kaslovesTCM

Mickey Rooney ...

74 posts in this topic

I just think the hidden message in all his movies was the way his character connected with older individuals in each movie ... the dialogue is so wonderful and natural

 

sigh ... don't I wish that was relevant today

nowadays older people are portrayed in such a terrible way

we are all people and feel the same inside and out

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just think the hidden message in all his movies was the way his character connected with older individuals in each movie ... the dialogue is so wonderful and natural

 

Good point.  I would agree with that!  And I think the same could be said about Margaret O'Brien in her MGM films, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that was poured on with a shovel in The Human Comedy, patriotism that is, but Rooney was pretty good. As was Morgan.

 

And lookie there, Mitchum doing his part in a walk-on. That was one fine specimen of a man, Mitchum was.

 

How wasn't the audience aghast at Darryl Hickman not being able to read at his age, though? Was that common in hick towns in 1943? Good grief, how irresponsible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patriotism. That window scene with the "mannequin" was a not so subtle way of promoting the War Bonds (Ward Bonds? lol) to the masses.

 

I am always bothered by Ullysses. He just seemed so much more naive than a 5 year old might actually be. "What's afraid?" What's scared?" Seriously? And yes, primos, Hickman's character not being able to read is quite bizarre. Clearly his sister could read so one would assume that he did go to school. And was there no kindergarten in the 1940's? Ullysses should know what scared is. Or am I wrong? 

BTW didn't Jackie Jenkins (Ullysses) pass away this last year?

 

All in all this is my favorite Rooney film. I agree on MR's ability to convey his characters abillity to engage folks older/younger than himself. I think this was a very toned down performance by MR, no brashness. Beautiful job.

 

I do wish some of his Judy films weren't being shown so late. One thing I do miss during this salute is the commentaries from Ben/Robert. If this wasn't Festival week I'm sure we would've seen them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, a funny story connected to THE HUMAN COMEDY:

 

A friend of mine sat down one day to watch the movie because, he said, he likes funny movies and Mickey Rooney movies.  I was amused when he complained, "That flick wasn't funny at ALL!"

 

Most folks aren't aware of the multi-definitions of the word "comedy".

 

This would be a good movie to discuss on the "Books to Movies" thread.  I found the adaptation to be a good one.  MY only dissappointment was that while reading the book( I read it several years before ever seeing the movie), I saw THOMAS MITCHELL in the "dead father/spirit' role.  It certainly did seem to prove that MR had more depth and range than his "Andy Hardy" movies revealed.

 

One more amusing observation:  My wife and I usually refer to Mickey Rooney movies as "Chuck" movies.  We have a brother in law who closely resembles Mr. Rooney, the only difference being is that Chuck is SIX FEET TALL!

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... This would be a good movie to discuss on the "Books to Movies" thread.  I found the adaptation to be a good one.  MY only dissappointment was that while reading the book (I read it several years before ever seeing the movie), I saw THOMAS MITCHELL in the "dead father/spirit' role.  It certainly did seem to prove that MR had more depth and range than his "Andy Hardy" movies revealed. ... 

 

I found it interesting to learn that Saroyan actually wrote the story for the film before writing the novel version.  According to Wikipedia, the film "is often thought to be based on the William Saroyan novel of the same name, but Saroyan actually wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the movie project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the film was released."  Saroyan nonetheless won an Oscar for Best Story.  (MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET had a similar sequence in its writing, with Valentine Davies working on the film story before writing his novel version of it, the latter of which is slightly different from the movie.)

 

In any event, I think THE HUMAN COMEDY is a very good movie, and does indeed show that Mickey's acting range went beyond Andy Hardy.  (Andy, however, was meant to be a very light role, for the most part, so Mickey was doing what he was supposed to with the part.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found it interesting to learn that Saroyan actually wrote the story for the film before writing the novel version.  According to Wikipedia, the film "is often thought to be based on the William Saroyan novel of the same name, but Saroyan actually wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the movie project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the film was released."  Saroyan nonetheless won an Oscar for Best Story.  (MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET had a similar sequence in its writing, with Valentine Davies working on the film story before writing his novel version of it, the latter of which is slightly different from the movie.)

 

In any event, I think THE HUMAN COMEDY is a very good movie, and does indeed show that Mickey's acting range went beyond Andy Hardy.  (Andy, however, was meant to be a very light role, for the most part, so Mickey was doing what he was supposed to with the part.)

He was fired, and still won an Oscar? He must have been fired very late in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He was fired, and still won an Oscar? He must have been fired very late in the game.

 

It sounds like it was a question of his screenplay's length, rather than the quality of the story. 

 

From the Wikipedia entry on Saroyan: "Saroyan was hired to write the screenplay for and direct the film for MGM. When Louis B. Mayer balked at its length, Saroyan would not compromise and was removed from the project. He then turned the script into a novel, publishing it just prior to the film's release. He won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Story for the film. The novel is often credited as the source for the movie when in fact the reverse is true."

 

From the Wiki entry on the movie: "Saroyan wrote a film treatment and a screenplay that he was asked to direct. He was paid off and removed from the project when his film proved to be more than two hours long. Saroyan was not at all happy with the film as completed by Brown, and he wrote his novel from the script he produced.The novel was published at the same time as the film's release with the intent of countering the film version of the story.  There are noticeable differences between the film and the novel, including a stronger characterization of Ulysses, the small boy, in the novel and far fewer scenes of sentiment than were incorporated into the film by Estabrook and Brown (social criticism is also much blunter in the novel).  Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, who suggested that this was his favorite film, also suggest a very definite 'MGM house style.'"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5582c216-ad74-4621-8b58-aae0684fd648_zps


Treasure Train (1982)


 


I noticed no one has mentioned Treasure Train (1982) (a somewhat obscure film) in discussing Mickey Rooney's later film career. I only recently discovered the title while doing a bit of searching on YouTube, where a found an excerpt from an interview he did for the DVD release. I was wondering if any posters here have had an opportunity to see this charming little film.


 


76bd1f08-8c61-4436-8ed5-bdbc2e9b608a_zps


The Emperor Of Peru (1982)


 


The film was originally title The Emperor Of Peru/The Odyssey Of The Pacific alternatively and was directed by cult horror and surreallist director Fernando Arrabal. The plot seems to be a mix of Enid Blyton (The Famous Five, etc.) and William Thurber (Walter Mitty) with adventure, fantasy and magical realism that adults and children could enjoy.


 


2012eec2-b6d3-40e3-9785-71cf9e2acb22_zps


The Odyssey of The Pacific (1982)


 


I'm not certain, as I haven't seen the film, but Mickey Rooney's role appears to be a rather small supporting character described as, "a man who declares himself The Emperor Of Peru but is actually an old railroad engineer resisting attempts by the local Mayor to be moved to a rest home". If any reader/readers have seen the film; I am curious to hear/read your thoughts.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM, BingFan said:

 

I found it interesting to learn that Saroyan actually wrote the story for the film before writing the novel version.  According to Wikipedia, the film "is often thought to be based on the William Saroyan novel of the same name, but Saroyan actually wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the movie project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the film was released."  Saroyan nonetheless won an Oscar for Best Story.  (MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET had a similar sequence in its writing, with Valentine Davies working on the film story before writing his novel version of it, the latter of which is slightly different from the movie.)

 

In any event, I think THE HUMAN COMEDY is a very good movie, and does indeed show that Mickey's acting range went beyond Andy Hardy.  (Andy, however, was meant to be a very light role, for the most part, so Mickey was doing what he was supposed to with the part.)

Mickey just hammed it up too much in the Andy Hardy films and in his back yard musicals with Judy Garland (I loved Judy though). Just think of Mickey's overly hyper scene in Babes in arms where Mickey won $100 at an audition, or the scene in Love finds Andy Hardy with the way he freaks out over Polly being upset with him. Too hammy. I like him in some of his later film noir roles such as in Beat the devil with Peter Lorr, and I liked him in The human comedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'know, many actors(and actresses) made movies in which they "hammed it up", and looked ridiculous, but I'd say Rooney was one who could do so and STILL be entertainingly likable.

That the Andy Hardy franchise was so successful and publicly loved, and Rooney was a large part of the reason WHY they were is proof of that.

Singer, actor, dancer, musician, we'll likely not see the likes of him ever again in the business.

I mean, anyone who can incite the likes of OLIVIER to call him "A genius." can't be ALL "ham".

Sepiatone

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Allenex said:

Mickey just hammed it up too much in the Andy Hardy films and in his back yard musicals with Judy Garland (I loved Judy though). Just think of Mickey's overly hyper scene in Babes in arms where Mickey won $100 at an audition, or the scene in Love finds Andy Hardy with the way he freaks out over Polly being upset with him. Too hammy. I like him in some of his later film noir roles such as in Beat the devil with Peter Lorr, and I liked him in The human comedy.

I wasn't aware that Mickey Rooney was in Beat the Devil... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Y'know, many actors(and actresses) made movies in which they "hammed it up", and looked ridiculous, but I'd say Rooney was one who could do so and STILL be entertainingly likable.

That the Andy Hardy franchise was so successful and publicly loved, and Rooney was a large part of the reason WHY they were is proof of that.

Singer, actor, dancer, musician, we'll likely not see the likes of him ever again in the business.

I mean, anyone who can incite the likes of OLIVIER to call him "A genius." can't be ALL "ham".

Sepiatone

I respect Olivier as an actor, but we differ on our definition of 'genius'.

I can take or leave Rooney but I would never regard him as one of the greats in film acting. Yes, there are a lot of actors and actresses who ham it up, but Rooney overdid it in too many of his films to the point I found it extremely annoying rather than entertaining.

It was one of the reasons the Andy Hardy movies never really appealed to me.

Not saying Rooney wasn't capable of turning in a fine performance, he certainly was. NATIONAL VELVET, THE BLACK STALLION and BILL all showed that he could turn in a fine turn with great depth. But most of his films showed him either not bringing enough depth or him overexaggerating his performances.

Mickey could be watchable when he tried to be. But IMO he was nowhere near in the same league as Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Bogey, etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I respect Olivier as an actor, but we differ on our definition of 'genius'.

I can take or leave Rooney but I would never regard him as one of the greats in film acting. Yes, there are a lot of actors and actresses who ham it up, but Rooney overdid it in too many of his films to the point I found it extremely annoying rather than entertaining.

It was one of the reasons the Andy Hardy movies never really appealed to me.

Not saying Rooney wasn't capable of turning in a fine performance, he certainly was. NATIONAL VELVET, THE BLACK STALLION and BILL all showed that he could turn in a fine turn with great depth. But most of his films showed him either not bringing enough depth or him overexaggerating his performances.

Mickey could be watchable when he tried to be. But IMO he was nowhere near in the same league as Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Bogey, etc.

 

 

45 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I respect Olivier as an actor, but we differ on our definition of 'genius'.

I can take or leave Rooney but I would never regard him as one of the greats in film acting. Yes, there are a lot of actors and actresses who ham it up, but Rooney overdid it in too many of his films to the point I found it extremely annoying rather than entertaining.

It was one of the reasons the Andy Hardy movies never really appealed to me.

Not saying Rooney wasn't capable of turning in a fine performance, he certainly was. NATIONAL VELVET, THE BLACK STALLION and BILL all showed that he could turn in a fine turn with great depth. But most of his films showed him either not bringing enough depth or him overexaggerating his performances.

Mickey could be watchable when he tried to be. But IMO he was nowhere near in the same league as Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Bogey, etc.

 

I love James Cagney, he was the one who helped make those gangster films of the 1930s great especially in Public enemy and Angels with dirty faces. He could be charming too, such as the scene in Public enemy when he first meets Jean Harlow offering her a ride, and his scenes with Joan Blondell in Footlight parade. He of course was also great in White heat, "made it ma! Top of the world!" I also really liked him in Yankee doodle dandy, including his dance down the stairs.   I also liked Bogart in The African queen,  Beat the devil, and of course Casablanca ("I stick my neck out for nobody!"), and Ingrid Bergman was beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Mickey and Esther Williams in her first scenein Andy Hardys girl trouble.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

I wasn't aware that Mickey Rooney was in Beat the Devil... 

My mistake, I meant Quicksand, I get the names of those two films mixed up. Beat the devil was with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones, they both did have Peter Lorr.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Allenex said:

Mickey just hammed it up too much in the Andy Hardy films and in his back yard musicals with Judy Garland (I loved Judy though). Just think of Mickey's overly hyper scene in Babes in arms where Mickey won $100 at an audition, or the scene in Love finds Andy Hardy with the way he freaks out over Polly being upset with him. Too hammy. I like him in some of his later film noir roles such as in Beat the devil with Peter Lorr, and I liked him in The human comedy.

Mickey was in Beat The Devil?     Are you confusing him with Bogie?     

Anyhow,  while Mickey was over-the-top in the Hardy films to me that fit the overall vibe of these comedic romance slight-musicals.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Mickey was in Beat The Devil?     Are you confusing him with Bogie?     

Anyhow,  while Mickey was over-the-top in the Hardy films to me that fit the overall vibe of these comedic romance slight-musicals.  

I meant Quicksand, not Beat the devil. My mistake. I like Mickey Rooney, he just hammed it up too much sometimes, like in those two scenes I meantioned. I liked those backyard musicals overall, and I love Judy Garland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allenex....his name is Peter Lorre. Most people pronounce it "loray" or "lorie"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Allenex said:

 

I love James Cagney, he was the one who helped make those gangster films of the 1930s great especially in Public enemy and Angels with dirty faces. He could be charming too, such as the scene in Public enemy when he first meets Jean Harlow offering her a ride, and his scenes with Joan Blondell in Footlight parade. He of course was also great in White heat, "made it ma! Top of the world!" I also really liked him in Yankee doodle dandy, including his dance down the stairs.   I also liked Bogart in The African queen,  Beat the devil, and of course Casablanca ("I stick my neck out for nobody!"), and Ingrid Bergman was beautiful.

That's an interesting observation.  Especially in a thread about Mickey Rooney.  :wacko:  :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mickey Rooney may have hammed it up in some of those, but he gets away with it. He was so anchored within the persona it didn't seem so excessive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a kid I took piano lessons and I played all the Henry Mancini movie songs.

My favorite one was Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Looking at the sheet music, I couldn't figure out what role Mickey Rooney could have in a movie like that?

 I was too young  to see the movie, yet at the same time, I knew enough of the plot to figure out he simply didn't fit into this movie.

It had me puzzled for years until I finally saw the movie as an adult.

Well then, I was still  puzzled and a little shocked,  for even a 1961 movie.

 The Mick did an "embarrassingly" good job with the material. But just as I had sensed as a child, Rooney's participation in the movie just seemed out of place.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I kinda know what you mean......

A lot of us grew up to a point that we're familiar with certain people and things in one light.  Like, I always(as a kid) knew of Rooney as a "kid" from old movies like  HUCKLEBERRY FINN, YOUNG TOM EDISON and BOY'S TOWN that it surprised some of us when we discovered some of his "adult" roles in films.  Example:

Not until I was about 10 did I see a movie he was in called THE BOLD AND THE BRAVE on TV( however, the TV had it listed as "The Brave And The Damned") and it was the first time I'd seen a movie in which Rooney WASN'T a kid.  And also the first one in which his character was killed or died.

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

As a kid I took piano lessons and I played all the Henry Mancini movie songs.

My favorite one was Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Looking at the sheet music, I couldn't figure out what role Mickey Rooney could have in a movie like that?

 I was too young  to see the movie, yet at the same time, I knew enough of the plot to figure out he simply didn't fit into this movie.

It had me puzzled for years until I finally saw the movie as an adult.

Well then, I was still  puzzled and a little shocked,  for even a 1961 movie.

 The Mick did an "embarrassingly" good job with the material. But just as I had sensed as a child, Rooney's participation in the movie just seemed out of place.

 

That's really cool, you've learned some piano tunes by ear from some old films also? I've been wanting to talk to someone who had that in common with me. I've picked up a number of songs by ear from Busby Berkeley's films including 42nd street, I only have eyes for you, By a waterfall, It's getting to be a habit with me, and numerous others from Hollywood's golden age. I've also learned several from Mickey and Judy's films including Embracable you, Now or then, How about you, I've got rhythm, and Me and my gal (well the last one is Judy and Gene Kelly). I also play Moonlight seranade. I'm just having trouble being able to find somewhere to go to play these songs for people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:39 PM, Sepiatone said:

That's an interesting observation.  Especially in a thread about Mickey Rooney.  :wacko:  :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

Oh, I was just responding to a mentioning of James Cagney from someone. Also, Mickey did have connections to some of the same film roles as Bogart and Cagney. But I can see how it seemed a little off topic though, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us