mndean4709

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About mndean4709

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  1. mndean4709

    Favorite ditzy blonde

    I never considered Iris Adrian ditzy. I'd call her brassy, even when she was a semi-regular on Jack Benny's TV show.
  2. mndean4709

    10 new pre-codes on dvd this week

    > {quote:title=racketbuster wrote:}{quote} > > I see that in "Road To Paradise," she plays twin roles -- a girl who falls in with gangsters and a wealthy socialite. Since I've never seen the film, I don't know if there are any scenes featuring both Lorettas. > I just watched the sample segment of that one, and yes they are on screen at the same time. the funny thing is, i can't figure out how they did it! Some scene clips of the two Lorettas look like could have been achieved by having a movie screen projection as a background, but other clips look too seamless to be done that way. most could not have been splitscreen either, because the male actor in between them crosses the "line". hmmm. Loretta lookalike (her sister?) in the background shots? i'll have to get the movie just so i can figure out all the special effects. I haven't seen the Road To Paradise clip, but it's probably the same technique that was done in the 1932 Paramount film Strangers In Love, where Fredric March gets in a fight with himself.
  3. mndean4709

    Paper money in old movies

    I believe I've seen American currency at least in silents. For one, The High Sign looks to have genuine bills in the till. Also, the Secret Service reasoning is actually pretty dumb. Anyone with an 8x10 camera could photograph both sides of a bill in much more detail than a cine camera, at 1:1 magnification and using filters to remove certain colors printed. All fairly basic photographic knowledge in the old days. I tend to believe fear of sticky-fingered actors was much more a reason for studios to have stage money. I mean, if you hired Jack Benny, would you want real money around? (old, old joke)
  4. > {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote} > > {quote:title=Rickey wrote: > > }{quote}I've liked Charley Ruggles in everything I've seen him in, great character actor that adds some comic relief very effectively. > I usually like him too, but have you seen MURDERS IN THE ZOO (1933)? There's WAY too much of his alleged comedy relief and he almost spoils the horror mood. I swear this was done intentionally to keep it from being unrelievedly gruesome. Ruggles didn't have to play it that way (I've seen him do far less two-reel comic bumbling in other films), so my guess is that he was directed to do so. Take him out of the script and it is one sick film (and I would prefer it that way).
  5. mndean4709

    Who was the best Arsene Lupin?

    > {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote} > Warren William would definitely have been an interesting choice. Now that I think about it, I wish I could have seen him play the part in a movie or serial. William would have been a good choice inasmuch as he could do cold and egotistical very well, and those were two properties of Lupin in the novels. Physically he's pretty close (tall, fairly thin). Any Robin Hood qualities are kind of done away with since he keeps most of what he steals. The Lone Wolf series is really a lot more Lupin than the MGM films.
  6. mndean4709

    Help identify this Pre-Code

    > {quote:title=perfectpawn wrote:}{quote} > Thanks for the responses. I'd tried the "customers also recommend" on Amazon but it was a bust. However the "Let's Go Native" thread below makes me suspect that this movie indeed was the movie I read about (and so thanks to musicalnovelty for suggesting it), as the recap in the other thread sounds a bit like the summary I read of this mysterious film. The only thing is...the film I read about, I'm certain there was a vhs of it, because I remember reading reader reviews on Amazon. Yet there doesn't appear to be a vhs release of "Let's Go Native;" there certainly isn't one listed on Amazon. So for now I'll just let it go. Thanks! Pretty sure this was never on VHS in the US. Maybe elsewhere - you wouldn't believe what got released in Europe that never made it here.
  7. mndean4709

    ANN CARVER'S PROFESSION (1933)

    > {quote:title=njpaddy wrote:}{quote} > I didn't really care for Fay or the film. My wife, on the other hand, who's not a Fay Wray or pre-code fan, enjoyed it. Go figure. I did enjoy Fay's guinea hen line. Only in pre-code. I found the courtroom scene pretty nauseating - it reminded me of the old "one drop of blood" rule for determining race, and the assumption that since the plaintiff may have been trying to pass, that relieves the (really eager) defendant (honestly, when she pulled her strap down, I thought he might jump her) of any breach of promise obligation. Fay does have a tendency to be kind of arch, but I don't think I would have enjoyed this film with anyone else in the lead role, either. It was a stock career woman film, and less enlightened than a lot of other precodes.
  8. > {quote:title=gagman66 wrote:}{quote} > ziggyelman, > > I couldn't agree more. Ad's for older movies are virtually non-existent. The films for the most part are not on Television, except for TCM. And many young people honestly have no concept of what even makes a good movie. They have grown up on garbage. Amusingly, another cable station has been running a lot of '80s blockbusters that I saw in the multiplexes and after a steady diet of classics, it's amazing to me how bad some of those '80s films seem now.
  9. mndean4709

    Reading New Book: "Clark Gable: Tormented Star"!

    > {quote:title=chandler5710 wrote:}{quote} > Well, the fan mags did build on something true to write the story - Tyrone Power told Mai Zetterling that those stories always had some truth to them. When I first started working for a biographer, he wanted some fan magazines, and I questioned it, and he said, well, the basis for the stories is usually factual. Yes, but which part is true? Any truth in them usually has to be teased out through other sources. I recently read a fan-mag profile of Lee Tracy (I specialize in precode era), and one thing stuck out - the claim that he wasn't a drinker. When you see a claim that's an obvious lie, I don't see how you can't trust anything in the rest of the story without other sourcing.
  10. mndean4709

    Monday is MARION DAVIES

    They've shown Marion's films last year as well. I had about half of the day's schedule already recorded before. The only real disappointment this time around was Page Miss Glory. It really was too noisy for me, Dick Powell acted as a smitten imbecile, and the film contained a totally unnecessary subplot with Barton MacLane and Allen Jenkins. There was a good idea behind the film, but it wasn't developed well. Ever Since Eve was a nice surprise, though.
  11. mndean4709

    Reading New Book: "Clark Gable: Tormented Star"!

    > {quote:title=chandler5710 wrote:}{quote} > Stars' families cannot take biographers to court - as someone else said, once you're dead, someone can say whatever they want about you with no consequences. You can bet that his Doris Day book didn't have one untrue comment in it, because she could sue, and the publisher's lawyers wouldn't have let anything like that go. When it comes to dead stars, they don't care if you make it up. > > No real biography is based on hearsay and speculation. No legit bio is so based, but unfortunately many of the better sellers are (as you've shown). Critics will lace them, but it doesn't matter much. Sales are made on scandal. I'm really stunned that few knew that you cannot libel the dead. I'm hardly a lawyer and I've known that for 25 years. Better books, as long as they show an actor/producer/director as a real person, I'm fine with them, even if the writing is turgid. It's the psychoanalysis of the dead that really annoys me, and is often a feature of bad bios. There are lots of interesting bits out there if you like researching the past. I remember reading a contemporaneous story in a Kansas City newspaper about the tiffs and egos on the set of Wonder Bar, which was then opening. If it was a studio plant, it had to be the most disastrous one I've ever seen, as it razzed the star Al Jolson mercilessly and made it seem most of the actors were unhappy with the picture. Not a great ad for a big musical. Bits and pieces like that are often much more fun to read, not because it's real juicy scandal, but due to figuring who on earth would have bothered printing the story and why. Fan mags are often useless (I've seen a number of their articles which whitewash the peccadilloes of actors), but you do see how the studio machine would ascribe a personality and image to an actor and build on that for publicity.
  12. mndean4709

    Reading New Book: "Clark Gable: Tormented Star"!

    > {quote:title=georgiegirl wrote:}{quote} > And what do most other bio writers have to go on? Unless it's autobiographical, all bios are hearsay and speculation. They do research, speak to family and friends, read letters to and from, and review newpaper articles, etc. I doubt this Bret just pulled this stuff out of his head and wrote it down. I'd bet he did research, just as others do, and came to his own conclusion. I searched him online and as far as I can see, he's never been taken to court by present family members of the stars he's written about, and, my God, there are plenty! He did do a book on a living legend, Doris Day, and that seems to have gone without a hitch. > > I have never read any of his books, don't plan on it now that I got the gist of this Gable expose, but some authors take the high road, others not so much, but that's life. It still boils down to folks getting upset over this man speaking out on the possible flip side of our icons and what we deem as unacceptable behavior. Which, in realilty, for some is everyday life and as normal as good old apple pie. Problem is, there's precious little difference between "intuition" and "fabrication" for some writers when dealing with a dead subject. One I remember from a few years back - Marion Meade pulled a real honey out when she all but said Buster Keaton was illiterate (no, it doesn't make any sense). Contra being sued, the dead cannot be libeled. A writer can really go to town on a dead star, and it's not in the least actionable. Someone could write that Humphrey Bogart had no use for Mayo Methot except as a beard, and his real longtime lover was Allen Jenkins, and nobody could do a thing (except point and laugh at the writer). Whenever you see the words "tormented" in the title of a bio, be ready for a wild ride of psychosexual speculation. A number of biographers have a bad habit of putting too much of their own neuroses into a book and not being objective. Some end up writing books that read like they're chipping a marble statue to the subject. Others who usually sell better try to dig up any old piece of scandal associated with their subject and make them into an image of something only they see. Understand, there's plenty of Hollywood gossip that's true, but also much more that's false or misrepresented. On autobiographies, I usually read people who were at the margins of Hollywood rather than the stars. They tend to be more incisive and honest. On bios, you just gotta look at the track record of the writer. How anyone believed anything in Hollywood Babylon is beyond me. It's almost the perfect self-negating book. If some pieces were true, it was impossible to separate from the stench of the absurdly phony.
  13. mndean4709

    Reading New Book: "Clark Gable: Tormented Star"!

    > {quote:title=ziggyelman wrote:}{quote} > *his affairs with men, such as the actors Earl Larimore, Johnny Mack Brown, William Haines, and Rod LaRocque men whom Gable outed to the press to prevent himself from being outed.* > > Huh??? Does that make any sense??? Umm, you caught me so I will umm.. out some other guys that are gay if you don't out me??? I am sure it was quite the shock for folks to find out Haines was gay! > > As for the writer, as mentioned above, his books are almost always trashed, and boy is he thin skinned! > > http://lisaburks.typepad.com/jeanharlow/2009/05/tarnished-.html Another hatchet-job bio? Color me surprised. Too many are either hagiographies or of the mudslinging angle. Good bios don't come along that often. Unfortunately it now recalls Carole Lombard's famous line about him.
  14. mndean4709

    Does TCM show the best prints?

    > {quote:title=VonFrankenhausen wrote:}{quote} > I'm sure that they try but are they tryig hard enough? Take yesterday's showing of George Pal's groundbreaking sci-fi classic Destination Moon shot in technicolor. The colors are somewhat faded to but it mildly and the hues are terrible. Hell, I've downloaded Destination Moon myself and put it through VirtualDub, made adjustments to brightness and contrast as well as tint and what I got on a vcd looks a helluva better than TCM's lousy print. Often it's a matter of showing a lousy print or no print at all. If the studio sends TCM a bad print, TCM can ask for a better print to be made available, but there's no guarantee the studio has one, even for major Technicolor films. Read about all the restoration work that had to be done to Vertigo sometime. There are times when even private 35mm film collectors have better prints in their collection than the studios have. Me, I'd rather see something than nothing.
  15. mndean4709

    Ma and Pa Kettle stink

    > {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote} > > {quote:title=mndean4709 wrote:}{quote}> In what way is what you just wrote any better than what zasupittsfan wrote? > > I wasn't trying for "any better" but then I was also stating to zasupittsfan I would not start an entire thread about ZaSu Pitts called "ZaSu Pitts stinks" and starting it out with one post that simply said, "Boring!" I would speak a lot more if I was starting such a negative thread...but I don't like starting negative threads like the OP. If anything, starting a negative thread, inserting a one word opening post and then never taking part in any followup conversation coming from that is akin to somethng a hit and run troll would do. What's your beef? It may be a hit and run troll or someone with a terse explanation of how they felt. Remember, brevity is the soul of wit (which make us both, or at least me, witless). Not everyone knows these sorts of films (the hick small-town B comedy) were a staple especially into the '40s and '50s. I grew up on them as a small child. What I mean is why is one diss any better than another? It'd been better to call troll instead of going after another well-liked actor (just because of the OP's nick), thus perhaps precipitating another, even more irrelevant argument. As I mentioned earlier, I can't dismiss the films because they were a lot better put together than other, similar B's I've seen, but they really should have been spaced out more so the corn didn't grow too thick. Series films often have the problem that seeing many of them in one go is kind of an enervating experience. Contra the Kettle films, the Perry Masons didn't have that issue, as they were very different in tone and/or actors and so can be watched without growing boredom. The Kettle films originally came out around once a year, so your Kettle does was monitored and you couldn't OD on them.

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