TopBilled

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I will be posting today's topic later this afternoon...about names that are hard to pronounce...

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All of.this is true; I am not disputing This. However, the last name.Armendariz would have NO regional difference in pronunciation, whatsoever, other than the aforementioned Castilian pronunciation. Castilian pronounces the Z (and C before E or I) with the TH sound of "with", as opposed to the S pronunciation everywhere else. This holds true depending whether you live in an urban or rural area, in an upperclass or povertystricken neighborhood, anywhere in the Spanish Speaking world. The only distinction would be individuals who choose to affect.the Castilian way of pronunciation, wherever they may be.

I don’t think so. You are forgetting all the different Indian languages and their ways of pronouncing words that are spelled in Spanish. Mayans for example, speak Spanish with a Mayan accent, and there are several different Mayan accents in different Mexican and Central American districts.

 

In San Pedro Sula Honduras, water is pronounced “Awa”, not “Agua”. In San Blas Nicaragua, when people pass each other on a road during long walking trips, they don’t say “Buenos Dias”, they say “Adios”. This word means “good bye” in other places in Latin America, but in San Blas it means “hello” and “have a nice trip”.

 

There are many other Indian accents in Mexico and Central America, and they use local pronunciations for many different words. I think most of those people will know who we are talking about, whether we, or they, pronounce the name: dah reece or DARE iz.

 

Remember where Bogart tries to chase the Indians out of his camp in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE by speaking to them in rude Spanish when they came to get Howard,? The Indians get mad and pull out their machetes. Howard jumps in between them and Dobbs and he calms things down, and one of the Indians then says to all of them, “El senior, el senior, no importa (nodding to Curtin and Dobbs). El Doctor es importa.”

 

Howard translates that as “He says you and Curtin don’t matter, but I have to go.”

 

Actually the Indian spoke Spanish with an Indian accent and he simplified his wording, Indian style. He actually said: “This man and this man (pointing to Curtin and Dobbs) are not important. The Doctor is important.”

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Names hard to pronounce

 

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Recently, TCM reran THE MIRACLE WORKER and host Ben Mankiewicz mentioned the supporting cast in the wraparound. The gentleman who played Helen Keller’s authoritarian father in the movie was well-known character actor Victor Jory. Ben pronounced the last name with a J-sound. I always thought it was a Y-sound. So I learned something new.

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For years, I have been wondering about how to pronounce a few other last names in Hollywood. I am still unsure about how to say Katina Paxinou’s name, though I do consider it a major accomplishment to be able to spell it correctly. Or what about Warner Brothers contract player Ann Dvorak. Supposedly, she pronounced it ‘Vorjak,’ meaning the ‘D’ was silent and a ‘J’ sound was added. Surprised her agent or Jack Warner didn’t make her Anglo-cize it and go by Devore. Then there’s Pedro Armendariz. His has several different pronunciations in various movie trailers.

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A few first names foul me up, too. For a long time I wondered if Chico Marx was Cheek-o or Chick-o. Apparently, the correct way is Chick-o.

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And what about those two well-known Bettes. One of them sounds like Betty; while the other one goes by only one syllable– as in you bet.

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Perhaps the reason all this fascinates me is because my first name is a variation of my father’s. And my younger brother is the junior. At first, people would call me by my father’s name, until my brother was born, and then they had to use my real name. And for some reason, without meaning any harm, one ethnic group (didn’t matter if they were male or female) would always add an extra ‘r’ making it the French version of my father’s name.

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Maybe my mother should have named me Methuselah. That might have been easier. Yes, that’s it–in a parallel universe I am a movie star named Methuselah Jory, and the costars of my latest picture are Chico Paxinou and Bette Armendariz. Hmmm, I think I’ll shut my mouth while I’m ahead.

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Names hard to pronounce

 

A few first names foul me up, too. For a long time I wondered if Chico Marx was Cheek-o or Chick-o. Apparently, the correct way is Chick-o.

 

 

 

Originally, in vaudeville, on the East Coast, it was "Chick-o"

 

But with his first West Coast Hollywood film it was changed to "Cheek-o" in movies, on radio, and eventually on Television. I grew up hearing it as "Cheek-o". But, he apparently told many of his Hollywood friends it was really "Chick-o", and a few called him that, but in films, radio, and TV he was called "Cheek-o" about 99% of the time, and he even called himself "Cheek-o" in some movies and radio shows.

 

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I don’t think so. You are forgetting all the different Indian languages and their ways of pronouncing words that are spelled in Spanish. Mayans for example, speak Spanish with a Mayan accent, and there are several different Mayan accents in different Mexican and Central American districts.

 

In San Pedro Sula Honduras, water is pronounced “Awa”, not “Agua”. In San Blas Nicaragua, when people pass each other on a road during long walking trips, they don’t say “Buenos Dias”, they say “Adios”. This word means “good bye” in other places in Latin America, but in San Blas it means “hello” and “have a nice trip”.

 

There are many other Indian accents in Mexico and Central America, and they use local pronunciations for many different words. I think most of those people will know who we are talking about, whether we, or they, pronounce the name: dah reece or DARE iz.

 

Remember where Bogart tries to chase the Indians out of his camp in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE by speaking to them in rude Spanish when they came to get Howard,? The Indians get mad and pull out their machetes. Howard jumps in between them and Dobbs and he calms things down, and one of the Indians then says to all of them, “El senior, el senior, no importa (nodding to Curtin and Dobbs). El Doctor es importa.”

 

Howard translates that as “He says you and Curtin don’t matter, but I have to go.”

 

Actually the Indian spoke Spanish with an Indian accent and he simplified his wording, Indian style. He actually said: “This man and this man (pointing to Curtin and Dobbs) are not important. The Doctor is important.”

We.are.talking two different things here. Yes there are hundreds of.living indigenous languages throughout Spanish speaking American countries. Native language speakers may be on the majority in Guatemala, Paraguay, Bolivia.and maybe Peru. Yes, the various individual proficiencies of native language speakers in Spanish speaking Latin America can vary, as to word.usage or meaning,.sentence.structure, and even pronunciation. All of this has NOTHING to do with how anyone would pronounce the last name.Armendariz. Basically,.as.a Spanish name,.they would all pronounce.it basically the.same, with the Spanish language pronunciation, whether they also knew that the Dare syllable refers.to the same.name. Only gringos would say it that way.,

 

As for Awa vs..Agua, the former actually closely approximates the way most Spanish language.native.speakers.pronounce it. Intervocalically, the Spanish Gu syllables: Gua,.Güe, Güi, Guo, has the.G barely aspirated, so the syllables are correctly pronounced sounding.almost like.Wa, We, Wi, Wo. Only gringos and.other non Spanish speakers.would pronounce.it with a.hard G.

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Valid point(s), Fred. Regional dialects (and certain cultural attitudes) vary.

 

TopBilled,

 

Here are several pronunciations of Armendariz by different Spanish speakers. I think the first recording sounds the most like the way I pronounce it:

 

https://www.howtopronounce.com/armendariz/

 

http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/armendariz

 

http://www.forvo.com/word/armend%C3%A1riz/

 

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070828094629AAmL8Kl

 

http://hearnames.com/?option=com_mtree&task=viewlink&link_id=3560&Itemid=4

 

Fred

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TopBilled,

 

Here are several pronunciations of Armendariz by different Spanish speakers. I think the first recording sounds the most like the way I pronounce it:

 

https://www.howtopronounce.com/armendariz/

 

http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/armendariz

 

http://www.forvo.com/word/armend%C3%A1riz/

 

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070828094629AAmL8Kl

 

http://hearnames.com/?option=com_mtree&task=viewlink&link_id=3560&Itemid=4

 

Fred

Thanks Fred for all your research. It is appreciated!

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Probably mentioned here before, but for me, it's always been RENE AUBERJONOIS!

 

By the way, MY name often got butchered, although It isn't as difficult as many other Slavic/Polish names.  I think people see it and determine it's Polish and give up on the spot!

 

But even I pronounce it different from other family members.  I adapted to the more easy pronunciation to put others more at ease.  Still, many tend to ADD a letter to it!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Stars that never married

 

 

 

 

Some stars never married, because quite simply they did not live long enough. It’s interesting to speculate which starlet James Dean might have wed if he hadn’t died so young. He did date Ursula Andress for awhile.

 

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Other stars did not marry, because they were involved for years with a person married to someone else. Marion Davies was the long-time mistress of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and she even had a child by him. But he never obtained a divorced from his estranged wife to make it official with Davies. After Hearst’s death, Davies finally did get married (to a man who looked a lot like Hearst actually).

 

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Then there are stars that did not marry, and did not even have weddings of convenience, because of their (sometimes alleged) sexual orientation. There were no marriages for Farley Granger, Roddy McDowall, Lizabeth Scott or Tab Hunter. Though Tab has had the same partner since 1983.

 

dolores-hart-muestra-en-su-aba_5425_zpsb

 

Some stars did not marry, due to other more unique reasons. Actress Dolores Hart who left movies to enter a convent was prohibited from marrying as a Roman Catholic nun. But at least she has her memories of kissing Elvis. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Taylor died a single woman who had not been married from 1996 until her death in 2011– probably because she had already been there and done that, many times. For her, marriage wasn’t something she needed anymore.

 

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I believe Lillian Gish never married.  I always wondered why since she was beautiful woman.  In an interview she mentioned career and marriage don't go hand in hand.  So maybe that was her thing.

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I believe Lillian Gish never married.  I always wondered why since she was beautiful woman.  In an interview she mentioned career and marriage don't go hand in hand.  So maybe that was her thing.

Good example. Yes, I have a feeling she was married to her career. Maybe she had her heart broken by someone and never got over it.

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Garbo

Patsy Kelly is another. She was pretty 'out' in her day-- so if they had legalized gay marriages back then, she might have had one of those.

 

By the way, is it just me, or does Patsy Kelly seem to resemble Rosie O'Donnell (and vice versa)...?

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Patsy Kelly is another. She was pretty 'out' in her day-- so if they had legalized gay marriages back then, she might have had one of those.

 

By the way, is it just me, or does Patsy Kelly seem to resemble Rosie O'Donnell (and vice versa)...?

This sounds like another "outing" topic.

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This sounds like another "outing" topic.

It's not. If you look at the four paragraphs in the column I wrote today, I covered several different reasons why stars do not marry. But if we left this reason out (alleged orientation) then it would not be overall accurate. This should not be a subtopic we are afraid of discussing, as long as it's done in an intelligent, thoughtful way.

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Barry Fitzgerald was never married either.

That's true. He was an interesting character. I love his role in A CATERED AFFAIR, where he's the confirmed bachelor brother of Bette Davis who finds love (and a wife) later in life.

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Recommended films vol. 4


 


MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH (1934)



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Why you should see it: This is a poignant drama, about the Wiggs family who live in poverty and give thanks, even though they do not have a turkey for Thanksgiving. Mrs. Wiggs (Pauline Lord) has quite a few children, and the girls are all named after continents. A very young Virginia Weidler plays Europena. And while there may not be enough money to go around to raise the children decent-like, there is plenty of love to make up for it, and kindness from Mom’s friend Miss Lucy who gives them a turkey. The family is equally surprised when another turkey shows up: their ne’er-do-well father played by Donald Meek.


 


More reasons: W.C. Fields is a neighborhood bachelor that a love-starved neighbor lady, played by ZaSu Pitts, is trying to get her hooks into! Don’t ask why, because I haven’t figured out why anyone would want to marry Fields.


 


***


THE ASTONISHED HEART (1950)


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Why you should watch it: Noel Coward wrote the original play and the screenplay, plus he performed the lead role in the film. He also composed the score, and I must say that even though the story is not one of his best, and his acting is not as good as other men of his generation, he has crafted a most superb piece of music.


 


More reasons: Costars include Celia Johnson and Margaret Leighton, both adding considerably to the film’s value.


 


***


LADYBUG LADYBUG (1963)


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Why you should watch it: This film provides a unique glimpse into an era just after the Cuban missile crisis, when bomb shelters and emergency drills for nuclear attacks were commonplace. In this case, an east coast school, which frequently conducts such drills, experiences a wave of terror when a false alarm is believed to be the real thing. Educators are told to take the children home, and along the way, some very shocking (and tragic) things happen. The best scenes involve a bossy young girl who refuses to let anyone in or out of a bomb shelter; and a teacher, played by Nancy Marchand, who must face her own fears during the journey.


 


More reasons: The film ends on a very intriguing and ambiguous note, because some of the participants, especially Marchand’s character, seem to still believe that the United States is under attack.


 


***


AUDREY ROSE (1977)


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Why you should watch it:  this is a supernatural thriller about reincarnation (with some Catholicism mixed in) that screams for repeat viewings. Anthony Hopkins, years before his frightening turn as the cannibalistic Hannibal Lector, is a man convinced that his daughter was reborn to an unsuspecting couple (Marsha Mason & John Beck). When the girl in question begins to experience powerful sensations of a past life, Hopkins steps out of the shadows and into their lives.


 


More reasons: it’s directed by Robert Wise, who previously helmed THE HAUNTING. Also, it uses flashbacks in a way that no other film does.


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Recommended films vol. 4

 

MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH (1934)

1wiggs.png?w=660

Why you should see it: This is a poignant drama, about the Wiggs family who live in poverty and give thanks, even though they do not have a turkey for Thanksgiving. Mrs. Wiggs (Pauline Lord) has quite a few children, and the girls are all named after continents. A very young Virginia Weidler plays Europena. And while there may not be enough money to go around to raise the children decent-like, there is plenty of love to make up for it, and kindness from Mom’s friend Miss Lucy who gives them a turkey. The family is equally surprised when another turkey shows up: their ne’er-do-well father played by Donald Meek.

 

More reasons: W.C. Fields is a neighborhood bachelor that a love-starved neighbor lady, played by ZaSu Pitts, is trying to get her hooks into! Don’t ask why, because I haven’t figured out why anyone would want to marry Fields.

 

 

I saw this rare film at a WC Fields film festival in Berkeley around 1969. Fields is not in it very much. Just a little in the beginning and later near the end. The film is mainly about the local poor women and the kids.

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I saw this rare film at a WC Fields film festival in Berkeley around 1969. Fields is not in it very much. Just a little in the beginning and later near the end. The film is mainly about the local poor women and the kids.

You're right. I think they (meaning the Paramount bosses) inserted Fields in this movie because he was a bankable name and could help get the film exhibited, and make it a hit with audiences. But yeah, he's essentially playing a supporting character, or maybe you could say he's starring in the subplot.  He and Pitts, though, are wonderful together.

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Watching movies online

 

Not long ago I wrote a column about the closing of a neighborhood multiplex. It was something I took personally, because many of my fondest memories as a child involved going to see movies at neighborhood theaters. I was experiencing a wave of nostalgia for the simpler older days, even though those days were not too long ago and probably not too simple.

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I also wrote a column about the demise of a local video store in a Colorado town where I spent my adolescence. With the widespread use of VCRs in the 1980s, home video made inroads and created a new aftermarket for classic films. In a way, this meant people stopped going to the local movie theatre so much, because they decided to wait until something came out on video.

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And now, people wait for films to become available online. Access to films has evolved a great deal, and as a result, it changes how people may watch them. Some view titles directly on streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime, as opposed to ‘live’ broadcasts on cable. Obviously, the appeal of online services usually depends upon how sites’ film catalogues are updated. A popular title may remain available for a lengthy period of time, but another less-popular one may not.

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To be honest, I do not watch as many titles online as I did a year or two ago. Perhaps the novelty has worn off, and perhaps I find it easier to go back to watching films I’ve purchased or recorded on VHS and DVD. 

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I have gone from watching movies at the multiplex, to watching movies on cable, to watching movies on-demand and online. But I have also gone from watching movies online to writing about them and understanding that no matter how one watches movies, it is the memory of the experience that stays with the viewer long afterward that counts the most.

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There is an entire website that lists closed theaters and drive-ins:

http://cinematreasures.org

 

One of those grand old theaters was in Toledo, OH.  I was there during the years when it was a night club.

 

Here is a thumbnail of a photo you can click on of it in the 70s or 80s after it closed as a theater.

post-45430-0-39726300-1430935893_thumb.jpg

 

Then here is a thumbnail you can click on of what they did with it sometime in the late 80s/early 90s.  For a little while it was sort of an upscale night club.

 

The lobby, when you first walk in, was converted to a bar that faced the entryway.  Then beyond, on either side of the bar, that there were two sets of stairs that went down to a basement "grunge rock" area.  There were also two passage ways that went straight ahead and came out where you see the two railings to the sides in the middle of the audience area.  They put a DJ booth in just to the right of the left-side entrance.  There was a bar at the top, and a bar at the bottom.  The dance floor was in the foreground of this picture.  Then the stage  (presumably the camera vantage point) also served as a raised dance floor.

 

post-45430-0-53159400-1430936183_thumb.jpg

 

It didn't stay vibrant like this for very long, this was a short-term fix.  They eventually demolished this historic theater building for a large downtown development project.

 

I'm sure there are some other stories out there of what became of old theaters.

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You're right. I think they (meaning the Paramount bosses) inserted Fields in this movie because he was a bankable name and could help get the film exhibited, and make it a hit with audiences. But yeah, he's essentially playing a supporting character, or maybe you could say he's starring in the subplot.  He and Pitts, though, are wonderful together.

 

I thought the rest of the movie was very booring without him.

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One of those grand old theaters was in Toledo, OH.  I was there during the years when it was a night club.

 

I grew up in mostly small towns, some with only one small theater.

 

I remember my favorite theater was in a little town in Alabama in 1952 This was about 35-40 miles from where Harper Lee lived in the 1930s and where TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD takes place. I was 10 years old in 1952. I saw KING KONG in that theater in 1952, also BITTER RICE (in Italian with subtitles). A boy age 10, I didn't read any of the subtitles because I was busy watching those Italian ladies in their slips and shorts!  :)

 

Also, I saw that documentary about the elephant stampede and the white monkey with the houses built on stilts. It is silent with title cards. TCM shows it from time to time.

 

I saw about 4 movies a week in that theater. 2 for kids at the Saturday afternoon matinee, and 2 with my folks on Friday or Saturday night. The first-run new films were actually about a year old by the time that theater got them. To see a new first run film when it first came out, we occasionally drove to Mobile, and we saw them in big Cinema Palaces. I saw a re-issue of GONE WITH THE WIND in Mobile in 1953 This film was still a big hit in the South back in those days.

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