finfan

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  1. When are we going to learn about the choreographers that made these dancers look so great? Who was Hermes Pan and why did Fred Astaire like to work with him? Did Michael Kidd dance in other movies besides It's Always Fair Weather before he choreographed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Did you have to be Fred or Gene in order to collaborate with your choreographer? Were the dance careers of Cyd Charisse and Ann Miller limited because they were taller than Gene and a lot of other male dancers? And composers - I know The Trolley Song was written knowing that Judy Garland would sing it, but how many other songs were written with a specific talent in mind?
  2. 1. No, the ending ballet sequence is his dream of what his love would have been like with Lisa. Dream sequences in musicals always have an otherworldly quality to them, regardless of the preceding or following movie plot. 2. The reason Jerry is likeable in this scene is that he is integrated into Paris life, unlike the other two Americans, the art student and the rich woman. He knows and speaks to the people around him (en Francais); you can tell he has a sense of humor by the double-take he makes when he sees the Winston Churchill-like painter; and he seems surprised that anyone would buy his art (a trace of modesty). He gives the art student a hard time and Milo because he knows their types - people who skim the surface of the Paris experience without interacting with the natives.
  3. 1. I have always thought Donald O'Connor was underrated. His gifts as a dancer are really apparent in this sequence where he matches the lauded Gene Kelly step for step. Not that I'm knocking Gene Kelly, but in this movie he plays a character pretty full of himself and a little of that comes out in this number. Gene's arm motions may be slightly smoother, but I like the energy and genuineness of Donald O'Connor. Donald is the lead in some movie with Vera Ellen playing a princess he meets in the catacombs and he does a stunning number where he dances with balloons. Maybe someone can help remind me of the movie's title - Ah, it is Call Me Madam. 2. The straight man is always hard to play, but he has priceless facial expressions reacting to Gene and Donald, particularly when he catches Donald mimicking him. 3. Gene - the handsome, hammy leading man. Even when he just reads the first part of "Moses Supposes", he does it with that melodramatic inflection from the silent era. Donald - the clown. Second lead because he is less handsome, not less talented. As the best-friend sidekick, he brings the comic relief, but I am glad he is included as part of the threesome in the "Good Morning" number. The Professor - an object of scorn and ridicule (emasculated) because of his fussy mannerisms and because of the ridiculous tongue twisters he is trying to teach.
  4. 3. Grant is playing close to type, his usual suave and debonair fellow, but this one has a lot of menace. In this scene, he stands over Alicia trying to make her drink the bromide. He continues to menace her in a polite way to get her to work for them - he wants something from her. Before this scene, he even punched her in the car so he could drive! Only Cary Grant could get away with punching Ingrid Bergman. This is like him pushing Katharine Hepburn down at the beginning of The Philadelphia Story. We like him so much, he gets away with it without us hating him. Bergman is playing strongly against type as the slutty party girl. She usually plays so wholesome - even in Intermezzo when she is the other woman, she is forthright and healthy about it and is in no way the seductress. She is the muse for Paul Henreid in Casablanca and only had an affair with Rick because she thought her husband was dead. So even though she is deeply sensual, she always had ethics about it. You sense she doesn't even like herself at the beginning of Notorious. Claude Rains is great, but the really creepy villain in this movie is Madame Constantin. She just makes your skin crawl in her scenes; she is so diabolical.
  5. finfan

    Happy birthday, Buster Keaton

    I finally get what all the fuss is about with Buster Keaton. I knew he was good at pratfalls, but this month has taught me how expressive his eyes are and how funny he really was. Thanks for giving us Buster as SOTM!
  6. finfan

    BASIC QUESTION; WHY DO YOU LIKE OLD MOVIES/

    Old movies take me back to a time when I was becoming an adult. Staying up watching the Late Show of old movies after the evening news, I had the living room to myself. When I babysat, old movies were my company after I put the kids to bed. I remember watching SO PROUDLY WE HAIL with Claudette Colbert and George Reeve and having the first stirrings of romantic longing. Old movies have great plots and it's great to see more than one woman in a film. Another thing I love about seeing the old movies on TCM is the chance to watch the "journeymen" supporting actors make their contributions in a wide variety of roles over a long period of years.
  7. finfan

    Jean Simmons, Star of the Month

    I agree THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER would have been a great addition to the Jean Simmons SOTM tribute. It's the perfect Sunday afternoon movie, with a charming performance by Jean Simmons as the impish friend of Deborah Kerr, who is "perfectly typecast" as the lady of the manor, married to Cary Grant (also perfect typecasting) and having an affair with Robert Mitchum. It is very funny, witty, and even the butler is intriguing. I always like to think Ms.Kerr in this role is the wife Cary is returning to at the end of his last movie , WALK, DON'T RUN.

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