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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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EASTER PARADE (1948)


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#21 TopBilled

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 02:52 PM

I'm interested in Ann's early work.   e.g. I watched Stage Door when it was on TCM last week.   While I have seen the film many times I kind of forgot the character Ann played in the film;  a kind of dorky,  not that attractive gal (as compared to the Ginger Rogers character).    

 

Later on in the 40s she played a gal that men were interested in.

Interesting comments, James. She matured/blossomed (whatever word you want to use) quickly.

 

Of the Columbia titles, probably EVE KNEW HER APPLES plays on TCM most often. 

 

About two years ago, someone gave me a copy of THE THRILL OF BRAZIL. It had been recorded off TCM, and considering the older looking TCM logo (which has evolved) and Bob's set (which has also evolved) my guess is that it was a copy recorded in the late 90s/early 2000s.

 

In the intro, Osborne said it was a premiere and that they had been trying for quite awhile to show it on TCM. And honestly, it's hardly aired since then. So seeing it broadcast again in April is a treat. It wasn't often that Harry Cohn made musicals in Technicolor during the 1940s. And from what I've read, it's because of Ann Miller's performance in THE THRILL OF BRAZIL that MGM decided to sign her for their Technicolor musicals-- which of course led her to being cast in EASTER PARADE.


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


#22 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 02:17 PM

I'd like to think the TCM programmers were reading this thread and its recent posts. 

National-Tap-Dance-Day-03.jpg

EASTER PARADE is on the schedule in April for the Judy Garland monthly tribute...and...there is an entire daytime line-up of Ann Miller films, including some of her rarely seen Columbia programmers from the 1940s.

 

On April 12th we have:

 

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
NEW FACES OF 1937
TARNISHED ANGEL
TOO MANY GIRLS

GO WEST, YOUNG LADY
TIME OUT FOR RHYTHM

EVE KNEW HER APPLES

THE THRILL OF BRAZIL

THE GREAT AMERICAN PASTIME

 

I'm interested in Ann's early work.   e.g. I watched Stage Door when it was on TCM last week.   While I have seen the film many times I kind of forgot the character Ann played in the film;  a kind of dorky,  not that attractive gal (as compared to the Ginger Rogers character).    

 

Later on in the 40s she played a gal that men were interested in.


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#23 TopBilled

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:08 AM

I'd like to think the TCM programmers were reading this thread and its recent posts. 

National-Tap-Dance-Day-03.jpg

EASTER PARADE is on the schedule in April for the Judy Garland monthly tribute...and...there is an entire daytime line-up of Ann Miller films, including some of her rarely seen Columbia programmers from the 1940s.

 

On April 12th we have:

 

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
NEW FACES OF 1937
TARNISHED ANGEL
TOO MANY GIRLS

GO WEST, YOUNG LADY
TIME OUT FOR RHYTHM

EVE KNEW HER APPLES

THE THRILL OF BRAZIL

THE GREAT AMERICAN PASTIME


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


#24 TopBilled

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 03:09 PM

Note I said similar and not 'the same' as it relates to Miller and George,  but yes, I agree that George was the leading male star in some very good films during all stages of his career.   This is one of the things that makes George unique;   e.g. while many stars go from leading parts to supporting parts as they get older George when back and forth during his entire career.   

 

 I haven't seen The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry but I would like to.    My guess is that TCM doesn't feature this film because it is a Universal film.  

Yes, unless it fits a special theme (like Eddie Muller's noir-programming), there is not much chance of seeing THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY on TCM.  

 

It would be very nice if TCM, which usually does get films from Sony, could build a SOTM tribute for Ann Miller. Most of her earlier starring vehicles were at Columbia before she went to MGM as a second lead and specialty performer in musicals.


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


#25 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:57 PM

I respectfully disagree. You obviously haven't seen THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY, because George is the lead in that Universal thriller and it's one of the best films made in 1945, possibly the top noir of '45. 

 

And TCM aired REVEILLE WITH BEVERLY this morning, in tribute to Frank Sinatra (who only has a four-minute musical scene in it), but it's clearly Ann's picture and she is on-screen 75% of the time. 

 

So these people did have opportunities to show off their considerable skills in lead roles. It's just that as TCM viewers we are so conditioned to seeing the Bette Davises and Clark Gables promoted as stars over everyone else. If anyone other than the usual suspects has half a chance at being recognized but their best starring roles fall outside the current TCM library, they're sunk (and so are their fans).

 

Note I said similar and not 'the same' as it relates to Miller and George,  but yes, I agree that George was the leading male star in some very good films during all stages of his career.   This is one of the things that makes George unique;   e.g. while many stars go from leading parts to supporting parts as they get older George went back and forth during his entire career.   

 

 I haven't seen The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry but I would like to.    My guess is that TCM doesn't feature this film because it is a Universal film.  



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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:28 PM

Miller is similar to George Sanders in that the films that feature her best are the ones where she isn't the leading actress.

 

That could be one of the reasons these two have never been SOTM.  

I respectfully disagree. You obviously haven't seen THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY, because George is the lead in that Universal thriller and it's one of the best films made in 1945, possibly the top noir of '45. 

 

And TCM aired REVEILLE WITH BEVERLY this morning, in tribute to Frank Sinatra (who only has a four-minute musical scene in it), but it's clearly Ann's picture and she is on-screen 75% of the time. 

 

So these people did have opportunities to show off their considerable skills in lead roles. It's just that as TCM viewers we are so conditioned to seeing the Bette Davises and Clark Gables promoted as stars over everyone else. If anyone other than the usual suspects has half a chance at being recognized but their best starring roles fall outside the current TCM library, they're sunk (and so are their fans).


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


#27 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 01:09 PM

In another thread recently, it was discussed that Ann Miller has never been a Star of the Month on TCM-- which seems quite surprising. 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-17%2Bat%2B8.10.5

EASTER PARADE and a batch of other musicals made during the golden age of Hollywood attest to Miller's star quality as a dancer and actress.

 

 

Miller is similar to George Sanders in that the films that feature her best are the ones where she isn't the leading actress.

 

That could be one of the reasons these two have never been SOTM.  



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Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:08 AM

In another thread recently, it was discussed that Ann Miller has never been a Star of the Month on TCM-- which seems quite surprising. 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-17%2Bat%2B8.10.5

EASTER PARADE and a batch of other musicals made during the golden age of Hollywood attest to Miller's star quality as a dancer and actress.

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-17%2Bat%2B8.10.4


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


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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:55 AM

Tommy Tune tried out a staged version and it didn't work.  I couldn't see how since most of the numbers took place on stage.  I would have liked to have seen a staged version of Easter Parade. Maybe someday.

Right-- it seems tailor made for the stage. 

 

Recently, I watched an episode of Nanny and the Professor, and Tommy Tune played a carnival barker. He didn't have many lines and was only in one scene. But apparently it was his first TV credit. 


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


#30 im4cinema2

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 06:51 PM

Tommy Tune tried out a staged version and it didn't work.  I couldn't see how since most of the numbers took place on stage.  I would have liked to have seen a staged version of Easter Parade. Maybe someday.


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Posted 08 December 2015 - 08:05 PM

...And yes, it is back on TCM's schedule, Sunday March 27th at 8 p.m. :)

 

http://www.tcm.com/t.../Easter-Parade/


"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 2015 - 07:49 AM

Easter occurs again on March 27, 2016. And we will soon be getting the March 2016 schedule information.

 

I don't think there's ever been a year in the channel's history where they haven't shown EASTER PARADE to celebrate this holiday.


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


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Posted 13 November 2015 - 07:25 PM

That's right. I'm just confusing myself lol. It seems there are several films that belong in more than one category...

Well it sounds like you are developing your theories about the musical genre. Nothing wrong with that! :)


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


#34 NickAndNora34

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 07:11 PM

I like how you are thinking along these lines.

 

Keep in mind that Broadway musicals can be dance-heavy too and even something like SHOW BOAT is a story (an Edna Ferber story) that was musicalized. 

 

I do agree the Rogers-Astaire and Eleanor Powell films are more dance-driven, with very little vocalizing. In something like LADY BE GOOD, they have to bring Ann Sothern on to sing. 

That's right. I'm just confusing myself lol. It seems there are several films that belong in more than one category...


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Posted 12 November 2015 - 08:27 PM

Your comment about Rogers-Astaire musicals really touches on something I've thought about: how movie musicals are categorized into one topic, when I think there's a big difference. There are the Rogers-Astaire, Eleanor Powell, etc. musicals that are very dance-heavy, the Broadway musicals like Show Boat & Annie Get Your Gun, and then there are the more original Technicolor MGM (& other studios) ones such as Meet Me in St. Louis (ones that were based on a story and turned into musicals).

 

I like how you are thinking along these lines.

 

Keep in mind that Broadway musicals can be dance-heavy too and even something like SHOW BOAT is a story (an Edna Ferber story) that was musicalized. 

 

I do agree the Rogers-Astaire and Eleanor Powell films are more dance-driven, with very little vocalizing. In something like LADY BE GOOD, they have to bring Ann Sothern on to sing. 


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


#36 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 04:42 PM

Your comment about Rogers-Astaire musicals really touches on something I've thought about: how movie musicals are categorized into one topic, when I think there's a big difference. There are the Rogers-Astaire, Eleanor Powell, etc. musicals that are very dance-heavy, the Broadway musicals like Show Boat & Annie Get Your Gun, and then there are the more original Technicolor MGM (& other studios) ones such as Meet Me in St. Louis (ones that were based on a story and turned into musicals).

 

I think of movie musicals in these 3 subcategories, personally, just because it makes more sense to my brain. I agree with how Irene brings more to the table, vocally in Roberta. (which, by the way, inspired a more musical, Technicolor musical called Lovely to Look At with Marge/Gower Champion, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Red Skelton, & Ann Miller).

 

How would you classify those 30 Warner Bro Musicals like 42nd Street,  and the various Goldiggers films?   Maybe there are 4 category for these depression era,  non glamor musicals?  (while the Rogers-Astaire ones are also 30s films these RKO films are a lot different than WB films).



#37 NickAndNora34

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 03:10 PM

Great post. I think you're correct about Kaye...he really could do quite a bit, and do it with humor...so he was kind of a triple threat as they say in the business (singing, dancing and comedy). Initially, Astaire was sought for the role that Kaye played in WHITE CHRISTMAS, but he turned them down.

 

In my opinion, the one "flaw" with the Rogers-Astaire musicals is that neither of them were known as singers. So the plots had to rely on the dancing and be all about the dancing. I probably enjoy ROBERTA most because we have Irene Dunne who brings the much-needed vocal elements. She carries the tunes with class and style..so it seems like a more well-rounded musical.

Your comment about Rogers-Astaire musicals really touches on something I've thought about: how movie musicals are categorized into one topic, when I think there's a big difference. There are the Rogers-Astaire, Eleanor Powell, etc. musicals that are very dance-heavy, the Broadway musicals like Show Boat & Annie Get Your Gun, and then there are the more original Technicolor MGM (& other studios) ones such as Meet Me in St. Louis (ones that were based on a story and turned into musicals).

 

I think of movie musicals in these 3 subcategories, personally, just because it makes more sense to my brain. I agree with how Irene brings more to the table, vocally in Roberta. (which, by the way, inspired a more musical, Technicolor musical called Lovely to Look At with Marge/Gower Champion, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Red Skelton, & Ann Miller).


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#38 TopBilled

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 01:55 PM

Basically, this all reminds me of White Christmas (1954) where you have Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby who were skilled singers, with Danny Kaye (who could do both decently) and Vera-Ellen, who was a spectacular dancer, but didn't sing. I think it's a much better approach to sort of balance them out; I know that worked out a lot with some of the movie musicals, whereas, nowadays, sometimes they have people in film musicals who maybe aren't completely suited for them, but then again, we have better technology now, and sometimes the acting is more crucial than the singing.

Great post. I think you're correct about Kaye...he really could do quite a bit, and do it with humor...so he was kind of a triple threat as they say in the business (singing, dancing and comedy). Initially, Astaire was sought for the role that Kaye played in WHITE CHRISTMAS, but he turned them down.

 

In my opinion, the one "flaw" with the Rogers-Astaire musicals is that neither of them were known as singers. So the plots had to rely on the dancing and be all about the dancing. I probably enjoy ROBERTA most because we have Irene Dunne who brings the much-needed vocal elements. She carries the tunes with class and style..so it seems like a more well-rounded musical.


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


#39 Terrence1

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 12:55 PM

For whatever it's worth, I've always felt that Judy Garland did a rather good job of keeping up with Fred
Astaire in "Easter Parade."  I don't remember another movie where she was called on to do so much dancing.  It's still a very entertaining movie.

 

Terrence.


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#40 NickAndNora34

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 12:30 PM

I think Fred Astaire's best screen partner was not Ginger Rogers but actually Bing Crosby. Suggesting that Fred was a singer of that quality is a stretch...and likewise suggesting Bing was as good a dancer as Fred is also a stretch. But when you put them together, you get the whole deal. It would be like putting Ginger Rogers in a movie with Rosemary Clooney. One can dance well and one can sing well. But neither one is totally skilled at both.

Basically, this all reminds me of White Christmas (1954) where you have Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby who were skilled singers, with Danny Kaye (who could do both decently) and Vera-Ellen, who was a spectacular dancer, but didn't sing. I think it's a much better approach to sort of balance them out; I know that worked out a lot with some of the movie musicals, whereas, nowadays, sometimes they have people in film musicals who maybe aren't completely suited for them, but then again, we have better technology now, and sometimes the acting is more crucial than the singing.


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