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  1. BingFan

    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

    Yes, I'm a Bing fan, and my favorite movies of his are HOLIDAY INN, WHITE CHRISTMAS, GOING MY WAY, ROAD TO UTOPIA, WELCOME STRANGER, and THE COUNTRY GIRL. It would be hard to name my favorite recording of his -- there are so many. That said, I really love "I'll Capture Your Heart," his duet with Fred Astaire, which was issued on record as well as being featured in HOLIDAY INN. I'm also a big, big Sinatra fan. I sometimes think he was a better singer than Bing -- Frank's "Only The Lonely" album surpasses almost any other vocal performance in my opinion -- but it's a very close call, as Bing's jazz-based recordings in the 30s created a whole new way of singing, along with those of his friend Louis Armstrong. I do think Bing was the better actor, but Frank was no slouch. Both deserved their Oscars.
  2. BingFan

    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

    The idea of missing footage is intriguing, and I'd love to see it. But it seems unlikely that it exists in the 1947 version, in light of the firsthand knowledge one of our posters has with some of the source materials for the film. For what it's worth, I've read the Davies novelette a couple of times (it's very entertaining), and while it differs from the 1947 film, I don't recall the missing scene described above. My guess is that the scene in question was in one of the remakes of Miracle on 34th Street: the TV versions that were done in 1955, 1959, and 1973, or the theatrical version from 1994. I haven't seen any of them, but the Wiki plot summary for the latter suggests that it differed significantly from the original, so that seems like a possibility. But it's just a guess...
  3. BingFan

    Andy Hardy and the Holiday season(s) ?

    As the OP has just noted, Love Finds Andy Hardy is set entirely during Christmas season. It's a true "Christmas movie" as much as classics like Miracle on 34th Street or Christmas in Connecticut, both of which I also love along with the many other Christmas films that TCM shows. The plot elements in Love Finds Andy Hardy all depend on the Christmas holiday. Andy is dating Lana Turner's character because pal Beezy doesn't want Lana dating anyone else seriously while he's out of town for the holiday, so Andy keeps her busy; it helps that Andy's steady girlfriend, Polly Benedict, is also visiting family (in Mason City, Iowa) for the holiday. Betsy Booth (Judy Garland) comes to Carvel to visit her grandparents for Christmas. There's a Christmas Eve dance, which presents a dating dilemma for Andy -- should he take Lana or Polly, who came home early? (Spoiler: he goes with neither one.) The Hardy family opens Christmas gifts very early on Christmas morning. There's hardly a more Christmas-oriented movie than Love Finds Andy Hardy. And the OP's idea of showing Hardy Family movies on Thanksgiving is not such an odd one. TCM already had a Hardy marathon on Thanksgiving back in the 1990s -- I remember it distinctly because I taped all of the movies for future viewings. Someone at TCM -- maybe Robert Osborne himself -- obviously saw that those movies were a good fit for the holiday. Anyway, I understand that Mickey Rooney and the Hardy movies aren't everyone's cup of tea. But I find those movies very entertaining, filled with humorous and touching plots that help me forget the stress of modern life. I used to find Mickey hard to take, but after watching the Hardy movies several times through, as well as many of his other movies, I've concluded that Mickey was one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. He could play comedy or drama, and he could sing and dance. He could do it all. At the same time, I love watching the "Christmas noir" movies that others have mentioned. We start our Christmas movie viewing at the beginning of November in our house, and we just finished watching Cover Up last night. We'll probably see Lady on a Train and Lady in the Lake before too long, as well as some of the other noir-ish Christmas movies in our collection. (We were very disappointed that Christmas Holiday had to be pulled from the Noir Alley December schedule, and hope that it'll show up next year for the holidays.)
  4. Just out of curiosity, what did you choose?
  5. Your rumor is fact, speedracer5. Criterion just sent out the following announcement about the 50% off Barnes & Noble sale, Nov. 2-Dec. 3: NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2, 2018 As you wish . . . Starting today, all Criterion Blu-rays and DVDs are 50% off at Barnes & Noble, both online and in stores! This includes new editions of The Princess Bride, Sisters, Shampoo, and Andrei Rublev. You can also preorder our upcoming releases of Some Like It Hot, True Stories, and The Magnificent Ambersons, plus our landmark box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema. The sale runs through December 3!
  6. BingFan

    Tasty MacGuffins

    The buried treasure in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  7. BingFan

    The Cast Of The Old Dark House (1932)

    Thanks, Lorna -- I think you may have identified the snag when my wife and I first watched The Old Dark House. We went into it expecting a more constantly thrilling or suspenseful story similar to familiar horror movies. If it's more a black comedy -- although you may be right that it's really sui generis -- we should suspend our expectations, except for knowing from our first viewing that the first hour is just a prelude to the more action-packed conclusion. We do enjoy other movies that depart in various ways from their purported genre, like Cat People and The Seventh Victim. Even The Uninvited, which is definitely a haunted-house story, strays from the usual scary format by having the characters be most concerned about figuring out why the ghost is so troubled, without being very scared at all.
  8. BingFan

    The Cast Of The Old Dark House (1932)

    I agree that The Old Dark House has a fantastic cast and talented director. But I can't quite grasp why it's considered a great horror film. My wife fondly remembered the 1963 re-make (featuring Robert Morley, Joyce Grenfell, and Tom Poston), so when the 1932 version became available on DVD, we made sure to watch it. (I still haven't seen the 1963 version.) We both felt that the story in the 1932 version really let down the great cast. In sum, not much seems to happen. What are we missing? I'd love to get out our DVD again and watch for the features that make so many other folks enjoy The Old Dark House.
  9. BingFan

    Another "Best Years" query....

    You're right that Aunt Milly in the Andy Hardy series lived with her sister's family, but she didn't need anyone's charity. She was a schoolteacher, earning her own living -- in The Hardys Ride High, she mentions that she's saved something like $4,000, so she was obviously able to support herself. (They never say whether she contributes to the household budget, but I would guess that she does.) Along with Judge Hardy, Aunt Milly was a fount of sensible thinking, much more so than her slightly ditzy but sweet sister, Emily Hardy. Milly is the series' career woman. But why is she living with Emily's family, if she can support herself? Well, schoolteachers don't make much money. I can imagine the conversation between her and the Hardys, with James and Emily saying that they have plenty of room for Milly to move in, so that she doesn't have to live in a small apartment or rooming house. James may even have whispered to Milly that she'd be a "comfort" to Emily, who tends to worry a lot. If you want an example from the Hardy series of an unmarried woman being supported by her family, it's Andy's sister, Marion. In the first episode, A Family Affair, she comes home from college, so she's clearly well educated. But except for one later episode, in which Marion gets a secretarial job with an aluminum company that turns out to be a sham, and another episode in which she says she's interested in "social service" work, Marion doesn't seem very career-oriented. She seems to be mainly focused on looking for someone to marry, which may have been a somewhat realistic portrayal in that era. At no point do her parents urge her to find a career, so it must have been acceptable for a single daughter to stay with her family until she married. Isn't Teresa Wright's character in Shadow of a Doubt another example of an unmarried young adult woman living with her family but not working outside the home?
  10. BingFan

    Getting It Right

    I'm a big, big fan of both Leave It To Beaver and American Graffiti, but I never thought about the identical prank being featured in both -- thanks for making that connection! Maybe this was a well-known prank in the early 60s, one that both the LITB writers and George Lucas would have been familiar with. Here are Fred and Lumpy Rutherford examining the car, post-prank:
  11. Criterion is having a 50% off "flash" sale, from noon on Oct. 16, 2018 to noon on Oct. 17, 2018: NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER 16, 2018 For the next 24 hours at the new, all in-stock Blu-rays and DVDs are 50% off SRP. No promo code needed! Check out our real-time dashboard for top sellers and curated categories like Director-Approved Editions, Staff Picks, Chills and Thrills, Documentaries, and more! Themes will be updated hourly to help you choose from our growing library of over 950 films. The sale ends at noon ET tomorrow, October 17, so don’t delay! PS: Please select your desired format (Blu-ray or DVD) when ordering as we can’t change or cancel orders once received. Note that we only ship within the United States and to Canada. For further information on Criterion and our products, please visit our website at If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to be added, please click here to register at To unsubscribe, click here. © 2018 The Criterion Collection.
  12. BingFan

    Getting It Right

    I think you're right that a Beach Boys song is playing during that scene between Milner and young Carol in his car. But isn't the song "Surfin' Safari"? It definitely fits the scene as you describe it. There are two BB songs in the movie, and the other one, "All Summer Long," is at the very end of the movie, after Milner wrecks his car in the drag race , if I remember correctly. (It's been a few years since I last saw American Graffiti, so I could be wrong.)
  13. BingFan

    Your Favorite Van Helsing In Film

    I haven't seen all of these portrayals, but I did enjoy Edward Van Sloan and Anthony Hopkins in the role. But my favorite Van Helsing has to be one that almost no one saw. Many years ago, I played the title role in an amateur stage production of Dracula. (Believe me, it was not the beginning of an illustrious acting career.) A friend of mine was Van Helsing. During one performance, when the scene came in which I, as Dracula, menaced him, our Van Helsing found that he'd forgotten to put the small silver prop cross in his vest pocket. Without the cross, how was Van Helsing going to drive Dracula away?? After a tense and awkward moment that seemed to go on forever, my friend formed a cross with his two index fingers and held them up in my face. I recoiled dramatically, and the scene played out more or less as it was supposed to. Had my friend Van Helsing not had the presence of mind to figure out how to correct his oversight, that scene would have been a total disaster! He saved the scene and, perhaps, the whole play. And that's why he's my favorite Van Helsing.
  14. BingFan

    Getting It Right

    According to Wikipedia, American Graffiti is set at the beginning of Sept. 1962, right at the end of the summer. Also according to Wikipedia, all of the songs in the movie except one were released by then. The one exception is the last song in the movie, "All Summer Long" by the Beach Boys, which was released in 1964. I don't like this kind of historical anachronism myself, but in this case, I'm willing to give it a pass. For me, "All Summer Long" has exactly the right spirit for that point in the movie.
  15. Paul is a very good drummer and played drums on some notable recordings: "The Ballad of John and Yoko," on which only he and John appeared, as well as his own "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Band on the Run," and probably others that I'm not remembering at the moment. There's an apparently apocryphal story connected to Paul's drumming. Lennon was supposedly asked if Ringo was the best rock drummer, and John supposedly quipped in reply, "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles." I believe John disavowed ever saying that and, in fact, loved Ringo's drumming. But it's kind of funny, if obviously unfair to the great Ringo. The Beatles didn't often bring in other musicians to play with them -- Eric Clapton (guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), Billy Preston (electric piano on "Get Back" and other sessions), Nicky Hopkins (electric piano on "Revolution"), and some horn, string, and Indian players were among the rare outsiders who played with the band. (Beatles producer George Martin also played keyboards on at least one song -- "In My Life".) There was an instance of Ringo being replaced by a studio musician, however -- on their first record, "Love Me Do." After an early take, George Martin apparently didn't think Ringo was up to playing on the record and replaced him with studio musician Andy White. (In fairness to Ringo, he'd only joined the band two weeks earlier.) Early pressings of the single, however, used the take with Ringo, while later pressings and the "Please Please Me" album used the version with White. I believe Martin later joked that Ringo never let him forget the slight, but the two men got along well after that first snag. But other bands used studio musicians routinely -- the Beach Boys being a prime example, where some of their most well known records (e.g., the masterpiece "Pet Sounds" album) had almost all instruments played by studio musicians, with the Beach Boys handling the vocals. Brian Wilson, the BB mastermind, had his favorite musicians, based not only on how well they played but also on how easy they were to work with. One guitarist -- whose name I can't recall at the moment -- was once called by Wilson for a Sunday session. The guitarist tried to politely decline, saying that he was taking care of his small son that day. Wilson replied that the guitarist's son could come along and told him to bring his electric 12-string guitar. The guitarist said he didn't have an electric 12-string. Wilson replied that that'd be no problem and then asked the owner of a major LA music shop to open up on that Sunday. (The shop owner: Glenn Wallichs, co-founder with Johnny Mercer of Capitol Records.) They went down to the shop, picked out a guitar and amplifier, and then went to the studio for the recording. After the session, Wilson gave the guitarist several hundred dollars in cash, along with the new guitar and amp. The guitarist, who told this story, was very happy that he'd been flexible about the weekend work with Brian. And his playing ended up on one of the greatest albums of all time, "Pet Sounds."

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