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About midwestan

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  1. midwestan

    TCM Premieres

    Gotta hand it to the Japanese for their innovation. This looks like it's the Royal Rumble of movie monsters! My money's on Ghidorah.
  2. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Slatkin was conductor of the St. Louis Symphony prior to moving on to Washington. People there were sad to see him go. He was very well respected in the Gateway City.
  3. midwestan

    Comcast moving TCM to Sports/Entertainment Package

    One of them was C-Span3. Heck, I don't even watch C-Span and C-Span2. Why in the world do I need a third network for it? Another shopping channel and a couple of religious channels were added, plus a couple of very conservative talk show stations. They added more Hallmark channels too. Unless it's re-runs of "The Golden Girls", "Cheers", or "Frasier", I find I risk contracting diabetes if I watch any Hallmark program for more than 10 minutes! Mind you, TCM was not affected or altered in any way, shape, or form with the change in programming. What I lost that really bugged me was Comedy Central. I usually found something entertaining on it if TCM was showing a film I really didn't care for. Besides that, any station that had anything to do with MTV, VH-1, BET, and CMT were canned. I live in a small town in rural Illinois, and it appears my cable company is trying to offer more programs that cater to older, conservative viewers instead of the younger set. (and people wonder why rural America is hemorrhaging younger people). Granted, I'm no whippersnapper myself, but I know what I like. My phone company also has a cable service, and the price is cheaper. It offers the same lineup of programs I was getting prior to October 1st, so I might give them a try, but it will have to wait. I have 3 insurance bills due in November, and that's going to wipe out my pension check.
  4. midwestan

    Comcast moving TCM to Sports/Entertainment Package

    I get where you're coming from. After being a loyal cable customer from the inception of pay television, I returned my cable box, remote, and some wires to my local cable company office on Wednesday. At the first of this month, the company had a channel shake up in which it took off several channels (which naturally, I liked watching) and replaced them with stations I couldn't stomach. So, I have no television programs to watch. Any content I want to enjoy will come on my desktop. How long before I go with a competing company? I don't know. The thought of saving $125 a month is rather appealing to me. If I can make it through the college football bowl season without tearing up the house, I'll be fine! Maybe!
  5. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Actually king, I think MGM tossed 66 minutes of film by the wayside. According to Ben Mankiewicz's opening to the movie, it was originally two hours and 15 minutes long (or 135 minutes). I don't know how well it would have stood up. Ben said test audiences were not crazy about the picture when it was first previewed, and MGM, under orders from Louis B. Mayer, pared the picture down to its final 69 minutes which we see today. All in all, not bad editing. I had no idea the original film was as long as it was, and I've seen this picture several times. It seems as though John Huston got the 'Orson Welles' treatment from the studio when he was overseas doing some pre-shoots for "The African Queen". That's when all the cuts were made. James Whitmore's narration was very good in this too. As for Stephen Crane, author of "The Red Badge of Courage", the guy was wise beyond his years. He's one of my favorite authors, and it still bums me out that he died at such a young age. 😧
  6. midwestan

    Using the TCM app with YouTubeTV account

    Speaking of YouTube, I played "Memories", a new Maroon 5 song that was just posted on October 8th. It's a short, but very nice song that TCM might consider using for this year's "TCM Remembers" tribute in December (that is, if there's an extended version of the song and they get copyright clearance to use it). "Memories" is the 22nd Top 40 hit for Maroon 5, and is the first single the group has put out since 2017. That's the year the band's manager Jordan Feldstein died at the age of 40. He was the brother of Jonah Hill and considered to be Adam Levine's (Maroon 5 front man) best friend.
  7. midwestan

    Movies That It Sometimes Feels That Only You Alone Like?

    Back when I discovered the TCM Message Boards, there was quite a lot of disdain and derision given to a movie that I had never seen. When I saw the title, it became a total turn-off to me, along with all the negative comments it seemed to generate. Then, I discovered who was in the film, and I was surprised that the men and women who played in it were what many would consider 'fan favorites' of most TCM posters, so I was curious. I finally got a chance to watch the film in its entirety one day when it aired on TCM, and I really enjoyed it. The film is "Mourning Becomes Electra". Michael Redgrave received his only Oscar nomination for his role in this film, which also starred Raymond Massey, Rosalind Russell, Kirk Douglas, Leo Genn, Katina Paxinou, and Nancy Coleman. The story is based on a Greek tragedy, but the title they settled on...whoa! Might have generated more interest if the picture was titled, "That's One Messed Up Family"! 😜
  8. Alicia Malone stated in her post-movie wrap that "Devil In A Blue Dress" was critically acclaimed, but it was a box office bomb. Because it lost money, producers have been more than hesitant to pursue any more Easy Rawlins stories. I liked the movie shown with Denzel Washington. Too bad they couldn't have made another episode or two.
  9. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I just watched "Devil In A Blue Dress" via TCM On Demand. I remember when Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert previewed this on their PBS show after it first came out. I'd never seen it before today, and I thought it was very good...awfully violent, with some graphic scenes, but otherwise it was well-acted. Very good use of vintage vehicles as the movie was set in post-war L.A., circa 1948.
  10. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Nah, not that twisted!
  11. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I watched the TCM premiere of "Summertree" Saturday night. This 1971 anti-war movie starred Michael Douglas, Brenda Vaccaro, Jack Warden, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Kirk Callaway. Douglas plays a college student who's trying to figure out what to do with his life, as most 19-21 year old kids are wont to do. As long as he stays in college, he can get a deferment from the draft to Vietnam. Following his Christmas break, he decides to apply to a music conservancy after he gets good initial reviews from his audition (guitar playing). A man waiting off-stage offers him a job to play in between band sets at a coffee house he owns, and Douglas jumps at the chance. Things are going swell. He has a job offer, a chance to study and make music, a love life that is sweet and hot with Brenda Vaccaro (a nurse who's separated, but not yet divorced from her husband), good rapport with his 'little brother', played by Kirk Callaway, and a somewhat tepid, but improving relationship with his parents (Warden and Bel Geddes). Then he makes the fateful decision to drop out of college to pursue his music education. Since the conservancy is tied to the university he's attending, things should be fine as far as his draft status is concerned. Things in his life begin to unravel as the first big 'Whoops' occurs. He doesn't get a scholarship to the conservancy. His father shows up to give him his draft notice. His girlfriend's husband shows up from 'Nam. His 'little brother's' real life brother is killed in 'Nam. Talk about when it rains, it pours!! So Jerry (Douglas' character) tries to figure out how to get out of the draft. He settles on his last, best idea, which is to high-tail it off to Canada. He buys a beat up Ford Falcon and stops at his home to bid his parents adieu. His mom doesn't like the idea of him leaving, but she's supportive of his decision. Dad is against the idea. Is it because he's concerned about his son being labeled a fugitive or a coward? We aren't sure, but he gives in and takes his son to an auto repair shop to check out the car and get a new set of tires for the trip north. While at the garage, Douglas overhears Warden speaking with the owner of the body shop imploring him to do something, anything to disable the vehicle for a few days (presumably to try and reason with his son). Douglas freaks out, jumps in the car, burns rubber, and tries to speed off, but instead T-bones a car being hauled by a tow truck to the body shop. Warden gets in on the passenger side of the car and has a staredown with his boy. I'm not going to give away the ending here, but it does have a stunning twist to it. Well, stunning as far as I was concerned. Prior to Saturday night, I had only seen "Summertree" once, and that was back in 1973 or 74 when it was on the CBS Late Movie, which came on after the local news at 10:30. Back then, NBC had the Tonight Show and ABC had The Joey Bishop Show (I think), while CBS showed movies that lasted anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours in length. As for "Summertree", I'd give it about 6.5 out of 10.
  12. midwestan

    Noir Alley

    I enjoyed watching "Trapped" Saturday night and Sunday morning and Eddie Muller's encyclopedia of knowledge about all things noir. I forgot Barbara Payton was the chick that Tom Neal and Franchot Tone fought over, which landed Tone in the hospital. Crazy that he still married her after he got out of the hospital! It was odd too that when Neal was on trial for murdering his wife, about a decade after his affair with Payton, Tone was a character witness on Neal's behalf! Very sad ending for Payton (and Neal too, for that matter). As for the movie, I'd like to see what it looked like before it was restored. The version shown by TCM was very good. I wonder if the sound was muddy and the faces of the players were washed out like I remember from "The Front Page". The versions of the 1931 film must have underwent some kind of restoration, because for the last two or three years, "The Front Page" is much, much more watchable than it was when I first saw it 10 years ago. The climax of "Trapped" was pretty cool; what a gruesome way for the villain to 'buy it' in the end.
  13. In his little Summer Under The Stars bio on this website, I think it was mentioned that Brian Donlevy never smoked on film. I don't know if that meant he was a smoker off-screen, because the article didn't elaborate. I also read years ago, that John Wayne was about 3 pack a day guy, although on the set, it was said most cigarettes an actor or actress lit up were really never smoked, and just burned out on their own in the ashtray if they had to shoot a re-take and cigarettes weren't required for their movie role. I started smoking as a teenager (because I wanted to be cool!). After 44 years, I decided I was cool enough, and I quit cold turkey on May 3 of this year. It's the third time I've quit (stopped for 9 months in 1986 and 6 months in 1995). Like Lawrence A, my motivation was pure economics. Here in Illinois, the cigarette taxes have steadily risen over the years. The cheapo brand I used to buy costs about $7.50 a pack now. When I quit, the cost was about 6.70. I still fancy having one every now and then, but those feelings are fleeting, and I know if I had just one, I'd want to have another, so I'm doing well. Unfortunately, the money I've saved on tobacco has been transferred to the grocery store! I feel like I'm bigger than a houseboat now...and with winter coming on, well, things could really get ugly in my wardrobe department, come Spring of '20!
  14. midwestan


    I'm really surprised TCM isn't showing "Christmas in Connecticut" this year. That's been a scheduling staple for the network for years. Happy to see "The Holly and the Ivy" show up again. I think it was a TCM premier last year, and if it wasn't, it was a first-time viewing for me, and I rather liked it. I'm still puzzled why some Christmas movies get two showings in December, while others get only one (eg. "The Shop Around The Corner", "Meet Me In St. Louis", and "Holiday Affair"; all two-timers vs. "Remember the Night"; a solitary showing). Pleased to see all the "Thin Man" mysteries playing on New Year's Eve during the daytime hours this year.
  15. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Maybe he was watching the game from an adjacent airstrip? I was taken aback while watching "That's My Boy", "The Big Game", and "Gridiron Flash" that the star runners of the winning teams NEVER wore a helmet. I was looking around at the real game footage used in these films to see if other players played without helmets, and to my surprise, there were a few who did. Most of us here are old enough to remember when most hockey players never wore helmets. Now, it's standard equipment for professional pucksters, and for good reason.

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