Band of Angels Reviews
December 11, 2009
Clarke Gable Movies such as this show me how Paradoxic Love is.
September 1, 2008
good stuff ALL STAR CAST BUT WAS A LITTLE SURPRIZED 2 SEE POITIER PLAYING A SLAVE BECAUSE HE WAS CAREFUL NOT TO TAKE ROLES LIKE THIS ONE BUT HEY EVERYBODY HAS TO EAT!
March 28, 2007
A lot of people saw this as Clark Gable playing up the "Gone With the Wind" angle, but it's really a story about slavery and race in America. It's not a classic like GWTW, but it should stand on it's own merits. Sure, it's a bit watered down for the late 50s sensibilities, and yes, it's pretty melodramatic stuff, but it's not a bad movie and well worth a look.
A young, beautiful Yvonne De Carlo plays Amantha Starr, the daughter of a plantation owner. She's away at college when she is asked to come home. Her father has taken ill and by the time she arrives, he has already passed away. Then comes the realization that Amantha is really half black, and instead of the daughter of a plantation owner, she will now be sold along with all of the other property to pay off back taxes. Hamish Bond (Clark Gable) buys her, but sets her up like a lady.
A 30 year old Sidney Poitier plays Rau-Ru, a freed slave and raised as Hamish's son. Rau-Ru was educated, so he is all too aware of the atrocities that are performed on black people by people like Hamish, himself, so there's a love/hate relationship going on there.
This DVD was released a little before Yvonne De Carlo death, and it's good that we get a chance to see her before she became well-known as Lilly Munster.
November 17, 2011
Ridiculous, disjointed, period flick set during the Civil War. Yvonne De Carlo (Lily Munster) plays a ultra light-skinned black woman (ha ha) sold into slavery and purchased by a nice-guy slave owner Hamish Bond (Clark Gable). Of course she falls in love with him, for he really is a nice "master". Bond is like a savior of the blacks he owns. Later we learn he is making up for his evil past as a slave trader. Bond flees the "carpet-bagging" nothern soldiers, and goes into hiding. Sidney Portier plays Raru, a freed ex-slave of Bond's, who is temporarily angered by his history with Bond. In the end he realizes the error in his judgement and helps Bond escape with De Carlo. This film is rife with stereo-types and plenty of bias against the "Blue Bellies". There are negative portrayals of nearly every Union soldier. And plenty of stereotyped cartoon character blacks and southern whites. Efrem Zimbalist Jr makes a cameo.
July 17, 2011
Directed by Walsh, who appeared in "Birth of a Nation" in 1915 and after half a century is still arguing the benefits of slavery and condemning Africa for the slave trade. Totally wrong and intolerable. This movie should come with a warning about its overt racism and revisionist view on an institution that must be condemned and not apologized for.
December 23, 2009
Southern beauty has a slave mother, the secret is exposed after her fatherīs death, and thus poor Amarantha (Yvonne DeCarlo) is sold as a slave. She is bought by ex-slavetrader (Clark Gable) and more melodrama ensues. Sure, the film does not really show rottenness of Southern upperclass - if you were unlucky enough to be born as poor white, you were subhuman - but it has richly romantic colours, sets and costumes, making this visually gorgeous movie, and lot of unpretentious vibrancy. A movie like a romance novel - and a good one.
December 11, 2009
In the attempt to go against racism, it winds up being racist. I was almost in tears hearing the N word coming out of Clark's mouth, an actor with whom I appreciate. I heard the film was attempt at trying to rekindling or bring back Gone With the Wind -- much like Mogambo tried but failed at bringing back Red Dust -- and likewise it just wasn't happening.
The premise being of a rich girl and her father living at mansion (?) around the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Her father bought more slaves than two people could possibly need, but generally gave them their freedom, much unlike the rest of the people of the time. When her father suddenly dies, the truth of her mother comes out- her mother was black. She's quickly yanked away from her riches with the rest of the people that worked with her and sold onto the slave market. First problem for me being... the actress is white! Yeah, very risky... Anyway, Clark's character buys her for an enormous sum and brings her back to his place in New Orleans. She's spends all her time telling the white people around her that she's black and the black people around her that she's white, complains about her situation, when so far all we see is her getting showered with presents and being catered to. Skip forward, and Clark's character tells her *why* he's made it his job to save slaves, because *he* was an abusive and merciless killer and slave trader. And BOY, the details on that one leaves me thinking he's still got some racism left in his system-- that the man with whom he brought an education was the son of the woman he slain, and this man, played by Sydney, is later told about this little secret and let go when all hell breaks loose with the war... but even after they reconcile as foster parent and son, we MUST keep at least fifty feet distance as we say goodbye...
Good sets and costumes, and of course the acting was alright- otherwise, don't waste your time. This movie pi$$ed me off something awful. Not only did it not learn its lesson, it's about ten years after movies started learning their lessons. Fail! 3.2/10
June 17, 2009
Clark Gable Should've Stopped Playing Southerners
I am very confused by a lot of this movie. First off, they make Rau-Ru (Sidney Poitier) sing a shanty early in. Because, hey, he's a slave. They can make him sing if they want to. But I don't think it's really him singing. It's a baritone, which I'm quite sure a singing Sidney Poitier wouldn't be; speaking, he sounds like a tenor. And no one, anyone, has a Southern accent. Oh, I wasn't expecting it from Clark Gable. Clark Gable never has a Southern accent. And Sidney Poitier has his own rich, beautiful voice. (And he worked to remove his accent.) Dollie (Tommie Moore) just sounds obnoxious. Michele (Carolle Drake) sounds nice, but not from New Orleans. There are other problems, which I'll get to in a minute, but that's the start.
Young, lovely, weirdly-named Amantha Starr (Yvonne De Carlo) returns from a private Northern girls' boarding school to her father's Kentucky plantation, coming just too late to be at his deathbed. During the funeral, it turns out that . . . he owed money? Anyway, we also find out that Amantha's mother was a slave! Therefore, she is one, too, despite the fact that her father obviously raised her as a legitimate daughter and might therefore have been assumed to have freed her at birth. Or anyway, at some point before his death. Also, he never told her. So she gets taken into slavery, real slavery, at the funeral. She is hauled South into New Orleans and sold at an auction, that, given the era, does not really cover the issues that would have come up at an auction of a young, attractive, white-seeming, [i]virginal[/i] woman. The also improbably-named Hamish Bond pays $5000 for her, and she ends up as his mistress. But since it's Clark Gable, he seduces her, and she falls in love with him, and so forth. No rape here.
So, yeah, let's talk about the newly-enslaved "Manthy." There would seem to be only one possible destination for her. Assuming the whole sequence of events would have/could have happened in the first place, of course. At any rate, Manthy would not have been sold in the auction with all the others. She would have been a . . . specialty purchase. Beautiful, intelligent, accomplished, and accustomed to passing. (Not that you can really call it that of someone who believed that she was all white.) It's clear that Clark Gable is buying her so that she will be his mistress, and it's clear that $5000 will pay for that. But for heaven's sake, she would have been worth quite a lot to a "cathouse." Certainly she would not have been sold in the same auction as field hands. Equally certainly, she would not have been raped before the auction.
Another thing I find interesting is that, when Seth Parton (Rex Reason, or Cal from [i]This Island Earth[/i]), who knew her before, confronts her about the fact that she is once again, or for the first time, passing for white, he denounces her only briefly for having been Clark Gable's mistress. Oh, fine, he acknowledges that it was a bad thing. However, he basically brushes it off. He's going to spend much more time yelling about her colour. The funny thing is that I thought the Code would have been more down on the sex than the colour. Shows what I know, I guess. Miscegenation was still a powerful fear, even in 1957. Arguably more so in 1957--as blacks got more rights, the fears of those who wanted to put them down increased. The only way they could show the love story between Hamish and Manthy in the first place was by having her played by a white woman. (Don't be fooled by the name--Yvonne De Carlo was from Vancouver.) I don't think they noticed that she basically had more chemistry with Sidney Poitier.
So how does the movie treat slavery? Michele's love for her owner is basically forgotten, and it's pretty much assumed to be Just One of Those Things. While it is arguably true that the slaves would not be all that much better under the sharecropping system after the War, let's fact it--those sharecroppers were not being mistreated by the Northerners. They weren't treated [i]well[/i] in the North, true, but it was Southern gentlemen like Hamish who put them back in bondage. Rau-Ru's grievances are supposed to be blown out of proportion--Hamish taught him and treated him well, right? What's his problem? General Benjamin Butler (Marshall Bradford) is shown as more racist than the slave owner and former slave trader Hamish, despite the fact that Butler later turned out to be a champion of civil rights for blacks. Not all Northerners were. But to make Butler the villain is to make quite clear that your sympathies do not lie with the slaves.
July 15, 2008
Very well produced, but it seems it was trying to be another Gone With the Wind, and that it is not. Fine cast, great sets and costumes.
November 5, 2006
I disagree with those who say this film whitewashes slavery. I found scenes where Amanda finds out she is a slave and slave auction among the most moving I have ever seen in the cinema. The film clearly shows that light skinned women were highly prized in the slave market to be used for sexual reasons. One only has to think what would have happened had someone like Bond not bought her. Sidney Pointier's character clearly shows that slaves didn't identify with the masters even those that treated them well. This picture was a moving experience.