professorecho

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  1. professorecho

    Skidoo! At Last!

    Regardless of its less than stellar reputation, I've been wanting to see this for years and just missed it in Los Angeles on the big screen last summer. To say I was elated to find it on the TCM sched. is an understatement, but my enthusiasm turned out to be short lived since they showed it pan and scanned. Considering it's only been screened twice in its original 2:35 aspect ratio theatrically the past ten years, I am debating watching this truncated version on my DVR. I wish I knew why it was so difficult a film to see and who has the rights for a possible DVD release someday. It's too easy to say as a train wreck it's unreleasable because plenty of butt-wiped movies have made their way onto home video over the years. Is there anyone at TCM reading these boards who might be able to shed some light on a potential future screening in letterboxed format? I'll gladly wait for the widescreen version if there's even a hint of it on the horizon.
  2. Forgive me if this has already been covered, but I've been feeling kind of down lately and, as I am wont to do being a cinephile, I began tracking down in my memory sad characters in films to make me feel less alone. The first one that came to my mind was the long-suffering wife of the Scottish farmer in Alfred Hitchcock's THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS. She is so heartbreaking and her fate, as much as we see of it, is tragic. She may not be the saddest character of all time in a film, but she is one of the most memorable for me. Without specifically giving away any endings, who do you think of when you think of sad characters in the movies?
  3. professorecho

    Thanksgiving Greetings

    Of course we all know that the pilgrims didn't eat turkey on the first Thanksgiving, but some historians speculate that might have eaten eel, which was a very common dish at that time. So HAPPY EEL DAY everybody!
  4. professorecho

    I'm just going to go out on a limb -

    Yes, BG and I'm sorry I didn't acknowledge it at the time. I did appreciate it though and was happy someone noticed!!! It's people like you that make these forums worth coming back to.
  5. professorecho

    WHAT?!

    Yes, it will most likely be shown by NBC again this year, but it is not shown "over and over" anymore as it was in the 1980's. Once it became public domain every channel seemed to be showing it throughout the 80's, including 24 hour marathons, and on most of them in horrible looking prints. Yet those multitudinous showings is the main reason why it has become such a holiday staple and revered classic. Prior to then it was simply a good, perhaps underrated and unappreciated, Capra movie that would just as easily pop up in the middle of August as it would December. At some point in the 90's some company (I forget which one, but someone on these boards probably knows) figured out a way to copyright the music score, which meant that the film was essentially no longer in the public domain. The movie was copyright free, but the score wasn't and unless you could find a way to separate the music from the film, you could no longer broadcast it without paying a fee. Thus, I believe, NBC bought the rights to exclusively air it during the holiday season every year, though I don't know how long their contract lasts or if it is, in fact, still binding. I no longer depend on commercial television to see movies. So my advice is: Buy the DVD.
  6. professorecho

    I'm just going to go out on a limb -

    Hi Fusty and WELCOME. I think most of the people here are friendly and tolerant, but I was once the target of a particularly disgruntled poster who claimed I was posting too much and ruining the boards for all the "regulars." He said it was a nice quiet community until I came along, LOL. Well, not one person came to my defense, so you might, at times, find yourself floundering here on your own, but compared to most other boards out there, the trolls here are few and far between. I certainly have curtailed my posting since that attack, but not for that reason alone. As a film historian I'm every bit as interested in theoretical analyses of film as I am in the more generic history or backstage gossip, e.g. who starred in what movie or when the movie was made, etc. and you don't often find much of that discussion going on here. However, for great, stimulating, informative talk about movies in general, there is no other site as fun as this one. So welcome and happy posting!
  7. professorecho

    What I find heartbreaking about TCM

    While I for one wouldn't mind if those Esther Williams films would sink to the bottom for awhile, there is no genuine cinephile who can legitimately complain about TCM overall. It is the greatest network in the history of television. I know it's not a sign of a good debater to just dismiss someone's point of view without at least a hearing, but the truth as I see it is that you cannot inordinately chastise TCM and call yourself a fan, student or critic of film. I admit that, yes, I am somewhat weary of the seemingly endless reruns of the more established titles or stars of the month, but for every month where I find little to watch, e.g. the Academy Awards month, there is a schedule like that of this past September where my DVR and I can hardly keep up. Nothing in life can please all of the people all of the time, but TCM comes closer than most. As to the person who started this post, where were you for the Edgar G. Ulmer Yiddish language films or the East Side Kids marathon? If movies like that are not rare enough for you, then you sincerely have my utmost admiration!
  8. professorecho

    Down with the modern films

    American cinema, and to some degree much of American culture, peaked in December, 1974 with the release of THE GODFATHER PART II. There has not been a comparable masterpiece since then and, I feel, that films and filmmaking have been in a continual downward spiral. However, while still close to the peak, there were more than a few excellent movies released after G-II, until JAWS and then STAR WARS ultimately, tragically, helped bring us to the era we are currently mired in. There will always be great films made, now and in the future, but the consistent levels of merit and accomplishment in the years between SUNRISE (1927) and THE GODFATHER PART II may never pass this way again.
  9. professorecho

    To harlowkeatongirl

    Now you will see a beautiful example of self-contradiction, because in responding to this post with a plea to let it die, I'm only breathing new life into it. I hope, however, it will be the last message here. Folks, message board trolls are only happy when their posts continue to thrive with each new attack on them or query over their lack of tact, ethics, etc. Let it go already. It doesn't matter why he said what he said and Harlowkeatongirl, who is one of the sweetest and nicest persons on these boards, does not necessarily need us to defend her at the expense of keeping this troll's spittle as an active post. Don't give him any more satisfaction.
  10. professorecho

    SCARY & CREEPY

    There's crossovers, of course, but there is a difference between movies that have scared you and movies that have creeped you out. In the spirit of Halloween, here's my list. Please contribute your own. TOP 5 SCARIEST MOVIES 1. THE EXORCIST/1973 (Saw it at the age of 15, couldn't sleep for weeks afterward) 2. PSYCHO/1960 (Is there anything more frightening than the criminally insane?) 3. THE SIXTH SENSE/1999 (Sad, unsettling; they're all around us) 4. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET/1984 (Where are we more vulnerable than in our dreams?) 5. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD/1967(It just seems so real) TOP 5 CREEPIEST MOVIES 1. CARNIVAL OF SOULS/1962(Chilling; when does the surreal become real?) 2. NOSFERATU/1979(Even more haunting than the original; a miserably lonely vampire enacts armageddon through plague) 3. THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI/1919 (The world through the eyes of madness) 4. THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA/1971(Your gracious, solicitous host is a vampire who has massacred your family and you don't know it. Very creepy) 5. THE SEVENTH VICTIM/1943(Devil worship at its most genteel, which makes it all the more real and discomforting) SINGLE SCARIEST MOMENT IN A MOVIE The twins at the end of the hall in THE SHINING/1980.
  11. professorecho

    What Are You Watching For EASTER?

    That's right, Lissie. It was the first ever SEQUEL.
  12. professorecho

    For All You Young People Out There

    I am in complete agreement with Keith on every single thing he said and could not have said it better myself. I'm five years older than he is, 45, so am no longer considered "young," but I developed an interest in classic films after seeing my first James Cagney film when I was 14. They were running a Cagney week locally in Chicago, with a different film every night for seven days, and I tuned into the first one because I had never heard of him. It was EACH DAWN I DIE and I loved it. From there to more Cagney's and from there to Bogart, then to Robinson, then to Warner Brothers films and on and on. For me, my love of old films has remained consistent over the years, but my approach and appreciation of them has changed and continues to evolve. At first curiosity, then entertainment, then study, then love, then obsession! LOL. I've worked as a film historian, a film critic and a film teacher. I've never given any of it up since I was that 14 year old in the summer of '72 looking for something new to watch on tv one night. I'm glad so many people younger than I am are here on these boards and I encourage them to read Keith's post and open yourself up to every kind of film there is. There's nothing wrong with specializing, but give every type of movie as much of a chance as you can before you narrow your tastes down. You have over a hundred years to choose from!
  13. Does anyone else like to watch movies at certain times of year? I know at Christmas most people indulge in a holiday film or two, but what about a day like Easter? I always get in the mood for a big old religious epic every year at this time, or even just a secular historical epic, like SPARTACUS. It doesn't have to specifically relate to the tenets of Easter, it could be EASTER PARADE or even allegorical films like CHANGING LANES, which symbolically takes place on Good Friday, or COOL HAND LUKE which uses Christ motifs throughout its story. TCM has a great lineup this Easter. I'm going to watch DeMille's 1927 KING OF KINGS, which I've never seen. What are you going to watch?
  14. professorecho

    NAME YOUR FAVORITE GAS STATION SCENE!

    10 CENTS A GALLON!?!?!?!? Add two dollars to that and you've got what we're paying her in Southern California! LOL @ the line about Ethyl.
  15. professorecho

    Why Haven't I Seen More Of. . . . .

    Classics, there is no correlation between a performer's acting talents and awards. Most awards shows, particularly the Academy Awards, are run by the studios FOR the studios. It's all politics and has nothing to do with pure talent or ability. But if you choose to believe the hyperbole, that's fine. I choose not to. No award validates anything for me. The landscape is filled with far too many superior performances and films that went unheralded. With regards to Gary Cooper, no, I don't think he was much of an actor. He had great screen presence, i.e. good "star" material and I enjoy watching him in movies, but like many others, John Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, et al., they are larger than life, but not necessarily taleted thespians. That's the beauty of film as opposed to stage: You don't have to know how to act if the camera likes you.

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