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Harvey (1950): Rant, rant, rant!

Hey everyone. So I’ve finally gotten a little bit of free time to myself and here I am with a little blog post. More of a rant, really. I’ve hit my 20,00 word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, and my bones are not as broken now. Heh. So, yeah. (:

Now, Dustedoff has a great review on this over here and if you want a real review with no spoilers, read that one. This is just a rant, I s’pose. All right, on with the good stuff. And just warning, it’s gonna be all pictures of James because he’s the only one I found worth taking screenshots of.

harvey1

Right so Anvita started talking about this film on chat and I thought, “Oh okay, Dustedoff wrote a review on it and I intend to see it sometime or the other.” But then she added that people tried to send James to the asylum. Okay, WHAT?! Then we had a good deal of ranting and raging in our chat. I get extremely worked up when police officers come and try to arrest people in a movie. (Unless they’re arresting the bad guys.) But more often than not they get after the wrong guy, right? (I think I’ve been watching too many Hitchcock films.)

So anyway I have a hard enough time dealing with the police. (Side note: The other day I nearly had a total crisis while watching Johnny Eager. Robert Taylor got arrested and he deserved it? But that was soon solved ’cause he is so awesome and badass in that film.) The last thing I want to do is deal with James being lugged off to an asylum.

Look, Elwood is the cutest, sweetest, most polite guy I’ve seen. Sure, James is always polite in all his roles, but here he’s just so sweet. I want to give him a hug. But he’s almost vulnerable to a fault in this film, and he won’t stand up for himself. Take for example the other characters of his that I have seen. Mike Connor from The Philadelphia Story, full of witty comments, and incredibly romantic. Rupert Cadell from Rope, smart (he figures out what’s going on!) and full of guts. Martin Brietner of The Mortal Storm – he’s so brave and he actually stands up to the Nazis! Oh, you go, James!

harvey3

But, yeah. In this film when they try to send him to the asylum, he’s either just really thick-headed (which I doubt; James has always been smart.) or he just doesn’t mind! I mean, I just can’t describe it. He gives people his card and flowers (oh James, why don’t you do that to me? Why don’t you hold my hand; flirt with me? Anything wrong with me? -cries-) and he has an obsession with putting a flower on his lapel.

Which is totally fine considering this scene from ten years earlier in The Shop Around the Corner. (Look at his pretty eyes! Oh my gosh! :D) And the whole carnation thing. My heart flipped when he put it on his lapel in front of Margaret Sullavan.

shop24Dear Friend. <3

Oh but let’s not get off-topic here. Anyway, Elwood is simply adorable. I wish he would sock some people so bad (and they deserved it too!) and perhaps just snap. James, make a witty remark, make a snide comment, lose your temper, whatever, but God, he is just so polite in this film. As mentioned above, I would love him to punch people.

(Another side note: I have a strange obsession with the character James played in After the Thin Man. *spoilers for After the Thin Man* David Graham. :3 I mean, sure he turned out to be a murderer and such, but young James Stewart is so cute. And. The best part about him is that he actually pulls out a gun (oh, yes!) and nearly socks a doctor. Oh, lovely, lovely. *end spoilers*)

No, but Elwood is sane. He’s saner than all of you put together. Which brings me to the sister and the niece. Poor Elwood. He’s surrounded by idiots. (LOL, Brings to mind a scene from The Man Who Knew Too Much where he was trying to eat Indian food!) But Elwood doesn’t care. I mean the aunt, Veta, also played in Arsenic and Old Lace. At least she was tolerable there. Here, she just gets on my nerves.

harvey11

So, yeah. Apparently, Happy Dale has taught her nothing. I mean, she is just off her rocker in this film. Elwood’s perfectly all right. She’s just hysterical. I mean, when she comes back from the asylum, she’s hysterical (Aside: Thank goodness for the fact that she was the idiot that got shoved in the hydro tub, not James. Just. Thank goodness. Or else there would be broken bones on my end, again.) and she still wants to send him there?! I mean, c’mon, what is this?

And Elwood isn’t hurting anyone. He makes friends so easily and invites them over for dinner. If she doesn’t like it, and if the niece doesn’t like it, they can jolly well get out. In case they forgot, Elwood owns the place. In fact, the nice even says, “Lots of people get run over by trucks every day. Can’t something like that happen to Uncle Elwood?”

Well, screw you. I’ll run you over with a truck, and I’ll do it with pleasure. Nothing should ever happen to James. He’s amazing.

harvey8

This film was supposed to make me feel good. Did it? No. I got so angry, so worked up towards the end (I was yelling all sorts of Gone With the Wind cusses, particularly “God’s nightgown!” and “great balls of fire!”) when that stupid Veta was trying to make him take that god-knows-what serum, which, to quote the movie, would “shock him back to reality”.

Errr. Shock. Er. Um. I have a problem with the word shock. Maybe I’m the mental one here, but if you’ve seen Jewel Thief you know why I have a problem with it.

When James refused it (YOU GO JAMES.) I was just thinking, “Thank goodness. So he’s not thickheaded, just really nice, but he knows when to stand up for himself. Thaaaank you, James.” You see? Reasons why I love him.

OH OH OH OH OH OH BUT VETA BLACKMAILS HIM INTO TAKING IT. Dude. To quote The Big Sleep, I wanted to “sock her in the choppers”. Hard. Now look, if James is not gonna stand up for himself I’m gonna jump right in there and start beating some people up. Oh, and then he agrees. I wanted to explode by that point.

harvey10

BUT THANK GOD FOR THE TAXI DRIVER OHHHHHHHHHHH.

I mean, thank God for him. I was basically in tears by that point, and my hands were very, very bruised and my room was a mess. (But no I didn’t break any bones haha.) So yeah, James escapes harm and that is good enough for me. Though then I ended up with one heck of a stomach ache from bottling everything up.

So then I watched The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because Leslie Howard. <3 Leslie. Howard. I recite the Scarlet Pimpernel poem more than is socially acceptable. And I also overuse the “who, sir? you sir? no sir!” thing so much. Annnnd I’ve been trying so much to talk like Leslie too. And failing, of course. LOL.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Hollywood, Rants

 

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Hiatus

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I’ve been very, very busy with school and finals and results, and recently we also went on a camping trip to North Carolina. I wish I had read Anu’s comment about not reading Henry V while hiking before I left. We were hiking, and I tripped over a log, and the person behind me tripped over me and landed on me too, and I had very convieniently put all our weight on my poor wrist. So it was broken. I also ended up breaking my thumb on my other hand because I was very careless the next day.

I haven’t had the chance to type until about now, and I wanted to go on hiatus indefinitely because I just don’t feel like my heart’s in blogging any more. Maybe I’ll come back, and I probably will, someday. I will stick around you guys’ blogs, though. I’ll comment, and if not comment, at least read. It’s been a lot of fun blogging here, and I don’t want this to die just like that, so anti-climatically. If you want to reach me, you can e-mail me at msbombaynoir@gmail.com, and I have a Tumblr, thegirlinthegrayflannelclothes.

So, yeah. :)

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Other Stuff

 

Rebecca (1940): Some Thoughts

Okay, okay, I admit it. I haven’t been watching Hindi films in a while. But I’ve seen so many old Hollywood films lately. And Rebecca is one of them. I must confess I was over on Dustedoff’s blog reading about Tyrone Power week (Because he is just lovely!), and then some of you guys started talking about Laurence Olivier. And they showed Rebecca. First impression? I just thought, “Meh, don’t really like him.”

Every single time that happens I end up falling head-over-heels later with that same actor. Same thing with Laurence. :P I don’t know why, but at first I didn’t really like Maxim de Winter. I was watching only ’cause it was a Hitchcock film. But towards the end, where Maxim is telling the narrator about Rebecca, I just, argh, I dunno, I just liked him so much. And I was rooting for him in the end. And I smiled at the last bit when he found the narrator unscathed.

BUT. That wasn’t enough to make me start liking Laurence Olivier completely. Not yet. About two weeks ago I had one of my, “Hey, let’s go do something idiotic” moments and decided to use Maxim de Winter as a base of sorts for one of my characters in a role-play. So I went to look him up and I ended up on IMDB and just, don’t ask me how it happened, but it was one of those moments, and I just really really really started liking Laurence Olivier. Don’t even ask me how. I dunno how either.

rebecca

So yeah, that leaves me all liking him over here. BUT. I wanna talk about the film, which is simply amazing. Joan Fontaine is just so good, you know, all innocent and school girl-y. (Especially when Maxim tells her in the end, “You’ve grown so much older in just a few hours. It’s gone, that funny, lost look, I loved.”) And oh my God Mrs. Danvers.

She is just so creepy on so many levels. Really. In that scene where she finds out that the narrator broke the statue thing, dude, the look she gave the narrator. But then Maxim made me crack up when he said, “YES YES THANK YOU MRS. DANVERS.” That was spectacular, Maxim. Spectacular.

And also about the character of Maxim de Winter. A bunch of people were all like, “Pfft, he needs a slap in the face, that spoiled, rich playboy.” Uh, no. He’s just murdered his wife, or well, in the film, made it to look like her death was an accident, and it really wasn’t his fault. And I don’t know why he behaves like that with the narrator, but what do you guys think? Was he nice or did he really deserve to be slapped?

Also, shoot me for being biased towards Maxim because of Laurence. :P

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Hollywood, Musings

 

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Happy birthday, Greg!

:D Yup, so this is for Greg, and today would have been his 97th birthday. Delicious pictures I found on Tumblr, oh yes. :D

DAWWWW GREG THAT IS WAY TOO CUTE HATTY HATBRB DEADAAAAARGHOH YES THISNO REALLY DEAD

That last one. SIGH! -lies in a heap-

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Birthdays, Hindi Films

 

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My Trip to the Bookstore

*This is complete and absolute rambling and you don’t really have to read it. xD*

Right, so. I’ve been looking around Tumblr and having fun with other Robert Donat fans on there. There was one cool picture, a lobby card for The Count of Monte Cristo. I decided I was going to watch that film, so I headed to Wikipedia for a quick summary. O-kay. Number one – Robert is blonde in this film. There was nothing specific about the character being blonde, so I’m assuming he was being blonde for the heck of it.

Which concerns me because I think blonde Frenchmen are prone to do really stupid things. I watched the trailer. HAHAHAHAHAHA ROBERT GOT PIE SHOVED UP HIS FACE. Okay, probably not pie but it’s funny to imagine that it was pie. My friends and I called it “pie’d”. But the main plot is about him being unjustly imprisoned and escaping just to get revenge.

Uh-huh. I couldn’t work up the nerve to watch the movie. I tried a few times, but nope, nope. But anyway, I was going to the bookstore to get some books to entertain me. I’ve watched a bunch of films like Rebecca, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Goodbye Mr Chips, and they were all based off books. So I thought, okay, maybe, let’s just go and try to get some of those books. (I know you’re supposed to read the book first but I do everything in reverse.)

And I walk right in, intending to go straight to the Agatha Christie section as I always do. There was one book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which I had intended to get. Halfway through, there’s a shelf that says, “Build Up Your Classics Collection!” I stop and stare because I thought maybe Gone With The Wind was on there. At once The Picture of Dorian Gray jumps out at me. I remember Shammi talking about watching the 1945 film in Shammi Kapoor Unplugged, and he said that it scared the heck outta him.

Okay, I’m passing. I keep looking at the books. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, GUESS WHAT? THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO! As soon as I see that book, I lose all rational thinking, and I just keep staring, debating whether to get it or not. I then proceeded to have a ‘the hell with it all’ moment and picked it up. Why am I doing this to myself? Stress level: 500

I flipped it around and read the excerpt on the back. WHICH just happens, oh just HAPPENS to be when Edmond gets arrested. God damn. -.- My knees started to feel wobbly when I started imagining what was in the film adaptation. I started to feel inclined to bash my head against the wall. Stress level: 700

The Count of Monte Cristo, srsly.

OH BUT LOOK AT THE COVER. NOPE NOPE NO BLONDE FRENCHMEN IN THIS CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE HAHA.

So I tried to calm myself down and go to the Agatha Christie section and pick up the books. On the way back, I saw a Doctor Who collection, which appeased me. :D With a sonic screwdriver set, no less! (Stress level: 650) But I kept walking, trying to find the novels. I saw Wuthering Heights and debated whether to get it or not, because I learned that Laurence Olivier starred in a film adaptation of it.

I picked it up, read the summary on the back, learned that it was set in Yorkshire, and then put it down and hobbled away. Too much stuff is set in Yorkshire for me at the moment. Stress level: 800

I finally found the novel version of Gone With The Wind. GOSH I NEVER IMAGINED IT’D BE THAT THICK! THAT THICK! It was more than 1200 pages long. Oh my goodness. I did, however, pause to read the part where Rhett walked out on Scarlett. Heh. Heh. (Stress level: 700)

I passed the book by. Next I was trying to look for Rebecca. It was one I REALLY REALLY wanted. However, it took me really long to figure out the way the books were sorted, and my neck was starting to hurt from leaning sideways to read the titles. I rounded the corner and found a huge shelf of Sparknotes about The Count of Monte Cristo. I was about ready to shoot myself. Stress level: 1000

Nope, they didn’t have Rebecca. Next I tried to look for Ernest Hemingway books, but without much success either. All this time the thought of the film version was consuming me. Robert, oh Robert. T_T -cries- So I kept looking and looking, and I came across a book by Pearl S. Buck.

PEARL S. BUCK?! SERIOUSLY? Something clicks in my head. The English version of Guide. Oops-a-daisy. By this point I want to jump off a cliff. Stress level: 1200

Tried looking for The 39 Steps by John Buchan. Nope, nope. Nothing there, either. I try to rack my brain for authors, but nothing really comes to mind. There was a nice big Shakespeare shelf, though, so I go and pick up Othello to read. ‘Cause I remember, in Humraaz, there was a scene with Sunil Dutt as Othello. Hehehehehe.

I kept looking at the classics shelf. There was one that read – The Idiot. I thought miserably to myself, more like, YOU IDIOT! The thing is still haunting me. I really really can’t work up the nerve to go watch the film or read the book. WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?! ARGH. Stress level: 2000

Uh-huh. But then it’s time to go, so I decided, okay, I’m gonna live with this darn thing and I’m gonna read it and I’m gonna watch the film and watch Robert prancing around as a blonde Frenchman with his beautiful British accent.

Damn me. -.-“

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Musings

 

More Film Updates

Okay, so I’ve been watching a ginormous amount of old Hollywood films lately. More than 20, probably. So, here are some short thoughts on some of them, and some of them, I’ll do a review or two later. Maybe even video reviews. ;)

And I’m on holiday now, so I’m going to be doing a LOT of film watching. Mostly Hindi films though. I do intend to get around to Pyaasa soon. (Yes, and I’ve finally recovered from the ending of Roman Holiday. For a while there I thought I was on the cusp of chronic depression. Felt like a leaky tap, just crying over every single little thing. :P)

By the way, one of my friends, geniosity, has created a Hindi film blog, Raat Akeli Hai! We’re both 14, agree to fangirl over Dev, and basically have a lot in common. :D

The Valley of Decision: (1945; Gregory Peck and Greer Garson) First off, I was just grabbing at this film because I wanted a nice, fun, romantic early film from Greg, to help me get over the ending of Roman Holiday. I didn’t know it had Greer Garson in it, which was definitely a bonus, since I liked her in Goodbye, Mr. Chips. (More on that below.) But it’s got plot and substance and everything one could want from a nice historical film. (1870’s, mind you, I’m not watching Greg dress up as King David and clown around. :P Oh, Greg. Why?)

Greg that is so cute arghGoodbye, Mr. Chips: (1939; Robert Donat and Greer Garson) I was very hesitant with watching this movie because, hey, sad endings. But I so badly wanted another Robert Donat film after The 39 Steps, I jumped at it when they showed it on TV. And he got an Academy Award for this, beating Clark Gable in Gone With The Wind, so that is saying something. Mr. Chips is such a nice character, and very believable too. Though… I dare you to show me a more intense moustache than Robert Donat’s. Seriously. Look at this.

Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939

Ahahah. Hah. Hah. T___T However, I am not an expert on the subject of moustaches so let’s just move on. Though I did love Robert Donat as Mr. Chips – his old British man acting was spot-on, and he was only what, 34? Though that ending. -sighfacepalm-

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935; Clark Gable and Charles Laughton) I’m not really a fan of, how d’you say, uh, sea movies. About the navy and pirates and stuff. But I watched this ’cause of Clark Gable. It’s got plenty of things going for it, such as plot, star power, and a clean-shaven Clark Gable. LOLOLOLOL. Yeah, uh, anyway, I didn’t know that Charles Laughton here played the captain, and the barrister guy in Witness For the Prosecution. I found out later and had a giant WHAT THE- moment. Yeah, he’s a good actor though.

Nice hats people

The Awful Truth (1937; Cary Grant and Irene Dunne) I love screwball comedies. They’re my second favorite kind of comedy, right after romantic comedies. And I also love Cary Grant, what with that awesome Transatlantic accent and everything. He does all sorts of films, serious, to romantic and light-hearted, and I daresay he does physical comedy really well too. And I’m just glad that he was there on the day that I fell sick, to entertain me and make me laugh. ;)

My Favorite Wife (1940; Cary Grant and Irene Dunne) More screwball comedies. ‘Cause they’re just awesome. This one had me laughing right from the get-go, and that was definitely welcome after all the stressing out I had over the film that I had previously watched. I heard the censors had a fit after the I-have-two-wives thing, but then what’s not to love about this film?

Lawl cool

Love On The Run (1936; Clark Gable and Joan Crawford) Well, I’m a sucker for romantic, light-hearted, screwball comedies. Add Clark Gable to it and I’m ready to watch anything. The film is exactly like what the title sounds like – light-hearted escapist fare with two young stars leading a spy chase in France. The chemistry between the lead couple is awesome, and my favorite scenes are when they are in the Fontainbleau Palace and are mistaken by the caretaker to be the ghosts of King Louis XIV and his wife. The minueting bit was really, really cute. And Clark Gable’s got all these awesome costumes and plays the dilemna of whether to tell Joan about his reality as a reporter very well. Franchot Tone in a supporting role also does well, although the rivalry is very, very one-sided. I kinda feel sorry for him.

The ending was also quite abrupt, like the director just went, “Aah, that’s fine, I don’t want to direct any more.” A little bit of running or resolution wouldn’t have hurt me. :P But oh well, it’s just me.

Haaat

Knight Without Armor (1937; Robert Donat and Marlene Dietrich) God damn. I can’t remember the last time I stressed out so much over the course of one film. Probably the end bit of Nau Do Gyarah. But anyway. This is my third Robert Donat film, and I was a mess during a lot of it. Hyperventilating and going “WHAT THE-?” a lot. But not ’cause it’s bad or anything, no, no, no. It was just me. It’s about the Russian Revolution and stuff, and I learned a LOT of things from this movie.

1. Don’t be a spy in Russia. Be a spy anywhere else. But not Russia.

2. If you are a spy, don’t let people come in and die on your couch. Seriously.

3. Don’t make love in a train car. No, seriously, don’t.

4. Always carry two revolvers. They’re awesome.

ARGH THAT ENDING. It is so stressful. Look, Russian police, conduct a proper examination. Robert did not shoot that guy. He doesn’t have a gun. OK, maybe he does. But I don’t give a damn. Don’t send people off to Siberia for trivial reasons, you idiots! -ranting ranting ranting- AND NO, executing people because they don’t have papers because you bloody cornered them is not acceptable. And FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP STRUTTING AROUND WITH THAT WHIP. YOU’RE GONNA GIVE ME A SCREAMING FIT. Oh, and Russian police? Don’t you dare lay a finger on Robert.

That is all. :P

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Hollywood

 

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Witness For The Prosecution (1957)

So here I am, sobbing and wiping my tears over the ending of Roman Holiday. More on that later. But then comes along TCM, showing Witness For The Prosecution. I jumped at it straight away, considering that it’s one of my favorite Agatha Christie stories, and also because it stars Tyrone Power. This is my third Tyrone Power film, after The Mark of Zorro and The Black Swan, and gosh, his role is so different here.

I watched the film, knowing one twist, because I’d read the short story, but they used the alternate ending used in the play, not in the book. WHICH WAS AMAZING. I was just sitting on my bed for ten minutes after the film, gasping and gasping. And the whole film is so enjoyable, you just have to see it.

Cool posterrrr

Getting to the story, a barrister, Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton) is returning after a heart attack, and he’s got the super-annoying nurse, Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester) with him. He’s so annoyed with her, and what adds to it is the fact that he can’t take any more criminal cases. Then his friend, Mr. Mayhew (Henry Daniell) comes in with his client, Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power).

Leonard’s suspected of murdering Miss Emily French (Norma Varden), a middle-aged unmarried lady. They were both on friendly terms, and he has no alibi on the night of the murder, except his wife, Christine Vole (Marlene Dietrich), who will testify. Leonard describes how he met Miss French, telling her which hat to buy and which not to, peeking in from a store window.

They meet again at the showing of a film, Jesse James (Which Tyrone Power did act in and it made me fall off the bed laughing.), and soon, they become friends. But Miss French’s housekeeper, Janet McKenzie (Una O’Connor) doesn’t like Leonard a whole lot. Anyway, cut back to Sir Wilfrid’s office, and guess what, the police are here to arrest Leonard. And I’m flipping around on my bed like there’s no tomorrow, wondering what’s gonna happen to him. (Hey. It’s Tyrone Power. My concern is justified.)

Christine meets Sir Wilfrid, and overturns all of Leonard’s impressions that she is a nice person. Sir Wilfrid begins by saying that her testimony wouldn’t carry much weight, considering that she’s the accused’s wife, and probably would lie. Christine states that she’s not his wife, and in fact, already has a husband in Germany. She apparently only married Leonard so that he could bring her out of her war-torn country and into the safety of England.

Hehehh

Sir Wilfrid (and I) is kind of disturbed at her behavior, and goes to meet Leonard. And they find out that Miss French had left him an inheritance of 80,000 pounds. Which is obviously something the prosecution’s going to exploit. (Leonard’s reaction is so damn funny, one second he’s all “YAAAAAY MONEY” and the next he’s “oh crap I just realized what this means”.)

Anyway. The trial begins. Sir Wilfrid does an awesome job of disproving the housekeeper, Janet McKenzie’s, statements in court, because she is so biased against Leonard. She calls him a “drifting, shiftless, screaming, scoundrel”, and, well, her statements are just shot and sunk. Score one for Leonard. (And I literally jumped up and danced when Tyrone just had the slightest hint of a smile on his face.)

Idk Japanese blablabla

But guess what? Christine’s here to give testimony – not for the defence, but for the prosecution. And on top of that, she says that he killed Emily French. WTH? If you want to see what happens next, watch the film! Seriously. You have to see this. If one of my friends says that you haven’t lived till you’ve watched Duck Dynasty (Some idiot show about people who talk funny, and need to learn how to shave. I’m better off without that, thank you!), I say that you haven’t lived till you’ve watched Witness For The Prosecution. It’s that good.

I thought that film was pure amazing, and very well-acted by everyone. The dialogue is witty and sharp (“Touching, isn’t it, the way he trusts his wife?” “Yes, like a drowning man clinging onto a razor blade.”), and the chemistry between Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester, as the barrister and the overprotective nurse, is amazing. :D

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Hollywood

 

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