Thursday, February 28, 2002


This is the kind of movie (horses, racetracks, kids) that I usually avoid, but I watched it because it features Ann Sheridan in a fairly early starring role. It's a horse-racing story reminiscent of a Damon Runyon tale. Little Janet Chapman plays an orphan who dreams at night of a father; the other orphans make fun of her (I kept expecting her to break out into a rousing chorus of "Tomorrow"), so she leaves one day to find her dad. Gambler John Litel winds up claiming her in order to get out of a speeding ticket; he, the girl, his buddy (Frank McHugh), and their neighbor (Ann Sheridan) become a kind of impromptu family, though the whole time Litel just wants to ditch the kid, but because it seems that she brings him luck at the horse races, he keeps her around. Eventually, of course, there's a happy ending when Litel has a change of heart and decides to keep Janet for good.

Sheridan is very good and so is McHugh, who I always like. Chapman is certainly no Shirley Temple or Margaret O'Brien, and her career went nowhere. Her line readings seem rather amateurish, even compared with the other bit-part orphans. But Litel is the real "weakest link" in this movie. He played lots of supporting parts in the 30's and 40's, most notably perhaps as Nancy Drew's father, but obviously he was not cut out for stardom. He looks uncomfortable around not only the kid, but Sheridan as well, although he and McHugh work up some comic chemistry. There were a couple of strange scene transitions where it seemed as though the last line of a scene was missing, even though I saw this on TCM which usually shows complete prints. It's nice and short, so it doesn't wear out its welcome, and Sheridan made it worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002


This apparently set the mold for all later prison dramas. I usually avoid films set in prison (I haven't even seen THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION), but the prison-movie cliches are so prevalent that I know most of them, and practically all of them are in this movie: stool pigeons, the gruff but well-intentioned warden, the cafeteria scene, solitaire, the guy too soft for prison life, and the breakout. At the time, they weren't cliches, but they do help to date the movie to a certain degree. The saving grace here is the acting. As much as I like Chester Morris, this movie confirms an observation about him that I had some time ago--I don't know if it's his acting or his roles, but even when he's the star of a movie, he usually gets overshadowed by someone else. He doesn't have enough to do in ALIBI and FIVE CAME BACK; other stars steal his spotlight in RED-HEADED WOMAN and PUBLIC HERO #1. In this one, Wallace Beery (a notorious scene-stealer) winds up making more of an impression despite having a slightly smaller role.

The plot centers on Morris as a forger in prison who, just as he's about to be released, gets framed for a major rule infraction and is put in solitaire. When he comes out, he escapes, meets and falls for a girl, then is caught and tossed back in prison just in time to play a crucial part in a Thanksgiving Day breakout. Despite Morris's central role as "hero," the movie begins from the point of view of Robert Montgomery, a pampered rich boy who killed someone in a drunk driving accident and is put in the same cell as Morris and Beery (a hardened murderer). The prison code is exemplified in the behavior of the three. Morris knows how to survive and remain human; Berry's too hot-headed for his own good (though despite his crude and violent behavior, we do have some sympathy for him). Montgomery can't learn how to play by the rules and it's not long before we know he'll come to no good. (Leila Hyams, the only woman in the story, is the girl Morris falls for--who is also Montgomery's sister, in a plot twist that doesn't really have a payoff.) The violent breakout scene is very well handled, although the film drags a bit in getting to the climax. Morris looks good as always, especially in a couple of scenes where his usually greased-back hair is allowed to look more natural.

Monday, February 25, 2002


I've always liked Jean Harlow as a personality, but in BOMBSHELL, she proves she can really act. Like many screwballish comedies, the movie wears out its welcome about halfway through, but Harlow more than carries the picture. She has some very good long-take scenes where she rises to wonderful pitches of anger or hysteria. She was only 22 when she made this film; I seriously doubt that any of today's actresses could give such a solid performance at that age--Paltrow? No. Cameron Diaz? No. Bullock or Roberts? I don't think so.

It also does some interesting stuff with self-reference that wasn't done much back then. The plot, about a star who lives with her leeching family and puts up with an overactive agent, has some reference points in common with Harlow's own life (especially the family situation). There's also a scene where the Harlow character, an actress named Lola Burns, is reshooting a scene in a movie to placate the Hays code folks. If I heard correctly, they call the movie RED DUST and mention Clark Gable, and the scene she re-shoots is reminiscent of a real scene she did in that real movie.

Other quick notes about it: I think I don't much like Lee Tracy, or maybe it's just that I always see him play unlikeable characters. His character is hateful, but we're supposed to like him by the end--I did not. And there were a few racy jokes, the best one involving Louise Beavers, as Harlow's maid. She comes in wearing an evening wrap instead of a negligee, telling Harlow that her negligee had "got all torn up" the other night. Harlow replies, "You're mighty hard on your negligees on your days off." Beavers smiles. In acknowledging that servants (and black women in particular) had sex lives, it was ahead of its time. The presence of some solid supporting players (Frank Morgan, Franchot Tone, Una Merkel) is also a plus.

Sunday, February 24, 2002


Years ago, I saw the pan & scan version of this on cable and I didn't much care for it. This morning, I gave it another chance with the letterboxed DVD. Visually, with its beautiful natural settings and lovely Technicolor cinematography, I found the widescreen version to be a feast for the eye, but my overall opinion of the movie changed much. It's basically two love stories that take place during WWII on a South Pacific island where a bunch of sailors are waiting for war action (and wishing for some "dame" action). Nurse Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor), a naive young woman from Little Rock, falls for a worldly French civlian (Rossano Brazzi). When she finds out that he has two half-Polynesian children from a previous marriage, she freaks out and the romance is threatened. Similarly, Lt. Cable (John Kerr), a naive young man from Philadelphia, falls for a Tonganese woman (France Nuyen). When their talk of marriage (mostly done through her mother since the Nuyen character speaks no English) gets serious, he freaks out and the romance is threatened.

This time around, I was impressed with the dramatic structure and how the two romance stories came together in the last third of the film. But the acting sinks the movie. Mitzi Gaynor and Ray Walston (who plays a conniving sailor) are pretty good; everyone else with a speaking part is pretty terrible. Brazzi is miscast and Kerr is just hopeless--I never believed for one minute that he was in the armed forces, or that he was in love with Nuyen (Harry Connick Jr. was much better in the recent TV version). Another hinderance to the performances is the poor dubbing; most of the leads except Gaynor have their singing dubbed by someone else, and even when they're saying their own dialogue, it's often dubbed, just as poorly. For some reason, the dialogue dubbing of Kerr and Juanita Hall (as Bloody Mary) is especially bad.

The message of the need to overcome prejudice is a noble one, but the song that carries this message most directly ("You've Got to Be Carefully Taught") is bizarrely upbeat and doesn't play out well. The rest of the music is fine, and the letterboxing allows us to see lots more shirtless men during the "Nothing Like a Dame" number. For a movie that is relentless about "opening up" the material for a more realistic look, it seems odd that the climaxes of the love stories (involving a tragic death and a heroic resuce) are played off-screen. Tom Laughlin, who later played Billy Jack, is good in a small part at the beginning and end as a pilot. And the Technicolor is truly gorgeous, except for those weird experimental shots involving color filters that were supposed to enhance the emotional mood of the songs. They don't.

Friday, February 22, 2002


I saw Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson star together in IT'S A GREAT FEELING, a sort of Hollywood in-joke movie where the two play themselves trying to make a movie. They had good chemistry together, but they tended to be overwhelmed by the star cameos (lots of Warners' stars including Joan Crawford, Ann Sheridan, Sydney Greenstreet, and Edward G. Robinson). This movie, made a few years earlier, is a much better showcase for them as a light musical-comedy team.

The plot is a variation on the old fashioned "Gold Diggers/Let's-put-on-a-musical!" movies. In this case, the film begins as Morgan and Carson are attempting to open a nightclub, which is situated next door to the home of a famous conductor (S. Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall). The club is shut down by Sakall's manager (Donald Woods) because he assumes Sakall will object to the loud swing music. It turns out that Sakall and his opera-singing grand-daughter (Martha Vickers) actually like the club, but the manager, who is a prissy cold fish rather incredibly engaged to Vickers, gets it closed anyway. They all work together to put on a musical and the manager and Sakall's wife (Florence Bates) try to stop that, too. The first half-hour is the most fun, as we get to know the characters. Janis Paige and Angela Greene are the two lead female singers who get into various romantic entanglements. Alan Hale is a rich Texan who pops in and out of the movie when appropriate. As the somewhat far-fetched complicaions piled up in the last half, I got bored with the plot and only stuck with it for the actors and the music.

The numbers are better than one might expect from a 40's Warners musical. One song, "A Gal in Calico" (danced by women dressed up as cows, sort of!), was nominated for an Oscar, but I preferred the first song, "I Happened to Walk Down First Street." In "A Thousand Dreams," a classical pianist and his piano levitate while he plays. In a nifty inside joke, a woman sees Sakall in the nightclub and calls him "Cuddles," which befuddles him. There's an amusing bit involving at attempt to define "canoodling," a term I've loved ever since I saw THE MUSIC MAN. The hip vs. classical plot complication, rather cliche even then, gets a nice twist when Sakall joins in on a jam session with his flute. Morgan and Carson are fun together--there's even a running gag that casts aspersions on their heterosexuality (and the movie ends with them kissing each other, not their respective girlfriends). I'm sorry they didn't star in more light musicals like this one. Very fun, for at least two-thirds of the running time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002


I had long avoided this movie because of its reputation as one of the first serious Hollywood treatments of a "social problem," alcoholism. I assumed it would be dated and overly melodramatic. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I'm still not a fan of Ray Milland, but he did a good job with the unlikeable character of an alcoholic writer who falls rather spectacularly off the wagon one weekend, betraying both his brother (Philip Terry) and girlfriend (Jane Wyman). The opening is great: Milland and Terry are packing to go away (with Wyman) to the country for what is supposed to be a restful reward for Milland having stayed sober for an extended period of time. Milland seems a bit nervous, and it turns out that he has a bottle of booze hanging out the window; he's waiting for the right time to reel it in and surreptitiously pack it for the trip. He's caught, however, and things spiral out of control for Milland from there until he hits rock bottom and decides to kill himself. Milland never descends into sloppy and obvious exaggeration--he is quite believable most of the way through as a drunk. Howard Da Silva is good as a sympathetic bartender who, nevertheless, can't bring himself to cut Milland off.

There are two scenes that stand out. One involves Milland desperately combing the city looking for a pawn shop that's open to get money for alcohol (it turns out it's Yom Kippur), and the other is when he's thrown into a drunk ward at a sanitarium. Frank Faylen, the friendly taxi driver in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, plays a snippy, effeminate attendant who gives Milland a hard time. It's a short but memorable scene. A later scene where we see what Milland sees when he gets the DT's is a bit laughable at first, with a mouse poking out of a hole in the wall and a bat flapping about the room, but when the bat attacks the mouse, it *is* a startling and effective moment. The ending is a bit pat, with the promise of Wyman's love saving Milland--they've been dating for months, so why did it take so long? Wyman doesn't have much to do and gives a rather bland performance; Philip Terry is better (with a slightly better part) but also suffers from lack of screen time. But overall, a good movie that is not nearly as dated as I was afraid it would be.

Monday, February 18, 2002


I'd read the Cornell Woolrich novel that this movie was based on ("Waltz Into Darkness") and liked it a lot. Last summer, another movie from the same book was released, ORIGINAL SIN with Antonio Bandaras, but I didn't read a single good review of it, so I finally tracked this one down. It's flawed, especially compared to the novel, but well worth watching. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a rich tobacco grower who marries a mail-order bride (Catherine Deneuve), then begins to suspect that she's not exaxctly who she says she is. A mildly perverse cat-and-mouse game begins. Belmondo does a good job of being convincing as someone who might need a mail-order bride--even though I didn't see the recent version,
I wondered why on earth Banderas couldn't find a woman on his own. Deneuve is lovely and mysterious, though not quite as tough-as-nails as I imagined the character from the novel. At a full two hours, this drags some in the last third, and the French atmosphere is not as evocative as the New Orleans setting of the book, and the ending isn't quite right, but I'm glad I got a chance to see it.

Saturday, February 16, 2002


This relatively unsung film is great fun and should be better known. In atmosphere, it's a lot like Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES, but I actually think it's better. It involves the same producers, same writers, and a few of the same actors, but it's directed by Carol Reed. Like LADY, it's a spy thriller with a fairly light atmosphere, some unconvincing but nevertheless charming use of miniature sets, and a few scenes set in the snow.

A scientist is smuggled out of Prague just as the Nazis come marching in. His daughter (Margaret Lockwood) is thrown into a concentration camp but escapes with the help of a fellow inmate (Paul Henreid, in one of his earliest English language films). They make it to England where the father is being protected by British agent Rex Harrison, but due to a major few snafu, they all wind up back in Germany, trying to make one last escape just as England enters the war. One major character is not what he or she appears to be; it's given away early in the movie, but the revelation scene is too much fun to be spoiled here--I gasped out loud when it happened.

The mood throughout is light and exciting with lots of humor and throwaway jokes. Caldecott and Charters (Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford), the stodgy, unflappable, comic relief Brits from LADY who talk incessently about golf and cricket, reappear here with even bigger roles. In fact, they play an important part in the climactic action. The pace never slows down, which hinders character development a bit, but that's not a huge loss. Harrison even gets to sing a little bit. I liked it so much, I watched it twice in one day.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

MAISIE (1939)

This is the first of the long series of movies about the adventures of a lively young chorus girl with a hard exterior but a good heart. In this one, big city Maisie (Ann Sothern), stranded out west, finagles her way into a job at a ranch, working for Robert Young, who himself manages the farm for Ian Hunter. She keeps getting under Young's skin and just as he is determined to get rid of her, Hunter and his wife (Ruth Hussey) show up and Maisie ingratiates herself with them, becoming Hussey's personal maid. Up to now, the movie has been a light romantic tale--you know that Young and Sothern will eventually hit it off. But suddenly, a tale of adultery unfolds with Hussey being a hussy and slipping off to carry on an affair with Anthony Allan. Things take a melodramatic turn involving suicide and mistaken murder charges, but Maise rights things in the end. Given the code rules against depictions of suicide, I was surprised they were as explicit as they were here--we don't see the actual act, but we see the dead body moments later, and it's not explained away as accidental. I liked Young better here than in most of the other B-films I've seen him in; he seemed less callow and more serious, although his acting was actually more relaxed. Hussey was good in a fairly thankless "bad girl" role. It was OK, but it didn't make me want to search out any of the others in the series.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002


What a delight! I'd seen bits and pieces of this over time and had no real interest in watching the whole thing until I read a positive review online some time ago. I'm glad I went back to it. In the beginning, it has that "hopelessly dated historical epic" feeling to it which more or less sunk THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII for me. But if you stick with it long enough, and accept the sometimes dated look and acting mannerisms, Cecil B. DeMille comes through with flying colors.

I've only seen two other DeMille pictures, SIGN OF THE CROSS and the 1956 TEN COMMANDMENTS (I think I've seen most of his silent TEN COMMANDMENTS as well, but I don't remember much about it). CLEOPATRA feels very much like a Biblical epic, even though it has nothing to do with the Bible that I know of. Claudette Colbert is Cleopatra--it took a while to get used to her. Sometimes, she plays it like Sex Kitten of the Nile and goes a little over the top, but as with the look of the movie, I got used to her fairly quickly. Warren William is Caesar, her first Roman conquest. Even though he shaved his mustache off, I still saw him as an amoral business executive (a la EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE & SKYSCRAPER SOULS) in togas. The supporting cast is fine, with the reliable C. Aubrey Smith (and his eyebrows), Irving Pichel, and Joseph Schlidkraut in small roles.

The standout aside from Colbert is Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony. IMDb says he played supporting parts in MRS. MINIVER and TEN COMMANDMENTS, but I don't remember him. However, he made a strong impression in this film: he's rather sexy with a solid build and handsome features. His highlight is when he's seduced by Cleopatra in a fabulous sequence set on her barge. It's played like a musical number, complete with dancers and trumpets and swirling drapes and phallic symbols, and the definite pre-Code implication of sex that would probably not have been possible a year later. I got quite caught up in the storyline--this is the first time I've ever been clear about what Cleopatra is famous for, although I assume gargantuan liberties were taken with history (though we do get Warren William getting his on the Ides of March, muttering, "You too, Brutus?"). The sets and costumes are first-rate all the way through, and DeMille's camera is far from static. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 09, 2002


Leonard Maltin gives this one three and a half stars and calls it a neglected gem. I didn't feel quite so positively toward it, but it is a must for Myrna Loy fans. The set-up is presented at unnecessary length and in a rather convoluted manner. Suffice to say that Warner Baxter is a rich and famous lawyer who has just gotten gangster Nat Pendleton off on a murder charge. We're to believe that Pendleton was indeed innocent, but that he nevertheless has a history of crime in his past. But he's sort of a low-level gangster with a heart of gold and he's so grateful to Baxter that he assigns bodyguards to him night and day, just for the heck of it. Because Baxter won't promise not to represent such shady characters in the future, his law firm fires him and his fiancee dumps him all in the same day.

Then things get complicated. Basically, his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend (Phillips Holmes) is accused of the murder of *his* ex-girlfriend (Mae Clarke). We see the events leading up to the murder, on a penthouse balcony during a big party, and eventually we discover that the boyfriend has been set up by a big-time gangster (C. Henry Gordon). Baxter's ex begs him to defend the boyfriend. In the course of things, Baxter is set up with call girl Myrna Loy; they take a shine to each other and she helps him get the goods on Gordon.

The movie is described in film guides as a comedy and is sometimes compared to THE THIN MAN, but don't you believe it. Despite the murder and mayhem, the proceedings do remain light, but it's really stretching it to call it a comedy. It gets rather bogged down in the middle; Loy is the reason I stuck with it. Pendleton is good and so is Charles Butterworth as Baxter's butler; both provide nice moments of comic relief. At 90 minutes, it feels a bit too long.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

5 FINGERS (1952)

A spy thriller based on truth (although apparently quite embellished by Joseph Mankiewicz, the director and co-writer). James Mason was very good as a valet for a high-level British diplomat in Turkey during WWII. For money (not ideology), he sells top-secret documents to the Germans, although they wind up being afraid to use any of the information for fear that he might be a double agent. I wonder if Mason was playing one of the earliest of the Hollywood anti-heroes; ultimately, Mason does get punished, but there are no dashing heroic figures on the side of the Allies (except Michael Rennie, who doesn't get a chance to make much of an impression). Though not exactly admirable, Mason's character is sly and unflappable. A femme fatale of sorts (Danielle Darrieux) creates most of the intrigue. A wonderfully Hitchcockian scene late in the movie involving a tripped fuse and a maid with a vacuum cleaner had me tense.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

PICCADILLY JIM (1936) & My Robert Montgomery Problem

Sometimes, I like Robert Montgomery, sometimes I don't. This movie, based on a story by PG Wodehouse, falls in his negative column for me. Montgomery is a cartoonist (an American living in England) who falls in love, rather on a whim, with a young lady. It turns out that she is the niece of a woman that Montgomery has been making fun of in his comic strip. Complications ensue. At almost 100 minutes, it's way too long to keep up its whimsical tone. The supporting cast is wonderful, with Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, and Robert Benchley all doing nice work. Eric Blore really saves the day as Montgomery's butler--he is perhaps at his very best here. He steals every scene he's in, even when he's competing with Frank Morgan. The female lead, Madge Evans, is rather bland, and Cora Witherspoon, as her mother, gets a bit shrill after a while.

But the real problem is Montgomery. He just is not able to pull off the charm needed to make his character sympathetic. He sees Evans at a nightclub (while he's quite drunk) and immediately and rather improbably falls head over heels for her. His pursuit of her would be called "stalking" today; a different actor (or maybe Montgomery working with better material) could have pulled it off, but the more the movie went on, the more I wanted Montgomery to just fall off the face of the earth, and wanted Blore, Morgan, and Burke to take over all the parts. When Evans finally gives in, it's for no good purpose at all except that the damned movie had to come to an end sometime!

When I look back on Montgomery's movies, I realize that I frequently have this problem with his leading romantic parts--and the more whimsical or lighthearted he is supposed to be, the worse it is: BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK, TROUBLE FOR TWO, MYSTERY OF MR. X. I guess I like him best when he's not the leading character (THE DIVORCEE) or in a different genre. I liked him very much as Lord Peter Whimsey--how ironic--in BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON, and I also liked him in FAST AND LOOSE and NIGHT MUST FALL. But I'm seeing an unpleasant pattern when it comes to his lighter, earlier films.

Sunday, February 03, 2002


This was another interesting B-comedy that tried hard but couldn't quite overcome a small budget and less than top-notch writing. Tom Drake is a soldier who returns from the war to the department store at which he worked (in the shoe department), expecting to find his old girlfriend (Donna Reed) who worked in the stock room--she's still at the store, but now she's a buyer and she's unofficially engaged to someone else. An artificial time constaint is put in place (he's only home for two weeks, then he has to go back to a miltary hospital for tests before he's done with his wartime duties) so that Reed and their friends in the shoe department (Edward Everett Horton, Spring Byington, Margaret Hamilton) try to keep his illusions intact to give him a lovely two weeks. Of course, Reed falls back in love with Drake.

The plot is full of holes and underdeveloped ideas--we are told much more than we are shown about the background of the couple and about Reed's current situation. The pleasures here are mostly in the supporting cast. Byington comes off best. Horton was getting a bit long in the tooth for his befuddled whimsey, but he's still fun to watch. It's nice to see Hamilton playing a modern-dress part, although she is underused. Harry Davenport (looking like Death personified--and two years away from his own real death at the age of 83) gives a nicely understated performance as Drake's great-grandfather who helps to bring the two together.

A scene with Horton getting "fried to his eyeballs" on the town with some friends (and trying to make sure that Reed and Drake's date is successful) comes close to buidling a SHOP AROUND THE CORNER atmosphere, but the film can't begin to touch Lubitsch. One last note: this was the same year Reed broke through in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE; it's two years after Drake was in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, but he actually looks younger in this film.

Saturday, February 02, 2002


Both of these are examples of movies that might have been better with bigger budgets or a little more care taken in the writing or acting. RICH MAN, POOR GIRL starts out like a rip-off of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Robert Young is the rich businessman in love with his secretary, Ruth Hussey. Hussey's family is poor and eccentric, and includes Lana Turner as her jitterbugging sister and Lew Ayers as a politically inclined brother who can't hold a job. Guy Kibbee is good as always as the father. Young gets to know the family and, in a departure from YOU CAN'T, he becomes the eccentric one, threatening to give away all of his money, leading the family to help to commit him. Of course, a happy ending is in store. It's short (under 75 minutes), and like a lot of B-movies, feels rushed--the various plot threads get tied up too quickly or just get ignored. Young and Hussey aren't quite up to carrying the movie, but luckily the supporting cast is good, especially Ayers, doing a variation on his HOLIDAY role but more hyper and mostly sober.

The main point of interest in CURTAIN CALL is that it was scripted by Dalton Trumbo, later famous for being one of the blacklisted writers of the McCarthy era. The plot is similar to the one Mel Brooks later used for THE PRODUCERS: the producer and director of a Broadway show buy a really bad play in order to make a flop to hurt the career of their tempermental star who is about to sign a contract with a rival producer. The material seemed sound, but the acting was mediocre all around. Even though I'm not the kind of movie fan who worships stars, this movie, with virtually no star power at all, suffers because of that. Alan Mowbray and Donald MacBride are the scheming pair--they're OK, but they're both a bit old for the parts and rather listless. I can imagine Robert Taylor or Dennis Morgan or Wayne Morris doing better jobs. Helen Vinson is the star and she's pretty good. Barbara Read plays the playwright, a naive young Midwest girl who thinks she's written a masterpiece. People keep telling her how bad the play is, but the light bulb never comes on. You just want to throttle her, though I'm not sure that's because of how the part was written or how it was played. Frank Faylen, the taxi driver in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, has a small but fun part as a PR guy named Spike.