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Sally Field as Essentials co-host

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Interesting that I came upon your post, because I was just thinking about this earlier today. I am so glad the Drew years are behind us. It was a low point in the Essentials series, that dragged on too painfully long. Though I am sure the folks at TCM probably don't think so. It was.

It's not that Sally Field is so great, but compared to Drew, the bar for seeming great is set very low.

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Is the idea behind the Guest Star -- now Sally Field --  host of 'The Essentials' that she will select movies she likes -and- that she thinks are essential movies for movie fans to watch as well? 

 

      I've never actually thought about it before.  

 

            

 

     

 

 

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Is the idea behind the Guest Star -- now Sally Field --  host of 'The Essentials' that she will select movies she likes -and- that she thinks are essential movies for movie fans to watch as well? 

 

Sure that's part of it. In some ways, it is an exercise in vanity, because what Movie Star X thinks is essential might be considered slop by the next person.

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Is the idea behind the Guest Star -- now Sally Field --  host of 'The Essentials' that she will select movies she likes -and- that she thinks are essential movies for movie fans to watch as well? 

 

      I've never actually thought about it before.  

Just when it appeared that Sally Field actually might know something about classic films, she was totally ignorant of Garbo's post-NINOTCHKA film, TWO FACED WOMAN, and the fact that Garbo retired after that. This is hardly esoterica.

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Was surprised to find out in the Ninotchka outro Sally never heard of Two Faced Woman or that it was Garbo's last film. Tsk, tsk.

Your post is almost exactly the same as mine.

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Your post is almost exactly the same as mine.

 

 

Oh, sorry. I didnt see yours there! LOL.

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Just when it appeared that Sally Field actually might know something about classic films, she was totally ignorant of Garbo's post-NINOTCHKA film, TWO FACED WOMAN, and the fact that Garbo retired after that. This is hardly esoterica.

 

 

We're heading back into Drew territory........:D

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Was surprised to find out in the Ninotchka outro Sally never heard of Two Faced Woman or that it was Garbo's last film. Tsk, tsk.

I wondered if she was just humoring (or sucking up to) Osborne. I am sure she had to see some sort of filmography on Garbo when NINOTCHKA was selected. There is no way she would have gone into this screening 'cold.' Maybe she hasn't seen the whole thing, or didn't realize Garbo totally walked away from all performing after TWO-FACED WOMAN.

 

What I thought was a bit worse was Osborne slamming MGM for (in his words) trying to turn Garbo into another Claudette Colbert or Loretta Young. Anyone who's a fan of Colbert or Young and their success in light comedies would say that's something to be admired.

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He meant it was a bad fit for Garbo to try to mold her into that type of actress......

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He meant it was a bad fit for Garbo to try to mold her into that type of actress......

I know what he meant, but in a way he was slamming the other two actresses by implying their style and type of movie role was beneath Garbo. I found it a bit disrespectful. I think he should have phrased it differently. In fact, he didn't even have to mention the other two women at all-- he could have just said light comedy was not Garbo's forte.

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I didnt take it that way at all.

The problem was not that TWO-FACED WOMAN was a terrible film. It had great MGM production values, and an excellent supporting cast, as well as a very logical story. But the finished product was re-edited when it was banned in Boston, because it was said to encourage adultery. 

 

Instead, the real problem at this point was that Garbo was getting older and not a very versatile performer. Perhaps she had a fear of trying to expand her range. But she seldom tried different genres and characters, and after a point, audiences couldn't get past her being a serious dramatic type-- in a style of filmmaking that was quickly becoming outmoded. If she had done what Stanwyck or Colbert had done in the 30s, playing roles across a variety of genres (something Young did in the 40s), and had developed more versatility, she might have lasted longer as a movie actress. 

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The problem was not that TWO-FACED WOMAN was a terrible film. It had great MGM production values, and an excellent supporting cast, as well as a very logical story. But the finished product was re-edited when it was banned in Boston, because it was said to encourage adultery. 

 

Instead, the real problem at this point was that Garbo was getting older and not a very versatile performer. Perhaps she had a fear of trying to expand her range. But she seldom tried different genres and characters, and after a point, audiences couldn't get past her being a serious dramatic type-- in a style of filmmaking that was quickly becoming outmoded. If she had done what Stanwyck or Colbert had done in the 30s, playing roles across a variety of genres (something Young did in the 40s), and had developed more versatility, she might have lasted longer as a movie actress. 

 

Well said.    In Ninotchka the rather bland (bored),  film persona she had by this stage of her career worked with the very repressed, only about work,  Ninotchka character,   but that same persona doesn't work as well in Two-Faced Woman.    

 

As for lasting longer;  I just don't think she wanted to last longer,  but she had the skills to if she had wanted to  (and I assume MGM or another studio would have supported her).

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Well said.    In Ninotchka here the rather bland (bored),  film persona she had by this stage of her career worked with the very repressed, only about work,  Ninotchka character,   but that same persona doesn't work as well in Two-Faced Woman.    

 

As for lasting longer;  I just don't think she wanted to last longer,  but she had the skills to if she had wanted to  (and I assume MGM or another studio would have supported her).

And we have to acknowledge that on some level, NINOTCHKA is a paint-by-numbers Lubitsch farce, so probably almost any actress would have worked in the role, provided they listened to the great director's suggestions. But other actresses might have been better. Norma Shearer or Margaret Sullavan could have pulled it off, too.

 

TWO-FACED WOMAN is a film I rather enjoy-- I wouldn't say Garbo is miscast in it-- but she's a little bit out of her element in it, though not too terribly. I think the film gets a bad rep, cited as the one that killed Garbo's screen career...but it deserves a bit more appreciation.

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I find Sally to be a bit boring. I don't need another actor to tell me how "great" a certain film is. I miss the contributions of Alec Baldwin. Like Osborne, he seemed to know the films and the back stories too boot. Alec was just a better co-host in general.

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I find Sally to be a bit boring. I don't need another actor to tell me how "great" a certain film is. I miss the contributions of Alec Baldwin. Like Osborne, he seemed to know the films and the back stories too boot. Alec was just a better co-host in general.

The Essentials series has been running out of gas for a long time. It's the one programming block long-time viewers are most unhappy about-- but TCM seems to think there is value in it.

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The Essentials series has been running out of gas for a long time. It's the one programming block long-time viewers are most unhappy about-- but TCM seems to think there is value in it.

I agree that there's value there. It used to be my favorite thing to look forward to on Saturday nights. He just needs a better co-host and some different "essentials." You know, get Al Pacino up there, get Gene Hackman up there, Let's see Helen Mirren join him!

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The Essentials series has been running out of gas for a long time. It's the one programming block long-time viewers are most unhappy about-- but TCM seems to think there is value in it.

I agree that there's value there. It used to be my favorite thing to look forward to on Saturday nights. He just needs a better co-host and some different "essentials." You know, get Al Pacino up there, get Gene Hackman up there, Let's see Helen Mirren join him!

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I agree that there's value there. It used to be my favorite thing to look forward to on Saturday nights. He just needs a better co-host and some different "essentials." You know, get Al Pacino up there, get Gene Hackman up there, Let's see Helen Mirren join him!

I think it would be better if they did away with the celebrity co-host, for at least one season. Have Bob talk with film preservationists about why these films are worth saving, why they are essentials. TCM re-airing NINOTCHKA for the hundredth time and telling us it's essential is not enough. How is it essential, why is it essential...? That's what this series needs, a real shot in the arm.

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I think it would be better if they did away with the celebrity co-host, for at least one season. Have Bob talk with film preservationists about why these films are worth saving, why they are essentials. TCM re-airing NINOTCHKA for the hundredth time and telling us it's essential is not enough. How is it essential, why is it essential...? That's what this series needs, a real shot in the arm.

 

I agree with this.

 

Another good idea would be to have a critic co-host the series. The first season Robert Osborne was hosting the show, his co-host was film critic Molly Haskell, and they were very good together. R.O. might not want her back though because she's been very critical of the Academy Awards of late and with Osborne's interest in the history of AMPAS, he might as well be called 'Mr. Oscar'. They could also get New York magazine film critic David Edelstein to co-host The Essentials -- he filled in for Robert Osborne during his leave of absence in 2011, and was very good hosting last month's spotlight on Orson Welles.

 

Of course if TCM is insistent on bringing in celebrities to co-host the series, I would welcome back Alec Baldwin. Of all the recurring celebrity co-hosts I've seen on TCM, Alec Baldwin, Illeana Douglas and Cher are the only three people who have consistently been able to converse with Robert Osborne on an intellectual level.

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Why is Alec Baldwin no longer there? I agree that he is extremely knowledgable, experienced, and never boring. I have been a little disappointed with Sally Fields, but let's give her time. What would be the problem with someone from academia, like UCLA for example guest hosting? Or other members of families prominent in the industry - someone from the Carradine family, or the Quade family, or even Angelica Huston?

Also, why not exploring "essentials" of French, Italian, Mexican, Canadian, German cinema? They could probably find guest experts without too much trouble.

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Why is Alec Baldwin no longer there? I agree that he is extremely knowledgable, experienced, and never boring. I have been a little disappointed with Sally Fields, but let's give her time. What would be the problem with someone from academia, like UCLA for example guest hosting? Or other members of families prominent in the industry - someone from the Carradine family, or the Quade family, or even Angelica Huston?

Also, why not exploring "essentials" of French, Italian, Mexican, Canadian, German cinema? They could probably find guest experts without too much trouble.

 

TCM did have a very fine film series called History of Film that featured foreign films and film making.   The host would discuss the various topics and than films were shown related to said topics.    

 

Of course some regular TCM viewers welcome this while others feel foreign films don't fit TCM's branding.  Similar things are said about the showing of post Production Code era films (say films made after 1968 or so) and silent films.    I.e. how much of TCM's programming show be devoted to firms outside the period of American Films from 1929 - 1968?

 

Hey,  some folks wish TCM would only show movies from 1930 until 1958.    

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