job of fixing any damage because there wasn't any to be seen. As with many Hollywood films of this vintage, what survives is a gauzy looking picture. It still looks nice, especially in close up. I was surprised Manny Farber pegged this as Raoul Walsh's best, and to be fair, it has gained quite a few fans over the years. While I can't say it's one of my favorites, Walsh is quite adventurous in his filmmaking here. (The Eugene O'Neill joke and the final shot are very much left field choices for a film like this.) I didn't even recognize Joan Bennett, and having missed the credits, I didn't know she was in the film. And Spencer Tracy is wonderful - his presence just amazingly natural on-screen.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Raoul Walsh

#37 Post by zedz » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:41 am

DISTANT DRUMS

Very disappointing Raoul Walsh film, which doesn’t even have his normally fine staging of action scenes to recommend it. It’s a standard western in a non-standard setting (the Florida everglades), but it doesn’t work for several reasons:
- Gary Cooper is the lead, and he’s fine, but the film includes a focal character who’s not only largely irrelevant (I’m guessing he was figured in mainly to allow Cooper’s character to have a star entrance), but embodied by an actor who’s stiff as a board. Once Cooper enters, this second banana just hangs around with nothing to do, stinking the place up.
- The plot, which soon boils down to a chase through the swamp, is weirdly dull. Rather than ratcheting up tension by showing us a dogged pursuit, the chase is staged as a series of close shaves from which the soldiers narrowly escape, until, surprise!, the Indians suddenly catch up with them again and they have another narrow escape.

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Ovader
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:56 am
Location: Canada

Re: Raoul Walsh

#38 Post by Ovader » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:06 pm

I wanted to find out more information of a song's origins and curious if this is correct that Walsh co-wrote a song titled Let's Dream In The Moonlight? I was listening to a fine debut album by Samara Joy and that song appears on the album featuring my favourite guitarist Pasquale Grasso.

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