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Everything posted by ClassicMovieholic

  1. I like that movie as well, though I must admit I don't remember the scenes you describe? It does, however, remind me of a story in Edward Ball's Slaves in the Family, a nonfiction based on his research of the genealogy of people and descendants of people who had been enslaved by his ancestors. The playwright Clare Boothe Luce (probably best known to classics fans as the author of The Women and best friend to the ill-fated starlets Dorothy Hale and Rosamond Pinchot) purchased one of the defunct Ball family plantations as a hunting lodge and retreat. This would have been around the 1930s a
  2. speedracer5, my personal favorites: For her sheer beauty: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) Favorite drama (a typical choice): Wuthering Heights (1939) Favorite comedy: The Divorce of Lady X (1938) Perhaps her most acclaimed performances, which I haven't seen, are her Oscar-nominated role in The Dark Angel (1935), and her role in These Three (1936); a sanitized version of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour scrubbed clean of lesbianism but nonetheless highly regarded for its performances. I often see Lydia (1941) mentioned as a fan favorite on sites like this, but
  3. Of course I take your point on The Good Earth, and acknowledge that it is justified. The shameless use of "yellowface" was considered acceptable and even artistically innovative at the time, but needless to say, does not age well. It's problematic for all the obvious reasons, not the least of which is the heinous casting discriminating Anna May Wong suffered in vying for the lead role. That said, I do find myself able to immerse myself in the film in spite of that for its other merits. It's a real epic of the period, and there are some beautifully articulated moments, such as [SPOILERS] w
  4. speedracer5, as someone who lives in the Central Pacific, her alleged partial Polynesian ancestry is also a source of fascination to me. I think it is said that on her Sri Lankan-born grandmother's (whom Merle regarded as her mother) side, she was part Maori, which I imagine is impossible to officially document. Nonetheless, I feel her purported Polynesian ancestry comes to the forefront in films like Wuthering Heights. From certain camera angels in that, she fits in quite well with contemporary Maori actresses, or the Hapa (people of mixed Polynesian and white and/or Asian ancestry) of the r
  5. Thank you for the recommendation. My wife mentioned that podcast to me some time ago, but I haven't listened yet. I'll have to give the episode you mentioned a listen! Yes, I'm very interested in the topic, and it can be hard to find authentic source material, not least because Merle herself drastically altered her own life story and obscured her origins to make them harder to trace. There was a steamy (to my understanding more fiction than fact) bestseller called Queenie back in the '80s by her nephew-by-marriage, Michael Korda, and an accompanying TV movie starring white actors in the South
  6. I take your point, and heartily concur. Gone With The Wind both book and movie are two of my all-time favorites, so I have a pretty high tolerance for material that today's audiences might deem politically incorrect, and have no problem separating the art from the ideology or understanding things in historical context. I think what I find off-putting about the moment I described in To Sir With Love is more that it doesn't jive well with the narrative as a whole. Poitier is supposed to be this inspiring teacher figure, but then he goes off on this misogynist, sexualized rant against these
  7. I think it was no less than May Angelou who said of Birth of a Nation, "The filmmaking was perfect...the history was not."
  8. TikiSoo, wow! I recognize her from those older movies, but I'd never drawn the connection before!
  9. We'll agree to disagree on the film, but another standout small performance is Victoria Vetri's meta cameo as a neighbor girl who looks like Victoria Vetri.
  10. I recently finished Cleopatra, a scholarly biography by pulitzer prize winner Stacy Schiff, and followed it up with a light, breezy "sequel" on the topic, Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. The former was excellent. The latter...entertaining enough, but lacked much depth or complexity and left me a little hungry after Schiff's incredible job of research and immersing one in the world of her subject. As a huge fan of both the 1934 C. B. DeMille film starring Claudette Colbert, and the collossal 1963 super-epic starring Elizabeth Taylor, it was interesting for me to compare the actual histo
  11. Sidney Poitier **** shaming a class of high school girls in To Sir With Love (1967). As an educator myself, the sexually charged and verbally abusive way he speaks to female minors entrusted to his care is shockingly inappropriate and totally off the mark for how inspirational of a movie it's supposed to be. Other than that, a movie of considerable merit: a characteristically measured performance by Sidney Poitier (aforementioned scene excepted); a wonderful sense of the atmosphere of working-class swingin' '60s London; an interesting portrayal of racial hostility at a time when British
  12. I agree with others here that Harriet deserved best song of the songs which were nominated. The others weren't memorable at all, including Elton John's winning song. As another pointed out, yes, Elton John's worst is still not half bad. A song I thought was overlooked, however, was Glasgow (No Place Like Home) from Wild Rose. The movie was in general (I thought) a better A Star is Born than A Star is Born (2018). Jessie Buckley also deserved at least a nod for acting, in my opinion.
  13. I hope I may be forgiven if I only haphazardly scanned the previous comments on this very long thread 😔, so apologies if I mention a performance which has already been covered here. From the classic era, two star-making minor roles for two beauties who soon went on to be major leading ladies come to mind; Lana Turner's teenaged "sweater girl" and [SPOILERS] murder victim in They Won't Forget (1937), and Merle Oberon's brief but crucial Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Both characters are written out of the story under tragic circumstances after only a few minutes of s
  14. I'm a pushover for spectacle and a proverbial "cast of thousands," so I'd love to see Quo Vadis (1951) and El Cid (1961) on a really big screen; two super-colossal epics that don't get revived as often as perennial favorites like Gone With The Wind, Ben-Hur, or Lawrence of Arabia. I was also disappointed to miss a two-night, 50th-anniversary showing of Cleopatra (1963), restored to 4+ hour length with one half shown on each night. Ultimately, I didn't want to go alone, and I didn't have the heart to make my poor wife sit through over four hours of a genre she's not that fond of spread ove
  15. On Jaws The Revenge, while I don't love it as a whole, I do think the (SPOILERS) Christmas Eve shark attack drowned out by heavenly choir music is one of the all time great unsung horror intros! It's a very effective stand-alone scene. And to your point about watching it with French audio, a few years ago at the midnight hour (under the influence of mild recreational substances I won't disclose), my wife and I ended up watching the last half of it on silent with an old album of ragtime piano in the background and IT WAS EPIC!!!
  16. I actually remember A Christmas Carol primarily as a hopeful story about redemption, perhaps informed by the wonderful TV adaptation some years back starring Patrick Stuart. Personally, never got into Dickens' short fiction much so I'm not familiar with the original text. And this provides a clumsy but convenient opportunity to beg forgiveness for the Dickensian length of this post, lol. Actors say it's more fun to play the villain than the hero, and I think it's more fun to watch the villain than the hero also...or rather, the character at his or her most villainous, in this case. Who do
  17. Well, I don't know who doesn't. But there are multi-billion dollar industries devoted to it, so evidently a lot of people do.
  18. I said it was pointless, not that I didn't have opinions about it or enjoy discussing it.
  19. Thanks, Dargo! I appreciate that. I've been looking for a classic film community to discuss with since the old IMDB boards shut down, and I'm happy to have found this place. Don't know why I didn't think to look on the TCM website before. TikiSoo, I don't know what an "ALT" is, but I think I understand the general sentiment. Yes, I admit to being hooked. But sometimes it's worth feeding a troll occasionally to defend such two as Davis and Lansbury, no? Or do I just latch on to any excuse to pontificate about two performers I happen to admire immensely? Guilty, I suppose.
  20. I would also like to submit that if you watch a Bette Davis movie and your only thought is that she isn't adequately beautiful, you've missed the point.
  21. I'm sure nothing can be added to a discussion that was pointless from the outset. Beauty is subjective as everyone knows, so nothing can be gained from arguing why one person finds someone beautiful and another doesn't. But here I am, so... First of all, "beautiful" and "attractive" are different concepts. And the OP says they can't imagine how anyone could have found these two women even attractive. They both produced biological offspring (Davis one, Lansbury two), so somebody must have been attracted to them at some point. So, objectively, yes...at least two people of their time respect
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