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mariah23

TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

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Hi all! I'm going to pop onto this thread a lot.

I have my mother to thank for my love of the classics. She was a working mother but every Saturday was movie day.

Looking forward to the topics!

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My channel descriptions can never get Last Holiday right! I always see it on and described as a 1950 movie with Alec Guiness and Kay Walsh. I've only seen the Queen Latifah version, a million times, because I have a weird thing for LL Cool J. I want to see the original but keep getting burned by the guide being wrong!

On a side note, I've really been enjoying the Carson hour they've been doing every Tueday evening. I don't watch any of the "tonight" shows past the monologues because there is rarely any person I want to see in that element. I think with social media and the Internet in general these celebrities aren't such a hidden treasure anymore, if that makes sense. Seeing Lucille Ball on the program the other night, now that I wanted to watch!

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Mountainair, I have been enjoying it as well. And Carol Burnette. I was (and still am) I fan of both of their shows.

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No problem, guys.  I just looked at the first three days of April.  All 24 hour celebrations.  April 1-All comedy (Happy April Fools Day) April 2-Alec Guiness 100th Birthday April 3-Doris Day's 90th Birthday

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Hmn. I actually appreciated the spoilerific discussion on the old TWoP board. Should we start a separate thread to discuss TCM movies with spoilers?

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How will a "no spoilers" policy work here when they replay old movies? Can we never discuss an ending in this thread?

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How will a "no spoilers" policy work here when they replay old movies? Can we never discuss an ending in this thread?

I'm new here myself, but I think "no spoilers" means that nothing on this thread can be considered a spoiler (since everything here will concern a movie that has been released for years); therefore you are free to discuss anything on TCM without the need for spoiler-bars. Moderators, please correct me if I'm wrong.

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I took the "no spoilers" tag as saying you couldn't just put spoilers in the general body of a post without warning.

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Caught the back half of "Duel in the Sun" yesterday.  I've always been aware of the film, and of Jennifer Jones being in it -- and I think that long-held knowledge had led me to believe it was a classic.  Yeah, not so much.  Or at all.   Jennifer Jones gives a master class in acting, if by acting one means flinging yourself around, tossing your hair, and lying on the floor/bed/hay with your arms over your head.  Both Joseph Cotton and Gregory Peck must have been wondered why they were being punished.

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Jennifer Jones gives a master class in acting, if by acting one means flinging yourself around, tossing your hair, and lying on the floor/bed/hay with your arms over your head.

And yet, there is something fascinating about her. Would you agree?

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First forum I'm joining on Previously.TV and thanks for setting up it! Long time TWoP lurker (under same user name) and thoroughly enjoyed 77 pages of the TCM thread there. Can't wait to continue reading over here.  

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Milburn, I was riveted, but not for any complimentary reasons.  I'll give you this: she was different than the women you'd usually see in a film of that period.  I probably need to see her in other things.  Also, I'm not David O. Selznik.  

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I actually haven't seen that particular film, but I have seen a number of Jennifer Jones's movies and find her pretty negligible acting-wise (and unlike some others of whom that could be said, not otherwise fascinating either). But she does have a few fine performances to her credit: Beat the Devil, certainly, and I like her a lot in Cluny Brown.

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The next time they run A Personal Journey Through American Movies With Martin Scorsese you all should check it out.  He keeps returning to Duel In The Sun again and again - he saw it in junior high and it clearly made a huge impression on him.  I think what he loves about it (aside from Jennifer Jones being just very beautiful) is the whole overheated hypersexualized melodramatic overkill of it all.  It might even have been the Scorsese doc that made me see how much it was like the spaghetti Westerns of the sixties, which is what I noticed last time I saw it.

Edited by ratgirlagogo

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The final scene does remind me of those, you're right. What I was surprised to see earlier was how choppy it felt, with this episode and then that one and then a minute spent on something else. It felt pasted together.

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I took the "no spoilers" tag as saying you couldn't just put spoilers in the general body of a post without warning.

That's my impression, too, and it's an option that one either chooses or doesn't choose at the time of creating the thread.  Personally, I don't like the idea of having to spoiler tag plot points of films that have been around for 70 years.

I see The Long, Long Trailer is on tomorrow.  I haven't seen that since I was a young teen, and I didn't have the affection for it so many seemed to, so I'm going to finally rewatch it and see what I think now.

It's a little weird that Soylent Green is coming up again in a few days, since it just aired Friday night as part of the "Food in Film" series.

And speaking of that series, I loved seeing Babette's Feast and Big Night back to back.  Two of my favorite foodie films - not to be watched on an empty stomach.

Edited by Bastet
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You guys might be right about the meaning of "no spoilers" in this case, but I really think we need clarification from the moderator. (Hello, moderator? Help!) Over at TWoP (which I realize is not the same place as here), the policy on the TCM thread was pretty sensible, i.e., "It is impossible to spoil something that has been in the public realm for decades!" 

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I asked in Q&A, and David says

In that context I'd say no big "open air" spoilers like the endings, big twists, etc. Stick them in the inline spoiler tags.

So there we have it.

Edited by Rinaldo

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Hello Folks:  I'm a long-time lurker on TWOP, but I never posted.  This site is much easier to post on.  I am a classic movie freak.  Love them all!!  

Anyway, to bring a topic over regarding Jennifer Jones - I thought she was great in Since You Went Away and Love is Many Splendord Thing. 

Some of my favorite movies of all times is The Heiress, The Best Years of Our Lives and The Little Foxes.  I could watch them over and over.  All three are very different but just love them.  Bette Davis is one of my favorites, I seem to like her in every movie she's ever made.

Edited by MissT
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I've only seen 3 Jennifer Jones films-Song of Bernadette, Duel in the Sun and Towering Inferno. I have a soft spot for Bernadette and I enjoy the GWTW qualities DOS tried to bring to Duel especially the use of Butterfly McQueen.

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Wait, what?  Jennifer Jones is Bernadette in Song of Bernadette?  I may have to re-evaluate!  For that matter, I can't remember her in The Towering Inferno, either.

Miss T, The Best Years of our Lives is one of my favorites, too.  The score's theme is so gorgeous and I could watch Myrna Loy welcome Fredric March home on a loop.

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Miss T, The Best Years of our Lives is one of my favorites, too.  The score's theme is so gorgeous and I could watch Myrna Loy welcome Fredric March home on a loop.

I'd probably watch Myrna Loy read the phone book, so I think it's criminal she was never nominated for an Oscar (I don't know if the fact she was such a natural actor led the Academy to take for granted how much wonderful work she was doing or what), but I'm particularly surprised she wasn't nominated in this role, which seems like the best kind of Oscar bait.  Perhaps because it was a smaller role.

At any rate, I love the scene where they disabuse their daughter of the notion it has been easy to stay together all these years. 

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The last scene in The Best Years of Our Lives when Teresa Wright and Dana Andrews kiss is just classic!!!    It just gets me every time. 

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"Make Way for Tomorrow" is another great old movie although it never really got its due until fairly recently.  

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Yes, Jennifer Jones won an Oscar for Bernadette! And she's the lady with the cat whom Fred Astaire helps escape in Inferno. IIRC, she doesn't make it...

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So happy to find a TCM topic here as I poke about these forums as I am able--and to find Myrna Loy devotees!

Another kind of actress and star, Doris Day, had a 90th birthday tribute on TCM this week.  Without a doubt, my favorite performance of hers is Love Me or Leave Me, working with an on-fire James Cagney.  Pretty gritty stuff for 1950s MGM.  They included Calamity Jane in the tribute, which I haven't seen since I was a child, and didn't catch this go round, but I remember liking it.  Wasn't particularly into the Rock Hudson movies, enjoyed her with James Garner in The Thrill of It All, even if the gender role stuff doesn't sit too well.  

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Wasn't particularly into the Rock Hudson movies, enjoyed her with James Garner in The Thrill of It All, even if the gender role stuff doesn't sit too well.

I'm partial to Send Me No Flowers, because, unlike the other Rock-Doris movies in which Rock's character pretended to be someone the character wasn't for the sake of a ruse (possibly gay mama's boy vs. straight playboy, absent-minded scientist vs. slick executive, etc.), in SMNF he plays a full-on 24-carat neurotic who really is just what he seems, a full-on 24-carat neurotic. And he plays it well. Anyone who thinks he was just a dumb actor should see how well he handles the comedy in this portrayal.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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Hello all!  I happy to have found you again!

Funny how we were just discussing the young film "The Princess Bride" and here they are discussing "Field of Dreams" at a youthful 25!

From the moment that Shoeless Joe calls out "Hey Rookie" to Doc Graham, I get the tissue box ready, I know I will be weeping by the end.

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The New York Times obituary, which I've linked to, has a lot of interesting observations about Mickey Rooney's performing, as well as a pretty exhaustive biography. Thanks to TCM, I saw The Devil Is a Sissy, which is mentioned there.  It put together three major child stars, Freddie Bartholomew, Jackie Cooper, and Rooney, and it showcased each of them very well.  Rooney's big moment I found every bit as powerful as described (spoiled) in the obituary.  While I do think Rooney could be a bit much, it's moments like this that show him as a strong dramatic actor,as well as a vaudevillian showman type performer. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/arts/mickey-rooney-master-of-putting-on-a-show-dies-at-93.html?smid=tw-nytimesobituary&seid=auto

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Micky Rooney could be something of a ham in real life, but damned if he wasn't fun to watch on screen.  I think he had a natural talent that really shone through, and I still love watching his movies.  His musicals with Judy Garland are my favorites.

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A month or two ago we had occasion to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's again, and you know, I gotta say, by this viewing I came around to thinking that his portrayal of the Japanese photographer wasn't that offensive! (After years of accepting the conventional wisdom that it was.) Now, mind you, I'm not Japanese, and I don't know how I'd feel if I were, but I don't know that anything about the portrayal was appreciably "worse" than Frank Sinatra playing a Jew (in Come Blow Your Horn) or Anthony Quinn playing a Greek (in Zorba the Greek). Both also relied on (a bit of necessary) stereotyping in order to bring their characters to life. Has the world decided that characters of a nationality/ethnicity must only be played by actors of the same nationality/ethnicity? If so, we're going to have to consign to the scrap heap a whole lot of performances over the years. What I appreciated this time was that there was nothing at all negative about Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi. He was a professional who needed his sleep! I'd be angry too.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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This may be too big and fraught a topic for this thread, and I'm certainly not empowered to speak for what "the world" thinks. But I don't get the impression that any such sweeping decision as you describe has been proposed. It's a matter of degree, and of examining each specific case. And there's room for discussion and respectful disagreement about specific cases, of course. But my own feeling is that wherever one draws the line, this Mickey Rooney performance is beyond it -- and is not a performance but a caricature, based on the notion that "acting Japanese" is squinting one's eyes and talking funny. The Sinatra and Quinn performances mentioned didn't do anything comparable. The question is also bound up with the standing of a particular ethnicity in the social fabric at any given time (so reactions will change over time), which is too much for me to take on, so I'll stop here.

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I take your point, Rinaldo. I think I'm just saying that this time, when I actually examined what Mickey Rooney was doing (instead of going to the knee-jerk reaction of "how dare he," which I have often defaulted to in the past), I didn't find anything egregious about it. No more so, certainly, than with Alan Reed's evocation of Italian-American stereotypes in his portrayal of Sally Tomato in the same movie. Mileage varies, of course, but my inclination now is to think that Rooney and Blake Edwards received a bum rap.

Edited by Milburn Stone

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I'm still in the process of transitioning from TWoP and my inability to have spoilerific conversations about TCM movies. I recently saw Wife vs. Secretary for the first time. Or, what I should say is I saw all of Wife vs. Secretary for the first time, as I hadn't realized I'd already seen the ending from the confrontation on the ship. While I enjoyed most of the movie (the performances and script were remarkably good) and this movie will be going on my list of favorite classic films, I found the ending to be a little bit of a letdown. I felt like the script never really called out Clark Gable's character to the degree that he needed to be called out. Will someone back me up on this one or did this not bother you when you watched the film? 

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Van never having to take responsibility for what he did do - instead focusing on the line he didn't cross - is unfortunately pretty typical of films of that genre and vintage.  There are so many classic films I love in spite of the ending, and this is one.  Although I find this one of the lesser offenders on that score.

Edited by Bastet

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aradia22, I believe we can still talk about endings and twists etc. here -- we've just been asked to

hide them with the spoiler tags

so that someone else can still read the thread without having major surprises given away before seeing the movie in question. That's what David said when I asked about this in Site Business. Of course there's always some room for different opinions on what's "major," but what's life without some adventure?

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Best Years of Our Lives grabs me each and every time.  When a young whippersnapper asks me why I so love these type of films, I tell them that it would be impossible to make them anymore.  I say that audiences then were well satisfied with the small moments - the ones that revealed character - every bit as much as the action scenes.  When a ridiculous looking King Kong with primitive FX came along, the poor FX mattered not.  Everyone was taken away with the story.  The audience was well used to letting their imaginations fill in blanks due to their listening to long-form radio.  Now, most everything is reduced to literalism.

 

The score's theme is so gorgeous

I was really happy to read this comment.  This is a real bone of contention amongst the cognescenti.  Some absolutely hate it, while others (myself included) think it strikes some deep and meaningful chords within the story.  I would have enjoyed perhaps another theme or two, but the earnestness I sense from the main theme adds so much to my viewing experience.

For me, the essential scene was when the guy eating a sandwich at the drug store expressed regret that the sailor had lost his limbs for little reason.  He was asserting that  the USA was filled with saps/chumps who sacrificed while fighting evil, only to have evil continue to manifest.  What a fantastic and powerful concept!  We are arguing, essentially, this very question still today.  I think we always will.

I never took that guy's point to demean the sailor. But, that it instantly became an absolute point of honor for him was simply beautiful to see.  

That it drove his buddy to defend him, thus forcing him right out of his spirit-killing job, added so many more layers.

 I believe each man was correct in their truth.  I didn't see a bad guy.  I saw a super powerful depiction of what happens every day.  Each person chooses to look at things from varying prisms.   So many of our interactions depend on context and prior experience.  Anyway, this movie shows us, and honors, many different approaches to the same post-WW II realities.  Simply brilliant. 

And that is just ONE scene!

Oh.  I am slayed each and every time Pops reads the medal citations.  

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This is a real bone of contention amongst the cognescenti.  Some absolutely hate it, while others (myself included) think it strikes some deep and meaningful chords within the story.

I loved your whole post, Lonesome, but was surprised to read this sentence, simply because I've never in my life encountered a film music aficionado who didn't think Hugo Friedhofer's score for Best Years of Our Lives was one of the best scores ever written. Understanding that someone-somewhere's mileage is always going to vary, I didn't think there was any serious controversy about that.

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Chiming in with Milburn Stone, I sometimes teach student composers and have read a fair number of histories and analytical books about film scoring. Friedhofer's work in general, and this score in particular, always seem to be praised.

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David, with respect, the split seems artificial. We TCM fans love to talk about the movies on TCM, but we also love to talk about the hosts, the guest-hosts, the memoriams, the actor tributes, etc. To have to go to two different threads in order to do this seems unnecessarily cumbersome, and will be confusing, especially when the content of a post bestrides both areas.

If TCM belongs in "Everything Else TV," it would be preferable to move this entire topic over to that section, rather than split the discussion in two. In fact, I agree that this whole topic belongs in that forum, rather than the "Off Topic" section it is now in.

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I think I agree with that. Often (not always, of course) the discussion of the content of a movie will be intertwined with what the hosts said about it, with which we may or may not agree. Or how the content of a movie fits with a TCM "theme" for the day or month.

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