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Diane65

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  1. It is hard to believe this wonderful class is just about over. I can't wait for the next one. 1) It is late at night, she and Nick are all alone, and that makes it an intimate setting. The street lights are on and everything is quiet. To just belt out the song would have taken all the intimacy and delicate meaning of the song away. Maybe Ethel Merman would have sung her heart out here, but Fanny is sharing her heart in this scene. Barbra made it soft and expressed her attraction and interest in this handsome gambling man. 2) He stands quietly by while she sings of how people need people and when you do need people how you are the luckiest people in the word. As she sings, she moved farther away from Nick, almost to express how far apart they are in their different worlds. He who has money and such a daring profession while She lived in a poorer section of town and is just getting started in her career. Standing on the stairs just made me think was that move meant to say that she wants to get closer to his world and become closer to him? Just a thought. 3) She starts standing close to Nick - walking ahead of him while they talk. With the song inserted at that point, it kind of tells you how alone he is in what he does. Do gamblers build long lasting relationships with other people or other gamblers? Probably not. As she sings she moves farther away from him - not too far - just to the staircase, maybe to give herself time and space to look at her feelings about "Mr. Ruffled Shirt". So different and yet alone as well. I don't think it is love for her right away, but there is a definite attraction between them.
  2. 1) In the parts men portrayed in the past, they were rough, tough, very manly men able to outgun and outmaneuver all the bad guys. They had a certain walk, a certain way of talking, fists were very prevalent - a way to settle things man to man. One actor off the top of my head who didn't really fit this stereotype was Cary Grant. But that is for another type of movie - maybe screwball comedies. Robert Preston doesn't look like he wants to fight in either of these movies or have a showdown with anyone. He is your regular average Joe. A con artist in "The Music Man" and there is some con artist in Victor/Victoria. With that type of character you are trying to convince someone to do something that isn't really illegal, but could put some money in you pocket. With Julie Andrews he is trying to convince her to believe in herself. I have never seen the movie the whole way through, this is just what I've heard and from the clip I saw. 2) When Robert Preston is in a scene, you know it. I always admired his talent, singing voice, and his commanding presence. He uses eye contact when he talks to another actor/actress and is very direct. He was just a likable guy. 3) I have seen him in "How the West was Won", "Finnegan Begin Again", and "Mame". I hadn't realized that he started acting in 1939. Robert was always a man's man in each of his movies. He tried to woo Debbie Reynolds in the first movie by telling her that her hips were just the right size for birthing babies. No romance. Straight shot. In the second he plays a love interest of Mary Tyler Moore's and, again, no tricks or games, he won his damsel without them. Pretty much the same for "Mame". I'll have to be on the lookout for some of his earlier movies.
  3. 1) Ingrid Bergmann and Charles Boyer are amazing in "Gaslight". Charles takes a wonderful young lady and slowly tries to drive her mad with his insinuations, innuendoes, stealing her belongings and then hiding them up in the attic so that she thinks she is losing her mind. In "My Fair Lady" Professor Higgins takes Eliza from her lower class life and reverses the process by bringing her status up in the world, to be a well-spoken and polite young lady. During the time she is with him, she starts to fall in love with him, and he is obtuse to her feelings. Higgins takes Eliza from the shadows where the lights are burning and she is trying to sell flowers. In "Gaslight" there are tons of shadows caused by the gaslights that were used in that time period. Both movies deal with major frustration: wondering if Ingrid will realize what a jerk her husband is, and the way the professor treats Eliza as if she is a huge experiment is annoying as well. 2) Eliza realizes that she gets no credit for pulling off the role of a fine lady during the ball. Higgins and Col. Pikkering take all the credit and give none of it to her. She has worked and worked to change who she was to who she is and gets completely ignored. They are both so full of themselves. She gets angry, upset, and frustrated. He tries to tell her she will be o.k. and is just tired from all the strain. Eliza feels she had become just a piece of furniture in the room - you know it is there but you really don't "see" it. It is just taken for granted. I really wish that instead of just throwing the slippers in his direction, she would have bopped him in the head instead. Eliza asks what is hers to keep, packs her bag and heads out with Freddie who is a spoiled rich boy with no money of his own. 3) Higgins is completely oblivious to Eliza's feelings about him. I don't think he treats her like a dad, but as a teacher and a student. In order to be of use in the household, she takes over the responsibility of so many little things that when he realizes she has packed her bags and gone, he realizes how used to her he is and how much she means to him. She has gained so much, but does not know what to do with her new life. "What is to become of me" she says. By the end they realize what they have come to mean to each other and how their relationship completes them.
  4. 1) I don't know if I agree with it being backwards because actors and actresses have to have a beginning that starts somewhere. How many stories have we heard about the backstage mother and how she pushes to get her son or daughter noticed by someone of importance and then watch their career hopefully take off. They hovered backstage to make sure things would go according to their plan. Rosalind Russell played that type of mother. Only the best for her daughters. A lot of the older musicals had backstage scenes. 2) Mama Rose's entrance: loud, opinionated, and pushy. Since Ms. Russell started in the theatre she would know all about what goes on behind the scenes. She was right on the money. Mom is here, this is the way it is going to be, I want my girls to have this type of music, this lighting, blah, blah, blah. She takes right over. 3) The song "Let me Entertain You" when it is sung by Baby June is not in the least provocative. Now when you have Gypsy Rose Lee take it as her theme song, it slowly starts to take on a whole different connotation. The first time she sings it, she is scared to death. As Gypsy's career grows, the song gradually becomes more edgy as her moves become more alluring. I am behind this week, so I'm glad I got this in.
  5. 1) Many of us have never been to Paris except in the movies, so Minnelli gives us the opportunity to see a recreated Paris on screen and beautiful it is. Paris is a one of a kind city and Minnelli showcases that throughout the entire movie. Yet it shows the day to day way of life at that time which can be mundane and not exactly exciting. But then we have surprises like the description of Leslie’s character and at the end Oscar says let’s start over since she appears to be five different girls rolled into one. The ball scene is also beautiful where everyone is in black and white costumes and then you have their dancing by the Seine but not in black and white-a contrast. The ballet at the end is the piece de resistance where color and fantasy and superb dancing hit you right between the eyes. Minnelli did an awesome job in this picture. Not surprising since he was Vincente Minnelli. 2). I think someone said it earlier that although Gene is rather rude to Noel Neill as a college student, her attitude about wanting to “discuss”his artwork is rather pretentious. She thinks she knows more than she does. You also have to realize that he is a humdrum painter who is down on his luck and it does not look like it is going to get any better. I actually feel sorry for him. No one wants to be patronized whether uneducated or educated. He gets it from Noel and Nina. How he gets Leslie Caron in the end is definitely a fantasy. It is hard to dislike Gene Kelly.
  6. 1) Honestly the only actor in this movie who really needs help with her diction is Jean Hagen who does a great job as the leading lady who swears that Gene really loves her and not Debbie Reynolds. Donald thinks this whole thing is ridiculous because he does not act and is ony there to support his friend. He ends up making a joke about the whole lesson and before you know it, Gene hops on board. One they start their cadence on “Moses supposes”the singing and dancing kick in. 2) The professor is in his element working with a leading man who, supposedly, needs help with his diction. Once he catches a Donald making faces behind him, he realizes that they are not taking this seriously. You can see that as they sing using the drapes as props he tries to vacate the premises only to be stopped again and again by the two men. He figures out that there is no way he is going to get away from these guys, and becomes their captive audience. 3) Gene plays to perfection the heartthrob who girls swoon over and basically try to tear his clothes off. That is when He lands in Debbie’s little sports car and scares her to death. He is running away from his fans. Debbie is not overly impressed with him, as she tells him while they are together. Since she is not falling at his feet, she becomes the object of his conquest. Don on the other hand is happy-go-lucky and uncomplicated. He is a great dancer and singer but does a lot of the music for the silent pictures behind the scenes. Debbie is the ingenue who is trying to break into show business with little success. Gene becomes her ticket to fame and as a plus, they just say happen to fall in love. Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy comes close to losing her and in the end love triumphs over all.
  7. 1) In many of the musicals from the 1950's the women are very feminine, nicely dressed, pretty classy. Doris Day in her role as Calamity Jane definitely falls in the continuum. She wants to be a lady, sees women being women, but isn't sure it is right for her. Jane wants a man but isn't quite sure how to go about landing him. The woman that Danny marries tries to steer her in the right direction but does a 180 degree turn on Doris and puts her in a costume that just doesn't suit. Near the end of the movie when she is singing "Once I Had A Secret Love", she finds what works for her. Feminine, but not over the top, but attractive enough to win her man. 2) Doris becomes more of a heavy weight then a light weight. With Jack Carson she was too girly, girly and frothy. As she becomes a stronger actress, her parts get stronger. She does an amazing job against James Cagney and really holds her own. Same with Frank Sinatra, Gordon McRae, and David Niven (though that one wasn't a musical). I definitely agree that Doris Day is not a crooner. She belts them out with everything she's got. 3) "Que sera, sera - whatever will be will be" is her theme song. I don't think she looked at the character as one who ever gives up. She keeps plugging away until she lands where she wants to land. Doris Day is known for her bright and sunny personality. Most of her movies showcase that aspect - especially this genre of movie. I definitely think it adds to her role. Calamity is friendly, fierce, unafraid, determined, and a fighter to the end but without any meanness or rancor. She is jealous of Danny's fiancé but ends up learning about men and what they like and don't like. I think having this type of personality makes Jane a more likable character as well. You are rooting for her to win her man. And she does!
  8. 1) As you watch the interaction between these four actors, no one is trying to outdo any of the other three people in the number. Even though Astaire is heads above the other actors regarding the dancing portion of the scene, he is really laid back in that respect. They look at each other as they sing and "dance". You can see the interaction between them. It is like the Three Musketeer motto: "All for One, and One for All". 2) Even the color of their clothing - none of them are over the top, but they blend. The only real enhancement of color is the flower at Nanette's waist. A muted color palette. They all seem to have a shade of blue in their costumes. No one is dressed fancier than anyone else. The scene and the music isn't about the costumes, it is about them working together to make a show come alive. 3) They are all smiles and very friendly towards each other. You can tell that they aren't new acquaintances but have known each other for quite awhile. It starts off with them trying to convince Tony to become involved in the project, how exciting it will be "a world of entertainment", how they will all be involved in it, equally. Much of it is done all together - everyone involved in the song at the same time. It is only when Oscar Levant heads off to get the handkerchief which becomes a game of alley-oop (sp) that they are separated at any one time. Levant even tries to do some dance steps (which is totally out of his league). It's a fun number and they make it that way. By far the best singer is Nanette Fabray. But Oscar Levant was one of a kind.
  9. I rarely ever see a Deanna Durbin advertised for TCM. Donald O'Connor was a great singer and dancer, but don't see him very often either. "Peter Pan" with Mary Martin is rarely seen. Though that may have been for TV only. There was also one about a prince featuring Ann Blyth - don't see that one very often.
  10. This has definitely been an awesome and informative class. I wish I'd known about last year's Hitchcock class. I will definitely keep my eyes on TCM to see when the next available movie class is ready to rock and roll. Due to other commitments I haven't spent as much time looking at all the other messages on the message board. However, it is great when the person ahead of my post has written down the questions we need to answer, so I can keep myself focused and on track.
  11. Vera Ellen was an amazing dancer. I believe she had an issue with diabetes which impacted her thinness, but man you could see the muscles in her legs when she did a ballet dance or did any move that required muscle control. She also danced with Donald O'Connor, who has yet to be mentioned. I know that we see "Singing in the Rain" which is one of my favorites. I have been coming across several of her dances on Youtube. The Gene Kelly and Betty Garrett question was number 12 which is a true and false. That's when he was paired with Vera Ellen. In 'Take me out to the Ballgame" he was paired with Esther Williams. Betty Garrett was always with Frank Sinatra. Question 17 also kind of asks a similar question and that one was also in one of those 10 question quizzes. If I'm handing out answers, Dr. Amment, I apologize.
  12. I have never seen "Cabin in the Sky" in its entirety. However, I did get to see the following scene when I watched most of it the other night. Ethel Waters does a wonderful job as the long-suffering but patient wife. Her husband, Joe, is a good hearted guy but has his focus on anything to do with gambling. This movie, to me, ties in to the marriage vows that we say when we marry the one we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Just as Petunia sticks by Joe's side through richer/poorer, sickness/heath, to love and to cherish until death do us part, that's what the movie is telling us as we are fighting WWII. A country that is comprised of people who love their country, support their country, and defend it - that's what this country was like during WWII. Everyone worked together deprived of many items that they had become accustomed to having. Petunia does that with Joe. No matter what happens her faith in him never waivers. She knows he is possessed by the devil which causes him to do the things that he does and puts them in the financial straits they are in. She cannot change him; she prays that the Lord will do that. Petunia definitely has her work cut out for her. The song follows her out into the yard the next day while she is taking down the dry clothes and Joe is sitting there watching her. He has survived a bullet wound, and she knows why and how. Her man is still hers, and he has another chance to make things right with God. It reflects her love and devotion to the man who lives in her heart. It was a beautiful moment in a wonderful movie. Evil will never totally triumph. As someone mentioned in an earlier post, you would make the song more like a lullaby to reflect the love you have for your child. Love that never gives up, never lets go, and is always there is called Agape love. Totally unconditional. Hopefully we have it for our husbands, but we always have it for our children. Taking care of Joe in every way was her mission. The movie tells us that African Americans were rooting for us to win that awful war and restore freedom to the countries that Hitler had occupied by terror and death. Plus keep freedom in our own country. They were conscripted into the service and did their part in keeping our country safe. It would be awesome if that kind of love and respect for our country still existed today.
  13. There is a brief shadow on the wall as Frank exits the players’ room. He is polite to Betty, but she likes him so she blocks his exit. It was a dance. He moves and then she moves, and suddenly she is chasing him up the stairs. All the moves are in sync with the music so you know that a song is coming at you. Every time he tries to escape her, she blocks his exit. The flow of their “dance moves” really follows the music. The whole scene just flowed. Blanche Sewell did an excellent job editing the film. I like how “crysalong” above phrased her answer as a musician and not the director or editor. Size wise they were well matched. They had a great connection In this movie and in “On the Town” I love how Betty totally convinces Frank that they are meant to be together and he cannot fight it it was fate
  14. I will have to say "The Wizard of Oz", even though I have seen almost every movie Judy Garland ever made - except for "Judgment at Nuremberg" because she didn't do any singing in it. Guess I just associated her with musicals. The Wicked Witch scared me to death. Margaret Hamilton did an awesome job in that part. I know that they considered Shirley Temple for the role of Dorothy, but that would never have worked. Her acting and singing were wonderful. I heard a story that since she was working with three seasoned male veterans, that when they would sing "We're Off to See the Wizard" they would all cram together and leave Judy singing and dancing behind them. Judy was amazing with all of her co-stars. There was no upstaging in any way. She was a consummate performer. I think she worked with Gene Kelly at least three times: "For Me and My Gal", "The Pirate", and "Summer Stock". I know they were always on her about her weight, so at the beginning of "Summer Stock" she was a pretty stocky girl, and by the time she sings "Come on Get Happy" she is the size of a twig. Ms. Garland always looked like she was having the time of her life no matter what role she played. She was always smiling and looking like she wouldn't want to be anywhere else but on that set. The two movies I think of that she did in later years were "A Star is Born" and "A Child is Waiting". She just had two little sections of singing in the second movie (with Burt Lancaster) and was with James Mason in the first. Again, her whole heart and soul were in those movies. As she got older, the medicines she was on started taking more and more of a toll, but the end results are outstanding. I know she did lose a role to Betty Hutton in "Annie Get Your Gun" because they felt she was unreliable, but I have seen some of the outtakes, and she was great. She is one of my favorites.
  15. I noted that during the video, the movie “Cabin in the Sky” is mentioned as a “not to miss” movie. Then why is it being shown at 10 pm rather then at 6 or 7 pm? I do not happen to have any way of recording it, so I will watch what I can before I fall asleep. I own or have seen many of the movies that are on the “Watch List”. but that is not one that I have access to. I think an updated list is a great idea.
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