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  1. I completely agree -- this is a fascinating and well-produced podcast. Although I've always admired Bogdanovich's connection to and interest in Old Hollywood, I've never known much about his own background beyond the movies and books of his that I've enjoyed. He's really had an interesting life and career. (I've especially enjoyed the Orson Welles anecdotes.)
  2. Absolutely -- one of the best character actors in the show! (I shouldn't have overlooked Burt!)
  3. I couldn't agree more. Leave It To Beaver remains one of the great television shows of all time. Although I was a bit too young to appreciate Leave It To Beaver when it was originally broadcast, I enjoyed reruns later in the 60s and then rediscovered the show when it had another rerun heyday in the 80s, while I was still a student. I'd return to my apartment after classes in the late afternoon and watch three episodes of Beaver on three different cable stations every day. Around the same time, they put together a reunion TV movie (Still The Beaver) and a new TV show (The New Leave It To Beaver), neither of which was as good as the original, of course, but it was still nice to see the old(er) faces again. Sadly, Hugh Beaumont had died by that time, and there was a touching scene in the TV movie with June visiting Ward's grave and saying something like, "Ward, we have to talk about the Beaver," referring to whatever crisis the grown-up Beav was facing. When the DVD era arrived, my wife and I invested in the complete series and have enjoyed many happy hours with the great cast and humorous stories. I was younger than the characters in the show, but many of their experiences jibed with my own a few years later -- although I was lucky not to have anyone like Eddie Haskell making my life miserable. But Eddie was a great character who was part of many very funny moments in the show. (There was also the somewhat sad story when the teenaged Eddie got mad at his parents and moved out of their house to a dumpy apartment. Seeing his loneliness, Wally helped Eddie put aside his pride and move back to the family home.) There were a lot of great actors in Leave It To Beaver over the years, many of whom are familiar from classic films. Besides the excellent core cast, there were James Gleason, Edgar Buchanan (more than once), Lyle Talbot, Madge Blake (the recurring role of Larry Mondello's mom), Richard Deacon (the recurring role of Lumpy Rutherford's dad, Fred), Marjorie Reynolds, Will Wright, Lillian Bronson, Jimmy Hawkins (from It's a Wonderful Life), Irving Bacon, Herb Vigran, Frank Albertson, Ryan O'Neal, Howard McNear, and many other fine actors whose names aren't as well known, even to movie/TV buffs. Much of the regular cast is gone now: in addition to Ken Osmond, Barbara Billingsley (June), Hugh Beaumont (Ward), Richard Deacon (Fred Rutherford), Frank Bank (Lumpy), Stanley Fafara (Whitey), Sue Randall (Miss Landers). But some of their best work, on Leave It To Beaver, will continue to provide very good entertainment for years to come. RIP.
  4. The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era by Thomas Schatz may be what you're looking for.
  5. Broadway Danny Rose is probably my favorite comedy from the 80s, although I'm also a big fan of Radio Days. Both movies have real staying power -- my wife and I enjoy watching them both every year or two. A big reason that BDR is so good is Nick's performance as Lou Canova -- he's just perfect in the role. Bombastic, insecure, over-confident, uncertain, family man, cheating spouse -- he creates a complex character instead of just a cartoon. He knows how a Dino/Sinatra-style singer works, how to deliver a song, because he was that kind of singer himself. And he's very funny. Woody found a real gem when he chose Nick for the role. RIP, Nick Apollo Forte.
  6. TCM doesn't show much of Fred MacMurray's work from his early heyday working for Paramount. Yes, some of his best performances do show up on TCM, such as Remember the Night, Double Indemnity, The Caine Mutiny, and The Apartment. But the guy was the highest paid star in Hollywood for a while in the early 1940s, working for Paramount, and I don't think we see all that many of the roles that got him that status. Another Paramount star that I'd like to see more of is Ray Milland. Like MacMurray, he's often featured on TCM in some of his best roles -- The Uninvited, The Major and the Minor, The Lost Weekend, The Big Clock -- but it would be nice to see him in some of the movies that led to his stardom, as well as others that he made as one of the biggest stars.
  7. I'm very sorry to hear about Gene Reynolds' passing. He plays a significant role in one of my favorite movies, Love Finds Andy Hardy, and is in others that I also enjoy very much (Andy Hardy's Private Secretary, Boys Town, etc.). I also admire his TV work, especially M*A*S*H and Lou Grant. Gene had a good, long life, but it's still sad to say goodbye to someone with a direct connection to Hollywood's Golden Age and some great TV shows as well. Goodbye, Gene -- you made the world a better place.
  8. Norman Lloyd hanging from the Statue of Liberty:
  9. That's the way I took it. At the same time, it was a good way to make the point that I was alluding to.
  10. I completely agree. Although I don't understand how, even 78 years ago, black-face could have been viewed as anything but a grotesque and demeaning lampoon of African Americans, I know that it was actually seen by many performers and viewers of the time as just another form of entertainment, without any offense being intended. But even though I know that, I'm not seeing Holiday Inn with 1942 eyes, so when I watch it, I know that the black-face scenes can and do offend people now, even if that wasn't intended then. It doesn't stop me from watching and enjoying that movie, or many others with scenes that are now considered racially insensitive. I never forget that those movies were from a very different era when people, for the most part, had a different point of view on such things. As for Marjorie Reynolds' cringe-worthy line, "And I thought I was going to be so pretty," I'm sure it wasn't intended to offend. It was more likely intended to mean that she was sorry her natural appearance wasn't going to be seen. The next line, "That's what I get for thinking so well of myself," reflects that the character knew she was too caught up in thinking of herself as naturally attractive and deserved to be brought down to earth. But once again, heard with modern ears, rather than 1942 ears, it sounds like Marjorie is saying that a black face can't be pretty. Not intended as offensive, but I can see how it could reasonably be interpreted that way.
  11. I'm sorry to hear about Jason Polan's passing. Although I didn't know until now who he was, I always enjoyed his drawings for Criterion. From the NY Times obituary, it sounds like his artistic interests were wide-ranging. I wonder if the Criterion cartoons will continue with another artist. Polan gave the idea a great start, and whoever comes next (if anyone) will stand on his shoulders.
  12. I love Holiday Inn but, like a lot of people today, I find the "Abraham" scenes with the cast in black-face to be very disconcerting. Particularly cringe-worthy is the lead-in scene where Bing is telling Marjorie Reynolds that they'll be doing the number in black-face. (His motivation is to disguise her identity so that old pal Fred doesn't take her away as his new dancing partner.) She responds by saying something like, "And I thought I was going to be so pretty."
  13. Thanks very much for the link, speedracer! I was pleasantly surprised to find, not a utilitarian text list of movie titles, but a collection of movie posters for the films that Eddie has shown on Noir Alley . Very cool! I, too, wish I had kept up with Eddie's picks from the start of Noir Alley. I initially only watched or recorded the movies occasionally, focusing on the ones that I actually wanted to see right then. After about a year, I finally realized that even if I didn't feel like watching the whole movie at the time -- either because it didn't appeal to me or because I just wasn't in the mood -- I'd always get a lot out of Eddie's commentary. I now record every Noir Alley movie so that I can listen to Eddie; I don't always watch or save every movie, but I do always benefit from Eddie's interesting, detailed commentary. The guy is a real treasure in the world of film history.
  14. Is there a list somewhere of movies that have been shown on Noir Alley? If so, could you point me to it? My wife and I often discuss the weekly Noir Alley film, which inevitably leads to our wondering if some other noir-ish movie has also been featured on Noir Alley. Thanks! (I also raised this question on the Noir Alley thread, but it understandably got lost in the discussion of last weekend's movie.)
  15. Is there a list somewhere of movies that have been shown on Noir Alley? If so, could you point me to it? My wife and I often discuss the weekly Noir Alley film, which inevitably leads to our wondering if some other noir-ish movie has been featured. Thanks!
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