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About AndyM108

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    Kensington, MD
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    sports, movies, political issues
  1. Where the hell is "Solaris"?

    Well, I've never watched it live in the wee hours when it's usually shown, but I have watched my DVD recording of it all the way through. I find it a lot easier to get through in one sitting than GWTW, probably because I find the story far more compelling. I made it through GWTW in a theater when I was in my early 20's and had no way of escaping, but ever since then I've had to chop it up into 3 or 4 parts in order to make it to IDGAD. I do, however, have fond memories of the turnip that served as Scarlett's Bible when she swore she'd never go hungry again. One of the great scenes in film history. Or was it a yam? It was a long time ago.
  2. Classics you can watch over and over

    Yeah, I realize that NBNW gets more flack around here than most titles, but I think that's more because of its over-the-top number of screenings than it is about the movie itself. I read Dreiser's Sister Carrie many years ago, and the Olivier/Jones movie has to be one of the very best film adaptations of a great novel that I've yet to see. About the only one I can think of off the top of my head that might match it would be the Claire Bloom / Anthony Hopkins version of A Doll's House, which of course was a play. I'm not much of an Olivier fan, but his performance here was Oscarworthy in spades. As for my long absence here, it wasn't intentional. For some reason that was never explained, I woke up one day and was unable to sign in. Something about not being welcome, can't remember the exact wording. I tried contacting someone for an explanation, but hit one dead end after another. But then after having unsuccessfully tried again every few months, all of a sudden I discovered that for whatever other reason, I could now sign in again! I feel a bit like some wrongly convicted prisoner whose sentence has just been commuted by the governor, but that's all water under the bridge at this point.
  3. Classics you can watch over and over

    I could list many dozens of gangsters/noirs/mob movies, silents and foreign films, but skipping those three premium categories, here are a few off the top of my head that I've yet to get tired of, at least if I restrict myself to one viewing every year or two: All About Eve Bringing Up Baby Libeled Lady Bombshell His Girl Friday North By Northwest Vertigo Charade Marnie It's a Wonderful Life The Search A Star Is Born (1954) So Big (Stanwyck version) Stella Dallas The Producers Reefer Madness 42nd Street Middle of the Night The Garment Jungle The Hard Way Roughly Speaking Time Limit Witness For The Prosecution The Best Years of Our Lives Carrie (1952) .................................................... Okay, this is ridiculous. WAY too many movies to list, and I could go on forever. But 25 is at least a start. And I apologize for not elaborating, but right now I'm on a time budget.
  4. Where the hell is "Solaris"?

    Love silents and like your list, and though I could list many more, I'll stick with 15 of my favorites in chronological order: 1. Traffic in Souls (1913) A melodrama about a leading civic reformer who runs an abortion ring on the side 2. The Hoodlum (1919) My favorite Mary Pickford film 3. The Penalty (1921) My favorite Lon Chaney (which is saying a lot), the story of a gangster made legless as a child by a quack doctor who then spends most of the film plotting his revenge against the quack 4. Within Our Gates (1920) My favorite Oscar Micheaux film, a melodrama centered around The Great Migration 5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923). Love Charles Laughton's later version, but Chaney's silent is every bit its equal 6. Lady of the Night (1925) This one was a real eye-opener, seeing Norma Shearer for the first time in a role with a powerful dramatic punch 7. Greed (1924) The 4 hour version only makes me wish I could see the long lost much longer film 8. Scar of Shame (1927) One of the earliest features with an all-black cast made for a black audience. Typical melodrama but powerfully played 9. Speedy (1928) I could watch this film over and over, if for nothing else than the scene where Lloyd breaks every traffic law there is in racing Babe Ruth in a taxi from downtown to Yankee Stadium, nearly killing the poor Babe about half a dozen times along the way 10. The Crowd (1928) Simply a beautiful film about how life can knock you down, but you just get up and keep going 11. The Racket (1928) My favorite silent gangster movie. Louis Wolheim (the gangster) and Thomas Meighan (the incorruptible cop) play off each other perfectly 12. A Lady of Chance (1928) A second Norma Shearer silent that's even better than Lady of the Night. She plays a con woman who gets a case of conscience, and only perhaps Barbara Stanwyck could've ever matched her performance 13. The Godless Girl (1929) A feature film with an atheist girl as its protagonist!----Although I think you can guess the ending 14. Pandora's Box (1929) The G.W. Pabst silent German classic that put the Kansas-born Louise Brooks on the road to international stardom. This is a film that couldn't have possibly been made in the Hollywood of its time. 15. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) IMO an even better pairing of director Pabst and siren Brooks, a searing look at the underbelly of Weimar Germany and its hypocritical sexual mores One of the many beauties of this list is that EVERY ONE OF THEM was first introduced to me via TCM.
  5. Where the hell is "Solaris"?

    I've lost count of how many times the website schedule has been off. It'll list a 154 minute midnight movie and show the next one as starting at 2:30. It's not that big a deal if you're able to watch it live, but it can sure mess you up if you're trying to record consecutive movies overnight and you want to put them on separate tracks. The mixup with Greed was only the latest example. IMO the problem is that there's no single person to contact about these screwups, some of which can still be listed on the website right up to the point where the movie has begun. In fact if you look at the website's schedule for last night, Solaris is STILL listed at 2:15! Bottom line, folks: If you're looking to watch anything on TCM, check your TV's program guide rather than simply assuming the website knows what it's doing.
  6. I've stopped watching TCM as much as I did a few years ago, but that's because there are relatively few premieres. After a while I can only see the same movies so many times, and anyway I record all the ones I wanted to on DVDs. But if I could turn back the clock 10 years, I'd be as addicted as ever. As to the point about rose colored glasses, it's mostly true, though not always, and it does seem that TCM overloads the schedule at times with frothy musicals and other escapist fare, not to mention the fact that 90% of the dramas from the heart of the Breen era (and even in the pre-code era) wind up with the boy and the girl either getting married or planning to do so in the near future. Not exactly the most realistic take on most relationships. But here's one way to ease any angst about seeing all those "Happy Endings, Nice and Tidy", as the ending of The Threepenny Opera put it: Pretend you're an anthropologist with a time machine. You might not learn all that much about the real life of the 30's through the 60's by watching most of the popular movies of those decades, but you will get a pretty good sense of what mass audiences aspired to, and the values society (as seen through the Hollywood lens) was trying to project. And that's not a bad thing to know. In many ways the American past is every bit as much of a foreign country as Belarus or Bangladesh, and the more successive generations can learn about it the better. This is an added virtue of TCM that goes beyond the pure enjoyment we get from many of the great films that they show.
  7. MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

    To be honest, I don't know, but it appears that the only variant she used was "Mandy Randolph", which is what she used for Swing!
  8. MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

    Here's something I just noticed while watching Swing! The actress (Mandy Randolph) who played the Birmingham town gossip, Liza Freeman, looked strangely familiar, so I looked her up in the credits but found nothing beyond that one movie. I started thinking about that face, and that voice, and then BINGO! It came to me. I can't find an obvious giveaway picture of Ms. Randolph, but...... .....on one of the most famous shows in TV history, she had a daughter named Sapphire. Given how iconic a role Ms. Randolph had on that show, I'm a bit surprised that Bob didn't mention the connection in his introduction to Swing!
  9. MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

    Glad I just checked my recording database before responding to that, because otherwise I might have offered you a stupid bet. I'd mistakenly recalled that I'd recorded those two movies from TCM, but it turned out they both came from the Fox Movie Channel. Thanks for catching that bit of misinformation.
  10. MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

    I'd be more than happy to live with less than perfectly restored prints. We get barely audible prints fairly often as it is when TCM presents some of those early sound pictures, so it wouldn't be breaking any new ground. And in terms of sound quality, it's almost impossible to get much worse than many recent movies where the characters are whispering to each other with background mood music drowning out the conversation. And I agree that it's nice to see Stormy Weather and Carmen Jones, but the truth is that those films are part of the regular TCM rotation already, and while they're perfectly fine films, they're nothing all that special in terms of programming. I'd much prefer to see imperfect prints of films I've never seen before. I mean I love North By Northwest, but.........well, you get the idea.
  11. MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

    I'm most thankful for all those early films produced by black-owned studios. That's what's usually lacking from TCM all year around, and not just on MLK's birthday. Movies like Cabin in the Sky and The Green Pastures are shown on a fairly regular basis anyway, and seeing them on the schedule for about the 103rd time leaves me less than thrilled. What I'd really love to see would be a SOTM theme that featured nothing but movies produced by independent studios, and that one of those evenings be devoted to those that specialized in films like The Duke Is Tops and Midnight Shadow. It that sounds far-fetched, consider that former SOTM tributes have honored the likes of "Singing Cowboys" and "Teen Idols". All it would take to feature independent studios for a SOTM tribute would be a bit of imagination, a fair amount of planning, and the will power to do it.
  12. April Schedule Up! Judy Garland SOTM

    Not if you ask George Louis Costanza....
  13. April Schedule Up! Judy Garland SOTM

    Maybe I'm just prejudiced because my wife is a gamine along the Audrey line, but as Joe Tex once said,
  14. The flaw in Double Indemnity

    Even more impressive was the fact that he first had to construct a time machine out of discarded manhole covers. We Americans can do ANYTHING.

    One of the most vivid childhood memories The Little Fugitive recalled was Joey's enterprising method of fundraising, which (a few years later, in Washington) we used to call "bottle collecting". In the movie, Joey just roams around the beach, picking bottles from trash cans, crevices, and temporarily abandoned picnic areas, redeeming them for a nickel apiece in order to keep riding his favorite pony. In Washington, we'd just grab them off of our neighborhood back porches during the day, when the occupants were off at work. We could sometimes make a buck or two over the course of a morning, although in DC we only got two cent a bottle rather than a nickel, so we didn't have it quite as easy as Joey. I imagine that the Coney Island deposit was set at a nickel in order to deter what otherwise might have been mass littering. But what really grabbed me about this movie was the look of Joey's neighborhood. I don't know exactly where it was, but in many ways it could have been almost any West Side neighborhood in the Manhattan of that period, before the gentrifiers took over and gave all the Joeys the heave-ho. The little things all rung so true: The clotheslines stretched across the alleys, the sidewalk graffiti evocative of Helen Levitt's photographs, the generally rundown look of the buildings and the apartment itself, the dirty T-shirts (dirty in great part because of the soot that permeated the city air), canvas sneakers and cuffed jeans....That was the New York I knew as a boy, and I've never seen any other film that depicts it with such a perfect eye for reality.

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