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Everything posted by Lover-o-Classics

  1. Cyd Charisse in Silk Stockings... and Jane Powell, in a delightfull number from Royal Wedding called "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?" She could dance and chew gum at the same time.
  2. BlueMoods and Jim... thanks for all your replies. Yeah, those were the scenes. Didn't see the Hugh Jackman revival, but there was an earlier one back in the early eighties that I did see when it came to town. Been lucky with Rodgers and Hammerstein revivals. Got to see Sound of Music a few years back, and Yul Brynner in The King and I many years ago in Buffalo.
  3. I certainly do. "Hey, Will, how'd ya do?" and "Oh, ya would?" (after "I'd like to say a word for the cowboy... or farmer... can't remember which.")
  4. Thanks, Jim. The one thing I've got in common with Shirley is that we were both in 'Oklahoma!' I only had two lines, though, in a high school production fifty years ago.
  5. I've always thought Shirley Jones was adorable in musicals... Oklahoma!, Carousel, Music Man. Apparently Rodgers and Hammerstein were so taken by her that they signed her to a personal contract. And I love the story she told about being pregnant on the set of The Music Man. The director told her not to tell anybody, but in a scene with Robert Preston the baby kicked and Preston went, "What the hell was that?"... or something to that effect. Anyhow, I've seen all the Astaire/Rogers movies that TCM is showing today, and felt like seeing sweet Shirley. So I slapped Elmer Gantry into the DVD
  6. In comparing Keeler and Powell, I think you have to take into account the fact that Eleanor came along a few years later, when the overall talent level was better and the musicals (from music to choreography) more developed. It's like comparing athletes of today with those of a generation ago. They're much faster and more skilled today. So while Keeler was better than the dancers of just a few years before, and very charming on screen, she looks quite awkward and clumsy... both in footwork and arm movements... compared to Powell, whose movements were slick and polished. Powell didn't just
  7. Thanks to you all for your comments. And while I wasn't able to see the movie, thanks to Dr. Ament for featuring "Hallelujah" in this course... for making us aware of the talent of African American performers, and some of the issues surrounding race films. As in negro league baseball, there was so much much talent there that white folks never got to see or appreciate.
  8. Thanks for your comments, Jlewis. I hope my revised post sheds more light on my thoughts. I suppose the only thing really curious about the scheduling is that they'd feature a movie in a lecture, then show it at a time that's inconvenient for most people... unless you can record it. I would have expected a featured movie to be shown in prime time.
  9. To Pastiche: Never saw this before. What a fabulous routine... and what an amazing little hoofer! (...no, not Buddy, though he was good too.) A thoroughly enjoyable number.
  10. Was late getting around to watching Tuesday's lecture video, but it was about the movie 'Hallelujah'. It was described as a very interesting and wonderful film and students were urged to watch it when it was shown. The fact it was scheduled to be shown at 3:45 a.m. (in eastern time) probably gives you a better idea of how interesting or significant a film it was. I want to edit this post because I think that some people are going to read this and think I'm downgrading this musical because it's African American, and that's not at all what I meant. Films at the time were almost exclus
  11. For anyone who grew up watching 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and 'Barnaby Jones' back in the 60's and 70's, you'll want to watch for Buddy Ebsen dancing in some of the old 30's musicals... including 'Broadway Melody of 1936' and 'Born to Dance', on TCM today.
  12. I thank you all for your comments. I think it's helped me see things in a bit different light. I have seen 42'nd Street a few times, and Footlight Parade and Dames, and have always found Ruby Keeler quite charming and appealing on screen, as some of you have pointed out. It's her singing and dancing I was questioning. By later standards it isn't that good, but I think to be fair you need to judge her talent by 1933 standards. Nobody had ever seen or heard of Eleanor Powell or Ann Miller back then, and if you compare her dancing to what had been seen before, particularly in Broadway Melod
  13. 1. Yes, a lot brighter. 30's movies sometimes make you think that everyone went around in gowns and tuxes during the depression era. That touches on question 2 as well. The formal attire and lavish settings are typical of so many 30's musicals. You always saw Astaire and Rogers looking high class. And 3. Had it been pre-code, you might have seen a more scantily dressed Anna Helm flirting more provocatively for Flo on stage, with Ziegfeld coming directly to her dressing room to make his move.
  14. I'm curious about how Ruby Keeler got to be the first big star in musicals. I've seen 42'nd Street a few times and never been very impressed by her tap dancing or singing voice, though it was probably better than what had been seen in musicals before. Was she really the best there was back in the early 30's? Flo Ziegfeld made her a star of sorts on Broadway, but if you had nice legs and a pretty face (which she did), you could impress Ziegfeld. I strongly suspect her stardom could be attributed mainly to husband Al Jolson, who used his influence with the studio to get her in (though wiki
  15. Chicago was a fabulous movie musical. In many cases, the film version doesn't measure up to the stage production of the show, even with all the visual effects that can be created (...though it really depends which stage production you've seen. Dreamgirls was magnificent on Broadway... so-so in Toronto). To me, the movie version of Chicago was brilliantly conceived and created, and one I can enjoy over and over. Far superior to the stage version I saw.
  16. Glad 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' is on at a time I can see it. So many people mentioned it as one of their favorites, and I want to see what I've been missing. It's a great selection for lovers of musicals! Can't wait!
  17. Yes... 42'nd Street! And I'm absolutely blown away by the number of people who have mentioned 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' as one of their favorites! Why haven't I seen it yet?
  18. Just pick one?? Not sure I can. I watch a lot of the old musicals with my mom, who's in her 90's and used to be a pretty good tap dancer in her youth, so we tend to watch a lot of the 30's musicals.... Busby Berkeley, Astaire and Rogers, Eleanor Powell in the Broadway Melodies. Wow! Great ones in the 40's and 50's too. We can watch Rodgers and Hammerstein over and over. Force me to pick one? Hmmmm... 'The King and I.' Kerr and Brynner's polka is one of the greatest movie scenes ever filmed.
  19. My thanks to Prof. Edwards, Dr. Gehring, Class ID 495 and everyone at Ball State who did so much to make this course so interesting and enjoyable. It has greatly increased my knowledge and appreciation of Hitchcock's work.... and I've loved watching the movies. It's my first time taking a course through TCM and Ball State, but I'll look forward to returning if other classic movie courses are offered in the future. Regards, David Mawhinney
  20. On the topic of censorship, we've discussed what Hitchcock had to do in 1959 to get a relatively tame line from the movie 'North by Northwest... "I never make love on an empty stomach"... past the censor board, and compared that to what Hitch was able to get away with in filming a bedroom scene in 1960's 'Psycho'. With that in mind, I wonder about something I saw last night in the 1954 musical, 'Guys and Dolls'... a film based on the Broadway musical. The name of the burlesque dance hall was The Hot Box Club. Relating the term 'hot box' to burlesque girls, only one meaning immediately co
  21. In today's lecture video, Hitchcock tells the story of committing some sort of indiscretion when he was only six years old. As a result, his father sent him to the local police station with a note and the police, upon reading the note, locked him in a cell for five minutes. Just wondering... could that unnamed indiscretion be thought of as the original McGuffin?
  22. I expected the POV tracking shots to be of greater duration for a more dramatic effect, though it does make the audience feel as if they are in the boys' shoes, and thus heighten the sense of fear and anxiety as the threat... either headmaster or the woman... becomes closer. That would seem to be the reason for using it, and it can be quite effective. In both 'Downhill' and 'The Ring', the action seems to focus more on developing the drama and conflict within the main characters, whereas the clips from 'Pleasure Garder' and 'The Lodger' seemed to focus more on developing a story line.
  23. The rapid montage of clips during the dance sequence gives the scene vitality. Hitchcock switches quickly from close up to scenes of the room, musicians looking excited , a spinning record, and a clip that shows the girls resting, as if in their corners between rounds, and contrasts it with the more sedate scenes in the other room where the discussion is taking place. Hitchcock uses overlapping visuals to help put us into the mind of the character. While speaking to his promoter, the overlapping visual shows that he is thinking of his wife being with a rival, which increasingly dramatize
  24. Comparing the opening of 'The Lodger' to that of 'The Pleasure Garden', it differs in that it is much more intense and dramatic, and gets the story and emotions going right away. It is similar in the sense that it depicts events from the perspective of many different people. Also, the story is told in quite a visual and fast moving way, which is perhaps due in part to the German film making influence on Hitchcock. Re the Hitchcock style, we see a close up and graphic depiction of the scream leading to the woman's death, followed by a not-so-graphic partial shot of her lying dead afterwor
  25. Just enrolled in the Hitchcock course today, so starting to catch up. Here are some reflections of the scene from 'The Pleasure Garden.' Re beginnings of the 'Hitchcock touch', he films the same sequence from different perspectives. As you watch the girls dancing, you can see the reactions of different people to the same event. For instance, you see the reactions of different men and women to the dancers on stage, and the binocular scene shows what stimulates one man's reaction. Also, he makes the audience aware of things the characters are unaware of. An example is when the girl has
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