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Everything posted by nitratefiend

  1. Here is a duo I discovered for myself this morning - the Duncan Sisters Some of you may already know them or know of them, or even seen their early talking musical "It's a Great Life" on TCM some time ago. I only learned of them today, and found out in the process that said movie has a color sequence that has been restored since TCM showed it. The Warner Archives DVD got two five-star reviews on Amazon. Maybe we can get TCM to show it again in its full version.
  2. Here's a Jukebox tune that's beloved of Laurel and Hardy fans -- "At the ball, that's all." The rhythms in this recording are much squarer than when they danced to it, over twenty years later, in "Way out West" while a cowboy ensemble sang it. But if you ever wanted to be able to understand all the lyrics, they are delivered here with impeccable diction.
  3. Hope the Horton fans caught the silent EEH in the clip from the 1925 "Beggar on Horseback" last night around 10:30 p.m. It was a wonderful, and technically amazing for the time, dream sequence. Even without the use of that distinctive voice of his, Horton was a great comic actor.
  4. When TCM aired this recently, I was amazed how physical the scene is where he picks her out of the water and carries her off in soaking wet clothes, next to his big, muscular bare chest. As a swimmer, he was probably one of the few movie stars of that day fit enough to look convincing in a scene like that. I'm not at all surprised to hear he swept her off her feet in real life, too.
  5. "I liked the New York City film by ....well, I can't remember which one it was, but the director/cameraman was a genius." Can someone tell me how to properly excerpt and frame quotes from other posters that I want to respond to? I haven't seen that part yet, until I review the tape, but wanted to refer you to a German silent, "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City." It was made in 1927. According to Wikipedia, the 1921 U.S. film "Manhatta," by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, was a similar, earlier treatment of another great city, New York. I now recall reading that "Manhatta" was based on Whitman's poem (although I thought that was "Manahatta"). Maybe that's the one from last night. If so, the wiki post said it's available on the "Unseen Cinema" DVD, first released in 2005, although the film was not fully restored until 2009. The wiki post lists a couple of other cityscapes of this sort: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin:_Symphony_of_a_City. I find them fascinating. On the "Classic Arts Showcase" channel I have seen footage from an even older film, from 1905, showing views of St. Petersburg (in that revolutionary year, but the revolution was elsewhere). In fact, the "Classic Arts Showcase," for those who are lucky enough to receive it, has a lot of wonderful "unseen cinema" clips. Many are innovative, but the most truly unique one I've seen was a WInsor MacKay "pinboard animation" of "Night on Bald Mountain." Only caught it once, around Halloween 2009, and have never been able to find it again.
  6. Bingo! Captain Hook, Dr. Terwilliger, Snidely Whiplash and Uncle Waldo himself. Your thread.
  7. I was in Nitrate Heaven last night. Which is also Nitrate Hell, as disappearance is a fate worse than death, and we'll never know how much we missed. So let me echo all those who have said, thank God for the archivists and restorers. I also missed a good bit of it last night because I had to drive into town to pick up someone from the bus station, so I'm praying my VCR worked. Got back in time to see what may have been the most lavish and extended Busby Berkeley dance sequence ever -- did anyone make that comparison? And that wonderful Edward Everett Horton rarebit dream sequence -- such a clear print, as someone already commented, and such innovative technique! I hope all the people on these boards who have questioned why TCM bothers to show silent films at all tuned in last night and had their minds opened.
  8. Really good, Miles. These were the only two songs I could think of that include that unusual phrase. If anyone can think of another, I'd like to hear what it is. Now, these are both silly songs.In fact, according to Wikipedia (since I haven't seen it in a long time), that's exactly what Marilyn Monroe tells Cary Grant when he starts singing "The Whiffenpoof Song" to her in the 1952 "Monkey Business." But "Itty Bitty Poo'" is on a whole other level. In the "Goof Gas Attack" story arc of Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes, it appears at the bottom of an intelligence chart, below "nitwit" and "dunce." I wasn't sure what movie it might have appeared in, but my sources say there was one called "Spring Reunion" from 1957. Miles's thread.
  9. Name two (once) well-known songs in which this phrase -- or a semblance thereof -- appears: "off on a spree" ...and the movies in which the songs were used. (I found two movies for one of the two songs.)
  10. Sorry if anyone was kept waiting, I was busy installling a new printer last night. It took much longer than it should have (but that was because of me :-( .) When this actor first appeared as a guest on a long-running comedy series, he played an English tutor. In his next guest appearance, the following season, he played a second-hand clothes dealer. He also appeared as a guest in a later series featuring the same star. His movies ran the gamut -- mostly comedy, but also some WWII espionage thrillers, at least one "B" sci-fi classic, and one cult classic so unique I can say no more about it without giving away the answer. His voice was so distinctive that he was in great demand on radio and later for voice acting in movies and TV. Many of the characters he played were irascible.
  11. That _is_ a good film. I remembered seeing it aired as a "Twilight Zone" episode and have now been able to confirm that it was, although a French short subject that was not made for the series. By the time I saw it, I had already read the Ambrose Bierce story; this added to the thrill. Surely TCM could find time to insert it into the schedule as a short? Given the terrible slaughter that both sides experienced, there many great ghost stories associated with the War -- entire armies of the dead marching through towns in the night and so forth. But does anyone know of any good scary movies that have been based on these tales?
  12. "It Happened at the World's Fair"
  13. "Blue Moon" Rodgers and Hart "At the Circus" Thank you, that was indeed a fascinating musical history lesson. I only recognized what it was by the rhythm.
  14. Very good, skipper, only needed the first line. Do you remember whether she sings the verse as well as the refrain in the movie? I couldn't remember. Hearing it in the musical was the first time I ever heard this lovely tune. I also didn't know whether the song was used at all in the 1927 show and the 1936 movie, but looking it up, I found it was included from the beginning. As the ultimate Gay Nineties tear-jerker song, it fits perfectly into its setting in the plot. Your thread.
  15. From your first clue, it sure sounds like Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie. But I didn't know anything about his earlier, pre-DVD career until your second clue made me look him up on Wikipedia. Then I found out he had had his own show once, and also appeared as "The Human Joke Machine." As a kid, I always liked him and Rose Marie - both very funny.
  16. In fact, just as I didn't see anyone come to Madonna's defense ;-) , is there anyone who's been spared in this thread? Any actor or actress so universally admired/beloved that no one could find anything bad to say about them? Did anyone mention Ronald Reagan? Bonzo? Faye Wray? King Kong? Sonny Bono? (I saw Cher mentioned, way at the very beginning.) Mighty Joe Young? Beverly Garland? Can we all agree on exempting these? (Since it's April 1.)
  17. You are absolutely right that this sesquicentennial _should_ be the focus of a lot of attention. Many in the United States view the Civil War as _the_ pivotal event in U.S. history. In any case, it is a watershed as far as U.S. society, laws, nationhood and identity are concerned, with repercussions being felt down to the present day. I only joined these boards relatively recently, but early on someone directed me to a _long_ (over 15 pp.) discussion of "Birth of a Nation," which is just one example of how this conflict and its aftermath have been portrayed in films. How wonderful of TCM to show so many others, and what a great opportunity for history teachers (and film history teachers) around the country and across the world. My personal favorite? That would be Ken Burns' ten-part documentary _The Civil War_. I'm imagining PBS will be rebroadcasting it sometime over the next four years. I couldn't wait and re-watched the VHS tapes I made when it was first broadcast, over twenty years ago.
  18. Call me a fiend (please), but I'm thinking of one much darker: "So Well Remembered."
  19. I'm back. (I took a short cut.) "You Are the Ideal of My Dreams" from "Beau Hunks." Poor Ollie (and several other men in this short). I have thought about a comedy riddle thread, but decided I enjoyed more mixing up the genres in this forum to keep people guessing (e.g., describing "42nd Street" so it sounds almost like a film noir). Besides, I thought of a non-L&H song I really wanted to do. It's another of those you know the refrain, but do you know the verse? riddles. This one is a fine old song that was incorporated into a very famous musical, although not written by the composer or lyricist of the musical. I'll give the first line, for now: "A little maiden climbed an old man's knee..." What is the song, the musical, and the name of the character who sings it?
  20. Metz, you are too kind. I have two shorts in mind in that case, but I'll have to review them. That will take time, since I'm old-fashioned (and cheap), and have my L&H collection on VHS. So someone else is welcome to jump in while I search. In any case, one of my favorite lines from all film, not just L&H, is from "Chickens Come Home." It's Mae Busch, coming into Ollie's office. Seeing Stan standing around there, she tells him simply, "Sca-ram!" with a nice little upward inflexion on the second syllable. She was never lovelier.
  21. That's the one, Metz. And now you know why it was important to solve this by today, the opening day of the regular Major League Baseball season (just as, in the movie, Joe's contract runs to what he believes is the end of the regular season, September 24, before interleague play and other changes extended the season by about a month). As I write, it's drizzling in Washington. The game just ended: Atlanta beat the Nats 2-0. The home town team may change its name, but some things never change... Your thread.
  22. OK, since it's important to get this today, just as it was for the protagonist to get back home by a date certain (which, nowadays, would have to be at least a month later than the date of September 24 used in this film)... Clue #10: "Mr. Applegate," listed in the previous clue, is only a pseudonym. It's one of many that this character, who has been around a long time, finds it convenient to use. Walter Huston and Peter Cook have also portrayed him, in other incarnations, in other films.
  23. "One Hour with You," Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier, director Ernst Lubitsch?
  24. In "Chickens Come Home," Ollie, who is running for mayor, and his wife have a few guests over for dinner. Ollie sits down at the piano to play and sing a little tune called "Somebody's Coming to My House," a cute little number about a couple who are expecting a baby. As he's singing it, however, Ollie learns that his former flame Mae Busch, who is trying to blackmail him, is on her way over and will be there any minute. The song takes on a whole new meaning, for him and us, as he grows increasingly panicky trying to get through it. Is that the one you meant?
  25. Clue 9: Dramatis personae: Miss West Indies Mr. Applegate Shifty McCoy (mentioned, not seen)
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