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Everything posted by MotherofZeus

  1. One of my all time favorite lines is from Gigi: "Bad table manners, my dear Gigi, have broken up more households than infidelity." What are some of yours? I have quite a few but want to see what others' like from what we've viewed so far in "Mad About Musicals."
  2. MotherofZeus


    So we've hit bottom? Does this mean that we've finally found the thing enough people agree on that can stop the insanity? Because this Administration thus far pretty much hasn't cared about outrage. If it is just polls telling them they will eat it in November, then shame on them. It's a sad day that Americans even had to rally for something so basic. Yet here we are.
  3. I love your observation. Interestingly, these kind of exchanges were how folks negotiated The Code. As we've seen with Gigi and An American in Paris the code was starting to crack. I just think this plays to the values of that decade's majority. I'll take The Music Man over SBFSB any day. It is a period piece of Americana from 62. What a difference a few years make.
  4. Yes, Folks, I was going to post a warning to the forum that it Seven Brides was about to air. I believe I've unearthed several of you who would like some sort of bat signal warning before it is going to run. 😎 I'll see what I can do to allow you to run screaming from the building in time. Perhaps a giant Howard Keel mustache and pantaloons in the sky...not because the movie is sexist but because it does absolutely nothing for me...and simply doesn't stand up to time IMO. I agree it should be seen for historical context and for seeing a transition to annoying dancing in far too bright colors and tedious stomping. It is a snippet of the 50s to be sure. One I can say I've seen and skip whenever it is showing on TCM.
  5. So, in watching the discussion of High Society today, I found it difficult to agree that High Society's musical numbers give more depth to the characters. I would argue it has less dimension than the non-musical Philadelphia Story. I see just as much psychoanalysis of Tracy in the original as the father tells her a daughter's love is what keeps a father young, and his affairs are her fault. I've always felt that that aspect of the tale was a "Just, wow!" moment that is hard for contemporary women to swallow. They cut her down to size quite deftly in the original with the same complaints about her expectations of others. Hepburn's Tracy is far more transformed from ice queen to a woman who embraces people and herself as they are and she is. I don't see a convincing change in Kelly's Tracy. I do love the music in High Society. Any Louis Armstrong is good music. Likewise Cole Porter. I agree that the most delightful couple is Bing and Louis. This is what I watch an otherwise watered down movie. Grace is stunningly beautiful, but Hepburn outacts her by miles. Cary and Jimmy are also leagues ahead of Crosby and Sinatra in depth of character, nuance in performance, and bringing issues of class to the front. I found it interesting in comparing this movie's exploration of class and how the "mighty have fallen" as a bit out of place in the prosperous for white-America 50s where it was right in line with the original Philadelphia Story's 1940 preference of the average Joe, deflation of the rich as America had not yet come out of the Depression. What do others feel about High Society?
  6. Evidently I have time too. I agree with almost everything but Liz (gotta give it to Ruth Hussey in my book) and Mike is hands down Jimmy Stewart by a mile. I enjoy High Society but I find none of it better or more dimensional. I enjoy it simply for the music and Grace's timeless beauty.
  7. Exactly! I think the subsequent comments after yours agree that where Philadelphia Story is a movie I cannot turn off and will go to again and again, High Society is a light musical romp pasted atop the unsurpassed original film.
  8. To match Marlene Dietrich's spell-binding allure in Blue Angel, we've commissioned this zesty yet creamy Gruner Veltiner Reserve. Its primary fruit flavors are lime, lemon and grapefruit. It also has a honeyed green ginger herbaceous flavor that is often described as white pepper. However, what makes this vintage so Lola Lola is is its signature vein of dry acidity that explodes in your mouth. The tingly aftertaste is like delicate pop rocks reminiscent of Dietrich's electric performance -- but we've grounded the wine with a rich nutty undertone akin to the exotic destiny of Von Sternberg's Professor Rath at the Blue Angel.
  9. CaveGirl, would that I was the one with first-hand knowledge. Some of the stories are not to believed. I have a few more names to drop but not the likes of Cary or Errol unfortunately. Working in Las Vegas in the 60s meant my family was close to some folks who were extending their career from our golden age of cinema. Then there was the rat pack too, but I only got them second hand as I was too little to be in the scrum. I tend to sound ridiculous telling other people's stories. I'll tell them as the people come up if it sheds light on the topic. I wish I could be up there on the screen doing introductions. You can bet I would if they asked. Dream job! There are so many on this forum that would be great hosts.
  10. My great grandmother used to iron Moe's shirts before he went on stage. He got a kick out of her, and she said he couldn't have been nicer. This was in Las Vegas before I was born. Mom got to go on vacations with Bob Newhart and family (and the Rickles). My aunt chatted with Durante over sandwiches. I was late by about 15 years. I just get the stories. Moe was apparently the gentlest person my grandmother could have imagined.
  11. MotherofZeus

    Kaleidoscope: Hitchcock Unrealized

    Amazing that someone like Hitchcock wasn't allowed to do what he wanted. I tend to think Universal was protecting its brand of Hitchcock rather than offended by the content. What a shame. I cant imagine how this went down for him emotionally.
  12. I agree that he is not forgotten by students of classic cinema or by comedians. Like Jimmy Durante and the Marx Brothers, he stands the test of time. I can't tell you how many people were delighted when my son was four and wanted to be Harpo Marx. He was absolutely the hit of that Halloween. I dressed as Groucho (a rather Mother Boy thing of me to do -- which I haven't yet lived down), and to your point, @spence, at work, I was asked by one young thing, "I love your costume. Which Stooge are you?" (pause for dramatic effect). The point is, those who know, really know. Those who don't are missing out. I see references to Fields, Durante, the Marx Brothers, and many classic inspirations all over contemporary cinema and TV. They carry through.
  13. I agree he isn't dislikable at all and outlined similar reasons as well as showed how they did take some snooty (he earned his snoot) behavior on his part and make it likable. I also adore everything about Leslie Caron, period. In all ways. I'll have to hear her voice to see if I agree with them dubbing her in Gigi. Kelly is also the bee's knees as far as I am concerned. He may have one note, in general, but that note is pure bliss.
  14. MotherofZeus

    Name your top 20 Westerns of All Time

    I love Three Amigos. High Planes Drifter is masterful. Pale Rider also.
  15. Here's the thing about Judy's looks...when she is on the screen, you can't take your eyes off her no matter how generous she is on screen in highlighting her costars. You simply can't. She was gorgeous although not classically beautiful. but more importantly she was magnetic in the sense of a "star" like Garbo, Dietrich, Dean, Monroe, Bergman, or Bando. Look at how they fabricated my beloved Rita Hayworth through plucking, snipping, dyeing, starving, and painting! I believe Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner and Ingrid Bergman are the exceptions to the Hollywood makeover. In fact, Garbo and Bergman are exceptions who refused the makeover by and large. The beauty ideal imposed on women lingers with us today as women still hear what celebrities deal with regarding roles for "aging women" and having to drop weight to be considered attractive (many vulgar terms have been reported by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Kathleen Turner, Anjelica Houston, Sandra Bullock and so many more). Judy Garland is the worst case scenario of the most talented, most magnetic, most charismatic star who had the least ability to deal with exploitation. Why do we still want to watch her despite her horrific story? In everything I read and observed, Judy's ability to bring the audience into the idea that she understands them through self-deprecation always maintains a dignified quality. During this class, I've spent a great deal of time on why she is so fantastic even in her years of diminished physical and mental strength. People connect to her because she deflates herself while retaining dignity. Isn't that what most people feel about themselves? We have the right to love, respect, and happiness even as we shoot ourselves in the foot. That's what she brings to the screen along with a voice that wallops anyone who listens. Watching the clips for June 21, I was struck by how Judy should be in these if the studios didn't insist on younger women while allowing older men to keep going until they just couldn't tap anymore. Bing and Fred were no spring chickens. Bing wasn't skinny! Fred was too skinny for the ideal male and never the handsome romantic type. In the musicals of Sinatra, they riff on his paltry frame rather than dump him as unattractive. The double standard was in full effect in what we are seeing move through the musical decades. Even Rita was starting to be considered long in the tooth while Fred, Frank, Gene, and Bing kept rolling along. Phooey, my Granny used to say, and I say phooey today.
  16. Jerry Mulligan is the narrator in the film, so we naturally see things from his perspective. Most audiences trust a narrator rather than question intentions or credibility. He's already told us he is a veteran of the war (WWII), so he has won the audience over in that regard. He's won us over, so to speak, when he demonstrates his cranky side as an artist. He is presented as a starving artist who is mediocre, but he's willing to go without to pursue his dream. This is revealed in his not having prices prepared for transactions, not having cigarettes, and his realization that he should have charged more. He's not in it for the money. Additionally, other artists embrace him, cheerfully greet him, and generally accept him, so he's been at this and the French accept him -- signaling he is not a brash American to them. Yesterday, I complained about the anti-intellectualism in the scene with the professor in Singing in the Rain that involves the song "Moses Supposes." However, here, we have Paris, which many consider the cradle of art. Intellectualism is part of the air, so Kelly's snobbery about brash Americans has been earned. Besides he is paying the price to be able to judge them. He's taken his vow of poverty to be a priest to the arts -- even if he's terrible. Visually, Vincente Minnelli presents Kelly in shadow, beneath, or in the background to when he is criticizing the women or saying something impolite. The angles and lighting focus on the women, and he is not only visually in the servile position but literally dependent on them in the transactional relationship between an artist and a potential customer. He isn't in the power position with these ladies -- which undercuts his surliness. Minnelli presents an entirely American protagonist following his dream damn the consequences -- even if it is in Paris. This makes him sympathetic to the audience. I adore An American in Paris. Everything about it except that it is shot in Culver City. Minnelli does a great job of recreating it, though. The city is a character in this musical, like New York City or Saint Louis. The stylized portions of the film allow Minnelli to bring in more fantastic imaginings of Americans' perceptions of Paris including many artistic homages in the ballet sequence to famous paintings and Parisian historical figures. I particularly like the employment of so much Lautrec. Quite literally, Kelly and Minnelli bring paintings to life, but they are always in dream sequences or in the mind (as is the case of the montage describing Lisa in the beginning). With Levant's masterful scene, we have a dream sequence of epic proportions with him being every performer in the orchestra, every viewer, etc. Then he comes back to reality and takes a Coca-Cola from the champagne bucket on his piano. This pin prick of the fantasy buts us back squarely in reality. AAIP grounds the movie in the daily routines of the Paris street, cafe, boarding house, and dive bar. It works vey well using both styles to fully play out what people fantasize about when "Paris" comes to mind. Who doesn't want to be at a fabulous black and white ball in Paris under the moonlight? Who doesn't want to run to their lover up/down the stairs to an embrace of passion in Paris? To keep America on top for his 50s audience, Minnelli deftly brings the Parisian girl to the robust American man, who -- though eschewing financial interests as most successful American males value in the role of provider -- is preferable too the Parisian nightclub singer who hasn't let Lisa know she's sexy. This feeds the idea of America at the top of its game in Gene Kelly, the American, being a better lover than the Parisian man who hasn't even let Lisa know she's pretty. If we recall Maurice Chevalier's character in The Love Parade, we know most certainly that Parisians are sophisticated lovers. An American in Paris turns this on its head. That is true artistic license that allows an American to triumph at Paris's own game, as the city of love, which would have set a 50s audience at ease. The sequences in this movie are superlative. We've seen many dream sequences with Kelly and Astaire work well with more grounded portions of movies. It is something La La Land called upon for its ability to be both fantastic and real. It is why we have the cliche of a dream sequence in which we dance romantically with a lover in a perfect Astaire/Rodgers sequence -- because musicals play with fantasy within reality.
  17. Meet Me in St. Louis: "Personally, I think I have too much bloom." Singing in the Rain: "What do they think I am, dumb or something? Why, I make more money than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!" An American in Paris: "It's not a pretty face, I grant you, but underneath its flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character." Yankee Doodle Dandy: Eddie Foy: "George M. Cohan and his royal family. Books and lyrics, music and directed by George M. Cohan. Printed by Sam Divensky". That must be Cohan's alias. Yankee Doodle Dandy: George: Oh, he's been through the mill. Played everything. Small time, big time, vaudeville, rep shows. Even followed dog acts.Foy: Must've looked like an encore. Say, uh, is he as good as Foy?George: Who?Foy: Foy, Foy. (Foy sprays George's face) Eddie Foy. Oh, pardon me.George: Pardon me. I didn't quite catch the name. Would you mind spraying it again? Gigi: Madame Alvarez: She... she doesn't want to. Aunt Alicia: She doesn't want to.? Madame Alvarez: She doesn't want to. Aunt Alicia: Such stupidity is without equal in the entire history of human relations. It must be your fault. It must be! You must have emphasized all the difficulties instead of all the delights. What did you say to the little monster? Madame Alvarez: Oh no, Alicia! Gigi perhaps is a little slow about certain things but just because she isn't attracted to Gaston Lachaille doesn't make her a monster. Aunt Alicia: Doesn't make her a princess! Gaston: Uncle! I'll tell you Europe is breeding a generation of vandals and ingrates. Children are coming into the world with ice-covered souls and hatchets in their hands! And before they have finished, they'll smash everything beautiful and decent.Honore Lachaille: Have a piece of cheese More coming from Fred and Ginger as well as Judy later if someone else doesn't post them.
  18. @Suzy-Q you beat me to it. Great movie. I do love Singin' in the Rain, though. Just magic.
  19. Don't get me started on his performance. It sounds like we have similar takes on the movie and respective strengths/weaknesses. You just said it far better than I did.
  20. I decided to revisit this forum topic because I love Judy's art so very much. I've been thinking about the studios' culpability. There is some. Think back, though, and assess what horrific parenting she experienced. I mean horrible. It never got better for her. Art was all she had in the end. Now a little personal context I can share. My grandfather served in WWII, and one of the unfortunate aspects of his service was the military supplying him with benzadrine although he was not in extreme combat. As a civilian, he was a musician, and the bennies continued outside of WWII moving onto different uppers and downers and booze similar to what Judy experienced. My granny really had a horrendously difficult time with his moods and dealing with an addict. He was exceptionally talented. He was also, like Judy, probably manic. He was really tough on my mom although she lived for his brilliance. Eventually, my grandparents divorced. He had a heart attack from the effects on his heart. He only rebounded by becoming a marathon runner. He channeled his energy into running -- and then he'd just be down when he was down. He was very like Judy except he didn't leave a monumental amount of genius as a gift to the world. I say all this because systemic addiction occurred in more than the studio system. Our government hooked tons of GIs on pills and cigarettes. Had my grandfather found success like Judy Garland, he probably never would have escaped her fate either. Too many people to please, no self worth, and no foundation from parents when it's all boiled down. The studio system took from her, but it also did give her a venue to share her gift. it was a vicious cycle, but the art is art. My grandfather left a few pieces for our family's collection, but what he had inside artistically and intellectually was never shared more broadly. This in no way answers your question but it puts Judy Garland's exceptionally horrible life in the context of what many people like her suffered as well. I can't imagine the world without her art.
  21. I actually think Judy is much more natural with the kids, and, as I said somewhere else, I think her depiction is less animated because, being Francis Gumm from the nether regions of northern Minnesota, playing a country bumpkin as broadly as Betty did seemed a bit condescending. I'll concede she seems to be staring off at the wrong spot in some of her dialogue, but I look as these two clips, and I think Judy would have delivered another amazing performance on the film. I really can't take Betty's performance in terms of being an 11 out 10 on the character's personality volume. Too much. Really kills any pleasure I get from this musical. Any...
  22. MotherofZeus


    What???? I'd riot. I just finished watching it after DVRing it (although I own it on DVD). Love this movie. All of it although the lyrics to "Thank Heavens for Little Girls" are even a bit creepier post #MeToo. But, I still sang along with Maurice. I do love "I'm So Glad I'm Not Young Anymore," and "I Remember It Well." Hope you can access it somehow. 😐
  23. MotherofZeus

    Name your top 20 Westerns of All Time

    I will use your list as a "Must See" list. I am ashamed it admit I recognize about only five on your list. Hello, Learning Opportunity! 😀
  24. MotherofZeus

    Name your top 20 Westerns of All Time

    Love your list. I wanted to include The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly as well as Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid in mine and probably should have bumped Tombstone and Blazing Saddles but I wanted a little variety in presentation. I also wanted to include There Will Be Blood.

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