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Everything posted by jamesjazzguitar

  1. I agree with you. I see little to no evidence that Jack Lemmon is underrated. I.e. He gets a lot of attention from classic movie fans (as far as I can see from this site), and from the critics and the industry. Most fans 'in the know' understand that Lemmon is much more than just a light comedy actor. Van Johnson does fit the bill for underrated if one really believes he is one of the top actors of his generation (I don't think Johnson is and thus I would say he is 'rated' just about right).
  2. You make a fairly sound case here but hey I'm a fan of Kate so I'm bias, but I think the Hepburn persona shines brighter in her movies than the Stanwyck or even the Davis one (well expect for Beyond The Forest and her 60s work), do in their movies. Take Davis and The Man Who Came To Dinner, which was on last night. Yes, in a few scenes we see the Davis persona of the early 40s (e.g. when she tells Whiteside he better not but in on her affairs), but Davis keeps her very strong persona in check. Other than in Holiday, I don't see Kate doing that much. Her persona was perfect for Suddenly Last Summer (but agreed Liz stole the show from both Kate and Monty). The same persona worked well in Stage Door and The Philadelphia Story as well as Bringing Up Baby. Her persona is also on full display in most of the pictures she made with Tracy. But then I think she fit those roles well and thus I enjoy many of these pictures. Of course maybe a very simple reason explains why so many men appear to dislike Kate's persona; It reminds them of their x-wife!
  3. This is the song I'm working on so I don't mess it up when I play for family and friends on Christmas eve. It is a really hard song to play compared to most Christmas songs. It is structured more like a jazz standard with complex chords than a folk type Christmas song. The second half, where it speads up is fun to play. Watching Bing sing the song helps me with the phasing and timing. A great song sang by a great singer and entertainer.
  4. Are you surprised by the very strong negative opinions many have about Kate? To me that is what surprised me. I loved so many movies Kate was in I always consider her one of the top actresses. But when I joined CFU a few years back and started reading comments from other classic movie fans I was surprised by the negative views many had about Kate. More than just the box office poison comments I was already familiar with. I mentioned Stanwyck only as an example of someone that rarely generates negative comments here. Of course other actresses generate negative comments but they are not held to the same high esteem by critics and the industry as Kate is. It is this vast contrast in opinions that I find interesting .
  5. I agree that Davis was more versatile then Kate Hepburn. No actress moves me like Bette Davis does. Second to Davis would be Stanwyck who is even more versatile than Davis. But Kate is still one of my top 10 favorites because she stars in so many movies I love. My main point is still that Kate and Bette 'fit' an overrated discussion while Babs doesn't.
  6. The movie icons you list are over exposed if acting chops was the criteria used to explain why they are movie icons, but generally acting chops are NOT the reason they are icons. People like Liz Taylor, Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are icons for other reasons (mainly fashion for Audrey and their troubled or headline making personal lives for Taylor and Monroe). With Monroe your opinion (very similar to mine), isn't a minority opinion based on what I have read here at CFU. But here we are discussing her acting chops. When it comes to Monroe being one of the top movie icons this can be measured objectively; e.g.; sales of books about her, still pictures, posters, movies about her life..... My point here again is that movie icons are icons not because of their acting, per se. But Kate Hepburn and Brando fit the over-rated category as it relates to their acting chops - both are critic darlings but based on what I have read over the years here at CFU many don't feel they are the top actors of their generation. To be overrated on has to be highly rated by someone (in this case critics and the industry). The above is my attempt to answer your very good question: Why Kate Hepburn instead of someone else? The other actress that would generate a lot of feedback related to being overrated for their acting chops would be Bette Davis. I think both Kate and Bette are at the top of the list for this 'most overrated' type of discussion. They are highly rated for their acting by critics and the industry but they have some very vocal distracters based on what I have read here at CFU. Thus being 'overrated' is NOT just a matter of opinion; if a good percentage of classic movie fans don't agree with the critics than that actor is overrated. What is a matter of opinion is if that actor has great acting chops or not. (my own opinion is the Bette is a great actress and one of the best at her craft). Now someone like Barbara Stanwyck is a good example of someone that does NOT fit the overrated discussion as I'm framing it. While she is also a darling of critics and the industry, most users here agree with that assessment. I cannot recall any negative posts about Babs as it relates to her acting chops. Note a very common similar discussion revolves around Citizen Kane. #1 according to the critics industry but where many classic movie fans here don't feel it one of the greatest movies.
  7. You appear to have an overwhelming need to control other people's behavior. At this forum that duty is left up to the administrator, who I believe is doing a very good job. Note that the title was already changed to reduce the perception of it being offensive. I understand that certain threads or comments can be offensive to some. But then why open them in the first place?
  8. One thing I find interesting (funny, ironic) about Mad Man is that women tend to adore Don and hate Betty. This is similar to how Hitchcock used Grant in movies like Notorious and Suspicion. Grant was a cad in those movies but his looks and overall persona made women mostly ignore that. My wife feels that way towards Don. She hates cheaters. So while she doesn't overlook that fact she mostly faults Betty. Poor Betty - they do portray her in a very negative light.
  9. I agree with you. While I'm not a big fan of Life With Father (but a hugh fan of both Powell and Dunne), I don't think the fact the movie was shot in color had much to do with the reasons I'm not fond of the movie.
  10. I'm a major Mad Man Fan. Reminds me of growing up and how my dad was to some extent. Can't wait for it to come back. Hendricks is indeed a red head bombshell.
  11. The horror actors you mention may indeed be underrated as it relates to their acting chops but they are not forgotten by the lay public (i.e. non classic movie cultist like us), because classic horror movies are often passed on from generation to generation more so than other classic genres or movies. We also see this paradigm with children classics (e.g. Wizard of Oz), and holiday movies. So I assume the lay public is aware of Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney, Jr. and Vincent Price more so than for example, Robert Ryan (a film noir icon to us cultist).
  12. You as well as other misunderstood the intent of why I mentioned Flynn as it relates to CFU's favorite stars 'number of views' - Flynn is indeed one very good looking man. So when someone like him has so many views is it *mainly* because of his acting chops or because of his looks? One cannot be sure. As for my personal view of Flynn, I agree with you that he was a better actor than maybe most people give him credit for. Also many might judge Flynn by his later movies and his sad 'meltdown' at a relatively young age. If they do then they are the ones that underrate Flynn.
  13. I agree with you about The Beatles 100%. Just look at how their music changed in a little over 6 years. Even their early stuff which was fairly basic and often based on 4 chord 50s type progressions would throw in different type chord (6 or 9 often) or progression in the chorus to keep things interesting or how they would sing harmony. I love playing many of their songs and I'm known as the jazz man.
  14. Well the number of views for Karl was below 100,000 or so and than all of a sudden it was over 4,000,000! Hey, I think Karl is one of the best non leading actors of the classic era but ahead of Grant and Bogie? Yea, I'm a cynic. I also tease women about Flynn being viewed so often. Something tells me it wasn't only about his acting chops but instead more of his eye candy appeal.
  15. I love Fred and what he brings to the B-52s. Like I said I love them because they were fun and interesting. If I want hardcore music I listen to 50s Bebop (which I listen to most of the time and have been trying to learn to play for around 25 years). But sometimes I just like to dance that mess around!
  16. When you say 'people' whom do you mean? It appears to be classic movie fans based on your comments. If that is the case, how does one measure how much credit an actor or actress is getting by classic movie fans? For example, there is the CFU favorite stars list. Is number of views a measure? If so Karl Malden is #1 (but I think someone gamed the system). But review of the top stars have many of the standard ones AFI or other groups have ranked; Grant, Bogie, Davis Stanwyck, but then some choices I disagree with like Monroe and Flynn being #3 actress and actor. So number of views reflects mostly just a popularly contest OR the people in CFU don't represent classic movie fans???? So I still wonder how one determines how much credit someone is getting or not getting without some type of polling or data source, other than the comments we read here which represent a very limited number of people (but a group of people whose opinion I highly respect as it relates to classic movies)..
  17. Wow, knowing the type of classic movie fan you are, it took guts to admit those very shameful actions. Mine would be Vertigo and Dr Zhivago. Like you I have seen parts of it many times but cannot watch the movie from start to finish. Watched most of Mr Roberts last night. My wife told me she didn't want to watch a war movie, but I told her this really wasn't a war movie. She loves Cagney and wondered if he was playing someone that was insane. Well in many ways she was right.
  18. I often cut over to AMC when they have a good movie on but then when the commercials comes (within a few minutes!), I switch to something else and often forget to go back. Hey, I don't mind a few breaks. e.g. if TCM had to show some commercials as a way to increase revenues I would understand, but for movies only have a few (say 4), longer breaks, placed in the right places instead of how AMC does it (often right in the middle of a scene). But I really hope TCM never has to have any breaks. TCM is great.
  19. I haven't seen any pictures but my guess is that Laughton was homely even as a child!
  20. Well those 'in the know' have more knowledge about behind the scenes politics than I do but yea, there were lots of factors that influenced voting. How much money a studio would spend to promote a star or film for an oscar had an impact. Of course studio bosses like Jack Warner often didn't want his stars to get an oscar because then they would ask for more cash or demand better roles! As already noted sometimes the winner is really winning for a prior performance (e.g. Bette Davis in Dangerous, Bogie in The African Queen?), or a lifetime of prior performances. This is why one should take these awards, rankings, etc.. with a gain of salt. They offer only one perspective but it can be fun to discuss them (like discussing sports in a sports bar!). But there isn't a need to view them as having some type of final say. Unlike sports where 'the best' has a clear measuring stick - winning the title.
  21. Well compared to Lady Gaga, yea, the B-52 live shows were tame, but they did have some crazy props to liven up their shows. They also used a lot of studio musicians since only 2 of them (Ricky Wilson in the early days before he died of AIDS), played 99% of music on their albums (yea, the albums would list others put they would just play a few notes that the producers would just loop over and over again).
  22. This same thread was already posted elsewhere. Is someone getting paid for the number of hits on that website? This smells of advertising.
  23. I see we have a similar POV on this topic; First one has to define who is doing the rating; e.g. fans, cultist (hardcore classic movie fans like us), critics, the AFI, etc... Second one has to determine what the criteria for judgement is. AFI clearly isn't basing their list on star quality and a star's impact to film. Based on those criteria Monroe clearly warrants a high ranking. But if the criteria is more about acting performances, then someone like Olivia De Havilland should be in their top 25. I do find it interesting that Drednm things Monroe is underrated. To me she is highly overrated by your average movie fans (e.g. ask someone under 50 to name 3 classic movie actresses and most will mention Monroe), by the AFI based on their criteria, and because she is an icon. No one has forgotten Monroe. But to many cultist (me for one), she was only average in her acting ability. i.e. she only had very good performances in a few of her films. By the time she did The Misfits she was really good, but sadly that was it for her.
  24. Funny how we often have so much in common. Yea, Stefanie Powers was also one of my first crushes. Hey, a boy has to have dreams!
  25. Scott is a good example to use. While both McCrea and Scott did a lot of westerns especially in the latter half (or so), of their career, McCrea was in many more higher quality movies in his early career than Scott. Typically the female lead was a bigger stat than McCrea in these movies but many of these movies were some of the top comedies of their era. So McCrea needs his month.
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