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Posts posted by NewYorkGuy

  1. "Rationing," part of this afternoon's tribute to Marjorie Main, starring Wallace Beery.  A comedy with a bit of an action sequence at the end, it was a fun satire of small town American life in 1944, with good fun made of the apparently endless government paperwork involved with goods rationing back on the home front to support the war effort.  Most everyone dealt with it with some forbearance and a bit of carping, a bit like the social cooperation we're going through to get through today's pandemic.

    Donald Meek co-stars but it's mostly an underwritten role.  Gloria Dickson, who I see died tragically from a home fire the next year, is a hoot as the new va-va-voom gal in town.  The young couple temporarily split up by the war are Dorothy Morris, who had a long television career after mostly minor movie parts, and a guy named Tommy Batten, who seems to have retired from show business after this -- at least there's nothing much about him online except that he lived until 2005.  Wallace is endearing as always, and Marjorie has line readings only she could deliver.   All you need to verify this is her pronunciation of the number "72" at the end, about the number of government forms required to dissolve her and Wallace's business partnership.

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  2. Watched "Quick Money" this morning on TCM -- a 1937 comedy with only a couple of names still remembered today (Hattie McDaniel and Jack Carson, neither of whom in a lead role here), about a guy returning to his home town ostensibly to build a resort but a small group of citizens suspects something's up.  This is the kind of obscure film I love discovering on TCM, this one featuring some great satire on small town American life.

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  3. My company recently unveiled a new invoice input program.  None of the administrative staff outside of the accounting department saw it beforehand -- it was just sprung on them.  Everyone hates it -- too much wasted white space, too many clicks to get between certain fields and register something as saved.  One of the key reasons our old system was changed was that Flash support was ending.

    I have little to no tech expertise, but for at least the last year every time I logged into TCM -- and I usually access it on my desktop/laptop than on my phone -- the big screen with the promotional graphics for the current month was blank with a little button asking if I wanted to run Adobe Flash.  When I clicked there to run Flash, the graphics came up.  So I'm wondering whether the timing of TCM's change is also possibly tied in to the end of Flash support.

    That said, yeah, I hate this.  It resembles the same daily schedule look on E!, VH1, Logo and many others.  Each show/movie/program is gigantic on the screen at 100% size, so to see one day on one screen you have to drastically zoom out.  One thing I do every month on the 1st is print the month's schedule, double sided with four pages on a side.  I did that today and it took six sheets compared with last month's five (and even considering one fewer day last month, it was a considerable difference -- and last month's printout included, as people have noted here, most of the shorts on the schedule, whereas this month's does not).

    I also remember the website redesign from more than a decade ago, and not every feature was immediately available when first launched.  So I'm going to wait another few weeks before I get as disappointed as I want to be tonight.  But still.


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  4. I don't understand why a 20th Century Fox film like A Hatful of Rain can't be shown in full letterbox format.  But I've noticed this with a few other Fox movies on the Fox movie channel like Bernadette and A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed -- oddly broadcast in pan and scan. 

    These are not movies that have any great financial benefit to the rights holder any more.  Yet we do get to see full letterbox on Fox films like Planet of the Apes, a film arguably with much broader appeal for purchase still today.

    It's a puzzle.


  5. The Last Picture Show is the one movie I remember going to with just my dad.  And although we'd both by that point seen women's breasts in a couple of movies, yeah, it was a new experience for both of us when the guy got out of the pool. And then the girl, top and bottom visible.

    Interesting that TCM blew up the image the other night when the guy got out so we didn't see below his waist, but not the girl.  We'll assume that's because it was still in prime time...  But so much for the uncut part of "uncut and commercial free" (and, yeah, that can be a double entendre).

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  6. Sigh.  This morning's Saturday morning programming opened with "Blackboard Jumble" from 1957.  The opening credits and end title were in Cinemascope but the cartoon itself was shown as I've titled this topic, in pan and scan.   There's a Tom & Jerry cartoon I've seen on TCM shown the same way.

    I don't know about others, but I consider things like this at odds with TCM's "uncut" advertising.  The question is, Why?  It was an MGM cartoon so I'd think there wouldn't be rights issues.

  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

  9. On 10/13/2018 at 6:04 AM, ChristineHoard said:

    I was surprised Carol Burnett didn't know that Carole Lombard and William Powell used to be married.  She's such a fan of old movies and she said she was named after Carole Lombard; I thought that was something she would know but seemed genuinely surprised when Illeana mentioned it before MY MAN GODFREY.

    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.

  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. TCM has always -- always -- rescheduled movies that have been pre-empted for a memorial tribute.


    When one of the regular posters here let us know that March 9th was the date for Shirley's tribute, "If It's Tuesday..." was exactly the movie I said I'd been looking forward to seeing.


    But I also said something along the line of "Oh well, I can wait a little while longer then."


    Attitude, folks, attitude.


    Now I'm glad to see we have a new date for it in June. AND I enjoyed watching some of the Shirley Temple tribute the other night as well.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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