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Milburn Stone

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  1. Milburn Stone

    Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

    Great observation! I never really thought about how much food and coffee was being consumed, but I did have an unexamined belief that what we were seeing took place in the space of, let's say, a three to five hour visit. Like maybe, including driving time, Jerry picks up guest at 10:30 and returns him or her home by 3:30. I should know better, because my career was shooting commercials, and I know what's involved in shooting on location, but the show has a looseness that just made me buy the premise. In fact, it could take multiple days to shoot one episode! (They just make sure to wear the same clothing each day.)
  2. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Thanks for this review, @harrie. About a month ago we were in Maine, in Belfast, and spent one day in the town a bit south of it, Camden. I knew nothing about Peyton Place being shot in part there, but it only took about five minutes in the town to realize it. This is not because I recognized any scenery (since I've never to my knowledge seen the movie), but because so many of the shops catering to visitors gave unmistakeable clues. The bookstore on the main street had copies of the novel on prominent display. Clothing stores had "high end" T-shirts in the window saying Peyton Place. Etc. If you knew anything at all about the movies of the late fifties, you didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why. 🙂
  3. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Has anyone ever seen Peyton Place? I haven't, but I always imagine it being like a Douglas Sirk movie without Douglas Sirk. I'm intrigued because A) the screenplay is by John Michael Hayes, and B) the score is beautiful, by Franz Waxman. (A lyric by Paul Francis Webster was set to his main title theme and recorded gorgeously by Rosemary Clooney, though this version wasn't used in the movie.) Anyway, it seems all kinds of promising, but that doesn't mean it's good. Just wondering. Edited to add: I see now that @ruby24 mentioned being disappointed by Peyton Place a few posts upthread. Would love to hear more detailed reactions, if any.
  4. Milburn Stone


    I never made the connection between the similar sounds of "Phoebe" and "Fleabag"! Even without the story that it originates from a real-life family nickname, it's clearly an intentional signaling by PWB that the character is semi-autobiographical.
  5. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I don't think I've ever seen that, and now I want to. But to me, Glenn Ford had an annoying trait that became more annoying the later in his career he got. That sort of hesitating, stammering thing he does. It's like he said to himself: "Real people don't always know what they're going to say next. So I should act more like one of those real people, and make it apparent that I'm thinking of what to say, working out what I'm trying to say while I'm saying it, just like real people do." The problem is, unlike with Jimmy Stewart (who somehow made the stammering thing feel like part of the character), with Ford you can always see the "actor wheels" turning, the intention to stammer, in his head. At least that's my subjective reaction.
  6. Milburn Stone

    Commercials That Annoy, Irritate or Outright Enrage

    If that's so, Liberty is the clear loser. All they do is copy the successful devices of other insurance companies. They're the complete opposite of creative.
  7. Milburn Stone

    S07.E03: Pledge

    This makes sense to me. It's actually a no-lose proposition for her! If he goes down in flames, no one will blame her, because everyone knows he's an idiot. The important thing will be that she now has Campaign Manager on her résumé. And if he wins, she'll get all the credit, because everyone knows he's an idiot!
  8. Milburn Stone

    The Other Two

    I think the reason we didn't suspect his badness until now (yes, I just watched the season finale tonight) is that auto-tuning seems to be the sound today's young music listeners want. I.e., it's not just for bad singers anymore. You could have the world's best intonation and the producer would de-tune you just to be able to auto-tune you back, so that you'd have that auto-tune sound that's all the rage.
  9. Milburn Stone

    Then and Now: Actors (and their Voices) in Commercials

    I never knew the AT&T voice was "somebody." I had to wikipedia Lena Waithe to find out who she was. Now I know. Related, I find it interesting to observe how Mercedes sometimes uses Jon Hamm, and sometimes uses a voiceover who's clearly trying to sound exactly like Jon Hamm and doing a pretty good job of it. Back when I was in advertising we were cautioned not to use "soundalikes" because Bette Midler had successfully sued Ford when they tried it. (I can't remember the song, but it was one associated with Midler, and they used not-Midler, and most people probably thought it was Midler. If she had lost her suit, it would have been open season on using soundalikes, but she didn't, and it wasn't.) But it's no doubt in Hamm's contract that the Mercedes agency can use a soundalike when he's not available.
  10. This is getting worse and worse. Years ago you might see this sort of thing on a local news show in Dayton or something. Then later you began seeing it on local news in major markets. Then later you began seeing it on national cable news. And now we're seeing it on nationally broadcast television from the "big 4." Interns, shminterns--what about the adults who are supposed to be overseeing the interns?
  11. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    My favorite example of a great writer doing this is E.Y. Harburg's lyric for a song he wrote with Jerome Kern, "More and More." (Performed by Deanna Durbin in Can't Help Singing.) Here's how the last two lines go: More and more I'm less and less unwilling To give up wanting more and more and more of you. We know what Harburg means, and with Kern's music, it's easy for the mind to gloss right over the fact that Harburg wrote the complete opposite of what he meant. Clearly he meant that the singer is less and less willing to give up wanting more of her beloved, and that's how we understand the song. But he wrote "unwilling." And he didn't catch it, and Kern didn't catch it, and Durbin didn't catch it, and the musical director of the film didn't catch it, and the music publisher didn't catch it, and the director and producer of the film didn't catch it, and the head of the studio didn't catch it. I didn't catch it myself until playing the song on the piano a few years ago. Wow.
  12. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Oh yes, that's right. Thanks for the correction. I knew that, but a synapse misfired. What I was trying to say (and I think it's clear this is what I meant from the context of the rest of the post) is that I used to think (as did a lot of folks) that it was a grave injustice that TMM won over WSS--and at some point I stopped thinking that.
  13. Milburn Stone

    Season One Talk

    Whether he was in it or not--isn't it fairly common practice to include the names of all key series actors in the credits of all episodes, whether the actor appears in that one or not? I know I've seen this done many times, no doubt as a contractual matter or part of a SAG agreement or whatnot.
  14. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I've probably said this before, but I always used to think of The Music Man as pleasant but anodyne and that it was a grave injustice that it lost the Best Musical Tony to the revolutionary West Side Story. That was until I saw the production at the Stratford Festival something like 10 years ago. (Apparently they did it again last summer.) The word "inventive" just kept forming in my mind over and over, one number after the other.
  15. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Was that the one with Forrest Tucker? I think it might have been my first experience with professional theater, too, when it swang through Baltimore. (You should pardon the expression.)