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About Zea

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  1. I think Ethel would have leapt out of a death bed and crawled on stage in order not to miss a performance and have an understudy go on in her place. She gave heightened meaning to the word "trouper".
  2. I should have added that Russell, no doubt having researched Mama before portraying her, "did it loud, in-your-face, a voice w/no finesse and/or talent" because that's most likely the way Mama Rose would have done it herself. People such as Peters, LuPone and Middler were and are professional singers and good ones, too. To me it would seem somewhat out of character to suddenly have Mama Rose belt out a lilting lyric w/an accomplished voice such as theirs. Ethel Merman, perhaps in the voice department, yes. But as far as actual acting, I've read that she toned down Mama's bristling, abrasive, overbearing true nature, which Russell didn't except maybe in a few scenes w/Malden.
  3. Mama Rose was a tough, sarcastic, unscrupulous, loud, brash, insensitive quintessential stage mother whose life goal was to see one of her blood's a headliner w/ name in lights only so as it reflected her own name & image. Her affection for her girls was limited to and yet boundless enough solely to pursue her own dream through them. She also was apparently talentless herself - and most probably knew it - yet felt deep inside if she only had "that one big break" she coulda showed them all. Likely she was afraid she'd be rejected herself, yet through her daughter(s) - who both truly had talent - she could have her break if only vicariously. I suppose she was probably certain she'd at least be given credit for having birthed, trained, raised and taught the girls who now garnered such fame. It must have been a great disappointment when she wasn't. Her voice (talking & singing I imagine) was gruff, her manner crude, and I think Rosalind Russell played her to perfection. Maybe it's because I bear such fond nostalgic memories of the film "GYPSY", I always felt Russell's portrayal, embodied all of the above characteristic of the real Mama Rose. She was not only spot on, but far better than any other portrayals I've seen bits and pieces of on various venues & UTube. Sorry all, but I found LuPone distasteful; Peters pathetically lame and Middler just plain untalented & ineffectual in the role (although I do love Bette otherwise). But as Mama Rose? Russell did it loud, in-your-face, a voice with no finesse and/or talent, but could be heard from the last seat of the top balcony even if you hated it. She probably didn't care that much. Most likely because Mama Rose probably would've been satisfied just to be heard and recognized from that last seat in the upper balcony and I think Russell, being the actress she was, had Mama Rose's essence - through her spoken dialogue & her vocals - down pat.
  4. So many wonderful performances, it's hard to single out any one in particular. But if I had to, my first thought goes to "FLIGHT". I've seen him good, great, memorable and inspiring from his stint on tv's "St. Elsewhere" to the present. But in "FLIGHT" he surpassed all those accolades and more.
  5. Can't speak for Lucas but I was never a big "Beaver" fan myself, except for this particular episode:
  6. Yup. That's almost right. Give or take the five minutes they deigned to forfeit for news breaks only because FCC demanded it. Oh, let's not forget commercial breaks. P.S. After posting and reviewing that list I can't get the "Theme From Dr. Kildare" by Richard Chamberlain out of my head. Damn!
  7. From the late 60's to early 70's I worked at WABC-AM "Musicradio" in NYC. Yeah, alongside the late Dan Ingram, Lundy, Harrison & Cousin Brucie, well before ABC pulled the plug on the music in '83 to go all talk. The DJ's recirculated 40 songs per day. Hence the phrase "Top 40's". Each music list was configured at a music meeting each Monday by the entire staff & DJs according to what songs were highest rated in Billboard and other music ratings' venues that week. Usually the last couple or few songs were either a particular DJ's wild-card favorite or one of the general staff's. Although '62 was a few years before my tenure there, I'm able to access many music lists from various times. Here, for example, is a typical week's music programming for the week of Aug.7, 1962: (TW refers to "This Week's" ratings and, of course, LW refers to the song's standing the previous week). TW LW 1. The Loco-Motion - Little Eva (Dimension) *2 weeks #1* 1 2. Roses Are Red (My Love) - Bobby Vinton (Epic) 2 3. Breaking Up is Hard to Do - Neil Sedaka (RCA) 5 4. The Wah Watusi - The Orlons (Cameo) 3 5. Twist and Shout - The Isley Brothers (Wand) 4 6. You'll Lose a Good Thing - Barbara Lynn (Jamie) 7 7. You Belong to Me - The Duprees (Coed) 11 *8. Sealed With a Kiss - Brian Hyland (ABC-Paramount) 9 9. Sheila - Tommy Roe (ABC-Paramount) 14 10. Ahab the Arab - Ray Stevens (Mercury) 16 11. Bring It on Home to Me - Sam Cooke (RCA) 15 12. Speedy Gonzalez - Pat Boone (Dot) 6 13. Wolverton Mountain - Claude King (Columbia) 10 14. Party Lights - Claudine Clark (Chancellor) 12 15. I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles (ABC-Paramount) 17 16. You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles (ABC-Paramount) 23 17. The Stripper - David Rose & his Orchestra (MGM) 8 18. Things - Bobby Darin (Atco) 36 19. Having a Party - Sam Cooke (RCA) 24 20. Little Diane - Dion (Laurie) 18 21. I Need Your Loving - Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford (Fire) 13 *22. Ramblin' Rose - Nat "King" Cole (Capitol) 32 23. (Girls, Girls, Girls) Made to Love - Eddie Hodges (Cadence)31 24. Johnny Get Angry - Joanie Sommers (Warner Brothers) 20 25. Theme From Dr. Kildare - Richard Chamberlain (MGM) 22 *26. Dancin' Party - Chubby Checker (Parkway) 19 27. Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes) - Dee Dee Sharp (Cameo) 21 28. Call Me Mr. In-Between - Burl Ives (Decca) 39 *29. Vacation - Connie Francis (MGM) 29 30. I Love You the Way You Are - Bobby Vinton (Diamond) 26 31. Stop the Wedding - Etta James (Argo) -- 32. Come On Little Angel - The Belmonts (Sabina) -- 33. Reap What You Sow - Billy Stewart (Chess) 25 34. Limbo Rock - The Champs (Challenge) 28 *35. Till There Was You - Valjean (Carlton) 40 36. My Daddy Is President - Little Jo Ann (Kapp) -- 37. Glory of Love - Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford (KC) 35 *38. Have a Good Time - Sue Thompson (Hickory) 27 39. Route 66 Theme - Nelson Riddle (Capitol) -- *40. I've Got My Eyes on You/Teen Age Idol -
  8. Just watched "WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?" (1932) w/Constance Bennett & Lowell Sherman. It's probably been mentioned here before, but I only just realized that this movie was in many ways the precursor for all the subsequent versions of "A STAR IS BORN". Yes, the plot line differs in many ways. But the basic foundation for "ASIB" future generations is well established: Unknown starlet (Mary/Constance) discovered by big-time, yet alcoholic, director (Max/Lowell). She rises to fame while he spirals downward. No love line between them (she falls in love and marries a polo player, Neil Hamilton), but she and Max remain fast & loyal friends. She rescues him repeatedly from jail and drunken blackouts. The last time she does so and brings him to her home, he realizes how much he's fallen and can't have her constantly taking care of him. So he commits suicide. (Future "ASIB" incarnations had two drownings & one automobile accident. Don't know how Bradley Cooper dies in the latest version.) Right before he kills himself and Mary is leaving the room, he calls her name, she turns and asks "Yes?" and he says: "I just wanted to hear your voice one more time". That one moment really struck me as near identical w/the subsequent versions. In those versions, I think the director character says "I just wanted to look at you one more time". Difference of a word, but sentiment and message is the same. While adaptations/remakes of movies are not duplicate copies, it's interesting that exact or near exact lines of dialog will frequently be inserted. I guess if it was that good and effective the first time around, it ain't broke so there was no need to fix it.
  9. Thirty pounds, shaved eyebrows and some dental prosthetics were the only 'alterations' to Charlize Theron's magnificent "MONSTER".
  10. "Field of Dreams" and "Dances With Wolves", respectively. One was escapist fantasy w/respect to the most loved truly American pastime. While the other incorporated an innate, unprejudiced connection and appreciation of fellow human beings inhabiting this land before true white nationalists defiled it and them. I enjoyed both thoroughly and never considered myself either bourgeois nor effete for that matter.
  11. BTW: Judge's book "Wrecked" was supposed to be a big mea culpa & phoenix rising from the ashes for his past indiscretions, injuries to others and addiction to alcohol. Based on the later, one assumes he went through & passed his 12-steps. It seems to me that he not only faltered, but failed on Steps 8 and 9: Step 8: List all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Step 9: Made amends directly to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. (In Dr.Ford's case, I'd say the injury was already done & couldn't be made much worse)
  12. When he finds out ball is in his court, watch out for WH meltdown.
  13. What a juxtaposition of films Gibson has planned. A "WILD BUNCH" remake and his sequel: "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST 2 - RESURRECTION". Violence. Gore. Brutality. Morality. Redemption. Salvation. Characteristics of either movie.
  14. Stephen Boyd in "BEN-HUR" best prolonged, most painful death scene right down to the last, drawn out dying breath.
  15. Oh there's another mix up I consistently make: WILBUR from "Charlotte's Web" and BABE The Pig from "Babe"
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