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any oscar movies you think = WHAT THE HECK !


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> I don't mean to offend any "An American In Paris"

> fans out there, but I'd rather eat cut glass than

> have to again sit through Gene Kelly sing his

> obnoxious rendition of "I Got Rhythm" with those

> little French kids.

 

Obnoxious? Come on. I don't get some of you people. I can see not finding it worthy of the Best Picture award, but there is nothing that can be called "obnoxious" about it. I think that number is so sweet. I know that some of you who label all musicals as obnoxious and nauseating also are into TCM Underground, and to me THAT is obnoxious and nauseating. Also don't understand some of the backlash I've read to Going My Way. To each his own, I just don't understand that mindset.

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Gosh! - I guess I did offend a bunch of you "An American In Paris" fans out there.

 

BradTexasRanger- I haven't any strong feelings about TCM Underground, but I don't go out of my way to watch any of those films. In addition, I certainly do get a warm feeling when watching Bing Crosby in "Going My Way". I don't get that mindset either.

 

To the rest I've offended - I am a big fan of movie musicals, especially the RKO 1930s Fred Astaire musicals and early 1929-1932 Paramount musicals. Also, all of Gigi, and Meet Me In St. Louis, and most of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers are on the top of my list as favorite original musical films. I also find the early talkie musicals from all studios from 1929 and 1930 especially fascinating. But AAIP has always bugged me. I've seen it several times and tried to like it.

Sorry MGM musicals lovers, but I'll take Top Hat, Love Me Tonight, and Alexander's Ragtime Band" over some of those Freed Unit musicals any day. Just my preference!

 

For instance, I find James Whale 1936 Showboat with Irene Dunne a work of art with a brilliant cast, and I find MGMs 1951 "Showboat" a mediocre, overproduced bore, although I do think Howard Keel gives a strong and sensitive performance. Although I think there are entertaining things that exist in both, "Royal Wedding" and "Bandwagon", they are overrated bores in my book as well. In Bandwagon, I especially love the the "Dancing In the Dark" number, but the "Triplets" number is another story altogether."

 

Once again, this is just my preference. I'm glad AAIP brings great joy to so many people out there. Now where did I put my Fritz Lang DVD collection?.

 

Best, Philip

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I totally agree with your assessment. I loathe American in Paris and how it ever won the Oscar over Streetcar or Place in the Sun is one of those crimes in Oscar history. Now don't get me wrong, I love musicals but AAIP has all the worst qualities of an MGM musical while Singin in the Rain has all the best qualities of that great studio. That's the musical that should have won Best Picture. I also love when a musical justifiably wins best picture like Gigi or Oliver. But AAIP is pretentious.

 

Also, I love Jimmy Stewart and understand they gave him an Oscar as a consolation for not having won for Mr. Smith but why did they not even nominate Cary Grant. It's one of those crazy omissions. They complain that the Academy never awards comedic performances which is not true but they are guilty of giving the award to the wrong comedic performances. Two outstanding examples are James Stewart in Philadelphia Story and Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. Judy's performance is wonderful but you have two of the greatest performances of the century Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard who should have easily beat Judy Holliday. A gross mistake.

 

I agree Crawford should have been nominated for A Woman's Face and also for RAIN in 1932. If her performance had been accepted back then the way it is today her career may have taken a whole different direction.

 

Ginger Rogers never should have won for Kitty Foyle which is a charming movie and performance but nowhere near what Joan Fontaine, Kate Hepburn or Bette Davis did that year or Martha Scott for that matter. And need I mention Judy Garland in A Star is Born. I think we all know that the Academy was high on drugs that year. At least give her best supporting Actress in 1961 for Judgement at Nuremberg but no they gave it to Rita Moreno (a fine actress) but her voice was dubbed in West Side Story so where's the great singing performance.

 

I find it hard to believe that The Greatest Show on Earth beat out High Noon and The Quiet Man. I think CB DeMille is a great and important filmmaker but they should have given him a special Oscar not a competitive one.

 

How Thelma Ritter never won an oscar is beyond me. Other gross omissions are Irene Dunne, Greta Garbo and Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck easily should have won for Double Indemnity beating out Ingrid Bergman, although George Cukor did do his best with what he had to work with.

 

I don't like sympathy awards like when they gave Kate Hepburn best actress for On Golden Pond. She already won 3 oscars and did not need a 4th. It was undeserved. Actually, she shouldn't have won for Morning Glory or Guess Who's Coming to Dinner but should definitely have won for Alice Adams or the Philadelphia Story.

 

And I wish Jeanette Macdonald had been nominated at least once for one of the Lubitsch films or Maytime. That is a difficult style to pull off on film and she does it in grand style.

 

Sincerely, Joseph

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Hi, Philip--

 

You didn't offend me over AAIP. mate. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

It's nice to see another fan of the Hollywood musical, and if AAIP isn't your cup of tea, I'm cool with that.

 

Actually, I've shown that film to both my dad and a friend of mine and both blindsided me with the opinion that the ballet at the end is too long. A lot of people seem to feel this way, and I've always been mystified by this, but what the hay. At least I've got Gene Kelly on my side (he always preferred AAIP to SITR.)

 

I've yet to meet anyone who finds Kelly 'obnoxious' with the little French kids, but I suppose I can see where you're coming from here. There's more than a bit of egocentrism in that number, but egocentrism is never too far from the surface with Kelly (i.e. the final shot of the "Broadway Rythym" ballet in SITR.)

 

Personally, I'll take the class of Vincente Minelli over the athletic, vulgar exuberance of Kelly+Donen any day. (Count me among the silent minority that have always preferred "Paris" to "Rain.")

 

Disagreement is part of the fun of these boards, and I welcome the give and take. (I also think Philips with one 'p' are much cooler than those with two 'p's.) So to quote Nashville's Haven Hamilton 'keep a goin'' with that posting, dude.

 

Cordially,

Robert.

 

p.s. It amuses me that you like "most" of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Which part don't you like. I gotta know.

 

R.

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> Ginger Rogers never should have won for Kitty Foyle

> which is a charming movie and performance but nowhere

> near what Joan Fontaine, Kate Hepburn or Bette Davis

> did that year or Martha Scott for that matter.

 

Hi, Joe:

 

Although I agree with this, more or less. (Martha Scott? Don't think so.), it's probably worth noting that Katherine Hepburn herself expressed satisfaction with Rogers' win. Asked about losing the award to Rogers, Hepburn said, succinctly: "Ginger's enormously talented and she deserves the Oscar."

Hepburn wasn't the sort to mince words or put forth praise if she didn't believe it was merited. (Note for instance, her incredibily cold dismissal of Grace Kelly's assumption of the Tracy Lord role in High Society.")

I'm inclined to believe that Hepburn felt, for whatever reason, that the Academy's Best Actress call in 1940 was correct. It should be said, too, that Rogers is quite effective in "Kitty Foyle," and if she's not in Hepburn's league, well, who else was?

 

Cordially,

RobertEH

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RobertEmmett - You are a sweet guy and I think you also have a cool name. Very proper! It's even worthy of a place in a Minnelli picture, a man of unsurpassed taste, style, and elegance.

 

I also appreciate your responses. You seemed to hit my issues right on the nail when you mention egocentrism. The egocentrism of Gene Kelly has always clouded by admiration for his vast talents. The only reason I like "Singin' In the Rain" better is that the script is about a time period in Hollywood that I love exploring, and Jean Hagen always cracks me up. There are also things in the movie that make me nuts. "Moses Supposes" is pure false enthusiasm in my book. It makes me crazy. An anti anxiety pill (perhaps Xanax) is needed for this one. Also Gene Kelly's Broadway Ballet doesn't send me like it does others, although I think Cyd Charrisee adds immeasurably to her section of it. I do like that the DVD for "Singin In The Rain" has a special feature that allows you to see many of the numbers as they were originally done in the 30's. For instance, I'll take Frances Langford's rendition, and Eleanor Powell' s brilliant, tap masterpiece rendition of "Broadway Rhythm", in "Broadway Melody of 1935, (1935) over Gene Kelly's egocentric "Broadway Rhythm Ballet" anyday. The type of Gene Kelly films I do like are the ones where he wasn't in charge, but true to character. I've heard all the ego problems that existed on "It's Always Fair Weather" with Michael Kidd and Dan Dailey. Not a happy cast!. Still, The "I Like Myself" number was perfectly written for Mr.Kelly and he performs it famously on those roller skates. I like him best as a selfish, egotistic character, with other powers in the film to counteract his overbearing personality. For instance, "Pal Joey" on Broadway must have been perfect for him. In "For Me and My Gal" he's not a nice guy for most of the film, but Judy Garland and George Murphy have just as much presence to counteract that. In Minnelli's "The Pirate", he's a full of himself actor and he works off the great talents of Judy Garland brilliantly. He's good at playing the heal who learns something in the end (or doesn't). In "Thousands Cheer, 1943", the plot revolves around him having to learn how to be a team player. Still no one can deny his great talent as a dancer.

 

On to Vincente Minnelli: What a brilliant artist! His elegance, visual artistry, and class are sorely missed. I find many wonderful things to enjoy in his financial failures "Yolanda and the Thief', and "The Pirate". I enjoy his dramas, especially "The Clock", "The Bad and the Beautiful", "Lust for Life", and "Madame Bovary". The world is a better place (at least for me) to be able to see "Meet Me in St. Louis", "Cabin In the Sky", and "Gigi", a true masterpiece at any time on DVD. He clashed greatly with Gene Kelly on Brigadoon, which now leads me to Stanley Donen's "Seven Brides.......". I consider this to be one of the finest original hollywood musicals ever made. I have 2 complaints. The film is just about perfect, except that it should have been filmed on location and they should have used Technicolor. instead that other inferior color process they used. I guess I'm being too picky. Brigadoon suffers from the same thing, but Brigadoon started as a Broadway Musical with great songs by Lerner and Loewe. Cyd Charisse is a great dancer in what should be a singing role, and is obviously dubbed. In addition, the songs that Gene Kelly sings are way out of his vocal range. I wonder if he thought so too. With all the sopranos and baritones at MGM at the time, this was poor casting. (I'm sure Richard Rodgers would never have allowed them to cast the likes of Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly as Laurie and Curly in "Oklahoma". so they shouldn't have been cast in "Brigadoon" either.

I hear that Vincente Minnelli gave up on this one as well. I really am enjoying our discussions. I hope to catch you later

 

Best, Philip

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Two great actresses that should have won. I'm embarrassed that I forgot them:

 

Catherine Deneuve, Repulsion (1965) over Julie Christie

Cameron Diaz, There's Something about Mary (1998) over Gwyneth Paltrow

 

And in case you think I forgot:

 

Cary Grant, North by Northwest

Jack Lemmon, Some Like it Hot

John Wayne, Rio Bravo

James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder (1959) over Charleton Heston

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Sorry, I have no clue why you think Cary Grant deserves an Oscar. I like him as much as the next guy, but HE PLAYS THE SAME ROLE IN EVERY FILM. You can't point to any Cary Grant performance, and say that's the ultimate Cary Grant performance, as you can with Bogey in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

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Mr. Friedman:

 

I wish you had been around a few weeks ago when I stated that Gene Kelly was an egotistical dancer, and his singing voice left loads to be admired. I always felt he wanted to push his partner in the background so everyone could be sure to see him.

 

Anne

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Anne,

 

I'm shocked at your animosity toward Gene Kelly........ especially knowing you share my love of musicals. I think he's a wonderful singer and dancer. You're the last person I thought would bad mouth him. Ah well, you never know. This is what keeps life interesting. By the way, are you watching Goodbye Girl right now? I thought I read somewhere that you enjoyed it.

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Brad:

 

I'm not knocking his dancing, just the fact that he doesn't seem to be a considerate partner like Astaire shows his ladies off. As for his singing, I've said before, I want to clear my throat every time he sings, (I just did it now thinking about it), because he seems to have something in his throat.

Philip:

 

I'm pretty sure it's in the Kelly vs. Astaire thread, here under General Discussions.

 

Anne

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I am new to this forum but I had to put in my opinion on Fred. Astaire and Gene. Kelly.

 

I am no fan of either. Kelly, because I don't feel he has any real talent and for some reason his voice grates my nerves and. Astaire because I have always felt he stole his dancing form from Mr. Bojangles. The only credit I ever saw him give Bojangles was that "tribute" he did in blackface! An insult within a compliment.

 

To those that may not know this, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson invented the Stair Dance in the 1920s. .In fact there were many talented black-tap dancers who, dressed as redcaps, had to tap on top of suitcases, danced with brooms in street-cleaning scenes, and even tapped their way up and down streets in the rain while entertaining their audiences in Harlem. In my opinion, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly williingly or unwillingly stole their art form.

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> RobertEmmett - You are a sweet guy and I think you

> also have a cool name. Very proper! It's even worthy

> of a place in a Minnelli picture, a man of

> unsurpassed taste, style, and elegance.

>

>

Hi, Philip, and thanks awfully for this.

 

Actually, it's more worthy of a place in a D.W. Griffith picture.

3 cheers to you if you can discern the meaning of that quip without resorting to the IMDB.

 

Cordially,

RobertEH

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Alrighty Robert Emmett - I promise not to cheat - but wasn't there an Irish patriot in the 18th or 19th century with that name who was jailed. Maybe I'm wrong - but that's the only thing I can think of. I know DW Griffith is a master, but the only films I've seem of his are "Birth of a Nation", "Intolerance", a shoddy copy of "Abraham Lincoln", and of course "Broken Blossoms" which is my favorite Griffith, because of Lillian Gish, one of my favorite silent stars. Are Robert Emmett and Griffith related?, or is there another Griffith movie I should take a look at, so I can understand the connection?

 

Best, Philip

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Hi, watches, and welcome 'aboards':

 

I cannot let your post go by without comment.

One may have reservations about Gene Kelly, but I don't think saying he lacked 'real talent' is quite tenable. The "Moses Supposes" and "Our Love Is Here to Stay" dance duets from "Singin' in the Rain" and "An American in Paris" show-case the breadth of his dancing talent quite nicely. I couldn't do either and I don't know many other dancers who could have either. (Can imagine Astaire doing "Love," but not "Supposes.")

 

As for Astaire in blackface, this comment is not fair. Given the historical context, there was nothing insulting in Astaire's decision to perform this way in 1936. Indeed, it was pretty daring of Astaire to perform a Bojangles tribute at all, given the fact that contributions from African American performers were routinely cut from many road prints of Hollywood films at this time, so as not to offend movie patrons in the American south. I think it was touching of Astaire to perform an obviously heartfelt tribute to a fellow dancer, and obviously Astaire probably would not have felt obligated to do this had he surrepticiously 'stole' Robinson's dancing style and adopted it as his own.

 

If you look at other blackface performances from the 1930s and even later (i.e. Jolson in "Jazz Singer" or Garland and Rooney in "Babes on Broadway" or Cantor in "Kid Millions) Astaire's make-up in Swing Time is remarkable for its subtilty and refusal to use traditions of minstrelry such as exaggerated lips or Afro wig. I think this must be acknowledged by anyone watching a movie like "Swing Time" today.

 

Besides, Astaire, who was born in either Kansas or Nebraska (forget which at the moment), likely developed his dance style with sister Adele, with little opportunity for exposure to Robinson's style.

If you look at a period Robinson film performance (like his appearance in the technicolor sequences of the 1930 Wheeler-Woolsey vehicle "Dixiana") it's apparent that his dancing was not similar to Astaire's at all, and likewise apparent how good a match the choreography devised by Astaire and Hermes Pan for the Bojangles 'tribute' is.

 

Not that this has anything to do with Oscar head-scratchers, but I felt some comment was in order.

 

Cordially,

RobertEH

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Hi Philip.

 

Thanks for not cheating.

Robert Emmett ("Bobby") Harron was born in 1893 in New York City, part of a large Irish brood.

He was discovered by Griffith and cast as a juvenile actor in a number of Biograph movie shorts during Griffth's rise in the first decades of the 1900s.

Impressed by the actor's sensitivity and talent, Griffith rewarded Bobby with a plum role in BOAN (as Tod Stoneman, one of the two 'chums' who die on the Civil War battlefield in the film's first hour. Tod is the chum from the north, brother of Lillian Gish and Elmer Clifton. If that doesn't help, he's the chum who wears the dorky hat.)

Bobby next appeared in "Intolerance," which was his greatest and largest role. He was cast as "The Boy," juvenile gangster and later husband to Mae Marsh's "Dear One." He is wrongly accused of murder in Intolerance's "Modern Story" and saved from the scaffold by Dear One's intervention at the last possible moment a la Griffith.

More roles for Bobby followed, including the lead in "Hearts of the World" (1918) and "A Romance of Happy Valley (also 1918), but things did not stay happy for long.

Griffith had taken a shine to Richard Barthelmess, and cast him in "Broken Blossoms" opposite Lillian Gish. The caucasian Barthelmess evidently passed muster as the so-called Yellow Man and was rewarded with the lead in Griffith's follow-up picture, the epic romance "Way Down East" (1920), also with Gish.

It was while in New York City for the premiere of WDE (in which he did not appear) that Bobby Harron suffered a gunshot wound while in his hotel room. The cause of the wound was not definitely determined (Harron claimed it was an accident; others have speculated that Bobby pulled a "Norman Maine" after being passed over for the lead in WDE.

Be that as it may, Robert Emmett Harron died in hospital a couple of days after the shooting. His final film apperance had been in "A Romance of Happy Valley." He was 27 years old when he died.

Bobby was never nominated for an Oscar, having died 7 years before the first ceremony. (That is totally irrelevant to this post of course, but I felt I should make the comment, since this thread is supposed to have something to do with the Academy Awards after all.)

 

Richard Barthelmess, who died a wealthy man in 1963, was nominated for the First Best Actor Oscar in 1927.

I can see Bobby rolling in his grave even now, can't you?

 

This, I'm sure, is more than you wanted to know.

 

Cordially,

R.

 

Message was edited by:

RobertEmmettHarron

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Alright maybe Martha Scott is stretching it a bit. I'm surprised Hepburn had such nice things to say about Rogers since I don't think they were chums at RKO. Hepburn was usually quite honest but then again I don't think you can say anything negative about the winner when you're the loser because it comes of sounding like sour grapes. I'm sure it was the politically correct thing to do since they were both the biggest stars RKO had in the 30s. It's funny how Ginger Rogers was never nominated for anything else after her win. One of my favorites is The Major and the Minor. I thought she was terrific in that. In fact I love her in most of her comedies. I'm just not crazy about any of her post WWII work. She changed drastically and lost most of her charm. I'm not sure what happened to her.

 

I am glad that Jack Warner decided to cast her as Doris Day's older sister in Storm Warning. That is much better casting then who he originally cast: Joan Crawford. Crawford said to him upon hearing that piece of news: "Jesus Christ, no one would ever believe Doris Day as my kid sister" She was right.

 

Oh by the way, what did Hepburn say about Grace Kelly in High Society. I would love to know. I am not a fan of Grace Kelly and would love to hear anything negative Hepburn may have said about her.

 

Thanks, Joe

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Robert,

 

I totally agree with your assessment of Astaires dancing style and tribute to Bojangles. I'm sure Astaire learned quite a bit from old Bojangles. Every great artist, I don't care who they are, learns from watching others and incorporates the best qualities of what they learn into their art whether it be dancing, singing, acting or painting. It is about adopting what is good and making it your own. I wouldn't trust any artist who said they didn't do that.

 

Astaire had an outlet to masses of people to show different styles of dance that just wasn't available to Bill Robinson because he was black and performing in a very bigoted era. I see nothing wrong in what Astaire did. Bravo to you for acknowledging it and explaining it so intelligently,

 

Best, Joe

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What an interesting discussion. JackBurley where are you?

 

I've seen the 1936 "Show Boat." At that point I didn't even know Dunne could sing much less that well.

 

Always thought Kelly's and Astaire's voices were similar in a odd way. Neither is great but they carry a tune well. Astaire's is thin and Kelly's is raspy(?) in a way that makes it sound thin. Of the two Astaire's is better. Of course this only my thought.

 

Someone mentioned "Brigadoon", not only is it a strange musical but one of the strangest movies I ever saw. The whole thing is just bizarre. I thought whoever dreamed it up must have been using a mind-altering substance.

 

Fascinating discussion from the rest of you. Pardon my interruption.

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Well, OK, Joe, since you asked--

 

When interviewed about her role in "High Society" (1956), a musical remake of "The Philadelphia Story" opposite Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly tried the complimentary route, saying she had prepared for the film by watching TPS several times to study Hepburn's performance.

 

When asked about this, Hepburn said:

"She didn't study hard enough."

 

Hope you enjoyed that, Joe.

 

REH

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