johnpressman

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  1. When I was a kid, my Mother told me that Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful actress in the world. The first movie I saw her in was "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf". This was the first movie that I actually walked out of. Years later I watched "A Place In The Sun" on TV. My Mom was right.
  2. johnpressman

    Kick in the crotch

    Paul Newman delivers a vicious kick in the crotch in "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid"
  3. johnpressman

    The Bad Seed (2018)

    Some years ago I saw a campy stage version of "The Bad Seed" in West Hollywood. All the female parts were played by men in drag and the male parts likewise. Rhoda was played by a six foot tall guy who needed a shave in a pinafore, blond pigtailed wig and roller skates. The audience was encouraged to shout "Leroy" whenever his/her character appeared and the Mr. Daigle part was played by a bald sock puppet manipulated by a drunk, over-the-top black man playing Mrs. Daigle! Hilarious!
  4. johnpressman

    Spotlight: The Black Experience in Film

    I can't believe they ignored "Nothing But A Man". A masterpiece!
  5. johnpressman

    Forced Perspective

    Both the office scenes in the Silent film "The Crowd" and in 1960s "The Apartment" use forced perspective.
  6. johnpressman

    Please dump the blacklisting reminders

    HUAC were trying to identify those members of the Motion Picture Industry that were taking direction from the Soviets. Whether these members had the ability to influence the American public to support Soviet Communism is purely speculative. It is only important that the Soviets believed they could. The "naming names" issue had more to do with those members of the Communist Party that overheard others promote Soviet ideology and did not want to turn in their friends. They refused to answer HUAC"s questions, thereby aligning themselves with those that were under Soviet influence. Those that did "name names" had to make the same choice. They may have believed in Communist ideals, but taking direction from a foreign government bent on subverting your country was something totally different. Testifying was the only way they could make it clear that they were not under Soviet influence. Once again, there is a litmus test to determine those members that were being guided by the Soviets as opposed to those that merely favored Communist or Socialist ideals: Those members that remained in the party after September 1939 and urged the United States not to help Great Britain, and changed their stance after June 22, 1941. As an aside, many, if not most of the members of the party were Jewish. Many Jewish Communists left the party after Stalin and Hitler forged an alliance.
  7. johnpressman

    Please dump the blacklisting reminders

    The passage of time has allowed the media to label the Post-War efforts of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee as a "witch-hunt" wherein bigoted right-wing Congressmen sought to ruin the careers of liberals in the Motion Picture Industry. The truth make a lot more sense than what we have been taught to believe. The purpose of HUAC's investigation of Hollywood was to determine if members of the American Communist Party were being directed by the Soviet Union to undermine the American way of life through their ability to influence the public through their involvement in the Motion Picture Industry. There is an actual "litmus test" to determine which members of the ACP were under Soviet influence: Those members of the ACP who stayed in the party after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty of September 1939, making Hitler and Stalin allies. Those members of the ACP who remained in the party after Hitler and Stalin signed an alliance, and urged the United States not to enter the war nor support Great Britain in its fight against Nazi Germany, then changed their stance after June 22, 1941 when Hitler turned on his ally and invaded Soviet Russia. Included in this group were such liberal icons as Dalton Trumbo and Pete Seeger, who urged us not to help Britain for Wall Street in song, then tried to recall his album, "Songs For John Doe" after June 22, 1941. While many members of the ACP were not under Soviet control and/or had left the party after the Nazi/Soviet alliance, the "naming names" issue had more to do with their refusal to identify those members of the ACP who espoused pro-Soviet views in their presence. Read Allan Ryskind's "Hollywood Traitors" to get the real perspective on the so-called "Hollywood Blacklist".
  8. I love "Advise And Consent", "Seven Days In May" as well as "The Best Man". Don Murray's character was based on a true story:The novel’s plot turns on the blackmailing of Brigham Anderson, a young senator from Utah whose wartime homosexual affair, once exposed by extreme proponents of the nominee for State, leads the senator to shoot himself inside his office on a Sunday afternoon. The episode was suggested by the actual suicide of Senator Lester Hunt of Wyoming in 1954, and its treatment perhaps conditioned by Drury’s own rumored homosexuality. By the way, in 1963, Cliff Robertson portrayed John F. Kennedy in the movie "PT 109". In 1964, he portrayed Richard Nixon in the movie "The Best Man", however, I wonder if the character Joe Cantwell is meant to resemble Robert Kennedy, who hated Gore Vidal!
  9. johnpressman

    The flaw in High Noon (1952).

    Stephan55, that is a well-written essay regarding Muhammad Ali, but I beg to differ with you on some of the issues surrounding the decision not to serve in the US military. Watching Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight Championship on a live closed circuit broadcast at Manhattan's Rivoli Theater on February 25, 1964 was the beginning of my love affair with boxing and, briefly, with the new champion. When he announced his conversion to the Nation of Islam and spoke on behalf of its' racist and separatist doctrine, I turned away from him but not the sport itself. By the way, few remember that his original Muslim name was Cassius X, in the manner of his mentor and hero Malcolm X. When Malcolm was excommunicated by Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm who was subsequently murdered. Some say that Louis Farrakhan was one of the killers. Muhammad Ali had an IQ of 78. I remember reading an article in Ring Magazine soon after he won the title which mentioned that he had difficulty reading the word "creatures" from a Nation of Islam-produced pamphlet. He was akin to a child in a man's body. His failure of the army intelligence test gave him an initial deferment. It was only Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's "Project 100,000" in 1966 that enabled "Special Americans" like Ali, as he labeled them, to join the US Military. McNamara promised that the military's resources could improve the intelligence of these recruits and make them suitable for service. Ali had little understanding of the Vietnam War. His actions and his finances were under control of the Nation of Islam who had brokered a deal with the US Army to enable Ali to serve. He would have been allowed to continue his boxing career, all that would be required of him was to box exhibitions for the troops and visit wounded servicemen in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. The sticking point for the Muslims had to do with his wearing a uniform. Amazingly, if Ali had not divorced his first wife, Sonji Roy, to whom he was abusive, his marital status along with his substandard mental abilities may have given him the deferment the Nation of Islam was seeking. Read Thomas Hauser's excellent "Muhammad Ali And His Times' or Mark Kram's thought-provoking "Ghosts Of Manila" to understand the real Muhammad Ali as opposed to the musings of talking heads that were not aware during this time and only get their opinions of him second hand.
  10. johnpressman

    Go ahead, cry me a river.

    The Platters' signature song "Smoke Gets In You Eyes", was sung by Irene Dunne in "Roberta" and by Kathryn Grayson in the remake; "Lovely To Look At", both recently shown on TCM.
  11. johnpressman

    Surgical Cinema

    For me, "Dark Passage" with Humphrey Bogart takes the prize for cinema surgery!
  12. The jokes on us because one of Hollywood's worst kept secrets was that Ann Sheridan was flat chested and wore "falsies"!
  13. johnpressman

    My Favorite Year

    I have noticed some similarities between the movies "My Favorite Year" and "The Lost Weekend". Both Peter O'Toole and Ray Milland hide liquor bottles in their coats and when O'Toole escapes the nightclub, the band plays "Somebody Stole My Gal". When Ray Milland is thrown out of the nightclub in "The Lost Weekend", the band plays "Somebody Stole My Purse" to the same tune!
  14. johnpressman

    Remembering Otis -- 50 years later

    Gary Puckett, "Young Girl" "Woman, Woman" "Over You" blows??? Ok, Here goes:
  15. johnpressman

    Remembering Otis -- 50 years later

    Love me some Otis! Gary Puckett's version of "To Love Somebody" blows the Bee Gees away!

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