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Everything posted by TomJH

  1. I've got a hunch that if The Greatest Show On Earth was the same film you know it to be, same cast, same corny plot, same everything, but it hadn't won the Oscar as best picture, you'd probably like the film more. Or, at least, you wouldn't feel the resentment against it that you do now on behalf of any of a number of better films made that year. Name a better circus film, not that there have been that many to choose from. Having said that, though, I'd still kinda wish that Cornel Wilde's Great Sebastian had launched a pitchfork at Betty Hutton's loud, hyper activity Holly as she was doin
  2. I like James Stewart but all of his painfully unfunny clown shtick in the middle of the ring in The Greatest Show on Earth just makes me glad that he decided to be a film actor instead. Since it's Jimmy I don't know that I would give him a pitchfork so much as I would like to step on his big flat feet and rip off his big red nose so I can slap his face silly. He did that a lot in the ring, point at what other clowns were doing (which wasn't funny either).
  3. Not to anyone who's seen the film. Her boundless energy and grating performance are truly pitchfork inspirational.
  4. All the deaths from this virus around the world and in your own nation (including people with other illnesses denied access to hospitals) and you're still making light of it. It's just a big joke to you.
  5. Anne of the Indies (1951) Colourful pirate adventure from 20th Century Fox, one of the very few films to feature a woman as a pirate leader. (Yes, history records that there were a few female pirates). In this case Captain Providence is a terror of the Caribbean. No one among British authorities realizes, however, that the Captain is a woman. Jean Peters delivers a spirited performance as the title character and she has a couple of fencing scenes to demonstrate her athleticism, as well. It's difficult to know how much stunt double work is involved but certainly Peters is quite impre
  6. That's true. Plus Julie can handle her firearms better than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis combined.
  7. At update of a musical classic brought to you by the NRA "The hills were alive . . . with the sound of gunfire."
  8. Another great Barrymore performance in a film not as well known as Svengali. Mike Curtiz was the director, though, with plenty of German expressionistic influence in the visuals. You even have a drug transaction taking place through shadows in this bizarre, entertaining pre-coder.
  9. Movies to avoid living in . . . wherever this ape hangs out
  10. I'd be pretty happy living in Laura's swank apartment. I'd be even happier if I found that Laura was still in it.
  11. Far better still I wish that John Barrymore could have played the mad monk rather than get cast in the more conventional leading man role he had in that film. His performance as Svengali gives a strong indication of what we might have had.
  12. I hope there will always be a constitutionalist military commander like General Milley involved in any crucial decisions involving a potential nuclear conflict, never more so than when the commander-in-chief is seen as behaving in an erratic, unpredictable manner. Trump motivated his supporters to attack the Capitol on January 6th. No wonder China was nervous about him.
  13. Paulette Goddard had had a fall out with De Mille while filming Unconquered with him in 1947. By the time that Greatest Show on Earth was being cast and filmed in 1951 her career was in deep trouble and she pleaded with the director to cast her as the Elephant Girl in his circus film. The director refused, with Gloria Grahame cast instead. Greatest Show would go on to become the biggest box office hit of 1952 and net the Oscar as Best Picture. Goddard, meanwhile, appeared in Babes in Bagdad that same year (no matter how bad you think that film might be, believe me, it's worse) and two years la
  14. Sorry to hear this about a lovely and talented show biz trouper. However, Heaven may have just gained an angelic voice. I also like to think that a former screen partner named Fred will be waiting for her and welcoming the lady with a few dance steps.
  15. Gladiator is completely overrated, in my opinion. That Russell Crowe was named best actor for that film is a bit mind boggling. When it comes to Roman Empire spectacles, I would take Spartacus any day over this one. I can take or leave Gigi and have yet to see The Shape of Water.
  16. I omitted to mention in my review of Greatest Show on Earth that one of the faces you see among the spectators is that of Arthur Q. Bryan, best known to some cartoon buffs today as the voice of Elmer Fudd. His character in the film is far more excited about the circus activity than is the quiet little kid accompanying him. That reminds me of myself. My parents took me to a circus at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto when I was six or so and they got more of a kick out of it than I did. The highlight of that visit for me was not the elephants and clowns but when I got in a lineup with my Dad to mee
  17. I believe it was from a later Heston film, Secret of the Incas. But Heston's look in the De Mille film is pretty much the same. Who knows, both films are Paramount. Maybe it's the same wardrobe.
  18. Good memory, TikiSoo. Lamour sings "Lovely Luawana Lady" in a song that is clearly a tribute to her sarong films. It's during this number that Crosby and Hope have their cameo as spectators.
  19. The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) I hadn't seen Cecil B. De Mille's circus film, often hailed as one of the most undeserving Best Picture Oscar winners, in a few years and decided to take a look at it again last night. There's too much in the way of Technicolor circus acts and even the cornball soap opera plot to ever call this film boring. Much of the cast is to be commended for doing the best they can with their material. Charlton Heston authoritatively barks out commands as the manager of the circus who seems to hold the whole thing together. He may seem stereotypically larger tha
  20. Alan Hale with actress Gretchen Hartman, to whom he was married from 1914 to his death in 1950, along with baby Alan Jr. in 1922. The Hale family. That's Alan, Gretchen, Alan Jr. and daughter Karen.
  21. On the set . . . They Drive By Night (1940) Unlike her character in the film, Ida Lupino in real life could share a laugh with Alan Hale. These two are both terrific in this lusty truck driving melodrama. Oh, yeh, "The doors made me do it." The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) That's Hale and Flynn with William Keighley, who directed the Sherwood Forest scenes. Flynn liked Keighley and was unhappy when Warners brass decided to replace him with Mike Curtiz to bring the film a more dynamic appeal. Sorry, Errol, Warners was right. Gentleman Jim (1942) The C
  22. Much as it is apparent by this thread that many TCM viewers like Alan Hale, I am struck by how relatively little is known about the actor's personal life. There has been no biography on him, that I know of, and while some articles may have been written about him in some magazines at some time where are they and how do you access them now? Search the internet about Hale and you just keep finding the same basic facts, his birth date, he wanted to be an opera singer, he was an amateur inventor, his film career started in the silents, a list of his films, his wife's name and photo, father of three
  23. According to Steve Hayes, author of Googies Coffeeshop to the Stars, who briefly lived in Flynn's home, Errol went into a depression when Alan Hale died.
  24. I watched The Time, The Place and the Girl (1946), one of those trifle Warner Bros. Technicolor musicals in which a likable cast (Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Martha Vickers) is saddled with mediocre material. If you never see the film you won't have missed much. Alan Hale and S. Z. Sakall, who didn't like working with one another, are both in the supporting cast. Sakall has a far larger role, while Hale, I'm sorry to say, is largely thrown away in a small part (one of the curses of his later years at the studio). Hale complained about Sakall mangling the English language so m
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