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About JacksFlix

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  1. Always wonderful to see Holden. I have to take issue with a remark Ben's guest, Holden's partner Stefanie Powers, made about Jean Arthur, who played opposite Holden in "Arizona". She said about Arthur, "I don't think she had a very good end, poor thing." Talk about catty! In fact, Arthur had a very good ending of her career, on high notes, first realizing her dream role as Peter Pan, which was a Broadway hit, then in Shane. She had a TV series in the 60s that didn't work, but that was a minor blip. Personally, she didn't like Hollywood, opting for teaching back east, then her pretty house in the paradise of Carmel, California. She wasn't social but not a recluse, either, and did what she wanted. I think she and Mary Martin, the next Peter Pan, were close. Of course there was her stage fright, which wrecked productions, and her proto-PETA animal antics, but that's how she was. She made 90. Not a "very good end"? Nonsense! She just did it her way. Of course Ben couldn't take issue with Powers on the air, but Powers should not get away with that nasty remark unchallenged.
  2. Please tell them that some genius forgot to enable Moonfleet to play.
  3. For customers of WatchTCM . . . It does not matter whose "fault" it is, TCM's or the providers: TCM's movies constantly hang. It is up to TCM to fix this issue. This is not a viewer problem but a TCM problem, and its been going on since the beginning of WatchTCM. If TCM is unable to provide adequate streaming service, then TCM should not offer it. Doing so constitutes consumer fraud. But TCM does not care. While TCM battles with Internet providers / cable companies over "throttling" -- and this is a money issue, not a techincal issue -- customers continue to be ripped off. TCM, FIX THIS. Stop making your customers pay for your food fight with the providers!
  4. On WatchTCM, Planet of the Apes, instead of having the specified runtime of 112 minutes has an actual runtime of 31 minutes with muted sound in the last few minutes. The Emigrants was similarly cut. This could be happening to other movies. We are paying for TCM. Someone is not doing his/her job!
  5. I should have made it clear that I wasn't disputing Ben's POV. He was merely stating a fact. Indeed, he noted Hodiak's good looks and talent. I just don't want John Hodiak to wind up, in the minds of moviegoers, in the Sonny Tufts category.
  6. It's been a real treat to watch John Hodiak. It's somewhat unkindly remarked that Hodiak benefited from the top male stars' absences from Hollywood during the war years and was eclipsed when they returned. I think that sells him short. He had his own star quality. Hodiak is still on WatchTCM, and I highly recommend checking him out. Unfortunately, A Bell for Adano hasn't been saved for streaming, but I'm looking at Two Smart People. It's light fare, but you can see how easily he holds his own opposite the likes of Lucille Ball, Lloyd Nolan and Elisha Cook, Jr. He had a great voice and was handsome with or without a mustache. It was tragic to lose John Hodiak so early. He should be better known.
  7. Occasionally, TCM runs a filler about Alfred Hitchcock, where various Hollywood types reminisce about the great man. It's amusing to see how different people remember him differently. But there's one who infuriates me every time I see him. Director Andr? de Toth lets loose a stream of invective, calling Hitchcock a "son of a b----" for saying that "actors are cattle". This is a famous misquote, which Hitchcock was aware of. "I was once quoted as saying that actors are cattle. My actor friends know I would never be capable of such a thoughtless, rude and unfeeling remark, that I would never call them cattle...What I probably said was that actors should be _treated_ like cattle." This isn't splitting hairs. Moss Hart, who had a huge respect for actors, said in his memoir that being a director came down to keeping the actors from bumping into each other. As is well-known, Hitchcock considered planning to be the creative part of the production and the shoot itself anticlimactic. With so many other details to attend, a director's ideal cast and crew are those whose skills are a given. All you have to do is tell them what you want, and they execute, be it lighting, camera or set. And actors so skillful that you only need to give them their marks. They know their lines and deliver them right. (You know they will deliver them right, because that's why you cast them for this part.) Thus, for Hitchcock, if placement is the main interaction with the actor, then naturally one could say they are treated like cattle. Put them here, there, let them say their lines, and that's it. So, Andr? de Toth was basing his tirade on a misquote. I think there must have been seething envy there, for de Toth's work seldom rose above mediocre. Hacks resent greater talents. So, de Toth's lasting memorial will be as a first-class jerk. Someone else in the TCM short said that Hitchcock was a bore. This is also rubbish. I know first-hand that Hitchcock in fact was sociable and a great raconteur, who loved, at parties, to sit and spin tales. It could be that Hitchcock was boring to those he himself found boring. To those he found interesting or attractive, he was engaging and personable. There -- had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening.
  8. I must respectfully disagree with other posters about the guest co-host. This so-called professor isn't a scholar at all, but an advocate whose job is to air the grievances of his identity group. This is the fraud of most "group studies" programs in America's politically correct colleges. They are not about scholarship but about "consumer academics" -- pandering to targeted groups too increase enrollment and grants. They all fall under a common rubric -- victimology. Their purpose is to gratify those seeking validation for blaming their inadequacies on political oppression and mistreatment. As for the co-host, he is utterly predictable. He's already made up his mind about how he's going to depict them. He doesn't come across as terribly astute -- he really doesn't get any of the films -- but, fortunately for him, that's not the main criterion for teaching group studies. (In fact, I wonder how he did get his job.) He rarely has anything scholarly to say, he mostly sits there and opines. The few times he admits that something may be accurate he does it perfunctorily, as if to say, "See, I'm even-handed." His commentary on Drums Along the Mohawk is a travesty. He complains that depicting Indians as "the enemy" in this movie creates the stereotype that "all Indians are bad, that they will come and scalp you". Of course, he will fail to acknowledge the historical accuracy of the depiction, that at this moment in American history, Indians were indeed hostile and cruel with their enemies -- white or fellow Indian -- that the British did attempt to gain them as allies (John Carradine) against the Americans, and that in the Mohawk Valley there was indeed a constant danger of attack and the necessity of fleeing to the forts, that in fact Indians should be feared. Then the co-host attempts to paint the friendly Indian as some kind of Indian Uncle Tom. Of course he was not. Of course individual friendlies existed, for various reasons, and Claudette Colbert's first response to this one was Ford's a mockery of the white man's reflexive fear of Indians, not an attempt to make them fearsome. But the co-host attempts to turn the scene on its head because, according to his agenda, there must be something anti-Indian about it. In fact, some of the gruesome tales of Indian massacres of settlers were true, and Colbert's terror, though over-the-top, is understandable. But you won't hear this from the co-host, because honesty is not his agenda -- propaganda is. The co-host also fails to acknowledge semi-friendly Indians, the pair who, drunk on firewater, barge into Edna May Oliver's house and torch it. I say semi-friendly, because instead of scalping her, they follow her order to carry her big bed out of the burning house, with her on it! By the way, where is Howard Hawks' The Big Sky, which TCM screens occasionally and which is all about white-Indian relations? Since it's pretty positive, I guess it doesn't play to the co-host's agenda. Nor TCM's agenda of inviting various soreheads to peddle their victimhood -- pandering to the target ethnic group, like the group studies scams on campus -- while foisting guilt or smug moral superiority on the rest of us. How's that for racism? Indians were monstrously treated, but far more Indians died from exposure to disease brought by Europeans than notorious massacres. Moreover, Indians were in fact savage warriors, their taste for sadism and **** regarded as measures of their manhood. Of course, the co-host will try to depict them as flower children. Coming up is perhaps the best depiction ever of the white-Indian encounter, Bruce Beresford's masterpiece, Black Robe. I wonder what morose and disingenuous remarks the co-host will concoct for it.
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