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Charlie Baker

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  1. I've read both Julie Andrews memoirs and I would concur with much of what Rinaldo said. The first one I thought went into things a little more in-depth, particularly her performing process, but that might also be due to the sheer amount of events professional and personal she needed to cover in the second. Both are well worth reading, and I hope there will be a third volume bringing things up to the present. I didn't post about it when they were airing it, in full and in fragments, but the interview she did on TCM leading up to her guest programmer appearance was very good.
  2. Yes! Penguin Pool Murder is pretty delightful. It was one of a series of movies (based on books, I think?) of starchy schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers and hard boiled cop Oscar Piper solving crime together. Edna May Oliver and James Gleason are perfectly cast, I'm dating myself here, but they made a TV movie with Eve Arden and James Gregory as the characters (again, good casting) in the 70s but a series did not result. I think the attempt at the early film series didn't fly because EMO only did the first three and the other three had pretty bad scripts.
  3. John Dall did play Bette Davis' prize student in The Corn Is Green, who was more of a swell guy than those other roles.
  4. The spotlight on short running times continues tomorrow--tomorrow night some noir gems: Detour, which had a restoration recently, but also The Set-Up, a corruption in boxing tale unfolding in real time with excellent direction from Robert Wise and a great performance from Robert Ryan as a has been fighter; and Narrow Margin, a strong example of high wire, suspenseful storytelling in a confined setting.
  5. Sorry to read of everyone's trials over retaining TCM. Should Spectrum ever repackage it, I'm not sure what I would do, but it seems a good strategy to negotiate a deal with the carrier. Up the Down Staircase was a book I reread a few times, and I like the movie too, so I might have to do a revisit, as well, inspired by Inquisitionist. The author Bel Kaufman passed away not too long ago; she lived to 103. Tomorrow daytime has a line-up of Powell and Loy with three fun comedies, a couple Thin Mans, and a couple dramatic items--Manhattan Melodrama is superior to Evelyn Prentice--all very watchable. Couldn't let those go by without a plug. And Wednesday morning has a favorite, somewhat lesser known Cagney vehicle--Taxi, in which he's quite wonderful and well supported by Loretta Young.
  6. RIP to a master of title design. .Wayne Fitzgerald
  7. I really appreciate Watch TCM, as I didn't have it for a long time until my cable provider changed hands. I don't usually ride herd on the TCM schedule, so I can easily miss something I'd want to catch or record. The app has a lot more selections to stream than my cable provider's On Demand feature for TCM. Yesterday's schedule was full of short pre-code movies, the TCM Spotlight for October on short running times. And I can catch up on some of them on Watch TCM. One I did catch was Side Streets. A couple occasions here I wrote about Aline MacMahon, familiar from many supporting roles, getting a crack at a lead in Heat Lightning, a dandy little melodrama, and delivering big time. Side Streets gave her another lead, which I hadn't seen. It's not as satisfying as Heat Lightning--it's a creaky and soapy tale of an independent, if lonely, woman getting taken in by a no-good man, though he tries to do better. But of course Ms. MacMahon is excellent. The male lead, Paul Kelly, is just right, too, managing to suggest why women would be drawn to him instead of running to the hills. I wasn't familiar with him--he started as a child in silents and also did stage and TV work until he died at 57. He won a Tony Award and originated the role of the actor in The Country Girl played in the movie by Bing Crosby, He had done prison time in the 1920s for manslaughter but was able to resume his career after release.
  8. I've been a fan since the early Comedy Central days and had a chance to catch the current tour in Brooklyn, at the incredibly gorgeous restored Kings Theater. (As Joel said sardonically in his welcome speech, too beautiful for "our shitty little show." ) Saw No Retreat and I'd swear it was tailor made for the MST treatment. If this tour is in fact Joel's swan song, I'm beyond happy to have seen it.
  9. Rock Hudson has always seemed well-cast and well-used in what I've seen of his films. I suspect Milburn is correct in that he didn't get a lot of respect in the industry or critical community. He also is one of those movie actors whose physical presence helped a lot, in addition to whatever acting ability or range he possessed. I think he said in interviews he felt his best work was in Giant--he's really good and somewhat out of the type of vehicle that made his career in Seconds.
  10. There was some talk of a Guys and Dolls remake a few years ago with Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but so far it hasn't happened. In unrelated news, Ben M has a new, evidently recurring gig with CBS Sunday Morning. His first piece is on Irwin Winkler. A Life in Movies
  11. An interview with the new Silent Sundays host. Jacqueline Stewart
  12. Saw enough of Young Man with a Horn today to see that yes, KD bared his chest. But I don't recall such a scene in either Bad and the Beautiful or Detective Story, a couple of his major titles from the 50s that I've seen most recently. Couldn't be absolutely certain, and I don't remember if Lust for Life has one or not. It could have been a standard requirement that was waived in certain instances? And certainly such a stipulation could have existed. That's show biz.
  13. Seven Chances is my favorite Keaton but add The Cameraman to Giddins' list and we're in total agreement.
  14. I've heard or read and it makes sense that In the Heat of the Night was a compromise Oscar Best Picture choice between the "new" "hip" Hollywood of The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde and the more traditional Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and (eh, whatever) Doctor Dolittle. I love Graduate and B and C, but in some ways they seem a bit more dated than Heat. It holds up and Poitier and Steiger are so good. I go back and forth on Anne Baxter but she pulls off a completely against type role in Swamp Water. where she plays kind of a wild child orphan scrambling around the Okefonokee. Also like her as good but no-nonsense girl in Magnificent Ambersons.
  15. Liv Ullmanm day is tomorrow and of course some of her collaborations with Ingmar Bergman must be included. But it's fun that they included the notoriously bad musical of Lost Horizon. I am most intrigued by The Emigrants and its sequel The New Land. I saw these on their initial US release in the early 70s and remember being engrossed and moved by them, and I haven't seen them since. They're long and quite unsparing in telling the story of a Swedish farm family in the 19th Century who move to America in hope of a better life. With Max von Sydow and LIv Ullmann in the leads. Not for everyone, but potentially rewarding. I'm hoping to make space on the DVR and then find the time to watch them.. But not both at one sitting.
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