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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 17 February 2017 - 10:19 AM

#83: A TOUCH OF LARCENY (1960)

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This film was released at the end of 1959 in Britain and found its way to North American screens in early 1960. James Mason plays a military officer who makes it seem like he's selling secrets to the Russians so he can sue the newspapers for libel. He falls in love with a woman (Vera Miles) who happens to be engaged to a stuffy English aristocrat-- you guessed it, George. When George's character catches wind of the scheme, he sets out to expose Mason in order to keep the guy away from Miles. The clever screenplay was nominated for a BAFTA award. Critic Pauline Kael describes it as a pleasant adult comedy that should be better known.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 10 February 2017 - 03:56 AM

In a week I will start on George Sanders in the 60s.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 08 February 2017 - 12:56 PM

#82: SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959)

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George had a real meaty role in this biblical epic based on events depicted in the tenth chapter of First Kings and the ninth chapter of Second Chronicles. He played Adonijah, one of King David's sons, who attempts to usurp the throne. Of course, this puts him into direct conflict with Solomon (Yul Brynner), the intended heir. Adonijah seems to make amends with Solomon and is apparently forgiven, until there is another overthrow attempt. That time Adonijah is put to death. The production was filmed in Europe, and it originally starred George's longtime Fox cast mate Tyrone Power. But during a scene with George, Power took ill and collapsed on the set. He died soon after from a fatal heart attack, and Brynner then stepped in as a replacement. Despite the real-life drama that had occurred, producer Edward Small managed to get the picture back on track and it went on to become one of the year's biggest hits.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 04 February 2017 - 05:03 AM

#81: THAT KIND OF WOMAN (1959)

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This film is the third one directed by Sidney Lumet. It focuses on a kept woman (Sophia Loren) who meets a handsome young soldier (Tab Hunter) during the days of WWII and falls in love. George Sanders plays the man who basically owns and exploits Loren. It's more of an extended cameo for George than anything else, and he's actually six-billed in the Paramount picture. In a much smaller role is Bea Arthur who makes an uncredited debut as a WAC with lesbian tendencies. Despite all the talent involved, the film did not do well with audiences and critics who were likely turned off by its early anti-establishment tone.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 26 January 2017 - 04:34 PM

#80: FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON (1958)

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George was cast in this adaptation of the popular Jules Vernes novel. He was back at RKO for what would be one of the studio's very last films. In fact, during production RKO went out of operation-- meaning the budget was abruptly cut; and the ending had to be changed. Instead of them arriving on the moon, the finale takes place before they get there; and the special effects, needless to say, were severely compromised due to a sudden lack of funds. Director Byron Haskins managed to finish the picture, and it was sold off to Warner Brothers for distribution. George is second-billed, playing a religious zealot who feels Joseph Cotten's rocket heading to the moon goes against God's will. As he attempts to thwart the mission, his daughter (Debra Paget) is caught in the showdown.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 20 January 2017 - 02:03 AM

George Sanders lights up the screen tonight on TCM:

 

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9:30 p.m. The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

10:45 p.m. The Saint in London (1939)

12:15 a.m. The Saint’s Double Trouble (1940)

1:30 a.m. The Saint in Palm Springs (1941)


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"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:47 AM

A reminder-- TCM is airing an evening of Saint movies tomorrow night (January 20th). 

 

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"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 15 January 2017 - 01:43 PM

#79: THE WHOLE TRUTH (1958)

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There were four things George Sanders liked doing-- he liked going to the Riviera, he liked marrying the Gabor sisters, he liked working with friends, and he liked being a cad. In this film, he gets to do three out of four. He plays a cold-blooded publisher determined to set up pal Stewart Granger for murder. This is because Granger, who is already married to sweet Donna Reed, has been having an affair with Sanders' sexy Italian wife. In a terrible rage, George makes 'till death do us part' a chilling reality; then he begins to gaslight Granger. Aiding him indirectly is Reed's belief that her own husband may have done it. The film was a British production from Columbia, and George gives a performance that is right up there with Addison DeWitt.  


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:21 PM

#78: THE SEVENTH SIN (1957)

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There was only one George Sanders film in movie theaters during 1957. This is because the actor had done a 13-week summer replacement TV series, then took a bit of a break. But when he came back, he had a key role in this MGM adaptation of Somerset Maugham's 'The Painted Veil.' The studio had previously filmed it in 1934 with Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall playing a married couple on the brink of divorce. The remake featured Eleanor Parker and Bill Travers in those roles, with George playing an expanded supporting character named Waddington. George is essentially portraying a self-absorbed boozer and he gets to steal scenes left and right. In other words, this job was custom made for him. The original motion picture was a disappointment, and this later version also did not fare well with audiences. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:22 AM

#77: DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL (1956)

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The next film for George Sanders was kind of a 'family affair.' It featured his older brother, actor Tom Conway, in a minor role. It was the last time they acted together-- the first time was back in THE FALCON'S BROTHER. After this, Conway's alcoholism caused a schism between the two siblings and sadly, they would remain estranged. Another notable costar in this RKO production was George's ex-wife Zsa Zsa Gabor. She portrayed one of the women that his character went through like water. Not sure if Zsa Zsa ever considered George a scoundrel in real life; it's doubtful since she was working with him on a movie two years after their divorce. The story itself was based on the life of noted financier Serge Rubinstein who died under very mysterious circumstances. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:00 PM

#76: THAT CERTAIN FEELING (1956)

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The next project for George Sanders found him costarring at Paramount with Bob Hope and Eva Marie Saint. It was a refreshing change of pace for the actor, giving him a third-billed role in a comedy and allowing him to play a lighter character. The original Broadway production was called 'King of Hearts' and had run for 279 performances in 1954. In the stage version, Donald Cook played the character assigned to George in the movie. He was a cartoonist who seems to be going through an unproductive period, so he hires a ghost writer (Hope) to help punch things up. The situation becomes complicated when the woman George intends to marry (Saint) used to be the ghost writer's ex-wife. That's Jerry Mathers in the picture above, playing the little boy in the story, one year before his breakthrough role as Beaver Cleaver. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 09:07 PM

#75: WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956)

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The next motion picture in which George Sanders appeared was Fritz Lang's hard-hitting noir WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS. It was released by RKO and used recycled props from CITIZEN KANE, which had been produced fifteen years earlier. George was third-billed and part of a very impressive cast. The ensemble included people like Ida Lupino, Howard Duff, Dana Andrews and Rhonda Fleming. In the story George portrayed a wire service chief competing with a newspaper editor as developments unfolded in the reporting of a serial killer's latest crimes. It was based on a real-life case that had happened a decade earlier in New York, known as the Lipstick Killer. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 26 December 2016 - 07:34 PM

#74: NEVER SAY GOODBYE (1956)

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In 1956 George Sanders appeared in four motion pictures and three television shows. His first television appearance had been a year earlier for The 20th Century Fox Hour where he played Waldo Lydecker in a remake of LAURA. Now George had signed to do a melodrama for Universal which starred Rock Hudson and European actress Cornel Borchers. Though uncredited, the film was co-directed by George's friend Douglas Sirk. George played Borchers' boyfriend and partner in a nightclub act. Borchers had been married to Hudson during the war but the marriage ended, and Hudson told their daughter that Borchers had died. Of course, the teen daughter (Shelley Fabares) eventually finds out her mother is very much alive. George and the other adults all try to do what's right and noble by the impressionable girl, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:04 AM

#73: THE SCARLET COAT (1955)

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In July there was a new George Sanders picture in theaters. It was this patriotic drama for MGM, directed by John Sturges. George portrayed a loyalist named Dr. John Odell, a man who had tried to thwart an uprising against the British in the late 1700s. Odell was a physician and a poet. His poems were well-known and written in support of the crown. Costars in this lavish production included Cornel Wilde, Michael Wilding and Anne Francis. On screen these three were involved in a love triangle, with Anne Francis warning her suitors about George's plans to set a trap for them. Of course, the Americans would manage to gain their independence from England, and while forming their new government, George's character was driven north. He was soon appointed to oversee a Canadian post as recognition for his loyalty to the mother country.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 18 December 2016 - 09:14 PM

#72: MOONFLEET (1955)

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The next film George Sanders made in '55 was an MGM adventure tale set in the 18th century. The project reunited him on screen with Stewart Granger and it gave him another chance to work with director Fritz Lang. Lang had previously directed George in 1941's wartime thriller MAN HUNT. The story for MOONFLEET involved a young orphan (Jon Whiteley) mixed up with a group of smugglers in Dorset County, England. While not a huge hit in its day, the film has earned the praise of critics in the years since its release. Editors of the French film periodical Cahiers du Cinema regard it as an essential costume drama and one of Lang's very best. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:16 PM

#71: JUPITER'S DARLING (1955)

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In February 1955 George Sanders appeared in this expensive MGM musical with Howard Keel and Esther Williams. He played Roman general Fabius Maximus and received fifth billing. It was the first of four he did for Metro in '55; all of them were period pictures, and he had key supporting roles in each production. JUPITER'S DARLING had such an extraordinary budget it failed to make back its costs at the box office. It signaled the end of Williams' career at the studio, as well as leading man Howard Keel-- lavish musicals were now thought to be risky ventures. George sang one song with vocalist Jo Ann Greer, who dubbed Williams' musical numbers. But the tune, 'I Had a Dream,' was cut. Almost twenty years later an outtake would be included as part of the studio's retrospective on musicals (THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!). In addition to filming interiors on an MGM soundstage, George and his costars did outdoor scenes on Catalina Island as well as in Florida.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:10 AM

#70: JOURNEY TO ITALY (1954)

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George Sanders took a break from Hollywood studio filmmaking when he went off to Europe to make this independent production with Ingrid Bergman and her husband Roberto Rossellini. He had previously costarred with Ingrid in 1941's RAGE IN HEAVEN. This time around they're more mature, wiser. They play a couple on vacation in Italy, dealing with the fact their marriage is falling apart. In the beginning they tour the Italian countryside together in a 1950 Bentley but soon separate. She then explores Naples on her own, and he goes off to Capri to be with other women. The absence of romance between them is a sore spot, and both are haunted by demons in their relationship-- including the fact they are childless. In the end, he comes back from Capri and they reunite, willing to start over as a couple and recapture the magic they once shared. This is one of George Sanders' very best films and is included in Steven Schneider's '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.'


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"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

On another internet message board, someone said George Sanders' autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, was republished in paperback about a year ago. I looked it up on Amazon. It is very affordably priced and most of the customer reviews are quite favorable.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 05 December 2016 - 03:29 PM

#69: KING RICHARD AND THE CRUSADERS (1954)

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In the 1950s, costume dramas were in vogue. Since George Sanders was right at home in these kinds of motion pictures, his services remained highly in demand at the various studios. This time, he is third-billed but plays the title character-- King Richard the Lionhearted. In the story, he and other top European rulers are determined to take back Jerusalem from the Saracens, but the best laid plans may be thwarted by enemies within Richard's own court. A failed assassination attempt leaves the king near death, but he is saved by one of his knights (played by Laurence Harvey). Of course, there are other intrigues at the palace. A lovely lady (Virginia Mayo) is supposed to marry Richard, but she's fallen in love with the knight. What's a jilted king to do? Banish the knight, of course! Who cares if he saved your life. You must do what you have to in order to win and keep the girl.


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.


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Posted 02 December 2016 - 07:22 PM

#68: WITNESS TO MURDER (1954)

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George Sanders was back to his villainous ways in this suspense thriller. Audiences were glad, because nobody could play a bad guy like George. Poor Barbara Stanwyck-- she was seriously out of her league, trying to convince the police she had witnessed a murder and that George had done it. Dear girl was no match for him, at least not at first. She wound up going to the looney bin for awhile. When she got out, she was still determined to prove she hadn't imagined what she had seen. She eventually succeeded, but it wasn't because she deserved to. George was simply bored playing cat-and-mouse with such a terribly hysterical amateur. He let her win, so he could get on to the next movie. 


"Since I have no past, I have no future. Only the moment, only now. So we can enjoy it without obligations or regrets."-- Jennifer Jones to Joseph Cotten in LOVE LETTERS.





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