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Everything posted by jamesjazzguitar

  1. Well since you said 'arguably' I'll argue ! I would say Johnny Mercer is the most talented lyricst ever.
  2. Since you are a big fan of Garson what do you think about my point that based on how big she was in the 40s for around 7 years or so (just as big as Davis if nominations for best actress is used as a criteria), she is now one of the least know of the major stars of that era. I mean ask any general movie fan to name a few movie stars of the 40s and 50s; One will hear Davis, Hepburn (both of them), Crawford, Monroe, Stanwyck, Turner, but I don't think many remember Garson.
  3. If you are talking about Wayne being a man as it relates to his movie roles, many of Wayne's best roles were the type of man one would NOT wish to be. He was angry, drank way too much and used booze because he was weak, and he had many faults. E.g. The Searcher, Liberty Valance and this movie Red River. Now in these movies Wayne really showed that he could act and it took guts to take on roles that were NOT hero roles. (or flawed hero roles at best). Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Jul 10, 2011 9:25 PM
  4. I saw The Spiral Staircase for the first time the other night and really liked it. A first rate movie with solid acting by all. Note that Kent Smith and George Brett are often wooden actors without a lot of flair or style but in this movie that really worked.
  5. I always rank Garson as the most forgotten major star. As you noted she was nominated for best actress year after year in the 40s with the same type of 'run' that Bette Davis had during the time. These two were the top female actresses of that era. But today not many people remember Garson. I think one reason is that many of her films were period movies and these don't carry over as well as say the Davis drama's like Dark Victory or Now Voyager. Bette also ended her star era with All About Eve and Garson didn't have that type of hit to close out with. I do enjoy Garson and she was very smooth but there is somewhat a lack of spark or major personality there; of course one's man's spark is another man's Kate Hepburn. i.e. someone known for having a certain style that one either likes or hates.
  6. Howard is my favorite actor and The Petrified Forest my favorite film. The dialog in this movie is first rate. Ok, the movies is really just a film of a play, but what a great play. The way Howard says his lines (even something as simple as B-B-Q) is fantastic and there is some very funny banter between Howard and Bogie and the rest of the cast. One can see that the Howard and Bogie character are bonding via this banter. They are very different men in many ways but they do form a connection. Bette Davis is just wonderful. Full of life and energy and perfect for the role. The Davis and Howard scene on the roof top is top rate and the speech Howard gave about nature is relevant to today and reminded me of the speeches I would hear as a child in the 60s. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a very good movie. I don't think any female ever looked better in Black and White than Orberon looked in this movie. I love the line 'nothing is a bad as something that is NOT so bad'. I use this line anytime someone says 'that isn't so bad'. It always gets a laugh. It is a simple funny line BUT it is also very intellectual. Just so Leslie Howard. Pygmalion is also a first rate movie and with Howard perfect in the role. Sadly Leslie didn't make a lot of movies but he has other fine ones. The comedy It's Love I'm After with Howard, Davis and DeHavilland is very funny, with great pacing and many gags. Like many I'm only A-OK with GWTW. The first half is very good but than the movie becomes too much of a soap opera. But I do enjoy the scenes with Howard and DeHavilland. There is something very touching in them that always gets to me.
  7. Olivia clearly should of been in the top 25 actress listing. I have to assume the criteria for that listing is more about overall fame and impact to the film industry and not based she on one's ability as an actress. For example, look how high Monroe is ranked. That makes total sense based on the 'impact to the film industry' standard but clearly not based on her ability as an actress. Olivia also made a major impact to the film industry with her law suit in the mid-40s that changed the way contracts were done with actors and was one of the reasons the studio system declined and became actor driven.
  8. I did notice that Jean looked older in Elmer Gantry than she did in the black and white movie made a few years after that picture. In fact I felt that EG had to be made years later and thus looked up the year and discovered it was made before. I like color often makes everyone look a little older (well shows more than B&W) and that might have something to do with it. Either way, the acting of the 2 stars in EG is first rate and all that matters.
  9. Again, mmroberts you hit the nail on the head. "Jeff Bailey is a tragic character"; indeed. He was a fool and he did compromise his principles when he runs off with the dame but in no way should his actions result in his final fait; death. Note that the ending is indeed true to the noir vision since Jeff does die. In another thread it was said that Bogie was first asked to play the part. I wonder if an major star like Bogie did the role that the studio wouldn't of wanted the ending to change. To have Bogie live with the understanding he would be cleared of any murders. Now that romantic type of ending would made the picture just another picture instead of what we have now; what of the top film noirs because the movie is true to the noir vision.
  10. I'm not sure that a lot of the media isn't positive about arabs / muslims. In fact I would say that a lot of the media goes out of its way to ensure positive arab / muslim reporting. I know that my paper The LA Times does this with special interest stories about how muslims here in the US SO Cal area are just like 'us'. So even when the pure news about what is going on in the middle east is negative (e.g. taliban, terrorist, etc...) there are fairly positive and balanced stories about how the everyday muslim supports democracy, feeddom, etc...
  11. Davis was indeed a product of the studio system at least initially. In fact after making the movie Fashions of 1934 with William Powell (a good movie for people into fashion BTW), Bette said that she would no longer let the studio groom her and try to make her into someone she was not But of course Warner had the power and continue to put her into the wrong roles. Later that year Bette was loaded out to RKO for Of Human Bondage and after that she had a little more control but still not much. It really wasn't until she left Warner's to go to England to make pictures and lost her court battle that she was given the type of roles that made her what we know today. Interesting that you mention Camille with Garbo and Taylor. Now I really like this movie but it clearly is an MGM movie and it does look like they are acting. Everything in the movie is so unreal and the drama so over the top - but hey MGM was good for that and often like in Camille they did it to a T. But I really like the Warner's movie style of grit and hard knocks more than that MGM style. I always wondered what Bette's career would of been like if she had been with MGM instead of Warners. We see what Warners was able to do for Crawford (but of course Crawford did make some great movies for MGM and these had some level of that grit). My view on what has changed in movies from today to say 50 years or more ago has a lot less to do with the actors than the other factors mentioned.
  12. Well there will never be another Bette Davis. A lot has to do with the studio system. Yes, Bette had major issues with the studio system in her early days and her fights with Jack Warner but after she tried to escape to England and had to crawl back to Warners Jack made her the queen of the Warner lot and she had first pick. Since a studio was like a community this helped younger actors mature and even if they were not making movies with some of the top stars at a studio they could watch their performance, eat with them in the lunch room and just bond with them (well the ones that were willing to share!). One actress I like today is Charlize Theron. She has a lot of class and she can act. Also as we saw in Monsters she doesn't have to be a glamour babe. She is very smart and independent. She hasn't done much lately but I'm hoping that will change. Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Jun 24, 2011 2:53 PM
  13. I really like the The Big Steal because William Bendix is in it and he was a central noir figure and he teamed up witn Mitchum again in Macro in 52. But the movie is indeed noir light since there isn't a femme fatale (Jane is very sweet in The Big Steal), no man is placed into a noir trap (core to Out of the Past of course). So as noted the movie is more of an action romantic movie. Still it is very good movie; Don Siegel keeps the pace moving, Mitchum and Bendix trade a lot of good lines and banter, and Jane looks wonderful. What more can one ask for.
  14. A lot of this discussion is based on how one defines a character actor; someone posted "A *character actor* is one who predominantly plays unusual or eccentric characters." That has never been how I define a character actor; to me a character actor is an actor that plays a secondary character in a movie. i.e. a role that is NOT one of the lead roles. Using the definition of 'plays unusual or eccentric characters' than Bette Davis has been a character actor in many of her movies but of course the majority of those roles were leading roles and not secondary ones especially after Bette returned from England and became queen of the Warner lot.
  15. I was going to post something very similar to what you posted. Now I have been a big classic movie fan for over 25 years (I'm in my early 50s), and thus I have seen many of the movies TCM shows. How is that relevant? Well, generally I don't plan on watching something on TCM aheard of time unless it is a movie I haven't seen and I'm interested in it (often from learing about it this forum). Most of the time I'm like you; deciding what to watch on TV, knowing that TCM is always there when there isn't anything else of value (which is often!) on another network. Now this does mean I often catch a movie that is already in progress. Well since I have seen it before that doesn't impact the enjoyment of the movie much. After the movie is over I wait to see what will be on next and often stay for more!
  16. This is a very good Ladd movie where Ladd's character is similar to what we see in the Ladd Lake movies. I'm glad you mentioned it since it is rarely on and more people should know about it. We have Demerest in a role that is very typically for him; the older buddy but one that fits him like a glove. This is Clements first role and based on what I read he created a lot of buz at time. He is like a young Cagney in some ways. And then we have Gail Russell; What a peach. We can clearly understand why the hard Salty would soften when she was around. This type of plot often gets too sappy but the movie is well balance; We get some of that noir gangster feel with the part of the plot dealing with horse racing and gambling, we have Demerest to lighten things up without being over the top, we have Clements as the troubled kid man with just the right edge and then we have a love story to warm the heart.
  17. Key Largo would be another example. What the setting does to E.G. is a big part of the story.
  18. Well to me Olivia DeHavilland is a bigger star than Doris Day but I can clearly see why someone would say otherwise. Many of Day's biggest movies were silly comedies in the 60s but of course many of Olivia's movies were secondary roles to male stars like Flynn. But Olivia did have that post Warner period in the late 40s that only a few actresses had with regards to recognition from her peers (Davis and Garson being at the top of list for a condensed time period), and she stared in the most well known movie of the golden era, GWTW. Of course both deserve a tribute when they pass on.
  19. Yes, Bette is indeed a wimpette in The Man Who Came to Dinner. A very low key performance for Davis. I could of listed many more movies but I believe I made my point.
  20. Olivia DeHavilland is a bigger star than all those listed in my view. TCM would have a tribute for sure. They have shown her 3 major post Warner movies often (Each His Own, Heiress, Snake Pit), and of course they have her Warner movies. Now as for her sister Joan, well she should also get a tribute.
  21. All About Eve isn't a Bette Davis movie but a Joseph Mankiewicz movie since he wrote the screen play and was the director. It would appear you haven't seen many Davis movies. While some of her famous roles are of hard women many are not; Kid Galahad, It's Love I"m After, The Sisters, Juarez, The Old Maid, All This and Heaven Too, The Great Lie, Now Voyager, Watch On The Rhine, Old Acquaintance, The Corn is Green, Deception, as well as many of her early 30s roles.
  22. Yes Jeanne with her red hair looked fantastic. The only other color movie I could recall her from was Leave Her To Heaven made over 20 years earlier. Jeanne didn't look much older at all and still very hot. Now Dana looked really old. I guess that booze had caught up to him. Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Jun 11, 2011 3:43 PM
  23. If you go to CFU and to blogs and seach under "Mildred Pierce" you will find where people discuss the Kate mini-series version. Of course some like it, some don't. I haven't seen it. Now since this is a mini-series they have a lot more time to explore the various characters and plot lines not contained in the Crawford movie. But one thing that was great about the Crawford movie is that it really moved along and the screenplay was very 'tight'. i.e. no time was wasted on fluff. Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Jun 10, 2011 4:24 PM
  24. Hey, you are being argumentative (just joking of course!). I agree with you that there is really no female 'lead' in this movie; Ford's wife isn't and is killed off and the only other female with much of a role is the corrupt, dead cop's wife and she also is a supporting character. I guess my love for Grahame got me carried away!
  25. All I know is that I don't know how 'women' as a group think. I don't understand how my wife thinks let alone women I have never met.
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