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About Quiller

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  1. Haven't posted in this forum in quite a while, but I just got a look at the June line-up and had to say: Bravo, TCMProgrammer! It's going to be a fantastic month. I'm particularly looking forward to the silent Chinese movies, but there don't seem to be two days in a row when there won't be something I'll be interested in.
  2. For me, the only enjoyment I derive out of the whole Academy Awards self-congratulation-a-thon is second-guessing the Academy voters. Since Hollywood plays this game, I don't see why we can't too. However, when I stop to think of best and worst Best Picture winners, I always find myself trying to count the number of times the Academy actually got it right. Very few Best Picture winners have stood the test of time as the true best films of their respective years. Anyone who's interested in this sort of game really ought to check out the book Alternate Oscars, in which Danny Peary gives lengthy reasons for his choices for Best Picture, Actor, and Actress during the years 1927-91. You don't have to agree with everything Peary says -- and nobody probably would -- but it's a lot of fun.
  3. > The film, however, is bloody awful. I have to agree. It didn't even hold my attention when I was going through a stage of loving epic, widescreen spectacles. The outstanding score by Franz Waxman is easily the best aspect of the entire film.
  4. > Also "Trio", "Encore" and "Quartet" are a series of > short story films done in England. And all based on W. Somerset Maugham short stories! My anglophilia is probably showing, but these three movies are what excite me most about the entire May schedule. I haven't seen any of them in probably 20 years. Let's just hope that TCM doesn't encounter any problems with the rights, as they sometimes do with British films. In this case, I think they're all owned by Paramount -- which probably means we'll never see them released on DVD.
  5. Sim is also amusing as a befuddled clergyman in The Ruling Class. You even get to see him wear a pirate's hat in that one.
  6. > > So, call me a prude, or an old fogie, or anything > > else you care to, but if our teenagers are so > jaded > > now, how will they ever grow up, with no self > > respect? Don't you think we had our temptations > 45 > > years ago just like today, we did but we overcame > > them, and if the boy kept urging, we had the self > > respect to find someone else. It hurt, and caused > a > > lot of tears, but in the end, we could look our > > friends and parents in the eye. > > Things have changed in a lot of ways in the last > half-century. I don't think women are automatically > expected to be virgins until after marriage in this > day and age. Ultimately, as long as young adults know > how to avoid VD's, pregnancy, and don't do anything > unless it's consensual, chances are they will be > OK. As a non-parent, I don't feel qualified to join in on this conversation too much, but this exchange really amused me because there was a recent study published in Public Health Reports that suggests neither men nor women were more chaste in the past. Specifically, it suggests that high rates of premarital sex extend back at least to women born in the 1940s and have remained relatively stable since the 1950s. So it would seem that things really haven't changed that much, after all. Here's a link to AP's coverage of the study: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16287113/
  7. > You didn't understand what I was saying, Quiller. > > I'm trying to make the point that it wouldn't make > sense (for example) to hire as hosts an > African-American woman and a Native American male, if > neither one of them knew *anything* about movies and > neither one of them could make an effective > presentation. > > See the point I'm trying to make? I understood what you were saying, Cinemascope. In reality, my post was directed more towards Earthworm's comment. (It just seemed easier to quote your message.) I think that it has to be a given that whatever new host TCM hires (if ever) must possess genuine credentials of some sort. But I believe there to be an inherent value in TCM making an effort to hire a host that comes from different background than the white male-dom of both R.O. and B.M. And since in a more recent post, you've reiterated your desire to see a more regular female voice on the channel, I get the feeling that we're probably in agreement.
  8. > Did I ever say "Heck, let's just have diversity for > the sake of diversity"? Even if you did, I don't think that it would be an indefensible claim. In fact, from an ecological or an economic point of view, diversity for the sake of diversity is a GOOD thing because it promotes a healthier ecology and/or economy. So why isn't that applicable to culture? To give a very basic example, I like to live in a community where I have easy access to diverse restaurants: Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian, etc. Is that sort of diversity absolutely necessary for me to have a healthy, happy life? No, but it sure makes life far richer and more enjoyable. Same thing goes for hearing different opinions coming from different voices.
  9. Many thanks for that, Bill. I thought something like that happened, but I couldn't figure out where all the "pirates" had suddenly come from! It's not the sort of movie I wanted to sit through again, but I certainly wanted to know what I missed. Jack, sounds like it follows a totally different story arc than the book or Puccini opera (with which I'm only vaguely familiar). The movie ends happily, with the couple heading to the New World but no scenes actually taking place there. At the very end, Manon seems pretty healthy. Actually, I believe Robert Osborne said something during his intro about how the story was re-tooled to give Barrymore a bigger and more dashing role.
  10. Sorry if there's a thread for this elsewhere. I didn't see one. Can anybody who watched all of When a Man Loves (the last Silent Sunday showing) give me a brief run-down of the last 15 minutes or so? I recorded it, but my cable service went on the blink for some reason. So I saw everything up until Barrymore hoped onto the cart that was taking Manon to the deportation ship. Then my cable started again for the final two minutes (where Barrymore and Manon row to safety on the little boat). I'm just curious about what I missed....
  11. And as someone who owns several of Milestone's DVDs, let me say that they are generally very high quality. A great source for film buffs who love silents and other rarities. Keep up the good work, Dennis!
  12. > Yes: "Around the World in 80 Days". Best Picture?? > I don't get it. (was it because Cinerama was new...?) Actually, there were probably two reasons why Around the World won Best Picture that year: 1.) Most of the Academy voters probably appeared in this cameo-laden film. So how could they not vote a film that they themselves starred in? 2.) Mike Todd, who was much beloved throughout Hollywood in the early- to mid-1950s. Again, neither reason is, in and of itself, a reason to give it Best Picture. Around the World's breathtaking location cinematography probably sealed the deal. Still, I can't think of anyone who'd seriously claim that it's a better movie than John Ford's The Searchers, which wasn't even nominated that year, or Ealing's The Ladykillers, which was eligible since it was released in America in 1956.
  13. > I yield I guess it's like the Producer if you make a > flop you earn more. I always thought a profit kept a > business open, I guess I was wrong. Thank you for > correcting me! I'm no longer following you at all, Bartlett. What's the connection between box office returns and Oscars? A major Oscar win (and sometimes nomination) usually does generate a little more business after the fact. But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apparently does not base its nominations for Academy Awards on how popular a film is. They're supposed to nominate high quality films regardless of commercial success. I.e., Academy Awards are supposed to indicate the best (not necessarily the most popular) films, performances, technical achievements, etc. of the past year in Hollywood. My argument is that there is no correlation between Academy Awards and quality filmmaking.
  14. > > Actually, I've come to believe that a Best Picture > > award is a clear sign of a film's mediocrity. > > > Obviously you are probably a "Rocky Horror" and "A > Bucket of Blood" film fanatic and wouldn't know a > good movie if you saw one. That's my opinion. > > Bartlett That's quite a leap in logic, isn't it, Bartlett? Just because I don't have to wait for the Hollywood community to tell me which movies to value each year means I'm not capable of recognizing quality filmmaking on my own? The problem with the Oscars is that they're driven by the politics of the moment. I mean, the only reason Broadway Melody won Best Picture for 1929 was because Hollywood wanted to demonstrate their commitment to talkies -- even though several silent films made the same year were obviously superior examples of quality filmmaking: The Kiss and the now-fragmentary 4 Devils and The Patriot. It still boggles my mind, however, that, since Hollywood felt obliged to give the award to a talkie, they gave it the MGM picture rather than to Paramount's far more innovative and enjoyable Applause. There are plenty of other examples like that throughout Oscar's history. In fact, the Academy Award has only rarely gone to the film that most critics, historians, and even average film buffs would consider the best film of any given year.
  15. > Chicago (worst musical ever made, second only to > Moulin Rouge Kidman version) Anne, I totally agree with you here. How is it, then, that I so disagree with the following statement you made in the same post? > I still think Crash is the best picture made > in years, since Gentlemen's Agreement in fact, Personally, I think Crash and Gentleman's Agreement are exactly the sort of mildly liberal but bland movies that Hollywood loves to honor in order to feel slightly better about themselves. Both have valuable messages, of course, but I don't find either especially interesting as a movie. (Surely, David Lean's spectacular adaptation of Great Expectations should have won instead of Gentleman's Agreement -- at least, out of the movies nominated that year.)
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