TopBilled

Thoughts about Claudette Colbert's movies

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Yes, I thought it would turn up for Boyer, but no go. I think it's only been shown a few times total. I'm sorry, now I never recorded it.

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32 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I hadn't heard of Tovarich before this thread, so I checked out moviecollector's database, and sure enough, TCM hasn't shown it in 13 years! That trumps my recent cause celebre of Angels with Dirty Faces, which TCM hasn't shown in nine years. Seems like it would have been a natural for Boyer's SOTM.  

Was that the only time it aired?

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THAT many? That's like rubbing salt into the wound.  Must be a rights issue then. :(

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That's what I thought about Angels with Dirty Faces, which has aired 51 times, but not since 2009. In the article on the Michael Curtiz tribute, it was listed in bold print, which usually in the website articles means it's a film TCM is going to air (if they discuss other films relevant to the topic of the article that aren't going to air, they put them in italics). But it didn't end up making the cut. My feeling based on this circumstantial evidence is that TCM was planning to air it as part of the Curtiz tribute, but then found out they couldn't.

I mentioned all this before in another thread and didn't get any support for my "rights issue" theory. I was told I didn't understand how lease packages work.

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29 minutes ago, Hibi said:

THAT many? That's like rubbing salt into the wound.  Must be a rights issue then. :(

Sometimes what happens is the studio (in this case Turner/Time Warner) owns the film but after a certain number of years the story rights revert back to the author's estate especially if it was based on a stage play. So they have to renegotiate with the playwright's heirs. It's probably a case of greed, where one side is over-valuing the property so a renewal cannot be agreed upon. This hurts everyone, because it can't be shown while the legal stuff is hammered out, and it can't be remade as a newer film.

THE CONSTANT NYMPH was stuck in rights limbo for a long time, and WHITE BANNERS is another one. THE CONSTANT NYMPH's issues were resolved, but not WHITE BANNERS (at least not yet). And it seems TOVARICH is also in limbo at this time, which is a shame. It's a very good movie with memorable performances.

I have no idea what's going on with ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES.

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Yes, Constant Nymph was in rights hell for many years. I'm pretty sure White Banners was shown in the past on TCM. Years ago though. Hopefully Tovarich will resurface again some day. :(

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You've mentioned all the important films, TB but I agree with Kingrat that it's fun to see a final or close to final film by any star, which is why I would pick "Parrish" from 1961. Such a soapy potboiler with her as Troy Donahue's mother and using some of the Warner Brothers tv stable, from shows like "Hawaiian Eye" with Connie Stevens as his love interest.
 

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On 4/11/2018 at 12:28 PM, sewhite2000 said:

Okay, I got one that hasn't been posted by anyone else: Boom Town (1940). This is a pretty silly movie - and let's face it, most of the great ones have already been taken by the above posters - but it's the superstar power of Colbert, Gable, Tracy and Lamarr all together. If I ever turn on TCM, and it's on, I'll stay with it until the end. One ridiculous plot twist after another, and the romantic triangle will drive you nuts - I keep waiting for Colbert to just give philandering Gable the heave-ho once and for all and settle down with utterly devoted Tracy. But it's good fun all around.

Including Boom Town or Three Came Home was a close call as it came to my top 10 list,  but I went with Boom Town for because of that superstar cast.   But overall Three Came Home is a more polished film. 

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Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 11.36.53 AM.jpg

I've been wanting to recommend one of Claudette Colbert's later pictures. It's a screwball comedy from 1949 I watched about a month ago on YouTube. You might still be able to find it on there. It was an independent production released through RKO, though I don't think it's in the TCM (Turner) library. She costars with Robert Young and George Brent, both of them made earlier pictures with her. BRIDE FOR SALE casts her as a very buttoned-up tax consultant.

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She is an expert in her field and that's why her boss (Brent) hired her. But of course she is so focused on her job she has no time for love. She thinks she might be able to snag a rich single client who doesn't have to pay much in the way of taxes that she can marry. The set-up is charming, especially because Brent asks a pal, played by Young, to pose as a client and teach her a lesson. Of course she and Young really do fall in love with each other which makes Brent jealous!

It's a bit dated by today's standards but very funny. Some of the sequences, including one at an outdoor fish market, are hilarious. Plus there's some shtick where Brent goes too far to get Colbert back from Young, which leads to him being hauled away in a paddy wagon. The film had a lot of repeat business in theaters back in '49 and become one of the top hits that year. So contrary to what scholars and others might say, the screwball comedy was still popular with audiences after the war. And though Colbert was making more dramas by this point of her career, she proved she still had the ability to make audiences laugh, even if it meant hiring herself out as a bride for Robert Young.

Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 11.52.54 AM.jpg

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Hadn't heard of this film. And I was in it!!!

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9 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Hadn't heard of this film. And I was in it!!!

You were?

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Well, my avatar........before my time I'm afraid.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Well, my avatar........before my time I'm afraid.

It's one of George Brent's better performances. He's not going to wind up with the gal at the end, so he's free to really embellish and play a bit of a heel in this film. 

BRIDE FOR SALE is what we'd call a sleeper hit today. I don't think anyone had huge expectations when it was released, but it clicked with audiences.

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Hopefully it will show up on TCM one of these years......

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10 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Hopefully it will show up on TCM one of these years......

It's still on YouTube (in six parts). I just checked.

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It's a shame that so much of Colbert's early work was over at Paramount. You have to go to the gray market to see any of them. The best of them is "Young Man of Manhattan", in which Colbert and her actual husband Norman Foster play two newspaper columnists who marry after a whirlwind courtship. What gets in the way is Foster's character's lack of professional ambition, and the fact that he is being ardently pursued by a college girl flapper played by a 19 year old Ginger Rogers. And then there is a pesky case of blindness brought on by prohibition era booze.

"The Big Pond" has Colbert as a debutante in love with a poor Frenchman, played by Maurice Chevalier. When they want to marry, Colbert's dad decides to use reverse psychology, accept Chevalier, take him back to the US with them, give him a job in his factory, and prove to his daughter that he could never fit in. But things don't work out quite that way.

Her earliest surviving sound film "The Hole in the Wall" is about a bunch of fake psychics with Edward G. Robinson playing opposite Colbert. I'd only recommend this one for fans of the early talkies as the entire thing is a mixed bag. For example, there is a train wreck where the camera goes to different people on the train just prior to the wreck to get an idea of the human toll. But the wreck itself just looks like a kid's model train falling off of a hill.

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15 hours ago, calvinnme said:

It's a shame that so much of Colbert's early work was over at Paramount. You have to go to the gray market to see any of them. The best of them is "Young Man of Manhattan", in which Colbert and her actual husband Norman Foster play two newspaper columnists who marry after a whirlwind courtship. What gets in the way is Foster's character's lack of professional ambition, and the fact that he is being ardently pursued by a college girl flapper played by a 19 year old Ginger Rogers. And then there is a pesky case of blindness brought on by prohibition era booze.

"The Big Pond" has Colbert as a debutante in love with a poor Frenchman, played by Maurice Chevalier. When they want to marry, Colbert's dad decides to use reverse psychology, accept Chevalier, take him back to the US with them, give him a job in his factory, and prove to his daughter that he could never fit in. But things don't work out quite that way.

Her earliest surviving sound film "The Hole in the Wall" is about a bunch of fake psychics with Edward G. Robinson playing opposite Colbert. I'd only recommend this one for fans of the early talkies as the entire thing is a mixed bag. For example, there is a train wreck where the camera goes to different people on the train just prior to the wreck to get an idea of the human toll. But the wreck itself just looks like a kid's model train falling off of a hill.

Thanks for giving us a rundown on her earlier Paramount films. In those days the company had an east coast studio which is where I think a lot of those were made. Sometimes she would also appear in French-language versions of the stories.

Going by your descriptions, YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN is one I'd like to see. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 7.16.30 AM.jpg

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks for giving us a rundown on her earlier Paramount films. In those days the company had an east coast studio which is where I think a lot of those were made. Sometimes she would also appear in French-language versions of the stories.

Going by your descriptions, YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN is one I'd like to see. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 7.16.30 AM.jpg

Yes, Young Man of Manhattan sounds like a delicious Pre-Code drama, one I would like to see TCM air.

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9 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks for giving us a rundown on her earlier Paramount films. In those days the company had an east coast studio which is where I think a lot of those were made. Sometimes she would also appear in French-language versions of the stories.

Going by your descriptions, YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN is one I'd like to see. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 7.16.30 AM.jpg

Young Man of Manhattan is on youtube. It's not a  great copy, but it's watchable.

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On ‎4‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 2:59 PM, Hibi said:

Hadn't heard of this film. And I was in it!!!

I'm beginning to think the list of movies you weren't in is shorter than the list of movies you were in.  :D

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On 4/10/2018 at 5:38 PM, LawrenceA said:

I think you'd need to include The Sign of the Cross (1932) and/or Cleopatra (1934). Both feature Colbert in a more sexual, outrageous light compared to the more buttoned-up roles she'd play later on.

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In the summer before my senior year of H.S. I met this hot little Latina at the beach who looked amazingly like a young Claudette Colbert. I was instantly smitten and we had a brief but torrid romance.  Ever since, whenever I've seen a movie with Colbert I think about that girl... whatever happened to her, how she's doing, what she looks like today? Does she ever think back to me, since she said that I reminded her of the actor who played the Rodney Harrington character in the Peyton Place TV series?
I think that I've seen most all of Claudette's movies, from her beginning to end, but the ones which still turn me on with old memories are those from her earlier film career.  :rolleyes:

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Nice story, Stephan55.  Sometimes I wonder if my old romances remember me or if they're even still alive.  :D

That precode photo of Claudette in the milk bath is pretty hot.  Time to show SIGN OF THE CROSS again, TCM.  I like Colbert, too, especially the early stuff although she's not one of my favorites.  Sometimes I find her insistence that she be photographed only from a certain angle distracting.

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2 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

Nice story, Stephan55.  Sometimes I wonder if my old romances remember me or if they're even still alive.  :D

That precode photo of Claudette in the milk bath is pretty hotTime to show SIGN OF THE CROSS again, TCM.  I like Colbert, too, especially the early stuff although she's not one of my favorites.  Sometimes I find her insistence that she be photographed only from a certain angle distracting.

Well Christine, if you still occasionally think about them, then there is a fair chance that they (if they are still alive with memories intact) still occasionally think about you.
I think what keeps some of my memories alive is because I would make an association with some actress that I was fond of at the time. So naturally, since I am an old movie nut, whenever I see a movie (or a movie still) with that actress in it, some of those memories come flooding back.
In this case, when I see a later Claudette Colbert film, I still think about the girl, and wonder if she aged as gracefully as her screen twin did?
Of course, in my imagination they are all alive and still beautiful to me.

I used to conduct an informal survey of active older couples, whenever the opportunity presented.
If they were a couple that met and married when they were both young and beautiful to each other... even after many decades have passed, I ask, "When you look into each others eyes do you still see the passionate wife or husband of your youth. The one you first fell in-love with?"
Sometimes I get a wise crack answer back, "Yeah, but he (or she) married my best friend, or my sister (or brother)", etc. But their sense of humor can't belie that they still retain a romantic interest in each other, perhaps even more so because of the laughs. 
Still, nine times out of ten, I'll see them pause, look deeply into each other's eyes and say, "Yes. She (or he) is still the beautiful girl (or boy) that I first fell in-love with."
Whenever I hear that from couples whose skin has long lost it's youthful glow, whose spines are curved with age, whose hair has thinned, and grayed, or vanished, it re-validates the adage that beauty truly is within the eyes of the beholder. 

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