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Winter Under the Stars


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Feel free to chime in. I have looked at a list of performers who have never been honored as part of TCM's Summer Under the Stars, so I am going to honor some of them this way.

But instead of just a month, I am going to highlight many people, one each day from December 20 to March 20, the entire winter season.

MUSICAL STARS
VILLAINS & VILLAINESSES
CHARACTER ACTORS & ACTRESSES
WESTERN STARS
POST-CODE STARS (LATE 60S TO PRESENT)
CHILD STARS & TEEN STARS
PRECODE STARS

This gives us a chance to celebrate performance styles in different genres from different eras. Since I believe in gender equality, I will alternate, female star then male star then female star. Etc. This means that if a female musical star is honored one week, a male musical star will be honored the following week. And so on.

If a person has been Star of the Month on TCM but never had a day in August, I will mention that.

It won't be labor intensive. Sometimes I will just post the name and a few images. Other times I might list a few significant films the star made. Ideally lurkers/readers will chime in if the star happens to be a favorite.

Sound good...? :) 

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Sounds like a good idea.  And as you know, it's quite possible to "double up"   on the male/female star thing.  There's got to be many examples of both a well known male and female stars wound up in the same movie.  And more than once.  For example;

DORIS DAY/GORDON MacRAE. (for your musical stars idea). 

I'm sure there's examples for other genres too.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Sounds like a good idea.  And as you know, it's quite possible to "double up"   on the male/female star thing.  There's got to be many examples of both a well known male and female stars wound up in the same movie.  And more than once.  For example;

DORIS DAY/GORDON MacRAE. (for your musical stars idea). 

I'm sure there's examples for other genres too.

Sepiatone

You're right we could "double up" on some of them. But I didn't make my list that way. However, when we come to Gordon MacRae, we can certainly mention the four or five films he did with Doris Day.

I picked the musical genre and the western genre since that would give us variety. I figure a lot of the ones we do for villains & villainesses have appeared in film noir or horror films. 

I didn't do silent stars but quite a few of the precode stars did start in the silent era.

Most of the post-code stars will be people who were box office champs in the 70s and 80s. Though some of them have had long movie careers and we can certainly cite examples from later decades, up to the present.

Again I am aiming for variety, plus the main goal is to honor stars that haven't been recognized by TCM. At least not yet.

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Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 2.26.26 PM.jpeg

Our first musical star:

SONJA HENIE.

I thought it was appropriate we start winter with Ms. Henie, known for her ice skating musicals at 20th Century Fox in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

WINTERTIME was her final Fox outing. It lacks a traditional leading man (typically she was paired with Don Ameche, Tyrone Power or John Payne). But it has a lot of fun supporting players. Plus a young Cornel Wilde is featured.

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 3.05.58 PM

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The only Henie movie I've ever seen was Second Fiddle, which I think has only ever aired on TCM one time during a 31 Days of Oscar. It was nominated for its use of an Irving Berlin song. I don't really remember much about it. So, I certainly wouldn't mind seeing some more. If I can sit through all those MGM Esther Williams movies multiple times, I would probably be okay with Henie's, too. They feel kind of like alternate universe counterparts. And Henie is certainly pleasant to look at.

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On 12/21/2020 at 12:08 AM, TopBilled said:

Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 2.26.26 PM.jpeg

Our first musical star:

SONJA HENIE.

I thought it was appropriate we start winter with Ms. Henie, known for her ice skating musicals at 20th Century Fox in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

WINTERTIME was her final Fox outing. It lacks a traditional leading man (typically she was paired with Don Ameche, Tyrone Power or John Payne). But it has a lot of fun supporting players. Plus a young Cornel Wilde is featured.

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 3.05.58 PM

 

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7 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

The first one that always comes to mind is the weaselly Leo in The Little Foxes (1941)

Great performance. He also stars in the prequel ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST (1948).

7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Can I make a case for sympathetic Duryea? I like him in The Underworld Story and Kathy O'.

Versatile actor.

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Our first character actress is this lady:

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EVE ARDEN.

She had class.

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But she was more than our Miss Brooks. She was the wisecracking sidekick in so many classic films.

Who do you think she worked best with-- Joan Crawford maybe?

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Eve Arden is clearly one of the best.    I remember liking her as a kid (she remined me of my father who was always cracking-wise),   from the T.V. show The Mother-In-Laws.

This was years before I got into studio-era films and discovered all of her fine film performances.

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Our first western star is

AUDIE MURPHY

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Much of Audie's film career was at Universal International, starting with THE KID FROM TEXAS (1950).

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Has anyone seen:

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Audie plays himself in a story about his military career.

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I haven't seen too many of Murphy's films (although I have read about his non-acting life) but I thought he was very good in THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE.

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Our first post-code star is

SALLY FIELD.

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She started on the small screen as Gidget and The Flying Nun and went on to deliver Oscar-worthy performances on the big screen.

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She's a unique actress.

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Did you get a chance to watch when she co-hosted TCM's Essentials with Robert Osborne?

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I'm always impressed with Sally Field's performances. I liked her best in PLACES IN THE HEART. I think she's good at portraying "someone you might know".

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Yes, I've always "liked, really liked" Sally Field. Boy, she took a collective cultural bashing after declaring that upon winning her second Oscar. She was the butt of jokes for years but seems to have rebounded nicely. It's also tough for actresses when they get to be a certain age. Sally went from playing Tom Hanks' potential love interest in Punchline to his mother in Forrest Gump in the space of only six years.

I haven't seen as much of her work as I probably should have (still haven't seen Places in the Heart, for example), but my two favorite performances that I have seen are Norma Rae and Absence of Malice. In the former, she gives a performance that feels completely lived-in, no traces of a glamorous Hollywood star slumming it for critical acclaim. In the latter, she gives a very nice, partially unsympathetic performance as a too-ambitious young reporter who quickly gets in over her head and is played by more than one force. We have to both like and dislike her, and that's sometimes tough to pull off, and she does it masterfully.

I enjoyed her (I believe) two seasons of The Essentials with Robert Osborne, and we were promised a third season before Mr. Osborne withdrew from appearing on TCM. I'm sorry that didn't happen.

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I forgot to mention in my previous post that I saw Sally Field on Bob Costas' late night interview show circa 1990. Costas brought up the now largely forgotten 1981 film Back Roads as a personal favorite of his, and Sally kind of bristled when he mentioned it, saying that Tommy Lee Jones "wasn't very nice to me" and that she wouldn't care if she never worked with him again. Anyway, flash forward 20-plus years, and I remember seeing Sally saying somewhere (maybe it was on The Essentials?) that an older and more mature Jones had sincerely apologized to her for his behavior on that picture and that she'd accepted his apology. They had a memorable scene together in Lincoln in which her character puts his in his place, and he has to smile and take it with courtly demeanor. That made me happy for some reason. I don't know why I care whether millionaire actors get along, but you read so much dirt about these people, a feel-good story was a nice change.

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