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About joannem

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  1. In musicals, Robert Preston is a natural. Musicality comes naturally. He has conversational musicality nailed down pat. He glides through his performances with ease- he fits them like a hand in glove. I had read that Cary Grant was actually offered the role of Prof. Harold Hill for "The Music Man", and he declined it because he said no one can play that part but Robert Preston. I would agree. Having seen Preston in "Union Pacific" 1939 and "How the West Was Won" 1962, his performances are unmemorable to be quite honest. Unlike Sinatra, who made some pretty good dramas after musicals,
  2. Rosalind Russell and Karl Malden are actors playing characters who are actors. I would love to have known what the real Gypsy Rose Lee thought about this movie- did it capture the vaudevillian atmosphere of her youth and the burlesque of her adult career? I also wonder if she liked Rosalind Russell's portrayal of her mother. I really enjoy this film and after seeing it multiple times, I always come away with a little bit different view of Rose- was she the selfish stage mother living vicariously through her kids, or did she really have a vision for their careers and her obnoxious domina
  3. I think it's purposely stylized for 2 underlying reasons: 1. Paris has always has always been perceived as a romantic city, the home of style and fashion. 2. Travel abroad wasn't as common as it is today-people were eager and curious to know and see what life in and about Europe would feel like and Minnelli gives them that sense, feel and visual. Gene Kelly: Minnelli also gives them the above through the character of Jerry-living in Paris but yet very American, so the audience can put themselves in his place. Gene Kelly was very popular at the time and also personall
  4. The only thing I can add to what's already been said is that it gives me an even better appreciation for the raw talent of Frank Sinatra-never dance trained yet held his own in dance numbers with Gene Kelly in the films they made together. Kelly wasn't just a dancer- he was an athlete.
  5. Ethel Waters! Big talent, wonderful talent-she fills the entire screen! Mesmerizing! Why sing it to her man instead of a child? Made in 1943, peak of WW2- keeping in mind how Professor Ament has pointed out the themes of the WW2 muscials, it communicates strength, comfort and that women at home have "got the back" of our soldiers. Petunia is a strong woman holding it together on the home front with courage and strength. She can take care of it! That's how I see it.
  6. Sinatra and Garrett-what a joy and what show stoppers! I'm beginning to realize Sinatra's ability to express a believable onscreen innocence in his early movie musicals like this one and "On The Town", are a big part of the allure of his early screen persona. I also think his dancing and comedic timing are a very underrated part of his overall talent. A big fan also of Gene Kelly but I found his performance in this film too over the top for me. And Esther Williams--she's OK but out a tad of place in this film-I almost wonder if the studios felt they had her under contract
  7. Judy, Judy, Judy! I would think everyone's first exposure to Judy was "The Wizard of Oz." Never a scene stealer because she never had to! Interesting to me that Professor Ament pointed out "Me and Mt Gal" was Kelly's first film. If you read about him, he was supposedly very competitive but I find him and Judy Garland are a nice pairing in the 3 films they made together. Watching Judy in one of her later films, "A Star is Born", what a progression you see of what appears to be her never ending talent and commitment to a song. Just raw transparent talent! They'll never be ano
  8. FDR was a popular president and one most Americans could unite around. Since the film is really set against WW1, FDR's presence brings it into the present for audiences at the time. Plus his conversation with Cohan gives what audiences are about to see FDR's "seal of approval" if you will, keeping in mind they're trying to sell war bonds for a current war. So, starting off with FDR gives it a better context for a 1942 audience
  9. I thought Powell had a powerful dance style- athletic and fit, significant lower body use- the female Gene Kelly. Keeler- softer- vaudevillian style Both good, just different.
  10. Like Hitchcock, Lubistch uses his silent film experience to tell a story- you don't even notice very little English is being spoken but you know full well what's going on. The French dialogue almost comes across as background noise because the direction and Chevalier's face tell it all. It's hard to make a good comedy to this day- love when Chevalier opens the desk drawer to put the revolver in, and you see a slew of them. By virtue of the fact that 1. he knows where to put it and 2. the audience sees the pile of revolvers, you can conclude that this scene is a common occurrence with thes
  11. Clip 1: The characters relate well as both are in their element. Clip 2: Rose Marie learns you can't get rich playing another man's game! Totally out of her element but I love Jeanette MacDonald's attempts to mimic the blonde bombshell who takes over the room with her singing style. Jeanette can laugh at herself-that's confidence! Sidebar: Although it has a lengthy (overly so IMO) operatic number near the end, "Maytime" is my all time favorite Eddy/MacDonald film-just sweet and sentimental but in an endearing way.
  12. Louise Rainer gives the scene it's credibility-her facial expressions during entire movie is acting ahead of it's time. It's less theatrical/stage acting and more genuine emotional expression. Most acting in these early films seemed over the top -because it was theater based. Rainer is a natural.
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