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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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#1088294 Summer of Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

Posted by TCMModerator1 on 18 May 2015 - 02:25 PM

TCM is proud to present Summer of Darkness: A Film Noir Festival, airing 24 hours of films noir every Friday in June and July, 2015.

 

Do you love film noir?  Do you want to learn more about its influences, its impact on classic Hollywood movies, and how it continues to inspire film and popular culture?  This is the place for you.

 

Participants of Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, a FREE online course from Ball State University, will be joining the conversation—sharing their thoughts on the course and the great Summer of Darkness films, and leaving an enduring record of their investigation of noir on this board.  TCM encourages regular board members to be welcoming, and to sign up to join this fun and informative online course, free of charge 

 

(LINK: https://www.canvas.n...urses/film-noir)

 

Please be sure to create a TCM Message Board account in order to post in this group.


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#1357841 PLEASE READ: “OUCH!" Slapstick Programming and "Painfully Funny”...

Posted by TCMModerator1 on 18 August 2016 - 10:16 AM

TCM is proud to present OUCH! A Salute to Slapstick Festival, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm ET in September 2016.
 
Do you love slapstick comedy?  Do you want to learn more about its influences, its impact on classic Hollywood movies, and how it continues to inspire film and popular culture?  This is the place for you!
 
Participants of Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies, a FREE online course from Ball State University, will be gathering here—sharing their thoughts on the course and the great slapstick films, and leaving an enduring record of their exploration of slapstick’s greatest gags on this board.
 
 TCM encourages regular board members to encourage and join the conversation, and to sign up to join this fun, flexible, and informative online course, free of charge  (http://slapstick.canvas.net)

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#1142137 Asta for Star of the Month

Posted by misswonderly3 on 17 September 2015 - 04:47 PM

Why not? 

 

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woof.


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#1467185 TCM Remembers Robert Osborne 1932-2017

Posted by TCMModerator1 on 07 March 2017 - 12:32 AM

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Also, please take a moment to enjoy this site dedicated to Mr Osborne

http://www.tcm.com/robert/

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#1143171 So I Saw Kim Novak Today - Live

Posted by TomJH on 20 September 2015 - 08:22 PM

Today was the final day of TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, and Kim Novak appeared as special guest on stage for the festival's presentation of VERTIGO, the film accompanied live with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performing Bernard Herrmann's haunting musical score.

 

I've never been to a TIFF screening before and the presentation was at Roy Thomson Hall, a beautiful layout with two balconies and perfect acoustics. I was with a friend seven rows from the stage, close enough for a great viewing without being too close to come down with a bad case of neck crick by staring at a large screen towering above us.

 

Ms. Novak was introduced to the audience (receiving a one minute or so standing ovation) to say that she was very pleased to be in Toronto. An announcement was made that she would be interviewed after the screening of Vertigo and Ms Novak said, perhaps a little shyly, "I'll be back" into a microphone as she walked off the stage and the film began.

 

Having a live orchestra there really made it an even more overpowering emotional experience for me, especially with the film's incredible climax in the abbey tower, an ending that I have always regarded as one of the most emotionally powerful that I have ever seen on film.

 

Ms Novak then appeared on stage, saying "Wow!" at the experience of having seen Vertigo with live musical accompaniment (I got the impression that it may have been the first time that she ever saw the film under these circumstances).

 

She was clearly thrilled with the experience, saying that her only regret was that Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart weren't in Toronto to share the viewing with her. She spoke of how she loved Canada and Canadians.

 

As for the film, Ms Novak said that she was glad to do it at the time (filmed in 1957) to get away from Columbia mogul boss Harry Cohn. Cohn had told her it was a lousy script but he was going to loan her out for it anyway because Hitchcock was directing it. Novak said that she really identified with both of her characters in the film, Madeleine and Judy, because they both so represented her and the makeover that she had to endure when she got a Hollywood career. I think that Judy was the one that she particularly identified with when Judy said, words to the effect, "Can't you just love me for me?"

 

Novak said she had never worked with an actor like Jimmy Stewart before, saying that working with him compared to the experience of pulling on a pair of big comfortable slippers. As an actor, she called Stewart a great "reactor" and said she thought the two of them had reacted to one another when they played their roles to perfection.

 

I have to say that Ms Novak seemed to be having a ball as she was interviewed, looking very relaxed and constantly smiling. She simply didn't have enough good things to say about Jimmy Stewart, a man she clearly remembers with great affection.

 

She also took a minute to go out of her way to defend Alfred Hitchcock against some of the negative reports that have been written about him. She emphasized comments that had been stated by one actress in particular (she didn't identify Tippi Hedren when she said this). Novak wanted the audience to know that those creepy comments reflecting that actress's stated experience with the director was not the relationship that she had had with Hitchcock, a man she found to be a kind and a pleasure to work with, and a man, she said, who loved his wife.

 

"I think my friend Jimmy Stewart would have warned me if there was something off about him," she said. She concluded her comments about the director by saying that she just wanted to speak up for Hitch since he is no longer around to defend himself.

 

She received a loud applause from the audience for that defence of the director.

 

Novak said that she is really an artist today, making reference to her website where her many watercolour paintings can be seen.

 

"Isn't it great," she said, "that I can still be around, don't have to be beautiful anymore and can paint beautiful paintings?"

 

As she said this she beamed a large smile and raised her hands over her head in triumph. She received one of the largest ovations of the afternoon from the appreciative audience after this statement.

 

Her interview at an end, Ms Novak then stood on the stage for seven or eight minutes, happily signing autographs. It was at this moment that I rushed forward from my seat to the stage where she was standing. She was smiling and signing autographs as photos and even slips of paper were being handed to her.

 

Seizing my moment, I produced a black and white glossy of her and Jimmy Stewart in a scene from Vertigo. As I handed the photo to her, I said fairly loudly, "By coincidence I just happen to have this with me." A few of the autograph seekers around me chuckled. There was about a two second delay as Ms Novak looked at me in surprise, then she laughed at the joke, too. 

 

Ah, what an afternoon. I not only get Kim Novak's autograph but I get the lady to laugh at a cornball joke of mine, too.

 

That might not look all that much like her name there, but, folks, I can honestly tell you that I saw her sign it.

 

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After  getting her autograph I rejoined my friend back in the seats as we watched her happily sign her signature for another five minutes or so. As she finally started to walk off the stage we all gave her a final applause.

 

Ms Novak took a final look back at the theatre seats, as my friend, Steve, raised his hat off his head in salute to her. She was looking directly at him when she waved. Steve was in heaven. Kim Novak just waved at him.

 

It was a lovely afternoon, and one that I won't forget, a wonderful presentation with live orchestra of Vertigo, followed by briefly meeting its beaming star, Kim Novak.

 

I suspect, in fact, the lady may have been having a better time than any of us today.


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#1098800 A Petition to TCM Forums?

Posted by laffite on 06 June 2015 - 02:46 PM

Another possible change would be to do away with view counts. As we all know, view counts are extremely important in our daily lives. I don't start many threads so I don't have many views. This has made me consult an analyst who has informed that if I have only 200 views counts and someone else has 800, then I am only one-fourth the person as the one with 800. This is sort of inequality is detrimental to the mental health of the community. So view counts should go.

 

Another modest proposal would be that any thread that undergoes a name change, the view count would automatically revert to zero. That would solve that problem. That way a thread could always retain its original name and thereby avoid an identity crisis.

 

Thank you


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#1125824 Thanks and acknowledgements on the "Summer of Darkness"

Posted by Eddie_Muller on 01 August 2015 - 07:15 PM

Just stopping in for a quick pop and to bestow my thanks and appreciation on all those at TCM who conjured this "Summer of Darkness" caper and allowed me to take the wheel for nine Friday night spins. The reaction from viewers has been terrific, and I thank all of you who took to time to send a personal note. My sincere thanks to Charlie Tabesh (who's always been my stake horse at TCM), as well as Jennifer Dorian, Shannon Clute, Scott McGee, Sean Cameron, Millie De Chirico, Pola Changnon, Rachelle Savoia, Kendell White—as well as all my friends and associates at TCM (Robert, Ben, Darcy, Genevieve) who always make me feel like part of the team. These folks are the best caretakers that American cinema could ask for. And I know they are motivated by you diehard fans. Cheers!

 

—Eddie Muller 


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#1124775 Daily Dose #32: Over Now (Opening Scene from Criss Cross)

Posted by riffraf on 30 July 2015 - 01:27 AM

The opening scenes in Criss Cross (1949) covers "the usual suspects" in noir film making tools.  Starting in darkness above a bustling Los Angeles, zeroing in on a darkened, crowded parking lot, then using the headlights of a parking car to spotlight a couple embracing in the shadows.  Moving to a medium close up exposes Steve (Burt Lancaster) and Anna (Yvonne De Carlo) looking and feeling guilty about being seen.   The two are planning something and worried about the outcome.  Almost identical to the conversation between Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet in Elevator to the Gallows (1958) only this couple is together in a claustrophobic lot, sandwiched between parked cars.  Their conversation of dread builds tension which the camera magnifies by moving in closer, putting the couple in a tighter frame.  Though we assume from their conversation, they are a doomed couple, Anna professes "after it's all over, it will just be the two of them...you and me, you and me!"  In less than three minutes we got an eye and ear full of love/lust, desperation, dread, doom, conspiracy, regret, danger, jealously, fear...all the things that spell out in capital letters NOIR.  But we knew that, otherwise professor Edwards wouldn't had it in our class line up!  Enter the picture  Slim Dundee (the "Oh so underrated" Dan Duryea) steely-eyed, cold, methodical and calculating he's obviously the one Steve and Anna are concerned about. (I've yet to see this film) but the short sequence in which we see Slim, we learn he's the character that makes everybody jump.  When Anna enters the nightclub the music in the background sounds like a warning chant as she is intercepted by Slim. The way he berates his employee looking for answers and the way he cross-examines Anna, this is a man used to getting his way and seems to have the power (and the motive and the opportunity) to do so.  And so the fate of these three is sealed and the rest of the movie (I assume) is just logistics.  I am so looking forward to seeing this one!!!

The Daily Doses assignment has definitely sharpened my wits on the way I view films and how I focus on the many factors that make it work the way it does (or does not), from camera angles, to props, lighting, music and how it all comes together.  As a photographer and movie buff, I've always looked at movies and tried to analyze them from different points of view.  The acting, the camera movements, depth of field, staging, lighting etc. but the advantage of this class has been being able to share and exchange so many different ideas of what we were all able to virtually view together.  This has been an excellent learning tool and I appreciate all those who participated in making this such a positive experience by sharing their collective knowledge and love for film!  Needless to say I hope the TCM message boards will continue to serve as a tool of communication for us all.  A special thank you to professor Edwards for the concept of this class and all the hard work that was required to make it happen.  I hope there is more to come!  Thank you all!               


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#1472156 Thank You, TCM, For The Sensitivity Of This Tribute

Posted by TomJH on 19 March 2017 - 10:08 AM

TCM has aired a number of loving tributes to Robert Osborne lately.

 

This one, though, to the accompanying strains of the beautiful and melancholy Clair de Lune, particularly got to me. It was the next to last shot of Robert walking through a grand theatre that tore me apart.

 


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#1355894 Attend A Film Festival! (you wont regret it)

Posted by TikiSoo on 15 August 2016 - 08:52 AM

CapitolFest was another hit this year with attendees from all over the globe viewing rare films & fascinating lectures. Sitting in the balcony I was surprised to see the main auditorium floor just about packed-I think it seats almost 1000. The balcony was only about half full because of course, heat rises and it was 90º out.

 

The star focus was on Gary Cooper, one of my least favorites. But it certainly was interesting to see his earliest efforts illustrating how he became a "star". In THE TEXAN '30 Coop was paired with Fay Wray and looked very handsome.

Texan.jpg

 

The program was full of great films but with decent sized breaks for intermission where attendees can schmooze & sift through the Dealers Room which greatly expands each year. I saw great selections of; authentic posters & lobby cards ranging from $3 to $300, notebooks full of publicity photos & movie books, some autographed and tables of very rare DVDs. You can find almost all of those rare titles we often talk about on this board for reasonable prices.

 

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Sure, there's Cary Grant pix in there...but (like the festival itself) you'll find really rare items like a Frankie Darro autograph.

 

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One of my favorite presentations was the next installment by James Layton of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR-Musicals. It was a fantastic blend of slide show, digital clips & 35mm film clips illustrating the points. For once, technology has been used well - what do you expect? these people are professionals in the field.

Afterwards while waiting in line for the Ladies Room, we broke into Alice White's "You-o-o-o, I got my eye on You-o-o-o…"

 

I much enjoyed DUDE RANCH (Paramount 1930) starring character actors Jack Oakie & Eugene Pallette-a scream seeing Palette dressed as a Native American.

I can only get through silents at film festivals and this didn't disappoint, especially since the theater is equipped with a great vintage organ with "all the stops" meaning bells, knocks & whistle sound effects included.

 

We saw a great "black cinema" from the Maurice studio ELEVEN PM circa 1928 which can be found on Kino's DVD "Pioneers of African American Cinema", but so much better to see it projected on a big screen with an audience!

 

My absolute favorite was THE POOR RICH (Universal 1934) another vehicle STARRING character actors EE Horton, Edna Mae Oliver,Grant Mitchell, Thelma todd, Una O'Connor & more. What a scream-the audience hooted & howled over that one. (and of course, Ward Bond as a bit policeman)

 

Of course, schmoozing with other film fans is a huge part of the enjoyment and an enlightenment of information at every conversation. I couldn't help compiling some of the t-shirts seen on attendees:

 

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No Toronto Film Fest shirts this year, but several MOSTLY LOST shirts - that's a film festival put on by LOC where they show orphaned snippets of film and encourage film historians to shout out ANYthing they recognize to help ID the film- names, locations, music, anything.

The Vitaphone Project is an attempt at marrying Vitaphone disks to it's film and Rich is the King of Movie Music in my book. (known as musicalnovelty here) I particularly liked the title card designs & the Pola Negri shirt not shown here.

 

The TCM Film Festivals must be a ball, but are way too dear for my purse. Besides, I've seen all those movies. Smaller, rarer film festivals are much more affordable at around $20/day and you actually can see all the movies along with decent free time for shopping & relaxed socializing!


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#1156094 RICH'S MADE-UP TCM GENERAL DISCUSSION POLLS

Posted by scsu1975 on 19 October 2015 - 08:29 PM

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#1367182 20th Century Vole Presents

Posted by scsu1975 on 30 August 2016 - 03:50 PM

So Long at the Forum

 

Some posters disappear from the TCM Message Boards. No one cares enough to go looking for them.


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#1366350 What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

Posted by Larynxa on 29 August 2016 - 06:54 PM

While most slapstick situations are make-believe, I seem to find them in real-life, purely by chance.

The best one was when I'd just gotten off the subway at rush hour, and noticed a little brown leaf, blowing around the platform, weaving around the feet of the crowd. Then, I realized that leaves don't have ears and a tail. It wasn't a leaf, but a tiny brown subway mouse...and it dashed onto the train, just as the doors were closing.

Pause.

Then, CHAOS!

The people on the train began leaping about in terror, as (evidently) the equally terrified little mouse zig-zagged through the car. I saw a couple of executive-type men leap to the overhead bars and dangle from them, pulling their knees up to their chests.

As the train pulled out of the station, I was doubled-over with laughter, and people were looking at me as if I'd escaped from somewhere.

Imagine... In that huge crowd of people, I was the only one who'd seen that glorious moment of serendipitous slapstick. THE ONLY ONE.
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#1366337 What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

Posted by speedracer5 on 29 August 2016 - 06:32 PM

Reading the five definitions of "slapstick," (Exaggeration, physical, ritualistic, make-believe, violent), I think all of those definitions definitely apply, but I don't think all necessarily have to be present to be considered true slapstick.

 

The Three Stooges I believe encompass all five of these qualities.  Often their ineptness in various situations is exaggerated.  Their gags and stunts are very physical.  They have a shtick, which I think in this case, can be synonymous with "ritualistic."  With The Three Stooges, if you have the original gang (Curly, Larry and Moe), you know there will be some nose tweaking, eye gauging, and other types of trademark violence inflicted on each Stooge by the other Stooges. When they changed lineups, (e.g. Shemp replacing Curly), then their shticks changed as well.  The Stooges' situation and stunts are ridiculous, but they make them believable.  I think the style in which they inflict violence upon each other is believable make-believe (if that makes sense), you can tell that they aren't really hurting each other (due to choreography between participants), but it looks like they are.  Their typical shtick, with the nose tweaking, eye gauging, et. al. is also violent and could really hurt someone, but it is also funny when combined with Curly's nyuk nyuks and other noises that they make. 

 

Someone like Lucille Ball on the other hand, I think encompasses 4/5 of these features.  Her brand of slapstick isn't particularly violent.  In her show, I Love Lucy, many of her situations are absurd, and would never happen to a real person.  However, the situations were written in a manner that the eventual climactic situation (e.g. Lucy and Ethel's misadventure on the chocolate conveyor belt) logically made sense based on the prior events of the plot.  Lucille Ball's humor came more from her situations starting out in a reasonable fashion, but then spiraling out of control.  In The Long Long Trailer, she ends up being thrown around inside a moving trailer while attempting to make dinner.  The audience knows that it's not going to go well.  After all, Lucy and Desi have to make sure everything is secured and put away inside the trailer when traveling, what makes them think that Lucy can be inside working and have everything stay put? However, the situation is set up by Lucy and Desi having a fight and Lucy coming to the conclusion that they fought because they were tired after driving all day.  Her plan is to make dinner while Desi drives, so that it is ready when he pulls into a new trailer park.  Makes sense.  But it completely goes awry.  In one way, the set up of Lucy's comedy is also ritualistic as her brand of physical comedy arises from situations gone out of control.  Often she exaggerates her mishaps during her comedy. If you notice in The Long Long Trailer, while she's being thrashed around inside, she purposely pulls a bag of flour down on top of her.  

 

I personally prefer slapstick when the situations seem clever and change from film to film (or episode to episode if on TV).  With Lucille Ball's brand of comedy, sometimes she's Lucy Ricardo (I Love Lucy), sometimes she's a honeymooner (The Long Long Trailer), other times, she's a failed sales girl (The Fuller Brush Girl) or a bumbling receptionist unknowingly working in a gambling racket fronting as a real estate company (Miss Grant Takes Richmond).  No matter the situation or the character, Ball finds a way to get into a comedic situation with her brand of humor. Sometimes The Three Stooges can wear thin for me, because they always seem the same, and they're oftentimes exasperatingly bumbling.   At least The Marx Brothers change up their characters, storylines and gags, even if the characters themselves are always the same persona (Groucho:smart quips; Chico: con artist; Harpo: Silent and silly).  

 

I do think that slapstick has to include some physical brand of humor.  If there are no physical stunts or gags, but it is a comedy, then I believe the film would move into screwball comedy territory. 


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#1350659 RICH'S MADE-UP TCM GENERAL DISCUSSION POLLS

Posted by scsu1975 on 07 August 2016 - 04:57 PM

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#1289264 Robert Ryan Rules

Posted by slaytonf on 01 May 2016 - 10:34 PM

For communicating a threatening undercurrent in every word he spoke, Robert Ryan was supreme.  He had a presence on screen that made even his gentlest, caring motions taut with menace.  Even in roles where he was not subject to outbursts of violence, he could still be forbidding, angry, retributive.  In some of his best roles, he created towering villains of cinema, including the ones in Crossfire (1947), Beware, My Lovely (1951), and The Naked Spur (1953).

 

Or that is the common image of him.   But even a glance at his filmography reveals as many positive roles, if not heroes.  The best of them including The Set-Up (1949, and my favorite of his movies), On Dangerous Ground (1951, yes, he starts out a villain, but ends up a hero--my favorite of his movies), and Act of Violence (1948), where he is portrayed a villain, but turns out a good-guy.  It's my favorite movie of his.

 

If there ever was an actor whose on-screen persona conflicted with his real life personality, this is the guy.  While he is remembered for portraying violent, bigoted, or vindictive people, he personally campaigned for tolerance, even-handedness, civil liberties, and civil rights.  He was one of the few who vocally opposed McCarthy's witch-hunting, and supported the blacklisted Hollywood Ten.  And didn't cave to pressure dissuading him from doing it, unlike some others.  He was involved with the creation of social- and civil-activitst groups, a number of theater groups, and a private school.  

 

His early life reads like a tale of a poor depression boy:

 

 After a failed attempt to become a journalist in New York City, the young Ryan grabbed a ship bound for Africa and worked as an engine room janitor for two long years. He dug subway tunnels in Chicago, mined for gold and punched cattle in Montana and, back in Chicago, sold cemetery plots and steel products. The low point came with a stint as a bill collector for a loan company, shaking poor people down for money they didn’t have (from http://dartmouthalum...knew-too-much).

 

Yet he was just the opposite.  All of this bumming around came after his graduation from--Dartmouth, the son of a wealthy Chicago contractor.  While there, in addition to being the heavyweight champion each of his years, he became acquainted with the theater, starting out in the direction of playwright.  It was that which eventually got him work, and a career, starting out directing theater at a private school.  A good summary of his life can be found here: 

 

http://www.filmnoirf.../RobertRyan.pdf.

 

He's another one of those conflicted actors, like Sterling Hayden, or Robert Mitchum, who felt ambivalent, or outright disdainful (or so they said) of their profession.  But like them he also took his work seriously.  Some speculate his low view of his worthiness is what drove him to his activism.  But I withhold from adopting such psychological rationales.  The motivations of people's actions are complex, and subtile.  Facile cause-and-effect speculations I am confident never have great explanatory power.  

 

Some of my regrets for TCM's STOM tribute are the lack of his final performance in The Iceman Cometh (1973), and some of his TV work, including his appearance as Jay Gatsby opposite Jeanne Crain in the 1958 Playhouse 90 adaptation of The Great Gatsby.  Now I think of it, didn't TCM show his appearance as Lincoln in the Screen Director's Playhouse adaptation of "Lincoln's Doctor's Dog?"

 

My final regret is one beyond TCM's control.  He evidently was slated to play Commodore Matt Decker in the Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine."  Though William Windom did a fine job, it still would have been killer to see Mr. Ryan in it.


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#1285376 A sad day for music lovers.

Posted by SansFin on 24 April 2016 - 12:21 AM

is there room for Miley Cyrus in this group?

 

 

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#1229247 20th Century Vole Presents

Posted by scsu1975 on 13 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

Poster Talk

 

A poster shares a message board with another poster, and tries to impress her by pretending to be Sir Rex Stetson of Liverpool. The other poster falls for it, since “Rex” uses the British style of spelling, especially that superfluous “u.”  However, “Rex” blows it when he types “programs” instead of “programmes.”  Stars Rocke Hudson and Douris Day.


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#1191325 Let's Mingle - The TCM Dating Club

Posted by Arturo on 15 December 2015 - 11:46 PM

SGWM.seeks platonic/work.relationship. Geeky yet temperamental Film.scholar.seeks research librarian familiar with film.studies and history. Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment, to a demanding set of specifications. Able to prepare Word.documents.from hand written notes, for blog entries, columns, and selected writings. Must be willing to do all research as required, at a moment's notice. Must have writing.as well.as.research skills. Must not mind.having writings plagerized, er, not getting credit as partner will take full credit as.needed, as.well as claim intellectual authorship. Must have capability to operate hand held recording devices, to record associate delivering verbal musings, critiques, etc. as well as the ability to post these videos online. Must be able to multi-task, constantly praising partner as an important imparter of influential information on specific websites, agree to all postings on said sites, bash any opposing viewpoints in print, and send streams of spam written in Korean script, all at once. Must be able to tabulate post counts, and significantly contribute to said counts with spurious postings. Must not mind partner's trolling tendencies online, nor occasional tongue-lashings born of frustration and poor-sportsmanship. A unique opportunity and partnership.
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#1172965 What's Great About TCM

Posted by speedracer5 on 19 November 2015 - 01:56 AM

I may have alluded to this in my first post, but I love that TCM is a channel that celebrates filmmaking--it isn't merely a vehicle to air random films and turn a profit. Robert Osborne is obviously a huge fan of film, especially the Golden Age (as I've gathered), in fact, he's considered a leading historian on the history of the Oscars. Ben Mankiewicz, aside from being a part of a "movie family" is also very obviously interested in film--seeing that he not only hosts many of TCM's features but he also participates in other venues like the Cruise and Film Festival. When RO decides to step down, Mankiewicz would be a worthy successor.

Anyway, with each monthly schedule, it is obvious that work went into researching themes and films that would fit said themes. Despite people's grievances with the schedule (which is only due to their own particular tastes and desires, not an actual problem with the schedule itself), it is apparent that work went into creating it. I also like that stars of all calibers, from the mega stars like Cary Grant to the character actors like SZ Sakall, are celebrated. Behind the scenes people like directors, cinematographers, costumers, etc. all turn up in tributes from time to time. TCM is made by movie fans for movie fans.

I also love that TCM seems to genuinely care about their fan base. Look at all the fan interaction that happens in the TCM Community-- social networking, the cruises, film festivals, the message board here, the list goes on. TCM invites actual fans to appear on the channel and introduce and discuss their favorite films. How many other channels do that? It has been proven that the TCM schedulers look at the programming challenges for inspiration for theme ideas. How many channels actually reach out to their fans and ask what they'd like to see? Sure, everyone's got a wish list a mile long, but there are most likely extenuating circumstances why a film like Beyond the Forest is unavailable. I'm sure it's not because TCM doesn't want to air it, it's probably because they can't (but I'm sure they would if/when it became available).

TCM is a channel like no other and I'm grateful that I have the ability to access it and enjoy it. I'm also happy to be a part of this online community, which for the most part, is one of the more civilized "places" on the internet. It's so great to be a part of this group of people who are genuinely enthusiastic about film and want to discuss, recommend, tear apart, obsess over, etc. with other people.

TCM is now filling the void that existed in my life when Nick at Nite went down the tubes.

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