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  1. In New York Stories (1989), an anthology film, Nick Nolte plays an abstract painter in the "Life Lessons" section, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Illeana Douglas, Steve Buscemi, and Rosanna Arquette are also in the cast for this section. I liked this movie overall and found the "Life Lessons" section to be the most memorable, although the other two sections, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen, were also worth seeing.
  2. Portrait of Jennie (1948) is the story of impoverished painter Eben Adams, played by Joseph Cotten, who sketches and later paints Jennie, a girl and, soon after, a woman whom he's not sure really exists -- at least not in the present day. Jennifer Jones plays Jennie, and Ethel Barrymore and Cecil Kellaway are Eben's art dealers. Lillian Gish and David Wayne are in the supporting cast. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, but this is a fantasy that I like very much. It focuses in part on the inspiration behind art and how it can grow to be an obsession -- which, to me, is a very interesting
  3. I'm glad that a couple folks remembered F For Fake and The Horse's Mouth. In Fake, Welles presented an engaging, almost whimsical look at deception. (I really need to watch it again to remind myself about its details.) The Horse's Mouth is a big favorite in our house; my wife and I watch it almost every year. (And in between, we talk about it occasionally, as we were just the other day.) Alec Guinness's portrayal of Gully Jimson captures the messy life of a painter consumed by his artistic vision, almost to the complete exclusion of life's practical realities. Guinness is ve
  4. Has anyone mentioned The Woman on the Beach (1947)? It’s a film noir starring Joan Bennett and Robert Ryan. Charles Bickford plays a retired painter who has lost his sight. He’s married to Bennett’s character, and this being a film noir, the Bennett and Ryan characters develop a relationship that troubles Bickford, of course. I saw the movie when Eddie Muller showed it on Noir Alley and enjoyed it very much.
  5. TCM did show Visions of Eight, which is made up of eight short films by different directors about various aspects of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Unfortunately, I only saw the end of the film on Monday night. In the end credits, they included a prominent remembrance of the 11 Israeli athletes who died in the terrorist attack. But I don't know whether the main body of the movie went into more detail.
  6. I remember it well and wish TCM were still using it -- "Look for the Silver Lining." One of Jerome Kern's best melodies, performed a great singer/trumpeter, Chet Baker.
  7. I've read both of Giddins' volumes on Bing and agree with your assessment. Giddins' thorough research is presented in a very reliable and interesting way. According to Bing magazine (the publication of the International Club Crosby), Giddins said in an interview with Will Friedwald late last year that his work on the third and final volume of the Crosby biography is currently on hiatus (unfortunately). Gary said that his research is complete but that he's currently at work on a Gershwin biography, rather than the Crosby book. He's mentioned elsewhere that his Crosby work has been slow
  8. I liked Stone's JFK but have reason to think that at least one detail was unsupported by the facts. At the time of release, one of the much-discussed details of the movie's conspiracy theory was that phone lines in DC went down intentionally at the time of the assassination, supposedly to prevent political and military leaders from communicating with each other during the crisis. When JFK was released, I happened to be working with an older guy who had been an AT&T staff member in 1963. He told me that there was nothing intentional about phone calls being blocked after the assassina
  9. I saw that you mentioned Pearl Harbor above, but having never seen it, I didn't know that Jon Voight had played FDR. Glad you had a chance to talk about FDR's condition.
  10. Sunrise at Campobello (1960) -- Franklin Roosevelt's valiant struggle with polio, from the time he contracted it while on vacation with his family in 1921, to his brave return to politics three years later. The film stars Ralph Bellamy as FDR and Greer Garson as Eleanor, with support from Hume Cronyn and Jean Hagen. Dore Schary adapted the screenplay from his own Tony-winning play. Eleanor Roosevelt, a friend of Schary's, was present for some of the filming, some of which took place at actual locations. It's one of the most inspiring films I've ever seen -- it helped me understand how a ma
  11. I'm currently reading The Winds of War by Herman Wouk (who's best known for The Caine Mutiny). The Winds of War is a long book -- almost 900 pages -- covering the late 30s and the very early 40s, the time leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The story focuses on a Navy family and their involvement in the developing war. The father is a senior naval officer who becomes involved with significant historical figures and events; the mother is primarily a hostess and charity fundraiser who has her own, more personal experiences; their two sons have differing views on a naval caree
  12. Today's TCM programming on the Olympics seems to be drawn entirely from the recent Criterion box set, 100 Years of Olympic Films, which contains 53 films covering the Olympics from 1912 to 2012. The bits of today's films that I've seen have been fascinating, and the restorations have been very impressive. For example, early this morning, I saw a portion of the silent film about the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, and the picture quality was absolutely pristine. Riefenstahl's Olympia (1938) is part of the Criterion set, so it was presumably available to TCM. But as an inherently controversial
  13. Thanks for the additional information about this movie and its background. Call Northside 777 is a favorite in our house, a film that we watch every year or two (along with a few other semi-semi-documentary-style crime dramas like The Naked City). I've often wondered what happened to Frank's co-defendant, and I'm glad to hear that justice was eventually done for the real person. I wonder, though, why the movie omitted that final scene, which might have helped produce a faster resolution.
  14. E.P.M., Thanks for the great suggestions. I do like comedy but have to admit that I've seen only a little French comedy. I've seen one Tati movie -- Mon Oncle -- and liked it, so more of Tati might be a good thing. (I know Criterion offers a Tati set.) I haven't seen anything by Pierre Etaix, but I'm willing to give him a try -- after all, this is a way to expand my horizons. Thanks again -- much appreciated.
  15. The 50%-off Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble started on July 2 and runs through August 1. I was lucky to find all of the discs on my list when I visited a B&N store last week. From the Golden Age of Hollywood: Bringing Up Baby, Merrily We Go To Hell, History Is Made At Night, the blu-ray update of Pickup on South Street, Nightmare Alley, and, on the spur of the moment, Only Angels Have Wings (I already have the TCM version with Robert Osborne's intro, but wanted the bonus features on the Criterion edition). From more recently: Martin Scorsese's semi-documentary about Bob Dylan
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