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Everything posted by orson4ever

  1. musicalnovelty: Thanks for posting this about Hans Conried's birthday. See what I get for not being a current subscriber to Now Playing! I couldn't figure out why this usual, latenight feature suddenly got moved to a prime daytime slot (and also got confused by the strange coincidence that Juke Box Rhythm was originally released in APRIL of 1959). But the fine Mr. Conried was certainly worthy of his honor! I noticed that Juke Box Rhythm - originally a Columbia film - is now owned by Sony Pictures, which also owns the rest of Sam Katzman's Columbia catalog (mostly horror films). It app
  2. TCM is finally going to show Juke Box Rhythm again on April 15, 4:45 p.m., to commemorate its 50th anniversary. It's a "B" musical, b&w, and (as in most musicals) its story is thin, but I think it's worthwhile to see for the music. The numbers feature acts from the very early days of rock 'n' roll: Earl Grant Trio, Johnny Otis Band, and the Treniers. Jack Jones also sings one of Bacharach & David's earliest compositions together, "Make Room For the Joy." I ended up buying a DVD copy of Juke Box Rhythm from The Video Beat for $29. Can you believe that it's a copy recorded from an earlie
  3. If I were to make that decision today, it would probably be An American In Paris, because Gershwin music and the production details of this film could always lift my spirits. But if I were to decide sometime in the future - with Juke Box Rhythm available on DVD - then I'd probably choose this title. Being able to look at the 21-year-old Jack Jones would be especially therapeutic (and the fact that he's exceptionally talented an added bonus).
  4. One other I forgot to mention: Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
  5. Gary Cooper (goofy and lovable) Ingrid Bergman (inherited by daughter Isabella) Charlie Chaplin
  6. Jane Eyre (1944) Porgy and Bess (1959) Remaining Garbo silents Definitive boxed set of Tex Avery cartoons
  7. I keep hoping that TURNER is working on a second boxed set of Lon Chaney movies. It would be nice to own "official" issues of He Who Gets Slapped, Tell it to the Marines, West of Zanzibar, Mr. Wu and others that have aired on the network. And how about adding the incomplete While the City Sleeps as a London After Midnight-type bonus?
  8. I'd agree with some of the obvious choices mentioned here, like Godfather I & II, Young Frankenstein and Rocky. Here's a few "not for everyone"-type flicks that I'd pick, due to their "different" level of intelligence, imagination, spirit, insight and aesthetics that I personally never get from the likes of Spielberg: Blade Runner Brazil The Thin Red Line The Iron Giant - to me, the closest the modern era has ever come to a Walt Disney classic. Director Brad Bird (also the director of The Incredibles) is smart, funny, boundlessly enthusiastic and young-spirited, and always resp
  9. It's funny - so many Oscar threads, with enthusiasm for trivia and bets on winners, but almost no interest in the actual awards and show. Guess this is a clear representation of viewer apathy, but I can understand where the backlash is coming from. One tires of Hollywood's internal politics, the snubbing of many actors for reasons unrelated to talent, the rewarding of other actors for reasons unrelated to talent, and studios releasing truckloads of "downers" during the Christmas season (when most people are already feeling "low") for their own selfish Oscar manipulation. There's resentment,
  10. One other performance that comes to mind is Peter Sellers in Being There. I thought of this, due to the fact that the Academy is seeing fit to award a mimic (Jamie Foxx) Best Actor this year, and Sellers was certainly among the best mimics in film history. But Sellers took mimicry far deeper, inhabiting his characters so deeply and so amusingly, he'd make you forget just how truly bizarre most of them were. As Chance the gardener, Sellers had to be a convincing man-child who's oblivious to almost everything except gardening and TV, yet whose face conveys intelligence, strength and profundit
  11. I especially enjoy Harold Lloyd in Girl Shy and Charlie Chaplin in The Circus, One A.M. and The Adventurer. Although, when I think about this further, I probably admire animation director Tex Avery most for the funniest, best-timed, best-conceived physical gags I've ever experienced (although that's obviously not an acceptable, qualified answer to this question).
  12. I still can't find a single reason for feeling that Ben Mankiewicz deserves this spot, or that plenty of other people aren't available who can do a better job. After all, Herman Mankiewicz was Ben's grandfather. He was the one with the renowned intelligence, wit and famous quotes (whether drunk or sober). Ben never even knew his grandfather. And unfortunately, the fact remains that most young people today have no idea who Herman Mankiewicz was. I'm honestly very open to the idea of a younger host, but please offer us better, more suitable qualifications that just a familiar Golden Age nam
  13. The definition of "greatest" is so subjective (not to mention perplexing). Personally, while I love all the big, unforgettable performances by the greatest legends in film, it's often the lesser-known stars that stand out best for me. I guess this is because the classic stars had roles tailored for their own personalities, which I'd already become so comfortable with, while the lesser-known actors could sometimes overwhelm me with a surprising rawness and "newness." Someone here has already mentioned Bob Hoskins in Mona Lisa, which is indeed a true gem of a performance. If I really wanted
  14. I'd want to be part of Orson Welles' annual lunch out with Joseph Cotten. Just the sound of their two voices alone would be an amazing experience. Of course, this would've meant being a largely-silent, captive audience for Orson's many hours of stories, made all the more fascinating by his mammoth IQ and inimitable storytelling ability. Naturally, there'd be no guarantee that all the stories you'd hear would be true, but that becomes a very minor point when listening to Orson. I'd have loved to have spent a day around Lon Chaney Sr. It's such a shame that he was such a private man, as
  15. At the start of every year, the USPS sends out a preview of the year's upcoming stamps to all on the Philatelic catalog mailing list. The Greta Garbo stamp looks to be a vintage publicity shot, and Garbo sure posed for a great many of those in her day. The photograph is an extreme close-up of Garbo's face - very appropriate, considering the emotional power that Garbo's face conveyed. Garbo's hair is swept over one eye, with the other eye looking up intently and mysteriously. The stamp issue will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Garbo's birth. The USPS Web site does not yet have an
  16. Wow(!), what a powerful film this turned out to be, particularly its ending. I never cease to be amazed at the raw emotions Garbo's face conveys to the camera. Obviously this film was to cement the theme that would repeat itself quite frequently in Garbo's filmography. And personally, I found the new score appealingly energetic and sophisticated. What a great feature to look forward to every year on TCM.
  17. There are two Chaney scholars, Michael Blake and Jon Marsalis, who have talked extensively about this film over the years. Blake wrote three books about Chaney (I believe the first volume was the one that focused more on the actual productions of his films). Both men, plus a number of other silent film scholars, used to post quite frequently years ago on Usenet's alt.movies.silent newsgroup. These folks know far, far more about Phantom and silent films than almost any authors who've published books about these topics. I honestly don't know why I'm even bothering to tell you this, though, s
  18. While it would probably be best to kill this thread, I unfortunately find it necessary to clear up any distortions created by my comments about the silent Phantom. I referred to this film as a "mess" because its long and serious production problems are well documented. When scenes keep getting added and deleted, holes in the narrative become obvious. I notice the unevenness when I view this film. This was not uncommon for Chaney in those days. His level of acting talent was way ahead of its time - unfortunately, way above the talent level of most filmmakers of his day. Few directors k
  19. I don't understand why such a heading has to appear on this thread, as though it's a fact, rather than just another opinion. I hate seeing critics and others publicly condemning a movie in such an extreme manner, especially when they go in already hating the genre, theme, composer, etc. There are plenty of films, like Phantom, Beyond the Sea and Passion of the Christ that can successfully find a sizable, enthusiastic audience - if given a fair chance. Just because a movie is not for everyone, and not intended for everyone, does not make it a "bad" movie. I'd love to believe that all movieg
  20. I just saw Million Dollar Baby, and highly recommend it. Now I personally wouldn't go as far as many critics have in declaring it the absolute "Best of the Year" (I found the story rather conventional and the first hour slow), but I do definitely consider Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman the year's most amazing acting ensemble. What heartbreakers they all were, and I'm still in disbelief at how Dirty Harry has aged like fine wine.
  21. I get the impression that there's way, way more members in the Academy compared to decades ago. From what I understand, anyone even remotely connected with the film business can be a member. I imagine this was a relatively small, tight number during the studio era. No doubt, politics and oversights have always been part of Oscar's history. But I much prefer the voting before the Information Age. Looking back, Hedda Hopper and Photoplay sure seem benign compared to what can be planted, good or bad, about any nominees through the internet. The Web sure helped in promoting the obsessive LOT
  22. I'm really surprised to see so much enthusiasm over the Oscars here. The last few years or so, I've rarely watched the show beyond the opening monologue and early Best Supporting Actor award, as I'm so saddened by all the politics behind the Best Actor and Actress titles. I can recall the days when I used to purchase many Oscar reference books, and had so much fun reading the lists of legends from the 40s, 50s and 60s who won the Best Actor and Actress awards, remembering their many years of great films and great performances. But within the past decade, most of those awards have been based
  23. I personally regard Jamie Foxx's performance in Ray as an even more obvious impersonation than Blanchett's Hepburn, even though I know I'm probably in the minority with this opinion. The Ray movie, to me, was the only biopic mentioned here that belonged on TV instead. I just feel that the media is basing too much of their enthusiasm for this film on their personal admiration for Ray Charles himself. It was just appalling to me that the media was already annointing Foxx Best Actor before Leonardo DiCaprio's, Johnny Depp's and Kevin Spacey's performances were even seen. Foxx is simply way, W
  24. It's difficult to imagine what would've happened to Darin's career, considering his drive, the changing times, and Darin's diminished attitude towards the cabaret circuit. Could he have accepted a long-term career living off (perhaps lucratively) a past era, as Sinatra and Bennett chose to do? If he had, it would be hard to imagine Darin with the reduced energy and declining vocals that smoking would've brought with advanced age. Would audiences have accepted Darin without the vocal power to swing as he once did? It sure would've been a hard transition for Darin if he had chosen to continu
  25. I was very impressed with DiCaprio's performance as Howard Hughes. I suspected beforehand that I'd have trouble accepting DiCaprio (physically) in the part, but his acting totally won me over from start to finish. Terry Moore (who claims to have been secretly wed to Hughes) said that DiCaprio's performance brought back vivid memories of her time with Hughes, so Hughes must've possessed more boyish charm than seems apparent from photos. DiCaprio's matured greatly since Gangs of New York -- and he has been in the business a long time -- so I can sympathize with his desire to bury the Titanic
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