DougieB

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  1. DougieB

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    Yes, please.
  2. DougieB

    Groovy Movies!

    The "Mondo" series of films reminded me of The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968) in which "tour guide" Jayne surveys European nightlife as she twists and frugs to Rocky Roberts and the Airdailes and a topless female rock band. Throw in a nude beach, roadside hookers and some drag queens and you've got yourself a "groovy" movie.
  3. DougieB

    CLEOPATRA (1963) - why the hate?

    I agree that The American Dream is "the dizzy limit", and that can be mostly laid at the feet of author Norman Mailer. The opening scene with Eleanor Parker as the purportedly "castrating" ex-wife basically going mad onscreen and finally going out the window to her death is the starkest kind of slander on the female sex I can recall seeing on film. His own foray into directing, Maidstone, which he self-described as "guerilla filmmaking", showed the same almost gleeful descent into misogynistic nuttiness. I've seen The American Dream once and that's enough, and I'm someone who often returns again and again to movies I like.
  4. DougieB

    A Very English Scandal

    It's available with Amazon Prime. I finally saw it there and there are terrific performances all around. Also Man in Orange Shirt, for anyone who missed that.
  5. As far as insults go, miki, many of us here remember that your escalating and increasingly personal and nasty insults to fellow posters are what sent your "Opinions of a Naysayer" thread into TCM oblivion. We know you love to rumble, but this time around it isn't your turf, so maybe show a little more restraint. It would be different if you had anything new to say but....
  6. DougieB

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    Disney was always very strategic about releasing their films to home video, both VHS and DVD. Major releases, such as the great animated features, were released for a limited time and then withdrawn, signaling to parents that unless they wanted to endure the wrath of their kids they should buy it NOW. That whole model has changed since those days, but I bet Disney will still find ways to put an element of suspense into their releasing strategy, keeping the primo stuff in the "Vault", so that each one they let out temporarily becomes an event. I'm not exactly sure how that would transfer to the Fox catalog, except to note that they can now shelve the Star Wars movies whenever they feel like it, waiting for a new generation with a pent-up demand. I'd been thinking Disney may have been after Shirley Temple, but now I'm realizing that after securing the right to make future Star Wars films, they now get the old ones too. Speaking of Shirley, any bets that we'll still be able to see black-and-white Shirley? Black and white seems to be anathema to so many young people now that I'd be willing to bet it will be colorized Shirley all the way. And will Miracle on 34th St. be hoarded even more than it is now? I'm hoping that the general bias against "old" anything, including films, would encourage Disney to make the old Fox films easily accessible to their dwindling audience (us), because otherwise they don't have many options for profiting from them. Disney will need us because we're the ones who put a value on what they have.
  7. DougieB

    Rare Movies/TV Appearances

    The trailer was posted on YouTube six years ago, with a claim at the end that it would soon be released on DVD. Either that didn't happen or it went out of circulation almost immediately. But at least it's a taste of how Jane appeared in the movie, which overall seems to be very low-budget, even more so than Lana Turner's late-career "counterculture" epic, The Big Cube, which TCM has shown at least twice.
  8. DougieB

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    Yikes! Too precious for words, or at least words I want to use here.
  9. DougieB

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    I wonder if any of this is motivated by Disney's desire to get their hands on Shirley Temple. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Shirley's image everywhere now. Also, all those Alice Faye/Betty Grable Technicolor musicals would sure fit the Disney brand.
  10. DougieB

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    I got to appreciate Fox films when Saturday Night at the Movies premiered on NBC in the early 1960's. It was the first time recent and/or major films were shown on network television on a regular basis. Later, ABC contracted to show United Artists films on Sunday nights, but the NBC deal with Fox was the first. I'd seen one Marilyn Monroe movie in a theater, but that was my chance to see the rest of her major films. I remember being thrilled to see The Day the Earth Stood Still because I'd been too young to see it when it was released. There were so many good comedy and adventure films (I wasn't yet a real fan of dramas.) that Fox is inextricably embedded in memories of my youth. So that will always be my image of the Fox studio too. None of the studios are now what they were then, being more brokers than anything else, and studio heads seem to change fairly regularly, so there's not the same kind of individualized product. So, in a sense, I'm not all that sure it matters what umbrella any of them fall under. I'm also mad at Fox for not taking better care of their film legacy. There still aren't major widescreen restorations of some of their films, a real sin because they were the pioneers of CinemaScope and basically browbeat neighborhood mom-and-pop theaters into refitting for widescreen, a significant financial burden at the time. I love widescreen in all its forms, so I'm glad it worked out, but for years now Fox has been very cavalier about maintaining the legacy they helped to create. If Disney is willing to do some of that work, I wouldn't be unhappy about it. But I'm mad at Disney too. Every time I see storm troopers marching behind Disney princesses in their parades, my head explodes.
  11. DougieB

    Boom! (1968) - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton

    I'll concede that. I was thinking of Joseph Losey's highly stylized direction and visual style combined with over-the-top production values, as well as eccentric casting choices like Noel Coward and Michael Dunn. I get that nowadays "high concept" means "King Kong meets Terms of Endearment", a facile precis to sell a package.
  12. DougieB

    Boom! (1968) - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton

    Good homework. I don't know where Margaret Leighton came from....some weird memory ripple. Apparently Williams was constantly revising stuff. Truman Capote told about visiting Williams once (when they were both living in New York, I think) and he was reworking a scene for Streetcar, many years after it had premiered on Broadway and presumably been set in stone. Tab wrote about that production with Tallulah in his book. Older woman/younger man makes so much more sense for casting, so someone like Michael Parks is a good idea. Richard Burton was too time-worn, to put it kindly. Ingrid did something similar in Vincente Minnelli's last film, A Matter of Time, as a woman haunted by her past and anticipating her end. The film around her didn't hold up all that well, but she herself was luminous, already half on the side of the angels, which is what I think the character of Sissy calls for as well, a woman with a foot in both realms. (Camille-like, in your words.)
  13. DougieB

    Boom! (1968) - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton

    So many films probably would have been better with Vivien Leigh in them. Plus it seems as though she had a special affinity for Williams' material. Liz was really good in Suddenly Last Summer but the really "Williamsy" characters were Sebastian's mother and aunt, not so much Cathy. I think Margaret Leighton originated the role of Sissy on stage and someone of her caliber might have been better, though she wasn't much of a (movie) marquee name. I agree that backstory-through-dialogue, which is fairly standard in theater, isn't as satisfying on film, where there are so many narrative alternatives. BOOM moves around from room to room and patio to patio, but it never really loses that set-bound feel, as you stated. Definitely an arthouse film, as you said. Very high concept. You're so right that the irreverence links it to Reflections in a Golden Eye. That's one of Liz' de-glammed roles that I hadn't thought of, in which she proved beyond a doubt she could survive without all the designer duds and jewelry.
  14. DougieB

    Boom! (1968) - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton

    I think you're right that past pairings of Taylor and Burton were used as reference points; so often Williams was the imitated, but here he became the imitator. The most troublesome visual reference would be from The VIP's, because Liz is, as you said, supposed to be "older, lonelier, more desperate" (and, specifically, sicker), yet she appears in all her jet-set finery, without much hint other than those bloody handkerchiefs and occasional injections that she's about to meet her maker. Liz was capable of deglamming (ie: Virginia Woolf), so it's all the more disappointing that she not only didn't in BOOM but went so determinedly in the other direction (that disco ball headpiece), undermining the credibility of the whole enterprise. Overall, I'm a fan, but Elizabeth often went the "My fans want to see me in jewels and gowns" route that other movie divas have fallen victim to and that look wasn't appropriate in every situation. In The Sandpiper as an off-the-grid artist and in The Only Game in Town as a "working girl" chorus dancer she appeared professionally coiffed, made up, and costumed, instantly making her less than credible in what were intended to be "serious" roles. It showed that Liz wasn't really interested in falling in line with new trends and standards in filmmaking which began to emerge in the 1960's and BOOM is an example of that. Maybe it was part of Williams' point that not even the ultraglamorous are spared the inevitability of death, but the visuals seemed to me to be too often at odds with the script.
  15. DougieB

    Starring Madeline Kahn

    I'm not a huge fan of What's Up, Doc?; the endlessly switching suitcases are just too tiresome. Plus TCM has shown it at least a couple of times recently. I'd much rather see Paper Moon, with Madeline as the appropriately named Trixie Delight. She a total hoot ("This little mama's got to winky tink."), but she pulls off a really touching scene where she tells Tatum O'Neal not to worry and just be patient; she won't be around long because she can never seem to hold onto a man.

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