Monday, August 25, 2008

Before Das Boot...


... there was Hell Below with Robert Montgomery and Walter Huston. Made in 1933, the film was about submarine warfare in World War I. It's credited with setting most of the standard plot and action elements of submarine movies to follow, from Run Silent, Run Deep to, yes, Das Boot. I've never seen it myself but would like to. Alas, it does not appear to be available on DVD. An old thirties flick I'd love to see that's not yet on DVD? What else is new?

43 comments:

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hello... Hello....

Echo... Echooooooooo...

ARBOGAST said...

Robert Montgomery really was extraordinary in a kind of everyday way. My favorite bit of his is his trying to give himself a bloody nose in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

ARBOGAST said...

Ha-ha, we were posting at the same time. If I hadn't stopped to embolden, I would have been first.

Jonathan Lapper said...

And here I had given up on someone commenting on old Hell Below. My god man, you're a life saver, butter rum flavor!

I've liked Montgomery in everything I've seen him in. In The Divorcee he seemed the most natural of everyone, not an easy feat (being natural) in a 1930 early sound film.

And Mr and Mrs. Smith I caught on TCM a couple of years and liked him again. He and Lombard worked well together.

ARBOGAST said...

Butter rum Life Savers are the best and, by extension, me.

Peter Nellhaus said...

The song by Love is also pretty good.

Rick Olson said...

I like Robert Montgomery too, you know, but not in that way, you dirty minded little ...

But -- and I know it will seem like blasphemy -- I like Das Boot much better than Hell Below. Or maybe it's that I haven't seen it recently ...

There, that makes seven comments, Jonathan. Are you happy now?

bill r. said...

Sorry, Jonathan, but I have my own blog to worry about now. This site, and all its loser commenters, can bite my ass!

But don't forget to come and visit my site and comment your head's off!

Hmm...on reflection, I could have handled that better, I think.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - I'm glad you approve of the analogy.

Peter - If only the song were about Robert Montgomery the actor and his exploits with Norman Shearer.

Rick - No, I'm not happy with your continued hostility. I believe you need to take some time off and meditate. I'm worried about you.

Bill - I got no comments for the first 10 or 15 posts I did so I hope you appreciate all that we have done for you. We're like the Make a Wish foundation for upstart bloggers. And not only that, but I hope you won't turn my Fall Trailer into a huge lie. If you recall there are to be "new and improved Bill comments." Calling my commenters "losers" is new - but I wouldn't say it's an improvement. But the "bite my ass" part; that's kind of an improvement.

Rick Olson said...

Bill is the model of passive-agressive behavior ... for days he doesn't comment, not a peep, then he comes out with these incredibly inappropriate statements. Oh ... that's me. Sorry, I forgot for a moment that it's all about me.

bill r. said...

Jonathan, I do appreciate what you have all done for me, but that's in the past! It's a new Dawn, and one day soon my blog will crush you all!

Damn it. I keep saying things that I should only be thinking.

bill r. said...

PS - All of Bill R.'s comments should be taken in a spirit of hilarity. Thank you.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Rick, Bill - Two words: Anger management. I know some really good therapists who might be able to help.

And Bill - "one day soon my blog will crush you all!" - Ha! No one will ever crush the Time Warner backed Corporate Monolith that is Cinema Styles! I have a personal assistant who actually writes most of my comments for me but I felt I should write this one myself. After this one though, Jimmy takes back over. And then... hold on a second Bill.

Jimmy, GET OVER HERE! I thought I told you to refresh my coffee when it got to the halfway point! Well, how much coffee is in my mug Jimmy? A little less than half wouldn't you say? FILL IT NOW!

Okay, Bill, I'm back. Geez, I tell you, that Jimmy: Worst Personal Assistant EVER.

bill r. said...

I wish I had a personal assistant. Then he could think of things to write about for me, and then he could also write them.

Speaking of which, nobody told me about the whole "thinking of things and writing about them" aspect of blogging. I could have used a head's up on that one. So far, it's been a real pain in the ass. So thanks for nothing, everybody.

Jonathan Lapper said...

All jokes aside, you bring up an interesting aspect of blogging. How many times have you seen a post of mine start, "I was at Scanners recently..." or "Arbogast recently reviewed..."

I've found that visiting blogs and commenting on them (which you do) and engaging in discussion will often lead you to a post right there. Just hovering about on a daily basis will spark something in you to write about.

bill r. said...

Let's hope so. I've actually thought about that, but so far nothing has clicked. Although I do actually have an idea for a post based on something Dennis never got around to writing, but I don't know if I should save it or not. My stuff has been so very scattershot so far.

Anyway, you know what's bad? I've never seen Run Silent, Run Deep OR Das Boot.

Peter Nellhaus said...

"a new Dawn"? Does Tony Orlando know?

Speaking of submarine films, I posted on Frank Capra's silent film titled . . . Submarine almost two years ago. More in the vein of the John Ford battling buddies bromances, but still pretty good. Also a reminder of how there are still too many silent films still not on DVD as well.

bill r. said...

I'm so bad on silent films. I'm trying to do better, and have finaly (finally!) seen The General. I also bought Vampyr without having seen it, because the packaging is so beautiful, and also because, hey, vampires.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - Nothing clicked? You've got like five posts up in a week. You've just doubled Dennis' monthly output (sorry Dennis). And I know the feeling of thinking you should put something off but whenever I do that it always seems like someone else posts about it first. I say if you've got the idea, write it. It's too early to be thinking about what you should and shouldn't be doing; just write.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Peter - TCM used to run so many more silent films during primetime before relegating them to one a week in the wee hours of Sunday. It affords the chance to see more than just the big ones (Griffith, Chaplin, Keaton, DeMille) and I've enjoyed quite a few that I would have never sought out on my own had they not been on TCM (Rag Man, Our Dancing Daughters, Queen Kelly). I've never seen Submarine and am completely unfamiliar with Capra's silent period.

The only silents on DVD aside from the big ones are the out of copyright movies that get the worst transfers imaginable, even if the title is well known like Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney. The cheapo DVD I have of it is pretty sub-par.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh and Bill, I personally prefer Run Silent, Run Deep to Das Boot. I guess it's not as "cool" but Gable and Lancaster are great and it builds up great suspense as Gable keeps trying to figure out a certain something that plays prominently into the climax.

bill r. said...

Jonathan - I don't want to burden your blog with my blog anymore. I just feel like I'm trying to get my sea-legs.

As for Gable, I watched a great documentary about John Huston recently that talked about him, and really made me want to catch up to his work. I've really seen very few Gable movies (three, to be exact -- I think), but lately the movies I've been watching have been getting older and older, so I think I Gable retrospective is in the cards.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I hope you're joking about the burden thing because it's anything but. As for Gable, he had a real presence to him. I love Red Dust but it might not be as appealing to people who haven't yet developed a feel for thirties movies. It took me a couple of years and a steady diet of TCM but the look and feel of thirties movies (much less polished than the look of the forties, starting in about 39) really won me over. I love them.

Other Gable movies I love are Test Pilot, San Francisco & Strange Cargo. Watch those three and you can completely understand why he was a star (if Gone With the Wind, which isn't a favorite, hadn't already made that perfectly clear).

Fox said...

Wow. This post has exploded this morning... Lapper, will you have your assistant call mine and have him fill her in on the lowdown b/c I'm too busy right now to keep up.

bill r. said...

I don't like Gone With the Wind very much, but he is great in it. And although I've been watching films from the 30s off and on for many years, I've never really gorged on them. Lately, however, nothing about that style has been a hindrance to me. I actually feel like I might be passing into a new phase of film appreciation. I mean, I've always loved certain old films, but I don't think I've ever loved specific eras, and loved them for what made those eras specific. I think I'm starting to, however.

I'll start adding those Gable films to the queue.

All I meant about with the "burden" thing was that I didn't want to clog your comments with talk about my blog.

ARBOGAST said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ARBOGAST said...

your head's off!

Ha, you wish my head had an "off." But no, it's 24/7/12/365. (During leap years, it goes into hybernate for one day.) And as soon as my people give me the coverage for this comment section, I'll dictate a proper response.

Fox said...

The frustrating thing about Arbo's people is that they have to save and approve everything before it gets posted by the big man in the comment section.

You get the feeling they are judging you.

One time an assistant of his told me to "go comment at Indiewire!"... it hurt, man.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - Yeah, I wasn't into thirties movies until AMC years ago (before they became an imploded rotting shell of a network) and the TCM really got me into them. Now it seems like TCM runs late forties through early sixties most of the time which kind of bums me out at time because I fear they will "change with the times" and in ten years all the prime time movies will be from the eighties.

But there's something about seeing a movie on TCM (or any cable channel) where you just start watching, rather than the commitment of putting in a DVD.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - I await your response.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Goddamit Jimmy! I told you to write "I anxiously await your response." Go lick some envelopes, I'll take over.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox - Have you been vetted yet? Once Arbo's people have all the necessary background information on you and you've made an adequate tribute your comments get pushed to the top.

Rick Olson said...

Is that Jimmy Olsen, Superman's pal, and my idiot cousin who can't spell "Olson?"

Fox said...

"Adequate tribute", Jonathan? I don't suppose you could have Jimmy - or yourself, if you don't mind on this one special occassion - fill me in on what that is.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Rick - No, it's not Jimmy Olsen but he is, I hear, someone's idiot cousin.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox - Have you never been to a Mafia household? A tribute. You know, money or a special gift or even just showing the proper respect. What the tribute is is entirely up to you. Myself, I put $5,000 in an envelope with my Cinema Styles business card (in case he ever needs me for a favor that only I can perform).

Fox said...

Ahhhh... I see. Hmm. I don't what Mr. Arbo's tastes are, but I wonder if he would consider an obedient 24 year old assisstant (stress on the "ass") as fitting enough tribute.

But, wait, I don't think he's that type of guy. Forgive me for even entertaining that idea.

Peter Nellhaus said...

Jonathan: You can get Long Pants, Capra's silent debut, on DVD from Netflix. I saw the film courtesy of Wm. K. Everson in one of his classes that he taught at NYU.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Peter - I just checked and it didn't come up. So then I searched on Capra and looked at all available movies on DVD and it still didn't come up. Is it on a twofer with something else?

Rick Olson said...

You've got a Cinema Styles business card? I want one ...

Jonathan Lapper said...

I don't even have to send it to you. All you have to do is what I do: Go to a business, grab some of their cards, then, using a sharpie, black out their name and write in "Cinema Styles." When you hand them out to people it just screams "classy." Especially if you snag some cards with cool graphics.

Peter Nellhaus said...

Jonathan: The Capra is part of "Harry Langdon: Forgotten Comedian" or something like that. Look under Langdon.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Yeah, I saw that one so they do have it. Thanks.