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midwestan

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About midwestan

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  1. Not to get off track here, but I'll take this moment to give a shout-out to Speedracer5, who created this thread just over 5 years ago (anniversary was actually May 22). Here we are 5 years and 937 pages after her first post, and this thread is still going strong! 😀👏💪
  2. "Cornered" was the second post-song and dance picture I remember seeing that featured Dick Powell (the first was "Murder My Sweet"). I had never seen either picture until I started watching TCM, and I like Powell much better in his 40's and 50's portrayals than the ones he did in the 30's. This 'war noir' shown on Noir Alley today begins in London, then winds its way to France, Switzerland, and subsequently Argentina as Powell is trying to find out who really killed his wife, who was part of the French resistance in World War 2. Powell played a Canadian air force pilot who spent the late stages of the war as a German prisoner of war, but had been married for less than 3 weeks before his wife's demise. Along the way, he encounters a kaleidoscope of characters that may or may not be trying to help him in his quest.; namely, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel, and Steven Geray. What I liked about the climax of this movie was how the real villain's identity was hidden in the shadows as long as possible. The viewer always knew his name, and they heard his voice well before they caught a glimpse of his facial features toward the end of the picture, which was sort of shocking in itself, where Powell literally beats Luther Adler to death. I thought that scene was particularly vivid in its presentation as it was a combination of cool and disturbing at the same time. Although, Powell didn't 'get' the girl at the end of the film, he was able to avenge her death at the hands of some creepy individuals. I also liked the way Powell's character wasn't all that hung up on his personal grooming; sporting buzz cut hair and a stubble beard in several scenes of "Cornered". It was a completely different look for him and the persona he had built up for his audiences prior to 1940. All in all, I give "Cornered" an 8 out of 10 rating.
  3. I sort of agree with you, SansFin. It may not have registered with a lot of movie-goers, but I think it's better than 'God-awful' as far as entertainment goes. In some respects, the change that comes over Kim Novak's character when she transitions from Ilsa to Lyla reminds me a little of what happened to Lew Ayres in "Donovan's Brain", which I'm sure many posters here would rate on the same level or slightly a cut above "The Legend of Lyla Clare"! Oh well, to each their own...😐
  4. Unfortunately, Jeff Chandler did a lot of stuff with Universal, so we'll probably have a loooooong wait there! I've been barking up that tree for a while...would love to see 'Female On The Beach' on this network. I haven't seen that film for over 40 years, and even then, it was just bits and pieces of it. I've never seen it in its entirety.
  5. Thanks LHF. As I mentioned, I had seen the performances of 4 of the 5 nominees from 1957's Best Supporting Actress category. I think Lange and Varsi probably had their votes cancelled out, which has been known to happen to men and women from the same picture who were up for the same award.. I think Dave Karger pointed out after the viewing of 'Sayonara' that Umeki's mental health suffered and deteriorated as she aged, and there was a rumor/report that before she died, she had destroyed her Oscar statuette (or discarded it). Also, if anyone knows the answer to this, when Academy Award nominees are announced, how is voting conducted? Do people vote after the nominees are known, or is it done beforehand with just the top people/films listed as nominees and the results are kept secret until the ceremony is held? If voting is held after the nomination process, how long do voters have to get their ballots in, and how are nominations decided in the first place? I like both these movies, but 'The More The Merrier' is more of a favorite to me. I always get a kick out of the interaction between Charles Coburn and Joel McCrea when they're on the roof of their building trying to catch some rays with other Washingtonians. They're first going through dialogue of a comic strip in the newspaper, then when Jean Arthur catches Coburn reading her impressions of McCrea's character from her diary, the reaction of being caught red-handed is a pretty funny scene.
  6. TCM's salute to Asian-American actors and actresses has concluded, and overall, I liked what was on offer. I was a bit disappointed that 'The World of Suzie Wong' was not shown, since Nancy Kwan was a guest host with Dave Karger. The picture has only featured on TCM 5 times since the station went on air, with the most previous showing held in April, 2018, which was nearly 10 years after its previous air time (June, 2008). World Entertainment is shown as the production company, according to IMDB, but it seems that Paramount had a significant hand in bringing Suzie Wong to the big screen, so that could be the reason for its sparse scheduling here. Conversely, 'Flower Drum Song' has been shown on TCM 23 times, but the May 20th screening was the first time since June, 2011. 'The Crimson Kimono', which I had never seen until it aired a couple of weeks ago, has been shown just 6 times by TCM, and two of those times were this month, as part of the Asian-American tribute and Noir Alley. 'The Phantom of Chinatown' was an OK mystery movie, but it's only been on air 5 times, and this month's showing was its first dust-off since June, 2008. Thanks again to moviecollectoroh and his comprehensive database that allows us to harvest cool information like this! I had never seen 'Sayonara' in its entirety until Wednesday night and emotionally, it runs the gamut with the viewer. It's very sad and disturbing while also providing hopefulness and optimism. The characterizations and portrayals were honest by the cast whether you agreed or disagreed with the person's dialogue and how they projected themselves. Of course, Marlon Brando mumbled throughout a good portion of the picture, and as annoying as he sounded, I got past that and thought he gave a nice performance. It wasn't lost on me that his attitude toward servicemen from America falling in love and wanting to marry a Japanese girl progressed as the movie went on, while the American girl he spurned, played by Patricia Owens, began to appreciate Japanese culture and wisdom, as her attitude became more enamored and enlightened by hanging around Ricardo Montalban's character (Mr. Nakamura). Red Buttons and Myoshi Umeki swept the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards in 1957. Buttons gave a great performance in his role. Umeki practically rivaled Gloria Grahame's oft criticized win for her brief role in 'The Bad and The Beautiful'. I just didn't think there was enough in her performance to warrant a nomination, but looking at the list of competitors, maybe 1957 was a weak year for the Supporting Actress category (although I haven't seen Carolyn Jones' performance in 'The Bachelor Party' to be fully confident of my assessment here). I thought Umeki brought a lot more substance to the role she played in 'Flower Drum Song'. I was curious as to why TCM only provided 3 Wednesdays of programming for Asian-American portrayals. I think there's enough stuff in the library that could have provided a 4th week of shows. 'Shanghai Express' and 'Across The Pacific' are two that come to mind. Anna Mae Wong and Victor Sen Young were very good in both their roles in those respective films.
  7. I must be living in a paradox. Most people where I live are very compliant when it comes to wearing masks if they're going to a store that's open, yet the same people cannot stand the governor of my state for trying to do what's best for people's public health and safety. And the governor of Illinois gets generally high marks according to polling of people in this state, but in rural areas? Forget it. I'm bummed out about the attitude most people in my area have against people from the Chicago area. They want to secede and become a separate state so they can make their racism, homophobia, and xenophobia more blatant rather than subtle. I've had people even say if McDonald's ever upped its minimum wage to $15 for its employees, they would stop patronizing the place. When I ask them if it's worth it to lose the tax revenue that the local McDonald's generates for the community and other public taxing bodies should the place ever close, they say, 'Yes'! It boggles my mind and distresses me to the point where I really do feel as if I'm living on the Island of Misfit Toys. A disturbing majority of people where I live don't care about growing intellectually, spiritually, or artistically; they just want to grow old. 😞
  8. Come to think of it, Dargo, Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow didn't really fall down the rabbit hole when TV and movie roles dried up for them, either. I think the guys who played Larry Mondello and Lumpy Rutherford sort of took a different path in life after 'Leave It To Beaver' ended, but I don't think either of them went 'Dana Plato' crazy. Stephen Talbot, who played Gilbert, went on to be key figure at KECT, the PBS affiliate in San Francisco as a reporter and later, a producer. I never realized until somebody brought it up on the boards here many years ago that Lyle Talbot, who appeared in many films TCM shows from the 1930's, was Stephen's dad.
  9. Robert Mitchum from 'Out Of The Past'; "...but if I have to, I'm going to die last.". 💣
  10. Saturday afternoon, I caught the entire 4-film showings that Dave Karger had on offer. It's not very often I like so many films TCM shows in succession like that, but I liked each of them (Captain Blood, Out Of The Past, The Naked Spur, and The Hill). Maybe it's because it was laden with a lot of testosterone...I dunno. Only 'Out Of The Past' had multiple female parts that were vital to the story. I also thought it was interesting that Dave's picks spanned four consecutive decades (30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's). Was that by design or just a coincidence? I don't know, but it made for a nice Saturday afternoon of viewing pleasure.
  11. I might be off with my assessment here, but I think Sugar Torch 'bought it' at the beginning of the film because of her un-sexy garb (well, maybe not) 🤔. One aspect I really liked about "The Crimson Kimono" was how James Shigeta's character was treated by non-Asian characters in the film. Nobody complained about him or questioned his authority as a cop asking questions about a murder. They never looked at Glenn Corbett for guidance or re-assurance on how to answer or complained to him about a non-white cop trying to get to the bottom of things. Compare the way Shigeta was treated in this movie compared to Sidney Poitier in "In The Heat Of The Night", and the latter took place 8 years after "The Crimson Kimono". Thanks for bringing up your memory on this Dargo. Today happens to be my 40th anniversary of graduating from college. It still stands as about the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it is one of the most satisfying achievements I ever attained. And my career at school was almost over before it began. I was not the most studious type when I arrived on campus my freshman year. I was into socializing, meeting new friends, drinking up the whole college experience, and drinking other adult-type beverages. I was put on academic probation following my first semester, which meant if I didn't pull my overall grade point average up to a 'C', I was going to be history (which is ironic, because History turned out to be my major by the time I got my sheepskin!). I went from a 'D+' after that dreadful first half year and ended up with the equivalent of a 'B-' GPA three and a half years later. I remember a fellow who lived on the floor at my dorm my junior and senior years. He was of Japanese ancestry and lived in Chicago...Ken was a nice guy who was pretty quiet and easy-going. Like so many of my contemporaries from that time, we've lost touch with each other. I hope they're doing well. We had some great times back in the day.
  12. I just watched "Memento" from 2000. This movie currently rates an 8.4 on IMDB. How it scored that highly is beyond me, because I felt like it showcased so much about what I don't like about movies today (and this baby is 20 years old!). The gratuitous violence, the incessantly stupid dialogue, and characters that aren't engaging or likable so the viewer doesn't really care what happens to them were all on display in this one. The film is shown with continuous flashbacks that come fast and furious throughout, which keeps the viewer on their toes trying to piece together the plot. The movie is apparently about an insurance investigator who suffers short-term memory loss following the rape and murder of his wife. He sets out trying to find the killer, but his mental condition means he has to continually take Polaroid snapshots of people, places, and things and jot down all he can remember about them to jog his memory. When the photographs and tons of scraps of paper with information written on them get to be out of hand, he resorts to having pertinent information (and lots of it) tattooed all over his body. This review is proof positive that different movies evoke different feelings and emotions from various viewers. Obviously, this film has its fans who absolutely love it, but I'm certainly not one of them. I had heard and read positive stuff about "Memento", but this movie just didn't hold my attention after the first 10 or 15 minutes. I stuck through the whole thing in hopes it would get better and change my mind, but that didn't happen today. Maybe I will change my views if I decide to give it a second or even third chance to resonate a more positive reaction from me. For now though, I give it a 4 out of 10. If I were in a more generous mood, a 5; a more surly mood, a 3.
  13. When I caught a glimpse of a kiss that turned into a somewhat prolonged oral exam between Laura Hope Crews and Eric Linden, I couldn't get the line from the song out of my head, "If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss!". Haven't been able to get that song or the visual out of my mind all damned day!
  14. When I first saw this movie some months ago, I was surprised by Helton's performance. It certainly was one of the more 'meatier' roles he had in a movie, since he usually was overshadowed by bigger stars and well down the screen credits list. Eddie Muller said "Wicked Woman" was Helton's favorite movie, and you can see why. He comes off as an honest, humble tailor who happens to be attracted to a woman he could never have, unless he had something on her...and he did! In the end, he tried and failed, but it was a memorable role for him.
  15. I didn't want to search and dig up old threads concerning 'Stars of the Month', but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed watching some of Jane Russell's movies during her turn as SOTM for April, 2020. When I was growing up, the only thing I could remember about her was that she was the spokesperson for Playtex bras, suitable for 'full-figured' gals. Thanks to TCM, I discovered some of her movies, but until this month, there were only about 4 of them I had really ever watched; "The Outlaw", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "The Las Vegas Story", and "His Kind of Woman". I also seem to recall that if she wasn't on one of the talk shows in the afternoon during the 60's and 70's, like Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, or Dick Cavett, anyone else associated with the entertainment industry usually had good things to say about her. She seemed to enjoy her work and according to Dave Karger, got along very well with her male and female co-stars. All in all, she was a great choice (for me, anyway) as a TCM Star of the Month. Maybe in 2021 or 2022 she'll get her own day during Summer Under The Stars? I was also toying with the idea of creating a thread called: Star Of The Month Recap/Impressions for discussion about the men or women honored during a particular month. I envisioned it as similar to this thread (I Just Watched) or Hits and Misses: TCM Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. by which the thread can continue for as long as people were interested in posting things that were germane to the discussion. I don't know if the idea would fly or not.
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