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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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Ultimate GEORGE SANDERS thread


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Posted Yesterday, 10:49 AM

#111: RENDEZVOUS WITH DISHONOR (1970)

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This was an Italian-German production, filmed in Italian. It was originally called APPUNTAMENTO COL DISONOR, or APPOINTMENT WITH DISHONOR. George is fifth-billed and cast in a military role. He portrays a strict general who oversees a thoughtful army officer, played by Michael Craig. Both men are caught up in a civil war against the Turks on the island of Cyprus. The drama benefits from on-location photography and features Klaus Kinski in a supporting role. Its director, Adriano Bolzoni, was known more for spaghetti westerns and crime dramas than for making war films.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:13 PM

#110: THE KREMLIN LETTER (1970)

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Near the end of his screen career George Sanders had one of his most unique, scene-stealing roles. He played a character nicknamed Warlock in John Huston's classic thriller THE KREMLIN LETTER. The story is about a group of old spies who come out of retirement to help a new agent retrieve a document from the Soviet Union. George's character is a cultured homosexual who performs as a drag queen when he's not working undercover as a spy. Huston had originally chosen someone else for the role, but 20th Century Fox wanted a "transatlantic" name. Filmed in four countries, the scenes set in Russia were actually shot in Finland. Though not a major hit in its day, THE KREMLIN LETTER has achieved a cult status and is on many critics' lists of must-see espionage capers. It is also cited as among Huston's best, as it combines elements from both THE MALTESE FALCON and THE ASPHALT JUNGLE.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

#109: THE BEST HOUSE IN LONDON (1969)

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THE BEST HOUSE IN LONDON was probably not the best film in London (or anywhere else) when it was released to the general moviegoing public. But it had an interesting assortment of performers, and it was a chance for George Sanders to do another comedy. The British production was a stylish sex farce, financed by MGM, but it performed way below expectations. George was third-billed; the leads were played by David Hemmings and Joanna Pettet. They were assisted by a veritable who's who of character actors, most of them in cameo roles. George plays an aristocrat who champions a government sponsored brothel in the late 1800s. The movie, which features a lot of scantily clad females, earned an X rating.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:47 PM

#108: THE GIRL FROM RIO (1969)

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George Sanders appeared in another independently produced film in 1969. It was a spy-fi drama partly financed by a Spanish company, filmed in Spain and Rio de Janeiro. He was cast as a British mobster named Masius who found himself battling a female super villain for control of the world. The super villain was portrayed by former Bond girl Shirley Eaton. It would be Eaton's last motion picture before leaving movies behind to raise a family. This was the second time she played the main character; two years earlier she had starred in THE MILLION EYES OF SUMURU. While we can't be sure a million eyes watched this film, we know that if George Sanders is playing a bad guy, there are more than a million reasons to watch.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:36 PM

#107: THE CANDY MAN (1969)

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In this film George played another villain. He was cast as a kidnapper targeting a wealthy woman whose young child he intended to steal. But before the kidnapping could occur, the child was abducted by someone else. In addition to the kidnapping racket, George's character also was in charge of a drug ring. Yes, he was not playing a very likable guy. The assignment gave George the chance to travel, as it was an independent production filmed in Mexico City. Some of Mexico's best character actors appeared in supporting roles.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 11 June 2017 - 03:24 PM

#106: THE BODY STEALERS (1969)

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It was probably not a highlight in George Sanders' career-- but it paid some bills and kept him out of trouble. One look at the title and it's obvious this British science fiction entry was a ripoff of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. The low budget hinders the production, especially with regards to the special effects. But there is some decent acting from George and costar Maurice Evans, who seem to be having a grand old time. George plays an armed forces general who must figure out what is happening when soldiers are parachuting and disappear in mid-air (they've been snatched by aliens). Critics didn't particularly care for it, but I'm sure there were some fans who did. Though they probably didn't live on this planet.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:43 PM

#105: KING OF AFRICA (1968)

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George Sanders only appeared in one motion picture released in 1968. He also did a television project, a small screen version of 'Laura' in which he played Waldo Lydecker. In KING OF AFRICA, he's cast as a British captain circa 1900-- in a story about the hunt for escaped criminals across the hot African desert. Though given an exotic setting, it's basically just a routine western. George is billed as a guest star; the lead is bare-chested Ty Hardin. Pier Angeli and Rossano Brazzi make appearances too. The film was later retitled ONE STEP TO HELL. 


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:12 PM

#104: WARNING SHOT (1967)

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Another film George Sanders made in '67 was this atmospheric crime thriller from Paramount. It starred David Janssen, who filmed it in between seasons of The Fugitive. Jannsen plays a sergeant that shoots and kills a highly respected man in the line of duty, then is forced to undergo an investigation as to whether or not the killing had occurred in self-defense. George has a minor role as a man named Calvin York, the victim's financial advisor. Buzz Kulik directed an impressive cast that also includes Joan Collins; Lillian Gish; Walter Pidgeon; Eleanor Parker; Ed Begley; and Stefanie Powers. Originally the production had been conceived as a made-for-TV movie, but Paramount upgraded it to a feature film.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 28 May 2017 - 10:42 AM

#103: THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967)

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Several years earlier George had appeared in a live-action Disney film with Hayley Mills. Now he was hired to "play" a villain (what else) in Walt Disney's animated version of THE JUNGLE BOOK. Based on Kipling's classic tale, the movie was an immediate hit with critics and audiences. It enjoyed continued success in re-releases, making it one of the studio's highest grossing pictures of the 1960s. George provides the voice and inspires the haughty mannerisms of Shere Khan, a bengal tiger who intimidates the other animals. However, Shere Khan fears guns and fire, and as a result, he feels the only way to protect the jungle is to kill the human beings who arrive there, including a boy named Mowgli. While George handled all the dialogue, the singing was dubbed by Bill Lee.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 22 May 2017 - 06:50 PM

#102: GOOD TIMES (1967)

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Quite possibly the most unique film George Sanders ever did-- this musical comedy with Sonny and Cher. The duo was at the height of their popularity, and Columbia Pictures decided to cash in by featuring the couple in their own movie. It's a self-reflexive time waster about Sonny coming up with ideas for a film. He shares his thoughts with the owner of a fictional movie studio (George). Then a series of vignettes are presented with Sonny and Cher in different genres, playing out the ideas. George even appears in each sequence as a different character. Perhaps the whole thing was a little too arty and exhausting; it flopped with audiences. Despite the actual title, nobody watching was really having a good time.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:17 PM

#101: THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM (1966)

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At this point of his career George Sanders was finding good roles on television. At the end of 1965 he had a memorable turn on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and in 1966, he would play Mr. Freeze in two episodes of Batman. In between TV appearances he continued to take jobs in motion pictures. THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM cast him as a director of British spies who are sent to West Germany to infiltrate a group of Neo-Nazis. It's little more than a glorified cameo. While the main stars went to Berlin for on-location filming, George's scenes-- which take place in a gentleman's club-- were shot in London at Pinewood Studios. The cold war intrigue did fairly well with audiences and it kept George from getting too bored until his next gig.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 11 May 2017 - 03:14 PM

#100: THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF MOLL FLANDERS (1965)

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This Paramount production, which featured Kim Novak in the title role, was based on the 18th century novel by Daniel Defoe. In a way it has been updated and is a cross between FOREVER AMBER and TOM JONES. George had appeared in FOREVER AMBER almost twenty years earlier as a king. This time around he's a wealthy banker who marries Moll, but he soon loses his lusty bride when she is taken by a gang of thieves. Of course her true love is someone else, but George fights to get her back. However, there are several complications when Moll is run into prison and slated for execution. She manages to escape the chopping block, and George's character suffers a fateful heart attack (too much excitement dear chap)-- so she winds up with all the money and the man of her dreams. Also in the cast is Angela Lansbury as Lady Blystone. She and George had costarred in three earlier pictures.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:45 PM

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cairo (1963) with richard johnson

bluebeard’s ten honeymoons (1960) with corinne calvet
village of the damned (1961) with barbara shelley
the saint strikes back (1930) with wendy barrie
the gay falcon (1942) with wendy barrie
the picture of dorian gray (1945) with hurd hatfield
foreign correspondent (1940) with joel mccrea
a shot in the dark (1964) with peter sellers
death of a scoundrel (1956) with yvonne de carlo

screen-shot-2017-05-06-at-2-42-13-pm.jpgjourney to italy (1954) with ingrid bergman
a touch of larceny (1960) with james mason
lured (1947) with lucille ball
confessions of a nazi spy (1939) with edward g. robinson


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:15 PM

You may want to forget about your summer reading on August 30th and watch TCM. 

 

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George Sanders is being honored all day long during Summer Under the Stars.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:05 AM

#99: TRUNK TO CAIRO (1965)

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Others might regard TRUNK TO CAIRO as a low point in a long and distinguished film career, but George seems like he was having fun. The silly spy film was his only effort for American International Pictures. He was paired with Audie Murphy who was taking a break from his usual output of westerns and war films. Audie plays an agent investigating George, a corrupt German scientist who is developing a rocket that will be used on the free world. Marianne Koch is on hand as George's daughter, and of course, she gets involved with Audie. And in case things get too boring, a subplot involving some radical Muslims is thrown in to keep it all convoluted and "exciting." Yes, that's the word for it.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 01 May 2017 - 07:52 AM

#98: LAST PLANE TO BAALBEK (1965)

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After appearing in several crime comedies, George's next picture was a crime drama. He was third-billed in a stylish espionage story directed by Hugo Fregonese and Marcello Giannini. The independent production was made with money from French, Italian and Lebonese investors. George was cast as a devious prince, who might be a secret agent. The leading lady was Italian actress Rossana Podesta who had achieved some success in Hollywood. Audiences enjoyed the memorable plot twists of LAST PLANE TO BAALBECK as well as its unique, noir-like ending.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

#97: A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964)

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George Sanders may have earned an Oscar for dramatic work but one gets the feeling he enjoyed making comedies a bit more. In the 60s he had the chance to play a variety of amusing characters, usually in farces that involved some sort of major crime. In the sequel to THE PINK PANTHER, he gets to share scenes with Peter Sellers, who as Clouseau, is inspecting a series of murders that take place on George's lavish estate. A SHOT IN THE DARK was rushed into production on the heels of the first film's overwhelming success and it was actually not intended to be a sequel (the main character was not Clouseau), but it was revised to fit the Pink Panther format. It was a huge success-- probably George's biggest film of the decade after VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. And I'll be damned but he's quite good in it too.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:26 AM

#96: THE GOLDEN HEAD (1964)

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After making crime comedies with Terry-Thomas and Charlie Drake, George Sanders teamed up with Buddy Hackett for another one. This time he plays a crook trying to steal a priceless golden bust from a cathedral in Hungary. At the same time there's a convention going on for investigators. So while police and detectives are occupied at the convention, it is up to their children to nab the crooks and recover the stolen object. THE GOLDEN HEAD was filmed on location in Hungary and had two directors. The second director, Richard Thorpe, had begun in the silent film days and was near the end of his career. Originally Hayley Mills was announced to play one of the kids; if she hadn't left the project, it would have been a reunion for her and George, who both worked together on Disney's IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:17 PM

#95: DARK PURPOSE (1964)

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In 1964 George Sanders made a melodrama called L'INTRIGO (THE INTRIGUE). It was marketed in North America as DARK PURPOSE; and though it was filmed in Italy, it had an American director and a cast that mostly spoke English. In the story George plays an art appraiser who goes to a count's villa with a lovely female assistant. Rossano Brazzi is the count, and Shirley Jones is the assistant. Soon Brazzi and Jones fall in love, but Brazzi is married to someone else (Giorgia Moll); and things get very complicated. George seems fairly sidelined since much of the action involves the three younger leads. Despite a routine script, DARK PURPOSE benefits from Gabor Pogany's striking cinematography-- though in a print that aired on TCM not long ago, there were obvious issues with the editing and the sound. The film was not a success, but at least George was able to spend several weeks in Italy making it. You might call it a paid vacation.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:52 PM

#94: THE CRACKSMAN (1963)

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In this film George Sanders costarred with Charlie Drake. At just 5'1, the diminutive Drake (who resembled Mickey Rooney) was a towering comedy star in Britain during the 60s. He had taken over in the vein of Norman Wisdom, whose own style of clowning had impressed the master (Chaplin). Because Drake's slapstick was immensely popular with kids, this assignment brought George back to the attention of younger audiences (probably the same moviegoers who watched the Hayley Mills movie). In THE CRACKSMAN, George plays a crime boss named Guv'nor who teams up with Drake to pull a con. To say they make an incongruous couple of crooks is putting it mildly. There are plenty of sight gags and of course the customary dry British humor. 

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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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