Bogie56

HITS & MISSES: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow on TCM

6,653 posts in this topic

Saturday, May 16

 

The only feature that I haven’t seen is the one on at 2:30 a.m., An American Hippie in Israel.  And I guess I still won’t have seen it as we get Gunsmoke at that time in the UK.

 

It is followed by I Love You, Alice B. Toklas which could provide some good discussion here.

 

My favourite of the day is The Sundowners.  I think Mitchum is great in this.  And for a guy who doesn’t getting his acting chops due some of the time, here is another role where he has to put on an accent.  Ryan’s Daughter was another.

I cannot recall who it was that had Glynnis Johns on their ‘not fond of’ list, but this film may be something to consider watching if he or she hasn’t already seen it.

 

I didn’t much care for Tales of Hoffman.  It doesn’t have a parallel story as does Red Shoes and is pretty much just a presentation of a the ballet.  If you like that sort of thing …

 

I caught Invitation to the Dance last year and thought it was particularly vomit worthy.

 

And I see Batman is fighting the Japanese yet again.  Are these Japanese spies on the mainland?  The ones that escaped internment?  Is is Batman taking his costume into combat?

 

Seems to have a few things on offer that the kids might like to watch like Mighty Joe Young.  If they can tolerate b&w. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canadians may be catching a real break tomorrow night with the replacement for Tales of Hoffman at 10:30 p.m.

More James Mason!  The Story of Three Loves, co-starring Moira Shearer, Ethel Barrymore and others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched this movie last night. I wasn't sure what I would think not being a huge Clark Gable fan but it turned out great, and Spencer Tracy as the priest was awesome as well. Other than not appreciating Ben Mankiewicz's comments afterward(the idea of not showing a priest being hit being ridiculous.GRR) I have nothing but good remarks for this movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this, mr6666, it's good to see appreciation for this overlooked movie.  I have such love and fondness for it.  Normally I watch my VHS tape, so it was a delight to see it on TCM, knowing so many others were also watching.  Such a smart script.  It took me a few viewings to catch all the inside quips.  Loved Dyan Cannon's (she was brilliant as--allegedly--Sue Mengers) comment about getting Paul and Joanne to star, but maybe there "wouldn't be enough content" for them.  So many great lines.  Sondheim and Perkins were a wonderful writing duo--too bad this was their only collaboration.  

 

Thank you very much, TCM, for airing this!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canadians may be catching a real break tomorrow night with the replacement for Tales of Hoffman at 10:30 p.m.

More James Mason!  The Story of Three Loves, co-starring Moira Shearer, Ethel Barrymore and others.

 

I was fascinated by this film(TSOTL, that is) the first time I caught it.

 

Funny thing is I was a little surprised to later discover that it wasn't a Powell and Pressburger production, as it almost instantly gave me the strong impression that it was. Perhaps the beautiful Moira(of their "The Red Shoes") being in it was the reason for that, but I think it's probably more than that alone. I started wondering if Vincente Minnelli, who I believe directed the segment Moira and Mason star in, might have been subliminally influenced a tiny bit by how Michael Powell would just a few years earlier tell the story of the other ill-fated ballerina.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I started wondering if Vincente Minnelli, who I believe directed the segment Moira and Mason star in, might have been subliminally influenced a tiny bit by how Michael Powell would just a few years earlier tell the story of the other ill-fated ballerina.

 

Well, Dargo, knowing your penchant for ironic understatement, I'm guessing you mean Minelli's segment was nothing other than a shameless rip-off.  A dark blotch on an otherwise glittering escutcheon.  The only thing saving it from thorough infamy is the presence of the great Miss Shearer herself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pleased that TCM acknowledged James Mason's birthday by showing six of his movies - of course they hedged their bets by starting them at 6am and 7:30am, presumably because not enough people would be that interested in watching them.  Nevertheless, any Mason is better than no Mason.

 

My choices would have been different.  Forget NORTH BY NORTHWEST, which is hardly a Mason film - it belongs to Grant all the way.  And THE LAST OF SHEILA?  Well, Mason is in there somewhere among the crowd.  And THE PRISONER OF ZENDA stars Granger and Kerr ( but surely you will agree that Rupert of Hentzau steals every scene he's in.)

 

It would have been a delight if TCM had shown some of Mason's films that made him the number one star in Britain - those delicious Gainsborough melodramas and how about THE SEVENTH VEIL, THE UPTURNED GLASS, THEY WERE SISTERS?  Mason was drop dead gorgeous in these films and created a new screen persona - the dark, Byronic, tormented (and tormenting) antihero, over whom women worldwide swooned and plunked down their cash to watch him over and over again.  Is it that TCM can't get access to these movies, or is unfamiliar with them?

 

Other, later Mason films I would have preferred include:  FIVE FINGERS, JULIUS CAESAR, PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, THE MAN BETWEEN, THE SEA GULL, THE DEADLY AFFAIR, THE SHOOTING PARTY. And there were the two delightful comedies he starred in - A TOUCH OF LARCENY and TIARA TAHITI.  (He made a couple of other comedies, but they were ghastly).

 

In short, why couldn't TCM have picked movies that starred Mason?  Lord knows, he made enough of them.

 

Anyway, as I said, any Mason is better than no Mason.  But, please, no more NBNW touted as a "Mason film."  It ain't.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for those familiar with SAN FRANCISCO, which just aired on TCM. My take on the film:

 

1. Spencer Tracy may have got an Oscar nomination for his role but this was Clark Gable's movie all the way.

 

2. Tracy's priest character turns into an irritating busy buddy, particularly in the scene in which he gives Gable that "you can't sell her immortal soul" business because Clark wants Jeannette to show off her legs while singing

 

3. The earthquake special effects are STILL outstanding, a great sequence

 

4. The final scene in which the production code demands that a repentant Gable kneel and pray to God is cringing to watch - everyone wants to see Gable as a bad boy, not see him turn into a choir boy

 

Any comments?

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for those familiar with SAN FRANCISCO, which just aired on TCM. My take on the film:

 

1. Spencer Tracy may have got an Oscar nomination for his role but this was Clark Gable's movie all the way.

 

2. Tracy's priest character turns into an irritating busy buddy, particularly in the scene in which he gives Gable that "you can't sell her immortal soul" business because Clark wants Jeannette to show off her legs while singing

 

3. The earthquake special effects are STILL outstanding, a great sequence

 

4. The final scene in which the production code demands that a repentant Gable kneel and pray to God is cringing to watch - everyone wants to see Gable as a bad boy, not see him turn into a choir boy

 

Any comments?

I haven't seen the film in a long time, but I like it very much. I love the opera scenes -- Gounod's Faust  (appropriately, an opera about damned and saved souls); and Jeanette MacDonald's various renditions of the title song. A moment I find particularly poignant is the scene in which Jesse Ralph, her gangster son dead, sees her house blown up.

 

A great triple bill for TCM (I think they have all the prints) would be San Francisco, The Sisters, and Frisco Jenny, so that we can compare SF earthquake sequences and stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Dargo, knowing your penchant for ironic understatement, I'm guessing you mean Minelli's segment was nothing other than a shameless rip-off.  A dark blotch on an otherwise glittering escutcheon.  The only thing saving it from thorough infamy is the presence of the great Miss Shearer herself.

 

LOL

 

Well, seeing as how you put it THAT way, slayton...yeah, I suppose SO!

 

(...and here I never thought that I was all that subtlety diplomatic...who KNEW?!!!)  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...And THE LAST OF SHEILA?  Well, Mason is in there somewhere among the crowd.  And THE PRISONER OF ZENDA stars Granger and Kerr ( but surely you will agree that Rupert of Hentzau steals every scene he's in.)

 

 

Here, lemme say the following for Tom in reply...

 

Yeah, maybe manderstroke, but not NEARLY as much as Doug Fairbanks Jr. stole it in the '37 version, my friend!!! ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here, lemme say the following for Tom in reply...

 

Yeah, maybe manderstroke, but not NEARLY as much as Doug Fairbanks Jr. stole it in the '37 version, my friend!!! ;)

Boy, that's crossing swords.

I'm on Mason's side of the turret here.  I thoroughly enjoyed Jr's performance but at times it was leaning toward the OTT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for those familiar with SAN FRANCISCO, which just aired on TCM. My take on the film:

 

1. Spencer Tracy may have got an Oscar nomination for his role but this was Clark Gable's movie all the way.

 

2. Tracy's priest character turns into an irritating busy buddy, particularly in the scene in which he gives Gable that "you can't sell her immortal soul" business because Clark wants Jeannette to show off her legs while singing

 

3. The earthquake special effects are STILL outstanding, a great sequence

 

4. The final scene in which the production code demands that a repentant Gable kneel and pray to God is cringing to watch - everyone wants to see Gable as a bad boy, not see him turn into a choir boy

 

Any comments?

 

I dunno. Tom. I've never had a problem with that final scene. In fact, and though I'm not a "praying man" myself, I think that scene actually kind'a "humanizes" ol' Clark in a way.

 

(...and kind'a like the scene in that "Southern movie" where he cries on de Haviland's shoulder after he thinks he caused Scarlett's miscarriage)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy, that's crossing swords.

I'm on Mason's side of the turret here.  I thoroughly enjoyed Jr's performance but at times it was leaning toward the OTT.

 

Well, the reason I said what I said there Bogie, was because Tom and I have had this discussion before about who was the best Rupert of Hentzau, and after that little discussion I did end up having to agree with Tom that Mason while excellent at delivering his lines and was as good as Doug Jr. was in that capacity, Mason lacked the "physicality" that Jr. had in order to fully flesh out the character.

 

And as I recall, Tom also pointed out that in that great sword fight scene near the end, one can often plainly see that Mason was doubled for in some shots, and whereas Jr. was not.

 

(...and I also thought Jr.'s performance was absolutely spot-on as the extremely vainglorious henchman)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the reason I said what I said there Bogie, was because Tom and I have had this discussion before about who was the best Rupert of Hentzau, and after that little discussion I did end up having to agree with Tom that Mason while excellent at delivering his lines was probably as good as Doug Jr, was, BUT Mason lacked the "physicality" that Jr. had in order to fully flesh out the character.

 

(...and as I recall, Tom also pointed out that in that great sword fight scene near the end, one can often plainly see that Mason was doubled for in some shots, and whereas Jr. was not)  

You got me on each count there pal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay.  This is actually a recommendation for the day after tomorrow and it is not even on TCM, but, it does involve quite a few well-known classic Hollywood stars, so I'm going with it.

 

On Sunday, CBS is showing 2 episodes of I Love Lucy that they've colorized.  One of the episodes is the classic L.A. at Last! episode guest starring William Holden, with a special cameo by Eve Arden.  In this episode, the Ricardos and Mertzes have finally arrived in Hollywood after two weeks on the road.  While Ricky is reporting for his first day on the job at MGM, Lucy and the Mertzes go to "the watering hole," aka The Brown Derby, to scout movie stars.  After seeing Cary Grant, Walter Pidgeon and Ava Gardner, they settle down to eat.  William Holden is then seated in the booth next to Lucy and the Mertzes.  Lucy, of course, makes a fool of herself.  The funniest part of the episode is when Ricky ends up meeting Holden later in the day and asks him to come up to their hotel room to meet Lucy.

 

The other episode that CBS is featuring is Lucy and Superman.  In this episode, it's Little Ricky's birthday.  Lucy and Carolyn Appleby have planned their sons' parties on the same day and Lucy plays the "Superman" card to force Carolyn to change the date (since Carolyn and Lucy's sons are in the same class and would thus invite the same children).  Lucy asks Ricky to use his connections and get George Reeves to appear at the party as Superman.  Later, Ricky phones Lucy to say that Superman isn't going to make it.  Not wanting to look like an idiot or disappoint her son, Lucy decides to dress up like Superman herself.

 

While I'm mixed on the idea of colorizing I Love Lucy, I'll never turn down an opportunity to watch my favorite television show of all time.

 

CBS, 8pm (PST).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A multi-national conspiracy of Hitchcockian proportions?

 

Rope and North by Northwest are playing back-to-back on BBC2 this afternoon.

 

But they also have an hour of James Mason interviews on as well which I am going to try to catch.

 

A friend of mine told me the key to doing a James Mason impression was to pretend to be squeezing one out when you were talking.  Pretty funny.  Hope nobody is offended - much.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday, May 16

 

The only feature that I haven’t seen is the one on at 2:30 a.m., An American Hippie in Israel.  And I guess I still won’t have seen it as we get Gunsmoke at that time in the UK.

 

It is followed by I Love You, Alice B. Toklas which could provide some good discussion here.

 

My favourite of the day is The Sundowners.  I think Mitchum is great in this.  And for a guy who doesn’t getting his acting chops due some of the time, here is another role where he has to put on an accent.  Ryan’s Daughter was another.

I cannot recall who it was that had Glynnis Johns on their ‘not fond of’ list, but this film may be something to consider watching if he or she hasn’t already seen it.

 

I didn’t much care for Tales of Hoffman.  It doesn’t have a parallel story as does Red Shoes and is pretty much just a presentation of a the ballet.  If you like that sort of thing …

 

I caught Invitation to the Dance last year and thought it was particularly vomit worthy.

 

And I see Batman is fighting the Japanese yet again.  Are these Japanese spies on the mainland?  The ones that escaped internment?  Is is Batman taking his costume into combat?

 

Seems to have a few things on offer that the kids might like to watch like Mighty Joe Young.  If they can tolerate b&w. 

As a new day dawns ....

 

Canadians may be catching a real break tonight with the replacement for Tales of Hoffman at 10:30 p.m.

More James Mason!  The Story of Three Loves, co-starring Moira Shearer, Ethel Barrymore and others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

And as I recall, Tom also pointed out that in that great sword fight scene near the end, one can often plainly see that Mason was doubled for in some shots, and whereas Jr. was not.

 

Can't quite agree with you there, Dargo old boy. While I love the performances of both Colman and Fairbanks in Zenda, both actors are clearly doubled in much of their duel. Lots of closeups of the two as they banter with one another but any of those long shots, forget it. Colman and Fairbanks were both wonderful in their characterizations, of course, but, as athletes, neither of them was a Flynn or Rathbone.

 

As for the remake, while James Mason's cynical distain and contempt is effective as Rupert, I think he lacks the flair that Doug Jr. brought to the same role. And Mason was, of course, hopeless with a sword in his hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did any of our (American) brethren happen to catch MacBeth last night and can report which audio version TCM showed.  The Scottish brogue version or the non?

 

And was Chimes the restored version?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did any of our (American) brethren happen to catch MacBeth last night and can report which audio version TCM showed.  The Scottish brogue version or the non?

 

And was Chimes the restored version?

 

MACBETH was the one with the characters speaking with  Scottish accents.

I did't realize that Roddy McDowall was in the movie.

 

As for CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, I didn't see any dialogue out of sync.

I'd been wanting to see this one for a long time and it was truly deserving of all the hype. 

Welles's reaction as Falstaff when Hal (now King Henry V) rejects him was so beautifully moving. 

Orson Welles definitely was a master who understood how to use the medium of film. 

 

It was very interesting in THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO to hear Welles's own voice dubbing the dialogue of several characters. (this was mentioned in the introduction to the movie by the host.) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't quite agree with you there, Dargo old boy. While I love the performances of both Colman and Fairbanks in Zenda, both actors are clearly doubled in much of their duel. Lots of closeups of the two as they banter with one another but any of those long shots, forget it. Colman and Fairbanks were both wonderful in their characterizations, of course, but, as athletes, neither of them was a Flynn or Rathbone.

 

As for the remake, while James Mason's cynical distain and contempt is effective as Rupert, I think he lacks the flair that Doug Jr. brought to the same role. And Mason was, of course, hopeless with a sword in his hand.

 

Thanks for the clarification here, Tom.

 

(...bottom line is still however, we both agree that Junior's "scene stealing" in the '37 version WAS just a tiny little bit better than Mason's was in '52, right?!) ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification here, Tom.

 

(...bottom line is still however, we both agree that Junior's "scene stealing" in the '37 version WAS just a tiny little bit better than Mason's was in '52, right?!) ;)

Am I mistaken or was Jr. parodying Pop just a little?  With that broad happy-go-lucky, aha business all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I mistaken or was Jr. parodying Pop just a little?  With that broad happy-go-lucky, aha business all the time.

 

Not sure if the word "parodying" is best applied here, Bogie. The word "parodying" being one ascribing some aspect of comedy to it.

 

I do know from reading your earlier post about this that you thought Jr. verged on being over-the-top, and so maybe that's why to used that word. However once again, I don't think he overacted his part at all, as I feel the part cries out for being as "devil-may-care" and even "lighthearted" as Jr. played it.

 

And while Mason in the '52 remake is fine in the role, I do think the manner in which he played the same character is not quite as "light-footed", both in his line delivery and in that "physicality" aspect I mentioned earlier. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if the word "parodying" is best applied here, Bogie. The word "parodying" being one ascribing some aspect of comedy to it.

 

I do know from reading your earlier post about this that you thought Jr. verged on being over-the-top, and so maybe that's why to used that word. However once again, I don't think he overacted his part at all, as I feel the part cries out for being as "devil-may-care" and even "lighthearted" as Jr. played it.

 

And while Mason in the '52 remake is fine in the role, I do think the manner in which he played the same character is not quite as "light-footed", both in his line delivery and in that "physicality" aspect I mentioned earlier. 

Definitely more sinister, I agree.  Did you get the chance to read the bit I put in a few minutes ago in the Mason thready?

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