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  1. I’m sorry I missed it. It sounds a bit like something Somerset Maugham might have written based on his experiences as a spy during World War I (about which he did write a fictionalized book of stories, Ashenden). And with Kay as Lenin’s secretary, I’m assuming the movie portrays the Russian Revolution as an event that still had some promise, before the world had seen what came next. I’ll have to make a point of watching this film the next time it’s on.
  2. You’re right — this is a great book! My copy says that this edition was published in 2014. But there’s also a 2002 date on the copyright page, so I’m assuming there was an earlier edition, too.
  3. This is a great topic. At our house, we often like to watch movies that match the season (or nearby holidays), although we don’t do that exclusively. In addition to the many excellent suggestions so far, here are some other movies that have at least significant scenes set in the winter: Apartment for Peggy Barefoot in the Park Come to the Stable How to Marry a Millionaire Hugo Mr. and Mrs. Smith Snowed Under Sun Valley Serenade The Farmer’s Daughter The Moon’s Our Home
  4. I’ve been thinking more about the format changes lately. I really dislike them. I originally thought I’d get used to the changes after a while. I haven’t. Instead, I’ve found them more and more annoying. I’ve also tried to remind myself that the movies are the important thing, and that the format changes are just window-dressing, perhaps the price we have to pay to keep TCM going as the potential audience gets younger and younger. But while I certainly want TCM to appeal to younger folks, I just don’t think the cheesy new graphics and music are likely to accomplish that. I
  5. I thought the Post article made some good points about Mary playing a major role in the story and being a hero, too. But I see a big difference between Mary’s experience and George’s. While they may have carried similar burdens, Mary wanted to live her life in Bedford Falls. George didn’t and felt trapped, which led him to discount his important accomplishments. And that’s the focus of the story — showing him that he wasn’t a failure even though he’d led a life that he didn’t want. You couldn’t tell that story with a focus on Mary, because she was leading the life she wanted.
  6. I may be remembering this incorrectly, but doesn’t TCM almost always move to non-Christmas programming at the beginning of prime time on Christmas night? I don’t think there’s anything unusual about showing a big, entertaining blockbuster like Bridge on the River Kwai on Christmas night, although I can see that some folks might find it a jarring transition after a week-long Christmas marathon, especially right after In the Good Old Summertime. That said, I’m always sorry to see the Christmas programming end, as I really love Christmas movies. We’re still finishing up our Christmas
  7. Yes, The Gathering is an exceptional Christmas film. Ed Asner and the rest of the cast are outstanding. I got a kick out of it having been filmed in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. My parents moved there shortly after the movie was made, and although I never lived there myself (I was already off at college in another state), I got to know the picturesque village during my visits and was very familiar with the outdoor locations used in the movie. When I stood on the wooden platform right by the waterfall that’s in the middle of town, it was kind of neat knowing that Ed Asner had stood in the exac
  8. Star in the Night is definitely one of my favorites, too — I should have mentioned it above, with my other favorites. I get more enjoyment out of its 20 minutes than I do from many feature-length films. We watched it on Christmas Eve, just before Christmas In Connecticut .
  9. Not to mention Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton, Elizabeth Patterson, and William Frawley! I don’t remember how I discovered this very entertaining movie — probably found it in a search for Christmas movies. But it’s now one that my wife and I look forward to seeing every holiday season. I really wish Eddie and his Film Noir Foundation could restore Christmas Holiday and arrange for it to be released on disc, as they’ve done with several other worthy films. It’d be great to have both of Deanna Durbin’s Christmas noirs available for convenient viewing.
  10. Thanks. Did they re-use Eddie’s intro from last week? (It’d be just my luck to miss it twice!)
  11. Does anyone know whether Eddie’s prime time introduction of Lady on a Train from last Saturday, Dec. 11, is available for viewing, and, if so, where? I’m a fan of that movie and would love to hear what Eddie had to say about it. Unfortunately, I missed it (obviously). Thanks!
  12. I agree that Alastair Sim’s version, which I watched last night, is the best one, but I don’t mind the ‘38 version at all. It’s probably too truncated, but it includes the main plot points, has a good cast, and is both entertaining and succinct.
  13. I’ve always been very impressed with Criterion’s customer service. They had a widespread problem with their Howard’s End disc and similarly offered a replacement. And I had a problem with my disc of Room With A View, and even though it wasn’t a widespread problem, they offered me either a replacement of that movie or a substitute of any movie from their library. Criterion does it right by standing behind their products. They have a loyal customer in me.
  14. We watch a fair number of Christmas-related movies at our house, starting in early November, and most of my longtime favorites have been mentioned: Christmas in Connecticut, The Shop Around The Corner, Remember The Night, Fitzwilly, Cover Up, The Cheaters, We’re No Angels, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. (I could easily name a half dozen more Christmas favorites, and our yearly list is much longer.) There’s at least one more terrific Christmas movie that I don’t think anyone has mentioned: Junior Miss (1945). Here’s a portion of the synopsis in the TCM database: Thirteen-year
  15. Maybe Eddie and Ben bring up the 70-year-old Hollywood blacklist because they’re talking about 70-year-old movies. The blacklist would be especially relevant to the Noir era that Eddie talks about. Why is this one topic so “boring”? It seems highly relevant that in a talk about Johnny O’Clock, Eddie would mention that Robert Rossen, the writer and director of that film and a former member of the Communist Party, was blacklisted and then chose to name names before HUAC in order to get his career going again. All of that happened within just a few years of this film being made. I
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