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TawfikZone

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Everything posted by TawfikZone

  1. Re: The Moon is Blue. I would say that Otto Preminger's advertising ploys for the film are ahead of its time; daring to take on the powerful Production Code is very gutsy and edgier films are certainly indebted to his efforts. However, the film itself wasn't as scandalous as he made it out to be . I can think of at least 2 films that used the word "pregnant" before The Moon is Blue- Tomorrow is Another Day and I'll See You in My Dreams. In the latter, the word is not inconspicuous at all as Doris Day's character repeatedly shouts the word to an oblivious Danny Thomas in a noisy jazz club.
  2. I've heard that Beery was awful, Jane Powell admitted in an interview that she didn't like him and that he was a kleptomaniac, but I didn't know he was that awful. Supposedly, Harrison was hated by many of his co-stars. Several family members of Carole Landis, who had an affair with Rex Harrison, allege that she didn't commit suicide but was murdered by Harrison. I don't now if it's true but it certainly inspires the imagination. Somebody mentioned Susan Hayward. I've never heard a kind word about her. She sounded like a real piece of work. Before Leo and Kate Winslet started begging
  3. I love Crossfire; all 3 Robert's are fantastic in dynamic roles. It was waaaaaaaaay better than the schmaltzy Gentleman's Agreement. Although I thought Robert's 1 & 2 were great in The Racket, I thought the movie itself was ho-hum.
  4. I like Wyman in certain roles. I suppose my opinion of her (and maybe others share this) is a bit colored because she was terribly miscast as plain Jane English amateur detective in Stage Fright. It wasn't a good movie to be fair, but I thought she brought it down even more. I've seen her in other performances where she came off as a bit too mannered, like in Three Guys Named Mike. Perhaps she isn't as remembered as some of her contemporaries because many of her roles and films haven't aged as well. That said, she was stellar in All That Heaven Allows. The scene where she looks at her lone
  5. Mitchum is absolutely amazing. He was a strong presence but could be subtle or flashy whetever the role required. Perhaps he wasn't seen as an artist like Kirk Douglas or Gregory Peck because he seemed to be more self-deprecating than a type like Douglas (who I like as an actor) who blew his own horn. According to co-star Jane Greer, she always respected Mitchum because he was an egoless performer who shared scenes rather than tried to steal them (like Douglas). Mitchum was a real natural and a brave actor, letting himself be be vulnerable onscreen with strong female stars like Jane Greer,
  6. His was such a shame because he was viciously railroaded by a bunch of opportunistic wannabes and politicians looking to clamp down on sinful Hollywood as a means to cover up their own ineptitude at their jobs. I guess much hasn't changed in that respect.
  7. Although Box Office Poison isn't necessarily written about as point blank now as it was then, we still witness the ramifications to a degree. I think what helps many people overcome it is the power of celebrity as a brand as opposed to the idea of a studio manufactured movie star. For example many of the movies that actors like Matt Damon, George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds, and Johnny Depp in the last few years have flopped tremendously but people are still willing to invest in them because they are incredibly popular with people through their charismatic public personas on the talk show/press cir
  8. I think the Oscars has gotten it wrong soooooo many times throughout its history. I could give so many examples of Oscar worthy performances, but I'll limit myself to a few. Jean Hagen gives one of the best comic villain performances in Singin' in the Rain. To be fair, I love Gloria Grahame and thought she was good in The Bad in the Beautiful (though she had more to do in The Greatest Show on Earth and Sudden Fear) so I won't hate on her winning, too much. That said, Gloria Grahame absolutely should have been nominated and won for The Big Heat the next year. It was an incredibly raw an
  9. Thanks for this fun bit of gossip. It's especially great to hear a story where Hedda Hopper loses. Out of all the gossip columnists, she seemed to be the worst, I suppose because she was bitter about being a failed actress. As I have been doing these podcasts of 1950s movies, she has come up quite a few times being a chief antagonist in the HUAC witch hunt debacle.
  10. I'm a neutral on High Noon, but by no means a fan. I found the allegory overpowering and gratuitous. I couldn't stand The Quiet Man myself, so to borrow your olive analogy, I guess it's like a kalamata olive, not my taste. I liked The Marrying Kind, a more interesting and innovative film than Born Yesterday; it just missed the cut in my Alternative Oscars. I didn't include The Lusty Men, only because I wasn't able to access a copy of it in the time I had to do this podcast. I'll definitely check it out since it's gotten a lot of love here.
  11. @LornaHansonForbes, I'm sorry you got a 404 error link. I bet I know what happened. Shortly after I posted this on Friday, I got some malware in my Wordpress theme. I changed themes and everything is working and should be bug free. Let me know if these links work for everybody. http://tawfikzone.com/?p=1214 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tawfik-zones-alternative-oscars/id1050460591?mt=2 PS. @LHF, I love your avatar. I think The Damned Don't Cry is a great Joan Crawford vehicle. Despite contrary opinion, it's not a Mildred Pierce knockoff.
  12. Howard Hughes from multiple sources seemed to be a real vindictive creep. According to Jean Simmons she was contractually forced to go to Hollywood because her studio in Britain (I think it was Rank or one of the big ones) sold her contract to Hughes without her knowledge. I'm not condoning the abuse, but Simmons beautifully transposed all the dysfunction and drama into a creepy and unsettling perf if I remember correctly.
  13. I think that people tend to underestimate her because she made acting look so effortless and also because many, in my opinion wrongly, attributed her as part of the wholesome propaganda of the 1950s. Watching her films today, many times her virginal, sunny veneer has been used subversively as her priggishness was often the butt of the joke. She also played a lot of intelligent, if neurotic, career women too. In addition to the films mentioned here, I also liked Day in Romance on the High Seas, which was an incredibly confident debut and she showed a lot of spunk; Move Over Darling; Calamit
  14. Supposedly Lupino was never 100% comfortable with being a director and never fully committed to it, acting intermittendly. She was criticized by many feminists in the 60s and 70s not only for the female characters in her films but also for some of the comments she made about directing. She was quoted as saying that it is not a womanly field, admitted that it took a lot of strain out of her. She was also pretty self-deprecating about her ability calling herself the poor man's Don Siegel. Also, Lupino's alcoholism was getting out of hand. According to a documentary on her, she started drink
  15. I certainly agree that An American in Paris was a thorn on Singin' in the Rain's side in terms of Oscar love at the time. While Singin' got commendable reviews at the time, it didn't get raves (outside of Jean Hagen). People only recognized its genius when it was re-run on TV. For sure it's my BP choice. I'm glad that many of you also love Five Fingers. Also glad to see a shout out for Scaramouche which is such a great swashbuckler flick beautifully directed by George Sidney. The acting is really spirited and top notch. I have to respectfully disagree with the Viva Zapata choice. I fo
  16. First of all TomJH, I liked your review of The Man I Love. Makes me want to see it. It's too bad that Warner Bros thought of Lupino as a 2nd rate Bette Davis. Thankfully, we've been able to rediscover many of her Noir films where her gritty, sexy, gin-smoked voice talent still shines very bright today. I would say that The Hard Way is her greatest tour-de-force. As far as her directorial career goes, I've only seen 2 films she's directed, Outrage and The Bigamist. Outrage is interesting in that it is one of the first films that deals with rape. I thought that the first half was more i
  17. 1952/3 is a historically controversial year in Oscar history, as The Greatest Show on Earth is widely ranked by many as one of the worst Best Picture winners. Is it as bed as its reputation, I ask? In our Alternative Oscars Podcast, we discuss the Best Picture nominees of a given Oscar year, and then propose a set of different nominees (and runners up) of films eligible in the Oscar year in question. We also give shout outs to a couple of oddball films that we call curios. http://tawfikzone.com/2016/04/01/podcast-alternative-oscars-1952/ I found this to be a particularly fun episod
  18. I'm sorry to hear this, just as I've become more acquainted with her work. I enjoyed her 2 guest appearances on the fun Patrick McGoohan show, Secret Agent. I particularly liked her work as a spunky journalist who engages in a fun **** fight in Whatever Happened to George Foster? a good episode about how corrupt, wealthy Westerners exploit the third world to maintain absolute power.
  19. I agree that the book is more sophisticated and nuanced in terms of its theme than the movie, which is shameless soap opera. I just thought the film, as simple (and kind of stupid) as it is, is better constructed as a whole. I forgot about Louis Jourdan's character in the book; I remember a whole lot of boring exposition about Barbara.
  20. The Best of Everything. It was interesting hearing the novelist Roma Jaffe complaining how the movie version was more sexist than the book. I agree with her assessment on the preposterous endings, but overall I thought that the movie did a better job at streamlining the drama. That meant that it had a more soapy tone, but the film moved at a great pace, whereas the novel (which I read about 3/4 of it) dragged. Although Barbara was an inspiring, liberated character in the book, I think that the film was right to reduce her part as she didn't have as much drama as the other three girls. Hope
  21. I'm a sucker for autobiographies, bios, and history books about Hollywood. I usually enjoy books that focus on the actors career more than their relationships (though depending on how well the story is written I suppose relationships are interesting). Some of the great books that come to mind are: Include Me Out by Farley Granger - This is a fun and self-deprecating take on an actor who didn't quite have the career he wanted. Me by Katharine Hepburn - like her film persona, her book is highly intelligent, opinionated and nonconformist. Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson -
  22. I remember reading about Safe in Hell in Mcik LaSalle's book. He quoted Dorothy McKaill a lot. She sounded like an incredibly brave, articulate, and smart woman. I bet she would have done well on social media.
  23. I've never heard of Son of the Gods, but it sounds fascinating. I enjoy Constance Bennett and thought it was too bad that she didn't retain her stardom after the 30s. I think I've seen Midnight Mary, it sounds familiar. Watching Loretta Young in the Pre-Code has altered my opinion of her as an actress. I know it's wrong but her Catholic sanctimony off-screen bothers me and I suppose I can't totally shake off the bias when watching her, especially during the Code movies.
  24. Thank you Midnight for "Call Her Savage" and thanks CaveGirl for the history behind it. It's another one I'll keep my eyes open for. I concur with the other posters who hated the ending of Female. I'm surprised that it's so highly rated by critics. I wasn't wild about the film as a whole either. I might be in the minority, but I thought Ruth Chatteron was miscast in the role. She didn't have enough sex appeal and her haughty theatah voice didn't convey sass. I thought she was better in Dodsworth where her pretentious acting style suited the gaudy and pretentious character. I am grate
  25. I've never heard of this one. I'll definitely be on the lookout. Thank you very much Fedya.
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