de_varenne

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About de_varenne

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  1. de_varenne

    Picture Quality of the [i]Kings Row[/i] DVD

    The replacement for my Kings Row DVD came yesterday and, I'm sorry to say, has the same problems as the first. The flaws are minor and easily overlooked when one becomes engrossed in the film, but I'm surprised they would exist at all, knowing the high standards of WBHV. Is it possible that a batch of the Kings Row DVDs could be flawed and the others be perfectly normal?
  2. de_varenne

    Picture Quality of the [i]Kings Row[/i] DVD

    Thank you so much. I've processed a request for replacement with Amazon.com; I'll let you know what comes of it.
  3. I received my DVD of Kings Row last Friday, and was I thrilled! I placed it into my DVD player, watched the special features and settled in for a look at the movie. But, alas (sniffle), the picture wiggles, and is disturbed four or five times by a small, grey, horizontal line running through it (one appears during the scene in which Reagan announces his intentions towards Ann Sheridan to her father). This trouble occurs during the run of the feature film only; the special features are quite all right. Has anyone else experienced this, or have I just gotten hold of a faulty DVD?
  4. de_varenne

    Alan Ladd films

    feaito, A dream reminded me to dig up this thread, and lo, there is your description of Ladd's Great Gatsby, to which I never responded. Thanks so much for posting it. The film sounds so interesting; I hope I can see it sometime.
  5. de_varenne

    How do you remember them?

    I just realized yesterday that Victor Kilian is the mustachioed policeman who nearly nabs Claudette Colbert for stealing artichokes in Tovarich (1937). I remember him mostly as the male nurse in This Gun for Hire (1942). Morris Carnovsky, also in Tovarich as the bald and bearded representative of the Bank of France, is forever rooted in my memory as Papa Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue (1945). He was terrific as the villain of Saigon (1948).
  6. de_varenne

    Alan Ladd films

    Sue Carol, Alan Ladd's agent and second wife, was the driving force behind his being cast in This Gun for Hire. She had been promoting Ladd for several years, and saw Gun as his big chance. Following is an excerpt from The Films of Alan Ladd by Marilyn Henry and Ron DeSourdis: When Sue brought Alan in for the for the appointment [with director Frank Tuttle], Tuttle wasn't impressed. "He looks too much like a kid who would say, 'Tennis anyone?' He's just not right for the part." Small, blond and boyish, Alan had always looked younger than his age, especially when he smiled. He looked nice. Sue quickly opened her portfolio and selected some shots of Alan smoking a cigarette, squinting through the smoke--portraits of Alan looking aloof, even sinister. The camera did things to the boyish face. The gray-green eyes looked old somehow, older than the clean-cut college type Alan projected in person. Tuttle studied the portraits and made the decision to test Ladd. His screen test consisted of three scenes: Raven being hired for a killing, Raven carrying out the job, and the scene in the train yards where he softens and tells the girl (Veronica Lake in the film) about his past. Trenchcoated and unsmiling, Ladd was sensational in the tests. The former bit player was signed by Paramount, and the rest is history.
  7. de_varenne

    How do you remember them?

    Character actors are often described as being the faces you know, and the names you can't remember. Thankfully, many of us do now remember their names, but they are often endeared to us through the characters they play. For instance, whenever Irving Bacon comes on the screen, I think "There's Gus!" for Gus was the character he played in Holiday Inn (1942), my favorite movie. Following are several more examples of my illogical memory of character actors. Erik Rhodes is likely to be "skuzee please", the fractured version of "excuse please" he keeps uttering in The Gay Divorcee (1935) Allen Jenkins is "the garbage man" because of Ball of Fire (1941) Louise Beavers is "Mamie", again because of Holiday Inn (1942) The appearance of Felix Bressart in any film brings on a recital of the "Papa, and not Otchi Tchorniye" bit from The Shop Around the Corner (1940) What comes to mind when you see one of those familiar faces?
  8. de_varenne

    Small Part, Great Acting

    What a wonderful thread, songbird2! Two character bits come to mind immediately; both from my favorite film, Holiday Inn (1942). The first is the wonderful comedy scenes performed by Irving Bacon (He will forever be "Gus" to me, the name of his character in the film). A veteran of the horse and buggy age, Gus just can't get the hang of driving a car, prompting Bing Crosby, after much tire screeching and whiplash stops, to remark "This thing will go up and back, but not sideways." Bacon's scenes throughout Holiday Inn are priceless. Next remembered is Louise Beavers, who gives Bing Crosby a hum-dinger talking to in the same film. It's Thanksgiving Day and Crosby is blue, for his girl, Marjorie Reynolds, has been lured away by Hollywood (and Fred Astaire). Louise Beavers bolsters his fighting spirit by saying, "I knows Miss Linda [Reynolds]. I knows her like I knows my own kids. Why, she ain't the fancy type no more than you are. What she wants is what you've got right here. But a lady has to have them things told to her the right way ... If you told Miss Linda how much you loves her, and misses her, and told her that the way a lady likes to hear it told, brother, she'd be the quickest ex-movie star that ever exed." These are my most cherised rememberances of two great character actors in small parts, but may I post again if I think of more?
  9. de_varenne

    Alan Ladd films

    annelindley, Glad to meet another fan of the great Alan Ladd! The TCMdb is the TCM Movie Database, which can be gotten to by clicking Movie Database at the top of this page, or by using this address: http://tcmdb.com/index.jsp Once there, type Alan Ladd into the searchbox. That should bring you to his page in the database. Then click on any of his film titles. A new page for the specific title will load, and on the right-hand column of that page is the Home Video Vote box. Click "Vote" and enter your e-mail address (which will be kept confidential if you so desire). That's all there is to it. feaito, I look forward to hearing from you!
  10. de_varenne

    Favorite Open Scene In A Classic Film

    Favorite? Oh, I'll have to think about that. But I did see The Snake Pit (1948) for the first time on the day before yesterday, and thought the opening was pretty amazing.
  11. de_varenne

    Alan Ladd films

    feaito, I'm so eager to hear your thoughts on Ladd's Great Gatsby. Have you seen it yet?
  12. de_varenne

    The Saddest Movie You Ever Watched

    Imitation of Life (1934), with Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers - My goodness, I've never cried so hard over a movie before! Usually I find movies about lives misspent or unfulfilled to be the most sorrowful... Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948), Joan Fontaine They Won't Believe Me (1947), Robert Young, Susan Hayward, Rita Johnson, Jane Greer ...but there are some movies that I find inexplicably sad. Nothing Sacred (1937), Carole Lombard and Fredric March Eternally Yours (1939), Loretta Young and David Niven There's a good kind of sad too. So Ends Our Night (1941), Fredric March, Frances Dee, Margaret Sullavan, Glenn Ford Romeo and Juliet (1936), Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard
  13. de_varenne

    Actors/Actresses behind the voice.....

    Oh, just remembered Reed Hadley. What a wonderful voice!
  14. de_varenne

    Actors/Actresses behind the voice.....

    Lucille Ball had a very distinctive voice; you could pick her out of the crowd in Stage Door while blindfolded. These voices are beautifully distinctive: Alan Ladd Bing Crosby Dana Andrews Myrna Loy Claire Trevor (Can't get over her voice. What did they call it in the TCM Confidential? "Like steel on satin"?) As for slightly annoying, I hate to say it because I love the man, but I've never found Joel McCrea's voice to be particularly wonderful. But it is recognizable.
  15. de_varenne

    Best Introduction shot of a character

    Rita Hayworth's introduction in Affair in Trinidad (1952) is a knockout. It was her return to the screen after three years of absence: The conga drums begin to beat "Trinidad Lady". A spotlight is cast, and Rita slinks out from behind a lattice with a sultry stare.

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