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IRENE DUNNE DAY

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Today. They are showing lots of her early lesser known films today. Worth watching!

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Don't miss:

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6:30 a.m. Bachelor Apartment (1931)

8:00 a.m. The Great Lover (1931)

9:15 a.m. Symphony of Six Million (1932)

11:00 a.m. Thirteen Women (1932)

12:15 p.m. Ann Vickers (1933)

1:45 p.m. No Other Woman (1933)

3:00 p.m. The Secret of Madame Blanche (1933)

4:30 p.m. The Age of Innocence (1934)

6:00 p.m. Roberta (1935)

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Ann Vickers was very good, rather daring in some ways even in the pre-code era. Also rather ahead of its time in its feminism in the first half.  Interesting plotline, fine work by Irene, Walter Huston, and Edna May Oliver.

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22 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Ann Vickers was very good, rather daring in some ways even in the pre-code era. Also rather ahead of its time in its feminism in the first half.  Interesting plotline, fine work by Irene, Walter Huston, and Edna May Oliver.

But of course these women have to give up their careers at the end of the story, so any feminist strides are completely counteracted. The overall goal is to show that feminists have to surrender everything in the end, so the stories are actually anti-feminist. The women cannot be seen as being happy if they're not someone's wife and someone's mother staying home, staying put in a man's world.

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

But of course these women have to give up their careers at the end of the story, so any feminist strides are completely counteracted. The overall goal is to show that feminists have to surrender everything in the end, so the stories are actually anti-feminist. The women cannot be seen as being happy if they're not someone's wife and someone's mother staying home, staying put in a man's world.

What you mention is clearly the rule,  but I view The Animal Kingdom as an exception.   

In this film the man,  played by Leslie Howard, decides to go back to his lover,  Daisy (played by Ann Harding),  and never is it hinted that Daisy is going to change (e.g. give up her job),  or even if they are going to get married after Howard divorces Loy (assuming he does).

 

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14 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

What you mention is clearly the rule,  but I view The Animal Kingdom as an exception.   

In this film the man,  played by Leslie Howard, decides to go back to his lover,  Daisy (played by Ann Harding),  and never is it hinted that Daisy is going to change (e.g. give up her job),  or even if they are going to get married after Howard divorces Loy (assuming he does).

 

Yes, definitely the exception to the rule. In films like FEMALE with Ruth Chatterton; HONEYMOON IN BALI with Madeleine Carroll; and TAKE A LETTER, DARLING with Rosalind Russell, very competent corporate women have to surrender everything in the end for their men.

And in EXECUTIVE SUITE, we have Barbara Stanwyck in charge of a large company-- and she has no man, and we see her so unhappy she wants to kill herself. A complete reversal of her climb to the top in BABY FACE. We're supposed to believe that all those years later she realised she had the wrong goals in life. 

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7 hours ago, TopBilled said:

But of course these women have to give up their careers at the end of the story, so any feminist strides are completely counteracted. The overall goal is to show that feminists have to surrender everything in the end, so the stories are actually anti-feminist. The women cannot be seen as being happy if they're not someone's wife and someone's mother staying home, staying put in a man's world.

Oh, yes!  I once did a segment in a TCM Programming Challenge Schedule entitled:  "Movies With Endings To Make Feminists Cringe" and "Ann Vickers" absolutely made the list.  Irene Dunne's speech at the end about being "Freed from the sins of pride and ambition" makes me want to hurl.  Another hurl-inducing moment comes at the end of "The Flame Within" where Ann Harding (who plays a prominent psychiatrist) gives up her job to marry Herbert Marshall who she clearly does not love.  I've always felt that Ann Harding knew what an idiotic end this was to a film which showcased a strong, self-reliant career woman because her line reading when she announces she will be giving up the profession she loves to marry a guy she clearly does not love is weirdly zombie-like!

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19 minutes ago, lydecker said:

Oh, yes!  I once did a segment in a TCM Programming Challenge Schedule entitled:  "Movies With Endings To Make Feminists Cringe" and "Ann Vickers" absolutely made the list.  Irene Dunne's speech at the end about being "Freed from the sins of pride and ambition" makes me want to hurl.  Another hurl-inducting moment comes at the end of "The Flame Within" where Ann Harding (who plays a prominent psychiatrist) gives up her job to marry Herbert Marshall who she clearly does not love.  I've always felt that Ann Harding knew what an idiotic end this was to a film which showcased a strong, self-reliant career woman because her line reading when she announces she will be giving up the profession she loves to marry a guy she clearly does not love is weirdly zombie-like!

I agree, Ann Harding (very progressive in many ways) undoubtedly subverted the "traditional" ending with her line reading. And good for her.

When Robert Osborne was still on the air, he had feminist critic Molly Haskell return for a night of early women's films (they previously co-hosted a season of 'Essentials'). She talked a lot about the theme of women who were forced to admit their career goals and basically any goal outside the home was wrong.

Haskell screened several films. The first one was FEMALE (1934), a Warner Brothers precode which I mentioned earlier in this thread. She also presented THEY ALL KISSED THE BRIDE (1942), a Columbia comedy starring Joan Crawford. In this one Crawford's an executive of a trucking firm who gives it all up for wedded bliss with Melvyn Douglas.

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And not to further distract us from talk of the beautiful and multi-talented Irene Dunne here, BUT speaking of films that start out with a feminist POV but ultimately become the almost opposite of that...

I was once again reminded of this last week when I once again caught Woman of the Year on TCM.

(...tell me here...how the hell does a woman as smart and worldly as Hepburn in that flick NOT know how to do something as simple as cooking a couple of eggs for breakfast?...AND, why the hell does that stupid toaster SUDDENLY begin to malfunction on her and begin popping toast three freakin' feet in the air???...talk about a movie with an ending completely incongruous to all that's preceded within it, eh?!)

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Early tomorrow morning there's another classic Irene Dunne film airing on TCM-- it's STINGAREE (1934) which reunites her with Richard Dix. This is an interesting RKO production, with an early role by Andy Devine; Mary Boland in support; and some good musical selections.

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One of my favorite film clips is from Roberta, when, for about 3 seconds we see Fred Astaire grab Irene Dunne and twirl her around. Two of my very favorite screen people!

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Irene Dunne flicks TCM never shows:

BACK STREET (1932)...the original version of this classic tearjerker story. Remade twice.

THE SILVER CORD (1933)...a drama with Joel McCrea.

HIGH, WIDE AND HANDSOME (1937)...a musical with Randolph Scott and Dorothy Lamour.

INVITATION TO HAPPINESS (1939)...a very good boxing drama with Fred MacMurray.

WHEN TOMORROW COMES (1939)...the second of three she did with Charles Boyer.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (1941)...a comedy with Robert Montgomery.

LADY IN A JAM (1942)...a comedy with Patric Knowles.

THE MUDLARK (1950)...a historical drama with Alec Guinness.

IT GROWS ON TREES (1952)...a comedy with Richard Crenna, her last feature film.

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Irene Dunne is one of those actresses I was aware of but didn't really know much about her work in depth, until TCM. I've really grown to admire her, even in those "women's pictures" she so decried.  Something so very solid about her work and she was very versatile.  

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I agree, Ann Harding (very progressive in many ways) undoubtedly subverted the "traditional" ending with her line reading. And good for her.

When Robert Osborne was still on the air, he had feminist critic Molly Haskell return for a night of early women's films (they previously co-hosted a season of 'Essentials'). She talked a lot about the theme of women who were forced to admit their career goals and basically any goal outside the home was wrong.

Haskell screened several films. The first one was FEMALE (1934), a Warner Brothers precode which I mentioned earlier in this thread. She also presented THEY ALL KISSED THE BRIDE (1942), a Columbia comedy starring Joan Crawford. In this one Crawford's an executive of a trucking firm who gives it all up for wedded bliss with Melvyn Douglas.

I thought (think) Molly Haskell is terrific and have long wondered why TCM has not utilized her more often.  I'd kill to have seen this segment where she discussed career women being dissed in Hollywood films.

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I'd like to see Dunne honored as Star of the Month again. She was featured in 1996 and in 2007. So she's due for another tribute with some of her rare Universal titles added into the mix.

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

And not to further distract us from talk of the beautiful and multi-talented Irene Dunne here, BUT speaking of films that start out with a feminist POV but ultimately become the almost opposite of that...

I was once again reminded of this last week when I once again caught Woman of the Year on TCM.

(...tell me here...how the hell does a woman as smart and worldly as Hepburn in that flick NOT know how to do something as simple as cooking a couple of eggs for breakfast?...AND, why the hell does that stupid toaster SUDDENLY begin to malfunction on her and begin popping toast three freakin' feet in the air???...talk about a movie with an ending completely incongruous to all that's preceded within it, eh?!)

I think one of the reasons I am not a huge fan of the Tracy/Hepburn film pairings (yes, I know, I am a heretic) is because her character always comes off as somehow "lesser" than his.  He's so damn smart/superior and she is consistently shown up by him.  See:  "Adam's Rib," "Woman of the Year," "Desk Set," etc. etc. Makes me more than a little crazy.

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17 hours ago, Dargo said:

I was once again reminded of this last week when I once again caught Woman of the Year on TCM.

(...tell me here...how the hell does a woman as smart and worldly as Hepburn in that flick NOT know how to do something as simple as cooking a couple of eggs for breakfast?...AND, why the hell does that stupid toaster SUDDENLY begin to malfunction on her and begin popping toast three freakin' feet in the air???...talk about a movie with an ending completely incongruous to all that's preceded within it, eh?!)

I was always confused as to why she was preparing toast AND waffles. Doesn't one normally choose one or the other?

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21 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

I was always confused as to why she was preparing toast AND waffles. Doesn't one normally choose one or the other?

Talk about carbo loading!

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If you can ever find a copy, watch "Unfinished Business" starring Irene Dunne,and Robert Montgomery, made in 1941 by Universal. A close to wartime movie with not a hint of Nazis in it that seems very much like a precode. It is hard to find exactly because it is Universal. I wish Warner Bros. would by the MCA/Universal film library and put some really great gems out for people to see.

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8 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

If you can ever find a copy, watch "Unfinished Business" starring Irene Dunne,and Robert Montgomery, made in 1941 by Universal. A close to wartime movie with not a hint of Nazis in it that seems very much like a precode. It is hard to find exactly because it is Universal. I wish Warner Bros. would by the MCA/Universal film library and put some really great gems out for people to see.

Has MCA offered up their film library for sale?  

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38 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Has MCA offered up their film library for sale?  

Not that I know of, but I can dream can't I? :)

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2 hours ago, calvinnme said:

Not that I know of, but I can dream can't I? :)

Dreaming is good. LOL

I thought UNFINISHED BUSINESS was on DVD. But I looked on Amazon and it unfortunately is not. However, the Universal comedy LADY IN JAM is on DVD. It's part of the Universal Vault series.

And since TCM is sponsoring this message board discussion, I will mention that LADY IN A JAM is for sale at Shop TCM. It's currently priced a few dollars less than what Amazon is selling it for:

http://shop.tcm.com/lady-in-a-jam/025192096013

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Dreaming is good. LOL

I thought UNFINISHED BUSINESS was on DVD. But I looked on Amazon and see it unfortunately is not. However, the Universal comedy LADY IN JAM is on DVD. It's part of the Universal Vault series.

And since TCM is sponsoring this message board discussion, I will mention that LADY IN A JAM is also for sale at Shop TCM. It's currently a few dollars less than what Amazon is selling it for:

http://shop.tcm.com/lady-in-a-jam/025192096013

Yep, I already own that one. A good recommendation.  What I'd really like to see is one of the few Robert Montgomery  films I do not own - "Once More Darling", also by Universal. Any 1949 film that has Anne Blythe and Robert Montgomery, not playing a married couple, in a motel room with Ann sitting on the bed dressed in a tee shirt with "KILLER" plastered on the front with her asking Montgomery "Are we safe?" has got to be worth watching.

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3 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

Yep, I already own that one. A good recommendation.  What I'd really like to see is one of the few Robert Montgomery  films I do not own - "Once More Darling", also by Universal. Any 1949 film that has Anne Blythe and Robert Montgomery, not playing a married couple, in a motel room with Ann sitting on the bed dressed in a tee shirt with "KILLER" plastered on the front with her asking Montgomery "Are we safe?" has got to be worth watching.

So it sounds like you are saying, after 31 Days of Oscar, TCM needs to make Irene Dunne Star of the Month in March, then make Robert Montgomery Star of the Month in April. :)

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