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TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

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As a child of the ‘70s, for me, Buck Henry will always be one of the best SNL hosts. His appearances as Belushi’s customer in the samurai sketches were always hilarious, and his Uncle Roy was notorious and creepy and extremely memorable. 

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Gaslight is on tonight. It's not often you see a movie where the title becomes part of the cultural lexicon. I've seen it before but I want to see it again to see if Charles Boyer makes the face on I Love Lucy which Lucy describes as "An expression on his face like he just walked into the grand ballroom and smelled cauliflower cooking":

 MV5BMTNmNTljNDAtNjBlZi00NDBjLWI5ZmUtYjE1

Also it's always fun to watch just for an incredibly young Angela Lansbury as the saucy Cockney maid.

 

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I love Angela in Gaslight! Also Dorian Gray. She is always good. Typical of Hollywood that she played Laurence Harvey’s mother n The Manchurian Candidate when she was only three years older than him. Her appearance in the Mary Poppins sequel delighted me to no end.

i love seeing movies that are filled with early-in-their-careers future stars. My favorite little known example is the 1980 film My Bodyguard, with film debuts or second film roles by Matt Dillon, Adam Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Beals, Tim Kazurinsky, and George Wendt. Adam Baldwin may be Jayne to most fans, but he will always be Ricky Linderman to me.

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16 hours ago, Sharpie66 said:

i love seeing movies that are filled with early-in-their-careers future stars. My favorite little known example is the 1980 film My Bodyguard, with film debuts or second film roles by Matt Dillon, Adam Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Beals, Tim Kazurinsky, and George Wendt. Adam Baldwin may be Jayne to most fans, but he will always be Ricky Linderman to me.

To me, that's not little-known! (Though I suppose it is, by now.) All the names you mentioned are right on, and it's also a second film role for Chris Makepeace, the protagonist (after Meatballs). Also making his movie debut in a small unnamed role is Dean Devlin (now better known as a mega-producer, but he had a decent acting career before that). The presence of Wendt and Kazurinsky and a couple of Cusacks shows that director Tony Bill was really availing himself of local Chicago talent.

Also making his debut is Dick Cusack (father of John, Joan, and Ann) as the principal -- he had just left a career in advertising to become a writer and actor. My father, who directed TV commercials, had known him in that connection, and they stayed in touch to the end of their lives, meeting every Tuesday for lunch with other Chicago old-timers in the biz. (Another member of the group was the writer of the "Mr. Clean" jingle, who continued to get royalties from it all his life.) Another admirer of Cusack's is another Chicago person, Bonnie Hunt, who cast him in the movie she directed there, Return To Me. In her DVD commentary, she can never refer to him in any other way but "Mr. Cusack."

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On 1/9/2020 at 12:11 PM, VCRTracking said:

Gaslight is on tonight. It's not often you see a movie where the title becomes part of the cultural lexicon.

The movie should be required viewing for the entire population because then, maybe they would find out that "gaslighting" is not the same as "lying."

 

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31 minutes ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

The movie should be required viewing for the entire population because then, maybe they would find out that "gaslighting" is not the same as "lying."

 

Mostly I've seen the term used correctly; i.e., convincing someone to disbelieve clear facts in front of them.  

I just got a new TV and I'm still tweaking the settings, but in the meantime, it's beyond bizarre to watch a classic film from the 30s or 40s that now looks like it was videotaped in 1963.  The dreaded soap opera effect.

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4 minutes ago, meowmommy said:

Mostly I've seen the term used correctly; i.e., convincing someone to disbelieve clear facts in front of them.  

I just got a new TV and I'm still tweaking the settings, but in the meantime, it's beyond bizarre to watch a classic film from the 30s or 40s that now looks like it was videotaped in 1963.  The dreaded soap opera effect.

I think the only good motion smoothing is for is old kinescoped TV shows, because before videotape they were originally shot on higher frame rate video!

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I just saw The Fugitive on cable last week, and it’s always nice to see Dick Cusack as Kimball’s lawyer. That’s another great Chicago film—like My Bodyguard and The Blues Brothers, it really takes advantage of not just the city landmarks, but also the neighborhoods. 

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The Woman in White, 1948, Sydney Greenstreet, Gig Young, Eleanor Parker, Alexis Smith.  I've read the book -- I think.  I know I owned a copy and I remember picking it up and turning pages, but I remember nothing else about it.

I tried to watch the movie awhile back but turned it off early.  Must have been Gig Young's unfortunate moustache.  This time I kept watching.  I almost stopped again though -- Alexis Smith's Marian Holcombe came off as almost shrill in her first scenes.  I guess she was going for welcoming and cheerful.  (?)  I persevered and was rewarded with John Abbott's portray of Frederick Fairlie, a combination of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons and the worst hypochondriac you've ever seen.  It was hysterical. 

The movie has all the Gothic touches -- money and secrets and romance and class and greed and love but mostly the secrets.  Even knowing that good will prevail, there was still plenty of tension, because you don't know how they will win out.  And until the last few minutes, you don't know all the secrets.

I really enjoyed this movie.  There were a few times when the music (Max Steiner) took me out of the story, but only a few. 

 

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I loved the book of Woman in White -- one of the first (iirc, could be *the first) Gothic horror/romance novels.  It's a long & winding story but after a certain point I just kept reading through the night.  

That is, until a pivotal moment, when Marian is in mortal danger, that I slammed the book shut & leapt under the covers, too terrified to read further.

The only problem (but it's a big one) is that the author refused to let the **obvious romance play out.  The hero falls for the drippy girl and lets his soulmate go off without him.   Still bitter about that one.

Would've fared far better as a silent film with John Gilbert torn between Janet Gaynor and Vilma Banky!  And Lon Chaney as the Fat Man w/the mice.

A girl can dream...

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On 1/9/2020 at 10:58 PM, Sharpie66 said:

i love seeing movies that are filled with early-in-their-careers future stars.

Just keep watching TCM, and steer yourself a little earlier in the timeframe than you normally would do.  One hundred percent of your movie viewing will be filled with earlier-in-their-careers future stars.  Also check out the many retro TV channels for the same reward.

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12 hours ago, voiceover said:

The only problem (but it's a big one) is that the author refused to let the **obvious romance play out.  The hero falls for the drippy girl and lets his soulmate go off without him.   Still bitter about that one.

Well, now I'm gonna have to see if I still have the book.  The movie was quite different. 

Spoiler

I assume Laura is the drippy girl.  ?? In the movie, Marian didn't go anywhere -- Hartwright left after failing to convince Laura that Percy only wanted her money.  He returns for "Laura's" funeral.  He and Marian rescue Laura from the asylum (although Laura does most of the work there).  The ending has Hartwright and Marian married, and all of them living together -- including Laura's son by Percy and Hartwright and Marian's daughter. 

The women in this movie were pretty strong.  No fainting, and not a single scene of hand-to-horrified-mouth. 

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Looks like this version* fixed what was broken.  Ha!  I'll have to watch it to the end now.

*I cannot say the same for the 2018 BBC attempt.

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I had to come on here and tell you guys about this because no one else will understand what I'm talking about. I had a dream and in my dream I made up an entire TCM movie. It's not that important but in my dream I was in a public venue but I somehow had control of a remote that could rewind and fast forward through the movie. So we were all watching this movie and then at the end, someone asked the title and I tried to rewind back through to find it but that's when I woke up because my brain realized "of course, you can't find the title. This movie doesn't exist."

In the opening credits, I remember I said my movie starred Shirley Booth though the actress I made up in my head looked more like Debbie Reynolds combined with Shirley Temple circa Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. My male lead was a Melvyn Douglas type but looked more like Raymond Arroyo from Fox News. It wasn't him but I'd cast someone with that same semi-balding look. The plot was simple and the dialogue wasn't anything to write home about. They went on a date and came back to her house and they kissed and he said something to offend her. Shenanigans and hijinks ensued as he tried to get her back during the course of the movie. It was just incredibly strange that my brain wrote (almost) an entire TCM movie (I started rewinding 3/4 through to figure out the title) to entertain itself. 

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12 minutes ago, aradia22 said:

I had to come on here and tell you guys about this because no one else will understand what I'm talking about. I had a dream and in my dream I made up an entire TCM movie.

That's funny.  I've written movie scripts in my dreams too, but they weren't as detailed as yours.  All I remembered when I woke up was that it was an excellent movie.  I've also solved world problems and made scientific advances and written books.  And walked around in public topless, but that's universal, I think.

Did anyone else catch The Late Show -- Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy.  Los Angeles noir and it did remind me a bit of Chinatown, the seediness of some of the locations.  The plot involved a cheating spouse, a kidnapped cat, and the body count was surprisingly high, especially for a story with a comic element.  Carney was excellent, as usual, and Lily Tomlin -- dang.  I'm not sure there was a script for her role.  It was almost as if the director described her character and told her to wing it.  She was perfect. 

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55 minutes ago, AuntiePam said:

Did anyone else catch The Late Show

I watched Harry and Tonto since it been a longer time since I had seen it.  What a sweet humanist movie.  I noticed this time how much it is like Umberto D which I just had rewatched a few months ago.  The older intellectual man with the devotion to the cat or dog.  The cruelty of modern cash nexus life, but the kindness of younger people to the old (not presented often enough in TV/film).

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18 hours ago, AuntiePam said:

Did anyone else catch The Late Show -- Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy.  Los Angeles noir and it did remind me a bit of Chinatown, the seediness of some of the locations.  The plot involved a cheating spouse, a kidnapped cat, and the body count was surprisingly high, especially for a story with a comic element.  Carney was excellent, as usual, and Lily Tomlin -- dang.  I'm not sure there was a script for her role.  It was almost as if the director described her character and told her to wing it.  She was perfect. 

The Late Show has long occupied a place in my person Top Twenty All-time Movies for decades; even as others have been moved off (Tom Jones) or onto (Dodsworth, The Talented Mr. Ripley) the list, it always stays there. And each time I rewatch it (as I did this time), it stands up.

Art Carney and Lily Tomlin turned out to be an unexpectedly perfect pairing, in roles that might have conceived expressly for them (though as far as I've been able to tell, they weren't). And while I understand the "as if" part of the description of Tomlin's performance, make no mistake: this script is as tightly written as anything writer-director Robert Benton ever created. But she certainly was able to inhabit it, and (at time of release) confirm what Nashville had just indicated, that she wasn't just a sketch comedian but a versatile first-rate actress.

What a wonderful collection of supporting people, too: Bill Macy, yes, but also Eugene Roche, John Considine, Howard Duff, Ruth Nelson, and especially Joanna Cassidy (forgoing her usual infectious laugh to play a perfectly convincing seductive liar of a  noir-ish femme fatale).

One tiny bit of background trivia that I haven't seen documented elsewhere: When it was first shown as a network Sunday Night Movie (remember when that used to happen?), it wasn't quite long enough, even with commercials, to fill a 3-hour time slot, so a couple of short scenes (evidently deleted before its initial release) were added in to pad the timing: the one I remember is a bit of the early police interrogation in Carney's living room, in which Tomlin echoes the remark he'd earlier made to her, "I play by the house percentages." I suppose those addenda were seen on that one occasion and never again; they're certainly not DVD extras.

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8 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

What a wonderful collection of supporting people, too: Bill Macy, yes, but also Eugene Roche, John Considine, Howard Duff...

And what's the story with Howard Duff? I loved him, and he even was a TV star at one point (co-lead with his wife Ida Lupino in Mr. Adams and Eve, which, as a 7 and 8 year-old, I had the discerning taste to realize was pretty good), but he should have been a movie star too. Good directors realized how good he was (Benton, Lang, Altman) but it seems he went from TV star to character actor in record time. Based on his good looks and presence as well as talent, it seems like a different future could have been in store for him. (James Garner deservedly became a star, and he's as close an analog to Howard Duff as I can think of right now.)

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On 1/15/2020 at 7:41 AM, Milburn Stone said:

And what's the story with Howard Duff? I loved him, and he even was a TV star at one point (co-lead with his wife Ida Lupino in Mr. Adams and Eve, which, as a 7 and 8 year-old, I had the discerning taste to realize was pretty good), but he should have been a movie star too.

One major problem is that he was blacklisted in Hollywood after being listed in Red Channels.  

http://www.radiospirits.info/2016/11/24/happy-birthday-howard-duff/

 

Always important to remember that when obviously good actors don't seem to have many movie credits, they likely have extensive stage  or radio credits.  I hope y'all do read the linked article.  Duff was huge on the radio (he played Sam Spade) and was really developing a solid movie career when he was blacklisted and scrambled to get whatever TV roles he could.  

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All About Eve. Love the different styles of snark, from Bette Davis, to Thelma Ritter, to George Sanders.

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17 hours ago, ratgirlagogo said:

Always important to remember that when obviously good actors don't seem to have many movie credits, they likely have extensive stage  or radio credits.  I hope y'all do read the linked article.  Duff was huge on the radio (he played Sam Spade) and was really developing a solid movie career when he was blacklisted and scrambled to get whatever TV roles he could. 

Thanks for the link, @ratgirlagogo. It seems that Duff actually survived blacklisting better than many actors, continuing to make movies into the 1950s, and concurrently jumping into television, in that decade when everyone was still figuring out how the two media were going to co-exist. It wasn't so very long ago that the classifications "TV actor" and "movie actor" were considered rather rigid, and mutually exclusive. James Garner's ability to alternate between both was a bit unusual in that era, wasn't it? Meanwhile, Duff's time between "familiar TV presence" (1950s) and  "valued old pro in movies" (for Altman & Benton, late 1970s) is about two decades. That seems a typical enough span for an acting career.

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All About Eve had one of the all-time great ensembles--I'll even include Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe in that, though IIRC, some here wouldn't agree.

I didn't watch last night, but they followed AAE with The Two Mrs. Carrolls and I tuned in to see if Ben M would mention the connection between the two movies. He didn't.  Sam Staggs tells in his book on AAE the story of Elisabeth Bergner, who starred in the play Two Mrs. Cs and received something of an Eve Harrington treatment from an admirer.  Ms. Bergner told the story to a young actress/writer named Mary Orr, who turned it into a short story called "The Wisdom of Eve," which was bought by 20th Century Fox and turned into AAE by Joseph Mankiewicz. 

I didn't catch a lot of Two Mrs Cs but it seemed like an intense potboiler kind of thriller, and I should see it all sometime since it is the only teaming of Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck.

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I've never seen a movie... even the Pre-Code stuff on TCM from this era but I assume if anyone would know about this, the people on this thread would. I'm thinking about seeing a production of the musical Mack and Mabel which of course made me curious about how much the plot was actually based on real life. A quick google pulled up these articles...

https://www.thefix.com/content/saving-mabel-normand

http://themabelnormand.com/articles/myth-2-drug-use/

If you're familiar with Mabel and/or her story, where do you stand on whether she had any substance abuse issues (aside from alcohol)?

Also, are there particular rumors or pop culture imaginings of famous old movie stars that you find irritating? For me it's Joan Crawford as Mommie Dearest or her most camp roles later in life. Like, have these people even seen Grand Hotel or any of her other pre-Mildred Pierce movies? Get out of here about her being a bad actress. I don't know about her personal life but it's hard to believe she could have gotten away with being that cartoonishly evil for so long.  

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On 1/20/2020 at 9:39 AM, Rinaldo said:

Thanks for the link, @ratgirlagogo. It seems that Duff actually survived blacklisting better than many actors, continuing to make movies into the 1950s, and concurrently jumping into television, in that decade when everyone was still figuring out how the two media were going to co-exist. It wasn't so very long ago that the classifications "TV actor" and "movie actor" were considered rather rigid, and mutually exclusive. James Garner's ability to alternate between both was a bit unusual in that era, wasn't it? Meanwhile, Duff's time between "familiar TV presence" (1950s) and  "valued old pro in movies" (for Altman & Benton, late 1970s) is about two decades. That seems a typical enough span for an acting career.

The Duff topic caused me to look up his credits on the IMDB. I saw why it seemed to me that he was MIA for the entire decade of the sixties. He was fairly active then in episodic dramatic television--not one show being one I ever watched! (For the first seven years of that decade I don't remember seeing any dramas other than Perry Mason, The Defenders, Dr. Kildare, The Nurses, East Side West Side, and Slattery's People--and for the last three years of that decade I was in college and not seeing anything.) Not until he got "rediscovered" by such as Altman and Benton did I see him again.

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I only know the novelized version of Mabel Normand from reading Garson Kanin’s Moviola back in junior high. I found the silent film era portion of that book just fascinating.

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The Time of Your Life, 1948, based on the William Saroyan play that won a Pulitzer and the NY Drama Critics Circle award.  James Cagney, William Bendix, Ward Bond, Broderick Crawford, Spring Byington -- the only actors I recognized. 

It's another film that I almost stopped watching (I didn't like Jeanne Cagney's character, who showed up early).  But this movie might be permanently on the DVR.  It was really surprising. 

It's set in a bar in San Francisco in the late 1930's.  Cagney plays Joe, who spends his days sitting at a table interacting with various people who come into the bar.  Joe is all about people -- being involved, listening, understanding, not judging, not being obvious, not always butting in, sometimes just watching. 

But the main reason the movie is a keeper is the dancer, Paul Draper.  I'm no dance expert, but if Fred Astaire is considered a 10, Draper is an 11.  His character wants to be a comedian but his routines are inscrutable and humorless.  And then he starts to dance.  One of his dances was an interpretation of a politician, giving a speech.  He said that's what he was going to do but even if he hadn't said it, you'd know that's what he was presenting.  It was stunning.

The other revelation was Reginald Beane, a man who came to the bar looking for work.  He faints from hunger, Nick the bar owner feeds him (Nick feeds everyone), and after he recovers, he walks by the piano, sits down, and starts to play. 

There's also a character described as an Arab who plays harmonica, a newspaper boy who wants to be a lyric tenor, an old coot who looks like Kit Carson and tells stories that had me laughing out loud, and a few others, including a bad guy who tries to shake Nick down. 

It's kinda messy -- unstructured -- but just wonderful, and I'm so glad TCM showed it and that I watched it.  I just wish there was more Paul Draper on film.  Because wow.

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The Voice of Bugle Ann, 1936, Lionel Barrymore and Maureen O'Sullivan.  I'm a sucker for Lionel Barrymore.

It's set in Missouri with hill country farmers who raise hounds to hunt fox.  It's explained early on that the fox is never killed -- the dogs just chase until the fox goes to its hole.  The enjoyment is in the men's ability to recognize the sounds of their dogs, their location, predicting their behavior, and calling the dogs off the hunt.

We know from the on-screen guide that a farmer kills the man who kills his dog, so when we see Barrymore raise Bugle Ann from a pup, and we hear everyone talk about how much he loves her, we know Bugle Ann's fate.  Thankfully, it doesn't happen on-screen. 

The movie starts with puppies, and they're so cute!  The runt of the litter becomes Bugle Ann, named because of her distinctive and rare bugling voice.  It was interesting that the newborn pup has the same markings as older Bugle Ann, so either the movie took a few months to film or they managed to find two dogs with the same markings.  There's a funny scene where Barrymore is holding the pup and the pup starts to lick his face.  Barrymore pulls back and then decides to just go with it -- who can resist a puppy!

The movie's cinematography is outstanding, so much so that I looked up the cinematographer -- it's Ernest Haller -- Cinematographer for Oscar Best Picture winner Gone with the Wind (1939), and seven other Best Picture nominees: Captain Blood (1935), Jezebel (1938), Four Daughters (1938), Dark Victory (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940), Mildred Pierce (1945) and Lilies of the Field (1963).

He does great stuff with light and shadow and the hunt scenes -- we see shots of foxes, skunk, raccoons, and other furry things as the hounds race by.  There are a couple of scenes where it seems to be daylight in one section and night in another, but that's okay.

Worth watching also for a courtroom scene where Barrymore talks about dogs, how special the relationship is. 

 

 

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On 1/23/2020 at 11:51 PM, AuntiePam said:

The Time of Your Life, 1948, based on the William Saroyan play that won a Pulitzer and the NY Drama Critics Circle award.

I'm sorry to have missed this (don't know why I didn't set it to record), and it hasn't been put On Demand. Maybe, as often with these rarities on TCM, it'll reappear in a month or so before going away again.

The play is often talked about in theatrical histories as a seemingly episodic slice of life set in a saloon where diverse types turn up, suggesting something more than realism. I've read the play but never seen it done except for excerpted scenes on the old "Omnibus" TV show. I know that James Cagney's character, Joe, was played onstage by Eddie Dowling, who also co-directed with the author. Mary was an early (pre-Oklahoma!) appearance for Celeste Holm. Reginald Beane played the pianist Wesley, as he did in the movie 9 years later. And Harry, the dancer, was an early role for... Gene Kelly! Previously he'd had only a bit in a Cole Porter musical and had appeared in a revue; then a year after this play, he became a star in Pal Joey and left the stage, never to return. But it sounds as if Paul Draper brought even more to the part than Kelly could have; Draper is a theatrical legend himself (as is his aunt Ruth Draper), and he made only two feature films.

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1 hour ago, Rinaldo said:

The play is often talked about in theatrical histories as a seemingly episodic slice of life set in a saloon where diverse types turn up, suggesting something more than realism.

Understandable.  For awhile I thought the saloon was a pass-through on the way to Heaven or Hell, sort of a purgatory.  Joe was sort of "god-like" in the way he managed people's lives, set them on new paths. 

I looked for video of Paul Draper but couldn't find anything that compared to what he did in this movie.  I'm not usually impressed by dancing but this was extra-special.

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Two for the Road! Although I've watched it (in theaters, on TV, on DVD) dozens of times now and can pop the DVD in any time I want to see it again, I always record TCM's showings, if only to see what the before-and-after spoken bits will be this time.

We all have our pre-rational personal favorites, the one(s) that would head a list based on gut more than brain, and this is mine. The irresistible company of Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, the satirical undercurrent of Eleanor Bron and William Daniels, the silky soundtrack of Henry Mancini, the nifty structure provided by Frederic Raphael, and the irresistible shine given to all of it by Stanley Donen... yes, that's what I want.

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21 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

Two for the Road! Although I've watched it (in theaters, on TV, on DVD) dozens of times now and can pop the DVD in any time I want to see it again, I always record TCM's showings, if only to see what the before-and-after spoken bits will be this time.

We all have our pre-rational personal favorites, the one(s) that would head a list based on gut more than brain, and this is mine. The irresistible company of Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, the satirical undercurrent of Eleanor Bron and William Daniels, the silky soundtrack of Henry Mancini, the nifty structure provided by Frederic Raphael, and the irresistible shine given to all of it by Stanley Donen... yes, that's what I want.

Two for the Road is an underrated delight, one of my favorite performances by Audrey Hepburn. I love what a modern, flawed, take-no-crap woman Joanna is. Sad that we lost both Stanley Donen and Albert Finney last year. 

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I watched Pat and Mike yesterday. It reminds me that inn addition to being a great actor, Katherine Hepburn was a really good athlete. And Spencer Tracy was right. "Not much meat on her, but what's there is cherce."

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Pat and Mike was Katharine Hepburn's favorite among the movies she made with Spencer Tracy, and it's mine too. It just works, start to finish.

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3 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

Pat and Mike was Katharine Hepburn's favorite among the movies she made with Spencer Tracy, and it's mine too. It just works, start to finish.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite.  If Woman of the Year had been released with the original ending, maybe that would be it (especially with that sizzling chemistry in being their first collaboration).  But Adam's Rib is a strong contender (especially with the settled-in chemistry that works so well for a married couple).  There's a real charm to Desk Set, but more about Bunny and her job and coworkers - and their competition with EMERAC - than her relationship with Richard.  Without Love is an underrated gem.  But there is just something about Pat and Mike.  The plot is a little thin, but the dialogue sparkles, the interaction between the characters is natural and breezy, it makes for decent commentary of its time on gender roles and women's sports in particular, and Hepburn's athleticism enhances the whole thing.

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1 hour ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

I really miss having TCM.

I have hulu live for about $55.  with these channels. I'm able to record up to 50 hours.  I had FIOS but when I moved I couldn't take my dvr with me so I discontinued FIOS and this works well for me.  I don't know if you would be able to use it.   https://www.streamingobserver.com/hulu-channels-list/

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1 hour ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

Sadly I can’t. Thank you though.

You're very welcome.  I'm sorry you can't.   I know one of the things I wanted to have when I moved was TCM and MEtv.  I love Mannix and Time Tunnel.  I get MEtv through an antenna.

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1 minute ago, wilsie said:

You're very welcome.  I'm sorry you can't.   I know one of the things I wanted to have when I moved was TCM and MEtv.  I love Mannix and Time Tunnel.  I get MEtv through an antenna.

It’s okay.

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On 1/28/2020 at 10:04 PM, Bastet said:

If Woman of the Year had been released with the original ending, maybe that would be it (especially with that sizzling chemistry in being their first collaboration). 

Thanks for posting this.  I watched it the other day, for the first time all the way through.  Even I, not generally a keen observer, noticed (and enjoyed) the sizzling, and then the ending just felt weird.  I saw your post and looked up the history, and now I know I'm not losing my mind.

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Emma, 1932, Marie Dressler as Emma, a woman who has cared for a widower Frederick Smith  and his four children for 30+ years.  The movie begins with the birth of the youngest Smith child, Ronnie.  Mrs. Smith dies in childbirth and baby Ronnie is in danger until Emma gives him that famous little smack on his bottom.  They have a bond that doesn't exist with the other children.

Anyway, fast-forward 20 years.  The children are grown and Emma is preparing to take her first ever vacation.  Mr. Smith helps her pack and takes her to the train station, and ends up proposing marriage.  He's lonely, she's lonely, etc.  Emma agrees, they marry, and the three oldest children are scandalized.  Ronnie thinks it's wonderful.

Mr. Smith -- did I mention he was wealthy? -- shortly dies of a heart attack.  He's left all his property to Emma, knowing that the kids are too spoiled to inherit all that money, and he knows that Emma will continue to take care of them.

Emma doesn't want the money but before she can tell the kids that she's declining the inheritance, they turn on her -- big time, it was shocking.  Except for Ronnie, of course.

My problem with this plot point was that I had to believe that Emma raised three very selfish, spoiled kids, and one (Ronnie) who was the opposite.  Of course kids raised in the same house can turn out to be very different, but these kids were more than just different -- what they ended up doing was just plain evil. 

I did like the movie.  Dressler was wonderful, and there were a couple of comic scenes that had me laughing out loud.  The other actors didn't get much screen time but what they had was fine.

 

 

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On 1/22/2020 at 11:53 PM, aradia22 said:

I've never seen a movie... even the Pre-Code stuff on TCM from this era but I assume if anyone would know about this, the people on this thread would. I'm thinking about seeing a production of the musical Mack and Mabel which of course made me curious about how much the plot was actually based on real life. A quick google pulled up these articles...

https://www.thefix.com/content/saving-mabel-normand

http://themabelnormand.com/articles/myth-2-drug-use/

If you're familiar with Mabel and/or her story, where do you stand on whether she had any substance abuse issues (aside from alcohol)?

Sorry for the late response to your question @aradia22, but though I've never seen Mack and Mabel, I will suggest that if you are interested in learning more about Mabel Normand, you may wish to see this site:  looking-for-mabel which was run by the late Marilyn Slater and provides a lot of contemporary information on Mabel Normand.  I do know she was a beloved star who also directed some of her own films.  Here's a link to an early film of hers, rediscovered in New Zealand, Won in a Cupboard.*

As far as substance abuse issues are concerned, I believe she was said to have had them - though possibly that was only a contemporary rumour and there are those who believe today there is no evidence she was an addict -  though her sad early death was due to  tuberculosis.

*Actually the copy of the film here (also known as Won in a Closet) has added narration and I can't find a version that doesn't.  Anyway it's a fun film.

Edited by roseha · Reason: fixed typo and added note
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I watched The Caine Mutiny last night. I think most people remember it for Humphrey Bogart's performance, the ball bearings, strawberries etc. But my favorite moment is the final scene where Jose Ferrer absolutely kills it when he dresses down the complicit officers of the Caine.

 

 

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9 hours ago, xaxat said:

I watched The Caine Mutiny last night. I think most people remember it for Humphrey Bogart's performance, the ball bearings, strawberries etc. But my favorite moment is the final scene where Jose Ferrer absolutely kills it when he dresses down the complicit officers of the Caine.

 

 

Jose Ferrer is fantastic in that scene. "If you wanna do anything about it, I'll be outside. I'm a lot drunker than you are, so it'll be a fair fight." As good as he was playing the dad from My Three Sons and the Absent-Minded Professor, Fred MacMurray was also great playing scumbags.

With Kirk Douglas' death I hope the tribute movies they play is Ace in the Hole. Like Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith, it's a raw, blistering film that hits as hard today as it did back when it was made and Douglas gives a savage performance.

 

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The Bachelor Party, 1957, Don Murray, E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden -- written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Delbert Mann, so -- ya know.  I have to think that Matthew Weiner had this movie in mind when developing Mad Men.  There have been plenty of mid-century angsty movies with middle class white men and women wondering "is this all there is?" but this one could have been the template.

I liked it a lot.  All the characters were ultimately sympathetic, even though their behavior was often selfish.  They didn't have much self-knowledge but at least they were asking questions, considering options. 

The dialogue was natural and the acting was top-notch.  The locations -- particularly the subway -- were also natural.  Whatever cameras were there -- well, they couldn't have been very obtrusive.  It felt really -- what's the word for 'natural -- real life'?  The word will come to me later, when I'm trying to sleep. 

Cinema verite -- that's it. 

Oh, and seeing a young Nancy Marchand (Livia Soprano) was icing on the cake!

 

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Shown today: All the Brothers Were Valiant, which on a whim I recorded so as to catch an obscure period-seafaring melodrama with Stewart Granger and Robert Taylor. Haven't seen all of it yet (Granger reportedly bad-mouthed it repeatedly afterwards), but wanted to report that it's another of the rare (really very rare) occasions when TCM messed up its presentation. It's in the old (4:3) aspect ratio, but their HD channel stretched it to fill the full width of the screen. I can correct it for my own viewing just as I do with recordings from SD channels. But it does make me wonder if somebody got chewed out behind the scenes, and if they have a policy that once a movie starts wrong, they don't ever stop it to correct it.

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Postscript to the above, on completion: Stewart Granger was right. It's a mess, all the worse for having the surface of restrained literate drama. Symptomatic is the reunion between two brothers, one long believed dead, so casually staged and scripted that they might be meeting hours after seeing each other at breakfast. Ann Blyth has to play a ninny, vacillating between the two (with a "history" with the once-lost one unmentioned till that moment). Poor "native girl" Betta St. John never gets a character name at all. A mutiny comes and goes, likewise the priceless pearls that caused it. With all that, the conflicting accents of the two brothers hardly matters. And it's not bad enough to be fun -- it's no Return To Treasure Island.

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