MarkH

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  1. 1. I think it’s mainly practical. When only the main contributors were credited, the opening credits were a reasonable length of time to introduce them film. Now, when nearly everyone including the caterers get credit it can take up to 10 minutes or more to run all the credits. no one wants to sit through that before the movie. And, indeed, most people don’t sit through it at the end. 2. Overtures, Entr’actes and Exit music are present for films that were released as roadshow attractions in the first release. That means reserved seat tickets were sold in advance to individual performances like a a play or a concert. When those movies were re-released “at popular prices”, they would have been presented in continuous showings without the extra music and the intermission, as was the usual practice. 3. When adjusted for inflation, or the actual number of tickets sold, GWTW is still the biggest selling movie of all time including the present day. Before it debuted on TV in 1976, it was re-released every 7 years or so and was a huge hit every time. So, it outsold not only The Wizard of Oz, but every other movie too. FWIW you may not have noticed yet, but not only those two movies but a astonishing number of Hollywood’s most memorable films were made or released in 1939. A lot has been written about that being perhaps the studio era’s greatest year. 4. That’s an interesting question. If in her delirium, Dorothy populates her dream with the people she has been with just before getting knocked out, why are Auntie Em and Uncle Henry not among them too?
  2. The info about digital formats is very concerning!
  3. Not to be a downer, but I was a bit disappointed when I realized that the vocal track for all of those alternate takes was the same one, the one also used in the completed film. Judy was performing to her own prerecorded track several times until they got the scene the way they liked it. Her sync is so perfect that it looks totally spontaneous every time. But, it’s not a discovery of alternate audio takes of her singing that great song. Fascinating to watch all the same. You probably knew this all along, but it took me a little while figure it out.
  4. Mickey did guest in an earlier MGM picture, 1934’s Hollywood Party, a very silly all-star revue, but in that he was in a stand-alone animated segment that was later removed when the rights to use Mckey expired. Fortunately now he has been restored to the film which is available from Warner Archive. Forward to 1944 and it’s surprising that MGM was willing to bypass their own in-house mouse and animation unit to use Mickey. But of course no animated star is/was bigger than MM. Hanna and Barbera, et al, did a great job of bringing Jerry to life alongside Gene Kelly. The description of the amount of work that was required to do that is mind-boggling.
  5. Too bad they never put Robert Horton in a musical western, he could ride a horse, he could act, was so handsome, and had a terrific singing voice.
  6. The Musicals T-shirt is still available in all sizes, S M L XL and XXL, with a 25% discount. However, the “Musicals Boutique” seems to no longer exist. Just do a search for “musicals” in the TCM store and the shirt shows right up.
  7. Radio! From the introduction of the portable, battery-operated “transistor radio”, up until the arrival of the internet, radio was king. Everyone listened and that’s where pop stars were made in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and also somewhat the 80s. Less so after MTV, but radio still reigned over all until the advent of the internet.
  8. Even though that deluxe recording of WSS’s complete score was Bernstein’s dream project, it was very expensive to make and for commercial reasons those very unfortunate casting decisions were forced on him by Deutsche Gramophon (for global sales). This is what I’ve read, anyway. I believe Bernstein wanted Jerry Hadley for Tony, who would have been perfect. It still has a lot to offer, that record, but it really is a sadly lost opportunity to have done something much greater.
  9. It’s pleasant, and the photography is beautiful but there were a lot of weird arbitrary choices made, seemingly just to be different from the great Lumet film. Branagh’s acting is fine but his appearance is distracting. The ending, all new, and nothing like the book, is almost impossible to make sense of. All in all it’s fun to watch, but it’s not a patch on the 1974 film. Also, I find the Suchet film just about unwatchable. By this time his Poirot character had changed significantly and become tiresomely sanctimonious and pompous. Nothing at all like the fussy, cerebral but charming character we loved earlier in his run.
  10. MarkH

    God's Own Country

    The US theatrical release last fall had little promotion and came and went with little notice. Our local indie theatre actually did show it, but buried it during daytime screenings, making it difficult to see, even if you had heard of it. But now that the film is on Netflix and DVD/Blu-ray, people are really discovering it. It’s so heartfelt and beautiful, it’s quickly become one of my favorites. I hope it comes back to theatres at some point. I’d love to see it on the big screen with an audience.
  11. It’s like a judge famously said about a very different film genre a long time ago: I can’t tell you exactly what a musical is, but I know it when I see it!
  12. Redgrave and Nero were together, you’re right. They do kind of smolder on screen. They were together for about two years, then reconnected in 2006, got married, and are still together today!
  13. I agree Richard Harris is great, and I love Vanessa Redgrave too, although it would have been lovely to have Julie Andrews.
  14. This was changed to “Strong dance background required” in subsequent notices.
  15. There just aren’t any. Must have been an idea that was abandoned, but they forgot to remove it from the text of the course introduction.

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