Bogie56

HITS & MISSES: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow on TCM

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Robert Wise claimed Welles' cut wasn't any better, although of course Wise wasn't a disinterested observer in this matter.

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The only version of AMBERSONS That I have seen is the version that exist today. I have listened to the 1 hour long adaptation that Welles did for his radio program THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE (Or maybe it was THE MERCURY THEATER?) And I like it very very much, in fact I honestly prefer it to the film.

 

(I would post it here if I weren’t on my phone.)

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2 hours ago, Fedya said:

Robert Wise claimed Welles' cut wasn't any better, although of course Wise wasn't a disinterested observer in this matter.

Ah,  I see you have figured out my prior post:  I knew that there are few people in the entire world that have seen 'Welles' cut'.     Unless one has seen both,  one can't say which is better.      My guess is that neither is the best version;   the studio release missing some great scenes and the Welles' cut being too indulgent.    

 

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here we go, THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, this broadcast is from 1939, so it predates the movie by 2-3 years.

it features WALTER HUSTON in the Joe Cotten part, and something about the hour-long format works for the story.

can't remember if AGNES MOOREHEAD is in this or not, but I kind of recall the focus is more on George Amberson and his rejection of his mother's suitor (played by Huston)

(the sound is a little "tinny"- but it's still worth a listen if you're interested)

 

 

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my apologies to Bogie for my derailment of the thread with the topic of GELATIN SALAD some time back, but at the same time, I THANK THE REST OF YOU very much...

I'm working on something currently in which congealed salad is a minor plot point and it really gave me the determination to tackle a scene I've been holding back on.

Thanks to all.

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7 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Have you seen the non-studio version?   I.e. the Welles 'director's cut'?  

 

Along with Bezhin Lug and the original cut of Greed it unfortunately isn't going to turn up any time soon. :( 

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10 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Ah,  I see you have figured out my prior post:  I knew that there are few people in the entire world that have seen 'Welles' cut'.     Unless one has seen both,  one can't say which is better.      My guess is that neither is the best version;   the studio release missing some great scenes and the Welles' cut being too indulgent.    

 

I think you may be attributing Welles' reputation for the reasons why the studio made changes.  i wouldn't describe sticking to the novel as indulgent.  The studio decided to recut and reshoot after it tested very badly with a very unsophisticated impatient B movie out-of-town audience.  I believe they may even have been expecting to see a comedy that night.  The editor, Robert Wise had said that the audience laughed at Agnes Moorehead's performance so that may give you some idea of where they were coming from.  But even then the studio may have overreacted because the audience cards which have survived didn't mark it that badly and some even thought it was better than Citizen Kane.

Besides cutting the film to the bone the big change was to the ending.  We don't visit Fanny in a poor rooming house and instead we have that flatly lit shot of Cotten and Baxter walking happily down a hallway.

The studio knew what it was signing on for: a Welles/Booth Tarkington film.  Unfortunately Welles' guardian angel at the studio left and as usual the new guard want to make a mark.

Film critic Jonathan Rosembaum pieces together the Welles' version in this book ...

220px-This-is-Orson-Welles.jpg 

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Tuesday, February 27

1949-all-the-kings-men.jpg

10 p.m.  All the King’s Men (1949).  The rise and fall of a crooked populist politician.  With Broderick Crawford.

Too bad there are no real stories such as this kicking around today.

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5 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

[in re: THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS] I think you may be attributing Welles' reputation for the reasons why the studio made changes.  i wouldn't describe sticking to the novel as indulgent.  The studio decided to recut and reshoot after it tested very badly with a very unsophisticated impatient B movie out-of-town audience.  I believe they may even have been expecting to see a comedy that night.  The editor, Robert Wise had said that the audience laughed at Agnes Moorehead's performance so that may give you some idea of where they were coming from.  But even then the studio may have overreacted because the audience cards which have survived didn't mark it that badly and some even thought it was better than Citizen Kane

THANK YOU, that's fascinating...that's petty of Wise to make that claim publicly, even if it's true, there is actually a touch of comedy to Agnes Moorehead's performance in the film and people also laugh nervously sometimes at a performance that is meant to make them nervous and uncomfortable.

I'm not really all that "in" to AMBERSONS, but one thing I acknowledge right off is that AGNES MOOREHEAD gives one of the best supporting performances I've ever seen in a film in it.

I also remember reading that AMBERSONS was released on a double bill with a Lupe Velez MEXICAN SPITFIRE movie, which- quite frankly- is a double bill I'd pay to see.

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dare I also speculate that "MEXICAN SPITFIRE MEETS THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS" would have won ALL THE OSCARS.

”¿Agua frio y caliente arriba y abajo? ¡AYE DIOS MIO!

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3 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

Tuesday, February 27

1949-all-the-kings-men.jpg

10 p.m.  All the King’s Men (1949).  The rise and fall of a crooked populist politician.  With Broderick Crawford.

Too bad there are no real stories such as this kicking around today.

You might be surprised.....

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I'll go for a different recommendation for Tuesday: The Sundowners. Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum have great chemistry and give outstanding performances in this story of an Australian family of "sundowners," who travel from place to place and job to job in their wagon. First-rate direction by Fred Zinnemann.

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1 minute ago, kingrat said:

I'll go for a different recommendation for Tuesday: The Sundowners. Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum have great chemistry and give outstanding performances in this story of an Australian family of "sundowners," who travel from place to place and job to job in their wagon. First-rate direction by Fred Zinnemann.

Always loved the Mitchum/Kerr pairings. Especially enjoy THE SUNDOWNERS and HEAVEN KNOWS MR. ALLISON.

Got both films on DVD and can't get enough of them.

And THE SUNDOWNERS has the added bonus of Peter Ustinov as well.

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8 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

I think you may be attributing Welles' reputation for the reasons why the studio made changes.  i wouldn't describe sticking to the novel as indulgent.  The studio decided to recut and reshoot after it tested very badly with a very unsophisticated impatient B movie out-of-town audience.  I believe they may even have been expecting to see a comedy that night.  The editor, Robert Wise had said that the audience laughed at Agnes Moorehead's performance so that may give you some idea of where they were coming from.  But even then the studio may have overreacted because the audience cards which have survived didn't mark it that badly and some even thought it was better than Citizen Kane.

Besides cutting the film to the bone the big change was to the ending.  We don't visit Fanny in a poor rooming house and instead we have that flatly lit shot of Cotten and Baxter walking happily down a hallway.

The studio knew what it was signing on for: a Welles/Booth Tarkington film.  Unfortunately Welles' guardian angel at the studio left and as usual the new guard want to make a mark.

Film critic Jonathan Rosembaum pieces together the Welles' version in this book ...

220px-This-is-Orson-Welles.jpg 

Thanks for this insightful info.    Yea,  maybe I overstated the point that a balanced version that was somewhere between the studio's and Welles' would have been the best and instead it is more like 80% Welles' vision with 20% studio restraint.  

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Wednesday, February 28

grandeillusion_1_fc_scruberthumbnail_0.j

7:45 a.m.  Grand Illusion (1937).  Great Jean Renoir film with Jean Gabin.  But not in Canada I'm afraid.  It is replaced by The Barrets of Wimpole Street (1934).

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2 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

Wednesday, February 28

grandeillusion_1_fc_scruberthumbnail_0.j

7:45 a.m.  Grand Illusion (1937).  Great Jean Renoir film with Jean Gabin.  But not in Canada I'm afraid.  It is replaced by The Barrets of Wimpole Street (1934).

Erich Von Stroheim was great in this one. One of my favorite actors.

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Thursday, March 1

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOzAAAAJDc2NjVmZDY4LWQwNzkt

6 p.m.  Sounder (1972).  Solid Martin Ritt film with great performances by Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield and young Kevin Hooks.  I wish someone could dig up Sounder Part 2 (1976) which had a different cast and director but according to Leonard Maltin is also pretty good.

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tomorrow morning's got a fair enough line-up:

6:00 AM Crowd, The (1928)
 
7:45 AM Smilin' Through (1932)
 
9:30 AM drama Stage Door (1937)
 
11:15 AM Double Indemnity (1944)
 
THE CROWD, STAGE DOOR and DOUBLE INDEMNITY all are the ACTUAL Best Pictures of the years they were released, SMILIN THRU is a curiosity- probably one of the least known Best Picture nominees along with CHANG and SKIPPY.

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19 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

tomorrow morning's got a fair enough line-up:

6:00 AM Crowd, The (1928)
 
7:45 AM Smilin' Through (1932)
 
9:30 AM drama Stage Door (1937)
 
11:15 AM Double Indemnity (1944)
 
THE CROWD, STAGE DOOR and DOUBLE INDEMNITY all are the ACTUAL Best Pictures of the years they were released, SMILIN THRU is a curiosity- probably one of the least known Best Picture nominees along with CHANG and SKIPPY.

Definitely looking forward to DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

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18 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Definitely looking forward to DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

IN A WAY, i'm surprised it shows up on TCM, since Universal owns the rights to it now (I think.)

 

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Friday, March 2

fivestarfinal_ithoughtiwascynical_FC_470

6 a.m.  Five Star Final (1931).  With a bravado Edward G. Robinson performance.

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Thanks for the heads-up on FIVE STAR FINAL (1931) , Bogie.

film-daily-clever-ad-sep-17-1931.jpg

I LOVE this movie, which even though it only earned one nomination (for Best Picture), should have also been nominated for the sound, editing, direction and lead performance by Edward G. Robinson. KARLOFF THE UNCANNY also has a great supporting part as an unscrupulous reporter, ALINE MACMAHON is wonderful as Robinson's lovestruck secretary.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you have not seen it or if you like PRECODES or movies about the news media- it's downright prescient in its take on sensational journalism.

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