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Everything posted by rtoast

  1. You rock, LawrenceA! I completely missed the soundtrack info on IMDb. The song is "Paradise." Thanks so very much for the fast response and for reminding me about finding soundtrack info on IMDb. I managed to look past the link when I initially checked that site. Thanks!
  2. Can anyone help me identify the song that’s playing near the end of the Robert Ryan movie The Set-Up? It plays as he staggers down the alley. Siri doesn’t know and neither does Shazam, but it’s a well-known song from the 1940s. Thanks so much!!
  3. 1. How might Streisand’s performance of the song “People” have felt different in the film, had she been more theatrical and expressive, perhaps even belting her song more? I’ve never thought this song belonged in the movie. It feels out of place (yes, I know it was in the Broadway musical). It’s a lovely song, though, and I can’t imagine it being performed any other way that how Streisand did it. 2. Note the emotional transition moments in this scene: how do the two characters relate to each other as the lyrics are sung? The song begins as an extension of their conversation.
  4. 1. Explore any common themes and filmmaking techniques in a very different movie also directed by George Cukor, Gaslight. (If you are not familiar with Gaslight, compare and contrast Cukor's theme in this scene and his techniques with another musical you have seen during this course). Cukor’s attention to set detail is on full display in both movies. As stated in Mr. Rydstrom’s article, the set is filled to capacity with period-appropriate items in “My Fair Lady” which is overwhelming and meant to “reflect the oppression being felt by Eliza”. He does the very same thing in “Gaslight” to
  5. 1. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation, and performance would you say are most noticeable? There have always been beta males (Fred Astaire, Jules Munshin, Gene Nelson, Donald O’Connor) and alpha males (Gene Kelly, Howard Keel, George Chakiris) in movie musicals. In general, perhaps they were given more sympathetic roles over time? 2. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? Robert Preston always seemed like an “in the background” performer, mea
  6. 1. In what ways does this scene look backwards to classical musicals and how does it look ahead to new disruptions that we now know will happen in the movie musical? It looks backward to classical musicals by doing “a show within a show” like the backstage musicals from the 1930s. I’m not sure how it looks ahead where musicals are concerned, although it’s definitely not as colorful as musicals from the ‘40s and ‘50s. 2. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell’s entrance and performance especially as a traditionally trained stage and film
  7. 1. Does a movie that has as stylized a scene as An American in Paris’ ending ballet need to use a less-than-realistic, stylized approach throughout the film? I don’t think so. I’ve always thought of the ballet sequence as a dream sequence and therefore it makes sense that’s it’s less than realistic and more stylized than the rest of the movie. 2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikeable? I think it’s because Gene Kelley had such a natural charm and charisma, so it’s nearly impossible for him to be unlikeable o
  8. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? This character falls in the category of “historical figures who were cleaned up and romanticized for movie-going audiences” by Hollywood. Dr. Ament's descriptions of Calamity Jane seem to align with this Hollywood version. By most accounts, Calamity Jane was a hard-drinking, hard-living, rough-and-tumble, fairly masculine woman of the West. While I do like Doris Day in this movie, I don’t think she resembles the historical figure at all. Perhaps that was the p
  9. 1. As you watch the interaction between the four characters in this scene, what do you notice about the way they include each other or relate to one another? How is it different from early musicals we have discussed? The characters play off each other as each performer adds his/her idea about how to plan a production. It’s a creative work session put to music and dance, but in a simple way as opposed to the giant production numbers of the 30s. 2. What do you notice about the costuming of the characters that indicate cohesiveness of the ensemble, as opposed to setting anyone apar
  10. I'm enjoying this course, but I must say I'm confused by Dr. Ament's ongoing comments about actors/actresses whose voices were dubbed. She made comments about how Eleanor Powell must have had a terrible voice since she had to be dubbed for "Born to Dance." This is not true. Eleanor actually recorded with Tommy Dorsey and those recordings are on YouTube and her singing voice is perfectly fine. Likewise, this week she stated that Ava Gardner had to be "revoiced" for "Show Boat" which infers she could not sing. Again, not true. In many cases, directors (or perhaps studio execs) made the dec
  11. 1. What do you notice about the way the scene is directed as Petunia goes to Joe’s bedside and as we cut to her outside hanging laundry? What does this tell us about her relationship, and the connection to the song? The shift to her doing chores tells us that Joe has survived and that even her mundane tasks seem okay as long as Joe is in her life. 2. How would the song change if it was a woman singing about her child? Does the cultural meaning change? How? Not sure I understand the question. A mother’s love for her child is just different than a woman’s love for her husband. T
  12. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. The tracking shot is interesting. Not sure how to think like a director or editor but here is my observation: The camera seems to be chasing Garret and Sinatra as she is chasing him. Every time she catches him, the camera zooms in for a close-up. 2. It’s interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing? It’s clear that Garrett’s character was waiting for Sinatra’s character outside the locker room and the music/corresponding
  13. 1. What was the first Judy Garland film you recall watching? What was your first impression of her? Wizard of Oz. I was just a kid and we watched it on a black and white TV every year. I remember being blown away by the shift from black and white to color when I saw it at the theater when I was 10 or 11. I was always fascinated by her voice and sincerity. When I got older and started seeing the movies she did before Wizard of Oz, I was even more impressed with her talent. I think the first thing I saw was the “Dear Mr. Gable” clip and then saw her in “Babes in Arms” and “Andy Hardy.”
  14. 1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. Scene begins with Cagney and the butler walking up the stairs at the White House. They walk past portraits of various presidents, the final one at the top of the stairs being of George Washington. “Seeing” and “hearing” FDR must have been inspiring to audiences given what a hero he was, especially at the height of the WW2 when this film was made. The American flag is prominently on display in
  15. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I don’t see a battle of the sexes in this clip. In general, most if not all, of Fred and Ginger’s movies were about the battle of the sexes in that they featured strong females and the hapless men who fell in love with them. The same theme plays out in movies like “It Happened One Night”, “Bringing Up Baby”, “The Awful Truth”, “Front Page”, “Nothing Sacred”, “You Can’t Take It with You” among many others. 2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era music
  16. 1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? Lubitsch uses several items to tell the story and to inject subtle wit. He does this most effectively with the gun. To show that it’s unloaded, a slow pantomime is acted out where Chevalier checks here and there for damage from a bullet. Then he and the husband discern together that there are no bullets in the gun. Finally, the camera pans to the “dead” wife who is clearly unharmed and very bored with the whole scenario. It’s a very clever way to quickly change what could have been a dire situation (suicide/murder) into a funny one. How
  17. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. In the first scene, there is a very comfortable, almost playful banter between Eddy and MacDonald. They were romantically involved at one time and their chemistry is palpable here. In the second scene, they are definitely attracted to each other but they seem to want to resist getting involved. It’s a subtle dance. 2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. They always seeme
  18. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? Everything feels very lighthearted. Also, everyone seems to have a lot of money. Even the doorman seems well-off. Costuming is opulent. Ziegfeld clearly is well-to-do if he can tip $5 and give a performer a vase of orchids. This may have correctly reflected wealth during the Edwardian era when Ziegfeld met Held but it certainly did not reflect the dire circumstances of the Great Depression when the movie was made. 2. What themes or approaches might you anticipate fr
  19. My question is this: Why do you think Alfred Hitchcock decided to add his own cameo to his movies and describe how they evolved over the decades. Thanks! Rose Anne Ost
  20. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. There are so many differences. There is an immediate sense of danger and urgency (frenzy, even) in the opening of “The Lodger”, beginning with the scream, the flashing neon sign, the horror on the crowd faces, news spreading like wildfire. The opening scene takes place at night, so there is an underworld feel about it. By contrast, the opening of “Frenzy” is almost serene. The orchestral soundtrack is soaring and majestic. It’s a daytime sh
  21. 1. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? She may have a split personality (two pieces of luggage: one neatly organized and one that items are literally tossed into); that she is leaving her past behind (and it was probably a past that included nefarious actions including theft as illustrated by her disguise and all of the “loot”); she has taken on different personas in the past (as evidenced by the multiple Social Security cards). In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. S
  22. 1. We know Cary Grant well and expect him to be a suave, self-assured ladies' man. He delivers effortlessly. We know less about Eva Marie Saint, which actually works in her favor. She plays a sophisticated cosmopolitan young woman, very bold for the 1950s. I think it’s easier for her to strike this perfect note because we don’t have any pre-conceived notions about her. 2. It is confirmation of Roger Thornhill’s identity, but we don’t know at this point in the film that it will be an important prop later on. Frankly, I was distracted because this is an incorrect monogram. Roger O.
  23. My sis and I were talking about a movie made in the early 30s that had a plot similar to Singing in the Rain (i.e. Hollywood's transition from silents to talkies). She remembered that it starred John Barrymore. I seem to recall it, but we could not find any movie that fits this description in our research. Perhaps it didn't star John Barrymore. Does anyone have any knowledge of this movie?
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