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Temperancegirl1971!

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  1. I think Gypsy looks backward to classic Hollywood musicals in the use of children, signaling hope and good humor. Baby June was clearly a savvy performer. She was ready to put it on the line whenever her mother said, Dum de de um pum pum. Louise was the person not very talented, but doing her best. I also thought the film clip was good for a ll ages. It looks forward to cultural more's changing because we know that Louise will become Gypsy Rose Lee. Rosalind Russell owns the screen from her first call out to Louise. She appears quite tall, and she was slender, and dressed in fur. She told everyone what they should be doing and even tried a little bad publicity for the theater if her girls weren't chosen. She wasn't asking for a chance, but a verdict in their favor. In a way, her dialogue over the voices of everyone else reminds me of the 3-cushion dialogue used in screwball comedies. Fast and right over someone else's words! I don't get the disruption in the Sondheim lyrics at this point because it's clear the children are doing kicks and tricks, but, you can't imagine the children in a Garland/Rooney movie being hustled off the stage and not treated with adult reverence. These poor kids, all of them in the line, were just like little puppies waiting for their chance to be petted.
  2. Does the rest of the movie have to be stylized because the ending is? No. I think that would bring it into the realm of art films that no one understands. The very fact that the rest of the movie is reality grounded helps when it goes into the ballet, which is 18 minutes long. It could seem very long, indeed, if it was just more of the same we've seen in the previous 90 minutes. But, the story is a little like a fairy tale. Poor man helped by a rich woman he doesn't love but feels obligated to leaves her for a poor orphan. Orphan, wicked witch (selfish woman), poor woodcutter (poor painter). These characters seem to come from a fairy tale and since we have the rich man giving up the orphan and being unselfish, it has a happy ending. So, it's a fantasy set in a realistic Parisian set with a romantic ending. I don't think Jerry is completely unlikable because we previously saw him greeting and meeting many Parisians with joy and friendship. I think he is a bit bitter about his lack of success with his painting endeavors and sees this "third year girl" as part of the reason why. In fact he tells her that her good opinion won't make him feel better and her criticism will bother him. He's a sensitive guy putting on a tough front. I read what one person said about his "stalking" Lisa and I wonder whether what we would call stalking now wasn't menacing or stalking then. How was a guy supposed to get to talk to a girl if he didn't show up where she was? I agree that his actions in the jazz club were awful and he treated Milo badly that night, but she had an agenda for him and he didn't have one. He was uncomfortable accepting her patronage and it showed.
  3. Number 1 is a hard question to answer because i'm not sure what you mean by pre-dance movements. The clip has them dancing quite quickly, right after they realize they can rhyme the Moses tongue twister to a peppy rhythm. I did notice that their arm movements and facial expressions were exaggerated. In that way they mirrored the unsubtle dancing that followed. I keep hearing that Gene Kelly moved like a dancer even when he wasn't dancing. I can believe this. Donald O'Connor, I don't know as well. In the clip of him dancing with statues, he's always dancing, or leaping up stairs. In Singin' in the Rain, I just thought he was a graceful man. The Professor is not passive during the dancing. He is watching their heads, their feet, and when he gets all covered up with chairs and books on the desk, he is not passive, although he lets them lay him down on the desk, first. He needs to be a part of the scene in order for Kelly and O'Connor to have someone to play to. Without him there, the scene would have lost its purpose. I think we see a little of the response that the 2 Hollywood men have to a non-Hollywood man. Gene Kelly tries to take it seriously and learn the elocution he needs to until a buddy comes into the scene and starts making fun of the Professor belittling his masculinity. Donald O'Connor is the clown that leads Gene Kelly into nonsense. Someone else commented that this clip shows anti-intellectualism. I agree. So, even if Gene is the Alpha male of this duo, he is easily led. When the 2 men are dancing, I tend to watch O'Connor because many times, he is the more mobile of the two. His arms are waving more, his movements are bigger. Kelly is so muscular that his dancing seems easier for him than O'Connor's does. In the end, singing and dancing win out over learning. But, they both sang A properly!
  4. I think Calamity Jane falls way to one end of the spectrum. Even with Annie Oakley in the mix, she's way over on the boyish side. Annie Oakley recognizes that she ought to be more feminine. Calamity Jane doesn't realize that. She is comfortable being the way she is and the parts of the movie where she wears a dress are obviously uncomfortable for her and she's surprised at the way men respond to her dressed that way. And it isn't just the matter of her clothes. Calamity Jane meets the world without guile or apology. She is quite manly in that and definitely matches Bill Hickock in words and attitude. In her earlier musical, My Dream is Yours, she was a rather helpless woman who needed the help of Jack Carson to get her a job and she was struggling to raise her son without a father. Calamity Jane wasn't a helpless character and thinking of her later films, not always musical, she almost always played someone with a good sense of self and was not a victim. The only one I can think of like that was Midnight Lace, in which her husband and friend were gaslighting her. I think her sunny persona added to the character of Calamity Jane and gave it humor. If she had played it with a straight face, it wouldn't have been as funny, Jane would have been a darker, more worrisome character. The movie, as a musical, wouldn't have worked. She wasn't making fun of herself, but a darker character would have given Jane an edge, a bitter edge, and the songs wouldn't have worked. I think Day did a good job with Calamity Jane.
  5. In a way, this clip reminded me of a vaudeville, going from song to dance to acrobatics. Everyone participated, even poor Oscar Levant who can't sing. Each one hands off to the next one without highlighting any one person. It is different from other musicals because of the collaborative aspect, although, going back to the idea of vaudeville, when we saw the 4 Cohans, there wasn't a star or leader on the stage. So maybe, in terms of 1940s musicals with a star, it is very different but only because it harks back to an earlier time. The men aren't dressed all in suits, but they are all dressed in colors that harmonize. Standard men's wardrobe colors of blue, black, and gray. Even Astaire's socks were blue. Nanette Fabray stands out as a woman among men, but wearing a dress and also a red flower or scarf on her belt. She is the pop of color in the scene. In the beginning, everyone is trying to convince Astaire that he should get on board with their ideas for a play. The three of them work as a team. He begins to agree with them, and from that point, the cohesiveness of the group is in play. They work seamlessly together, even playing little jokes like the lighting of the cigarette and then disappearing and then moving along into more song and dance.
  6. I think the scene at the bedside is all about Ethel Waters. Eddie Anderson is marginalized in the picture. I notice that Ethel Waters was wearing a dental prosthesis to remove her front tooth gap. I think it makes her prettier and less like a supporting player because of this. So, in a sense, the movie is about her love and devotion to her husband and the husband is there to provide the problems for her to react to. When she goes outside to take down the laundry, we find that time has passed and Joe is still ill, but in a wheelchair outside. And he is still very incidental to the scene. She even pushes his chair further out of the picture, but I love the part where she takes down his shirt and wraps it around her in a hug. She's almost giddy with love for him. Yes, I think the song and context would change if it were about a child. Only brand new parents are as giddy as Petunia was about Joe. The line about how when he kiss(es) her, it's Christmas everywhere would not be appropriate for a child. I think this film, as opposed to Hallelujah!, is more stereotyped. Little Joe's bad behavior and Eddie Anderson's portrayal of him as a comedy figure seem to reinforce stereotypes of black men as shiftless. In Hallelujah!, Zeke was a man who had a conversion and then "backslid" to go live with Chick, but he was a man who was overcome by temptation. In Cabin in the Sky, Little Joe seemed to be going to church to confess to please Petunia, or to live up to a weak resolution to change, as the movie referred to other times he had disappointed Petunia. Also, the portrayal of religion was different. In Hallelujah!, I accepted that this was a religious family, except for Zeke. It didn't seem stereotyped to me because they could have been any family. In Cabin in the Sky, the church was for the women, mostly, and men had to be dragged there. Similar to our own times, I think. And it was up to the women to put up with whatever their men dished out. Very different from most women, nowadays. Also, the use of poor grammar and poor English in the songs, when they didn't necessarily use poor English in speech, annoyed me. There's nothing more stereotypical than a Black person who doesn't speak appropriately, and it wasn't necessary. I can't speak to the problems of African-Americans in WWII era, but I know that second-class citizenship was their experience. Even in the Army, integration wasn't the rule. I'm not sure if there were any integrated units.
  7. I confess to ignorance, here, because although I noticed the different points of contact between Garrett and Sinatra, and the pounding with the rhythm of the song, and the walking in time, I don't know how the movie got me to do that. I've noticed it in other movies before. I am watching the main character walk through a crowd. How did I get led to watch that particular person? Is it the light? Is it the way the camera moves? I don't know. For me, it is movie magic. I think the movie led up to the singing by the background music as Garrett chases after Sinatra, up the stairs and around the bleachers. It was the introduction, not background that gets ignored even as it heightens mood. The choreography in this clip was fun. I didn't need to see footwork to understand clearly that Sinatra was doomed! His fate was sealed!
  8. My first Judy Garland film was the Wizard of Oz. It was on TV and in black and white because that's what we had for a TV. I absolutely believed in Dorothy, but now, so many years later, re-watching Wizard, I expected to feel a sense of corn around Over the Rainbow. It isn't there. I suppose I thought that now, so much older and more jaded, I might see behind the sincerity and find show biz. No. Judy still sings Over the Rainbow as she did when I was young and seeing her for the first time. My next Judy Garland experience was her TV show and, unlike so many of you, I wasn't a fan. I didn't like the way she looked and I didn't like her music or her voice. I think that at that time in her life she was struggling so with her addictions and emotional problems and may have even taken on the TV show due to being swindled and in debt. So I didn't find her relatable at all. Thanks to TCM, I have since seen many of her movies, from Andy Hardy films to Easter Parade. I find her very funny in most of her movies. Such a subtle kind of comedy. And, I enjoy her voice much more as an adult than I did when I was younger. However, I still don't find her attractive and the hairstyles they put on her, many times, only emphasized that for me. I saw the Harvey Girls for the first time today and I think the scene where she takes 2 six-guns into the Alhambra to retrieve the steak is hilarious. As for songs, Get Happy is a favorite. I heard her sing it with Barbra Streisand on a Barbra Streisand TV special. Judy sang Get Happy and Barbra sand Happy Days Are Here Again at the same time. It was great to hear those two voices together. I suppose I can't think of any "later" films of hers besides a Star is Born and I've only seen bits of it. I've never seen Meet Me In St. Louis, either, so thanks, TCM for showing them with this class!
  9. The location, beginning with the White House and ending with a 4th of July parade are both patriotic places and things. In the White House, there were portraits going up the wall of the staircase and I'm presuming those were patriotic portraits. In the President's office, there was a masted sailing ship on the mantle, but I don't know which ship it might have been. The most obvious, outside the patriotic march being played for the soldiers to march to was the overwhelming presence of flags being waved. Cohan says that the mood of the country was optimistic and expectant an Horatio Alger age. Of course, Horatio Alger could do whatever he put his mind and his heart into, so it describes a time when America was the same way. Also, when talking to the President, he says there was a time when he thought he had all the answers. Then there is a line about the Republican newspaper disagreeing with Pres. Roosevelt. These two lines together give the impression that between Cohan, and others like him, and the President, the problems that face the country can get ironed out and that spirit of optimism can return. President Roosevelt calls Cohan an Irish-American. This is the earliest time-frame that I ever heard of an hyphenated American. I had heard of slurs against you Irish, or you Italians, but not as hyphenated Americans. I think that shows an inclusiveness that can break down barriers. I think beginning the movie in the White House with Cohan as an old man gives the film perspective. He's seen a lot and is about to narrate the film in the first person, so it is his memory we are about to see. If the story started at the parade, Cohan might have been able to narrate it, but it would have been first in a child's (baby's?) voice and having to progress. The White House beginning gives us a seamless look into his past, and our country's past without having to spend a lot of time on his childhood. After reading Masscommmike, I found out who the portraits were of, and also was reminded of the service Roosevelt gave as Asst. Sec. of the Navy. Thanks!
  10. I agree that this doesn't really apply as a battle of the sexes, but it does establish Ginger as someone who won't simply let Fred have his own way. She has to agree to participate. In a way, it is the same in The Great Ziegfeld, where Anna Held has to decide she wants to meet Ziegfeld. Simply getting flowers wasn't going to change her mind. In this clip, just because there was a man there to comfort her when in thundered didn't mean that Ginger was going to give in.She had to check him out, as she did in the dance. As for dominance, I think this showed that there wasn't going to be male, or female dominance. They would be friends or not at all.
  11. In this scene, we have to remember that Dale doesn't know Jerry's name, even. It is afterward that they have the mistaken identity confusion. However, we see that as a prelude to the love to come, Dale warms to Jerry. She won't look at him while he is singing, but she will dance with him, almost as friends in a tap-off. There is one small bit where Dale initiates the dance and Jerry just looks at her with his hand on his chin. He's not willing to follow her dance. She has to follow his, and so we see that it is still a man's prerogative to chase. Dale is determined not to be caught, at first, but she does dance in his arms for a few turns. I like the handshake at the end. friends do that and it always bodes well when lovers begin as friends. First of all, we have a couple dancing, not together like ballroom dancers, but side by side. I've always bristled at the comment that Ginger did everything Fred did but backward and in high heels. Ginger did many of the things in their movies together beside Fred in low heels. In the ballroom scenes where Ginger is backward and in high heels, there is always a portion of the dance that was equal between the two. Also, there is the element of comedy in this routine. Ginger acts in some masculine ways with her arms crossed and hands in pockets that is certainly not the feminine pose. She isn't like Eleanor Powell, in that she's not on the stage dancing. She, they, are in a naturalistic setting and she is wearing jodhpurs. No spangles here. Dale is an independent woman modeling clothes by Bedini to make money. At one point, she threatens to go back to America and live off the dole if Bedini doesn't behave. I think this is a fantasized depiction of the independence that women had to assume in Depression America. I don't know, but I think women were willing to take jobs for wages that men wouldn't or couldn't because of responsibilities. Families needed money and women had to work if they could find work. I think the female character has to be equal in a screwball comedy if the comedy is to work. Otherwise, she is a foil to the male character and passive. I can never see Ginger Rogers as passive.
  12. There are several differences between Keeler and Powell. The first is that Ruby sings and Eleanor doesn't. In fact, there isn't any singing until the end of the clip, Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue. The second difference, and this is the big one, is that Eleanor Powell is very physical and athletic in her dancing. She uses her whole body and rarely just her feet. With Ruby Keeler, the camera showed just her upper half while she was singing and her lower half when she was kicking out. But Ruby never did high kicks like Eleanor. Also, Ruby wasn't given a huge soundstage to work in. The "ship" that Eleanor was dancing on went on forever with a huge cast of supporting men. I also got the feeling that 42d Street was the star and Ruby Keeler was the presenter. With Hooray, etc. I thought that Eleanor Powell was the star and the music was there to support her dancing.
  13. The Lubitsch touch revealed Alfred's character by putting him in a situation where he is obliged to try charm to get himself out of it. The garter, which seemed a little stiff and round to me, showed his womanizing with one glance. His comment about jealousy also made it known that he wasn't a faithful lover. When the husband showed up he again had to use charm to try to make the husband like him and therefore, not kill him. But, he did stand there and take the shooting, probably because he knew the gun was filled with blanks. He had a drawerful to prove it. The use of sound with the gunshot was important because, first, we didn't expect Paulette to shoot herself, but Afred. Second, it was the first sound besides voice in the film and it was startling. In fact, Lubitsch shows people running in the street towards the sound, proving they had actually heard a gunshot. Finally, the line that Alfred used about the reports of him being "exaggerated" used English to try to be charming and dissemble as he hid the garter behind him. Previously he had been argumentative in French. This line increased the portrayal of his character as a charming rogue. In this film, there was a definite understanding of the physical relationship of Alfred and Paulette. Perhaps because it took place in Paris, it was less shocking. But, I think it probably led to more risqué situations in future movies.
  14. The first thing I notice is Jeannette McDonald's independence of spirit. She is on her way in the, presumably, Canadian woods, and she isn't about to fall for a Mountie when she is going to her sweetheart. She also has the independence of spirit to accuse Nelson Eddy of being a ladies' man, using whatever name is at hand with the tune he sang to her. The second thing I noticed is Eddy's respect for her. It shone from his eyes as he watched her in the saloon, even though he was at a table with the blonde. I have seen several of the McDonald/Eddy films and find Eddy to be a stuffed shirt. Maybe he doesn't seem real enough and I don't warm to him. McDonald first impressed me with her beautiful soprano. She seems to have an effortless voice. I also find her funny. I enjoyed her very much in San Francisco and thought that she and Spencer Tracy, in that film, had a warmth that I never got from Clark Gable's **** until the ending of the movie. Male/female relationships, make that man/woman relationships, (it's warmer and less clinical that way) are chaste. The woman is responsible for keeping the brakes on physicality and the man is responsible for wooing and wedding. It's never expected that couples will go too far for the woman to retain her respectability. After all, she doesn't know whether this is going to work out or not. A great singer may not a husband who will support you make. This is the standard musical man/woman relationship until Funny Girl, I think.
  15. I'm not sure I think that the movie makes light of the times. I'm not sure when Ziegfeld began his career, but judging from the clothes, this was before the Depression. The fact that there are 2 proprietors who want to sign Anna Held indicates good times, too. Now, this film was being shown during the Depression and shows good times, so from that point of view, it portrays a mood much lighter than reality. The themes or approaches that might also be portrayed in other Depression era films seem to me to be romance, pretty girls, and a positive view of theater life. Changes that might have been in place pre-code would be more skin showing with skimpier costumes, and perhaps, a more suggestive song on stage. There might have been bare shoulders and corsets or more showing in the dressing room.
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