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About RobertEmmettHarron

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  1. Hey everybody. Thought it might be fun to jaw about this year's SUTS site, which looks fantastic I think. I love the little 'post card's that cleverly incorporate stars' images on different color backdrops; some of them are really incredibly witty and creative, Monty Clift's card today being an excellent case in point. Does anybody have any card (either past or yet to come) they found especially impressive or amusing. I've got to vote for Aug. 4 and the pic of Ronald Coleman in his furry hat, pictured at the tiki-themed, grass-roofed Shangri-La Hotel (owned by 'Bob' no less!) Beautiful; I'd like to have it as a screen saver -- it could replace my longstanding shot of Bobby Harron being comforted by the priest as he prepares to ascend to the noose in Intolerance! The card for Lon Chaney was also marvellous, and the one upcoming on Conrad Veidt's day is something to see as well. Breathtaking color use, and nice use of Waner Krauss lurking in the midway shadows, too! Anyone else have a favorite card? Edited by: RobertEmmettHarron on Aug 20, 2011 10:51 AM
  2. Golly, Fred. Do you bother to read what you post? The 132-minute restored print of "Lost Horizon" is original cut that aired in theaters in 1937, and which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in that format. The text now included at the head of the film makes clear that over the years the film was re-released to theaters and television on sundry occasions, and cuts were made to the original print at that time. These cuts were not in accordance with the wishes of either Frank Capra or Robert Riskin (who directed and wrote the thing), and in the opinion of both men it ruined the tempo of the film since it destroyed the evolving feelings of the characters played by Edward Everett Horton and Thomas Mitchell, and thus failed to show why they had opted to remain in Shangri-La. Although the full 132-minute soundtrack for Lost Horizon was found, several minutes of footage were lost. Inclusion of the still photos were used to stand in for the lost footage, which, again, audiences in 1937 would have enjoyed in the original theatrical cut. You choose to emphasize the role played by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, but not Columbia Pictures the original releasing studio, which was where the desire to restore the film to its original format originated. I assume you do favor restoring films, if possible, to the original form conceived by the director and/or writer, and in the form they had when they originally were shown in theaters. If so, you certainly have no cause whatever to be complaining about the 'mutilation' of Lost Horizon. Archivists (not professors) did the best they could to reassemble the film as best they could given existing elements. For this, they should be applauded.
  3. It's no myth. A recreated bit of the silent "Dracula" is included in "The Road to Dracula," which is an exhaustive look at the film, its origins and legacy, and included on Universal's DVD release of the Tod Browning classc, as well as a complete version of the Spanish-language version, directed by George Melford, which runs something like 25 minutes longer than the better-known version with Lugosi. Unfortunately, the silent clip -- which includes Dwight Frye's arrival at Castle Dracula and Lugosi's magisterial entrance, had to be reproduced from scratch as the original silent prints have long since disappared. Lost, too, is the notorious 'conculsion' to the film in which actor Edward Van Sloan reappears as himself to remind audience members that they should definitely be on edge about vampires as they lie awake at night, because..."There ARE such things." This was scrapped at the instistence of religious groups when Dracula was released c. 1934. If any copies of the tag still exist, they were so badly fragmented that they could not be included on the DVD, according to the commentators.
  4. Yep, I watched. What a way to spend 124 minutes! MOTOE is a first-rate entertainment. Interesting to see Sidney Lumet, better known for harder-edged stuff like "Serpico" and "Network," taking to this brittle period whodunit like a duck to water. Richard Rodney Bennett's score is a marvel, from the beautiful pastiche waltzes (with muted French horns!) to the truly eerie atonal writing that appears each time the film recollects the murder of little Daisy Armstrong. Superb performances, too, especially from Ingrid Bergman (who deserved that Oscar!), Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Rachel Roberts. A couple of my favorite moments: The indescribable look that Gielgud gives, over his shoulder, in response to Martin Balsam's "He did it. The butler did it." (Who needs words?) As well as the look that George Colouris shoots Albert Finney after Poirot tells his Hungarian doctor "At last you have accidentally said something useful.") Personally, I think Albert Finney is fantastic as Poirot. What a tour de force is his final scene. Although many have questioned his interpretation of the role, it bears noting that Dame Agatha Christie (who lived to see this production, but who died before 1978's "Death on the Nile" premiered) said publicly that Finney's portrayal was spot on in regard to her original conception of the Belgian detective. Cordially, RobertEH Message was edited by: RobertEmmettHarron
  5. Hi feets, 1953 "From Here to Eternity" (I kept saying "And?") That gave me the best laugh I've had all day. Thanks, bud. Just wanted to share that with you. Must go now. Have booked passage on the Orient Express. Cordially, REH
  6. Here's a thought, which I'd like to pass along to the TCM programmer. How about a month devoted to the flims of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, a comedy team that in their heyday were as well regarded as Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, but who are almost totally forgotten today. The neglect is hard to justify (I think there is only one book today devoted to their comedy) even though their partnership ended with Woolsey's premature death in 1937. Although both performers were oddly astringent in personality (especially Wheeler, who can be a bit much for the unprepared), I think they were a funny duo and I also think they deserve a re-appraisal. Since almost all their films are extant, and presumably in the TCM library, why not give the gents their turn in the spotlight. Not that I mind salutes to Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur mind you, but I don't know that either of those stars has been eclipsed over the years like W&W, Besides, a salute to the team would be a chance to dig out some of those marvellous, early Technicolor oddities like "Rio Rita," "The Cuckoos" and "Dixiana." Any seconds on my nomination? Do the boys have any other fans out there? Cordially, REH
  7. Well, OK, Joe, since you asked-- When interviewed about her role in "High Society" (1956), a musical remake of "The Philadelphia Story" opposite Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly tried the complimentary route, saying she had prepared for the film by watching TPS several times to study Hepburn's performance. When asked about this, Hepburn said: "She didn't study hard enough." Hope you enjoyed that, Joe. REH
  8. Hi Philip. Thanks for not cheating. Robert Emmett ("Bobby") Harron was born in 1893 in New York City, part of a large Irish brood. He was discovered by Griffith and cast as a juvenile actor in a number of Biograph movie shorts during Griffth's rise in the first decades of the 1900s. Impressed by the actor's sensitivity and talent, Griffith rewarded Bobby with a plum role in BOAN (as Tod Stoneman, one of the two 'chums' who die on the Civil War battlefield in the film's first hour. Tod is the chum from the north, brother of Lillian Gish and Elmer Clifton. If that doesn't help, he's the chum who wears the dorky hat.) Bobby next appeared in "Intolerance," which was his greatest and largest role. He was cast as "The Boy," juvenile gangster and later husband to Mae Marsh's "Dear One." He is wrongly accused of murder in Intolerance's "Modern Story" and saved from the scaffold by Dear One's intervention at the last possible moment a la Griffith. More roles for Bobby followed, including the lead in "Hearts of the World" (1918) and "A Romance of Happy Valley (also 1918), but things did not stay happy for long. Griffith had taken a shine to Richard Barthelmess, and cast him in "Broken Blossoms" opposite Lillian Gish. The caucasian Barthelmess evidently passed muster as the so-called Yellow Man and was rewarded with the lead in Griffith's follow-up picture, the epic romance "Way Down East" (1920), also with Gish. It was while in New York City for the premiere of WDE (in which he did not appear) that Bobby Harron suffered a gunshot wound while in his hotel room. The cause of the wound was not definitely determined (Harron claimed it was an accident; others have speculated that Bobby pulled a "Norman Maine" after being passed over for the lead in WDE. Be that as it may, Robert Emmett Harron died in hospital a couple of days after the shooting. His final film apperance had been in "A Romance of Happy Valley." He was 27 years old when he died. Bobby was never nominated for an Oscar, having died 7 years before the first ceremony. (That is totally irrelevant to this post of course, but I felt I should make the comment, since this thread is supposed to have something to do with the Academy Awards after all.) Richard Barthelmess, who died a wealthy man in 1963, was nominated for the First Best Actor Oscar in 1927. I can see Bobby rolling in his grave even now, can't you? This, I'm sure, is more than you wanted to know. Cordially, R. Message was edited by: RobertEmmettHarron
  9. Hi, watches, and welcome 'aboards': I cannot let your post go by without comment. One may have reservations about Gene Kelly, but I don't think saying he lacked 'real talent' is quite tenable. The "Moses Supposes" and "Our Love Is Here to Stay" dance duets from "Singin' in the Rain" and "An American in Paris" show-case the breadth of his dancing talent quite nicely. I couldn't do either and I don't know many other dancers who could have either. (Can imagine Astaire doing "Love," but not "Supposes.") As for Astaire in blackface, this comment is not fair. Given the historical context, there was nothing insulting in Astaire's decision to perform this way in 1936. Indeed, it was pretty daring of Astaire to perform a Bojangles tribute at all, given the fact that contributions from African American performers were routinely cut from many road prints of Hollywood films at this time, so as not to offend movie patrons in the American south. I think it was touching of Astaire to perform an obviously heartfelt tribute to a fellow dancer, and obviously Astaire probably would not have felt obligated to do this had he surrepticiously 'stole' Robinson's dancing style and adopted it as his own. If you look at other blackface performances from the 1930s and even later (i.e. Jolson in "Jazz Singer" or Garland and Rooney in "Babes on Broadway" or Cantor in "Kid Millions) Astaire's make-up in Swing Time is remarkable for its subtilty and refusal to use traditions of minstrelry such as exaggerated lips or Afro wig. I think this must be acknowledged by anyone watching a movie like "Swing Time" today. Besides, Astaire, who was born in either Kansas or Nebraska (forget which at the moment), likely developed his dance style with sister Adele, with little opportunity for exposure to Robinson's style. If you look at a period Robinson film performance (like his appearance in the technicolor sequences of the 1930 Wheeler-Woolsey vehicle "Dixiana") it's apparent that his dancing was not similar to Astaire's at all, and likewise apparent how good a match the choreography devised by Astaire and Hermes Pan for the Bojangles 'tribute' is. Not that this has anything to do with Oscar head-scratchers, but I felt some comment was in order. Cordially, RobertEH
  10. > RobertEmmett - You are a sweet guy and I think you > also have a cool name. Very proper! It's even worthy > of a place in a Minnelli picture, a man of > unsurpassed taste, style, and elegance. > > Hi, Philip, and thanks awfully for this. Actually, it's more worthy of a place in a D.W. Griffith picture. 3 cheers to you if you can discern the meaning of that quip without resorting to the IMDB. Cordially, RobertEH
  11. > Ginger Rogers never should have won for Kitty Foyle > which is a charming movie and performance but nowhere > near what Joan Fontaine, Kate Hepburn or Bette Davis > did that year or Martha Scott for that matter. Hi, Joe: Although I agree with this, more or less. (Martha Scott? Don't think so.), it's probably worth noting that Katherine Hepburn herself expressed satisfaction with Rogers' win. Asked about losing the award to Rogers, Hepburn said, succinctly: "Ginger's enormously talented and she deserves the Oscar." Hepburn wasn't the sort to mince words or put forth praise if she didn't believe it was merited. (Note for instance, her incredibily cold dismissal of Grace Kelly's assumption of the Tracy Lord role in High Society.") I'm inclined to believe that Hepburn felt, for whatever reason, that the Academy's Best Actress call in 1940 was correct. It should be said, too, that Rogers is quite effective in "Kitty Foyle," and if she's not in Hepburn's league, well, who else was? Cordially, RobertEH
  12. Hi, Philip-- You didn't offend me over AAIP. mate. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. It's nice to see another fan of the Hollywood musical, and if AAIP isn't your cup of tea, I'm cool with that. Actually, I've shown that film to both my dad and a friend of mine and both blindsided me with the opinion that the ballet at the end is too long. A lot of people seem to feel this way, and I've always been mystified by this, but what the hay. At least I've got Gene Kelly on my side (he always preferred AAIP to SITR.) I've yet to meet anyone who finds Kelly 'obnoxious' with the little French kids, but I suppose I can see where you're coming from here. There's more than a bit of egocentrism in that number, but egocentrism is never too far from the surface with Kelly (i.e. the final shot of the "Broadway Rythym" ballet in SITR.) Personally, I'll take the class of Vincente Minelli over the athletic, vulgar exuberance of Kelly+Donen any day. (Count me among the silent minority that have always preferred "Paris" to "Rain.") Disagreement is part of the fun of these boards, and I welcome the give and take. (I also think Philips with one 'p' are much cooler than those with two 'p's.) So to quote Nashville's Haven Hamilton 'keep a goin'' with that posting, dude. Cordially, Robert. p.s. It amuses me that you like "most" of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Which part don't you like. I gotta know. R.
  13. Hello, Philip-- I'll go along with #s 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8. I'm an agnostic on #6 'cause I've never seen "A Woman's Face." Will defintely check out Joan's performance next time it's on, though. I'm dissenting on #1 (still prefer May Robson) and #4 (Stewart goes deeper here than is generally acknowledged, and his performance is much more than just 'amusing.') And you flunk film school for dissin' AAIP, buster! The musical beat the pants of "A Place in the Sun" and "Streetcar" because it's the better picture, pure and simple. I say this now that I've finished rolling on the floor laughing after reading your proposed double bill of Minelli and Lang. We may not always agree about films, but at least you have a sense of humor. Bless you for that. RobertEH
  14. Hi, Christine-- That's right. Robert Donat won Best Actor in 1939 for "Chips." It was a good call, as Leonard Maltin has rightly called Donat's performance here "an acting masterpiece." Keep on posting. Enjoy chatting with you. RobertEH
  15. You have me working overtime, skimpole--Glad it's Saturday Rebuttals and agreements-- 1. Laughton should have beaten them both. The snubbing of Laughton's Captain Bleigh in "Mutiny on the Bounty" is still to my mind the single most unjust call in Oscar history. 2. Must disagree. Stewart is magnificent in PS. 3. Unquestionably we agree here. 4. Always thought Coleman's work in "A Double Life" was overrated, but also think "Verdoux" overrated, with Chaplin much too fey and mannered. Would have voted for Powell in "Life With Father" myself. 5. Would not vote for either Borgnine or Dean in this race. Have never been able to decide between Sinatra ("Golden Arm") and Cagney ("Love Me or Leave Me.") 6. I could go along with that, had Stewart been nominated. As is, I would have voted for Tony Curtis ("Defiant Ones") 7. Nope. Harrison earned it. 8. Never seen H&T, sorry to say. Your assessment probably correct. 9. Agree, more or less. But what about Holden? 10. ????? 11. Certainly would not have voted for Hoffman here, who coyly plays autism for laughs in a way that is fundamentally dishonest. I thought that race was justly between Olmos (Stand and Deliver) and von Sydow (Pelle the Conquorer) 12&13 Neither of your 'winners' was nominated, so what can I say. Does this mean that I can declare Lillian Gish winner in 1928 and Emil Jannings the winner in 1930? 14&15 Ditto, and ditto. But Denzel Washington's Oscar for "Training Day" admittedly must have been some kind of joke. That nutty Academy! On to the ladies-- 1. Won't see "Coquette" until February (thanks, TCM). Will withhold judgment till then. 2. Garbo not nominated for this role, though I don't think Hepburn deserved this first Oscar. (Believe she earned the other 3). I would have voted for dear May Robson ("Lady for a Day") 3. It makes no sense that Loy never received a single Oscar NOMINATION in her entire career, but there it is. To me, the race between Colbert and Norma Shearer ("Barretts of Wimpole Street") was a tough call, but I probably would have gone with Colbert in the end. 4. I quite agree. 5. Have already said my piece here. 6. Kerr not nominated for BN. In fact, you've confounded the years here. "Black Narcissus" won color art direction and cinematography Oscars in 1947, sted '48. 7. I would have voted for ANYBODY over Judy Holliday in 1950. Such a shrill, ridiculous, totally overrated performance. Swanson v. Davis is a tough call. They were both wonderful. 9. I sympathize with your feelings, and it kills me to say it, ('cause Judy is so phenominal in "A Star Is Born"), but Kelly earned the statuette for "The Country Girl." 10. Monroe not nominated in '59. Never seen "Room at the Top." Sorry. 11. Is "Two for the Road" that early? I thought it came out in the 70s. (Robert shrugs ignorantly) Hepburn is just marvellous in "Dinner," and in my opinion she was wholly entitled to her second helping of Oscar. 12, 13, 14, & 15. Not qualified to judge here, as I've not seen "Splash," "Matilda," "Adele H" or "Monster's Ball." SOMEBODY had to have given a better performance than Ms. Field in 1983, though. Keep 'em coming, skimpole, I'm enjoying this. And you're really whetting my appetite for February. Cordially, RobertEH
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