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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk => Directors => Topic started by: MartinTeller on November 12, 2010, 01:01:58 PM

Title: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: MartinTeller on November 12, 2010, 01:01:58 PM
(http://www.latimes.com/includes/projects/hollywood/portraits/lloyd_bacon.jpg)
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: MartinTeller on November 12, 2010, 01:02:22 PM
1. 42nd Street
2. Footlight Parade
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: pixote on November 12, 2010, 01:11:30 PM
Close call between 42nd Street and The Sullivans. I'll say the latter, since I've seen it more recently.

pixote
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: Bill Thompson on November 12, 2010, 01:12:49 PM
Haven't seen any
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: sdedalus on November 12, 2010, 01:36:09 PM
1. 42nd Street
2. Footlight Parade

They're both pretty great.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: Antares on January 02, 2013, 11:03:34 AM
Action in the North Atlantic

The Fighting Sullivans
Brother Orchid
Invisible Stripes
Knute Rockne All American
Larceny, Inc.
A Slight Case of Murder
It Happens Every Spring
Picture Snatcher


San Quentin
The Oklahoma Kid
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on January 02, 2013, 11:32:38 AM
Action in the North Atlantic is already in my Watchlist. Adding The Fighting Sullivans, unless you suggest I don't.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: Antares on January 02, 2013, 11:59:29 AM
Adding The Fighting Sullivans, unless you suggest I don't.

It's a good film, but not great.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: Jared on February 14, 2013, 05:55:12 PM
1. 42nd Street 3/5
2. Knute Rockne All American 3/5
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on March 23, 2013, 12:47:37 AM
Action in the North Atlantic
* * *

At its worst, this is a more blatant military recruiting film than Top Gun. It doesn't glamorize the Navy, but a good hunk of scenes are of the type you might find in "So You Want to Help the War Effort". Nothing gets overlooked: a smackdown to a civilian with loose lips bragging about ships he saw leaving the harbor, the noble wives who can't even write to their husbands, and a big wet raspberry for Adolph. I get it's importance back then, but now it comes off as dramatic padding, although an interesting footnote in history.

Aside from that, this is a pretty rip-roaring action adventure with a fair amount of revenge. The action scenes feature the usual mix of closeups, stock footage and toy models in bathtubs but every now and then there's the kind of awesome visual touch you only find nowadays because of the abilities of CGI. The murky waters reveal a dangerous pack of submarines. A pilot is shot in the face. (Can they show that?) A sailor surfaces only to get blasted from behind with a burst of fire. A downed plane flies right into a ship. There's plenty of "Holy Cow!" in the action scenes, which are lengthy in the 2nd half.

With all this excitement, Humphrey Bogart becomes a side character, though he gets the kind of hero shot I didn't think they knew about back then. He marches down a corridor while the camera pulls back, keeping him framed low. He's never looked more like a cinema God. Also, while there's a lot of action on board the German submarines, none of it is subtitled. You have to follow based on inflection. A pretty bold choice. I don't think I've seen another film from the 1940s that does that.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on February 01, 2014, 07:39:11 PM
Miss Grant Takes Richmond
* * *

Lucille Ball plays a helpless, hopeless train wreck on legs who turns everything upside down. This could be the pilot for "I Love Lucy", only this is better because instead of Ricky there's William Holden because Frank Tashlin is one of the writers, it's actually funny. (Only Tashlin could get away with having a character say "I'm always in for Dick." in a 1949 film.)
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on February 01, 2014, 10:18:33 PM
Marked Woman
* * 1/2

Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart do what they can, but the script - very early work by Robert Rossen - lacks the usual Warner Brothers crackle. Davis and her pack of cocktail waitresses at times are a less daffy version of the pack from Mad Miss Manton, but this is a much more serious picture, including a key beating scene that's hard to sit through and meant to be that uncomfortable. In today's world Lloyd Bacon would be directing television. He's capable, but rarely puts an artistic stamp on the work. A couple of shots here involving multiple exposures and fog are simple effects, but for him rather lavish. I don't watch Bacon's films for him, but for the people he got to work with.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on February 06, 2014, 02:21:22 AM
Lloyd Bacon helped create what you get with a television director. Hand him the script and the cast and make sure he brings the film in on time with the stars playing to their strengths. His earlier work is dominated by the greatest names on the Warner Brothers lot. His later films look like a Comedy series from the small screen. It all depended on the quality of the script. Footlight Parade is on top thanks to Busby Berkeley's typically elaborate musical sequences.


1. Footlight Parade
2. Larceny Inc.
3. Action in the North Atlantic
4. Footsteps in the Dark
5. Charley's Aunt
6. 42nd Street
7. Gold Diggers of 1937
8. Cain and Mabel
9. San Quentin
10. The Oklahoma Kid
11. The Famous Ferguson Case
12. Cowboy From Brooklyn
13. Miss Grant Takes Richmond
14. Here Comes the Navy
15. Kill the Umpire
16. The Irish in Us
17. The Frogmen
18. Racket Busters
19. Devil Dogs of the Air
20. Invisible Stripes
21. Picture Snatcher
22. Brother Orchid
23. Three Cheers for the Irish
24. Ever Since Eve
25. The Fighting Sullivans
26. In Caliente
27. Wonder Bar
28. Broadway Gondolier
29. Miss Pinkerton
30. Captain Eddie
31. Marked Woman
32. Knute Rockne: All American
33. It Happens Every Spring
34. Submarine D-1
35. He Was Her Man
36. A Slight Case of Murder
37. Honeymoon For Three
38. The Frisco Kid
39. The Fuller Brush Girl
39. Boy Meets Girl
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: The Deer Hunter on February 06, 2014, 02:45:14 AM
According to my ratings I liked Action In The North Atlantic the most but I don't really remember it. I think I confuse parts of it with Across The Pacific which I know I enjoyed more.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on November 24, 2014, 08:28:25 PM
(http://imgur.com/nPGsUKR.jpg) (http://imgur.com/sltW8J8.png)
Larceny Inc. (1942)

Larceny Inc. is one of those films I wouldn't call great, but I enjoy it immensely. I own the DVD as part of an Edward G. Robinson box set, and I've seen it three times. It's about some ex-cons who try to go legit and end up running a luggage store. The comedy only works about half the time, but that half more than makes the grade thanks to an All-Star cast of characters doing some of their most huggable work. We all have our niche cinema hangouts, and I always feel at home in Late 30s/Early 40s Warner Bros. Larceny Inc. is a great place to meet some of those names I keep posting with glee in old film after old film.

The Supporting Cast has Broderick Crawford, Edward Brophy, Jack Carson, Jane Wyman, Harry Davenport, John Qualen and Anthony Quinn. An hour in, Grant Mitchell joins the fray and young Jackie Gleason pops up from time to time. Some or all of the names may not be familiar, but you probably know most of the faces and that's a roster that never lets you down. Meanwhile, front and center belongs to Edward G. Robinson. I don't know how much Robinson you've seen, but you haven't seen enough. (I'm up to 47 myself.) If you know him mostly from his dramas and gangster films, this will be a special treat when you learn he was just as good with comedy. I had to include that 2nd Screenshot, no matter how poor the quality. The scene where he tries to wrap a present is a highlight of the film.

I had forgotten that this is a Christmas movie, which means now is the perfect time to recommend it. Holiday cheer, Christmas carols, a jackhammer disguised as a tree and Eddie G. wearing a santa suit, the large black belt slung low beneath his belly.
RATING: * * *
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on January 04, 2015, 12:54:20 PM
The Irish in Us (1935)
* * *
This is quite a cast of movie stars for a lightweight comedy. Mary Gordon is the Ma of an Irish family that includes policeman Pat O'Brien, fireman Frank McHugh and boxing promoter James Cagney, whose latest protege is punch happy Allen Jenkins. O'Brien is sweet on the police Captain's daughter, but she has eyes for Cagney. (That aspiring actress is Olivia de Havilland.) The script isn't great, but it isn't a groaner and leans on the family aspect, not the Irish stereotype.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: oldkid on January 04, 2015, 07:07:52 PM
I've only seen 42nd Street, but it was really wonderful.  The finale was great.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on January 04, 2015, 09:27:57 PM
In that case you should put down Footlight Parade for this May. It's all that plus Cagney.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: oldkid on January 04, 2015, 11:15:03 PM
Love Cagney!
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on January 23, 2015, 06:22:53 PM
Picture Snatcher (1933)
* * 1/2
Feature #42 starring James Cagney, and it's one of his more forgettable ventures. I've learned a lot about filmmaking in the days of the Studio system, and it always surprised me that so many quality films came out of throwing a bunch of talent together without much prep time to be creative with the material. This film is more what I expected from such a plan. Everyone shows up, the more talented people come off better than the rest and it's rushed out the door to make way for the next product.

Cagney made 5 films this year. Lloyd Bacon directed 5. It's a case of quantity trumping quality. Some moments are good, like an unflinching look at a woman sent to the electric chair. Though Cagney is light on the ham, it still comes off like a one-man show because aside from Ralph Bellamy there are no standouts in the cast.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on September 13, 2015, 12:11:59 PM
Here Comes the Navy (1934)
* * * - Okay
I've seen a dozen Cagney performances earlier than this, but he plays like still-unmolded clay. Not yet in command of his voice, a bit stiff in his gestures, you can easily spot the bits of improv. It's all good, but far from seamless. He's supported by his Irish mafia right and left hands, Pat O'Brien and Frank McHugh. With the cast and the paint-by-numbers story I thought perhaps I had seen the film before. Though nominated for Best Picture, there's nothing memorable about it. Not bad, but more for completionists.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: don s. on September 14, 2015, 01:51:22 PM
I literally just now caught Affectionately Yours on TCM. It's a fun screwball comedy, but the echoes of His Girl Friday (released the previous year) are hard to shake. The protagonist (Dennis Morgan as a newspaper reporter) cooks up a series of zany schemes to try to save his marriage; his rival is played by Ralph Bellamy.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on September 14, 2015, 10:09:03 PM
I wonder how many films back then were using this formula. Four's a Crowd (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=9011.msg775605#msg775605) stars Rosalind Russell as a tough, fast-talking reporter seduced into going against her better judgement by her suave former boss. (Errol Flynn, who fills Cary Grants shoes easily.) Torrid Zone uses a similar formula with James Cagney and Ann Sheridan.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: don s. on September 15, 2015, 05:22:21 PM
To be honest, I doubt it would've occurred to me without the presence of Ralph Bellamy. But with him in basically the same role, I couldn't stop thinking about the parallels.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on September 15, 2015, 09:13:00 PM
Ralph Bellamy was the Bill Pullman of his day. (And I realize that reference is about 20 years old but I can't think of a contemporary who fits the part.)
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: don s. on September 15, 2015, 11:30:46 PM
They both played presidents!
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: Corndog on March 29, 2016, 01:26:25 PM
1. Kill the Umpire (3)
2. 42nd Street (2)
3. It Happens Every Spring (2)
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on March 29, 2016, 02:07:02 PM
Footlight Parade > 42nd Street

The musical numbers are off the charts crazy and it has James Cagney speaking faster than His Girl Friday.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: pixote on July 10, 2017, 12:30:15 PM
I just did a double-take when I saw that more than half of all voters haven't seen a Lloyd Bacon film.

1SO, did you review The Fighting Sullivans?

pixote
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on July 10, 2017, 01:19:18 PM
I didn't. I didn't want to start a debate with Antares over a film I didn't have much of an opinion on, especially when I had watched the more propaganda-slanted war film Action in the North Atlantic just a couple of days earlier. It's more Hollywood, but also a lot more fun to watch and rewatch.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: pixote on July 10, 2017, 02:25:59 PM
I didn't. I didn't want to start a debate with Antares over a film I didn't have much of an opinion on, especially when I had watched the more propaganda-slanted war film Action in the North Atlantic just a couple of days earlier. It's more Hollywood, but also a lot more fun to watch and rewatch.

The Fighting Sullivans held up for me on rewatch (a couple years ago). The pleasant Americana of the first half was a little more episodic than I remembered (to its detriment), but Thomas Mitchell's long glance near the end still broke my heart. I still haven't seen Action in the North Atlantic, despite my best intentions.

pixote
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on July 10, 2017, 10:45:32 PM
I just did a double-take when I saw that more than half of all voters haven't seen a Lloyd Bacon film.
That may not be accurate. Some people may not realize he directed 42nd Street and Footlight Parade because the musical sequences were directed by Busby Berkeley. Next on his list for popularity (and greatness) is Action in the North Atlantic, but again it has co-directors (Byron Haskin, Raoul Walsh), which works against any attempt to establish him as an auteur. My Top 3 where he has sole credit are Larceny Inc., Footsteps in the Dark and Cain and Mabel. All are hugely enjoyable, but they don't even combine to create a distinct sense of style



I have had some experience with Lloyd Bacon before, and I've always found his films to be good, but never great. His is a workmanlike style which assures entertainment, but basically guarantees a lack of greatness.

Too true. I've seen so many of his films because he made 57 features for Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1943. I've seen 26 of them and will probably watch the rest in my lifetime. He's made 9 films with Cagney, 7 with Bogart, 10 with Pat O'Brien, 6 with Dick Powell, 8 with Joan Blondell and 3 with Edward G. Robinson.



Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: Corndog on July 11, 2017, 07:03:16 AM
I'm not averse to continuing to see his movies, but they also won't get me excited anymore.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd - Director's Best
Post by: 1SO on September 02, 2018, 01:15:58 PM
It Happens Every Spring (1949)
* *
I understand people calling Ray Milland a lightweight Cary Grant. Their basic charms come from the same well, but it's like saying there's little difference between Bogart, Cagney, Robinson and Raft. Each has their own nuances and I find all of them entertaining. This baseball film teams Milland up with Paul Douglas, another actor I always enjoy. There's a one-joke idea of a tonic that makes baseball resistant to wood, and that Disney-esque premise is as deep as the writers go. The film's rarely funny because it rarely tries for a joke. Even the baseball gag nearly drops away. What's left are a lot of interesting avenues that could have been explored, but the film just drives by them to the end credits.
Title: Re: Bacon, Lloyd
Post by: 1SO on April 07, 2019, 11:45:45 PM
Charley's Aunt (1941)
★ ★ ★ - Good
Greatly exceeding my expectations, this is a terrific screwball farce starring Jack Benny in a Mrs. Doubtfire type situation. For once, the comedy in a Lloyd Bacon film is expertly directed and framed. I thought Benny dressed up as an old woman would wear thin quickly, but it turns out to be a perfect part for the droll, vein comedian, who's really only able to play his stage persona. Courting him her are Edmund Gwenn (Santa in Miracle on 34th St) and Noir giant Laird Cregar. Also stars Kay Francis (as the real Aunt), Anne Baxter, Reginald Owen (Mary Poppins) and Richard Haydn (Ball of Fire, Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland). With a plot that keeps folding in on itself, so much so I had to pay attention to remember everyone's goals, this is the Screwball Comedy from right below the top of the shelf, and I thought there wasn't anything left up there for me to Discover.