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Milburn Stone

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  1. I appreciated the logic of Williamson's positions. If behavior is bad enough to be a crime or the subject of a lawsuit, prosecute it as a crime or litigate it as a lawsuit. This banishing-for-life-without-due-process business makes no sense. If as a society we decide that abortion is murder, treat it as murder. If as a society we decide that abortion is birth control, leave it alone. It seems he happens to believe that abortion is murder, a position with which I 100% disagree, but he's not saying his position is "right," just that it happens to be his position. The logic itself is unassailable.
  2. Milburn Stone

    Commercials That Annoy, Irritate or Outright Enrage

    Pretty sure you mean the poor man's Progressive Flo, in which case I totally agree with you. I thought of her as Fake Flo from the moment she appeared on our screens, and she only becomes more that way with each new pool of spots. Maybe why I hate this kind of "advertising thievery" so much is that I had the good fortune to be a creative director at an agency whose corporate culture would never allow such a thing. If you dared present an idea that was derivative of another campaign, you'd be shot down in flames in such a way that you'd never forget it. If you did it more than once, you'd be fired. The flip side of this was positive, not negative. We worked really hard to come up with big, original ideas, and we were exceedingly grateful to work for a place whose corporate culture instilled this value in us.
  3. Milburn Stone

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

    It may have been a flashback (I'll have to see the movie again to be sure; until then I'll take @johntfs's word for it), but that doesn't mean it was an inaccurate depiction of events in the universe of the movie. Cliff on the roof realizes he effed up, thinks back to how he effed up, and we see an objective third-person (the camera) account of said effing up. If the film were meant as a refraction of events through the mind of Cliff, we would never have seen the scene between Rick and the kid actor, since Cliff wasn't present for that. And if no other scene is meant as a refraction of events through the mind of Cliff, it would be weird to say the least to make this one fight scene be that.
  4. Milburn Stone

    Commercials That Annoy, Irritate or Outright Enrage

    I loathe them, and you raise a good point about their disguising totally generic claims as unique. (Which is but one source of my loathing.) When you think about it, other insurance companies don't really do that. Allstate focuses on the superior protection they'll give you because of their huge size, State Farm leverages their unparalleled network of neighborhood offices, Geico talks about saving you money compared to your current insurance, Progressive talks about the ease of buying their insurance online, Esurance kind of owns the "we make it incredibly simple because you don't want to have to think about insurance" category, Farmers is all about their assurance that they'll cover you no matter how weird your claim, etc. They all at least offer something that they can legitimately claim to be better at. Liberty's total reliance on gimmickry (and thievery of other insurance companies' devices, like the a-cappella jingle from Farmers and the animal from Geico) at the expense of an actual marketing strategy just exposes their utter poverty of ideas.
  5. I, too, was taught that the correct form of the verb is "lend." And you'll pry that conviction from my cold, dead hands.
  6. Milburn Stone

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

    I'm a tremendous fan of the movie--including that fight scene--but I see no evidence that we're meant to understand it as Cliff Booth's memory. We're meant to understand it as the alternate reality of Tarantino's imagination.
  7. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I definitely agree that it belongs to Sturges alone, but I feel like there's at least one other of his movies that resolves as quickly--Unfaithfully Yours. (But I'm going from memory.)
  8. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Speaking of The Palm Beach Story, did Mary Astor ever give another performance as hilarious as the one she gives in this movie? If so I haven't seen it.
  9. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I was kind of hoping Shirley's day would include Martin and Lewis' Artists and Models (Tashlin). She was a force of nature as The Bat Lady.
  10. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Audrey Hepburn spoke to me! I was staying at The Plaza on business, in town for a commercial shoot. That's where Bogdanovich shot part of They All Laughed, and probably where he and the stars were staying. I was walking through the portion of the lobby that passed by The Palm Court when suddenly Audrey Hepburn approached me. "Do you know where Peter is?" she asked. I knew exactly who she meant, because I knew the film was shooting there. I must have looked like I was connected with the production, which was quite plausible, since I was a person connected with film production, just not that one. I smiled and replied, "No I don't, I'm sorry, I'm not with the film." And we went on our way. Except that I was on Cloud Nine.
  11. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I never saw the musical Lost Horizon until about three years ago. But I did know the songs before, and mostly liked them. So I went in prepared to be a contrarian (i.e., to like the film). And IMO it actually starts off promisingly! The whole opening sequence, with the plane trying to get off the ground before a revolution happens (or something), is dramatic, and realistic in a seventies way that is highly unusual for a musical. (Name another musical that starts out with its main characters being realistically afraid for their lives.) And maybe through the first musical number, I was still, "Hey, that wasn't bad, this has a chance of having been unfairly maligned all these years." But then...
  12. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    One change Sondheim made for the 1960 movie was a new couplet in "America" that I've always thought is one of his best: "Life is all right in America/If you're all-white in America." Genius! Whenever I see a stage revival, I hope for that line to be interpolated, but I don't think it often is. Usually when lyrics are changed for the movie version, it's a downgrade. This is one case (actually the only case I know) of a lyric being improved for the movie.
  13. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    It's a good question, but as I consider the possibilities, I'm not sure who they would have cast in 1960 who was A. Latina, B. Capable of singing that part, and C. A bankable star.
  14. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I'm projecting too much. The first thing that would occur to me when seeing TCM run a movie in the wrong aspect ratio is to become wracked by anxiety.
  15. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Implicitly, you raise the alarming possibility that this is a harbinger of things to come--because somebody at TCM decided "people don't like to see small images on their HDTVs." (That polite "rare technical goof" language has the whiff of terror lurking behind it, unless I miss my guess.)
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