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Palmerin

I Propose That Muller Take The Place Of Mankiewicz

74 posts in this topic

EM is amazing in his job as host of the Film Noir hour. He explains every movie in detail, and always finds something interesting to say about even the most average productions. In a word, he is ENTHUSIASTIC about his work.

About Mankiewicz, his typical demeanor is one of ill concealed apathy. Two Sundays ago, when he introduced KING SOLOMON'S MINES of 1950, he limited himself to a mechanical repetition of what he has said before about how pioneering that movie was by being filmed on location rather that on a backlot, exactly as if that were late breaking news. I waited to see how he would introduce Negulescu's GUNOI=GARBAGE, and, just as I expected, he just repeated the same crib notes of the last time he introduced the Webb-Stanwyck vehicle. Only when he has a co-host, such as Alec Baldwin or Friedkin, does BM feel motivated to pontificate magisterially about movies, exactly as if he were an expert on everything from A productions that earn Oscars and Golden Globes to turkeys that are of interest only to movie critics compilating lists of 10 Worst Movies of the Year.

So how would the enthusiastic Herr Muller speak about the Granger-Kerr-Carlson vehicle? You can bet he would mention such interesting factoids as:

1. When the hunter who has just killed an elephant is about to shoot another, Granger stops him and tells him that one elephant is enough. In 1897, the year of the story, hunting animals by the pound was perfectly normal; clearly that attitude was changing by the middle of the 20th century. Today you have President Kenyatta of Kenya setting fire to $105 million in ivory to symbolize his country's rejection of ivory as a source of wealth;

2. Only a few years after 1950, the struggle for African independence began; were the makers of this movie aware of the coming unrest?;

3. Only African music is employed in the soundtrack; since that music is unfamiliar to most Westerners, some explaining of it would be very welcome;

4. Some of the animals are little known. For example, what breed is that huge spider that gives Kerr such a fright?;

5. What about the true star of the production, Siriaque of the Watusi tribe? That man has such powerful presence that he totally upstages Granger, Kerr and Carlson. If this treatment of Haggard's story had been filmed today, people like Cameron, Ridley Scott and Spielberg would be paying very good money to hire him.

Edited by Palmerin
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No, Muller is enthusiastic about Noir, I wouldn't buy it if all of a sudden he's gushing on and on about say musicals. ;)

Find somebody else, don't co-opt him, it's bad enough having to watch his wine club spots. :lol:

 

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So then obviously he wouldn't be "gushing", he'd probably be "guzzling" . :D 

Sepiatone

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I don't particularly care for Ben Mankiewicz; he doesn't impress me as a cinephile.

And I am tired of hearing about him and Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

But Eddie Muller belongs on the Film Noir series.

His comments about "Tomorrow Is Another Day" were, as usual, outstanding.

 

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Am I alone in finding posters bellyaching about TCM hosts boring? There seems to be a thread of this nature at least once a week. Enough already!

In any event, Muller's enthusiasm for his subject is because he loves noirs, and he does his own writing. In some cases he will crib a lot of his own notes from write ups he's done in the past about a film and use them on the air. At least, he did that with The Breaking Point. I assume the Garfield film is not the only time he's done that. Nothing wrong with that, especially since most viewers will not have read his previous write ups on films, and what he previously wrote was worth repeating.

Ben M. has to introduce ALL kinds of film genre, some of which he may not care for (unlike Muller, who picks his own films). I don't know how much of his intros he writes. Aside from that Ben has a laid back, at times puckish, delivery, and he's effective if you enjoy that type of style. You don't like it? Avoid his two minute commentary and just watch the film. Different strokes for different folks, and all that sort of thing.

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8 minutes ago, TomJH said:

You don't like it? Avoid his two minute commentary and just watch the film. Different strokes for different folks, and all that sort of thing.

To belabor the obvious: I have already watched MINES several times, so naturally I want new insights that will keep that movie, and of course any other, fresh and exciting; otherwise why bother with TCM at all?

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I don't mind Ben at all.  He does a good job.  Comparing him to Eddie and the Film Noir series is unfair.  As noted, Ben has to introduce a lot of different movies, whereas Eddie only introduces ones he likes.  Maybe even likes too much.  Another factor is that Eddie has much more time to discuss his movies.  I'm sure Ben is under greater time constraints.

While I enjoy Eddie's intros and outros, I would not want to have to sit through that much on every movie that Ben currently covers.   

As for the lack of information about King Solomon's Mines, the above is mostly tangential to the movie.  And again, there is the time constraint.

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4 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

To belabor the obvious: I have already watched MINES several times, so naturally I want new insights that will keep that movie, and of course any other, fresh and exciting; otherwise why bother with TCM at all?

In that case, perhaps you should get a DVD or other recording of it?  You forget that many people TCM wants to attract have not seen KSM "several times."  The insights are new to them.  If you want new insights, google KSM and read what is on the internet.  Or start a thread here.

Don't ask for Ben to be fired and replaced by someone who may not even be interested in the position.  

Also, do we know who decides what will be said during Ben's intros?  Maybe he does not have as much input as you think.

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Just now, Palmerin said:

To belabor the obvious: I have already watched MINES several times, so naturally I want new insights that will keep that movie, and of course any other, fresh and exciting; otherwise why bother with TCM at all?

Well then I'll give you an insight on MINES.

I was taken to a drive-in theatre by my parents to see this film at some reissue of it and was half scared out of my mind when a clown (yes, a clown, with an all white face) stuck his head in an open car window. I screamed, my head hitting the top of the car and the clown cracked his head, too (I hope) when he quickly withdrew his head from our car. It was then that I first realized that clowns were evil.

Aside from that, Stewart Granger became a star in America because of his casting as Allan Quatermain in this film. He later thanked Errol Flynn for this to which Flynn responded, "Don't remind me."

Flynn had turned down the Quartermain role, deciding to make Kim in India instead.

MINES would be the second biggest box office film of 1950 (after Cinderella), and if it made that kind of money with Granger, an actor few knew at the time, how much more might it have made with Flynn? Flynn needed a big hit in his career at this point, one that he never got as his career continued to slide downward.

Turning down King Solomon's Mines was one of Flynn's worst career decisions (while a blessing for Stewart Granger).

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6 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Well then I'll give you an insight on MINES.

I was taken to a drive-in theatre by my parents to see this film at some reissue of it and was half scared out of my mind when a clown (yes, a clown, with an all white face) stuck his head in an open car window. I screamed, my head hitting the top of the car and the clown cracked his head, too (I hope) when he quickly withdrew his head from our car. It was then that I first realized that clowns were evil.

Aside from that, Stewart Granger became a star in America because of his casting as Allan Quatermain in this film. He later thanked Errol Flynn for this to which Flynn responded, "Don't remind me."

Flynn had turned down the Quartermain role, deciding to make Kim in India instead.

MINES would be the second biggest box office film of 1950 (after Cinderella), and if it made that kind of money with Granger, an actor few knew at the time, how much more might it have made with Flynn? Flynn needed a big hit in his career at this point, one that he never got as his career continued to slide downward.

Turning down King Solomon's Mines was one of Flynn's worst career decisions (while a blessing for Stewart Granger).

Flynn was supposed to star!?:o Now that is the kind of story that BM likes to mention in his prologues and conclusions; why does he keep omitting it?

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3 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

Flynn was supposed to star!?:o Now that is the kind of story that BM likes to mention in his prologues and conclusions; why does he keep omitting it?

I'm quite sure I have heard Ben mention it in introductions to the film in the past. Perhaps he (or is it his writers?) is trying to come up with new stuff this time. Money bet he'll probably bring it up again in the future.

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One more tidbit related to King Solomon's Mines. According to Stewart Granger while he was making this film in Africa he loaned his apartment out to friend. That friend had a friend (Freddie McAvoy, a notorious international playboy) who came over, too, and who did he bring with him? Errol Flynn!

Apparently Flynn and McAvoy stayed in Granger's apartment for about a week, and when Granger got back all his wine was gone, as well as his maid. His maid quit, frightened by all the partying (including young girls) that was going on.

When Granger saw Flynn afterward Flynn congratulated him on his lovely apartment, inviting him to come to his place on Mulholland Drive. This Granger did.

Granger, by the way, in spite of the loss of his wine, later called Flynn the greatest film star the film industry ever produced. He was, needless, to say, a HUGE fan.

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I myself have no problem with Ben whatsoever. Sure he's no Robert Osborne, but it's unrealistic to expect him to be. Ben brings his own style to the show. If he's not to your taste then just put on the mute button until the movie comes on.

 

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5 hours ago, TomJH said:

One more tidbit related to King Solomon's Mines. According to Stewart Granger while he was making this film in Africa he loaned his apartment out to friend. That friend had a friend (Freddie McAvoy, a notorious international playboy) who came over, too, and who did he bring with him? Errol Flynn!

Apparently Flynn and McAvoy stayed in Granger's apartment for about a week, and when Granger got back all his wine was gone, as well as his maid. His maid quit, frightened by all the partying (including young girls) that was going on.

When Granger saw Flynn afterward Flynn congratulated him on his lovely apartment, inviting him to come to his place on Mulholland Drive. This Granger did.

Granger, by the way, in spite of the loss of his wine, later called Flynn the greatest film star the film industry ever produced. He was, needless, to say, a HUGE fan.

And ironically enough, it was said Granger was never a big fan of clowns either.

And so you would have that in common with him too, Tom!

(...and now it would REALLY be a strange coincidence if you had ever been married to a woman who looked like Jean Simmons, huh!)

 

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No one is going to replace RO.

I would propose a variety of hosts who are specialists in different genres. That way they can be experts in their specific areas. Rotate them around. And yes, some diversity mixed in too.

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

And ironically enough, it was said Granger was never a big fan of clowns either.

And so you would have that in common with him too, Tom!

(...and now it would REALLY be a strange coincidence if you had ever been married to a woman who looked like Jean Simmons, huh!)

 

You know, Dargo, I like Jean Simmons, like, a lot! I think of her in The Big Country, in particular, and thought she was a real doll.

And she sang a bit too, something she might not be remembered for too much. Maybe she should have picked another subject.

 

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

No one is going to replace RO.

I would propose a variety of hosts who are specialists in different genres. That way they can be experts in their specific areas. Rotate them around. And yes, some diversity mixed in too.

Interesting proposal that should at least be tried, yes.

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I propose that EM take the place of the guy who was dumped

 in the Passaic river last Friday. :)

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

No one is going to replace RO.

I would propose a variety of hosts who are specialists in different genres. That way they can be experts in their specific areas. Rotate them around. And yes, some diversity mixed in too.

48 minutes ago, Palmerin said:

Interesting proposal that should at least be tried, yes.

That sounds expensive and might trigger even more wine club ads.

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2 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

 

That sounds expensive and might trigger even more wine club ads.

So try pitorro=Puerto Rican moonshine; there is a different liquor for every thirsty palate.:D

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20 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

 

That sounds expensive and might trigger even more wine club ads.

That inspires an idea!

Why not put all these type of threads on their own page and call it "The TCM WHINE Club"? :)

Sepiatone

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1 minute ago, Sepiatone said:

That inspires an idea!

Why not put all these type of threads on their own page and call it "The TCM WHINE Club"? :)

Sepiatone

An excellent idea. That way they could all be in a convenient place to be unread by those who have the power to do anything about it.

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I don't mind the wine ads since they don't interrupt the movies. And practically every film TCM shows, there's people constantly drinking and smoking so what's the difference.

Now, commercials for clothiers selling fedoras and trench coats start showing, that might be a bit much. :lol:

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7 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

I don't mind the wine ads since they don't interrupt the movies. And practically every film TCM shows, there's people constantly drinking and smoking so what's the difference.

It might be that in most of the movies, it isn't wine they're drinking.  HMmmm......

Maybe a "TCM SCOTCH CLUB"? ;)

I mean how silly can people get?  The idea that there's some "perfect wine" to "compliment" some movie or whatnot.  And now Eddie's added FOOD to the fray.  I mean, I can enjoy ANY movie I like while slurping down a cup of coffee or some cream soda and munching potato chips or Cheez-Its.  And it really doesn't say much for ANY movie to imply it might be more enjoyable if you're "half in the bag" while watching it.  Although I can say there ARE movies that NO AMOUNT of alcohol consumption will make better. ;)

Sepiatone

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What's wrong with pairing wine and food with a movie? The whole idea is to make movie watching an "event."  It's the idea that you can make watching Casablanca (for example) special by having something fun to drink, fun to eat and share the experience with others.  It's not like someone has to drink wine with every movie they watch, it's just a fun way to share the experience of watching the film with others.  If someone is pairing a specific wine and meal with a film, then it's probably a safe bet that he or she has seen the film before.  While this may be the hundredth time you've watched The Long, Long Trailer (for example), this time you're watching it with someone who hasn't seen it before, or maybe it's a beloved family classic.  Tonight, for something fun, you're pairing it with a nice California Sauvignon Blanc and having some picnic food like pulled pork.  The Wine Spots aren't saying that you have to drink wine while watching the film to make it enjoyable--it's an experience.  Don't like wine? Don't join the wine club. Make a beer club.  Scotch club.  Vodka club.  Milk club.  Orange soda club.  Or just drink whatever you want or drink nothing at all.  Who cares.  

The Wine Club and all the Noir Alley swag and all the other stuff is meant to sell classic film as an experience, a lifestyle.  While I agree that buying Noir fedoras or cufflinks seems kind of silly, it's not hurting anyone, it's not hurting TCM.  It's just something that I probably won't need to purchase.  I do like the idea of pairing drinks (not necessarily alcoholic) and food with a film.  It's just something that makes watching the movie fun.  If you don't find that fun, then don't do it.  It's simple. 

 

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