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Milburn Stone

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  1. Thought the energy of the show was great, loved the panel, found George Will witty if not always right, loved the monologue and the other comedy hunks, and adored Martin Short. Other than that I hated it.
  2. Excellent advice. But it does point out the worst problem with incorrect grammar. (Which no one in this conversation needs pointed out, but I can't help myself.) Which is that frequently, it makes the intention of the speaker or writer incomprehensible! I'm not talking about the accent of a non-native speaker; that's a separate problem, and not really anyone's fault. I'm saying a native English-speaker, English-as-a-first (and possibly only) language speaker who uses poor grammar runs the risk of the receiver literally not knowing what the speaker/writer is trying to say! (I've had this happen when editing someone else's copy. "I'd know how to fix this if I had the slightest clue what you mean!")
  3. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    R.I.P. Zefferelli. Every teenager on a date in 1968 saw his R and J, and loved it. (I say without fear of contradiction.😊) Caught up with the first two-thirds of The Lion Has Wings last night. A heavily propagandistic film that is neither fish nor fowl (documentary? narrative story? I don't know where it goes in the remaining third) from Britain in 1940. The most questionable claim it makes--and it makes it repeatedly, to ensure the British audience gets it--is that Britain wasn't bombing civilian targets, only military ones. In fact, Churchill chose to bomb large German cities early in the war. Not that I'm saying he was wrong, since teaching the Nazis there was a price to pay might have paid off. Just that the film is a bit hard to swallow. I find films like this fascinating, and they always make me wonder what kind of propaganda about ourselves we're swallowing without knowing it. (Along with the people of every place and time.)
  4. Milburn Stone


    Agree, and I think another element is that for roughly a year and a half, we thought the repetitiveness was going to have a real-world payoff--"OMG, surely THIS is going to be the thing that brings him down!" (Trying to stay apolitical as per the rules of the site, so I'm not identifying who "he" is. You fill in the blank as you see fit.) But as it becomes increasingly clear (or despairingly clear) that there is no "this" that's going to do the job, each new "this" becomes more and more meaningless.
  5. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    This starts a train of thought. I caught roughly the last half of the movie last night, including the cliff-jumping scene, and was reminded how unusual the movie is for telling a Western story with a late-1960s sensibility. This goes well beyond the use of a contemporary Burt Bacharach score, to include Goldman's writing style, and the performances by Redford and Newman. I almost imagine the two actors on day one of the shoot giving performances that fit the usual "Western acting" mold, and George Roy Hill responding, "No, no, I want you to inflect the dialogue like it's happening in 1969." And then I thought, wow, that was pretty revolutionary. And then I thought, well, no, it has a definite predecessor: Cat Ballou. And then I wondered if Butch Cassidy, as we know it, would have existed had there been no Cat Ballou.
  6. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I get you on the sedating (although I think my flash of "that's icky" is the merest flicker, as I said--and that, only because we "know better now"), but as for the end gag, I think the very absurdity of it makes it delightful. (And that Hitchcock knew the audience would find it utterly absurd, and be tickled pink because of, not despite, the absurdity.) After we've been put through the wringer of that story, any ending less ridiculous might not get the job done.
  7. Did the actor who played the roommate win a Tony for best supporting actor in a musical? If he didn't, he should have! I've seldom seen a funnier and more naturalistic performance.
  8. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    The only questionable moment that comes to my mind is Jimmy Stewart beneficently sedating Doris Day against her will. (Fortunately not because he had designs on her.) But this was such a "trope" of films and TV at the time and well after--one never thought to question the beneficence of the kindly doctor who relieved his patient's anxiety--that even now it raises only the quietest of protests in my psyche.
  9. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    It was done so much in the old days, and, to add to the complexity of the whole matter and how we should feel about it, I think that sometimes it was done consciously to avoid offense to the ethnic group portrayed. Jewish actors played Italian gangsters, Italian and other actors played Jewish characters, and on and on. No doubt sometimes the casting decision was made in order to "tamp down" the ethnicity of the character so as to make him or her more palatable to an imagined Middle America, but sometimes I feel like it was done to make the portrayal more acceptable to members of the ethnic group portrayed. Like, the conversation was, "If we cast an Italian actor as this implicitly Italian gangster, are we saying that all Italians are gangsters? If we make the ethnicity of this skinflint character Jewish, knowing he's being played by a Jewish actor, are we saying that all Jews are skinflints? We don't want to do that." It's complicated.
  10. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Has anyone else noticed that Alicia Malone is sounding more American? She's hitting most of her "r"s hard now, which she didn't when she first started at TCM. (E.g., what she used to pronounce closer to "Wahnah Brothahs" now comes out "Warner Brothers.") I've always liked her, and still do, but I found her original voice more charming and I can't for the life of me understand why she feels she needs to adapt it for American ears. Is it just living here that has made the process happen unconsciously for her, or is she trying for it, and if so, is it because she wants to do it or because someone told her to do it?
  11. Agree right down the line. I wonder if thirsty = appetite for [your human need here] originates with the Most Interesting Man in the World. He always signed off with, "Stay thirsty my friends." Or does the abomination predate him?
  12. Milburn Stone

    Killing Eve

    For some reason my mind went back to the beginning of the season and had itself boggled by how much happened in 8 episodes. When I think about Villanelle walking the streets with a serious stab wound, then mercy-killing her hospital roommate, that seems like a lifetime ago.
  13. Milburn Stone

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I'm enjoying reading Alan Rode's massive biography of Curtiz. A good book for the Kindle--because the hard copy is too big and heavy. Also, somehow, the Kindle lends itself more to skipping around the book and reading long passages in no particular order other than one's interest, which for me is the way to go with a book like this. Lots of good research went into the book. I will see if he has anything on Roughly Speaking.
  14. Milburn Stone


    That is a valid interpretation--and it's obviously important to note as you did that the two male agents weren't the only ones who enthused over Sally. My interpretation of these same facts is a little different (not a lot but a little). I see the scene not as a compassionate honoring of people's need for collective fantasy, but as deadly savage satire on people's stupid need to believe, sheep-like, in whatever popular narrative carries the most virtue in any moment of the zeitgeist.