Jlewis

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Everything posted by Jlewis

  1. Jlewis

    What's the name of this short

    If it was in black & white and shown on TCM, it might have been Screen Actors, part of a series put out by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and distributed by the individual studios during a two year period. Sometimes these are listed under the heading "The Movies and You". This particular title included shots of Reginald Denny, Gail Patrick, and Dan Duryea. It was distributed by MGM with Hal Elias credited as supervisor and released May 13, 1950. Others in the series: Twenty Years Of Academy Awards (RKO, Carey Wilson) / April 1, 1948 (this one was a two-reeler) Let's Go To The Movies (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / December 31, 1948 Movies Are Adventure (Universal-International, Jack Hively) / January 31, 1949 This Theatre And You (or This Theater And You) (Warner Bros., Felix Jacoves) / June 1, 1949 The Sound Man (Columbia, Aaron Stell) / December 24, 1949 History Brought To Life (Paramount, Jerry Hopper) / March 15, 1950 The Costume Designer (RKO, Tholen Gladden) / July 13, 1950 The Screen Writer (20th Century Fox, Jerry Webb) September 13, 1950 Moments In Music (MGM, Carey Wilson) / November 13, 1950 The Cinematographer (MGM, Jerry Hopper) / January 13, 1951
  2. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    As long as Burt Lancaster isn't mentioned, the leaves will remain on the trees. That discussion involved a little more excitement than this messageboard is used to. I heard he waited until enough of the stars passed away before spilling the truth (if it is the truth). A couple decades from now, nobody will care whom these stars "bonded" with.
  3. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I think I have seen the Shirley Jones TV movie... or part of it. Otherwise these are all titles I am not all that familiar with, even though I have seen plenty from the late sixties. Of course, when I think of this era, I think of the big films that revolutionized "New Hollywood" and made all of the movie reference books. You know, Camille 2000, Goodbye Columbus, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Valley Of The Gwangi... yeah, I do have peculiar tastes myself.
  4. Jlewis

    Those Innocent, Bygone Days!

    Believe it or not, a lot of boys didn't even wear swimwear (even in high school and college sports) back in those golden olden daze. On to another subject. Any thoughts of TCM adding this one to their documentary line-up after it runs its course in theaters? One thing that tickles me is all of the "public domain" footage borrowed for movie documentaries from all over the place. At the point where we hear the line of "a network of folks waiting for somebody like Scotty to come along", there is a scene that eerily resembles a vintage 1910-12 Vitagraph film with somebody looking suspiciously like comedian John Bunny fixing his tie. If this film clip is as old as I think it is, those gentlemen needed to wait an awful long, long time for Scotty, since he didn't get started until after the second big war.
  5. Jlewis

    "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

    Schlesinger is merely returning to his British roots where it is "business as usual". Midnight Cowboy showcased how the Yanks deal with all of this mysterious same gender attraction situation: everybody is slinking into movie theaters with rocket-ships on screen symbolizing stuff we are not permitted to see on screen, Joe must defend John Wayne being a "cowboy" and a devoutly religious sixty-something business man is thankful he stays "good" after taking Joe to his hotel... only to get strangled by Joe with a phone. Oh... and Joe only hugs Rico after he is dead on the bus. Yet the Brits are... well, it is legal now and nobody is persecuted anymore and we have all gotten used to Oscar Wilde, so... whatever. Let's move on. Again, I was watching Four Weddings And A Funeral for the umpteenth time and trying to think of any mainstream American rom-com filmed in 1993 that featured a gay couple among The Friends, even if they were associated more with The Funeral than The Weddings. Yet the only ones I can think of from that era are either "indies" made by gay filmmakers exclusively for LGBT film festivals or a star vehicle with Tom Hanks dying of AIDS. In Mike Newell's world, a gay couple are just another part of the population and nobody is gayer than Simon Callow bellowing "It's bloody Brigadoon!" before he collapses.
  6. Jlewis

    Random Alerts!

    He did three covering The Golden Girls that were quite enlightening.
  7. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    In Dan Peary's Cult Movies books of the '80s, On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the one 007 that got much of the belated praise despite not having the star everybody favored. I enjoyed it a lot because it seemed less cartoon-ish than the others. Apart from some silliness here and there that is typical of 007, much of what happens can conceivably happen in real life. This was also made at the peak of the sixties race car craze and much of the camera work on snowy roads aped everything else on screen at the time. George Lazenby comes off as a more ordinary man who works as a spy rather than an indestructible super hero. I especially like the opening scenes when he comments on his attack by others not happening to that other guy (have to find the exact quote, because I am basing it on failing memory) since both the actor and producers knew fully well that he would be unfavorably compared to Sean Connery.
  8. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    The book on him doesn’t show sympathy for the killers. It just gives background information leading up to the incident, including Paul’s ferocious temper, being unemployed and struggling, his homophobia, etc. The sad part is that crimes against gays back then were treated far more lightly than even today, as if “they deserve it for their deviant lifestyle”.
  9. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    Oh... if Romero had any interaction with Grant, we would all know about it since he was quite the gossip. Novarro was born in 1899 and Williams in 1931 and that is important because many with "alternative" interests in their virile twenties had an easier time dealing with it in the 1920s than in the 1950s, McCarthy era and Hollywood Confidential. Novarro also hung around "artistic types" who were more open in self expression. As his career mushroomed, he merely had to keep it all secret from the public, primarily because so many of his fans were women who wanted his screen persona to fall in love with them like he does Dorothy Janis in The Pagan. (Those who want to lust over a young Ramon should choose that title and Ben-Hur for prime viewing since he can barely keep his clothes on in both.) What was tragic with Novarro in the end was that he was too accepting of strangers. Although America was still very homophobic in 1968-69 and the trial of his killers was scandalous news, in hindsight, it should not have been. It isn't that big of a deal for a man in his late sixties, who can't just go out and find somebody at a bar due to transportation issues, to hire attractive men for companionship even if the California law was border-line about such activities then. As Soares claims, many of those he hired admitted that not much happened beyond mutual touching since he was mostly just lonely and too intoxicated to be any threat.
  10. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    My impression from this is that he was a romantic who wanted to be married to a woman, but something was... off... and he couldn't deal with it. Was he even attracted to women? This book looks very detailed but the man remains a mystery. Mentioned on another thread one of the biographies on Ramon Novarro, Andre Soares' Beyond Paradise. This is a nicely detailed book most movie buffs would enjoy since it gets into his positive/neutral relationships with Rex Ingram, Irving Thalberg, L.B. Mayer and other higher ups (since he was always professional on set) and provides detailed descriptions of each movie's production, his co-stars and directors. You really don't have to be a fan of the star to enjoy the read. More importantly, the author really digs deep in analyzing his personality, balancing his devout Catholicism with his same-sex attractions throughout his youth, being content with at least two somewhat long-term relationships in the twenties and thirties and using work as an excuse to not marry. He was never forced into a "lavender" situation by his bosses because he was so discrete, apart from occasionally getting drunk, that the press never found anything that would cause his bosses to worry. He still managed to appear on TV within a year of his death, ironically playing a priest just like his very first role on the stage as a teenager. The cracks started to emerge later in life when his career went into decline and, like Grant, he became increasingly alcoholic and probably even more reclusive. By 1968, he could no longer drive due to his DUIs, among other issues, so he couldn't just go to a gay bar or bathhouse, not that there were that many at the time. It was easier to seek paid "companionship". Soares also analyzes the Ferguson brothers in great depth, especially Paul's very strong Catholic and anti-gay background (being the polar opposite of Ramon's mentality despite a similar upbringing) even though Paul was still willing to have sex with men for money. The murder was done mostly by accident in an alcoholic rage; Paul's "blackout" and Tom's confusing recollections (he being tried as a minor) spared them the death penalty and later even lifetime terms. It was the trial itself in the summer of '69 that exposed Ramon's gay life for the first time, which many family members and closest associates weren't aware of and sometimes refused to believe.
  11. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    The 1950s was a pretty bad decade for what later was dubbed "alternative lifestyles". I think the average at that time was 8 or 9 out of every 10 U.S. adults between their 20s and 70s were in a heterosexual marriage/relationship simply for survival, employment especially. It wasn't as bad during the war years, the great depression or before. Thanks to the revolutions in the sixties, followed by the Me Decade, it wasn't as bad again. Granted, we have had plenty of politicians promising in the last three to four decades that America would be a better place if it was just like the '50s. Their rosy childhood memories favor nothing "alternative" to what they are comfortable with. I think that is why I love The Incredible Shrinking Man so much. It has so much to say about conformity and your sense of self. Only after the world thinks he is swallowed by a cat (ironically played by the same feline Audrey tossed out of the taxi cab in Breakfast At Tiffany's) and forgets about him is he able to be a true man. It is also a perfect match of star with screen character. I think Grant should have been a mountain climber or explorer conquering new worlds without a lot of other humans getting in the way. His sex life may have consisted of a lot of brief, hourly rather than nightly, flings... like a sailor at sea who just needed to dock somewhere to release what had built up inside of his system before setting sail again. His wife, played by Randy Stuart, is nice and maternal with him but all of his trouble starts when he demands that SHE get him that beer from below deck.
  12. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    There are excerpts of this biography that you can google online. This key line is significant: "While the hypothesis of Williams' homosexuality might have its allure and even a degree of plausibility, many of those who knew the actor disagree with it." Well... how would "many of those" know prior to 1985? According to a recent article on The Advocate online, in the year of 2018, well over half of all "out" gay men and lesbians are only "out" to select friends and family. NOT co-workers and others they deal with professionally. There is STILL a lot of prejudice and stigma. It was so much worse when Williams was alive. I do agree with Stampalia that the fact he never married and knew people who were gay does not prove anything. I also agree with Melissa Ward he quotes as saying that, even though she personally didn't think he was gay (yet she was merely an acting student of his!), "you can't really divide people into categories and put easy labels on them such as gay, straight, etc." However he stumbles a bit with this comment that all of the coincidences (i.e. unmarried, etc.) "are meaningless." No, nothing is meaningless. He then tries to come up with an alternative or, rather, a distracting answer: the fact that Williams kept changing agents more regularly than most actors who took their careers seriously suggested an "inability to form long lasting relationships, with film studios and people alike". Hhhmmmm... I will accept that answer only partially. I mean... he might do better going the President James Buchanan route. Historians agree that he may have been homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual but there isn't enough 19th century proof that he was even sexual. We just know that the president gave very gay parties in Washington D.C.
  13. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    What exactly does Stampalia say about Grant's private life? Are women discussed? I remember one of Cary Grant's ex-wives insisting he was very "straight" back on a late 1980s TV show and I am sure she was thinking of how good he was sexually with her and, yes, he loved certain women as equally as Randolph Scott. Not that I am suggesting they were anything but bro-buddies, mind you. Maybe they just did "W" instead of the other letters.
  14. Jlewis

    High Class Pornographic Films

    Regarding the Garbo shoe comment, I was also thinking of the famous line in Notting Hill when Julia Roberts comments to Hugh Grant about what "they" say about men with big feet. (Big feet means big shoes.) I should comment on this with the other thread... ... BUT, this is the thread using the word "pornographic" and I don't feel like starting a new thread for the moderators to supervise. On YouTube, there is an upload of Pornography: The Secret History Of Civilization that broadcast on Channel 4 in 1999 and is quite explicit in both discussion AND images. Therefore you will need to age verify to watch. Episode 4 is the one relating to this thread, focusing on the dawn of the "blue" movie at the start of the century through the '70s Golden Age when many were trying to elevate it as a form of art. Episode 5 continues into the 1980s and '90s when VHS took over, followed by the rise of the internet in the '90s in episode 6. Although it does NOT relate to movies, episode 1 is the most interesting. The excavation of Pompeii began mid-18th century and was a gradual and slow process, unlike more modern archeological digs. By the beginning of the Victorian Age, a spectacular effort was made to catalogue everything and instantly hide a ton of artifacts in "secret rooms" at both the Naples and London museums. Part of this was influenced by the French Revolution that happened between the start of the excavation and the all-important transitional period of the 1830s-50s when sex was hidden underground with a vengeance. As episode 2 discusses in detail, sexually explicit material was usually published in late 18th century/early 19th century France for political reasons and England was constantly in a state of panic over a possible revolution resembling its neighbor. Sex = revolution. The actual word "pornography" entered the Webster dictionary in, I think (since I would have to re-watch), 1857. This was about the same time that the first laws in the U.K. started defining what should be outlawed from public viewing and mail distribution. Amusingly there is a screen shot of the dictionary page in question with an image of a porcupine close by, since the first three letters are the same. What amuses me is that porcupines doing-what-comes-naturally are featured over the end credits of Bill Condon's Kinsey as well as being a continuing joke in Radley Metzger's classic Score. I don't know why, but this rodent keeps popping up in discussions about human sex.
  15. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    I will have to investigate Stampalia's book. I am curious about all of the new "hard" evidence proving he was "obviously" heterosexual. I am even MORE curious why Stampalia is so intent on stopping any speculations that Grant could have been gay. Maybe he personally has a hang-up about the issue himself? Oh... regarding the word "obviously" being used with the word "gay", you have to consider what the word "gay" means, apart from being happy and carefree. Many people do not consider themselves "gay" because they have never done "X" or "Y" with a member of the same gender although they might have done "W", which they think is not "gay" enough to be labeled "gay". Maybe they touched somebody of the same gender in a questionable way at some point in their lives... to satisfy some curiosity... or "took a peek" at people naked who shared similarities in plumbing systems... again, to satisfy a certain curiosity. Everybody has their own opinion of what defines being "gay". Hugh Hefner had no shame to his game and admitted in print he "tried it" with a guy (and I personally think that he tried a few more times than he admitted... "just to be sure"). He did it "for the experience" even though he still favored women more on his regular scheduled menu. To me, he is a perfect example of an "obviously" (obvious) heterosexual who was comfortable in who he was and wasn't terribly concerned about what the public thought of him. William Haines was "obviously" gay in more ways than one. (I always found it interesting how close his friendship was with Carole Lombard, who was married to... you know who.) Yet he refused to support the early pride marches in his last years, disliking how "out" the younger generation was.
  16. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    Richard Simmons is gay? I just thought he was always relentlessly happy. I only caught up with the comments on Kerwin Matthews. I did examine the online material on him a bit in the past. Of course, Bing Crosby had nothing to fear on the set of 7th Voyage Of Sinbad. From what I gathered, he lived his life much like Dick Sargent and Richard Chamberlain. He was comfortable in his relationships but also maintained the Hollywood "don't ask, don't tell" rule because it kept him employed. With Grant, there was definitely something bothering him. Adding to this was his religious upbringing. From many discussions online that I have read, it seems that he was intensely private and must have felt there was something to hide, whatever that was. Never married, using work as an "excuse". No, we should never jump to conclusions but he is one definitely worth questioning.
  17. Jlewis

    Grant Williams

    I read excerpts from a book involving same gender relationships, not always sexual but sometimes just intense friendships, that existed in America between the 1600s, the time Europeans invaded and sought to change the way the natives were living their lives, through early 1900s. The author argued that, at least during the 20th century, practically every historian had a motto of assuming that, given how private people were behind closed doors, everybody deceased must have been heterosexual unless proven otherwise. (Then again, some define heterosexuality and homosexuality strictly by what body parts are used with another person's body parts and not by attractions and desires alone.) This also seems to be the motto of many dedicated posters who are deathly afraid that their favorite movie icons of yesteryear weren't 100% "straight" like they perceive themselves to be... and want to perceive themselves to be. My impression from what I have read about Grant is that he was very conflicted and troubled in his private life. What exactly was going on behind closed doors can only be guessed.
  18. Jlewis

    Random Alerts!

    45 years ago this week... https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/prejudice-pride-revisiting-tragic-fire-killed-32-orleans-56014428
  19. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    What I do like about this movie is that it is so much more progressive than the equally popular La Cage Aux Folles and The Birdcage. In the other two films, the son of a gay father is never completely accepting and it is painful, rather than funny, to watch how both father and boyfriend must put on an act of "heteronormalcy" (even if the drag part is humorous) to please the future parents-in-law, even though they are less bigoted in the end than the actual son and future daughter-in-law who are younger and... we would expect... should be more enlightened. Here everybody stands up for themselves regardless of who they are (i.e. Julie's character only changes her persona for the stage act but is still herself). This even includes Lesley Anne Warren as the hilarious jealous-girlfriend. Garner's character admits that he has had homophobic issues but we see him evolve for the better. I especially like the scene when he is working out with Alex Karras' Squash, reminding me of Archie Bunker changing his views involving "fruits" and "queers" with his longtime "tough guy" friend, also revealed to be gay, in the landmark 1971 All In The Family episode that upset President Nixon at the time.
  20. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Also in the poster you feature above. Funny... it took me a while to notice it.
  21. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I have not seen the first 1933 version in its entirety. Just YouTube extracts. Yet I read two reviews and Walbrook, I think, plays Garner’s role and also knows that the lead is a woman early on as well. Yet it would have been interesting if the newer film did get bolder by having a tough guy fall for a guy before realizing the truth. Joe E. Brown in the much earlier SOME LIKE IT HOT, after all, merely stated “nobody’s perfect” as if it was no big deal.
  22. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    ... and it is probably more entertaining that the 1933 German original. Yet the original is still blessed with Anton Walbrook of The Life And Death Of Col. Blimp and The Red Shoes fame.
  23. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I should apologize for getting too windy above. Yet it is an interesting topic of discussion. Hollywood is about making money first and art second, although a lot of art was created as a result. We can't attack the industry any more than we can attack other business industries for not wanting to lose public favor. There is a lot of 80s cinema that bothers me though. I did not see Maurice because I knew it was a "gay" film and those kinds I naturally avoided at the time. I really hated Top Gun and questioned why it was even popular. It took me a long time to really "get it". There is an awful lot more Cruise on display than McGillis, but the movie was "safe" for many who didn't feel "safe" because it emphasized a "Take My Breath Away" heterosexual love story. However that song itself is not necessarily about heterosexual love. Check out the lyrics.
  24. Jlewis

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    I am weird. I admit it. When I look back at movie history in the United States and countries imitating its model, I often see these curious patterns. However, it is likely just me who sees them. Germany had a big film industry pre-Hitler and it was also surprisingly "gay" in tone with its own Viktor und Viktoria released six months before Nacht der langen Messer (Night of the Long Knives) even though, on the surface, you would not see any connection between the two. Before then, you had Mädchen in Uniform, among others like the decade before Anders als die Andern. Yes, the German cinema had plenty to answer for in the decade leading to fascism. Meanwhile, Hollywood was flooded with many "fey" characters and "alternative" relationships on screen during the latter twenties and early thirties until the Production Code clamped down by July 1934. When censorship needed to be battled, it was the more respectable heterosexual "sins" that were pushed for. This is why so many were still able to see Howard Hughes' The Outlaw. Even if some of us see some "gay coding" in that one, it is mostly focused on Jane Russell's assets and heterosexuality as its primary theme. There was only an itty bitty concern years earlier about Rhett Butler carrying Scarlet O'Hara up the stairs since she did look happy the following morning. No, that scene would not be cheered today in the #MeToo era. 1953 was a particularly interesting year, at least to me. Five years had passed since Kinsey's first book on male sexuality was published and there was now a lot of nationwide embarrassment and nervousness regarding its success. His second volume on females was attacked ferociously even though it was much tamer in the material presented, mostly due to a new "anti Kinsey" mentality influenced by politics and his too socially liberal views. Simultaneously the Eisenhower administration started their investigation into private lives of government workers since... good grief!... we can't have those kinds of people working in our government since they are more easily blackmailed by communists than those who are "normal". Right? Right? The middle years of that decade, 1953-1957, resembled the middle years of the following decade when James Bond the Heterosexual King was dominant. (Bond was not so easily blackmailed by Commies since he was... well... you know, normal, if not the kind of man most women would want to stay married to.) While Hollywood was testing the waters a little during the post-war period with a variety of relationships depicted (if ever so slightly), it now decided to battle The Code with strictly heterosexual themes and women's bodies. The Moon Is Blue created a respectable ruckus over the use of the word "virgin". The Catholic Legion of Decency was upset at Baby Doll, but not Warner Brothers. Marilyn Monroe was at her CinemaScope peak and those old calendar poses promoted by Hugh Hefner helped her career instead of hurt it. Italy imported Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. France imported Brigitte Bardot. While Bardot may have been on a smaller size scale, most ladies' cleavage expanded on screen much like the tail fins coming out of Detroit. Was 3-D really necessary for The French Line starring Jane Russell? Of course, it was!!!! Likewise, SuperScope with Underwater! After Garden Of Eden succeeded with its distribution after a series of court decisions, both the nudist documentary and, by 1959, the Russ Meyer "nudie cutie" had more than just volley balls bouncing. (Male frontal nudity was still taboo until The Raw Ones was released in December 1965.) When gay themes were tackled in films like Suddenly Last Summer and Compulsion, the emphasis was on death and secrecy. I think the primary reason these films were allowed was because they provided something "adult" that was not allowed on TV. Yet the two Oscar Wilde biopics were a bit different and probably influenced what followed. Victim and the 1961-62 first wave seem to me as a tentative effort to question the status quo. The civil rights movement was starting to become a day-to-day news event so, yes, director Basil Deardon wanted moviegoers to question whether or not homosexuals should be ostracized and harassed by cops like interracial couples and black people entering schools and public establishments. Advise And Consent was ahead of its time in that the gay character's wife is surprisingly understanding and accuses the corrupt politicians for her husband's death instead. When the second wave began in 1967 and expanded with Boys In The Band, it was again the result of the civil rights movement. Interracial marriage was finally legal, so why not push for other things? In addition, there was now a new market that independent movie makers, if not nervous Hollywood executives, could test. I should add that many of the earliest porn films to gained respectability tended to be gay themed like Boys In The Sand (different film than Band) which actually got reviewed by Variety, I think. In hind sight, it merely opened the door to the strictly heterosexual Deep Throat which was a mega-blockbuster that it couldn't hold a candle to. A few months ago, I watched two early "classics" from 1972, Wakefield Poole's Bijou and the Mitchell Brothers' Behind The Green Door, back-to-back and saw a lot of similarities in their "arty" pretensions. The heterosexual film is not a good film for the #MeToo era since Marilyn Chambers is literally abducted in that one, contrasting to Bill Harrison being a willing participant in the former. However the heterosexual film was the obvious blockbuster that later lead VHS sales in the eighties, not the gay film. Again... when film producers wanted to battle censorship and really push for profits, the "normal" heterosexuality must be fought for. Radley Metzger's Score was an interesting experiment, but it did get delayed in its release and was soon overshadowed with financially more successful efforts of his that stuck to male/female scenes. With the 1980s, you had VHS allowing people to see whatever they wanted and whenever they wanted in the privacy of their own home so... yeah... variety became the spice of life in your living room, but not necessarily at the multiplex. One thing I have noticed when watching many movies is how homophobic mainstream films got after Victor/Victoria. I believe this was a key reason why you had an "indy" gay cinema movement at the end of the eighties as a counter reaction. Add this to all of the post-AIDS homophobia in real life, there was an attitude that "if Hollywood stopped making the movies, we will just make them ourselves".
  25. Jlewis

    High Class Pornographic Films

    Gee, Sepiatone, you think I am making it up? Mind you, I am not sure if Garbo's brows would be considered 'high" or "low". They do arch in a unique way. In any case, the infamous footage resembles Roger Patterson's Sasquatch. We are TOLD it is her.

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