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Should other non-Caucasian actors become Star of the Month?


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Sidney Poitier will be Star of the Month in September, and that's a good thing. It's the second time he's been honored.

But shouldn't more ethnic stars receive this kind of tribute?

Some possibilities:

Carmen Miranda
Ricardo Montalban
Dorothy Dandridge
Keye Luke
Anna May Wong
Paul Robeson
Lena Horne
Fernando Lamas
Dolores Del Rio
Woody Strode
Diahann Carroll
Cesar Romero
Lupe Velez

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Okay, I have a bunch of rambling thoughts that I'm gonna devote a couple of sentences to each:

I don't want to sound like Debbie Downer. We've all got our favorites, but anyone who watches TCM regularly knows that a Japanese actress who made no or next to no English-language films getting honored as Star of the Month is extremely unlikely.

I would say the most realistic possibility outside of Poitier is Anthony Quinn, who was last Star of the Month in 2006. Perhaps you didn't list him because he's been honored already. He was three-quarters Mexican ... at least going back a couple of generations. We all have to radically reconsider what race really means anymore. I have to smile at all thought of all those mostly long-ago dead spouters of theories of racial purity and racial superiority rolling over in their graves when anyone who takes one those mouth swab samples today finds out that they're at least a fraction of a per cent of a half dozen different races each!

I like all of the suggestions in the OP. Seems like Montalban would be extremely likely, given all the work he did at MGM. Carmen Miranda would require getting quite bit of material from Fox, I think. Lena Horne has had multiple SUTS days, I think. She's a bit problematic, because a lot of her movies, she just came in and sang her showpiece number and had nothing to do with the plot at all. This, unfortunately, was the way the studio was most comfortable using her. Cesar Romero I would think would certainly be doable. My knowledge of the body of work of some of these performers is a little sparse, I must admit. Don't really know too much about Dorothy Dandridge's career or how much Keye Luke did other than being Number One Son and of course Gremlins. I don't know how eager TCM would be to air those Charlie Chan films anymore with a white guy always playing Chan. I honestly don't know how many movies Paul Robeson was in.

If we are allowed to consider outside the realm of stars and also consider supporting players, I would vote for Phlip Ahn, who seemed (incredibly for the time) to insist upon only playing dignified roles. Also Hattie McDaniel, whom it seems must have made about a thousand movies. But I suppose they wouldn't qaulify, given the usual size of their roles.

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Had another thought: I watched a Bob Hope-Eva Marie Saint romantic comedy I'd never heard of called That Certain Feeling on YouTube the other night, and Pearl Bailey was an absolute standout. She was saddled with a role of a domestic, unfortunately typical of those days: we don't get any concept of what her character's life is like other than helping all these neurotic white people with their love lives, but she comes across as smarter than all of them and has great comic timing. I have no idea how many movies she made, but she was also great in The Landlord.

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I would love a Hattie McDaniel month.  Even though her parts may have been small they were often the highlight of the film for me.  I watch "Alice Adams" primarily for her hilarious dinner scene.  

What I would really love would be "character actor of the month."  We could have Hattie, Beulah Bondi, so many great ones with huge bodies of work.

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I don't know if I'd call Carmen Miranda. Ricardo Montalban, Fernando Lamas, Dolores Del Rio, Cesar Romero
and Lupe Velez non Caucasian.

Anyway these below....

Related image

Pedro Armendariz - 128 credits

Image result for Philip Ahn

Philip Ahn - 186 credits

Image result for Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini - 87 credits

Image result for james hong

James Hong - 443 credits

Image result for Victor Wong

Victor Wong - 38 credits

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8 hours ago, jakeem said:

Wouldn't mind a month of Bruce Lee movies, either.

Image result for bruce lee enter the dragon

Do you mean to include all his Chinese film work( dating back to 1941)?  or just the work as an adult.?  

And if we're mentioning Asians, how about PHILIP AHN, who has over 100 films under his belt, but too, several of them uncredited roles. But not the majority.  ;)

Sepiatone

 

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11 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I don't know if I'd call Carmen Miranda. Ricardo Montalban, Fernando Lamas, Dolores Del Rio, Cesar Romero
and Lupe Velez non Caucasian.

I was trying not to use the word 'minority' or the phrase 'non-white.' I didn't want to make this a discussion about skin color. More about how TCM could represent other cultures or ethnicities in its selection of Stars of the Month.

But the truth is that with the exception of Poitier, all their honorees for Star of the Month have been white.

Also, I know people will say that some of the ones mentioned earlier in the thread were not stars on the level of Clark Gable or Bette Davis. But most of them did have lead roles, even if they were leads in B-films; and these people are still stars to their fans.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 11.29.46 AM.jpg

In the case of someone like Keye Luke, he should be celebrated. He had a contract with MGM at a time when no other Asians were under contract at the studio. He appeared in several popular movie franchises, playing significant roles. He went on to do a lot of television work, and he was still making films in 1990, when he was cast in a Woody Allen picture. His accomplishments should be noted, not overlooked.

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24 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Do you mean to include all his Chinese film work( dating back to 1941)?  or just the work as an adult.?  

Just his 1960s and 1970s output, including a two-part episode of "The Green Hornet," his memorable scenes opposite James Garner in "Marlowe" and a documentary or two.

Image result for bruce lee marlowe

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25 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I did mention Ahn before either of you :D

Sewhite's post was 10 hours ago. Yours was 7 hours ago.

I'll mention Philip Ahn, too. 

Philip Ahn.

I'll also mention Richard Loo (172 credits)

uCsrR36tMcqNy8cFaH2iKnSvIyR.jpg

and Sessue Hayakawa (107 credits).

MV5BMTY3MDQyMTkzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzA2

I mentioned Tatsuya Nakadai (162 credits)

tatsuya_5244.png

and Takashi Shimura (278 credits)

Takashi%20Shimura%20%20Shichinin%20no%20

in the SUTS thread. Either one would be a good choice.

And of course Toshiro Mifune (186 credits).

mifune-e1480702032467-350x350.jpg

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20 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Sewhite's post was 10 hours ago. Yours was 7 hours ago.

You're right I missed it, my bad. Apologies to Sewwhite

That's the correct way to respond when your wrong.....

Now if I was a Twump Reped-lick-can I say it was fake news....:D

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22 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Sewhite's post was 10 hours ago. Yours was 7 hours ago.

I'll mention Philip Ahn, too. 

Philip Ahn.

I'll also mention Richard Loo (172 credits)

uCsrR36tMcqNy8cFaH2iKnSvIyR.jpg

and Sessue Hayakawa (107 credits).

MV5BMTY3MDQyMTkzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzA2

I mentioned Tatsuya Nakadai (162 credits)

tatsuya_5244.png

and Takashi Shimura (278 credits)

Takashi%20Shimura%20%20Shichinin%20no%20

in the SUTS thread. Either one would be a good choice.

And of course Toshiro Mifune (186 credits).

mifune-e1480702032467-350x350.jpg

Neither here nor there, but Sessue Hayakawa should have won that Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Bridge".

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11 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I would vote for Phlip Ahn, who seemed (incredibly for the time) to insist upon only playing dignified roles.

I guess it all depends on what a dignified role is;  Ahn played criminal roles;  e.g. hired killers.   

But why not;  he was an actor.  (and I highly doubt he had the clout to determine what roles he would play).

Anyhow,  for TCM to select any non-Caucasian actor as SOTM (or even a day of SUTS),   the majority of the films shown should be English language films.   The Asian actor I would feature would be Victor_Sen_Yung.    

 

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I wouldn't count on any of those listed being chosen any time soon. Not due to ethnicity, but TCM is all about STARS and familiar faces. I'd say Del Rio and Velez probably have the most star power, but probably will never be picked as they arent well known and TCM would probably have a hard time renting films from various studios to showcase them. At best a SUTS days is the best one could hope for most of them.

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8 minutes ago, Arteesto said:

I would like to see Keye Luke receive the honor.

I just checked and he has more than enough movies to fill up a month.

images.jpg.5b8a34138054ad884d2db2760ac2255e.jpg

Keye Luke and Victor_Sen_Yung were in a many of the same films  (e.g. Charlie Chan films, ,  but Yung was in many more 1st Rate \ A production films like: 

The Letter, Across the Pacific (which Luke is in too but in a much smaller role),  Moontide,   The Breaking Point,   Women on the Run,  The Blue Gardenia,  The Shanghai Story (a Ruth Roman Edmond O'Brien film I haven't seen,  and since a Republic film one TCM likely wouldn't lease),  and The Left Hand of God.

Of course all were minor roles.            

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52 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I wouldn't count on any of those listed being chosen any time soon. Not due to ethnicity, but TCM is all about STARS and familiar faces. 

I never honestly expect TCM to listen to any of my suggestions about anything. If I was only interested in predicting what the TCM brass were going to schedule, then I'd simply copy 'n paste one of the old schedules over and over again. In other words, I don't expect them to change anything from their S.O.P. My suggestions are always what I would like to see, not what I expect them to show.

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