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On 2/11/2021 at 12:15 PM, Wiendish Fitch said:

The absence of Matthew Broderick is also a big ol' plus (seriously, what is this guy's appeal??).

It's hard to remember, isn't it? I saw him onstage in a play where he gave what I consider one of the Top 5 Worst Professional Performances I've seen in my life. And more recently, in a Gershwin musical, he contributed the one leaden note in an otherwise enjoyable experience.

Still, for about a decade at the start of his career he seemed a talented and charming young actor. His performances in Ferris Bueller, Ladyhawke, and Biloxi Blues show why he was once a star, even though most of his more recent work just makes one ask why.

Also, that TV Music Man provided one moment that made me like Sarah Jessica Parker more than I ever thought possible. When the TV project was first announced, Broderick was facing the press on some red-carpet occasion, and she (his wife) was beside him. So after congratulating him on the upcoming telefilm, a reporter turned to SJP and asked her "And will you be Marian?" (She's done musicals, but her vocal talents are, shall we say, of a different order.) And she gave him an incredulous look and blurted out, "I'm sorry, have you heard Barbara Cook?"

Edited by Rinaldo
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I'm watching a seventies movie called The Moonshine War. It's set in the south during prohibition and Alan Alda is attempting a horrendous accent. But he is actually topped by Patrick McGoohan, whose effort is simultaneously hilarious and excruciating.

And the level of casual racism is pretty damn shocking.

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Was pleasantly surprised on seeing for the the first time in years Katharine Hepurn's "Morning Glory."  I had dismissed it in my mind as dated "THE theatre" hokum, and in many ways it is.

Physically Hepburn is so unique, her face even then sharp and angular; an early scene in a theatrical waiting room she's sitting down next to another actress who is dressed  to the nines and has the kewpie lips and almost round rouged face in vogue and the contrast is startling.    Certain actors such as Hepburn, and say  Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo (at least by her American film debut) , seemed to have had their look from the moment they first  stepped in front of the camera, fully developed and formed.  

However the intensity of Hepburn in the role is fascinating to watch and as Adolph Menjou's character says "she's a nut" but you can't keep your eyes off her.    Drunken scenes are are hard to pull off, because  a lot of times  there's a  self-consciously "wink wink" shtick actors rely on, yet Hepburn has one were she's proclaiming herself a great actress and doing scenes from Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet and it somehow works, she is both embarrassing and compelling at the same time. 

I know many nonfans rag her for excessive mannerisms and we do have a different sensibility to what acting standards are these days,  but I thought her scenes hold up surprisingly well. 

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So I watched Carmen Jones last weekend. Dorothy Dandridge is a magnificent screen presence but once again I get annoyed by the old musicals where nobody does their own singing. 

Also I kind of hate the Carmen story in all forms. It’s trying to sell us the story of a man who falls for a “scarlet woman” and who loses his mind when she casts him off. But from a modern standpoint, it takes two to tango. Sure, Carmen is fickle, but he’s the one who dumps the woman he’s engaged to her. He becomes violent and possessive, and that’s what ultimately turns her off. So he kills her when he can’t have her. Nice.

Also watched Claudine. The AV Club’s “When Romance Met Comedy” did a review on it a while back so I was happy I got to see it for myself. Diahann Carroll was so great.

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23 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Also I kind of hate the Carmen story in all forms.

I'm not trying to tell anybody what to think, or to be argumentative. But aren't most dramas about not-nice people, and the messes they get themselves into? This almost seems a proto-noir scenario, the supposedly nice boy caught between duty and desire, and the tragedy produced thereby, for himself and others.

I can't disagree about the vocal dubbing in this movie. Part of the problem is that both Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte were well known for their singing (it just wasn't of an operatic level), so it's inescapable to the ear that what we hear isn't them. Although -- credit where it's due -- Marilyn Horne worked really hard with Ms. Dandridge to match timbre and style, successfully so. It's not their fault that those outside factors still made the result implausible.

I wish TCM would occasionally show the 1984 Francesco Rosi film of Carmen. It has its faults, but with Julia Migenes, Plácido Domingo, and Ruggero Raimondi, it has three principals who can really act and really sing. 

Edited by Rinaldo
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March's Star of the Month is Doris Day - my DVR will be busy for the next few weeks.  

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1 hour ago, Calvada said:

March's Star of the Month is Doris Day - my DVR will be busy for the next few weeks.  

Also this month's special theme is titled Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror.   All five of TCM's hosts are going to discuss the history of 18 films seen today as at least partially problematic.  For example, on March 18, TCM is airing Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Many fans believe this is Audrey Hepburn's defining performance, but exhibit A:

image.thumb.png.ae043122def95aa7fe67b0a9d523fa75.png

And he defended his portrayal!!!

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14 minutes ago, mariah23 said:

Also this month's special theme is titled Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror.   All five of TCM's hosts are going to discuss the history of 18 films seen today as at least partially problematic.  For example, on March 18, TCM is airing Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Many fans believe this is Audrey Hepburn's defining performance, but exhibit A:

image.thumb.png.ae043122def95aa7fe67b0a9d523fa75.png

And he defended his portrayal!!!

Considering that Mickey Rooney was a grade-A douchebag, are you really surprised?

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23 minutes ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Considering that Mickey Rooney was a grade-A douchebag, are you really surprised?

Today not really.  But I think this was the first Rooney film role I watched.  Also he was defending his role until right before he died!  I was like can’t you read the room?!!

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On 3/1/2021 at 10:34 AM, Calvada said:

March's Star of the Month is Doris Day - my DVR will be busy for the next few weeks.  

My own favorite of hers (at the moment) has already played: Romance on the High Seas. But it seems to be staying On Demand through the month. I'm certainly not claiming it's the best thing she ever did, it's studio fluff stuffed with all the supporting character actors they could scrape together, and she's billed fourth in what's clearly the lead role. But then, it was her movie debut (replacing Betty Hutton). And it shows why she was immediately a star. I especially like that she sings one number with a jazz trio -- it's one of those "just joined them with no rehearsal" setups, but unlike most such, it's totally believable as a spontaneous bit of fun among the four of them. I could almost believe that it was recorded "live" on the set (no strings sneak in), though given the polish and balance of what we hear, I don't actually think that.

I came late to Doris Day -- during my late-60s college years, it was mandatory to sneer at her and her kind of movie and song, they were no longer fashionable. Fortunately, I've grown up since then.

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12 minutes ago, Rinaldo said:

My own favorite of hers (at the moment) has already played: Romance on the High Seas. But it seems to be staying On Demand through the month. I'm certainly not claiming it's the best thing she ever did, it's studio fluff stuffed with all the supporting character actors they could scrape together, and she's billed fourth in what's clearly the lead role. But then, it was her movie debut (replacing Betty Hutton). And it shows why she was immediately a star. I especially like that she sings one number with a jazz trio -- it's one of those "just joined them with no rehearsal" setups, but unlike most such, it's totally believable as a spontaneous bit of fun among the four of them. I could almost believe that it was recorded "live" on the set (no strings sneak in), though given the polish and balance of what we hear, I don't actually think that.

I came late to Doris Day -- during my late-60s college years, it was mandatory to sneer at her and her kind of movie and song, they were no longer fashionable. Fortunately, I've grown up since then.

She was a talented woman, and she overcame so much hardship in life.

I hold the UO that Day's Jo McKenna from 1956's The Man who Knew Too Much is the most underrated Hitchcock Blonde (it's also the rare remake I vastly prefer to the original).

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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I really dislike the Doris Day movies with her as a middle-aged woman defending her virginity.   I like the Oscar Levant quote "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin".  I do like at least one of her fluffy movies, The Thrill of It All.  I agree that The Man Who Knew Too Much is under-rated.  My favorite of her movies is The Pajama Game, which I don't think is ever shown on TCM.

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30 minutes ago, Suzn said:

I really dislike the Doris Day movies with her as a middle-aged woman defending her virginity. 

I know That Touch of Mink is kind of beloved, but it's so guilty of the trope you just mentioned, I just rolled my eyes throughout.

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I like The Thrill of It All very much--DD and James Garner make a good couple, the script by Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart is sharp.  Similarly, Please Don't Eat the Daisies has a surprisingly witty script, and I think it's telling that in that one, as well as TTOITA, DD plays a wife and mother. (Of course I've always had a gripe with that movie. IRL a major NYC paper would have allowed a critic to review a show produced by a good friend of his?)

I always really respond when a performer tries something away from what their audience might expect from them and pulls it off, and that's why Love Me or Leave Me is probably my favorite DD.  She and Cagney are excellent.

She's good in The Pajama Game, and that makes one consider how right she would have been in another stage adaptation.  I either read or heard a latter-day interview with her in which she told of talks with Rodgers and Hammerstein about her doing the movie of South Pacific.  It didn't happen, and she suggested, without spelling it out, that R and H, who controlled the movie, were unwilling to meet her fee.  Nothing against that movie, but DD as Nellie Forbush?  It might have been a better film.

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47 minutes ago, Charlie Baker said:

Nothing against that movie, but DD as Nellie Forbush?  It might have been a better film.

Or getting pretty much any director besides Joshua "Help, what do I do with this thing called a  camera?!" Logan.

 

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1 hour ago, Charlie Baker said:

I like The Thrill of It All very much--DD and James Garner make a good couple, the script by Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart is sharp.  Similarly, Please Don't Eat the Daisies has a surprisingly witty script, and I think it's telling that in that one, as well as TTOITA, DD plays a wife and mother. (Of course I've always had a gripe with that movie. IRL a major NYC paper would have allowed a critic to review a show produced by a good friend of his?)

I always really respond when a performer tries something away from what their audience might expect from them and pull it off, and that's why Love Me or Leave Me is probably my favorite DD.  She and Cagney are excellent.

She's good in The Pajama Game, and that makes one consider how right she would have been in another stage adaptation.  I either read or heard a latter-day interview with her in which she told of talks with Rodgers and Hammerstein about her doing the movie of South Pacific It didn't happen, and she suggested, without spelling it out, that R and H, who controlled the movie, were unwilling to meet her fee.  Nothing against that movie, but DD as Nellie Forbush?  It might have been a better film.

I love South Pacific!  I'm thinking about Doris Day in it...might have worked.

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I'm partial to Send Me No Flowers. 1) Hudson is great in it. 2) He and Tony Randall essentially do a role switch from all their other pairings. Hudson is the neurotic, Randall the (relatively) sane one. It works! 3) Doris is great in it--and not even pretending to be a virgin. (She and Rock are married.) 4) It's funny.

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22 hours ago, Charlie Baker said:

Similarly, Please Don't Eat the Daisies has a surprisingly witty script, and I think it's telling that in that one, as well as TTOITA, DD plays a wife and mother. (Of course I've always had a gripe with that movie. IRL a major NYC paper would have allowed a critic to review a show produced by a good friend of his?)

I saw this one for the first time a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it more than I expected. (I knew it had songs and expected it to stop for Doris to aim one at us, but in fact they're quite incidental and realistically presented, and we aren't asked to believe that this homemaker is suddenly a star singer.) As to your question which I've underlined: Under present "avoid all appearance of conflict of interest" conditions, undoubtedly no. But it used to happen, and often. I even recall reading of an instance of a critic reviewing his own play, though I can't immediately dig up the reference (sometime in the 1930s, I think). Nor can I recall if Walter Kerr actually reviewed any of his wife Jean's plays, though he did write about being put in that position. It's very hard not to get to know anybody in the performing art that you write about, and the main issue is usually, are you willing to face the social awkwardness after you've panned your friend's work? I've certainly reviewed opera recordings in which friends of mine performed. And we recently talked here about Pauline Kael's links to filmmakers she wrote about.

As for South Pacific: I've often thought that Doris Day might have been an interesting and appropriate choice for Nellie. She would also have been a great Annie Oakley, after Judy Garland dropped out of Annie Get Your Gun (I admit that I can't stand Betty Hutton, Miracle of Morgan's Creek aside), and she did later record the score alongside Robert Goulet. She might even have stretched as far as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls

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4 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

As for South Pacific: I've often thought that Doris Day might have been an interesting and appropriate choice for Nellie.

Mitzi Gaynor was OK as Nellie, but I just find her acting and singing  conventional at best.  

I think the film in  some ways is a disaster, that weird color filtering for musical numbers, and I'm sorry, just can't get over the fact that Juanita  Hall (Bloody Mary) who played the role on Broadway and even won the Tony for it, had her singing voice dubbed.   I read somewhere ostensibly it was for legal reasons but still....If Rogers and Hammerstein still  the rights to their material, how was she banned from singing it onscreen? 

Edited by caracas1914
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5 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

As for South Pacific: I've often thought that Doris Day might have been an interesting and appropriate choice for Nellie. She would also have been a great Annie Oakley, after Judy Garland dropped out of Annie Get Your Gun (I admit that I can't stand Betty Hutton, Miracle of Morgan's Creek aside), and she did later record the score alongside Robert Goulet. She might even have stretched as far as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls

I can't stand Betty Hutton!  She's so obnoxious, I can't imagine why they had her play Annie Oakley.  It is such a shame that Judy Garland didn't do it.

37 minutes ago, caracas1914 said:

Mitzi Gaynor was OK as Nellie, but I just find her acting and singing  conventional at best.  

I think the film in  some ways is a disaster, that weird color filtering for musical numbers, and I'm sorry, just can't get over the fact that Juanita  Hall (Bloody Mary) who played the role on Broadway and even won the Tony for it, had her singing voice dubbed.   I read somewhere ostensibly it was for legal reasons but still....If Rogers and Hammerstein still  the rights to their material, how was she banned from singing it onscreen? 

I like Mitzi Gaynor, but I can't really disagree with this.  I guess I'm all alone as not bothered by the color changes.

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They are showing 30 of the 39 films Doris Day appeared in.  She only made films from 1948 to 1968.  I've always had a fondness for her, and when I learned about some of the difficulties she went through in her life, I appreciated her films even more.  

One I've always liked but sadly is not on the schedule is With Six You Get Eggroll  (her last film) which I first saw many years ago and it made me remember my childhood crush on Brian Keith. (Who didn't want an Uncle Bill in their life?)   And the film is a who's who of hey! it's that guy with George Carlin, Alice Ghostley, Jackie Joseph, Allan Melvin, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Pat Carroll, Vic Tayback and others I know I'm forgetting.  Plus a teenage Barbara Hershey with normal lips in her film debut. 

Rinaldo, I also enjoy Romance on the High Seas, her film debut.  She just pops on the screen.  As she sings in the film, it's magic!  Obviously TPTB in Hollywood realized they had struck gold.  After that movie in 1948, she made 10 movies in the next 3 years.  

 

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3 hours ago, caracas1914 said:

I think the film in  some ways is a disaster, that weird color filtering for musical numbers, and I'm sorry, just can't get over the fact that Juanita  Hall (Bloody Mary) who played the role on Broadway and even won the Tony for it, had her singing voice dubbed.   I read somewhere ostensibly it was for legal reasons but still....If Rogers and Hammerstein still  the rights to their material, how was she banned from singing it onscreen? 

Because Joshua Logan sucks?

Okay, sorry, that's the last time I'll find an excuse to crap on Joshua Logan. 

For now. 😈 

 

Back to the subject at hand, I'm definitely going to check out Doris's first and last films, Romance on the High Seas and With Six You Get Eggroll, in the near future!

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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2 hours ago, Calvada said:

One I've always liked but sadly is not on the schedule is With Six You Get Eggroll  (her last film) which I first saw many years ago and it made me remember my childhood crush on Brian Keith. (Who didn't want an Uncle Bill in their life?)   And the film is a who's who of hey! it's that guy with George Carlin, Alice Ghostley, Jackie Joseph, Allan Melvin, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Pat Carroll, Vic Tayback and others I know I'm forgetting.  Plus a teenage Barbara Hershey with normal lips in her film debut. 

 

I loved  With Six You Get Eggroll  , plus it had the extra bonus of the rock band The Grass Roots singing "Feelings".   

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14 hours ago, caracas1914 said:

I'm sorry, just can't get over the fact that Juanita  Hall (Bloody Mary) who played the role on Broadway and even won the Tony for it, had her singing voice dubbed.   I read somewhere ostensibly it was for legal reasons but still....If Rogers and Hammerstein still  the rights to their material, how was she banned from singing it onscreen? 

In all my studies of R&H, I had never heard the "legal reasons" explanation before, so I tried to track that down. It's stated in her Wikipedia entry, the source being a 1958 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article/interview with Ms. Hall on the occasion of a local nightclub appearance. And so, apparently she was the source of this statement, and very likely those who compiled the Wiki article were sympathetic to her. Otherwise, I have only heard that Richard Rodgers found her no longer vocally adequate for the music, at least by comparison with Muriel Smith, the operatic mezzo who had done the role in London (and also starred in the stage production of Carmen Jones, as well as performing Bizet's Carmen on other occasions). One may regret the substitution (or maybe Rodgers was right... I wasn't there to compare), but it was part of a dubbing-happy era in Hollywood -- look up the incestuous voice ghosting in West Side Story sometime.

One interesting sidelight for South Pacific is that it represents, I think, the first official acknowledgment of voice dubbing on screen. The opening credits include the statement "the voice of Giorgio Tozzi." Tozzi was a front-rank operatic bass (who later performed Emile onstage opposite Florence Henderson -- the cast made a recording), and he apparently had enough clout to demand recognition for his contribution. Previously, that whole area had been a secret, if at times an open one, that was never officially acknowledged.

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14 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

In all my studies of R&H, I had never heard the "legal reasons" explanation before, so I tried to track that down. It's stated in her Wikipedia entry, the source being a 1958 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article/interview with Ms. Hall on the occasion of a local nightclub appearance. And so, apparently she was the source of this statement, and very likely those who compiled the Wiki article were sympathetic to her. Otherwise, I have only heard that Richard Rodgers found her no longer vocally adequate for the music, at least by comparison with Muriel Smith, the operatic mezzo who had done the role in London (and also starred in the stage production of Carmen Jones, as well as performing Bizet's Carmen on other occasions). One may regret the substitution (or maybe Rodgers was right... I wasn't there to compare), but it was part of a dubbing-happy era in Hollywood -- look up the incestuous voice ghosting in West Side Story sometime.

One interesting sidelight for South Pacific is that it represents, I think, the first official acknowledgment of voice dubbing on screen. The opening credits include the statement "the voice of Giorgio Tozzi." Tozzi was a front-rank operatic bass (who later performed Emile onstage opposite Florence Henderson -- the cast made a recording), and he apparently had enough clout to demand recognition for his contribution. Previously, that whole area had been a secret, if at times an open one, that was never officially acknowledged.

Yes, I have also read it was  Mr. Rogers preference.  I so agree with you that dubbing was so common that it wasn't even thought of as egregious at all.   However,  in the era of so much dubbing (for example, Marilyn Monroe's singing in "Diamonds are a Girls best friend " is augmented by another unnamed  singer for some of the high notes,  I just find it hard to believe that the  Juanita Hall's singing voice was so substandard that it  could not have been tweaked in the studio.    That same year Ms Hall  even starred in another R&H stage musical , "Flower Drum Song" the year that South Pacific was released.  The soundtracks of the movie musicals in those days were many times  recorded separately from the actual filming dates.  

I cannot verify the credibility of this site , but it does include a quote from Joshua Logan concerning the dubbing.

https://genqueue.tumblr.com/post/42448020004/bali-hai-juanita-hall-s-own-voice-south/amp

 

Quote

Director Joshua Logan, in his book “Movie Stars, Real People, and Me” wrote:

“Juanita Hall had her own style of singing and it seemed a shame to miss its special quality in our picture. Still, they were the experts on music and, more than that, my bosses, so in spite of my misgivings, I was forced to say okay.”

There is this recent Playbill

https://www.playbill.com/article/category-spotlight-com-141394

and this site that also quotes Joshua Logan:

http://www.neponset.com/brazzi/south.htm

They verify  that compared to earlier composers, R & H wielded enormous control on the movie adaptation of their musical.   This sites imply that Rogers simply preferred  Muriel Smith's singing style, as opposed to unsurmountable obstacles by Juanita Hall's voice.

Groundbreaking, Juanita Hall was the first African American to win a Tony award for best supporting actress in a broadway  musical, having played Bloody Mary 1,925 times on stage.

For what it's worth, I'm thinking it's the only occasion I can remember of a Broadway musical cast member reprising their role on the screen (and a Tony award winning role no less) where their singing was dubbed.    

Again, Her voice could have been unacceptable  or it could be, again as these sources suggest Rogers simply preferred the singing style of Muriel Smith , (another African American singer it should be added ) I will be gentle as possible here, liberties maybe  unconsciously taken with a  cast member that perhaps would not have been taken so casually with another singing  cast member of a musical reprising their stage role.    Considering the actual theme of South Pacific  that would be sadly ironic.   

 (Compare Vivien Blaine reprising the role of Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" and her singing being dubbed because the composers' preferred the singing style of, say, the London stage Adelaide)  Now to clarify, Oscar Hammerstein was a lifelong progressive civil rights ally , but like so much of what happened in prior eras, the tone deafness of things done  is startling looking at it through today's prism.  

 

Quote

One interesting sidelight for South Pacific is that it represents, I think, the first official acknowledgment of voice dubbing on screen. The opening credits include the statement "the voice of Giorgio Tozzi." Tozzi was a front-rank operatic bass (who later performed Emile onstage opposite Florence Henderson -- the cast made a recording), and he apparently had enough clout to demand recognition for his contribution. Previously, that whole area had been a secret, if at times an open one, that was never officially acknowledged.

Great point.  One of the previous websites referenced quotes Logan's book  that the casting of Brazzi who apparently couldn't sing a dime was pushed by R& H, though I find it hard to believe they wouldn't have cast him without knowing from the start he was going to be dubbed.  Logan makes it  seem they were duped into thinking he was capable of actually  singing the role.

 

 

 

 

Edited by caracas1914
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23 hours ago, Rinaldo said:

...look up the incestuous voice ghosting in West Side Story sometime.

@Rinaldo, I know you mean "incestuous" metaphorically, but I still don't know what you mean. I have a feeling there's some dimension to the complete or nearly complete voice ghosting on WSS that I'm unaware of. (I add the "nearly" only to cover myself from error in the event that there was one voice somewhere that wasn't ghosted in that movie!) Anyway, if you can expand on what you mean, metaphorically, by incestuous in this context, I'll appreciate it.

As for the credit given to Tozzi in South Pacific, I've always just assumed (without evidence, but with some sense of Joshua Logan) that it was something Joshua Logan was proud of, and he chose to put it in the credits as a feather in his cap, rather than being compelled by Tozzi's contract. Or at the very least, he offered it up readily to Tozzi at the start of negotiations, for how much prestige it would bring to the movie. (And him, Joshua Logan.)

Edited by Milburn Stone

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On 3/5/2021 at 8:05 PM, Calvada said:

They are showing 30 of the 39 films Doris Day appeared in.  She only made films from 1948 to 1968.  I've always had a fondness for her, and when I learned about some of the difficulties she went through in her life, I appreciated her films even more.  

One I've always liked but sadly is not on the schedule is With Six You Get Eggroll  (her last film) which I first saw many years ago and it made me remember my childhood crush on Brian Keith. (Who didn't want an Uncle Bill in their life?)   And the film is a who's who of hey! it's that guy with George Carlin, Alice Ghostley, Jackie Joseph, Allan Melvin, William Christopher, Jamie Farr, Pat Carroll, Vic Tayback and others I know I'm forgetting.  Plus a teenage Barbara Hershey with normal lips in her film debut. 

Rinaldo, I also enjoy Romance on the High Seas, her film debut.  She just pops on the screen.  As she sings in the film, it's magic!  Obviously TPTB in Hollywood realized they had struck gold.  After that movie in 1948, she made 10 movies in the next 3 years.  

 

Well, I tried watching Romance on the High Seas this morning, but I couldn’t stick with the mistaken identity plot line. That always gives me the heebyjeebies. But Doris was great in her part, and I enjoyed the singing. It was great the way she did different accents too, and she just looked fabulous. I may go back and catch some more of it.  I believe @Rinaldo mentioned that Betty Hutton was originally slated to star. In Doris’s first song she seemed to be channeling Betty Hutton’s jumpy energy for a moment, then she stopped. 

Edited by GussieK

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On 3/7/2021 at 8:17 AM, Milburn Stone said:

@Rinaldo, I know you mean "incestuous" metaphorically, but I still don't know what you mean. I have a feeling there's some dimension to the complete or nearly complete voice ghosting on WSS that I'm unaware of. (I add the "nearly" only to cover myself from error in the event that there was one voice somewhere that wasn't ghosted in that movie!) Anyway, if you can expand on what you mean, metaphorically, by incestuous in this context, I'll appreciate it.

As for the credit given to Tozzi in South Pacific, I've always just assumed (without evidence, but with some sense of Joshua Logan) that it was something Joshua Logan was proud of, and he chose to put it in the credits as a feather in his cap, rather than being compelled by Tozzi's contract. Or at the very least, he offered it up readily to Tozzi at the start of negotiations, for how much prestige it would bring to the movie. (And him, Joshua Logan.)

On West Side Story: We all know Natalie Wood's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon. And (maybe not quite so famous) Richard Beymer's, by Jim Bryant. I'm not talking about those. But Rita Moreno could sing (she did musicals onstage), and did so for most of the soundtrack. But Betty Wand was brought in to sweeten some of "America" and "A Boy Like That." And Marni Nixon was moved over to supply Anita's higher lines in the "Tonight" ensemble, and to duet with herself in "I Have a Love." And although Russ Tamblyn had done film musicals and sang most of Riff's music, his voice was replaced by that of Tucker Smith (who played the newly created role of Ice and sang "Cool") in the "Jet Song." All these decisions were made by Saul Chaplin, the overall vocal supervisor for the movie.

(Not relevant to the above point, but further evidence of how everyone, even stars, received crummy treatment when it came to making movie musicals, Natalie Wood had worked long and hard on her singing -- her WSS tracks survive and show that she was almost good enough -- and had been assured that vocal ghosting would be used to, at most, replace some of her very highest notes that weren't quite sufficient. But after filming was completed, Marni Nixon was brought in to replace the entire sung portion of the role, without telling Wood. Audrey Hepburn would later be deceived in much the same way on My Fair Lady.)

The accounts I've read say that Rossano Brazzi auditioned for Emile and impressed everyone present as having the voice for the part. Only when listening to his singing afterwards, without his charismatic presence to distract, did they realize that it was not, in fact, adequate, and they needed to find a double. Tozzi's eminence (I now find that he had already done the show onstage, on the West Coast) was such that if they wanted him, they had to give him visible credit despite the undesirable precedent it set. (Any idea that this credit was something gladly offered runs contrary to the whole story of voice dubbing in that period, and certainly Logan didn't have the clout to overrule R&H on anything -- they had famously denied him proper credit for the book of the stage show, because "Rodgers & Hammerstein will not share a copyright.")

Edited by Rinaldo
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I've never been a huge fan of foreign language films, because I always find myself either reading the English subtitles and forgetting to look at the action on the screen, or watching the characters on screen and forgetting to read the subtitles. So I hesitated about watching a movie that TCM showed recently-- Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 'World on a wire' (Welt am Draht).  One reason was because of the subtitles, but also because I saw that the running time was almost four hours.  But the description looked interesting (and we have some of Fassbinder's films in our film studies DVD collection at work so I thought I should give him a try), so I recorded it and watched it a half hour at a time over the last several days.  The host (I think it was Alicia Malone) said that the movie was a little bit of 'The Matrix' mixed with a little 'Bladerunner'.  I agree, but I would have added a little of 'Inception' as well. This was apparently Fassbinder's only science fiction film and was re-discovered not too long ago and released on DVD by Criterion (I sent an e-mail to my film faculty asking if they think I should add it to our collection, but haven't heard back yet). The sets were very interesting (very 'European 70s' with groovy furniture and fixtures, lots of chrome, faux furs, etc.  And the mirrors!  So many mirrors in almost every scene!   

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So what’s everyone think the news about Kaley Cuoco playing March’s SOTM?

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31 minutes ago, mariah23 said:

So what’s everyone think the news about Kaley Cuoco playing March’s SOTM?

I'm so glad you asked. I confess I was cured of my Kaley Cuoco cooties (alliteration, whee!) after seeing her in The Flight Attendant. After it was over, I thought, All right, I get it, she can really act. I was wrong about her, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Now, Cuoco as Doris Day? I was definitely skeptical, since they have very different qualities and don't really look alike (to be fair, no one has Day's zillion dollar smile), but I will suspend my judgment until I see the finished product. One thing's for certain, it doesn't feel as cynically calculated as Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball. At least Cuoco, despite being in the dangerous territory of "Actress 35 or older", hasn't Botoxed herself into a Polar Express character.

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I read a New Yorker article by Richard Brody about TCM's Reframed series.  I missed the first couple of episodes and wondered if they are available for streaming.  I can't find that option using Comcast on Demand.  I also don't see the series at the TCM streaming website.  Am I missing something, or is it really not available except when aired?

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Loved Romance on the High Seas! One of the better "mistaken identity" plots, and characters who start out as jerks are actually revealed to be decent instead of the other way around! I loved how Janis Paige (who's still alive!) came through for Doris Day, and even Oscar Levant comes off as pretty swell! I must admit, I wasn't used to Jack Carson (he's just so good at playing dumb lugs) as a leading man, but he eventually won me over. I sort of chuckled to myself at how this seemed to start the trend of "Doris Day sings this song so awesomely, we're going to repeat it as many times as we feel like it!" (See also: "Que Sera Sera" from The Man Who Knew Too Much). Not that I'm complaining, since "It's Magic" is a gorgeous song.

Day is a delight, and such a natural in her first movie. No wonder her career took off.

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1 hour ago, Inquisitionist said:

I read a New Yorker article by Richard Brody about TCM's Reframed series.  I missed the first couple of episodes and wondered if they are available for streaming.  I can't find that option using Comcast on Demand.  I also don't see the series at the TCM streaming website.  Am I missing something, or is it really not available except when aired?

They're not episodes, but rather groups of hosts in the intros and outtros of the films talking about what makes them problematic. With Woman of the Year they couldn't really talk about the problem until the outtro since it would have been a major spoiler talking about it beforehand. I would love it if they actually did have a full show about the films as well.

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1 hour ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Day is a delight, and such a natural in her first movie. No wonder her career took off.

"It's Magic" is a gem, but here is the song I previously wrote about especially liking in Romance on the High Seas. It's almost a miracle that the studio didn't bring in a full orchestra under them after 8 bars, but it's so much more memorable with just her and the Page Cavanaugh Trio goofing around with it.

 

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Does anyone know of any good biographies on Ava Gardner? She's one of my favorites despite the fact that the "can't sing, can't dance, can't act" assessment is pretty true.

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Re Kaley/Doris...I can't "see" Kaley as Doris. But after seeing The Flight Attendant, I believe she can do anything. I look forward to the biopic.

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1 hour ago, Lady Whistleup said:

Does anyone know of any good biographies on Ava Gardner? She's one of my favorites despite the fact that the "can't sing, can't dance, can't act" assessment is pretty true.

 Look for Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing by Lee Server

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2 hours ago, Lady Whistleup said:

Does anyone know of any good biographies on Ava Gardner? She's one of my favorites despite the fact that the "can't sing, can't dance, can't act" assessment is pretty true.

That you even had to ask just makes me all the more pissed that we seem to have a dozen new Marilyn Monroe biographies every year, but I couldn't name a single Ava Gardner biography to save my soul. I mean, this is embarrassing, not only do I consider myself a Classic Hollywood buff, but I used to work at a public library, and I don't remember seeing even one book about Ava.

Hey, biographers? Literally countless other actress have existed besides Monroe! Think outside the box and write about them!

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6 hours ago, lurkerbee said:

They're not episodes, but rather groups of hosts in the intros and outtros of the films talking about what makes them problematic. With Woman of the Year they couldn't really talk about the problem until the outtro since it would have been a major spoiler talking about it beforehand. I would love it if they actually did have a full show about the films as well.

Ah, thanks for that clarification.  There are various intros to GWTW at the website, but this most recent one doesn't seem to be there.  I'll have to keep an eye out for another airing.

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They should post these discussions somewhere so people who missed the movies can still see them. I'd like to see these but I keep forgetting when they're on.

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9 hours ago, Lady Whistleup said:

This picture of Ava Gardner as a kid is beyond adorable.

young-ava-at-age-twelve-news-photo-15822

Dang, I thought that was Doris Day for a second! What a cutie pie!

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As another Kay Francis evening on TCM gave way to another  predawn dabbing-out of the champagne stains from my silk dressing gown, I mused how people think of her (if they think of her at all) as the Elegant Refined Lady of pre-code cinema. These are people who never witnessed that finger-snapping, door-banging sequence between Kay & Herbert Marshall during Trouble in Paradise.  Nothing blatant but I always need a cig after.

Puts me in mind of the moment in Downstairs where John Gilbert bends over and lets the elderly cook have a good smack at his flour-dusted thighs.   Another 1932 film where you are *pretty sure* no one screws onscreen, but you wouldn't bet your life on it.

 

@Lady Whistleup: I recommend Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans & Ava Gardner.  It's mostly a bunch of drunken late-night phone call confessionals -- small wonder she  later forbade him finish, so he waited to publish until after she died.  It's <eyes-wide-open emoji>.

 

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11 hours ago, voiceover said:

 

@Lady Whistleup: I recommend Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans & Ava Gardner.  It's mostly a bunch of drunken late-night phone call confessionals -- small wonder she  later forbade him finish, so he waited to publish until after she died.  It's <eyes-wide-open emoji>.

I read about that book. From what I understand she cut short the project when she heard that he had once had an unpleasant business dealing with Frank Sinatra. Ava and Frank remained close friends so out of loyalty she stopped cooperating.

Ava remained a stunner in old age:

1*5LWCmSn7V6Nspw7b0Ssjyw.jpeg

Ava-Gardner-Last-Portrait-Session-tout.p

100036.jpg

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On 3/13/2021 at 10:56 AM, Rinaldo said:

"It's Magic" is a gem, but here is the song I previously wrote about especially liking in Romance on the High Seas. It's almost a miracle that the studio didn't bring in a full orchestra under them after 8 bars, but it's so much more memorable with just her and the Page Cavanaugh Trio goofing around with it.

 

I think they let them do it this way because she wasn't the star.  If this were a Doris Day film from 1955, it probably would have been a huge production number.  So much better this way.

And I love her kicky outfit, right down to the wedge heels! 

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Kathleen Byron(Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death) was in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN as old Ryan's wife in the bookends and I'm trying to picture it:

MV5BMTYwNDg0NzI4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTg0Mjc2._V1_.jpg.4d8ecf4a0ced0f7fe09a9163a7967ce5.jpg

960full-a-matter-of-life-and-death-screenshot.thumb.jpg.98770a2dd443b79a5094ee1b2f935f86.jpg

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On 3/13/2021 at 11:08 AM, Lady Whistleup said:

Does anyone know of any good biographies on Ava Gardner? She's one of my favorites despite the fact that the "can't sing, can't dance, can't act" assessment is pretty true.

I have to say I thought she was wonderful in Showboat and her unused vocals are an undiscovered treasure to many.  If I'm not mistaken they actually used her vocals on  the soundtrack album released for the film?  

Here are two excerpts using her own singing voice.  In interviews Gardner claimed she listened endlessly to Lena Horne's  recordings in preparation.  IMO she was very good and I heard it crushed her that after all her work and effort she was dubbed anyways by Annette Warren.

 

 

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1 hour ago, caracas1914 said:

I have to say I thought she was wonderful in Showboat and her unused vocals are an undiscovered treasure to many.  If I'm not mistaken they actually used her vocals on  the soundtrack album released for the film?  

I find her terrific in Show Boat too. After a  viewing of that version a long while ago, I avoided it for a long time (so many bad production decisions), and when I saw it again recently, Gardner really popped for me. (Her character was also one of the few to be aided by the changes in this version.) It's true that her own vocals were used on the soundtrack LP for the movie, so they're not that undiscovered, I guess. 🙂  I find them expressive and perfectly usable, but the studios were obsessed with a certain kind of vocal sound in those days, and would dub anyone they thought not up to it. Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, and Vera-Ellen could all sing, to some extent or other, but they were invariably dubbed on film because the studios thought their star image demanded a very particular kind of prettiness in vocal timbre. 

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I enjoy Ava in Show Boat too. One thing about Ava was that she herself believed herself to be of mixed race. She grew up poor white in North Carolina where many white people actually had some mixed race heritage. She was a strong advocate for civil rights her entire life. 

Here is an article about the many times Ava was a strong civil rights advocate:

https://www.johnstoncountync.org/ava-gardner/blog/post/celebrating-black-history-month-at-the-ava-gardner-museum/

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