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NewYorkGuy

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Everything posted by NewYorkGuy

  1. My pet peeve on closing credits: Lists of "production babies" -- births by apparently anyone who took a phone call connected with the film.
  2. It's quite a film. But I'm surprised/shocked it aired in early evening right before prime time rather than, say, in TCM Underground. And I'm not going to be surprised if it wasn't supposed to be shown when the listing seems confused between The Cremator (1969; Czech) and The Cremators (1972). The latter is more in keeping with the sci-fi films that preceded it earlier yesterday. In other words, I think somebody screwed up.
  3. Lit, as in how many watts they're using to light their faces. It's the HDTV equivalent of smearing Vaseline on the camera lens. I love Carol. I'm old enough to have seen all seasons of her variety show. But this is TCM. If she and Illeana are doing eight minutes of intro/outro, I'd think most of the time would be about the movie. That's all -- so please don't others here put words in my mouth.
  4. This is a pet peeve, when a guest star is there to talk about movies and seems to have done little homework and knows next to nothing about the movie other than having watched it and liked it. I've expected a little more from Carol -- we're getting more comments about her TV show and own film appearances than context about the films. The latter's all falling on Illeana, but thank goodness she knows her stuff. And while I'm whining ( ? ), the funniest thing about the intros and outros so far is the way Carol and Illeana have been lit.
  5. I don't see any other threads on SOTM Leslie Howard, so I'll just chime in here to say I'm a bit surprised the comedy "Stand-in" wasn't programmed as part of this month's series. It's a great send-up of Hollywood and has the always charming Joan Blondell as Howard's leading lady. That, plus the wickedest contemporary Shirley Temple parody ever seen on film. TCM has shown this film every 2-3 years, so I'd have thought it would be easily available to slot in along with the various Howard films preceding or following the prime time movies.
  6. Right on, Dargo. And, we have our answer. They aburptly cut out of the McCay shorts at 12:14 to get back to the original schedule. I already saw Prince Achmed during the animation festival two years ago, and I think I saw it's on demand this week for anyone who's still curious. So -- set the DVR for Gulliver's Travels and Magic Boy and hit the hay. I guess they'll reschedule the Van Beuren shorts someday.
  7. What's going to be interesting, of course, is what happens when the Winsor McCay shorts are over.
  8. Well, if you can believe this, now we're getting a repeat of the Winsor McCay program in the correct aspect ratio. So at least there's that. But it's 11 p.m. and the Van Beuren shorts aren't on the air. What the heck is going on at either or both of TCM and Time Warner Cable in NYC?
  9. Both my channels are in HD -- 82 and 631 in Manhattan. I don't know that that's the issue. It's never been a problem before. Editing 10 minutes later -- the aspect ratio is now correct at the top of the Bray Studios segment. So -- who knows what was going on here during the Winsor McCay segment? Again, sigh... But I'm glad it's correct now!
  10. Sigh. I don't know what the rest of you are seeing, but the Winsor McCay programming so far -- about an hour in -- isn't in the original aspect ratio but formatted to fit current flat screen TVs. I didn't pick up on it during the first two shorts, but I realized it when Gertie the Dinosaur's head was chopped off. Very disappointing. Reminds me when Li'l Abner was shown years ago by TCM with too much of the original image, with studio lighting and rigging visible at the tops of the image.
  11. My two cents -- My Panasonic recorder prefers -Rs. My Sony recorder prefers +Rs. Separately, my Sony cannot record certain cable channels, including the Turner Network channels. Its advantage is that it has an SLP setting that is close to SP quality (and markedly better than LP) and gives you 2 hr. 25 min. recording time. My Toshiba, which I bought when the Panasonic was in for repair, works just fine with either -R or +R. Those are the only brands I can vouch for. When I write "prefer," it means I've had problems with discs suddenly being unable to be read or finalized when using the other format disc. My Panasonic can record/finalize on R as long as it's only an occasional disc and not, say, trying to record nothing but R for 10, 15 or more discs in a row. Definitely do not leave discs unfinalized too long. I had a huge pile of unfinalized discs when the Panasonic had to be fixed and was relieved when it came back in good working order. Good luck!
  12. Someone's already mentioned *Leave It to Beaver* -- kids I can relate to. Some of the *Dennis the Menace* kids were OK, but I'd forgotten how sarcastic Rusty Hamer was on *Make Room for Daddy*. He was pretty brilliant -- and the writers dressed Angela Cartwright in cute dresses and bows but her character could be a devil too.
  13. What I'm wondering, after seeing that there's already been a "TCM Remembers" tribute for Shirley Temple before 4 p.m. eastern time today, is whether there was one for Maximilian Schell? I missed it, if so. Certainly Philip Seymour Hoffman's death somewhat overshadowed Schell's, for understandable reasons. I will never forget how impressed I was with Schell the first time I saw "Judgment at Nuremburg." RIP
  14. I figured TCM would not bump anything from 31 Days of Oscar. Although -- sigh -- I've looked forward for a while to seeing "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium" with Suzanne Pleshette and several enjoyable supporting players... But for a Shirley Temple tribute I can certainly wait!
  15. LOL. This is one of my favorite curmudgeonly threads in a while. And I demur about "Little Ricky" not being annoying. In particular, every time they had him sit down and play the drums I wanted to throw a brick at the TV. Just for the record, I'm a year or two younger than the kid who played him, so this is based on having watched it in reruns in the 60s.
  16. Ah -- that makes sense. Problem of the Week series for Bickford and Burke, not the Problems of the Rich Lady's Family on the Hill. Thanks for that.
  17. *Della* - Last thing I semi-watched before going to sleep last night (semi-, because it's the kind of thing one can read a book to or do other work around the house without missing anything major). As soon as it came on I thought it looked like a TV movie, and I knew that must be the case the way the music swelled and scenes faded to black at natural commerical breaks. Looking it up just now I see in fact it was the pilot for a series that wasn't picked up. What I'm not finding on the Internet is why in the world the daughter character would be killed off at the end of the pilot...??
  18. *Deliverance* -- saw it in college with a bunch of college buddies. We knew that scene was coming because it was in the book. But a few years earlier, as a high schooler, I'd gone to see *Catch-22* by myself, not knowing the novel. Wasn't prepared for the violence and didn't make it through to the end. I think it's the only movie I ever walked out of. I think I should have walked out of *The Tamarind Seed*, though -- talk about borrrrring.
  19. LOL. Well, I was the one who tossed out "Those Daring Young Men...Jalopies." I would have put "Gidget Goes to Rome," but TCM satisfied my hunger to see that little bit of nonsense, uninterrupted and in letterbox format, just this past year (Trudi Ames' career was waaaaaay too short!). I have a British comedy from the 1950s I'd like to toss in the mix that I've not seen on TV since the 70s, but it was a one-film-only challenge. And I can wait.
  20. *Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies* I'd match it up in a triple bill with *Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines* (similar production staff; some crossover actors) and *The Great Race* (both starring Tony Curtis in international car races). And Jimmy Durante's vocal on the catchy title song is brilliant. I'm not aware of its ever having been shown on TCM. Letterbox only, please! :-)
  21. *The Story of Film* was perfect programming for TCM. The timely showing of movies not normally seen on the channel in and around the relevant episodes of the documentary was logical and much appreciated by many of us. I'm just sorry there were too many movies mentioned in the series to program examples of each -- a nearly-forgotten British filmmaker referenced in one of the earlier episodes springs to mind. *Russian Ark* was, and is, brilliant -- and I was very happy to see it again last night after having seen it just once before when it arrived in theaters a decade ago. So, here's one viewer who loved the whole experience these last several months, including the films from the last dozen or so years. Everyone else can go suck an egg. :-)
  22. Just to chime in again, I don't have any problem with enjoying the look of the 1934 Cleopatra, or the later Liz Taylor production. Choices are made by films' creative teams about what look and feel they want to convey. But that doesn't mean such choices don't often distract me from losing myself in the idea that a story takes place in the period ostensibly conveyed if, for example, gold lame material is put on the wild west showgirls dancing in a turn-of-the-century saloon. The filmmaker is making a calculated choice that most of the audience doesn't give a hoot and the people who will notice it's not accurate don't count enough to matter. My objection to what she said really boils down to the use of the word "always." It's pretty dogmatic, and certainly is going to inform my watching of productions she's been or will be part of. (The point about how modern dentistry has changed the look of people in general is certainly true, but there are dental professionals who make prosthetic devices to alter actors' appearances in movies set in all eras -- and who can make a nice bit of change doing it.)
  23. In only her second introduction -- just now, about 1934's "Cleopatra" -- Deborah said this: "It's important to note that period costume design must *always* resemble the year in which the film is made. The audience wants to recognize and to relate to the people in every story. If their clothes look bizarre or distracting, filmmakers -- then, *and* now -- risk losing the attention of the audience." That bold emphasis was hers, not mine. She said this as part of a defense of why the clothes (and, it's fair to say, the makeup) look so 1930s, but her "and now" means she believes it true for every era of film making. She just lost me. There's nothing that distracts me more in a film than spotting something contemporary in a story that's set in the past. Those upswept hairdos that look directly out of "Laugh-in" in "Funny Girl" are a perfect example. And why audiences can't be trusted to imagine that sparkly fabrics available in the 1930s aren't true to Cleopatra's era is a judgment call on the part of producers and the creative teams. Perhaps she'll back this up further in later comments with something like "it's part of the magic of movies and how audiences like to lose themselves in that magic." But that's not the way she put it. She put it in a way that's actually a bit insulting to an audience's intelligence.
  24. Poignant is an understatement. And it's a fantastic film. There seems to be something wrong or incomplete with Robert's outro, though. It was very sad to hear him say that both boys who played the friends were killed in an earthquake that pretty much leveled that village two years after the film was made. But last night's *Story of Film* episode indicated that the boy playing the lead was indeed found and appeared later in *Through the Olive Trees.* And iMDB indicates that the boy who played his friend was also in that later film.
  25. Agree with how Dolly's clothes wouldn't look out of place today. They actually found an actor who looked like the Gump cartoon character -- completely chinless. It was kind of astonishing. "The Birth of a Hat" was the stand-out film to me. Just looking at how much repetitive physical labor went into each step of the process -- and how many people were employed at each step -- compared with how much today is automated... Can't imagine what some of these employees did to occupy their minds while going through the same motions for hours every day 100 years ago. Thoroughly enjoyed these two nights of silents.
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