moirafinnie12

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About moirafinnie12

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  1. moirafinnie12

    What would you like to see on TCM?

    Of course, Mongo. I haven't seen either movie since I was a kid, so naturally they've blended into one vague, lovely Damon Runyonesque blur for me--I remember liking Marilyn Maxwell as well as Lucy opposite Hope. I shoulda checked IMDb for the facts before putting in my two cents. By the way, there's one more Bob Hope movie for TCM to show: "The Big Broadcast of 1938" with Mr. Hope and Shirley Ross singing the ruefully sentimental--and lovely, song--"Thanks for the Memories". I'm glad you're back Mongo. I missed your posts. I hope that if you went on vacation, that it was pleasant. :-)
  2. moirafinnie12

    What would you like to see on TCM?

    Ned, I'm so glad that you mentioned the 'Road' pictures. I've been thinking about them this week with Hope's passing. My siblings and I discovered them as kids and couldn't believe how funny they are--we'd only been exposed to Bob Hope as the old guy on the boring specials with the football players. Since then, I've discovered that up until the early '50s, his movies were FUNNY. My favorite road picture is probably "Road to Utopia" where Bob and Bing go into a Klondike saloon. Bob asks for a lemonade, sees the tough guys crowding in and says: "--in a dirty glass!" The corniest of lines, but the delivery was great and interplay between Hope and Crosby were hilarious in this and almost all the others (not crazy about "The Road to Hong Kong"). The side comments to the audience about one another and Hope's perennial coward character still tickle me. I'd also like to see "The Lemon Drop Kid" with Hope and Lucille Ball as well as "My Favorite Blonde" with glorious Madeleine Carroll. It would be worth a look to see one of his only 'straight' parts as Eddie Foy Sr. in "The Seven Little Foys" again. His dance with Cagney as George M. Cohan on the tables is a delightful memory. It's no wonder that so many of today's comedians and comic actors based their work on Mr. Hope's earlier forays.
  3. moirafinnie12

    Lightning in a Bottle

    Feaito, thanks so much for responding to my query. Lubitsch and Hitchcock are terrific choices for directors whose work was apparently on target at least 95% of the time. Hitchcock's career had some interesting detours that were never audience or critical favorites--"Rope" & "Under Capricorn" are two more 'experimental' works that he created, perhaps for his own reasons, since both had technical aspects that interested him. Another director whose work might easily fall into the '95% category' was William Wyler, though I never cared for some of his later work, such as "The Big Country" and "Ben Hur", (both great technical spectacles to me, but without a heart or an original thought, though I'd never say that about most of Wyler's work. But hey, it's only my observation). A couple of directors who seemed to have wonderful hot streaks, only to "stumble", commercially and artistically later were Joseph Mankiewicz and John Huston. Mankiewicz' classics--"Letter to Three Wives"(1949), "All About Eve"(1950), and "No Way Out"(1950) were probably some of the most entertainingly literate and sophisticated American movies ever, but the same man, some years later, could make some embarrassing work, by comparison, such as "Cleopatra"(1963). Huston's greatest films, "The Maltese Falcon", "Treasure of the Sierra Madre", "Key Largo", "The Asphalt Jungle" and "The African Queen" were eventually followed by some far less successful work such as "The Unforgiven", "Freud" and "The Bible". Still, Huston's best film may have been one of very last: "The Man Who Would Be King". And Mankiewicz' last film, "The Honey Pot" is very well done, despite some script problems and it deserves an audience (TCM shows it once in a blue moon). Feaito, maybe the real question should be: what's judged a success? A director or actor whose film finds a large audience or one who tells the story best and in his own unique way?
  4. moirafinnie12

    Lightning in a Bottle

    You make a good point about Cary Grant, feaito. Yet, from 1950-1955, Mr. Grant had a string of movies that prompted him to announce his retirement! "Crisis" (1950), "People Will Talk" (1951), "Room for One More" (1952), "Monkey Business" (1952) and "Dream Wife"(1953), while having some entertaining moments, hardly compare to Grant's best work such as "Bringing Up Baby" or "Gunga Din", or "Notorious". Apparently, Cary was actually led to believe that he had lost touch with what audiences wanted to see, and thought that he should quit acting. It took Alfred Hitchcock and "To Catch a Thief" (1955) to bring audiences back to their senses. Grant did a fantastic job managing his own career, but even he had fallow spells such as the fifties.
  5. moirafinnie12

    Lightning in a Bottle

    British director Stephen Frears ("My Beautiful Launderette", "Dangerous Liasions", "High Fidelity"), was recently asked to name his top five directors. His reply intrigued me. He pointed that he couldn't really name a Top 5, since "People make good films for a while, and then they lose it. Take Preston Sturges--he made five good films in a few years, then it was over. You always wonder. Is today the day it won't work?" Perhaps you agree that this was true about Sturges. Could you cite any actors or directors whose work seems to reflect the accuracy or fallacy of Frears' observation?
  6. moirafinnie12

    It feels good to be back

    What happened to John Agar? Two words--alcoholism and divorce. His highly publicized marriage to Shirley Temple in 1945, along with his All American face prompted David Selznick (Shirley's employer at the time), to get him to sign a movie contract, leading to his best film, "Fort Apache", directed by John Ford. During their divorce in 1949, his bouts with the bottle and Miss Temple were discussed in some pretty ugly stories in the press. After this series of events, and, fortunately, a second marriage that lasted from 1951 until his wife's death in 2000, Agar became a sci-fi and cheap western movie fixture. Apparently Agar was quite philosophical about his career. Shortly before his death in 2002, he gave interviews in which he spoke candidly about his alcoholism, (he was an AA member), his apparent lack of drive about a high powered career, his gratitude for the work with young directors in low budget flicks, and his bemusement with the rather fanatical people who sought him ought to discuss his cult status. He seems to have been a philosophical, good-natured man who saw his career as a way to put bread on the table and didn't mind appearing in such epics as "Tarantula"(1955) or "Zontar the Thing from Venus"(1966). Some of his better, later movies that you might enjoy include "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (1967), "Big Jake"(1971) with John Wayne again, and "The Miracle Mile"(1989). I've always liked him myself. As someone who is currently moving, and therefore without TCM too, I understand your pleasure in having it again. It's the best & I love the quality of the prints of films that they show!
  7. moirafinnie12

    Film Composers

    My toes are fine! Welcome to the board---I just hoped that you'd enjoy reading the entries and I know how hard it is to find former threads on this website since TCM "upgraded" the place about 6 months ago. I'm glad to read that you like John Barry's work too. I love John Barry's scores for "Out of Africa" and "Somewhere in Time". I saw him interviewed on Bravo years ago. He mentioned that the melancholic beauty of the "Somewhere in Time" theme (borrowed from Rachmaninoff, of course), may owe something to the fact that he wrote the score immediately after the deaths of both of his parents. He implied that their symbiotic relationship was similar in its romantic, "I-can't-live-without-him" quality to that of the film's central characters. Apparently, his mother died within months of his father. Having lived for decades together, they weren't truly able to function in this world together without one another. Interesting that this same man could write the wonderfully flashy and energetic music that we identify so closely with James Bond movies like "Goldfinger" too. The guy certainly has range! Moira
  8. moirafinnie12

    Film Composers

    You might want to check out an earlier thread listed under Favorites entitled "Favorite Film Composers". There's alot of different composers discussed there. My all time favorite: Bernard Herrmann. Not necessarily for his Hitchcock themes, but also for such scores as "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", and, really, all his 20th Century Fox work. This music stands on its own beautifully.
  9. moirafinnie12

    I looking for a movie

    James, the movie you describe sounds alot like "Phantom of the Paradise", directed by Brian de Palma in 1974. It stars that '70s pop culture fixture, the songwriter, Paul Williams and Jessica Harper, (she's quite lovely, but rarely appears in movies anymore). It doesn't, as far as I can recall, take place on a studio backlot, but rather in a Studio 54 type of refurbished theatre serving as a disco. It is for sale in vhs/dvd formats and can probably be purchased at Amazon or at your local Blockbuster. You can see movie details about this at IMDb's website at http://us.imdb.com/Title?0071994. Good luck.
  10. moirafinnie12

    "Now, Voyager"

    How about a Mary Wickes film festival, TCM...I'd watch and Mongo too, I'll bet! Let's see... "Now, Voyager" "The Man Who Came to Dinner"--another juicy nurse part, though she's too easily cowed by the penguins! "On Moonlight Bay" & "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"--she's the same maid in both movies (I'd fast forward through the tedious parts, without her) "Fate is the Hunter" --she's a great, sneakily prurient landlady in this pretty good "Rashomon" type story about a plane crash. What character actor's work would you like to see featured?
  11. moirafinnie12

    2 more gone...

    Where did you see the reports of Zsa Zsa Gabor & Jerry Lewis' deaths? It's hasn't been reported by the New York Times or CNN,
  12. moirafinnie12

    "Now, Voyager"

    Mongo, and wasn't Claude Rains delightful as Charlotte's "liberator"? Did you know that Bette Davis thought that her character should have wound up with the good doctor rather than Jerry (Paul Henreid)? And don't you just love the delicious Mary Wickes as Gladys Cooper's 'I've-seen-it-all-before' nurse? I'm glad HBO is showing something other than "The Sopranos".
  13. Oh, Patypancake, this girl's voice has been bothering me too. I thought I was the only stick-in-the-mud whose inner voice cried "Elocution lessons, elocution lessons, elocution lessons!" each and every time I hear Ms. Lopez speak!! She hurts my ears...oh, please let one of this girl's handlers give her some real advice about that flat, nasal voice. I don't know if she can evolve into a good, adequate actress, but at this point, she's way too famous for her own good. Then again, so was poor Rita. Otherwise, let's compare: Rita Hayworth: Signature role-"Gilda" (one of the most sensuously photographed movies ever),Warm Persona, Dazzling smile, Great dancer, Glorious hair, Partnered onscreen, (& off, in some cases), with Orson Welles, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire and, oh yeah, Glenn Ford. Jennifer Lopez: Only decent movie to date-"Angel Eyes" (mostly due to soulfulness of Jim Caviezel), Good Dancer, Annoying Omnipresence in media, Self-Aggrandizement writ large, Plastic Diva attitude, Lucky to be partnered onscreen with George Clooney, Jim Caviezel, and, oh yeah, Ben Affleck (Glenn Ford for our time, I fear.). Both ladies have or had, beautiful, womanly figures, by the way. Okay, I usually don't pop off like this, but this topic got to me...maybe it ought to be under "Hot Topics"...:-)
  14. moirafinnie12

    Forgotten Gregory Peck Film

    "Captain Newman, M.D." does seem to have been lost in the shuffle during the posthumous tributes to Mr. Peck, Slappy. Thanks for reminding me of its lovely blend of comedy with serious underlying themes. The romantic sparks between Peck and Angie Dickinson weren't too shabby either. Plus, Eddie Albert gave one of his best onscreen portrayals as a cracked officer with a rigid military wife. I'll have to track it down on video again. P.S. Don't forget some other nimbly played comedic roles by Gregory Peck: "Roman Holiday" (1953) & "Designing Woman" (1957). :-)
  15. moirafinnie12

    *James Cagney's 104th Birthday!!!

    Spencer, 1.) I'm a longtime AOL user, and I cannot log in through AOL, only through the Netscape browser window, and that can be tricky...so I don't think it's any easier for AOL members to log in here. Having been posting on this board for over a year, I trace all the problems back to the change in subcontractor to Jive Forums for the maintenance of this board back on Dec. 1st, 2002. Everything got flukey after that--the board was MUCH easier to navigate before this transition, but, hey--this too shall pass, (maybe on Dec. 1st, 2003?). 2.) I loved "Man of a Thousand Faces" too. Cagney was particularly magnificent during the scenes between his character and those playing Chaney's deaf parents--the man never needed mere words to communicate to an audience! As I've mentioned to you before, I doubt if he cared about the awards that he may have been "robbed" of at any time--remember he was known as the "faraway fella" by his friends, longing to get away to his country retreats. (The "faraway" label was coined by Frank McHugh, his friend and co-star in so many Warner classics. McHugh seems to have had a way with a phrase. In his autobiography, Cagney mentions that he found McHugh's phrase for someone whose behavior marked him as anathema from then on--"he broke his shovel with me"--to be quite an apt piece of verbal shorthand...no doubt useful for some Hollywood types.) :-) 3.) "Terrible Joe Moran" is a tv movie that I went out of my way to see, since I cherish Mr. Cagney's work. As memory serves, Art Carney and Ellen Barkin appeared with him in this film--which mostly made me sad, since I could clearly see that Mr. Cagney was ill and struggling to perform, even if still a trouper during the making of this movie. It may be an apocryphal story, but didn't the imitator, Rich Little, claim to have been miming his voice during some scenes of this film, (he also made a similar claim re: David Niven's voice in his last film appearance)? Overall, I still prefer to regard Cagney's last full performance to be in the funny, and challenging role in Billy Wilder's "One, Two, Three" (1961), after which, he chose to, in Shakespeare's phrase regarding "our actors/As I foretold you,/ were all spirits and/Are melted into air, into thin air."

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