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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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#41 TopBilled

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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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"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 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.


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


#43 TopBilled

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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.


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


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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. 


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


#45 TopBilled

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 08:30 AM

#67: CALL ME MADAM (1953)

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George Sanders appeared in only one film released in 1953 but it was a big one. After nearly two years on Broadway and 644 performances, Irving Berlin's crowd-pleaser had made it to the screen. Ethel Merman recreated her lead role as an ambassador sent to a foreign country, and she was joined by fellow musical stars Donald O'Connor and Vera-Ellen. In the fourth-billed role was George, not usually known for his work in this genre, though he had been in BITTER SWEET with Jeanette MacDonald thirteen years earlier. He plays General Cosmo Constantine, a part Paul Lukas did on stage. George has two numbers in the film-- he sings 'The Best Thing for You Would Be Me' with his leading lady; then he joins the rest of the cast for a rousing finale. He was not dubbed, and critics lauded his performance.

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


#46 TopBilled

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 01:43 PM

#66: ASSIGNMENT: PARIS (1952)

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In September of 1952, George Sanders appeared in a cold war drama produced by Columbia Pictures. It was set in France and communist Hungary and filmed on location in those two countries. His costars were Dana Andrews and Marta Toren. George was cast as a newspaper editor from New York working in his company's Paris office. It was a non-sneering part-- kind of a lackluster role for him. The picture could be described as a by-the-numbers political thriller though it did contain some suspenseful moments. George's character was not too involved in the main action; most of that was saved for Andrews and Toren. They interview a Hungarian ambassador and are soon up to their necks in espionage and other dangerous activities. I suppose while they were doing that, George was on the phone with his agent requesting a better part in his next 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 20 November 2016 - 03:16 PM

#65: IVANHOE (1952)

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The next film George Sanders appeared in was a lavish swashbuckler. It was MGM's version of Walter Scott's well-known tale of chivalry and sword-fighting. He was fourth-billed as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert and his character had a dramatic battle to the death with Ivanhoe at the end of the picture. Unfortunately, he was killed off-- but he died with such flair, as only George Sanders could play it. The British-American picture made back three times its original budget and was the studio's highest grossing film of the year. Costars included Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Fontaine.


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


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Posted 15 November 2016 - 09:38 AM

#64: THE LIGHT TOUCH (1951)

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George Sanders was loaned by 20th Century Fox to MGM for two films during this time. One was released in 1951 and the other hit screens the following year. The '51 release was a Richard Brooks crime drama called THE LIGHT TOUCH, which allowed George to work with his friend Stewart Granger. Granger had just recently emigrated to Hollywood with wife Jean Simmons. In this picture, George was third-billed; he played a suave art thief in cahoots with Granger. After being double-crossed by Granger and an attractive girl (Pier Angeli), he was forced to resort to desperate measures to recover a valuable painting. Of course, the police would have other ideas.


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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 10 November 2016 - 11:49 AM

#63: I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE (1951)

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George Sanders made two films released in 1951. One was at his home studio 20th Century Fox and the other was at MGM. The Fox picture was a drama that starred Susan Hayward and Dan Dailey. It was essentially a vehicle for Hayward, but George (fresh off his Oscar win for ALL ABOUT EVE) had a very juicy supporting part. He played the influential J.F. Nobel, a wealthy owner of a chain of department stores. Noble knew what women would buy in the way of fashions, and he was considered very influential. He also used his power to convince a smart fashion designer (Hayward) to come work for him. Based on Jerome Weidman's novel, the story looked at the garment trade of New York City and how the most ambitious people made it to the top rung of success. Of course, Hayward's character soon learned there was a price for that type of success; and we could only wonder what George's character paid to wind up as he did.


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


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Posted 05 November 2016 - 11:02 AM

#62: CAPTAIN BLACKJACK (1950)

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It had been a while since George Sanders appeared in a film made outside the United States. His old friend Julien Duvivier, who had directed him in Fox's 1942 portmanteau TALES OF MANHATTAN, convinced him to appear as CAPTAIN BLACKJACK. It was a French-Spanish-American co-production filmed in English. The cast was quite extraordinary and included British actress Patricia Roc, as well as Herbert Marshall and Agnes Moorehead. The story is more of an action adventure yarn, with elements of noir. Miss Roc plays a socialite who is smuggling jewels on her yacht off the coast of the Riviera, and George turns up as a doctor that gets involved in her criminal misdeeds. We later find out George is no real doctor at all, but rather a detective who has gone undercover to bring the sexy woman and her cohorts to justice.


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


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Posted 30 October 2016 - 12:20 PM

#61: ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

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As the next decade got underway, George Sanders' movie career hit its peak. He was cast by screenwriter-director Joseph Mankiewicz in ALL ABOUT EVE, a story about backstage backstabbing that was filmed on location in San Francisco. Persnickety theater critic Addison DeWitt would become a signature role and earn George an Oscar as best supporting actor. The part was originally intended for Jose Ferrer, and Claude Rains was also considered, but one cannot really imagine any of them playing it. Later, when asked about the experience of making ALL ABOUT EVE, George called the production his favorite-- claiming it was witty, sophisticated and brilliant. The following year, he appeared on radio in a 'Screen Guild Theater' adaptation of the story and was reunited with costars Anne Baxter and Bette Davis.


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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 26 October 2016 - 09:30 AM

Good news George Sanders fans!

 

TCM has scheduled an evening of THE SAINT films on January 20, 2017. The four George did will be included:

 

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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 23 October 2016 - 03:28 PM

In a few days, I will start covering George Sanders' films from the 1950s. I've discussed 60 so far, and by my count, he made 115 feature films, which means I've gone over roughly half of them at this point.

 

I am not sure if I will mention any of his television projects-- some of them were rather prestigious, but maybe it's a separate topic. I will probably just continue focusing on the theatrical movies he made.


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


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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:28 PM

#60: SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949)

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The other film George did in 1949 was probably the biggest one of his entire career. It was Cecil DeMille's biblical epic about a strongman (Victor Mature) and a scorned woman (Hedy Lamarr). The Technicolor extravaganza was produced by Paramount and was the top grossing picture of the year. It was also one of the greatest moneymakers of the decade. George and Hedy had worked together a few years earlier on THE STRANGE WOMAN; and supporting actress Angela Lansbury had done two other films with him. George plays the Saran of Gaza, a Philistine leader who has enslaved the Israelites. He is threatened by Samson's power and works with Delilah to betray him. It's a villainous role that only George Sanders could play.


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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 16 October 2016 - 02:45 PM

#59: THE FAN (1949)

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For the first time since 1936, George Sanders had a year where he did not appear in any new motion pictures. The year was 1948. But in 1949, he returned in a 20th Century Fox remake that was based on Oscar Wilde's hit play 'Lady Windermere's Fan.' He played Lord Darlington, the role that had been done by Ronald Colman in Ernst Lubitsch's earlier silent version of the mid-20s. In the story George courts a married woman (Jeanne Crain) who wants to get even with a husband that humiliated her. Richard Greene is the husband and Madeleine Carroll, in her last film, plays the other woman in this quadrangle. Otto Preminger produced and directed THE FAN. George had previously worked with him on FOREVER AMBER.


"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 October 2016 - 09:17 PM

#58: FOREVER AMBER (1947)

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The next film for George Sanders in 1947 was a controversial affair back at his home studio. Problems had arisen with the production code office, which considered the original source material unacceptable for movie screens. But 20th Century Fox was finally able to get FOREVER AMBER made and into theaters. Of course, it would still get a "C" rating from the Catholic Legion of Decency, which meant it was Condemned, until certain changes were made for exhibition. Linda Darnell appeared as the scandalous title character, a woman who goes through men like water, as she rises from humble beginnings to nobility. One of those men-- George as King Charles II.  FOREVER AMBER went on to become one of the year's highest grossing films, and it was one of many hits for George Sanders in the 1940s.


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


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Posted 07 October 2016 - 05:28 PM

#57: LURED (1947)

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The third George Sanders picture of 1947 was a United Artists release directed by Douglas Sirk called LURED. George had collaborated with Sirk before, but this was the first (and only) time he worked with costars Lucille Ball and Charles Coburn. The film is a remake of a French film called PIEGES which was directed by Robert Siodmak and starred Maurice Chevalier. George is a dashing man about town who falls for a dancer (Ball) that is assisting the police. It is her job to nab a killer, and though she begins to fall in love with George, she is not sure of his innocence. There are other characters who also seem suspicious, namely ones played by Alan Mowbray, Cedric Hardwicke and Boris Karloff. The end result is a stylish whodunit that's a lot of fun for viewers.


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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 03 October 2016 - 01:49 PM

I assume you're joking here,  since Miles had Lucy in the bag.    The only reason he lost her was because he was married.

 

Yes-- don't you just hate it when marriage gets in the way of a perfectly good romance...? :)


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


#59 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 06:48 PM

 

#56: THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947)

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The next motion picture assignment for George Sanders occurred back at his home studio, 20th Century Fox. He was given a supporting role in the screen adaptation of a fantasy drama about a widow who has a relationship with a ghost. George plays Miles Fairley, an author of children's books who meets Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) one day outside their publisher's office. They become friends, and George wastes no time pursuing the woman romantically. He has no idea she's attached to the spirit of a crusty sea captain (Rex Harrison); and she has no idea he's married. Although they spend much time together in town and out at the seaside cottage where she lives, their relationship is doomed. As Harrison's flesh-and-blood rival, poor George just doesn't stand a ghost of a chance winning Tierney's heart.

 

 

I assume you're joking here,  since Miles had Lucy in the bag.    The only reason he lost her was because he was married.



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Posted 02 October 2016 - 07:43 AM

#56: THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947)

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The next motion picture assignment for George Sanders occurred back at his home studio, 20th Century Fox. He was given a supporting role in the screen adaptation of a fantasy drama about a widow who has a relationship with a ghost. George plays Miles Fairley, an author of children's books who meets Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) one day outside their publisher's office. They become friends, and George wastes no time pursuing the woman romantically. He has no idea she's attached to the spirit of a crusty sea captain (Rex Harrison); and she has no idea he's married. Although they spend much time together in town and out at the seaside cottage where she lives, their relationship is doomed. As Harrison's flesh-and-blood rival, poor George just doesn't stand a ghost of a chance winning Tierney's heart.


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





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