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Everything posted by nohojim

  1. Don't forget about the old Public Library. They might have quite a few of these on DVD to check out for free.
  2. Canvas runs a pretty good Westerns course from time to time. It's taught by Sue Matheson of University College of the North (not affiliated with TCM). I took it about a year and a half ago but I believe they ran it again this past spring.
  3. Well, the Creedence tape is certainly important.
  4. "O Brother Where Art Thou?" has this, but not "Inside Llewyn Davis."
  5. I would say yes. Here's my definition: 1. The characters of the story should appear to be singing the songs themselves. 2. Many or most of the songs should be complete, or substantially complete. 3. The songs should take up a significant amount of screen time. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" would fit those. Also "Inside Llewyn Davis." But not "Hail Caesar," though it contains song-length parodies of Esther Williams and Gene Kelly musical numbers.
  6. I'd like to at least add a mention of these, which are not on today's lecture notes: I second (or third) "All That Jazz" (1979) "Pennies from Heaven" (1981) "O Brother Where Art Thou" (2000) And these two from the 60's: "The Producers" (1967) - not really a musical, but has a lot in common with backstage musicals, and was remade into a more proper musical. Second "Head" (1968).
  7. Esther had her limitations as an actress, but was a great athlete. In spite of breaking her neck on "Million Dollar Mermaid", she did more crazy stunts for Busby Berkeley on "Easy to Love." (Since she was pregnant, she begged off the helicopter dive at the end):
  8. Judy Garland became a movie star, as she deserved to be. But what a price she paid. Her childhood was consumed by Show Biz. Chronic addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. Five disastrous marriages. Breakdowns starting as early as 1947 which required hospitalization. Her death at 47. Was it worth it? What does it say about the studio system that created these musicals that it destroyed one of its biggest stars?
  9. I don't think there is a simple answer. Judy the Movie Star that we still have on film is to me like The Great and Powerful Oz, and Judy the person is like the man behind the curtain frantically trying to keep up, if the levers and machinery are driving the man as much as the man is controlling them. They are all necessary parts of the same thing. I think the "child star" part is important. Some child stars like Ron Howard or Jodie Foster go on to have interesting careers but it seems like a high percentage are badly damaged (the "two Coreys" for example). I think sexual harassment and assault were common in the studio system (another MGM star, Esther Williams, says so in her autobiography, "Million Dollar Mermaid," at least the harassment part), and have continued straight through. I don't think Harvey Weinstein is the only one. I did get a copy of "Get Happy" on NeverGonnaDance's recommendation and have started reading it. Thanks.
  10. You can also download and run a free TCM app using a $30 Amazon Fire Stick plugged into an HDMI port on your TV. Somebody gave me one and I don't DVR at all. Most TCM movies are available for a week on the app after they air on the cable network. It works well even with slow ATT U-Verse wireless internet. (As with the other TCM apps, you still have to have to sign in through your cable company. In other words, you have to be paying for TCM through the cable company.)
  11. Ha, I saw "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" on TCM once. If they cut any nudity or violence out of that I don't know what it could have been.
  12. I was struck last night by how beautiful the cinematography and art direction of "Young Frankenstein" are (copying the lighting and set design of 30's Universal horror pictures). "The Naked Gun" also copies the visual style of the original it parodies, but this time it's the ugly flat lighting and cheap sets of 60's TV.
  13. I think there's something to Laham's argument. Some of "The Naked Gun" comes straight out of "Dragnet," like the lab guy we see in this clip. "Dragnet" was produced with the cooperation of the LAPD (as the show proclaimed at the end of every episode), and you could say the underlying message of the series was "We competently protect the citizens, even though the citizens don't appreciate it or even interfere." Abrahams and the Zuckers and their original audience must have seen "Dragnet" on TV as kids. By the 80's they had recognized the underlying propaganda in the original shows and were ready to make fun of it.
  14. I believe you are right that "Number Please" was shot in Ocean Park, near the border between Santa Monica and Venice, California. You can see "Ocean Park Dancing Pavilion" and "Pickering Pleasure Pier" on signs on the pier in one of the shots. Also background signs for "Venice Red Hots" and "Sunkist California Oranges." Here's a photo of the pier: Another Harold Lloyd film, "Speedy", was indeed shot partly on Coney Island. You can see some of the same rides, such as "Witching Waves" both in "Speedy" and in the Arbuckle film "Coney Island."
  15. If you search for a film on, and click "reminder" at the top of the overview page for the movie, it's supposed to send you an email next time the movie plays on TCM. That may be a good way to catch hard to find noirs and near noirs. I've got a reminder in for "Blood on the Moon" (1948) which is coming up August 12. Directed by Robert Wise, DP Nicholas Musuraca, starring Mitchum and I see our old pal Charles McGraw on the cast list.
  16. The Big Lebowski. Chandleresque characters: The rich guy in a wheelchair, the pornographer, bohemians, the corrupt cop in the beach town. Plus the p.i. gets drugged and beat up, just like in "Murder, My Sweet."
  17. Would it help if we group-create a "don't miss" list every Friday for the benefit of those that can stream over the next week from (That cuts me out. Thanks again, Time Warner.) For June 5, I nominate: 1. "M": Often technically crude by the standards of the 40's, this has a career performance from Peter Lorre and builds to a great, unusual trial scene. 2. "High Sierra": (I have to warn you that this has a minor stereotype African American character that has made audiences squirm every time I've seen it, since the 80's). Bogart is solid as usual and Ida Lupino is terrific. Script by John Huston and W.R. Burnett, directed by Raoul Walsh. 3. "The Maltese Falcon": I think this was the first movie with the great Warner Brothers cast of Bogart, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. Same cast (with the addition of Claude Rains) was used in "Casablanca" and the lesser "Passage to Marseille." 4. "L.A. Confidential": Along with "Chinatown" the best, post-1970 revival of the hard-boiled detective noir style. Please add more.

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